"In May of last year, Fair submitted her public-records requests for the DAVID and criminal background searches performed on her. She also persuaded fellow mermaid Smiley, whom Mia also occasionally attacked on social media, and their boss Anderson to submit identical requests."

shot dead

Grand Rapids Police Department released multiple videos last week of the deadly traffic stop that led to Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, being shot dead by police officers. The Michigan State Police are leading the criminal investigation into the shooting and will forward evidence to county prosecutors. The Washington Post (April 14, 2022)

more police on more police

After a man shot up a subway car full of people in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he would double the number of police officers on subways. But there already is a heavy police presence in the subway. From the beginning of his term, Adams has made aggressive policing of subways a centerpiece of his administration. Within a month of taking office, he had already flooded the system with 1,000 additional officers. The Intercept (April 13, 2022)

confusion

A woman’s arrest after her abortion in Texas, caused national outcry and fear about the state criminalizing women’s healthcare, but the truth of the situation may come down to an error by a first-term Democratic district attorney. The state law “explicitly exempts a woman from a criminal homicide charge for aborting her pregnancy.” People on both sides of the abortion issue condemned her arrest. The Washington Post (April 13, 2022)

imprisoned with poison

Illinois prison and health officials made misleading and inconsistent statements about a Legionella outbreak at several state prisons last month, according to records and interviews with incarcerated people. Advocates and prison watchdogs say the inconsistencies highlight long-standing problems with accountability and oversight of the prison system’s water treatment practices. During routine water testing. When inhaled into the lungs, Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially deadly form of pneumonia. Injustice Watch (April 12, 2022)

a death in shadows

Her husband died after he was transferred from jail to a hospital. Now members of the jail's oversight board and her have questions about her husband undergoing surgery and having a Do Not Resuscitate code issued when she never even knew he was even in the hospital. It took two months for her to learn details about his death. PINJ (April 12, 2022)

slow moving

A government watchdog found a “substantial likelihood” the federal Bureau of Prisons committed wrongdoing when it ignored complaints and failed to address asbestos and mold contamination at a federal women’s prison in California that has already been under scrutiny for rampant sexual abuse of inmates. AP (April 12, 2022)

no follow up

"The Senate delivered former President Donald Trump a bipartisan criminal justice reform deal shortly after the last midterm election. Staging a sequel for President Joe Biden this year won’t be so easy. Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, are still in talks over finalizing a package that would serve as a more narrow follow-up to the 2018 prison and sentencing reform bill known as the First Step Act." POLITICO (Mar. 9, 2022)

retraction

A panel of state lawmakers moved to make possession of any more than 1 gram of a substance containing fentanyl a felony in Colorado, undoing part of a bipartisan 2019 law that made possession of up to 4 grams of a controlled substance a misdemeanor. Nearly 2,000 people have died after ingesting substances containing fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, since 2015. Colorado Newsline (April 14, 2022)

must read: how a mermaid took down a sheriff

"It began with online attacks from Mia and her husband Jeff and became worse when the couple moved in next door to Fair’s home in Fort Lauderdale. [...] Fair says the scariest part of it all is that Jeff has the power of the badge: He’s a lieutenant with the Broward Sheriff’s Office" Miami New Times (April 20, 2022)

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Founder of The Des and freelance criminal justice reporter based in Washington, D.C.