Apollo Holmes arrested in Darius Miller beatdown, Kai Franklin remains silent

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, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A man wanted in connection with last week’s brutal beating of a personal fitness trainer turned himself in to authorities Monday morning, Atlanta police said.

Apollo Holmes turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail at around 8 a.m., according to Atlanta police spokesman James Polite.

Holmes, 24, has been charged with aggravated assault in the attack early Wednesday on Darius Miller in a parking lot outside two popular Peachtree Street nightclubs in Midtown Atlanta.

Miller, 41, was attacked during a dispute that witnesses said started when Mayor Shirley Franklin’s daughters complained about being videotaped outside one of the clubs, He remained in a coma over the weekend at Emory Crawford Long Hospital.

Police spokeswoman Judy Pal has said the investigation was continuing and that more arrests were possible.

Holmes was “affiliated” with 01 Entertainment, a party promoter that was videotaping an event the company staged at one of the clubs Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, according to a lawyer for 01 Entertainment.

Attorney Page Pate said Holmes was in the parking lot at the time.

Witnesses said the fight started because of objections to videotaping people leaving the clubs.

But the accounts differ on what happened as Kai Franklin Graham, 35, Kali Jamilla Franklin, 29, and a third woman who has not been identified came into an adjoining parking lot at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

In one version, witnesses said as soon as a man turned his video camera on the three women, Miller, who has a number of celebrity clients, asked him to stop. At that point, witnesses said, about 10 men attacked Miller.

But in a telephone interview Saturday, Pate said 01 Entertainment contends the sisters started the argument that led to Miller’s injuries when Graham and her sister demanded the camera from the man they believed had just photographed them.

The attorney said Miller had gone to retrieve his truck and was not present when the dispute began.

“[The sisters] started arguing with them, saying they were already famous and they don’t need to be famous,” Pate said. “He [Miller] heard the argument between the mayor’s daughters and he jumped into the middle of it.”

Pate said Miller tried to take the camera, and two other people came up to help the photographer.

“I don’t think it was as big of a melee as has been described,” Pate said. “There weren’t a lot of blows thrown.”

Then Miller went to his truck,”saying he wants to air this out,” prompting one of the 01 Entertainment contractors to fear Miller was getting a weapon, Pate said.

“As he [Miller] was trying to go into the passenger seat … he fell down and was wrestling with one of them,” Pate said.

Miller, he continued, “got back up and he fell … He fell back … on the pavement with the back of his head.”

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Today’s Political Developments

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Following the surprise announcement of Senator Trent Lott’s resignation, his successor has been revealed. After much speculation, most of it ludicrous, such as the appointment of an African American, Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour named Congressman Roger Wicker, a north Mississippi Republican, to Trent Lott’s vacant seat in the U.S. Senate. The White Citizens Council is presumably pleased.

Although the presence of racial discrimination and an undying fealty to the principles of the confederacy and white supremacy remain unabated, Congressman Wicker, in the face of unrefutable evidence that it is still needed, voted to gut the re-extension of the Voting Rights Act of 2006 by voting for a series of GOP amendments designed to make the act unconstitutional and unenforceable.

This follows the time honored tradition of southern white politicians of both parties paying lip service to the cause of voting rights and frustrating its implementation at every opportunity. The African American citizens of Kilmichael, Mississippi, in 2oo1, were treated to disgusting display of segregationist shit when city elections were postponed on the eve of the election, in violation of state and federal law, because it appeared to white city fathers that African American candidates were going to win.

There is no bigoted southern stereotype that Mississippi has not earned. According to the Leadership Council for Civil Rights, “The entire state of Mississippi is required to submit all voting changes to the Department of Justice (DOJ) before enacting them because the state for so long consistently and aggressively denied blacks the right to vote. Since 1969, DOJ has objected 169 times to voting changes in Mississippi–112 of which occurred after the 1982 reauthorization.”

“Many of DOJ’s objections involved efforts to dilute minority voting strength, mostly by creating majority-white districts or changing election procedures to favor white candidates. Because of repeated DOJ objections to these redistricting plans, Mississippi has had at least one black representative in Congress since 1986.”

“McDuff concludes that Mississippi has a long way to go before voters in black-white elections cast their vote based on non-racial factors. For example, in the 2003 State Treasurer election Gary Anderson, the director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, lost the election with 47 percent of the vote to a 29-year-old white candidate with no experience beyond working in a bank. Of the 57 majority-white counties, Anderson won only 18 and lost 39.”

“In addition, federal observers have been sent to monitor Mississippi elections on 250 separate occasions since the 1982 reauthorization, the most for any state. Mississippi accounts for 40 percent of the overall elections to which federal observers have been sent since 1982.”


He supported every questionable judicial nomination put forward by the Bush Administration, for example, Judge Charles Pickering, a long time GOP activist opposed unanimously by the Congressional Black Caucus. According to Roger Wicker, “While I was in college, Charles Pickering was one of the bright new faces in the
Mississippi Republican Party, Wicker said. “He’s been so progressive and so courageous in the area of equal rights for all that it is so unfortunate and so unfair that he’s been accused of being otherwise.”


But Pickering, according to Salon.com, “Instead of “trying to
establish better race relations” in the 1960s, Pickering worked to support segregation, attack civil rights advocates who sought to end Jim Crow, and back those who opposed national civil rights legislation, above all the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or, in the words of a public statement he signed in 1967, Pickering wanted to preserve “our southern way of life,” and he bitterly blamed civil rights workers for stirring up “turmoil and racial hatred” in the South.”

 

Back in the day, when Judge Pickering was a politician, state senator and a lawyer in private practice, he teamed up to practice law with a segregationist, former Lt. Governor Carroll Gartin. As I am sure y’all are aware, I have a low tolerance for bullshit and an even lower tolerance for bastards like Pickering and their enbablers that don’t have the courage to tell the world that they still support white supremacy. Having come from Mississippi stock, I am always a bit touchy about their blatant racism.

Also, the New York Times is reporting that New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is fixing to cock block Barack Obama or John Edwards should they be successful in knocking the Queen off her throne. This is a significant development. Bloomberg, a billionaire, is prepared to spend a record shattering billion to claim the imperial throne. He made noise earlier in the year that he would forgo a bid should the Queen and Giuliani make it to the finish line. I guess his high profile meeting with Obama some weeks back ain’t go well despite the favorable publicity it generated. The centrist non-partisan smokescreen his operatives and their willing political hacks are putting forth are not credible in the least. Bloomberg is prepared to make Ross Perot look cheap.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Caucuses are Thursday, nobody has a lead and its all just a sophisticated ground war now. The Washington Post catches us up on the tactics of Obama, and the rest of the pack in these closing days. Brotha has as good a shot as any at this point, contrary to my pessimistic assessments earlier in the year and that is an impressive achievement. Lastly, the fourth quarter ends today and I expect to hear some numbers soon from the candidates although I don’t know if we’ll hear anything before caucus day.

Caucus set to choose Carson successor

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The Marion County Democratic Party has set a January 12th Caucus to choose a nominee in the special election to replace the late Congresswoman Julia Carson in accordance with state law.   It became public during the remarks of Congresswomen Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick that Mrs. Carson wanted her grandson, Andre Carson, an Indianapolis City-County Councilman, to replace her in congress after her passing.    Both women expressed their support as did former Congressman Andy Jacobs, and State Rep. Vanessa Summers.  

A pending announcement of Andre Carson’s candidacy should be forthcoming early in the new year. The blog Advance Indiana is making hay of Andre’s former ties to minister Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.   I don’t expect that to pose a problem that can’t be overcome.  Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, the first muslim elected to congress, was formerly a member and he firmly distanced himself from the organization and its divisive agenda. 

Lastly, news comes from Blue Indiana that State Rep.  David Orentlicher has filed for the Carson seat with the FEC.  Others are surely to follow once Andre Carson signals his intentions. Marion County Treasurer Michael Rodman, an African American, has signaled his intention to seek the seat but has not filed any paperwork.

Mayor Franklin stays mum, arrest warrant issued in beatdown involving daughter

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 Hat Tip:  By Rhonda Cook, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Atlanta police issued an arrest warrant Saturday for a man suspected of brutally beating a personal fitness trainer and putting him into a coma in a dispute that started when Mayor Shirley Franklin’s daughters complained about being videotaped outside a nightclub.

Apollo Holmes, 24, is wanted on an aggravated assault charge for the early Wednesday attack on Darius Miller in a parking lot outside two popular Peachtree Street nightclubs in Midtown Atlanta, police said.

Police spokeswoman Judy Pal said the investigation was continuing and more arrests were possible.

Holmes was “affiliated” with 01 Entertainment, a party promoter that was videotaping an event the company staged at one of the nightclubs on Tuesday, Christmas night, and early the next morning, according to a lawyer for 01 Entertainment.

Attorney Page Pate said Holmes was in the parking lot at the time.

Miller, 41, remained in a coma Saturday at Emory Crawford Long Hospital.

Witnesses said the fight started because of objections to videotaping people leaving the clubs.

But the accounts differ on what happened as Kai Franklin Graham, 35, Kali Jamilla Franklin, 29, and a third woman who has not been identified came into an adjoining parking lot at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

In one version, witnesses said as soon as a man turned his video camera on the three women, Miller, who has a number of celebrity clients, asked him to stop. At that point, witnesses said, about 10 men attacked Miller.

But in a telephone interview Saturday, Pate said 01 Entertainment contends the sisters started the argument that led to Miller’s injuries when Graham and her sister demanded the camera from the man they believed had just photographed them.

The attorney said Miller had gone to retrieve his truck and was not present when the dispute began.

“[The sisters] started arguing with them, saying they were already famous and they don’t need to be famous,” Pate said. “He heard the argument between the mayor’s daughters and he jumped into the middle of it.”

Pate said Miller tried to take the camera, and two other people came up to help the photographer.

“I don’t think it was as big of a melee as has been described,” Pate said. “There weren’t a lot of blows thrown.”

Then Miller went to his truck, “saying he wants to air this out,” prompting one of the 01 Entertainment contractors to fear Miller was getting a weapon, Pate said.

“As he [Miller] was trying to go into the passenger seat … he fell down and was wrestling with one of them,” Pate said. Miller, he continued, “got back up and he fell again…. He fell back … on the pavement with the back of his head.”

Miller’s publicist hung up the telephone when called for comment Saturday.

Franklin’s daughters have been unavailable for comment since the incident.

On Saturday, the mayor’s office e-mailed a statement from Franklin criticizing the news media. She did not address questions about the latest reports involving her daughters.

“This is an ongoing criminal investigation and as such all comments … are best made to the Atlanta Police Department and not the press,” Franklin said.

“As mayor I stand by APD’s best practice standards for criminal investigations rather than reckless and unprofessional press frenzy,” the statement continued. “As the daughter of an attorney and Pennsylvania judge I stand by my belief that trial by public opinion and reckless media often advance inaccurate and dangerous conclusions.”

Asked about the attorney’s version of what happened, police spokeswoman Pal said, “We’ve got enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant, and we’ll let the justice system handle it from here.”

Pate said the video camera operators did not know the severity of Miller’s injuries or that the mayor’s daughters were involved until Friday, when they saw news accounts of the incident.

“He did not tape the mayor’s daughters,” Pate said of the cameraman in the incident. “He did not even know who they were. I suppose the mayor’s daughters thought they were being taped and became angry.”

Graham pleaded guilty last month to one federal count of illegally structuring a financial transaction. Her plea agreement calls for her to serve three months of home confinement, followed by three years of probation. She will be sentenced in early 2008.

Pate said his clients will meet with detectives within a few days.

“They didn’t know what was happening,” Pate said. “It got out of control and alcohol fueled it.”

I find it particularly interesting that Mayor Franklin doesn’t feel the need to explain the conduct of her children or why one of her girls is constantly mixed up in some bullshit she has no business being involved in.  Public resources are being used in this matter and the role of the police is not not a private thing that they can keep on the hush hush for long.  A good brotha is in a damn coma and somebody needs to explain why.

Drama continues to stalk Kai Franklin

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 Darius Miller

Hat Tip: By Megan Matteucci, Steve Visser, Atlanta Journal Constitution

A professional fitness trainer with a celebrity clientele —- including Usher and several National Football League players —- remained in a coma Thursday after being severely beaten in a downtown Atlanta parking lot.

Darius Miller, 41, was escorting Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s two daughters about 2:50 a.m. Wednesday when a group of men tried to videotape the women as they left a nightclub on Peachtree Street downtown, according to his cousin, Ken Miller.

“These guys were trying to videotape Shirley Franklin’s daughters and Darius tried to stop them,” Miller said Thursday. “Ten guys ganged up on him. They beat him until he was unconscious.”

Ken Miller was not present when the attack happened, but had eaten dinner with his cousin earlier on Christmas Day. He said he later spoke to several of the women who were with his cousin that night.

Mayor Shirley Franklin confirmed that her daughters, Kai Franklin Graham, 35, and Kali Jamilla Franklin, 29, were with Miller and a couple of friends when the videotaping took place.

The mayor, who said she is skiing in Colorado with her 8-year-old grandson, said she did not know Miller but was concerned about his well-being.

“I’ve talked to my daughters but I don’t know anything officially,” Franklin said. “I don’t know why 15 guys —- or 10 people or five —- would jump on one person regardless of what was said.”

Atlanta police spokesman Officer James Polite said the men turned on Miller “and physically assaulted him to the point where he had to go to the hospital.”

“He was just outnumbered and overpowered,” Polite said.

Miller was taken to nearby Emory Crawford Long Hospital, where he remained in the intensive care unit Thursday evening.

“We’re trying to wait it out and keep saying our prayers,” Ken Miller said.

Darius Miller had Christmas dinner with his family, including his cousin, and then took Franklin’s two daughters and several other women to Django and Verve, nightclubs on Peachtree.

Darius Miller is a career fitness trainer who also has dabbled in entertainment promotions. He worked at an Atlanta gym for eight to 10 years before starting his own business about five years ago, his cousin said.

According to his cousin, Darius Miller has trained Usher, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Takeo Spikes, former New York Giants player Carlos Emmons and “Cosby Show” star Keisha Knight Pulliam, who visited Miller in the hospital Wednesday, his cousin said.

One of the mayor’s daughters who was with Miller that night was Kai Franklin Graham, who recently pleaded guilty in federal court in South Carolina to money laundering charges involving cash transfers from her ex-husband.

The ex-husband, Tremayne Graham, is serving a life sentence in a high-security federal prison in Kentucky for his role in a massive cocaine trafficking operation.

Franklin Graham has not yet been sentenced, but under her plea agreement with federal prosecutors she is expected to avoid prison.

Police said the attack on Miller occurred in a parking lot in the 400 block of Peachtree Street, but they would not confirm whether the women involved were Franklin’s daughters.

In a police report released to the media, no information on witnesses was included and the description of the fight said only that the assailants were “videotaping individuals walking to and away from the parking lot.”

Franklin said she did not instruct the police or city officials to cover up information that her daughters were with Miller. Franklin referred all questions to police Chief Richard Pennington or his staff.

“I haven’t talked to anyone officially … and I’m not involved in the investigation,” Franklin said. “Chief Pennington is in charge of his section of the city. … I’m sitting in 100 inches of snow on vacation.”

Police have made no arrests, Polite said. He did not know how many attackers were being sought.

If y’all ask me, the Mayor needs to explain why people keep getting hurt behind her daughter.

A rebuttal

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Recently, I was attacked by a fellow Black blogger for calling out Andrew Young for his  blatant corporate flackery, I didn’t elaborate. This post is meant to be a rebuttal to him and an enumeration of my reasons for denouncing Young. Young’s shameful advocacy on behalf of corporate thieves, corporate killers and African dictators is legendary.   

Others have studied his manifold sins in detail and slammed him in more expansive and eloquent prose than I.   To put it succinctly, Young is multinational crook who conveniently uses the bravery of his youth at the side of Martin Luther King Jr as a public relations shield for the multinational corporate criminals that line his pockets and those of his partners at the Orwellian sounding GoodWorks, International.   

Young was the prime mover behind former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s “Presidential Library,” which is nothing more than a façade for corporate extortion and thievery from the public purse. 

Moreover, Young participated in spinning Nigeria’s last two presidential elections as successes that were rife with fraud and extrajudicial killings.  Lastly, he is bed with corporate thieves and killers like ChevronTexaco, which is being sued by Nigerian nationals for conspiring with Nigerian military security under the command of the former President for killing innocent civilians to protect corporate profits.  

As an ordained minister and man of God, Young knows better than to be cavorting with these people.  His actions tarnish the legitimate sacrifices he made on behalf of our people during the movement and he defecates on Dr. King’s legacy.  I shall not give him a pass. 

Mark, I like you brotha and wish you and your beautiful family happiness and success, but I have nothing good to say about Andrew Young and never will.  He is a fraud, a criminal and a corporate whore that has been faking the funk for years-period.  As an attorney and writer, you’re far too well-educated to believe anything that comes out of his mouth.

Julia Carson laid to rest

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An honor guard member stands at attention by the flag-drapped casket of Rep. Julia Carson at the Indiana State House Rotunda Friday morning. (Matt Kryger / The Star)

Hat Tip: By Will Higgins, The Indianapolis Star

The 2,000 people who attended U.S. Rep. Julia Carson’s funeral Saturday got more than just spirited preaching. They got a look behind the curtain at the congresswoman’s legendary but little-understood influence. 

Carson, the first black and first woman to represent Indianapolis in Congress, died of lung cancer Dec. 15 at her Indianapolis home. She was 69. 

The four-hour service at Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis was followed by a procession to Crown Hill Cemetery, where a military presentation featuring a rifle salute preceded her burial. 

Gov. Mitch Daniels, Sens. Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar, former Sen. Birch Bayh and Mayor Bart Peterson were among about two dozen people who spoke during the service about the impact Carson had on their lives and on the lives of others. 

Peterson said that before he ran for mayor, he flew to Washington, D.C., for Carson‘s blessing. “I would not have been elected without her,” he said. “What may be less known is that I couldn’t have done this job without her guidance.” 

State Rep. Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said it was Carson who urged him to run for public office. “I’d never thought of it,” Crawford said. “Julia saw in me something I hadn’t seen.” 

Marion Superior Court Judge David Shaheed’s story was the topper. He recalled several years ago telling Carson he was interested in public office. He didn’t know which office, but the idea of service appealed to him. Later, she invited him to her home, where some movers and shakers had gathered.

“She introduced me around the room as her candidate for judge,” Shaheed said. A judge he became and remains. 

In the week since Carson‘s death, stories of her personal warmth and charisma dominated the outpouring of remembrances. There were many more such stories at her funeral.

A voice for justice

Carson‘s was a festive funeral — a “home-going,” said Jeffrey A. Johnson, Eastern Star’s senior pastor. As Carson‘s casket was carried into the sanctuary, the mourners broke into sustained applause.

Several musical selections, a Scripture reading and prayer preceded remarks by dignitaries. Daniels recalled being touched that Carson came to his father’s funeral.

“All of our political arguments are so small,” Daniels said, “compared to what Julia knew — that we’re all one in Jesus Christ.”Lugar, R-Ind., said he was thankful for the friendship he had with Carson and spoke about how much of an inspiration she was for him and others.

“It didn’t matter where she was; she kept talking about justice,” he said. “She also talked about education and health care and justice, civil justice and racial justice. She not only talked about it, but she was by far the most remarkable political figure I have ever seen in attaining all of these things.

“It is important for each one of us to have the idealism of Julia Carson.” Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., touched on Carson’s humility.“I don’t think she ever said no to anybody who needed her,” he said. He also spoke about her courage and said she didn’t think about what was popular.

“She only knew what was right and what was wrong, and was always willing to stand up for what was right.”Carson “walked with kings but did not lose the common touch,” he said, paraphrasing the poet Rudyard Kipling.

“Good night, sweet Julia”

Each speaker was greeted warmly, several drawing standing ovations, including Peterson and former U.S. Rep. Andy Jacobs.It was Jacobs who gave Carson her start in politics.

He recalled meeting her in 1965, shortly after he first won election. She was working for a labor union, United Auto Workers Local 550, and he asked her to join his staff.“She conferred with her mother,” according to the obituary in the church bulletin, “who told her that Mr. Jacobs was really a Congressman.”

His authenticity established, she took the job and had remained in politics ever since. On Friday, she became the first woman to lie in repose in the Statehouse.

Despite all the praise, Jacobs insisted there was much more to his “little sister.” Because of her modesty, Jacobs said, “the public hasn’t scratched the surface of her accomplishments. Over time, her legacy will grow.” He teared up toward the end of his remarks as he said, “Good night, sweet Julia. May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Several of Carson’s grandchildren spoke after Jacobs gave his remarks, including Andre Carson and her eldest grandson, Sam Carson IV.

About three hours into the funeral, Sam Carson, recalling how he used to drive his grandmother and act as her security detail, told the audience: “We went to a lot of funerals together, and I have to tell you, if we’d been at this one, we’d have been gone an hour ago.”

Endorsements for a grandson 

Peterson, who recently lost his bid for re-election as mayor, was rumored to be interested in Carson’s seat after Carson said last month she did not plan to seek re-election. On Wednesday, he announced he would not be a candidate.A half-dozen others are reportedly interested in the job, including Carson’s grandson Andre, who was elected to the City-County Council last month.

Andre Carson has not announced his candidacy, but momentum for him seemed to gather Saturday, with several of his grandmother’s eulogists coming out strongly for him.U.S. Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, and Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, were among about a dozen or so members of Congress at the funeral.

Both said they sat beside Carson near the end of her life and heard her say “Andre.” They encouraged voters to choose him to fill her seat.“If you love me, send my seed,” Kilpatrick said Carson told her. The remark drew loud applause.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan echoed the earlier calls for Andre Carson to succeed her in Washington.“She lives in the spiritual sense,” he said. “She lives in those whom she touched. She lives in Andre. She wants him to succeed her in service to the people. She wants him to be a good servant.”

When it was his turn to speak, Andre Carson talked only of his beloved grandmother.“She was a Christian woman,” he said. “But she had a universal nature.” He referred to her celebrated ability to mingle comfortably in any group.