FBI Director Addresses Race and Policing

In a speech to Georgetown students, director of the FBI, James B. Comey, spoke about how racial perceptions affect policing in neighborhoods where African Americans commit crimes at a higher rate. Mr. Comey said some officers in these areas scrutinize African Americans more closely because of a heuristic that “becomes almost irresistible and maybe even rational by some lights” since arrest rate for black men is much higher than arrest for white men.

New York Police Officer Indicted in Shooting of Akai Gurley

On Wednesday, a New York grand jury returned a six-count indictment, including second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, against Officer Peter Liang for the Nov. 20 killing of Akai Gurley. Mr. Gurley, who was black and unarmed at the time of his death, was shot and killed inside a Brooklyn housing project. Officer Liang is the first New York City police to be indicted in more than two years for an on-duty killing.  The indictment comes two months after a Staten Island grand jury refused to indict a New York police officer for the death of Eric Garner and three months after a Missouri grand jury did not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Muslim Students’ Death Investigated as Possible Hate Crime

On Tuesday, Craig Stephen Hicks shot and killed three Muslim students in Chapel Hill over an alleged parking dispute. The incident quickly drew national attention as the FBI and the Dept. of Justice announced on Thursday that a federal inquiry had begun to investigate the possibility of a hate crime. President Obama condemned the killings the next Friday in a White House statement, calling the deaths of the three students “brutal and outrageous.”

Harvard and MIT Online Courses Sued for Lack of Captioning

The National Association of the Deaf is suing Harvard and MIT for violation of federal anti-discrimination laws by failing to provide adequate closed captioning for their online educational materials. The complaint alleges the lack of captioning, along with inaccurate or unintelligible captions, denied access to the two schools’ online content for approximately 48 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing.