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Joe McKnight's shooter, Ronald Gasser, in jail on $500,000 bond
Bond has been set for Joe McKnight's admitted shooter, Ronald Gasser, 54, at $500,000 following his arrest Monday (Dec. 5) on one count of manslaughter, records show.

Gasser admitted to shooting the 27-year-old football standout during what authorities called a road rage incident that ended at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown Dec. 1.

Gasser had not bailed out of Jefferson Parish jail as of late Tuesday afternoon, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato. Gasser was released by authorities after questioning Thursday, without being arrested, and it wasn't until four days later that an arrest finally came amid public criticism of JPSO.

Sheriff Newell Normand on Tuesday held a press conference in which he described how events allegedly unfolded during the road rage dispute that led to McKnight's killing, and defended his department's decision not to immediately arrest Gasser. He further admonished critics on social media and elsewhere who bashed the sheriff's office in the wake of the fatal shooting.

Normand brandished a paper printout bearing copies of heated and curse-filled Twitter comments.

During the press conference, Normand said the incident possibly began with McKnight's vehicle cutting Gasser's car off, leading to a heated "road rage" encounter. Citing a statement Gasser gave to investigators, Normand said Gasser pursued McKnight on the Crescent City Connection and off the bridge to Behrman Highway, shouting and swerving through traffic along the way.

The sheriff said both Gasser and McKnight were "driving erratically," with one witness singling out McKnight specifically as driving erratically across the bridge. McKnight was shot three times after exiting his vehicle to confront Gasser, Normand said.

McKnight and Gasser argued with each other throughout the road rage chase, Sheriff Newell Normand said Tuesday.

Addressing why Gasser was booked with manslaughter, as opposed to a more serious count of second-degree murder or negligent homicide, Normand said the sheriff's office found the current evidence to warrant only manslaughter. But that charge could change if additional evidence is found and presented to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office, which may take several weeks to file formal charges, Normand said.

"We may get additional evidence that would allow the DA to up-charge, or we may get additional evidence that may compel the DA to down-charge," Normand said. "But at this point in time, we believe that we have the evidence that fits the elements of manslaughter."

Normand also defended his department's decision not to immediately arrest Gasser Dec. 1, saying that "there is nothing that we have done in this case out of the ordinary, or that is unusual."

Making an immediate arrest could have tainted statements from witnesses or scared them off, he said. It's that strategy, Normand said, that led to one "key witness" coming forward on Saturday and several other witnesses being located through Monday night.

"Just as I pointed out on Friday, our suspicions that we were going to be able to get our hands around additional witnesses that would help in this case, actually came to fruition," Normand said.

In May 2013, LaPlace resident Roger Batiste turned himself in to the Kenner Police Department after he shot 27-year-old Shane Vicknair from inside his pickup truck.

The sheriff also said one witness at the scene the day of the shooting lied in stating that Gasser had exited his car, stood over McKnight, and shot again as McKnight was apologizing, Normand said. That witness' false statement, Normand continued, helped feed a social media frenzy in which thousands of commenters accused the sheriff's office of mishandling the case.

"We started Thursday afternoon with a witness who lied," Normand said. "A witness who said that Gasser got out of his car, popped caps through the wind shield of Joe McKnight's car, yanked him out of the car and popped him again while he was on the ground, (Gasser) saying that he had voted for Donald Trump and that he was going to show him. And we were off and running."

Normand said that witness "told three different stories within the same hour."

"Shame on that individual," he said. "And that started something going down a path that we collectively should be ashamed of ourselves."
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Beau Evans Dec-06-2016 261 0
Bond has been set for Joe McKnight's admitted shooter, Ronald Gasser, 54, at $500,000 following his arrest Monday (Dec. 5) on one count of manslaughter, records show.

Gasser admitted to shooting the 27-year-old football standout during what authorities called a road rage incident that ended at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown Dec. 1.

Gasser had not bailed out of Jefferson Parish jail as of late Tuesday afternoon, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato. Gasser was released by authorities after questioning Thursday, without being arrested, and it wasn't until four days later that an arrest finally came amid public criticism of JPSO.

Sheriff Newell Normand on Tuesday held a press conference in which he described how events allegedly unfolded during the road rage dispute that led to McKnight's killing, and defended his department's decision not to immediately arrest Gasser. He further admonished critics on social media and elsewhere who bashed the sheriff's office in the wake of the fatal shooting.

Normand brandished a paper printout bearing copies of heated and curse-filled Twitter comments.

During the press conference, Normand said the incident possibly began with McKnight's vehicle cutting Gasser's car off, leading to a heated "road rage" encounter. Citing a statement Gasser gave to investigators, Normand said Gasser pursued McKnight on the Crescent City Connection and off the bridge to Behrman Highway, shouting and swerving through traffic along the way.

The sheriff said both Gasser and McKnight were "driving erratically," with one witness singling out McKnight specifically as driving erratically across the bridge. McKnight was shot three times after exiting his vehicle to confront Gasser, Normand said.

McKnight and Gasser argued with each other throughout the road rage chase, Sheriff Newell Normand said Tuesday.

Addressing why Gasser was booked with manslaughter, as opposed to a more serious count of second-degree murder or negligent homicide, Normand said the sheriff's office found the current evidence to warrant only manslaughter. But that charge could change if additional evidence is found and presented to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office, which may take several weeks to file formal charges, Normand said.

"We may get additional evidence that would allow the DA to up-charge, or we may get additional evidence that may compel the DA to down-charge," Normand said. "But at this point in time, we believe that we have the evidence that fits the elements of manslaughter."

Normand also defended his department's decision not to immediately arrest Gasser Dec. 1, saying that "there is nothing that we have done in this case out of the ordinary, or that is unusual."

Making an immediate arrest could have tainted statements from witnesses or scared them off, he said. It's that strategy, Normand said, that led to one "key witness" coming forward on Saturday and several other witnesses being located through Monday night.

"Just as I pointed out on Friday, our suspicions that we were going to be able to get our hands around additional witnesses that would help in this case, actually came to fruition," Normand said.

In May 2013, LaPlace resident Roger Batiste turned himself in to the Kenner Police Department after he shot 27-year-old Shane Vicknair from inside his pickup truck.

The sheriff also said one witness at the scene the day of the shooting lied in stating that Gasser had exited his car, stood over McKnight, and shot again as McKnight was apologizing, Normand said. That witness' false statement, Normand continued, helped feed a social media frenzy in which thousands of commenters accused the sheriff's office of mishandling the case.

"We started Thursday afternoon with a witness who lied," Normand said. "A witness who said that Gasser got out of his car, popped caps through the wind shield of Joe McKnight's car, yanked him out of the car and popped him again while he was on the ground, (Gasser) saying that he had voted for Donald Trump and that he was going to show him. And we were off and running."

Normand said that witness "told three different stories within the same hour."

"Shame on that individual," he said. "And that started something going down a path that we collectively should be ashamed of ourselves."

Gromer Jefferson Dec-06-2016 234 0
Gov. Greg Abbott's selection of Faith Johnson as the new Dallas County district attorney was a safe choice that showcases GOP diversity. But it's not likely to mean the GOP keeps the seat in 2018.

Though she's a former judge, prosecutor and a somewhat familiar name in Dallas County political circles, it's unlikely that Johnson will have the heft necessary to beat a hard-charging Democrat when voters pick the county's top law enforcement officer.

Johnson, 66 of Cedar Hill was a judge who lost her seat when Democrats took control of county politics in 2006. That year, she had the backing of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, then the county's leading Democrat, and still lost on the strength of a otherwise-unified Democratic Party vote.

Since 2006 the county has become even more Democratic, as evidenced by Hillary Clinton's crushing of Donald Trump in last month's general election here.

Johnson, who is black, has a relationship with southern Dallas ministers and is associated with the Potter's House and its popular leader, Bishop T.D. Jakes.

But Democrats, still fuming over Republican Susan Hawk's 2014 victory over incumbent Craig Watkins, have vowed to mobilize the base and take back the seat. State District Judge Elizabeth Frizell and former state District Judge John Creuzot are leading contenders for the Democratic nomination in two years.

Johnson will be formidable, but she doesn't have enough juice to hold the seat for the GOP. Perhaps no Republican does. Since 2006, Hawk is the only Republican to have won a contested, countywide race. And her victory was due to dissatisfaction with Watkins inside and outside his own party.

Abbott's choice of Johnson signals just how tough it must have been for him to find a fresh-faced lawyer and politician to stabilize the office after Hawk's rocky tenure and give the GOP a chance to hold the post in 2018.

Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Phillip Huffines didn't mention the prospects of 2018 while praising the pick.

"Her 17 years as a state district judge proves she has the experience needed to succeed as the new Dallas County district attorney," he said in a written statement.

For Republicans, Johnson is not the most politically exciting choice, but she'll have to do.


SI Dec-06-2016 311 0
Former NFL running back Rashaan Salaam has died, the University of Colorado announced Tuesday. He was 42. 

Salaam was found dead in a park in Boulder, Colo., on Monday night, the school said. There were no signs of foul play. 

Salaam starred at Colorado for three seasons, winning the Heisman trophy as a junior in 1994. He then declared for the NFL draft and was selected 21st by the Chicago Bears. 

He rushed for 1,074 yards in 16 games as a rookie—the youngest player ever to rush for 1,000 yards—but was let go by the Bears in 1997, after three injury-plagued seasons. He played two games with the Browns in 1999 but only had one carry. Salaam played in the XFL during the league’s only season and attempted an NFL comeback with the 49ers in 2003. 

“He was very coachable,” Bill McCartney, Salaam’s coach with the Buffaloes, said in a statement. “He had a happy heart. I loved being around him. He didn't take himself too seriously, and he always credited those around him, especially his offensive line. What I liked about him is that he had a sparkle in his eye. He was upbeat and positive.”

Dec-06-2016 236 0
Ronald Gasser, the man authorities say shot former NFL player Joe McKnight during a road rage incident, was arrested Monday (Dec. 5) on a manslaughter charge, according to the jail records from Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. The move comes after Gasser originally was released after the shooting.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said it will hold a press conference Tuesday morning (Dec. 6) to give an update on the investigation. The media event is scheduled for 10 a.m. with Sheriff Newell Normand. Watch it live on NOLA.com's Facebook page.

Authorities say Gasser fatally shot McKnight, 27, from inside his vehicle during a road rage incident Thursday (Dec. 1) at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown (map). Gasser was released hours later by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office without charges, as Normand said his office was still working to investigate what happened.

Normand indicated during a press conference last week that the probe of McKnight's shooter includes consideration of Louisiana's stand-your-ground law. The law says a person does not have "a duty to retreat" when the prospect of life-threatening or great bodily harm appears imminent.

"In this state, there are relative statutes that provide defenses to certain crimes," Normand said last week. "For example, officers have those same defenses. So when we shoot and kill somebody, the question is ... it's a homicide. The question is, 'Is it justified or not?'"

The NAACP and others have pointed to the case of Cardell Hayes, who was arrested by New Orleans police and charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting former Saints star Will Smith under similar circumstances in April. Critics have pointed to the fact that Gasser is white and Hayes is black, suggesting different treatment from law enforcement because of their race, something Normand has rejected.

The local NAACP chapter held a press conference Monday outside the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office headquarters to call for justice and transparency in the investigation into McKnight's death.

"We will not go away until this case has been resolved justly and fairly," said Gaylor Spiller, president of the NAACP's West Jefferson Parish branch. She asked to meet with Normand to discuss the case, saying there are "too many unanswered questions" which lead to "a whole lot of misunderstanding, misinterpretation."

Dec-05-2016 158 0
A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the death of a black motorist. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared the mistrial after a jury said Monday that it was unable to unanimously agree on a verdict for Michael Slager.

The judge had told jurors they could also consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Slager was standing trial for shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott to death in North Charleston after stopping him for having a broken taillight. Cellphone video taken by a bystander of the shooting was shown widely in the media and on the internet and sparked national outrage. Race was never made a major issue at trial, even though Slager is white and Scott was black.

Jurors had deliberated more than 22 hours over four days.

Beau Evans Dec-05-2016 73 0
A 61-year-old Marrero man said Ronald Gasser, the alleged shooter of football player Joe McKnight, spat at and tried to punch him during a road rage altercation in 2006, according to the Daily Mail. Gasser was cited for simple battery in the incident, which happened at the same intersection where he admitted to shooting dead McKnight last Thursday (Dec. 1), but the charge was ultimately dropped, authorities said.

Gasser fatally shot McKnight, a former NFL player and local high school standout, at the end of a road rage incident in the Terrytown intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard, authorities said. Gasser, who shot McKnight three times, was released without charges Friday, pending results of an investigation. 

Speaking to the Daily Mail in a story published Sunday, Marrero resident John Shilling, 61, said that he spotted Gasser in a red truck driving "irate and crazy" on the Crescent City Connection in 2006. Shilling said he called a number listed on the side of the truck and told the man who answered -- who turned out to be Gasser himself -- about the erratic driver.

"I said you're driving like a fool," Shilling said, according to the Daily Mail. "He sees me on the phone and realizes it's me."

Shilling then pulled over at a gas station at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard, the same location where Gasser admitted to shooting McKnight during a road rage incident last Thursday. Outside the vehicle, Shilling said Gasser exited his truck and spat at him, the Daily Mail reported. Shilling then said Gasser tried to punch him a few times.

According to a news release issued by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office last Friday, authorities alleged that Gasser confronted Shilling in an argument at the gas station and "and began to strike him with a closed fist several times." Shilling then called police.

The news release says Gasser was issued a misdemeanor summons for simple battery related to the altercation with Shilling, who court records show was listed as a witness in a "Final Record" of the incident. The charge was ultimately dismissed by the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office but will be reviewed again now, the news release said.

Shilling declined to speak with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune at his home in Marrero on Sunday evening. He said only that he had spoken once with Sheriff Newell Normand and planned to do so again soon.

As of Saturday night, no charges had been brought against Gasser, who was released Thursday night by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office after questioning. The decision to release Gasser without pressing charges has prompted outrage on social media and led to questions about Louisiana's stand-your-ground law.

In recent days, McKnight's family members, friends, teammates and supporters have expressed grief and outrage over the killing. At a candlelight vigil held Saturday night at the Lincoln Manner Gym in Kenner where McKnight first made a name for himself as a high school football standout, around a dozen speakers expressed anguish over the road-rage-prompted fatal shooting.

"It was senseless," U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune at the vigil. "You're in a car with the ability to drive away, with the ability to roll your windows up, and you feel the only choice you have is to shoot three times? I can't comprehend that."

Meanwhile, Gasser's family and friends have likewise expressed shock over the shooting, claiming the outburst of violence alleged by police appeared to come out of nowhere. An old friend said he had no idea Gasser even owned a gun, despite the close quarters he and Gasser kept while the friend lived and worked together with Gasser in Terrytown a few years ago.

That friend -- who requested not to be named out of concern for his safety and professional reputation -- said he lived with Gasser at his home in Terrytown for several years until 2014, when the friend left Louisiana to pursue business opportunities in California, he said. During that time, he and Gasser ran a telecommunications business together. The two go back 10 years, the friend said, to when he and Gasser built IT infrastructure for hospitals in Arizona and Las Vegas.

Speaking with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on Saturday, Gasser's friend described his former business partner and housemate as a hard worker and deliberate thinker.

"Really smart guy, really thoughtful," Gasser's friend said. "Really puts a lot of time into thinking about his decisions.  You could always see he was thinking. That was kind of the allure to go into business with him."

"I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened," said Gasser's daughter.
Gasser's friend said he never witnessed Gasser get angry to the point of violence.
"I've never seen him angry in that manner," he said. "Ron's not the kind of guy who would just get out and start shooting at somebody because he's upset. That's just not the kind of guy he is."

At a Friday press conference, Sheriff Normand countered a statement from a witness at the shooting scene Thursday who said Gasser stood over McKnight and shot him three times. An autopsy conducted by the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office shows bullets did not enter McKnight's body from a elevated position, Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich said Friday.

Officers at the scene discovered spent shell casings inside Gasser's car. It's evidence indicating that Gasser could not have been standing outside his car and over McKnight when he opened fire, the sheriff said.

Normand also called false a witness statement noting that McKnight had been in the act of apologizing when he was shot.

Ginger Adams Otis Dec-02-2016 154 0
A lone juror in South Carolina's murder trial against ex-cop Michael Slager threw the courtroom into turmoil Friday when he wrote the judge a note saying the jury "may never reach a unanimous decision."

The letter was accompanied by a note from the jury foreman who wrote that the holdout juror "had issues" and "needed to leave."

The information came after Judge Clifton Newman had already sent the jury back once to try and come to an agreement in Slager's murder trial.

The ex-cop, who is white, is charged with the death of 50-year-old African American Walter Scott in 2015.

But the extra time didn't seem to have changed the mind of the one person who couldn't make peace with the guilty verdict.

"We all struggle with the death of a man and all that has been put before us," the unknown juror wrote to Judge Newman.

But "I cannot in good conscience find the defendent guilty," the juror continued, adding "I cannot and will not change my mind."

The stunning revelation had Judge Newman searching for a way to avoid declaring a mistrial.

Jury deliberating Walter Scott trial ask for ex-cop's testimony

Because he had already sent the jury back once Friday for deliberations, he couldn't order them back a second time under South Carolina law.
The jury had to ask for clarification on the law in order to get more time to deliberate.

Although the jury was clear that it could not reach a consensus, writing, "Yes, we are at a deadlock," they did ask for the court clerk to go over the laws with them one more time.

"I do," the forman said, when asked by Judge Newman if he thought it would help to get a legal explanation of the charges one more time.

The judge declared a brief recess while the jury went back to the deliberation room for the third time and lawyers from both sides waited in the tense courtroom.

The fatal encounter was caught on cell phone video that clearly showed Slager, who was then a North Charleston police officer, pump five bullets into Scott as he tried to flee after getting pulled over during a traffic stop.

But even with that evidence, the jury of 11 whites and one African-American couldn't come to a consensus.

Just after 1 p.m. Friday, the third day of deliberations, the jury sent out a note saying they didn't have a unanimous decision.

That's when Judge Newman issued an Allen charge, a final instruction that mandates jurors to reconsider and try to reach a verdict.

The judge had allowed the jury to consider a manslaughter charge against Slager as well as murder.

The jury on Thursday night had asked the court for an explanation of how fear might differ from heat of passion -- suggesting they were debating the lesser charge of manslaughter.

But the judge told them the court could not answer that question.

It’s for the jurors to decide, he said, urging them to use their common sense.

Slager testified he feared for his life when he shot Scott.

Scott was pulled over by Slager, who is white, on April 4, 2015, when the officer spotted a broken taillight on his vehicle.

During the encounter, Scott tried to run away — prompting Slager to open fire.


Jonathan Bullington Dec-02-2016 619 0
A relative of slain former NFL player Joe McKnight said she was heartbroken Friday after learning that his accused killer, Ronald Gasser, was released from custody overnight.

"It's got me sick to my stomach," Shantell Dobard, 41, said by phone Friday (Dec. 2). "I'm just disappointed how they just let him go free after he shot to death an unarmed man. The system is so screwed up."

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said investigators are consulting with the district attorney's office on whether to formally charge Gasser, 54, who stayed at the scene following McKnight's shooting death Thursday afternoon and was taken into custody at that time. Paul Purpura, spokesman for the district attorney's office, declined to comment when reached by phone Friday.

Fortunato said the department is continuing its investigation, and asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact department homicide detectives at 504-364-5393.

McKnight, 28, was shot about 3 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 1) at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown. A witness, who declined to give her name, said she saw a man at the intersection yelling at McKnight, who was trying to apologize. The man shot McKnight more than once, the witness said. She said he shot McKnight, stood over him and said, "I told you don't you f--- with me." Then the man fired again, she said.

Authorities said Gasser turned his gun in to officers. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said McKnight did not have a gun, and deputies did not find a gun outside McKnight's vehicle.

Jonathan Bullington Dec-02-2016 222 0
Ronald Gasser, the man authorities say shot and killed former NFL player Joe McKnight, was released from custody overnight without being charged, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office authorities said Friday morning.

Gasser, 54, has not been formally charged, said JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato. As the investigation into McKnight's death continues, Fortunato asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact department homicide detectives at 504-364-5393.

McKnight, 28, was shot about 3 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 1) at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown. A witness, who declined to give her name, said she saw a man at the intersection yelling at McKnight, who was trying to apologize. The man shot McKnight more than once, the witness said. She said he shot McKnight, stood over him and said, "I told you don't you f--- with me." Then the man fired again, she said.

Daniel Popper Dec-02-2016 238 0
Joe McKnight dead at 28: Ex-Jets, others mourn shocking loss

The shooter then “stood over” the victim and said “I told you don’t f--k with me” before firing another shot, according to the witness.

The Jets drafted McKnight in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft out of USC. He spent three years with the Jets before being cut in training camp in 2013. During training camp that year, McKnight failed a conditioning test and was arrested in New Jersey for outstanding traffic violations.

McKnight played two games for the Chiefs in 2014 and has been out of the NFL since then.

Former Saints defensive lineman Will Smith was also shot and killed in New Orleans earlier this year after a minor car crash. Terrytown is just more than five miles away from downtown New Orleans.

Antonio Cromartie shared on Twitter: "Just got a message saying my former teammate Joe McKnight was killed today. This hurt to the heart. I can't stop crying. #RestInPeace"

Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who also played with McKnight on Gang Green, wrote "Can't believe my boy gone S.I.P Joe McKnight"

USC football coach Clay Helton tweeted: "Saddens me to hear the news about Joe McKnight. Our prayers go out to the McKnight family."

RICHARD FAUSSET Nov-30-2016 144 0
A Charlotte, N.C., police officer will not face charges in the fatal shooting in September of a black resident, Keith Lamont Scott, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

The Sept. 20 shooting of Mr. Scott, who the police said had a handgun when he was killed, set off days of unrest in North Carolina’s largest city and led to immense public pressure on the police to release dashboard and body camera recordings, which did not prove that Mr. Scott had been armed.

Still, the decision not to prosecute the officer, Brentley Vinson, who is black, was not a surprise. In September, the chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Kerr Putney, said that the officer was “absolutely not being charged by me at this point.”

R. Andrew Murray, the district attorney for Mecklenburg County, said on Wednesday that Officer Vinson was justified in using deadly force against Mr. Scott, saying that he feared for his life and those of his fellow officers.

“Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott,” Mr. Murray said.

Mr. Murray said that despite claims that Mr. Scott was not carrying a gun, he had a .380 semiautomatic handgun with a round of ammunition in the chamber. “All of the credible and available evidence suggests that he was armed,” Mr. Murray said of Mr. Scott.

The shooting, at an apartment complex in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood, happened after two plainclothes officers determined that Mr. Scott, 43, was a potential threat to public safety because they saw him with a gun and what they believed was a marijuana cigarette.

The Police Department said that officers approached Mr. Scott in his vehicle because he was armed and that he ultimately defied “clear, loud and repeated verbal commands” to drop the handgun.

Officer Vinson, the department said in September, soon “perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers.” The officer opened fire as Mr. Scott, who had exited his vehicle, walked backward, his arms at his sides.

The recordings that the Police Department released did not definitively establish whether or not Mr. Scott was armed, but the police distributed photographs of the ankle holster and handgun they said Mr. Scott had in his possession when he was killed. In a video that Mr. Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, recorded during the confrontation, she can be heard telling the officers, “Don’t shoot him. He has no weapon.”

Lawyers for Mr. Scott’s family have said it is possible that Mr. Scott did not understand the instructions because he was recovering from a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in a motorcycle accident last year. Ms. Scott told the officers during the episode that Mr. Scott had a “T.B.I.,” and that he “just took his medicine.”

Mr. Scott’s death led to days of protests in Charlotte, some of which turned violent. The local authorities imposed a curfew, and the National Guard was deployed to the city.

Richard Winton Nov-29-2016 844 0
Former NFL star Darren Sharper was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles, capping a case in which the athlete was accused of attacking more than a dozen women across the country.

Sharper was sentenced as part of a plea deal he reached last year - a "global resolution" that his attorneys said helped resolve sexual assault cases filed against him in multiple states.

"I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission," one of the victims said in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday. "I have lost every bit of self confidence I've ever had and am always in fear while alone. It doesn't matter whether it's day or night, I can see a guy and automatically in my head think, 'What if this guy tries to rape me?'"

Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor noted the statements she and another victim gave as he sentenced Sharper.

"I daresay that I cannot speak more eloquently or passionately about the horrible misconduct of Mr. Sharper and the unfathomable effect he has had on the two alleged victims," the judge said. "I think their individual statements speak volumes as to this disgraceful abuse of trust and the behavior of Mr. Sharper."

After Los Angeles authorities arrested Sharper on suspicion of sexual assault in January 2014, women in other cities came forward, alleging similar attacks. The former New Orleans Saints safety has been convicted of drugging and raping nine women in Los Angeles, Nevada, Arizona and Louisiana.

In August, a federal judge in New Orleans sentenced him to more than 18 years for the attacks. The judge said a federal presentencing report indicated there were 16 victims.

The sentence in Los Angeles is to be served at the same time as others around the country.
Sharper, a five-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl winner who retired in 2011, went on to work as an analyst for the NFL Network until his arrest in Los Angeles.

He pleaded no contest in March 2015 to the Los Angeles charges accusing him of drugging and raping two women. Details about the allegations are laid out in police reports obtained by The Times.
One woman told LAPD detectives about an Oct. 30, 2013 incident at a Century City hotel, according to one of the reports.

She said she was introduced to Sharper through a mutual friend. About 2 a.m., the woman told detectives that Sharper asked if she would go with him to his hotel "so he could get something." The woman said she went with Sharper to the hotel in an Uber car.

Inside the hotel room, Sharper poured her a drink, the woman told police. Sharper was "insistent that she drink it," according to the report. She said she did not recall anything after going to the restroom.

The next morning, the woman told police, she woke up naked, with Sharper on top of her. The woman said she felt groggy and told Sharper that she had to leave, but told police that he "continued having sex with her," the report said.

Two other women told detectives about an incident a few months later, on Jan. 15, 2014, after they met Sharper at a nightclub, according to police reports. 

The women said Sharper gave them a ride to a party at a Hollywood Hills home, after which he invited them to another party. But first, he told them, he "had to go to his hotel room and pick something up," according to the report.

When the three arrived at Sharper's hotel room, the women told police that Sharper made them vodka and cranberry shots, which he had mixed while they were in the bathroom. The women told police they initially declined, "but Sharper kept asking them to take the shots."

"The shots didn't taste like normal vodka shots," the women told police.

The women told detectives they blacked out within 10 minutes of drinking and woke up the next morning on a pullout bed in the living room. One of the women said she felt pain in her vagina; the other "couldn't remember anything."


Jonathan Bullington Nov-27-2016 1126 0
Demontris Toliver, a 25-year-old Baton Rouge tattoo artist in town to celebrate his birthday, has been identified as the man slain during the Bourbon Street mass shooting that wounded nine others Sunday morning (Nov. 27).

Toliver's brother, Joshua Davis, said Toliver was gunned down shortly after he and his fiancee left their Canal Street hotel. Toliver was supposed to meet Davis at a club a few blocks down Bourbon Street. Instead, Davis said he received a text message from his brother's fiancee asking that he call her.

Davis stepped out on the club's balcony and called her, he said, only to learn his brother had been shot.

"I dropped everything and ran down there," Davis said by phone Sunday (Nov. 27). "It was too late."

Before Davis could reach his brother, he had been taken away in an ambulance.

Davis said he was told by his brother's fiancee that the couple and her friend were walking in the 100 block of Bourbon Street when two people started shooting at each other.

One of the shooters did not appear to be looking in the direction he was shooting, Davis was told.

Toliver fell as he was running, Davis was told. His fiancee told Davis that Toliver was holding his neck and repeating "it hurts" as paramedics and police arrived at the scene shortly before 1:30 a.m.

Toliver died at an area hospital.

"That was my left hand," Davis said. "That was my everything."

One of five siblings, Toliver was born in California and raised in New Orleans. He spent the last three years working at a Baton Rouge tattoo parlor, where family said he displayed his immense talents as an artist.

"We're shocked. You just can't believe that it happened," Toliver's aunt, Vickie Davis, said by phone Sunday. "You hear it happens to someone else, but when it happens to you, it's unbelievable. You can't explain it."

>>--More Black Legal News

Daryl K. Washington Sep-20-2016 344 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Sep-20-2016 176 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Sep-20-2016 190 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Sep-20-2016 154 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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 Sep-20-2016 169 0
One must applaud the efforts and courage of Colin Kaepernick despite all of the negative criticism he’s received from the media, from fans, from athletes, current and former, and from certain owners of professional teams. Some have questioned his sincerity and others have questioned his methods but what many have failed to do is take notice of his message. Kaepernick has voiced on a number of occasions the reason for his peaceful protest yet many have failed to comprehend it.

What Kaepernick has done for the Movement is sparked conversation but many do not want to listen. He used his platform to bring attention to the injustices that are occurring on a daily basis yet an unarmed black man was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma while he held both hands in the air for the world to see.

One has to wonder if this would have occurred if there was more unity on the issues that Kaepernick brought to the forefront. One has to wonder if this would have happened if every professional athlete would have stood in solidarity. One has to wonder if this would have happened if Jerry Jones allowed his athletes to exercise their Constitutional rights. One has to wonder if this would have happened if all of the National Organizations would have issued press releases making their support of Kaepernick known to all. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the media was not so fast to label all police officers as heroes. One has to wonder if this would have happened if the officers who murdered Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile were in jail today.

Colin Kaepernick, did what many have accused athletes of not doing; he took a stance. He pledged One Million dollars to the cause but how many more came in support of his efforts? I would like to believe if more people would have come out in support of Colin Kaepernick, Mr. Crutcher would still be alive today. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and challenged everyone else to do so but instead of focusing on the message, people focused on the National Anthem. When the message is ignored the problems will persist. There is a National Stage. The time is now to bring a plan forward. Stop questioning his method and give him the support he needs. Two weeks ago, two young ladies were wrongfully arrested while eating at a Whataburger in San Antonio, Texas. A few days later, a 13 year old boy was shot multiple times by a police officer. On last week, the officer who killed Eric Garner received a bonus to bring his pay to $120,000. Now, we witnessed the shooting of an unarmed black man but there are those who still don’t get the message. Why? Colin Kaepernick has not received the full support he needs.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee but many have not been there to lift him up. This is not Colin’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. If you can demand that people stand in solidarity during the playing of the National Anthem, you most certainly should demand that everyone stand in solidarity when there are injustices. Don’t leave it up to one person to do it all alone. We must up take a knee and move forward with a plan.

Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Civil Rights Law, Sports and Entertainment, Litigation (Personal Injury and Commercial) and Business Transactions. You can reach Daryl by email 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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