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Steve Brusk and Leigh Munsil Oct-18-2017 97 0
President Donald Trump told the widow of a US serviceman killed in the ambush in Niger that "he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt," according to Rep. Frederica Wilson.

The body of Sgt. La David Johnson was returned home to the Miami area late Tuesday afternoon, with the plane receiving a water cannon salute as it arrived near the gate.

The call from the President to Johnson's widow came shortly before Johnson's casket arrival, Wilson, a Florida Democrat, said on "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" Tuesday.

"Basically he said, 'Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,' " Wilson said, adding that she listened to part of the call on speaker phone while in a vehicle with the family.

"That's what he said," she added.

Asked earlier if she was sure the President said that, Wilson told CNN affiliate WPLG: "Yeah, he said that. You know, ... that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn't say that to a grieving widow. Everyone knows when you go to war you could possibly not come back alive, but you don't remind a grieving widow of that. That is so insensitive. So insensitive."

CNN asked the White House for comment. A White House official said, "The President's conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private."

Four US soldiers were killed by enemy fire in an October 4 ambush in Niger. Trump addressed the deaths 12 days later in a Rose Garden news conference.

"I felt very, very badly about that," Trump said Monday. "I always feel badly. It is the toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed."

He then claimed that other commanders in chief hadn't reached out to families of Americans killed in action, indicating he'd been told as much by the generals who serve in his administration.

Maureen Lee Lenker Oct-17-2017 480 0
Mychael Knight, fashion designer and former contestant on Project Runway and Project Runway: All Stars, died Tuesday morning outside Atlanta. He was 39.

“We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle. Mychael meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy,” his family said in a statement made to Obvious magazine.

Knight passed away on Oct. 17 outside Atlanta after recently checking into a hospital for treatment for intestinal issues, TMZ reports.

Born in Germany on April 11, 1978, Knight divided his childhood between Alabama and New York. He studied Apparel Design and Merchandising at Georgia Southern University, graduating in 2001.

Knight quickly transitioned to work in the fashion industry with an internship at Wilbourn Exclusives in 2001 and work as a stylist in the music industry beginning in 2002. He first auditioned for the second season of Project Runway in 2005, but did not make the cut; when he auditioned again the following year, he was named one of the season 3 contestants. Knight went on to place fourth in the overall competition and win season 3’s Fan Favorite award.

After leaving the show, Knight launched his own label, Mychael Knight, on BET’s Rip the Runway and also designed custom tees for Starbucks. In 2008, he launched a female and male lingerie label, Kitty and Dick, as well as a unisex fragrance named MajK. In 2010, he debuted a Fall/Winter line at Charleston Fashion Week in South Carolina.

Knight returned to Project Runway multiple times over the years, competing in a 2009 All-Star Challenge, as well as a being a contestant on the third season of the show’s All Stars spin-off in 2013.

Throughout his career, he continued to release new collections. His Spring/Summer 2018 line was his most recent.

Bravo’s Andy Cohen was an executive at the network when Project Runway first began took to Twitter to express condolences and memories of Knight, writing, “I am so sad to hear about Mychael Knight. When he appeared on #ProjectRunway he was the sweetest guy, full of life, ambition & talent. #rip.”

Oct-15-2017 331 0
Baltimore police have charged a woman in connection with the killing of her husband at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Friday.

Anita Nicole Jones, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Baltimore police media relations Chief T.J. Smith called the incident "disturbing, sad and despicable."

Smith said officers were called around 2:13 p.m. to the hospital for a possible suicide.

Police said staff members heard Jones arguing in a hospital room with her husband, Christopher Yancey Sr., while waiting for their 14-year-old son to undergo a medical procedure. Police said Jones and Yancey were the only ones in the room at the time of the incident.

"This argument escalated, and it appeared that the wife used some sort of sharp-edged object, we don't know if it was a knife or what at this point, and stabbed the victim more than one time," Smith said.

Police said Jones emerged from the room and told hospital staff that Yancey had cut himself. Hospital staff discovered Yancey suffering from what appeared to be multiple stab wounds to his upper body. He was pronounced dead.

"This is a world-renowned hospital, Johns Hopkins University, and unfortunately, they weren't able to save him, so it speaks to how significant these injuries were that occurred inside of a room," Smith said.

Jones left the hospital before officers arrived, police said.

Police said Yancey's injuries were not consistent with an apparent suicide, and no weapon was found in the room.

Jones was arrested Saturday and taken to Central Booking.

"It's sad that an argument escalated into this," Smith said. "There is a young child without both of his parents now."

A hospital spokeswoman sent the following statement to 11 News:

"Baltimore City police are investigating the death of a visitor that occurred in a patient room today. This was an isolated incident and at no time were patients, staff or other visitors in danger. We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased. Since this is a police investigation, we must defer all inquiries to them."
Alex Dobuzinskis Oct-15-2017 318 0
A decades-old investigation in the U.S. state of Georgia into the murder of a black man in 1983 culminated in the arrest of five white people on Friday, including two law enforcement officers charged with hindering the probe, officials said.

The body of Timothy Coggins, 23, was found on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy area near power lines in the community of Sunnyside, about 30 miles (48 km) south of downtown Atlanta.

He had been "brutally murdered" and his body had signs of trauma, the Spalding County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Investigators spoke to people who knew Coggins, but the investigation went cold, Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said at a news conference.

This past March, new evidence led investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Spalding County to re-examine the case.

Dix did not provide details on the nature of the evidence, saying more tips were received after authorities, over the summer, announced to the media the case was re-opened.

Some witnesses confessed they lived with knowledge about the case for years, but were afraid to come forward, Dix said.

"It has been an emotional roller coaster for everybody that was involved," Dix said.

Police arrested five people on Friday in connection with the slaying. Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr, 58, were each charged with murder, aggravated assault and other crimes.

Authorities did not immediately say where Gebhardt and Moore lived.

Gregory Huffman, 47, was charged with obstruction and violation of oath of office, Dix said. Huffman was a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff's Office but his employment was terminated after he was arrested.

Lamar Bunn, a police officer in the town of Milner, which is south of Spalding County, was also arrested and charged with obstruction, as was Sandra Bunn, 58. She is Lamar's mother, according to Atlanta television station WXIA.

Investigators are convinced the murder was racially motivated, Dix said.

"There is no doubt in the minds of all investigators involved that the crime was racially motivated and that if the crime happened today it would be prosecuted as a hate crime," the Sheriff's Office said.

Several members of Coggins' family appeared at the news conference where authorities announced the arrests.

The family held out for justice all this time, said Heather Coggins, a niece of the victim.

"Even on my grandmother's death bed, she knew that justice would one day be served," she said.

It was not immediately clear if any of the five arrested people had an attorney, and they could not be reached for comment.

Dix promised more arrests in the case, as the investigation continues.

Amanda Watts Oct-14-2017 162 0
Everyone has that spot in their house or car where they let the mail and receipts pile up.

For 68-year old Jimmie Smith, it was an old shirt hanging in his closet. Stuffed in its pockets was a stack of unchecked lottery tickets.

"I always told myself, 'I'll check them when I have the time,'" the New Jersey man said.

It's a good thing he did. Because had he waited two days longer, he'd have lost out on $24.1 million.

'Check your pockets. Check your glove box'

More than a year ago, Smith bought a ticket to the New York Lotto.

The winning numbers for the May 25, 2016 drawing were: 05 - 12 - 13 - 22 - 25 - 35.

The New York Gaming Commission knew the winning ticket, worth $24.1 million, was sold at a bodega in New York City -- but it didn't know who bought the ticket.

Winners have a year to claim the prize and that expiration day was quickly approaching.

So earlier this year, the New York Lottery started to get the word out.

"We urge New York Lottery players: Check your pockets. Check your glove box. Look under the couch cushions. If you have this winning ticket, we look forward to meeting you," Gweneth Dean, director of the Commission'sDivision of the Lottery, said at the time.

'Do I see what I think I see?'

Smith, a retired security officer, caught a news story about the search for the mystery winner. That inspired him to check his old tickets.

He went up to the closet where the old shirt hung.

When the numbers matched up, he "stood there for a minute thinking, 'Do I see what I think I see?'"

"I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air,: he said. "I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real."

That was on May 23, 2017. He'd have been ineligible to collect after May 25, 2017.

On Wednesday, the New York Lottery released Smith's name after completing a review.

"We are thrilled that this lucky winner was able to locate this life-changing ticket," Dean, of the gaming commission, said.

Smith chose to receive his payments over the course of 26 years.

A father of two and grandfather of 12, he said he plans to have an "all-family discussion" once things settle down.
K.Reminick Oct-12-2017 139 0
?It has been a long fall from grace for Tracy Porter.

He will forever be enshrined in the Saints history with his memorable pick-six in the Super Bowl off Peyton Manning sealing the win for New Orleans.

Many thought Porter would become a star player but he never quite reached his full potential. He went on to play for Broncos, Raiders, Redskins and Bears throughout his career.

Nowadays, Porter is finding himself in the news for the wrong reasons:

??It's not a good look for the for former Super Bowl champ. According to the report, Tracy was arrested for an incident that happened on Oct. 5.

It was said that a women whom he had been familiar with went to get her keys from him which turned into a verbal argument. The victim alleges that Porter grabbed her by the arm and the throat during the spat.

In addition to the battery charges, police also booked him for the possession of marijuana and the distribution of schedule II drugs.
Jed Dreben Oct-07-2017 301 0
It's being reported by TMZ that rapper Nelly has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Washington.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that the women claims the incident occurred while on the hip hop star's tour bus in Washington, where he's been performing with Florida Georgia Line, as they were set to hit the stage on Saturday night in Ridgefield, Washington.

TMZ added that the alleged rape occurred early Saturday morning at about 3:45 AM, and that Nelly has been specifically said to be the one who committed the act.

And TMZ also posted a video of Nelly appearing in good spirits while taking hits and blowing out smoke, hours before the arrest, telling fans that the first one to come up to him and say "all work and no play," would be given four free tickets to "tomorrow's" Ridgefield show.

Professionally known as Nelly, 42, the rapper, singer and actor whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr, was booked on second degree rape charges Saturday morning at around 7 AM, TMZ reports, adding that he was in custody at the time their news story broke.

Nelly's lawyer commented to TMZ: "Nelly is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation. Our initial investigation, clearly establishes the allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once the scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to pursue all all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation."

Thomas Tracy Oct-04-2017 181 0
A Bronx man accused of stuffing rosary beads down his estranged girlfriend’s throat and strangling her has died of a heart attack while in psychiatric custody, police said Wednesday.

The death of Pierre Jones, 34, was announced as the city’s Medical Examiner determined that Helen Hernandez, a divorced mother of three, was the victim of a homicide.

The rosary beads Jones was suspected of stuffing in her mouth played a role in her death, the city Medical Examiner ruled.

Cops arrested Jones on Aug. 29 after he was seen running naked down a Bronx street screaming about the devil.

He appeared to be on drugs as he quarreled with onlookers, officials said. Responding officers used a Taser to subdue him and brought him to St. Barnabas Hospital for an evaluation.

Roughly an hour later, Hernandez was found unconscious inside her apartment on Anderson Ave. near Shakespeare Ave. in Highbridge.

Medics first thought she had suffered a drug overdose, but as they tried to revive her, they pulled a set of rosary beads from her mouth, police sources said.

Witnesses told police that Jones was seen coming out of his ex-girlfriend’s home shortly before he was arrested, mumbling that his love was “with God now,” police sources said.

Jones and Hernandez had dated for several months, but had broken up shortly before her death, relatives said.

Investigators believed Hernandez was strangled — something an autopsy verified earlier this week.

City Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said Hernandez died of asphyxia due to manual strangulation. The rosary also obstructed her airway, Sampson said.

Sampson declared Hernandez’s death a homicide.

Jones was in St. Barnabas Hospital when he died of a heart attack on Sept. 5, police sources said.

He hadn’t been charged with killing Hernandez when he died, the sources said.

An NYPD spokesman said the homicide investigation currently remains open as they rule out the possibility of other suspects.

Jones had an extensive criminal history that included robbery and assault. Cops have arrested him repeatedly for domestic assault and violating an order of protection.

Hernandez was a doting single mother, neighbors said. Her oldest child is 17 and her youngest is 7.
Heather Long Oct-03-2017 337 0
Jonathan Smith is likely to spend the rest of his life with a bullet lodged in the left side of his neck, a never-ending reminder of America’s deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Smith, a 30-year-old copy machine repairman, was shot Sunday night while trying to help save people after a gunman opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas. He knows he’s one of the lucky ones to be able to walk out of the hospital, even with his severe injuries.

As the bullets rained down, family was Smith’s top concern. He had driven to Las Vegas from Orange County, Calif., on Thursday to celebrate the 43rd birthday of his brother, Louis Rust, a big country music fan who had attended the festival in the past. They spent the weekend enjoying the music and had scored seats close to the stage for Jason Aldean’s prime-time performance Sunday night.

When the gunshots started, Smith initially thought they were fireworks. The music kept playing, Smith and Rust recalled. But the bullets kept coming. Aldean looked at his security guards and ran off the stage. Then the lights went out.

Rust realized what was really going on and told the entire extended family — all nine of them, including kids — to hold hands and run. By then, it was a stampede.

Smith was focused on saving his young nieces, but they separated in the crowd. He says he turned back toward the stage to look for them, he saw people hunched behind a sheriff patrol car at the northwest edge of the concert lawn. Others were so frightened they didn’t know what to do. He kept shouting, “Active shooter, active shooter, let’s go! We have to run.”

He grabbed people and told them to follow him toward a handicapped parking area in the direction of the airport, away from Las Vegas Boulevard. It was a large field with several rows of vehicles. Smith and the others crouched down behind one of the last rows of cars.

“I got a few people out of there,” Smith said. “You could hear the shots. It sounded like it was coming from all over Las Vegas Boulevard.”

A few young girls weren’t fully hidden. He stood up and moved toward them to urge them to get on the ground. That’s when a bullet struck him in the neck.

“I couldn’t feel anything in my neck. There was a warm sensation in my arm,” said Smith from the Sunrise Hospital lobby Monday afternoon as he was waiting for his final discharge. He has a fractured collarbone, a cracked rib and a bruised lung. The doctors are leaving the bullet in his neck for now. They worry moving it might cause more damage.

“I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life,” Smith said, grimacing from the pain. A large white bandage covers the bullet hole.

Smith believes an off-duty San Diego police officer likely saved his life. The officer came over and tried to stop the bleeding and then flagged down passing cars to try to get Smith a ride. Many just drove by, but a pickup truck stopped and Smith was put in the back of it along with several other wounded victims. By then, he was struggling to breathe.

“I really didn’t want to die,” Smith recalled. The off-duty officer kept telling him he would be okay, just as he had said a few minutes earlier to other concertgoers.

Smith later reconnected with his brother and found out that his nieces — along with the rest of his family — made it out safely.

On Twitter and Reddit, many were quick to hold up Smith as a hero. A photo of Smith has been shared more than 74,000 times, with 177,000 “likes.”

“I don’t see myself that way,” he said. “I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.”
David Montero Oct-01-2017 798 0
OJ Simpson is free.

The former football star who spent the last nine years in prison for a 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas was paroled early Sunday, a Nevada prison official confirmed.

Simpson left the Lovelock Correctional Center north of Reno at 12:08 a.m. in the company of an unidentified driver, said Brooke Keast, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections.

"He is out," Keast said.

She said prison officials had sought to conduct the release quietly, with as little public and media attention as possible.

"It was incident free, nobody followed, it was exactly what we'd hoped we could do for public safety," Keast said. "It was a public safety concern. To make it quiet, under the radar and incident free."

Keast said she had no information on Simpson's intended destination.

"I do not know where he's going. I didn't want to know, to be honest," she said.

Simpson's attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, interviewed before his client's release, did not reveal any plans, but said Simpson was "excited" to be leaving prison.

"I can tell from his voice on the phone last night that he's looking forward to freedom and hugging his family on the outside," LaVergne said.
Speculation had swirled over when Simpson would be turned loose after the Nevada Parole Board granted him parole in July for serving a portion of his 33-year sentence and getting credit for good behavior and taking classes in prison.

But with Simpson, controversy and attention seem to chase him wherever he goes - dating back to 1994 when he was arrested and charged for the double-murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman in Los Angeles.

His trial was called "The Trial of the Century" and garnered worldwide attention following his arrest that began with a slow-speed pursuit by police while his friend drove him in a white Ford Bronco.

He was eventually acquitted of the murders in 1995, which led to a circus-like atmosphere outside the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts building and spawned a seemingly endless game among the public about whether he got away with murder.

Simpson didn't help the quash the speculation, authoring a controversial book in 2007 called "If I Did It." The proceeds from that book, however, were required to go to the victims' families, who had won a multi-million-dollar civil suit against Simpson.

The Goldman family had remained outspoken about their belief that Simpson killed Ron Goldman, and sister Kim Goldman wrote a book in 2015 called "Can't Forgive" that laid out the anger and pain she felt over the murder of her brother.

The parole board in Nevada, however, was not allowed to consider the events of 1994 in their deliberations and instead only could consider whether - based on the crime in Nevada - he were a threat to society, and if he'd served his time without incident.

"I've done my time," Simpson told the board in July. "I've done it as well and as respectfully as I think anyone can."

At his hearing, he suggested he'd like to go to Florida and his attorney has also said that was where Simpson had hoped to locate.

"I can easily stay in Nevada, but I don't think you guys want me here," Simpson told the board, which elicited some laughter.

But officials with the Florida Department of Corrections said they had not received any paperwork regarding Simpson being transferred to them as of Friday, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she didn't want him in the state.

Bondi wrote a letter Friday urging the state Department of Corrections to reject Simpson's request to live in Florida.

"Floridians are well aware of Mr. Simpson's background, his wanton disregard for the lives of others, and of his scofflaw attitude with respect to the heinous acts for which he has been found civilly liable," she wrote. "The specter of his residing in comfort in Florida should not be an option. Numerous law enforcement officials in Florida agree with this position. Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal."

Simpson became eligible for release on Oct. 1.

Derek Hawkins Sep-29-2017 173 0
A federal judge ruled Thursday that Black Lives Matter was not an organization but a social movement akin to the tea party or the civil rights movement, and cannot be sued by a Louisiana police officer who was injured at a protest against police brutality last year.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson threw out a lawsuit an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department filed anonymously against Black Lives Matter and DeRay Mckesson, one of the movement’s leading activists.

“Although many entities have utilized the phrase ‘black lives matter’ in their titles or business designations,” the judge wrote, “’black lives matter’ itself is not an entity of any sort.”

As such, Jackson said, Black Lives Matter cannot be sued “in a similar way that a person cannot plausibly sue other social movements such as the Civil Rights movement, the LGBT rights movement, or the Tea Party movement.”

The officer, identified as John Doe in court documents, claimed in the lawsuit that he was patrolling a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Baton Rouge on July 9, 2016, when someone threw a rock at his head, injuring his teeth and jaw. Mckesson attended the rally, which was held to protest the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man, by a white police officer.

The officer argued Black Lives Matter was a “national unincorporated association” and called Mckesson its leader and co-founder. He claimed the activists had gathered in Baton Rouge to incite violence against police and that Mckesson was responsible for the actions of the unidentified demonstrator who hurled the rock.

The judge disagreed.

“Plaintiff has pleaded facts that merely demonstrate that Mckesson exercised his constitutional right to association and that he solely engaged in protected speech at the demonstration that took place in Baton Rouge on July 9, 2016,” Jackson wrote.

The judge added that the officer hadn’t cited any evidence showing that Mckesson “exceeded the bounds of protected speech.” Beyond that, Mckesson couldn’t be held liable for others’ actions, he wrote.

The judge also denied the officer’s attempt to add the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to the suit, writing that “a hashtag is patently incapable of being sued.” Nor could the officer sue the corporation Black Lives Matter Network Inc., according to the judge.

Mckesson was among nearly 200 people who were arrested in protests sparked by Sterling’s death. He was held for 16 hours on a charge of obstructing a highway. Local prosecutors ultimately dropped charges against him and dozens of others. He has long described Black Lives Matter as a call to end violence.

“It is an expected tactic that those in power will try to use the courts to silence activists and organizers,” Mckesson, who lives in Baltimore, told The Washington Post on Thursday. “I am thankful that the judge did not allow that to happen in this case.”

Donna Grodner, an attorney for the officer, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment late Thursday night.

At a hearing in June, Grodner argued that Black Lives Matter had showed “a level of national organization” by holding meetings, setting up national chapters and soliciting money, as the Associated Press reported. An attorney for Mckesson responded that it was a leaderless movement with no governing body or formal membership.

In his ruling, Jackson wrote that the officer’s complaint cited no public statements from Mckesson except for a single quote the activist gave to the New York Times. Shortly after being released from jail, Mckesson told the newspaper: “The police want protesters to be too afraid to protest.”

The judge noted that the statement “does not advocate — or make any reference to — violence of any kind.” Even if it did, he said, it could still qualify as constitutionally protected speech. The officer’s claim that Mckesson allegedly “did nothing to calm the crowd” fell short as well, according to the judge.

Mckesson and Black Lives Matter are named in a separate lawsuit in the same court filed by an officer who was wounded when a gunman opened fire on law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge last July. The gunman, Gavin Long, killed three officers and injured three others in the ambush-style attack before being fatally shot by authorities. He wrote in a suicide not that his actions were a “necessary evil” designed to retaliate against law enforcement.

The officer’s lawsuit, which is still pending, accuses Black Lives Matter, Mckesson and other prominent activists of inciting the violence. They have denied wrongdoing.

Maria Perez Sep-29-2017 214 0
The U.S. Air Force Academy is currently investigating an incident of racial slurs written on the dormitory message boards of five black cadets at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School earlier this week.

Lieutenant Colonel Allen Heritage, director of public affairs for the academy, told Air Force Times the slurs were discovered Monday after one of the cadet’s mother’s posted a photo to Facebook on Wednesday that shows a white board with the words “go home n***** on it. The post has since been removed.

“This is why I’m so hurt!” the mother said. “These young people are supposed to bond and protect each other and the country. Who would my son have to watch out for? The enemy or the enemy?”

Lieutenant General Jay Silveria, superintendent of the academy released a statement Thursday condemning the slurs. “There is absolutely no place in our Air Force for racism,” Silveria said. “It’s not who we are, nor will we tolerate it in any shape or fashion. The Air Force Academy strives to create a climate of dignity and respect for all.... Period.... Those who don’t understand that are behind the power curve and better catch up.”

“You should be outraged not only as an airman, but a human being,” he continued.

The five black students involved in the attacks are part of a group called Cadet Candidates, which is comprised of young men and women who show potential in earning a spot in the academy.

The academy hosted a “Critical Conversations” event on Monday night with 145 cadets to talk about the recent events, according to a Facebook post.

Heritage said the academy’s security forces are looking into the incident as well, but it has no additional information to release at the moment.

After the Charlottesville attacks in August, many U.S military leaders took to Twitter to condemn racism after President Donald Trump compared the violent neo-Nazis to the counterprotesters who opposed them.

General David L. Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force, tweeted that he stood “together with my fellow service chiefs in saying that we’re always stronger together.”

Commandant General Robert Neller, the leader of the U.S. Marines, said that there was “no place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC.”

“Our core values of honor, courage and commitment frame the way Marines live and act,” he said.
Sep-29-2017 180 0
Morehouse College Athletic Director Andre Pattillo was robbed at gunpoint at his home in a Craigslist meetup gone bad.

The incident happened on September 19.

According to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Pattillo had arranged a meeting with a woman he'd met on Craigslist at his home on Lees Mill Road. After having drinks with the woman, he went into his bedroom to lay down.

While he was in bed, an armed man came into the bedroom and pointed the gun at him and told him to lay on the floor. The man then took his phone, bank card, laptop and a Glock 9 millimeter handgun. Pattillo said he'd also heard another man's voice but didn't see him.

As Pattillo was being robbed, he heard the woman say "Baby, I'm sorry. I just needed some money for my kids".

When he saw that the suspects were distracted, Pattillo was able to run out of the door. He went to an area house and rang the doorbell and asked for the residents to call 911.

Pattillo has been Director of Athletics at the school since July of 2000. He was a star athlete at the school in the mid-1970's.

A.J. Perez Sep-28-2017 148 0
The fire chief in a town outside Pittsburgh is out of a job after he targeted a racial slur at Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Facebook over the team’s decision stay in the locker room for the national anthem on Sunday.

Paul Smith, the chief of Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Station No. 2, wrote: “Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good (n------). Yes I said it.”

Smith’s use of the slur drew a rebuke from officials in Cecil, a town located about 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, and, later Tuesday, the township's board of supervisors announced "Smith is no longer the Volunteer Fire Chief at the Muse Volunteer Fire Company."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that Smith had resigned.

“The media dragged my fire company and township into this as well as my family,” said Paul Smith, former chief of the Muse Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil, in a statement to the newspaper.

A message left with Cecil town manager Donald A. Gennuso was not immediately returned on Tuesday.

A nearby fire company in Cecil (No. 3) wrote on its Facebook page it “does not condone or support the comments made” by Smith.” The Facebook page for Smith’s company was not online Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier Tuesday, the Cecil Township board of supervisors said in a statement that it was "deeply disturbed by the comments made" by Smith.
Chris Malone Sep-28-2017 476 0
Rapper and TV producer 50 Cent stopped by Hot 97 yesterday (Sep. 26) to talk with Ebro about his new show, the state of New York hip-hop and, most notably, our current president.

When candidly discussing Trump's handling of the office with Ebro and co-hosts Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg, the Power star and executive producer revealed that the Trump team offered him $500,000 to make an appearance for him during his campaign.

"Before he got elected, they were having issues with the African American vote," 50 said. "They wanted to pay me $500,000 as part of the campaign just to make an appearance. I was like, 'Nah, that's not good money.'"

"I'm not going to do that," he continued. "That's not worth it!"
Jessica Chia Sep-27-2017 140 0
Two police officers who kneeled alongside a Chicago activist in a viral social media photo will be reprimanded for making a political statement while in uniform, the department spokesperson said.

Activist Aleta Clark posted the Instagram photo on Sunday showing her kneeling next to two police officers with their fists raised in the air.

Clark wrote in the caption, “That Moment when you walk into the police station and ask the Men of Color are they Against Police Brutality and Racism & they say Yes... then you ask them if they support Colin Kapernick... and they also say yes... then you ask them to Kneel.!"

A spokesperson, who said the Chicago Police Department was aware of the photo, declined to name the two officers and told the Chicago Tribune they would be reprimanded and reminded of department policies.

“We will address it in the same way we have handled previous incidents in which officers have made political statements while in uniform,” the spokesperson explained.

The image, which racked up more than 1,900 likes, was an apparent response to President Trump, who said NFL owners should fire athletes protesting the national anthem by saying, “Get that son of a b---h off the field right now.”

Trump’s statement sparked widespread outrage, and hundreds of NFL players linked arms or kneeled during the anthem in Sunday's games in a defiant show of unity against the President.

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, first refused to stand during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.

While his actions were widely criticized as un-American, he also inspired other athletes to do the same.

After Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers, Trump took credit for his free agent status and and said he should “find a country that works better for him.”

Clark, the founder of Hugs No Slugs, sells T-shirts to help raise awareness for child victims of gun violence.
Lauren Porter Sep-26-2017 121 0
Another Black man has been shot down and killed by police officers.

The victim, Eddie Russell, Jr., 25, was TLC singer T-Boz's cousin. On Sunday evening, the 47-year-old singer shared the news on Instagram that Russell, Jr., was shot "17 to 20 times" in an officer related shooting last week in Peoria, Illinois, and she wants her fans to help spread his story.

My Cousin Was Shot 18 Times Including the Face and Back of His Head! He Harmed NO ONE EVER! He Had Mental Health Issues AND THE COPS KNEW THAT! Anything he's ever Done Was minor and NON VIOLENT! Eddie Russell Jr -A Human-Being -A Son- Brother-Friend-Nephew - Cousin-HUMAN! The cops told his mother to call him out on a bullhorn ???? USED her saying "WE WILL GIVE HIM THE HELP HE NEEDS" and He Came Out Because He Heard His Mother and They used beyond excessive force to gun him down also with heavy artillery used in warfare! 18 times? Shot eighteen times??? IF THEIR GOING ON WHAT HES HOLDING AT THE BANK THAT ISN'T A GUN! (Picture Is Posted)They Keep saying he had a gun! I don't see a gun in his hand at the bank they say he tried to rob! That's NOT A GUN! They blocked everyone off including neighbors at a 4 block radius including his mother and father and family!People could NOT go home! So no camera phones accessible is that why? COPS DIDN'T HAVE ON BODY CAMS now isn't that convenient! They Lied and told family members Eddie Jr was at the hospital to get them away from the house knowing he was dead outside the house where they killed him! They kept his BODY OUTSIDE ON THE GROUND FOR MANY MANY HOURS! First they reported he ran out shooting =LIES! Then one cop shot =LIES! Then 5-6 shots =LIES! Then 5-6 cops shot YEAH CLEARLY! But why SO MANY TIMES? Why THE AR15? They didn't even wait for the negotiator to arrive or is it that the negotiator took his time getting there? They haven't Even Gave my cousin the RESPECT of trying to call and explain WHAT HAPPENED IN DETAIL TO HER CHILD! He needs JUSTICE! His Mother and Father and Family need JUSTICE!!!! This wasn't a hostage situation! He didn't threaten anyone's life! This was a mentally iLL young man who needed help and should have received just that! PLEASE HELP HIS MOTHER AND SPREAD HER STORY SO SHE CAN GET THE HELP SHE NEEDS AND JUSTICE FOR HER SON!!!! His Mother Has Tried For Many Years To Get Her Son Mental Health Counseling He Needed! The system Failed Him and Her! #AmericaIsTainted #TrumpIsAChump #TakeAKnee #BendAKnee #JusticeForEddieJr #Shot18Times #tboz #tlc #tbeezy #tlcarmy #justice #peoriaillinois #EddieRussell

A post shared by T-Boz (@therealtboz) on Sep 24, 2017 at 5:07pm PDT

Russell, Jr. was named as a suspect in an armed robbery. Officers say the victim allegedly robbed the First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust before returning home where an hours-long police stand-off ensued.

According to Central Illinois Proud, six Peoria Police Department Special Response Team officers fired their weapons after Russell, Jr. emerged from his home.

According to police accounts, Russell Jr., who family members say suffered from mental illness, exited his home in an "aggressive" manner and the officers shot him stating that they believed he was holding the same handgun used in the robbery. He was pronounced dead at the scene on Wednesday, September 20.

The six officers involved were placed on critical incident leave immediately after the incident. The Illinois State Police department is investigating the fatal shooting death. Family members and local activists peacefully protested the shooting.

In a press conference, local police chief, Jerry Mitchell, said none of the officers involved wore a body camera. T-Boz and her family are disputing the officer's account of the events that led to Russell Jr.'s death.

This article was originally published on ESSENCE.com
Gary Parrish Sep-26-2017 464 0
The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced early Tuesday that charges of fraud and corruption have been brought against four current college basketball assistant coaches -- Arizona's Emanuel "Book" Richardson, Auburn's Chuck Person, Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and USC's Tony Bland. Managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major sportswear company have also been charged with federal crimes in a scandal that has rocked the sport.

"The picture of college basketball painted by the charges is not a pretty one," Joon H. Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. "Coaches at some of the nation's top programs taking cash bribes, managers and advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes, and employees of a global sportswear company funneling cash to families of high school recruits. ... For the 10 charged men, the madness of college basketball went well beyond the Big Dance in March. Month after month, the defendants exploited the hoop dreams of student-athletes around the country, allegedly treating them as little more than opportunities to enrich themselves through bribery and fraud schemes."

Each arrested coach is facing up to 80 years in prison.

Person is accused of, among other things, accepting payments from an agent who was trying to development a business relationship with some of Auburn's players -- including sophomore Austin Wiley. Richardson, Evans and Bland are accused of similar crimes. According to documents, Richardson was also caught on a wiretap discussing using money to recruit a prospect for Arizona.

Auburn suspended Person without pay Tuesday afternoon. Shortly thereafter, USC announced it has hired former FBI director Louis J. Freeh and his firm to conduct an investigation into the allegations against Bland, who has been placed on administrative leave. Oklahoma State subsequently announced that Evans has been suspended with pay. And Arizona has suspended Richardson.

Jim Gatto, director of global sports marketing at Adidas, was among those also arrested. He's accused of helping funnel approximately $100,000 to the family of an "All-American high school basketball player" to secure the prospect's commitment to a school Adidas sponsors. According to documents, the prospect committed in June. The only "All-American high school basketball player" who committed to a school Adidas sponsors in June is Brian Bowen. He's now enrolled at Louisville.

I don't know anything about that," Bowen's mother, Carrie Malecke, told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Tuesday when asked about the allegations. "I don't know anything about that. I'm not aware of anything like that. Not me. I had no idea."

"We got lucky on this one," Pitino said. "I had an AAU director call me and say, 'Would you be interested in a basketball player?' I said ... 'Yeah, I'd be really interested.' But [Bowen and his people] had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotels, pay for their meals. So we spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I saw him play. In my 40-some-odd years of coaching, this is the luckiest I've been."

Pitino hasn't commented since Tuesday morning's report.

NBA agent Christian Dawkins was among those arrested. According to documents, he told an unidentified Louisville assistant they would have to be "particularly careful" with how they passed money to a recruit's family because Louisville was already on probation. The Louisville coach agreed, according to documents, and said, "We gotta be very low key."

Louisville's interim president, Gregory Postel, acknowledged Tuesday afternoon that his school has received notice that it is included in a federal investigation "involving criminal activity related to men's basketball recruiting." He added: "While we are just learning about this information, this is a serious concern that goes to the heart of our athletic department and the university. UofL is committed to ethical behavior and adherence to NCAA rules; any violations will not be tolerated. We will cooperate fully with any law enforcement or NCAA investigation into the matter."

Louis Martin Blazer III, a former financial adviser who was accused of fraudulently obtaining $2.35 million from five clients by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is the unidentified cooperating witness who helped the FBI in its investigation of the defendants, a source told CBS Sports. He was accused of running a "Ponzi-like" scheme in May 2016.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott released a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"I am deeply troubled by the charges filed in federal court today against a number of individuals involved in college basketball -- including two assistant coaches employed by member institutions of our conference," Scott said. "Protection of our student-athletes, and of the integrity of competition, is the conference's top priority. I have been in contact with the leadership of both universities and it is clear they also take this matter very seriously. We are still learning the facts of this matter. But these allegations, if true, are profoundly upsetting to me. They strike at the heart of the integrity of our programs."
Larry Brown Sep-23-2017 174 0
Ricky Williams spent the night in jail on Tuesday evening after being pulled over in a traffic stop in Austin, Texas.

KXAN in Austin reports the news on the former Heisman Trophy winner, who was stopped for not having a rear license plate. During the stop, the police officer learned Williams had two outstanding traffic warrants, so he was taken to jail.

KXAN says Williams spent the night in jail and was released Wednesday afternoon after paying a fine.

Williams was involved in an incident in January when police were called following a report of a suspicious person nearby a hotel in Tyler, Texas. The former Longhorns running back was in town for the Earl Campbell Award ceremony and was not arrested because he had not done anything wrong.

Williams played in the NFL for 11 seasons and was the league’s leading rusher in 2002.
ap Sep-21-2017 183 0
A Texas lawmaker apparently spent more than $51,000 of her own money on an online psychic, showed up for work at the Capitol impaired by medication and hid a cellphone from investigators, prosecutors allege in a court filing this week.

Rep. Dawnna Dukes is due to face misdemeanor corruption charges at an Oct. 16 trial. She is accused of giving a taxpayer-funded raise to a legislative aide to cover gas money for shuttling her daughter back and forth from school.

The Travis County prosecutors' court filing this week is intended to inform Dukes' attorneys of allegations against her that will be asserted at trial. She's not facing charges pertaining to the allegations included in the filing.

"Under Texas law, the state is required to give notice to the defendant of any evidence, not arising from the same transaction as that on trial, that the state might attempt to introduce to prove motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident," District Attorney Margaret Moore said in a statement to the Austin American-Statesman .

Dukes' attorney, Dane Ball, declined to comment on the allegations.

The Travis County district attorney's office alleges in the filing that Dukes paid for the psychic from December 2014 to January 2016, totaling nearly $1,000 a week. She apparently used her own money for the payments; the court document doesn't indicate public funds were used. The district attorney's office didn't return a call Thursday seeking clarification.

Authorities contend she was noticeably impaired on one occasion while performing legislative duties at the Capitol. She showed up late to a House appropriations committee hearing on March 29 and at one point said, "I know I'm talking a lot. I'm full of morphine and will be headed out of here soon."

She's also accused of giving investigators a different cellphone from the one they were seeking when they served her with a search warrant. In addition, the filing says Dukes was absent for roll call 65 percent of the time during the 2017 legislative regular session, and 36 percent of the time in the special session.

Prosecutors still want to salvage a felony case against the lawmaker, the American-Statesman reported. The DA's office last week placed 13 felony charges against Dukes on hold after a legislative official gave conflicting information about reimbursement vouchers that Dukes is alleged to have falsified in 2013 and 2014 for days she did not travel to the Capitol.

Dukes previously had announced plans to resign, citing yearslong medical concerns. But she reneged in January and was sworn in for her 12th term.

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