Cleveland’s police union asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily ban open-carry gun laws in the state, while the Republican National Convention is taking place this week, after three officers were fatally shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday. “We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point. They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over,” said Stephen Loomis, President of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association. According to Gov. Kasich’s team, temporarily restricting gun laws is out of his control. “Law enforcement is a noble, essential calling and we all grieve that we’ve again seen attacks on officers,” Emmalee Kalmbach, a spokeswoman for Kasich, said in a statement. “Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.” The Republican National Convention kicks off on Monday and will run through July 21. Read more.
President Obama Calls for Unity after Baton Rouge Shooting
Following the police shooting that claimed the lives of three officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, President Barack Obama addressed the incident from the White House. He asked American citizens to be mindful of their commentary surrounding the shootings; sharing that these unfortunate incidents that have happened over the past two weeks should unite us rather than divide us. “Everyone, right now: Focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further,” said President Obama. “We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric. We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts ― all of us.” He also said harming police officers is not admissible. “We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against police officers. Attacks on police officers are attacks on all of us,” he said. While making his plea for unity between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve, he shared that officers should also focus on getting rid of prejudices. “Only we can prove that we have the grace and character and the common humanity to end this kind of senseless violence,” he concluded. Read more.
811 People Have Died Behind Bars since Sandra Bland’s Death
July 13 marked the day that Sandra Bland, the Black woman who was pulled over for a traffic stop in 2015, was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas. Her death brought attention to the growing trend of fatalities behind bars. According to research conducted by the Huffington Post, 811 people have died in jail since Bland’s death and 178 unarmed people were killed by the police during that same time span. The data also showed African-Americans are more likely to lose their lives behind bars because they are arrested at a higher rate than other groups. Blacks account for 13 percent of the U.S. population and made up 32 percent of people who died behind bars between the years of 2000 and 2013, federal data shows. Although there are many people who don’t think that Bland took her own life, suicide is common for inmates. “Many people believe Sandra Bland did not take her own life. But the circumstances of her death fit a recognizable pattern. In a significant number of the cases we found, people killed themselves within just a few days, even when they had been arrested on minor charges that were extremely unlikely to result in prison time,” reported the Huffington Post. “Nearly one-third of the deaths we found were suicides. And at least one-third of people died within three days of being booked.” Read more.
Tatyana Ali Ties the Knot in Beverly Hills
Actress Tatyana Ali is officially married. Ali, best known for her role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, tied the knot with Dr. Vaughn Rasberry in Beverly Hills on Sunday. The actress, who is 37 years old, met her beau on eHarmony two years ago. According to Ali, the Caribbean-themed wedding included nearly 100 of her close friends and family. Earlier this year the couple revealed they are expecting their first child together. “It’s pretty amazing,” she said in a statement after sharing the pregnancy news in March. “There’s so much good. We feel so blessed. We’re just having fun enjoying our family and our friends and that’s what we want the wedding to be about — just have a good celebration.” Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty