crime

A Hate Crime Haunts Jupiter And Its Latino Community

Jul 13, 2015
Maria Murriel / WLRN

JUPITER, FLA. -- Onesimo Lopez-Ramos immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala -- one of the most violent countries in the western hemisphere. But even living in the quiet town of Jupiter, Fla., at the northern end of Palm Beach County, he couldn't escape lethal brutality.

The 18-year-old Lopez-Ramos was killed this past April, allegedly by three young white men who said they were targeting immigrants -- or "Guat-hunting" as one of them told police afterward in a disturbing confession.

Miami Herald

Four male students are accused of raping a mentally disabled girl in a janitor's closet at North Miami Senior High earlier this year. The cases are making it through the legal system, but it turns out there may have been another rape at the school months earlier. 

The students accused — Kenoldo Alexis, Derek Bynum, Steven Joseph and David Lombard — are between 15 and 18 years old. Court records say the four slipped into the closet with the girl and gang-raped her. 

The Miami Herald's Christina Veiga covered the story. Hear an interview with her below.

Jezebel / Giphy

Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, could soon follow Miami-Dade's lead in allowing civil citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The measure would allow police officers discretion on whether to arrest someone on a misdemeanor charge or give them a civil citation, which can result in a fine. The Miami-Dade ordinance, which was approved last month, applies to possession of 20 grams of pot or less.

Pot Possession Will Now Be Fined In Miami-Dade County

Jun 30, 2015
Wikipedia Commons

The Miami-Dade County commission voted Tuesday to allow civil penalties for certain misdemeanors, including possession of drug paraphernalia and up to 20 grams of marijuana.

Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald reports: 

Miami-Dade commissioners voted Tuesday to let police treat marijuana possession the same way they do littering and loitering — issuing a civil citation with a $100 fine that keeps the offense out of the criminal system.

Between the two, the Village of Bal Harbour and Glades County don't even have 16,000 residents. And yet, from 2009 to 2012, the Bal Harbour Police Department and the Glades County Sheriff's Office were behind an international, undercover money laundering sting operation that handled more than $55 million for drug cartels and other criminal organizations.

The state of Florida hadn't seen an operation of this magnitude in years.

Craigslist

A 23-year-old Miami man faces three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge after Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives say he offered to sell "medicinal high grade top shelf" marijuana on Craigslist.

Keys detectives saw the listing on the online classifieds website. The post also included "a picture of a green leafy substance that appeared to be cannabis," according to Deputy Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe Sheriff's Office.

FBI Files

In the early 20th century, kidnappings were a scourge on the nation.

The Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping of 1932 epitomized a time of widespread fear -- the taking of the famous aviator's son resulted in the FBI's involvement, and later the Federal Kidnapping Act, granting the Bureau jurisdiction in these cases.

Instagram

 

A well-known Miami anti-violence activist is suddenly dealing with her own tragedy.

Tangela Sears' son, David Queen, 29, was fatally shot after an argument at his apartment complex in Tallahassee two weeks ago. A suspect has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Queen was a Miami native. Sears is now trying to make sense of losing her only child to gun violence, the very thing she’s been fighting here for over a decade.

 

Luigi Caterino / Flickr Creative Commons

 

According to an FBI report released this week, almost all of the FBI’s experts who conducted microscopic hair analysis gave flawed testimony in criminal trials.

The error-filled testimony went on for more than two decades since 2000, according to the report, which is the largest post-conviction review in the history of the FBI.

The hair analysis was scientifically flawed, and in most cases bolstered prosecutors' cases against defendants, the report found. 

Miami Herald

  The Supreme Court will examine Florida's capital punishment system in its next term, and legal experts believe Florida's death penalty itself may be in danger.

A solution could be in a legislative fix now moving slowly through the Capitol in Tallahassee. It's been passed by one Senate committee but the House is showing little interest in the companion bill.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Boston Public Library (https://flic.kr/p/dm18Ao)

The Florida Supreme Court has reached a groundbreaking decision about inmates who were sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes they committed while they were still kids.

The decision makes 2012's Miller v. Alabama apply retroactively. It was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled mandatory life sentences without the opportunity for release were cruel and unusual.

For the past three years, 201 Florida inmates have been in a kind of limbo. They're inmates who were sentenced to life in prison without parole as juveniles before the Miller ruling.

Florida Roundup: Sensitivity In Classrooms

Mar 19, 2015
Schplook / Flickr/Creative Commons

    

  On the Florida Roundup, we talk to the area's journalists about the week's top stories.

2011 Memorial Day Weekend Shooting

When State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda went to college, she brought a gun with her. She didn't think she'd need it.

Police Will Face No Charges In 2011 Memorial Day Shooting On Miami Beach

Mar 18, 2015
YOUTUBE USER SHAWN DON

  Prosecutors will not charge the police officers who killed a motorist on South Beach in a hail of bullets after a chaotic chase during Memorial Day weekend four years ago.

In a long-awaited ruling on the controversial incident, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office officially ruled Tuesday that the 12 officers were “legally justified” in killing Raymond Herisse after he plowed into several cars and nearly ran over several bicycle cops. Police bullets — over 100 were fired in all — also wounded four bystanders.

Nadege Green / WLRN

The City of Miami voted today to pay nearly $1 million to the estate of an unarmed man who was shot and killed by a Miami police officer.

Miami Officer Reynaldo Goyos killed Travis McNeil, 28, during a traffic stop in Little Haiti four years ago.

During an internal affairs interview about the shooting, Goyos said that during the traffic stop McNeil reached toward his waistband area.

“At that time I said 'don’t do it,' gave him a loud verbal command: 'Don’t do it.' And at that time I saw a black object coming up,” he said in the interview.

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