Kidnapped Girl from Philly Escapes

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A young girl abducted from her elementary school escaped her captors early Tuesday morning, ending a night-long search in Philadelphia for the missing child. Thanks to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram celebrities and regular civilians alike spreaded the amber alert of Na’illa Robinson, 5, who was found at about 4:40 a.m. near a playground on 69th Street, rescued by a man who heard her screams as he walked by. Na’illa was signed out and taken from her school on Monday morning by an unknown woman, but it was not until the students were dismissed for the day that the girl was identified as missing.

When she was found, the young girl was wearing only a T-shirt, taking shelter from cold weather and heavy rain beneath a jungle gym. When the passerby found her, she told him “I ran away, I ran away from the people who took me.”

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told Philly.com that police will  focus on finding the kidnappers, now that Na’illa is safe.

Philadelphia police had announced a $10,000 reward for the child’s safe return on Monday night. The woman who took the girl out of school signed in as “Tiffany,” but the name is believed to be a fake. District officials said that according to protocol, any adult who removes a child from class must show identification and be verified as a parent or guardian. Those security measures were not taken on Monday morning.

Make Sure You Cast a Vote Today If You Haven’t Already!!!

Please if your registered to vote, make sure you excercise your right.  Our predecessors have fought long and hard so that African-Americans and women could have the opportunity to cast a legit vote in the USA.  This election has been a tight race, and will impact our lives on many levels if we don’t vote, and if we don’t vote correctly!!  Let’s make the right choice!!  #VOTE #VOTE #VOTE

VIA Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck in national polls, while Obama has an edge in crucial battleground states that will decide todays’s election.

The dynamic sets up a possible outcome that has happened rarely in American politics and could undermine the credibility of the victor — Romney beats Obama in the overall vote, but the president gets reelected by winning the decisive Electoral College.

It would be the fifth time in history that the candidate who got the most overall support didn’t win the election, and the first time that an incumbent president prevailed without capturing the popular vote.

Diddy Said Accident “Was a Close One!”

Diddy has tweeted about surviving a car crash on Wednesday, leaving the front of his Cadillac Escalade crushed, the windshield smashed and the airbags all activated.

As previously reported, the 42-year-old rapper was involved in a collision outside the Beverly Hills Hotel in California when his chauffeur-driven Escalade was crushed in an accident with a Lexus RX.

He reportedly complained of unspecified pain following the incident, but he has taken to Twitter to reveal it could have been much worse, writing: ”Woah…that was a close one! ”

The rapper also tweeted a pic of his smashed car.

Jada Pinkett-Smith to Make Some Major Changes in Her Life

Jada Pinkett-Smith posted a super-cryptic status on her Facebook page warning of major changes ahead in EVERY aspect of her life.

Jada writes,

I am on a tremendous journey of great change in every area of my life and I see how change can be scary. For instance, how Will and I raise our family is a tremendous change from the norm. It can be scary for some folks but it should never THREATEN how anyone else chooses to raise their own children or how they choose to live their lives.

We all have the freedom to CHOOSE to live how we want. The freedom of choice is the crux of happiness. We are not here to live up to another’s approval. Take responsibility for YOUR life, YOUR values, YOUR beliefs and expect NO ONE to hold that banner for you or to prove it RIGHT. When we do THAT…what someone else is doing won’t matter so much.

Remember…one day you will die.

Don’t waste a moment simply fearing to live because of what someone may think about it.

Live and…let live!!!!

Pura VIDA!

J

Woman Found Murdered 2 days After Calling 911 for Help from Husband

Family members of a slain Dallas woman are angry that the Dallas police didn’t do enough to save her after she called 911 two days earlier to report her ex-husband was attacking her.

Deanna Cook-Patrick, 32, was found dead in her bathtub on Sunday after family members kicked in her front door.

Police say Cook called 911 from her cell phone, delaying the response time by 9 minutes. Once Cook’s address was established, the dispatcher did not inform the officers in the field that Cook was under attack — even though her screams could be heard during the 11-minute 911 call. Police knocked on Cook’s door but left when there was no response.

“In my personal opinion, I don’t think they cared enough. I think they had already given up. Seen it was useless and didn’t think it was worth their time or effort,” the victim’s sister, Valecia Battle, told Fox News.

Police arrested Cook’s ex-husband, Delvecchio Patrick, and charged him with murder. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Cook and Patrick’s 3-year marriage was a contentious one. Patrick was arrested 3 times for assaulting Cook in the past. He pleaded guilty to all 3 charges. The couple’s divorce was finalized in January.

Family members, including her two teenage daughters, went to Cook’s home on Sunday after they noticed she didn’t attend church services. The family saw water pouring under the front door which was locked. They kicked the door in and found Cook’s body submerged in the tub with the water still running.

Police did not release the 911 call to the media, but family members who heard the audio described Cook’s screams and gasps for breath. They said they could hear Cook dying.

“I could just hear how loud she was screaming,” Karletha Gundy told WFAA News 8 in Dallas. “I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but I know she was screaming for her life.”

Gundy described the indifference by police when she called to report Cook missing and asked for a welfare check at her home.

“The lady said, ‘Before we can send an officer out to check, you need to call the hospitals and the jails,’” Gundy said.

“If they could have kicked the door down, maybe she could have been saved,” Gundy said.

The 911 operator who failed to mention the ongoing assault to police defended her actions in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.

“I can say that it’s obvious that there was an active disturbance taking place, the screaming and things like that, so I can’t say that I knew what was going on, other than there was a disturbance,” the operator said. “Obviously my prayers go out to her family, because that’s just a terrible situation.”

Just hours before she was attacked in her home, Deanna Cook tweeted a response to R&B singer Tyrese, who wrote a series of tweets on his Twitter.com account chastising women for staying in abusive relationships.

“Thats why I made the First move,” Deanna tweeted. “Now Dude say He Gone KILL me. Wouldn’t be so bad if he ain’t tried 3 times before, But I’m Gods Child ain’t never scared..”

What a Story: Former High School Football Star Exonerated of Rape and Now Has NFL Auditions With Four Teams

A former high school football star who was wrongfully accused of rape and imprisoned for six years and monitored for another four will now get his long-awaited shot at the NFL. Long Beach Poly High School grad Brian Banks is slated to audition for a number of teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, and Miami Dolphins. The player, who had been offered a scholarship to USC at the time of the wrongful accusation, said he’s excited for what the future holds, and that his ‘mouth hurts from smiling so much.’ The player has been training nonstop since October, and told ESPN: ‘After all I’ve been through these last 10 years, I can still do some things that will impress you.’  Even if Banks’ NFL dream doesn’t come into fruition, the exonerated high school graduate has a job offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Attorneys representing 26-year-old Banks said their client is entitled to $100 a day for every day of his incarceration under state law.

Banks was exonerated last week after his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, admitted she had made up the whole story of sexual assault ten years ago and had been reluctant to come forward because of a large settlement she received from the school district.

The Los Angeles Timeshas reported that Gibson also had been worried it would affect her relationship with her two children, now aged four and five.  Banks’ exoneration came after Gibson sent him a friend request on Facebook when he left prison in February of 2011 with a tag. In a message, she explained she wanted to ‘let bygones be bygones’.

Banks’s lawyer, Justin Brooks, told KPCCthat Gibson and Banks met and she was caught on video saying there there had been no kidnap and no rape, and would help him clear his record.  Yet she refused to repeat the story to prosecutors as she feared she would have to return a $1.5million payment she won after her mother brought a suit against Long Beach Schools.  She was quoted as telling Banks: ‘I will go through with helping you but it’s like at the same all that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back.’

The 26-year-old has said he does not plan to pursue legal action against his accuser, and Los Angeles prosecutors have said it is unlikely Gibson will be charged with making false accusations, saying it would be a tough case to prove.Banks was jailed after Gibson accused him of rape in 2002, when he was just 16 and being heavily recruited by a number of colleges, including USC, which had offered him a full scholarship.  He was on the way to the school office to talk about his college applications when he bumped into Gibson, a fellow student, and they went to a stairwell to make out, Brooks told KPCC. He pointed out that they did not have intercourse.  He explained that Banks said something to upset Gibson and they parted on bad terms. She later accused him of kidnapping her, dragging her across the school and raping her in the stairwell.  Investigators tested her but found no physical evidence of rape, Brooks said. Banks maintained they had not had sex and all sexual contact had been consensual.

Yet his then lawyer encouraged the promising student to plead no contest to the kidnap and rape charges, warning Banks he could get 41 years to life in prison if convicted.  Expecting he would serve just 18 months instead, he followed the advice and pleaded no contest. He was in prison for six years.  While there, his case was taken on by Brooks, a lawyer who head the California Innocence Project.  ‘Brian’s story is so compelling, and his case for innocence so clear, we knew we had to take this on,’ said Justin Brooks. ‘Brian lost a huge part of his life when he was unjustly sent to prison.’

Brooks said Banks has remained on probation under electronic monitoring, has had to register as a sex offender and has had trouble getting a job.  After the exoneration on Thursday, Banks added: ‘My only dream in the world is just to be free… For years, I felt like a toy with the switch cut off, sitting on the shelf.’  Banks continues to train for what he hopes will be a future chance at a football career in the NFL.  ‘This is a kid who was a superstar,’ Brooks added. ‘He would be playing the NFL now if this hadn’t happened.’

Jennifer Hudson Hears Painful Testimony About Slain Family.

VIA BILLBOARD

The trial of the man charged with murdering three of Jennifer Hudson’s family members resumed Tuesday with the Oscar-winner shutting her eyes as a police officer described finding her dead family members.

 Hudson sat next to her fiancé as prosecutors shifted their focus to presenting crime scene evidence in the case against her former brother-in-law, William Balfour.

 Hudson hung her head and shut her eyes as Chicago police Sgt. David Dowling described finding her mother’s body sprawled in the living room with gunshot wounds through her back.

 Hudson didn’t move as Dowling described finding her brother dead in his bed of a gunshot wound to the head. His sheets were pulled up as if he had been sleeping.

 Balfour was estranged from his wife, Hudson’s sister, at the time of the killings. He has pleaded not guilty to murdering Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

 Hudson, wearing a black top and green skirt, sat in a fourth row bench well within view of jurors Tuesday. Her sister and Balfour’s ex-wife, Julia Hudson, sat on her left.

 Chicago prosecutors created a buzz Monday by calling the Oscar winner and “American Idol” finalist as their first witness, but on Tuesday they began getting down to the nitty-gritty of their case.

 With no surviving witnesses to the murders, prosecutors must offer overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Balfour committed the grisly crime on Oct. 24, 2008. They are expected to introduce evidence in the next few days that includes cellphone records and security-camera footage that place Balfour in the area of the killings, because he denies he was there.

 Another challenge will be tying Balfour to the alleged murder weapon, a silver and black .45-calibre handgun that sat Monday on a stack of papers at the prosecution table in plain view of jurors and Jennifer Hudson.

 Public defender Amy Thompson told jurors during her opening statement that DNA found on the gun didn’t match Balfour, which “absolutely, positively” excludes him as the killer. But prosecutors claim that Balfour targeted the family in a horrific act of vindictiveness against his ex-wife.

 Shortly after Thompson and prosecutors laid out their cases, Jennifer Hudson took the witness stand in sometimes tearful, gut-wrenching testimony. Hudson, who was in Florida at the time of the shootings, spoke of her family and her reaction to her sister, Julia Hudson, telling her in 2006 that she was marrying Balfour.

 “None of us wanted her to marry him,” the 30-year-old said, her voice cracking as she struggled to hold back tears.

 Later, Julia Hudson described how Balfour repeatedly threatened her and her family after she rejected his pleas in May 2008.

 “He said, ‘If you leave me, you will be the last to die. I’ll kill your family first,'” she said, her voice quivering.

 Under cross-examination, she acknowledged she was still having sex with Balfour days before the slayings.

 The killings happened the day after her birthday. Prosecutors believe that Balfour became enraged by balloons he saw at the home that he thought were from her new boyfriend.

 Prosecutors said Balfour went inside the three-story house around 9 a.m. and shot Hudson’s mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed.

 Investigators allege he then drove off in Jason Hudson’s sport utility vehicle with 7-year-old Julian inside, and later shot the boy in the head as he lay behind a front seat.

 If convicted of at least two of the murder counts, Balfour would face a mandatory life sentence.

 

Celebrities, Athletes and Thousands More Wear Hoodies in Support of Trayvon Martin

Thousands across the country donned hoodies yesterday in remembrance of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot to death by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida last month. The shooting has sparked a nationwide uproar over race and justice, with even President Obama weighing in.

Thousands of people participated in the Million Hoodies March in cities across the country to seek justice for Martin, who was wearing a hoodie when he was killed.

“I didn’t know wearing a hoodie made me a target,” tweeted the Diddy, while Swizz Beatz wrote, “Had to Hoodie up for Trayvon. What a sad situation! Blessing to his fam.”

Many celebrities voiced their support via social media, while Ludacris, Jamie Foxx, Frank Ocean, Nelly, The-Dream, and players from the Miami Heat sported hoodies in a showing of solidarity.  It’s a beautiful thing  when we as people can ALL unite for the greater good.  Life would be so much better if we implemented that type of compassion on a daily basis!!!

Justice for Trayvon Martin!!!!

Police investigating the February shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a neighbourhood watchman admitted today investigators may have missed a racial slur by the gunman during his 911 call moments before the killing.

In a call to dispatchers released at the weekend, George Zimmerman can be heard muttering what sounds like ‘f***ing c**ns’ under his breath as he followed 17-year-old shooting victim Trayvon Martin, police say.

The admission is the latest embarrassing misstep in the investigation, which has sparked outrage in the Sanford, Florida gated community as citizens call for Zimmerman’s arrest.

ABC News reports police admitted they may have missed the possible racial remark.

It comes after the Justice Department yesterday announced it would probe the incident as a possible hate crime.

‘The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation,’ the agency said.

Man Posts Sex Tape With 14-Year-Old Girl On Facebook

A 20-year-old Miami man was arrested for having sex with a minor and posting the act on Facebook, the Huffington Post reports.

20-year-old Rashad Hannibal Jackson had consensual sex with the girl in the summer of 2009 when he was 17 and she was 14, according to the police report. He recorded the encounter without her consent, and stashed the video file on his computer.

Last month, telling friends he wanted to get back at the girl for some perceived slight, police say he created a fake profile and uploaded the video.

“He requested that they upload and share the ‘sextape’ because the victim had ‘dis’ him and he wanted to ‘blast’ the video throughout Facebook,” wrote an arresting officer.