Lakeland commissioner arrested, charged with murder for shooting suspected shoplifter: Commissioner Michael Dunn was indicted by a grand jury for the killing of Christobal Lopez last week, says the prosecutor for Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. In a video released by the Lakeland Police Department, Dunn is seen struggling with Lopez inside the Vets Army Navy Surplus store, co-owned by Dunn. The video shows Dunn, who told police he saw Lopez attempt to steal a hatchet, holding a handgun as Lopez tries to flee out the door. With the gun pointed at Lopez, Dunn grabs the man by his shoulder and pulls him by his shirt. Still holding him, Dunn fires into Lopez's back.
Rick Scott's investment ties to the company responsible for screwing up SunPass: The Tampa Bay Times traced the Republican elected official's financial links to the vendor Conduent through financial disclosure statements filed in July. The disclosures show Scott and his wife Ann have invested at least $5 million in a hedge fund managed by Highline Capital Management. Highline holds $127 million in stock in Conduent, making it the company's sixth-largest shareholder. The Florida Department of Transportation awarded the $287 million contract (since increased to $343 million) to Conduent State and Local Solutions in 2015. Scott attended a Dallas campaign fundraiser in May at which one of the hosts was investor Darwin Deason, a major shareholder in Conduent.
City of Orlando launches second test of Amazon's facial recognition software: The Orlando Police Department signed a new agreement with Amazon last week to test its controversial facial recognition software. The city will test the software, called Rekognition, for a nine-month period using video from eight surveillance cameras deployed around the city – four at OPD's headquarters, three in downtown Orlando and one outside a community recreation center. Orlando first piloted Rekognition earlier this year for a similar six-month phase, drawing criticism from civil rights groups that said the technology could be used to racially profile civilians, monitor protesters or target minority communities.
Developer says Orlando Fashion Square Mall 'needs to come down': Local developer Chuck Whittall wants to purchase Fashion Square and turn it into an outdoor entertainment development that includes shopping, dining and apartments. Unicorp president Whittall reportedly already has a contract to buy the land on which the mall sits and has started purchasing discussions with Bancorp, which began leasing the property after foreclosing on the last developer who bought the mall.
Florida Supreme Court Justices gives the OK to 'bundling' amendments on ballot: The Constitution Revision Commission was within their right to bundle three proposed constitutional amendments for the Nov. 6 ballot, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in a close 4-3 vote. The Justices' ruling follows a challenge by retired Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead that said the ballots items were improperly bundled. The proposed constitutional amendments under discussion are Amendments 7, 9 and 11.