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Historical amnesia about lynching in St. Petersburg: the John Evans plaque listen

06/22/15 Samuel Johnson
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
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Tags: Saint Petersburg, St Pete, African-American, Lynching, racial, violence, history, Florida, John Evans, Landmarks, Tropicana Field

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A small aluminum plaque, memorializing a victim of Saint Petersburg racial violence in 1914, is collecting dust in city archives. Investigation into a particularly grim episode in Saint Petersburg's past as a way to reevaluate the historical amnesia of Saint Petersburg.

On November 12, 1914, the intersection of 2nd Ave and 9th Street South in Saint Petersburg was the grizzly scene of the lynching of John Evans, an itinerant black farm worker. He was dragged out of the city jail on Central...

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Teenage victim of gun violence remembered in Tampa listen

06/02/15 Nina Porciuncula
MidPoint with WMNF News Tuesday
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Tags: guns, Tampa, violence

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On Monday, family and friends of a 14-year-old victim of a drive-by shooting in Tampa held a vigil. Edward Harris is of the city's latest victims of gun violence.

A black shirt and denim shorts were laid on the ground. Flowers and white balloons fluttered in the breeze. Lit candles were used to spell out “EJ”, Edward Harris’ nickname, as the people gathered to pray and remember a boy who is gone too soon.

On Sunday, police received a call about an injured teenager at Woodland Terrace Pa...

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Tampa neighborhood and police department walk side-by-side in peace march listen

04/21/15 Samuel Johnson
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday

Tags: Tampa, police, Sulphur Springs, violence, Jane Caster, Bob Buckhorn, neighborhood

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Escalating violence in some Tampa neighborhoods unite the Tampa police and residents in raising awareness. Saturday afternoon in the Sulphur Springs area roughly 200 plus residents, community leaders, the police chief and even the mayor all gathered to march in solidarity to stop the violence. The community as well as elected officials recognize the importance of bringing attention to the uptick in violent crime as the first part of the remedy.

People who participated in the 6 block trek...

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Cornel West fires up the crowd in AME church in St. Pete listen

01/15/15 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Cornel West, Barack Obama, drones, police, violence, Ferguson, black, Media, Saint Petersburg, protest, funk

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Dr. Cornel West, a polarizing black intellectual, gave an electrifying speech at an overflowing church Wednesday night in St. Petersburg. West spoke as part of the Heritage Lecture Series put on by St. Petersburg College and a community nonprofit run by Mt. Zion AME Church. West made full use of his seminary training in a hybrid mix of sermon and lecture.

West touched on a broad swath of topics ranging from law enforcement violence to drone warfare and conservative media. The thread runni...

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St. Petersburg Police Chief gets proactive about police engagement as protesters rally outside listen

12/10/14 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Anthony Holloway, Uhuru, African American, police, violence, racial profile, profiling, Urban League, Saint Petersburg, sensitivity training

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Amid a nationwide outcry for justice and concerns about racial profiling in African-American communities, the Saint Petersburg Chief of Police hosted a panel Tuesday night about police engagement. Around 20 city officials, members of the black community, and current and former law enforcement brainstormed ways to reduce racial profiling.

While Chief Anthony Holloway’s meeting was going on inside police headquarters, about 30 protesters rallied outside against police violence.

One of th...

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Journalist will warn USF Tampa students about Israeli leaders inciting racist violence listen

10/16/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Israel, Palestine, racism, violence, USF, Tampa

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Political and religious leaders in Israel frequently incite violence toward Palestinians, Africans and other non-Jews; that’s the message of Israeli journalist and filmmaker David Sheen.

Sheen will speak at 6:00 p.m Thursday at the University of South Florida in Tampa in the Marshall Student Center room 2708 about racism in Israel directed at non-Jews, Africans and Palestinians.

Sheen grew up in Toronto has lived in Israel for more than a decade.

Warning: some of the descriptions of...

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Gun control comes up as Hillsborough County approves forming a commission on violence listen

04/03/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously approved spending $150,000 to create a committee to investigate how to stamp out violence in the community. The effort was pushed by Commissioner Kevin Beckner. He said the result would be more specific solutions.

"Over the period of time, that's what we typically have done is just invested in services and programs without any specific, focused outcome. So, the whole point of bringing the prevention institute is to utilize their experience ...

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President Obama announces executive actions to curb gun violence & wants Congress to beef up background checks & ban assault weapons listen

01/16/13 wire reports
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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President Barack Obama has announced a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at reducing gun violence a month after a mass shooting in Connecticut killed 20 elementary school children. Obama signed 23 executive actions — which require no congressional approval — including several aimed at improving access to data for background checks. A presidential memorandum will instruct the Centers for Disease Control to research causes and prevention of gun violen...

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Hillsborough County Commission wants task force on gun violence but balks at idea of gun buy-back -- for now listen

01/09/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Wednesday the Hillsborough County Commission put aside a suggestion to organize gun buy-back programs to reduce crime. But the idea may come back as soon as next month among the suggestions for a task force to reduce gun violence. Commissioner Kevin Beckner recommended forming a task force – it was unanimously approved by the board.

"To direct staff to make recommendations for convening a task force under the County Administrator's office. They consist of at least law enforcement agenci...

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NRA says answer to school violence is more guns in schools listen

12/21/12 wire services including AP
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The National Rifle Association broke its silence today on last week's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead. The nation's largest gun-rights lobby called for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer waiting in the wings.

"I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of...

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