July 21, 2015 |
More than 100 congregants of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Philadelphia marched in Sunday's swelter to the church's former burial ground to protest the arrest and subsequent death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail. Bland, 28, of Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, was driving through Wallace County, Texas, to begin a new job as a student ambassador at Prairie View A&M University, from which she graduated in 2009. She was arrested and jailed, police say, after she assaulted an officer during a traffic stop.
July 14, 2015 |
THE NUMBERS that drive Philadelphia prison-reform advocate Patricia Vickers on her mission aren't the big abstract ones. Not 36,000, the shocking recent estimate of young black men in Philadelphia either behind bars or dead before their time. Not 1,500,000, the national tally of what academics now call "missing black men. " No, the digits that motivate the 66-year-old mom have been pounded with a sharp needle, black ink jabbed into the soft flesh under Vickers' right bicep - 20 digits that mark the birthdays of her four kids as well as her own. Vickers' stark tattoo serves as the tangible reminder of what's missing from her life . . . her three sons.
July 11, 2015 |
The commotion started just before midnight on a side street in Germantown. A husband and wife in a house nearby heard yelling and ran to the window. Streetlights illuminated a struggle in the street, between two officers and a 22-year-old man who lived down the block. The woman took out her cellphone and began to record. The video she took April 3 was posted online Wednesday night and quickly garnered tens of thousands of views. It shows the 22-year-old, Tyree Carroll, being punched and kicked by police officers on the 600 block of Locust Avenue.
July 1, 2015 |
HERE WE GO again. More video showing a police officer behaving badly. This time it was a SEPTA cop captured on cellphone and surveillance video grabbing an alleged fare evader by the throat while the man held his 18-month-old daughter. The videos caught Officer William Crawford, a 16-year SEPTA police veteran, attempting to pull Ellis Smith, 20, off the train during Thursday's rush hour on the Market-Frankford Line. An internal affairs investigation is underway. We've been here so often we have a script, don't we?
June 28, 2015 |
One day after a Palestinian teen was killed in Jerusalem last summer in retaliation for the slaying of three Israeli youths, his East Jerusalem neighborhood was steeped in violence. Tear gas and bullets were everywhere, and police were not letting anyone leave. But one teenage girl from that neighborhood slipped past the soldiers patrolling the streets, threaded her way through the danger, and escaped. Soon she arrived safely at her destination - chorus rehearsal at the Jerusalem International YMCA, about a 20-minute drive away.
June 18, 2015 |
FREDERICK SMITH was miffed. You'd be, too, if you parked your car at the curb, walked immediately to the parking kiosk to pay and returned seconds later to find a meter maid writing a ticket. Smith used some unpleasant language on that hazy May 19 afternoon at 12th and Chestnut in Center City. The Philadelphia Parking Authority ticket-writer, no doubt used to foul-mouthed freak-outs, calmly explained that the ticket was for expired inspection stickers, rather than any parking offense.
June 7, 2015 |
A Protestant bishop from Philadelphia will join clergy from around the country next week in a visit to the Vatican to meet with advisers to Pope Francis to discuss how the pope's message of inclusion applies to race relations in the United States. Bishop Dwayne Royster, head of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER), said the group wants to convey to the Vatican how low wages, criminalization, immigration, detention, and police brutality have hurt families in the U.S. "One of the things we're trying to say to the pope very clearly, and convey to his advisers, is, in the U.S., when you talk about any justice issue, race is at the center of it," Royster said.
May 24, 2015 |
EIGHT PEOPLE were arrested Thursday after a vigil honoring female victims of police brutality erupted into a scuffle with Philadelphia Police, authorities said yesterday. The vigil was "part of a wider call to action, a call to remember," said Taylor Johnson, an organizer with the Philly Coalition for Racial, Economic And Legal Justice, an activist group known for its participation in several "Black Lives Matter" demonstrations. Johnson said yesterday that demonstrators at the Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue vigil were moving south toward Oxford Street when they saw the arrest of a homeless man who boarded a SEPTA bus without paying the fare.
May 7, 2015 |
Shumpert Caldwell was 14 when he first met Jim Kenney. The then-city councilman came upon the teenager spray-painting graffiti on a South Philadelphia wall. "Whoa, what are you doing?" Kenney recalls shouting before ordering Caldwell into his city car for a ride to Benjamin Franklin High School. "I told the principal, 'He's mine,' " Kenney said in a recent interview. "'If he's not at school, let me know.' " That intervention did not keep Caldwell from weaving for years between the street life and the straight and narrow, a journey that included a jail stint for selling drugs.
May 6, 2015 |
MAYORAL CANDIDATE Doug Oliver did it again with the young'uns, rocking the world of fourth- and fifth-graders in the Philadelphia School District yesterday during a youth mayoral forum. The students - from Julia de Burgos, Avery D. Harrington, John Wister, William Dick and Edwin M. Stanton elementary schools - swarmed Oliver just to chat and see him up close after the forum. It was held in the district headquarters auditorium and hosted by the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement.