City Panel Likely To Recommend Closing New York City's Infamous Rikers Island Prison
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Law Officials Reportedly Want To Rename Rikers Island After Kalief Browder

Officials want to honor Kalief Browder's legacy, and fight injustice while doing so. 

Following Jay Z’s support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to shut down Rikers Island, Public Advocate Letitia James is also on board with the decision and wants to name the 413-acre island after Kalief Browder.

At the age of 16, Browder was convicted of stealing a book-bag in 2010. The case never went to trial, leading the Bronx native to spend three years at Rikers. Unfortunately, two of those three years were spent in solitary confinement. Due to the psychological trauma he experienced while incarcerated, the 22-year-old committed suicide by hanging himself from an air conditioner in June 2015.

"We must do everything in our power to ensure that our criminal justice system is fair, transparent and accountable," James said in a recent press conference, per the New York Daily News.

Reportedly, advocates and law officials attended the meeting in an effort to close the correctional facility. "Rikers is a mass incarceration model that stains everything that it touches," said former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. "Rikers is by any standard a penal colony. It's a penal colony. It's a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem."

In addition to naming the facility after Browder, the plan is to replace the existing site with smaller jails across the five boroughs of New York City. The new locations will be in close proximity to a courthouse. The initiative will take up to 10 years and cost $10.6 billion. Given the national attention that the case has garnered—with a documentary produced by Jay Z—Browder’s family have their reservations about naming the island after him.

"It's really appreciative and thoughtful," said his older brother Akeem Browder, 34. "But it's something we'd have to think over. The people should have this victory...Maybe people will look at the Kalief Island, if they want to dub it that, and remember the tragedy that my brother went through."

While paying homage to the unfortunate events that took place in Browder's life after his stay at the infamous correctional facility, Mayor de Blasio remains optimistic on mass incarceration's future. "Mass incarceration can be ended," he told worshipers inside Brooklyn's Christian Cultural Center, reports the Daily News. "It can be ended if we keep driving down crime, if we have the right approach we can end it. And I want to tell you something about mass incarceration. It didn't begin here in New York City but it will end here in New York City."

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Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

"I AM ALIVE!!!! Somewhat mangled, stitches on left thumb, sprained wrist, hurt knee, but I’m still here! God and two angels saved my life!," the Grammy-winning artist wrote.

He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

In happier news, McClurkin also took time to plug in his new Christmas single titled "My Favorite Things." Check out McClurkin's posts on social media and stream his new song below.

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Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

Nicki Minaj's new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty has a very troubled past.

On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.

 

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Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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