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#StandWithRayden: Athletes Support 12-Year Old Bullying Victim After Viral Video

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  • MMA fighters, pro-wrestlers, and NFL players tweeted their support for an autistic boy in Oklahoma who was physically attacked by other students in two viral videos.
  • The school district and police said they have identified the students who attacked 12-year-old Rayden Overbay.
  • Authorities are considering charges of bullying, as well as assault and battery.
  • Overbay’s parents spoke on the issue, saying they forgive the students who attacked their son and asking adults to not bully his attackers in return.

Video of Autistic Boy Being Bullied Goes Viral

After two videos of multiple middle schoolers physically bullying their autistic classmate went viral, a handful of athletes have offered their support to the victim. 

The videos, which originally went viral in September, picked up even more attention on Oct. 23 after MMA fighter Dillon Danis tweeted a compilation of both videos and said he wanted to contact the victim, Rayden Overbay.

“This is very sad,” Danis said. “We are all here for you brotha, please tag anyone that knows him or his parents i would like to reach out!”

The first incident in the video shows Overbay being attacked in the boys’ restroom at Yukon Middle School on Sep. 13. The day prior, another video surfaced online showing multiple children punching and kicking Overbay at a mobile home park.

On Sep. 16, Yukon superintendent Jason Simeroth told media outlets that both the school and police were investigating the videos. 

Police then confirmed that all of the kids in both videos had been identified as students at Yukon Middle School and explained that the school had already taken disciplinary action against them. Notably, police also said they were working to determine whether or not to file charges, including bullying, as well as assault and battery. 

Since the students are minors, however, it is unlikely that any full extent of their repercussions will be made publically available. 

Rayden’s Parents Speak Out

Just days after these videos went viral, professional MMA fighter Justin Wren reached out to Overbay’s family, offering to help them. Wren heads an anti-bullying charity called Fight for the Forgotten.

At a news conference with Wren, Overbay’s parents explained their son has high-functioning autism and that they decided to not to enroll him in a special education curriculum. Later, when discussing the bullying, Overbay’s father fought tears.

“It’s gotta stop, no matter what,”  he said. “Whether it’s my son somebody else’s son or daughter… it’s gotta stop.” 

“A few people decided to record it on video because they thought it was funny,” he said. “It is the only reason I am sitting in front of you today. Some of those kids claim to be my son’s friend, and that’s hard as a dad.” 

Overbay’s parents, however, said incidents have been happening for years, with his mother saying she’s seen kids walk up to him and punch him “square in the stomach” since he was eight or nine. 

Despite struggling with their son’s bullying, both parents said they forgive the kids who attacked him. The Overbay’s also asked adults to stop bullying the other children after those children received death threats and their addresses were posted online.

“We forgive the kids for what they did,” Overbay’s father said. “They made a mistake, they’re 12 they’re 13 they got a life to live.” 

“We want to stand here and say stop bullying and stand against, stop bullying, you can’t turn around and say now let’s get a group and go beat these kids up,” Overbay’s mother said. “That’s not how fixing bullying works.” 

Athletes Offer Support 

Shortly after Danis’ tweet, #StandWithRayden began trending on Twitter, with more athletes supporting Overbay. Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Trent Brown tweeted that he wants to bring Overbay and his family to an NFL game. 

Taeler Hendrix of the National Pro Wrestling League also said she wanted to send him gifts and dedicate her next match to him.

Notably, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield issued a message to Overbay and shamed the parents of the children who had bullied him. 

“Unbelievable that kids could actually be this mean and spiteful,” he said. “Shame on the parents of the ones picking on Rayden… these videos are hard to watch, and that’s only what has been caught on video.”

“I don’t know if he or his family will ever even see this… but hang in there,” the NFL quarterback continued. “Y’all have lots of love and support coming your way. Stay strong and believe there are brighter days ahead!!!”

After taking notice of the growing trend, Wren said he would share some of the most supportive tweets with Overbay and his family.

See what others are saying: (KFOR) (NEWS9) (OKC FOX)

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Florida Breaks Its Record for New Daily COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations

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The Sunshine State now accounts for 20% of all new COVID-19 cases nationwide.


Florida Becomes COVID Epicenter

Florida reported 10,207 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, marking its largest single-day count to date. The grim record comes just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that the state had counted 21,683 new infections Friday, its highest record of daily cases since the start of the pandemic.


Florida has become the new epicenter of the most recent U.S. outbreaks driven by the delta variant. The state now accounts for one out of every five new cases, and the weekend numbers are highly significant because they surpass previous records that were logged before vaccines were readily available.

Notably, Florida’s vaccination rate is actually the exact same as the nationwide average of 49% fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times tracker. In fact, Florida’s rate is the highest among the top 10 states currently reporting the most COVID cases.

While Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has encouraged Florida residents to get vaccinated, he and the state’s legislature have also made it much harder for local officials to enforce protections to mitigate further spread.

DeSantis Bars Masking in Schools

On the same day that the state reported its highest cases ever, DeSantis signed an executive order banning school districts from requiring students to wear a mask when they go back to school later this month.

The move directly contradicts guidance issued by the CDC last week, which recommended that everyone inside K-12 schools wear a face covering.

DeSantis, for his part, has repeatedly claimed the spikes are part of “seasonal” increases driven by more people being indoors and air-conditioning systems circulating the virus. Still, he argued also Friday that he did not think masks were necessary to prevent children from transmitting COVID in the classroom, where they are inside with air conditioning.

At the same time, last week, Florida reported more than 21,000 infections among children younger than 19.

Florida is not the only state that has banned schools from requiring masks. In fact, many of the states suffering the biggest spikes have done the same, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — which all currently rank among the top 10 states with the highest per capita COVID cases.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NPR) (Axios)

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Biden to Mandate COVID Vaccines for Federal Workers as CDC Changes Masking Guidance

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News of the efforts came on the same day that the U.S. reported more than 100,000 new daily COVID cases for the first time since February.


Federal Vaccine Mandate

President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that all federal employees must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or consent to strict testing and other safety precautions, White House officials told reporters Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Biden said he was considering the requirement but did not provide any more information.

While the officials also said the details are still being hashed out, they did note that the policy would be similar to ones recently put in place by California and New York City, which respectively required state and city workers to get the jab or submit to regular testing.

Also on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines to recommend that Americans who live in areas “of substantial or high transmission,” as well as all students and teachers, wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.

Delta Causes Spikes, But Vaccines Still Prove Effective

The renewed COVID mitigation efforts come as the delta variant is driving massive surges all over the country.

Coronavirus cases have quadrupled throughout July, jumping from a weekly average of 11,799 on the first day of the month to 63,248 on Tuesday, according to The New York Times tracker. Tuesday also saw new daily infections topping 100,000 for the first time since February, with more than 108,000 reported, per The Times.

While the vast majority of new infections are among people who have not been vaccinated, there have also been increasing reports of breakthrough cases in people who have received the jab. 

Those cases, however, do not mean that the vaccines are not effective. 

No vaccine prevents 100% of infections. Health officials have said time and time again that the jabs are intended to prevent severe disease and death, and they are doing just that.

According to the most recent data for July 19, the CDC reported that only 5,914 of the more than 161 million Americans who have gotten the vaccine were hospitalized or died from COVID-19 — a figure that represents 0.0036% of vaccinated people.

While safety precautions may be recommended for some people who have received the vaccine, many media narratives have overstated the role breakthrough cases play in the recent spikes. As New York Magazine explains, it is imperative to understand these new mask recommendations are not happening because the vaccine is not effective, but because not enough people are getting the vaccine.

“Because breakthrough infections have so often made the news due to their novelty, that can create a perception of more cases than are actually happening — particularly without more robust tracking of the actual cases to provide context,” the outlet wrote.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNBC)

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Wisconsin Police Deny Planting Evidence in Viral Video, Release Their Own Body Cam Footage

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The footage police released shows that during a search, officers found a corner tear from a plastic bag inside a backseat passenger’s pocket. An officer then discarded it into the car after determining that it was empty.


Viral Video Appears To Show Officer Planting Evidence

The Caledonia Police Department in Wisconsin has responded to a viral cell phone video that appears to show an officer planting a small plastic baggie inside of a car during a traffic stop.

The now-viral footage was posted to Facebook by a man who goes by GlockBoy Savoo.

The user, who also filmed the clip, wrote in his post’s caption that the officer did this “just to get a reason to search the car” and said the cop didn’t know he was being recorded by the passenger.

Source: Facebook/ GlockBoy Savoo

Police Shut Down Accusations With Their Own Footage

After that video spread across social media, many were outraged, calling the Caledonia police dirty for seemingly planting evidence. All the outrage eventually prompted the department to announce an investigation Saturday.

Within hours, the department provided an update, claiming that officers didn’t actually plant any evidence or do anything illegal.

Police shared a lengthy summary of events, along with two body camera clips from the incident. That statement explained that the driver of the vehicle was pulled over for going 63 in a 45mph zone.

Two passengers in the backseat who were then spotted without seatbelts were asked to identify themselves and step out of the car. During a search of one passenger’s pockets, an officer pulled out “an empty corner tear” from a plastic baggie.

Police claim the corner tear did not contain any illegal substances, though they said this type of packaging is a common method for holding illegal drugs.

In one body cam clip, an officer can be heard briefly questioning the backseat passenger about the baggie. Then, that piece of plastic gets handed off to different officers who also determined it as empty before the officer in the original viral video discarded it into the back of the car.

The officer can also be seen explaining where the plastic came from to the passenger recording him.

“Aye, bro you just threw that in here!” the front seat passenger says, as heard in his version of the events.

“Yeah, cause it was in his pocket and I don’t want to hold onto it. It’s on their body cam that they took it off of him…I’m telling you where it came from, so. It’s an empty baggie at the moment too, so,” the officer replies.

The department went on to explain that while it would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s car, this footage proves that evidence was not planted.

Authorities also noted that no arrests were made in this incident and the driver was the only one issued a citation for speeding. The statement added that since four officers were present at the scene, police have more than six hours of footage to review but they promised to release the footage in full in the near future.

See what others are saying: (Heavy)(CBS 58) (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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