President Obama Signs Bill Creating ‘Rodney King Day’ As New Federal Holiday

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama Signs Creating 'Rodney King Day' As Federally Recognized Holiday

Yesterday, in the John F. Kennedy Memorial White House Ballroom, President Barack Obama signed a bill, proposed by Representative DeMarcus Johnson of Georgia, creating ‘Rodney King Day’, and making it a federal holiday. The new holiday will be recognized annually on April thirty-first, starting next year in 2015.

In the United States, a federal holiday is an authorized holiday which has been recognized by the government. On Rodney King Day, non-essential federal government offices will be closed, including the post offices and the federal reserve, and every federal employee will be paid for the holiday. Private-sector employees required to work on the holiday shall receive holiday pay in addition to their ordinary wages, according to the bill.

Democratic Representative DeMarcus Johnson of Georgia, who proposed the bill, says that it is very important for the American republic to celebrate the awareness of social unity during times of public adversity.

“As you may very well know, Rodney King, after being brutally beaten by the Los Angeles police officers was made a national hero when he uttered the powerful quote for which he will always be remembered, ‘Can’t we all just get along?'” said Johnson. “Mr. King cried out to the American public during the infamous L.A. Riots, and later suffered through a trial where his abusers were found to be innocent. As good Americans, it is our ultimate responsibility to make it a point to remember these great words from such a heroic and wise man, whose justice was never properly served.”

President Obama says the now famous words of Rodney King offered America a great deal of hope while setting the standard for change.

“Hope, change. These ideas are a product given to use by the great Rodney King. Mr. King made a remarkable difference – not only in this great country of hard-working God-fearing citizens – but the world as a whole continues to feel the remnants of peace, hope, love, and the overall importance of unified change,” said Obama. “It is my honor to sign this extraordinary bill. As I stand before a better America today, it is with pride and utmost appreciation that I say, on the behalf of the great American people, thank you Rodney King. Thank you very much.”

 

John Lennon’s Killer Released From Prison After Shocking Reversal By Parole Board

ALDEN, New York – John Lennon's Killer Released From Prison After Shocking Reversal By Parole Board

On Wednesday, the New York Parole Board denied the parole of Mark David Chapman for the eighth time for the 1980 murder of music icon and former Beatles member John Lennon. Early this morning, in an unprecedented move, the board decided to reverse their decision, and in a shocking turn of events and subsequently granted Chapman parole effective immediately. The decision came after an impromptu meeting was called by unnamed government official who chastised the parole board for showing “poor judgement” and “holding a celebrity in a higher standard than that of the average American citizen,” New York corrections officials said.

New York Corrections spokesperson Glenn Abernathy told the Associated Press in a brief statement the reasons for the reversal.

MDC
Mark David Chapman in 2013.

“After further consideration, we decided to grant Mr. Chapman parole. It was made clear to us by outside forces that the murder of a celebrity should not mean a longer sentence than what is typically given. In 2013, a total of 116 inmates who were found guilty of murder were released from prison after serving less than a 10-year sentence. Mr. Chapman has served nearly 33 years, more than 3-times that amount. Also, he was cleared as mentally competent many years ago, meaning that there was no reason to deny his parole in the first place.” said Abernathy. “[Chapman] said after his initial arrest that he had plans to murder Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, Walter Cronkite, Marlon Brando, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and that John Lennon was just the easiest to find. Well, everyone else he planned to kill is dead now anyway, so it was decided that he was no longer a threat to anyone else.”

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“The parole board are made up of old fogies,” said Jerome David, a self-professed ‘super-fan’ of Chapman. “They denied him parole at every opportunity because they were fans of Lennon, of the Beatles, growing up. So they look at him, and they see someone who helped destroy their youth. That isn’t fair to [Chapman]. He deserves to be freed just like every other murderer they set free. The Beatles are a forgotten memory, anyway. Who really cares about them or John Lennon anymore? It’s not the 60s. Personally, I’ll be waiting at the gates to wave as they drive [Chapman] out!”

According to Abernathy, there was a decision made by the federal court system, calling the meeting with the purpose of reviewing the decision handed down on Wednesday by the parole board. It was then declared that the parole board did not have legitimate reasoning in denying the parole. The main issue discussed in the 3-hour meeting cited the fact that celebrities should not be given special treatment when the United States judicial system is involved, whether they are criminally involved or the victim.

“The United States average sentence for convicted murderers is between 13 and 16 years,” Abernathy told the New York Associated Press. “Chapman was sentenced to twenty-years to life in 1981, with a stipulation that mental health treatment be provided. “Mr. Chapman initially did not want to be released, due to his comfort within the system. However, at approximately 6:30 am this morning, he was given $200 cash and his copy of the book Catcher In The Rye, which he had when he was caught at the scene of the murder, and was given instructions to move into a half-way housing unit, which at this time will not be named.”

In an interview earlier this week, Chapman told ABC News that if released he would try to stay, anyway. “I’m so bonded that I could probably assure you that, if released, I’d probably stay right where I’m at,” Chapman said. “You know, once you stand on a rock for 20 years and feel the waves on you and you don’t go anywhere because you’re on a rock, you don’t want to move.”

Corrections officials at Wende Corrections Facility in Alden, New York, where Chapman was incarcerated, said that Chapman broke down in tears after being told of the parole board reversal. “He asked if he could please stay, he said he would work for free within the prison. When told he could not, under any circumstances voluntarily stay, he broke down and said his life was over,” said corrections officer Alex Jameson.

Chapman is set to be transported to the half-way house on Monday morning.

 

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