Commentary

COMMENTARY: Wisconsin Must Shift Youth Justice Policy to Promote Transformative Change

MILWAUKEE COURIER — As Wisconsin looks to establish a new correctional system for youth, it is incumbent upon us to act with great urgency to respond to the immediate crisis at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools. We must take deliberate action to promote youth justice system reforms that are most effective, safe, sustainable and support proper care and treatment of our youth. […read more]

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Blood found in home of mother’s fiancé.
#NNPA BlackPress

Justice for Maleah! 4-Year-Old Still Missing

NNPA NEWSWIRE — There have been prayer vigils, balloon releases, news conferences, community-wide searches in the area where she was staying, but there has still been no sign of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis. The disappearance of little Maleah has members of the Greater Houston community outraged, as well as fervently searching for answers as to what actually happened to her. […read more]

“People set to die in prison are now free. Our clients weren’t even on this selective list the Sentencing Commission sent out or on federal defenders’ radars. In fact, we have copies of letters federal defenders sent some of our clients telling them they weren’t even eligible for relief under the First Step Act – but we got them free. Our work in 90 days is historic. We picked some up from prison. We gave re-entry stipends. We continue to support them upon release.” Said Anne Branigin. (Photo: The Decarceration Collective)
#NNPA BlackPress

“Black Girl Magic”: Black Women Lawyers Freed 17 Inmates Serving Life Sentences, Receive Financing Assistance from Kim Kardashian

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Let’s pause here to give a little credit where credit is due. Freeing 17 prisoners – all of whom were serving life sentences without parole – is impressive and commendable and the result of a campaign – 90 Days of Freedom – launched by Kardashian’s attorney, Brittany K. Barnett, a black woman,” Anne Branigin wrote for The Grapevine. The Decarceration Collective’s MiAngel Cody, another black female lawyer, also collaborated on the project. “If we wanted to go back even further, it’s worth knowing the viral Mic video on Alice Marie Johnson that moved Kardashian to act was facilitated by – you guessed it – a black woman, Topeka Sam.” […read more]

(l-r) Attorneys Brittany K. Barnett and MiAngel Cody (Photo by: defendernetwork.com)
Crime

Black attorney responsible for freeing 17 inmates sets the record straight over Kim Kardashian

DEFENDER NEWS NETWORK — Kim Kardashian has been making headlines as of late after reports said she is responsible for freeing 17 inmates in 90 days. but what hasn’t been highlighted are the Black women doing the work behind the effort. That changed Tuesday when attorney Brittany K. Barnett, who along with fellow Black woman lawyer MiAngel Cody, established the 90 Days of Freedom Campaign, posted a lengthy post on Facebook that set the record straight. […read more]

former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley
Crime

Appeals court upholds former Compton mayor’s conviction

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — A state appeals court panel has upheld former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley’s conviction for misappropriating and misusing taxpayer funds. In a ruling released late May 6, the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Bradley’s contention that insufficient evidence and incorrect jury instructions mandated reversal of his July 2017 conviction on the two felony counts. […read more]

Senator Harris originally introduced the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act during the 115th Congress.
#NNPA BlackPress

Harris Introduces EQUAL Defense Act to Boost Pay and Resources, Limit Workload of Public Defenders

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “After spending my career around the criminal justice system, I’ve seen up close how it can fail to ensure that poor defendants receive a fair trial and due process, as guaranteed to all of us in our Constitution,” said Sen. Harris. “All too often, our public defenders are overworked and lack sufficient resources. This makes public defense unsustainable over the long haul. And the person who suffers is the defendant, whose liberty is on the line. It’s wrong, and it’s the opposite of justice.” […read more]

Photo by: rawpixel.com
Crime

Cummings, Nadler, Bass, and Booker Reintroduce the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — Representatives Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform; Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary; and Karen Bass (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security; reintroduced the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM) Act on the last day of Second Chance Month. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) plans to reintroduce the bill in the Senate in the coming weeks. […read more]

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)
Crime

Rep. John Lewis Speaks Out Against Rampant Violence in Places of Worship

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — America is reeling from another attack on a synagogue just one day before the end of Passover. A young shooter, allegedly a 19-year-old man currently in police custody, walked into the Chabad of Poway, a 33-year-old synagogue in the outskirts of San Diego and opened fire with an assault rifle on worshippers. One person is dead and three others were injured in the shooting, which the Mayor of Poway, Steve Vaus, has called a hate crime based on statements the shooter made as he entered the synagogue. […read more]

March For Our Lives has posted several anti-gun violence messages on digital billboards in New York City's Times Square March For Our LIves (Twitter|TNS)
Crime

March For Our Lives launches billboard campaign

FLORIDA COURIER — Like ticker tape, the messages quickly scroll on the digital billboards.“I saw my brother get shot. I saw my sister get shot. I saw my son get shot,” the words flow in New York’s Times Square. They are the latest anti-gun violence messages from the March For Our Lives group, which was founded by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre last year in Parkland. […read more]

Photo by: theoklahomaeagle.net
Crime

Bill Allowing Oklahoma Teachers To Carry Guns Without Special Training Advances

OKLAHOMA EAGLE —  A bill that would allow teachers and other school staff to carry guns without special training advances to the Senate floor. Right now, school personnel can carry guns concealed on campus if they have the permission of their districts; if they have completed CLEET training and possess a valid armed security guard license or hold a valid reserve peace officer certification. This bill would reduce those requirements to just having a districts permission, and a valid weapons permit. […read more]

The right to a jury trial is a hallmark of the American criminal justice system and defendants generally have the right to be tried by a jury of their peers. (Photo: iStockPhoto / NNPA)
#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Experts: ‘Jury of your Peers’ Rarely Applies to African Americans

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Race has a tremendous impact in criminal trials, at least one African American juror can help even the playing field when it comes to verdicts. Race matters in the courtroom and race relates to perception and judgment – especially when a case is about race,” said Waukeshia Jackson, founder of the Atlanta-based Jackson & Lowe Law Group. […read more]

The result is a continuing cycle of poverty and incarceration that has a devastating impact on families for generations. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
#NNPA BlackPress

Black Men Still Incarcerated at Disproportionate Levels

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Systemic racism drives both poverty and the mass incarceration of low-income people, especially people of color. This cycle of poverty and criminal justice involvement feeds on itself and creates herculean barriers to achieving economic and social advancement, for those who have been justice involved and for their loved ones,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, FPWA CEO and Executive Director. […read more]

Black Americans have been the most frequent victims of hate crime in every tally of bias incidents generated since the FBI began collecting such data in the early 1990s… (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
#NNPA BlackPress

Hate Crimes and Solutions offered by Activists

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Phyllis G. Williams, the co-host of the podcast “Living the Principles,” said one reason hate crimes are increasing is that criminals of those actions typically gain notoriety. “Hate crimes with mass media exposure are nothing shy of a recruiting tool. This is why we have seen an increase over the last few years,” Williams said. […read more]

Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway
Crime

Nashville Juvenile System Needs Community Support

THE TENNESSEE TRIBUNE — The recent spotlight placed upon five juveniles accused of murder in Nashville is a community issue that goes beyond the tragic happenings of the victim and the minors involved.  Regardless of how this sad situation is viewed, critics on both sides of the issue meet in the middle and admit that Nashville indeed has a rapidly escalating juvenile crime problem.  The hands of the parents are tied, the disciplinary resources of the educators are non-existent and the community safe haven that can field the crisis is ranked low on the list of budgetary priorities of the Metro Council. […read more]

Community

OP-ED: Vigils aren’t the answer to stopping crime

THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES — There was a vigil held in Bessemer on Monday night on behalf of more than 100 victims of violent crime from western Jefferson County.  Those who organized the vigil were well intended and did no harm – but I wonder how much good it did.  This vigil followed the form of many others with local elected officials speaking on the impact of gunfire in our communities and families talking about the never-ending pain. No disrespect to the families, but we also need to talk about the cause of violence in our communities. […read more]

Rapper/entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle (Courtesy Photo) A peaceful vigil is set in front of THE MARATHON CLOTHING store, near Crenshaw and Slauson in South L.A., in honor of the slain rapper and beloved community leader. (vigil photo Brandon I. Brooks, Los Angeles Sentinel)
#NNPA BlackPress

Nipsey Hussle, Gun Violence and the Big Business of Weapons

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Guns contributed more than $52 billion to the U.S. economy and generated over $6.8 billion in federal and state taxes in 2018, according to a new WalletHub study that compared the economic impact of guns on each of the 50 states to determine which among them leans most heavily on the gun business, both directly for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through ownership. […read more]

William T. Robinson, Jr
Commentary

COMMENTARY: Elderly Abuse

NASHVILLE PRIDE — We all must acknowledge that if we are fortunate, we will live a long and productive life and hopefully be taken care of in our old age with the overseeing of our children or closely related family members. In an idealistic world, you would think that the children or family members of elders convalescing or bedridden would prioritize the treatment and care of their loved ones […read more]

Nipsey Hussle memorial area at South Los Angeles store, the Marathon Clothing. (Photo by: Wiki Commons)
Crime

Rapper’s death is part of recent spike in shootings

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — The death of rapper Nipsey Hussle came during a week that saw a spike in shootings that prompted three City Council members to introduce a motion at the April 2 City Council meeting asking the police department and the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development to report on the recent surge and the department’s strategy on responding to the increase. […read more]

Kwame Kilpatrick (Photo by: Dave Hogg | Wiki Commons)
Crime

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Once Again Denied Motion to Vacate 28-Year Sentence

DEFENDER NEWS NETWORK — On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds rejected the appeal from the former mayor of Detroit, who is in his eighth year in prison. Kilpatrick’s motion argued the court made errors during his trial. Among the issues he alleged were incorrect jury instructions, impermissible hearsay and his defense lawyer having a conflict of interest. […read more]

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee
#NNPA BlackPress

Additional White Supremacists Convicted for Threatening to Kill Rep. Maxine Waters

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I am pleased by the identification, arrest, and conviction of the men who threatened me, my family, and my staff in support of their racist, white supremacist, and hate-filled agenda. Let these convictions be a lesson to all those who would threaten to kill or cause bodily harm to us: you will be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law….” […read more]

#NNPA BlackPress

After Incarceration, Former Prisoners Face a Tough Journey Home to Find Work, Reunite with Family and Begin Again

NNPA NEWSWIRE — With tens of thousands of prisoners being released each year from jails and prisons across the country, experts agree that a major test on the journey home for these individuals is navigating rocky shoals of the transition between prison and society. Will they be productive citizens, or will they engage in a repeat offense and return to prison? Or will they end up homeless in the streets – or worse? […read more]

“Senior Political Correspondent” Hasan Minhaj and Trevor Noah of The Daily show
#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: White ISIS?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Senior Political Correspondent” Hasan Minhaj and Trevor Noah of The Daily Show are co-creators. After another man-made catastrophe, Minhaj, an American Muslim and Noah unveiled a name for White terrorists: “White ISIS” or “WISIS.” They pointed to the ugliness of terrorism, which somehow becomes more tolerable when a White male suspect is the perpetrator. […read more]

Florida is a red state. The Republicans control the Governorship, Cabinet, Senate and House of Representatives. Most of the appointees are conservatives and Republicans. Decisions are made with one thought in mind, and that is to remain in power. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Are the Republicans Playing Games with Amendment 4 in Florida?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — In order to remain in power, our leaders have no problem erecting barriers that make it difficult to make changes. However, nearly 65% of Floridians in 2018’s midterm elections voted to implement Amendment 4, which restores voting rights to approximately 1.5 million convicted felons who have completed their sentencing, parole and/or probation. […read more]

Victor McElhaney
Crime

USC music student killed in apparent robbery attempt

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — An Oakland City Council member March 12 hailed the life of her slain son — a USC student who was gunned down near campus in an apparent robbery attempt — saying he was a musical prodigy who will be remembered as more than just a homicide statistic. Speaking to reporters at USC, Lynette Gibson McElhaney said her 21-year-old son Victor, who was fatally shot just after midnight March 10 near Maple Avenue and Adams Boulevard, is “not a homicide number or statistic.” […read more]

The letter was signed by House Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel.
#NNPA BlackPress

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Statement on the New Zealand Terror Attack

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the horrific and hate-filled terrorist attacks that took place in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 49 people and seriously injured 20 people. This merciless shooting targeted innocent Muslim worshipers during Friday prayers. My heart goes out to all of the victims, their families, and the Muslim community in New Zealand as they recover from this senseless act of violence. […read more]

“This inequity isn’t just about wealth, it’s about race, ethnicity, culture and history,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., National Newspaper Publishers Association president and CEO.
#NNPA BlackPress

NNPA Leadership and Other Prominent Black Voices Speak Out on College Exam Scandal

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The rich have one standard of education and everyone else has another standard,” National Newspaper Publishers Association president and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., added in a story written by Black Press journalist Barrington M. Salmon, who also interviewed other prominent African Americans including Virginia entertainment attorney Elva Mason and Former Florida A&M University Law Professor Cori Harvey. […read more]

Armstrong Williams is a conservative columnist. To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
#NNPA BlackPress

OPINION: Press the Pause Button on College Admissions Outrage

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The reality in many of these universities is that by the time you subtract preferences for minorities, the spots reserved for athletes, the preferences given to the children of donors, the places taken by children of the well-connected, college admissions is a process where the only people seemingly ‘guaranteed’ a spot, are people who have the system rigged in their favor. It’s clear, from reading some of the emails, that many of these parents were trying to ‘rig’ a guaranteed spot for their kid. […read more]

On Oct. 3, 1974 amid rallies, negotiations and petitions, a Memphis police officer fatally shot 15-year-old Edward Garner, a fleeing suspect. Ironically, the patrolman, Elton Hymon, was African American. I talked with him recently as I sought to put his story into the context of the times.
#NNPA BlackPress

TAKING NOTE! Elton Hymon: An unsung hero

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “…On March 27, 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that under the Fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, the officer may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect poses a threat of death to the officer and others. The use of deadly force without probable cause was held to constitute an unreasonable seizure. Asked what made the difference in the Tennessee vs. Garner case, Bailey said, ‘officer Hymon told the truth.’”
[…read more]

(Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA). Photos of missing children: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
#NNPA BlackPress

Epidemic of Missing Black Girls Continues to Stump Authorities, Frustrate Parents

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “One thing I think for sure about the missing teens is that human trafficking is a hotbed in my city [and around the country],” said Psychologist and Navy veteran Sheri Davis, who lives in Madison, Alabama. “I think it’s very easy for the courts and police to turn their heads the other way and not deal with the problem at hand.” […read more]

San Francisco’s pride, five-time elected Public Defender Jeff Adachi, wishes SF Bay View Publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff a happy 82nd birthday at a reception prior to the Bay View’s awards show, Black Media Appreciation Night, on Sept. 13, 2014, at the African American Art & Culture Complex. – Photo: TaSin Sabir
California Voice - San Francisco Bay View

IN MEMORIAM: Jeff Adachi, 1959 – 2019: ‘When Jeff had your back, you felt safe’

SAN FRANCISCO BAY VIEW — Jeff Adachi, a defense attorney of the highest magnitude, legendary for his sharp mind and soft, yet brave, heart, spoke to the dignity in every client, most of them the poorest of the poor, often visiting them personally in county jail. He is survived by his wife Mutsuko and his daughter Lauren. […read more]

The District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY) has endorsed the recommendations and has now urged lawmakers to examine the study and embrace some of the specific elements in their efforts to improve the bail system in New York. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Commentary

New York May Join Other States in Ending Cash Bails

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Defendants charged with certain non-violent crimes should be presumptively released. But there are a small number of crimes which we believe prosecutors should have the opportunity to rebut the presumption of release at arraignment,” said District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY) President and Albany County District Attorney David Soares. […read more]

Description: Pastor Henry Lavender gives DeAndre Bramlett, who broke into Lavender’s church, something Bramlett said he’d never had – a birthday cake. (Photo: Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell)
Community

A tale of love and redemption: ‘Spiritual parents’ throw surprise party for man who broke into their church

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I appreciate DeAndre because he broke a cycle in his life,” said Pastor Henry Lavender. “Now, he has his own son to raise. The cycle is broken. Jesus makes it possible for DeAndre to live free. His son can be free. The logo of our church has the Jewish symbol in it. That is on purpose. It means Israel shall live. We do have victory when we forgive and love one another.” […read more]

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.” Smollett stated through his attorneys.
Chicago

Chicago Police Announce “Shift” in Investigation Regarding Jussie Smollett Case, Confusion

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed in a statement. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview,” he added. […read more]

15-year old Victoria Shaw went missing Monday, Feb. 11, in West Hartford, Connecticut. Teandah Slater, who is also only 15-years old, was reported missing on Thursday, Feb. 7, from Noble Square in Chicago. 28-year old Amber Evans disappeared in 2015 and is still missing.
Community

Our Black Women and Girls Have Gone Missing but Few Seem to Care

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “To recognize Black girls as magical means defining them as precious, unique and valued. When society recognizes their worth and value, I believe that more attention will be paid to this matter. In addition, it will call for all people to recognize this as an epidemic and cause for action,” said Ginger Lavender Wilkerson, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles. […read more]

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties.
Commentary

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the Anniversary of the Parkland Shooting

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “After the Parkland shooting, young people stood up and spoke both forcefully and passionately about gun violence’s impact on their ability to feel safe, which led to the passage of new gun control laws in 26 states, including Florida. Unfortunately, the Florida House is considering a bill that would repeal the measures passed last year. […read more]