Black Life Expectancy Increases, But Still Not Equal to Whites, Report Says

African-Americans are living longer, but their life expectancy has not caught up to Whites, according to new data. A report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the death rate for Blacks has declined about 25 percent from 1999 to 2015. The most noticeable chance is for Blacks age 65 or older. But with these improvements,  younger African-Americans are living and eventually dying with afflictions that affect Whites at older ages. The report says Blacks ages 18-49 are twice as likely to die from heart disease as Whites. Also, Blacks ages 35-64 are 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than Whites. The report also says Blacks are more likely than Whites at all ages to die from any cause, but the rate of death shows a remarkable increase past age 50.


Mississippi Black Pols Boycott Legislative Conference Over Confederate Emblem

Black Lawmakers in Mississippi are boycotting a legislative conference scheduled for the summer  to take place there over the Confederate battle emblem being a part of the state flag. Mississippi Today reports that the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus wants the Southern Legislative Conference to push for the removal of the Stars and Bars, but the effort has gone on for years and has not resulted in a redesign of the flag yet. “A stronger statement would have been to conduct the 2017 meeting in another state,” wrote Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes in a letter to Mississippi House speaker Philip Gunn. “We believe participation at the meeting would send a message of support for the continued use of the Confederate flag.” As many as 22 bills were filed regarding the state flag in the last legislative session, but none of them ever made it.

Baltimore, Seeking Solutions, Takes Federal Help in Crime Fighting

Baltimore, which has experienced the sharpest surge in homicides in its history this year, has sought more resources from the federal government to prevent a further increase in crime. Mayor Catherine Pugh asked for help last week and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was sending in a gun-tracing van to assist in solving crimes involving firearms. The van will analyze evidence at crime scenes and plug information into a national database, according to the Baltimore Sun. That, in turn, will help in solving violent crimes. In 2017, there have been 108 homicides so far in the city, with violent crime up by 23 percent. “We are looking for all the help we can get. Murder is out of control. There are too many guns on the streets,” said Pugh.

Dallas Man in Police Standoff Had Lengthy Rap Sheet

Dallas police say a man with a long criminal history shot and killed a man who was living with him, then shot a paramedic who was responding to the incident and his neighbor as well before he turned the gun on himself. Derick Lamont Brown, 36, was behaving in an erratic manner, before he forced his 67-year-old roommate into an alley, killing him. When the neighbor heard gunshots and went outside to check it out, Brown shot him as well. The paramedic, William An, was critically wounded by Brown and both people were rushed to a nearby hospital. He underwent surgery Monday and was in critical but stable condition Tuesday. The unidentified neighbor is also listed as critical. Brown was shot by one of the officers who barricaded the neighborhood and police believe he killed himself. Randy Blankenbaker, Dallas assistant police chief of investigations, said Brown’s criminal history includes charges of aggravated assault, driving while intoxicated and illegal gun possession. He also said to media outlets years ago that he was a leader of the New Black Panther Party.