Daunte Wright Family Hopeful for Justice After Chauvin Verdict

George Floyd's family getting justice -- with Derek Chauvin being found guilty of murder -- is providing a morale boost for Daunte Wright's family, even as they prepare for a very difficult day.

Daunte's aunt, Naisha Wright, tells TMZ ... with Tuesday's verdict, she feels like real change has begun in this country, and Daunte's loved ones are feeling more confident they will also get justice for his killing at the hands of police.

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Naisha says there's a major parallel in the 2 cases, in that Floyd's killing was a cold-blooded murder that people across the world witnessed on video ... and she believes her nephew's killing is the same situation.

She says now that they've seen Floyd's family get justice, it's helping lift their spirits as they prepare to lay Daunte to rest. The 20-year-old's wake is being held Wednesday, and the funeral will be on Thursday -- it's obviously a very heavy time, but Naisha tells us the Floyd family has been incredibly supportive throughout this tragedy.

She says the Floyds are truly an amazing family and even though it's sad they had to meet under these circumstances ... she's happy they've been there for the Wrights.

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Brooklyn Center Police

As we've reported ... Daunte was killed last week during a traffic stop in Minnesota by ex-Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Potter fatally shot Daunte as he was trying to get back into his car, but claims she meant to fire her Taser.

Potter resigned after the incident and was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter shortly afterward.

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Naisha and other family members have already made it very clear they don't think that's enough and want a life sentence for Potter ... and they're more hopeful now they will get what they deserve for Daunte.

George Floyd's Murder Chauvin May Never Have Been Prosecuted ... But for Civilian Video

Derek Chauvin's conviction was a stunning statement by a diverse jury that brutalizing a citizen will even get cops punished, but it's critical to know how close Chauvin came to getting away with it.

The way these cases have gone in the past ... the police department issues a statement, and if there's no citizen-generated video, it's often the end of it. In Chauvin's case, the initial police report -- written before any video surfaced -- made absolutely no mention of his conduct ... cutting off George Floyd's air supply for more than 9 minutes.

The Minneapolis PD issued a statement after Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, passing his death off as a "medical incident."

The day after Floyd's death, the PD put out a statement, saying police responded to a "forgery in progress" and advised the suspect "was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence."

The statement goes on ... "Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car.  He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later." It went on to say "At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident."

The statement notes there was body cam video, but there was no mention of what it showed.

MPD eventually updated their release to call it a "critical incident" and to say that as more info became available, it'd been determined the FBI was going to get involved.

The case flew under the radar until Darnella Frazier posted video of what REALLY happened. There was a clear cover-up by cops who never said anything about Chauvin's knee, and we may never have known what really happened if it weren't for 17-year-old Darnella and her cellphone.

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Facebook/ Darnella Frazier

Remember ... Chauvin had issues with excessive force on the PD before he encountered George Floyd, yet he remained on the force and he might still be a cop if it weren't for Frazier's video.

It just goes to show ... if it isn't captured on civilian video, justice can be elusive.

Ma'Khia Bryant Cop's Fatal Shots at Ohio Teen ... Body Cam Shows Knife in Her Hand

KNIFE IN HAND
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Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old from Columbus, OH, is dead after a cop shot her 4 times ... and newly released body cam shows why police were called, and why the incident's sparked new protests over another police-involved fatality.

The incident went down Tuesday -- about a half-hour before Derek Chauvin's guilty verdicts -- when police responded to a call for a fight between a few teenage girls ... one of them being Ma'Khia. The body cam shows a chaotic scene when cops arrived in the driveway of a home.

One girl was thrown to the ground at the feet of one of the officers, and you hear him yelling, "Hey, hey, hey, hey. Get down!" as Ma'Khia's seen apparently lunging with a knife at a different girl.

You see the officer quickly draw his gun and then fire 4 shots at Ma'Khia, who immediately falls to the ground. You can see a man standing nearby yell at the cop in shock, "You didn't have to shoot her. She's just a kid, man."

The cop responded, "She had a knife. She just went at her."

The shooting prompted protests near the scene of the incident, and in downtown Columbus. The officer's reportedly been taken off the streets while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigates.

Ma'Khia was reportedly taken to Mount Carmel East Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Neighbors say she was living in a foster home on the block where she was shot.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called it a tragic day and added, "We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time, was critical."

Derek Chauvin New Mug Shot Settles into Jail Until Sentencing

This is Derek Chauvin ahead of his first night in jail as a convicted murderer ... he had his new mug shot taken Tuesday evening after he was led out of court in handcuffs.

Chauvin is being held in Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office checked him into the jail -- which he'll call home, until sentencing in about 8 weeks -- around 5 PM Tuesday, immediately after he was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.

We know Chauvin prepped to make at least one phone call after arriving at the jail -- TMZ broke the story, Chauvin scribbled the phone number for Eric Nelson, his defense attorney, on the palm of his left hand. The smudged pen marks were visible on his hand as the bailiff led him out of the courtroom.

Chauvin posed for his first mug when he was arrested for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison. The average sentence in Minnesota for  second-degree murder for first offenders is around 15 years, but there are aggravating circumstances here that could lead to a harsher sentence.

Peloton Sued Your Treadmill is a Damn Deathtrap!!!!

Peloton's Tread+ treadmill is a killer machine ... literally, according to a new class-action lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the fitness equipment is utterly unsafe for anyone with kids ... or even pets.

In the suit, Shannon Albright says Peloton's $4,295 treadmill is marketed as a device that'll give you "Your hardest training session" on "Your softest road" thanks to a shock-absorbing belt that's built with 59 individual slats.

Shannon's issue is that, although Peleton does have warnings on the machine ... she feels they're not sufficient to alert customers to the true danger -- which is that the treadmill's design allegedly makes it "extremely susceptible" to children and pets getting trapped underneath the machine.

In docs, obtained by TMZ, Albright claims some customers have had "children approach the machine, out of eyesight of the parent, and those children have been trapped and injured by the Tread+ machine.”

The lawsuit mentions at least one child has died as a result of the Tread+ ... and at least several dozen more have been injured. Albright claims injuries range from bruising and abrasion to broken bones, permanent brain injury and death.

What's more ... Albright claims Peloton has essentially ignored the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s warning that directs consumers to "stop using the Peloton Tread+ if there are small children or pets at home." There's even a video apparently showing 2 kids playing on the Tread+ and one child getting trapped.

Albright claims Peloton has known or should have known about its defective machine ... so she's trying to form a class action and suing for more than $5 million in damages.

We've reached out to Peloton, so far no word back.

'Gangsta Wrapper' Shirt Mom Claims Son Racially Profiled by Doctor ... Denied Service

A Louisiana mother believes a doctor refused to perform surgery on her son after racially profiling him over a Christmas sweater that jokes about Santa being a "gangsta wrapper."

Shelly Jack claims her 17-year-old son was refused medical service by a surgeon at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Ville Platte because the guy was offended by the funny shirt, allegedly believing it to be an endorsement of gang activity.

Jack says her son made an appointment to get a bullet removed from his leg by a surgeon, but after they arrived she claims the doctor went off about how the "gangsta gear" was disrespectful ... and told them he wouldn't help a gang member.

But, Shelly tells KATC3 ... her son is not involved with any gang -- he was shot trying to pull a friend away from a fight at an apartment when shots rang out and he got hit.

Fortunately, Jack says her son was able to make an appointment with another surgeon several days later, but she's filed a complaint with Mercy Regional.

The hospital told KATC3 it's taking the complaint seriously and is investigating, but Jack says the doctor's actions were very hurtful to both her and her son ... and she's considering further legal action.

Derek Chauvin Wrote Lawyer's Phone # on Hand ... In Case of Conviction

TMZ now knows what was on Derek Chauvin's hand ... he wanted to make sure he had his lawyer's phone number in case he was convicted and sent directly to jail.

Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, tells TMZ, his client wrote the number ahead of the conviction, because the convicted former cop knew if the jury found him guilty of second-degree murder he'd almost certainly have his bail revoked and he'd be remanded to custody.

Chauvin clearly knew given his former profession, he would have limited access to a phone but would be allowed to call his lawyer ... thus the scribble on his left hand. Chauvin has been in court many times, so he clearly knew a conviction would lead to swift incarceration, with no opportunity to speak to his lawyer in court after the verdict.

Nelson didn't say what the nature of such a call might be, but clearly, Chauvin wanted to discuss the next steps with his attorney. There are issues of sentencing and appeal that the defense will certainly address.

We're guessing Chauvin wrote the phone number on his hand because he was concerned if he wrote it on a piece of paper it might be confiscated when he was booked into jail.

As you know by now, the jury found Chauvin guilty on all 3 counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Las Vegas Raiders Dragged Over 'I Can Breathe' Post ... After Chauvin Verdict

7:00 PM PT -- Raiders owner Mark Davis is taking full responsibility for the tweet ... but said the team will NOT delete the message that many feel is extremely tone-deaf.

Davis told The Athletic he got the idea for the "I Can Breathe" tweet after hearing George Floyd's brother use the phrase earlier Tuesday.

While speaking to the media at a news conference in Minneapolis following the Chauvin guilty verdict, George's sibling, Philonise Floyd, said ... "Today, we are able to breathe again."

"WE ARE ABLE TO BREATHE AGAIN"
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That's why Davis claims the team used the phrase.

Davis also said he's sorry IF the tweet hurt the Floyd family ... "If I offended the family, then I'm deeply, deeply disappointed."

Hours after the tweet was sent, it's still on the Raiders Twitter page ... where Davis says it will remain.

The Las Vegas Raiders tried to enter the chat after the Derek Chauvin verdict on Tuesday -- but they're getting torn apart on social media for what some are saying is an insensitive post.

After Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd on Tuesday, the Raiders' social media account tweeted out, "I CAN BREATHE" with the date and the team logo.

The problem ... people feel it's very tone deaf because Floyd told officers, "I can't breathe" more than 20 times while being forcefully detained by Chauvin, who at the time was a member of the Minneapolis Police Department.

On top of that ...  while the verdict is a step in the right direction, there's clearly so much work to be done.

The reaction to the Raiders' social media post has been overwhelmingly negative ... with THOUSANDS of responses piling in on Twitter.

Here's a sampling ...

-- "Wow this is a huge miss"

-- "Delete this s**t."

-- "Donate money to the inner cities of Oakland & delete this post."

-- "Delete this wtf is this omg"

-- "This is what it looks like when u try to join the 'woke' side of social media and fail miserably"

NBA guard Isaiah Thomas also voiced his displeasure ... saying, "Y’all can’t be serious."

NFL receiver Torrey Smith added ... "Folks get paid to avoid stupid stuff like this smh delete this @Raiders"

Emmanuel Acho -- "I keep double checking to see if the @Raiders verified account actually tweeted this."

The tweet is still up as of 5 PM PT ... but given the backlash, that could change.

Originally Published -- 5:05 PM PT

Lamar Odom Rips Idea Of 'Kardashian Curse' ... 'You Dumbasses'

Lamar Odom is going to war for the Kardashians ... saying anyone who believes men are suffering from a "Kardashian Curse" after relationships with the sisters are straight-up "dumbasses."

The ex-NBA star was asked this month how men -- including himself and guys like Kanye West -- seemingly fall apart after getting into serious relationships with the Kardashians ... and that's when he raced in to defend the famous family.

"That's stupidity,” Odom said of the "curse" during an interview with Vlad TV that aired over the weekend. "Because everybody goes through s***, you dumbasses."

Odom continued, "If I had your family on tape, and see all the s*** your family was going through, people would be like, 'This f***ing family is crazy!' People would see all the drug addicts, all the sex, they share their life with you, so you see everything."

Odom was married to Khloe Kardashian from 2009 to 2016 ... and the former Lakers player had far more downs than ups during the relationship.

But, Lamar says NONE of that has to do with the circus that surrounds the Kardashians ... explaining he feels he's actually "lucky" to have been at one point accepted by the family.

"I know in some ways it's the reason why I'm still relevant to this day," the 41-year-old said. "'Cause I'm not playing ball no more. Ain't no more highlights on me no more."

Odom continued, "The looks that I still get is due to -- a lot of it is because of the love that they gave me ... And f**k anybody that goes against that."

Odom and Khloe officially divorced back in December 2016. He's since apologized publicly for the way he acted toward her during the relationship, even saying back in 2019, "I couldn't believe how I was treating that queen."

Swae Lee First Call With Brother In Jail ... Talking Stepfather's Death

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Swae Lee is finally hearing from his brother facing a first-degree murder charge in his father's death ... and TMZ has the first look at their phone call from jail, and it's powerful.

The rapper and his mother, Bernadette Walker, got super emotional as they dialed up her son, Michael Sullivan, as he sits in a Mississippi jail and asked about the night in January 2020 when Swae's stepfather -- who helped raise him -- was gunned down.

The emotional jail phone call is part of Swae's new docuseries on Snapchat, "Swae Meets World," which premiered last Saturday and features Swae talking about his stepfather's death on camera for the first time.

Michael, who suffers from a mental illness requiring medication, tells Swae what was going through his head the night his father, Floyd Sullivan Jr., died ... and it sounds pretty intense.

TMZ broke the story ... Swae and Slim Jxmmi's half-brother was arrested for murder the day after their stepfather was shot to death, and Michael's been charged with murder and is facing life in prison if convicted.

Bernadette claims Michael might have been off his medication before the alleged shooting ... and now Michael's telling Swae he'd been hearing voices.

'RHONJ' Star Dolores Catania Crashes Wedding ... Leaves a Nice Gift!!!

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Dolores Catania knows how to sniff out a good party ... and she's all about chipping in for it too!!!

Dolores was apparently hanging out around the Liberty House at the Liberty State Park in Jersey City on Sunday, where -- full disclosure -- one of our NYC camera guys, Jeremy, was having his wedding reception.

We're told the NJ 'Housewife' popped in around 8:30 PM and stayed for over an hour, mingling and snapping pics with the bride and groom and other guests who are big 'RHONJ' fans.

Dolores showed up solo and left by herself too ... but not before gifting the happy couple $250 via Venmo. We're told they were ecstatic about her surprise appearance ... truly a memorable moment.

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BTW -- this was actually Jeremy's second wedding ceremony ... you may recall he had a small, socially distant affair last year in the early pandemic days that was memorable for totally different reasons.

This time around, 100 guests were allowed to be in attendance ... plus one.

YouTube Star Kyle Forgeard Busted for Allegedly Impersonating Mall Security Officer

YouTube star Kyle Foregeard learned the hard way that allegedly pretending to be a Paul Blart has consequences ... like getting arrested.

So, get this ... Kyle, who is widely known in the YouTube and social media world for pulling off incredible pranks, is alleged to have impersonated a mall security officer at the Grapevine Mills Mall in Tarrant County, Texas.

What's more ... according to the police report, cops say Kyle even had his own segway. Word of the arrest eventually made it on social media after Kyle's prank group, the Nelk Boys, tweeted Monday that one of their own had just been taken into custody.

It wasn't long before the Nelk Boys' legion of fans made #FreeKyle a trend on Twitter. According to police records ... Kyle was taken into custody Tuesday but it wasn't long before he was released after posting a $750 bond.

At this moment it's unclear what prank Kyle was allegedly trying to pull off ... but if it's anything like the Coke prank (do yourself a favor and see the video above), it was probably epic.

Draymond Green Chauvin Verdict Isn't the End of Bad Cops ... More Work to Be Done

GOT A LONG WAY TO GO
TMZSports.com

Draymond Green says it's "great" that Derek Chauvin was convicted in the murder of George Floyd -- but warns the fight against bad cops is far from over.

TMZ Sports spoke with the Golden State Warriors star in Washington D.C. on Thursday afternoon -- moments after the Chauvin verdict was revealed.

Our photog was a little nervous when he approached Green, but essentially tried to ask if the conviction is good for the country on the whole.

"I think it's great that we finally saw a cop get tried," Green told us ... "The challenge to the country now is to make sure [police officers are] being held accountable."

Our photog also asked Green if he thinks the Chauvin case will have an overall impact on the way cops across the country treat Black people.

"I think that's a totally different story ... when you look at the way these officers treat Black people, we're not treated as human. We're treated as a threat by your skin color."

Green says the country is still a "long ways away" from achieving true equality when it comes to policing, but it's clear Draymond believes the Chauvin verdict is a step in the right direction.

Guess Who This Shocked Tot Turned Into!

Before this shocked tot was a Disney star stealing the screen in musical adventures, she was just another blonde beauty growing up in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

This short haired sweetie has proved her acting chops and powerhouse singing skills throughout her career ... starring in leading roles for television, film, and live musicals. She has also scored success with her songs on the Billboard charts.

Now, this surprised star has just started filming for an iconic new live-action series -- she will be playing a super sweet member of a colorful trio based off a 90s cartoon.

Can you guess who she is?

President Biden, VP Harris George Floyd Changed The World ... Chauvin Guilty Verdict Can Spark Change

LOTS OF WORK LEFT TO DO

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris just reacted to the guilty verdict that was handed down in the Derek Chauvin murder trial ... and they say it's a catalyst for ending systemic racism.

Biden says he told George Floyd's daughter, Gianna, her father "changed the world" ... and he's calling on Americans to unite behind the guilty verdict and help make the country a better place where folks don't have reason to fear law enforcement.

POTUS says Floyd's murder in broad daylight ripped the blinders off and allowed the world to see the systemic racism rooted in America ... and Biden says the verdict is a step towards changing the country's trajectory.

Harris says the guilty verdict offers a bit of relief, but it can't bring back Floyd or take away his family's pain ... and she says now's the time to reform policing in America.

PRESIDENTIAL CALL FOR CHANGE

In the courthouse hallway moments after the verdict, Biden called the Floyd family and expressed his feelings that justice was served.

As you know by now, a Minneapolis jury just found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder and third-degree murder for killing Floyd during his arrest on May 25, 2020. Chauvin was also found guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the Prez commented that he had checked in on Floyd's family and told them he was "praying the verdict is the right verdict." He also called the Chauvin case "overwhelming."

The Chauvin verdict does not mean the overwhelming nature of the case is over ... as the 3 other officers involved in Floyd's arrest are due to stand trial soon as well.

Along with that ... Chauvin could very well appeal the verdict and there could be much more legal drama ahead, as his own trial judge even alluded to.

Derek Chauvin Guilty of Murdering George Floyd

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5:01 PM PT -- Chauvin was booked at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, he was booked at 4:55pm local time.

3:17 PM PT -- George Floyd's family attorney, Ben Crump, is introducing George's family members ... who are about to speak about the verdict as well.

"WE ARE ABLE TO BREATHE AGAIN"
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2:41 PM PT -- Earlier, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, along with several other members of the prosecution team, addressed the media about the Chauvin verdict.

Rev. Al Sharpton also spoke and delivered a prayer, praising God for justice being served.

Derek Chauvin -- the former Minneapolis officer who pressed his knee on George Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes during his fatal arrest on May 25, 2020 -- has been found guilty of 2nd-degree murder.

The jury delivered the verdict after more than 10 hours of deliberation. The maximum penalty for 2nd-degree unintentional murder is 40 years in prison. Sentencing will be handed down in 8 weeks. Chauvin's bail was revoked and he was remanded into custody.

The jury also found Chauvin guilty of 3rd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter, but the 2nd degree takes precedence since it was the highest charge.

The Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump, tweeted just minutes after the verdict was read, "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Crump continues, "We thank AG Keith Ellison & his team, along with our legal team, for fierce dedication to justice. But it does not end here. We still have work to do! We must pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to hold police accountable & prevent unjustified killings of marginalized POC."

The decision came after the jury heard from 38 prosecution witnesses, including the Minneapolis Police Chief and use-of-force experts who criticized Chauvin ... and medical experts who explained Floyd died from more than 9 minutes of pressure from Chauvin's knee.

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Facebook/ Darnella Frazier

The defense called 7 witnesses, but Chauvin did not take the stand himself as he invoked his 5th Amendment right.

Chauvin was the first of the officers involved in Floyd's arrest to stand trial for the incident. He was charged with killing Floyd less than a week after video of him pressing his knee into Floyd's neck spread like wildfire online, and sparked nationwide protests and riots.

Chauvin's main defense in the case was that Floyd allegedly died from drugs and a heart condition and not from the ex-cop's actions. Chauvin's lawyers claimed Floyd "put drugs in his mouth" to conceal them when confronted by cops, and the drugs exacerbated his heart condition and caused his death.

But, prosecutors insisted drug use was a bogus defense, and Floyd was killed by Chauvin's unforgiving knee ... which he held to Floyd's neck as he struggled to breathe for more than 9 minutes.

Several witnesses supported the prosecution's theory, including Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who took the stand to testify Chauvin's actions "absolutely" violated police policy.

Chauvin, however, defended his actions at the time by telling a witness he and the other cops had to stay on top of Floyd to control him because he's a "sizable guy" and because he was "probably on something."

During the trial, a couple paramedics testified Floyd's heart had already stopped by the time they arrived on scene. The ER doctor who pronounced Floyd dead at the hospital testified he believed oxygen deficiency was "one of the more likely" causes of his death.

Floyd's family already got a measure of justice when the City of Minneapolis settled a wrongful death lawsuit, agreeing to pay the family $27 million.

Originally Published -- 2:07 PM PT

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