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Confrontation between cop and black man goes viral
A police supervisor in Texas is defending the actions of a constable who was in a confrontation last week with a young man. Millions have seen the cellphone video, and some believe the constable crossed the line.

The cellphone video captures a moment when a Harris County constable stopped 20-year-old Marlin Gipson as he and his brothers were passing out business cards for his lawn service last week.
"I'm kind of busy, I'm trying to make money," Gipson can be heard saying in the video.

The officer then says, "Yeah, but when I saw you, you were going from door to door."
Gipson did not have an ID card on him when asked by the officer.

Then, the situation got tense, after Gipson asked the constable for his information.
"Tell you what," the officer says. "Just turn around and put your hands around your back."
"For what? Hey! Nope," Gipson says. He instead left the scene.

Gipson spoke with CBS News and showed us the business cards he was handing out.
"I would still be doing this right here," Gipson said as he fanned out the cards in his hand. "Lawn service, making money that's the goal… trying to support our family."

Constable administrator Alen Rosen said Gipson left because of an outstanding misdemeanor assault warrant.

"So when originally stopped and questioned by the officer, that was why he really didn't want to say who we was," Rosen said.

Constables came to his house later that day. Gipson recorded that, too. He said constables broke down his door, tased him and sicced a K-9 on him that left bite marks on his arm.

"I can't even lift certain stuff no more," Gipson told us. "My arm is still numb in certain spots. I can barely lift it up."

But Rosen says his officers did nothing wrong.

"We gave Mr. Gipson, before the police dog went upstairs, we told him four different times, we even yelled, 'police dog, police dog come out,'" Rosen explained.

The Harris County constable says they have body camera video that backs up their side of the story, but they have not released it.
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Omar Villafranca Jul-27-2017 70 0
A police supervisor in Texas is defending the actions of a constable who was in a confrontation last week with a young man. Millions have seen the cellphone video, and some believe the constable crossed the line.

The cellphone video captures a moment when a Harris County constable stopped 20-year-old Marlin Gipson as he and his brothers were passing out business cards for his lawn service last week.
"I'm kind of busy, I'm trying to make money," Gipson can be heard saying in the video.

The officer then says, "Yeah, but when I saw you, you were going from door to door."
Gipson did not have an ID card on him when asked by the officer.

Then, the situation got tense, after Gipson asked the constable for his information.
"Tell you what," the officer says. "Just turn around and put your hands around your back."
"For what? Hey! Nope," Gipson says. He instead left the scene.

Gipson spoke with CBS News and showed us the business cards he was handing out.
"I would still be doing this right here," Gipson said as he fanned out the cards in his hand. "Lawn service, making money that's the goal… trying to support our family."

Constable administrator Alen Rosen said Gipson left because of an outstanding misdemeanor assault warrant.

"So when originally stopped and questioned by the officer, that was why he really didn't want to say who we was," Rosen said.

Constables came to his house later that day. Gipson recorded that, too. He said constables broke down his door, tased him and sicced a K-9 on him that left bite marks on his arm.

"I can't even lift certain stuff no more," Gipson told us. "My arm is still numb in certain spots. I can barely lift it up."

But Rosen says his officers did nothing wrong.

"We gave Mr. Gipson, before the police dog went upstairs, we told him four different times, we even yelled, 'police dog, police dog come out,'" Rosen explained.

The Harris County constable says they have body camera video that backs up their side of the story, but they have not released it.

L.M. Sixel Jul-25-2017 66 0
Bass Pro Outdoor World, the sporting goods retailer with 82 stores, agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle a nationwide class action case brought in Houston by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which accused the outdoor outfitter of rejecting qualified black and Hispanic job applicants and retaliating against employees who objected to the alleged practice.

The money will go to compensate eligible black and Hispanic job seekers who were not hired, according to the agreement filed Monday in federal court in Houston. The proposed settlement has yet to be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison, who is overseeing the six-year-old case.

Bass Pro, which has two stores in the Houston area, also agreed to establish a diversity office and find job candidates by participating in job fairs in minority communities and recruiting at colleges with significant minority populations. Bass Pro maintains that it did not engage in any unlawful activities based on race or national origin nor in any retaliatory conduct, according to the agreement.

"The company is fully committed to the expansion of its ongoing efforts to attract a more diverse workforce," according to a written statement from Bass Pro. A portion of the $10.5 million payment may be devoted to programs that engage inner city youth in outdoor activities.

The settlement comes as Bass Pro, of Springfield, Mo., looks to complete a $4 billion deal to acquire its rival, Nebraska-based Cabela's. Anti-trust regulators at the Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal earlier this month, but Bass Pro is still waiting approval from banking regulators to the spin off Cabala's banking operations, including its credit card business.

Rudy Sustaita, EEOC regional attorney, said he could not comment on the proposed deal until it is approved by Ellison. The agreement does not specify how many job applicants would share the $10.5 million or the expected value of each award.

If approved by Ellison, the agreement would end the long government investigation into the hiring practices at one of the nation's most prominent outdoor outfitters. It started a decade ago when a white manager at the Bass Pro Outdoor World store in Katy reported to the EEOC that she was fired when she complained to her boss about mistreatment of black job applicants and employees.

The EEOC built its case on evidence provided by her and other managers, eventually concluding that the company's practice of not hiring minorities was part of a nationwide pattern. The EEOC analyzed Bass Pro's hiring data and found that black employees were underrepresented in more than 95 percent of the stores while Hispanic employees were underrepresented in more than 70 percent, according to court records.

A company-wide policy of favoring whites and discriminating against minorities became known as "the Profile," according to the EEOC's amended 2014 lawsuit. "Only white applicants fit the Profile," according to the complaint.

The EEOC also accused Bass Pro of destroying employment applications, according to court documents.

Bass Pro noted Monday that a critical element of the tentative agreement is an acknowledgement by the EEOC that allegations of discrimination against Bass Pro founder John Morris were found to be "false and without merit." The EEOC had contended in 2013 and 2014 that Morris was the architect behind the company's white-only "Profile," according to court records.

As part of the agreement, the EEOC agreed to remove references to Morris in an amended complaint filed in federal court Monday.

Bass Pro was founded in 1972 by Morris in the back of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Mo., according to the company's web site. Today, the stores draw more than 120 million shoppers annually and feature aquariums and lavish wildlife displays.

The company touts itself as a tourist attraction that can spawn other economic development and grew by aggressively seeking public funding to finance its stores. At the time the EEOC lawsuit was filed in 2011, Bass Pro had received more than $500 million in taxpayer subsidies, according to the Public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog group in Buffalo, N.Y.

Bass Pro noted that the agreement it reached with the EEOC was similar to a nationwide deal the agency reached with Cabela's in September 2015. Cabela's agreed to improve its hiring and recruitment of minorities to resolve an EEOC charge that the 86-store chain failed to recruit and hire minorities.

With the EEOC lawsuit settled, Bass Pro said it can focus its full attention on merging with Cabela's.

Graham Rayman Jul-25-2017 107 0
A beloved barber was gunned down outside a Queens eatery early Tuesday, hours after he fired off a social media post taunting his rivals.

“N----- taking shots can’t stop me,” Zanu Simpson wrote in an Instagram caption containing emojis of a gun and two bombs.

“They ain’t real enough.”

The 32-year-old Simpson was found shot in the head inside his white BMW X5 about 12:15 a.m., police said.

The car was parked outside the Breezes Highland Bar & Grill on S. Conduit Ave. in Rosedale, where Simpson had spent the night and left without incident, sources said.

A motorist who called 911 told cops she saw a man in a charcoal gray sweatshirt leaning into the BMW’s driver side window and punching the victim.

As she zoomed past, she heard a gunshot. The woman told police she doubled back and found the driver slumped in his seat with bullet wounds, cops said.

The gunman shot Simpson three times before taking off, cops said.

Investigators found at the scene a gun believed to be the murder weapon and a live round.

Paramedics rushed the mortally-wounded Simpson to Jamaica Hospital, but doctors couldn’t save him.

Simpson, who worked with his brother at the Strickly Skillz Barbershop in Hollis, was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m., sources said.

“That was like my other half,” said the victim’s brother Samuel Simpson, 35.

“Everybody says we looked alike. They always called us twins.”

The strapping, Jamaican-born victim, known to his friends as “Z,” was obsessed with sports as a child and graduated from Bayside High School, relatives and pals said.

Cutting hair didn’t come easily to Simpson at first. But he eventually joined his brother at the popular barbershop frequented by NBA star Kevin Durant and other celebrities.

“I taught him how to cut hair and at first he didn’t take to it but eventually he got in and came into the business with me,” Samuel Simpson said.

A handful of mourners carrying candles showed up at Strickly Skillz Tuesday morning to pay tribute to Simpson.

“He’s wonderful,” said customer Emily Laguerre, 51.

“He’ll never say no, even if you don’t have the money. He’ll say pay me next week ... It’s so sad to see life taken like this.”

Simpson had racked up more than 16,000 followers on Instagram where he often posted photos of his barbershop handiwork.

“May the spineless bastard who took you have no peace for the rest of their sorry ass life,” one of his followers wrote Tuesday.

Jul-25-2017 519 0
Lucky Whitehead was telling the TRUTH -- he was not the man arrested for shoplifting on June 22, this according to Prince William County officials who say the REAL perp was an imposter.

We spoke with Commonwealth's attorney, Paul Ebert, who says the case against ex-Dallas Cowboys WR Lucky Whitehead has been dropped after an internal investigation into the arrest.

Long story short ... Ebert says the man was only "verbally identified" by the arresting officer at the crime scene. The arrestee did not have I.D. on him.

The man told cops he was Lucky Whitehead and gave them Lucky's information including birthday and social security number, Ebert says.

The officers ran the information through the DMV system and believed the man they had arrested the matched the photo of "Lucky Whitehead" that was on file.

After Lucky publicly declared his innocence, claiming he wasn't even in the state of Virgnia at the time of the arrest, officers went back and reviewed surveillance video at the convenience store. Footage showed the suspect was NOT Lucky Whitehead.

Cops are now on the hunt for the man in the video.

Lucky's agent, Dave Rich, tells TMZ Sports, "Lucky is thrilled justice was served and his name was cleared. It's a shame that he came into town to do a camp for kids and he ended up getting cut by his professional football team."

The Prince William County Police Dept. has also issued a statement:

"Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named 'Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.', the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys."

"The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr."

"Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database. The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody."

"Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation."

"The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation."

"The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family."

Andrew J. Goudsward Jul-21-2017 103 0
A week after the murder of 11-year-old AbbieGail "Abbie" Smith in New Jersey, the girl's grief-stricken father and sister in Jamaica made an impassioned plea to President Trump to allow them into the United States to attend the girl's funeral Monday.

In an exclusive video to APP.com, father Kenroy Smith tearfully asked Trump to intervene after AbbieGail's older sister Kenish had her visa application denied. The visa for Kenroy, who had previously been deported from the U.S. on a drug charge 16 years ago, remained in limbo.

The Smiths said they were desperate to come to Keansburg to pay their final respects to AbbieGail and to see where she had been fatally stabbed last week. They feared they would miss their only chance to say goodbye.

"My dear little AbbieGail was taken away and I need to pay my last respects to her," Kenroy Smith said breaking down in tears. "That's all I'm asking."

Kenish, the sister, said her temporary visa application was rejected Wednesday. She said she wasn't given a reason, but officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, questioned her about her occupation as a cosmetologist and her ties to her home country before making the decision.
Kenish said she showed officials AbbieGail's death certificate and a letter from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, but she was still turned down for a visa.

A State Department official said visa applications are judged on a case-by-case basis and the department doesn't comment on individual cases.

"AbbieGail Smith needs her sister there at the moment," she said. "Who's going to stand up for us? We have no control. We can't do it on our own."

Kenroy Smith said he would find out Friday whether he would be granted entry to the United States.
"She's my daughter. She's my everything," he said. "Please let me see my daughter for the last day before she goes under."

AbbieGale's body was found July 13 wrapped in a blanket on the roof of her apartment building hours after she was reported missing, authorities said. She was killed by a stab wound to the neck.
Smith's upstairs neighbor Andreas Erazo has been charged with her murder. He is in the Monmouth County Jail awaiting a bail hearing.

AbbieGail will be buried Monday following a Mass at St. Ann's Church in Keansburg.

Kenroy Smith said he was unsure whether he would be allowed into the country. He was deported from the United States to Jamaica in 2001 following a marijuana arrest.
"I'm not worried. I'm just praising God," he said.

Latisha Smith, one of AbbieGail's sisters who lives in Maryland, said she has been up early every day this week writing emails to elected officials and going to local immigration offices in a frantic last-ditch effort to help her father and sister get visas.

"Every minute it's like I'm hitting a roadblock, but I'm just not going to stop," she said. "I'm not stopping until they're here."

Latisha Smith said AbbieGail frequently visited her father in Jamaica and that Kenroy had developed a special bond with his youngest daughter.

"We're a family. We all need to be together for AbbieGail," she said. "The government — I just hope they hear my cry."

Thomas Novelly Jul-21-2017 98 0
A former Miss Kentucky USA from Louisville is accused of smuggling drugs into an Ohio prison for an inmate.

Kia Hampton, 28, was arrested on May 26 in Allen County, Ohio, after police say she was caught smuggling marijuana into the Allen Correctional Institution for Jeremy Kelly, an inmate at the facility, according to an affidavit detailing the arrest.

Hampton was crowned Miss Kentucky USA in November 2010 when she was 21 years old. She was the first African American chosen to represent Kentucky in the Miss USA pageant.

While listening to recorded phone calls, officers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they obtained enough evidence to obtain a warrant for a cavity search.

As officers were interrogating her, Hampton reached into her pant leg and pushed a white balloon on to the floor, the affidavit said.

Officers later determined that she was carrying 2.82 grams of marijuana into the jail, Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Kenneth Sturgill said.

She was indicted on July 13 by an Allen County grand jury and faces one count of "illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a specified governmental facility," a third-degree felony that carries a three-year prison sentence.

Hampton is scheduled to be arraigned July 26 in Allen County.

Jul-20-2017 83 0

Naheed Rajwani Jul-19-2017 60 0
Dallas will have its first female police chief by the end of the summer.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax has chosen Detroit Deputy Police Chief Ulysha Renee Hall from a pool of seven finalists, three of them internal candidates.

"It was a difficult choice," Broadnax said at City Hall Wednesday, "but I believe Renee Hall will be a dynamic chief."

Dallas' chief position has been vacant since October, when Chief David Brown retired from the department. Assistant Chief of Police David Pughes ran the department as interim chief while officials searched for a permanent replacement.

Pughes didn’t apply for the job, but three insiders did: Deputy Chiefs Malik Aziz and Rick Watson and Assistant Chief Gary Tittle.

Dallas city managers have chosen to hire outsiders for the top cop job multiple times in the last few decades. Three consecutive chiefs — Mack Vines, Bill Rathburn and Ben Click — all came to the city after careers in departments outside the state.

Aziz, who has been a finalist in several other cities, was a favorite among officers to become the next chief. He had no comment Wednesday about the chief selection.

The city manager’s office initially selected eight people as finalists for the job, but Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye withdrew his application.

The city manager touted Hall's passion for public service and said she has the right tools to solve the department's key challenges.

"Chief Hall is a proven leader with a stellar background," Broadnax said. "These are qualities I believe are critical as we tackle crime to make our city safer while addressing organizational and policy issues within the department."

City officials say Hall will formally take over Sept. 5.

Three women — Hall, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson — now have some of the most powerful law enforcement jobs in the Dallas area.

Hall, who has been on the force in Detroit since 1999, has dealt with several issues paralleling crises in Dallas. These include the increasing homeless population and the loose-dogs issue that has affected low-income neighborhoods.

She now oversees officers on the east side of the city.

Jul-19-2017 85 0
The boyfriend of a woman who was shot and left for dead outside of a Midlands hospital has now been charged with her murder, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Albertus Lewis is now charged with murder and obstruction of justice.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department said the victim, identified as Mayra Sanchez, 20, was dropped off about 4:30 a.m. July 5 at Palmetto Health Richland.

Sanchez later died at the hospital.

Deputies said Lewis placed Sanchez inside the wheelchair and left.

Bernie Woodall Jul-19-2017 84 0
A 25-year-old South Carolina woman was in jail on Tuesday on a murder charge for the death of her 13-month-old daughter, who police said she left in a car last month while she went to a hair salon in suburban Atlanta.

The mother, DiJanelle Fowler, kept the car running with the air conditioning on, but the car's battery died while she was inside the beauty shop in Tucker, Georgia, on June 15, said DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell.

Police believe Skylar Fowler was dead by the time her mother returned to the car a few hours later, Campbell said.

"Instead of calling 911, she called roadside assistance to get her battery jumped," Campbell said in a phone interview.

Fowler concealed the baby from the person who helped restart her car, then went to a hospital and called 911, Campbell said.

The mother told police she herself had passed out from some sort of medical condition, Campbell said. But the child's condition indicated she had died sooner than the time Fowler suggested, the police spokeswoman said.

The high temperature in DeKalb County that day was 92 degrees Fahrenheit at 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Twenty-three U.S. children have died so far this year after being left in hot cars, up from 20 through mid-July in 2016, according to the nonprofit KidsAndCars.org, which tracks such deaths.

In all, 39 children died in hot cars in 2016. The highest annual number was recorded in 2010, when 49 children died, said Janette Fennell, founder and president of the KidsAndCars.org.

Children ages 3 and younger account for 87 percent of the hot-car deaths the group has tracked, she said.

Fowler left the Atlanta area after her daughter's death. She was arrested late on Monday after turning herself in to DeKalb County Police, who had been searching for her, Campbell said.

In addition to the second-degree murder charge, she also is charged with second-degree cruelty to children and concealing a death, jail records show. Court records did not show whether Fowler had hired a lawyer.

Jul-17-2017 151 0
The Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed a woman who called 911 has been identified.
According to police sources, the officer has been identified as Mohamed Noor.

Noor joined the Minneapolis Police Department in March of 2015. He was celebrated as the first Somali officer for the 5th Precinct. He graduated from Augsburg College in 2011 with a degree in business administration.

In May of 2016, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges recognized Noor, calling his assignment a "wonderful sign of building trust and community policing at work."

Noor is currently on paid administrative leave, along with the other officer that was on scene.
According to police sources, Noor shot across his partner and out the window of the squad car, striking Damond. When Noor opened fire, his partner was "stunned," according to the source.

Noor has two open complaints against him from 2017 and one from 2016.
The BCA released a statement on Monday saying no weapons were found at the scene of the shooting. They say interviews with the officers have been requested but have not yet been completed.

The woman killed was identified by family, friends and clients as Justine Damond, a spiritual healer from Australia, who was also a bride-to-be. The BCA says the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office has conducted its autopsy and will formally release her identity and cause of death, once all family notifications have been completed.

Family of Damond say she initially called 911 after hearing a noise in a back alley.
The son of Damond's fiance said in a Facebook live video Sunday that, "My mom is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know, and I demand answers."

In a news release, authorities said the officers were responding to a call of a possible assault, just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South, just before 11:30 p.m.

They say an officer fired his weapon and killed the woman but many questions remain.
No video of the incident has surfaced.

According to the news release, "The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists."

The BCA reiterated that it does not determine whether a law enforcement agency policy was violated -- that decision will be reviewed through the department's internal affairs process.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a statement Monday afternoon saying, "This is clearly a tragic death."

She said there are a lot of unanswered questions -- many of which she's pushing to get the answers to as quickly as possible.

Fox 4 Jul-17-2017 143 0
Fired Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver has been indicted for murder for the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.

A Dallas County grand jury returned the indictment for Oliver Monday on one count of murder and four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant, according to Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson.
  
"It is important to let our community know that justice is proceeding effectively and thoroughly at the Dallas County DA's Office," Johnson said. "This is the very first time we have issued an arrest warrant for a police officer before the case was presented to a grand jury. As we move forward, my office continues to be committed to seeking justice for Jordan and his family. You have my personal guarantee that we will prosecute this case vigorously."

Oliver, 31, was one of the responding officers on a call about a loud party on the night of April 29. Edwards was in a vehicle with three other teenagers leaving the party. Police said the car was driving away from the officers when Oliver fired a rifle into the vehicle and killed Edwards.
Oliver has already been indicted for two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant for a separate incident before the deadly shooting.
Related Headlines

Jul-17-2017 69 0
The Dallas Country Grand Jury is expected to determine whether former Balch Springs Police Officer will be indicted for the murder of 15 year old Jordan Edwards. A press conference is scheduled for 3pm today.


>>--More Black Legal News

Daryl K. Washington Jan-15-2017 1508 0
In such a very short time, many are clearing their memories of how Donald Trump mocked a handicap individual, disrespected candidates, women, the media and anyone else who does not agree with him. Donald Trump has insulted women, called them by names other than their own, has disrespected President Obama and most recently insulted Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis. Despite his despicable behavior, many are of the mindset that we must meet with Donald Trump or risk being left out. Until Donald Trump proves this country wrong, I stand with the Honorable John Lewis.

Has Trump announced that he is cutting back major programs President Obama put in place specifically for black people? Some people are behaving as if Trump is now our savior and if we do not bow down to him he will not help us. If the problems in our communities were so bad and needed so much attention, why weren't people lined up the last 8 years to discuss these problems with President Obama?

Trump has succeeded in making people afraid and now some are living in fear. Trump said in his campaign speech that nothing had been done for the black communities in the last 8 years so what do we have to lose. Trump said he would change things and now people are saying we need to meet with Mr.Trump so that he can keep his promise. That alone really makes it appear as if President Obama did nothing for the black communities and Trump was right. Listen, we have to stop depending on the Government and do for ourselves. When you depend on a large machine like the Government it controls you. When something controls you it can destroy you.

Many of the colleges in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. are now dealing with financial issues because of the budget cuts. Most of the colleges are dependent on the Government to survive because of the little support from the communities and believe me that is a recipe for disaster. Have you ever wondered why Asians and other races are not lined up to meet with Trump? It's because they support their own businesses and circulate the dollars within their own communities so they are not as dependent on the Government. We don't need Trump. We need each other. You guys running behind Trump will make him look like the savior he say he is and as a result he will most certainly be in office for the next 8 years. This country is in the best shape it's ever been in for a very long time and will only get better because of the things President Obama put into place. The thing is, Donald Trump will get credit for it all. We will survive, especially if we begin to support each other.

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 799 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 Jul-14-2016 1111 0
I had the pleasure to witness four NBA superstars issuing a “Call to Action” to the thousands of athletes who were in attendance at the ESPY Awards. It was the moment I waited on for so long because I personally know the influence professional athletes have on society. They have the platform and the power to demand change. We saw the immediate change that occurred when athletes at Grambling State University, Missouri and the Los Angeles Clippers, to name a few, decided to take a stance. Athletes have the power, the platform and the support to make a difference but should they have to do it alone?

As a civil rights attorney I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of protests throughout the U.S. I’ve attended rallies and marches where some of my closest friends lived but as I thought about it, I generally did not get to see any of them until after the events were over. I recently received confirmation that there is a perception that the only individuals out marching are the victims’ families, individuals from the communities we moved away from or individuals who are wrongfully labeled as troublemakers. What really confirmed it for me was when it was stated that “men should get off the protest lines and instead fill out job applications.” I know that comment can be taken many ways but the way I took it was that men who are out protesting do not have jobs. The sad reality of it all is the reason statements like that can be made is because many who have been blessed to obtain multiple degrees, fortunate to be employed by major organizations, live in the nice neighborhoods, drive the fancy cars, have the IRA’s and are living what is considered the American Dream will not get involved with the movement out of the fear of losing it all yet those same people have the audacity to call out athletes.

Here is the bottom line. This movement cannot be placed on the backs of a few. Until organizations see their star players out in the communities voicing their concerns, they will think the injustices are acceptable. I know it shocked the conscious of America to see Trauma surgeon Brian Williams publicly share his fear of police officers. There were many who probably thought “how dare a doctor make such comments” and I’m sure Dr. Williams understood that there was some risks involved in making his comments but I'm sure he realized that many would listen if he spoke. His comments needed to be made because America now sees that this problem does not only exist in what many call the hood. Many now understand that for black and brown people the hood is America and we are not safe anywhere.

Just recently I was traveling to conduct depositions. I guess because I had on a suit and was sitting in First Class (I had an upgrade because of mileage) the white gentleman sitting next to me perhaps was of the opinion that I was not concerned about what was going on in the black communities. Little did he know why I was traveling and what I fight for on a daily basis. He had the audacity to say he could not understand why people were so upset about the incident in Baton Rouge given the background of Alvin Sterling. My response to him was when an officer decides to use excessive force against a black or brown person, in most cases they do not know the name of the person or whether they have a criminal background. Only one thing is seen; the color of the person’s skin. They know in most cases that the law and media have been on their side so there is no fear of killing because there will be plenty of support for them. By the time our flight landed he admitted that his own personal biases had not allowed him to look beyond a certain point but because we discussed it, he now had a clearer picture.

I say all of the above to emphasize that athletes are not the only individuals with the power and platform to demand change. There are Black Presidents, CEO’s, Coaches, CPA's, CFO’s, Managers, Politicians, Directors and future stars of large corporations who also have the platforms. There are Black doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers, pilots, flight attendants, scientists, engineers, sales professionals, educators, business owners, entertainers, etc. who also have the platforms and power to make a change. It’s time that we gave our brothers and sisters, who are out fighting for justice on a daily basis, the help and support they truly need. I can assure you that should you become the victim of police brutality in your nice neighborhoods or fired from you nice jobs, you will then understand the value of being a part of groups that fight for change. We all need to be out protesting so that the victims’ families can properly grieve. We are in this current state of chaos because so many believe it’s not their problem. Just remember, we are in our positions because someone fought for us.

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 Jun-24-2016 1130 0
On yesterday the officer responsible for the incident in McKinney, Texas was not indicted for the assault on the young teenager that was seen all over the U.S. Also, on yesterday one of the officers in the Freddie Gray case was acquitted. As expected, my timeline on Facebook was flooded with posts from individuals talking about the injustices that take place throughout the U.S. One of my good friends, who is like a brother to me, even blamed attorneys for the injustices throughout the U.S. Generally, I do not comment on these type of issues but because it's Friday I would like to give everyone who this may apply to something to think about.

When is the last time you attended a judicial debate or even contacted an attorney to inquire about a judicial candidate or a DA to see if they had the proper temperament to serve? When is the last time you attended a rally or demanded that a DA present all of the evidence to the grand jury? When is the last time you took a day off from work to support the families who sons or daughters were wrongfully gunned down by a police officer? When is the last time you packed a courthouse to support a family you did not know? When is the last time you sent a letter to the family of a deceased offering your support, financially or emotionally? When is the last time you contacted your local city council member and asked them what they are doing to address the issue of police brutality and police misconduct?

I could go on and on with this but just know, the system will continue as is unless we become proactive and stop being so reactive. This system knows that people will get excited about an incident but once the media is gone, so is the support. As a Civil Rights attorney, I know who is putting it all on the line to bring about change. I know the people who are talking to the DA's, to the Chiefs of Police of various cities, to the city attorneys and others trying to save lives and/or bring about change. I know my friends who attend meetings when I'm in their cities trying to bring about change. It seems like an easy and at times, prestigious job but to be honest, it can be a lonely job. Many nights when most people are sleeping, I find myself in deep thoughts wondering if I could get the thousands of people I know to stand behind us in this fight, a major difference could be made.

Creating the wonderful posts on Facebook help bring attention to issues of injustice but we have to be consistent with our support. One million people strong can take a day off from work with very short notice to attend the CAVS victory parade but let a demonstration for the wrongful death of an unarmed black man or woman be planned and the hardest thing to do is get people to agree on a date or better yet, take off a day to show their support. I know many may not understand how deep this problem truly is but until you step out in the heat and show your support, you may want to stop some of the blaming. Just remember, there will not be change until we all change. Real support is needed to stop the injustices that are occurring throughout the U.S. Let's all come together to bring about a change in this country.

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 Nov-11-2015 14091 0
For years the question whether college athletes should be paid has been debated over and over only to be kicked down by legal rulings. The NCAA, the television networks, the media and large colleges have all profited off of the backs of primarily Black athletes, while the only colleges that would accept them are being forced to shut down because of a lack of resources. College coaches are earning millions of dollars per season, have large endorsement deals and live in upscale neighborhoods while college athletes, many who come from low income families, are penalize for accepting a meal from a booster, can’t afford to take a date out to dinner or a movie and can only wish that their families could afford to sit in the stands occupied by many who will not speak to them or support them after their college careers are over.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that in order for there to be a change within the system, the ones with the power would have to do something drastic. Two years ago the Grambling State University football team decided to stage a protest because of the lack of equipment and the conditions of Grambling’s facilities. Although I hated to see it come down to that, I understood their frustrations and realized that we were witnessing the beginning of a new movement. The day had come for college athletes to realize that they have as much power as professional athletes, to demand change.

Two years later, the football players at the University of Missouri made a bold statement that will have an everlasting impact on college sports. They walked away from a game they love to support their fellow students. They have now shown athletes at other schools the power they have when they join together in solidarity. As a result, the NCAA’s biggest fear just came to reality. There was not going to be any change or progress at the University of Missouri until the individuals responsible for generating a large share of the revenue said “Enough is Enough.” Within a few days of their walk-out, President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, announced their resignation. That's power.

The NCAA has long made the issues with college athletes, a legal one. The NCAA created rules that prevent athletes from earning a living until after they’ve made everyone else rich. College athletes are required to sign over all of their rights in exchange for a scholarship and cannot earn one single dime to support a parent who is sometimes forced to work two jobs and in some cases still don't have the resources to attend a game. LSU’s superstar Leonard Fournette is being questioned about a business venture his family started before his college career really took off. Now that he’s signed away his rights, it’s being frowned upon by the individuals who were earn millions off of him. In other words, we the NCAA and LSU own his rights. The system is old, is broken and it’s unfair. Schools like LSU and Alabama earn over $70 million per year off of football but the players receive $0. The coaches earn over $3 million per season but the players earn $0.

I'm predicting that we are a season or two away from college athletes staging one of the largest boycotts in college sports because they have come to realize that the power is in their hands. The Missouri football players did not have to miss one single game to get what they demanded but the fight is far from over. Today, the students in Missouri are being faced with the harsh reality of the racist society we still live in. They should be preparing for exams but instead they are fearing for their lives. One hundred thousand fans will cheer on black athletes on Saturdays but many will criticize their efforts and make fun of them on Monday morning. I applaud the efforts of our college athletes. It makes me feel good to see that Our future generation will not stop fighting the fight that many started years ago. We can only pray that one day we will be able to take off the gloves. Until that time, the fight must go on so that the future generation can experience what Dr. King died for many years ago; True equality for everyone.

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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