Mother Of Eric Garner Addresses The Media During Trial Of NYPD Officer Pantaleo
Spencer Platt

NYPD Temporarily Suspends Cop Who Killed Eric Garner After Judge Recommends His Firing

The NYPD has temporarily suspended the officer who killed Eric Garner after an administrative judge recommended that he be fired from the department. Daniel Pantaleo had been on desk duty with a salary that peaked above six figures, since Garner's death five years ago.

"This has been a long battle, five years too long, and finally someone has said there is information this cop did something wrong," Garner’s daughter, Emerald, said. "It's been way too long to say he did something wrong."

Pantaleo is suspended without pay for 30 days, a standard practice in a disciplinary case. His lawyer plans to appeal the decision.

Garner’s mother, Gwenn Carr, urged the NYPD to finally “take action” in the case. “It’s past time for [New York] Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD to end their obstruction, stop spreading misleading talking points and finally take action for my son,” Carr said.

Police commissioner Phillip Walzak will make a final decision on Pantaleo’s future with the NYPD later this month. "The Police Commissioner is aware of media reports and public statements today regarding the Pantaleo trial. Consistent with the NYPD disciplinary process, the Police Commissioner has not been provided the draft report.  It has been shared with the CCRB and the defense, for a standard period of final comment from each,” the NYPD said in a statement.  “The Deputy Commissioner of Trials will then deliver the completed report, with those comments, to the Police Commissioner for final disposition - to be determined this month.  Officer Pantaleo has been suspended, effective today, as is the longstanding practice in these matters when the recommendation is termination.

"All of New York City understandably seeks closure to this difficult chapter in our City's history.  Premature statements or judgments before the process is complete however cannot and will not be made," the statement continues. "In order to protect the integrity of the trial proceedings and conclusion, the NYPD will not comment further until the Police Commissioner makes the final determination."

Earlier in the week, activists interrupted the Democratic Debate to call for Pantaleo’s firing, simultaneously sending a message to DeBlasio, who is currently running for president and was participating in the debate. "Today for the first time in these long five years, the system of justice is working," DeBlasio said in response to Pantaleo’s suspension.

On Friday, activists gathered out front of NYPD headquarters to again demand that Pantaleo be fired.

Panatelao has denied using excessive force on Garner. Although he was found to have used a chokehold that was banned by the NYPD decades ago, a jury ultimately declined to indict him on charges related to Garner's death. In video of the incident, Garner can be heard pleading with police about not being able to breathe as Pantaleo continues to choke him. The 43-year-old father of five was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

According to NBC New York, the judge found Pantaleo guilty of “reckless assault,” but not “intentional strangulation.”

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Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Also Cover Parents’ Loans In Morehouse College-Debt Plan

In May 2019, Morehouse College’s graduating class of 2019 not only received the gift of their degrees, but also a unique opportunity to enter society debt-free. During his commencement speech, billionaire and owner of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith announced his pledge to cover each student’s loans, and now their parents will be able to get in on the life-changing gesture.

According to Bloomberg, Smith will pay off the federal loans taken by the students’ parents, adding to a $34 million tab. Private student loans gifted by the college, and federal and state loans will be covered under Smith’s plan.

Morehouse's president, David Thomas, said this action will hopefully inspire the recipients to follow in Smith's footsteps. “It is our hope that our graduates will use their newfound financial freedom to pursue their career goals, to lead and serve the community, and to remember the spirit of the gift given to them by paying it forward to support the education of future classes of Morehouse Men.” The HBCU aims for the plan of action to be completed by 2020.

For Smith, with a reported net worth of $6 billion, his vision through this program aims to inspire other colleges and universities to take a charge against this country's student debt crisis and “to receive gifts from alumni and other supporters that can offset the burden of student loans and give students the freedom to pursue their dreams, the capital to invest in the economic growth of their families and the time that they can give back meaningfully to strengthening their communities.”

According to Forbes, U.S. federal student loan debt has totaled over $1.5 trillion.

Wow! Billionaire Robert F. Smith surprises Morehouse graduates by announcing his family will eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019 with a grant. #PayItForward #HBCU pic.twitter.com/lbZmttSsB6

— Tomthunkit™ (@TomthunkitsMind) June 10, 2019

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DMX Reportedly Signs New Deal With Def Jam

DMX has signed a new deal with Def Jam Records, bringing him back to the label that distributed his early albums and classic singles. According to AllHip-Hop, X re-linked with the record label over the summer and is set to drop a Christmas album, DMX-Mas, either later this year, or in 2020.

X dropped his quadruple platinum debut album, It’s Dark And Hell is Hot, via Def Jam/Ruff Ryders Records in 1998. He went on to release four more album under the label including, his triple platinum sophomore LP, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, followed by ..And Then There Was X, the latter of which became his most successful studio album selling five million copies in the U.S. alone.

X, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, is one of hip-hop’s best-selling artist with just over 17 million records sold, but like many other recording artist, the beloved MC hit more than a few bumps over the years. The 48-year-old Yonkers native has endured money struggles and a very public battle with sobriety that played a part in his returns trips to jail. He was most recently released from custody this past January, after serving a year in prison for tax evasion.

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J. Cole Says He Won't Be Doing Anymore Guest Features

Don’t expect to hear a J. Cole guest verse on songs for other artists. Cole recently blessed tracks like Young Thug’s “The London” and 21 Savages “A Lot,” but the North Carolina born rhymer says that he’s done making guest appearances after the release of his biggest feature yet: Gang Starr’s “Family and Loyalty.”

Naturally, the “Middle Child” rhymer was honored and elated to be featured on the track, and working with DJ Premier might be the perfect way to bow out of the features game. “This is the last feature you’ll hear from me,” Cole tweeted Friday (Sept. 20). “Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run.”

This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr 🤯🤯🤯🤯 💎💎💎💎

This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run. 🙏🏿@REALDJPREMIER This song a classic, thank you. RIP GURUhttps://t.co/MMBI5Z2Fcq

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019

“Family and Loyalty,” marks the first new single from Gang Starr in 16 years, and reacquaints us with the lyrical genius of Guru, who died from cancer in 2010.

As for Cole, the Grammy-nominated rapper has a lot on his plate between his solo career and the Dreamville Records imprint. The label boasts a star-studded roster that includes Bas, Cozz, Omen, EarthGang, and the incomparable Ari Lennox. The collective released their third compilation album, Revenge of the Dreamers III, earlier this year.

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