Law & Order

Law & Order
12:24 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

St. Pete Water Main Break Damages Building, Closes Central Avenue

The large hole at 670 Central Avenue has damaged a business and has closed traffic on Central Avenue.
St. Petersburg Police

A water main break in St. Petersburg caused the partial collapse of a downtown building Thursday morning, Bay News 9 reported.

The break in the 12-inch transmission line was noticed about 10 p.m. Wednesday night when water flooded streets near the building on Central Avenue, said Steve Lawrence, St. Pete Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Marshall.

Crews worked throughout the night worked to excavate soil down to the leak itself, but water wasn’t shut off immediately to prevent contamination to the water supply from dirt and debris, according to Bay News 9.

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Law & Order
1:45 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Nelson Asks Feds to Investigate Dozier

USF Asst. Prof. Erin Kimmerle and Sen. Bill Nelson address reporters at the Dozier School for Boys site in Marianna March 2013.
Credit Katy Hennig / USF News

Florida Senator Bill Nelson has asked the Department of Justice - and not Florida law enforcement officials - to open an investigation into the Dozier School for Boys.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing at the now closed Marianna reform school, despite decades of allegations of abuse of students by school officials.

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Law & Order
1:34 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

3 Students Injured in Shooting at Bethune-Cookman University

Bethune-Cookman University logo
Credit Bethune-Cookman University

Authorities say three students were shot during an altercation at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, and law enforcement are still looking for two suspects.

The students were taken to hospitals after the Monday night shooting.

Daytona Beach police spokesman Jimmie Flynt says their injuries don't appear to be life threatening.

Two men were taken into police custody after the shooting, but were released after questioning. Police say the search for the shooters is continuing.

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Law & Order
3:22 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Tampa Police Chief Testifies On Police Safety

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor
Credit Photo Courtesy of City of Tampa

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor testified to an executive task force Monday morning in Washington, D.C. about ways to strengthen relationships with the community and keep police officers safe.

The task force was established in 2014 by President Barack Obama following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The panel focused Monday's discussion on officer safety and wellness.

Castor emphasized the importance of engaging with the community to combat crime while building relationships.

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Law & Order
2:30 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Divers Find Apryl Foster's Car

Apryl Foster
Credit Tampa Police Department

UPDATED POST 2/23 2:30 P.M.:
Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials announced that the body discovered in the lake Sunday has been positively identified as Apryl Foster.

They said she was identified through fingerprints.

No other new information is known at this time.

ORIGINAL POST 2/22 7 P.M.:
Late Sunday afternoon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office divers recovered the car of Apryl Foster.

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Law & Order
11:35 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Florida Legislators Introduce Campus Carry Bills Despite Opposition

Landis Green from the steps of Strozier Library.

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:01 pm

Despite broad opposition on Florida’s campuses, state lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to allow guns at universities.  Three months ago today, there was a shooting at Florida State University, and this week the controversial measure began its path through the Senate.

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Law & Order
11:31 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Voting Rights Groups Want Constitutional Amendment To Make Voting Easier For Felons

It's estimated that more than 1.5 million Floridians can't vote because of their criminal pasts.

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:59 am

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Law & Order
2:27 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Two More Wrong-Way Drivers Arrested

Gener Espino (l) and Cornelius Watson were arrested after allegedly nearly hitting local law enforcement officers while driving the wrong-way, drunk, in separate incidents over the weekend.
Credit Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Two drivers accused of driving drunk were arrested over the weekend in Hillsborough County after nearly causing head-on collisions with law enforcement officers.

In the first incident around 4 a.m. Saturday, University of South Florida Police Officer Scott Parker avoided a collision on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard at Orient Road.

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Law & Order
9:03 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Putnam Asks FDLE for Further Dozier Investigation

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
Credit State of Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is asking the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to evaluate new findings in the history of students at the former Arthur G. Dozier school for boys.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Putnam — who is one of three members of the Florida Cabinet — cited a recent report by researchers at the University of South Florida.

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Law & Order
5:02 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Court Upholds Ban On Openly Carrying Guns

  In what judges described as a first-of-its-kind case, an appeals court Wednesday upheld a Florida law that prevents people from openly carrying firearms, finding that the restriction does not violate constitutional rights to bear arms.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal stemmed from the 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce of Dale Norman, who was openly carrying a gun in a holster. A jury found Norman guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor charge, leading to the appeal on constitutional grounds.

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Law & Order
6:45 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Senate Committee Passes Campus Guns Bill On Party Lines

Despite strong campus opposition concealed carry is one step closer to Florida universities.

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 9:02 pm

A controversial measure to allow concealed weapons on university campuses passed on a close party-line vote in a senate committee Monday. 

Concealed carry licenses in Florida are limited.  Places like bars, courtrooms—even career centers are set aside as gun-free zones.  But Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) is taking aim at a different area: public universities. 

Evers invited Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) to introduce the bill, and during his presentation Evers holds up a sheet of paper for Steube to see.

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Law & Order
11:15 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Body Cameras Bill Passes First Senate Panel, Attempts To Address Privacy Concerns

Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) speaking before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Monday about the body cameras bill.

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 9:18 pm

A bill that previously mandated law enforcement wear body cameras, which passed its first Senate panel Monday, has a new change. It’s a measure that now allows law enforcement agencies to decide whether to use the cameras and puts forth standard guidelines.

The newest change to Sen. Chris Smith’s (D-Fort Lauderdale) bill—made Monday—is aimed at addressing residents’ privacy concerns.  

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Law & Order
11:05 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Omnibus Prison Reform Package Passes First Senate Panel, Will See More Changes

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 9:04 pm

A Senate panel unanimously passed an omnibus package aimed at reforming Florida’s troubled prison system Monday. It includes creating a nine-member oversight board that can do surprise inspections, convene public hearings, and conduct independent investigations of correctional facilities. That part is authored by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island).

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Law & Order
6:55 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Previously Controversial Gun Bill Passes First Senate Panel, Gets Fla. Sheriffs' Approval

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:31 am

A controversial gun bill is turning out to be not so controversial anymore, after it got the approval of its main opponent—the Florida Sheriffs Association—Monday.

Last year, the NRA-backed measure allowing people to carry guns without a license during a state mandatory evacuation failed, after the Florida Sheriffs criticized the bill for being too loose. This year, bill sponsor  Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is working to address that with a new change.

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Law & Order
11:52 am
Mon February 16, 2015

University System Takes Aim At Guns On Campus

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:38 pm

  Florida's university system wants state lawmakers to holster the idea of allowing guns on campus.

A joint statement from the university system's Board of Governors, university police chiefs and the 12 public universities expresses opposition to a legislative proposal (SB 176 and HB 4005) that would allow people with concealed-firearms licenses to carry guns at state colleges and universities.

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