criminal justice

A white powder on a piece of silver foil
Federal Drug Enforcement Agency / DEA

As Florida continues battling an opioid abuse crisis, another, largely forgotten drug has ramped up in North Florida—meth. Its low cost and relative ease of access, is making it harder for local law enforcement agencies to control.

Man rests elbows on window panel and he looks out
Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

The Florida Legislature has wrapped up its first week of meetings ahead of the regular session that begins in January. Lawmakers took time during their first Committee Week to consider the causes of mass violence and how mental illness could play a part. Those discussions came amid a request for more mental health funding for schools.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says its done processing more than 8,000 untested rape kits. The announcement comes three years after a state assessment first revealed the backlog. 

row of parked cars in parking garage
Photo by wang ward on Unsplash

Tallahassee Police says 53 guns were stolen from cars over the past 2-and-a-half months.  Most of those cars were unlocked, and police officers say the majority of those guns were likely stolen by teens.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo speaking against Attorney General Ashley Moody's attempt to block the assault weapons ban.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed assault weapons ban from going in front of voters. Moody claims the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and deceitful. Now Democrats are pushing back.

The words "it's no joke" are printed over newspaper clipping about arrests being made for school threats.
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

The state wants kids to understand the trouble they can get into by making school threats. So, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has launched an awareness campaign called “It’s No Joke.”

Nearly 800 Florida kids were charged with offenses related to school threats in the last fiscal year.

The Panhandle Crime Stoppers chapter is running out of tickets for its newest fundraiser. It’s down to less than 200 tickets remaining in its first “gun-a-day giveaway," and wants to make the fundraiser an annual event.

AR-15's on a wall rack.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

A proposed assault weapons ban would prohibit all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. State economists say that would affect around 71 percent of rifles and half of shotguns. Charlie Strickland, CEO of Talon Training Group, says it’d be a big hit to his business.

Antwann Brown's mug shot
Leon County Detention Facility

Antwann Brown, the suspect who police say stabbed five people at Dyke Industries Wednesday morning, is being held with no bond. He faces five counts of attempted murder and one for aggravated assault.

 Natural Life on Pensacola st.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

After a November raid, Tallahassee police have now returned items taken from CBD store Natural Life.

Crime Scene
prathaan / Adobe Stock

Wednesday’s stabbing attack at Dyke Industries is adding to the violence that’s plagued the capital city this year. There've already been more shootings than last year, including four in the past five days, two of which were fatal.

A row of Tallahassee police cars
Tallahassee Police Department Facebook

Update 12:35 p.m.  Police have identified the stabbing supspect as 41-year-old Antwann Demetrius Brown. 

Police say Brown worked at Dyke Industries for about three months. After Brown clocked in for work this morning officers say he got into a dispute and was asked to leave. He clocked out at 8:20 a.m. 

Pollice allege Brown then stabbed five people with a folding knife. Officers responded to the call at 8:37 a.m.

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Five people were stabbed this morning at Dyke Industries on Maryland Court near a Tallahsasee industrial park. Police say the suspect has been taken into custody.

Cover of Reggie Garcia's book How To Leave Prison Early
Reggie Garcia

In Florida prisons, anything from cigarettes to cellphones can be contraband. But, a few things on the list might be surprising -- like books. Some 20,000 of them are banned by the Florida Department of Corrections. Tallahassee Clemency lawyer Reggie Garcia’s book “How to Leave Prison Early” is one of them.

State Economist Amy Baker(center) listening to testimony on assault weapons.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

The state could see a $30 million drop in sales tax revenue if an amendment banning assault weapons in Florida is passed. 

arial photo looking down street toward FSU
Erich Martin

As mass shootings continue to rock the country, Florida lawmakers say more needs to be done to ensure students are safe. For some that means allowing more guns on college campuses. But for many students at Florida State University that proposal leads to more feelings of fear than safety.

Florida State University Police Chief Terri Brown
Florida State University News

Florida State University’s new police chief Terri Brown is the first woman to hold the position. She joined Florida State University’s Police Department 28 years ago as a patrol officer and worked her way to the top.

Opioid painkillers layed out on a table.
irissca / Adobe Stock

In Florida, an estimated 17 people die every day from opioid abuse. To combat the issue, Attorney General Ashely Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis have created a new statewide task force. The group is charged with developing best practices for opioid abuse prevention through education, treatment, and law enforcement. Two recently appointed board members spoke about how they hope to help.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

University of South Florida anthropologists are planning to take another look at the grounds of the infamous Dozier School for Boys. The move comes after a search for “anomalies” on the property turned up mostly tree roots.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Forensic experts plan to conduct a radar sweep of the grounds at a notorious Panhandle reform school where survivors remain convinced bodies of long-lost boys are still concealed. State officials provided an update Monday on an investigation into the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Jackson County. 

The chemistry formula of Fentanyl
Zerbor / Adobe Stock

Wednesday, the White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose.

A group of people hold signs at a gun safety rally. In the center is a woman holding a white posterboard with the words "Enough is Enough" written in black marker.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU

Rep. Mike Hill (R-Pensacola) wants to repeal gun safety legislation passed in Florida after the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting last year in Parkland. He says the measures, including a state ban on bump stocks, the so called red flag law and a provision raising the age to purchase a rifle violate the Second Amendment. He also says firearms aren’t the cause of mass shootings. Instead he points his finger at the use of psychotropic drugs, like Ritalin.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Northern District said he’s willing to step in and prosecute marijuana offenses that the state attorney will not. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe offered more specifics.

Restorative justice practices are built on the idea of allowing victims and offenders to communicate. The goal is to help victims heal and offenders to reform, and there’s a push to triple such programs in Florida.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

The U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Northern District says he’s willing to review and prosecute marijuana cases that the state attorney will not. The move comes after State Attorney Jack Campbell said last month he's pressing pause on prosecuting marijuana cases in light of a new hemp law.

Police are reporting 45 shootings in Tallahassee this year putting the city on track to outpace last year’s 50 shootings. While some point to poverty as a driver, residents say it’s a deeper issue.

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