Archives by: Yanqi Xu

Yanqi Xu

About the author

Yanqi Xu, Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter, came to Policy Watch in December of 2020 from the Investigative Reporting Workshop in D.C., where she combined data and reporting to cover public accountability issues. Yanqi graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2019. Her multimedia work appeared in PolitiFact and the Columbia Missourian, and was featured on the local NPR and NBC affiliates. Originally from China, Yanqi started her career producing newscasts to tell people what’s going on around the world.

Yanqi Xu's articles and posts

Law and the Courts Top Story

Are NC district attorneys a roadblock to needed criminal justice reform?

Lawmakers, civil rights groups and researchers say DAs often thwart necessary change Jim Woodall made a promise to the family of Eve Carson, the UNC-Chapel Hill student body president who was murdered in 2008. Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17 years old at the time, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Carson after a robbery attempt.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Black people in North Carolina twice as likely to be killed by police as whites

Council for Criminal Justice says police are poorly trained to de-escalate tense situations. Implicit racial bias is widespread. Black people were twice as likely to be killed by the police in North Carolina than whites from 2013 to 2021, according to the Mapping Police Violence Project.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Bill seeks to increase penalties for “rioters,” but advocates worry about threat posed to free speech

Biracial.’ ‘Artist.’ ‘Supporter of social justice.’ Nic Cassette could think of many labels describing his identity. ‘Rioter,’ however, was never one of them. An Alamance County prosecutor, however, saw it differently. Cassette was among a group of demonstrators who were charged under the state's rioting statute after a succession of demonstrations in Graham. 

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s population growth 

After unveiling the official counts of state populations, the U.S. Census Bureau released a new round of county and metro-level population estimates for 2020 ahead of detailed counts of the 2020 Census later this fall.   The estimates are calculated by tracking births, deaths and migration on top of the 2010 Census count baseline. The figures serve as a reference point for how many people reside in each county. Although the statewide official count of 10,439,388 individuals fell short of the 10,600,823 estimate, they come pretty close.  

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates say Senate leader Phil Berger is torpedoing effort to end child marriage 

Under amended legislation, 8th graders will still be able to wed in North Carolina, but not buy a lottery ticket or work with commercial ovens Dr. Judy Wiegand was only 13 years old when her mother accompanied her to get married to the 16-year-old father of her unborn child in Virginia.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

As landlords find loopholes to evict tenants, a concurrent push for gentrification in communities of color

The red Honda parked on Debee Anderson's lawn saved her and her daughter's life when they fled Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Anderson was picking up medication for her daughter and about to return to her Spring Lake home when a state trooper told her she couldn't, because of river flooding.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Renters facing eviction must navigate a legal labyrinth that favors lawyers and landlords

A morning in evictions court: 123 cases, residents of 31 households on the verge of homelessness On the brisk Monday morning of March 29, Magistrate William Glascoff in the Forsyth County small claims court handed down one eviction judgment after another. Residents of 31 households lost their homes.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

House of cards: Despite a federal stay on evictions, landlords are ousting their tenants

Legal loopholes in the moratorium fail to protect some renters Kerston Rankins put all her plans and belongings for a better life in boxes when she moved to Winston-Salem. Five chests of clothes, three cases of DVDs and several other keepsakes, which she and her husband loaded in the car and drove up from Statesville.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Senate committee rehashes 2020 battles over election rules – here’s what happened and what they were debating

Republicans on the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee questioned the legitimacy of rule changes enacted last year by the State Board of Elections in a contentious two-hour hearing Tuesday with the board's executive director Karen Brinson Bell. Sen. Paul Newton, a Cabarrus County Republican co-chairing the committee, described the board's settlement with voting rights groups, which resulted in a modified process of voting, as "secretly negotiated" and motivated by partisan advantage.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC courts expand in-person proceedings, but online options may not be going anywhere

As with many other public and private institutions, the North Carolina court system is slowly but surely reopening to more in-person proceedings as COVID-19 infection and death rates continue to trend downward. It could, however, be a very long time before things return to "normal." Indeed, if recently introduced legislation and the assessments of some experts end up holding sway, online proceedings could become a permanent part of state judicial proceedings.

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