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Family Demands Answers

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

BET Docuseries “Copwatch America” Investigates Police Killing of Unarmed Black Teen, Veltavious Griggs

Nationwide — In the latest episode of Copwatch America on BET, Attorney Gerald A. Griggs investigates the case of 19-year old Veltavious Griggs who was shot and killed by Union City Police Officer Jerome Turner on April 1, 2019. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations has stated that Officer Turner was dispatched to a fight. Upon arrival, he began chasing a man that he believed was involved in the fight and was armed. The chase ended with Mr. Griggs fatally shot several times. The only gun recovered from the scene was Officer Turner’s weapon.

In October of 2019, the Law Office of Attorney Gerald A. Griggs received a copy of the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Autopsy report. The report found that Veltavious Griggs “cause of death was a contact gunshot to the head.” The report goes on to say that the manner of the death is still undetermined.

“He was allowed to bleed out in front of his child’s mother’s home for hours. He needed medical attention. I was already very concerned about the nature of the reporting because it did not sound realistic. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office has made it clear that the facts of this investigation do not corroborate her autopsy report. Now we want to know why,” said Attorney Griggs.

“He was a good child. He wanted to be a good father. He loved music. It’s not right for anyone to just take another person’s life. He just started living. He was only 19-years old. They killed him ten days before his birthday,” said Shantrina Griggs, the mother of Veltavious Griggs.

The docuseries will also include the cases of Oscar Caine, Eric Garner, Jamarion Robinson, and Nicholas Bolton. Griggs works alongside Chris “City” Mungin, Yonasda Lonewolf, Shar Bates, and Patrick Newbill.

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Crime

Black Men Awarded for Wrongful Conviction

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Three men from Cleveland, Ohio — 63-year old Rickey Jackson, 65-year old Wiley Bridgeman, and 62-year old Kwame Ajamu — have been awarded a settlement for $18 million nearly 45 years after their wrongful conviction and imprisonment in connection to a robbery and murder case in 1975.

Jackson, Bridgeman, and his brother Ajamu, formerly known as Ronnie Bridgeman, were then aged 18, 20, 17 when they were accused and convicted for the deadly robbery of Harold Franks.

They were convicted based solely on a testimony of a 12-year old boy, which eventually turned out to be false testimony. The boy admitted that he was coerced by Cleveland police to provide wrongful testimony during the trial.

The three men were all exonerated and freed in 2014.

“For 45 years, our clients never gave up hope that someday their nightmare would be over,” said their attorney, Terry Gilbert. “That time has come with this final resolution providing some measure of justice and closure. But the physical and emotional trauma our clients were forced to endure is an example of the deep flaws of a racist criminal legal system focused on results rather than truth and justice.”

The three have reached an $18 million settlement following a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland for police misconduct, falsifying evidence, and coercing a witness. It is reportedly the largest settlement ever made in the history of the state of Ohio.

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Video Surfaces in Ahmaud Arbery Case

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Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old unarmed Black man from Brunswick Georgia, was reportedly shot and killed by two white men as he jogged through their neighborhood. The incident happened back in February, but no charges have yet been filed.

 was February 23rd to be exact when 64-year old Gregory McMichael and his 34-year old son Travis reportedly grabbed their shot gun and followed Ahmaud in their truck after they saw him run past them. Both claimed that Ahmaud “looked like a suspect” in a string of robberies in the area.

Gregory, who is a retired investigator in the District Attorney’s office, said he asked Ahmaud to “stop” so they could talk. The situation escalated, and later there was an alleged struggle after with the McMichael’s shotgun. Ahmaud was shot at least twice.

Some witnesses said Ahmaud, who was wearing a white t-shirt on that day, was only exercising. However, a 911 call from a nearby neighbor earlier that day reported a Black man in a white t-shirt who is “running right now” from a house that was under construction.

Brunswick NAACP president Rev. John Davis Perry II said the shooting is “troubling,” causing other people in the area to express concerns about the community and racial profiling.

Meanwhile, a prosecutor argued that the father and son who killed Ahmaud were justified due to the citizen’s arrest statute in Georgia. Travis, who was actually holding the shotgun, is said to have acted out of self-defense.

The prosecutor, who has since been recused from the case due to a possible conflict of interest, noted that Ahmaud had a criminal record. In 2018, he was convicted of shoplifting and violating probation, and he was indicted for reportedly taking a handgun to a high school basketball game.

Neither Gregory or Travis McMichael have yet been charged or arrested in connection to the killing. Another prosecutor from a different county will determine whether the case should be presented to a grand jury.

“We can’t do anything because of this corona stuff,” Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper told the New York Times. “We thought about walking out where the shooting occurred, just doing a little march, but we can’t be out right now.”

To date video has surfaced of the fatal struggle and shooting of 23 year old Amaud Aubrey.

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New Film Streaming on Amazon Prime

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Unsolved Murders of Black Family Re-Examined

American Wisper (now streaming on Amazon Prime) is the true story of the unsolved murders of an upper-class African American family. In the summer of 2016, three children and their mother were found shot to death in their large New Jersey home close to NYC.

They were discovered by father and husband Josiah Wisper – a brash businessman who owned bars, restaurants, stores and real estate in Harlem, New York. Wisper immediately became the prime suspect in the case, or what is more commonly known as “A Person of Interest”. He was eventually ruled out as a suspect by police and law enforcement officials, but never in the eyes of those in the Harlem community – his relatives, friends, and people he had known for nearly half his life.

Wisper quickly embarks on a search to find out who murdered his family – his personal (and original) video recordings, journals and diaries take us to family, friends, police precincts, newspapers drug dens, gun stores and street-gang hangouts – all in the hope of piecing together the clues needed to solve this shocking and tragic crime. His “on-camera” journey takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions, leading us to a horrifying conclusion – and Josiah’s final discovery of what it takes to be a man. Based on true events, and based on withheld police reports issued at the time of the murders. Directed by Russ Emanuel and produced by Howard Nash. Screenplay by Howard Nash and Rodney Cavin.

The producers of American Wisper want it known that they are seeking to have the original case re-opened, and feel that a movie about the injustice suffered by the real Josiah is the only way to make that happen. But, a clarion “Call to Action” isn’t as easy as it sounds: According to writer/producer Howard Nash, “I’ve noticed a fair amount of racism when it comes to smaller, independent films with African American leads. The smaller movie sites and platforms are not even selecting them. So it becomes even more important to get the word out, so that people can see things for themselves.”

“Wisper… a very tight thriller without clear heroes or victims—thanks to a tight directorial effort, a tense script and strong performances by all involved… it’s a genre movie that shouldn’t be missed.” — Mike Haberfelner SMT News & Reviews

The film is the winner of two international film festival awards.

Stream it now on Amazon Prime:
http://bit.ly/american-wisper

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