From the investigation of the Oxford High School administration to the Jussie Smollett trial this week’s news changed rapidly.
Missed some of our updates? Catch up now with our weekly Breakdown.
OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION CRITICIZED
Days before the shooting that killed four students and injured seven others, James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of suspect Ethan Crumbley, bought a gun and failed to keep it safe and unloaded. Guidance counselors and school officials were questioned about the day’s events, as investigators are trying to understand who is liable, and how Ethan was let back into class.
A disciplinary meeting was held right before the shooting concerning disturbing drawings of guns and bloodied students. Ethan’s parents left him at the school and then attempted to flee police capture after news of the school shooting broke. The parents are now being held in the same prison complex as their 15-year-old son, and face four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
KIM POTTER CLAIMS SHE PULLED THE ‘WRONG GUN’
In opening statements of the trial for the police shooting of Duante Wright, a 20-year-old Black man in Minnesota, Officer Kim Potter claimed she mistakenly pulled the “wrong gun” when reaching for her taser, accidentally shooting and killing Wright.
Berated by the prosecution, lawyers stated that there are no “do-overs” for taking a young man’s life, and that we expect more from our police officers. Potter faces one charge of first-degree manslaughter, one charge of second-degree manslaughter, and one charge of reckless use/handling of a firearm.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT IS FOUND GUILTY
Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor accused of staging a fake hate crime to boost sympathy for his career, was found guilty of making false reports to the police. The actor previously testified that “there was no hoax.” The Osundairo brothers, two men who claimed that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage the attack, also stood by their story throughout the trial.
Abimbola Osundairo revealed that he was friends with Jussie, and that he was also his personal trainer/aspiring actor on the set of Empire. Jussie was let go from the hit show after the brothers claimed that the hate crime was staged, and that Jussie paid them $3,500 to pull it off. Jussie Smollet now faces up to three years in prison for filing the false police report.
‘RUST’ ARMORER’S FATHER SPEAKS OUT
Hollywood movie consultant Thell Reed defended his daughter, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, from critics calling her inexperienced and liable for the tragedy on the set of the film Rust. The well-known armorer said that he taught his daughter everything she needed to know, and claimed that her duties were spread too thin on the Alec Baldwin-starring set.
Thell Reed and his daughter’s lawyer, Jason Bowles, also continued to push the theory that a disgruntled crew member sabotaged the set, leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by prop gun misfire. Lead investigators on the case have previously denied any evidence of sabotage. No one has yet to be charged.
OMICRON VARIANT ENTERS THE U.S.
A few cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have appeared in the United States, though reports seem to suggest that the virus is able to be held back by the vaccine. Those who have been infected by breakthrough cases worldwide have reported only mild symptoms if they’ve previously received two doses of the vaccine.
Though it is still too early to determine the severity of the new variant’s outbreak, Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said this week that Omicron appears to be “less severe.” Health officials still recommend getting the booster to further combat the spread of the virus.
INSTAGRAM CEO TESTIFIES BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, appeared before a Senate subcommittee hearing after reports released by The Washington Post claimed that the social media platform was potentially dangerous for minors. Studies showed that 32% of teenage girls felt worse about themselves after using the social media platform, and that the company also faced numerous privacy concerns.
Just a day before the hearing was scheduled, Instagram announced new features that plan to combat these issues, such as parental controls and reminders for people to stop scrolling after a while.
BRIAN WILLIAMS LEAVES NBC AFTER 28 YEARS
Brian Williams, head anchor of MSNBC’s The 11th Hour and previous NBC Nightly News host for over 28 years, signed off for the last time Thursday night to enjoy “time with his family.” He was with NBC for seven presidential elections and eight Olympic games.
Back in 2015, he was moved from NBC to MSNBC and partially suspended for six months after telling a false story about his helicopter getting hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. “Thank you for being here with us,” he said, “and for all my colleagues at the networks of NBC News, goodnight.”
CNN FIRES CHRIS CUOMO
Following reports that Chris Cuomo played a much larger than he originally stated in coaching his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through his sexual harassment scandal, the CNN anchor was suspended indefinitely and later fired.
Breaking journalistic ethics, Chris Cuomo used his connections and sources to seek out information about Andrew’s Cuomo’s accusers before they came forward. He then relayed that information to the Governor’s inner circle, and even helped word the statements to the press.
Firing Chris Cuomo, the network concluded that he was essentially working as an aide for the governor despite telling CNN that he was not connected to his brother’s investigation.
SERENA WILLIAMS BOWS OUT OF 2022 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Serena Williams announced that she will not be competing at the 2022 Australian Open, withdrawing her entry due to “advice from her medical team.” Recently the 23-time grand slam tennis champion has battled injuries to her hamstring and ankles, dropping her ranking down from within the top 25 to No. 41 in the world.
After giving birth to her daughter Olympia, Serena returned in 2018, but has yet to take another grand slam title to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record. She recently served as executive producer of a movie about her and her family’s life growing up playing tennis entitled King Richard, starring Will Smith.
LUCILLE BALL BIOPIC DIVIDES FANS
Premiering on Amazon Prime Video, the Aaron Sorkin directed Lucille Ball biopic, Being the Riccardos, premiered to mixed reviews from critics. While many praised the film as a “crowd pleaser,” others were dissatisfied by Nicole Kidman’s stilted portrayal of the legendary comedic actress.
A previous campaign by fans to replace Kidman with Debra Messing was rebuked by Sorkin, who stated that Kidman was a world-class actress who received the approval of Lucie Arnaz, Ball’s daughter. The film also stars Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz and J.K. Simmons as William Frawley.
‘SEX AND THE CITY’ REVIVAL PREMIERES ON HBO
Fans were shocked by the storyline when HBO premiered the first two episodes of the Sex and the City revival series And Just Like That on Thursday. Without revealing the controversial spoilers, it appears that Samantha is not the only one leaving the reboot.
Showrunners paid tribute to Willie Garson, a fan-favorite actor known for his role as Stanford Blatch, who tragically passed away in September at the age of 57. The series is now available to watch on HBO Max, with new episodes released weekly.