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Robert Nelson speaks about wrongful rape conviction and 30 year imprisonment
Lisa Benson Jun-30-2013 1470 0


Robert Nelson sat quietly at sister's table, admittedly nervous about talking to a reporter about the 30 years he spent in prison and the rape conviction that changed his life

"I've never done anything like this before," Nelson said.

Nelson spent more than half of his life in prison after being wrongly convicted of a 1983 rape. He was sentenced to 70 years for the crime, before being exonerated by DNA evidence earlier this month.

That freedom came with a lot of adjustments for Nelson, 49.

"One of the biggest things was learning how to use the phone. I never used a text phone. When I got locked up they didn't have text and cell phones," Nelson said

Decision making is also a skill that Nelson has to work on after spending so much time behind bars.

"It's hard to decide what you want when you walk into a store because you've got the freedom to choose. And inside you don't have the freedom to choose you got to get what every they give you," Nelson added.

On June 12, Nelson was released from prison after DNA testing exonerated him of the 1984 rape conviction. The victim identified Nelson as her attacker on a police line-up, but was wrong.

"I couldn't believe it, a jury found me guilty. There wasn't even no evidence to find me guilty, so I went on to prison and tried to fight it best I could," Nelson said.

Nelson's sister,Sea Dunnell joined his fight, contacting Laura O'Sullivan with the Midwest Innocence Project. Nelson was freed within a year of O'Sullivan taking the case.

"I knew it was being worked on; and they were going to set him free," Dunnell said.

Dunnell has had her Christmas tree up since last Christmas in anticipation of her brother coming home. She plans to keep it up as a constant reminder of the unyielding hope, faith, and love she has for her baby brother.



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A Texas teacher who was slammed to the ground by cops and told blacks have "violent tendencies" has filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin.

Dashcam video shows Breaion King, who is black, being shoved to the ground by a white officer during a traffic stop in June 2015. Later, another Austin officer can be heard making the remark after engaging in a discussion with King.

Police Chief Art Acevedo publicly apologized, and launched a departmental probe. King's lawyer Erica Grigg said that when King contacted city leaders to have larger discussions about her arrest, she got little response.

King "wants justice and doesn't want something like this" happening to others, according to Grigg.

The dashcam video of Officer Bryan Richter's aggressive behavior, obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, surfaced last month.

"Less than 10 seconds elapsed between Officer’s Richter's first request for Plaintiff to put her legs in the car and his decision to rip her out of the vehicle forcefully," the lawsuit states, according to the American-Statesman. "Less than one minute elapsed between Officer Richter’s first words to (King) and his decision to use force."

A separate video later emerged of Officer Patrick Spradlin speaking to King.

"Why are so many people afraid of black people?" Spradlin asked King.

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"That’s what I want to figure out because I’m not a bad black person," she answered.

"I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way: violent tendencies," Officer Spradlin then said.

"Some of them, because of their appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating,” the officer said, according to the American-Statesman.

King is seeking damages in her lawsuit that "most probably" exceed $1 million.
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MELANIE DOSTIS Aug-30-2016 73 0
A grieving T-Pain is asking fans to help find the "coward" who killed his niece outside a Florida Walgreens on Tuesday morning.

Javone Glover, 23, was stabbed to death outside the West Tallahassee drug store and police have issued an arrest warrant for 25-year-old, Tavon Q. Jackson, who fled the scene after the senseless killing, officials said.

Glover worked at the pharmacy and leaves behind a two-year-old baby girl. She died shortly after officers arrived at the scene, Tallahassee police said in a statement.

Jackson's whereabouts are still unknown and police released three photos of him inside Walgreens.

"The police are still lookin for the coward ass n----- that just killed my niece at Walgreens in Tallahassee. If you got info pls help out," the rapper tweeted

The Grammy-winning artist, born Faheem Rasheed Najm, hails from Tallahassee and his stage name stands for "Tallahassee Pain."

The 30-year-old rapper thanked fans for their support and begged media outlets to "leave my family the f--- alone."

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The "Up Down" singer also shared a caption-less selfie of his cousin, simply adding the emojis for peace, heart and praying hands.

He later shared a link to a local story about Glover's death and posted an image to his Instagram account of her suspected killer.

Meanwhile, Glover's Facebook page was flooded with condolences from friends, family members and strangers.

"I knew Javona from my being a frequent customer at Walgreens. She was the sweetest little girl and always had a smile and a kind, helpful personality," a mourner named Tom Griffith wrote. "It was a true pleasure to see her when I entered."

A rep for T-Pain did not immediately return the Daily News' request for comment.
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Mark Burns, an African-American pastor and surrogate for Donald Trump, apologized Monday night and again Tuesday for tweeting a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface.

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“The last thing I want to do is to offend people. The tweet was not designed to anger or stir up the pot like it did. It was designed to bring how I feel, a very real reality, as to why the Democratic Party, and how I view it and how I interpret it, have been pandering and have been using black people just for their votes,” Burns said in remarks on Periscope Monday night. ”The last thing I want to do is to anger people, I really am a unifier.”

"I'm going to apologize for the offensive picture that many thought was offensive, but I'm not apologizing for the message that it was carrying," Burns said.

The original tweet, which no longer appears on his timeline, included a meme of Clinton in blackface with a T-shirt that says “No hot sauce no peace!” The image, captured in a screenshot posted by CBS News, also shows her holding a a sign that says “#@!*? the police."

A thought bubble shows the cartoon version of Clinton thinking: “I ain’t no ways tired of pandering to African Americans.”

“Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and letting me use you again.. See you again in 4 years,” Burns tweeted with the picture.

As Trump has attempted to expand his outreach to black voters in recent weeks, he has enlisted the help of Burns, an evangelical televangelist.

On Saturday, Trump will speak at an African-American church in Detroit. The GOP nominee will also be interviewed by Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, which will air on an African-American owned and operated Christian TV network.
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Two brothers have been charged for the fatal shooting of the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, police said.

Darwin Sorells, 26, and Derren Sorells, 22, were charged for the death of Nykea Aldridge, the Chicago Police Department announced on Twitter.

Police said the older brother served time behind bars for a gun charge and is on parole; the younger brother is also on parole, and is a “documented member” of the Gangster Disciples gang.

Wade’s first cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was the unintended victim of gunfire Friday as she pushed her 3-week-old baby girl on a stroller in Chicago’s south side, police said.

Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, died from shots to her head and arm. The baby was not harmed.

Police said Friday there were two men being held for questioning in the death.

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Wade. the shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls, denounced the shooting as "another act of senseless gun violence" in a city that has seen more than 2,700 shootings this year.

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"Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!" the Republican presidential nominee tweeted Saturday, not bothering to spell the NBA player's name correctly.

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Pastor Ken Adkins, who infamously said the victims of Orlando's Pulse nightclub shooting got "what they deserve," was arrested Friday on a charge of child molestation, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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In a June 16 tweet on Adkins' now-private Twitter account, he wrote, "Been [sic] through so much with these Jacksonville Homosexuals that I don't see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve!!"

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The leader of the Next Generation Action network is back in jail and will remain there for the next two years because of a probation violation.

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It may not have been a justified shooting after all.

The police shooting of a Brooklyn teen nearly three years ago is now being compared with that of Tamir Rice — after surveillance video reveals the 15-year-old posed no threat at the time.

Keston Charles, who had been wielding a BB gun, was shot three times by Officer Jonathan Rivera — who fired 16 times at the teen — during a foot chase.

Unlike Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by Cleveland police while holding a pellet gun in November 2014, Charles was lucky to survive.

Charles’ lawyers insist the teen was shot in the buttocks while fleeing from the cop on Dec. 9, 2013 — and twice more in the side and chest after he’d dropped the gun and was surrendering with his hands above his head.

“I put up my hands, they was still shooting,” Charles said in a sworn deposition.

But the city and Charles’ lawyers each argue that the video — exclusively obtained by the Daily News — proves their case.

Both sides are awaiting a decision from Manhattan Federal Judge Kevin Castel on whether the lawsuit filed by the teen’s family should be dismissed or put before a jury to decide whether there was excessive force used.

“The officer’s claim that this young man repeatedly took aim at him with an unloaded toy gun not only defies logic, but it is blatantly contradicted by the video,” lawyers David Shanies, Phil Smallman and Michael Colihan said in a statement.

“What happened to Tamir Rice was a tragedy, and both cases are painful reminders of the urgent need to stop unjustified shootings of young African-Americans.”

Charles is accused of grabbing a BB gun from a friend during a fight with rivals from the neighborhood — and of pointing the weapon at another boy.

Officers Rivera and Kevin Franco spotted the confrontation and chased the teen.

Rivera then fired 16 shots in three separate volleys — a hot pursuit that ended at the front door of Charles’ apartment building in the Brownsville Houses, a chase caught by various surveillance cameras.

But Elissa Jacobs, a lawyer for the city, argued in court papers that Rivera fired because Charles had turned — or “bladed” his body sideways — toward the cops three times. She argued that Charles “did not put his hands up to surrender before any round of shots.”

But the video clearly shows Charles running with his back to the cops — merely glancing over his shoulder as he ran, limping on after he was hit in the buttocks, then stumbling as he tried to reach his building.

The video also shows Charles putting his hands up in the air — with no weapon in his hands — as Rivera continues to fire at him.

“(Rivera’s) bullets hit the building and created visible clouds of debris,” Shanies argued in court papers. “(Charles) turned around with his hands on his head surrendering. . . . One of Officer Rivera’s bullets struck (Charles) in the flank and another struck him in the chest.”

Charles then collapsed on a nearby fence outside the building’s entrance.

The teen was placed in a medically induced coma for three weeks, underwent surgery and later pleaded guilty in Family Court to possessing a fake pistol.

Asked at his deposition why he did not drop the BB gun while being chased, he replied, “Because I was scared for my life. I was trying to get away. I never been shot at before.”

Dr. Michael Baden, the renowned former New York City chief medical examiner, reviewed the evidence for Charles’ lawyers and concluded that “the bullet trajectories are consistent with Keston holding his arms up with his hands on top of his head as indicated in the video when he was shot in the chest.”

The NYPD firearms discharge review board found the shooting was justified and within department guidelines for the use of deadly force.

The officers involved in the shooting were never disciplined.

A spokesman for the Law Department said there would be no comment from the city while the litigation is pending.

Shanies said the lawsuit’s excessive-force claim is based on the amount of shots fired by Rivera — he emptied the clip in his 9-mm. service weapon.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that officers cannot shoot a suspect in the back “just for running away.”

If the suit is allowed to proceed, a jury will decide whether at any time during the incident Charles pointed the toy gun at the cop — which the plaintiff’s lawyers say “never happened.”

The number of shots fired was justified, according to the city’s papers, because Charles was hit only three times out of 16 indicating “how fast he continued to move and that the threat to public safety had not been abated.”

Rivera continued firing until there was no longer an imminent threat, the city has argued.
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BY CHRISTIAN RED Aug-25-2016 262 0
Former NFL safety Darren Sharper made another court appearance in Louisiana Thursday and again apologized to the more than half a dozen female victims he was accused of drugging and raping in four different states, as a judge sentenced Sharper to 20 years in prison.

"There's a lot more to my life than this situation," the 40-year-old Sharper said in New Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Thursday, according to the New Orleans Advocate. "I am not a monster. I am not."

Thursday's sentencing stems from the state charges brought against Sharper, but the sentence will run concurrent with the 18-year sentence that Sharper received last week in New Orleans federal court. Sharper will receive credit for the two and a half years he has already been detained. He was originally arrested in January, 2014 in Los Angeles and charged with drugging and raping two women there.

One of Sharper's victims spoke in the same New Orleans courtroom Thursday, and said that Sharper has a "sickness."

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"And you deserve much more punishment than you have received, I am sure," the woman said, according to the Advocate.

Judge Karen Herman called Sharper’s behavior “such an epic disappointment,” The Associated Press reported, and told him that his sentence would’ve been much more harsh had his case gone to a trial by jury. He pleaded guilty to two charges of second-degree rape and one of third-degree rape on Thursday.

Last year, Sharper's legal team negotiated a global settlement where Sharper would serve nine years in prison. The settlement addressed all rape and drug charges in four different states — Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada. Sharper faced both state and federal charges in Louisiana.

But the public backlash was severe, with critics claiming the punishment was far too lenient for the alleged heinous crimes Sharper committed. Earlier this year, a federal judge rejected Sharper's plea deal, paving the way for the 18-year sentence he was given last week. He still awaits formal sentencing in California and Nevada, and civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred — who represents two of Sharper's victims — said last week that she and her clients were looking forward to those court dates when Allred's clients would be able to make victim impact statements in front of Sharper.

Sharper was originally jailed in California while the different legal processes played out, but after he appeared in Los Angeles court last year and pleaded guilty to rape charges in the Arizona case and no contest to charges in the California case, he was moved to a federal prison in Louisiana. He will be moved to another federal facility outside of Louisiana to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Sharper was a Super Bowl champion with the Saints, and also played for the Packers and Vikings.
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