It's time to clean house in the Ferguson Police Department.
Cops should be turning in their guns and badges and clearing out today. They don't respect black people – and they don't respect the judicial process.
While a grand jury in St. Louis gathers evidence in the Michael Brown case, the deep racial divide between black residents and white police could not be more apparent: The U.S. Justice Department has recently ordered Ferguson Police officers to stop wearing "I am Darren Wilson" bracelets in vigorous support of the white officer who shot and killed Brown, an unarmed black teenager.
"These bracelets reinforce the very 'us versus them' mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists," Christy Lopez, deputy chief of the special litigation section of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, wrote in a letter to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson last week.
It's already a tense time in Ferguson. Black residents are anxiously waiting for the grand jury to make a decision about Wilson and they openly question why prosecutors initially said a decision was expected in October, but then extended the grand jury's work until January, but now they say the deadline is back to the original timeline of October.
So what's going on?
Here are the facts: Chief Jackson agreed to bar his officers from wearing the bracelets while in uniform and on duty. Ferguson police and the Justice Department have been investigating the August 9 shooting of Michael Brown. A grand jury is deliberating about whether to charge Wilson. Ferguson is a predominantly African American city but there are only three black police officers on the 53-person force.
And here's the truth: Black folks have a right to be skeptical. White police officers in Ferguson have decided to rally around their fellow cop who shot Brown which completely decimates the credibility between white police and the black community while police, who took an oath to protect and serve, are patrolling the streets.
So who exactly are these cops protecting and serving? And when did it become acceptable – and legal – for police officers to form a support group for one of their own during an active shooting death investigation and a grand jury inquiry?
Chief Jackson should be reprimanded – or fired — to allowing it. He only took action against his officers because the Justice Department forced his hand. And that's why Jackson's long-delayed apology to the Brown family seems hollow and phony.
And here's another very disturbing racially-charged development on Jackson's watch: Lopez also urged Jackson to ensure that his officers wear their name tags in keeping with department policy. Black residents noticed that Ferguson police officers were patrolling without name tags — or with their names covered by black tape.
Really? It smacks of a criminal conspiracy in the making.
"Allowing officers to remain anonymous when they interact with the public contributes to mistrust and undermines accountability," Lopez wrote to Jackson. "The failure to wear name plates conveys a message to community members that, through anonymity, officers may seek to act with impunity."
It also says to me that these police officers in Ferguson have absolutely no respect for the people they serve and they are showing complete disdain for the entire black community. For police officers to cover their name tags with black tape is tantamount to wearing a white hood: They can do their worst to black residents and not be identified.
That's not law enforcement – it's unapologetic vigilantly behavior and it should be illegal. These cops are guilty of insubordination and they have no business on the Ferguson police force. If they don't want residents to know who they are, then they should get out of law enforcement immediately.
And it's not too late for Police Chief Tom Jackson to do the right thing: He should place his name plate, gun, and badge on his desk, offer his letter of resignation, and follow the other racially-misguided cops out of the building. What do you think?
Ohio State University is giving the famed HBCU bands a good run for their money. The Ohio State University marching band who has generated headlines lately for their elaborate halftime shows is coordinated by a team of people that includes Michael Smith, the African-American assistant director of marching and athletic bands. Their tributes to Michael Jackson and to classic TV half-time shows have become something of collegiate legend as of late. "We're just trying to bring some good music to the people," Smith told the TJMS.
Here's another example of their on-field wizardry – this time, their version of the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, complete with the famous yellow-brick road. The band must be inspiration – Ohio State is among the leaders in the BCS – with a 3-1 record and a two-game winning streak.
Young Jeezy and Kendrick Lamar may be attracting attention from fans with the remix to Jeezy's single "Holy Ghost," but the song is garnering a different type of look from Bishop T.D. Jakes.
MadameNoire.com reports the pastor's legal team will be taking legal action against the song for the unauthorized use of his popular sermon "Don't Let The Chatter Stop You." An annotated version of the message featured in the into to the "Holy Ghost" remix includes Jakes preaching the following part:
To tell myself, I'm still on fire.
I'm under attack, but I'm still on fire
I got some chatter, but I'm still on fire
I got some threat, but I'm still on fire
I got some liabilities, but I'm still on fire If it's not amazing that I'm on fire
I've been to hell and back, but I'm still on fire
Jakes' sermon, along with verses from Jeezy and Lamar, make up the content for the "Holy Ghost" remix. In his verse, Jeezy reminisces over days as a drug dealer in order to make money in addition to talking about his how his life is now after he became famous.
Lamar goes in next with bars that go into how he enjoys the materialism and sexual experiences of his new life but questions if he is a true role model by doing so. According to reports, the song title, "Holy Ghost" is based on the nickname Jeezy has for his Rolls Royce. On Tuesday, the following statement was posted on Facebook regarding the song:
Since the release of the statement, no updates regarding specific legal action for the case has been given.N
ews of the case comes amid the recent release of Jeezy's latest album, "Seen It All: The Autobiography."
On Tuesday in Illinois, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel called on the state's General Assembly to decriminalize marijuana possession statewide and to reduce the penalty to a misdemeanor for those caught with 1 gram or less of any controlled substance. For the full story CLICK HERE
An anonymous hacker has struck again and this time more Black actresses were the victims. A week or so ago, an anonymous hacker released a series of photos of celebrity women including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, actress/model Kate Upton and several other actresses and athletes. Singer/actress Jill Scott was one of them, although she later said that one of the photos wasn't her.
In this latest hack, uploaded as the first ones were, to the website 4chan, which is known as a hangout for hackers and various web subcultures, nude photos reportedly taken by Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good and Rihanna were posted online.
As Rihanna has been hacked in the past and has taken naked photos and posted them online herself (leading to her being banned from Instagram) she didn't release any statement, but recently married Union responded by reporting the violation to the FBI. She and husband Dwyane Wade released a joint statement to TMZ.
"It has come to our attention that our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband and myself, have been leaked by some vultures.
"I can't help but to be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of color, have been victimized, and the power over their own bodies taken from them. These atrocities against women and children continue worldwide.
"For anyone out there also being affected by these and other hacking and hate crimes – We send our love, support and prayers. We have done nothing wrong." Good took to Instagram to post a response, saying those who reposted the photos should be ashamed of themselves.
Oh yeah, some Kim Kardashian nudes hit the web, as well. So far, she hasn't responded.
Keyshia Cole is a free woman after she spent a little time in lockup yesterday for allegedly attacking a woman in Birdman's condo.
The "Heaven Sent" singer was in for a rather unpleasant surprise when she showed up at Birdman's West Los Angeles home around 5 a.m. on Friday. TMZ.com reports that she thought it would be cute to do a pop-up because she's rumored to be dating the Cash Money CEO.
When she walked into Bridman's place, she went off when she found another woman was already there. According to insiders, Keyshia attacked the unidentified guest; she must really have been trying to mess up her perceived rival because the siren is said to have left scratches all over the woman's face.
Cops hauled Keyshia off to jail when they arrived at the scene, arresting her for battery and her reckless driving warrant. She didn't stay behind bars for long as she was released on $46,000 bail.
Neither Keyshia nor her people have spoken out on the arrest at this time, and there's no word on when she may be due in court at this time.
The Hollywood Reporter got hot hold of the April deposition tied to the lawsuit from Marvin Gaye's family against Robin Thicke and producer Pharrell Williams alleging they used elements of Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" for "Blurred Lines" without permission.
While Thicke maintains that the song isn't stolen, according to his testimony, not only did he lie repeatedly about co-writing the song, he also was in the throes of a serious poll and alcohol addiction when he recorded the single and did the subsequent promotion.
Below is the exchange when the Gayes' lawyer asks Thicke if he was in the studio when the song was created:
Q: Were you present during the creation of 'Blurred Lines'? Thicke: I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there.
Q: When the rhythm track was being created, were you there with Pharrell? Thicke: To be honest, that's the only part where — I was high on Vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn't want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song. Later in the deposition, Thicke says he was "high and drunk every time I did an interview last year" and that his honesty issues led to his split with Patton.
Q: Do you consider yourself an honest person? Thicke: No. That's why I'm separated. …
Q: Do you pick and choose when to tell the truth? Thicke: Absolutely not. I told my wife the truth. That's why she left me. When asked if he was high or drunk during the deposition, Thicke said he had been off pills for two months, but was still drinking.
"When your wife leaves you, it gives you good reason to sober up," he said. And he wasn't just high in the studio. Thicke also admitted during the deposition that he was high when Oprah Winfrey interviewed him for "Oprah's Next Chapter" — and pretty much every other day, too.
"Every day I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day and then I would fill up a water bottle with vodka and drink it before and during my interviews. … The 'Oprah' one I remember because it stands out. It was in the afternoon. … It was actually a Norco (that he took), which is like two Vicodin in one pill. … I was drinking openly in front of everyone, but no, nobody else besides my personal assistant would have known I was taking Vicodin."
*(Los Angeles) – American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard seeks to preserve the music of historical spirituals through "The Normal Hill Jubilee Documentary" Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign which runs throughout the month of September.
"Please join me, in doing something special, preserving a piece of American history," said Studdard who has found success in both the R & B and Gospel music genres.
The Normal Hill Jubilee Documentary will examine the evolution of an art form and the deep- seated need to express faith in song. This film will capture the untold stories from historians, Freedom Riders and include interviews with celebrities, civil rights activists and everyday people. This inspiring documentary is being constructed to understand spirituals, which are so prominent during times of strife.
Watch Ruben Studdard explain the importance of the campaign in his own words here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bq3Bo-IDNc (or scroll down below to watch it).
The Grammy-nominated, top –selling recording artist and television's "The Biggest Loser" contender Ruben Studdard will also via the project partner with a College or University to produce and create along with current music students a live recording of 10 spirituals. Donations are being accepted via Kickstarter to fund the project at the link here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1309582072/the-normal-hill-jubilee
*Gladys Knight has the perfect singer-actress in mind to play her if a biopic was to ever be made — Destiny's Child former second lead singer, Kelly Rowland. It turns out Knight is a big fan of Rowland's and if anyone wanted to cast Rowland as the veteran singer, she would have a legend's approval. "You guys remember when I asked you all who you'd like to see play the role of Gladys Knight in my biopic? Well… Here's what I think:) @kellyrowland," she posted on Instagram. Equally known as the lead singer of the popular group Gladys Knight and the Pips, she believes the talented "Dirty Laundry" singer is the perfect choice to play her. Read more
Pregnancy rumors are surrounding Michael Jackson's 16-year-old daughter Paris today after paps caught her on a dinner date sporting what looked like a baby bump.
A source was quoted by the Daily Star newspaper as saying: "I saw her at dinner and she twice made a toast drinking water instead of wine. That and the prominent stomach bulge got people talking."
News that the troubled star may be expecting her first child comes just days after she was reportedly spotted looking at engagement rings with her supposed boyfriend.
Paris has stayed away from the spotlight for the past year while attending therapeutic boarding school Diamond Ranch Academy in Utah following her attempted suicide last June.
The teen – who has grown close to her biological mother Debbie Rowe over the past 12 months – was given the all-clear from doctors in May and is reportedly adamant she won't return to the $14,000-per-month private school this fall.
TMZ has released the footage from the elevator where NFL's Ray Rice brutally assaulted his then fiance at the Revel Hotel and Casino. To see the full video of what happened before and after the altercation in the elevator CLICK HERE
NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Rosie Perez and Republican media operative Nicolle Wallace are joining ABC's daytime chat show, "The View." The network said Wednesday that the two will join Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell on the panel for the show's new season, beginning Sept. 15.
Goldberg is the only holdover on the program, where creator Barbara Walters retired from an onscreen role this spring and longtime producer Bill Geddie left after learning a new offscreen boss was taking over.
Perez is an actress and choreographer who has appeared in the movies "Do the Right Thing" and "Fearless." Wallace, a political analyst for MSNBC, was communications chief for President George W. Bush's reelection campaign and was an adviser on John McCain's 2008 campaign.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Brown pleaded guilty on Tuesday to hitting a man outside a Washington hotel, an assault that occurred while the singer was on probation for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna.
Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to time served. He spent two days in a District of Columbia jail in this case.
The Grammy-winning singer was arrested in October. The victim told police Brown hit him after he tried to get in a picture the singer was taking with two women.
Brown had previously pleaded not guilty in the case. His trial had been set for April, but it was delayed.
At the time of his Washington arrest, Brown was on probation in a felony assault case in California for attacking his then-girlfriend, pop star Rihanna, hours before the 2009 Grammy Awards. Because Brown was still on probation, the outcome of his Washington case had potential repercussions in California. During a court hearing in May, a Los Angeles judge sentenced Brown to serve an additional 131 days in jail. He was released in June.
Brown's attorney, Danny Onorato, argued that Brown had already been punished extensively for the assault, noting the time he spent in jail in California and four months he spent receiving inpatient counseling after his probation was revoked.
"To say that he's been punished severely in this matter is an understatement," Onorato said. He said Brown's career has been on hold for nearly a year and he wanted to take responsibility for his actions so he could go back to work, including a tour in support of a new album.
Brown spoke only briefly, saying: "I would like to say to the court that I'm sorry." He did not comment as he left court, swarmed by photographers and a handful of fans.
Brown's bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, was also charged in the same Washington scuffle. He was accused of being the second person after Brown to strike Parker Adams outside the W hotel. Hollosy was convicted of misdemeanor assault in April. He has not yet been sentenced.
Brown, 24, had a squeaky clean image before his attack on Rihanna, but since then he has had several flare-ups that have been reported to authorities and noted by Los Angeles prosecutors. Brown broke a window after a 2011 "Good Morning America" interview in New York and was accused of snatching a woman's cellphone in Miami after she tried to snap pictures of the singer. He was also slightly injured in a New York nightclub brawl and, earlier this year, was accused of being involved in a fistfight with Frank Ocean's entourage over a parking spot at a West Hollywood recording studio.
He was not charged in any of the incidents, but they have tarnished his public image, even as legions of fans continue to support him. Many of Brown's more than 13 million Twitter followers continue to come to the singer's defense and attack his critics.