William Freivogel

William Freivogel

William H. Freivogel is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.


Police Shooting
9:51 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Could Police Reform In Cincinnati Provide Model For Ferguson?

Iris Roley
Credit William Freivogel for St. Louis Public Radio

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati’s police reform following a deadly police shooting and riots in 2001 has lessons for Ferguson and St. Louis. Here is what the reformers there say:

Read more
Police Shooting
9:59 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Changing Police Practices In Ferguson Could Have Bigger Impact Than Indicting Officer Wilson

The Department of Justice met with Ferguson residents last week.
Credit Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

When 250 Ferguson residents met with the Justice Department last week, many of them made it abundantly clear that they wanted the government to arrest and indict Officer Darren Wilson and to investigate St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch.

Over grumbles from the audience, Justice Department lawyers politely explained they could promise none of these things.

Read more
Justice Department
9:59 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Who's Who Of Justice Agencies Investigating Ferguson

Credit Wikipedia

When the Justice Department met with Ferguson residents this week, a phalanx of a dozen federal officials stood before the citizens in front of the room.  They represented an alphabet soup of federal offices that Attorney General Eric Holder has thrown at the problems in Ferguson.

There was a criminal investigation, a pattern-or-practice investigation, a COPs inquiry, a Community Relations Service mediation, a continuing investigation into St. Louis County family court and an inquiry into how discipline is meted out in the schools.

Read more
Beyond Ferguson
5:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

If Officer Wilson Is Not Indicted, McCulloch Plans To Release Grand Jury Transcripts, Recordings

Credit Bill Greenblatt, UPI

Updated 11:15 a.m., Wed., Sept. 17

If the St. Louis County grand jury fails to indict Officer Darren Wilson, Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch will immediately release full transcripts and audio recordings of the grand jury proceedings, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Read more
Grand Jury
3:55 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

What's A Grand Jury? How Will It Work In The Ferguson Case?

Protesters have demanded swift justice for the death of Michael Brown.
Credit Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio

The purpose of a grand jury, in theory, is to protect citizens against unfair and unwarranted prosecutions by the government. In medieval England, it was viewed as a protection against the Crown. Colonists found the institution protected them against unfair English prosecutions and included the right to a grand jury in the Fifth Amendment.

But in practice, the prosecutor who runs the grand jury has a great deal of influence in orchestrating the outcome. A well-worn saying is that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

Read more
Legal Analysis
6:08 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

So Why Wasn't Officer Wilson Arrested? Plus Answers To Other Questions About The Law

Jay Nixon
Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Ferguson protesters insisted at a raucous meeting on Saturday that Gov. Jay Nixon act quickly to charge Ferguson officer Darren Wilson with murder in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

St. Louis on the Air discussed this and other legal issues associated with Ferguson on Monday:

Read more
Michael Brown
10:44 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Deadly Force: What Does The Law Say About When Police Are Allowed To Use It?

Credit Flickr/Paul Sableman

The Constitution does not permit police to fire at unarmed, nonviolent, fleeing suspects unless there is a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or the public.

The police account of Saturday's events is that Michael Brown fought for a gun in a police cruiser before being shot dead a short distance from the car. Given that account, one question in Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson police is whether Brown would be considered a non-dangerous suspect.

Read more
U.S. Supeme Court
11:14 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Hobby Lobby Decision May Be Bigger Blow To Gay Rights Than Contraceptive Access

Credit Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia

The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision may not be as big a threat to contraceptive coverage for women as it first appeared.

After a few weeks of legal sleuthing, several leading Supreme Court experts think the court has signaled it will approve a compromise to provide free contraceptive coverage to women who work for companies and religious nonprofits that object to the coverage on religion grounds.

Read more
Politics & Issues
4:49 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones At Abortion Clinics

Chief Justice John Roberts

Governments cannot ban anti-abortion "sidewalk counselors" from a 35-foot buffer zone that includes the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic unless the governments first have tried less restrictive methods of protecting women from face-to-face intimidation as they enter reproductive health facilities.

Read more
Court Decisions
2:24 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Beneath Unanimous Supreme Court Decisions On Appointments, Abortion Lay Sharp Divisions

U.S. Supreme Court
Credit supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously struck down President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and a Massachusetts law keeping opponents of abortion off the sidewalks within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.

Read more