Home |   About Us  Submit a Legal Question to Unequal Justice News Find a Black Attorney | Submit a News Story |   Contact Us  

Appointee plans big changes for King Center
Mar-20-2010 1349 0


First step: Move King siblings from control

A court-appointed outsider plans to make Atlanta’s King Center live up to its full potential by removing the children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and their allies from control.

Custodian Terry M. Giles believes the underused center on Auburn Avenue honoring the martyred civil rights leader should be on par with a presidential library and should continue its original mission of using nonviolence to bring social change around the world.

To accomplish that, Giles told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he plans to restructure the bylaws and governance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change — an institution mired in conflict for more than 15 years — to ensure a national board controls it rather than the King family.

Giles said he hopes to persuade King’s heirs — Martin, Dexter and Bernice King — and their relatives to support creating a diversified board that can raise tens of millions of dollars and hire top-flight management, but he said he has court authority to act unilaterally.

“We want the best people we can get,” he said. “I know the family has been concerned that this would allow them to lose control. Maybe there are some family members who would be perfect for those parts, but maybe not.”

Andrew Young, who received a lifetime appointment to the King Center board, told the AJC that the revamping was “probably overdue. The center originally started with a 35-member board and had prominent people from around the nation and Atlanta, but many resigned and others were not reappointed after Dexter King became chairman in 1994.”

Dexter King wanted to build an interactive museum at the center — which didn’t come to pass — and under his stewardship the nonviolence and social activism training programs that had been so dominant faded, Young said.

“He was basically a businessman who didn’t know Martin Luther King and didn’t know a lot about the movement and he was exercising a lot of authority,” Young said. “If we can get a new board and a new structure, then I think it would help solve some of the institutional problems of management and give us a new opportunity to start again.”

Giles, a prominent Houston lawyer and businessman, became the new power broker at the King Center because of a family feud. In 2008, Martin and Bernice King filed a lawsuit accusing Dexter of mismanaging and looting King Inc. — the family corporation that controls Martin Luther King’s copyrighted material, image and intellectual property, and which has generated millions of dollars.

Dexter King — head of King Inc. and chairman of the King Center — fired back with a lawsuit that accused his brother of misusing the assets of the King Center, a nonprofit corporation that Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King’s widow, founded in 1974.

Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville appointed Giles as part of the settlement of the lawsuit.

Martin and Bernice King declined to discuss the custodian or whether they support his plans. Both said they wanted to wait for Giles to do his work. “The [court] order speaks for itself,” Bernice King told the AJC on Friday. “It is a consent order with all our signatures. That speaks volumes.”

Critics have long charged that the center largely served to employ King family members. Martin King was once the president with a $150,000 salary, until removed by his family at a board meeting in 2004. Dexter King is currently the board chairman and chief operating officer, with a salary and deferred income of $197,000. His cousin Isaac Farris Jr. is the chief executive officer, with a salary and deferred income totaling nearly $96,000, according to tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009 for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

Attempts to reach Dexter King were unsuccessful. Farris declined to comment, saying the Kings had requested he not comment about the center.

In the tax document, the most recent filed, Dexter King, 49, maintains he spends 40 hours a week on center business from his home in Malibu, Calif.

The tax document also shows the center paid $696,163 to Dexter King’s company, Intellectual Properties Management, as a management consultant for 2007-08 fiscal year. The fee in the past has often been more than $1 million. The King Center has maintained the money is to repay IPM for salaries it paid center employees, currently numbering about 20.

Giles told the AJC the IPM payments appeared to be legitimate but resulted in a lack of transparency that created family friction and fueled public suspicions.

“They actually kept it pretty straight — it was the first thing I looked at to make sure it was being done right,” Giles said. “IPM was not taking a fee. IPM was being reimbursed for the actual number that IPM was spending on salaries. It was only being reimbursed for actual expenses from everything I have seen. Now maybe something will pop up and surprise me.”

Bernice and Martin King alleged in court documents that their brother also might be under investigation by the inspector general for the federal Department of Education for misusing a $600,000 federal grant. The education department would not confirm whether there was an investigation.

Dexter King tried to support the center by marketing the life story and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. commercially — an approach that angered many members of the old civil rights guard — but the approach was largely unsuccessful, Young said.

Giles said the result was that King Inc. ended up underwriting financial shortfalls at the King Center, which receives about $2 million a year in federal grants, fund-raising and sales.

“King Inc. has been keeping the center afloat and that is something we have to turn around,” he said. “If you actually went through the numbers, King Inc. would probably be owed a couple of million dollars.”

Giles said the center first needs to hire a small group of turn-around officers to get the center properly financed and functioning.

He said the nonprofit’s 16-member board has offered little oversight. The bylaws were changed so that only the chairman could call a board meeting.

“It has literally been years since they had a real board meeting and the center has been run with absentee management — that is never a good idea,” Giles said. “The only public relations they have had so far has been bad and we need to turn that around.”

The King Center has filed a motion in Fulton County Superior Court to intervene in the lawsuit because of concerns of how Giles’ appointment might impact the center. Giles said he planned to work closely with the family. “I know right now there is a lot of angst,” he said.

Disciples of Martin Luther King’s philosophy of nonviolence, including Dorothy Cotton and Bernard Lafayette Jr., both of whom once headed the King Center’s programs, said the center had used that philosophy for everything from helping end conflict in families and among street gangs to teaching neighborhood activists how to get their share of public dollars.


Related Stories
Amanda Coyne May-25-2017 130 0
Four teachers from Gwinnett County schools have two things in common: They all passed background checks to get their jobs, and they’re all charged with sexually assaulting students.

Allegations in police reports and warrants include molestation, groping, rape and a two-and-a-half year sexual relationship. The alleged abuse occurred over a period of more than two years, but all four arrests were made this month.


The teachers arrested this month are:

• Michael “Mikey” Henderson, a former math teacher and assistant football coach at Parkview High School. Henderson has been accused of a two-and-a-half year sexual relationship with a female student. The student is now 18 and was in Henderson’s class. A school clerk is also being investigated in connection with this case.

• Villie Jones, a former band director at South Gwinnett High School. Jones has been accused of raping a student multiple times and having sexual relationships with multiple other students.

• Ronnie Jackson, a former physical education teacher and track coach at Meadowcreek High School. Jackson is accused of groping and kissing a female student’s genitals.

• Derren Evans, a former assistant football coach and long-term substitute teacher at Providence Christian Academy. Evans is accused of groping and forcibly kissing a student on multiple occasions and asking her for nude photos on Snapchat.

Jackson is free on $22,200 bond. Evans, Jones and Henderson are being held without bond.

The four teachers, three of whom taught at Gwinnett County public schools, and one who taught at private Providence Christian Academy, are a small minority of the district’s and schools’ faculty. Gwinnett County Public Schools employs 12,000 teachers and Providence Christian Academy, a K-12 school in Lilburn, employs 79.

All four men went through extensive background checks to get their jobs. Nothing in any of those background checks arose suspicion or concern, Gwinnett County Public Schools and Providence Christian Academy said.

The teachers also underwent training that addressed inappropriate relationships between students and teachers, as well as sexual harassment, assault and abuse.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
CBS May-25-2017 86 0
A middle school is under fire for its reaction to a violent brawl between a teacher and a staff member inside a classroom that was caught on video by a student.

CBS affiliate WGCL-TV reports the fight broke out on May 19 at Stone Mountain Middle School, northeast of downtown Atlanta. WGCL obtained video of the dramatic incident, which shows two women punching each other and pulling each other's hair while students scream for them to stop.

WGCL reports one woman is a teacher and the other is a teaching assistant.

"From what I think I know the teachers were arguing about a teacher, a male teacher, and they started arguing and it went on for about three to five minutes," one student told WGCL.
Teachers fight in a classroom in Stone Mountain, Georgia, in a video captured by a student on May 19, 2017. CloseWGCL-TV
The fight was eventually broken up by another adult. Students told WGCL that officials came into the classroom after the incident and forced them to delete any evidence of the brawl on their cell phones.

"Nobody apologized. They just came in and were like, 'Who videotaped this?' and stuff like that," one student said. "I think they were trying to push it under the rug so nobody would know about it and the school's reputation wouldn't be messed up."

The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) told WGCL it was not aware of school officials examining students' phones. After WGCL sent the video to DCSD's communications director, the district issued a statement saying the staff members involved in the fight would be disciplined.

"Those staff members that participated in the conduct have been removed from the learning environment," the statement read. "Following our process, DCSD will act swiftly and decisively to hold those employees accountable for their actions."

"Safety and security procedures are in place to help maintain a safe campus," Hinton wrote. "Anyone who creates an unsafe learning environment for our students receive swift disciplinary actions."

Julia Berry, whose daughter was in the classroom at the time of the fight, told WGCL she wants the teacher and the assistant fired.

Berry said failure to fire those responsible would send a message that "it's OK to fight if you can't deal with a problem. This is how you deal with it -- you punch the teacher in the face."
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
AP May-25-2017 102 0
The family of Alton Sterling is demanding the immediate firing of the two officers involved in the man's death.

In a letter Wednesday to Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr., attorneys contend the officers violated the police department's policy regarding de-escalation.

"It specifically cites information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice during a meeting in early May that Officer Blane Salamoni put his gun to Sterling's head and, using an expletive, threatened to shoot him.

"Not only is this a direct violation of BRPD's policy regarding de-escalation, but also a violation of multiple police procedures and policies recognized nationwide. More importantly, Officer Salamoni's actions directly escalated the entire interaction with Mr. Sterling, having placed in Mr. Sterling's mind that he was going to be killed no matter what he did, even if he complied," attorneys representing Sterling's children said.

Sterling, 37, struggled with the officers before Salamoni shot him six times outside a convenience store last July. He was selling homemade CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart when police were called to the store to investigate a report of a man with a gun.

The letter suggests that the department has known about Salamoni's alleged behavior since the night of the incident "and did not take any action to terminate his employment for putting a gun to Mr. Sterling's head, simply because his hands were not flat on the hood and he was asking why he was being confronted."

Broome, in a statement late Wednesday, said she has consistently sought "an expedited resolution to the investigation into Mr. Sterling's death" and called "for disciplinary actions against" the officers.

"I have advised (Dabadie) of my concerns regarding the employment status of these officers. I believe they should be removed from paid administrative leave and disciplined consistent with the severity of their actions. In Officer Salamoni's case, this warrants termination," the mayor said.

Dabadie did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Federal prosecutors declined to bring charges against the officers involved in the deadly encounter. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has begun his own investigation into the shooting.

Landry's investigation "is not related to whether or not Officer Salamoni keeps his job and is fit to be a member of the BRPD, that decision was made by Officer Salamoni himself when he put a loaded department firearm to Mr. Sterling's head without justification and with reckless disregard," the attorneys said.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
Jose A. DelReal May-25-2017 74 0
n an interview released Wednesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that a "certain mindset" contributes to people living in poverty, pointing to habits and a "state of mind" that children take from their parents at a young age.

"I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they'll be right back up there," he said during an interview on SiriusXM Radio with Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend.

"And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they'll work their way right back down to the bottom," Carson said.

The retired neurosurgeon, who ran for president during the 2016 GOP primary, regularly speaks about his experience growing up in poverty and his road to the top of the medical field. Before entering the political fray, Carson was best known as a motivational speaker. His story was turned into a Lifetime movie and made him a role model for young people of color. But his conservative politics and denunciations of government assistance have eroded that image as he became a right-wing icon.

Carson said during the interview that "the wrong mindset" is the product of negative parenting habits and exposure.

"There's also a poverty of spirit. You develop a certain mindset," he said.

Carson made the comments during a town hall recorded Tuesday which will air in full on SiriusXM Wednesday night. Sirius released clips of the interview to news organizations to promote the show.

The secretary said that he believes that government can provide a "helping hand" to people looking to climb out of poverty. But he warned against programs that are "sustaining them in a position of poverty. That's not helpful."

"I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way, and that’s where government can come in and be very helpful," he said. "It can provide the ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done."

The Trump administration's 2018 budget blueprint, unveiled Tuesday, would cut more than $6 billion from HUD's budget. The cuts would end popular grants that facilitate first-time home ownership and revitalize economically distressed communities, including the Community Development Block Grant. The budget would also cut billions of dollars in funding for public housing support, gutting dollars used to fund big-ticket repairs at public housing developments around the country.

Carson has spoken at length in the past about personal responsibility and its intersection with poverty, bemoaning systemic dependence on public assistance.

On the campaign trail, Carson repeatedly pushed back against accusations that he wanted to end social safety net programs; he stressed, instead, that he believed government assistance was not always given to people who truly needed it.

"I have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them. I have a strong desire to get rid of programs that create dependency in able-bodied people," he said in the 2015 speech announcing his candidacy. "And we’re not doing people a favor when we pat them on the head and say, 'There, there, you poor little thing, we’re going to take care of all your needs. You don't have to worry about anything.' You know who else says stuff like that? Socialists."

Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
FOX 4 May-24-2017 99 0
A jury couldn’t agree on a verdict in the trial of a Fort Worth police officer who shot a man who was holding a barbecue fork.

Jurors on Wednesday sent two notes to the judge saying they were deadlocked with five people reaching one verdict and seven reaching the other. They couldn’t come to a unanimous verdict and the judge was forced to declare a mistrial.

Officer Courtney Johnson was on trial for aggravated assault for shooting and wounding Craigory Adams in June of 2015. Dashcam video shows him responding to a call of a prowler with a knife. The knife turned out to be a barbecue fork.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
May-22-2017 93 0
The Freddie Gray case lives on with the Baltimore Police Department’s decision to bring internal charges against five of the six officers involved in the case, with at least three of them also facing termination.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the police van in which Gray sustained fatal injuries, along with Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White, could all be fired as a result of the internal disciplinary action.

Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, who made the initial arrest of Gray, face up to five days’ suspension without pay. Officer William Porter is currently not facing any disciplinary action in the case.

Investigators from the Montgomery and Howard County police departments finished reviewing the case earlier this month and handed in a report indicating the results of the investigation to city police May 12. However, as the Sun reports, that report has not been released.

The BPD asked the Montgomery and Howard departments to conduct the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.

The five officers facing punishment were informed of the charges Friday, according to the Sun. Michael E. Davey, an attorney who deals with internal-affairs cases for the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, said that they are charged with “violations of policy and procedure.”

The officers can choose to accept the recommended punishment or contest the charges before an internal disciplinary panel or “trial board.” Those trial boards are open to the public under a new state law, the report notes.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis imposes the discipline and will ultimately have the final say, the Sun reports.

Gray was arrested April 12, 2015, and died a week after of a severe spinal injury that an autopsy ruled he sustained while riding in the back of a police van without being properly restrained with a seat belt.

Prosecutors charged the six officers in the case with charges varying from misconduct to manslaughter to second-degree murder, and all officers pleaded not guilty.

Porter went to trial in December 2015, but that trial ended in a hung jury, resulting in a mistrial. Nero, Rice and Goodson were all acquitted in bench trials last year. Prosecutors subsequently decided to drop the remaining criminal cases.

What the internal disciplinary action means, however, is that investigators concluded that officers did break department rules in the case.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
carrie wells May-22-2017 191 0
Authorities are investigating whether the stabbing death of a black college student who was visiting the University of Maryland during graduation weekend was a hate crime.

The chief of the university police said Sunday the suspect, a white University of Maryland student, is a member of a racist Facebook group. An FBI official said the federal agency will assist with the investigation.

The victim, identified by police Sunday as Richard Collins III, was due to graduate from Bowie State University this week. The Calvert County man had completed ROTC in college and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army on Thursday, according to school officials and a family spokesman. He was 23.

Police have charged Sean Christoper Urbanski, 22, of Severna Park with first-degree murder in the attack. He was being held without bail. His family did not respond Sunday to a request for comment, and online court records did not list an attorney.

In this new digital age, it’s easy to assume change is limited to only technology, but it encompasses society and demographics as well—basically the very nature of work itself.

"We are looking forward to the quickest investigation as possible," he said. "Hate has no place in America. Hate has no place on a college campus where young minds are coming together to try to change the world."

The Rev. Darryl L. Godlock, serving as a spokesman for the Collins family, said the young man had obtained his airborne certification. Collins wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a military veteran, Godlock said.

"He wanted to make his parents proud of him so he went into the military to serve his country," Godlock said. "It was a great opportunity for him to advance forward and make the most out of his career."

Godlock said Collins was close to his family.

"This was not a thug," Godlock said. "This was a very caring individual. He was highly intelligent and he was at the peak of his career. He loved his family, he loved people that he came in contact with, and more importantly he loved his God."

Collins was a vibrant, funny and outgoing student whose ambition rubbed off on his friends, said Vidal Adams, a fellow Bowie State student and friend. Collins talked about wanting to travel the world and go skydiving and surfing, he said.

"He wanted to be a general of the United States Army, that was his ultimate goal," said Adams, a senior criminal justice major. "He was the definition of a leader. I can't really say the same about a lot of people."

Collins was waiting with two other students for an Uber ride outside the Montgomery Hall dormitory on Regents Drive near U.S. 1 at about 3 a.m. Saturday when he was attacked.

The stabbing was captured by a surveillance camera, police said. They called it unprovoked.

Witnesses said the suspect was intoxicated and incoherent at the time of the attack, police said. Police have said the victim and suspect did not know each other.

Officers called to the scene found Collins wounded on the sidewalk, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Urbanski was arrested at the scene, police said. Officers recovered a folding knife, police said.

Collins' friends told police they heard the suspect scream as he approached them.

The suspect said "Step left, step left if you know what's best for you," police wrote in charging documents. Collins said "no," police wrote. The suspect continued to approach, and stabbed him once in the chest.

Police said initially there was no indication that race played a role. But University Police Chief David Mitchell said information about the Facebook group was brought to their attention on Sunday.

Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
AP May-19-2017 193 0
A judge confirmed Prince's six siblings to be his rightful heirs in a ruling released Friday, bringing them a big step closer to collecting their shares of the music legend's multimillion-dollar estate.
Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide formally declared that Prince died without a will and that his heirs are his sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings — Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John R. Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson.

The siblings will still have to wait to inherit their shares of Prince's estate, which court filings suggest has an estimated value of about $200 million, though taxes are expected to consume about half of that.

More than 45 people came forward in the wake of Prince's death, claiming to be his wife, children, siblings or other relatives. Some, including a Colorado prison inmate who said he was Prince's son, were ruled out through DNA testing. Others, such as a woman and girl who claimed to be Prince's niece and grandniece, had their claims rejected as a matter of law.

Some of those people filed legal appeals, and Eide said that if appellate courts send any of the rejected claimants back to him, he will consider them. And until the appeals are resolved, Eide said the siblings won't be able to collect anything without his approval.

Eide previously signaled that the six siblings would likely be named Prince's heirs, but he also had said he wouldn't make the declaration until appeals had been decided. Lawyers for the siblings didn't want to wait, though, saying further delays would increase costs to the estate and impede its efficient administration. The siblings' attorneys didn't immediately reply to phone calls seeking comment Friday.

Attorneys for rejected claimants had urged Eide to wait for appeals to be resolved before naming the heirs. Andrew Stoltmann, a lawyer for the woman and girl who say they are Prince's niece and grand-niece, said Friday that he hadn't seen the new ruling but would examine it and determine whether to appeal it.

Prince died April 21, 2016, of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Since his death, Prince's Paisley Park studio complex and home has been turned into a museum and concert venue. His estate has also struck deals to make his albums available by streaming, and next month plans to release a remastered "Purple Rain" album as well as two albums of unreleased music and two concert films. The values of those deals and revenue generated from Paisley Park tours have not been disclosed.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
MEGAN CERULLO May-18-2017 173 0
A 6-year-old Mississippi boy was kidnapped and found shot to death in the back seat of a Toyota Camry Thursday, police said.

Kingston Frazier was sitting in the back of the car when it was stolen from a grocery store parking lot.

“We had everyone on the lookout for this particular vehicle. It was discovered abandoned on the side of the road in Madison County,” police said.

Kingston’s mother, Ebony Archie, left the car running with her son sleeping inside, while she went grocery shopping, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department said. Two men pulled up to Archie’s car, jumped inside, and sped away with her car and her son, local media outlets reported.

Suspects Dwan Wakefield and DeAllen Washington are in custody.
Mbt Schuhe Online Shop Think about the occasion that you make the purchase. Choose them in accordance with the occasion that you are going to put them on.
>>--More Black Legal News
   
     

All Content ?2008-2013 Black Legal Issues  unless otherwise stated.