It is a well know fact the residents of the City Of Flint, Michigan are living a daily life of trauma due to a contaminated source of water with high lead content. This city of predominantly Afrikan/Black people with a population of approximately 102,000 are victims of criminal negligence due to the administration of Michigan Governor Snyder. Flint had been put into receivership in an alleged “cost saving measure”. The deadly switch of water sources was made from the Detroit River to the well known to be contaminated Flint River. Talk about a deliberate crime against humanity. The end result has been genocidal in nature and resulting in potential health hazards for the men, women and children of the city. We are looking at possible brain damage, paralysis and already it has been reported that nine people have died from the deadly disease known as Legionnaires Disease. The future is bleak and a national call has been made to assist the residents during this disaster. The Black Community Information Center Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts had responded by calling for a “collaborative effort” to come together to collect as much donated cases of water as possible to be sent to Flint. The response has been excellent with many organizations and too many individuals to mention, stepping up to make the much needed donations. Examples would be Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers Inc. (MAMLEO), Osiris Group, Muhammad’s Mosque, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Union Of Minority Neighborhoods, One United Bank, Greater Love Tabernacle... Continue reading →
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 110-year-old Louisiana man who enlisted in the army during World War II to serve his country has died.
Local television station KPLC-TV in Lake Charles reported that Frank Levingston died Tuesday.
Multiple media outlets described him as the country's oldest World War II veteran but that could not be independently confirmed.
Levingston was born Nov. 13, 1905 and grew up in northern Louisiana.
ABC News reported that he enlisted in the army on Oct. 6, 1942, less than a year after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and launched the U.S. into the war raging in Europe and the Pacific.
“He felt the obligation to give to the country whatever he possibly could, and he was very excited about it,” his nephew Lee Levingston told ABC News. “He gave it his very best.”
In December, Levingston was part of a group of veterans who traveled to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony marking the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor....read more
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a decade ago, a judge bemoaned that the life sentence she was about to impose on Charles C. Brown was overly harsh. This week, relief finally came to Brown, along with 57 other offenders.
President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted their prison terms as part of a broader push to revamp the criminal justice system and ease punishments for nonviolent drug convicts.
Eighteen of the 58 had been given life sentences and some have already spent more than decades in prison. Most are now due for release on Sept. 2. Others will be released over the next two years.
The latest wave — among them defendants convicted of either possessing or dealing cocaine, crack and methamphetamine — brings to 306 the number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted, the vast majority for drug crimes. The administration has said the pace of commutations is expected to increase as the end of Obama's presidency nears.
The prisoners given commutations have been “granted a second chance to lead productive and law-abiding lives,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates.
“Our clemency work is continuing as part of our broader efforts to effectuate criminal justice reform and ensure fairness and proportionality in sentencing,” Yates said.
Brown, a Rhode Island man, was sentenced in 2004 to life in prison on crack cocaine charges. The judge in the case, Mary Lisi, lamented during the sentencing hearing that federal law left her with “no choice” but to impose the life sentence because of the amount of crack involved and because of his prior convictions. She said the sentence was not what she would have imposed if it was up to her.
With Thursday's announcement, Brown's sentence now ends on Sept. 2....read more
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former trash collector in Los Angeles was convicted Thursday of 10 “Grim Sleeper” serial killings that spanned two decades and targeted vulnerable young black women in the inner city.
Lonnie Franklin Jr. showed no emotion as a clerk read the 10 murder verdicts in Los Angeles County Superior Court after a two-month trial in the potential death penalty case.
Franklin also was found guilty of one count of attempted murder.
Jurors were told to return May 12 for the trial's penalty phase. Franklin could receive the death penalty.
The killings from 1985 to 2007 were dubbed the work of the “Grim Sleeper” because of an apparent 14-year gap after one woman survived a gunshot to the chest in 1988.
The crimes went unsolved for decades and community members complained that police ignored the cases because the victims were black, poor and some were prostitutes and drug users.
Much of the violence unfolded during the nation's crack cocaine epidemic when at least two other serial killers prowled the part of the city then known as South Central.
The 10 victims, including a 15-year-old girl, were fatally shot or strangled and dumped in alleys and garbage bins. Most had traces of cocaine in their systems.
Franklin, 63, a onetime trash collector in the area and a garage attendant for the Los Angeles Police Department, had been hiding in plain sight, said Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman.
Police eventually connected Franklin to the crimes after a task force was assigned to revisit the case that dozens of officers failed to solve in the 1980s. The DNA of Franklin's son, collected after a felony arrest, had similarities to genetic material left on the bodies of many of the victims....read more
A Utah school district made it clear that it's never OK for teachers to use the N-word in the classroom. That's why officials at the Weber School District said they took administrative action against a White teacher, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Holly Frye told the Associated Press that her 14-year-old son sat through a class in which history teacher Douglas Barker spent an entire period in April saying the word, while defining its meaning and history.
What was the context? The South Ogden Junior High teacher used the racially offensive word before showing his eighth-grade students the Civil War movie, Glory. The film is about a Union Army company of Black soldiers during the Civil War.
Barker explained to the AP that he wanted his students to understand why they would hear the N-word in the film and stated to them that the offensive word is inappropriate.
“My intent has never been to offend, only to teach for understanding with historical context,” Barker told the AP.
But Frye, who is Black, told the news wire that nothing in the curriculum permits Barker to discuss the racially charged word....read more
CHICAGO (AP) — The attorney for a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of a black teenager has asked for sheriff's deputies to guard the officer as his client enters and exits court.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Officer Jason Van Dyke's attorney, Daniel Herbert, made the request in a court filing made public Wednesday. Herbert previously asked a judge to allow Van Dyke to skip routine court appearances, citing safety concerns.
The judge could consider those issues, as well as a request for a special prosecutor to take the case, during a Thursday hearing.
Civil rights attorneys and activists have criticized Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for waiting over a year to charge Van Dyke and want her to be removed from the case. Alvarez has defended her handling of police cases.
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DETROIT (AP) — Detroit schools reopened Wednesday after teachers who had called out sick for two days received assurances from the financially struggling district that they would continue to be paid.
But while the teachers are returning to work, their union is sparring with lawmakers over a $500 million plan to restructure the district.
House lawmakers met late Wednesday night to work on the plan, which is supposed to deal with the district's debt and assuage teachers' fears that they won't be paid if the district runs out of money. Majority Republicans were trying to muster enough votes to pass it without Democrats' support. House Minority Leader Tim Greimel said Democrats' opposition to the measure is “unanimous.”
The teachers union blasted the legislation that would also forbid existing labor agreements from transferring to the new district and restrict collective bargaining over work schedules and school calendars.
Terrence Martin, executive vice president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said teachers are “truly outraged” by the proposal. He said the measures heading to the full House “feel like and look like anti-teacher bills” and differ radically from legislation approved in March by the Senate that he described as “workable.”
“(It's) very discouraging to our membership,” Martin said. “We'll continue to fight.”
The union said it would encourage members to go back to school Wednesday based on discussions with the district's state-appointed transitional manager, Steven Rhodes. He said in a statement that teachers “are legally entitled to be paid in full” for their work.
The sick-out idled 45,000 children and presented yet another crisis with racial overtones for a governor and Legislature already engrossed in the water emergency in Flint, a majority-black city like Detroit, where many residents have complained about being treated like second-class citizens.
“Teachers, you're going to get paid,” Republican House Appropriations Committee Chairman Al Pscholka said before ...read more
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Sipping filtered city water to show it's again drinkable, President Barack Obama promised Wednesday to ride herd on leaders at all levels of government until every drop of water flowing into homes in Flint, Michigan, is safe to use.
He also promised that the aging pipes that contaminated the water with lead will be replaced, but cautioned that the project will take time. Obama said he wanted to use the crisis to make long-term improvements to the city, where more than 40 percent of residents live in poverty.
“It's not going to happen overnight, but we have to get started,” Obama told hundreds of people gathered in a high school gymnasium. Obama spoke after he was briefed on the federal response to the water contamination and had met privately with nine residents.
Obama said he understood why people are scared and angry and feel let down. He said what happened in Flint was a manmade disaster that didn't have to happen. But he said it did happen and everyone must now work together to fix it.
“I've got your back,” Obama said. “I will not rest and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink and safe to cook with and safe to bathe in.”
He called providing safe drinking water a basic responsibility of government.
After coughing several times during his remarks, Obama asked for and drank from a glass of water. He also drank city water after getting a lengthy briefing on the crisis, which forced residents to spend months drinking, cooking and bathing with bottled water.
Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint in mid-January and ordered federal aid to supplement the state and local response. By ...read more
A Spelman student desperate for justice took to social media to share a shocking account of her alleged rape.
The string of tweets comes amid allegations that Spelman and Morehouse have mishandled cases of sexual assault in the past.
We previously reported the tensions between historically brother and sister schools Morehouse and Spelman came to a head, when a detailed report by Buzzfeed's Anita Badejo went viral.
The piece “Our Hands Are Tied Because Of This Damn Brother-Sisterhood Thing,” explored how victims of sexual assault are often marginalized and blamed for their incidents on both campuses.
Because the report went viral, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, President of Spelman, issued this statement:
“The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights notified Spelman of a Title IX complaint regarding a past incident. That complaint was followed by the circulation on social media of an article in Buzzfeed that brought to our attention other past incidents,” said Campbell in her letter. “The women who filed those complaints exhibited courage and fearlessness. At the same time, the circumstances that occasioned those complaints are unacceptable.”
With the actions of the university being under intense examination, you would think the school would be doing everything in their power to sensitively deal with victims of rape. But according to one anonymous student, they aren't doing enough.
A Twitter user who claims to be a Spelman student, wrote a string of tweets describing her alleged assault:
Its sad that I have to create a page to express myself rather than tweeting from my real account because AUC students blame & bash victims.
— Raped At Spelman (@RapedAtSpelman) May 2, 2016
This is my freshmen year at Spelman and my last year because I decided to leave after what happened to me.
— Raped At Spelman (@RapedAtSpelman) May 2, ...read more
You might not be surprised to hear that the son of one of the most famous boxers to ever live has opened up a gym. It's a path you could expect from a guy whose father is world heavyweight champion George Foreman. But when you talk to George Foreman III about his Boston fitness club venture EveryBodyFights — and his life growing up with a boxing legend — you realize that perhaps the biggest legacy his dad gave him is entrepreneurial prowess. ...read more