Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday May 27
1. Cleveland, DOJ announce changes in police force
The city of Cleveland and Department of Justice announced Tuesday how they are moving forward on agreed changes to the city’s police force.
The consent decree is the next step after the city agreed to changes last year following a scathing report from DOJ investigators regarding patterns of civil rights violations and excessive force by the Cleveland police. It will mean years of court-supervised monitoring of the Cleveland Police Department.
In a 105-page report, Justice and city leaders unveiled reforms that included commitments to “bias-free policing”, new crisis-intervention efforts and changes to officer recruitment and discipline. The leaders called on the city to buy into the changes and embrace what they billed as a transformation in the city’s policing.
“I am issuing a call of action to our entire community to support this hard work together,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “The people who may criticize the police are not the enemy — they are part of the community.”
2. At L&I, will ‘holds’ come back to haunt?
To make sure contractors paid their fines for minor violations at construction sites, the Department of Licenses and Inspections instituted an idea in July 2013 called “the hold.”
According to L&I officials, that meant a builder’s certificate of occupancy – which declares a new building inhabitable – was delayed until his fines were settled and violations corrected.
Six L&I building inspectors who spoke on condition of anonymity say the holds, placed on about 500 properties across the city, prevented the department from inspecting new construction and renovations.
Once a hold was placed on a project listed in the L&I computer system, known as HANSEN, inspectors couldn’t schedule building inspections because the system precluded further input, inspectors said.
And, they said, while inspectors were sidelined, contractors continued to do their work and completed projects – without inspections.
3. Court deals blow to Obama’s immigration plan
A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected the Obama administration’s request to lift the temporary freeze placed on the president’s sweeping executive actions on immigration.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to stay the preliminary injunction that a Texas judge placed on President Obama’s immigration measures in February, determining that the lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states would likely succeed in challenging those actions.
The ruling Tuesday affects millions of undocumented immigrants who would have qualified for the executive measures – known as DAPA and
DACA expansion. Together, the two programs would have protected more than 4 million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation, granting them a temporary work permit and legal status in the United
The court also rejected the administration’s request to limit the injunction to only the states involved in the lawsuit, arguing that it would create a “patchwork system” that would undermine uniform enforcement.
4. Baltimore’s deadliest month in 15 years: May counts 35 homicides, so far
Baltimore is seeing its deadliest month in 15 years after an outbreak of Memorial Day weekend violence left nine people dead in 29 shootings, according to police and CNN affiliates.
So far, Baltimore has tallied 35 homicides this month, police said.
The last time Baltimore saw that many homicides was December 1999, when the same number of homicides also occurred, police said.
The only month to surpass 35 homicides was the prior month, November
1999, when 36 homicides were recorded, according to police statistics since 1999.
Council member Mary Pat Clarke believes this month’s violence is a legacy of the riots and unrest over the death of Freddie Gray after being in police custody in April, according to CNN affiliate WJZ
5. Philly schools make case for $105 million more from City Council
The Philadelphia School District wants $105 million more from City Council.
On Tuesday, Council made it clear: they’re not thrilled with the request, and the cash won’t come easily after several years of increases for a district in crisis.
In a long, often-tense hearing, Council members expressed skepticism on topics ranging from the district’s basic governance structure to the instruction of cursive handwriting.
Hardly mentioned was the proposed method of raising the money the schools want: a property-tax increase.
“So you want all of the money, all of the time, basically,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke said.
“It feels like you can’t get a straight answer on some of these very important questions,” Councilwoman Cindy Bass said.
“One of the problems I have is a lack of creativity in finding out where the money is going to come from,” Councilman David Oh said.
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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