Category Archives: community

Long Beach Rapper “Mario C” Facing 3 Years for Threating Mayor on Twitter

Long Beach rapper Mario C admits that his online trolling may have gone too far, as he’s now facing years in prison for threatening Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

Back in July, Mario, real name Mario Chheng, wrote, “Run up into your city halls n let off a thousand rounds.” A few hours later, he wrote, “I’ll join lbpd soon. N I’ll murk our mayor within a year.”

Chheng told the Long Beach Post that he was just trolling and didn’t intend to do anything to the mayor. He explained, “I was saying it, but there was no real intent behind it. On the scale of probability it wasn’t anywhere near above the 50 percent mark. It was just more so having the balls to say it, but at the same time I’m saying it behind a computer screen, so there’s no real balls involved.”

During his interview with the Post, Chheng admitted that he was annoyed that his posts weren’t getting the attention he wanted, so he decided to take his trolling to a different level. He stated, “I feel like people are watching my stuff but nobody is responding or reacting, so I’m just thinking it’s kind of weird, so it kind of forces me to say more and more outrageous stuff — just to get a reaction. I got a reaction. It just wasn’t the one I was expecting.”

The rapper also admitted that he was jumped by a group of people after previously claiming to be “the biggest Crip in Long Beach.”

Chheng was released on $50,000 bond after being charged with charged with one felony count of threatening a public official, which faces up to three years in prison.

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Michael Jordan to Donate $2 Million to Hurricane Florence Victims

Michael Jordan announced that he would be sending 2 million dollars to anyone affected by Hurricane Florence.

Jordan’s breakdown of the money he’s offering finds him giving $1 million to the American Red Cross along with $1 million to the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response fund.

Jordan’s NBA team —the Charlotte Hornets, are also set to donate food boxes to victims in need. Along with that, the Charlotte Hornets have created a shirt that says “Carolina Strong” with the intention of giving 100 percent of proceeds to victims in need.

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Artist Blasted for Racist Depiction of Serena Williams at U.S. Open

Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper came under fire for artist Mark Knight’s cartoon depiction of Serena Williams’ incident at the U.S. Open, which many see as racist.

The photo went viral online, with celebrities like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling blasting the photo on Twitter, writing, “Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.”

Jemele Hill also added that the photo is “About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice.”

Herald editor Damon Johnston backed Knight’s cartoon in a statement, which read, “A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark’s cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race.”

Knight also reacted himself, stating, “I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world’s best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting,” he said. It’s been picked up by social media in the US and my phone has just melted down. The world has just gone crazy.”

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Nike’s Colin Kaepernick TV ad is inspirational, not controversial

The question Friday morning wasn’t whether President Trump would tweet about the debut of Colin Kaepernick’s Nike commercial but whether it would be the first thing he would tweet about after waking up.

And there it was, first thing on the presidential docket at 6:56 a.m.

“What was Nike thinking?” Trump tweeted rather briefly and directly.

But if you actually watched the commercial that aired on NBC during the third quarter of season-opening games between the Falcons and Eagles, it’s pretty obvious what Nike is thinking – and it’s not whether to take a knee during the national anthem.

All you need to know about Nike’s ultimate goal with the Kaepernick campaign is contained in the ad’s first minute. It begins with a skateboarder falling off a rail, a child with no legs on a wrestling mat, an African-American boy who couldn’t be 10 years old running down a dirt road, a young shadowboxing woman wearing hijab, a surfer, a Pop Warner football game and a blond girl playing high school football against boys.

This isn’t about consumers Nike might lose in their anger over Kaepernick. It’s about cultivating an entire generation of consumers who are up for grabs at a moment where the lines between culture, politics and activism are blurry – a notion that might make older people uncomfortable but is now the coming-of-age reality for anyone under 18.

Ironically, if you take Kaepernick out of the ad, there is nothing controversial about the images and words contained inside of it. “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy; ask if they’re crazy enough” seems like it could be a tag line to practically any Nike ad campaign, a direct link to the “Just Do it” slogan the company is celebrating with a 30th anniversary push.

Every one of those images connects to the overall theme of being different, of overcoming some type of obstacle or stereotype, which fits in well with why Kaepernick is here in the first place rather than playing quarterback in the NFL.

But it also seems designed to appeal to teenagers, without making it necessary to align with Kaepernick’s political and social justice views.

Yes, it’s Kaepernick’s voice and his image at the end, walking down a city street wearing a black mock turtleneck underneath a tan coat. But there is nothing in the ad that connects him to football or the NFL, even though his own backstory – being adopted by white parents, getting one college scholarship offer from Nevada and ultimately quarterbacking a team to the Super Bowl – contains some of the same inspirational threads as the people he’s narrating over.

Moreover, the commercial’s only allusion to the protest he sparked is subtle. As the camera brings Kaepernick into view from behind – you recognize him by his Afro – he’s standing and looking at a waving American flag being projected onto a building.

Then, as Kaepernick walks out of the frame, the images of the young people from earlier in the ad appear on those buildings and the words are flashed on the screen: “It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it.”

Casting Kaepernick in this light is interesting because he’s the only person in the ad who isn’t shown playing a sport or wearing some type of Nike gear. That seems intentional, as if to acknowledge that he’s moved beyond the sports context and into the zeitgeist of these political and cultural times.

And when you think about what Nike’s actually trying to accomplish here, it makes perfect sense.

Though Nike has been the country’s preeminent sneaker and sports apparel company for a generation, Adidas has steadily been making headway, particularly with younger people. In the second quarter of 2018, Adidas posted a $485 million profit, shattering Wall Street expectations. That followed nine consecutive quarters in which the company’s sales increased by at least 20%.

Fueled by its alliance with pop culture stars such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, Adidas has made up significant ground and surpassed Jordan Brand (a Nike subsidiary) last year as No. 2 in the sneaker game.

Nike didn’t really have a comparable face, and many of its preeminent athletes they’ve been associated with outside the NBA (such as Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Serena Williams) are at the back end of their careers and don’t necessarily identify with teenagers. But that’s what shoe companies have to do: Figure out not just who their customers are now, but who their customers are going to be in five years, 10 years and beyond.

That’s who this is aimed at. We’re on the cusp of welcoming a generation of kids into adulthood who grew up with politics being injected into practically every area of their lives. Whether that’s a good thing will be for others to determine, but it’s a moment that’s happening and Nike is looking for a way to capitalize on it.

Kaepernick probably won’t sell a lot of shoes to my contemporaries. But would the ad that played Thursday night resonate with high school kids who are growing up in a confusing, polarized, politically active era? Nike is counting on it.

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Meek Mill Donates 6,000 Backpacks with Supplies to Philly Students

Meek Mill showed up at his alma mater, James G Blaine Elementary, and announced that he’s donating 6,000 backpacks with supplies to students in Philly.

He stated, “Growing up in Philly, I’ve watched families struggle to make ends meet and buy basic school supplies for their kids. Those memories stay with me and that’s why I’m committed to giving back to families in my hometown, putting smiles on kids’ faces and helping them start the school year on the right note with the right supplies.”

Over the past five years, Meek Mill and his Dream Chasers crew have been giving back to his hometown with charitable drives, including giving away turkeys on Thanksgiving. Meek is also getting involved with a “major foundation” that will focus on criminal justice reform, according to 76ers owner Michael Rubin.

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Officer convicted in killing of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards — a rare outcome in police shootings

A former police officer in Texas has been found guilty of murder in the high-profile shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards — a rare victory for civil rights activists seeking justice for the dozens of unarmed African American men and boys who have been killed by police officers in recent years.

As Judge Brandon Birmingham read the verdict Tuesday against Roy Oliver, who worked in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, sobs came from the gallery of the packed courtroom. The last time an on-duty police officer in Dallas County was convicted of murder was in 1973. Oliver could be sentenced to life in prison.

“I’m just so thankful,” Jordan’s father, Odell Edwards, told reporters. “Thankful, thankful.”

Daryl Washington, an attorney representing the family, said the verdict meant more than justice for Jordan.

“It’s about Tamir Rice. It’s about Walter Scott. It’s about Alton Sterling,” he said, naming victims of police shootings in recent years. “It’s about every, every African American, unarmed African American, who has been killed and who has not gotten justice.”

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted a link to a news story about the conviction, saying that Jordan’s “life should never have been lost.”

On the night of April 29, 2017, Oliver fired an MC5 rifle into a Chevrolet Impala carrying Jordan and two of his brothers as it pulled away from a high school house party. Jordan, who was struck in the head, died later at a hospital.

Police initially said the vehicle had backed up toward Oliver “in an aggressive manner,” but body camera video showed the car was moving away from him and his partner. Days after the shooting, Oliver, who had served in the department for six years, was fired.

Jordan’s stepbrother, Vidal Allen, was driving the car the night of the shooting.

“I was very scared,” Allen testified. “I just wanted to get home and get everyone safe.”

Oliver, 38, has said he feared for his life and his partner’s safety.

“I had to make a decision. This car is about to hit my partner,” Oliver testified in the trial. “I had no other option.”

After a weeklong trial, it took the jury one day to reach a verdict.

Jordan’s death echoes other police shootings involving black boys and men. But no convictions were handed down in most of those cases.

In November 2014, Cleveland police got a 911 call about someone brandishing a pistol near a park — the weapon, the caller said, was “probably fake.” But in an incident captured on camera, a police cruiser pulled into the park and Officer Timothy Loehmann jumped out and opened fire. Within seconds, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who had a toy gun, was dead.

Even before Tamir’s death, the U.S. Department of Justice had been investigating the Cleveland Police Department. A month after his shooting, it released a report saying Cleveland police displayed a pattern of using unnecessary force.

A year later, a grand jury decided not to indict Loehmann in Tamir’s death, saying he had reason to fear for his life.

In September 2016, in Columbus, Ohio, police shot and killed Tyre King, 13, who was carrying a BB gun while running from police. A grand jury declined to file criminal charges against the officer who killed him.

And in May 2017, an Oklahoma jury acquitted an officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher, 40, as he stood with his hands above his head along a rural highway.

Those cases and others illustrate the difficulty of convicting police officers. The law in most places gives them the benefit of the doubt.

Prosecutors usually must show that an officer knowingly and intentionally killed without justification or provocation. A fear of harm has been successfully used as the justification for many shootings, even when the victim turned out to be unarmed.

The most recent case that ended in a conviction came last year when Michael Slager, a former officer in North Charleston, S.C., was first tried on murder charges in the April 2015 shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was stopped for a driving with a broken taillight. But after those proceedings ended in a mistrial, Slager pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The last Dallas County police officer convicted for murder while on duty was Darrell Cain, who shot and killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez after forcing him to endure a version of Russian roulette while handcuffed inside a patrol car.

There was no immediate reaction to Thursday’s verdict from local or national police groups.

John Fullinwider, a longtime Dallas activist and co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, said Oliver’s conviction came as a surprise.

“I expected to see an angel fly over City Hall before I saw this murder conviction,” he said. “This is a victory, but we really need independent federal prosecutors in all fatal police shootings.”

Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney who represents the Edwards family, said the conviction was justice for the country.

“We’ve seen time and time again, no charges, let alone convictions, in these high-profile shootings,” he said. “It is my hope that this is a turning point in the fight against police brutality against blacks.”

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Trump Tweets False Claims About Attacks of White Famers in S. Africa

After tweeting about the legal troubles surrounding his former personal lawyer and his campaign chair, Donald Trump grabbed attention with a tweet about South Africa. He wrote, “I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers. @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews.”

Trump tagged Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in the Tweet after he criticized the State Department for not addressing South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s proposed land reforms. The country’s official government Twitter page responded with a message that read, “South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.”

Black South Africans make up 80% of the population in the country and only 4% own fertile land, and redistribution of land has been a key point for the ruling party, the African National Congress. The ANC is pushing for accelerating the redistribution of land ahead of an election, and expropriate some land seized by white South Africans during apartheid.

However, the South African government is not “seizing land from white farmers” as Trump’s tweet states. Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa made a statement about the situation, stating, “We still have a festering wound in terms of how the land was taken from our people and that wound needs to be healed and the only way to heal that wound is to give land to the people. Doing so will ensure a fair and prosperous future for all of our people.”

The part of Trump’s tweet about “large scale killing of farmers” has also been condemned. South Africa’s largest farmers’ organizations, AgriSA, states that the number of murders is at a 20-year low.

The Anti-Defamation League also released a statement on Trump’s tweet, which read, “It is extremely disturbing that the President of the United States echoed a longstanding and false white supremacist claim that South Africa’s white farmers are targets of large-scale, racially-motivated killings by South Africa’s black majority.

“We would hope that the President would try to understand the facts and realities of the situation in South Africa, rather than repeat disturbing, racially divisive talking points used most frequently by white supremacists.”

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