Bill Bratton

NYPD Commissioner Holds Cops Responsible For The ‘Worst Parts of Black History’

Bill Bratton holds law enforcement responsible for the "worst parts of black history."

Yesterday (Feb. 24), NYPD commissioner, Bill Bratton spoke at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York for a Black History Month event. At the event, Bratton says that police and police enforcement have been involved in the “worst parts of Black History.

Bratton is recorded saying that while police have played an important role in maintaining civil rights and the freedom of speech, “many of the worst parts of black history would have been impossible without police, too,” reported DNA Info.

VIBE Race Project: The Unsung Black Women Of Police Brutality

“Slavery, our country’s original sin, sat on a foundation codified by laws and enforced by police,” he added, “by slave catchers.”

The phrase “slave catchers” reportedly ruffled a few feathers because it was not included in the written version of the remarks. However, the NYPD spokesperson said the written edits were the prepared remarks, and not a transcript of Bratton’s speech that was released.

Bratton’s sentiments were also felt by FBI director James Comey, who spoke on issues of the relationship between the police and communities of color two weeks prior at Georgetown University in Washington. – Cook T.P.

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Scott Olson

Remains Found In Alabama Landfill Believed To Be Missing Toddler

The search for missing toddler Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney has come to a tragic end. The 3-year-old girl’s remains were found in Alabama on Tuesday (Oct. 22) evening, more than a week after she was reported missing.

The Birmingham Police Department, along with the FBI, located her remains in a landfill, BPD Chief Patrick Smith confirmed in a press conference. “Our investigators have worked tirelessly 24 hours a day to look at this young child and bring her back, and to hold those accountable who are involved in her disappearance, her kidnapping, and ultimately, her demise,” said Smith.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall shared footage of the press conference on Twitter.

Tonight, I join all of Alabama in feeling deep sadness over the passing of little Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, and in praying for her family in this terrible time of loss. The BPD has worked this case tirelessly—and continues to do so. Those responsible will be brought to justice. pic.twitter.com/p58WWxCwQQ

— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) October 23, 2019

Birmingham Mayor Randal Woodfin released a statement offering his “heartfelt condolences” to the child’s family, and thanking law enforcement. “Our prayers remain with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare.”

News of the gruesome discovery sparked the hashtag, #RipCupcake across social media. Kamille's story made national headlines after she went missing during a birthday party on Oct. 12. Two suspects, Derrick Brown and Patrick Stallworth, are in custody on suspicion of murder.

The child's body was reportedly found near a home where Brown and Stallworth were arrested. The motive is unclear, and the men appear to have no connection to Kamille’s family.

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Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Takes Step To Appeal Murder Conviction: Report

Amber Guyger is taking preliminary steps to appeal her conviction in the murder of Botham Jean.

An attorney for the former Dallas police officer filed an intent to appeal her first-degree murder conviction and 10-year prison sentence, nearly two weeks after the verdict was handed down. Though the filing was publicized on Tuesday (Oct. 22), Guyger’s lawyer, Michael Mowla, reportedly filed on Oct. 16.

It’s unclear what Guyger will use as grounds for a potential appeal.

Earlier in the month, a Texas jury convicted Guyger of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guyger shot and killed Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor, in his home last year. Guyger maintained that she walked into Jean’s apartment thinking it was her unit, and subsequently killed the unarmed accountant out of fear that he was an introducer.

Her reported notice of appeal comes amid legal strife involving Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, and trial Judge Tammy Kemp. Creuzot, who is facing contempt charges for doing an interview that aired the night before Guyger's trial began, requested that Kemp be removed from  his case. Meanwhile, Kemp has come under fire after she hugged Guyger in court, and handed her a Bible. Kemp defended her actions, noting that Guyger asked for a hug after the sentencing phase was over. Kemp wasn’t alone in embracing Guyger, Jean’s brother hugged her as well.

A hearing in the contempt case is scheduled for Oct. 31.

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Getty Images

Florida Judge Clears Record Of Man Who Overslept And Missed Jury Duty

A Florida judge made headlines last week when he sentenced a man to 10 days in jail for oversleeping and missing jury duty. Now, CNN reports the judge has cleared the young man's record.

Judge John Kastrenakes found 21-year-old Deandre Somerville in contempt of court for not showing up to jury duty during a civil trial. Kastrenakes vacated the contempt of court charge and cleared Somerville's record.

The West Palm Beach resident was originally sentenced to 10 days, 150 hours of community service, a written apology of no less than 100 words and $233 in fines. Judge Kastrenakes' decision prompted swift outrage on social media as Sommerville does not have a criminal record.

The judge reportedly reduced the sentence Friday when Sommerville appeared before the court to read the letter. "Before my hearing, I walked into the courtroom a free man with no criminal record. I left a criminal in handcuffs. This was an immature decision that I made, and I paid the price for my freedom," Somerville said while reading his letter.

On Saturday the Judge said Somerville's letter was 'moving, sincere and heartfelt " and noted that he "has been totally rehabilitated."

Kastrenakes said he ordered probation because he wanted to send a message that jury duty is "is serious business deserving of attention, respect, and adherence to their oaths." However, he said Somerville is "a thoughtful and respectful young man."

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