On January 29, 2015, Suge Knight ran over a man named Cle “Bone” Sloan and Terry Carter with his red Ford Raptor pickup truck, moments after being removed from the production lot of the “Straight Outta Compton.” Unfortunately for the latter, he did not survive the horrific incident that took place in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers in Compton, California. Three years later, Judge Ronald Coen of the Los Angeles Superior Court sentenced the former CEO of Death Row Records to 28 years in prison. But long before the dust cleared on his aforementioned murder case, Terry Carter’s widow, Lillian, and two daughters, Crystal and Nekaya, filed a wrongful lawsuit against Knight. The legal dispute made its way to the Compton Superior Court on Wednesday, where Judge Thomas Long declared that the case was a mistrial after the jurors voted 7-5 in favor of holding Knight liable for the death of Carter. This surprising announcement comes about one week after, Judge Long revealed that the jurors were at a bit of a standstill regarding the matter at hand. According to reports, when the jurors deliberated in order to come to a mutual agreement with one another, their discussion became so intense that it seemed like a physical altercation was about to ensue.
Despite the fact that this trial did not produce favorable results, the Carter family lawyer said that his clients are reportedly gearing up to make another run at a civil lawsuit against Knight. “We’re not deterred at all, and now we’re in a much better space to try this case again,” said Lance Behringer. “Knight never sat for a deposition. There was no written discovery. When he testified for the first time during the trial, we had to respond on the spot. Now we have time to go through it. We know what their defense is for the first time.”
Jussie Smollet’s acting career might be in serious jeopardy, but his post-acting career has been full of hot takes that are just as entertaining and captivating as any role he ever portrayed on camera. His infamous interview with Robin Roberts on ABC News, back in 2019 in which he alleged that he was attacked by Trump supporters has been viewed over 3 million times. Not too far behind that occurrence was his highly publicized declaration in a Chicago courtroom, immediately following his sentencing (for lying to police) where he maintained his innocence during his final statement. Now that jail time for the aforementioned crime is in his rearview mirror, the 40-year-old actor has his sights set on repairing his image in the public eye. In a recent interview with Sway’s Universe, an emotional Smollett talked about his family before discussing exactly how he found the strength to survive in Chicago’s dreaded Cook County Jail.
“How did you make it through [six days in Cook County Jail]?” Asked Sway. “What was your saving grace?”
“God and my family,” Smollet replied. “I fasted, I was [at Cook County Jail] for six and a half days, I fasted for six and a half days. My lawyer…was lying when he said I was fasting for lent (a day of repentance observed by Catholics). I wasn’t fasting for lent, I was fasting because that’s what we do in my family. We fast for clarity. I have never in my life been as clear as I was during those six and a half days. What I was doing was fasting until I found out whether or not I was going to be in there for those five and a half months.”
As the interview continued, Smollett made a point to give credit to some of the inmates who he got to know while he was behind bars at Cook County Jail, highlighting how well they treated him during his short stint there.
“I have to keep it real, everybody inside was very kind and when I left I thanked them all,” Smollet said. “I said, ‘I don’t know what y’all think either way, but the fact that you didn’t let me know what you think, either way, and you just showed me respect, I’m grateful for it.”
A civil trial ended Tuesday with a jury concluding that Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975. The victim, now 64-year-old Judy Huth, was awarded $500,000 as a result of the verdict.
The jury believed the disgraced comedian was aware Huth was underage and intentionally caused sexual contact with the victim as a result. Jurors viewed a 2015 deposition where Cosby denied the accusation as 84-year-old was absent from the trial. Cosby continues to deny the allegation.
During the trial, it was confirmed by Cosby’s attorneys that the actor met Huth and her friend (a key witness) on a film set before inviting them to the Playboy Mansion a few days later. In Huth’s testimony, she claimed that after her, Cosby, and friend Donna Samuelson took photos around the mansion, Cosby attempted to put his hands down her pants before exposing himself and forcing her to perform a sex act.
Huth claims she decided to come forward in 2014 after a wave of alleged victims spoke out and her son grew close to the same age as her when the assault occurred. Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, called out Huth and Samuelson over inconsistencies in their testimony. For example, the women claimed in previous depositions and interviews that Samuelson played Donkey Kong the day the assault took place. However, that video game was not released until six years after the incident.
Despite the defense’s arguments, the jury of nine women and three men sided with Huth. The jurors reached their conclusion on Friday, after two days of deliberations, but were forced to deliberate again on Monday when the jury foreperson had to address a personal matter.
Almost exactly one year ago, Cosby was released from prison after his sexual assault conviction in Pennsylvania was overturned. The sexual assault case from Huth was one of the final remaining lawsuits after many others were settled by Cosby’s insurer.
In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people legally armed in cities and beyond. The ruling came with recent mass shootings fresh in the nation’s mind and gun control being debated in Congress and states.
About a quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling, which struck down a New York gun law. The high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade came on a 6-3 split with the court’s conservatives in the majority and liberals in dissent.
Also Thursday, underscoring the nation’s deep divisions over the issue, the sister of a 9-year-old girl killed in the Uvalde, Texas, school shootings, pleaded with state lawmakers in Austin to pass gun legislation, which would go against the Republican-controlled body’s easing of restrictions in recent years.
President Joe Biden said in a statement he was “deeply disappointed” by the Supreme Court ruling, which he said “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.”
He urged states to pass new laws and said, “I call on Americans across the country to make their voices heard on gun safety. Lives are on the line.”
The court’s decision struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry one in public. The justices said that requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” That right is not a “second-class right,” Thomas wrote. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have laws similar to New York’s.
The hearing Thursday will bring attention to a memorably turbulent stretch at the department as Trump in his final days in office sought to bend to his will a law enforcement agency that has long cherished its independence from the White House. The testimony is aimed at showing how Trump not only relied on outside advisers to press his false claims of election fraud but also tried to leverage the powers of federal executive branch agencies.
Barely an hour before the hearing began, it was revealed that federal agents this week searched Clark’s Virginia home, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney confirmed the existence of law enforcement activity in Virginia, where Clark lives, but would not say what it was connected to.
Federal health officials on Thursday ordered Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the U.S. market, the latest blow to the embattled company widely blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping.
The action is part of a sweeping effort by the Food and Drug Administration to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of regulatory delays.
The FDA said Juul must stop selling its vaping device and its tobacco and menthol flavored cartridges. Those already on the market must be removed. Consumers aren’t restricted from having or using Juul’s products, the agency said.
To stay on the market, companies must show that their e-cigarettes benefit public health. In practice, that means proving that adult smokers who use them are likely to quit or reduce their smoking, while teens are unlikely to get hooked on them.
The FDA noted that some of the biggest sellers like Juul may have played a “disproportionate″ role in the rise in teen vaping. The agency said Thursday that Juul’s application didn’t have enough evidence to show that marketing its products “would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.”
Juul said it disagrees with the FDA’s findings and will seek to put the ban on hold while the company considers its options, including a possible appeal and talking with regulators.
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The hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol resume Tuesday with a focus on Trump’s relentless effort to undo Joe Biden’s victory in the most local way — by leaning on officials in key battleground states to reject ballots outright or to submit alternative electors for the final tally in Congress. The pressure was fueled by the defeated president’s false claims of voter fraud which, the panel says, led directly to the riot at the Capitol.
Embattled Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is scheduled to testify about Trump’s phone call asking him to “find 11,780” votes that could flip the state to prevent Biden’s election victory.
Raffensperger, with his deputy Gabe Sterling and Arizona’s Republican state House Speaker Rusty Bowers, are scheduled to be key witnesses, along with Wandrea “Shay” Moss, a former Georgia election worker who, with her mother, have said they faced such severe public harassment from Trump allies they felt unable to live normal lives.
The public hearing, the fourth by the panel this month, stems from its yearlong investigation into Trump’s unprecedented attempt to remain in power, a sprawling scheme that the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee has likened to an “attempted coup.”
Tuesday’s focus will review how Trump was repeatedly told his pressure campaign could potentially cause violence against the local officials and their families but pursued it anyway, according to a select committee aide. And it will underscore that fallout from Trump’s lies continues to this day, with elections officers facing ongoing public harassment and political challengers trying to take over their jobs.
While the committee cannot charge Trump with any crimes, the Justice Department is watching the panel’s work closely. Trump’s actions in Georgia are also the subject of a grand jury investigation, with the district attorney expected to announce findings this year.
“We will show during a hearing what the president’s role was in trying to get states to name alternate slates of electors, how that scheme depended initially on hopes that the legislatures would reconvene and bless it,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.
Schiff, who will lead much of Tuesday’s session, said the hearing will also dig into the “intimate role” the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had in the plot to pressure Georgia state legislators and elections officials.
Raffensperger, Georgia’s top election official, rebuffed Trump’s request that he “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s win in the state — a request caught on tape during a phone call days before the Jan. 6 attack.
During the call, Trump repeatedly cited disproven claims of fraud and raised the prospect of a “criminal offense” if Georgia officials did not change the vote count. The state had counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s win by a 11,779 margin.
Sterling, Raffensperger’s chief operating officer, became a notable figure in Georgia’s long post-election counting, and recounting, of the presidential ballots, with his regular updates often broadcast live to a divided nation. At one point, the soft-spoken Republican implored Americans to tone down the heated rhetoric.
“Death threats, physical threats, intimidation — it’s too much, it’s not right,” he said.
Bowers is expected to discuss the pressure he faced to overturn Arizona’s results — requests from Trump advisers that the Republican state leader on Monday called “juvenile.”
In an interview with the AP after arriving in Washington ahead of the hearing, Bowers said he is expected to be asked about a call with Trump during which lawyer Rudy Giuliani floated an idea to replace Arizona’s electors with those who would vote for Trump.
Bowers also revealed a second phone call with Trump in December 2020 that he said was mainly small talk, although Trump also referenced their first conversation.
Moss, who had worked for the Fulton County elections department since 2012, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker, filed a defamation lawsuit in December 2021. Moss claimed conservative outlet One America News Network and Giuliani falsely spread allegations that she and her mother engaged in ballot fraud during the election. The case against OAN has since been dismissed with a settlement.
Both Bowers and Moss, along with Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel’s vice chair, were among recipients of this year’s John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage award “for their courage to protect and defend democracy.”
The select committee also plans to untangle the elaborate “fake electors” scheme that sought to have representatives in as many as seven battlegrounds — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico — sign certificates falsely stating that Trump, not Biden, had won their states.
Conservative law professor John Eastman, a lawyer for Trump, pushed the fake electors in the weeks after the election. Trump and Eastman convened hundreds of electors on a call on Jan. 2, 2021, encouraging them to send alternative slates from their states where Trump’s team was claiming fraud.
The fake electors idea was designed to set up a challenge on Jan. 6, 2021 when Congress met in joint session, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over what is typically a ceremonial role to accept the states’ vote tallies. But the effort collapsed, as Pence refused Trump’s repeated demands that he simply halt the certification of Biden’s win — a power he believed he did not possess in his purely ceremonial role.
At least 20 people in connection with the fake electors scheme were subpoenaed by the House panel. The committee says it will also show that it has gathered enough evidence through its more than 1,000 interviews and tens of thousands of documents to connect the varying efforts to overturn the election directly to Trump.
A top Texas law enforcement official said that there were enough armed police officers wearing body armor to stop the late May shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas three minutes after it began.
But instead, it took about an hour and 14 minutes from when officers arrived at the school towhen they breached the door and ended the standoff with the gunman.
That was according to Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, who spoke to state officials during a Texas Senate committee hearing on Tuesday.
“The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none,” McCraw said.
He added that the outside door the shooter used to enter the school was unlocked, though the lock was working properly.
McCraw called the police response to the shooting an “abject failure” and said it was “antithetical” to the lessons learned about active shooter situations since the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999.