Law and Criminal Justice

VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

A bill regulating when police body camera videos are released to the public cleared one of its last major legislative hurdles Tuesday – the Senate passed the bill in a near-unanimous vote.

Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says one of the biggest issues in the House version of the bill was the burden it placed on the public and the press to prove a police body cam video should be released to the public. 

The Senate switched that burden – now law enforcement would have to prove in a court that it shouldn’t.  Bray also notes the importance of what’s not in the bill.

Lafayette Police Thursday confirmed violent crime did, in fact, increase in the city in 2015.

“Where we saw probably our biggest jump in 2015 was in aggravated assaults," says Police Chief Pat Flannelly. "In 2015, we had 323, as compared to 219 in 2014.”

Flannelly notes the aggravated assaults, or attacks involving a weapon, account for most of a 115-incident, year-over-year increase in violent crime.

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/117048243

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has filed suit against three out-of-state companies accused of scamming tax delinquent property owners out of money and their homes.

Investigators say they noticed a pattern that revealed at least 48 property owners, mostly in Marion County, have been swindled.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a lawsuit Monday, alleging the companies are taking advantage of property owners who are late on their tax payments and don’t understand the tax sale process.

Kate Ter Haar / https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/

The ACLU and Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services will get increased access for monitoring the treatment of mentally ill inmates at state prisons. That’s part of the terms of a settlement the groups reached with the Department of Corrections.

Complete isolation for days or weeks can exacerbate mental illnesses, or even cause them. Now those inmates will not be placed in solitary confinement, instead getting regular screenings by prison staff and therapy.

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/117048243

Indiana is one of only five states without any hate crimes law.  Legislation unanimously approved Tuesday by a Senate committee would change that.

Sen. Sue Glick’s (R-LaGrange) bill would allow judges to inflict harsher penalties based on a person’s motivation for committing a crime – specifically, if they committed a crime with the intent to harm or intimidate someone based on that person’s race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, or transgender status. 

Thomas Hawk / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

An inmate at the Putnamville Correctional Facility has died after a viral outbreak at the prison. Authorities are blaming a progressive virus that causes severe shortness of breath, fatigue, joint aches, coughing and sweating.

18 patients began to show the pneumonia-like symptoms last week. Nine were sent to the hospital after their symptoms got worse. One of those patients died, and another is on a ventilator.

Jessica Lucia / HTTPS://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/THELOUSHE/

While Indiana lawmakers are considering different ways to reduce production of methamphetamine, police officers across the state are doing what they can to get the producers of the highly addictive drug off the streets.

To better understand the problem of policing meth, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Leigh DeNoon takes us on a ride along with an Indiana State Police meth suppression team.

J J / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/4172577749

Soon-to-be Indianapolis Chief of Police Troy Riggs is perfectly aware that his new job is not going to be an easy one, and is prepared to meet Indianapolis' biggest problems head on.

Riggs says his plan will build on what current Chief Rick Hite has started, focusing in on the most troubled areas of Indianapolis and getting the most violent of Indianapolis' criminals off the streets.

Riggs was appointed by mayor-elect Joe Hogsett Tuesday.

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/117048243

The former face of the Subway sandwich chain will spend 15.5 years in federal prison, ending what was a long-running public persona for Jared Fogle, "The Subway Guy." Read more here.

Purdue Arboretum / http://mlp.arboretum.purdue.edu/

Purdue police have erased the search for a missing 12-foot pencil from their to-do list and are crediting the media’s sharp focus for the sculpture’s return.

The 200-pound pencil sculpture was reported missing earlier this week from its pedestal in Pickett Park.

The Purdue University Police Department reports the pencil, undamaged despite its ordeal, was found discarded in the grass next to the Slayter Center for the Performing Arts on the university’s north side Thursday morning.

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