Daily Archive: September 1, 2010

Metro

Jordan Miles calls for firing of officers in civil suit

After a flurry of weekend rumors surrounding 18-year-old Jordan Miles, allegedly beaten by three undercover police officers in January, it appears the case is more stagnant than ever. However, in response to the possibility that the Department of Justice will end their investigation into the incident, the Miles family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the three officers and the city on Aug. 30. JUSTICE FOR JORDAN—Tim Stevens holds up photographs of Jordan Miles as he stands outside the courthouse. “During the FBI’s discussion with us six weeks ago, they said they really didn’t think they had a viable case to go forward because of the credibility of the three officers against the victim Jordan,” said J. Kerrington Lewis, Miles’ attorney. “They required Jordan to submit to a lie detector test, which he passed. The physical evidence alone proves excessive force. The whole story is so irrational and incredible that any jury is going to know it was presented to cover up what they did.”

Metro

Voting rights… Women continue battle to raise their voices

Before Aug. 26, 1920, a woman’s inability to vote kept her from weighing in on political issues and attaining positions of power. For African-American women in the South the sense of powerlessness was even more suffocating as they were denied the right to vote because of their race and sex. “Not just as women but also as African-Americans it was a huge struggle to get the right to vote and that alone should tell you there’s some power to it,” said Gladys Edmunds, entrepreneur and author. “I tend to think that anytime we can exercise our voices in anyway, it helps us collectively. We have to continue to get more and more people voting and especially our young women.”

Metro

Wheatley chairs marijuana ­hearings

At a public hearing on the legalization of medical marijuana, the conversation quickly turned to the legalization of all marijuana. Besides extolling the medical virtues of the drug, the speakers explained what sets marijuana apart from other drugs and the negative impact its criminalization is having on the country. PUBLIC HEARING—From left: Jake Wheatley, John Myers and Karen Shaffer, executive director of the House Health and Human Services Committee. “This was just the continuation of our committee going out to hear testimony. I anticipate there will be more hearings across the commonwealth and figuring out if we will move forward with the bill or not,” said state Rep. Jake Wheatley, 19th Legislative District. “I think there’s enough interest in the subject matter that if we don’t get it passed this session we’ll continue to work on it next session.”

Metro

Urban Connect aims to diversify Pittsburgh

A little more than a year ago, Pittsburgh’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer Tamiko Stanley and Dina Clark, now director of the Center for Race and Equity at the YWCA, were brainstorming about problems they routinely ran into when trying to recruit and retain Blacks for municipal and corporate sector positions in the city. “One young lady, who’d only been here a few months, when I met her at an African-American leadership forum, told me right off she was ready to leave,” said Clark. “She said there was a glass ceiling at the job, there was no place to go without getting shot. So I took her all over the city myself. Now she’s on our board.” REALIZING A DREAM—Urban Connect launch party organizers Tamiko Stanley, Dawnita Wilson and Dina Clark look on during the celebrity Urban Male Conversation that preceded the Aug. 20 party.

National

Thousands march for justice in D.C., Detroit, New Orleans

WASHINGTON (NNPA)—A red, black and green flag flapping in the sweltering Saturday afternoon breeze said it all in the one word embroidered on its front—“Justice.” That one word encompassed the sentiments of the throng of thousands who weaved for miles through the streets of Washington, D.C., behind civil rights leaders, chanting, singing and shouting demands from the powers that be. “What do we want?… Justice!…When do we want it?…Now!” RECLAIMING THE DREAM—D.C. marchers braved the sweltering heat in the “Reclaim the Dream” march Aug. 28.

Metro

Speak Out: How important do you think sports are to urban youth?

Recently there was a shooting after a midget football league game in Homewood that ignited controversy over the importance and safety in sports in urban areas. So we asked Pittsburghers their thoughts on the importance of sports to urban youth. Here’s what you said: “I think that sports are very important, but that education is more important. We try to teach our kids not to chase a ball into the street. Instead we teach them to chase it on the court. The youth need activities to stay active but education should definitely come first.”Ronald J. Williams Penn HillsRetired

Metro

Metro Beat

Police not using Tasers AP—Pittsburgh police say they’re using Taser stun guns less frequently. Police used Tasers 212 times last year, 40 percent less than in 2007 when they used Tasers a record 359 times. The city began using the devices in 2005 and about 400 of the city’s nearly 900 officers carry them. Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson says the drop “is indicative of the public awareness of the Taser’s potential.” The devices deliver up to 50,000 volts in short burst through prongs shot from a pistol-like weapon that remain attached to electric wires.

Metro

Community Calendar

Police training SEPT. 1—The Citizen’s Police Academy will host the Pittsburgh Police Training Academy from 6-9 p.m. at 1395 Washington Blvd., East Liberty. Every Wednesday, for 15 weeks individuals will learn what is needed to become a police officer. All individuals must complete an application and give permission for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to conduct a background check. For more information, call 412-665-3600.

National

Five years after Katrina, a revival not yet complete

by Cain BurdeauAssociated Press Writer NEW ORLEANS (AP)— Gulf Coast residents tried to put Hurricane Katrina behind them on Sunday, marking its fifth anniversary by casting wreaths into the water to remember the hundreds killed. But part of the catastrophe lives on, in abandoned homes still bearing spray-painted circles indicating they had been searched and whether bodies were found inside. President Barack Obama joined those hailing the recovery made so far in New Orleans, which he said has become a “symbol of resilience and community.” In a neighborhood that has seen little of that recovery, the Lower 9th Ward, it was the failures that seemed more apparent to residents. ANNIVERSARY—The Sons of Jazz Brass Band march in a second line parade through the Lower 9th Ward to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Aug. 29.