The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protest/Racial Inequality News

  • Two men inspired by the militant anti-government “boogaloo” movement have been charged in the drive-by killing of a federal courthouse guard in Oakland, California, last month during a night of nearby protests against police brutality.

Court papers filed in the case linked both men with the far-right boogaloo ideology whose followers see the U.S. government as an enemy bent on confiscating the guns they need in the event of civil war, a violent uprising or collapse of society.

  • Senate Republicans unveiled a police reform proposal. The bill would block state and local law enforcement departments from getting COPS and Byrne grants if they do not have a ban on chokeholds in place.

In addition to trying to incentivize police departments to ban chokeholds, the GOP bill also includes new requirements on reporting the use of force by police and the use of no-knock warrants, penalties for not using body cameras, requirements on law enforcement records retention, and would include a separate bill that makes lynching a federal hate crime.

  • The city council in Norman, Okla., has voted to cut $865,000 from the local police department budget and redirect most of the funds to community outreach efforts in the region.
  • An arrest warrant has been issued for former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, 27, who has been charged with 11 criminal counts including felony murder for shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, in a Wendy’s parking lot Friday.

A felony murder conviction carries with it a possible sentence of life in prison, life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

  • One protester said an officer used a baton to pin him by his neck against a squad car. Another said she was tackled by an officer who then drove his knee into her back so hard she could not breathe. These and other troubling accounts emerged at the first public hearing held by state officials investigating the New York Police Department’s handling of protests.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio announced changes to the way the New York City police force handles complaints against its officers, including the creation of a database that will track the roughly 1,100 pending cases involving allegations of police abuse.
  • A New Mexico prosecutor dropped a shooting charge against an Albuquerque man suspected of shooting a protester and called for further investigations after allegations the protester was armed at the time he was shot. The district attorney dropped an initial aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge against Steven Baca after images emerged online showing protester Scott Williams holding what was rumored to be a knife before he was allegedly shot by Baca.

Administration News

  • Michael Pack, President Trump’s pick to run the US Agency for Global Media has yet to show up for his job, sources tell CNN, leaving work “piling up” as a top Democratic lawmaker warns of an impending rash of firings at the agency.

Pack has not been seen at work since his Senate confirmation in early June.

Trump’s harshly critical comments about one of the agency’s divisions, Voice of America,have heightened concerns that Pack will try to turn VOA into a propaganda machine.

  • President Trump’s election-year push for a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill to boost the struggling economy faces strong opposition from Senate Republicans. GOP senators are warning that Trump’s expected proposal is too “rich” and would be a “heavy lift” in Congress.
  • President Donald Trump signed legislation calling for sanctions over the repression of China’s Uighur Muslims, as excerpts from a book by his former national security adviser alleged he had approved of their mass detention.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Hawaii on Wednesday, the State Department said, amid a deep deterioration of relations between strategic rivals that are the world’s two top economies.
  • The Justice Department on Wednesday night sought an emergency order from a judge blocking the publication of former national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming White House memoir.
  • The U.S. imposed its toughest sanctions ever targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to choke off revenue for his government in a bid to force it back to United Nations-led negotiations and broker an end to the country’s nearly decade-long war.
  • The Trump administration has withdrawn from global talks to strike a deal on digital services taxes that would hit U.S. tech giants like Google and Facebook, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed.
  • Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he will introduce legislation this week to strengthen the laws governing the firing of government watchdogs and put new restrictions on who a president can appoint as an acting inspector general.
  • President Trump has reportedly been furious that news outlets reported on his visit to the White House bunker as protests against racism and police brutality raged nearby recently, and sources allege he has ordered his staff to find and prosecute those responsible for leaking details of the visit to journalists.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Nine states — Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas — reported either new single-day highs or set a record for seven-day new coronavirus case averages on Tuesday, according to a Washington Post analysis.
  • A federal judge is once again ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to release the full amount of stimulus funding Congress set aside for Native American tribes which have waged a months-long battle to gain access to the funds set aside by Congress as indigenous peoples face some of the worst rates of COVID-19.
  • Airlines for America, which represents the major U.S. airlines, said customers could be put on a carriers’ do not fly list if they refuse to wear a face mask on planes.

The industry announced new face covering policies this week, including increased preflight communications, onboard announcements and consequences for noncompliance.

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dismissed health concerns surrounding President Trump’s upcoming rally, saying the campaign had taken measures to ensure safety during the coronavirus pandemic and that attendees in Tulsa, Oklahoma would assume a “personal risk” in choosing to attend and whether they will wear provided face masks.
  • As Tulsa reported its largest single-day increase in cases since March, its top health official said he was “absolutely” worried that President Trump’s rally on Saturday could become a “super spreader” event.
  • Masks are no longer required of West Wing employees, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday, a loosening of a policy encouraged by administration health officials as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, Bloomberg, 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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