Amy Schumer ‘Formation’ Parody Blasted as Racist, Tone Deaf (Video)

After a gushing initial response, Amy Schumer‘s recent parody of Beyonce’s “Formation” has been blasted by African Americans, feminists and social media users for its appropriation of black culture.

The clip was shot in Hawaii during the filming of Schumer’s new comedy, and features her costars Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes. The women gyrate to Beyonce’s controversial hit, that contains powerful identifying statements from the singer like, “My daddy Alabama / Mama Louisiana / You mix that negro with that Creole / Make a Texas Bama.”


Found guilty of child molestation, Chamblee cop drank poison

  • A retired Chamblee police officer is being treated for poison that he consumed while he was hearing the verdict at his molestation trial, authorities said.

    Thursday, Kelless Twohearts Lory, 58, of Stone Mountain was convicted by a DeKalb County juryof two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation, according to a media release from DeKalb County. As the jury foreman read the verdict, Lory drank an unknown liquid from an over-the-counter vitamin bottle.Retired DeKalb cop convicted of molesting 9-year-old family member

    He then was taken into custody and transported to the DeKalb jail.

    Deputies learned at the jail that the liquid Lory consumed was poisonous. He then was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment.

    Lory will be sentenced later. He faces two life sentences plus 40 years.

    Lory was found guilty of molesting a family member between July 2011 and July 2012. The victim, who testified at trial, was 9 when the abuse began.

    Lory also worked for MARTA police, the release said. He was retired when the abuse occurred.

Muslim infant searched by airport security after being placed on terrorist watch list: advocacy group

The Council on American Islamic Relations is accusing the U.S. government of placing a 7-month-old baby on the terrorist watch list, which resulted in his diapers and baby bag being searched at an airport, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The baby, now 4 years old, was labeled as a known or suspected terrorist by the FBI on a federal watch list intended to screen potential terrorists, according to the paper. The child is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed this week claiming that U.S. Muslims have been unfairly targeted.

Scared baby (Shutterstock)
“He was 7 months old when his boarding pass was first stamped with the ‘SSSS’ designation, indicating that he had been designated as a ‘known or suspected terrorist,’” the lawsuit reads. “While passing through airport security, he was subjected to extensive searches, pat-downs and chemical testing. Every item in his mother’s baby bag was searched, including every one of his diapers.”

The “SSSS” on boarding passes alerts security personnel of a suspected terrorist.

Another plaintiff in the case, Anas Elhady, 22, claims he is “is routinely referred to secondary inspection, handcuffed and detained by CBP [Customs and Border Protection] at land border crossings when he attempts to re-enter the United States from Canada.”

Last year, while trying to return to Detroit from vacation in Canada, Elhady claims he was thrown into a “small, freezing cold holding cell with bright lights” without his jacket and shoes, according to the lawsuit.”
He is routinely selected for “prolonged detention and questioning for approximately four to twelve hours each time. Moreover, he is routinely asked questions about his religious beliefs and practices, what sect of Islam he belongs to, what mosque he prays in, among other things.”

As a result of his detention in the cold cell last year, Elhady fell unconscious and had to be taken to a hospital after he began “shaking uncontrollably,” according to the Free Press.

A spokesman for the FBI told the paper he couldn’t’ comment on pending litigation or on who is on the list. But the agency defended the list on its website and said people are not targeted solely because of their religion.

“Generally, individuals are included in the Terrorist Screening Database when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a person is a known or suspected terrorist,” the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center wrote. “Individuals must not be watch-listed based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, or First Amendment-protected activities such as free speech, the exercise or religion, freedom of the press, freedom of peaceful assembly, and petitioning the government for redress of grievances.”

U.N. Sex Abuse Scandal in Central African Republic Hits Rock Bottom

BANGUI, Central African Republic — A French commander tied up four girls and forced them to have sex with a dog. A Congolese peacekeeper raped a 16-year-old in a hotel room. And soldiers from France, Gabon, and Burundi sexually abused at least 108 women and children in a single province between 2013 and 2015. These are just some of the latest allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by international forces in the Central African Republic (CAR), where the U.N. mission has been roundly condemned for praying on the very citizens it was sent there to protect.

U.N. Sex Abuse Scandal in Central African Republic Hits Rock Bottom

These most recent allegations, first reported on March 30 by the advocacy group AIDS-Free World, stem from leaked correspondence with U.N. investigators. The awful details represent a new low for the United Nations — but also, perhaps, a turning point. After a litany of scandals, the U.N. is now finally taking concrete actions to curb peacekeeper abuse. But critics say it isn’t going nearly far enough.

The U.N. mission in the Central African Republic, known by its French acronym MINUSCA, replaced a beleaguered African Union force in 2014 with a mandate to protect civilians in that country at a time of spiraling sectarian violence and to support a fragile political transition. Since then, it has been implicated in dozens of cases of sexual abuse, including 25 separate allegations lodged in just the first three months of 2016. The mission’s botched handling of these cases, together with earlier allegations of pedophilia by French forces stationed in the capital, Bangui, was later deemed a “gross institutional failure” by a panel of independent experts that excoriated high-ranking officials for deliberately obstructing investigators. In August of last year, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the unprecedented step of sacking his special representative in CAR, Babacar Gaye.

Police: Men shot to death by officers in East Baltimore were father and son

A father and son armed with a pistol and a semiautomatic rifle were ready to open fire on other people Thursday before they were killed by two police officers, who fired 56 rounds during the late-afternoon encounter in an East Baltimore neighborhood, police said.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Friday that officers on patrol watched Matthew V. Wood Jr., 43, and his son, Kimani Johnson, 18, pull up on East Lanvale Street near Green Mount Cemetery about 4 p.m., emerging from a vehicle holding weapons.

Officials said police believed the men were poised to shoot a group of people across the street.

“If not for the Baltimore Police Department yesterday, we could have had a mass shooting on our hands, where several innocent lives could have easily been taken,” Davis said at a news conference at police headquarters.

Neither Wood nor Johnson fired, Davis said, but he commended the officers for stopping the men from shooting. At the news conference, police displayed the large pink rifle they say Wood was carrying.

“We don’t run from bad guys with guns. We engage them,” Davis said. “We fired 56 rounds yesterday until this threat was eliminated.”

Two law enforcement sources said investigators believe Wood and Johnson were affiliated with the Black Guerrilla Family gang, which is believed to be fueling much of the violence in some city neighborhoods.

A convicted member of the gang was fatally shot Wednesday night in the Barclay neighborhood, a few blocks north of Thursday’s shooting in Greenmount West.

The gunfire by police happened steps away from a playground as residents were returning home from work to the neighborhood, the site of several redevelopment projects.

More than 150 people have been shot in the city this year, with homicides up 11 percent compared to the same period last year and nonfatal shootings up 49 percent. Last year saw the highest per-capita homicide total in the city’s history, started by a surge in violence following the death of Freddie Gray in April.

Johnson was free on $100,000 bail awaiting trial for a handgun charge, court records show. Wood was on probation after receiving a sentence of time served — about three months — in October for a gun charge.

The charge Wood pleaded guilty to should have brought a mandatory sentence of five years in prison without parole, but Judge Alfred Nance said prosecutors agreed to “step off” that requirement, according to a tape of Wood’s plea hearing.

Police identified the officers as Norman Jones, who has been on the force for two years, and Sgt. Joseph Wiczulis, an eight-year veteran. Wiczulis has been involved in two previous fatal shootings since 2010, including one incident in which he shot a man who had shot two officers.

Jones and Wiczulis, and a third officer who did not fire, are on routine administrative leave. The state’s attorney’s office declined to comment on its investigation of the case.

State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, a mayoral candidate, said Friday she was still receiving information about the circumstances of Thursday’s shooting by police but that it all points to the need to get illegal guns off the street. Pugh said she also is concerned about the safety of officers fighting against criminals with high-powered weapons.

“When police officers walk out of their homes, they don’t know if they’ll be back,” Pugh said. “We need to create an environment for them and the public to be safe.”

Another candidate, Councilman Carl Stokes, said the police made a judgment call that he did not want to second-guess. He praised police for putting more officers in the community in plainclothes to try to prevent crime. “In this case, that strategy worked,” Stokes said.

Lawyer Elizabeth Embry said she wanted more information, adding, “The truth is we don’t know yet what the intentions of the father and son were, but certainly the fact that they were carrying loaded weapons in broad daylight is an indication they were not there for a good reason.”

Davis said the officers were dressed in civilian clothes with vests that identified them as police officers. They are assigned to the special operations section in the Eastern District. None was injured in the shooting.

The commissioner said the officers happened to be riding by when they came upon the two armed men. He said the team had been patrolling the area in an unmarked car as part of a broader crime-fighting effort in the community, which has experienced increased violence recently.

“They rode by this car. You can just imagine, they’re driving by this Volvo that just parked on the side of the road, and out pops two armed gunmen. One with a long gun, one’s got a pistol,” Davis said. “It’s not something that should happen anywhere.”

It’s unclear how many people the men were targeting, but Davis said Wood and Johnson were moving toward a group of people across the street. The rifle was loaded to capacity with 25 rounds and the handgun had seven rounds, police said.

Before the officers opened fire, Davis said, Wood and Johnson said “something threatening” to the group across the street, witnesses told police.

Anthony Barksdale, who spent six years as deputy commissioner of the Police Department until retiring in 2013, said the situation emphasized the importance of training for officers.

“If that guy could’ve let off with that rifle, all three of those cops would’ve been dead,” Barksdale said. “That pink rifle might look silly, but it is highly lethal. You’re goddamn right they fired 56 shots.”

A woman reached by phone who identified herself Friday morning as Johnson’s mother declined to comment on the shooting but called Johnson “my son, the first true love of my life.”

She said he would have turned 19 Monday.

Court records show Johnson’s mother petitioned for child support from Wood in 2010, with Wood taking a DNA test 13 years after Johnson was born that proved he was the child’s father.

Court records from another paternity case involving Wood show he had worked for a moving company, as a chef and as a traffic control employee for the city. In 2007 he was enrolled in intensive outpatient treatment for a drug addiction, and in more recent years was part an employment program with the Center for Urban Families.

Wood’s gun arrest in October came after police said they observed him dealing drugs outside his home, then executed a search warrant and found a 9mm handgun inside. It was his second gun conviction — in 1996, he pleaded guilty and received probation on a handgun charge.

Chief Rodney Hill, head of the Police Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, said the Special Investigations Response Team, which investigates police-involved shootings, responded to the scene and is continuing to locate additional witnesses.

He said “a number of civilian witnesses” corroborated statements from the witness officer.

Davis said there have been a number of recent crime scenes where many rounds of ammunition have been recovered.

Gun arrests are up over 50 percent from last year, he said. “We are encountering more and more people who choose firearms on the streets,” he said.

Davis said he called all three officers personally to check on them. “[I] just told them I was proud of them.”


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French minister compares veil wearers to ‘negroes who accepted slavery’

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San Diego Janitors, Security Guards March Against Workplace Sexual Assault

Hundreds of people, mostly immigrant women,marched in downtown San Diego for International Women’s Day on Tuesday. They sought to raise awareness about workplace harassment and sexual assault of female janitors and security guards who work alone overnight in empty buildings.

One of the women was Maria Amaya, a 43-year-old janitor who came to San Diego from Mexico about 16 years ago. She said she was harassed on the job.

“I had a supervisor who was a very despotic person. He talked dirty, and he wanted to touch everyone,” she said.

Amaya said she confronted him. When he threatened to get her fired, she and other women talked to their human resources representative and got the supervisor fired.

“We hope to help people know their rights, rather than thinking that because they’re immigrants they don’t have rights. Here in the United States you have many rights,” she said.

Amaya’s experience of being harassed is not uncommon among women with these jobs, according to a report released Tuesday by theUniversity of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

Analyzing research statistics and conducting in-depth interviews, study authors found women janitors are at risk of sexual harassment and violence because they often work in isolation.

For the study, UC Berkeley researchers interviewed Lilia Garcia-Brower, executive director of the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund.

“In the janitorial industry, it’s the perfect storm of conditions that come together: extreme vulnerability of a female workforce, a chain-of-command that’s traditionally male, and a workplace where workers are isolated and alone. It’s set up for abuse to happen,” Garcia-Brower said.

The march, which started at the Symphony Tower at noon, was organized by the Service Employees International Union in San Diego.

The rally also coincides with the beginning of labor contract negotiations between the union and property service contract companies.

Unlike Amaya, most of the women who experience sexual assault in these jobs are reluctant to speak out because they fear losing their job, said organizer Beatriz Garcia.

“A lot of them are afraid to report because they either don’t speak English, or they are here on irregular status, or they’re the sole breadwinner for their families. A lot of them are single mothers,” she said.

Garcia said the march downtown was meant to give women courage to speak out and raise awareness about the issues these women face, including low wages.

“There are a lot of risk in those jobs,” said Genoveva Aguilar, another organizer with the union’s United Service Workers West. “We’re saying, ya basta, enough is enough with all the sexual harassment that is going on at work. Stop the rapes, stop sexual harassment because they deserve better.”

I walked on Rum and turned Water to Whiskey.