Government officials in an east Georgia county told about 40 African-American senior citizens to get off a bus taking them to vote Monday, leading to complaints of voter suppression.
The bus, run by the group Black Voters Matter, was preparing to depart from a senior center operated by Jefferson County when the center’s director said they needed to disembark, said LaTosha Brown, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
A county clerk had called the senior center raising concerns about allowing the bus to take residents from the senior center in the city of Louisville, south of Augusta.
“We knew it was an intimidation tactic,” Brown said Tuesday. “It was really unnecessary. These are grown people.”
The senior citizens agreed to get off the bus and cast their ballots later. Monday was the first day of in-person early voting in Georgia in the election for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.
Jefferson County’s administrator said Tuesday that the county government considered the event at the senior center “political activity,” which isn’t allowed during county-sponsored events.
Black Voters Matter is a nonpartisan group encouraging African-Americans to vote in the election, but the county government considered the event political because Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairwoman Diane Evans helped organize it, County Administrator Adam Brett said in a statement.
“Jefferson County administration felt uncomfortable with allowing senior center patrons to leave the facility in a bus with an unknown third party,” Brett said. “No seniors at the Jefferson County senior center were denied their right to vote.”
ThinkProgress, a progressive news website, first reported the incident Monday.
Black Voters Matter had received permission in advance for the event at the senior center, Brown said. The event was originally intended to encourage seniors to vote, and when some of the seniors asked whether they could ride the bus to an early-voting location, Black Voters Matter agreed to take them.
But someone apparently saw the bus, painted with the words “The South is Rising Tour,” and called county government offices, Brown said. That led to the phone call from the county clerk to the senior center. When they were asked, the senior citizens agreed to leave the bus.
“It was discouraging that they weren’t able to vote,” said Evans, who was on the bus. “When they’re suppressing votes, they’re going to come up with any kind of excuse about what your problem is.”
Evans said the event wasn’t political, nor did its organizers advocate for any candidates. Evans said she helped coordinate the event in her capacity as a private citizen, pastor and community leader, not as the chairwoman of the county’s Democratic Party.
During the event, the senior citizens got excited about voting and they danced near the bus as “Say It Loud — I’m Black and Proud” by James Brown blasted through the speakers, Evans said.
After the seniors got off the bus, they were initially told they could ride in a county van provided by the senior center to go vote, Brown said. But then the seniors had to get off the van because the senior center’s leaders decided it was close to lunchtime, and the seniors could vote another day.
Jefferson County Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw didn’t respond to an email seeking comment, and the senior citizens who were on the bus couldn’t immediately be located for comment Tuesday. The senior center’s staff routinely arranges public transit options for senior citizens to vote, Brett said.
Despite the obstacles, the senior citizens will find a way to cast their ballots, Brown said.
“The seniors were so resolved. They said: ‘We’re going to vote. Nobody’s going to stop us,’ ” Brown said. “It wasn’t the first time someone has denied them or tried to prevent them from voting.”
4-Year-Old Tests Positive For Crack Cocaine After Bringing It Home From Daycare [Video]
A 4-year-old girl came home from her Bronx daycare with a disturbing surprise — a handful of crack cocaine, and the drug in her system.
A local NBC affiliate reports that Sabrina Straker, the girl’s mother, was shocked when her daughter (Serenity) told her that she put a vile of the drug in her mouth. Now, mom is calling for the daycare to be shut down!
According to the report, when Serenity came went home from Lil Inventors Child Care unusually hyper and with strange capsules in her hand, Straker said her child told her that another kid in the daycare gave her his “teeth,” but when she looked at the capsules, she knew something was wrong.
Straker immediately took the capsules to local police and after running some tests, narcotics detectives confirmed that they were crack cocaine. Serenity admitted that she had put one of the capsules in her mouth, but spat it out. Still — she was rushed to the hospital, where she tested positive for the drug.
“She could have died if she ingested this,” Straker told PIX News. “I was furious.”
Lil Inventors Child Care Director Yvette Joseph said someone allegedly threw the capsules over the fence and one of the kids picked it up.
“We checked our center thoroughly and all of the children are safe,” Joseph said.
Police are reportedly investigating the incident and the family of the child who handed the capsule to Serenity.
Meanwhile, Straker wants the daycare closed.
“No one was watching the children,” she said. “There are 15 kids in the room with two teachers and two aides, where were they when this was going on?”
NY Magee, EURWeb.com
Police chief defends officer after controversial video of 12-year-old’s arrested trying to sell CDs
COBB COUNTY, Ga. – The Cobb County Police chief says he’s opened an internal investigation after an officer was caught on camera arresting a 12-year-old rapper.
Numerous Channel 2 Action News viewers shared the now-viral video with us and criticized the officer for being unnecessarily harsh on a child.
Channel 2’s Tom Jones spoke exclusively with Chief Michael Register, who said his officer didn’t do anything wrong.
Register said there is more to the story than what was caught on camera. But he says because he’s gotten countless phone calls and complaints, he opened an investigation into the incident.
“Does he have a right to put his hands on that child?” Jones asked Register.
“He was within his rights,” Register said.
The child on the video is Corey Jackson, who also goes by Lil C-Note. Jackson is a young rapper who is well known for trying to sell his CDs at local businesses.
The mall considers that trespassing. Chief Register said the mall had given Jackson a criminal trespass warning and told him twice he couldn’t sell CDs on the property.
When a mall security guard caught him in the act on Oct. 6, Register said Jackson became combative so they called over an off-duty police officer. The officer said Jackson tried to bend the officer’s fingers back and push or punch him in the chest.
That part of the confrontation didn’t end up on video, Register said.
What did end up on video was the officer appearing to squeeze Jackson by the arm and argue with him.
“You’re 12?” the officer is heard asking the boy. “You’re about to go to jail. You’re going to go to a youth detention center if you don’t [inaudible].”
Jackson argued back.
“He told the police officer, ‘I don’t have to speak with you. I know my rights,'” Register said.
The camera is jostled as an apparent altercation breaks out and the video ends with the officer calling in the incident as another officer restrains Jackson.
Jesus: Grandmother Charged with Murder After Stabbing & Baking 20-Month-Old Baby
According to the Associated Press, on Tuesday, October 16, Carolyn Jones was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for the horrific death of her 20-month-old granddaughter Royalty Marie Floyd. On the evening of Monday, October 15, the 48-year-old grandmother’s brother is said to have made the gruesome discovery when he opened the oven door and saw the child’s mutilated body.
Stabbed and Baked: When Jones’ brother discovered the child’s body, he immediately called the police and they alerted the sheriff’s office and other first responders for further assistance. Once the child’s body was removed from the oven, officers also noted that she’d been stabbed. Spokesman Warren Strain at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, has revealed investigators are now working to determine the child’s cause of death and the time she died. Right now, police cannot determine whether the child was placed inside the oven before or after she died. The body has been taken to a Crime Lab in Pearl, MS for an autopsy. During a press conference, Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams Sr. released details about the child’s disturbing death. The child was reportedly “living at the residence with Jones at the time of the murder.” He admitted that this case is one of the most horrific he’s seen in his 25 years of law enforcement. “I’ve been in law enforcement a long time, 26 years almost. Some of the most horrific scenes I’ve seen in law enforcement involve children. Those are some of the— they have an effect on us. We don’t want it to happen, but unfortunately, things like this happen.” Williams said, “This is one of the most horrible things I’ve seen.” But Why?…: Although investigators are still working to collect evidence tying the 48-year-old grandmother to the heinous crime, Sheriff Williams has cited that she was the only person inside the home. “That was the only person who was there with the child at the time,” Williams said. The investigation is currently underway as investigators are working to piece together the timeline and determine the circumstances surrounding the child’s death. When asked specific questions about the case, Williams said, “We are trying to figure that out ourselves. We have no idea at this point.”
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