Officer Derek Chauvin Is Arrested For 3rd Degree Murder & Manslaughter In The Killing Of George Flyod

Four days after the heinous killing of George Flyod in Minneapolis, the officer who’s face has become known around the world from the infamous video of Flyod’s death has officially been arrested. Derek Chauvin has officially been charged with 3rd Degree Murder & Manslaughter. He was taken into police custody to await his bond hearing. Although this has been seen as a step in the right direction (although it took the surfacing of the video of George Flyod being killed) the African American community has already said that is not enough. They are requesting that all the officers be charged in connection with Flyod’s death.

A new video has also surfaced that shows more than just Officer Chauvin having his knee on Flyod. There were two other officers that held their knees on top of Flyod as well.

See the video below –

Earlier on Friday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said in an emotional news conference that the unrest that has destabilized Minneapolis and St. Paul this week is the result of ‘generations of pain, of anguish’ over racism in policing.

“Their voices went unheard, and now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world,” Walz said. “And the world is watching.”

The governor vowed “swift” justice for the officers involved in Floyd’s killing. He also pleaded for an end to the violence and noted the difficulty in requiring the same institution that sparked the unrest to restore order. But he said the underlying issues involved in George Floyd’s death could not be addressed until the literal fires are extinguished.

We will continue to bring you more as this develops.

George Flyod Killed By Minneapolis Policeman Who Knelt On His Neck During Arrest

We already have enough going on in 2020 and to see something like this is so disheartening and unacceptable. Our society should no longer be here! This is horrible, we have to do better. They can’t feel like it’s ok for this to happen to our African American community.

More on this story as reported by nytimes.com –

Mr. Floyd died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee, in an episode that was recorded on video by a bystander, sparking condemnation and protests.

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died on Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a police officer’s knee, in an incident that was recorded on video and that sparked large protests in Minneapolis.

The explosive footage above, recorded by a bystander and shared widely on social media early Tuesday, incited community outrage, an F.B.I. civil rights investigation and the firing of the officer and three colleagues who were also at the scene.

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Police Department identified the fired officers as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng.

Mr. Floyd’s relatives have said that the officers should be charged with murder. “They treated him worse than they treat animals,” Philonise Floyd, Mr. Floyd’s brother, said on CNN. “They took a life — they deserve life.”

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis was quick to condemn the officers’ actions, and on Wednesday, he called on prosecutors to file charges against the officer who had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck.

“I want to see a charge take place,” Mr. Frey said at a news conference, without specifying what charge he thought was warranted. “I want to see justice for George Floyd.”

What we know about Mr. Floyd’s death:

Mr. Floyd lived in St. Louis Park, a Minneapolis suburb. He was pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m. Monday at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to the medical examiner.

He grew up in Houston, in a black neighborhood south of downtown known as the Third Ward, and was raised in a house with his siblings and two cousins, Shareeduh Tate and Tera Brown. Their mothers were sisters, Ms. Tate said.

A reporter for a Houston television station posted a video clip on Twitter of Mr. Floyd scoring a touchdown at a high school football game nearly 30 years ago. He was a tight end for the Jack Yates High School team, and the clip shows Mr. Floyd leaping high into the air to catch a pass in the end zone during a 1992 game at Delmar Stadium in Houston.

Mr. Floyd graduated from Yates High in 1993, the Houston school district confirmed on Wednesday. Ms. Tate said her cousin moved to Minneapolis four or five years ago, and Ms. Brown said he talked about the city as a welcoming place.

“He was happy there. He had made friends and had talked about training to become a truck driver,” said Ms. Brown, 48, an accounting manager. “He came home for his mother’s funeral two years ago, and he told me he had decided to stay.”

Jovanni Thunstrom, the owner of Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis, said he employed Mr. Floyd as a bouncer at the restaurant, and was also his landlord.

“No one had nothing bad to say about him,” Mr. Thunstrom said. “They all are shocked he’s dead. He never caused a fight or was rude to people.”

Mr. Thunstrom said Mr. Floyd paid his rent last week and told him that he was looking for a new job because Conga Latin Bistro has been closed to on-site dining since March because of the coronavirus. “I lost a friend,” Mr. Thunstrom said.

In Houston, friends and relatives gathered on Tuesday to remember Mr. Floyd in Emancipation Park, a site that was originally purchased by former slaves in the late 1800s. The Third Ward, where he grew up, has been a hub of social activism in Houston for decades.

Ms. Tate said she saw the video from Minneapolis on Tuesday morning, but didn’t realize the man in the street was the cousin she grew up with.

“I remember thinking how horrible this was, that a family’s loved one was murdered in the streets. Maybe five minutes later I got the call confirming my cousin was on that video,” said Ms. Tate, 49, a registered nurse.

“I went back and looked. The first time, it didn’t have audio. The second time, the audio was on. I heard the first, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and I knew it was him.”

The arrest of Mr. Floyd took place on Monday evening. The Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that officers had responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery. The police said the man was found sitting on top of a blue car and “appeared to be under the influence.”

“He was ordered to step from his car,” the department’s statement said. “After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”

The statement said that officers had called for an ambulance.

On Tuesday morning, without referring to the video recorded by a bystander, the police updated a statement, titled “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction,” saying that additional information had “been made available” and that the F.B.I. was joining the investigation.

The bystander video shows a white Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into a black man’s neck during an arrest, as the man repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe,” and, “Please, I can’t breathe.”

The video recorded in Minneapolis on Monday shows that after a few minutes, the man, lying face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back, becomes silent and motionless; the officer continues to pin the man to the pavement with his knee.

Bystanders plead and curse, begging the officer to stop and telling him the man’s nose is bleeding. Another officer faces the people gathered on the sidewalk. An ambulance medic arrives and, reaching under the officer’s knee, feels for a pulse on the man’s neck.

The medic turns away, and a stretcher is wheeled over. The arrested man is then rolled onto the stretcher, loaded into an ambulance and taken away.

The video did not show what had happened before the officer pinned the man to the ground by his neck.

Mr. Frey, the Minneapolis mayor, said on Tuesday that he did not know how the initial police statement, describing a “medical incident,” had come to be written, but he said he wanted to be “absolutely astransparent as possible.”

“It’s the kind of thing where you don’t hide from the truth, you lean into it, because our city is going to be better off for it, no matter how ugly, awful it is,” he said. “If it points out the institutional racism that we are still working through right now, well, good — it means thatwe’ve got a lot of work to go.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Frey tweeted that four officers involved in the case had been terminated. “This is the right call,” he said.

The Police Department’s statement said that no weapons had been used and that the officers’ body cameras were recording. Mr. Frey said at a news conference Tuesday that he had seen the video “taken and posted by a civilian,” but not the body camera footage.

He said he had asked the F.B.I. to investigate, and in a statement posted to Twitter said, “Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes.”

The F.B.I. is conducting a federal civil rights investigation, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement. The state bureau also said that it was conducting its own investigation at the request of the Police Department and that it would release its findings to the Hennepin County district attorney’s office.

We’ll make sure to continue to bring you information on this….

Hall Of Fame NBA Coach Jerry Sloans Dies At 78

Jerry Sloan coaching the Utah Jazz
Jerry Sloan

As reported by nytimes.com:

Jerry Sloan, who entered the National Basketball Association as an unlikely prospect for a Hall of Fame career but carved out one nevertheless, as an All-Star guard with the Chicago Bulls and one of the winningest coaches in league history, died on Friday at his home in Salt Lake City. He was 78. 

The Utah Jazz, a team he coached for 23 seasons, said the cause was Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Both illnesses were diagnosed in 2015, as the team had announced at the time.

Sloan had a low profile when he arrived in the N.B.A. in 1965. He had played for a small-college N.C.A.A. school, and, though he was tenacious on defense, he wasn’t a brilliant scorer.

But he became a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame after forging an N.B.A. career spanning a half-century. He became the fourth-winningest head coach in N.B.A. history and No. 2, behind Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, for longest tenure with one team.

A Little Positivity & Love from Chris Stokes

Chris Stokes in a blue cardigan sweater
Chris Stokes wearing a blue cardigan

It’s the weekend! During these crazy times we’ve all had the opportunity to slow down and really appreciate the better things in life. And although it may seem at times that what’s going on around us is terrible, take it in and accept it as time to get reconnected. The world, technology….society have a way of causing temporary amnesia. I’m happy to be able to refocus and reconnect. So be positive, make the best out of whatever life hands you and be happy!!! Hope everyone out there enjoys their weekend! ❤️❤️❤️

Las Vegas Entertainer Roy Horn Dies At 75 From Coronavirus Complications

Roy Horn

Roy Horn, one-half of the popular Las Vegas animal and magic act Siegfried and Roy, died Friday of complications from the coronavirus, according to his publicist. He was 75.Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn and Siegfried Fischbacher began their upbeat performances in Europe, later becoming regulars in Las Vegas, where they performed for four decades.”Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days,” Fischbacher said in a statement. “I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.”Their revue ended after Horn was attacked on stage by a white tiger named Mantecore in October 2003, severing his spine.The attack happened on Horn’s 59th birthday, and an audience member told CNN at the time that Horn “looked like a rag doll in his mouth.” Horn suffered massive blood loss and stroke, and required two surgeries.Horn believed the attack was a reaction to a stroke and afterward called Mantecore “my lifesaver,” his publicist said.Horn eventually was able to walk again, but he and Siegfried would only perform together one more time for a benefit before retiring in 2010. He spent the rest of his life traveling, visiting his animals and attending shows and philanthropic events in Las Vegas, the statement said.”Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Fischbacher said. “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.”A public memorial will be held in the future for Horn. He leaves behind his brother, Werner Horn, and his longtime performance partner, Fischbacher.

Rock and Roll Icon Little Richard Dead at 87

Little Richard

As reported by latimes.com –

Recording artists, industry leaders, and celebrities of every stripe poured on the love for Little Richard, the trailblazing American rocker who died Saturday at the age of 87. On social media, admirers called the star, born Richard Penniman in Macon, Ga., an unforgettable artist and a generous mentor and friend.

“He was there at the beginning and showed us all how to rock and roll,” wrote the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson on Twitter. Nils Lofgren, Billy Idol, Keith Richards, Jodi Watley and Carole King were among the artists mourning the “architect of rock ‘n’ roll” on Twitter. Chance the Rapper wrote that he had recently read up on the singer and learned “about how he developed The Beatles and saved The Rolling Stones,” a reference to the legendary influence Richard had on the singing of Paul McCartney and Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

Legendary music producer Quincy Jones posted on Facebook about “my brother & friend,” adding, “An innovator who’s influence spans America’s musical diaspora from Gospel, the Blues & R&B, to Rock & Roll, & Hip-Hop, there will never, ever, ever, be another Little Richard.”

Michelle Obama celebrated Richards’ “exuberance, his creativity, and his refusal to be anything other than himself.”

From Chuck D to Chuck Schumer, many also posted their favorite clips of Richard performing or in interviews. “Put some respeck on the creators,” wrote actor Jeffrey Wright, along with an audio clip of Richard singing “It Ain’t Watcha Do” in 1965 — with left-handed guitar back-up from the musician later known as Jimi Hendrix.

“In the world of music, it doesn’t get much better than Little Richard,” said New York Sen. Schumer.

Cyndi Lauper on Instagram posted a vintage photo of herself and Richard laughing in an embrace. “Did you guys know that #LittleRichard married David and me? True rock n roll royalty. An original. A legend,” the singer wrote, referring to her 1991 marriage to actor David Thorton.

Director Ava DuVernay remembered her encounters with Richard while she was working as a waitress during college. “I served soul food brunch to Little Richard every Sunday for a year while waitressing at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch in LA. I was a college student. He tipped me a crisp $100 bill each week on a $75 breakfast with friends,” DuVernay wrote. “Helped me so much.”

Filmmaker Spike Lee posted a 1991 Nike commercial he directed starring Richard, Michael Jordan and himself. Lee called Richard “one of the true creators of rock and roll.”

A true legend and icon. You will be missed.

Music Industry Legend Andre Harrell Dies At Age 59

Andre-Harrell-Dies-At-59-Chris-Stokes-Blog
Andre Harrell

As reported by Variety.com –

Andre Harrell, a veteran music executive best known for signing a young Sean Combs to his first record deal and later went on to head Motown Records, has died. He was 59. The cause of death is as yet unclear.

DJ D Nice revealed the sad news while spinning on Instagram Live for his popular Club Quarantine series. Variety has yet to receive official word though sources have confirmed Harrell’s passing.

A native of New York, Harrell started his career in music as an artist, one-half of the rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. In 1983 Harrell teamed with Russell Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, and had one of his early experiences in the business working as a vice president and later GM of the label. He left to start his own record company, Uptown Records, where he signed Sean “Puffy” Combs. He later brought Mary J. Blige onto the roster and saw success with both artists in the late 1980s and into the 1990s.

Harrell would later find a home at MCA productions where he developed multiple projects in film and television in the 1990s and returned to the music business full-time in 1995 to run Motown Records as CEO. Through that era, the label was home such acts as Boyz II Men, Jodeci and Al B. Sure.

Harrell and Combs remained longtime friends and business associates and Harrell served as vice chairman of Revolt, Combs’ multi-platform music network, and a producer on its panel show “State of the Culture.”

A pioneer of hip-hop and R&B and black entertainment in general, serving as executive producer of Harrell could be seen at many red carpet events on both coasts. He appears in Diddy’s 2017 documentary “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story” and, according to IMDB, had been working on a TV miniseries about Uptown that was in the treatment phase at BET.

A true pioneer and trail blazer, you will be missed. Prayers and condolences go out to his family.

More to come…

On the set of Howard High with Chris Stokes

Chris stokes at Footage Films
Chris Stokes at the Footage Films Offices

Today marks the premiere of the Chris Stokes created series “Howard High”. Howard High is this generation’s Urban Glee. The concept, which was imagined by Chris Stokes pays homage to one of his favorite shows from his youth, “Fame”.

The show follows ‘Frank King,’ played by Brian White, (“Ray Donovan”/ ”Scandal”) a former honor roll student of the high school who is asked to come back and take a principal position at the school, not knowing that the school is on the verge of closing down because it has become the lowest-ranked school in the state. Frank also doesn’t realize that the only reason ‘Superintendent Thomas,’ played by Dorien Wilson, (“The Parkers”) offered him the position was so he could position him to take the fall and blame him for the school’s decline. To Frank’s surprise, there is major talent right under his nose within the performing arts music program. After firing the music teacher, and with the help of his friend and new music teacher ‘Michael Kirsh,’ played by singer Marques Houston, (You Got Served), Frank and his team just may be able to save the school! The show is also introducing newcomer (and Chris Stokes’ daughter), Chrissy Stokes, in the lead role of ‘Nicki Ross,’ a beautiful moody teenager who’s just moved to Los Angeles from Arizona, where she got into some trouble. She’s a bit shy, and in no rush to reveal the incredible singing talent that she has.

Take a backseat view of what it was like on set with the director below –

Howard High Behind The Scenes with Chris Stokes

Chris Stokes created series “Howard High” premieres today on Urbanflix TV

chris stokes in 2020
Chris Stokes in 2020

As reported on Blackfilm.com:

Producer Chris Stokes (You Got Served) will be premiering his new forty-minute, musical drama series, “Howard High” on the new streaming service, UrbanFlix TV (Urbanflix TV) on Friday, May 1st.

The show follows ‘Frank King,’ played by Brian White, (“Ray Donovan”/ ”Scandal”) a former honor roll student of the high school who is asked to come back and take a principal position at the school, not knowing that the school is on the verge of closing down because it has become the lowest-ranked school in the state. Frank also doesn’t realize that the only reason ‘Superintendent Thomas,’ played by Dorien Wilson, (“The Parkers”) offered him the position was so he could position him to take the fall and blame him for the school’s decline. To Frank’s surprise, there is major talent right under his nose within the performing arts music program. After firing the music teacher, and with the help of his friend and new music teacher ‘Michael Kirsh,’ played by singer Marques Houston, (You Got Served), Frank and his team just may be able to save the school! The show is also introducing newcomer, Chrissy Stokes, in the lead role of ‘Nicki Ross,’ a beautiful moody teenager who’s just moved to Los Angeles from Arizona, where she got into some trouble. She’s a bit shy, and in no rush to reveal the incredible singing talent that she has.

To round out the cast, Stokes’ has assembled some of the hottest singers and dancers in Hollywood which include, Jarell “J-Boog” Houston, V Bozeman, Anthony Lewis, Hannah Malone, Lindsay Davis, Earanequa Carter, Dustin Michael, Mila J, Ross Fleming, Ray Ray and Deonte Jackson. The show is written and directed by Chris Stokes who also serves as executive producer alongside Louis Arriola and Bart Malone. Brian White, Marques Houston, Jerome Jones, Shondrella Avery and J Owen.

Stated Stokes. “I’ve always had an affinity for musically driven projects.” “I consider this the television series/musical version of You Got Served. In my era, there was a popular show called “Fame” that was loosely based on The Juilliard School in New York City. Being a big fan of that show and coming from the music/dance background that I come from, I felt that this generation needed their “Fame” …. Obviously with a bit of a twist. In that, I created “Howard High” and made it a point to not only highlight the talent that comes from Urban neighborhoods, but also the challenges that the people and the infrastructure of these areas face. I think that “Howard High” will shed light on these challenges while giving viewers an entertaining, wholesome and fun-loving experience while watching.”