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Solange Knowles' Hair Targeted By The TSA, Plus A Tribute To The Singer's Amazing Afro
Nov-16-2012 870 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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Philip Caulfield Aug-20-2014 68 0
Washington Redskins players showed support for slain Missouri teen Michael Brown on Monday night by running on to the field with their hands up during the team's introductions.

Safety Brandon Meriweather led the team's defensive backs through a tunnel and onto FedEx Field with their hands raised, a nod to the "Hands up, don't shoot" pose that has become a rallying cry for protesters in Ferguson.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed on Aug. 9 by a police officer during an encounter on a street in the St. Louis suburb.

Brown was unarmed, and witnesses said he had his hands were up when Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed him.

After the game — in which the Redskins beat the Cleveland Browns 24-23 — members of the defensive unit acknowledged their solemn entrance was a show of solidarity for Brown and his supporters.

Meriweather and some other veterans came up with the idea and rallied the younger players to go along with it, some players told reporters.

"We just wanted everybody to know that we support Michael and acknowledge what happened in Ferguson,'' Meriweather told USA Today. "It was all of ours idea, something we decided to do as a group just to show our support.''

"That could have been any one of us," safety Ryan Clark told the Washington Post, referring to Brown. "That could have been any one of our brothers, our cousins, just anyone."

"We have voices, even though sometimes we don't like to see it that way, we do have voices. We got the opportunity to do something," he said.

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Aug-19-2014 117 0
A police officer was involved in a shooting Tuesday in St. Louis, about three miles from where Michael Brown was shot and killed in the turbulent suburb of Ferguson, police confirmed.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene, and police marked off the intersection with yellow tape.

Chief Sam Dotson of the St. Louis metropolitan police said on Twitter that the suspect had brandished a knife at police.

Further details were unclear.

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Aug-19-2014 184 0
The Illinois teenager accused of bludgeoning her mother to death in a Bali hotel room had punched, pushed and bitten the 62-year-old before, police reports reveal.

But despite the slew of reports, Sheila von Wiese-Mack never pressed charges against her apparently violent daughter, the Chicago-Tribune reported.

Heather Mack, 19, and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, are set to stand trial for murder. Police in Indonesia said the pair beat von Wiese-Mack to death last week and left her body in a suitcase at the St. Regis Bali.

But the Chicago-area mom had refused to get mental health help for the teen for years, the reports showed.

In 2010, Oak Park police recommended Mack be admitted to a mental hospital after the teen punched von Wiese-Mack. The mother refused, and the family agreed to try to get along.

The truce didn't last.

Later in 2010, von Wiese-Mack accused her daughter of stealing from the family home.

Then in 2011, Mack allegedly pushed her mom so hard von Wiese-Mack broke her arm. The teen disconnected the home's phone so the mother couldn't call for help, she claimed.

More 2011 reports detail accounts of Mack biting and hitting her mother.

Not once did von Wiese-Mack press charges: She told officers that sending her daughter to jail wouldn't help anything.

Between 2004 and 2013, Oak Park police responded to the Mack family home 86 times, NBC Chicago reported. A number of those involved the mother and daughter fighting.

Mack and Schaefer have been held in Bali since Wednesday, and investigators believe the couple killed the 62-year-old after a Monday night argument.

The couple has filed a series of complaints against local police: Mack's lawyer, Michael Elkin, said his client has been sexually assaulted several times while she has been detained.

The 19-year-old, who is apparently pregnant, said she had not been given enough water, and received only "vitamin pills" as medical attention for her pregnancy, Elkin told NBC Chicago.

Schaefer complained about the quality of food in the prison, claiming he was served KFC.

Police maintained the two are being treated like any other prisoner.


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JESSE J. HOLLAND of Associated Press Aug-19-2014 81 0
For one night, all was well in Ferguson, Missouri. After a change in police command, violent protests decrying the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson suddenly gave way to peaceful demonstrations.

A day later, Ferguson police, under pressure to disclose Wilson's name, also revealed that Brown was suspected of stealing cigars from a local store before his deadly encounter with Wilson. That announcement was met with disbelief and anger by several residents, who said police were trying to smear Brown's name to justify his shooting.

And the streets of Ferguson exploded anew.

Brown's death is the latest illustration of deep divisions between minorities and police that have simmered for generations. Concern about the events playing out in Ferguson has coursed all the way up to the White House. President Barack Obama said Attorney General Eric Holder would go to Missouri this week to check on the independent federal investigation into Brown's death.

"In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement," the president said.

The depth of this distrust becomes obvious in polling. While the unrest was occurring in Missouri, almost two-thirds of blacks — 65 percent — surveyed by the Pew Research Center said police went too far in their response to the Ferguson protests, while one-third of whites agreed and nearly another third said the police response has been about right. The Pew survey was conducted Aug. 14-17.

Gallup polling between 2012 and 2014 showed that a majority of blacks, or 64 percent, had only some, very little or no confidence in the police, while the majority of the whites questioned, or 58 percent, had either a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the police. Between 2009 and 2011, Gallup found 61 percent of blacks only had partial or no confidence in police, while 62 percent of whites had a lot of confidence in the police.

One factor that breeds distrust is racial disparity between police and the communities they serve. Ferguson is nearly 70 percent black, while the police department is more than 90 percent white.

Distrust is also fueled by a perception of unchecked police violence through the ages: the 1992 acquittal of four white Los Angeles police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King; the 1967 beating in Newark, New Jersey, of cab driver John Smith; Miami in 1980, after the acquittal of six white police officers in the beating death of black motorcyclist Arthur McDuffie; Cincinnati in 2001 after 19-year-old Timothy Thomas was shot and killed by a police officer. Rioting followed each of these cases.

"More African-Americans and Latinos believe police stop people without due cause, use excessive force and engage in verbal abuse than white Americans," said Ronald Weitzer, a George Washington University sociology professor who has studied race and policing in the U.S. and internationally. "So they not only tend to see the police as having some racial biases, but also in their day-to-day activities behaving in ways that are more obtrusive and maybe unjustified in dealing with citizens."

Brown was shot multiple times by Wilson on Aug. 9. Police have said little about the encounter, except that it involved a scuffle in which Wilson was injured and Brown was shot. Witnesses say Brown had his hands in the air as the officer fired multiple rounds.

Tensions boiled over after a candlelight vigil the next night, as looters smashed and burned businesses, while police fired tear gas and smoke bombs. Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is black, was placed in charge of security, a move that was cheered in Ferguson. He ordered his officers to abandon the body armor and gas masks and instead ensure the public's right to peaceably assemble.

But things escalated again Aug. 15, after Ferguson police released Wilson's name along with video they said showed Brown robbing a store shortly before he was killed. Brown's family condemned the revelation, with lawyer Anthony Gray calling it a "sideshow."

Weitzer described several different forms of police behavior that breed distrust, particularly among black and Latino males. That included unwarranted stops of individuals on the street by police, such as New York police's highly criticized "stop-and-frisk" tactic, he said.

"They're not only more likely to be stopped by police and subjected to some kind of abuse, but it also happens repeatedly, and this is something we don't see in the white community," Weitzer said.

Although the St. Louis County medical examiner had conducted an autopsy, Brown's family ordered their own. It found that Brown had been shot at least six times, twice in the head. Family attorney Benjamin Crump said Monday that Brown's parents "could not trust what was going to be put in the reports about the tragic execution of their child." The Justice Department planned to conduct its own autopsy.

Without directly referencing the video revelation, Holder said he was troubled by "the selective release of sensitive information" surrounding Brown's case, and said his agency would preserve the integrity of its investigation, "no matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries."

"This is a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond," Holder said.

American University professor Cathy Lisa Schneider, who wrote a book on urban unrest, said distrust breeds frustration with police when there is no avenue of redress "and usually an increasing intensity of police violence."

It's "almost always cases of where the local authorities are completely impervious to the concerns of people who are vulnerable to police violence and do not know how to stop it," Schneider said. "It is the most potent symbol of racial domination and subjection. It is also the most painful."

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Aug-18-2014 1595 0
After months of requesting the autopsy report in connection with the shooting death of Marquise Jones, Daryl K. Washington, the attorney representing the family received a copy today. The autopsy report confirms what eyewitnesses to the shooting on February 28 have said all alone; Marquise Jones was shot in the back.

Officer Robert Encina, a six-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department, was in full uniform working security at Chacho's in the 8600 block of Perrin Beitel Road, when he approached the driver of the vehicle 23 year Old Marquise Jones was a passenger in to question him after he barely bumped a vehicle in the front of him. Marquise Jones had no involvement with the accident and was not questioned. After witnessing how Officer Encina was treating the driver, Jones became afraid and decided to leave since he was not being questioned and/or requested not to leave. It was at this point the Officer pulled out his service revolver and shot Marquise Jones in the back. The accounts of the shooting were confirmed by two eyewitnesses who were also passengers in the vehicle.

The autopsy report confirmed that Marquise Jones died as a result of a gunshot wound to the back. There was no evidence of close range firing. As of this date, no charges have been filed against Officer Encina. Three years before shooting Jones to death, Officer Encina was suspended for 45 days for trying to fight African-American patrons of another eatery where he worked security.

According to an earlier story, 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.

The parents of Marquise Jones hope that Encina will not only be fired but he will also be charged with the murder of their son. The family is asking for the District Attorney to charge Officer Encina with a crime.

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Aug-18-2014 180 0
A 21-year-old man accused with his girlfriend of killing her mother and stuffing her body in a suitcase is apparently offended he was served KFC in a Bali prison.

Tommy Schaefer complained to authorities that the fried fare is not good enough for the couple, police sources told news.com.au. However, cops say they that KFC is a luxury item in Bali and is not even affordable for the poor.

“We have already given treatment that Tommy Schaefer is more than normal,” Denpasar Police Chief Djoko Hari Utomo told news.com.au, when asked about the treatment of Schaefer's 19-year-old pregnant girlfriend Heather Mack. “We give the same food for all suspects. We also give special attention to her as she is still young. This is a transition period for her."

Schaefer and Mack are accused of killing 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack, whose body was discovered in a suitcase in Bali on Aug. 12. If convicted in the slaying of the Chicago woman, the couple could face the death penalty by firing squad, according to Indonesia law.

Sheila von Wiese-Mack had squared off with her daughter many times, especially since 2006, when her husband died. During a nine-year period, cops went to the family's Illinois home 86 times on domestic violence and theft calls, NBC Chicago reported.

Authorities also said that Heather Mack is going through a normal pregnancy, not an ectopic one, as she claimed, according to news.com.au.

However, the lawyer for Mack says he is concerned for her health, he told CBS in Chicago. Michael Elkin told the station that his client said she had been sexually assaulted on multiple occasions.

“I said, 'Were you touched?’ And she said ‘Yes,' Elkin told CBS. "I said, ‘Were you touched inappropriately?’ And she said ‘Yes.'"

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Pearl Gabel Aug-18-2014 170 0
An independent autopsy of the black teenager who was slain by a suburban St. Louis cop found “no evidence of a struggle” on his body.

The revelation Monday by famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden cast doubts on police accounts of how Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“There weren’t any signs of a struggle,” said Baden, the former chief medical examiner in New York City.

Brown appears to have been shot at least six times from a distance, not close-up as police first suggested, Baden said.

And all the bullets appear to have struck the teen in the front, he said.

“He did not suffer,” Baden said of Brown.

But one of the wounds on Brown’s arm “could have occurred when he was putting his hands up,” said Prof. Shawn L. Parcells, a Kansas-based pathologist who assisted Baden.

Police officers defend the scene for firefighters to work after looting at the Dellwood Market.

Police advance through a cloud of tear gas toward demonstrators on Sunday night in Ferguson.

A man gets help after being overcome by tear gas that police launched at demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown.

Several witnesses have said that Brown had his hands in the air in a sign of surrender when Wilson shot him dead on Aug. 9.

“It verifies that the witness accounts were true,” said Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump. “He was shot multiple times in broad daylight.”

But neither Crump nor the pathologists could offer an answer when outspoken community leader Shirley Davis asked why — given the autopsy results — the St. Louis County prosecutor has not charged Wilson with a crime.

“It was murder, it was murder,” Davis said. “It was blatant. This is sad. This could be anyone's child.”

The Justice Department, which is monitoring the case, is also planning to conduct an autopsy.

There was also no immediate response to Baden’s findings from St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, an unabashedly “pro-cop” prosecutor that many in Ferguson want removed from the combustible case.

Embattled Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson contends Wilson fired after he was pushed into his police cruiser and the doomed teenager went for his gun.

Jackson’s early refusal to release details of the deadly confrontation — or the officer’s name — fanned fury in the mostly black town and sparked several days of rage in Ferguson, Mo.

Baden said he cannot fathom why Jackson sat on the results of the first autopsy, which was conducted by the St. Louis county coroner.

“The family has a right to know how their loved one died,” he said. “Very simple things are found on day one of the autopsy.

Baden spoke after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sent the National Guard into Ferguson after the town was rocked by the most violent clashes yet between demonstrators and police.

Nixon gave the order after police officers trying to clear the streets were attacked by a small group of demonstrators armed with firearms and Molotov cocktails.

“Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk," Nixon said in a statement.

The governor said he had no choice but to send in the Guard “given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson.”

Wilson has not been charged with a crime. In a Facebook post apparently written by the officer, he announced he had deactivated his account “due to a number of threats.”

Meanwhile, the first day of school in Ferguson was suspended and some residents took to the streets — to clean up the mess.

“It feels good to be out here,” said 9-year-old Makayla Mosley as she, her dad and younger sister began shoving expended tear gas canisters in a garbage bag. “We are helping to clean up the community now.”

On Sunday, Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who has been trying to calm tensions in Ferguson, apologized to the Brown family at a rally organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton.


Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson speaks during a service for the Michael Brown family at the Greater Grace Church in Ferguson, Mo. on Sunday.
Robert Cohen/AP

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson speaks during a service for the Michael Brown family at the Greater Grace Church in Ferguson, Mo. on Sunday.

"I am sorry. I wear this uniform and I should say that I am sorry," he said to applause.

"This is my neighborhood. You are my family, you are my friends and I am you. And I will stand to protect you.”

At the same rally, Brown backers blasted Jackson for releasing a surveillance video that allegedly showed Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store moments before he was shot by Wilson.

Jackson initially said Wilson knew Brown was a suspect in the shop robbery and later backtracked.

“How can the young folk in the city believe in a system that would try to spit on the name and character of a young man who hasn’t even been buried?” asked Sharpton. “Michael Brown Jr. will be a defining moment on how this country deals with policing and the rights of its citizens.”

Nixon also accused law enforcement of trying to “besmirch” Brown by linking him to the robbery.

“It had an incendiary effect,” the Democratic governor said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” adding that his office was not made aware of the decision to release the video.

“I do think it flamed it back up and has caused us to have to deal with some of that,” he added.

In the latest clashes, seven or eight people were arrested and charged with failure to disperse, officials said.

Also, there were reports that an 8-year-old boy was struck by a tear gas canister and injured.


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Aug-17-2014 143 0
Michael Brown was shot at least six times, according to the preliminary results of a private autopsy that his family requested.

The independent autopsy was conducted by high-profile pathologist Michael Baden. Baden testified in the O.J. Simpson, Phil Spector and Drew Peterson murder trials.

Family attorney Daryl Parks did not provide additional details about the preliminary results.

However, the New York Times, reporting on the same independent autopsy, reported that two of the bullets struck Brown in the head. The other four struck him in the right arm -- and all six were fired into his front.

"This is bound to escalate tensions," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told CNN. "This is a very provocative report."

Even before the release of this latest information, the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has been a racially charged tinderbox.

Late Sunday night, a day of peaceful protests devolved into a night of gunfire, Molotov cocktails and tear gas .

Officers fired tear gas into a crowd of hundreds of protester, including children, who were marching toward a police command post despite an impending midnight curfew. Authorities also struck at least one defiant protester with rubber bullets.

St. Louis County police said several protesters had thrown Molotov cocktails toward the officers before authorities shot tear gas toward them.

The violence escalated through the night as shots were fired toward police. Officers had to take up a defensive position behind vehicles.

"That is a lie. It was no fight, it was no shots fired," a very upset protester, Lisha Williams, told CNN. "The only ones who fired was police. All we did was march to the command center to fall to our knees and say, 'Don't shoot.' And they started shooting."

The scene was a far cry from a packed church earlier Sunday, where hundreds of people gathered for a two-hour rally demanding justice for Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot dead eight days ago by a white police officer.

"I'm astonished at this reversal of mood," Jackson said. "The mood was so positive."

A cousin of Brown told the church audience that Brown was killed without reason.

"What I want y'all to remember is that Michael Brown was not just some young black boy. He was a human being ... ," Ty Pruitt said. "He was not a suspect. He was not an object. He was not an animal. But that's how he was killed."

Michael Brown's parents -- Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. -- appeared on stage at the rally at Greater Grace Church with attorney Benjamin Crump but didn't address the audience.

"What we're really asking for is simple justice," Crump said. "We're not asking for anything extraordinary. They just want what anybody else would want if their children were shot down in broad daylight."

Crump said there would be an independent investigation in addition to the federal and local probes already under way.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, the parents of Michael Brown, attend a rally at Greater Grace Church on Sunday, August 17 in Ferguson, Missouri. Violence continues to flare amid protests over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, and the actions of police in the aftermath.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson spoke to the 1,300 people in the congregation and said he had a heavy heart.

"The past 24 hours have been tough for me," said Johnson, who took over security in the town on Thursday after what many saw as an overly aggressive police response by the local authorities. Johnson said he met with members of the Brown family and was moved to tears.

Protests had turned violent on Saturday night as well after a curfew began. One male was shot overnight Saturday, authorities said. It was unclear how old he was or who shot him. The victim was in critical condition Sunday.

Officials said state highway patrol officers didn't fire any shots. They did fire tear gas to get to the wounded victim, Johnson said early Sunday.

Brown was shot to death August 9 by a police officer after a confrontation as the teen walked down the street. Accounts of exactly what happened when Officer Darren Wilson stopped Brown vary widely.

Witnesses said they saw a scuffle between the officer and Brown at the police car before the young man was shot. Police said Brown struggled with the officer and reached for his weapon.

Several witnesses said Brown raised his hands and was not attacking the officer.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has approved another autopsy on Brown's body, the Justice Department said. The autopsy will be conducted by a federal medical examiner.

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Aug-17-2014 122 0
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, 28, received an award for “extraordinary effort in the line of duty” months before he gunned down unarmed teenager Mike Brown and left him in the street for 4 hours last Saturday, reports Yahoo News.

Wilson’s father, John Wilson, posted how proud he was of his son on Facebook:

“Very proud of my son, Darren Wilson on his receiving a Commendation from his Police Department,” John Wilson wrote on February 11. “Congratulations Son.”

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson released Wilson’s name during a press conference on Friday after 5 days of refusing to do so.

When reporters tried to contact Wilson, it was revealed that he and his family had “left town days ago.”

Four days ago John Wilson turned to Facebook for support without mentioning his son by name.

“Dear FB friends, Our family is in need for prayers to be sent up for a family member,” John Wilson wrote. “Circumstances do not allow for us to say anything further. Please pray with our family in mind. Put a covering of protection over our family member please.”

A woman who replied in the comment thread told John that she could put him in touch with someone that “has been through many difficult times with his children. Prayers are what brought the family through the rough times. We are just a phone call away.”

John Wilson thanked his many friends who were quick to offer encouragement.

“Please continue to do so as we deal with a family situation that is very challenging,” he wrote.

In his last post this week, John Wilson shared a saying from a Texas evangelical pastor: “When something is ‘out of control’ it is merely out of your control — not God’s!”

The Ferguson police department has done it’s best to paint Brown as the aggressor, describing Wilson as a “gentle” man and an “excellent” police officer who is “devastated” about killing Brown.

But he wasn’t too devastated to stand over him and gun him down while the unarmed teen held his hands in the air.

The FBI is currently conducting an investigation, while the citizens of Ferguson continue to protest Brown’s brutal slaying.


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