Paul Gaiting
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Brooklyn Man Wrongly Convicted Of Murder Is Exonerated After 52 Years

Paul Gatling, 81, is happy he can finally vote after his 1964 murder conviction was expunged by Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson. 

After years of maintaining his innocence for a murder he didn't commit, Paul Gatling was finally exonerated of a conviction that haunted him for over 50 years.

MSNBC  reports the 81-year-old retired landscaper was relinquished of the 1964 murder conviction by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson in New York on Monday (May 2). “Paul Gatling repeatedly proclaimed his innocence even as he faced the death penalty back in the 60s,” Thompson said in a statement. “He was pressured to plead guilty and, sadly, did not receive a fair trial.”

Gatling was nearly given the death penalty for the shooting of artist Lawrence Rothbort in Crown Heights. The well-known artist was shot in the chest when a gunman burst into the home he shared with his wife Marlene Rothbort. Gatling, a 29-year-old Korean War veteran at the time, was accused of the crime after a witness claimed he was in the area when the shooting happened. Despite his solid alibi from his landlord (he was paying his rent at the time of the shooting) he was arrested and forced to plead guilty in the middle of the trial.

Other factors came to light during the case to the court including how detectives coerced a pregnant Rothbort into focusing on "the tall one" during the line-up, The New York Times reports. “The cops told me they would make sure I was convicted and the lawyers said they were going to execute me,” Gatling said. “I was a young black man. With the white, pregnant wife in front of an all-white jury pointing me out, it was over.”

In 1964, a year after the murder, Gatling was given a 30-years to life sentence. It wasn't until a Legal Aid lawyer named Malvina Nathanson came across his case and believed something was wrong. After advocating for Gatling, he was released from prison in 1974 but was stigmatized for his wrongful conviction. Due to Thompson's Conviction Review Unit (CRU) plan that allows the court to look over questionable convictions, he contacted Nathanson once again for help.

Upon review, many holes were revealed in the case including Gatling's right to have a lawyer present during questioning and an affair Rothbort was having with a musician she allowed to live in their home, opening another motive for the murder.

What Gatling is the most excited about is regaining his right to vote in the upcoming election.

“That’s a big deal for me,” Gatling said. “I couldn’t vote for the first black president."

Take a look at Gatling's story below.

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R. Kelly Is Seeking Permission To Perform Overseas In Order To Pay Child Support

R. Kelly's legal team is hoping a Cook County judge will grant the singer permission to travel overseas and perform in order to pay off his child support fees.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 52-year-old singer signed a contract prior to his recent arrest, which outlined Kelly would perform three to five shows in Dubai and travel by private jet. He's slated to meet the royal family and the concert promoter is paying the expenses. Since being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Kelly cannot leave Illinois and has handed over his passport.

The singer's lawyer argues Kelly isn't a flight risk and as an entertainer should be granted permission to still work in order to pay off his debt.

“Mr. Kelly has a job that requires he be allowed to travel,” Steven Greenberg argued in Wednesday's court filing. “He cannot work, and consequently cannot make a living if he is confined to Illinois or even the United States.”

Greenberg noted Kelly isn't a flight risk and appeared in court in 2008 when he faced child pornography charges. The singer was found not guilty in that case.

“Denying him the opportunity to work would be a hardship on his children,” Greenberg later wrote.

In January, Lifetime aired a searing docuseries titled Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed years of sexual assault allegations from several of his alleged victims including Lisa Van Allen and ex-wife Andrea Kelly.

Kelly reportedly owes $161,000 in child support and alleges to have fallen on hard times due to renewed attacks. Last month the Grammy-award winner was indicted on charges he abused three girls and one woman over the span of a decade. The singer vehemently denied the accusations and pled not guilty.

Greenberg also attacked State's Attorney Kim Foxx's intentions behind pursuing Kelly's 10 counts.

“Most if not all of these allegations were all investigated years ago, and charges were not brought,” Greenberg wrote. “There is little if anything that has changed other than State’s Attorney’s desire to thrust herself into the spotlight of the #metoo movement.”

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Tarana Burke Brings #MeToo Tour To HBCUs For Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Continuing her crusade against sexual assault, Tarana Burke will take her advocacy on a tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) across the country. Taking to Instagram to announce her #MeToo movement trek, the trip will begin in April.

"I’m so excited to finally announce this!! This has been a vision of mine for many, many years," Burke captioned the image. "Every year during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) college campuses around the country turn their focus towards dealing with sexual violence but very little activity happens on HBCU campuses during SAAM even though we know it’s happening."

I’m SO EXCITED to finally announce this!! This has been a vision of mine for many, many years. Every year during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) college campuses around the country turn their focus towards dealing with sexual violence but very little activity happens on HBCU campuses during SAAM even though we know it’s happening! I spoke at more than 70 schools in 2018 (I know, right! 😳) and only two HBCUs 😐 and I wanted to change that. This year I teamed up with my girl @fiyawata (the original @professionalblackgirl) to bring this right to the yard and provide a space for HBCU students to talk, vent, strategize and heal. 💕 Sponsored in part by @lifetimetv and @the.root #Repost @metoomvmt ・・・ We are so excited to announce that in exactly two weeks, we’ll be kicking off the ‘me too.’ HBCU Tour featuring ‘me too.’ founder Tarana Burke (@taranajaneen), scholar Dr. Yaba Blay (@fiyawata) and special guests! This multi-city initiative is centered around creating safety and accountability for students, faculty and administrators. We have partnered with some of the country’s finest institutions - Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), to have real conversations about sexual assault and consent on campus. Each tour stop includes a strategic convening, a workshop for male-identifying individuals, and a fireside chat featuring a special guest. To get updates about specific stops, register using the link in our bio. #metooHBCU #metoo #metoomvmt #believesurvivors

A post shared by Tarana J. Burke (@taranajaneen) on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:36pm PDT

Burke originally spoke at 70 college campuses during SAAM in 2018 but only visited two HBCUs. Partnering with Yaba Blay, the 45-year-old activist wants to "bring this right to the yard and provide a space for HBCU students to talk, vent, strategize and heal."

“While we are working in service to survivors of sexual violence from all walks of life,  it's always been about Black people, particularly Black women and girls. This tour is important because we know that Black women make up the majority of the student population at HBCUs," Burke said to Blavity. "The college tour is an extension of our work to center marginalized communities in the movement to end sexual violence wherever it exists.”

Each panel will include discussions, strategic sessions with campus leaders, and workshops for men, with a special conversation between Burke and Blay. The tour will be sponsored by The Root and Lifetime with free admission for the public. Howard University, the Atlanta University Center located at Clark Atlanta University, Alabama State University, North Carolina Central University, and Florida A&M University are among the locations.

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Kodak Black Says We Need To Put Him Among The Greats Like Tupac, Biggie And Nas

Judging by Kodak Black's recent Instagram Live session, where he claimed that he was on the same level as rappers who are often revered as some of the G.O.A.Ts in the game, he's got an unshakeable confidence. It's admirable...

In a video, the Floridian urges people to stop paying attention to what they see on the Internet about him, because what really matters in the work he produces.

"I'm the hardest young... I'm the hardest rapper in the game, I promise," he proclaims. "Like, when you talk 'bout me, you should put me in a category of like 'Pac, B.I.G, Nas, them n***as, you feel me? Like really listen to my sh*t. Don't care about how I act, like, on the 'Gram, you feel me? F**k what the blogs say, ask about me in the skreets, I’m a real one, and I spit that fire."

The embattled MC recently made headlines for comments he made towards Young M.A. and Lil Wayne. He reportedly said that Wayne "should have died when he was a baby," which caught the wrath of the New Orleans legend's daughter, Reginae.

Thoughts on Young Kodak's claim? Watch his comments below and let us know in the comments.

 

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Is #KodakBlack up there with the 🐐s? #tupac #biggie #nas

A post shared by Kollege Kidd (@kollegekidd) on Mar 20, 2019 at 2:41pm PDT

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