AP-NC Newswatch

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June 15, 2020
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June 15, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT



GOP candidates balance pros, cons of running with Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s return to the campaign trail this week means events with a president who draws TV cameras and raucous crowds. That’s usually gold for down-ballot candidates. But these days its value can be debatable. Trump is the GOP’s unrivaled beast, commanding the support of nearly all its voters. But Trump has wounded himself lately with his divisive law-and-order response to protests against police killings of African Americans, the untamed coronavirus pandemic and the worst economy in decades. With Trump’s poll ratings falling, Republicans are debating whether congressional candidates should embrace him or create some distance.



Hundreds ride motorcycles in memory of George Floyd
GARNER, N.C. (AP) – More than 300 motorcyclists in North Carolina rode 60 miles Sunday to call for change following the police killing of George Floyd. WRAL-TV reports that the motorcyclists gathered in Garner and rode to Fayetteville in a peaceful protest to show their support for criminal justice reform. Sedrick Hayes, who organized the event, said it ended up much bigger than he expected. One primary goal for the gathering was to encourage people to register to vote.



Raleigh protesters seek changes in police department
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – After more than two weeks of protests in downtown Raleigh, protesters are demanding change from the city’s leadership, particularly in its police department. The News & Observer reports that on the 15th consecutive day of protests Saturday, about 150 demonstrators traveled through downtown, marched to the Executive Mansion and eventually to Central Prison. They heard from a woman whose son was fatally shot by Raleigh police. Gloria Mayo is the mother of Keith Collins, a Raleigh man who was killed in February. Mayo said she wanted to be a voice for her son and other people who have been killed by police. 



Speedway protest over COVID-19 limits draws only small crowd
PINE HALL, N.C. (AP) – Stock car racing has turned into the leading battleground over COVID-19 crowd restrictions in North Carolina. Track owners have taken their fight to reopen to the streets and to court. But on Saturday, a protest at one race track attracted so few people that the demonstration was perfectly legal under the state’s restrictions. The News & Observer reports that at 311 Speedway in Stokes County, fewer than 25 people showed up to protest, despite a live band and a free cheeseburger and fries with a ticket purchase .Gov. Roy Cooper’s coronavirus restrictions limit outdoor gatherings to 25 people.



Calls for police transparency and training increase
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More than 1,000 law enforcement officers in North Carolina have had their certifications revoked for criminal or unethical behavior since the 1970s, but the reasons why have not usually been made public. After the death of George Floyd at the hands of police last month, the Minneapolis Police Department released partial records on Officer Derek Chauvin, who faces murder charges in Floyd’s death, revealing a history of complaints. WRAL-TV reports that calls for police transparency and training are increasing in North Carolina and elsewhere. Attorney General Josh Stein said changes need to be made. Stein and state Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls are leading a task force announced this week by Gov. Roy Cooper to address racial inequity in the state’s criminal justice system.



Lawsuit filed in 2019 police shooting in North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A new lawsuit accuses a North Carolina police officer of needlessly escalating a 2019 standoff before fatally shooting a black man. The Charlotte Observer reports that the federal lawsuit was filed Thursday by Deborah Franklin, the mother of Danquirs Franklin. It alleges that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Wende Kerl panicked, violated her training and “shocked” the other officer on the scene when she opened fire on Franklin outside a Burger King on March 25, 2019. The lawsuit was brought after two weeks of protests in Charlotte and around the world over the police killing of George Floyd. The North Carolina native died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd was black. The police officer is white.



Cooper signs bill addressing fall election under COVID-19
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper has signed intio law legislation providing money to help run North Carolina elections safely and securely during the COVID-19 pandemic and making it easier to cast mail-in absentee ballots this fall. The governor signed the bill on Friday, the day after the House and Senate gave final legislative approval to the bipartisan measure. The law is designed to prepare for a spike in demand for absentee ballots from people at higher risk of developing complications from the new coronavirus. There’s also money for equipment and security upgrades as well as personal protective equipment at in-person voting sites.



N.C. pleads for public’s help to stop COVID-19 spike
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina public health officials are concerned with the rising numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The state is most worried about the uptick in eight counties: Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake, Forsyth, Duplin, Lee, Johnston, Alamance. Experts fear a second wave of the virus, as the state continues to gather more data from individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has steadily opened up businesses and hopes to transition to a “Phase 2.5” if the numbers start to improve. The growth in cases has largely been attributed to more testing and the uptick in residents traveling to newly reopened businesses without following the recommended public safety guidelines.



AP-WF-06-15-20 1020GMT