Teen boy fatally shot by Chicago police after traffic stop leads to ‘armed confrontation,’ police say 2/17/2019

A 17-year-old boy fatally shot by a Chicago police officer Saturday night on the West Side died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to an autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The officer shot the boy after police tried to pull over the vehicle he was riding in, officials said.

The teen, identified by authorities as Michael Elam, was initially taken to an area hospital after the shooting in critical condition. But on Sunday morning, a spokesman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the city agency that investigates police-involved shootings, said the teen has since died.

Two weapons were confiscated at the scene, according to Chicago police, and no officers were hurt.

The shooting happened about 8:30 p.m. near 21st Street and Keeler Avenue in the North Lawndale community after Ogden District tactical officers tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation, police said.

As officers followed the vehicle, they saw it hit a parked vehicle and a curb before coming to a stop, police said.

The teen passenger exited the vehicle before “an armed confrontation ensued,” prompting one officer to shoot the teen, police said. The COPA spokesman said the suspect was shot by the officer when he tried to flee as police pursued him on foot.

As required by Chicago Police Department policy after police-involved shootings, that officer will be placed on desk duty for 30 days.

As a matter of routine, COPA will conduct an investigation into whether Police Department protocol was followed during the shooting.

New Voices Fund Teams Up With MVMT50 To Empower Black Women Entrepreneurs

The New Voices Fund has been working to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs of color. Through several partnerships, the fund has provided women with access to capital and other resources needed to succeed in the realm of entrepreneurship. One of the latest organizations to team up with the fund to create more opportunities for women of color business owners is MVMT50, Black Enterprise reported.

MVMT50 —a collective of Black leaders who are focused on increasing cultural representation in the innovation and technology spaces—has joined forces with SheaMoisture and the New Voices Foundation to host a pitch competition for Black women, the news outlet writes. The competition—dubbed PITCH BLACK—was created as an avenue to address the obstacles that Black women face when trying to become entrepreneurs, including the lack of access to capital. The competition winners will receive up to $100,000.

“We created the New Voices Foundation to provide wrap-around services and ensure that we could meet our entrepreneurs where they are on their individual journeys, whether they need capital or other critical resources such as access or expertise,” Richelieu Dennis, Founder, New Voices Fund, said in a statement. “As we continue to invest in black women, I’m thrilled that we are able to do so via this impactful experience with MVMT50 and Pitch Black. Only through collective efforts will we truly begin to level the field.”

The pitch competition is slated to take place at the University of Texas at Austin on March 9.

There has been a push to support Black women founders. Last year Arlan Hamilton, founder of the venture capitalist firm Backstage Capital, announced that the company would invest $36 million in the entrepreneurial endeavors of African American women.

Gucci Announces Plans On ‘Cultural Diversity And Awareness’ After Blackface Scandal

Gucci has announced plans to boost cultural diversity and awareness within its company after it received backlash for one of its clothing items resembling blackface caricatures.

The luxury brand released a statement on social media Friday sharing its first set of initiatives to address the incident in what it says is the start of a “long-term plan of actions.”

“We accept full accountability for this incident, which has exposed shortfalls in our ongoing strategic approach to embedding diversity and inclusion in both our organization and in our activities,” Marco Bizzarri, Gucci president and CEO, said in the statement. 

Last week, Harlem fashion icon Dapper Dan, born Daniel Day, announced on Instagram that Bizzarri planned to travel from Italy to Harlem to meet with him and other community and industry leaders to address the controversy.

Day notably collaborated with Gucci on a special collection in 2017 and teamed up with the brand to open an atelier in central Harlem, described as an homage to Day’s original famed boutique in the ’80s and ’90s

“I am particularly grateful to Dapper Dan for the role he has played in bringing community leaders together to offer us their counsel at this time,” Bizzarri continued. 

Gucci was widely criticized earlier this month after images of its $890 balaclava knit top began circulating on social media. The sweater, which features an opening with bright red lips that can be stretched over the mouth, was lambasted for having a resemblance to racist anti-black caricatures

The Italian luxury brand announced last week that it removed the item from both its online and physical stores.

The company’s first set of initiatives includes hiring global and regional directors for diversity and inclusion, launching a multicultural design scholarship program, and global learning initiatives. 

Day released a statement on Friday, prior to Gucci’s, acknowledging his meeting with the brand’s leaders. 

We had some of the best minds from the corporate world participating, experts in inclusivity and accountability ― 90% people of color,” he wrote. “They made great demands. It’s time for Gucci to answer.”

Day added that he plans to announce a date for a town hall meeting in Harlem, to “talk about how we feel about what they have proposed.”

Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Reportedly Win Big In NFL Settlement

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are reportedly laughing all the way to the bank. The two have settled with NFL for a number that outlets are claiming was “lucrative.”

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The NFL and Kaepernick’s attorneys released a statement on Friday that read, “For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

While the details of the settlement are not known, Yahoo Sports reports they were “told on prior occasions that Kaepernick and Reid would only settle the complaint if a lucrative financial agreement was reached between the players and the NFL.”

Kaepernick and Reid case, which was filed in October of 2017, alleged that the NFL teams were in violation of the anti-collusion clause of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Kaepernick’s attorney claimed he was not signed because the NFL and the owners, “colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.”

ESPN reports that there was about to hearing on the case, which would have been “semi-public” and “could have exposed inner workings of league business, along with the details of depositions attorneys have taken with high-level executives and in some owners.” Therefore, it sounds like it was in the NFL’s best interest to settle.

Back in August TMZ reported an arbitrator threw out the NFL’s motion to dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit, which means there would have been a trial and NFL owners will have to testify under oath.

TMZ reports, “The NFL had filed legal docs alleging Kaepernick’s legal argument — that NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league — was baseless and without evidence. The arbitrator disagreed, concluding there was sufficient evidence present in the former QB’s legal docs to allow his case to go forward.”

Also, it was possible Trump would have been subpoenaed. As we reported back in June, Kaepernick filed subpoenas for Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other officials to talk about their “political involvement” with the NFL. The administration would also have to admit to the pressure they allegedly put on the league to stop players from kneeling in peaceful protests. However, lawyers for Trump have argued that the president is immune from prosecution.

Nonetheless, congrats to Kaepernick and Reid for staying in the fight and winning against a massive entity.

6 dead in Aurora factory shooting; mom says gunman was laid off, ‘stressed out’

At a later news conference, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman confirmed Martin had killed five people at the Henry Pratt Company, a 118-year-old company that makes water valves. The warehouse employs about 200 people, but it wasn’t clear how many were inside at the time, Ziman said.

The horrific ordeal lasted about an hour and 35 minutes from the time numerous people called 911 to report a shooter.

One officer was shot outside the warehouse and another near the entrance as soon as they arrived at the scene, Ziman said. Three additional officers were wounded as they ran into the building.

No shots were fired for the next 90 minutes as scores of officers swarmed the warehouse and tried to find the shooter.

“We had two very different missions: One was for life saving, and one was for finding the offender,” Ziman said.

A SWAT team eventually located Martin, who fired his Smith and Wesson handgun at them, Ziman said. They returned fire, killing him.

Authorities then found five employees dead, and another with a nonfatal wound. Their identities have not been released. Ziman said they were giving family members time to contact one another.

“My heart goes out to the victims and their family members who simply went to work today like any other day,” she said.

The five officers who were shot are expected to survive as well. One had undergone surgery, and another was going under the knife late Friday, Ziman said.

A search of Martin’s Aurora home didn’t turn up anything suspicious, Ziman said.

“This is a sad day for the city of Aurora. We must never forget those innocent people who were senselessly, senselessly gunned down,” said Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. “… Our hearts go out to the victims in this horrific tragedy.”

Law enforcement personnel gather near the scene of a shooting at an industrial park in Aurora. | Bev Horne/Daily Herald

Emergency crews originally responded to “multiple calls” of an active shooter at 641 Archer Ave. at 1:28 p.m., Ziman said.

The officers were immediately fired upon as they entered they 29,000-square-foot warehouse, she said.

“There is an active shooter near Highland and Archer,” the city tweeted Friday afternoon. “Aurora Police are on the scene.”

“This is an ongoing active scene,” police tweeted.

A huge police and fire department presence could be seen outside the business. SWAT teams surrounded the complex. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI were also at the scene.

John Probst, who identified himself as a worker at Henry Pratt, told ABC7 the gunman worked “in assembly” at the company for about 15 years and came to work Friday like any other day. He said 30 people were in the building at the time of the shooting.

He said he saw Martin holding a pistol with a laser scope before he started firing randomly. After the shooting started, he and other workers ran out of the back of the building, and some took refuge in nearby homes.

Law enforcement personnel gather near the scene of a shooting at an industrial park in Aurora, Ill., on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Bev Horne/Daily Herald via AP)

The shooter was “apprehended” around 3 p.m., the city tweeted. Ziman later said he was killed by police.

NBA To Co-Launch Professional Basketball League In Africa

The Basketball Africa League will be the first time the NBA collaborates to operate a league outside of North America.

The NBA announced Saturday it is helping launch a professional basketball league in Africa.

The new league will be called the Basketball Africa League, or BAL, according to the joint announcement from the NBA and FIBA, basketball’s international governing body. The BAL will feature 12 teams representing several countries across the African continent, including Nigeria, Angola, Senegal, Tunisia, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Rwanda, the NBA’s press release stated

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis made the joint announcement at the NBA All-Star 2019 Africa luncheon in North Carolina.

“The implementation of this league is also vital to our young up-and-coming players in Africa as it gives them something to take aim at: they can look at becoming players who can play and evolve in these competitions, right on their continent,” said Alphonse Bilé, FIBA Africa executive director, according to the release. 

The BAL will be the first time the NBA collaborates to operate a league outside of North America, the organization stated. 

The NBA and FIBA also announced plans to hold qualification tournaments this year to determine the 12 teams, which are slated to officially begin play next January. 

Many people celebrated the news of the new league on Twitter Saturday. 

This is fantastic and exciting news for this amazing continent!” one Twitter user wrote. 

“Wow! This is amazing, can’t wait to watch and support,” another wrote.