It was the summer of 1994. I watched my mother fall and I couldn’t do anything about it. One moment she was walking through Sam’s Club and the next, she was flying towards the ground. I saw her contort her body in an attempt to find her balance. It didn’t work. I was helpless and my mother was on the ground….broken. When I got to her side, I instantly recognized what happened: My mother had slipped in a puddle of some foreign substance. I remember employees were all around us. Questions came from everywhere. “What happened?” “What happened?” “What happened?”
Following her fall, my mother spent days in the hospital and years in pain management and in treatment. It was three years before my mother was granted a trial. During this time, she struggled to keep working, fought for disability and ended up on public assistance. After years of hardship, the jury awarded my mother $10,000. This wasn’t enough to recoup her lost income or to help my family recover from this hardship. My mother was stuck with thousands in medical bills and a spirit that was almost crushed. She was victimized twice: Once in the accident and once by the insurance company who just refused to pay my mother an amount that was appropriate. That experience has stayed with me forever. After seeing my mother suffer, I decided that I never wanted to see another mother live such an experience.
Every case that comes across my desk is someone’s mother, father, son or daughter. Each case is a person trying to live their lives and achieve the American Dream. I never want to see the negligence of another inflict long-term harm to an innocent party. This is why I became a personal injury attorney. This is why I give every client the same message: When the going gets tough, the tough get GOINS!!!Read More
Instead of using your tax money to buy “red bottoms” or paint your “slab,” invest in having your arrest record expunged. One simple arrest on your record can stop you from getting your dream job. More and more, it is becoming impossible to obtain employment or even engage in volunteer activities without someone running a background check on you. If your background check reveals that you have a criminal record, you may be out of the running for the job or other opportunity. In this age of information technology, anyone can go online, pay a small fee and review your background.
Goins Law has helped hundreds of clients expunge/clear their criminal records in a timely and comprehensive manner, and we can answer your expungement questions. We will aggressively follow through with all the state and federal agencies that have files containing your criminal record. We will make sure that these agencies have complied with the court order and expunge your record. It is very important for your attorney to be aggressive in following through with an expungement because unless the various agencies physically destroy their records, the expungement order itself means little.
Call Goins Law today to learn how we can help you determine whether you still have a criminal record and if you are eligible for expungement. Should you retain Goins Law to help you expunge your record, we will explain the process and remain available to talk with you at every stage of the process until your record is completely expunged. To contact us, call toll free at (866) 815-4710 or send a secure and confidential e-mail to: [email protected].Read More
Make no mistake — it is 2016 and there is a culture under siege, the African American culture. There is civil unrest in the land of plenty, liberty and justice. However, African Americans are not receiving much in the way of plenty, besides death and disillusionment. Liberty and justice are concepts that exist only for the white privileged, wealthy and O.J. Simpson.
Who would’ve imagined in 2016, we would wake up almost every day to reports of questionable shootings at the hands of police officers?
At this point, it’s starting to sound like a broken record:
Verse one: White officers fatally wound African American man, woman or child.
Chorus: Hide ya kids, hide ya wife.
Verse Two: Officers placed on suspension with pay pending investigation.
Chorus: Hide ya kids, hide ya wife.
Verse Three: No charges filed, no grand jury indictments, shooting ruled justifiable homicide.
Chorus: Hide ya kids, hide ya wife.
This year, there have been approximately 200 plus black men fatally shot by police officers in the United States. As this blog is being formulated, it has been reported that yet another black man was fatally shot in Charlotte, North Carolina.
With a landscape such as this, you can imagine political dissent, protesting and outrage are common place in the black community. There are movements afoot, designed to encourage unity, drive awareness, and take action against a system that consciously screams “Black Lives Mean Nothing.” The victims and families of the victims are left with constant reminders that the lives of their loved ones mean nothing as they watch repeats of body camera recordings from the beginning to end, play over and over, on television, social media and every mobile phone.
To add insult to injury, the black community has to listen and read a barrage of outrageous sarcastic comments, memes and statements that basically support the indiscriminate killing of black people. Some of those ridiculous statements are as follows:
“They should’ve complied with the police,” “they shouldn’t have talked back,” “they shouldn’t have been there,” “they had a criminal background” or the greatest insult of all is seeing insensitive and clueless individuals distribute #alllivesmatter hashtags without recognizing that for all lives to matter, Black Lives Have To Matter.
We live in a country where a black person can be murdered on camera, the world can view it, see the injustice, see cold blooded murder, but the judicial system sees justifiable homicide. At the same time, the community has to deal with the chastising/victimization of the victim, their family and their community.
We see a black community dying in a sea of red as a result of the blue community!
They say blue lives matter, but does it have to be at the cost of black lives?
This brings me to the point of today’s blog (oh yea, there is a point, and this is not a random spew about how poorly blacks are treated daily by the police, because you already knew that).
This is about when the tables are turned and the results are still the same. It seems that no matter what side of the gun a black man is on, he is doomed to lose credibility, life and/or his freedom.
In November 2015, Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr., (both black officers) were involved in the shooting of Christopher Few and Jeremy Mardis. Jeremy Mardis, the six year old son of Christopher Few, unbeknownst to the officers was in the front seat of the vehicle, when his father attempted to run over/back over both officers while trying to elude arrest. As a result, officers opened fire and both parties in the vehicle were struck. Tragically, young Jeremy Mardis was fatally wounded.
It took less than 3 days for the officers to be arrested and a month for the grand jury to indict both officers for second degree murder and attempted second degree murder. Bail was set at 1 million dollars for both Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr. This was the highest bail setting in the history of Avoyelles Parish. Also, both were suspended without pay.
The Black Community wants to know: Why is it that when black officers are involved in a shooting, there is always suspension without pay and an indictment, especially when the victim is white?
Where is the negativity and public bashing of Christopher Few? Has no one considered his accountability in this situation?
When do Black people get the attention that victims deserve?
When do Black lives have enough value that White officers may be suspended without pay and indicted for fatally shooting unarmed and non-aggressive men, women and children?
Do you see a pattern here?
Is it because they’re Black?
If you have a loved one that has been a victim of a senseless killing or extreme racial discrimination, you better #GetGoins. We understand that #BlackLivesMatter.[/column] Read More
We live in a world where people expect the logical, but act in an illogical manner. We govern ourselves based on laws that are contingent upon facts and proof, yet many believe gossip, myths and over-generalizations to be truths. Theoretically, the law is designed to focus on facts and evidence, not feelings or perceptions. Yet, feelings and perceptions get people of color killed every day…this is the case with Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
As a person of color, it is extremely difficult to watch an entire community devastated and dazed by actions driven by fear and misconception. Did Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and countless others die because police and society have a negative perception of people of color? Did Alton Sterling and Philando Castile perish due to failed and inaccurate belief systems? The answer to both is an unrelenting, YES!
What or whom is responsible for the negative perception of the black community and communities of color?
We live in a country that perpetuates a daily ravenous campaign against people of color. A media marketing campaign that can be seen every day at 5pm, again at 10pm and then recycled at daybreak. A media marketing campaign that has no regard for the repercussions of the rhetoric or narrative it creates, its only concern is to drive ratings and viewership.
This marketing campaign dictates and breeds fear, hostility, inferiority and violence. The media has developed a marketing strategy that creates belief systems causing people to be on high alert in any situation involving a black male. Belief systems that assume ALL black males are aggressive and dangerous. If a black man is always perceived as a dangerous threat, then is it always justifiable to use deadly force?
Is there now a new understood way of killing black men without impunity? Is the necessity of deadly force the new “Strange Fruit”?
The challenge is to change the narrative that society accepts. It is no longer acceptable to allow the media to catalyze the negative perception of men of color. It is time that we demand a change in the way the black community is perceived, reported and marginalized. It is time the black community design their own marketing campaigns to counter the negative rhetoric and increase awareness, positivity and invoke a change in belief systems.
It’s time we #GetGoins for change. Goins Law is an advocate for positive change.[/column] Read More
In the state of Texas, guns are third only to God and Country. The second amendment and the right to bear arms is introduced to many youngsters as soon as they can lift their first rifle for hunting season. Guns are associated with freedom, protection and safety and many homeowners view their right to bear arms as their ability to defend and protect themselves and their families from outside dangers. However, what happens when the danger is found in the home? What happens when domestic violence is also a part of the home environment? How does the introduction or presence of a gun impact domestic violence situations? In 2015, in Harris County, Texas, 67% of all domestic violence murders occurred as a result of a gun being present in the home. This statistic is staggering, but what is even more disturbing is that the numbers are increasing nationally, year over year. Gun violence is affecting every aspect of society, as there is an increase in mass shooting and murder-suicides, leaving many to wonder if our relaxed gun laws and ease in which one can obtain a weapon is to blame. Many domestic violence and victims’ rights organizations continue to lobby for immediate federal reform of gun laws. A partial answer to their demand was met this week.
On June 27th, the Supreme Court ruled that domestic violence resulting from reckless, knowing or intentional behavior qualifies as a misdemeanor crime. If convicted, the perpetrator loses the right of gun ownership (Jeltsen, 2016). This means individuals with proven reckless behavior can no longer legally own a firearm, however, the ongoing concern is still the ease in which an offender can purchase a gun from a private seller without scrutiny or a mandatory background check.
Still for many the ruling is a victory of sorts, especially for domestic violence victims and survivors. According to the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), domestic abuse can quickly turn into murder when guns are involved and two-thirds of all females murdered in domestic violence incidences are killed with guns and the presence of a gun in the home increases the potential of domestic violence homicide by 500% (n.d.).
In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, any attention paid to the reform of gun laws is an accomplishment and the Supreme Court ruling is a step in the right direction to decreasing murders resulting from domestic violence and guns.
Interested in reading the full version of the ruling? Click here.
If you know any domestic violence survivors or victims needing assistance, support and/or resources, below are helpful organizations in Houston, TX and Alexandria, LA areas:
Phoenix Women’s Outreach
Are your kids suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? Are you perpetuating their inability to socialize in face to face situations? Are we the reason they lack discernment and the ability to accurately judge character?
We have all experienced it at some point or another, either we or our loved ones are too connected. We all know or are that person who can’t go a day without checking in on social media.
Technology gave birth to social media and applications meant to improve our lives, make us more productive and keep us connected to loved ones. However, the same technology designed for good is wreaking havoc on our family time, social skills and in some cases putting the lives of our children in peril.
Our children are more connected now than ever. They are plugged into the internet and social media constantly from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. All day long our children are potentially subject to negativity, deception, cyberbullying and predators. According to Tahnk (n.d.), 22% of teenagers access social media of their choice from their cell phones 10 or more times per day. The interesting factor is that the parents are the purchasers of the technology that is disengaging children from reality.
Social media has become the new baby-sitter, it is the new substitution for quality time. It keeps children engaged and busy. But just like any baby-sitter, parents need to do background checks. They need to know exactly who are watching their children. That means parents must re-engage with their children and discuss the dangers that exist in cyberspace, but most importantly parents MUST monitor their kid’s social media activity.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
• Do you know who your children are interacting with?
• Are they engaging in age appropriate behavior?
• Do they have age appropriate relationships?
• How much time do they spend on social media?
• Are they experiencing cyberbullying?
Here is a link to an article that can help you start a conversation about social media usage with your family.[/column] Read More
Last week’s tragedy in Orlando is yet another example of our need as a country to massage narratives in our communities, schools and churches regarding lessons in tolerance. The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub is a perfect illustration of the breakdown in our human ecosystem which lacks tolerance of different lifestyle choices and belief systems.
Where are our children and families safe from violence born of ignorance and extreme intolerance? Recent tragedies in the U.S. have shown our children and families are not safe at church, school, movie theaters, malls and/or nightclubs. How do we prepare our love ones for potential threats that seem more real now after 9/11, than ever before? We would like to think we are raising our children and cultivating our families in a country that is not war-torn or in a constant state of civil unrest, but the truth is, we just don’t know what will happen next and we must be and teach our loved ones to be aware and prepared.
Here are some things to consider discussing with your children and loved ones about heightening their awareness and potentially surviving a mass shooting or attack:
- Prepare – Be aware that we live in a world where anything can happen at any time. Just knowing or being aware that it’s possible for you to be a victim of a random shooting is a step in the right direction. We no longer have the luxury of thinking that we are safe from randomness. Make sure that you are discussing crisis survival skills with your family. See the article.
- Assess – Be aware of your surroundings. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Put your darn cell phone down for a moment and assess your environment! Look at everything, locate exits, notice changes, notice energy/tension, notice whether or not things feel off or uneasy. Consider how others are interacting with one another. Most importantly, learn to follow your gut instinct or intuition.
- Implement – Be ready to take action. Through preparedness and awareness, you should be able to design a course of action and implement. Silence your cell phone, run, help others run, hide or fight. See the article.
Black children around the country have long been getting suspended from school for wearing braids, dreads, Afros, Afro puffs, or “designer haircuts” which are nothing more than Caesars with a classic side-part.
When students at the C.R. Walker Senior High School in the Bahamas tried to wear their natural hair to school, they were allegedly told that their hair was “untidy” and “unprofessional” and ordered to change their hairstyle before returning to school.
Boys and girls are constantly criticized and told they should keep their hair “neat and tidy.” They wear their hair in locks and braids as protective styling. Natural black hair shouldn’t be viewed negatively. But, sadly it’s a continuous thing.
Kirsten Brooks, who is a parent to a six-year-old Redemptorist Elementary student, says there is nothing wrong with her son’s curly hair as she spoke to WBRZ Channel 2 News in Baton Rouge, LA.
School officials there sent Brooks and other parents in grades K-12 a text message stating, “I understand that the boys want to follow the latest fashion trend, however the ‘Nappy, Uncombed, Picked/Sponged’ look Must Go! It is getting out of hand. If their haircut is higher than 1inch it must be cut.”
“To say that word, nappy, in a text, let me know that she was a person that just didn’t care as far as what she said and I figured if you put it in writing, you’ll say it just as well to the children and that’s not right,” said Mary Brooks.
A lot of times the kids are told to cut or straighten their hair. These are young children who have never been in trouble a day in their lives.
Keisha Rembert said her son Rashaad Hunter is an honor roll student who doesn’t get in trouble. He attends Greenwood Elementary School in Bessemer, according to Fox 6 News WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama.
“He was walking with his head down, when I saw him he was like teary-eyed at first because he doesn’t want to be suspended for no part in his head. I told him, ‘Don’t hold your head down…continue to make these A’s and B’s because that part is nothing,'” Rembert said.
Be Black. Be Soulful. Be You. Black hair is beautiful. Believe and celebrate your culture. Live your Afrocentric life! It’s not criminal to wear your natural hair.
If you find you have been discriminated against for wearing your natural hair, call GOINS LAW at (318) 787-5607 or (713) 759-9266. We will seek justice for you.
Available in Louisiana and Texas[/column] Read More
When President Obama announced his nomination for the Supreme Court, I immediately gave a nod of approval. Merrick Garland, chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit would fill the vacant seat left by deceased judge Antonin Scalia.
I’m very pleased with the President’s nomination. Obama has called him “one of America’s sharpest legal minds.” Garland’s a well-known figure in Washington legal circles who has drawn praise from members of both parties. Mr. Obama dared Republican senators to ignore public pressure to make good on their promise to block consideration of any nominee until after the next president is elected.
“I’ve selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of America’s sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness, and excellence,” Obama said during a live press conference in the Rose Garden.
Merrick Garland has sided with President Barack Obama’s environmental regulators against mercury-spewing power plants, supported the administration’s crackdown on for-profit colleges and issued multiple rulings that pleased organized labor.
Garland 63, a Chicago native and Harvard graduate has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals since 1997.
Republican senators will continue trying to stall Obama’s appointment. The country has too many important cases left open. Garland will make the right choices. It’s now the Republican senate’s job to do so too.Read More
Don’t think Flint, Michigan is the only city with a water crisis. Louisiana residents in the small town of St. Joseph have a similar issue.
The residents are petitioning the government for cleaner water. Residents report the water there has been yellow or murky brown for over 10 years.
That’s 10 years too long. Sadly, there are also 400 more water systems within small towns in the state facing similar issues. Aging water systems with rusted pipes.
The mayor of St. Joseph, Edward Brown, is under fire for accusations of mismanaging and misappropriating funds, according to a new investigative audit. A state auditor reported several instances of spending that “may have violated state laws” in an 83-page report.
Among the allegations: Brown received $19,491.00 in monies he shouldn’t have received, including overpayments, double payments and payments for personal travel or travel he did not go on.
St. Joseph is located in Tenses Parish in northeastern Louisiana, near the Mississippi border. The town is 133 miles north of Baton Rouge. According to the 2010 U.S. census data, the population is 1,176 people. The racial makeup of the town is 68 percent African American and 30 percent White with one-third of the town living below the poverty line.
Don’t let the government or anyone else deceive you into thinking the water is safe.
You don’t have to be a victim of high iron levels, manganese, or lead poisoning. Take control. If you or someone you know needs help regarding a water crisis, get GOINS LAW on your side.
Call GOINS LAW at (318) 787-5607 or (713) 759-9266.
Available in Louisiana and Texas