On Tuesday, a very heated City Council public committee hearing on a bill that proposed a mandatory one-year sentence for people caught carrying illegal handguns erupted into chaos and confusion when several area university representatives were invited to testify before members of the public who had been waiting to speak for hours. Two people were arrested in a confrontation with police in the chamber.
Despite the chaos, The Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee voted 5-2 to advance the mandatory gun sentencing bill to the full council. Originally, the bill called for a one year mandatory sentence for anyone caught with an illegal handgun within 100 yards of a school, church or other place of public assembly. After more than six hours of debate and testimony, the committee will pass along a watered down version of the bill to the full council on August 14.
Tom first speaks with Lester Davis, Deputy Chief of Staff and the Director of the Office of Policy and Communications for City Council President Jack Young. Young is a proponent of the bill. Then, 2nd District Councilman Brandon Scott joins Tom to talk about why he voted against the bill. Scott is the chair of the City Council Public Safety Committee.
In the headlines outside of Baltimore, President Trump has once again faced enormous backlash from a tweet when he called for a ban on transgender personnel from serving in the military on Twitter.
In the halls of Congress, Senators Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK) and McCain (R-AZ) hammered more nails in the coffin for the GOP's attempts in dismantling Obamacare. In Minneapolis, former police Chief Janee Harteau resigned following the police involved shooting death of Justine Damond. Mohamed Noor, the officer who fired the fatal shot, and his partner have been placed on paid administrative leave. Unlike many of the police shooting cases that make national headlines, Damond is white, Noor is Somali-American.
And finally, intrigue and shock coming from the White House as a New Yorker article on Thursday revealed that newly chosen White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci communicated some raunchy and bitter accusations against fellow members in the Trump administration.
Tom talks all this and more with Dr. Kaye Wise Whitehead and Liz Copeland. Dr. Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Communication and African & African-American Studies at Loyola University-Maryland, and the founding executive director of the Emilie Frances Davis Center for Education, Research, and Culture.
Liz Copeland is the founder and president of the Urban Conservative Project, an organization for centrist political activists.