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The Post  
Marijuana Decriminalization Passes; No Arrests/Charges Yet in CC Attack; Eric Frein FBI Most Wanted
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 09/18/14 11:16 pm | updated: 09/18/14 11:16 pm
Philadelphia City Council approved a bill today 14-2 that will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. This bill was a compromise reached last week between Mayor Michael Nutter and councilman Jim Kenney, the bill's sponsor. Anyone caught with 30 grams (about an ounce) or less of pot would be issued a $25 fine and a "non-summary civil offense." They would have to make one appearance before a judge. Anyone caught smoking pot in public would by issued a $100 fine, which could be waived if they complete several hours of community service. In both cases, there is no arrest and no criminal record. Of course, the marijuana will still be confiscated. Over 4,000 arrests a year in Philadelphia are for small amounts of marijuana. The new law is expected to go into effect October 20th. In the meantime, police officers will need to undergo training, the new ticket will have to be developed, and the courts will be prepped on the new process. Nutter is expected to sign the bill next week.

There have not been any arrests or charges filed in last week's attack on a gay couple in Center City by a group of men and women in their 20's. After several of the suspects were identified on social media from surveillance video released by the police on Tuesday, many of them have come forward and talked to Central Detectives with their lawyers. Police still have a lot to piece together due to the number of people involved. It may take a few days before they announce anything. In Pennsylvania, there are no hate crime statutes based on sexuality. Federal officials are watching the case and may launch their own investigation into whether federal hate crime laws were violated.

Some of the persons of interest have been connected to Archbishop Wood High School as alumni and one who was forced to resign as assistant basketball coach. Archbishop Charles Chaput released this statement: “A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not. What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it. Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian.”

SEE ALSO: Video 12 Hate Crime Suspects

The FBI has added Eric Frein to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List today. Frein ambushed two Pennsylvania State Police troopers, shooting them with a rifle in a sniper attack, outside the Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County last Friday. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed in that attack. His funeral was held today in Scranton, PA with thousands of law enforcement officers there to pay their respects, including Philadelphia's Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded in that attack. Frein is believed to hold an extreme grudge against law enforcement and the desire to commit mass murder. He is considered armed and very dangerous. The reward for his capture has been raised to $175,000.

Partly Cloudy, temps low 70s/upper 60s this evening in Center City

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