Eight years ago, Ken Loadholt was told by New York Ciity officials that his identical twin brother, John, had died of an asthma attack at the Rikers Island jail while awaiting trial on drug possession charges. DNAinfo reports that it wasn't until this month that he learned his brother actually died as the result of systemic failures by city correction officers and the health care company contracted by Rikers Island. “Loadholt’s asthma was inadequately managed by Prison Health Services, a business corporation holding itself out as a medical care provider,” Frederick Lamy of the State Commission of Correction wrote of Loadholt's death.
The report found that Rikers guards failed to follow the rules when Loadholt told them he had difficulty breathing. Loadholt collapsed on the walk and died. “I’m pissed off that this was never forwarded to my family,” said Ken Loadholt, a correction officer in New Jersey. “I didn’t know there was an investigation as to what happened.” Three other families of Rikers inmates who died in custody over the past decade were also never told the true circumstances surrounding the deaths. The information could have led to legal action against the city and PHS, which is now known as Corizon. DNAinfo obtained the four reports through a Freedom of Information Law request.
The five students targeted in Friday’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State were invited to the cafeteria by the freshman who shot them, says Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary. The Seattle Times says Jaylen Fryberg, 15, shot them after texted them and asking them to meet him for lunch. He fatally shot two and wounded the other three before taking his own life. The .40-caliber Beretta handgun was legally purchased, registered and owned by one of the teen’s relatives.
Fryberg was a well-liked member of the football team who had been crowned freshman homecoming prince. Some believed he could have become a leader of the Tulalip Tribes. Some students have said he had problems with a girl; others indicated he may have had some type of dispute with fellow students. The victims who were gunned down were relatives and friends of Fryberg. “The question everybody wants is why and quite candidly I don’t know the why is something we can provide,” Trenary said. Investigations into other school shootings have taught that “the why is elusive,” he said.
With his sudden retirement yesterday, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery shut down an ethics investigation with the potential to strip him of his lucrative state pension, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. In exchange for his ouster, his colleagues on the court agreed to drop their order that the state Judicial Conduct Board say within 30 days whether there was evidence to bring misconduct charges against him.
The deal came less than a week after federal prosecutors said they had ended a yearlong criminal investigation into referral fees that law firms paid to McCaffery's wife while she served as his top judicial aide. Among the issues: McCaffery's participation in the exchange of 234 e-mails containing pornographic materials. And last year, the Inquirer reported that plaintiff law firms had paid 19 referral fees to McCaffery's wife, lawyer Lise Rapaport, over the previous decade while her husband voted on cases involving some of the firms.
Students who are higher academic achievers, have a greater attachment to their school, and know of at least two security measures are much more likely to report a gun or knife on campus, say Dallas researchers. About 34 percent of 3,022 New Jersey students surveyed had reported seeing or knowing about a weapon in school in the previous three months. “This is happening more than adults realize,” said criminologist Nadine Connell of the University of Texas at Dallas, reports the Dallas Morning News
The study urged schools to highlight the number of security measures in place. They should also focus on programs that improve school climate, because students who are more attached to their schools were more likely to report weapons. “We have to find ways to make sure students are going to inform the adults who can then take proper precautions necessary,” Connell said. “Many of the problems that students encounter cannot be dealt with unless adults are informed.”
After years of declining attention to domestic violence, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s domestic violence task force and the Chicago Police Department are retraining officers in evidence collection and sensitivity for domestic situations and implementing a pilot program designed to identify and protect the victims most at risk, a change that has impressed city victim’s advocates, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice brought the issue into the spotlight when a video of him punching his then-fiancee, now wife, in the face was made public in September.
In Chicago, as Emanuel’s domestic violence task force focuses city resources on the issue, it’s clear the additional attention could mean dramatic improvements for victims. In a city plagued with errant bullets and sudden shootouts, it’s an opportunity to end killings that often seem predictable. Officers involved in the first four months of the pilot program on the city’s Near North Side are responding faster to domestic calls, collecting more evidence, making more arrests and connecting victims with services more effectively, according to data collected by the task force and interviews with the stakeholders. “I was amazed at how just a few changes like that can make a difference in the way victims are being served,” said Kathleen Doherty of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, an advocacy group that is part of the task force.
The survivor of a shooting rampage that killed two Northern California sheriff's deputies remains hospitalized as...
When most people think of domestic abuse, they picture the victim as a young woman. The reality, says the Las Vegas Sun, is that the abused person could be a wealthy neighbor who keeps the beatings a secret for fear of social repercussions. Or the quiet husband who’s ashamed to admit his wife throws punches behind closed doors. Or a celebrity whose megawatt smile belies the shoving she endures. Or the woman who confides in police that her female partner loses her temper too often. Or the grandmother who gets pushed around by her impatient son.
Las Vegas metro police fielded nearly 60,000 calls last year from people saying they were being assailed by someone in their household. The actual number of victims is likely much higher, because many are too scared or ashamed to admit they’ve been abused. For nine of the past 10 years, Nevada has ranked among the top 10 states for the rate of women killed by men, says the Violence Policy Center. The center’s most recent report, based on 2012 data, ranked Nevada sixth. Because domestic violence is a shadow crime without a national database tracking numbers, estimating its scope in Las Vegas as it compares with other cities is difficult. The area doesn't lack catalysts: booze, drugs, clashing work schedules, gambling, sex and a tough economy.
A second student has died after a freshman’s shooting rampage Friday at Marysville-Pilchuck High School...
Reports of sexual assault climbed last year on many Connecticut campuses, an increase that college officials and experts attributed to heightened awareness and expanded educational programs that make it easier for victims to come forward, the Hartford Courant reports. Of 11 Connecticut colleges and universities, eight reported increases in sexual assaults, with particularly sizable jumps at the University of Connecticut, Trinity College and Wesleyan University. Three colleges reported declines.
At UConn, where reported sexual assaults climbed from 13 in 2012 to 25 in 2013, Police Chief Barbara O'Connor said: "I think that statistic is going to be rising across the country as more attention is brought to this particular crime." She added, "With increased awareness, you anticipate increased reporting. We know that next year, that number will be even higher, most likely." Concern about sexual assault, including preventing it and how to provide help to those who have been raped or assaulted, has swept college campuses with a wave of federal complaints and lawsuits filed by students. Experts say that sexual assault on college campuses is a crime that is vastly underreported.
Compiling 52 accusations of violations of the freedom of the press during the protests in Ferguson, Mo., after the killing of Michael Brown, the PEN American Center said it is calling on the Justice Department to investigate the local police forces’ treatment of the news media, reports the New York Times. Such an investigation, a report by the organization said, would "shed essential light on the factors that drove law enforcement officers in Ferguson to infringe on media freedoms,” and should lead to new guidelines from the Justice Department for police departments in the United States “on respect for media freedoms during public demonstrations.” A coalition led by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press made such a request earlier.
Examples in the new report included the decision to hold reporters in areas that denied them access to the events they had come to cover, and accusations of flashing lights to hinder photographers and of threats and assaults, culminating in the arrest of 21 journalists. On Friday, a report from Amnesty International highlighted a variety of “human rights concerns” during the Ferguson protests, including the arrest of journalists. The St. Louis County Police Department told the PEN researchers that its officers had “recently undergone training that included an extensive review of the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments.” The department said, “Each officer will have a laminated card on them at all times with rights of the press.”