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Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor spoke at a forum of high school students and school board members in Tampa Monday. He told the students to keep on demonstrating for gun control -- but be prepared if little happens.

Pasco Sheriff's Office

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco announced the appointment of  appointment of General Counsel Lindsay Moore as their first constitutional policing advisor.

 

Nocco said Moore and Capt.Eric Seltzer will work with the State Attorney’s Office in an effort to make sure that agency members are abiding by the law and Constitution.

 

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County Schools face a massive budget deficit in the wake of new legislation spurred by the Parkland shooting.

The law requires school safety officers to be assigned to every public school in Florida.

Mike Halterman (Wikimedia Commons)

A Tampa police officer has been shot and wounded while serving an arrest warrant at the home of a man facing charges for making violent threats to his family.

Nikolas Cruz was back in a Broward County courtroom Wednesday in front of Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer. 

With his head down, Cruz sat silent throughout his appearance.

He was indicted by a grand jury last week on 17 charges of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 charges of attempted first-degree murder. Cruz's legal team told the judge that he didn't need to hear his charges read aloud because he already understood them. 

Only 15-year-old victim Luke Hoyer's name was read out loud in the courtroom. 

Catherine Welch/WMFE

A jury has been chosen in the trial of the widow of the man who shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Florida.

Tampa Police Department/Twitter

Amid tension between residents and the Tampa Police Department, including furor over the disproportionate ticketing of African-American bicyclists in 2015, the Citizens Review Board was created to build trust and foster transparency.

Nearly three years after the 11-member board met for the first time, they're still trying to be keep that channel open.

Confessed-Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz has been officially indicted by a Florida grand jury, the Broward State Attorney’s office announced in a statement Wednesday.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

A 14-year-old girl has been arrested on a felony charge after allegedly writing a threatening message on a bathroom wall at her middle school. Nearly half the students stayed home on Friday after the message appeared and a picture of a boy with a gun circulated on social media.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott outlined his recently unveiled safety plan at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Wednesday. The proposed $500 million plan calls for new laws that keep guns from mentally ill people and improve school safety, among other measures.

The move comes in response to the school shooting in Parkland two weeks ago that killed 17 people. 

While lawmakers and activists in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., furiously debate gun control, deputies in Broward County will be adding firepower to deal with the threat of school shooters, effective immediatelty.

Broward’s top cop on Wednesday said that deputies assigned to school campuses will now be allowed to carry rifles on school grounds.

“Rifles from this point forward,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, adding: “We need to be able to defeat any threat on campus.”

A group of law enforcement officials from across the state is looking into putting prevention methods in place to avoid another mass school shooting.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A bill allowing certain Florida officials to make announced and unannounced visits to the state’s juvenile justice facilities is now heading to the House floor.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

A vigil and rally against gun violence was held in St. Petersburg's Williams Park Saturday night in response to the mass shooting in Broward County.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

President Trump is speaking for the first time about the shooting at a high school in South Florida that left at least 17 people dead. Watch here for a live feed of the President's remarks.

WUSF and NPR will be having continuing coverage here and on WUSF 89.7

A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County Wednesday afternoon has resulted in 17 deaths. This is the 18th school shooting in the United States this year, and it happened in what the National Council for Home Safety and Security called the safest city in Florida last year.


Florida Sheriff's Association

You never know who you're talking to on social media today. What may be surprising is who some of these online impersonators choose to be.

One internet scammer’s attempt to impersonate Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco was extinguished after a tip was sent to the Sheriff's office.

Courtesy Florida Forest Service

Forestry officials say a suspected serial arsonist may be behind dozens of wildfires in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Already, the Florida Supreme Court has rejected more than three dozen appeals involving death row inmates, who received their sentences before 2002 and did not require unanimous juries. A panel of Florida lawmakers is now trying again to make a fix to that part of the state’s death penalty process.

If Florida lawmakers don’t do anything policy wise soon, the state’s prison population could increase. That’s according to a report commissioned by the Florida Senate to promote the need for prison reform.

Florida lawmakers are working to create a centralized location for criminal justice data statewide.

A new report paid for and released by the Florida Senate finds that while the state is sending fewer people to prison than in the past, those who end up behind bars are staying there for a longer time.

The study from the Crime and Justice Institute based in Boston says there are nearly 100,000 inmates housed in Florida prisons, and the per capita incarceration rate in the state is more than 20 percent higher than the national average.

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

About $5 million separates the Florida House and Senate’s criminal justice budget. But, while there are some differences, there are areas where both chambers agree.

Children removed from their parents due to alleged abuse or neglect would have the right to have a lawyer under a measure before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Some worry that could do more harm than good.

An autopsy is being performed on 29-year-old man who died in a Pinellas County jail.

Axion23 (Wikimedia Commons)

The owner of a $300,000 Ferrari is suing Marriott International, saying a hotel valet gave his keys to a young man who was trying to impress a woman he just met.

When a family loses a loved one, Lori Hadley-Davis walks them through the delicate and detailed process of preparing for the funeral.

Will the family choose a burial or cremation? What about flowers or a poem for the  funeral program? And when the deceased was killed by gun violence, it usually prompts an unasked question: “Do we need the police there?”

Hadley-Davis, a mortician and owner of  Hadley Davis Funeral homes, says for nearly all of the funerals she’s planned for homicide victims in recent years, that answer is yes.  

State Attorney Andrew Warren has decided he will seek the death penalty for the man accused of murdering four people in Seminole Heights.

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