WS Chronicle http://www.wschronicle.com Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:11:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Anti -Trump rally takes protest to the streets http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/34185/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/34185/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:45:52 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34185 Photo by Tevin Stinson BY TEVIN STINSON  THE CHRONICLE More than 100 people marched in the blazing heat Monday evening in protest of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who made

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

More than 100 people marched in the blazing heat Monday evening in protest of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who made a campaign stop in the city.

The peaceful protest that was scheduled to be held in the 2800 block of Shorefair Drive started out slow, with only a handful of protesters. But that quickly changed when protesters decided the parking lot of the Senior Services Building wasn’t a prime location for the anti-Trump rally, and decided to take to the streets surrounding the Fairground Annex, Trumps first official stop following the Republican National Convention.

As they marched on University Parkway, the line of protesters and number of signs discrediting Trump seemed to grow by the minute. The group finally settled at the corner of University and Deacon Boulevard, where they stood for more than two hours. While shouting “Dump Trump,” “Stop The Hate,” and “Build Bridges Not Walls,” protesters received support, as well as criticism, from those who drove by. Many of the hecklers were going inside to hear Trump speak.

While holding a sign that read, “Hate does not make great,” Greg Alberto said, he decided to attend the rally to prove there are voters in the area who don’t support Trump. He noted that although under the current administration North Carolina is a red state, and many are sup-porting Trump, i’ts important that other voices are heard.

“I know he probably sees North Carolina as a win, but if we rally together, I think we can change that,” said Alberto. “Some people may not know there is a voice of dissent. That’s why I am here today. To be that voice.”

The Rev. Carlton A.G. Eversley, senior pastor of Dellabrook Presbyterian Church and a community activist, said Trump is a dangerous character who promotes hatred and racism.

“We must all come together and fight against Trump and all forms of hatred in this country,” he continued. “The people united will never be defeated.”

Army Veteran Steve Hewett, who was one of the first protesters to arrive, said, “As a veteran, I am insulted by some of the things Donald Trump says.

“When he says things like he knows more about foreign policy than our Army generals, I have a real issue with that,” he said. “He has to be stopped.”

Hewett also discussed his distrust for the Republican Party nominee for vice president, Mike Pence, who made his first appearance alongside Trump on Monday. He mentioned that neither Trump nor Pence are capable of running this country.

City native Tim Ferguson said, as an African-American he is disgusted with some of the things Trump says. He said Trump is someone American voters can’t let into the White House.

“We have to have someone better,” he said. “He doesn’t even know how to talk to people on live television. He is bringing racism back, and we can’t have that in the White House.”

After a brief interview with The Chronicle, Ferguson got into a shout-ing match with someone who made a racial comment directed at the protesters. Ferguson said it’s obvious what kinds of people are causing the problems here.

While tempers did flare when supporters and pro-testers came face to face, officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department and other agencies in the area made sure the protest and rally stayed peaceful. According to sources, one protester had to be removed from inside the annex by police.

Outside the event, more than 50 officers made a barrier between protesters and supporters leaving designated parking areas following the event.

Greensboro native Jacob Townsend said he was impressed with how law enforcement officers handled the situation. He said, “They made sure everyone kept their freedom of speech rights, but they also made sure no one got out of hand.

“There were moments when I thought things were getting pretty heated between both sides, but the police handled it well.”

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E. Winston aquatic park on way http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/e-winston-aquatic-park-way/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/e-winston-aquatic-park-way/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:15:25 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34181 BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE Ground was broken on the Winston Lake Aquatic Park on Friday, July 22, which the city is hoping to make into a major water attraction.

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BY TODD LUCK

THE CHRONICLE

Ground was broken on the Winston Lake Aquatic Park on Friday, July 22, which the city is hoping to make into a major water attraction.

Winston Lake Park, which is located near the corner of New Walkertown and Waterworks roads, is a park with its own lake that’s currently used for fishing. From 1963 to 1992 it also had a pool, which is no longer there. The aquatic park will turn it into a water park complete with a pool, slide and lazy river. The $5 million construction project, which is expected to be completed next year, is part of the voter-approved 2014 bond. City council members repeatedly referred to the park as a hidden gem that would now get the attention it deserved.

“What we are doing here today is something that will allow people for generations to come to enjoy the greatness that is Winston Lake Park,” said City Council Member Derwin Montgomery, who represents the East Ward, which contains the park.

This was music to the ears of Marva Reid, president of the East Winston Neighborhood Association. For many years the East Ward has lacked a public swimming pool, something that Reid had been advocating to change. She plans to be among the swimmers who come out to enjoy the pool when it’s completed next year.

“I’m so excited for the children in the neighborhood because they get to benefit from this,” said Reid.

The aquatic park will have a variety of attractions:

*A pool that will be 82 feet long by 45 feet wide and range in depth from 3.5 to 5.6 feet.

*A shallow, zero-entry pool that’s 70 feet around with a 22-foot- tall water-play structure with sprinklers and slides.

*A water slide that will be more than 16 feet high and 111 feet long.

*A 625-foot lazy river complete with inner tubes provided.

*A 5,800 square-foot bathhouse with a covered outdoor concession area.

*A “water journey” simulated river with a waterfall and bamboo spray misters and water jets along the river channel.

There will also be new parking lots with 182 new parking spaces added to accommodate the expected crowds.

Recreation and Parks Director Tim Grant said he expects Winston Lake to become a major draw. Grant, who retires next week, said the park will have something for every-one.

“When this project is finished, I want you to find every person who can’t swim and get them over here,” he said.

Construction on the park was delayed earlier this year as the City Council looked for a bidder that could meet its criteria for minority participation.

Winston Lake Road between Waterworks Road and the lake is closed for construction on Monday and is expected to remain closed for 60 days. Customers renting shelters 2, 3 and 4 can access them by taking Greensboro Road to Winston Lake Road.

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N.C. Republicans rally with Trump in W-S http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/n-c-republicans-rally-trump-w-s/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/n-c-republicans-rally-trump-w-s/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:00:31 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34178 BY TODD LUCK  THE CHRONICLE North Carolina republicans flocked to presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, as they appeared on Monday, July 25, at the

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BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

North Carolina republicans flocked to presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, as they appeared on Monday, July 25, at the Winston – Salem Fairgrounds Annex, which seats 4,000 people.

Thousands attended the rally, where many Republicans running for office spoke, just days after Trump became the party’s official nominee at last week’s GOP convention. Most notable among the speakers were Sen. Richard Burr and Gov. Pat McCrory, who had not appeared at Trump’s numerous recent visits to North Carolina.

Trump opened by saying that he felt Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, had given up by endorsing Hillary Clinton. Sanders made a speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night urging support for Clinton, after he’d gotten numerous concessions in the platform, such as free college tuition for families earning $125,000 or less and a public healthcare option.

Trump said he shared Sanders’ stance on trade, in opposing deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Clinton now opposes, too. He said the Vermont Senator’s supporters will now vote for him because this was Sander’s main issue. During the primary, Democrats criticized Sanders for being too focused on issues of wealth inequality and getting big money out of politics, which he talked about far more than trade.

Trump said that the United States shouldn’t take refugees from the civil war in Syria, where the U.S. and its allies are currently fighting ISIS. Instead, he’d build a safe zone in war-torn Syria and make Middle Eastern countries pay for it.

“We’re not taking one person, not one person, into this country. We have enough problems,” he said to thunderous applause.

Trump also said that other countries will have to pay more for protection by the U.S. military. He gave the example of Japan, which he said pays about half of what it costs to station military personnel there. He asked why Japan couldn’t pay 100 percent , while saying the United States should be willing to walk away when negotiating such deals.

North Korean state paper DPRK praised Trump in May when he said he might withdraw troops from South Korea if the country didn’t pay more.  The paper called him a “far sighted presidential candidate” who will “not get involved in the war between North and South.”

Trump repeated what has now become a familiar line about building a wall along the southern U.S. border that he’ll make Mexico pay for. He once again insulted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is a fierce Trump critic, calling her “Pocahontas” and saying she’s the least productive senator with “a big mouth.”

He criticized CNN, which he called the “Clinton News Network,” for having panels he said were filled with people who were all against him. He said the media was too negative in its assessment of his acceptance speech, while bragging about his post-convention bounce in the polls. (According to a CNN Survey Monkey poll that came out Tuesday morning, July 26, Trump did not get a convention bounce in the polls.)

Trump characterized his convention speech, which was often criticized for being too dark, as “optimistic.”

Leading up to his speech, N.C. Republicans were not shy about their support of Trump. Burr said electing Trump will lead to the change that conservatives want.

“I’m convinced that with Trump in the White House, with a Republican majority in the House and Senate, you will get what you asked for,” said Burr.

When McCrory introduced Pence, he also said Trump can fix the federal government since he’s not a part of it. Trump now says he’s an “outsider” after he was part of the “system” when he donated to and influenced politicians as a businessman.

“We need an outsider,” McCrory said.

McCrory also spoke against the Obama administration’s policies on the Affordable Healthcare Act, admitting Syrian refugees and environmental regulation.  He even opened with a joke about restrooms that referenced HB 2, a controversial law restricting transgender public restroom use that recently resulted in the NBA withdrawing the All-Star Games from Charlotte.

Though change is a common theme in political campaigns, the tone of the rally was a bit different. Rep. Mark Meadows was one of several speakers who said things like Clinton would look better “in prison orange than Democrat blue,” which the crowd would respond with a chant of “Lock her up!”

Just before the rally officially began, there were three African-American speakers who addressed the largely white crowd.

YouTube stars and super Trump fans from Fayetteville, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, said that African-Americans need to get off the “Democratic Plantation.” South Carolina Televangelist Mark Burns said that “blue lives matter” and that he’s never been pulled over unjustly by the police.

Burns accused Obama of being a “racist,” stoking tension between white and black Americans. He also felt anger and criticism aimed at Trump is being unfairly targeted.

“If you’re going to be mad at anybody, be mad at the citizens of the United States because we put him where he is right now,” he said.

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N.C. NAACP to bring fight for Smith, Sharpe here http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/34176/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/34176/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:45:51 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34176 BY CASH MICHAELS  FOR THE CHRONICLE The N.C. NAACP is once again joining with the movements to free Kalvin Michael Smith and Dontae Sharpe – two black men supporters say

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BY CASH MICHAELS 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

The N.C. NAACP is once again joining with the movements to free Kalvin Michael Smith and Dontae Sharpe – two black men supporters say were falsely accused, convicted and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit – in “major statewide actions”  to demand that Gov. Pat McCrory and State Attorney General Roy Cooper “compel justice and hasten the Department of Justice ” to release them.

“It is immoral to forget the pain of those behind bars so easily – though they may be separated from us by concrete walls and the label of criminal, they are our brothers and sisters, and they are God’s children,” Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the N.C. NAACP, said in the statement.

Kalvin Smith is serving up to 29 years in prison, charged with the December 1995 brutal assault in Winston-Salem of an assistant store manager, even though there was no physical evidence connecting him with the crime.

Witnesses placed Smith on the other side of town at the time, and subsequent investigations, including by a retired FBI agent, note that the Winston-Salem Police Department’s original investigation was shoddy at best.

Cooper, however,  has refused to join with Smith’s attorneys to ask for a new trial.

Cooper and McCrory are running for governor of North Carolina this year; Cooper as a Democrat and McCrory as a Republican.

Dontae Sharpe has been serving a life sentence since 1994 for a murder during a drug buy in Greenville. Sharpe was reportedly offered a plea deal by the Pitt County District Attorney for time served, but turned it down, saying that he could not accept it for a crime that he did not commit.

The Duke University Wrongful Convictions Clinic is working on Sharpe’s case.

In a recently released statement, the N.C. NAACP and the N.C. NAACP’s Youth and College Division designated Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 as not only special days of advocacy for Sharpe and Smith in Greenville and Winston-Salem respectively, but also days of tribute to the work and memory of the late Darryl Hunt.

At the age of 19, Hunt was falsely convicted of a 1984 Winston-Salem murder. He served 19 years in prison, even though DNA evidence proved him innocent a decade before he was released. After his release, Hunt worked diligently to help other victims of false prosecutions. Darryl Hunt died last March.

The civil rights organization has previously called for justice in both cases, most recently last March when the N.C. NAACP joined with the families of Smith and Sharpe in calling for the governor and state attorney general to intercede on their behalf.

“We are sending a message in North Carolina to all those running for elected office,” Barber said. “People of good will not end our advocacy on behalf of these two innocent men, Dontae and Kalvin, until they are set free and their convictions vacated.

“This miscarriage of justice must end and courageous leadership must emerge,” Barber continued. “It is no longer acceptable in the state of North Carolina to play politics with the lives of black men and black  women, and hope the civil rights community and our allies stand by quietly.  We must all cry out against this injustice committed in our names. United, we can bring about a lasting change.”

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Adams holds forum on gun violence http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/adams-holds-forum-gun-violence/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/adams-holds-forum-gun-violence/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:30:43 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34173 Photo by Tevin Stinson BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE  Last week Congresswoman Alma Adams sat down with city officials, local faith leaders, and members of the community to discuss the

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

Last week Congresswoman Alma Adams sat down with city officials, local faith leaders, and members of the community to discuss the recent rise in gun violence in the city and across the nation.

Adams, the Representative for District 12 which currently includes parts of Guilford and Forsyth Counties, said she felt it is important to hold an open conversation with the stakeholders in the community to discuss the issue. She mentioned the recent rise in gun violence in Winston-Salem is a reflection of what has become a problem for cities across the nation.

“The issues we are facing in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County mirror a number of the issues we are facing in communities across the country,” said Adams. “Our country has failed to pass sensible gun safety reform measures and gun violence is ripping our neighborhoods.”

In just seven months, the city has already seen 15 homicides, double the amount for all of 2015. According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, there has also been an increase in aggravated assaults, which refers to incidents where a weapon was used but the victim survived, and drive by shootings.

At the national level, major cities have seen 114 more murders than last year, as well as increases in rapes and robberies. Last month, Adams was one of 130 Democratic lawmakers who participated in a sit-in on the House floor in protest of Republicans’ unwillingness to vote on a bill that would expand background checks and ban gun sales to those on the “no-fly” watch list.

“We have to get past being silent about this issue and begin to have conversations. That’s the reason we are here today,” she continued. “We are well overdue for a conversation that will bring all sides together.”

During the Safer 12th Community Forum held at the Winston Lake Family YMCA, more than 100 community members listened intensely as council member Derwin Montgomery, Chief Barry Rountree, Rev. Alvin Carlisle and Brother Effrainguae Muhammad conversed about different initiatives they have helped establish to combat the recent rise in violent crimes and improve the relationship between the community and law enforcement.

Chief Barry Rountree discussed the efforts of the WSPD. He noted the construction of three police substations and the Winston-Salem Police Foundation are just some of the ways they are looking to improve the relationship between police and citizens.

“Those substations are going to allow us to be more involved in the community,” he said. “It is important to this department that we have a working relationship with the people we serve.”

Representative for the East Ward Derwin Montgomery talked about the city’s efforts. He mentioned City Council’s decision to provide additional funds for S.O.A.R (Successful Outcomes After Release), a program designed that provides job training for those recently released from prison, and the Winston-Salem Urban League’s summer employment program.

Montgomery noted, “When discussing the violence that we see in Winston-Salem and other cities across America, we must also address the social economic issues that undergird the violence.”

“It’s very simple,” he continued. “We cannot separate the social economic issues that are aligned with the violence. The policies that the City Council works for will continue to address these issues.”

Third vice president of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity Rev. Alvin Carlisle discussed the faith community’s efforts to build a better community. Carlisle said the Conferences’ initiatives attack the issue by focusing on decreasing poverty and making education more accessible for those who come from low-income households.

He said, “It is the mission of the Conference to cultivate mindsets that will cause people to realize that all lives have value, and all lives are important.”

Community activist Brother Effrainguae Muhammad wrapped up the panel discussion by discussing the importance of community policing. He also urged community members to do what they can to reduce crime.

“We can’t expect law enforcement to fix this problem alone. We have to do our part as well.”

Muhammad said local members of the Nation of Islam have established the Squash the Beef Hotline that will set up conflict resolution centers that will end senseless disagreements that lead to shooting deaths.

“This is a preventable measure we are doing,” he said. “Many of those who have lost their lives have been because of ego.”

Following a brief Q and A session with residents, Rep. Adams thanked the panelists for their participation and urged them to continue to fight gun violence in the community.

“This is something I am very adamant about,” she said. “As you continue to fight here locally, I will continue to fight in Congress.”

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Salemtowne commemorates new health care center http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/salemtowne-commemorates-new-health-care-center/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/salemtowne-commemorates-new-health-care-center/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:20:22 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34170 Photo by Tevin Stinson BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE Last week dozens of residents and employees of Salemtowne came together for a “topping out” ceremony to commemorate the construction of

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE

Last week dozens of residents and employees of Salemtowne came together for a “topping out” ceremony to commemorate the construction of their new innovative Health Care Community Center.

“Topping out” ceremonies mark the moment when the final roofing piece is placed on top of the tallest building on a construction site. Residents of Salemtowne, a non-profit retirement community, signed the plank of wood before it was set into place atop the 127,000 square foot building which will house a variety of new health care spaces for residents.

According to president and CEO Mark Steele, once the center is completed around this time next year, residents will be able to receive treatment from trained professionals without the hassle of leaving the comfort of their living quarters. He also mentioned the new center is three times larger than the community’s current health care center.

“It’s a great day here at Salemtowne,” said Steele. “This healthcare center is going to offer every amenity you would have in a household. A kitchen, a living room, a dining room, these private apartments are designed to meet the needs of our residents.”

During the ceremony, Salemtowne board of trustees chair Peggy Carter said she was delighted to see how far construction has come in just a year’s time. Carter mentioned the completed center will be a real asset to the community.

Salemtowne is a nonprofit continuing care retirement community in Winston-Salem that promotes the well-being of its residents by providing a caring environment. Salemtowne is an ecumenical community that reflects the Moravian values of individual respect, hospitality, life-long learning, and love of the arts.

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U.S. tentatively OKs flights to Cuba from Charlotte, other cities http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/u-s-tentatively-oks-flights-cuba-charlotte-cities/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/u-s-tentatively-oks-flights-cuba-charlotte-cities/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:15:07 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34165 BY JOAN LOWY AND SCOTT MAYEROWITZ  ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON  — Scheduled commercial airline service to Havana from 10 American cities, including Charlotte, won tentative government approval  July 7, advancing President

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BY JOAN LOWY AND SCOTT MAYEROWITZ 

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON  — Scheduled commercial airline service to Havana from 10 American cities, including Charlotte, won tentative government approval  July 7, advancing President Barack Obama’s effort to normalize relations with Cuba.

Eight U.S. airlines will begin a total of 20 round-trip daily flights as early as this fall between the U.S. and the Cuban capital, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. It has been more than 50 years since the last scheduled air service from the U.S. to the communist island nation.

Besides Charlotte, the U.S. cities are: Atlanta; Houston; Los Angeles; Newark, New Jersey; New York; and four in Florida _ Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa.

The airlines are Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and United.

Foxx said the decision won’t be final until later this summer in order to provide a 30-day public comment period. Last month, the Transportation Department announced the approval of six U.S. airlines to begin service as early as this fall to other Cuban cities.

Most Americans still cannot legally visit Cuba. But the Obama administration has eased rules to the point where travelers are now free to design their own “people-to-people” cultural exchange tours with little oversight. Airlines still need to record –and keep for five years – the official reason why someone travels to Cuba, so reservation systems have been revamped to allow passengers to select one of the 12 permitted categories. They include family visits, official business, educational or religious activities.

U.S. citizens’ interest in visiting Cuba has swelled since relations between the two nations started to thaw in December 2014. Nearly 160,000 U.S. leisure travelers flew to Cuba last year, along with hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans visiting family.

Scott Mayerowitz reported from New York.

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Jordan gives $2M, looks to build trust between blacks, cops http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/34162/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/34162/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:00:42 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34162 BY STEVE REED  AP SPORTS WRITER CHARLOTTE (AP) – Michael Jordan finally spoke out on Monday about racial tensions in America in hopes of easing conflicts between blacks and law

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BY STEVE REED 

AP SPORTS WRITER

CHARLOTTE (AP) – Michael Jordan finally spoke out on Monday about racial tensions in America in hopes of easing conflicts between blacks and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner announced he is giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and another $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” Jordan said in a statement. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”

Jordan’s father was killed in 1993 in a botched carjacking in North Carolina. Daniel Green and his friend Larry Demery were convicted of killing 56-year-old James Jordan along U.S. 74 and dumping his body in South Carolina. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

The high-profile Jordan has been notoriously silent over the years when it comes to his opinions on politics or social justice issues, which has drawn some criticism.

But he said Monday he “can no longer stay silent” on the issue.

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be get-ting worse as of late,” Jordan said in the statement. “I know this country is better than that. … We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.”

Spike Lee tweeted: “DO NOT SLEEEP ON MJ.” NBA player Jared Dudley tweeted: “There u go MJ.”

Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and became one of the most popular and respected basketball players in the world.

After retiring, he became the majority owner of the Hornets in 2010.

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family,” Jordan said. “I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color, their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.”

Jordan said he chose the Institute for Community-Police Relations because its policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. He gave to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, to support its work in support of reforms aimed at building trust and respect between communities and law enforcement.

While Jordan said the contributions alone won’t be enough to solve the problem, he added: “I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference. We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities.

“The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

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Family fears for autistic man’s safety after police shooting http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/family-fears-autistic-mans-safety-police-shooting/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/family-fears-autistic-mans-safety-police-shooting/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 12:45:00 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34160 MIAMI (AP) — The autistic man who was the intended target of a police bullet is suffering from emotional distress, not eating and traumatized following the shooting of his caretaker.

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MIAMI (AP) — The autistic man who was the intended target of a police bullet is suffering from emotional distress, not eating and traumatized following the shooting of his caretaker.

Arnaldo Rios’ mother, Gladys Soto, said during a Saturday news conference that she is worried about the safety of her son, who wandered back to the site of the Monday, July 18 shooting a day later, threw himself on the ground and shouted: “I hate the police, I hate the police,” The Miami Herald reported Saturday.

“It’s too emotional to see your baby caught up in something like this,” Soto said.

Miriam Soto said her brother is suffering from night terrors and is not sleeping or eating.

“He’s not the same anymore,” Miriam Soto said of her brother.

The four North Miami police officers who aimed rifles at Rios and his black therapist, Charles Kinsey, in the middle of an intersection were responding to a 911 call about a suicidal man with a gun. Rios sat cross-legged. He yelled. He didn’t obey commands to lie down with his hands up, as Kinsey was doing, and he fidgeted with a metal object.

One of the officers, Jonathan Aledda, thought the disabled man was about to shoot Kinsey, who was trying to coax Rios back to a nearby group home, the police union has said. The officer fired three shots at Rios because he thought he was a threat, but he missed and accidentally struck Kinsey in the leg.

The metal object turned out to be a toy truck and there was no suicide threat.

Monday’s shooting was the latest in a violent month of police shootings, but it also highlights the difficulties officers have in identifying people with autism. The characteristics of autism range from mild quirks or obsessions, to people who can’t communicate, yell and occasionally become violent.

The family’s attorney Matthew Dietz on Saturday criticized the officers’ training in dealing with people with mental illness.

“After they knew that he had autism, what did they do? They threw him on the ground,” Dietz said.

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Change in law enforcement action begins with a blink http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/change-law-enforcement-action-begins-blink/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/07/change-law-enforcement-action-begins-blink/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 12:40:59 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=34157 It has happened again. A police officer shot an unarmed black man. This time the officer is Latino, and the situation is utterly unbelievable. As CNN reports it, in North

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It has happened again. A police officer shot an unarmed black man. This time the officer is Latino, and the situation is utterly unbelievable. As CNN reports it, in North Miami, an African-American caregiver, who was lying in the street trying to help an autistic patient, was shot in the leg after he yelled out what was happening, saying that no guns were needed and asked police to back down.

African-American Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was shot Monday, July 18, by police as he was on his back with his hands up and was yelling to police that the autistic patient he was trying to help did not have a gun and that he was trying to help the patient. A video post on Wednesday, July 20, showed Kinsey in that position.

But a North Miami police officer still shot Kinsey in the leg. Police said it was a mistake; the officer was trying to shoot the autistic man because they thought he had a gun and was about to harm Kinsey (even though Kinsey told them otherwise).

“The [union] is now trying to say they intended to shoot my client, and instead they shot my employee,” Clint Bower, who employs Kinsey at the facility where the autistic man lives, told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday, July 22. “To me, that’s just outrageous.”

Officer Jonathan Aledda, who has been placed on administrative leave, issued a statement in the form of a text message: “I took this job to save lives and help people. I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that, and hate to hear others paint me as something I’m not.” But maybe that’s not quite true.

Author Malcolm Gladwell says in his stellar book “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking” that

what we think of as decisions made in the blink of an eye are much more complicated than assumed. He used the example of the shooting of Amadou Diallo, which happened on Feb. 4, 1999. Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, was shot and killed by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment in The Bronx. All four officers were charged with second-degree murder and acquit-ted at trial in Albany, New York. Diallo was unarmed at the time of the shooting.

Gladwell draws on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology to show how the difference between good decision-making and bad depends on how people focus on the details before them. The Diallo shooting sparked a number of experiments that were conducted with both undergraduate volunteers and police officers playing a computer game where they must choose whether to shoot or not to shoot a target who may be white or black, on the basis of whether or not they are armed. Such studies find that participants made slower and less accurate decisions on whether to shoot an unarmed black target than an unarmed white target, and were quicker and more likely to correctly decide to shoot an armed black target than an armed white target.

The decision-making depends on what is in the psyche at the time. So, it does have something to do with the background of a person. People might not be painting Aledda something he is not.

According to Kinsey’s attorney, Hilton Napoleon II, Kinsey was on the ground handcuffed for 20 minutes after he was shot before an ambulance arrived.

“We really need to look at how policing is approached today, because this should not happen in our country,” Napoleon said.

We agree. Try retraining law enforcement officers to do the right thing in the blink of an eye.

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