News Midday Update: Atlanta police lieutenant fired over porn probe; Georgia to close boot camps; Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington has fired an officer in connection with a botched investigation involving a police sergeant’s husband.

Davis’ attorney, Mary Huber, says Pennington fired Lt. Cerelyn Davis Wednesday. Pennington demoted Davis earlier this month and removed her as commander of the internal affairs unit.

Two other employees involved in the case also are no longer with the department. Crime analyst Randolph Ory was fired. Sgt. Tonya Crane resigned before the department made a decision on how to discipline her.

Pennington says the three were in trouble for their roles in covering up the alleged crimes of Crane’s husband.

Federal authorities indicted Crane’s husband, Terrill Marion Crane, in November on charges of producing child pornography after Atlanta police provided them with sexual photos of Crane and underage girls. Authorities say Atlanta police were given the photos in 1999 and took no action.

– Associated Press

Georgia to close boot camps

A newspaper report says Georgia’s last boot camps for young, nonviolent offenders will be closed under a state Department of Corrections plan to slash $10 million from its budget.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports in Thursday’s editions that the state also is looking to close probation detention and diversion centers.

The agency is making the changes at the request of the state Legislature. But the department also said the centers and the boot camps have been underused in recent years.

The General Assembly cut funding for probation and diversion centers when it approved a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The state Department of Corrections proposed shuttering Georgia’s last remaining boot camp in Haralson County to further reduce spending.

– Associated Press

Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right

The Supreme Court ruled today that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court’s 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: ‘‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’’

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by ‘‘the historical narrative’’ both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit ‘‘the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home,’’ Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington’s requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

– Associated Press


– Several political hopefuls for statewide office are in Macon today. We'll tell you who they are and what they're up to.

– Columnist Ed Grisamore will tell you about Jessica Elliott, a former Windsor Academy star athlete, who is battling Hodgkin's Disease.

– A Macon City Council subcommittee is meeting today to discuss animal control. We'll let you know how it goes.


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