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Community Helps Man Arrested After Leaving Kids Home Alone to Go to Work
Community members are banding together to help a North Carolina man accused of leaving his five children home alone while he went to work.

Victor King, 30, told ABCNews that a kind stranger, who saw his story, bailed him out after he was arrested on Tuesday and he is now back at work.

King was charged with child abuse for allegedly leaving the kids, all under age 8, while he went to work to help pay for his sick wife’s medical bills. 

King reportedly told a judge on Wednesday that his wife was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer and that he had to work to support her and his children. King claims he left them in the care of a neighbor, who then left the children alone. He works at a nearby Chipotle, reports said. 

A woman who called 911 to report that the children were home alone for a second day said she had offered King help finding a babysitter and he refused it, according to the station.

The judge kept King’s bail at $25,000 after a prosecutor reportedly cited a prior conviction for child cruelty in 2011.

Many have still donated to a GoFundMe started for the family started by a local teacher. It has raised more than $7,000.

“We just need to help support this man who is working so hard. As a divorced single parent, it's beyond tough managing home and work,” Rikki Hilliard wrote on the fundraiser. “It takes a village to raise a child. Please let this man know that his efforts are not in vain.”

Hilliard told ABCNews in these contentious times it's uplifting to see people from all walks of life reaching out to a family they don't know.

"After Charlottesville, I was really saddened and I felt really bad about the world and I wanted to create some good. And my heart is definitely warmed by the thought of that many people across the country who've been touched by helping this family out," Hilliard said. 
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Maya Chung Aug-22-2017 17 0
Community members are banding together to help a North Carolina man accused of leaving his five children home alone while he went to work.

Victor King, 30, told ABCNews that a kind stranger, who saw his story, bailed him out after he was arrested on Tuesday and he is now back at work.

King was charged with child abuse for allegedly leaving the kids, all under age 8, while he went to work to help pay for his sick wife’s medical bills. 

King reportedly told a judge on Wednesday that his wife was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer and that he had to work to support her and his children. King claims he left them in the care of a neighbor, who then left the children alone. He works at a nearby Chipotle, reports said. 

A woman who called 911 to report that the children were home alone for a second day said she had offered King help finding a babysitter and he refused it, according to the station.

The judge kept King’s bail at $25,000 after a prosecutor reportedly cited a prior conviction for child cruelty in 2011.

Many have still donated to a GoFundMe started for the family started by a local teacher. It has raised more than $7,000.

“We just need to help support this man who is working so hard. As a divorced single parent, it's beyond tough managing home and work,” Rikki Hilliard wrote on the fundraiser. “It takes a village to raise a child. Please let this man know that his efforts are not in vain.”

Hilliard told ABCNews in these contentious times it's uplifting to see people from all walks of life reaching out to a family they don't know.

"After Charlottesville, I was really saddened and I felt really bad about the world and I wanted to create some good. And my heart is definitely warmed by the thought of that many people across the country who've been touched by helping this family out," Hilliard said. 

William Douglas Aug-22-2017 20 0
The Congressional Black Caucus, a formidable bloc of lawmakers with a big say in the fate of President Donald Trump and his legislation, Monday sent him a terse, clear message: We don’t think you understand us at all.

The caucus’ chairman Monday urged cancellation of next month’s highly anticipated meeting between White House officials and leaders of the nation’s historically black colleges. And he plans to have the 49-member caucus meet when Congress returns in two weeks to discuss whether to back Democratic-led efforts to impeach Trump.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., the caucus chairman, said the president’s remarks after the deadly Aug. 12 protest in Charlottesville show he has no commitment to the schools or the African American community.

Richmond said the caucus was outraged by Trump’s assertion of “blame on both sides” for the violent rally dominated by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

“You can make an argument based on pure competency and fitness to serve, and that’s the conversation the caucus will have,” Richmond told reporters in a conference call Monday. The caucus includes 46 House Democrats, Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Republican Rep. Mia Love of Utah.

“Am I concerned about high crimes and misdemeanors?” Richmond asked. “Absolutely. Am I concerned about this president’s fitness to serve? Absolutely.”

Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and 240 of the House’s 435 seats, and there’s been no GOP talk of impeachment.

Trump has received heavy criticism both inside and outside of government for not forcefully condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the immediate aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville.

He disbanded two business advisory panels after several of its members, CEOs of top American companies, quit the panels resigned because of Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protest.
Richmond said what does not need to wait for a group discussion is Trump scrap a National HBCU Week Conference that administration officials planned for Sept. 17 to 19 in Washington.

The event is scheduled as a follow-up of sorts to Trump’s HBCU Initiative, a plan he announced with great fanfare in February.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump signed an executive order for the initiative with more than six dozen black college presidents surrounding him. Its chief aim was to move responsibilities for HBCUs out of the Department of Education and into the White House with an executive director in charge.

Six months later, most of the HBCU portfolio remains in the Education Department and an executive director has not been named.

“Not only do I think it should be postponed, it shouldn’t have been happening in the first place,” Richmond said. “This White House isn’t serious about improving our HBCUs. They brought all those HBCU presidents to town, they took a picture in the Oval Office, and then they did nothing.”

Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., was the first lawmaker to call for next month’s meeting to be postponed.
She said last week that because of Trump’s handling of the events in Charlottesville and “zero progress on any of (the HBCUs’) priorities, it would be highly unproductive to ask HBCU presidents to come back to Washington.”

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an HBCU advocacy group that has been supportive of Trump’s outreach toward the schools, agreed.

“There is pretty strong consensus that the White House should consider postponing” next month’s meeting, Marshall College Fund President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., wrote in a letter Friday to Omarosa Manigault-Newman, director for communications for the White House’s Office of Public Liaison.

Taylor said the ability of HBCU leaders to engage with representatives from federal agencies could be “overshadowed” by “concerns related to recent national events, ultimately making the conference counterproductive.”

Richmond criticized Manigault-Newman, questioning the value of dealing with the former reality television show celebrity who has served as Trump’s liaison to the African-American community since the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Omarosa is still pretending to have influence with this president,” he said. “I’m just surprised that she’s there as an African-American woman after his latest comments.”

Richmond’s comment reflects the terse relationship between the CBC and Trump. The caucus met with Trump in March. Afterward, Richmond said the CBC and the president shared similar goals but strongly disagreed on “the route to get there.”

The caucus rejected an invitation by Manigault-Newman for a follow-up meeting with Trump in June because “we have seen no evidence that your administration acted on our calls for action, and we have in fact witnessed steps that will affirmatively hurt black communities,” Richmond wrote in a letter.

At least three CBC members, Reps. Al Green, D-Texas., Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., have called for Trump’s impeachment.

Green said in June that Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election. Moore last week cited Trump’s response to Charlottesville as proof he’s unfit for the Oval Office.

“For the sake of the soul of our country,” we must come together to restore our national dignity that has been robbed by Donald Trump’s presence in the White House,” she said last week. “My Republican friends, I implore you to work with us within our capacity as elected officials to remove this man as our commander-in-chief and help us move forward from this dark period in our nation’s history.”

Dee Thompson Aug-17-2017 223 0
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals at Dallas ruled that Erykah Badu’s comments on social media about former manager Paul Levatino were protected free speech, however the case is going back to the trial court for further rulings.

Paul Levatino worked for Erykah Badu (real name Erica Wright) for 8 years as the general manager of her business interests. His duties included merchandising, concert and event management, and marketing. He was paid through her company Apple Tree Cafe Touring.

On May 27, 2014, Badu terminated the employment of Levatino. She said on May 29, 2014, on social media that Levatino was never her manager and she had never had a manager, according to the court's opinion. She also alleged he had shut down her Facebook fan page.

In October 2014, Badu received a letter from Levatino’s lawyer Joseph H. Gillespie of Gillespie Sanford LLP stating she had defamed Levatino, and asking for a public retraction and compensation. 

On Oct. 31, 2014, Badu filed a petition seeking a declaratory judgment, saying that Levatino had never been her talent manager and was not owed any compensation. Badu next filed an amendment to the petition alleging fraud, conversion and theft by deception.

In response to the petition, Levatino filed a counterclaim “...asserting Badu’s Facebook and Twitter posts were defamatory and have caused Levatino to suffer actual damages in the form of lost compensation and earning capacity, and non-pecuniary damages.” Additionally, “Levatino asserts Apple Tree is liable for the statements and omissions made by Badu,” according to the court of appeals' Aug. 3 order.

Levatino moved for dismissal of Badu’s claims under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) and asserted that his pre-suit demand letters were protected activity under the TCPA. 
To be considered an exercise of the right of association under the TCPA, communication must happen “between individuals who join together to collectively express, promote, pursue or defend common interests,” according to the court's opinion.

In his petition, Levantino claimed “Attorney-client communications that culminate in a demand letter to opposing counsel expressing the common interests of the attorney and client are protected under the right of association and it was error to hold otherwise.” 

His petition also stated, “The court of appeals decision also contravenes the broadly written and liberally construed purpose of the act because instead of limiting frivolous anti-SLAPP suits, it instead incentivizes such suits by protecting parties that rush to the courthouse to file strategic retaliatory suits in response to pre-suit demand letters.”

The trial court, appellate court and Texas Supreme Court all denied his petition for review.
In its Aug. 3, ruling, the Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas ruled that the issue of attorney’s fees was remanded back to the trial court to decide. It also ruled that Badu’s comments on social media were exercises of her right of association. 

Additionally, the Court of Appeals 5th District of Texas ruled that because Badu’s comments on social media were damaging to his reputation, and it was commonly known in the music industry that he was her manager, that Levatino presented a prima facie case of defamation. According to the Wex Legal Dictionary, a "prima facie case is a cause of action or defense that is sufficiently established by a party's evidence to justify a verdict in his or her favor, provided such evidence is not rebutted by the other party."

The Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas concluded that “We reverse, in part, that portion of the trial court’s order awarding Levatino attorney’s fees and cost, and remand the attorney’s fees and cost issue to the trial court to determine whether appellants’ motion was frivolous or solely intended to delay. We otherwise affirm the trial court’s order.”

Thomas Tracy Aug-13-2017 110 0
A deranged Long Island man, left on the street since his mom evicted him, returned home Saturday to execute her, his sister and a third woman in a hammer-swinging bloodbath.

Bobby Vanderhall, 34, was sleeping peacefully inside a parked car when he was arrested about 2 miles away from the Hempstead home where police say he carved a late-night trail of terror.

The hulking Long Island man bashed all three women to death with a framing hammer, wreaking havoc in the suburban two-story home where he lived until Lynn Vanderhall gave her only son the boot.

“He came to kill mom and the sister . . . because his mother had kicked him out,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, head of the Nassau County Police Homicide Bureau.

The third victim, identified as a friend of his sister, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time — as was a fourth woman who escaped after watching the 6-foot, 234-pound Vanderhall smash his sister Melissa in the head with the oversized hammer.

In addition to Lynn Vanderhall, 59, and daughter Melissa, 29, police identified the other victim as Janel Simpson, 29. Janel and Melissa were best friends since childhood.
Relatives of the dead wept and howled in anguish outside the home at 125 Perry St., where bloody handprints were visible from outside.

“That’s the most beautiful memory of my daughter — her smile, her laugh,” said distraught mom Wendy Simpson. “I’m not saying it should be anybody else’s child. But why me?”

According to police, the slain mother had an order of protection against her mentally-troubled son — who now faces three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

The order did not bar him from the home, only from harassing his mom.

Neighbor Earl Sykes, 38, was driving home from the movies around 1:20 a.m. when the surviving victim sprinted between cars, barefoot and screaming, to jump on the hood of his vehicle.

“She was covered in blood,” said Sykes, who called 911. “She kept saying, ‘He’s trying to kill us! He’s trying to kill us!’

“She kept saying his whole name. She kept saying over and over again, “Help me please.’ When the officer asked, ‘Did he take his medication?’ she was saying, ‘He was supposed to.’”

The surviving woman, identified as Candace Murray, was in stable condition at a Long Island hospital with a fractured wrist and contusions.

The killing spree started shortly after Bobby returned to the house in the middle of the night, only to find he was locked out.

“The doors were secured and he became enraged,” said Fitzpatrick. “He went to the garage, he obtained a large hammer. . . . With this hammer, he broke through the basement door.”

Once upstairs, he fatally bludgeoned his mother in the living room before heading toward the second floor. He was climbing the stairs when his sister and Murray appeared, rushing down to help Melissa’s mom, police said.

Bobby began bashing his sister as Murray fled for her life. Janel Simpson was by herself in another room, where Bobby Vanderhall killed her last, cops said.

Lynn Vanderhall threw her son out of the house at some point after a March 2017 incident where he was accused of slapping and physically harassing her, police said.

“His behavior became more unruly, more violent,” said Fitzpatrick. “His mother had enough.”

He was twice hospitalized for emotional issues, and had a rap sheet that included a 2003 DWI arrest and 2015 bust for forcibly touching a woman.


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Aug-12-2017 413 0
The death of a federal prosecutor whose body was found on Hollywood Beach in May has been ruled a suicide, the Hollywood Police Department said Thursday.

James Beranton Whisenant Jr., a prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to detectives and the medical examiner’s office. The body of the 37-year-old man was discovered on the edge of the water near Magnolia Terrace on May 24, 2017.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office family is deeply saddened by his death. He was a wonderful lawyer and great colleague," the office said in a statement after his death. "We will miss him deeply. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family."

Whisenant's LinkedIn profile said he has been an assistant U.S. attorney since January 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Florida in 2004 and had been a partner at Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Whisenant was also an adjunct instructor at the University of Miami Paralegal Program.


AP Aug-12-2017 391 0
The parents of Kendrick Johnson have been ordered to pay $300,000 in legal fees for the people they accused of killing their son and covering up his death.

The ruling by Lowndes County Superior Court Judge Richard Porter is related to a 2015 wrongful death lawsuit filed by Johnson’s parents against brothers Brian and Branden Bell, who they say murdered their son.

–Kendrick Johnson surveillance video raises questions about whether teen was alone–

Johnson was found dead rolled up in a gym mat in June of 2013, and while investigators concluded that he had died from asphyxiation while reaching for a pair of sneakers, Kenneth and Jackie Johnson insisted that it was no accident.

They claimed that Brian and Branden’s father, FBI agent Rick Bell, along with a school superintendent and former sheriff, had rolled Johnson’s body in the mat and enlisted the superintendent’s daughters to “discover” the body.

“Judge Porter has now put those false accusations to rest and determined that the Johnsons’ and their lawyer’s accusations were substantially frivolous, groundless and vexatious,” said attorney Jim Elliott, who represents former Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine. “All of those who have been falsely accused have been vindicated. Truth prevails. Justice has been done.”

In addition to the Johnsons, their attorney, Chevene King, was also ordered to reimburse the almost two dozen defendants from that initial lawsuit.

RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA Aug-11-2017 416 0
Last month, before voting to release O.J. Simpson from prison after nine years, the Nevada parole board discussed in detail the robbery that put him behind bars and his conduct as an inmate. But one piece of Mr. Simpson’s record escaped the notice of the board, the news media, and most of the millions of people watching on television and online.

During the hearing on July 20, members of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners said that before his 2008 conviction for the robbery in a hotel in Las Vegas, Mr. Simpson had no history of a criminal conviction. That was incorrect.

As the world knows, Mr. Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of the murders of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, in the most-watched trial in American history. But in 1989, he pleaded no contest in Los Angeles to misdemeanor battery of Ms. Simpson, who was then his wife.
The Nevada parole board did not have that information, officials with that agency said this week, so the 1989 conviction was not considered when a four-member panel voted unanimously to release him in October.

When states weigh the risk posed by an inmate, they routinely look through their own records, and also check with the National Crime Information Center, a set of enormous databases of records run by the F.B.I. Mr. Simpson’s 1989 conviction “did not appear in the N.C.I.C. history” when Nevada officials prepared a pre-sentencing report after his 2008 conviction, said David M. Smith, hearings examiner for the parole board.

He said the parole commissioners relied in part on the information in that 2008 report in assessing whether Mr. Simpson should be released. Mr. Smith’s response came in a written statement in response to questions from The New York Times, which began inquiring about Mr. Simpson’s record after a reader noted the 1989 case.

To see if it had made an error, the parole board checked the N.C.I.C. again after the inquiry by The Times. “This most recent report also makes no mention of the 1989 California court record,” Mr. Smith said.

The parole commissioners declined to be interviewed. Mr. Smith said it was impossible to tell whether knowing of the misdemeanor conviction would have influenced their decision on Mr. Simpson, who is 70, and who has had no disciplinary record from his time in prison. The decision is not subject to review unless Mr. Simpson violates the terms of his release.

Though a jury in Los Angeles found Mr. Simpson not guilty of killing Mr. Goldman and Ms. Simpson, a civil jury later found him responsible for their deaths. The killings have cast an inescapable shadow over every aspect of his life since then. Because he was acquitted of the murders, the Nevada parole board legally could not take that case into account in making its decision.

It is not clear why the 1989 case failed to turn up in the federal system, and California court officials said they did not have an explanation. But the omission highlights a frequent problem: There are major gaps in the databases, which rely primarily on accurate and complete reporting by local and state agencies.

The Justice Department has reported, for example, that states fail to transmit most of their active arrest warrants from their own databases into the federal system and often neglect to update records to show whether cases resulted in convictions. Some states still rely on paper files, making it likelier that they will not end up in the federal electronic records database, and that is even more of a problem with older records.

Gaps in the federal databases have often been noted in the context of background checks for gun purchasers, whose names are checked against those files, but far less attention has gone to the effect they have on other aspects of law enforcement, like sentencing and parole.

The F.B.I. said it could not comment on a specific case or the practices of individual agencies, but noted in a statement that participation “from our state and local partners is voluntary, not compulsory.”

Nevada officials noted that misdemeanor cases were sometimes expunged from the record years later, for defendants who stay out of trouble, and that records could be sealed by court order.
But the 1989 case appears, unsealed, in California’s database, where The Times was able to find it, and a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County courts confirmed that the conviction was never expunged, remaining a part of Mr. Simpson’s record. Under California law, a no-contest plea is a conviction.

Mr. Simpson’s lawyer at the parole hearing, Malcolm P. LaVergne, said he was aware of the earlier case, but did not know why California would not have submitted it to the federal database.
“I’m not a California lawyer,” he said. “There are questions here I can’t answer for you.”

In 2007, Mr. Simpson and a group of other men, two of them carrying guns, went to the Las Vegas hotel room of a sports memorabilia dealer and took hundreds of items from him. Mr. Simpson said he was merely reclaiming property that had been stolen from him, but he was convicted in 2008 of robbery, kidnapping and other charges.

A judge sentenced him to nine to 33 years in prison, but did not take the 1989 conviction into account because it was not in the pre-sentencing report. Mr. Simpson became eligible for parole for the first time this year.

At his parole hearing, Mr. Simpson said, “I basically have spent a conflict-free life” and “I’ve always been a guy that got along with everybody,” though Ms. Simpson and others had said he beat her multiple times.

The 1989 case was reported by news media at the time, and received a fresh round of attention after Mr. Simpson became a suspect in the murders.

In that case, prosecutors charged that early on New Year’s Day, at the Simpson home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, Mr. Simpson punched, kicked and slapped his wife while yelling “I’ll kill you.” He first denied the accusations, but a few months later, he pleaded no contest to one count of spousal battery.

The charge carried a maximum sentence of a year in jail, but a judge opted not to incarcerate Mr. Simpson, instead ordering him to perform community service and receive counseling.

Peter Sblendorio Aug-08-2017 89 0
An Atlanta rapper who called himself "bulletproof" after he was shot 10 times and survived was killed by an unidentified gunman Sunday evening in DeKalb County, Ga., according to officials.

Yung Mazi — who had collaborated with big-name artists such as Rich Homie Quan and Yung Thug — was gunned down in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s office said.

The shooting occurred at around 8:55 p.m. when the rapper, 31, appeared to be leaving the Urban Pie pizza restaurant.

Atlanta Police did not disclose his identity in their police report, but confirmed a 31-year-old male died in the area after sustaining multiple gun wounds. Authorities responded to the scene after hearing gunshots outside the the department's Zone 6 precinct, which is located nearby.

Officials said no suspects are in custody, and the investigation for the rapper's shooter is ongoing.

Yung Mazi, whose real name was Jabril Abdur-Rahman, claimed in a video last year that he had survived 10 gunshots during his lifetime. He tweeted last December that "God made me bulletproof" following a shooting at a Waffle House in Buckhead, Ga.

The rapper's brother, Luqman Abdur-Rahman, asked for privacy in a short phone conversation with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"We're praying for him and all involved," he told the newspaper.

Yung Mazi's colleague Rich Homie Quan, meanwhile, paid tribute to the artist by sharing an Instagram photo of his late collaborator counting money.

"Rest easy Mazi," he captioned the picture.

Ian Cummings Aug-03-2017 64 0
NAACP officials say their recent travel advisory for Missouri is the first that the civil rights group has issued for any state.

But the warning follows a recent trend of similar alerts issued by other groups for vulnerable people around the United States.

The travel advisory, circulated in June by the Missouri NAACP and recently taken up by the national organization, comes after travel alerts began appearing in recent years in light of police shootings in the U.S. and ahead of immigration legislation in Texas and Arizona.

The Missouri travel advisory is the first time an NAACP conference has ever made one state the subject of a warning about discrimination and racist attacks, a spokesman for the national organization said Tuesday.

Missouri became the first because of recent legislation making discrimination lawsuits harder to win, and in response to longtime racial disparities in traffic enforcement and a spate of incidents cited as examples of harm coming to minority residents and visitors, say state NAACP leaders.

Those incidents included racial slurs against black students at the University of Missouri and the death earlier this year of 28-year-old Tory Sanders, a black man from Tennessee who took a wrong turn while traveling and died in a southeast Missouri jail even though he hadn’t been accused of a crime.

“How do you come to Missouri, run out of gas and find yourself dead in a jail cell when you haven’t broken any laws?” asked Rod Chapel, the president of the Missouri NAACP.

“You have violations of civil rights that are happening to people. They’re being pulled over because of their skin color, they’re being beaten up or killed,” Chapel said. “We are hearing complaints at a rate we haven’t heard before.”

At the same time, Chapel said, the state government is throwing up barriers to people seeking justice in the courts for discrimination. The travel advisory cites legislation signed by Gov. Eric Greitens that will make it more difficult to sue for housing or employment discrimination.

Asked about the travel advisory on Friday in Kansas City, Greitens said he hadn’t seen it yet. His office did not return messages seeking comment on Tuesday.

The new law on discrimination lawsuits takes effect Aug. 28, and Chapel urged people to file any complaints they have before then.

Chapel, who was silenced by a Missouri House committee chairman while speaking against the legislation earlier this year, said he was especially alarmed that the University of Missouri System backed an earlier version of the bill.

The NAACP’s advisory also cites the most recent attorney general’s report showing black drivers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites. Those reports have been showing the disparity since the attorney general began releasing the data in 2000.

In May, the owner of a Blue Springs barbershop found his shop windows stained with racial slurs. The same two words appeared on three separate windows in black paint: “Die (N-word).”

“The advisory is for people to be aware, and warn their families and friends and co-workers of what could happen in Missouri,” Chapel said. “People need to be ready, whether it’s bringing bail money with them, or letting relatives know they are traveling through the state.”


AP Jul-31-2017 101 0
Allen Iverson did not show up for the Big3's games in Dallas, and the league says it is investigating his absence.

The former NBA MVP is the biggest star in Ice Cube's 3-on-3 league of former NBA players. Iverson signed on as a player and coach of Three's Company for the league's inaugural season.

He hasn't been playing very much - he didn't play at all in his much-hyped return to Philadelphia - and the league says in a statement it had no advance notice that Iverson wouldn't attend the game Sunday.

The league says it will make a statement once it has gathered all the facts surrounding Iverson's absence.

DerMarr Johnson, the team's co-captain, took over the coaching duties Sunday.

Omar Villafranca Jul-27-2017 118 0
A police supervisor in Texas is defending the actions of a constable who was in a confrontation last week with a young man. Millions have seen the cellphone video, and some believe the constable crossed the line.

The cellphone video captures a moment when a Harris County constable stopped 20-year-old Marlin Gipson as he and his brothers were passing out business cards for his lawn service last week.
"I'm kind of busy, I'm trying to make money," Gipson can be heard saying in the video.

The officer then says, "Yeah, but when I saw you, you were going from door to door."
Gipson did not have an ID card on him when asked by the officer.

Then, the situation got tense, after Gipson asked the constable for his information.
"Tell you what," the officer says. "Just turn around and put your hands around your back."
"For what? Hey! Nope," Gipson says. He instead left the scene.

Gipson spoke with CBS News and showed us the business cards he was handing out.
"I would still be doing this right here," Gipson said as he fanned out the cards in his hand. "Lawn service, making money that's the goal… trying to support our family."

Constable administrator Alen Rosen said Gipson left because of an outstanding misdemeanor assault warrant.

"So when originally stopped and questioned by the officer, that was why he really didn't want to say who we was," Rosen said.

Constables came to his house later that day. Gipson recorded that, too. He said constables broke down his door, tased him and sicced a K-9 on him that left bite marks on his arm.

"I can't even lift certain stuff no more," Gipson told us. "My arm is still numb in certain spots. I can barely lift it up."

But Rosen says his officers did nothing wrong.

"We gave Mr. Gipson, before the police dog went upstairs, we told him four different times, we even yelled, 'police dog, police dog come out,'" Rosen explained.

The Harris County constable says they have body camera video that backs up their side of the story, but they have not released it.

L.M. Sixel Jul-25-2017 114 0
Bass Pro Outdoor World, the sporting goods retailer with 82 stores, agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle a nationwide class action case brought in Houston by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which accused the outdoor outfitter of rejecting qualified black and Hispanic job applicants and retaliating against employees who objected to the alleged practice.

The money will go to compensate eligible black and Hispanic job seekers who were not hired, according to the agreement filed Monday in federal court in Houston. The proposed settlement has yet to be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison, who is overseeing the six-year-old case.

Bass Pro, which has two stores in the Houston area, also agreed to establish a diversity office and find job candidates by participating in job fairs in minority communities and recruiting at colleges with significant minority populations. Bass Pro maintains that it did not engage in any unlawful activities based on race or national origin nor in any retaliatory conduct, according to the agreement.

"The company is fully committed to the expansion of its ongoing efforts to attract a more diverse workforce," according to a written statement from Bass Pro. A portion of the $10.5 million payment may be devoted to programs that engage inner city youth in outdoor activities.

The settlement comes as Bass Pro, of Springfield, Mo., looks to complete a $4 billion deal to acquire its rival, Nebraska-based Cabela's. Anti-trust regulators at the Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal earlier this month, but Bass Pro is still waiting approval from banking regulators to the spin off Cabala's banking operations, including its credit card business.

Rudy Sustaita, EEOC regional attorney, said he could not comment on the proposed deal until it is approved by Ellison. The agreement does not specify how many job applicants would share the $10.5 million or the expected value of each award.

If approved by Ellison, the agreement would end the long government investigation into the hiring practices at one of the nation's most prominent outdoor outfitters. It started a decade ago when a white manager at the Bass Pro Outdoor World store in Katy reported to the EEOC that she was fired when she complained to her boss about mistreatment of black job applicants and employees.

The EEOC built its case on evidence provided by her and other managers, eventually concluding that the company's practice of not hiring minorities was part of a nationwide pattern. The EEOC analyzed Bass Pro's hiring data and found that black employees were underrepresented in more than 95 percent of the stores while Hispanic employees were underrepresented in more than 70 percent, according to court records.

A company-wide policy of favoring whites and discriminating against minorities became known as "the Profile," according to the EEOC's amended 2014 lawsuit. "Only white applicants fit the Profile," according to the complaint.

The EEOC also accused Bass Pro of destroying employment applications, according to court documents.

Bass Pro noted Monday that a critical element of the tentative agreement is an acknowledgement by the EEOC that allegations of discrimination against Bass Pro founder John Morris were found to be "false and without merit." The EEOC had contended in 2013 and 2014 that Morris was the architect behind the company's white-only "Profile," according to court records.

As part of the agreement, the EEOC agreed to remove references to Morris in an amended complaint filed in federal court Monday.

Bass Pro was founded in 1972 by Morris in the back of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Mo., according to the company's web site. Today, the stores draw more than 120 million shoppers annually and feature aquariums and lavish wildlife displays.

The company touts itself as a tourist attraction that can spawn other economic development and grew by aggressively seeking public funding to finance its stores. At the time the EEOC lawsuit was filed in 2011, Bass Pro had received more than $500 million in taxpayer subsidies, according to the Public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog group in Buffalo, N.Y.

Bass Pro noted that the agreement it reached with the EEOC was similar to a nationwide deal the agency reached with Cabela's in September 2015. Cabela's agreed to improve its hiring and recruitment of minorities to resolve an EEOC charge that the 86-store chain failed to recruit and hire minorities.

With the EEOC lawsuit settled, Bass Pro said it can focus its full attention on merging with Cabela's.

Graham Rayman Jul-25-2017 152 0
A beloved barber was gunned down outside a Queens eatery early Tuesday, hours after he fired off a social media post taunting his rivals.

“N----- taking shots can’t stop me,” Zanu Simpson wrote in an Instagram caption containing emojis of a gun and two bombs.

“They ain’t real enough.”

The 32-year-old Simpson was found shot in the head inside his white BMW X5 about 12:15 a.m., police said.

The car was parked outside the Breezes Highland Bar & Grill on S. Conduit Ave. in Rosedale, where Simpson had spent the night and left without incident, sources said.

A motorist who called 911 told cops she saw a man in a charcoal gray sweatshirt leaning into the BMW’s driver side window and punching the victim.

As she zoomed past, she heard a gunshot. The woman told police she doubled back and found the driver slumped in his seat with bullet wounds, cops said.

The gunman shot Simpson three times before taking off, cops said.

Investigators found at the scene a gun believed to be the murder weapon and a live round.

Paramedics rushed the mortally-wounded Simpson to Jamaica Hospital, but doctors couldn’t save him.

Simpson, who worked with his brother at the Strickly Skillz Barbershop in Hollis, was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m., sources said.

“That was like my other half,” said the victim’s brother Samuel Simpson, 35.

“Everybody says we looked alike. They always called us twins.”

The strapping, Jamaican-born victim, known to his friends as “Z,” was obsessed with sports as a child and graduated from Bayside High School, relatives and pals said.

Cutting hair didn’t come easily to Simpson at first. But he eventually joined his brother at the popular barbershop frequented by NBA star Kevin Durant and other celebrities.

“I taught him how to cut hair and at first he didn’t take to it but eventually he got in and came into the business with me,” Samuel Simpson said.

A handful of mourners carrying candles showed up at Strickly Skillz Tuesday morning to pay tribute to Simpson.

“He’s wonderful,” said customer Emily Laguerre, 51.

“He’ll never say no, even if you don’t have the money. He’ll say pay me next week ... It’s so sad to see life taken like this.”

Simpson had racked up more than 16,000 followers on Instagram where he often posted photos of his barbershop handiwork.

“May the spineless bastard who took you have no peace for the rest of their sorry ass life,” one of his followers wrote Tuesday.

>>--More Black Legal News

Daryl K. Washington Jan-15-2017 1543 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 835 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 1138 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 1156 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 14126 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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