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Officer Recorded in Texas Pool Party Incident Resigns

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In this frame from video, McKinney law enforcement officials including Police Chief Greg Conley, front right, listen to Mayor Brian Loughmiller during a news conference at police headquarters, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. The white police officer who was recorded on video pushing a black girl to the ground at a North Texas pool party resigned from the police force Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jill Craig)

In this frame from video, McKinney law enforcement officials including Police Chief Greg Conley, front right, listen to Mayor Brian Loughmiller during a news conference at police headquarters, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. The white police officer who was recorded on video pushing a black girl to the ground at a North Texas pool party resigned from the police force Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jill Craig)

DAVID WARREN, Associated Press
TERRY WALLACE, Associated Press

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — A white police officer in suburban Dallas has resigned after he was recorded on video pushing a black teenage girl to the ground outside a pool party and brandishing his gun at other teens.

Officer David Eric Casebolt’s actions were “indefensible,” though he was not pressured to quit, McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said at a press conference after the officer submitted his resignation Tuesday.

A teenager at the party posted a video online showing Casebolt’s interactions with the teens as officers responded last Friday to calls about the gathering at a community-owned swimming pool in McKinney. The 41-year-old former Texas state trooper and 10-year veteran of the McKinney force was put on administrative leave after the incident. His lawyer, Jane Bishkin of Dallas, confirmed Tuesday he had quit the force.

Conley said a review of the video showed that “our policies, our training and our practices do not support his actions.”

Twelve officers responded to the report of fights and a disturbance at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in a middle-class area of McKinney, which is north of Dallas. “Eleven of them performed according to their training,” Conley said. Casebolt did not, he said.

“He came into the call out of control and the video showed he was out of control during the incident,” Conley said.

Casebolt’s actions are under investigation and no decision has been made whether charges will be filed against him, Conley said. Charges of interfering with an officer and evading arrest against the only man arrested during Friday’s incident have been dropped, Conley said. Everyone else detained was released.

Bishkin declined to say where Casebolt is now and said the officer had received death threats. The attorney said she would release more information at a news conference Wednesday.

People who demonstrated this week at a McKinney school compared the city to Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, where use of force by police triggered widespread protests and violence.

The resignation is a step in the right direction, said Dominique Alexander, president of the Dallas area-Next Generation Action Network and organizer of the demonstrations.

“We still need a serious investigation into the charges that need to be brought against him in this matter,” Alexander said, adding that Casebolt should be drug tested.

The NAACP is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to review the procedures of the McKinney police force, stopping short of asking for a formal investigation. A review of department policies is needed to ensure officers are responding appropriately to calls involving minorities, the local NAACP chapter said.

The scrutiny over the response to the pool party is a departure from the laudatory attention McKinney has received for its quality of life.

A Time Inc. publication last year ranked the city the best place to live in America, with a median family income in excess of $96,000 and job growth projected at 13 percent. Crime is comparatively low, and like other metropolitan suburbs in Texas, McKinney has seen unprecedented expansion. Its population in 2000 was about 54,300 and has grown over the course of 15 years to approximately 155,000. About 75 percent of residents are white while nearly 11 percent are black.

However, McKinney has faced lawsuits accusing it of racial segregation in public housing. One in 2008 accused the McKinney Housing Authority of restricting federally subsidized public housing for low-income families to older neighborhoods east of U.S. 75.

The lawsuit said that in the Dallas area, 85 percent of those receiving “Section 8” housing vouchers are African-Americans. The 2000 census found McKinney’s east side was where 68 percent of the city’s black population lived, while neighborhoods west of U.S. 75 were 86 percent white. The lawsuit was settled in 2012 with a consent decree, which is an agreement to take specific actions without admitting guilt.

Derrick Golden, a McKinney pastor, said during a rally Monday that the city has become yet another example of a racial divide in the U.S.

“Everybody’s got a long way to go,” Golden said, “and McKinney’s not excluded.”

___

Wallace reported from Dallas. Associated Press journalists Jill Craig in McKinney, Jamie Stengle in Dallas and Juan A. Lozano in Houston also contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Community

CDC Recommends All Adults Get Tested for Hepatitis B

The U.S. Centers for Control and Prevention have issued a new recommendation urging all adults to receive screening for hepatitis B at least once in their lifetime. The agency describes hepatitis B (HBV) as a liver infection caused by the HBV virus. It can progress to liver cancer and other serious illnesses. CDC officials said as many as 2.4 million people live with HBV, and most might not know they have it.

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As many as 2.4 million people are living with hepatitis B, according to the CDC/iStock
As many as 2.4 million people are living with hepatitis B, according to the CDC/iStock

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The U.S. Centers for Control and Prevention have issued a new recommendation urging all adults to receive screening for hepatitis B at least once in their lifetime.

The agency describes hepatitis B (HBV) as a liver infection caused by the HBV virus. It can progress to liver cancer and other serious illnesses.

CDC officials said as many as 2.4 million people live with HBV, and most might not know they have it.

A severe infection could lead to chronic HBV, which could increase a person’s risk of getting cancer or cirrhosis.

Further, the CDC said those diagnosed with chronic or long-term HBV are up to 85% more likely to succumb to an early death.

“Chronic HBV infection can lead to substantial morbidity and mortality but is detectable before the development of severe liver disease using reliable and inexpensive screening tests,” CDC officials stated.

Even though the number of people with HBV has decreased significantly in the last 30 years, the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it is still a problem for African Americans.

That office reported that, in 2020, non-Hispanic blacks would be 1.4 times more likely to die from viral hepatitis than non-Hispanic whites.

Also, non-Hispanic blacks were almost twice as likely to die from hepatitis C as white individuals.

Further, while having comparable case rates for HBV in 2020, non-Hispanic blacks were 2.5 times more likely to die from HBV than non-Hispanic whites.

Medical officials noted that HBV spreads through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids, which can occur through sex, injecting drugs, or during pregnancy or delivery.

The CDC previously issued a recommendation in 2008, when it urged testing for high-risk individuals.

In its most recent recommendation, the agency said that adults over 18 must be tested at least once.

The agency declared that pregnant individuals should also undergo screening during each pregnancy, regardless of whether they’ve received a vaccine or have been previously tested.

Additionally, incarcerated individuals, those with multiple sex partners, or people with a history of hepatitis C should test periodically, the CDC said.

The agency warned that symptoms of acute HBV could include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, dark urine, and jaundice.

Symptoms could take several months or longer to present and last for months.

The CDC’s latest report further notes the following:

  • It’s estimated more than half of people who have the hepatitis B virus (HBV) don’t know they’re infected. Without treatment and monitoring, HBV infection can lead to deadly health outcomes, including liver damage and liver cancer.
  • The report updates and expands previous guidelines for HBV screening and testing by recommending screening for all U.S. adults and expanding continual periodic risk-based testing to include more groups, activities, exposures, and conditions.
  • Providers should implement the new CDC hepatitis B screening and testing recommendations to ensure all adults are screened for HBV infection with the triple-panel at least once in their lifetimes and that people who are not vaccinated for hepatitis B – but are at increased risk of HBV infection – receive periodic testing.

“Although a curative treatment is not yet available, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic HBV infections reduce the risk for cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death,” CDC officials noted in the report.

“Along with vaccination strategies, universal screening of adults and appropriate testing of persons at increased risk for HBV infection will improve health outcomes, reduce the prevalence of HBV infection in the United States, and advance viral hepatitis elimination goals.”

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Energy

Biden Reveals He’ll Deliver Eulogy for Former President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter served in the Navy during World War II, and his administration created the U.S. Department of Energy and Education. During his one term, Carter conducted the 1978 Camp David Peace Talks that led to a historic agreement between Israel and its Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat. The 98-year-old is the longest-lived President and the one with the longest post-presidency.

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President Joe Biden with former President Jimmy Carter
President Joe Biden with former President Jimmy Carter

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

President Jimmy Carter served in the Navy during World War II, and his administration created the U.S. Department of Energy and Education.

During his one term, Carter conducted the 1978 Camp David Peace Talks that led to a historic agreement between Israel and its Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat.

The 98-year-old is the longest-lived President and the one with the longest post-presidency.

On Tuesday, March 14, nearly a month after entering hospice care, it’s been revealed that Carter had asked President Joe Biden to deliver his eulogy.

Biden told donors at a fundraiser about his “recent” visit to see the 39th president, whom he has known since he was a young Delaware senator supporting Carter’s 1976 presidential campaign.

“He asked me to do his eulogy,” Biden said before stopping himself from saying more. “Excuse me; I shouldn’t say that.”

Even though the Carter Center in Atlanta and the former President’s family haven’t said much about his health, Biden mentioned that Carter was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and then got better.

“I spent time with Jimmy Carter, and it’s finally caught up with him, but they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they found a breakthrough,” Biden said.

Carter’s family reportedly has confirmed that a state funeral for the former President will occur in Washington after he dies.

“If people had listened to Jimmy Carter, there wouldn’t be an oil crisis right now,” Twitter user @mikesouthbch wrote.

“He ruled America with kindness and compassion. Nothing you ever see from any Republican.”

Despite a tumultuous presidency from 1976 to 1980 that concluded after the Iranian government released the 55 remaining American hostages there as Carter was exiting the White House following his losing his re-election bid in a landslide to Ronald Reagan.

Carter would become one of the most beloved ex-Presidents in American history, certainly more popular than when he traversed the oval office.

The one-time Georgia peanut farmer and his wife, Rosalyn, have spent their lives helping those in need.

For more than 30 years, Habitat for Humanity officials said the Carters had worked alongside nearly 103,000 volunteers in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair 4,331 homes.

“They’ve inspired millions across the globe with their dedication and rallied thousands of volunteers and even celebrities to take part in our mission, helping Habitat for Humanity become internationally recognized for our work to build decent and affordable housing,” the organization wrote on its website.

The Associated Press noted that Biden’s presidency represented a turnabout for Carter’s political standing.

He served just one term and lost in a landslide to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980, prompting top Democrats to keep their distance, at least publicly, for decades after he left the White House, the outlet reported.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did not have close relationships with Carter. And the longshot presidential candidates who sometimes ventured to see Carter over the years typically did so privately.

“But as the Carters’ global humanitarian work and advocacy of democracy via The Carter Center garnered new respect, Democratic politicians began publicly circulating back to south Georgia ahead of the 2020 election cycle. And with Biden’s election, Carter again found a genuine friend and ally in the Oval Office,” the AP wrote.

“I remember President Carter’s many talks with ordinary people during that trip, and how he tried to reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS and help people from all walks of life feel that their lives had value,” Dr. Helene Gayle, the President of Spelman College and a board member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote in a statement posted to the Gates Foundation website.

“We spoke with commercial sex workers in Kenya and Nigeria about HIV/AIDS prevention and condom use. While President Carter came from a very traditional, religious Christian background, he was entirely nonjudgmental and really wanted to communicate to these women that their lives were worth protecting from HIV/AIDS,” Gayle continued.

“He even gave a sermon at the church of the then-president of Nigeria, and from the pulpit, he talked openly and honestly about condoms and safe sex without judgment or recrimination.”

Gayle added that from world leaders to migrant farmers, Carter’s ability to connect with people remains remarkable.

She called him down-to-earth and approachable.

“And because of his global stature as a former president, he can meet with people at the highest levels of government, capture their attention, and make the case for investing in local, regional, and global health,” Gayle exclaimed.

“He has elevated the significance of global health around the world. And he has been incredibly persistent and diligent around the issue of Guinea worm eradication, helping to lead that campaign to the threshold of success.”

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Business

Biden Celebrates Robust Job Market in Spite of Higher Unemployment Rate Among Blacks

America’s employers added 311,000 jobs last month, surpassing the 208,000 experts predicted. Further, the last two years saw more jobs created since 1940, a sign that the country has recovered soundly from the COVID-19 recession. In January, employers added 504,000 jobs, and then 300,000+ last month, robust gains that pointed to high demand for labor. However, despite the solid report, the African American job market remained problematic.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February from 3.4% the prior month. Women over 20 saw an unemployment rate slightly rise to 3.2% from 3.1%. Unemployment rates for Black women climbed to 5.1% from 4.7%. Among Hispanic women, it jumped to 4.8% from 4.4%. The Black unemployment rate peaked at 5.7%, up from 5.4% in January. But, President Biden said he was excited about overall progress.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February from 3.4% the prior month. Women over 20 saw an unemployment rate slightly rise to 3.2% from 3.1%. Unemployment rates for Black women climbed to 5.1% from 4.7%. Among Hispanic women, it jumped to 4.8% from 4.4%. The Black unemployment rate peaked at 5.7%, up from 5.4% in January. But, President Biden said he was excited about overall progress.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

America’s employers added 311,000 jobs last month, surpassing the 208,000 experts predicted.

Further, the last two years saw more jobs created since 1940, a sign that the country has recovered soundly from the COVID-19 recession.

In January, employers added 504,000 jobs, and then 300,000+ last month, robust gains that pointed to high demand for labor.

However, despite the solid report, the African American job market remained problematic.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February from 3.4% the prior month.

Women over 20 saw an unemployment rate slightly rise to 3.2% from 3.1%.

Unemployment rates for Black women climbed to 5.1% from 4.7%.

Among Hispanic women, it jumped to 4.8% from 4.4%.

The Black unemployment rate peaked at 5.7%, up from 5.4% in January.

But, President Biden said he was excited about overall progress.

“I’m happy to report that our economy has created over 300,000 new jobs last month, and that’s on top of a half a million jobs we added the month before,” a celebratory President Joe Biden exclaimed.

“All told, we’ve created more than 12 million jobs since I took office, nearly 800,000 of them manufacturing jobs.

“That means, overall, we’ve created more jobs in two years than any administration has created in the first four years.”

Biden said he believes his administration’s economic plan is working.

The President asserted that when he took office, the economy was reeling.

“And 18 million people were unemployed, on unemployment insurance, compared to less than 2 million today,” he stated.

“Unemployment was 6.3 percent, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted it wouldn’t get below 4 percent until 2026.

“Because of our economic plan, unemployment has been below 4 percent for 14 straight months since January 2022.”

In February, the unemployment rate remained near the lowest level in a half-century.

“That’s really good news. People who were staying out of the job market are now getting back into the job market,” the President noted.

“They’re coming off the sidelines. They’re getting back into the job market. And today’s job numbers are clear: Our economy is moving in the right direction.”

Biden declared that jobs are available, and Americans are working again and becoming more optimistic about the future.

He called right-wing Republicans the biggest threat to America’s economic recovery.

“The reckless talk, my MAGA friends. This is not your — as you’ve heard me say, it’s not your father’s Republican party,” Biden railed.

“But the Republicans in the United States Congress, what they want to do with regard to the debt limit. You know, they’re threatening to default on our national debt. Planning to default, as some Republicans seem to be doing, puts us much at risk.”

He continued:

“I believe we should be building on our progress, not go backward. So, I urge our extreme MAGA Republican friends in Congress to put the threats aside. Instead, join me in continuing the progress we’ve built. We’ve got a lot more to do, so let’s finish the job.”

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