‘Moonlight’ schooled Hollywood on race. Can it take on school discipline, too?

THE CONVERSATION, 9 MAY 2017, FEAT. PROF. DEREK BLACK:

This year’s Academy Award winner for best picture tackles a difficult topic in the education world today: school discipline. In “Moonlight,” high school boys taunt the main character, Chiron, with homophobic slurs before beating him. The next day, Chiron shatters a chair across the back of the ringleader. Chiron is handcuffed and sent to an alternative school, setting him on the path toward dealing drugs.

While Chiron does become the aggressor, he is ultimately the victim and suffers an utterly cruel punishment for his revenge.

This dichotomy captures the major insight of my recent research on school discipline: that suspensions and expulsions frequently ignore the causes of student misbehavior.

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Trump suggests financing for historically black colleges may be unconstitutional

POLITICO, 5 MAY 2017, FEAT. PROF. DEREK BLACK:

President Donald Trump signaled Friday that he may not implement a 25-year-old federal program that helps historically black colleges finance construction projects on their campuses, suggesting that it may run afoul of the Constitution.

In a signing statement on the $1.1 trillion omnibus government spending bill, Trump singled out the Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program as an example of provisions in the funding bill “that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender.”

 

Trump said his administration would treat those programs “in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the law under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”’

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Self-driving companies to consumers: Hop in

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, 1 MAY 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Test rides in the cars of the future are becoming more available to the public, and are no longer limited to engineers, executives and journalists.

Last week, Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle arm, said it would give Arizona residents access to its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Lexus RX 450h crossovers for daily use. With the introduction of the program, Waymo joins Uber, Tesla Inc. and Volvo Cars in opening its technology to a public that has been slow to embrace self-driving vehicles.

Waymo’s Arizona program lets interested residents apply via its website to become “early riders.” It is limited to residents of specific areas of Phoenix and applicants must be at least 18 years old. If accepted, applicants and their family members can use Waymo vehicles — which are supervised by trained drivers — for daily transportation.

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York County conviction shows domestic violence law applies to same-sex marriages

THE HERALD (YORK COUNTY, SC) 25 MARCH 2017, FEAT. PROF. COLIN MILLER:

A Fort Mill man was convicted earlier this month in a York County court of domestic violence against his husband. It’s South Carolina’s second groundbreaking ruling this month related to gay marriage.

Until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2015 legalized gay marriage, the charge of domestic violence in same-sex relationships could not have gone to court. South Carolina law did not recognize domestic violence in same-sex relationships until gay marriage became legal.

Thousands of gay victims and gay defendants could be impacted by the March conviction, legal experts said. Colin Miller, criminal law and evidence expert at the University of South Carolina law school, said under state domestic violence law, the following are legal definitions of a household member for purposes of prosecuting domestic violence: spouse, former spouse, persons who have a child in common, or a male and female who live together or have lived together.

Reports of people being ‘shot in the leg’ on the rise

THE STATE, 25 MARCH 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

In a Rosewood apartment complex just off South Beltline Boulevard, right around the corner from a child care center, gunshots pierced an otherwise quiet Sunday afternoon.

Columbia police officers responded to Woodland Terrace Apartments just after 3 p.m. on March 19, where they found a 22-year-old man with two gunshot wounds to the leg. Police wrote in their report that two of the victim’s friends gave officers a vague description of where the shots came from. When pressed for more information, they became uncooperative, saying “they didn’t see anything and that they did not know anything about the shooting.”

The victim and his friends may not have cooperated, but two nearby residents spoke with police, who eventually charged Michael DeWayne Haggwood with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

New Study Outlines Reforms to SC Department of Juvenile Justice

WLTX, 13 APRIL 2017, FEAT. PROF. JOSH GUPTA-KAGAN:

A University of South Carolina Law School professor is leading the charge in reforming the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

Josh Gupta-Kagan, along with lawyers from Nelson Mullins and Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc, developed a 55-page report on juvenile justice reform.

“I represent kids,” says Gupta-Kagan. “I represent kids who have made mistakes. I want to give those kids the chance to be the productive citizens we all want them to be and I want our system to give them that opportunity rather than be an obstacle.”

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Professor Carnage: Dave Grossman teaches police officers to think like “warriors.” But is the rise of a militarized mindset turning black citizens into targets?

NEW REPUBLIC, 17 APRIL 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

Early one Friday morning, more than 250 police officers file into a high school auditorium in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Dressed in the uniform of the off-duty cop—polo shirts and khakis accessorized with pistols and handcuffs—the officers are here to attend a seminar called “The Bulletproof Mind: Prevailing in Violent Encounters … and After.” As the cops settle into their seats, a burly National Guard sergeant in camouflage fatigues takes the floor to introduce the man who will lead the seminar: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a retired Army ranger and former West Point instructor.

A lean and energetic man, Grossman paces back and forth between two oversize pads of paper propped on easels. Equal parts motivational speaker, drill sergeant, and prophet of doom, he jabs the air with a fat permanent marker of the sort favored by graffiti artists. “We. Are. At. War,” he tells the officers, many of them from small towns in Pennsylvania. “And you are the frontline troops in this war. There is no elite unit showing up to save your bacon when the terrorists attack. You are the Delta Force. You are the Green Beret. You are British SAS. Can you accept that? Every single one of you is in the frontline of a live ammo combat patrol every day of your life.”

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Businesses, Myrtle Beach clash over Columbia children’s museum expansion plans

THE POST AND COURIER, 22 APRIL 2017, FEAT. PROF. JOSH EAGLE:

Andrew and Lacy Paulussen spent 11 months finding the right location for their new business in Myrtle Beach. They were moving from New Jersey to open a home hardware store that would serve a city experiencing a housing boom.

They found a perfect spot, where the main traffic artery U.S. Highway 501 reaches the beach, and the couple opened their store, House Parts, in 2006. A decade later, Myrtle Beach also believes it is the perfect spot — for a library and an expanded children’s museum to be overseen by Columbia-based EdVenture.

About 10 other business owners have sold their properties, according to Mayor John Rhodes, but the Paulussens and another property owner have resisted the city’s overtures, prompting it to threaten to exercise the power of eminent domain, when a government forces the sale of private property to make way for a public use. 

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“CEO of Purple Drank” found guilty

VICE NEWS, 12 APRIL 2017, FEAT. PROF. COLIN MILLER:

When Miami hip-hop producer Harrison Garcia, aka the self-professed “CEO of Purple Drank,” needed to prove his street cred, he posted photos of himself with stacks of cash, a small arsenal of guns, and Styrofoam cups — presumably filled with the codeine-laced beverage “sizzurp” — to his nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram.

But the pictures came back to haunt Garcia, who also goes by the name “Cuban Harry,” in federal court Monday after prosecutors used them as evidence to convict him of five felonies, including armed drug trafficking. While that could land Garcia in prison for life, his defense attorney, Gustavo Lage, argued the 27-year-old only played the part of a criminal online to bolster his standing in the hip-hop world.

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Sheriff’s Department misconduct-claim payouts have soared, topping $50 million last year

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9 APRIL 2017, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

In one case, Los Angeles County paid more than $6 million to a woman who had been raped by a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.

In another, it took more than $7 million to resolve multiple lawsuits after deputies in West Hollywood mistakenly shot two hostages, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

Those payouts from 2016 helped drive a dramatic increase in the cost of resolving legal claims against the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department during the last five years, according to records reviewed by The Times.

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