Law & Order

Law & Order
8:39 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

What Might Future Florida Human Trafficking Legislation Look Like For 2015?

The logo for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:26 am

Florida is ranked number three in the U.S. for the number of calls received at the nation’s human trafficking hotline. To curb that trend, state and local officials have worked with lawmakers over the years to put new laws in place. And, a newly-formed council is hatching plans to build on the state’s past progress and propose new legislation for next year.

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Law & Order
5:07 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Sarasota Police to Acquire Body Cameras

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:26 pm

The Sarasota City Commission said the Sarasota Police Department can buy body cameras for its officers on Monday.

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Law & Order
4:58 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Bondi Hopes To Build On Past Efforts With Newly-Formed Human Trafficking Council

Attorney General Pam Bondi during the first meeting of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Monday. She's holding up the panel's new logo.

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Attorney General Pam Bondi hopes to build on past anti-trafficking efforts with her new Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. She led the panel’s first meeting Monday in Tallahassee.

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Florida is ranked third in the nation for the number of calls received by the center’s human trafficking hotline.

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Law & Order
6:29 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Giving Dozier Victims Their Names Back

A poster with a picture of a young George Owen Smith playing the harmonica.
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

Ovell Krell was only 12 years old when her brother died -- but what she remembers most about him was his musical ability.

"He could walk into a music store and pick up any instrument they've ever made and within two minutes, he could play it," she said.

Mark Schreiner's report on USF anthropologists' efforts to identify the remains of students buried on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys.

George Owen Smith, 14, tried to teach his sister how to play music, but those lessons stopped in 1940 when he was sentenced to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys after being caught in a stolen car with a 19-year-old friend.

Shortly after arriving at the reform school in Marianna, Fla., Smith reportedly escaped, but was found dead several months later under a house two miles away.

"Though the family told authorities to hold his remains at a local funeral, as they made their way on the long journey from Auburndale in a borrowed car, they arrived to be shown a mound of dirt by a superintendent who said that they had just buried him in an unmarked burial ground," according to University of South Florida associate professor of anthropology Erin Kimmerle.

That superintendent promised that a name plaque would be placed on Smith's grave -- a promise that was never met. Because of the mysterious circumstances of his death and the nature of his burial, Smith's mother refused to believe her son was indeed dead. That led Krell to make her parents a promise.

"I was searching for him, not only out of my love, but for a vow that I had made my mother and father on their deathbeds that I would find my brother if it was in my power, I would look till I died," Krell said.

Now, Krell has found her answer, thanks to a team of USF researchers.

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Law & Order
11:31 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Mother of Bullied Polk Girl Files Lawsuit

Rebecca Sedwick killed herself last year allegedly in response to bullying by a pair of classmates. Sedwick's mother filed a lawsuit against the Polk County School District and one of those classmates Monday.
Credit wlrn.org

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who authorities say jumped to her death because she was bullied is suing the Polk County School Board, a construction materials company and a teenager accused of stalking her daughter.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Polk County.

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Law & Order
3:43 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

Credit Associated Press

Eight U.S senators including Florida's Marco Rubio introduced legislation Wednesday they say will iprove the way colleges handle sexual violence.

Rubio said he is troubled by how many students experience sexual violence on campus.

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Law & Order
2:39 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Girl Hit By Plane on Beach Dies

Ommy and Oceana Irizarry were killed when a plane made a crash landing on a Sarasota-area beach this past Sunday.
Credit Family photo / All Children's Hospital

A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a Gulf Coast beach near Sarasota while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Oceana Irizzary's father also was killed Sunday. The two, from Georgia, were walking along a beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon when the 1972 Piper Cherokee plane made an emergency landing after reporting problems.

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Law & Order
12:52 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Beach Plane Crash Kills Man Celebrating Anniversary

Emergency personnel attend to a small plane crash on Caspersen Beach in Venice Sunday that killed a man and seriously injured his daughter as the two walked on the sand.
Credit AP Photo/Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

Sometime Sunday morning, Ommy Irizarry posted a message on Facebook to mark his ninth wedding anniversary.

"I am very happy and can't wait to see what the next 100 have in store for us," he wrote, and tagged his wife, Rebecca, in the post.

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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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