Top 5 Live-WURD Monday April 20
1. Robert Bates speaks out on Tulsa shooting
Robert Bates, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, reserve sheriff’s deputy accused of manslaughter in the death of a fleeing suspect — told NBC’s “Today” show Friday that confusing a taser and handgun can happen to anyone.
That’s what Bates says happened on April 2 when he shot and killed gun suspect Eric Harris in a tussle captured on a police body camera.
The Oklahoma NAACP wants charges against other officers involved in Harris’ death, and the sheriff’s office is facing allegations that supervisors were told to forge Bates’ training records.
In his interview Friday with “Today,” Bates said he had the documentation to show he had completed the necessary training required of reserve deputies.
2. On the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, domestic threats remain
On April 19, 1995, a man parked a rental truck packed with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children.
This wasn’t the work of a foreign terrorist group. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, former U.S. Army soldiers, were convicted of the attack. McVeigh was executed in 2001, and Nichols is serving a life sentence.
Twenty years later, domestic terror threats range from white supremacists to eco-terrorists to anti-government extremists and radical separatist groups.
While the FBI works to prevent “homegrown attacks”, and to catch those responsible when they occur, some suspects still remain at large.
3. Hundreds Feared Dead After Boat Filled With Migrants Capsizes in Mediterranean
Hundreds of people were feared dead on Sunday after a ship overcrowded with migrants capsized in the Mediterranean, as the authorities described a grisly scene of bodies floating and sinking in the warm waters, with the majority of the dead apparently trapped in the ship at the bottom of the sea.
The fatal shipwreck accentuated what has become a migration crisis for Europe, as warmer spring weather has unleashed a torrent of smugglers’ boats, mostly from Libya, toward Italy and Greece. Even before this weekend’s sinking, humanitarian groups estimated that roughly 900 migrants had already died this year — compared with 90 during the same period a year ago.
That figure could rise sharply, as officials estimate that 700 people might have drowned in the weekend disaster.
4. Nutter names 24 to Police Community Oversight Board
Mayor Nutter named a panel of 24 to oversee the implementation of recommendations from a U.S. Justice Department report that found that Philadelphia police too often use lethal force.
The federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services issued 48 findings and 91 recommendations last month for the Philadelphia department to consider in “reforming its deadly force practices.”
Commissioner Charles Ramsey pledged to move quickly in implementing the recommendations. The day following the report’s release, Mayor Nutter named JoAnne Epps, dean of Temple University Law School, as chair of the implementation task force.
5. FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.
Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.
The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.
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