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Keeping Our Ears To The Streets

Ear Hustle 411 - Keeping Our Ears To The Streets

Woman Sues NYPD For Constantly Coming To Her Home To Arrest Her Dead Husband

Woman Sues NYPD For Constantly Coming To Her Home To Arrest Her Dead Husband

After years of frustration, a Brooklyn woman has settled a lawsuit with New York City for $10,000.

Karen Fennell says NYPD officers repeatedly came to her Bushwhack home looking to arrest her husband James Jordan Sr., despite the fact that he died in 2006.

Fennell told the New York Post she was so fed up with the harassment – which included ransacking her home – that she decided to tape her husband’s death certificate on her front door.

Jordan Sr., died from diabetes at age 46, and was last arrested in 1996 for turnstile-jumping. Fennell and her son claim they repeatedly told the officers he had passed, even as they flipped over the furniture in the house looking for him.

However, law enforcement continued to show up to the apartment; four times in 2014 alone.

“I can’t hide anyone in my apartment. It’s not big enough for that. But they keep coming and insisting that he’s in my house.”

The widow was also confused as to why authorities were so aggressively persuing a petty offense.

“He was a hardworking man, and he took care of eight kids,” she said. “It isn’t right for them to be coming after him like this. There’s no reason for it.”

The city explained that Fennell was visited by different sets of officers each time they came looking for Jordan, and therefore weren’t aware he was dead.

Fennell’s attorney, Ugochukwu Uzoh, told The Post her client accepted the modest settlement to avoid a stressful trial.

“She just did not want to go through a trial,” Uzoh said. “She wanted to resolve the case and move on so she accepted their offer.”

A spokesman for the Law Department said the settlement was in the best interest of the city.
Source: TheGrio



Black Man Jailed For 4 Months Found Allegedly Starved To Death In Virginia Jail

Black Man Jailed For 4 Months Found Starved To Death In Virginia Jail

A young black man arrested by police in Portsmouth, Virginia, has been found dead in jail after spending almost four months behind bars without bail for stealing groceries worth $5.

Jamycheal Mitchell, who had mental health problems, was discovered lying on the floor of his cell by guards early last Wednesday, according to authorities. While his body is still awaiting an autopsy, senior prison officials said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

“As of right now it is deemed ‘natural causes’,” Natasha Perry, the master jail officer at the Hampton Roads regional jail in Portsmouth, said of his death in an interview. Perry said there were no obvious outward signs of injury to the 24-year-old’s body. Portsmouth police are looking into the death.

Mitchell’s family said they believed he starved to death after refusing meals and medication at the jail, where he was being held on misdemeanour charges of petty larceny and trespassing. A clerk at Portsmouth district court said Mitchell was accused of stealing a bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake worth a total of $5 from a 7-Eleven.

“His body failed,” said Roxanne Adams, Mitchell’s aunt. “It is extraordinary. The person I saw deceased was not even the same person.” Adams, who is a registered nurse, said Mitchell had practically no muscle mass left by the time of his death.

A few hours after Mitchell was arrested on 22 April by Portsmouth police officer L Schaefer for the alleged theft, William Chapman was shot dead by officer Stephen Rankin outside a Walmart superstore about 2.5 miles away in the same city. State prosecutor Stephanie Morales said on Thursday she would pursue criminal charges over Chapman’s death.

Except for a brief item stating that an inmate had been found dead, the story of Mitchell’s death has not been covered by local media in Virginia, and is reported for the first time here.

Adams said in an interview that her nephew had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia for about five years. Nicknamed Weezy, he lived with his mother Sonia and had been unable to hold down work. “He just chain-smoked and made people laugh,” said Adams. “He never did anything serious, never harmed anybody.”

Officials said that after his arrest, Mitchell was taken to Portsmouth city jail, where he stayed for almost three weeks before being transferred across the city to the regional jail on 11 May.

Ten days after that, the court clerk said, Judge Morton Whitlow ruled Mitchell was not competent to stand trial and ordered that he be transferred to Eastern State hospital, a state-run mental health facility in Williamsburg, for treatment.

The clerk said that typically in such cases “we do an order to restore the defendant to competence, send it to the hospital, and when the hospital has a bed, we do a transportation order, and he’s taken to the hospital.” Whitlow reiterated the order on 31 July and was due to review the case again on 4 September, according to the clerk.

But the hospital said it had no vacancy and the 24-year-old was therefore detained in jail until his death on 19 August, according to Adams, Mitchell’s aunt, who said she had tried to assist the hospitalisation process herself but was left frustrated.

“He was just deteriorating so fast,” she said. “I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn’t transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn’t know anything about the request or not having bed availability.”

When asked which state agency was ultimately responsible for ensuring Mitchell was transferred to the hospital, the court clerk said: “It’s hard to tell who’s responsible for it.”

Officials from the court, the police department and the jail could not explain why Mitchell was not given the opportunity to be released on bail.

Mitchell previously spent four months in the jail from April 2010, also on charges of petty larceny and trespassing, before being ordered released by the courts, according to Perry, the prison official.


Read More- The Guardian

Indian Sisters Sentenced To Being Raped As Punishment Because Their Brother Ran Off With A Married Woman

Indian Sisters Sentenced To Being Raped As Punishment Because Their Brother Ran Off With A Married Woman

Two Indian sisters ‘sentenced’ to be raped and then paraded naked around the streets with their faces blackened in another example of India’s scandalous ‘village justice’

Two sisters in India – one aged only 15-years – are to be raped as “punishment” for their brother running away with a married woman from a higher caste in the latest caste to shock the country.

Meenakshi Kumari, who is 23, and her younger sister, will then be paraded naked with their faces blackened through the streets, according to a ruling from the all-male village council.

The sisters have petitioned the country’s Supreme Court to be protected from the so-called “eye-for-an-eye” ruling from the village council in Uttar Pradesh state, 30 miles from the capital Delhi.

The family are from the Dalit caste, historically known as “untouchables”. However, the brother fell in love with a woman from the higher, Jat, caste.

The woman was forced into an arranged marriage in February with a man from her own caste despite her relationship, according to Zee news, citing the elder sister Meenakshi.

The couple eloped in March, but returned to the village after the man’s family were allegedly tortured by police.

The village council then made its ruling that the Dalit family should be dishonoured to “avenge” the brother’s supposed crime.

Meenakshi and her sister ran away to the capital after the ruling was handed out and were able to submit their petition for protection for their family at the Supreme Court. However, they are still facing the punishment when they return home.

Khap panchayats are the archaic systems of village justice that exist in much of rural India. They are dominated by the Jat caste and are almost always run by male village elders.

The “courts” often order honour killings and sexual “punishments” and are frequently allowed to operate completely outside the Indian legal system, despite the Supreme Court labelling them “kangaroo courts”.

Jats are powerful sources of votes and few politicians have been prepared to challenge the system.

Amnesty International has set up a petition against the punishment, stating: “Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law.”

Rachel Alcock, Amnesty UK’s urgent action coordinator, said: “Rape is a revolting crime, not a punishment. It’s no wonder this disgusting ‘sentence’ has provoked global outrage.

“These Khap courts routinely order vile sexually violent punishments against women. India’s supreme court has rightly declared such orders illegal.

“The government of Uttar Pradesh has an urgent duty to keep this family safe.

“There must also be a proper, independent investigation into these barbaric and illegal orders which apparently continue to be issued by the khap panchayat courts.”

The gang rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi in December 2012horrified the country and led to mass street protests and the central government vowing reform of the penal code.

However, last December, the girl’s father said the promises of legal reform had not been met. A BBC documentary called India’s Daughter broadcast in March proved highly controversial for its portrayal of how widespread the problem of rape is in India.


Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Pregnant Woman From Georgia Dies After Her Ex-Boyfriend Shoots Her And Throws Her From A Car During Police Chase

ryan arnold

Photo Credit: Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office

A pregnant woman who’d allegedly been kidnapped by her former boyfriend in Georgia died days after she was thrown from the pickup truck he drove during a police chase.

Police had arrested the ex-boyfriend, Ryan Arnold, 23, on Monday after a chaotic pursuit that also included the death of the woman’s unborn child and the shooting of a truck driver that police said he carjacked.

Trouble started when Oglethorpe County sheriff’s deputies got call of a domestic altercation at Arnold’s Lexington home Sunday, according to CBS News. Arnold was allegedly seen fleeing and firing a weapon into the air, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. He was barricaded inside the home with Hayley Hill, 23, when officers returned on Monday but bolted with her from the residence in his truck before they could capture him.

It’s believed by police that Arnold shot her during the getaway before dumping her wounded body on the road.

The fetus was delivered at a hospital, but did not survive. Hill was declared brain dead on Wednesday and removed from life support on Thursday.

After Arnold allegedly shot Hill, he ditched his vehicle and hijacked an 18-wheeler from Paul Davis, 58. Davis was held hostage in the truck and was wounded during a shootout between Arnold and police. He’s expected to survive, though his son told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was shot five times. Some reports say that police wounded Davis, not knowing that Arnold had a hostage in the truck.

Arnold too was shot. He’s been charged with feticide, three counts of aggravated assault, and kidnapping with bodily harm. Following Hill’s death, it is likely that charges will be upgraded to include murder.

Source: Huffington Post

The Youngest And First African American To Star As Jean Valjean In A Broadway Musical Dies After Falling From A Fire Escape


Photo Credit: Google

The first African-American and youngest person to ever play the role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of “Les Misérables” died early Saturday. He was 21.

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, 21, fell at about 4 a.m. from a fourth-floor fire escape at an apartment building in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, police said. He was taken to the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center where he died.

The actor was an ensemble member of the company and an understudy for Valjean, going onstage as the ex-convict in a history-making appearance July 23. He has been the understudy for the role and usually played Constable and Courfeyrac in the production.

“The entire Les Misérables family is shocked and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of Kyle, a remarkable young talent and tremendous person who made magic – and history – in his Broadway debut,” the company said in a written statement.

Jean-Baptiste was born in New York and “Les Misérables” was his Broadway debut, following his graduation from Baldwin Wallace University.

The Broadway community took to Twitter on Saturday to mourn the loss of a young talent.

“Shocked and saddened to have lost of of Broadway’s youngest treasures,” tweeted Tony Award-nominee Joshua Henry. Teal Wicks, starring in “Finding Neverland,” called him “a new friend and a shining star.”

Jean-Baptiste was born in New York and graduated from Baldwin Wallace University. After making stage history, he told Playbill: “I did not immediately think of it as making history. This was my dream since I was a little boy. This incredible team of creatives presented an opportunity to play a part I have dreamed of playing since I was introduced to theatre, and I am forever grateful. I felt a huge amount of responsibility to do right by them and to honor this iconic material.”

Ramin Karimloo, who originated the role of Jean Valjean in the musical last year, will give a speech at the curtain call of Saturday’s matinee performance.

In one of his last tweets, sent Tuesday, Jean-Baptiste showed gratitude for his friends and fans:

“I thank everyone who supported me and still does. I will never forget this experience. Onwards and upwards. Nothing but love.”

Source: NBC New York

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