The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Protest News

  • President Trump on Tuesday shared a conspiracy theory that the 75-year-old man pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo, New York could be an “ANTIFA provocateur,” claiming without evidence that Martin Gugino was “pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out equipment.”

“I watched, he fell harder than was pushed,” the president tweeted. “Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo went off on President Trump for his tweet voicing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the 75-year-old man who was violently pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo during a protest could be part of a “set up.”

“It’s all made up, it’s all fabricated. There’s no fact to any of it,” Cuomo said. “He accuses this man of being associated with antifa, no proof whatsoever, no fact, just an assertion.”

  • Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said President Trump should “go back to hiding in the bunker” after the president tweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting a 75-year-old protester who was violently pushed by police in Buffalo, N.Y., could be part of a “set up.”
  • A New York City police officer surrendered to face criminal charges on Tuesday, over a week after cellphone showed him shoving a woman to the ground and calling her a “bitch” during a protest against police brutality.

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office plans to charge the officer, Vincent D’Andraia, with misdemeanor assault, harassment and menacing over the May 29 incident

  • Alison Hirsh, a senior official in the de Blasio administration, has left the mayor’s office over his handling of recent protests across the city. The senior adviser  was so troubled by de Blasio’s near-unconditional defense of the NYPD amid incidents of violence against protesters, she decided to step down from the job she was hired for last fall.
  • Authorities are investigating after a family camping in Washington state was harassed and confronted by people who accused them of being part of Antifa. 

The family went to a local store to get camping supplies, where they were confronted by “seven or eight car-loads of people” in the parking lot.

“The people in the parking lot repeatedly asked them if they were ‘ANTIFA’ protesters,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office. “The family told the people they weren’t associated with any such group and were just camping.”

Officials say at least four vehicles followed the family and two of the vehicles had people in them carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic rifles. 

The family eventually made it to their campsite. But officials say the family became concerned for their safety after hearing gunshots and power saws down the road from where they were camping, so they decided to pack up and leave. 

As they drove down the road, the family discovered someone had fell trees across the road, preventing them from leaving. They called 911 for help. 

The sheriff’s office says as deputies were responding, they were contacted by four high school students, who used their own chainsaws to clear the roadway for the family. 

Deputies escorted the family, consisting of a husband and wife, their 16-year-old daughter, and the husband’s mother, to the sheriff’s department for their safety

  • Hundreds of mourners packed a Houston church Tuesday for the funeral of George Floyd, capping six days of mourning for the black man whose death has led to a global reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice.

Floyd, 46, was to be laid to rest next to his mother in the suburb of Pearland. He called out for her as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck May 25.

  • The Phoenix Police Department will no longer train officers to use chokeholds effective immediately, according to a statement from police chief Jeri Williams.
  • The Washington, D.C. City Council on Tuesday passed a sweeping slate of measures to reform police conduct in the city, as calls grow for reforming law enforcement agencies after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The legislative package, which passed unanimously, included a ban on hiring officers with a history of serious misconduct on other police forces and requires the city to quickly disclose the names of officers who are in situations where they use force against citizens, The Washington Post reported. The city would also be required to disseminate their body-camera footage. 

The package also includes a measure that bans the Metropolitan Police Department from using chemical irritants or rubber bullets to disperse peaceful demonstrations. It also makes it a felony for officers to use a neck restraint against citizens.

  • A police chief in Tennessee who went viral last month for saying officers who “don’t have an issue” with the arrest and death of George Floyd should turn in their badges has issued new guidelines requiring officers to stop others from committing acts of police brutality and abuse of authority, and officers who fail to comply could face disciplinary action.

“Each department member has the individual responsibility to intervene and stop any other member from committing an unlawful or improper act,” the new policy reads.

  • Fencing around Lafayette Park across the street from the White House will remain up until further notice even as barriers south of the White House start to come down, officials said Tuesday.

Administration News

  • The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump conservative super PAC, has launched an ad in battleground states highlighting former President Eisenhower’s leadership during the D-Day invasion of World War II and contrasting that with President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests that have erupted since the police killing of George Floyd.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday voted unanimously to propose a record-setting $225 million fine against Texas-based health insurance telemarketers for allegedly making approximately 1 billion illegally spoofed robocalls.

The order names two individuals using business names including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom. The FCC said robocalls falsely claimed to offer health insurance plans from major health insurance companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and UnitedHealth Group.

  • The Navy is planning to ban Confederate flags from being displayed on any of its installations.
  • President Trump reportedly wanted to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week after Esper broke with Trump and opposed the use of active-duty troops to quell nationwide protests, but Trump was talked out of it by advisers and lawmakers.
  • In a unanimous 98-0 vote presided over by Vice President Pence, a rare occasion, the Senate voted to confirm Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown as the Air Force’s next chief of staff, the U.S. military’s first African American service chief.
  • The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group,said it will sue the White House if President Trump doesn’t walk back an executive order that waives endangered species protections along with a host of other environmental laws.

The order from Trump relies on emergency authority to waive the requirements of a number of environmental laws, arguing the U.S. needs to fast-track construction projects to fight the economic fallout tied to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • A top expert at the World Health Organization on Tuesday walked back her earlier assertion that transmission of the coronavirus by people who do not have symptoms is “very rare.”  

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who made the original comment at a W.H.O. briefing on Monday, said that it was based on just two or three studies and that it was a “misunderstanding” to say asymptomatic transmission is rare globally.

“I was just responding to a question, I wasn’t stating a policy of W.H.O. or anything like that,” she said.

  • Gilead’s remdesivir slows disease progression in monkeys with COVID-19. The drug has been cleared for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the U.S., India and South Korea. Some European nations are also using it under compassionate programs
  • Members of the D.C. National Guard that responded to protests against the death of George Floyd have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • The country’s top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, said the novel coronavirus is his “worst nightmare” and warned that it is far from over.
  • Sun Belt states have seen some of the biggest week-over-week increases — such as California (+18,883), Texas (+10,974) and Florida (+7,775). Arizona and North Carolina are emerging hot spots, while the number of new cases in the Northeast ebbs.
  • Arizona added nearly 7,000 new cases last week, and models maintained by the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia show cases exploding in Maricopa County over the next few weeks.

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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