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Ferguson attorney: Brown family settlement $1.5 million
The insurance company for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, paid $1.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown's parents, the city attorney said Friday.

Attorney Apollo Carey disclosed the amount in an email in response to an open records request. The settlement of the federal lawsuit was announced Tuesday, but financial details were not initially released.

Carey declined further comment on the settlement. A phone message seeking comment from the attorney for the family, Anthony Gray, was not immediately returned.

Wilson resigned in November 2014, soon after a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict him. The U.S. Department of Justice found no grounds to prosecute Wilson, but the shooting led to a Justice Department investigation that resulted in a consent agreement requiring Ferguson to make significant changes to address racial bias in its police department and municipal court.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden sued the city, former Police Chief Tom Jackson and Wilson in 2015, citing a police culture hostile to black residents and claiming Wilson used excessive force.

The parents also argued that the death of their son deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber approved the settlement but disclosed nothing about the amount, saying only that it was "fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests of each Plaintiff," with the money to be split between the parents.

Webber also wrote that the agreement "shall remain sealed by this Court and shall be considered a closed record" because disclosure of the information "could jeopardize the safety of individuals involved in this matter, whether as witnesses, parties, or investigators."

Settlements involving public money and public entities like cities are typically open under Missouri law, but Webber wrote that the value of opening the record "is outweighed by the adverse impact to Plaintiffs." He did not elaborate.

Most Americans would rather stay home than go to the movies
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JIM SALTER Jun-23-2017 81 0
The insurance company for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, paid $1.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown's parents, the city attorney said Friday.

Attorney Apollo Carey disclosed the amount in an email in response to an open records request. The settlement of the federal lawsuit was announced Tuesday, but financial details were not initially released.

Carey declined further comment on the settlement. A phone message seeking comment from the attorney for the family, Anthony Gray, was not immediately returned.

Wilson resigned in November 2014, soon after a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict him. The U.S. Department of Justice found no grounds to prosecute Wilson, but the shooting led to a Justice Department investigation that resulted in a consent agreement requiring Ferguson to make significant changes to address racial bias in its police department and municipal court.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden sued the city, former Police Chief Tom Jackson and Wilson in 2015, citing a police culture hostile to black residents and claiming Wilson used excessive force.

The parents also argued that the death of their son deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber approved the settlement but disclosed nothing about the amount, saying only that it was "fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests of each Plaintiff," with the money to be split between the parents.

Webber also wrote that the agreement "shall remain sealed by this Court and shall be considered a closed record" because disclosure of the information "could jeopardize the safety of individuals involved in this matter, whether as witnesses, parties, or investigators."

Settlements involving public money and public entities like cities are typically open under Missouri law, but Webber wrote that the value of opening the record "is outweighed by the adverse impact to Plaintiffs." He did not elaborate.

Most Americans would rather stay home than go to the movies

Chris Murray Jun-22-2017 202 0
Ryan Jones, a former linebacker who signed contracts with two NFL teams, was shot and killed Sunday evening, his former high school coach and the Washoe County (Nev.) Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Tuesday. He was 26.

About 8:20 p.m. Sunday, officers were called to the 200 block of Talus Way, north of Rancho San Rafael Park, where they found three men who'd been shot. One of the men – later identified as Jones – died at the scene.

The other victims were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening conditions.

Reno Police Department spokesman Officer Tim Broadway said he could not comment on the circumstances the led up to the shooting as of Tuesday afternoon.

"We can't go into details yet because it's an ongoing investigation," he said. Broadway said "several people" were still being interviewed.

Rollins Stallworth, Jones' football coach at Hug High in Reno, said he started receiving a deluge of texts Monday morning about his former player. Stallworth said Jones touched a lot of people during his life.

“We’re all mourning this horrible tragedy and hopefully we can get past this and stay very positive on what Ryan was able to accomplish and pursue in his short lifespan,” Stallworth said.

Jones played for Montana Tech from 2011-13. Jones jumped onto NFL scouting radars with a strong pro day. He wasn't selected in the 2014 NFL draft but signed a free-agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

Jones was the first Montana Tech player to sign an NFL contract.

“He was the perfect example and perfect role model for kids who thought it was Division I or bust," Stallworth said. "He showed that if you give it your all and play really hard, there’s a college and a level for you. His ego wasn’t too big that he wouldn’t go to junior college and his ego wasn’t too big that he wouldn’t go to Montana Tech at that level and excel, and he still got an opportunity with two NFL teams."

Jones was waived by the Ravens a month after signing and given an injury settlement. In 2015, Jones was signed by the New York Giants before being waived again with an injury settlement two months later.

After his football career ended, Jones spent time training in mixed martial arts at a Reno gym. His last fight was May 20 when he won a King of the Cage match at the Silver Legacy Casino Resort.

“He was really positive, had a lot of friends, made a lot of friends quickly," Stallworth said. "But he wasn’t afraid of hard work. That’s what he always had to do. He always was told that he wasn’t good enough to do this or that, he wasn’t big enough or wasn’t strong enough.

"Here’s a guy who went through high school with people telling him that, through junior college and they told him that, went to NAIA and they told him that, went to the pros and they told him that and ultimately he went into MMA and they told him that.”

On Monday, Jones’ popular hashtag, #IBVibiN, began circulating social media with friends paying homage to Jones. The hashtag was shorthand for "I Be Vibing," meaning to always have a positive attitude and do all you can to be great.

Siva Ali, 35, said he knew Jones for more than five years. What first started as a working relationship – Ali was Jones's tattoo artist – developed into a friendship.

"Everything that happened to him just doesn't match everything he was about," Ali said. "He was the good guy. When Ryan would come into the room, you would notice him. He's so tall and so big and had a good smile. ... He was the big fish."

Ali said Jones was always talking about his future and his family, two subjects Ali said Jones was passionate about.

"He did well for himself," Ali said. "He had his life together. He's just gone too soon."

Stallworth said he will remember Jones as a kind, respectful, humble, hard-working kid who pursued his dreams.

“He didn’t have any fears and ultimately that lack of fear got him into the situation he got into the other night," Stallworth said. "Ryan accepted challenges. He never backed down from a challenge. He was married to his career. The last three or four years that I’ve seen at the barber shop or in the community, he was busting his butt working out with Duke Williams and Courtney Gardner (both Hug alums who also signed NFL contracts) trying to make a pro career or he was doing his MMA workouts. He was driven to become a success.”


Jun-21-2017 269 0
The investigation into alleged sexual assault on "Bachelor in Paradise" is over ... and the conclusion -- no sexual assault, and the show will go on.

The show was put on ice after a producer claimed Corinne Olympios was so drunk she was not capable of consenting to oral sex in a swimming pool with DeMario Jackson. Warner Bros. put the show on hold during the investigation. As we reported, multiple people who saw the video claim Corinne was "fully engaged" and lucid throughout the sexual encounter. We're told the investigation is now complete and the finding was there was no sexual assault. We're told DeMario's lawyer met with Warner Bros. lawyers Monday, reviewed the tapes and assured him he was in the clear. Our sources say filming will resume in the same location in Mexico. The show will air this summer. As for the swimming pool incident, Warner Bros. says it will not be released. As for Corinne and DeMario ... we're told no decisions have been made on whether they'll be on the show.

GENNA MARTIN Jun-19-2017 186 0
There were more questions than answers in the hours after Seattle police officers fatally shot a pregnant mother in her home Sunday morning.
Several dozen people attend a vigil outside the apartment building of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-

Charleena Lyles's aunt Tonya Isabell yells out Lyles's name as several dozen people attend a vigil for her outside the apartment building where she was killed by police Sunday morning, June 18, 2017. Lyles has a history of mental illness and police say she brandished a knife during the incident.

Several dozen people attend a vigil outside the apartment building of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old woman who was shot by police after she called them to respond to an attempted burglary, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Lyles has a history of mental illness and police say she brandished a knife during the incident.

Connor Lee holds a "Black Lives Matter" sign as several dozen people attend a vigil outside the apartment building of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old woman who was shot by police after she called them to respond to an attempted burglary, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Lyles has a history of mental illness and police say she brandished a knife during the incident.

Several dozen people attend a vigil outside the apartment building of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old woman who was shot by police after she called them to respond to an attempted burglary, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Lyles has a history of mental illness and police say she brandished a knife during the incident.

Friends, family and other residents of the Brettler Family Place apartment complex in the North Seattle park gathered to remember Lyles and express concerns related to the shooting. Seattle mayoral candidates Bob Hasegawa and Nikkita Oliver were in attendance, as was local hip-hop artist Macklemore.

Family members spoke about Lyles, who was a mother of four who was several months pregnant with her fifth child.

"She loved her kids to death, she was always the life of the party and had a smile on her face ... I loved her so much," her older sister Monika Williams said.

Andre Taylor, whose brother of Che Taylor who was killed by Seattle police last year, and others spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement and grievances with the Seattle Police Department.

Early in the investigation, police contend Lyles was shot after brandishing a knife at officers. A lengthy inquiry is expected.

The shooting occurred just before 10 a.m., after officers arrived at Lyles fourth-story apartment in the 6800 block of 62nd Avenue Northeast.

Police Department spokesman Detective Mark Jamieson said two officers were responded to reports of a burglary. They arrived at the apartment, Jamieson said, and “were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife.”

Her children were inside of the apartment at the time. Neither they nor the officers were injured. Police say the kids are being cared for by family members.

In weeks prior, Lyles was trying to get help for some mental health issues, Williams told KOMO News. She had been released from jail on Wednesday after being arrested following an argument with police.

"The obstruction was she wouldn't let go of her baby until I got here and she had some scissors in her hand. She didn't charge nobody or nothing," Williams said. "She just told them to call my sister and tell my sister gets here. And then when I got here, I told them then. 'Cause they didn't know whether to take her to jail or take her to mental health."

Lyles' family said three of her four children were inside the home at the time of the shooting. Lyles' brother, Domico Jones, says officers didn't have to use lethal force.

"If worse came to worse, use a Taser instead of a gun for someone that has three kids inside of their house," Jones said to KOMO News. "I feel that it's not gonna bring no harm to nobody."

Officers attempted CPR after the shooting Sunday, but they were unable to revive her.

The apartment building is owned by Solid Ground, a social service organization in Seattle.

Mike Buchman, Communications Director for the company, said trauma counselors are available for residents in need. The complex includes 9 properties and houses about 400 residents. About half of those residents are minors.

In a statement Sunday evening, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said shooting was a tragedy and called for a full investigation.

"My thoughts are with the many people impacted, including the three children and the responding officers," Murray said. "This will be fully investigated.”

Seattle police said both officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave, per department policy.

Williams set up a GoFundMe Sunday night to raise money to support Lyles' children. As of Monday morning, the campaign had raised more than double its initial goal of $5,000.

SeattlePI reporter Levi Pulkkinen contributed to this report, which contains information from KOMO News.

USA TODAY Jun-18-2017 218 0
A Miami teen who had a scholarship to play football at a California junior college was shot and died days after high school graduation, police say according to reports.

Craig Brown, 19, graduated last week from North Miami Beach High. He was scheduled to leave for Merced College on July 1.

His relatives told Local10.com in South Florida that they believe he was shot during a Craigslist transaction. Brown had advertised video games and a game console and was meeting the person who was planning to buy the items.

"Happy, always smiling, a friend to everyone. Everyone who knew him - I can say at least 200 to 300 people have come here to hug me and told me what a great kid he was. and how much love he just had for everyone," his father, Craig Brown, told the station. "(He) wouldn't hurt a fly, wouldn't hurt anyone. (He) loved animals. He had this dog, you'd think this dog was one of his kids, man."

Brown's father speculated that the shooter and his son, the oldest of four children, might have gotten into a scuffle following a robbery attempt.

North Miami Beach coach Jeff Bertani said Brown played on the team for four years.

"He was phenomenal on the field for us," Bertani said. "He loved every minute he was on that field. His personality was large on the field, his personality was large off the field."

Miami-Dead police are investigating the incident.

Nivea Serrao Jun-18-2017 154 0
Jay Z isn’t the only one having a very special Father’s Day this year. Thanks to the rapper, many fathers who are currently behind bars awaiting bail will now be going home.

The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee recently penned an op-ed for Time in which he not only identified the for-profit bail bond industry and “its predatory lending scheme” as one of the major factors contributing to the United States being one of the most incarcerated countries in the world, but also pledged to give money to organizations that would help bail out men currently being held pending bail.

“If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail,” he wrote. “Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.”

He later referenced organizations like Southerners On New Ground and Color of Change that bailed out moms for Mother’s Day. “As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”

Jay Z noted that while this is one of the issues within the American judicial system that activists and filmmakers like Ava DuVernay have been calling attention to in their work, it’s something he became “obsessed” with after helping with a docuseries about Kalief Browder, a 22-year-old black man whose family could not afford to post bail when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years on Rikers Island in solitary confinement and later died by suicide.

This isn’t the first time the Knowles-Carter family has proved philanthropic. Most recently, Beyoncé celebrated the one-year anniversary of her Peabody Award-winning visual album Lemonade by starting the Formation Scholars scholarship program, which is aimed at young women studying creative arts, music, literature, or African-American studies at Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College.

AP Jun-17-2017 133 0
The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial declared a mistrial Saturday after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked.

Jurors deliberated more than 52 hours over six days before telling a judge they couldn't reach a unanimous decision on whether "The Cosby Show" star drugged and molested Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

A conviction could have sent Cosby to prison for the rest of his life. The case has already helped replace the public's image of him as kindly, paternal Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," the top-rated 1980s and '90s sitcom, with that of an accused serial predator. Dozens of women have come forward to say he drugged and assaulted them, though Costand's encounter with Cosby was the only one to result in criminal charges.


Cosby's lawyers have said he and Andrea Constand were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.
Prosecutors get four months to decide whether they want to retry Cosby, 79, or drop the charges.

Cosby's lawyer had repeatedly demanded a mistrial as the talks wore on without a verdict. The judge initially said there was no precedent to send the jury home.

"I have no authority to do this," Judge Steven O'Neill said in the 52nd hour of deliberations Friday night. "I'm sorry it's causing everyone frustration."

Cosby lawyer Brian McMonagle had fired back that jurors might be under the assumption they have to deliberate until "the cows come home."

The jury got back to work early Saturday as deliberations on the fate of the man once known as America's Dad pushed into Father's Day weekend, but the judge declared a mistrial soon after.

When no decision was in sight, the TV star thanked his fans and supporters -- first in a tweet, then in brief comments as he left the courthouse late Friday.

"I just want to wish all of the fathers a happy Father's Day," Cosby said. "And I want to thank the jury for their long days. Their honest work, individually. I also want to thank the supporters who have been here. And, please, to the supporters, stay calm. Do not argue with people. Just keep up the great support. Thank you."

The epic deliberation has produced some testy exchanges in court.

The judge previously challenged McMonagle's requests to end the trial without a verdict, saying that for all he knew, the jury might have been working toward an acquittal.

"You don't know why they were deadlocked. Everyone is assuming one way or another," said O'Neill.

As jurors left for the night Friday, O'Neill praised their "hard work, dedication and fidelity to your oath." The jury, from the Pittsburgh area, had been sequestered for two weeks about 300 miles from home.

McMonagle objected in court to the panel's repeated requests to review testimony, saying it suggested some jurors were trying to coerce other jurors in an attempt to bring an end to the deadlock.

The judge said he saw no evidence of coercion or trouble in the deliberating room after the jurors reported their impasse on Thursday and he instructed them at the time to keep trying for a verdict.

"There's a misperception that there's a time limit," he said.

Jurors got the case on Monday. They were supposed to come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

STEVE KARNOWSKI Jun-16-2017 158 0
A Minnesota police officer was acquitted of manslaughter Friday in the fatal shooting of a black motorist who had informed the officer seconds earlier that he was carrying a gun.

Jeronimo Yanez was also cleared of two lesser charges in the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb. Yanez testified that Philando Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.
Castile had a permit for the weapon. Prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw the gun. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.

The case garnered immediate attention because Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.

Yanez, who is Latino, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, though sentencing guidelines suggest around four years is more likely. He also faced two lesser counts of endangering Reynolds and her daughter for firing his gun into the car near them.
The jury got the case Monday, after just five days of testimony, evidence and arguments. The 12-member jury included two blacks. The rest were white. None was Latino.

Castile's shooting was among a string of killings of blacks by police around the U.S., and the livestreaming of its aftermath attracted even more attention. The public outcry included protests in Minnesota that shut down highways and surrounded the governor's mansion. Castile's family claimed he was profiled because of his race, and the shooting renewed concerns about how police officers interact with minorities. Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton also weighed in, saying he did not think the shooting would have happened if Castile had been white.

Yanez testified that he stopped Castile in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights because he thought the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker looked like one of two men who had robbed a nearby convenience store a few days earlier. Castile's car had a faulty brake light, giving the 29-year-old officer a legally sufficient pretext for pulling him over, several experts testified.

Squad-car video played repeatedly for the jury shows a wide view of the traffic stop and the shooting, with the camera pointed toward Castile's car. While it captures what was said between the two men and shows Yanez firing into the vehicle, it does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez might have seen.

The video shows the situation escalated quickly, with Yanez shooting Castile just seconds after Castile volunteered, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me." Five of the officer's seven shots struck Castile. Witnesses testified that the gun was in a pocket of Castile's shorts when paramedics removed him from his vehicle.

Prosecutors called several witnesses to try to show that Yanez never saw the gun and acted recklessly and unreasonably. But defense attorneys called their own witnesses to back up Yanez's claim that he saw Castile pulling the gun and that Yanez was right to shoot.

After shooting Castile, Yanez is heard on the squad-car video telling a supervisor variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Yanez testified, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area."

He said he clearly saw a gun and that Castile ignored his commands to stop pulling it out of his pocket. His voice choked with emotion as he talked of being "scared to death" and thinking of his wife and baby daughter in the split-second before he fired.

Prosecutors argued that Yanez could have taken lesser steps, such as asking to see Castile's hands or asking where the gun was. After Castile told the officer he had the gun, Yanez told Castile, "OK, don't reach for it then," and, "Don't pull it out."

On the squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, "I'm not pulling it out," as Yanez opened fire. Prosecutors said Castile's last words were, "I wasn't reaching for it."

Reynolds testified that she began recording the shooting's aftermath because she feared for her life and wanted to make sure the truth was known. Defense attorneys pointed to inconsistencies in several of her statements.

Defense attorneys also argued that Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his behavior. But a prosecution expert testified there's no way to tell when Castile last smoked marijuana or whether he was high.

Jun-16-2017 129 0
A newspaper investigation has found that only three Texas law enforcement officers were indicted out of the 289 cases in the last decade in which a person has died while in the custody of officers.

Separately, the investigation by the Austin American-Statesman also found only three instances in which an officer was fired or suspended for their actions following an in-custody death.

Punishment rarely occurred even when officers were found to have violated use-of-force or other policies.

Families of those who died in police custody often turned to civil courts to address their complaints. Since 2005 more than $20 million has been awarded to families in settlements and judgments.
The newspaper's findings were largely based on a Custodial Death Report maintained by the Texas attorney general's office.

Victor Blackwell Jun-15-2017 221 0
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of the South Georgia teen found dead in a rolled gym mat has been dismissed by a federal judge.

US District Court Judge W. Louis Sands dismissed the case because Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson failed to serve defendants with their amended lawsuit in a timely fashion.

Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found dead at Lowndes High School in January 2013. A state autopsy determined that Johnson's death was accidental. His parents believe he was killed.

Johnson's parents filed the $100 million lawsuit against dozens of local and state officials in January 2015. The suit named Johnson's former schoolmates Branden Bell, Brian Bell and their father, FBI Special Agent Rick Bell, as defendants of a wrongful death claim.

"We're pleased to see the case dismissed once again. The case was meritless from the beginning and has now been dismissed twice," said attorney Patrick T. O'Connor, who represents the Bell family.

"The only thing remaining is for the Superior Court of Lowndes County to make an award of attorney's fees in favor of the defendants," O'Connor added.

The Johnsons' attorney, Chevene King, filed a motion for dismissal in March 2016 as a Department of Justice investigation proceeded. The Justice Department declined to file charges and the Johnsons' suit was refiled several months later.

In August 2016, Georgia Judge Richard Porter ordered the Johnsons and King to pay legal fees of several city and county officials named in the suit. Porter has not determined the amount the Johnsons and King must pay.

When asked about the dismissal of the case, King declined to comment.

bob stewart Jun-15-2017 212 0
The jury deciding Bill Cosby's fate said Thursday that it’s deadlocked.

"We cannot come to an unanimous consensus on any of the counts," the sequestered panel of five women and seven men told Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill.

The jury had been deliberating for more than 29 hours, reportedly a record for the courthouse in Norristown, PA.

Cosby's defense lawyer Brian McMonagle heard the news and made a motion for a mistrial, which the judge denied.

Judge O'Neill sent the jurors back to keep trying.

"I will not set any specific time for deliberations," he said.

Cosby, 79, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand inside his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

He has pleaded not guilty. The charges carry sentencing guidelines of five to 10 years each.

Elizabeth Elizalde Jun-15-2017 111 0
Minnesota EMTs on Monday removed a partially clothed woman found unresponsive in a packed plane’s bathroom — as some passengers criticized the way they removed her from the flight.

Relatives identified the woman as Theresa Hines, 48, of Carrollton, Tex. She died shortly after emergency workers found her unresponsive in the bathroom of an American Airlines Boeing 737 en route from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Ross Feinstein, an American Airlines spokesman, said in a statement to the Daily News the airline crew onboard provided medical assistance to Hines, who they described was “in medical distress” before landing.

“The paramedics worked immediately to remove our passenger from the aircraft and provide her with medical aid, but unfortunately, they were unable to revive her,” Feinstein said.

Airport officials emphasized they had followed the proper protocols.

"From our standpoint everything was handled according to the textbook," airport spokesman Pat Hogan told The Associated Press.

Hogan said Hines was wearing underwear and a shirt at the time of the incident. When the plane landed, medics transported her out of the plane in a portable stretcher down the aisle, he said.

“She was not half-naked,” passenger Dave Sampsell told The Star Tribune. “Her pants were unfastened, but I saw nothing that any of the airline or EMT staff did inappropriately.”

He told the Tribune EMTs crossed the line when they “dragged her down the aisle” while not covering her.

“The EMT was out of line,” Endress, who was seated not far from the plane’s bathroom, told the newspaper. “The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her."

On the ground, firefighters and an ambulance were waiting for the plane to land. Hines — on the stretcher — was taken to the jet bridge where emergency workers tried to revive her.

Her cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

“We are deeply saddened by this event, and our thoughts and prayers go out to our passenger’s loved ones,” Feinstein said.

Hines’ family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for her funeral expenses.

Andrew Shuster Jun-13-2017 86 0
An “America’s Got Talent” contestant named Brandon Rogers died in a car accident over the weekend before his episode was scheduled to air. The 29-year-old aspiring singer was also a doctor who finished medical school last year.

Rogers went viral earlier this year after posting an Instagram video of himself covering Boyz II Men’s hit song, “On Bended Knee.” The footage caught the attention of the R&B group, who invited the young doctor to join them on stage at one of their Las Vegas shows.

He went on to try out for “AGT” and was said to be a favorite to advance in the reality competition series. Producers have yet to make a decision as whether or not to air Rogers’ audition.
Shortly after the news of his death, Boyz II Men paid tribute to Rogers on their Facebook page. “Today our hearts are deeply saddened to learn about the sudden death of Dr. Brandon Rogers in a car accident,” the group wrote in a statement. “A few moths back we brought this young man out to the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas to perform with us. He was great all 3 nights! Just a genuinely nice person and a really good singer! Gone too young and gone too soon.”

The singers added, “It hurts to know that the world will never have a chance to witness what his impact on the world could have been as a Doctor and even on the music world. A great spirit and a great voice. Even for the little time we knew you you will be sorely miss. May God Bless, keep and comfort your family in this difficult time.” 



































































Slide 1 of 68: FILE - In this Dec. 11, 1985, file photo, Adam West poses for a photo in Los Angeles. On Saturday, June 10, 2017, his family said the actor, who portrayed Batman in a 1960s TV series, has died at age 88. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File)
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1/68 SLIDES © The Associated Press
Stars we've lost in 2017
Adam West, star of the '60s 'Batman' TV series

>>--More Black Legal News

Daryl K. Washington Jan-15-2017 1431 0
In such a very short time, many are clearing their memories of how Donald Trump mocked a handicap individual, disrespected candidates, women, the media and anyone else who does not agree with him. Donald Trump has insulted women, called them by names other than their own, has disrespected President Obama and most recently insulted Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis. Despite his despicable behavior, many are of the mindset that we must meet with Donald Trump or risk being left out. Until Donald Trump proves this country wrong, I stand with the Honorable John Lewis.

Has Trump announced that he is cutting back major programs President Obama put in place specifically for black people? Some people are behaving as if Trump is now our savior and if we do not bow down to him he will not help us. If the problems in our communities were so bad and needed so much attention, why weren't people lined up the last 8 years to discuss these problems with President Obama?

Trump has succeeded in making people afraid and now some are living in fear. Trump said in his campaign speech that nothing had been done for the black communities in the last 8 years so what do we have to lose. Trump said he would change things and now people are saying we need to meet with Mr.Trump so that he can keep his promise. That alone really makes it appear as if President Obama did nothing for the black communities and Trump was right. Listen, we have to stop depending on the Government and do for ourselves. When you depend on a large machine like the Government it controls you. When something controls you it can destroy you.

Many of the colleges in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. are now dealing with financial issues because of the budget cuts. Most of the colleges are dependent on the Government to survive because of the little support from the communities and believe me that is a recipe for disaster. Have you ever wondered why Asians and other races are not lined up to meet with Trump? It's because they support their own businesses and circulate the dollars within their own communities so they are not as dependent on the Government. We don't need Trump. We need each other. You guys running behind Trump will make him look like the savior he say he is and as a result he will most certainly be in office for the next 8 years. This country is in the best shape it's ever been in for a very long time and will only get better because of the things President Obama put into place. The thing is, Donald Trump will get credit for it all. We will survive, especially if we begin to support each other.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Sep-20-2016 743 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Jul-14-2016 1057 0
I had the pleasure to witness four NBA superstars issuing a “Call to Action” to the thousands of athletes who were in attendance at the ESPY Awards. It was the moment I waited on for so long because I personally know the influence professional athletes have on society. They have the platform and the power to demand change. We saw the immediate change that occurred when athletes at Grambling State University, Missouri and the Los Angeles Clippers, to name a few, decided to take a stance. Athletes have the power, the platform and the support to make a difference but should they have to do it alone?

As a civil rights attorney I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of protests throughout the U.S. I’ve attended rallies and marches where some of my closest friends lived but as I thought about it, I generally did not get to see any of them until after the events were over. I recently received confirmation that there is a perception that the only individuals out marching are the victims’ families, individuals from the communities we moved away from or individuals who are wrongfully labeled as troublemakers. What really confirmed it for me was when it was stated that “men should get off the protest lines and instead fill out job applications.” I know that comment can be taken many ways but the way I took it was that men who are out protesting do not have jobs. The sad reality of it all is the reason statements like that can be made is because many who have been blessed to obtain multiple degrees, fortunate to be employed by major organizations, live in the nice neighborhoods, drive the fancy cars, have the IRA’s and are living what is considered the American Dream will not get involved with the movement out of the fear of losing it all yet those same people have the audacity to call out athletes.

Here is the bottom line. This movement cannot be placed on the backs of a few. Until organizations see their star players out in the communities voicing their concerns, they will think the injustices are acceptable. I know it shocked the conscious of America to see Trauma surgeon Brian Williams publicly share his fear of police officers. There were many who probably thought “how dare a doctor make such comments” and I’m sure Dr. Williams understood that there was some risks involved in making his comments but I'm sure he realized that many would listen if he spoke. His comments needed to be made because America now sees that this problem does not only exist in what many call the hood. Many now understand that for black and brown people the hood is America and we are not safe anywhere.

Just recently I was traveling to conduct depositions. I guess because I had on a suit and was sitting in First Class (I had an upgrade because of mileage) the white gentleman sitting next to me perhaps was of the opinion that I was not concerned about what was going on in the black communities. Little did he know why I was traveling and what I fight for on a daily basis. He had the audacity to say he could not understand why people were so upset about the incident in Baton Rouge given the background of Alvin Sterling. My response to him was when an officer decides to use excessive force against a black or brown person, in most cases they do not know the name of the person or whether they have a criminal background. Only one thing is seen; the color of the person’s skin. They know in most cases that the law and media have been on their side so there is no fear of killing because there will be plenty of support for them. By the time our flight landed he admitted that his own personal biases had not allowed him to look beyond a certain point but because we discussed it, he now had a clearer picture.

I say all of the above to emphasize that athletes are not the only individuals with the power and platform to demand change. There are Black Presidents, CEO’s, Coaches, CPA's, CFO’s, Managers, Politicians, Directors and future stars of large corporations who also have the platforms. There are Black doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers, pilots, flight attendants, scientists, engineers, sales professionals, educators, business owners, entertainers, etc. who also have the platforms and power to make a change. It’s time that we gave our brothers and sisters, who are out fighting for justice on a daily basis, the help and support they truly need. I can assure you that should you become the victim of police brutality in your nice neighborhoods or fired from you nice jobs, you will then understand the value of being a part of groups that fight for change. We all need to be out protesting so that the victims’ families can properly grieve. We are in this current state of chaos because so many believe it’s not their problem. Just remember, we are in our positions because someone fought for us.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Jun-24-2016 1081 0
On yesterday the officer responsible for the incident in McKinney, Texas was not indicted for the assault on the young teenager that was seen all over the U.S. Also, on yesterday one of the officers in the Freddie Gray case was acquitted. As expected, my timeline on Facebook was flooded with posts from individuals talking about the injustices that take place throughout the U.S. One of my good friends, who is like a brother to me, even blamed attorneys for the injustices throughout the U.S. Generally, I do not comment on these type of issues but because it's Friday I would like to give everyone who this may apply to something to think about.

When is the last time you attended a judicial debate or even contacted an attorney to inquire about a judicial candidate or a DA to see if they had the proper temperament to serve? When is the last time you attended a rally or demanded that a DA present all of the evidence to the grand jury? When is the last time you took a day off from work to support the families who sons or daughters were wrongfully gunned down by a police officer? When is the last time you packed a courthouse to support a family you did not know? When is the last time you sent a letter to the family of a deceased offering your support, financially or emotionally? When is the last time you contacted your local city council member and asked them what they are doing to address the issue of police brutality and police misconduct?

I could go on and on with this but just know, the system will continue as is unless we become proactive and stop being so reactive. This system knows that people will get excited about an incident but once the media is gone, so is the support. As a Civil Rights attorney, I know who is putting it all on the line to bring about change. I know the people who are talking to the DA's, to the Chiefs of Police of various cities, to the city attorneys and others trying to save lives and/or bring about change. I know my friends who attend meetings when I'm in their cities trying to bring about change. It seems like an easy and at times, prestigious job but to be honest, it can be a lonely job. Many nights when most people are sleeping, I find myself in deep thoughts wondering if I could get the thousands of people I know to stand behind us in this fight, a major difference could be made.

Creating the wonderful posts on Facebook help bring attention to issues of injustice but we have to be consistent with our support. One million people strong can take a day off from work with very short notice to attend the CAVS victory parade but let a demonstration for the wrongful death of an unarmed black man or woman be planned and the hardest thing to do is get people to agree on a date or better yet, take off a day to show their support. I know many may not understand how deep this problem truly is but until you step out in the heat and show your support, you may want to stop some of the blaming. Just remember, there will not be change until we all change. Real support is needed to stop the injustices that are occurring throughout the U.S. Let's all come together to bring about a change in this country.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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-11-2015 14034 0
For years the question whether college athletes should be paid has been debated over and over only to be kicked down by legal rulings. The NCAA, the television networks, the media and large colleges have all profited off of the backs of primarily Black athletes, while the only colleges that would accept them are being forced to shut down because of a lack of resources. College coaches are earning millions of dollars per season, have large endorsement deals and live in upscale neighborhoods while college athletes, many who come from low income families, are penalize for accepting a meal from a booster, can’t afford to take a date out to dinner or a movie and can only wish that their families could afford to sit in the stands occupied by many who will not speak to them or support them after their college careers are over.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that in order for there to be a change within the system, the ones with the power would have to do something drastic. Two years ago the Grambling State University football team decided to stage a protest because of the lack of equipment and the conditions of Grambling’s facilities. Although I hated to see it come down to that, I understood their frustrations and realized that we were witnessing the beginning of a new movement. The day had come for college athletes to realize that they have as much power as professional athletes, to demand change.

Two years later, the football players at the University of Missouri made a bold statement that will have an everlasting impact on college sports. They walked away from a game they love to support their fellow students. They have now shown athletes at other schools the power they have when they join together in solidarity. As a result, the NCAA’s biggest fear just came to reality. There was not going to be any change or progress at the University of Missouri until the individuals responsible for generating a large share of the revenue said “Enough is Enough.” Within a few days of their walk-out, President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, announced their resignation. That's power.

The NCAA has long made the issues with college athletes, a legal one. The NCAA created rules that prevent athletes from earning a living until after they’ve made everyone else rich. College athletes are required to sign over all of their rights in exchange for a scholarship and cannot earn one single dime to support a parent who is sometimes forced to work two jobs and in some cases still don't have the resources to attend a game. LSU’s superstar Leonard Fournette is being questioned about a business venture his family started before his college career really took off. Now that he’s signed away his rights, it’s being frowned upon by the individuals who were earn millions off of him. In other words, we the NCAA and LSU own his rights. The system is old, is broken and it’s unfair. Schools like LSU and Alabama earn over $70 million per year off of football but the players receive $0. The coaches earn over $3 million per season but the players earn $0.

I'm predicting that we are a season or two away from college athletes staging one of the largest boycotts in college sports because they have come to realize that the power is in their hands. The Missouri football players did not have to miss one single game to get what they demanded but the fight is far from over. Today, the students in Missouri are being faced with the harsh reality of the racist society we still live in. They should be preparing for exams but instead they are fearing for their lives. One hundred thousand fans will cheer on black athletes on Saturdays but many will criticize their efforts and make fun of them on Monday morning. I applaud the efforts of our college athletes. It makes me feel good to see that Our future generation will not stop fighting the fight that many started years ago. We can only pray that one day we will be able to take off the gloves. Until that time, the fight must go on so that the future generation can experience what Dr. King died for many years ago; True equality for everyone.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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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