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Leid Stories – Third Cop Walks in Freddie Gray Case; The Orlando Massacre: Was It Terrorism? – 06.23.16

Caesar Goodson, the third officer, and “star” defendant, tried in connection with the brutal death of Freddie Gray today was cleared of all charges—including second-degree depraved-heart murder; three counts of manslaughter; assault; reckless endangerment; and misconduct in office.

Noted attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr., who predicted the outcome of the case, deciphers the verdict.

In the immediate aftermath of the June 12 massacre of 49 people and the wounding of 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., President Barack Obama told the nation that the alleged lone gunman, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, had committed “an act of terror” and “an act of hate.”

Various other officials in his administration—including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, FBI Director James Comey and their boss U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch—have echoed the president’s characterization of the tragedy, and it appears to be the legal definition that is informing the government’s ongoing investigations.

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Leid Stories – Mass Murder, Mass Media and Race Politics (Part 4) – 06.16.16

It took 15 hours of pleading by Senate Democrats yesterday before Republicans agreed to consider two gun-control measures that would add controls on licenses and background checks for people buying guns. Sen. Chris Murphy, the junior senator from Connecticut, noting that almost four years after the massacre of 20 schoolchildren and six staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state, “we have done nothing, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family.”

But it did, just three days before Murphy’s filibuster. Forty-nine people were killed, and 53 others wounded, in a mass shooting on June 12 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Omar Mateen, 29, the alleged lone gunman, mowed down his victims with a military-style assault rifle and a high-powered handgun, even though he had been, at one point, on two federal “watch” lists.

Leid Stories discusses the quandary that plagues gun-control legislative efforts in the United States.

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Leid Stories – Mass Murder, Mass Media and Race Politics – 06.13.16

A lone gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., without warning opened fire inside a popular gay nightclub in Orlando in the wee hours of Sunday morning as patrons were celebrating Pride Month. Mateen died in a gunfight with a SWAT team, but not before himself killing 50 patrons and wounding 53 others, many of them critically.

The massacre has shocked and outraged the nation and the world—and especially the LGBTQ community, which has been reporting an escalation in homophobia-related violence. The Orlando mass killings, however, are a new threshold in such violence, which is occurring in a carefully orchestrated climate, says Leid Stories.