Top 5 Live-WURD Thursday June 4
1. Boston shooting: Suspect plotted to behead Pamela Geller, sources say
Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot after waving a military knife at law enforcement officers in Boston, was originally plotting to behead Pamela Geller, an activist and conservative blogger, law enforcement sources told CNN.
But Rahim, a 26-year-old security guard who officials believe was radicalized by ISIS and other extremists, decided instead to target police, according to court documents.
“I can’t wait that long,” he said of the original beheading plan, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Boston on Wednesday.
Geller drew national attention last month after an off-duty police officer working security thwarted an attack at her organization’s contest for Prophet Mohammed drawings in Garland, Texas. She’s president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which includes subsidiary programs Stop Islamization of America and Stop Islamization of Nations.
2. Bill Cosby moves to block material linked to 2006 assault lawsuit
Bill Cosby and his lawyers have moved to block the publication of material linked to a 2006 settlement of a sex assault lawsuit.
The star has been accused of rape, sexual assault and other behavior by more than 30 women, who have come forward with decades-old claims in the past eight months.
He has not been charged, but in 2006, he settled one lawsuit, in which Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, sued Cosby, alleging he drugged and sexually assaulted her at his suburban mansion. Now, three women have hit Cosby with a defamation lawsuit filed in Massachusetts. The trio accuse him of having his agents deny their claims that Cosby molested them in the 1970s, and they believe the documents from Constand’s case can help them.
3. Prosecutors get Tamir Rice investigation
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio on Wednesday handed its investigation into the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice to prosecutors.
“The sheriff’s office received the file on February 13th, and has performed an extensive, thorough and unbiased investigation. It is now up to the prosecutor to determine how next to proceed,” the department said in a statement.
Tamir was holding a fake gun when a Cleveland police officer shot him
November 22. The boy died a day later.
He had been playing in a park near his home.
A witness called 911, reporting that there was “a guy with a pistol,” adding that the weapon was “probably” fake.
4. Ex-Workers Accuse CVS of Racial Discrimination Against Shoppers
Four former store detectives employed by CVS in New York filed a class-action lawsuit against the drugstore chain on Wednesday, accusing their bosses of ordering them to target black and Hispanic shoppers.
The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, also alleged that the detectives were fired after they complained about racial discrimination, against both customers and themselves.
The plaintiffs, all of whom are either black or Hispanic, contend in their suit that two supervisors in CVS’s loss-prevention department, overseeing stores in Manhattan and Queens, regularly told them to racially profile nonwhite shoppers. The suit says that one of the supervisors, Anthony Salvatore, routinely told subordinates that “black people always are the ones that are the thieves,” and that “lots of Hispanic people steal.” The second supervisor, Abdul Selene, frequently advised detectives, known at CVS as market investigators, to “watch the black and Hispanic people to catch more cases,” the suit said.
The supervisors also subjected the plaintiffs to discriminatory treatment, the suit said.
5. School funding still undecided as Council weighs options
With just two weeks to go before City Council recesses for the summer, it does not appear likely that $105 million in new funding for the School District of Philadelphia will be approved, Council President Darrell Clarke said yesterday.
“There does not appear to be support for that at this time, after four successive years of raising taxes to the tune of over $350 million,” a somber Clarke said.
“There’s not a lot of appetite to have another significant tax increase.”
He said Council would “push forward” to cover the school district’s $85 million budget deficit using means other than a tax increase.
School district and city officials yesterday reiterated the need for the entire $105 million.
School Reform Commission chairwoman Marjorie Neff said schools have been “operating with skeletal staffs and have been hanging on by their fingernails” and should not be expected to continue that way.
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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