Deadra Patton & John Marsden Strip Searched Over $3 Pair of Earrings Houston Beauty Supply Store

deadra patton and john marsden 350x196 Deadra Patton & John Marsden Strip Searched Over $3 Pair of Earrings Houston Beauty Supply Store

Deadra Patton & John Marsden Strip Searched Over $3 Pair of Earrings Houston Beauty Supply Store (Credit: KHOU)

Shopping While Black:  Deadra Patton and her fiancé John Marsden said they were humiliated at Y Beauty Supply store in southeast Houston recently when they were overbilled for a $3 pair of earrings. Which Patton claims she never took. They were strip searched after the owner allegedly said blacks “always steal.” This is yet another case of “shopping while black.”

KHOU Houston: Deadra Pattum and her fiancé John Marsden have a bone to pick with Y Beauty Supply in southeast Houston. The couple said they were humiliated inside the store last week when they stopped by to purchase some hair extensions. “I’m not a thief,” said Pattum. They said they were over-billed for a pair of $3 earrings they never took. “I picked them up but I put them back,” said Pattum. “The owner said you people always steal,” said Marsden. “And he said give me the earrings and I call police. My rights were revoked.

The couple claimed they were threatened and forced to remain in that store. Marsden said he was intimidated by the manager and ordered to strip down and be searched. “So I took off my socks and shoes and I took off my pants,” said Marsden. “I was nervous.” Within minutes, a security officer showed up, and immediately looked at the surveillance video. “She never left the counter with those earrings in her hand,” the guard said. “There was no evidence of shoplifting.” Houston Police agreed. Their officers looked at the same video and found no evidence of shoplifting. Activist Quanell X is now involved.

“This was a classic case of racial profiling in its most humiliating form,” said Quanell X. “And something needs to be done about this.” The owners of the store refused to discuss the specific incident but said shoplifting is a big problem at their business. But Pattum insists she and her fiancé did nothing wrong.

“Everybody doesn’t shoplift,” said Pattum. “Everybody is not a thief. There are still honest people in the world.”

 Deadra Patton & John Marsden Strip Searched Over $3 Pair of Earrings Houston Beauty Supply Store

Akintunde Ahmad Carries Photos of 5.0 GPA, SAT Scores to Allay Disbelievers

akintunde ahmad 350x225 Akintunde Ahmad Carries Photos of 5.0 GPA, SAT Scores to Allay Disbelievers

Akintunde Ahmad Carries Photos of 5.0 GPA, SAT Scores to Allay Disbelievers

It’s a sad commentary that Oakland, Calif., senior Akintunde Ahmad, who has a 5.0 grade point average and has been accepted to Yale, Brown and Columbia universities, but yet he must walk around with proof to show that he has actually attained these achievements.

Ahmad said he has spent his life being doubted about his academic talents because of his dreadlocks and clothing. He also plays baseball and three instruments.

To combat those negative views of him, Akintunde Ahmad says he keeps photos of his grades and 2100 SAT score on his phone and so he can flash them at any disbeliever he wants. Thankfully, he has positive influences in his life that encourage him to continue working hard. His mother, who is his Oakland school principal, has always encouraged him not to give in to others’ doubts.

Akintunde Ahmad told KGO, “Like, my whole life, people have been telling me to stay on this path and everything will fall, the cards will fall like you want them to, so.”

It is a sad commentary that Akintunde Ahmad is being judged based on the color of his skin, his dreadlocks and his loose clothing. Didn’t Dr. Martin Luther King dream of blacks being judged by the contents of their characters? We still haven’t overcome, have we?

 Akintunde Ahmad Carries Photos of 5.0 GPA, SAT Scores to Allay Disbelievers

Woody Allen Under Fire for All-White Cast in Musical Based on The Cotton Club

cotton club harlem 350x251 Woody Allen Under Fire for All White Cast in Musical Based on The Cotton Club

Woody Allen Under Fire for Not Casting Any Black Actors in Cotton Club Adaptation

Woody Allen is under fire for reportedly specifying that there be no black stars in his new show, “Bullets Over Broadway,” which is an adaptation of his 1994 screenplay of the same name based on Harlem’s Cotton Club, and stars Zach Braff. The musical opens tonight, as does ‘After Midnight,” which is also based on the Cotton Club.

Kelcy Griffin, is the only non-white person in the production is in a dance ensemble. A Broadway insider told the NY Daily News, “Everyone’s white at Woody’s Cotton Club and in the gangster numbers.” Um, really? How could that be an accurate portrayal of the Cotton Club?

Here we have yet another white person trying to revise black history. The same source also told the newspaper that a “big-name” black actor was being considered but Woody Allen changed his mind, deciding that a “black gangster wouldn’t be good.” That’s despite the play being set in Harlem.

 Woody Allen Under Fire for All White Cast in Musical Based on The Cotton Club

Hank Aaron: Obama House GOP Critics Like KKK in “Neckties and Starched Shirts”

hank aaron 350x245 Hank Aaron: Obama House GOP Critics Like KKK in Neckties and Starched Shirts

Hank Aaron: House GOP Critics of Obama Like KKK in “Neckties and Starched Shirts”

Famed slugger Hank Aaron, speaking on the anniversary of his record-breaking home run, told USA Today that congressional Republicans are an updated version of the Ku Klux Klan.

Aaron said, “Sure, this country has a black president.” “But when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated…The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Hank Aaron added, “We are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record.” He noted that the percentage of black baseball players had declined since he played. He said,  “If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

 Hank Aaron: Obama House GOP Critics Like KKK in Neckties and Starched Shirts

Wrongly Convicted Man, Jonathan Fleming, Set for Release After Serving 24 Years in Prison

jonathan fleming 350x249 Wrongly Convicted Man, Jonathan Fleming, Set for Release After Serving 24 Years in Prison

Wrongly Convicted Man, Jonathan Fleming, Set for Release After Serving 24 Years in Prison (Credit: NY Daily News)

Jonathan Fleming, a New York City resident, will be released from prison Tuesday after serving 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Evidence surfaced that proves he was in Florida at the time of the murder for which he was convicted.

ProPublica reported that 51-year-old Fleming’s release will be formally announced at a hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He served the first 24 years of a 25-to-life sentence for the murder of Darryl Rush in August 1989.

Fleming’s attorney, Anthony Mayol, said, “It’s an amazing feeling for everyone involved.”“We spoke to [Fleming] before it was officially confirmed, and to the extent he believes it’s going to happen he is elated, overjoyed, and relieved. He is beside himself with happiness.”

The newly-discovered evidence includes a telephone receipt and witness accounts that prove Jonathan Fleming was in Florida at the time Darryl Rush was fatally shot. Prosecutors are accused of not turning over that information or sharing evidence that suggestion one of the witnesses who testified against Fleming did so to escape criminal charges of her own.

The New York Daily News reports that the witness, who avoided felony charges, recanted her testimony after Fleming’s conviction. She had been arrested shortly before Jonathan Fleming’s trial began, according to information in a command log from the 90th Police District.

The evidence which played a role in the exoneration of Jonathan Fleming was uncovered during a joint investigation by Anthony Mayol and the Conviction Integrity Unit of then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office. A man who was suspected of being the getaway driver in Darryl Rush’s murder told a unit member and an investigator working for Mayol in November 2013 that Fleming was not involved in the crime.

 Wrongly Convicted Man, Jonathan Fleming, Set for Release After Serving 24 Years in Prison

Bruce Edward Wimbush Jr. Being Held on $500,000 Bond for Role in Steve Utash Beating

bruce edward wimbush jr 350x191 Bruce Edward Wimbush Jr. Being Held on $500,000 Bond for Role in Steve Utash Beating

Bruce Edward Wimbush Jr. Being Held on $500,000 Bond for Role in Steve Utash Beating (Free Press Screengrab)

Bruce Edward Wimbush Jr. was given a bond of $500,000 for his role in the brutal attack against Steve Utash. His lawyer, Randall Upshaw calls the bond “excessive” and said “it should be considered when an individual has absolutely no criminal contact, he did not use a weapon, he’s not alleged to use a weapon, he’s alleged to have a minor role,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

Wimbush was arraigned on charges of assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm in connection with the assault on Utash, who was beaten by a mob of 10-12 people after he accidentally hit 10-year-old David Harris on a Detroit street.

Charges were announced by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday against James Deontae Davis, 24, and Wonzey Saffold, 30. They were charged with assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm and are expected to be arraigned today. A 16-year-old is in custody but he has not been yet charged.

 Bruce Edward Wimbush Jr. Being Held on $500,000 Bond for Role in Steve Utash Beating

The Smoking Gun: MSNBC Host Rev. Al Sharpton Was a FBI Informant

al sharpton fbi informant 350x192 The Smoking Gun: MSNBC Host Rev. Al Sharpton Was a FBI Informant

The Smoking Gun: MSNBC Host Rev. Al Sharpton Was a FBI Informant (Credit: TSG)

The Smoking Gun is reporting that civil rights activist and MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton has been an FBI information on matters concerning the Mafia since the 1980s.

A lengthy investigation by The Smoking Gun has uncovered remarkable details about Sharpton’s past work as an informant for a joint organized crime task force comprised of FBI agents and NYPD detectives, as well as his dealings with an assortment of wiseguys.

Beginning in the mid-1980s and spanning several years, Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit. In addition to aiding the FBI/NYPD task force, which was known as the “Genovese squad,” Sharpton’s cooperation extended to several other investigative agencies.

TSG’s account of Sharpton’s secret life as “CI-7” is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records, and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials to whom the activist provided assistance…

In an interview Saturday, Sharpton again denied working as a confidential informant, claiming that his prior cooperation with FBI agents was limited to efforts to prompt investigations of drug dealing in minority communities, as well as the swindling of black artists in the recording industry. He also repeatedly denied being “flipped” by federal agents in the course of an undercover operation. When asked specifically about his recording of the Gambino crime family member, Sharpton was noncommittal: “I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.” Source: The Smoking Gun

 The Smoking Gun: MSNBC Host Rev. Al Sharpton Was a FBI Informant

Brutal Beating of White Man, Steve Utash, by Black Mob Should be a Hate Crime

steve utash1 350x236 Brutal Beating of White Man, Steve Utash, by Black Mob Should be a Hate Crime

Brutal Beating of White Man, Steve Utash, by Black Mob Should be a Hate Crime (Credit: Go Fund Me)

(Opinion) — My heart is broken over the senseless mob attack against Steve Utash, a white tree trimmer from Roseville, Mich., after he stopped to help 11-year-old David Harris, who he accidentally hit after he stepped into the path of his pick-up truck. Detroit police have arrested two teens –16 and 17 years old — for the vicious attack. The investigation continues and more arrests are expected but I am appalled that the police have only arrested two teenagers, when they believe he was attacked by 10-12 people. Is a no-snitch mentality preventing law enforcement from making more arrests?

Steve Utash is clinging to life after the attack, which the Detroit police said wasn’t a hate crime. It’s not clear how they reached that conclusion, since they had made no arrests at the time. The fact is, had this been a black motorist attacked by a group of white people after hitting a white kid, it would have been deemed a hate crime. If not, the outrage would extend all the way to the Department of Justice with calls for prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law. The fact that it was ruled out so quickly in the attack on Steve Utash is a travesty.

What is also missing from the coverage of the outrage is that so many black Americans have voiced their sadness, shock and disgust at the attack against Steve Utash. We have to speak out against atrocities in our communities and not scream loud when it happens to one of us in a predominantly white community.  Here’s a sampling of the comments left by African Americans on a Go Fund Me account, which has collected over $90,000 to-date, to help pay for his medical bills, since he has no medical insurance:

Tim Burks:  “Our prayers are with the family. No one should have to endure what Steve endured. Let’s not let one incident of ignorance make us like those who were at fault. We can be the ones who make the world better by doing and saying positive things, and being the catalyst for peace. Be well sir.”

Darah Davis:  “Th9was a terrible thing. I PRAY that they catch the folks that committed this awful crime.”

Wallace Farmer:  “I don’t live in Detroit anymore, but I am always a Detroiter! This was wrong on so many levels – especially because Mr. Utash “DID THE RIGHT THING”. I really hope that Mr. Utash will fully recover, and know that people from all over are praying for him, his family. I hope he finds it in his heart to not let this incident paint everyone the same.”

Sandy McClendon:  “I sorry to hear about your dad for what he did he is a good man and didnt deserved this i hope the catch the people’s who done this and im praying for dad”

Ludmilla Mikki Anglade: “What happened was just awful; Mr. Utash deserves justice. I was so pressed to do something when I heard what happened. I am glad the fund was created. To his children…I will be continually praying for your father and your entire family. May your father make a full recovery soon.”

The only thing that needs to separate us in this attack is good versus bad. Not black versus white. Steve Utash did what any decent person would have done after being in an accident — stop. He got out to check on the child, who clearly was in the wrong when he stepped into the path of his oncoming vehicle. He didn’t flee the scene of an accident. But what did he get? A vicious beatdown by a mob of young thugs. He was also robbed of his money and credit cards. This was a heartbreak that sparked outrage from people of different races, socioeconomic statuses and different generations. It was just wrong.

Detroit is in the throes of the mother of all economic meltdowns. Gainful employment is hard to come by for many young men. Many can’t feed their families and are angry at the world, but that’s no excuse to use fists and robbery as a way of solving one’s problems. The city must find a way to help its poor. That’s assuming the attack wasn’t based on Steve Utash’s race and out of frustration.

If the attack was purely motivated by race, then the narrative should be prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Anyone found aiding and abetting the thugs who beat Utash, should also be prosecuted. The no-snitch mentality that runs deep in the inner cities across the U.S. is doing more harm than good because criminals aren’t been brought to justice. The fact is, Steve Utash deserves justice.

 Brutal Beating of White Man, Steve Utash, by Black Mob Should be a Hate Crime

OWN Developing 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Miniseries Starring Octavia Spencer

black wall street 350x219 OWN Developing 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Miniseries Starring Octavia Spencer

OWN Developing 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Miniseries Starring Octavia Spencer

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is developing a two-part miniseries, “Tulsa,” about the 1921 Oklahoma race riots. Octavia Spencer, who played Minny in “The Help,” plays a journalist in Tulsa investigating the riots.

The riots claimed the lives of an estimated 300 people, surrounding the segregation laws and the once-prosperous black community of Greenwood, also known as the Black Wall Street.

A 2011 New York Times article addressed the Tulsa riots as “rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private… an episode so brutal that this city, in a bout of collective amnesia that extended more than a half-century, simply chose to forget it ever happened.”

 OWN Developing 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Miniseries Starring Octavia Spencer

Poll: Majority of Americans Think Most Police Misconduct Cases Go Unpunished

police car 350x262 Poll:  Majority of Americans Think Most Police Misconduct Cases Go Unpunished

Poll: Majority of Americans Think Police Not Held Accountable for Misconduct (Credit: HNGN)

A new national poll conducted by Reason-Rupe reveals something most of us have known for a long time — a lot of Americans are concerned about police brutality and corruption.

The poll reveals while most Americans have a favorable attitude towards the police, the opposite is true for most minorities have. Reason: minorities are most likely to be subjected to racial profiling and discrimination by the police.

Half of the survey respondents believed that the police were generally not held accountable for their misconduct.  That number rose to 66% for blacks and 64% for Latinos.

b4bc8d59c8e3f68bae8ff39d8b9c7a9e Poll:  Majority of Americans Think Most Police Misconduct Cases Go Unpunished

Reason-Rupe poll on police misconduct

The poll also found that the lack of confidence in the police is even more evident when participants were asked whether police interactions with civilians should be recorded. An overwhelming majority believe that arrests and other arguments with the police should be taped.

bd48ecc262ff19971218c8918c47a5be Poll:  Majority of Americans Think Most Police Misconduct Cases Go Unpunished

Videotaping police interaction with public important

Additionally, 41% of respondents believe police misconduct, involving the use of excessive force and corruption, has increased from the last 10 years. While 48% said police misconduct has remained the same, only 9% said it has decreased.

So, what does this all mean?

Considering a string of high-profile police misconduct cases, law enforcement agents have done very little to improve their public image. For example, James Murdough, a mentally-ill Marine vet, baked to death in his Rikers Island jail cell, after he was arrested for trespassing for trespassing in the enclosed stairwell on the roof of a Harlem public housing project. He was only seeking a warm place to sleep to get away from the bitterly cold weather.

Another mentally-ill man, James Boyd, was shot in the back by Albuquerque police officers. The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the case.

D’Andre Berghardt Jr. was gunned down by two law enforcement officers on a Nevada highway. He was unarmed and could be seen on video trying to evade the officers, who responded with deadly force. Two men observing the police stop deemed the horror that unfolded before them as “redneck justice.”

Marcus Jeter was exonerated by a dashcam video after he was wrongfully arrested by two officers with the Bloomfield Police Department. He faced a myriad of charges, including eluding police and assault. He was cleared after the dashcam video contradicted the version of events given by the Bloomfield officers. The officers were indicted for falsifying reports. One has been charged with assault.

Technology has made it much easier to record and share violent law enforcement encounters with the general public. What’s more is that those videos are coming from law enforcement via cameras mounted on the officers or dashcams that allow the viewer to see the brutality.

Despite the negative attitudes towards police, the Reason-Rupe polls show that American still have faith in law enforcement. The system needs to be fixed and rogue cops weeded out. We can’t lose sight of the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of decent law enforcement officers out there who are serving their respective departments and the general public with dignity.

 Poll:  Majority of Americans Think Most Police Misconduct Cases Go Unpunished