North Carolina News – June 10

North Carolina News – June 10


US military now rethinking links to Confederate Army symbols

WASHINGTON (AP) — The military is rethinking its traditional embrace or tolerance of Confederate Army symbols. This includes whether to rename Army bases like North Carolina’s Fort Bragg that honor Confederate officers who led the fight against the Union and directly or implicitly defended slavery. The issue has arisen periodically but is gaining new attention as the nation wrestles with questions of race after the death of George Floyd in the hands of Minneapolis police. A spokesman for Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Esper is open to a “bipartisan discussion” of the issue. The Marines are banning public displays of the Confederate Army battle flag. The Navy’s top admiral says he’ll follow their example.


Surviving in America’s Black Belt amid pandemic and job loss

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Residents of America’s Black Belt are depending on each other to weather the coronavirus pandemic, which is complicating an already-tough life in the impoverished region. In Alabama, a community foundation is giving away 100,000 face masks while coordinating food giveaways. A small church is providing donated milk to anyone who needs it. And volunteers loaded vehicles with food in the historic civil rights town of Selma. Descendants of slaves still represent most of the population in the region that drove the South’s cotton economy before the Civil War. Now it’s suffering some of the nation’s highest unemployment and infection rates.


The Latest: Virginia city aims to move Confederate statue

Protesters in Portsmouth, Virginia, covered a Confederate monument in the city with sheets and bags Wednesday, several hours after the city’s council members had a meeting about relocating it. A white sheet that read “BLM” covered the fence in front of the monument after the Portsmouth city council met Tuesday to discuss its removal, WVEC-TV reported. Mayor John Rowe proposed allocating $100,000 to remove the statue and possibly relocate it to a local cemetery. The question about who owns the monument has been a roadblock in the city’s long quest to remove it. A recent bill signed by Gov. Ralph Northam will allow cities to move or alter Confederate monuments they own starting July 1.


Foundation endorses removal of 2 Confederate monuments

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A historic foundation in North Carolina has made the surprising move of endorsing the removal of two Confederate monuments from the city of Wilmington. The Wilmington Star News reported Tuesday that the board of the non-profit Historic Wilmington Foundation voted to support the removals. The monuments in question are the Confederate Memorial Monument and the statue of Confederate politician George Davis. Foundation director Beth Rutledge said the foundation hopes the monuments will be moved to a place where they can be used for educational purposes and not as visual reminders of racial injustice.


N.C. city passes resolution to remove Confederate monuments

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — News outlets report a city in North Carolina unanimously passed a resolution to begin a removal process for its confederate monuments. WLOS-TV reports the joint action by the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Tuesday would establish a task force to recommend steps to remove or repurpose the monuments at the county courthouse and in Pack Square Park. The figures eyed for removal include a 50-foot monument of Confederate military officer Gov. Zebulon Baird Vance and granite markers that memorializes Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate Col. John Connally. The resolution will go to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners for final approval.


N. Carolina officer ‘assaulted in broad daylight’ at protest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer who has met with and walked with demonstrators a number of times was involved in a scuffle Monday afternoon with protesters one day after he’d had another tense interaction. Video shows CMPD Captain Brad Koch surrounded by chanting protesters in front of the local government center and a white male protester approaches and shoves him. After being pushed, Koch took the man to the ground as more protestors were seen piling on. He was the only officer in the immediate vicinity.  No injuries were reported, but CMPD said Koch was “assaulted in broad daylight.”


Artists paint “Black Lives Matter” mural on Charlotte street

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A main thoroughfare in Charlotte was painted with bright colors Tuesday morning as dozens of volunteers and artists traced 16 large letters spelling out “Black Lives Matter.” Charlotte resident D’ann Redd never thought she’d see something like the mural on South Tryon Street in her southern city. Other cities including Washington and Raleigh have similar murals painted in recent days by artists and volunteers. Charlotte follows Washington D.C. and other American cities calling for an end to police brutality racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, who was pinned to the pavement by a white Minneapolis police officer who put a knee on his neck .


Cooper unveils criminal justice panel to address racial bias

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has announced a panel that will recommend how to alter police, prosecutor and judicial practices to end racial disparities in light of George Floyd’s death. The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice unveiled by Cooper on Tuesday will be led by Attorney General Josh Stein and Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls. The panel is supposed to focus on the use of force, community policing, alternatives to arrests and pretrial release. Some Senate Republicans criticized Cooper’s decision to create the panel, saying he’ll be able to avoid taking positions on tough issues in an election year.

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