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Kalief Browder

Bronx Residents Honor Kalief Browder's Life & Legacy With Renamed Street

On what would have been his 24th birthday, Bronx officials present "Kalief Browder Way." 

 

Today (May 24), Kalief Browder would have been 24 years old. Unfortunately, his life was cut short in 2015 after taking his own life – his tragic fate after suffering from mental illness triggered by his wrongful imprisonment in Rikers. But in honor of his birthday, Bronx residents are honoring the young man by renaming a popular corner in the New York neighborhood. East 181 St. and Prospect Way is now known as "Kalief Browder Way."

The new street sign commemorating the name change was unveiled Thursday at 10 a.m. by neighborhood council members and Browder's family. Despite the rainy weather conditions, videos posted on social media show a number of Bronx residents paying their respects.

Kalief spent three years at Rikers Island while awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a backpack. During his stay in prison, he spent two of those years in solitary confinement, which ultimately had detrimental effects on his mental health. Despite showing interests in beginning a new chapter of his life after his release in 2013, the damage that was done was essentially irreversible. He took his life at the age of 22 years old.

Before his death, his story was brought to the public eye, thanks to a story that was published in The New Yorker by Jennifer Gonnerman. Details of Kalief's harsh reality were further brought to light in Spike TV's docuseries, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, which chronicled his case from start to finish.

A street sign will not bring Kalief back, but his memory will definitely leave an impression on those who pass through the Bronx. Watch a clip of the unveiling below.

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Scott Olson

The Body Of Ohio Activist Amber Evans Was Found In The Scioto River

The body of 28-year-old Amber Evans was found in Ohio's Scioto River Saturday. (March 23) Evans, a beloved activist, had been missing since January 28.

According to reports, Evans' body was found by Columbus Police. The activist worked with several social justice organizations including the Juvenile Justice Coalition in which she was promoted to executive director.

Evans was reported missing in January following a dispute with her boyfriend of 10 years. Local authorities did, however, say her boyfriend has been cooperative.

“Since the beginning of the investigation that there were no known domestic violence issues in Evans’ relationship and there was no reason to suspect foul play,” the Columbus-Dispatch reports.

*UPDATE 3/24/19: The body recovered yesterday, Saturday, 3/23/19 has been positively identified as 28yo Amber Evans. The family has been notified.While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we understand this brings closure for the family. Our thoughts & prayers go out to them. https://t.co/YF2iAS4LSN

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) March 24, 2019

Evans went to work the morning of Jan 28 and left at 5:30 PM after feeling sick. A security camera at a local store captured her purchasing cold medicine and a Snickers. Evans' abandoned car was found later that evening in the Scioto Mile area with her purse in the track. Her cell phone was located the next day in another part of the Scioto Mile.

Tonya Fischer, Evans' mother, took to social media to express her appreciation for the outpouring of support.

“I’m coming on here as a mother who has just found out that I lost my first-born child,” Fischer said, choking up as she spoke. “I love you all, and you all know I’m more than willing to accept all that you have to give... but just give me a moment. Just a moment. Give my family a moment.”

 

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Jessica Hill

The Father Of A Sandy Hook Shooting Victim Committed Suicide

The father of a first-grader killed during 2012's Sandy Hook school shooting committed suicide.

Jeremy Richman 49, was found dead inside his office space Monday morning (March 25). Local authorities said the medical examiner's office has not confirmed a cause of death.

Richman, a trained scientist, and his wife Jennifer Hensel launched the Avielle Foundation after his 6-year-old daughter Avielle Richman. The foundation is committed to providing funding for the neuroscience behind compassion and violence.

In a 2017 interview with NPR, Richman discussed the heartache he and his wife experienced in the years following Avielle's murder. “It was like a ghost limb syndrome, you know, where you keep thinking ‘Where’s Avielle? Do we need to pick her up?’” he said. “And every day you’d have this [realization] that I don’t have a child, and I don’t have to parent. That was just brutal.”

Richman also said with each new shooting, it just resurrected raw emotions.

“Right after Newtown we had the Boston bombings, and then we’ve had Charleston, Orlando and over a hundred school shootings, some of which make the national news and some don’t,” he said. “Every time this happens it breaks a heart and it chokes us up. To be honest, though, now it comes with a fair degree of frustration and anger because things aren’t changing fast enough. I really get sick of ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and ‘our hearts go out.’ That’s not going to change anything. What I need to hear is: ‘My heart is broken, and my boots are on the ground to fix it.’ ”

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Spencer Weiner-Pool

Ex-Cop Pleads To Manslaughter After Leaving Toddler In Hot Car To Have Sex

Former Mississippi cop Cassie Baker may spend 20 years behind bars for leaving her toddler in the backseat of a police cruiser while she had sex with her supervisor.

Little Cheyenne's body temperature rose to a scorching 107 degrees before she died on Sept. 30, 2016. When Baker returned to the vehicle four hours later, Cheyenne was unresponsive. Baker, 29, pled guilty to manslaughter in a reduced plea deal Monday. (March 18) It's unclear if she intentionally left her 3-year-old in the backseat of the car.

“I don’t know what I could ever do to you that could be worse than what you’ve already experienced,” Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois told her. “You will forever be entombed in a prison of your own mind.”

Cheyenne's father says he's still tormented by his daughter's death and often pictures her final moments.

“Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering, and then I picture her laying in this coffin,” Ryan Hyer said Monday. “I still see her smiling and laughing in my head, and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.”

Baker and her supervisor Clark Ladner were fired days later. While speaking with the Associated Press, he was able to avoid charges after telling authorities he was unaware Baker's daughter was in the car. Judge Bourgeois will consider the prosecution recommendation at Baker's April 1 sentencing.

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