Hello, readers of the Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: For many in the region, the Tuesday conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin underscored a sense of momentum and urgency to reform policing and dismantle systemic racism.
Then: Demand for the coronavirus vaccination is down in Pennsylvania — and vaccine hesitancy is the next fight in the pandemic.
And: Wilmington drivers are fighting back against ticketing and towing injustices.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the murder of George Floyd did not bring the same heated demonstrations as Floyd’s death, or even draw large crowds to the streets. Tuesday evening remained calm as many collectively exhaled, the conviction bringing relief to many Philadelphians.
It also underscored a sense of momentum and urgency to reform policing and dismantle the racist system that helped set the conditions for the murder of Floyd and other Black men at the hands of police.
Reporters Justine McDaniel, Anna Orso, Aubrey Whelan, Sean Collins Walsh, Melanie Burney, Ellie Rushing, and Oona Goodin-Smith told the story of Philadelphia’s reaction to Chauvin’s conviction.
After months of high demand for hard-to-get vaccine appointments, the landscape has changed nearly overnight across the commonwealth. Appointments are not being filled in Bradford County. And thousands of appointments are going unfilled at Philly’s two mass vaccination centers, too.
The availability of appointments is a cause for concern because it shows the hesitancy to get vaccinated, “which really is the challenge to come,” said acting Pennsylvania Health Secretary Alison Beam. And a race is on between the vaccine and the virus variants, some experts say, so the need for immunity could become more urgent.
Reporters Justine McDaniel and Erin McCarthy explain how hesitancy is the next battle for the pandemic.
Helpful COVID-19 resources
Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Philly area? Use our lookup tool.
Here’s how to prepare for a vaccine appointment.
If you booked an appointment on your own or you’ve already received the vaccine, you can take yourself off COVID-19 vaccine waitlists in Philly and the suburbs.
And seven experts ranked the risk of everyday activities once you’re fully vaccinated.
What you need to know today
Philadelphia drivers have plenty of their own parking frustrations, from garden-variety disputes with the parking authority to the ongoing disappearance of legally parked cars due to “courtesy” towing. For solutions, maybe it’s time to look to Wilmington. There, drivers, lawyers, and community organizations have banded together to fight back.
Philadelphia artist Tom Judd has corrected the misspelling of Frederick Douglass’ name on SEPTA’s subway mural, after the error was pointed out on social media last week.
The European Union regulator has found a “possible link” between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and blood clots, but also said that they should be considered “very rare side effects.”
New Jersey has added the option for an “X” gender identifier to driver’s licenses and other IDs, joining 19 states and Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania’s largest pension fund, PSERS, is moving aside its chief investment officer and has named an outside firm to oversee its investments. A federal investigation into the fund is underway.
In Philly’s District Attorney race, 153 ex-prosecutors have slammed current DA Larry Krasner in a letter, while the Innocence Project took aim at his challenger, Carlos Vega.
A judge hiked the bail to $250,000 for an ex-Bucks County cop accused of sexually assaulting teens. When he couldn’t pay, the judge ordered him to prison.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
Spring is in full bloom. Thanks for sharing this pretty shot, @jeffphl.
Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!
🍽️ If the name was good enough for their children, it’s good enough for their restaurants.
🏡 Archaeologists found Harriet Tubman’s lost home in Maryland.
🤤 What makes a great hoagie? Here are some lessons from Castellino’s in Fishtown.
🎭 These are the shows that Philly theater insiders can’t wait to see this spring.
💉 The Flyers launched a vaccine campaign, including special “Take Your Shot” Gritty stickers.
🐆 Camden has its own large public art installation: a 36-foot-long panther, sculpted from recycled car hoods.
🌼 Buttercup flowers aren’t as pretty as you think. They’re actually an invasive species.
“Meaningful civilian oversight can lead to more transparency, more accountability, and in the end, increased trust and safety.” — former Eagle Malcom Jenkins and professional basketball player and Broomall native Natasha Cloud write about why Philly’s police oversight proposal must pass.
“Yes, celebrate Derek Chauvin’s conviction, but we’re not done. Not by a long shot,” write metro columnist Jenice Armstrong.
After the Chauvin verdict, these are the lessons of this painful year, and where to go from here, writes lifestyle columnist Elizabeth Wellington.
When the guilty verdicts were read, columnist Solomon Jones just wanted to see Chauvin’s eyes. This is what he found.
What we’re reading
The annual Black Food and Dessert Expo, founded by Aneesah Smith-Ward, is returning to Philly this month, the Philadelphia Tribune notes.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.
Feeling just ... blah? You may be languishing, the New York Times reports. It’s a real mental health term for the middle ground between depression and flourishing.
Your Daily Dose of | Four Seasons Total Landscaping
Meet Cameron Corbett, a hospitality-industry veteran who was recently hired by Four Seasons Total Landscaping through a new professional development program. “I was definitely aware of the fumble from 45,” he said. “That press conference was bonkers. They couldn’t even get the right Four Seasons.” But Corbett did.