A few days ago, Deadspin’s Kyle Wagner began to compile a list of all police-involved shootings in the U.S. He’s not the only one to undertake such a project: D. Brian Burghart, editor of the Reno News & Review, has been attempting a crowdsourced national database of deadly police violence. We asked Brian to write about what he’s learned from his project.
The rest of the world might be falling apart, but Rikers Island is still reliably horrific. A New York mother is suing Corizon, the company that provides healthcare at Rikers, New York City's largest jail complex, saying her 19-year-old son died in a cell there last year after being denied adequate medical treatment.
The body of Drew Barrymore's half-sister Jessica was discovered in a parked car near San Diego, Tuesday. The woman who found her body, Marta Lopez, told the ABC affiliate in San Diego that she discovered Barrymore with an energy drink between her legs and white pills strewn across the passenger seat.
It's not even possible to get mad at the Baltimore Sun now. The Baltimore Sun is a nursing home where newspapering goes to die, or to sink into terminal urine-soaked frailty and confusion. Yesterday it announced it had received the commitment papers for City Paper, the city's alternative weekly, b. 1977 – d. TK But Soon.
Rhythm guitarist Bob Casale of Devo—"Bob 2" to lead guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh's "Bob 1," and younger brother of bassist Gerald Casale—died yesterday, reportedly of heart failure. Here is the band putting a cold shiny bolt-gun to the forehead of the staggering no-longer-youth culture of the '60s and '70s, covering "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and thereby repudiating everything that the song had come to stand for.
Political reporter and columnist Jack Germond—variously known as a Boy on the Bus, Fat Man in a Middle Seat, and the round half of the Baltimore Sun's long-running and nationally ubiquitous Germond and Witcover tandem—died today at the age of 85. The Washington Post quotes him: "I have always argued that newspapers should not have any civic purpose beyond telling readers what is happening."
Nineteen tourists are dead and two are injured following a hot air balloon explosion 1,000 feet above Luxor, Egypt. The balloon apparently collided with a high-pressure electrical cable, detonating one of its gas cylinders; as it plummeted to the ground, some passengers leaped out "from about the height of a seven-story building," a witness told the BBC. Eighteen, including tourists from the UK, China, Japan, France, Hungary, and Egypt died at the scene, their bodies strewn about the field where the balloon crashed, while the nineteenth victim died in surgery five hours later. The two survivors, the pilot and one passenger, a British tourist, may have saved their lives by jumping. A 2009 hot air balloon accident in Luxor, in which more than a dozen tourists were injured, prompted a six-month suspension of flights as safety standards were tightened and pilots were re-trained; today's accident, by all accounts the worst-ever of its kind, has prompted the city to indefinitely suspend flights. [BBC | AJE]
Robert Bork has died. Bork is best known in public memory for his failed Supreme Court nomination, which thankfully foundered on the rank extremism of his beliefs. And those beliefs were vile—not because of the stark principles that purportedly undergirded them, but because of the bigotry and contempt for modernity they masked. But more vile than his reactionary agenda was his hatred for democracy and his fealty to incipient tyranny, as expressed in his willingness to follow anti-Semitic madman Richard Nixon down the rabbit hole of criminality.