CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

With the General Assembly set to convene for a special session next week, Virginia lawmakers are signaling strong support for legislation empowering local citizen review boards to investigate and in some cases discipline police officers accused of misconduct.“In my opinion civilian review boards must be the centerpiece of police...
WASHINGTON — The top official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Thursday defended the deployment of federal officers to counter protesters in Portland, Oregon, saying it was comparable to protecting the U.S. Capitol from attack.“That’s all we’re trying to do in Portland — protecting a federal facility, a...
Members of Virginia’s Parole Board repeatedly ignored state law and several of its own policies in its decision to grant parole to a man who had served 40 years of a life term, according to a report by the state Inspector General.In a scathing, six-page report released by Republican...
Senate Democrats unveiled police reform legislation Thursday they hope to adopt during a special session of the General Assembly later this month.Endorsed by the caucus’ 21-member majority, the 33-page bill proposes a range of new policies from the creation of statewide standards for police officers to a ban on...
A Wise County and City of Norton Circuit Court judge on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of Virginia’s 38-year-old uranium mining moratorium on the grounds that while the ban does deprive its owners of property rights, the state has a compelling interest to do so.“Even the highest rights cannot be...
After a night of destructive protests in Richmond involving a torched dump truck, shattered windows, chemical agents and several arrests, Mayor Levar Stoney made a surprising claim.White supremacists “marching under the banner of Black Lives Matter,” he said Sunday, had “spearheaded” the violence.“Last night shows that the real hate...
A company that manages about 1,700 of apartments in Northern Virginia has agreed to stop automatically rejecting any applicant with a criminal conviction no matter how old or minor -- a policy that fair-housing advocates said discriminated against Black and Latino renters.As a result of a lawsuit filed by...
A new bill passed by the Virginia General Assembly this year aimed to add transparency to the state’s execution process by declassifying the sources of its lethal injection drugs.But the Virginia Department of Corrections recently denied a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Mercury for the names...
The White state trooper leaned into the Black driver’s car. “You are going to get your ass whooped,” he said before pulling the man from the car and making good on his promise.Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle offered a swift condemnation of the behavior when video of the...
Picture this scenario: A local police officer is accused of getting overly aggressive during an arrest, seriously injuring someone in the process. The chief of police and other supervising officials review the case. They decide to fire the officer. The officer shrugs, packs his bags, and simply moves to another...