National Roundup

Lawsuit accuses police of illegal stop-and-frisks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union in Wisconsin is accusing Milwaukee police of operating a stop-and-frisk program mostly targeting black and Latino residents who are often detained without cause.

A lawsuit is being filed in federal court Wednesday on behalf of six black and Latino plaintiffs who say they’ve been stopped once or multiple times without a citation or clear explanation for why they are being detained. The lawsuit alleges the citywide stop-and-frisk program is concentrated in areas largely populated by minorities.

Milwaukee police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ACLU has challenged similar police initiatives in Boston and Chicago over racial-profiling concerns. New York halted its stop-and-frisk policy in 2014 after a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional.

Single suspect arrested in slaying of family

TOOMSUBA, Miss. (AP) — Authorities have charged one person in the shooting deaths of a 5-year-old boy and his mother, grandmother and aunt at their home in eastern Mississippi.

Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun tells WTOK-TV the suspect is charged with three counts of capital murder and one count of capital murder that carries a potential death sentence.

Investigators haven’t released the name of the person in custody.

The four bodies were found Tuesday in the home in the community of Toomsuba near the Alabama line. Authorities haven’t released a possible motive.

The dead are identified as 65-year-old Edna Durr and her daughters, 42-year-old Tomecca Pickett and 27-year-old Kiearra Durr. Pickett’s 5-year-old son, Owen Pickett, also was killed.

Officials believe the killings occurred Monday night. Authorities didn’t find signs of forced entry.

State high court to hear debate on autopsies of 8 family members

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court says it will hear a dispute over releasing copies of final autopsy reports in the unsolved slayings of eight family members.

At issue are lawsuits filed by Ohio newspapers seeking the full, unredacted copies of the reports.

The court announced its decision Wednesday and ordered both sides to submit evidence.

The case involves seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family found shot to death at four homes near Piketon on April 22.

The attorney general’s office is fighting the release of the full reports and provided heavily redacted versions last fall.

Those copies confirmed earlier accounts that all but one victim was shot multiple times in the head.

The Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer have sued for the complete reports.

Man made up abduction story to spur theft probe

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police say a man made up a story that he had been carjacked with a child in his vehicle because he wanted police to work more urgently to find the car.

Police say 22-year-old Marcus Fletcher was working as a pizza delivery driver when he reported being robbed by two men who took his vehicle around 10:15 p.m. Monday. But Fletcher told police his 4-year-old nephew was in the car, prompting an intense search.

Police found the car a short time later with no child inside. Police say Fletcher then gave conflicting accounts of the robbery and was vague about the child’s identity.

Police say they’re still investigating the suspected robbery.

But now Fletcher is jailed on a charge of making a false report to police.

His public defender couldn’t immediately be reached.

Lawsuit claims escalator grabbed young girl’s foot

ATLANTA (AP) — A lawsuit claims a 3-year-old girl who became entangled in an escalator lost her foot at a commuter train station in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the lawsuit was filed Friday against the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and the elevator manufacturer.

The lawsuit says the escalator grabbed Monique Simpson’s jacket while she was in the Vine City MARTA station on March 24, 2016. It says a protective guard broke off and the moving stairs swallowed the girl’s right foot as her mother tried to save her.

The suit says a MARTA worker hit the shut-off switch, but rescuers had to use special equipment to free her.

Plaintiffs Sharonta and Moses Simpson declined comment, as did officials with MARTA. A lawyer for the elevator company couldn’t be reached for comment.

South Carolina
Man indicted for threats against Obama, Trump

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man has been charged with threatening then-President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump last year.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that a federal grand jury had indicted 30-year-old Kipper Ken King of Spartanburg on two counts of making the threats around November 28, 2016.

No details of the threat have been released, and indictments against King don’t contain any other information. If convicted on the federal charges, King could be sentenced to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Court documents list no attorney for King. He’s scheduled to make an appearance in federal court on Friday.

Cameras OKed for ex-prosecutor’s 2nd murder trial

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — A judge has approved the use of cameras in the court for the retrial of a former Illinois prosecutor charged with first-degree murder in his first wife’s death.

Judge Bob Hardwick approved the order Tuesday in Curtis Lovelace’s case. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Sangamon County, where it was moved from western Illinois on a change of venue request. The Quincy Herald-Whig reports one video camera and two still cameras will be allowed in the Springfield courtroom.

The former Adams County assistant state’s attorney is accused of suffocating 38-year-old Cory Lovelace. Lovelace says he discovered her dead in bed after he dropped their children off at school.

His first murder trial ended with a deadlocked jury.

Lovelace was released from jail after a judge lowered his bond. He’s currently on home confinement.