NYPD Officer Indicted On Shooting Unarmed Man In Brooklyn Stairwell
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: New York City police officer Peter Liang is escorted out of court after he was charged with manslaughter, official misconduct and other offenses on February 11, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Liang pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the November 20 death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley. Liang claims he fired his gun accidentally in a stairwell in the Pink Houses, a public housing complex in East New York. Liang was released without bail. The Brooklyn courtroom was packed with officers and protesters. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NYPD Officer Found Guilty Of Manslaughter In Shooting Death Of Akai Gurley

Peter Liang, the rookie cop who fatally shot Akai Gurley in a stairwell last year in a New York public housing building, has been found guilty of manslaughter. The New York Daily News reports the ruling was delivered Thursday evening (February 11)

The 28-year-old was also found guilty of official misconduct after a 911 call revealed he didn't assist Gurley, 28, who bled to death. The shooting happened in April 2015 when Liang and his partner Officer Shaun Landau were patrolling Pink Houses in Brooklyn. After entering a dimly lit staircase, Liang fired his gun the same time as Gurley and his girlfriend Melissa Butler entered from a higher floor. The bullet ricocheted off the wall, hitting Gurley in the chest.

As the defense argued Liang was in fear of his life and was essentially shaken after Gurley was shot, prosecutors questioned why he and his partner didn't help administer CPR on Gurley who succumbed to his injury. Butler was given CPR directions from a neighbor who called 911.

Gawker reports Assistant District Attorney Joseph Alexis also questioned the officer's actions during closing arguments.

“No matter what happened in the police academy with police training, you can rest assured Peter Liang, Shaun, and every other graduate of the academy was better equipped, better trained, and able to do the chest compressions Melissa Butler was forced to do while she knelt in [Gurley’s] blood and urine,” he said. “This is not an accident. This is an officer who couldn’t properly handle his gun,” Alexis said. “It’s no accident [the bullet] hit the wall steps away from where Akai Gurley stood.”

The conviction comes a week after a Michigan police officer was sentenced to 13 months to 10 years for beating an unarmed Black man after a traffic violation. William Melendez was given a stern speech by Judge Vonda Evans on the mistreatment of African-Americans and failed practices of law enforcement.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch wasn't thrilled about the sentencing, telling reporters the jury made the wrong choice. "We are very disappointed in the verdict and believe that the jury came to an absolutely wrong decision."

Liang will be sentenced on April 14.

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J. Prince Gets YBN Almighty Jay’s Stolen Rap-A-Lot-Records Chain Back

YBN Almighty Jay can thank J. Prince for stepping in to get his stolen chain back. The Rap-A-Lot Records boss secured the return of the jewelry days after his teenage protégé was beaten and robbed in New York City.

French Montana, and rapper Hocus 45th, met with Prince in Los Angeles on Monday (March 18) night to return the chain, and accompanying pendant. French played middleman to get J. Prince and Hocus 45th in the same room, TMZ reports.

J Prince shared a photo from the meeting on Instagram. “Real recognizes real in every hood and has a way of connecting in spite of clowns and squares,” he captioned the post. “The homies from the Bronx, KT, @hocus45th and @frenchmontana kept it real with me and my son @jprincejr.”

The Houston native added that French and Hocus are officially welcomed into his #MobTies movement, and that he looks forward to “doing business in the future together.”

Peep the full post below.

 

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Real recognizes real in every hood and has a way of connecting in spite of clowns and squares. - - The homies from the Bronx, KT, @hocus45th and @frenchmontana kept it real with me and my son @jprincejr - - Tho it was never about the chain, it was about the name that was built off of blood sweat and tears. - - I welcome these brothers to our #MobTies movement and look forward to us doing business in the future together. - - There’s power in numbers and when strong brothers from the streets align themselves with one another, suckas tremble. So I can only imagine how some of you are feeling right now! - - I’ve invited these homies to #htown for @jprincejr birthday celebration March 28-31, 2019 and I look forward to coming to the Bronx soon. - - The big picture here is the same as I stated in my first post, to not allow moment thinkers to muddy the waters over the movement. - - To @ybnalmightyjay I’ll be returning your jewelry soon Lil homie. - - To be continued... #TheArtAndScienceOfRespect

A post shared by J Prince (@jprincerespect) on Mar 19, 2019 at 10:16am PDT

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8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Champion's Big Win Helps His Family Out Of Homelessness

An 8-year-old Nigerian chess prodigy is helping his family out of homelessness. Tanitoluwa “ Tani” Adewumi, won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship last week, beating out more than 70 of the state’s top young chess players, all while living in a homeless shelter.

Tani, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, and his family fled Nigeria in 2017, reportedly out of fear of being targeted by Boko Haram. The family applied for asylum, and have since been living in a New York shelter.

The third grader learned to play chess a year ago at his elementary school, P.S. 116. Tani’s coach, Russell Makofsky marveled at his ability to learn chess so quickly. "His intellect, his aptitude, his capacity to learn chess is off the charts,” Makofsky said. “From not playing to beating the best of the best in one year is unheard of, all while living in a homeless shelter.”

Tani has been getting a lot of attention for his big win. A GoFundMe page launched on March 15 with a goal of raising $50,000 to help Tani’s family “secure a home where he can continue his journey,” has raised more than $182,000. An attorney has also agreed to work on the family’s asylum case for free, CBS News reports.

The family now plans to move into an apartment, and posted an update on the GoFundMe page Tuesday (March 19) sharing their gratitude for the donations, Tani’s chess coach, and the media for publicizing the story. “Our big shout out to the whole WORLD for all your support financially, morally, spiritually and many more can't [be] mentioned. You are all awesome. God bless you all.”

According to the post, proceeds from the crowdfunding effort will be donated to a new foundation that the family will be starting in Tani's name.

See more on his story below.

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Janelle Monae, Lil Wayne To Perform At Lollapalooza 2019

Janelle Monae, Lil Wayne, Team Imapala, Slash, and J. Balvin are among the artists who will be taking the stage for Lollapalooza 2019, festival organizers revealed Tuesday (March 19).

Lolla's partial performance list was unveiled in a nearly 14:00-minute interactive video featuring dogs up for adoption at PAWS Chicago. The pups move around in a makeshift playpen filled with plastic balls that reveal the images of the acts billed to perform at this year’s festival. The list also includes, Lil Baby and his “Close Friends” collaborator, Gunna, along with Lil Skies, French artist Madeon, Spanish singer ROSALÍA, electronic act Yaeji, and Australian dance group Rufus Du Sol.

Lollapalooza returns to Chicago’s Grant Park Aug. 1-4. It’s unclear when the full list of performers will be announced. As for tickets, 4-day general admission passes are on sale for $360 a pop, while VIP tickets will run music fans $2,200. One-day general admission passes haven't gone on sale yet but will cost $130 each, and a single-day VIP ticket comes with a $650 price tag.

Click here for ticketing info. Watch video of the lineup unveil below.

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