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Protest/Race Relations News
- Faced with growing pressure to crack down on an “occupied” protest zone following two weekend shootings, Seattle’s mayor said that officials will move to wind down the blocks-long span of city streets taken over two weeks ago.
- Senate Democrats began laying the groundwork to block a Republican-drafted police reform measure that they say falls far short of responding adequately to a national crisis over racial disparities in law enforcement practices.
The legislation written by Republicans, led by Sen. Tim Scott, is “not salvageable,” the Democrats say, adding that “we need bipartisan talks to get to a constructive starting point.”
- Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo issued an executive order stripping the word “plantation” from official state documents and symbols, including the state seal.
- The Louisville Police Department on Tuesday fired an officer over his role in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who died after city police fired several shots in her apartment while she was in her bed.
- The FBI has determined that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime and that a pull rope fashioned like a noose had been on a garage door at Talladega Superspeedway since as early as October, NASCAR said Tuesday.
“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall,” NASCAR said in its statement. “This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.
- The Charleston city council has unanimously voted to remove and relocate a statue of former vice president and slave advocate John C. Calhoun from a downtown square, a move that comes amid renewed calls for the removal of Confederate leaders and other figures believed to be symbols of racism.
- President Trump called for Congress to take action against “lowlifes” who burn the American flag, seeking to put fresh pressure on lawmakers to pursue potential legislation.
“It is ashame [sic] that Congress doesn’t do something about the lowlifes that burn the American Flag. It should be stopped, and now!” Trump tweeted.
NOTE: The United States Supreme Court has ruled the rights of protesters to burn the American flag is protected under the First Amendment.
- President Trump again took aim at Fox News on Tuesday, saying he’s “not happy” with the network while arguing it “wants to be politically correct all of a sudden.”
“I’m not happy with Fox at all,” Trump told Christian Broadcast Network’s David Brody.
“My base hates what Fox News is doing,” he said before later adding that “Fox News wants to be politically correct all of a sudden.”
“Roger Ailes would never have let this happen.”
- Twitter added an advisory to one of President Trump’s tweets that threatened protesters seeking to establish an “autonomous zone” in Washington, D.C., saying it violated the platform’s rules against abusive behavior.
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” reads the advisory added to Trump’s tweet.
- Career prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who withdrew from the Roger Stone case after DOJ leaders intervened to recommend a lighter sentence, will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Justice Department leadership intervened in the sentencing of former Trump adviser Roger Stone for political purposes, according to his opening statement.
Part of the statement reads, “I was told that the U.S. Attorney’s instructions had nothing to do with Mr. Stone, the facts of the case, the law, or department policy. Instead, I was explicitly told the motivation for changing the sentencing memo was political, and the U.S. Attorney was “afraid of the President.”
- Roger Stone has asked a federal judge for a months-long delay to the start of his prison term, saying that underlying health issues placed him at “heightened risk of serious medical consequences” if exposed to the coronavirus while in prison.
- The Pentagon’s top technology official and his deputy are resigning next month, a Defense Department official confirmed on Tuesday.
Mike Griffin, the Pentagon’s first undersecretary of research and engineering, and his deputy, Lisa Porter, will leave July 10.
- A Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into California’s efforts to reduce vehicle emissions appeared to be politically motivated, a DOJ whistleblower wrote in testimony to lawmakers that was released Tuesday.
John W. Elias, a DOJ career employee slated to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, wrote that an investigation into California’s emissions agreements with four automakers was spurred shortly after tweets from President Trump complaining about the deal.
- President Trump has reportedly questioned the mental fitness of his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, in recent days and suggested that Biden would fail a simple cognitive test administered to Trump in 2018.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the president recently made comments to several White House aides hinting that he did not believe Biden would pass the cognitive exam administered by his White House physician last year as part of an annual physical.
- Long-serving White House communications official Hogan Gidley is moving over to Donald Trump’s campaign.
Gidley, who has spent nearly three years as a top White House spokesman, will serve as the campaign’s national press secretary. The reelection effort has made several major staff moves in recent weeks as it prepares for the general election, elevating longtime Trump political adviser Bill Stepien and rehiring 2016 campaign aide Jason Miller.
- Dozens of Republican former U.S. national security officials are forming a group that will back Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, people familiar with the effort said, in a further sign that President Donald Trump has alienated some members of his own party.
The group includes at least two dozen officials who served under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, with dozens more in talks to join.
- President Trump on Tuesday rallied a crowd – estimated to be 3,000 young attendees – of largely maskless student supporters in Phoenix, claiming Democrats were trying to keep the country “shut down” during the coronavirus pandemic in order to hurt the economy before the election.
Trump referenced the coronavirus throughout his remarks, repeatedly calling it “the plague” and at one point claiming it was “going away.” Trump also twice referred to the virus as the “kung flu,” a term that is widely condemned as racist. The term prompted cheers from the crowd Tuesday.
Sources: ABC News, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, ESPN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, KTUL, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post