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Gospel Singer Arrested On Abuse Charges
BlackLegalIssues.com Mar-13-2009 986 0

A star of gospel music is accused of assaulting his ex-wife on Valentine's Day weekend.

Debra Winans said her former husband BeBe Winans pushed her to the ground in front of their children. The two were married for 16 years before divorcing in 2003.

The alleged assault happened when BeBe Winans showed up at his ex-wife's Nashville home and the two began arguing about custody issues. Debra and BeBe Winans have a 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son.

According to an affidavit, what started out as a "verbal altercation" turned into assault when Debra Winans was "pushed to the ground."

Later, the Grammy-winning Gospel recording artist and judge of the Black Entertainment Television reality show Sunday Best was arrested.

"When you're married to someone known all over the world, it has serious challenges," said Debra Winans.

Debra Winans said people of faith are held to an even higher standard, and many Christians suffer through abuse rather than reaching out for help.

"Until you realize something's not changing, you pray all day long. The power of God is real, but one thing he's not going to do is go against someone's will. We make choices," said Debra Winans.

She said she is not afraid of her former husband and hopes by speaking out she will help others.

A spokesman for BeBe Winans said the singer is in Atlanta working as a judge on a BET program. As of Thursday evening, there was no statement from BeBe Winans regarding his ex-wife's allegations.

Debra Winans said she is working with other abuse victims in hopes of helping them find healthy solutions to their problem.

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CBS NEWS Sep-28-2016 109 0
Authorities are charging a Georgia police officer with fabricating a story that she was shot by a suspect she described only as a black man.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Friday that agents have obtained warrants charging Jackson police Officer Sherry Hall with making false statements, tampering with evidence, interference with government property and violation of oath of office.

The GBI says Hall made a police radio call early on Sept.13, and said she had been shot. Hall said she saw a black man near a woodline while she was on routine patrol, and she approached him to ask him why he was there. He became argumentative and shot her, she claimed. She said she fired two shots at the suspect with the Glock .22 issued to her by the Jackson Police Department, but said he fled into the woods.

Hall is white. Police said previously that Hall was shot in the abdomen but her bulletproof vest protected her.

Jackson police chief James Morgan said he called in the GBI to conduct an independent investigation. According to the GBI, Hall told investigators she hadn’t turned on her police car’s video or audio recording devices. But when investigators turned up video and audio from the unit’s hard drive, they found her statements inconsistent with the recordings and other evidence.

The GBI says investigators determined she was not a victim of a shooting.

At a press conference Friday, investigators and prosecutors didn’t say whether they believe Hall shot herself, citing the ongoing investigation. But they said they do not suspect she had accomplices.

Her claim that an armed suspect was still on the loose instilled fear in the small central Georgia city of just over 5,000. Jackson Mayor Kay Pippin said she was “disappointed anyone would contribute to such fears.”

“For two weeks, the good people of the city of Jackson poured out their hearts in expressions of concern and support for what we believed to be a police officer – one of our own – harmed in the line of duty, Pippin said.

Hall’s daughter spoke to CBS affiliate WGCL shortly after the incident, pleading for the gunman to turn himself in.

Friday, officials reassured the community there was no gunman at large.

Morgan said Hall is on paid administrative leave. She had been with the department for about three months before the incident and had been in law enforcement for about four years, Morgan said.

Officials said she had checked herself into a private facility, but wouldn’t elaborate. She was expected to be arrested and booked on the charges upon her release.
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Tobias Salinger Sep-28-2016 97 0
A San Diego-area officer fatally shot a man who witnesses claim was mentally challenged and unarmed Tuesday afternoon, making him the latest victim in an unsettling series of black men killed by police.

Gunfire rang out around 2 p.m. local time in a parking lot at the Broadway Village Shopping Center in El Cajon, California, after police received multiple calls about a man who was "not acting like himself," Police Chief Jeff Davis told the Daily News in a statement.

Upon arriving, the first responding officer discovered a black male in his 30s frantically pacing back and forth, "not only endangering himself, but motorists," Davis said.

The officer allegedly ordered the man to remove his hand from his front pants pocket. When the man didn't comply, the officer drew his firearm.

A second officer arrived shortly thereafter and prepared to stun the man with a Taser. But as the officer prepared the electronic device, the man allegedly pulled out an object from his pocket, placed his hands together and took "what appeared to be a shooting stance," Davis said.

Both officers discharged their weapons simultaneously, fatally striking the man with several bullets as well as a high-voltage Taser shock. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead Tuesday evening.

Police released a grainy screen grab that appears to show the victim with his hands locked together as two officers surround him with their weapons drawn. The screengrab, Davis said, is taken from cellphone footage recorded by a bystander.

"That was the only phone provided to officers in this investigation," Davis said.

Cops charged in Freddie Gray’s death hailed at right-wing gala

Police would not immediately say what the object the victim pulled from his pocket was, but noted no weapons were retrieved from the scene.

Several eyewitnesses said the victim had his hands above his head when he was shot, but police spokesman Rob Ransweiler disputed those accounts, adding he was "confident that the community will support the decision made by the officer."

"The investigation just started, but based on the video voluntarily provided by a witness, the subject did NOT have his hands up in the air," the police department said on Twitter late Tuesday.

Nonetheless, several dozen protesters gathered at the scene of the shooting and outside the police headquarters late Tuesday. Many cursed at officers guarding the scene and video showed several people at one point pushing through police tape.

Police had not released the victim's name by early Wednesday, but a family friend identified the dead man as 30-year-old Alfred Olango.

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ap Sep-28-2016 75 0
Unanswered questions still surround the fatal police shooting of a black man by a black police officer in North Carolina despite a week of rallies and marches calling for wider investigations and more transparency by law enforcement.

Authorities have said officer Brentley Vinson, 26, shot Keith Lamont Scott, 43, after the man refused to drop a pistol as he exited a vehicle parked at an apartment complex where officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were waiting to arrest someone else. They also have released two police recordings of the moments before and after the fatal gunfire, and Scott's family has released a video taken by his wife, who was nearby.

But the explanations and images haven't erased all the questions about the shooting. Here are some of them:

Police said Scott had a loaded gun that had been reported stolen previously, and they said testing showed the weapon found at the scene carried both his fingerprints and DNA. But Scott's relatives and demonstrators dispute that.

On the video taken by Scott's wife, the woman tells officers "He has no weapon" several times, even as officers yell at him, "Drop the gun." Demonstrators have consistently repeated claims that Scott was unarmed when he was killed.

But Scott had a weapon a year ago, according to a court document filed by his wife. In asking a judge for a restraining order against her husband in October 2015, Rakeyia Scott wrote that officers should consider her husband a potential threat because he carried a 9mm gun. "He said he is a 'killer' and we should know that," she wrote.

After the shooting, police released an evidence photograph of a cocked, Colt .380-caliber handgun lying in a parking lot with the safety disengaged to illustrate their claim that Scott was armed when Vinson opened fire. The .380-caliber weapon is a form of a 9mm gun, a weapons expert said, and could be referred to as a 9mm, as Scott described in her complaint.

But it's not clear if the gun mentioned in the restraining order is the same one police said they recovered.

The image is vital because Scott's family said he had a book, not a gun. Several things appear to be on the ground around where Scott fell, but no gun is clearly evident. A video from an officer's body camera at one point shows something on the ground near Scott's feet that could be a gun. But it isn't visible as the video continues, and it's unclear what it is. Several things appear to be on the ground in the video taken by Scott's wife, but it's unclear what they are.

Did the gun get kicked away in the seconds after the shooting, or did an officer stand on it or pick it up perhaps? Police haven't explained.

Police say two plainclothes officers were sitting inside an unmarked car waiting to serve an arrest warrant at the apartment complex when Scott pulled in beside them in a white sport-utility vehicle. Officers first saw him rolling what appeared to be a marijuana blunt and then saw him hold up a gun, prompting officers to order him out of the SUV seconds before the shooting, police have said.

Police have not said who they were attempting to arrest. Police Lt. David Robinson said the suspect remained at large and was wanted on a federal probation violation.

The suspect was not related to Scott, police have said.

Scott's family and advocacy groups complain that authorities have made public only about three minutes of footage from two police cameras, one on a dashboard and the other from a police officer's body, despite at least four officers being present. The footage does not include body camera video from Vinson.

Police Chief Kerr Putney has said the officer who shot Scott was not wearing a body camera that day because he was serving with a tactical unit in which members are not equipped with the devices. He previously said he was reluctant to make officers in high-risk operations wear cameras that could reveal tactics and locations.

The American Civil Liberties Union has questioned whether the department is violating its own body camera policy instituted in April 2015. The policy, according to the department's site, states the cameras must be activated in situations including arrests and encounters with suspicious people. It doesn't address whether tactical units must wear them.

But only one officer at the time of Scott's shooting was equipped with a body camera, and all video footage from that camera leading up to, involving and immediately after the shooting has been released, said Robinson, the police spokesman.
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Nina Mandell Sep-28-2016 121 0
The team's president, Peter Feigin certainly thinks so - or at least used that as a reason to defend the $250 million in taxpayer money the team is using to finance it's new arena, which is scheduled to open in 2018.

When speaking to a Rotary Club last week in Madison according to the Wisconsin State Journal, Feigin said that he believed the new arena will help Milwaukee and the team is dedicated to "wellness, education and work development."

"We know we can't cure the world," Feigin said. "But we are very determined to get ourselves involved in programs that we can measure a difference in and put our claws into for a long period of time and show a difference.

"Very bluntly, Milwaukee is the most segregated, racist place I've ever experienced in my life. It just is a place that is antiquated. It is in desperate need of repair and has happened for a long, long time. One of our messages and one of our goals is to lead by example."

While these deals with professional sports rarely work out as well as teams promise they will for taxpayers, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal the Bucks are at least saying the right things.

The Bucks organization has been pro-active in requiring its construction contractors to hire Milwaukee city and Milwaukee County residents, as required by the team's development agreement with the city and the requirements for projects in the Park East corridor land the Bucks bought from Milwaukee County. The Bucks also agreed to pay wages of at least $12 per hour- escalating to $15 by 2023 - for service-sector jobs at the new arena and related facilities and hire union-represented employees and union-signatory subcontractors.

When asked by the Business Journal about his reported comments to the Rotary Club, Feigin said he was talking about the "hard truths" about Milwaukee's problems.

Feigin's comments come nearly two months after riots broke out in the city earlier this year after a black man was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop, one of many police-involved shootings that have heightened tensions in recent months.
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Wesley Lowery Sep-26-2016 153 0
Crucial evidence in the police shooting death of Keith Scott is not available because one of the officers failed to activate his body camera as soon as he responded to the encounter, in violation of department policy.

The department released two videos late Saturday after four days of sometimes violent protests here over the death of Scott, who police said had a gun. Neither video is conclusive on that question.

The grainy body camera video begins showing an officer who appears to be yelling, his weapon drawn, as he and the officer wearing the body camera stand behind Scott’s white vehicle. Next the officer with the camera can be seen striking Scott’s truck with his baton. Scott gets out of the vehicle, four shots are fired by an officer not seen on the video, and Scott falls to the ground.

The officer recording retreats back behind the truck, then doubles back toward Scott’s dying body.

But none of those moments in the first 30 seconds of the bodycam video have audio. All are silent, denying investigators and the public key details of what happened immediately prior to the shooting Sept. 20. That indicates the officer, who has not been identified, did not turn on the camera until after the shooting, when audio begins.

Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD are equipped with Axon Flex body cameras made by Taser. The city spent more than $7 million in 2015 to buy and implement the use of 1,385 of the cameras, making Charlotte the first major city in North Carolina to have body-worn cameras on all of its patrol officers. (It also bought 15 of a different model of body camera for its K9 officers).

These cameras come with a “buffer” function. When a camera is simply turned on, it saves only the 30 seconds of soundless video filmed before an officer “activates” the camera. Audio, however, does not begin to be recorded until the moment an officer manually activates the camera.

“When you go on duty, you turn the camera on. But when you turn the camera on it is only in the buffer mode,” explained Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser. “What it’s doing is recording nothing but video. It’s recording constantly, but it’s only saving the last 30 seconds of video.”

Charlotte police use Taser Axon body cameras. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP) Charlotte police use Taser Axon body cameras. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
[Amid pressure, Charlotte police release videos in shooting of Keith Lamont Scott]

In order to activate audio recording and to begin saving video, an officer must double tap a large button on the camera, Tuttle said. The camera then begins recording all audio and video moving forward and automatically saves the video images of the previous 30 seconds.

“When you watch some of these videos, they are totally silent for 30 seconds,” Tuttle said. “Then you instantly hear the double beep and that was the very instant the person double clicked the event button.” In the body camera footage released Saturday, the double beep and audio recording are not heard until after Scott has been shot.

The department’s body camera policy, effective June 2016, states that officers must fully activate their body cameras “prior to or in anticipation of” interactions with civilians resulting from traffic stops, suspicious vehicle or persons investigations, arrests, use of force incidents and voluntary investigative conduct. In the policy, “voluntary investigative conduct” is defined as “the mere suspicion of some type of criminal activity by a person,” which fits the description of why police say officers confronted Scott.

According to the police narrative of the incident, an officer saw Scott hold up a gun, which prompted the plainclothes officers to leave the area, put on vests marked with police insignia, and then return to detain Scott.

Those officers did not have cameras. Another officer, responding to a call about a man with a gun, soon arrived. According to the department’s policy, this officer should have activated his camera as soon as he left his vehicle. Instead, he waited for at least 45 seconds, and perhaps longer, before activating his camera.

The police department confirmed Sunday that the first 30 seconds of the body camera footage has no audio because it occurred before the officer had manually activated his body camera. “Once the cameras are activated manually they begin recording audio, however it will go back visually 30 seconds,” police department spokeswoman Jessica Wallin said in an email.

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Erin Durkin Sep-26-2016 108 0
City Councilman Jumaane Williams has been targeted with racist hate mail since he refused in protest to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Brooklyn Democrat got one letter calling him a “f---ing plantation monkey.”

“Plantation owner should have aborted your great-grandmother. You sit during the pledge — well hope you have an accident that causes such physical trauma you will not be able to stand or kneel,” read the letter obtained by the Daily News.

Williams remained seated with his head bowed in prayer when the pledge was recited at the opening of a City Council meeting earlier this month.

He said he wanted to protest killings of black men by police in addition to other injustices, and show solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has taken a knee during the national anthem.

The backlash against Williams included another hate-spewing note that said the protest “brings attention to how pathetic some if not most Blacks are.”

The writer went on to rant about affirmative action and rap music and wrote, “Black parents wait (some pray) that a son will get shot by a cop; of course he was on his way to college or usually church. This is called Payday for them. The ghetto lottery. What’s one kid when they usually have 6-8 maybe 10.”

Williams said the blatantly racist missives just go to show how much there is to protest.

“It just underscores that we really haven’t gone as far as we think we have on these issues,” he said. “People try to pretend we’re past that in this country, and we’re not.”

Another note sent to his office contained an article about his sitting out the pledge with the message “Drop dead you f---” scrawled over it.

Williams said he has long declined to recite the pledge but always stood out of respect, and has now decided to make his private protest public.

“I feel sorry for someone who can’t even see how illogical it is what they’re saying,” Williams said. “They’re walking around with so much anger in their hearts. It’s a disappointing thing, but that’s what we’re dealing with.”
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Megan Cerullo Sep-25-2016 131 0
The University of North Dakota is investigating a photo that shows four white students in black facial masks that was apparently posted on Snapchat with the caption “Black lives matter.”

The photograph is the second racially-charged image associated with the university to be released in less than two days. An earlier picture of three white students, one of whom flashes a peace sign, reading “Locked the black b---h out,” was previously shared on the same messaging platform.

University of North Dakota’s president Mark Kennedy, whose term began in July, addressed both episodes in a statement.

“I am appalled that within 48 hours two photos with racially-charged messages have been posted on social media and associated with the UND campus community,” he said in the statement. “It is abundantly clear that we have much work to do at the University of North Dakota in educating our students, and the entire University community on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others.”

The UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are conducting investigations into both incidents. Kennedy wrote that the school is also researching best practices for diversity education.

University of North Dakota enrolls 14,951 students, 2.5% of which are black. The bulk of the student body — more than 78% — is white.

“I have been disappointed to learn that we have people in our university community who don’t know that the kind of behavior and messaging demonstrated in these two photos is not ok, and that, in fact, it is inexcusable,” he said.

He also wrote that he sees this as an opportune moment to “provide an education to all members of our campus community” and to “use the situation as an opportunity to address what some see as long standing issues within our community and across the country.”
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Laura Bult Sep-25-2016 104 0
Carolina released body and dashboard camera footage of the controversial shooting of a black man Saturday after a week of sometimes riotous demonstrations and calls by the public and politicians to see the video.

The dramatic footage of the Charlotte shooting of Keith Scott shed little light on what led to his fatal confrontation with cops — or whether or not he was holding a gun at the time.

Police maintained that Scott was “an imminent deadly threat” to officers, although the video released never shows him raising his arms in a threatening way toward the cops. It’s also unclear what is in his hand.

On the dash-cam video, Scott exits his SUV and takes a few steps backward.

Two officers can be seen pointing their guns at Scott.

He appears to be holding something in his left hand.

Seconds later, four shots ring out and the 43-year-old crumples to the ground.

Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said he decided to release the footage after receiving assurances from the State Bureau of Investigation that it would not impact their independent probe of the shooting.

“The footage itself will not create in anyone’s mind absolute certainty as to what this case represents and what the outcome should be,” Putney said. “The footage only supports all of the other information” such as physical evidence and statements from witnesses and officers, he added.

The video from the body camera, worn by a uniformed Charlotte police officer, only shows Scott for a moment, with his right arm by his side.

The cops shout “handcuffs” as they converge on the wounded man. Scott can be heard moaning in pain as the cop wearing the bodycam leans over his body.

There is no audio for the first 25 seconds of the video and none of the shots can be heard.

“Mr. Scott does not appear to be acting aggressive,” Scott family attorney Justin Bamberg said of the video. “He doesn’t lunge at the officers. It appears he has his hands by his side. The moment he is shot, he is passively stepping back.”

Police released three photographs along with the videos.

One shows a handgun, one appears to be a smoked marijuana joint, and another shows an ankle holster. Police said a lab analysis showed Scott’s DNA and fingerprints were on the gun. Bamberg said it was the first time he had been shown any evidence of Scott having a gun.

“I have been assured by the State Bureau of Investigation that the release will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed,” he said in a release.

Putney said he would only release footage that is “relevant” to the case.

The videos, filmed by the dash-cam and the body cam of an officer at the scene of the shooting, show the moments that led to Scott’s death at the hands of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Brentley Vinson.

The footage was made public following four nights of protests in Charlotte as demonstrators took to the streets and demanded the recordings be released. On Saturday, demonstrators took their protest to the police department chanting “No tapes, no peace.”

National figures on both ends of the political spectrum joined the chorus of those demanding the footage to be released, including Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani.

Scott’s family viewed the police videos in private Thursday but said the tapes left them with more “questions than answers” regarding whether the shooting was justified.

Ray Dotch, who identified himself as Scott’s brother-in-law, said Scott was a good man and a good father.

“What we know and what you should know about him is that he was an American citizen who deserved better,” he added.

Putney contended Saturday that there is “no single piece of evidence that proves the complexities” of the case as he offered new details on the fatal run-in.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers encountered Scott Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of the Village at College Downs apartment complex.
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Laura Bult Sep-23-2016 207 0
The wife of Keith Lamont Scott filmed the encounter with Charlotte, N.C. police that led to the 43-year-old black man’s death in broad daylight.

The cellphone video, released on Friday to NBC News, shows the tense moments leading up to and after the fatal police shooting. The events surrounding the deadly encounter are audible in the video but do not show the shooting itself.

His wife, Rakeyia Scott, can be heard on the video pleading with officers not to shoot her husband and insiting that "he has no weapon."

"Don't shoot!" the distraught woman can be heard yelling towards officers.

Police repeatedly yell "Drop the gun!" before the pops of four gunshots ring out, killing Scott.
Rayeyia Scott reacts to the sound of gunshots in horror, screaming "Did you shoot him?" and later: "He better be alive!"

Attorneys for the Scott family released the video to both NBC and the New York Times as Charlotte police continue to withhold dashcam footage that shows the fatal shooting.

The cellphone video does not have a direct view of the shooting and does not reveal whether or not Scott was armed, which is a significant point of contention in the police account of events.

Police have insisted that Scott was armed and wouldn’t drop his weapon before he was killed.

Family and witnesses dispute this account, saying that Scott is disabled with a brain injury and was reading a book while waiting for his son to get off the bus.Rakeyia Scott is heard telling officers that her husband has "T.B.I.," or a traumatic brain injury and that he had just taken medication.

"He's not going to do anything to you guys," she says to the officers just seconds before the shooting.

This is a developing story. Check back in for updates.

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