The Haight, Brown and Bonestreet law firm in Los Angeles announced the election of its partner, Victor R. Anderson III, to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s (FDCC) Board of Directors. Anderson’s election to the board is historic because he is now the first African American director in the organization’s 75-year history. “The fellowship of the FDCC members and the organization’s mission of ensuring a balanced justice system have played important roles in the success of my insurance practice. I am honored by the support of my peers, and I look forward to continuing my service with the organization,” said Anderson , who was admitted to the FDCC in 2006 and during the past 10 years has served on a number of committees and as vice chairman. As a member of the Risk Management & Insurance Law and Product Liability practice groups at Haight Anderson, he focuses primarily on cases involving bad faith insurance and related matters.
After five years of dating, comic actor Kevin Hart finally sealed the deal with model Eniko Parrish. The wedding took place in Santa Barbara Aug. 13, and was attended by several other celebrity couples, including NBA star Dwayne Wade and his wife actress Gabrielle Union; and hip hop star Ludacris and his wife, Eudoxie Mbouguiengue.
Actor Shemar Moore reportedly called police to report a theft comitted by a male friend he met on the set of his television show. Apparently, Moore extended his good fortune to Keith Tisdell, a struggling actor he met on the set of “Criminal Minds.” The two reportedly became fast friends, and during their “bromance,” Moore extended kindness to Tisdell that included paying for new rims on his car, paying for vacations and living expenses when Tisdell was struggling. But after an audit of his company, Moore discovered that Tisdell had embezzled about $60,000. According to the Los Angeles Times, on Aug. 10, Moore, 46, and Tisdell, 42, reached an agreement that Tisdell would have to repay the actor a total of $61,084 to avoid jail time. The story claims that Tisdell’s attorney forked over $5,000 worth of money orders, and his client is expected to pay off the remaining balance.
Actor/producer and Atlanta resident Tyler Perry offered to pay the funeral costs for two infant girls who died tragically recently after being left in a hot car, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Atlanta-based film and TV show producer reportedly called the Channel 2 Action News newsroom and told a reporter that he would pay for the funeral. He said that after watching an interview by reporter Dave Huddleston with their mother, Breal Ellis, he had to reach out and help. Ellis’ daughters, 15-month-olds Ariel Roxanne North and Alaynah Maryanne North, were found dead in a hot car last Thursday. The father, Asa North, 24, was arrested and is facing two involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges.
Students in Illinois will soon learn a necessary and possibly “life-saving” skill in their driver’s education classes. A new state law, signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Aug. 12, mandates that teachers dedicate instruction time to ensuring that students learn what to do and what not to do when they are pulled over by the police. The law is aimed at preventing teens from panicking during traffic stops and doing something that may seem like a red flag to cops. “My hope is that if we uniformly require that driver’s education include the protocol and what is expected when you interact with a police officer that things will not escalate,” Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Ill.), who sponsored the bill, told reporters. Currently, the “Rules of the Road” book that new drivers have used for years has tips on how to interact with police and, Eddie Chapman, a retired Chicago police officer also wrote his own book on the subject called “Drive Safe, Stop Safe,” which is used in Chicago Public Schools.
On Aug. 9, Detroit launched a program that would make sure any high school senior who is accepted into one of the five community colleges in the city would not have to pay tuition to attend. The Detroit Promise Zone program officially launched and funds to cover the tuition will initially come from a private scholarship foundation until 2018. After that, some of the money will begin to come from property taxes that have already been marked for the program. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a high school senior preparing for college now or a second-grader whose college career is years away. The Detroit Promise will be there to help make a college education a reality,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. The mayor went on to say that he hopes the program will one day be able to cover four-year tuition for state schools as well. Eligible students must complete their junior and senior years at a public, private or charter high school in Detroit. They will also be required to fill out a FAFSA form, although the program will not base the funds on how much money their parents make. Instead, the program will make up the difference of what is not covered in any financial aid and scholarships the student receives.
Gunshots rang out, although no bullets hit anyone at what started out as a peaceful protest in Ferguson on Aug. 9, according to news reports. People were marching to mark the two-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer. In addition, a car struck a protester during the demonstration. Witnesses told the Associated Press (AP) that a car drove into a group of protesters who were blocking a street during the protest. According to reports, the car struck a young man so hard that he flew into the air. Ferguson police said in a statement that several people chased the car and opened fire, with bullets reportedly striking the vehicle numerous times but not the driver. A second nearby car was also hit by gunfire. Police spokesperson Jeff Small told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they don’t believe the driver intentionally struck the protester.
A criminal complaint filed by North Tonawanda Police in their investigation of a fire at the home of African American volunteer firefighter Kenneth Walker shows the suspect had motive and opportunity. It also alleges there was a confession. Police have arrested Matthew Jurado, 39, for torching Walker’s home. According to news reports, he lived across the street from Walker, who received a letter last week containing racial threats. Jurado is a former volunteer firefighter and the one who told police he discovered the fire. According to a deposition police took was from another volunteer firefighter, Jurado was angry about getting kicked off the team. He reportedly confessed the next da, when confronted with evidence and other people’s statements. Several people in Walker’s town set up a GoFundMe page, and at press time, it had raised almost $150,000 to help him find a new home.
Chad Copley was inside his home in Raleigh, when he allegedly fired his shotgun toward partygoers across the street. Shortly before Copley was arrested and charged with murder early Sunday, a man called dispatchers to report that he was “on the neighborhood watch” and was going to “secure my neighborhood” from “hoodlums” and “frigging Black males with firearms.” State law bars police from identifying 911 callers by name. Police released the 911 calls without identifying the caller but they did allege that minutes later, Copley fired his shotgun from inside his garage toward the street, and struck 20-year-old Kouren Bernard Thomas, who had been attending a party nearby. Thomas died at the hospital, and Copley, 39, was arrested. Authorities haven’t said whether any firearms were recovered outside of Copley’s home or anywhere near Thomas. It’s also unclear whether Copley is officially registered as a neighborhood watch representative.
A community made an A+ effort to help a Wilmington boy whose family was facing challenges. Tyran Bell, whose mother Tara Lewis had been experiencing financial difficulties, offered to mow lawns in his neighborhood so he could buy school supplies. As word of the 10-year-old’s story spread, people offered to donate items, according to ABC News. And now, Tyran has enough school supplies for an entire school year and then some. Theresa Babb, president of A1 Security Services, started a donation drive at her business for the fifth-grader when she heard about his services. Soon enough, school supplies, as well as clothing and lawn equipment, began pouring in for Tyran from those moved by his initiative. The boy’s older brother Jhamir also received items from the drive.
Rae’Lynn Thomas, a Black transgender, was brutally attacked and murdered by her mother’s ex-boyfriend, who still lived in their Columbus home, reports multiple news sources. According to the Advocate, Thomas is the 19th trans person known to be killed in the U.S. this year alone. Thomas, 28, was shot and then beaten by her mother’s ex-boyfriend. While Thomas’s family was reportedly accepting of her transgender identity, an ex-boyfriend of her mother’s who still lived with the women, James Allen Byrd, made it no secret that he was transphobic. He reportedly often referred to the transgender woman as “the devil” and “Satan.” The victim’s mother, Renee Thomas, was home at the time of her daughter’s murder. After firing at her twice, Byrd—who was said to be nearly a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than Thomas—proceeded to beat her with any heavy object handy. Renee Thomas told reporters that the last thing she heard was her daughter begging for her life, saying, “Mom, please, please don’t leave me. Mom, I’m dying.” Byrd is facing murder charges and is being held on a $2 million bond.
Police say 35-year-old Tyonne Johns was working a wedding in Chantilly on Aug. 6, when a teen, also working there, stabbed her after an argument over folding chairs. Fairfax County police say Johns, a budding Black chef in the area, was catering a wedding at a county park in Chantilly. Kempton Bonds, 19, a seasonal park employee, was also working the wedding. Police say Johns and Bonds argued earlier that night. Just before 11 p.m., as Johns was packing up foldable chairs into her company’s truck, Bonds confronted her, claiming the chairs actually belonged to the park. The two got into another argument, and that’s when police say Bonds pulled out a three-inch folding knife, stabbing Johns in the upper body. She later died at a nearby hospital. He is now being held in the Fairfax County Detention Center without bond.
After another African American was shot and killed by police in Milwaukee, protests and fires erupted in the rust-belt city. According to police, the 23-year-old victim was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and was shot dead after fleeing a traffic stop in the city’s predominantly Black north side on the afternoon of Aug. 13. It is not clear if he ever pointed the gun at officers. Wisconsin is an open carry state. Police confirm the man was hit twice. Hours later, about 100 people took to the streets, according to NBC News. During the protests, an officer was injured by a flying brick. According to the Associated Press, at least four businesses were burned, including a gas station. In addition, the crowd started smashing a squad car’s windows. Another police car was set on fire and gunshots were also reportedly fired. The victim of the shooting has not been identified, nor has the officer involved been named, although police did confirm that he is a 24-year-old man who has been with the department for three years. The officer has been placed on administrative leave. Statistically named “the most segregated city in America,” Milwaukee was listed as one of the worst places for African Americans to live by NPR last year because of vicious disparities in education, incarceration and housing.