Monthly Archives: April 2016

Lawsuit: 2 Missouri School Officials Slammed Girl to Ground

By Associated Press

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A lawsuit says two white school officials in southeast Missouri slammed a black teenager to the ground three times, injuring her neck and back and requiring hospital treatment.

Judge Craig Brewer granted a change of venue Wednesday in the lawsuit against the Cape Girardeau School District after attorneys for Ta’Brea Harris and her mother, Terri Harris, argued that a fair local trial was impossible since many potential jurors are graduates of the district.

The new venue hasn’t been determined, but the teen’s attorneys have asked for the case to be heard in Mississippi County or St. Louis County. The venue change request also raised the issue of the lack of diversity in the judicial district that includes Cape Girardeau. About nine in 10 residents of that area are white.

Details of the case were first reported Thursday by the Southeast Missourian.

The lawsuit alleges that after Ta’Brea Harris was involved in a verbal argument with another student while waiting for a school bus on Dec. 11, 2014, then-assistant Cape Girardeau Central High School principal Chris Kase grabbed her and slammed her to the ground. She was 14 at the time.

Athletic director Lance Tollison later approached the teen from behind …read more

Source:: Black America Web

SF Official Releases More Police Racist Texts

By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s police chief has ordered effective immediately that all officers attend an anti-harassment class, even as he released more transcripts of a former lieutenant and two former officers exchanging racist text messages.

Investigators found the text messages on the personal phones of the officers during criminal probes of former officer Jason Lai and retired Lt. Curtis Liu.

Police Chief Greg Suhr provided additional transcripts and copies of photos with racist captions that were found on Liu’s phone to The Associated Press Thursday. He also provided additional transcripts found on Lai’s phones.

Suhr is set to announce the new anti-harassment training Friday and unveil other steps he’s taking to combat bias in the department. It’s the second racist text scandal the department has endured since 2014.

“The vast majority of police officers are shaken,” Suhr said. “The expectations have never been higher, so when officers do something like this, the disappointment can’t be greater.”

Mayor Ed Lee on Thursday emailed every officer in the department of 2,100 a letter urging them to turn in colleagues who display intolerant behavior.

The names of those involved in the racist and homophobic conversations Suhr provided were redacted. Suhr said that Lai, Lui and an unidentified …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Flint Residents Tell Civil Rights Panel Of Fear, Distrust

By JEFF KAROUB, Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Half a century after a civil rights panel investigated Flint’s segregated housing, the commission held its first hearing Thursday into whether city residents again faced discrimination or racial bias — this time related to the city’s crisis over lead-tainted drinking water.

Dozens of Flint residents spoke before the Michigan Civil Rights Commission about their anger, fear and distrust, two years after the financially strapped city switched its water source while under state control to save money. Some residents in the largely minority city said the contamination wouldn’t have occurred in a wealthy, predominantly white community.

A mention of the previous investigation by the commission’s co-chairman resonated with Jonnie Faye Townsend, 52, who said she suffers from ulcers, diabetes and other problems. She suspects the water contributes to her health problems and has “psychologically tampered with me.”

“We have been and continue to be discriminated against — classism, ageism and systemic racism,” she said. “Fifty years of complaints … and no one cared enough to put a stop to this systemic racism. I know it can’t be done in one day but we have to do our best by (holding) conversations to resolve this.”

Flint is under a state of emergency …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Man Indicted In Fatal Shooting Of Ex-Saints Player

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press KEVIN McGILL, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A business owner and semiprofessional football player was indicted Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of retired New Orleans Saints’ defensive end Will Smith.

Cardell Hayes was also indicted on a charge of attempted second-degree murder because police say he wounded Smith’s wife in the shooting. Hayes and Smith got into an argument after Hayes’s Hummer hit Smith’s Mercedes SUV from behind on April 9, police said. Smith’s wife was in the passenger seat at the time.

Hayes’ defense lawyer John Fuller has said Hayes was not the aggressor and that a witness saw a gun in Smith’s possession. Police say a loaded gun was found in Smith’s vehicle.

A lawyer for Smith’s family, Peter Thomson, insists Smith never brandished or carried a gun. Thomson has described Hayes as “enraged” during the altercation and portrayed his clients as the victims.

Smith was shot seven times in the back and once along his side, the coroner said. His wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the legs but survived.

The Smith family says they’re pleased, though not surprised, that a grand jury has indicted Hayes in Smith’s death and attempted murder of Smith’s wife, Racquel, Thomson said in a …read more

Source:: Black America Web

New York Times Sued For Discrimination

By Tonya Pendleton,

NEW YORK (AP) — Two women who work in the advertising department at The New York Times have filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper, its chief executive and chief revenue officer.

The Times reported that in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, account managers Ernestine Grant and Marjorie Walker claim the workplace is “rife with discrimination based on age, race and gender.”

“Unbeknownst to the world at large, not only does The Times have an ideal customer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, unencumbered with a family) to draw that purported ideal customer,” the lawsuit said.

Both women are black and in their 60s. Grant has been with the paper for 16 years and Walker for eight years, the Times said.

…read more

Source:: Black America Web

Some Principals Charged With Kickbacks Faced Financial Woes

By COREY WILLIAMS, Associated Press

FILE- In an Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, Osborn Collegiate Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology Principal Tanya Bowman is seen in Detroit. Bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments are among the financial troubles that were faced by some Detroit principals accused of receiving kickbacks on inflated invoices for classroom supplies, in a school system crippled by debt and serving among the most under-privileged children in the country. (David Coates/Detroit News via AP, File) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

DETROIT (AP) — A dozen Detroit principals and an administrator are accused of finding a way to bleed their struggling public schools of $900,000 — ordering chairs, writing paper and other supplies that in most cases were never delivered, even as investigators doggedly battled fraud in a district that lacks textbooks and even toilet paper.

FILE- In this Feb. 26, 2014 file photo, Bennett Elementary School Principal Josette Buendia is seen at the school in Detroit. Bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments are among the financial troubles that were faced by some Detroit principals accused of receiving kickbacks on inflated invoices for classroom supplies, in a school system crippled by debt and serving among the most under-privileged children in the country. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Federal authorities say the bribery and kickback scheme started as early as 2002 and ended earlier this year. It is the latest in a string of embarrassing public corruption cases where elected officials and workers succumbed to the temptation of an easy dime left in a too-often unguarded public till.

“They stole from the children,” said an angry Ida Byrd-Hill, who had two children attending a Detroit high school in 2009 during the …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Hearing For Man Accused Of killing Saints Player Will Smith

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press KEVIN McGILL, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Prosecutors will have to present witnesses against the man accused of killing retired New Orleans Saints player Will Smith at a hearing Thursday, unless a grand jury indicts him first.

Police say 28-year-old Cardell Hayes shot the star defensive end and Smith’s wife late April 9, killing Smith and hitting Racquel Smith in both legs.

Felony defendants who have not been indicted are entitled to a probable cause hearing at which witnesses must be brought forward and can be cross-examined by defense attorneys.

Defense attorney John Fuller has subpoenaed five New Orleans homicide officers and two emergency medical technicians, online court records show.

However, an indictment before 10 a.m. Thursday would cancel the hearing scheduled at that time, said Dane Ciolino, a criminal law professor at Loyola University-New Orleans.

“I would be surprised if that didn’t happen,” he said.

Hayes, who had played defensive end in high school and, last year, in a semiprofessional league, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond.

Police say Hayes admitted shooting Smith.

Defense attorney John Fuller has said Hayes was not the aggressor and was trying to get the license number of a vehicle that had hit his from …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Family Of Man Killed In Police Shooting Leery Of Grand Jury

By Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Relatives of a legally armed black musician who was fatally shot by a police officer while waiting for a tow truck said they are “leery” of a local prosecutor’s decision to present the case to a grand jury.

The family of Corey Jones issued a statement Wednesday, saying that while they are glad Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg didn’t clear since-fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja, their “hearts are heavy.” Aronberg could have charged Raja if he believed the evidence was sufficient.

“While we are leery of the grand jury process, we will remain vigilant and peacefully demand greater accountability and transparency from law enforcement,” the family said in their statement.

Family members were expected to address reporters at a Thursday news conference.

Aronberg said at a Wednesday news conference that presenting the case to a grand jury will be the best way to decide whether there is enough evidence to charge Raja. Citing state law, Aronberg said he could not discuss what evidence investigators have collected.

“The goal is to do justice,” Aronberg said. “We have been as transparent as we are allowed to be under the rules.”

Aronberg, a Democrat, is up for re-election this …read more

Source:: Black America Web

2-Year-Old Wisconsin Boy Fatally Shoots Mom

By Lynette Holloway

Milwaukee mom fatally shot in the back by her 2-year-old son as she drove, relatives say

— Jim Wilhelm (@BreakingNewzman) April 27, 2016

A 2-year-old Milwaukee, Wisconsin boy reportedly fatally shot his mother from the backseat of the car as she drove along a highway, sheriff’s officials said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press:

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department said Patrice Price, 26, of Milwaukee, died at the scene Tuesday morning.

The child, who was sitting in the back seat, picked up a gun that slid out from under the driver’s seat and fired it through the front seat, striking Price, the department said in a statement, citing witness accounts. A .40-caliber gun was recovered from the floor of the back seat behind the driver, along with a security officer’s gun belt belonging to the victim’s boyfriend, sheriff’s officials said.

…read more

Source:: Black America Web

13-Year-Old Boy With Toy Gun Shot By Baltimore Police

By Kellee Terrell

Nearing the one-year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray, a 13-year-old boy has been shot by the Baltimore police, after they mistook his toy gun for a real one. Thankfully, his wounds are not life-threatening.

According to Baltimore’s CBS affiliate, in a press release Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said that the shooting, which occurred on Wednesday afternoon, happened after two officers, in plainclothes and an unmarked car, saw the teen walking down the street with what looked like a semi-automatic gun. After identifying themselves to the young man, he ran without dropping the gun, prompting officers to shoot him, Davis claimed.

Davis went on to say, he had “no reason to believe that these officers acted inappropriately in any way,” saying the officers weren’t aware the gun was fake. When pressed had Davis seen the gun himself, he said, that he “stood over it” and even he couldn’t tell that it was replica, he stated.

Here is an official image of the gun that the teen had on him.

Picture of the replica gun in 13-year-old shooting in East #Baltimore today

— Catherine Rentz (@cdrentz) April 27, 2016

…read more

Source:: Black America Web