Daily Archive: March 17, 2010


Police T-shirts ‘We support our brothers’…FOP back cops in Miles case

Promoter Don Patterson of Penn Hills could not believe his eyes while watching this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. As he watched members of the Pittsburgh Police march by in their dress blues, behind them were about 70 officers wearing Green T-shirts that read “3599” on the front, and, “We Support Our Three Brothers,” on the back. HIGH VISIBILITY— Members of Pittsburgh’s Fraternal Order of Police take advantage of the country’s second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade to show their support for three suspended officers who allegedly beat a CAPA High School student during an arrest in January. The three brothers are officers Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing, who allegedly beat CAPA High School senior Jordan Miles during a Jan. 12 arrest near his home. The 3599 refers to the unmarked car the plainclothes officers drove that night.


Groups unite to stop police brutality

Weeks after the incident, community groups are continuing to gather in response to the alleged beating of 18-year-old Jordan Miles by three Pittsburgh police officers. Recently groups such as the Black Political Empowerment Project, NAACP and Community Empowerment Association have united to move forward with concrete steps to ensure incidents like this do not continue. FAMILY TIES—Jordan Miles, right, attended the meeting with his mother and grandmother. “This is hard work because there are so many obstacles to justice. The system is not in our favor. The police are given deep deference in the courts because the police have a very difficult job to do,” said B-PEP Chairman Tim Stevens. “I have not a piece of doubt the incident with Jordan Miles will be the spark that creates change.”


Pritchett family to appeal life sentence…Says son was duped, trial was flawed

There is no DNA evidence saying he drove the car. The only evidence that he did came from the shooter and another passenger who changed his story. And the jury initially returned a not guilty verdict. DREW PRITCHETT Yet Drew Pritchett, 18 at the time, is going away for life plus 20-40 years for his part in the 2007 homicide of Terrance Monroe on Pittsburgh’s North Side. “He didn’t do it. He was taken advantage of by the other boys who knew the system,” said his mother, Patricia Alexander. “He was in college, had no criminal history. Now he faces a life sentence, with no possibility of parole for a crime he did not commit.”


Anti-bullying campaign reemphasized by school board

A study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice found that bullying across the country has decreased, especially for children from low-income households. Released at the beginning of this month, the study showed that the percentage of children who reported being physically bullied over the past year had declined from nearly 22 percent in 2003 to under 15 percent in 2008. STAND TOGETHER—Middle school students stand with NBA player DeJuan Blair. In an effort to ensure bullying continues to decrease but also that incidents of bullying do not go unreported, the Pittsburgh Public School District has unrolled a new campaign against bullying. The campaign hopes to reemphasize the district’s long existing anti-bullying policy with a series of posters featuring NBA player, and Schenley grad DeJuan Blair.


Entire graduating class of Chicago charter school accepted to college

by Paulette SimoneFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—A group of 107 graduating seniors from the Urban Academy for Young Men in Englewood, Chicago is celebrating a great success: every young man in the school’s first graduating class has been accepted into a four-year-college. The bar for students is held high at Urban Prep, an all-African-American male charter school founded in 2006 and situated in one of Chicago’s troubled areas. CELEBRATING SUCCESS—From left: Willie Cochran, Latasha Thomas, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Ron Huberman, chief executive officer, for the Chicago Public Schools and Tim King, founder and chief executive officer of the Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men join the school’s first graduating class (107 students), who were all accepted to a four-year college or university.


Living wage supporters remain quiet

After nearly two months since the bill was first proposed, legislation to activate the city’s living wage ordinance received a public hearing before city council. However, the bill proposed by Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess seems to have gained minimal public support with only a handful of speakers attending the March 11 hearing. PUBLIC HEARING—Rev. Ricky Burgess hears public testimony in support of his living wage legislation. “The living wage can be implemented and it needs to be. To live on minimum wage is impossible,” said Black Political Empowerment Project Chairman Tim Stevens. “We’re hoping council will take the lead and do the research.”


Speak Out: Do you think the census is important?

The U.S. Census is coming up soon, so we asked Pittsburghers if they planned to respond. Here’s what you said: “Yes, it is important. I definitely will participate. It is for our people. It keeps count of who we have here. I urge other African-Americans to participate. We want things and need to be accounted for.”Dorian Johnson Sr.HomewoodBusiness owner DORIAN JOHNSON SR., DAMIAN BROWN, ELLIOTT SHORTER


Community Calendar

Grass roots alliance MARCH 17—Community Empowerment Association will host a Grass Roots Alliance Strategic Planning Meeting at 6 p.m. at the CEA Culture Center, 7143 Fleury Way, Homewood. This alliance is to address the structural inequalities that exist and to come together to discuss and build around challenges, issues opportunities and experiences navigating through the mainstream system. Various topics will be discussed. Interested individuals are asked to respond by March 15. Call 412-371-3689, ext. 14.


Ex-wife criticizes Mandela to UK newspaper

by Donna Bryson JOHANNESBURG (AP)—Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife has bitterly criticized the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon as having “let us down,” prompting outrage March 10 in South Africa. CRITICISM SPARKS OUTRAGE—In this Feb. 11 photo, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, left, alongside her former husband former President Nelson Mandela, center, and his current wife, Graca Machel, attend the opening of Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said she could not forgive him for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 alongside F.W. de Klerk, according to March 9’s Evening Standard, a British newspaper. The White president released Mandela and went on to participate in negotiations that ended apartheid.