LISTEN: Georgia Police Chief Publicly Apologizes for Department’s Role In 1940 Lynching of Black Man; No Charges for 2 LAPD Officers In Killing of Black Man (BCNN1, 1/26/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Thursday, January 26, 2017.

1. According to Reuters, the police chief of a small Georgia city will publicly apologize on Thursday for the lynching of a young black man almost 77 years ago, an official gesture historians say is rare in the U.S. South. Austin Callaway was abducted by a mob of white men from the jail in LaGrange, Georgia, in September 1940, driven into the woods and shot to death, said the city’s current police chief, Louis Dekmar. Callaway, thought to be about 18, had been jailed on allegations he assaulted a white woman. Dekmar, who is white and has served as chief for 22 years, said in a phone interview, “It was as if it was erased from the memory of the white community. But the black community still remembers, and I want to acknowledge that this happened and it was wrong.”

2. According to the Associated Press, two Los Angeles police officers acted in self-defense and will not face criminal charges after fatally shooting a mentally ill black man during a struggle over an officer’s gun in 2014, prosecutors said Tuesday. The finding from the Los Angeles district attorney’s office comes more than a year after a police oversight board found the officers had no legal reason to stop 25-year-old Ezell Ford, violating department policy. But prosecutors said Los Angeles Police Department officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas were in fear for their lives and acted lawfully when they shot Ford on Aug. 11, 2014 as Ford struggled with Wampler over the officer’s holstered gun. The shooting happened days after that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and led to a series of Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles.

3. According to Mail Online, a 14-year-old girl broadcast to a social media platform from her Miami area foster home as she hanged herself in the bathroom. The Florida Department of Children and Families offered few details Tuesday about the weekend death-by-suicide of Nakia Venant, whom police found hanging from the door frame in the bathroom. One of the girl’s friends told the Miami Herald she saw some of Venant’s two-hour livestream on Sunday and called Miami-Dade police, who responded to her house. She then gave them a wrong address in Miami, reported the Miami Herald. When police showed up there, residents gave them the address of Venant’s foster home in the suburb of Miami Gardens. Officers found the 14-year-old hanging from a scarf fashioned into a noose around her neck and tried to resuscitate her, but without success. Venant was then rushed to Jackson North Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead.

4. According to EEW Magazine News, Gospel’s favorite duo is teaming up for one of gospel music’s biggest events of the year. Husband and wife, actors, and singers David and Tamela Mann, will host the NFL Sanctioned Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (SBGC) Friday, February 3, 2017, at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The musical extravaganza will kick-off Super Bowl LI with its 18th Annual star-studded jubilation. And who better to host this year’s celebration than the breakout stars of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns — a pair of celebrities that have won the hearts of America’s faith-based community? The annual event joins together key NFL Players, top Gospel, Contemporary Christian and mainstream GRAMMY® Award-winning artists and special guests all on one stage to bring audiences an evening of uplifting music and inspirational messages.

5. According to EEW Magazine News, GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel recording artist Tina Campbell has written an open letter to President Donald J. Trump. The piece published on her official Facebook page Wednesday, Jan. 25, is hopeful and optimistic as it calls for others to join her in praying for our 45th Commander-In-Chief, and to believe that, above all things, God remains in control. Campbell wrote, “I understand that Mr. Donald Trump is our new president, not our God. So as a citizen I choose to have a sensible expectation of him, accompanied by much prayer for him, and a complete dependency on God to work through him, as well as the others that are in office, to secure the welfare of this nation.”

6. According to the Christian Post, the second season of National Geographic’s “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” is now underway, and in episode two the Academy Award-winning actor visits a Pentecostal church to find out more about speaking the heavenly language of tongues. The series premiere of “The Story of God” aired on Jan. 16 and episode two, “Heaven and Hell,” begins with an exploration of warfare through the practices of Ethiopian Christians. After taking a look at the dark side of demon possession in Ethiopia, the show lightens up a bit when Freeman visits a Pentecostal church in the United States. In season two, Freeman meets with faith leaders, scientists and archaeologists to help him understand the different themes found in religion, such as “The Chosen One?” “Proof of God” and “Heaven and Hell.” Season one of “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” is now available on DVD.

7. According to Black America Web, the man who launched WorldStarHipHop.com has died. While initial reports said that Lee O’Denat, a.k.a. “Q,” died in his sleep, the L.A. Times reports he was at a San Diego massage parlor when he became unresponsive. He was 43. The cause of death is listed as a heart attack, with obesity as a contributing factor. The CEO of WorldStar was 33 when began the website in 2005 by posting mixtapes. It gradually progressed into a mixture of rap videos, celebrity interviews, sports clips and the latest viral sensation.