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Ohio Teen Killed Weeks After Opening Up About Domestic Violence In Facebook Post

17-year-old LaShonda Childs was trying to move on from an abusive relationship when she was murdered.  

With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, the murder of 17-year-old LaShonda Childs is another crushing and tragic reminder of the number of black girls who suffer through intimate partner violence. Childs was shot and killed earlier in the week following a fatal run-in with her ex-boyfriend, Trendell Goodwin, who has been arrested and charged in her murder.

“If you see the signs don’t ignore it y’all. Domestic violence is real not just in movies,” Childs warned on Facebook on Sept. 21 in a detailed post sharing some of the many instance of abuse that she experienced during her relationship with Goodwin.

Nearly two weeks later, on Oct. 2, Childs was seated in the passenger side of a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by her boyfriend as Goodwin fired multiple shots into the vehicle. Childs’ boyfriend transported her to Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, where she was pronounced dead the following morning. Her death was ruled a homicide by a gunshot wound to the head.

Moments prior to the shooting, Childs called 911 to report that Goodwin “pointed a gun” at her boyfriend’s head. She also told the dispatcher that she had a restraining order against him.

“I’m scared," she said. “He’s got a gun. I can’t talk...I’m in a bad situation.”

The Cycle Of Abuse

Childs was trapped so deeply in the cycle of abuse, that she battled between protecting Goodwin, and moving on with her life. Her death reiterates the fear of being stalked and even killed, that contributes to why a number of domestic violence victims stay in abusive relationships.

Regardless of their partner's ethnic background, Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate of 35 percent higher than whites and up to two-and-a-half times more than other races. Black women are four times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner of any ethnicity, and black teens are more like than white teens to be hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend. The most common age when women (of all races) first experience intimate partner violence is between 18-34, followed by girls ages 11-17.

In April, Childs wrote a letter asking Dayton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gehres to release Goodwin from jail, after one of at least a dozen reported incidents of abuse dating back to 2017. According to the excerpts of the letter published by the Daytona Daily News, Childs’ insisted that Goodwin was a “genuinely kind hearted, family oriented man,” and described the assault as a “rough patch in a life together that resulted in a huge mess.”

Childs said that she and Goodwin were “good people with short tempers,” and that she wanted things to turn around. “Hopefully we can put this in our past and start over.”

Failed Order Of Protection

By early September, Judge Gehres ordered Goodwin to stay at least 500 feet away from Childs, and extended his probation (stemming from the April incident) another year. Goodwin broke the protective order within three days, reportedly showing up to Childs' home and setting one of her wigs on fire, throwing it at her and stealing her cell phone. Days after the alleged robbery, Goodwin was accused of firing shots at the home where Childs' lived with her family.

In early 2017, police were called after Goodwin broke Childs’ phone and threw her purse in the sewer, during an argument where he accused her of texting another man. Last Christmas Eve, Goodwin argued with Childs about more alleged text messages and dragged her out of a car by her feet, according to a police report. The domestic violence calls continued through April 2018, when Childs penned the letter to the judge. Roughly one month later, Childs’ mother told police that Goodwin shot up her house and threatened to kill her daughter. Childs’ mother also claims Goodwin, 28, told the teen that he was 20 years old when they first met.

“She was really in the process of leaving this time, but it was basically a fatal attraction,” her brother Jaylon said in an interview. “Whatever happens to him, we can’t get our sister back, but as long as justice is served, there may be some peace.”

Not Guilty Plea

Goodwin pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday (Oct. 5), which would have been Childs' 18th birthday. He was arraigned on two counts of murder and improper discharge of a firearm and three counts of felonious assault.

Speaking to Ohio's WHIO-TV, Goodwin’s father called the murder a “tragedy for both families,” and extended condolences to Childs’ loved ones. “It’s too late to say I wish things could have been different.”

He added that there are “two sides to every story,” and claimed that Childs’ boyfriend pulled a gun on his son. Despite defending him, Goodwin's father noted, “If it’s proven that he did it, he deserves to be punished.”

Goodwin’s lawyer requested the minimum bond available. The judge set a cash bond of $ 1 million. Goodwin's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

READ MORE: Serena Williams On Domestic Violence: “This Is A Human Rights Issue”

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Louisville Cop Involved In Breonna Taylor’s Death Defends Actions, Calls Protestors “Thugs”

In an email sent to fellow officers on Tuesday (Sept. 22), Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly of the Louisville Metro Police Department, defended the events that led to the death of Breonna Taylor and called out the city’s treatment of officers, amid Black Lives Matter protests. Mattingly blasted Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, former Louisville FBI agent Amy Hess, and LMPD police chief Steve Conrad, and brazenly referred to protestors as “thugs” who “get in your face and yell, curse and degrade you.”

He went on to claim that demonstrators have thrown bricks and urine at police, and that officers are expected to “do nothing.” The authenticity of the email was confirmed by Mattingyl’s attorney, CNN reports

“It goes against EVERYTHING we were all taught in the academy. The position that if you make a mistake during one of the most stressful times in your career, the department and FBI (who aren’t cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line) go after you for civil rights violations,” Mattingly wrote in seeming reference to Taylor’s death, which is being investigated by the FBI. “Your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has total autonomy.

“We all signed up to be police officers. We knew the risks and are willing to take them, but we always assumed the city had our back,” he continued. “We wanted to do the right thing in the midst of an evil world to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

Taylor was killed during a March 13 raid led by Mattingly. The 26-year-old EMT was sleeping in bed when officers began firing into her residence without warning. The incident stemmed from an alleged drug investigation involving Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. Taylor was hit at least eight times. Her current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was unaware that police were raiding the home and fired back at officers reportedly wounding Mattingly. Walker was indicted for attempted murder of a cop, but the charges were later dropped.

Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and fired LMPD officer Brett Hankison, are under investigation over Taylor’s death. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has yet to announced whether or not charges will be brought against them, but it appears that they may not face criminal reprimand as the city of Louisville issued a state of emergency ahead of an announcement on the case, which could come as early as Wednesday (Sept. 23).

Later in the rant, Mattingly claimed that police aren’t racist. “We as police DO NOT CARE if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, what you identify as…this week. We aren’t better than anyone. This is not an us against society, but it is good versus evil.”

Speaking of the pending investigation over Taylor’s death he added, “I don’t know a lot of you guys/gals but I’ve felt the love. Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night. It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.

“Put that aside for a while, keep your focus and do your jobs that you are trained and capable of doing,” he advised. “Don’t put up with their sh*t, and go home to those lovely families and relationships.”

Read the full email below.

New: LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly (who is being investigated as part of Breonna Taylor’s case) sent an email to around 1,000 officers at 2am that calls protestors thugs, complains about the government enforcing civil rights violations, and claims this is "good versus evil” pic.twitter.com/VcuyPDP790

— Roberto Aram Ferdman (@robferdman) September 22, 2020

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WNBA Player Maya Moore Marries Wrongfully Convicted Man She Helped Get Out Of Prison

When WNBA star Maya Moore first met her now husband, Jonathan Irons, their relationship was strictly platonic. Things changed after she helped to get his wrongful conviction overturned, and the happy couple recently tied the knot.

“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we are doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore told Good Morning America on Wednesday (Sept. 16). “We got married a couple months ago and we're excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”

Catch us tomorrow on @GMA with @RobinRoberts! #winwithjustice pic.twitter.com/0z1B1RRS2b

— Maya Moore (@MooreMaya) July 2, 2020

Irons was 16 years old when he was tried as an adult and falsely convicted by an all white jury and sentenced to 50 years for a burglary and shooting. He maintained his innocence throughout, but he would have never been convicted had the case been handled properly. Aside from being wrongfully identified in a lineup, fingerprint evidence that could have proved his innocence was withheld from his lawyers. After serving 23 years for a crime he did not commit, Irons' conviction was overturned in March.

Moore, 31, has known Irons, 40, since she was 18 years old. The two met through a prison ministry program and their relationship slowly transitioned from a friendship to romance. Irons confessed his love for Moore while incarcerated at Missouri's Jefferson City Correctional Center. “I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it's extremely difficult and painful. And I didn't want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard.”

He popped the question in their hotel room following his prison release. “It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees and I looked up at her and she kind of knew what was going on and I said, ‘will you marry me,’ she said, ‘yes.’”

Moore, a small forward for the Minnesota Lynx, is taking a break from basketball and has been working alongside her husband to encourage people to vote. The newlyweds also plant to advocate for others who have been wrongfully convicted.

See more on their love story in the video below.

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Louisville Reaches $12 Million Settlement With Family Of Breonna Taylor

It’s been six months since Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers while sleeping in her own home. The officers involved in her death, Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, have yet to be arrested, but a monetary agreement has been reached to settle a civil lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family.

The city will pay Taylor’s family $12 million in addition to implementing policy reform measures, Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15).

“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain,” Fischer said of Taylor’s mother, Tameka Palmer. “And I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death. Although these steps, including policy changes, do not change the past, I hope this brings some measure of peace.”

Fischer noted that Taylor’s death “ignited” a local and national movement “for racial justice sending thousands into our streets and in cities all across the country and the world — all crying for justice for Breonna.” Taylor’s death has “triggered a renewed commitment to addressing structural and systematic racism” in Louisville and around the country, said Fischer.

“Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor,” said Taylor’s mother, Tameka Palmer. “No amount of money accomplishes that, but the police reform measures that we were able to get passed as a part of this settlement mean so much more to my family, our community, and to Breonna’s legacy. We know that there is much work still to be done and we look forward to continuing to work with community leaders, the mayor’s office, and other elected leaders to implement long-term sustainable change to fight systemic racism that is plaguing our communities.”

The multi-million dollar settlement is the latest step that Louisville has taken in wake of Taylor being killed by police. In June, the Louisville city council passed “Breonna’s Law” banning no-knock warrants, like the one used to violently raid Taylor’s home on March 13. Police claim that the raid stemmed from a drug investigation that reportedly involved Taylor’s ex-boyfriend who did not live at the residence and had already been arrested.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, called the $12 million settlement a step in the right direction. “This will bring progress and reform out of this tragedy to protect other Black lives,” he tweeted.

Today, we got some #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor! Along with a $12 million civil settlement, we secured comprehensive police reform in Louisville. This will bring progress and reform out of this tragedy to protect other Black lives. pic.twitter.com/DyilAkmWag

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 15, 2020

As part of the settlement, Louisville Metro Government agreed to a list of changes including community related policy programs, search warrant reforms, and police accountability reforms.

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