TIME Crime

Why Universities Have Their Own Armed Police Forces

The arrangement has a long history

After a white University of Cincinnati police officer was charged with murder this week for shooting a local black man during a routine traffic stop, many have raised questions about why the university has an armed police force at all.

Ray Tensing, the officer who killed 43-year-old Samuel DuBose, was one of 72 gun-carrying members of the University of Cincinnati’s police department, until he was fired following his indictment on Wednesday. His fellow UC police officers have the authority to make arrests and to patrol both the university’s campus and the surrounding area—an arrangement that is common among other public universities across the country.

One of the critics of the university’s police force in the wake of DuBose’s death is Joe Deters, Cincinnati’s prosecutor, who is calling for the school’s police department to be eliminated.

“They’re not cops, and we have a great police department in Cincinnati, probably the best in Ohio,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “And I talked to the [city police] chief about it today and I said, ‘You know, you guys should be doing this stuff,’ and I think he’s in agreement with it.”

University of Cincinnati president Santa Ono said it would be “premature” to discuss shutting down the school’s police department, but the university would be “reviewing comprehensively” the “training policy and procedures of the force.”

Here’s what you need to know about campus police:

What is a university police force?

A university police force is much like any other police force, except the officers are employed by the university or a private contractor, not the city or state, and the police force’s jurisdiction that is largely campus based.

There are generally three types of campus public safety departments, says S. Daniel Carter, the director of the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative at the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, founded by families and survivors of the 20007 Virginia Tech shooting. The first type of force is composed of “sworn” officers—officers with the power to make arrests. The second type is made up of unsworn security officers, who can be employed either by the university or a private contractor. The third is a hybrid of the two. A small number of colleges and universities don’t have their own force and rely on local law enforcement agencies to do their policing.

While some were surprised to learn that Tensing, the University of Cincinnati police officer, had the authority to carry a gun and make arrests off campus, that’s actually the norm among university police forces, according to the most recent survey of campus law enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2011-2012.Three quarters of the 905 traditional four-year institutions surveyed used sworn officers—the kind that can make arrests. And three-quarters also used armed officers. Arming officers was much more common in public institutions—9 in 10 public institutions employed armed officers, compared with only 38% of private campuses.

Can a university police force patrol outside the boundaries of a campus?

That question was raised in the case of DuBose’s death, since he was stopped by a University of Cincinnati police officer close to the school’s campus but outside of it. At a press conference this week, UC president Ono told a reporter who asked about the location of the arrest that “yes, it was legal,” but the university planned to review the whole incident and potentially make policy changes.

The fact that a university police officer would stop a non-student in an area outside of campus is not unusual across the country. The vast majority of sworn campus police officers, or more than 80%, had patrol and arrest jurisdictions that extended beyond the campus boundaries, according to the Justice Department survey in 2011-2012.

What is the history of the university police force?

According to experts, the first example of a sworn university police department with arms and arresting power was at Yale in 1894, when two local New Haven, Conn. cops asked to be assigned exclusively to the school to stem tensions over a scandal in which Yale medical students were accused of stealing recently buried cadavers from local cemeteries, according to Yale’s website. University police departments became much more prevalent and important in the 1960s and 1970s after the Vietnam era protests, and the forces have continued to grow. In 2004, 68% of the four-year universities surveyed by the Justice Department used armed officers; by 2011, that number had grown to 75%.

How are university police officers recruited and trained?

The recruitment, training and rules governing university police departments vary widely depending on the state, said Dolores Stafford, executive director of the National Association of Clery Compliance Officers & Professionals. In some states, university and campus police officers go to the same police academy as the state and city officers. In other states, they go to their own academy. Campus police officers also typically go through other training in regulations like the Clery Act, which governs federal reporting requirements of campus crime, and issues particularly pertinent to campus safety, such as sexual assault. Stafford said that use of force training is common among campus police officers, even those who are not sworn.

Though it was more common 30 years ago for campus forces to be made up of former municipal police officers, said Stafford, campus law enforcement is now a career path in its own right, employing hundreds of people across the country.

TIME Planned Parenthood

Activists Release Fourth Planned Parenthood Video

Planned Parenthood President Feldt
Mario Tama—Getty Images

The video shows a Colorado-based doctor

A group of anti-abortion activists released another video featuring a Planned Parenthood representative talking about fetal tissue donations.

The fourth video released by the Center for Medical Progress shows Colorado-based Dr. Savita Ginde discussing and later demonstrating the procurement of fetal tissue. In the video,which was secretly recorded, Ginde can also be seen discussing reimbursement costs.

A Los Angeles court had issued a temporary restraining order against the group from releasing any further footage surreptitiously taken of officials with a California company, but the new video was recorded in Colorado and is not affected by that order.

The video was produced in an the same vein as three others released by the group which claim Planned Parenthood is involved in the illegal sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood, however, has repeatedly denied that is the case. In an op-ed for the Washington Post Wednesday responding to the other videos, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards apologized for the tone used by employees featured in them, but said they show nothing illegal.

“While predictably these videos do not show anything illegal on Planned Parenthood’s part, medical and scientific conversations can be upsetting to hear, and I immediately apologized for the tone that was used, which did not reflect the compassion that people have come to know and expect from Planned Parenthood,” Richards wrote.

The release of the video came Thursday as the Senate sought to vote to defund the medical services provider, though the measure is unlikely to pass a key legislative hurdle.

TIME fire

Officials Are Looking for People Who Flew Drones Over California Wildfires

The drone operators could be prosecuted for murder if the drones caused delays that led to deaths of any firefighters or civilians

Officials want to know who flew drones near several wildfires in California’s San Bernardino mountains, causing firefighters to temporarily ground their flame-battling planes.

The reward for someone who identifies the drone operators? $75,000.

“In the most recent fire, the North Fire, we saw cars and trucks burning on the freeway, we saw homes burn, and we saw families running for their lives,” Jorge Ramos, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement.

“We want to know who was flying drones, and we want them punished,” he said. “Someone knows who they are, and there is $75,000 waiting…

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

TIME Environment

Judge Fines Greenpeace $2,500 per Hour For Shell Protest

13 protesters repelled off a bridge to block a Shell icebreaker ship from leaving

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters dangle from a bridge in Oregon and block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving for oil drilling in the Arctic.

There was no sign that the protesters were going to abandon the blockade in Portland after the ruling in Anchorage by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason that Greenpeace is in civil contempt.

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said the activists will stay in place for now.

“We are confronted with a huge decision, one we cannot make alone,” she said in a statement. “Right now we’re asking the activists what they think we should do next.”

Gleason in May granted Shell’s request that activists protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling plans be ordered to stay away from company vessels and beyond buffer zones.

Earlier in the day, the Shell oil icebreaker Fennica retreated when activists dangling from the St. Johns Bridgeover the Willamette River refused to leave and to let the vessel pass.

Protesters on the bridge and kayakers on the river have been blocking the icebreaker from heading to the Arctic for a drill operation.

The Fennica arrived in Portland for repairs last week. The vessel was damaged earlier this month in the Aleutian Islands when it struck an underwater obstruction, tearing a gash in its hull.

It resumed its journey to the Arctic early Thursday before stopping in the face of 13 dangling activists linked by ropes. The ship turned around and inched its way back to dry dock, delighting people gathered on shore in the city known for environmentalism.

The U.S. Coast Guard warned the danglers that they were breaking the law but took no action. Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener did not elaborate.

He also said the agency had not told the icebreaker to turn around.

“I don’t know what led the master and the pilot on board to come to that decision,” he said.

The icebreaker is a key part of Shell’s exploration and spill-response plan off Alaska’s northwest coast. It protects Shell’s fleet from ice and carries equipment that can stop the flow of oil that gushes from wells.

Environmentalists hope to delay the ship long enough for winter weather to prevent Shell from drilling until 2016. By that time, they hope the Obama administration has a change of heart on the issue.

At the court hearing in Anchorage, Judge Gleason said the hourly fine against Greenpeace would increase over the next few days unless the blockade is lifted. It would jump to $5,000 an hour on Friday, $7,500 an hour on Saturday, and $10,000 an hour on Sunday.

“They need to be off the ropes,” she said.

The St. Johns Bridge is at a key location on the Fennica’s route from Portland to the Arctic. The ship’s journey will take it beneath the bridge, down the Willamette to the Columbia River which leads to the Pacific Ocean.

Portland police closed the bridge to traffic during the standoff. It was reopened shortly after the icebreaker reversed course.

The activists say they have water and food for the long haul. They also have their phones to stay in the social-media loop.

“The Fennica is headed back to its dock where it belongs — not the Arctic! #ShellNo,” tweeted Dan Cannon, a Greenpeace activist dangling from the bridge.

___

Joling reported from Anchorage, Alaska.

Video provided by Adam Simmons

TIME People

Uber Wants Your Parents to Be Drivers If They Can Use a Smartphone

senior woman hands on steering wheel
Getty Images

The new economy is welcoming older Americans with open arms

“Companies don’t hire 50-year-olds. They just don’t.”

So says 50-year-old Sherry Singer. After decades of being a professional matchmaker, Singer wanted to change gears and start a non-profit, but still needed to pay the rent in L.A. Feeling she had few places to turn in the traditional job market, she looked to a more disruptive space: the booming on-demand economy led by Uber. Singer, who has now worked several of these freelancing jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago, found she could land a gig within a week.

Agism might be rampant in Silicon Valley, but some of the Bay Area’s leading companies are now actively trying to engage the senior crowd, recognizing the huge potential of experienced workers and responsible adults.

On Thursday, Uber announced a partnership with Life Reimagined, an organization under the AARP umbrella that exists to help older people figure out “what’s next?” after life transitions. The same day, Airbnb released data aimed at “celebrating” older hosts and guests, amid their executives attending summits on aging around the country.

“To overlook them participating in new activities would be really short-sighted,” says Airbnb’s Anita Roth, who attended a recent conference on aging hosted by the White House.

When these companies were startups that didn’t know how long they might survive, being short-sighted may have made sense. New tech companies have been started by young people who hire their young friends to help create solutions to problems they’re encountering in their own young lives. Their first customers are often their young, early-adopting friends who live in the Bay Area. But with valuations north of $25 billion, these “startups” are focusing on expansions into a more untapped demographic, which also happens to be huge and growing.

By 2032, Americans over the age of 65 will outnumber those under the age of 15. While bands of young companies are starting to pay more respect to the buying power of this demographic, Uber’s new effort is about recognizing their potential as workers. Life Reimagined bills itself as a helping hand for any adult in need of some direction—whether that person is a 42-year-old divorcee, 55-year-old empty nester or 66-year-old retiree bored nearly to death. Their mission isn’t just about helping people find new jobs or careers, but that’s often involved for participants who range from their late 30s to early 70s.

“The reality is there are far more adults looking for work than venues that are seeking to hire them,” says Emilio Pardo, Life Reimagined’s president. Their effort with Uber is explicitly targeting the “40-plus” crowd. The rideshare company said they don’t have a particular goal for how many drivers they hope to recruit.

Uber already has hundreds of thousands drivers coming onto their platform worldwide every month and expects perhaps another hundred thousand join their ranks in the U.S. over the next few years. Still, says Uber executive David Richter, they need to actively recruit. “We have the high-class problem of ever-increasing demand,” he says.

Uber previously engaged in targeted demographic outreach by trying to sell veterans on becoming drivers. The theory was that many veterans are task-oriented, disciplined and also looking for a healthy outlet “to bring those traits to bear,” says Richter. Those drivers turned out to get higher-than-average ratings; Uber hopes to repeat those results by capitalizing on older drivers who might provide a “more cautious, reliable ride.” According to a white paper released in January, Uber drivers are more likely to be young, female and highly educated than taxi drivers or chauffeurs. Still, about half of them are already over the age of 39.

What about the stereotype that grandma is a haphazard driver who goes everywhere with her blinker on and can operate a smartphone about as well as nuclear submarine? Ken Smith and Martha Deevy, experts from Stanford’s Center on Longevity, generally have a positive attitude about older people driving for Uber, saying that the flexibility those jobs provide will likely be attractive to retirees who need income but want flexible schedules. They also point out that if age 40 is the starting point, that means “there are 30 unambiguously safe years there.” If you look at fatal crash statistics, they point out, you could argue that getting into a car with a 65-year-old is safer than doing so with a driver who is less than 30.

Smartphones are required to do the job of being an Uber driver—as well as most new jobs in the on-demand economy—because it involves accepting and completing requests for rides through the Uber app. Just over half of 50- to 64-year-olds own smartphones, according to Pew, but those numbers are going up. In 2012, only 34% of them did. And, Richter says, new drivers can always lease a smartphone from Uber if needed.

The Center on Longevity is a leading organization dedicated to trying to figure out how Americans can all lead better, longer lives, a crucial mission given that our life expectancies have jumped 20 years since 1925. Airbnb worked with the group to develop a survey to learn more about their older users. Turns out, about one million of Airbnb’s guests and hosts are over 60. Considering 25 million people used Airbnb to find accommodations in the past year, that leaves a lot of room for growth, especially among a demographic that is more likely to own their own home. Like Uber’s veteran drivers, Airbnb’s older hosts also tend to get better reviews than the general population, Airbnb says. The majority of those hosts are either retirees or empty-nesters who start renting out rooms for the extra money; according to Airbnb’s survey, 49% of them are on a fixed income. But, Roth says, many people who come to the platform for the money end up staying for the social engagement and “renewed sense of purpose.” Isolation among older Americans, Life Reimagined’s Pardo says, “is fatal.”

Of course, the sharing and on-demand economies are not without their uncertainties and pitfalls. Lawsuits are alleging that companies like Uber are exploiting their workers, and cities like San Francisco are hotly debating how much home-sharing to allow. Though 50-year-old Singer continues to work for an on-demand ride company, she’s also a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Postmates, an on-demand delivery service for which she used to be a courier. The business models of these companies may have to change, but the fact that companies can benefit from giving older Americans more opportunities and attention will remain. “People are in a moment in America where either they can’t retire, don’t want to retire or they’re retired but they’re not done yet,” says Pardo. “It’s all about using the latest technology to actually open up a new opportunity, to give you options.”

TIME Crime

Three-Year-Old Girl Shot By Child Playing With a Gun

The shooter was reportedly a 7-year-old boy

A three-year-old girl was shot and killed by another child who was apparently playing with a gun in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening.

The toddler, Dalis Cox, was shot by a child identified by neighbors as a 7-year-old boy who had found a gun in the apartment, reports the Washington Post. Cox’s father said that the girl’s mother lives in the apartment complex where Dalis was shot. It is not known who the gun belonged to, or where it was in the apartment.

When police arrived on the scene Wednesday night Dalis was unresponsive; she died at the hospital. Timothy Cox, Dalis’s father, has two other children.

“Dalis is my life and soul,” the father said. “I’m at a real loss. People need to make sure they are with their kids at all times. Tomorrow is not promised.”

[Washington Post]

TIME Economy

The U.S. Economy Grew at a 2.3% Rate in Second Quarter

Despite the solid growth percentage, government data shows that the nation's workforce is growing at a weaker pace

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. economy posted a solid rebound in the April-June quarter after a harsh winter, led by a surge in consumer spending and a recovery in foreign trade that bode well for the rest of the year.

It also ended up squeezing out some growth in the first quarter, reversing an earlier estimate that the economy shrank at the start of the year.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, grew at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter. The government also said GDP in the January-March period grew 0.6 percent instead of shrinking at a 0.2 percent pace.

The latest results mirror a familiar pattern over the last few years. The economy has consistently underperformed in the first quarter and then revved up in the spring and summer. The uneven momentum has contributed to overall tepid growth since the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. It’s been the slowest recovery since World War II.

Revised GDP figures for the past three years released by the government Thursday reveal that the economy’s already-modest growth since 2011 was even weaker than thought.

Economists, however, are hopeful about the rest of 2015. They expect overall GDP growth to continue strengthening in the second half of this year to around 3 percent, as consumer spending benefits from sizable employment gains. The upbeat outlook explains why the Federal Reserve appears on track to start raising interest rates this year.

On Wednesday, the Fed noted that the job market, housing and consumer spending have all improved. But it kept a key rate at a record low near zero, where it’s remained since 2008. The Fed said it still needs to see some more gains in the job market and feel reasonably confident that low inflation will move back to its 2 percent target rate.

Many economists peg September for the first rate hike, while others say the Fed might wait until the end of the year.

“The second-quarter U.S. GDP data support the Fed’s more upbeat tone on economic conditions and suggests that the economy could cope with higher interest rates.” said Steve Murphy, U.S. economist with Capital Economics.

The second quarter figure was the best showing since a gain of 4.3 percent in the third quarter of last year. The GDP report was the government’s first of three estimates.

In the government’s newly revised figures for 2012-2014, the economy expanded at just a 2 percent annual rate, down from a previous estimate of 2.3 percent. Nearly all the weaker-than-expected growth occurred in 2013, when the government now says the economy expanded just 1.5 percent, much less than its previous 2.2 percent estimate.

The modest expansion has raised concerns that the U.S. economy has entered a period of historically slow growth. The nation’s workforce is growing at a weaker pace, and employees are less efficient than before the recession, government data show. Those trends could restrain future economic growth.

The changes result from Commerce’s annual revisions to its growth data, which are based on updated data from the Census Bureau, IRS and other agencies.

In the second quarter, consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, expanded at an annual rate 2.9 percent in the second quarter. That is a sizable pickup from the 1.8 percent growth in the first quarter.

Trade also served as a small boost to overall growth. It added 0.1 percentage point to growth after subtracting nearly 2 percentage points in the first quarter. The swing reflected a rebound in exports, which had plunged in the first quarter, and a slowdown in imports.

Trade in the first quarter was hurt by a labor dispute at West Coast ports and the rising value of the dollar, which was making U.S. goods more expensive in foreign markets.

Business investment, which has been hurt by a sharp cutback at energy companies in response to falling oil prices, fell at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in the first quarter. That reflected in part a drop of 68.2 percent in the category that covers oil and gas exploration activities. That decline followed a 44.5 percent plunge in the first quarter and was the biggest fall in that sector since the spring of 1986.

Housing construction was a bright spot for the economy in the second quarter, rising at a 6.6 percent rate, slightly slower than in the first quarter. The government sector grew at a 0.8 percent rate as gains in spending by state and local governments offset a drop at the federal level.

Businesses added to their stockpiles at a slower pace in the second quarter, translating into a 0.1 percentage point drag on growth.

TIME Crime

University of Cincinnati Cop Pleads Not Guilty to Murder

Ray Tensing's lawyer said the police officer did not intend to kill Samuel DuBose

(CINCINNATI) — A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist after stopping him over a missing front license plate pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Twenty-five-year-old Ray Tensing appeared at his arraignment wearing a striped jail suit, with his hands cuffed behind him. He was indicted Wednesday in the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop.

When Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan set bond at $1 million, people in the courtroom audience cheered and the judge rebuked them. The judge rejected the defense attorney’s contention that Tensing wasn’t at a flight risk.

Tensing is due back in court Aug. 19.

DuBose’s family has urged the community to remain calm, as it has in a series of demonstrations since the shooting. Tensing had stopped DuBose for a missing front license plate, which is required in Ohio but not in neighboring states.

DuBose’s death comes amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African-Americans, especially those killed by officers. DuBose was black; Tensing is white. Authorities so far have not focused on race in the death of DuBose. City officials who viewed video footage released from Tensing’s body camera said the traffic stop shouldn’t have led to a shooting.

“This officer was wrong,” Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said Wednesady, adding that officers “have to be held accountable” when they’re in the wrong.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters scoffed at Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by DuBose’s car, saying the officer “purposely killed him.” Using words such as “asinine” and “senseless,” the veteran prosecutor known for tough stands on urban crime called it “a chicken crap” traffic stop.

“It was so unnecessary,” Deters said. He added that Tensing “should never have been a police officer.”

Tensing, who was jailed overnight Wednesday, was fired soon after the indictment was announced. He had been with the University of Cincinnati for more than a year after starting police work in 2011 in a Cincinnati suburb. He also had earned a UC degree in criminal justice.

Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, said that he was shocked that his client was indicted on a murder charge and that Tensing did not intend to kill DuBose.

Tensing, who could face up to life in prison if convicted, has said he thought he was going to be dragged under the car and “feared for his life,” Mathews said.

Mathews said a video from the body camera of a police officer who arrived right after the shooting shows Tensing lying in the street after he had gotten free of the car, but that video hasn’t been released by authorities.

“With the political climate in this country with white police officers shooting black individuals, I think they need somebody to make an example of,” Mathews said.

Authorities have said Tensing noticed the car driven by DuBose didn’t have a front license plate. They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose failed to provide a driver’s license and refused to get out of the car.

“I didn’t even do nothing,” DuBose can be heard telling Tensing. DuBose held up what appears to be a bottle of gin.

Tensing fired once, striking DuBose in the head.

Aubrey DuBose, the victim’s brother, called the shooting “senseless” and “unprovoked.” He said the family is upset but wants any reaction to the case to be nonviolent and done in a way that honors his brother’s style.

“Sam was peaceful,” he said. “He lived peaceful. And in his death, we want to remain peaceful. Like my mom said, let God fight the battle.”

___

Associated Press writers Kantele Franko, Ann Sanner, Mitch Stacy, Julie Carr Smyth and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and Dylan Lovan in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

TIME Crime

FBI: Child Abuse ‘Almost at an Epidemic Level’ in U.S.

The bureau rescued 600 children last year

Tens of thousands of children are being sexually exploited each year in the U.S., according to an investigation by the BBC.

Despite rescuing 600 children last year, the FBI says child sex abuse is at epidemic levels where tens of thousands of children are believed to be sexually exploited in the country each year. “The level of paedophilia is unprecedented right now,” Joseph Campbell of the FBI told the BBC.

Campbell, who works in the Criminal Investigation Division, has seen individuals from all walks of life engaged in both child pornography and child exploitation, calling it a problem “almost at an epidemic level.”

Hundreds of American children are also being sold into sex, according to the BBC, where poverty and neglect are thought to be some of the main reasons why young kids are vulnerable to sex trafficking.

Jenny Gaines, who works at Breaking Free, a Minnesotan-based advocacy group that provides support for former sex workers, says many “manipulate and take advantage of underage girls.” Half the women who visit the support group were under the age if 18 when they were first sold for sex.

 

TIME Wisconsin

Milwaukee Plane Crash Kills At Least 1

The pilot had asked to abort a landing just before the crash

At least one person is dead after a singe-engine passenger plane crashed in Milwaukee’s Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport on Wednesday, according to local news reports.

The plane burst into a fiery blaze after crashing onto the field.

The County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed at least one person is dead, reports WITI.

The plane, registered to Trustey Management Corp. in Boston, had radioed in for a “go-around,” or a request to abort landing, just before catching fire. The aircraft was manufactured in 2009.

Details on how many passengers were onboard or the cause of fire remain unknown.

 

 

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