crime

Crime in America may be on the rise again. It's too early to talk about a national trend, but there have been troubling spikes in shootings and murders in big cities such as New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Until recently, crime decreased steadily for two decades, and the national murder rate is half what it was in the early 1990s — so police departments are under pressure to crack down. But at the same time, their tactics are under more scrutiny from the public, and they have to be careful not to appear too heavy-handed.

Updated at 6:46 p.m. EDT

Dylann Roof, the Charleston church shooting suspect, appears to have set up a website that contains photos of himself and a manifesto-like diatribe against non-whites. The author of the rant writes of being motivated by the Trayvon Martin case and concludes that there is "no choice" but to "take it to the real world."

(This post was last updated at 11:24 a.m. ET.)

Just hours after police apprehended 21-year-old Dylann Roof in Shelby, N.C., authorities flew him back to Charleston, S.C., a city that was still trying to comprehend the crime Roof is accused of committing.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports that many residents stopped outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Thursday. They laid flowers at the foot of the grand Gothic Revival church originally built in 1891.

She reports:

A man sentenced to decades in prison for the shotgun slaying of a Spokane pizza delivery driver won’t go free -- at least for now.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

In a prison-break likely to draw comparisons to the film The Shawshank Redemption, two convicted murderers have escaped from a maximum-security facility in upstate New York by cutting through steel walls, shimmying through a steam pipe and emerging from a manhole on the outside.

Inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, near the Canadian border, early Saturday morning.

Officer Timothy Brenton's brother and stepmother embrace at the King County Courthouse following the guilty verdict of Christopher Monfort. Monfort was found guilty of mudering Brenton while he was sitting in his patrol car in 2009.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

A man who shot and killed a Seattle police officer as he sat in a patrol car was found guilty of first-degree murder on Friday.

A King County jury rejected defendant Christopher Monfort’s insanity plea in the 2009 murder of officer Timothy Brenton.

Spokane police say they believe a former Pasco, Washington, police officer accused of a 1986 homicide may have assaulted other women.

A Dallas police officer shows a robbery victim a photo of a suspect in 2009. The Dallas police department in Dallas has been a leader in blind lineups, which experts say reduces mistakes made by eye witnesses.
AP Photo/LM Otero

You see someone get assaulted. The cops ask you come down to the police station to check out a photo lineup.

You pick the wrong person. It wasn’t malicious on your part – it was normal. Witnesses often identify the wrong suspect, according to Lara Zarowsky, policy director for The Innocence Project Northwest.

Poaching 100-Year-Old Geoducks For Big Money

May 26, 2015
Officer Natalie Vorous unpacks boxes of geoduck at Sea-Tac searching for evidence they were harvested legally. These were not. They were confiscated.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

Of all the shellfish that sell on the black market, one clam is above the rest -- the geoduck.

Pronounced gooey-duck, these hefty clams bury themselves in sand where they stay for 100 years, doing little more than stretching their meter-long, fleshy siphon up to feed on phytoplankton.

The biker gang shootout this weekend in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead, 18 wounded, and as many as 192 facing organized crime charges has sparked a lot of scrutiny over how police and media are treating this incident compared with how they approached the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore.

Troy Capps found deer antlers in central Oregon’s backcountry. Capps is a co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, a group that promotes ethical shed hunting. Credit: Courtney Flatt/EarthFix
EarthFix Photo/Courtney Flatt

REDMOND, Ore. -- Every year deer and elk shed their antlers, and every year people try to find them. 

The sport is called shed hunting, and it's often a family affair. But some people do more than just search for dropped antlers on the ground -- they chase elk and deer to stress them out, which often causes them to drop their antlers. 

Oregon State Fish and Wildlife troopers James Hayes, left, and Darin Bean patrol several thousand square miles in Central Oregon, where mule deer are in decline.
EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

LA PINE, Oregon – The doe wandered across the wrong property. What’s left of her was a blood stain in a bathtub.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Trooper Darin Bean found the remains in a house here in the high country. He had been searching for a man who had illegally shot a deer and had missed his court date.

Pinto abalone were near extinction by the end of the 1990s in Puget Sound. But with a little help from science, their wild populations are slowly rising.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

MUKILTEO, Wash. – In a dark fish tank at a government-run lab, a striking sea snail slowly inches from its hiding spot.

It’s a pinto abalone, and its numbers are dangerously low in Washington state after decades of overharvesting and poaching. This little-known animal is a delicacy, still served in U.S. restaurants, and its shell is a source of mother-of-pearl.

Eagle feathers and parts are sent to the National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository for redistribution to Native Americans for ceremonial use.
EarthFix/Kris Millgate

SWAN VALLEY, Idaho – It’s mud season in eastern Idaho. Winter is over. The reservoirs are filling, the ground is greening and the eagles are returning.

These birds are why researcher Michael Whitfield is in the woods.

Updated at 3:42 p.m.

After listening to testimony from 63 witnesses and deliberating since Wednesday, a jury of seven women and five men in Boston gave convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death penalty.

There was no visible reaction from either Tsarnaev or his legal team.

The jury sentenced Tsarnaev to die on counts 4, 5, 9, 10, 14 and 15. Here is more detail about those counts:

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