MIAMI — Gunfire erupted Monday afternoon in a Northwest Miami-Dade park, marring the end of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade and celebrations in Liberty City.

Eight people — three adults and five 17 and under — were shot and several more were injured during the stampede to get out of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, according to police. The shooting took place around 4 p.m., about two hours after the parade finished. Families had gathered in the park for a post-parade celebration.

Among the injured, according to police: an 18-year-old woman and 30-year-old man in stable condition, a 20-year-old man in critical condition and three minors taken to the hospital. Additionally two minors were grazed by bullets and treated and released at the scene.

The park was evacuated as detectives investigated. Two people have been detained for questioning, police said. Two weapons were also recovered.

“The nature of the shooting, we don’t have information on that right now,” Miami-Dade Detective Marjorie Eloi said. “We don’t know how serious the injuries are. There was no gun exchange on our part.”

Juan Perez, Miami-Dade police director, took to Twitter to voice his frustration over the shooting.

“@MiamiDadePD shameful closing to the MLK Parade,” he wrote. “Certainly not what the followers of Dr. King Jr. want out of our community.”

—Miami Herald


Out of respect for Springsteen, B Street Band pulls out of NJ inaugural event

Bruce Springsteen cover band the B Street Band will no longer play the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala, out of “respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band.”

The B Street Band received flak after it was announced that the cover band would play the nonpartisan gala (not Trump’s actual inauguration, as had been erroneously reported by some outlets). Springsteen has been a vocal opponent of President-elect Donald Trump and critics believed the popular cover band was going against Springsteen’s ideals by playing the inaugural event.

New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak, for example, tweeted: “Shame on the #BStreetBand playing at #Trump’s inaugural They’ve profited from #Bruce now they’re abandoning the message in his music.”

E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent tweeted, “Please tell me this is more fake news. Or at least a joke.”

Guitarist Steven Van Zandt weighed in via Twitter when someone asked what he thought of the cover band playing the event: “Nice guys. Met them. I wouldn’t say right or wrong. Up to them. But it’s naive to think one can separate Art and Politics. Art IS Politics.”

On Monday, the B Street Band released a statement to Springsteen uber-fan site, saying it was pulling out of the festivities:

“With deepest apologies to our fans and the New Jersey Inaugural Ball committee, the B Street Band is withdrawing from performing at this year’s inauguration Gala.

“Our decision is based SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band.

“Bruce’s music has been the foundation of our livelihood. The B Street Band would not exist without the talents of Bruce and our E Street brothers.

“We are most grateful to these rock legends and look forward to many more years of emulating and performing the Forever Music, of Bruce Springsteen.”

—The Philadelphia Inquirer


North Carolina governor says he’s in talks about repeal of House Bill 2

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday he sees an opening for another possible deal with legislative leaders to repeal House Bill 2.

In Charlotte to speak at the YMCA’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday breakfast, the Democratic governor said he has been talking with GOP Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore since their last proposed deal collapsed in December.

“We’ve had it out. A couple of times, we’ve talked,” Cooper, a Democrat, told reporters after the breakfast. “They certainly do want to move forward in some way.”

The rub for the legislative leaders, Cooper said, is that they want to have a majority of their fellow Republican lawmakers on board for repeal before holding votes on the floor.

“My argument to them is that there are enough overall votes — even if you don’t have a majority (in the) Republican caucuses — to pass repeal. And I’m urging them to do so. It’s too important to our state.”

Cooper also said he would advise the Democratic-controlled Charlotte City Council not to re-enact the non-discrimination ordinance that was nullified by House Bill 2. Late last month, during the negotiations with Cooper and legislative leaders, the council took a symbolic vote to remove the ordinance from the city’s books.

But, in the wake of the collapse of the proposed December deal, some on the council have talked about re-enacting it to show they are committed to trying to legally protect the LGBT community from discrimination.

—The Charlotte Observer


Music festival in Mexico turns tragic as gunman leaves at least 5 dead, 15 injured

MEXICO CITY — It was supposed to be the celebratory finale of a 10-day international electronic music festival known as BPM, for Bartenders, Promoters, Musicians.

Instead, authorities said, the party became a bloodbath as a shootout left at least five people dead, 15 injured and temporarily transformed a portion of the tourist destination of Playa del Carmen on Mexico’s “Mayan Riviera” into a scene of chaos and panic.

The shooting — precipitated early Monday by a lone gunman at the entrance to a club called the Blue Parrot, according to Mexican authorities — was also an unusual instance of Mexico’s entrenched violence intersecting with the nation’s tourist industry and its often-raucous bar scene.

Playa del Carmen and other popular tourist destinations have generally been spared the violence, often drug- and gang-related, that has ravaged some parts of Mexico.

Police ruled out terrorism as a motive in Monday’s shooting at the beachside bar about 40 miles south of Cancun along Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

The music event attracted large numbers of U.S. citizens and other foreigners.

Among the dead were two Canadian nationals, an Italian and possibly a Colombian, authorities said. Victims included both private security personnel at the scene and club patrons, authorities said.

At least one person, a woman, was fatally injured in a “stampede” of people fleeing the club, according to Miguel Angel Pech, attorney general of Quintana Roo state, where Playa del Carmen is situated. She and other victims were not publicly identified.

Three people arrested nearby were in custody, the state official said, but it was not confirmed if the alleged instigator was among them. He was not among the dead, said Pech, who added that he appeared to have fled the scene.

—Los Angeles Times

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