Midday Roundup: Latest police shooting fuels body camera debate
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/09/15, 11:45 am
On the air. The police shooting in South Carolina of an unarmed African-American man and the officer’s subsequent arrest have led to renewed calls for universal deployment of body cameras for law enforcement. Officer Michael Slager was not wearing a body camera when he shot Walter Scott in the back, but a bystander recorded the incident with his cellphone. New details have surfaced in the case, including prior complaints against Slager and outstanding child support owed by Scott, for which he had previously served jail time. Scott’s parents told the Today show Scott might have fled from Slager because he knew he owed child support and did not want to go back to jail.
Back in business. A pizza parlor targeted in a smear campaign by gay-rights activists has reopened in Walkerton, Ind. During recent coverage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Memories Pizza owners Crystal and Kevin O’Connor said they would serve gay customers but would not cater a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs. They had to temporarily close over concerns for their safety, but meanwhile, supporters donated about $842,000 to a crowdfunding campaign for them. They told the Daily Mail they plan to share the money with disabled children, a women’s help group, firefighters, police trusts, Christian churches, and Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, 70, who was fined after declining to create arrangements for a gay wedding.
Immigration hold. The White House is downplaying a federal judge’s decision Tuesday night to keep in place a hold on President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty order. White House spokesman Josh Earnest brushed off the judge’s decision Wednesday, saying, “We’d already appealed to the 5th Circuit because we’re trying to move this process along as expeditiously as possible, so we’re going to continue to press our case at the 5th Circuit level.” The Institute for Policy Innovation’s Merrill Matthews said he’s not surprised by the latest ruling. Matthews said the administration misled the judge about accepting amnesty applications before the hold order went into effect.
Fore! The Masters Tournament teed off this morning with ceremonial shots by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. But the attention quickly shifted to Rory McIlroy, the 25-year-old phenom who could complete a career grand slam of the four major tournaments if he wins in Augusta, Ga., this weekend. McIlroy shares the spotlight with Tiger Woods, who is playing in only his second regular PGA Tour event in the past year. Defending champion Bubba Watson also has a shot at winning again.
Storm season. One of the season’s first major storms swept through the Great Plains overnight Wednesday with little damage but now threatens Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, and other big cities in the Midwest. The storm brings high winds, hail, and the possibility of tornadoes.
The Associated Press and WORLD Radio’s Mary Reichard contributed to this report.