TIME Civil Rights

Howard University Students Stand Up for Michael Brown in Viral Photo

Howard Dont Shoot Ferguson
Howard University students pose with their hands raised in Cramton Auditorium in Washington on Aug. 13, 2014. Howard University

300 students got involved

An image of Howard University students standing up in protest against the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. went viral on Wednesday.

More than 300 students gathered in Cramton Auditorium on Howard University’s campus in Washington D.C. to stand together, hands raised, in a pose inspired by the presumed stance of the unarmed teen killed by a police officer last weekend. The incident has led to violent protests in the St. Louis suburb, and inspired a national conversation about race and policing.

The shooting also hit close to home in the Howard University community—a recent alum and St. Louis native, Mya White, was allegedly shot in the head on Tuesday during protests in the St. Louis town. The wounds were non-fatal and White is recovering, but the incident has resonated across the Washington D.C. campus. Vice President of the Howard University Student Association, and one of the photos organizers, Ikenna Ikeotuonye told TIME Thursday, he believes White’s injury sparked a sense of urgency among the student body.

“Howard has a history of social justice, inspiring social change,” Ikeotuonye, a senior chemical engineering major said. “Our idea was just to organize something—but the fact that there was a Bison hurting for protesting hit close to home.”

The image spread rapidly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Wednesday night, driven by hashtags including #dontshootus, #dontshootme, and #HowardU.

The post came as violent clashes between police and protesters escalated Wednesday night. A heavily militarized police force fired tear gas, smoke bombs and rubber bullets into crowds as protestors lobbed Molotov cocktails and rocks at police. At least 10 people were arrested.

TIME College Sports

Arizona State University Student Now 1st Openly Gay Division I Football Player

Edward "Chip" Sarafin
Edward "Chip" Sarafin in Phoenix. Arizona State University outside linebacker Sarafin has told a local magazine he is gay, making him the first active Division I football player to come out Arizon State University/AP

Edward Sarafin, a fifth-year student working toward a master's in biomedical engineering, is a linebacker for the Sun Devils

Correction appended, Aug. 14

An Arizona State University football player became the first openly gay Division I football player on Wednesday after coming out in an article published in a gay sports magazine.

Edward “Chip” Sarafin is an offensive lineman with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and who is working toward his master’s at Arizona State University. He told Compete, an Arizona-based gay sports magazine, he started coming out to his teammates last spring so they’d hear it from him, rather than through rumors.

“It was really personal to me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly,” Sarafin said.

Leaders within the Arizona Sun Devils Athletic Department issued statements in support of Sarafin on Wednesday, while members of the Sun Devil Brotherhood tweeted messages of encouragement. “The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him,” vice president of university athletics Ray Anderson said, noting Sarafin’s achievements on and off of the field, including research he’s conducted on football-related concussion.

The football team’s head coach Todd Graham said, “”We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual’s commitment to the Sun Devil Way.”

Sarafin’s openness about his sexuality comes months after the NFL drafted its first ever openly gay player Michael Sam, who is currently a linebacker for the St. Louis Rams. On Wednesday, Sam sent out a congratulatory tweet to Sarafin.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated Sarafin’s position.

TIME Food

This Is How the Potato-Salad Kickstarter Guy Plans to Spend the Money

Potato salad at a picnic
Lauri Patterson—Vetta/Getty Images

The guy who raised over $55,000 to make potato salad is throwing a festival and donating money to fight homelessness in Ohio

The guy who raised over $50,000 on Kickstarter to make potato salad has big (and charitable) plans for the funds 6,911 people helped him raise.

On Sept. 27, Zach Brown will host a free family-friendly festival called PotatoStock in a Columbus, Ohio, park. The festival is set to feature local artists and reportedly boasts relevant sponsors like Hellmann’s and Idaho Potatoes.

On Twitter, the account for Idaho Potatoes seemed excited about the event.

The festival, which Mashable reports will feature an estimated 200 lb. to 300 lb. of potato salad, also has a philanthropic ingredient. Proceeds from concessions sold at the festival will be donated to help end homelessness in Central Ohio.

“We are going to contribute a significant portion of the remaining money to the fund at the Columbus Foundation,” Brown wrote in July announcement. “This will create a permanent fund to help Central Ohio’s non-profits end hunger and homelessness. These types of funds gain interest every year and grow over time, so, while our little internet joke will one day be forgotten, the impact will be felt forever.”

In an interview with Mashable, Brown said he’s still working to secure a big name that will draw a significant crowd to his potato fest — but he’s sure his Kickstarter backers will show up.

“I keep hearing people saying that they plan to road trip to PotatoStock from [out] of town,” Brown told Mashable. “I’d love to see a huge pilgrimage to Columbus.”

TIME Crime

2 Journalists Arrested, Detained in Ferguson, Mo., While Covering Protests

They were covering protests in the Missouri town that have been raging in the wake of the deadly shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown

Updated August 14 at 1:00 a.m. ET

Two journalists said they were arrested and detained Wednesday in Ferguson, Mo., while covering protests that have been raging in the wake of the deadly police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown last week.

Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post tweeted they were arrested while doing reporting at a McDonald’s restaurant in Ferguson. “Police came into McD where me and @ryanjreilly working,” Lowery tweeted. “Try to kick everyone out.”

Reilly later tweeted that they were arrested for “not packing their bags quick enough” at the McDonald’s. The two journalists have been covering the aftermath of the shooting of the unarmed teen in Ferguson, which has sparked protests in the suburban St. Louis town. Lowery said on the Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday that the McDonald’s was located near “ground zero” of protests that have drawn national media attention.

In a first-hand account of his own arrest published in the Washington Post late Wednesday night, Lowery offered a detailed account of the arrest, as well as video of a police officer telling him to stop filming. Although he did not resist the officers taking him into custody, Lowery writes, they slammed him into a soda machine.

His account of the arrest includes this exchange:

“I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”

And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”

A strong police force greeted protesters on Wednesday—Huffington Post‘s Reilly tweeted images of officers with assault weapons, wearing helmets, and peering from out of armored vehicles.

Lowery said police detained the two, though they were later released without charges.

Calls to the St. Louis County Police Department to confirm the arrests were not immediately returned.

TIME justice

U.S. Attorney Launches Civil Rights Investigation Into Michael Brown Shooting

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man
Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown outside Greater St. Marks Family Church, in St. Louis, while his family along with civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton and others met inside to discuss the killing on Aug. 12, 2014 Scott Olson—Getty Images

The Department of Justice is investigating whether there were any federal civil rights violations in the shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Missouri

A U.S. attorney announced Wednesday that his office is investigating whether Missouri police violated any federal civil rights laws during Saturday’s shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. The investigation comes at the request of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Richard Callahan, acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Molly Moran and FBI special agent in charge William Woods said in a joint statement they would also collaborate with local authorities while working to determine if there were any state-level violations.

Tensions have been running high in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson since the shooting occurred. Residents have been holding sporadic protests since Saturday calling for, among other things, the name of the officer who shot Brown. Ferguson Police chief Thomas Jackson said at a press conference Wednesday his department would not be releasing the officer’s name because of concerns over death threats they’ve received.

The demonstrations, protests and street violence that’s followed the shooting have carried a strong undercurrent of racial undertones. Civil rights leaders have compared the shooting of Brown, an 18-year-old black man, to similar deaths of African-American youths by officers and vigilantes. On Wednesday, Jackson said his department was working with the Department of Justice to improve race and community relations.

“Race relations are a top priority,” Jackson said.

TIME Iraq

Rescue Mission ‘Less Likely’ After U.S. Special Forces Land on Iraq Mountain

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate on August 11, 2014.
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate on August 11, 2014. Rodi Said—Reuters

About 20 soldiers scoped out a mountaintop where thousands of Iraqi civilians have fled

The Pentagon may rule out an emergency evacuation mission, after a successful U.S. Army Special Forces mission to check on thousands of stranded Iraqis revealed that conditions have improved more rapidly than expected for the refugees.

The team of less than 20 soldiers, along with USAID personnel, was flown to and from a mountain in northern Iraq via helicopter on Wednesday to evaluate out how to rescue Kurdish speaking Yazidis, who have faced dire conditions since they fled Islamist fighters.

The team did not meet any armed resistance from the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed in a statement Wednesday evening.

Kirby also confirmed that the team had discovered there were fewer Yazidis taking refuge on Mt. Sinjar “than previously feared,” after successful nighttime evacuations over the last several days.

“The Yazidis who remain are in better condition than previously believed and continue to have access to the food and water that we have dropped,” Kirby said.

Hours earlier, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said President Barack Obama has not ruled out sending ground troops to help facilitate the safe rescue of trapped Iraqis. But Rhodes also said Obama won’t send troops to fight ISIS forces.

“What [Obama]’s ruled out is re-introducing U.S. forces into combat on the ground in Iraq,” Rhodes told reporters Wednesday on Martha’s Vineyard, where the President is vacationing. “But there are a variety of ways in which we can support the safe removal of those people from the mountain.”

An unknown number of an ethnic minority group known as the Yazidis have been stranded on a mountain range in northern Iraq for days, fleeing ISIS militants who spread into Iraq from Syria. The United Nations declared a “level 3 emergency” for Iraq on Wednesday in an effort to speed humanitarian aid to those stranded, while relief airdrops have come from the U.S. and several other nations. Washington has made the stranded Yazidis a top priority, deploying 130 military advisers to the region Tuesday to help plan rescue efforts.

Rhodes said Wednesday that the U.S. wants to find the best and safest way to get the trapped Yazidis off the mountain without having to engage ISIS militants.

“We have Kurdish forces who are engaged in the area,” Rhodes said. “We have international partners who also want to support the provision of humanitarian assistance. So we’ll look at what the best way and the safest way is to get those people off that mountain.”

-Additional reporting by Zeke J Miller

TIME Television

HBO Says More Leftovers Please

The show has been renewed for a second season

HBO has ordered a second season of The Leftovers, an eerie drama about life after 2% of the world’s population mysteriously disappears.

The show, which brought in about 1.58 million viewers last Sunday, is based on the Tom Perrotta novel with the same name and created by Lost show-runner Damon Lindelof.

“It has been truly exciting to see the overwhelming response to their provocative and original storytelling,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the journey as the show delves deeper in the lives of those who remain.”

TIME 2014 Election

Senate Democrats Launch $9-Million Ad Buy in North Carolina

Largest ad campaign so far for Democrats in key Senate race

Democrats started a large advertising buy in North Carolina’s contested Senate race on Wednesday with a new ad criticizing Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis’ record in the legislature.

The $9-million buy from the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee is the group’s largest so far this year. Tillis is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan in a race that could help decide which party controls the Senate next year.

The new 30-second titled in “Black and White” says Tillis cut funds from the state’s public schools while giving tax breaks to “yacht and jet owners.” The Republican-led North Carolina state legislature in 2013 cut education spending over the next two years by nearly $500 million dollars.

“North Carolina deserves better than Speaker Tillis and over the next three months the DSCC will continue to highlight just how wrong Speaker Tillis is for North Carolina,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The ad comes one day after Hagan’s campaign attacked Tillis’ education agenda, calling it “irresponsible” and “destructive” in large part due to Tillis’ proposal to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.

“After doing so much damage in Raleigh, promising to eliminate the Department of Education as his first action is just one more reason Speaker Tillis has the wrong priorities,” Hagan said.

Tillis has called for the elimination of the Department of Education, but the Tillis camp, McClatchy reports, said he would preserve financial aid and assistance to schools and thinks there is room for the department to work better with states and be more efficient. Tillis has also been critical of Hagan’s record in Congress, saying she has introduced “zero bills that have become law.”

“Kay Hagan is one of the most ineffective senators in North Carolina’s history, having failed to sponsor a single bill that became law during her six years in Washington,” said Tillis’ communications director Daniel Keylin in a statement last week. “Instead of working across the aisle to pass laws benefitting North Carolina families, Hagan has put her liberal special interest allies first, rubber-stamping President Obama’s failed partisan agenda 95 percent of the time.”

The North Carolina Senate race is one of seven races deemed toss-ups by the Cook Political Report.

 

TIME Military

U.S. Military Rolls Back Restrictions on Black Hairstyles

Army Black Hair
This undated image provided by the US Army shows new Army grooming regulations for females. US Army/AP

Two-strand twists are now acceptable in the Army, Air Force and Navy

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the U.S. military has rolled back prohibitions on popular black hairstyles within its ranks, following months of fierce backlash.

Hagel said the military had spent the past three months reviewing the definition of acceptable styles in a letter to Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, which led a charge against the military’s decision to ban natural hairstyles like dreadlocks and twists.

“Each Service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting out military requirements,” Hagel wrote. “As a result of these reviews the Army, Navy, and Air Force determined changes were necessary to their Service grooming regulations to include additional authorized hairstyles.”

Three branches of service including the Army, Air Force, and Navy will now allow service members to wear their hair in two-strand twists. The Army also increased the size of acceptable braids, and both the Army and Air Force will remove the terms “matted and unkempt” from their grooming guidelines.

In a statement, Fudge thanked Secretary Hagel for his swift response to their concerns. “These changes recognize that traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are often necessary to meet our unique needs, and acknowledges that these hairstyles do not result in or reflect less professionalism or commitment to the high standards required to serve within our Armed Forces,” Fudge said.

The military originally announced the restrictions on how soldiers can wear their hair in March as a part of sweeping new rules on grooming, known as Army Regulation 670-1 “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia”.

Hairstyles like dreadlocks or locs, two-strand twists, and other natural hairstyles were prohibited. Styles including afros were also banned in an effort to “maintain uniformity within a military population,” military officials said.

But African American soldiers and members of the Congressional Black Caucus felt the changes were racially insensitive. The inclusion of terms like “matted and unkempt,” in the military’s directions on which styles were unacceptable did not help cool tensions.

“Most black women, their hair doesn’t grow straight down, it grows out,” wrote Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs in a White House petition calling for the military to reverse its decision, first reported by Military Times. “I’m disappointed to see the Army, rather than inform themselves on how black people wear their hair, they’ve white-washed it all.”

The ban was also mocked in a sketch on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart called “Operation Black Hair.”

TIME justice

Parents of Slain Missouri Teen Plead for Justice

Lesley McSpadden, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, wipes away tears as Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., holds up a family picture of himself and his son during a news conference on August 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, wipes away tears as Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., holds up a family picture of himself and his son during a news conference on August 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Jeff Roberson—AP

"He was a good boy, he didn’t deserve none of this"

As the parents of an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by police in a St. Louis suburb publicly appealed for justice, the FBI opened a civil rights inquiry and Attorney General Eric Holder promised a “thorough, fair investigation” into the shooting that has erupted into a national debate.

“I just wish I could have been there to help him,” Lesley McSpadden, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, said at a news conference in Ferguson, Mo. Monday. She broke down crying as she spoke, an enlarged photo of her firstborn in her hands.

“He was funny, silly, he could make you laugh.. He was a good boy, he didn’t deserve none of this,” his father, Mike Brown Sr., said. “We want justice for our son.”

The shooting has sparked outrage in Ferguson, a predominantly African-American city of some 21,000 people northwest of St. Louis. Sunday night protests led to violence, with several local businesses damaged in looting and unrest. Tempers continued to flare Monday, with police using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds that gathered the site of a convenience store burned the night before, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier in the day, members of Brown’s family tried to dissuade protesters from turning to violence.

“Why would you burn your community?,” Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s grandfather, said. “Why? This should not be his legacy.”

Attorney Benjamin Crump said the family wants a full investigation into the death of the teenager, who was killed Saturday afternoon in an altercation with police. “I don’t want to sugar coat it, their baby was executed in broad daylight,” Crump said. “Our children deserve the dignity and respect of law enforcement when they’re walking down the street.”

Authorities said there was a struggle over an officer’s weapon, though witnesses have disputed that account. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Monday that an autopsy showed Brown had been struck by multiple gunshots. The location of the bullets has not been disclosed. Officials have said they will reveal the identity of the officer who shot Brown by Tuesday afternoon.

“These parents know in their heart, and they reject what the police department said how this played out,” Crump said.

Holder promised Monday that the incident would receive a “fulsome review,” with the FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division working in conjunction with local officers. “The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities,” Holder said in a statement. “At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right.”

Brown’s shooting is the latest recent, high-profile incident of an African American dying at the hands of police. On Aug. 5, a 22-year-old holding a BB gun inside an Ohio Walmart was fatally shot by officers after allegedly failing to drop the weapon. Last month in New York City, Eric Garner died mid-arrest after allegedly being placed in a chokehold by police officers responding to a nuisance call. And the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012, continues to reverberate. Crump represented Martin’s relatives and said Monday that the teen’s father, Tracy Martin, reached out to Brown’s family.

Missouri lawmakers, meanwhile, called for a “transparent understanding” of the events that led to Brown’s death.

“As a mother, I grieve for this child and his family,” Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said in a statement. “I pray that the wonderful, hardworking, and God-loving people of Ferguson will find peace and patience as we wait for the results of what will be numerous and thorough investigations of what happened.”

Republican Senator Roy Blunt said in a statement Brown’s recent graduation from high school “should have been a beginning of better things. Everyone deserves a transparent understanding of what happened here.”

— With reporting by Kristina Sauerwein / Ferguson, Mo.

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