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Department Of Justice Commits To Tracking Police Force Through New Project

Finally.

The Department of Justice plans to end the trend of missing data tied to police shootings, which has ignited a series of protests throughout the United States.

According to the New York Times, the department will begin collecting nationwide data early next year to track federal agents' use of force in light of a stream of fatal encounters, many involving unarmed black men, in places like Ferguson, Charlotte, Baltimore and Baton Rouge.  “I can’t believe two years into this crisis that we’re still having conversations about data,” Kanya Bennett, a Washington lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said of an initiative that is arguably overdue.

FBI director James B. Comey agrees. Last year, he told lawmakers that it was "embarrassing" that news outlets, such as The Washington Post and The Guardian, could produce better data than his own agency. “People have data about who went to a movie last weekend, or how many books were sold, or how many cases of the flu walked into the emergency room,” he said, “and I cannot tell you how many people were shot by police in the United States last month, last year, or anything about the demographic. And that’s a very bad place to be.”

Under the project, announced Thursday (Oct. 13), the F.B.I. will assemble data on the use of force by approximately 178,000 agents at major federal law enforcement agencies and the DOJ will collect data on "in custody" deaths linked to shootings, suicide and natural causes from local and state law enforcement departments. The third part of the plan involves a $750,000 "police data initiative" designed to help local departments collect and publicly release information on a broader range of actions, such as stops and searches of citizens, not limited to shootings.

The primary goal of the undertaking, according to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, is to increase transparency while building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

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Sheck Wes Won't Be Charged In Alleged Assault Of Justine Skye

According to reports, Sheck Wes will not face any charges for allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend, musician Justine Skye. TMZ reports that the rapper’s case is being thrown out by the L.A. Country D.A.’s office due to a “lack of evidence.”

In February, Skye tweeted that the “Mo Bamba” MC and a group of his friends reportedly stalked her and attacked her friends and boyfriend. In her tweet, she also called Sheck her “abuser.”

“Taking a walk with my friends and my man and Sheck Wes (my abuser) and his friends decide to STALK US and attack my friends,” she wrote. She wrote. “Two cars full of n***as while he sat in the car like a b***h. You’re pathetic sheck and you beat women. You hit your girl before me and you’ll do it again.” Wes denies the claims, and Justine was granted a restraining order against him. The rapper was also pulled from a campaign for Major League Soccer in light of the allegations.

“The model, actress and singer claimed Sheck once threw her phone across a hotel room at the Montrose, slapping her in the face with a wad of cash and berating her,” TMZ reports.

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Scott Olson

The Body Of Ohio Activist Amber Evans Was Found In The Scioto River

The body of 28-year-old Amber Evans was found in Ohio's Scioto River Saturday. (March 23) Evans, a beloved activist, had been missing since January 28.

According to reports, Evans' body was found by Columbus Police. The activist worked with several social justice organizations including the Juvenile Justice Coalition in which she was promoted to executive director.

Evans was reported missing in January following a dispute with her boyfriend of 10 years. Local authorities did, however, say her boyfriend has been cooperative.

“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-Dispatch reports.

*UPDATE 3/24/19: The body recovered yesterday, Saturday, 3/23/19 has been positively identified as 28yo Amber Evans. The family has been notified.While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we understand this brings closure for the family. Our thoughts & prayers go out to them. https://t.co/YF2iAS4LSN

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) March 24, 2019

Evans went to work the morning of Jan 28 and left at 5:30 PM after feeling sick. A security camera at a local store captured her purchasing cold medicine and a Snickers. Evans' abandoned car was found later that evening in the Scioto Mile area with her purse in the track. Her cell phone was located the next day in another part of the Scioto Mile.

Tonya Fischer, Evans' mother, took to social media to express her appreciation for the outpouring of support.

“I’m coming on here as a mother who has just found out that I lost my first-born child,” Fischer said, choking up as she spoke. “I love you all, and you all know I’m more than willing to accept all that you have to give... but just give me a moment. Just a moment. Give my family a moment.”

 

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Jessica Hill

The Father Of A Sandy Hook Shooting Victim Committed Suicide

The father of a first-grader killed during 2012's Sandy Hook school shooting committed suicide.

Jeremy Richman 49, was found dead inside his office space Monday morning (March 25). Local authorities said the medical examiner's office has not confirmed a cause of death.

Richman, a trained scientist, and his wife Jennifer Hensel launched the Avielle Foundation after his 6-year-old daughter Avielle Richman. The foundation is committed to providing funding for the neuroscience behind compassion and violence.

In a 2017 interview with NPR, Richman discussed the heartache he and his wife experienced in the years following Avielle's murder. “It was like a ghost limb syndrome, you know, where you keep thinking ‘Where’s Avielle? Do we need to pick her up?’” he said. “And every day you’d have this [realization] that I don’t have a child, and I don’t have to parent. That was just brutal.”

Richman also said with each new shooting, it just resurrected raw emotions.

“Right after Newtown we had the Boston bombings, and then we’ve had Charleston, Orlando and over a hundred school shootings, some of which make the national news and some don’t,” he said. “Every time this happens it breaks a heart and it chokes us up. To be honest, though, now it comes with a fair degree of frustration and anger because things aren’t changing fast enough. I really get sick of ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and ‘our hearts go out.’ That’s not going to change anything. What I need to hear is: ‘My heart is broken, and my boots are on the ground to fix it.’ ”

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