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Protest/Race Relations News
- GOP Sen. Josh Hawley unveiled a proposal to remove language in the mammoth defense bill that requires the Pentagon to implement a plan to rename Confederate-named bases and other military installations, saying the requirement “smacks of the cancel culture the Left wants to impose on the nation.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren and dozens of other Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would require the Pentagon to strip Confederate names from military bases and other property within one year.
- NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace dismissed an FBI investigation that concluded a noose found in the garage he was recently assigned to at Talladega Superspeedway was a garage door pull that had been there since last year and not a hate crime directed at him, with the 26-year-old driver calling it “a straight-up noose” in an interview.
- The National Guard has agreed to send unarmed members to assist U.S. Park Police in securing Washington’s national monuments.
- GOP Sen. Mike Braun introduced legislation to scale back qualified immunity, an idea that divides Senate Republicans.
Braun’s bill, titled the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act, would get rid of a current standard that shields police officers from civil lawsuits if their behavior didn’t violate a “clearly established” law.
Instead, a police officer would be eligible for qualified immunity if the conduct in question “had previously been authorized or required by federal or state statute or regulation” or if a court has found it is “consistent with the Constitution and federal laws.”
- Senate Democrats blocked a narrow Republican bill to incentivize police departments to change their tactics. They denounced the measure as an insufficient and irredeemably flawed answer to the problem of systemic racism in law enforcement.
- The Department of Justice has told lawmakers that it is considering launching a probe into potential discriminatory practices taking place at the Minneapolis Police Department.
- Three Wilmington, NC police officers – Michael ‘Kevin’ Piner, James ‘Brian’ Gilmore, and Jessie E. Moore II – have been fired after a customary review of dashcam footage revealed the officers engaging in racist conversations. Among the comments, Moore was discussing with Piner the arrest of a Black woman the previous day, “‘she needed a bullet in her head right then and move on. Let’s move the body out of the way and keep going.”
After more derogatory comments about the arrestee and the magistrate, the conversation took an even bleaker turn, as the two officers discussed an upcoming civil war.
“Piner tells Moore later in the conversation that he feels a civil war is coming and he is ‘ready.’ Piner advised he is going to buy a new assault rifle in the next couple of weeks. A short time later Officer Piner began to discuss society being close to ‘martial law’ and soon “we are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them fucking niggers. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.”
- The three white men arrested in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was chased while running in a South Georgia neighborhood, have been indicted on murder charges by a Georgia grand jury, the prosecutor in the case announced on Wednesday.
The men — Gregory McMichael, 64; his son Travis McMichael, 34; and their neighbor William Bryan, 50 — were arrested and charged last month with murder and other charges in connection with Mr. Arbery’s death, which prompted nationwide protests and indignation, particularly after a graphic video of his Feb. 23 killing was released online.
- NASA will rename its Washington, D.C., headquarters after Mary W. Jackson, the agency’s first Black woman engineer, Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Wednesday.
Jackson worked for seven years in the agency’s segregated West Area Computing division in 1951 before becoming an engineer in 1958. She had achieved the senior-most engineering title within NASA by 1979, and voluntarily took a demotion to work as an Equal Opportunity Specialist, seeking out accomplished women and minorities for recruitment within NASA.
Jackson retired in 1985 after 34 years at NASA; she died in 2005 at the age of 83.
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