Tuesday News: Time to de-escalate


CHAPEL HILL POLICE CHIEF CONCERNED OVER TACTICS USED ON PROTESTERS: Chapel Hill’s police chief says he is greatly concerned by some of the tactics that law enforcement officers have used against protesters on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. In remarks to the Orange County Human Relations Commission and to reporters Monday night, Chief Chris Blue said he is “particularly saddened” that Chapel Hill police and some other departments committed to social justice “in many ways wound up in the middle of a very complex situation.” Blue suggested it all could have been avoided. “We predicted a year or so ago that the issues around Silent Sam would escalate to where they wound up,” he said. “It’s clear that some tactics have been employed that are unique for this community, and that have not been seen before in this community, and that causes me great concern,” he said.

SPECIAL SESSION MAY STRETCH OUT FOR WEEKS: State lawmakers will meet Tuesday for a special session on disaster relief for Hurricane Florence. With 28 of the state’s 100 counties under a federal disaster declaration, the needs will be extensive. However, just two and a half weeks after the storm made landfall, it’s not clear yet what form those needs will take or how much the state will need to add to disaster funding from the federal government. Ryan said the plan for Tuesday is to gavel in the session at 10 a.m., recess to attend a joint House-Senate appropriations meeting at 11 a.m. to review and vote on the bills, then reconvene in the afternoon "and be out by the end of the day." They plan to return in one week, on Oct. 9, for follow-up work as agencies collect more information about what they need. Ryan said lawmakers might need to convene periodically over the rest of the year because damage assessments may take weeks or months to complete.

NAACP PUSHES FOR MORE CONCESSIONS ON VOTING REQUIREMENTS FOR FLORENCE VICTIMS: The voter registration deadline should be extended and absentee ballot requirements loosened for people from counties hit hardest by Hurricane Florence, the state NAACP said Monday. The legislature returns to Raleigh on Tuesday and is set to consider voting changes in counties hurt by the hurricane, but the changes an influential House member has outlined don’t go as far as the NAACP wants. “Given the unprecedented scale of the devastation and destruction left behind by Hurricane Florence, and the fact that we are just a few short weeks away from the state of the 2018 Early Voting Period, the NC NAACP requests that the State Board of Elections take immediate action to ensure that those suffering form this disaster are not denied access to the polls,” Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, state NAACP president, said in a letter to elections officials. Similar letters went to Gov. Roy Cooper and legislative leaders.

N.C. STATE PROFESSOR WILL TALK TO THE FBI ABOUT KAVANAUGH: Chad Ludington told NBC News that he was going to the FBI on Monday to give them information about Kavanaugh's drunken behavior when they were classmates at Yale University. Speaking outside his North Carolina home Monday night, Ludington said his conscience has been waking him up for the past four nights as he thought about the Kavanaugh hearing. It was that restlessness that prompted him to come forward, he said. "It was the sense that the truth was being distorted at Brett's dissembling," he said of Kavanaugh's testimony. "I think people should be honest, especially in the highest offices of the land." Retired FBI agent Chuck Stuber, who spent his career investigating high-profile political corruption cases in North Carolina, including John Edwards, Jim Black and Mike Easley, said Ludington could be an important witness in the Kavanaugh case because he calls into question the credibility of the judge's testimony at the Senate hearings.

TRUMP DOJ GOES AFTER CALIFORNIA FOR NEW NET NEUTRALITY LAW: California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law Sunday that prohibits internet service providers from blocking or slowing data based on content or from favoring websites or video streams from companies that pay extra. It also bans “zero rating,” in which internet providers don’t count certain content against a monthly data cap — generally video streams produced by the company’s own subsidiaries and partners. The U.S. Department of Justice sued immediately, arguing that the federal government has exclusive authority to regulate the internet. Stanford University law professor Barbara van Schewick said the law adopts the same nationwide rules the Federal Communications Commission repealed in June. The constitutionality of California’s law — and whether other states can adopt their own net neutrality rules — depends heavily on the outcome of a pending case in a Washington, D.C., federal appeals court, van Schewick said.