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Dharun Ravi’s Finally Speaks Out, Denies He Caused Suicide

Dharun Ravi's Finally Speaks Out, Denies He Caused Suicide

Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, who was convicted last week of a hate crime for spying on his gay roommate’s date, will make his first primetime television interview on Friday night.

“Even though I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump off the bridge, I did do things wrong and I was stupid about a lot of stuff,” Ravi said in an exclusive broadcast interview with “20/20″ co-anchor Chris Cuomo.

“The more and more I found out, it would be kind of obnoxious of me to think that I could have this profound effect on him,” Ravi said.

At another point he added, “After all this time and reading his conversations and how and what he was doing before, I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now.”

The full interview airs Friday on ABC’s “20/20″ at 10 p.m. ET.

Ravi is scheduled to be sentenced May 21 and could face five to 10 years in prison. As an Indian citizen who is in the U.S. on a green card, Ravi could also face deportation. For more read Rinku Sen’s “Dharun Ravi, Tyler Clementi and the Hard Work of Truly Stopping Bullies.”

Here’s What ‘Stand Your Ground’ Gun Laws Do, Find Out if Your State Has One

In a look at “Stand Your Ground” laws, ProPublica’s Cora Currier explains that “In 2005, Florida became the first state to explicitly expand a person’s right to use deadly force for self-defense. Deadly force is justified if a person is gravely threatened, in the home, or ‘any other place where he or she has a right to be.’ In Florida, once self-defense is invoked, the burden is on the prosecution to disprove the claim.”

Currier notes, “Most states have long allowed the use of reasonable force, sometimes including deadly force, to protect oneself inside one’s home—the so-called Castle Doctrine. Outside the home, people generally still have a ‘duty to retreat’ from their attacker, if possible, to avoid confrontation. In other words, if you can get away and you shoot anyway, you can be prosecuted. In Florida, there is no duty to retreat. You can ‘stand your ground’ outside your home too.”

Sanford Police Chief Steps Down Amid Outcry for Trayvon Martin

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Miami Herald is reporting Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has temporarily removed himself from office Thursday, a day after city commissioners gave him a vote of no confidence.

“It is my hope the process would move swiftly and thoroughly through the justice system,” Lee said.

More details to come.


City of West Hollywood Condemns Bravo’s ‘Shahs of Sunset’

City of West Hollywood Condemns Bravo's 'Shahs of Sunset'

The West Hollywood City Council has passed a resolution condemning the new reality television show “The Shahs of Sunset” for perpetuating negative stereotypes about Iranian-Americans, Weho Daily reports. The show, which is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, airs on the Bravo Network, a subsidiary of NBC Universal.

“The show depicts negative stereotypes of the Iranian-American community,” said West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman. “Negative stereotypes disseminated about any group should raise concern as this can lead to discrimination and, in extreme cases, even violence,” continued Councilmember Heilman.

Feelings in the Persian-American community are mixed.

Asians Were Fastest-Growing U.S. Population in Last Decade, Census Finds‎

According to the 2010 Census, the Asian population grew faster than any other race group in the United States between 2000 and 2010. The population that identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, grew by 45.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3 percent. Both populations grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

The biggest Asian ethnic group in the nation is Chinese, at 4 million people. Filipinos log in at second with 3.4 million people, and Asian Indians follow with 3.2 million people.

Trayvon Martin Petition Surpasses 1 Million Signatures, Supporters Also Sending Skittles to Police Chief

Trayvon Martin Petition Surpasses 1 Million Signatures, Supporters Also Sending Skittles to Police Chief

A two-week old Change.org petition started by Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, surpassed the one millionth signature mark Thursday morning.

“Please join us in calling on Norman Wolfinger, Florida’s 18th District State’s Attorney, to investigate my son’s murder and prosecute George Zimmerman for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin,” the parents wrote on Change.org

Thousands Take Streets in Protest for Trayvon Martin

fulton-trayvon-mother.jpgTracy Martin (L), and Sybrina Fulton, parents of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, address supporters at a Million Hoodies March on March 21, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“Our son is your son,” Trayvon Martin’s mom Sabrina Fulton told a crowd of several hundred gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square on Wednesday evening.

“Our son was not committing a crime, our son is your son and I want you guys to stand up for justice and stand up for what’s right!”

Fulton started her day out at 5am on NBC’s “Today Show” in New York City telling millions of viewers across the country that the man who shot and killed her son needs to be arrested. Fulton went on to make several media appearances throughout the day including an MSNBC interview where we learned that the strong mother we see on television fighting to get justice for her son is still grieving herself.

“He’s a fun-loving guy. He likes to be with his family and his friends,” Fulton said on MSNBC, unable to use the past tense about her boy.

Women Bombard Anti-Choice Governors with Ladyparts Questions

Women Bombard Anti-Choice Governors with Ladyparts Questions

Few victories for women’s health have ever happened at the state level, but governors have outdone themselves in recent months — making reproductive rights as inaccessible as possible by mandating invasive procedures, usurping the client-doctor relationship, and cutting funds to both health care and free clinics. So, what to do if you’re a woman (or an ally to women) living in a state that doesn’t trust women with their own bodies? Give them the minute-by-minute updates they obviously want, of course!

At Talking Points Memo, Pema Levy rounds up a multi-state unofficial social media campaign, in which women take to their governor’s Facebook walls to ask every single question that comes into their minds about their gynecological health. (If only they had some expertise about their own bodies, but that’s the government’s job!) The results are angry-feminist comedy gold. A few samples, from the Facebook walls of Bob McDonnell, Rick Perry, Sam Brownback, Tom Corbett, and others:


Florida Refuses to Suspend Gun License of Trayvon Martin’s Shooter

Florida Refuses to Suspend Gun License of Trayvon Martin's Shooter

So not only are Florida officials refusing to arrest George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, now they’re also refusing to suspend his license to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Florida.

The Florida Civil Rights Association organized a press conference Wednesday calling on the state to review Zimmerman’s concealed-weapons permit and decide whether he should be carrying a license during investigations.

Virginia Teacher Who Asked Black Student to Read Poem in ‘Blacker’ Voice Suspended

Fairfax County, Virginia school administrators have placed a school teacher on paid administrative leave after she reportedly asked the only black student in class to read a poem in a “blacker” voice.

“She interrupted me after I finished the first stanza, and told me to read it ‘blacker,’” recounted ninth-grader Jordan Shumate. “She said, ‘Blacker, Jordan. Come on, I thought you were black.’”

Fla. Rep. Frederica Wilson Calls for Justice on House Floor for Trayvon Martin [Video]

Fla. Rep. Frederica Wilson Calls for Justice on House Floor for Trayvon Martin [Video]

On Tuesday, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives about Trayvon Martin’s death.

“Trayvon Martin was shot to death by a renegade-wannabe-policeman-neighborhood watchman,” Wilson said on the House Floor. “Trayvon was just trying to live and reach 18,” she went on to say.

100 Civil Rights Groups Call on Feds to Investigate NYPD for Spying on Muslims

100 Civil Rights Groups Call on Feds to Investigate NYPD for Spying on Muslims

Over 100 civil rights, faith, community, and advocacy groups signed a letter sent on Monday urging the Department of Justice to commence a prompt investigation into the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim Americans in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the groups summarize some of the gravest reports by the Associated Press of the racial profiling and surveillance of approximately 350 mosques, schools, businesses, and individuals throughout the Northeast between 2005 and 2008, despite no evidence of criminal activity. The reports include the NYPD’s use of anti-Muslim propaganda in cadet training and of informants and undercover agents in colleges to collect files containing Muslim American students’ personal information.

Black Superintendent of Most Diverse School District in Nation Doesn’t Like Blacks, Workers Say

Nine employees of the Tukwila School District near Seattle, Washington, have filed complaints of racial discrimination against the districts black superintendent, Ethelda Burke. The nine black employees that range from teachers, bus drivers and athletic directors say Burke referred to them as slaves and had racially loaded nicknames for them like “J-Dark.”

Their attorney filed the complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to MSNBC. The attorney has also called on the school board to immediately suspend Burke.

Obama Responds to Deaf Student in Sign Language

Obama Responds to Deaf Student in Sign Language

Stephon, a 26-year-old Prince George’s Community College student signed to President Obama “I am proud of you.” The president, “almost involuntary, instinctively, immediately” signed back with a thank you, reports Distriction.com.

Calif. State Schools Slash Spring Admission in Big Hit to Students of Color

Calif. State Schools Slash Spring Admission in Big Hit to Students of Color

California State University (CSU) officials announced Monday they will temporarily close admissions, as a result of budget cuts, and will require most of the 23 CSU campuses to freeze enrollment for the next spring semester of 2013. The majority of students locked out of enrolling in the Spring are mainly transfers from community colleges who are overwhelmingly students of color, according to CSU records.

NASCAR is Looking for an Ad Agency to Tell Latinos They’re Bienvenidos at Daytona

NASCAR is Looking for an Ad Agency to Tell Latinos They're Bienvenidos at Daytona

NASCAR is looking for an ad agency to develop a strategy for them to increase their Latino fan base. The family owned group that governs multiple auto racing sports events is likely looking to bite in the wallets of the fastest growing demographic in the nation.

Eminem Video Mash Up Asks: Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

Two Women Turn ‘N*ggas in Paris’ Into ‘B*tches in Bookshops’

Two Women Turn 'N*ggas in Paris' Into 'B*tches in Bookshops'

This ‘Watch the Throne’ parody video will make a book nerds head spin. The brilliants ladies behind this video are La Shea Delaney and Annabelle Quezada.

A snippet of the lyrics:

Read so hard librarians tryin’ ta FINE me­, They can’t identify me, Checked in with a pseudonym, so I guess you can say I’m Mark Twaining. Read so hard, I’m not lazy. Go on Goodreads, so much rated. Fountainhead, on my just read, gave it four stars, and then changed it. Read so hard, I’m literary. Goosebumps series, TOO SCARY!

Visit Annabelle Quezada’s blog for complete lyrics.

TAGS: Videos

Trayvon Martin’s Girlfriend Talks About Final Call, Justice Dept Steps In

Trayvon Martin's Girlfriend Talks About Final Call, Justice Dept Steps In

On Monday morning ABC News published an interview with a 16-year old girl who is believed to have been on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot him dead.

“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” Martin’s friend said told ABC News, in an interview with lawyers asking the questions because the girl is underage. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”

Today’s Love: Students in Florida Rally to Demand Justice for Trayvon Martin

Today's Love: Students in Florida Rally to Demand Justice for Trayvon Martin

Students from across the state of Florida gathered today at the Seminole County Courthouse on Monday to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. The 15-year-old black teenager was followed, confronted and killed three weeks ago by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain in Sanford, Florida. Martin’s crime? Apparently, being young, black and wearing a hoodie in a predominately white neighborhood.

To date, Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime.

More than 30 Florida A&M University law students took part in the protest.

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