May 19, 2022

Sisters, Ages 7 and 9, Found Dead in Lauderhill Canal; 99-Year-Old Black WWII Vet Finally Receives Purple Heart; Conservatorship Forces Britney to Take Birth Control Against Her Will; Activists Set Out on Their Journey by Foot From Chicago to Washington D.C.; Chicago Fire Department’s First Black Woman Commissioner

Sisters, Ages 7 and 9, Found Dead in Lauderhill Canal

Destiny and Daysha Hogan were last seen less than a day before their bodies were found in a Lauderhill canal in Florida. At a news conference Wednesday evening, Lauderhill Police identified their mother, Tinessa Hogan, as a person of interest.

The neighbors confirmed seeing the mother carrying a Bible and asking people if they wanted to be baptized.

Miami Herald reported that one of the neighbors, Marie Williams, witnessed Hogan swimming in the same canal on Monday and asked her if she could baptize her children. Marie politely declined and escorted her children indoors.

“I was more concerned for her,” she said. “I should have been more cautious.”

This conversation occurred between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. Destiny, 9, and Daysha, 7, were last seen alive at 5 p.m. that day, according to Lauderhill Police Lt. Mike Bigwood.

On Tuesday afternoon, at least two 911 calls were received reporting a suspected body in the canal in the 2200 block of Northwest 59th Way.

“I need you guys to come… to see if there is a little girl’s body in the water,” one caller told dispatch. “I can’t tell if it’s a mannequin head, I mean a mannequin body or a body that’s been in the water for some days.”

Officers arrived and discovered Destiny’s body in the canal. Daysha’s body was found around nine hours later.

A neighbor shared a video of Daysha’s body with the Miami Herald. She was wearing a gray shirt with three cartoon-style Black ladies. Her hands and feet were pale white, and her face was covered in a white material.

Bigwood stated that Hogan is not in custody, but she has been contacted.

According to Bigwood, the matter is being investigated as a suspicious death and as a criminal investigation, as is customary in such cases. Additionally, he stated that the community as a whole is not at risk.

It remains unknown how long the girls’ remains had been in the canal or what caused their deaths.

A 99-Year-Old Black WWII Veteran Finally Receives Purple Heart After Being Denied Due to Racism

Former Army Private Osceola “Ozzie” Fletcher’s participation in the Battle of Normandy went unacknowledged for nearly eight decades.

Fletcher was riding in the back of a vehicle bringing supplies to Allied forces stationed off the coast of France shortly after D-Day in 1944 when he and his fellow servicemen were struck by a German missile. The driver was killed, while Fletcher sustained a significant gash to the head.

Fletcher’s injuries sustained in that, and other incidents should have earned him a Purple Heart. However, in a similar issue with many other African Americans serving in the military, he was refused the distinction due to prejudice.

Fletcher finally earned the Purple Heart last Monday, 77 years after the fact and at the age of 99.

“The problem was that the Black soldiers were considered injured, and an injury wasn’t considered an incidence of Purple Heart,” Fletcher’s daughter Jacqueline Streets told CNN. “The White soldiers were considered wounded.”

In general, for a wound to qualify for the Purple Heart, it must have been caused by an enemy or hostile act or friendly fire, require medical treatment and be documented in the soldier’s medical record. However, Streets stated that her father was aware that no medical records would exist for his wound because he was never hospitalized – “it was always a matter of patching up and sending back” Black soldiers.

Army officials honored Fletcher for his service and acknowledged that what he underwent was an injustice during a ceremony on June 18 in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn.

“Today, we pay long-overdue tribute for the sacrifices he made to our nation and for free people everywhere,” US Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said during the June 18 event, according to the New York Daily News.

“It’s about time,” Fletcher said as he sat in his wheelchair dressed in military gear.

For decades, she claimed, her father never spoke of his World War II involvement. After returning to the United States, he worked as a high school teacher, a sergeant with the New York Police Department, and a community relations specialist with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

Britney Spears Says Conservatorship Forces Her to Take Birth Control Against Her Will

Britney Spears revealed Wednesday her desire to marry and have another child, but her conservatorship prohibits her from doing so – and forces her to use birth control against her will.

“I want to have the real deal. I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now under the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby,” Spears, 39, told a Los Angeles Superior Court judge during a heated court session regarding her “abusive” conservatorship.

“I have an [IUD] inside of myself right now, so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the [IUD] out so I could start trying to have another baby, but this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children.”

The pop superstar has been in conservatorship for 13 years following a public meltdown during her divorce from Keven Federline.

Spears told a judge that she wishes to be free and that the arrangement is causing her “way more harm than good.”

“I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so,” a frustrated Spears said.

“I deserve to have a life.”

Spears and Federline share two children, Sean Preston and Jayden James, and have been dating Sam Asghari for some years. She declared to a judge her desire to be free to spend time with him in any way she wishes.

“All I want is to own my money and for this to end and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his f—ing car,” an angry Spears said.

Throughout her 23-minute court appearance, she slammed her family and stated that the injustices inflicted on her by her father and her team should land them in “prison.”

“I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people. It makes no sense,” Spears said.

“The laws need to change.”

Anti-Violence Activists Set Out on Their Journey by Foot From Chicago to Washington D.C.

Wednesday at noon, the walk against violence began at a church on the far south side. Pastor Anthony Williams, who is organizing the march of anti-violence campaigners, says he intends to walk the entire distance between Chicago and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He is requesting that President Joe Biden sign executive order to declare violence a public health crisis.

“President Biden has said that ‘America is Back.’ I beg to differ,” Williams said. “We continue to accept violence as a normal behavior. Something is wrong with the psyche of us as American citizens.”

The 11-day tour will include stops in Gary, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Williams aims to arrive in Washington, D.C., by the Fourth of July.

For years, the Pastor has been urging government leaders to declare violence a public health crisis. He has lost a son to gun violence, said he intends to gather a crowd to the nation’s capital and personally make his plea.

“I lost a son to violence. Anyone that has lost a child or loved one to violence will tell you that pain doesn’t feel good. Well, I want to take my pain and turn it into policy. That’s been my goal,” said Williams.

He achieved his objective at the state level. In April, Governor Pritzker approved legislation allocating additional money to communities devastated by violence. Williams is now pleading with President Biden to issue an executive order designating violence as a public health issue.

“While we are working our way through COVID-19, this other pandemic of violence still sits in our way,” said Williams.

He and a small group of activists intend to walk to Washington, D.C while holding news conferences in cities along the route to whip up support.

This is not the first time Williams has demonstrated a willingness to go to extremes for his cause. According to WBEZ, the Pastor went on a hunger strike in September to draw attention to the city’s violence.

Chicago Fire Department Welcomes Its First Black Woman Commissioner

Annette Nance-Holt was confirmed as the Fire Department of Chicago’s Commissioner on Wednesday, marking the department’s first Black woman leader.

The Chicago City Council confirmed her, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot congratulated her on Twitter, writing, “Annette Nance-Holt has made Chicago history by becoming the first Black woman to serve as commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department.”

Nance-Holt has almost 30 years of experience with the Chicago Fire Department. Additionally, she has worked for the Chicago Fire Department as a Deputy District Chief, Battalion Chief-EMT, Captain-EMT, Lieutenant-EMT, and firefighter.

She was named first deputy commissioner in 2018 and has served as interim commissioner since Richard C. Ford announced his retirement earlier this year.

“Commissioner Holt has more than three decades of proven leadership and a passion for public service that makes her the perfect fit for this role,” said Mayor Lightfoot last month.

“Furthermore, in a time where more work remains in order to eliminate discrimination, racism, and sexism from the firefighter profession, Commissioner Holt’s history-making appointment as the first woman and Black woman to lead as Fire Commissioner couldn’t have come at a better moment.”

A personal tragedy thrust Nance-Holt into the limelight in 2007. Her son, Blair, 16, was shot and killed while shielding a student from gunshots on a CTA bus.

Since then, she has aided in establishing the non-profit organization Purpose Over Pain, which assists parents whose children were killed due to gun violence.

She assisted in welcoming several new paramedics at their graduation ceremony before being confirmed. Lightfoot released the nomination during the swearing-in ceremony for 42 paramedics in May, who enthusiastically greeted their new chief with clapping and shouts. As a Deputy Fire Commissioner, she was the primary choice of the Mayor to lead the Chicago Fire Department.

“I know a thing or two about firsts, so Madam Commissioner, welcome to the club,” said Lightfoot, the first Black woman and first gay person to serve as Chicago’s Mayor.