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Wolf promises reform as protests surge across Pa.

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The Investigator

Your guide to the Capitol & stories holding the powerful to account

June 4, 2020 | spotlightpa.org

Will this time be any different?

The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has renewed calls by Democrats in the legislature to change the state’s deadly force law and ramp up police oversight. But similar measures introduced after an East Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed Antwon Rose II, an unarmed black teenager, in 2018 have languished in the GOP-controlled General Assembly

Lawmakers are now looking to Gov. Tom Wolf to take executive actions, including directing the State Police to create a database of disciplinary actions for all police officers in the state. The governor, who marched with demonstrators in Harrisburg yesterday, is expected to make an announcement at 4:15 p.m. today, and we're digging for details in advance.

Speaking of marches, even though those in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have received the most attention, people in communities throughout the state have taken to the streets to demand more police accountability. We've rounded up a sampling of stories from our friends in newsrooms in all corners.

Also this week, for various reasons — ranging from misunderstandings to threats — a growing number of seniors in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities aren't receiving their coronavirus stimulus checks.

Finally, we're excited to introduce our new community engagement fellow, Yaasmeen Piper. Yaasmeen just graduated from East Stroudsburg University, where she served for two years as editor-in-chief of the Stroud Courier, the student newspaper. Over the past four years, she has worked as an intern and freelance writer with a focus on arts, culture, news, and social issues.

You can reach Yaasmeen at ypiper@spotlightpa.org.

Sarah Anne Hughes, Spotlight PA


"We all played a role in what happened in Minnesota. It wasn’t just the cop ... Every time you see violations taking place and you looked another way. Every time you do that you add to the problem.”

— Pastor William Ewell, who marched with Gov. Tom Wolf this week, on the collective responsibility to speak out against racism and injustice
LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS: There have been an average of 557 new cases and 63 deaths each day over the past week in Pennsylvania. More charts and trend lines can be found at the link below.


As of 12 p.m. June 4

Black Lives Matter protests

Protestors take to Harrisburg's streets in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

» PUBLIC SOURCE: Seeing racism unfold hurts the mental health of this Black teen

» CAPITAL-STAR: Towns and boroughs across Pa. join the march against police brutality

» PENNLIVE: Harrisburg Police commissioner sees biggest test yet with current protests 

» GO ERIE: George Floyd killing brings out racial tension and pain in Erie

» MORNING CALL: Photos: Protesters march peacefully in Allentown

» INQUIRER: Inquirer journalist arrested after covering Black Lives Matter protest in Philly

» WNEP: Hundreds plus county sheriff show up for Black Lives Matter rally in Poconos

» SAUCON SOURCE: Photos, video: Peaceful protesters rally in Bethlehem

» WBRE/WYOU: Protestors peacefully march around town square in Wilkes-Barre

Latest from Spotlight PA
» Revenues take another COVID-19 blow, fall $440 million short of expectations
» Western Pa. counties will enter ‘green’ reopening phase Friday
» UPMC rakes in $228 million in coronavirus stimulus cash, dwarfing competitors
» Massive unemployment scam strikes up to 58,000 people

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Seasonal Silliness (Case No. 41): Juan was born on Dec. 28, yet his birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?
Stumped? Get a hint. Feeling smart? Challenge a friend.

Last week's answer: Push the cork into the bottle.

Congrats to Joseph S., who will receive Spotlight PA swag (when we reopen our office!). Others who correctly answered: Jeffrey F., Rosemary W., Peter S., Rick S., Dave D., James D., Carl B., Steve B., Liza Jane B., Dale W., Don M., Marvin S., Mark V., Roseanne, Joan C., Jon N., Carl H., Pete P., and Heather B.
» This week's Riddler hint: Where does Juan live?
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