Kendrick Johnson’s Parents Won’t Serve Jail Time

Earlier this week, the parents of Kendrick Johnson, a teenager whose body was found rolled up in a gym mat at his Georgia high school, went to court to face misdemeanor charges related to a protest in 2013. His parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson (pictured), were convicted but won't serve any jail time. State Court Judge Mark Mitchell initially sentenced them to 12 months in jail, but put a suspension on the sentence so that they won't have to serve time, pay a fine, or receive probation. Five other family members were convicted along with his parents for blocking the entrance to the Lowndes County Courthouse in Valdosta, Georgia, during the 2013 protest. The demonstration took place after Johnson's family was upset with the sparse details that they got from investigators about what happened to their son. .

Judge Grants Use of Marvin Gaye Song in Copyright Trial more

N.Y.C. Activist Makes Latest Court Appearance For Arrests Stemming From Last Year

Well-known N.Y.C. activist Edward “Noche” Diaz (pictured left of center) of the Revolutionary Communist Party made his latest court appearance Thursday morning, answering charges stemming from arrests last August and November.

Officers first arrested Diaz during a mass Times Square demonstration August 14th against the Michael Brown shooting. He received six misdemeanor charges, including riot, obstructing government administration, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and harassment.

A November 25th arrest for participation in protests against Darren Wilson's non-indictment in the case brought five additional charges, including another disorderly conduct charge, unlawful assembly, and inciting to riot.

Prosecutors cut Diaz a break Thursday, dismissing his inciting to riot, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, and the disorderly conduct charges from November; however, they added two additional charges to that case: obstructing governmental administration and a new disorderly conduct charge.

Diaz and supporters held a brief press conference outside the courthouse after the hearing, where he discussed his case in detail. He also revealed that prosecutors offered him a plea deal.

“Before they said that they were gonna drop all these charges, they offered time served if I pled to all the charges,” he revealed. more

Head Of St. Louis’ Police Dept. Wore ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Wristband & Started A Brawl At City Hall [VIDEO]

At a Wednesday night meeting held at St. Louis City Hall, a verbal exchange between the head of the St. Louis Police Officers Association Jeff Roorda and St. Louis Alderman Terry Kennedy went from 0 to 100 when Roorda heckled Kennedy by shouting from the back of the room, screaming, “How about some order here?” Roorda then pushed and shoved his way towards the front to get to Kennedy, upsetting everyone by his behavior and incited complete chaos in the court room.

The vibe of the meeting was relatively calm, according to reports, but it went left when Roorda (rocking a “I Am Darren Wilson” wristband) yelled at Kennedy because a cop had been interrupted by another attendee. Kennedy responded to Roorda asking for order by saying, “You do not tell me my function,” and from there, Roorda started charging towards the front. In trying to do so, he shoved a woman, Catchet Currie, who was just trying to get from her seat and leave. Currie said, “Roorda just jumped out into the aisle, pushed me over, and tried to get to Kennedy. I'm like ‘wait a minute, don't push me.' Then he started going off on me, pushing me.”

Others in the room got offended and in wanting to defend Currie (and give Roorda a piece of their mind) and everything got crazy. The other cops present tried to separate the crowd, but all together it ended up being a huge shoving match. So much for leading the example, huh Roorda?

The incident was broadcasted all over Twitter and Vine. Here are a few pics and videos.

Meeting on proposed civilian oversight review board out of control at City Hall. #Ferguson

— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) January 29, 2015

Lots of shouting, more

It Shouldn’t Have Taken the Right 6 Years To See How Foolish Sarah Palin Is

On Wednesday, the Washington Post asked Senator John McCain (R-AZ) how would his former running mate, Sarah Palin (pictured), do if she decides to run for president? The man who has long thought himself a maverick gave a very polite and undoubtedly politically safe answer, “She's very interesting. And I'm sure she'd do great.”

SEE ALSO: The Upcoming Vote That May Change Your (Internet) Life

Do great at what exactly?

At drawing attention to herself? I'll give the former Alaskan governor credit when it's due: Palin has nearly Kardashian-like precision when it comes to garnering media attention.

As for everything else that comes with a presidential race – the campaigning, the political speeches, the media appearances outside of the safety net that is FOX News that would be required of her, and the actually winning of primaries – ha, ha, ha.

McCain was asked this question, because one week prior, Palin claimed to have interest in running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. She told ABC News last Thursday, “Yeah, I mean, of course, when you have a servant's heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be interested.”

Sarah Palin is as serious about running for president as my bleeding liberal self is interested in voting for her. She did, however, follow this claim with just the right quote to keep her pretend campaign worthy of consideration, “We definitely had enough of seeing that — America has had enough of seeing that — sign on the Oval Office door saying, ‘No Girls Allowed.' I know that.”

Even if you detest Sarah Palin, one must admit she's one of very few women in politics who can command national attention. Much of that can be more

Boston Still Has Not Cleared The Olympic Hurdle Called Racism!!

In recent weeks it was announced that the Olympic Selection Committee had voted Boston as the national contender to host the Olympic Games in 2014. Boston will face tough competition as several countries on the international scene are also vying to be the final choice. The folks of “Boston Strong” are excited, but the question still remains as to what would be in it for the Afrikan/Black community in this city that is the “Hub” of racism in this country. The reality is that 2024 is over nine years away in the future, but who can forget the past and present legacy of racism in the City of Boston. Having full knowledge of the pre-busing racism that was and is the fabric of this city and then experiencing the 1970s busing violence itself, it would be hard for me and I am sure many others to get excited about some Olympic Games!! I know there are those who would contend that Boston is now a “different city.” I would beg to differ with that warped opinion. Boston is the same racist city with the only difference being in that it promotes a false positive image of openness and fairness. While this rhetoric is being declared, what is happening in the neighborhoods of the Afrikan/Black community is totally different. In the Afrikan/Black community you have by design, high unemployment, poor schools and a lack of appropriate neighborhood services while we are given constant “lip service!!!” We all know the old adage... Continue reading →

Dems Meet Obama in Philly; Plan To Stay On Message, Help Middle Class

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Better messaging, not changes in policy, is the key to winning elections again, House Democrats said Thursday as they huddled in Philadelphia to talk strategy. And the message, they said, must focus relentlessly on middle class paychecks.

Despite big setbacks in the midterm elections, Democratic lawmakers say they're sticking to their top priorities: a higher minimum wage, tax hikes on the rich, advancing the president's health care law and other measures largely associated with President Barack Obama.

This time, they're counting on Obama's rising popularity — and fading headlines on Ebola and terrorist beheadings — to help persuade voters they'd be better off with a Congress run by Democrats and not the Republicans who now control both chambers.

In a Thursday evening speech, the president vowed to pitch in. “I'm not giving up the last two years, standing on the sideline,” Obama told the House Democrats, who gave him a standing ovation. “There is no economic measure by which we are not better off” than when he took office, he said, and Democrats must tell that story.

Americans generally agree with Democrats on big issues, Rep. Adam Schiff of California said in an interview, “but we need to do a better job on our overarching vision.” He was among the House Democrats assembled for Obama's pep talk and private sessions on how to sharpen the party's message.

Their newly appointed chief of messaging, Rep. Steve Israel of New York, said House Democrats are “absolutely unified on three essential messages going forward. And it's middle class, middle class and middle class.”

Israel acknowledged that Democrats talked a lot about the middle class in last fall's elections. But world calamities distracted voters, he said, and Democrats failed to show that their economic policies would directly benefit working class families.

Riffing on a campaign line of President more

Denver Police Chief: Unclear How Officer Got Hurt In Fatal Shooting Of Teenager

DENVER (AP) — A Denver police officer involved in the deadly shooting of a 17-year-old girl may have been injured trying to get out of the way of a stolen car the teenager was driving, the police chief said Thursday.

The possibility raised during a preliminary investigation of the shooting clouded Chief Robert White's initial statement that two of his officers opened fire after one was struck by the car.

The shooting occurred early Monday after the officers found Jessica Hernandez and four other teenagers inside the car in an alley. White said the officers told the teens several times to get out of the vehicle.

He wouldn't comment further on Thursday about the sequence of events or what prompted the officers to fire, stressing that the investigation is in its early stages.

A passenger in the car, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of safety concerns, has disputed the official account, saying officers came up on the car from behind and fired four times into the driver's side window.

The passenger also said the officers did not yell any commands before they fired, and that the car struck the officer after Hernandez was shot and lost control of the vehicle.

Department policy encourages officers to move out of the way of a moving car rather than use their firearm. But it also allows them to shoot if they have no other reasonable way to prevent death or serious injury.

White said he cannot judge whether Officers Daniel Greene and Gabriel Jordan acted appropriately until criminal and internal investigations are completed. Jordan suffered a fractured leg during the incident. more

What Michelle Obama’s Missing Headscarf Did and Did Not Mean

I do not envy Michelle Obama's (pictured) position. No matter how innocuous her actions are — say, simply tackling childhood obesity with exercise and carrots — they are overly politicized. So many exploit her for their agendas even when she does not. The First Lady's choice to forgo wearing a headscarf during an impromptu visit to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah is the latest example of such antics.

RELATED: First Lady Manages Strict Shariah Law In Saudi Arabia

Initially, there were reports that Obama's face was blurred out by the government-controlled Saudi TV stations in response to her refusal to wear a headscarf or veil to the kingdom. Sure, there was a tweet criticizing Obama's “immodesty” that was retweeted some 2,500 times, but Saudi Arabia has more than 5 million Twitter users. It's a paltry sum that was exploited for dubious reasons.

And yes, Obama wore a headscarf in Indonesia in 2010, though she was visiting a mosque at the time. The bottom line is, as a foreign-born woman in Saudi Arabia, Michelle Obama is not bound to Saudi Arabia's oppressive laws that treat native women like children.

In the past, though, former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel all opted out of dressing the way Saudi women are forced to. The same goes for our previous First Lady, Laura Bush.

However, while some feigned faux outrage over Michelle Obama's headscarf-less ensemble in the kingdom, others have tried to make it a political statement that likely only exists within the realms of their imaginations.

Enter Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a rabble rouser and media whore of the highest order, who took to Twitter to declare:

“Kudos to @FLOTUS for standing up for women & refusing to wear Sharia-mandated head-scarf in more

53 Percent Of Black Wealth Wiped Out: Foreclosure Crisis Erodes Communities Of Color

Over the course of the last seven years, African American wealth has been decimated as a result of the foreclosure crisis in the United States. According to statistics, nearly 53% of Black wealth was wiped out as a result.

Washington Post', national economics correspondent Michael Fletcher highlighted the impact of the housing crisis on Prince George's County in Maryland. This municipality is considered to be one of the most affluent Black counties in America and has not escaped the erosion of wealth as a result of the nation's economic downturn.

Fletcher writes in his Washington Post column:

African Americans for decades flocked to Prince George's County to be part of a phenomenon that has been rare in American history: a community that grew more upscale as it became more black.

The county became a national symbol of the American Dream with a black twist. Families moved into expansive new homes, with rolling lawns, nearby golf courses and, most of all, neighbors who looked like them. In the early 2000s, home prices soared — some well beyond $1 million — allowing many African Americans to build the kind of wealth their elders could only imagine.

But today, the nation's highest-income majority-black county stands out for a different reason: Its residents have lost far more wealth than families in neighboring, majority-white suburbs. And while every one of these surrounding counties is enjoying a strong rebound in housing prices and their economies, Prince George's is lagging far behind, and local economists say a full recovery appears unlikely anytime soon.

Roland Martin and “NewsOne Now” looked at the foreclosure crisis latest victim, Price George's Country and how vital home ownership is to African Americans building as well as sustaining wealth. more

Ga. Executes Mentally Disabled Inmate After Supreme Court Denies Stay

The state of Georgia executed a 54-year-old mentally disabled man Tuesday for killing a fellow inmate after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warren Lee Hill received a lethal injection of pentobarbital shortly after 7 p.m. local time at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, the news outlet writes. He was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m., his attorney confirmed for the Times.

Hill, who reportedly had an IQ of 70, did not make a final statement.

Just 30 minutes before Hill's execution, the Supreme Court denied a review of his case, the news site notes. The court rejected Hill's appeal for a stay of execution in a 7-2 vote, with Justices Stephen M. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting, the report says.

Hill's attorneys have long argued that Hills case underscored the “barbaric” nature of the criminal justice system, the Times writes:

“Today, the court has unconscionably allowed a grotesque miscarriage of justice to occur in Georgia,” his attorney, Brian S. Kammer, said in a statement after a stay was denied. “Tonight Georgia will unconstitutionally execute Mr. Hill, a man with the emotional and cognitive ability of a young boy. This execution is an abomination.”

It was Hill's fourth scheduled execution date, the report says:

His lethal injection has been postponed three times in as many years, each time within hours of execution – a process that his attorney described as “psychological torture.” more