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Khorri Atkinson

Stories by Khorri

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Pope’s strong message

“He’s so loved,” she said of the pope, the first Latin American and Jesuit to lead the Roman Catholic Church.

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Ramarley ’s mother: ‘DOJ act now’

Flanked by dozens of youths outside the Department of Justice office in downtown Manhattan, the mother of Ramarley Graham urged U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to speed up his investigation and slap civil rights charges on Richard Haste, the NYPD officer who killed her unarmed son.

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Ramarley Graham’s mother: ‘DOJ should stop dragging its feet’

Flanked by dozens of youths outside the Department of Justice office in downtown Manhattan last week, the mother of Ramarley Graham urged U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to speed up his investigation and slap civil rights charges on Richard Haste, the NYPD officer who killed her unarmed son.

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Brooklyn family demands answers about relative who died in police custody

Kyam Livingston pleaded repeatedly for medical attention in the hours before she died in police custody at Brooklyn Central Booking jail, witnesses say

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Mothers Mourn: Families of men killed by police come together

“I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, kind of emotional, trying to fight back my tears,” Esaw Garner told the Amsterdam News, “but all the support from the people empowers me to keep getting the word out that we want justice for my husband, Eric Garner.”

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Protest marks year since death of Eric Garner

Dozens of demonstrators rallied on Staten Island Monday night to commemorate in advance of the one- year anniversary death of Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man who was placed in what Police Commissioner William Bratton called a “prohibited” chokehold by an NYPD officer.

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Muslims raise over $50,000 to help rebuild burned Black churches

A coalition of Muslim groups launched an online fundraising campaign to help rebuild the Southern Black churches that have been either burned to the ground or severely damaged by fire in the aftermath of a white gunman killing nine Black worshipers in Charleston, S.C.

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Cuomo appoints special prosecutor for police killings

Flanked by police reform advocates and relatives of unarmed New Yorkers who died at the hands of officers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a long-awaited executive order Wednesday that gives the state attorney general’s office authority to investigate cases in which an officer kills an unarmed civilian.

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Activists label de Blasio, Mark-Viverito ‘sellouts’

Police reform advocates blasted their progressive allies in the largely liberal New York City Council after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito reached an agreement to hire 1,300 new officers.

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NYC in mourning after Mother Bethel massacre

The names of nine African-Americans who were gunned down by a white man during a Bible study session at a historical Black church in Charleston, S.C., have been echoing across New York City since last week, as faith leaders, elected officials and hundreds memorialize the victims.

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Harlem’s First AME Bethel Holds Vigil for Charleston Shooting Victims

Hundreds packed the First African Methodist Episcopal Bethel church in Harlem Wednesday night to memorialize the nine people who were gundown during a Bible study session at a prominent historical black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Cries for justice after Kalief Browder suicide

Backlash continues over the suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder, the young Black man who hung himself June 6 after being held for three years on Rikers Island awaiting trial on a robbery charge that was eventually dismissed.

Report: Boko Haram forced nearly 1 million kids from their homes in Nigeria

More than 800,000 children, some as young as 4, have been forced to flee their homes since last year because of Boko Haram’s violent attacks on military forces and civilians in Nigeria, according to a new United Nations report.

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On third-year anniversary, Ramarley Graham’s family vows to pursue justice

Three years after NYPD officer Richard Haste chased unarmed Black teen Ramarley Graham into his grandmother’s bathroom and killed him for “acting suspicious and having a gun,” relatives made it clear that the $3.9 million wrongful death lawsuit they settled with the city last week will not prevent them from seeking justice and police reform.

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‘Fairness for all’: Cuomo unveils plan to improve police-community relations

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined his “Fairness for All” plan, is said to be a directive to restore and improve police-community relations.

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City Council propose funding for new police-bulletproof vests 

Rank-and-file NYPD officers may soon have new bulletproof vests, under a new $7.3 million funding proposal for fiscal year 2016 by the New York City Council.

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Cuomo vetoes bill to change city jails’ prosecutor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed legislation last week that would have allowed the Queens district attorney’s office to have jurisdiction and prosecute crimes that occur on Rikers Island and in other New York City jails.

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Lawmakers skeptical about NYPD body cameras

What good will the New York Police Department’s body camera program offer?

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Two Staten Island lawmakers to introduce grand jury transparency bill

Two weeks after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, two lawmakers have announced plans to introduce legislation that would require district attorneys to publicly release testimonies and evidence presented to grand juries.

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City Council bill requires officers to get consent before they search

NYPD officers may soon have to identify themselves first and then explain why someone is being stopped and questioned under a new bill introduced last week in the City Council.

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Mayor de Blasio opposes bill to make chokehold illegal

A day before Queens Democratic City Councilman Rory Lancman introduced a package of bills that would criminalize the use of chokeholds by NYPD officers, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not support such move, because there are some “extreme situations” in which an officer may be justified in using the maneuver.

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New weed rules, summonses—not arrests

Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton said officers will no longer arrest and charge New Yorkers for low-level marijuana possession, but will instead issue a summons for violation

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City Council bill to make chokehold illegal

Queens Democratic City Councilman Rory Lancman plans to introduce a package of bill on Thursday, that aims to criminalize the use of chokeholds by NYPD officers and provide guidelines on how the tactic can only be used.

Report: Federal civil rights charges unlikely in Michael Brown’s death

Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed Black teen Michael Brown, is unlikely to face federal civil rights violation charges because there’s not sufficiently strong evidence, a federal law enforcement official told the Washington Post.

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Federal court clears way for stop-and-frisk reforms 

New York City can now move forward and implement its reform measures to overhaul the NYPD’s controversial practice of stop-and-frisk after a federal appeals court rejected police unions’ motions last Friday to block the changes. 

De Blasio adds three new members to watchdog group after jail chief resigns

A day after Commissioner of Correction Joseph Ponte announced the sudden resignation of his department chief, William Clemons, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed three new members to the Board of Corrections to provide an independent oversight role over the Department of Correction amid growing criticisms and concerns over how inmates are treated at Rikers Island. 

City Council bills tackle segregation in NYC public schools

Three city lawmakers introduced a package of legislation that they say will ensure the New York City public school system, among the most segregated in the country, increases diversity.

City Council passes bills to ignore some requests to detain immigrants

New York City will soon start rejecting some requests from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain immigrants for deportation, except in limited circumstances, under a package of bills the City Council passed overwhelmingly last week.

CUNY to vote on new campus sexual assault policy

The City University of New York’s board of trustees will vote to enact a new policy that will determine how its 24 schools across the city will address cases of sexual assault and harassment amid growing concerns nationwide over college officials failing to investigate alleged cases.

De Blasio, Bratton add four new members to NYPD watchdog group

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton appointed four new members, including a former civil rights lawyer, a law professor and former U.S. attorney, a retired NYPD sergeant and a retired transit police chief to sit on the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

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Brooklyn DA moves to set wrongly convicted man free after 29 years in prison

A Brooklyn man who spent nearly 30 years in prison after he was wrongly convicted of murder is expected to be released Wednesday.

SUNY adopts Cuomo’s proposed sexual assault policy

The State University of New York Board of Trustees unanimously approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed sexual consent policy that will address how the university system will prevent, investigate and prosecute cases of alleged sexual assault on its campuses.

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Bratton vows to crack down on ‘brutal, corrupt, racist’ officers

In a blunt message, the first of its kind by the city’s top cop, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department William Bratton made it clear that officers who abused their authority are “poisoning the well” and will be aggressively removed from his department.

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City to end teen solitary confinement at Rikers

By the end of this year, the New York City Department of Corrections will end a longstanding practice, solitary confinement of adolescents, in which 16- and 17-year-old inmates are locked in a cell for more than 23 hours a day without any human contact for months.

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Eric Garner’s family plans to slap city with $75 million lawsuit

The family of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after being placed in an apparent prohibited chokehold by a police officer in July, plans to sue the city and the New York Police Department for $75 million.

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Expert pathologist: Eric Garner died in police chokehold

An expert forensic pathologist hired by the attorneys representing the family of Eric Garner, whose death was ruled a homicide after an apparent police chokehold that Police Commissioner William Bratton said is prohibited, concurs with the city’s medical examiner’s autopsy report, which stated that Garner died of neck compression.

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DOJ takes on Ramarley case 

Two and a half years later and after two failed grand juries, the parents of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham may now find some solace, as they were told that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office has launched a federal civil rights investigation into the death of their unarmed son, who was gunned down in his grandmother’s bathroom because officers thought he had a gun. 

City urges parents to sign up middle schoolers for new after-school program

Parents are being urged to sign up for after-school programs.

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Mayor de Blasio approves four charters to co-locate inside public schools

On the first day of the public school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio cautioned charter schools that if they aren’t aligned with his vision, he will not give them space in public schools.

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De Blasio unveils charter school co-location vision

On the final stop of his first-day, five-borough city school tour last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio made it clear to charter schools seeking to co-locate in public schools that if they aren’t aligned with his vision

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Family celebrates Eric Garner’s birthday

Family members and friends of Eric Garner joined the Rev. Al Sharpton last Saturday morning at the National Action Network Headquarters in Harlem to celebrate what would have been the chokehold victim’s 44th birthday.

De Blasio unveils charter school co-location vision

On the final stop of his first-day, five-borough city school tour last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio made it clear to charter schools seeking to co-locate in public schools that if they aren’t aligned with his vision...

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De Blasio signs solitary confinement oversight bill at Rikers Island

Amid growing criticism from relatives of inmates and jail reformers, including the U.S. Department of Justice, which recently reported on a “deep-seated culture of violence” at Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that will track and limit the use of solitary confinement at the correctional facility.

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City Council hearing on NYPD retraining

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will face the New York City Council at an oversight hearing Sept. 8 to discuss the department’s plans to evaluate its current training procedures and his pledge to retrain, from “top-to-bottom,” 35,000 officers, after the recent death of Staten Island man Eric Garner as a result of a prohibited chokehold applied by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo.

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Bratton ‘strongly supports’ NYPD body cameras

In the wake of recurring allegations of police brutality, racial profiling and excessive use of force, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that he’s “actively looking” to launch a program that mandates body cameras for NYPD officers.

City Council passes bill to track and limit the use of solitary confinement at Rikers Island

It was after visiting solitary confinement cells at Rikers Island and being greeted by “very small cells with graffitied walls, the smelling of urine, rusted beds with mattresses with mildew on them and a very small window letting in just a little bit of light” that induced City Councilman Daniel Dromm to draft legislation that could improve conditions inmates have been enduring for years.

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State lawmakers urge Cuomo to appoint special prosecutor in Garner’s death

Thirty-two days after Eric Garner died by an apparent and prohibited chokehold from NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, 14 New York state lawmakers have expressed their frustrations in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo over what they called a “gross and deliberate failure” and “lack of progress” by Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donavan to pursue a case in Garner’s death.

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Parents of Ramarley Graham demand Dept. of Justice launch federal probe

It has been exactly one year since the U.S. Department of Justice promised to launch an investigation into the death of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed Bronx teen who was gunned down in his grandmother’s bathroom in February 2012 by NYPD Officer Richard Haste.

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College students nationwide show solidarity with Michael Brown

Frustration and the call for justice continues to reverberate across the country, including on college campuses, over the death of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown, who was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in a St. Louis suburb two weeks ago.

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De Blasio rolls out $12.7 m plan to curb gun violence citywide 

Bill de Blasio is now counting on “violence interrupters” to help his administration prevent gun violence in some of the city’s most crime-infested neighborhoods.