Pittsburgh Police Chief Responds To Criticism After Posing With An ‘#EndWhiteSilence’ Sign

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay posed for a photo holding a sign that reads “I resolve to challenge racism @ work #EndWhiteSilence,” and ruffled the feathers of the city’s police union president. In an email response to the photo, Officer Howard McQuillan wrote to McLay that his “actions raise serious concerns.”

"The chief is calling us racists," Officer Howard McQuillan told local new station KDKA-TV. "He believes the Pittsburgh Police Department is racist. This has angered a lot of officers."

Responding to his critics, McLay wrote back a lengthy defense of the photo. Clarifying that it was a sign made by a local activist group, he stood by the message he portrayed while apologizing to anyone he might have offended. He also noted the racial disparities involved in the U.S. law enforcement system.

Read an excerpt from his response below:

SEE ALSO: Nashville Police Chief Defends Protesters In Response To Citizen’s Criticism

The reality of U.S. policing is that our enforcement efforts have a disparate impact on communities of color. This is a statistical fact. You know, as well as I, the social factors driving this reality. The gross disparity in wealth and opportunity is evident in our city. Frustration and disorder are certain to follow. The predominant patterns of our city's increased violence involves black victims as well as actors. If we are to address this violence, we must work together with our communities of color.

We, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, need to acknowledge how this reality feels to those impacted communities. Crime and disorder take us to the disadvantaged communities, which are predominantly those of color. The disparities in police arrest and incarceration rates that follow are not by design, but they can feel that way to some people in those communities.

I know, because I have been there too. My own street drug enforcement efforts were well intended but had an impact I would not have consciously chosen. In retrospect, we should have been far more engaged with those in the communities where we were doing our high-impact, zero tolerance type policing; to obtain the consent of those we were policing.

Read Chief McLay’s full response here.

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Watch The Trailer For Lifetime’s Wendy Williams Biopic

Wendy Williams is putting it all out there for her Lifetime biopic. The trailer Wendy Williams: The Movie, arrived on Thursday (Dec. 3) showcasing the New Jersey native’s rise from radio shock jock to daytime talk show host, plus her marriage troubles and drug addiction.

William's infamous fainting spell during a live Halloween show in 2017 is also featured in the teaser.

Ciera Payton stars as Williams, and Morocco Omari portrays her ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, in the film, which is produced by Front Street for Lifetime and executive produced by Williams.

Darren Grant directed the film. The script was penned by Leigh Davenport and Scarlett Lacey.

Lifetime will air a documentary special titled, The Wendy Williams Story…What A Mess, directly after the biopic. Wendy Williams: The Movie airs on Lifetime on Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. EST.

Watch the trailer below.

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Casanova Surrenders To FBI In Federal Racketeering Case

Casanova turned himself in to the FBI on Wednesday (Dec. 2). The rapper, born Caswell Senior, is charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prior to surrendering to authorities, Casanova recorded a video message professing his innocence. “As you already know, I’m fighting serious charges right now but I’m innocent, that’s one. Two, I’ve been fighting my whole life so I can do this.”

He was the last to be arrested out of 18 defendants accused in a massive gang bust. The 34-year-old recording artist suggested that his legal predicament was the result of being a rapper. “We are a target. Be careful out there. Watch who you associate with. Watch who people bring y’all around. I’ll see y’all soon, God willing.”

Casanova breaks his silence and says he’s innocent pic.twitter.com/lHYNpwZNTn

— XXL Magazine (@XXL) December 3, 2020

According to the federal indictment, the alleged members of the Untouchable Gorilla Nation gang are charged with several crimes including racketeering, murder, and narcotics offenses.

On Tuesday, the FBI's New York office announced that Casanova was wanted by the feds. Attorney, James Kousouros, denied that Casanova was attempting to evade authorities.

“From the moment I was contacted, my client's clear intention was to surrender himself, he never intended to evade the judicial process,” Kousouros said. “Over the last 48 hours I was in contact with the government arranging a peaceful surrender. He just wanted a peaceful surrender. Mr. Senior is fully confident that he'll be exonerated when all the facts are brought forth.”

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Barack Obama Says He Doesn't Like The Term “Defund The Police”

Barack Obama's advice about the using the term “defund the police” is receiving mixed reviews. The former commander in chief explained his issue with the “slogan” in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America.

Obama cautioned against using the term as he feels it to be exclusionary. “If you want people to buy your sneakers you’re going to market it to your audience. It’s no difference in terms of ideas,” he explained. “If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘defund the police.’ But you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done.”

He also suggested that instead of “defund the police” people should say: “Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s treated fairly.”

The 59-year-old politician seemingly theorized that the use of “defund the police” may have cost Democrats House seats in the recent election. “The key is deciding do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? If you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, than you got to be able to meet people where they are and play a game of addition and not subtraction.”

Read some of the reactions to his comments below.

With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence.

It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police. https://t.co/Wsxp1Y1bBi

— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 2, 2020

Imagine if Obama came out and gave a quick speech about how Defund the Police means reallocating resources to organizations that can help, instead of using cops to deal with things like mental health situations.

Says a lot about the man that he instead criticizes slogans.

— Dave Anthony PHD, MD, Esquire. (@daveanthony) December 2, 2020

obama doesn't like "defund the police" as a slogan because it is a specific actionable thing with a clear goal in mind. hope, change, yes we can & all that are better because they don't require you to actually do anything after saying them

— Shaun (@shaun_vids) December 2, 2020

What if activists aren’t PR firms for politicians & their demands are bc police budgets are exploding, community resources are shrinking to bankroll it, & ppl brought this up for ages but it wasn’t until they said “defund” that comfortable people started paying attn to brutality

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 2, 2020

The phrase 'defund the police' is awkward and misleading. It doesn't accurately convey the need to reallocate funding so that social services and policing are properly weighted.

The phrase mangles the meaning in a way that guarantees that many won't ever even hear it.

— Floss Obama🎅🏾 (@FlossObama) December 3, 2020

Obama is right. Defund the Police is a bad slogan. Reform the Police is better.

— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) December 2, 2020

obama is right. y’all need to stop saying defund the police when we mean abolish the police

— anti-lawn aktion (@antihoa) December 2, 2020

No one can push neoliberal thought like Obama. Suddenly, EVERYONE has decided that "defund the police" is just a slogan, and that it is responsible for Dems losing even tho none of them supported it.

The aim is to undermine activists just like he did w/ the potential NBA strike.

— Honeyves (@AdamantxYves) December 2, 2020

I need Barack Obama to leave the sloganeering to the movement.

Defund. The. Police.

We are keeping it. We are demanding it.

— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) December 2, 2020

We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020

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