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Carl Court

Philadelphia's First Openly Gay Deputy Sheriff Found Dead

Dante Austin, Philadelphia's first openly gay deputy sheriff, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“This is a tragedy for the sheriff’s office, Deputy Austin’s family and the local LGBTQ community,” Sheriff Jewell Williams said. “We send our deepest condolences to Dante’s family, and the many colleagues and community members whose lives he touched with his limitless kindness, expansive heart, and remarkable talent.”

A rainbow-colored flag flew at half-staff at City Hall Friday (June 7) after news circulated of the 27-year-old's unexpected death.

Austin, who was a U.S. Army Veteran, scored the highest on the deputy sheriff’s exam when he was hired in November 2013. Austin then moved up the ranks and became a sergeant on July 1.

“Dante worked tirelessly, always, to lift up the most marginalized among us, to secure safety and protection for the most vulnerable, and to serve his community with unparalleled dedication and a warmth and generosity that moved so many of us,” the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs said.

“Dante’s legacy is one of boldness, bravery, compassion, and an unfailing commitment to a kinder and more just world for all. As we move forward in mourning and honoring our friend and colleague, may we cherish and celebrate the ways he changed us, improved our city, and protected and saved lives.”

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Elsa

A Chicago Bartender Spat On Eric Trump And He Wasn't Sure Why

Eric Trump went to Chicago's Aviary cocktail bar Tuesday, (June 25) but instead of enjoying a drink, the 35-year-old said an employee spat on him.

Trump told Breitbart News the encounter was "disgusting" and was a bit taken back since he and his family promote "tolerance."

“It was purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems,” Trump said. “For a party that preaches tolerance, this once again demonstrates they have very little civility. When somebody is sick enough to resort to spitting on someone, it just emphasizes a sickness and desperation and the fact that we’re winning.”

The woman was taken into custody by Secret Service but later released. The Chicago police department was on hand to deal with a "law enforcement matter.”

CPD was on scene and assisting the United States Secret Service with a law enforcement matter. Any and all inquiries regarding a federal protectee must be directed to the Secret Service. https://t.co/ecq5TaMiQ0

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) June 26, 2019

Trump's Chicago incident comes as his father's administration is being accused of keeping men, women, and children in concentration camps at the U.S.- Mexican border.

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Julie Bennett

Parental Rights Revoked For Alabama Residents Convicted Of Rape

A new Alabama law requires judges to prohibit the parental rights of residents convicted of first-degree rape and certain sex crimes. The piece of legislation now closes a legal window that previously allowed rapists custody of their children, which were conceived through sexual assault.

News of the law comes a little more than a month after the state passed one of the nation's strictest anti-abortion laws, only allowing a woman to terminate her pregnancy in cases of rape and or incest. The mandate is reportedly part of a new statue titled Jessi's Law.

However, phrasing found inside the 10-page legal text has pro-choice activists concerned. For anyone found guilty of rape and certain sex crimes, their rights as parents are forfeited, yet many have argued that countless rapes and sexual assaults go unreported, and if they are told to authorities, getting a conviction is difficult to do.

Activist think judges in Alabama should end custody if "‘clear and convincing evidence’’ proves a sexual assault took place. This is the standard used in many states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The law was named after an Alabama girl named Jessi who was raped by her biological father. Jessi's Law will go into effect Sept. 1.

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Justin Sullivan

San Francisco Becomes First Major U.S. City To Ban E-Cigarettes

San Francisco became the first major U.S. City to ban electronic cigarettes Tuesday (June 25). The measure restricts the purchase of e-cigarettes in the city in addition to barring residents from ordering them online and having them shipped to a San Francisco address, USA Today reports.

The new restriction was put in place in an effort to curb a rise in vaping among high schoolers, but opponents argue that adults consumers will suffer. The temporary prohibition is expected to last until e-cigarettes are up for safety review by the USDA sometime around 2022.

E-cigarette devices heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user then inhales. The liquid typically contains addictive nicotine, flavoring, and other “harmful” chemicals, per the U.S. Surgeon General. The use of e-cigarettes has reportedly “grown dramatically in the last five years.” Last year, 1 in 5 high school students reported using e-cigarettes at least once over the course of a month.

Juul Labs, a popular electronic cigarettes company, argues that adults who switched to vaping will be driven “back to deadly cigarettes” thanks to the ban. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Juul is working to lock in a ballot initiative that would allow the company to continue selling e-cigarettes in the city.

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