National roundup: Justice Department report blasts Albuquerque police over excesses

April 10
NEW MEXICO
Report blasts Albuquerque police for excessive force

A scathing report by the U.S. Justice Department released Thursday revealed a troubling and often unjustified pattern of excessive force by the Albuquerque Police Department and recommended that New Mexico’s largest city become the latest municipality to adopt reforms aimed at cleaning up its police force.

The report immediately drew support from Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and other city officials. The report says Albuquerque officers too frequently used deadly force on people who posed a minimal threat and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness, often violating their constitutional rights.

— Associated Press

NEVADA
PENNSYLVANIA
Alleged knife-wielder mystifies authorities

The 16-year-old boy accused of stabbing 22 people at his high school was dazed “like a deer in the headlights” hours later and doesn’t fully grasp what he did, his attorney said Thursday.

Deepening the mystery of what set off the violence, attorney Patrick Thomassey said Alex Hribal had no history of mental illness or troublemaking, didn’t abuse drugs and was no outcast at school, where he was described as a B or B-plus student.

The local prosecutor said Hribal remained an enigma. “We have very little information about him,” Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said, “except for the fact that he was a student, his age, and how he was as a student.”

Authorities seized the family’s computer as they searched for clues to Wednesday’s rampage at Franklin Regional High, about 15 miles from Pittsburgh.

Hribal was jailed without bail on four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault.

— Associated Press

Driver involved in child-care crash surrenders: The SUV driver accused of causing a car to crash into a Florida day care, killing a 4-year-old girl and injuring 14 other people, most of them children, surrendered to authorities Thursday. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Robert Alex Corchado, 28, was in custody at the jail. The surrender came a day after police say Corchado crashed his Dodge Durango into a convertible, which in turn smashed into the KinderCare building.

Minnesota lawmakers vote to raise minimum wage: Minnesota lawmakers on Thursday approved a measure raising the state’s minimum wage from one of the lowest in the nation to one of the highest. The measure to bump the hourly wage to $9.50 passed the Democrat-controlled House by a vote of 71 to 60. The Democrat-run Senate approved the measure on Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Mark Dayton (D), who supports it.

Indiana ordered to recognize couple’s gay marriage: A federal judge ordered Indiana on Thursday to recognize the out-of-state marriage of a gay couple before one of the women, who has cancer, dies. The decision, specific to the couple, doesn’t affect other lawsuits challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Detroit teen charged with hate crime in mob beating of driver: A Detroit teenager was charged Thursday with assault and a hate crime in the brutal mob beating of a suburban motorist who stopped to help a boy he accidentally struck with his pickup truck. The 16-year-old boy is the only one of five people charged in the April 2 attack on Steve Utash to face an ethnic intimidation count. Utash, 54, is white. The teen and four adults charged in his beating are black.

— From news services

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