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Michelle Obama reflected on the “heartbreaking” time when her brother, Craig Robinson, was accused of stealing his own bicycle by the Chicago police when he was about 10 years old.

The former first lady, 56, invited Craig, now 58, and their mother Marian Robinson, 83, onto the Michelle Obama Podcast, where the trio spoke about police brutality.

One memory that stood out was when a Craig was accused of stealing his own bike: a yellow 10-speed bike that his parents had bought for him at the store Goldblatt’s in Chicago.

“It was terrifying only because I was always taught that the police are your friends and they’ll believe the truth,” Craig said on Wednesday’s episode.

He remembered during the incident two Chicago police officers stopped him while he was riding his bike.

“This guy grabbed my bike and he wouldn’t let it go,” Craig said, recalling that the officers were asking him questions to purposefully trip him up.

“I was like, ‘Oh you got this all wrong, this is my bike, don’t worry, this isn’t a stolen bike,’ and he would not believe me.”

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” he continued, “And I finally said to him, ‘Listen, you can take me to my house and I will prove to you this is my bike.’”

When the cops brought him back at the Robinson home, his mother, Marian — who “had that tight lip” was prepared to defend her son.

Marian confronted the police officers, who were both black, about why the kept pressing Craig, and one finally admitted he knew her son was telling the truth.

Craig called the experience “heartbreaking,” specifically because he felt the cops were trying to “trip” him up when questioning him about where he got the bike.

Michelle Obama said the incident underscored the reality black Americans face when dealing with law enforcement.

“When you leave that safety of your home and go out into the street, where being black is a crime in and of itself, we have all had to learn how to operate,” she said.

Filed under chicagomichelle obama ,  podcasts ,  police brutality ,  9/16/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: michelle obama

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COVID-19: Hudson Valley Man Accused Of Stealing Nearly $5M From Pandemic Relief Fund

A man from the Hudson Valley allegedly took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to live a lavish lifestyle by allegedly illegally obtaining nearly $5 million in loans meant for struggling businesses.

Ulster County resident Jean Lavanture, of Saugerties, also known as Rudy Lavanture, was arrested this week on a bank fraud complaint that alleges he obtained millions in government-backed loans that were earmarked for businesses struggling during the pandemic.

Lavanture was arrested on Thursday, Sept. 17 at a new 8.54-acre estate that he allegedly purchased with the illegally obtained funds.

It is alleged that between Tuesday, June 16, and Wednesday, July 22, Lavanture received $4,906,281 in Payback Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

The loans were issued by two banks to five Saugerties-based companies that Lavanture controls.

Prosecutors said that in the loan applications, Lavanture falsely represented that each company had employees, substantial revenues, and a payroll, complete with fraudulent tax documents supporting his lies.

However, none of the companies ever reported employees to the state Department of Labor, and no income was reported to the IRS between 2017 and 2019.

Lavanture also allegedly improperly used the loaned funds to make property purchases and pay personal expenses.

According to the complaint, Lavanture has withdrawn $439,503.25 of the loaned funds in cash, and drew on the loaned funds when he purchased a motel in Rockaway Beach, Missouri, and transferred $952,000 in connection with the purchase of an 8.54-acre estate in Byram Township, New Jersey, that includes an 18-room Tuscan-style mansion.

“The allegations against Mr. Lavanture are appalling,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas Relford said. “Small businesses have suffered devastating losses during the coronavirus pandemic and the FBI will not tolerate anyone who steals the funding designed to be a lifeline for those businesses.”

If convicted of bank fraud, Lavanture faces up to 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Lavanture is also facing a maximum fine of the greater of $1 million or twice his victim’s loss.

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