First Drip (1/21/15): Kerrick's day in court, Paris may sue Fox News, Obama's SOTU salvo

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A judge and date have been set for the trial of Officer Randall Kerrick on voluntary manslaughter charges, for the killing of Jonathan Ferrell. On July 20, Judge Robert C. Ervin will preside over the case in Charlotte. Ervin is based in Burke County. Ferrell, a former FAMU football player, wrecked his car in Charlotte in September 2013 and went to a nearby home seeking help. The owner called police and responding officers confronted Ferrell, with Kerrick firing 12 shots at the unarmed man.

Citing insufficient evidence, a Baltimore judge dismissed second-degree murder charges against the man held in the 2010 killing of Charlotte teen Felicia Barnes. Michael Johnson was set free Tuesday. The city prosecutors plan to appeal.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo may sue Fox News over erroneous claims that the city has "no-go" zones where non-Muslims do not enter and sharia law takes precedence over French law. But the lawsuit would face challenges in the U.S. and France. Bill O'Reilly, Fox's highest-rated host, called the mayor a socialist on the Tuesday night edition of his program. "This is just an attention-getter," he said.

Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night focused on struggles near to the hearts of the middle class, with calls for paid sick leave, a tax on the 'one percent,' a minimum wage hike, free community college, criminal justice reform, an open Internet and the right to vote. Freshman Sen. Joni Ernst, who first attracted attention by promising to make Washington insiders squeal like the hogs she used to castrate on a farm, provided the GOP response.

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