The World Community for Racial Justice

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Black Lives Matter activist Oluwatoyin Salau found dead

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 15, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The Tallahassee Police Department has identified Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau as a murder victim after a week of searching for her as a missing person.

Police also say the suspect in this case, 49-year-old Aaron Glee Jr., has been arrested. The other victim in the double murder was 75-year-old Victoria Sims, according to TPD.

According to arrest records in Orange County, Florida, Glee was arrested in Orlando on June 14 on an out-of-county warrant from Leon County on charges of homicide-felony murder.

Salau’s name was trending on social media for a week. Salau was a vocal activist and had appeared on several videos of the protests here in the state’s capital. She was last seen on June 6 in the area of Orange Avenue and Wahnish Way in Tallahassee.

On Sunday, it was reported that two bodies were found near Monday Road.

“Both names have been released with permission of their families in accordance with Marsy’s Law,” TPD said in its press release.

In a Facebook post Monday afternoon, Lively Tech, where Salau was enrolled in the cosmetology program, posted a message saying “We will miss seeing Toyin’s beautiful smile.”

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California officials probe 2 separate hanging deaths of Black men

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – As the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation into the hanging death of a Black man in Palmdale, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said on Saturday there were no indications of foul play in the hanging death of another Black man in Victorville last month.

Palmdale is about 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Victorville is about 50 miles east of Palmdale.

San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller said deputies responded around 7 a.m. on May 31 to a report of a man who hanged himself near a homeless encampment in Victorville. He was later identified as 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch.

“A death investigation is being conducted,” Miller wrote in an email to The Desert Sun. “There were no indications at the scene that suggested foul play. The cause and manner of death are pending.”

In a statement, Harsch’s family said they were concerned that the investigation was taking a long time and said they regarded his death as suspicious.

“He didn’t seem to be depressed to anyone who truly knew him,” the family said. “Everyone who knew our brother was shocked to hear that he allegedly hung himself and don’t believe it to be true as well as the people who were there when his body was discovered.

The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the family added.

According to the family, a deputy called to confirm the death and said a USB cord was used in the hanging.

The sheriff’s department did not provide more details about the incident.

In a statement, Harsch’s family said his body was found hanging from a tree.

“There was blood on his shirt but there didn’t appear to be any physical implications at the scene to suggest that there was a struggle or any visible open wounds at that time,” the family said.

Fuller’s death has generated intense scrutiny, especially after nationwide protests rebuking the police killing of Floyd.

On Saturday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Palmdale, a city of 150,000, marching from the park where Fuller’s body was found to the sheriff’s station. Many carried signs that said “Justice for Robert Fuller.”

More than 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into Fuller’s death. Community members confronted city officials at a contentious news briefing Friday, asking why they were quick to label his death a suicide and demanding an independent autopsy.

“I have doubts about what happened,” Marisela Barajas, who went to the press conference and joined a crowd gathered at the tree where Fuller’s body was found, told the Los Angeles Times.

“All alone, in front of the City Hall – it’s more like a statement,” she said. “Even if it was a suicide, that in itself is kind of a statement

Lt. Kelly Yagerlener of the L.A. County medical examiner-coroner’s office said a decision on the cause of death is deferred pending an investigation. A full autopsy is planned.

A Los Angeles County supervisor, state senator and state assembly member on Saturday called on the state attorney general to investigate the death.

Palmdale residents demanded surveillance video around the time and place where Fuller’s body was found. The city said there were no outdoor cameras, and video recorders on a nearby traffic signal could not have captured what happened.

L.A. Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives were investigating the circumstances leading to Fuller’s death to determine if foul play was involved. He urged members of the public to contact detectives if they have relevant information, particularly about where Fuller had been and who he had been with in recent weeks.

Palmdale officials wrote in a statement that investigators have been in contact with Fuller’s family.

KPCC-FM reported that at the march Saturday, Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander insisted her brother was not suicidal.

Robert was a good little brother to us and it’s like everything they have been telling us has not been right … and we just want to know the truth,” she said.

Shane Newell reports for the Palm Springs Desert Sun

Contributing: The Victorville Daily Press; the Associated Press 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/13/california-officials-probe-2-separate-hanging-deaths-black-men/3185833001/

Rayshard Brooks death: Atlanta police chief steps down, police clash with protesters

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Cross burning Tuskegee University

Burning Cross Found Atop Interstate Overpass in Alabama

Deputies are investigating a cross burning on a bridge over Interstate 85 in Alabama.

TUSKEGEE, ALA. (AP) — Motorists driving along an interstate highway in a majority African American county near the home of historically black Tuskegee University late Thursday found a cross burning on an overpass, news outlets reported.

The flaming cross was on top of a bridge over Interstate 85 in Macon County Thursday night, Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson told WRBL-TV. Police were investigating, but no suspects or arrests were announced

John Bolton, who saw the burning cross while in a car on I-85, told the news outlet he saw what “looked like a shadow” flee from the scene as he ran toward the blaze with two other men who were with him. He then called 911 while “one of the guys climbed up to the bridge to knock the cross down,” Bolton said.

A few minutes later, deputies arrived and helped extinguish the fire, Brunson said. Once the fire was gone, Bolton said they saw a tire and a fuel canister had also been set on fire.

Cross burnings have historically been used by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations to rally supporters and terrorize black people in the South and elsewhere.

Brunson told the Opelika-Auburn News that police “just can’t let people get away doing that.”

“That is something to strike fear in people’s hearts, and we’re not going to let people make them afraid. We need to bring that person to justice.”

Founded as Tuskegee Institute, the university was an early leader in efforts to educate African Americans in the South after the Civil War. Macon County also was home to the “Tuskegee Syphilis Study,” in which the federal government let hundreds of black men go untreated for syphilis so they could study effects of the disease.

By Associated Press, Wire Service Content June 5, 2020

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Boycott Starbucks that bans employees from wearing anything in support of Black Lives Matter

An internal memo sent to Starbucks employees last week specifically warned staffers against wearing accessories or clothes bearing messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, reminds staffers that such messages are prohibited under the company’s policy against accessories that “advocated a political, religious or personal issue.”

Starbucks LGBTQ+ partners wear LGBTQ+ pins and shirts, that also could incite and create violent experiences amongst partners and customers,” one black transgender employee of the coffee chain told BuzzFeed. “We have partners who experienced harassment and transphobia/homophobia for wearing their pins and shirts, and Starbucks still stands behind them.”

A video from a top company executive reportedly sent with the memo warned employees that “agitators who misconstrue the fundamental principles” of the movement could seek to “amplify divisiveness” if the messages are displayed in stores.

“We know your intent is genuine and understand how personal this is for so many of us. This is important and we hear you,” the memo read.

A company spokesperson confirmed the memo’s authenticity to BuzzFeed and said that such messages are prohibited “to create a safe and welcoming” environment at Starbucks locations.

“We respect all of our partners’ opinions and beliefs, and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work while adhering to our dress code policy,” the spokesperson said.

The development comes as protests have erupted around the country over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May. Video of his arrest reinvigorated support for the Black Lives Matter movement and has led to numerous companies showing support for it.

https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/502252-starbucks-bans-employees-from-wearing-anything-in-support-of-black-lives

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Bill Gates Microsoft AOL spoof fake news scam

No, you’re not going to be receiving money, merchandise, or free trips from Bill Gates (or anyone else), no matter how many people you forward this message to. At the time this gag started running, tracing all recipients of an e-mail message was not yet technically possible, and even if it were, Bill Gates certainly wouldn’t have been testing software that performed such tracking by blindly sending messages out to the Internet with a promise of financial reward to the recipients. That folks continued to fall for myriad varieties of these leg-pulls was in part attributable to netizens having caught so many references to these non-existent programs that newer versions of the hoax were able to continue building on an already partially-constructed platform of belief.

Any “get something free” come-on or “help a sick kid” appeal of this nature which specifies an invisible program is keeping track of who received an e-mail and who it was then sent to is a hoax. Any such note. No exceptions. Not even ones not yet listed on this page.