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Video: Protests continue against the murder of Daunte Wright

TimesVideo Protests Continue Over Daunte Wright’s Murder Protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Department for a second night, in violation of the city’s curfew. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, according to The New York Times, The Associated Press and Reuters.

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Video: Judge approves third degree murder charge in Chauvin trial

TimesVideoJudge Approves Third Degree Murder Charge in Chauvin Trial Judge Peter A. Cahill on Thursday added a third degree murder charge in Derek Chauvin’s trial, which includes second degree murder and manslaughter charges involuntary second degree culprit in the murder of George Floyd. The Associated Press.

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Man sues Hertz for losing receipt that was his murder alibi

A Michigan man sued Hertz, the car rental company, claiming that it failed to produce a receipt that would have proven his innocence before being convicted of murder in 2011.

The man, Herbert Alford, was convicted in 2016 of second degree murder in the fatal shooting of Michael Adams, 23, in Lansing, Michigan. Mr Alford insisted he was innocent and that a car rental receipt from the Hertz location at Lansing Airport would prove he was nowhere near the scene of the murder when it performed in October 2011.

The company produced the receipt in 2018 and the charges against Mr Alford were dropped last year.

Mr Alford, 47, filed a lawsuit against Hertz in Ingham County Circuit Court on Tuesday. He claims that Hertz’s “actions, inactions and negligence” helped keep Mr. Alford in jail and then in prison for a total of five years. . The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

“This man hasn’t asked to produce all of their records for six months,” Alford’s lawyer Jamie White said of Hertz. “He just wanted his receipt.

In a statement, Hertz said the company was “deeply saddened” by what had happened to Mr Alford.

“Although we were unable to find the rental history of 2011 when it was requested in 2015, we continued our good faith efforts to locate it,” Hertz spokeswoman Lauren Luster said Thursday. . “Thanks to advances in data research in the years that followed, we were able to locate the rental record in 2018 and quickly provided it.”

Mr. Adams was fatally shot in Lansing on October 18, 2011, during a drug-related dispute, according to the Ingham County District Attorney’s Office.

Three days later, the office issued a warrant and charged Mr Alford with second degree murder. Mr Alford said he was renting a car from Hertz at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing at the time of the shooting. Depending on traffic and the route taken, the airport is about 8 miles, or about a 20-minute drive, from the scene where Mr. Adams was shot, Mr. White said.

“It’s too far,” he said. “There is no way he could have committed this crime.”

A jury found Mr Alford guilty of second degree murder and two weapons charges in December 2016. He was sentenced to 30 years in life in prison, Mr White said.

Mr Alford appealed and in August 2018 a judge allowed his motion for a new trial based on evidence received from Hertz.

Mr White said he sought several subpoenas and court orders over three years for Hertz to produce the receipt. If it had been provided earlier, he said, Mr Alford would not have been convicted and he would not have served five years in prison and in prison.

Ingham County District Attorney Carol A. Siemon said Hertz’s evidence, which was not available in the original trial, was a factor when his office said in December that the charges against Mr. Alford were abandoned and he would. not face a second trial. The announcement was reported by the Lansing State Journal.

“We do not believe that we can prove Mr Alford’s legal guilt by the standard ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’,” Ms Siemon said in a statement. “Therefore, the Ingham County District Attorney’s Office dismisses the case against Herbert Alford.”

Michael S. Cheltenham, the deputy chief prosecutor for Ingham County, said Thursday that “the Hertz evidence played an important role in our decision not to retry Mr. Alford.

He added that police and prosecutors “never said the Hertz timestamp document conclusively proves anyone other than Mr Alford shot Michael Adams.” He said the case remained open.

Mr White said the lawsuit against Hertz could be slowed down due to the company’s bankruptcy reorganization.

“We cannot put an amount of money on years of your life and your reputation,” he said.

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Austin cop who killed unarmed man is issued murder warrant

An arrest warrant has been issued to charge a police officer in Austin, Texas with the shooting death of a man last year that sparked protests against police violence in the state capital, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a warrant had been issued against the officer, Christopher Taylor, but said it did not have additional information immediately. The Austin Police Department did not immediately comment.

Constable Taylor was among a number of Austin police officers who responded to an apartment complex parking lot on April 24, 2020, after a 911 caller reported that a man was drugged. was sitting in a car holding a gun, with a woman next to it. to him, police said.

After meeting outside the apartment complex, officers confronted the man, Michael Ramos, 42, while he was sitting inside the car.

Dash camera video released by the Austin Police Department last year showed officers repeatedly ordering Mr. Ramos to put his hands up and get out of his car. Mr. Ramos can be seen getting out of his car with his hands up. The officers then told him to lift his shirt and turn around, which he did.

Mr. Ramos waved his hands and yelled at the officers, asking at one point, ‘What’s going on? He also shouted, “I don’t have a gun, dog!” with an added curse. An officer shouted at him, “I’m going to have an impact on you!” Mr. Ramos replied: “An impact on me? Why?”

An officer, later identified as Mitchell Pieper, fired a “less lethal” bullet at Mr Ramos, hitting him in the thigh, police said. Mr. Ramos then got back into his car and drove forward as officers shouted at him not to leave.

Constable Taylor fired his rifle three times at Mr. Ramos’ moving car, hitting him, Austin police said. Emergency medical personnel took Mr. Ramos to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A woman who was in the car before the shooting was not injured, arrested or charged.

Austin police confirmed after the shooting that Mr. Ramos did not have a gun.

Constables Pieper and Taylor were both put on administrative leave after the shooting. Agent Pieper had worked in the ministry for three months and was undergoing field training. Constable Taylor had been with the ministry for five years.

Constable Taylor’s attorneys Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell said they were “disappointed but sadly not surprised” that their client was charged. They argued that José Garza, a former federal public defender who was elected Travis County District Attorney in November, “decided that Constable Taylor had committed a crime”, before taking office.

“Today’s indictment is not justice; it is the accomplishment of a campaign talking point and even more evidence of anti-police bias, ”said Mr. Ervin and Mr. O’Connell. “We look forward to presenting the facts of this case, in their entirety, to a panel of citizens not behind closed doors and under its sole control.”

Mr Garza’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

The murder of Mr. Ramos, who was black and Hispanic, sparked protests against police violence in Austin about a month before George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, which catalyzed global protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

During a protest last May, Mr Ramos’ mother, Brenda Ramos, questioned why Constable Taylor had not been fired and prosecuted. “Why isn’t he in jail?” she said. “I need your help. We need to get justice for Mike.

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Dallas cop charged with 2 counts of capital murder

A Dallas police officer was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of capital murder after a witness said the officer hired him to kidnap and kill two people, then dump their bodies in a river, authorities said .

Dallas Police said the officer, Bryan Riser, who joined the department in August 2008, was charged with the murders of Albert Douglas, 61, and Liza Saenz, 31, both in 2017.

The town’s police chief, Edgardo Garcia, declined to describe the relationship between the officer and the victims, but said the murders were linked to Constable Riser’s “off-duty driving”, not to his police work.

Nonetheless, Chief Garcia said, the Dallas Police Department will turn to Firefighter Riser and review his conduct on the force and the arrests he made.

“We hire people from the human race, and when we find people like this, it’s the actions we take afterward that should be the judge of us,” said Chief Garcia. “We will hold ourselves accountable at the highest levels.”

It was not immediately clear if Agent Riser had a lawyer. The Dallas Police Association, which represents the city’s officers, declined to comment.

Ms Saenz’s body was found in the Trinity River in Dallas on March 10, 2017. She had been shot several times, police said. In September 2017, three men – Kevin Kidd, 28; Emmanuel Kilpatrick, 31, and Jermon Simmons, 35 – were arrested and charged with killing Ms Saenz, police said.

On August 12, 2019, a prosecutor told Dallas Police that one of the men – who was only identified as a “witness” in court documents – wanted to provide information about the officer’s involvement. Riser into the murder of Ms. Saenz, authorities mentioned.

Two days later, during an interview at Dallas Police Headquarters, the witness implicated Constable Riser in the murders of Ms Saenz and Mr Douglas, whose family had gone missing in February 2017, according to authorities. His body was not found, although the witness told police that Mr Douglas was shot and then dumped in the Trinity River.

The witness said he and Agent Riser had known each other for years and reconnected in 2013 when Agent Riser contacted him and asked if he was’ still doing the things they were doing when they were young, ” such as committing burglaries, the witness said. the police.

The witness said that Officer Riser initially promised to provide him with information about the drug houses if the witness and his crew stole the houses and then kept the drugs and gave the stolen money or weapons to Officer Riser. , police said.

The plan, however, never materialized, the witness said, as Constable Riser then came up with a plan for Mr. Douglas to be kidnapped and killed for $ 3,500, police said.

After discussing the plan in a donut shop and in a park, the witness said Constable Riser drove him to a location where he identified Mr. Douglas as his target, police said.

Several days later, the witness said, he and an associate stopped and handcuffed Mr Douglas, put him in a car and drove him to a location near the Trinity River, police said. Mr Douglas was shot and killed and his body thrown into the river, the witness told police.

About two weeks later, Officer Riser contacted the witness again and told him he would pay her $ 6,000 to kidnap and kill Ms. Saenz, police said. Constable Riser told the witness that she was “an informant,” police said.

Ms Saenz was shot dead and her body was thrown into the river, police said. But the witness never collected the $ 6,000 because he and his associates were arrested in unrelated murders, police said.

Credit…Dallas County Sheriff’s Department

Constable Riser was also arrested and charged on May 13, 2017 with assault of domestic violence, a misdemeanor. It was not immediately clear what had happened with this case and how, if it was all linked to the murders. At the time, Agent Riser was placed on administrative leave, pending an internal affairs investigation. Chief Garcia said he could not discuss the details of this case.

The chief admitted that the department allowed Constable Riser to remain on patrol after the witness implicated him in the murders in 2019. But he said “terminology is important.” The chief said a person does not become a “murder suspect” until there is enough information to find the probable cause of their murder.

“I think the community should know that this police department wants to be as thorough as possible because we certainly don’t want someone to fall through the cracks who have no reason to wear this uniform,” said Chief Garcia. “And so he’s a person of interest until he becomes a suspect.” And that’s what the hard work of our homicide detectives and the FBI were trying to do.

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Former police chief charged with attempted murder after arson

The “target list” found on David M. Crawford’s cell phone indicated a former police chief gripped by grievances in his personal and professional life, authorities said.

He named, among others, two doctors who had treated Mr Crawford for a back injury, a woman who had run a training program for Mr Crawford’s wife who was discussing “white privilege”, and three former police officers. who had served with Mr. Crawford during his more than three-decade career in Maryland law enforcement.

The “target list” was key piece of evidence, said authorities, who linked Mr Crawford, a former police chief in two Maryland towns, to an arson attack that reportedly included at least 12 fires that targeted Mr. Crawford. enemies across the state from 2011 to 2020.

All the fires were on at night. In six of the fires, victims slept at home with their families. No one was injured, but the fires caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, and authorities said there were “clear signs” that people were at home when Mr Crawford lit a certain number of fires.

Mr Crawford, 69, of Ellicott City, Md., Was arrested on Wednesday and charged with at least 12 counts of attempted first degree murder, 12 counts of attempted second degree murder and multiple counts arson, authorities said.

He was taken into custody after a years-long investigation uncovered internet search logs, burnt bluejeans left in a storm sewer and other evidence linking Mr Crawford to the crimes, authorities said. Prosecutors said Mr Crawford burned down homes, garages and cars in five Maryland counties: Prince George’s, Montgomery, Howard, Frederick and Charles.

The fires, prosecutors said, shared a surprisingly similar pattern. The arsonist often appeared on surveillance video wearing a sweatshirt with a tightly pulled hood, hiding his face. The person poured gasoline into gallon jugs and used a stick wrapped in cloth. Sometimes a silver sedan was seen near the crime scene.

As investigators began to investigate Mr Crawford, the links between him and the fires became clearer, authorities said. All of the victims were relatives or people with “known connections” to Mr Crawford or his wife, Mary Crawford, police said in court documents. Investigators said he had targeted “victims with whom he had previously had disagreements.”

The fires targeted a former administrator in the town of Laurel; former Police Chief Laurel who replaced Crawford after his resignation in 2010; two married chiropractors who had treated him 19 times for a back injury; and Mr. Crawford’s own son-in-law, with whom he had had many heated arguments.

“These allegations are disturbing and quite serious, and if proven, members of our family in the town of Laurel have been victims,” ​​Laurel Mayor Craig A. Moe said Wednesday. “And I want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with them, and their families, as this matter progresses.”

Mr. Crawford has had a long career in law enforcement. He started working as a police officer in the 1970s and left the Prince George County Police Department as a major in 2000. He went on to serve as chief of police in District Heights, Maryland, and then in Laurel. When Mr Moe announced in October 2010 that Mr Crawford was stepping down as Chief of Police, he said it was for unspecified “personal reasons”.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Crawford had a lawyer. There was no response Wednesday night to the phone numbers and email address listed under his name.

Police said a fire apparently targeted a woman who ran a training program Mary Crawford attended in 2016 in which ‘white privilege’ was discussed. According to prosecutors, Ms Crawford had objected to the concept of white privilege and the woman told her she was not welcome to the program.

About four months later, in March 2017, Mr Crawford set fire to a car belonging to the coach’s mother, authorities said. Police said they later found searches for the trainer’s address on Mr Crawford’s computer.

Three of the fires targeted the home of Mr Crawford’s stepson, with whom he had a “strained” relationship, prosecutors said. The fires had been started after many heated arguments over the years, prosecutors said.

Another fire caused more than $ 240,000 in damage to the home of a neighborhood association leader Mr Crawford had struggled with as they worked together on a contentious school redistribution effort.

Mr Crawford was also charged with setting fire to the house, garage and cars of Richard McLaughlin, who had succeeded him as police chief in Laurel. Mr McLaughlin, who was sleeping at the house with his family when the fire was lit, later told investigators there was “definitely animosity” between him and Mr Crawford.

In January, police executed a search warrant at Mr Crawford’s home, which revealed ‘significant evidence’ linking him to the fires, including Mr Crawford’s internet search history and ‘target list’. Which was found on her cell phone and named the known victims.

Mr Moe said the city will continue to cooperate with authorities as they investigate Mr Crawford.

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Biden speaks with the Saudi King; It is not known if the murder of Khashoggi has been discussed.

WASHINGTON – President Biden held his first appeal with King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Thursday, but his official description made no mention of the imminent release of a U.S. intelligence report that implicated the son of the king, and presumed heir, in murder. by dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In the days leading up to the conversation between Mr Biden and the unhealthy 85-year-old King, White House officials had described the conversation as part of a “recalibration” of the relationship, and in part of an effort to send a message that the United States viewed the son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as the wrong choice to run the country.

As a candidate, Biden described Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” state and said there was “very little social redemption value in the current government”.

But on Friday, with the release of the intelligence services report, Mr Biden will have to publicly lay out his criticism of his government’s decisions on how to deal with the crown prince once information on his role in Khashoggi’s murder is released. public.

The president will have to decide whether to ban Prince Mohammed from entering the United States or impose sanctions on him for his role in the operation that killed Mr. Khashoggi, who, in self-imposed exile, wrote a column for the Washington Post.

The account of the call to the White House was drafted in the polite terminology of diplomatic exchange – vague in the extreme. He said Mr. Biden and the King “discussed regional security, including renewed diplomatic efforts by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the commitment of states. -United to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory against attacks. groups aligned with Iran. “

Brief reference was made to Mr. Biden discussing the importance of “universal human rights and the rule of law”. But there was nothing more specific about the Saudi arrests of dissidents and journalists.

Just before the call, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud. A State Department description also referred to “the importance of Saudi progress in human rights, including through legal and judicial reforms, and our joint efforts to strengthen Saudi defenses.” But he was also not referring to the impending declassification, or the decision on how to deal with the crown prince.

Whatever decision Mr Biden takes, it could decide the fate of the relationship with one of the United States’ main Arab allies. The president announced three weeks ago that he was banning the sale of weapons that could be used to continue Saudi Arabia’s failed war in Yemen.

But to exclude the crown prince would essentially be to state that the United States would not treat a man who played a key role in the murder of a US resident. Mr Khashoggi lived in Virginia, but died while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was thought to collect documents for his marriage.

Prince Mohammed is also the Saudi Minister of Defense and spoke last week with the new United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, suggesting that the Biden administration has decided it needs to deal with with him at some level – as the Trump administration has done. The White House said Mr Biden was sending a signal by insisting he would only deal with the King, in leader-to-leader conversations.

But everything indicates that the crown prince, often referred to by his initials, MBS, will take power upon the death of the king. Already he is considered the de facto leader of the country.

Yet the very decision to declassify parts of the intelligence report, a legal requirement, is seen by some as a shot at the crown prince. The assessment, written primarily by the CIA, concluded that he had ordered the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, who had been drugged and dismembered. His remains have never been found.

The agency backed up the conclusion with two rounds of communications: interceptions of the crown prince’s calls in the days leading up to the murder and calls from the kill team to a senior aide.

The Trump administration issued sanctions against 17 Saudis implicated in the murder, but Prince Mohammed was not one of them.

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Why does Louisiana consistently lead the nation in murder?

For 31 consecutive years, Louisiana has reported the highest murder rate in the country.

To solve this puzzle, let’s first consider a larger pattern in the South: a history of violence that goes back even further.

A New York Times article in 1998 pointed to “a discrepancy that has persisted as long as records have been kept” in which “the former slave states of the old Confederation all rank in the top 20 states for murder, led by Louisiana, with a rate of 17.5 murders per 100,000 people in 1996. ”

A study of court records from 1800 to 1860 found that the murder rate in South Carolina was four times that of Massachusetts. Over a century later, in 1996, the ratio was similar. And in 2018, the murder rate was 7.7 per 100,000 in South Carolina and 2.0 in Massachusetts – again, about four times that.

In the 1800s, the South tended to have more “border justice”, in which people took justice into their own hands, as well as more “honor justice”, in which signs of disrespect could evolve towards fatal encounters like duels.

A common theme between this high rate of white violence, and later the high rate of black violence in the same region, seems to be a criminal justice system seen as untrustworthy. People tend not to participate in a system that they don’t trust, fueling retribution cycles outside the law. Jill Leovy’s book “Ghettoside” describes black Americans as both under-controlled (not enough effort to solve the murders) and over-controlled (for minor offenses).

Criminologists exercise caution in inferring causation. For example, there is no consensus on the main reason for the significant drop in crime in the United States over most of the past three decades. And there is no consensus on what caused the large national increase in killings this year.

There are many factors that could help explain Louisiana’s undesirable classification, including disproportionate racial segregation, discrimination in the workplace, and poverty. But neighboring states also have a lot of these problems. So, what could differentiate Louisiana?

New Orleans has had the nation’s highest murder rate for any major city a dozen times since 1993, with 424 murders in 1994 at the height of the city’s bloodshed. The city’s murder rate that year was 86 murders per 100,000 population, the worst ever reported by any major American city.

But even if New Orleans had been removed from Louisiana’s tally, the state would have recorded the nation’s highest or second-highest murder rate in 12 of the past 15 years.

New Orleans reported the city’s fewest murders since 1971 in 2019, but murder rates in other parts of the state have slowly increased. The state capital Baton Rouge recorded its worst three-year period on record between 2017 and 2019, and combined metropolitan parishes (such as Jefferson, East Baton Rouge and St. Tammany) reported more killings in 2019 than New Orleans for the first. recorded time.

“It’s poverty and its twin sister or brother of mass incarceration,” said Marc Morial, who served as mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002 and is now president of the National Urban League. “And that’s easy access to guns.”

Louisiana and Mississippi tend to rank among the poorest states in the country. Louisiana has ranked in the bottom five in terms of poverty rates in 37 of the past 40 years, including the last or penultimate 19 times during that time period. Only Mississippi had a higher share of its population below the poverty line in 2019, according to census estimates.

However, there is no clear causal link between poverty rates and murder rates. Factors like high unemployment and poor education contribute to the state’s poverty rate, which could in turn contribute to higher murder rates in Louisiana.

(Mississippi may now have more murders per capita than Louisiana. It is the only state where individual agencies, not the state itself, submit data directly to the FBI. Mississippi had the second-highest murder rate. highest in the country in 2019, but only 29 percent of Mississippi agencies representing 54 percent of the state’s population reported data.)

Louisiana also had the highest or second highest incarceration rate in each of the past 19 years, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

A 2012 Times-Picayune article called Louisiana the “prison capital of the world” and reported that “more than half of state inmates are housed in local prisons run by sheriffs, and the correctional system of the state created financial incentives for these detainees. sheriffs to keep the prisons full.

Louisiana set out to reduce the state’s incarceration rate through a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill in 2017. This effort likely contributed to the decline in the state’s incarceration rate. 20% between 2012 and 2019, down from 12.7% nationwide, although the state still has the highest incarceration rate in the country in 2019.

“When you expose people to violent environments, and the most violent environment in the United States per capita is a prison / prison, it’s much more likely that they have adopted violent practices in order to survive,” said Flozell Daniels, the executive director of the Louisiana Foundation, who was appointed by the governor to the 2017 State Justice Reinvestment Task Force. “This argument that public safety and less violence are somehow linked to mass incarceration falls flat. If so, we would be the safest place in the world.

Then there are guns.

A higher share of murders have been committed by guns in Louisiana compared to the national average in each year since at least 1985, with a gun being the weapon used in 84% of murders in Louisiana in 2019 (vs. 74% nationally). Louisiana also has the highest rate of firearms recovered and traced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), suggesting a high rate of illegal weapons or stolen in the state.

“Many illegal or stolen weapons, an illegal arms trafficking system, as well as drugs and narcotics, produce this deadly mixture,” said Morial, who lamented the lack of efforts by the government of State to fight armed violence. “Look at the Legislative Assembly to see how many criminal laws there have been in relation to the efforts to tackle homelessness. The response of the state is more the same as that of its motivator. “

There was a reasonably strong correlation between the rate of firearms recovered and traced in a state in 2019 and that state’s murder rate, although traced firearms were not inherently “representative of the universe anymore.” off all the guns used by criminals, ”according to the ATF.

Is Louisiana’s history of violence and corruption really distinct from other states?

The researchers noted that slaves working in Louisiana’s sugar plantations worked under more barbaric conditions (with higher death rates) than those working in cotton fields elsewhere in the South.

“Even before the Civil War, Louisiana was infamous for its frequent quarrels, street fights, duels, whiskey brawls, vigilance committees and explosions of violence,” wrote historian Gilles Vandal.

The period of post-civil war reconstruction was particularly brutal. Historian Eric Foner described the Colfax, Louisiana massacre in 1873 as the worst example of racial violence during reconstruction, with up to 150 black deaths.

Two years ago, the mayor of New Orleans formally apologized for the 1891 lynching of 11 Italian-Americans – one of the largest mass lynchings in American history. (The lynch mob was enraged by the not guilty verdicts following the assassination of the town’s police chief.)

Author AJ Liebling said in 1960 that Louisiana’s angry political factions were matched only by those in Lebanon. Louisiana was home to the populist Huey Long (considered by many to be a demagogue, he was assassinated in 1935); David Duke, who ran for governor in 1991 after serving as leader of the Ku Klux Klan; Edwin Edwards, who won this race against Mr. Duke despite a reputation for corruption (“Vote for the crook. It’s important.” Was a popular bumper sticker supporting Mr. Edwards, who served four terms in as governor and also served federal prison time on racketeering charges.)

In Dennis Rousey’s book, “Policing the Southern City: New Orleans, 1805-1889,” he wrote that New Orleans’ murder rate was about 10 times that of Philadelphia from 1857 to 1859, and that only about one-fifth of the New Orleans murders led to conviction because witnesses and prospective jurors were too petrified to participate.

Samuel Hyde Jr.’s 1998 book, “Pistols and Politics,” recounted the lawlessness associated with the feud in parishes in Florida in Louisiana from 1810 to 1935 which brought the Hatfields and McCoys to shame (parishes include East Baton Rouge and St. Tammany). The region had one of the highest rural murder rates in the country and no strong government authority, “so a level of desperation in which people could not get justice through the courts,” he said in a statement. interview.

“People are proud of the antics of their fathers and grandfathers, passed down from generation to generation,” said Hyde, professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University.

The code of honor of “keeping your respect” and “he brought it in” endures, he said, adding that it is possible to “risk your life just by insulting the LSU Tigers”.

“I’m more concerned now than when I wrote the book,” he says. “The people are armed to the teeth.”

It’s unclear whether Louisiana’s official streak as the state with the highest murder rate will continue into a 32nd year – the official FBI tally will be released in September. But once the patterns are established, they seem hard to break.


Jeff Asher and Benjamin Horwitz are New Orleans-based crime analysts and co-founders of AH Datalytics. You can follow them on Twitter at @Crimealytics and @ IT4Policy.

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Video: Former police officer charged with murder in Columbus shooting

new video loaded: Former police officer charged with murder in Columbus shooting

transcription

transcription

Former police officer charged with murder in Columbus shooting

The Ohio attorney general announced charges against Adam Coy, a Columbus police officer, when Andre Hill, a black man, was shot and killed in December.

Today, the Franklin County Grand Jury charged Mr. Coy with the following counts: murder in the commission of a felony, that felony being criminal assault; a separate charge of criminal assault; one count of breach of duty based on Mr. Coy’s failure to engage his body camera; and one count of dereliction of duty for failing to inform his colleague that he felt Mr. Hill was dangerous. Law enforcement officers are held in high esteem for their sacrifice, courage and service to our communities. They undertake the increasingly difficult and dangerous task of protecting our communities. But each person is responsible and judged by their own actions. Neither guilt nor virtue can be inferred simply by association. The vast virtue of law enforcement is diminished by the very small number of bad actors among its ranks, and it is only by holding a bad actor responsible that this virtue can be sustained. Here’s what I mean in plain English: the same rules for everyone. Truth is justice’s best friend, and the grand jury here has found the truth. Andre Hill shouldn’t be dead.

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Former Columbus cop charged with murder

A former Columbus police officer who shot dead a black man in December has been arrested and charged with murder, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said on Wednesday.

The former officer, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran, was also charged with criminal assault and two counts of dereliction of duty. He was fired several weeks after the shooting.

Mr Coy shot Andre Hill, 47, after responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle. When he and another officer arrived at the scene, Mr. Coy found Mr. Hill in a garage and opened fire within seconds. Mr. Hill, who was holding a cell phone, died in a hospital shortly after.

Mr Yost said his office acted as special prosecutor in the case, reviewing evidence, questioning witnesses and presenting charges to a grand jury. The grand jury indicted Mr. Coy, who was arrested on Wednesday.

“The vast virtue of law enforcement is diminished by the very few bad actors among its ranks, and it is only by holding a bad actor accountable that this virtue can be sustained,” Mr. Yost said. at a press conference. “Here’s what I mean in plain English: the same rules for everyone.”

The breach of duty charges, Mr Yost said, stems from Mr Coy only activating his body camera after the shooting and failing to tell the other officer at the scene that he saw Mr. Hill as a threat. .

The shot was filmed, however, because the body camera Mr. Coy carried was equipped with a feature that captures the 60 seconds immediately before the camera is turned on. The camera did not capture the audio for that first minute, so no verbal exchange before the shot was recorded.

Mr. Coy will appear at a bail hearing on Thursday.

“Truth is justice’s best friend, and the grand jury here has found the truth,” Mr. Yost said. “Andre Hill shouldn’t be dead.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.