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360 Magazine bottle illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

360 Magazine’s Good Vibes

By: Emily Bunn × Vaughn Lowery × Gabe Majalca

360 Magazine has revealed a new, bedazzled brand bottle in collaboration with Integrity Bottles. Decorated with approximately 6,040 Swarovski crystal gems, this lavish flask radiates glamour and elegance. The shimmering container was created by artist Gabe Majalca of Good Vibe Gliders, who constructed the piece in over thirty hours of dedicated craftsmanship. Thousands of glimmering gems encase the container, creating a luxurious, polished and sophisticated look, as 360 Magazine represents. The bottle is to be debuted at the upcoming 360 Magazine Immersive Bodega Pop-Up.

Chrysolite, which is Greek for “gold stone,” sheaths the outside of the gleaming bottle in a rich yellow-green hue. For the “360” design on the side of the bottle, Chrysolite AB was utilized. Further, the cork is detailed with Electric White DeLite. The construction of the flagon took 30 hours in total. Overall, the process in creating this custom Swarovski-swathed bottle was time consuming, but the end result is an incredible feat of precision and dazzling artistry.

On 360 Magazine’s website, the popular Summer Sip List showcases some of the magazine’s favorite alcohol brands and drinks, all of which can be enjoyed in the new container. Cocktail recipes like Pinnacle Vodka’s Apricot Honeysuckle Spritz, Santo Spirit’s Hibiscus Smash, D’USSE’s champagne sparkler, and Cavit Wines’ Rosjito all invite readers to host a happy hour of their own. 360 Magazine is sure that the new pitcher will bring good times spent together enjoying fine sips and spirits. Now that the careful process of creating the bottle is over with, we will be sure to use this bottle in our everyday lives, whether we’re trying out new cocktail recipes, transporting drinks on-the-go, or simply displaying the container’s magnificent beauty.

This isn’t the first time 360 Magazine has worked with Integrity Bottles. In November of 2020, Integrity Bottles unveiled the 360 Magazine collection of glassware. The collection features seven products, including decanters, a refillable bottle, a stemless wine glass, a whiskey rocks glass, a 16 oz pint glass, and a Gibraltar beer mug. As with the previously released products, the new bedazzled carafe can hold your scotch, vodka, tequila, gin, rum, or any other desired sips. As the two brands look to their most recent collaboration to create the Swarovski-coated container, Integrity and 360 Magazine gleam with pride and assurance in the highest quality of production.

Integrity Bottles started as a small business between friends, but has blossomed into a thriving online store and studio based in San Diego. The company is run by military veterans and former law enforcement officers who always place integrity and honor at the forefront of their business practices. Having sold more than 3,200 bottles and earned 100% positive reviews on Amazon, Integrity Bottle products are sure to bring more merry making into your home. Integrity Bottles’ website can be accessed here, and customers can use the discount code “GIVEBACK” for 5% off their purchase.

Gabe Majalca, who constructed the 360 Magazine × Integrity Bottles’ bottle, spoke about the design process. His brand, Good Vibe Gliders, provides custom, crystal-encrusted creations to suit customer’s vibes.

What was your process of decorating this brilliant 360 Mag bottle?

First thing was choosing the right color. We wanted something that resembled sacred water or a magical lagoon. Chrysolite and Chrysolite AB Swarovski turned out to be the color most true to my vision. Next, was construction. It’s most important to keep your lines straight at the beginning, starting with the foundation. So, by the time your pattern reaches the top, your lines will still be straight!

How long did the process of decorating the bottle with Swarovski crystals take?

It was a tedious 30-hour [long] project. The thing is, you’re not just laying stones in a line–eventually you need to fill in the 360 Logo–and that right there was a massive challenge. It’s similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Putting the right stone in the right place is paramount to the letters looking clean [and] uniform. Lots of mental energy went into the letters. I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

What did you think when Vaughn first came to you with the idea?

Vaughn’s the homie and I knew he had worked with Integrity Bottles before. So, naturally, I was stoked to hear 360 Mag was getting themselves an iced-out bottle. I’ve always wanted to complete a Swarovski bottle–so the project made perfect sense to me and I jumped right on it. Anything for Vaughn.

How do you feel after seeing the original vision tangibly come to life?

It feels great! Looks like a magical lagoon! Something to keep in mind–it’s always a marathon when doing this artwork, so seeing something come together, completely finished–well, that makes me really happy inside. This was a challenging but very satisfying project, no doubt about that.

What was your first thought when you viewed the finished bottle product?

“I’m done! I’m finally done!” Haha No really though, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I said. This bottle was a deceiving hard project to complete – so many elements. Since this was my first try at a something like this, there were many twists and turns to the design that I simply did not foresee. In the end, it was like someone giving me an XL pizza and sa[ying], “you can’t get up until you finish it.” Not that it wouldn’t be totally delicious while I was eating it, but eventually you slow down at about half way through [when] you’re getting full and your stomach starts to hurt, but your tastebuds and your will power keep saying MORE! That’s what this project felt like… right up to the point when [I] took the last delicious bite. Worth it.

What do you think would be the best use of this bottle? Do you have a drink of choice you imagine drinking from it?

Easy, tell Vaughn to make me a Caramelized Citrus Smash! This refreshing summer cocktail is equal parts vodka and grilled citrus juice with sparkling water or lemon-lime soda. Vaughn will need some ruby-red grapefruits, lemons, limes, and navel oranges. Slice your citrus in half, brush the cut side with some honey, and dip the cut sides in sugar. Throw your fruit cut-side-down on the grill to caramelize the sugar. Once grilled, let it rest until cool. Lastly–the booze. Mix 1.5 ounces vodka, 1.5 ounces juice, and 1 ounce of water or sparkling water.

Hey V, I’m on my way!

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Gabe Maljalca for use by 360 Magazine

Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, spoke about the concept and creation the 360 × Integrity Bottles design:

How you originally come up with this idea of encrusting a bottle in Swarovski crystals?

Not too long ago, Victoria Secret had embellished some lingerie in diamonds for a runway show. Shortly after, Joe Boxer mocked the idea with boxer briefs for a stint during NYFW in Bryant Park. As the former spokesperson for this brand [Joe Boxer], I struggled in these uncomfortable underwear (the rhinestones literally dug deep into my skin causing several scratches on my thighs).

Over the years, Gabe has bejeweled scooters and e-bikes for Good Vibe Gliders. Once we saw that he’s ventured out into sneakers with various customizations, we knew that he had to lace one of our Integrity Bottles with Swarovski crystals, adding a touch a glam and panache. This meticulous process took more than 30 hours and was executed by a total of 4 craftsmen with close to 1000 dollars of materials (not to mention intensive work).

Did you come up with the Chrysolite colorway?

We wanted the bottle to embody a monochromatic color palette to reflect today’s modern and colorless society in celebration of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Why were these gems/colors specifically chosen?

We provided Gabe with a water theme and the end product represents clarity and purity, mimicking our eclectic mantra of transparency. After all, 360 readers are permanently celebrating their uniqueness along with this masterpiece.

Does the vessel actually cost $1,000,000?

No, not at all. But Swarovski crystals are the closest thing to a blood diamond without destroying the lives of people like in the Congo. They refract light as a prism, showcasing almost all the colors of the rainbow (thus paying tribute to the LGBTQ community).

Why did you choose to work with Integrity Bottles again? What is working with them like?

Integrity Bottles is a veteran-led business and provides opportunities for people who have proudly served our country. The[y] [are the] same people who return from a period of service to find themselves displaced in society, especially [from] the work force.

How do you envision using this bottle in your own life?

We will exhibit the container in our workspaces and activations though out the world where guests will be able to witness its unforgettable beauty.

Furthermore, several team members mentioned that we could auction the carafe in the hopes of helping to raise awareness and offer them some financial support for their efforts.

How do you view this product as representative of 360 Magazine?

Everything in this made-to-measure bottle embodies 360. Similar to life’s circle, we start our journey into this world as a fragile piece of glass. Over the years, we have evolved into something bigger and better than we were before.

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Gabe Maljalca for use by 360 Magazine

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Gabe Maljalca for use by 360 Magazine

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

*This bottle is dedicated to our near and dear friend Chris March.

Page Kennedy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Q×A with Page Kennedy

ACTOR & RAPPER PAGE KENNEDY JOINS 360 MAGAZINE FOR SOME Q&A

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

Page Kennedy is well known as a rapper and actor within our entertainment industry. Kennedy’s recent acting skills brought him to play “Duck” on Netflix’s “The Upshaws”, one of their newest series to hit streaming platforms starring alongside Kim Fields (Regina Upshaw), Mike Epps (Bennie Upshaw), and Wanda Skyes (Lucretia). He is also known for his roles in “Blue Mountain State”, “Weeds” and his comedic genius skits shared on Instagram and TikTok.

Kennedy’s self-titled album ‘Page’ was released in February 2021 featuring heavyweight rappers Xzibit and Method Man is available now on all streaming platforms – make sure you go check it out!

360 Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Page Kennedy where we discussed “The Upshaws”, his character ‘Duck’, music, and his fitness journey. We had an amazing conversation about his media roles, the love for Eminem, and also found out that we both favor Cardi B because of the way she represents herself: “Cardi B makes me feel like I know her”, said Kennedy.

Read on to hear about our conversation with Page!

Your Netflix series, “The Upshaws”, came out today- how do you feel about working with it?

PK: I love it, you know I was a part of it, and I still watch the series multiple times. I can’t get tired of it. I can just go to any episode and watch it- it has so many great jokes and the characters are diverse, and they bring their own style, energy and creativity. I think it’s the funniest show on TV.

How is it working with the cast?

PK: Working with the cast is great. You know, you got legends there. You’ve got Kim Fields, the ultimate foremost legend, Mike Epps who is a comic genius, Wanda Skyes- comic genius. They are good people, and everybody is happy to be here, so it makes it fun.

Do you feel that you have any similar traits to your character Duck within yourself?

PK: I’ve been asked that question and, let me see, I look at Duck as a different character than what I typically play. The only similarity that I see between me and Duck is his loyalty. He is loyal to a fault. You know, he spent 7-10 years in jail where he could have gotten less time where he could have ratted out his friend who could have been his co-defendant, but he just took it. I think I have a loyalty like Duck. Other than that, he’s a little different than me.

Let’s talk about your latest album. How did you feel about the creative direction within the videos for “Fear” and “Safe”? How did you work through the process of such a real and raw album?

PK: I wanted to make use of all of my talents to create an art- that was my goal. My goal was to take the amalgamation of talents that I have to coalesce to create art that could be ubiquitous forever. You know, that’s what I feel I accomplished because things are great 20 years from now and it’s still going to be great. You can still listen to Biggie because it’s incredible, it’s timeless and that’s what I wanted to do. I feel like I accomplished that.

Can you tell us about the song “Shine”?

PK: I think that the album needed some respite because it’s very heavy and after you listen to Fear and Safe, it’s so cumbersome that you need some respite. And so that’s what Shine provides. It still takes a look at how difficult 2019 was personally for me and then 2020 was for everyone. The face of darkness, there is light after, and I wanted to show that the Devil will not take that light away. We will shine.

Can you tell us about your album cover?

PK: The cover of the album is confluence of tragic incident of black Americans who have had their lives taken from them at the hands of police brutality. That confluence is to show that they are me. You know, they all make up me; I am the same as them and so I wanted to, through me, show them. Wait until you get to the song “Flowers”, that is my favorite song on the album.

At the end of some of your videos, there is mention of voting- what are you trying to show viewers?

PK: So, creating Fear was so I could galvanize the troops to go vote because we can’t just yell from the rafters “We are being disrespected”, “We are being overlooked”. We have to actually get in the dirt and, you know, do things that cause change. Our biggest voice was our vote. The virality of those videos was to have the embolism of to vote throughout the video. To help people want to get out and vote after they see the deleterious effects of what fear can do on both sides so that’s why you see that throughout the videos.

Let’s talk about your fitness journey. What motivated you to get started?

PK: I got tired of looking at myself in movies and TV fat as hell and I was more attractive in my head than I was externally, so I wanted to match that.

So, there’s a lot of excuses that I think many people use such as “I can’t afford to go to the gym” or “I hurt too much to do this”. How did you push past your own excuses?

PK: I have an additive personality so once I get into something, I’m locked in and I got my mind right and ready. I had help, a tool to help me out with the point of why I was overweight which was my addiction to food. And so, I got gastro sleeve surgery which made my stomach smaller so that I couldn’t overeat. That helped. That was like the catalyst to help me and the working out thing- I already had that down. I had challenges where I would workout 100 straight days and another challenge where I went a straight year of working out without missing any days. My mind was already set to go to the gym, I just needed to get the food stuff right.

Do you still workout consistently?

PK: Yep, I’m still in it. Even when the gyms were closed, I found a way to get the workout in.

What advice would you offer somebody as far as starting out on their journey? If they were with you and undecided about their journey because of lack of motivation.

PK: I would say to make it something that is a part of your daily life that you don’t have a choice of. You don’t have a choice if you need to go to the bathroom or not, you don’t have a choice whether you like eating or not. These are things that must happen regardless of what you want or not. So, if you make the gym or workout a part of that, you take the lack of motivation away. We can have things taken away for us and see how resilient we could be. If you’re in jail or in a weight loss camp or anywhere that caused your free will to be taken away and you are forced to do something, you can do it because you have to. So why have to be in a situation where some other exterior force forces you to when you have a mind and brain that is going to be the thing to make you do it anyway.

Do you have a specific meal plan?

PK: Sometimes, yes. I go in spurts. Some weeks I have no carbs and no sugar. Then some weeks I am a little looser. I just try to be moderate because I could easily go really far one way or really far the other way. It’s not until I’m actually preparing for something that I go super crazy. Other than that, I just try and stay in striking range.

Do you allow yourself to have treats?

PK: Yep, probably more than I should.

What kind of workouts do you do?

PK: Well, when I get off the phone with you, I have a trainer, so I am going to the gym. Wednesday is leg day, which sucks. I work out with a trainer 3-4 days a week and then two other days I have an Oculus virtual reality thing that I do a supernatural workout on or I ride my bike for 20 miles to the beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Is there anything else that you’d like to talk about or anything that you’d like to share with our readers?

PK: I just want them to the importance of the album “Page” and how it’s important to everyone in the world right to be aware of everything that happening right now and everything that’s going on. And that if this album was released by a bigger artist, it would be a Grammy-nominated type of album – that’s how important this album is. I just implore everyone to continue to listen to it and check it out because I think it’s necessary. That’s the main thing that I want- and watch “The Upshaws” on Netflix streaming now.

Dominique via The Thom Brand for use by 360 Magazine

Dominique – Soulja Life Mentality

Artist, multi-platinum producer, and entrepreneur Dominique drops his new single “Soulja Life Mentality” via Win 1st Records. Dominque delivers cinematic bars blanketed by boasting beats as he gives fans a powerful preview of this forthcoming debut project True Story. “Soulja Life Mentality” is available to purchase and stream on all music platforms. Listen HERE.

“Soulja Life Mentality” pulls the curtain back on Dom’s experiences navigating as a first-generation Black Man in America and the armor that he, along with many Black men alike, must be equipped with for survival, both in metaphorical and grave literal senses. 

“Soulja Life Mentality is a story of frustration that most are familiar with. You got the world on your shoulders, but you have to deal with it alone because you can’t trust too many people. You get views from a Black Man in America here that’s questioning the lack of collective identity. It’s a true story to many men out here; we not only have to be cautious of the people who are hired to keep us safe, but we also have to be wary of our own people.”

“Soulja Life Mentality” follows the success of Dominque’s recently acclaimed singles: “The Player Way” and “The Code.” All three singles will feature on his forthcoming project True Story, which will soon release.

About Dominique

After a knee injury ending his football career during his senior year of college, Dominique switched gears to being a record producer overnight. A proud Guyanese American originally from Broward County, Florida, he began crafting his signature sound that has attracted both mainstream and international superstars. He’s worked with artists such as the late Juice WRLD, T.I., Fivio Foreign, French Montana, Yo Gotti, YFN Lucci, T-Pain, Montana of 300, Maxo Cream, Burna Boy, Lil Yachty and more. Dominique has songs reaching RIAA certified Platinum and Gold, along with over 130 million streams of Spotify alone. 

Dominique via The Thom Brand for use by 360 Magazine

DJ via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Big Bratt – Paid in Full

Today, Cinematic Music Group’s up-and-coming rapper Big Bratt delivers brand new music video for “Paid in Full.” Built on a massively heavy beat, the track spotlights the 17-year-old rapper’s larger-than-life presence and tremendous lyrical talents. The song comes alongside a gritty and cinematic visual, which pays homage to the original 2002 film of the same name. “Paid In Full” is available now at all digital retailers, listen HERE.

Recently recognized by DJ BOOTH as one of “10 rappers you should know right now”, Bratt flawlessly raps in “Paid In Full” with unstoppable confidence and charisma oozing from every bar. Naming Lil Baby among her main influences, the Chattanooga-bred rapper first showed her supreme skills on her official debut single Rich Rollxn—a 2020 release that reflects on the then-recent death of her godbrother.

“My songs are talking about life, struggles, losing friends, females, boys, growing up in the neighborhood I grew up in—anything that comes to mind,” says Bratt. “When I’m in my zone, I’m gonna make it into something good.”

About Big Bratt:

Raised on Southern hip-hop legends like Boosie, 8Ball, and MJG, Bratt stepped into the studio for the first time as a little girl. During her high school years, she learned how to make beats and started sharing her remixes on social media, and soon began putting her fierce work ethic to the test. “Before I got my vehicle I was always catching the bus or getting an Uber to Nashville… three hours away,” says Bratt. “It was hard but I didn’t care what it took; I just knew I needed to get to the studio.”

Now at work on her debut project, Bratt has teamed up with producers like Bankroll Got It (Stunna 4 Vegas, Smokepurpp, Lil Pump) to further develop her sound. “The whole goal of this project is to be motivational,” she says. “I want all the females my age to know they deserve more, but they can’t be lazy or depend on anybody else to make it happen. It’s time [for them] to go get it on their own.”

Justice for George illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Derek Chauvin Trial Coverage

By: Emily Bunn

The case regarding the former police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has been unfolding. Chauvin has now been charged with both second- and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He was found guilty on all accounts. The case can be viewed live on CNN’s website here.

George Floyd’s death was recorded via cellphone footage from a nearby bystander, Darnella Frazier. Frazier, then seventeen at the time, has brought critical attention to Floyd’s death as a result of her footage, a major piece of evidence in bringing light to the case. Frazier has revealed that she only observed violence from the police officers at the scene of Floyd’s death, which contradicts the defense’s illustration of the bystanders as a “angry mob that was striking fear into the police.” Earlier this month on Facebook, Frazier had posed a query to her followers, asking what would have happened if no one recorded Floyd’s arrest and death, posing an important question surrounding the relationship between the police and the community members that the force governs. Frazier ended her testimony with an emotional statement: “When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad. I look at my brothers. I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that, and I look at how that could have been one of them.”

Frazier had witnessed the distressful scene alongside her nine-year-old cousin. The witness said that the officer on the scene had his knee on Floyd’s neck, even after the EMT personnel asked “him nicely to get off of him.” She continues, explaining that the ambulance personnel had to get the officer off of Floyd. “I was sad and kind of mad”, she remarks, “because it felt like he was stopping his breathing, and it was kind of like hurting him.”

Another witness to Floyd’s death, mixed-martial artist Donald Williams II, has taken to the stand to account what he observed at the scene of Floyd’s arrest. Williams had called the police on the police after seeing Floyd transported from the gruesome scene via ambulance. Williams claims, “I believed I witnessed a murder.”

Williams has faced speculation and discreditation from the defense attorney of Officer Chauvin, Eric J. Nelson. Nelson spent much of the morning on the second day of the trial questioning William’s knowledge of martial arts defense. Nelson also attempted to portray Williams as angry, to which Williams clarified his reaction was out of desperation because of the harrowing situation at hand. Nelson also attempted to portray the crowd of bystanders as mad at and violent towards the police officers present at the scene. As earlier stated, this claim contradicts Frazier’s assertion that the police were the source of violence at the scene. Nelson averted the attention from the video footage, asserting that there are 50,000 items in evidence and this case is “is clearly more than about 9 minutes and 29 seconds.”

On the other hand, the prosecution said it would bring in seven medical experts and the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Floyd (who classified the case as homicide) to bring further clarity to the case. Chauvin’s attorney is arguing that Floyd died due to a drug overdose and heart condition, though the nine minutes and twenty-nine second video also clearly shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, restricting his ability to breathe. Prosecuting attorney, Jerry W. Blackwell, spoke about the video footage: “You can believe your eyes, that it’s homicide–it’s murder.”

Another witness to the scene, paramedic Seth Zachary Bravinder, testified that when he arrived on scene, he could tell that Floyd already wasn’t breathing. When lifting Floyd into the ambulance, the paramedic recalls Floyd’s state: “I guess limp would be the best description. He wasn’t — he was unresponsive and wasn’t holding his head up or anything like that,” Bravinder said. He continues, explaining that Floyd flatlined while on the way to the hospital. Once realizing his patient had flatlined, Bravinder and his partner stopped the ambulance to give medical aid to Floyd. Bravinder elaborated on the condition of Floyd, explaining that the term “flatlining” refers to “not a good sign…basically just because your heart isn’t doing anything at that moment. There’s not — it’s not pumping blood. So it’s not — it’s not a good sign for a good outcome.”

Another paramedic who delivered medical assistance to George Floyd, Derek Smith, also delivered a testimony in the trial of Chauvin. Upon arriving on scene, Smith reports that he saw Floyd on the ground with three officers on top of him. He continues detailing the scene: “I walked up to the individual, noticed he wasn’t moving. I didn’t see any chest rise or fall on this individual.” Smith reported that he thought Floyd was dead, and upon checking the victim, he says that Floyd’s pupils were “large” and “dilated” and that he couldn’t detect his pulse. Still, Smith says he did all that he could in an attempt to revive Floyd: “”[H]e’s a human being and I was trying to give him a second chance at life.”

A doctor who provided emergency care to Floyd at Hennepin County Medical Center, Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, also took to the stand. Dr. Langenfeld had pronounced Floyd dead on May 25, 2020. Langenfeld attested that the emergency responders who responded to the event were originally called upon for a “lower type of acute event of facial trauma,” but the call was later upgraded to call for “an individual under distress.” When Floyd arrived at the hospital, Langefeld explains that the paramedics attempted to resuscitate Floyd for “approximately 30 minutes,” by inserting a tube down his throat to ventilate his lungs, as well as attempted to administer CPR and medication. The report did not mention that the police officers on scene nor any of the bystanders attempted to give Floyd CPR. Langenfeld, who provided medical treatment to Floyd, testified that hypoxia was likely a cause of Floyd’s cardiac arrest. He says,  “Based on the history that was available to me, I felt that hypoxia was one of the more likely possibilities.” Langenfeld clarified to prosecutor Jerry Blackwell that hypoxia refers to “cardiac arrest meaning oxygen insufficiency.” Langenfeld continues describing the condition of his patient: “There was no obvious, significant external trauma that would have suggested he suffered anything that could produce bleeding to lead to a cardiac arrest.” Jerry Blackwell asked if Langenfeld theorized oxygen deficiency as the leading cause of Floyd’s death, to which Langenfeld replied: “That was one of the more likely possibilities. I felt at the time based on information I had, it was more likely than the other possibilities.”

Capt. Jeremy Norton of the Minneapolis Fire Department had also been in the ambulance which escorted Floyd to the hospital. In his testimony, he recalled the scene when he entered the ambulance: “He was an unresponsive body on a cot.” Norton continues, attesting that after Floyd was delivered to the hospital, he filed a report with his supervisors regarding the incident. Norton says, “”I was aware that a man had been killed in police custody, and I wanted to notify my supervisors to notify the appropriate people above us in the city, in the fire department and whomever else, and then I also wanted to inform my deputy that there was an off-duty firefighter, who was a witness at the scene.”

Minneapolis police inspector, Katie Blackwell, also testified in Chauvin’s trial. She detailed that she had worked with Chauvin for over 20 years, and had selected him as a field training officer. Blackwell documented that Chauvin had been regularly instructed in defensive tactics and the proper use of force as taught by the Minneapolis Police Department. She continued testifying, adding that officers are also trained in their medical unit about the dangers of possible asphyxiation and the cruciality of positioning people up right or on their side to recover from such. She added that once a person is under control, officers should position them in a recovery position “as soon as possible.” Further, Blackwell said that Chauvin participated in a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training in 2016, and another seven hour refresher course in 2018– which included de-escalation training as part of the program. In viewing an image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Blackwell said: “I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is,” she said. “It’s not what we train.”

Another witness, Christopher Martin, continues to fill in more details to the harrowing day of Floyd’s death. Christopher Martin was the cashier at Cup Noodles, a convenience store in south Minneapolis. He explains that Floyd came in to buy cigarettes with a friend on May 25, and describes Floyd’s condition as “very friendly” and “talkative.” Martin testified that Floyd appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Martin continues, explaining that Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 bill. After realizing the counterfeit payment, Martin reported it to his manager, as the store had a policy of deducting the amount of counterfeit payment from its employee’s paychecks. Martin’s boss instructed the worker to approach Floyd and ask him to come back into the store, and Martin was met with refusal. He returned to the store and told his manager that he would accept the pay deduction, but Martin’s manager encouraged him to again approach Floyd. After Floyd refused for the second time, Martin’s manager told another store worker to call 911. Minutes later, Martin says that he recalls a large crowd of people gathering outside, “yelling” and “screaming.” Martin joined the crowd outside, observing as bystanders demanded for the police to take Floyd’s pulse as Chauvin continued to kneel on the victim’s neck. Reflecting on the scene, Martin says he felt “disbelief and guilt.” Elaborating on that statement, Martin explains: “If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided.” Martin has also added that “the one thing I would say to Derek Chauvin is justice will be served.”

The man who had been in the car alongside Floyd, Morries Hall, refuses to testify in the trial of Derek Chauvin and has asserted that he will invoke his Fifth Amendment if called to the stand. Hall had fled Minnesota shortly after Floyd died, and was soon after arrested in Texas on account of outstanding felony warrants that had been issues to him prior to Floyd’s death. One of the charges includes being a felon in possession of a firearm. Regarding the day of Floyd’s death, Hall has been accused of trying to get rid of evidence related to the case. A court document filed by the defense reports: “Surveillance video from the nearby Dragon Wok restaurant shows that Mr. Hall appeared to use Mr. Floyd’s resistance as a distraction to destroy evidence…The video demonstrates that Mr. Hall watched through the windows of Mr. Floyd’s vehicle to ensure that he was not being observed by police, then…. Mr. Hall furtively dropped something into the sewer drain on the street.”

Courteney Batya Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend since August 2017, took to the stand and revealed that both herself and Floyd had struggled with opioid addiction. She explains their opioid use: “Both Floyd and I, our story — it’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids. We both suffered from chronic pain. Mine was in my neck and his was in his back. We both have prescriptions. But after prescriptions that were filled, and we got addicted, and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.” Elaborating on Floyd’s opioid usage, Ross disclosed that Floyd had been hospitalized for overdose in March of 2020.

The prosecution presented this information regarding Floyd’s usage to light not to paint him in a negative light, but to show the full truth of the situation. CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explains the prosecution’s strategy: “’It’s because as the prosecutor, you want to present and address and resolve these bad facts. You don’t want to have the defense be able to say, ‘Hey, jury, why didn’t they tell you about this? Here are the things they don’t want you to know.’ Sprinkling seeds of doubt’….Coates added that the prosecution is addressing it so they can “package it essentially” to say, “‘So what? He has an opioid addiction.’ And of course in America, we view opioid abuse very differently than we did even decades ago. How does this actually impact Chauvin’s decision to act?’”

Retired Sgt. David Pleoger of the Minneapolis Police Department took to the stand to describe a phone call that had taken place between Chuavin and himself on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin had kneeled on Floyd’s neck. He recalls: “I believe he told me that they had — tried to put Mr. Floyd — I didn’t know his name at the time, Mr. Floyd into the car. He had become combative,” adding that “I think he mentioned that he had injured — either his nose or his mouth, a bloody lip, I think, and eventually after struggling with him, he suffered a medical emergency and an ambulance was called and they headed out of the scene.” Pleoger also detailed that he has known Chauvin since 2008.

Another member of the force, Jon Curtis Edwards, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department, took to the stand to discuss details about the crime scene and body camera footage. Edwards reports that he arrived at the scene of 38th and Chicago around 9:35 p.m. ET. Upon arrival, Edwards says there were only two officers still present­– J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane– and not many other people around. While Edwards attests that he arrived on scene with his body camera turned on, he says that the two officers who had been at the scene did not have their cameras on. Edwards asked them to turn their body cameras on. Then, after the two officers detailed to Edwards where the scene had occurred, Edwards told them to place crime scene tape around the area “so that we could preserve any potential evidence that was there.”

The most senior officer on the Minneapolis police department and head of the Minneapolis Police’s homicide unit, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, also took to the stand. He clarified that the actions of Chauvin are not compliant with the training that police officers receive, adding that  “if your knee is on a person’s neck, that could kill them.” As the most long-standing member of the police force, and having been trained every year in the appropriate use of force, he says that he has never received instruction to deliver force via kneeling on the back or neck of someone, as Chauvin demonstrated. “Pulling him down to the ground face down, and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger — if that’s what they felt — and that’s what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force,” Zimmerman stated. He says that Chauvin’s use of force would only be used in a “top-tier, deadly force” situation and in case of Floyd was “totally unnecessary.” There are varying degrees of how officers can work to restrain someone. Zimmerman explains, “Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way. They are cuffed, how can they really hurt you,” he said. “You getting injured is way down. You could have some guy try to kick you or something, but you can move out of the way. That person is handcuffed, you know, so the threat level is just not there.” Upon arriving at the crime scene around 10 p.m., Zimmerman recalls walking up to officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. Determining the two as “involved officers,” Zimmerman says he instructed them to go to city hall to be interviewed. Zimmerman explains that the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) took over the handling of the case when the hospital determined Floyd had passed. Lt. Richard Zimmerman, head of the Minneapolis Police’s homicide unit, said the use of force by former officer Derek Chauvin against George Floyd was “totally unnecessary.”

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo from the Minneapolis Police Department also took to the stand to discuss the use of force and de-escalation techniques. He has held his position as chief for three years, and has been involved with the department since 1989. At the beginning of his testifying, he was asked to identify Derek Chauvin, whom he successfully pointed out. He discussed de-escalation tactics and the use of force in the Minneapolis Police Department. Reading the department’s policy, Arradondo states: “As an alternative and/or the precursor to the actual use of force MPD officers shall consider verbally announcing their intent to use force including displaying an authorized weapon as a threat of force when reasonable under the circumstances.” He continues, “The goal is to resolve the situation as safely as possible. So you want to always have de-escalation layered into those actions of using force.”

When asked about Chauvin’s use of force unto Floyd, Arradondo said “The conscious neck restraint by policy mentions light to moderate pressure. When I look at exhibit 17 and when I look at the facial expression of Mr. Floyd, that does not appear in any way, shape or form that that is light to moderate pressure.” Arradondo comments on the use of restraint by Chauvin: “I absolutely agree that violates our policy,” detailing that the Department’s core values include treating everyone with “dignity and respect.” Arradondo continues, “Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting. And certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped. There is an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds. But once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive, and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned-out, handcuffed behind their back. That, in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy. It is not a part of our training. And it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”

Arradondo also commented on the first amendment right of protesters to record officers with their cellphones, even if the officers find the recording “irritating.” This “absolute first amendment right” is granted to all people, “with the exception that they cannot obstruct the activity of the officers but they absolutely have the right, barring that, to record us performing our duties,” he added. In the case of Floyd, the recording of officers was deemed by Arradondo as non-obstructive.

In his own viewing of the footage surrounding Floyd’s death, Arradondo commented that the city-owned video camera footage he originally saw didn’t show as much detail as community member footage. Arradondo recalls learning of the bystander video recording: “Probably close to midnight a community member had contacted me and said, chief, almost verbatim, but said, chief, have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man at 38th and Chicago? And so once I heard that statement, I just knew it wasn’t the same milestone camera video that I had saw. And eventually within minutes after that, I saw for the first time what is now known as the bystander video.”

In reviewing the footage, which showed Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd’s neck, Arradondo commented on whether the officer followed the department’s de-escalation policy: “”I absolutely don’t agree with that”…”that action is not de-escalation. And when we talk about the framework of our sanctity of life and when we talk about the principles and values we have, that action goes contrary to what we’re taught.”

George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, also was present in the court room alongside the Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump.  Having to relive his brother’s death through re-watching the traumatic video footage, Philonise commented that it was an “emotional day watching his brother being tortured to death, screaming for his mom, talking about his kids… it was a tragedy that should have never happened.” While Chauvin and his defense are attempting to pin Floyd’s death on other factors, including drug use and health issues, Crump refocuses the case on Chauvin’s defense’s allegations: “That’s their playbook. That’s what they’ve done to so many people of color who have been unjustifiably killed by police. [They] assassinate their character so it can be a distraction from their excessive use of force.” As Chauvin’s defense looks to explain the cause of Floyd’s death as due to factors outside of the police force, Crump declares “The reason Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck is because he lacks humanity.”

When it came time for Chauvin to take the stand, he plead his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent, choosing not testify in his own defense. On Thursday, Chauvin’s attorneys rested their case shortly after his invocation. The prosecution had rested its case on Tuesday, after hearing from 38 witnesses over 11 days of the murder trial. Chauvin has plead not guilty to second-degree unintentional manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder charges.

Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, said during his closing argument that “that Derek Chauvin’s own use of force trainer at the Minneapolis Police Department testified that placing the knee on the neck of a suspect “is not an unauthorized move,” according to CNN. Nelson is referring to the earlier testimony of Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil, who conducts the training for the Department. Mercil had testified that using a knee on someone’s neck “can be justified in certain circumstances,” perhaps as a means of “using body weight to control.” However, Mercil had also remarked “however, I will add that we don’t — we tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible and if you’re going to use body weight to pin, to put it on their shoulder and be mindful of position.” Keeping all this in mind, during his closing argument Nelson urged the jury to consider the circumstances Chauvin had arrived at on-scene, including meeting “active resistance” and “potentially active aggression” from Floyd. Nelson stated to the jury, “The state has really focused on the 9 minutes and 29 seconds, 9 minutes and 29 seconds, 9 minutes and 29 seconds. It’s not the proper analysis because the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous 15 minutes and 59 seconds. Completely disregards.” Nelson reminded that jury that his client, Chauvin, has a “presumption of innocent,” until possibly being proven guilty beyond a reasonable guilt by the state.

The case’s prosecuting attorney, Steve Schleicher, reminded the jury that “George Floyd is not on trial here,”…”For 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He begged, George Floyd begged until he could speak no more, and the defendant continued. This assault. When he was unable to speak, the defendant continued. When he was unable to breathe the defendant continued. Beyond the point that he had a pulse. Beyond the point that he had a pulse, the defendant continued this assault. Nine minutes and 29 seconds.” During Schleicher’s closing statement, he asserted that Chauvin’s actions were not in line with the motto of the Minneapolis Police Department, “to protect with courage.”

Another prosecuting attorney, Jerry Blackwell, took to the stand again to deliver his closing statement. He reminded the jury that while “”when he [Eric Nelson] was talking about causation, he talks about fentanyl, heart failure, hypertension. He says that we have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that none of these other factors played a role”…but “”what we need to prove is that the defendant’s actions were a substantial causal factor in his death. It does not have to be the only causal factor. It doesn’t have to be the biggest substantial factor. It just has to be one of them.” Further, he asserted the power that Chauvin held over Floyd while kneeling on the victim’s neck: “He had the bullets, the guns, the mace that he threatened the bystanders with. He had backup. He had the badge. He had all of it. And what was there to be afraid of, here particularly, at this scene?”

Blackwell also urged the jury to consider what he called the case’s 46th witness– common sense. He cited the eyewitness account of the nine-year-old bystander, claiming that the case is “so simple a child could understand… [t]he 9-year-old girl said, ‘get off of him.’ That’s how simple it was. Get off of him. Common sense.”

As the closing arguments of the case are being released today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released her statement: “Today is a solemn day as the closing arguments are presented in the George Floyd murder trial. I commend the Floyd family for their dignified calls for justice, which were heard around the world”…”As outraged as we are by his death, let us be prayerful that the truth will prevail and will honor George Floyd’s memory.”

Chauvin is on trial for  three different charges, in which the jury must deliberate whether or not the prosecution “proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” The first charge Chauvin could be convicted of is second-degree unintentional murder. The prosecution must prove that Chauvin caused George Floyd’s death while committing an underlying felony. Futher, prosectors must also prove that Chauvin acted with no intent to kill, just intent to act. If convicted, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison. Secondly, Chauvin faces a possible charge for third-degree murder. In order to be convicted, prosecutors must prove Chauvin committed a reckless act that is “eminently dangerous” to others with “depraved mind.” If Chauvin is convicted of third-degree murder, he could face up to 25 years in prison. Finally, Chauvin faces a third conviction for second-degree Manslaughter. In order to be charged, the prosecution must prove Chauvin was “culpably negligent” and disregarded awareness of substantial risk of great bodily injury or death of Floyd. If convicted of second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin could face up to 10 years in prison. All of the charges are seperate, so Chauvin could end up being charged for a combination of charges, being found guilty on all accounts, or be found completely non-guilty.

While the world waits to heart the outcome of Derek Chauvin’s trial, the NYPD is bracing for the reaction to the case’s verdict. In a statement, the. NYPD said that the department has been preparing for months and has provided the necessary training for its officers to “protect and facilitate the constitutional right to peace protest.” In DC, the Army has positioned 250 members of the National Guard in preparation for potential protest, riots, and civil unrest. Around the country, police departments are preparing to face the reaction to the outcome of the trial.

The jury panel working to determine the outcome of the trial consists of six white jurors and six Black or multi-racial people. Of the jurors, seven are women and five are men. The panel consists of a grandmother, nurse, chemist, and auditor, among others. The jury’s verdict must be unanimous, and must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Shortly after the juror deliberations had begun, several of Minnesota’s most prominent politicians spoke about to urge for calm, regardless of the trial’s outcome.

Gov. Tim Waltz spoke to Minnesota residents: ““We must acknowledge two truths: We cannot allow civil unrest to descend into chaos, we must protect life and property,” the governor continued. “We also must understand very clearly, if we don’t listen to those communities in pain, and those people on the streets, many of whom were arrested for speaking a fundamental truth, that we must change, or we will be right back here again.”

Minneapolis’ mayor, Jacob Frey, echoed similar peaceful sentiments: ““There’s been pain and anguish, anger and frustration that is undoubtedly acutely felt by our Black and Brown communities,” Frey said. “Regardless of the outcome of this trial, regardless of the decision made by the jury, there is one true reality, which is that George Floyd was killed at the hands of police.” Similarly, Saint Paul’s mayor cautioned against violence.

Gov. Melvin Center spoke out about the jury deliberations on Monday afternoon: ““Whatever the jury decides, we know that in this age of insurrection and extremism that we must be ready for the possibility of those who would exploit this moment and drown out the powerful voices of constructive protests across our nation with violence and destruction.'”

Even President Biden spoke out about the trial, sharing similar thoughts. The President said he hopes the right outcome of the trial will prevail, and commented on the “overwhelming” evidence of the case. Biden also had a private conversation to discuss familial loss with George Floyd’s brother, Philonise.

The verdict of the case has been decided and publicly announced, as reported by CNN: “Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all charges by a jury in the Hennepin County court. The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death in May 2020.”

As seen in media from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach:

“Today’s three guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin are an important public act of accountability. But any verdict on a charge of less than first-degree murder — a charge that Chauvin did not face — is a sign that we still have work to do. Before the entire nation, fellow officers took the stand in this trial and testified that their colleague did not protect and serve but abused power and killed George Floyd. We must meet this public act of justice and accountability with federal legislation that will hold officers of the law accountable in every state, and we must continue to work in every community to shift public investment from over-policing poor, Black and brown communities to ensuring restorative justice and equity for all people.”

Gun Violence illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Indianapolis FedEx Mass Shooting

EIGHT KILLED IN INDIANAPOLIS FEDEX FACILITY SHOOTING

What we know so far

  • Brandon Hole, the shooting suspect, opened fire outside and inside of a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday evening.
  • Eight people were shot and killed, while several others were wounded in addition to the gunman.
  • Police believe the gunman killed himself as officers encountered him.
  • The motive for the shooting known at this time.

Law enforcement were notified of a mass casualty situation at the Indianapolis FedEx location late Thursday evening. Timothy Boillat, a FedEx employee, was inside of the building when the gunshots began, according to CNN. He was on break when he heard “two loud metal clangs,” not realizing that it was gun shots. Boillat said his friend saw someone grabbing a gun out of the trunk of their car. It was at that moment that Boillat saw a body on the ground. Levi Miller was interviewed this morning by the Today Show and stated “I saw a man, a hooded figure. The man did have an AR in his hand, and he started shouting and then he started firing. I thought he saw me, so I immediately ducked for cover.”

Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations for Indianapolis Police, Craig McCartt, stated that four of the victims were found inside of the FedEx facility and four were found outside. The suspect was found deceased, in addition to eight other people. The Indianapolis Police Department said they have an idea of who the suspect was, however, have not formally identified him. The Department believes that the shooter was using a rifle, but they do not yet have any specifics on the weapon. The police are being assisted by the FBI in searching the suspect’s house. Special agent Paul Keenan is in charge.

During a news conference McCartt stated, “This suspect came to the facility. He got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility. There was no confrontation with anyone. That began in the parking lot and then he did go into the building.”

Alfarena McGinty, the Chief Deputy Coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said that the Department is conducting an investigation, but cannot yet enter the crime scene to confirm the victims’ identity until all evidence has been collected. “We are still a number of hours out before we are able to go on to the scene to conduct our investigation, and then after that, we’ll work with the families. Following that process, what we have to do is we will perform our examinations,” she said, adding that extra staff will be called in to complete those examinations in the next 48 to 72 hours, reports CNN.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 147 mass shootings incidents in 2021 in the United States. The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from various law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily in order to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA is a non-profit corporation based out of Washington DC, as stated on their website.

UPDATE:

Indianapolis Police has released the names of the deceased victims from Thursday night’s shooting. 

The victims are: 

  • 32-year-old Matthew R Alexander 
  • 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell
  • 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal
  • 64-year-old Jaswinder Kaur
  • 68-year-old Jaswinder Singh
  • 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon
  • 19-year-old Karlie Smith
  • 74-year-old John Weisert

A statement by IMPD says the next of kin has been notified by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

The cause of death will be determined after autopsies are complete, according to the statement. 

IMPD said the names of those injured are not being released. 

Spark Press image by Amateur Films, LLC for use by 360 Magazine

Spark: A Systemic Racism Story

Documentary Explores Racism’s Roots and Remedies, Offers Free Educational Access

The tragic death of George Floyd sparked the largest global protest in the history of the world, a nationwide discussion, and a more profound look at deep-seated, systemic racism in America. With the Derek Chauvin trial underway and the unsettled fate of police reform, Amateur Films’ 30-minute non-commercial documentary — Spark: A Systemic Racism Story — is available as a complimentary resource to explore racism’s roots and remedies. Since the film’s release in December 2020, individuals, teachers, professors, CEOs, and diversity equity and inclusion (DE&I) leaders began utilizing Spark as a resource for racial justice, equity, and sensitivity.

Created by white allies for all allies, the documentary is an aggregator of interviews and clips of prominent racial justice advocates, providing historical context of policies and procedures that led to the oppression of the Black community. Spark also proposes pragmatic, creative remedies in policing, criminal justice, and society in both full-length and condensed forms.

The producers’ participation in a local demonstration sparked by the death of Mr. Floyd inspired the creation of a non-commercial educational documentary to encourage recognition of unconscious bias and show a path to unlearning the historical narrative that redefined an entire race, supporting authentic and effective white allies.

“The trial of Derek Chauvin illustrates a driving point: being white in America is not needing to state that your life matters. When your life matters, you have power. Some use it for good and some very clearly (as in the case of George Floyd’s murder) do not,” said associate producer Julie Manriquez. “We hope our film helps to provide space for those looking to listen and learn and do the work.”

The documentary is presented in complete, abbreviated, and mini versions and can be viewed at this website. Companies, academic institutions, and organizations are encouraged to utilize Spark as a tool and share within and beyond their circles to further the cause of creating a more equitable society designed for the success of all.

About Amateur Films, LLC

Amateur Films, LLC is based in Minneapolis, MN, created in 2020 by Tom Gegax and Mary Wescott of the Gegax Family Foundation. The production team is made up of volunteers and includes talented and passionate neighbors in addition to the retention of top Hollywood writers, editors, composers, and sound and color experts. Amateur Films was inspired by the June 2020 Black Lives Matter protests as well as Gegax’s personal experience during the late 60s civil rights uprisings when, working in Chicago with 14 Black service station owners in his territory, he developed deeply personal and business relationships as they protected him from harm during these uprisings and their aftermath.

 

DeMarcus Walker illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Justice for DeMarcus Walker

DeMarcus Walker. Say his name. Say his name along with the other victims of the hate crimes that fill our society. Just over a year ago, Demarcus was going about his Saturday morning shopping just like many others. On March 7, 2020, at approximately 10:25 in the morning, Walker was run down with a Chevy Impala and then brutally beaten with a baseball bat.

DeMarcus Walker suffered life-threatening injuries and, unfortunately, was not able to pull through. He passed away April 11, 2020, from tracheal narrowing and cerebral edema and hemorrhage due to complications from blunt injuries of the head, which was noted in his autopsy. His death was ruled a homicide.

Zai’quaria Walker, DeMarcus Walker’s daughter, stated to NBC News Anchor Tom Powell “When it’s your family it’s a different kind of pain.” She desperately asked “Why that day? What was going through your head to do that then and there?”

Houston Walker, DeMarcus Walker’s father, commented during a news conference “I feel like it was a hate crime. It had to be. The way I understand in the paper, he was walking around Walmart with a ski mask on looking for people to beat up. That’s how I feel about it.”

Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, states “Senseless violence has afflicted America throughout the weeks, and it seems that there is no end in sight. As a nation, we must unite and abandon this malevolent behavior. Once we recognize why the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities are under constant attack because they are intrinsically different, then we will begin to heal. At the end of the day, our legal system is not designed to protect them. In the case of DeMarcus Walker, justice must be served and the person who attempted to kill him must be held accountable according to the highest standards of the law. We can no longer allow malicious intent to pass unnoticed in our judicial system.”.

Police arrested 21-year-old Levi Arnold, who has recently pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges of murder and resisting law enforcement for the cold-blooded crime he committed last year outside of the Apple Glen Walmart in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Arnold will be sentenced on April 16, 2021, and is facing 51 years in prison.

Illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 Magazine

Oscars 2021, Only Kind of White

By Dana Feeney

The nominations for the 2021 Oscars have finally been announced. In June 2020 it was announced that the awards show would be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Oscars were originally scheduled for February 21 but they will now be on April 25. The award show is run by the Academy of Motion Pictures, which was founded in the 1930s. This is the third time in Oscar’s history that the show has been postponed: the first time was in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the second in 1981 due to an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, there are many incredible films that have been created in the past year. This is the first time in Oscars history that the Academy will allow streaming films meaning films that did not have a box office debut. According to the Academy announcement last April, it will be a one time exception made to the eligibility rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting theater closures. This makes films like 2021 awards season powerhouse Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which exclusively premiered on Amazon Prime Video, eligible for award nominations.

Landmarks in Diversity

This is the first time in the Academy’s history that two women have been nominated for Best Director; Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.”  Zhao is the first woman of color to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. She is also the first woman to ever receive four nominations in one year. 

This is the first time that the Best Actor category is not majority white. Steven Yeun was the first Asian American to be nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Minari“. Also nominated for Best Actor, Riz Ahmed is the first person of Pakistani descent and the first Muslim person ever nominated for an acting Oscar for his performance in “Sound of Metal.” They are nominated alongside Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins for “The Father” and Gary Oldman for “Mank.” Chadwick Boseman is the first black actor to be nominated for a posthumous Oscar and may be the first black actor to win a posthumous Oscar considering his Golden Globes win

Many black filmmakers and professionals made history this year including Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, who are the first Black women nominated for best makeup and hairstyling for their work on “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Additionally, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is the first movie with an all-Black producing team, Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, to be nominated for best picture. Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield’s acting nominations for “Judas and the Black Messiah” marks the first time two Black actors from the same film were nominated. “Judas and the Black Messiah” now holds the record for most Black nominees ever from the same film with 10 nominations compared to the past record which was “The Color Purple” with 7 nominations.

The best actress nominees include Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” who is now the most nominated Black actress ever and Andra Day for her performance in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” The best supporting actor nominees include Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah”, Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami…” and LaKeith Stanfield for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Additionally, Yuh-Jung Youn, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Minari”, is the first Korean person ever nominated for an acting Oscar.

As expected, the nominations for the Oscars have many familiar titles from the Golden Globes nominations. You can read more about this year’s Golden Globes here. It’ll be interesting to see how the Oscars winners compare to the Golden Globes winners considering last year’s parallel with Parasite’s Oscars win for Best Picture versus it’s Golden Globes snub.

This year’s nominations are as diverse as the Oscars have ever been, though the bar still is on the floor considering the nominees are still predominantly old, white, and male. In 2020 the Oscars earned the hastag, #OscarsSoWhite so The influx of recognition for minorities is significant in comparison. For reference last year the only non-white person nominated was Cynthia Erivo, who was nominated for Best Actress. 

The Academy is working on improving their organization and have increased the number of female identifying members from 25% in 2015 to 33% in 2020, and increased members from racial and ethnic minorities, from 10% in 2015 to 19% in 2020. Considering the significant lack of diversity and recognition in categories like Best Picture and the lack of representation for Latinx individuals almost entirely, the Academy still has a way to go til its awards actually recognize and represent the diversity of the film community. 

Full List of 2021 Oscar Nominations

Similar to college basketball’s March Madness brackets, we highly recommend making Oscars ballots. It’s a super fun way to engage in awards shows which tend to be pretty monotonous and motivates people to actually watch the nominated films.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES:

RIZ AHMED

Sound of Metal

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ANTHONY HOPKINS

The Father

GARY OLDMAN

Mank

STEVEN YEUN

Minari

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES:

SACHA BARON COHEN

The Trial of the Chicago 7

DANIEL KALUUYA

Judas and the Black Messiah

LESLIE ODOM, JR.

One Night in Miami…

PAUL RACI

Sound of Metal

LAKEITH STANFIELD

Judas and the Black Messiah

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES:

VIOLA DAVIS

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ANDRA DAY

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

VANESSA KIRBY

Pieces of a Woman

FRANCES MCDORMAND

Nomadland

CAREY MULLIGAN

Promising Young Woman

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES:

MARIA BAKALOVA

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

GLENN CLOSE

Hillbilly Elegy

OLIVIA COLMAN

The Father

AMANDA SEYFRIED

Mank

YUH-JUNG YOUN

Minari

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

NOMINEES:

ONWARD

Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae

OVER THE MOON

Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou

A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON

Richard Phelan, Will Becher, and Paul Kewley

SOUL

Pete Docter and Dana Murray

WOLFWALKERS

Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

CINEMATOGRAPHY

NOMINEES:

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Sean Bobbitt

MANK

Erik Messerschmidt

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Dariusz Wolski

NOMADLAND

Joshua James Richards

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Phedon Papamichael

COSTUME DESIGN

NOMINEES:

EMMA

Alexandra Byrne

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Ann Roth

MANK

Trish Summerville

MULAN

Bina Daigeler

PINOCCHIO

Massimo Cantini Parrini

DIRECTING

NOMINEES:

ANOTHER ROUND

Thomas Vinterberg

MANK

David Fincher

MINARI

Lee Isaac Chung

NOMADLAND

Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Emerald Fennell

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

NOMINEES:

COLLECTIVE

Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana

CRIP CAMP

Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder

THE MOLE AGENT

Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez

MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, and Craig Foster

TIME

Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino, and Kellen Quinn

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

NOMINEES:

COLETTE

Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers

DO NOT SPLIT

Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook

HUNGER WARD

Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman

A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA

Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

FILM EDITING

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

Yorgos Lamprinos

NOMADLAND

Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Frédéric Thoraval

SOUND OF METAL

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Alan Baumgarten

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

NOMINEES:

ANOTHER ROUND

Denmark

BETTER DAYS

Hong Kong

COLLECTIVE

Romania

THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN

Tunisia

QUO VADIS, AIDA?

Bosnia and Herzegovina

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

NOMINEES:

EMMA

Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze

HILLBILLY ELEGY

Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle, and Patricia Dehaney

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, and Jamika Wilson

MANK

Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri, and Colleen LaBaff

PINOCCHIO

Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

NOMINEES:

DA 5 BLOODS

Terence Blanchard

MANK

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

MINARI

Emile Mosseri

NEWS OF THE WORLD

James Newton Howard

SOUL

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

NOMINEES:

FIGHT FOR YOU

from Judas and the Black Messiah; Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

HEAR MY VOICE

from The Trial of the Chicago 7; Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite

HUSAVIK

from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus, and Rickard Göransson

IO SÌ (SEEN)

from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se); Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini

SPEAK NOW

from One Night in Miami…; Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

BEST PICTURE

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, and Philippe Carcassonne, Producers

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Shaka King, Charles D. King, and Ryan Coogler, Producers

MANK

Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth, and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

MINARI

Christina Oh, Producer

NOMADLAND

Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Chloé Zhao, Producers

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell, and Josey McNamara, Producers

SOUND OF METAL

Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, Producers

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, Producers

PRODUCTION DESIGN

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton

MANK

Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan

TENET

Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

NOMINEES:

BURROW

Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat

GENIUS LOCI

Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise

IF ANYTHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU

Will McCormack and Michael Govier

OPERA

Erick Oh

YES-PEOPLE

Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

NOMINEES:

FEELING THROUGH

Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski

THE LETTER ROOM

Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan

THE PRESENT

Farah Nabulsi and Ossama Bawardi

TWO DISTANT STRANGERS

Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe

WHITE EYE

Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman

SOUND

NOMINEES

GREYHOUND

Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders, and David Wyman

MANK

Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance, and Drew Kunin

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, and John Pritchett

SOUL

Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott, and David Parker

SOUND OF METAL

Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

VISUAL EFFECTS

NOMINEES:

LOVE AND MONSTERS

Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt, and Brian Cox

THE MIDNIGHT SKY

Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon, and David Watkins

MULAN

Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, and Steve Ingram

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, and Santiago Colomo Martinez

TENET

Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, and Scott Fisher

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

NOMINEES:

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: DELIVERY OF PRODIGIOUS BRIBE TO AMERICAN REGIME FOR MAKE BENEFIT ONCE GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad

THE FATHER

Screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller

NOMADLAND

Written for the screen by Chloé Zhao

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…

Screenplay by Kemp Powers

THE WHITE TIGER

Written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

NOMINEES:

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King; Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas

MINARI

Written by Lee Isaac Chung

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Written by Emerald Fennell

SOUND OF METAL

Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Written by Aaron Sorkin