Lucy McBath, Jordan Davis’ Mom Wins Georgia Congressional Race Against Karen Handel

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Lucy McBath, the gun control and racial justice activist whose son was killed in a 2012 shooting, is now headed to Congress, after winning a razor-thin election decided Thursday morning.

According to reports, Handel conceded the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District early Thursday morning in a statement posted to Facebook.

“After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” Handel said in the statement. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”

McBath is a gun control activist whose son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in 2012 after a dispute over loud music. She told CNN before winning the Democratic primary that the activism of the students who survived the shooting in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year inspired her to run for Congress.

“I’m still a mother. I’m still parenting. That’s why I believed this was the time to stand up,” McBath said.

McBath, a former flight attendant, learned of her son’s death the day after Thanksgiving in 2012 and diligently followed the trial of the shooter, Michael Dunn. She studied gun control, told her story within her community and on TV and lobbied lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Two trials later, and two years after Jordan’s death, Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder. But McBath wasn’t finished with the movement and stayed involved, with the Parkland massacre motivating her to run for office.

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Cop Found Guilty in Laquan McDonald Case

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Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. 

According to reports, Van Dyke, who was also found guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, sat impassively in a dark suit — his shoulders slumped — as the verdicts were read in the high-profile case. At one point, he sipped water from a bottle. He was found not guilty of official misconduct.
The officer’s wife sat stoically, arms folded, as the long verdict was delivered. His father lowered his head while some members of the McDonald family held hands.

Van Dyke’s bond was revoked and sentencing was scheduled for October 31. He left the courtroom with an officer.

Though he was originally charged with first-degree murder, jurors were instructed Thursday that they also could consider second-degree murder.

The panel of eight women and four men — seven white, one black, three Hispanic and one Asian — began deliberations Thursday afternoon.

 

Botham Jean’s Family to Sue Amber Guyger, City of Dallas After Fatal Shooting: Attorney

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The family of Botham Jean, the Dallas resident fatally shot earlier this month by an off-duty Dallas police officer who says she mistook his apartment for her own, intends to file a federal lawsuit claiming excessive use of force.

Attorney Lee Merritt told the Associated Press Wednesday that Jean’s family will name Amber Guyger and the city of Dallas as defendants in the lawsuit.

Merritt didn’t say when the lawsuit will be filed or what damages the family would be seeking.

Dallas Police Department fires Officer Amber Guyger over manslaughter charges

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A white police officer who shot and killed her black neighbor in his apartment was fired by the Dallas Police Department on Monday. Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall fired Amber Guyger after an internal investigation determined the former officer “engaged in adverse conduct” when she was arrested on manslaughter charges, according to a news release.

According to reports, Earlier this month, Guyger, a 4-year-veteran, was arrested in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Botham Jean. She told investigators she confused his apartment for her own and fired two shots when he ignored her verbal commands. Some neighbors gave conflicting accounts of what they heard. Jean later died at a local hospital after suffering a single gunshot wound to the torso.

Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Jean family, said they were told about Hall’s plans to fire Guyger on Sunday. His office said Hall explained that a premature suspension could have compromised the criminal case against Guyger.

“The Jean family expressed satisfaction in this explanation and in Guyger’s termination. We see it as an initial victory — well received on the day Botham Jean is laid to rest in his native country in St. Lucia,” Merritt’s office said in a statement, adding that they are committed to see a “proper murder indictment, conviction and appropriate sentencing.”

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