National Roundup

North Carolina
Prosecutor says grand jury to review shooting

LILLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A prosecutor in eastern North Carolina will ask a grand jury to review the case of a sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a man last year.

Multiple media outlets report that Harnett County District Attorney Vernon Stewart said Tuesday that he’ll take the case of Deputy Nicholas Kehagias to the grand jury next month.

Thirty-three-year-old John Livingston was shot on the porch of his home Nov. 15.

Witnesses said Livingston refused to allow Kehagias to search the home without a warrant. Kehagias was looking for someone else as he investigated a nearby disturbance.

An argument became physical and Kehagias shot Livingston three times. He died before paramedics arrived.

Kehagias has been on administrative leave since the shooting. Defense attorney Parrish Daughtry would not talk about the case.

Virginia
NAACP calls for investigation into inmate’s death

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the death of a mentally ill jail inmate who died while waiting for a bed at a state mental hospital.

NAACP Portsmouth chapter President James Boyd says in a statement that the group is seeking an investigation to ensure that improvements are made after the death of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell.

The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1RkdLnp ) reports that Mitchell was arrested in April after authorities accused him of stealing snacks and a soda from a convenience store. He was found dead at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in August.

The Portsmouth General District Court told investigators it mailed a judge’s order to Williamsburg’s Eastern State Hospital in May that would have put Mitchell in the hospital’s care. Another copy of the order was faxed to the mental health
facility in July.

New Jersey
Police chief’s email defending profiling gets look

WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) — A police chief is taking a temporary leave while prosecutors investigate whether he told his officers that racial profiling, including checking out “suspicious black people in white neighborhoods,” has a place in policing.

Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy and acting Bergen County prosecutor Gurbir Grewal said in a statement Tuesday that their offices are investigating an email from Wyckoff police Chief Benjamin Fox.

“On its face, the email appears to be a clear violation of the Attorney General’s policy strictly prohibiting racial profiling by police officers,” they said in the statement. “We are conducting a full investigation and will take all appropriate measures.”

At an emergency township committee meeting Tuesday night, Fox asked to go on administrative leave while the investigation is pending, The Record newspaper reported. A statement from the town said that Fox will explain the email to investigators and “demonstrate that neither he nor our police department has ever condoned or engaged in profiling.”

The December 2014 email was released by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey on Tuesday. The group says it obtained it anonymously last week.

“Encouraging police officers to act with racial bias is unacceptable,” said Alexander Shalom, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU in New Jersey. “Sowing mistrust at this level damages civil rights, and it threatens public safety by diminishing the faith people have in the police.”

The email says that profiling has its place in law enforcement when used correctly and applied fairly. It says that officers should “check out suspicious black people in white neighborhoods” because “black gang members” from a nearby town commit burglaries in Wyckoff, a mostly white suburb, 30 miles west of New York.

The email says that New York police stop white kids in black neighborhoods there because “they know they are there to buy drugs.”

“It’s insane to think that the police should just ‘dumb down just to be politically correct,’” the email says. “The public wants us to keep them safe and I’m confident that they want us to use our skills and knowledge to attain that goal.”
The email says officers should continue to be fair to people and treat them with respect but should use “counter reaction as the law allows” if someone resists an authorized demand.


Minnesota
Man accused of lying over Islamic State contact

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man is accused of lying to the FBI about when he last contacted the Islamic State group.

The U.S. attorney’s office on Tuesday charged Abdul Raheem Habil Ali-Skelton with one count of making a false statement to FBI agents.

The charge says Ali-Skelton told the FBI last July that his last contact with Syrian-based members of the militant organization was in May or early June 2015. But prosecutors allege that Ali-Skelton knew he had been communicating with members of the Islamic State group as recently as July 4, 2015.

A home phone listing for Ali-Skelton could not be found. It’s unclear if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

New Jersey
Home health agency owner gets prison time in $7M fraud

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The owner of a home health agency is heading to prison for her role in a $7 million scheme to defraud Medicaid and engage in bribery, money laundering and tax evasion.

Sixty-two-year-old Irina Krutoyarsky was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to five years behind bars. The Springfield woman pleaded guilty last year to bribery, tax evasion and conspiracy counts.

Authorities say Krutoyarsky submitted false documents to state nursing officials, claiming prospective home health aides had attended and satisfactorily completed required training and testing. But authorities say she actually charged prospective home health aides hundreds of dollars for fraudulently obtaining their certifications.
Six women and the husband of one of the aides have pleaded guilty in the case.
 

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