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Frederica Wilson says Trump told widow of fallen soldier 'he knew what he signed up for'
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.


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Steve Brusk and Leigh Munsil Oct-18-2017 113 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 515 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 336 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 323 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 167 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 145 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 799 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.


>>--More Black Legal News

Daryl K. Washington Jan-15-2017 1642 0
In such a very short time, many are clearing their memories of how Donald Trump mocked a handicap individual, disrespected candidates, women, the media and anyone else who does not agree with him. Donald Trump has insulted women, called them by names other than their own, has disrespected President Obama and most recently insulted Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis. Despite his despicable behavior, many are of the mindset that we must meet with Donald Trump or risk being left out. Until Donald Trump proves this country wrong, I stand with the Honorable John Lewis.

Has Trump announced that he is cutting back major programs President Obama put in place specifically for black people? Some people are behaving as if Trump is now our savior and if we do not bow down to him he will not help us. If the problems in our communities were so bad and needed so much attention, why weren't people lined up the last 8 years to discuss these problems with President Obama?

Trump has succeeded in making people afraid and now some are living in fear. Trump said in his campaign speech that nothing had been done for the black communities in the last 8 years so what do we have to lose. Trump said he would change things and now people are saying we need to meet with Mr.Trump so that he can keep his promise. That alone really makes it appear as if President Obama did nothing for the black communities and Trump was right. Listen, we have to stop depending on the Government and do for ourselves. When you depend on a large machine like the Government it controls you. When something controls you it can destroy you.

Many of the colleges in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. are now dealing with financial issues because of the budget cuts. Most of the colleges are dependent on the Government to survive because of the little support from the communities and believe me that is a recipe for disaster. Have you ever wondered why Asians and other races are not lined up to meet with Trump? It's because they support their own businesses and circulate the dollars within their own communities so they are not as dependent on the Government. We don't need Trump. We need each other. You guys running behind Trump will make him look like the savior he say he is and as a result he will most certainly be in office for the next 8 years. This country is in the best shape it's ever been in for a very long time and will only get better because of the things President Obama put into place. The thing is, Donald Trump will get credit for it all. We will survive, especially if we begin to support each other.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Sep-20-2016 940 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.


Daryl K. Washington Jul-14-2016 1224 0
I had the pleasure to witness four NBA superstars issuing a “Call to Action” to the thousands of athletes who were in attendance at the ESPY Awards. It was the moment I waited on for so long because I personally know the influence professional athletes have on society. They have the platform and the power to demand change. We saw the immediate change that occurred when athletes at Grambling State University, Missouri and the Los Angeles Clippers, to name a few, decided to take a stance. Athletes have the power, the platform and the support to make a difference but should they have to do it alone?

As a civil rights attorney I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of protests throughout the U.S. I’ve attended rallies and marches where some of my closest friends lived but as I thought about it, I generally did not get to see any of them until after the events were over. I recently received confirmation that there is a perception that the only individuals out marching are the victims’ families, individuals from the communities we moved away from or individuals who are wrongfully labeled as troublemakers. What really confirmed it for me was when it was stated that “men should get off the protest lines and instead fill out job applications.” I know that comment can be taken many ways but the way I took it was that men who are out protesting do not have jobs. The sad reality of it all is the reason statements like that can be made is because many who have been blessed to obtain multiple degrees, fortunate to be employed by major organizations, live in the nice neighborhoods, drive the fancy cars, have the IRA’s and are living what is considered the American Dream will not get involved with the movement out of the fear of losing it all yet those same people have the audacity to call out athletes.

Here is the bottom line. This movement cannot be placed on the backs of a few. Until organizations see their star players out in the communities voicing their concerns, they will think the injustices are acceptable. I know it shocked the conscious of America to see Trauma surgeon Brian Williams publicly share his fear of police officers. There were many who probably thought “how dare a doctor make such comments” and I’m sure Dr. Williams understood that there was some risks involved in making his comments but I'm sure he realized that many would listen if he spoke. His comments needed to be made because America now sees that this problem does not only exist in what many call the hood. Many now understand that for black and brown people the hood is America and we are not safe anywhere.

Just recently I was traveling to conduct depositions. I guess because I had on a suit and was sitting in First Class (I had an upgrade because of mileage) the white gentleman sitting next to me perhaps was of the opinion that I was not concerned about what was going on in the black communities. Little did he know why I was traveling and what I fight for on a daily basis. He had the audacity to say he could not understand why people were so upset about the incident in Baton Rouge given the background of Alvin Sterling. My response to him was when an officer decides to use excessive force against a black or brown person, in most cases they do not know the name of the person or whether they have a criminal background. Only one thing is seen; the color of the person’s skin. They know in most cases that the law and media have been on their side so there is no fear of killing because there will be plenty of support for them. By the time our flight landed he admitted that his own personal biases had not allowed him to look beyond a certain point but because we discussed it, he now had a clearer picture.

I say all of the above to emphasize that athletes are not the only individuals with the power and platform to demand change. There are Black Presidents, CEO’s, Coaches, CPA's, CFO’s, Managers, Politicians, Directors and future stars of large corporations who also have the platforms. There are Black doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers, pilots, flight attendants, scientists, engineers, sales professionals, educators, business owners, entertainers, etc. who also have the platforms and power to make a change. It’s time that we gave our brothers and sisters, who are out fighting for justice on a daily basis, the help and support they truly need. I can assure you that should you become the victim of police brutality in your nice neighborhoods or fired from you nice jobs, you will then understand the value of being a part of groups that fight for change. We all need to be out protesting so that the victims’ families can properly grieve. We are in this current state of chaos because so many believe it’s not their problem. Just remember, we are in our positions because someone fought for us.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Jun-24-2016 1245 0
On yesterday the officer responsible for the incident in McKinney, Texas was not indicted for the assault on the young teenager that was seen all over the U.S. Also, on yesterday one of the officers in the Freddie Gray case was acquitted. As expected, my timeline on Facebook was flooded with posts from individuals talking about the injustices that take place throughout the U.S. One of my good friends, who is like a brother to me, even blamed attorneys for the injustices throughout the U.S. Generally, I do not comment on these type of issues but because it's Friday I would like to give everyone who this may apply to something to think about.

When is the last time you attended a judicial debate or even contacted an attorney to inquire about a judicial candidate or a DA to see if they had the proper temperament to serve? When is the last time you attended a rally or demanded that a DA present all of the evidence to the grand jury? When is the last time you took a day off from work to support the families who sons or daughters were wrongfully gunned down by a police officer? When is the last time you packed a courthouse to support a family you did not know? When is the last time you sent a letter to the family of a deceased offering your support, financially or emotionally? When is the last time you contacted your local city council member and asked them what they are doing to address the issue of police brutality and police misconduct?

I could go on and on with this but just know, the system will continue as is unless we become proactive and stop being so reactive. This system knows that people will get excited about an incident but once the media is gone, so is the support. As a Civil Rights attorney, I know who is putting it all on the line to bring about change. I know the people who are talking to the DA's, to the Chiefs of Police of various cities, to the city attorneys and others trying to save lives and/or bring about change. I know my friends who attend meetings when I'm in their cities trying to bring about change. It seems like an easy and at times, prestigious job but to be honest, it can be a lonely job. Many nights when most people are sleeping, I find myself in deep thoughts wondering if I could get the thousands of people I know to stand behind us in this fight, a major difference could be made.

Creating the wonderful posts on Facebook help bring attention to issues of injustice but we have to be consistent with our support. One million people strong can take a day off from work with very short notice to attend the CAVS victory parade but let a demonstration for the wrongful death of an unarmed black man or woman be planned and the hardest thing to do is get people to agree on a date or better yet, take off a day to show their support. I know many may not understand how deep this problem truly is but until you step out in the heat and show your support, you may want to stop some of the blaming. Just remember, there will not be change until we all change. Real support is needed to stop the injustices that are occurring throughout the U.S. Let's all come together to bring about a change in this country.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Nov-11-2015 14243 0
For years the question whether college athletes should be paid has been debated over and over only to be kicked down by legal rulings. The NCAA, the television networks, the media and large colleges have all profited off of the backs of primarily Black athletes, while the only colleges that would accept them are being forced to shut down because of a lack of resources. College coaches are earning millions of dollars per season, have large endorsement deals and live in upscale neighborhoods while college athletes, many who come from low income families, are penalize for accepting a meal from a booster, can’t afford to take a date out to dinner or a movie and can only wish that their families could afford to sit in the stands occupied by many who will not speak to them or support them after their college careers are over.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that in order for there to be a change within the system, the ones with the power would have to do something drastic. Two years ago the Grambling State University football team decided to stage a protest because of the lack of equipment and the conditions of Grambling’s facilities. Although I hated to see it come down to that, I understood their frustrations and realized that we were witnessing the beginning of a new movement. The day had come for college athletes to realize that they have as much power as professional athletes, to demand change.

Two years later, the football players at the University of Missouri made a bold statement that will have an everlasting impact on college sports. They walked away from a game they love to support their fellow students. They have now shown athletes at other schools the power they have when they join together in solidarity. As a result, the NCAA’s biggest fear just came to reality. There was not going to be any change or progress at the University of Missouri until the individuals responsible for generating a large share of the revenue said “Enough is Enough.” Within a few days of their walk-out, President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, announced their resignation. That's power.

The NCAA has long made the issues with college athletes, a legal one. The NCAA created rules that prevent athletes from earning a living until after they’ve made everyone else rich. College athletes are required to sign over all of their rights in exchange for a scholarship and cannot earn one single dime to support a parent who is sometimes forced to work two jobs and in some cases still don't have the resources to attend a game. LSU’s superstar Leonard Fournette is being questioned about a business venture his family started before his college career really took off. Now that he’s signed away his rights, it’s being frowned upon by the individuals who were earn millions off of him. In other words, we the NCAA and LSU own his rights. The system is old, is broken and it’s unfair. Schools like LSU and Alabama earn over $70 million per year off of football but the players receive $0. The coaches earn over $3 million per season but the players earn $0.

I'm predicting that we are a season or two away from college athletes staging one of the largest boycotts in college sports because they have come to realize that the power is in their hands. The Missouri football players did not have to miss one single game to get what they demanded but the fight is far from over. Today, the students in Missouri are being faced with the harsh reality of the racist society we still live in. They should be preparing for exams but instead they are fearing for their lives. One hundred thousand fans will cheer on black athletes on Saturdays but many will criticize their efforts and make fun of them on Monday morning. I applaud the efforts of our college athletes. It makes me feel good to see that Our future generation will not stop fighting the fight that many started years ago. We can only pray that one day we will be able to take off the gloves. Until that time, the fight must go on so that the future generation can experience what Dr. King died for many years ago; True equality for everyone.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email at dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
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