BC-NC-CHILD FATALLY SHOT
7-year-old fatally shot while riding in car with his mom
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a 7-year-old boy was fatally shot while riding in a car with his mother. The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday in Hickory. Hickory police said in a news release that officers responding to a 911 call about a shooting into a vehicle arrived to find Zakylen Greylen Harris with an apparent gunshot wound to the neck. The child was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police do not have a suspect in custody.
EXCESSIVE FORCE LAWSUIT-LIBRARIAN
Lawsuit: NC police tore woman’s shoulder during traffic stop
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by a Black Georgia woman claims white officers from North Carolina used excessive force during a traffic stop when they pulled her from the car by her hair and tore her rotator cuff. The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Stephanie Bottom of Atlanta says she posed no threat to officers from the Salisbury Police Department and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office when she was pulled over for speeding and failing to heed to blue lights in May 2019. The lawsuit says the officers violated her rights when they ripped her from the car and twisted her arm until her shoulder popped. A spokesperson for the city of Salisbury declined to comment.
NORTH CAROLINA DEPUTY-SHOOTING
Sheriff: Deputy fatally shot Black man while serving warrant
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff says the deputy who shot and killed a man while serving a search warrant has been put on leave pending an investigation. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II did not identify the deputy who fired the shot Wednesday. He told a news conference that the deputy was wearing a body camera that was on at the time. The State Bureau of Investigation is taking over the inquiry of the case and will turn over its results to District Attorney Andrew Womble’s office. Womble says he won’t make any decisions about possible charges until the investigation is complete. He says he’s looking for “accurate answers and not fast answers.”
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper plans to lift gathering, distancing limits by June 1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper plans to lift all mandates on social distancing and gathering limits by June 1 if coronavirus metrics remain stable and residents continue to get vaccinated. The statewide mask mandate could be ended once two-thirds of North Carolina have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine. Cooper thinks it will be hard to reach the two-thirds threshold by the end of May. He anticipates the target being reached shortly thereafter. More than 47% of adults in the state have gotten at least one shot. Nearly 36% of adults are fully vaccinated.
Grim list of deaths at police hands grows even after verdict
The murder conviction in George Floyd’s death has been hailed as a sign of progress in the fight for equal justice, but still leaves unanswered difficult questions about law enforcement’s use of force and systemic racism in policing. The verdict in the Chauvin case might not be quickly repeated, even as the list of those killed at the hands of police grows. Convictions like Chauvin’s are extraordinarily rare. Unlike Chauvin’s case, many killings by police involve a decision to shoot in a heated moment and are notoriously difficult to prosecute even when they spark grief and outrage.
Wind-driven wildfire damages structures in South Carolina
LORIS, S.C. (AP) — At least two structures were damaged Wednesday by a large wildfire in South Carolina that prompted evacuations. Horry County officials say some residents were asked to leave with other structures also threatened. High winds were making it hard for firefighters to control the blaze near Loris, northwest of Myrtle Beach near the North Carolina state line. Officials said late Wednesday that the fire was mostly under control. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Ex-House finance chair defends actions over NC tax bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The veteran North Carolina legislator removed as co-chair of the powerful House Finance Committee this week says she disagrees with top chamber leaders who accused her of improperly delaying a tax relief bill. Republican Rep. Julia Howard of Davie County defended her actions during an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. She says she had been trying to refashion the bill so that Senate Republicans would accept it and give it a chance of becoming law. The measure in part would give additional state tax breaks to businesses that took federal Paycheck Protection Program loans.
BC-NC-82ND AIRBORNE-PARATROOPER KILLED
Fort Bragg paratrooper dies in accident during training jump
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Officials at Fort Bragg say a paratrooper was killed during a training jump. News outlets report the Army base said 21-year-old Spc. Abigail Jenks of Gansevoort, New York, was part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. A news release from the division says Jenks was performing a static-line jump from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter on Monday when the accident occurred. Officials released her identity on Wednesday. Jenks was a fire support specialist serving as a forward observer with the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment. Jenks’ death is under investigation.
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