Top 5 Live-WURD Friday November 27
1. Obama ‘Deeply Disturbed’ By Video of Laquan McDonald Shooting
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was “deeply disturbed” by video released a day earlier showing the deadly police shooting of a black man in Chicago last year, and thanked protesters for remaining peaceful.
“Like many Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald,” Obama said in a statement.
“This Thanksgiving, I ask everybody to keep those who’ve suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers, and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor,” he said.
The video showing the shooting of Laquan during an encounter with police on Oct. 20, 2014 stirred nationwide outrage when it was released Tuesday.
Sixteen shots were fired, and the video shows some of those rounds being fired while Laquan was on the ground. Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday.
2. White House fence jumper detained
A man is in custody after jumping over a White House fence while the first family was inside celebrating Thanksgiving, officials said.
Joseph Caputo scaled a fence on the North Lawn at 2:45 p.m., according to Secret Service Spokesperson Robert Hoback. The jumper was immediately apprehended and taken into custody.
According to two CNN photojournalists who witnessed the incident, the man was carrying an envelope, had on a blue shirt and white pants and was cloaked in an American flag. They said the officers who detained him had their guns drawn and were accompanied by K-9 units.
Though the White House issued an official “all clear” about two hours after the episode began, the north and south fence lines remained temporarily closed Thursday evening.
3. Turkey won’t apologize for downing Russian warplane, Erdogan says
Turkey will not apologize for downing a Russian fighter jet it says violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an exclusive CNN interview Thursday in Ankara.
“I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us,” he said from the Turkish capital. “Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to … violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence.”
In a meeting with community leaders in Ankara, Erdogan said, “If the same violation occurs today, Turkey has to react the same way.”
Turkey has repeatedly said it shot down the Russian warplane on Tuesday only after the plane ignored several warnings and entered Turkish airspace.
Russia has contested the claim, and its rescued co-pilot Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin told state media that “there were no warnings — not via the radio, not visually.”
4. Obama admin says states lack authority to block refugees
Amid a growing political controversy, the Obama administration on Wednesday reminded state officials across the country that states do not have legal authority to refuse to accept Syrian refugees.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement said in a letter to state resettlement officials that states may not deny benefits and services to refugees based on a refugee’s country of origin or religious affiliation.
States that do not comply with the requirement would be breaking the law and could be subject to enforcement action, including suspension or termination of the federally funded program, according to the letter, signed by the director of the federal resettlement office, Robert Carey.
The letter came after more than two-dozen governors, mostly Republicans, vowed to block efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. The governors said they fear that militants planning a terror attack could enter the country under the guise of seeking refuge from war-torn Syria. In the House, lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to erect higher hurdles for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
5. Kane calls for broader email probe
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane promised Wednesday an even broader investigation of offensive emails on government computers – a search for “filth” on “every public server over which it was circulated.”
In a statement issued shortly after a state Senate panel took a key step toward removing her from office, Kane said she would appoint a team of special prosecutors to investigate the messages.
Next week, Kane said, she would detail “prosecutorial powers” they would have to pursue any violations of criminal, civil, or ethics laws.
She also called on the Justice Department to investigate several federal prosecutors who took part in the email exchanges.
Kane has been raising an alarm about emails containing pornography or other offensive material exchanged on state computers since she discovered last year that her agency’s servers had been a hub for the transmission of such messages.
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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