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Protests and demonstrations through the streets occurred as a Staten Island jury chose not to indict a New York City police officer for the death of husband and father Eric Garner after Garner died of a heart attack caused by a chokehold.  The incident received wide media attention after the entire police interaction was recorded by a civilian and posted online.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

17 States Suing on Immigration

Texas Attorney General Greg Abott filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.  Specifically, the suit alleges that the President violated his constitutional duty to enforce laws and illegally placed burdens on states.  It also alleges the federal government failed to follow requirements in issuing new rules. 
Researchers are working on creating a breath test to detect THC in a driver’s blood to be used by police officers, much like a breathalyzer.
The New Jersey Senate passed a bill to extend early voting to 15 days before the general election at designated polling places.  New Jersey’s previous early voting measure came less than six weeks after a report found that the state’s voting system and process was left vulnerable and chaotic after Superstorm Sandy.
The Chicago Police Department will begin pilot testing body cameras for their police officers within the next two months.  The call for body-worn police officer cameras has grown louder in the wake of several officer-involved fatal shootings within the last year.
The Mayor of Ferguson, James Knowles, announced that the police department will be making efforts to recruit more African Americans in the predominantly African American suburb.  Efforts will include a scholarship program and an increased stipend for police officers residing in Ferguson.  The mayor also announced that a civil review board, which will include local business owners, police officers, and local residents, will be created to provide input on police actions.
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine published an article demonstrating that fast-food restaurants are targeting black children in their marketing.  The study used over 6,000 fast-food restaurants in their sample and found that the ones located in majority-black neighborhoods marketed to black children.  Additionally, a fifth of the restaurants marketed to children through kids’ meal toys. 
Open Enrollment opened on Saturday, November 15th with very few glitches.  Unlike last year’s rollout which was fraught with a host of technical errors, the federal as well as state marketplaces launched with relative ease.   More than 100,000 people signed up for insurance coverage during the weekend launch.
Legislation, submitted by two Republican senators would scrap the state’s current common core standards despite the Governor’s call for a review of the standards.  The legislation submitted would create a Tennessee Standards commission that would provide recommendations to the State Board of Education to be used in K-12 schools.
A bill was recently introduced in the Wyoming legislature that would create an explicit right to privacy regarding an individual’s data.  The amendment would assure a right to privacy that could not be infringed by the state without a compelling interest to the state.
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