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10-year-old takes her life after bullying caught on camera

A 10-year-old girl from Colorado committed suicide after seeing a video of herself being bullied posted on a popular social media app.

Fox 31 News in Denver reports fifth grader Ashawnty Davis was attended  Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora. She loved basketball and had dreams of becoming a WNBA player.

“She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone,” explained father Anthony Davis.

However, the usually joyful child of Anthony Davis and Latoshia Harris changed in October when she got into a fight with another girl at her school.

The fight was recorded and posted on the app The video shows Ashwanty fighting another girl as a group of kids look on.

Her mother believes her daughter was confronting her bully. “I saw my daughter was scared,” explained Harris.

Although hard to watch, her parents believe that people need to see it.

“She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to,” Davis explained.

Just two weeks after the video was posted, Ashwanty went home and hanged herself in her closet. She spent two weeks in the Children’s Hospital on life support before dying on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

“It was just devastating,” expressed her father.

“Bullycide” is a common term used to describe bullying that causes suicide. Ashwanty’s parents believe that she was a victim of this and are dedicated to raising awareness.

“We have to stop it and we have to stop it within our kids,” said Davis. Harris added, “I want other parents to know that it’s happening. That was my baby and I love my baby and I just want mothers to listen.”

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Colin Kaepernick to receive Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Sports Illustrated has just named Colin Kaepernick the 2017 Muhammad Ali Legacy Award recipient for his tireless activist work.

The magazine announced its decision Thursday with Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali’s widow, who consults with SI to choose the recipient each year.

“Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard,” Ali said in a statement. “He has used his celebrity and philanthropy to benefit some of our most vulnerable community members. I know the Ali family joins me in congratulating Colin as he receives the 2017 SI Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown and Bill Russell were the 2017 co-recipients. In a news release, Executive Editor Stephen Cannella said only a few athletes have “followed [Ali’s] example as fully” as the former San Fransisco quarterback who began kneeling during the pre-game national anthem to protest racial injustice against black people.

“In this noisy political and media environment, it’s easy to forget his core message: that all people in this country deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and recognition of their civil rights,” Cannella said. “Too often that message has been lost in the debate over how it is expressed. Colin has sacrificed much in the name of that message, even as he has furthered it with significant charitable efforts that are making a real difference in communities at the grassroots level.”

The Legacy Award will be presented at the Sportsperson of the Year Awards on Dec. 5. Kaepernick, who remains unsigned to an NFL team, was also recently honored as GQ’s Citizen of the Year.

Since beginning his protest in August 2016, Kaepernick has received criticism from sports leaders and politicians, including President Donald Trump. In the year since beginning his protest, at least 223 black people have been killed by police in this country.

Sentencing Begins in Trial of Ex South Carolina Cop Who Killed Walter Scott

The sentencing hearing for former South Carolina Police Officer Michael Slager, who was caught on videotape shooting and killing a fleeing, unarmed Walter Scott during a 2015 traffic stop, begins Monday.

As USA Today notes, Slager, 36, could face life in prison in addition to a $250,000 fine for using excessive force in the incident.

The former cop escaped justice last year after his state murder trial ended in a hung jury. However, in May, he secured a deal on federal charges, pleading guilty to charges of deprivation of rights under the color of law, and essentially owning up to using excessive force in Scott’s death in exchange for having the state charges and two other federal counts dropped.

It is expected that the sentencing hearing will last about a week, according to USA Today. The news site also notes that the hearing will include testimony to determine if Slager’s crime is equivalent to voluntary manslaughter or murder

Prosecutors say that the killing of Scott was a murder, arguing for Slager to receive the maximum sentence, while Slager’s attorney, Andrew Savage III, claims that Slager is not safe in prison and does not deserve to spend the rest of his life there.

Justin Bamberg, an attorney representing Scott’s family, said that while he believes Slager deserves life in prison, his clients will get closure from whatever time he serves.

“I think everybody’s just ready to close this chapter of life and start the next chapter,” Bamberg said. “But all of them end the same way, and that is that Walter’s not here.”


Joy-Ann Reid Apologizes for ‘Tone-Deaf and Dumb’ Homophobic Blog Posts

MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid has issued a statement apologizing for a series of homophobic blog posts she wrote a decade ago, calling them “insensitive, tone-deaf and dumb.”

The series of blogs, which ran from 2007 to 2009, centered around former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. The posts, which Reid wrote as part of her personal blog, the Reid Report, fueled speculation that Crist was gay, and referred to the former governor as “Miss Charlie” repeatedly.

Reid’s statement apologizing for the posts was shared Sunday to multiple outlets, including NBC News and Newsweek, as well as to her Facebook page. In it, the host of MSNBC’s AM Joy called the criticism of her words and tone legitimate.

“As a writer, I pride myself on a facility with language—an economy of words or at least some wisdom in the selection. However, that clearly has not always been the case,” Reid wrote. She added that the posts were a “ham-handed way” of calling out Crist’s stance on LGBT issues, including his opposition to gay marriage

“What wouldn’t Charlie Crist do to become John McCain’s running mate? Cross ‘marry an actual woman’ off the list,’” Reid wrote in an old blog post about Crist’s marriage to then-wife Carole Rome.

“I can just see poor Charlie on the honeymoon, ogling the male waiters and thinking to himself, ‘god, do I actually have to see her naked?’” Reid wrote in another post. At the time, Reid hosted a morning talk-radio program and wrote a column for the Miami Herald.

The tweets—and Reid’s old blogs— circulated widely over the weekend, and the criticism for their homophobic content mounted.

In addition to friends and coworkers and viewers, I deeply apologize to Congressman Crist, who was the target of my thoughtlessness,” Reid wrote in her statement. “My critique of anti-LGBT positions he once held but has since abandoned was legitimate in my view. My means of critiquing were not.”

Crist responded to Reid’s apology via Twitter.

“Long forgotten, but thank you, Joy. I appreciate you,” the congressman wrote.

“Re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself,” Reid added. “I apologize to those who also are disappointed in me. Life can be humbling. It often is. But I hope that you know where my heart is, and that I will always strive to use my words for good. I know better and I will do better.”


Trauma May Be Passed Through Generations From Mothers to Daughters

A new study reveals that the daughters of women exposed to childhood trauma are at increased risk for psychiatric disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.

However, the study also concluded that there was no effect among male children, and no effect among children of either sex born to fathers who participated in the analysis.

The New York Times reports that researchers studied 46,877 Finnish children who were evacuated to Sweden during World War II, between 1940 and 1944. They then tracked the health of their 93,391 male and female children born from 1950 to 2010.

The JAMA Psychiatry study found that female children of mothers who had been evacuated to Sweden were twice as likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric illness as their female cousins who had not been evacuated, and more than four times as likely to have serious psychiatric disorders.

The lead author, Torsten Santavirta, said that it is possible that traumatic events cause changes in gene expression that can then be inherited, but the researchers did not have access to genetic information.

“The most important takeaway is that childhood trauma can be passed on to offspring,” Dr. Santavirta told the New York Times, “and the wrinkle here is that these associations are sex-specific.”

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