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With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading to various populations around the globe, an attention has been turned to those incarcerated. While prisons and jails from New York to Louisiana have reported a number of people within the walls tested positive for the virus, certain inmates are calling for a release, including Tekashi 6ix9ine.
The Brooklyn native, born Daniel Hernandez, was sentenced to two years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy murder charges, and other offenses including weapons possession. Now, his attorney Lance Lazzaro is advocating for his release, according to Complex. Lazzaro wants Judge Paul Englemayer to grant 6ix9ine the chance to finish his sentence, which is assumed to be July 31, on "home confinement."
6ix9ine’s bout with asthma places him in the category of those at high risk of catching and seriously battling the respiratory illness, supporting his attorney’s plea to have the “FeFe” rapper released. Lazzaro began this process of getting his client home since March 22.
“Mr. Hernandez has been complaining to prison officials this week of shortness of breath, but apparently the warden of his facility will not allow Mr. Hernandez to go to the hospital despite the recommendation of the facility’s medial [sic] director that Mr. Hernandez be treated by a doctor at a hospital,” Lazzaro's statement reads.
Now, on the grounds of a compassionate release, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said if the court sides with releasing 6ix9ine to finish his prison term at home, the government follows suit and won't “oppose the defendant’s motion” as outlined by his attorney. If “home confinement” is granted, 6ix9ine will have to remain in his home 24/7 unless he has to fulfill legal obligations or essential medical needs.
The legendary LeVar Burton has joined forces with Twitter’s livestream outlet to bring his audio-only “LeVar Burton Podcast” to streaming life. On Wednesday (April 1), Burton shared the announcement that’ll kickoff this week.
On Friday (April 3), Burton will read a selection from author Neil Gaiman, one of the first writers to grant Burton full permission to read his literary work on a livestream platform. Mondays will be reserved for readings geared toward children, Wednesdays go to young adults and novels that align with them, and after a week of balancing work and home life, Fridays are reserved for adults.
THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 4th, it begins right here on @twitter pic.twitter.com/pxWZ5lat5k
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) April 1, 2020
In response to his initial tweet about wanting to partner with a livestream platform, HarperCollins Children’s Books tweeted Burton to let him know he also has permission to read certain book titles up until May 31. The Star Trek actor's idea was sparked out of a desire to soothe COVID-19 pandemic tensions through reading.
To avoid legal complications, Burton said he was trying to find a way to bring his hit podcast to a live streaming platform without getting sued by authors. The longtime Reading Rainbow host added, “I figured that during this difficult time I could contribute by reading aloud to folks who could use some diversion for themselves and their families.” Now, his gesture is coming to life.
Hi @levarburton! We are granting permission for online readings of HarperCollins Children’s Books titles through May 31, 2020. Please review our guidelines & check out https://t.co/hkCRaE9GTM for more info. Read on, with our ❤️ pic.twitter.com/IjlCRoy5s4
— HarperStacks (@HarperStacks) March 25, 2020
Samuel L. Jackson also joined in on the live reading sessions that's currently happening across social media platforms, reading a spirited take on Adam Mansbach's Go the F**k to Sleep in the form of a poem the author penned titled "Stay the F**k At Home.”
On April’s Fools Day (April 1), Chuck D decided to send the masses for a spin. In March, the Public Enemy frontman claimed the historic group parted ways with Flavor Flav. The news made plenty of headlines and even produced statements from both Chuck D and Flav’s representatives. Now, the former is saying it was all a hoax.
In a statement, Chuck D said the decision was influenced by Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast, “War of the Worlds.” He began his explanation by saying the decision was meant to serve as “a wake-up call” and that he was tired of hip-hop only making the news for the bad moments and never for the positive accomplishments. As for Welles’ radio program, Chuck D said it was to show how people follow each another without question.
"I had watched Orson Welles’ ‘War Of The Worlds’ from 1938 when he pulled the wool over the public’s eyes as they put 100% belief in the technology of radio. Most people followed like a Pavlovic dog just like they do now,” he wrote. “Flav doesn’t do benefits and stays away from political events - we been cool and always agreed about that. Enemy Radio was built for that reason, to be a DJ+MC auxiliary unit of Public Enemy, a no-slack homage tossback to DJ+MC roots. It is DJ Lord, myself and Jahi with the S1Ws.”
Initially, Flav’s decision to not perform at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) seemed to have been the catalyst for the current situation. Flav seemingly doubled down on Twitter where he questioned Chuck D’s statements. “@MrChuckD are you kidding me right???,,,over Bernie Sanders??? You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years OVER POLITICS???,,,all because I don’t wanna endorse a candidate.” A reported cease-and-desist letter was sent to the group via Flav's lawyer claiming his likeness was being used by Sanders' campaign.
The tweet later prompted a response from the group's members, noting they didn’t part ways with Flav over his political beliefs. They claimed, since 2016, that Flav “has been on suspension” and that “he had previously missed numerous live gigs” around the world.
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EXCLUSIVE: #ChuckD (@mrchuckd_pe) and #PublicEnemy (@publicenemyftp) have issued a statement regarding #FlavorFlav...
"Hearing the confused mush of political talk while under the bowels of Trumpotus made me use a presidential stage as my platform," Chuck D continued to write. "Out of this storm came a plan between Flav and me to remind people that what’s important should have as much, if not more, value than just what’s popular. Thus came the HOAX, our ‘War Of The Worlds.’ Believe half of what you hear and NONE of what you see."
In an interview with Talib Kweli's Uproxx podcast "People's Party" Chuck D said he let certain people know what was on the horizon for April 1 and reassured those people that him “and Flav have been better than ever.” Additionally, Enemy Radio released an album titled Loud Is Not Enough, with its first single being titled "Food as a Machine Gun." Chuck D noted that at the end of the day, the entire situation's "original intention was to get your attention."