David Simon responds to Baltimore riots
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'The Wire' Creator David Simon Pleads For Peace In Baltimore

'The Wire' creator David Simon calls for peace in Baltimore amidst rioting.

David Simon, the man responsible for creating the hit HBO drama The Wire, is now calling the city of Baltimore to stop the violence and spread the peace.

Following the funeral of Freddie Gray on Monday (Apr. 27) – who died in the hands of the police earlier this month –  the broke out into riots.

Simon, whose crime series was based in Baltimore wrote a post on his blog, The Audacity Of Despair

, expressing his sentiments on the violence that has flooded the city.

SEE ALSO: Maryland Governor Declares State Of Emergency Amid Riots

"There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray's name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today,” Simon wrote. “But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man's memory and a diminution of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.

"The anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray's name needs to cease," he continued.

In the end, Simon encouraged everyone to drop their weapons and stop protesting if they cannot address the issue at hand without violence.

"If you can't seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore,” he concluded.

Read David Simon's full blog post on the unrest in Baltimore here.  – Richy Rosario

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California Governor Signs 'Stephon Clark Law' To Combat Excessive Force By Police

A California law that will change the standards for use of excessive force by police has been signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, The Los Angeles Times reports. The Assembly Bill 392 was signed into law on Monday (Aug. 19) and will be named the “Stephon Clark Law," which honors the 22-year-old who was fatally shot by Sacramento police in his grandmother’s backyard. Local authorities believe he pointed a gun at them and was responsible for a theft in the area.

"They didn't have to kill him like that. They didn't have to shoot him that many times,” Clark’s grandmother said in a press conference last year. "Why didn't you just shoot him in the arm, shoot him in the leg, send the dogs, send a taser. Why? Why? Y'all didn't have to do that."

The law’s new language will state that officers could only use deadly excessive force when deemed “necessary” not within “reasonable” range, which is what the law currently states now. Reportedly, the mandate also prohibits authorities from firing at fleeing suspects who don’t pose any danger on the scene. The law goes into effect in January 2020.

“We are doing something today that stretches the boundary of possibility and sends a message to people all across this country that they can do more and they can do better to meet this moment,” Newsom said.

Initially, though, law enforcement was not keen on this new law and rebutted the bill until it was reformed to their liking. “This is Stephon Clark’s law,” his brother, Stevante Clark told the L.A. Times. “The cost, the price that had to be paid for this, it hurts...I hate that this had to come out of such a tragic situation, but at the same time, it helps the healing process to know his name could possibly prevent something like this from happening again.”

“The bill is watered down, everybody knows that,” he continued.  “But at least we are getting something done. At least we are having the conversation now.”

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Actor Tray Chaney attends "Traffik" Atlanta VIP Screening at Regal Atlantic Station on April 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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'The Wire's' Tray Chaney Shares His Testament In Self-Entitled Documentary Trailer

You may have seen Tray Chaney as Malik "Poot" Carr on the HBO Emmy-nominated drama series The Wire where he starts as a neighborhood drug dealer in the Barksdale organization and slowly moves up in ranks. He has also starred in a list of roles including Bounce TV's  Saints & Sinners as Kendrick Murphy and was nominated in 2019 at the International Christian Film Festival for Best Actor: Short Film in Angels in Rocket Field. 

After being accepted as an "Official Selection" during the Black Continental Independent Movie Awards in Silver Spring, Maryland, Chaney released the documentary trailer for Undeniable: The Tray Chaney Story under his Undeniable (Wired Different) campaign on Thursday (Aug. 15). The potential docuseries will follow the narratives of the journeys of The Wire cast members, how they landed their roles, what happened when the television series ended in 2008, and what they are doing now.

Under the production of Commodore Independent Filmworks and Safe House Films DC. Chaney's 45-minute episode features testimonials from Big Daddy Kane, Clifton Powell, Kenny Lattimore, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Russ Parr, Jd Williams, Keith Robinson, Anwan Big G Glover, and Black Child. His former co-star Idris Elba also shows his support for the documentary.

"Just know how hard he hustles," says Anwan "Big G" Glover.

The less than 2-minute snippet touches on the framework of Chaney, his eagerness and willingness to learn,  even mentioning his journey on Saints & Sinners as "the work of the Gods".

Watch the trailer for Undeniable: The Tray Chaney Story below.

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Angela Bassett To Receive The Black Girls Rock Icon Award

Angela Bassett has been an inspiration to black women for decades, so it's only fitting the Black Panther actress is being honored with the Icon Award at the 2019 Black Girls Rock ceremonies.

Created by DJ and entrepreneur Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock is an award ceremony which aims to honor, acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions of black women.

The 61-year-old actress earned an Academy Award nomination for her brilliant portrayal of Tina Turner in the 1993 Brian Gibson film What's Love Got To Do With It. 

Black-Ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross was a previous Black Girls Rock host, however, this year's mistress of ceremony is Claws and When They See Us actress Niecy Nash.

The star power award will go to If Beale Street Could Talk actress Regina King. Ciara will receive the rock star award, Debra Martin Chase will walk away with the shot-caller award and Grammy-award winner H.E.R. will receive the Young Gifted and Black award.

The Community Change Agent Award will go to the mothers of the movement, Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed-Veal, Gwen Carr, Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley.

The 2019 Black Girls Rock Awards will air on BET September 8.

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