By Barrington M. Salmon
By Michael Grant
Tallahassee, FL — On September 13, 2016, Victor Holman of Lifecycle Performance Professionals will be launching CopCritic – the first ever live streaming mobile app and website focused specifically on ensuring safe interactions between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
A preview of the app can be viewed on YouTube video here:
CopCritic allows the public to view, monitor, rate, comment on and escalate situations where officers are over aggressive or someone’s life is in danger. The app itself and the 3 L’s process (Launch, License, Let) is designed to de-escalate potential life threatening situations during routine stops.
How the app works:
* User pushes the Live Stream button when confronted by police
* CopCritic notifies app user’s emergency contacts and sends them link to live stream
* CopCritic app broadcasts the live interaction with police
* Stream is archived to a channel based on the police station and location
* Public can view live and archived streams
* Viewers can rate, comment on and escalate live streams
* Data gathered from ratings, comments and forum posts are used to help improve knowledge and training for law enforcement
The mission of CopCritic is to end the avoidable violence, which law abiding citizens sometimes encounter when interacting with police; to balance the systemic injustices and unfair treatment that ultimately lead to excessive force and shootings; to disarm the tensions police have when approaching minorities; and to ensure both party’s safety.
The app also aims to help law enforcement understand what is considered good and poor behavior from the public’s perception, and to provide law enforcement with data and analytics to help the better understand the communities they serve and improve training.
When asked why change is needed, founder Victor Holman said, “Police have killed at least 1,624 people in 2015 and 2016. 198 of them were unarmed. Only 10 cases have resulted in an officer being charged with a crime. The intent of CopCritic is not to charge officers with crimes, but to avoid these incidents all together. CopCritic will save lives.”
According to a recent nationwide survey, 61% of officers do not always report serious abuse by fellow officers. And 52% turn a blind eye to excessive force committed by fellow officers.
“With CopCritic, we will be able to identify officers that have a history of aggressive behavior, and get them the proper training they need before another tragic accident occurs,” Holman adds. “It’s time for transparency in these incidents!”
According to statistics, 11 million Blacks and Hispanics will get pulled over. 716,000 will get searched and 386,000 will experience excessive force. This means that we, and our cell phones, may be the only line of defense when it comes to incidents with aggressive and abusive law enforcement officers.
Benefits to the Public:
* Complete transparency with law enforcement interactions
* A standard process for ensuring safety for police and public
* App user’s loved ones get notified immediately when there is a situation
* Encourages police to be on their best behavior
Benefits to Law Enforcement:
* Officers can increase public confidence and trust
* Streams can be used as training tools
* Complete transparency. Captures more than patrol car can
* Peace of mind knowing citizen is asking for safe, peaceful interaction
* Provides a bridge between law enforcement and community
Benefits to Parents:
* Parents will know when child is in police custody
* Child has a standard, safe process for interacting with authorities
* There is complete transparency in the way their child is handled
* Their children will know loved ones are with them
* Parents can respond faster
* This issue is at the forefront of race relations
* Noted politicians, athletes and other celebrities have called for change
* America (and the UK) is open for ideas to create change
* Because ALL LIVES MATTER
This application launches on Tuesday, September 13th. Funds raised will help cover the hardware, bandwidth, data analytics and law enforcement training expert costs. All are encouraged to make a difference and help fund the CopCritic Kickstarter campaign, which can be found at the following link: www.kickstarter.com/projects/339738421/copcritic-app-helping-police-and-public-communicat
For more information, Victor Holman can be contacted at (888) 861-8733.
There is good news for low-income wage earners! Not only are major companies giving minimum-wage increases to their lowest-paid employees, the amount of the raises is higher than what median-income wage earners are getting.
Leading the pack in increasing wages for low-income earners are:
#1 – McDonald’s
#2 – J.P. Morgan Chase
#3 – Nationwide Insurance
#4 – Walmart
#5 – Gap
#6 – Starbucks.
Nationwide Insurance, in particular, has already raised their minimum wage last year from $10.50 to $15 per hour. J.P.Morgan Chase has announced that they will increase their minimum wage to $12 per hour for 18,000 employees, and already giving Starbucks is giving 5 percent raises. Other major companies are also making similar announcements.
Why they are doing it
Since the economy is doing better with unemployment down to 5 percent, there is a smaller pool of workers for companies looking to hire. This increases the competition and has stimulated companies to raise their wages. Other companies like Nationwide have stated that their reason for increasing minimum wage salaries is to attract the best talent.
Either way, it’s a good situation for low-income workers who have struggled to pay their bills and feed their families. The Wall Street Journal stated that these wage increases are the highest they have seen since 2009.
The federal government is getting out of the private prison game, with an announcement that the Justice Department will no longer contract with for-profit prison companies.
This is big news, and here’s why you should care.
In a memo, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision, laying out why the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has decided to go this route of “beginning the process of reducing — and ultimately ending — the use of privately operated prisons.”
She noted that with a federal prison population that grew 800 percent between 1980 and 2013, the federal government contracted with private correctional institutions in order to manage this rise in the number of prisoners. In 2013, private prisons reached their peak, with 15 percent of federal prisoners, or 30,000 inmates, housed in those facilities. (According to the ACLU, private prisons are responsible for 6 percent of state prisoners as well as local jails in states such as Texas and Louisiana.)
Now, the federal prison population is dropping for the first time in decades, from 220,000 three years ago to 195,000 today. That’s a good reason to eliminate the private prisons, but here’s one that’s even better:
Click here for full article.
One thing that can be said about a gentrifying neighborhood is that the market trend is crystal clear. This should encourage entrepreneurs to jump to meet emerging needs. However, all too often, we neglect to provide services for less affluent residents.
With respect to rental housing, there is always a need to provide services to help people squeezed by increasing rents. They are ready-to-go clients, if your solution is viable. Serving this group is an important mission. Artists and civic leaders, especially those who worked to revitalize the neighborhood, are key components to sustaining the upward trend; they are passionate about making a good neighborhood great.
An Entrepreneur’s Place in a Gentrifying Neighborhood
Is it possible to build wealth by helping less affluent renters live in a trendy community? Absolutely! I personally believe that entrepreneurs are the solution to all social problems, so it is no surprise that I think we can alleviate the affordable housing issue.
Let me share one of my favorite ways to increase a rental property’s cash flow. It’s based on the premise that you can increase cash flow by helping tenants reduce their expenses, and then keep a portion of the savings for yourself. This is the landlord’s version of Tim O’Reilly’s motto, “Create more value than you capture.”
Create More Value Than You Capture
You can create affordability by using technology to help your tenants share a dwelling, while preserving their privacy at the same time. Yes, I’m talking about a high-tech rooming house; one where tenants can access luxuries and live in a neighborhood that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
Thanks to online rent collection practices, keyless door locks, microwaves, and mini-refrigerators, it’s easier than ever to rent out individual rooms. Also, space-efficient ideas courtesy of the Tiny House and RV industries allows tenants to pack an apartment’s worth of functionality into their bedroom.
Creating Affordability With All Inclusive Housing
One way to push back against gentrification is to create all-inclusive housing, which gives tenants everything they need for a price that’s 50% or even 60% of their take-home pay.
For example, let’s assume a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house rents for $1,000 per month, and three adults could comfortably live there. Assuming each has a monthly income of $1,100, you could reasonably charge each person $550 per month. You would gross $1,650 per month, and might pay only $350 for electricity, natural gas, Internet, and cable TV service. After paying for amenities, you would have created $300 more than market rent allowed ($3,600 annually), affordable housing for your tenants, and a way for tenants to share transportation and other expenses. Plus, you would also have a robust income stream to pay down your mortgage and build your wealth, along with a tax shelter to offset your W-2 income. Thus, you would end up creating a housing system that allows for tenants to have much more than they could otherwise afford living in their silos.
A Word of Caution
The credit-worthiness of your tenants is possibly more important than a typical landlord-tenant situation. It is especially important for you if your tenants rely solely on social security for their income. Social security cannot be garnished, so there’s no legal recourse for recovering back rent. You can always evict, but you can’t always collect.
Entrepreneurs can create affordability, which is a valuable commodity in an upwardly trending neighborhood. Helping residents live in areas they can no longer afford is a hard, but worthy problem to solve.
Consider creating a for-profit business that serves the less affluent. In doing so, you may end up creating the next big thing.
In the weeks following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, more and more influencers, like Solange and Killer Mike, have started to #BankBlack and have transferred their money into black-owned banks.
Now, a historic black bank in Atlanta has seen a spike in business. In just five days, 8,000 people have submitted applications to join Citizen’s Trust Bank, according to 11 Alive.
“It’s a tremendous propel forward for the bank and the future of the bank and bringing new relevance to a bank that’s been here for 95 years. And, it’s a statement about what the next 95 years will look like,” Jay Bailey, chairman of the bank’s Next Generation Advisory Board, told the local outlet.
The bank’s CEO and president, Cynthia N. Day, thanked Killer Mike on Twitter for urging people to collectively put $100 million in Atlanta’s only black bank just days before the increase in business. Executive Vice President Fredrick Daniels said the bank, which was founded in 1921, has survived despite several economic hardships. Now, he said Citizen’s Trust is looking to grow and get more black people to keep their money in their communities.
“Citizen’s Trust provides a financial foundation for our community and that really helps us to put in place the businesses that we wanna see that we don’t see in our communities,” Daniels told 11 Alive.
With $328.8 million in deposits as of the end of 2015, Bailey said Citizen’s Trust’s goal is to make history by becoming the first black-owned billion dollar bank in the country. Bailey noted that while protesting racial inequality is important, a perhaps more noticeable change comes when black people invest back into their communities.
“I’ve been telling people that it’s time to come home,” he said. “Rallies are great and they’re necessary. Protesting is great and it’s necessary but what will sustain and grow from here is our dollar and galvanizing our dollar.”
The United States had 23 black-owned banks, credit unions or savings and loan associations as of March 31, according to the Federal Reserve.
We’ve all seen the names and know the cities — Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Philando Castillo in Minnesota; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland; Eric Garner in Staten Island; and Sandra Bland in Prairie View, Texas. These deaths plus a multitude of other police actions and laws — from stop-and-frisk to stand your ground — have galvanized thousands to engage in protests and political action within the Black Lives Matter movement. People don’t want to wait for another news report or Twitter stream about an unarmed African American male or female who was shot by a police officer or died in police custody.
The Black Lives Matter movement has struck a chord with African American executives and entrepreneurs. A growing number are demonstrating that black businesses matter in the fight for social justice. Last year, a group of African American executives and entrepreneurs gathered; not to discuss brokering a major business deal but to advance police reform. The end result was nearly two dozen prominent black business leaders donating $1 million to support the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s campaign to promote responsible policing policies at state and local levels to bring more accountability for incidents of police brutality, and to change how prosecutors address issues of racial bias in law enforcement.
William Lewis Jr., managing director and co-chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Ltd. and Charles Philips, CEO of software giant Infor Global Solutions; based in New York, were designated spokespersons for the group that included African American executives from the nation’s largest publicly traded corporations. “The business community has a responsibility to place resources into the capable hands of organizations that have a vested interest in doing work on behalf of the public and, particularly, the disenfranchised,” says Lewis, one of Black Enterprise’s “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.” He adds, “LDF’s long track record of strategic thinking and solutions-oriented action made it a logical choice for support in this work.”
A Fight Rooted In History
Black business addressing political, social, and civil rights issues is nothing new. Such activism dates back more than 50 years, when African American entrepreneurs like the late Herman J. Russell, founder of H.J. Russell & Co. (No. 14 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE List with $236.9 million in revenues) and brothers Robert and James Paschal; the late proprietors of the Atlanta landmark Paschal Hotel and Restaurant, served as backers of the Civil Rights movement by providing financial support, bail money, and lodging for freedom fighters. And Rev. Leon Sullivan, founder of Philadelphia-based Opportunities Industrialization Center, was the first black appointed to the General Motors board in 1971. He used his corporate directorship to design and advocate for the “Sullivan Principles,” a corporate code of conduct that promoted equal opportunity, human rights, and led to the shutting down of 125 corporations in the 1980s; operations and divesting holdings associated with South Africa’s then-Apartheid regime.
Policing Reform Campaign
“We really believe this is a moment in which we have to transform the culture of policing and change the way we think about law enforcement,” says LDF’s President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill. She stresses that this issue goes far beyond the civil rights community and has met with leaders from the political, legal, arts, education, and business communities; forging alliances to develop real solutions that can be adopted nationwide.
In the days ahead of clinching the Democratic presidential nomination and President Obama’s endorsement, Hillary Clinton released an exclusive video showing her support of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and small business. The USBC aired the exclusive video during it’s annual business conference. Following the viewing of the video, USBC President Ron Busby released a statement.
Clinton Is Good For Black Business
“We were one of the 1st black organizations to support Hillary Clinton in the early stages, when it was deemed ‘too early to publicly endorse’ her campaign,” notes Busby. “We’ve said then that we believe she is the best candidate with the best understanding of the economic challenges facing black business owners and small business owners across the board.”
At that time, Busby asserted that “in order for there to be a strong black America, there must be strong black businesses.” Citing the need for a candidate who would “expand access to capital, provide tax relief, and expand access to new markets for black business owners,” he said Clinton was the best person for the job.
Most recently Secretary Clinton issued a video message to greet the membership of black business owners and Chamber leaders during an annual business conference. Busby went on to say, “we are honored to hear from Hillary Clinton and appreciate her support of our efforts to increase entrepreneurship in the black business community.”
Clinton Has A Plan For Black Businesses
According to the briefing statement on HillaryClinton.com regarding her support for small business, “African Americans have made great progress in small business entrepreneurship. The number of small businesses owned by African American women, for example, has more than quadrupled since 1997. But while small businesses have helped African American families get ahead, they too often face difficulties securing the outside funding they need to grow. Hillary will fight to level the playing field for African American small business owners by cutting red tape, expanding access to capital, providing tax relief, and expanding access to new markets.”
In addition to easing unnecessary regulatory burdens on community banks, which provide credit to small business owners, Clinton has said that she will support innovative new financing modes like impact investing. She will double support for community development financial institutions and the successful State Small Business Credit Initiative, which offers crucial sources of support for small businesses across the country—particularly in underserved communities.
Nationwide — Ebony magazine and the digital version of Jet magazine, two of the most popular publications that have chronicled African-American life for the past 71 years, have both been sold to Clear View Group – a private equity firm based in Austin, Texas. The sales price was not disclosed, but Michael Gibson, chairman of Clear View Group, says the company will retain its Chicago headquarters and much of its staff.
The exact details are not clear, but after the founder, John H. Johnson, died in 2005, his daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, took over as president. Soon after, the company began to take a hit from declining circulation and low revenue generation.
In 2014, Jet discontinued in print, and shifted to a new digital approach – being only available as an e-magazine on smart phones and tablets. Ebony, however, continues to be available in both print and digitally, but is noticeably a lot thinner than it used to be.
The company’s fall has been blamed on new competition from other African-American focused publications including various web sites and blogs.