Attorney General Kwame Raoul ‘reviewing’ Van Dyke sentence

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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office says it is reviewing the legality of the sentence handed down last week to former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald.

“We are going to do a careful review of the record and the law and make a determination based on our review,” Maura Possley, a spokeswoman for the office, said Wednesday afternoon.

Raoul, sworn in as attorney general this month, would not say whether he believes Van Dyke’s punishment is fair.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan last Friday sentenced Van Dyke to 81 months in prison — less than half of what prosecutors had sought. Van Dyke could be released in three years.

Outside the courtroom, Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon said he was “satisfied” with the sentence.

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“We achieved our goal of justice and holding Jason Van Dyke accountable for his actions,” McMahon said.

But many police-accountability activists viewed the sentence as a setback.

A jury in October convicted Van Dyke of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for each shot into McDonald.

Some legal experts say the best way to challenge Van Dyke’s sentence would be to seek a “mandamus” order from the Illinois Supreme Court. That court could find Gaughan violated the law by basing the punishment on the second-degree murder count, a Class 1 felony, instead of the battery counts, which carry a more serious designation, Class X.

A spokesman for McMahon on Wednesday said the special prosecutor is “still reviewing” the sentence. The spokesman would not say whether McMahon asked McDonald’s mother, Tina Hunter, for her view on whether the sentence should be challenged.

McDonald’s great uncle Rev. Marvin Hunter, the family’s spokesman, said “justice was not served” and accused Gaughan of treating Van Dyke as if the crime were a “minor drug offense.”

A staffer in Gaughan’s chambers on Wednesday said the judge declined to comment on the sentencing.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx did not answer what she thinks of the sentence or whether she would play a role in challenging it. A consideration for Foxx is her predecessor Anita Alvarez’s recusal of the office from the case after civil-rights groups accused her of pro-police bias.

Locke Bowman, an attorney who led the push for a special prosecutor in the case, said the Supreme Court has authority to toss out Gaughan’s “illegal” ruling that second-degree murder is the greater offense.

“If you turned the tables and if a young African-American man had regrettably fired 16 shots at a Chicago police officer and killed him,” Bowman said, “the judicial system would impose a massively punitive sentence.”

On Thursday, Van Dyke’s attorney slammed Raoul for reviewing the sentence.

“Another politician has chosen to exploit the tragic death of Laquan McDonald for his own political gain,” the attorney, Dan Herbert, said in a statement. “The judge in this case carefully considered the arguments made and issued the correct ruling under the law.”Van Dyke’s defense team says it is exploring its own options for challenging the sentence as well as the conviction.

Van Dyke began shooting McDonald, 17, as the teen carried a knife and walked away from officers on a South Side road in 2014. Many of the 16 shots hit the teen after he had collapsed to the pavement.

A police dashcam video contradicted reports by officers that McDonald was attacking Van Dyke.

Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson last week acquitted three officers of charges they covered up for Van Dyke

Chicago inspectors find code violations at R. Kelly’s studio

CHICAGO — Chicago building inspectors have found code violations at R. Kelly’s recording studio, including evidence the industrial space was used as a residence.

Building Department spokesman Gregg Cunningham says the agency will list the violations during a court hearing next week. He says the inspectors were looking at plumbing, electrical systems and carpentry.

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenburg, says no one was living at the studio and it should not be surprising that it included places for sleeping or taking breaks.

Kelly has been hit in recent weeks with sexual misconduct allegations. The Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” recently drew fresh attention to the allegations and the #MeToo and #MuteRKelly movements have held protests outside the studio demanding promoters stop booking his concerts.

Greenburg says the inspectors didn’t find anything supporting misconduct by Kelly.

Carey Kelly tells in an interview how him and R. Kelly were molested by older sister for years during childhood.

It’s more to this “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary that aired on “Lifetime” but I feel it’s much more of a psychological issue that needs to be solved. Instead of pointing the finger…. Let’s HELP and fix the problem. More to come on #BHRELIVE

Surviving R. Kelly: Ex wife Drea Kelly tells her story to ABC Nightline

Surviving R. Kelly is Lifetime’s new documentary series that, over a course of three nights, will tell the harrowing stories of sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by famous R&B singer, R. Kelly. One of the most riveting accounts in the series comes from Andrea Kelly, a woman who first shared her story of alleged abuse by Kelly last summer. But exactly who is Andrea Kelly, and how is her story relevant to the series?

According to PeopleAndrea Kelly was married to R. Kelly from 1996 to 2009, and she is the mother to his three children. She met Kelly in 1994 when she auditioned as a backup dancer for his shows. Eventually, Andrea went on to marry Kelly and became a creative director and choreographer for many of his world tours and performances. According to her own website, Andrea is a trained dancer from Chicago who now advocates on behalf of women who have suffered from domestic violence.

After 15 years of marriage, Andrea finalized her divorce from Kelly in 2009, but it wasn’t until last summer that she publicly detailed abuses she allegedly faced at the hands of her ex-husband. In an interview with TV One’s Sister Circle daytime talk show in June of 2018, Andrea broke her silence and described the incidentsthat led her to leave the marriage. “We got divorced because I was no longer going to sit and be violated,” Andrea said in the interview. “What he did to me was criminal.”

R. Kelly did not immediately respond to Romper’s request for comment

In October of 2018, Andrea made an appearance on The View in which she revealed what prompted her to finally speak out about her relationship with Kelly. She said that she heard the story of another Kelly accuser on a TV show and found the women’s story to be exactly the same as her own.

“It was just something about that that pierced my spirit, and I was like if no one else is going to speak up for her, if no one else is going to believe her, at least she knows that I do,” Andrea told The View panel. “It’s about saving lives. You cannot not speak when someone’s life and what they’ve been through is parallel to yours — It’s different when you hear words that ring true to your spirit because you’ve survived it and been through it.”

Andrea’s accounts will be featured in Lifetime’s new documentary, alongside the testimony of other Kelly accusers and people from his inner circle. In a clip for the series, Andrea gives insight into what went through her mind when she suffered the alleged abuse by Kelly. “You don’t even believe in your own sense of judgement after a while, and you’re trying to figure out ‘How do I get him back to the good space?’ ” she says in the clip. “I’ll just take responsibility for it, I’ll just say it’s my fault. I’ll say yes to whatever it is, I’ll apologize, because if I could just get him back to the good guy, the one that I fell in love with, then I’m in a good space.”

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Surviving R. Kelly premieres on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime, with two additional hours premiering on Friday, Jan. 4, at 9 p.m. ET, and the final installment airing on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 9 p.m. ET.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.

Live & Direct Show 10/23

Click on link below for audio

www.spreaker.com/episode/16037328

On today’s episode the host Blaq Hippie, Jitim Young, Corey CL Crockett and Lavar Hamlin are talking real life topics that goes thru both men and women mind, talking NFL and NBA first two weeks along with the CP3, Rondo Fight….. also how feel about the way Lebron James handled it. Tune in Mon-Fri @7pm and call in (708) 328-8923 #BlaqHippieRadioEnt #ProductOfChicago #LiveAndDirectShow

Live & Direct Show 5/15/18

Click on link below for audio

www.spreaker.com/episode/14804172

R. Kelly Accused by Woman of ‘Grooming’ Her for Cult, STD Infection

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A woman told Dallas police R&B singer R. Kelly “knowingly and intentionally” infected her with a sexually transmitted disease during an eight-month relationship that began when she was 19.

The woman said in a criminal complaint filed April 9 that Kelly caused “serious bodily injury” to her in December, during a relationship in which he also gave her illegal drugs and alcohol, her lawyer, Lee Merritt, told HuffPost. The woman, who the lawyer didn’t identify by name, ended the relationship in February, when Kelly’s “predatory, controlling and abusive behavior” escalated, Merritt said.

During her relationship with the singer, “our client was the victim of several forms of criminal misconduct by Kelly, including, but not limited to, unlawful restraint, furnishing alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor, and aggravated assault (via the referenced intentional STD infection),” Merritt wrote in a press release. “These offenses occurred while our client was being groomed to join Kelly’s sex cult.”

Kelly, 51, did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. A spokesperson told The Washington Post, which first reported the woman’s complaint, that the singer “categorically denies all claims and allegations.”

Merritt said the woman is preparing a federal civil lawsuit against Kelly. The singer “gradually introduced the cult to our client over the course of their relationship, culminating with an explanation that she would have to sign a contract and offer collateral information about herself and her family for Kelly’s protection,” he said.

Kelly’s stardom has been marked by dozens of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to 1994, when he allegedly married R&B singer Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was 27.

In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a video showed him allegedly having sex with and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. He has agreed to multiple out-of-court settlements with women who accused him of sexual assault, including one who said Kelly had sex with her when she was 15.

Last year, a BuzzFeed report alleged the singer holds multiple young women against their will in an abusive sex cult. Rolling Stone also reported that Kelly’s ex-girlfriend, radio DJ Kitti Jones, said he abused, sexually assaulted and starved her throughout their two-year relationship.

The woman who filed the Dallas complaint said that after she left Kelly, she contacted the family of Jocelyn Savage, a young woman whose parents say is being held against her will in Kelly’s sex cult. The woman told Savage’s parents she had contact with their daughter while she was dating Kelly, according to the Post.

Kelly continues to book concerts and receive big-name endorsements, despite the decades of allegations. He has sold nearly 60 million albums.

Female YouTube Shooter Identified As Nasim Najafi Aghdam.

Terrified employees fled as gunfire rang out at YouTube’s sprawling headquarters in San Bruno, California, on Tuesday, prompting a massive police response and evacuation as victims were transported to nearby hospitals. San Bruno police identified the suspect late Tuesday as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39, who was found dead from what authorities believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said three people were transported to local hospitals with gunshot wounds.

His department said it is working to identify a motive for the shooting. Earlier reports indicated the suspect may have known one of the victims, but police said late Tuesday that “at this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”

Barberini said police arrived on scene at 12:48 p.m. local time and encountered frantic employees fleeing the building. “It was very chaotic as you can imagine,” he said.

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Responding officers encountered one victim with a gunshot wound toward the front of the building before finding the deceased suspect, Barberini said. Several minutes later, police located two additional victims at an adjacent building.

Barberini later said the suspect used a handgun and there was no further threat to the community.

San Bruno police investigate motive

Police said they are investigating the motive for the shooting, but Aghdam’s videos and website are filled with criticism of YouTube. Sources said she initially asked for one of the male victims by name, and that she used 9mm handgun during the shooting.

Jaclyn Schildkraut, an expert on mass shootings research and assistant professor at the State University of New York (SUNY), told CBS News it was “very uncommon” to see a female suspect carry out this type of shooting.

Women made up of only four percent of mass shooting suspects in the U.S. between 1966 and 2016, Schildkraut said. However, Tuesday’s shooting might not fit the definition of a mass shooting. The Gun Violence Archive defines it as four or more people shot or killed —  excluding the shooter.