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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of volunteers from Brooklyn made Thanksgiving extra special for a community that was devastated by a fire. They brought a huge meal to people who are now without their homes and places to cook.

Volunteers from the nonprofit Masbia told CBS2’s Thalia Perez on Thursday they wanted to give residents at 222 Lenox Road something to get excited about.

So, they took over the lobby of their building and served an elaborate Thanksgiving meal.

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“I’ve got my grandson and my grandkids and they come over to eat and they can’t, you know, they don’t even want to come. They’re not here today because they don’t want to visit me. They say grandma don’t have no gas,” Mella Alexander said.

A raging fire tore through the rental building on Nov. 3. Firefighters said it reached four alarms before they were able to get it under control. And when it was over, nearly 20 apartments were deemed uninhabitable and the rest were without gas. Residents like a woman named Shirley, who was displaced, said they were touched by the kind gesture.

“I’m thankful for, you know, the people and God for giving them strength to give us food,” Shirley said.

“It is a good thing to help the people in need, especially at a time like this when people are going through so many difficulties with coronavirus. It’s a good thing. I appreciate it,” Simon Edward said.

The Masbia relief team brought in all the prepared food, soups and breads. They were equipped to feed everyone, including their loved ones.

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Masbia executive director Alexander Rapaport said that added up to about 500 plates of food.

“The hardest day to volunteer is Thanksgiving in the afternoon, and look what we have happening here. We have dozens and dozens of people manning tables and filling up these dishes,” Rapaport said.

Rapaport said no detail was overlooked while putting the event together. Irene Thomas, who lives on the fifth floor, is without gas, but she donated her time and cooked several West Indian dishes to add to the feast.

“We’re all thankful we have life. We’re all here and that’s all that matters,” Thomas said.

Residents said their hearts were as full as their stomachs.

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CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

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Tags: brooklyn local tv nonprofit thalia perez thanksgiving thanksgiving masbia macy’s thanksgiving day parade thanksgiving day parade macy’s thanksgiving day macy’s thanksgiving thanksgiving day thanksgiving they don’t we’re all thalia volunteers a good thing without gas

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Police officer Kim Potter to testify in her own manslaughter trial

In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter sits at the defense table, center, as Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu presides over jury selection Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in the trial of Potter in the April 11, 2021, death of Daunte Wright, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV via AP, Pool) AP

Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter will testify in her manslaughter trial of Daunte Wright.

Potter is charged with first-degree and second-degree manslaughter for Wright's death, in which she shot him with her gun at a traffic stop in April. She allegedly meant to grab her Taser but instead grabbed her gun. Lawyers and a judge began selecting the jury for her case on Tuesday, and criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino said her case is dealing with recklessness or negligence, according to CBS News .

"So for the second one, they would have to show that Ms. Potter was extremely negligent when she did the act," Tamburino said. "For the first-degree, they would have to show not only was she negligent, but also she did an underlying crime, meaning the misdemeanor mishandling of a weapon."


Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the city in which Potter was employed, said it has implemented measures such as "identifying space for peaceful protesting," "utilizing space and distance to de-escalate tension in the protest area," and adding patrols from outside law enforcement agencies ahead of Potter's jury selection.

Wright died after police pulled him over for a traffic infraction. As officers tried to apprehend him, Wright slipped back into the driver’s door, which is when Potter fired one round at him, killing him. Both Potter and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon resigned from their positions following Wright's death.


On April 13, two days after Wright died, more than 60 people were arrested in connection to unrest in the city. Authorities claimed that demonstrators threw bricks and cans at officers.

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