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A Chicago Artist Made Over $11,000 Through GoFundMe For A Plagiarized Mural Of Michelle Obama

Really? 

In November 2016, artist Gelila Lila Mesfin posted a striking digital drawing of former First Lady Michelle Obama as an Egyptian queen clad in emerald and gold on Instagram. In April 2017, that same image was mounted as a mural on Chicago’s south side area—just a few blocks from where Obama grew up.

Yet Mesfin did not receive any credit for the artwork on the mural. Instead Chris Devins, a Chicago-based artist and urban planner took all the accolades when he installed the drawing and raised $11,758 for the project on GoFundMe; then claiming it as his own, The Huffington Post reports.

How can you just steal someone's artwork... someone's hard work and claim it like it's yours... how can you go on record and say you designed this... this is so disheartening and so disrespectful on so many levels... like this man seriously created a gofundme page, raised money and did this... it's one thing to share or even profit from someone's work but to claim it as yours is just wrong! Thank you to those who DM and messaged me to let me know what was going on @dnainfochi you guys should take this article down because this man stole this. I wouldn't mind if he had given me credit or said he took the design from another artist but saying you designed it is just wrong! The man is a teacher for God's sake and said he was doing this to create positivity for his students and community... but he didn't think that stealing a young girl's artwork and making a profit out of it does more damage than good.

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Reportedly, Devins started the campaign on November 8, 2016, just days after Mesfin posted the original image on Instagram, but he never once acknowledged the artwork was originally Mesfin’s, or cited he inspired her to say the least.

“I wanted to present her as what I think she is, so she’s clothed as an Egyptian queen,” Devins told DNA Info in an interview, without mentioning Mesfin. “I thought that was appropriate.”

“I wouldn’t mind if he had given me credit or said he took the design from another artist but saying you designed it is just wrong!” she wrote. “The man is a teacher for God’s sake and said he was doing this to create positivity for his students and community... but he didn’t think that stealing a young girl’s artwork and making a profit out of it does more damage than good.”

Ultimately, Devins responded to the claims that he plagiarized Mesfin’s work. He told DNA Info that it was “sloppy” and that he would compensate Mesfin with a licensing fee. Still, he clapped back through GoFundMe about the same claim where he blames Mesfin for using a portrait of Michelle Obama shot by Collier Schorr for the New York Times.

“If you want to go there, the so called ‘original’ is ‘stolen’ from photographer Collier Schorr. The broader conversation is one about authorship in the re-mix culture we live in,” he wrote.

In response to Devin’s latest statement, Mesfin took to Instagram and shared, “I have been in contact with Chris Devins in hopes of resolving this issue in an applicable and professional manner and from my Instagram family, I only ask that everyone keep this positive towards him; I preach love, not anger or hate of any kind.”

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Breonna Taylor’s Mother Speaks Out After Cops Who Killed Her Daughter Get Off Without Charges

Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, says the system failed her daughter. Palmer posted a painting portrait of Taylor on Instagram on Wednesday (Sept. 23) which she hashtagged, #ThesystemfailedBreonna.

The Instagram post serves as her first public response to a grand jury failing to bring charges against three Louisville police officers for killing Taylor. On Thursday (Sept. 24), Palmer shared a photo of a woman carrying a sign with the Bible verse: “It’s wrong to favor the guilty and keep the innocent from getting justice.”

 

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It’s still Breonna Taylor for me💙💔💙 #ThesystemfailedBreonna

A post shared by Tamika L. Palmer (@tamikalpalmer) on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:19am PDT

 

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A post shared by Tamika L. Palmer (@tamikalpalmer) on Sep 24, 2020 at 4:52pm PDT

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a press conference on Wednesday where he announced that no charges would be brought against Louisville officers Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison for killing Taylor. Hankison was the only one among the three to be charged, but not for Taylor’s death.

In an interview with NPR last week, Palmer expressed her hope that charges would be brought against the officers. “I’m hoping to hear that there will be charges,” she said at the time. “That these people will be fired and arrested.” Hakinson is the only one of the three officers to be fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department after Taylor’s death.

Speaking to her daughter’s character, Palmer stated that the 26-year-old emergency room tech was a “beautiful person inside and out.” She pointed out that Taylor “kept saying that 2020 was her year.”

“And she was absolutely right,” said Palmer. “I hate that it came in that form, but it definitely is her year.”

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Kodak Black Wants Donald Trump To Get Him Out Of Prison

Kodak Black is asking Donald Trump to help him get out of prison. Lawyers for the Florida rapper sent a petition to Trump this week, in hopes of getting his sentence commuted.

The 23-year-old recording artists took a plea deal and was sentenced to 46 months in prison on federal weapons possession charges last year. He was originally locked up in Miami but was “erroneously” transferred to Kentucky’s Big Sandy maximum-security federal prison. Kodak’s lawyers argue that he deserves to be housed in lower security facility, TMZ reports.

The petition reportedly suggests that Kodak received a harsher sentence compared to the average sentence (18 months) for the same conviction. Bradford Cohen, one of Kodak’s lawyers, has ties to Trump as a former contestant on the President’s cancelled reality show, The Apprentice.

“This week we filed a commutation of sentence with the President of the United States,” Cohen wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Sept. 24). “The fact that a non-violent paperwork offense by an individual who is not a convicted felon, [received] 46 months and was sent to a max security prison, 1100 miles from his [home] who has been in the bix on 23 hour lock down since September 2019, with no visitation, no programs and no phone privileges is not justice. Where BOP [Bureau of Prisons] made a significant error in his designation paperwork.

“The treatment coupled with the actual crime calls for true justice to intervene and say enough is enough. Individuals similarly situated received significantly less time. We are asking for what is fair.”

 

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This week we filed a commutation of sentence with the President of the United States. The fact that a non -violent paperwork offense by an individual who is not a convicted felon, recieved 46 months and was sent to a max security prison, 1100 miles from his hom, who has been in the bix on 23 hour lock down since September 2019, with no visitation, no programs and no phone privileges is not justice. Where BOP made a significant error in his designation paperwork. The treatment coupled with the actual crime calls for true justice to intervene and say enough is enough. Individuals similarly situated received significantly less time. We are asking for what is fair. Letters of support or letters from people he has helped in the past can be written or scanned to my office, 1132 SE 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Fl 33316 or [email protected] #freekodak #justicereform #freeyak #prisonreform #kodakblack #kodak #judicialreform #fairtreatment

A post shared by Bradford Cohen (@lawronin) on Sep 24, 2020 at 5:24am PDT

Kodak’s legal issues have been mounting since he was arrested for allegedly raping an 18-year-old high school student in his South Carolina hotel room in 2016. In 2019, prosecutors charged him with first-degree criminal conduct in connection with the rape case. Earlier this year, Kodak pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possessions of a firearm after being found with a weapon at the Canadian-American border. He received a 12-month sentence to run concurrently with his federal prison sentence.

The “ZeZe” rapper, who legally changed his name to Bill Kapri and identifies as a Hebrew Israelite, is suing the Federal Bureau of Prisons for alleged torture and abuse. Kodak claims that prison guards jumped him when he first got to Big Sandy, routinely humiliated and assaulted him more than once, and blocked him from visits with a rabbi despite other prisoners receiving time with clergy members. In another alleged incident, Kodak claims that he was forced to wear an open-back hospital gown for more than six hours while being put into a four-point restraint until he urinated and defecated on himself while guards laughed and cracked jokes.

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LeBron James: “The Most Disrespected Person On Earth Is The Black Woman”

LeBron James shared a powerful statement in reaction to the lack of justice in the murder of Breonna Taylor, and promised to do his part to bring about change.

“The most DISRESPECTED person on Earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!!! Love to you Queens all over this country and beyond,” James tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 23) along with a shout out to some of the women in his family.

The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond! 👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Grandma Freda, Gloria Marie, Savannah Rachael, Zhuri Ann Marie Nova I LOVE YOU MY BLACK QUEENS more than life itself!! 👸🏾🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Mema Brinson, Deidra Norris, Pam Walker, Tanesha Walker, Chanelle Walker, Brenda Weems, Caddie Powers I LOVE YOU Queens!!! 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

As previously reported, a grand jury decided not to charge officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove for killing Taylor during a police raid. Hankinson, a former officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department, faces three counts of wanton endangerment, but the charges were not related to Taylor being killed.

Collin Kaepernick also took to Twitter with a few thoughts: “The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people.”

Read more reactions below.

 

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I am just at a loss for words.... 💔

A post shared by Kelly Rowland (@kellyrowland) on Sep 23, 2020 at 5:23pm PDT

Dear Breonna,

I’m so sorry the people in power have failed to get this right. You deserve so much more. Your life mattered. You deserved the bright future that was ahead of you. We will continue to say your name. We will continue to fight in your name. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/31M3ndOloK

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 24, 2020

They never get it right and that doesn't make it hurt any less. Breonna Taylor should still be with us and her family deserved justice today. Tired of this shit.

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 23, 2020

Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times. https://t.co/HOrDQzHJ0d

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 23, 2020

Amen 🙏🏽 shit is sooo sad and discouraging. https://t.co/2ex3OImFpv

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 23, 2020

Another innocent black life gone with no consequences!! Breonna Taylor was 26, a daughter, a cousin, a friend, a girlfriend, an ER technician, an AMERICAN. 💔

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 24, 2020

Understand what that truly means because Accountability needs to occur in a new way. Word is Bond to the Father. Let’s not be sorry, Let’s correct this fucking Error. Rest Easy Queen #BREONNATAYLOR pic.twitter.com/dzWTtV90Zl

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) September 24, 2020

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/eURn5iMQrl

— COMMON (@common) September 23, 2020

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