Mother Of 14-Year-Old Girl Who Murdered Her Father Calls Her A Hero

Bresha Meadows, 15, to be charged as a juvenile in dad's slaying, prosecutor says:https://t.co/1oCehxxhBj pic.twitter.com/yMMQhR9B5A

— BeHereCleveland (@BeHere_Clev) December 2, 2016

Fourteen-year-old Bresha Meadows has been charged with aggravated murder after she allegedly shot her 41-year-old father Jonathan in the head just before 4 a.m. on July 28. However, it was revealed on Thursday that her case will remain in juvenile court.

According to the Daily Mail, the Ohio teen shot her father with his own gun, the same firearm he regularly used to threaten the family. Bresha's mother, Brandi Meadows, was married to the abusive and alcoholic for 18 years. Bresha's aunt said that after the shooting, the teen turned to her mother and said, “Now mommy, you're free.”

Bresha Meadows to be tried as juvenile in father's slaying #FreeBresha https://t.co/SI59zTXKwm pic.twitter.com/YgImoht16K

— Rachelle Smith (@rachology216) December 2, 2016

Brandi has since praised her daughter for helping the family escape her husband. She spoke to reporters, while fighting back tears, saying, I am so sorry she had to go through this. She is my hero. She helped me; she helped all of us so we could have a better life. She is my hero; I wasn't strong enough to get out and she helped me.”

Bresha was born into the abusive home. She often witnessed her mother being physically assaulted at the hands of her father. Police reports show that cops were called to the property multiple times, but charges of domestic abuse were never brought against Jonathan and he was never convicted.

Meadows' case remaining in juvenile court means that she can only be held until her 21st birthday. Even if she is convicted of aggravated murder, she will remain in a ...read more

Mall Of America, Nation’s Biggest, Hires First Black Santa

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The nation's largest mall is hosting its first-ever black Santa Claus this this weekend.

The Star-Tribune reports The Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis hired Larry Jefferson to play Kris Kringle from Thursday to Sunday as part of its Santa Experience.

Santa Experience co-owner Landon Luther says they “want Santa to be for everyone, period.” With that in mind, he tells the newspaper he launched a nationwide search for a diverse Santa and found Jefferson at a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri, over the summer. He was the only black Santa among the 1,000 impersonators in attendance.

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Jefferson tells WCCO-TV that playing the jolly old elf is “no big deal” to him, saying “I'm still Santa, I just happen to be a Santa of color.”

Jefferson will return home to play Santa in the Dallas-area after Sunday.

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Jurors In Walter Scott Shooting Trial Ask For Transcripts And Definitions

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Jurors deliberating in the murder trial of a white ex-patrolman charged with murder for shooting a black motorist asked Thursday for transcripts of key testimony and wondered about the difference between passion and fear.

Michael Slager is charged in the death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was shot five times in the back in April 2015 as he fled a traffic stop after his 1990 Mercedes was pulled for a broken taillight. A bystander's cellphone video of the shooting shocked the nation.

A jury of one black and 11 whites had deliberated more than nine hours over two days in the case of the 35-year-old Slager by the end of the day Thursday. Deliberations resume Friday.

At one point Thursday, Judge Clifton Newman called attorneys to the courtroom saying jurors wanted transcripts Slager's trial testimony as well as that of Angela Peterson, the lead South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent who investigated the shooting. Attorneys did not object to the request.

The jury also had a question for the judge: the legal difference between fear and passion. The issue was being researched overnight and Newman said that the jurors would get an answer Friday.

The jury can consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter which in South Carolina is the taking of another life in the heat of passion when provoked.

Slager testified that he feared for his life when he said Scott wrestled with him, got control of his Taser and pointed it at him.

Although jurors were still deliberating, Slager's attorneys filed a motion asking that if he is convicted, sentencing be delayed until a probation report is compiled. Generally in South Carolina, those convicted of crimes are sentenced immediately after the verdict.

Jurors heard testimony from 55 witnesses during the monthlong trial.

To convict Slager of murder, the jury would have to ...read more

Charleston Church Shooting Trial Set To Begin Next Week

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The long-awaited federal death penalty trial of the white man charged with the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church is scheduled to get underway next week with the final seating of a jury.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled Thursday that he anticipates the jury of 12 members and six alternates who will hear the case against Dylann Roof will be selected next Wednesday in Charleston. After that process is completed, opening statements can begin.

Roof, 22, faces dozens of federal charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion, in connection with the June 2015 slayings at Emanuel AME Church. He is representing himself in his federal trial and has previously offered to plead guilty if prosecutors drop their pursuit of the death penalty.

The jury selection process has been ongoing this week with the qualification of a pool of 70 potential jurors. Provided that process wraps up as anticipated on Friday, the judge said that he will hold a pretrial conference on Monday.

There will be no court on Tuesday. Gergel granted Roof's request for an additional day to prepare for trial.

While Roof is acting as his own lawyer, his former defense team is staying on as legal advisers. In a motion filed Thursday, those attorneys argue the court is hampering Roof's defense by not allowing them to play a larger role.

“It should be apparent to everyone observing these one-sided proceedings that despite the defendant's best efforts, there is much being left unaddressed as jury selection proceeds,” wrote the team, headed by capital defender David Bruck. “The Court's refusal to exercise the discretion granted it by the Supreme Court to provide the defendant reasonable, limited assistance from standby counsel is therefore thwarting rather than promoting justice.”

Gergel has repeatedly told Roof ...read more

Jury In Walter Scott Police Shooting Start Deliberations

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A jury of 11 whites and one black man began deliberations Wednesday in the murder trial of Michael Slager, a fired white police officer who was videotaped killing a black motorist after a traffic stop.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman instructed the jurors on the law and told them they could acquit Slager, convict him of murder or convict him of voluntary manslaughter.

The case then went to the jury early Wednesday evening after a monthlong trial in which 55 witnesses testified. They deliberated for about an hour before going home for the night.

Slager was charged with murder, but the judge said Wednesday that the jury could also consider manslaughter in the death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who died after five of the eight bullets Slager fired hit him in the back as he tried to run away.

Slager was fired from the North Charleston Police Department and charged with murder shortly after the Scott family's lawyer made the bystander's video public. The jurors repeatedly watched the images during the trial, even stopping to analyze them frame by frame.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson showed it one last time after her closing arguments on Wednesday, then approached the jurors and spoke in a quiet voice as the screens went black.

“Our community, our courtroom can only have one fountain for justice. It's time for Michael Slager to take his drink,” Wilson said.

The jury must find Slager acted with malice toward Scott to convict him of murder. Manslaughter requires proof the killing was done in the heat of passion, after being provoked.

Wilson said that even if Slager felt provoked by Scott's resistance despite being repeatedly stunned by a Taser, that didn't justify killing him.

Slager could face 30 years to life if convicted of murder. Manslaughter is punishable by two to 30 years in prison.

Scott ran ...read more

Retired Dallas Police Chief Hired As Contributor By ABC News

DALLAS (AP) — Retired Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who stepped into the national spotlight after a sniper killed five law enforcement officers at a July protest, will step back into the spotlight as a contributor for ABC News.

A news release posted on ABC News' website Wednesday morning quotes a note to staff sent by company President James Goldston announcing Brown's hiring. The note says Brown will start Jan. 1 as a contributor on topics such as economic inequality, gun violence, race relations, policing and social justice.

A network spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for more information.

Brown announced his retirement after 33 years on the force about two months after the attack. He officially retired on Oct. 4.

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Some Blacks Applaud Castro Legacy Of Racial Equality

DETROIT (AP) — The Fidel Castro that Sam Riddle and many other African-Americans admired was not the revolutionary dictator who plunged Cuba into economic ruin and held the island nation in an iron grip.

To them, he was a freedom fighter who cared about improving the lives of all Cubans, regardless of race.

Castro, who died Friday at age 90, sought out black leaders. He met with Malcolm X in 1960 in Harlem, New York's most celebrated black neighborhood. He also had a close relationship with South Africa's Nelson Mandela.

“It was Fidel who fought for the human rights for black Cubans,” said Riddle, political director of the Michigan Chapter of the National Action Network. “Many Cubans are as black as any black who worked the fields of Mississippi or lived in Harlem. He believed in medical care and education for his people.”

The dictator's efforts to achieve racial equality mean he “will never be a monster” to his many admirers, Riddle added. “To me, he's the essence of humanity.”

Castro led a rebel army to victory in 1959 over the country's pro-U.S. Batista government. Many Cuban elites fled 90 miles north to Miami, where they spent decades in exile. After his death, many Cuban Americans in the United States celebrated.

Some of those who fled to Miami “had looted Cuba … and exploited the poor and the working class,” said Riddle, 70, who also teaches media at a Detroit community college. “Now those are the same individuals who have twisted the story to demonize Fidel Castro in death.”

Under President Barack Obama, diplomatic relations with Cuba are being reopened. President-elect Donald Trump has criticized the Obama administration's stance on Cuba and threatened Monday to “terminate” the U.S. detente with the Cuban government.

After the revolution, Castro declared an end to segregation. However, the number ...read more

Some Blacks Applaud Castro Legacy Of Racial Equality

DETROIT (AP) — The Fidel Castro that Sam Riddle and many other African-Americans admired was not the revolutionary dictator who plunged Cuba into economic ruin and held the island nation in an iron grip.

To them, he was a freedom fighter who cared about improving the lives of all Cubans, regardless of race.

Castro, who died Friday at age 90, sought out black leaders. He met with Malcolm X in 1960 in Harlem, New York's most celebrated black neighborhood. He also had a close relationship with South Africa's Nelson Mandela.

“It was Fidel who fought for the human rights for black Cubans,” said Riddle, political director of the Michigan Chapter of the National Action Network. “Many Cubans are as black as any black who worked the fields of Mississippi or lived in Harlem. He believed in medical care and education for his people.”

The dictator's efforts to achieve racial equality mean he “will never be a monster” to his many admirers, Riddle added. “To me, he's the essence of humanity.”

Castro led a rebel army to victory in 1959 over the country's pro-U.S. Batista government. Many Cuban elites fled 90 miles north to Miami, where they spent decades in exile. After his death, many Cuban Americans in the United States celebrated.

Some of those who fled to Miami “had looted Cuba … and exploited the poor and the working class,” said Riddle, 70, who also teaches media at a Detroit community college. “Now those are the same individuals who have twisted the story to demonize Fidel Castro in death.”

Under President Barack Obama, diplomatic relations with Cuba are being reopened. President-elect Donald Trump has criticized the Obama administration's stance on Cuba and threatened Monday to “terminate” the U.S. detente with the Cuban government.

After the revolution, Castro declared an end to segregation. However, the number ...read more

Black Vet Moves After Racist Threats Over Uproar About Chili’s Meal

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Ernest Walker, a Black U.S. Army veteran, was denied a meal at Chili's on Veterans Day. Chili's, like many restaurants around the country, offers free meals to vets on Veteran's Day, but at this particular Chili's restaurant in Cedar Hill, Texas, the manager decided not to serve the American serviceman.

Since the incident, Chili's has removed the manager and released the following statement:

“We personally apologized to Mr. Walker for the unfortunate experience in our restaurant on Veterans Day and thanked him for his service to our country. We also thanked him for taking the time to speak with us and he appreciated our apology.”

Now, Walker says things have gotten worse for his family. The Army vet has received multiple death threats, unsolicited mail, and had to move out of his house to ensure his family's safety.

Walker and his attorney S. Lee Merritt spoke with Roland Martin during Monday's edition of NewsOne Now about the racially charged attack he and his family have had to endure since the unfortunate incident at Chili's.

Walker told Martin he has also received a tremendous amount of support. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined the chorus of voices standing in solidarity with Walker.

Despite the support, Walker said, “There are still those who questioned my service almost like the birth certificate of the President – you show it and it's still not good enough.”

Merritt said since the election of Donald Trump, “people feel more emboldened to question even African-American veterans or people of different faiths or people of Mexican descent.”

Even though Chili's apologized for the incident, Merritt and his client hope the restaurant chain would “do more to help move the narrative back to a place where ...read more

Judge: Church Shooting Suspect Can Act As His Own Attorney

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston church last year was allowed to act as his own attorney in his federal death penalty trial Monday.

Dylann Roof‘s request came against his lawyers' advice, and U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said he would reluctantly accept the 22-year-old's “unwise” decision.

Death penalty attorney David Bruck then slid over and let Roof take the lead chair. The lawyers can stand by and help Roof if he asks.

The development came the same day jury selection resumed in the case. The selection process was halted Nov. 7 after lawyers for Roof questioned his ability to understand the case against him. Judge Gergel's ruling last week cleared the way for Monday's process to begin anew.

Roof, 22, is charged with counts including hate crimes and obstruction of religion in connection with the June 17, 2015, attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. He faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

Beginning Monday, 516 potential jurors were to report to the courthouse to be individually questioned by the judge. When 70 qualified jurors are picked, attorneys can use strikes to dismiss those they don't want, until 12 jurors and six alternates are seated.

The judge delayed the process of narrowing the jury pool when Roof's lawyers suggested that their client either didn't understand the charges against him or couldn't properly help with his defense. The lawyers didn't say what led them to question Roof's fitness for trial.

The decision came after Gergel wrapped up a hastily called two-day hearing to determine if Roof is mentally fit to stand trial, hearing testimony from psychologist James Ballenger and four other unnamed witnesses and reviewed sworn statements from three others.

The judge said he took the rare step of closing the hearing to the ...read more