FROM Susan Ferriss
Police in Schools The video of a police officer body-slamming a student in South Carolina went viral yesterday. Having police officers—often known as School Resource Officers—in classrooms is not rare. In the U.S., 43 percent of schools have some sort of security staff on hand, and more than half of those positions are held by sworn police officers.
'Stand Your Ground' in the Spotlight It used to be that people threatened with violence had a duty to flee, unless they were defending their own homes. Now 25 states have extended the right to "defend the castle" to any place it's legal to be, and anyone who claims to "perceive" a threat has the right to use equal force for protection. Florida adopted the first so-called "stand your ground" law in 2005. The Trayvon Marin case has brought attention to the laws that give people with no law enforcement authority the right to make instant decisions about life or death — with immunity from prosecution. Is that really what the Second Amendment is all about?
Is it 'Stand Your Ground' or 'Make My Day?' It used to be that people threatened with violence had a duty to flee, unless they were defending their own homes. The recent Trayvon Martin killing has focused attention on so-called "stand-your-ground" laws, which began in Florida and have spread to 24 other states. Under such laws, anyone who claims to "perceive" a threat has the right to use equal force for protection. New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg says they're creating a nation of vigilantes. Many cops and prosecutors agree. The National Rifle Association supports "stand-your-ground" laws and gun control advocates are losing ground. Despite real dangers in some neighborhoods, is the right to carry a gun being given more value than the right to life? NOTE: The NRA declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.
Will LA End Truancy Fines? The LA City Council will vote next week on rules for enforcement of truancy laws by the LAPD and LA Unified's School police force. Yesterday a council committee agreed to changes worked out by the chiefs of both departments. LA is leading the way to changing practices established in the 1990's, which turned out to drive kids away from school rather than encouraging more attendance. Susan Ferriss reports for the Center for Public Integrity .
Preparing for Closing Arguments in Proposition 8 Trial In the challenge to Proposition 8 , which banned same-sex marriage in California, US District Judge Vaughn Walker has asked both sides to answer a lot of questions before their closing arguments tomorrow. Susan Ferriss is covering the trial for the Sacramento Bee .
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.