Body cameras, now gun cameras? Some police trying them out
10/27/2017 1:30:55 AM

By Dave Collins A small number of police departments are showing interest in a new type of video camera that can be mounted directly on officers' guns, saying it may offer a better view of officer-involved shootings than body cameras. Some law enforcement officials and civil rights groups are skeptical.   Among the cons, they point out, is that gun cameras start recording only after weapons are removed from holsters and won't capture what led to officers drawing their guns, or other interactions with the public. They also say they should be used only as a complement to...

NO CAPTION OR BYLINE
10/27/2017 1:28:19 AM

Legal experts split on if NFL can punish for anthem protests Jerry Jones may want to bench Dallas Cowboy players who don't stand for the national anthem, but NFL owners could find themselves facing a First Amendment lawsuit if they punish football players or coaches for their protests after taking government money into the private business of professional football.   The NFL is a private business—and the First Amendment only protects Americans from free speech abuses from the government. But legal experts differ on whether pro teams who play in publicly-funded stadiums...

Since their releases, Thompson and Owens have led dramatically different lives.
10/9/2017 11:15:46 PM

Thompson thought he could go back to the person he was almost 23 years earlier, before the murder rap, but society didn’t look at him that way. When he applied for a job, he put a question mark where the form asked if he’d been convicted of a felony. “I tried to explain I was wrongfully convicted, but people don’t want to hear that,” Thompson said. “There’s no reasoning with somebody. ‘Innocent people do not go to prison’ is just the motto.” Thompson held onto his freedom for only a little over a year. In October 2011 he was...

What Does an Innocent Man Have to Do to Go Free? Plead Guilty.
10/9/2017 11:11:38 PM

This is Part 4 of a 4-part series on the wrongful conviction of James Owens, who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1988 for a murder he didn’t commit. A case out of Baltimore — in which two men were convicted of the same murder and cleared by DNA 20 years later — shows how far prosecutors will go to preserve a conviction.   Mercer worked to make it the best deal he could. If Thompson took the plea, it meant the state would let him go, but the deal had some risky strings attached. Any charge that carried a life sentence had to...

Lawmakers, Civil Rights Leaders Challenge DeVos on Student Loan Enforcement
10/9/2017 11:09:38 PM

By Charlene Crowell (Communications Director, Center for Responsible Lending)   Civil rights leaders and Capitol Hill lawmakers are standing up and speaking out against a recent Department of Education (DOE) decision to sever its working relationship with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In separate and independent actions, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and staff are being challenged and corrected as to its understanding of a sole office having complete authority and enforcement regarding the nation’s student loans.    As readers may recall,...

Lawmakers Seek End to Triple-Digit Interest on Payday and Car-Title Loans
10/9/2017 11:08:49 PM

By Charlene Crowell   A group of Capitol Hill lawmakers are combining efforts and influence to legislatively crack down on predatory lending, nationwide. Seventeen Members of the U.S. House and eight U.S. Senators are supporting companion bills that would slash the cost of payday and car-title loans from their typical 300 percent annual interest rate to no more than 36 percent—the same rate protection that Congress first provided military families in 2006.   Today, 90 million Americans living in 15 states and D.C. benefit from enacted rate caps of 36 percent or...

How the Bankruptcy System Is Failing Black Americans Black people struggling with debts are far less likely than their white peers to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy, according to a ProPublica analysis. Primarily to blame is a style of bankruptcy
10/9/2017 11:08:03 PM

by Paul Kiel with Hannah Fresques Novasha Miller pushed through the revolving doors of the black glass tower on Jefferson Avenue last December and felt a rush of déjà vu. The building, conspicuous in Memphis’ modest skyline along the Mississippi River, looms over its neighbors. Then she remembered: Years ago, as a teenager, she’d accompanied her mother inside. Now she was 32, herself the mother of a teenager , and she was entering the same door, taking the same elevator. Like her mother before her, Miller was filing for bankruptcy. Top of Form Bottom of...

Miller in her living room near a collection of her sons’ trophies (Andrea Morales for ProPublica)
10/9/2017 10:55:16 PM

Jerome Payne, one of the few black bankruptcy attorneys in Memphis. Payne has filed more Chapter 7s on behalf of black clients than any other attorney in Memphis in recent years. (Andrea Morales for...

Kamala Harris at black church: US isn't as split as it seems
10/9/2017 10:53:29 PM

By BILL BARROW Making her first high-profile foray into the Southern black church, California Sen. Kamala Harris told a Georgia congregation founded by former freed slaves that the United States remains wracked by racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination that flout the nation's core values. But the rising Democratic Party star added that Americans aren't as split as ``forces of hate and division'' suggest. ``I believe it is time we replace the divide-and-conquer,'' she said from the pulpit of First Congregational Church in downtown Atlanta, adding that...

President Trump omnipresent over Emmy Awards ceremony
9/27/2017 10:08:55 PM

By David Bauder President Donald Trump never won an Emmy, it's true. But his presence was felt at this year's television awards ceremony more than any actor, writer or producer. “Saturday Night Live,” for which Trump was an endless fount of comedy during his campaign and early presidency, had its best Emmys haul in the show's 41-year history. “The Handmaid's Tale,” the Hulu drama about an authoritarian society where some found disturbing echoes in real life, was the most-honored drama Sunday night. Then there was host Stephen Colbert's...