the journalista

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Jury Deliberations Begin in Trial of Officer Charged With the Shooting Death of Philando Castile

Jeronimo Yanez

St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez (Ramsey County, Minn., Sheriff’s Office)

Closing arguments for both sides concluded Monday in the trial of St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who is charged in the shooting death of Philando Castile last year. Now a jury must decide if Yanez panicked and shot Castile, or if Castile caused his own death by ignoring Yanez’s commands.

Read “#PhilandoCastile: Closing Arguments Complete, Jury Begins Deliberations in Trial of Jeronimo Yanez

Facebook Video of Woman Being Beaten Leads Flint Police to Investigate

Flint Police Department

Flint Police Department (Facebook)

The video clip found by The Root shows the woman, who appears to be white, being dragged by two men, one black and one white, down the front stairs of a home, as a young woman filming it tells them she is recording. As she is being dragged, her shirt is pulled off. Once she is on the lawn, three women come forward and punch her, kick her, and pull her hair.

Read “Flint Police Investigating After Facebook Video Shows Woman Dragged From A House and Beaten

Florida Police Officers Face Federal Charges For Beating a Man and Lying About it

Byron Harris

Byron Harris’s mugshot shows that he was beaten (Boynton Beach Police)

On Friday, Officer Mike Brown, Sgt. Philip Antico, and former officers Ron Ryan and Justin Harris all pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman. The four of them are charged with falsification of records, while Brown, Harris, and Ryan face the additional charge of deprivation of rights under color of law. Antico, who was the supervising officer that night, is also charged with obstruction of justice.

Read “Police Officers Who Beat Man, Then Lied About It, Face Federal Civil Rights Indictment

ACLU Makes the Case For Giving Second Chances to People With Prior Convictions

employment application

An Employment Application (iStock)

One in three American adults—70 million in total—have a criminal record, making it difficult for them to reenter their communities, find gainful and employment, build stability and find success after incarceration. A report from the American Civil Liberties Union highlights the benefit to all that comes when companies give these individuals a second chance.

Read “ACLU Makes the Case For Giving Formerly Incarcerated A Fair Chance At Employment

White People Who Couldn’t Mind Their Own Business Indicted For Murder

Chauna Thompson

Deputy Chauna Thompson and her husband shown holding a man down in this video screenshot

Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Chauna Thompson and her husband Terry Thompson have both been indicted for murder in the death of John Hernandez. They both face five years to life in prison if convicted.

Read Deputy, Husband Indicted For Murder in Off-Duty Killing of Man in Houston 

Louisiana Legislature Passes Major Criminal Justice Reform

Prison cell bars

Typical Prison Cell Bars (iStock)

The Louisiana state legislature passed a measure that will lower the state’s prison population by 10 percent and save the state $78 million over the next ten years.

Read: “Louisiana Passes Criminal Justice Reform That Will Lower Prison Population By 10 Percent” on The Root

It’s the Little Things

Latte with art

Latte with art from Javista

It’s the little things, like avocado toast and lattes from Javista.

It’s the big things too, like friends telling you they appreciate the work that you are doing, and they want to see you be successful in your journey.

Out of nowhere yesterday, one of my friends sent me this message on chat:

“My nigga, i just needed to take a quick second out my day to reaffirm that i genuinely appreciate your journalistic endeavors. I’m not talking about any one piece in particular. But the entire body of work, at least from my perspective, is always consistent and speaks for a lot of people I would imagine, who don’t have a voice. Your pen is strong and I sincerely hope you achieve everything it is you set out to achieve , i think the world will be a better place for it.”

First of all, you know it’s a real when they start the message with “my nigga.” I was so humbled by that. Aside from the ones who are very vocal about it, I don’t really know which of my friends are paying attention to the work that I am doing, so when they come to me like this and tell me, it lets me know to keep moving forward, that everything I am doing is worth it, and the best is yet to come.

avocado toast

Avocado toast

I received another compliment in the form of someone asking me to work with them on a pretty big project. I cannot divulge the details yet, but trust me when I tell you that just the fact that they asked me was enough to put a grin on my face that wouldn’t leave for hours.

I’m doing real big things over here.

Writing is a labor of love. I do what comes natural to me, but there is an intense amount of brain power that goes into have consistent, quality output on a daily basis.

With that comes a responsibility to self care, and I find that in the form of my biweekly mani/pedis, my morning walks to clear my head, sipping coffee slowly while I sit at my laptop and laugh at Twitter, getting lattes and avocado toast at Javista, and spending time with my friends, my sister and my nephew. It all adds up.

It’s the little things, and the big things too.

Former Inmate Who Was Repeatedly Raped By Milwaukee Jail Guard Awarded $6.7 Million

Sheriff David Clarke

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. (MIKE THEILER/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman who was repeatedly raped by former Milwaukee County Jail guard Xavier Thicklen while she was an inmate in custody four years ago was awarded $6.7 million by a jury that found Thicklen was acting under the scope of his employment when the assaults happened, thereby making the county of Milwaukee liable for the damages in the case.

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White Couple Can’t Mind Their Own Business, Man Ends Up Dead

Shauna Thompson

Deputy Shauna Thompson and her husband shown holding a man down in this video screenshot

Shauna Thompson is a deputy with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department in Texas, and on May 28, she and her husband were eating at a Houston-area Denny’s when her husband reportedly saw a man, now identified as John Hernandez, urinating outside the restaurant.

Details about what happened next are still not all that clear, but the situation escalated and ended with Thompson and her husband holding the man down with her husband reportedly using an illegal choke hold on Hernandez until he stopped breathing.

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‘Wrong Answer’: New Movie From Ryan Coogler Starring Michael B. Jordan

Michael B Jordan and Ryan Coogler

CENTURY CITY, CA – JANUARY 09: (L-R) Actor Michael B. Jordan and Director Ryan Coogler                                      (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images)

Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan are building on the Black Boy Magic they brought to the screen in Fruitvale Station and Creed (and undoubtedly in the upcoming Black Panther) by teaming up for a new film project, an education scandal called Wrong Answer.

Read “Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Ta-Nehisi Coates Team Up For New Movie ‘Wrong Answer’

Eminem Surprises Flint High School Students at Their Graduation


Eminem (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Flint Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab told MLive that the entire thing was Eminem’s idea. He and his Marshall Mathers foundation reached out to the school district with the idea, and it was the second time the rapper and his foundation have helped Flint students. In August 2016, he gave more than 240 backpacks filled with supplies to students at Flint’s Freeman Elementary School.

Read #Flint: Eminem Surprises High School Graduates in the Class of 2017 With a Special Gift

New No-Cash Bail System in Harris County, Texas, Means Low-Level Offenders Go Free

Generic handcuffed prisoner

Handcuffed prisoner in jail (iStock)

On April 28, Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal  issued a 193-page ruling ordering Harris County to begin releasing indigent inmates as early as May 15 without requiring the posting of cash bail as they awaited trial on misdemeanor offenses.

“Liberty is precious to Americans and any deprivation must be scrutinized,” the order states, citing a comment from Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht.

Read “New No-Cash Bail System Allows Dozens of Low-Level Offenders to Be Released From Jail in Houston, Texas

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