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Shonda Rhimes fires back at NYT critic who called her 'Angry Black Woman'
Shonda Rhimes is responding to a New York Times critic who called her an "angry black woman" in a review for "How to Get Away With Murder," the new ABC drama Rhimes is executive producing.

"Wait. I'm 'angry' and a romance writer?!" Rhimes exclaimed Friday morning on Twitter. "I'm going to need to put down the internet and go dance this one out. [Stuff is] getting real."

Also from TheWrap: Shonda Rhimes to Make Acting Debut on 'The Mindy Project'

Rhimes is perhaps best known for creating "Scandal," which stars Kerry Washington, and Times' critic Alessandra Stanley centers her piece around the evolution of black female characters on television.

"When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called 'How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,'" Stanley wrote. The review itself was titled "Wrought in Their Creator's Image," but as Rhimes pointed out "How to Get Away With Murder's" creator is actually Peter Nowalk.
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The Wrap Sep-19-2014 129 0
Shonda Rhimes is responding to a New York Times critic who called her an "angry black woman" in a review for "How to Get Away With Murder," the new ABC drama Rhimes is executive producing.

"Wait. I'm 'angry' and a romance writer?!" Rhimes exclaimed Friday morning on Twitter. "I'm going to need to put down the internet and go dance this one out. [Stuff is] getting real."

Also from TheWrap: Shonda Rhimes to Make Acting Debut on 'The Mindy Project'

Rhimes is perhaps best known for creating "Scandal," which stars Kerry Washington, and Times' critic Alessandra Stanley centers her piece around the evolution of black female characters on television.

"When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called 'How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,'" Stanley wrote. The review itself was titled "Wrought in Their Creator's Image," but as Rhimes pointed out "How to Get Away With Murder's" creator is actually Peter Nowalk.

Jason Molinet Sep-19-2014 168 0
The naked bodies of two teenagers, one of them an exotic dancer, were found along a remote street in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed Angelia Ella Mangum, 19, and Tjhisha Monique Ball, 18, both of Tampa, were murdered. Their bodies were found after 1 a.m. on a wooded road just off I-95. A witness said the bodies were hogtied and in a pool of blood, First Coast News reported.

"At first I thought it was one, and then I did a U-turn to see if it was a dead animal," witness Jason Brown told Fox30 Jax. "That's when we saw that it was one laying on top of another that looked like they were tossed from the overpass."

The women were reportedly close friends. Ball's mother, Jerlean Moore, said her daughter began working as a dancer a few years ago, shuttling back and forth between Tampa and Jacksonville, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A witness said the bodies of two women found in Jacksonville were hogtied and in a pool of blood, First Coast News reported.

"You still worry because of the style of work they do," Moore said. "You still worry because it's someone you love."

Police have not released details on the killings and are still trying to determine when the women went missing.

Sep-19-2014 112 0
Police say a Savannah, Georgia, police officer killed a handcuffed, armed man Thursday as the man tried to break out of a patrol car, a shooting that stirred up citizens and prompted the mayor to acknowledge that the community has "many questions."

The incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. in the historic coastal city, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Julie Tolbert said. Tolbert has asked that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation look into the shooting.

The GBI, based on its preliminary investigation, says officers arrested 29-year-old Charles Smith on outstanding warrants and handcuffed him behind his back.

Smith was put into a police car, where he managed to move his hands to the front of his body, and he kicked out one of the vehicle's windows, authorities said.

"The officers said, as Smith attempted to exit the patrol car, they saw that he had a firearm," the GBI said in its statement. "This encounter resulted in Smith being shot and killed at the scene."

A firearm was later found under Smith's body, the GBI reported.

Dozens of people gathered in a Savannah neighborhood at the shooting scene, which was cordoned off by police tape.

Some of them cried and hugged, a few appeared outwardly angry, and a handful carried signs to voice their views, video from CNN affiliate WTOC shows. At one point, many of them -- including some children -- joined hands in a circle.

"The amount of people in the street" spurred the Chatham Emergency Management Agency to send out automatic calls to warn staff and volunteers about a "potential civil unrest situation," agency spokeswoman Meredith Ley told CNN. She added that such notifications are standard for times like a parade or a marathon when there's a situation with "a large amount of people that could escalate quickly."

Savannah Mayor Edna Branch Jackson said that after talking to "the victim's family" and West Savannah residents, she shares "many of (their) questions" about the incident, concerns she has relayed to police officials.

"When the answers come, we will be open, transparent and forthcoming," vowed Jackson, who said in a statement that she is "distressed" about the shooting. "We will remain in continuous communication with the family. For now, I hope the citizens of Savannah will join me in remaining calm and patient as authorities gather the facts."

Speaking to people congregating in West Savannah, the mayor said: "This will be cleared up. This will be cleared up. We don't need anything to happen. And we are going, we are going to keep the family and the community informed of everything that is going on. Now, does that sound fair?"

Tolbert told those gathered that the investigation is "going to take time." In the meantime, "What we are asking you to do is not jump to conclusions, not make rash decisions, not ... do something that will cause you problems."

The GBI pledged it will "thoroughly investigate this incident to determine exactly what occurred." That includes an autopsy on Smith to be conducted Friday in Savannah.

"When the investigation is completed, the findings will be turned over to the Eastern Judicial District Attorney's Office," the GBI said.

David Jannot, a 10-year veteran of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, police said in a statement. The police chief, Tolbert, told reporters that such leave is in line with "proper protocol."

As to Smith, the man Jannot killed, a friend described him as "cool people."

"He was willing to help out," Joe Strobert told WTOC. "He was willing. If you ... needed help, he got you."

Nina Golgowski Sep-18-2014 383 0
Six days after a 14-year-old Florida boy shot himself in his school bathroom after allegedly suffering years of bullying, his 11-year-old friend penned a note saying he wants to die too, the child’s mom has revealed.

The heart-wrenching cry, written in blue marker, was slipped under the bedroom door of Jordan Gonzalez's mother on Tuesday after allegedly enduring the same cruel treatment as Lamar Hawkins III.

It read: "To mom. I am going to kill myself. No one understands me and I get abused. I can't even tell you how I feel. So what do I live for? - Jordan."

Jordan's mom, who said she's reported his abuse to officials at Greenwood Lakes Middle School multiple times — just like Lamar's parents claim — said she's beside herself on what to do.

Asked how she responded to her son's words while speaking with the Orlando Sentinel, she said: "I told him, 'If you leave mommy, I won't be able to live without you.'"

While publicly sharing a photo of the letter this week, she now vows: "I will make sure justice is served."

"I'm posting this [because] I have had it with that school and the kids who are bullying him," she wrote with its upload Tuesday.

Elaborating on the abuse her son allegedly sustained, she said a boy once stuck him in the neck with a sharp pencil as he was on the school bus.

Jordan, speaking with the Sentinel, also recalled the abuse he says Lamar endured.

"There was this one time where the kid just slapped him in the face and that's how the first fight happened. And the last fight was when he kept on getting bullied by the same person's friend and he just couldn't take it anymore, so he killed himself," he bravely recalled.

Gusaeff said that every day Jordan and Lamar would sit together at lunch, since the start of the school year.

"Everyday," she emphasized on her Instagram account. "We moved from the Bronx to avoid bullying. His family left Brooklyn. Now look what happened. Are we safe anywhere?"


Lamar's mother said they had reported her son's abuse by fellow students on multiple occassions. A Sheriff's spokesperson has said they never received any reports of bullying regarding Lamar.
WESH

Lamar's mother said they had reported her son's abuse by fellow students on multiple occassions. A Sheriff's spokesperson has said they never received any reports of bullying regarding Lamar.


Seminole County Public Schools, reached for comment by the Sentinel, have declined commenting on the ongoing investigation into Lamar's tragic suicide which took place on one of their school campuses.

A school spokesperson, speaking previously to the Sentinel, said they have a "comprehensive bullying policy that is fully enforced in all of our schools."

A Sheriff's spokesperson reached by the Daily News last week said they never received any reports of bullying regarding Lamar from his school.

Lamar's father, Lamar Hawkins Sr., has said that he reported the bulling to school officials, "multiple times," his attorney told The News.

Thomas Tracy Sep-18-2014 169 0
Tracy Lewis knocked down every obstacle in her path to become only the second black woman promoted to the rank of lieutenant in FDNY history.

“You encounter resistance every day, but I can’t let that stop me from going forward,” Lewis said Wednesday during a promotion ceremony at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. “I worked very hard for this. I studied very hard for this. And it was just a matter of when this day would come.”

Lewis, a 17-year FDNY veteran from Engine Co. 222 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said she has overcome doubts from her male colleagues.

“They’re wondering whether or not you can do the job,” the 41-year-old trailblazer said. “But if you’ve been through the academy and you’ve proven yourself there, that should be enough. I come to the firehouse and I do what was taught to me.”

One man who never doubted Lewis is her bursting-with-pride dad, Clive Williams. He attended Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Tracy’s always been about helping others, so I’m not surprised that she made it to this point,” a beaming Williams said. “I hope she’ll continue to move on.”

There are just 41 women on the FDNY’s force of 10,500, officials said.

Lewis knows she’s standing on the shoulders of those who came before her.

“I feel that I owe it to them and the people coming after me to do the best I can to pave the way,” she said.

After being promoted Wednesday, she shared a joyous embrace with Ella McNair, who made history in 2002 when she became the first African-American woman to make lieutenant.

McNair retired in 2006, but that hasn’t stopped her from mentoring Lewis.

Lewis, a 17-year FDNY veteran from Engine Co. 222 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said she has overcome doubts from her male colleagues.

“This girl is more than deserving,” McNair said of Lewis’ rise. “And it’s about time. It’s about time. Long time overdue!”

In March, the FDNY settled a blockbuster discrimination lawsuit, agreeing to pay $98 million inback pay and benefits to minority firefighter hopefuls. The original suit was brought by the Justice Department in 2007, when the FDNY was about 90% white.

The force is still only about 5% black and 9% Hispanic, according to the FDNY. But 45% of the most recent graduating class, from June, were from minority groups.

Oren Yaniv Sep-18-2014 192 0
Two men who’ve spent more than 15 years in prison after being convicted in 1993 of kidnapping a 16-year-old Brooklyn girl saw their guilty verdicts overturned Wednesday when a state appeals court ruled cops withheld evidence that might have cleared them and then lied about it.

Everton Wagstaffe and Reginald Connor, both sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, had always maintained they were innocent in the kidnapping and death of Jennifer Negron.

The teenage girl’s bludgeoned body was found on New Year’s Day 1992 in East New York. A witness was produced by cops and used by prosecutors to link the two men to the crime, even though they had no link to Jennifer and no motive was ever established.

A judge dismissed the murder charges due to lack of evidence, but Wagstaffe and Conner were convicted of kidnapping. For the past 23 years, they’ve struggled to prove they weren’t guilty of any crime.

Cops had insisted that Wagstaffe and Connor weren’t suspects until the witness brought their names up. But based on evidence provided by defense lawyers, the Appellate Division ruled Wednesday that cops had been looking at the men before the witness appeared — and had lied about it in prior court hearings.

“The defendants were being investigated by the New York City Police Department prior to the detectives' interview of [the witness], a fact that was contrary to the testimony of one of the investigating detectives that the interview with [the witness] on Jan. 2, 1992, led the police to the defendants,” the ruling stated.

The defense lawyers had additional arguments attacking other police evidence as well, but the appeals court said it didn’t need to hear anymore and moved to overturn the convictions.

“Mr. Wagstaffe is in shock, he is trying to come to grips with this,” his attorney, Myron Beldock, said Wednesday.

The Appellate Division took the unusual step of not just overturning the convictions but also dismissing the original indictments — which Beldock said was an indication of how flagrantly the authorities had violated the law while pursuing the guilty verdicts.

“It is very rare (to do both), it indicates the great injustice that occurred when evidence was kept from the defense. As the court said, the verdict would probably have been different,” Beldock said.

His client, Wagstaffe, 45, is currently in the 23rd year of his 25-year sentence. Wagstaffe had refused to accept parole offers for early release that demanded he admit guilt.

Beldock hopes that Wagstaffe will be brought to the city from Greene Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in Coxsackie, NY, as early as next week for a hearing on next steps in his case.

Connor, 46, served 15 years and was released on parole, said his attorney David Toscano.

As a condition of his release, he had to register as a sex offender, Toscano said. It’s been a “big obstacle” as Connor has tried to rebuild his life, the lawyer noted.

“This is great news, obviously he’s very happy today. He was wrongly convicted and even out on parole he continues to have restrictions on him,” Toscano said.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office still has an option to appeal, but the lawyers said they’d hoped not further litigation would be necessary.

“We would be very disappointed if this ruling were not the end of the matter ... It would be a very misguided use of prosecutorial resources,” said Toscano.

Jennifer Negron’s case was one of 100 being re-examined by Brooklyn prosecutors after information emerged about a tainted detective who allegedly fabricated evidence in some murder cases decades ago. The Conviction Review Unit is going over 71 cases tied to retired detective Louis Scarcella.

The questionable detective wasn’t involved in Jennifer Negron’s murder investigation, but the cops’ methods in identifying Wagstaffe and Connor fit the “pattern” of a Scarcella case because they relied on testimony from a sole witness, Toscano said.

As with many of the Scarcella convictions under examination, Wagstaffe and Connor were convicted on the word of a police informant — a crack-addicted prostitute who had to be forced to testify at trial. The woman, identified as Brunilda Capella in Wednesdays’ ruling, died many years ago. But she provided a key detail that prosecutors used to define their case. Capella said she saw Wagstaffe and Connor haul Jennifer Negron into a Buick known around the neighborhood. When cops found the car, they also found a headband on the backseat. It had belonged to the dead girl, prosecutors claimed.

Cops said they’d never suspected Wagstaffe, who’d been arrested on prior drug charges, or Connor, who’d been arrested for robberies, until Capella pointed them out.

But as it happened, it was the cops who fingered the men, and fed the information to their so-called witness, Beldock said.

“She did not disclose their names until [cops] told her who they wanted her to identify. They misrepresented it. It was fraud and misrepresentation,” he said.

Toscano and Beldock had plenty of other ammunition to bring to bear if they had needed it, including new DNA tests that proved hair and skin under the victim’s fingernails did not belong to Wagstaffe and Connor.

They also had found the woman who owned the Buick implicated in the crime.

The woman had testified that she’d taken her car to church the night of the girl’s murder, where it had stayed until 5 a.m. the next day. She said she’d told cops that in 1992, but they made no record of her statement.

John Marzulli Sep-17-2014 224 0
A Brooklyn judge is weighing whether a 300-pound New York City firefighter is a racist brute or merely a bully.

Luke Schreiner, 50, is charged with a hate crime attack on black postal worker Rene Isidore. In Gerritsen Beach last November, he allegedly berated the victim with a torrent of racial epithets, slapped him in the face and snapped his sunglasses in half.

Schreiner, who strongly resembles bald boxer Butterbean, could face up to four years in prison if he's convicted by Judge John Ingram, who is presiding over a nonjury trial.

Defense lawyer Robert Gallo argued that the incident was road rage, not racism.

“This has nothing to do with race," Gallo said in his opening statement Tuesday. "He would have acted the same if Mr. Isidore was white, black, Asian or green."

"If he said the 'N' word it's reprehensible ... but the totality of the circumstances support fully that it was a traffic dispute," Gallo said.

Isidore, a mild-mannered mail carrier, broke down in tears and needed a brief recess to compose himself as he began to describe how the Nov. 13, 2013, incident allegedly began over nothing.

He said he was a car length behind Schreiner’s stopped pickup truck in the middle of a one-way street. Isidore said he did not honk his horn, but drove around the truck instead.

"I don't think it’s professional to be driving this government vehicle and constantly honking the horn," Isidore, 57, told Assistant District Attorney Damani Sims.

It's unclear what caused Schreiner to snap, but when Isidore pulled over at the corner of Plumb 2nd St. to empty the mailbox, the hulking firefighter was allegedly on him.

Isidore said he initially thought the man was going to ask him a question about the mail.

"He started yelling, 'Do you want to get smacked today?' and he slapped me in the face," Isidore said.

The blow knocked Isidore's Bluetooth earpiece to the pavement and Schreiner attempted to stomp on it, the postal worker testified.

"He grabbed me by my jacket and he removed the sun shades from my face and said, 'What the f--- are you gonna do?' He broke them in half and stuck the pieces in the hood of my jacket."

'"You're nothing but a f---ing n-----!'" Schreiner reportedly ranted, according to the victim. "'That's why you work for the postal service.'"

Schriener also allegedly called a black woman who had witnessed the confrontation a "n-----," Isidore said.

Cops charged Schreiner with criminal mischief, attempted assault, aggravated harassment and menacing as hate crimes. The 18-year-FDNY veteran has two prior arrests for assault, including a 2005 road rage incident.

Jason Molinet Sep-17-2014 178 0
Adrian Peterson's tough love act has earned him a stinging, NFL-style timeout as the Minnesota Vikings placed the star running back on the league's exempt list until his child-abuse case is resolved.

That means Peterson, 29, just two seasons removed from climbing the Mount Rushmore of running backs by gaining 2,000 yards in a single season, has been indefinitely suspended from all team activities, the team announced Wednesday.

"While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and team president Mark Wilf said in a joint statement. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community. Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well."

Peterson was charged with injuring his son with a switch, a stripped tree branch that he used in dispensing corporal punishment. The 2012 league MVP surrendered Saturday in Texas on the stick-beating case and was arrested on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, a felony, then released on $15,000 bail.

He faces up to two years in prison if convicted, but the Vikings initially cleared him to play in this weekend’s game despite the disturbing allegations. That decision was blasted Tuesday by Minnesota Gov. Mark Drayton.

A Houston TV station reported Monday that Peterson violently disciplined another 4-year-old boy he had with a different woman, leaving the child with a scarred head.

"We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision," the Wilfs said. "We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision."

Peterson’s suspension comes one week after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lowered the boom on New Rochelle native Ray Rice, indefinitely suspending the running back who was also cut by the Baltimore Ravens after his domestic violence video went viral.

Peterson is the seventh back in league history to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in a single season. He’s amassed 10,190 yards in an eight-year NFL career, including 75 yards in the Vikings' Week 1 win over St. Louis.

Peterson took to Twitter and offered up a spiritual retort to the suspension via @AdrianPeterson. It reads, in part: “Many people Doubted YOU! Now look at you! You didnt only Overcome Major Obstacles in your Life! You Identified who u were in Christ! If you only knew! If you could only see how God views you! Just understand that you are a Mighty Vessel that God Chose to do Great things!”

Sep-16-2014 171 0
A New Jersey high school is alleging that its opponent last Friday taunted it with racially charged actions.

North Plainfield High School, which has a large African-American student contingent, claims that bananas were placed in its visitors locker room before a game with Summit High School.

Assistant superintendent of North Plainfield Schools Dr. Robert Rich told The Alternative Press an incident of alleged racism occurred prior to the Summit's 26-0 victory over North Plainfield. Rich also confirmed that there are internal and external investigations into the allegations.

"I have been working on the investigation of the incident with our staff and the Summit Superintendent," Rich said. "The incident has been turned over to New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) for an independent investigation.

A banana "was in the door and you could see through the door, because it didn't have no doorknobs, so you could see right through the hole," North Plainfield football player Anthony Lafond told CBS2 New York. "And they put the banana right through there."

"Right away, there was a banana in the door," North Plainfield football player J.T. Valley told CBS2. "And we told our coach, we're like, 'Coach, there's a banana in there.' So we took the banana, and then all of a sudden, they put another one. And we took the banana out, and there was another one in there. And they kept on putting them in there."

North Plainfield players told CBS2 tears were shed in the locker room before the game.

Jordan Zakarin Sep-16-2014 152 0
Emmy-winning journalist Sheinelle Jones has joined NBC as the news anchor for the weekend edition of the "Today" Show, the network announced on Monday.

Jones most recently served as co-host of Fox's local "Good Day Philadelphia," where she spent nine years before resigning to spend time with her family in March.

Also from TheWrap: Jenna Wolfe Named 'Today' Show Lifestyle and Fitness Correspondent

"We are delighted to welcome Sheinelle Jones to NBC News," said NBC News President Deborah Turness. "She is an experienced journalist, a fantastic reporter and a dynamic interviewer who will bring so much to Weekend TODAY and the entire NBC News team."

The move comes a week after NBC named Jenna Wolfe the "Today" Show's Fitness and Lifestyle correspondent, opening up the new anchor position during the weekends.

Before her time in Philadelphia, Jones served as an evening news anchor and reporter for KOKI, the FOX affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as a morning anchor and reporter for WICS-TV in Springfield, Illinois.

Jason Molinet Sep-16-2014 220 0
'Baby Andres' was taken off life support Saturday, five days after the infant suffered a brutal beating at the hands of Antwan James Sawyer (right). Adolfo Bravo (inset) is distraught after losing his son.
.A Florida infant was taken off life support Saturday afternoon, five days after a brutal beating.

The 5-month-old boy suffered brain injuries, a lung contusion, bloody eyes and bruises to his buttocks at the hands of the mother's boyfriend, Miami-Dade police allege.

Antwan James Sawyer, 27, of Broward, was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated child abuse and attempted felony murder after police didn't buy his story that "Baby Andres" fell from his bed when the two were left alone, The Miami Herald reported.

Those charges could be upgraded to murder, prosecutors said, in the wake of the infant's death, according to Local10.com. Sawyer is jailed at Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility.

"I've been having rough days, seeing my son like that," the baby's father, Adolfo Bravo, 32, told NBC Miami while surrounded by family and friends holding vigil at the hospital. "But I have a certain relief today, he's in peace."

Andres’ father, 32-year-old Adolfo Bravo, has been at the hospital since Tuesday. He said doctors told him his son is brain dead, kept alive by life support.
Adolfo Bravo/via Facebook

Andres’ father, 32-year-old Adolfo Bravo, has been at the hospital since Tuesday. He said doctors told him his son is brain dead, kept alive by life support.

When mother Sascha Marie Garcia returned to her South Miami apartment from work Monday, she found her injured child, according to The Herald. The infant was transported to Miami Children's Hospital, where he was eventually declared brain dead.

"Our children are very fragile and look up to their care givers to show them protection and gentle love," read a message on the family's GoFundMe page seeking help with medical bills.

reuters Sep-15-2014 313 0
Authorities in Florida are investigating the death of a 14-year-old boy whose mother on Monday said fatally shot himself in his middle school bathroom last week because he could no longer endure unrelenting bullying by fellow students.

"The hopelessness was overwhelming," Shaniqua Hawkins, the mother of Lamar "Shaq" Hawkins III, told a news conference.

The boy, a seventh grade student whose growth was stunted by a childhood illness, was found dead around midnight last Wednesday at Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Lake Mary, about 20 miles north of Orlando, authorities said.

The local sheriff's office that is investigating the death has not yet determined whether bullying was a factor, spokeswoman Kim Cannaday said.

The boy's parents met with the school administration about the bullying multiple times, including as recently as two to three weeks before the suicide, said Matt Morgan, a lawyer for the family. Lamar killed himself with his father’s gun, which Morgan said was properly stored.

Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Walt Griffin said in a statement that he was aware that the family maintains that the boy killed himself after being bullied but could not comment while a sheriff’s investigation was underway.

"This is a very tragic circumstance and our hearts and prayers remain with the family during this difficult time. ... The school board has a comprehensive bullying policy that is fully enforced in all of our schools," Griffin said.

Shaniqua Hawkins said the family moved from New York City two years ago to get Lamar away from bullies who picked on him at his school there.

Morgan said the boy was about 4 feet 6 inches tall and weighed less than 80 pounds. The family nicknamed him after retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal for his big personality and grand outlook on life, Shaniqua Hawkins said.

Shaniqua Hawkins said bullies pushed Lamar down stairs and off his chair in the school cafeteria, and mocked him for his small stature.

“We now know that he was unable to continue his fight against the bullies. They won ... I believe he took his life at school to send a message to these bullies that they were to blame for his suffering,” Shaniqua Hawkins said at the news conference.

Oren Yaniv Sep-15-2014 158 0
former clerk at a Bronx courthouse has been indicted for stealing more than $80,000 by under-reporting cash transactions, prosecutors said Friday.

Christopher Goodly, 29, is accused of behaving badly by siphoning fees he had collected as a finance clerk from passport applications and business certificates, pocketing between $200 to $1,000 a day.

He was fired in Sept. 2013 — about 11 months after allegedly starting the scheme — because an audit revealed that he issued more documents than he actually reported, a source said.

He was charged with grand larceny for allegedly taking in a total of $82,225 and is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Goodly is accused of making the fraudulent reports on 190 different days to hide his no-good deeds and has also been indicted on hundreds of counts of falsifying business records and official misconduct to reflect that.

Goodly, who was extradited from Virginia, was arraigned Friday and ordered held on a $25,000 bail. He worked at the Clerk’s Office in the Civil Court building on Grand Concourse, officials said.

>>--More Black Legal News

Sep-09-2014 419 0
On yesterday social media went crazy after the video of Ray Rice was released. Within hours Rice was released from the Ravens. Don't think for one second that it was not as a result of the public outcry on social media. The Ravens and the NFL did not have a choice but to release Rice because they had been exposed. However, the saddening part about of all of this is that the powers to be proclaimed they had not seen the video until yesterday.

Why do we live in a society where there's always a cover-up? If we are going to be angry at the police chief in Ferguson, MO for trying to cover up for one of his officers who killed Michael Brown we should also be upset with Commissioner Roger Goodell and Coach John Harbaugh because it appears that they took part in a scheme to deceive the public and by tuning in to the games as usual we are saying it's okay to cover-up a crime. Sean Payton, head coach of the Saints, was forced to sit out a year because an alleged wrongdoing took place under his watch. In my opinion, the same needs to happen to the Roger Goodell and Coach Harbaugh because somehow I think they knew and if they did not know it's even worse because they allowed a poor investigation to support a two game suspension.

Let's look at the severity of what they did. Their actions in trying to protect the NFL brand send the wrong message to ladies who are victims of domestic abuse. What the message says is that you should protect the abuser if there's something to lose. In this case, it was football games and plenty of revenue for a major brand. Their actions could help persuade a victim of domestic abuse to participate in a press conference in order to save a star and risk her life. This was not the right thing to do because someone following that same example could end up dead.

Releasing and/or suspending Rice for the year was the proper thing to do months ago but there are additional suspensions that need to be handed down before we stop talking about this. Take a year off Mr. Commissioner and Coach Harbaugh because you dropped the ball on this one. Better yet, if you won't suspend yourselves, donate your salaries for the year to a charity that supports domestic violence victims if you are really serious about the mistake that was made.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Apr-28-2014 821 0
Sadly but real, it appears as though society feels you can treat a black person poorly by simply offering to give them something of value and everything is forgotten. This mindset has to go away otherwise racism and injustices will remain. Whenever I file a civil rights lawsuit the first question the media asks is how much money the family is asking for? My response is always very clear; the family wants JUSTICE and expects for the individual responsible for the act to be held responsible for his/her criminal acts.

On yesterday, 5-10 multimillionaires played a game of basketball despite being made aware that the owner they are earning millions for hates black people, especially black males. By not playing on yesterday they could have sent a major message out and forced the NBA to react immediately but they gave Donald Sterling and the NBA a way out. Let's face it, the Clippers are no candidate to win the NBA Championship this year so this was/is their opportunity to make a change but instead they are showing America that money and a championship is much more important than fighting blatant racism.

I have to admit that I'm truly disappointed in the Los Angeles Clippers. Professional athletes will stage a sit out when they feel they are not being paid enough money but they will continue to play for a racist owner who admitted to not want black people at the game and use the excuse that we are playing for a championship. Will we continue to turn our heads for money?

Many people criticized the football players at Grambling when they staged a protest last year. If those kids lost their scholarships they could probably not afford to attend college but they took the chance because they wanted to take a stand against what they consider poor playing conditions. They had the courage to do something that the Los Angeles Clippers, a group of multimillionaires, are not willing to do. What message are we sending to the World? You can tell millionaires you hate them but they will still work for you as long as they are being paid. Truly a lost opportunity. All money is not good money.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button
Daryl K. Washington Apr-27-2014 860 0
Donald Sterling made comments about Black people that have started a lot of conversation. Many people, including myself, have said that it will place Coach Doc Rivers and the players in an awkward situation but after thinking about it, it will also place White people in an awkward position and here's my opinion why. During the Civil Rights movement there were White people on the front lines and there were many who did not agree with the poor treatment of Black people. They were instrumental in helping with the fight for equal treatment.

Fast forward to today. 95% of the fans at the Clippers games are not Black and the majority are White people. It would be a great show of support if the White fans were as insulted by Donald Sterling's comments as Black people are. The games will go on but wouldn't it be great if the White fans proved to the country that they don't support a racist owner. We know it will not happen but only until everyone voice their dislike of what was said will a true change ever be made.

Donald Sterling's views are shared by so many individuals who will allow our talented Black athletes to attend the large colleges because they earn millions of dollars for the schools but will fight tooth and nails to prevent a young Black kid who may have not scored well on a standardized test from attending.

College athletes are fighting to be paid but I think what should be added to their agenda is the equal treatment of their brothers and sisters who are being denied admission to the same universities they are earning millions of dollars for. The fight should not be for money but for equality. Let’s never allow someone to pay us to keep our views to ourselves. We still have a long way to go. We will never get there unless we ALL come together.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.

Daryl K. Washington Feb-16-2014 1077 0
After the Michael Dunn verdict was read many voice their displeasure with the judicial system, rightfully so. However, the killing of our young black men is nothing new. Each time something bad happens we come together as a group for a month or so and then the energy dies down. When the Zimmerman verdict came back there were those who demanded that we stop supporting the state of Florida yet what happened to the follow-up to let us know how effective the efforts were? It reminds me of whenever someone dies. When we run into people we have not seen in years we all make a vow to do better and to make time for each other but after two or three months has past by we are all back to doing the same things.

As a country, we came together after 9/11 but soon thereafter the unity went away. There's so much happening in our communities. I thought the Zimmerman verdict would be our wake up call to do more but our young black men continue to be gunned down at a high rate by Men who don't look anything close to their fathers and most of them get away with it. Just in case you mention the black on black crime, remember that the killer normally ends up in prison.

Just recently, the grand jury failed to indict a North Carolina police officer for the killing of Jonathan Ferrell, a young black male, but after there was a public outcry about the injustice that took place he was eventually indicted. Right here in Dallas, Texas we have black men being killed by white police officers and in a great majority of the cases, the police officers are not indicted and judged by a jury of their peers. Instead, the victim is placed on trial and society has become conditioned to believe that it's okay to kill someone if they have a prior criminal record or considered a menace to society. Well, it's not and it's time that it stops.

We need to be proactive and make sure laws that don't benefit us are changed. I will continue to say this until I can't say this anymore; we have to get out and VOTE during the mid-term elections. We need to make sure the right people are elected and the wrong people are removed from office, irrespective of their race. If the same people are in office (local officials) yet we are having some of the same problems, it's time for change. Vote for someone who wants to make a change. Don't just vote based on race or political affiliation; that's what has gotten us to this point where we are today. We have to be proactive or the next Jordan Davis might be our brother, our son, our nephew, our father or our friend. Let's do it. Get involved or get out of the way!!!!!



Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.


















Daryl K. Washington Nov-26-2013 1380 0
ARE WE DOING ENOUGH FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITIES?: I just finished talking to a mother who lost her son as a result of a police shooting. Hearing this mother talk about her son and how much he loved the holidays was simply heart wrenching. She went on to tell me that she's pleaded for help from our local politicians, pastors, leaders, etc. but no one wants to take her call, especially if the cameras are not rolling. To worsen matters, many of the leaders have put her son on trial and he's dead.

On last week they staged a protest in Dallas and sadly, 95% of the protestors were white. That made me wonder why do people make it in life and fail to reach back to help others? Why do people hear about injustices yet fail to say anything about it other than to say "that's sad!" During the 60's the leaders were individuals (black and white) who had college degrees, had bright futures ahead of them but they risk it all for us to be in the positions we are in today. The sad thing is that many of us believe it's all about us.

We must do more. We have to do more. We have to demand that our politicians and pastors step up to help us fight this battle. It truly takes a team effort. We must hold all of our community leaders accountable. When they ask for your vote, ask them to list ten things they did for the community in the last four years. Ask them how many times have they've attended a rally to show support to a grieving mother or father. We have serious issues and it takes all of us to stop this mess. I'm tired of seeing people who have never fought against a single injustice accept the Martin Luther King drum major for justice award. It's time for change.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
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