Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday May 13
1. Thirty years later on the bombed MOVE block
On May 13, 1985, the 6200 block of Osage Ave. was destroyed. Police sought to arrest MOVE members who had fortified 6221 Osage. A shootout ensued. City officials authorized a bomb, made from C-4 explosives, to be dropped from a helicopter.
The fire was left to burn. Eleven people, five of them children, died. No city employee ever faced criminal charges in connection with the deaths.
People live in 23 of the 61 blighted reconstructed houses. The city owns 36, all of them vacant, including 19 on Pine Street.
“City Hall refuses to communicate with us,” said block captain Gerald Renfrow. “They are abusing us.”
The city offered a $150,000 buyout in 2000 and froze millions approved for repairs. All but 24 homeowners accepted. The dispute went to federal court, and was dismissed in 2008.
At least 16 residents have since accepted $190,000 settlements.
2. Black Man Found Hanged From Tree in Greensboro, Georgia
A black man who’d recently been questioned in the death of a white woman was found hanging from a tree Monday morning in rural Greensboro, Georgia, police said. Local and state investigators said there was nothing to immediately suggest foul play.
Greensboro Police Chief Ossie Mapp told NBC News that a neighbor called 911 about to report finding a body behind a house. Police discovered the body of Roosevelt Champion III, 43.
Champion’s body was suspended by tie-down strap similar to those used to secure cargo on the roofs of vehicles, Mapp said.
There were no visible wounds on Champion’s body, his feet were scraping the ground and his knees were slightly buckled, suggesting that he hadn’t been lifted into the tree, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joe Wooten, who is in charge of the investigation. Wooten and Mapp said it’s too early to determine the formal cause of death, pending an autopsy.
3. Five police officers injured in wild scene in Olney
Four police officers were injured by a motorist in Olney in a protracted incident that ended when police fired into the vehicle, leaving the driver in critical condition.
The incident began around 2:15 p.m. at Ninth and Olney when police responded to a call for a car accident, Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross said. The car had crashed into a wall, and officers pulled the driver out.
The driver, who appeared “incoherent,” then tried to fight the officers, Ross said. A violent struggle ensued, he said, and the driver got back into the car and struck three officers with it.
Later, at Stenton and Ogontz Avenues, the vehicle sideswiped two police cars, one of them unmarked, and hit another officer on foot.
When the vehicle began speeding toward other officers, two officers fired at it.
Ross said he believed the driver was struck in the chest.
4. Prosecutor: No charges against white police officer
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne won’t file charges against Madison, Wisconsin Police Officer Matt Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson, an unarmed biracial man who died when Kenny shot him.
Ozanne cited three 911 callers whose accounts meshed with the police version. The callers described Robinson punching a friend, jumping in front of a car, and assaulting three other people.
When the officer ran into an apartment to confront Robinson with his weapon drawn, Robinson punched the officer, according to Ozanne. Kenny said he fell back on the stairs, and fearing for his life, fired seven shots. Kenny was giving aid to Robinson when paramedics arrived, he said.
“I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety,” Ozanne said. “I am a man who understands the pain of unjustified profiling and I am the first district of attorney of color … in the state of Wisconsin.”
5. At least 6 dead as Amtrak train derails in Port Richmond
At least five people were killed and dozens injured, six critically, when a northbound Amtrak train derailed Tuesday night in Port Richmond.
In the moments after the derailment, scores of emergency personnel swarmed over more than a half-dozen toppled train cars, trying to reach the dazed, the injured, the dying.
Some people were reported trapped in the train, and crews were cutting into the cars to try to free the injured.
Ladder 10 was the first to respond to the scene. When firefighters arrived, they found two people under the train, a fire official said.
At a briefing early Wednesday morning, with Gov. Wolf at his side, Mayor Nutter gave the grim numbers: In addition to the five dead, 65 people were taken to area hospitals, primarily Temple University Hospital. Six were in critical condition.
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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