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How Donald Trump broke the rules of modern politics, and won anyway

WASHINGTON: Polling? Who needs to do that? Fund-raising? Can’t be bothered. Parse your words? Fuhgetabout it.

Donald Trump took the rules of modern politics, trashed them and became the last man standing for the Republican nomination anyway.

12 ways Trump did it his way:

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SAY ANYTHING

It’s what Trump’s supporters love about him: He blurts out whatever pops into his head. He rejects “political correctness.” He insults rivals and critics. He has fun. After one particularly salty salvo, Trump explained: “That’s what I mean about being politically correct, every once in a while you can have a little fun, don’t you think?” Plenty of candidates may think it, but Trump said it: “I’d like to punch him in the face,” he said of one protester. To listen to a Trump speech from start to finish is to enter an alternate grammatical universe. Sentences veer off in unexpected directions as Trump has a new thought. When he interjects his trademark “by the way,” there’s no telling where he’s headed next.

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CHEAPSKATE

The billionaire is proud to campaign on the cheap, milking free media in a way that other candidates could only envy. He functioned through most of the primaries with a bare-bones staff. He has no national finance chairman. He never set up a traditional fundraising operation. Sure, he has “donate” buttons on his website, and raises millions hawking hats and other gear. But forget the chicken dinner circuit. Or charging donors $1,000 for a grip-and-grin photo. Or asking supporters to “bundle” contributions from friends and neighbors. Early on, Trump tweeted: “So, I have spent almost nothing on my run for president and am in 1st place. Jeb Bush has spent $59 million & done. Run country my way!”

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NO POLLING

The poll-obsessed candidate doesn’t have a pollster. Other candidates spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on surveys to poll-test their words and messages, and track their standings in primary states. Trump goes with his gut and mines public polls for intel. He often tells crowds that he relies on his wife, Melania, to help him take the temperature of voters. “She’s my pollster,” he said, adding “she’s really smart.”

———

CONSISTENCY

Most candidates recoil from the dreaded “flip-flopper” label. Trump unabashedly changes his mind — not just week to week or day to day, but sometimes even within the same speech. He frames it as an asset. “I’ve never seen a successful person who wasn’t flexible,” Trump said at one GOP debate. “You have to be flexible, because you learn.”

———

POLICY GAPS

Candidates love to trot out five-point plans and lofty position papers — some more detailed than others. Trump, not so much. His outline for replacing Obamacare is more aspirational than detailed. His recent “America First” foreign policy speech was a broad-brush endeavor. Trump makes a virtue of leaving enemies guessing about U.S. intentions. “We have to be unpredictable, starting now,” he says.

———

POTTY MOUTH

Trump salts his speeches with vulgarities — although he’s dialed it back a bit after a scolding from Melania. Lots of politicians use profanities, of course, but typically not in public. Trump has publicly lip-synced the F-bomb, blurted out the S-word and hurled an offensive term at rival Ted Cruz. He fires a steady string of put-downs at other candidates whom he labels pathetic, liar, loser, nasty, evil and more. Oh, and not many candidates use the debate stage to refer to the size of their genitals.

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DISSING SUPER PACS

It’s become routine for candidates to rely on independent super PACs stocked with former aides and allies to play a strong supporting role for their campaigns, spending millions on political ads. Trump didn’t go that route in the primary, and was proud to proclaim he didn’t have a super PAC, although a few have sprung up to back him anyway. He said in his speech entering the race: “I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. ... I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.” Now that the general election race is under way, though, he’s warming to the idea.

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GREED IS GOOD

Remember how 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney was tarred by critics as a ruthless corporate fat cat? Trump has turned greed into a campaign asset. “My whole life I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy,” he said at a rally in Iowa. “I grabbed all the money I can get. I’m so greedy. But now I want to be greedy for the United States. I want to grab all that money. I’m going to be greedy for the United States.”

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INSULTS

Women. Hispanics. Muslims. Trump kept winning even as he rolled out a stream of remarks that could be a turn-off to huge swaths of the electorate. It started with his campaign-announcement speech, when he said illegal immigration from Mexico is bringing rapists, drugs and crime to the U.S. Then came his pledge to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country. Throughout his campaign, he’s had harsh words for women and their appearances, mocking the looks of Carly Fiorina, retweeting an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz and accusing Hillary Clinton of playing the “woman’s card.” Trump voters love that he “tells it like it is.”

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POUTING, PICKING FIGHTS

Trump isn’t afraid to pick a fight, even with a conservative powerhouse like Fox News Channel. He refused to participate in a Fox-sponsored debate in January after Fox refused to remove Megyn Kelly as a moderator. He was irked that Kelly had asked him in a previous debate about statements that he had made about women. Trump isn’t afraid to make up, though. He’s agreed to an interview with Kelly later this month.

———

PRESIDENTIAL? MAYBE LATER.

Trump keeps promising he’ll act more “presidential’ when the time is right. But, for now, he’s having fun — and so are his supporters. “I can be presidential,” he said at rally last month. “But if I was presidential, only about 20 percent of you would be here because it would be boring as hell.”

———

THE HAIR

Trump’s distinctive hairstyle may be in for a makeover if he’s elected president. “I would probably comb my hair back. Why? Because this thing is too hard to comb,” he said at an appearance in Iowa last summer. “I wouldn’t have time, because if I were in the White House, I’d be working my ass off.”

———

Associated Press writer Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.

Ohio House approves bill striking labor hiring mandate

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Ohio cities, townships, school districts and public universities could no longer require the use of local unionized labor on construction projects under a bill the Ohio House has passed.

The restrictions on project labor agreements were added to a bill banning local hiring quotas on public construction projects. The measure passed the House on a 51-42 vote Wednesday.

Backers say such agreements increase the costs of public-works projects and limit competition. Opponents argue they support local jobs and help stabilize local economies.

House Democrats have noted the Ohio Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting a public entity from requiring project labor agreements for local projects in 2002.

The Senate passed an earlier version of the bill and must agree to the changes before the measure could go to the governor.

Court rejects appeal by Ohio Amish in beard-cutting attacks

CINCINNATI: A federal court in Ohio has rejected a bid to overturn new sentences and remaining charges against members of a breakaway Amish group accused in hair- and beard-cutting attacks.

Fifteen of 16 defendants charged in 2011 appealed again after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out hate-crime convictions. A lower court had reduced sentences for those still facing prison time, principally for conspiracy to obstruct justice. Leader Samuel Mullet Sr.’s 15-year sentence was reduced by nearly four years.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the three-judge panel that defendants raised issues they could have raised earlier and that their new sentences were “substantively reasonable.”

Defense attorney Edward Bryan says he plans to seek a rehearing before the full court.

Hair and beards have spiritual significance in the Amish faith.

Update: Gov. John Kasich to officially announce end to White House bid at 5 p.m. Wednesday

CONCORD, N.H.: The last man standing in Donald Trump’s path to the Republican nomination, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will end his campaign Wednesday, making Trump the party’s presumptive nominee.

The Associated Press learned of Kasich’s decision from three campaign officials, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to disclose it.

The Ohio Republican Party said Kasich will make an announcement at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus. The party has said it will not comment until after Kasich makes it official.

Chairman of the Summit County Republican Central Committee, Alex Arshinkioff, contacted early Wednesday, was apparently caught unaware by the news. “I don’t know anything about it so I’ll just wait to see what happens,” he said.

The Ohio Democratic Party and its candidates took the opportunity to highlight what the fallout of a divisive ticket-topper like Trump could mean for other Republican candidates, like Sen. Rob Portman.

“We’d like to welcome Sen. Portman to his election nightmare,” his challenger, Ted Strickland, said in an unsolicited announcement to the press. “Trump at the top of the Republican ticket will alienate the independent voters who decide elections in Ohio — while turning off moderate Republicans and energizing Democrats across the state.”

Meanwhile, some local conservative leaders have been waiting for Kasich to make his departure announcement since before the Indiana primary results rolled in last night.

“Obviously the governor’s campaign was dubious at best from the beginning,” said Portage County Tea Party president Tom Zawistowski, annoyed by the $700,000 check the Kasich campaign accepted from liberal megadonor George Soros.

Zawistowski, concerned about Trump’s allegiance to the conservative movement, isn’t fully behind the billionaire, though national party leadership is warming up to the possibility of Trump topping the ticket this fall.

“There’s a lot of work to be done. There’s a lot of hurt feelings, particularly among the [Texas Sen. Ted] Cruz people who are a key element of this,” Zawistowski said.

The Ohio Republican Party adjusted its rules to endorse Kasich early in the race.

Meanwhile, Republican candidates, including Sen. Rob Portman and other Ohio conservatives, must consider how Trump, a divisive campaigner, might impact their chances of winning his fall, even as constitutionalists who backed Cruz must come to grips with their new candidate.

“The liberty movement really has to spend some time talking about what a Trump candidacy means to us,” Zawistowski said.

Despite his inability to win any contests beyond Ohio, Kasich held on to become the last candidate battling Trump — albeit for only a few hours. His decision to end his campaign comes a day after his other remaining rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, announced that he was suspending his campaign.

Touting his two terms as governor and 18 years in Congress, Kasich failed to gain traction with GOP voters in a race dominated by Trump’s ability to seize on the electorate’s anger and disdain of political insiders. Although Kasich tried to pitch himself as the best Republican to take on Hillary Clinton, the weight of the non-Trump efforts have largely gone toward Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Viewed widely as a longshot candidate from the start, Kasich’s popularity shot up after his strong second-place finish in New Hampshire’s primary in early February. But from the South to the Midwest, many voters were captivated by his boisterous rivals, and his efforts to cast himself as a nicer alternative fell short.

Kasich had pledged to take his campaign all the way to the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer, but his losses in almost all the primaries left him struggling to generate the money and resources needed to sustain a long-term bid. In an extraordinary effort to send the GOP contest into a contested convention, Kasich and Cruz forged an alliance in late April, going to the states where they were most likely to succeed and deprive Trump the delegates needed to reach the nomination.

As the race grew increasingly nasty on both sides, Kasich largely maintained his vow not to go negative or, as he told voters to “take the low road to the highest office in the land.” It may have been a more effective tactic for dealing with his rivals — Trump frequently referring to Kasich as “a nice guy,” while lashing out at Cruz with names like “Lyin’ Ted.”

He did eventually launch a series of blistering criticisms against Trump’s candidacy, blasting the businessman for creating a “toxic” environment and preying on people’s fears.

Kasich argued that he would be able to win over Trump’s supporters if he gained more attention, saying he understood their economic worries from his own experiences growing up in the blue collar town of McKees Rocks, Pa. He insisted that his upbringing positioned him to offer real solutions to those who need them most.

“It seems as though the attention goes to those who call names,” Kasich lamented to reporters in March. “I refused to do it this entire campaign, even it meant that I would be ignored and even if it meant that I would lose.”

In April, he said there is “zero chance” of becoming vice president, to anyone — specifically Trump — arguing that he’s more of a president, not a vice president.

Kasich, 63, plans to return to Ohio, where his second term as governor ends in 2018.

Beacon Journal staff writer Doug Livingston contributed to this report. Associated Press writer Steve Peoples contributed to this report from Washington.

Eric Hendon sentenced to life in prison without parole possibility; surviving victim, family members of other victims think he deserved death sentence

Eric Hendon was sentenced to life without parole Wednesday, but if his surviving victim and some family members of the three other people he murdered had their wishes, he would be put to death.

Hendon, 33, of Akron, was convicted by the same jury that spared his life in April of numerous charges stemming from the shooting deaths of John Kohler, 42; his son, David Carpenter-Kohler, 14; and David’s sister, Ashley Carpenter, 18; and the attempted murder of Ronda Blankenship. The shootings happened during a home-invasion robbery for a small amount of drugs and money in Kohler’s Barberton home.

Blankenship, whom Hendon shot in the head and left for dead in the New Year’s Eve 2013 shooting rampage, and family members of her boyfriend and the two teenagers he shot and killed made their wishes clear during Hendon’s emotional sentencing hearing.

“You don’t deserve to be sitting here breathing,” Blankenship told Hendon, who looked directly at her while she spoke. “You deserve to be put to death … You took my family’s life away.”

Dan Stephens, Carpenter’s father, expressed a similar opinion.

A Summit County jury last month returned a verdict of life without parole rather than the death penalty for Hendon.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones had the option of imposing a life sentence with or without a parole possibility. She sentenced Hendon to three life sentences without parole.

Hendon, who didn’t speak before the sentencing, told Jones he plans to appeal.

Michael Hendon, 24, Eric’s younger brother, was convicted in August of complicity to commit aggravated murder. Like his brother, he was sentenced to life without parole.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.

Eric Hendon sentenced to life in prison without parole possibility; surviving victim, family members of other victims think he deserved death sentence

Eric Hendon was sentenced to life without parole Wednesday, but if his surviving victim and some family members of the three other people he murdered had their wishes, he would be put to death.

Hendon, 33, of Akron, was convicted by the same jury that spared his life in April of numerous charges stemming from the shooting deaths of John Kohler, 42; his son, David Carpenter-Kohler, 14; and David’s sister, Ashley Carpenter, 18; and the attempted murder of Ronda Blankenship. The shootings happened during a home-invasion robbery for a small amount of drugs and money in Kohler’s Barberton home.

Blankenship, whom Hendon shot in the head and left for dead in the New Year’s Eve 2013 shooting rampage, and family members of her boyfriend and the two teenagers he shot and killed made their wishes clear during Hendon’s emotional sentencing hearing.

“You don’t deserve to be sitting here breathing,” Blankenship told Hendon, who looked directly at her while she spoke. “You deserve to be put to death … You took my family’s life away.”

Dan Stephens, Carpenter’s father, expressed a similar opinion.

A Summit County jury last month returned a verdict of life without parole rather than the death penalty for Hendon.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones had the option of imposing a life sentence with or without a parole possibility. She sentenced Hendon to three life sentences without parole.

Hendon, who didn’t speak before the sentencing, told Jones he plans to appeal.

Michael Hendon, 24, Eric’s younger brother, was convicted in August of complicity to commit aggravated murder. Like his brother, he was sentenced to life without parole.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.

Ohio moves to seize tigers, other exotic animals from farm

COLUMBUS: The state moved Wednesday to seize tigers and other animals from a northeast Ohio farm, saying it hasn’t met the requirements of a law cracking down on exotic animal ownership.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture had worked with Stump Hill Farm in Massillon on its efforts to get accredited by the Zoological Association of America but took action against the facility after those attempts stalled, spokeswoman Erica Hawkins said. Officials expected to find five tigers, two pumas, two baboons and one chimpanzee at the property, she said.

Reached by phone midday Wednesday, owner Cyndi Huntsman said she couldn’t confirm which animals the state was taking because authorities were still in the process of tranquilizing them and she wasn’t allowed on the property.

The farm promotes itself as a nonprofit education center and has dozens of other creatures not covered by the state law on dangerous wild animals. Huntsman argues that Stump Hill is exempt from the exotic animal requirements as an educational and rehabilitation facility.

She said she had refused to surrender the animals and anticipates there will be a hearing on the matter this week. She referred other questions to her attorney, who didn’t immediately respond to a message.

The state considered Stump Hill to be the last large facility not complying with the stricter rules Ohio enacted after a suicidal man released lions, tigers and other creatures from a Zanesville-area farm in 2011. Huntsman was part of a group of owners that had unsuccessfully challenged the law.

In the years since, more than 110 animals have been seized by the state or surrendered by owners. Some of those are still under litigation.

Huntsman previously surrendered six black bears, two brown bears and four alligators last year to decrease the number of animals at the farm as she pursued accreditation, Hawkins said.

Stump Hill had cared for at least one of the tigers used as a former live “Obie” mascot for football games at nearby Massillon Washington High School, but it was unclear whether the farm still had any former mascots, Hawkins said.

“Captain America: Civil War” director Anthony Russo recalls filming challenges, shout-out to Cleveland

At a recent screening of Captain America: Civil War, an onscreen graphic identified one scene as set in Cleveland. The local moviegoers cheered.

Joe and Anthony Russo, former Clevelanders as well as co-directors of Civil War, like to put shout-outs to their home turf in movies, for example by shooting large portions of 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier here.

“We have Cleveland on our minds all the time,,” Anthony said during a recent visit. They won’t force mentions but keep an eye out for opportunities. The Civil War scene, involving a former agent of the evil Hydra in hiding, reminded them enough of the notorious Clevelander John Demjanjuk that they fit it into the movie.

They would have liked more, too, Anthony Russo said in a chat Tuesday at the Intercontinental Hotel. (Joe, battling illness after the grueling international tour to promote Civil War, was unable to attend.)

“Listen, man, it breaks my heart that we weren’t able to make Civil War here,” Anthony said of the film arriving in theaters Thursday. He said the logistics just did not work, with the film needing large stages that Cleveland could not provide. Atlanta filled the need.

“Atlanta has top-shelf facilities and hopefully we will have something like that here soon,” he said. “I know people are working on it. My brother and I trying to be very supportive of that process.”

Their clout keeps growing. Before Winter Soldier, they were known mainly for TV work (Arrested Development, Community) and smaller films such as the Cleveland-made Welcome to Collinwood. Winter Soldier led to Civil War, and they have been tapped as directors of the next Avengers movies, the two-part Infinity War coming in 2018 and 2019.

While Civil War is technically a Captain America movie, its story is about a break between Cap and Iron Man, and the resulting schism among an array of superheroes.

The cast includes Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Elizabeth Olson (Scarlet Witch), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Paul Bettany (Vision), Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye).

Now imagine a battle at an airport with all those characters.

“That scene almost ate the movie,” Anthony said with a grin.

For starters, with that cast, it was not possible to have everyone in the same place at the same time. If they could be had at all.

As soon as they pitched the movie to Marvel, the Russos were told that Downey was not under contract and they would have to persuade him.

“We pitched him and I think he was fascinated,” Anthony said. When George Clooney taking a supporting role in Collinwood, Clooney told them, “The job of a leading man is to show up and let everybody else steal the scene. … Now I get to steal the scene.”

“I think Downey had a similar approach in this movie,” Anthony said. “Cap’s character is the spine of the movie, as lead, and it gave us the freedom to go to some more interesting, vulnerable, complicated places with the Iron Man character.”

Downey even recommended the award-winning actress Alfre Woodard for a scene where Tony Stark/Iron Man is confronted over a past act. “We knew that would be a complicated scene for Downey. (Tony Stark) is the kind of guy who wins every scene he’s in, and we knew he was not going to win that scene. We had to put in an actor that excited him on the other side.”

Woodard is just one of the acclaimed actors in small roles, but Anthony said, “That’s the great thing about doing Marvel movies. Actors are very attracted to them. They know how popular they are, and they can be good for their careers.”

Still, a scene like the one in the airport had to be done piecemeal because of the stars, with a lot of assembly done in post-production. And that was just one challenge.

“The sequence was set in an airport, which we shot in Leipzig, Germany. But you can’t do a lot of things in that scene at an airport. It’s too dangerous and disruptive to airport operations. So we shot most of that sequence on a back lot in Atlanta … on a big concrete slab we built for the sequence and surrounded by green screens.”

Then, he said, “ a lot of stuff that you see in that scene is staged fighting between actors and stunt people, and some of it is completely (computer generated). It’s as hard a sequence as you can have as a filmmaker to execute.”

It was basically “hard grunt work,” Russo said, and goes a long way toward explaining why years go into making these Marvel movies. (The Russos have a pet project, Murray Hill, that will probably have to wait until after the second Infinity War is out in 2019 — possibly longer.) In fact, as soon as Marvel saw Winter Soldier, they started talking about Civil War.

“The great thing about Marvel is they have interconnected stories,” Anthony said, “(but) they don’t get too far ahead of themselves. They take it one movie at a time. When we started talking about the next Captain America movie, there was no idea whatsover of what it was going to be.”

Long discussions with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wound up focusing on Civil War, a comic book series from 2006-07 that asks whether superheroes should have some kind of legal oversight.

“One of the things that excited us about the concept of this movie is that it’s kind of unreconcilable,” Russo said. “It’s the age-old concept we’ve had. We all need societal control to provide a safe environment for us to live as people, while at the same time we all want to be individuals. We all want to have freedom. We don’t want whatever structure is put in place to limit what we can do. It’s a never-ending, unreconcilable conflict which is part of the fun of the movie and part of the tragedy of the movie.”

It’s also an idea in the competing film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, another battle-of-heroes epic. Asked if they were concerned to learn the movies were on similar ground, Anthony said, “There was a little bit of that. … But we had no idea about the specifics. We knew Civil War was the right story for us to tell and we just had to go, hopefully these movies will be distinct from one another.”

There was enough to be done just making their movie, after all. Once the idea was set, the writers and Russos did an outline, then Markus and McFeely wrote their script. Reading and discussion followed. But it all paid off, Russo said. “By the time we get to shooting, we have a script we really believe in.”

And one that is not only grim, but laced with humor — the balanced storytelling the Russos prize.

“We like movies that make you laugh, that make you cry, make you think, scare you, etc. You want more experience for your money when you go to the movies. We believe in that.

“Now, we knew the story between Captain America and Iron Man is very dark and complicated. So we wanted to bring people into the movie who had very good reasons for being there but didn’t have all the emotional baggage that others did. … That’s why Spider-Man and Ant-Man were so valuable to us. They could have a little more whimsical take on what happens. … And some of the humor is heightened because it’s an emotional release for people.”

It seems to be working. Showings overseas have already generated more than $240 million. Almost all the reviews have been positive. “My brother and I are very proud of the movie,” Anthony said, “and all the hard work we did on it.”

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal, Ohio.com, Facebook, Twitter and the HeldenFiles Online blog. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.

Hundreds attend events commemorating 46th anniversary of May 4 shootings at Kent State

Hundreds of people filled the Kent State Commons Wednesday to mark the 46th anniversary of the May 4, 1970 campus incident where four students were killed by National Guardsmen.

The theme for the event, hosted by the May 4 Task Force, was Black Lives Matter: Long Live the Memory of Kent State and Jackson State. Samira Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, was the keynote speaker. Her son was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in November 2014.

Before Jennifer Schwartz of Cleveland introduced Rice to the crowd, she talked about her cousin, 19-year-old Allison Krause, who was killed along with three others at KSU when members of the National Guard shot into a crowd of protestors, observers and passersby.

Schwartz said Allison’s mother, Doris Krause, died in January after decades of profound grief and extensive legal battles in hers and her husband’s quest for truth.

“Allison’s death was an unnecessary death, a betrayal by a government meant to protect her. She was one of four students, none of them armed only with their voices,” Schwartz said.

Allison’s mother struggled with why the government condemned her daughter and labeled her a radical student after finding gravel in her pocket, Schwartz said, adding that she often visits Allison’s grave with a pocket full of pebbles.

She talked about the connection between the May 4th incident in Kent and a May 15, 1970 event at Jackson State College in Mississippi where two students were killed and 12 were injured when police opened fire at a group of protestors.

“I challenge those who say the precious lives in both incidents are not the same,” Schwartz said. “Black Lives Matter and citizens continue to be targeted simply on the basis of race.”

She welcomed Tamir Rice’s mother as the keynote speaker and said Allison would have welcomed her, too.

The selection of Rice as keynote speaker set off a stream of negative social media posts. Earlier on Wednesday, KSU Black United Students President Chynna Baldwin condemned the social media controversy during a campus talk.

Hundreds attend events commemorating 46th anniversary of May 4 shootings at Kent State

Hundreds of people filled the Kent State Commons Wednesday to mark the 46th anniversary of the May 4, 1970 campus incident where four students were killed by National Guardsmen.

The theme for the event, hosted by the May 4 Task Force, was Black Lives Matter: Long Live the Memory of Kent State and Jackson State. Samira Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, was the keynote speaker. Her son was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in November 2014.

Before Jennifer Schwartz of Cleveland introduced Rice to the crowd, she talked about her cousin, 19-year-old Allison Krause, who was killed along with three others at KSU when members of the National Guard shot into a crowd of protestors, observers and passersby.

Schwartz said Allison’s mother, Doris Krause, died in January after decades of profound grief and extensive legal battles in hers and her husband’s quest for truth.

“Allison’s death was an unnecessary death, a betrayal by a government meant to protect her. She was one of four students, none of them armed only with their voices,” Schwartz said.

Allison’s mother struggled with why the government condemned her daughter and labeled her a radical student after finding gravel in her pocket, Schwartz said, adding that she often visits Allison’s grave with a pocket full of pebbles.

She talked about the connection between the May 4th incident in Kent and a May 15, 1970 event at Jackson State College in Mississippi where two students were killed and 12 were injured when police opened fire at a group of protestors.

“I challenge those who say the precious lives in both incidents are not the same,” Schwartz said. “Black Lives Matter and citizens continue to be targeted simply on the basis of race.”

She welcomed Tamir Rice’s mother as the keynote speaker and said Allison would have welcomed her, too.

The selection of Rice as keynote speaker set off a stream of negative social media posts. Earlier on Wednesday, KSU Black United Students President Chynna Baldwin condemned the social media controversy during a campus talk.

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