Things That Matter

This Bronx Student Won A Full Scholarship To College But Can’t Use It Because He’s In Jail Trying To Prove His Innocence

Credit: WPIX 11

“I want my case dismissed. I’m not pleading guilty for something I did not do.”

A 17-year-old from the Bronx with a full scholarship to college has chosen to stay behind bars, instead of taking a plea deal that would have freed him immediately, so that he can clear his name.

According to WPIX 11 report above, Pedro Hernandez was in the news last year after he was beaten by a correction officer while housed in a detention center. Officer David Terrell, who had Hernandez put in the detention center, is currently being investigated on charges of corruption for allegedly forcing witnesses to say Hernandez was guilty of a shooting. Even the victim of that shooting has told reporters that Hernandez was not the person that shot him, but attorneys are not budging on the case.

The same officer was caught on video “gambling” for someone else’s freedom.

Credit: NBC4 News

According to video and witnesses, Terrell played a dice game while on duty “for the freedom” of someone arrested in the back of his squad car. Officer Terrell has been stripped of his badge and gun pending investigations.

Hernandez has been an exemplary inmate and student, earning his GED, being awarded certificates for leadership and even being awarded a scholarship through Posse, a non-profit that partners with schools to get students scholarships and educational opportunities. The scholarship awarded to Hernandez, according to the family’s crowdfunding page, won’t be granted unless he’s out of jail by September 1st to accept it. At his hearing yesterday, Hernandez’s trial was pushed back until after Labor Day — way after the scholarship deadline.


Update (7/27/17): After raising over $100,000 from a crowdfunding page set up by his family and with interest coming in from all over the world, the judge in the case has reduced the amount of bail needed for Hernandez to be released and as of Thursday his release has been set in motion. In an interview with NY Daily News, Hernandez’s mother said “Justice is being served. Still not fully there, but justice is being served.”


[H/T] NBC4 News

READ: She Didn’t Know Her Rape Led To A Pregnancy. Now, Her Stillbirth Has Landed Her A 30-Year Jail Sentence In El Salvador


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Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Entertainment

Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

There are few queer characters the people can point to in the past as being someone that changed their lives. Santana Lopez, Naya Rivera’s character on “Glee,” is one of them. Even if you’ve never watched “Glee,” Rivera’s character touched you because of how that representation is so important and empowering.

Naya Rivera’s place in LGBTQ+ media representation will be her long-lasting legacy.

Rivera brought us Santana Lopez, a queer Latina navigating the world of high school in a small town. For many, this kind of representation was so rare and often poorly done that Rivera’s command of the role was impactful. You didn’t have to be an avid viewer of the show to understand and appreciate the magnitude of Santana Lopez.

Rivera brought our experience directly to the mainstream and forced our own classmates to think about the way they saw queer people.

Rivera’s ability to capture the awkwardness and terror of being a closeted queer student in high school still resonates. It is a piece of nostalgia that is so deeply ingrained in queer people that it’s hard not to be emotional about Rivera’s sudden and tragic death.

Who can forget the moment Santana used “Landslide” to tell Brittany that she loved her.

The emotion of a love that is not easy to confess and live authentically is real. Ask any queer person you know about coming to terms with her sexuality in high school and you will hear about the fear and excitement. You will hear about the strategic allyships that epitomize the constant battle between being open and staying safe.

Rivera was more than an actress, she was an ally and advocate during her time on “Glee.”

Season 2, when Rivera’s feelings for Brittany (played by Heather Morris) grew, aired from 2010 to 2011. It was a time when marriage equality was not nationwide. Some states still barred same-sex couples from adopting children. Yet, queer high school and college students had a chance to see their experience mirrored because of Rivera’s insistence.

Rivera’s death is a major loss for the queer community that got our strength and courage from her.

Knowing that all of the “Glee” fans were rooting for and falling in love with Santana Lopez gave us a chance to breathe and feel accepted. Adding her Latina heritage was so important. Queer people of color, who have faced increased scrutiny from their own families, had someone representing them completely and sincerely.

Demi Lovato paid tribute by remembering the time she played Santana Lopez’s girlfriend.

The queer Latina love was not lost on fellow queer Latinos. Lovato herself was not out about her sexuality at the time and she admits in her post that Rivera inspired her. Rivera’s efforts to give the character an accurate and respectful storyline will forever be praised and admired as a fully realized manifestation of our experience.

Thank you for being someone we didn’t know we needed, Naya.

Our hearts are broken and our eyes are wet. We send love and hope to your loved ones. Rest in power, mija. We love you and will never forget what you did for our community.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

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Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

Gregg Deguire / Getty Images

Update: Naya Rivera’s body has been found in Lake Piru after she went missing last week. Rivera’s disappearance has sent shockwaves of grief throughout the entertainment community as days passed and authorities combed the lake.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Naya Rivera’s body has been pulled from Lake Piru.

Naya Rivera was last seen July 8 when she rented a boat for an outing with her young son. Later that day, men on another boat found the rented boat with her son asleep by himself on the boat. The search for Rivera was frantic as family, friends, and fans publicly grieved the sudden disappearance.

Last week, the sheriff’s department told the public that it was unlikely Rivera’s body would resurface because of debris.

At a press conference, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said that the debris of trees and plants under the water could cause the body to be entangled under the surface. Coupled with the poor visibility underwater, Office Sgt. Donoghue was not optimistic about the department’s chances of finding the body.

“We’re putting our best foot forward to try and locate her. We’re using all the assets that are available to us. We’re using technology like sonar,” he said at the press conference. “We have experts who have dove this lake who know it inside and out, where debris pockets might be, we’re relying on their expertise to help us in that endeavor. We’re going to do everything we can to find her.”

Original: “Glee” star Naya Rivera is presumed dead after going missing in southern California. The actress was on a boat in Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son when she went missing July 8 in Ventura County.

Authorities are searching for Naya Rivera after going missing.

Naya Rivera is presumed dead after her young son was found alone in a boat in Lake Piru. The lake is in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. Rivera’s son was found asleep on the boat three hours after Rivera rented the boat for the mother-son outing. According to officials, the son said that he and Rivera went for a swim and that she didn’t get back on the boat. CNN reports that the child was wearing a life vest while an adult life vest was found on the boat.

The search was paused overnight between Wednesday and Thursday and resumed as a recovery mission.

Fans do not think that Ventura County Sheriff’s are doing enough in the search for the actress. Emotions are high as fans share their grief and shock at Rivera’s sudden disappearance. According to Deputy Chris Dyer, the water where the boat was found is about 40 feet deep and that wind is a big factor in that part of the lake.

Authorities have classified the search as a recovery in a signal that they believe Rivera to be dead.

A recovery mission means that authorities are looking to recover a body from the lake. The news has devastated Rivera’s friends and family who want her brought home safe. Her son is reportedly doing well and is with relatives as authorities search for his mother in the lake.

Celebrities are sending messages hoping for Rivera to be alive.

Rivera wrote a memoir titled “Sorry, Not Sorry,” which gives an intimate look into her life during and after “Glee.” The actress was open and honest in her memoir bringing up some of the darkest and toughest times she endured and how it shaped her in the years that followed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Rivera’s loved ones.

This story is developing. mitú will report updates as they become available.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Memoir Talks About Abortion And Anorexia