Police Under Investigation

Roundtable: Kevin O’Brien, deputy editorial page editor, The Plain Dealer; Jay Miller, reporter, Crain’s Cleveland Business; Greg Saber, freelance journalist.

Feds to Investigate Police
The Justice Department says it will conduct a civil rights investigation of Cleveland police. City officials requested the investigation following the fatal shooting of two people at the end of a high speed chase, but it will encompass incidents and conduct prior to the chase as well. It’s aimed at determining whether police often use excessive force and, if so, what should be done.

All Eyes on Steubenville
A juvenile court trial is drawing national attention to the eastern Ohio city. Two juveniles are accused in the rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl. It’s a case complicated by the fact that pictures of the victim were distributed on social media and that the defendants were members of the city’s popular high school football team. The defense claims any sexual conduct was consensual, but prosecutors say the victim was too drunk to give consent.

Pope Francis
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis I, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. He is the first pope from the Americas and the first Jesuit to become Bishop of Rome. Bergoglio’s personal style is marked by humility. In Buenos Aires, he eschewed the archbishop’s palace in favor of his own apartment and he chose to ride the bus to work rather than use a driver.

Interstate Speed-up
Motorists might soon get where they’re going a little faster. The state Senate okayed a transportation bill that includes a provision raising the speed limit on rural stretches of interstate to 70 MPH, something that hasn’t been seen since the early 70s. Ohio raised the speed limit to 70 on the Turnpike in 2011. Statistics show fatalities dropped despite an overall increase in accidents.

Big Gulp Blow-out
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans an appeal to preserve his proposed ban on large sugary soft drinks. A Manhattan court shot down the ban this week as overly-broad and unevenly enforced. It would have limited fountain drinks to 16-ounces in restaurants, theaters and other venues. Bloomberg positioned the ban as necessary to fight obesity. It was unpopular in public polls and popular fare for comedians.

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