White Nationalists Hold Rally In Newnan, Georgia
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Charlottesville Killer Claims Plowing Into Crowd Was Self-Defense

James Alex Fields, Jr. faces 10 state charges, including first-degree murder and malicious wounding.

James Alex Fields, Jr claims he was acting in self-defense when he plowed his car into a crowd during Charlottesville's Unite The Right protest last year. The rally, which garnered national media attention was organized in objection to the removal of a Confederate Gen. Robert Ulysses S. Grant statue.

Jury selection for the trial began Monday, (Nov. 26) and Fields' attorney John Hill spoke to the potential jurors stating evidence will prove the 21-year-old “thought he was acting in self-defense.” Fields is facing 10 state charges, including first-degree murder and malicious wounding, as well as 30 federal counts of hate crimes, which will result in the death penalty.

Federal prosecutors argued Fields has a rich history as a Nazi sympathizer who's used social media to spew racist rhetoric against blacks and Jews. The indictment outlines that after the rally was over, Fields drove to the counterprotest and backed up his vehicle onto the top of a hill.

“Fields then rapidly accelerated, ran through a stop sign and across a raised pedestrian mall, and drove directly into the crowd, striking numerous individuals, killing Heather Heyer, and injuring many others,’’ the indictment reads. “Fields’ vehicle stopped only when it struck another vehicle ... He then rapidly reversed his vehicle and fled the scene.’’

After the rally, Donald Trump further fueled the racial tensions by stating "both sides were to blame."

Heyer's mother, Susan Bro has been a vocal advocate for her daughter. "I turned my attention to carrying forth her message," she said. "You don’t get to silence my kid and get away with it. I'm going to speak even louder."

READ MORE: The New Mayor Of Charlottesville Is A Black Woman

 

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Win McNamee

Sybrina Fulton Is Running For Office In Florida

Since Trayvon Martin's murder in 2012, Sybrina Fulton has dedicated her life to preserving her son's legacy. Now, Fulton is taking it one step further as she's announced she's running for office in Florida.

“Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said to The Miami Herald. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”

"Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs,” she continued. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”

Fulton will run against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during the 2020 election, a seat which will be vacated by Commissioner Barbara Jordan in the same year.

Fulton, alongside Trayvon's father Tracy, found themselves the focus of media attention in 2012 when 17-year-old Trayvon was racially profiled, followed and shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman.

Unarmed Trayvon was staying with his father in central Florida when on the night of Feb 26, he went to a local convenience store and crossed paths with Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was taken into custody by police that night but later released. It would months later in April when Zimmerman was formally arrested and charged. On July 13, 2013,  Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.

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Mother And Daughter Arrested In Horrific Murder Of Pregnant Chicago Teen

A mother and daughter were arrested in the horrific murder of a pregnant Chicago teenager who had been missing since late last month. The victim, 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was strangled to death before her unborn baby was sliced from her womb.

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, her 24-year-old daughter, Desiree, have been charged with first-degree murder. Piotra Bobak, Figueroa’s 40-year-old boyfriend, was charged with concealing a homicidal death.

Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant when she went missing on April 23, after leaving Latino Youth High School. The mother-to-be drove herself to Figueroa’s home where she thought that she would be picking up baby clothes and a double stroller. The teen met Figueroa on Facebook and had purchased baby items from her in the past, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a press conference Thursday (May 16).

According to the Chicago Tribune, the elder Figueroa planned to keep the baby boy, who is reportedly brain dead from lack of oxygen. The newborn remains hospitalized on life support.

Desiree later confessed to helping her mother strangle Ochoa-Lopez to death, police said. Investigators searched Figueroa’s property Tuesday (May 14) and recovered Ochoa-Lopez’s remains from a trash bin in the backyard, along with the cable likely used in the murder.

Ochao-Lopez’s case had hit a roadblock until a friend tipped investigators off about her Facebook correspondence with Figueroa. Police initially visited Figueroa’s home on April 23 but were told that she had recently given birth at home. A DNA test later determined that she was not the baby’s mother.

A spokesperson for Ochao-Lopez’s family called the murder “surreal.” The teen is survived by a 3-year-old daughter and her husband, Yovani Lopez.

See more on the horrifying crime below.

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Erik S. Lesser

Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Spelman, Morehouse And Clark-Atlanta University Graduations

The Westboro Baptist Church, which the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America” has taken aim at several historical black colleges or universities.

According to reports, the group plans to protest Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark-Atlanta University's forthcoming graduation ceremonies. In a press release earlier this month, the Kansas-based group said Spelman College’s "Women's Research and Resource Center of Spelman" is actually "more evidence does not seem necessary to demonstrate that this college is being grandly paid to produce perverts who aggressively strive to push others toward proud sin and down the path to hell. Repent!”

The group then took aim at Morehouse college over the fact it announced it would admit transgender men. “Morehouse, founded by Baptists, announced in April, 2019, that for 135 years only male students could enroll, but starting in 2020, females, who pretend that they are males, will be welcome. Check the neck! God’s moral law is immutable!” the group wrote.

In the group's attack against Clark-Atlanta University, the group aimed at Reverend Dr. Ken Walden, the President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary who is scheduled to deliver a prayer during the upcoming graduation ceremony.

“No true or spiritually helpful guidance will be offered by this man, whose lengthy resume is given in demonstration that he is worldly, men-pleaser who has made a career of misconstruing, wresting and lying about Jesus Christ and His Word. Flee from whorish, lying pastors!” the group added.

The director of public safety at Spelman released a statement, which was obtained by The Grio, assured students that extra security would be put in place. “We will have additional staff on hand to ensure that all events proceed safely and with minimal disruption if any at all,” the email read.

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