The trial of the NYPD officer who fatally shot Ramarley Graham, an unarmed 18-year-old from the Bronx, is slated to begin on Tuesday. On February 2, 2012, Officer Richard Haste chased Graham into his apartment during a drug bust and ended up killing the teen in front of his family. The NYPD claims that Haste “acted with intent to cause serious physical injury leading to the death.” Following the incident, he was placed on desk duty and his gun and badge were taken away. He still received full pay. Depending on the outcome of the trial, Haste could lose vacation days or be terminated. In 2015, Graham’s family accepted a $3.5 million lawsuit settlement from the city of New York. Read more.
Rep. John Lewis’ Book Sales Soar After Trump Tweets
After being attacked by President-elect Donald Trump on Twitter, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis has seen a major spike in book sales. According to reports, during MLK Weekend, three of his novels rose to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. Rep. Lewis’ trilogy set, titled March, had a 76,000 percent increase and clinched the No. 1 spot. The series, which chronicles his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, won a National Book Award in 2015. His memoir, Walking the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, moved up 8,699 spots and came in at No. 2 on the list. Used copies of the novel were priced at nearly $100. On Sunday, the first installment of his March trilogy was ranked at No. 5. In total, sales for Rep. Lewis’ books increased by over 100,000 percent. Read more.
The Obamas Donate White House Play Set To D.C. Shelter
A shelter in Washington, D.C. will forever have a piece of the Obama legacy. On Monday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama donated a White House play set that once belonged to Sasha and Malia to the Jobs Have Priority Naylor Road Family Shelter. The shelter, which is led by African-American women, serves families who have two to three young children. Some of the children living at the facility have special needs. The Obamas visited the shelter’s playground with D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and interacted with the children playing on the set they donated. “Brings back memories,” said President Obama. Read more.
AG Loretta Lynch Delivers Her Final Speech
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch delivered her final speech at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church on MLK Day. During her address, she noted that although our country has come a long way in regards to improving the lives of Americans, there is still work that needs to be done. “Our work is far from finished. I know that while our accomplishments should make us proud, they must not make us complacent,” said Lynch. “Yes, these are challenging times and yes we undoubtedly have more challenges to come. But many of our greatest strides, in equal rights, in human rights, in civil rights have come after some of our most heartbreaking losses.” Lynch also vowed to continue to be an advocate for equality after she steps down from her post as attorney general. Read more.