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The 2020 BET Awards featured several mentions of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by George Floyd's death, including rapper DaBaby's performance in which he is pinned to the ground by a police officer's knee on his neck - a reference to the killing of Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota last month.
 

 

Rapper Lil Wayne closed out the 2020 BET Awards by saluting the memory of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died alongside his teenage daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in January.

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In the awards ceremony's In Memoriam segment, Weezy performed his 2009 song "Kobe Bryant" as footage from the basketball icon's career flashed on the screen.

Lil Wayne previously honored the sportsman on his album Funeral earlier this year - one track, "Bing James," included 24 seconds of silence - a nod to Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers number 24.

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Host Amanda Seales paid tribute to the late Rock-n-Roll singer Little Richard. She made references to Breonna Taylor, the emergency medical technician who was killed when police officers raided her apartment during a wrong house no-knock warrant.

Seales also poked fun at all the well-meaning and opportunistic white folk who passionately support the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I must admit, this BET Awards is a little different," Seales said. "The main thing is it's virtual. We're getting real in touch with being real inside. Because outside is on one. It's got COVID and cops... It's like we hated on 2019 so much, it called its brother, 2020, to come through and provide a collective Molly whop. And that's precisely why we had to do the awards, because we deserve a break.

"And when I say 'we', I mean all us black folks watching the kneeling... the 'I take responsibility' vids, and saying to ourselves, 'Wow, Y'all goofy...!' America is acting brand new about racism, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing all the speeches for album interludes...

"We been out here in these streets marching, and this new eruption of consciousness has been beautiful. But keep it real though, some of y'all was only at the protest because the club is closed."

The full list of BET Awards winners

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist - Lizzo

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist - Chris Brown

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist - Megan Tee Stallion

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist - Da Baby

Best New Artist - Roddy Ricch

Best Group - Migos

Best Collaboration - No Guidance by Chris Brown feat. Drake

Video of the Year - Higher by DJ Khaled feat. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend

Video Director of the year - Teyana 'Spike Lee' Taylor

Album of the Year - Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial by Roddy Ricch

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award - Just For Me by Kirk Franklin

BET Her Award - Brown Skin Girl by Beyonce feat. Blue Ivy Carter, Wizkid & Saint Jhn

Viewers' Choice Award - Hot Girl Summer by Megan Thee Stallion & Nicki Minaj

Best International Act - Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Best New International Act - Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)

Best Movie - Queen & Slim

Youngstars Award - Marsai Martin

Best Actor - Michael B. Jordan

Best Actress - Issa Rae

Humanitarian Award - Beyonce

Sportswoman of the Year - Simone Biles

Sportsman of the Year - LeBron James
 

 

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Usher has urged men not to be afraid to show their emotions in his powerful new song "I CRY".

"I can't keep it together. I usually don't show my emotions," he sings in the song that he says is inspired by his two sons, Usher Raymond V, 12, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, 11.

The 41-year-old singer shares custody of his sons 50/50 with ex-wife Tameka Foster. He admitted he wants to set an example for his boys that there's no shame in a man crying.

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"This song was inspired by wanting to teach my sons that it is ok for a man to feel emotions deeply and to cry. Like many men, I was raised to believe that we have to be ‘tough’ and not show our vulnerability, which I don’t want to teach them," he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Usher added that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests around the world also motivated him to drop the inspirational tune.

"While I was shut in during the pandemic and watching the death of George Floyd, the ongoing slaughter of Black men and women, the protests and the events that unfolded, I became very connected to the wider universal feeling of hopelessness," he explained.

"Like many, I grew increasingly frustrated by how slow things have been to change. I became very depressed thinking about all (the) sons who have lost their fathers to police brutality, social injustice and violence; the daughters and mothers too. So I returned to this song and realized it was intended for this time, so I finished it and here it is."
 

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Minneapolis PD

Eight Black Minnesota corrections officers filed a racial discrimination lawsuit for allegedly being barred from guarding Derek Chauvin at the detention center where they work.

The eight non-white guards filed the lawsuit against the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center for allegedly providing only white corrections officers to guard Chauvin.

Chauvin, 44, has been held at the detention center since May 29 on charges of felony murder in the death of George Floyd in south Minneapolis on May 25.

The corrections officers said Superintendent Steve Lydon ordered all non-white officers and the Black officers were told to avoid contact with Chauvin.

In the discrimination lawsuit, Lydon allegedly said the officers' race made them a potential "liability" if anything were to happen to Chauvin after he arrived at the facility.

"I understood that the decision to segregate us had been made because we could not be trusted to carry out our work responsibilities professionally around the high-profile inmate — solely because of the color of our skin," said the acting sergeant, who is Black.

He added: "I am not aware of a similar situation where white officers were segregated from an inmate."

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The Minnesota Freedom Fund revealed it used only $200,000 out of $35 million in donations to bail out protesters during the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

The unrest has resulted in millions of dollars in donations to help those arrested. But many say they have not seen an accounting of the money from any bail fund organization.

The MFF is a small, volunteer community fund based in Minneapolis -- the city where Floyd was killed by a former Minneapolis cop.

In the last few weeks, the MFF has been hashtagged in posts on Instagram and Twitter, asking for donations to bail out protesters.

But in the last week, donors -- particularly major corporations -- have been asking for an accounting of where the money went -- since many of those arrested are still sitting in jails.

One Twitter user, Evelyn Woodsen, founder of The Affinity Mag, tweeted, "Wait till Twitter wakes up tomorrow and finds out the Minnesota Bail Fund got $35 million and only used $200k to bail out protestors."

After calls for transparency and accountability, the MFF finally acknowledged it was overwhelmed with donations and struggling to figure out what to do with the money.

"We are a volunteer community fund who until last month was doing all we could to pay a handful of misdemeanors each month, steadily paying, getting funds back, raising more $ when we could, doing it again," they wrote.

They removed their "donate" button and tried to redirect funds to other organizations with bail-out initiatives. But donations kept pouring in.

A lawyer contacted by Refinery29 explained the organization's dilemma:

"We were a small organization that was not ready for this kind of influx and so we're working as quickly as possible while being mindful that we have to take slow, necessary steps and have conversations with the group about hiring an accountant and attorney who can help us go through these processes," Mirella Ceja-Orozco, the Immigration Attorney Volunteer on the Board of Minnesota Freedom Fund, told Refinery29. "Before, we were an organization that had two staff members and maybe 8 volunteers and that's completely changing now."

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A 911 dispatcher was so concerned after watching a live feed of George Floyd's arrest on May 25, that she called a sergeant to express her concerns.

The phone call came to light in a newly released transcript from the Minneapolis Police Department, according to Fox5DC.

In the phone call between the dispatcher and a police sergeant, the woman said she watched the arrest on live camera feed outside Cup Foods in south Minneapolis.

"You can call me a snitch if you want to," she said, before adding she saw three officers physically restrain Floyd who was already handcuffed on the ground.

"All of them sat on this man. I don't know if they needed to or not. They haven't said anything to me yet," the dispatcher added.

The sergeant said he would look into the problem, before the call with the dispatcher ended.

The transcript also included two calls from pedestrians who witnessed the murder. Both calls were placed at 8:32 p.m.

In the first call, the bystander said he watched as an officer, "just pretty much killed this guy that wasn't resisting arrest. He had his knee on the dude's neck the whole time."

The caller asked to speak with a supervisor and was in the middle of being connected when the call abruptly ended.

A second call placed about 30 seconds later was also disconnected before the caller could speak with a supervisor about the incident.

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CBS News, Facebook, Minneapolis PD

The man who claimed George Floyd and former police officer Derek Chauvin "bumped heads" at a nightclub now says he mixed up Floyd with someone else.

David Pinney, who claimed he worked "closely" with Floyd and Derek Chauvin -- and previously told CBS News the two men "bumped heads" -- changed his story Wednesday.

Pinney told CBS News he worked at the same nightclub in south Minneapolis with Floyd for 5 months in late 2015 and early 2016.

He described tension between the two men -- and he said he often stepped in to break up fights between them.

He initially described a close bond with Floyd. "It's a difference when you work side by side with somebody. Like, I see him like a brother...."

"I knew George on a work basis," he said. "We were pretty close. When it came to our security positions, he was in charge and I worked directly below him as a security adviser."

He said Chauvin was "extremely aggressive within the club."

"…..he always showed aggression to, you know, George. So George, to keep it professional, George had me intervene and – interface with him instead of himself, just to be – just to get away from the conflict and keep it professional."

Pinney told CBS News he and Floyd were "very close" and he viewed him as a brother.

On Wednesday, Pinney told CBS News in an email he had confused Floyd with someone else: "There has been a mix up between George and another fellow co-worker," he wrote.

"I apologize for not doing my due diligence and placing you in a very uncomfortable situation," Pinney told CBS4's Jeff Pegues.

A lawyer representing the Floyd family called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder because he believes Chauvin knew who Floyd was and what happened on May 25 was personal.
 

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Getty Images

NBC News on Friday announced it was capitalizing the 'B' when referring to Black people across all of the networks' platforms.

NBC News is adjusting its reporting style amid racial tensions following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Floyd, 46, died when a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. His brutal death sparked protests across the country.

NBC joins BuzzFeed News, MSNBC, the LA Times, and USA Today who changed their style guides to capitalize "Black" when referring to Black people.

Capitalizing the 'B' for Black people has been debated by Black scholars over the years, but the debate was never taken seriously by the mainstream media.

Lori L. Tharps, of Temple University, made the case that "when speaking of a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the name should be capitalized."

In 2015, Tharps wrote an op-ed for The New York Times: "The Case for Black with a Capital B."

The Huffington Post wrote:

"I congratulate her for opening a conversation that is long overdue, a conversation that goes to the heart of how a large group of Americans with the most difficult of histories has struggled to express itself and gain greater agency in American society."

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Joe Biden says George Floyd's death had a wider impact than the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968.

Floyd, 46, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. His death at the hands of a white policeman sparked widespread protests across the country and in some parts of the world.

Biden, 77, briefly touched on Floyd's death during a roundtable in Philadelphia on Thursday. He said cellphone video of a cop kneeling on Floyd's neck inspired people to take to the streets.

"Even Dr. King's assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd's death did," said the Democratic nominee for president. "It's just like television changed the Civil Rights movement for the better when they saw Bull Connor and his dogs ripping the clothes off of elderly black women going to church and firehoses ripping the skin off of young kids.

"What happened to George Floyd — now you got how many people around the country, millions of cellphones. It’s changed the way everybody's looking at this. Look at the millions of people marching around the world."

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Porsha Williams teared up while discussing racism in America and the ongoing George Floyd protests.

"Extra" spoke to Porsha, who recently attended protests in Atlanta.

Overcome with emotion, she said, "It's just difficult to keep waking up and seeing more and more death.

"More black people being killed and even more and more white people being mistreated at the protests. It's just hard to wake up and see what we're dealing with."

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Porsha said her 15-month-old daughter, Pilar Jhena, is part of the driving force to fight for change, explaining, "When I see my daughter, it's just like... 'I'm gonna fight. I'm gonna push.' I don't want her to have to deal with this. I don't want anyone to have to deal with this, honestly," she said tearfully.

The 38-year-old took to social media to explain how she and others were tear-gassed by police on the frontlines of an Atlanta protest.

"That was just awful. It really was... It was disheartening to be out there and try to be heard and wanted to send this powerful message that we are standing together in a visual way... And to be gassed felt like I was being silenced."

Photo by FayesVision/WENN.com

The reality star, who has been active with Black Lives Matter in both Breonna Taylor and Floyd's cases, vowed to keep fighting emphasizing, "It was tough for me to go back out there after that. It was a bit traumatizing. But I'll tell you what it really taught me is that protesting is a real thing... You are definitely putting your life on the line."

"I am a black woman and I'm always gonna be proud of that," Williams continued. "And I'm always going to stand... with my people against injustice."

On a lighter note, Porsha is getting ready to celebrate her birthday. "My birthday is coming up June 22 — that's exciting. I’ll be 39, closer to 40.”

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Ashley Walters was seen for the first time in public since breaking down on social media as he recalled being stabbed by a white racist gang as a teenager.

Ashley was pictured out for a jog in his North London neighborhood.

The 30-year-old rapper broke down in tears in an emotional response to George Floyd's death.

In response to his fans questioning why he remained silent about Floyd's death in the U.S., Ashley recalled being jumped by a racist gang in London when he was only 15.

"I've spent the evening in my feelings and my thoughts about this George Floyd situation," the Bulletproof actor said.

"My point of coming on here today is that no one can tell me I am complicit. I haven't posted anything about the scenario for several reasons, but for the main one, I've been posting this thing all of my f***ing career."

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Ashley, who was comforted by his wife Danielle, continued:

"I've seen black people and big corporations posting 'Your silence is a betrayal'. Don't ever f***ing tell me that my silence is a f***ing betrayal when I've been left for dead on the street by white men. Stabbed and left for dead and these people have never been brought to justice."

Ashley is known his star role as Dushane in Top Boy, and his role as Antoine in Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
 

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House Democrats sparked fury and indignation on Black Twitter yesterday by wearing tribal kente cloths while taking a knee to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats took a knee for exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds in tribute to George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

It was meant to be a show of support for racial equality after the House introduced a bill to defund police and put an end to police brutality.

But the gesture backfired badly, as Black Twitter protested the Democrats's condescending "publicity stunt."

"This is fukkin embarrassing as a country," wrote user Oldschooler All Star on TheColi.com.

"Do these people really think we are so stupid that they'll earn our respect by wearing kente clothes, kneeling and putting black squares on Instagram. This insults our intelligence to say the least. Black people in this country need action from politicians not pandering. I dont want to hear no more invitations to cookouts unless that person has done something tangible for us.[sic]"

"Excuse me, Democrats," tweeted author Obianuju Ekeocha.

"Don't treat Africans like we're children. These fabrics and these colorful things that we have within our culture and tradition, they all mean something to us. I know you look at us and you say, 'Oh, Africans are so cute in all of your colorful dresses.' Well, some of those dresses and patterns and colors and fabrics actually do mean something to us."

Ekeocha went on to ask why Democrats were using the kente cloth for their "own show of non-racism."


 

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YouTube.com

Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender defended the City Council's decision to dismantle the police department in the aftermath of the murder of a 46-year-old Black man in police custody.

On Sunday, nine City Council members vowed to dismantle the police force "and try something new."

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YouTube.com

On Monday Bender spoke via Skype with CNN's Alisyn Camerota, saying the "revolutionary" movement to remove the police department is a "wake up call" that the police "is not keeping every member of our community safe."

"What if in the middle of the night, my home is broken into?" Camerota asked Bender.

"That comes from a place of privilege," Bender replied.

"Because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done," she said.

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Bender said the City Council is looking to shift the response away from armed police officers to community policing by trained residents.

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The City Council will face opposition from Mayor Jacob Frey, who has said he will not allow the police force to be dismantled.

"We are not starting from scratch we have invested in community-based safety strategies," Bender said. "We've done an analysis of all the reasons people call 911 and have looked at ways we can shift the response away from police officers into a more appropriate response for mental health calls. So the groundwork is laid already in Minneapolis for us to work from that," she said.

"Now the hard work begins for us to rebuild systems that really work to keep everyone in our community safe," Bender said.

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George Floyd's fiancée says he had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur before his life was ended by a former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes on May 25.

Courteney Ross, 44, attended Floyd's emotional memorial service in Minneapolis on Thursday. She sobbed over his casket as friends comforted her.

Ross, who manages a coffee shop in the city's north east side, says she last spoke to Floyd the day before he died.

She said Floyd turned his life around and he had plans to open a restaurant called the Convict Kitchen.

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Facebook.com

"He served some time in a Texas prison and after he was released he was able to get help with an organization called Turning Point," she said. "One job led to another and another. He really loved it here. He did get some peace in his life here."

She said Floyd wanted to hire ex-convicts to work at his restaurant to give them a second chance at life like he was given.

It is difficult for ex-convicts to find gainful employment because of their criminal records.

"Floyd even had some of the foods picked out that he wanted to serve his customers," she said. "He had ideas on some of the foods he wanted to serve. He wanted to serve food at his restaurant that ex-cons would cook in their cell, using the foods inmates would buy at the commissary and making a gourmet dish out of it."

She added: "Floyd use to tell me that you can practically make anything out of Ramen Noodles, you can grind them up and use them to make pizza dough [for] a cake if you add Oreo Cookies."

The Minneapolis memorial was the first of three services for Floyd. Rappers Master P, Tip "T.I." Harris, and Ludacris attended the memorial service on Thursday. The services will culminate with Floyd's funeral in his hometown of Houston, Texas on Tuesday, June 9.

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Instagram.com

The Minneapolis City Council is holding an emergency meeting to "dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety."

The emergency meeting comes after nearly 2 weeks of civil unrest and looting in south Minneapolis and surrounding areas in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

Four police officers are in jail awaiting trial on murder charges in connection with Floyd's death.

On Thursday, City Council member Jeremiah Ellison tweeted: "We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we're done, we're not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It's really past due."

City Council member Lisa Bender added: "Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety."

The emergency meeting began at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5. City Council members are set to vote on immediate changes to the police force including removing the police force and replacing it with a community-based, non-violent neighborhood watch group.

The City Council on Friday voted to ban police choke holds. Police officers are required to intervene when they observe inappropriate use of force being used on a suspect.

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Facebook

An embarrassing moment occurred when one of CNN's reporters suffered a Freudian slip of the tongue and uttered the words, "George Floyd is looking down from prison" during coverage of a memorial service for the slain Minnesota man on Thursday.

A Freudian slip is the utterance of an unconscious subdued wish or a suppressed thought.

CNN has not commented on the gaffe.