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Colin Kaepernick Secures A Plane and $1 Million In Aid For Somalia
Paula Rogo Mar-18-2017 213 0


Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to make philanthropic waves after securing a way to provide relief to the people of Somalia.

After joining a Twitter campaign begging Turkish Airlines to send a cargo plane with aid, the former quarterback announced on Twitter Friday that he had secured one from the airline to bring supplies to the East African nation.

Colin Kaepernick ? @Kaepernick7
We got the plane! Now it's time to raise funds for food and water. You can donate at http://GoFundMe.com/lovearmyforsomalia … #LoveArmyForSomalia

“Amazing news, Turkish Airlines granted us an airplane to fly to Somalia, a 60-ton cargo plane so we can fly there with food, with water for these people,” said Kaepernick in a video. “Now we’ve started a GoFundMe page to allow anyone to help us donate food, donate water. We’ll make sure every cent goes to help these people.”

Turkish Airlines is one of the few that travel to Somalia, and the flight is expected to take place March 27.

The GoFundMe page’s goal is $1 million, a number it quickly surpassed in 24 hours.

“This is a victory for the people, this is a victory for the people of Somalia,” said Kaepernick. “It was done out of love, out of respect for these people. We wanted to bring structure to this so we’re going to use the name Love Army for Somalia. So use the #LoveArmyforSomalia. This is amazing, let’s keep building, let’s keep going.”

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ap Sep-21-2017 105 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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Madlin Mekelburg Sep-20-2017 78 0
A Democratic state senator on Tuesday asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to determine under what circumstances footage captured on police body cameras can be withheld from the public.

State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, said his panel has received questions from “interested parties” on the issue, prompting him to ask about a law enforcement agency’s ability to withhold or release footage.

"I respectfully request a formal opinion from your office to clarify the circumstances under which a law enforcement agency is authorized or required to release, or is prohibited from releasing, certain audio or video recordings from a body worn camera made by a member of a municipal law enforcement agencies,” Lucio, a Democrat, wrote in his request for an attorney general’s opinion.

He asked Paxton to determine whether law enforcement leaders have the ability to withhold footage if they believe that releasing the video could interfere with “the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime."

Opinions from the attorney general are not rulings on law and are not binding. Instead, they serve as interpretations of existing laws or practices.

Lucio said responses from Paxton’s office on these questions could help determine “the need for future legislation in this area.”

Law enforcement agencies in El Paso County, Nueces County, Dallas, Houston, Austin and other Texas cities have rolled out body camera programs for officers.

The cameras have been touted as a way to increase officer accountability in light of concerns about race and officer-involved shootings. Law enforcement agencies in Texas can require their officers to wear cameras and can outline usage requirements for the cameras.



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MICHAEL KUNZELMAN Sep-18-2017 135 0
A 23-year-old white man whom police call a "person of interest" in the fatal shootings of two black men in Baton Rouge has been released from jail after his arrest on drug charges over the weekend.

Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola, a department spokesman, said Monday that Kenneth Gleason "has not been cleared" and remains a "person of interest" in the shootings.

A homicide detective's report described Gleason as a "suspect" in the case. Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, another department spokesman, has said there was a "strong possibility" that the shootings were racially motivated. On Monday, interim police chief Jonny Dunnam said in a text message that investigators "still don't know for sure what the possible motive is." Gleason was released on $3,500 bond late Sunday.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said he doesn't know if Gleason had an attorney. Detectives searched Gleason's home on Saturday and found 9 grams of marijuana and vials of human growth hormone at his house, according to the detective's report. After Gleason was read his Miranda rights, he claimed ownership of the drugs, the document said.

McKneely said on Sunday that shell casings from the shootings linked the two slayings and a car belonging to Gleason fit the description of the vehicle police were looking for.

Kenneth Gleason is shown in an undated booking photo provided by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office. Police believe the slayings of two black men in Baton Rouge were likely racially motivated and said Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, that they have a person of interest — Gleason— in custody. Gleason, was being held on drug charges. Authorities do not yet have enough evidence to charge him with murder, Baton Rouge Sgt. L'Jean McKneely told The Associated Press. (East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office via AP)© The Associated Press Kenneth Gleason is shown in an undated booking photo provided by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office. Police believe the slayings of two black men in Baton Rouge were likely racially motivated and said Sunday, Sept… He said authorities had collected other circumstantial evidence but he wouldn't say what it was. In both shootings, the gunman fired from his car then walked up to the victims as they were lying on the ground and fired again multiple times, according to McKneely, who said neither victim had any prior relationship with Gleason. The shootings happened about five miles from each other.

The first occurred Tuesday night when 59-year-old Bruce Cofield, who was homeless, was shot to death.

The second happened Thursday night when 49-year-old Donald Smart was gunned down while walking to his job as a dishwasher at a cafe popular with Louisiana State University students, McKneely said. Smart's aunt, Mary Smart, said she was still dealing with the shock of her nephew's death. Smart had a son and two daughters, she said. She declined to comment on police allegations that her nephew might have been shot because of the color of his skin. "I cannot say," she said.

"Only God knows." Terrell Griffin, 49, has a food stand in a parking lot less than a block from where Cofield was shot.

Griffin said he was friends with Cofield and heard the gunshots that killed him. Griffin waited for the gunfire to quiet before he ran over to find his friend lying face-down on the ground. He described Cofield as a smart man and said he thought he was an engineer, but had been homeless for at least a year. "He didn't bother nobody," Griffin said. "It's not right."
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Jessica Schladebeck Sep-15-2017 170 0
The brother of a black motorist who was killed following a high-speed chase with law enforcement slammed the judge’s decision to acquit the former St. Louis officer who fatally shot his loved one.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Timothy Wilson on Friday found former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

His brother, Antwan Johnson, told Fox 2 he felt the judge shirked his obligations because his time on the bench is almost up. Wilson will have to retire when he turns 70 in December.

“The whole time the trial was going on, the man was falling asleep on the stand,” he told the new station, adding that he believes Wilson’s mind was made up before the trial started last month.

Johnson, who said Stockley jailed him just eight days before the fatal altercation with his brother in December 2011, joined demonstrators Friday afternoon to protest the verdict.

“We’re coming together to shut it down. We all need to come together as people,” he told Fox. “The justice system doesn’t care about us. These laws are not made for us.”

Stockley, who resigned as an officer in 2013, shot Smith following a police chase that reached speeds of nearly 90 mph. The former officer said he and his partner followed him after spotting what they believed was a drug deal in the parking lot of a restaurant.

Stockley pleaded “not guilty” to a first-degree murder charge last year and waived his right to a jury trial — ultimately handing Wilson the power to decide his fate.

“This Court, in conscience, cannot say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, or that the State has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense,” Wilson wrote in his ruling.

The acquittal sparked protests in St. Louis, with several people attempting to block intersections and disrupt traffic on Interstate 64. Activists promised peaceful demonstrations would unfold should the ex-cop be acquitted.

“We’re not done yet,” Johnson vowed. “Stockley committed a murder and he has to be held accountable for his actions.”
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The Score Sep-15-2017 138 0
Floyd Mayweather came to the defense of President Donald Trump, arguing that the crude comments he made about women during a conversation with Billy Bush is a candid reflection of how men speak privately.

Trump's remarks were revealed on a tape obtained by Access Hollywood in October 2016 during the presidential election, where the then-Republican nominee tacitly described acts of sexual assault. Trump apologized and some withdrew their endorsement of him as a candidate, but he emerged victorious in the election.

Mayweather, who has faced battery and harassment charges for acts of violence against women, including his former girlfriend, seemed to revel in Trump's apparent candor.

"People don’t like the truth," Mayweather said in an interview to be released this week with Hollywood Unlocked. "He speak like a real man spoke. Real men speak like, 'Man, she had a fat a--. You see her a--? I had to squeeze her a--. I had to grab that fat a--.' Right? So he talking locker room talk. Locker room talk. 'I’m the man, you know what I’m saying? You know who I am. Yeah, I grabbed her by the p----. And?'"

"I feel people shy away from realness. This man didn’t do nothing. Listen, if y’all didn’t want the man in the White House, y’all should have voted the other way. It ain’t like he went and robbed - he done his homework. He did what he had to do and he got there."

Mayweather previously called Trump a friend after the businessman won the presidential election. Trump attended Mayweather's fight against Manny Pacquiao in May 2015.
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Larry Brown Sep-11-2017 364 0
Kevin Sumlin and his family intend to take legal action against the sender of the threatening letter they received last week, his wife said on Twitter Sunday.

Last week, Sumlin’s Texas A&M Aggies blew a 44-10 lead at UCLA in their season opener and lost 45-44. Days later, Sumlin’s wife Charlene posted on Twitter a photo of a letter she says their family received at their home. The letter contained a racist word and threat.

Three days after posting the photo of the letter, Charlene shared a follow-up on Twitter. In her note, which Charlene appears to have originally posted on Facebook, Mrs. Sumlin says part of her mission to posting the letter online was to receive help in trying to track down the sender. She said they contacted local police, but they hit a “dead end,” leading her to post on Twitter. The result was people providing help in how they could track down the sender. She says they want to press charges against the sender to make an example of them.

On the field, Sumlin’s Aggies faced a tougher than expected game and beat Nicholls State 24-14 on Saturday. After the game, the coach commented on the letter, saying the open-ended threat crossed the line.

“The racial (aspect) is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end, (sent) to my house … I’ve got to draw the line there,” Sumlin said, via the Houston Chronicle. “(Charlene) didn’t like it, she didn’t feel safe about it, my kids didn’t feel safe about it. Beyond that, I want to thank the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office for what they’re doing right now, and I want to thank all the people who sent me notes and text messages and calls and things like that. That’s important, too.

“When you cross a line like that with people who have nothing to do with decisions that are made when it comes to my job, that’s not OK.”

The Sumlins have received the support of many since publicizing the letter, including from Texas A&M’s president.
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John Bowden Sep-10-2017 163 0
President Trump's Chief of Staff Gen. The New York Times reported on Friday that Kelly has created a "no-fly list" of aides who previously wandered into meetings unannounced and uninvited, who no longer have that power. Manigault, the Times reported, is chief among them.

In charge of this list is Kirstjen Nielsen, Kelly's longtime aide, who was recently appointed as an assistant to the president and his principal deputy. Nielsen is described in the article as "brusque" and "no-nonsense," and in charge of wrangling aides on Trump's outer circle.

Manigault has served as Trump's chief advisor on African-American issues in the White House, and earlier this month attacked the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for "showboating" and refusing to meet with Trump.

"Coming to the table over and over again to work through these issues is the only effective way to get where they wanted to go," Manigault told Fox Business Network's Charles Payne.

"And instead, they're showboating and they're actually shorting out their constituents that they committed to represent by not coming to meet with the president," she said in August.
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Andy Mai Sep-10-2017 100 0
A man fired one shot at Tytianna Sparks, 19, at about 12:40 p.m. on Dean St. near Howard Ave. in Brownsville before running off.

Medics rushed her in critical condition to Brookdale University Hospital, police said.

"When I came downstairs I heard a lady screaming," said Louis Leak, 64, who knows Sparks from the neighborhood. "She was laying between two cars and she didn't look like she was alive to me. She was already bleeding out."

Yvonne Stevenson, 47, said the woman was seven months pregnant and her mother was planning a baby shower at the end of the month.

Sparks' niece ran over to her after the shot rang out, Stevenson recalled.

"She was kneeling over her trying to help her and hold her. She was in shock as well," she said.

"When they turned her around, you seen blood coming out her face and head."

Man dies after being shot in the head outside Bronx deli

Detrea Issacs, a family friend, also ran outside after hearing two shots.

"This is heavy on the heart. It happened in broad daylight," she lamented. "I just pray she's OK. This is sad.”

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AP Sep-06-2017 229 0
Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett accused Las Vegas police on Wednesday of racially motivated excessive force, saying he was threatened at gunpoint and handcuffed following a report of gunshots at an after-hours club at a casino-hotel.

Bennett said on a Twitter message titled "Dear World," that police "singled me out and pointed their guns at me for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Police later attributed a report of gunfire at Drai's at the Cromwell resort to the sharp sound of velvet rope stands being knocked to a tile floor. It happened a few hours after the Aug. 26 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.

Bennett, a 6-foot-4 (193 centimeters) defensive end who has been a leader of the national anthem protests started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick , said he was among several hundred people running away.

He said he was handcuffed face-down on the ground after an officer held a gun to his head saying he would blow his head off if he moved.

"All I could think of was 'I'm going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat,'" he wrote. He said he thought of his wife and children.

Bennett said he was taken to the back of a police car "until they apparently realized I was not a thug, common criminal or ordinary black man but Michael Bennett a famous professional football player." He was released without charges.

Las Vegas police Officer Jacinto Rivera said police were checking for casino and police body camera video and written reports. He said the department couldn't immediately verify Bennett's account or identify the officers involved.

"Without looking at video footage or reading any reports we can't say yet what happened," Rivera said.

A video posted by celebrity news site TMZ shows a view from a balcony as a police officer kneels on the back of a man who looks like Bennett. Protests are heard, including, "I wasn't doing nothing," and, "I was here with my friends. They told us to get out and everybody ran."

Bennett's attorney, John Burris in Oakland, California, confirmed the words were Bennett's. The attorney said he believed the 30-second video clip showed some of how his client was treated.

"We think there was an unlawful detention and the use of excessive force, with a gun put to his head," Burris told The Associated Press. "He was just in the crowd. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He wasn't in a fight. He wasn't resisting. He did nothing more or less than anyone in the crowd."

Burris said Bennett waited to make public his account of the incident until after Burris contacted Las Vegas police last week by letter and email, seeking police records of Bennett's detention.

Bennett's brother, Martellus Bennett, who plays for the Green Bay Packers, posted an Instagram account of a telephone call he said he got from Michael Bennett. He said he heard fear in his brother's voice.

"The emotion and the thought of almost losing you because of the way you look left me in one of the saddest places ever," Martellus Bennett said.

Michael Bennett has been one of the most outspoken pro athletes on numerous social issues. Last month, he held a benefit for the family of a pregnant black woman who was fatally shot by two white Seattle police officers in June. Police said the woman threatened the officers with at least one knife after calling 911 to report that someone had broken into her apartment and stolen video-game consoles.

"For me it's always finding a way to impact the community on every single level; locally, nationally, and globally," Bennett said following the benefit. "To be able to have something happen in your city and to be able to build a bridge between people regardless of color, regardless of gender, and regardless of economic hardships, you want to be able to bring people together and be able to do something for kids."

Advocates on Wednesday cited Bennett's treatment by police as an illustration of troubled race relations in America.

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter advocacy group, called it "a testament to the police violence targeting black people in the United States."

Cullors endorsed an online petition calling for Las Vegas police to release information about what she called an assault on Bennett.

Jocelyn Benson, chief executive of the nonprofit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, released a statement crediting Bennett with "courage and leadership in addressing issues of racial injustice in our country."

"The revelation of Michael Bennett's terrifying experience with Las Vegas police officers last month underscores the need to continue fighting against racial profiling and inequality," Benson said.
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