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British LGBT activist woman held captive by family to ‘cure’ her gayness is heading back to the U.K., friends say
A British woman who was being held captive in the Democratic Republic of Congo so she can be "cured of gayness" is now safe, her girlfriend claimed.

Christina Fonthes, from Manchester, northern England, traveled to Africa earlier this month with her mother and sister to stay with an aunt. But shortly into her stay, the lesbian 27-year-old had her passport taken by her mother, reports The Independent.

Fonthes, a LGBT activist, was told her family wanted to keep her in the DRC to "fix" her sexuality. They were apparently unhappy with her decision to be an out lesbian.

On Saturday, girlfriend Jessica Creighton announced on Twitter that the Fonthes is safe and "on her way back to the UK."

"It's been an unbelievably tough few days," wrote Creighton, a sports journalist who has dated Fonthes for three years.
Same-sex relationships are legal in the DRC, although one MP this year tried to bring into law an anti-homosexuality bill.

Fonthes is the co-founder of Rainbow Noir, an organization that aims to be a safe haven for LGBT people of color in Manchester. Her friends from the group have been campaigning to raise awareness of her case on social media.

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david harding Aug-31-2014 138 0
A British woman who was being held captive in the Democratic Republic of Congo so she can be "cured of gayness" is now safe, her girlfriend claimed.

Christina Fonthes, from Manchester, northern England, traveled to Africa earlier this month with her mother and sister to stay with an aunt. But shortly into her stay, the lesbian 27-year-old had her passport taken by her mother, reports The Independent.

Fonthes, a LGBT activist, was told her family wanted to keep her in the DRC to "fix" her sexuality. They were apparently unhappy with her decision to be an out lesbian.

On Saturday, girlfriend Jessica Creighton announced on Twitter that the Fonthes is safe and "on her way back to the UK."

"It's been an unbelievably tough few days," wrote Creighton, a sports journalist who has dated Fonthes for three years.
Same-sex relationships are legal in the DRC, although one MP this year tried to bring into law an anti-homosexuality bill.

Fonthes is the co-founder of Rainbow Noir, an organization that aims to be a safe haven for LGBT people of color in Manchester. Her friends from the group have been campaigning to raise awareness of her case on social media.

Aug-30-2014 139 0
A young African-American father was tased by police while trying to pick up his children from preschool — and recorded the whole ordeal with his cellphone.

On Tuesday, Chris Lollie, of St. Paul, Minn., uploaded a video of his Jan. 31 arrest in a downtown skyway, which has outraged many viewers who feel he was racially profiled.

"The problem is I'm black," he told the cop, who laughed dismissively. "No it really is because I didn't do anything wrong. I'm not sitting there with a group of people. I'm sitting there by myself… not causing a problem with anyone."

Before the exchange, a security guard called the cops when he allegedly refused to leave an area in the First National Bank Building, police said.

The video shows Lollie politely but firmly tell an officer that he was within his rights to sit there. He also declined to identify himself, repeating that he did not break any laws or do anything wrong.

"That's a public area and if there's no sign that… say(s), 'This is a private area. You can't sit here,' no one can tell me I can't sit there," he said.

Another cop arrived and reached out for Lollie, who politely asked not to be touched.

"You're going to go to jail then," the second officer said. "Yeah you're going to go to jail… I'm not here to argue with you. Put your hands behind your back."

"Don't choke me! I have asthma sir!" Lollie said. "My kids are right there!"

The situation escalated quickly and one of the officers shot Lollie with a Taser, presumably in front of his children.

Afterward, Lollie said, "I just got off work at 9 o'clock… I came up here to pick up my kids at 10 o'clock and I get this? You racist motherf---ers. All y'all. I didn't do anything wrong. I'm a working man and I take care of my kids."

The St. Paul Police Department responded to the video on Thursday with a message on its Facebook page.

"As is often the case, the video does not show the totality of the circumstances," the statement reads.

Police wrote in a report that Lollie was "actively resisting by attempting to pull his arm away" and tried to "shove past us as he was pulling away from us," according to Twin Cities News.

"This is racist. They stopped me because I'm black," he told onlookers as they took him to jail.

He was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process but all counts were dismissed on July 31, police said.

After the court dismissed his case, authorities returned his cellphone which they had been holding as evidence, the Star Tribune reported.

Now that "evidence" is being used against them.

The St. Paul Police Department did not return a call from the Daily News for comment.

Sasha Goldstein Aug-30-2014 442 0
An Atlanta police officer was busted trying to skip town Thursday, nearly one week after he kidnapped a woman he met online, took her to a secluded suburban area, shot her and then set her dead body on fire, police said.

Tahreem Zeus Rana, 23, was caught around 8:30 a.m. Thursday after he tried to board a flight to Monterey, Mexico, possibly en route to India, WSB-TV reported.

The murder suspect was on the no-fly list, cops said, and has since been fired.

"We are shocked and saddened by these developments,” the department said of the three-year veteran. “The officer has been relieved from duty, and is in a non-enforcement status."

Rana met 26-year-old Vernicia Woodard on for a “romantic exchange” in Rana’s hometown of Hapeville, a southern Atlanta suburb, police there said. He took the woman to a rural part of the town, shot her several times, then lit her on fire, police said.

A city worker found the burning body on Elm Street the morning of Aug. 22, the news station reported.

"He took her to a secluded area to do the crime and then, after killing her, used some kind of fuel to light her body on fire," Hapeville police Detective Stephen Cushing told the station.

Police believe he used his service weapon to kill the Woodard, mother to an 8-year-old. He became the prime suspect after the woman’s phone records led investigators to and eventually Rana, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

A “wanted” poster featuring Rana’s picture was released to the public Wednesday.

The murder comes as a shock to Hapeville police officers, who recalled watching Rana grow up in the community. He had a clean disciplinary file.

"I've been a police officer in city of Hapeville for 15 years and actually saw this young man grow up and heard him say, 'When I grow up, I want to be a police officer," Det. Cushing told the station.

Rana faces charges of murder, arson, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. He’s next due in court Sept. 12.

"Being someone who works in law enforcement ... it hurts a lot more to know that it was somebody in law enforcement," Woodard's sister, Tashara Gilyard, told WSB as she held back tears.

Aug-30-2014 168 0
The death of a 45-year-old man while in police custody has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said Friday.

The coroner said Ronald Singleton’s July 13 death in Midtown was brought on by “physical restraint by police during excited delirium.”

The medical examiner also said heart disease and obesity contributed to the Kips Bay man’s death.

Singleton had 61 arrests on his record, including busts for drugs, assaults and weapons possession.

Ronald Singleton, 45, died July 13 after being restrained by police.

His heartbroken wife, Lyn Warren Singleton, 44, admitted that her husband of 19 years had a drug history and multiple run-ins with the police. The 5-foot-7, 210-pound man “went into a panic” when cops approached him, she said.

“He was never good with police,” she said. “He always went into hysterics — this is before he even started indulging.”

She blames the cops for not giving the father of four and grandfather of three the medical attention he needed.
“They didn’t pay attention to him when he was crying for help,” she said. “Someone having a heart attack is different signs than someone just bugging out.”

On the day he died, Singleton was acting “overly irate and irrational” in the back of a taxi near St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Ave. and E. 51st St., police said.

The cabbie flagged cops down after Singleton cursed and screamed at him during the 12 a.m. altercation. When Singleton tried to fight off arriving officers, cops restrained him, putting him in a protective full-body wrap known as a burrito. He was not arrested, police said.

An ambulance was taking Singleton to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation when he went into cardiac arrest, officials said. It was immediately redirected to St. Luke’s—Roosevelt Hospital, where Singleton died.

Singleton’s widow said a detective called and told her that her husband was at the hospital. When she called St. Luke’s, she said, a Dr. Lee told her Singleton was dead on arrival and wore handcuffs.

No disciplinary action has been taken against the officers involved in subduing Singleton, a police source said. The Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident.

Singleton’s death occurred four days before Eric Garner died on July 17 after Staten Island cops put him in a chokehold — a practice banned by the NYPD in 1993. Garner’s death has been ruled a homicide.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who led a march against police brutality in Staten Island last weekend, vowed to investigate Singleton’s death thoroughly.

“It’s disturbing ... I’m very disturbed,” Sharpton said. “These are the reasons why we have to deal with changing police policy and training.”

Aug-29-2014 234 0
The Opelousas Police Department is searching for a man who has been missing for about two weeks.

Alvin Joseph Thompson, also known as "Bum Bum," was last seen the Lafayette area roughly two weeks ago.

Anyone with information on Thompson's whereabouts is asked to call Opelousas Police at 337-948-2500.

Aug-29-2014 169 0
Police records show two officers used their Tasers repeatedly to try to make Gregory Towns get up.

Thursday, Towns' family attorney, Chris Stewart, filed a lawsuit against the city of East Point.

“This is a direct violation of their own rules,” Stewart said. “You cannot use a Taser to escort or prod a subject.”

The lawsuit comes after the April death of Towns after he was repeatedly "drive-stunned" with Tasers by East Point police in an apparent effort to make him get up and walk after a foot chase.

Stewart said he is using copies of the city's own documents to piece together what happened in behalf of Towns' family.

Stewart alleges records combined with eyewitness accounts show two officers violated the city's standard operating procedures for Tasers.

“He wasn't cursing. He wasn't being abusive. He was saying, ‘I’m tired,’” Stewart said.

Stewart said Taser logs, combined with other information from the city, show two officers triggered their Tasers 13 times around the time in question: 10 for Sgt. Marcus Eberhart and three times for officer Howard Weems.

Stewart acknowledged the documents don't show the Taser made contact for each of the 13 trigger pulls. He said officer accounts vary, but none comes close to 13 Taser stuns.

“This situation is indefensible,” Stewart said.

Dale Preiser, one of Weems' lawyers at the Police Benevolent Association, said Weems continues to appeal his firing and Weems's actions did not cause Towns' death, but he does not wish to respond to the Towns' family attorney's comments.

In a statement, Weems' lawyers have maintained, "use of drive stun to gain compliance is permitted under federal and Georgia law."

A spokesperson said the city does not comment on pending or potential litigation.

Nina Golgowski Aug-29-2014 114 0
The names of two Los Angeles police officers who shot and killed an unarmed, mentally challenged man more than two weeks ago have been released.

Police identified 25-year-old Ezell Ford's shooters Thursday as Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, who were assigned to the Newton Division gang enforcement detail, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The release of their names follows public outrage over the Aug. 11 shooting, during which three bullets were planted in Ford's back while he was lying on the ground, said family.

Wampler has served on the force for 12 years while Villegas has served for eight years.

Police had said that their delay in releasing the two officers' names pended assessment into whether it could threaten their safety.

"In this particular case, it was necessary to investigate evidence brought to the department's attention regarding potential threats to the safety of the officers and ensure that measures were taken to mitigate those threats," the LAPD said in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile Ford's autopsy report still remains hidden from public review due to a security hold placed by police.

They are also declining to say why the officers approached him while he was walking down the street.

Police have only said that he tackled an officer and tried to grab his gun.

Witnesses have disputed those claims, however.

"They had him in the corner and were beating him, busted him up, for what reason I don't know he didn't do nothing," Leroy Hill told the Huffington Post. "The next thing I know I hear a 'pow!' while he's on the ground. They got the knee on him. And then I hear another 'pow!' No hesitation. And then I hear another 'pow!' Three times."

One witness has additionally claimed that one officer yelled "shoot him" before they killed the man on the street.

Ford's death came two days before the similar, unarmed shooting death of Missouri teen Michael Brown which sparked nationwide demonstrations and protests.

Aug-29-2014 133 0
In a $40 million federal lawsuit, five people arrested recently in Ferguson, Missouri, accuse police of using "wanton and excessive force" and treating U.S. citizens "as if they were war combatants."

A complaint filed Thursday alleges that police officers from Ferguson and St. Louis County used unnecessary force and made unjustified arrests as they cracked down on protests after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown earlier this month.

The lawsuit lists Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, Ferguson officer Justin Cosma, several unnamed officers and the city and county governments as defendants. They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A St. Louis County police spokesman declined to comment, referring inquiries to the county counselor's office.

The suit -- which includes accusations of intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision, and assault and battery -- details circumstances allegedly surrounding several arrests between August 11-13:

-- Tracey White was about to buy an ice cream sundae at McDonald's when officers "in what appeared to be army uniforms, carrying rifles and sticks and wearing helmets" entered and ordered her to leave, according to the lawsuit. She was told to shut up, thrown to the ground and handcuffed after criticizing officers for the way they were treating her son, the lawsuit claims.

-- Dewayne Matthews was walking to his mother's house when a group of officers in military uniforms shot rubber bullets at him, the lawsuit alleges. He fell into a creek or sewer, the suit says, where officers "pounced on him, slammed his face into the concrete, and pushed his head into the water to the point that he felt he was going to be drowned."

-- Kerry White was shooting footage and holding his camera out his car window when an officer snatched his camera, "took out his memory card and threw it to the ground," the lawsuit says.

-- Damon Coleman and Theophilus Green were peacefully protesting, the lawsuit says, when police in riot gear fired tear gas and what appeared to be stun grenades in their direction, then "hurled racial epithets at them, while punching and kicking them the entire time."

CNN has not independently confirmed details of the arrests.

Police tactics to calm the crowds drew sharp criticism, including a rebuke from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

"At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message," Holder said as the protests unfolded.

As criticism of police tactics mounted, Gov. Jay Nixon Missouri tapped State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson to head up security in Ferguson on August 14.

This week, Johnson said police were scaling back their efforts in Ferguson now that the situation has cooled.

Belmar, the St. Louis County Police Chief, told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't regret his agency's decisions to fire tear gas at protesters. That approach, he said, was much better than using nightsticks or dogs.

Even though President Barack Obama has called for a review of military equipment sales to local police deparments in light of the clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Belmar said that such equipment is often necessary.

"I never envisioned a day that we would ever see that kind of equipment used against protesters," he said. "But I also never imagined a day in 28 years when we would see that kind of criminal activity spin out of peaceful demonstrations."

Aug-28-2014 140 0
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?

That's the question at the heart of the looming legal battles over the controversial case.

What charges could Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson face? What would state and federal authorities have to prove in order to pursue charges? And does the fact that the gunman was a police officer change how the case could play out?

Here's a look at what legal analysts say could happen next.

Was a state crime committed?

A local grand jury has started hearing testimony, but that doesn't mean any particular charges are being recommended by prosecutors at this point, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.

"An investigation is just an investigation. ... It's just something that they're looking into," Toobin said.

For a criminal case to go forward, the grand jury must decide whether a crime was committed, and whether it's more likely than not that the accused person -- in this case, Wilson -- committed the crime, said CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor.

After a fatal shooting, a range of charges are typically on the table, said CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos, a criminal defense attorney. "They're going to be anything in the spectrum of murder, manslaughter (or) negligent homicide," he said.

The prosecutor will make a recommendation to the grand jury.

From there, the grand jury could decide to indict Wilson, or that there isn't enough evidence to move forward. In order to bring charges against Wilson, nine of 12 jurors will have to agree.

But the prosecutor plays a key role in the hearings, which are not open to the public.

"The grand jury ultimately decides whether to indict, but it's 100% the prosecution's show. ... The prosecutor could, in theory, make less of an effort if he doesn't want someone indicted," Cevallos said.

Some residents and community leaders contend St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch has deep ties to the police and has favored law enforcement in criminal cases.

J.Tom Morgan, a former district attorney in Georgia who knows McCulloch, defended him as fair and objective.

"I believe Mr. McCulloch will present the facts and the evidence to the grand jury and the Missouri law as he is required to do so," Morgan said. "We do not put defendants on trial just to see what a jury will do."

Were Brown's civil rights violated?

As part of a federal civil rights investigation, authorities are interviewing witnesses and weighing a number of factors.

Key among them: whether Wilson exhibited "racial hostility," Toobin said.

"The most important thing would be, did he say anything that indicates racial hostility, either before, or after, or during (the shooting)?" Toobin said.

Wilson is white, and Brown was African-American.

"The bar is very high," Hostin said, "and they're difficult cases to prove."

But race doesn't have to be a factor in the shooting for investigators to allege there was a federal civil rights violation, Cevallos said.

Federal statute says it's a crime for government officials "to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution."

Federal prosecutors could argue that Brown's right to life was violated, Cevallos said, but it's a tough case to make.

"They have to show that the officer intended to deprive somebody of that constitutional right. They would have to show intent to kill...which is not a particularly easy showing to make," he said.

The fact that Wilson is a police officer could influence whether he faces charges -- and how the case plays out.

"Often jurors are extremely sympathetic to police officers," said Paul Butler, a professor at Georgetown University Law School and a former federal prosecutor. "They think, even if he made a mistake, he's got the hardest job in the world, so they often want to cut police officers some slack."

Authorities also weigh different factors when deciding to prosecute police.

"There are issues that come up when you're prosecuting cases against police officers, because police officers by the very nature of their jobs can use deadly force," Hostin said.

Police officers have the same rights civilians have to self defense, Cevallos said, and they also have the right to make arrests.

"To do that," he said, "they can use deadly force to prevent an escape."

If Brown was trying to get away from the officer, Cevallos said, the Supreme Court case Tennessee v. Garner allows the use of deadly force when an alleged felon is trying to flee if "the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others."

But given the number of times Brown was shot, along with newly released audio that may show a pause in rapid gunfire, Wilson has a lot of explaining to do, the analysts said.

"Evidence suggests that he wasn't fleeing and was facing the officer," Cevallos said. "If that's true ... the officer has to explain six shots. He has to explain a reason for each of those six shots. He has to have justifiably been in fear of his life or fear of some imminent serious bodily harm."

alan duke Aug-28-2014 157 0
The IRS filed a tax lien against Vanessa Williams, saying the singer-actress owes the federal government $369,249 for her 2011 earnings.

The lien was filed at the New York City register office on August 13, 2014, according to a document on that website.

The publicist for Williams did not immediately respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

Williams, 51, was the first black Miss America, but her reign soon erupted into scandal when nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine.

Her career soared in the aftermath, with music, television and Broadway performances that earned her Grammy, Emmy and Tony nominations.

A mother of four children, Williams lives in New York.

VictoriaTaylor Aug-27-2014 185 0
The bride will wear a gown with a corporate logo.

Courtney McKenzie, 27, and fiancé Jamil Newell, 34, are trying to get businesses to sponsor their nuptials and cover the $30,000 price tag of their dream wedding in Thailand.

The enterprising Orlando, Fla., couple, slated to get married in December, launched their Sponsor Our Wedding campaign and website last week.

McKenzie, a former beauty queen turned entrepreneur with a mind for marketing, told the Daily News she came up with the idea in middle of the night. She talked it out with her husband-to-be, and they decided to go for it.

"We're still going to get married either way," she said. "It was one of those things that we just wanted to see if it worked."

And, so far, it is working.

McKenzie said they already have a handful of sponsors on board, including a hotel that will provide lodging and a company that has agreed to sponsor the wedding bands (McKenzie was clear that Newell purchased the engagement ring).

They will also pick a brand's logo to incorporate into the groom's tuxedo and the bride's wedding dress.

This tidbit in particular has riled up people on the Internet, some of whom have called the plan tacky.

"Sarah Jessica Parker wore a logo on her dress at the Met Gala and it was fashionable," McKenzie pointed out, referencing the actress' Oscar de la Renta gown.

Logos will pop up on the newlywed's honeymoon wardrobe, and the newlyweds will be Instagramming and tweeting their 11-day trek through Thailand.

"The whole goal around it was to create something fun that would be fun to follow and watch," the bride-to-be said.

The couple's forthcoming nuptials have already generated a lot of buzz, and their initial wedding announcement has gotten nearly 42,000 likes on Facebook.

A portion of the money from the sponsors will be donated to two of their favorite charities — Positive Habitat for Aspiring Teens and Big Brothers Big Sisters, McKenzie said.

So, why do the husband-and-wife-to-be think companies should sponsor them?

"We are a young, fun couple who opted to have an adventure instead of a traditional wedding," they write on their website. "We have created several sponsorship categories that incorporate your amazing company in our one-of-a-kind social wedding."

Aug-27-2014 441 0
Police in Beverly Hills detained an innocent, Harvard-educated movie producer on his way to a Friday Emmys celebration because he "fit the description" of a wanted bank robber, he claimed.

Charles Belk, who has also helped organized the NAACP Image awards, said police investigating a nearby bank robbery held him for six hours, while denying him a phone call and even an explanation as to why he was under investigation.

"It's one of those things that you hear about, but never think it would happen to you," Belk wrote on his Facebook page. "All because I was mis-indentified as the wrong 'tall, bald head, black male.'"

Belk said he was walking to his car around 5:30 p.m. Friday so he could check the time left on his parking meter. The 51-year-old had just finished a meal at his a Los Angeles restaurant and was due to attend the Emmys pre-party later that night.

Suddenly, officers approached him and demanded he sit on the curb.

Belk obeyed, and cops searched him, handcuffed him and took him to police. The officers never told him why he was being investigated, he claimed.

At the police station, police denied him a phone call and didn't let him speak to his lawyer, Belk said.

It wasn't until midnight — six hours after Belk's nightmare began — that police reviewed the video surveillance tapes and realized they had the wrong guy.

Belk said he believes he was detained because he shared a few, loose physical characteristics with the wanted man: He's tall, black and bald, too.

"All they saw was someone fitting the description. Doesn't matter if he's a 'Taye Diggs BLACK,' a 'LL Cool J BLACK' or 'a Drake BLACK,'" he wrote. "I was 'tall,' 'bald' a 'male' and 'black,' so I fit the description."

Belk holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Indiana University, he said. He also earned an executive leadership certificate from Harvard's Business School.

He's worked as a film producer and has helped organized at least four NAACP Image award shows, according to his IMDb page.

The police department apologized to Belk, but in a statement to Los Angeles' KTLA, it explained its officers were just following procedure.

"The Beverly Hills Police Department regrets the inconvenience to Mr. Belk, but was under obligation to thoroughly verify that he was not the suspect before releasing him," the statement said.

Police did arrest one suspect for Friday's bank robbery: 47-year-old Brianna Klouste, who is wanted for at least 10 other California incidents, police said.

They never found the suspect who "fit" Belk's description.

Michael Walsh Aug-26-2014 230 0
"No one believed" a suburban Detroit man's claim that he fatally shot an unarmed woman out of self-defense, one juror said.

During the murder trial, Theodore Wafer, 55, testified that he was protecting himself when he killed Renisha McBride, 19, on the porch of his Dearborn Heights home.

But the night of McBride's death he told police that the shooting was an accident, the juror told the Detroit Free Press.

"That hurt him big time," he told the Michigan broadsheet, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Wafer testified that he heard banging on this door just before dawn on Nov. 2, 2013. He armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun, opened the door and shot.

"I didn't know there was a round in there," he reportedly told police.

>>--More Black Legal News

Daryl K. Washington Apr-28-2014 719 0
Sadly but real, it appears as though society feels you can treat a black person poorly by simply offering to give them something of value and everything is forgotten. This mindset has to go away otherwise racism and injustices will remain. Whenever I file a civil rights lawsuit the first question the media asks is how much money the family is asking for? My response is always very clear; the family wants JUSTICE and expects for the individual responsible for the act to be held responsible for his/her criminal acts.

On yesterday, 5-10 multimillionaires played a game of basketball despite being made aware that the owner they are earning millions for hates black people, especially black males. By not playing on yesterday they could have sent a major message out and forced the NBA to react immediately but they gave Donald Sterling and the NBA a way out. Let's face it, the Clippers are no candidate to win the NBA Championship this year so this was/is their opportunity to make a change but instead they are showing America that money and a championship is much more important than fighting blatant racism.

I have to admit that I'm truly disappointed in the Los Angeles Clippers. Professional athletes will stage a sit out when they feel they are not being paid enough money but they will continue to play for a racist owner who admitted to not want black people at the game and use the excuse that we are playing for a championship. Will we continue to turn our heads for money?

Many people criticized the football players at Grambling when they staged a protest last year. If those kids lost their scholarships they could probably not afford to attend college but they took the chance because they wanted to take a stand against what they consider poor playing conditions. They had the courage to do something that the Los Angeles Clippers, a group of multimillionaires, are not willing to do. What message are we sending to the World? You can tell millionaires you hate them but they will still work for you as long as they are being paid. Truly a lost opportunity. All money is not good money.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button
Daryl K. Washington Apr-27-2014 758 0
Donald Sterling made comments about Black people that have started a lot of conversation. Many people, including myself, have said that it will place Coach Doc Rivers and the players in an awkward situation but after thinking about it, it will also place White people in an awkward position and here's my opinion why. During the Civil Rights movement there were White people on the front lines and there were many who did not agree with the poor treatment of Black people. They were instrumental in helping with the fight for equal treatment.

Fast forward to today. 95% of the fans at the Clippers games are not Black and the majority are White people. It would be a great show of support if the White fans were as insulted by Donald Sterling's comments as Black people are. The games will go on but wouldn't it be great if the White fans proved to the country that they don't support a racist owner. We know it will not happen but only until everyone voice their dislike of what was said will a true change ever be made.

Donald Sterling's views are shared by so many individuals who will allow our talented Black athletes to attend the large colleges because they earn millions of dollars for the schools but will fight tooth and nails to prevent a young Black kid who may have not scored well on a standardized test from attending.

College athletes are fighting to be paid but I think what should be added to their agenda is the equal treatment of their brothers and sisters who are being denied admission to the same universities they are earning millions of dollars for. The fight should not be for money but for equality. Let’s never allow someone to pay us to keep our views to ourselves. We still have a long way to go. We will never get there unless we ALL come together.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.

Daryl K. Washington Feb-16-2014 989 0
After the Michael Dunn verdict was read many voice their displeasure with the judicial system, rightfully so. However, the killing of our young black men is nothing new. Each time something bad happens we come together as a group for a month or so and then the energy dies down. When the Zimmerman verdict came back there were those who demanded that we stop supporting the state of Florida yet what happened to the follow-up to let us know how effective the efforts were? It reminds me of whenever someone dies. When we run into people we have not seen in years we all make a vow to do better and to make time for each other but after two or three months has past by we are all back to doing the same things.

As a country, we came together after 9/11 but soon thereafter the unity went away. There's so much happening in our communities. I thought the Zimmerman verdict would be our wake up call to do more but our young black men continue to be gunned down at a high rate by Men who don't look anything close to their fathers and most of them get away with it. Just in case you mention the black on black crime, remember that the killer normally ends up in prison.

Just recently, the grand jury failed to indict a North Carolina police officer for the killing of Jonathan Ferrell, a young black male, but after there was a public outcry about the injustice that took place he was eventually indicted. Right here in Dallas, Texas we have black men being killed by white police officers and in a great majority of the cases, the police officers are not indicted and judged by a jury of their peers. Instead, the victim is placed on trial and society has become conditioned to believe that it's okay to kill someone if they have a prior criminal record or considered a menace to society. Well, it's not and it's time that it stops.

We need to be proactive and make sure laws that don't benefit us are changed. I will continue to say this until I can't say this anymore; we have to get out and VOTE during the mid-term elections. We need to make sure the right people are elected and the wrong people are removed from office, irrespective of their race. If the same people are in office (local officials) yet we are having some of the same problems, it's time for change. Vote for someone who wants to make a change. Don't just vote based on race or political affiliation; that's what has gotten us to this point where we are today. We have to be proactive or the next Jordan Davis might be our brother, our son, our nephew, our father or our friend. Let's do it. Get involved or get out of the way!!!!!

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.

Daryl K. Washington Nov-26-2013 1282 0
ARE WE DOING ENOUGH FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITIES?: I just finished talking to a mother who lost her son as a result of a police shooting. Hearing this mother talk about her son and how much he loved the holidays was simply heart wrenching. She went on to tell me that she's pleaded for help from our local politicians, pastors, leaders, etc. but no one wants to take her call, especially if the cameras are not rolling. To worsen matters, many of the leaders have put her son on trial and he's dead.

On last week they staged a protest in Dallas and sadly, 95% of the protestors were white. That made me wonder why do people make it in life and fail to reach back to help others? Why do people hear about injustices yet fail to say anything about it other than to say "that's sad!" During the 60's the leaders were individuals (black and white) who had college degrees, had bright futures ahead of them but they risk it all for us to be in the positions we are in today. The sad thing is that many of us believe it's all about us.

We must do more. We have to do more. We have to demand that our politicians and pastors step up to help us fight this battle. It truly takes a team effort. We must hold all of our community leaders accountable. When they ask for your vote, ask them to list ten things they did for the community in the last four years. Ask them how many times have they've attended a rally to show support to a grieving mother or father. We have serious issues and it takes all of us to stop this mess. I'm tired of seeing people who have never fought against a single injustice accept the Martin Luther King drum major for justice award. It's time for change.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Oct-25-2013 1640 0
I have not said much about this situation because I was hoping it would not get to this point. I will keep this very short because I hope the talks of going forward with a lawsuit is short lived.

For the record, I will say that I was not happy that things transpired the way they did but because it did needed attention was given to the inequities in financial support received by HBCU's. I was initially upset because the thought of canceling a college football game is unheard of. However, if what the players said is true, it's not just about football. If there's proper follow-up to what happened at Grambling, it could benefit all HBCU's and perhaps provide an example for college athletes to follow in their attempts to receive a share of the billion dollar revenue received from college sports.

I understand this may not make sense to everyone but Jackson State suing Grambling is like a Black Greek Letter Organization suing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because he failed to show up at a fundraiser because an emergency required him to be at a last minute boycott where individuals were seeking equal treatment that would have the potential of benefiting everyone. As much as Grambling has done to benefit the SWAC I'm surprised that Jackson State would consider such drastic means. As a graduate of Grambling State University and a former member of the football team, I feel it's about time that Grambling do what Texas A&M and other schools have done in the past few years; change conferences. There's nothing but upside to it.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl at or you can visit his website at To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
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