All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"

Domestic Violence Charges Against Ray Rice Dismissed

May 21st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Ray Rice Offered $1 Million Endorsement Deal

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Just over a year after Ray Rice was arrested following a brutal altercation with then fiancée Janay Palmer, the charges against him have been dismissed.

According to USA Today, New Jersey Judge Michael Donio dismissed the charges against Rice after Atlantic City prosecutor confirmed that Rice had fulfilled the requirements of his pretrial intervention. Per the deal, which kept the former Baltimore Raven out of prison, Rice was required to attend anger management counseling and pay a $125 fine. Rice was charged with third-degree assault in February of 2014 after the highly publicized incident.

“This decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation,” acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said of the intervention program last year. “After considering all relevant information in light of applicable law, it was determined that this was the appropriate disposition.”

According to New Jersey guidelines, defendants who commit violent crimes should “generally be rejected” from the pretrial intervention program, but McClain justified Rice’s admission into the program after reviewing the circumstances of the 2014 incident.

The program was set in place to keep low-level suspects out of prison. In March, Rice and Palmer celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

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Why Do We Keep Ignoring All The Black Women Who Die From Police Brutality?

May 20th, 2015 - By Deron Dalton
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Black Women Who Died From Police Brutality

About 100 people attended Rekia Boyd’s rally on Wednesday, April 22 in New York City’s Union Square. The number of those in support of the young unarmed Black woman who died at the hands of police officer Dante Servin was much lower compared to those protesting for unarmed black men like Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. PHOTO BY DERON DALTON

Rekia Boyd, 22, was shot in the back of her head when Dante Servin, an off-duty police officer, shot into a crowd five times on March 22, 2012 in Chicago. She died two days later.

Servin claimed Boyd’s friend Antonio Cross pulled out an object from his pocket and pointed it at him. Servin thought it was a gun, and claimed he feared for his life. The object was a cell phone. Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter but was found not guilty last month.

There’s been outrage, but only about 100 people attended a rally for Boyd in New York City’s Union Square on April 22, according to For Harriet.

According to social justice organizers, Black women as both leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement and victims of police violence don’t get enough support. They receive little of the media coverage that is often centered around black men.

Black Women Who Died From Police Brutality

Janisha Gabriel, 34, website designer of blacklivesmatter.com, didn’t expect thousands of people to turn out. “I would say the crowd was very responsive and very receptive. And I was very moved by the poetry that was shared and by the words that were shared.” PHOTO BY DERON DALTON

Janisha Gabriel, 34, website designer of blacklivesmatter.com, helped organize the rally for Boyd with Black Lives Matter: NYC. She expected a small turnout. She said larger white-run liberal organizations respond mainly to the deaths of Black men, due to social media campaigns and news coverage in recent years.

Gabriel’s goal is to grow public resistance around the deaths of Black women. She plans to launch a database in July, speakmyname.org, which will be a collection of Black (non-trans and trans) women and girls who were victims of state, domestic and police violence. Thus far, she has about 700 names.

Timeline: Black Woman And Girl Victims Of Police Violence Since 2008:

And while she was glad to see people come out in support of Boyd, black men in particular, she would like to see a lot more.

“I was happy to see the Black men that were there,” Gabriel said. “But ultimately we need for a lot of Black men to be present in these moments.

When domestic violence is one of our leading causes of deaths and Black trans women have a life expectancy of 35 years of age, we need Black men to be very present with us to have some deep conversations.”

According to Gabriel, these conversations can’t take place because there’s an issue with media response. She said Black women and girls as victims of violence don’t make national news.

“Media has responded to Black deaths specifically because of the social media campaigns around Trayvon Martin,” Gabriel said. She calls the deaths of Black men a popular topic and said people are interested in seeing Black men as threatening.

“Black men’s deaths [are] associated with the concept of Black men being inherently violent, which is why people are always justifying the deaths of Black men. The media plays into that.” Gabriel wants to change the narratives to include all Black people.

Instavideo Q&As On Challenges Black Women Face As Victims Of Police Violence:

Black Women Who Died From Police Brutality

Until we as men are willing to bring out these stories and be just as enraged by the deaths of our women as much as we are of our men in our communities, then it’s going to continue to be the same silence around it,” said Luke “Aidge” Patterson, 35, coordinator of People’s Justice. “But I do think that people are beginning to see what is going on with women.” PHOTO BY DERON DALTON

Luke “Aidge” Patterson, 35, coordinator of People’s Justice, an organization focused on police accountability, said it has taken a long time for even the deaths of Black men to be recognized.

“It’s only been recently the news has been covering these cases that happen and it’s only because people have been rising up in mass numbers,” Patterson said. “When are we in our own communities going to hold up our sisters to be just as important as our brothers?”

Patterson said even though Black men face oppression, with the privilege men hold in society, the lives of women continue to be devalued.

“It is very real that Black men are under attack in this country, but recognizing the role of that patriarchy and that male-dominated society — it really shows within how we do undervalue the lives of women,” Patterson said.

Andrea Ritchie, 46, Soros Justice Fellow at Streetwise and Safe, an organization focused on sharing the ins and outs of encountering police as LGBTQ youth of color, said Black women are expected to play the roles of the mother, partner and sister of Black male victims of police brutality.

“Black women are saying that not only do we play those roles, we are also directly targeted by police for the same kinds of racial profiling, police brutality, and police killings,” Ritchie said. She added that sexual assault is the second most reported form of police abuse after excessive force, according to a 2010 Cato Institute study.

“Black women are starting to say, ‘No! It’s time we start standing up for all members of our communities and we need people to stand up for us the way we stand up for them,’” Ritchie said.

Black Women Who Died From Police Brutality

“God bless Rekia. Her life matters, but so do all these other women who are trans. Their lives also matter,” said Ashley Love, 35, coordinator of Black Trans Women’s Lives Matter. “So next time invite five friends, invite 10 friends. We got to put the pressure on.” PHOTO BY DERON DALTON

Ashley Love, 35, coordinator of Black Trans Women’s Lives Matter, shared some words at Boyd’s rally last month.

“Black women have been the strongest organizers since slavery and Jim Crow,” Love said. “And these are our sons, our brothers and our fathers that are being murdered, but when we need help sometimes I feel that they aren’t there. I was born with a medical condition. I am trans. But I don’t always feel comfortable disclosing that in some of these spaces because then I feel like the warmth goes to coldness. And it’s like, ‘Just be a cute little cheerleader and be there for the cause, but don’t talk about all that other stuff. It’s radical.’ All of our lives matter. Segregation was wrong for Black people, segregation is also wrong for transsexual people. We are not second-class women. We shouldn’t have to use separate restrooms and drink from separate drinking fountains, but that’s what’s going on right now.”

Love said Black transsexual and transgender women should be supported as well as all Black women. According to Ritchie, Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi  are game changers because they’re hoping to make Black women and trans people the center of the movement.

“Women aren’t often seen as leaders,” said Garza, 34. “That’s always a challenge, dealing with patriarchy. We just get ‘invisibilized’… and not just Patrisse, Opal and myself. This is largely women-led, largely queer-led and trans-led.”

Arielle Newton, 23, the editor-in-chief and founder of blackmillennials.com, said attention to the most oppressed is growing.

“Women, in particular, have been on the forefront. I feel like we have been uplifted within the movement,” Newton said. “Now can more be done? Absolutely.”

According to Ritchie, Black women victims of police brutality and misconduct are receiving attention, but not enough. Thursday, May 21, there will be a national call of action for Black women and girls to end state violence against them and remember the victims. Hopefully many more people will come out and speak up for them.

Follow BLK Social Journalist (#BLKSocialJ) on Twitter, @DeronDalton.

Brittney Griner And Glory Johnson Suspended By WNBA Following Domestic Violence Incident

May 15th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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It looks like Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson will be having an extended honeymoon. Earlier today, the WNBA announced that the newlyweds were both suspended due to a domestic violence incident that occurred back in April.

Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, will both be required to sit out the first seven regular games of the 2015-16 season. In a statement released by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie explains the suspension:

The WNBA takes all acts of violence extremely seriously. It is our strong belief that violence has absolutely no place in society, in sports or in this league.

As president, it is my responsibility to protect the league and uphold its values. Our athletes represent the WNBA, and they all must abide by the league’s standards of conduct. In this case, Brittney and Glory failed to do so, and that is unacceptable.

The WNBA immediately initiated its own investigation into the incident. It was extremely important for us to review the events thoroughly and carefully. Over the course of three weeks, the league conducted interviews with both players and three witnesses present for much of the altercation, and reviewed the police report, medical records, photos and other materials in order to determine the facts. Based on the WNBA’s investigation, the following summary of facts is largely undisputed.

In detail, Richie went on to discuss the incident that led to Johnson and Griner’s April arrest:

Brittney and Glory were involved in a physical altercation with each other at their home. It began when Glory pushed Brittney in the shoulder and Brittney pushed Glory in the back of the neck. The confrontation escalated to include wrestling, punches, and the throwing and swinging of various objects. Brittney received a bite wound on her finger and scratches on her wrist, and Glory received a scratch above her lip and was diagnosed with a concussion.

Neither woman will be paid during the suspension period. And in addition to the suspension, they will be required by the league to attend individual counseling.

Brittney and Glory’s conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the WNBA and violates applicable law. We also understand that people make mistakes, and that education and training are as important as imposing discipline.

Griner and Johnson exchanged vows Friday, May 8, just two weeks after the violent incident.

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Cleveland Cavaliers Apologize For Domestic Violence Video

May 7th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Cavaliers Domestic Violence Video

At last night’s playoffs match against the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers aired an arena video that rubbed many of their fans the wrong way.

In the video, a couple attempts to reenact the famous dance scene from 80s cult classic Dirty Dancing. Mid routine, the man tosses his girlfriend after he realizes that she’s rooting for the Bulls instead of the Cavaliers.

The commercial concludes with the couple sitting on the sofa while the woman holds an ice pack on her head.

“When it’s playoff basketball time, you have to be all in. So don’t make the same mistake she made,” a man says in a voiceover.

“I thought you were all in,” the actor says to his pretend girlfriend, who ditched her Bulls t-shirt for a Cavaliers one.

“I’m all in now. Let’s just watch the game.”

It was obvious that the team was trying to put their own spin on a popular United Healthcare commercial that depicts a similar scene—minus the domestic violence nod, of course—but this clearly went horribly wrong.

Earlier today, a spokesperson for the Cavs released a statement of apology regarding the video. It reads:

During a timeout at last night’s Cavaliers vs. Bulls playoff game at The Q in Cleveland, we ran a 1-minute in-arena video that was intended to be a humorous spoof on a popular commercial centered on a song and dance from the classic movie ‘Dirty Dancing.’ While the video was not intended to be offensive, it was a mistake to include content that made light of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a very serious matter and has no place in a parody video that plays in an entertainment venue. We sincerely apologize to those who have been affected by domestic violence for the obvious negative feelings caused by being exposed to this insensitive video.

The Cavaliers organization has a strong and lengthy track record of supporting domestic violence-related causes and efforts. We will continue to proudly work with our regional partners at the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center in support of their numerous programs to end domestic violence in our country once and for all.

Check out Cavaliers’ in-arena video and the United Healthcare commercial that inspired it on the next page. Let us know your thoughts.

“I See A Little Boy” Laila Ali Shares Her Thoughts On Floyd Mayweather

May 4th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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laila ali floyd mayweather feat

Before Mayweather fought and defeated Manny Pacquiao this weekend, in what was being touted the fight of the century, he made some interesting comments. Mayweather is known for being braggadocios. But he stunned quite a few folks when, during an interview with Stephen A. Smith, he said:

“No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that. But one thing I will do, I’m going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys because those are the guys that paved the way for me to be where I’m at today.”

This weekend, Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila Ali sat down with CBS Sports to discuss Mayweather’s comments and the issue of his domestic violence.

Laila Ali: Mayweather has recently said that he’s better than Muhammad Ali. 

Reporter: Those are fighting words. 

Laila Ali: That’s ok because I believe that as a fighter and a champion, especially as someone on his level, he should feel like that about himself. But that doesn’t make it true. The first thing I think about is, first of all, I don’t agree that he’s better than Muhammad Ali and that’s a whole ‘nother conversation. But I think about the man my father is, outside of the ring. So there’s times when–cuz I know Floyd, I know his family, Roger Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather Sr. both used to trained me. I’ve been in the gym with him. And there have been times when I wanted to reach out to him and have a conversation with him because I see a little boy, even though he’s a grown man. 

And I see a broken person. And I know when you have money and you have “power” and you have all these ‘yes’ people around you, sometimes you don’t have that person to really pull you aside and give it to you straight. So every once in a while, I’m just like ‘I need to reach out to Floyd and have a conversation with him’ because I don’t hate him. I dislike the way that he acts, I dislike the way that he treats people and I’m obviously I’m definitely not down with this beating up on women. Because that’s very cowardly. But the first thing I think about is he needs somebody to reach out to him and kind of guide him. 

If you read my essay from Friday, then you already know I agree. He has a problem and instead of continuing to ignore and rationalize it, it would be best if Mayweather sought the help he needs.

Still, there are others who think that Laila should have reached out to him herself before discussing Floyd and his domestic violence problem on national television.

I can’t argue with that. It would have been ideal. But I also feel that since Floyd has failed to address the seven documented instances of domestic violence privately; maybe now that it’s all in the open, he’ll have more an incentive.

Who knows.

What do you think about Laila Ali’s comments and the venue where she shared them?

You can watch her deliver her thoughts in the video below.

Fighting At Work, Abusing At Home: Is Anyone Else Troubled By Supporting Floyd Mayweather?

May 1st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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WENN

WENN

My parents love boxing. My dad loves to tell people stories about how he took my mother to a fight, when they were still dating, and she was so full of adrenaline that when a woman stood up in front of her, blocking her view, she subconsciously pushed her back down into her seat.

And though years later, my mother began to find it too barbaric, my father is still a fan.

Earlier this week, he and I were talking and I asked him about his plans for the weekend. He said that he was planning on inviting our male family members and his friends over to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. But he was a little disappointed that the receiver connecting his sound systems to the television wasn’t working, so they wouldn’t be able to experience the fight in surround sound.

He was disappointed but he was still going to host, particularly since my grandfather, my dad’s father-in-law, was so excited about it.

But a few days later, my dad called us back to say that he was having additional reservations about paying $100 for the event.

“You know, I just don’t know if I can put money into Mayweather’s pocket knowing what he does to women.”

Well.

If you’re unfamiliar, Floyd Mayweather has a well-documented history of abuse against women, both physical and emotional.

In 2010, he pled guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child Josie Harris. He spent two months in jail for the crime. He posted images of ex girlfriend Shantel Jackson’s abortion and defended the decision saying that Shantel asked him to make her famous.

His own son, Koraun, called him a coward for not only the way he treated his mother, but refusing to admit it. Some of his children have witnessed the abuse and have been threatened by their father. He’s pulled a gun on the woman with whom he was in an intimate relationship.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s also the slut-shaming. Mayweather was quoted as saying, “If a female shows half of her body, she’s asking to be disrespected.” 

It’s a lot y’all.

In fact, Deadspin reported that there are at least seven documented instances of assault with five different women attached to Mayweather’s name.

He has a problem. And after my father did some research and learned some of this information, he just couldn’t support him.

I spoke to him today about his decision and he said, “It’s too concentrated an effort to abuse women. It’s so hypocritical that we made such a big deal about Ray Rice. Ray Rice is a choirboy compared to Mayweather.”

And while my father came to the conclusion, it wasn’t an easy one.

“I appreciate boxing and I appreciate his style. He’s a bad boy! But every penny you pay, he gets a percentage.”

My dad admits that he wants to see the fight and he’s certainly receiving quite a bit of pressure to watch it. My 96-year-old grandfather called my father again today asking him if he was sure he didn’t want to watch the fight. When my dad said no, he wasn’t paying for it, my grandfather, who is a devout, old-school, non-imbibing Christian, suggested that they go and watch it at a local bar.

My dad says my grandfather is looking to him for permission.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is real.

And I understand it. I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that this is the event of the Spring.

But sometimes, it’s just not worth it to be in the know.

This was not to shame anyone about their decision to watch Mayweather get paid to do what he does outside of the ring as well; but I do wonder, did anyone else have these same reservations?

The Wedding Is Still On: Brittney Griner & Glory Johnson To Wed Next Week

April 27th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Just mean all the time lol @brittneygriner

A photo posted by missvol25 (@missvol25) on

WNBA players Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson still plan to tie the knot on May 8, despite their recent arrest. Last week, the couple was taken into police custody following a brutal domestic altercation stemming from serious “relationship issues.”

As previously reported, cops were called to the couple’s residence by Johnson’s sister after guests were unsuccessful in their attempts to pry the women apart. Friday, Johnson took to Instagram with an apologetic message letting fans know that she and Brittney are doing okay and that they still intend to take the plunge. Her message reads:

WE’RE OK! @brittneygriner and I are home, injury-free, and still wedding planning! We know we must set better examples, even during the most trying times, and we are EXTREMELY sorry for all the negative attention we brought to ourselves, our family, and the league. We are actively seeking help in order to do BETTER. Thanks for all the Love, Support, and Prayers that were sent our way. #LoveLife #StillBlessed #WorkInProgress #NobodysPerfect.

As the WNBA continues to investigate the incident, many have been taking to the Internet demanding that both Johnson and Griner receive the appropriate punishment for their actions.

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WNBA’s Brittney Griner Arrested After Fight With Fiancée Just One Month Before Wedding

April 23rd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Just a couple of months ago, we were reporting on Brittney Griner and her fiancée Glory Johnson’s appearance on “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.” Unfortunately, it seems that things have gone awry between the lovers.

According to TMZ Sports, the pair was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday following a domestic dispute. Law enforcement responded the couple’s home at 4:30 pm after receiving a 911 call from Johnson’s sister about a violent altercation between the two women.

Cops who responded to the call say that both parties had “minor physical injures” when they arrived. Griner had multiple cuts and a bite wound while Johnson was bleeding from a lip injury. A police report from the incident reveals that Griner and Johnson had been fighting for a few days and had been experiencing serious “relationship issues.”

The more recent altercation erupted after Griner threw a dog bowl at the wall. Johnson’s sister said that she broke down and called the police because no one was able to “get them pulled apart” and she feared for their safety. It was not immediately clear what they were fighting about.

Griner and Johnson announced their engagement last summer and had plans to tie the knot next month. It’s unclear if the wedding is still on at this point. The WNBA has confirmed that they’re currently investigating the incident.

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Ask A Very Smart Brotha: How Can I Ask My Friend To Hook Me Up With Her Ex?

April 15th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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How Can I Ask My Friend To Hook Me Up With Her Ex?

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Shanetta: Hi Damon, I know it’s pretty common to hear about women who have a child with a man and can’t let them go afterwards but in my case, the roles are reversed. Between the constant strolls down memory lane, flirting, attitudes whenever I get male attention and the infamous weekly declarations of his love and desire to be with me, (literally almost every week since I became pregnant 3 years ago), it takes a toll. Now the problem is, the day I took the test, he left, packed his things and told me to get an abortion. I didn’t hear from him again until about 2 weeks later. By then, my trust in him was completely destroyed. So finally, my question is, is the fear of becoming a father THAT real to make you leave the one you supposedly love? Also, what do I do when a man goes above and beyond to prove his love for me, but rarely acknowledges our child without my pushing him to do so?

DY: Whether it’s because of nerves, anxiety, or just plain fear, it’s not extremely uncommon for men to freak out about a pregnancy. Of course, not all men do this. In fact, most don’t. But some hear that news and just don’t know how to handle it.

But, there’s a difference between “freaking out” and “breaking up with your girl and telling her to abort the child.” That’s just insane. And badgering you about getting together — while at the same time ignoring his child — takes the insanity to another level. At this point, you just need to tell him that while you’ll need his help in raising your child, the romantic relationship ship has sailed. One baby is enough. No need to be raising two.

Janay Rice Opens Up About Fight That Led To Valentine’s Day Assault

April 15th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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More than a year after their violent Valentine’s Day incident made headlines, Ray and Janay Rice are speaking out about the night that changed their lives forever. In an interview with New York magazine, Janay revealed that Ray’s priorities became a bit distorted and he was all about his NFL career as their relationship progressed.

“Football came before everything and everyone,” Janay recalled.

While she admits that she understood Ray being career focused, it did present a strain in their relationship.

“It was definitely frustrating. It was hard knowing I wasn’t his first priority,” she explained.

According to the 27-year-old, things intensified once she gave birth to their daughter, Rayven, who didn’t sleep much at the time.

“I felt I was doing everything by myself,” Janay said. “After a while, I resented that. I felt like a walking zombie. I told Ray he needed to change more diapers.”

Though she voiced her concerns, Ray only came up with more excuses to stay away from home, including booking charity engagements on his only day off.

“I get home, I’m spent,” he recalled. “There’s no time to talk. ‘I got practice the next day.’ ”

Ray went on to say that things worsened and communication came to a halt.

“It got to the point where if she had an issue, I would basically just go silent,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of yelling, screaming, nothing. I would just wake up, go to practice. Then game day gets here. I’d rush for three touchdowns. The family’s over at the house. She’s still got that problem she’s thinking about. And I think, I scored three touchdowns today. Everything’s all right.”

“That’s not what a man does,” Janay recalled telling him. “I know what a man is supposed to be. I know how a man acts in a relationship. I know what a father is. I experienced it.”

The night of the fight, Janay recalls wanting to spend time with her then fiancé, but instead he chose to partake in a group celebration with his half-brother, his girlfriend and another couple at the Revel Casino.

“It was an annoyance to me,” Janay said. “I was a little perturbed, though I didn’t communicate that to him.”

Instead, she stayed silent for the entire three-hour car ride to Atlantic City, New Jersey. After having a few drinks, the couple began bickering.

“We were drunk and tired,” Janay said.

Eventually, the altercation took a violent turn and Ray knocked Janay unconscious in the hotel elevator.

“Ma, I made a huge mistake,” Ray recalled a text message he sent to his mother. “I’m probably going to go to jail tonight.”

And of course, we know how the rest of the story unfolded. Apparently, the interview is a part of Ray’s attempts to redeem himself and clean up his image in hopes that an NFL team will pick him up for the 2015 season.

You can check out the couple’s full interview here. Thoughts?

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