TIME Crime

Ferguson Grand Jury Reaches Highly Anticipated Decision

Police watch as a protester with an upside-down American flag marches along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo.
Police watch as a protester with an upside-down American flag marches along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., Nov. 22, 2014 Whitney Curtis—The New York Times/Redux

Announcement expected Monday evening

A grand jury in Missouri has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson in August, a lawyer for the Brown family said Monday.

The prosecutor overseeing the case planned an announcement later in the day, but he gave no indication what it would be.

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer, said Monday afternoon that the family had been notified. He told MSNBC that the family was “praying for an indictment, and they’re trying to put their faith in the justice system.”

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

Photos: Tension Mounts in Ferguson as Protesters Wait for the Grand Jury

Greater St. Louis filled with protests ahead of Thanksgiving as community members, demonstrators and law enforcement waited for the grand jury to announce whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would be indicted in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 24

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. A bipartisan plan in North Carolina shrunk prison population and cut costs while the crime rate continued to fall. Can it serve as a model for other states?

By the Justice Center at the Council of State Governments

2. In international development, the massively scaleable transformative idea is usually too good to be true.

By Michael Hobbes in the New Republic

3. Net Neutrality could have a big impact on the future of healthcare, from telemedicine to electronic medical records.

By Darius Tahir in Modern Healthcare

4. Today’s renewable energy technologies won’t save us from climate change. We need new ideas.

By Ross Koningstein & David Fork in IEEE Spectrum

5. We must understand and counter the major trends fueling the ranks of Islamic radicals.

By Maha Yahya in the National Interest

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Crime

Ferguson Grand Jury Evidence May Not Be Released After All

Ferguson
Demonstrators block a busy intersection while protesting the August shooting of Michael Brown on Nov. 23, 2014, in St. Louis. David Goldman—AP

A circuit judge may not unseal evidence without an indictment

If a St. Louis County grand jury does not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, evidence in the case may never be made public, despite promises from the prosecutor.

According to a letter from a St. Louis court administrator, the St. Louis County circuit court judge presiding over the case has not agreed to release evidence currently being considered by the grand jury, which was convened to decide whether to charge Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough has repeatedly stated that he would obtain a court order to unseal grand jury evidence, an unusual step that was seen as an attempt to defuse potential anger over the decision. In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on Nov. 23, St. Louis County Court Administrator Paul Fox said Judge Carolyn Whittington had agreed to grant the request.

But Fox described the paraphrased quote attributed to him as “not accurate,” in a letter released after the story, and said Whittington had not made an agreement to release grand jury evidence and that any requests “will require the Court to analyze the need for maintaining secrecy of the records with the need for public disclosure of the records.”

(MORE: Cop in Ferguson Shooting Gets Married)

On Monday the grand jury reconvened to determine whether to formally charge Wilson for the shooting, which sparked weeks of riots and protests in the St. Louis suburb and reignited the debate over race, privilege and police conduct in the U.S. A decision is expected soon.

TIME tragedy

Father of 12-Year-Old Shot by Cleveland Police: ‘Why Not Taze Him’

This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice, 12.
This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice, 12. AP

The father of a Cleveland boy who was fatally shot by local police on a playground Saturday raised questions about the use of live ammunition against his slain son on Sunday.

Police approached Tamir Rice, age 12, with weapons drawn, after a caller told emergency services a “guy with a gun was pointing it at people” in Cudell Commons Park, Cleveland.com reports. Police say Rice reached for the handle of a BB gun tucked into his waistband, which they mistook for a real weapon. The caller reportedly said on two occasions that the weapon was most likely a “fake.”

The responding officers fired two shots, one of which struck Rice in the abdomen.

“Why not taze him,” Gregory Henderson asked in a Sunday press conference following the shooting. “You shot him twice, not once, and at the end of the day you all don’t shoot for the legs, you shoot for the upper body.”

The department will open a lethal force investigation, which will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office within 90 days, officials said during a Monday press conference. They declined to release video footage capturing the incident on tape or to comment on the officer’s conduct, except to say that he was “very distraught” over what happened.

“The facsimile weapon in this incident was indistinguishable from a real firearm,” said police Chief Calvin Williams.

NBC reported Monday afternoon that a grand jury will hear the case.

Asked if the city was prepared for protests similar to the ones that shook the city of Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson replied, “Whatever comes, we’re prepared to handle it.”

[Cleveland.com]

TIME Crime

Report of Campus Rapes Prompts Backlash at University of Virginia

Temporary suspension of fraternity activities

A chilling story about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house has prompted a backlash from students and faculty—the early signs of a response from the university.

UVA President Teresa Sullivan suspended fraternity and sorority activities on Saturday until Jan. 9. Top university leaders will meet Tuesday to discuss policies and procedures to handle sexual assault at UVA. Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity where the rape depicted in the Rolling Stone article allegedly took place, is under local police investigation. And the fraternity’s national organization will launch its own investigation, the Washington Post reports.

UVA’s response comes after a backlash from faculty and public officials in Virginia. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Gov. Terry McAuliffe have both spoken on the matter. And a letter from 127 faculty members, published by Slate, called for a freeze on all Greek-life activity.

“We are all heartbroken and enraged after reading Wednesday’s article in Rolling Stone,” the letter said. “The extreme violence that was reported is shocking and demands an unequivocal response that we will not tolerate violence against our students.”

MORE: The sexual assault crisis on American campuses

TIME Crime

Ferguson Braces for Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson Police Grand Jury
Police in riot gear observe protesters on the street near the Ferguson Police Station in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 23, 2014 Shen Ting—Xinhua Press/Corbis

Grand jury set to reconvene Monday

Will Monday be the day?

Anticipation in Ferguson, Missouri, and around the country has steadily mounted in expectation of a grand jury’s decision whether or not to indict the white police officer who shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.

The grand jury has not yet decided whether or not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, sources told NBC News on Saturday, and they are planning to reconvene on Monday.

It’s unclear if the grand jury will continue to work through the mid-week holiday, Thanksgiving, if they do not make a decision on Monday or Tuesday…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

Police Arrest Naked Man Who Crashed Through Airport Bathroom Ceiling

He then attacked an 84-year-old man

Police in Boston have arrested a man who allegedly got naked inside a woman’s airport bathroom, climbed into the ceiling, crashed through it and then attacked an 84-year-old man, authorities said.

Cameron Shenk, 26, was arrested on charges including attempted murder, assault on a police officer, assault and battery on a person over 60 and committing and a lewd and lascivious act, NBC News reports.

The incident took place at Logan International Airport’s Terminal C around 11:58 a.m. The elderly man sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police said. A member of the Massachusetts State Police was also injured during the arrest.

[NBC News]

TIME Crime

UVA Suspends Fraternities After Rolling Stone Article About Rape

The University of Virginia has suspended fraternities until early January following a story about sexual assault on campus

The University of Virginia has suspended all its fraternities until next year, following an article detailing one student’s brutal sexual assault and her quest for justice.

University President Teresa A. Sullivan issued a statement on Saturday saying all “fraternal organizations and associated social activities” were suspended until Jan. 9, the beginning of spring semester.

Sullivan said she has asked the Charlottesville Police Department to investigate the 2012 incident described in the Rolling Stone article, and called on students to come forward about what happened that night.

“The wrongs described in Rolling Stone are appalling and have caused all of us to reexamine our responsibility to this community,” she said. “Rape is an abhorrent crime that has no place in the world, let alone on the campuses and grounds of our nation’s colleges and universities. “

The university’s Inter-Fraternity Council had voluntarily suspended social activities for the weekend, but Sullivan noted that the “challenges will extend beyond this weekend.”

TIME Crime

12-Year-Old Fatally Shot by Police Who Mistook Replica Gun for Real One

The boy died at the hospital after officers shot him on a playground

A 12-year-old boy who was shot by police after they mistook his replica airsoft gun for a real gun died Sunday, police said.

Officers responded on Saturday afternoon to a call about someone waving around a gun at a Cleveland playground, Cleveland.com reports. The caller told police that gun was likely not real and that the person was “probably a juvenile,” but those comments were never relayed to the officers who responded.

“There is a guy with a pistol, it’s probably fake, but he’s pointing it at everyone,” the caller says in a recording of the 911 call released by police, USA Today reports.

Police reportedly fired two shots; the boy was hit in the torso and underwent surgery on Saturday. A hospital spokesperson confirmed Sunday that the boy had since died.

The police department said in a statement that an orange marker that typically appears on toy guns to distinguish them from real guns was missing. Two police officers have been placed on administrative leave, NBC reports.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating along with the Cleveland police.

[Cleveland]

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