5 things to know for your New Day — Thursday, May 7
Knife questions in the Freddie Gray case, severe weather hits the Midwest and it’s election time in the UK.
It’s Thursday, and here are five things to know for your New Day.
The knife: Was Freddie Gray’s knife legal? That’s the latest flashpoint in the case that has gripped the nation’s attention the past few weeks. When she announced charges last week, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the knife was legal under Maryland law, meaning his subsequent arrest was illegal. But police argue otherwise, and attorneys for two of the officers charged in the case have filed motions to inspect the knife he was carrying when he was arrested. Court documents say it was a “spring-assisted, one-hand-operated knife.” Mosby has said the knife was not a switchblade, which are illegal in Maryland. The law is even stricter in Baltimore, where it’s “also illegal to have a spring-action knife,” said a defense attorney.
Spring storms: A rough evening and night in the Midwest, as severe storms ripped through the region yesterday bringing tornadoes, flooding and heavy winds. The storm hit parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Tornado damage was reported southwest of Oklahoma City, and the city’s main airport was shut down. At least 13 people were hurt when a tornado hit a mobile home park. Oklahoma City’s main threat last night was flash floods as residents reported washed-out roads. A semitrailer was blown over and parts of an exterior wall of a hotel in Norman was ripped off.
POLICE UNDER FIRE
New lawsuit: Four black parole officers sue an upstate New York city and police department, accusing its white officers of racial profiling and violating their civil rights during a traffic stop last year. The black officers — all with New York State Parole — said white officers from the Ramapo Police Department drew their weapons, physically assaulted them and continued to detain them even after they were identified as parole officers. A Ramapo city official said the police officers’ actions were justified and the parole officers hadn’t notified the city they would be in town. Most of the arrest was captured on dashcam video.
Rebel training: It’s controversial, but it’s about to begin. The Pentagon, as soon as this week, will begin to train moderate Syrian rebels at locations in Turkey and Jordan to fight ISIS. The first of 400 U.S. military trainers have arrived in both countries, and some 400 out of 3,000 rebels interested in the training have passed an initial security screening. The rebels will be trained on small arms, radios, medical gear and battlefield tactics. The controversy comes in the risk that some of the fighters may decide to take their weapons and training and go fight the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — not the goal of the training. Some rebels leaders say the number of fighters trained is too low and the fighters need more sophisticated weaponry. But U.S. officials are hesitant to give rebels heavier weapons, fearing they could end up in the hands of terror groups.
Voting time: Britons head to the polls to cast votes in a number of contests in an election that could change the country’s political landscape. Some political observers predict the vote will likely leave no clear, big winner and instead produce a fractious coalition or weak government that would struggle to survive, let alone get anything done. The prime minister candidates are incumbent David Cameron, head of the center-right Conservatives, and Ed Miliband, leader of the center-left Labour Party. Opinion polls say there’s no clear favorite.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
Arnold!: Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with late night host James Corden, acts out famous scenes from his movies.
Cool cover: A doo-wop cover of Taylor Swift’s “Style.”
Another cover: Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” sounds even cooler played backward.
Live view: Remember the bird’s eye view of “Grand Theft Auto II?” It’s recreated in this live action video.
It’s what they do: Dogs chase a toy monster truck at the park.
By Doug Criss