Judge Recused in “Russian Roulette” Police Killing

By MCNS Staff

Nathaniel Hendren after the January 24 killing.

Nathaniel Hendren after the January 24 killing.

A St. Louis judge is distancing himself from a case involving a policeman accused of killing a fellow officer while reportedly playing a version of Russian Roulette.

According to local reports, Circuit Judge David Roither recused himself following a motion filed by the attorney for Officer Nathaniel Hendren. The motion said Roither’s comments at an earlier hearing suggested bias against Hendren.

Reports state that among other comments, Roither said that as a hunter, he knows you “don’t point a muzzle at anything you don’t intend to shoot.”

Online court records indicate the case has been reassigned to Judge Thomas McCarthy.

Charges of first degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action were levied against Hendren following the Thursday, January 24 shooting of 24-year-old officer Katlyn Alix. Reports from prosecutors say Hendren and two-year officer Alix took turns pointing a gun loaded with one bullet at each other and pulling the trigger. Alix was shot in the chest shortly before 1 a.m. and died from her wounds at St. Louis University Hospital.

Critics are suspicious of the incident. Authorities state that Officer Hendren and his partner were on-duty and had abandoned their post to go to his home with Officer Alix the morning the killing occurred. The name of the other on-duty officer involved in the incident has not been released.

Mugshots show Hendren with a black eye when he was taken into custody on Monday, Jan. 31. A local news outlet reported that he got the injury after smashing his head into the window of a police cruiser after the January 24 killing.

Local reports state that Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, who is tasked with investigating the killing of Alix, has criticized the police, saying they used an “obstructionist tactic” during the investigation. Gardner also said police had initially called the shooting an accident, which was “completely inappropriate.”

A report suggests the two on-duty officers were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the killing, which violates policy.

Egyptian President Becomes Head of the African Union

By Chuma Kisu

Egyptian President Addresses African Union after becoming  Chair.

Egyptian President Addresses African Union after becoming Chair.

According to international reports, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el- Sisi became the chair of the African Union (AU)) following a meeting by heads of state from the continent in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

The post rotates annually between the five regions of the continent.

The Egyptian leader is expected to focus on the fight against armed groups on the continent and rebuilding efforts of countries recovering from conflict.

“Terrorism remains a cancer that affects African nations and steals the dreams of our people and we must identify and combat those who fund terrorism activities on the continent,” Sisi said in a speech to the AU assembly shortly after his appointment.

Sisi stated that he will prioritize mediation and “preventive diplomacy” as one of the key mechanisms for promoting peace and security on the continent.

The new African Union chairman said that “counter- terrorism requires the identification of those who support and finance it and combating them collectively. While we are aware of the difficulty and complexity of the struggle, this remains the only appropriate way to uproot terrorism and eradicate it.”

Sisi takes the helm from Rwandan President Paul Kagame who focused on creating an African wide free-trade zone during his tenure.

Suburbs No Refuge for Black Students

By Free Radical

New data show that students of color are subject to discrimination in suburban school districts.

New data show that students of color are subject to discrimination in suburban school districts.

Following World War II, the number of Blacks living in suburban areas skyrocketed. Here they often sought what they hoped would be safer neighborhoods and better opportunities for their children.

However a new study by the federal Civil Rights Data Collection suggests that the suburbs is more of a broken promise than a promised land. Reporting on new data, the USA Today outlined how students of color are more likely to be suspended and less likely to take fewer AP classes than their White classmates. In some suburban districts, Black students are even several grades behind White students.

Student Kennedy Jackson of the Rochester metropolitan area was featured. Jackson was regularly the target of racial epithets. Unfortunately, Jackson was not an anomaly. Bethany Beru had a similarly harrowing story. In the middle of a lesson, her teacher hurled a racial epithet at her. When Beru contacted administrators, nothing was done.

Corrective measures had been proposed by former president Barack Obama’s administration. According to guidelines, school districts could be penalized if they disproportionately target students of color for severe punishments. However, the Trump administration and its education head, Betsy Devos have indicated that they will move to rescind these protections.

For more on the experiences of students of color in the suburbs, click here.

Officer cleared in Alabama Mall Shooting

Emantic Bradford Jr. was killed by Hoover police in late November. The cop who shot him has been exonerated.

Emantic Bradford Jr. was killed by Hoover police in November. The cop who shot him has been exonerated. A civil trial for damages is pending.

By Free Radical

An unidentified police officer has been cleared of the death of Emantic Bradford Jr. Bradford was shot three times in the head, neck, and back late November in a “Black Friday” sale after a fight broke out in a Hoover, Alabama mall. Hoover is a suburb of Birmingham.

On Tuesday Alabama attorney general Steve Marshall cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

Officers responded to a fight in the Hoover mall which resulted in shots ringing out. Initial reports claimed that they had shot and killed the mall shooter. However the day after the shooting, the Hoover mayor and police chief confirmed that Bradford was not the shooter.

Although there are no indications that Bradford handled a firearm in a menacing way, Marshall’s report suggested that the officer made a “split-second decision” to “ensure the safety of the people there.”

In December Marshall took over the case from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr who is the first African-American to hold that position. Marshall insinuated that Carr had relationships with protestors and therefore may have been biased.

Protestors have continued to disrupt Hoover city operations since Bradford’s killing. They have held demonstrations at the mall where he was killed, the home of the mayor, and busy intersections.

Bradford’s father who has often been present at the protests expressed, “Do you understand the feeling that I have every night when I lay down at night. And the memories I have of my child when he was young and when he got older. You don’t feel my pain.”

Along with justice for Bradford, protestors have also called for Marshall to release the officer’s identity and police footage of the incident. Marshall has refused.

The Bradford family intends to take civil action against the city.