Politics

THE WORD | Chicago cops demand Kim Foxx’s resignation over Jussie Smollett case

Chicago’s police union is demanding the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx after her office’s decision to drop all charges against alleged hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and a group of suburban police chiefs on Thursday announced a “no confidence” vote against Foxx due to her office’s handling of Smollett and other felony cases, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

 Michelle Obama‘s former top aide was in contact with the prosecutor in Jussie Smollett’s case, weeks before a grand juryindictedtheEmpireactor on16 countsof disorderly conduct for allegedly making false reports on Feb. 20.

Tina Tchen, who worked as Obama’s chief of staff and now leads the Southern Poverty Law Center, texted with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx amid the investigation. The communication between Foxx and Tchen, who describes herself as a “family friend” of the Smolletts, raised questions after Foxx’s office dropped all felony charges against Smollett.

Since then, the city has gone after Smollett,demanding he repayChicago $130,106 — the cost of the police overtime hours expended in the investigation into his allegations. The actor missed a city-imposed Thursday deadline to pay or face further legal action.

Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos balked at the city’s demands in a letter dated Thursday and obtained by the Tribune. Los Angeles-based Geragos wrote that Smollett “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum.”

THE WORD | Nipsey Hussle murder suspect pleads not guilty, defended by former O.J. Simpson prosecutor

The suspect charged with the murder of Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle has pleaded not guilty. Eric Holder, 29, was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the shooting. Holder's attorney, Christopher Darden, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf at his arraignment on Thursday. Holder is being held on $5 million bail. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted as charged.

 

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THE WORD | Lori Lightfoot is Chicago’s First Black Female Mayor

April 2, 2019 Lori Lightfoot becomes Chicago’s first Black Female Mayor. Lightfoot becomes just the second woman elected mayor, following Jane Byrne, who served one term from 1979 to 1983. She also is the first person elected Chicago mayor not born in the city since Anton Cermak took office in 1931. Chicago also becomes the largest U.S. city ever to elect an openly gay mayor.

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THE WORD | Nipsey Hussle Fatally Shot in Los Angeles (Updated)

Updated 4/2/2019 There has been an update in the investigation of Nipsey Hussle ‘s murder. The police have identified the suspect Eric Holder and want the help of the community to get him into custody. It is being reported that the two got into an argument and the suspect came back and shot at Nipsey and two others.

There was also a candle light vigil held in his honor last night and a disturbance caused a panic and a stampede to occur. 19 people were injured and 1 person was critically wounded after being hit by a car.

Original Story 4/1/19 Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot today outside of his Marathon clothing store in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, NBC News reports. Hussle was standing outside of his store with a crowd of people when an unknown person opened fire, killing Hussle and wounding two others. Police say that they are looking for a black male in his 20s and that the shooting appears to be gang-related. The Victory Lap rapper was 33 years old.  He's survived by his two children and London, with whom he just had a child with in 2016.

Hussle's reach extended well beyond his own neighborhood. In the wake of Hussle's passing, it became clear how many corners of the rap community he had touched. Hiphop took social media to show him love.

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Donald Glover on Nipsey’s passing.

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THE WORD | All of Jussie Smollett's charges have been dropped

A grand jury indicted Jussie Smollett on 16 counts of disorderly conduct in February. Cook County prosecutors on March 26, 2019, dropped all charges against Smollett on disorderly conduct charges. The 36-year-old actor vehemently denied lying to police and faking a homophobic attack in the Streeterville neighborhood on Jan. 29, 2019.

While prosecutors claimed to have overwhelming evidence, the deal did not require Smollett to admit he did anything wrong. What’s more, Smollett’s lawyers have vehemently disputed there was an agreement at all, and now the entire court file has been sealed at the defense’s request.

The unanswered questions surrounding the development left many wondering what might have happened behind the scenes. It also appeared to have caught Chicago police brass by surprise and brought swift condemnation from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who called it a “whitewash of justice.”

“From top to bottom, this is not on the level,” Emanuel told reporters at an afternoon news conference, emphasizing repeatedly that a grand jury had chosen to bring 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett. “Where’s the accountability in the system?”

THE WORD | Passengers Airlifted From Cruise Ship Stranded in Norway

Via Complex:

On Saturday, a luxury outing turned into a terrifying ordeal after passengers had to be rescued by helicopter from a malfunctioningcruise ship.

According to reports, the Viking Sky cruise ship lost power to its engines due to inclement weather. The vessel, as well as its more than 1,300 passengers and crew members, were stranded off Norway's Western Hustadvika coast. Although the crew was reportedly able to revive one of the ship's four motors, the captain decided to send a mayday alert to authorities and anchor the ship about 1.2 miles from the shore.

Due to the high waves and strong wind, search and rescue teams decided that the best way to evacuate the passengers is to use a helicopter to grab them one-by-one from the ship. Once close to 15-20 people were aboard the aircraft, it would fly them to safety. As of 8 PM local time, 139 people had been taken from the stranded ship to shore.

THE WORD | Jussie Smollett Removed From Empire’s Final 2 Episodes Following Arrest

On Friday, February 22, producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo andDennis Hammer revealed in a statement that Smollett, 36, will not appear in the final two episodes of the season.

The decision, producers said, was made to "avoid further disruption on set."

"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us," the statement said. "Jussie has been an important member of our 'Empire' family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."

 

 

THE WORD| Jussie Smollett charged with filing a false report

BREAKING NEWS - Chicago Police say Jussie Smollett is now officially a SUSPECT in a criminal investigation for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony. That could mean up to 3 years behind bars. Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.

 Chicago Police: “Felony criminal charges have been approved by Cook County State's Attorney's Office against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.” 

 

THE WORD | 21 SAVAGE SAYS HE WAS "TARGETED BY ICE IN HIS GMA INTERVIEW

Rapper 21 Savage (real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) was arrested by ICE on Super Bowl Sunday, during the arrest it was discovered that the rapper was not a United States legal citizen. His visa expired when he was 7 years ago . After 21 Savage was released on bond from ICE detention centers , he sat down for his first interview. During a brief conversation on Good Morning America, Savage admitted that he felt his arrest “was definitely targeted.”

“I don’t think the policy is broken. I feel like the way that they enforce the policy is broken,” Abraham-Joseph said.

He described what he witnessed during the arrest. “I was just driving and I just seen guns and blue lights. And then I was in the back of a car and I was gone.” According to Abraham-Joseph, the authorities didn’t reveal why he was being apprehended, “They didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.'”

THE WORD | Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' is found guilty on all counts

Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, who once headed a criminal enterprise that spanned continents and triggered waves of bloodshed throughout his native Mexico, was found guilty Tuesday of all 10 federal criminal counts against him.

The vast Brooklyn, New York, courtroom fell silent as the verdict was read. Jurors did not look at the defendant, who pocketed nearly $14 billion as the decadeslong head of the murderous Sinaloa cartel.

There was no visible reaction from Guzmán, whose conviction on the top charge of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise carries a mandatory term of life in prison. He will be sentenced on June 25.

THE WORD | Gucci removes $890 "blackface" sweater, apologizes after receiving backlash

Gucci has removed a controversial sweater from its website and apologized after some people said the sweater resembled blackface. The black turtleneck covers the face and has mouth opening with red lips surrounding it. It originally cost $890, according to screenshots from the Gucci website, taken before the product was removed. Social media was outraged, especially because the release came during Black History Month. Below is Gucci’s Statement.

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 A screenshot taken before the sweater was removed made its rounds on social media, with many people writing to Gucci in outrage over the racist sweater.

Donald Trump Signs First Bills Into Law Moments Into Presidency

Just minutes after taking the Oath of Office, President Trump took action to begin work repealing Obamacare. Vice President looks on as the Executive Orders are being signed.

Just minutes after taking the Oath of Office, President Trump took action to begin work repealing Obamacare. Vice President looks on as the Executive Orders are being signed.

Shortly after today's inauguration, President Donald Trump signed a few Executive Orders into law. Keeping true to one of his campaign promises, repealing Obamacare aka the Affordable Care Act. 

One of Obama's first priorities when taking office in 2009 was Obamacare and making healthcare available for all. 20 millions Americans are currently insured under the health care law. Now President Trump is taking immediate action to get rid of it, with no clear indication of what he will replace it with.

Steve Harvey Talk Urban Development With Donald Trump

Today's order had multiple parts but it essentially said Trump's administration will work to "promptly repeal" the Affordable Care Act. However, until then they must continue to follow the law until a change is made. It also provided more flexibility for states to reduce some of the requirements and allowed more authority for them to make health care decisions. In short, it allowed more states to have control over their health care markets.

Also today, the new laws cleared the way for his defense secretary to become official which is standard. Regarding the other laws signed today White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "the other papers Trump was signing included formal nominations for his Cabinet and a proclamation for a national day of patriotism."

Watch: What's The Word Crew 2016 Cultural Impacts Countdown

More of Trump's nominees still need to be confirmed through the Senate. Today only two of Trump's nominees for his Cabinet were confirmed: retired General John Kelly for Homeland Security and retired General James Mattis to serve as Defense Secretary.

Stay with What's The Word TV for the latest on your political news.

Read Next: see why Coretta Scott King Criticized Trump's Attorney General Pick Back In 1986

During Final Hours, Pres. Obama Frees 300 More Inmates, The Most In A Single Day

In his last act, Pres. Obama, shortened more sentences in a single day in U.S. history

In his last act, Pres. Obama, shortened more sentences in a single day in U.S. history

On his last day in office, President Obama granted 330 commutations. This will allow many drug offenders a lesser sentence. During the last eight years, Obama shortened 1,715 sentences, including 568 of whom were sentenced to life.

Read Obama's Tweet About Thursdays Move 

In a letter to the recipients the outgoing President said he believed they had the opportunity right now to do what is right. 

"I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around. Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change... remember that you have the capacity to make good decisions."

Watch: What's The Word at Obama's Farewell Speech in Chicago

According to officials at the White House, this was the most commutations done in a single day by a sitting President. White House counsel Neil Eggleston said this comes as Obama worked on lessening harsh sentences.

"The vast majority of these men and women are serving unduly long sentences for drug crimes... He has a strong view that people deserve a second chance." For an inmate to be considered under Obama, they needed to demonstrate good behavior, already served 10 years, have a nonviolent offense. However, some exceptions were made for the 10-year-rule and there were some firearm violations in relation to the drug crimes.

President Obama made history when his was the first sitting President to visit a Federal Prison

President Obama made history when his was the first sitting President to visit a Federal Prison

During his final press conference Wednesday afternoon, Obama discussed the role of voting  and how the United States should make it easier to vote. He blames the Jim Crow era, saying the reason for the low turnout is because many Americans are eligible to vote who don't go to the polls. "It became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise... The idea that we put in place a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn't make sense."

You can read his entire last speech here.

President-Elect Donald Trump will be inaugurated at noon on Friday, January 20th. Close to 60 Democrats will be boycotting the event for Trump's word to Civil Rights Icon and Representative John Lewis. 

Trump has been having close door meetings with a number of people ahead of his inauguration including Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King III. 

What do you take away from Obama's final gesture in office? Comment below and tell us.