Fla. Legislator Resigns Over N-Word Controversy.
Florida state senator Frank Artiles resigned from the legislature on Friday, three days after the beginning of a racial slur controversy that overshadowed the political week in the state. “My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process, and the citizens of our great State,” Artiles wrote in a letter to Senate president Joe Negron. On Wednesday, news surfaced that he had used the n-word while referring to a group of Republican senators while speaking with two African-American colleagues. He apologized publically, but the Florida Legislative Black Caucus called for his resignation.
Cop Involved in Charlotte Shooting Will Not Face Disciplinary Action
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott outside of an apartment building last fall was determined to have followed proper procedure and will not face disciplinary charges. A letter sent to Scott’s widow by the department informed her of the decision, according to the Charlotte Observer. A district attorney had previously ruled that the shooting was justified and that Officer Brentley Vinson would not face criminal charges. Scott was shot Sept. 20 in a confrontation with officers. Video footage of the incident shows police calling on Scott to drop his gun, then four shots are heard. A weapon was found at the scene. The shooting prompted days of unrest and a state of emergency called in Charlotte.
3 Deputies in Denver Jail Suspended Over Death of Inmate
Three Denver sheriffs deputies were suspended in relation to the 2015 death of an inmate at the Denver County Jail. The death of Michael Marshall was ruled a homicide, officials say. Marshall died under restraint while having a psychotic episode. According to disciplinary letters sent to Sheriff’s Capt. James Johnson, Deputy Bret Garegnani and Deputy Carlos Hernandez, officials said inappropriate force was used to subdue Marshall, who weighed 112 pounds. Each of the men was suspended for between 10 and 16 days. But Marshall’s family said the punishment was too light. “If this is all the city has to offer … and then they clean their hands and walk away from this, then a civil rights lawsuit would be in the works,” said Darold Killmer, a lawyer for the Marshall family, according to the Denver Post.
Syphilis Cases in Mississippi Triple, Health Officials Say
Cases of syphilis in Mississippi have tripled in the last three years, according to state health officials. According to the Mississippi Health Department, 290 cases of the disease were reported in the state in 2013, but in 2016, 821 primary, secondary and early latent syphilis cases were reported, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Dr. Paul Byers, an epidemiologist with the health department said 70 percent of the reported cases were men who have sex with men, 36 percent of them were HIV-positive. Deja Abdul-Haqq, who is with My Brother’s Keeper, a non-profit that addresses health disparities said poor education and stigmatizing STDs can lead to such increases. “With the gay and bisexual community, operating in isolation, there is an association you have with the lack of quality care…It’s not surprising that we’re seeing an uptick in the rates of syphilis.”