AP PA Headlines: State House and Senate advance police legislation

AP PA Headlines 6/25/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s House and Senate have begun passing legislation spurred by widespread protests over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, including legislation designed to prevent “bad apples” from continuing to find employment in police departments. Wednesday’s votes were unanimous, although all four bills still require approval from the other chamber before going to Gov. Tom Wolf.

One Senate bill requires police agencies to compile and report use of force incidents. The other bill bans police from using chokeholds. The House approved bills to train officers in how to interact with people of different racial and ethic backgrounds and require that an applicant’s former department provide information on the officer’s disciplinary history.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The district attorney of Philadelphia announced assault and related charges against one man stemming from one of a number of protests of a now-covered Columbus statue in south Philadelphia while suggesting “unequal application of the law” by police during the demonstrations. District Attorney Larry Krasner alleged that the defendant repeatedly told a Black man who is a professional photographer “Get out of here, boy,” before punching him in the face Tuesday evening at Marconi Plaza. Krasner said such incidents “raise serious questions about policing and unequal application of the law.” The police department declined comment. The city, meanwhile, announced plans to seek removal of the statue, citing the clashes.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 83,000, while there are 54 new reports of coronavirus-related deaths, many if not all of them in nursing homes or personal care homes. The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported 495 new infections. The 54 new deaths brings the statewide total to 6,515. The total death toll in nursing homes and personal care homes is now 4,467, or nearly 70% of Pennsylvania’s total deaths attributed to the coronavirus outbreak.The department says that of those Pennsylvania residents infected since early March, 77% have recovered.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s governor has activated the National Guard to protect state properties after a night of violence that included the toppling of two statues outside the state Capitol and an attack on a state senator. Protesters also threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building and attempted to break into the Capitol, only to be repelled by pepper spray from police stationed inside. The violence broke out Tuesday night as a group of 200 to 300 people protested the arrest of a Black man who shouted at restaurant customers through a megaphone while carrying a baseball bat.

KEYSTONE, SOUTH DAKOTA (AP/CBS) – President Donald Trump’s plans to kick off Independence Day with a showy display at Mount Rushmore are drawing sharp criticism from Native Americans who view the monument as a desecration of land violently stolen from them. Several groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump’s July 3 visit, part of his “comeback” campaign for a nation reeling from sickness, unemployment and social unrest.

But it comes amid a national reckoning over racism and a reconsideration of the symbolism of monuments around the globe. Many Native Americans activists say the Rushmore memorial is as reprehensible as the many Confederate monuments being toppled around the nation.  Now there’s a bunch of people who want Mount Rushmore taken down. They’re calling for the giant busts of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to be chiseled away from the monument because they were slave-owners. South Dakota’s governor says there have been threats of vandalism or worse but says she won’t let activists rewrite American history..

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s governor is saying for the first time that he might not stand in the way if legislators remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. Legislators need a two-thirds majority to vote on a bill because it’s late in their session. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday night on Facebook that it’s the same majority they would need to overturn a veto, so “a veto would be pointless.” Some Republican officials say they want to replace the Confederate emblem with the phrase “In God We Trust.” Confederate symbols are under debate amid nationwide protests over racial injustice.

HOLLYWOOD (CBS) – ‘Gone With the Wind’ is back on HBO Max. But it comes with a disclaimer. The classic was pulled weeks ago after the streaming service deemed it was racially insensitive. But now it’s back. And when viewers sit down to watch it, the disclaimer warns the film largely, quote “denies the horrors of slavery.” In one of the clips, Jacqueline Stewart, host of ‘Silent Sunday Nights’ on Turner Classic Movies, talks about how the 1939 Civil War drama should be “viewed in its original form, contextualized and discussed.”

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — For Disney properties in California, it’s still a closed world, after all. The entertainment company is putting on hold plans to reopen its West Coast theme parks and other attractions next month. Disney planned to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on July 17, after a four-month shut down because of the coronavirus. But Disney says it can’t do that until state officials provide guidelines on how to proceed. And those rules won’t be available until after July 4. Disney says that won’t provide enough time to get workers back to the park and trained before a July 17 reopening. No new reopening date for the California parks has been set.

PHILADELPHIA – The popular Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met and Mariner Moose mascots are getting a reprieve. Major League Baseball has reversed a policy it issued last month that banned mascots from ballparks while trying to restrict access and limit contact exposure. MLB now says mascots are welcome, but they’re not permitted on the field. Dave Raymond, the first person to portray the Phanatic in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, says mascots can still pull off plenty of routines to entertain fans watching at home. MLB will start the virus-delayed season next month in stadiums without fans.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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