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Kali Hardig improvement; NOPD officer arrested for DUI; Kendrick Johnson death not accidental

9/6/2013, midnight
National news headlines for the week of September 2, 2013.
Kali Hardig

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Dave Chappelle

Connecticut

Dave Chappelle explained to a crowd in Chicago why he walked off stage in Hartford last week. And the comedian had nothing nice to stay about his stay in the capital city. On Aug. 29, Chappelle walked off the stage at Comcast Theater in the middle of his performance. He blamed fans in the arena for heckling him. “Thank you and good night,” Chappelle said as he walked off the stage. Fans told Eyewitness News that the performance lasted 23 minutes, which was what he was contractually required to perform. During the performance, Chappelle read excerpts from a book, smoked a few cigarettes and responded to hecklers. “I like some of you. I hate some of you,” Chappelle said during the performance. On Tuesday night, Chappelle took to the stage at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill., where he explained his actions. “I know you read in the paper I took a nasty spill the other night,” Chappelle said, according to audio obtained by dalaughingbarrel.com. “It wasn’t my fault.” The crowd on the audio can be heard cheering and supporting him. “This crowd is so much better than Hartford,” Chappelle told the Chicago crowd. “I will never go back.”

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Kendrick Johnson

Georgia

The United States Justice Department will not conduct a civil rights investigation in the case of a teenager found dead in a rolled-up mat at his southern Georgia high school, a spokesperson for that agency said Wednesday. Kendrick Johnson, 17, was discovered dead Jan. 11, headfirst in a rolled wrestling mat in the Lowndes County High School gymnasium in Valdosta. After reviewing the investigative file, the Justice Department determined there is not “sufficient indication of a civil rights violation to authorize a civil rights investigation. A second autopsy report, which was obtained by CNN on Tuesday, found that the youth died as the result of “unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.” This report directly contradicts an autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that determined that Johnson’s death was the result of positional asphyxia. Questioning that cause of death, Johnson’s family sent copies of the second autopsy report to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Middle District and Lowndes County Coroner—as well as the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division—for review. On May 1, a judge granted the Johnsons’ request to exhume their son’s body in order to conduct—at their expense—the independent autopsy.

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Jayson Germann

Louisiana

An officer with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) was placed on emergency suspension without pay after he was allegedly involved in a crash while over the legal limit for alcohol. According to NOPD, the incident happened on Sunday, Aug. 1 at roughly 2:30 a.m. Officer Jayson Germann was driving on the I-10 Twin Span when he lost control of his unmarked vehicle and hit a guardrail. His vehicle then hit another vehicle being driven by Frank Hyde, 52, of Slidell. The Louisiana State Police was called to investigate. They suspected Germann was under the influence, and he agreed to take a breathalyzer. The test showed that he was over the legal limit ,and he was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI and Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle. Officials say the second driver involved in the crash, Hyde, was also found to be over the legal limit for alcohol. He was also arrested. Officer Germann was not on duty when the crash occurred. He was recently assigned to the department’s Gang Intelligence Unit.

Maryland

A woman who tried to beat up her ex-boyfriend’s son with a five-pound dumbbell and smother him with a pillow is now facing an attempted murder charge, police in Maryland said Wednesday. Helen Marie Newsome, 26, broke into a home in Landover and hid inside for 10 hours before she attacked the 8-year-old in bed Saturday morning, Prince George’s Police Capt. Jimmy Simms said. “Newsome grabbed a pillow and placed it over the child’s face and then began striking him in the head with a weapon,” police said in a statement. The boy fought back and ran away. The boy, who had multiple lacerations on his head, was treated and released from the hospital, police said. The boy’s father had broken off a relationship with Newsome last week. Police say Newsome, who also has a 1-year-old child with the boy’s father, is charged with first-degree attempted murder and is being held on $500,000 bond.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood. CNN News Wire contributed to this report.