Throwing props to Sandra Douglass Morgan, the first Black woman team president of the NFL
“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (July 15) to discuss the “no snitching” mentality, the case of Jayland Walker, the latest in Brittney Griner’s criminal trial in Russia and more.
REVOLT Special Correspondent Rochelle Ritchie hosted the episode, titled “Nipsey’s Killer Convicted And What’s Behind The No Snitching Syndrome.” She was joined by former police officer Brandon Tatum, President of the Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists Kevin “Chill” Herd, political analyst Jonathan Harris, social and political activist Najee Ali, activist Alex Alonzo and former Bloods gang member Skipp Townsend. REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough also brought viewers the latest in celebrity news.
Ritchie opened the show by spotlighting the case of 25-year-old Jayland Walker, who was fatally shot by police 46 times in Akron, Ohio. On the morning of June 27, Walker was shot by eight law enforcement members after allegedly fleeing what police are calling a routine traffic stop. During a press conference, Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan said, “No amount of grief or prayer will bring Jayland back, but please know the city mourns with you.”
Ritchie held a roundtable discussion with Tatum, Harris and Herd to dig deeper into Walker’s case. Tatum told Ritchie that he believes the shooting was justified. “Well, because you look at the totality of the circumstances of a young man who’s fleeing the traffic stop,” he explained.
“He apparently fired a weapon at the police while they were in pursuit. He ends up getting to a particular location and then he jumps out of a moving car with a ski mask on. As he flees from police, he turns to the police. They attempt to taze him, which is a use of force continuum example. He continues on and then he postures up against police in the parking lot, and they use deadly force against him,” Tatum went on.
On the contrary, Harris maintains that calling the shooting “reasonable” is “absurd.” “It’s a tough sell for me … to suggest that for an alleged traffic violation, the punishment is death by firing squad,” he expressed. “I think it’s a bit absurd, and I think that we have seen enough of this from police departments all across the country to recognize that this is not [OK]. You can’t explain away every single one of these situations. At a certain point, you have to realize there is a systemic problem and it requires a systemic solution.”
Switching gears, Ritchie turned her attention to Nipsey Hussle’s death. She discussed how witness accounts of the shooting that took place at the South Los Angeles shopping center on March 31, 2019 led to Eric Holder’s conviction. Ritchie then led a discussion with Townsend, Ali and Alonzo about why some fear being called a “snitch” in the South Los Angeles community and how that mentality prevents cases from being solved. Townsend informed Ritchie that the “no snitching” mindset started during slavery.
“I think the label of snitching is so problematic going back to slavery. You gotta figure that we were never a part of the system. People in the community — even the children growing up — were taught not to ever tell on anybody because we have to look out for each other. There’s been so many wrongful convictions, wrongful accusations, wrongful arrests that we just don’t trust the system and it dates all the way back to slavery days,” he declared.
However, Alonzo does not believe fear is the only reason some people don’t come forward. “We had a couple of witnesses that just weren’t comfortable with testifying,” he remarked. “I wouldn’t say that the witnesses that didn’t want to testify didn’t because they were scared. [It’s] the culture of ‘It’s not my job to tell. I’m not here to tell.’ These are ideas and principles that are indoctrinated in us since we’re a child — from our families, from our communities, and we gotta understand that this is not just a street thing.”
“Within sectors of society — whether its corporations, law enforcement, the workplace — they all have a culture of not telling on each other. We can’t just have this conversation as if it’s only the streets and only the gangs,” he continued.
Next, Ritchie hosted a segment called “Black All Over The World” to discuss the latest in Brittney Griner’s case. The WNBA Phoenix Mercury center pled guilty to drug charges in a Russian court just days after she sent a letter to President Joe Biden, in which she urged him to coordinate her safe return to the U.S. If convicted, the 31-year-old basketball star could face up to 10 years in prison. She has been detained in Russia since mid-February when she was arrested and charged with possessing hashish oil while traveling through a Moscow airport. Griner’s lawyers have since argued the cannabis was prescribed.
Later in the show, McCullough hosted her “Entertainment Remix” segment to highlight new music from Lizzo, Cardi B and Ne-Yo. This week, Lizzo dropped her fourth studio album, Special, which features her hit single “About Damn Time.” Cardi B also released an official music video for her song “Hot Shit,” featuring Kanye West and Lil Durk. After a four-year hiatus, Ne-Yo has surprised fans and released his eighth studio album, Self Explanatory.
Watch a quick clip from this week’s episode up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next installment of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, July 22, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.