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In the Media: Bomb Threat at Fox 45; Commisioner Davis Defends Officer Who Shot 14-Year-Old

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A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From the Baltimore Sun: Man wearing animal outfit shot by police outside Baltimore TV station

"A man dressed in an animal costume and wearing what police suspected was an explosive device strode into a Baltimore television station Thursday afternoon and, after a standoff, was shot three times by city police officers.

"The 25-year-old man was in serious condition at a hospital Thursday night. The suspicious device turned out to be chocolate bars, wrapped in foil and attached to wires and a computer circuit board.

"Police were investigating why the man, whom they did not identify, went to the FOX 45 television studios on 41st Street in Woodberry.

"'Why did he do this? We don't know the answer to that,' said police spokesman T.J. Smith. 'And we want to know the answer to that.'

"Ed Brizzi of Elkridge told The Baltimore Sun that the man is his son, Alex Brizzi. He said that his son, who lives at home, has been troubled in recent weeks and that his actions on Thursday were not politically motivated."

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From the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Police Commissioner defends actions of officer who shot 14-year-old boy

"Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis defended Thursday the actions of the officer who shot a 14-year-old boy as he ran with a BB gun, saying officers cannot wait to determine whether a gun is real before taking action.

"'Just put yourselves in the shoes of these police officers who are in a very emotional moment, and they're chasing someone with a gun. Is it real?' Davis told reporters at a briefing, standing in front of a table with a Beretta semiautomatic pistol and an identical-looking BB gun lying side by side.

"'Police officers don't have to wait until they're being shot to engage in a deadly force scenario. The only time you really know if what looks like a gun is a gun is after someone starts squeezing the trigger.'

"Dedric Colvin, an eighth-grader at City Springs Middle School, remained hospitalized the day after the shooting with wounds to his leg and shoulder. In his hospital room Thursday morning at Johns Hopkins Hospital's pediatric intensive-care unit, he flinched and sucked in his breath as a nurse unwrapped his bandages.

"His mother, Volanda Young, told The Baltimore Sun that her son was scared and fleeing, and she questioned why police perceived a threat. She said he is a 'good kid' who does well in school.

"Later, Young met at her home with attorneys from the law firm of William H. 'Billy' Murphy Jr., who secured a $6.4 million settlement for the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died last April of spinal injuries suffered in police custody. Wednesday's shooting occurred on the one-year anniversary of the riot that followed Gray's death.

"State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, who won the Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday, said she was concerned by the shooting."

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From the AFRO American: Black investors prep for medical marijuana business

"A group of Maryland-based Black investors are pooling their money in order to invest in one of the many medicinal marijuana businesses hoping to get approval from the state of Maryland in the coming months. 

"The group, made up of 18 African American CEOs, is investing in Green Thumbs Industries, Maryland, a division of Illinois-based Green Thumbs Industries. Sterling Cooper, a general manager and part owner of the company, assembled the investors.  The parent company currently operates three medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois. Illinois patients were able to begin buying medicinal marijuana in late 2015 and the number of participants is currently in the thousands. 

"In Maryland, GTI purchased 21 acres of land near Hagerstown. 'We picked Washington County, because we have a formula we use where we focus on markets that are developing, have high unemployment and are affected by mass incarceration. They tend to go to bat for us to the extent we need them to,' said Pete Kadens, CEO, GTI Maryland, in an interview with the AFRO. 

"The five county commissioners of Washington County, all Republicans, passed a resolution unanimously last year to support GTI Maryland’s plans and approved site plans for the proposed warehouse which will store the medicinal cannabis. GTI Maryland currently expects to have about 100 jobs if the project is approved. 

"Maryland’s General Assembly originally passed legislation allowing the sale of medicinal cannabis in 2013. The legislation was re-visited in 2014 and expanded to allow up to 15 companies to grow marijuana and 94 dispensaries to operate in the state. 

"There have been several delays in issuing licenses to businesses, partly due to a flood of applications to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, which must approve businesses. Licenses are now expected by the end of the summer with patients receiving their medicine at some point in 2017, said Kadens."

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