Top 5 Live-WURD Tuesday June 2
1. Report: NBC in Talks to Keep Brian Williams With New Role
According to a report from CNN Money, NBC execs are looking for a new place for former “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams at the network. Negotiations are not yet complete, but Williams could also end up walking away from the network following a financial settlement.
CNN reports that NBC News chairman Andy Lack has asked employees to “think creatively” about a new place for Williams, who has been off the air since Feb. 9.
NBC suspended Williams for six months without pay in the wake of a scandal over misleading statements he made about his experiences while covering the war in Iraq in 2003.
Williams’ statements about facing enemy fire while traveling in a helicopter were challenged by military personnel who were part of the same mission. Williams delivered an on-air apology and acknowledged that his helicopter was never in the line of fire on that mission.
2. Mystery surrounds Hastert case — including his whereabouts
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, 73, was charged on Thursday with violating banking laws and lying to the FBI in what authorities said was an effort to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed person to cover up “past misconduct.”
The alleged misconduct involved sexual molestation of a male student back in Hastert’s teaching days, a federal law enforcement official said.
Investigators are not focusing on the sexual abuse allegations since the actions occurred so long ago and Hastert is not expected to face further charges. But law enforcement officials are trying to determine if there were other victims.
Hastert, a visible and high-paid Washington lobbyist since his 2007 retirement from Congress, has disappeared from view since the charges were filed and has issued no statement.
3. Two more Dems plead guilty in sting case
State Rep. Ronald Waters, 65, and former Rep. Harold James, 72, pleaded guilty to corruption charges, accepting deals that spared them prison and allowed them to keep their government pensions.
Waters pleaded guilty to nine counts of conflict of interest. He was sentenced to 23 months probation, ordered to pay restitution, and also will resign his seat.
James pleaded guilty to one count of conflict of interest. He was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay $750 in restitution and $2,000 for the cost of prosecution.
Another defendant, Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, said she will take her case to trial.
Waters accepted the most money from the sting’s undercover operative: $8,750 in nine payments from 2010 through 2012.
4. Missouri traffic stop report reveals racial disparity
Police officers in Missouri were 75% more likely to stop black drivers though white drivers were more likely to be caught with illegal contraband, according to a report released on Monday by State Attorney General Chris Koster.
The racial disparity in who police officers targeted for vehicle stops in 2014 was the highest since 2000, according to the report. The annual Missouri Vehicle Stops report comes amid widespread calls for police reform in the wake of last summer’s killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown Jr. by a former Ferguson police officer. Supporters of Brown and his family say Brown was unfairly targeted and that his killing was part of a broader system of racially biased policing that pervades not just the state of Missouri but communities across the country in which blacks are mistreated by law enforcement.
5. Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide
At least 385 people were shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day, according to a Washington Post analysis. That is more than twice the rate of fatal police shootings tallied by the federal government over the past decade, a count that officials concede is incomplete.
“These shootings are grossly underreported,” said Jim Bueermann, a former police chief and president of the Washington-based Police Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving law enforcement.
A national debate is raging about police use of deadly force, especially against minorities. To understand why and how often these shootings occur, The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting by police in 2015.
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