Stephon Clark's Older Brother Stevante Is Out On Bail Following Misdemeanor Charges

Instead of severing the possible year in prison the office asked Clark to complete a mental health diversionary program.

Stevante Clark, the older brother of Stephon Clark who was shot by Sacramento police in a hail of bullets in his grandmother's backyard, is out on bail after being charged with misdemeanor assault and vandalism. Clark attributes his charges to mental trauma.

According to the Associated Press, on Thursday (Apr. 19), the 25-year-old was arrested on suspicions of assault with a deadly weapon, death threats, criminal threats, and abuse of a 911 line. The accusations against Clark came from his landlord who claimed he caused more than $400 worth of damage to the home. Vandalism that led to local police pushing for felony charges before the crimes were reduced to misdemeanors by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

Clark’s legal woes came after thrusting himself into the public eye demanding justice for his brother’s killing. Following Clark's murder, Stevante and protestors disrupted a city council meeting to condemn local lawmakers for the community conditions and their response to this brother's death. In addition, Clark has also been open about the mental trauma his brother's murder has caused him. Explaining to the New York Daily News that has sought treatment.

Clark's mental health claim is a serious plight for many Americans. Per Mental Health America, the 2014 census resulted that only about 13 percent of the US population identifies as “Black/African-America.” However, Black Americans are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than their white counterparts. A staggering statistic that increases trifold for those who live below the poverty line. Also, Blacks reported being plagued with more feelings of “worthlessness” / “hopelessness” than white Americans. And although they are less likely to die from suicide, Black teens will attempt the act more than white adolescents at nearly eight percent vs. close to just six percent respectively.

Showing empathy, Ruanne Dozier, a district attorney’s office spokesperson stated instead of severing the possible year in prison the office asked Clark to complete a mental health diversionary program that would lead to his charges being dropped. Yet, it is unknown whether Clark will take this compromise. After posting bail on Monday (April 23), the same day the charges were officially filed, it was reported Clark began looking for legal  representation.

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Ciara Announces New Single "Dose"

Ciara is continuing her comeback wave with the third single off her forthcoming album, “Dose,” which is set to premiere this week on ESPN.

The 32-year old Princess of Crunk & B made the announcement via her Instagram on Monday (Sept. 5), rocking an 80s Whitney Houston-styled hairdo, with a George Michael dangling cross-earring dressed in a black bodysuit for the single's artwork.


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New Single #Dose out 9/14!! Tune into @ESPN All Day, Everyday to hear a snippet! I’m soooo excited!

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on Sep 10, 2018 at 10:01am PDT

Ciara has yet to announce the title and release date for her seventh album, although she is currently riding high off the success of her previous singles. Her lead track, the Jersey Club-assisted “Level Up” turned into a viral social media challenge and rose to No. 23 on the R&B/hip-hop charts while its follow-up — “Freak Me” with Nigerian artist Tekno garnered praise from African women for the Afrobeat slant and African aesthetic used for its accompanying video. With "Dose," and the 1987 Houston hairstyle that the Atlanta native is rocking, will the melody have a Whitney-inspired feel to it? Perhaps a sample from one of her classics? Fans on Twitter think so, jokingly.

“How Will I OH”

— Masturbae (@KhocolateKhaos) September 10, 2018

I Wanna 1,2 Step (With Somebody Who Loves Me)

— ✨ ✨ (@kingrocketz) September 10, 2018

CiCi’s new album will be released on her own label Beauty Marks Entertainment which will be distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Since 2015’s Jackie, Ciara took a hiatus from music, becoming more of a professional socialite much like her industry peer and BFF Kelly Rowland, but gracefully living her best life with her NFL hubby Russell Wilson and their two children.

No announcements have been made at the current moment on who will produce CiCi’s new album although she reunited with friend Missy Elliott and Fatman Scoop (first time since 2005) for the remix of her “Level Up” single. In the meantime, Ciara is scheduled to be a halftime performer during ESPN's Monday Night Football sometime this season. You can also catch the mother-of-two on the road as an opening act for Bruno Mars' 24K Magic Tour this month and October in Toronto, Boston, Newark, and Los Angeles.

Inbox: ESPN's Monday Night Football will have new halftime program/series partner in luxury auto brand Genesis. Integral part of the relationship is musical acts to close out HT. Tonight, it'll be Boyz II Men in Detroit. Future acts include Zac Brown Band, Daughtry, Ciara #MNF

— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) September 10, 2018

Ciara will also celebrate another milestone in her career this month. Her debut album Goodies will reach its 14th anniversary Friday (Sept. 28). Spawning four top 10 hits — “Goodies,” “1,2 Step, “Oh,” “And I” — and record sales that reached three million in the U.S., made Ciara the next young R&B/hip-hop starlet with Ashanti and a solo Beyoncé in a post-Aaliyah world.

READ MORE: Bruno Mars Adds Ciara To 24k Magic World Tour

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Runaway Boss: California Woman Reportedly Faked Kidnapping To Avoid Paying Employees

Remember the 2005 story about a Georgia woman who got cold feet a few days before her wedding, so she faked a kidnapping to get out of it? The media labeled the then 32-year old “Runaway Bride.” Or the story of Susan Smith, 11 years prior, who claimed a black man kidnapped her children? Well, this story involves some of the same criminal schemes. However, instead of the runaway bride like the former, it's the runaway boss.

According to the Fresno Bee, a 32-year old California woman named Maria Gonzalez alleged that she was carrying a large sum of money when two African-American men wearing masks, one of them holding a handgun, entered her car and demanded that she drive.

Then she claimed she lost consciousness and woke up in a home in Caruthers, about 20 miles south of Fresno, with her hands tied behind, and gagged with a rag. Gonzalez also said she suffered a bump on her head from being beaten and alleged $9,000 stolen by the bandits from her place that she planned to use to pay her employees. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said in a news conference that Gonzalez “felt that the suspects had sexually assaulted her as a result of having what she described as moisture in her underwear.”

The investigators, however, figured out her story was a hoax because she didn’t have enough funds to pay two subcontractors who are drivers for her company, M&C Gonzalez Trucking.

Gonzalez was released by police this past Sunday (Sept. 2) but is expected to be arrested by Fresno police on misdemeanor charges of suspicion of filing a false police report.

READ MORE: Two Men Accused Of Rape Exonerated 26 Years Later After The Victim Recanted

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Irma’s Victims In The Caribbean Brace For Another Hurricane

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) —Thousands of Irma victims across the Caribbean fought desperately to find shelter or escape their storm-blasted islands altogether Friday as another hurricane following close behind threatened to add to their misery.

With Irma and its 155 mph (250 kph) winds taking aim at the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people, the death toll in the storm’s wake across the Caribbean climbed to 22.

Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the eastern part of Cuba reported no major casualties or damage by mid-afternoon after Irma rolled north of the Caribbean’s biggest islands.

But many residents and tourists farther east were left reeling after the storm ravaged some of the world’s most exclusive tropical playgrounds, known for their turquoise waters and lush green vegetation. Among them: St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Anguilla.

Irma smashed homes, shops, roads and schools; knocked out power, water and telephone service; trapped thousands of tourists; and stripped trees of their leaves, leaving an eerie, blasted-looking landscape littered with sheet metal and splintered lumber.

On Friday, looting and gunshots were reported on St. Martin, and a curfew was imposed in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Many of Irma’s victims fled their islands on ferries and fishing boats for fear of Hurricane Jose, a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds that could punish some places all over again this weekend.

“I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to know that further damage is imminent,” said Inspector Frankie Thomas of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.

On Barbuda, a coral island rising a mere 125 feet (38 meters) above sea level, authorities ordered an evacuation of all 1,400 people to neighboring Antigua, where Stevet Jeremiah was reunited with one son and made plans to bury another.

Jeremiah, who sells lobster and crab to tourists, was huddled in her wooden home on Barbuda early Wednesday with her partner and their 2- and 4-year-old boys as Irma ripped open their metal roof and sent the ocean surging into the house.

Her younger son, Carl Junior Francis, was swept away. Neighbors found his body after sunrise.

“Two years old. He just turned 2, the 17th, last month. Just turned 2,” she repeated. Her first task, she said, would be to organize his funeral. “That’s all I can do. There is nothing else I can do.”

The dead included 11 on St. Martin and St. Barts, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands, four in the British Virgin Islands and one each on Anguilla and Barbuda.

Also, a 16-year-old junior professional surfer drowned Tuesday in Barbados while surfing large swells generated by an approaching Irma.

Many victims picked through the rubble of what had once been Caribbean dream getaway homes.

On St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, power lines and towers were toppled, a water and sewage treatment plant was heavily damaged, and the harbor was in ruins, along with hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses.

Opera singer Laura Strickling and her husband, Taylor, moved to St. Thomas three years ago from Washington so he could take a job as a lawyer. They rented a top-floor apartment with a stunning view of the turquoise water of Megan’s Bay, which is surrounded by low hills covered by trees.

Strickling huddled with her husband and their year-old daughter in a basement apartment along with another family as the storm raged for 12 hours.

“The noise was just deafening. It was so loud we thought the roof was gone. The windows were boarded up, so it was hot and we had no AC, no power,” she said. She said she and the three other adults “were terrified but keeping it together for the babies.”

Strickling, who used to visit her husband in Afghanistan when he worked there, added: “I’ve had to sit through a Taliban gunfight, and this was scarier.”

When they emerged, they found their apartment was unscathed and the trees had no leaves.

“We’re obviously worried by the thought of having to do it all again with Hurricane Jose. It’s a little, a little, well, it’s not good,” she said, her voice trailing off.

Irma threatened to push its way northward from one end of Florida to the other beginning Sunday morning in what many fear could be the long-dreaded, catastrophic Big One. Across Florida and Georgia, more than 6 million people were warned to leave their homes, clogging interstates as far away as Atlanta.

At the same time, more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) to the east, authorities commandeered a ferry from Montserrat with room for 350 and began moving people from Barbuda to the larger island of Antigua. The owners of several fishing boats also volunteered to help.

Thomas, the royal police inspector, said few structures were left standing in Barbuda, and even those that were not destroyed had some damage.

On St. Martin, which is divided between Dutch and French control, cafes and shops were swamped, and the storm left gnarled black branches denuded of leaves. Battered cars, corrugated metal, plywood, wrought iron and other debris covered street after street. Roofs were torn off numerous houses.

There was little left of St. Martin’s Hotel Mercure but its sign, painted on a still-standing wall.

The cleanup was already underway for some. One man chopped at the branches of a bare tree. Another heaved what appeared to be furniture stuffing onto a pile. People sat in chairs outside a hospital, waiting to be seen.

William Marlin, prime minister of the Dutch side of St. Martin, said recovery was expected to take months even before Jose threatened to make things worse.

“We’ve lost many, many homes. Schools have been destroyed,” he said. “We foresee a loss of the tourist season because of the damage that was done to hotel properties, the negative publicity that one would have that it’s better to go somewhere else because it’s destroyed. So that will have a serious impact on our economy.”

On St. Thomas, Jodi Jabas and Matt Biwer were combing through the wreckage of the home they had been busy remodeling before the storm. They huddled in a studio apartment on the ground floor as Irma roared overhead.

The storm took off the roof and a good section of the house with it.

“We found it funny that the only thing left standing was this stupid closet that we hated,” said Matt Biwer, a 36-year-old originally from North Dakota.

Jalon Shortte said riding out Irma in his top-floor apartment on Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, was the scariest thing he has ever been through.

The air pressure hurt his ears, trees fell on his roof, windows blew out and a door came off, he wrote on Facebook. The storm even took paint off the walls, he said.

His Facebook page was filled with images he took from around Tortola of sunken yachts, crushed vehicles and mounds of debris. He said looting was rampant.

Amid the devastation, Shortte worked to bring a water desalination plant online.

“We have to stick together and rebuild,” he said.

This article originally appeared on Death and Taxes. 

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