January 10, 2016 |
The shooting of a police officer the night before did not deter protesters from marching through North Philadelphia on Friday in a demonstration against police brutality and economic inequities in the African American community. Dozens of police on foot, on bicycles, and in squad cars followed scores of predominantly college-age marchers on their peaceful, two-mile walk from Broad Street and Erie Avenue to Temple University. The demonstration, planned several weeks earlier, took place as the nation's attention was focused on the shooting of a Philadelphia police officer by a man who detectives said had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
January 9, 2016 |
Days before the Martin Luther King holiday, and against a national backdrop of fatal police shootings of young black men, some of the nation's most prominent African American activists are coming to Philadelphia to call for change. "It's an incredible, incredible moment," said the Rev. Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Society Hill. "The needs of the black community have been put on the back burner for far too long. " The organizers, known as the Black Radical Organizing Collective, issued a "Call to Action" that decried society's "return to the most rabid forms of racism," and a government that represses immigrants and Muslims while unleashing "a reign of racist police terror against people of color.
January 7, 2016 |
Two months ago, Philadelphia's new mayor asked Philadelphia's new police commissioner where he would like to take the oath of office. "I'm not that conventional," Jim Kenney told Richard Ross. They could skip a staid ceremony at City Hall, he said. Instead, Kenney asked, "Is there a place that's important to you?" And so, on Tuesday afternoon, dozens of police officers and politicians and preachers piled into the seats in Central High School's auditorium. The school's entire graduating class filled in the seats behind them and gave a son of Central a standing ovation when he was sworn in as the city's 30th police commissioner.
November 5, 2015 |
Robin Williams had DLB In her first interview in more than a year, Robin Williams ' widow says the comic's August 2014 suicide wasn't caused by depression, but by Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia, or DLB. "Depression was one of let's call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one," Susan Williams tells People. DLB is the second-most common form of neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer's and is often misdiagnosed. Susan Williams said her husband began exhibiting symptoms a year before his death, including anxiety, delusions, and impaired movement.
November 4, 2015 |
Even if you've been only a sporadic follower of the Black Lives Matter movement, you've probably read one of DeRay Mckesson's tweets. The 30-year-old Minneapolis school administrator-turned protester is cofounder of We the Protesters and Campaign Zero, which work to improve community-police relations. He's become one of the faces at the movement's forefront. After the shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, Mckesson drove to Ferguson, Mo., and began tweeting updates. Soon he was doing it in New York for Eric Garner; Baltimore for Freddie Gray; McKinney, Texas, where black teens were harassed by police at a party; and other cities.
October 30, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA police union leaders jumped on the boycott bandwagon of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, a few days after the New York and Los Angeles police unions announced a similar boycott, because Tarantino attended a rally against police brutality last weekend. "Mr. Tarantino has made a good living through his films, projecting into society at large violence and respect for criminals; he, it turns out, also hates cops," read a statement from Philly's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, which represents about 6,500 officers.
October 24, 2015 |
Once upon a time, you could take the measure of a Philadelphian by his or her reaction to the name Frank Rizzo . As Bruce Graham's Theatre Exile world-premiere play Rizzo makes abundantly clear, you were with him or against him. He was a skull-cracking peacekeeper and the only politician brave enough to stand up for the working class, or he was a skull-cracking, gay-bashing, racist bully and the leader of a ring of cronies and thugs who held...
October 17, 2015
ISSUE | CRIME AND RACE Stop the violence and police brutality Less-than-thoughtful conversations about crime and policing that lack a racial-justice lens only serve to perpetuate stereotypes of black criminality and enable acts of police criminality ("Race, crime, and police: A closer look," Sunday). When opponents of justice reform and the Black Lives Matter movement raise the specter of "black-on-black" crime, they hope to end discussions of police brutality. They would justify heavy-handed policing and deadly use of force against unarmed black people by claiming that their race is a criminal element.
September 24, 2015 |
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey addressed the controversial topics of criminal justice reform and police brutality at a barber shop recently, and a brief video of his comments has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook. Ramsey took questions from visitors to Hewitts Barbershop in the West Oak Lane neighborhood as he sat in the barber's seat getting a haircut Wednesday . "Yeah, I got bad cops, no doubt about that," Ramsey said after noting that African Americans killed by police represent a minuscule fraction of African American homicide victims.
September 18, 2015 |
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, founded in 1966, comes a new documentary to recount the movement's lively history. While children of the '60s and '70s may find much that is familiar in Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution , most will also find something to discover in the film, assembled by veteran PBS documentarian Stanley Nelson. He uses vintage photos and music to place the movie in time, and finds insiders and eyewitnesses to explain the unique excitement created by the Panther "brand" - from the outset, so much more ferocious than the mainstream Civil Rights movement.