Jury selection begins in trial of John Fitzgerald Johnson, known as 'Grandmaster Jay' – wdrb.com

By |2022-05-23T14:51:27-04:00May 23rd, 2022|Breonna Taylor|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jury selection began Monday in the federal trial for John Fitzgerald Johnson, the leader of a black militia group who goes by the name "Grandmaster Jay."Johnson, who leads the group NFAC, returned to Louisville to stand trial at the federal courthouse on Monday.Johnson was arrested for allegedly pointing an assault rifle at Louisville Metro Police officers and federal officers on Sept. 4, the night before the 2020 Kentucky Derby. (Recall that in 2020, the Kentucky Derby was held in September in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.)The incident took place while various groups were protesting at Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville. Those groups said they were demonstrating because they felt the Kentucky Derby should not be taking place when no criminal charges had been filed in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.At that time, LMPD officers at the scene received a radio transmission stating that a group of "six to eight heavily armed individuals" were parked on Armory Place, near a parking garage, according to court documents. Surveillance images that federal authorities say show John Johnson (Grandmaster Jay) pointing a rifle at officers. (Source: Probable Cause Affidavit / FBI) Two federal officers and three LMPD officers then went to the top of the nearby Jefferson County Grand Jury Building to watch the group, but were blinded by a flashlight when they leaned over the roof, the affidavit claimed.Prosecutors said the flashlight was attached to the barrel of a rifle Johnson was pointing at the officers. Johnson currently faces two federal charges: one count of "Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding" and one count of "Brandishing a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence."Related stories:Copyright 2022 by WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

Opinion: Black Losses – Chris Roberts | Prescott eNews

By |2022-05-23T04:27:39-04:00May 23rd, 2022|Breonna Taylor, Election 2020|

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in opinion pieces on the PrescotteNews website are solely those of the authors. These opinions do not necessarily represent those of the staff of Prescott eNews or its publisher.] Black candidates continue to lose. Earlier this month, two black women hoping to win the Democrat nomination for Senate in Ohio lost to a white moderate, Tim Ryan. Last night, Democrats in Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district also chose a white man over a black woman. Morgan McGarvey beat BLM activist Attica Scott, 63 percent to 37 percent. Sept. 24, 2020, Louisville, Kentucky: State Representative Attica Scott is arrested for curfew violation during a Breonna Taylor Protest. (Credit Image: © Leslie Spurlock / ZUMA Wire) In Pennsylvania, Republicans voted to nominate a Senate candidate. Despite rumors of a sudden surge in support, the black woman, Kathy Barnette, finished a distant third. The ultimate winner will not be known until next month because the state requires a recount in close elections. Kathy Barnette, Republican U.S. Senate candidate, speaks at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. About 100 people attended. (Credit Image: © Paul Weaver / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire) The two major black candidates who did win their primaries are unlikely to win in the general election. Kentucky Democrats chose Charles Booker to run against Rand Paul in November, but no Democrat has won a Senate race in that state since 1992, and Sen. Paul won his last two races by more than ten points. In North Carolina, Democrats chose a black woman, Cheri Beasley to run for Senate. She will face Republican Congressman Ted Budd, a white man. Mrs. Beasley has a better chance of winning the general election than Mr. Booker does, but the odds still aren’t in her favor. The last time a North Carolina Democrat won a senate race was in 2008. May 12, 2021, Washington, DC: U.S. Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) speaking at a press conference about banning federal funding for the teaching of critical race theory. (Credit Image: © Michael Brochstein / ZUMA Press Wire) In Florida’s senate race, the Democrat nominee will probably be a black woman, Congresswoman Val Demings. She will face incumbent Marco Rubio, who won his last two senate races easily in a state that increasingly leans Republican. United States Representative Val Demings (Credit Image: © Mandel Ngan – Pool Via Cnp / CNP via ZUMA Press Wire) Recent results do not portend a rising tide of color.

A guide to Tuesday's primary election in Kentucky | National | wdrb.com

By |2022-05-20T19:56:22-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Candidates in Kentucky's primary competed Tuesday for the chance to earn their party’s nominations in federal, state and local races.U.S. SENATERepublican incumbent Rand Paul won his party's nomination as he pursues a third term, defeating five little-known challengers in the Kentucky primary. Paul has made a name for himself as a national voice for a libertarian-leaning philosophy based on limited government and restrained spending.Former state lawmaker Charles Booker of Louisville defeated three opponents on the Democratic side. Booker gained attention for his racial and economic justice message amid nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans in encounters with police. Booker barely lost the Democratic Senate primary that year to an establishment-backed rival.Booker faces a daunting task in trying to unseat Paul. Kentucky has tilted decidedly toward the GOP and Paul holds a commanding fundraising advantage over his Democratic challenger. Kentucky has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.Paul ran against Arnold Blankenship of Ashland, Val Fredrick of Murray, Paul Hamilton of Nicholasville, Tami Steinfield of Marion and perennial candidate John Schiess. Running against Booker were Ruth Gao and Joshua Blanton Sr., of Louisville and John Merrill from McKee.U.S. HOUSESen. Morgan McGarvey defeated Rep. Attica Scott on Tuesday for the Democratic nomination in the Louisville-area 3rd District, where the only Democrat representing Kentucky in Congress, Rep. John Yarmuth, is retiring.The two state legislators share many of Yarmuth’s progressive stances but come from very different backgrounds. Scott, a Black woman, is a community organizer and former Louisville metro councilwoman. McGarvey, a white attorney, is a top-ranking Democrat in the Republican-dominated Kentucky Senate.Meanwhile, Republican incumbent Rep. Hal Rogers won his primary Tuesday against four challengers in the 5th District and will face Democrat Conor Halbleib, who ran unopposed, in the fall. Rogers has held the seat since the early 1980s. Halbleib is a law school student.Republican incumbent Thomas Massie defeated three opponents in the 4th District and will face Democrat Matthew Lehman in November. Lehman ran unopposed.Massie won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump leading up to the primary. Trump referred to the libertarian-minded congressman as a “Conservative Warrior” and a “first-rate Defender of the Constitution.” Two years ago, Trump denounced Massie as a “third rate Grandstander” for trying to stall a sweeping $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package.Republican incumbent Andy Barr won his primary race against Derek Petteys in the 6th District. Barr is seeking his sixth term in the district dominated by Lexington.Democrat Geoff Young defeated Chris Preece in the 6th District and will face Barr in the fall. Young, a perennial candidate for the seat, has been critical of U.S. aid to Ukraine.Incumbent Brett Guthrie, who was first elected to Congress in 2008, won the Republican nomination in Kentucky’s 2nd District. Guthrie is the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee.Guthrie will again face Democrat Hank Linderman in the November election. Linderman defeated William Compton in Tuesday's primary. In the past two congressional elections, Guthrie defeated Linderman by wide margins.STATE LEGISLATUREHours after the polls closed Tuesday, it was too soon to call most of the state’s legislative races.Two pairs of Republican state lawmakers were competing for the same House seat after redistricting landed them in the same new district.State Reps. Jim Gooch Jr. and Lynn Bechler were running against each other in the primary for a newly drawn western Kentucky district. Gooch is chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and Bechler is a member of the influential House Appropriations and Revenue Committee and presides over a budget review subcommittee.In the other primary pitting two state lawmakers against one another, Reps. Norma Kirk-McCormick and Bobby McCool faced off in a new eastern Kentucky district.Among the incumbents facing primary challenges were three prominent House members from northern Kentucky — Reps. C. Ed Massey, Sal Santoro and Adam Koenig. In central Kentucky, Republican Rep. Kim King and GOP Sen. Donald Douglas drew opponents.In the state Senate, 19 seats were on the ballot. In more than a half-dozen districts, a lone Republican ran unopposed, while in two more districts only GOP candidates competed.LOUISVILLE MAYORLouisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg defeated seven other Democrats to win the party's nomination.The race attracted national headlines earlier this year when a man drew a gun and shot at Greenberg in his campaign office.Greenberg was shaken but not harmed in the Feb. 14 shooting, though a bullet came so close it damaged his sweater. A local social justice activist has been charged in the attempted shooting.Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is ending his third four-year term as mayor.The Democratic primary included Jefferson County Circuit Clerk David Nicholson, community activist Shameka Parrish-Wright and pastor Tim Findley Jr.Bill Dieruf easily secured the Republican nomination for mayor of Louisville. Dieruf is the mayor of Jeffersontown, a Louisville suburb. He likely faces a challenging general election: a Republican has not held the mayor’s office in Kentucky’s largest city in several decades.Lexington also has a mayor's race, with four candidates including incumbent Linda Gorton on the ballot. Its ballot is nonpartisan, with the two top vote-getters slated to face off in a general election.VOTING IN KENTUCKYKentuckians had four ways to cast their ballot in the 2022 May primaries.Three days of early voting for the primary election got underway Thursday at designated polling places across Kentucky. The state also allowed excused absentee early voting from May 4 to 6 and May 9 to 11.Mail-in absentee ballot requests were due on May 3.Polls were open on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.

WFPL and KyCIR win two regional Murrow awards – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

By |2022-05-20T17:27:19-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, COVID-19|

Reporting from WFPL News and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has won two regional journalism awards for reporting in 2021.  Jared Bennett won for best investigative reporting for his story about the cost families paid to communicate with loved ones who were incarcerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Jess Clark won the award for excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion reporting for her coverage of how Black high school-aged girls processed Breonna Taylor’s killing. “We are honored to have the hard work and care we put into crafting these two projects recognized by Radio Television Digital News Association,” said Gabrielle Jones, LPM vice president of content. “We believe our most important role as an organization is being a force for good in our community. These two projects speak to our ever present goals of highlighting inequitable systems and amplifying the voices of our fellow community members.” RTDNA awards the regional Murrows for excellent work in journalism. Regional winners go on to compete at the national level each year. National winners will be announced later in the summer. 

The Black Democrat taking on Rand Paul – Politico

By |2022-05-20T15:33:46-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, Election 2020|

.cms-textAlign-left{text-align:left;}.cms-textAlign-center{text-align:center;}.cms-textAlign-right{text-align:right;}With help from Ella Creamer, Rishika Dugyala and Teresa Wiltz POLITICO Illustration/Getty Images What up Recast family! Oklahoma approves a measure banning abortions after conception, a GOP House member acknowledges giving constituents a tour of the U.S. Capitol complex on the eve of the Jan. 6 attack and the CDC recommends boosters for children ages 5 to 11. First though, we focus on a historic primary win in the Bluegrass State.  The sting of narrowly missing out on the Senate nomination two years ago still doesn’t sit well with Charles Booker.In 2020, the former Kentucky state representative, riding on the groundswell of emotion that erupted after the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police officers and the subsequent racial justice protests, came within 2.8 percentage points of securing the Democratic nomination.Nominee Amy McGrath went on to spend some $90 million only to get trounced by the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.On Tuesday, Booker (no relation to this Recast author, though we joked about being distant cousins) left no doubt about his viability this time: winning his latest primary with more than 73 percent of the vote. He is the first Black candidate ever nominated to federal statewide office in Kentucky’s history.But he faces an equally daunting challenge of toppling incumbent Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who is well-financed and is running in a year far more favorable to the GOP than last cycle.What Booker has got going for him is energy and charisma that is infectious – and a willingness to speak about his own pain. He lost a cousin to gun violence and was raised in the economically depressed West End of Louisville.As he sees it, Kentucky is ready to embrace a liberal Black Democrat trying to build a coalition of “abandoned and ignored” voters – from the hood to the holler – those hailing from the inner city to Appalachia. It’s also the name of his memoir.But he also may have to win over his own party. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has yet to release a statement – or a tweet – about his historic win. We talk about that, plus why he says, it should if it wants “to be on the right side of history.”◆◆◆This interview has been edited for length and clarity.THE RECAST: Has that gravity of being one election away from becoming the first Black person from the commonwealth to be sent to Congress sunk in for you yet?BOOKER: You know, it hasn't. It's so overwhelming.I'm doing my best to appreciate the magnitude of this moment. I feel the humility, I feel my ancestors. I've said a lot over the years in the Legislature and beyond, that my ancestors were enslaved in Kentucky.I've had ancestors lynched in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And so to stand in this moment now, helping to break barriers, even in becoming the first Black person to be a major party nominee for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, to be the top of the ticket, it’s a big deal and I’m proud. Every week, we sit down with diverse and influential characters who are shaking up politics.Who should we profile next? Let us know. Email us at [email protected]. THE RECAST: You secured the nomination with about 73 percent of the vote.It comes on the same night that Cheri Beasley won her Senate primary in North Carolina. I mean, there's a long list of Black Senate candidates: Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker are likely going to duke it out in Georgia. Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin, Val Demings in Florida.Is there something about 2022 that is the year of the Black Senate candidate? Does this year feel different to you?BOOKER: What feels different to me is the heightened sense of urgency.I'm not running for office because I want a title.I'm doing this, because I genuinely want things to change for my family, I want poverty to end. I don't want to lose another cousin or a loved one in the streets to gun violence. And I don't want anyone to have to ration their insulin, like I've had to do as a Type 1 diabetic. Surrounded by his family, Booker speaks to a group of supporters following his victory in the Kentucky primary in Louisville, May 17. | Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo I'm telling the story of my struggles, which I think is something that's really powerful for Black candidates. Particularly those who have lived in the struggles that have often been prescribed to Black communities, because it gives us the lens to speak about structural inequity that weighs everybody down.And I tell this story in my book, “From the Hood to the Holler,” because the challenges that we are seeing in my community in the West End of Louisville, in the hood, are very similar to the challenges in Appalachia. And those common bonds are not only how we're going to win this race, but it's how we win democracy.THE RECAST: In 2020, you ran a campaign by harnessing the energy and fervor of the social justice movement following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and others. You came very close winning the Democratic nomination two years ago. Can you talk a little bit about what you learned in that defeat?BOOKER: The thing that I learned was that the people of Kentucky are ready for the change that I'm fighting for. I was just willing to step out on faith and give my family, my loved ones across Kentucky, the chance to choose.So this time around, I'm not a surprise to anyone. We came through the front door this time. And we went from being impossible to being inevitable. Booker speaks to protesters gathering before a march to the Breonna Taylor memorial at Jefferson Square Park on Oct. 10, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. | Jon Cherry/Getty Images THE RECAST: Do you feel it's difficult to turn activism into electability? I'm looking across the political landscape, like a former colleague of yours, state Rep. Attica Scott lost in her bid to become the nominee for Kentucky's 3rd District. I'm looking at Nina Turner earlier this month, a Bernie Sanders supporter, but also seen as an activist, came up short to help in her primary bid in Ohio.BOOKER: It is hard to be in a position where you're marginalized and your voice has been taken away or been ignored, to be able to translate and transfer the pain and the frustration into political leadership. Poverty is a policy choice. It isn't a product of laziness, or moral deficiency.We are up against a system that isn't limited by party, that is really perpetuating a lot of the inequities that we're facing at the expense of corporate greed and political power for people … so it's difficult to get into these spaces.So what we're doing in this [Senate] race, my prayer is that it would be a template for more regular folks to know that not only does your voice matter, but you can lead for real change — and you can win while doing it.THE RECAST: To win, you’ve obviously got to drive up the margins in Louisville and Lexington. But where else can you turn the tide in this race come November?BOOKER: Well, the power of this rallying cry “from the hood to the holler” is really that we're telling the story of how you bring communities, coalitions, together that really haven't even been considered as possible.We know we have much more in common than we do otherwise. And so our path to victory is, as you mentioned, we have to turn out folks that we know are already prepared to vote for my policies and for my candidacy, which is a lot of Kentuckians.But we also have to go to those communities, like in Appalachia. There are a lot of progressives – a lot of people that want true progress. “Medicare for All” is really popular in a lot of communities across eastern Kentucky, mainly because a lot of folks can't afford health care. And they've seen these big fossil fuel corporations, coal companies making incredible profits and screwing them on the back end.We're building this from the ground up. This is not with a lot of the party support that a lot of folks would have expected. That should change because my call is for the Democratic Party to be on the right side of history.This is how Georgia won.We are proving that you can win in places like Kentucky and if you do it in places like Kentucky, we can win everywhere. Booker at a book signing event for his memoir in Louisville, Ky. on Apr. 27. | Piper Hudspeth Blackburn/AP Photo THE RECAST: It's already thought to be a tough year for Democrats. Are you concerned at all that the party’s headwinds the current occupant of the White House is facing will impact your race?BOOKER: Well, it certainly is a factor.It hasn't shaped how we've moved in this campaign, because this campaign was always bigger than all that.At the end of the day, our pursuit of democracy is not about any particular party. It's about humanity. And it's not tied down to how successful any president is.Now, of course, those narratives can make it harder or easier at times.I'm a Black man running in Kentucky. There's not a whole lot that anyone can say that I haven’t already heard. We already know it’s uphill because of the cynicism. So the type of campaign we're building is already made to confront and disarm that.THE RECAST: You’re running in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992. How do you go about convincing folks that haven’t voted for a Democrat in a long time, perhaps haven’t voted for a Black candidate to support your candidacy over someone who's got broad name recognition like Sen. Rand Paul?BOOKER: A lot of the work that I'm doing is going to counties in areas that Democrats don't go. And that includes the hood where I’m from.Now we vote, overwhelmingly Democrat – when we vote – in my community. But most politicians don't come until it's time to vote. And so the organizing that we've been doing through this campaign and into the summer … is really about meeting people where they are, and not talking about things from a national narrative … but pulling out the common bonds, and doing storytelling.I come from the hood. I come from the struggle. I know what it's like to be ignored. A lot of the people that voted for Donald Trump in Kentucky also voted for Bernie Sanders. Then we have a governor who has been polled as the most popular [Democratic] governor in the country.So the issues we're dealing with aren't actually partisan.◆◆◆Whether your week inched along or zoomed by quickly, we’re bringing you some quick pop news items and fun features to end it on a high note. We mentioned Cheri Beasley won her primary in North Carolina. POLITICO’s Burgess Everett is reporting Democrats are unsure whether they want to go all-in for her Senate run. Find out why. Beasley speaks at an election night event hosted by the North Carolina Democratic Party after winning her primary race in Raleigh, N.C., May 17. | Ben McKeown/AP Photo WATCH: Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on “Operation Fly Formula” – the Biden administration’s response to the baby formula shortage. New Window The Jan. 6 select committee is requesting an interview with Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who previously didn’t disclose bringing a “constituent family” into the U.S. Capitol the day before it was attacked. He reversed course Thursday, POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu and Kyle Cheney report.For the birds: Christian Cooper, the Black man who got the cops called on him by a white woman while he was bird watching in Central Park in 2020, gets his own TV show on National Geographic, “Extraordinary Birder.”Prepare yourself for a devastating look at Covid’s impact with The New York Times, on the heels of America reaching 1 million deaths. Readers shared deeply moving and intimate final text messages with their loved ones, often sent from hospital beds.Last week, a team of climbers made history as the first all-Black group to summit Mount Everest. They tell the “Today Show” they want to inspire a future generation of outdoor enthusiasts.Rhiannon Giddens has a new opera, “Omar,” telling the story of Omar ibn Said, an educated Senegalese man who was captured from his homeland and enslaved in South Carolina – and went on to author several works in Arabic, including this autobiographical essay. New Window Listen to Jamil Jan Kochai reading his story, “Occupational Hazards.” The writer, who was born in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan, has a story collection coming out in July.Kendrick Lamar’s back at it again, with another video from his new album, “N 95”: New Window Camila Cabello and Maria Becerra team up for their bouncy new song, “Hasta Los Dientes." New Window TikToks of the day: Too much energy New Window Splitting the bill be like New Window « View Archives

'We're not going to go away': Black Louisville mayor candidates frustrated but undeterred

By |2022-05-20T08:31:13-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, Election 2020|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After racial justice protests in 2020, continuing calls for change following Breonna Taylor’s death and several candidates of color running in this year's mayoral primary, one thing is certain.Louisville’s next mayor will be like all its previous mayors — a white man. That and the fact both Republican nominee Bill Dieruf and Democratic pick Craig Greenberg vastly outraised other candidates in their primaries were on the mind of Shameka Parrish-Wright.The co-chair of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and manager of the Louisville Bail Project finished second behind Greenberg in the Democratic primary.Businessman vs. businessman:How Dieruf and Greenberg stack up in Louisville mayor raceParrish-Wright, who was seeking to become the first woman and first Black resident to serve as Louisville's mayor, received 22% of the vote compared with Greenberg's 41% in the eight-candidate Democratic field.Dieruf racked up 78% of votes in the four-candidate GOP field.She wondered if having several Black candidates in the Democratic field ultimately "put a dent" in her vote totals.Parrish-Wright told The Courier Journal her supporters included not only those who have protested against racial inequities and police brutality but also doctors, lawyers and teachers.But she raised only roughly $70,900 during her campaign, while Greenberg raised about $1.4 million, much of it from wealthy donors."We have to keep big money out if it," she said. "Greenberg had those relationships and I didn’t, right? He hasn’t been mayor before either. … He just has money."The Rev. Tim Findley Jr., another Black candidate who came in fourth place among Democrats with nearly 16% of the vote, said he plans to run for mayor again in the next election.Despite Greenberg having TV ads, "mass mailers," and backing from political action committees as well as endorsements from several Metro Council members, Findley, pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center, said he and Parrish-Wright still had a "very respectable showing" amid a low countywide voter turnout of nearly 21%."That should be concerning to individuals that put all this money into these campaigns," Findley said. "… because we're not going to go away."Findley felt he performed well in the predominantly Black neighborhoods of the West End and Newburg and said Greenberg also enjoyed support in the West End.But the pastor said the Democratic Party locally and nationally needs to "figure out how we can get more Black and brown engagement within the party.""There were too many rooms I was going into as a mayoral candidate where it was almost as if the look is, 'Why are you even here? There's no way we're voting you in,'" Findley added.For November, Parrish-Wright added she has not yet decided to back Greenberg because she feels he has to do more to inspire people and create "real change."Dieruf could otherwise beat Greenberg thanks to his experience as Jeffersontown mayor, Parrish-Wright said.Rather than focusing on race or money, Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP, had a more pragmatic outlook on the mayoral election."I will be waiting to see what position on the issues they take, and I’ll also be looking at their background deeper and to see whom I think will best serve the city and my philosophy," Cunningham told The Courier Journal."… The voters of their respective parties have spoken, and that's what we've got to choose from, no matter whom we supported in the primary. That's the hand we've been dealt, and we've got to play it."Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com.

Black Louisville mayor candidates vow, 'we're not going to go away' – Courier-Journal

By |2022-05-20T08:30:34-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, Election 2020|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After racial justice protests in 2020, continuing calls for change following Breonna Taylor’s death and several candidates of color running in this year's mayoral primary, one thing is certain.Louisville’s next mayor will be like all its previous mayors — a white man. That and the fact both Republican nominee Bill Dieruf and Democratic pick Craig Greenberg vastly outraised other candidates in their primaries were on the mind of Shameka Parrish-Wright.The co-chair of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and manager of the Louisville Bail Project finished second behind Greenberg in the Democratic primary.Businessman vs. businessman:How Dieruf and Greenberg stack up in Louisville mayor raceParrish-Wright, who was seeking to become the first woman and first Black resident to serve as Louisville's mayor, received 22% of the vote compared with Greenberg's 41% in the eight-candidate Democratic field.Dieruf racked up 78% of votes in the four-candidate GOP field.She wondered if having several Black candidates in the Democratic field ultimately "put a dent" in her vote totals.Parrish-Wright told The Courier Journal her supporters included not only those who have protested against racial inequities and police brutality but also doctors, lawyers and teachers.But she raised only roughly $70,900 during her campaign, while Greenberg raised about $1.4 million, much of it from wealthy donors."We have to keep big money out if it," she said. "Greenberg had those relationships and I didn’t, right? He hasn’t been mayor before either. … He just has money."The Rev. Tim Findley Jr., another Black candidate who came in fourth place among Democrats with nearly 16% of the vote, said he plans to run for mayor again in the next election.Despite Greenberg having TV ads, "mass mailers," and backing from political action committees as well as endorsements from several Metro Council members, Findley, pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center, said he and Parrish-Wright still had a "very respectable showing" amid a low countywide voter turnout of nearly 21%."That should be concerning to individuals that put all this money into these campaigns," Findley said. "… because we're not going to go away."Findley felt he performed well in the predominantly Black neighborhoods of the West End and Newburg and said Greenberg also enjoyed support in the West End.But the pastor said the Democratic Party locally and nationally needs to "figure out how we can get more Black and brown engagement within the party.""There were too many rooms I was going into as a mayoral candidate where it was almost as if the look is, 'Why are you even here? There's no way we're voting you in,'" Findley added.For November, Parrish-Wright added she has not yet decided to back Greenberg because she feels he has to do more to inspire people and create "real change."Dieruf could otherwise beat Greenberg thanks to his experience as Jeffersontown mayor, Parrish-Wright said.Rather than focusing on race or money, Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP, had a more pragmatic outlook on the mayoral election."I will be waiting to see what position on the issues they take, and I’ll also be looking at their background deeper and to see whom I think will best serve the city and my philosophy," Cunningham told The Courier Journal."… The voters of their respective parties have spoken, and that's what we've got to choose from, no matter whom we supported in the primary. That's the hand we've been dealt, and we've got to play it."Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com.

Learning the horrors of our Kentucky history should make us uncomfortable: Opinion

By |2022-05-20T06:33:59-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor|

“Every time we start to get aheadThey hate itThey’d rather see us broken And incarcerated.”This is the refrain to a spoken word poem created by Black middle and high school students in a creative writing workshop with Hannah Drake. They performed it at the dedication of the (Un)Known Project, a memorial to enslaved people whose stories may never be uncovered.Against the backdrop of the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, where enslaved people once stood and imagined freedom on the other side, the children chanted the chorus over and over as each individually came forward with their own verse detailing racial injustice, police violence, poverty and cultural appropriation. It was shattering to hear them tell what we wish weren’t the truth in the 21st Century: racism is alive and well all around them. They see it. They know it personally.The dedication was attended by many Black people, along with white allies who also had marched alongside their Black sisters and brothers, demanding justice when George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were killed. These allies took classes, made donations, listened with vulnerability to uncomfortable stories of racist systems and events, and they began to challenge racist power structures in the workplace, academics, etc.Around the same time, The New York Times published “The 1619 Project,” which makes a clear and irrefutable argument that racism is not anecdotal, practiced by a few bad people, but built into our systems which were created when our country was steeped in (and getting powerful and rich from) slavery.This new white concern did not go unnoticed. As the Urban League publicly stated later, “For a moment, it seemed that we were ready to wrestle with at least some of the systems perpetrating disparity at every turn.” Like maybe Black people were starting to get traction, to get ahead.And the kids were right: “They hate it.”“They” being those steeped in white supremacy who make up a larger percentage of the population than many of us knew. They came back like a steamroller with new voter suppression laws and hysterical “anti-CRT” laws in a desperate attempt to push things back to the way they were. They don’t want Black people voting in large numbers for candidates with their interests at heart. And they don’t want to hear the horrific truth about long-term, unending racial injury that started with kidnapping and enslaving Africans and hasn’t ended yet.“They hate it.” They don’t want to acknowledge the depth of depravity that created enormous wealth and power that we as whites still benefit from. They don’t want to know the harm that’s been done. They’re afraid of how it will make their children feel to hear those stories. Afraid they’ll be uncomfortable.What stories? Well, here’s one set right in our fair city of Louisville. From many accounts, the term we often use for betrayal, “sold down the river,” was invented here, on those same Ohio River banks where enslaved people once looked longingly across to Indiana and freedom. They were held in chains, many even kept in pens. Yes, you read that right. Pens. For human beings. Those pens held people who’d been sold and were awaiting boats that would wrench them away from home, from loved ones whom they’d never see again, to work on plantations in the deep south, where the conditions were known to be much harsher and treatment of slaves much more brutal. It was deeply dreaded: the greatest betrayal. And thus, the phrase came to be: “He (she) was sold down the river.”Does that story make people uncomfortable? We certainly hope so! We hope it moves us to work for something better. To listen–and try to right the horrific wrongs of the past. But for now, Black people are being betrayed again–by white parents screaming at school board meetings and by white politicians rushing through voter- and history- suppressing laws. And, by those who sit by silently as it happens. Once again: sold down the river. What do we plan to do about it?Deborah LaPorte is Co-Chair (with Di Kerrigan) of listenlearnact.org

When is enough enough? | Global Sisters Report

By |2022-05-20T06:34:00-04:00May 20th, 2022|Breonna Taylor|

Last week, I spent time in Louisville, Kentucky, for a little vacation. While looking for things to do, I came across a website that listed a number of murals in the city. "Say Their Names" caught my attention. The mural depicted Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black individuals who had been brutally murdered. I was drawn to the mural as a way to memorialize Taylor in her own hometown of Louisville. At that time, I could not fathom that, only a few days later, our country would be reeling from another mass shooting, fueled by white supremacism and vile hatred. We know that incidents of violence and racism surround us in our cities, country and world. It is impossible to go one day without seeing or reading a news story about a mass shooting, the banning of critical race theory, or some other atrocity. Yet, I was still shocked when, on Saturday evening, I saw the news about the massacre at the Tops grocery market in Buffalo, New York. Ten dead. Racism. Manifesto. Tackled, appearing in court ... Pleaded not guilty. Eighteen. Radicalized online in less than two years. One thought kept running through my mind while I watched the initial news reports. If the killer had been a Black man, would he have been shot dead by police instead of placed in restraints? This question plays into the way the media talked about the killer. Often, he was referred to as "a potential suspect" or described as "a smart kid." We know that's not the way in which a Black or brown suspect is described in the news. All too often, they are described by their size, actions and skin color. As suspects, their humanity is immediately stripped from them. However, this was not the case this time. Language matters. The man currently held for the murders of 10 individuals in Buffalo is not just a "suspect" or "nice kid" or a "shooter" or "gunman" or "assailant." We need to call him for what he is: a domestic terrorist, a white supremacist, a murderer. I am not alone in my thinking. Over the past few days, I have read exasperated social media posts calling our attention to the language used by the news media. In his speech in Buffalo, President Joe Biden echoed the need for a shift in language. He said, "What happened here is simple and straightforward: terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism. Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group." Here, Biden powerfully named the incomprehensible actions for what they are: domestic terrorism — an action to counteract the so-called "replacement theory." Biden went on to call white supremacy a poison that is "running through our body politic [and] it's been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes." By consciously shifting our language, we remind ourselves that we can no longer distance ourselves from the sin of racism that pervades our entire lives. We cannot allow fear to soften our response to the racist ideologies threatening to take over our country. We cannot let our deep desire to maintain peace between different factions stop us from demanding legislation that will put an end to massacres in Buffalo (and elsewhere). To that end, I ask all of us: When is enough enough? When will we be able to stop writing statements condemning violence and guns and racism? When will we stop pushing legislation that prevents critical race theory and common-sense gun safety? When will the weight of our collective voices win out, and we can celebrate the creation of gun legislation for which we have been crying? How many more memorial murals must be created? Again, in his speech Biden answered these questions. He said, "We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America. Silence is complicity. It's complicity. We cannot remain silent." As women religious, we cannot remain silent. As human beings, we must be willing to "make good trouble." Each of us must have the courage to hold ourselves accountable. We must demand that our communities, churches, organizations and dioceses denounce the sins of white supremacy, racism and violence in all forms. And we must have the courage to move our statements of solidarity and grief into action now. Time is of the essence.

Vice News report accuses Louisville cops of stealing money, sexual assault

By |2022-05-19T17:25:48-04:00May 19th, 2022|Breonna Taylor|

Listen to this article here Louisville Metro PD is under public scrutiny yet again. Vice News journalist Rob Ferdman reports that officers involved in the Breonna Taylor case were also engaged in illegal activities such as pocketing money from police seizures, including at Breonna Taylor’s home. Corruption is the system in Louisville Metro PD. An anonymous informant (current officer) spoke on the record to Ferdman about the culture of Louisville police officers who often kept money that was supposed to be turned in or reported. In one particular case, the informant stated he’s personally seen officers split $500,000. The officer did not clarify if he had taken a split of the money as well. Ferdman claims there were “dozens” of Louisville officers participating in these illegal activities based on interviews and sources gathered during their investigation. On the night of her fatal shooting, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, reported $1,000 missing after the Louisville Metro Police shot up and raided their home. It was later discovered that another $14,000 had been taken from their home as well, according to Walker. Sexual violence and police brutality thrive in Louisville Metro PD. Ferdman states they’ve reviewed hundreds of documents and interviewed victims of sexual abuse and misconduct by the Louisville Metro Police. Ferdman states officers frequently wielded their power to the sexual dismay of female victims. Ferdman confirms that while complaints have been made, minimal internal action has occurred to stem the tide of assault against Louisville residents. Ferdman states this has allowed “bad actors to continue acting unchecked and in some cases, victimize more women.” Ferman states many of his sources are former and current officers in the department, but they face mounting pressure from their higher-ups not to speak to the media. Ferdman states officers would like to be more forthcoming, “but this is a system problem.” Breonna Taylor has received zero justice in her murder. No officers have been charged for the five bullets that entered her body as she slept in bed.

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