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WABE’s Week In Review: Claims Against Detention Center And Equity Theft In Atlanta

A whistleblower report by the advocacy group Project South said women detainees at the Irwin County Detention Center underwent questionable hysterectomies while in the care of an outside doctor. The report does not name the doctor, but local immigration attorneys have identified him as Mahendra Amin.

In a statement, his lawyer vehemently denies the claims and said he’s confident Amin will be cleared of any wrongdoing. The lawyer’s statement said Amin is a highly respected physician who treats a high-risk, underserved population in rural Georgia.

Immigration attorneys say they have had several clients who have complained of inhumane treatment while in his care. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the allegations will be investigated by an independent office.

Deputy fired for excessive force … 

A photo of Roderick Walker taken later in jail showed a large welt around his left eye.  (The Cochran Firm via AP)

In Clayton County this week, a sheriff’s deputy was fired for excessive use of force on a Black man. Brandon Myers was shown on a bystander’s video punching Roderick Walker. Lawyers for Walker say he was not driving when deputies stopped the car he was in for a broken taillight. Police say they asked for Walker’s identification because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. They say he became uncooperative.

He was later seen on the ground with two deputies on him and Myers punching him. Walker was arrested — accused of battery and obstructing officers. He was later released on bond from Clayton County but was taken to Fulton County, where he had outstanding warrants. Walker is now out on bond from Fulton County, too. Meanwhile, Clayton County’s sheriff says the incident is still under investigation.

Atlanta areas, once ignored by development, are now a target. And some homeowners are not profiting … 

Some Atlanta homeowners in once-forgotten areas are now being targeted for their homes. (Bita Honarvar/For WABE)
Some Atlanta homeowners in once-forgotten areas are now being targeted for their homes. (Bita Honarvar/For WABE)

Investors have swept through the southern and western parts of the city, especially in neighborhoods near the Atlanta BeltLine, looking for properties to buy. A WABE investigation finds the results have been harmful for many homeowners.

They sold for prices that were so low, they were less than half the estimates from Zillow and the county tax assessor. Stephannie Stokes reported the series about longtime homeowners in once-forgotten areas now being targeted for their homes and not getting what they might be worth.

Running out of letters in the alphabet … 

Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Ala., just west of the Florida border, around 5:45 a.m. ET Wednesday.
With an active hurricane season, forecasters are out of names for storms. (NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-East)

As Atlanta dries off after its soaking rain this week, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring other storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. It has been such an active hurricane season that forecasters are out of names for storms. Sally has passed. And the names for storms beginning with T, V and W have been used, too.

And with more than two months in the official hurricane season still to go, any new named storms will get letters of the Greek alphabet. The only other time that’s happened was in 2005. Scientists say that climate change has an effect on the speed of storms. Hurricane Sally, for instance, stalled in the Gulf of Mexico before slowly moving over the Gulf Coast. That gave it time to gain intensity and suck up more water to dump on flooded communities.

 

Lisa Herring agreed to a three-year contract and will start work in Atlanta on July 1.
WABE’s Martha Dalton interviewed Superintendent Lisa Herring. (Atlanta Public Schools)

Like several metro Atlanta school districts, Atlanta Public Schools began the 2020-21 school year remotely. Hear WABE’s Martha Dalton’s interview with APS Superintendent Lisa Herring, where the two review the current remote situation, when things might get back to “normal” and how to help students with disabilities during the pandemic.

Two counties, many ballots, different time frames …  

Fulton County says it should be mostly done counting absentee ballots the day after Election Day in November, but DeKalb County says it may take longer. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

Two weeks before the Nov. 3 election, workers in Fulton County will spread out at State Farm Arena to start opening envelopes, verifying signatures and processing absentee ballots. They’ll be scanned initially, but not added up until Election Day. Fulton Elections Director Richard Barron says that if all goes according to plan, this should allow the county to be mostly done counting one day later.

“We’ll have about 5% to still scan the day after Election Day,” said Barron.

But in DeKalb County, the process is expected to take a bit longer, that county’s Elections Director Erica Hamilton said.

“Those jurisdictions do have something right down the street that’s a bigger arena,” said Hamilton, referring to State Farm Arena.

It was 30 years ago this week … 

Thirty years ago Friday, Atlantans found out they were going to host the Olympics. On Sept. 18, 1990, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonia Samaranch, stepped up to a podium in front of a crowd in Tokyo and made the announcement:

“And now, as president of International Olympic Committee, it is my duty and honor to announce to the world the name of the host city for the games of the 26th Olympiad,” said Samaranch (very slowly). The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic Games to the city of Atlanta.”