Monthly Archives: August 2017

‘We Only Kill Black People, Right?’ -Officer To Woman During Traffic Stop


In Cobb County, Georgia, dash-cam video bears witness to an officer’s questionable interaction with a woman who said she was afraid to move her hands during a traffic stop.

“Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?” the Cobb County police officer can be heard saying on the video.

On Friday, led by police chief Mike Register, the Cobb County police department opened an internal investigation.

Chief Register identified the officer heard on video is Lt. Greg Abbott. Abbott has been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation, reports Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News.

Register says the recording is part of a DUI stop. The woman said she was hesitant to put her hands down to pick up a cellphone because she didn’t want to get shot.

“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register said.

Suri Chadha Jimenez, who is representing the driver in the case, said he believes the officer was being sarcastic after the woman “gave him some lip.”

“It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez says the fear minorities have when stopped is real.

Meanwhile, Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRusso provided Channel 2 Action News the following statement:

“Lt. …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Harvey Test Political Opposites In Texas’ Abbott, Turner

By Will Weissert, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Harvey’s devastation is testing two Texas leaders whose personal styles are as divergent as their politics.

Houston Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner is a former longtime state lawmaker who made a career of impassioned defenses of liberal legislation that had no hope of passing the GOP-controlled Legislature. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott sets the agenda in his deep red state using a measured, lawyerly demeanor.

The two already have clashed over conflicting instructions on whether to evacuate Houston ahead of Harvey’s deadly floods, and there could be more tension coming. It underscores the rift between Texas’ big cities, which are almost all Democrat-run, and the Republican-dominated Legislature and statewide offices.

Still, Turner and Abbott will have to work together, along with the Trump administration, to recover from the heaviest tropical downpour in U.S. history — despite deep ideological differences.

“Adverse circumstances always bring out true nature — and the more severe, the truer the nature,” said Bill Miller, a veteran Texas political consultant who has worked for Democrats and Republicans.

Abbott uncharacteristically seized the spotlight last week as Harvey was nearing his state’s Gulf Coast. He said Houston residents “should strongly consider evacuating” even if not told to do so …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Tweet Hospitalized With Blood Clots; BF Pastor Jamal Bryant Asks For Prayers


Pastor Jamal Bryant has reached out to his Instagram followers seeking prayers for his girlfriend, Tweet. The R&B singer, he says, has been hospitalized with blood clots in multiple places.

“ALERT!!! I need your prayers for @tweet_ She’s been admitted in hospital for blood clots in both lungs & right arm! Doctors can’t trace it but God is a healer! Prayer still works…,” Bryant wrote in a post late Tuesday. (Aug. 29)

Bryant, of Baltimore-based megachurch Empowerment Temple AME Church, went public with their relationship in July 2016, when Tweet appeared on his “Preachers” talk show.

“We’ve grown into an incredible friendship,” said Bryant in the couple’s first interview together. “I call her my last lady.”

Pastor Bryant was formerly married to “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Gizelle Bryant, but their marriage ended due to Bryant’s infidelity.

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Source:: Black America Web

Floodwaters Drop Across Much Of Houston; Death Toll At 20

By Nomaan Merchant and Juan Lozano, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Harvey’s floodwaters are beginning to drop across much of the Houston area, emergency officials said Wednesday, offering a glimmer of hope to the hurricane’s victims. But as the crisis eases, the storm could begin to give up its dead.

“The water levels are going down. And that’s for the first time in several days,” said Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District.

The number of confirmed deaths rose to 20 when authorities reported that two men died in separate drownings. One of them around a barricade and into standing water on Monday, while the other tried to swim across a flooded road.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise as the waters recede and they are able to take full stock of the death and destruction wrought by the catastrophic storm.

Some neighborhoods were still in danger of more flooding. Linder said a levee along Cypress Creek in the northern part of the county could fail and swamp a subdivision where some residents ignored a mandatory evacuation order.

The water in two reservoirs that protect downtown Houston from flooding was likely to crest Wednesday at levels slightly below those that were forecast, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Texas community …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Charlottesville Suspect Arrested In Georgia To Be Extradited

By Diannah Watson,

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A man wanted in connection with the beating of a black man in Charlottesville on the day of a white nationalist rally turned himself in to authorities in Georgia and will be extradited to Virginia, officials said.

Alex Michael Ramos, 33, surrendered Monday evening at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Lawson Bittick told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Ramos faces one count of malicious wounding in the attack on DeAndre Harris, which was captured in photos and video that went viral. The Aug. 12 attack by a group of men left him with a concussion, abrasions and contusions across his body, as well as a head laceration that required staples, a knee injury and a fractured wrist, according to his attorney.

Ramos agreed to be extradited to Virginia during a hearing Tuesday, said Kathy Barfield, deputy clerk of the Monroe County Magistrate Court.
Bittick said Ramos is an unemployed construction worker, and he didn’t know if he had obtained an attorney.

In an interview with Atlanta TV station WGCL, Ramos said that he hit Harris once and that others beat him with sticks and shields. He called the incident “a defensive attack.”

Ramos also said he is …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Opens Up After Backlash

By By JASON DEAREN, Associated Press

Volunteers line up to sign up to help with the shelter for victims of the flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey at a shelter opened at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

HOUSTON (AP) — Joel Osteen opened his Houston megachurch to those seeking shelter from floodwaters Tuesday after social media critics slammed the televangelist for not offering to house people in need while Harvey swamps the city.

“Houstonians, Texans, are generous people, gracious people. We like to help others in need. That’s what you’re seeing here today people stepping up and you know and helping these people that have been displaced,” Osteen said after opening his Lakewood Church to displaced Houstonians seeking shelter.

Among those who came to the 16,000-seat former arena that was the longtime home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets was Jack Bullman. The 56-year-old Long Pine resident sat with a baby blue towel hanging around his neck, trying to dry off and get warm.

“Usually a hurricane comes by and you get hit with the surge and the rain, but here it’s lingered so long there’s no doubt that it will be catastrophic,” Bullman said, adding that he had just rebuilt last year …read more

Source:: Black America Web

#BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder On Why The Movement Still Matters Under Trump

By Ny Magee,

(Patrisse Cullors Pictured in the middle)

Black Lives Matter was birthed following the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch psycho George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.

The group, which is reportedly financed by the Koch brothers, became known internationally amid protests in Ferguson, Mo., after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man.

Founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, the movement seemed to make headlines daily during Obama’s presidency, but their presence appears to have waned in recent months.

However, Cullors — who is writing a memoir — tells the L.A. Times that BLM is more relevant than ever, as she reflected on the state of the group and its future.

Peep some excerpts below.

Does Black Lives Matter even matter today?

I think Black Lives Matter is very relevant today, especially given the rise of white supremacists and white nationalists across, not just this country, but across the globe. And so our work over the last four years has been putting anti-black racism on the map, talking about the impact anti-black racism has on this country, has on local government, has on policy and how it actually impacts …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Inside Houston Shelter, A Loud And Sometimes Chaotic Night

By Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — With more guests than cots, some people slept on chairs or the floor. People hung towels and wet clothes on the base of the ceiling supports. Police officers guarded several entrances. Outside, dozens of people still awake stood with their pets and traded cigarettes.

People who escaped rising floodwaters and pouring rain spawned by Harvey arrived at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Monday night by the busload and truckload even as the convention center exceeded its capacity of 5,000. The second night inside the center was louder, more crowded and at times, more chaotic.

At one point, officers tended to two men lying unresponsive in front of an exit, pushing away onlookers. The men had taken drugs and would both recover within an hour.

Frustration grew in some places, more than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane before transforming into a tropical storm that currently sits parked over the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an expected return to shore. One person said she had only gotten one meal Monday while watching others take several helpings of food.

Another person, Kevin Perkins, described sleeping on the floor and feeling accosted by …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Rally Sparks Reflection On Race, Equality In Charlottesville

By Sarah Rankin, Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A white nationalist rally that turned violent has forced Charlottesville residents to confront the ugly realities of racism, bigotry and inequality lurking beneath the charming veneer of their progressive college town.

In the weeks since the rally, where a woman protesting was hit by a car and killed, anger has erupted at local officials about how they responded to the violence. But at a recent City Council meeting, a press conference and a Sunday town hall, residents have also expressed concerns about broader, long-standing issues.

“This racism, this is nothing new to Charlottesville,” said Daniel Thompson, an Army veteran whose voice rose as he spoke at the Sunday afternoon meeting billed as a first step in the city’s recovery effort. “This is what us black residents have gone through our entire lives,” he said to cheers and applause.

Thompson went on to say that the city had bigger problems than the Confederate monument that sparked the rally on Aug. 12. Chief among them, he and many others at the meeting said, was the cost of housing. Others speakers pointed to a deep mistrust of police among black community members. Some called for better community mental health services; …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Wary Louisiana Prepares For Inundation By Harvey

By By Jeff Amy and Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Southwest Louisiana balanced on a knife’s edge early Tuesday as Tropical Storm Harvey threatened to inundate the region with potentially disastrous flooding.

Damage was nothing compared to the toll in Texas, and had been light through sunset Monday. But a heavy band of rainfall Monday night proved too much for some Lake Charles neighborhoods, pushing water into houses that local residents said they’d never seen flood.

Lake Charles Fire Department Division Chief Lennie LaFleur said rescuers evacuated hundreds of people from one neighborhood, sometimes through chest-deep water. In addition to National Guard trucks and wildlife agents’ boats, residents came out in jacked-up trucks and clinging to the cab of a semi-truck cab. They carried belongings in suitcases, trash bags or even soggy cardboard boxes.

“We all got stuck back there,” said Andrea Boutte, who rode out on the big rig. “Those boats took forever.”

Rescuers focused at first on people with medical problems or who were frail, but eventually offered to take everyone who wanted out. Most people went to homes of friends and relatives. Christopher Booker was waiting to pick up his pregnant daughter, who began calling Booker when water rose above the bottom of her car.

“We’ve …read more

Source:: Black America Web