Top 5 Live-WURD Monday May 11
1. Four charged in fatal shooting of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, policemen
It started as a traffic stop and ended in a hail of gunfire. Now two police officers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, are dead, four suspects are facing charges and a community is mourning.
Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 24, were making a traffic stop Saturday evening when they were shot, Mayor Johnny DuPree said. They were taken to a hospital, but did not survive.
Authorities accuse the suspects of fleeing the crime scene, allegedly stealing a police cruiser and using it as a getaway car.
Joanie Calloway, 22, was charged with two counts of capital murder, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said Sunday.
Marvin Banks, 29, also faces two counts of capital murder, along with counts of grand theft auto and felon in possession of a firearm. Police charged his brother, Curtis Banks, with two counts of accessory after the fact of capital murder, the agency said. And a fourth suspect, Cornelius Clark, was charged with obstruction of justice.
2. Georgia School Founder Apologizes After ‘All the Black People’ Remark at Graduation
The founder of an alternative school in Georgia issued an apology Saturday after videos showed her making a racially-charged remark during the school’s graduation ceremony.
The audience at TNT Academy’s commencement ceremony on Friday was stunned as the school’s founder, Nancy Gordeuk, chastised some people for leaving the event early, the video shows. Most of the audience got out of their seats after Gordeuk said: “Look who’s leaving — all the black people.”
Gordeuk told NBC News that she inadvertently skipped the Valedictorian’s speech, and the crowd became disruptive when he was given the chance to deliver his remarks.
“Frustrated with the prospect of ruining the once-in-a-lifetime ceremony the graduates have worked so hard for, my emotions got the best of me and that is when I blurted out ‘you people are being so rude to not listen to this speech,’” Gordeuk wrote in an apology letter.
3. Michelle Obama Lets Loose on Race in Graduation Speech
During a commencement speech at Tuskegee University on Saturday, Obama spoke frankly about the role her racial identity played during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“As potentially the first African-American first lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others,” she told the class of 2015. “Was I too loud or too emasculating? Or was I too soft? Too much of a mom and not enough of a career woman?”
Obama referenced her satirical portrayal on a July 2008 cover of the New Yorker magazine as a terrorist.
“Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover,” Obama told the graduates at the historically black Alabama college. “It was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and a machine gun. Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m really being honest, it knocked me back a bit. It made me wonder ‘just how are people seeing me?’”
4. Convention Center files racketeering suit against Carpenters
Accusing the Carpenters union of “prolonged and coordinated violent, illegal, and extortionate conduct,” the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority filed a racketeering lawsuit Thursday against the union.
“The complaint seeks to recover more than $1 million in damages inflicted on the [authority] by the Carpenters union,” Convention Center chief executive John McNichol said in a statement. “The board considers these to be very serious charges as outlined in the complaint.”
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, lists union leader Edward Coryell, his son Edward Jr., and other union members.
No immediate comment was available from the Carpenters Union.
The lawsuit cites alleged union disruptions during the recent Philadelphia Auto Show.
5. Future of big-city policing on the ballot in Philadelphia
Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore and the unrest that followed have reshaped the campaign to lead Philadelphia. Just weeks before a May 19 primary that will almost certainly decide the winner in the heavily Democratic city, policing has vaulted past education and the economy as the dominant election issue.
Philadelphia’s next mayor will inherit a police force that has long been a microcosm of the problems plaguing departments from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore. Among them: many police-involved shootings; a reputation for the kind of rough rides to the precinct implicated in Gray’s death; and high-profile bouts with corruption and brutality.
“Philadelphia is just one incident away,” candidate Nelson Diaz said.
It’s also in a position to be a model for change.
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