Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday April 8
1. South Carolina cop charged with murdering unarmed man
A South Carolina officer has been charged with murder after a video surfaced that appears to show him shooting an unarmed man who was running away.
Michael Slager, an officer with the North Charleston Police Department, was arrested Tuesday. If found guilty of murder, he could face up to life in prison or death.
The shooting took place Saturday morning after a traffic stop. Video obtained by The New York Times shows what happened.
A black man breaks away from the white officer. Something falls, and the officer fires eight shots at the man as he runs away. The man, who appears to be unarmed, drops to the ground.
2. Rand Paul begins presidential run
Sen. Rand Paul launched his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday with a combative challenge both to Washington and his fellow Republicans while pledging to “take our country back.”
Paul’s fiery message was designed to broaden his appeal outside of the typical GOP coalition as well as motivate supporters of his father’s two unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination.
In a 26-minute speech that eviscerated “the Washington machine,” he attempted to tap into Americans’ deep frustrations with their government.
“I worry that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters,” the tea party favorite said.
“It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.”
By criticizing fellow Republicans, Paul showed he was ready to run a tough-talking campaign equally at ease criticizing both major parties.
3. Emanuel wins reelection in Chicago
Rahm Emanuel has won re-election in Chicago, defeating Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the city’s first ever runoff for Mayor.
Emanuel was able to boost turnout in the city’s majority white communities on the Chicago lakefront and on the North side, as well as maintain a strong lead in the African American neighborhoods on Chicago’s West and South side. Garcia, on the other hand, was hurt by low turnout in Hispanic-majority areas.
The race saw a huge surge in early votes, with more than 142,000 Chicagoans submitting their ballots early, up from just about 90,000 before the February vote.
Garcia’s team was predicting victory up until the end, however, promising a never-before-seen ground effort buoyed by the Chicago Teachers’ Union and a handful of progressive groups working to oust Emanuel.
But the winner’s reward is not necessarily an ideal prize — it’s a Chicago beset by growing financial problems, including a $20 billion pension crisis and $300 million operating budget shortfall that have resulted in multiple downgrades in the city’s bond rating.
4. Duke beats Wisconsin in Final Four Championship, tragedy follows
Seven people — including Illinois State University associate men’s basketball coach Torrey Ward and deputy athletic director Aaron Leetch — died when their small plane crashed while heading back from the NCAA tournament final.
The aircraft went down overnight Monday about 2 miles east of the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, McLean County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bill Tate said.
That’s about 5 miles from the campus of Illinois State, where Ward and Leetch both worked. It was not immediately known who else was on the aircraft, which the National Transportation Safety Board tweeted was a Cessna 414.
The plane was coming back from the NCAA Final Four championship game in Indianapolis, according to Illinois State athletics spokesman John Twork. “The ISU community is reeling from the loss,” Twork said.
5. Former D.A. Lynne Abraham Collapses During Mayoral Debate
Former Philadelphia district attorney Lynne Abraham is recovering after collapsing during a mayoral debate at the Kimmel Center in Center City.
It was about 10 minutes into the debate when Democratic mayoral candidate Lynne Abraham collapsed while on stage.
“While I was just standing there the lights went out. The doctor jumped up on the stage and I said I want to get up and go on and he said I don’t think so,” said Abraham.
Abraham went back stage to receive medical attention and the debate went on.
She says the doctor tells her she may have suffered from a sudden drop in blood pressure.
“These things sometimes happen, they’re inexplicable, never happened before and it just happened at an inopportune time, I regret to say,” she said.
Abraham says she’s embarrassed about the incident but assures constituents it will not affect her campaigning.
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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