Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black News: Police Officer Shooting Sparks Outrage in NYC

Life was looking good for Omar Edwards up to the point of encountering a man rummaging through his vehicle in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood on the night of May 28.

Police Officer Omar Edwards

A month prior the 25-year-old police rookie had married the mother of his children, 1 1/2-year-old Xavier and 7-month-old Keanua. Wearing street clothes, he had just gotten off work at a job he had wanted to do since he was a child. Perhaps it seemed like things couldn't get any better. In truth, they never would.

He was in street clothes as he walked toward his car parked about a block away on Second Ave. between E. 124th and E. 125th St., where he saw Miguel Goitia rummaging through the vehicle. The driver's side window was busted out.
Edwards grabbed Goitia, who managed to slip out of his sweater and escape Edwards' grip, Kelly said.
Gun drawn, Edwards gave chase.
At the same time, three plainclothes officers in an unmarked car saw Edwards running down the street. The car made a U-turn, and one of the officers, a white cop with more than four years on the job, got out and fired six shots - hitting Edwards twice, once in the left arm and once in the chest, [New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond] Kelly said.
Edwards did not fire his weapon.
SOURCE: NY Daily News.
The cop who shot him, 30-year-old Andrew Dunton, had never previously fired his weapon. After the shooting the three officers moved to apprehend Edwards, having mistaken the black cop for a criminal.
As he lay handcuffed on the ground, cops cut off his shirt to reveal a Police Academy T-shirt and found NYPD shield No. 12734 in his pants pocket.

By White Officer in NYC

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lebron’s Got Crazy Numbers, but Cavs Still Not Winning

He is averaging an outrageous 42.3 points in the Eastern Conference finals while shooting 50.9 percent with 7.3 assists -- numbers that exceed his MVP season. So what more is LeBron James supposed to do?

"Just try to win ball games," he said less than two hours before he contributed 44 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to Cleveland's loss in Game 4 at Orlando, stranding the Cavaliers with a 3-1 deficit heading into Game 5 here Thursday night. "Just try to win ball games and put our team in a position to win every game. I've been able to do that."

But the Cavs have wasted those chances. Despite his gaudy numbers, James hasn't been blameless, as he acknowledged after committing an unusual seven turnovers in the final 12 minutes of regulation and overtime in Game 4. Those mistakes were forced by a Magic defensive strategy that is enabling LeBron to score while limiting opportunities for his teammates. The failure of those teammates is the story of Cleveland's series. Knowing that he can't outscore Orlando by himself, and wired as he is to make plays for others, James was forced to take risks in hopes of rallying his team.


Click to read.

Woman Says Black Men Kidnapped Her: She was actually in Disneyland

Woman, 9-Year-Old Girl Flew From Philadelphia to Orlando, Visited Disney World, Cops Say

The frantic search for Bonnie Sweeten and her 9-year-old daughter - which began after she called 911 Tuesday to report that they had been kidnapped in Bucks County - ended yesterday at Walt Disney World.

Sweeten, 38, and daughter Julia Rakoczy were taken into custody at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa about 8:40 p.m., the FBI said. Sweeten was being held by authorities in Orange County, Fla., and her daughter was safe.

Sweeten will be extradited to Bucks County, where she faces charges of making a false report and identity theft, both misdemeanors. The investigation is continuing into possible theft charges, said Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry.

Julia Rakoczy's biological father, Anthony Rakoczy, of Feasterville, will go to Florida today to pick her up, Henry said.

Over the last week, Sweeten withdrew $12,000 from several bank accounts and used a coworker's driver's license to travel, Henry said.

Click to read.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Black Celeb News: Boxer Mike Tyson’s Daughter Dies

The 4-year-old daughter of boxer Mike Tyson died at a hospital Tuesday, a day after her neck apparently got caught in a treadmill cord at her Phoenix home, police said.

Exodus Tyson was pronounced dead just before noon, police Sgt. Andy Hill said. She had been on life support and police have said their investigation showed her injury on Monday was a "tragic accident."

"There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus," the family said in a statement. "We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal."

Police said Exodus either slipped or put her head in the loop of a cord hanging under the console. Her 7-year-old brother found her and told their mother. She took Exodus off the cord, called 911 and tried to revive her.

Click to read.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Charlamagne Tha God and Dr. Boyce Watkins Take on Philadelphia

WPHI Radio in Philadelphia (100.3 “The Beat”), one of the leading urban radio stations in Philadelphia, now has “Charlamagne Tha God” as their morning host.   Charlamagne has teamed up with Syracuse Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins to bring commentary every Thursday at 8:48 am.  Dr Boyce and Charlamagne will discuss issues of the week, money, hip hop, and general Black social commentary.  Charlamagne was once the co-host of “The Wendy Williams Experience”, which had 11 million listeners nation-wide.  Dr. Boyce Watkins is one of the most highly sought after Black intellectuals in the world, making regular appearances on CNN, BET, CBS and more.  He is also the resident scholar for AOL Black Voices the most popular Black News website in America, with 114,000 readers per day.  For more information, please visit

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Falcons Star Michael Vick Gets Out

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick left a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, early Wednesday, according to his publicist and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Michael Vick, left, arrives at federal court with attorney Billy Martin in Richmond, Viriginia, in 2007.

Michael Vick, left, arrives at federal court with attorney Billy Martin in Richmond, Viriginia, in 2007.

He will serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement in Virginia, his publicist Judy Smith said. He is a native of Newport News, Virginia.

Vick, 28, pleaded guilty in August 2007 to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia.

He will return to professional football as soon as September if reinstated by the NFL, according to the sports agent who negotiated Vick's 10-year, $140 million contract with the Falcons. Meanwhile, Vick's attorneys have said he will work at a Newport News construction firm following his release, and he has also agreed to participate in a documentary for $600,000.

Last month, a federal bankruptcy judge denied a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan presented by Vick, urging him to offer the court another plan to emerge from bankruptcy. The plan called for Vick to come up with $750,000 to $1 million in cash to be paid to creditors, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Santoro said, but added he saw no evidence Vick could come up with that much. Santoro suggested Vick's next plan not call for him to keep two houses and three cars, as did the rejected proposal.

In testimony, Vick acknowledged committing a "heinous" act and said he should have acted more maturely. He said he has been earning 12 cents an hour as an overnight janitor in prison. His Falcons salary, he said, was between $10 million and $12 million. He acknowledged failing to handle his money well.

Click to read.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Syracuse University’s Case with Dr. Boyce Watkins starts heating up

In many academic circles, being attacked by Bill O'Reilly might be a badge of honor. A Syracuse University professor, however, charges that he was denied tenure last week in part because of the fallout over his on-air disputes with the Fox television star, who has branded him "a new Ward Churchill."

Boyce Watkins said that the university has responded to attacks on him in ways that are different from how it handles other controversial statements made by professors, creating a stigma around his work because it does not conform to "white liberal" ideas about race.

And Watkins, who is black and who teaches finance, said that an e-mail message that was not intended for him, but which he received and has forwarded to Inside Higher Ed, shows that professors view his public statements in a negative light, and that he couldn't get a fair tenure review.

Watkins has appeared frequently on CNN and various other news shows, offering outspoken commentary that, while earning him the enmity of O'Reilly, has also won him many fans, who say that he voices ideas that tend to be skipped over in national debates. With Watkins vowing to sue the university (and to continue to speak out), this case is likely to set off debates about race, public intellectuals and how universities respond when their faculty members are attacked. And while many parts of the tenure process are off limits, many of the statements at issue are not only public but on YouTube, providing fodder for those seeking to draw their own judgments on Watkins (or O'Reilly).

The dispute with O'Reilly took off in 2007 in the aftermath of controversial remarks he made on a radio show in which he described a trip to Sylvia's, a famous Harlem restaurant. O'Reilly spoke at length about how he "couldn't get over" how the restaurant -- black-owned, and primarily with black customers -- was full of "respectful" people. He talked about how it was just like "going to an Italian restaurant" and how there wasn't "any kind of craziness" or anyone "screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' "

O'Reilly maintains that the comments were part of his effort to show that all people are the same, but his repeated expressions of surprise that one could have a civilized dinner in a black-owned restaurant in a black part of town struck many people as offensive and ignorant. Responding to the dispute, O'Reilly then interviewed Juan Williams on one of his television shows, and Williams expressed support for O'Reilly.

Click to read more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Prosecutor’s Actions Rock Morehouse College

Joshua Brandon Norris is expected to graduate soon and become a Morehouse Man, with all its prestige. At 22, he’s had a good run during his time at Morehouse College. He drove a Hummer, co-owned a fashion store at Perimeter Mall and owns a stylish $450,000 townhouse.

He also shot another student.

Across the country, Frank Rashad Johnson, the victim, attends Sacramento City College and lives with his mother, trying to save money. He, too, wanted to be a Morehouse Man.

“My great-uncle was a classmate of Martin Luther King’s,” Johnson said. “It has a long history of exemplary students and good men. It was my dream school.”

But all that fell apart when he was shot three times outside a school-related Halloween party near Atlantic Station in 2007. Police reports say Norris was kicked out of a nightclub, had words with Johnson after bumping into him outside, then shot the fellow Morehouse student during a struggle in the street.

Completing a Morehouse degree is vital to Norris. Fulton County Judge Marvin Arrington ordered him to do so after he pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The deal calls for six years of probation and comes with first-offender status —- meaning Norris’ record will be wiped clean if he stays out of trouble.

“You’re getting the break of your life,” Arrington said during the Jan. 27 hearing.

The arrangement constitutes a bizarre twist of fate for Johnson.



Click to read.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Northwestern Study Shows Non-Threatening Black Men More Likely to Get Leadership Opportunities

Black Fortune 500 CEOs with a "babyface" appearance are more likely to lead companies with higher revenues and prestige than black CEOs who look more mature, an upcoming study says.

In contrast with research showing that white executives are hindered by babyface characteristics, a disarming appearance can help black CEOs by counteracting the stigma that black men are threatening, according to the study from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

The study is scheduled to be published in the journal Psychological Science in September.

A babyface is characterized by combinations of attributes, including a round face, full cheeks, larger forehead, small nose, large ears and full lips, the study says.

Decades of research has shown that people believe babyfaced adults to be more trustworthy, and respond to them with greater patience, sensitivity and compassion, according to Robert Livingston, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of organizations and management at Kellogg.

In the study, a group of 21 college students was shown photographs of 40 current and past CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Eleven of the students were white, 10 were Asian and 10 were female.


Click to read.