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Akai Gurley's Family To Receive $4.1 Million From NYC In Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The money will mainly benefit Gurley's 4-year-old daughter, Akaila, starting with an established college fund.

A new update in the wrongful death case of Akai Gurley was made public Tuesday morning (Aug. 16). According to the New York Times, Gurley's family was awarded more than $4 million following the unlawful death of the 28-year-old by the hands of NYPD officer Peter Liang, who shot Gurley while on patrol. The money will mainly benefit Gurley's 4-year-old daughter, Akaila, starting with an established college fund.

Liang was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, but the court later ruled the charge as a "criminally negligent" homicide and sentenced Liang to five years of probation. During his sentencing, he pleaded that "the shot was accidental."

Gurley was gunned down in a stairwell in East New York's Louis H. Pink Houses in November 20, 2014. His death sparked marches across the city, calling for a reform in terms of police tactics within black communities.

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Barbados' 2019 Reggae Festival To Feature Buju Banton, Barrington Levy And More

On the heels of its 15th installment, Barbados is gearing up for the return of its Reggae Festival from April 27-30. The concert will be attended by Splash Band, Judy Boucher, Barrington Levy, plus more prominent voices in the genre.

To kick-off the festivities, Buju Banton will hit the stage on April 27 at Kensington Oval. According to a press release, the last time the "Hills And Valleys" artist performed in Barbados was at the country's 2006 edition of the same festival. Artists set to perform as well include Spragga Benz, Wayne Wonder and more.

On day two (April 28), Pirates Cove will serve as a temporary performing space for another iconic musician, Sizzla. Busy Signal will also rock the mic ahead of the festival's finale at Kensington Oval. The location will be home to the Vintage Reggae Show and Dance (April 30), that'll host performances by Admiral Tibet, George Nooks, and the pioneering Barrington Levy.

Tickets for the event are available here.

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All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Have Been Dropped

All of the charges against Jussie Smollett, who claims that he was attacked by two Trump supporters for being black and gay, have been dropped. A statement from the Empire star's attorneys confirms the news.

"Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him," Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said. "Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion."

Smollett was arrested in February for allegations that he falsified a police report, causing many to believe that he made the entire thing up. The Chicago Police stood by their belief, and Smollett pleaded not guilty to the 16 felony counts against him. Two men connected to Smollett said they were allegedly paid by the actor to pretend they were attacking him, and that the actor orchestrated the scene.

"Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career," the statement continues.

A statement from Smollett's family says "This morning truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged (cleared). The painful incidents we’ve witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light. We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time."

The Chicago Police Department has not commented on the reports.

BREAKING: Charges to be dropped and record wiped clean in the case involving embattled “Empire” actor Jussie Smollet, Jussie Smollett’s attorneys confirm. https://t.co/FKZXOYi35O pic.twitter.com/6iVeCkrIy8

— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 26, 2019

😉 see y’all Wednesday. #empire #empirefox pic.twitter.com/jQUtsHcQBF

— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) March 26, 2019

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Man Accused Of Sexually Abusing A Minor Introduces Himself As Michael Jackson To Cops

A South Carolina man identified himself as Michael Jackson when he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, the irony being the man in question stands accused of sexually abusing a minor.

According to reports, 56-year-old Kenneth Michael Wright told officers he forgot his driver's license at home, which only aroused the officer's suspicion.

“If you think lying to us makes you a Smooth Criminal ... you better think again!” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. (March 25)

The deputy reportedly noticed a "foamy liquid" on the floor of the vehicle and smelled what he thought was beer. Law enforcement later learned Wright's true identity and the allegations leveled against him.

“The Thriller of it all was that Wright had an active warrant through Berkeley County for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a minor,” the sheriff’s office wrote still referencing Michael Jackson's catalog.

In recent weeks, several people have come forward accusing the King of Pop of sexually abusing them when they were children. HBO aired a two-part series Leaving Neverland outlining the allegations.

Wright's criminal record is extensive. He also has warrants for fraud and failure to appear in court from Charleston County. Wright racked up a few more charges including offering false information to a police officer, having an open beer container and having false tags on the car.

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