The Morning Roundup: An HB 2 Twist, a UPS Protest, and an Indictment in Raleigh | News

The Morning Roundup: An HB 2 Twist, a UPS Protest, and an Indictment in Raleigh

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A Wake County grand jury has issued a murder indictment in the death of Raleigh's Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas (pictured).
  • A Wake County grand jury has issued a murder indictment in the death of Raleigh's Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas (pictured).
Hello. Your news: 

1. Texas judge throws wrench into HB 2 process. An Obama administration order advising school districts to allow transgender students to be given access to restrooms based on their gender identity has been blocked by a federal judge in Texas. From WUNC
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

As we've reported, the lawsuit argues that the guidance from the White House would turn schools "into laboratories for a massive social experiment."

The preliminary injunction would mean that, until that lawsuit works its way through the courts, the "status quo" would be maintained and the guidance could not be considered enforceable.
What this means for North Carolina is somewhat foggy. The N&O notes that "GOP defenders of HB2 are almost certain to cite the ruling in their legal fights against efforts by the federal government, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups to overturn the controversial law." But the fact that O'Connor wrote in his opinion that it “should not necessarily interfere with litigation currently pending before other federal courts on this subject regardless of the state law" means court challenges to HB 2 should continue uninterrupted. 

Chris Brook, legal director for the ACLU in North Carolina, told the N&O, “The district court in Texas expressly recognized that its decision should not interfere with other pending federal court cases on this issue. HB2 continues to harm our clients and all transgender North Carolinians, and we are looking forward to a decision on our request to have the anti-transgender provisions of this law blocked while our case proceeds.”

2. UPS workers hold protest in Chapel Hill. Leaders from the NAACP joined twenty-odd UPS workers in a rally/protest outside the UPS center in Chapel Hill yesterday. They have many complaints, per the N&O
In interviews last week, some black and Hispanic employees in Chapel Hill, Durham and Morrisville said they have been verbally abused, over-supervised and had their rights violated. Several who did not want to give their names for fear of retaliation reported being fired multiple times – some for bringing up problems – and being re-hired after being “punished.” The drivers are doing more work in fewer hours, while UPS cuts drivers to save costs, they said.

More than 100 grievances have been filed, [NAACP Chapel Hill-Carrboro president Reverend Robert] Campbell said. A class-action lawsuit being planned now doesn’t have to happen, he said, if UPS sits down with workers, changes policies and holds a racial-equity workshop.
UPS issued a statement last week calling the "claims of discriminatory practices related to terminations in our Chapel Hill facility false and without merit." 

3. Fayetteville boy missing. Police are searching for a child who went missing early Tuesday. Per WRAL:
Qua-Mari Rowe-Swain is a black male with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, black and white shorts, and red, black and gray Air Jordan shoes.

Officers responded around 1:40 a.m. to the 3000 block of Enterprise Avenue after Rowe-Swain was reported missing. Police said he was supposed to be at a neighbor's house, but he was not there when his mother came home from work.
Contact Sgt. P. Smith at 910-723-5619 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477 with any information. 

4. Raleigh man indicted for murder in shooting of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas. A case with some similarities to George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin has arrived at an indictment. From WRAL
Chad Cameron Copley, 39, of 3536 Single Leaf Lane, told a 911 dispatcher on Aug. 7 that he was "locked and loaded" and planned to "secure the neighborhood" because people attending a nearby house party were vandalizing the area and shouting profanities.

Investigators said Copley fired a shotgun through a window from inside his garage, striking Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, 20, who was outside.

After the shooting, Copley's wife called 911, and he told a dispatcher that he was "trying to protect myself and my family" because the people outside had firearms.
There is, as yet, zero evidence that Thomas was armed or even on Copley's property. 

5. School's starting back up. In Durham, that means you don't want to be driving anywhere near campus. Per DPD release this morning: "Duke students are returning to campus today and traffic is backed up on West Main Street between Broad Street and Buchanan Boulevard, Broad Street and Buchanan Boulevard. Motorists are advised to avoid the area, if possible, for the next few hours."

That's all. Enjoy your Tuesday. 

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