Louisiana: Family of black man dead in custody wants answers
SHREVEPORT, la. (AP) — The family of a black Louisiana man who died in police custody after a videotaped altercation that appears to show police officers hitting and tasing him are demanding answers. They want the officers held accountable. The family and a lawyer representing them spoke to the media Wednesday outside the courthouse in the northern city of Shreveport. Video surfaced on Monday showing the April 5 encounter between four police officers and Tommie McGlothen Jr. McGlothen died the next day. His sister Laquita says the family has a hole in their hearts, and she wants justice for her brother.
AMERICA PROTESTS-LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE
Louisiana lawmakers strip Floyd reference in policing study
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana House committee agreed to a proposal studying policing approaches in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. But they only sent the measure to the full House for debate after white lawmakers stripped a reference to Floyd and language questioning the criminal justice system’s treatment of racial minorities. Rep. Ted James’ effort to create the study group to review Louisiana’s policing methods sparked strong reactions Wednesday. Several white lawmakers described as offensive the legislation’s original language describing “the deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers in recent years.” Black committee members said a policing study cannot ignore the racial disparities in police use of force.
Storms flood New Orleans streets
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Unexpectedly heavy rain overwhelmed New Orleans’ aging street drainage pumping system and led to flash floods in the city. The head of the city’s Sewerage and Water Board says that an estimated 4 inches of rain fell in some parts of the city within a short time Wednesday morning. He said draining of the streets was slowed after an overwhelmed power generator for some of the pumps tripped off. But, he added that he believes the street flooding would have occurred anyway. The storms moved in ahead of a cold front. Scores of roadways, including a section of westbound Interstate 10, were closed.
Trump administration cuts oil, gas fees in hundreds of cases
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Government data show the Trump administration has awarded energy companies hundreds of breaks on payments for oil and gas extraction from U.S. lands and the Gulf of Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic. The breaks on payments are intended to help companies with workforce problems or other issues after the pandemic caused fuel demand to temporarily plummet worldwide. Critics argue the breaks on government fees are unnecessary corporate handouts that in some cases are benefiting companies with histories of environmental violations. Prices for oil have sharply rebounded to in recent weeks to $39 a barrel for West Texas crude on Wednesday, after dropping below $13 in late April.
Lawsuit: Plane hit, flipped woman’s car before deadly crash
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A lawsuit says a Louisiana woman was surprising her husband with breakfast when a plane hit her car, causing it to flip several times and catch fire. The Acadiana Advocate reports Kristie Danielle Britt is suing the owners, pilot and insurers of the plane that crashed in December near a post office in Lafayette on its way to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl. The lawsuit says her husband ran out of the post office where he was working and was videotaping the crash scene when he noticed his wife was injured. The plane crash killed five people including sports reporter Carley McCord, who was also the daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger.
MILLSAPS COLLEGE-NEW COACH
Prather named new head men’s basketball coach at Millsaps
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi liberal arts college has a new, but familiar, coach at the helm of its men’s basketball program. In a news release Tuesday, Millsaps College said it had named Michael Prather to lead the program. He replaces Jimmy Smith, who resigned in April after three seasons at Millsaps for a post at Trinity University. Prather served as an assistant coach at Millsaps during the 2017-2018 season. For the past two seasons, Prather served in that same role at Louisiana College. He also worked for 10 years as an assistant at his alma mater, East Texas Baptist University.
BC-US-VIRUS OUTBREAK-WHOOPING CRANES
Pandemic hampers raising rare whooping cranes for the wild
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic is drastically cutting the number of young whooping cranes to be released this fall to boost flocks of the world’s rarest cranes. Zoos and other places where the endangered birds are bred have reduced staffs and use of two techniques to increase chick numbers. One is artificial insemination. The other is having people in baggy costumes raise chicks to keep the birds from viewing humans as their parents. Only about 825 whoopers exist. Biologists are trying to establish a flock in Louisiana and one that migrates from Wisconsin to Florida to supplement the only natural flock, which breeds in Canada and winters in Texas.
Video appears to show police punch, tase black man who died
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Newly uncovered video appears to show police officers in Louisiana repeatedly punching and tasing a black man they were arresting shortly before he died in police custody. Video on KSLA shows an April 5 altercation between 44-year-old Tommie Dale McGlothen and four police officers in the northern Louisiana city of Shreveport. McGlothen died April 6 at a local hospital, according to the coroner. The city’s police chief says the four officers have been put on leave pending the results of an investigation. The local district attorney has called for the public’s help in the case, saying the police’s investigation lacked “reports, statements, downloads, and other vital information” necessary for such a review.