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Father of Five Killed While Breaking Up Fight Hours After Sister’s Funeral

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Hours after burying his sister, Earl Simmons was shot during an attempt to break up a fight in his neighborhood.

What We Know:

  • Simmons was a 54-year-old Black man who had buried his sister earlier that day at a church in northeast Columbus, Ohio. After the funeral, Simmons returned home soon after the funeral because he was expecting company for his 54th birthday. Soon afterwards, an altercation occurred in Simmons’ neighborhood which he attempted to stop. After a struggle, several weapons were fired, and Simmons was fatally hit by one of the bullets in the shoot out.
  • Simmons was fatally wounded by the bullet that struck him and was transported to Grant Medical Center, where he died less than an hour later. The shooting occurred around 8:25 p.m on Friday at 2101 Schenley Drive. Simmons’ other sister, Jacqueline Burley, has stated that they are now preparing for Earl’s funeral.
  • So far, Columbus Police have not made any arrests in the case, and there are not suspects. Witnesses have been encouraged to call Columbus Police Homicide Unit or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers with any information that could lead to suspects in the shooting. The lead detective on the case is Detective Westfall, and he is being assisted by Detective Kelley. It remains unclear what the initial altercation was about and what the motive was for shots being fired.
  • Simmons’ mother, Betty Simmons-Williams, issued a statement on the most recent loss of her son, stating, “they need to get a handle on these guns.”
  • She further mentioned that something should be done to get guns off the streets of Columbus. Earl Simmons is the 45th homicide in Columbus, Ohio, so far in 2021. President Joe Biden has recently expressed that he believes “rational” gun control legislation could pass via our country’s Senate very soon. The optimism comes amid the aftermath of multiple deadly shootings that occurred across the country this month.

A report released by Columbus police in 2020 revealed that out of the 127 people who were killed that year, 96 of them were Black and 84 of them were Black men.

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Crime

Derek Chauvin Found GUILTY on ALL Charges for the Murder of George Floyd

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BLACK NEWS ALERTS SPECIAL REPORT

The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

WATCH THE VERDICT LIVE:

Feed courtesy of Washington Post

What We Know:

  • The verdict was read in open court with unanimous decisions on all three counts, none of which carry a charge of life in prison. The three counts are as follows:
    • Second-degree unintentional murder (also referred to as felony murder): Sentence up to 40 years in prison.
    • Third-degree murder: Sentence up to 25 years.
    • Second-degree manslaughter: Sentence up to 10 years.
  • The panel of seven women and five men began deliberating Monday after three weeks of witness testimony.
  • The third-degree murder charge had initially been dismissed, but it was reinstated after an appeals court ruling in an unrelated case established new grounds for it days before jury selection started.
  • Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd, who was Black, was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
  • Prosecutors argued that Chauvin’s actions caused Floyd to die from low oxygen or asphyxia. The defense claimed that Floyd’s illegal drug use and a pre-existing heart condition were to blame and urged jurors not to rule out other theories, as well, including exposure to carbon monoxide.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 03: Graffiti artist Akse spray paints a mural of George Floyd in Manchester’s northern quarter on June 03, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • During closing arguments, prosecutors sought to focus jurors’ attention on the 9 minutes, 29 seconds they say Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, while Chauvin’s defense attorney told them that “the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds” of the interaction.
  • Prosecutors called 38 witnesses, including the teenager who recorded the widely seen bystander video that brought global attention to Floyd’s death. She and other bystanders who testified said they are haunted by Floyd’s death and that they wish they had done more to try to save his life. The defense called seven witnesses, two of whom were experts.
  • Chauvin had agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder days after Floyd’s death, but William Barr, then the U.S. attorney general, rejected the deal because, officials said, he was worried that it was too early in the investigation and that it would be perceived as too lenient.

Floyd’s death touched off international protests against police brutality and racial injustice. The city of Minneapolis has spent months preparing for the trial and for the potential of unrest over the verdict.

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Crime

3 Dead in ‘Domestic’ Shooting Situation in Texas, Suspect Arrested

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Authorities have arrested a former sheriff’s office detective for the deaths of two women and one man.

What We Know:

  • The Austin Police Department arrested 41-year-old Stephen Broderick on Monday morning in the city of Manor around 7 a.m. in connection to a shooting that took place just 20 hours earlier. Broderick had a pistol on him at the time of his arrest, but no shots were fired. He was taken into custody without incident. 
  • The shooting occurred last Sunday at around 11:45 a.m. when Stephen was scheduled to meet his ex-wife Amanda Broderick for a visit with his son at the Arboretum Oaks Apartments in northwest Austin. Police are identifying the incident as a domestic violence situation. The motive behind the shooting remains under investigation.
  • At the scene, the bodies of 35-year-old Amanda Broderick and two teens from Elgin High School, Alyssa Marie Broderick, his 17-year-old daughter, and Willie Simmons III, 18, were found near two cars that appeared to have been in an accident.
  • According to Travis County court records, Stephen Broderick is a former property crimes detective from Travis County Sheriff’s Department who resigned after he was charged with sexual assault of a child on June 6th, 2020. Now, he is being held at the Travis County Jail, where he has been charged with capital murder and a second-degree felony.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

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Gunman in FedEx Shooting Legally Purchased Assault Rifles Used in Attack, Police Say

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Police say the shooter who killed eight people at a FedEx in Indianapolis last Thursday purchased his firearms legally.

What We Know:

  • On Saturday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department held a press conference to reveal new details into their investigation of the 19-year-old gunman, Brandon Scott Hole. They announced that the former FedEx employee legally obtained two assault rifles that were used in the attack, despite previously being placed on a ‘red flag’ warning.
  • Red flag laws in Indiana are designed to prevent people from purchasing or possessing firearms if they are deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others. Although authorities did not disclose where Hole purchased the guns, they did admit that the weapons were bought in July and September of last year despite Hole being reported to the FBI by his mother.
  • According to the state’s website, the law “addresses circumstances where it would be appropriate for a police officer to take custody of a citizen’s firearms, by way of a warrant, or immediately when exigent circumstances are present, and it can be clearly articulated the safety of the public was in jeopardy.” After Hole was interviewed by the FBI last year, police seized a pump-action shotgun from his home and did not return it.
  • This the third high-profile shooting in Indianapolis this year. At least four of the eight victims involved were members of the Sikh community. Gaganpal S. Dhaliwal, a member of the Sikh community, added that victims’ families want to see more “common-sense gun laws” and stricter hate crime policies. “This shooter had a shotgun confiscated, but he was still able to get his hands on rifles,” he stated. “We need to make sure that guns don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Authorities have not released a motive.

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