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Peter Sblendorio Feb-22-2017 28 0
A man suspected of murdering rapper T-Pain's niece last summer has been found dead in Tallahassee, Fla., police say.

Law enforcement officials came across the body of Tavon Jackson, 25, in the woods Tuesday during an unrelated search in the area for a separate case, the Tallahassee Police Department revealed in a statement.

The department's Violent Crimes and Forensic Units have launched an investigation, but police officials say Jackson's death appeared to be a suicide. They noted the investigation remains in the early stages.

Police had been searching for Jackson since August in connection to the killing of 23-year-old Javona Glover, who was stabbed to death outside a West Tallahassee Walgreens store, where she worked.

T-Pain, who was Glover's uncle, urged his followers to help police locate the killer after his niece's untimely death.

"The police are still lookin for the coward ass n----r that just killed my niece at Walgreens in Tallahassee. If you got info pls help out," the rapper, whose real name is Faheem Rashad Najm, tweeted in August.

Authorities released three photos of the suspect inside the Walgreens shortly after Glover's death.

Jackson was Glover’s ex-boyfriend, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
GRIO Feb-21-2017 74 0
Eric Holder, the former US attorney general, has been hired by Uber in order to investigate claims that were made over the weekend by a female employee who alleged that she had been subject to sexual harassment and discrimination.

Susan Fowler Rigetti claimed that during the year that she spent working or Uber, she and other female employees reported multiple instances of harassment and discrimination to the company’s human resources department, to no avail.

She reported that after she began working for the company, she started to receive messages from a manager who said that he was in an “open relationship” and who began to make advances toward her. However, she later learned that other woman had received similar messages.

“It was such a blatant lie that there was really nothing I could do. There was nothing any of us could do. We all gave up on Uber HR and our managers after that,” wrote Rigetti.

Chief executive Travis Kalanick responded to these allegations on Monday by saying that a review would be conducted in “short order.”

“What is driving me through all this is a determination that we take what’s happened as an opportunity to heal wounds of the past and set a new standard for justice in the workplace,” Kalanick wrote in a memo to employees.
Holden Walter-Warner Feb-18-2017 79 0
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is one of the most talented players in the NFL, which could make him a potential target for trouble.

He seemed to be bringing the trouble on Friday night and TMZ released a video of Elliott allegedly being detained in the town of his Ohio State Buckeyes.

But Elliott took to social media on Saturday morning to deny TMZ's report.

I was never "detained" by the police. Nor was I ever questioned or in any type of trouble. ?
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) February 18, 2017
The man in the video clearly looks like Ezekiel Elliott and the police are definitely looking at/for something in a car, but it doesn't go any further than that. It does not appear that he is being detained.

More accounts of the interaction between Elliott and the police will surely emerge, but for now, it appears Elliott's run-in with the police was nothing more than a run of the mill exchange.
Jessica Schladebeck Feb-17-2017 94 0
An Amtrak police officer has been charged with first-degree murder afterfatally shooting an unarmed Minnesota man in Chicago earlier this month.

Amtrak Officer LaRoyce Tankson turned himself into authorities late Thursday night, WCCO reported. He’s scheduled to appear in court for a bond hearing Friday afternoon.

Chad Robertson, 25, was on his way home from a Memphis wedding with two of his friends when he was shot by Tankson.

Robertson and his travel companions were waiting out an hour-long layover in Chicago’s Union Station when Tankson and another officer approached them in an “aggressive” manner, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Robertson’s family.

When the trio walked outside to find a restaurant, they were followed by the transit police who accused them of smoking marijuana before searching Robertson and his friends. That’s when Robertson “feared for his life and started running,” according to the suit cited by the Chicago Sun Times.

Chad Robertson, 25, shown with his family, was shot by an Amtrak police officer in Chicago on Feb. 8. (Handout)

LaRoyce “calmly dropped to one knee, removed his gloves, unsecured his weapon” and fired off a first shot that missed, and then followed up with a second one that struck Robertson in the back.
The officer gave no commands but “calmly stated, ‘It’s a gun out. It’s a gun out.’”

The 25-year-old father of two was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition and died Wednesday, about a week after he was shot. Doctors were unable to remove the bullet from his spine, so he spent his final days as a quadriplegic.

Police told the Sun Times Robertson was carrying cash and drugs when he was shot, but no weapon was ever found.

The family’s attorney, Doug Hopson, said Robertson had “an insignificant” amount of marijuana on him, but had no criminal record.

Robertson’s death came a day after his family filed a federal lawsuit on his behalf, against both Amtrak and the officer who shot him. Hopson said “a wrongful death component” has also been added to suit.
Reena Flores Feb-16-2017 92 0
President Trump’s freewheeling press White House press conference Thursday -- in which he announced his new labor secretary pick -- also included an awkward exchange on race, after a reporter asked him about his policies to improve inner cities.

“You go to some of the inner city places and it’s so sad when you look at the crime,” the president said. He went on to describe how people “lock themselves into apartments petrified to even leave in the middle of the day” in urban areas for fear of crime in the cities.

Journalist April Ryan, who serves as the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, followed up: “When you say the inner cities, are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda?”

When Mr. Trump seemed unfamiliar with the “CBC” acronym, Ryan, who is black, clarified: “Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus -- “

The president interrupted: “Well I would. I’d tell you what -- do you want to set up the meeting?
“Do you want to set up the meeting?” the president pressed again. “Are they friends of yours?”
Ryan emphatically shook her head and said, “No, no, no, I’m just a reporter...I know some of them but --”

“No, get us -- set up the meeting,” he urged. “Let’s go, set up the meeting, I would love to meet with the black caucus - the Congressional Black caucus.”
The CBC tweeted at Mr. Trump after the news conference.

President Trump went on to say he had once had a scheduled meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who is a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Every day I walked in and said I would like to meet with him, because I do want to solve the problem,” Mr. Trump said. “But he probably was told by [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer or somebody like that … he was probably told don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics.”  
“I was all set to have the meeting,” he said.

But Rep. Cummings, a Democrat, pushed back against the president’s claims in a short statement immediately after the news conference.

“I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today. Of course, Sen. Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the President,” Cummings wrote Thursday. 
“I was actually looking forward to meeting with the President about the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs,” he said, adding that he looks “forward to meeting with [Mr. Trump] on this issue and others.

Eric Levenson Feb-15-2017 135 0
Those who knew Mike Ilitch, the Little Caesars founder and Detroit Tigers owner who died last Friday, have spent the past few days fondly remembering his impact on friends, on Detroit residents, and on the sports community.

Ilitch also had an impact on the daily life of one of the most iconic figures from the civil rights movement.

For more than a decade, Ilitch had quietly paid for Rosa Parks' apartment in downtown Detroit, according to CNN affiliate WXYZ.

That story came to light thanks to Damon Keith, a Detroit native and federal judge.

"They don't go around saying it, but I want to, at this point, let them know, how much the Ilitches not only meant to the city, but they meant so much for Rosa Parks, who was the mother of the civil rights movement," Keith told WXYZ.

Shortly after her famed defiance of segregation sparked the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, Parks moved to Detroit and became an important presence in the city for years afterward.
But in 1994, Parks was robbed and assaulted in her home at the age of 81.

Keith, himself an important legal figure in the civil rights movement, worked to find Parks a new, safer apartment at the Riverfront Apartments in Detroit, according to the Sports Business Daily.
Ilitch read the story in the newspaper and called Keith, offering to pay for Parks' housing indefinitely. With no fanfare, Ilitch continued paying for the apartment until Parks died in 2005, Keith said.
The entire episode was made public in 2014 in a story from Sports Business Daily. Keith even showed the reporter a copy of a 1994 check for $2,000 from Little Caesars Enterprises to Riverfront Apartments.

It has taken on a new life in light of Ilitch's death on Friday at the age of 87.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley posted on Facebook a link to an article on the subject on Friday. "It will give you a sense of the kind of man Mike Ilitch was," he wrote.

The Parks' donation further shows Ilitch's commitment to Detroit, where he was born and raised. Ilitch established Little Caesars headquarters there, owned the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, and helped usher in a new era for the city, Keith told WXYZ.

"You'll never discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. Mike and (his wife) Marian had the courage to lose sight of the shore and discover new oceans," Keith said.
"They kept pushing Detroit, and had it not been for them, I am saying, Detroit would not be in the renaissance that they're in now."
Stephen Rex Brown Feb-15-2017 87 0
The former judge who famously blocked Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban was sued Tuesday for a car crash that left his passenger with “serious injuries.”

Milton Tingling, who now serves as the Manhattan County Clerk, was stopped at an off-ramp of Harlem River Dr. near the Polo Ground Houses on Oct. 15 when a 2014 Jeep crashed into his 2011 Hyundai, according to papers filed in the courthouse Tingling oversees.

The passenger in Tingling’s vehicle, Cornelius Wells, 65, was stepping out of the car when the crash occurred — and suffered ankle and shoulder injuries, according to court papers.

The drivers were "careless and reckless," the suit says.

Tingling's tenure as clerk of court has not been without controversy.

In December, a federal judge ordered him to give the public quick access to newly filed civil lawsuits following complaints he was withholding them for days.

The Daily News exclusively reported last September that Tingling had pulled documents pertaining to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s divorce from Ivana Trump without a judge's order.

Messages to Tingling were not returned Tuesday.

The driver of the Jeep, Steven Nealy, was also sued and could not be reached for comment.

In 2013, Tingling, then a judge, ruled the Board of Health did not have the authority to push through Bloomberg's soda ban.

"Judge Tingling is known to be a fair man. The fact that he's a defendant in his own courthouse should not affect the outcome," said Wells’ lawyer Mark Seitelman.
Feb-12-2017 124 0
Legendary jazz singer Al Jarreau has passed away at age 76, his representatives said on Sunday. Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy winner, was known for hits like "Mornin'" and "We're in This Love Together". He was still touring last week when he abruptly cancelled his remaining performances, citing exhaustion. Representatives said he was hospitalized in Los Angeles and "improving slowly".
His family told TMZ that Jarreau had sung to nurses during his hospital stay. He would have turned 77 next month.

Jarreau had been in a hospital in Los Angeles and was "improving slowly," according to the statement on his site..

Jarreau died at 5:30 a.m. PT Sunday, according to a statement from his manager Joe Gordon published by Ebony. Gordon said in lieu of flowers or gifts, Jarreau's family requested contributions be made to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.

Jarreau received a lifetime achievement award from the foundation last fall and an endowment to benefit Milwaukee Public School children needing financial assistance for music programs was established in his name.

First singing at church and PTA meetings when he was 4 or 5, Jarreau told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it was at Lincoln High School where "my love of music and singing really deepened. I began to have ideas of taking this as far as it could go. And I kept dreaming that dream and nourishing that dream."

He took that dream exceptionally far. Jarreau has 20 albums to his name and is the only Grammy vocalist to win in the jazz, pop and R&B categories. He performed 50 concerts last year, including at the White House, and was a joyful presence in concert, evident by an exuberant homecoming show at the Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in 2015.

Jarreau is survived by his wife, Susan, and son Ryan.

Jason Silverstein Feb-12-2017 119 0
The U.S. Department of Education needs to bone up on black history — and spelling.

The Education Department, now led by the historically unpopular Betsy Devos, on Sunday tweeted a tribute to the African-American writer and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois — and spelled his name wrong.

The tweet featured a quote from him — “Education must not simply teach work — it must teach life” — and credited it to “W.E.B. DeBois.”

More than two hours later, the tweet remained unchanged.

“Welp, this is a foreshadowing of what #BetsyDeVos is going to usher in @usedgov,” Khary Penebaker, a former Democratic congressional candidate in Wisconsin, tweeted in response.

Du Bois, who died in 1963, was the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University. He went on to co-found the NAACP, lead the Niagara Movement for civil rights and write prolifically about racism and social issues.

This was one of the first tweets from the department since DeVos, one of the Trump’s most controversial cabinet picks, took over as secretary. A charter school advocate who struggled to discuss public education in Senate hearings, DeVos was confirmed only after Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote — the first time a vice president has ever had to do so for a cabinet pick.

The Department of Education has been tweeting tributes to black icons through February to celebrate Black History Month — and thus far, the other tweets have been error-free.

The Trump administration has faced mockery through February for its apparent ignorance about black history. Trump referred to Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist who has been dead for more than 120 years, as “an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to defend Trump’s remark, but only cast more doubt on whether they knew who Douglass was — or whether he’s alive.

“I think he wants to highlight the contributions (Douglas) has made,” Spicer said in a daily briefing.

“And I think through a lot of the actions and statements (Trump is) going to make, I think that the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”

Trump chose only one black person for his cabinet — Dr. Ben Carson, who was nominated to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development despite having no prior experience with housing or urban policy.
ap Feb-10-2017 118 0
Four black people charged with a hate crime in an attack on a white mentally disabled man that was shown live on Facebook have pleaded not guilty.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that assistant public defenders for each of the four entered the pleas on Friday. They have been in custody since early January. At their first hearing, a judge called them a danger to society and refused to allow them to post bail.

The case gained international attention because the attack was captured by a cellphone camera and shown on Facebook Live. On the video, the suspects are seen beating the schizophrenic victim and can be heard taunting him and shouting profanities against white people and then-President-elect Donald Trump.

The four also face aggravated kidnapping and other charges.
AP Feb-10-2017 102 0
A former Bethune-Cookman University football player has been found not guilty of charges related to a campus gunfight that injured three students.

Jurors on Wednesday acquitted Ladell Pleasure. He was charged with discharging a firearm on school property and principal to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Authorities said Pleasure, a walk-on defensive end, was one of two gunmen who exchanged fire across a school parking lot in February 2015.

A prosecution witness had identified Pleasure, but a defense attorney presented surveillance video, which was not clear enough to identify the shooter, that showed the witness looking away from the shooter.

Pleasure said he plans to go back to school, though not at Bethune-Cookman. He still plans to pursue a career in the National Football League.
Feb-10-2017 136 0
While dining in Sammy’s Grill in Baton Rouge Louisiana one patron overheard a judge spew racist comments about a woman. When Judge Mike Erwin saw man sharing his seat with a Black woman in the crowded restaurant, he allegedly said, “You should have made her get her fat n****r ass up.”

On February 3, Baton Rouge resident Kaneitra Johnson witnessed the ordeal and made a public Facebook post over the weekend that recounted the story.

“I’m halfway on the seat and the Lyft driver is on the other half of the seat,” Johnson said. “Then he asked for his jacket. All of a sudden I hear this older man behind me tell the Lyft driver, ‘You never give up your seat for a n*gger.’”

Johnson said the man continued, “You should have made her get her fat n*gger a** up.”

Eventually the police were called and questioned the older man who made the comments. Johnson later learned the racist man was Judge Mike Erwin of Louisiana’s 19th Judicial District Court

According to Johnson’s post, no action by police or Sammy’s was taken against Erwin.

However, when Sammy’s grill manager Andy McKay, who was absent that evening, was made aware of the situation, he took matters into his own hand.

“I wasn’t there that night, so I can’t comment on the details, but I know police were called,” McKay told The Root. “I can also tell you that the owner, Sammy Nagem, has made it clear that Judge Erwin is no longer welcome here.

“We will refuse his business,” McKay added.

While working for the 19th Judicial District Court, Erwin has frequently been in control of the outcomes for many Black men and women. For him to use such vile language about Black people means his abilities as a judge should be questioned.
AP Feb-10-2017 109 0
The Ohio prisons agency has launched an internal investigation after an inmate was strangled while riding in a transport van with other prisoners and guards inside.

The Ross County Coroner's Office has identified the slain inmate as 61-year-old David Johnson.

Authorities say the killing happened Feb. 1. Johnson's body was discovered after the van arrived at the Ross County Correctional Institution in Chillicothe (chihl-ih-KAHTH'-ee) following a trip to Columbus for inmate medical care.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Tuesday that a prison review team is looking both at the slaying and the agency's inmate transportation policies.

The Ross Country Prosecutor's Office has said guards apparently can't see inmates once they're loaded into the van.
JAke Becker Feb-08-2017 227 0
After Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank endorsed Donald Trump on Tuesday as an “asset” to the country, the Warriors star responded to his sponsor’s comment with a shorter, sharper label for the president.

“I agree with the description, if you remove the 'et' from asset,” Curry told The Mercury News.
Curry, who is one of Under Armour’s top endorsers, has mostly avoided using his status as the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP as a platform for political commentary. He said he was surprised to see Plank praising Trump in an interview with CNBC and felt compelled to have a chat with his sponsor.

“I spent all day yesterday on the phone with countless people at Under Armour, countless people in Kevin Plank’s camp, my team, trying to understand what was going on and where everybody stood on the issue,” Curry said.

Plank has reportedly reassured the Golden State guard that his Trump compliment was meant in the business sense and not in regards to the president’s controversial statements that have angered minorities and policies that have affected immigrants. Under Armour also released a statement clarifying Plank's position on Wednesday.

Curry has largely kept mum on politics compared to his coach, Steve Kerr, who hasn't minced words about his dislike of the new commander-in-chief. Curry said he preferred Hillary Clinton to Trump in September but chose not to elaborate on his political preferences.

In July, Curry said "it's disappointing" that the NBA chose to move this year's All-Star Game from his native North Carolina because of the state's controversial bathroom bill, but added that he understood the league's decision. 

Curry indicated Wednesday that he is more concerned about Under Armour adopting Trump's values than any business deals.

"There is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am,” Curry said. “... It’s a fine line but it’s about how we’re operating: how inclusive we are, what we stand for. He’s the President. There are going to be people that are tied to them. But are we promoting change? Are we doing things that are going to look out for everybody? And not being so self-serving that it’s only about making money, selling shoes, doing this and that. That’s not the priority. It's about changing lives. I think we can continue to do that.”
TOMMY WITHERSPOON Feb-07-2017 130 0
A member of the Baylor University athletics department was arrested early Saturday morning in a prostitution sting.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Brandon Washington, 33, was arrested by deputies at a local hotel on a solicitation of prostitution charge, a Class B misdemeanor.

The sheriff identified Washington as a strength coach at Baylor. Baylor confirmed that Washington was employed by Baylor when he was arrested early Saturday, but said he was immediately fired upon the school learning of the arrest. County records identify Washington as an employee of 1090 Athletics.

The Baylor athletics website contained no mention of Washington as of late Monday evening.
Washington was a member of the strength training staff at Temple University in 2016. New Baylor head football coach Matt Rhule was hired away from Temple in December.

A statement from the Baylor athletics department sent late Monday reads, in full: “After a full criminal background check was completed and cleared, Brandon Washington was recently hired as an assistant in the Football Strength and Conditioning area. Baylor was notified on February 4 of Brandon Washington’s arrest and terminated his employment immediately that day.”

“When we arrived at Baylor, we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” Rhule said. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

Deputies arrested Washington shortly after 12 a.m. Saturday after Washington arrived at the hotel to meet a prostitute, McNamara said.

Washington was released from the McLennan County Jail on Saturday after posting $1,000 bond.
Washington’s arrest comes in the midst of a sexual assault scandal the university has been mired in for more than a year and a half.

The scandal led to the May 26, 2016, firings of former head football coach Art Briles, who was temporarily replaced by Jim Grobe until Rhule was hired, along with former President Ken Starr being removed from the presidency. Starr later resigned as a tenured member of the Baylor Law School faculty.
Inside Edition Feb-07-2017 214 0
Winning the lottery couldn't have come at a better time for this Colorado woman.
Yahnique S. of Aurora quit her job last month. But just days later, she won the $3.3 million Lotto jackpot.

The mother-of-three explained in a press release she resigned from her job as a nursing assistant after feeling burned out.

"My last day was January 17, but I didn’t have anything lined up yet," she said.
Yahnique, who has been playing the Lotto for more than 30 years, said she purchased a ticket at a local supermarket two weeks ago.

When she and her husband checked online for the winning numbers, they were shocked to find the numbers matched up to their ticket: 10-14-25-30-31-32.

"I was highly suspicious but then I thought, there’s no way she could mock up their whole website," her husband Bruce said. "She knows her way around the computer, but not that well."

Yahnique was presented with the cardboard check, indicating she had won $3,312,287 last Friday, and said she plans to pay bills and make home improvements with her first several payments.
Joseph Zucker Feb-06-2017 99 0
New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett wasted little time revealing whether he'd join his team when it visits the White House to be honored by President Donald Trump for its thrilling come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl LI.

Bennett told reporters following New England's win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday that he will decline the invite from President Trump, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.

The Patriots have been linked with Trump more so than any other sports franchise in the United States. On Wednesday, the New York Times' Mark Leibovich reported on the various connections between Trump and New England team owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady.

The president gave a shout-out to all three after the Super Bowl:

Bennett played down any ideological differences he and his teammates might share.

"You just don't bring that to work," he said, per George. "We all have our beliefs. We accept people for who they are."

Bennett's decision to skip the White House visit doesn't come as a surprise. During Super Bowl opening night on Monday, he told reporters he was on the fence, adding he didn't "support the guy that's in the house," per NJ Advance Media's Matt Lombardo.

Bennett wouldn't be the first Patriots star to turn down the opportunity to see the president. Following the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX victory, Brady decided not to attend the team's White House ceremony, citing a family commitment, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.

Feb-03-2017 151 0
The family of a man fatally shot by a Fort Worth police officer in 2015 filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in federal court Thursday asserting that the officer fired his weapon without provocation.

Kelvin Goldston, 30, was at a residence under surveillance for drug activity on May 11, 2015, police have said. As he left the house in the 6000 block of Wheaton Drive, his pickup was bracketed in the front and back by two officers driving separate vehicles.

Police have said the two officers — one uniformed and the other in plainclothes — got out of their vehicles and approached the pickup. The pickup began traveling in reverse and the plainclothes officer jumped in the grass, suffering minor injuries.

The uniformed officer approaching the front of the pickup discharged his weapon, striking the suspect several times, police have said.

Terry Daffron, an attorney who has represented the officers named in the lawsuit, said she was unaware of the lawsuit and declined to comment. The Police Department also declined to comment.

The lawsuit tells a much different story than the one offered by police.

It cites a woman who said she was an eyewitness as saying that the plainclothes officer, a female, never left her vehicle until after the shooting. The uniformed officer used his gun to break the truck’s glass and fired multiple times, at one point reaching into the pickup, the lawsuit states.

“Kelvin was not observed trying to harm anyone nor did he try to drive away as reported and as the evidence supports,” the lawsuit states. “Goldston was sitting in the truck when he was gunned down, execution style.” The cause of Goldston's death was gunshots to the neck and chest.

A grand jury declined to indict the officer, who has not been identified by police.

The family also asserts in the lawsuit that city officials were derelict in their duty to make sure officers were properly trained in the use of deadly force. The lawsuit also asserts that the officers were not properly trained to detain a person who had committed no crime, who was not resisting and who was not a threat. The Goldston family is being represented by Dallas Civil Rights Attorney, Daryl K. Washington from the Washington Law Firm, P.C. Washington states that the facts of this case are like none he's seen in a very long time. Kelvin had no chance escaping from the ambushed style shooting.

Larry Brown Feb-03-2017 150 0
The man who is accused of killing former NFL player Joe McKnight was indicted on Thursday by Jefferson Parish’s District Attorney on second-degree murder charges following a grand jury’s investigation.

The man accused of killing McKnight, Ronald Gasser Jr., was arrested for manslaughter in December for the death of McKnight on Dec. 1 in a road-rage incident.

Detectives believe both men were driving erratically as they approached a bridge. One witness reportedly said McKnight may have cut off Gasser, which upset the man. Gasser fired three rounds from his gun through a passenger window and killed McKnight.

Gasser was initially taken in for questioning and released. After more evidence was reviewed, investigators indicted him on second-degree murder chargers.

McKnight was a high school star in Louisiana and was a highly-sought after recruit who went to USC. He played for the Jets and Chiefs during his brief NFL career.
CBS News Feb-01-2017 95 0
Two men imprisoned for murders they didn’t commit are getting a new taste of freedom. They’re now business partners in a new Brooklyn restaurant in New York. But their ambitions stretch beyond the food they serve.

The two didn’t know one another growing up in Brooklyn. Their bond was developed behind bars, where both men worked together for more than 20 years as jailhouse lawyers to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, including themselves. Now they’ve opened a restaurant, where every day is a celebration of their efforts, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller. 

At Brooklyn’s Brownstone, Derrick Hamilton is growing accustomed to celebrity. It’s an adoration that has little to do with running this restaurant, where the bar is often packed and spicy Jamaican dishes like Rasta Pasta are making the two month-old business a popular destination.       “What did you two know about the restaurant business?” Miller asked.
““I knew nothing,” Hamilton said.

 “And I still know nothing. But we’re learning as we go along,” said his partner, Shabaka Shakur. Hamilton and Shakur may be new to this competitive business, but both have faced steeper odds for success. “I spent a total of 30 years in prison, 21 straight the last time,” Hamilton said.
““I did 27 and a half years straight,” Shakur said.

“He had came in for a double homicide, said he was innocent,” Hamilton recalled.
“Did you believe him?” Miller asked.
“Yes, absolutely,” Hamilton said.

“Why?” Miller asked.

“‘Cause I was convicted of a crime I didn’t commit,” Hamilton said.

While in prison, they discovered they had something else in common; both men believed they were framed by the same New York City police detective: Louis Scarcella. “I believed him when he said the police officers had framed him,” Hamilton said.

“Because it happened to you,” Miller said.

“Yes,” Hamilton said. But proving they were wrongfully convicted would take decades. Nearly every day behind bars, they dedicated their time to studying law. “When did you say, ‘I’m going to the law library?’” Miller asked.

“Day one for me,” Hamilton said. “Day one. I mean, I knew that one day I would be getting out of prison, ‘cause the evidence spoke louder than me.”“So how did you essentially free yourself?” Miller asked.

“Studying. It was refusing to accept decisions from judges that were wrong. And I just went back every time. I said, ‘Judge, you were wrong,’” Hamilton said. “Derrick Hamilton is just a brilliant guy,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. “He is as good a lawyer as you’ll find and certainly among jail house lawyers, you know, the best.”Since co-founding the Innocence Project in 1992, Scheck helped exonerate 190 former inmates. He was not one of Hamilton or Shakur’s lawyers. He said it was their own grasp on the law that afforded their freedom. 

“The odds are enormous and it takes people of remarkable resilience, intellect, and character to succeed and that’s who these guys are,” Scheck said. Louis Scarcella, the New York City police detective who helped imprison both men, is now retired. But allegations including “evidence manipulation” led judges to overturn 11 of his convictions and settlements have cost the city more than $30 million. 

The Brownstone is where Shabaka Shakur and Derrick Hamilton chose to invest some of their settlement. But it’s not where they spend most of their time; like they once did from the prison library, Shakur and Hamilton continue to work full-time on behalf of the wrongfully convicted. “They say two percent at the very minimum of two million people that’s in prison is innocent,” Hamilton said.

“So when you look at that percentage, to me that’s too high a number to just turn your back and walk away from.” So why go into the risky restaurant business? Because it offered an opportunity to re-connect with their old neighborhood -- one they hadn’t seen in more than 20 years. “We knew that once we were released, that people are always going to have that stigma against you that you were in prison,” Shakur said. “So we wanted to prove that we were assets and not liabilities, that we could go back into the community and be productive citizens.”

The men also hire many employees who have trouble finding jobs because of past felonies. 
“If your ego doesn’t stop you from picking up a broom and a mop and you want to work, we got you,” Shakur said. “The kids in this neighborhood, they come in here, we give them a few dollars to help us clean the windows or wash dishes to keep them off the streets.”

“See, I didn’t want to say that part. I don’t want all the kids knocking here,” Hamilton said, laughing. “But we do do that.”

“We do do that and they know because they come and hustle us every day,” Shakur said, laughing. “So you both fought a very, very long time for this kind of an opportunity. What’s the best part of living it?” Miller asked.

“Just living free,” Shakur said. “Every day is a blessing, and now I’m here and not only am I here, but I’m able to provide a service and a place for other people to come in here and enjoy their lives.”
The two men have worked on dozens of cases apart from their own, and Hamilton said he helped free five other men, including his friend, Shabaka. 

Both agree the restaurant has been a worthwhile adventure for the past two months. But fighting for the wrongfully convicted has become their calling. 

Former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella denies any wrongdoing in his conviction cases that have since been overturned. 

All Content ?2008-2013 Black Legal Issues  unless otherwise stated.