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Leid Stories – Orlando Massacre Raises Questions [Again] About U.S. Justice Department’s Problems – 06.20.16

June 20, 2016

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the nation’s highest-level law-enforcement official, followed quickly on the heels of President Obama’s declaration of outrage about the June 12 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and his promise to the nation to “seek justice.” Lynch was a featured guest on major weekend newsmaker shows discussing the progress the DOJ was making in pursuing leads in the case, with the alleged gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, and others believed connected to him at the center of the investigation. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 wounded in the mass shooting. Mateen died was killed in as gun battle with police. Leid Stories discusses a troublesome—and recurring—theme in the DOJ’s investigations, raised once again in Lynch’s probe of the Orlando massacre

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

June 16, 2016

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.

Leid Stories – Mass Murder, Mass Media and Race Politics (Part 3); D.C. Primary Proves A Major Point – 06.15.16

June 15, 2016

As more is learned about Omar Mateen, the alleged lone gunman responsible for the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and about other related developments, we see a shift in how the story is being reported and how officials are continuing to manage the mass killing as “an act of terrorism.” Leid Stories continues the discussion of the previous two days. Yesterday’s Democratic primary in Washington, D.C., the last hurrah of the primary season, predictably handed an easy victory to Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders—78.7 percent of the vote and 16 additional delegates to supercharge her nomination. The D.C. primary, however, was not just a ceremonious end to the faceoffs between the two candidates, says Leid Stories; it pointedly brought home the necessity to part ways with the established political order and the failure of third parties and political movements to make inroads with constituencies that are looking for alternatives.

Leid Stories – Mass Murder, Mass Media and Race Politics (Part 2) – 06.14.16

June 14, 2016

President Obama, expected to hit the campaign trail to support Hillary Clinton, instead will be in Orlando today, paying his respects to the victims of the June 12 mass shooting by a lone gunman at a gay club there. Fifty people—including the gunman, Omar Mateen, 29—died in the carnage, and 53 others were wounded, many of them sustaining multiple wounds. Leid Stories continues yesterday’s discussion on the politicization of the tragedy.

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

June 13, 2016

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.

Leid Stories – Election 2016: It’s Judgment Day, Kinda – 06.07.16

June 7, 2016

It’s a big day in presidential primaries—with contests in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota that will further enshrine Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and help Hillary Clinton finally to put Bernie Sanders out of her field of dreams. By the end of the day, the delegate count will “predict” the outcome of the parties’ nomination conventions next month (July 18-21 in Cleveland for the Republicans, and July 25-28 in Philadelphia for the Democrats). Trump’s 1239 delegates (1,237 needed for nomination) and stunning, though controversial, victories that edged out 16 other candidates in primary contests have all but secured his position as standard bearer in the general election. But Clinton hasn’t been able to shake a persistent Sanders, despite delegate/superdelegate support (1,812/571, respectively) that yesterday brought her to the 2,383 threshold and the advantages of political longevity, big-money donors and a well-oiled campaign machine. Leid Stories looks at where the 2016 political season stands right now and why, with today’s roster of primaries, it’s Judgment Day, kinda.

Leid Stories – 0 for 2, Baltimore Prosecutor Tries Third Time for A Conviction in Freddie Gray Case; Remembering Muhammad Ali – 06.06.16

June 6, 2016

Lawyers for Caesar Goodson, the Baltimore police officer facing the most serious charges in the death of Freddie Gray on April 12 last year, are in court today challenging the admissibility of key evidence. Goodson goes on trial tomorrow on charges of depraved-heart murder, three counts of manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. While in Goodson’s custody, the indictment says, Gray suffered irreparable—and, eventually, fatal—injuries to his spine. Attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. disassembles State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Moseby’s handling of the case, which yielded an acquittal for Officer Edward Nero two weeks ago in a nonjury trial, and a mistrial last December in the case of Officer William Porter. Leid Stories pays tribute to the world-renowned boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, who died June 3 at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he was being treated for respiratory complications associated with his 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 74 years old.
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