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Cancer-stricken teen dies weeks after prom date with Jaguars DT Sen'Derrick Marks
Hospital officials say a Jacksonville teenager with liver cancer who went to her high school prom with an NFL player has died.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Hamilton told The Florida Times-Union that 18-year-old Khameyea Jennings died Thursday.

Earlier this month, Jennings went to her prom with Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. He drove the couple to the Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology prom in his Lamborghini.

Dreams Come True of Jacksonville had approached the Jaguars about the prom invitation, and Marks said he jumped at the chance to make a difference in Jennings’ life.

Jennings’ mother said the teen enjoyed the opportunity to attend prom without having to worry about her cancer treatments.

Jennings was diagnosed with cancer in May 2013.
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AP May-24-2015 172 0
Hospital officials say a Jacksonville teenager with liver cancer who went to her high school prom with an NFL player has died.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Hamilton told The Florida Times-Union that 18-year-old Khameyea Jennings died Thursday.

Earlier this month, Jennings went to her prom with Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. He drove the couple to the Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology prom in his Lamborghini.

Dreams Come True of Jacksonville had approached the Jaguars about the prom invitation, and Marks said he jumped at the chance to make a difference in Jennings’ life.

Jennings’ mother said the teen enjoyed the opportunity to attend prom without having to worry about her cancer treatments.

Jennings was diagnosed with cancer in May 2013.

Melissa Chan May-24-2015 668 0
The acquittal Saturday of a white Cleveland cop for firing the final blasts of a 137-shot police barrage that killed two unarmed blacks ignited outrage and protests.

Demonstrators seething over the acquittal of Officer Michael Brelo, 31, flooded the streets following the verdict — leading to several arrests.

As darkness cloaked the city, groups of protesters clashed with officers in riot gear.

Demonstrators also got into a raucous fight with patrons at a downtown restaurant.

Three people were led away in handcuffs and charged with felony assault and aggravated riot, authorities said.
A fourth person was charged with assault after throwing an unknown object through a window — injuring a female patron.

By early Sunday, at least nine people were arrested, including a reporter for the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Brelo, 31, was the only one of the 13 officers who opened fire in November 2012 to face criminal charges — and a Cleveland judge found him not guilty in the bench trial.

Prosecutors charged Brelo unloaded 49 shots, including a 15-bullet fusillade while standing on the hood of the car and blasting through the windshield at victims Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30.

Brelo wept, held his head in his hands and occasionally made the sign of the cross as Judge John O’Donnell found him not guilty.

The shooting followed a 62-car, 100 mph chase that one prosecutor said looked like a clip from the movie “The Blues Brothers.” The chase was triggered in downtown Cleveland after cops reacted to what they believed was a gunshot, but was instead Russell’s Chevy Malibu backfiring.

For more than 20 miles, the phalanx of cops chased Russell’s 1979 Malibu. The officers unloaded on the vehicle after finally cornering it.

Russell was shot 23 times, and Williams was struck by 24 bullets. Neither victim was armed. Inside the vehicle, investigators discovered a crack pipe.

Russell’s family blasted the judge’s decision.

“Fleeing is not grounds for death,” read the family statement. “The exoneration of Officer Brelo speaks to a complete disregard for the extreme and unnecessary force meted out against some American citizens who happen to be black and brown.”

More than 200 angry but mostly peaceful protesters immediately took to the Cleveland streets, some carrying signs asking, “Will I be next?”
The demonstrators marched through the city’s downtown — at times squaring off with cops.

Three protesters were handcuffed and taken into police custody near Quicken Loans Arena.

Officers held up pepper spray as protesters surged towards those who had been arrested, but tensions quickly cooled.

Racial tensions in Cleveland were already strained by the killing six months ago of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy shot to death by a rookie white cop. The preteen was carrying a pellet gun.

“This verdict is another chilling reminder of a broken relationship between the Cleveland police department and the community it serves,” said U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge.

Cleveland community activist Carole Steiner agreed: “Police murder people of color and not have to serve one day in jail.”

Russell’s sister, Michelle, called for peaceful protests and stressed the ruling was not the final word. “He’s not going to dodge this just because he was acquitted,” she said. “God will have the final say.”

But the U.S. Justice Department may get a crack at the case first. A review of evidence in the state trial could lead to a federal civil rights prosecution of Brelo, who was facing 22 years in prison before being cleared of voluntary manslaughter.

TOBIAS SALINGER May-24-2015 657 0
An anonymous racist sent a hate note to an African-American family in Long Island, telling them “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.”

Ronica Copes, 37, a resident of Lindenhurst in the town of Babylon, found the typewritten, all-capital-letter message in an addressed envelope in her mailbox on Thursday afternoon, she told Newsday.

“ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY,” begins the letter, which she later posted to Facebook. “THIS IS COMING FROM LINDENHURST COMMUNITY.”



Suffolk County Police are investigating the correspondence as a possible hate crime, according to Newsday. Copes has lived in her house with her mother, her two siblings and five nieces and nephews since September 2013, but she told the publication that she hasn’t experienced any racism firsthand in the community.

Copes’ mother Darcell told WNBC-TV has jolted the family,

“I went from being fearful, protecting my family, to being totally confused, and wanted to know who and why,” the elder Copes told the TV station. “Today, it becomes even deeper: is it someone in the school district, is it the guy at the corner store, is it my neighbor down the street? Where?”

A dozen elected officials from Lindenhurst and Babylon, including Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer and Lindenhurst Village Mayor Tom Brennan, condemned the letter in a statement released on Friday afternoon.

“The best way to fight bias is with solidarity and we stand with all of our residents in declaring that there is no place for this type of intolerance and hatred in the Village of Lindenhurst, the Town of Babylon, or anywhere in our community,” the officials said in the statement. “We are, and always will be, a strong diverse community that does not cede ground to hostility, ignorance, or hatred, wherever it may appear.”

The younger Copes told the local newspaper that the family has no plans to leave the south shore Long Island town, which has a population of 27,000 that is just over 84% white and nearly 2% black, according to census figures.

“We feel a great deal of fear, but it subsided a little now because, I have to say, there has been a great outreach from a lot of people,” Copes said.

DEBORAH HASTINGS May-23-2015 168 0
A Cleveland cop accused of fatally shooting two unarmed people in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire is not guilty of voluntarily manslaughter, an Ohio judge ruled Saturday.

Michael Brelo, 31, was one of 13 officers who unleashed a hail of bullets into the couple's car during a high-speed chase in November 2012, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

Prosecutors said Brelo reloaded his gun after they were no longer a threat, mounted the car's hood and fired 15 rounds into the windshield.

Brelo wept as the long judge's ruling was read Saturday and at times crossed himself and held his head in his hands. After being declared not guilty, he hugged his attorneys in the crowded courtroom. The verdict capped a four-week trial that ended on May 5.

Groups of angry protesters stood outside the courthouse shouting "No justice, no peace" and "Hands up, don't shoot," after the hour-long verdict was read. Sheriff's deputies with riot shields flanked the building. But there were no reports of violence and Mayor Frank Jackson admonished residents that demonstrators who crossed the line "cannot, and will not, be tolerated."

"I will never trust Cleveland police again," said Alfredo Williams, the female victim's brother.

Russell, 43, and Williams, 30, were each shot more than 20 times in less than eight seconds. The chase began after officers in a patrol car mistook the sound of the couple's car backfiring for gun shots on Nov. 29, 2012. More than 60 squad cars chased the man and woman for about 20 miles.

Steve Loomis of the Cleveland police union said he hoped residents would respect the ruling.

Five other officers were indicted on lesser charges of dereliction of duty and are awaiting trial. There were no weapons found in the couple's car.

The controversial shooting is one of several noted in a 2014 U.S. Justice Department report that showed the Cleveland Police Department has a pattern of using excessive force.

"The officers, who were firing on the car from all sides, reported believing that they were being fired at by the suspects. It now appears that those shots were being fired by fellow officers," the report said of the fusillade of bullets.

The ruling follows a year of outrage and demonstrations over police violence towards unarmed black people in Missouri, New York, Baltimore and another Cleveland shooting involving 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot to death by police after he was seen playing with a gun, which turned out to be a toy.

May-23-2015 732 0
A Brooklyn teacher who was arrested in 2011 on charges of drugging and raping a middle school student is demanding that the city let her keep her teaching job, according to a new lawsuit.

Claudia Tillery, 45, argues in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court that she was acquitted of all criminal charges in April 2014 and the Department of Education’s hearing officer improperly used sealed evidence, DNA tests and the prosecutor’s testimony to toss her from the teaching post she's had since 1996.

The hearing officer, Haydee Rosario, said the acquittal does not excuse Tillery for “conduct unbecoming” her position because the evidence proved that she allowed the student into her home without the permission of his parents or school administrators, took him to the Atlantic Motor Inn multiple times and gave him $500 cash.

Rosario also faulted Tillery for not telling administrators or the student’s parents that he had stolen her daughter's laptop, a camera and her phone from her apartment.

“Such failure, I find, not only constitutes conduct that is prejudicial to the good order and discipline of her service but, most importantly, sheds light about the true nature of her relationship with Student A,” Rosario said.

The student told investigators that Tillery did not disclose the theft because she was afraid it would cause him to disclose the sexual conduct that they had had for two years.

In her papers, the teacher said it was arbitrary and capricious of the hearing officer to consider evidence that was sealed as a result of the acquittal and to hear directly from Assistant Brooklyn District Attorney Lisa Nugent.

"The hearing officer credited Student A's testimony in its entirety ... regardless of the numerous inconsistencies," according to papers Tillery's lawyer Stacey Van Malden filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Rosario said prior court decisions have permitted hearing officers to consider evidence normally sealed after acquittal in criminal charges, in part because the standard of proof is lower in disciplinary proceedings.

Claudia Tillery, 45, argues she was acquitted of all criminal charges in April 2014.
via Facebook

Claudia Tillery, 45, argues she was acquitted of all criminal charges in April 2014.

"This is not a 'he said, she said' case where my determination hinges on my credibility findings," Rosario wrote.

"In this case, the record is replete with evidence, including the DNA analysis report that corroborates the credible account given by Student A."

A former student at the Stephen Decatur School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the student testified that he and Tillery had oral sex and intercourse in her bedroom and a hotel room that she rented on multiple occasions.

A DNA analysis determined no semen on her bedroom comforter but one stain on it had vaginal fluids and saliva that contained both their DNA, according to court papers. Tillery suggested that the student came in contact with the comforter one day when it was in the hamper in her laundry room.

Rosario said the student's testimony was "candid, detailed, consistent and coherent" and is corroborated by other evidence.

For example, she said, the student said he had taken three videos of his sexual encounters with Tillery but erased them when his older brother found them on the phone. A school aide testified that she saw such a video when it was shown in school by the student's older brother and reported it to administrators.

Finally, Rosario said she rejected Tillery's defense that the student was manipulative and made her interact with him more extensively than she should have.

"Her defense of 'he made me do it' reasoning, that Student A, a minor entrusted to her care, caused all of her misery that she endured during her criminal trial and during this disciplinary proceeding, serves to demonstrate why termination of her employment is the only appropriate penalty in this case," Rosario said. -- Barbara Ross

AP May-22-2015 775 0
Marques Haynes, the legendary Harlem Globetrotters showman often called the greatest dribbler in basketball history, has died. He was 89.

He died Friday in Plano, Texas, of natural causes, the Globetrotters said. CEO Kurt Schneider said “basketball has lost one of its most iconic figures.”

Haynes made the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, the first Globetrotter to be so honored. He had two stints with the touring team — from 1947-53 and 1972-79.

He played in more than 12,000 games, traveling more than 4 million miles and appearing in more than 100 countries for a team that combined dazzling skills, theatrical flair and circus antics. He was the Globetrotters’ player-coach in 1974-75.

“Marques was a pioneer, helping pave the way for people of all races to have opportunities to play basketball, and for the sport to explode on a global scale,” Schneider said. “His unique and groundbreaking style of play set the tone for modern basketball as we know it. Anyone involved with basketball worldwide is indebted to Marques. He was the consummate Globetrotter.

While playing at Langston (Oklahoma) University, the acrobatic Haynes caught the attention of Globetrotters owner Abe Saperstein in 1946 after leading Langston to a win over Globies. Haynes remained at the school, but after graduation joined the Globetrotters. He led them to victories against the George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA in 1948 and 1949.

Haynes was more than mere showman on the court, although his dribbling skills were show-stopping displays that often had opponents standing and watching in awe. He led Booker T. Washington High School in his hometown of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, to the unofficial national championship in 1941 and was a scholastic All-American that season. He then starred at Langston, an NAIA school where he was a four-time all-conference selection and team MVP.

Haynes led Langston in scoring all four years and the team had a 112-3 record, including a 59-game winning streak.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

JASON SILVERSTEIN May-22-2015 176 0
What began as a call about shoplifted beer in Olympia, Wash. early Thursday led to the police shootings of two unarmed black stepbrothers and, in response, intense street protests through the evening.

Hundreds of protesters stormed the Olympia police headquarters and City Hall, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” after the non-fatal shootings of Andre Thompson, 24, and Bryson Chaplin, 21.

Thompson is in stable condition, while Chaplin was critically injured. Both are expected to survive Olympia’s first officer-involved shooting since 2012.

The protests over the shootings remained peaceful, and Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum urged citizens in a statement to “not be reactive."

The violent police encounter was sparked by a call from employees at a Safeway store around 1 a.m. Thursday, saying two men had tried to steal beer and threw the brews at workers who approached them.

Officer Ryan Donald, who is white, found the stepbrothers skateboarding near the store and believed they matched the descriptions given to police. Just moments later, he radioed his department to let them know he’d fired shots. Minutes later, he said both men had gunshot wounds to the torso.

Police later said the first shooting happened near Donald’s car and the second in a wooded area where the men fled. It has not been confirmed where each man was shot or how many times.

The officer claimed one of them had “assaulted me with his skateboard” and called the stepbrothers “very aggressive," as heard on a recording of his calls, which was released by the department. ("Shot fired" is first heard at 10:26 of the released recording.)

Donald was not hurt, and Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts later said the officer had “the right to defend himself” if he was under attack.

“There’s no indication that race was a factor,” Roberts insisted.

Donald, 35, is now on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for the force as a police shooting is investigated. He has been with the department for only three years and previously worked as an Army police officer.

The stepbrothers live in Vancouver, Wash., and grew up in Woonsocket, R.I., according to their Facebook pages.

Both have criminal records dating back at least three years, the Seattle Times reported. Thompson has pleaded guilty to several charges, including supplying liquor to a minor and obstructing a law enforcement officer. Chaplin pleaded guilty in 2012 to taking a motor vehicle without permission, and has an extensive juvenile court record with robbery, theft and assault guilty pleas.

Their sister, Jasmine Thompson, told the Olympian she saw the shootings on her way home from a hospital visit for a work-related injury. But she thought nothing of it until she got home and saw her brothers weren't there.

"That's when I started to worry," Thompson told the paper. "I thought, 'Did I just see my brother get shot?'"

Melissa Chan May-22-2015 208 0
A Chicago mother in mourning donned her dead son's cap and gown and took his place during graduation Wednesday just days after he was killed in a post-prom car crash.

"I'm going to be his legs and he's going to be my wings, and we're going to go up there and get our diploma," devastated mom Katherine Jackson told reporters during an emotional commencement ceremony.

Her 18-year-old son Aaron Dunigan was a star athlete who was set to play football for Southern Illinois University in the fall before his life was cut short from a fatal collision after prom.

The Thornton Fractional North High School senior quarterback was one of two people killed when a car he was a passenger in crossed a median and crashed into another car, NBC reported.

The driver was Dunigan's friend, David Peden, who was allegedly driving while high on marijuana, the news station said.

Both Dunigan and the 56-year-old driver of the other vehicle Juan Rivera were killed.

Jackson wept as she walked across the Illinois high school's stage to accept her son's diploma. The tears kept flowing as she embraced his friends.

"My son has left a piece of him inside all of them," she said. "Every time I hug one of them, I get a little piece of my baby back."

May-22-2015 426 0
“According to the Fort Bend County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, the child abuse investigation of Broncos defensive lineman Antonio Smith is sexual in nature.”

It was reported earlier on Thursday that Smith was being investigated by the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division in Texas. At that point, there wasn't specific information available regarding the investigation.

The sheriff’s department handed the case over to the Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office back in February. Smith, who played last year with the Oakland Raiders, then signed a two-year deal with Denver two months later.

Fort Bend District Attorney John Healey Jr. had this to say about the investigation:

“Our Sheriff’s Office has received some information, they’re working with our office to try and find out as much information as we can about the allegation. At this particular point anything in reference to Mr. Smith is just that — an allegation.”

As Klis indicated, Smith has two children.

The NFL can proceed one of two ways here. It could decide to wait until the investigation wraps up to make a determination on Smith’s status. It could also place the 11-year veteran on the Commissioner’s Exempt List until said investigation is wrapped up.

Either way you put it, this is yet another black eye in a long line of off-field issues around the NFL over the past 18 months or so. Child abuse itself is a serious matter. Now take into account sexual abuse in an investigation, and it becomes that much more severe.

May-21-2015 451 0
All six officers have been indicted

May-20-2015 772 0
Freddie Gray was not moving April 12 when cops took him out of a police van and placed him in leg shackles just a block from where he was arrested in Baltimore, new video released Wednesday reveals.

Police described the 25-year-old man as “irate” before the wagon stopped at the corner of Mount and Baker streets so officers could apply metal shackles to his bent legs and flexi-cuffs on his wrists.

The video, shot by a witness and obtained by the Baltimore Sun, shows Gray half in the vehicle, his lower legs lying on the ground as at least four cops apply the restraints a block away from the corner of West Baltimore’s Gilmor Houses where Gray was apprehended for running from police.

The witness filming the incident can be heard yelling, but there’s no sounds audible from police or Gray.

“He was just laying there,” witness Michelle Gross told the Sun as she became teary recalling the scene. “If he was already handcuffed, what’d they take him out for? What was the reason? From point A to B — that’s the puzzling part. Why was he out? What happened in that back? We don’t know — but something happened.”

Gray, who screamed and asked for medical attention as he was dragged toward the van, was unresponsive when police arrived at the city jail. Suffering from a nearly severed spine, Gray slipped into a coma and died April 19, a week after his arrest.

Days after he died, Baltimore police released security camera footage from 16 cameras in the area where Gray was arrested. A clip numbered 2108, which captures the moment police stop the van to shackle Gray at Mount and Baker streets, has since been removed from the police YouTube page, though the Sun maintained a copy which corroborates witness accounts, including footage Gross had on her cellphone.

According to the Sun, police have yet to explain why that footage was removed while the other clips, accounting from several hours of video from different angles, remains online.

Cellphone video from Mount and Presbury streets, the arrest scene, shows Gray grimacing, his feet dragging on the ground, as officers led him to the police van.

"Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the (Baltimore Police Department) wagon," Mosby subsequently said in her charging documents.

Wesley Goheen May-20-2015 816 0
A Rockdale County magistrate court judge claims someone spiked her drink when she left the bench for a bathroom break.

Judge Phinia Aten says she poured herself a glass of water when she first began court cases that morning. Later in the morning, she went to use the bathroom and upon returning, she noticed her glass of water looked cloudy.

After taking a closer look, she says she discovered a white-colored pill had been placed in her drink.

The evidence has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the sheriff's office has launched an investigation.

"The jail does have surveillance video," says Sheriff Eric Levett. "Everything has been collected and has been turned over to the GBI for testing."

A court clerk, two deputies and four inmates were in the room inside of the jail during the time the incident took place.

A report says none of the inmates approached the bench.

Jeff Chirico May-19-2015 291 0
Creflo Dollar lives a life typically reserved for billionaires and celebrities.
He and his wife, Taffi, own a mansion in Fayette County, a $2.1 million home near New York City and a luxury condominium in Buckhead.

For the past 15 years, they've had two private jets and a crew whisking them off to every corner of the globe.

However, unlike most who enjoy lives of luxury, Dollar earned his fortune off religion, which has earned him his share of critics.

A pastor, in the Bible view, is a servant,” said Ole Anthony, of the Trinity Foundation in Dallas, TX. “His role isn't to make money off the sheep or eat the sheep.”

Dollar's World Changers Church International claims 30,000 members between its main location in College Park, and another in New York City. His sermons are shown live on big screens in two dozen satellite churches in North America and Australia, and are broadcast on television around the world.

According to Vic Bolton, spokesman for Dollar's World Changers Church International, the church brings in $80 million annually from its congregation. According to its website, WCCI donates to charities and organizes international missions, but it is unclear how much of the $80 million helps people in need, and how much it helps Dollar become wealthier.

Unlike other tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations, churches aren't required by law to make public their financial information so it's unclear how the money congregants give to WCCI is spent.

Bolton said the church gives "gazillions" of dollars to charities but couldn't be more specific since the church doesn't keep track of how much it gives.

Through Bolton, Dollar declined to be interviewed by CBS46 and refused to provide a copy of the church's audited financial statements or the names of those who sit on the church's board of directors and make financial decisions for the church.

Dollar's lack of openness about the finances of the tax-exempt church isn't new.

In 2007, Dollar was branded the “least cooperative” by investigators for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee looking into possible tax abuse by six televangelists.

“When a church can't be transparent, it raises suspicion,” said Rev. Timothy McDonald, pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church on Moreland Avenue in southeast Atlanta, and a member of the Concerned Black Clergy. McDonald said he supported the Senate investigation because he hoped it would rein in pastors who live lavishly and keep church finances secret.

“If you're going to take money from the people, you have to be willing and ready to share financial disclosure with the people,” said Rev. McDonald.

Bolton said Pastor Dollar has stopped collecting a salary from the church, but public records reveal he and his wife Taffi have created multiple for-profit companies so closely linked with the church, they're located in church-owned buildings.

It's understood Pastor Dollar makes his money from book and CD sales and paid speaking engagements.

“[Dollar and his wife] own the book publishing, the record publishing. They sell the music and sell the sermons, and sell the books as intellectual property,” said Anthony. “In a real church, the intellectual property is owned by the congregation, not the pastor.”

Bolton would not reveal how much Pastor Dollar earns from his side businesses and whether he gives any of that back to the church that pays to promote him.

>>--More Black Legal News

Sep-09-2014 1497 0
On yesterday social media went crazy after the video of Ray Rice was released. Within hours Rice was released from the Ravens. Don't think for one second that it was not as a result of the public outcry on social media. The Ravens and the NFL did not have a choice but to release Rice because they had been exposed. However, the saddening part about of all of this is that the powers to be proclaimed they had not seen the video until yesterday.

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

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

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

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Feb-16-2014 2086 0
After the Michael Dunn verdict was read many voice their displeasure with the judicial system, rightfully so. However, the killing of our young black men is nothing new. Each time something bad happens we come together as a group for a month or so and then the energy dies down. When the Zimmerman verdict came back there were those who demanded that we stop supporting the state of Florida yet what happened to the follow-up to let us know how effective the efforts were? It reminds me of whenever someone dies. When we run into people we have not seen in years we all make a vow to do better and to make time for each other but after two or three months has past by we are all back to doing the same things.

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

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

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

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

Daryl K. Washington Nov-26-2013 2407 0
ARE WE DOING ENOUGH FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITIES?: I just finished talking to a mother who lost her son as a result of a police shooting. Hearing this mother talk about her son and how much he loved the holidays was simply heart wrenching. She went on to tell me that she's pleaded for help from our local politicians, pastors, leaders, etc. but no one wants to take her call, especially if the cameras are not rolling. To worsen matters, many of the leaders have put her son on trial and he's dead.

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

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

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Oct-19-2013 4054 0
I don't know all of the specifics and I most certainly will not respond to all of the comments, especially some of the racists comments I've read because if it continues I will personally make a National Call for all of the black athletes, especially the ones who attend the large institutions like LSU, Penn State, USC, etc., to stand in unity with the players at Grambling so that a true change can be made in college athletics. If you want to see changes made and need to bring attention to problems, you can learn from the athletes at Grambling. Let's see how many people will comment about this when their teams are not playing because the athletes are tired of not receiving a share of the billion dollars. The funniest thing I've read were the comments from some black people who did not attend a HBCU acting like it was not their problem but ours.

When Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis he was there to help the Black garbage collectors, not the Black Preachers. I'm glad he did not see it as their problems. Do we turn our backs on people just because it does not personally impact us? I personally wish things could have been handled differently but now that the ball is in motion, it's time for SOLUTIONS.

I will not let Grambling State University take all of the blame for this. First, we have to look at the leadership of the State of La. and what he has done. A lot of the problems start with him, although a lot of his supporters will beg to differ. Had he not played the politics and did what was in the best interest of the state of La., things may be different. Second, we have to look at the NCAA. For years the NCAA has turned its back to the cheating in recruiting because it does not want to penalize the large schools that help bring billions of dollars to the bottom line. Demand needs to be made to institute a revenue sharing program similar to what's in the NFL so that the small schools that play by the rules receive a share of the revenue made by the big schools who use an unfair advantage to recruit.

Finally, now that this problem has been brought to light, I hope some of the wealthy people in our country remember that but for Grambling and other HBCU's there would be no RG3, Russell Wilson, Michael Vick, Kap, etc. so start giving to the HBCU's. Let's not turn our backs on the HBCUs because you did not attend. Remember, if our President is not able to nominate one or two individuals to the Supreme Court before his term is up, Affirmative Action will be under attack and if some decisions are reversed, where will our kids go if there are no HBCUs? Will it be only our problems then? It's time to wake up.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Jul-17-2013 1400661 0
I've finally had the opportunity to review the complaint filed against Paula Deen. For one, many people have been making this incident about the "N" word only, but it's much more than that. I personally find it to be offensive whenever someone from another race is accused of using the "N" word they are somehow given a pass because of the use of the "N" word by some in the black communities. Let me be the first to say that I find the use of the word by anyone to be wrong. However, when it's used in a racist or insulting manner, it hurts more.

I think individuals who are trying to defend Paula Deen's use of the "N' word should probably familiarize themselves with all of the facts of the case against her. Just so you know, in case you didn't know, the person who initiated the complaint against Paula Deen and her brother is not "Black." She is a "white female" who was subjected to years of abuse and was finally fed up with her black employees being treated poorly, so stop thinking it was a black person complaining about Paula Deen's use of the N word. Furthermore, Paula Deen indicated that she used the N word over 20 years ago. That is not what's being alleged against her. She went as far as telling a guy he was as black as a blackboard. That lady is something else and I'm glad I never supported any of her ventures. I personally find it insulting that so many black people are coming to the defense of Paula Deen after reading what she and her family subjected their employees to. When I learned about the major companies dropping Paula Deen without being demanded to do so, I knew it was deep. The fact that any civil rights activist is supporting Paula Deen is insulting and is a slap in the face.

Here's a summary of some of the things being alleged against Paula Deen, her brother Bubba Hiers and the Deen business entities:


Paula Deen, while planning her brother's wedding in 2007, was asked what look the wedding should have. She replied, "I want a true southern plantation-style wedding." When asked what type of uniforms the servers should wear, Paula stated, "well what I would really like is a bunch of little n*ggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around;

Black staff had to use the back entrance to enter and leave restaurant;

Black staff could only use one bathroom;

Black staff couldn’t work the front of the restaurants;

Brother Bubba stated his wishes: “ I wish I could put all those n*ggers in the kitchen on a boat to Africa”;

Bubba asked a black driver and security guard "don’t you wish you could rub all the black off you and be like me? You just look dirty; I bet you wish you could." The guy told Bubba he was fine as is;

Bubba on President Obama: they should send him to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so he could n*gger-rig it;

He shook an employee (Black again) and said” F your civil rights…you work for me and my sister Paula Deen;

Paula’s son Jaime's best friend managed the Lady & Sons restaurant. He threatened to fire all the 'Monkeys' in the kitchen. When Paula found out…she slapped him on the wrist and suggested that the employee visited Paula's $13,000,000 mansion so he felt special and could be massaged.

I feel Paula Deen, her brother and anyone who treats people poorly should not be given a free pass. I wonder if Paula is truly sorry that she used the "N" word or that she was reported by someone who looks just like her. I appreciate the lady having the courage to report Paula Deen. It's people like her and the videographer who leaked the 47% comments made by Mitt Romney who should be receiving the attention, not Paula Deen.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. The opinions expressed in the commentary are those of Daryl K. Washington. You can follow Daryl on twitter at dwashlawfirm or you can email him at or visit his website at Go to the Black Legal Issue Home page and check the like button to receive future updates.

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