New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference with police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

New York mayor wants his police to play nice

In his first term, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, promising police reform, massively lowered crime. As he heads into his second term, he's working on another goal: Making New York's police officers, well, nicer as an antidote to an America in which the president has condoned police brutality, calling on cops to rough up suspects.

The two-step approach has officers engage "in deeper outreach with residents" while simultaneously "looking inward to the internal biases they maintain." De Blasio's philosophy centers around pragmatism and accessibility. 

Texas prisoners say they suffered during Hurricane Harvey

In Stiles Unit, a Texas prison, 3,000 men were reportedly left behind during Hurricane Harvey, getting hit by floods and being forced to use non-working toilets. Other prisons were evacuated, while Stiles Unit inmates lived in flood waters that one prisoner said reached his knees. No water for toilets meant feces built up. 

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice denied reports.

In this photo taken Sept. 20, 2016, Braxton Winston stands in protest.

For BLM, one huge step forward and one back 

On Tuesday, Black Lives Matter activist Braxton Winston, who was featured in a photo that became a symbol of the movement, won an election by a landslide in Charlotte, N.C., a city he once protested against. 

In 2016, Winston joined others demanding the resignation of city officials after the death of black male Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of a Charlotte police officer. Now Winston — who once stood between police and protesters (shirtless, fist in the air) — is a city official himself. He won an at-large city council seat stating that: "It is our duty and responsibility as public servants to reach the people where they stand."

But the week before that victory, it was clear, at least in California, that some BLM supporters haven't been able to speak out as strongly. The American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to the Alameda Unified School District demanding it undo steps it says limit First Amendment rights of BLM supporters on campuses.

The district won't allow BLM shirts, signs and other materials on school grounds, citing a rule that states if items are distributed from one perspective, material from the opposing side must also be presented. The ACLU is calling the ruling — made after a noose was found on district grounds and a BLM sign was defaced — a ban.