Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hadiya Pendleton: Victim of GUN Violence Laid to Rest

Hadiya Pendleton: 15 year old teenager that performed at Obama’s Inauguration but was struck dead by a bullet on her return to Chicago.  Rest in Peace.

First lady Michelle Obama and some of Chicago’s most well-known faces turned out today to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl whose killing has become another symbol in the national debate on gun violence.

Hundreds filled the Greater Deliverance Temple Church of Christ to pay their respects to the teenager’s family, but the mood in the room was upbeat, including renditions from the choir. Friends of the girl, who had been one of the performers at President Obama second inauguration just days before she was gunned down, read poems in remembrance.

Before the service, the first lady met privately with about 30 of Hadiya Pendleton’s friends and classmates, and then met privately with members of Hadiya’s family.

Pendleton’s shooting came in January among a string of recent high profile gun crimes. Chicago is also struggling through the throes of the worst homicide rates it’s seen in a decade, spurred by gang warfare.

“She was not too young to leave a mark, and impact her friends, her family, and even now the nation,” the Rev. Courtney Maxwell said of the student who had reportedly once participated in an anti-gang video.

source: abcnews

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Nigerian Brothers Charged in December Kidnapping, Rape

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Three Nigerian-born brothers were accused of kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl in December, prosecutors said. Aziz Animashaun, 22, Isiaka Animashaun, 25, and Taiwo Animashaun, 26, were charged with aggravated criminal assault and kidnapping in connection with the crime police said happened on Dec. 21. Prosecutors said during Sunday bond court that the men were among a total of five to six attackers, the rest of whom have not been charged.

The brothers live on the South Side of Chicago but were born in Nigeria, according to court documents. Documents show they live in the 500 block of East 83rd Street in Chatham, about a block away from where police said the girl was kidnapped. The girl was taking care of her brother and throwing out the trash when an SUV with five to six men inside drove up, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Hamelly.
Aziz Animashaun allegedly got out of the car and and told the girl to get in, Hamelly said.

When the girl refused, Aziz Animashaun struck her with a "shiny revolver," according to court documents. Police said she was knocked unconsciousHe put the girl into the car and drove to another location, where the girl was forced to have sex with five to six men, Hamelly said. Sometime during the assault, the girl heard the men speaking a language other than English, police and Hamelly said.

The victim managed to escape once the men were no longer in the room, Hamelly said. She ran from the location and and noticed the black SUV in a driveway, Hamelly said. Cops said that the victim made it home, and her sister called police. The girl was kidnapped in the 400 block of East 83rd Street, police said. Police said two were being held for questioning a day after the incident, though they were not charged.

DNA recovered from a condom was linked to evidence found at the crime scene, according to court documents. Court documents also show the victim postively identified Aziz Animashaun as the man who hit her with a gun. A "19th century" handgun matching the description of the one Aziz Animashaun allegedly used was recovered, Hamelly said.

Hamelly also said that based on the victim's experience with a teacher who speaks a language spoken in Nigeria, she was able to identify that the men who attacked her spoke a similar language.
The three were arrested on Friday, according to court documents. Judge Israel Desierto ordered bail for Taiwo Animashaun set at $500,000, Aziz Animashaun set at $400,000 and Isiaka Animashaun set at $250,000.

(Chicago Police Dept.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

“Be A Blessing Day” set to provide love packages for the homeless on Valentine’s Day

Dallas, Texas— Traditionally, when people think of Valentine’s Day the thought of Flowers, Candy, Gifts & Love come to mind. Whether viewed as a commercial or sacred holiday, the premise of this day is Love.
“Be A Blessing Day” will take place February 13 & 14th in Dallas, Texas. The event was created to provide the homeless population with everyday items that they need.
The event is two-fold and is seeking assistance from Dallas residents to help spread love this Valentine’s Day Season. “Love Bags” which will consist of toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, lotion, soap, tissue, hard candy and more will be created on February 13. On February 14th from 12noon-3pm these love bags will be distributed in the Dallas –Fort Worth area.

February 13, 2013 7pm-9pm
 (Location Revealed with RSVP)
Creation of “Love Bags” (Volunteers & Supply Donations Needed)
February 14, 2013 12pm-3pm
“Love Packages will be passed out in the Dallas area. (Volunteers to help hand out bags needed)
“Be A Blessing Day” is currently seeking volunteers and people willing to contribute toiletries and bags for the love packages. This project will be managed by Jen-gerbread Marketing, Trendy Africa Magazine, Elite Webdesigners & The Candelabrum Group. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Nigerian Movie Director Jeta Amata Named Haiti’s Goodwill Ambassador

Nigerian director Jeta Amata, who is currently helming a film about Haitian founding father Toussaint Louverture, has been named a goodwill ambassador by Haiti President Michel Martelly.
The President bestowed the honour on Amata a ceremony in Port-au-Prince, joined by Haiti Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin, Foreign Minister Pierre Richard Casimir and Culture Minister Josette Darguste.
Amata’s Emperor: The Story of Toussaint Louverture, has a listed budget of $15 million. It is slated to be released in August.

Some proceeds from the film will reportedly be used to fund restoration of historic sites in Haiti.
Amata is one of the most famous filmmakers in Nigeria’s “Nollywood” industry, having recently branched out to cast American stars in some of his films.
“I will not disappoint you,” Amata told Martelly. He called the appointment “the greatest Oscar” he had won.
Many of the film’s scenes will be reportedly be filmed in Haiti.
According to the Internet Movie Database, the film is also using locations in Mauritius, Italy and France.
Amata joins celebrities such as Sean Penn and Petra Nemcova as goodwill ambassadors for Haiti.
Previous works by Amata include; The Amazing Grace, Inale, Black Gold, Black November, and Unconditional Love.

Source: Caribjournal. Photo: PR Photos

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Killer of Bradley Bassey Eyo gets Murder sentence

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas jury sentenced the son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel to 60 years in prison Friday in the shooting death of a longtime friend.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, 22, received the punishment after his father wept on the witness stand and apologized to the family of the victim, Bradley Bassey Eyo. The same jury found the younger Van Exel guilty of murder on Thursday. Prosecutors had sought a capital murder conviction.
Late Bradley Bassey Eyo

Nickey Van Exel fatally shot Eyo in December 2010 and dumped his body at Lake Ray Hubbard on the eastern outskirts of Dallas. His attorney had said the two were playing with a shotgun at Nickey Van Exel's Garland home and that Van Exel didn't know the gun was loaded.

Nick Van Excel, who played 13 seasons in the NBA including a stint with the Dallas Mavericks and is now a player development instructor for the Atlanta Hawks, testified about the happy times he and his son spent together, including with Eyo.

The elder Van Exel broke down at one point while speaking in court. He then apologized to Eyo's family.

"I'm really sorry to the Eyo family. Nobody should have to go through something like this. Nobody," he said, as he looked at Eyo's family members who were in the courtroom.

Source: WFAA