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Solange Knowles' Hair Targeted By The TSA, Plus A Tribute To The Singer's Amazing Afro
Nov-16-2012 785 0


Just when you thought all of that TSA hair frisking nonsense was over, now comes news that Solange Knowles' curly mane has experienced its very own "Discrim-FRO-nation."

The 26-year-old star says that her hair was searched by Transportation Security Administration officials in Miami on Wednesday. She took to Twitter to vent about the situation and offer some levity:


solange knowles?
@solangeknowles

Discrim-FRO-nation. My hair is not a storage drawer. Although, guess I couuld hide a joint up in here. *Blames "Romnesia" (my wigs name)

14 Nov 12 Reply
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solange knowles?
@solangeknowles

Lets play a little game called: "What did TSA find in Solange's Fro"?

14 Nov 12 Reply
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solange knowles?
@solangeknowles

Ok. Game over:( Flights taking off. Me and my wig had a lot of good laughs with y'all.

14 Nov 12 Reply
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Of course some of Solange's 1.3 million Twitter followers jumped at the chance to play "What did TSA find in Solange's Fro?" Guesses ranged from the practical--"a bobby pin"--to the hysterical--"Romney's actual 5 point plan."

While this isn't the first hairy situation regarding the TSA, the agency insists that they don't profile when it comes to hair type or style.

"If someone is passing through the advanced imaging technology machine, it shows an outline of an individual, the same for every single person," Sari Koshetz, a spokeswomen for TSA, told CNN.com. "If the hair area is highlighted, the machine may have picked up an anomaly or a possible threat in the head area. It would not be someone's hair but something in someone's hair."

Doesn't the TSA know that you should never touch a black woman's hair? But jokes aside, you might think twice about wearing your kinky curls when jetsetting out of town.


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Deborah Hastings / Apr-18-2014 86 0
Texas inmate with the critical thinking ability of a first-grader has been waiting some 34 years for a new trial. And now he'll wait some more.

In a recent ruling, a judge decided that Jerry Hartfield's constitutional right to a speedy trial had not been violated — despite being imprisoned since 1980 on a murder conviction that had been overturned — because, in essence, Hartfield did not ask for a new trial.

Judge Craig Estlinbaum found the state had been negligent in failing to retry the 56-year-old man, and that his ability to adequately defend himself had diminished over time, but he ultimately ruled Hartfield was responsible for his own incarceration because he failed to seek a new trial.

The decision is the latest in a series of confusing and baffling proceedings that have kept the Bay City man behind bars since his 1976 conviction for robbing and killing a bus station worker in 1976.

Hartfield, whose IQ has been estimated at 51, claims he is innocent and that police used a false confession against him. He was sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned in 1980 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal, which ruled a juror had been improperly dismissed for voicing concerns about capital punishment.

Prosecutors twice tried to persuade the court to reconsider that ruling, but failed.

Mr. Hartfield should have had a new trial. But he didn't get one.

And then things began to legally fall apart for Hartfield.

Then-Gov. Mark White, at the urging of prison officials, commuted Hartfield's sentence from death to life imprisonment in 1983. Whether he had been informed that Hartfield's conviction had been overturned is not known, according to Hartfield's current attorney, Jeffrey Newberry of the Texas Innocence Project.

What is now known, however, is that the governor's commutation was issued in error, Newberry said.

"He couldn't commute the sentence because there was nothing left to commute," Newberry told the Daily News Friday. "Mr. Hartfield should have had a new trial. But he didn't get one."

He didn't get one because he had no legal counsel after his trial.

"So he just sat there," Newberry said.

Fast-forward to 2006, when a fellow inmate told Hartfield that he should have received a new trial after his conviction was overturned.

"Someone helped him write documents on his own saying 'Hey, I never got my new trial,''' Newberry said. Eventually, his handwritten legal filings resulted in him receiving a court-appointed attorney while he fought to be released.

Over the next eight years, his case bounced from federal court to state courts. Meanwhile, the murder weapon, a pick-axe, has been lost and witnesses have died.

In a jailhouse interview last year, Hartfield said he was not angry about what happened to him.

He became a Christian behind bars, he said. “Being a God-fearing person, he doesn’t allow me to be bitter,” Hartfield said. “He allows me to be forgiving.” Newberry said he is appealing last week's most recent ruling in Hartfield's case.

He disputes Judge Estlinbaum assertion that no evidence was submitted of Hartfield's mental incapacity. He also disputes the logic of the decision, saying the judge essentially ruled "Mr. Hartfield's right to a speedy trial had not been violated … because the fact that he waited (to request a new trial) was an indication that he didn't want a new trial," Newberry said.

Separate proceedings to retry the criminal case are also underway, the attorney said. A hearing on that matter is scheduled for next month.


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Apr-18-2014 53 0
More than a half-dozen African-American pastors and about 70 supporters gathered outside City Hall Thursday to protest what they described as a lack of diversity in Mayor de Blasio’s top appointments.

“This is an insult to us,” said the Rev. Dennis Dillon, pastor of the Brooklyn Christian Center, unveiling a study that claimed only 10% of de Blasio’s high-level appointees are black.

“The mayor made promises; we gave him our votes. . . . There is probably some regret with all of us. We want to believe his heart is in the right place; his actions are obviously all wrong.”

The mayor made promises; we gave him our votes.

However, the study had flaws.

For example, it counted officials who were appointed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and had left office.

And it included in its count holdover commissioners heading agencies where de Blasio has yet to make his own appointments.

A Daily News tally found that 24% of the deputy mayors and agency commissioners appointed by de Blasio are African-American.

A study cited by Dillon, which claimed only 10% of de Blasio’s high-level appointees are black, counted officials who were appointed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and had left office.

“Mayor de Blasio has kept his promise to build an effective administration that looks like New York City,” said spokeswoman Marti Adams.

“By any measure, Mayor de Blasio’s appointments have made this, by far, the most diverse administration that the city has seen in decades.”


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TMZ Apr-17-2014 90 0
Mike Epps may have gotten a real life fright at the after party of “Haunted House 2” on Wednesday night.

According to TMZ, the actor was accused of punching a woman in the face at the party, held at Lucky Strike in Downtown L.A.

The gossip site reports that LAPD sources said a woman filed a report after claiming that the 43-year-old comedian punched her in the face.

The police, TMZ reports, saw no sign of injury on the woman and Epps denied assaulting her. She supposedly claimed to have been previously romantically entangled with him.

Epps, according to the site’s sources, insists that the woman was a fan who became hostile after he asked her for privacy.

The police, TMZ reports, are referring the case to the domestic violence division.

A representative for Epps did not immediately respond to the Daily News’ request for comment.


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Apr-17-2014 61 0
The New York Times unleashed Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Walt Bogdanich on the Tallahassee police department’s investigation of a rape allegation against star Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and the results are what you might expect.

The NYT “found that there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university.”

Winston, who will be a sophomore this upcoming season, is one of college football’s most famous and talented players. As a freshman he became the youngest Heisman Trophy ever and led the Seminoles to a national championship.

Winston’s fame may have affected investigators’ zeal during their investigation. The chief investigator in the rape case, who also does private security work for the Seminole Boosters, the primary financier of Florida State athletics, allegedly said testing the star quarterback’s DNA “might generate [unwanted] publicity.”

The New York Times story uncovers more disturbing facts:
•FSU knew about the rape allegation in January of 2013, about a month after the Dec. 6, 2012, incident and a full year before the Seminoles won the national championship, but did not question Winston.
•After the championship game in 2014, FSU asked Winston to answer questions about the allegations but he declined.
•Police did not follow “obvious leads that would have quickly identified the suspect as well as witnesses, one of whom videotaped part of the sexual encounter.”
•Police did not ask for security video from a bar where the alleged victim said she met Winston.
•Police said they had “no lead” on the rape suspect for about a month, but the accuser called a detective and identified her alleged attacker by name Jan. 10, saying she saw him on campus.
•Once Winston was identified as a suspect, police did not attempt to interview him for two weeks and never obtained a DNA sample.
•Police contacted Winston by phone, which is highly unusual, and Winston said he could not talk to them because of baseball practice. He hired a lawyer and never spoke to police.
•The detective handling the case suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser.
•Winston’s accuser filed an internal-affairs complaint, saying Tallahassee police investigated her instead of the football player and prematurely dropped the case. That complaint was dropped.
•When the prosecutor eventually got the case, important evidence, including the video of the sexual act, had disappeared.
•Prosecutors were forced to conduct much of the investigation that police failed to accomplish, including getting a DNA test, which indicated sperm found in the bruised woman’s underwear was from Winston.

Sexual assault charges were eventually dropped because prosecutors did not believe a trial would result in a conviction.

Florida Chief Assistant Attorney Georgia Cappleman told the Times, “I believe that Mr. Winston cannot be convicted. I don’t necessarily believe that he’s innocent.”

Winston’s Atlanta-based attorney, David Cornwell, told the Times, “We don’t need an investigation … to know that Jameis did not sexually assault this young lady.”

How about a third quote by a person who died thousands of years ago?

“Laws are like spider webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones,” the philosopher Anacharsis allegedly said circa 600 B.C.

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Michael Walsh Apr-16-2014 130 0
An Arizona man admitted to shooting his son-in-law with a flare gun and trying to stab him with a folding pocket knife, authorities said.

George Brown, 66, who allegedly confessed he was "fixin to kill him," was arrested Saturday morning and charged with attempted murder, assault, aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, according to local media.

A domestic spat escalated to a brawl earlier that day outside the victim's home in the city of Chandler near Phoenix, reported KNXV-TV.

Brown punched his son-in-law in the face three times before reaching for the flare gun.

Witnesses say they heard Brown, from nearby Mesa, yell that he wanted to shoot the victim and watch him burn to death, according to court documents.

The shot stuck the victim's abdomen and left him with an open wound and burns, said KTVK. His wounds were treated at the scene.

Police say there is a history of violence between Brown's son-in-law and the rest of his family.

Brown is being held in lieu of $20,000.


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Guillermo Contreras Apr-16-2014 166 0
SAN ANTONIO — Three years before shooting a black man to death outside a Northeast Side restaurant, a San Antonio police officer was suspended for 45 days for reportedly trying to fight African-American patrons of another eatery where he worked security.

Robert Encina was off duty and appeared drunk when he targeted black customers and yelled obscenities at others during the April 2010 incident at a Mama Margie's on the Northwest Side, a San Antonio Police Department internal affairs report states.

That incident, together with allegations that Encina harassed African-Americans at Chacho's and Chalucci's on Perrin Beitel Road while working a side security job there, shows he had an animus toward minorities and raises questions about his credibility, according to Attorney Daryl K. Washington, a lawyer suing the city on behalf of the family of Marquise Jones.

Encina shot Jones, 23, in the back while in the drive-through area of Chacho's on Feb. 28, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday. The suit, which also names Encina and Chacho's as defendants, gives an account that is far different from the official version provided by SAPD.

The family's attorney, Daryl K. Washington of Dallas, said the shooting is a result of an institutional problem — because of the city's refusal to make sweeping changes recommended by outside review bodies that have knocked SAPD's policies and practices.

A Police Department spokeswoman referred all questions Tuesday to the city attorney's office, which did not respond to a message seeking comment. Chacho's employees referred questions to corporate managers, who could not be reached.

Encina, who has been with SAPD for six years, said Jones was armed and that he shot him in the torso because he feared for his life, according to what police Chief William McManus told reporters at the time. Police said a gun was recovered near Jones.

“Marquise Jones did not point a weapon at the police officer,” Washington said. “The way this has been reported in San Antonio is not accurate at all.... This officer has a history of targeting minorities, particularly African-American males.”

The shooting occurred at about 1:30 a.m. after a car Jones was a passenger in a car that bumped another car in the drive-through. According to a preliminary SAPD report, that resulted in an argument between the drivers, and Encina — working for the restaurant but in full uniform — was summoned to the area and began speaking with one of the drivers.

“He sees the passenger in the vehicle fidgeting around reaching for something toward his waistband, orders him to stop,” McManus said at the time. “He gets out of the car and pulls a gun on the officer. The officer fires multiple times. The suspect runs.”

It appeared that Jones had been drinking, the preliminary report states. Encina was placed on paid administrative leave for several days, standard procedure for all officer shootings. He has since returned to duty.

But the official account indicating that there was an altercation between the drivers is false, the lawsuit and Washington said, citing other witnesses. The drivers agreed with each other that nothing had happened to either vehicle, according to the lawsuit. And, Washington added, Jones was trying to walk away because Encina had harassed him days earlier and was afraid of the officer.

“He was simply trying to get away from the situation,” Washington said. “This officer had no reason to use deadly force.”

After the shooting, Jones' younger sister, Whitney Jones, told WOAI-TV that she was in the car's backseat and tried to calm him down so he would stay in the car.

“He had no gun in his hand. No gun in his hand,” Whitney Jones insisted. “He opened the car door with two hands. He closed it with two hands.”

At about 2 a.m. on April 12, 2010, at Mama Margie's in the 9900 block of Interstate 10, Encina's alleged animus was out for the public to see. As on-duty colleagues investigated a “large disturbance” outside, Encina was with other off-duty officers and picked a fight with black customers, an internal affairs report states.

“During this confrontation, Encina threw down a bag of food and began identifying himself as a 'baller' and 'from the East Side,'” Sgt. Javier Salazar, who now is the SAPD's chief spokesman, wrote in the internal affairs report.

“Once inside the restaurant, Encina was captured on video as he apparently interfered with a drive-(through) employee ... returned to the kitchen several times after being asked to leave the area, directed several obscenities at a drive-(through) customer of the restaurant, was asked to leave the establishment altogether, and had to be forcibly removed from the restaurant by members of his own party,” the report continued.

He was never charged criminally. Instead, the restaurant's employees filed an internal affairs complaint against Encina, who served as a security guard there from time to time. One employee refused to give a statement because she feared retaliation, the report states.

After McManus proposed an indefinite suspension, Encina agreed to a 45-day suspension. He was allowed to give up vacation and holiday leave instead, which is permitted under the police union's bargaining agreement with the city.

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Apr-15-2014 118 0
Radio host Tom Joyner announced this morning that his annual full-ride scholarship will go to Atlanta student Titus Zeigler, who tutors younger children, participates in Junior ROTC and volunteers at the city food bank.

Zeigler, a senior at Grady High School in Midtown, will receive a scholarship to attend a historically black college covering full tuition, books for 10 semesters and room and board.

He plans to attend Florida A&M University as he works to become a trauma surgeon. He’s a battalion commander in Grady’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and he joined the National Guard when he turned 17 last June.

“My job is as a medical specialist, so my job is not killing people, but to save them,” Zeigler said.

Joyner, whose morning show airs in 115 markets and reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, said he was impressed by Zeigler’s focus and determination.

Hundreds of students applied for the scholarship. Applicants had to have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and an SAT score of 2100 on the math and verbal sections or an ACT score of 30.

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Joe Kemp Apr-15-2014 156 0
A jilted Virginia woman was arrested after she drove the wrong way down a one-way street to cut down her husband and tried to kick him to death as he crawled away, police said.

The wild ordeal unfolded after Quaneisha Torres, 21, steered her Chrysler van off into oncoming traffic on Dixon St. and struck the 31-year-old man walking on the side of the road about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, WJLA-TV reported.

The van stopped when it struck a guardrail.

The bleeding man crawled from under the wrecked vehicle to get away, but the enraged Torres allegedly stopped him and began to kick him on the ground.

Several motorists witnessed the shocking attack and called police.

Officers said they arrived moments later and found Torres standing over her husband’s battered body.

Emergency workers rushed the man to Mary Washington Hospital, where he was being treated for serious injuries that included head trauma.


Torres was charged with attempted first-degree homicide and booked at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.


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Apr-14-2014 926 0
The body of a Grambling State University student was found in a drainage ditch in Lafayette early Sunday.

Lafayette police found the body of Alexandria Shelton, 21, in a ditch in Girard Park after friends reported her missing Saturday night.

“The Grambling State University community is in shock. It's heartbreaking. We've been dealing with this all day Sunday, cooperating with Lafayette police and talking with each other about this bright young lady. Alex was a senior criminal justice major and a member of our honors college scheduled to graduate next month,” said Grambling spokesman Will Sutton.

Shelton, a 3.5 GPA student, was going to graduate May 9.

“We’ve just been in shock since we first heard early Sunday that the body of a young woman found in a Lafayette city park was likely one of our own,” said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. “We immediately reached out to the family and we’ve been cooperating with Lafayette police. We know how important the first 24 to 48 hours of a police investigation can be. Now we encourage our students, faculty, staff and others to contact Lafayette city police, or our own campus police, if they think they have even a small bit of information that might be helpful. We need to assist police with this investigation and bring closure to this situation for the sake of Alex’s family and close friends.”

Shelton had a 3.54 cumulative GPA and was a member of the Lester Cole Honors College at Grambling State University.

GSU Provost Connie Walton is completing the necessary paperwork to seek approval of awarding Shelton's degree posthumously. In addition, Stacey Duhon, vice president for student affairs and interim vice president for institutional advancement, is working with the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center to make sure grief counselors are available.

Interested students can call the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center at 318-274-3277 to talk with someone.

According to a story by The Advertiser, friends told police Shelton had planned on meeting them Saturday night, but after three hours passed, they called her cell phone and an unknown man answered. He told Shelton’s friends he found the phone in Girard Park.

Those friends went to Girard Park to meet up with that man and a second man to retrieve the cell phone. Both men left after handing over the cell phone, police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said.

The friends found Shelton’s vehicle nearby shortly after they arrived at the park Saturday night and called police for assistance.

Police located and removed Shelton’s body from a drainage ditch attached to the park's pond near the north side park entrance at around 12:10 a.m. Sunday.

Her cause of death remained unclear, Mouton said. The coroner will determine the cause of death, Mouton said, but it is uncertain when he will make his report.

Police talked with the two men who gave them specific identification about where they found the phone. The men are not suspects, Mouton said.

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