Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay

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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Pooch Hall Accepts Plea Deal In Child Endangerment And DUI Case

Pooch Hall will not being heading to prison for his recent DUI incident that resulting in him wrecking his vehicle while his young child was in the car. The Ray Donovan actor accepted a plea deal in the misdemeanor case on Tuesday (Mar. 19), TMZ reports.

In exchange for no jail time, Hall has been sentenced to three years probation. He will also have to complete a three-month alcohol program and attend parenting classes for one year.

As previously reported, Hall was charged with felony child abuse and a DUI in Oct. 2018 after a witness spotted him driving recklessly with a toddler in his lap. He eventually swerved off the road and crashed into a parked car. Another bystander said they saw Hall's child crying in the front seat. The car seat was allegedly not installed. When the police and medical team arrived, he reportedly blew .25, which is more than three times the legal limit.

The actor originally faced six years in prison for the charges. As long as Hall completes the ordered programs and probation, the charges will be dismissed.

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Nas Gives Travis Scott Advice On Addressing Politics In 'Playboy'

Playboy unveiled its "The Speech Issue" on Monday (Mar. 18), which included a thoughtful conversation between Nas and Travis Scott. During their lengthy conversation, the two discussed the debate regarding hip-hop's generational gap, politics, and more hot topics.

Scott kicked off the discussion by commending hip-hop veterans on paving the way for younger artists. "The past generation knocked down so many doors where, you know, they were spitting a lot of pain, man," La Flame said. "They was dealing with a lot of police stuff. We’re still dealing with that now, but it wasn’t so free. Now we got more of a voice at the label."

Nas appeared to agree with Scott. "Nowadays the pain has changed. We’re after different things. We broke past the barriers," he added. "We understand what we need to do and we’re in control of what we’re doing, and no one can stop it now. No one can tell us what to do, what we can’t do. Rap music can’t be stopped now."

The conversation then shifted to politics and an artists's obligation to speak up about the things they believe in. The "Sicko Mode" rapper reached out for advice, suggesting that he was a little confused on how to tackle such a big topic. "I wouldn’t say I don’t feel compelled to speak on political issues; sometimes you just don’t want to speak too much on stuff you don’t know much about," Trav explained. "It’s not like I’m not thinking about what’s going on in the world. I’m an expressive artist, but with media and shit, it gets misconstrued."

Scott previously received backlash for performing at the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show instead of standing in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Despite public outrage, Nas asserted that the decision to speak up should always come naturally and not depend on outside opinions. "One thing we can’t allow politics to do is take over our mind and make us fall into their game. What’s going on in the news could consume our lives. If that happens, life doesn’t go on," the Queens native said in response.

Nas also noted that hip-hop and the "hood" will always serve as a voice for the underrepresented. "Those 'hoods are always going to yell out and say what’s going on," he continued. "It’s going to get more fly and futuristic. But the message is always: We want food, shelter, health care and all the things we’re deprived of. We want no police brutality. We want all these things. That’s what hip-hop is talking about."

Read the conversation in full over at Playboy.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She's Been Living In A Sober House

It's no secret Wendy Williams has been dealing with multiple obstacles in her personal life, but that hasn't stopped her from sharing her truth. During the latest episode of The Wendy Williams Show, which aired on Tuesday (Mar. 19), the TV personality revealed that she has been staying at a sober house in New York due to her addiction to cocaine.

"I have been living in a sober house. … You know I’ve had a struggle with cocaine in the past," she shared with her audience. "I never went to a place to get treatment … there are people in your family, it might be you … I want you to know more of the story."

Prior to the big reveal, Williams said that her husband Kevin Hunter was the only person who knew she was seeking treatment. "Only Kevin knows about this. Not my parents, nobody. Nobody knew because I look so glamorous out here," she explained. "I am driven by my 24-hour sober coach back to a home that I live in the tri-state with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family."

Williams also noted that the facility has strict hours, locking its doors and cutting off the lights at 10 p.m. sharp. "I go to my room and stare at the ceiling and fall asleep to come here and see you. So that is my truth," she added.

The 54-year-old took three-month hiatus from her self-titled show earlier this year, attributing her absence to a fractured shoulder and her ongoing battle with Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. She returned at the top of Mar. 2019.

Williams previously revealed that she was a "functioning addict" for nearly a decade of her career. While she is still trying to overcome some hurdles, she and her family created The Hunter Foundation, which works with private and public organizations to help families and individuals fight addiction.

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