Family Wants Video Released In California Police Shooting

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — An unarmed black man fatally shot by an officer in a San Diego suburb was unjustly killed and the police department and chief prosecutor are trying to sway public opinion by only releasing a single, favorable frame from video of the shooting, representatives of the man's family said Thursday in demanding the full video be shown.

After two nights of angry protests in El Cajon, where the shooting occurred Tuesday afternoon, Alfred Olango's family gathered with lawyers and religious leaders and urged people to continue demonstrating but implored them to do it peacefully to honor his memory.

Olango's anguished mother said her son was a good, joyful man who suffered a “mental breakdown” over the recent death of his best friend and needed compassion when police encountered him. Pamela Benge said her family had escaped war-torn Uganda to come to the U.S. for safety and she asked why police didn't just shock her son with a stun gun or shoot him in the leg.

“He needed someone who was going to calm him down and then take care of the situation,” she said, her voice thick with emotion and dark glasses covering her eyes. “Not to come and just finish his life.”

Olango's sister had called police three times Tuesday to report that he was sick, “not acting like himself,” and was walking in traffic. It took officers more than an hour to respond. Once they arrived, the shooting took place within about a minute.

Police released a still frame from a bystander's video that showed the 38-year-old Olango with his hands together at chest level and pointed at an officer directly in front of him. Police Chief Jeff Davis said Olango refused to obey orders to remove a hand from his pants pocket and was shot after he swiftly ...read more

Philando Castile Murder Case Going Forward, Charges Against Officer Likely

Back in July, the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop not only left many heartbroken and devastated, but it also left a wealth of unanswered questions as to what exactly happened to him based on the police officer's explanation. Luckily the state of Minnesota feels they have enough evidence to go forward with the murder case, specifically with charges against the police officer who fired the fatal shot.

The Huffington Post has the details about the latest developments in the Castile murder investigation, including a thorough probe by Minnesota prosecutors who are currently deciding which charges will be filed against Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was responsible for Castile's death.

Via Huffington Post:

Minnesota on Wednesday handed over to prosecutors a probe into the fatal police shooting of a black motorist, officials said, as the county attorney weighed possible charges in a case that gained widespread attention through social media.

The state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a division of Minnesota's public safety department, gave its findings into Castile's death to the Ramsey County Attorney on Wednesday. The information is not public because of the ongoing investigation.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement that his office would conduct a review of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's investigation “to determine what justice requires in this case.” Choi said in a public letter earlier this month that he was weighing possible charges against Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who killed Castile.

Since Castile's death, Yanez has been on administrative leave, which is likely to continue if/when the case goes to trial.

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Famed 1968 Raised Fist Protesters Support For Kaepernick

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tommie Smith and John Carlos were proud to raise their gloved fists in a symbolic protest at the Olympics, and now they're proud that Colin Kaepernick and other athletes are staging national anthem protests to raise awareness about racial inequality and police brutality.

The American sprinters who were sent home from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics for what they called a “human rights salute” say the San Francisco 49ers quarterback and others are right to use their platform in an attempt to affect social change 48 years later.

“Don't hate the kid because he stood up for something to change,” said Smith, who won the gold medal and set a world record in the 200 meters in 1968. “He stood up for the right to exercise Amendment 1.”

Speaking Wednesday at the Team USA Awards, the first U.S. Olympic Committee event they've been invited to since their protest, Smith says he's backing Kaepernick because his protest is proactive and Carlos says there's no better platform than sports to stand up for something, even if it brings criticism.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels during the national anthem before the team's NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

“Protest is a good thing because you're trying to expose certain things through protest,” said Carlos, who won the bronze in the 200. “Then, when you sit back and say, ‘Well, I don't know whether it's the right place to make statement here or there.' In any protest, I think you make a statement to try and reach the far ends of the earth. What better way to do it than if you're in a sport.”

Several athletes have followed Kaepernick, who sat for the anthem, then modified ...read more

Parents Of Trayvon Martin Have Book Coming In January 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — The parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen fatally shot in 2012 by a neighborhood watch volunteer, have a book coming out on Jan. 31. Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman

Spiegel & Grau announced Wednesday that it will release “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. The book, narrated alternately by the mother and father, will tell of Trayvon's “life and struggles, his tragic death, and the transformative movement for justice” that he inspired, according to Spiegel & Grau, a Penguin Random House imprint. Martin's parents also will share the “grief and confusion” they have endured and how they contended with an “indifferent system” as they struggled to make sense of what happened.Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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Commissioner Criticizes Gala That Honored Freddie Gray Officers

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's police commissioner is criticizing the decision of three officers charged but not convicted in the death of Freddie Gray to attend a conservative group's gala where they were honored for their service.

WBAL-TV reports Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday he doesn't condone their appearance at the Media Research Center's annual gala Sept. 22. He wants to examine whether department policy is stringent enough to bar that kind of off-duty activity.

Lt. Brian Rice and officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller walked onstage to loud applause at the group's annual awards gala in Washington. Officers Caesar Goodson and William Porter, and Sgt. Alicia White do not appear in the video.

Prosecutors dropped all charges after three officers were acquitted and another's trial ended in a hung jury.

Gray, a young black man, died a week after his neck was broken as he rode in the back of a police van, handcuffed and shackled but not seat-belted in.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The conservative Media Research Center has honored the Baltimore police officers who were charged but not convicted in the 2015 death of a young black man whose fatal neck injury in the back of a police van touched off riots in the city.

Lt. Brian Rice and officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller walked onstage to loud applause at the group's annual awards gala last Thursday in Washington. Officers Caesar Goodson and William Porter, and Sgt. Alicia White do not appear in the video.

OfficerBrianRiceFreddieGrayTrialAP

Presenter Deneen Borelli said no one else had thanked them for their service.

Miller asked the group for love and prayers.

Prosecutors dropped all charges after three officers were acquitted and another's trial ended in a hung jury.

Freddie Gray was fatally injured as he rode in the back of the police transport van, handcuffed and shackled but not ...read more

Congress Overrides President Obama’s Veto On Saudi Arabia Lawsuits

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a resounding rebuke, Democrats joined with Republicans Wednesday to hand Barack Obama the first veto override of his presidency, voting overwhelmingly to allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts for its alleged backing of the attackers.

Both the House and Senate voted decisively to reverse Obama's decision to scuttle the legislation. Democrats in both chambers abandoned the president in large numbers despite warnings from Obama and top national security officials that flaws in the bill could put U.S. interests, troops, and intelligence personnel at risk.

The Senate vote was 97-1, with only Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., backing the president. The House vote a few hours later was 348-77, with 123 Democrats rebuffing the president and voting to override. Obama said during a CNN interview that overriding his veto was a mistake that may set a “dangerous precedent.”

Lawmakers said their priority wasn't Saudi Arabia, but the 9/11 victims and their families who continue to demand justice 15 years after attackers killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, the Washington, D.C., area, and Pennsylvania. Fifteen of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudis.

“Overriding a presidential veto is something we don't take lightly, but it was important in this case that the families of the victims of 9/11 be allowed to pursue justice, even if that pursuit causes some diplomatic discomforts,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a chief sponsor of the bill.

Speaking at a forum in Washington, CIA Director John Brennan said he was concerned about how Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, would interpret the bill. He said the Saudis provide significant amounts of information to the U.S. to help foil extremist plots.

“It would be an absolute shame if this legislation, in any way, influenced the Saudi willingness ...read more

Ugandan Refugee At Center Of California Police Shooting Death

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — The fatal police shooting of a Ugandan refugee who drew something from his pocket and extended his hands in a “shooting stance” happened about a minute after officers in a San Diego suburb arrived where a mentally unstable man was reportedly walking in traffic, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

It took police more than an hour to respond because of other calls, El Cajon Lt. Rob Ransweiler said. Officers arrived at a parking lot next to a Mexican fast-food restaurant about 2:10 p.m., and the unarmed man was shot about a minute later.

Mayor Bill Wells said he was concerned how quickly the shooting took place, though he said video taken by a bystander was enlightening and he didn't think it was “tremendously complicated to figure out what happened.”

Police said the man had refused to comply with instructions to remove a hand from his pants pocket and paced back and forth before rapidly drawing an object from the pocket. The item turned out to be an electronic cigarette device, police said late Wednesday.

Some protesters said he was shot while his hands were raised in the air, though police disputed that and produced a single frame from the cellphone video to support their account.

The image showed the man in what police called a “shooting stance.” His hands were clasped together and he was pointing directly at an officer who had assumed a similar posture a few feet away. That officer fired his handgun and a second officer, farther away, simultaneously fired his electric stun gun, Chief Jeff Davis said.

Wells was asked how he would feel if it was his child that had been shot.

“I saw a man who was distraught, and a man acting like he was in great pain,” Wells said. “And I saw him get gunned ...read more

FLOTUS Stumps For Clinton In Philadelphia, Has Harsh Words For Trump

First Lady Michelle Obama is back on the campaign trail for Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

On Wednesday, FLOTUS stopped by La Salle University in Philadelphia to stump for the former Secretary of State where she sang Clinton's praises, calling her the “most qualified candidate.”

Experience matters. Preparation maters. Temperament matters. And Hillary Clinton has it all. She's the real deal,” she said to applause.

But Michelle Obama also had some pretty harsh words for Clinton's opponent, Donald Trump, the New York Times wrote.

If a candidate is erratic and threatening; if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fears and lies on the campaign trail; if a candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart, or that it's good business when people lose their homes; if a candidate regularly and flippantly makes cruel and insulting comments about women, about how we look, how we act — well, sadly, that's who that candidate really is,” Mrs. Obama said.

That is the kind of president they will be. When making life-or-death, war-or-peace decisions, a president can't just pop off or lash out irrationally. We need an adult in the White House. I guarantee you,” she added.

FLOTUS also didn't back down from mentioning Trump's role in starting the birtherism movement in the U.S., which questioned the citizenship of her husband President Obama.

There are those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years whether my husband was even born in this country,” Obama said to boos, CNN noted.

And let me say: hurtful, deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine his presidency. Questions that cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference.”

And with polls showing that 30 percent of millennials saying they're voting for a third-party ...read more

Say What? Conservative Group Honors Officers In Freddie Gray Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The conservative Media Research Center has honored the Baltimore police officers who were charged but not convicted in the 2015 death of a young black man whose fatal neck injury in the back of a police van touched off riots in the city.

Lt. Brian Rice and officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller walked onstage to loud applause at the group's annual awards gala last Thursday in Washington. Officers Caesar Goodson and William Porter, and Sgt. Alicia White do not appear in the video.

OfficerBrianRiceFreddieGrayTrialAP

Presenter Deneen Borelli said no one else had thanked them for their service.

Miller asked the group for love and prayers.

Prosecutors dropped all charges after three officers were acquitted and another's trial ended in a hung jury.

Freddie Gray was fatally injured as he rode in the back of the police transport van, handcuffed and shackled but not seat-belted.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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‘Inclusive innovation’ the topic of Rox HubWeek panel

The Bolling Municipal Building in Dudley Square was transformed Monday evening into a marketplace for local entrepreneurs and a site for thoughtful discussions on creating an inclusive innovation ecosystem and supporting local entrepreneurs who have already taken the leap. ...read more