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Former APS Superintendent Beverly Hall dies
Former Atlanta Public School Superintendent Beverly Hall has died, Channel 2 Action News has learned.

A member of Hall's legal team confirmed the death to Channel 2's Mark Winne.

Hall has been battling breast cancer as dozens of educators stand trial for a cheating scandal that happened during her tenure as head of the school district.

Hall faced racketeering and conspiracy charges but has not been well enough to stand trial.

Hall's oncologist argued in court last summer that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that spread through several parts of her body.

She was first diagnosed with the disease in 2004.

Hall defended her leadership style and denied any involvement in the cheating scandal. She blamed staff for allowing wide spread cheating on standardized tests.

A report by the state accused Hall of ignoring cover-ups during her twelve years as superintendent.

Hall resigned from her position in 2010. The American Association of School Administrators named Hall as National Superintendent of the Year in 2009.

Hall was 66 years old.
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Mar-02-2015 69 0
Former Atlanta Public School Superintendent Beverly Hall has died, Channel 2 Action News has learned.

A member of Hall's legal team confirmed the death to Channel 2's Mark Winne.

Hall has been battling breast cancer as dozens of educators stand trial for a cheating scandal that happened during her tenure as head of the school district.

Hall faced racketeering and conspiracy charges but has not been well enough to stand trial.

Hall's oncologist argued in court last summer that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that spread through several parts of her body.

She was first diagnosed with the disease in 2004.

Hall defended her leadership style and denied any involvement in the cheating scandal. She blamed staff for allowing wide spread cheating on standardized tests.

A report by the state accused Hall of ignoring cover-ups during her twelve years as superintendent.

Hall resigned from her position in 2010. The American Association of School Administrators named Hall as National Superintendent of the Year in 2009.

Hall was 66 years old.

Meg Wagner Mar-02-2015 112 0
A 4-year-old Texas boy accidentally shot and killed himself Sunday after he found a loaded gun in his babysitter’s house.

Codrick McCall Jr.’s mom dropped the boy off at a friend’s Harris County home Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday, relatives told the Houston Chronicle. At some point on Sunday morning, Codrick found a gun in the home and shot himself, deputies said.

"My baby is gone," Codrick’s mom, Ashley Beal, cried at the scene.

Harris County deputies and Texas Child Protective Services are investigating how the 4-year-old got his hands on the loaded weapon. Any charges in the case will be determined by a grand jury, officials said.

Codrick's mom dropped him off with the sitter Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday. His grandmother Sharron McCall said the weapon should have had a lock on it.

Codrick's mom dropped him off with the sitter Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday.

The 4-year-old’s family said the boy’s death could have been prevented. His grandmother Sharron McCall told ABC 13 the weapon should have had a lock on it.

"You can't bring death back,” she said. "All we can do is try to pick up the pieces and continue with life. There is nothing else to do."

Two days before Codrick’s death, another Harris County boy accidentally killed himself. The unidentified 3-year-old shot himself in the neck while his mom was in another part of the house, police said.

In January, a 2-year-old boy in Florida died after he found his father’s loaded gun. Last month, a 3-year-old Louisiana girl died after she picked up her dad’s handgun.

Tobias Salinger Mar-02-2015 113 0
She left a prescription for how she hoped her quadruplets' lives would unfold, but little else.

Erica Morales, who died shortly after giving birth to quadruplets, left her husband Carlos a road map for raising their children in the form of an iPad note that outlined her wishes for them to learn English and Spanish, attend college and get good jobs.

"I will try my hardest to make sure that happens," said Carolos Morales

The Arizona father, 29, shared new details about the moments leading up to her death and how the babies are progressing.

Erica Morales suffered severe blood loss and died early in the morning Jan. 16, shortly after doctors and nurses delivered her quads via a C-section.

Morales is now caring for son Carlos Jr. and daughters Tracey, Paisley and Erica, the widower told People magazine.

Morales, a Phoenix manufacturing worker, discussed his efforts to cope with the tragic loss of his wife Erica, 36, who experienced severe blood loss and died early in the morning Jan. 16, shortly after doctors and nurses at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital delivered the quads via a C-section.

"I went from having the best day of my life to the next morning experiencing the worst day of my life," Morales told People. "My four babies came into the world and then my wife died."

Erica Morales gave birth to four babies before she died.

Morales said infants Carlos and Tracey have come home from the hospital and that he visits Paisley and Erica — his wife's namesake — every day.

The couple experienced a miscarriage before conceiving the quadruplets through in vitro fertilization.

Family friend Nicole Todman started a fund-raiser on GoFundMe. As of Monday morning, over 7,000 donors had given more than $253,000, according to the website.

Steve Litz Feb-28-2015 236 0
Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Dania Beach Friday, officials said.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert confirmed the arrest and said Johnson was fired immediately.

Jail records showed Johnson, 53, was being held on $300 bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report, deputies were conducting an undercover operation targeting solicitation of prostitution at a Dania Beach hotel when Johnson was arrested.

Authorities had placed an escort ad on and two detectives were posing as prostitutes at the hotel, the affidavit said.

Johnson had called the number on the ad and arranged to pay $100 for 30 minutes with two prostitutes, the report said.

When Johnson arrived at the hotel room, he was let in and handed over the $100, the report said. He had two condoms in his pocket when he was arrested, the report said.

A news release from the department said Assistant Chief Antonio Brooklen will serve as interim chief.

"We remain committed to excellence and integrity on every level," the department said in the release. "We will not allow Mr. Johnson's bad judgment to reflect negatively on the hardworking officers of the City of Miami Gardens and the residents they serve on a daily basis."

The department came under fire earlier this month following the officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Lavall Hall.

Johnson said Hall attacked two officers with a broom handle and was shot twice with a Taser before he was fatally shot by an officer.

Hall's family has been critical of police in the wake of the shooting, holding a vigil and protest and demanding more answers in the shooting.

Johnson was named Miami Gardens' Police chief in May 2014 after a long career with the North Miami Police Department. He also served as North Miami's city manager from 2011 to 2014.

AP Feb-28-2015 242 0
Anthony Mason, a longtime NBA player who helped the New York Knicks reach the 1994 NBA Finals, has died at the age of 48.

A Knicks spokesperson confirmed Mason's death to ESPN. The 13-year NBA veteran had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier this month.

Mason's son, Anthony Jr., released a statement:

“ First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciated it. Overnight, New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother...but more than anything, our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect, our father—Big Mase—put up an incredible fight dealing with severe heart issues. I'm wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops, we've got to let you know we love you and know you'll always be with us.

I ask at this time that you respect our family's privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn.”

Longtime NBA media personality Peter Vecsey initially reported Mason's condition Feb. 11:

Mason started his pro basketball career overseas in 1988 after being drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers 53rd overall out of Tennessee State, and he also played in the Continental Basketball Association. He eventually established stateside staying power as a 13-year NBA veteran.

Inside Hoops provided comments from Phil Jackson:

For much of his prime, Mason played for the New York Knicks ('91-'92 to '95-'96) and Charlotte Hornets ('96-'97 to '99-'00).

Fans in New York and Charlotte came to witness the stocky Mason's physical, impassioned brand of basketball, and he was a key contributor in helping the Knicks reach the 1994 NBA Finals.

During Mason's only season with the Miami Heat in 2000-2001, he was named an All-Star. That year, he posted averages of 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per contest.

In total, he played for six different NBA franchises—Nets, Nuggets, Knicks, Hornets, Heat, Bucks—before retiring after the 2002-2003 season with Milwaukee.

NINA GOLGOWSKI Feb-27-2015 201 0
An Atlanta woman is demanding justice after she says she was filmed being savagely beaten unconscious by her so-called friends over a burger.

In a disgusting 2 1/2 minute cell phone video, Myriah Pointer, 23, is seen being painfully dragged by her hair, punched and stomped on by three screaming women.

The Sunday morning attack, which left her with two black eyes, a chipped tooth and a concussion, was because they accused her of sitting on someone's burger during a drinking game, she told police.

"I was held down and stomped until I was unconscious. Once I gained consciousness they were still beating and stomping me," she later posted on Facebook with pictures showing her horrific bruises.

Myriah Pointer, 23, said it was her friends who viciously attacked her over the weekend, leaving her with two black eyes, a chipped tooth and a concussion.

Pointer identified two of her attackers to local news stations as her best friends and the third as one of their cousins.

Witnessing it all was one of their boyfriends, who filmed the attack, and one woman's 3-year-old child, she said.

When the animals finally stopped their clawing she was able to walk away, but with her attackers trailing behind.

She said she was held for three hours by them before she was able to call her aunt to come pick her up.

Asked by police why she didn't immediately call 911, "Ms. Pointer stated that she did not feel safe calling from that location," according to the police report.

In a Facebook post she asked that her story be shared so justice can be served.

"I am BLESSED to be alive and I need justice to be served because I DID NOT deserve this," she wrote while accusing Atlanta police of not "taking this as serious as it is."

Police, reached by the Daily News Thursday night, said they're investigating and that charges "will be forthcoming."

AP Feb-26-2015 174 0
Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance Loretta Lynch to be the nation's next attorney general, overcoming Republican objections to her support of President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Lynch's committee approval, by a vote of 12-8, sets up final consideration by the full Senate.

The panel's vote comes nearly a month after a confirmation hearing in which the 55-year-old career federal prosecutor promised to repair the Justice Department's strained relationship with Congress and confront simmering racial tensions over law enforcement's dealings in minority communities across the country.

Feb-26-2015 152 0
Adrian Peterson's return to the NFL cleared another hurdle Thursday as U.S. District Court Judge David Doty ruled that the former league MVP must be reinstated.

Peterson, 29, is currently a member of the Minnesota Vikings and was placed on the commissioner's exempt list following the season opener due to child abuse allegations that Peterson faced in Texas. He pleaded no contest to reckless assault on his four-year-old son, and was subsequently suspended until at least April 15 by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in November.

The NFL Players Association argued in court on behalf of Peterson, insisting that Goodell was acting outside his authority with the ban.

Peterson is scheduled to earn a base salary of $12.75 million in 2015 and count $15.4 million against the Vikings' salary cap. A CBS Sports report earlier in the week maintained that Peterson's agent Ben Dogra and Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski needed to be separated while at the NFL's scouting combine in Indianapolis. It is unclear whether Peterson will be back in Minnesota as a member of the Vikings.

Nina Golgowski Feb-25-2015 209 0
Bobbi Kristina Brown is reportedly being taken out of her medically induced coma after more than three weeks in an Atlanta hospital.

The comatose daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, who was found unresponsive in a bathtub on Jan. 31, is being weaned off her coma-inducing medications, but remains on life support, People magazine reported.

Despite the hopeful step toward the 21-year-old's recovery, one source close to the family told the magazine that her condition remains "severe."

"There will be a sign of hope, and then nothing," said a family source. "Every day, we wonder if this will be the day that we get good news."

The source said they hope the decision to wake her will "give us some answers."

The news came as Brown's boyfriend, Nick Gordon, filed a temporary restraining order against the Roswell Police Department investigating reports of drug use in the couple's Georgia home, The Wrap reported.

Gordon’s attorneys reportedly hope to block authorities' access to home video surveillance footage, arguing that it's a breach of privacy and has an "insufficient link between the crime alleged."

The daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown is reportedly being weaned off her coma-inducing medication at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Earlier this week a report accused the 21-year-old of regularly taking heroin, cocaine and Xanax in the months before she was hospitalized.

Eerily like her late mother, who was also found in a bathtub three years ago this month, Xanax was one of the drugs found her Houston's system at her time of death.

Jessica Huseman Feb-25-2015 161 0
Marvell Robinson was in kindergarten when a classmate reportedly poured an anthill on him at the playground. After that, the gibes reportedly became sharper: "Why are you that color?" one boy taunted at the swing set, leaving Marvell scared and speechless. The slow build of racial bullying would push his mother, Vanessa Robinson, to pull him from his public school and homeschool him instead.

Marvell is one of an estimated 220,000 African American children currently being homeschooled, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. Black families have become one of the fastest-growing demographics in homeschooling, with black students making up an estimated 10 percent of the homeschooling population. (For comparison’s sake, they make up 16 percent of all public-school students nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.)

And while white homeschooling families traditionally cite religious or moral disagreements with public schools in their decision to pull them out of traditional classroom settings, studies indicate black families are more likely to cite the culture of low expectations for African American students or dissatisfaction with how their children—especially boys—are treated in schools.

Marvell, now 7 and in the second grade, was the only black student in both his kindergarten and first-grade classes, and one of only a few black students in his San Diego elementary school, according to his mother. And Marvell’s Asperger syndrome—a high-functioning form of autism that makes social interaction difficult—only added to the curiosity and cruelty with which his fellow classmates approached him, Robinson added. She was concerned the school wasn’t doing enough about it. "I just thought maybe I could do a better job myself," she said.

"They said, ‘kids will be kids,’ and the only solution was for Marvell to be monitored—like he had done something wrong," Robinson said. "In the end, I don’t think that anyone should have to monitor my kid" because of other kids’ behavior.

Robinson allowed Marvell to finish first grade there and began homeschooling him when he started second grade in September. Robinson adjusted her nursing schedule to include 12-hour shifts on the weekends so she could take on educating Marvell during the week. Her husband, a sous chef at a restaurant in downtown San Diego, continues to work full-time and participates in lessons when he can.

And while her primary motivation was giving Marvell individualized attention, Robinson was unable to separate her worries about racial bullying from the decision. "If he hadn’t been bullied I would have really looked into transferring schools, or going back to where I grew up in Kansas," she said. "At least in Kansas it was more racially diverse. I assumed that’s how the schools would be in San Diego, but I was wrong."

Robinson likely joins hundreds of other African American parents who've decided to homeschool their children because of dissatisfaction with the traditional campuses. Indeed, Joyce Burges at National Black Home Educators has watched her membership grow "exponentially" in the 15 years since the organization was founded, a trend also reflected in Marvell’s home state of California. While Burges’s national conferences in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, used to attract only around 50 people, they now attract upwards of 400, she said—a noteworthy number for the first organization for black homeschoolers in a sea of predominantly white organizations.

Research conducted by Marie-Josée Cérol—known professionally as Ama Mazama—also offers insight into the growing trend. A faculty member in the African American Studies department at Temple University in Philadelphia, Mazama began homeschooling her three children 12 years ago and realized quickly that there was little research on black homeschoolers.

"Whenever there are mentions of African American homeschoolers, it’s assumed that we homeschool for the same reasons as European-American homeschoolers, but this isn’t really the case," she said. "Because of the unique circumstances of black people in this country, there is really a new story to be told."

In a 2012 report published in the Journal of Black Studies , Mazama surveyed black homeschooling families from around the country and found that most chose to educate their children at home at least in part to avoid school-related racism. Mazama calls this rationale "racial protectionism" and said it is a response to the inability of schools to meet the needs of black students. "We have all heard that the American education system is not the best and is falling behind in terms of international standards," she said. "But this is compounded for black children, who are treated as though they are not as intelligent and cannot perform as well, and therefore the standards for them should be lower."

Kevin Krause Feb-24-2015 267 0
A Cedar Hill husband and wife who ran a tax preparation business will each spend 15 years in federal prison for a series of frauds they concocted, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Jacqueline and Gladstone Morrison were sentenced Friday in Fort Worth by U.S. District Judge John McBryde.

The sentence of 187 months, although steep for a tax preparation fraud case, was below the sentencing guidelines in the case that ranged from 262 months to 327 months.

McBryde also ordered them to pay nearly $18 million in restitution.

The couple operated Jacqueline Morrison & Associates on North Collins in Arlington and on James Street in Fort Worth. The business was opened in 2005 and continued until a federal search warrant shut it down in 2010.

The Morrisons were charged with 17 counts alleging tax evasion and fraud. They were convicted at trial in October 2014.

Gladstone Morrison, 43, has been in custody since the conviction. He’s a former standout in the high jump at the University of Texas at Arlington.

McBryde found him to be a flight risk because he was born and raised in Jamaica and still has a lot of family there, court records show. He became a U.S. citizen in 2010. He has said his UTA track scholarship was what brought him to the U.S.

Court evidence also showed he has traveled extensively in the past seven years, to Jamaica as well as: Frankfurt, Germany; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Panama; Marseille, France; Tel Aviv, Israel; San Domenico, Dominican Republic; Beijing, China; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Los Cabos, Mexico.

McBryde ordered Jacqueline Morrison, 37, to begin serving her sentence on March 13.

Neither of them had a prior criminal record, records show.

The couple married in 2004. Jacqueline Morrison is a certified public accountant and internal auditor who is the only one of her family to attend college.

Her attorney, Peter Fleury, called the proposed punishment “draconian” and asked for leniency. He said money stolen from the government in the scheme went to the taxpayers, most of whom weren’t required to return any of it.

“That is a tremendously disproportionate disparity in sentencing,” he said.

Acting U.S. Attorney John Parker, of the Northern District of Texas, defended the way the case was handled.

“The aggressive prosecution of these individuals is vital to maintaining public confidence in our tax system,” Parker said in a statement.

R. Damon Rowe, the agent in charge of the IRS’ criminal investigation office in Dallas, said most CPAs try to achieve the highest ethical standards while Jacqueline Morrison did not.

“She and her husband, Gladstone, abused the trust their clients placed in them and their company,” he said in a statement. “The Morrisons are now being held accountable for their corrupt actions.”

The Morrisons increased their clients’ tax refunds by claiming fictitious business losses on their income tax returns, prosecutors said. In return, they charged higher fees for the additional paperwork. They earned more than $2 million in fees during the scheme, prosecutors said.

The Morrisons had their clients sign forms that tried to place all responsibility for any false information on the clients, according to prosecutors.

The larger refunds allowed the couple to increase their business through positive word of mouth, prosecutors said.

They used their large client list to win a $750,000 franchise agreement with Express Tax Services, a subsidiary of H&R Block.

But after signing that agreement, the IRS stripped the couple of their electronic tax preparation authority due to the fraud investigation.

To hide that fact, the Morrisons gave Express Tax Services the electronic filing identification number of a business associate, according to prosecutors.

The Morrisons then secretly entered into a separate agreement to sell JMA to an individual. Gladstone Morrison tried to hide that from Express Tax by telling the company that the person was their office manager.

The Morrisons received separate payments from both Express Tax and the individual, who was not named in court documents, due to their parallel agreements, prosecutors said.

When those agreements fell apart, the couple tried to sell JMA to RealTex Ventures LLC for $425,000. The Morrisons lied again when they told the company they were not under investigation.

PIERRE THOMAS Feb-24-2015 195 0
While the public waits for a Justice Department announcement over two separate investigations spurred by the summer shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the department is going to first announce its findings in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

ABC News has learned Martin’s family will soon be notified that the Justice Department will not be filing charges against George Zimmerman, who shot the 17-year-old after a confrontation in 2012. Thursday marks three years to the day since Martin was killed.

Federal prosecutors concluded there is not sufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., intentionally violated Martin’s civil rights, sources told ABC News.

The case sparked intense discussions over race in America because Martin was walking to his home with only Skittles and an iced tea in his hands.

Florida prosecutors tried to convict Zimmerman of state-level murder and manslaughter charges, but in July 2013 a jury acquitted him, saying prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to prove their case.

One juror -– the only minority on the all-female jury –- later told ABC News that “as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can't say he's guilty."

"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," she said. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."

In Sanford, race-related tensions had been simmering for nearly a century, but Martin’s death “was the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back,’” bringing “those issues to the surface,” the new Sanford police chief, Cecil Smith, recently told federal officials.

After Martin was killed, Holder sat down his own teenage son to explain that -– as unfair as it may be -– young black men must often interact with police in a different way than others, he told an NAACP convention in July 2013. It was “a conversation I hoped I'd never have to have,” Holder added.

As media attention mounted over Martin’s death, protests grew across the country calling for justice. The city of Sanford now says a police department had not been scrutinized like that by the press, religious organizations, social activists and the broader public since Los Angeles police beat Rodney King in 1991.

Zimmerman was not a police officer and the neighborhood watch program he was a part of was independent from local police.

Many accused Zimmerman of discriminating against Martin –- essentially taking action against the teenager and ultimately killing him because Martin was black. Zimmerman is Hispanic.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and FBI opened an investigation into the case, noting “experienced federal prosecutors” would determine “whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation” of federal law. In a statement, the department noted there are “limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction.”

Privately and publicly, Justice Department officials have been telegraphing all along that they were unlikely to file charges against Zimmerman. And in November 2013, Holder said the case against Zimmerman “in substantial part was resolved” with his acquittal months earlier.

Nevertheless, federal officials have insisted their civil-rights probe would be thorough and complete. Several months ago –- nearly two years into the Justice Department’s investigation –- Holder said federal investigators were still seeking to interview certain witnesses “as a result of some recent developments.”

More recently, Holder has said he hoped to announce the findings of the Zimmerman and Ferguson-related probes before he leaves office, which could happen in a matter of weeks, depending on when the U.S. Senate confirms his successor.

Holder has said then when a decision is announced in the Zimmerman case, it will be accompanied by “as much information” as possible detailing the Justice Department’s findings.

In the Ferguson case, the department is currently conducting two probes into the matter.

A criminal investigation will try to determine whether then-officer Darren Wilson used unreasonable force and intentionally violated Michael Brown’s civil rights when he shot the unarmed teenager in August. The second probe - though not criminal in nature –- will look more broadly into whether the Ferguson police department has routinely engaged in a "pattern or practice" of unlawful and discriminatory policing.

A state grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, declined to indict Wilson in Novembe4 2014. Many expect the Justice Department will not be able to bring federal charges against Wilson, but will take action against the local police department.

Kevin Sheehan Feb-24-2015 225 0
Al Sharpton is all about the Benjamins, a daughter of police chokehold victim Eric Garner claims in a bombshell videotape.

Erica Snipes tees off on the reverend as interested primarily in money during a conversation secretly recorded by controversial conservative activist James O’Keefe’s group, Project Veritas.

One of O’Keefe’s investigators with a hidden camera posed as a Garner supporter during a protest last month at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.

“You think Al Sharpton is kind of like a crook in a sense?” the investigator is heard asking Garner’s oldest daughter.

“He’s about this,” Snipes replies, rubbing her fingers together.
“He’s about money with you?” the undercover asks.

“Yeah,” Snipes responds.

Snipes, 24, also complained that the Staten Island director of Sharpton’s National Action Network, Cynthia Davis, scolded her for handing out street fliers about her father’s case that did not include NAN’s logo.

“She started attacking me. ‘Oh, I see that you got this flier out, how come you didn’t add the logo?’?’’ Snipes said.

The undercover then asks, “They want their logo on your fliers?”

“Instead of me, he wants his face in front,” Snipes says, referring to Sharpton
“But it’s not about them, it’s about your dad,” the undercover says.
“Exactly,” Snipes responds.

“Al Sharpton paid for the funeral. She’s trying to make me feel like I owe them,” she adds.
In an interview with The Post on Monday night, Snipes denied that she had accused Sharpton of being a money-grubber.

“No, I didn’t say that I think Al Sharpton is all about the money,” she said.

But she stood by her criticism of Davis, the NAN director, who she claimed tried to block her from attending a protest at the Staten Island Museum against mass incarceration.
Sharpton on Monday night accused Project Veritas of “exploiting” Snipes and a dispute within the Garner family.

“They’re splicing and dicing stuff together. It was a distortion. Erica is a sincere victim. She was not trying to infer anything with me,” Sharpton said of the secret recording.

Sharpton said the premise of the criticism is flat wrong. He said NAN helps families, including paying for funerals, and does not take money from them. He said Snipes’ sister, Emerald, now works for NAN.

Moreover, he said, NAN organizes rallies after receiving legal permits from the city and therefore requests that its logo be put on fliers for events it sponsors.

In the video, Sharpton is also criticized by leaders and supporters involved in the Michael Brown police shooting case in Ferguson, Mo., and the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, according to the Project Veritas videotapes.

Jean Petrus, a Brooklyn businessman who attended a recent Trayvon Martin Foundation fundraiser in Florida, is also seen criticizing Sharpton in the secretly taped video.

“He knows how to make money and get money. They’re shakedown guys to me. You know, let’s call it what it is, they’re shakedown,” he says in the video.

Petrus told The Post on Monday night that he never consented to an interview and considers himself a “friend of Sharpton.”
“It was an entrapment situation,” Petrus said. “It’s really underhanded.”
Bishop Calvin Scott of Believers Temple in Ferguson also raps Sharpton in the video.
“To some degree, sort of incites people for the wrong reason,” the bishop says. “I’m in the gathering. He got them all fired up. But I just sense this is not the way you want to go.”
Sharpton dismissed the criticism, saying he went to Ferguson at the request of Brown’s family.
“I condemned the violence in Ferguson,” he said.

The Post attempted to contact all the subjects in the Veritas video documentary. Two responded.
Lawyer Darryl Parks, who is involved with the Trayvon Martin Foundation, said “there may be a little truth in that” when asked in a secret recording whether Sharpton is “all about his money.”
Parks on Monday night told The Post that he was “totally misconstrued” by a woman who misrepresented herself as a donor willing to give $50,000 to the foundation. He said it was a lengthy interview taken out of context.

“This is operating under false disguise. It’s nothing but hogwash,” said Parks, who stressed that he supports Sharpton.

>>--More Black Legal News

Sep-09-2014 1111 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 1501 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 1497 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 1729 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 2105 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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