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Exonerated Mississippi Man Killed Two Blocks Away From His Home

"America hurts black men in so many ways. Two of the main ways it does that is through the criminal justice system and the utter failure to control guns."

A Mississippi man who spent 12 years in prison--with four of those years in solitary confinement--for a rape and murder he didn't commit was shot and killed just two blocks away from his home, CNN reports.

Cedric Willis was exonerated in 2006 and spent his days as a motivational speaker, encouraging local residents to vote and visiting schools to speak about his experience. So when family and friends learned of his death they were distraught.

"America hurts black men in so many ways. Two of the main ways it does that is through the criminal justice system and the utter failure to control guns," Emily Maw, Willis' attorney with the Innocence Project New Orleans said. "Cedric has been a victim of both and that's particularly tragic."

The Jackson Police Department is investigating the June 24th death as a homicide. However, they have not narrowed down on a person of interest. Willis' mother, Elayne, said police have offered her the bare bones surrounding her son's murder.

"The only thing I know for certain is my son is dead. He left home and he didn't come back," she said. "I don't know what, or why, I don't know anything."

In 1997, Willis was convicted of murder and armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison plus 90 years. The victim said the suspect had a gold tooth and no tattoos, Willis however, had an arm full of tattoos and no gold teeth. He was also reportedly 70 pounds heavier than the person the described.

DNA evidence proved Willis wasn't responsible for the rape, and prosecutors dropped those charges, but they still pursued the second robbery and murder. Willis' DNA results which excluded him from the rape were not told to the jury.

It was years before Willis would get a new trial, but in 2006 a judge found the witness testimony inadmissible and he was released from prison. Elayne described her son as a kindhearted, while Maw said Willis was a
"low-key" guy.

"He was a very low-key guy dealing with an awful lot: the unimaginable wrong and pain he suffered and the difficulty of being a black man in Jackson, Mississippi," Maw says.

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Dubbed "Operation Toupee." officers reportedly found "a perfectly sealed package taped to his head” because the hairpiece was "disproportionate size.”

"There is no limit to the inventiveness of drug traffickers trying to mock controls,” police said in a statement.

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“In 2017, the city's Civilian Complaints Review Board determined that Pantaleo used excessive force,” USA Today reports. “Federal authorities have been conducting a separate, years-long civil rights inquiry into Garner's death. Pantaleo also is awaiting a verdict in a NYPD disciplinary proceeding.”

During Pantaleo’s trial this past May, Stuart London– the police union lawyer who represented the officer– argued that Mr. Garner died from being “morbidly obese.”

“Those who have been able to not come to a rushed judgment, but have looked at the video in explicit detail, see Pantaleo’s intent and objective was to take him down pursuant to how he was taught by NYPD, control him when they got on the ground, and then have him cuffed,”  London said in an interview with the New York Times. “There was never any intent for him to exert pressure on his neck and choke him out the way the case has been portrayed.”

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Charlottesville Killer Receives Life Sentence Plus 419 Years

James Alex Fields Jr will spend the rest of his life behind bars for driving his car into a crowd of counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Va., which injured many and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

According to reports, Judge Richard Moore sentenced the 22-year-old white supremacist to life in prison plus 419 years. Fields, who reportedly had a picture of Adolf Hitler framed by his bed, drove from Ohio to attend the 2017 Unite The Right Rally with fellow racists and neo-Nazi's to protest the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.

The event also drew Heyer and other counter-protestors who marched against white nationalism. The violence forced local authorities to declare an unlawful assembly and begin the process of demobilizing everyone. Later on the same day, Fields drove his car into a crowd killing Heyer and hurting others.

The event caused already bubbling racial tensions in America to spill over when during a press conference Donald Trump blamed "both sides" for the turmoil.

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