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Sundial

Heard On Sundial: Fort Lauderdale Police Face Scrutiny, Nursing Homes Lack PPE, Graduates & Jobs

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AL DIAZ
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MIAMI HERALD
LaToya Ratlieff talks about her experience after police shot her in the face with a foam projectile at an anti police brutality protest in Fort Lauderdale Sunday. Ratlieff was choking from tear gas and trying to leave the area when she was shot.

On this Monday, June 8, episode of Sundial:

Fort Lauderdale Police Face Scrutiny Over Violence

Protests over police brutality continued across South Florida over the weekend from Jupiter down to Homestead. They remained relatively peaceful although a number of arrests were made

Fort Lauderdale police are continuing to face scrutiny after a May 31 protest in the city became violent. That day, Ofc. Steven Poherence was captured on video pushing over a kneeling protester. He is now under internal investigation. During the same protest, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, striking a protester in the face and fracturing her skull.

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"The Fort Lauderdale police protocols around using these ‘less-lethal munitions' state clearly that they should not be shot at anyone’s head unless deadly force is warranted," said the Miami Herald’s Sarah Blaskey. "The police opened an internal investigation into the officer who shot."

We spoke with Blaskey and the Miami Herald's Nicholas Nehamas about both of those cases being investigated. 

1 In 5 Nursing Homes Say They Lack Masks, Gowns

As Florida continues to reopen and relax social distancing rules, coronavirus cases and deaths among the state's most vulnerable communities continue to mount. In May, COVID-19 related deaths at nursing homes and assisted living facilities tripled in the state. New data released by the federal government shows that nearly one in five Florida nursing homes say they do not have enough personal protective equipment, like masks and gowns, to care for their patients.

"As time progressed the masks got more expensive and the source of those masks got less reliable," said Ben Wieder, a data reporter with McClatchy's Washington Bureau. "It's really a question of both timing and the fact that everyone is looking for this at the same time."

We spoke with Wieder about the new data released from the federal government on COVID-19 in nursing homes.

College Graduates Enter Workforce Amid COVID-19

College graduates across South Florida should be celebrating the end of an important chapter of their lives. Instead, they are facing the worst job market since the Great Depression amid a global pandemic. 

One in five employers, surveyed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in April, said they were rescinding summer internships. But some colleges are being resilient. Colby College, a small liberal arts school in Maine, says they plan to ensure 100 percent of graduates have a job lined up

"The advice is always the same," said John Nykolaiszyn, the director of Business Career Management at Florida International University. "You have to have a multi-pronged approach to how you will approach your career."

We spoke with Nykolaiszyn and heard from recent graduates Joshua Ceballos and Natalie Rivera.

Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.