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Published: Thursday, August 27, 2015 @ 1:45 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2015 @ 1:45 PM
SOUTH LYON, Mich. — The family of a man who is accused of robbing a bank says the criminal act was a father’s desperate attempt to pay for his baby daughter’s chemotherapy.
Brian Randolph, 23, is accused of robbing a credit union in his neighborhood on Aug. 12, according to WXYZ. Randolph was arrested two days later. Surveillance video showed Randolph handing the teller a note that said he had a gun, but he never used one during the robbery.
Randolph’s girlfriend told the news station that while she couldn’t be sure what he was thinking during the robbery, that “the only thing I can think about is him trying to take care of his child."
The suspect’s aunt told WXYZ that Randolph said, “I want to provide for my child.”
On the family’s GoFundMe page, the baby’s mother, Asia Dupree, said that Randolph robbed a bank to “be able to provide chemo and anything else for his daughter and provide for his family.”
However, police told WXYZ that Randolph had in his possession expensive merchandise, like Nike Lebron shoes, a Gucci bag and other clothing accessories.
Randolph’s daughter, Brailynn Randolph, is undergoing treatment for retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:23 PM
After weeks of negotiations, Congress unveiled a $1.3 trillion funding measure for the federal government on Wednesday night, adding billions in new spending for both the Pentagon and domestic spending programs, adding in a pair of bills dealing with school safety and gun violence, but including no deals on some politically difficult issues like the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”
The 2,232 pages of bill text were quietly posted by GOP leaders after yet another day of closed door negotiations, which included a trip down to the White House by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“No bill of this size is perfect,” Ryan said in a written statement, as he touted the extra money in the plan for the U.S. military.
“But this legislation addresses important priorities and makes us stronger at home and abroad,” Ryan added.
Among the items included in the Omnibus funding bill:
+ The bipartisan “Fix NICS” bill, which would press states and federal agencies to funnel more information into the instant background check system for gun buyers.
+ The “STOP School Violence Act,” which would send grant money to local governments to help schools better recognize possible violent threats in schools and their communities.
+ A series of corrections to the recent tax cut law.
Even before the text of the bill was unveiled, a number of Republicans were not pleased, arguing the GOP has done little to merit the support of voters back home, saying it will mean more spending and a bigger government.
“That is not in any way close to what the election was about,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who argued the President should veto the bill.
Also causing some irritation was the fact that the bill was negotiated with little input from most lawmakers, and sprung on them just hours before the House and Senate were due to head out of town on a two week Easter break.
“There is not a single member of Congress who can physically read it, unless they are a speed reader,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
One of the many provisions in the bill included a $174,000 payment to the estate of the late Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who died earlier this week.
Those type of payments are typical when a lawmaker dies while in office.
GOP leaders hope to vote on the Omnibus in the House on Thursday, as lawmakers are ready to go home for a two-week break for Easter.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:25 PM
— Facebook is under fire following this week’s revelation that data company Cambridge Analytica acquired data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. The news prompted a #DeleteFacebook social media campaign urging users to say goodbye to the platform once and for all.
But leaving Facebook isn’t that simple. Luckily, you don’t have to delete the platform altogether to ensure your data is safe.
Here are seven tips to lock down your privacy without leaving social media entirely:
Download your Facebook data to see exactly what they know about you.
If you’re concerned about the information you have out there, Facebook allows users to download a copy of their own data, including archived posts, messages and advertisements you’ve clicked on, according to Digital Trends.
How: General Account Settings --> Download a copy of your Facebook data --> Start My Archive.
Check the third-party apps connected to your account.
Under General Account Settings, click on the Apps page to see a list of apps you’ve connected to your Facebook account. If you see an app you’re wary of, hover over it and delete it immediately.
Opt out of Facebook API sharing altogether.
On the same page as the Apps, scroll down until you see Apps, Websites and Plugins. Hit Edit to Disable Platform. This will sign you out of all websites, apps and other services connected to your Facebook account.
Log out of Facebook when you’re not using it.
It’s a simple rule, but how often do you actually log out? According to Tom’s Guide, if you leave your Facebook logged in on your computer, it can still track your movements and share your information with advertisers and other parties.
Adjust your ad settings or delete interests to prevent ad targeting.
Under General Account Settings, scroll down to the Ads page and click on Your Interests. On this page, Facebook uses the selection of interests across a variety of categories, including entertainment, news, hobbies and more to determine what ads you’ll see. You can hover over a selection to delete an interest, or, you can scroll down to Ad Settings.
Under Ad Settings, you have the option of adjusting:
- Ads based on your use of websites and apps (Can you see online interest-based ads from Facebook?)
- Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies (Can your Facebook ad preferences be used to show you ads on devices such as computers, mobile devices and connected TVs?)
- Ads with your social actions (Who can see your social actions paired with ads?)
Limit who can see your posts, friends list and more under privacy settings.
Under General Account Settings, click Privacy. There, you can limit who sees your future posts, your friends list or who can look you up using the email used on Facebook. You can also click on Timeline and Tagging Settings to adjust preferences for who can post on your timeline, see what posts are on your timeline and more.
Turn off location services.
Turn off location data to limit Facebook’s access and ensure your own physical safety. You can do so by going to General Account Settings --> Location. Check your location services preferences on your smartphone as well.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 8:12 PM
ATLANTA — A fired Atlanta Hawks employee is suing the organization, alleging it discriminated against white employees and terminated her when she complained.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, Margo Kline says Hawks external affairs director David Lee, who is black, promoted a culture of discrimination against white people, especially white women. Kline, who is white, worked in the NBA team’s corporate social responsibility department as a community development coordinator for five years.
Kline alleges that Lee was dismissive and exclusionary toward white employees and would often make jokes about “white culture,” hiring and promoting black employees — who Kline said were less qualified — over white people, according to the lawsuit.
Kline said the organization ignored her complaints and instead unfairly scrutinized her work and impeded her ability to do her job, often gossiping and ridiculing her. The lawsuit also alleges white coworkers were told not to speak with Kline or they could lose their job.
The Hawks fired Kline in March 2017, three weeks after a final written warning regarding her conduct and performance, according to the lawsuit. Kline, who said she had never been written up before, claims she repeatedly asked for ways she could improve but was ignored.
Kline filed an employment discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who gave her a notice of her right to sue in December.
She is asking for punitive damages and a trial jury.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:56 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Family, friends and the Sacramento community are demanding answers in the death of an unarmed black man killed by police in his own backyard Sunday night, holding nothing but a cellphone in his hand.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told Fox40 that officers fired on Stephon Alonzo “Zoe” Clark a total of 20 times. Clark, 23, died at the scene, leaving behind two young sons.
Hahn was on hand Tuesday night at a City Council meeting, where several residents of the community protested the officer-involved shooting.
“To hell with Sac PD,” resident Rebecca Person said, according to the news station. “I’m sick of them always murdering black youth.”
“What is the police’s job to do? To shoot people that are unarmed in their own backyard?” another resident, Robert Copeland, asked.
Fox40 reported that the Sacramento Police Department is under fire for its morphing story of what Clark was carrying.
“They put one story out that he may have been armed. They put out another that he had a toolbar, whatever that is,” Tanya Faison, a member of the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, told the news station. “Then they put out that he had a wrench and then they put out that he just had a cellphone.
“They need to get it together.”
The two officers involved in the shooting are being criticized for waiting five minutes, until additional officers came to the scene, to handcuff Clark and begin rendering first aid.
Department officials are also facing criticism for not promptly informing Clark’s family, including the grandparents and siblings he lived with, that he was the one gunned down in their yard.
Fox40 reported that Clark’s family called 911 for help after hearing gunshots right outside their window.
Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, told the Sacramento Bee that she was sitting in her dining room when she heard the shots.
“The only thing that I heard was, ‘pow, pow, pow, pow,’ and I got to the ground,” Thompson told the newspaper.
Thompson described crawling to where her 7-year-old granddaughter slept on a couch in an adjacent den, where she got the girl onto the floor. She then made her way to her husband, who uses a wheelchair, and he dialed 911.
Thompson said neither she nor her husband heard officers issue any commands prior to firing the fatal gunshots.
The grieving grandmother told the Bee that investigators interviewed her for hours about what she heard, but never told her it was her grandson who had been killed. She finally looked out a window and saw his body.
“I opened that curtain and he was dead. I started screaming,” Thompson said.
Hahn said he and his investigators initially had no idea Clark was related to the homeowners.
“We found out they were related because the family told us so,” the chief told Fox40.
Hahn said in a news release Monday that officers were called to the family’s neighborhood around 9:15 p.m. Sunday on a report of a man breaking several car windows. The suspect was described as a thin man, just over 6 feet in height and wearing a black hoodie and dark pants. The caller said the man was hiding in a backyard.
Dispatchers sent officers to the scene, where the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department also had a helicopter searching for the suspect from the air, the news release said. About 12 minutes after the 911 call was made, the crew in the helicopter told officers on the ground they saw the alleged suspect in a backyard, where he picked up what looked like a toolbar and broke the sliding glass door of the home before running south toward the front of the house.
That house was next door to the Thompsons’ home.
The officers on the ground, directed to his location by the helicopter crew, confronted Clark as he came up along the side of his grandparents’ home, the news release said. When they ordered him to show his hands, he fled to the backyard, officials said.
“Officers pursued the suspect and located him in the backyard of the residence,” the news release said. “The suspect turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him.”
Believing the object was a gun, the officers opened fire, the news release said. Clark was struck multiple times, though the exact number of gunshot wounds was not immediately known.
A follow-up news release issued later Monday stated that no weapon was found near Clark’s body.
“After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms,” the news release stated. “The only item found near the suspect was a cellphone.”
Homicide investigators and crime scene technicians said they found three vehicles with damage they believe Clark caused, as well as the shattered sliding glass door that the helicopter crew said they witnessed him break, the news release said.
The only items investigators found that could have been the toolbar described by the helicopter crew included a cinder block and a piece of aluminum that may have come from a gutter. Both were found near the broken sliding glass door, the Bee reported.
Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the newspaper said. One of the officers has eight years of law enforcement experience, half of it with the Sacramento department.
The other officer has six years total experience, two of those in Sacramento.
Sacramento city policy requires any body-camera footage of an officer-involved shooting to be made public within 30 days, the Bee reported.
Hahn said he plans to release the officers’ body camera footage, as well as footage from a camera aboard the helicopter, after it has been shared with Clark’s family, Fox40 reported. He anticipated having the footage released by week’s end.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the city attorney’s office and the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability are investigating the shooting, as is the department’s homicide and internal affairs units.