Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daryl Mikell Brooks: The Convicted Activist Part 1

Daryl Brooks is an accomplished activist, he is a part of the Tea Party (Trenton, New Jersey chapter), and an accomplished blogger; his blog “Today’s News NJ” is ranked among the top 3 in the state of New Jersey. In addition to all of  this Brooks attempted to run for United States Senate and House of Representatives, in both of which he placed high although he did not win.

If you were to mention Brooks’ name around the city he is the type of guy who people love to hate. Most people admire his activism, but think that he is crazy for his stances on political issues. Others have a different reason for not liking him…. In 1998, Daryl Mikell Brooks was convicted as a sex offender and sent to prison for three years and six months. However, Brooks has maintained that he is innocent since the day that he was accused of the crime.

It has now been nearly 14 years since the crime took place; it has been 12 years since he was convicted and 8 years since he served his prison time. During the time of the crime Brooks was entrenched in activism, “I owned a newspaper (that is now a blog), I was on a radio station, my work in activism entailed me speaking out about police brutality, drugs, and I had a cable TV show.”

Brooks was a young, ambitious 24 year old, wanting to change the violence and injustices that plagued his city. His potential future as an activist would come to an end. Brooks recalls the day that his life got turned upside down.

“ I was with a friend who worked at the Trenton Rehabilitation Center. I would go there to talk to some of the people and I would help him out. I remember going through Martin Luther King Park and stopping to talk to a friend who was a baseball coach and a preacher, then I went home. This was a weekday, I went home and I changed my clothes, picked up my bible and left.”

Brooks says that he was heading home to change his clothes because he was headed to a training for young ministers at Galilee Baptist Church located on Martin Luther King Blvd. Brooks returned home from church only to leave again with a friend. At the time Brooks was staying with his mother.

“I remember coming back home and my mom told me that the cops came there looking for me,” says Brooks.  After his mom informed them of the allegations, Brooks took action and called the police himself. The cops then came back. At this point and time Brooks was interested in the individuals who identified him as this character that “flashed himself”. When the officers arrived at the residence where Brooks was staying, they then proceeded to go to the girl’s home who identified him.  “When we arrived the cops knocked on the door and there was no one home except the little girls. Then one cop went into the house and I stayed outside, waiting for them. They all come back to the front door and the officer asked one of the girls who did it? She (One of the girls) pointed me out!”

 It is alleged by Brooks that the young girls were at home by themselves, “it was between 9:30 and 10 pm and there were no parents at home, that was kind of weird to me that these little girls were at home by themselves with no parents there” says Brooks.

Brooks acknowledges that he was indeed passing through that area around the hours of 5-6 pm. However, he also says, “that it doesn’t make sense for him to do something like that because there was a mini police station in the area.”  He adds that the description of the man given by the police and the witness was not him.

“They said that I had a bottle of brandy in my hand” Brooks admits that he does drink, but says, “he would not have had a bottle of brandy walking down the street in front of a mini police station!” He adds that “around the times of 5 to 6 pm there are a lot of people outside.” According to Brooks there were no other witnesses that came forth to identify him.

Despite one of the girls identifying Brooks the officers did not proceed to lock him up. Brook says, that night he was sent back to his mother’s house. In the interview Brooks says, “The little girls were picked up around one week later, they were taken to the police station and questioned by the officers.” According to Brooks there was no attorney present with them. However, according to Brooks 2 weeks later in an incident dealing with a city council man, “I got in an argument… he threatened me. I was then advised to go down to the police station. He now admits that he was a “fool” to follow directions from the ones who had threatened him.

 Brooks remembers that as he arrived he was interviewed by Detective Buddy Law. A couple of minutes later he was photographed and added to a photograph line up. It was there that the girls identified Brooks as the perpetrator. This was all done without an attorney present, says Brooks.  “They then took pictures of me and she pointed me out in a photo lineup, my lawyer wasn’t even present” says Brooks. He then was taken into custody and charged with 2 counts of sexual assault, 2 counts of endangerment of a child, and 2 counts of lewdness. He posted bail, about $10,000. Brooks, says the chargers were changed because according to him he believes that, “if I was just getting charged with flashing, it would have just stayed in municipal court, I was charged with those charges because then the trial would have to go to superior court.”

The trial would not take place until 1998, almost 3 and a half years later from the time of the incident. “I didn’t take the charge seriously because I figured they didn’t have a case.” As he looks back in regret, “he admits, “I should’ve taken it more seriously” “I thought that there was no real evidence against me.” After it all was said, Daryl Mikel Brooks was found guilty and not charged with the initial charge of flashing, but with, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of endangerment of a child, and two counts of Lewdness. The Prosecutors were aiming to give Brooks 16 years, his lawyer managed to get him a mandatory 7, Brooks was released from prison in three and a half years.

Brooks is out now and believes that he was set up, that it was Trenton political figures who were out to get him. As stated earlier, Brooks was an activist, “I spoke out against the politicians in this city, and they didn’t like me!” There are at least a couple of individuals who have sided with Brooks.

Rabbi Gellar who runs a synagogue in South New Jersey is a friend of Brooks. He met Daryl directly after he was released from prison. He met Daryl in a public transportation area, “I met Daryl reading a political science text book and it peaked my interest. I am a professor, we then started a conversation.” They have been friends ever since. He describes Daryl as idealistic and creative, he also considers Daryl an “asset” to his community. Gellar, who also has a Law Degree from Catholic University, was shown the case by Daryl.

Gellar states, “That anybody could do anything, you or I or anybody could do anything. It’s not purely a question of could anybody do this, it’s a question of did he do anything like this? In terms of the evidence, the evidence points in the opposite direction.” He also says that he has had a very prominent Lawyer in New Jersey view Daryl’s case; his acquaintance, which shall remain nameless, came to the conclusion that Daryl was the victim of an unjust system.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Daryl got shafted,” says Gellar. Gellar is not the only one who seems to think that. One of the jurors in the trial says the same: “It was too many conflicting stories between the police”. When it came down to deliberation, “some people had their mind made up before they came into the courtroom (that Daryl was guilty)”, says the juror.  He remembers “There were at least three jurors who thought Daryl was innocent, out of those three, one of them changed their vote to guilty… when I approached the person on why they’d changed their vote, the person replied ‘everyone else said he was guilty so I went along with it.’” The jurors took at least 2 weeks to make the decision.  

Daryl is out of prison now and he is looking to move forward with his life, but the crime still haunts him. Currently he is forced to attend counseling and if he does not admit to the crime he can be charged again.  “I want my story to be told because people think they know what happened,” says Daryl.

Currently, Daryl heads his own blog, in which it is currently ranked amongst the top 3 in the state of New Jersey. In addition, he was interviewed by Essence Magazine for his participation in Tea Party and he looks to hold community events. Earlier this summer Brooks held an event that entailed panelist that include Rutgers Professor and author Dr. Stephanie Bush-Baskette.
What do you think?

By: Delonte Harrod 
Paul Quinn College "05"
Cumme Laud
Bachelors of Art in Mass Communications Emphasis in print and photography 
To use this artical  Contact Delonte Harrod
Photo's of Daryl Mikell Brooks and Friends

Brooks, Harry Belafonte and Rev. Al Sampson

Fernandez wants to return to Europe.. again..

By Simon "The Hoop"

Fans of the Portland Trail Blazers have always had an irrational love for Rudy Fernandez. The athletic shooting guard has started a total of six games for the franchise over the last two seasons, yet the fan base will spontaneously unite and cry out in unison if any jabs whatsoever are thrown in the Spaniard's direction.

A great example of this irresponsible passion occurred in the my early days of Twitter, when Rudy was caught from behind on a fast break attempt by then-Laker Trevor Ariza back in March of 2009. It was a flagrant foul to be sure, but Blazer fans wanted blood, and I tried to be the voice of reason in defense of Ariza and the Lakers. You can guess how that went down, and in fact, I think I'm still blocked from following @blazersedge on Twitter to this day because of the events of that night.

In any case, this is somewhat worthwhile in bringing up today, as Fernandez (via his agent Andy Miller) seems to be done with the Blazers and the NBA, and is ready to return to Europe, for a variety of reasons.

Jorge Sierra of interviewed Miller, and along with some other tidbits, published this quote which pretty much sums up the situation between Fernandez and the Blazers.

"The impression I'm getting more and more is that he's lost interest in playing in the NBA, quite frankly," Miller said. "It's my impression that Rudy would prefer to be in Europe rather than the NBA at this point."

Ouch. So, whether it's playing time, role on the team, or something else entirely, it appears as though Fernandez will not be back in Portland next season. I'm sure that's distressing on some level to Blazers' fans, but fear not: you still have the return of Greg Oden to look forward to, which should be more than adequate in terms of a reason to be completely underwhelmed and disappointed in your favorite team next season.

source :

I’m Going Back To Minny, Minny, Minny?

Brett Favre

I’m going back to Minny… Yeah, I think so. Or maybe not. Who knows? Hell, this is THE Brett Favre we’re talking about. Maybe he’s just on a plane to go hunting with Jared Allen. Whatever the case, Favre’s now the story of the day, again, as reports of (former) Vikings teammates traveling to Mississippi to bring their Pied Piper back to Minnesota, and now, thanks in no small part to the Twitter powers of Jay Glazer, the mainstream media is running with the “Signs Point to Favre Returning” story.

Let’s hope this one doesn’t backfire like Text Message Gate did.

While no one knows for sure what he’s doing, you can be sure the rest of your Tuesday has been officially hijacked by a plane featuring a passenger named Brett Favre. Speaking of, I took a quick look around the flight-tracking site,, and the only plane I noticed leaving Biloxi was headed for Omaha. Granted, I’m not the most experienced user in the world when it comes to tracking airplanes, but I do know how to pick airports from a list of suggested results.

Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy your previously unannounced “Brett Favre Tuesday,” because, let’s face it, no one expects wants a Brett Favre takeover, especially after living through them the last two seasons or so. Just make the best of it, especially if you aren’t a Vikings fan.
Perhaps avoiding the ESPNs of the world for a day or two would help.

By Chris

Super HOT! $50 Gap Gift Card for Only $25 by Mercedes

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This is a super HOT deal available on Groupon right now.  The nationwide deal available right now is a $50 Gap Store gift card for only $25.  Can you say cheap clothes?  Now, this is a nationwide offer and you can bet the house it will be popular.  So if the site is running  slow, so keep trying.  Hurry on up to Groupon and snag this great value.
The voucher will post on your Groupon account. You can see it under “My Groupons.” It actually gets processed fairly quickly. Then just take it to the store to use it. It is good in store only not online.

Barack Obama is Muslim, according to nearly one in five Americans surveyed

Poll held before Ground Zero mosque furore finds 18% of people believe US president is Muslim, not Christian

barack obama speaking ohio
Barack Obama speaks on the economy in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Almost one in five Americans believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, according to a new poll, despite his public statements about his Christian faith.

The survey by the Pew Research Centre found that 18% now say that the US president is a Muslim, up from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48% in 2009. Forty three percent say they do not know Obama's religion.

The survey was completed in early August, before Obama's recent comments about the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Centre, which have landed him in political hot water. The president has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic centre there, but refrained from taking a position on whether or not it should actually be built two blocks from Ground Zero. The issue has become politically charged ahead of congressional races in mid-November, with Republicans accusing Obama of being out touch with mainstream America.

The Pew Research Centre noted that the belief that Obama is a Muslim has increased most sharply among Republicans, (up 14 points) since 2009, especially conservative Republicans (up 16 points). But the number of independents who say Obama is a Muslim has also increased significantly (up eight points). There has been little change in the number of Democrats who say Obama is a Muslim, but fewer Democrats today say he is a Christian.

The White House is concerned that beliefs about Obama's religion are linked to political judgments about him. Those who say he is a Muslim overwhelmingly disapprove of his job performance, while a majority of those who think he is a Christian approve of the job Obama is doing. Those who are unsure about Obama's religion are about evenly divided in their views of his performance.

The White House blamed "misinformation campaigns" by the president's opponents.

"While the president has been diligent and personally committed to his own Christian faith, there's certainly folks who are intent on spreading falsehoods about the president and his values and beliefs," Obama's faith adviser, Joshua DuBois, told the Washington Post.

DuBois pointed to six speeches on faith that the president has given in which he talked about his beliefs, but said coverage of Obama's Christianity has been scant compared with news about the economic crisis, legislative battles and other issues.

Pew analysts attribute the findings to attacks by his opponents and Obama's limited attendance at religious services, particularly in contrast with presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. Andrew Kohut, the Pew Research Centre's director, said the confusion partly reflected "the intensification of negative views about Obama among his critics". Alan Cooperman, the Pew Forum's associate director for research, said that with the public hearing little about Obama's religion, "maybe there's more possibility for other people to make suggestions that the president is this or he's really that or he's really a Muslim".

Obama is the Christian son of a Kenyan, Barack Obama Sr. Obama Sr was raised Muslim.

Between the ages of six and 10, Obama lived in predominantly Muslim Indonesia with his mother and Indonesian stepfather.

During the election campaign, rightwing commentators such as Rush Limbaugh used his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, in an attempt to portray him as somehow un-American. Rightwingers also spread the false allegation that Obama had attended a madrassa in Indonesia.