TIME Crime

Tamir Rice’s Dad Hasn’t Told His Other Kids How Their Brother Died

"I can't see him grow up"

The father of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy fatally shot by police last year, said he’s struggling to tell his other children why their brother is no longer alive.

In his first public interview since Tamir’s death, Leonard Warner told NBC affiliate WKYC on Wednesday that he has no answer for the boy’s siblings.

“Every time they wake up, they asking about him … and they go to sleep, they asking about him,” said Warner, adding that he doesn’t give the kids details about how Tamir died.

“I can’t tell them, but he’s watching over you,” Warner said.

A Cuyahoga…

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

TIME Crime

Minorities Far Likelier to Be Arrested for Minor Offenses in Minneapolis

Minneapolis police protests ferguson
Jim Mone—AP Demonstrators rally outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct to protest police brutality, on Nov. 25, 2014, in Minneapolis.

A new ACLU report finds significant racial disparities in low-level arrests

Black residents in Minneapolis are 8.7 times more likely than whites to get arrested for low-level offenses, according to a new ACLU report that looks at racial disparities made in arrests by Minneapolis police.

The study, which analyzes almost 100,000 arrests by the Minneapolis Police Department from January 2012 to September 2014, focuses on what is known in Minneapolis as “suspicious persons” stops but is in the vein of what’s often called “broken windows” or stop-and-frisk policing.

That strategy focuses on low-level offenses like trespassing and disorderly conduct as a way of preventing larger felonies, but is often criticized as ineffective and leads to patterns of racial profiling.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has often been held up as a model for other American cities: it’s affordable, it has all the cultural amenities of any major metropolis, and it’s remained a magnet for job-seeking millennials. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minneapolis-St. Paul’s unemployment rate is the fifth lowest in the country for a metro area with more than 1 million people.

But patterns of segregation divide the city between more affluent white areas and poorer black ones, and the ACLU report shows that the city suffers the same problems as any other major metropolitan area when it comes to racial disparities and distrust among minorities and police.

“This is part of a larger problem between police departments and communities of color,” says Emma Andersson, an ACLU staff attorney and lead author of the report.

The study also examines the treatment of Native Americans, who are arrested 8.6 times more than whites for low-level offenses — almost the same rates as black residents. Native Americans make up 2% of the city’s population, roughly double the average Native American population in the U.S. According to the ACLU, an average of one out of four Native Americans in Minneapolis are arrested for low-level offenses each year.

Those arrest disparities raise concerns that Minneapolis could face similar issues to those that occurred in the last few months in Baltimore, Cleveland and Ferguson, Mo., where deadly police confrontations and years of distrust led to protests and violence.

“I think communities of color in Minneapolis certainly feel oppressed and targeted in the same ways communities in Baltimore and other places where unrest has occurred,” Andersson says.

TIME Crime

This Town Says a Ban on Mankinis Helped Reduce Crime

fistral beach newquay united kingdom
Matt Cardy—Getty Images Crowds gather on Fistral Beach on the second day of the Boardmasters surf and music festival in Newquay on August 7, 2014 in Cornwall, England.

The British town of Newquay hasn't looked back since it outlawed revealing swimwear for men

A British seaside town took an innovative approach to reducing crime and boosting tourism: it banned mankinis.

The town of Newquay had garnered a reputation as a hot spot for bachelor parties, the Press Association reports, and local law enforcement wanted to crack down on the binge drinking, public disorder and inappropriate clothing that usually accompany such events. So, they banned mankinis, or revealing bikini-style bathing suits for men — as seen in the movie Borat.

And, according to the town, it worked. “People expected to come to Newquay to drink a lot, behave irresponsibly,” Devon and Cornwall police inspector Dave Meredith said. “Certainly we have clamped down on that and the image of Newquay now has certainly curtailed some of that.”

“I remember back in the 2000s you couldn’t walk the streets on a Saturday without seeing someone wearing a mankini or what have you,” said the town’s mayor, Dave Sleeman. “I think we have turned the corner here.”

[Press Association]

TIME Crime

Why The Death Penalty Should Live

Adrianne Haslet Davis
Nicole O'Neil Photography Adrianne Haslet Davis

Haslet-Davis is a ballroom dancer, public speaker and philanthropist.

If you take lives, yours can be taken

I hadn’t put a lot of thought into the death penalty until I was lying on a sidewalk on Boylston Street two years ago. There, then, I believed that I was going to die and that my husband was already dead. But we’re still alive. I lost my leg below the knee; both of his legs were wounded. We are lucky.

When I woke up in the hospital, I decided not to use the name of the person on trial for the crimes against the two of us and more than 260 other people, including four murder victims, one of whom was 8 years old. Part of posttraumatic stress disorder is the feeling of losing control: one minute you’re holding your husband’s hand in beautiful, sunny Boston; the next, your life is changed forever. The killer never wanted to learn my name, so why should I learn his?

And I also decided early on that the death penalty was the verdict that I wanted for him. I believe in my heart of hearts that he knew exactly what he was doing the moment before he did it, and possibly months before that. Among other horrific charges, he used a weapon of mass destruction to intentionally harm and kill people.

You can’t use a weapon of mass destruction in the United States and not think that if you succeed, you’re going to face a federal jury and the possibility of the death penalty.

It must have been nice for him to be surrounded by a courtroom full of people fighting about whether he should live or die. None of us in Boston that day had such a luxury.

I testified in the penalty phase of the trial. When I was leaving the stand, I looked up and realized how close I was to him. I stood there and thought to myself, I wonder if he’s scared. I wonder if he’s scared that I’m this close. There didn’t seem to be security covering him. Nobody budged. Maybe it’s because of my tiny little arms that they didn’t think I could do much. I certainly know I really wanted to.

But I stood there. I stood there for myself, and I stood there for the survivor community, and I stood there for my husband, and I stood there for my left leg. Since that moment I feel like there’s a bit of closure for me. I’m never going to have to see him again.

Many in the survivor community feel like the death penalty offers a sense of justice being done. And that’s what his sentence felt like to me. I hope it also brings closure to those who lost loved ones that day. There are, of course, many in the survivor community who feel that he should spend his life in prison and sit in a cell and think about what he did. I don’t speak for everybody.

I hope that the death penalty in this case sets a precedent, and I hope that it’s a deterrent. I hope it sends a message from Boston and America: We don’t put up with terrorism or terrorists. You’re not going to get a bed or a television or an occasional phone call to your family. When you take lives, yours can be taken as well.

Nobody should ever have to go through what anyone in our Boylston Street family has. If anyone else is thinking of doing something like this, I hope they look long and hard at the sentence this guy got, and decide to change their minds and get the help that they need.

Haslet-Davis is a ballroom dancer, public speaker and philanthropist

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

Why the End of Capital Punishment Is Near

The lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. on Sept. 21, 2010.
Eric Risberg—AP The lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. on Sept. 21, 2010.

Bungled executions. Backlogged courts. And three more reasons the modern death penalty is a failed experiment

The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev absorbed Americans as no death-penalty drama has in years. The saga of his crime and punishment began with the shocking bloodbath at the 2013 Boston Marathon, continued through the televised manhunt that paralyzed a major city and culminated in the death sentence handed down by a federal jury on May 15 after a two-phase trial…

Read the full story here.


This appears in the June 08, 2015 issue of TIME.
TIME Crime

Why the Death Penalty Should Die

Cushing is a five-term New Hampshire state representative and a founder of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights.

Killing killers won't bring back victims

In hauntingly similar but unrelated crimes, separated by 23 years and a thousand miles, my father Robert Cushing and my brother-in-law Stephen McRedmond were murdered, both at their own houses. Family homes became crime scenes; horror displaced happiness; and homicide, as it always does, brought to my family pain for which there are no words.

Nothing prepares a person for the murder of a loved one–to have what is most precious taken, forever, by another human being. Murder is the ultimate disempowerment, for both the victim and the survivors. And every family responds differently to murder and its traumatic wounds.

The challenges are many: Finding the strength to get out of bed. Figuring out what to do with the empty chair at the kitchen table. Working to understand–and avoid being crushed by–police investigations and court systems. And honoring the life and the memory of the deceased while seeking justice.

But I do not believe the needs of crime victims or their survivors are met by killing the killers. In 2004, I helped create Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, an organization of survivors of homicide victims who oppose the death penalty. As a New Hampshire state representative, I work to promote policies that enhance public safety and meet the needs of crime victims. My father’s murderer, who had been a local police officer, is serving life without parole; my brother-in-law’s murderer, his nephew, took his own life.

Our society is conflicted about the death penalty. I recognize and respect the diversity of opinions about capital punishment among survivors of murder victims. Unlike those of many death-penalty opponents, my views are victim-centered. My opposition is not rooted in what an execution does to a condemned prisoner but in what a system that embraces the ritual killing by government employees of an incapacitated prisoner does to me–to us, as individuals and as a society.

Arguing that an execution is the solution to the pain of victims’ families does not reflect an understanding of the journey of surviving family members after a murder, and it completely ignores the reality of our broken capital-punishment system. Most important, executions do not do the one thing we all really want: bring our loved ones back from the dead.

For any person, the worst murder is the murder of a family member. A system that purports to execute only those who commit heinous murders creates a hierarchy of victims. Families devastated by crime become revictimized by a system focused on criminals, while the impact of crime itself and the needs of victims are all too often ignored. Sadly, some victims’ survivors spend so much time focusing on how their cherished one died that they end up forgetting how the person lived.

As a society, we can and we must do better by victims of violent crime. We can live without the death penalty.

Cushing is a five-term New Hampshire state representative and a founder of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights

 


This appears in the June 08, 2015 issue of TIME.

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

Colorado Gunman’s Notebook of Ramblings Becomes Evidence

Holmes Shooting Notebook
AP A portion of Aurora shooter James Holmes' notebook, after it was presented as evidence in the Holmes murder trial on May 26, 2015, in Centennial, Colo.

Copies of a journal kept by the man on trial for the Aurora theater shooting have been distributed to the jury that will help determine his fate

A notebook containing James Holmes’s ramblings, sketches and thoughts on topics ranging from the meaning of life to murder was presented on Tuesday at his trial for the 2012 mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

It’s a key piece of evidence for prosecutors trying to prove the 27-year-old plotted the killings and for defense lawyers who argue he was experiencing a psychotic episode on July 20, when he opened fire on moviegoers at a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes’s notebook reveals references to violence and death and is stepped in nihilism. He writes about a “self diagnosis of broken mind” and several pages are covered with the question “Why?” over and over again. “When mankind can’t find truth,” he mentions at one point, “untruth is converted to truth via violence.”

The former doctoral student in neuroscience is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes sent the notebook to his University of Colorado psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, eight days before the shooting, but the package was not discovered until several days after the massacre. Fenton had warned authorities that Holmes was a danger to the public.

Holmes describes in the journal a number of fantasies about different ways to kill, but quickly rules them out. He says a bomb is too regulated and suspicious, biological warfare requires extensive knowledge of chemicals and serial murder is “too personal, too much evidence, easily caught after few kills” before settling on a “mass murder spree.” He writes that he chose this method because it would provide “maximum casualties, easily performed with firearms, although primitive in nature. No fear of consequences, being caught 99% certain.”

At one point, he rules out certain venues, like airports, because he didn’t want his mass killing to be misinterpreted as a terrorist act. Airports have “too much of a terrorist history,” he writes. “Terrorism isn’t the message. The message is there is no message.” The journal also includes diagrams of different theaters within the movie complex, as well as pros and cons for each one.

“And finally, the last escape, mass murder at the movies,” he writes. “Obsession onset: > 10 years ago.”

Holmes describes his psychological struggles as “the real me is fighting the biological me,” and notes that work and romantic failures aren’t the reason for his action, although both are “expediting catalysts.” Instead, he claims, his “state of mind for the last 15 years” is to blame for his actions.

He notes a particular set of symptoms and behaviors that accompanied his self-diagnoses of a “broken mind,” including a “recurring return to mirror to look at appearance, particular attention focused on hair styling. 10+ times a day.” At the time of the shooting, Holmes’s hair was dyed a bright red-orange. He also describes at least one childhood accident that injured his genitals, which he alleges led to an “allergic reaction to sex.”

In one particularly chilling passage, Holmes alludes to the name of the movie he selected for the attack: “I was fear incarnate. Love gone, motivation directed to hate and obsessions, which didnt disapear for whatever reason with the drugs,” he writes. “No consequences, no fear, alone, isolated, no work for distractions, no reason to seek self -actualization. Embraced the hatred, a dark knight rises.”

TIME Education

Horace Mann Sex Abuse Probe Blasts School, Finds Dozens of Victims

horace mann prep school
Mark Lennihan—AP This April 22, 2013 file photo shows the Horace Mann school in the Bronx borough of New York.

The investigation said abusers at the elite school included both men and women

A probe commissioned by a group of alumni at New York’s elite Horace Mann School has found that more than 64 students were sexually abused by nearly two dozen faculty and staff between the 1960s and the 1990s—far more than an investigation by the district attorney identified.

The investigation, led by former judge and sex-crime prosecutor Leslie Crocker Snyder, said the abusers at the leafy campus in the Bronx included both men and women—and students were sometimes molested by more than one staffer. Although most of the victims were boys, the investigation identified several new female…

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

TIME Soccer

Swiss Authorities to Investigate FIFA Over 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bids

FBL-FIFA-CORRUPTION-US-SWITZERLAND
Fabrice Coffrini—AFP/Getty Images FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio gives a press conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on May 27, 2015

The suspects are likely to be extradited to the U.S.

Swiss officials rounded up seven leading soccer officials in Zurich on Wednesday morning as a part of an operation that will likely see the suspects extradited to the U.S. on corruption charges, reports the New York Times. The arrests come just days ahead of the 65th congress of the sport’s global governing body FIFA, which is scheduled to commence in the Swiss city on Thursday.

Federal prosecutors in Switzerland have opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and said they have seized “electronic data and documents” at the FIFA headquarters as part of the investigation. Police officials said 10 executive committee members who took part in the 2010 votes will be questioned. The U.S. Department of Justice has also unveiled an indictment against nine FIFA officials, including vice presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugene Figueredo, and five corporate executives for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

The soccer organization has been long bedeviled by rumors of graft, especially relating to World Cup bids and broadcast rights.“We’re struck by just how long this went on for and how it touched nearly every part of what FIFA did,” an unidentified law-enforcement official told the newspaper. “It just seemed to permeate every element of the federation and was just their way of doing business. It seems like this corruption was institutionalized.”

[NYT]

TIME Crime

Thieves Stole 100,000 People’s Tax Info From IRS

The stolen information includes tax returns

(WASHINGTON)—The IRS says thieves used an online service provided by the agency to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers.

The information included tax returns and other tax information on file with the IRS.

In a statement Tuesday, the IRS said the thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript.” In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including the Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address.

The IRS said thieves targeted the system from February to mid-May. The service has been temporarily shut down.

Tax returns can include a host of personal information that can help someone steal an identity, including Social Security numbers and birthdates of dependents and spouses.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com