Things That Matter

One San Francisco Man Used The New Snapchat Filters To Nag A Police Officer For Attempting To Sleep With A Minor

Snapchat’s recently found another hit on its hands with a trio of filters that allow users to virtually morph their appearance, either into a stereotypical man, woman, or baby. They’re a fun diversion, but one college student is also using them as a tool for justice.

Most college students use their free time studying or checking out their campus’s social scene, but 20-year-old Ethan wanted to bust online predators. 

News out of San Francisco showed a college student using the gender-swap filter to catch a police officer looking for sex with underage girls.

Credit: @intelligencer / Twitter

Earlier this month, San Mateo police officer Robert Davies was arrested on suspicion of “communicating with a minor with the intention of engaging in sexual activity,” according to the local San Francisco CBS affiliate. The police received a tip from someone claiming to be a 19-year-old woman posing as a 16-year-old on Tinder.

A 20-year-old boy posed as a 16-year-old girl named Esther.

Credit: @CBS6 / Twitter

It turns out the informant was actually a 20-year-old male college student named Ethan, who spoke to the Bay Area’s local NBC affiliate. He says that he was motivated to try to expose pedophiles after a friend revealed their own history of sexual assault to him.

After creating an account on Tinder and chatting with the police officer on SnapChat, the student shared the screenshots with authorities.

Credit: @NBCian / Twitter

Ethan posed as a woman named Esther on Tinder, and told Davies that he was 16, a fact that didn’t seem to bother him. The pair then exchanged many messages over the course of about 12 hours so that Ethan could eventually identify who he was talking to (“It got a lot more explicit,” he recalled). Then Ethan screenshotted the conversation and sent it to the authorities.

Oddly enough, the conversation also took place on Snapchat, making the app a one-stop shop for vigilante catfishing. “Snapchat, when you screenshot something, it notifies the other person that they’ve screenshotted the chats, right?” he told NBC. “So I had to screenshot all these on airplane mode in case he blocked me.”

Many on Twitter were totally unaware of the airplane mode loophole.

Like, we were totally unaware either. This is groundbreaking news for those deep spy days.

Many are upset the officer is only on paid administrative leave.

Credit: @thehill / Twitter

Davies has been placed on paid administrative leave in the meantime. At the time of his arrested, San Mateo police chief Susan Manheimer said, “This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole.”

Ethan told NBC that he does not plan to repeat the stunt. In the meantime, the filters remain a big hit, and Snapchat’s install rates have doubled since the filters were released.

Victim In The R. Kelly Documentary Sequel Says He Made Her Commit To A Suicide Pact

Things That Matter

Victim In The R. Kelly Documentary Sequel Says He Made Her Commit To A Suicide Pact

rkelly / Instagram

Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, people all over the country have found the courage to speak up about their experiences with sexual assault. This sense of empowerment has taken various forms, even resulting in the release of several shocking docuseries, like HBO’s Leaving Neverland and Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly. While Leaving Neverland consisted of just two harrowing episodes, Surviving R. Kelly offers a broad glimpse into the singer’s criminal past, spanning three separate installments of six troubling episodes.

The second season, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, is set to premiere on January 2, 2020, and the trailer is full of deeply disturbing details.

Credit: Lifetime / Youtube

The trailer for the new season not only introduces new victims, but follows up with victims from Part I. Many of the women and their family members describe death threats they received after the release of Part I, as well as how they’ve managed to cope with the backlash. The four-minute video features victim Jerhonda Pace, who alleges that she was a part of a forced suicide pact of women who pledged to kill themselves if R. Kelly were to ever end up in prison. And the trailer ends with Dominique Gardner, R. Kelly’s live-in girlfriend who was rescued in Part I, who is ready to share her story.

During its debut in February of this year, Surviving R. Kelly had more than 26 million viewers and was the #1 trending topic on Twitter. Allegations against him have circulated since 1991, so talk about R. Kelly’s predatory behavior is nothing new—the difference now is that the world is finally taking his victims seriously. The Lifetime documentary has much to do with this paradigm shift: featuring accounts from 48 different women who were victimized by R. Kelly over the course of several decades, the documentary offers undeniable evidence that R. Kelly has been a dangerous force in the industry for far too long.

One of the most notable red flags of R. Kelly’s career appeared when he married the late singer Aaliyah. At the time, she was just 15 years old, and the world had to wonder: how did that happen? In the US, it is illegal to marry anyone under the age of 18 without a parent’s consent, and even then, 15 years old is still legally considered too young—plus, Aaliyah’s family absolutely did not consent to the marriage. It took until last month, 25 years later, for R. Kelly to be prosecuted for bribing an Illinois government employee on August 30, 1994, to obtain a fake ID that claimed Aaliyah was 18.

Although their marriage was later annulled at the request of Aaliyah’s family, Kelly’s behavior signaled a pattern of sexually exploiting underage girls that would persist over the next 20 years.

Credit: The Source

And the entertainment industry would turn a blind eye to Kelly’s influence for just as long. Until the release of Surviving R. Kelly, his behavior was often the subject of jokes and pop culture references, rather than being seen as a serious threat to the safety of several dozen women and girls. In 2002, when that famous video of him sexually engaging with (and urinating on) an underage girl came to light, he was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography—yet none of these charges resulted in convictions. Really, R. Kelly’s misconduct has never been a secret, but Surviving R. Kelly has led to justice for his victims, with a long list of criminal charges finally culminating in his arrest.

Yet R. Kelly has vehemently denied these allegations of abuse and manipulation. In case you missed it, he became emotionally unhinged during an interview with Gayle King of “CBS This Morning,” raising his voice, pounding his chest and crying when King challenges his claims. When asked why he chose to participate in the interview, he said, “I’m very tired of all the lies,” and insisted that he had “absolutely not” broken any laws when it “came to relationships with girls.” He claimed that everyone in the documentary “was describing Lucifer,” and that he “is not Lucifer,” before unleashing an explosive rant about what a good heart he has and insisting on his innocence.

“I have been assassinated,” he told King. “I’ve been buried alive.”

A conversation about R. Kelly’s attempt to convince viewers of his innocence emerged shortly after the interview aired, with Boston Globe columnist Renee Graham telling CBS News that in the interview, R. Kelly “came off as someone trying to manipulate the audience the way he has allegedly manipulated these women.” The second season of Surviving R. Kelly will focus more on this perspective, not only featuring new women with new allegations, but also psychologists, cultural experts and legal experts who might be able to offer insight on R. Kelly’s skewed perspective and the criminal consequences that await him.

A Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK

Things That Matter

A Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK

Another day, another racist video uploaded to the Internet. In the latest bigoted clip to go viral, two young white women from Illinois chant about how much they hate Black people and call for the return of slavery.

On Saturday, Springfield, Illinois, resident Gabbi Goldsborough posted a video on Facebook of friends Macy Castleman and Jayde Landers going on a wild rant about their deep hatred toward Black people. The 10-second clip, a screengrab of another video posted August 9 or 10 on Snapchat by user Sam Stieren, shows the women outdoors calling for a return to the times when Black folk were not considered human and were enslaved and brutalized. 

“We hate n*****s,” the pair say in unison.

Castleman, who appears in the video wearing a dark-color hoodie, added: “They smell. They don’t work. So we should bring back slavery to whip them n*****s. Bring back the KKK! Wooooo!”

Landers, who is seen in a light-color sweatshirt, then says, “Shh. People like Black people sometimes.”

The video, as can be expected, has validly angered many on the Internet.

“Love how people sit around and act like racism isn’t still a thing. Macy Castleman and Jayde Landers, you have a lot of explaining to do,” Goldsborough writes in her video post on Facebook. “You can say it’s an inside joke or think it’s funny, but it’s not.”

Along with the clip, the young woman, who is biracial, also published private chats she had with Castleman, which shows her unapologetic about video and calling it a joke that she doesn’t have much recollection of.

“That was like three years ago and, if I’m being honest, I don’t remember that at all,” Castleman responds when Goldsborough inquires about the contents of the video through a Snapchat message.

After Goldsborough calls it “fucked up,” Castleman gets defensive. 

“I have Black people in my family. Clearly, I don’t feel that way … so you can chill. Also, it was an inside joke with my best friend. But feel however you want about it,” she says.

While the video’s timestamp shows it was posted last week, it could have been recorded previously and added to Snapchat as a “throwback” or “memory” more recently.

In her post, Goldsborough points out that the timing of the recording is nonessential; what the young women say in the video is what’s damning.

“Honestly, I don’t care when you said it. I don’t care if you said it five years ago. The N-word still came out of your mouth, and there’s no excuse. Period. On behalf of my Black side, we’re hurt and so disappointed people still think and believe this,” she said, adding that if Castleman’s claims of having Black relatives are true, they would be really disappointed in her.

In addition to the public outcry, both Castleman and Landers are beginning to also face real-life repercussions for their racist rant. 

Castleman, who is seen in the video yelling most of the vile commentary, has been fired from her job at an assisted living facility. On Facebook, the Concordia Village and Lutheran Senior Services addressed the video and their former employee’s involvement twice. 

In a post made on Monday, they announce that Castleman was dismissed.

“A disturbing video posted on a personal social media account by a former employee over the weekend has come to our attention. We are disappointed by the personal views expressed by this former employee and regret the adverse attention it has brought upon our community. We have addressed the situation with the employee according to our personnel policies and that individual is no longer employed by Concordia Village or Lutheran Senior Services,” they wrote.

When commenters asked if the company had fired Castleman, they responded that they had.

Both institutions where the women attend, or were previously registered in, have also commented on the videos.

Auburn High School, where Sanders is a senior, made a brief statement on its Twitter account.

“The behavior of the two individuals in the video does not represent the views of our school or our community – what we teach or how we act in our school. There are policies and procedures in place, which will be followed for any students involved,” the school noted in the statement made on Sunday.

One community member, Eileen P McLaughlin, isn’t satisfied. She suggested that the teen be suspended or expelled, noting that not giving the young woman consequences to her actions would leave a “dark stain on your school.”

The Auburn Community Unit School District #10 said it has started an investigation into the video but indicated that the process has been difficult because the video was released publically while school is still on summer break.

Similarly, Lincoln Land Community College, the school where Castleman was enrolled as a nursing student, posted a statement on Sunday to their Facebook.

“In light of a situation brought to the attention of the college administration, I would like to assure our community that Lincoln Land Community College is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination,” President Dr. Charlotte Warren on Sunday. “LLCC values diversity. We respect and celebrate the differences among people, cultures and ideas. We recognize the inherent dignity and worth of everyone throughout the college community. We promote a safe and inclusive environment for all.” 

Warren added: “… If this situation involved a current student at LLCC, then it would be investigated and adjudicated per the policies and procedures of the College.”

Both Castleman and Landers have either set their social media to private or deactivated their accounts.

Read: Two Racist Florida Women Are Caught On Video Telling A Puerto Rican Man To ‘Go Back To Mexico’ If He Wants To Speak Spanish