President Obama Shortens Sentences For Another 72 Federal Inmates

November 4, 2016 bcic_admin 0

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is granting clemency to 72 more federal inmates whose sentences will now end earlier than expected.

Obama has been commuting sentences at rapid-fire pace in his final months, including a batch of 98 last week. All told, Obama has granted 944 people clemency, including 324 who were serving life sentences.

The White House says it’s more than the previous 11 presidents combined.

Almost all of those receiving commutations were convicted of drug-related offenses. Most are considered nonviolent offenders, although some were convicted of firearms charges in connection with drug crimes.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston says the individuals “have earned a second chance.”

Obama isn’t setting them all free right away. Many will see their sentences end in 2017 or 2018, long after Obama has left office.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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Dillard Students Arrested And Maced After Protesting David Duke Appearance

November 4, 2016 bcic_admin 0

Six people were arrested and several more were pepper-sprayed Wednesday (Nov. 2) as police at Dillard University attempted to control protests over the appearance of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke on campus.

The white nationalist was among six candidates for U.S. Senate participating in a debate at the historically Black college in New Orleans — their final showdown before the Nov. 8 primary. Debate sponsor Raycom Media had closed the venue to students, the general public, and the media.

“They’re allowing a terrorist, a neo-Nazi Ku Klux Klan member to be secured in a building in which we paid thousands of dollars to attend annually,” said political science major Brielle Kennedy, one of about 70 students reportedly involved in the protest. She was arrested moments later.

According to the Times Picayune, the arrests took place after a group of protesters lay down in front of the university’s main campus, blocking cars from leaving after the debate. They were booked into New Orleans city jail on charges of obstructing traffic, Dillard spokesman David Grubb said Thursday.

While New Orleans Police Department officers were positioned near the doors of the debate hall, it was campus police officers who let loose with pepper spray and made the arrests as several protesters tried to move past officers and into the Georges Auditorium during the debate, the paper reported.

Watch video of the protests below:

PHOTO: NBC News Screenshot

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HBCU Students Clash With Police At Event With Former KKK Member

November 3, 2016 bcic_admin 0

Source: Getty / Getty

An ex-KKK leader‘s visit to an HBCU didn’t go over so well with the institution’s students.

Last night, David Duke made his way over to Dillard University in New Orleans to participate in a debate against other candidates running for a spot on the Louisiana Senate, and his presence was immediately protested. No students or media were allowed inside, a rule that reportedly led to “clashes between protestors of all races and the police who had formed a human wall to block the entrance.”

From Daily Mail:

Twitter user Nick Reinmann, who was inside the Georges Auditorium where the protests and discussion were both occurring, tweeted footage of struggling protesters with the caption ‘I can taste the pepper spray.’ The video appeared to show a police officer being pelted with a water bottle while struggling with a female protester, who was screaming. At one point a white male protester appears to shout ‘They’re people! They’re not animals!’ before being dragged off with an arm around his neck.

The chaos only continued from there.

The melee continues, as bodies are pushed and pulled, and another white man screams ‘Let her go!’ – apparently in reference to a woman being held by police. Suddenly a young black man, who has apparently been scaling the side of the building, falls onto the crowd below, possibly after trying to swing up and under the door frame. Police grab his legs and demand he let go of the door, while red lasers – presumably from tasers – dance over his chest. Eventually they pull him down.

There are conflicting reports on whether or not any of the students were arrested.

Photographs from the protests also show a police officer being ushered away having been blasted in the face with pepper spray in the melee. It was not …read more

Mississippi Church Set On Fire, Spray Painted ‘Vote Trump’

November 3, 2016 bcic_admin 0

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Somebody set the fire that heavily damaged an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the phrase “Vote Trump,” and an $11,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of whoever did it, a Mississippi fire chief said Wednesday.

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation of the Tuesday night fire at the 200-member Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, and Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire and graffiti a hate crime.

Officials announced the reward and the investigators’ conclusion that the fire was arson at the church, Greenwell Fire Chief Ruben Brown Sr. said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The church’s red brick walls still stand, but the pulpit and pews are burned black, and soot stains the brick above and next to some windows. Brown estimated that it was “80 percent destroyed.”

“It definitely will have to be reconstructed from front to back,” he said.

Simmons called the arson a “heinous, hateful, cowardly act.”

“We consider it a hate crime … because of the political message which we believe was intended to interfere with worship and intimidate voters,” Simmons said. “This act is a direct assault on people’s right to freely worship.”

The mayor said the FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are assisting the investigation in the Mississippi River city, where about 78 percent of the 32,100 residents are African-American.

Mississippi’s top elections official, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said people shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the church was vandalized for political reasons. Initial reports suggest “this is not of a political nature,” he told WDAM-TV (http://bit.ly/2eAUErb).

The culprits should be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

State FBI spokesman Brett Car said the agency is “working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners …read more

Trial Starts Next Month In Shooting Of Ex-Saints Star

November 2, 2016 bcic_admin 0

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Prosecutors and attorneys for the man accused of killing New Orleans Saints star Will Smith say they’re ready for trial next month on charges including second-degree murder.

Lawyers said after a hearing Wednesday that they expect about 100 potential jurors to be called to court Dec. 1 for the trial of Cardell Hayes, who shot Smith during a traffic altercation on April 9.

WillSmithFuneralAP

Prosecutors say Hayes provoked the confrontation by ramming his Hummer into Smith’s SUV.

Defense lawyers say Smith was the aggressor and Hayes fired in self-defense as Smith went to get his own gun. They note that Hayes did not flee, and waited for police to arrive after the shooting.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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Never Too Late: 86-Year-Old Bride And Husband Tell Their Love Story

November 2, 2016 bcic_admin 0

Getting married is joyous at any age, but Millie Taylor Ferguson’s fabulous wedding pictures went viral not only because she was gorgeous, but because she’s 86! Now, more of the details of her and her new husband’s love story have emerged and it just goes to show you, it’s never too late to find love.

Newlyweds Millie Taylor Morrison and Howard Morrison joined T.D. Jakes on his show to talk about how they found each other and why they wanted to get married.

Send the couple your well wishes below!

PHOTOS: Millie Taylor Morrison

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Autistic Teen Physically Attacked During Cross-Country Meet

November 1, 2016 bcic_admin 0

Chase Coleman, a 15-year-old Black autistic teen from Syracuse, New York, loved running on his high school’s cross-country team until a physical attack on October 14 quelled his passion. According to witness accounts and a police report obtained by The Washington Post, Chase was running in the middle of the road when Martin MacDonald, a White 57-year-old man, got out of his car, pushed Chase to the ground and yelled, “Get out of here.”

Rochester cops revisit attack on Syracuse teen runner with autism https://t.co/g2kzcnDJP5

— syracuse.com (@syracusedotcom) October 31, 2016

Chase’s mother, Clarise Coleman, told The Post she became anxious when she didn’t see her son cross the finish line. Coleman said she usually scouts the running trails beforehand, pointing out areas where he may get lost or turned around.

As she ran the trail looking for Chase, she discovered a woman who pointed her in the direction of a runner who was assaulted. The victim turned out to be Chase.

A cyclist who helped him after the attack gave Coleman the grueling details, confirming her worst fears. When she asked Chase where he was hurt, he responded, “back,” The Post writes.

“I see a grown man, who is quite tall and fairly heavy … exit the vehicle and give this young man a shove that puts him back 10 feet and flat on his butt,” Van Metter, the cyclist witness, said to Syracuse.com. “Like, just shoved him across the road. The kid didn’t seem to be doing anything but standing there, obviously had nothing in his hands and weighed all of 130 pounds. This guy was easily twice that,” he continued.

Syracuse.com reports that when police questioned MacDonald, he told an officer, “He thought Chase was going to mug his wife and take …read more

Milwaukee Police Officer Involved In Shooting Loses Job After Sexual Assault Allegation

November 1, 2016 bcic_admin 0

MILWAUKEE (AP) — An officer whose fatal shooting of a black man sparked violence in Milwaukee lost his job Monday, after he had been charged with sexual assault in an unrelated case.

Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown was terminated as a result of the department’s internal investigation into the sexual assault charges, according to a statement from Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. Heaggan-Brown was ordered last week to stand trial on the charges in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Heaggan-Brown fatally shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith last August on Milwaukee’s north side, which sparked a weekend of violence in the Sherman Park neighborhood not far from where Smith was killed.

The 24-year-old officer is accused of sexually assaulting two men and soliciting sex from two others. One of the men told police he watched news coverage of the August violence while at a bar with Heaggan-Brown a day after the officer fatally shot Smith. The man also alleged Heaggan-Brown bragged about being able to do whatever he wanted without repercussions.

Flynn said Heaggan-Brown was fired because he was found to be in violation of the department’s code of conduct, which in part said “whether on or off duty, department members shall not behave in such a way that a reasonable person would expect that discredit could be brought upon the department, or that it would create the appearance of impropriety or corruptive behavior.”

Heaggan-Brown remained jailed on $100,000 bond and was expected to be arraigned in court Friday. His attorney, Michael Steinle, did not immediately return a call for comment on the termination.

Flynn has said that Smith was fleeing from a traffic stop and that he was shot as he turned toward the officer with a gun in his hand. Police said he ignored orders to drop the gun, and the officer opened fire.

Flynn has said that footage from …read more

Maryland Uber Driver Accused Of Kidnapping, Assaulting Blacked Out Passenger

October 31, 2016 bcic_admin 0

AGreenbelt, Maryland, Uber driver was arrested last week on charges of kidnapping and assaulting a female passenger who blacked out at a bar, reports Fox 5.

The driver, Westagne Pierre, 29, reportedly picked up the woman on October 18 outside the bar, but failed to drop her off at home. He was charged Thursday with kidnapping, assault and for fraudulently using the victim’s credit card, Fox 5 writes:

Detectives believe Pierre, of Greenbelt, picked up the victim at a bar in DC on the night of October 18, and first drove her to her home in Virginia. But instead of dropping her off there, he then drove her to the Budget Inn in College Park.

Once there, police say he checked into the hotel using his own information, lifted her out of the car and carried her to the hotel room. After some time, Pierre allegedly left the room and went to a nearby 7-Eleven, where he used the victim’s American Express card to make a $14.00 purchase.

The State’s Attorney’s Office is weighing additional charges against Pierre, the report says.

SOURCE: FOX 5 | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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Slain Georgia Siblings Were Unintended Targets Of Gang Violence

October 29, 2016 bcic_admin 0

Daveon Coates,15, and his 11-year-old sister, Tatiyana Coates were killed in their Jonesboro, Georgia home on October 22 in an apparent gang retaliation shooting police say, according to People.

Police originally believed the shooting was the result of a home invasion, but a 15-year-old unnamed male visiting the home was the alleged target, writes the news outlet.

11 year old Tatiyana Coates and her 15 year old brother Daveon were murdered this morning in a Clayton County home invasion. So tragic. RIP. pic.twitter.com/9D5K3J6frG

— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) October 22, 2016

The siblings were home with several other children when shots were fired into their house. According to the news outlet, no adults were present and the other children were unharmed.

According to Clayton County Police Chief Michael Register, who spoke with reporters on Tuesday, the unnamed local gang intended to hit the 15-year-old youth. Weeks earlier, Tanieka Brown, Daveon and Tatiyana’s mother, opened her home to a friend and her five children who relocated from Tennessee, according to People.

Register said the 15-year-old visitor may have been linked to a Tennessee gang and believes an act he committed against a local gang in Atlanta made them “retaliate in such a vicious manner.”

Authorities believe the teen was forewarned of danger ahead of the shooting and moved to Tennessee to escape violence. The unnamed youth is in police custody for questioning and for his own safety.

“Until we find those who are responsible for the crime, we will continue to dedicate our resources to this case,” Register said, according to People.

The family is devastated by the shootings. Brown told People she will remember Daveon as a sports fanatic who idolized LeBron James and Taityana as a lovable child who enjoyed playing outside, People writes.

A GoFundMe campaign, set to …read more

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