Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader, and MLK aide, has died at 98yrs old

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first black president and echoed the call for “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” in America.

For more than four decades after the death of his friend and civil rights icon, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the fiery Alabama preacher was on the front line of the battle for equality, with an unforgettable delivery that rivaled King’s – and was often more unpredictable. Lowery had a knack for cutting to the core of the country’s conscience with commentary steeped in scripture, refusing to back down whether the audience was a Jim Crow racist or a U.S. president.

“We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right,” Lowery prayed at President Barack Obama’s inaugural benediction in 2009.

Lowery, 98, died Friday at home in Atlanta, surrounded by family members, they said in a statement. He died from natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus outbreak the statement said. 

Obit Joseph Lowery
In this Aug. 14, 2013  photo, civil rights leader the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery speaks at an event in Atlanta.


“Tonight, the great Reverend Joseph E. Lowery transitioned from earth to eternity,” The King Center in Atlanta remembered Lowery in a Friday night tweet. “He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.”

Chicago’s McCormick Place to be turned into a 3,000-bed hospital.

McCormick Place is being turned into a makeshift hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will have 3,000 beds and that all three halls of the convention center will be used.

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Patients will be separated by the level of care they require.

The hospital is expected to be up and running by April 24.

A similar facility is opening on Monday, at a convention center in New York.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Chicago patients to be treated at McCormick Place

 

MillerCoors shooting suspect identified as 51-year-old Milwaukee man, fired from company earlier that day

MILWAUKEE (AP/WTVO) — Law enforcement sources have identified Anthony Ferrill as the suspect who opened fire at the Miller brewing headquarters Wednesday afternoon, killing five people before turning the gun on himself, ABC News reports.

                                                              Anthony Ferrill (Shooter)

At a press conference on Thursday, police identified the five victims as Jesus Valle, Jr., 33, Gennady Levshetz, 51, Trevor Wetselaar, 33, Dana Walk, 57, and Dale Hudson, 50.

Police searched a home on Milwaukee’s north side Thursday as they hunted for clues about why an employee at one of the nation’s largest breweries gunned down five co-workers before taking his own life.

The house, a one-story home with a massive jungle-gym in the backyard, was roped off with crime scene tape Thursday morning. A squad car sat in the driveway and investigators were seen entering the home. Neighbor Erna Roenspies, 82, said the man who lives in the house has worked at the brewery for 15 years as an electrician.

The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at Molson Coors Brewing Co.’s massive brewery complex in Milwaukee, which employs around 1,000 people. Authorities have said the shooter was a 51-year-old man from Milwaukee but haven’t released his name. Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said the shooter was “an active brewery employee.”

Authorities have offered no motive for the attack and have not released details about how the shooting unfolded. They also have not released the names of the victims.

The brewery complex includes a mix of corporate offices and brewing facilities. It’s widely known in the Milwaukee area as “Miller Valley,” a reference to the Miller Brewing Co. that is now part of Molson Coors. A massive red Miller sign towers over the complex and is a well-known symbol in Milwaukee, where beer and brewing are intertwined in the city’s history.

Officers worked for hours Wednesday to clear the more than 20 buildings in the complex where more than 1,000 people work. Police announced at a late evening news conference that the work was done and all employees had been allowed to go home.

Comparing Immigration Raids Under Trump, Obama

Protesters chant outside the Grayson County courthouse in Sherman, Texas, Feb. 16, 2017. In an action called "A Day Without Immigrants," immigrants across the country are expected to stay home from school, work and close businesses to show how critic

WASHINGTON – When Immigration and Customs Enforcement ((ICE)) agents arrested at least 680 undocumented immigrants in cities around the United States last week, immigration advocates hailed it as the first “mass enforcement operation” of the Donald Trump era.

“It is time to sound the national alarm bell,” said a group of organizations led by United We Dream.

But is it? The truth is more nuanced.

Barack Obama inherited and expanded the capacity to identify, apprehend, and deport unauthorized immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute, and he used it as president, deporting more than 2.5 million people between 2009 and 2015.

At the border, there was a “near zero tolerance system, where unauthorized immigrants were increasingly subject to formal removal and criminal charges.”

Immigration enforcement, as laid out in a 2014 memo, also focused on immigrants who committed crimes and those who arrived after the beginning of 2014.

“A more robust enforcement system inevitably inflicts damage on established families and communities,” the Migration Policy Institute report said.

What ICE did not do during the Obama era was detain people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. ICE was instructed to arrest only people who were targeted in advance and not just anybody swept up in a raid, so-called collateral arrests.

Obama said his government did not have the desire to deport millions of undocumented immigrants whose only crime was to enter the country illegally.

And now?

President Donald Trump’s Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States executive order shows that collateral arrests are not to be avoided.

“Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety,” the order says.

After last week’s enforcement operations, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly said that 75 percent of the people apprehended had criminal records. This implies that 25 percent of the 680 arrests reported by DHS were non-criminals.

ICE said during “targeted” enforcement operations officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in violation of federal immigration laws. “Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE,” the agency said.

Rep. Michelle Grisham, D-N.M., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 016.

Rep. Michelle Grisham, D-N.M., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016

On Capitol Hill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has requested a meeting with ICE’s acting director to learn about the location of last week’s operations, the reason for apprehensions, the number of people detained with criminal convictions and the number of parents with minors arrested along with the arresting reason.

“The request to have the meeting, of course, is to get real information, data, about who is apprehended, who are the targets, where, and confirm that information with our constituents … and to make sure that we are following the law, and we’re clear that people are getting due process and that they know their rights, and the fact that we are not causing, which we are, fear and panic in our communities,” New Mexico congresswoman and caucus chair Michelle Grisham said.

A sign alerts customers a bakery is closed for the day as part of an immigration protest, Feb. 16, 2017, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

A sign alerts customers a bakery is closed for the day as part of an immigration protest, Feb. 16, 2017, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Building a basis for comparison

While fear is running high in immigrant communities, it is still too early to say how different the Trump administration’s policies will be from the previous ones.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) intends to follow it. TRAC is building a baseline “against which arrests by fugitive operation teams and other components of ICE can be compared under the new Trump administration.”

Using case-by-case records of both apprehensions and removals, TRAC has put together an initial report that shows 65,332 individuals were detained and deported by ICE during FY 2016, the last year of Obama’s presidency. TRAC says that amounts to approximately 1,250 per week.

Only a small part of those arrests, however, were the result of ICE raids or other enforcement operations. “Instead, most of these estimated weekly 1,250 ICE apprehensions happened when ICE assumed custody of individuals held by another law enforcement agency,” the TRAC report says.

Putting aside the other law enforcement agencies, TRAC says that “less than 300 individuals were arrested each week from their place of work, where they lived, or other places they may have been when found” by ICE.