Daniel Desmond Amofah, a.k.a. Etika, a popular gaming vlogger with more than 800,000 YouTube followers, has died at age 29.
The New York Police Department confirmed on Tuesday that a body found on the evening of June 24 has been positively identified as Amofah’s. He had been considered missing since June 19, when authorities found and recovered his belongings, including his cellphone and identification. His belongings were found following an alarming video titled “I’m Sorry,” which Amofah posted to his secondary YouTube channel. In the video, which has since been deleted, he spoke about his mental health while walking through Manhattan. He had expressed similar thoughts in previous public statements like videos and tweets over the past eight months.
While the NYPD said that it is still investigating the circumstances surrounding Amofah’s death, he appeared to have been experiencing mental health issues for some time. Best known for Nintendo-related content, particularly involving the fighting game franchise Super Smash Bros., Amofah began posting videos that seemed to suggest suicidal ideation last fall.
In October 2018, he reportedly uploaded pornography to his primary YouTube channel in blatant disregard of the platform’s policies, resulting in the deletion of content on his account. Following that incident, Amofah posted an erratic video in which he seemed to be exhibiting signs of mental unwellness and left messages on social media and internet communities that alarmed many of his followers about his safety.
Amofah continued to reference suicidal ideation in posts on platforms like Reddit and Twitter. In April, he was banned from the popular live-streaming platform Twitch, on which he was also an active creator, after posting anti-Semitic and homophobic content. He apparently reacted to the ban by live-streaming on Instagram a police response to a call at his residence, where he had allegedly been threatening self-harm. The police, dressed in riot gear, eventually entered his home. Amofah was reportedly treated at mental health facilities after both the October and April incidents.
Amofah joined YouTube in 2012 and quickly made a name for himself posting humorous gaming reaction videos. Prior to his YouTube days, he worked as a model. His fans referred to themselves as “joycon boyz” following one of Etika’s more well-known videos about the debut of the Nintendo Switch.
In his final, since-deleted video, Amofah spoke of having pushed away support and of being “consumed” by internet communities. “Let my story be one that advises caution on too much of the social media shit,” he said. “It will fuck you up and give you an image of what you want your life to be. … Unfortunately, it consumed me.”
Friends of Amofah’s and members of the gaming and YouTube communities had expressed concerns in the past over his mental health and repeated those concerns throughout the week while Amofah was missing.
After the NYPD confirmed Amofah’s death, “Etika” became Twitter’s top trending topic worldwide as his followers mourned. Many of his followers also changed their profile names to “joycon boyz” in tribute.
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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