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Maryland Cop Charged With Raping Woman During Traffic Stop

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An officer has been charged after he allegedly raped a woman he pulled over last Thursday, police say. 

Prince George’s Police chief Hank Stawinski released surveillance video from a business in the area that shows a cruiser activating its emergency lights around 1 a.m. that morning in Langley Park, Maryland. Stawinski said he believes the video captures the beginning of the incident in which Prince George’s County officer Ryan Macklin allegedly pulled over a woman, and forced her to perform a sex act while they were both in her car in a nearby parking lot.

Macklin was arrested Monday and has been charged with five counts including rape, assault and sex offense. Macklin has been suspended without pay, Stawinski said at a Monday press conference. 

Macklin was in uniform, on duty and in a marked cruiser at the time, Prince George’s Count Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan told CBS affiliate WUSA9 reports.


Stawinski said the woman came to a police station with the encouragement of friends several hours after the incident. He said his department is investigating not as an act of police misconduct, but as a crime committed by a police officer.

Stawinski said there had been previous concerns that the woman was targeted for her immigration status or for her personal history, but said he doesn’t believe that to be the case. He said he believes there would have been no way for the officer to know any information about the woman when he pulled her over, and that she was likely targeted because she was driving alone at night.

Stawinski said information was previously leaked to the media in a “deliberate attempt to undermine” the investigation. He didn’t specify what the information was.

“If I find out who leaked this information, they will be dealt with in the harshest possible manner,” Stawinski said.

Stawinski praised the woman for coming forward. He said information developed over the last 72 hours leads investigators to believe there could be other incidents, and he encouraged anyone with information to call a designated tipline at 301-772-4795.

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Body found in Scioto River identified as missing community activist Amber Evans

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A body recovered Saturday from the Scioto River has been identified as community activist Amber Evans, who had been missing since Jan. 28.

Evans, 28, reportedly had a dispute with her boyfriend the afternoon of her disappearance, and her vehicle was found in the Scioto Mile area Downtown. Police found her phone in another part of the Scioto Mile.

Police have said since the beginning of the investigation that there were no known domestic violence issues in Evans’ relationship and there was no reason to suspect foul play.

The Columbus Police Special Victim’s Unit and Dive Team found the body Saturday morning near the Whittier Peninsula and the Brewery District, police said.

Evans had been active in community justice organizations for several years. She was a key organizer of protests at Columbus City Hall, was heavily involved with the People’s Justice Project and recently had become executive director of the Juvenile Justice Coalition.


The night she disappeared, a search was conducted along the river by canine units and patrol officers as well as a sheriff’s office drone using infrared technology, said Commander Alex Behnen of the police Special Victims Bureau.

The next day, the dive team went out in boats and made a search of the river. Additional searches were conducted by the dive team, but the weather and water levels and current were not cooperative through much of the winter, he said.

Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a master’s in Library and Information Sciences from Kent State University.

According to a biography on the Juvenile Justice Coalition website, she began student organizing in 2011 with Occupy OSU, a group inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Tonya Fischer, Evans’ mother, posted a message on her Facebook page on Sunday, asking reporters to “give her a moment.”

“I just lost my first born child,” Fischer said.

Fischer said the family plans to have a memorial vigil at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Scioto Mile. Other arrangements are pending.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch 

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Subway riders do nothing as man repeatedly kicks elderly woman in face

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NEW YORK – Stunning video shows subway passengers stand idly by while a man repeatedly kicks an elderly woman in the face.

The incident occurred on March 10 on a northbound train and was posted to Twitter by @BKLYNRELL1, the New York Post reports.

As the 78-year-old woman attempts to defend herself from the man’s attack, those with her on the train did not intervene. Even after the attack, no one called 911 or alerted police until the subway arrived at the next stop.

Before the attacker left the train, he shouted about WorldStar, a media outlet that often contains violent videos.

The woman reportedly was bleeding as she was being treated by EMS workers, but refused further treatment. The suspect is still at large.


WARNING: Video contains violence and graphic language

Source Local 10

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Researchers studied nearly 100 million traffic stops and found black motorists are more likely to be pulled over

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(CNN)A study of nearly 100 million traffic stops from around the country has concluded that, on average, black drivers are 20% more likely to get pulled over than white drivers.

The Stanford University study analyzed 93 million traffic stops from 21 state patrol agencies and 29 municipal police departments between the years of 2001 and 2017.
 
Researchers then analyzed the traffic-stop data in relation to the number of people of driving age within each jurisdiction and controlled for demographics, gender, reasons for traffic stops and other factors to try to create the most standardized set of data possible.
 
The results, which reflect experiences that have long been shared by people of color, revealed an observable racial bias in both traffic stops and subsequent decisions to conduct vehicle searches.
 
“Relative to their share of the residential population, we find that black drivers are, on average, stopped more often than whites,” reads the study, released by the Stanford Computational Policy Lab and featuring data organized by the Stanford Open Policing Project.
 

The study’s authors acknowledged that basing this disparity on bias is hard to do in a statistically significant way, so they also analyzed the data using what they called the “veil of darkness” test. Essentially, they looked at the racial breakdown of only the traffic stops made after dark, when the race of a motorist is harder to discern.

Even when applied to different subsets of data, the results “[showed] a marked drop in the proportion of drivers stopped after dusk who are black, suggestive of discrimination in stop decisions.”

The study also looked at data related to police searches of stopped cars, and found searches on black and Hispanic motorists seemed to have a “lower bar” than searches on white motorists.

CNN has reached out to the National Association of Chiefs of Police for comment on the study’s findings but has not heard back.


The data goes beyond issues of black and white

On its surface, the results lend quantifiable significance to what has long been said by activists and ethnic minorities in America: Motorists of color are often subjected to disproportionate levels of traffic stops and police searches.
 
However, that isn’t the only purpose of the study, or the data that fueled it.
 
“Our work doesn’t necessarily reveal anything new; activists and individuals of color have long presented anecdotal evidence of this kind of bias,” Stanford data scientist Amy Shoemaker, who worked on the project, tells CNN. “The new part is being able to understand it in quantifiable terms.”
 
This kind of standardization can help inform policy change on state and municipal levels.
 
“In addition to the national picture, what we are also offering is clean public data to journalists, analysts and policy makers so they can use local context for their policies,” Shoemaker says.
 
“A lot of policy makers feel the need to have data-driven decisions, and so this is a data-driven approach to racial profiling,”
 
Although the national picture the data presents makes for a captivating headline, Shoemaker says the research is especially valuable on a local and municipal level, where individual departments and policy makers can use it to spot trends specific to their area and make finely tuned changes.
 
“It’s good to have a general understanding, but each place has its caveats, and each jurisdiction has its own limitations or ways of doing things,” Shoemaker says.
 
For instance, in Nashville, she says, the data for the area was so specific that a local police department was able to see that there was a preponderance of stops in mostly poor, black areas for things like taillights and license plates.
 
“The department (there) was understaffed, and when they realized those stops don’t actually reduce crime at all, they were much more amenable to redirecting their resources,” Shoemaker says.

But there’s no standardized way of reporting traffic stops

Shoemaker says one of the researchers’ biggest challenges in doing the study was making sure the data they got was standardized in a way that made sense, so that, for instance, one state or jurisdiction’s definition of race or type of traffic violation wasn’t different than another.
 
“There were different ways of recording race by department,” she says. “Michigan for example, recorded unknown race for 50% of the stops, which isn’t usable data for us.”
 
Another hurdle was the fact that states and municipalities don’t have one standardized way of collecting and publishing information about traffic stops. Some states, like Florida and Illinois, keep extensive records while other states have very few requirements for law enforcement to document and record their stops.
 
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