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Graduation Ceremony Held For “Beloved” 17-Year-Old Student Killed By Chicago Police

Michael Elam's school honored him with a memorial days after he was killed by a police officer. 

An alternative high school in Chicago held a special ceremony last week to honor a young black student gunned down by police. Michael Elam, 17, was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer after the car that he was riding in was pulled over for a “traffic violation.”

Elam, who would have celebrated his 18th birthday next month, was expected to graduate from West Town Academy Alternative High School this year.

“Our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our beloved student Michael Elam,” reads a message on the school’s Facebook page. “We don't have all the details yet, but Michael lost his life to gunshot wounds at about 1:30am Sunday. We will take time during the school day to honor Michael.”

The memorial included a diploma and several dedications to the slain teen made by fellow students. WTA is an alternative school that works to close the dropout rate in Chicago. The school accepts students who are not currently enrolled in traditional high school or a GED program, but want to “take the important step of returning to school, earning their diploma, and taking control of their future,” reads a statement on the WTA website.

Chicago Police claim that an officer shot and killed Elam following an “armed confrontation” that ensued after he exited the vehicle. Authorities pulled the car over for a traffic violation in the North Lawndale neighborhood at around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to a preliminary police statement, officers “observed the car strike a parked vehicle and curb” before it came to a stop. Elam was shot at least twice as he attempted to flee. The teen was transported to a local hospital, but died the following morning from multiple gunshot wounds. Police claim that two guns were recovered at the scene.

Family and friends have vowed to seek justice for Elam. His  mother also launched a Go Fund Me account to raise $3,500 to cover his funeral expenses. “Although I hesitated to make this page because of a heavy broken heart, I nonetheless would appreciate any blessings your heart can give to help assist my son,” reads a message on the crowdfunding page.

The officer involved in Elam's death was placed on a monthlong administrative leave. The investigation into the “specifics of the incident” remains ongoing, according to the CPD.

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South Carolina Baby Dies In Burning Car After Father Abandons Car In Police Chase

A South Carolina man has been charged with homicide by child abuse after police say he fled his vehicle that burst into flames killing his year old daughter.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Imhotep Osiris Norman reportedly broke down in tears during his bond hearing Saturday. (April 13)

According to law enforcement at about 10:20 PM Friday, a state trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to pull Norman over on Highway 14 near the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Norman was doing 67 mph in a 45-mph zone.

When the car didn't stop. Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said Norman's vehicle began to spark and smoke during the pursuit.

As the car approached the 58-mile marker on Interstate 85, troopers say they saw a large bag be thrown from the window. A few minutes later, the car was totally engulfed in flames. The car reportedly slowed down and troopers attempted to block the road before Norman escaped.

After the fire extinguished investigators found Norman's 1-year-old daughter, Xena Rah’Lah Norman dead in the backseat.

In court, Norman alleges he didn't know the car was on fire.  “I would never leave my daughter,” Norman said. “I would have gotten my daughter out of that car.”

Norman's mother Sharon Mathesis said she doesn't believe the cops version of events. “My son loved his daughter and would have never let this happen,” Mathis said. “He loved her so much. He loved her so much.”

If convicted, Norman faces 20 years in prison.

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FLINT, MI - FEBRUARY 7: The Flint River with downtown behind is shown on February 7, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Months ago the city told citizens they could use tap water if they boiled it first, but now say it must be filtered to remove lead. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)
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Flint Receives Remaining $77.7 Million Of Federal Funds To Improve Water Infrastructure

As the city of Flint, Mich. marks the five-year anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis, the city is set to receive $77.7 million in federal funding.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced the funding Monday (April 15),  as part of a $140 million loan to be allocated to Flint, East Lansing and Monroe County.  The funds for Flint are the remaining portion of a $120 million loan granted to the city in 2017, Mlive reports.

“While we are grateful for this funding it’s important to understand it's not new funding,” said Flint’s Director of Public Works Rob Bincsik. “The federal government awarded this funding and is utilizing the MDEQ’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund as the mechanism to disperse it to the City of Flint.”

Flint won’t have to pay back the funding as the loan is being offered at a “zero percent interest rate with 100-percent principal loan forgiveness.” The funds, which are aimed at improving infrastructure needs and ensuring long-term water quality,” will cover “the completion of a secondary water source pipeline,” in addition to improvements of reservoir and pump stations, construction of a chemical feed building, and replacement of water mains and meters.

East Lansing will receive a $51.7 million loan that includes $2.1 million in “principal forgiveness funds” for collection system improvements, a new pump station, and upgrades to the Water Resource Recovery Facility. Monroe County will get $10.2 million to upgrade and repair the Bedford Township Wastewater Treatment Plant. The funds will also support rehabbing lineal sewer pipes.

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Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Hiring Someone To Lynch His Black Neighbor

A white South Carolina man has been sentenced to 10 years inside a federal prison for hiring someone to lynch his black neighbor and place a burning cross on the lawn.

According to the New York Times, Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26 (pictured above) was arrested last year after the FBI received a tip about his plans. Lecroy reportedly contacted an unidentified white supremacist organization to assist with the murder-for-hire but instead was approached by an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman.

The agent reportedly told Lecroy over the phone "$500 and he's a ghost." According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lecroy made a down payment of $100 and was then taken into custody.

The South Carolina United States attorney's office said Lecroy received the maximum sentence on Friday (April 12) after pleading guilty, as well as three years supervision.

In March 2018, Lecroy went as far as texting an image of the intended targets to the FBI agent and offering the best possible times for the murder. His motive for the murder was to control his neighbor's property. Lecroy also suggested the agent use an  “a ghost gun,”  or an untraceable 9mm.

The names of the intended victim or the FBI agent have not been released.

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