• A Livingston County, Mich., judge fined Colin Andersen $200 for using profanity in public. Andersen was ticketed for disorderly conduct by a Brighton police officer after he swore because cops were making him and several other teens leave a pavilion parking lot because one of them was skateboarding.
• Officials at Monroe Middle School in Michigan placed history teacher Alan Barron on leave after he showed a video of white performers in blackface during a lesson on Jim Crow laws. An assistant principal who sat in on the lecture reportedly complained that it was racist. Barron’s students defended him, and after media picked up the story, school officials reinstated him.
• A federal judge has sentenced former Miami, Fla., police officer Vital Frederick to 81 months in prison after he was found guilty of identity theft. Frederick provided security for an illegal check-cashing scheme and used police databases to steal identities for tax fraud.
• They call it a Stingray. It’s a device that the Sarasota, Fla., police have been using to track cellphones without a warrant. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wanted to find out how often and on whom the cops had been using this device. They filed an open records request and eventually went to court, where a judge ordered the police to turn over all records regarding the device. But just before the ACLU was scheduled to review the files, the U.S. Marshals Service swooped in and seized all of those documents and is now refusing to release them no matter what some judge says. The Marshals Service says the cop who was in charge of using the Stingray had been deputized by them, so all the records belong to the Marshals Service.
• Las Vegas officials report that an emergency dispatcher, who wasn’t named by local media, is still on the job despite hanging up on a caller. The caller had come home to find his mother dead. When he called 911, he was first put through to a police dispatcher. That dispatcher transferred him to a fire department dispatcher, who handles medical emergencies. But the caller was upset and could not answer many of the dispatcher’s questions. At one point he shouted at the dispatcher that his mother was purple. The dispatcher told him not to do that. He cursed her and she hung up. Fortunately, the police dispatcher had remained on the line and began to calm the man down and get information out of him. Officials say they are taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.