*California is now one step closer to making racially-motivated 911 calls a “hate crime” punishable by jail or a hefty fine.
AB 1775, by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Huntington Park), would increase the criminal penalties imposed when a person knowingly makes a false 911 call for the purpose of harassing another. The maximum penalty would be up to $2,000 and a year in jail. The bill also classifies blatantly false reports as a form of intimidation, allowing the victim of these calls to file a lawsuit against the person who knowingly made the false report.
The legislation was inspired by countless racial encounters that have been recorded and gone viral to incite social media fury, including the white woman in New York City’s Central Park who called 911 on a Black man because he asked her to leash her dog. There was also BBQ Becky” at Oakland’s Lake Merritt, who called police on two African-American men using a grill. And don’t forget about “Permit Patty,” who called San Francisco police to report that an 8-year-old Black girl was selling bottles of water without a permit.
The bill already passed in both the Senate and Assembly. It’s now in the hands of Gov. Gavin Newsom for review.
AB 1775 was one of several criminal justice reform bills passed Friday in California’s Senate Public Safety Committee. If signed into law, police throughout California will no longer be able to use chokeholds or rubber bullets and tear gas. They’ll also have to intervene if they see a fellow officer committing misconduct.
Watch a report about the legislation below:
Lawsuit Accuses Ed Sheeran of Copyright Infringement of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’
*British pop star Ed Sheeran is being sued for copyright infringement for lifting parts of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” for his track “Thinking Out Loud.”
The 1973 song was co-written by Ed Townsend, whose family filed a lawsuit against Sheeran in 2016, accusing him of lifting the “melody, harmony and rhythmic components” from Gaye’s track, per ABC News.
Sheeran initially responded to the suit by claiming public domain gave him permission to use the chord progressions and drum patterns for “Let’s Get It On.”
During a hearing on Tuesday in front of Sony Records, Townsend’s daughter was joined by music icon George Clinton to fight for Black artists.
“These offenses aren’t just taking place in the streets against black individuals in this country. They’re taking place in the boardrooms. They’re taking place in meetings where there’s no representation,” said Keisha Rice, the attorney for Kathryn Townsend.
“Theft and bullying has been the only priority of the record labels’ agenda. It stops today, Sony, Atlantic and all the rest of them. We’re coming for our 40 acres and a mule plus and interest. And know that we’re not going to be silent. It don’t stop till my casket drop,” said Kathryn Townsend.
“Theft of the music is the new sharecroppers,” said George Clinton. “Not only do they take the music and the land back, they take the 40 acres and the mule back. They get it all from the money that’s being made from IP (intellectual property). So the artists don’t have a chance. I have 20 artists in my band who never got paid for all those samples you heard.”
The hearing for the lawsuit against Sheeran has a trial date set for Nov. 9.
Townsend’s estate is seeking songwriting credit and a portion of the profits from Sheeran’s song.
NAACP Denounces Decision to Indict Only 1 Officer in Connection to Murder of Breonna Taylor
*Washington, D.C. — The NAACP released the following statement regarding Louisville city official’s decision to indict 1 police officer in connection with the murder of Breonna Taylor:
The injustice we’re witnessing at this moment can be sensed throughout the nation. Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s failure to bring substantial charges against the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor causes angst and pain for far too many Americans still reeling from a pandemic. The charges of wanton endangerment in connection with the murder of Breonna Taylor does not go far enough and is a miscarriage of justice for her family and the people of Louisville. Atrocities committed against the people of this country by the authorities cannot and should not go unanswered when miscalculations are made. The continuous and blatant failure of a system sworn to protect the very citizens it endangers is all too telling of its efficiency and viability.
The justice system failed Breonna Taylor and, as such, failed us. From the officers’ ill-informed conduct to the city official’s delayed response, their actions have discredited their pledge and responsibility to the greater community. It is unacceptable that, once again, culpability has eluded those guilty of state-sanctioned murder.
In this case, and countless others, we must ask ourselves and those elected to serve, “Who is responsible for this system and its outcomes?” We must demand that our system of justice holds people working within it accountable. Black lives cannot continue to be considered collateral damage in these instances. The recent announcement of 1 indictment against the police officer Brett Hankison proves city officials believe otherwise.
This devastating blow to the community of Louisville and the nation is heart-wrenching. Our efforts to realize justice for Breonna Taylor should be redirected to bring attention to the faulty and burdensome justice system that compromises our society’s moral and humane fabric. Our course of action is to vote and make it abundantly clear that we will not tolerate the injustice we’re observing. Far too many Black lives have been lost due to the egregious malpractice of police officers, elected officials, and the justice system as a whole. We must press forward in our pursuit of dismantling oppressive ideologies that plague our country so we can reach parity and equity on all fronts.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.
Bobby Shmurda to Serve Max Sentence After Parole Denied
*Bobby Shmurda has been denied parole and will continue to serve his max prison sentence until December 2021.
The 26-year-old Brooklyn rapper (Ackquille Pollard) was interviewed by the New York state board of parole last Tuesday, and he was denied an early release, according to Variety.
The rapper has been locked up since December 2014, when more than 15 defendants were charged with various crimes, including murder, attempted murder and drug dealing. Shmurda was facing a maximum sentence of 8 – 25 years on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, reckless endangerment, and drug and gun possession, EUR previously reported.
“Following his Sept. 15, 2020, interview with the Board of Parole, Ackquille Pollard was denied release and given a hold until the maximum expiration of his sentence on December 11, 2021,” a spokesperson from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision tells Complex.
Shmurda’s arrest came months after the artist signed a seven-figure deal with Epic Records. He served two years in prison while awaiting trial, and pleaded guilty in 2016. His seven year sentence was reduced to five years after he was given credit for those two years. He is being held at the Clinton Correctional Facility located in Dannemora, New York
On August 4, Shmurda’s mother Leslie Pollard wished her son a happy 26th birthday on Instagram.
“My boy is Caring, Sharing, Sweet, Loving, Loyal Energetic, Empathetic and Brave he is such a unique person,” she wrote. “I am asking God to continue showering you with blessings my boy and I want you to understand that God has his way and he wouldn’t bring you this far to let you down.”
View this post on Instagram
I am screaming Happy Birthday to my youngest Chewy Chew and man I don’t know where to start I guess you had to be there. “SPECIAL” is being modest. I am trying to make those of you who don’t know the character relate..😁😁😁 This guy is overloaded with everything he has so much Personality andTalent. My boy is Caring, Sharing, Sweet, Loving, Loyal Energetic, Empathetic and Brave he is such a unique person. I often look at this kid and just smile as a know it took two very special people to produce such a Gem and with alllllllllllllllllllll that Mr. CHEWY had put me through I wouldn’t trade my baby for the world. I am asking God to continue showering you with blessings my boy and I want you to understand that God has his way and he wouldn’t bring you this far to let you down . I wish you Longevity, Great Health, Wealth and Prosperity and may all you life’s desires be fulfilled. LAST ONE IN BABY WE SHOOTING FOR ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY!!!!!🍾🍾🍾🎂🎂🎂🎁🎁🎊🎊🎊🎊🎉🎉🎉🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈
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