charleston south carolina
Getty Images

From Charleston To Orlando: Solidarity In The Wake Of Tragedy

The pastor of the Emanuel AME Church reaches out to the Orlando community offering support and empathy.

Today (June 17) marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. During bible study, Dylann Roof walked in, opened fire and killed nine of the church's members. Roof, a young white male, targeted the group in an act of hate solely because they were African-American.

In the early hours of Sunday (June 12), Omar Mateen used a pistol and an assault rifle to bring tragedy upon unsuspecting clubgoers at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, Fla. With 49 dead and another 50 injured, the LGBTQ community is still aching and struggling to find a way to pick itself back up again.

Bonded by the burden of tragedy and sorrow, Betty Deas Clark, the pastor of Emanuel AME Church, traveled down to Orlando to extend a hand of empathy. Although she was supposed to be on her way to the White House to participate in the State of Women Summit, Clark felt her heart being tugged in a different direction.

"I came here instead because I know the result of people coming and showing their love," she says. "The privilege of coming and being with them (here) has touched my heart."

While in Orlando, Clark reportedly attended counseling sessions at local places of worship. She also joined a conference call with other religious leaders to speak to reporters about the need for greater restrictions on gun control and the affects of attacks such as those that occurred in Charleston and Orlando. She expressed that it was not a pleasure to be in Orlando under such circumstances, but she felt she was serving a duty to speak out against hate and violence.

"We don't have to like the same things, but we should at least love each other," Clark says.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Mohammed Elshamy

A NYPD Cop Falsely Arrested A Black Man Lied On The Paperwork, But Still Has His Job

A New York police officer has faced no punishment for falsely arresting a black man and lying on his police report about what a witness statement.

In June 2016, officer Xavier Gonzalez arrested investment adviser Darryl Williams at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station. Gonzalez alleged Williams, 58 at the time, pickpocketed straphangers on a 4 train.

Gonzalez was undercover at the time and wrote in his report that Anthony Osei, who was also on a northbound 4 train, said Williams stole his phone. However, Osei, a paint shop clerk, told the New York Daily News Gonzalez lied.

When Willaims sued the city and the NYPD over the arrest, Osei, swore in an affidavit, reviewed by The Daily News, he didn't tell officers Williams stole his phone.

“A cop came up to me and said, ‘Did he take your phone?' I said, ‘No, I have my phones and wallet.’ Two weeks later, I get a call from the prosecutor. I told them the same thing."

In court, Osei testified on Williams' behalf stating "I defended him (Williams) because it was the right thing to do.”

Williams worked at the Sanitation Department for nearly two decades when he was arrested. He had private clients and his financial license was suspended for two months. He spent $1,500.

There's a process called “arrest overtime” in which an arrest made toward the end of a cop's shift helps bolster his or her overtime pay. It's a beloved practice that drives up a cop's pension.

“I have no trust in cops anymore,” said Williams, 60, now retired. “He’s putting perfectly innocent people in handcuffs. People who don’t have the resources I have, they could go to jail for something they didn’t do."

Continue Reading
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Flint Residents Will Reportedly Have The Ability To Sue Federal Government

On Thursday (April 18), Judge Linda Parker stated Flint, Mich., residents may have the power to sue the federal government over the officials' mishandling of the water supply system. Since 2014, residents have navigated life with non-consumable water that was tainted with lead when the city switched its water source.

The news arrives days after the city was approved to receive over $77 million in funds to assist with a new pipeline, water monitoring systems, and other water-based infrastructure needs. According to CNN, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan judge's memo stated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mislead its residents when it failed to notify them of the lead-filled water.

"The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold. It is anticipated, however, the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come," Parker said. Through campaigns spearheaded by Little Miss Flint and other activists, and initiatives conducted by artist Jaden Smith, the city's residents are steadily receiving assistance in adequate drinking water.

In January, an appeals court stated that federal civil lawsuits against the city of Flint would be permissible, The Hill notes.

Continue Reading
Jaap Arriens

An Iowa Man Faces 20 Years After Gunpoint Break-In To Own A Domain Name Ends In A Shooting

The founder of a social media company faces 20 years in prison for orchestrating the home break-in and subsequent shooting of an Internet domain owner.

According to reports, Rossi Lorathio Adams II founded a social media company "State Snaps" in 2015. The company, which operates on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, is described as containing violent, crude and often nude images of young people.

The catchphrase associated with uploaded videos is "do it for the state" and to capitalize off the growing followers, Adams, 26, tried to purchase the domain name from a Cedar Rapids resident. He couldn't make the final sale.

"Between 2015 and 2017, Adams repeatedly tried to obtain 'doitforstate.com,' but the owner of the domain would not sell it. Adams also threatened one of the domain owner's friends with gun emojis after the friend used the domain to promote concerts," court records show.

Growing tired of playing "nice," in June 2017, Adams reportedly told his cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr to break into the victim's home and force the sale. Hopkins wore pantyhose on his head, a hat and glasses to cover his eyes. He had a gun and a Taser when he broke into the home to demand the domain name.

After forcing the owner to the computer, Hopkins reportedly held the weapon to his head. "Fearing for his life, the victim quickly turned to move the gun away from his head. The victim then managed to gain control of the gun," court records show.

Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year. Now, Adams faces a similar fate, with a 20-year maximum sentence, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervision.

Continue Reading

Top Stories