Monthly Archives: May 2016

2-Year-Old Detroit Girl Dies Days After Gun Battle

By NewsOne Staff

Atwo-year-old Detroit girl lost her life in a gun battle that began over spilled juice. Makanzee Oldham was hit by a stray bullet while she sat in a car with her father on May 24. She succumbed after spending days on life support, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Authorities say Antoine Smelley, 32, was inside a home on Fairmont Drive when he allegedly got into a heated exchange with a woman.

2-year-old Makanzee Oldham died Sunday. She was shot Wednesday. 30-year-old Cleveland Smelley charged with murder.

— Tell Us Detroit (@TellUsDetroit) May 29, 2016

“He poured juice over the head of a woman who was getting ready to leave the house to go to a prom,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office said in a statement, according to MLive.

Soon after, Cleveland Smelley, 20, and Deonta Bennett, 21, entered the house and started arguing with others, police say. The fight escalated and moved outside, where allegedly Deonta Bennett handed Cleveland Smelley the gun. He fired the shot that hit Makanzee, an innocent bystander.

All three men were charged with eight counts of assault with intent to murder and arraigned on May 28. Prosecutors say …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Police Departments Begin To Reward Restraint Tactics

By ERRIN HAINES WHACK, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A few police agencies in the U.S. have begun rewarding officers for showing restraint in the line of duty, putting the tactic on par with bravery.

More than 40 Philadelphia officers have received awards since December for defusing conflicts without shooting, clubbing or otherwise using maximum force against anyone. The Los Angeles Police Department recently created a Preservation of Life award. And later this year, the U.S. Justice Department’s new Community Policing Awards will recognize officers who prevent tense situations from spinning out of control.

The awards reflect a growing emphasis on “de-escalation” in police work, a trend driven in part by the deadly shootings of blacks in such places as Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland; Chicago; and North Charleston, South Carolina. The killings have given rise to accusations of excessive force.

“An officer going home is of paramount importance to us, but everybody should have an opportunity to go home if that presents itself,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. “This is an effort to slow down situations for the sake of everybody concerned.”

Advocates say that encouraging de-escalation as part of police culture can help establish trust with the public and that such tactics can be especially useful in handling suspects …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Scientists Say Flint Water Quality OK For Bathing, Showering

By JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer

Scientists say municipal water in Flint, Michigan, has gotten much better in recent months and is safe for hand washing, showering and bathing.

A team led by engineering professor Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech provided an update Tuesday on results of sampling from homes and buildings in the city, where the water became tainted with lead and other pollutants after officials switched the source from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in 2014. Flint resumed using Detroit water last October.

Scientists say byproducts from disinfecting agents such as chlorine are at normal levels in Flint. A filter should still be used for drinking and food preparation.

A group founded by actor Mark Ruffalo has questioned the water’s suitability for personal cleanliness. Edwards says the well-intentioned group was spreading a false alarm.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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Source:: Black America Web

Police Say This Interracial ‘Online Date’ Ended In Woman’s Death


The body of an Arizona woman named Angela Russo, 25, was found in a shallow grave recently. She had been missing since her April 19 date in West Phoenix with Lashawn Johnson, who she had met online, reports CBS affiliate KPHO.

Johnson, who was already in jail on another matter, has been charged with her death.

Russo’s body had been buried about 50 miles west of Phoenix, in the Tonopah desert.

Reportedly, her car was found burned nearby.

Russo’s mother Diana Schalow was obviously devasted when she learned the news of her daughter’s death. She told the station her daughter met Johnson on an online dating site.

“It does actually give us a slight bit of closure,” Schalow said. “You go to sleep with different pain but at least, we’ve gone searching for her so many times.”

No further info on how Johnson came to be charged as the killer (other than the fact that he is reported as the last person to see her alive) is available. Russo’s cause of death hasn’t yet been released.


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(Photo Source: CBS Arizona screenshot)

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Source:: Black America Web

Parents Of 4-Yr-Old Who Fell In Gorilla Enclosure Catch Hell on Social Media

By EURweb

The parents (Deonne Dickerson and Michelle Gregg) of the 4-year-old boy who wound up in a gorilla exhibit that resulted in the endangered animal being shot to death, are catching hell over the incident in spite of Cincinnati Zoo officials insisting that they did the right thing. But new footage of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla, shows that he may have been protecting rather than threatening the child. (scroll down to watch.)

Many on social media have criticized Dickerson and Gregg, saying they should be held accountable. However, a Cincinnati police spokesman told the Daily Mail no charges were being considered. Also, a spokeswoman for the family said on Monday they had no plans to comment other than what’s already been posted on Facebook by the mother.

“I do think there’s a degree of responsibility they have to be held to,” said Kate Villanueva, a mother of two children from Erlanger, Kentucky, who started the “Justice for Harambe” page and attended a vigil on Monday at Cincinnati Zoo for the deceased primate.

“You have to be watching your children at all times,” she added.

Meanwhile, more angry animal lovers took to social media declaring the western lowland gorilla’s life was unnecessarily taken, and more than …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Cincinnati Zoo Defends Killing Gorilla To Save Child

By DAN SEWELL, Associated Press

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.01.56 AM

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo’s director on Monday defended the decision to kill a gorilla to protect a 4-year-old boy who entered its exhibit, noting it’s easy to second-guess after the child was recovered safely.

The male western lowland gorilla named Harambe was killed Saturday by a special zoo response team that feared for the boy’s safety. Video taken by zoo visitors showed the gorilla at times appeared to be protective of the boy but also dragged him through the shallow moat.

Director Thane Maynard said the gorilla was agitated and disoriented by the commotion during the 10 minutes after the boy fell. He said the gorilla could crush a coconut in one hand and there was no doubt that the boy’s life was in danger.

“We stand by our decision,” he said Monday, reiterating that using a tranquilizer on the 420-pound gorilla could have further threatened the boy because it wouldn’t have taken effect immediately.

Maynard said an investigation indicates the boy climbed over a 3-foot-tall railing, then walked through an area of bushes about 4 feet deep before plunging some 15 feet into the moat. The boy was treated at a hospital and released that same …read more

Source:: Black America Web

“I Needed A Break” Nayla Kidd Speaks After Going Missing In NYC

By NewsOne Staff

In an interview with the New York Post, Nayla Kidd, a 19-year-old Columbia University student who was found after disappearing earlier this month, explains why she vanished, skipped finals, disconnected her phone and deleted her Facebook page near the end of her sophomore year.

Kidd, a native of Louisville, Ky., where her mom, LaCreis, worked as a cancer research scientist at the University of Louisville, says she “needed to break from my old life of high pressure and unreasonable expectations,” writes the news outlet.

The student at the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Science says she felt as if she were “living two lives at once, and it was so surreal,” writes the Post:

I had been waking up every day for months with a feeling of dread and doom. I couldn’t keep putting my all into something I cared nothing about.

On a rainy day in early April, I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down hysterically crying on campus while I was trying to study for a test in Lerner Hall. Completely overwhelmed, I didn’t stop sobbing for all 10 blocks to my apartment on 124th Street and Broadway.


I started plotting my escape, jotting down my plan on …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Chicago Gun Violence Leaves 4 Dead, 49 Shot Over Memorial Day Weekend

By Charise Frazier

Gun violence in Chicago reached alarming heights over Memorial Day weekend, with tragic news that over 40 people were shot, the Chicago Tribune reports.

City officials and community leaders fear the worst, saying the heightened gun violence will only increase over the summer. Rev. Corey Brooks, a pastor at New Beginnings Church of Chicago in the city’s South Side, is calling for calm.

“If something doesn’t change, if we don’t get jobs for these kids, if we don’t change the economic situation, I’m worried that we could be looking at a blood bath,” Brooks said to The New York Times. “If something doesn’t happen, I fear that we’re potentially looking at one of the worst summers we’ve ever had.”

Among those killed this weekend were a 15-year-old girl riding in a Jeep and a man in his 20’s who was shot in his mother’s yard.

Twelve people were wounded by Saturday, one person was killed by Sunday morning and 13 people were wounded Sunday through early Monday, the Tribune reports.

The vast majority of the shootings occurred on the West Side of Chicago. Police say they promise to ramp up their presence over the weekend.

Others say it is not that simple. …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Activist Charles Wade Arrested For Pimping 17-Year-Old Girl?


Charles Wade, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder of Operation Help or Hush, was arrested last month and charged with human trafficking and prostitution. Wade claims he was only trying to help a teenager find “housing” when he used his hotel points to book a room for her. The 17-year-old girl was busted less than an hour after checking-in by an undercover officer who answered her Backpage ad for sex, according to

Wade was arrested at a Howard Johnson Inn in College Park, Maryland, on April 25. Police believe he was residing in the room where he allegedly pimped the teen girl, whose Backpage ad offered: “Quick stay specials tonight and tomorrow.”

In a police report obtained by, the undercover officer stated he exchanged text messages with the female who asked if he was a cop or a pimp.

The detective responded, “Hell no. I just like nice boobs.”

The detective was directed to room 412 at a Howard Johnson motel, where he arrested the white female and Wade, 33, was arrested the same day and slapped with half a dozen charges. He posted bail shortly after his arrest then quickly attempted to clear up his name on Twitter – …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Valedictorian Receives Backlash On Social Media Over Accomplishments

By Kellee Terrell

It’s always really sad when folks refuse to give props when they are due.

This recently happened to high school senior Mari Filer from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The valedictorian of her class posted on social media how proud she was of her accomplishments. She wrote on Twitter, “Graduated as valedictorian, with a 4.56 GPA, over 24 college credits, and over 2.8 million dollars in scholarships. S/OtoGod.”

Graduated as valedictorian with a 4.56 GPA, over 24 college credits, and $2.8 million in scholarships! S/OtoGOD❤️

— mari. (@__simplyMari) May 18, 2016

Soon after her status when viral with plenty of folks wishing her well, but sadly, there were people who due to their own ignorance, just couldn’t believe that this #BlackGirlMagic could be real.

“A man said what… what was she doing out of the kitchen?” Mari told WIAT. “[People said] that’s a lie, she’s doing this to boost her ego, she’s trying to make herself look better… [they said] you can’t even get above a 4.0 GPA, but OK, where are you going to school, Mars University?”

@__simplyMari 2.8m , explain.

— $ (@ViewsFromNas) May 19, 2016

<p lang="en" …read more

Source:: Black America Web