05-25-2018  7:38 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

The highest-paid CEOs by state

Here are the top-paid CEOs by state for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.The survey considered only publicly traded companies with more than jumi billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30....

Douglas County suspends recycling service due to Chinese ban

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The Douglas County Landfill and transfer stations, along with its recycling partner, will be suspending all recycling efforts in the county.The News-Review reports that the operations will be suspended June 1. The Douglas County Public Works Department in a statement...

The highest-paid CEOs by state

Here are the top-paid CEOs by state for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.The survey considered only publicly traded companies with more than jumi billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30....

NFL players, coaches grapple with new anthem policy

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wanted to be talking about football matters — Seattle's recommitment to the run game, the addition of two new coordinators, almost anything to do with what happens between the lines.Instead, the league's oldest coach has spent the past...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

Column: Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being black

Jack Johnson's biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living.High-flying and flamboyant, he refused to live by the unwritten rules of American society in the early 1900s. That made him a target, and that eventually cost him his freedom after being convicted of...

Rachel Dolezal accused of welfare fraud after race scandal

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Rachel Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, was charged this week with theft by...

ENTERTAINMENT

Daniel Craig to return as 007 in 2019, Danny Boyle at helm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Daniel Craig is back as Bond, the spy series' producers confirmed, in a Danny Boyle-directed film due for release in 2019.Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions announced Thursday that production on the 25th official James Bond thriller...

Rose McGowan on Weinstein: 'One win is a win for all of us'

NEW YORK (AP) — She was one of the earliest Harvey Weinstein accusers, and she thought the mogul might never face justice in a court of law.Now, actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her 20 years ago, is gratified but "still in shock" at his surrender Friday in a...

Morgan Freeman apologizes in wake of harassment accusations

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman apologized on Thursday to anyone who may have felt "uncomfortable or disrespected" by his behavior, after CNN reported that multiple women have accused the A-list actor of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior on movie sets and in other professional...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Veterans, discharged and jobless, seek hiring-rules changes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Military veterans who were discharged for relatively minor offenses say they often...

The Latest: Syrian army warns Daraa rebels of nearing attack

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the situation in Syria (all times local):6 p.m.Syria state-run media says...

49 dead after boat capsizes on Congo River tributary

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congolese officials say at least 49 people have died after a boat tipped over on the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha
Michael Biesecker, Associated Press

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in Tuesday's shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill; Yusor Mohammad, 21, of Chapel Hill; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh. Photo via Twitter

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — A long-running parking dispute between neighbors motivated a man to kill a woman, her newlywed husband and her sister at a quiet condominium complex near the University of North Carolina campus, police said Wednesday.

Beyond the parking arguments, police didn't comment further on the motivation or details of the crime, but a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization asked authorities to address speculation — much of it on social media — about possible religious bias.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in Tuesday's shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill; Yusor Mohammad, 21, of Chapel Hill; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.

Barakat and Mohammad were married, and Abu-Salha was Mohammad's sister.

Hicks appeared briefly in court Wednesday. He spoke only to answer that he understood the charges and to confirm an indigency affidavit. District Judge Marcia Morey said he would be appointed a public defender and held without bond. She scheduled a probable cause hearing for March 4.

Police said Hicks was cooperating and that their preliminary investigation showed that the parking dispute was the motive.

But outrage spread among American Muslims who viewed the homicides as an outgrowth of anti-Muslim opinions in the U.S. Many posted social media updates with the Twitter hashtags #MuslimLivesMatter and #CallItTerrorism.

"Based on the brutal nature of this crime ... the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case," Nihad Awad, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.

In an email, Chapel Hill police Chief Chris Blue said, "We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated, and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case."

Durham district attorney Roger Echols said he couldn't discuss a motive. Asked whether Hicks could be charged with a hate crime, he said the facts of the case were still under investigation.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in North Carolina that encompasses Chapel Hill didn't immediately return messages seeking comment about whether federal prosecutors were involved or looking into a possible hate crime.

Abdullah Antepli, director of Muslim affairs at nearby Duke University, issued a statement calling for people not to jump to conclusions over the motive for the killings.

At UNC, Barakat was a second-year dental student, and Yusor was scheduled to begin dental studies in the fall.

Both had graduated from North Carolina State University, school spokesman Mick Kulikowski said. Barakat graduated with a business administration degree in the spring of 2013. Mohammad graduated in December with a biological sciences degree.

Abu-Salha was a sophomore design major who had started classes last fall, Kulikowski said.

Muneeb Mustafa, 23, of Cary, attended the same Raleigh mosque as Barakat.

"He was a completely genuine guy. Loving, caring, friendly, smart," Mustafa said. "He was an ideal human being. He was a role model."

Mustafa said they last saw each other about a month ago, playing in a basketball tournament staged by the Muslim Student Association at UNC, Mustafa said. Barakat, his wife of less than two months and his sister were all Muslim, Mustafa said.

Barakat's family was from Syria, and he was raising money to help refugees of the country's civil war, Mustafa said. Mohammad traveled to Turkey last summer to help treat dental problems in Syrian refugees in that country, Mustafa said.

The neighborhood where the victims were found — about three miles east of campus — consists mostly of apartments and condominiums rented by students. Residents said they'd never before seen police or had crime problems there.

"It's a very quiet community," resident Bethany Boring told WRAL-TV. "It's a lot of graduate and professional students. You know, professional families."

Police tape hung near the apartment where the victims were found, but otherwise there was no indication of a crime scene. Outside the victims' apartment, a woman's bicycle with a helmet was parked by the stairs.

Shadi Wehbe, a UNC graduate who has lived in the complex since 1999, said that two weeks ago, a woman came to his door about 10 p.m. to ask him to move his car. Some of the parking spots are assigned, and others are open. Wehbe said parking had never been a problem and no one had asked him to move his car before, but he realized he was in the wrong spot and moved his car one place over.

___

Associated Press writers Jonathan Drew in Durham, Emery Dalesio in Raleigh and Eric Tucker in Washington 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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