Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from across the United States. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
Kenosha law enforcement delaying use of body cameras, the Postmaster General denying “sabotaging” the election, California wildfires still burning from a lightning storm, New Orleans protests of police shooting of a black man and environmental lawsuits against the Trump administration’s attempt to allow oil and gas drilling in Alaska refuge make up this week’s five national stories.
City and law enforcement leaders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, unanimously endorsed the use of body cameras in 2017 as a way to increase police accountability and collect evidence at scenes of domestic violence, among other benefits. But since then, they have balked at the price tag, raised policy concerns and put off implementation. The delays meant that officers who were on the scene of Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake while responding to a domestic call were not equipped with technology that could give their perspective on an incident that has roiled the nation.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers Monday that he has warned allies of President Donald Trump that the president’s repeated attacks on the legitimacy of mail-in ballots are “not helpful,” but denied that recent changes at the Postal Service are linked to the November elections. DeJoy, who has come under intense scrutiny over sweeping policy changes at the U.S. Postal Service, faced new questions on mounting problems at the agency as it prepares to deliver record numbers of ballots this fall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
California fire officials are cautiously optimistic after dodging a major lightning storm, but they are pleading with residents to stay out of evacuation zones and prepare for days away from home as three massive San Francisco Bay Area wildfires rage on, suffocating the region with smoky air. Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week will be critical as more than 14,000 firefighters battle 17 major fire complexes, largely in Northern California where wildfires have been burning for a week.
About 50 protesters held a sit-in outside a Louisiana city hall Monday after being told they couldn’t go in to file complaints about the way officials handled the fatal shooting of a Black man. The Friday death of Trayford Pellerin, 31, has heightened tensions between protesters and local leaders in Lafayette, a consolidated city and parish of about 244,400 in Louisiana’s Cajun country. All officers who were involved in the shooting are on administrative leave — standard procedure after shootings by police — Sgt. Wayne Griffin, a spokesman for city police, said Monday.
Environmental groups wasted no time challenging the Trump administration’s attempt to allow oil and gas drilling in an Alaska refuge where polar bears and caribou roam. Two lawsuits filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage sought to block the Interior Department’s plan to allow oil and gas lease sales on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — a 1.56 million-acre strip of land along Alaska’s northern Beaufort Sea coast, or about 8% of the 19.3 million-acre refuge.