Questions are swirling in the aftermath of what looked like a simple hit-and-run in Pittsburgh, Penn. about just how police handled a man who fled the crash. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, police chased and apprehended a 23-year-old fugitive named Devon Davis who crashed into a car in downtown Pittsburgh and then fled police on foot. The Post-Gazette says police they found Davis "severely injured in a pool of blood" and that though his leg was broken, "it was not clear whether it was broken in the car accident or foot pursuit."
However, witnesses say Davis actually sustained his injuries from police, who tackled and then beat and kicked Davis while he was on the ground. DailyKos quotes one witness as saying, "as [Davis] lay pinned to the ground, the officers began beating him viciously with batons while yelling to ‘stop resisting.’ He wasn’t resisting, and he kept saying ‘I’m not doing anything.’ They beat him for a long time and when they were done, he was laying in a pool of his own blood with what news reports say is a broken leg."
Pittsburgh officials are now seeking an independent review of the incident. "The Office of Municipal Investigations is the city's lead investigative agency and is doing an independent review of this matter," Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, told the Post-Gazette. "As with all use of force cases where impropriety is alleged, OMI will seek an outside review by a third party expert as part of its investigation" ... Discuss
By a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission has approved the net neutrality policy, meaning corporations or government agencies will not be allowed to control Internet speeds by forcing content providers—and in effect, consumers—to pay additional fees to access the web. The authority granted to the FCC through the policy means it can formally prohibit "paid prioritization" that could make content providers pay the extra fees to deliver their sites to consumerisms. Before the vote, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler explained, "The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules" ... Discuss
A Texas judge has sentenced ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murdering former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The defense had attempted to argue insanity, a claimed that was rejected by the jury. Kyle is remembered as the deadliest sniper the U.S. military has ever produced, and was featured in the best-selling book and movie adaptation American Sniper. Routh shot both Kyle and another man, Chad Littlefield, while at a shooting range. Kyle regularly took veterans target-shooting as a therapeutic exercise. When Kyle and Littlefield unloaded their weapons, they were both shot in the back. After the shooting, Routh stole Kyle’s truck and eventually drove more than 100 miles before surrendering to police ... Discuss
Here’s the best story you will likely read on the Internet today. The mom of young Glenn Buratt (a 6-year-old who has epilepsy and mild autism) invited more than a dozen friends from school to come to his birthday party, but none of them showed up. She posted on Facebook, “I know this might be something silly to rant about, but my heart is breaking for my son. We invited his whole class (16 kids) over for his 6th birthday party today. Not one kid came.” Not only did 15 kids and their parents come after seeing the post, local law enforcement and fire officials got wind of the party, and brought some of their coolest gear and vehicles—which were loaded with presents—to give Glenn a birthday he’d never forget. Buzzfeed has posted a bunch of really great pictures from the party ... Discuss
For the first time, Alaska has been named the happiest state in the U.S.A. The annual Gallup-Healthways research ranks five factors (based on more than 176,000 interviews) to measure the overall mindset of states’ citizens: Financial, social, community, purpose and physical. List mainstays Hawaii (No. 2) and Colorado (No. 7) are the only two states to crack the top-10 all seven years that the list has been created. Faced with a number of environmental issues, West Virginia finished in last place. You can go here to see the full list and where your state stacks up ... Discuss
A legislative committee in Oklahoma has voted to ban Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History courses for high school students, after a Representative argued that it teaches too much bad stuff about America. As Think Progress noted, Rep. Dan Fisher (R), who introduced the emergency legislation, is part of a group known as the “Black Robe Regiment” whose mission it is to stop "indoctrinating our youth at the exclusion of the Christian perspective” by "special interest groups. Fisher said, "We don't want our tax dollars going to a test that undermines our history." However, the College Board, the private group that develops AP courses, disputes his claims, noting that AP courses are completely voluntary and are designed to teach college-level curriculums that save university-bound high schoolers money.
Fisher also argued that the course did not teach the idea of “American exceptionalism.” Another lawmaker, Rep. Sally Kern (R) said that the courses were a violation of a piece of legislation that previously passed, repealing Common Core standards because they “impose a national curriculum,” even though the classes are not mandatory. You can see the actual curriculum here. The vote went down party lines, with Republicans in the majority ...
Update: Fisher has issued a response to the criticism his bill is receiving. “We’re trying to fix the bill,” Fisher said. “It was very poorly worded and was incredibly ambiguous, and we didn’t realize that, so it’s been misinterpreted. Discuss