Fans around the world mourn the death of Prince

Miyah Powe

Senior, Bullis High School, Potomac, MD

Spring 2016

Prince performing during halftime at Super Bowl XLI in 2007.

Prince performing during halftime at Super Bowl XLI in 2007.

This Spring was raining purple as cities across the United States and around the world mourned the death of music legend Prince on April 21.. He was found in an elevator at his Paisley Park home. Prince’s death was later determined to be caused by an accidental opioid overdose.  He was 57.  Fans flocked to his Paisley Park home and studios in Minnesota after hearing of his passing.
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Metro riders weary of security problems

Nick Mortensen

Senior, Annandale High School, Annandale, VA

Spring 2016

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DC Metrorail station platform

DC Metrorail station platform


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Advanced Placement vs. International Baccalaureate: Banneker students debate which is better

Caitlin Ballard

Junior, Benjamin Banneker High School, Washington, DC

Spring 2016

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Storm White is struggling with making a big decision that will impact the rest of her academic career.

Benjamin Banneker High School in NW Washington, DC.

Benjamin Banneker High School in NW Washington, DC.


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Greek sororities & fraternities are about more than parties & pot

Heleena Assefa

Sophomore, WT Woodson, Fairfax, VA

Spring 2016

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Sororities and Fraternities get a bad rap. Often times, Greek life is synonymous with debauchery and hedonism.  Take the 2014 movies Neighbors and its 2016 follow-up Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.  Both focus on wild and rowdy parties at a fraternity and sorority house.  Is this stereotypical reputation, often the only portrayal of Greek life in movies, deserved?
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3,2,1 radio!

Straight Up: Urban Voice Spring 2015

2015-04-18 21.11.00Usher and Common perform at Washington, DC Earth Day Concert

 

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Sophomore Lila Bromberg – The Field School, Washington, DC

2015-04-18 21.10.02                                      Usher and Common perform at Washington, DC Earth Day Concert

 

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Police are not the enemy

Senior Courtney Edwards – From the Heart Christian School, Suitland, MD

Police Brutality

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The advent of social media provides virtually instant access to events and happenings just about anywhere.  As a result, more and more incidents of police brutality in the United States have been on display.   Straight Up: Urban Voice senior Courtney Edwards of From the Heart Christian School in Suitland, Maryland reports that despite the plethora of negative images and stories involving law enforcement, not all police are demonstrating bad behavior.

In recent years police brutality has been a hot topic in the media. The Washington Post reports that 1 in 6 people were unarmed and two-thirds of the fatalities involved either African Americans or Hispanics.  12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio, 19-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri and 50-year-old Walter Scott of North Charleston, South Carolina, all African-American, were shot … 25-year-old  Freddie Gray of Baltimore, Maryland  also African-American, suffered a spinal cord injury and died while in police custody.. In Staten Island, New York another African-American, 43-year-old Eric Garner was choked … and the list goes on … but the public is less familiar with how the police are affected by each of these situations.

2015-05-09 16.54.13                                                                                                United for Blue Vice President and Co-Founder Bobbie Padget

“We grieve we feel, we get upset, we cry. You know it’s not just the family that suffers. You were raised not to take a life. Your parents, the Bible don’t take a life, yet you’ve had to take someone’s life. That’s something that never goes away.”

Bobbie Padget is the Co-founder and Vice President of United for Blue and the wife of a Prince Georges County policeman.  She notes most officers follow the law…

“There are over 900,000 police officers in this country. They don’t want bad officers any more than we as citizens want bad officers. They want them in jail just as much as you know anyone else.”

United for Blue, works to bridge the gap between communities and police.

“One of the things that we’ve done is a thank you card program which is we want citizens and we want students in school to send thank you notes to the officers so that we can show all these officers they are cared for and appreciated.”

Because police work can be dangerous.  On occasion, officers risk their lives, often times for strangers.  “Officer Down Memorial Page” reports 54 police deaths in the line of duty so far this year.

“Our job is to protect and serve the community.”

2015-05-09 15.56.40                                          Montgomery County Police Department Detective William Peacock

Montgomery County Maryland Police Department detective William Peacock explains his take on how the media has influenced the public’s reactions to police brutality.

“I believe the media has gone overboard and their interpretations of the events that are going on and in many cases they’ve actually helped to fuel fires that were small and became just way out of proportion based on wrong information.”

Peacock adds the stories have influenced people’s opinions, and these opinions have helped to shape negative attitudes.  The numerous incidents have contributed to many residents distrust of police.

“I would say that it’s going to be necessary that everybody takes time to meet with one another. Ok. And that, it’s not only the police going after the community, but the community can come on down to the police station and stop in and get to know their community police officers.”

Many citizens and law enforcement suggest the use of body cameras worn by police to help curb the violence.

President Obama Requests Funds for Police Body Cameras

Some police departments already have incorporated the technology.  It is yet to be seen if President Obama’s proposal will be implemented nationwide.