Law & Order

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida’s Sarasota Chapter sued the city and its police department recently. The suit is on behalf of six homeless men. It alleges local ordinances discriminate against the homeless.

The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, according to internal figures obtained by The Associated Press as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called Obama's deportation policies too harsh.

Scott, Cabinet Start Talks on Dozier Site Future

Sep 29, 2015
Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet began discussions Tuesday on the future of the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, a former state-run reform school where children are alleged to have been abused and died.

However, no decisions were made as the state officials agreed to await a final report expected in January from University of South Florida researchers, who excavated the 1,400-acre site about 70 miles west of Tallahassee and continue to try identify remains.

Some Florida lawmakers are hoping to revive an effort that could change the role of State Attorneys prosecuting a “Stand Your Ground” case. And, some prosecutors are also against another bill giving judges more discretion in handing out mandatory 10-20-Life sentences.

Quincy J. Walters / WUSF News

The Department of Justice is investigating the Tampa Police Department for issuing thousands of tickets to bicyclists for minor infractions. About 80 percent of those cited are black. 

In response, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn created a citizen's review board to determined if incidents involving the police department were handled justly.

But some people are not satisfied with the mayor's approach. 

Champion family photo

Florida A&M University reached a $1.1 million settlement Friday with the family of a drum major who died after being hazed by fellow band members.

The university agreed to name the marching band's anti-hazing program after Robert Champion as well as place a memorial plaque dedicated to Champion on campus under the terms of the agreement reached with Champion's parents, according to settlement documents. Of the $1.1 million, $800,000 will be paid by an insurance company and $300,000 will be paid by the state Department of Financial Services.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has already processed thousands of concealed weapon license applications for active military members and veterans.

It'll be back in black for any Florida judge who wore a robe of a different color.

Quincy J. Walters / WUSF News

In 1994, Kellie Greene was the victim of a rape. Three years later, thanks to DNA evidence, police found the perpetrator who was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

In June of 2013, Robert Stephens of Tampa received a phone call from his sister. She told him that an uncle they had never met had died at the Dozier School for Boys in 1937 under mysterious circumstances.

She added that University of South Florida researchers wanted Stephens to submit a DNA sample to see if they could identify his 15-year-old uncle as one of the bodies believed to be buried in an unmarked graveyard on the now closed reform school’s grounds.

The Tampa Police Department is under federal scrutiny for the number of times officers have pulled over black bicyclists. Here's the transcript of the story that aired on National Public Radio:

When Tampa was announced as the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention, law enforcement expected thousands of protestors to arrive with it.

The Tampa Bay Times recently reported part of law enforcement’s preparation included undercover officers infiltrating protest groups and working their way up into leadership roles.

Staff writer Richard Danielson wrote that story for the Times.  Danielson spoke with WGCU about how he found out about the story and what he learned about the operation.  

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida's investigation of the Dozier School for Boys is reaching a critical point, but developments continue to give researchers greater insight into what happened at the troubled reform school.

MGN Online

Two Republican lawmakers Monday filed proposals that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses, setting the stage for a renewed debate about the controversial issue.

Senate Criminal Justice Chairman Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed the bills (SB 68 and HB 4001) for lawmakers to consider during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.

Scott Gets Final Decision on Fine for Lt. Gov.

Jul 26, 2015

Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has described her exit from office more than two years ago as a "knee jerk reaction" by Gov. Rick Scott.

Now, Scott will get the final say in Carroll having to pay a $1,000 fine to resolve allegations she did not properly report income from consulting work that led to her sudden resignation.

The state Commission on Ethics on Friday unanimously, and without comment, agreed to support the fine as part of an agreement with Carroll.

Yoselis Ramos

A couple dozen protesters chanted their slogans at the St. Petersburg City Hall Thursday morning, in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.  Among the protestors was Sade Reed, a Certified Nursing Assistant and she's a single mother to her 5 year old daughter. She said she lives paycheck to paycheck. 

"What I do is very important and I enjoy what I do," she said, "So I take care of your family, why can't I take care of mine?"


Three mayors from Hillsborough County cities are joining forces with several county commissioners and the chairman of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) to discuss a possible sales tax increase. Part of a plan called the GO Hillsborough initiative would increase the county sales tax by a half cent, with a majority of that money going towards road maintenance and improvements. 

Wiki Commons

Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously voted on Wednesday to bring down the confederate flag display at the County Center in Tampa. 

Commissioner Les Miller, the only black commissioner on the board, proposed a motion to take down the flag. Commissioner Stacy White provided a counter argument and wanted to leave the issue up to a referendum for voters to decide.


 The Ybor City campus of Hillsborough Community College will have special guests this evening. Tonight, the Federal Department of Justice’s C.O.P.S. Office, or Community Oriented Policing Services, will be holding a community listening session to listen to people concerned about the Tampa Police Department’s bike policing strategies.

Brendan Fitterer / AP Photo/Pool, Tampa Bay Times

A judge has recused himself from the trial of a former Tampa police captain accused of fatally shooting a man during an argument over texting in a Pasco County movie theater.

Pasco Circuit Court Judge Pat Siracusa filed the order Tuesday. Circuit Judge Susan Barthle is now assigned to the case.

Siracusa issued a notice of removing himself after a hearing last week in which he appeared aggravated over repeated delays.