Calls for justice at N.C. funeral of Andrew Brown Jr.
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — The funeral for Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot and killed by deputies in North Carolina, brought calls for justice from the Rev. Al Sharpton and attorneys for the family. Sharpton delivered a fiery eulogy that likened delays in the release of law enforcement footage to a con job done on the public at the service Monday in a church in Elizabeth City. Other speakers included civil rights attorney Ben Crump and the Rev. William Barber II, who leads the Poor People’s campaign. The 42-year-old Brown was shot and killed on April 21 by deputies attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants. His death sparked days of protests in the city in rural northeastern North Carolina.
North Carolina lawmakers to debate new abortion restrictions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Another effort by North Carolina Republicans to narrow situations in which abortion is legal in the state is set to be debated in a legislative committee. A House panel planned Tuesday to discuss a measure that would bar a physician from performing an abortion if the doctor knows the pregnant woman wanted the procedure due to the fetus’ race or the detection of the presence of Down syndrome. Bill sponsors say procedures performed based on race or Down syndrome amount to “discriminatory eugenic abortion.” Abortion rights group oppose the measure, saying it’s about stigmatizing abortion care. The legislature in 2013 passed a law prohibiting sex-selective abortions.
North Carolina House ending COVID-19 proxy voting practice
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina House members no longer have the option to cast floor votes remotely. It’s the result of improving conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House returned this week to operating rules in which members must be present in the chamber to cast “ayes” and “noes.” House leaders offered proxy voting last spring and it continued into the first months of this year’s session. The number of members using proxy voting has dwindled as more legislators receive vaccinations. The Senate has never offered proxy voting. Both the House and Senate continue to let members participate in committee meetings through online technology.
MARTIN LUTHER KING MEMORIAL-DEFACED
Man accused of defacing MLK image gets intimidation charge
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina authorities say a white man accused of defacing a memorial honoring Martin Luther King Jr. has been charged with ethnic intimidation. The Hendersonville police chief says Heath Justus was arrested April 28 after witnesses spotted him drawing on the image at a park. The chief says Justus used a permanent marker to scrawl “anti-Semitic depictions” and other symbols and phrases on the memorial. The president of the Henderson County NAACP branch said she was “alarmed” by the act. If convicted, the misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 120 days in jail. It’s unclear whether Justus has an attorney who can comment for him.
JAIL OFFICER STABBED
Sheriff: Inmate stabs officer at Charlotte jail
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say an officer at a North Carolina jail was taken to a hospital Sunday night after being stabbed by an inmate armed with a homemade weapon. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office says the officer, a sergeant, is expected to make a full recovery after being stabbed three times at the county jail. Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a news release that he expects criminal charges to be filed against the 30-year-old inmate, Sherrod Davidson. The Charlotte Observer reports that Davidson has been at the jail since January on charges including felony marijuana possession, possession of a firearm by a felon and discharging a firearm into occupied property.
Former US Attorney Murray named acting DA in 3 NC counties
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The most recent U.S. attorney for western North Carolina is filling a district attorney’s position vacated last week when a judge removed the DA from office for “willful misconduct.” Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Monday his appointment of Andrew Murray as the acting local prosecutor for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties. Murray is a former Mecklenburg County district attorney who in 2017 was nominated and later confirmed to be the top federal prosecutor out of Charlotte. The state constitution directs the governor to fill DA vacancies. The position won’t be up for election again until November 2022.
Police look for gunman who killed homeless man’s dog
MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina are searching for a gunman who shot and killed a homeless man’s dog in front of him. The Morganton Department of Public Safety posted a photo of the suspect and his vehicle on the department’s Facebook page. The department says the gunman walked up to the homeless man near a store on Sunday afternoon and fatally shot the dog, named “D.J.” The Charlotte Observer reports that investigators haven’t determined a motive for the shooting.
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