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L.A. man playing with gun shoots best friend, then commits suicide
A Los Angeles man was playing with a gun when he accidentally shot his best friend — and then, in a moment of intense grief, committed suicide in front of a crowd of their friends, authorities said.

Dominique Barnett, 24, was showing off his piece to around 10 friends hanging out in front of Jerrod Taylor's Willowbrook home early Sunday when the gun suddenly went off, striking Taylor with a single round, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Taylor, 23, would die later at a local hospital.

Overcome with guilt by what he'd done to his best friend, Barnett then shot himself in the head at the scene.

Police described the grim turn of events as an accident brought on by the collision of tragic luck and a loaded gun.

Witnesses said Taylor was upset Barnett was showing the gun off and was trying to take it away from him when it went off, CBS Los Angeles reported.

"Preliminary investigation is indicating that both the gunshot victims knew each other, and that they were friends, so there was no malicious intent at this point that we know of for the shooting to occur," L.A. Sheriff's Det. Steven Lankford told the station.

Those who knew them said the pair had been best friends since they were 11. Taylor had a child.

"Jerrod was a great kid," his cousin, Laretha Kelly, told KTLA-TV.

"He worked very hard. … He was just so willing to help people."

Antoine Barnett, Dominique's father, said he was sickened to receive a phone call early Sunday saying his son was dead.

"Being a father, getting that phone call in the morning is nothing easy," Barnett said.

He said he imagined his son was "distraught" by the accident and didn't see a way out of the situation.

"I wish he would have called me, there's not much more I could have done, but at least I (could have) talked to him," Barnett said, according to CBS Los Angeles. "I didn't even get the chance to say bye to him. "
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Philip Caulfield Sep-29-2014 183 0
A Los Angeles man was playing with a gun when he accidentally shot his best friend — and then, in a moment of intense grief, committed suicide in front of a crowd of their friends, authorities said.

Dominique Barnett, 24, was showing off his piece to around 10 friends hanging out in front of Jerrod Taylor's Willowbrook home early Sunday when the gun suddenly went off, striking Taylor with a single round, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Taylor, 23, would die later at a local hospital.

Overcome with guilt by what he'd done to his best friend, Barnett then shot himself in the head at the scene.

Police described the grim turn of events as an accident brought on by the collision of tragic luck and a loaded gun.

Witnesses said Taylor was upset Barnett was showing the gun off and was trying to take it away from him when it went off, CBS Los Angeles reported.

"Preliminary investigation is indicating that both the gunshot victims knew each other, and that they were friends, so there was no malicious intent at this point that we know of for the shooting to occur," L.A. Sheriff's Det. Steven Lankford told the station.

Those who knew them said the pair had been best friends since they were 11. Taylor had a child.

"Jerrod was a great kid," his cousin, Laretha Kelly, told KTLA-TV.

"He worked very hard. … He was just so willing to help people."

Antoine Barnett, Dominique's father, said he was sickened to receive a phone call early Sunday saying his son was dead.

"Being a father, getting that phone call in the morning is nothing easy," Barnett said.

He said he imagined his son was "distraught" by the accident and didn't see a way out of the situation.

"I wish he would have called me, there's not much more I could have done, but at least I (could have) talked to him," Barnett said, according to CBS Los Angeles. "I didn't even get the chance to say bye to him. "

Sep-28-2014 226 0
A Florida school plagued with allegations of bullying which led to the on-campus suicide of a 14-year-old boy deliberately ignored and in some cases hid student discipline issues to boost its image, according to an anonymous letter allegedly written by a staff member.

In the eye-opening letter claiming to have been written by an employee of Greenwood Lakes Middle School, where Lamar Hawkins shot himself on Sept. 10, administrators are accused of trading student and teacher safety for funding.

"For many years now, referrals have been downgraded to minor offenses ... Some referrals would not be dealt with for weeks, until the teacher who wrote them would have forgotten about them," just one allegation packed in the letter reads.

Attorney Matt Morgan, who's representing Lamar's parents, revealed the letter this week after it was sent to him unsigned to allegedly protect the author's employment.
In addition to accusing administrators of eliminating In School Suspension for the last two years and banning the word "bully" from staff emails and referrals, the letter reads: "We had at least 10 fights on campus. Only 2 were reported. The other fights were downgraded to 'horseplay.'"

Reasons for blanketing such crucial issues at the school are blamed on it affecting their financial standing.

When the school dropped to a C-rated school during the 2013-14 school year, "the teachers were blamed for that," the letter accuses. "We were instructed to handle discipline in our classroom with more 'tolerance.' We needed to keep the students in our classes at all cost."

When they were stamped as a Title I school at that year's end, due to their percentage of low income students and having "no serious discipline problems," they were awarded with $200,000.

"I will let you draw the conclusions why last year admin wanted our number of referrals down," the anonymous author states.

Since Lamar's tragic death, his parents have said that they had reported their son being bullied to school officials "multiple times," but nothing was done.

A friend of Lamar's, 11-year-old Jordan Gonzalez, has also since come out saying he not only witnessed his friend being abused on a regular basis, but that he was bullied too.

In a disturbing letter later sent by Jordan to his mom, the boy said he too wants to die because of the non-stop abuse, his mom revealed.

Requests for comment from Greenwood Lake's principal and the Seminole County school district's Superintendent were not immediately returned to the Daily News Friday.

Victoria Taylor Sep-28-2014 217 0
Fired UPS employee Walter Earl Morrison, 20, has been accused of stealing a valuable diamond from a UPS cargo plane and swapping the gem, which was valued at $160,000, for $20 worth of marijuana, according to KNXV.

Authorities said Morrison swiped the stone at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and hid the package under his shirt.

He then supposedly traded the expensive rock for pot before he was caught.

A UPS spokesperson told KNXV that the diamond has been recovered and given to the intended recipient,

Morrison reportedly faces felony theft charges and is scheduled to appear in the Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Deborah Hastings Sep-28-2014 269 0
Georgia authorities went to a great deal of trouble to nab a woman who filed a state income tax return for a whopping $94 million.

State revenue agents actually cut a check for $94,323,148 and told Brigitte Jackson to come on down to a Cobb County bank inside a supermarket to cash it.
And when she arrived and tried to redeem the bogus document, the handcuffs came out, reported WSB-TV.

"It doesn't matter if it's $94 or $94 million," Special Investigations Chief Josh Waites told the station. "We're going to go after you and hold you accountable."

The woman had claimed $99 million in wages as the basis for the mammoth refund amount, authorities said.

She has been charged with theft and conspiracy to defraud the state.

Eliott C. McLaughlin Sep-27-2014 208 0
It's rare that a defendant is put on trial knowing that whether he wins or loses, chances are he'll still spend his life in prison.

That's exactly the scenario Michael Dunn faces, as his second trial in the November 2012 killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis approaches. Jury selection began Monday morning. The retrial will follow and is expected to last about two weeks.

Before jury selection began, Davis' parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, were outside the Duval County Courthouse, along with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen killed by a neighborhood watch captain earlier the same year.

"This trial speaks to me because I am that family," Fulton said. "The family that's missing a son. I'm the family that's a victim of senseless gun violence. That's the purpose of me coming here, that's just to stand with the family, to be with the family and to show the support."

About 40 people gathered demanding justice for Jordan Davis as well as other slain African-Americans, including Emmett Till, Rodney Mitchell and Karvas Gamble Jr. Protesters carried signs that said "Justice 4 Jordan" and "Is it OK to murder me because I like loud music?"
A pastor led the group in prayer before Davis' parents entered the courthouse. The gathering promptly dispersed, but not before McBath thanked the crowd for supporting her son.

"We just want to thank the country and thank you all for the wonderful support and prayers that you've given us these last two years. We could not do this without you. We're very grateful for every moment that we've been on your minds and your hearts," McBath said.

She added, "Whatever verdict we receive, we will be humble and abide by. But the verdict and the justice that we seek will always and will only come from God."

Defense attorney Waffa Hanania expressed concern to County Court Judge Russell Healey that the rally, which "appears to be sanctioned by Mr. Davis' family," could influence potential jurors.

Healey responded that there is "only so much I can control," but conceded that "it's not helpful to us getting a jury here in Jacksonville." He said that the court would determine what potential jurors heard and saw when they're questioned.

The first trial

Earlier this year, on what would've been Davis' 19th birthday, a Jacksonville, Florida, jury found Dunn guilty on four of five counts in the case.

While Dunn said he shot into a Dodge Durango full of teenagers in self-defense, he was convicted on three counts of second-degree attempted murder -- one each for firing at Davis' pals, Leland Brunson, Tommie Stornes and Tevin Thompson -- and one count of shooting into a vehicle.

The attempted murder convictions alone carry a cumulative minimum sentence of 60 years in prison for the 47-year-old Florida man.

Opinion: Why prosecutor is retrying 'loud music' murder case

The 12 jurors, however, deadlocked on the final and most serious charge: premeditated first-degree murder.

Dunn claimed that after a heated argument over loud music at a Jacksonville gas station, Davis threatened him and Dunn thought he saw Davis produce a gun or lead pipe.

Though Davis had a knife in his pocket, police recovered no weapons matching Dunn's description, and his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer, testified that Dunn never mentioned seeing a weapon.

Following the argument, Dunn pulled out a handgun and began firing. He continued firing even as Stornes, the driver, put the Durango in reverse and retreated, witnesses said.

Dunn fired 10 shots at the SUV. Three of those bullets hit Davis, one piercing his liver, lung and aorta.

'... they didn't call 911'

After the shooting, neither Dunn nor Rouer called police. They drove 40 miles to a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, and once there, defense attorney Cory Strolla said, Dunn took his dog for a walk and Rouer ordered a pizza and movie.
"They had cell phones, but they didn't call 911. He didn't drive to a police substation," Assistant State Attorney John Guy said during the first trial. "That defendant put his head on his hotel pillow and went to sleep."

Asked why he never called police, Dunn said, "It makes sense that I should have (contacted authorities). We didn't. I can't tell you why."

In the morning, Rouer watched a news report about the shooting and the two then drove another 130 miles home to Satellite Beach where Dunn was apprehended.

What happened in the hours after the shooting may play a role in the new murder trial, as prosecutors must prove that Dunn planned to kill Davis. In the first trial, prosecutors alleged that Dunn's actions after the shooting were indicative of his intent, an assertion Dunn's defense attorney denied.

Davis' father, Ron Davis, was certainly struck by Dunn's actions after killing his son and expressed satisfaction in February that Dunn would face a lengthy prison bid.

"He is going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it was not just another day at the office. My son will never be just another day at the office where (Dunn) can leave the scene and be stoic," he told reporters.

Awaiting sentencing

Dunn has not yet been sentenced on the original counts. In addition to the 60-year minimum he faces on the attempted murder charges, he could spend another 15 years in prison on the count of shooting into a vehicle.

While his new defense attorney, Hanania, hasn't been speaking to media, Strolla has said his client would appeal the original verdict.

That may explain why -- even though, pending appeals, Dunn could spend the rest of his life in prison -- prosecutors are preparing for another highly publicized trial on the murder charge.

To hear prosecutor Angela Corey tell it, it's about justice.

"Justice for Jordan Davis is as important as it is for any victim," she said after the first trial in February.

CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said he can see how some people might think it defies logic to try the case again, but from Davis' parents' perspective, it makes all the sense in the world.

"If he winds up with 60 or 75 years in jail, from a pragmatic standpoint it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to retry the case," Callan said after the first trial.

"On the other hand if you're the parents of Jordan Davis and you believe, as well you should, that your son's reputation has been besmirched by this self-defense claim, the family (might) want a retrial, and that's something that a prosecutor has to consider carefully."

N.Hensley Sep-27-2014 260 0
A Georgia teacher has been jailed on sex charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student.

Victoria Tatum, 24, a math teacher at Covington’s Newton High School was arrested at the school Thursday when a complaint surfaced Tuesday and alleged the relationship, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Pennsylvania-native charged with two counts of child molestation, aggravated sodomy, enticing a child and sexual assault, jail records show.

It’s believe the alleged incidents with Tatum began less than a month ago, according to Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Tatum was hired by Newton County School System in July, according to a Facebook page belonging to Tatum.

Deborah Hastings Sep-27-2014 317 0
A Nebraska high school student who’d never been in trouble told his teachers he thought something bad was going to happen at his bus stop.

So he changed his route home, only to be ambushed after he stepped off the bus and began walking, witnesses said.

Minutes later, Johntavious Swift, 16, of Omaha, was cut down in a hail of bullets in what one witness described as “a perfect trap,” the Omaha World-Herald reported.
The teen’s great-grandmother said he “felt funny. He felt like something was gonna happen,” Shirley Jones told the paper.

A witness said up to 10 rounds were fired at the boy, who died Wednesday after he lay sprawled under a tree next to his backpack.

Swift’s father, Tchalla Renfrow Sr., said his son was friendly and focused on his family.

“I’ll miss his smile, conversations. He called me every other day,” the dad said.

More than 60 people gathered at the site where Swift died to mourn his passing.

“They timed it just right,” said a witness ,who asked that her name not be used. “They had to have known what time he would be getting off” the bus, she told the newspaper.

She said a car pulled up alongside Swift as he was walking. The front seat passenger stepped outside with a gun.

Swift began running, she said, and the gunman fired up 10 times.

The incident was one of four shootings in northeast Omaha on Wednesday.

Police are still investigating. It was not clear why the boy thought something might go wrong on Wednesday.

Sep-26-2014 208 0
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Bar Association (NBA), the nation’s largest organization of African American lawyers, judges, law students and legal professionals is calling upon the National Football League (NFL) and Commissioner Roger Goodell to reconsider the make-up of the league’s domestic abuse panel which was established to develop a new conduct and anti-domestic abuse and violence policies for the NFL.

In the wake of several occurrences of domestic abuse by players, the NFL has formed a four-member panel, but the panel does not include any men or women of color, although over 60% of the NFL players are black.

“Domestic abuse and violence is a pervasive problem in American society,” NBA President Pamela Meanes said. “And it’s a problem that crosses racial and gender lines. The perpetrators and the victims come from every race, every socio-economic class, all ages and certainly are not all of one gender and/or race. Accordingly, it’s only fitting those members of the panel tasked with dealing with the NFL’s domestic violence issues be truly diverse and represent a cross section of our nation.”

President Meanes added that Commissioner Goodell’s own words on the domestic abuse and violence issue support the NBA’s call for diversity on the NFL committee. Commissioner Goodell himself called the NFL ‘… a microcosm of society …’ and he was right; the NFL has many of the same problems as the U.S.,” said President Meanes. “So it’s the National Bar Association’s firm belief that the NFL’s panel should also be a microcosm of society and should include as diverse a membership as possible. It is absolutely crucial that the NFL serve as an example of how people from across the spectrum can work together to address our nation’s largest and most pressing issues. And without question, two of those issues are domestic abuse and violence and a diversified workplace.”

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, 1.3 million women are victims of domestic assaults each year, and 85% of domestic violence victims are women.

“As the NFL has shown us all this year, domestic violence is much more common than we often realize,” President Meanes added. “And even more disturbing, it’s a fact that most cases of domestic violence and abuse go unreported. And this is true among people of all ethnicities. So it is appropriate that the NFL’s committee represents people of all ethnicities; it is crucial that the NFL brings together an inclusive group to address this problem. We respectfully request that the NFL bring racial diversity, and the valuable perspectives it will offer, to this extremely important panel.”
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit: www.nationalbar.org

AP Sep-26-2014 216 0
Police and protesters clashed briefly in Ferguson just hours after the St. Louis suburb's police chief issued an apology to the family of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.

"All those things that are causing mistrust are being evaluated and we are going to be making changes," Jackson said.

The police chief started to march with protesters around 11 p.m. Soon after, a scuffle broke out about 20 feet behind the chief and one protester was arrested. The Post-Dispatch said at least three other protesters were arrested after another confrontation.

The Ferguson Police Department spokesman didn't immediately return call to The Associated Press early Friday.

Earlier Thursday, Jackson released a video apology to Brown's family and the community in which he acknowledged that Brown's body should have been removed from the street much sooner after he was killed. Brown's body remained on Canfield Drive, a residential street, for more than four hours while police collected evidence.

"It was just too long and I'm truly sorry for that," Jackson, dressed casually in a red polo shirt instead of his police uniform, said on the video. "Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people of Canfield (Drive). They were simply trying to do their jobs."

To the Brown family, Jackson said: "I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son."

Brown's parents declined comment when told about Jackson's video during a news conference with civil rights leaders at the National Press Club. Their attorney later said they hadn't heard about the video but would review it.

Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot Aug. 9 during a confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson. The shooting sparked numerous protests and racial unrest in the predominantly black community. Some residents and civil rights activists have said responding police officers were overly aggressive, noting their use of tear gas and military-style vehicles and gear.

"It is clear that we have much work to do," Jackson said in the video.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations.

Sep-26-2014 499 0
Megachurch leader T.D. Jakes is vowing legal action against Young Jeezy and Kendrick Lamar, claiming the rappers violated one of the Ten Commandments with a recent remix.

The towering televangelist behind The Potter's House, a famous Dallas church with 30,000 members, posted a "Special Notice" on Facebook this week claiming the rappers' remix of "Holy Ghost" rips off one of his sermons.

"The 'Holy Ghost' remix by Jeezy featuring Kendrick Lamar was produced without the knowledge or consent of T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, Dexterity Music or its associated companies," the Facebook post said.

"We are taking the necessary legal actions to stop the unauthorized use of T.D. Jakes' intellectual property," the post read.

The remix opens with a sample of Jakes' 2013 speech "Don't Let The Chatter Stop You."

"I'm under attack, but I'm still on fire. I've got some chatter, but I'm still on fire. I've got some threat, but I'm still on fire. I got some liabilities, but I'm still on fire," he says in the 24-second clip.

"It's not amazing that I'm on fire. I've been to hell and back, but I'm still on fire," his voice booms.

Jakes, 57, is a Grammy-winning star among evangelical leaders and once appeared on a Time magazine cover in 2001 with the headline, "Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?"

Reps for the rappers and Jakes did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

At least one legal expert said Jakes might have a tall mountain to climb with his intellectual property claim.

"This sounds like a strong fair use case," Los Angeles lawyer Jonathan Kirsch told the Daily News, referring to the doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without permission.

Kirsch pointed to the landmark 1994 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case that pitted Miami rap group 2 Live Crew against the publishing company behind Roy Orbison's hit song "Oh, Pretty Woman."

In a unanimous decision, the justices said 2 Live Crew had a right to riff on the classic country tune for parody purposes.

"Generally speaking, it is 'fair use,' in the context of a song, to copy elements of someone else's work in order to make a point that amounts to commentary," Kirsch said. "The notion of taking a cultural artifact, like a sermon, and using a small portion to make a comment on the role of religion in peoples' consciousness is very similar."

Meg Wagner Sep-26-2014 251 0
A knife-wielding man barged into an Oklahoma food distribution plant and stabbed two workers — one fatally — before an off-duty cop took down the attacker.

Alton Nolen beheaded a woman at Moore's Vaughan Foods, CNN reported, and tried to kill another during the Thursday afternoon attack.

Moore police would not immediately confirm the attack as a beheading.

Officials told CNN there was no immediate link to terrorism.

Police said the 30-year-old drove to the warehouse around 4:30 p.m. and attacked the first two people he could find.

Police said the suspect attacked the first two people he could find at Moore's Vaughn Foods. It's not clear if he was also a worker at the plant.
news9.com

Police said the suspect attacked the first two people he could find at Moore's Vaughn Foods. It's not clear if he was also a worker at the plant.


The second victim is also at a local hospital in critical condition, Oklahoma City's News 9 reported.

Police called the attack an act of workplace violence but did not confirm if Nolen worked at the plant.

Nolen has a long history with police starting in 2011.

He was previous arrested on a slew of charges, including possession of a controlled substance, assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention.

AP Sep-25-2014 281 0
A South Carolina state trooper was fired last week and arrested on Wednesday after a dashcam video showed him shooting an unarmed man during a routine traffic stop.

Former officer Sean Groubert, 31, is seen in the newly released video pulling over Levar Edward Jones. The clip, which was recorded on Groubert's dashcam on Sept. 4, shows Jones getting out of his vehicle at a gas station in Columbia.

Groubert asks Jones for his driver's license. As Jones reaches into his vehicle to retrieve it, Groubert shouts, "Get out of the car!"

When Jones complies and starts to back away from the vehicle, Groubert opens fire. Three shots can be heard; Jones was hit at least once, in the hip.

"I was just getting my license," Jones says. He also apologizes repeatedly, and asks, "Sir, why was I shot? All I did was reach for my license. I'm coming from work."

"Well, you dove head-first back into your car," Groubert says. "Then you jumped back out, I'm telling you to get out of your car."

Groubert was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, according to a news release from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

The complaint states that Groubert "did without justification unlawfully shoot Levar Jones which produced great bodily injury or was likely to cause great bodily injury. Audio and visual recordings, as well as written statements, obtained are further evidence to indicate the shooting incident was without justification."

South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith called the case disturbing.

"After my review of the facts surrounding this matter, I have determined that Mr. Groubert’s actions rose to such an extent that his employment with us must be terminated," Smith said in a statement last week. "While Mr. Groubert was within the law to stop Mr. Jones for a safety belt violation, the force administered in this case was unwarranted, inconsistent with how our troopers are trained, and clearly in violation of Department policies."

Groubert pleaded not guilty and is free after posting a $75,000 bond, according to WIS-TV. He's expected to appear in court on Oct. 24.

Jones was hospitalized for the hip injury, but has since been released. He told WIS that he hopes the incident will lead to change throughout the country.

Jason Molinet Sep-25-2014 301 0
A California woman wearing only a flannel shirt had to climb out her bedroom window and onto the rooftop in a desperate attempt to escape a home intruder early Wednesday.

Melora Rivera was in bed when she heard a commotion. Christian Hicks, 29, who neighbors said is homeless, allegedly broke the panel of Rivera's glass front door to get inside, according to reports. Rivera called police and then scrambled out the window of her two-story bungalow, which is just blocks from Venice Beach.

"Once I saw him in the house I knew we both couldn't be there," Rivera told CBS Los Angeles. "I knew I didn't want to have a confrontation with him of any sort not knowing what his intention was."

A woman fled onto her roof when a transient broke into her home Wednesday in Venice, Calif. Melora Rivera says she managed to crawl out of a window Wednesday morning, in order to run and hide on her roof after Christian Hicks, 29, allegedly broke into her home.
@venice311

A woman fled onto her roof when a transient broke into her home Wednesday in Venice, Calif. Melora Rivera says she managed to crawl out of a window Wednesday morning, in order to run and hide on her roof after Christian Hicks, 29, allegedly broke into her home.

When LAPD officers arrived two minutes after they were dispatched they found Rivera on her phone cowering under a rooftop overhang. Unaware that Hicks was also on the roof at that point, police ordered Rivera to come down, Venice 311 reported.

Photos taken at the scene show a frightened Rivera sitting by her window as Hicks menacingly peered over the rooftop peak, apparently unaware of where Rivera was hiding.

Firefighters arrived with a ladder and an officer, with his gun drawn, climbed onto the rooftop to cover her escape.

Hicks was arrested and held on $50,000 bail. He has a court appearance Friday.

LAPD officers ordered Hicks off the rooftop of this Venice, Calif. home.

Hicks was arrested and held on $50,000 bail. He has a court appearance Friday.

Cops reportedly detained Hicks earlier in the day following a 7:30 a.m. complaint of a man in a residential yard, but did not arrest him then.

"I saw this guy this morning in handcuffs," neighbor Alexandria Thompson told CBS. "I've seen him in my yard. I called the police."

>>--More Black Legal News

Sep-09-2014 481 0
On yesterday social media went crazy after the video of Ray Rice was released. Within hours Rice was released from the Ravens. Don't think for one second that it was not as a result of the public outcry on social media. The Ravens and the NFL did not have a choice but to release Rice because they had been exposed. However, the saddening part about of all of this is that the powers to be proclaimed they had not seen the video until yesterday.

Why do we live in a society where there's always a cover-up? If we are going to be angry at the police chief in Ferguson, MO for trying to cover up for one of his officers who killed Michael Brown we should also be upset with Commissioner Roger Goodell and Coach John Harbaugh because it appears that they took part in a scheme to deceive the public and by tuning in to the games as usual we are saying it's okay to cover-up a crime. Sean Payton, head coach of the Saints, was forced to sit out a year because an alleged wrongdoing took place under his watch. In my opinion, the same needs to happen to the Roger Goodell and Coach Harbaugh because somehow I think they knew and if they did not know it's even worse because they allowed a poor investigation to support a two game suspension.

Let's look at the severity of what they did. Their actions in trying to protect the NFL brand send the wrong message to ladies who are victims of domestic abuse. What the message says is that you should protect the abuser if there's something to lose. In this case, it was football games and plenty of revenue for a major brand. Their actions could help persuade a victim of domestic abuse to participate in a press conference in order to save a star and risk her life. This was not the right thing to do because someone following that same example could end up dead.

Releasing and/or suspending Rice for the year was the proper thing to do months ago but there are additional suspensions that need to be handed down before we stop talking about this. Take a year off Mr. Commissioner and Coach Harbaugh because you dropped the ball on this one. Better yet, if you won't suspend yourselves, donate your salaries for the year to a charity that supports domestic violence victims if you are really serious about the mistake that was made.

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 dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
Daryl K. Washington Apr-28-2014 873 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 dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button
Daryl K. Washington Apr-27-2014 900 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 dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.

Daryl K. Washington Feb-16-2014 1126 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 dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.


















Daryl K. Washington Nov-26-2013 1423 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 dwashington@dwashlawfirm.com or you can visit his website at www.dwashlawfirm.com. To receive updates, go to the Black Legal Issues page on Facebook and check the like button.
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