Benjamin Crump to visit Cocoa, calls for Justice Department investigation into ‘justifiable’ shootings
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said he'll be visiting Brevard on Friday for a press conference aimed at asking the U.S. Justice Department to review the deputy-involved shootings of two Cocoa teens.
Gregory Edwards’ widow arrested; facing charges in son’s drowning death, prosecutors say
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Kathleen Edwards — the widow of Gregory Edwards — was arrested on Wednesday in Volusia County, following the death of her 18-month-old son last July. Edwards’ son, Gregory Edwards Jr., died on July 2, 2020, days after he was pulled from the family’s pool at their home in Grant on June 27, 2020, records show. According to prosecutors, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office conducted a months-long investigation into the child’s death. The man, a combat veteran, later got into a confrontation with deputies while at the Brevard County Jail. The man’s family filed a civil suit in December 2020 against the West Melbourne police officers who arrested Gregory Edwards and the City of West Melbourne seeking punitive damages for his death.
Lawsuit filed over hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj's father
FILE - In this Monday, May 6, 2019, file photo, Nicki Minaj attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in New York. Minajs mother has filed a $150 million lawsuit against the man who is accused of killing the rapper's father in a hit-and-run crash in February 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)MINEOLA, N.Y. – Rapper Nicki Minaj’s mother, Carol Maraj, has filed a $150 million lawsuit against the man who is accused of killing Minaj’s father in a hit-and-run crash last month, an attorney for Maraj said. Ad“He was not only irresponsible and negligent, but more concerned about running away and hiding than seeking help,” Benjamin Crump, one of the attorneys representing Carol Maraj, said in an Instagram post Friday. Nicki Minaj, who was born Onika Tanya Maraj, has not made any public statement on her father's death.
Judge ends shooting case against Breonna Taylor's boyfriend
Walker was the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor who was killed by officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department following the execution of a no knock warrant on her apartment on March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A judge in Kentucky has signed an order permanently closing a criminal case against Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, who shot a police officer during the deadly raid that killed Taylor. Prosecutors dismissed an attempted murder of a police officer charge against Kenneth L. Walker in May, about two months after Taylor's death. Taylor was fatally shot by police who burst through her door with a narcotics warrant on March 13, 2020. Two other officers who fired shots at Taylor's apartment have been dismissed from the department.
Investigation: Florida school resource officers are not required to undergo juvenile-specific training
While juvenile specific training is a requirement for school resource officers in Kissimmee, it is not a statewide requirement. According to state law, school resource officers are required to get “mental health crisis intervention training”, but it does not have to be specific to juveniles. AdNew questions about school resource officers and training are now surfacing after two viral videos. But state lawmakers like Rep. Rene Plasencia do not feel school resource officers are equipped. Plasencia, a former teacher who goes by the nickname “Coach P”, saw counties struggle to find qualified school resource officers after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Act, laws passed after the school shooting in Parkland which, in part, required a school resource officer in every state public school.
FDLE seeks witnesses, videos after Liberty High School student slammed to ground
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday that is seeking witnesses of those who may have video that shows a school resource officer throwing a student to the ground last week at Liberty High School. A video posted on social media shows Osceola County sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Fournier, a school resource officer at Liberty High School near Kissimmee, slamming Taylor Bracey, 16, while trying to restrain her. In the video, Fournier can be seen placing Bracey in handcuffs while a second deputy stands over them. SRO Deputy Ethan Fournier body-slammed her this week, leaving her unconscious as she hit the hard concrete floor of her Kissimmee FL high school. Implement school-wide restorative justice at Liberty High School in order to create a nurturing school climate.
Famed attorney Benjamin Crump representing student slammed by Osceola County deputy
OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is now representing an Osceola County high school student who was caught on video being slammed to the ground by a school resource officer. SRO Deputy Ethan Fournier body-slammed her this week, leaving her unconscious as she hit the hard concrete floor of her Kissimmee FL high school. Sign petition: — Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 30, 2021The video shows Fournier slamming the student onto a concrete walkway. Famed attorney Benjamin Crump representing student slammed by Osceola County deputy (Jerry Askin)During a news conference Saturday, attorneys for the 16-year-old explained what demands they have for the county following the incident. Implement school-wide restorative justice at Liberty High School in order to create a nurturing school climate.
Gregory Edwards’ family sues West Melbourne officers who arrested combat veteran before his death
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The family of Gregory Edwards filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking punitive damages against the West Melbourne police officers who arrested the combat veteran leading up to his death in the Brevard County Jail. The City of West Melbourne is also listed as a defendant in the civil suit. Edwards was arrested a day earlier by West Melbourne police outside a retail store for allegedly assaulting a charity worker. The lawsuit lists Edwards’ episode as a serious medical emergency requiring immediate treatment that he did not receive under the care of authorities. Edwards later got into a confrontation with deputies while at the Brevard County Jail.
Autopsy finds LA deputies shot Black man 16 times
An autopsy report says Kizzee, a Black man shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies was wounded 16 times in the front and back but it doesn't shed any light on whether he was on the ground when he was shot. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio, File)LOS ANGELES – A Black man shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies was wounded 16 times in the front and back, according to an autopsy that doesn't shed any light on whether he was on the ground when he was shot. Kizzee was killed Aug. 31 in South Los Angeles after sheriff’s deputies tried to stop him for riding a bicycle in the wrong direction. Two deputies told investigators they fatally shot Kizzee after he picked up the handgun he had dropped during a struggle with one of them. The official autopsy found that Kizzee was wounded a total of 16 times.
Attorney: Black man shot by LA deputies wasn't holding a gun
Dijon Kizzee, 29, "posed no threat" to deputies when they fired 19 shots at him, attorney Crump said at the news conference. Kizzee shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies wasn't holding a gun when they opened fire, attorneys for his family said Tuesday, contradicting a claim that he had picked up a dropped weapon during a struggle. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)LOS ANGELES – A Black man shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies wasn't holding a gun when they opened fire, attorneys for his family said Tuesday, contradicting a claim that he had picked up a dropped weapon during a struggle. Kizzee's family stood with Crump and the other attorneys, including his stepbrother and aunts. Crump called Kizzee's death part of racial injustice and police brutality that have been part of the U.S. for centuries.
Video shows deadly deputy shooting of Black bicyclist in LA
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, file)LOS ANGELES A grainy video shows a Black man stopped while riding a bicycle struggling with a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. The Sheriff's Department account said he punched a deputy in the face. A 41-second video obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows a police SUV stop in a street. The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department did not provide statistics regarding bicycle stops and citations on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Police Departments figures do not break down vehicle stops by category.
New video shows fatal police shooting of Black man in LA
LOS ANGELES A grainy video posted Wednesday shows the fatal shooting of a Black man by Los Angeles County sheriffs deputies after he was stopped on a bicycle for a traffic violation, but the video does not confirm the police allegation that he made a motion" for a gun. The video, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, shows the 29-year-old Kizzee scuffling with a deputy on a sidewalk. We stand with Dijons family in demanding justice and transparency into this despicable and tragic killing perpetrated by Los Angeles County officers," Crump said in a statement. The Los Angeles Sheriffs Department, the largest in the nation, does not have body cameras for deputies, though that soon will change. Sheriff Alex Villanueva offered his condolences to Kizzee's relatives on Tuesday, who he said includes a cousin who is a Sheriff's Department member.
'Fanning the flames': Dems accuse Trump of stoking violence
Supporters of President Donald Trump and protesters hold banners as they wait for the motorcade of President Trump outside the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. The people of Portland, like all other cities & parts of our great Country, want Law & Order," Trump later tweeted. But Democrats accuse Trump of rooting for unrest and trying to stoke further violence for political gain instead of seeking to ratchet down tensions. Trump has cast the upcoming election as clash between law and order and anarchy, and he has denounced protesters as thugs while sharply defending police. And hes going to do everything to disrupt law and order in this time period."
Protest erupts after Wisconsin police shoot man from behind 7 times
The three officers at the scene were placed on administrative leave, standard practice in a shooting by police, while the state Justice Department investigates. Seven shots can be heard, though it isnt clear how many struck Blake or how many of the officers fired. During the shooting, a Black woman can be seen screaming in the street and jumping up and down. That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police," Crump said in a statement.
Florida deputy on leave after video shows him shoving Black man
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. A white Florida sheriff's deputy has been placed on administrative leave after he was caught on camera shoving a handcuffed 19-year-old Black man against a wall outside a fast food restaurant. In the cellphone video, which was tweeted by Florida-based civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Kevin Wygant asserts his First Amendment right to the Palm Beach County deputy, asking, I don't have the freedom of speech to you?" The deputy, identified by news outlets as Deputy Charles Rhoads, responds, not to us you don't," and pushes him face first against a wall and uses an expletive. The deputy turns and tells them to leave before the video stops. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradhaw said on Twitter than he's ordered an internal affairs investigation.
March on Washington reconfigured to comply with virus rules
In late July, with local infection numbers rising, Bowser ordered that anyone traveling or returning to Washington from a virus hot spot must self-quarantine for 14 days. Bowser, when asked on July 30 about the potential conflict, said government officials had been in contact with march organizers and that Washington would not be relaxing its virus rules for participants. The NAACP, one of several partners in this year's commemoration, last week launched a website for a virtual March on Washington. The site will livestream the Washington march, in addition to other programming leading up to and after the event. The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 Black-led organizations that make up the broader Black Lives Matter movement, will hold its virtual Black National Convention later in the evening.
Video shows Key West police officers handcuff, arrest 8-year-old boy
KEW WEST, Fla. The Key West Police Department is in hot water after a video surfaced of an arrest at an elementary school, News 6 partner WPLG reports. Police body cam footage shows an officer trying to handcuff a crying 8-year-old boy reportedly with special needs who attends Gerald Adams Elementary School in Key West. @KWPOLICE used scared straight tactics on 8yo boy with special needs. Crump is now representing the boy's mother in a federal lawsuit to be filed this week against the Key West Police Department and the Monroe County School District. In a statement to the Miami Herald, the Key West police chief said that his officers did not do anything wrong.
Kentucky capitol rally urges action in Breonna Taylor death
Calls for action against the officers have gotten louder during a national reckoning over racism and police brutality following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. (Photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP)FRANKFORT, Ky. Hundreds of people rallied at Kentucky's capitol on Thursday to urge action in the investigation of three officers in the fatal police shooting of a Black woman, Breonna Taylor, at her Louisville home. Taylor's family, hip hop artists and civil rights lawyers addressed a large crowd on the steps of the capitol to mark 100 days since Taylor was killed. Taylor was killed in the sanctity of her own home, said civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is representing Taylor's family. Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, also appeared at the rally.
Democrats: GOP police bill 'not salvageable,' demand talks
WASHINGTON Top Democratic leaders in the Senate say the Republican policing bill is not salvageable, as they signal an intent to block it and demand negotiations on a new, more bipartisan package in response to the killing of Black Americans. That's according to a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from the Democrats obtained by The Associated Press. This bill is not salvageable and we need bipartisan talks to get to a constructive starting point, write Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and the co-authors of the party's bill, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. The Republican legislation would create a national database of police use-of-force incidents, restrict police chokeholds and set up new training procedures. Congress is under enormous pressure to establish new oversight and accountability of the police as demonstrations spill into cities large and small nationwide.
Democrat lawmakers in Florida discuss racial inequalities in America
The Florida Democratic Party held a virtual meeting on Thursday evening to talk about racial injustice in America. Democratic members of the U.S. Congress from Florida all spoke about how best to use the momentum built up from protests during the past several weeks. Murphy went on to say that systemic racism goes beyond the criminal justice system, mentioning unequal access to healthcare and education. "If we are going to heal as a country, it's got to start with us first, strongly stating what we believe. Several members of congress also mentioned the importance to pass legislation for police reform.
Minneapolis overwhelmed again by protests over Floyd death
Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. The rare step came as the violence spread to other cities: A man shot dead in Detroit, police cars battered in Atlanta and skirmishes with police in New York City. Minneapolis police said shots had been fired at law enforcement officers during the protests but no one was injured. Chauvin eventually pulled Floyd out of the car, and the handcuffed Floyd went to the ground face down. The doctor who will do the autopsy is Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City.
'I can't breathe' a rally cry anew for police protests in US
Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)WASHINGTON I cant breathe.Eric Garner uttered those words six years ago, locked in a police chokehold. It became a rallying cry after his death for demonstrators across the country who protested the killings of African Americans by police. Floyd's death came after Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death in Georgia by a former district attorney investigator and his son, who were not arrested until after video emerged months later. Davis has gone to some protests, but came this morning with his two adolescent children to show them what was happening.
George Zimmerman sues Trayvon Martin family, others for $100 million
POLK COUNTY, Fla. – George Zimmerman is suing Trayvon Martin’s family, prosecutors and others for $100 million. Zimmerman, a Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012, was acquitted of homicide in the fatal shooting of Martin, who was 17 years old. The lawsuit, filed in Polk County, where Zimmerman now lives, cites information in a documentary about the case that accuses the Martin family of engineering false testimony. According to the newly filed lawsuit, Zimmerman cites a documentary about the case accusing Martin’s family of lying about a witness who testified. Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against NBC News several years ago, claiming the media company had maliciously edited phone calls Zimmerman placed to 911 shortly after he shot and killed Martin.