A Black man died in Tuscaloosa last weekend after police used pepper spray on him during his arrest. Anthony Dewayne Ware, 35, was involved in a police chase during which he ran into the woods, according to reports. Officers caught up to him and a struggle ensued, resulting in one officer aiming pepper spray at Ware. Afterward, he experienced trouble breathing and collapsed as officers escorted him out of the woods. One officer reportedly performed CPR, when it became apparent Ware was in distress. Ware was later pronounced dead at a Tuscaloosa hospital.
The third Nappywood Natural Hair and Lifestyle Expo will take place Aug. 1-2 in the Los Angeles Fashion District’s Reef on Broadway Street. This year’s theme is “Natural Lifestyle Matters.” The expo will feature more than 30 classes, natural hair stylists and showcases live on stage. Top leaders in the industry will make appearances this year, including celebrity stylists and natural activist Isis Brantley; Kari Williams, Ph.D., first Black president of the California Cosmetology State Board; JoAnn Cornwell, Ph.D, founder, Sister Locs; Bernard Bronner, a publisher and CEO of Bronner Brothers; and Myco Branch, an author and owner of Miss Jessie’s. Proceeds will benefit We Can Foundation and Black Women for Wellness. For more information, visit www.nappyhood.com.
Police arrested a woman in Clermont last week for threatening several Black teenagers with a baseball bat. Lisa Marie Elberson, 29, reportedly chased the boys with a baseball bat, spit on one and said she would “hang your family from my tree.” She allegedly also used the N-word. According to newspaper reports, one of the boys videotaped the whole incident. Elberson and her husband denied the allegations, but after police viewed the video, they arrested Elberson and charged her with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery and child abuse.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired the city’s police chief, Anthony Batts, last week because of his approach to the riots that erupted in April after Freddie Gray died in police custody. In firing Batts, the mayor characterized his conduct during the rebellion as divisive. According to the Associated Press, Baltimore police said they had lost confidence in Batts following his response to the initial looting and rioting. A report from the police union said, “Batts discouraged officers from wearing protective gear and told them not to engage with rioters. Roughly 200 officers were injured during the unrest.”
On the same day that a New Hampshire poll showed Donald Trump was second in the race to be the Republican Party’s 2016
presidential candidate, the mogul told a gathering of the Maryland GOP that African American youth have “no spirit” and blamed President Barack Obama for dividing the country, according to the Independent, a British publication. Trump made the remarks while speaking at a fundraiser for the state’s GOP. Talking with reporters, Trump spoke briefly about race relations in the country following June’s Charleston church shooting. Trump described Obama as “very divisive” and said that Black youth were failing under the president’s leadership.
The Huffington Post reported that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) has launched an investigation into the case of an unarmed Black man who was allegedly strangled to death by a White police officer last week. Jonathan Sanders, 39, of Stonewall,
died after an altercation with officer Kevin Harrington. According to an attorney who was representing Sanders at the time on a drug-related charge, Sanders was out exercising one of his horses when Harrington confronted him and pulled him off the horse. For reasons unclear, Harrington allegedly choked Sanders to death. There were reportedly several witnesses. An autopsy is underway.
It took police three days to track down and apprehend 22-year-old Todd West, but not before he’d executed six people (a seventh lived). Less than a year after being released from jail, West went on a shooting spree that started in Union County and ended in Allentown, Pa. On June 25, police believe West first shot Dennis Vegas and later killed Kory Ketrow, Francine E. Ramos, Jamil Payne, Kelvin Nelson and Trevor Davanta Gray. Richard Marte was shot as well but is expected to recover. West will also be charged in the May 18 death of Michael Tompkins. According to police reports, West had two accomplices —Robert Journain and Kareem Mitchell—who have been charged in connection with the shootings in Pennsylvania.
MELD – a new dating app for the Black “elite”—held an event last week in New York City. More than 700 professionals attended. MELD is a private dating app designed exclusively for the Black professional market. The app combines both online and offline components to connect individuals for relationships. Members are determined through Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, but membership is private and information is never posted to social media. So far, MELD has held events in San Francisco and Houston as well.
A schoolteacher, Omar Currie, has resigned after he was chastised for reading a book with gay characters to his elementary school class. According to the L.A. Times, Currie chose to read the book because he noticed that students were teasing a little boy about being “girlish” and the word “gay” was being used in a derogatory manner. The book he read to his class was called “King and King,” a fairy tale about a prince who marries another prince rather than a princess. Due to parent complaints, the principal ordered teachers to give parents advance notice regarding books that would be read in class. Currie protested by resigning. The school’s assistant principal also resigned.
A Black judge in Toledo refused last week to marry a same-sex couple, saying that his religious beliefs prevented him from marrying the two women. According to ABC TV 13, Judge C. Allen McConnell is violating a ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month that says same-sex couples can marry across the country. McConnell issued a statement of apology but also said he would not conduct same-sex marriages and would ask state officials to remove him from the position, if it requires him to perform such unions.
For the first time in 54 years, the Confederate flag has been removed from the Statehouse in Columbia. Thousands stood and cheered while the flag was being lowered. Gov. Nikki Haley stood on the Statehouse steps with family members of the nine victims of the racially motivated shooting at Emanuel AME Church. Moments after the flag was taken down, President Obama tweeted that the removal of the flag was “a sign of good will and healing and a meaningful step toward a better future.”
TV Judge Joe Brown was arrested last week in Memphis and charged with five counts of contempt of court. According to the
Assocaited Press, Brown, 66, received a sentence of five days for causing a commotion during a child support hearing. Brown is running for Shelby County district attorney general. Magistrate Judge Harold Horne said the former TV judge “darn near caused a riot in the courtroom; he had people inflamed.” Brown was reportedly yelling and challenging Horne’s authority.
This year in Milwaukee, homicides have doubled compared to recent years, according to the Milwaukee Community Journal. Alderman Asante Hamilton, along with other community leaders, has launched the Safe Zones initiative, targeting four of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods. Each is an area where community leaders can go to intervene and counteract the root causes of violence, such as poverty and lack of education. “Sometimes the most effective help has to come from within a troubled region,” Hamilton explained. Milwaukee is backing the program, along with a variety of churches and coalitions in the area.