Monthly Archives: March 2016

PGCPS Davontes Home Going Service – Donate!

Help Assist his family please.

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On Saturday March 26, while on his way with his family to get his haircut for Easter, Davonte was tragically gunned down at the Deanwood metro station in Washington DC . He was a student at Largo High School in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). His mother, Rashida Washington, is now burdened with the unbearable task of preparing her sons funeral. No mother should ever have to experience such a loss and it is impossible to prepare for. The money raised will be used to prepare Davonte to be laid to rest. Please keep the Washington family in your thoughts and prayers during this devastating time.

Click here for GOFundme which has been established for that purpose.

Read more on his story here.

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New lawsuit against PGCPS former teacher’s aide, Deonte Carraway

Deonte Carraway, 22,

Deonte Carraway, 22,

According to the information received from ABC7 News, in a disturbing case of child abuse, the news channel has learned that a new lawsuit has been filed against Deonte Carraway, former Prince George’s County teacher’s aide.

The new lawsuit claims Carraway threatened to kill one of his victims if she told anyone.

Carraway is accused of making child pornography and abusing at least 17 children.

Some of that abuse happened on schools grounds at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School.

The allege victim in this case – an 11-year-old girl – claims Carraway recorded her engaging in sexual acts with other students, and sexually abused her multiple times at private homes.

Carraway pleaded not guilty in federal court.

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D.C. police arrest suspect in fatal shooting of 15-year-old PGCPS Student.

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Davonte Washington, 15, was being raised in Maryland by his stepfather so he could have a chance to attend better schools. He was a student at Largo High School in PGCPS (Courtesy of Victor Leonard)

The 15-year-old was sitting on a bench with his mother and younger sisters inside a glass shelter, waiting for a train at the Deanwood Metro station in Northeast. Davonte Washington was absorbed in his cellphone, his head bowed.

An older teenager clutching a white bag with carryout food walked by on the platform with friends. One of Davonte’s sisters looked at the young man after he had passed. He paused and tapped on the glass to draw Davonte’s attention.

Davonte stepped out.

They exchanged words. “What the f— you keep looking at me for? You know me from somewhere?” the older teen uttered, police said. A split second later, without provocation or for no more reason than what the gunman may have taken as a disrespectful glance, “the suspect pulled a silver or chrome handgun and shot” Washington, police said.

The police arrest affidavit says the gunman handed his food to a friend, tucked his gun in his pants and fled the station, with Davonte’s mother racing after him shouting, “Stop him! He just shot my son!”

Police outlined a chilling scenario Tuesday in a court document as well as in a courtroom, charging Maurice Bellamy, 17, of Southeast Washington as an adult with second-degree murder while armed in Saturday afternoon’s slaying. Davonte was gunned down in front of his mother and sisters at 4 p.m. as he was headed to get a haircut for Easter, his family said.

Police said they have no evidence that the suspect and Davonte knew each other.

[Teen fatally shot on Metro platform in front of mother, sisters]

The lack of motive confounded D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, long accustomed to explaining deadly violence stemming from petty disputes yet struggling to explain the District’s 26th killing of 2016.

“When it comes to violence, nothing really is more senseless than this case, in my opinion,” the chief said. “The loss of a 15-year-old boy under any circumstances is a tragedy. But in this case, it’s even more so, as it appears that there was just no reason for it. Absolutely no reason for it.”

Bellamy made his initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday as about 40 of Davonte’s grieving relatives watched from four rows in the courtroom, trying to comprehend the loss of the high school freshman who played Pee Wee football, aspired to join the military and was shot twice in the chest.

When marshals escorted Bellamy into the courtroom amid heightened security, Davonte’s mother yelled,“That’s the one who killed my baby!” and began sobbing as family members tried to console her. Bellamy was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. His ankles and wrists were in iron shackles.

Victor Leonard, Davonte’s grandfather, said the family was struck by how young Bellamy looked. “He’s just a kid himself,” Leonard said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner argued that Bellamy should remain in jail until trial. The shooting, Kirschner told the judge, “gave new meaning to the term ‘senseless murder.’ . . . This was about a 15-year-old boy who had the temerity to look at Mr. Bellamy.”

Kirschner said security video “clearly caught” Bellamy at the time of the shooting. A Metro Transit Police officer identified Bellamy from a mug shot matched to the surveillance video. Two witnesses with Bellamy also identified him, Kirschner said.

According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, Bellamy was arrested in 2014, when he was 16, for simple assault and for threatening an employee of Ballou High School, where he was a freshman.

Bellamy’s attorney in the Metro shooting, Madeline Harvey with the District’s Public Defender Service, argued that the witnesses may have been biased and could have been threatened by police to identify Bellamy or face arrest themselves. “We don’t know what the police said to them,” she said. Bellamy’s relatives left the courtroom without speaking publicly.

Magistrate Judge Renee Raymond found Bellamy to be a danger and ordered him held at the D.C. jail until his next hearing, scheduled for April 22. Court documents say that Bellamy lived in a group home in Northwest Washington and grew up in the Kentland community in Prince George’s County. Police said they traced him to a Facebook page with pictures of him labeled, “SHOOTA MOE, AKA MOE CITY.”

According to the documents obtained by The Post, Bellamy was arrested in May 2014 after officials said he threatened a Ballou staffer who told him to leave a hallway. The staffer ordered Bellamy again to leave the hallway,the documents state, and Bellamy allegedly swung his fist and had to be restrained. He reportedly threatened to return to the school and “smoke all you . . . . ”

Bellamy pleaded guilty to misdemeanor threats, was placed on three months’ probation and ordered to undergo anger management classes and random drug testing for marijuana. He told a therapist that he had begun using marijuana when he was 14.

The documents show that he continued to miss school and the drug tests and failed to meet with his counselor. A probation officer’s recommendation to put him in a youth detention center was rejected by a judge, and he was put on probation again.

Davonte was reared in Maryland to give him a chance to attend better schools, a decision that meant living with his stepfather and apart from his mother and sisters in the District. He played for the Pepper Mill Boys and Girls in 2010, where his coach, Darnel Dorsey, described him as a “great athlete,” adding that he “was liked by everybody and wasn’t a troubled kid.”

Leonard said his grandson joined the Navy ROTC when he entered Largo High School and was leaning toward a career in the military.

“He was very humble,” Leonard said. “He understood if his parents couldn’t afford something and couldn’t keep him in the latest style. He wasn’t a kid who had to have the latest and greatest. He accepted what was given to him by his parents.”

The grandfather said he talked to Davonte on the phone the night before the fatal shooting. He was excited to spend the weekend with his mother and sisters, see cousins and visit an aunt. Just before hanging up, he told Leonard, “I need to get a haircut for Easter.”

They ended the conversation with the same words they say that everyone in the family uses to greet each other and say goodbye: “I love you always.”

Via Washington Post Reporters Lynh Bui, Dana Hedgpeth, Jennifer Jenkins and Hamil R. Harris contributed to this report.pgcps_logo

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Franchot: Some education bureaucrats don’t believe in accountability & transparency.

Well, I respectfully disagree.Peter-Franchot

…Because the current hearing process was set up through legislation, Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM) asked the legislative leaders, both Democrats, to cut the Board of Public Works out of the process and let the Interagency Committee on School Construction make the final call on funding decisions.

On Wednesday, Franchot called the request an affront to transparency and an attempt to move hundreds of millions of dollars in school construction funding decisions to a little-known committee.

He said the letter was the “most offensive” he’s received in office.

The comptroller’s office followed up with a four-page letter to Alban, written by Chief of Staff Len N. Foxwell.
That letter questioned the wisdom of the superintendents’ decision to question two of three members of the board — Franchot and Hogan — who are also the elected officials.
“Irrespective of whatever nebulous political objectives may have been achieved with this letter, it is difficult to see how it satisfies the best interests of those who you and your colleagues have actually been hired to serve,” Foxwell wrote.
Much of the letter was directed specifically to Alban and Frederick County’s annual funding request, but the superintendent said the letter was a culmination of association members’ feelings that have been building for years.
“This wasn’t just this past year,” Alban said Wednesday, speaking on behalf of the association. “If we don’t try to do something to change, then we’re part of the problem.”
Alban said PSSAM voted unanimously [note: That would include PGCPS – Dr. Kevin Maxwell.] to send the letter. She is unsure if the group will respond to Franchot and said it is waiting for responses from Miller and Busch.
The Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland’s next meeting is April 1, 2016 shortly before the 90-day General Assembly session ends on April 11, 2016.
Read Letter from comptroller of Maryland office by Chief of staff>>  56f351a5c68f9.pdf
 Read Letter from Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland Super >>56f352cf344bd.pdf

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Prince George’s lawmakers hold unusual closed-door meeting

The Maryland State Capitol Building is sState delegates from Prince George’s County gathered Friday morning as they do every week — only this time, the doors were closed.

An aide stationed outside made sure that only lawmakers entered, while others — journalists, lobbyists and officials from the Maryland Hospital Association and the University of Maryland Medical System, and staffers for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and the Maryland Health Care Commission — cooled their heels in the hall.

The topic of discussion, lawmakers said later, was the county’s transitioning hospital system.

The lawmakers, all Democrats, chose to meet as a party caucus rather than a legislative delegation because caucuses are not subject to open-meetings laws, and they wanted to huddle in private.

Normally, the Prince George’s Democratic caucus meets on Tuesdays.

 “Does the Republican caucus have open meetings?” said Del. Marvin E. Holmes Jr. (D-Prince George’s), the Democratic caucus chair, when asked why Friday’s meeting was closed. “This is a Democratic Party caucus meeting, which is no different from any other caucus meeting. Do Republicans talk to you about what was discussed?”

Del. Michael L. Vaughn (D-Prince George’s) said the members of the group “were sharing our feelings on the hospital. . . . I hope everything works out.”

The county’s health-care system has been the subject of much consternation and controversy this year, as officials downsize Laurel Regional Hospital, await state clearance for a planned regional teaching hospital in Largo and spar over operational subsidies for the existing Prince George’s Hospital Center.

One, sponsored by Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s), would change the process for closing a hospital. The other, which is supported by the state hospital association and sponsored by a lawmaker who is not from Prince George’s, would allow medical facilities to open in Maryland without obtaining a certificate of need from the state.

At one point, Ben Steffen, acting executive director of the Maryland Health Care Commission — the body charged with approving a new regional hospital — was invited inside the meeting to answer questions.

Barnes said there was some talk among lawmakers about why the meeting had to be closed, but there was no vote to open it. House Judiciary Chair Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George’s) walked out of the room a few minutes after the meeting began.

“We try as a delegation to be as transparent as possible. We have nothing to hide,” said Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s). “I believe the reason we went into a closed session was just so we could get information, and we weren’t going to take any action.”

County delegation chair Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s) said the delegation has basically completed its work for the legislative session that ends in three weeks and therefore had no reason to have one of its regularly scheduled public meetings.

The caucus session, he said, was simply an opportunity “to get priorities together and see where we stand on some bills. The number-one priority of the last several years has been the [planned] Prince George’s County hospital, so we don’t want to do anything to hinder it.”

via Washington Post 

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PGPD officers, 1 current 1 former, accused of stealing $200K+

Simms, Harold_Captain_8x10UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) — A Prince George’s County police officer and her husband, a former county police officer, are accused of stealing more than $200,000 by over-reporting the number of hours she was working, state prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Jennifer Simms and Harold Simms, who retired from the police department in 2015, have both been indicted on theft scheme of more than $100,000 and conspiracy for their alleged actions.

According to prosecutors, Jennifer Simms falsified timesheets between March 2012 and November 2014 while she was working for either county police or the City of College Park.

Harold Simms, who also goes by Jimmy, was once in charge of the police department’s homicide division. Prosecutors allege he knew about his wife falsifying timesheets and profited from her actions.

Jennifer Simms is a data analyst for the police department, according to our editorial partners at The Washington Post. She has been suspended from the force since May 2015.

via  WUSA9

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