"I have concluded that there is absolutely no evidence to support filing criminal charges against either of the Allentown police officers involved in this incident," Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin said in statement Friday.
Police had launched an investigation earlier this week after a video of the July 11 incident posted on social media appeared to show an officer kneeling on a man's neck while a second officer and another person hold the man's hands behind his back.
The district attorney also looked at a nine-minute, 39-second video shot from a camera across the street from where the incident happened, the statement said.
Officers were at the emergency room of a hospital when they saw a man vomiting and staggering in the street before stopping in the driveway of the emergency room, police had said.
The man began pointing aggressively toward a hospital security officer who was walking toward him with a vomit bag, the district attorney said on Friday.
The officers concluded that the man's "actions were aggressive, and they determined that they needed to detain him for his own safety as well as for the safety of themselves and others, including medical personnel," the district attorney said.
When they attempted to detain him and take him inside the hospital, the prosecutor said, the man resisted and began pulling away.
"In attempting to handcuff [the man], one of the officers placed his knee on [his head] (not on his neck). The officer's knee remained in that position for about 8 seconds and was removed as soon as he was handcuffed," Martin said.
They were able to restrain the man but the officer had to "very briefly" apply his knee to the man's head again because he was spitting on the officers, Martin added.
The man was treated and released from the hospital the following day, police and the district attorney said.
He was identified by the district attorney but CNN is not naming him.
"I am satisfied that given [his] obvious intoxication and his actions, he was clearly a danger to himself and potentially to others," Martin said. "He was clearly agitated and non-compliant, and in order to gain control of him so that he was no longer a danger, and could be medically treated, it was necessary for the officers to restrain him. That restraint was reasonable."
The video that appeared on social media, posted to Black Lives Matter of the Lehigh Valley by a person who asked CNN to remain anonymous, begins with someone driving up on the scene which appears to be outside a hospital.
A person in scrubs is seen observing the incident, and it appears another individual in scrubs is assisting with the person on the ground.
As the man is on the ground with his hands behind his back, one officer places his elbow and then his knee on the man's neck.
It's unclear what led to the video being recorded and what happened after the video. It appears the officer's elbow first, and then his knee were on the man's neck for approximately eight seconds each.
It is also unclear what medical condition the man was in at the time of the incident
One person believed to be in the car a fair distance away while this is being filmed, can be heard on the recording saying, "I thought we mattered," and "We don't matter, bro."
Another can be heard saying "on his neck, bro," remarking on what she can see.
A person in hospital scrubs approaches the videographer, who says "You can't touch my phone," just before the video ends.
Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and served in Congress for decades, has died, his family confirmed in a statement. Lewis was 80 years old.
"It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis," the statement from his family said. "He was honored and respected as the conscience of the U.S. Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Lewis a "titan of the civil rights movement, whose goodness faith and bravery transformed our nation."
former President Obama called Lewis "one of my heroes."
"Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way," Mr. Obama wrote. "John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise."
In December 2019, Lewis announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Lewis said in December that he has been "in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now."
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A shooting at a nightclub early Sunday left two people dead and eight wounded in South Carolina, a sheriff's official said.
Two Greenville County sheriff's deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and saw a large crowd running out of the building, The Sheriff said at a press conference. There was “active gunfire from inside the building,” Lt. Jimmy Bolt said in an initial statement, and Lewis said all the shots were fired inside.
Both Lewis and Bolt initially said 12 people had been wounded — with at least four in critical condition, Lewis said — but Bolt told The Associated Press that two victims were likely counted twice in the confusion at the hospital.
No one was immediately taken into custody. Bolt told the AP that the sheriff's office was looking for two suspects, but couldn't provide names or descriptions.
Lewis said a “very large crowd” was at the nightclub for “some type of concert.” A post on Lavish Lounge’s Facebook page advertised a July 4 performance by trap rapper Foogiano. An Instagram direct message from the AP wasn’t immediately returned, but a bookings representative told the AP via text message that Foogiano was fine and his team was safe.
McMaster reminded South Carolinians last week that he hadn't lifted restrictions on large crowds, and that those operating nightclubs illegally or holding concerts against his orders don't have to be caught in the act to face criminal charges, but instead could be charged weeks later if COVID-19 cases are traced back.
Under restrictions imposed by McMaster in March to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, gatherings of 50 or more people in a single room are off-limits. It was not immediately clear how many people were in the club at the time of the shooting.
Lewis said at the press conference that he didn't know whether the club had sought an exemption to the governor's order or secured a permit for Saturday night's event, but said it was clear that the club's patrons weren't 6 feet (2 meters) apart.
“It's certainly not the best situation to stop the spread of this virus,” the sheriff said.
A phone call and an Instagram direct message from the AP to Lavish Lounge weren’t immediately returned, but the club posted on Facebook just before 6 a.m. that events “have been postponed until further notice.”
Lewis said the victims, whose names were not immediately released, were taken to the Prisma Health hospital in Greenville, some via private vehicle. Bolt said that of the eight wounded, some had non-life-threatening injuries and others were in critical condition, but he didn't have a tally of the latter.
Prisma Health spokesperson Tammie Epps said she did not know how many victims were in critical condition.
A video of a New jersey woman calling the police on her black neighbors went viral and eventually spawned a protest outside the woman's home.
The incident occurred on Monday when Fareed Nassor Hayat, an attorney and a professor of law at City University of New York, and his wife, Norrinda, were in the backyard building a stone patio.
Their neighbor, Susan Schulz, whose property abuts the Hayat's backyard, allegedly approached the couple and demanded to know if the two had permits for the construction.
Mr Hayat told Ms Schulz his contractor checked and assured him that no permits were needed. This explanation was apparently insufficient for Ms Schulz, who continued asking about the permits.
The video begins with Ms Schulz threatening to call the police, alleging the Hayats pushed her "10 feet" off of their property.
"Call the police. We expect that," Ms Hayat yells from behind the camera.
Ms Shulz then tells the police that Mr Hayat pushed her off his property and explained her belief that the couple did not have permits for their work.
"She's been waiting two years to do this to us," Ms Hayat claims multiple times as Ms Shulz speaks with the police.
While Ms Shulz is on the phone with the police, a passerby walking her dogs shames her for calling the cops on the couple.
"Shame on you! In this climate right now, you're especially not supporting members of our community here," she says.
Ms Shulz then approaches the dog-walker to defend herself, asking if she saw Mr Hayat push her "10 feet."
Mr Hayat chuckles off-camera and replies "I didn't put my hands on you, woman."
The couple continues to deny that Ms Shulz was touched, and Ms Hayat asks her to "please leave," which prompts Ms Shulz to exasperatedly claim "oh my God, because you're attorneys you know what to do."
"Exactly," Mr Hayat responds. "So please walk away from our property."
Eventually, Ms Shulz asks Ms Hayat to stop recording, which Ms Hayat refuses to do
"No. This is for the people so they can see even in Montclair what we are living with, even in Montclair, for two years. Susan from Marrion Road has been harassing us for two years."
Neither the Hyats nor Ms Shultz filed formal complaints with the police.
Ms Hayat then asks her husband to leave the situation alone and to take their children inside the house so they aren't outside when the police arrive.
The video went viral and eventually sparked a small protest on Tuesday. Demonstrators with "Black Lives Matter" signs marched through the neighborhood and past Ms Shulz's home.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he will "encourage" teams to sign former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Speaking with ESPN's Mike Greenberg as a part of the network's "The Return of Sports" special, Goodell said that while the decision of signing Kaepernick wasn't up to him, he would welcome him back to the league if a team were to pick him up.
"Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's going to take a team to make that decision," Goodell said. "But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that."
Goodell went on to say that if Kaepernick did not get signed, or decided he would rather continue with his work as an activist than pursue a career in football, there would still be a role for him to play with the NFL moving forward.
"If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities," Goodell said. "We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody's welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.
"But I hope we're at a point now where everybody's committed to making long-term, sustainable change."
Kaepernick hasn't played since the 2016 season, during which he protested police brutality and racial inequality in the justice system by taking a knee during the national anthem.
While the NFL had been against players taking , part in peaceful protest during the anthem in years past, Goodell has changed his tune in recent weeks as marches and demonstrations demanding justice for George Floyd have swept across the country.
Two weeks ago, Goodell apologized for the leagues's previous stance against players that chose to protest in a video shared over social media.
"We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people," Goodell said. "We the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We the National Football League believe Black lives matter. I personally protest with you, and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country."
Despite having not taken NFL snaps in four years, Kaepernick has indicated that he is still-game ready, and at 32, there's still a chance he has some good football left in him. As Goodell said, all it takes is a team to sign him.
State and federal authorities will monitor the investigation into the death of a black man found hanging from a tree in southern California, officials said following large weekend protests.
The body of Robert Fuller was discovered last week at a park near City Hall in the city of Palmdale.
The county medical examiner and coroner’s office said the 24-year-old appeared to have died by suicide, prompting an outcry by his family who believed he was not suicidal and community members who called for an independent investigation and post-mortem.
“The initial report appeared to be consistent with a suicide but we felt it prudent to roll that back and continue to look deeper,” Dr Jonathan Lucas said at a news conference.
Officials noted that investigators only found rope and a backpack in the park, and nothing to indicate foul play.
The state attorney general’s office and the FBI’s Civil Rights Division will oversee the investigation, which is being led by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide bureau, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
The coroner’s office has completed a post-mortem but is awaiting toxicology results, Dr Lucas said. Investigators are also looking at Mr Fuller’s medical history.
Homicide detectives also plan to analyse the rope and its knot, canvass the area for video footage, interview Mr Fuller’s social services case worker and speak to anyone who had recently interacted with him.
They are also seeking to meet his family, authorities said.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters marched from the park near City Hall to the sheriff’s station, many carrying signs that read “Justice for Robert Fuller”.
An online petition demanding an investigation has collected more than 200,000 signatures.
Murder or felony murder. Those are the two charges Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said could fit former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe for the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks Friday night.
“There are really three charges that are relevant: one would be the murder charge in the state of Georgia. That charge is a charge that is directly related to an intent to kill,” Howard told CNN’s Frederica Whitfield Sunday afternoon. “The second charge is felony murder and that is a charge that involves a death that comes as a result of the commission of an underlying felony. In this case, that underlying felony would be aggravated assault.”
Howard continued, “The only other charge that might make any sense at all would be some voluntary manslaughter charge. But I believe in this instance, what we have to choose between, if there’s a choice to be made, is between murder and felony murder.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that Officer Rolfe had been terminated immediately while the second officer involved, Officer Devin Bronsan, has been placed on administrative leave. It was also confirmed that Atlanta Police Department Chief Erika Shields had resigned.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned her position Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after an APD officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks after a struggle in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on the city's south side.
The shooting death, partially captured on multiple cameras, showed Brooks struggling with officer before he wrestled away a stun gun. Brooks then began to run. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Brooks made it just a little way before he allegedly turned towards officers with the stun gun raised and an APD officer shot and killed him.
WATCH VIDEO OF THE THE SHOOTING BELOW
Starbucks said today that the chain would allow workers to wear attire and accessories highlighting the Black Lives Matter movement, reversing its prior stance after social media users called for boycotts of the company.
first reported on Wednesday that the coffee chain would not allow its employees to wear Black Lives Matter clothing or accessories, and management justified the decision by saying that such items could be misunderstood and incite violence. While Starbucks has a policy against wearing personal, political or religious clothing or accessories, workers told Buzzfeed that the company hands out buttons and attire celebrating LGBTQ rights and marriage equality.
Now, Starbucks will be doing the same for Black Lives Matter. The chain will make 250,000 shirts with a design that includes "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No Peace" available to workers in its company-owned cafes in the United States and Canada. Until the shirts arrive, employees can wear pins or shirts to show support.
In early June, as protesters filled the streets of U.S. cities and small towns to call attention to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans at the hands of police, Starbucks joined the flood of other corporations supporting Black Lives Matter. It pledged $1 million to organizations that promote "racial equity and more inclusive and just communities."
After Buzzfeed reported the chain's policy, consumers on social media began calling for boycotts of the coffee chain, which has drawn fire in the past for racial insensitivity that contradicts its progressive reputation. In 2018, Starbucks closed down cafes across the country for an afternoon of racial bias training after police arrested two Black men at one of its Philadelphia locations for sitting down without ordering anything.
Houston Rockets All-Star guard Russel Westbrook will serve as an executive producer on a docuseries titled Terror In Tulsa: The Rise And Fall of Black Wall Street alongside documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson and producer Blackfin, according to Variety's Will Thorne.
Nelson, who will serve as director through his Firelight Films, is an Emmy Award winner. Blackfin produced the Netflix series Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.
The series will detail the Tulsa Race Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Riot, during which a white mob attacked the predominantly black Greenwood neighborhood—including a business district referred to as Black Wall Street—over an 18-hour period from May 31 through June 1, 1921 (h/t History.com).
Westbrook provided a statement:
"Spending 11 years in Oklahoma opened my eyes to the rich and sordid history of the state. When I learned about the heartbreaking events that happened in Tulsa nearly 100 years ago, I knew this was a story I wanted to tell. It’s upsetting that the atrocities that transpired then, are still so relevant today. It’s important we uncover the buried stories of African Americans in this country. We must amplify them now more than ever if we want to create change moving forward."
In a set rife with his signature searing social commentary, the comedian touches on everything from George Floyd’s death to being unable to accept a Grammy award on the day Kobe Bryant died, to the hypocrisy of conservative TV host Laura Ingraham — and even throws in a signature bit about Ja Rule for levity.
“It’s hard to figure out what to say about George Floyd, so I’m not going to say it yet,” Chappelle opens, flipping through a black notebook, later adding, “I got to tell you, this is like the first concert in North American since all this s— happened, so like it or not, it’s history. It’s going to be in the books.”
The special was filmed on June 6 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with coronavirus-era social distancing guidelines in place for attendees, including face masks and temperature checks. The comedy legend had not performed on stage in 87 days until the special, though he has since performed similary intimate gigs around the Dayton area.
In contrast to his opening remarks, Chappelle dives deep into topics of police brutality and Floyd’s death in the set. The Emmy winner also criticizes political commentator Candace Owens, saying, “I seen Candace Owens try to convince white America, ‘Don’t worry about it. He’s a criminal anyway.’ I don’t give a f— what this n— did. I don’t care what this n— did. I don’t care if he personally kicked Candace Owens in her stanky p—. I don’t know if it stanks, but I imagine it does. If I ever find out, I’ll let you know for sure. I’ll tell like Azealia Banks. I’ll tell.”
“8:46” references the length of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck, ultimately leading to his death. It is also, as Chappelle reveals, the time of day he was born, according to his birth certificate.
The 27-minute video came with the disclaimer “From Dave: Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand,” with a link to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending mass incarceration and racial inequality. Its founder, Bryan Stevenson, was the central character in the 2019 film “Just Mercy,” starring Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson.
The hashtag #JusticeForTshego has been trending on Twitter in South Africa after the horrific killing of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule.
Her stabbed body was found hanging from a tree near Johannesburg.
She was eight months pregnant, local media are quoting police as saying.
There are high levels of violence against women in South Africa and last year President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country was one of "the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman".
Crime statistics released last year showed that 2,930 adult women were murdered in a 12-month period from 2017 to 2018, which amounts to one murder every three hours.
Ms Pule went missing last week and her body was found on Monday.
It also quotes police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele as saying that a murder investigation has been opened.
On Twitter, people have been urging the police to find the culprit, but they also question whether the justice system will serve Ms Pule properly.
Last year, a spate of murders of women that received a lot of publicity led to a series of demonstrations with people calling for more action to be taken.
Since then special sexual offences courts have re-opened - they have worked intermittently over recent years because of funding difficulties, reports the BBC's Pumza Fihlani from Johannesburg.
More resources have also been directed towards both places of safety for survivors of abuse, as well as government-funded programmes aimed at changing men's behaviour, our reporter says.
After more than two weeks of demonstrations and anguished calls for racial justice, the man whose death gave rise to an international movement, and whose last words — “I can’t breathe” — have become a rallying cry, will be laid to rest on Tuesday at a private funeral in Houston.
George Floyd, 46, will then be buried in a grave next to his mother’s.
The service, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time at the Fountain of Praise church, comes after five days of public memorials in Minneapolis, North Carolina and Houston and two weeks after a Minneapolis police officer was captured on video pressing his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His bail set at up to 1.25 million in a court appearance on Monday.
The outpouring of anger and outrage after Mr. Floyd’s death — and the speed at which protests spread from tense, chaotic demonstrations in the city where he died to an international movement from Rome to Rio de Janeiro — has reflected the depth of frustration borne of years of watching black people die at the hands of the police or vigilantes while calls for change went unmet.
Activists, organizers and the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have rallied day and night for two weeks hope this time will be different. From Minneapolis to New York, city and state leaders across the country are already weighing overhauls of law enforcement policies.
There are about 2.6 million black-owned businesses in the U.S., and according to data from Google Trends, people are actively looking to support them. In the 21 days since May 17, searches spiked from almost nothing to peak popularity on Google, growing exponentially. Google and other search engines are a good place to start, but other resources exist to simplify your search.
One option is the app Black Nation, which connects you to businesses that specialize in food, beauty, shopping, photography and fitness, plus attorneys, doctors and realtors. For a similar function, look to sites and apps such as The Black Wallet, We Buy Black, I am Black Business , WhereU Came From and Official Black Wall Street.
On Instagram and Twitter, hashtags including #blackowned and #supportblackbusiness will bring you to related posts too.
For black-owned restaurants near you, you can use the restaurant guides Eat Black Owned and EatOkra. There are also continuously updated and now-viral spreadsheets featuring black-owned restaurants, cafes, bakeries and more in major cities such as Los Angeles, Seatttle, Chicago, Austin and New York City as well as all of New England.
If you’re in need of delivery, Postmates and Uber Eats are highlighting black-owned restaurants in-app. Each collection is easily accessible via the homepage and if you don’t see your local favorite, you can suggest it. At the time of this writing, both apps are offering free delivery from black-owned restaurants.
Historically, black chefs have been underrecognized for their contributions to the culinary world, and while there’s still a long way to go, the food industry continues to evolve with pioneers paving the way. From Marcus Samuelsson to Kwame Onwuachi, these black chefs have changed the food industry.
Austin, Texas, police have launched an investigation into why officers fired "less-lethal" beanbag munition at a crowd transporting an injured man.
Justin Howell, a 20-year-old student at Texas State University, was protesting George Floyd's death outside police headquarters a little after 11 p.m. on May 31, Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley said in a news conference on social media.
A protester who was standing next to Howell hurled a water bottle and a bag at the police officers, the chief said. In response, one officer fired beanbag rounds at the demonstrator but struck Howell in the head instead, according to Manley.
Howell suffered a fractured skull and brain damage, Joshua Howell, the victim's brother, told CNN.
Once Howell fell to the ground, some in the crowd picked him up and officers directed them to take him to police headquarters, according to Manley.
But the crowd was fired upon as they neared the building, the chief said.
"It's reported that they were fired upon with less-lethal munitions as they brought this victim towards the officers to get him medical help," he added.
Manley said a police investigation into the incident is underway and police are also trying to identify the officer who first fired at Howell.
A video posted on Twitter captured the encounter.
When reached by CNN, police said there are no updates in the investigation.
Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth released a statement shortly after Howell's injury.
"Black lives matter," Trauth said in the statement. "It is not debatable at Texas State. Justin Howell's life matters. Black lives matter in our classrooms, on our campuses, and in the streets during tumultuous protests. They matter every moment of every day, no exceptions, no debate."
In a column for The Battalion, Texas A&M University's student newspaper, Joshua Howell said doctors have told the family that recovery will be "a marathon, not a sprint."
Howell remains in critical condition, Joshua Howell told CNN.
"These quote-unquote less-lethal rounds, these beanbag rounds, are only less lethal by technicality," he said. "We really shouldn't take too much comfort in that language and we shouldn't take too much comfort in their use."
LEBRON JAMES is a basketball player — a really, really good basketball player. Over the course of his 17-year career, JAMES has tallied 34,087 points, 9,353 rebounds and 9,298 assists, something no other player in NBA history has done. He’s arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.
But James is so much more than an athlete, even if some others don’t want him to be. In 2018, James was the subject of a Fox News segment, in which host Laura Ingraham berated the Akron native for criticizing the president using “R-rated” language that she described as “barely intelligible” and “ungrammatical.”
She infamously ended the segment by saying, “Keep the political commentary to yourself, or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”
Those incredibly rude and dismissive words, “Shut Up and Dribble,” became the title of a three-part documentary that James and his business partner Maverick Carter executive produce, and much to Ingraham’s chagrin, James hasn’t stopped talking about politics, because the suggestion that we can only talk about our professions is egregious to begin with. In fact, his voice has only grown louder as he makes efforts to promote equality.
On Thursday, James posted an Uninterrupted video inspired by Ingraham’s comments:
The timing of the video isn’t coincidental, either. Not only are there thousands of people across the country protesting against systemic racism and police brutality, but on Thursday, Ingraham appeared on Fox News to defend Drew Brees, who, earlier this week, criticized NFL player that peacefully protested police brutality by kneeling during that national anthem.
Complex Sports noticed a slight difference in the language she used to talk about a white athlete sharing their political thoughts vs. how she described two black athletes doing the same thing, and the contrast wasn’t lost on James, either.
See if you can spot the coded language, and why James might have felt the need to fight back against it:
The double standard is clear, and the reason behind it is just as clear for those that care to see it.
As long as hateful and unapologetic racists like Ingraham feel like they can tell black people like James to stay out of politics, James will continue to use his platform to empower his community — whether they’re athletes or not — to speak out against racial inequality and injustice.
One day James will hang up his sneakers and stop dribbling, but he won’t be silenced just because someone who doesn’t like to hear curse words told him so. Fuck that shit.
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