Author Archives: Navin Krishnan

Chauvin, Rookie Cops Sentenced in Floyd Murder

Minneapolis — Officials convicted ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pleaded guilty of suffocating George Floyd by kneeling on his neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Trial officials convicted Chauvin on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd, along with Breonna Taylor, were two African Americans murdered unjustly by police in America. 

According to CNN’s Omar Jimenez, the officers committed a crime of “deliberate indifference to [Floyd’s] serious medical needs.” 

Jimenez stated in his article that three less experienced officers accompanied Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd. 

Officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane were all charged with civil rights violations in the fatal incident. 

According to Eric Levenson of CNN, the graphic description of the incident was documented.

“Lane and Kueng were the first responding officers on the scene when the Cup Foods store called police about a man using a suspected fake $20 bill. The two officers then went to a vehicle with Floyd sitting in the driver’s seat. Lane pulled out his firearm and pointed it at Floyd, yelling at the 46-year-old Black man to show his hands, according to their body camera footage.

A video recording, according to Levenson, showed that the officers being chaperoned by Chauvin tried to pull the resistant Floyd toward the police vehicle to arrest him. Chauvin, without hesitation, dragged Floyd away from the vehicle and onto the ground.

Levenson reported that Chauvin put his knees on Floyd’s neck and back, as Lane held Floyd’s legs and Kueng held his torso. Floyd, with whatever breath he had in him, exclaimed “I can’t breathe” and called for his “mama.” He was held to the ground for approximately 9 minutes and 29 seconds, as the video recording portrayed. 

Lane suggested multiple times that they should roll Floyd onto his side, but Chauvin instructed as a senior officer to “staying put where we got him.” The officers allegedly murdered Floyd after Kueng checked for a pulse unsuccessfully after the supposed ‘arrest.’

According to Levenson, in addition to this relatively ‘minor’ charge, all three rookie police officers were convicted by state prosecutors of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

According to the census bureau of police killings, Taylor and Floyd were unfortunately not the only subjects to the main killer for African-American men — violence. In the 1,127 police killings recorded in 2020, only 16 of those cases — 1.4%, resulted in charges against those officers. Of the officers identified by Mapping Police Violence, at least 14 officers were guilty of shooting or killing someone in the past.

These police killings affect communities nationwide such as Poughkeepise, New York, where a teacher assigned students a prompt for an essay to assess the incident and come up with a verdict of Derek Chauvin by their own argument. 

Many parents and faculty questioned the assignment, including Sakinah Irizarry, a mother of two younger children in the same school district. She says she’s been advocating for diversity and inclusion within the district for several years and felt she should speak up as a Black mom of two children.

“There have been some calls saying, ‘People shouldn’t be having these discussions in school,’ and I’m like, schools are exactly where these discussions need to be had, but they need to be had in a constructive and forward-thinking way and absolutely not with lies,” Irizarry said. “When facts become up for debate, then we’ve really lost the focus of what all of us, the children, educators and community are there to do.”

These discussions revolving around violence against minority communities are necessary to discuss the actions needed to achieve justice.

Chabot Professor of Law and Paralegal studies, Cheryl Mackey, mentioned that despite the verdict of Chauvin being guilty, justice may not have reverberated throughout Floyd’s community. Black America is still debating on what real imprint the conviction of Chauvin might have on police departments across America and around the world.

Daniella Frazier recorded this event and discussed the anxiety she has from witnessing the traumatic death of Floyd. Frazier’s recording not only amassed a non-filtered perspective on the incident about the brutal and unforgiving behavior displayed by the Minneapolis police, but condensed the habitual targeting of the Black community and many other minorities by authority figures. 

This shows that not only is Black America a powerful community but a paradigm for justice worldwide and a powerful allocation of voices for reform from outside of the government.

“It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” Frazier said. 

Frazier added, seemingly referring to Mr. Chauvin, “But it’s like, it’s not what I should have done, it’s what he should have done.” This entails the excessive violence practiced by officers that is not regulated or controlled allowing them to not take responsibility for their actions. Protests have been calling for the reform of police and justice served for hate crimes by authority figures.

According to Eloy Oakley, Chancellor of California Community Colleges, California schools look to assimilate the intention of students statewide in California to reorganize the policing system. 

 “We have asked as part of the call to action, which was initiated after the murder of George Floyd, for all districts to review all their agreements with their police or security details and ensure we are taking steps to provide culturally relevant training to security and police.” Oakley said.

In a statement released on May 6, Oakley said, “Some have their own security, some have their own police.” He said it was up to the district to determine their relationship with police and to determine their own policing system explaining that students and faculty should, from now on, be included in consensus decisions when officiating and controlling the police system before dangerous incidents happen.

“We have asked as part of the call to action, which was initiated after the murder of George Floyd, for all districts to review all their agreements with their police or security details and ensure we are taking steps to provide culturally relevant training to security and police, we are opening up a dialogue with them, ensuring that our student leadership have access to police and security … to remove any policing practices that are either discriminatory in nature or can cause harm to anybody who was being detained.” Oakley said. 

A substantiation of police affairs is governed within an organized system, but the reform for better policing will begin with the voting of students, faculty and staff and not just internal decisions made by the board or even the campus officers themselves. 

Oakley said, “What we have asked from the Chancellor’s office is that every district review its policies and procedures and that we ensure that students, faculty and staff are at the table and that they have the ability to engage in a dialogue with the police and security officers to determine how policing and security is done at each campus.”

Vaccines Developing; Variants Rising

United Kingdom – a new variant of COVID-19 known as B.1.1.7, an even more deadly version of the pandemic-causing Coronavirus has made its mark in certain areas, with a 64% greater chance of mortality. 

According to the British Medical Journal, or BMJ, this variant of the virus can spread more quickly than the original version.

According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, the actual deadliness of the virus is coupled with bacterial infections from being in the hospital for an extended period and the instance of blood clots in COVID-19 patients. 

Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at the University of Warwick in the UK, said “This study confirms previous work showing that infection with the B.1.1.7 virus variant is associated with an increased risk of death. The precise mechanisms responsible for increased mortality associated with the variant remain uncertain but could be related to higher levels of virus replication as well as increased transmissibility.”

According to a press release by CNN, “The variant is spreading in the United States, for instance, and health officials warn it “might become dominant” in the country.”

This variant, according to Adalja, can pose an ‘increased risk of death.’

However, in the United States, the variant of COVID-19 has not yet made as significant of an effect as in the UK. 

In fact, Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently released a statement emphasizing the ‘return to normality in the USA. Acknowledging the risk factors and the plausibility, Gupta said, “Even after talking to the brightest epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease experts all over the world, I wasn’t 100% sure on where the line in the sand for acceptable level of risk was drawn.” 

Dr. Gupta quoted Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on how underlying risk factors could raise the mortality rate in the United States and why those over 65 were given the valiant vaccines first. 

Accordingly, Walensky stated, “None of the unvaccinated people or any unvaccinated members of their households, for example, are an adult over age 65 or have an underlying condition such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes that could increase their risk of Covid-19 related hospitalization or death.”

“There is so much that’s critical riding on the next two months,” Walensky said Monday. “How quickly we will vaccinate versus whether we will have another surge really relies on what happens in March and April.”

Stephen Collinson, a CNN representative stated, “There are also growing concerns about the impact of spring break in Florida, where the more contagious variant of Covid-19 first found in the UK is multiplying at a rapid rate and could seed new outbreaks countrywide when partying youngsters return home.”

Collinson emphasized that 60 million Americans know that moment of euphoria that comes with getting a first dose. More than 30 million are fully protected — a figure that has just overtaken the total number of US Covid-19 cases.

Gupta also cited an explanation by Tara Kirk Sell, a ‘senior scholar’ at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “I think the guidelines are in a good middle ground,” she said. “We’re starting to go back to normal now, but it’s not going to be flipping a switch… We will make that journey towards normalcy, or at least a new normal, as more people get vaccinated.”

It is pivotal to understand that no matter how powerful the vaccines are, and no matter how secure those sheltering in place are, Gupta called the new variant of COVID-19 “dark clouds on the horizon.”

Despite the heavy warnings of UK professionals, CNN stated that travel would be allowed with a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours upon arrival and must quarantine for 14 days. 

Starting in October and ranging until the end of the year after Thanksgiving and Christmas there was a lockdown, however, a third-wave variant of COVID-19 has emerged in February 2021 and is “gathering pace,” according to CNN.

According to Diamond, the vaccine goal is to have a proper stock of vaccines by the end of May 2021, however he acknowledges that this timeline may not be met.

More than 93,600,000 doses have been administered in the US as of Wednesday morning, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the seven-day average for shots administered is now 2.17 million shots per day, which was originally 890,000 shots per day on January 20, when Biden took office.

March Madness Elevates, Delivers

Indianapolis — After a yearlong hiatus from intercollegiate athletics, one of the most hyped tournaments, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, also known as March Madness, returned to form in a thrilling exposition. The teams accumulated throughout the process of Selection Sunday, a tradition by which the most impressive 68 contenders were selected to participate in the tournament, posted a flurry of electrifying matchups that went down to wire.

On March 21, 2020, the NCAA announced it would postpone the convention, leaving many athletes that were college seniors having to decide how to continue their careers.

Of the 68 teams competing, 32 teams received an automatic bid from winning their conference tournaments. The remaining 36 teams received a bid from the NCAA selection committee.

Historically, the college with the most championships is UCLA, with 11 total championships.

UCLA made a historic run in the 2021 ‘Big Dance.’ They were selected as a member of the First Four but annihilated their way through the tournament. 

They advanced all the way to face no. 1 seed Gonzaga, who was undefeated during the matchup with UCLA. In an astounding thriller that went down to the wire, Gonzaga’s guard Jalen Suggs hit a desperation three from just past half-court to win the game.

Unfortunately for the powerhouse Gonzaga Bulldogs team, the championship game after that featured a battle-tested and weathered Baylor Bears team that so decisively pounded Gonzaga from the beginning of the match up until the final buzzer. In the end, Baylor emerged victorious and ended Gonzaga’s winning streak.

The final night of the NCAA tournament was a stunning ride. “We’re really good defensively. I thought we made things tough tonight,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “Gonzaga missed some shots that they probably normally make. But credit our guys for making everything difficult.”

“They were just so much more aggressive than us,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They just literally busted us out of anything we could possibly do on offense.”

“They punched us in the mouth right at the get-go,” Gonzaga star Corey Kispert said. “And it took a long, long time for us to recover and start playing them even again. But then it was too late.”

According to CNN reporter Steve Almasy, Few said he never saw his team play as if they were weighted down by the pressure to go undefeated.

Baylor star Jared Butler explained his insights from the game, “I was struggling the whole tournament probably until the Final Four,” Butler said. “And as a shooter, it’s hard. Like, it just makes the days longer, and you think about it all day long. But I knew … I couldn’t go the whole tournament and not shoot well.” Butler had 22 points to lead the Bears.

Few explained his team ” … loves one another. Just such a positive spirit yet such a competitive spirit.”

Nonetheless, Drew acknowledged the historic run for the Bears and how it felt for Texas. “Look at how much great basketball we have (in Texas) from high school, AAU, junior college, college,” Drew said. “And we haven’t won a national championship since ’66. It’s long overdue for the state, and I’m so pleased for all of them.”

The Baylor Bears’ season was justified after giving up their perfect record to Kansas and Oklahoma State. They retaliated against this star-studded Gonzaga offense and prolific Gonzaga defense to capture the 2021 NCAA title. This was Baylor’s first Intercollegiate title for Men’s Basketball. The Baylor Women’s Intercollegiate Basketball team has won the tournament three times, including one in 2019.

Regional Parks Remain Open as COVID-19 Peaks

Oakland – Regional Parks in the East Bay, notably all over the map of Alameda County, have vouched to remain open while the deadly pandemic slowly translates from the stage of shelter-in-place to vaccine distribution and possibly a new tier of safety measures. 

According to the East Bay Regional Parks conductor Dave Mason, Parks would rather close based on wind warnings rather than the perilous pandemic.

Mason said, “High winds can cause falling trees and branches, which can cause injury and create safety hazards.”

Anthony Chabot and Del Valle family campgrounds, according to Mason have opened on Feb. 11, 2021. “Del Valle campground has NO water until mid-March. Portable toilets will be available; BYO drinking water & RVs must fill water tanks before arriving,” Mason said. 

Mason also released a statement saying, “There are normal seasonal closures at Anthony Chabot, Morgan Territory and Black Diamond.”

This astounding choice to stay open and close based on only seasonal circumstances and wind warnings is an alarming shock to the efforts of the American people who are fighting a massive pandemic and are socially distancing, wearing masks and awaiting a pivotal vaccine to defeat a deadly virus.

However, the online press release for the East Bay Regional Parks District claims they are following COVID-19 protocol. The website for EBRPD, contrary to the word of park rangers, claims that, “COVID-19 guidelines for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties were recently updated to allow for additional outdoor recreational activities.”

In addition to emphasizing the reopening of the East Bay Regional Parks during this trying time, the parks will be open, without displaying measures of social distancing or mandatory masks, “The plan being developed will restore native grassland habitat and include paths and facilities for walking, jogging, and picnicking.” Mason said. 

The least dire consolidation for COVID-19 by the Regional Parks website will be a zoom meeting for, “Habitat restoration, recreation, and public access planning, A summary of existing conditions, constraints, and opportunities, and Project timeline and other opportunities to be involved.”

In addition to the lack of restrictions, unlike some Regional Parks in California, Mason proposed that fires and barbeque sites would remain open, limited backpacking sites in the Ohlone wilderness and Sunol are to remain open, but Round Valley backpack camp is closed due to fire warnings. 

In a press release from the East Bay Regional Parks District, it was stated, “The Park District, in collaboration with Doug McConnell (host of NBC’s OpenRoad) and other regional park agencies, recently launched a new series of Parks Are Essential public service announcements (PSAs) highlighting visitor safety during COVID-19.”

Both Mason and the East Bay Regional Parks news release failed to explain their ideals behind leaving Alameda County’s parks open. 

Nowhere does it clarify that fishing, barbequing, hiking, backpacking, or dog walking is limited by the effects of COVID-19 nor does it implement any safety measures for the said virus.

Alameda County residents continue to be able to access Regional Parks based on permits rather than safety measures. This distressing and questionable decision by Alameda County park rangers such as Dave Mason is a controversial subject of the total COVID-19 protocol.

Tiger Woods Hospitalized after Car Crash

Los Angeles – Superstar golfer Eldrick Tont Woods suffered significant injuries to his legs and was in a traumatic state after a single car collision.

Woods was hospitalized Tuesday, Feb 23 at Harbor UCLA medical center and was later diagnosed with “comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones,” according to chief medical officer Anish Mahajan. Mahajan later released details that Woods’ leg was fractured into more than two pieces and Woods’ injuries were stabilized with screws, pins, and rods.

CNN writer Terrence Moore stated Woods’ vehicle was discerned to have “crossed the median, went across two lanes of road, then hit a tree and landed on the driver’s side in the brush.”

Woods later released a statement that he had “no recollection” of the crash.

Body cam footage, surveillance, dash cam footage, and other recording of the accident were left unreleased to the public, according to CNN.

According to a press release by CNN’s Jill Matrin, Woods “the procedure was successful, and he is now recovering and in good spirits.

In a time when the sports world lost NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant, Woods’ survival was mainly left to chance and the fastidious work of the medical team at UCLA trauma center. Hank Aaron, MLB legend, hall of famer, and civil rights icon died at 86 on January 22, 2021.

Woods retains a record-tying 82 PGA tour victories, but understandably will not participate soon.

Woods is, and will always be, a icon for African-American pride and his revolutionary excellence in a non-contact sport. Based on a press release by CNN’s Terrence Moore, “He likely didn’t mean it this way, but it all started for me  when he wore his red Nike shirt — as if to place racism in his sport on high alert.”

According to the same source, Woods “smoked his White competitors by 12 strokes to win the first of his five Masters tournaments at the same Augusta National Golf Club that didn’t allow Blacks to join its ranks until barely seven years before that.”

Woods grew up in a relatively ‘white’ world, and to say he was a leader for reform in this country was, by far, an understatement. He is appropriately known for creating the ‘Tiger Effect,’ a positive indoctrination of his effect on not only the Black community but for the sports world, explained by CNN.

In honor of Tiger Woods, golfers at the WGC-Workday Championship after the accident on Feb. 23, an element of the PGA tour, worn red to honor the career of the legendary Tiger Woods as his career hangs in the balance. Red shirts and black pants are the signature apparel worn by Woods in his seemingly classic playing days.

Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thompson, and Cameron Champ were some of the many to represent Woods with his touted outfit.

Bryson DeChambeau, professional golfer and friend of Woods released a statement explaining, “A mentor, idol and role model to my career, there’s no one that could come out of this stronger. We’re glad you’re here. See you soon.”

Woods is, standard to belief, a living legend for Black America and regardless of his reputation tarnished by his decisions off the golf course, a role model for minorities as well as athletes around the world.

CNN writer Terrence Moore released a shocking statement, “He may never play competitive golf again. But he’s still ours.”

Texas Storm Impacting COVID-19 Patients

Texas — Severe winter storms continue to bombard Texas statewide as the vaccine distribution and supply chain comes to a halt.

According to CNN’s Miguel Marquez, Texas is dealing with burst water pipes, lack of boiling water, and low water pressure as of Feb. 24.

As stated by Texas Hospital Association’s Carrie Williams, this condemnation has arrived on top of the intense COVID-19 situation.

Hospitals in Texas are running low on supplies of food, linen, and water. The shelter-in-place progressed from a suggestion to stay inside to a compulsory safety warning for Texans.

“This was a sprawling natural disaster that has hit us statewide and arrived on top of the pandemic,” Williams said.

According to Williams, power outages and food shortages are just the shallow elements of the Texas situation. Dialysis patients are contemplating shortages of dialysis equipment and a crucial treatment shortage in Texas.

According to Dr. Ben Saldana, Houston Methodist’s emergency department’s medical director, water was back on for a while. Still, hospitals were in a dilemma with low water pressure.

According to CNN’s Marquez, around 13 million Texans, nearly half the state’s population, were under a boil-water advisory. Almost 25 million people were “under a hard freeze warning” for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

However, Saldana did state, “COVID-19 vaccine administration is full speed ahead at all Houston Methodist sites.”

According to the CNN, this Texas weather situation shows that a major global warming solution such as the Green New Deal, a spirited solution for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, would not effectively draw up by Democratic dynamos, would be ineffective.

CNN’s Zachary Wolfe articulated that the Green New Deal is a strict proposal to convert America’s energy sources into more effective and safer alternatives. It would involve tackling the United State’s energy policy and evolving it into a more futuristic, cleaner approach.

This would involve creating millions of American jobs and would attempt to solve the greenhouse gas issues.

According to Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbot, “This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis.”

CNN’s Theresa Waldrop reported FEMA is sending help to Texas as relief for the harsh winter meteorological conditions.

CNN’s Waldrop also stated that the distribution of the vaccine throughout the South has evolved, and while power outages continue in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, states such as Florida are being affected by the inability of vaccines coming from the Midwest and Southwest.

Even places like Illinois, Kentucky, and South Carolina are being indirectly affected by the dismaying state of Texas.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the legitimate distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available to the ‘general public’ until early June.

A statement released by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, the weather and situation throughout the states affected in America “makes driving dangerous and threatens the health and safety of anyone exposed to the cold.”

According to CNN’s Waldrop, Dallas officials said specific vaccine centers closed due to severe weather conditions.

“We understand the urgency to administer second doses of the vaccine, but we must also balance people’s safety. As soon as we can safely open again, we will.”

Prominent NBA Writer Sekou Smith Lost His Battle With COVID-19

Atlanta —- On Jan. 26, NBA writer Sekou Smith died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 48. 

Based in his hometown of Atlanta, Smith was a rising journalist and voice for the entire NBA. 

The Atlanta Hawks, the NBA TV Atlanta studios, and Turner Network Television (TNT) studios will honor Smith by renaming the broadcasting workroom in State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, after him. 

In addition, the Atlanta Hawks yearly summer league team, which coincidentally was deactivated for the past summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be named after Smith.

Also, according to, one journalism student will be selected from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will be chosen to be a beat writer for the Atlanta Hawks NBA Summer League team.

Turner sports released a statement via CNN detailing, “We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing.” 

According to the same source, Smith covered NBA action for more than two decades, including 11 years with Turner Sports.

According to CNN and Smith’s LinkedIn profile, Smith “started his career as a sports reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1994.” 

He also worked as a journalist in Indianapolis and Atlanta before representing Turner Sports.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement specifying Smith’s role and place in the NBA family.

“The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family. Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rielly, and Cameron.

Although Smith was never a player at the highest level, the NBA, or a player at any professional stage, his passion for the game was illustrious and renowned. 

Silver continued a statement entailing Smith’s eternal connection to the game, “Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him, and it always shined through in his work.”

The Hawks also released a statement via CNN, “The Hawks organization is heartbroken by the passing of Sekou Smith. 

The Hawks’ beat writer for the AJC from 05-09, Sekou provided our fans with honest & fair coverage, sharing incredible insight on the team while establishing himself as one of the NBA’s top personalities.” 

While COVID-19 protocols have been thoroughly established in the NBA, professional sports, intercollegiate sports, and sports worldwide, necessary precautions and testing tend to obstruct sports, and sports, in general, tend to interrupt the intention of medical advice.

“I think for all of us, this COVID thing has been painful, to say the least. But when you lose somebody that you know, and that you admire and respect and who is young,” said current New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy in a statement released by ESPN, “This thing is so scary and has brought so much grief to so many people. Today is one of those days. There’s a lot of people in Atlanta today grieving a great man in Sekou.”