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News Scan


Charleston Shooter to Face Death Penalty:  Prosecutors in South Carolina stated in court documents that the death penalty will be sought for Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man charged with the racially motivated massacre of nine black churchgoers in June.  The AP reports that prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty "because more than two people were killed, and the others' lives were put at risk" when Roof opened fire during a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  On that evening in June, Roof, who is white and has expressed hatred for black people, went to the church's Bible study and sat in for about an hour before drawing a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and gunning down nine parishioners.  He has been indicted twice for the crime, in state court and in federal court.

Crime Rises in Downtown LA:  Rapid gentrification in downtown Los Angeles is "crashing up against the chronic poverty, homelessness and crime" that has long defined the city center, and new downtown dwellers have become easy targets for the increasingly aggressive street crime.  Ben Poston and Kate Mather of the LA Times report that violent crime in the areas of downtown, skid row and Chinatown is up more than 57 percent through the end of August compared to the same period last year, while property offenses increased almost 25 percent.  The LAPD has increased their presence in the vulnerable areas, deploying officers from the department's elite Metropolitan Division, though many officials believe that some of these areas, particularly skid row, needs the kind of help that police are unable to provide.  Officials acknowledge that Prop. 47, the voter-approved initiative that downgraded drug possession and minor thefts from felonies to misdemeanors, has left more offenders  on the streets and have observed a noticeable rise in property crime since its passage last November. 

Woman's Lie Diverted Manhunt for Illinois Officer's Killers:  The manhunt for the three suspects in the shooting death of an Illinois police officer was diverted by a woman who lied to police about witnessing two suspicious men near the scene of the murder.  Fox News reports that 30-year-old Kristen Kiefer made a 911 call on Wednesday evening, reporting that she spotted two men, one white and one black, near a cornfield while she was pulled over to the side of the road with car trouble about five miles from where Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was fatally shot on Tuesday.  Eight-five law enforcement officials, 11 police dogs and three air support units searched the area for five hours.  Kiefer later admitted that she lied about the report in an effort to seek attention from a family that employs her as a nanny.  She has been charged with disorderly conduct and falsifying a police report.

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