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Registered sex offender accused of raping baby and teen girls, infecting both with HIV
A Texas man is scheduled to appear in court to face charges the he allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl and 23-month-old baby — infecting both victims with HIV.

David Richard Wilson, 33, of Houston, has already served four years in prison and is a registered sex offender for the rape of a different teen girl in 2005, according to local media.

In November 2013, Wilson's family members brought his niece to a Memorial Hermann hospital after finding a strange growth on her genitals, reported KPRC.

A doctor said STD testing revealed that the baby "had to have been sexually assaulted" because she had HIV, herpes and chlamydia.

Police ordered that the four people living with the not-yet-2-year-old girl be screened for STDs and only Wilson tested positive for HIV, the NBC affiliate said.

Last month, a 14-year-old girl told a caseworker with the Children's Assessment Center in Houston that she had been having sex with Wilson for two years and had tested positive for the same diseases: HIV, herpes and chlamydia, according to KTRK.

The suspect is being held without bond at Harris County Jail.
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Michael Walsh Oct-24-2014 115 0
A Texas man is scheduled to appear in court to face charges the he allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl and 23-month-old baby — infecting both victims with HIV.

David Richard Wilson, 33, of Houston, has already served four years in prison and is a registered sex offender for the rape of a different teen girl in 2005, according to local media.

In November 2013, Wilson's family members brought his niece to a Memorial Hermann hospital after finding a strange growth on her genitals, reported KPRC.

A doctor said STD testing revealed that the baby "had to have been sexually assaulted" because she had HIV, herpes and chlamydia.

Police ordered that the four people living with the not-yet-2-year-old girl be screened for STDs and only Wilson tested positive for HIV, the NBC affiliate said.

Last month, a 14-year-old girl told a caseworker with the Children's Assessment Center in Houston that she had been having sex with Wilson for two years and had tested positive for the same diseases: HIV, herpes and chlamydia, according to KTRK.

The suspect is being held without bond at Harris County Jail.

Sara Sidner Oct-23-2014 142 0
There is never a day where at least one person isn't outside the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department sitting or standing near an anemic tree, the only place for a bit of shade.

At night, the crowd tends to swell, and the protest grows more intense.

There are almost always two or three people streaming events live. You can hear them loudly sharing thoughts or giving a play-by-play of what's happening.

While their cameras capture lives images, they call out what they think are injustices surrounding the August shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent police crackdown on protesters in the 10 weeks or so since Brown was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
The police are geared up with cameras as well. They wear body cameras, and any time officers approach protesters there is usually at least one officer with a handheld camera, too.

It's a careful dance in which protesters and police are trying to make sure they have proof if a law is broken or someone's civil rights are violated.

Both outside the police department, and roughly 2 miles east -- along the main protest route, where most of the imagery of the sometimes-violent protests has originated -- tension can go from zero to 100 in seconds on any given night.

Police can tally dozens of arrests a night since the city erupted. Among those placed in cuffs were journalists, clergy, a local rapper, a state senator, a St. Louis alderman and activist/intellectual Cornel West.

It's tough to predict the mood each night. On Tuesday, a small group of about 50 protesters caused no disturbances, and there were no arrests, police said. The next night, five police officers were assaulted with rocks, water bottles and a metal rod as demonstrators blocked traffic and knocked down barricades outside the police department.

Protesters, many of them increasingly suspicious of a recent spate of leaks surrounding the Brown investigation, say there will be more nights like Wednesday than Tuesday should a grand jury not indict Wilson.

On West Florissant, where thousands of protesters have marched for months chanting things like "Hands up, don't shoot," buildings still bear the scars of the community's frustration.

At businesses such as the Ferguson Market & Liquor and Red's BBQ, plywood slats sit where windows once stood before violent elements among the protesters looted and vandalized businesses along the corridor. The QuikTrip that was one of the first businesses attacked still lies in shambles, a chain link fence protecting it from further damage.

Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, a Boston-based author and pastor who grew up in St. Louis, has been participating in the protests. He has been arrested twice.

As he walks by the burnt-out convenience store just a few blocks from where Brown died, he says, "Democracy is on fire, and we're called to be firemen."

Asked to elaborate -- is he all right with the looting and burning? -- he says he'd prefer that the protests unfold without the violence and destruction.

"I mean, it is not my preference, no," he said. "I'm more concerned about the conditions that produced this -- the simmering poverty, the simmering oppression, the simmering alienation, the existential crises that black youth feel in America. I am far more concerned about the condition that produced the burning of buildings."

"It appears Ferguson will not imminently simmer down, and a group called Ferguson October hoped to grow the demonstrations with a "national day of action against police brutality" on Wednesday.

Many protesters are preparing for the possibility that the grand jury may decline to indict Wilson. If that's the case, one protester told CNN this week, "Excuse my French, all hell is going to break loose."

That has been a pervasive sentiment since the protests began: Many in Ferguson don't care about reports that a scuffle preceded the shooting and that Brown may have reached for Wilson's gun.

The only facts that matter, they say, is that Wilson shot perhaps as many as 11 times, hitting Brown six times above the waist. The fatal shots came as he stood roughly 30 feet away from Wilson's police cruiser, and, according to some witnesses, with his hands up in surrender.

It's an unnecessary use of force, say many residents who feel Wilson aimed to kill, not arrest, Brown.

Marquita Rogers, a 27-year-old mother of two who lives a few blocks from the Canfield Green subdivision where Brown died, said in August, when the protests were at their ugliest, that she didn't care what Brown did before encountering Wilson.

"Jaywalking? Smarting off? Stealing cigars? Running? You're not supposed to die for that," she said.

Her neighbors, Arvid Wilkerson, 22, and Patricia Pendelton, also predicted during August interviews -- days after a grand jury started hearing evidence in the case and the Justice Department announced an independent investigation -- that the turmoil in Ferguson would only worsen if Wilson wasn't indicted.

"If this police officer don't get no kind of charge," said Pendelton, 41, a nurse, shaking her head, "they think it's chaos now?"

Oct-23-2014 148 0
New Jersey man was busted for allegedly selling heroin under a variety of brand names — such as "Ebola."

Barnabas Davis, 47, of Toms River, was arrested Monday after officers found him with 633 wax folds of heroin and about 40 grams of crack cocaine, the Toms River Police Department announced Wednesday.

The individual doses of heroin were packaged separately with stamps for a variety of brand names, according to Officer Ralph Stocco.

These names, often offensive, make it easier for customers to ask for a particular type of the highly addictive drug.

"Different dealers have different potencies and products. Many times they are labeled with catchy phrases," Stocco told the Daily News. "In the past we have had Bin Laden, Hello Kitty, D.O.A., Twin Towers, 911, gumball, pow, etc."

The department's special enforcement team had obtained a search warrant during an investigation into the distribution of heroin from the rear suites of a Ramada Inn located at 2373 Route 9 in Toms River.

Stocco said hotel staff had no knowledge of the drug operation and have cooperated fully with law enforcement.

"For perspective, the main hotel sits on the site and where this occurred is at a separate other building on the property as an 'extended stay suite.' It is 100 to 200 yards from the main hotel," he told The News.

The suspect's last known address is the Briar Knolls Condominium Complex in Toms River.

Davis, also known as Hammer, was charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine and possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

He is being held at the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Oct-23-2014 180 0
National Bar Association

Know Your Rights Because It Could Save Your Life Town Hall

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Room 105-107
3100 Cleburne St.
Houston, TX 77004

WASHINGTON, DC – In light of the recent incidents involving police officers’ use of excessive and deadly force which has caused the deaths of Jordan Baker, Kenneth Brian Releford and Mark Vincent Ames, (Houston, Texas) and the injuries to Robert R. Tolan (Bellaire, Texas), Marquise Jones (San Antonio, TX), Clinton Allen (Dallas, Texas), Jermaine Darden (Ft. Worth, Texas), Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO), Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego (Los Angeles, CA), Rodney Mitchell (Sarasota, FL), Eric Garner (Staten Island, NY), John Crawford (Beavercreek, OH), and a number of other unnamed, and unarmed, individuals, the National Bar Association (NBA) is hosting a “Know Your Rights, Because It Could Save Your Life Town Hall” meeting in Houston, Texas, to educate the community and call for justice in the killings of Jordan Baker, Marquise Jones, Kenneth Brian Releford, Mark Vincent Ames and the injuries to Robert Tolan.

“During the Town Hall, attendees will learn how the Fourth Amendment (Search & Seizure) of the United States Constitution applies to them, whether it is legal to record the police activity and how citizens should behave/respond if, and when, they interface with police officers. In addition, panelists will address issues of inequality and racial bias in policing, the justice system, and violence against members of minority communities,” stated Pamela J. Meanes, President of the National Bar Association.

The National Bar Association joins The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice in saying, “Houston, We Have a Problem.” From 2000-2011 there were over 2,100 use of force complaints filed against Houston Police Officers. From 2008-2012, Houston Police Department (HPD) officers shot 121 people, 52 fatally, 10 of whom were unarmed. HPD officers have been cleared by Harris County grand juries 288 consecutive times for shootings of civilians. The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice filed 48 excessive and deadly force complaints against Houston Police Officers with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington from 2007-2012. No action has been taken by the DOJ!

A September 2013 report on CNN titled “Who’s Policing the Houston Police Department” states that 2/3 of HPD Officers, fired or suspended, get their jobs back or their suspensions overturned. This is the highest rate in the country! Houston City Councilman and former Police Chief C.O. "Brad" Bradford has publicly stated that the citizens of Houston have lost faith in the city's oversight of the use of force by police officers. “We rely on the police to keep us safe and treat us all fairly, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. But sometimes the police go too far; using excessive force, engaging in racial profiling or illegally restricting an individuals rights. The above statistics demonstrate that the Houston Police Department has simply gone too far,” said President Meanes. “More importantly, these statistics demonstrate that police brutality is a national epidemic.”

Accordingly, the National Bar Association is headed to Houston, Texas to call for a full and independent federal investigation into the Baker, Releford and Ames cases. “These families deserve a full and fair investigation and we plan to stand behind them until a proper investigation is conducted,” President Meanes stated.

The National Bar Association renews its call for the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into deaths involving police in Staten Island, New York; Dallas, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and Beavercreek, Ohio.

The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit:

Matt Pearce Oct-23-2014 147 0
With a grand jury decision looming on whether a white police officer should face charges in the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., the investigation has sprung a few leaks.

New details from the inquiry into Michael Brown's Aug. 9 death — all provided by unidentified sources and which seem to support Officer Darren Wilson's story of what happened that day — have emerged in St. Louis and national news outlets in recent days.

The details and reports say that Brown struggled with Wilson in his patrol car and that Wilson's gun went off in the car before a brief foot chase ensued.

Wilson ultimately shot Brown several times, and Brown's body lay in the street for more than four hours, kindling a rage on the streets of Ferguson and St. Louis that has yet to wholly subside.

The leaks seemed to create a fresh rupture in trust with black St. Louis-area officials and protesters, who said Wednesday that they were upset with what they saw as another breakdown in the justice system because information from the supposedly secret grand jury continued to appear in the media. The grand jury's decision is expected in November.

"There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these 'leaks' ....This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media," said Patricia Bynes, a Ferguson resident and prominent voice in the protest movement. Quoting a popular chant, she added, "The whole damn system is guilty as hell."

The New York Times reported that investigators found Brown's blood on Wilson's gun, on the interior door panel of Wilson's car and on Wilson's uniform.

The Washington Post reported that several black witnesses had provided details in secret grand jury testimony that supported Wilson's account.

And the official autopsy report, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, showed a gunshot wound to Brown's hand that appeared to be from close range. That seemed to support the officer's account that there was a struggle for his gun inside his patrol car.

According to the preliminary police account, which was included in the autopsy report, the confrontation began when Wilson spotted Brown and a friend walking in the street:

Wilson "observed the two individuals, he requested that they get out of the roadway. The deceased became belligerent towards Officer Wilson," the police account said.

"As Officer Wilson attempted to exit out of his patrol vehicle the deceased pushed his door shut and began to struggle with Officer Wilson, during the struggle the Officers weapon was un-holstered. The weapon discharged during the struggle.

"The deceased then ran down the roadway. Officer Wilson then began to chase the deceased. As he was giving chase to the deceased, the deceased turned around and ran towards officer Wilson.

"Officer Wilson had his service weapon drawn, as the deceased began to run towards him, he discharged his service weapon several times," the police account said.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Brown's family, said he was not surprised by the autopsy report's details.

"Several independent witnesses indicated there was a brief altercation between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson at the patrol car," Crump said in a statement. "What we want to know is why Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown multiple times and killed him even though he was more than 20 feet away from his patrol car; this is the crux of the matter!"

But other activists and St. Louis-area officials saw the leaks as the crux of the matter, deriding news outlets for reporting the leaked information and investigative officials for leaking it.

"A non-transparent grand jury process and a leaky investigation is not the way the outcome of this important case should be determined," tweeted St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who participated in many Ferguson demonstrations. "These leaks do not help restore people's faith in the justice system. Quite the opposite."

St. Louis County prosecutor's office spokesman Ed Magee said his office probably wouldn't investigate the leaks because prosecutors could not force journalists to divulge their sources and because the information could be coming from federal officials in Washington.

"There's really nothing to investigate," Magee said Wednesday. "We don't have control over anybody leaking anything. All we can control is people in our office and the grand jury, and it's not coming from us or the grand jury."

He said that "you can tell by the information they have" that the leaks are not coming from the grand jury or the prosecutor's office, citing reports using sourcing language such as "officials briefed on the investigation."

"We've got a joint investigation going on (with federal officials), so we're sharing information and we've been sharing information the whole time," Magee said.

A representative for the Justice Department, which is also investigating Brown's death and the Ferguson Police Department, did not immediately comment.

Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American, a newspaper for black audiences, said law enforcement officials had offered him the leaks, saying "they had been briefed on the evidence and it didn't look good for Michael Brown supporters," but he declined and decried "third-party hearsay" in an editorial for the paper.

"Tensions are so high that preparations for riots, if Wilson walks free, are discussed in sober terms in local and national media and on street corners," the American said in its editorial. "The editors of these powerful publications have shown a lapse in judgment and ethics that is not only shameful, but actually dangerous. We declare a mistrial in the court of public opinion."

Oct-22-2014 173 0
As of Tuesday night, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson no longer has the Ebola virus in her body, according to a statement from her family.

She is steadily regaining her strength and her spirits are high.

"Amber and our family are ecstatic to receive this latest report on her condition," said Vinson's mom, Debra Berry. "We all know that further treatment will be necessary as Amber continues to regain strength, but these latest developments have truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home."

Her family and friends were stung by suggestions that Vinson, who volunteered to care for Thomas Eric Duncan – the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. – had been reckless in flying to Cleveland over the Columbus Day holiday for a weekend of wedding planning.

Vinson had checked with the CDC before flying, according to NBC News.

"She's infected for doing something so selfless. We should be applauding her courage," Vinson's friend Emilia Sykes tells PEOPLE.

Vinson's colleague Nina Pham was just four years out of nursing school and knew little about Ebola beyond what she had studied in class and read about in the 1994 bestseller The Hot Zone when patient Duncan was brought to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where she worked.

But, with her reputation for compassionate caring, she was tapped to care for Duncan, 42, a Liberian national who had unwittingly brought the virus to the U.S. when he arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20.

"It wasn't just her job," Pham's former classmate at Texas Christian University, Lacey Mabry, tells PEOPLE. "It was her calling to help this person." Duncan died Oct. 8.

Now, Pham is fighting for her life in a special isolation unit at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, after contracting the virus herself. In news that is sure to cheer her family, the NIH said Oct. 21 that her condition had been upgraded to good from fair.

Meanwhile, Pham's church, Our Lady of Fatima in Fort Worth, Texas, is planning a fundraiser to help the family. Nina's mom, Diana, "asks that we continue to pray."

Oct-22-2014 226 0
A 33-year-old Georgia man thought he’d found love online and moved to Kentucky to be with her, according to police.

But it wasn’t exactly true love for the Walton County man. Cornelius Jefferson’s new girlfriend wasn’t who she claimed to be online, police said. Jefferson allegedly assaulted the woman around 4:20 Tuesday morning, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department in Kentucky.

“The argument was allegedly because the male subject didn’t think she was like she was on the Internet,” the sheriff’s department posted on its Facebook page. “He allegedly choked her with both hands around the neck and threw food on her and left the scene on foot with two suitcases.”

Deputies located Jefferson walking nearby and he was arrested, according to police. He was charged with fourth-degree assault.

Oct-22-2014 199 0
Ferguson Police Officer Darren WIlson's account of the confrontation in which Michael Brown was fatally shot has reportedly been leaked, with an independent medical examiner's report backing up his version of events.

Brown had marijuana in his system and was shot at close range in the hand, backing up claims by a police officer that that there was a violent struggle between the Ferguson, Mo. teen and the cop, an independent medical examiner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The report supports Wilson's account, given after he shot and killed the 18-year-old on Aug. 9. Witnesses claimed the teen was surrendering when the cop fired. Police maintained Wilson only used his gun after Brown tried to take it – a life-and-death fight inside a police SUV.

A source familiar with Wilson’s version of events, as told to investigators, said the 'incredibly strong' teen punched Wilson and then pressed the barrel of the cop’s gun against the officer’s hip and fought for control of the trigger, the Post-Dispatch said.

Once Wilson finally had the gun, he fired. But Brown’s hand blocked the mechanism, according to the St. Louis newspaper.

Wilson eventually got two shots off, striking Brown in the hand. He ran off, then regrouped and charged the officer; setting up the final fatal confrontation, according to Wilson’s leaked statement.

Separately, St. Louis medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham – not part of the official investigation – reviewed the autopsy report on Tuesday and told the Post-Dispatch its finding “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.”

A forensic pathologist in San Francisco, Dr. Judy Melinek, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.”

Brown’s blood was found on Wilson’s gun, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Melinek also said Brown was facing the officer, not running away, when he was shot twice in the head, twice more in the chest and once in the upper right arm, according to the Post-Dispatch.

A St. Louis County grand jury will decide if Wilson will be charged in the shooting.

The shooting stirred three months of unrest in the St. Louis area and gave rise to a popular chant among protesters: “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Turns out, that may not be true at all.

The report supports the account given by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown.

Wilson’s account of the messy shooting was revealed for the first time Tuesday by the Post-Dispatch, which alleges the officer stopped the teen on a Ferguson street after realizing he matched a radio alert of a robbery suspect.

That runs counter to Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson’s assertion in August that the stop had nothing to do with the heist.

Video showed Brown stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a strong arm robbery.

AP Oct-21-2014 217 0
The Django Unchained actress who claimed racial profiling by police last month has been charged with lewd conduct, according to TMZ, which broke the story initially.

Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas were each reportedly charged with lewd conduct, a misdemeanor conduct charge that could result in six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

The couple were stopped after eyewitnesses called the Los Angeles Police Department complaining of a couple having sex in public during daylight. They claimed they were apprehended because Watts is black and Lucas is white, garnering national news attention until a recording of the incident was leaked to TMZ.

The City Attorney's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Oct-21-2014 270 0
The National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair will host its 10th annual celebration in honor of empowering aspiring black lawyers.

The free event will be held Friday and Saturday in the Houston Marriott Westchase. Late registration begins today and ends Wednesday.

The conference brings together aspiring lawyers, parents, supporters, friends, law students, judges, and law school representatives to help students begin their law school career with “insider” information and encouragement on their journey to become successful attorneys.

The conference provides participants with access to over 100 law schools that participate in the law fair. Other events include workshops and panel discussions pertaining to law school, networking and mentorship opportunities, professional business image and etiquette training, town hall meetings, law school admissions test (LSAT) preparation clinics, and diagnostic LSAT administrations.

State Bar of Texas Immediate Past President Lisa Tatum will speak as a panelist during a Saturday workshop on legal careers. The panel discussion will focus on what law firm partners do, how they got to where they are, and their advice for meeting upcoming challenges.

Tatum will be joined by moderator Erica Edwards-O’Neal, director of diversity and inclusion and senior director of career services of the Touro Law Center (Central Islip, New York); Tiffany Bingham Briscoe, partner in Vorys (Houston); Jonathan Cox, partner in The Cox Pradia Law Firm P.L.L.C. (Houston); Daniella Landers, partner in Sutherland (Houston); Demetra Liggins, partner in Thompson & Knight LLP (Houston); Patricia Rosier, managing partner in the Law Office of Rosier & Associates (Upper Marlboro, Maryland); Daryl K. Washington, partner in the Law Offices of Daryl K. Washington, P.C., Attorneys and Counselors at Law (Dallas); and Marlene C. Williams, partner in Jackson Walker L.L.P. (Houston).

General admission is free and everyone is welcome. For more information on how to register or a complete schedule of events, visit

Oct-20-2014 328 0
According to TV Newser, CNN has withdrawn its support for NABJ’s 2015 Convention & Career Fair. The organization was told last week by NABJ president Bob Butler. It’s being reported Butler has publicly expressed his concern regarding CNN’s hiring and employee retention practices of black journalists.

“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” Butler says. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”

Darius Walker, who was CNN’s New York Bureau Chief/VP, is an NABJ member and was among one of the managers cut by the network.

The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 40th Annual Convention & Career Fair from August 5-9, 2015 in Minneapolis.

Oct-20-2014 279 0
After years of alleged police brutality, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed plans Monday to investigate the Baltimore Police Department..

At the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore, the Department of Justice announced initial details about collaborative-reform initiative to curb police brutality in the city. Officials at the announcement included U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Ronald L. Davis, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the Department of Justice.

Davis said he has known Batts for years and is confident he will be a full partner in the coming review.

"We will be able to make the Baltimore Police Department even better and stronger than it is today," Davis said in a statement. "The collaborative reform initiative we embark on today is just that — a collaboration — and everything this partnership entails will be done in an open and transparent fashion."

While Batts and Rawlings-Blake said they started talking weeks ago about the federal program, they unveiled the request on Oct. 4 — five days after The Baltimore Sun published results of an investigation showing that residents have suffered broken bones and battered faces during arrests.

The Sun found that the city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits since 2011, and nearly all of the people involved in incidents leading to those lawsuits were cleared of criminal charges. Some officers were involved in multiple lawsuits.

"When law enforcement misconduct is uncovered, the U.S. Department of Justice has a variety of tools available to respond," Davis said. "Responses to misconduct in law enforcement organizations fall along a continuum of intervention."

The federal review will examine training standards, the way police interact with residents and how the department tracks complaints against officers. Investigators look for troubling patterns. Within weeks, a team of policing experts could be in Baltimore, talking to residents, community leaders and officers.

Some city leaders, like Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, prefer a wider probe of the Baltimore Police Department.

The Department of Justice says it developed the collaborative reform in 2011 as an independent and objective way to transform a law enforcement agency through an analysis of policies, practices, training, tactics and accountability methods around key issues facing law enforcement today.

The coming review in Baltimore is similar to ongoing probes in Philadelphia and Spokane, Wash., that are focusing on police shootings and other issues.

The goal is to help change the ways that law enforcement agencies build community partnerships and enhance transparency; transform agencies through decision making and policies; and institutionalize reforms with integrated accountability measures, officials say.

The reform was first utilized in Las Vegas in the aftermath of officer-involved shootings. Prosecutors cleared officers of wrongdoing in most cases.

The Department of Justice finished its review in November 2012 and a 155-page report in May 2014 that focused on the use of deadly force, including an analysis of policies, training, tactics and documentation. Investigators interviewed more than 100 people, including residents, officers, prosecutors and police union officials.

Among its 75 findings, the federal government listed 16 shortcomings in use-of-force policies and procedures, and recommended reforms.

AP Oct-20-2014 273 0
The brutal militant group Boko Haram has reportedly agreed to release the more than 200 Nigerians schoolgirls it abducted six months ago.

The mass kidnapping in April shocked the world and led to a social media campaign built around the slogan #BringBackOurGirls.

An international manhunt failed to track down the missing girls, and they had largely fallen out of the spotlight in recent months.

But the Nigerian military announced Friday that as part of a ceasefire deal, Boko Haram has agreed to free the girls.

"They've assured us they have the girls and they will release them," Nigeria's chief of defense staff, Alex Badeh, was quoted as saying. "I am cautiously optimistic."

"We are monitoring the news with huge expectations,” the Bring Back Our Girls campaign tweeted.

The deal was first reported by BBC News.

The girls were snatched April 15 in a carefully-orchestrated overnight assault on the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School.

Members of the Al Qaeda-trained terror group claimed to be soldiers on a rescue mission.

But the Islamic militants, after herding the frightened girls outside, forced them into the backs of pickup trucks and tore off into the darkness.

Some 275 girls were believed to be taken — some as young as 9.

The brazen abduction gained heightened attention when Boko Haram leader released a video days later promising to sell of the girls as slaves.

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off," Abubakar Shekau threatened.

>>--More Black Legal News

Sep-09-2014 577 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 Apr-28-2014 970 0
Sadly but real, it appears as though society feels you can treat a black person poorly by simply offering to give them something of value and everything is forgotten. This mindset has to go away otherwise racism and injustices will remain. Whenever I file a civil rights lawsuit the first question the media asks is how much money the family is asking for? My response is always very clear; the family wants JUSTICE and expects for the individual responsible for the act to be held responsible for his/her criminal acts.

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

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

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

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at 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 Apr-27-2014 1002 0
Donald Sterling made comments about Black people that have started a lot of conversation. Many people, including myself, have said that it will place Coach Doc Rivers and the players in an awkward situation but after thinking about it, it will also place White people in an awkward position and here's my opinion why. During the Civil Rights movement there were White people on the front lines and there were many who did not agree with the poor treatment of Black people. They were instrumental in helping with the fight for equal treatment.

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

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

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

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at 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 1229 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 1538 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.
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