National Roundup

Oregon
DA clears police in adeadly ­shooting at ­Oregon middle school

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Prosecutors say the actions by two police officers were justified in the deadly shooting of a man who showed up with a gun at an Oregon middle school amid a custody dispute.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow announced the finding Thursday, saying 30-year-old Charles Landeros fired first and caused the officers to fear for their lives.

Perlow says Landeros refused to leave Cascade Middle School in Eugene when the school resource officers asked.

A struggle erupted when the officers moved Landeros outside and told him he was under arrest.

Perlow says Landeros pulled out a handgun and fired two shots. An officer fired once, striking Landeros in the head.

The prosecutor says Landeros’ daughter and two other people witnessed the shooting. Other students were nearby.

New Jersey
Superior court judge disciplined for secretly recording boss

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey judge has been suspended for two months without pay for making secret recordings of meetings with her boss.

The state Supreme Court announced the discipline of Superior Court Judge Deborah Gross-Quatrone Thursday. The suspension is effective Friday.

Gross-Quatrone was working in Bergen County in 2015 when the incidents took place. She contended she made the recordings because she wasn’t allowed to bring a witness to meetings with superiors to discuss a dispute.

The ethics panel found Gross-Quatrone initially denied making the recordings, then threatened to call police if a court employee didn’t return her digital recorder.

The panel didn’t discipline her for having her secretary help her son with a school project.

Gross-Quatrone currently sits on the bench in Essex County.

Alabama
Prison system must report ­segregation data after suicides

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — After a recent spate of suicides, a federal judge has ordered the Alabama Department of Corrections to provide data on the number of mentally ill inmates who have been placed in segregation units.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued the order this week after attorneys for inmates asked him to intervene because of a high number of suicides.

Attorneys last week filed an emergency motion seeking to stop the state from placing prisoners with serious mental illnesses in segregation units. They argued the state was continuing to put inmates with serious mental illnesses in the isolated settings.

The request came after three suicides within four weeks in state prisons.

One of those inmates, Paul Ford, hanged himself last week in a segregation cell at Kilby Correctional Facility, attorneys said. The court filing said that Ford had a prior suicide attempt, and spent much of the last year in a restrictive setting or some form of crisis watch.

“The tragic trajectory of Mr. Ford’s final months underscores the dire threat of serious harm that isolation poses even to people not previously identified as mentally ill,” attorneys wrote.

Thompson in 2017 found that Alabama provided “horrendously inadequate” care for mentally ill inmates and ordered the state to improve conditions.

An inmate named Jamie Wallace killed himself weeks after testifying at the 2016 trial and describing past suicide attempts.

Ford had testified at a hearing last year about low staffing levels in state prisons.

Connecticut
Jesuit school, others settle Haiti sex abuse case for $60M

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — More than 130 people who say they were sexually abused as children at a now-defunct charity school in Haiti have reached a $60 million settlement with a Jesuit university in Connecticut and other defendants.
The settlement was announced Friday and must be approved by a federal judge in Hartford.

The defendants include Fairfield University, the Society of Jesus of New England, the Order of Malta and Haiti Fund Inc., which financially supported the Haitian school.

A founder of the Project Pierre Toussaint School for homeless children in Cap-Haitien, Douglas Perlitz, is serving a 20-year prison sentence for sexually abusing male students.

Fairfield University officials say the school did not run the school in Haiti but is settling the lawsuit to spare the victims from painful court proceedings.

Oklahoma
Judge dismisses case over Muslim woman’s ­headscarf

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A judge in Oklahoma has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of a Muslim woman who alleges she was denied entry into the Tulsa County Courthouse because of her religious headscarf.

U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan last week dismissed claims that the Tulsa County Sherriff’s Office and four deputies violated the First Amend­ment and the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.

Suha Elqutt said she was refused entry to the courthouse last April when metal detectors were set off by a hairpin under her hijab.

The suit alleges officers insisted Elqutt remove her headscarf in front of male sheriff’s deputies in violation of her religious beliefs. Elqutt entered the courthouse after two female deputies inspected her hair in a parking garage.

Eagan noted in her opinion and order that deputies had a legitimate concern that Elqutt could have been carrying a weapon when she repeatedly set off a metal detector.

“Even if the plaintiff is correct that she had a right to a religious accommodation, the facts alleged in her complaint show that defendants did attempt to accommodate the plaintiff’s religious beliefs,” Eagan wrote.

The suit was presented last May in Tulsa federal court on Elqutt’s behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation and the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The judge dismissed the suit without prejudice, leaving Elqutt with a chance to refile the lawsuit. Elqutt’s attorney said they are exploring options for an appeal.

Casey Roebuck, TCSO spokeswoman, said Wednesday that a private screening area is now available at the Tulsa County Courthouse. The private screening area was set up about a month after the incident, Roebuck said.
 

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