Last week had some serious highs, and some serious lows. Lil’ Wayne was set free, while loved ones of a young man killed by a transit cop say the justice system failed them. There was also a little thing called the midterm elections on Tuesday. In case you missed it, here’s your weekly recap:
ONE RAPPER IN, ONE RAPPER OUT
T.I. began serving his 11-month jail sentence on Monday after violating his parole in Los Angeles earlier this year. Meanwhile, this week Young Money rapper/head honcho Lil’ Wayne was released from prison after serving 8 months of a one-year prison sentence. However, Wayne was later placed under a three-year, unsupervised probation after copping a plea deal in a drug case in Yuma, AZ. Under terms of the probation, the rapper must abstain completely from alcohol, submit to drug testing, and not knowingly associate with current and/or former criminals without prior authorization from the judge.
So as you probably know, the midterm elections were held on Tuesday. While the Democrats were able to hold onto a slim majority in the Senate, the Republicans managed to grab the majority of the House of Representatives. Ironically (or luckily), only a few Tea Party candidates – Republican fringe members – were able to actually win their respective general elections. Tea Partiers like Sharon Angle of Nevada, and Christine “I am not a witch,” O’Donnell lost their bids for Senate to their Democratic counterparts.
Overall, voter turnout among Blacks and young voters was down from the stratospheric numbers of the 2008 presidential election.
KANYE WEST HURT BUSH’S FEELINGS
In a “Today” show interview with Matt Lauer, former President George Bush said that the lowest point of his presidency was the statement during a telethon for Hurricane Katrina, when Kanye West said Bush “doesn’t care about Black people.” But don’t worry, Hurricane Katrina itself and 9/11 ranked closely in Bush’s heart, right after the tormenting words of a rapper’s public criticism. Who says Mr. Bush’s priorities aren’t in order?
OAKLAND TRANSIT COP GETS TWO YEARS
Johannes Mehserle, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop on trial in Los Angeles for fatally shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009 was sentenced to two years in prison for his involuntary manslaughter conviction, the lowest possible sentence for the crime. The case had been moved from Oakland to L.A. to avoid a potentially biased jury pool.
Grant was already pinned on the ground, hands behind his back, by former BART officer Anthony Pirone when Mehserle reached for his gun and shot the young father in the back. Mehserle contends that he meant to reach for his taser, which was on the opposite side of his hip.
Mehserle had faced up to 14 years in prison, including a four-year maximum for the involuntary manslaughter charge, and up to ten additional years for the added gun enhancement conviction.
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