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Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson Resigns: VIDEO

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown August 9, has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department.

In a telephone interview Saturday evening, Wilson said he resigned after the police department told him it had received threats that violence would ensue if he remained an employee.

“I’m resigning of my own free will,” he said. “I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me.”

He said resigning was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

On Monday, a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson in Brown's death.

Read Wilson's resignation letter:

I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continues employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of the paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds:

Anthony Gray, an attorney representing the Brown family, said he believes Wilson was acting merely for his own benefit.

“It’s probably in his best interest to sever his ties with the Ferguson community, as well as the Ferguson police department,” Gray said. “I think this incident has severely compromised his ability to police in the way he was paid to do by the city.”

Watch a news report on Wilson's resignation AFTER THE JUMP...(autoplay)

And if you missed our coverage of LGBT organizations reacting to the grand jury decision, click here

Continue reading "Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson Resigns: VIDEO" »


Rev. Al Sharpton Blasts Ferguson Decision; Officer Darren Wilson Gives First Interview: VIDEOS

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Reverend Al Sharpton spoke out at a press conference this morning with the family of slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, blasting the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson and criticizing St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch for going out of his way to discredit Brown and conducting a "flawed" investigation.

Meanwhile, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos previewed an interview with officer Darren Wilson. According to Stephanopoulos, Wilson says he is sorry for the loss of Michael Brown's life, but he has a "clean conscience" about what happened and would not do anything differently today.

Watch both, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Continue reading "Rev. Al Sharpton Blasts Ferguson Decision; Officer Darren Wilson Gives First Interview: VIDEOS" »


Grand Jury: No Indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown

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A grand jury has decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown back on August 9. 

Earlier today, CNN reported on what would happen to Wilson should the jury not move forward with indictment charges:

If the grand jury clears him of wrongdoing and Wilson wants to remain on the job, he could put up a fight. The police union would back him, said Paul Callan, a CNN legal analyst and former New York prosecutor.

"In the end, he has certain due process rights under Missouri law, and they can't just summarily fire him because he's unpopular," Callan said. "They will have to prove that he violated some aspect of his employment contract as a police officer, or civil service regulations. Otherwise, he will have a very good lawsuit."

Still, most people believe Wilson will never again wear a badge.

"If I'm the mayor of Ferguson, believe me, you would want that cop out because you know that he will be controversial," Callan said. "He will be distrusted by the citizenry and maybe subjected to abuse when he's out on the street. It's just going to be nothing but trouble. They're going to find a way to get him out. They may try to buy him out."

Watch live feed of MSNBC's coverage of the news, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE I: Lambda Legal reacts -

"While there will be debate and disagreement about the facts that led to the grand jury decision announced today in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, there is no debate about the facts that a terrible tragedy took place and that another unarmed young black man lost his life at the hands of a police officer. Around the country, we continue to witness similar tragedies and loss of life that have resulted from the deadly combination of racism, police profiling, excessive use of lethal force and a general disregard for the lives of black and brown people.

"We mourn Michael Brown and every victim of police violence by continuing to work for justice -- for better policing and fairer laws. As an organization fighting for the rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV, we know that bias and prejudice can lead to injustice. We believe that these issues must be addressed in a systemic way and that regardless of one decision, all of us must be active participants in holding law enforcement agencies accountable for ending the unchecked assault on the lives of all of our communities that are marginalized and criminalized -- whether on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or economic status.

Update II: NCLR reacts -

“We vacillate between heartbreak and outrage at the decision from the grand jury. Injustice is too tame a word for what today’s decision represents. The fact that an unarmed black youth can be fatally shot by a police officer with no accountability or consequence is a chilling commentary on the worth afforded to young, black lives and the sorry state of racial justice in this country,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“We stand with our colleagues in the broader civil rights community in condemning the grand jury decision, and send our strength and support to the family and friends of Michael Brown and the entire Ferguson community as they continue to grieve their tragic loss. We also urge the Department of Justice to take action to address the longstanding history of racialized intimidation and discrimination by the Ferguson police,” Kendell concluded.  

Update III: HRC reacts - 

"Michael Brown's family and the American people deserve to have this case fully adjudicated in a public trial. Today's deeply disappointing decision by the grand jury denies them that opportunity. Until we as a nation make a meaningful commitment to ending police profiling--and to fully prosecuting individual cases of brutality--the kind of violence that ended Michael Brown's life will only continue. As advocates for equality, it's our job to show solidarity with a growing national movement to break this cycle of police violence."

"While we cannot begin to imagine the pain that the Brown family is facing at this moment, we send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to them during this heartbreaking and difficult time. We also stand in solidarity with the family's encouragement of peaceful protests and reflection following this decision."

Continue reading "Grand Jury: No Indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown" »


Church Threatens Legal Action Against 'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Over iTunes Song: AUDIO

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The Church of God in Christ, the Pentacostal Christian denomination at the center of the "I'm not gay no more" megachurch conversion video that went viral earlier this month, is reportedly threatening legal action against the "gay no more" man Andrew Caldwell for remixng the video into a song and putting it on iTunes.

TMZ reports the church has ordered him to stop selling the song "partly because they own the audio, but also because they feel Andrew is making a mockery of the service." Andrew, however, claims he's copyrighted the song and that he can claim ownership because the song only contains his voice. 

Earlier this month, Caldwell addressed the widespread doubt that he had been "turned straight" and shot down sugestions that he staged the moment for publicity.  

Listen to the remix, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Church Threatens Legal Action Against 'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Over iTunes Song: AUDIO" »


Kansas City Homeless Shelter Refuses To House Married Same-Sex Couples Together

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A Kansas City homeless shelter says it won't house same-sex couples together even if they're legally married in the state of Missouri.

The 90-year-old City Union Mission, in the heart of downtown Kansas City, provides shelter to up to 550 people every night, including families and children.

Dan Doty, City Union Mission's executive director, told The Kansas City Star that the shelter's board has had discussions about housing same-sex couples together over the years but has decided to "stay true to our biblical convictions."

Doty“I knew this day would come, especially when the media would begin asking that question,” Doty said, deeply concerned about what effect the nonprofit’s decision could have on its broad community support and donations. “I truly hope you understand the can of worms this could open.

“…We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards. Our view is that it (same-sex marriage) is inappropriate. Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together.”

The article explains that because City Union Mission is a religiously affiliated organization that receives no government funding, it is not bound by nondiscrimination laws. Doty said City Union Mission will house gays and lesbians individually, but requires transgender people to dress according to their birth sex when they're in the facility.

Same-sex couples who want to be housed together will be referred to other facilities. Representatives from local Salvation Army and Catholic Charities shelters told The Star they will house married same-sex couples together, while another shelter in Topeka said it's still undecided on the issue.

In related news, KSHB Channel 4 reported last week that City Union Mission is facing a $300,000 budget shortfall and is banking on a generous holiday giving season to make up for the deficit. 

But after Sunday's story in The Star about City Union Mission's decision not to house same-sex couples together, the shelter probably shouldn't count on getting much help from the LGBT community or its supporters. 

"So, you discriminate against gays now," Chris Jozwiak wrote on the shelter's Facebook page. "Sounds fine. You'll be doing so without support of my friends and family moving forward. And I'll make sure and pass on the news as often and loudly as possible so others join me. Jesus didn't stop and question people about who they loved before he helped them. You're apparently not worthy."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3971676.html#storylink=cthat because

Man Who Proclaimed 'I'm Not Gay No More' Gets A Funky Remix: VIDEO

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You may recall the story we brought you of an ex-gay man who proclaimed to his Missouri mega-church, "I'm not gay no more":

"I'm not gay no more. I am delivered! I don't like mens no more. I said I like women. Women women women women! I said women! I'm not gay! I would not date a man! I would not carry a purse! I would not put on make-up! I will, I will love a women."

Now, thanks to YouTube, what was once a sad statement on repression is now a funky tune. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Joe.My.God]

Continue reading "Man Who Proclaimed 'I'm Not Gay No More' Gets A Funky Remix: VIDEO" »


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