WBEZ | Baltimore http://www.wbez.org/tags/baltimore Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Running for Baltimore Mayor, Activist DeRay Mckesson Draws Donors http://www.wbez.org/news/running-baltimore-mayor-activist-deray-mckesson-draws-donors-114736 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bmore.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res465623883" previewtitle="DeRay Mckesson, protester, activist, and now mayoral candidate, is seen in St. Louis, Mo, in Aug., 2015."><div data-crop-type="">Just before the 9:00 deadline to enter the Baltimore mayoral race closed,<a href="https://twitter.com/lukebroadwater/status/695066127471353856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"> DeRay Mckesson submitted his documents</a>. In a last-minute surprise move, the Black Lives Matter activist who gained national attention during protests in Ferguson, Mo., made it official.</div><div data-crop-type="">&nbsp;</div></div><p>Less than 24 hours later, nearly 700 people had donated almost $40,000 to his campaign. According to the Crowdpac website, which tracks political crowd-sourcing donations for candidates, and&nbsp;<em>Baltimore Sun</em>&nbsp;reporter Luke Broadwater, Mckesson raised more overnight than 24 of the 29&nbsp;<a href="http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2016/primary_candidates/gen_cand_lists_2016_3__by_county_03.html">candidates in the mayoral race</a>.</p><p>When the Baltimore native entered the race, it was already crowded with 13 other candidates. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon, state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, City Councilmen Carl Stokes and Nick Mosby, and nine other Democratic candidates have all lined up to replace Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has announced she will not be seeking re-election.</p><p>While Mckesson, 30, doesn&#39;t have the political experience of some of the other candidates, he has a knowledge of and connection to the city, where he grew up as the child of parents he describes as &quot;now-recovered addicts.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It is true that I am a non-traditional candidate &mdash; I am not a former Mayor, City Councilman, state legislator, philanthropist or the son of a well-connected family. I am an activist, organizer, former teacher, and district administrator that intimately understands how interwoven our challenges and our solutions are,&quot; Mckesson&nbsp;<a href="https://medium.com/@deray/i-am-running-for-mayor-of-baltimore-34b4e214d582#.378k8ljan">wrote on the blogging site Medium</a>&nbsp;after he entered the race.</p><p>Mckesson also boasts a very big and very loyal support network, as evidenced by the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.crowdpac.com/crowdpacs/1577/support-deray-mckesson-for-baltimore-md-mayor-primary">surge in donations</a>&nbsp;just hours after he announced his campaign.</p><p>Mckesson and his now-iconic blue vest (it has its own&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/deraysvest">Twitter account</a>) became widely recognizable during the protests that began in Ferguson, Mo., and then came to Baltimore last year after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Mckesson, along with activist Johnetta Elzie, became voices for the protest movement, speaking out against police brutality and instances of excessive use of force across the country. After the protests, he worked with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision">Campaign Zero</a>, a movement to end police violence, and with the civil rights group&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wetheprotesters.org/">We The Protesters</a>.</p><p>Mckesson has appeared on&nbsp;Late Night with Stephen Colbert&nbsp;and&nbsp;The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; he was a go-to source for some news channels during the riots in Baltimore after Gray&#39;s death; and he boasts nearly 300,000 Twitter followers. He&#39;s a celebrity in his own right, which undoubtedly helped him land a sit-down with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last October.</p><p>After meeting with Clinton in Washington, D.C., Mckesson&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/09/447236612/hillary-clinton-holds-tough-candid-meeting-with-black-lives-matter-activists">came to NPR headquarters&nbsp;</a>to discuss it on&nbsp;<em>All Things Considered.</em> He said the dialogue with Clinton was wide-ranging, and they didn&#39;t always see eye-to-eye:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;Yeah, so we just didn&#39;t agree, right? So there were pushes from protesters that are saying people don&#39;t believe that the police are always these beacons of safety in communities. And she, you know, at the beginning, felt strongly that police presence was necessary. She listened and heard people sort of talk about how safety is more expensive than police. And we worked through that, but it was a tough exchange.</p><p>&quot;And I think around some other issues around the private prisons ... you know, will you end private prisons? And she was adamant about ending private prisons. There was a question about, will she stop taking money from lobbyists who lobby for private prisons? And it was unclear where she landed, but that exchange was &mdash; we had, like, tough conversation around it.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>As a mayoral candidate, those tough conversations are just getting started, but Mckesson isn&#39;t afraid to have them.</p><p>&quot;I know this city&#39;s pain. As the child of two now-recovered addicts, I have lived through the impact of addiction,&quot; he wrote in his blog post. &quot;I too have received the call letting me know that another life has fallen victim to the violence of our city. Like so many other residents, I have watched our city deal what seems like an endless series of challenges and setbacks.&quot;</p><p>The Baltimore primaries will be held on April 26, and in the heavily Democratic city of Baltimore, the winner of the Democratic primary is expected to be elected mayor in the general election in November.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/04/465603407/activist-deray-mckesson-enters-baltimore-mayoral-race-donations-flood-in?ft=nprml&amp;f=465603407"><em>&nbsp;&mdash;via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/running-baltimore-mayor-activist-deray-mckesson-draws-donors-114736 LISTEN: Voices of Baltimore Protesters in the Wake of a Mistrial http://www.wbez.org/news/listen-voices-baltimore-protesters-wake-mistrial-114194 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_678349077884.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460075833" previewtitle="Protesters march through the streets after a mistrial was declared in the trial of Baltimore police Officer William G. Porter on Wednesday."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Protesters march through the streets after a mistrial was declared in the trial of Baltimore police Officer William G. Porter on Wednesday." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/17/gettyimages-501663332_custom-1712bc81766de92408a333a74eafb36c02cb5a0e-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Protesters march through the streets after a mistrial was declared in the trial of Baltimore police Officer William G. Porter on Wednesday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>The sun had set long ago, and hours after&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/16/460013435/judge-declares-mistrial-in-baltimore-police-case-after-jury-deadlocks">a jury found itself deadlocked in the first Freddie Gray case</a>, the cold had started to settle.</p></div></div></div><p>Only about 20 protesters had lasted this long. They had marched from the courthouse to City Hall to the City Juvenile Justice Center just a few blocks away. At this point, police far outnumbered them.</p><p>Makayla Gilliam-Price, an activist in Baltimore, stood in front of those remaining demonstrators and looked right into their eyes, trying to remind them why they were here.</p><p>Two police helicopters hovered high above them, flashing their search lights every once in a while.</p><p>&quot;If I make a wrong move, my life is gone,&quot; she said. A 16-year-old protester was arrested earlier, she said, and now he has been sucked into a system that has ruined thousands of black lives in this city.</p><p>&quot;Let him be your motivation,&quot; she said.</p><p>Over the past eight months, Baltimore has been on an emotional roller coaster. After the death of Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries in the back of a police vehicle, mass protests erupted and they culminated in<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/04/28/402739255/on-the-streets-of-baltimore-trying-to-understand-the-anger">&nbsp;a night of violence and destruction</a>. A few days later, the city celebrated because Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby announced that she intended to bring charges against six officers involved in Gray&#39;s death. And a few days after that, the Justice Department announced it was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/08/405184000/justice-department-opens-civil-rights-investigation-of-baltimore-police">launching a civil investigation into the city&#39;s police department</a>.</p><p>But on Wednesday, a judge declared a mistrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of the first officer put on trial.</p><p>That fueled deep disillusionment amid the protesters.</p><p>&quot;You have days when you think you know the answer, you know the solutions,&quot; said Kelly Holsey, 31. &quot;But then you have days like these, where you realize that you&#39;re working against a corrupt system.&quot;</p><p>To give you a sense of the feeling among the protesters, here are two long-ish pieces of audio that we think are worth your time:</p><p>&mdash; Kelly Holsey has been protesting in Baltimore over&nbsp;<a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-keith-davis-charges-20150622-story.html">the case of her fiancé Keith Davis Jr.</a>&nbsp;Back in June, police shot him in the face after police say Davis shot at them. Holsey argues that Davis is the victim of a corrupt system, that he was incorrectly identified as a robber, and he has been held in jail without bond since the summer. Here&#39;s what she had to say:</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/237939166&amp;color=ff5500" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/237939127&amp;color=ff5500" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/17/460071122/listen-voices-of-baltimore-protesters-in-the-wake-of-a-mistrial?ft=nprml&amp;f=460071122" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/listen-voices-baltimore-protesters-wake-mistrial-114194 Mistrial in 1st Officer's Trial in Freddie Gray Case http://www.wbez.org/news/mistrial-1st-officers-trial-freddie-gray-case-114189 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_952643875918.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>BALTIMORE&nbsp;(AP) &mdash; The first effort to find a police officer criminally responsible for Freddie Gray&#39;s death from a broken neck in a police van ended Wednesday with a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-12-16/hung-jury-1st-officer%E2%80%99s-trial-freddie-gray-case-114188" target="_blank">hung jury</a> and a mistrial.</p><div><p>Officials appealed for calm as small crowds protested along streets lined with police officers. The situation was quiet at North and Pennsylvania, the intersection where the worst rioting happened in April as parts of West&nbsp;Baltimore&nbsp;were set on fire.</p><p>The trial of William Porter was the first test of the city&#39;s efforts to balance the frustration of&nbsp;Baltimore&#39;s&nbsp;citizens with their need to rein in violent crime. Homicides soared after&nbsp;Baltimore&nbsp;City State&#39;s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers in Gray&#39;s death, and the pressure city officials has been unrelenting since then.</p><p>About 30 protesters gathered outside, chanting &quot;send those killer cops to jail.&quot; After the mistrial was announced, they chanted &quot;No justice, no peace!&quot; and &quot;Black Lives Matter.&quot;</p><p>The case hinged not on what Porter did, but what prosecutors said he didn&#39;t do. He was accused of failing to get medical help for a critically wounded Gray and was charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, carrying maximum sentences totaling 25 years.</p><p>It was not immediately clear whether Porter will face another trial. He waived his right to appear at a hearing Thursday to discuss a possible retrial.</p><p>The mayor and police commissioner were to speak a news conference Wednesday evening, but Mosby wouldn&#39;t comment. &quot;Gag order,&quot; Mosby said, smiling and shaking her head inside the courthouse.</p><p>Attorney Billy Murphy, who obtained a $6.4 million settlement for Gray&#39;s family from the city before Porter&#39;s trial, said he and Gray&#39;s mother and stepfather also would speak, on the courthouse steps.</p><p>The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about 15 hours over three days. On Tuesday, they indicated they were deadlocked, but Circuit Judge Barry Williams told them to keep at it, even as he denied their requests for help.</p><p>Jurors sent notes asking for an explanation of terms including &quot;evil motive&quot; and &quot;bad faith,&quot; the standards by which they were told to weigh the misconduct charge. The judge declined, and also denied requests for transcripts of trial testimony, leaving jurors to refer to their own recollections and notes.</p><p>&quot;It is clear you will not come to a unanimous agreement on any of the four charges,&quot; Williams said before dismissing the jurors. &quot;You have clearly been diligent.&quot;</p><p>At least two activists were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the mistrial. Kwame Rose, who was marched by sheriff&#39;s deputies into the courthouse, had called the mistrial an &quot;injustice.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We are going to fight for justice until it becomes a reality in our lives. A mistrial means that the prosecution did not do their jobs good enough,&quot; he said.</p><p>Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake repeated calls for&nbsp;Baltimore&nbsp;residents to respect the judicial process.</p><p>&quot;If some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right. I urge everyone to remember that collectively, our reaction needs to be one of respect for our neighborhoods, and for the residents and businesses of our city,&quot; she said in a statement.</p><p>The&nbsp;Baltimore&nbsp;NAACP echoed that call, asking for &quot;frustration and anger to be controlled and the rights of all people respected, on all sides.&quot;</p><p>Erika Alston, a West&nbsp;Baltimore&nbsp;community leader who founded Kids Safe Zone after the April riots, said the mistrial leaves her &quot;kind of numb,&quot; even though she followed the trial and walked away feeling there was reasonable doubt that Porter committed manslaughter.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s early. This is one of six. That&#39;s mainly what I want the community to know and feel and hear ... it&#39;s not over,&quot; Alston said. &quot;I&#39;m not expecting our community to repeat April, but it is a bit of a kick in the chest,&quot; she added.</p><p>A local activist, Duane &quot;Shorty&quot; Davis, said, &quot;the state&#39;s attorney put on a weak case.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The prosecution had no intention of winning the case because of their relationship the police department. They&#39;re not going to eat their own,&quot; he said. &quot;If any of the officers get convicted, it will be a surprise to me.&quot;</p><p>After court adjourned, Porter conferred solemnly with defense attorney Joseph Murtha, then left, shielded by deputies from the media. Murtha declined to comment, citing a judicial gag order barring lawyers in the case from making public statements.</p><p>Gray was arrested while fleeing from officers and died April 19, a week after his neck was broken inside a police van as a seven-block trip to the station turned into a 45-minute journey around West&nbsp;Baltimore. The young black man had been left handcuffed, shackled and face-down on the floor of the metal compartment, and the autopsy concluded that he probably couldn&#39;t brace himself whenever the van turned a corner or braked suddenly.</p><p>Porter is also black, as are two of the other five officers charged.</p><p>It wasn&#39;t clear how the mistrial would affect the state&#39;s cases against the other officers. Prosecutors had planned to use Porter&#39;s testimony against two of his fellow officers.</p><p>Prosecutors argued that Porter was criminally negligent for ignoring his department&#39;s policy requiring officers to seat belt prisoners, and for not calling an ambulance immediately after Gray indicated he needed medical help. Porter, who was driving a patrol car the day Gray was arrested, was present at five of the van&#39;s six stops during its circuitous trip.</p><p>The defense said Porter went beyond the call of duty in helping the handcuffed and shackled prisoner move from the floor of the van to a bench in the wagon, and in telling the van driver and a supervisor that Gray said he needed to go to a hospital. The defense mainly cast blame on the van driver, Officer Caesar Goodson, whose trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 6.</p><p>Several other trials of officers charged in the deaths of black men also ended inconclusively this year.</p><p>In August, a North Carolina jury deadlocked in the trial of Randall Kerrick, a white officer in Charlotte-Mecklenburg charged with voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell, who was unarmed. Prosecutors said they won&#39;t retry him.</p><p>In June, a South Carolina jury couldn&#39;t reach a verdict in the retrial of former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs, who is white. His lawyer said Combs acted in self-defense in the May 2011 shooting of Bernard Bailey, who was unarmed. Combs pleaded guilty in September to misconduct in office and was sentenced to a year of home detention.</p><p><em>Contributors include Brian Witte in&nbsp;Baltimore&nbsp;and Randall Chase in Dover, Delaware.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/mistrial-1st-officers-trial-freddie-gray-case-114189 Hung Jury in 1st Officer’s Trial in Freddie Gray Case http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-12-16/hung-jury-1st-officer%E2%80%99s-trial-freddie-gray-case-114188 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1216_william-porter-624x424.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><font color="#2c95c7" face="Droid Sans, arial, sans-serif"><span style="transition-duration: 0.3s; transition-property: opacity; line-height: 19px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-image-source: initial; border-image-slice: initial; border-image-width: initial; border-image-outset: initial; border-image-repeat: initial; width: 624px;"><img alt="Officer William Porter, right, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives at a courthouse as jury deliberations continue in his trial, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Baltimore Md. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)" class="size-large wp-image-98053" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/12/1216_william-porter-624x424.jpg" style="border: 0px; width: 620px; height: 421px;" title="Officer William Porter, right, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives at a courthouse as jury deliberations continue in his trial, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Baltimore Md. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)" /></span></font></p><p>A judge declared a hung jury Wednesday after the panel couldn&rsquo;t reach a decision in the manslaughter trial of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, whose injury in police custody sparked weeks of protests and fueled the nation&rsquo;s scrutiny of how police treat black suspects.</p><p>William Porter&rsquo;s trial was the first test of prosecutors&rsquo; case against six officers in a city struggling to rein in violent crime. The case hinged not on what Porter did, but what prosecutors said he didn&rsquo;t do. He was accused of failing to get medical help for a critically wounded Gray and was charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.</p><p>The charges carried maximum prison terms totaling 25 years. It was not immediately clear whether Porter would be tried again.</p><p>Wednesday was the third day of deliberations for the jury of seven women and five men. They deliberated for a total of about 15 hours. On Tuesday, they indicated they were deadlocked, but the judge told them to keep working.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em></p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/12/16/hung-jury-freddie-gray-case" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-12-16/hung-jury-1st-officer%E2%80%99s-trial-freddie-gray-case-114188 Why Courts Use Anonymous Juries, Like In Freddie Gray Case http://www.wbez.org/news/why-courts-use-anonymous-juries-freddie-gray-case-114000 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/jurybox_wide-28f5cc47a90bb14a2bad47261dcea726dad7d057-s700-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res457917621" previewtitle="The empty jury box in courtroom 23A on the 23rd floor of the Orange County Courthouse, site of the State of Florida vs. Case Anthony murder trial in 2011. Orlando Sentinel/MCT /Landov"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="The empty jury box in courtroom 23A on the 23rd floor of the Orange County Courthouse, site of the State of Florida vs. Case Anthony murder trial in 2011. Orlando Sentinel/MCT /Landov" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/30/jurybox_wide-28f5cc47a90bb14a2bad47261dcea726dad7d057-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="The empty jury box in courtroom 23A on the 23rd floor of the Orange County Courthouse, site of the State of Florida vs. Case Anthony murder trial in 2011. (Orlando Sentinel/MCT /Landov)" /></div><div><div><p>The jurors who will be chosen to hear the first case against a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/30/457868608/first-officer-implicated-in-freddie-grays-death-goes-on-trial-in-baltimore">police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray</a>&nbsp;in Baltimore will be anonymous, at least for now.</p></div></div></div><p>A judge has ruled that their identities can be shielded from the public. That practice is controversial, but not unheard of in high-profile cases.</p><p>Experts trace the first completely anonymous jury &mdash; secret not just to the media, but also to the defendant &mdash; to 1977. That&#39;s when a judge worried about possible jury tampering by a drug kingpin named Leroy &quot;Nicky&quot; Barnes, a man also known as Mr. Untouchable.</p><p>&quot;They tend to be only used in very, very high-profile trials or trials in which there is a serious threat to either the safety of the jurors or the integrity of the jury process,&quot; said Paula Hannaford-Agor, who studies jury issues at the National Center for State Courts.</p><p>Hannaford-Agor said there are plenty of examples in recent years of a more limited approach: keeping juror names from the public and the press during the trial but releasing the information later. She said courts recognize a legitimate need to protect the jury.</p><p>&quot;There are issues associated with this; this is not necessarily a risk-free civic engagement,&quot; she said.</p><p>By issues, she meant everything from reporters with TV cameras turning up at a juror&#39;s door late at night to death threats from neighbors unhappy about the verdict.</p><p>That happened in Florida in 2011, when a young woman named Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter.</p><p>&quot;Vendors were putting up signs in their windows, &#39;Casey Anthony jurors not welcome here.&#39; One juror essentially left the state because she was actually afraid for her life,&quot; Hannaford-Agor recalled.</p><p>First Amendment scholars worry that secrecy once reserved for cases of gang activity and terrorism has been extended to jurors in lots of other contexts.</p><p>Cases in point: the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the prosecution of George Zimmerman, the self-described neighborhood watchman who killed Trayvon Martin in Florida three years ago.</p><p>In the prosecution of Baltimore police Officer William Porter, his lawyers wrote that potential jurors could face a lot of pushback from the community.</p><p>&quot;In the current climate, saying &#39;not guilty&#39; regardless of the evidence or the lack thereof presented by the state, and then returning to your daily life will take great courage on the part of the citizenry,&quot; wrote attorneys Joseph Murtha and Gary Proctor. &quot;It is possible, indeed probable, that an acquittal of Officer Porter will lead to further civil unrest. But this officer deserves his trial without any &#39;sacrificial lamb&#39; thinking on the part of jury members.&quot;</p><p>Gregg Leslie closely follows media law issues as legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.</p><p>&quot;If you start by default having jurors who are secret even well after the trial, it really will start to and in fact it has I think started to have an effect on how the public perceives how just the system is,&quot; Leslie said.</p><p>Leslie pointed out that the nation is already debating the fairness of the justice system, in part because of the deaths of young black men like Freddie Gray in encounters with police.</p><p>Leslie said transparency as these cases move through the courts will help restore credibility. It&#39;s true that jurors may be exposed to unwanted attention, with some cost to their privacy, at the end of a trial, but Leslie said too much secrecy also has a cost.</p><p>&quot;When secrecy becomes the norm, some of those jurors will be less candid in voir dire, figuring they&#39;ll never be held accountable for it,&quot; Leslie said, &quot;so secrecy breeds greater corruption and greater problems within the system.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/30/457905697/why-courts-use-anonymous-juries-like-in-freddie-gray-case?ft=nprml&amp;f=457905697" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-courts-use-anonymous-juries-freddie-gray-case-114000 Baltimore Residents Wary As Freddie Gray Trials Slated To Begin http://www.wbez.org/news/baltimore-residents-wary-freddie-gray-trials-slated-begin-113989 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/west-baltimore-jtsuboike-0520-edit_custom-93a132c59f88d95638274897d4efd9e93cb0e541-s600-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res457429505" previewtitle="A mural for Freddie Gray is seen at the intersection of North Mount and Presbury streets where he was arrested in April."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A mural for Freddie Gray is seen at the intersection of North Mount and Presbury streets where he was arrested in April." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/25/west-baltimore-jtsuboike-0520-edit_custom-93a132c59f88d95638274897d4efd9e93cb0e541-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="A mural for Freddie Gray is seen at the intersection of North Mount and Presbury streets where he was arrested in April. (Jun Tsuboike/NPR)" /></div><div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong><a href="http://Hung Jury in 1st Officer’s Trial in Freddie Gray Case" target="_blank">12-16-15 UPDATE: Hung Jury in 1st Officer&rsquo;s Trial in Freddie Gray Case</a></strong></p><p>It&#39;s been seven months since protests over the death of an unarmed black man after his arrest erupted into looting and arson, leading Baltimore&#39;s mayor to declare a curfew and call in the National Guard. Now, that unrest remains a potent backdrop as the trial begins for the first of six police officers charged in Freddie Gray&#39;s death.</p></div></div><p>&quot;I just want peace while the trial is going on,&quot; says Missa Grant, standing at a bus stop across a busy intersection from the former CVS that became a televised symbol of the violence. The store was looted, set fire to, and eventually torn down. The walls of a new red brick structure are now halfway up.</p><div id="res457429084" previewtitle="A building is now under construction at the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues where a CVS Pharmacy was destroyed in the riots."><div><div><p>Grant says if the evidence shows the officers are not guilty, so be it. But with such a long and growing list of unarmed black men killed by police all over the country, she doesn&#39;t think everyone will see it that way</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;I believe there&#39;s going to be another riot, I really do,&quot; she says. &quot;It&#39;s not what I&#39;m looking for. But I really believe that they&#39;re going to react out if somebody doesn&#39;t have to stand up for what happened to Freddie Gray.&quot;</p><p>The officers face six separate, consecutive trials, on charges ranging from second-degree depraved heart murder to misconduct in office.</p><p><img alt="A building is now under construction at the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues where a CVS Pharmacy was destroyed in the riots." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/25/west-baltimore-jtsuboike-0143-edit_custom-03e6f3ec9119564a797d54a5818b50a1396dc72b-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 206px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="A building is now under construction at the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues where a CVS Pharmacy was destroyed in the riots. (Jun Tsuboike/NPR)" /></p><p>Officer William Porter is the first up, charged with manslaughter, assault, and reckless endangerment. He was called in as backup after Gray&#39;s arrest, and was present at several stops of the police paddy wagon in which the 25-year-old man was transported, handcuffed and in leg irons.</p><p>According to charging documents, Porter was present when Gray said he couldn&#39;t breathe.&nbsp;The <em>Baltimore Sun</em>&nbsp;has reported that Porter told police investigators he informed the van&#39;s driver that Gray was in medical distress, though also wondered if he was faking it. Prosecutors say they are trying Porter first because he is a &quot;material witness&quot; against at least two other officers.</p><p>&quot;Porter is going to be the key to everything,&quot; says A. Dwight Pettit, a Baltimore defense attorney not involved in the case. &quot;What he negotiates or doesn&#39;t negotiate, whether he&#39;s acquitted or whether he&#39;s convicted, he is going to be the determiner of how the other five proceed.&quot;</p><p>Pettit is the first to allege systemic racism among Baltimore police. He&#39;s won a long string of civil cases over excessive force. The city&#39;s paid out millions to settle such claims in recent years. Yet Pettit says the this case is no &quot;slam dunk,&quot; despite that video of Gray&#39;s arrest that played over and over on cable TV.</p><p>&quot;That video is very inconclusive in many areas,&quot; he says, as is the &quot;cause of death. It&#39;s going to be a major war between pathologists as to how he died. Ample opportunity to paint reasonable doubt.&quot;</p><div id="res457428970" previewtitle="TOP: Baltimore defense attorney A. Dwight Pettit has won a string of civil cases over excessive force. LEFT: Tanya Preacher says she's hoping for convictions. RIGHT: Missa Grant thinks another riot may happen if the evidence shows the officers are not guilty."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="TOP: Baltimore defense attorney A. Dwight Pettit has won a string of civil cases over excessive force. LEFT: Tanya Preacher says she's hoping for convictions. RIGHT: Missa Grant thinks another riot may happen if the evidence shows the officers are not guilty." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/25/wbaltimore-composite_custom-e1d30e3424238dd8fb6b47b3a6400a030c5fd1c6-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 624px; width: 620px;" title="TOP: Baltimore defense attorney A. Dwight Pettit has won a string of civil cases over excessive force. LEFT: Tanya Preacher says she's hoping for convictions. RIGHT: Missa Grant thinks another riot may happen if the evidence shows the officers are not guilty. (Jun Tsuboike/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Outside Mondawmin Mall, where high school students started the spasm of looting the day of Gray&#39;s funeral, Tanya Peacher says she&#39;s hoping for convictions.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;It&#39;s just going to be lack of respect even more for the police now, if they don&#39;t be found guilty,&quot; she says.</p><p>Like many here, Peacher says she, her children and neighbors have had bad run-ins with police. However the Freddie Gray trials turn out, she doesn&#39;t see that changing.</p><p>&quot;Because one stupid cop is going to do something stupid again, then it&#39;s going to be on camera again,&quot; she says. &quot;It&#39;s not the end, it&#39;s just going to be bad.&quot;</p><p>Adding to tensions, Peacher thinks Baltimore police have pulled back since last spring&#39;s unrest, fueling a homicide rate that&#39;s hit record levels.</p><div id="res457427091" previewtitle="A memorial is seen on West Baltimore street at the site of the city's 300th homicide this year, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2015 in Baltimore, MD."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A memorial is seen on West Baltimore street at the site of the city's 300th homicide this year, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2015 in Baltimore, MD." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/25/west-baltimore-jtsuboike-0361-edit-dae441c22dc9dd4e956ae901aa70430516bcb943-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="A memorial is seen on West Baltimore street at the site of the city's 300th homicide this year, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2015 in Baltimore, MD. (Jun Tsuboike/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>At a makeshift memorial on a residential West Baltimore street, purple, gold and red balloons tied to a pedestrian crossing sign mark the city&#39;s 300th homicide this year, a number not seen since the &#39;90s. Neighbor Ray Bond blames drug dealers, and he&#39;s frustrated this kind of killing doesn&#39;t galvanize people the way Freddie Gray&#39;s death has.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;You&#39;re killing each other every day, people that you grew up with,&quot; he says. &quot;You shooting them every day. But when an officer does something? All hell break out.&quot;</p><p>A short drive away,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.noboundariescoalition.com/">the No Boundaries Coalition</a>&nbsp;has seen one good thing come out of all the bad: more money for its grassroots community development work.</p><p>&quot;I think we can&#39;t get lost in the trials,&quot; says organizer Ray Kelly. &quot;I think we have to remember to focus on the systemic oppression, so to speak, that led up to Freddie Gray being able to just be killed in a paddy wagon. I mean, that wasn&#39;t unique.&quot;</p><p>Kelly&#39;s group wants more teeth for the civilian review board that oversees the police department. It also wants to double voter turnout in the zip code where Freddie Gray lived. It&#39;s been stunningly low, in the single digits for two of the past three elections.</p><div id="res457426723" previewtitle="Pedestrians walk on West North Avenue in Baltimore. On Monday, the trial begins for the first of six police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Pedestrians walk on West North Avenue in Baltimore. On Monday, the trial begins for the first of six police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/25/west-baltimore-jtsuboike-0227-edit-e8fa23366b6615b5aa0b444033c268bf1e977cb1-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Pedestrians walk on West North Avenue in Baltimore. On Monday, the trial begins for the first of six police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death. (Jun Tsuboike/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Last week Kelly organized a &quot;know your rights&quot; meeting with officials from the Justice Department, which is investigating whether there&#39;s a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing in Baltimore. The forum was a chance to air all kinds of grievances, from police abuse to poor schools to lead poisoning. Yet despite Kelly&#39;s efforts to publicize the meeting, hardly any local residents turned out.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;I&#39;m very disappointed,&quot; he said, as he surveyed a church hall full of mostly empty round tables.</p><p>Kelly wants residents to get more involved, and to feel safe, no matter the outcome of the trials.</p><p>While Freddie Gray&#39;s death and the charges against police may have brought new attention to Baltimore&#39;s problems, an uphill struggle remains over how to fix them.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/29/457404032/baltimore-residents-wary-as-freddie-gray-trials-slated-to-begin?ft=nprml&amp;f=457404032" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/baltimore-residents-wary-freddie-gray-trials-slated-begin-113989 Baltimore approves $6.4M settlement in Freddie Gray case http://www.wbez.org/news/baltimore-approves-64m-settlement-freddie-gray-case-112877 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_153898090333.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>BALTIMORE &mdash; A city board approved on Wednesday a $6.4 million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after he was critically injured while in police custody.</p><p>The settlement, announced Tuesday, could play a role in whether a judge decides to move the trials for the six officers charged in Gray&#39;s death out of the city.</p><p>Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other members of the Board of Estimates unanimously approved the settlement the day before Judge Barry Williams will hear arguments on whether the trials should be moved. Defense attorneys have asked for a change of venue, citing pre-trial publicity and concern that the officers will not receive fair trials in Baltimore.</p><p>The settlement appears to be among the largest such payments in police death cases in recent years. It was reached before Gray&#39;s parents and his estate filed a lawsuit, although they had filed claims with the city and its police department.</p><p>Deputy City Solicitor David Ralph said the settlement payout will have no impact on city operations or budgeted programs.</p><p>City Solicitor George Nilson said the settlement &quot;spares us from having the scab of April of this year being picked over and over and over for five or six years to come. That would not be good for the city,&quot; he said.</p><p>Rawlings-Blake acknowledged at a news conference that a settlement before criminal proceedings were resolved was unusual but said it was in the best interest of protecting taxpayers. She said negotiations lasted for months.</p><p>&quot;I again want to extend my most sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Freddie Gray,&quot; Rawlings-Blake said. &quot;I hope that this settlement will bring some measure of closure to his family and to his friends.&quot;</p><p>Although the city said in a statement that the settlement does not resolve any factual disputes, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, its police department or any of the officers, experts say the city&#39;s willingness to pre-empt a lawsuit could have an effect on the officers&#39; ability to receive an impartial trial in Baltimore &mdash; an issue Williams will likely decide Thursday.</p><p>&quot;If I was an attorney for a defendant I&#39;d be revising my motion right now to say the settlement was made to persuade the jury pool that the officers did something wrong,&quot; said David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh.</p><p>Douglas Colbert, a professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey Law School, said the settlement is a step in restoring the public&#39;s faith in local government and mending the broken relationship between the citizens of Baltimore and elected officials.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a big step toward a different type of policing,&quot; Colbert said.</p><p>Other settlements have varied. In July, New York City settled for $5.9 million with the family of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after being put in a white police officer&#39;s chokehold. The city of&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;settled in 2001 a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of LaTanya Haggerty, a black woman who was shot to death by a police officer who thought her cellphone was a weapon, for $18 million.</p><p>Eugene O&#39;Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said such settlements are damaging for communities and self-serving for governments. By paying off family members, O&#39;Donnell said, cities can prevent real scrutiny of political and social ills that allowed misconduct to occur.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s all too easy to take public money and hand it over to people and say, &#39;Well, this is a big aberrational mistake and we&#39;re going to make it good,&#39; and it generally absolves the policymakers and the people in power of responsibility, when in fact the mistakes are systemic and reflective of a lack of leadership,&quot; he said.</p><p>The head of Baltimore&#39;s police union condemned the agreement.</p><p>&quot;To suggest that there is any reason to settle prior to the adjudication of the pending criminal cases is obscene and without regard to the fiduciary responsibility owed to the taxpaying citizens of the city,&quot; Lt. Gene Ryan said in a statement.</p><p>All six officers, including Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, are charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter also face a manslaughter charge, while Officer Caesar Goodson faces the most serious charge of all: second-degree &quot;depraved-heart&quot; murder.</p><p>&mdash;<em>The Associated Press</em></p></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 13:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/baltimore-approves-64m-settlement-freddie-gray-case-112877 Freddie Gray's family settles with city for $6.4M http://www.wbez.org/news/freddie-grays-family-settles-city-64m-112861 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_119833999563.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>BALTIMORE &mdash;&nbsp;The parents of Freddie Gray reached a tentative $6.4 million settlement with the city of Baltimore, nearly five months after their 25-year-old son was critically injured in police custody, sparking days of protests and rioting.</p><p>The deal, announced Tuesday, appeared to be among the largest settlements in police death cases in recent years and happened just days before a judge is set to decide whether to move a trial for six officers charged in Gray&#39;s death.</p><p>Gray&#39;s spine was injured April 12 in the back of a prisoner transport van after he was arrested. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died at the hospital a week later. In the aftermath, Gray became a symbol of the contentious relationship between the police and the public in Baltimore, as well as the treatment of black men by police in America.</p><p>The settlement still needs the approval of a board that oversees city spending. That board will meet Wednesday morning.</p><p>&quot;The proposed settlement agreement going before the Board of Estimates should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial,&quot; Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a news release. &quot;This settlement is being proposed solely because it is in the best interest of the city, and avoids costly and protracted litigation that would only make it more difficult for our city to heal and potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.&quot;</p><p>Rawlings-Blake refused to comment further on Tuesday at an unrelated news conference.</p><p>The settlement does not resolve any factual disputes, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, its police department or any of the officers. The settlement has nothing whatsoever to do with the criminal proceedings, the press release said.</p><p>In July, New York City settled for $5.9 million with the family of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after being put in a white police officer&#39;s chokehold. The city of&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;settled in 2001 a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of LaTanya Haggerty, who was shot to death by police, for $18 million.</p><p>The proposed payment in the Gray case is more than the $5.7 million the city of Baltimore paid in total for 102 court judgments and settlements for alleged police misconduct between 2011 and last fall, according to an investigation by The Baltimore Sun. The city paid another $5.8 million for legal fees to outside lawyers who represented officers, the newspaper reported.</p><p>Detective Donny Moses, a Baltimore Police Department spokesman, said the agency&#39;s public affairs staff was under direct orders Tuesday not to comment. Billy Murphy, an attorney for the Gray family, also declined comment.</p><p>The head of the city&#39;s police union condemned the agreement and urged the Board of Estimates to reject it.</p><p>&quot;To suggest that there is any reason to settle prior to the adjudication of the pending criminal cases is obscene and without regard to the fiduciary responsibility owed to the taxpaying citizens of the city,&quot; Lt. Gene Ryan said in a statement.</p><p>All six officers, including Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, are charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter also face a manslaughter charge, while Officer Caesar Goodson faces the most serious charge of all: second-degree &quot;depraved-heart&quot; murder.</p><p>Three of the officers are black and three are white. Their attorneys have asked the judge in the case to move their trials out of the city. The hearing is set for Thursday.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<em> The Associated Press</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Sep 2015 13:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/freddie-grays-family-settles-city-64m-112861 On the streets of Baltimore, trying to understand the anger http://www.wbez.org/news/streets-baltimore-trying-understand-anger-111951 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/photo-3_custom-11251fc672d1caf0c463fc82c128244c7623f910-s1500-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="A police officer watches a corner market burn in the west side of Baltimore. Eyder Peralta/NPR" /></div><p>In the early morning, as the cold set in, Anaya Maze stood next to the charred remains of a CVS store.</p><p>Holding a sign, she was the only protester left in front of a line of police officers dressed in riot gear. She is petite. Still, she faced the police officers, looking at them intently.</p><p>A few steps away were the charred skeletons of two police vehicles, the victims of an unbridled anger that burned its way through the west side of Baltimore.</p><p>Maze said she understands the anger. For far too long, she said, police have been killing black men. She says Baltimore had this coming. All the violence, she says, might finally change things.</p><p>&quot;I see no shame in being violent to be heard,&quot; she said. &quot;Because if you can&#39;t do it peacefully than what other option do you have.&quot;</p><p>Last night, after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had declared a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard into the city, rioters still roamed the streets; fires still burned and residents still stood on their stoops, on their sidewalks, trying to understand the anger that boiled over into riots.</p><p>Pierre Thomas, 37, was hanging out at the perimeter set up by police.</p><p>He said that yes, Baltimore has a history of inequality and yes the black community feels forgotten, but he didn&#39;t agree with setting properties on fire.</p><p>&quot;Everybody is angry,&quot; he said. &quot;But there is a right and a wrong way to do it. I understand why they&#39;re doing it but I don&#39;t support it. They&#39;re trashing their own place.&quot;</p><p>A few blocks down, Alexander, who only wanted to be identified by his first name, was watching a small corner market burn down.</p><p>He pointed at the fire trucks that were trying to make their way through the street. He pointed at the police officers. He said those flames were the only way to get them to come into this part of Baltimore.</p><p>Nobody was calling for peace when Baltimore police officers were beating innocent black men, he said.</p><p>&quot;Where was the peace when we were getting shot? Where&#39;s the peace when we were getting laid out? Where is the peace when we are in the back of ambulances? Where is the peace then? They don&#39;t want to call for peace then. But you know when people really want peace? When the white people have to get out of bed, when cops have to wear riot gear, when the cops start talking about, oh we got broken arms. Then they want peace,&quot; he said. &quot;Peace? It&#39;s too late for peace.&quot;</p><p>The police helicopter hovered above and every once in a while, we heard the pops of tear gas. The flames from the fire got hotter, lapping over the roof of a second row house.</p><p>A woman a few steps away was in tears. She was roused from sleep by the smoke. Her house is two doors down from the burning market. She didn&#39;t know if it would survive, if the flames would turn all her possessions into ashes.</p><p>&quot;They shouldn&#39;t be doing this, man. We live around here,&quot; she wailed. &quot;That was terrible.&quot;</p><p>Suddenly, as a flame shot into the sky, she covered her face and darted off before I could get her name.</p><p><em>- via <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/04/28/402739255/on-the-streets-of-baltimore-trying-to-understand-the-anger">NPR&#39;s The Two-Way</a></em></p></p> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 07:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/streets-baltimore-trying-understand-anger-111951 U.S. bishops reject candidate tied to Chicago sex abuse http://www.wbez.org/story/news/us-bishops-reject-candidate-tied-chicago-sex-abuse <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Kicanas2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Catholic bishops have chosen a New York prelate to lead their organization for the next three years. The move is an unexpected defeat for an Arizona bishop under fire for his links to an imprisoned Chicago child molester.<br /><br />At a meeting Tuesday in Baltimore, the bishops elected New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, a St. Louis native, as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dolan&rsquo;s victory is the first time in decades the nation&rsquo;s bishops have passed over a sitting vice president for their top post.<br /><br />That vice president, Tuscon Bishop Gerald Kicanas, once served as rector of a Chicago archdiocese seminary in northwest suburban Mundelein. In that post, Kicanas heard about three instances of alleged sexual misconduct by a student named Daniel McCormack.<br /><br />The nature of those incidents is murky. An archdiocese-commissioned report describes one as &ldquo;sexual abuse of a minor&rdquo; and says they occurred when McCormack attended a nearby seminary college&mdash;before he arrived in Mundelein.<br /><br />Kicanas approved McCormack&rsquo;s 1994 ordination. As a Chicago priest, McCormack sexually abused more than a dozen boys. Cardinal Francis George had started receiving allegations about the abuse by September 2005 but didn&rsquo;t pull McCormack out of the ministry until Chicago police arrested the priest in January 2006. The roles of Kicanas and George, the outgoing USCCB president, were the subject of a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/undefined/sex-abuse-lurks-behind-catholic-election">WBEZ report</a> last month.<br /><br />The National Catholic Register last week pressed Kicanas for his reactions to the report. A written response from the bishop said revelations about the three alleged sexual-misconduct incidents led to a church evaluation of McCormack. He said the evaluation sought &ldquo;to determine if he could live a celibate life and if there was any concern about his affective maturity.&rdquo;<br /><br />The evaluation found that McCormack&rsquo;s alleged misconduct was &ldquo;experimental and developmental,&rdquo; Kicanas added. &ldquo;I would never defend endorsing McCormack&rsquo;s ordination if I had had any knowledge or concern that he might be a danger to anyone.&rdquo;<br /><br />On Sunday morning some victims of priest sexual abuse led a Chicago protest against Kicanas, warning that it would be a mistake for U.S. bishops to elect him. Some conservative Catholic bloggers, meanwhile, seized on the controversy and cited additional reasons to oppose Kicanas. They said he wouldn&rsquo;t uphold many Catholic teachings strictly enough.<br /><br />Kicanas, 69, has pushed for dialogue between the church&rsquo;s liberal and conservative wings. In Arizona, the bishop has spoken against abortion and gay marriage but hasn&rsquo;t denied communion to politicians who favor abortion rights. On immigration, Kicanas has sided against a tough new Arizona law and pushed for a federal overhaul that would include a legalization of undocumented residents. Kicanas promoted &ldquo;comprehensive immigration reform&rdquo; as recently as Friday, when he gave the keynote speech at a church conference in Hammond, Indiana, just southeast of Chicago.<br /><br />Dolan, 60, appeals to many Catholic conservatives as a more aggressive defender of church orthodoxy. Last year, he signed a statement that united leading evangelicals and Catholics against abortion and gay marriage.<br /><br />The Vatican installed Dolan as New York archbishop last year. He had spent almost seven years as archbishop of Milwaukee.<br /><br />In Baltimore, where the bishops are holding their annual fall meeting, Dolan beat Kicanas in the third round of voting, 128-111. Dolan will replace Cardinal George as president this week. In another win for conservatives, the bishops elected Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz to take Kicanas&rsquo; place as their vice president.<br /><br />An expert on the U.S. bishops says it&rsquo;s hard to know whether the latest McCormack flare-up shifted votes against the Tuscon bishop. &ldquo;Clearly Kicanas was being attacked and accused of making bad decisions when he was rector of the seminary,&rdquo; says Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. &ldquo;On the other hand, Dolan has also been criticized by victims of sexual abuse.&rdquo;<br /><br />In August, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Dolan &ldquo;quietly, recklessly and deceptively&rdquo; let a priest resign from his Harlem parish without mentioning that &ldquo;at least nine men&rdquo; had accused the priest of sexually abusing them as children.<br /><br />But a SNAP statement applauds Tuesday&rsquo;s defeat of Kicanas: &ldquo;We can hope that his shocking defeat will help deter future clergy sex crimes and coverups by the Catholic hierarchy.&rdquo;<br /><br />The USCCB has no formal authority over bishops but helps them promote Catholic teachings and coordinate positions on national issues such as marriage, immigration and health care. The organization has also formed policies to protect children from sexually abusive priests and other adults.</p></p> Tue, 16 Nov 2010 21:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/us-bishops-reject-candidate-tied-chicago-sex-abuse