Monthly Archives: February 2016

Black Lives Matter Activists Interrupt Hillary Clinton Event, Confront Presidential Hopeful With Her Own Words

By Christina Coleman

During a private fundraiser held in South Carolina Wednesday, two Black Lives Matter activists confronted presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton with controversial comments the former Secretary of State made in the 1990s surrounding race and crime.

Strategically placing themselves at the front of the crowd, youth activist Ashley Williams, accompanied by a colleague, held a sign that displayed Clinton’s previous comments in an effort to “bring her to confront her own words,” Williams later told the Huffington Post.

Williams, who said she and the unidentified colleague contributed $500 to attend the private event, chose to hold up a white sign with the words “We have to bring them to heel,” displayed in bold letters. The quote came from statements Clinton made in 1996 about at-risk youth, the Post reports.

Shortly after the disruption, Williams asked Clinton to apologize for her role in the mass incarceration of Black people.

“I’m not a super predator,” Williams said. “Can you apologize to Black people for mass incarceration?”

“Okay, fine, we’ll talk about it,” Clinton said while Williams continued. “Well, can I talk? Then you can listen to what I have to say.”

“I know that you called Black people super predators in 1994. Please explain …read more

Source:: Black America Web

In Chicago, Sanders Found His Place in Civil Rights Movement

By SARA BURNETT, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Bernie Sanders was in his first year at the University of Chicago, 20 and with a thick New York accent, when he took to the steps of the administration building to rail against a university policy of racially segregated housing.

“We feel it is an intolerable situation, when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments,” Sanders told a crowd of about 200 students that afternoon in January 1962. Then he and a few dozen students headed to the fifth floor, where they began a 15-day sit-in outside the university president’s office, passing their time reading and eating dinners of donated cheese and salami sandwiches.

As Sanders and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton jockey for support from black and Latino voters ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, much of the debate has centered around which candidate has a stronger record of fighting for minorities. The issue could be especially important in South Carolina, where the state’s black population of nearly 28 percent of residents is nearly twice the national average. In their last primary contest, in Nevada, a large majority of blacks supported Clinton amid questions about Sanders’ early commitment to civil rights.

But …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Charges Will Be Dismissed In Brooklyn Rape Case

By MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A district attorney said Wednesday a young woman who accused five teenage boys of chasing away her father and gang-raping her in a playground has recanted her story and he’s dropping criminal charges against them.

The collapse of the case was no surprise after a series of revelations that challenged the woman’s initial story that she’d been attacked by a group of boys who drove off her father with a gun to get her alone.

Cellphone video snippets had emerged, showing the woman smiling, with her clothes partially removed, during the Jan. 7 encounter. More disturbingly, the boys told police that when they encountered the woman she was having sex with her father in the Brooklyn park.

“That night, this young woman’s father and the five young men engaged in conduct that was reprehensible and wrong,” Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said, “but because of the lack of reliable evidence, criminal charges simply cannot be sustained.”

The boys had been charged with rape, criminal sex act, sexual abuse and other charges. They have said the encounter was consensual and maintained their innocence.

Prosecutors will ask a judge next week to formally dismiss the charges against Travis Beckford, Onandi Brown, Denzel Murray, …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Men Wrongly Imprisoned For Murder Get Millions From Ohio

By Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two Ohio brothers who spent decades in prison for a murder they didn’t commit will receive millions in additional compensation from the Ohio Court of Claims.

The court said Tuesday that 61-year-old Wiley Bridgeman will receive $2.4 million and 58-year-old Kwame Ajamu nearly $2 million for being wrongfully imprisoned in the 1975 slaying of a salesman outside a corner store in Cleveland.

Bridgeman received an initial payment of $970,000 and Ajamu, his brother previously known as Ronnie Bridgeman, got $648,000 from the court last year. A third man convicted in the slaying, 59-year-old Ricky Jackson, has received $1 million, so far.

Jackson spent 39 years in prison, Bridgeman 37 years and Ajamu 25 years. All initially received death sentences.

They were exonerated last year after a key witness, who was 13 when he testified, recanted.

The witness, Eddie Vernon, now in his 50s, said in 2013 that Cleveland police detectives threatened to put his parents in jail and coerced him into implicating the brothers and Jackson in the 1975 slaying of Harold Franks.

In July, Bridgeman and Ajamu filed a federal lawsuit against the city and several living and deceased detectives. Jackson filed a similar suit. The city has declined to comment.

Jackson …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Man Charged In Burning Death Of Mississippi Teen

By ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A man jailed in Louisiana on a theft-related charge involving a debit card now faces a capital murder charge in the burning death of a 19-year-old Mississippi woman, authorities said Wednesday.

District Attorney John Champion said Quentin Verdell Tellis, 27, was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in the death of Jessica Chambers on Dec. 6, 2014.

On that night, she was doused with a flammable liquid and burned over 98 percent of her body when she was found walking from her blazing car in the rural Mississippi town of Courtland, authorities said. She died at a Memphis hospital hours after she was found.

Champion says Tellis and Chambers knew each other but would not describe their relationship or give a motive. However, Champion did say he believed it was a “personal crime.”

The horrific circumstances surrounding the young woman’s death garnered national attention and cast light on concerns about violent crime in rural towns like Courtland, where Chambers lived.

Tellis is being held in the Ouachita Parish Correctional Center in Monroe, Louisiana. He was arrested in August on three counts of unauthorized use of a debit card.

Monroe police in November identified Tellis as a suspect in the death of Meing-Chen …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Texas Politicians Get Physical at Gospel Radio Station [WATCH]


Things got way out of hand Monday (Feb. 22) and took a physical turn between Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and former Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway. The longtime political rivals were on hand for an interview on Dallas-based radio station KHVN the other day prior to their altercation.

It’s unknown exactly what set it off, but a video of the incident shows Caraway being held back by several people as he yelled out, “F*CK John! I’m tired of you! You messed up my house! You f*cked my wife! My daughter is the one who said it.”

Things got so bad that police were eventually called to KHVN to get things back to normal after the fight.

Caraway and Price’s dispute comes as voters gear up to head to the polls for the primary on March 1. The YBF notes that Caraway is campaigning for Price’s seat as Dallas County Commissioner.

To see the fireworks at the radio station, check out the videos below:

Realizing how much of a scene he made, Price ended up apologizing for his role in the incident when K104’s “DeDe In The Morning” show called him on Tuesday (Feb. 23) to get …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Ben Carson Says Obama Was ‘Raised White’ And Doesn’t Represent The Black Experience

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Carson is trying to reinvigorate his campaign for Republican presidential nomination by becoming the latest to question Barack Obama’s blackness ahead of critical upcoming votes.

The retired neurosurgeon, hovering near the bottom of the GOP field, said in a series of recent interviews that Obama was “raised white” and doesn’t represent the “black experience” in the United States.

“He didn’t grow up like I grew up,” Carson, the only black major party candidate in the 2016 presidential race, said on MSNBC. “Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch.”

He also told Politico’s “Off Message” podcast released Tuesday that the president was “raised white.”

Carson has come under racial criticism himself, but his comments helped him break through the cacophony of speeches and interviews by provocative front runner Donald Trump and rivals Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich. Carson came in near the bottom in last week’s GOP primary in South Carolina, and faces a struggle in the Super Tuesday primaries March 1.

Carson’s “lashing out. His campaign is on its last …read more

Source:: Black America Web

NYPD Detective Review Exonerates Woman After Almost 25 Years

By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Five years after Vanessa Gathers told police she had nothing to do with a deadly robbery, a detective questioned her again and got a confession that would put Gathers in prison for 10 years.

Nearly two decades later, Gathers was cleared Tuesday after prosecutors concluded her since-recanted confession was false, peppered with facts that didn’t add up. It was made to a detective whose tactics have come under question.

“I feel great,” Gathers, 58, said as she left court, smiling and wiping tears. As for what she would do next: “Go on with my life.”

Gathers had already been freed on parole in 2007, but prosecutors’ successful bid to get her manslaughter conviction dismissed frees her of a felony record and association with the death of 71-year-old Michael Shaw. He was beaten in his Brooklyn apartment on Nov. 18, 1991, and died of his injuries five months later.

“With this exoneration, Vanessa Gathers gets her good name back,” Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said.

Gathers is the first woman to have her conviction disavowed as Brooklyn prosecutors revisit about 100 cases in one of the most ambitious reviews of its kind in the country. About 70 cases are tied to the …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Hilton Hotels Apologize To Cavs Star Kyrie Irving After Bedbug Attack

By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Hilton Hotels apologized Tuesday after Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving said he was bitten by bed bugs during a weekend stay in downtown Oklahoma City.

Irving played just nine minutes on Sunday in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team blamed flu-like symptoms, but Irving later said he was not feeling well after discovering bed bugs on a pillow and ending up on a couch instead of his bed at the Skirvin Hilton. He said he didn’t get much sleep Saturday night and had a sore back, too.

Hilton and environmental health inspectors from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department both called it an isolated case and the room was being treated.

“The comfort of our guests is a top priority and we are very sorry to hear about Mr. Irving’s stay,” Hilton said. “Since bed bugs can be easily transmitted anywhere and are often lodged in luggage or on clothing, our hotel maintains high levels of vigilance and we perform regular inspections.”

Irving said he had just three hours of sleep the night before the game and felt nauseous.

“Just imagine how freaked out you’d be if you saw friggin’ five, big bed bugs just sitting on your pillow,” …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Petition Seeks To Rename University Of Alabama Building Honoring KKK Leader

By Nigel Roberts

The University of Alabama is the latest flash point in the national debate about renaming buildings and removing monuments on campuses that honor racist figures.

Morgan Hall, located on the university’s Tuscaloosa campus, honors Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader John Tyler Morgan. The university recognizes this former U.S. senator’s major contributions to rebuilding the school following the Civil War.

But an online petition says it’s time to break with the past. Many students want to rename Morgan Hall in honor of the author Harper Lee, the Washington Post reports.

White student Jessica Hauger started the petition. She makes the case for renaming the building that houses the English Department:

“…the University has an amazing chance to show our support for racial equality, as well as to honor the legacy generally of a woman who promoted kindness and empathy for all. [Harper] Lee was doubtless the University’s greatest contribution to literature, and it would be more than fitting for our English building to bear her name, which reflects so much more accurately the values of the University of Alabama, than that of white supremacist John Tyler Morgan.”

…read more

Source:: Black America Web