The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Protest News

  • Former Defense Secretary William Perry became the latest ex-defense chief to rip into President Trump, accusing the president of politicizing the country’s military.

“I support the right of protesters to demonstrate peacefully, and deplore the suggestion that our military should be used to suppress them,” Perry told Politico in a statement.

“The U.S. military is a powerful force that has served our nation well, in war and in peace. But it was never intended to be used against American citizens, and it was never intended to be used for partisan political purposes.”

  • “The idea that the president would take charge of the situation using the military was troubling to me,” former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey. “The idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests — admittedly, where some had opportunistically turned them violent — and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me.”
  • The White House is now surrounded by nearly two miles of fencing and barricades.
  • Minneapolis agreed Friday to ban chokeholds by police and to require officers to try to stop any other officers they see using improper force, in the first concrete steps to remake the city’s police department since George Floyd’s death.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a knee during a rally in Ottawa over the death of George Floyd.
  • President Trump said News Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees should not have apologized for statements he made hammering players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality in the United States. 

“I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high,” Trump tweeted.

“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!” he continued.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris clapped back at President Trump invoked George Floyd while giving a speech praising a minor upturn in the economy which has slumped amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting Floyd was “looking down” from heaven on this “good day.”

“Keep George Floyd’s name out of your mouth until you can say Black Lives Matter,” Harris responded.

  • The entire Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team has resigned from the unit after the department suspended two officers without pay after a viral video surfaced showing them pushing over a 75-year-old protester to the ground and then passing him to arrest a peaceful protester while he laid on the ground bleeding from the ear.
  • The U.S. Park Police is suddenly hedging its earlier claims it did not use tear gas to clear crowds near the White House on Monday ahead of President Trump’s visit to a nearby historic church, saying in a new statement that it was a “mistake” to say no tear gas was used given that the chemical agents they did use cause similar eye and lung irritation.

“I’m not saying it’s not a tear gas, but I’m just saying we use a pepper ball that shoots a powder,” Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado.

  • Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said she wanted to honor peaceful demonstrators who were forcibly removed from Lafayette Square by law enforcement officers so the city commissioned painters to spell out the words “Black Lives Matter” along the major road leading to the White House.
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested that President Trump “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence,” from the nation’s capital after the president mobilized the forces to deal with protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans.”

  • President Trump continued his attacks on Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, calling her “incompetent” after she demanded he withdraw military personnel and federal law enforcement from the city amid ongoing protests against the police killing of George Floyd.

“If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”

  • Several members of the Minneapolis City Council have vowed to “dismantle” the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd. They have called for drastic overhauls into the handling of law enforcement — ranging from defunding the department to sending social workers, medics or mental health professionals to some calls currently handled by police.
  • William McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who oversaw the team that killed terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, condemned federal law enforcement officials for forcefully clearing peaceful protesters out of a DC square before President Trump visited the local church.

“You’re not gonna use, whether it’s the military or the National Guard or law enforcement, to clear peaceful American citizens for the president of the U.S. to do a photo-op. There is nothing morally right about that.”

  • Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned President Trump’s treatment of protesters demonstrating against police brutality, saying it is “hard to not conclude” that the US leader is racist.

“If you don’t want to be accused of racism, then don’t use racist language.”

  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called for peaceful protests against police brutality in a new video, reversing past opposition to protests and saying the NFL admits “we were wrong for not listening” to players earlier. The move comes after the league implemented and repealed a policy against kneeling protests after Trump and conservatives took issue with the demonstrations by Colin Kaepernick and others.
  • The CEO of the company behind fashion brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman dismissed stores being vandalized and looted during ongoing protests, saying the focus should be “on the cause.”

“We can replace our windows and handbags, but we cannot bring back George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and too many others. Each of these black lives matter.”

  • An Ohio National Guardsman was removed from policing protests in Washington D.C. after the FBI found he expressed white supremacist ideology online. He’ll likely be ousted from the National Guard.
  • Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has ordered a 30-day ban on the use of tear gas during protests, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a news conference Friday.

Administration News

  • The Trump campaign removed an ad that violated NASA guidelines by featuring images of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
  • The U.S added 2.5 million jobs in May and unemployment dropped to 13.3 percent as businesses begin to reopen after coronavirus-related closures, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The numbers shattered economist expectations that there would be another steep rise in joblessness.

  • Black unemployment hit its highest rate in a decade in May, despite a better-than-expected jobs report across the economy following the coronavirus closures.

For black workers, last month’s unemployment rate ticked up to 16.8 percent. For white workers, May’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.4 percent from a record high of 14.2 percent in April.

  • The unemployment rate is likely about 16.3 percent — about 3 percent higher than listed in the May jobs report that came out today. The numbers weren’t rigged, say experts; the Bureau of Labor Statistics report itself included reference to a major misclassification error.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agency that puts out the monthly jobs reports, said it was working to fix the problem.

  • President Trump on Friday declared it a “great day” for George Floyd after the monthly jobs report that showed unemployment falling — except for African Americans — and days of unrest sparked by Floyd’s killing.

“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

  • President Trump has directed the Pentagon to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany by September.
  • President Trump issued an order which would remove protections from the Northeast Canyon and Seamounts — the only marine monument in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean. This move that would jeopardize hundreds of species is likely to be contested in court.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • New York on Thursday reported the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths in the state since the pandemic began. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 42 deaths were counted, an “amazing” improvement compared to 800 daily deaths two months ago.
  • President Trump signed legislation to extend the window for businesses to spend loans granted under coronavirus relief legislation, thanking Democrats for helping the measure pass almost unanimously through Congress: “I hope we can get along with the Democrats because it’s been a disaster for our relationship.”
  • The daily average for new coronavirus cases in the U.S. has been increasing slightly in recent days, with counts rising in the South and West.
  • Anders Tegnell, the epidemiologist who managed Sweden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, said he should have implemented more restrictions to avoid the nation’s high coronavirus death toll. Sweden’s no-lockdown policy resulted in higher death tolls than neighboring countries like Denmark and Norway.

“If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Tegnell said in an interview with Swedish Radio.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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