Cosby spokesman creates video comparing comedian's conviction to racist cops
A spokesman for Bill Cosby posted a bizarre, 100-second Instagram video Friday equating racist police officers to allegedly biased jurists who in 2018 convicted his client of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.“In this 21st century, we have witnessed the senseless murders of black men and women at the hands of a few bad law enforcement officers — but (that’s) not all,” says spokesman Andrew Wyatt. “We have witnessed the unjust conviction and incarceration of a true American treasure and citizen, actor-comedian Bill Cosby, and we are witnessing a pandemic unlike anything we have seen in o...
New York Daily News
Appellate ruling scraps conversion therapy bans in cities across Florida
MIAMI — As a result of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down laws in Palm Beach County banning LGBTQ conversion therapy, other Florida municipalities with similar laws can no longer enforce such bans on therapies that attempt to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.That’s according to attorney Rob Rosenwald of the city of Miami Beach, which in 2016 became the first city in Florida to pass a law banning licensed medical providers from practicing conversion therapy on a child.The two laws struck down by a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Palm Beach Count...
Penn student who aged out of foster care wins prestigious Rhodes Scholarship
PHILADELPHIA — Mackenzie Fierceton grew up poor, cycling through the rocky child welfare system. She bounced from one foster home to the next. One home, during her junior year of high school, was so “toxic” and crammed with other foster kids that she left for weeks at a time, sleeping each night on a carousel of couches at the homes of various friends, she said.“It was a very challenging and isolating experience,” Fierceton said. “At my school, everyone kind of knew me as like the foster kid who all these bad things had happened to.”She poured herself into her studies.“School was always an out...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
A Black family couldn't bury their young son where they wished because of racism. 60 years later, does an apology help?
SEATTLE — Six decades after the state of Washington compounded her family’s tragedy with insult and indignity, Bernice Price can only shake her head and sigh.“Oh Lord,” Price, 90, says. “It’s been a long time.”She gestures toward the alley behind the Seattle home she’s lived in for the better part of a century.“Something happened during that time,” she says. “It’s gone.”Sixty years ago, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled that a Seattle cemetery’s insistence on segregation outweighed Price and her husband’s right to bury their young son there. Last month, the Washington state Supreme Cour...
The Seattle Times
Artist hopes mural of 23-year-old killed in June shooting makes others pause before causing harm
CHICAGO — A golden frame filled with the cosmos went up on a brick building near the Western Blue Line. Its creator, speckled in paint, finished off glints of light on the stars. In a few clean lines, he wrote, “memorial mural in progress.”For longtime Chicago artist Tyrue “Slang” Jones, the project was personal.Brandon McGhee, 23, was walking near that wall in June, after a hot summer day spent visiting his mom, when he was shot and killed in one of the most violent weekends Chicago has seen in recent years. McGhee went to the same grammar school as Jones’ kids. McGhee’s mother, LaDonna Lane,...
Suddenly, this small South Carolina town has no police. Why do critics, officers blame the mayor?
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Situated in the southeast of Lexington County near where Interstate 77 ends at Interstate 26, the town of Pine Ridge has a small police department protecting its population of 2,000 people. At most, the town would normally have three full-time officers on staff, supplemented by part-time officers.But Pine Ridge has been without a functioning police department since Oct. 13, when Lt. Vincent Silano, the town’s interim police chief and only serving full-time officer, resigned after only five months on the job. Silano is the fourth chief to step down in the last three years, and ...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
Jewish leaders defend Raphael Warnock after Loeffler attacks
ATLANTA — In the hours after a gunman in Pittsburgh opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018, the phone rang in Atlanta for Rabbi Peter Berg, the leader of The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest Jewish congregation.It was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.“Raphael was the first to call,” Berg said. “(He said that) during this horrific moment of anti-Semitism in our country, he and the Ebenezer family are with us.”The pastor offering Berg comfort in 2018 is now running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler in an increasingly ugly figh...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
'Do they just not care?' Miami immigrants troubled by surge of Latino support for Trump
MIAMI — Unable to vote because of her immigration status, Maria Elena Hernandez, a Nicaraguan janitorial worker with temporary protected status (TPS)Along with fellow members of her union, a local chapter of Service Employees International, Hernandez spent the days leading up to Nov. 3 knocking on doors across Miami-Dade and talking to voters about Joe Biden, whom she considers to be more “in favor of workers and immigrants” than President Donald Trump. For years, Hernandez has also encouraged immigrant co-workers eligible for citizenship to complete the naturalization process, so that they ca...
Under Trump, hundreds of small changes in immigration rules have had a huge impact
PHILADELPHIA — Immigration lawyers call it the “no-blank-space policy.”In 2019, the Trump administration imposed a rule requiring immigrants seeking asylum or other humanitarian relief to fill in every space on the application, even if the question doesn’t apply to them. If they leave one spot empty — say, they don’t write down a middle name, because they don’t have one — the document is rejected.That causes more than delay in refiling. It can derail entire claims and open the door to deportation. Last week two national immigrant advocacy groups filed a federal class-action lawsuitBut the blan...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal crimes
The company responsible for thousands of overdose deaths at the hands of its drug OxyContin pleaded guilty to federal crimes Tuesday.Purdue Pharma, owned and operated by the Sackler family while it pushed the painkilling opioid to addicts, formally admitted to the federal charges as part of a plea agreement signed in October.The settlement also requires Purdue to pay $8.3 billion to the federal government, but that probably won’t happen because Purdue declared bankruptcy last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Its remaining money is being saved to pay the numerous states, cities and count...
New York Daily News