Blue Lives Matter Lawsuit
AP/Charles Krupa

Black Woman Awarded $100,000 Settlement Over 'Blue Lives Matter' Complaint

Karimah Guion-Pledgure said her workplace environment became “hostile” after a "Blue Lives Matter” flag was pinned up in her office.

A woman from Oregon was awarded a $100,000 settlement after complaining about harassment regarding a “Blue Lives Matter” flag in her office.

In her suit, Karimah Guion-Pledgure said that her workplace environment became “hostile” after a “Blue Lives Matter” flag was pinned up in her office. Guion-Pledgure– who works as a corrections technician– sued Multnomah County after months of what she called “racial harassment” that “demeans” the Black Lives Matter movement. She also says that the harassment and tension she experienced in the workplace led to issues with stress and health problems.

Guion-Pledgure began complaining about the flag in September 2017, after a probation worker in her office pinned it above his desk. To counter the flag, she created an “equity wall” in 2018, which featured photos of people of color who have been killed by police, as well as photos of children who were separated by their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“A copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Daily News said the Blue Lives Matter movement 'co-opts' the Black Lives Matter movement’s slogan and repurposes it to shift focus from black lives to law enforcement, which is ‘a chosen profession, not a racial identity,’” reports the New York Daily News.

As part of her settlement, Ms. Guion-Pledgure had to resign from her job this past Friday (April 19).

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Ohio Teen Filmed Himself Having Sex With 14-Year-Old Must Register As A Sex Offender

An Ohio teen must register as a sex offender for the next 25 years for secretly filming himself having sex with a 14-year-old and then showing the sex tape to friends.

The New York Post reports Jeremiah Horton showed four of his friends at North College Hill High School the tape. Those friends then showed others, resulting in Jeremiah's expulsion.

In addition to registering as a Tier 2 second offender, a judge ordered him to spend six months at River City Correctional Center, a rehab facility for nonviolent felony offenders. Horton faced up to three years in a correctional facility.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate, but you did something you shouldn’t have done, obviously,” Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker told the teen. “And there’s a price to pay.”

Charges were filed in December when the 14-year-old girl's mother found the tape and took it to local authorities. Jeremiah was one of four teens prosecuted for his part. While in court, Horton pled guilty and apologized to the victim and her family.

“I’m not proud of what I did,” Horton said.

 

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Michigan Man Awarded $1.5 Million After Serving 46 Years On A Wrongful Conviction

When Richard Philips was 27-years-old, he was found guilty of dragging a man named Gregory Harris out of his car and shooting him to death. Harris' brother-in-law corroborated the story and told investigators he met with Philips in a local bar to discuss the murder.

Yet despite the statement from the victim's relative, Philips maintained his innocence. It wasn't enough, however, and Philips went onto spend 46 years in prison.

Then in 2010, Richard Polombo came forward and admitted to the killing. It would be another four years before the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan's law school heard Polombo's confession, and another three in legal proceedings before Philips was granted a new trial in 2017.

In March of 2018, Philips was a free man. CNN reports that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has awarded Philips $1.5 million, $50,000 for each year he was imprisoned. The money will not be taxed and Philips won't lose any of it in lawyer fees.

In 1990, Philips began painting to "to stave off loneliness," and began selling his artwork in prison to fellow inmates. The money he made went into purchasing more supplies. Philips' watercolor paintings echoed themes of hope and survival.

Now, at 73 years old, Philips rents a small apartment and hopes to buy a home with his money. For now, he's enjoying life's simple pleasures and along with his new home, he says he also wants a German Shepherd puppy.

"He is pretty well-adjusted. He says that he is not bitter," Gabi Silver, Philips' attorney said.

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Facebook Bans Maryland Artist For Turning 'MAGA' Hats Into Klan Hood And Swastika

A Maryland artist says her livelihood is in jeopardy after Facebook banned her page prohibiting her from contacting her followers of upcoming art shows. The offense? Turning Donald Trump's 'MAGA' hats into Ku Klux Klan hoods and Swastikas.

Kate Kretz says she rips apart the well-known red Make America Great Again hat and turns them into other divisive symbols. While speaking with WUSA 9, she said her art is meant to start a dialogue.

"The armband is actually titled, 'Only the Terrorized Own the Right to Name Symbols of Terror,' and so if people are afraid of people that are walking around with MAGA hats because they’re afraid of violence," Kretz said. "It’s not really up to the wearer to say 'oh you shouldn’t feel afraid of me.' "

Kretz said she mostly received positive feedback, but about four or five days after an image of a reimagined Swastika band made from the red MAGA hat appeared, Facebook shut down her page citing it violated community standards. Kretz appealed the decision but says she hasn't heard anything.

The Mount Rainier, Md resident said she buys knock-off MAGA hats for her art. "I wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting any money in [Trump’s] pocket,” Kretz said.

And while she knows art is subjective, as one of the many artists that help to make Facebook, she thinks Facebook should exercise more diplomacy.

"I understand doing things for the greater good," Kretz said. "However, I think artists are a big part of Facebook’s content providers, and they owe us a fair hearing.”

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