CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

24/7 vigilance, a live-in lawyer and embracing activism: two months of claiming sanctuary in a Richmond church’s basement

BY: - September 4, 2018

A knock on the locked church doors prompts an unexpected line of interrogation from a congregation member inside: ‘”Who are you? Why are you here?” It’s hard to hear through the heavy glass and the tone is surprisingly tense for a sunny afternoon on a quiet street outside a house of worship. The door eventually […]

Attorney general says plan to arm teachers in Lee County is unlawful

BY: - August 28, 2018

Attorney General Mark Herring said in an opinion Tuesday that a plan approved last month by the Lee County School Board to arm teachers is unlawful. “For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity,” Herring said in a statement. In an effort to get […]

Judge issues injunction on posting plans for 3-D printing of guns, but they may still be online

BY: - August 27, 2018

Twenty-one attorneys general, including Virginia’s Mark Herring, won a preliminary injunction Monday against a company that wanted to distribute plans to print plastic guns from 3-D printers online. “The Trump administration’s reckless plan to make 3D-printed guns widely available and easily accessible was one of the most dangerous ideas I have ever heard,” Herring said […]

Watchdog group says more investigation needed at Staunton-area jail where immigrant teens alleged abuse

BY: - August 15, 2018

A watchdog group with federal investigative authority says it is continuing to probe allegations of abuse made by immigrant teens held in a juvenile jail outside of Staunton. A report released Monday by state officials failed to substantiate the claims. “Based on what we know so far, we believe further investigation may be needed,” said […]

Virginia review finds no evidence of abuse at center holding immigrant children

BY: - August 13, 2018

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice determined there is no evidence of abuse or neglect at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Augusta County, according to a report released Monday. Gov. Ralph Northam asked the state to look into the allegations in June after a federal class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of immigrant teens […]

Scenes from Charlottesville: 1,000 police officers, an anti-racist march and some minor scuffles

BY: - August 12, 2018

Downtown Charlottesville felt like the green zone of a war-torn city Saturday. More than a thousand local and state police officers barricaded 10 blocks of the city’s popular pedestrian district, the Downtown Mall, to prepare for the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist rally last year that left dozens injured and one dead. To enter, […]

Safety at public events is more important than freedom to tote weapons for Virginians, VCU survey finds

BY: - August 10, 2018

Most Virginians are willing to let law enforcement restrict weapons at public events to better ensure safety, according to a new survey by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Seventy-five percent of adults favor letting authorities remove objects from events if they could be used as weapons while 21 percent prefer […]

On Aug. 12 last year white supremacist groups entered Emancipation Park holding Nazi, Confederate, and Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flags. (Anthony Crider/Creative Commons)

Was last year’s rally in Charlottesville really protected speech? City may yet get an answer

BY: - August 10, 2018

The crowd hissed as a man with a full white beard and red MAGA hat approached the lectern to address Charlottesville City Council this week. He said he condemned the hateful views expressed last year, but urged tolerance of opposing viewpoints, which he said people should be able to share without fear of violence or […]

Virginia’s senators pan Trump’s interference in new FBI headquarters project

BY: - July 30, 2018

For five years, the federal government has been planning for a new FBI headquarters to replace the J. Edgar Hoover building on Pennsylvania Avenue. A location in Springfield was among three finalists for a new building to house all 11,000 Washington-area FBI employees, according to a statement Monday from U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark […]

Alternate universe Senate race, update on Unite the Right anniversary and Richmond’s attendance woes, among other headlines

BY: - July 23, 2018

A different result with ranked-choice voting? Could instant-runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, have installed Nick Freitas as the GOP Senate candidate instead of Corey Stewart? Marla McKenna at  The Culpeper Star-Exponent quotes Freitas as in favor of the method, calling it “a solid policy” and pledging to support legislation that would give Virginia voters that […]

Advocacy group will monitor Staunton detention center

BY: - July 20, 2018

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia will look for signs of abuse and neglect at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, the Staunton News Leader reports. Immigrant children being held at the facility have alleged they were “beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering concrete cells,” the […]

Fox-hunting pens shut down

BY: - July 18, 2018

Six fox-hunting pens have been shut down in Virginia following a two-year investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office. Nine people pleaded guilty to a range of charges, mostly misdemeanors but also a few felonies. “Fox penning can become unlawful when operators put illegal foxes and coyotes into a fenced-in area and allow dogs […]