Crime and punishment
March 31, 2014

Is nothing sacred? Rapper and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta cast member Raymond Scott, also known as Benzino, was shot by his nephew on Saturday during his mother's funeral procession in Duxbury, Mass.

Benzino's business partner and friend Stevie J posted this photo of his injured friend on Instagram:

Scott told The Boston Globe Sunday that an intense family disagreement over his mother's care had originally kept him away from the funeral. He decided to meet a friend instead, and on his way came across the procession. "I looked over, there was a car, and all I saw was a gun shooting at me," he said. "I was trying to duck and dodge, drive around it, maneuver the car.... I was bleeding a lot. I was driving with my thumb in my shoulder to try to stop the bleeding."

Scott was shot in the upper back and arm, and says that he pulled over and ran before being quickly picked up by a relative who did not want to shoot him. His nephew, Gai Scott, is expected to be arraigned in Plymouth District Court on Monday. Gai Scott's attorney, Christopher Coughlin, says his client will plead not guilty to the charge of armed assault with intent to murder.

Scott theorizes that "money, jealousy, and envy" fractured his family. "You hear about these things, but you never think it could happen to you," he said. "At the end of the day, my mom was in my corner." Catherine Garcia

happy thanksgiving!
12:04 p.m. ET

With the 89th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade expecting a crowd of about 3 million spectators, the annual procession was always going to be a big deal. A record 2,500 police officers were stationed along the Manhattan parade route in light of recent, heightened fears of terrorism — though officials have said there are no known, credible threats to New York — as the city prepared for the larger-than-life gathering. Below, photos from the festivities, including some cartoon favorites inflated to a truly terrifying scale. Kimberly Alters

turkey travels
11:38 a.m. ET

If you traveled this Thanksgiving, you know how cutthroat holiday hotel reservations can be. Or maybe over-crowded gatherings at home have you outsourcing to a local hotel. In any case, finding lodging for friends and family can be a certified headache.

Not so for the turkeys chosen for the White House's annual turkey pardon. National Journal accompanied last year's lucky birds, Mac and Cheese, into their swanky hotel suite at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., where the two turkeys had their own room:

Mac and Cheese's digs go for more than $350 a night for non-presidentially pardoned guests, and come with stellar city views. The hotel did add a "thick layer of wood shavings" in the entryway specially for the birds, though. See more photos of the luxurious lodging for pardoned turkeys at National Journal. Kimberly Alters

where is the un-send button
10:41 a.m. ET

Ah, Thanksgiving, a day for packing in as much poultry and pigskin as possible. And given the holiday's proclivity for football, NFL teams have a natural incentive to spread the good cheer on turkey day.

If you're the Washington Redskins though, you might want to stay mum on a holiday that traces its roots back to America's takeover of Native American land. The D.C. football team has been embroiled in controversy over its team name — an offensive word for Native Americans — for years. (If you're unclear as to why the name is offensive, this Daily Show segment can get you up to speed.) But rather than miss out on the holiday fun, the team's official Twitter account posted this glaringly oblivious graphic:

At least you can be thankful the Redskins aren't playing today, so their controversial brand won't add to your surely contentious Thanksgiving discussions. Kimberly Alters

feel the bern
10:37 a.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has focused on his ambitious plans to, as a recent press release summarized, "create millions of jobs, raise wages, provide health care for all Americans, lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, make college affordable, guarantee paid family leave, ensure pay equity for women and strengthen Social Security."

That's a tall order — and the automatic spam filters in Gmail, America's most popular email service, evidently think it's a little too good to be true.

(Washington Times)

Some Gmail users received the Sanders press release with an automated phishing warning, cautioning readers that Sanders' campaign goals could be a scam designed to trick them into sharing personal data. The email's use of words like "prescription drugs," "guarantee," "free," and "health care" — common phrases in the spammer vocabulary — are likely what attracted the filter's attention. Bonnie Kristian

poultry, not politics
10:23 a.m. ET

In his Thanksgiving-themed episode of The Late Show on Wednesday, host Stephen Colbert made an impassioned plea to keep politics out of Thanksgiving.

Even a "harmless gesture of goodwill" like the presidential turkey pardon "is pitting people against each other," he said, citing real poll results which found that 59 percent of Democrats approve of President Obama's turkey pardon — and just 11 percent of Republicans say the same.

This year, as usual, there are a litany of guides available for how to argue politics at the Thanksgiving table, from the DNC's passive-aggressive comebacks at to Politico Magazine's delightfully satirical ideas for being the crazy uncle.

But if you're more of the Colbert persuasion, check out the case against talking politics at Thanksgiving by The Week's own Michael Brendan Dougherty here. Bonnie Kristian

mcdonald shooting
8:53 a.m. ET

Following the release of a video showing the fatal officer-involved shooting of a black teenager, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Chicago on Tuesday night. Some shouted "16 shots," referring to the number of bullets allegedly fired during the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. The protests continued Wednesday in Chicago's business district, The Loop, as demonstrators peacefully chanted and marched through the area.

New footage of the shooting was released Wednesday from the dashboard cameras of four additional police cars that responded to the incident, including Van Dyke's vehicle. That brings the total number of clips released to five, with footage from the three other squad cars that were at the scene during the shooting yet to be released.

The videos in question have little audio, something the Chicago Tribune notes should not be the case; while some videos include siren sounds from outside the vehicle, no sound of officers talking or any radio communication inside the vehicle can be heard. Only one of the videos shows the actual shooting of McDonald, while the others show the scene at various points. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday. Kimberly Alters

This just in
8:09 a.m. ET
Haberturk TV via AP

Tensions between Russia and Turkey continued to rise Thursday, with Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reporting that the country has deployed long-range air defense missiles to its base in Syria. The missiles will be just 30 miles from the Turkish border, Fox News reports, the latest escalation in the conflict stemming from Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane Tuesday.

While the Russian navigator aboard the plane has said there was no warning before the plane was shot down, audio recordings released by Turkey on Thursday appear to indicate the plane was asked several times to change course because it was approaching Turkish airspace. Turkey has also told the United Nations that two Russian planes ignored its warnings and entered Turkish airspace. Russia, meanwhile, has insisted its plane flew only over Syria — a claim made murky by the fact that Turkey and Syria have a longstanding border dispute in the area over which the warplane was shot down, The New York Times notes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to apologize for the downed plane, but the two countries promised Wednesday they would not go to war over Tuesday's incident. Turkey had previously warned Russia in October not to enter its airspace. Kimberly Alters

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