Law & Order

Law & Order
1:51 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

FSU Addresses Campus Safety Amid Federal Probe

Florida State University is hiring a Title IX director and two sexual violence prevention coordinators before the fall term starts in five weeks.

Interim President Garnett Stokes tells the Tallahassee Democrat  that the university is not waiting for a federal investigation to conclude before addressing campus safety and sexual assaults.

Stokes says the university has formed several committees to assess its response to sexual violence complaints and is preparing to make changes.

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Law & Order
3:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Citizens, Tampa Law Firm Reach Sinkhole Agreement

Credit Bruce Ackerman / AP

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and a Tampa-based law firm have reached an agreement that could help resolve about 300 sinkhole claims, the state-backed insurer announced Thursday.

Under the agreement, clients of the Thompson Trial Group P.A. will receive settlement offers that include a plan for making repairs to homes damaged by sinkholes.

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Law & Order
4:32 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Florida's Sexual Violence on Campus Report

Demonstrators protest sexual assault on college campuses at the #YesAllWomen rally in solidarity with those affected by violence in Seattle on May 30, 2014.
Credit Alex Garland —Demotix/Corbis

Every year colleges and universities that receive federal financial aid must file a report of all crimes committed on campus to the Department of Education.

Based on the Department of Education figures, the University of Florida (UF), the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of South Florida (USF) are the  universities in the state with the highest numbers of sexual assaults reported.

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Law & Order
10:15 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Bail Granted to Pasco Movie Theater Shooting Suspect

Curtis Reeves at his arraignment

A former Florida police captain charged in a fatal movie theater shooting has been released from jail.

Pasco County Judge Pat Siracusa set 71-year-old Curtis Reeves Jr.'s bail at $150,000 on Friday.

He said Reeves must remain at home except to go to church, the doctor's office or the grocery store. He also must surrender firearms.

Local news media reported that he was released Friday evening.

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Law & Order
12:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Man Executed for 1994 Rape, Murder of Lakeland Girl

Eddie Wayne Davis was executed by lethal injection Thursday for kidnapping, raping, and murdering his ex-girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter in Polk County in 1994.
Credit Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement

Florida prison officials on Thursday executed a man convicted of the 1994 rape and slaying of an 11-year-old girl in Polk County. It was the state's seventh execution this year.

Eddie Wayne Davis was executed by injection at Florida State Prison at 6:43 p.m.

Davis, draped in a white sheet and strapped to a table with his hands covered in white material, declined to say any final words before his sentence was carried out.

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Law & Order
2:00 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Florida Supreme Court Rejects Polk Co. Execution Appeal

Eddie Wayne Davis is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Thursday for kidnapping, raping, and murdering his ex-girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter in Polk County in 1994.
Credit Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement

The Florida Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a death row inmate who contends drugs used in an execution could cause him pain.

Eddie Wayne Davis is scheduled to die Thursday by lethal injection for the 1994 murder of 11-year-old Kimberly Waters. Davis was convicted of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s Polk County home and kidnapping, raping and murdering Kimberly.

The court last month ordered a circuit court to hold a hearing on whether it would be unconstitutional to use midazolam hydrochloride on Davis.

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Law & Order
11:44 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Family of Beaten Tampa Teen Speaks

Hassan Shibly, the Executive Director at Florida's Council on American-Islamic Relations, spoke along with Abu Khdeir's friend, uncle and two of his aunts.
Credit Tessa Wiseman / WUSF

During a protest in Jerusalem last Thursday, fifteen-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abu Kdheir was beaten and detained by Israeli police. Abu Kdheir remains under house arrest in East Jerusalem in the home of a relative.

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Law & Order
3:46 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Experts Caution Against Celebratory Gunfire

Credit Open Society Foundation /

When celebrating Independence Day, experts say you should keep guns off the list.

There will be lots of fireworks being shot into the sky on the Fourth of July, but law enforcement officers urge that celebratory gunfire should stay out of the mix.

"It only takes one gun and one bullet to kill someone," said Detective Larry McKinnon, the public information officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He said that what the celebratory shooters are lacking is foresight.

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Law & Order
1:11 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Zimmerman's Lawsuit Against NBC Dismissed

A Florida judge on Monday dismissed the defamation lawsuit filed by George Zimmerman against NBC and three reporters, saying the former neighborhood watch leader failed to show the network acted with malice.

Judge Debra Nelson said the malice standard was appropriate because Zimmerman became a public figure after he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford in February 2012, generating a national conversation about race and self-defense laws.

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Law & Order
11:07 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Al-Arian Charges Dropped

File photo of former USF professor Sami Al-Arian, who had all charges against him dropped by federal prosecutors Friday.
Credit Associated Press

Federal prosecutors on Friday dropped all charges against former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, whose criminal contempt case had sat in limbo for five years in front of a skeptical judge.

Al-Arian had been a target of the Justice Department for more than a decade. He was initially charged with playing a leadership role in the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He ended up taking a plea bargain on greatly reduced charges after a jury failed to convict him following a lengthy trial.

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Law & Order
12:54 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Autopsy: Campbell Drunk When Wife, Children Killed

Black smoke comes from the home owned by former tennis star James Blake on May 7. Darrin Campbell, who was renting the home, apparently shot his wife and children and set the mansion on fire before killing himself.
Credit AP Photo/Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

An autopsy shows that a man was intoxicated when he shot his wife and children and set their house on fire before killing himself in a $1.6 million Tampa home belonging to retired tennis player James Blake.

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Law & Order
11:28 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Tampa Police Take Training to the Florida Holocaust Museum

Officers of the Tampa Police Department participated in human rights training at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Pete.

It all started when Charles Ramsey, a Washington D.C. police chief, was touring the Holocaust Museum and found himself struck by the involvement of law enforcement in the genocide. Many participated in the killings, while others risked their lives to stop it.

Ramsey helped develop Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust, a course for officers to emphasize their responsibility to uphold human rights in society which Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor attended. She then decided to bring it to her officers back home.

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Law & Order
9:27 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Senator Wants DCF Reporting Investigation

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat, chairs the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

As the Florida Department of Children and Families rolls out a new website to publicly track child deaths, the sponsor of a new law aimed at reducing those deaths is calling for an independent investigation into whether the department has been open about recent fatalities.

"Sweeping child deaths under the rug will only serve to perpetuate a culture of cover-up and corruption," warned state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, the Hollywood Democrat who chairs the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, in a statement Tuesday. "Hiding the deaths should never be a solution."

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Law & Order
8:51 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Part of Zimmerman Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

Pool photo of George Zimmerman during his June 2013 trial for shooting Trayvon Martin.
Credit Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel/Pool

Part of a lawsuit against NBC Universal that claims the television network defamed George Zimmerman in a 2012 broadcast was thrown out by a Florida judge Thursday, putting the entire litigation in jeopardy.

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Law & Order
2:34 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Welfare Drug-Testing Plan Targeted

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in Atlanta
Credit U.S. General Services Administration

Following earlier legal victories, the American Civil Liberties of Union of Florida and other groups asked a federal appeals court this week to find that Gov. Rick Scott's attempts to require drug testing for public-assistance recipients is unconstitutional. 

Attorneys for the groups filed a brief Monday asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a district judge's ruling in December that Scott's program would violate 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. 

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