An Atlanta police officer will face felony murder charges for the death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, who was shot in the back as he fled the officer, District Attorney Paul Howard announced Wednesday.
Howard said Garrett Rolfe had no justification for shooting Brooks, and aggravated the case by kicking Brook’s body as he lay on the ground bleeding.
“We concluded that, at the time that Mr Brooks was shot, he did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers,” Howard said.
The police chief in the US city of Atlanta resigned after an officer fatally shot a black man during an arrest, the mayor said Saturday, with the new killing injecting fresh anger into protests against racism and police brutality.
Images on local media showed hundreds of protesters in the streets on Saturday and flames engulfing the Wendy’s restaurant where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed.
The officer who shot Brooks was dismissed Saturday and identified by Atlanta police as Garrett Rolfe. The second officer was placed on administrative duty, according to ABC News.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms — who has been touted as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — earlier announced the resignation of Chief Erika Shields.
Wendy’s employees called police on Friday night to complain that Brooks was asleep in his car and blocking other customers on the premises, an official report said.
He failed a sobriety test and resisted when police tried to arrest him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said.
Surveillance video showed “that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and began to flee from the scene,” the report continued.
“Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks,” it said.
Brooks was taken to hospital but died after surgery, it said, adding that one officer was injured.
An attorney acting for the dead man’s family said disproportionate force was used in the confrontation.
“In Georgia, a Taser is not a deadly weapon — that’s the law,” L. Chris Stewart told reporters.
“Support came, in I think 2 minutes. He would have been boxed in and trapped. Why did you have to kill him?”
“(The officer) had other options than shooting a man in the back.”
Brooks has four children, Stewart added, and had celebrated the birthday of his eight-year-old girl earlier on Friday.
His death is the 48th shooting involving an officer the GBI has been asked to investigate this year, according to local newspaper the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Fifteen of those incidents were fatal.
The unrest comes as the US faces a historic reckoning on systemic racism, with mass civil unrest ignited by the May 25 killing of another African-American man, George Floyd, while in police custody.
Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Protests which spread first around the country then the globe, have forced a conversation on the legacies of slavery, colonialism and white violence against people of color, as well as the militarization of police in America.
Police chief Shields had worked for Atlanta’s police department for more than two decades.
“Because of her desire that Atlanta be a model of what meaningful reform should look like across this country, Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief,” the mayor said in televised comments.
The US Vice-President says he does not know if he has the “emotional energy” to run for President.
Speaking for the first time extensively about a possible run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mr Joe Biden told an audience at the Ahavath Achuim Synagogue in Atlanta that he was undecided.
The 72-year-old, who lost his son Beau, to cancer earlier this year, added that he was not sure if it would be appropriate for him and his family.
“I will be straightforward with you, the most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run”, he said.
“Some might think that is not appropriate, but unless I can go to my party and the American people and say I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavour, it would not be appropriate”.
Mr Biden has been huddling with advisers for weeks to determine whether he will challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has seen her ratings plummet after her use of a private email server while working as the nation’s top diplomat.
Some democrats have urged Mr Biden to run because Mrs Hillary Clinton’s campaign appears to be struggling with questions over her use of emails when she was Secretary of State.
Mr Biden failed in his bids for the White House in 1988 and 2008 before becoming President Barack Obama’s running mate.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of late singer Whitney Houston, died on Sunday at the age of 22, some six months after suffering irreversible brain damage in an incident at her suburban Atlanta home, her family said in a statement.
Brown, whose father is R&B singer Bobby Brown, was found face down and unresponsive in a bathtub in her home by her partner and a friend on January 31. She was moved by her family to hospice care on June 24.
“She is finally at peace in the arms of God,” her family said. “We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”
As news of her death became public, media crews and some fans gathered on a darkened cul de sac in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth, where ornate street lamps illuminated the ivy-covered brick nursing home where Brown died.
“We just wanted to show our respect,” said Ali Joyner, 15, who persuaded her mum and a neighbour to drive the 20 miles from their home in Dacula, Ga. “I just loved her mum, Whitney. And Bobbi is part of that.”
Her death came three years after her Grammy-winning mother, who had battled substance abuse, drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel at age 48. Authorities said cocaine abuse and heart disease contributed to Houston’s February 11, 2012 death.
Bobbi Kristina Brown inherited her mother’s fortune.
A $10 million civil lawsuit filed last month accuses Bobbi Kristina Brown’s partner, Nick Gordon, of causing her life-threatening injuries and of stealing from her bank account while she was in a coma. No one has been charged in the case.
Bobbi Kristina Brown was an aspiring singer who began performing with her mother as early as 1999, singing duets of “My Love is Your Love.” In 2003 they recorded another duet of “Little Drummer Boy” for a holiday album.
Her father is a Grammy Award winner who started his career as frontman for the R&B group New Edition.
Houston and Bobby Brown both struggled with substance abuse and divorced when their daughter was 14. Houston described their 15-year marriage, which ended in 2007, as drug- and alcohol-fueled.
The couple’s tempestuous relationship and often erratic behavior was chronicled in the short-lived television series, “Being Bobby Brown.”
Bobbi Kristina Brown was hospitalized twice with anxiety after her mother’s death.
In 2012 she starred on Lifetime’s reality TV show, “The Houstons: On Our Own,” in which Houston’s family struggled to recover from the famous singer’s death. The same year Bobbi Kristina Brown guest-starred on “For Better or Worse,” a television series about a married couple.
Family members of Bobbi Kristina Brown have been visiting her bedside since she was hospitalised on Saturday after being found unconscious in her bathtub, at her home in Atlanta.
Whitney Houston’s only child is now at Emory University Hospital and is still fighting for her life, as a family statement said on Monday.
Nothing has changed, despite reports that are popping up and painting a more serious picture.
According to reports, It’s now a matter of when the family wants to let go and accept that she’s pretty much not going to make it. They’ve left it up to the family as to how long they want to keep her alive.
Meanwhile other reports say a doctor told Brown’s family on Wednesday that nothing more could be done. “Everyone is coming to the hospital to say goodbye,” said a family member.
Bobby Brown issued a statement late Thursday denying these reports.
“If we issued a statement every time the media published a false report regarding this matter, that’s all we would be doing 24 hours a day. This is false, just as is the vast majority of the other reporting that is currently taking place,” he said.
A source close to the family said that it was wrong to say the family was gathering to say goodbye. “Because the family has been there since the beginning, so nothing is any different today for them.”
Also, Brown is “not brain dead,” as has been reported.
“And, as for other stories saying that the Houston family is feuding with Bobbi Kristina’s dad, bobby brown? Those aren’t true either. They “are not fighting,” some news reporters stated.
A British nurse, William Pooley, who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was treated with the experimental drug, Zmapp, has recovered and has been discharged from hospital.
The drug was credited with saving the lives of two American missionaries earlier this month. It had been thought that supplies of ZMapp had run out, but doctors at the Royal Free Hospital, in London, managed to get hold of some from abroad and Mr Pooley was given the first dose on Monday.
Further doses are expected to be given to him “in due course”.
Dr Michael Jacobs, consultant in infectious diseases at the hospital, said: “We have had the opportunity to give him the ZMapp treatment that I am sure you are aware of. It is an experimental medicine, we made that absolutely clear in our discussions with him.”
Dr Jacobs added: “What has become apparent to us is that he is clearly a rather resilient and remarkable young man.”
Mr Pooley’s condition was described as “very stable”, and he has been sitting up in bed, talking and reading, and been in good spirits.
There is no cure for Ebola, but encouraging results with people who have been given ZMapp suggest it is the nearest thing to a cure currently available.
It was given to the two US aid workers, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, after they were flown to a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, from Liberia. Both have since been discharged from hospital after recovering.
At least 1,427 people have died and 2,615 have been infected since the current outbreak of Ebola was detected in the forests of Guinea in March.
‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star, Phaedra Parks’ husband, Apollo Nida, was sentenced to 8 years in prison on Tuesday (July 8) after pleading guilty to bank fraud, cashing stolen checks, laundering more than $2.3 million through phony bank accounts and ID theft in May.
Judge Charles Pannell, who presided over the case, sentenced Apollo to 8 years in jail instead of the normal 30 years for his offence, because of his cooperation with federal investigators by telling them criminal secrets.
The 35-year-old’s wife, Phaedra Parks, is reported to not have attended the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, while his mother and brother were present in the US District Court in Georgia.
Phaedra is said not to be involved in the four-year scheme which he pleaded guilty to.
In a recent interview, Apollo, who met Phaedra while she was defending his case, said that his wife should stay married to him no matter how long he spends in jail.
Ahead of the 2015 FIFA World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation has unveiled two sets of jerseys for the Super Eagles in Abuja.
Speaking at the event held at the Federation’s secretariat in Abuja, Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said that the newly unveiled jersey was a deliberate attempt to rebrand the Super Eagles.
The Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Mr Ali Gaiya, who also spoke at the occasion applauded the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation.
The newly unveiled jerseys were later presented to the representatives of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Senate President, David Mark.
The Super Eagles are to wear the newly launched jersey at the forthcoming international friendly against Mexico in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The new design was produced by Adidas, a leading kit manufacturer in the world and the official kit supplier of the Nigerian national teams.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said his administration is fully committed to rapidly developing Nigeria’s automobile industry through the diligent implementation of the country’s new National Automotive Policy.
Speaking at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motors, Mr. Carlos Ghosn and representatives of Nissan’s partners in Nigeria on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he added that a key objective of the new policy is to make new cars affordable to more Nigerians.
“The only way to reduce the preponderance of second hand cars on our roads is to produce good quality cars with affordable pricing locally,” the President said.
Welcoming the Nissan group’s investment in vehicle production, President Jonathan noted that all investors in local automobile production in the country will have a huge ready market for their products.
“The automobile industry in Nigeria has a huge potential for growth. The market is not just Nigeria, but the entire West African region,” the President observed.
Mr. Ghosn applauded the Federal Government’s new automotive policy, saying that it would encourage the inflow of investments and technical expertise to boost domestic vehicle production.
The Nissan CEO informed President Jonathan that Nissan Motors plans to roll-out the first made in Nigeria 4 X 4 Utility SUV in April this year using the old Volkswagen assembly plant owned by its partners.
Mr. Ghosn, who said that it is possible to produce two to three million cars in Nigeria annually with the consequent creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, told the President that Nissan intends to increase its investment in Nigeria and establish its own vehicle production plants in the country.
“We are interested in producing popular cars, totally adapted to the needs of Nigerians,” he said, adding that the company also plans to bring its global suppliers to make vehicle components in the country.
President Jonathan also met with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania who assured him of his personal participation in the World Economic Forum on Africa scheduled to take place in Abuja in May 2014.
He later received the Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia in United States of America, Mr. Kasim Reed and Mr. Claude Dauphin, the President of Trafigura, a leading international commodities trading and logistics company.
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on Thursday said it has received with great delight the recent and encouraging research finding of a possible ‘Functional cure’ of HIV/AIDS in a child, presented at a recent (March 3, 2013) conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections in Atlanta, USA.
The finding of a possible cure in a baby born two-and-a-half years ago in Mississippi, USA, was presented by a team of researchers led by Dr. Deborah Persaud, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. In a press signed the NMA President, Osahon Enabulele, the association commended the team of US researchers for their research efforts and finding, which undoubtedly opens a new vista in the global efforts to produce a cure for HIV/AIDS.
The statement reads, “NMA strongly canvasses the need for replication of similar studies in Nigeria and other parts of Africa (with use of similar factors employed in the 18months treatment of the child). In line with this objective, the Nigerian Medical Association has directed its Research committee as well as its HIV/AIDS Committee to deeply understudy the research finding with a view to replicating similar research studies in Nigeria, in collaboration with relevant research institutions, Universities and the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA).
“While NMA appreciates the need for replication of the research study, we nevertheless consider the case of the Mississippi baby a great fillip to on-going researches to generate a cure for HIV/AIDS, and therefore expect the enthusiasm of researchers in Africa and Nigeria in particular where there is still an immense burden of HIV/AIDS, to be fired up.
“We therefore call on Governments at all levels, Universities and research institutions and agencies, particularly NACA, to invest more in researches aimed at discovering a global cure for HIV/AIDS.
“While we urge further research studies in Nigeria and other African countries, what is immediately obvious is that the current finding by the United States Research Team potentially offers, in the least, tremendous hope to Infants/Children afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Expectedly, this will help reduce Infant and Child Mortality and the global burden of HIV/AIDS. Truly, it will help accelerate progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDGs 4 and 6.
“The NMA also views the heartwarming finding by the team of researchers as one that once again underscores the need for adequate and appropriate testing/investigation of pregnant mothers, particularly the assessment of their retroviral status (es) to facilitate early detection and treatment of infected pregnant mothers as well as their new born infants. This is especially important in resource poor and developing countries with limited capacity for highly intensive and well-funded researches into HIV/AIDS.
“Despite the enthusiasm that has been triggered by the latest findings, we urge that efforts at HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Nigeria be stepped up, with more people living with HIV/AIDS enrolled in the anti-Retroviral drug treatment program of the federal government of Nigeria.”