All Articles Tagged "gun violence"

Stop The Violence: Celebs Whose Relatives Were Victims Of Gun Violence

January 7th, 2015 - By Iva Anthony
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Despite having wealth and fame, no one is immune from suffering a family tragedy. These celebrities understand all too well the current climate of the country as they too were affected by gun violence after a relative was shot or killed.

Celebs Whose Relatives Were Victims Of Gun Violence


Jennifer Hudson

In 2008, Jennifer Hudson lost several family members to gun violence. Her brother-in-law William Balfour killed her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew. He was reportedly upset that his estranged wife Julia, the famous singer’s sister, had been seeing another man. Four years later, Balfour was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus an additional 120 years.

11-Year-Old Shot In Miami Nightclub, Over A Dozen Shots Fired

September 30th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From The Grio

An 11-year-old was shot, along with 14 other people, in a

shooting that broke out at a Miami nightclub early Sunday morning, according to various reports.

Drinks were flowing and music was pumping, according to a vivid report from the Miami Herald, when suddenly gun shots rang out. Witnesses told the paper they heard at least dozens if not more than 100 shots fired in the packed strip mall club.

Miami authorities told The Associated Press that when local police and rescue crews arrived at “The Spot” around 1 in the morning, they discovered a chaotic crush of teens and adults reeling from the shooting, with wounded people both inside and outside the club. Victims included one wounded male who was unresponsive and not breathing when emergency responders arrived on the scene.

Some people were running, “people were screaming, people were saying they were shot,” Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll told the AP.

Read more about this case at 

“Change Has GOT To Come!!!” Monica Mourns The Loss Of A Good Friend Shot And Killed; Takes Stand Against Gun Violence

August 25th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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singer Monica

JLN Photography/WENN

Gun violence is something that has affected many of us, and it’s something that is currently impacting singer Monica and her family. A good friend of her family (a best friend of her brother-in-law David Brown) was recently shot and killed, and the singer took to social media to get his name and his story out there. She, like so many, is tired of these shootings becoming so common.

“With a heavy heart & tear filled eyes I send all my love and condolences to my brother @dcaffe & his family RIP Chris your friendship & loyalty to my brother made you MY FAMILY… I’ve stopped asking why to ask WHEN.. When will these senseless acts of violence stop.. You were gunned down, taken from your children & in this cold cruel world that cares more now about reporting fashion & who’s dating who there was barely a mention on the news.. #WakeUpWorld the old burying the young is NOT the way it’s supposed to be. People only care for us as much as we care for ourselves … Change has GOT to come!!! #GoneToSoon”

We give our condolences to Monica, the Brown family and the family of her friend Chris in their loss. We too are hoping that a change will come sooner than later.



There’s An $11B Fund To Help Victims Of Violent Crime, But Black Men Are Often Left Out

August 5th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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gunland still1

Still image from the Moguldom Studios film “Gunland

Unfortunately, violent crime is an everyday occurrence in the US. Under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, victims are supposed to be granted support services in the aftermath. But according to Colorlines, many young Black men are not deemed “innocent” enough to receive such assistance.

As part of its Life Cycles of Inequity series, Colorlines launched an investigation into government funding for crime victims and why young Black men seem to get the short end of the stick. VOCA is an $11 billion fund established by Congress, but victims of color rarely see a dime.

“…[L]aw enforcement often serves as arbiter of who’s a deserving victim and who’s not,” Colorlines says. And they decide “who gets aid and who must fend for themselves.” In other words, psychological, emotional, and financial support for young Black assault victims hinges on the “yay” or “nay” of police officers.

“The biases that exist around black men lead people to think of them first and foremost as perpetrators,” said Kai Wright, Colorlines editor-at-large in a press release. “Law enforcement should not be the arbiter of who’s a victim.”

And Illinois, home to the troubled South Side Chicago, is one of the least generous of VOCA’s aid. And that’s why Carla Murphy, partnering with Colorlines, focused her year-long examination in the heart of Chi-town.

According to Murphy, for a victim to apply for VOCA aid, one must apply at the attorney general’s office. But the problem is that judges rely heavily on police reports to determine whether or not a victim may receive compensation. In neighborhoods with tense police-community relations, it’s likely that these reports will be skewed.

“Typically the biggest problem that we have is that somewhere there is a police document that associates the victim with gang affiliation,” said Susan Johnson, executive director of Chicago’s Citizens for Change. “It can be that the crime is a gang-related crime, but the victim is an innocent victim. And we don’t see that disassociation made in the police write-ups. So then the victim of the crime gets tainted with that, and then the victim’s compensation will be denied.”

Dominique Harris, a Chicago resident whose heart escaped the impact of a bullet by just few inches last year, agreed. “Police don’t see us as innocent,” Harris says. “They see us as a gangbanger.”

Using the hashtag #LivesOfBlackMen, follow the discussion on Twitter with @Colorlines today, August 5th, at 1pm ET.

Despite Family’s Best Efforts To Keep Her Safe, 11-Year-Old Chicago Girl Shot And Killed At Sleepover

July 21st, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Shamiya Adams, 11, was hanging out at a friend’s house in Chicago (East Garfield Park) on Friday night. The girls were having a sleepover and preparing to make s’mores when a stray bullet entered the home and struck the back of Adams’ head. She was rushed to the hospital, had surgery, and was connected to a breathing machine, but she died on Saturday. What makes this very sad situation all the more heartbreaking is the fact that Adams’ mother rarely let her daughter, or the child’s twin brother, hang out with friends outside because of ongoing gun violence. If they were going to be with friends, they had to stay indoors.

Adams’ great-grandmother, Lourene Miller, told the CBS affiliate in Chicago that the family was hoping that the girls would at least be safe indoors.

“My granddaughter (the girl’s mother, Shaneetha Goodloe) would cry every time she’d see a child killed on the news (and) Shamiya was never just out.

It is just terrible out here. These young guys out here are shooting and a lot of times they miss their target and they always hit somebody innocent.”

Adams reportedly had her friend over not too long ago for a sleepover, so she went to the friend’s home this time around on Friday night for some sleepover fun. That’s when the unthinkable happened.

Investigators believe that a person trying to fire at a rival gang member missed and their bullet went through the window of the friend’s home, hitting a wall and eventually hitting Adams in the back of her head.

Rosemarie Jones was hosting the sleepover for her daughter and tearfully speaking to the Fox affiliate, said “It was going to be a little sleepover.”

As the family mourns Adams’ death and calls for an end to the reckless gang violence plaguing the city ensue, police say that nobody has been arrested as of yet, but there is an $8,000 reward for information leading to her killer. Sadly, Adams was one of four people reportedly killed by gun violence in the city over the weekend, and 32 others were wounded.

What About Us?! Black Chicago Residents Slam Obama About Immigration Spending

July 14th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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“You’re spending billions of dollars in Texas, but we’ve a problem here in Chicago,” an angry Windy City protester said. Black Chicago residents just can’t fathom why Obama would plan to spend a whopping $3.7 billion on illegal immigration, but ignore what they feel is a more pressing issue — senseless violence in “Chi-raq,” Washington Times reports.

Last week, MadameNoire reported Chicago’s deadly July 4th weekend: At least five dozen people were hit by gunfire. Fed up with the government’s inaction with Chi-town’s bloodshed, hundreds of South side residents took to the streets and rallied against Obama’s controversial illegal immigration proposal.

“For the president to set aside all of these funds for immigrants and [have] forsaken the African-American community, I think that’s a disgrace,” one Chicagoan told Rebel Pundit. “He will go down as the worst president ever elected. Bill Clinton was the African-American president.”

According to ABC News, there’s been an upsurge of illegal unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. To band-aid the crisis, Obama is asking for $3.7 billion. The plan will include funding for Border Control agents, care facilities for children while in custody, air surveillance, and more. But some residents believe Obama’s got his priorities warped:

“President Barack needs to pay attention to Chicago, if he can not pay attention to Chicago and the African-American community, he needs to resign,” a protester said.

The demonstration, which was held in front of the city’s police department headquarters, was prompted by the fatal shooting of Jasmine Curry, a pregnant woman of five. Curry’s father, Pierre, attended the event and said that less than a year ago, he was forced to bury his 17-year-old son. Once again, due to Chicago’s senseless violence, Pierre must mourn the loss of his daughter.

Jasmine is one of the 26 people killed in Chicago this July.

“I’d like to tell the young people out here, especially young African-Americans, I’d like to tell the world, Mr. President, congress, senate, aldermen, governor, the mayor–losing a child is something else, losing something that God gave to you, and some fool in the street took it, he didn’t have a right to take my son or my daughter from her five kids,” Curry said, according to Rebel Pundit.

Chicago residents aren’t the only ones bewildered by Obama’s illegal immigration request. African Americans from Houston to Baltimore say young Black Americans and unaccompanied, undocumented minors experience similar destructive environments. So why isn’t Obama addressing the Black community, too?

“My children cannot play outside,” a Black Baltimore resident told AllVoices. “Where can I get asylum? Where can I get refugee status? Nobody cares what happens to my children.”

“It’s not right. Now billions of dollars want to be borrowed from the White House to help feed and house them,” Lancelin said. “What about the (expletive) kids here?” a Houston resident asked.

Supporters behind Obama’s immigration funding believe that Americans have a moral, if not legal, obligation to care for these children who have come alone to our borders. And there’s the larger question of the need for comprehensive immigration policy, which might not directly impact the black community, but is critical nonetheless.

What do you think?

And for more about the gun violence in Chicago, watch the Moguldom Studios film “Gunland,” available here.

Chicago Teen Survives Being Shot In The Head, Uncle Credits Hair Weave

July 11th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock


Apparently sew-ins can come in handy for more than just vanity purposes. One Chicago teen was made aware of this after miraculously surviving a gun shot wound to the head. According to NBC Chicago, Chantal Hammontree, 18, was sitting in a car in Chicago’s East Chatham neighborhood when shots were fired into the back window.

“She was coming home, and when her girlfriend let her out of the car, the guy walked up and just shot her,” the teen’s uncle, Randy Berry, explained.

He went on to say that he believes that the shooting was connected to a prior gang-related shooting, in which another one of Chantal’s uncles was shot and paralyzed in earlier this year.

“There was the ‘East Side, West Side’ type of thing going on,” Berry continued.. “[The shooter] told her that because she was affiliated with him, they were going to shoot her also.”

Chantal was the only victim of the shooting and her friends immediately rushed her to University of Chicago Hospital, police say. She was later transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital and is reported to be in critical condition.

“[Doctors] assumed that when the bullet kind of went in, it bounced out because she had the weave in her hair,” Randy added. “She got a few fragments in there. She didn’t lose consciousness. She’s still woke. She’s still coherent. She still knows everybody and everything. So they just waiting now, they did the tests and everything, so far it’s looking good.”

“Nobody gets shot in the head and still awake and still talking and everything so, that was a miracle all by itself.”

We’re wishing Chantal a speedy recovery.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Dozens Of People Shot In Chicago Over The 4th Of July Weekend

July 7th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Widespread shootings in Chicago continued over the 4th of July weekend with, by some accounts, at least five dozen people or nearly seven dozen people hit by gunfire. The Chicago Tribune says six people were shot by the police. Among those killed by police are a 16-year-old boy, Warren Robinson, who the Tribune reports, ran away from police and was hiding under a car when police ordered him out and told him to drop his gun. Pat Camden, a spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of the Police, says  Robinson didn’t drop his weapon and was shot. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

The family says they still have questions about the incident and have heard conflicting stories.

Also killed by the police was a 14-year-old boy, Pedro Rios, the day prior.

We’re finding conflicting reports about the total number of victims, with a separate Chicago Tribune story saying it was 82 people and CBS News saying it was 60. Either way, it’s a tragedy and an outrage. According to CBS, 11 people were killed.

A police spokesman says the city actually has the lowest number of murders since 1963, but the police will continue to add forces to the streets to combat gang violence during the summer months. The city tallied more than 500 homicides in 2012. As of June 30, there were nine fewer murders this year versus last, according to ABC News (which says nine people were killed over the weekend and 60 shot). There were 415 murders in 2013. New York City, which has triple the population, had 350 murders last year.

“Yet, even with the best police and the best policing strategy in the world, without better state and federal laws to keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of dangerous criminals, we’ll continue to face an uphill battle,” that spokesperson continued.

A separate source, security consultant Ross Rice, says the violence is an indication of a deeper problem that can’t only be solved by the police. “I think it is representative of the gang, drug, gun violence problem that still persists in Chicago,” he said.

According to the roundup of violence provided by the Tribune, the victims are being shot all over the place — while leaning on a car, enjoying the evening with neighbors, sitting in a car. So this isn’t a case of just being in a bad neighborhood or in a place where one might expect armed assailants to open fire.

CBS says that as of this morning, no one has been arrested for the shootings that paper reported on.

For more about the epidemic of violence in Chicago, check out the Moguldom Studios film “Gunland.” Watch the trailer here. Copies available for purchase today.


Gun Manufacturers Seeking Out New Customers Even As Violence Continues

June 19th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Gun sales spiked in the wake of President Obama’s re-election with fears from gun owners and enthusiasts that new laws would curb their ability to own firearms. Instead, what we’ve seen are a steady number of shootings even as the firearms industry continues to seek out new customers to keep up robust sales.

On Tuesday, nine people were hurt, one of them killed, in shootings in Chicago. One of those hurt was a 14-year-old boy. And over the Father’s Day weekend, at least 27 people were shot in that city, two of them killed. We can’t emphasize enough: This everyday occurrence of gun violence is happening in one of this country’s major cities.

This doesn’t even take into account the mass shootings that are happening across the country, from Newtown, CT to Santa Barbara, CA. A school shooting in Portland, OR on June 10 was the 74th school shooting since Newtown.

And then there’s this tragedy.

The Centers for Disease Control says there are 81,300 injuries each year and 31,672 deaths in this country as a result of gun fire. This Washington Post points out what we already know — that politicians who support stronger gun laws have not been able to get enough votes to pass these proposals.

Despite this epidemic of violence (or in some cases, because of it) people are coming out in droves to purchase guns. CNBC reported earlier this month that handguns have become a popular item. Smaller, lighter pistols have also grown in sales because the gun industry is increasingly targeting women. They are the “fastest-growing demographic in the shooting community,” according to that article. They are increasingly buying guns for recreational purposes and for safety.

With so many people having filled their arsenal over the past few years, the gun industry is looking for new customers and demographics to continue the positive sales trend. Some analysts are even saying that recent numbers show the start of a decline as people max out their gun budgets and stop buying.

The gun-purchasing public is also getting younger and looking for more accessories, which are avenues of growth for the gun industry. Open-carry laws seem to be having an impact as well.

Personal rant: We need fewer guns on the streets; fewer guns period. And sensible gun control measures (like enhanced background checks) to stop this rash of death and bloodshed. As President Obama said during a Q&A on Tumblr last week after the shooting in Oregon, we “should be ashamed” that these shootings are happening weekly, that so many people have to die. “We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens,” he noted.

Over the weekend, in his ongoing crusade, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg funded an anti-gun violence protest. This week the Supreme Court upheld the ban against the “straw” purchase of guns — buying them on someone else’s behalf — applies even when the person who ends up with the gun could acquire one themselves. Sigh… baby steps.

What are your thoughts on the issue? And if you’d like to learn more about the gun situation in Chicago, check out the Moguldom Studios documentary “Gunland,” available on iTunes, Google Play, and VHX now. click here.

Memphis Man Sentenced To Death For Murdering Girlfriend And Her Parents

June 16th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Sources: Commercial Appeal, WREG

Sources: Commercial Appeal, WREG


A 12-person jury sentenced 31-year-old Sedrick Clayton to death for the murder of his girlfriend, Pashea Fisher, 23, and her parents, Arithio and Patricia Fisher, the AP reports. The incident occurred at the Fishers’ home on January 12, 2012 after the couple argued about Pashea’s possible infidelity.

From there, the dispute apparently escalated and Pashea’s parents got involved. Sedrick later shot Patricia and Arithio in their bedroom as Pashea begged him not to. Her hearbtreaking plea was heard by the jury in audio obtained from her frantic 911 call. Sedrick then turned around and shot Pashea in the head at close range near the front door of the home. Sedrick fired 12 shots in total, hitting his victims 9 times. Sadly, Pashea and Sedrick’s then 4-year-old daughter, Joydin, was in the home at the time of the murders. Sedrick left the home with the toddler before turning himself in to police. Joydin, now 6, was a key witness in the trial and told prosecutors that her father shot her mother and grandparents.

Sedrick confessed to the murders by submitting a typed statement to police the same day he turned himself in. He claims he fired the shots out of fear after Arithio kicked him in his chest as he argued with Pashea. Clayton initially offered to plead guilty to the murders in exchange for three consecutive life sentences without parole, but Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich did not accept the offer. Prosecutor Jennifer Nichols expressed that Sedrick deserved the death penalty due to the brutal nature of the mass murder.

“Three wonderful people lost their life in a single morning for absolutely no reason,” said Jennifer. “He could have left (the house) at any time. He chose not to.”

At least 20 of Pashea’s family members and friends gathered at the court every day of the trial. According to reports, they were cordial and even shared food with Sedrick’s family as they waited during jury deliberations.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise