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Category: Criminal Law

Attacking Store Workers for Enforcing Rules on Wearing Face Masks: Now a Felony in Illinois

Attacking Store Workers for Enforcing Rules on Wearing Face Masks: Now a Felony in Illinois

By E.A. Gjelten We’ve all seen the news: irate anti-maskers punching, shoving, or spitting on store employees or bus drivers who were trying to get them to cooperate with rules intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Of course, it’s already a crime in most states to do anything like this (or to attack anyone else, for that matter). Still, unless the worker is seriously injured as a result, it’s usually only a misdemeanor. But not in Illinois, thanks to…

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The Call to Defund the Police: What Does It Mean?

The Call to Defund the Police: What Does It Mean?

The death of George Floyd, a black gentleman killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, sparked frustration and outrage in communities all over the world. Protestors, communities, and families are demanding an end to brutality, misconduct, and racial profiling by the police. In the past, police reform efforts included implicit bias and de-escalation training for officers, mandatory body cameras, increased community outreach, and new use-of-force policies. But, for many, these efforts have failed—completely. And now people are demanding more than…

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Drones Remind Citizens to Maintain Social Distance

Drones Remind Citizens to Maintain Social Distance

If you think you hear a message from above—look up—it might be a police drone telling you to go home. Police Deploy Drones During COVID-19 Several police departments have deployed drones to provide automated reminders to the public to social distance and obey stay-at-home orders. Law enforcement departments in Connecticut, Florida, and New Jersey are sending out drones to monitor public parks, venues, and beaches. The drones warn social-distancing violators to maintain distance and, if necessary, the department can send…

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How Is the Coronavirus Impacting Court Cases?

How Is the Coronavirus Impacting Court Cases?

By Rebecca Pirius Courts throughout the country are trying to operate as effectively as they can in the massive wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With little (if any) historical guidance, courts face the extraordinary challenge of attempting to balance public health and safety with constitutional rights. The Judicial Council of California, which is the policy-making body for the state’s court system, recently reflected on this critical task: The continuous operation of our courts to provide due process and protect the…

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“Florida Woman,” and the Reality of Fake Lawyers

“Florida Woman,” and the Reality of Fake Lawyers

Sometimes I feel like a lecturing parent, telling people that before hiring a lawyer they should check references, ask lots of questions, and check the person’s state bar membership. That’s particularly true in the immigration law setting, where a vulnerable population and lack of oversight (or interest) from law enforcement has led to all manner of scams and ripoffs. But then a news report like this one recently out of Tampa comes along. (And further solidifies Florida’s status as the…

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