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VA House passed bills to prevent custodial deaths like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

VA House passed bills to prevent custodial deaths like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

VA House passed bills to prevent custodial deaths like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

Virginia’s House of Delegates passed several bills on Friday with the aim of preventing deaths such as those of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

WAVY 10 reported that a legislation was passed that bans neck restraints. Thus, it is now a Class 6 felony for police officers to make use of neck restraints to detain people, in the manner that it was used on George Floyd.

According to the bill, neck restraints are “the use of any body part or object to attempt to control or disable a person by applying pressure against the neck, including the trachea or carotid artery, with the purpose, intent, or effect of controlling or restricting the person’s movement or restricting the person’s blood flow or breathing, including chokeholds, carotid restraints, and lateral vascular neck restraints.”

Moreover, no-knock search warrants will be banned by House Bill 5099. Such a search warrant was used by the Louisville police officers who fatally shot Taylor.

Moreover, in case any law enforcement official fails to intervene as a colleague is making use of a deadly force, it will now be considered a felony. The legislation states that the law enforcement officers are required to assist any person who sustains injuries due to the use of force.

“The bill states that the knowing failure to intervene in the unlawful use of non-deadly force is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor and the knowing failure to intervene in the unlawful use of deadly force is punishable as a Class 6 felony,” the proposal reads.

“The bill punishes the knowing failure to intervene in the unlawful use of force that leads to death or if the victim is thereby severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment as a Class 4 felony,” it continued.

Now, these legislations will be forwarded to the Senate and then to Gov. Ralph Northam. Before they can become a law, his sign is required.

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Rihanna documentary to release next summer

Rihanna documentary to release next summer

Rihanna documentary to release next summer

According to director Peter Berg, Rihanna’s highly-anticipated Amazon documentary will be released next summer.

Berg spoke about the documentary in a recent interview with Collider. “The Rihanna doc is something I’ve been working on with her for almost four years now,” he said. “Amazon’s gonna release it summer next year, sometime hopefully around the Fourth of July. It’s been a really epic journey, the past four years with her.”

The Battleship director also said that Rih’s busy schedule delayed the release of the film. “She’s a remarkable woman, who everyday seems to grow and branch out into new businesses and new endeavors at a rate that it’s almost hard to keep up with,” he said.

“So, every time we think we’re going to finish the movie and put it out, she does something like start a fashion line like Fenty, or her lingerie line, or her skin care line,” Berg continued. “She’s firing on all cylinders, she’s making new music now and she’s having so much success in business and she’s such an entrepreneur that we’re letting it grow, but we are gonna try and close it up in the spring and release it in the summer.”

The film, which is believed to be titled Rihanna: Volume 1, vows to take audiences “on a journey through private insights into Rihanna’s personality and humor, philosophies on work, family and love that are both moving and inspirational.”

Reports state that Amazon paid $25 million to obtain the rights to the documentary. Previously, in September, Rihanna collaborated with the streaming service to exclusively air her Savage x Fenty runway show on Amazon Prime Video. The fashion show witnessed appearances from 21 Savage, Normani, Migos, DJ Khaled, Big Sean and A$AP Ferg.

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Naomi Osaka wears Ahmaud Arbery mask during US Open

Naomi Osaka wears Ahmaud Arbery mask during US Open

Naomi Osaka wears Ahmaud Arbery mask during US Open

Naomi Osaka continues to show her support various Black victims who passed away due to racism. Recently, the tennis star was spotted donning a black mask with the name of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who shot by white men as he went for a jog in his Georgia neighborhood. He passed away due to the attack.

“This did not have to happen, none of these deaths had to happen,” she told reporters on Friday (Sep. 4). “I just want everyone to know the names more.”

This mark’s the star’s third tribute this week. On Monday’s match, she donned a mask to honor Breonna Taylor, the Black EMT who was shot at her own home by police officers.

Wednesday saw her donning a mask to honor Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old Black man who passed away after he was placed in a chokehold by Colorado police officers. According to Osaka, she bought seven different masks so she can wear one on each match in the tournament, until the finals.

“It’s quite sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the amount of names, so hopefully I’ll get to the finals so you can see all of them,” Osaka said on Monday.

Last week, Osaka, decided to pull out of her Western & Southern Open in New York City in order to mourn the loss of Jacob Blake, who was a Black man shot seven times by the police. Many other athletes boycotted their games.

“Hell, as many of you are aware I was scheduled to play my semifinals match tomorrow,” Osaka wrote in a statement. “However, before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman. And as a Black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis.”

“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction,” she continued. “Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hands of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach.”

“I’m exhausted of having a new hashtag pop up every few days and I’m extremely tired of having this same conversation over and over again,” the tennis star concluded. “When will it ever be enough?”

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After 6 Murder Trials and 24 Years, Charges Dropped Against Curtis Flowers

After 6 Murder Trials and 24 Years, Charges Dropped Against Curtis Flowers

After 6 Murder Trials and 24 Years, Charges Dropped Against Curtis Flowers

On Friday, murder charges against Curtis Flowers were finally dropped. Curtis Flower is a Black man who was tried six times in relation to the same killings, by a white prosecutor who was believed to have made sure that there were no Black jurors involved in the case.

Mr. Flowers was accused in the killings of four people in a furniture store in Winona, Miss back in 1996. Interestingly, the previous six trials which spanned over more than 20 years, either ended in mistrials or convictions that were later reversed.

Very recently, Mr. Flowers was convicted and sentenced to death. However, his lawyers appealed the conviction to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that the prosecutor, Doug Evans, kept Black people away from acting as jury in the case, in an illegal manner. Through the six different trials, 61 of the 72 jurors were white.

“Today, I am finally free from the injustice that left me locked in a box for 23 years,” Mr. Flowers said in a statement.

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, based on the Supreme Court’s majority decision wrote that “Equal justice under law requires a criminal trial free of racial discrimination in the jury selection process.” By pursuing a “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals,” He added that the state wanted to try Mr. Flowers “ideally before an all-white jury.”

It was in January that Mr. Evans recused himself from the case and the Mississippi attorney general took charge. According to a spokeswoman for Lynn Fitch, the attorney general, the charges were dismissed.

In December, Mr. Flowers was released from custody on bail and returned home for the first time in 23 years.

Once it featured on the podcast “In the Dark,” the case garnered traction and people began to express doubts over some of the prosecutors’ claims.

Throughout the six trials, Mr. Flowers was described as a disgruntled former employee of the furniture store who was infuriated as he was fired. After several months of the killings, he was arrested. 

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$100 million donated by Michael Bloomberg to four historically Black medical schools

$100 million donated by Michael Bloomberg to four historically Black medical schools

$100 million donated by Michael Bloomberg to four historically Black medical schools

The onset of the pandemic drastically affected communities of color. To respond to this staggering effect, Michael Bloomberg decided to donate money to historically Black medical schools with the objective of helping in the development as well as the expansion of Black doctors.

“The data is clear: Black patients over all have better outcomes when they get treatment from Black doctors,” Bloomberg told The New York Times. “By increasing the number of Black doctors, we hope the gift will help to save more Black lives and reduce the health problems that limit economic opportunity in Black communities.”

In a CNN op-ed, the former presidential candidate wrote about the implications of the coronavirus on the Black community and wrote that, according to one report, Black people are “nearly three times more likely than white people to contract the virus, and twice as likely to die from it.”

Therefore, he focused on the need for more Black doctors.

“The pandemic has underscored just how urgent the need for more Black doctors is, and we can’t afford to wait for the economy to recover to increase support for the universities that most effectively enroll and graduate them,” he said. “More Black doctors will mean more Black lives saved and less debilitating health conditions that limit economic opportunity in Black communities.”

It is under the Greenwood Initiative, which is Bloomberg’s racial justice program, that he plans to offer $100 million in scholarships to Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine in Los Angeles, Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., Nashville’s Meharry Medical College and Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine.

According to reports, just last month, Bloomberg got in touch with the college and university officials in order to talk about the various ways in which he could aid in bettering intergenerational wealth in the Black community. Bloomberg did not attempt to propose his own ideas, and instead, sought the advice of Howard University’s President Dr. Wayne Frederick, who suggested him to try and increase the number of existing Black doctors.

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