Joe Biden's Inauguration Here's How We Celebrate America ... Fireworks & Katy Perry!!!

SPARKING CHANGE

Joe Biden ended his first night in the White House soaking in a fireworks show over D.C. ... with Katy Perry putting a bow on a historic day.

The new President and First Lady Jill Biden wore masks and hugged on a balcony outside their new digs, watching fireworks over the Washington Monument as Katy sang her hit, "Firework."

The "Celebrating America" inauguration concert saved the best for last ... with Katy bringing down the house.

Tom Hanks hosted the 90-minute primetime concert live from D.C., braving a cold winter's night at the Lincoln Memorial.

THE GANG'S ALL HERE

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama delivered a special message too ... sending Biden words of encouragement and wishing him success for the good of the country, while taking some subtle shots at the guy Biden's replacing.

Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters and John Legend performed virtually before Katy's grand finale ... as did Ant Clemons, Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard.

BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD

Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria were also part of the action ... introducing the acts and sharing stories about young folks making differences in their communities.

After a long day of politics and procedures, Biden's first day in office ended with a bang!!

Miya Ponsetto False Accusations Akin to Emmett Till Case ... Keyon Harrold's Jr.'s Mom Claims, Calls for Hotel Ban

Breaking News
THIS IS WHITE PRIVILEGE
TMZ.com

Miya Ponsetto is the symbol of white privilege, and her falsely accusing 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her phone is a modern-day reflection of what happened to Emmett Till … according to the Black teenager's mother.

Kat Harrold sounded off on Ponsetto for her actions during and since the December 26 incident at the Arlo Hotel in NYC, specifically, Miya’s denial of racism being a factor … and using her ethnicity and her age as an apparent shield for being held accountable.

According to Kat ... Miya being Puerto Rican doesn’t mean she's not racist, and being 22 years old doesn’t mean she’s too young to be excused for it. She points out that Emmett Till was killed as a result of false allegations made by a white woman who was 21 … and Kat believes that racial injustice is reflected in her son’s case.

Kat says the proof is in how the hotel reacted to the situation when Miya accused her son of stealing her phone. She claims the Arlo defaulted to questioning the Black teenager but did NOT question Miya. Kat says the hotel immediately sided with her instead and calls this a clear example of white privilege.

HOTEL BOYCOTT
TMZ.com

As for the Arlo … attorney Ben Crump and Keyon’s parents are calling for a ban until the hotel condemns the individual racism allegedly shown by Ponsetto, and takes responsibility for the racial profiling they believe it demonstrated.

They lay a lot of the blame on the hotel manager for not de-escalating the situation, and accuse him of treating the Black teen like he was guilty from the jump … forcing him to prove he did nothing wrong. Even worse, they point out that Miya was not even a patron of the hotel … yet she was treated with more respect than Keyon and his father, Keyon Sr. -- who were actually staying there.

Their rallying cry -- "No more, Arlo!"

As we've reported ... Ponsetto was arrested last week in SoCal, flown back to NYC where she was charged with attempted assault, attempted robbery, grand larceny and endangering the welfare of a child for her altercation with the teenager.

However, Miya was NOT charged with a hate crime, and the prosecutor never even mentioned any racial components to the case in court Saturday. Keyon Jr.'s parents -- Keyon and Kat -- previously told us they believe the ordeal is reflective of racial injustices as a whole.

1/10/21
FROM COURT TO SHINING COURT
BACKGRID

The race issue is something Ponsetto is not going to be able to avoid regardless ... that much was evident when she arrived back at LAX following her NYC court appearance.

Mike Tyson & Roy Jones Jr. Strip Down and Flex at Weigh-In ... Ripped In Their 50s!

Exclusive
SO IT BEGINS
TMZSports.com

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. just ripped off their shirts and showed off their incredible physiques at the weigh-in for their big fight ... and man, these guys are ripped!

54-year-old Tyson and 51-year-old Roy both look amazing for their age -- really, for ANY age -- as they gear up to fight on Saturday night.

Tyson weighed in at 220.4 pounds. Jones Jr. was 210.

Both men appeared calm and focused -- and told TMZ Sports they plan on spending their Friday night relaxing and watching karate movies to get in the right headspace.

Jake Paul also put on a show at the weigh-in -- dressing up like a Super Saiyan from "Dragon Ball Z" ... and warning his opponent Nate Robinson to not let his kids watch the fight, because it will scar them for years to come.

NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN
TMZSports.com

36-year-old Nate is a former NBA star and 3-time NBA Slam Dunk contest champion. He said he's fighting 23-year-old Paul to prove he's still an elite athlete.

Earlier in the day, Roy Jones Jr. told us his pre-fight meal plans -- and why he's so excited to get back in the ring.

Funny moment with Mike Tyson when he was asked about his famous quote, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

GET READY FOR FIGHT NIGHT
TMZSports.com

So, what happens when Mike gets punched in the mouth?

"We'll go to Plan B -- I'll punch him back!"

The fight is set to go down Saturday night at Staples Center in L.A. -- the weigh-in took place at a nearby hotel.

Everyone at the weigh-in site was required to undergo COVID testing -- including our TMZ photog, who was also mask'd up and keeping his distance.

As we previously reported, both Mike and 51-year-old Roy have made it abundantly clear they will be trying to take each other out from the opening bell of their 8 round exhibition (available on PPV via cable and satellite, and PPV streaming at Triller).

The event is going to be insane -- with performances from huge stars like Lil Wayne, French Montana, YG, Wiz Khalifa and more.

Ne-Yo is doing the national anthem -- and Snoop Dogg will also be involved.

Ahmaud Arbery's Mom Keep Murder Suspects Behind Bars!!! Speaks at Bond Hearing

11/12/20
A PLEA TO THE COURT

Ahmaud Arbery's mother says the father and son accused of murdering her son did not give him a chance to go home ... so they shouldn't get to go home either.

Wanda Cooper-Jones spoke in a Georgia courthouse Thursday at the end of a long bond hearing for Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, who are trying to convince the judge they should be released. They've been in jail since May when they were charged.

Ahmaud's mom says the 2 men are trying to present themselves as the good guys and her son as the criminal, while ignoring what she believes is an absolutely unjustifiable killing.

According to Cooper-Jones ... the McMichaels are just as dangerous now as they were on the day Ahmaud was killed, and it would be another injustice to let them go home while they wait for their trial.

Earlier during the hearing, a handful of character witnesses spoke on behalf of Travis and Gregory and why they believe they should be granted bond. Travis' mom and friends said he's a great father and a happy person who would pose no threat of fleeing.

Likewise, Gregory's wife and coworkers said he poses no flight risk, and his landlord said he's always been a good tenant.

The judge did not make a decision yet, but is expected to when the hearing continues Friday.

William "Roddie" Bryan, the man who authorities say recorded Ahmaud's slaying, was not involved in this hearing, but was first denied bond back in July, when a judge deemed him a flight risk.

As we've reported ... all 3 men were indicted by a grand jury back in June, and they're facing 9 felony charges ... including 4 counts felony murder, 1 count of malice murder, 2 counts aggravated assault, 1 count of false imprisonment and 1 count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

The 3 defendants last appeared in court together in July, when they all entered not guilty pleas.

IN COLD BLOOD

Authorities say Travis fired the fatal shots during a struggle with Ahmaud on February 23 while Bryan recorded the incident. A GBI detective previously testified Bryan told police he heard Travis call Arbery a "f***ing n*****" after shooting him.

Protesters gathered in front of the courthouse Wednesday before marching and chanting "no bond."

Originally Published -- 6:45 AM PT

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris We're About Unity, Hope and Action!!!

RUNNIN' TO THE PRESIDENCY
PBS

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both gave rousing speeches to an enormous crowd as they declared victory in the 2020 Presidential election.

Biden sprinted to the podium, then told the crowd his victory was clear and convincing. He was clearly messaging that Donald Trump's challenges will amount to nothing.

11/7/20
WE'RE NOT ENEMIES, WE'RE AMERICANS
PBS

He then got presidential, telling the crowd he will restore respect for America around the world. He said he was heartened by the joy he's observed today all over the world.

Biden then laid out the work ahead, starting with subduing the COVID pandemic, restoring the economy, and on and on.

WE HAVE THE POWER
PBS

Kamala Harris introduced Biden. She came out to thunderous cheering and honking, to Mary J Blige's "Work It,"and began her speech by referencing the late John Lewis, who said ... "Democracy is not a state. It's an act." As Harris explained, there's no guarantee that democracy will endure ... it's all about action.

Harris took some oblique shots at Trump, saying voters chose hope, unity, decency, science and truth. But, most of what she did was inspirational, talking about her historic rise and her late mother's mantra that anything is possible.

Her most memorable line ... "I may be the first [female Veep] in this office. I will not be the last."

It was fascinating ... all of Donald Trump's threats seemed to disappear in the moment.

President Trump Not Giving Up Election Fight!!! Targets Mail-in Ballots

CLAIMING FRAUD
Right Side Broadcasting Network

President Trump remains defiant, and is vowing to wage legal war against the election results that have made Joe Biden the nation's President-Elect.

Trump's legal team, including Rudy Giuliani held a news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia Saturday morning ... just moments after Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris became the projected winners of the election.

Giuliani focused on the mail-in ballots in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and repeated Trump's allegations of fraud connected to them. His main beef is Team Trump was allegedly not allowed to see any of the mail-in ballots or verify their legitimacy.

Rudy says the problem wasn't only in Philadelphia, but also in Pittsburgh ... where he claims 300,000 ballots went completely unchecked by Republicans who had a court order allowing them to observe the count.

He admits they were given access, but as you've heard for a few days now ... team Trump claims they weren't allowed to get close enough to properly observe.

The President and his lawyers say they will file multiple cases on Monday to challenge the vote count. Although they've yet to present any evidence of this ... they claim not every legal ballot has been counted, and far too many "illegal" ballots have been counted.

Dijon Kizzee's Independent Autopsy Confirms He Was Shot 15 Times ... Lawyers Sound Off on L.A. Sheriff

Breaking News
GOING AFTER THE SHERIFF
Fox 11

Dijon Kizzee was shot at 19 times by police officers and struck 15 times -- most of which hit his body as he was already on the ground -- this according to an independent investigation by his family.

The legal team for Dijon’s family just revealed the autopsy findings and sounded off on law enforcement -- specifically L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva -- claiming he and the entire department is trying to justify a blatant lack of humanity in Kizzee’s killing … which they call an execution.

Attorney Carl Douglas went first by repeating that Kizzee was shot at 19 times … which he claims shows the cops had no humanity for his life, along with poor training.

Douglas says Kizzee’s killing demonstrates a “warrior mentality” that permeates across police departments in the U.S. He adds that the 19 shots tell him the officers involved did not perceive a threat … but rather did what they felt they had to do to “maintain their integrity back at the office.”

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump referred to Kizzee’s death as an execution, and also rebuked Sheriff Villanueva for "trying to justify the unjustifiable." Crump says the shooting of Kizzee is the latest tragic example of what he calls the "1619 pandemic" … his term for the unjust killings of Black people due to systemic racism in America.

AUTOPSY REPORT
Fox 11

Douglas also revealed a detailed chart of Kizzee's 15 gunshot wounds, 7 of which he says were in his back as he was facing away from the cops. He says the doctor who conducted the autopsy says several of the wounds are elongated ... because Kizzee was on the ground when he was shot.

Douglas goes on to say witnesses describe hearing shots, then a pause, then a flurry of shots from the officers. The lawyer claims Kizzee was not holding a gun at any point while he was shot at by the cops. He also alleges Kizzee did not die right away, but kept getting shot at despite being unarmed.

Douglas then called for L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey to arrest and charge the officers who killed Kizzee.

As we told you ... Tuesday's press conference was in response to last week's claim by the Sheriff's Dept. that its investigation determined Kizzee picked up a loaded pistol that had fallen to the ground just before deputies fatally shot him on Aug. 31.

THE FATAL SHOOTING
@AttorneyCrump/Twitter

The LASD previously requested a security hold on Kizzee's county autopsy, which suggests the report won't be released until the Sheriff's Dept. has completed its investigation, which remains open.

BEFORE AND AFTER THE SHOOTING

As we've reported ... protests erupted following Kizzee's killing and have been ongoing in L.A. this month, resulting in multiple confrontations and arrests.

Video of the incident shows Kizzee -- who was initially stopped for an alleged vehicle code violation while riding a bicycle -- getting into a physical altercation with a cop, before deputies shot him multiple times as he ran away.

Cops say a handgun allegedly belonging to Kizzee was recovered at the scene. Crump has argued that even if Kizzee possessed a gun during the altercation, he didn't point it at them and was not a threat by the time he was running away.

David Blaine Goes Way 'Up' and Back Down ... Balloons Stunt a Success!!!

Breaking News
UP, UP AND AWAY
David Blaine / Youtube

David Blaine's awe-inspiring, "Up"-inspired stunt went off without a hitch … though it wasn’t without some truly tense moments.

As the famous illusionist launched from the ground in Arizona attached to 52 colorful balloons -- one of which was actually an experimental aircraft -- he gave his daughter, Dessa, a gift and embarked on "Ascension" ... his latest death-defying stunt reminiscent of the classic balloons scene with the old man and his house in the 2009 Disney/Pixar film.

During the early part of Blaine's climb, he spoke with Dessa and told her he felt like he was floating, and kept repeating to viewers how incredible his view was … saying it didn’t even seem like he was on Earth.

As he reached certain levels of altitude, David would drop weights and various parts of his balloons contraption to aid in the rise, and then he pulled down his parachute and attached it to his body mid-air.

After he was connected and secure, Blaine increased his ascension and went through a rigorous breathing technique to get his oxygen levels right and prepare for his giant drop.

At one point during his constant climb, Blaine told his crew he was proud of them and that he’s never felt more confident about any stunt he’s pulled off … adding to the dramatics.

He then spoke with his daughter one last time and reminded her of the training they did together to prepare him for the cold air as he entered class A air space.

Finally -- after several more minutes of prep, and at above 24,000 feet -- he released the balloons.

It was edge-of-your-seat stuff for sure, but David’s descent from a free fall to pulling the chord on his parachute went smoothly. The only hiccup was Blaine couldn’t manage to magically appear at his target landing spot … but he improvised and landed safely not too far away.

"Ascension" accomplished!

For the stunt -- which was originally planned for earlier this week in NYC -- Blaine had to become a licensed hot-air balloon pilot. However, he moved it to Arizona, saying it was very complex and he needed a couple more days to prepare.

He's called it his "most ambitious and revolutionary feat yet" ... until the next one.

SpaceX/NASA Astronauts Return to Earth ... After 62 Days in Orbit!!!

Breaking News
HOME, SWEET HOME
NASA

12:00 PM PT -- The splashdown landing was a success! Two small boats came in directly after landing to check the Crew Dragon capsule. The first message to the astronauts from mission control upon landing was, "Thank you for flying SpaceX."

SpaceX and NASA's #LaunchAmerica journey is on the verge of completing a successful mission -- they're coming back to Earth, and we're streaming it live.

American astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley -- who were shot into orbit back in May aboard SpaceX's Dragon Endeavor -- are set to touch down Sunday. Their spacecraft is scheduled to splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, FL at 11:45 AM PT

WE HAVE LIFTOFF!!!
NASA

They've been in orbit aboard the ISS for the past 62 days and made 1,024 revolutions around our planet ... this after Elon Musk and co. sent them up in an effort to get more American space missions kickstarted ... not to mention potential space tourism in the near future.

5/31/20
SUPER SPACY
SpaceX

The initial launch went off without a hitch -- after the Falcon 9 rocket took Bob and Doug to a certain point ... it landed safely aboard a ship waiting out at sea. The boys then took control from there, and once they were close enough ... they docked with the ISS.

The #LaunchAmerica mission marks the first time in nearly a decade since Americans have been up among the stars.

Originally published -- 11:30 AM PT

John Lewis Laid to Rest in ATL President Obama Delivers Eulogy, Calls Out Trump

Breaking News
"MLK'S FINEST DISCIPLE"
Fox 5 Atlanta

Rep. John Lewis' home-going was a rousing, inspiring ceremony -- highlighted by President Obama's eulogy which took aim at President Trump's actions ... while also urging all Americans to vote.

The roughly 3-hour funeral in Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church featured speeches from President George W. Bush, President Clinton and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ... who all spoke before Obama delivered his eulogy for the longtime Congressman and Civil Rights leader.

Obama went after Trump without naming him, saying, “Even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities, and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision; even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be depending on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick."

He also invoked George Floyd's memory saying, "Today we witness with our own eyes kneeling on the necks of black Americans" as well as the civil unrest that's been going down for more than 50 straight days in Portland.

Obama had opened his tribute to Lewis, saying ... “It a great honor to be back in Ebenezer Baptist Church in the pulpit of its greatest pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to pay my respects to perhaps his finest disciple.”

PRESIDENTS PAY TRIBUTE
Fox 5 Atlanta

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush sat near the front row as they paid their respects. Bush spoke first, saying ... “We will never forget joining [John] in Selma, Alabama for the 50th anniversary of his march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where we got to watch President Barack Obama thank John as one of his heroes."

President Clinton was up next and warmly quipped, "I must say, for a fella that got his start speaking to chickens John’s gotten a pretty finely organized and orchestrated and deeply deserved sendoff this last week.”

Clinton closed his remarks, saying ... “I would infect every American with whatever it was that John Lewis got as a 4-year-old kid and took through a lifetime to keep moving and keep moving in the right direction and keep bringing other people to move and to do it without hatred in his heart."

GOOD MUSIC FOR GOOD TROUBLE
Fox 5 Atlanta

The funeral closed with the gospel family the Winans performing an original song, "Good Trouble," written for John Lewis, who famously urged young people to "get into good trouble" ... by being activists.

President Obama had awarded Lewis the Medal of Freedom in 2011, and said during that ceremony ... "Generations from now, when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind."

The funeral of Congressman Lewis, who represented Georgia's 5th Congressional District for 17 terms, is the final farewell in a series of remembrances since his July 17 death from pancreatic cancer.

The tributes began in Troy, Alabama where he was born, and carried on to Selma's infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge. His body was then flown to D.C. for a memorial in the Capitol rotunda Monday, and finally ... his public viewing Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol, which drew thousands to pay their respects.

HONORING JOHN LEWIS
TMZ.com

To coincide with his funeral, Rep. Lewis sent an essay to The New York Times 2 days before his death to be published today. In his last words, Lewis called for Americans to "answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe."

He said he was inspired in his final days by the social justice movement following the killing of George Floyd and others, saying ... "You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society."

The Congressman ended with this ... "walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide."

John Lewis was 80.

Tekashi 6ix9ine I Signed $5 Million Live Stream Deal ... For One Performance!!!

Exclusive

Tekashi 6ix9ine just lined up a serious payday to perform his upcoming album online ... the rapper tells us he just inked a massive deal for a single live stream concert.

The rapper, who's about to regain his freedom, tells TMZ ... he just put pen to paper on a $5 million live-streaming deal with GlobalStreamNow for a virtual performance of his soon-to-be-released record.

Tekashi tells us he'll hit the stage Saturday, Sept. 5 at 8 PM ET for the live-streamed show, which he says will run for about an hour and feature 12 songs from his album. He'll also interact online with fans.

6ix9ine is almost done with home confinement, but is keeping the physical location of his live stream under wraps. Remember, there's still concern about revenge for snitching, so Tekashi says security will be on hand to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

He already has some big ideas for the performance ... and based on what he's telling us, prepare for lots of eye candy, dancers, a live band and colorful displays.

6ix9ine's keeping details about the record under wraps -- he won't divulge song titles or the album name yet -- but he tells us the record is dropping in the near future.

No need to risk your health attending a live concert ... according to Tekashi, who says the only thing his fans need to do to watch his performance is download the GlobalStreamNow app.

We reached out to GlobalStreamNow, but haven't heard back.

Rayshard Brooks Murder Garrett Rolfe Released from Jail ... After Posting Bond

Breaking News
BOND GRANTED
Fox 5 Atlanta

6:26 AM PT -- 7/1 -- A rep at Gwinnett County Jail tells TMZ ... Rolfe was released at 12:27 AM after he posted bond.

1:07 PM PT -- Attorneys for the Brooks family, L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller, tell TMZ ... while they are "disappointed that his killer was granted bond today, they understand that this is just one step in the long quest for justice for Rayshard."

They add ... "We will be diligent in our pursuit of justice for this family and will do everything in our power to make sure that Rayshard Brooks did not lose his life in vain."

12:54 PM PT -- Judge Jane C. Barwick has granted bond for Rolfe, and set it at $500,000. Half of that amount is a $250k straight bond for the felony murder charge, and the other half is a combination of bonds for all of his other charges.

The judge also imposed Rolfe’s conditions -- he must surrender his passport, wear an ankle monitor, obey a curfew, and he’s to have no contact with Brooks’ family or any other witnesses or alleged victims in the case. He must also not communicate with any Atlanta police officers.

As for the phone passcode requested by the State … Judge Barwick says that’s for another hearing, but made a point to get Rolfe’s lawyers to agree that all phone evidence must be preserved.

12:36 PM PT -- Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, delivered an incredibly emotional impact statement during the hearing, saying her life has been completely turned upside down since her husband was killed … she can’t eat, can’t sleep and can’t console her children.

RAYSHARD'S WIDOW SPEAKS
Fox 5 Atlanta

Miller says Brooks did not deserve to die, and her family has suffered so much emotional harm since his life was taken … and she should not have to wait in fear while Rolfe is out of custody awaiting his trial.

For that reason, she’s asking the judge to deny Rolfe’s request for bond, saying … “Mentally, I am not able to handle it.”

As for the proposed bond … Rolfe’s lawyers are asking for a $50k signature bond similar to what Brosnan got.

The state wants it set much higher. It’s recommending bond of $1 million with several conditions — Rolfe must disclose his location and who he’s living with, he must give up the passcode to his phone, he must have no contact with any officers involved in the case, he must turn over communication with other officers, he must wear an ankle monitor, he must adhere to a curfew, he’s to possess no weapons, and he’s to have no communication with Brooks’ family or any witness.

The defense has issues with several of those conditions, but did say Rolfe would be willing to turn over his passport to ease any concerns of him fleeing.

Garrett Rolfe -- the fired Atlanta PD officer charged with felony murder for the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks -- might be released from jail Tuesday ... TMZ's live streaming his bond hearing.

Rolfe has been holed up at the Gwinnett County Jail in Georgia since his arrest, but will be appearing virtually at the Fulton County courthouse Tuesday to ask the judge to be let him out on bond. The hearing's scheduled for 11 AM PT.

According to legal docs ... Rolfe is asking to be granted a "reasonable bond" for a few reasons. First, he claims he's a "longstanding, law-abiding" citizen, and says he poses no threat to the public or potential witnesses.

Next, Rolfe claims there is "significant evidence that proves he was legally justified in using deadly force in this case." In the docs, Rolfe argues that Brooks committed multiple felonies "in resisting lawful arrest" -- including firing the TASER at him -- and Brooks' actions justified Rolfe's use of deadly force "if he reasonably believed that Mr. Brooks possessed a deadly weapon."

He claims the Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard "has declared that a TASER is a deadly weapon under Georgia law."

Finally, Rolfe argues he should be granted bond so he has an opportunity to help his lawyers prepare for the case, adding the D.A. "made several important factual misstatements to the public."

Rolfe's legal team is also expected to present character witnesses to testify that the former officer is a good man and will not present a flight risk. Some experts predict the judge will grant some sort of bond ... but at a steep price.

As we've reported ... Brooks was shot by Rolfe on the evening of June 12 during a chase in a Wendy's parking lot. Brooks had been speaking with Rolfe, along with officer Devin Brosnan, before Rolfe tried to arrest him and a struggle ensued.

Video of the incident shows Brooks had obtained one of the officers' Tasers and was attempting to flee following a failed breathalyzer test, and that's when Rolfe opened fire on him ... shooting him twice in the back.

Fulton County D.A. Howard announced 11 charges against Rolfe, including felony murder and multiple acts of aggravated assault.

While announcing the charges, Howard said Rolfe kicked Brooks while he lay dying, and added he doesn't believe Rolfe feared for his life ... noting that Rayshard had been cordial and cooperative for more than 41 minutes before he was fatally shot.

Brosnan's also been charged for his role in the incident -- with aggravated assault and failure to render timely aid ... something he and his lawyer have denied.

Originally published -- 6/30 10:44 AM PT

Ezekiel Elliott I Wasn't High on Weed During Live Stream ... Just a Lil Drunk

Exclusive Details

5:04 PM PT -- TMZ Sports talked to Elliott's attorney, Frank Salzano, who tells us Zeke is dead serious about filing a lawsuit.

"We are extremely disappointed with the irresponsible journalism and willingness of Sports Illustrated (and others) to defame Mr. Elliott in an attempt to get readers to click on their websites."

We reached out to Sports Illustrated ... so far, no word back.

"Mr. Elliott will not tolerate slanderous conduct and intends to take the appropriate legal action to address it."

When Ezekiel Elliott said he was "low-key faded" during a Twitch stream Sunday night ... HE MEANT ON BOOZE, NOT WEED!

That's according to the Dallas Cowboys running back himself who says he's pissed people are accusing him of being lit on the wrong substance.

"Bro, I'm low-key faded, bro," Elliott said before realizing his stream was still live.

"Oh no, I didn't even end my stream yet," he said shortly after.

Some assumed "faded" meant high on marijuana -- and Sports Illustrated even ran an article saying Zeke "admits to being high."

Zeke went to social media Monday to set the record straight and he sounded pretty upset ... even threatening legal action.

"Actually I was referring to the few drinks I had which I said during the live stream. Doesn’t that make this defamation? You guys will be hearing from my lawyers @SInow."

Sports Illustrated has apparently taken the article down.

Elliott's had a rough couple of weeks -- he recently tested positive for COVID-19 but says he's mostly recovered and should be cleared to workout with the team again soon.

Hydrate, bro, it's good for a low-key hangover.

Originally published -- 3:32 PM PT

Protester to Sue LAPD Claims Cops Nearly Killed Him w/ Rubber Bullets ... Vows to Continue Protesting

THIS MUST STOP
TMZ.com

10:37 AM PT -- Steyn detailed the horrific aftermath of allegedly being shot at close range with a rubber bullet by an LAPD officer ... saying he was left with a ruptured testicle, passed out and almost bled to death in the streets.

Bloom later claimed Steyn got shot when he went to help a fellow protester, and that he received no aid for his injuries from law enforcement around him.

Steyn went on to describe a discussion he had with his daughter the night before the incident, in which he told her no matter how powerful the government or police are ... we can always march peacefully to fight for our rights, and that he won't let corrupt police continue to kill people.

Bloom also called for the use of rubber bullets by the LAPD to be severely curtailed or banned, and never shot at close range. She says her legal team has filed a complaint with the Inspector General and Internal Affairs as the first step of filing a lawsuit for Steyn ... and she's seeking witnesses who were at the May 30 protest.

The protester who allegedly took rubber bullets fired by LAPD officers to his scrotum is about to unveil his lawsuit against the cops ... and call for major reform.

Bradley Steyn -- along with his attorney, Lisa Bloom -- is about to address the media in front of LAPD headquarters ... and TMZ will be live streaming.

Steyn -- a renowned South African anti-apartheid activist -- is expected to detail his account of alleged police brutality encountered during a May 30 protest over the death of George Floyd in L.A.'s Fairfax district ... and announce legal action.

He claims he was roughed up by cops who shot him with rubber bullets at point-blank range in the inner thigh and genitals ... severely injuring him. He ended up losing a testicle.

Steyn and Bloom say they will call for "specific reforms."

The press conference is scheduled to begin Thursday at 10 AM PT.

Originally Published -- 9:35 AM PT

George Floyd Joe Biden Speaks at Houston Funeral ... Final Farewell

THE TURNING POINT

12:05 PM PT -- George's family just paid their final respects, remembering their uncle, brother, son, cousin and nephew ... and it was super emotional.

DEMANDING JUSTICE

His aunt, Kathleen McGee, spoke about the George the world doesn't know. His niece, Brooke Williams, called for justice and change. His brothers, Terrence and Philonise, said he was their Superman and talked about his final words, "I can't breathe."

10:54 AM PT -- Joe Biden’s pre-recorded message was just played at the funeral, and he addressed George’s killing -- and all the similar tragedies that have befallen black families -- by offering hope that Floyd’s death can be a turning point … one that finally helps America achieve true equality.

As we reported … Biden met with George’s grieving family privately for over an hour Monday and listened to them express their pain. The family lawyer, Ben Crump, said the gesture “meant the world” to them, and added …  “Listening to one another is what will begin to heal America.”

George Floyd's loved ones will pay their final respects in Houston Tuesday ... which has officially been declared George Floyd Day in the area.

Floyd's hometown funeral is the last of four services held for him over the past few days. The ceremony will be held at Fountain of Praise Church -- just like Monday's public viewing -- and then he'll be buried in a grave beside his mother's.

TMZ will be live streaming the event at 11 AM CT. Among those in attendance will be Ahmaud Arbery's mother. As we reported ... Ahmaud's father spoke during Monday's public memorial, along with parents of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

DON'T STOP FIGHTING
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George's family also spoke and delivered a powerful message, saying they believe if he had known he needed to sacrifice his life to bring the world together ... he would have done it.

Floyd was honored last week in Minneapolis, and then again in his birth state of North Carolina over the weekend.

Of course, George's death has touched millions of people around the world, sparked international protests and demonstrations in his name ... and could lead to an overhaul of policing across the U.S., as evidenced by what's happening with the Minneapolis PD.

The cops involved in his killing have been criminally charged. Derek Chauvin is facing second-degree murder for having his knee on George's neck for nearly 9 minutes. The other 3 officers -- Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao -- have also been charged with felonies, aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

George was killed on May 25. He was 46.

RIP

Originally Published -- 8:30 AM PT

George Floyd Hometown Memorial Wraps ... Other Victims' Families Speak

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DON'T STOP FIGHTING
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3:56 PM PT -- George Floyd's public memorial in Houston has officially wrapped, and it ended on a powerful note with final words from family members of other notable black victims who've died at the hands of police brutality.

George's family came to the microphone first, saying they believe if he had known he needed to sacrifice his life to bring the world together ... he would have done it. Then, Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, spoke, urging people -- especially the Floyd family -- to keep fighting for justice once the cameras stop rolling, going on to say that the struggle doesn't end there.

Ahmaud Arbery's dad, Marcus Arbery Sr., spoke as well ... holding nothing back and saying his son was lynched by two white men, all because of the color of his skin. He too said the fight needed to continue. Finally, Michael Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., echoed that, telling the Floyd family to stay in touch when this is all said and done.

Monday's memorial proved even more historic after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo declared Tuesday, June 9 George Floyd Day throughout their area.

The people of Houston are paying their respects to George Floyd in his hometown -- a public viewing will be followed by his final memorial service ... and TMZ's streaming it live.

The ceremony is being held at the Fountain of Praise Church. The public will have a chance to see George's casket ahead of the memorial service.

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FLOYD FAMILY REMEMBERS GEORGE

This marks the third of four memorials that have been planned and carried out for George -- you'll recall, he was honored in Minneapolis last week (where he was killed) and then again in North Carolina (his birth state) over the weekend. Now, he'll be remembered in H-Town, where he grew up.

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REMEMBERING GEORGE
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The man's death has touched millions of people around the world -- having sparked international protests and demonstrations in his name ... and could lead to the dismantling of Minneapolis' police department ... and possibly other cities as well.

The cops involved in his killing have been criminally charged -- namely, Derek Chauvin ... who's facing second-degree murder for having his knee on George's neck for nearly 9 minutes. The other 3 officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, have also been charged with felonies, aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Rest in Peace, George.

Originally Published -- 10:02 AM PT

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