Opening Night '90s Throwback of SeriesFest: Season 3 Opening Night '90s Throwback of SeriesFest: Season 3
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Common Will Advocate For Criminal Justice Reform Through "Imagine Justice" Concert Feat. J. Cole

The news follows Common's "Hope and Redemption Tour" where he performed in four prisons over the course of four days.

On Monday (Aug. 21), Sacramento's Capitol Mall will serve as a temporary home to Common's forthcoming "Imagine Justice" concert. Not only will the Oscar-winning rapper take center stage, but he'll be joined by fellow artists J. Cole, Goapele, and activist Van Jones.

The news follows Common's "Hope and Redemption Tour" where he performed in four prisons over the course of four days. The Imagine Justice organization in partnership with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, "provides support for formerly incarcerated young people and advocates for justice reform," a press release reads. The concert will bring awareness to the prison system and promote unity in this time of strife.

"Visiting these prisons and speaking with the men and women inside during the Hope & Redemption Tour had a profound impact on me," Common said. "I believe it is my duty to lend my voice to the voiceless and stand with the men and women in prison who have been silenced for so long. We need a justice system that is a tool for rehabilitation rather than a weapon for punishment."

Recently, J. Cole and his Dreamville cohorts visited San Quentin State Prison to speak with the inmates on their concerns and experiences within the incarceration system. Dreamville Records President Ibrahim Hamad shared the moment on his Instagram account, searching for the words to describe the meeting.

"That experience was a life changing experience and wish I had the ability to put that in a caption but that wouldn't be doing it justice," he wrote earlier this month.

More than 30,000 people will be in attendance to fight for criminal justice reform.

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Kevork Djansezian

Eric Reid Blasts JAY-Z's NFL Deal: "When Has JAY Z Ever Taken A Knee?"

JAY-Z's recent partnership with the NFL has been met with a lot of raised eyebrows and condemnation.

The rap mogul vocally supported Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protest against police brutality and reportedly went as far as to talk Travis Scott out of performing during last year's halftime Superbowl. So when it was announced Roc Nation would help manage the league's entertainment and social justice leg, many didn't understand why.

The criticism only grew after the 4:44 artist alleged to have spoken to Kaepernick about his new business venture, only for his longtime girlfriend Nessa to refute the claims on social media.

TMZ  then reported JAY Z will have majority ownership in an NFL team, which now puts more pressure on him to be a change agent and not just a figurehead.

Eric Reid on Jay Z kneeling statement: “When has Jay Z ever taken a knee? For you get paid to go into a NFL conference and say we are past kneeling is asinine.” pic.twitter.com/BO9RCLUHek

— Ashley Holder (@AshNoelleTV) August 17, 2019

Carolina Panther's safety Eric Reid spoke with reporters about JAY-Z's newest venture and called it "despicable."

"When has JAY-Z ever taken a knee? Yes, he’s done a lot of great work," Reid said. "A lot of great social justice work, but for you to get paid to go into an NFL press conference and say that we’re past kneeling? Again, asinine. Players Coalition 2.0. He got paid to take the bullets that he’s taking now because we’re not having it.”

To Reid and many others, JAY-Z looks hypocritical.

“JAY-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin, wore his jersey, told people not to perform at the Super Bowl because of the treatment that the NFL did to Colin. Now he’s going to be a part-owner and it’s kind of despicable.”

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Justin Sullivan

Tennessee Clerk Faces 60 Years For Killing Black Teen For Stealing A $2 Beer

A Tennessee clerk showed no emotion after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Dorian Harris.

Anwar Ghazali faces up to 60 years in prison for killing Dorian who stole a $2 beer from his Top Shop convenient store.

Ghazali's defense said he never intended to kill Dorian. Instead, his lawyer alleges he fired off shots in the air as a warning. However, Dorian was struck in his femoral artery, which caused him to bleed out. The teen's body was reportedly found later at a nearby abandoned home.

The 29-year-old store clerk didn't take the stand, however, his criminal defense attorney, Black Ballin, noted he was 77 feet away from Dorian when he chased after him, a long enough distance that proved he didn't intend to kill the teen.

"That's like Steph Curry standing on the other side of the court, and knowing that he'll make a shot at a 94-foot distance. Even Steph Curry can't guarantee that," Ballin said.

The prosecution, however, didn't care how far away Ghazali was and built their case based upon the surveillance video from the night in question. Prosecutors also stated that after the shooting, he didn't call local law enforcement and calmly walked back into the north Memphis convenience store to ring up more customers.

"The defendant took it upon himself to be the judge, the jury and the executioner over a $2 [drink]. That's why we're here," said Lora Fowler said during closing arguments. "Why are you using deadly force to defend a [drink]?"

The convenience store was reportedly closed for two weeks following the shooting as protests erupted throughout the city days after Dorian's murder

Ghazali will return to court on September 23rd and receive his sentencing.

 

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: Michael Jackson leaves the courtroom on a break at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse for the second day of closing arguments in his child molestation trial June 3, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. The jury is expected to begin deliberations on the case later today. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian-Pool/Getty Images)

HBO Wants Court To Dismiss $100 Million Lawsuit Filed By Michael Jackson’s Estate

HBO wants a California court to toss a $100 million lawsuit brought on by Michael Jackson’s estate over the Leaving Neverland documentary. In a motion for dismissal filed Friday (Aug. 16), the cable network alleged that the estate's lawsuit violates the First Amendment.

“Plaintiffs’ claims fail because they violate the First Amendment, Due Process Clause and public policy, and in any event, the contract on which they are based is inapplicable and expired,” the motion states.

“California’s Anti-SLAPP law empowers—indeed requires—this Court to put an end to this litigation now,” the document continues.  “Accordingly, the Court should strike Plaintiffs’ Petition and claims with prejudice, and award attorneys’ fees and costs to HBO pursuant to the anti-SLAPP law’s mandatory attorneys’ fees clause for prevailing defendants.”

The Jackson Estate sued HBO in February, ahead of Leaving Neverland’s March premiere. In the Emmy-nominated documentary, accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, claim Jackson sexually abused them when they were boys.  The estate argues that the documentary breached a 1992 non-disparagement agreement between the network and Jackson, who died in 2009.

HBO’s motion maintains that the “only possible reason why Plaintiffs filed their Petition in court was to attract maximum attention to their public relations campaign against Leaving Neverland and the documentary subjects.”

In a statement to Deadline, a rep for Jackson’s estate slammed the network’s allegations. “There is no expiration term in the contract, nor does it terminate as a matter of law. Likewise, the First Amendment does not protect HBO from willfully and blatantly violating its contractual obligations, as it did here. The Estate of Michael Jackson is confident that HBO’s latest attempt to avoid its contractual obligations will fail.”

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 19.

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