CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

New poll finds support for gun control in Republican-led districts

BY: - June 14, 2019

 A new poll conducted by a gun control group in Republican-held Virginia legislative districts found that “voters from all persuasions are widely in support of common-sense gun reforms,” including those Democrats will push during a special session to address gun violence next month. Public Policy Polling, of Raleigh, N.C., on behalf of Brady United, a […]

COMMENTARY

Let’s honor Virginia Beach with action

BY: - June 12, 2019

By Kris Brown Once again, our state is reeling from the epidemic of gun violence. Twelve years after 32 people were shot and killed at my alma mater, Virginia Tech. Nine years after eight were shot and killed in Appomattox. Four years after Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot and killed on camera in […]

COMMENTARY

There’s a way past gun gridlock

BY: - June 9, 2019

The smart money is on a fruitless stalemate during the special session Gov. Ralph Northam has called on gun violence in the wake of the shooting that killed 12 in a municipal building in Virginia Beach. Republican leaders, who cling to narrow majorities in the House of Delegates and Senate, say they have no intention […]

Q&A: After Virginia Tech, survivors advocated for tighter gun laws. Instead they’ve gotten looser

BY: - June 7, 2019

After the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, survivors and their families spent years advocating to reform and tighten the state’s gun laws. Their efforts gained little traction in the General Assembly, which has instead loosened restrictions, repealing a 1993 law that limited handgun purchases to one a month. It’s a dynamic that former Richmond […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s largest city joins an ever-expanding, grisly list

BY: - June 2, 2019

Virginia Beach, with its 450,000 people, typically boasts of its stellar public schools, miles-long sandy Oceanfront, high median household income and the Navy’s East Coast master jet base. Native son and entertainer Pharrell Williams put the place on the global map just a few weeks ago, when he hosted a jam-packed, widely lauded festival. This […]

State office buildings ban guns, but Va. law blocks local governments from restricting weapons

BY: - June 1, 2019

A mass shooting at a city office building in Virginia Beach has at least one local government official in Virginia renewing calls for legislation allowing localities to ban guns from municipal buildings. “We must be able to secure our city buildings,” tweeted Richmond Councilman Michael Jones. While all state office buildings prohibit guns and the […]

Municipal building mass shooting is ‘most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach’

BY: - June 1, 2019

A dozen people were killed and at least four more were injured at Virginia Beach’s public works building  Friday afternoon by a longtime employee armed with a handgun equipped with a sound suppressor, The Virginian-Pilot and other news outlets reported. Police have not named the gunman, who carried several extended magazines, the Virginia Beach police […]

COMMENTARY

Amid tech advances, say ‘yes’ to due process

BY: - May 22, 2019

Police in the Big Apple use every technique at their disposal – including DNA – to solve horrendous crimes in the nation’s largest city. Even when New York’s cops play fast-and-loose with the constitutional rights of residents. Even when they conduct large “fishing expeditions” that lead to legitimate allegations of racially biased policing. In this […]

Do minimum sentences protect victims of domestic violence?

BY: - May 16, 2019

Around the same time that Gov. Ralph Northam dedicated the month of May to conversations about criminal justice reform, he vetoed a bill that would have required minimum sentencing for people charged with domestic violence crimes for the second time. Dels. Kathleen Murphy, D-Fairfax, and Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, co-sponsored a bill that would have required 60 […]

COMMENTARY

It’s not too late to change our shameful collective impotence on mass shootings

BY: - May 14, 2019

Call it a classic case of the grass always being greener. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by beaches and palm trees — even lucky enough every so often to see an escapee from the nearby Parrot Jungle at our bird feeder or roosting in our ficus tree — I dreamed sometimes of being somewhere else. […]

Va.’s top judge wants to end long waits for justice over holiday weekends

BY: - May 7, 2019

Someone arrested the day before Thanksgiving could be looking at a five-night stay in jail before getting a chance to go before a local judge for a bail hearing, and Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice Donald Lemons says that delay has never felt right to him. “It seems to me that it’s not proper […]

State aims to reduce transportation trauma for involuntary mental health detentions

BY: - May 7, 2019

When someone in Virginia has a mental health crisis and a magistrate issues a temporary detention order to involuntarily hold them for treatment, law enforcement must take them to an available hospital bed. So the patient is put in the back of a police vehicle, often handcuffed even though the vast majority have not committed […]