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Italian Police Have Seized 485 Artworks Believed to Be Fake Francis Bacons

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Italian Police Have Seized 485 Artworks Believed to Be Fake Francis Bacons
Francis Bacon on September 29, 1987 in Paris, France. Raphael GAILLARDE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

When creating fake versions of artwork made by an incredibly famous artist, it stands to reason that a crafty person would conjure these fabrications sparingly; however, according to new reports, Italian authorities have seized approximately 485 works of art that are thought to be counterfeit Francis Bacons connected to seven suspects total. The primary suspect, a Bologna-based art collector, had previously been connected to a 2018 incident called the “Paloma Operation” wherein other fake Francis Bacon paintings and fake Picassos were involved. Along with hundreds of fake Bacon paintings, the Italian police also gathered personal effects in the recent seizure that made the entire capture worth approximately $3.5 million.

Collectively, the suspects have been charged with fraud, money laundering and criminal conspiracy to authenticate and circulate fake works of art. The Italian authorities also elaborated that the operation they’d discovered involved legitimizing the fraudulent artwork “through prestigious national and international exhibitions, catalogs, websites, foundations and companies under foreign law, so as to increase their ‘quotation’ and then resell them, as a result.”

Those who participate in the manufacturing and peddling of fake art generally tend to possess a degree of shamelessness, but coming up with 485 fake artworks by a single artist seems to suggest a subconscious need to be found out; how long could such a flimsy scheme really be perpetuated?

In 2013, the Francis Bacon Estate accused David Edwards, the brother of Bacon’s heir and companion John Edwards, of selling fake Bacon artworks. By the time this accusation came to light, David Edwards had already sold multiple drawings supposedly made by Bacon for a total of over £1,300,000. However, according to an analysis made by a Bacon specialist named Martin Harrison, the works that Edwards was peddling actually ended up being nothing more than “pastiches, or even parodies, and profoundly disrespectful of Bacon’s authentic body of work.”

Italian Police Have Seized 485 Artworks Believed to Be Fake Francis Bacons

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Vikings DE Everson Griffen out Sunday after being injured in car accident

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Vikings DE Everson Griffen out Sunday after being injured in car accident

The fact that Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen wound up on Thursday’s injury report was surprising considering he was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.

Now he’s officially been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a concussion, and coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the injury occurred earlier this week when the 33-year-old lineman got into a car accident

Asked if it happened away from the facility, Zimmer said, “Yes. He swerved to miss a deer.”

This is the latest injury blow for the Vikings, who will also be without linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), cornerback Harrison Hand (hamstring) and left tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin) this weekend. Meanwhile, linebacker Eric Kendricks is questionable because of a quad injury.

Asked specifically about Kendricks’ injury, Zimmer quipped, “He’s just got a tweak.”

That, of course, is a reference to last season when Zimmer said defensive end Danielle Hunter had “a tweak” in training camp. He ended up missing the whole season after surgery to his neck.

“He’s all right,” Zimmer added. “We are just being cautious.”

It sounds as if Kendricks is trending in he right direction heading into this weekend.

“These other linebackers that we have dressed will have to play,” Zimmer said. “But I think he’s going to be OK. He went pretty good today.”

VIGIL IMPRESSES

Now that Barr has been ruled out, linebacker Nick Vigil will once again play an important role in the defensive game plan. With Barr out last week at Cincinnati, he played 100 percent of the defensive snaps, finishing with 10 combined tackles and a sack.

“Like I said before, he kind of reminds me of (Chad Greenway),” Zimmer said. “Nothing really bothers him. He can make adjustments real easy. I’m glad we have him. He’s done a nice job.”

POWER OUTAGE

After a powerful storm rolled through Eagan overnight, the Vikings were left without power for Friday’s walkthrough.

“We had no electricity in the building, so we moved practice,” Zimmer said. “We had meetings like the old school with the chalkboards and the whiteboards. We took care of that and we will catch up the film tomorrow morning when we get back from meetings.”

Asked whether there was an emergency generator of some sort TCO Performance Center, Zimmer joked, ““No. I had to take a shower in the dark.”

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Father sues for $1M after Michigan teacher cuts 7-year-old daughter’s hair

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Father sues for $1M after Michigan teacher cuts 7-year-old daughter’s hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (NEXSTAR) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher’s assistant.

MLive.com reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, September 14 in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools.

It alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.

Jimmy Hoffmeyer, who is Black and white, said in March that a classmate used scissors to cut one side of his daughter’s hair.

He told the Associated Press that he filed a complaint with the principal and then had to take his daughter to a salon where they styled Jurnee’s hair with an asymmetrical cut to hide what her classmate had done.

Two days later, Hoffmeyer said his daughter came home with the other side of her hair cut short.

“She was crying,” Hoffmeyer recalled in an April interview. “She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut.”

“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” he continued. “She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”

Hoffmeyer says the classmate and the teacher are white. Jurnee’s mother is white.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sex workers shot in St. Louis City; public safety alert issued

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Sex workers shot in St. Louis City; public safety alert issued

ST. LOUIS – It’s the first weekend that there will be a higher police presence in downtown St. Louis since the city launched its new initiative to combat crime.

The initiative includes a new task force that will include civic business and community leaders. They will meet every week to discuss how to improve downtown St. Louis, which is part of the new effort that included a greater police presence for the next six weeks.

Angela Pearson, special projects manager for the Mayor’s Office Downtown Engagement and Public Safety Initiative, said there will be 30 more officers in the downtown area this weekend.

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Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul drone strike an error

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Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul drone strike an error

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon retreated from its defense of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday that a review revealed that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed.

“The strike was a tragic mistake,” Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, told a Pentagon news conference.

McKenzie apologized for the error and said the United States is considering making reparation payments to the family of the victims. He said the decision to strike a white Toyota Corolla sedan, after having tracked it for about eight hours, was made in an “earnest belief” — based on a standard of “reasonable certainty” — that it posed an imminent threat to American forces at Kabul airport. The car was believed to have been carrying explosives in its trunk, he said.

For days after the Aug. 29 strike, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, despite 10 civilians being killed, including seven children. News organizations later raised doubts about that version of events, reporting that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organization and citing an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon’s assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.

The airstrike was the last of a U.S. war that ended as it had begun in 2001 — with the Taliban in power in Kabul. The speed with which the Taliban overran the country took the U.S. government by surprise and forced it to send several thousand troops to the Kabul airport for a hurried evacuation of Americans, Afghans and others. The evacuation, which began Aug. 14, unfolded under a near-constant threat of attack by the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

McKenzie, who oversaw U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, including a final evacuation of U.S. forces and more than 120,000 civilians from Kabul airport, expressed his condolences to the family and friends of those killed.

“I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” McKenzie said. “Moreover, we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or were a direct threat to U.S. forces,” he added, referring to the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

Prior to the strike, U.S. intelligence had indicated a likelihood that a white Toyota Corolla would be used in an attack against U.S. forces, McKenzie said. On the morning of Aug. 29, such a vehicle was detected at a compound in Kabul that U.S. intelligence in the preceding 48 hours had determined was used by the Islamic State group to plan and facilitate attacks. The vehicle was tracked by U.S. drone aircraft from that compound to numerous other locations in the city before the decision was made to attack it at a point just a couple of miles from Kabul airport, McKenzie said.

“Clearly our intelligence was wrong on this particular white Toyota Corolla,” he said.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a written statement, apologized for what he called “a horrible mistake.”

“We now know that there was no connection” between the driver of the vehicle and the Islamic State group, and that the driver’s activities that day were “completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced,” Austin said.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters two days after the attack that it appeared to have been a “righteous” strike and that at least one of the people killed was a “facilitator” for the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, which had killed 169 Afghan civilians and 13 American service members in a suicide bombing on Aug. 26 at the Kabul airport.

After McKenzie’s remarks on Friday, Milley expressed regret.

“This is a horrible tragedy of war and it’s heart wrenching,” Milley told reporters traveling with him in Europe. “We are committed to being fully transparent about this incident.”

“In a dynamic high-threat environment, the commanders on the ground had appropriate authority and had reasonable certainty that the target was valid, but after deeper post-strike analysis our conclusion is that innocent civilians were killed,” Milley added.

Accounts from the family of the victims, documents from colleagues seen by The Associated Press, and the scene at the family home — where Zemerai Ahmadi’s car was struck by a Hellfire missile just as he pulled into the driveway — all painted a picture of a family that had worked for Americans and were trying to gain visas to the United States, fearing for their lives under the Taliban.

The family said that when the 37-year-old Zemerai, alone in his car, pulled up to the house, he honked his horn. His 11-year-old son ran out and Zemerai let the boy get in and drive the car into the driveway. The other kids ran out to watch, and the Hellfire missile incinerated the car, killing seven children and an adult son and nephew of Zemerai.

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Everett’s Ismael Zamor next in long line of stars

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Everett’s Ismael Zamor next in long line of stars

Ismael Zamor knows well the history of Everett football players who have come before him. Now he is looking to solidify himself as one of the all-time greats.

Courtesy of incredible speed, premier hands, and a sturdy 6-foot-1, 190-pound build, Zamor has turned into one of the top skill players in New England, helping to put Everett back atop Division 1.

Zamor’s prowess on the field and character off of it have landed him a scholarship at Boston College beginning in fall 2022.

“(Ismael) has a very unique skill set,” Everett coach Rob DiLoreto said. “He is big, fast, agile, very mobile, and he can play multiple positions. More importantly he is also a man of strong faith so he has high morals and character standards. He is an outstanding student. He is the complete package.”

Zamor began playing football during fourth grade when his elementary school principal in Everett offered to help pay for Pop Warner due to Zamor’s impressive showings in the classroom.

“I was an offensive guard and I had no idea what I was doing,” Zamor joked. “All I knew was that I wanted to play the sport.”

In eighth grade, Zamor’s love for the game took off. He played for the town’s Pop Warner “B” team while watching from afar as the likes of current college standouts Jason Maitre (Boston College) and Lewis Cine (Georgia) guided the Crimson Tide on a dominant run toward a Division 1 state championship. Zamor’s Pop Warner team fell in the second round of the playoffs, a feeling that has stayed with Zamor to this day.

“It was only eighth grade Pop Warner but I remember for some reason how much that hurt me,” Zamor said. “I knew I just never wanted to have that feeling again.”

His coach for that Pop Warner team — Crimson Tide wide receiver coach Brenden LaRosa — offered Zamor the chance to work out every Tuesday morning at Everett’s Memorial Stadium. As he went into his freshman year of high school, Zamor took LaRosa up on the offer, became a regular participant in LaRosa’s regimen, and began studying then Crimson Tide senior superstar Mike Sainristil.

Despite only being a freshman, Zamor received the opportunity to share the field with Sainristil on multiple occasions and was in awe of what the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year could do both on the field and in practice. Sainristil became a mentor to Zamor when they were teammates and now, with Sainristil off showcasing his talents at the University of Michigan, the two of them FaceTime to keep in touch.

“Every day in practice Mike showed me how to get better,” Zamor said. “Guys like him, Isaiah (Likely), Lewis, Jason. They made it out and are playing big-time next-level football. Those guys came here to work in order to continue their dreams and that is exactly what I am doing also.”

During his sophomore and junior years, Zamor blossomed into a weapon in all three facets of the game, turning into an elite defensive back and even more dangerous with the ball in his hands in the open field. The three-star receiver committed to Boston College on his 17th birthday.

“Coach (Jeff) Hafley is a people person and is all about family. He showed me he cares about me for who I am and not just as a football player,” Zamor said of his commitment. “Relationships go a long way in life and you can tell he cares about them.”

Now as a senior, Zamor is hoping to check off one final box that many of those Everett greats have. In consecutive years to begin his high school career the Crimson Tide fell in heartbreaking fashion to Central Catholic before only being able to play three games during the ‘Fall II’ season his junior year.

The 2021 season serves as Zamor’s final chance to be part of a Crimson Tide state championship team and he knows as well as anyone that in Everett the chance to bring home a championship means more than just raising a banner.

“It hurt losing freshman and sophomore year because even though I was young, I knew how much football means to the Everett community,” Zamor said. “Ever since that second loss my sophomore year I have been focused on working hard myself but also making sure I am putting in that same work with teammates. This community is very tight, we all rely on each other for support, and they count on us to succeed for them.”

NAME: Ismael Zamor

SCHOOL: Everett

AGE: 17

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’1, 190 lbs

POSITION: WR/DB

NICKNAME: Ish

FAMILY: (Father, mother, brothers and sisters): Jerry, Marie, Christian, and Jerol

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: National Honors, Boston College football commit

FAVORITE PERSONAL MOMENT IN SPORTS: Scoring first varsity touchdown versus Lawrence

FAVORITE COURSE IN SCHOOL: History

LEAST FAVORITE COURSE IN SCHOOL: Math

FAVORITE PIGOUT FOOD: Do not have one

FAVORITE TV SHOW: All American

FAVORITE MOVIE: The Sandlot

FAVORITE MUSICIAN: Kodak Black

FAVORITE VIDEO GAME: Madden

FAVORITE SMARTPHONE APP: Twitter

FAVORITE TWITTER ACCOUNT TO FOLLOW: Bleacher Report

FAVORITE PRO TEAM: New England Patriots

FAVORITE ATHLETE: Jerry Jeudy or Lamar Jackson

HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A GAME: I come to practice and work hard consistently

IF YOU COULD BE SOMEONE ELSE FOR A DAY, WHO WOULD IT BE: My Grandmother

CAREER AMBITIONS: Law

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In Patrick Peterson, Vikings acquired ‘a born leader’

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In Patrick Peterson, Vikings acquired ‘a born leader’

If looks could kill, Patrick Peterson’s piercing stare last week would have ended the life of a reporter at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. The 31-year-old cornerback fielded a bevy of questions at the podium, giving lengthy answers in return, before his leadership skills came up in conversation.

Asked how he’s adapting as a leader in his first season with the Vikings, Peterson switched up his cadence and looked directly into the reporter’s eyes, replying, “I’m a born leader.”

There were a few seconds of silence as Peterson let his point sink in. He then mercifully decided to elaborate on his answer.

“I didn’t come in here and do anything out of the ordinary,” he continued. “Guys see how I operate. Guys see how I come to work every day. Guys see how I take care of my body. That all comes with being a pro.”

That type of professionalism is exactly what coach Mike Zimmer was looking for this offseason, and it’s exactly what he has gotten in Peterson.

Not only has Peterson stepped up as the No. 1 cornerback on the outside — he was barely tested last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals — he has been a guiding light for some of the younger cornerbacks on the roster. Whether it’s giving words of encouragement to Bashaud Breeland last week after a rough couple of plays, or serving as a sounding board for Kris Boyd before and after practice, Peterson’s impact has been palpable.

His biggest piece of advice?

“You have to be on cruising altitude at all times,” Peterson said. “You can’t get too high. You can’t get too low. You just have to worry about moving onto the next play and staying focused on the task at hand.”

That might be easier said than done Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. After spending the past decade with the organization, Peterson will return to where it all began for a 3 p.m. kickoff in Glendale, Ariz.

“Obviously, it’s my old team,” Peterson said. “I’m treating it like another game on the schedule.”

When a reporter suggested to Peterson that it might be difficult to do when he actually hits the field State Farm Stadium, he quickly refuted that claim.

“Not at all, because in actuality it is another game,” he said. “I have to go out there and be at my best for my team. I have to go out there and be dialed in for 60 minutes.”

That matter-of-fact answer was another example of his leadership personified. It’s something his teammates have started to notice in different forms throughout a week of practice.

His teammates on the defensive side of the ball, for example, get to experience it firsthand on the field.

“I just realized I ain’t ever played with nobody like Patrick, a corner on that side where they don’t even look his way,” Breeland said. “It really showed me I’ve got to buckle my chinstrap week-in and week-out.”

His teammates on the offensive side of the ball, meanwhile, feel it when they pick his brain off the field.

“Just asking him about the double moves I put on him that he doesn’t bite on,” receiver Justin Jefferson said. “What’s he looking for? What things am I doing that trigger him to not bite on the first move? I’m definitely picking his brain to learn from him and see what helps me going out against a top corner.”

Aside from his leadership, Peterson is still a darn good player, contrary to what some experts were saying this offseason before he signed with the Vikings. There was a particular play in practice that stood out to Zimmer a couple of weeks ago.

“He guessed on this route because of the release that he got and he got the wrong route — and it was actually a go route,” Zimmer said. “I saw his acceleration to the receiver. I have not seen any lack of athleticism.”

That’s something quarterback Kirk Cousins has noticed, as well.

“That is such a position of athleticism and confidence and he has those things in spades,” Cousins said. “He’s also a very strong player. I don’t think he gets beat up physically. I think if anything he can take the fight to someone in coverage. That is a great trait to have as a corner.”

There might be a drop off at some point but Peterson is always going to be a valuable player because of everything else he brings to the table. As he made abundantly clear last week, he’s a born leader.

“I’m the oldest of five kids,” Peterson said. “Our parents had us at a very young age, so I kind of had to step into that role early, and I embraced it. I believe that’s why it’s so easy for me to come in here and fit in and also lead by example each and every day, because I know I have siblings looking up to me each and every day.

“Just coming in here it was fairly easy,”  he added. “I love the game. I love to play football. I love to try to give any piece of advice I can to help make my teammates a better player. Not only a better player, a better person, as well. (It’s) just something that’s in me.”

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Pfizer releases side effects experienced after booster shots

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Pfizer releases side effects experienced after booster shots

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On Friday, September 17 the FDA will discuss Pfizer’s request for authorization for its booster.

In documents posted online, the FDA took note of conflicting data concerning boosters.

The FDA said in a briefing document, “Some observational studies have suggested declining efficacy of COMIRNATY over time against symptomatic infection or against the Delta variant, while others have not.”

Comirnaty, which refers to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, represents a combination of the terms COVID, mRNA, community and immunity.

Data submitted to the FDA by Pfizer break down side effects experienced after the boosters. Pfizer asked its trial participants to submits their symptoms using an electronic diary.

The company said injection site pain was the most common side effect.

Pfizer said most side effects lasted up to two days.

It said severe side effects were rarely reported but when they were, it was severe fatigue and muscle pain. Trial participants ages 18 to 55 were the most likely to report any side effects.

SYMPTOM 18-55 YEAR OLDS 65-85 YEAR OLDS
Injection site pain 83% 66.7%
Fatigue 63.8% 41.7%
Headache 48.4% 41.7

Other side effects felt less frequently were chills and new/worsened joint pain.

Several studies supporting boosters have been conducted in Israel, something the FDA also took note of saying US-based studies “may most accurately represent vaccine effectiveness in the US population.”

The FDA said data available to them showed the vaccines were still effective in preventing severe illness.

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Native American statue removed from Cherokee Street

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Native American statue removed from Cherokee Street

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A prominent statue marking the Cherokee Street business district has been removed. The 21-foot-tall statue was dedicated in 1985 as a way for the district to distinguish itself. Now local businesses say that it, “does not appropriately honor the indigenous communities that have called this land home.” Its new home will be at the National Building Arts Center located in Sauget, Illinois.

Artist Bill Christman was commissioned to create the landmark. Originally there were several options, including a trolley, that business owners thought would increase visibility. But, the statue won the vote.

Christman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2007 that he worked closely with a Cherokee Indian group to make sure it was not a stereotype. But, he eventually soured on the design, saying that it is out of proportion and, “Just doesn’t work.”

A business moving into the building at the intersection of Jefferson and Cherokee Street shared this photo of the sidewalk without the statue.

A post to the Facebook page for the Cherokee Street Community Community Improvement District states:

The Cherokee Native statue at the corner of Cherokee Street and South Jefferson Avenue was removed this morning. With a majority vote of community members at the Cherokee Street Community Improvement District public meeting and the support of the artist, the statue will be donated to the National Building Arts Center.

The statue was commissioned in 1985 by the Cherokee Station Business Association to serve as a landmark for the street and its commercial district. However, the statue does not appropriately honor the indigenous communities that have called this land home.

Once uninstalled, the statue was moved to the National Building Arts Center. Based in Sauget, Ill., the National Building Arts Center houses the nation’s largest collection of building artifacts and represents the single largest effort toward understanding the American built environment and the historical process of its creation.

Cherokee Street Community Community Improvement District

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Tay Anderson censured by Denver school board

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Tay Anderson censured by Denver school board

Denver Public Schools’ Board of Education voted to censure one of its members, Tay Anderson, on Friday following an investigation released this week that found he flirted online with a 16-year-old student before knowing her age and made coercive and intimidating social media posts.

But the six-month, third-party investigation initiated by the school board did not substantiate any of the anonymous claims of sexual assault levied against  Anderson.

Just before the board met to vote, Anderson shot back in a fiery news conference with an NAACP representative and local ministers, calling his treatment a “high-tech lynching,” a phrase used by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings 30 years ago.

He then delivered a passionate defense of his actions during the special meeting, reading from a statement he’d posted online that invoked white supremacy, lynching and vile threats made against him and his family since sexual assault allegations first surfaced this spring.

“On March 26, 2021, false allegations led to my life changing forever,” Anderson said during the meeting. “That was the day I became known as a rapist to our community. Does anyone listening know how that feels? To know you didn’t commit an act you’re being accused of, but having people believe it and call for your career, your freedom and your life to be over.”

Friday’s special meeting marked the first time school board members spoke publicly about the investigation and Anderson’s actions. One by one they denounced his conduct, voting 6-1 — Anderson cast the lone no vote — to censure, or publicly reprimand, their colleague for what they’ve called “behavior unbecoming of a board member.”

“To the young women who participated in this investigation, who are watching right now to see if your experiences and stories mattered to us: They do. And you do,” board member Rev. Bradley Laurvick said. “I hear you. I see you. I believe you.”

Board member Jennifer Bacon spoke in raw terms about being the only other Black school board member, and how she and Anderson are “inextricably linked” because of the color of their skin.

“White supremacy is real,” Bacon said. “But some of us can only take people so far. And we also need to recognize that personal actions need to be held accountable, too.”

Angela Cobián, another board member, said Anderson’s actions do not “merit a seat on this board,” adding that she hoped he “reconsiders his position as (the board’s) secretary.”

The 23-year-old vowed to remain on the school board.

“I will not resign,” Anderson said at the news conference before the vote. “Let me say that one more time — I will not resign.”

After Anderson concluded his remarks during the meeting, board member Barbara O’Brien said she “hoped this would be a bit more of an opportunity for introspection, but apparently it’s not going to be.”

At his pre-meeting news conference, Anderson gathered a collection of Black leaders who lambasted his treatment in explicitly racial terms.

Dr. Tony Bradley, representing the NAACP chapter for Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, said that the organization was “deeply troubled” by the censure vote and it opens up the school board to a civil rights inquiry.

Bishop Jerry Demmer, president of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

“… When you can’t find something to go your way, you come up with a lot of false allegations,” he said during the news conference.

As Anderson stepped to the podium Friday, he was met by a protester shouting through a megaphone, “Tay Anderson is not a victim,” and calling for his resignation.

Anderson has remained defiant in proclaiming his innocence in the face of the allegations that first surfaced in March that he had sexually assaulted an anonymous woman.

“My body has hung from a tree long enough,” he tweeted before Friday’s censure vote, “let’s get today over with.”

He opened his remarks to the board Friday by referring to a DPS parent — who in May alleged before a state legislative committee that Anderson committed rape, sexual assault or sexual misconduct against 62 students — as “my Carolyn Bryant.” (Bryant admitted to lying about allegations she made against a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till, whose horrific 1955 lynching in Mississippi helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.)

In his speech to the school board, Anderson said the censure “raises questions about the precedent being set for future DPS board actions and parameters around potential future investigations.”

“This is unprecedented and reeks of anti-Blackness and is rooted in systems that uphold white supremacy,” Anderson wrote in a blog post published Thursday.

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‘Man Behind the Monster’ Shows There Was More To Boris Karloff Than Halloween Scares

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‘Man Behind the Monster’ Shows There Was More To Boris Karloff Than Halloween Scares
16th February 1965: Veteran horror actor Boris Karloff (1887 – 1969), famed for his role as the definitive monster in the 1931 version of ‘Frankenstein’. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)

On a happy but nervous day in 1969 I moved into my first serious home in one of New York’s most famous, historic, glamorous and coveted Victorian landmark buildings, The Dakota.  It would have been a big step under any circumstances for a fledgling novice, new in town, green as chlorophyll, and just beginning a hopefully successful writing career, but I was doubly excited because my new next door neighbor was the one and only Boris Karloff!

Unfortunately, my timing was lousy.  Because, you see, the crowning monarch of movie horror had just died at age 88, and although The Dakota was also home to John Lennon, Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Nureyev and other notables, Karloff was the one I wanted to know most.  I found a cache of his fan letters in a garbage can near the service elevator but was too respectful to rescue them for posterity (and possibly sell them on eBay).  So I would never meet the Frankenstein monster in person.  Glumly, I confided my disappointment to the doorman.  “I’ve always loved him and now I live so close and yet so far and I will never meet him,” I confessed.  Without missing a beat, the doorman soberly replied: “He’ll be back.”


BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER ★★★★
(4/4 stars)
Directed by: Thomas Hamilton
Written by:Thomas Hamilton, Ron MacCloskey

Starring: Boris Karloff,
Running time: 1 hour, 39 mins.


And so he will—every year at Halloween, when a whole new generation discovers the art of his madness and mayhem all over again in an annual marathon of his greatest hits from The Black Cat to The Old Dark House and everything in-between.  Now he’s back to stay in a terrific documentary called Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster that sheds new light on the darkness that has shrouded him in mystery for nearly nine decades.  Fastidiously researched and directed by Thomas Hamilton, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ron MacCloskey, it unmasks the true identity of a soft-spoken British gentlemen born William Henry Platt but known throughout the civilized world as the most terrifying man alive and the father of the horror film industry.  Proceed at your own peril.

     With the aid of Karloff’s only daughter Sara, much of the film concentrates on his most celebrated role—the menacing monster made of nails, bolts and human organs in Frankenstein, James Whale’s 1931 classic adaption of Mary Shelley’s novel that turned an unknown actor into the stalking robotic freak of the title.  The movie made him a star, but the years of struggling to make ends meet, the accidental way he got the role, and the numerous problems encountered while making the film are catalogued with riveting detail.  A gentle man, he hated the scene where the monster throws the innocent child picking daisies into the black waters of the lake to drown.  He called it “wanton brutality” and managed to get it deleted, alienating the director and causing havoc.  He wasn’t even invited to the premiere.  But hidden behind hours of daily makeup without a word of dialogue, he became a phenomenal overnight sensation, and went on to play assorted vampires, mummies and even a Chinese sadist with realistic demonic powers that made audiences scream (and scream for more) without losing any of his own sense of humor. When an interviewer asks him if he spoke any Chinese on the controversial 1932 film The Mask of Fu Manchu, the real voice of Karloff laughs it off incredulously: “Good lord, no.  It was a shambles—simply ridiculous!

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Boris Karloff as the monster sitting lakeside with little girl in a scene from the film ‘Frankenstein’, 1931. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Biographical details are sketchy, and I would prefer fewer references to film technology and juicier personal anecdotes.  But what’s there is mesmerizing.  His father was a diplomat in Bombay with seven children who brutalized his family and left them penniless.  His Anglo-Indian heritage subjected him to racist insults.  He had bow legs, a lisp and a stammer which never qualified him for stardom but he never bothered to correct them. He left home and ended up as a Hollywood extra in silent films in 1920, where his dark complexion and penetrating eyes made him a standout in ethnic and exotic roles.  Struggling through the Depression with no money and no work, he was instrumental in unionizing the studios, which won him admirers among fellow actors, but prosperity and fame came slowly. There were lean years and eight marriages, then Frankenstein changed everything.  Teaming up with his close friend Bela Lugosi in The Black Cat (1934) and speaking for the first time as the monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) certified his status, but eventually he grew tired of type casting. Stuck in a rut, the way out was Broadway.  So he gambled with a comedy called Arsenic and Old Lace, playing a man “who looked like Boris Karloff”.  It ran for three years.

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At the Children’s Hospital, British actor Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt, 1887 – 1969) reads to a young patient as she drinks a glass of milk, Brooklyn, New York, New York, 1948. (Photo by Rae Russel/Getty Images) (Photo by Rae Russel/Getty Images)

But there was more to Karloff than “Boo!”  He played Captain Hook to Jean Arthur’s Peter Pan and in one of his most distinguished stage appearances he was nominated for a Tony award opposite Julie Harris’ Joan of Arc in Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of The Lark, which he repeated for NBC’s Hallmark Hall of Fame (an entire scene in the documentary is worth the price of admission alone).  In 1966, when he was retired and almost dead from severe emphysema, his career soared again with his recording How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and in 1968, one year before he died, he surfaced again, winning fresh raves as a retired horror film star whose life parallels the story of the mass murderer perched on top of the tower of the University of Texas in Austin.   Some of the rare footage from his late career includes Karloff spoofing his image by singing to a severed head on the Dinah Shore Show and discarding his wheelchair and oxygen mask to perfectly perform a musical number with Vincent Price and Red Skelton.  Not a wasted or superfluous moment anywhere.

  This movie honors both requirements of any documentary you can call memorable.  It educates and entertains at the same time.  I still live next door to the scariest man in the morgue.  But after Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster I now have another reason to smile every time I pass his front door after midnight.


Observer Reviews are regular assessments of new and noteworthy cinema.

‘Man Behind the Monster’ Shows There Was More To Boris Karloff Than Halloween Scares

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