New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 14, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung □ Thursday, November 14, 1996 TJ 3Riots strike Florida city after grand jury refuses to indict officer
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Small fires burned early today after a night of looting, rock throwing and shooting by rioters angry that a white officer was cleared in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old black man.
Mobs roamed the streets of predominantly black south St. Petersburg Wednesday evening, the same area where violence erupted after the Oct. 24 shooting. They set 84 fires, attacked passers-by with bottles and chunks of concrete, and shot at a police helicopter, wounding the co-pilot.
Another officer was shot in the calf and at least seven other people were injured.
More than 200 police officers took to the streets. They closed off streets and fired
canisters of tear gas, and the National Guard was placed on standby. But by early today, the only trouble was about eight remaining blazes in homes and businesses.
Several people were arrested, Police Chief Darrel Stephens said early today. Other details on the arrests were not immediately available.
Earlier Wednesday, a grand jury found that Officer Jim Knight was justified in shooting Ty Ron Lewis during a traffic stop. Lewis had been speeding in a stolen car, police said.
Knight was standing in,front of the car trying to look in the heavily tinted windows when Lewis refused orders to surrender and lurched forward, police said. The car bumped
the officer four times before he fired through the windshield, killing Lewis.
The panel explained its decision in a 9-page statement appealing for calm and saying the shooting had not been racially motivated. Despite the decision, Stephens suspended Knight for 60 days without pay for putting himself in a position of danger.
Stephens blamed a small black separatist group, the National People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, for instigating trouble.
“A good part of the activity that is taking place on the streets tonight was planned," he said. “I don’t believe that this was a spontaneous event.”
Around 4 p.m., hours after the ruling was
released, Uhuru supporters were gathered in front of a house, handing out fliers calling for a community meeting.
“KILLER COP GOES FREE,” the fliers read. “We will not be shot down in the streets like dogs. Neither will we be pushed into jails for defending our community. ... GET ORGANIZED!”
Police came to arrest three Uhuru members on outstanding warrants. About two hours later, they got a call reporting gunfire near the house.
Police who responded to the call were pelted with debris and Officer Keith Glasgow was shot through the left calf. He was treated at Bayfront Medical Center and released.
Iris Brinkley said she was in the house when police in riot gear forced their way in and sprayed tear gas.
“How do they justify what they did? They sure have no respect for the black community. All we were doing was having a meeting,” she said.
David Schauer. a lawyer who lives in the neighborhood, said: “Everyone I talked to who was white didn’t think that there would be trouble, but they also didn't think that police would be stupid enough to serve warrants today on the Uhuru members.” Around 8:30 p.m.. Joe Lassen, co-pilot of a sheriffs helicopter, was grazed by a bullet The helicopter was able to land safely.
State judge refuses to dismiss schools suit
AUSTIN (AP) — A state judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit by school districts that says the State Board of Education is sitting on an estimated $89 million that should be spent on computers and other technology in the classroom.
Judge F. Scott McCown asked lawyers for the school distrits, however, to see if their clients are willing to delay the case against the board until the Legislature can act on the matter. Lawmakers meet in regular session in January.
“I think it’s appropriate for the Legislature to have an opportunity to address this problem,” McCown said Wednesday.
More than 80 school districts have sued, saying that under the 1995 education reform law, they should be getting $55 per student for technology this school year. Instead, the board has OK’d only $30 per student, the districts said.
The $89 million is the amount that has been estimated as the difference statewide by Austin lawyer Buck Wood, who represents the school districts.
Lawyers for the board say there’s a discrepancy between the education iaw’s provision for increased technology funding and the state budget, which doesn’t provide fftr the increase.
Assistant Attorney General Toni Hunter, representing the state board, said because of the discrepancy, the board doesn’t believe it has authority to distribute the extra money.
But she said the problem “can certainly be fixed by the Legislature.”
Ms. Hunter asked McCown to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the school districts need legislative permission to sue the state. McCown would not.
Failing that, Ms. Hunter asked him to delay the lawsuit, noting the pending legislative session.
McCown said if school districts agree to voluntarily delay the lawsuit, a trial could be set in middle or late February. If they do not agree, and McCown decides not to require a delay, he said a trial in the case would begin Dec. 19.
Wood said school districts, in deciding whether to agree to a delay, must weigh the likelihood of the Legislature giving them the money for technology rather then deciding to spend it elsewhere. .
Clinton to oppose balanced budget amendment
WASHINGTON (AP) President Clinton will contest Congress’ expected approval of a balanced-budget constitutional amendment, despite earlier refnarks that softened his longtime opposition to the plan, administration officials say.
In an unusual effort to prevent a stampede of votes for the proposal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and other administration officials telephoned reporters Wednesday to say that the president never meant to voice support for the balanced budget amendment.
Officials were hoping to retain a slim chance of defeating the plan, or at least force its supporters to agree to revisions acceptable to the White House
Clinton told reporters Tuesday that he believes the amendment is unnecessary, which he has said for years.
But he added a condition for the first time, saying he would consider the idea if it contained an “escape hatch” for recessions, when diminished business activity usually drives up federal deficits.
World, National Briefs
Rmcim teams search for survivors of Peruvian crash
NAZCA, Peru (AP) — Rescue teams searching the rugged southern Peruvian backcountry found two bodies and three survivors in a collapsed gold mine where others are believed still trapped following a strong earthquake.
Army and police patrols found the five people Wednesday in the Huanca mine, 480 miles southeast of Lima, after navigating roads blocked by landslides and washed out by recent flooding.
Immediately after the magnitude-6.4 quake, the government said that up to 60 people may have been buried in at least three mines, including Huanca. But it was unclear today if those numbers were accurate.
“It seems the people are tending to exaggerate things. They believe they will get more attention that way,” said Chakar Lukac, who is leading
firefighting teams in Nazca that are aiding the search.
Officials, meanwhile, lowered the number of dead and injured from Tuesday’s quake, which did the most damage to Nazca, a tourist town of 25,000, and nearby small towns.
Eleven people have been confirmed dead and 560 were injured, civil defense Gen. Julio Alcocer said Wednesday. Earlier government statements had put the figures at 15 dead and 700 hurt.
Isracli-Palcstinian talks on Hebron hit snag
HEBRON, West Bank (AP) -Talks on a Hebron troop pullback snagged today over demands that Israeli troops be able to chase Palestinian suspects in the city without restrictions. Yasser Arafat said he was “not optimistic” an agreement could be reached.
The latest deadlock came less than a day after Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a weeklong trip to the United States because he felt agreement was imminent. Netanyahu had planned to leave for Seattle late Wednesday.
“The negotiations are at a very crucial, sensitive stage, and the prime minister felt his departure at this point might undermine the chances of success,” Netanyahu spokesman David Bar-lllan said today.
In Hebron, a city of 130,000 Palestinians and 500 Jewish settlers, hundreds of Palestinian scouts from elementary and high schools marched through downtown streets today to mark Independence Day.
Black leaders push for probe Into motorist’s death
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Anger over the acquittal of a white police officer in a black motorist’s death should be used to push for police reforms and a federal civil rights probe, black leaders say.
The leaders also joined the city’s white mayor in appealing for calm following the all-white jury’s acquittal of suburban police Officer John Vojtas. He was accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 31-year-old Jonny Gammage, a cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers player Ray Seals.
Investigators say Gammage suffocated in a scuffle with officers during a traffic stop. The Rev. Jesse Jackson had branded his death a lynching.
“I am going to support the mayor and the good people of the city in asking for calm. We don't want to see the people explode,” said Ron Suber, president of Pittsburgh’s school board.
After Wednesday's verdict, black activists chanted, “No justice, no peace!” An angry crowd of about 50 formed outside the Pittsburgh courthouse and about a dozen members of the African American
Coalition for Justice tried to pull down the U.S. flag. Deputies intervened by grabbing the flag rope.
Chicago cardinal dies after bout with cancer
CHICAGO (AP) — Cardinal Joseph Bemardin, one of the Roman Catholic Church's strongest voices for social justice and a conciliator who built bridges to Catholic dissenters, died early today of cancer. He was 68.
Bemardin died at hts home, where friends and family had gathered. Bishop Raymond Goedert said. President Clinton and Pope John Paul ll called the home and spoke to Bemardin as he lay on his death bed Wednesday.
The senior Roman Catholic prelate in the United States and leader of Chicago’s 2.3 million Catholics underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in June 1995, and announced Aug. 30 that the cancer had spread.
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