Not Guilty Plea in Federal Court for Church Shooting Suspect

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A federal magistrate entered not guilty pleas on 33 federal charges, including for hate crimes, for a white man accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston.

During Friday's hearing for 21-year-old Dylann Roof, his attorney told U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant that his client wanted to enter a plea of guilty to all the counts. But the lawyer said that because the government hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty on some of the counts, attorneys could not advise Roof on the issue.

Marchant then entered the not-guilty plea on all counts.

Roof appeared in a gray striped prison jumpsuit, his hands in shackles. He answered yes several times in response to the judge's questions but otherwise didn't speak.

Marchant also heard briefly from family members of victims of the June 17 attack.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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HBO to Air Documentary About Jordan Davis, Teen Killed Over Loud Music

HBO today announced among its upcoming documentary slate “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets,” about the shooting death of Jordan Davis by a middle-aged white man over loud music.

Following an angry exchange of words, Michael Dunn fired multiple times into the car where Davis was sitting outside a convenience store.

The film, winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, includes interviews with Davis' parents, exclusive courtroom footage and recordings of Dunn while detained by police.

Director Marc Silver chronicles the disturbing effects of racial bias and the quest for justice within the judicial system.

In October, Dunn was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets” premieres on Nov. 23.

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NAACP Set to Embark on 860-Mile ‘America’s Journey for Justice’ March

The journey for justice never ends.

Back in June, Cornell William Brooks and the NAACP announced they would be embarking on a 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington DC in an effort to protect and fight for our civil liberties.

Led by NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, America's Journey for Justice – a historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC – will mobilize activists and advance a focused national policy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education. America's Journey for Justice will unite partners from the social justice, youth activism, civil rights, democracy reform, religious, not-for-profit, labor, corporate, and environmental communities to call for justice for all Americans under the unifying theme “Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, Our Schools Matter.

The march kicks off in Selma, Alabama on August 1, 2015. Here are the following dates by state:

Georgia: August 7

South Carolina: August 20

North Carolina: August 26

Virginia: September 3

Washington, D.C.: September 16

For more information visit here.

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Chicago Man, Cleared After 17 Years In Prison, Shot Dead In Robbery

Man wrongly imprisoned for 17 years shot dead on Near West Side: “The streets are so vicious” http://t.co/SfbUZ4PUsa pic.twitter.com/JotgowwQ65

— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) July 30, 2015

Three years ago, Chicago man Alprentiss Nash, 40, was freed from prison after serving 17 years for a crime he didn't commit, reports the Chicago Tribune.

On Tuesday, he was fatally shot after a “failed” robbery attempt during “some sort of transaction.” The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said “Nash died of multiple gunshot wounds.” A suspect is in custody, the report says.

CBS News reports that Nash was convicted in the 1995 South Side murder of Leon Stroud based on witness testimony, and had proclaimed his innocence throughout.

From CBS News:

He was released in August 2012 after DNA tests on a ski mask recovered from the scene matched the genetic profile of another man.

Nash later received a certificate of innocence and a settlement of more than $200,000 from the state. A federal civil rights case pending against the city of Chicago and the police department will continue with Nash's 22-year-old son serving as the plaintiff, said Zellner, who helped free the elder Nash.

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Two White Men Sought After Placing Confederate Flags At Ebenezer Church & King Center

In the latest example of persistent and ingrained racism in America, police are searching for two White men spotted on video placing Confederate flags at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center in Atlanta, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Church and civic leaders were unbowed by what they condemned as an act of terror, the report says. Local and federal investigators were called to the church about 6 a.m. Thursday when a maintenance worker discovered the flags at the historic church that was once led by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are buried adjacent to the church.

The incident comes after nine Black church members were gunned down by self-professed White supremacist Dylann Roof earlier this month at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina. After the shooting, which rankled the nation, Roof was spotted on social media holding the Confederate flag, long a symbol of racism in America. The image sparked a push to remove the flag from government buildings around the country, including from the South Carolina statehouse.

From The Atlanta Journal Constitution:

At a mid-morning news conference, Ebenezer's pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, said the placement of the flags was a terrorist act meant to intimidate.

“Let the message go out that we will not be shaken by this,” Warnock said. “We will not be intimidated.”…

Atlanta police Chief George Turner said the incident could not immediately be classified as a hate crime without further investigation, but he did not rule out such a designation. He said the surveillance images would be released to the media, but no time frame was given.

Police say the people who placed the flags at the church could face charges ...read more

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Zipporah Joe’l Peay, The Artist Behind The Famous Confederate Flag Sweatshirt

Black Lives Matter begins their rally at the SC Statehouse. http://t.co/r8NzbSesX0—
Paul Zoeller (@pzoeller) July 18, 2015

When two hate groups took their place on the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse earlier this month, words were exchanged between members of the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party. In an ironic moment of extremes demanding justice from one another, one image seemed to stick out from the rest.

A Black activist demanded the attention of social media and the nation with his sweatshirt — a middle finger placed upon the Army of North Virginia rebel flag. Malik Stroman came up with the idea of the shirt two years ago, and 25-year-old artist Zipporah Joe'l Peay was more than happy to create it.

NewsOne spoke with Peay about the design, how it came to be, and her artistic journey so far.

Aggressive behavior from members of the KKK and Neo-Nazi supporters was clear to see on July 18, when the pro-flag groups gathered just blocks away from anti-flag supporters on South Carolina's Statehouse steps. Tensions were high and several fights broke out. Five people were arrested for various crimes, including disorderly conduct and simple assault. Peay says she stayed clear of the protests for her safety, but noticed her friend Malik was there wearing the sweatshirt she designed for him two years ago.

“He came to me with a basic idea,” she said. “He's from Blythewood, South Carolina and he's into protesting, so he told me, ‘I want a middle finger on top of the Confederate Flag.' I said, ‘Ok, I can do that.' I've known him for a couple of years and he just wanted to support my artwork.”

Photos of Malik in the sweatshirt were spread all over social media by celebs ...read more

Instagram’s ‘Hot Gay Dads’ Call it Quits

The “Hot Gay Dads” of Instagram have broken up.

People reports that the breakup was revealed to the pair's 187,000 followers by Caleb Anthony, who stated that he and Kordale Lewis are “no longer together.”

News of the break up comes after Anthony and Lewis captured the nation's attention last year when they posted a pictured of their morning hair routine with their girls with the caption, “Being fathers is getting our daughters up at 5:30 am, making breakfast, getting them dressed for school and putting them on the bus by 6:30.”

The Atlanta-based pair has two daughters and a son who range in age between 6 and 8.

Although Anthony and Lewis projected a loving and united vibe in January for a two-minute video produced for Nikon's “I Am Generation Image” campaign, things were not as it seem as Anthony dropped hints of what led to the split. In his letter.

“Loving someone shouldn't be hard, it should be easy and stress free,” he writes. “You should never have to question your worth or compromise your morals when you're with your soulmate.”

While things seemed to point to Anthony and Lewis making an effort to resolve their issues, feelings of “disrespect” ultimately doomed the relationship.

“Neither one of us were perfect in our relationship, but when you are blatantly disrespected by someone who is supposed to be working with you to make y'all better, going to counseling smiling and telling you how much everything is going to work out…it's over,” Anthony writes as he assured his kids Desmiray, Malia, and Kordale Jr. that the breakup will not prevent him from still being there for them.

“To my beautiful kids, I'll see you this weekend at mommy's house; it's whatever you all want to do!”

“My love for them will always prevail even if ‘Daddy' and I ...read more

Former NBA All Star Vin Baker Training for Starbucks Manager

Life now for Vin Baker is a far cry from his days in the NBA.

According to The Providence Journal, the 6-foot-11 former Seattle Supersonic center is training to manage a Starbucks franchise in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

The change of careers comes after Baker lost nearly $100 million in earnings from his 13-year career in the NBA. Despite his status as a four-time all star in the league, Baker struggled with alcoholism towards the end of his career in the pros as well as financial troubles that ultimately resulted in the loss of what he made.

Nowadays, Baker is in a different state of mind with more than four years of being sober under his belt, according to the Journal, which noted that the ex-sports star has remarried.

“When you learn lessons in life, no matter what level you're at financially, the important part to realize is it could happen,” Baker told the Journal. “I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they're like ‘Wow.' For me, I'm 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I'm a father. I'm a minister in my father's church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back. If I use my notoriety in the right way, most people will appreciate that this guy is just trying to bounce back in his life.”

As for who was responsible for bringing Baker to Starbucks, the answer would be the company's CEO Howard Schultz, who is noted for being the former owner of the Supersonics, which is now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“In this company there are opportunities for everyone. I have an excellent situation here at Starbucks, and the people are wonderful,” ...read more

ReadBoston Storymobile starts up summer program

Over the coming weeks, more than 400 Read Boston events will be held in 80 locations around the city, including neighborhood parks, community centers, summer camps and library branches. ...read more

ParkARTS children’s workshops continue in August

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department's annual ParkARTS program, sponsored by Holly and David Bruce, is pleased to announce the remaining dates for its series of children's arts workshops giving kids the opportunity to express their creativity while working on fun projects with local artists. ...read more