Akron, Ohio officials to release footage of police shooting of Jayland Walker
Akron, Ohio, officials plan to release body-camera footage of events surrounding the fatal police shooting of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, during a press conference on Sunday afternoon. The death has rattled the city, prompted the cancellation of July 4 activities and drawn outrage from racial justice advocates. Walker died early Monday morning in the parking lot south of downtown Akron, after police say he fled a traffic stop and fired a shot during a car chase. Police say Monday’s incident started when Walker drove off after officers tried to stop him for a motor vehicle violation about 12:30 a.m. on Monday in Akron. Walker drove onto the highway, and police said he fired a gun from the car. Bobby DiCello, an attorney representing Walker’s family, alleged Thursday that police fired dozens of shots, shooting Walker in the face, abdomen, arms, and legs. “This is going to be a brutal video. It’s going to stir up some passion. It’s going to make people uneasy,” DiCello said.
NBC to air special to raise money for those impacted by the war in Ukraine
NBC will air “Ukraine: Answering the Call,” an hour-long primetime special Sunday evening to “raise money and awareness for the war in Ukraine” (7 p.m. ET/PT, NBC; 10 p.m. ET, MSNBC). The network stated that viewers will have the opportunity to help those impacted by the crisis in Ukraine by donating to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) which, according to its website “helps people affected by humanitarian crises — including the climate crisis — to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. The star-studded event will feature appearances by Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Sheryl Crow, Jon Batiste, Alicia Keys, Simu Liu, Julianne Moore, Brad Paisley, and more. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, coming off a brutal week that saw multiple attacks that killed Ukrainian citizens, is expected to deliver remarks for the American people during the event as well.
Yellowstone National Park to further reopen over holiday weekend
The north loop of Yellowstone National Park will reopen this weekend after record flooding washed out roads and swept away structures in the park, which spans Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Huge portions of Yellowstone have been closed since heavy floods, caused by record rainfall combined with rapidly melting snowpack, forced evacuations for 10,000 visitors and led to dangerous mud and rockslides in mid-June. Saturday’s north loop reopening will make 93% of Yellowstone roadways accessible and suspend a license-plate system in which only cars with even numbered plates could enter on even-numbered days and vice versa for odd-numbered plates.
Another reminder: Be ready for travel delays this holiday weekend
Crowded roads and airports continue to define long weekend, with experts warning travelers to be prepared for delays, wait times and other frustrations. Over 48 million Americans are traveling more than 50 miles for Fourth of July, according to AAA. As of 6:30 a.m. ET, approximately 1,000 U.S. flights for Saturday had been either delayed or canceled, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight status in real-time. On Friday, more than 7,600 U.S. flights were delayed and 586 were canceled. Experts suggest taking all the airport cautions: arrive early, pack essentials in a carry on, and know your rights in any delay or cancellation. For road travel, experts say be prepared to spend more on gas — the national average Saturday morning was $4.82 per gallon of regular unleaded, AAA reports. If you plan to hit the road today, try to get out before noon or after 7 p.m., according to transportation analysis provider INRIX and AAA.
Essence Fest returns to New Orleans after two-year hiatus
After two years of a fully virtual festival, Essence Fest is back in New Orleans this weekend for a celebration of music and Black culture. The multiday event began with a Thursday performance by comedian Kevin Hart in the Smoothie King Center. Ticketed concerts at the Louisiana Superdome are set for Saturday and Sunday after a show Friday. First-time headliner, rapper Nicki Minaj, performed Friday along with another first-timer, country singer Mickey Guyton. Music icon Janet Jackson, who took the stage in 2010 and 2018, is the featured artist on Saturday and fan favorite, 80s R&B group New Edition, will close the event on Sunday. Performances from Summer Walker, Chloe x Halle and Jazmine Sullivan were also part of the program. The 27th edition of the festival wraps up Sunday and promised to be “a multi-generational experience entrenched in culture, equity and celebration, while continuing to focus on the positive economic impact to the City and Black-owned businesses,” according to Essence.
Contributing: The Associated Press