A4 – Missoulian, Monday, August 19, 2013
Missoulian, Monday, August 19, 2013 – A5
NATION BRIEFS NEW YORK NYPD faces prospect of 2 new watchdogs
FORT HOOD SHOOTING Prosecutors hope to address motive
NEW YORK (AP) – After years of burnishing a reputation as one of the nation’s most potent police forces, the New York Police Department appears poised to become one of the most closely monitored. A federal judge this week said the department made thousands of racially discriminatory street stops and appointed a monitor to direct changes. And city lawmakers are readying for a final vote Thursday on creating an inspector general for the NYPD and widening the legal path for pursuing claims of police bias. It’s a one-two punch of outside tinkering that will muddy police work, a pair of complementary steps to protect civil rights or a rash of policymaking that may end up meaning little on the street, depending on who gets asked. But from any perspective, it would be the onset of a new era of oversight for the country’s biggest police department, though the impacts would be defined by particulars and politics still in play. The federal ruling outlines but doesn’t always detail reforms, and the city plans to appeal it. The City Council, if it succeeds in overriding a mayoral veto, would establish a monitor but not select the person or specify exactly what gets investigated. And a new mayor will take office next year, which could well mean new police leadership. “The complexity, at this point, is that there are so many moving parts,” said John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O’Donnell, who isn’t involved in the litigation or legislation. “And it doesn’t help that it became very adversarial.”
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) – The prosecutors pursuing the death penalty against the Army psychiatrist accused in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage will soon begin trying to answer a difficult but key question: Why did Maj. Nidal Hasan attack his fellow soldiers in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base? Both sides offered a few hints so far. Although he’s been mostly silent in the courtroom, Hasan used his brief opening statement to tell jurors he had “switched sides” in what he called America’s war with Islam and he later leaked documents to the media showing he believed he could be a martyr. Military prosecutors opened the trial by saying they would show that Hasan felt he had a “jihad duty,” referring to a Muslim term for a religious war or struggle. After calling almost 80 witnesses over two weeks, prosecutors said Friday they would begin tackling the question this week. How much they can say to jurors, however, may be limited by the judge. Even though plenty of information about Hasan’s extremist views has been published outside the courtroom since the rampage, the 13 military officers on the jury said they had not closely followed the case
FROM PAGE A1
and wouldn’t read news coverage during the trial.
SAN DIEGO Recall campaign against mayor begins SAN DIEGO (AP) – A campaign to oust embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner began Sunday, as volunteers armed with clipboards and petitions fanned out to collect thousands of signatures needed to authorize a recall election. More than a dozen women have publicly accused Filner, a Democrat, of making inappropriate statements or sexual advances. The 70-year-old former congressman has resisted numerous calls to resign. He is set to return to work this week after undergoing behavior therapy. “He is a sexual predator. He has abused the power of his office,” said Rachel Laing, spokeswoman for the recall campaign. “He can’t possibly lead or possibly reclaim his ability to lead.” Recall organizers say they have raised more than $100,000 so far and more than 1,100 people have signed up to volunteer. They sought out signatures at a half-marathon Sunday in Balboa Park, while businesswomen and military sexual-assault victims planned to lead an afternoon march downtown.
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themselves.” He also ushered into law tougher legislation, Continued The number can such as requiring bounce around. offenders who move to don’t return their Last November, the the state to submit a DNA mandatory address DOJ under Bullock sample. And offenders are verification letters. released a memo saying now required to notify The issue was a big that the office had police if they are going to one for Fox in his reduced the number of be away from their successful campaign, non-compliant sex residence for more than where he often bashed offenders to 4.2 percent, 10 days. the office for a “poorly Fox said his office maintained” registry. Fox a figure that did not include the more continues to build said he has made it a numerous violent relationships with local priority in office to offenders. police, the ones who are implement a long list of A snapshot of the ultimately responsible for improvements he database given to the AP locating absconders. promised. in early August showed But he has not “It was a priority on my 7.4 percent of sex changed the staffing campaign, and I am offenders with unverified making it a priority in my levels in the unit tasked with helping police locate addresses. Two weeks term as attorney general,” later, the agency said the Fox said. offenders, and is now generally congratulatory figure stood at about 6 Fox said the office is also percent. of Bullock for making working with new The figure does not such changes as hiring authority to assign tier include more than 100 two full-time levels to many older investigators to help local offenders listed simply as offenders who were never “transient,” often with no assigned a risk factor for police find offenders. known address. The Fox added permanent potential re-offense. funding for the positions agency said it is possible Fox said he is still for such offenders to in the budget approved looking for ways to build a update local police with earlier this year by campaign promises for a their general lawmakers. registry public awareness whereabouts. Finding the offenders campaign with business, The registry was remains a chore. Some of and to post the email improved in several ways addresses, instant the worst sex offenders must verify their address since that original adult, messenger names and such as to publicly flag every 90 days. Other social networking handles offenders who are nontimes, large batches of for each offender. compliant and have not annual verification Bullock, now governor, returned an address letters for other types of predicted it will remain a offenders are mailed that verification letter. challenge to keep track of Fox has made several can create a large spike in offenders who often live more changes. And he late returns, the transient lives. said a new registry Department of Justice “All Montanans want website that could be said. and expect timely and up unveiled next month will to date information on the Critics of the results be able to accommodate found in that 2011 audit, registry,” Bullock said. including Fox, argued the many of the plans he “And with the populations discussed on the agency was failing in its that are on the registry that campaign trail. duty to make sure the is a continuing challenge He plans to have a public could rely on the that local law enforcement feature where people can registry. Fox said he is works on in conjunction sign up for email updates finding that it will take with the state.” any time an offender constant work to locate moves into their offenders, although he Susan Liane community. A mobile app doesn’t have a specific is on the way, too, he said. goal for the percent of “That is the next step. unverified addresses. It is a little more “The target is always involved, and there is a zero. But as a practical cost associated to it,” Fox matter we can’t ever get 370-1010 said. “The goal there is to to zero,” Fox said. “From firstname.lastname@example.org better inform our citizens my point of view, we so they can protect should keep it as low as we possibly can. That is what we try to do.”
CENTRAL IDAHO Clouds, added crews aid fight against fire BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Fire managers expressed optimism Sunday in their battle against a wildfire that has scorched nearly 160 square miles and forced the evacuation of 2,300 homes near the central Idaho resort communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley. Officials said the blaze grew only about 12 square miles because of cloud cover Saturday and the arrival of additional crews and equipment. Many firefighters worked Sunday putting in protective fire breaks. “Today they’re very optimistic that we will reinforce those lines in case the fire does flare up as we saw on Thursday and Friday,”
fire spokeswoman Shawna Hartman said. More than 1,200 people and 19 aircraft are now battling the lightning-caused Beaver Creek Fire, which started Aug. 7 and is 9 percent contained. Nearly 90 fire engines also are in the region, many protecting homes in the affluent area where celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis own pricey getaways.
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Published on Aug 18, 2013