by on January 16, 2018
When Belkis Batista was arrested, a judge set her cash bail at $50,000. Unable to afford that, her family got a commercial bond that wound up costing them more than $10,000. By the time a Bronx jury acquitted Belkis Batista of attempted murder last August, her family had paid more than $16,000 to a bail bond company to help her stay out of jail while fighting the charge, which stemmed from a fight with her brother. A few weeks after the verdict, the bondsman returned about $5,740 and kept...
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by on January 12, 2018
The plea bargain trap The conversation almost always begins in jail. Sitting with your client in the visitation room, you start preparing them for the most important decision the person has ever made. Though the case is just a few days old, the prosecution has already extended a plea offer that will expire within the week. And, because local laws might require detention for certain charges at the prosecutor’s request, or because criminal justice systems punish those unable to pay bail, yo...
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by on January 11, 2018
The move marks a dramatic change to the 50-year-old program. President Donald Trump and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.   The Trump administration is paving the road for states to design new eligibility requirements for Medicaid, including forcing many recipients to work, look for work, or volunteer in order to qualify for government health coverage. It’s a dramatic shift for the 50-year-old program. Under current law, eligibility for Medicaid is based almost entirely on income. B...
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by on January 9, 2018
Erica Garner became a fiery critic of the NYPD and an advocate against police brutality after her father died after being put in a chokehold by an officer   Just hours after hundreds of mourners gathered in Harlem to pay their final respects to activist Erica Garner on Monday, NYPD officers were accused of violently arresting a protester at a rally held in her honor.  Garner had become a leading advocate against police brutality in the Black Lives Matter movement after her father, E...
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by on January 8, 2018
A judge in Las Vegas on Monday dismissed criminal charges against a Nevada rancher and his sons accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities in 2014. Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro signaled when she declared a mistrial last month that she might dismiss the case outright against 71-year-old Cliven Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy, and Montana militia leader Ryan Payne. The judge severely criticized prosecutors for willfully violating the due process rights ...
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by on January 2, 2018
The city will close one of nine Rikers Island jails in the summer as part of a plan to shut down the troubled jail complex, the mayor announced on Tuesday. "Every day we are making New York City's jail system smaller and safer," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "This announcement is an important step in our plan to close Rikers Island and create more community-based facilities to better serve people in custody and our hard-working correctional staff." De Blasio, a Democrat, sa...
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by on January 2, 2018
Voice-activated smart devices can be used for alerts, alarms and web searches – but what about reporting crime? It may seem far-fetched, but one police force believes it's possible. Popular products such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home – now a fixture in households around the world – will soon be used to access real-time crime warnings and breaking news alerts, according to Rob Flanagan, an innovation chief at Lancashire Police. In a speech at a College of Policing conference, first...
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by on December 31, 2017
The year began with a burst of announcements by the Obama Administration of cases it rushed to resolve before leaving office. In the period between election day and the inauguration, the Justice Department and various agencies announced more than $30 billion in fines and settlements. That flurry of activity disappeared once Donald Trump took office. Agency enforcement activity soon resumed,  thanks to the efforts of career officials, but it appears that the volume of cases has declined co...
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by on December 31, 2017
Michael Picard, formerly of East Hartford, is seen here warning motorists about a state police DUI checkpoint in West Hartford on Sept. 11, 2015. Former East Hartford resident Michael Picard, who gained fame for his confrontation with state police while protesting a drunken driving checkpoint in West Hartford in 2015, was arrested this month in New York City while protesting outside a courthouse. According to Picard, 29, on Dec. 4 he was standing outside the Bronx Hall of Justice on Ea...
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by on December 30, 2017
Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, leads a march of people protesting the Staten Island, New York, grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer involved in the July 2014 death of Eric Garner, in December 2014. Activist Erica Garner, the eldest daughter Eric Garner who died at the hands police in New York City, died Saturday after a major heart attack. Garner was 27. A representative of the family announced via Garner’s Twitter account that the heart attack over Christmas we...
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by on December 29, 2017
An off-duty NYPD detective was busted on drug possession and unlicensed driving charges, cops said Thursday. Timothy O’Brien, 35, was arrested at 2:30 p.m. in lower Manhattan’s 1st Precinct. He’s charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance and aggravated unlicensed operator. An NYPD spokesman would not provide additional details about the arrest, stating only that the matter was being investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau. ...
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by on December 29, 2017
It has been three years since the NYPD announced it would train its police force on implicit bias—a decision the department came to after one of its officers killed Eric Garner with a chokehold, a technique the department had banned—but not one officer has received such training to date.   Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced it would retrain a significant portion of its police force in December 2014 after a grand jury declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, fo...
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