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How it feels to patrol the toughest neighborhoods

A family dispute is flaring in a cramped kitchen in southeast Atlanta when Ashley Gibson arrives. Gibson is five foot three, with pearl earrings and pink-painted fingernails, her hair swept into a high bun that recalls her cheerleading years. Despite her slight stature, Gibson doesn’t flinch.

How it feels to send someone to prison

Thirty-seven years ago, at age twenty-seven, James Bodiford quit a job selling magazines to attend law school. In 1985 he was appointed chief magistrate judge of Cobb County, and in 1994 he was elected to Superior Court. Bodiford has presided over some of the region’s most prominent trials.

How it feels to shoot an intruder

A gunshot rang out the morning of December 31 last year, and it’s been echoing in Eugene Thomas’s mind ever since. Thomas and his fiancee live on a cul-de-sac in a sleepy neighborhood. Police and firefighters have honored the couple for their volunteer work with neighborhood youth.

How it feels to survive a shooting

On a hot day in 2008, on a street of middle-class homes in Gwinnett County, Bryan Ryser was putting his lawn mower away when his neighbor, Charles Quinn, shot him in the back.

If crime rates are so low, why am I so worried?

I’m driving home, just 150 yards from my house, when I see a white Chevy Tahoe in my driveway. According to social media and local news blogs, it’s the car a crew of burglars has been using for about a week to break into homes all around us—Oakhurst, Kirkwood, East Lake.

The most lawless year in Atlanta’s history

In August 1844, a New Englander by the name of Jonathan Norcross opened a sawmill at the corner of Decatur and Pratt streets; powered by a blind and ancient horse, it was the first manufacturing operation in Marthasville, the little town sprouting around the terminus of the Western and Atlantic railway.

May 2014

I don’t have much patience for nostalgia. Too often it feels like willful distortion. But as we worked on this month’s crime package, I kept thinking back to the town where I grew up.

How it feels to be falsely accused

As Clarence Harrison played poker at a neighbor’s home, a woman was attacked at a nearby bus stop. The assailant dragged her away, raped her, and stole her wristwatch. Harrison became a suspect when a confidential informant told police they’d heard someone was selling a watch at his home.

Mercy for Some

You have to go back almost ten years before December 9, 1938, to get to the beginning of this story. Ed Rivers was an up-and-coming politician then, serving as a state senator from Lakeland. It would be another eight years before Rivers would be elected governor, but he was trying to make a name for himself statewide, trying to lay a foundation.

Lawsuit: Teen beaten, then wrongfully jailed for two years thanks to DeKalb cops

An Atlanta-area youth was assaulted by a DeKalb County police officer, arrested, and served two years in a juvenile correctional facility, all for a crime he did not commit, according to a lawsuit filed in DeKalb County State Court on Tuesday. But what’s worse, the complaint claims, is that this wrongful incarceration may not have been an isolated oversight, but rather the result of problems endemic in the DeKalb juvenile justice system.

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