FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Law Enforcement Category

Over the weekend, a group of over 40 teens jumped the turnstiles at an Oakland, California, public transit station, boarded a commuter train, robbed seven individuals and left two people injured before leaving the train and station. It's possible that as many as 60 teens were involved. Witnesses described the situation as quickly shifting from what seemed like boisterous horseplay to confusion and violence as the large group of teens boarded and ransacked the train.

While many passengers were left shook, police were able to identify some of the teenage suspects caught on the surveillance cameras, and are seeking arrest warrants.

Back in 2015, the Food and Drug Administration intercepted over 1,000 vials of sodium thiopental bound from India to law enforcement officials in Texas and Arizona. The shipments were an attempt to skirt a 2012 ban on the drug and were intended to be used for lethal injections in death penalty cases.

Last week, the FDA informed the two states that, after much legal back-and-forth, it would not be releasing the drugs. Not only that, but that states have just 90 days to export or destroy their caches of sodium thiopental. Here's a look at why:

In the coming weeks, the New York City Police Department will be rolling out their body camera program to over 1,000 officers. The cameras will record interactions officers have with the public in an effort to increase the transparency of NYC's police practices, which have come under increasing scrutiny due to failing stop and frisk policies, as well as excessive force incidents.

Last Friday, a federal district court judge in Manhattan denied a motion to delay the roll out due to alleged problems with the program. Critics claim that the program does not go far enough and does not require enough types of interactions to be recorded. Perhaps the most concerning criticism involves officers being allowed to review their own body cam footage before making statements or writing reports.

An inhalant can be any type of gas or chemical that a person inhales to get high. Frequently, inhalants are sprayed or poured onto cloth rags, and a person will inhale the chemical or gas fumes to get high.

Most commonly-used illegal inhalants are actually legal products that a person can buy at a general store. For example, whipped cream in a can, rubber cement glue, and spray paint, are common inhalants that can be readily purchased in countless stores. While users might get temporarily intoxicated, the use of inhalants is linked to numerous side effects, including the potential for death.

Finding out that there is an active warrant out for your arrest can be an alarming experience. What you do after learning about a warrant depends largely on what you know about the reason behind the warrant.

Before you go fleeing to a warm weather country with no extradition agreement, or just turning yourself in, you may want to consider seeking legal advice from an experienced criminal attorney. After all, it will definitely be cheaper than attempting to live the rest of your life on the run.

There was no question that Darren Rainey died in the showers of the Dade Correctional Institution in 2012. What was unanswered was whether the officers who locked Rainey for two hours in showers that could run as hot at 160 degrees were criminally liable for his death.

That answer came last month, when the state attorney for Miami-Dade County released an "In Custody Death Investigation Close-Out Memo" that attributed Rainey's death to schizophrenia, heart disease, and "confinement inside the shower room." Yet the state attorney declined to press criminal charges against the officers or the prison, saying instead that "the evidence does not show that Rainey's well-being was grossly disregarded by the correctional staff."

A Connecticut bill that originally focused on simply banning all weaponized drones recently had a controversial exemption carved out that's garnering national attention. That controversial legal exemption to the ban on weaponized drones would only apply to law enforcement agencies, allowing only police in the state to use weaponized drones.

While it may seem logical to only allow police to use weaponized drones, if the bill passes, it would be the first law in the nation that actually authorizes police to use drones equipped with lethal weapons. North Dakota passed a law in 2015 that permits law enforcement to use drones equipped with non-lethal weapons like tear gas or pepper spray, and other law enforcement agencies use drones for surveillance purposes.

Four college students at DePaul University in Chicago have been arrested for selling over 100 Xanax pills to undercover officers. The sales occurred on four separate occasions, for various quantities and prices, over the last few weeks.

While Xanax is commonly used to help individuals with serious anxiety or other mental health issues, the drug is also sought after by recreational users. Despite the fact that it is legally available to individuals with a prescription, an individual cannot legally distribute or sell Xanax, or any other prescription drug for that matter, to any other person. Unfortunately for both legal and illegal Xanax users, the drug is reportedly highly addictive, which can lead to severe dependency issues.

A Louisiana jury convicted a "moonlighting" deputy marshal of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter after a shooting that left a 6-year-old autistic boy dead and his father hospitalized. Former Marksville police officer and part-time city marshal Derrick Stafford, along with another officer, opened fire on Christopher Few's vehicle after he refused to pull over, striking Few in the head and chest, and killing his son, Jeremy Mardis, who was buckled in the passenger seat.

The shooting was captured on police body cameras, described by Louisiana State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson as "the most disturbing thing I've seen," and revealed the seedy side of Marksville's city budget politics to the world.

Everyone’s heard the age old-saying: if you do the crime, you do the time. But what about if you don’t do the crime, can you still do time? And what exactly would that time be for? The fact is that simply planning to commit a crime can very well be a crime, but there’s got to be a bit more than just an idea, or fully fleshed out plan in some scenarios, before merely planning a crime will be a crime.

Depending on the criminal laws in each state, federal law, and, most importantly, whether a prosecutor can prove the intent to actually commit the crime, planning a crime may not be an offense at all. Generally, if it is charged, it will either be an attempt charge, or as part of a conspiracy charge.