Category Archives: black lives matter

Jury Grants Family of Police Shooting Victim Korryn Gaines $37M

After three weeks of testimony and a few hours of subsequent deliberation, an all-female jury overseeing the wrongful death civil trial of slain police shooting victim Korryn Gaines – ruled in favor of awarding her family $37 million, on Friday, February 16.

Gains was gunned down when after a six-hour standoff, officers locked out of her Randallstown apartment with an arrest warrant finally busted in to find her armed with a shotgun. The 2016 incident drew a passionate response from the public over several unsettling tactics used by Baltimore County police. For one, authorities had Gains’ wi-fi cut off as she was live streaming the confrontation, and secondly, many took exception to the force used in disregard of the fact that her five-year-old son Kodi was present to witness the situation unravel.

Kodi will now receive $32 million of the total, as it was determined that County Cpl. Royce Ruby’s use of force, when he fired off the first shot, was not objectively reasonable. The ruling contradicts the findings of a county prosecution that previously established that the shooting was legally justified. In addition to the lions share of the settlement that Kodi will inherit, Gains’ daughter will get $4.5 million, and her father, mother, and general estate will get $300K respectively.

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Jordan Greenway is U.S. hockey team’s first African-American Olympian

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Jordan Greenway doesn’t know when this historic moment will hit him.

He predicts it won’t happen while he’s helping Team USA try to win a gold medal in Pyeongchang. But sometime down the road it will have more of an impact.

Greenway, a junior winger for Boston University, is the first African-American to compete for the U.S. men’s hockey team in the Olympics.

“I think it’s great, it’s unbelievable,” Greenway said following a practice at Gangneung Ice Arena. “I don’t think it’s hit me how I think it will later on in my life to be honest with you. I grew up around a predominantly white population and a lot of white people playing (hockey), so I’ve always looked at it as just another kid. I think it’s an honor. I’m very excited about it. I hope I’m the first of many.”

Greenway, 20, has played hockey all his life. He put on his first pair of skates when he was 3. It’s what kids are accustomed to growing up in Canton, N.Y., which is 20 miles from the Canadian border. Plus his brother J.D., who is a sophomore defenseman at Wisconsin, and all of his cousins played. He was just next in the family line. Greenway tried out other sports — football, lacrosse, baseball — but didn’t develop the same passion.

“I was OK at them,” he said, laughing. “I kind of mixed it up, but I don’t know. I always had the most fun playing hockey. I enjoyed waking up really early in the morning and playing hockey. I didn’t have the same enjoyment going to (play other sports). I didn’t want to do that for football or other sports. Just thought this was the right fit for me.”

Greenway was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2015, but chose to stay in school. Because the NHL prohibited its players from Olympic competition, he’s able to live out his dream as an amateur.

Physically, he’s a big body on the ice at 6-5, 230 flat-footed. Greenway estimates he’s 6-8 or 6-9 on skates, but such an imposing figure could fudge his numbers and say he’s 7-feet and no one would blink.

His height certainly provides an advantage when getting to the net, protecting the puck and creating space, but it’s not always better to be bigger, he said.

“You get some of these smaller guys who are quick and they put you on edge,” he said, smiling. “But it definitely has a lot of benefits.”

Greenway tallied 25 points in 28 games for Boston U. this season and was second with eight points on the U.S. team that won gold in the 2017 junior world championships. He also played for the 2017 world championship team that finished fifth.

By making history, Greenway hopes to use these Olympics to inspire other African-American kids to play hockey.

“That’s definitely the goal,” he said. “Trying to get more, not just African American, but more cultures playing. I don’t think it’s any secret that more white people play than black people. So hopefully I can try to be another role model to try to put it in these kids’ minds to hopefully try and do something different and hopefully we’ll get more black people and different cultures playing the game.”

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Dodge Ram Under Fire for Using MLK Speech to Promote Cars in Commercial

Dodge came under fire on Super Bowl Sunday for their use of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” as a background for their “Built To Serve” ad. The ad features football players, rescue workers, and Marines to support their message.

A description in the video reads, “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ram truck owners also believe in a life of serving others. They serve because they’re driven by a higher calling. They serve because they feel a shared responsibility and commitment to their family and community. They serve because they’re men and women of their word. They serve because they know the world could use a little more kindness.”

A tweet from The King Center’s official Twitter page revealed that neither they or King’s daughter Bernice permitted the use of the audio for the commercial. The tweet read, “Neither @TheKingCenter nor @BerniceKing is the entity that approves the use of #MLK’s words or imagery for use in merchandise, entertainment (movies, music, artwork, etc) or advertisement, including tonight’s @Dodge #SuperBowl commercial.”

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C-Murder Joins Hunger Strike Due to ‘Deplorable’ Conditions at Angola Prison

C-Murder, aka Corey Miller, was a prominent rapper in the 90’s until a murder charge derailed his career. C-Murder was a part of his brother Master P’s No Limit label, which captured the hip-hop game and introduced the world to Louisiana rap music. Miller was convicted of second-degree murder charges in 2009 and has spent the last decade behind bars.

Angola Prison, which is located in Louisianna, is infamous for its harsh living conditions, and this month C-Murder decided to stand up against the tyranny of the prison staff. According to his Publicist Tammy Ty Page, “C-Murder has chosen to use his platform to voice dire conditions going on at Angola.”

The inmates cite several reasons for the hunger strike at Angola Prison. Visitor treatment, water quality, sanitation, and proper medical treatment are said to be the main factors driving the strike. Visitors have been subjected to strip-searches by guards who have open cases pending against them for various sexual assault crimes, while inmates have to deal with the sex offenders day in and day out.

The Assistant Warden, Barrett Boeker, was charged with raping a woman at his home in Angola Prison two years ago. He currently has several charges pending against him stemming from incidents with various inmates. Warden Darrel Vannoy and James LeBlanc, the Secretary of DOC, have also been implicated in the corruption.

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NASA Faces Backlash After Removing First Black ISS Member

NASA has been faced increasing backlash over its decision last week to replace a woman slated to be the first Black crew member on the International Space Station. Since it was announced on Thursday, January 18, that astronaut Jeanette Epps would not be taking to space on the upcoming June expedition, many in public have been calling the decision racist.

Epps – who joined NASA and completed her training in the agency after serving in the CIA for seven years – was suddenly taken off of the mission and replaced by a peer in her class by the name of Serena Auñón-Chancellor. While Auñón-Chancellor will be making history in her own right, as the first person of Hispanic descent to assume a spot in the ISS, Epps apparently isn’t completely clear on why she was demoted in her classmate’s favor.

Epps has been with NASA since 2009, and before working in intelligence, the Syracuse native completed her education as a 2000 graduate of the University of Maryland’s aerospace engineering doctorate program. According to reports, Epps has no history of health issues, and thus there is no indication that the decision was one influenced by a medical doctor.

“My sister Dr. Jeanette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place,” Epps’ brother, Henry, would go on Facebook and write upon hearing the news. In addition, Henry shared a MoveOn.org petition to help garner support in protest of NASA.

Although 14 African-American astronauts have been in space throughout recorded history, none ever lived in the International Space Station, as Epps would be prepared to for a time.

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The Weeknd says goodbye to H&M over ‘monkey’ sweatshirt ad

Pop star The Weeknd has cut ties with the international retail chain H&M after the company ran an ad featuring a black boy modeling a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle.”

The Canadian singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, had partnered with the Sweden-based company for its 2017 Spring Icons Collection and modeled some of its apparel.

On Monday, The Weeknd tweeted that he was “shocked and embarrassed” and “deeply offended” and “will not be working with @hm anymore…” along with a photo of the ad.

By 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, it had been retweeted close to 103,000 times and “liked” almost 230,000 times.

“We completely understand and agree with his reaction to the image. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken and we also regret the actual print,” H&M said in a statement. “We will continue the discussion with The Weeknd and his team separately.”

Other celebrities have also gone after H&M online. NBA star LeBron James posted singer Chris Classic’s edited version of the ad on Instagram. It features a gold crown on the model’s head and a drawing of a crown covering the “coolest monkey in the jungle” line on the hoodie. The phrase “king of the world” run across the top of the photo.

H&M was accused on social media of being racist after using the photo online to sell a hoodie in the U.K. The retailer removed the image and the sweatshirt is no longer for sale anywhere.

The company pledged to “look into our internal routines to avoid such situations in the future.”

Mother: Alabama Police Beat Black 17-Year-Old Son

An image posted by a mother has since been shared 61,000 times.

Ulysses Wilkerson’s family was searching for answers as to how the 17 year-old ended up like this after an encounter with Troy police.

“He had trauma to the brain, swelling on the brain, and a cracked eye socket in three different places,” said Ulysses Wilkerson Jr. , Ulysses’ father.

Many of the 61,000 shares of the Facebook post said they were outraged.

“From all over the world, people are commenting they want justice,” said his father.

It is said that officers saw Wilkerson coming around the corner of a building in downtown Troy. When they tried to speak to him, he fled leading to a foot chase that ended here, on Madison Street. One witness said she saw officers surrounding Wilkerson who appeared to be unconscious.

“You could see the swelling of his face you could tell he had a lot of bleeding. He looked like he was passed out or maybe in and out of consciousness.” said Brittany Patterson, who drove by the scene.

Saying the first thing that came to mind was, “I hope they are not beating him.”

WDHN reached out to the Troy Police Department and to the Troy mayors office, neither would comment.

The family is asking for body and dash camera footage to be released. Also telling News 18 today that any charges against Wilkerson were dropped and that he was never placed under arrest.

“They had him handcuffed when we got in there they said he was charged with obstruction of justice the ambulance came to take him to UAB the took the handcuffs off and dropped the charges on him,” said his father.

Wilkerson was released from UAB Hospital in Birmingham, but remains under medical observation and could possibly undergo surgery after more swelling goes down.