March , 2018

Richmond, VA (BlackNews.com) – West Cary Group, an award-winning, performance marketing firm headquartered in Richmond, ...
Internationally Award-Winning Magician and Comedian Michael Dardant makes one stop only at the Chicago Magic ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded Senate lawmakers for passing legislation to ...
Conference to be held September 19-22 in Washington, D.C.                                                        Work of CBC Foundation to be ...
Will Open Goodman Theatre's 10th year in Chicago's Theatre District       Nearly 30 songs in Leonard Bernstein's Triumphant Score ...
  Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the arrest of a youth minister in ...
Anti-Crime Organization’s donation of food baskets will feed families from Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, ...
  Washington, DC - "With much generous support from the Mayor and Council of the District of ...
  Charles Gray, CEO of ATuskegeeAudio.com   Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- In commemoration with the dedication of the ...

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

WalletHub Study: Illinois Has the Highest Tax Rates in the Country

Posted by Admin On March - 22 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

From: Diana Popa, wallethub

With Tax Day looming large and sweeping tax reform passed in recent months, WalletHub today released its 2018 Taxpayer Survey as well as its yearly Tax Rates by State report in order to help people better understand this confusing time of year. WalletHub’s Taxpayer Survey features a wide range of fun facts about people’s opinions on tax prep, the IRS and more, while the tax rate report compares the cost of the average person’s various obligations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Surprisingly, WalletHub found that states with no income tax aren’t always the cheapest overall, as they tend to have higher sales and property taxes.

You can find highlights from both below, followed by the full list of WalletHub’s 2018 taxpayer resources:

Tax Rates in Illinois (1=Lowest; 25=Avg.):

  • 51st – Overall Effective State & Local Tax Rate
  • 30th – Income Tax
  • 50th – Real-Estate Tax
  • 27th – Sales & Excise Taxes

2018 Taxpayer Survey

  • Fewer than 4 in 10 people are happy with President Trump’s tax reforms. 69% of people think the reforms are better for corporations than consumers, and 67% think they benefit the rich more than the middle class.
  • 90% of people think the government currently does not spend their tax dollars wisely.
  • 30% of people say making a math mistake is their biggest Tax Day fear, edging out not having enough money (29%) atop the list.
  • 37% of people would move to a different country for a tax-free future. 24% would get an “IRS” tattoo, 22% would switch political parties, and 15% would take a vow of celibacy.
  • 29% of people like their in-laws more than the IRS, 13% prefer cold showers, and 9% would take a traffic jam.

WalletHub’s 2018 Taxpayer Resources

  1. What To Do If You Can’t Pay
  2. Pros & Cons Of Paying With Credit
  3. Tax Scams & Tips for Avoiding Them
  4. Last-Minute Tax Tips
  5. Property Taxes by State

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts. Full data sets for specific states and the District are also available upon request.


Chicago Police Department Abuse Threatens Immigrant Safety

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

From: PASO – West Suburban Action Project 

A Press conference and rally in support of Gabriel Solache and Arturo de Leon Reyes, bothvictims of wrongful imprisonment and police torture facing deportation by Immigration andCustoms Enforcement (ICE). Mr. Solache and Mr. Reyes are requesting that the Chicago PoliceDepartment and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office sign U visa certifications on their behalf stating the fact that they are victims of abuse at the hands of the Chicago PoliceDepartment.

The event will be held Monday, March 19, 2018, 10:00 AM, at the Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Gabriel Solache , victim of police abuse recently exonerated for a crime he did notcommit after spending nearly 20 years in prison. Vân Huynh , Mr. Solache’s attorney, PASO -West Suburban Action Project. Karen Daniels , Mr. Solache’s post-conviction relief attorney,Center on Wrongful Convictions of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Mecole Jordan ,Executive Director, United Congress for Community & Religious Organizations.

Mr. Solache and Mr. Reyes were exonerated after having been wrongfully convicted andserving nearly 20 years in prison. They will be filing requests with Chicago Police Departmentand the Cook County State’s Attorney’s for U visa certifications. U visas are available for victimsof certain violent crimes and the certification is one of the many requirements to apply forprotection from deportation. Groups call on Chicago Police Department and Cook CountyState’s Attorney’s office to sign U visa certification requests on behalf of two immigrants facingdeportation as a result of police abuse and torture.

PASO – West Suburban Action Project (Proyecto de Acción de los Suburbios del Oeste) is a community-based socialjustice organization that works to engage community members to address issues that affect them, their families, and neighbors with the mission to build stronger communities where all residents can live dignified lives regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic or immigration status.

National Urban League Pushes to Save Low-Cost Internet Service Program for Low-Income Americans

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On March - 19 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC  – The National Urban League joined by the National Action Network, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council announced its submission of comments late last week to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) expressing concern over proposed reforms to Lifeline, a program that historically provides a discount on phone service to qualifying low-income consumers to increase access to telephone and broadband services and help close the digital divide.  However, last year, the FCC voted to approve changes to Lifeline that will make it harder for poor and low-income people to attain phone and internet services in attempt crack down on fraud and abuse in the program.


Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League said, “Broadband is no longer a luxury.  Everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status, must have access to advanced telecommunications and information services.  Just as we need food and water, it is now a necessity.  The FCC must explore ways to responsibly expand access not rescind it.”

The group’s full letter can be found HERE

February 21, 2018


Ms. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW

Washington, DC 20554


RE: WC Docket No. 17-287, Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers

WC Docket No. 11-42, Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization

WC Docket No. 09-197, Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support



Dear Secretary Dortch:


On behalf of the National Urban League, the National Action Network, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Multicultural Media and Internet Council, and the millions of Americans we represent, we write today to express our concerns with the Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, Memorandum Opinion and Order, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry, released on December 1, 2017 in the above-captioned proceedings. The National Urban League has long been a proponent of actions that promote universal broadband adoption and access to telecommunications services, including through the Lifeline program. We recognize the nexus between technology-enabled opportunity and our historic mission: to enable African Americans and other underrepresented, economically-disadvantaged urban residents to obtain economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Without access to a phone and broadband service, low income Americans lose opportunities to pursue employment; are unable to reach emergency care (such as E-911 service); are unable to communicate with government departments and agencies, including those who provide essential services; and are unable to participate in the information economy. In addition, while the Commission has often spoken to its desires to close the Digital Divide, the proposal in the above-captioned proceedings means that 3.5 million of the 12 million Lifeline participants will no longer receive broadband services. We are especially concerned about several aspects of the FCC proposal.


Specifically, we strongly oppose the Commission’s proposal to eliminate wireless resellers from participation in the Lifeline program. By excluding 70 percent of those currently providing Lifeline services, that proposed change will have a devastating impact on choice and competition in the Lifeline market and discourage consumer participation by making it harder for the very beneficiaries of the program – low-income consumers – to subscribe to and maintain Lifeline services. By limiting Lifeline to facilities-based carriers, low-income consumers will be largely deprived of Lifeline-subsidized wireless services.


Today, most low-income urban residents enrolled in Lifeline have chosen to receive service from wireless Lifeline providers, mostly resale providers. Those providers’ services are widely chosen because they deliver the value that low-income households need and the mobility that they want. In an era when mobility is essential to fully enable participation in the digital economy, the FCC’s proposal amounts to a giant step backward by confining Lifeline benefits to landline telecommunications service. By taking away Lifeline customers’ option of receiving subsidized mobile services, the Commission’s proposal will make Lifeline services less attractive to potential low-income subscribers and therefore will reduce program participation by those who are eligible. It is our belief that whether a service provider should be allowed to remain in the Lifeline program should depend on that provider’s conduct, and the quality of service they provide, not on whether that provider delivers service over a network it owns or by reselling other carriers’ services. Lifeline consumers make carrier selection decisions based on the providers’ performance and the perceived value of the providers’ services, not on the providers’ regulatory classification as “facilities-based” or “reseller.” Those consumers’ ability to select their Lifeline providers based on perceived service quality and value should not be stripped away by regulatory dictate.


Furthermore, we know that only one of the four national wireless network operators even offers Lifeline service. If wireless resellers are excluded from the Lifeline program, there will be only one wireless Lifeline option available to Lifeline-eligible consumers, notwithstanding the fact that Lifeline consumers overwhelmingly prefer wireless Lifeline options. A wireless Lifeline market of one provider is antithetical to a competitive marketplace, which has been the hallmark of Commission regulatory policy for decades. Poor consumers are no less deserving of a choice of competitive service options than are other consumers. Most of the innovations in Lifeline service offerings have been by wireless resellers. Removal of those providers from the Lifeline market and the resulting establishment of a de facto wireless Lifeline monopoly will remove any incentive for further innovation in that important Lifeline market segment. The fact that there have been no indications that facilities-based wireless providers have any desires to provide such services buttresses the concerns that consumers will be negatively impacted by this de facto monopoly.


We also point out that the Commission’s effort to allow the states to determine who qualifies as an eligible telecommunications carrier exacerbates the concern that the proposed rules decrease competition and consumer choice. By failing to, at a minimum, provide a single standard by which the states shall be required to make such assessments, the Commission has effectively created a 50 state patchwork of regulations that potential Lifeline providers will have to navigate. This increased regulatory burden only discourages new entrants to the market, particularly those unable to pay the costs associated with the increased regulatory structure. If the Commission believes the states should make such determinations, then the Commission should not only standardize the requirements, but streamline the process so as to foster greater participation of Lifeline providers.


We understand that part of the basis for the proposed changes, including the proposed wireless reseller exclusion, is in response to the May 2017 report of the Government Accountability Office (“Additional Action Needed to Address Significant Risks in FCC’s Lifeline Program”). While the report described the existence of fraud in the program, nowhere in that report are wireless resellers identified as the only or even primary cause of that fraud. Moreover, the data used in that GAO report is stale and of little current relevance since those data were compiled prior to the Commission’s 2016 Lifeline reform rules. As the Energy & Commerce Democratic Staff Report found last year, the FCC has already reined in a billion dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse that was allowed under the Lifeline program. In fact, much of the GAO’s investigation took place before the FCC adopted its latest reforms. The GAO’s report confirms the need for the FCC to act on our recommendations as quickly as possible, but the GAO did not look to end the program or to drive resellers out of the program.


Neither will a cap on Lifeline expenditures as proposed curtail waste, fraud, and abuse in the program: any such cap does not distinguish between legitimate growth in Lifeline participation attributable to the program’s expansion to cover broadband services or to increased demands in Lifeline services during an economic downturn from growth caused by fraudulent acts. The only thing such a cap would do is preclude eligible low-income households from receiving Lifeline assistance for which they are qualified, for no reason other than that the annual cap amount has been reached.


Mandatory minimum charges as proposed by the Commission will also drive many low-income households out of the program. As the Commission and Lifeline providers learned through the broadband pilot projects following the 2012 Lifeline reform order, many low-income households cannot or will not pay discounted charges since even a few dollars a month is a burden and many have no practical means of making the payments. Lifeline providers receive a standard per customer subsidy of $9.25 per month. Some providers choose to provide that subsidy to their Lifeline customers through discounts below their standard service rates. Other providers have chosen to provide the subsidy to their consumers in the form of $9.25 of no-charge service. Based upon the large number of low-income consumers who have enrolled in such programs, no-charge wireless Lifeline programs enjoy wide consumer acceptance because, in large part, even the lowest income consumers can afford them. The Commission should not render those Lifeline plans unavailable.


By turning the Lifeline program’s focus away from connecting the poor, generally, and focusing the program on rural areas, the Commission’s proposal also ignores the reality that today’s poverty rate for people in urban areas (16.0%) is higher than the poverty rate of those residing in rural areas (13.3%) and that there are millions of urban poor who rely on the Lifeline service daily. Forty-two states have higher poverty rates among people living in urban areas than those living in rural areas. Lifeline should not be made into a rural versus urban service, but should be an American service that provides assistance to all Americans in need.

For these reasons, we urge you to reconsider your proposals to reform Lifeline.


Marc H. Morial


President and Chief Executive Officer

National Urban League

John C. Yang

President and Executive Director

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC

Reverend Al Sharpton

Founder & President

National Action Network

Kenneth L. Lee

Chief Executive Officer

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocate

Maurita Coley

Acting President and CEO

Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council


Raoul: Governor’s Veto of Gun Dealer Licensing Unconscionable

Posted by Admin On March - 19 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL —  Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“It’s unconscionable for the governor to take this action when gun violence continues to plague communities across our state.

“This is a personal issue for me. I have experienced gun violence just outside my front door on multiple occasions while my children were home, and I have close friends who lost children to gun violence within blocks of my home.

“We license all sorts of professions: physicians, lawyers, pharmacists – even dog groomers and barbers. It’s not an unreasonable request to license firearm dealers. The vast majority of voters support this measure on a bipartisan basis, and the governor turned his back on all of them today.

State Rep. Flowers Sets Framework for Compensation of Wrongfully Imprisoned Individuals

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Despite the presumption that all people accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty, Illinois’ jails are largely populated by inmates that are awaiting trial and have not been convicted of a crime. In order to level the field for the falsely accused, Illinois state Rep. Mary E. Flowers, D-Chicago, has introduced an unprecedented measure that sets a per-year financial award for wrongfully imprisoned individuals who are found innocent.


“All too often, we see young men and women falsely accused of crimes, even with overwhelming evidence of their innocence, forced to sit in jail cells until their names are ultimately cleared,” said Flowers. “These innocent people’s lives are ruined by the time they spend fighting for their freedom and this bill is just one crucial step to ensuring the system is fair.”


House Bill 4362 is a measure that changes the award system for wrongfully incarcerated individuals by replacing the statutory ceilings and Court of Claims discretion on the amount awarded to those individuals with a benchmark, per-year number. Under the bill, wrongfully imprisoned people would be entitled to $50,000 per year that they were in jail and $25,000 per year of parole, probation or sex offender list registration. Current statute calls for any person serving 5 years or less to be awarded a maximum of $85,350, and anyone who falsely served more than 14 years is limited to no more than $199,150.


“People who are falsely accused and found innocent or have their charges dismissed should be compensated for the time that they spent away from their jobs and families,” said Flowers. “When they’re spending years and years fighting cases that have no weight, they fall even further behind on building wealth and securing the future for their families. We have to ensure that these individuals are on a path that will help them continue to be a functioning member of the community.”


House Bill 4362 is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, Cook County Public Defenders, Safer Foundation and more with no known opponents. The bill is currently in the House Rules committee and is expected to be heard for consideration in the near future.


State Rep. Mary Flowers represents portions of the Auburn-Gresham community in Chicago, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Countryside and others. For more information, please contact Rep. Flowers’ constituent service office at 773-471-5200 or email her at maryeflowers@ilga.gov.



State Senator Raoul Measure Lets Municipalities Regulate Assault Weapons

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Measure passed today also bans the sale and use of bump stocks


SPRINGFIELD, IL —  One month after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 students and teachers, Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation in the Senate allowing municipalities to regulate assault weapons and banning the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks.

Currently, the authority to regulate assault weapons rests exclusively with the state, but this legislation returns that power to local governments.

The measure also makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump stocks and trigger cranks.

“Students around the country walked out today to remember the victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and urge lawmakers to take action,” Raoul said. “I was proud to join my colleagues in a bipartisan show of support for them. But we are in a unique situation. We can do more than host a symbolic demonstration. We can take action, and I am proud that we did today.”

Today’s vote coincided with a national school walk out, during which thousands of students peacefully protested gun violence and urged legislators to take action. Raoul joined members of the Illinois Senate this morning in a 20-minute walk out in solidarity with the students.

House Bill 1467 passed the Senate 37-16 and now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.

Attorney General Madigan Charges Six in Gas Station Identity Theft Ring

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
Attorney General Madigan & Secret Service Announce Charges Against Florida Defendants for Gas Station Credit & Debit Card Skimming Scheme

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced charges against six Florida residents for skimming information off credit and debit cards used at gas stations across the Chicago area.


Madigan alleged the defendants stole credit and debit card information using skimming devices at gas stations around Chicago and across the country. Madigan alleged the defendants stole information from gas station customers in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties to make more than $210,000 of fraudulent purchases in the Chicago area.


Madigan’s office worked with the Secret Service to charge each of the following defendants in Cook County Circuit Court with identity theft, financial institution fraud, theft by deception, conspiracy to commit a financial crime, computer fraud and mail fraud:

Caridad Chacon, 45, of Tampa;

Jordan Chacon, 23, of Tampa;

William Hernandez, 24, of Tampa;

Jose Molina, 26, of Tampa;

Claudia Chung Prieto, 23, of Tampa; and

Katerine Ramirez, 25, of Miami.

Skimming devices can be installed at gas station pumps within seconds and are not visible to a customer using it. When customers pay at the pump, the skimmers collect all of the information stored in the credit or debit card’s magnet strip. Once thieves retrieve the skimmer, they download the data and can create new credit cards using the stolen information. Madigan alleged that the defendants in this case used the new cards to make retail purchases and buy gift cards, making the fraud more difficult to trace.


“The defendants orchestrated a scheme to install skimming devices at gas station pumps around Chicago and across the country to steal credit card and debit card information,” Madigan said. “This scheme is nearly impossible to detect by a customer, so it is critically important that people regularly monitor their bank and credit card accounts and report any unauthorized charges.”


According to Madigan, the defendants have used similar skimming devices in states around the country, including Michigan and Georgia. In 2015, an American Express fraud investigator detected suspicious activity on multiple accounts, and all of the cards in question were traced to the same gas station in Glencoe, Ill. Madigan’s office investigated the case with the Secret Service.


“Gas pump skimming investigations remain a priority for the U.S. Secret Service” said Special Agent in Charge John A. Koleno of the U.S. Secret Service Chicago Field Office. “This case highlights our outstanding relationship with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and we will continue to work with our state and local partners to disrupt organized criminal groups who defraud financial institutions and innocent citizens”.


Anyone with information regarding gas pump skimming or who has been the victim of a financial crime is encouraged to contact the U. S. Secret Service, Chicago Field Office at 312-353-5431.


The public is reminded that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Deputy Bureau Chief Nicole Sutcliffe is handling the case for Madigan’s Financial Crimes Bureau.


Police Responding to 911 Call for Suicide Crisis Intervention Fatally Shot the 18-Year-Old Victim, Beloved Son of Fireman

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Matthew Tucker
Matthew Tucker

Temecula, CA — Matthew Tucker and his family were residents of Temecula. Those who knew Matthew adored the teen. He is known for having a smile that ‘lit up a room.’ Matthew, a natural comedian, loved to ‘make everyone laugh.’ He was selfless and would give his last dollar if someone needed it more. He spent his summers riding horses at his grandparent’s ranch in Wyoming. His passion for animals led him to find work in a local feed store. He had a promising future. At just 18-years old, Matthew Tucker was transitioning to the family’s six-figure revenue-generating business.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at approximately 5:21 pm, Matthew Tucker was emotionally distraught over a failed romantic relationship, angst stricken, and momentarily contemplating suicide, he dialed 911.

Behind accidental injury, suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15 and 34. The percentage of those having serious thoughts of suicide is highest among adults aged 18-25. Matthew was distraught, depressed, momentarily suicidal and in need of crisis intervention. His family trusted officials from the local sheriff’s office would be able to de-escalate the situation.

Officers from the Riverside County Sheriff’s office responded to a 911 request for suicide crisis intervention for the emotionally distraught teenager, Matthew Tucker. They arrived at the Tucker family home at approximately 5:41 pm. Immediately upon arriving on the scene, deputy officers were reminded the teen is suicidal and wants to die. They were cautioned by several pleas from Matthew’s mother. ‘He is suicidal. He wants to die. Do not shoot him.’

In what would soon be a tragic turn of events, police entered the home, directing Matthew’s mother to search for him through the house while they accompanied her. In the garage, they see the teen who quickly grabbed a knife. Matthew made several movements towards the officers and backing away from the officers. The officers drew their guns and were yelling commands to Matthew. The mother was yelling ‘do not shoot him’ to the officers. At this point, the officers shot Matthew. However, Matthew was also shot in the back after he was no longer a threat.

Despite being cautioned that Matthew was suicidal, in a two-step process, county officers ordered the emotionally distraught teenager to ‘drop the weapon,’ drew their guns, and then, shot to kill. The sheriff’s department is claiming Matthew rushed towards the deputies while holding the knife. Matthew, however, faced the deputies at the time of the shots. He fell forward, dropping the knife, as per deputies’ sworn statements. Yet he ended up with a fatal shot in the back. According to the coroner Dr. Mark Fajardo, the shot to Matthew’s back was the fatal shot that took Matthew’s life. And now, the county is arguing their own pathologist/coroner Dr. Mark Farjardo is not an expert, and his opinion that Matthew may have been shot while on the ground in the prone position is invalid.

Inaccuracies of Published Reports In the wake of the fatal shooting of Matthew Tucker, the following statement was released to local news (Source: Riverside County News):

A knife-wielding man was shot and killed during a confrontation with deputies from Temecula PD May 4, according to Riverside Sheriff Public Information Officer Deputy Michael Vasquez.Coroner’s officials have identified the man killed in this officer-involved shooting as Matthew Tucker, 18, of Temecula. The coroner’s release indicated Tucker’s time of injury was 5:43 p.m. The release also revealed Tucker survived for shortly more than two hours and succumbed to his injuries at 8:01 p.m.

The deadly encounter occurred after someone called sheriff’s 911 emergency communications dispatchers to report an unknown type emergency at a residence in the 32600 block of Hislop Way, in Temecula. Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Temecula Police Station were dispatched to the emergency call for service.

As deputies arrived on [the] scene, they made contact with the 911 caller, who directed them to the garage at the residence.

Deputies made contact with a male, later identified by coroner’s officials as Matthew Tucker, in the garage who was armed with a knife. Upon contacting the man, deputies attempted to calm him and repeatedly ordered Tucker to drop the knife he was holding. Despite their efforts, Tucker refused to drop the knife he was holding.

The armed subject then reportedly “advanced towards the deputies while still holding the knife” in an aggressive and threatening manner, at which time “an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Vasquez explained. Two deputies discharged their weapons at the knife-wielding subject, according to Vasquez.

A statement by the Riverside County police department was released immediately after the shooting and was mimicked across several local news outlets. These news reports and published reports, carefully omitting details of the incident that would potentially stir outrage, include no input from or reference to the victims family members who were present at the time of the shooting. Published reports fail to indicate deputies had prior knowledge that the victim was morbidly depressed and suicidal. They also fail to indicate there was no crime committed. The teen had not threatened anyone in the home, and police were not called in to respond to any crime. Matthew was standing alone in his own garage with a knife in his hand when he was confronted by police ordering him to drop the knife. This was Matthew Tucker’s home, where he lived with his family. The actual length of time police officers spent in the Tucker home was fifty-two seconds. The most shocking omission is the actual time police spent in the garage with Matthew, between ordering him to drop the knife and the use of deadly force was approximately twenty seconds. And while #BlackLivesMatter is a concern that weighs heavily on many and stirs public outcry, when officer-involved shootings occur, published reports omit Matthew Tucker’s ethnicity. Matthew Tucker was an African American male of mixed-race heritage, who reached out to 9-1-1 in a desperate cry for help.

Gov’t Code § 54950: The Bagley-Keene Act
“The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

Temecula Police Failed to Follow Proper Protocol

According to published reports, the two officers involved were Investigator Michael Hamilton and Deputy Rosa Calderon. Responding officers did not clear the house. They did not secure the scene. They did not call for backup. They did not call in an expert in for crisis intervention. Responding officers confronted the teenager, as he stood in his own garage holding a knife. They ordered the emotionally distraught teenager to drop his weapon. When the teen did not, officers disregarded all procedure for a suicide crisis and several explicit warnings from his mother that her child wants to die. Officers then fired several shots without any attempts to de-escalate the crisis, without employing any tools or techniques to apply less than deadly force. These tools and techniques include, but are not limited to, rubber bullets, Tasers, Mace or pepper spray. One or more of the responding officers was equipped with a Taser. No Taser was deployed. The suicidal teenager had not threatened anyone in the home, neither had he committed any crime. Instead of receiving crisis intervention, the morbidly depressed 18-year-old was gunned down by police in his home, in the presence of several family members, his mother, sixteen-year-old sister, and niece, an eighteen-month-old toddler. All surviving family members now remain irreparably traumatized.

African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 are 21 times more likely to be killed by cops than young white men, according to a ProPublica analysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also compiled data which show that people of color are most likely to be killed by cops overall. This becomes even more of a growing concern when officer-involved shootings occur while they are responding to minor infractions. In instances like Matthew Tucker, Jack Lamar Roberson, Quintonio LeGrier, or Kevin Davis—all four black men were killed by police after calling 911 for assistance. Whereas Dylann Roof of the 2015 Charleston church shooting that left 9 dead and 1 injured, was apprehended alive and unharmed. Nikolas Cruz, suspected in the February 18th Florida school shooting, with a death count of 17 was apprehended alive, as was 2016 Chelsea bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahimi. All three were apprehended alive and brought to justice for their crimes, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, before a jury of their peers. This obvious disparity is painfully upsetting to those of the African American community and all affected.

And while it has been noted in the press that coroner’s officials reported that Tucker’s time of injury in this officer-involved shooting was 5:43 p.m., the hierarchy of leadership in the coroner’s office has not been fully explained. Sheriff Stan Sniff is also Temecula/Riverside County coroner, with captain Coby Webb serving as the public administrator overseeing the Coroner’s office’s business operations, while Dr. Mark Fajardo, medical examiner, has been appointed chief pathologist. In an officer-involved shooting, this dynamic presents an undeniable conflict of interest.

Dr. Mark Fajardo, chief coroner, in his examination of Mattew Tucker, indicated in his findings that the final, fatal shot resulted from an entry wound found in Tucker’s back with a bullet lodged in his abdomen. He also specifies the angle of the wound further suggests the shot was fired into Matthew’s back while the teen was on the ground. Responding officer, Michael Hamilton, has come under scrutiny for misconduct and racial profiling (stemming from a 2012 incident involving the harassment of 15-year-old Jerry Brown and his family). County Sheriff Stan Sniff, himself, has reportedly lost the support of the union representing Riverside County sheriff’s deputies. The deputies’ union has reportedly accused Sniff of a dictatorial approach, and remain dissatisfied with his decision to forgo Bodycams and de-escalation training. Those details, along with attempts by the sheriff’s office to question the findings and credibility of their own appointed expert, Dr. Mark Fajardo, serve as an obvious and severe conflict of interest, especially when Dr. Fajardo’s findings confirm Matthew Tucker was shot in the back, while on the ground, a clear indication of an unnecessary and unjustified use of deadly force.

The Cruel Irony in Matthew Tucker’s Fatality

Matthew was eighteen years old. At 18 years old, the end of a romance can seem like the end of the world, but those feelings almost always pass and for most, life goes on. Momentarily suicidal, Matthew needed help, in the form of crisis intervention. Matthew’s father, Shawn Tucker, is currently a career firefighter and was a first responder on FEMA USAR team as a canine handler. He currently owns and operates a kennel that trains and breeds the dogs that serve as police dogs in the region. Matthew was being prepared to inherit the reigns of the family business of breeding and training police dogs. Somehow, the system Matthew was hoping to support with his passion for animals had failed him. The Tucker family has filed suit.

And as Matthew’s mother, Jenny Tucker states, “The #BlackLivesMatter movement is absolutely necessary. Those proponents who choose to nullify the importance of #BlackLivesMatter by arguing that #AllLivesMatter are losing sight of the fact that we are all at risk, regardless of race. Anyone’s child could be next.”

For more information, please contact Darryl Exum by calling 951-682-2903 or via email to maricruz.exumlaw@gmail.com


Watch Out for These New Tax Scams

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


They’re at it again… tax scammers scheming new ways to steal personal information and money.

In the first scenario, identity thieves file a fake tax return and have the refund deposited into your bank account. The thieves then contact you, often by phone, and — posing as the IRS or debt collectors for the IRS — demand you return the money to the IRS. But following the thieves’ instructions actually sends the money to them.

In another version, after you get that erroneous refund, you get an automated call, allegedly from the IRS, threatening you with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant, and “blacklisting” of your Social Security number. The caller gives you a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

Don’t take the bait. If you or someone you know gets an unexpected tax refund, follow the guidance outlined by the IRS for how to return the funds to the agency. The steps for returning paper checks and direct deposits differ.

In a different scam, criminals are using imposter tax preparation sites and phone numbers to steal peoples’ personal information. Here’s how this scam works: You go online to find a tax preparation service to prepare and e-file your tax return. But instead of landing on a legitimate site, you mis-click to a look-alike site created by scammers. The site looks real, and it’s set up to collect personal information that can be used to commit fraud, including identity theft.

The FTC has these tips to fight tax identity theft:

  • File your tax return early in the tax season, if you can.
  • Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
  • When using an online tax preparation service, look for the tax preparer identification number. The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to have one before filing any returns.
  • To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the start of the web address (the “s” is for secure). Some websites use encryption only on the sign-in page, but if any part of your session isn’t encrypted, your entire account could be vulnerable. Look for https on every page you visit, not just when you sign in.
  • Ask tax preparers about their data security policies, and how they protect your information.
  • Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
  • If tax identity theft happens to you, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report it to the FTC, file an Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS electronically, and get a personal recovery plan.

For more information, check out our imposters webpage.

If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

NAACP Joins in Call by Civil Rights Groups Urging Attorney General Sessions to Include Civil Rights in DOJ’s Priorities

Posted by Admin On March - 14 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE — The NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, along with other prominent African-American civil rights organizations, has sent a joint letter strongly advising U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to maintain the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) commitment to the civil rights laws – a commitment which Congress has entrusted it to enforce. The letter is in response to last week’s leaked draft of Session’s strategic plan. The plan noticeably lacked a dedicated effort to enforcing principal civil rights statutes.  The joint letter reiterates to the Department of Justice, its legal and moral responsibility to protect fundamental civil rights for all across the United States.


“Protecting and enforcing civil rights for everyone in this nation should be of the utmost priority to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “It’s important that we do not allow those institutions responsible for protecting the infrastructure of civil rights abdicate their duty or purposely engage in a silent war against our freedoms by supporting policies which allow for a slow disintegration of the hard-earned freedoms, so many sacrificed their lives for.


”The letter was co-authored by Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of LDF; Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League; Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network; and Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation and Black Women’s Roundtable.



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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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