Top 5 Live-WURD Friday May 1
1. Report: Freddie Gray sustained injury in back of police van
The mystery into the death of Freddie Gray grew more complex Thursday as several new reports put the focus on what might have happened during a roughly 40-minute ride in the back of a police transport van.
Among the revelations:
- Investigators found that Gray was mortally injured in the van and not during his arrest, a Washington television station reported, citing multiple law enforcement sources.
- Police told reporters they have learned of an additional stop the van made as it was traveling to a police precinct.
- The officer driving the van believes Gray was injured before being put into the vehicle, according to a relative who gave the officer’s account to CNN.
- A second prisoner, who was picked up after Gray, told investigators that he thought Gray “was intentionally trying to injure himself, according to The Washington Post.
2. Taser: 16 major U.S. cities now have police cameras
Cities across America are fitting their police officers with cameras.
Taser, the maker of wearable cameras and stun guns, reported a 50% increase in camera sales in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a year ago.
Taser said a total of 16 major U.S. cities, including Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego, have purchased its wearable cameras for their officers. The list doesn’t include Baltimore.
Freddie Gray’s death in police custody in Baltimore is sparking debate about the transparency of those in uniform. Some critics say that if the Baltimore police had been wearing cameras, the events leading up to Gray’s death would have been clearer.
Baltimore’s City Council proposed a bill last year to put cameras on officers. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake vetoed it, citing budget and implementation issues. The mayor has since been working on a police camera proposal of her own.
3. Kane’s chief of staff accused of sexual harassment
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s new chief of staff has been accused by an assistant state prosecutor of making inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances.
Deputy Attorney General Michele Kluk confirmed in an interview Thursday that she reported the February 2014 incident to her superiors shortly after it occurred – more than a year before Kane promoted Jonathan Duecker, a former supervisor of the office’s narcotics agents, to the new post.
In addition, a second woman who works in the office has told supervisors that Duecker had sexually harassed her, according to people familiar with the woman’s account. Efforts to learn details of that allegation were unsuccessful Thursday.
Kluk, who prosecuted drug cases, said her supervisor referred the report to top aides to Kane. She said she took no further action.
4. Nepal earthquake: Teenager pulled alive from rubble on Day 6
The death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday has increased to 6,134 as of Friday morning, Nepal’s National Emergency Coordination Center tells CNN. The agency says the number of injured is 13,906.
On Day Six of Nepal’s tragedy, life triumphed as rescuers pulled an 15-year-old from the rubble of a multistory residential building in one of Kathmandu’s hard-hit neighborhoods.
A large crowd erupted in cheers as Pemba Tamang was carried out on a stretcher. He was wearing a New York shirt and a blue neck brace, was blanketed by dust and had the look of a deer in the headlights.
His rescuer, Inspector Lakshman Basnet of the Nepalese Armed Police Force, said Tamang was responsive and showed no apparent signs of serious injury.
5. Rally Underway In Philadelphia In Solidarity With Baltimore Protests
In solidarity with the Baltimore protests, a march titled “Philly Is Baltimore” is underway in Philadelphia.
Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall Thursday afternoon to voice concerns over police violence.
Protesters left Philadelphia City Hall around 6:30 p.m. and split into two groups. One group marched on Spring Garden toward the Philadelphia Police Headquarters. The other group marched through Rittenhouse Square, chanting “white silence is white consent.”
Eventually the two groups came together near 15th Street and Callowhill. They tried to enter the Vine Street Expressway, but police officers blocked them. Within seconds, tensions erupted and police made two arrests. Officers eventually moved, and the march continued through other parts of the city.
Click here to read these stories on 900amWURD.
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon