The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations News

Read Time: 4 Minutes

  • Mississippi junior basketball player Blake Hinson plans to transfer to Iowa State. Hinson said there were factors beyond basketball that influenced his decision to leave.

“To make a general statement, it was time to go and leave Ole Miss,” Hinson said. “I’m proud not to represent that flag anymore and to not be associated with anything representing the Confederacy.”

  • Princeton University announced Saturday that it has voted to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from the university’s School of Public and International Affairs.

“We believe that Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combating the scourge of racism in all its forms,” Princeton’s board said in a statement.

  • The Mississippi state House advanced legislation to change the Magnolia State’s flag, the last in the country to still include the stars and bars of the Confederacy.

The chamber advanced the bill by an 84-35 margin, allowing lawmakers in the state House to reach the two-thirds majority needed to suspend the rules to consider the change.

The House will then be able to consider the legislation and vote on the measure, which would go to the Senate if passed.

  • Four men alleged to have been trying to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square just outside of the White House were each charged with destruction of federal property, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C.
  • A second statue of Christopher Columbus has been removed in Newark amid a wave of such removals across the country.

The monument was removed from Columbus Plaza on Bloomfield Avenue, outside the St. Francis Xavier Church, by private citizens around 6:30 p.m. Friday, according to several sources.

A city spokesman confirmed that the city did not remove the monument, and declined to comment on who actually took it down. Reportedly, the owner of the statue had it removed. 

  • Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R), who has long insisted voters should decide whether to remove the Confederate emblem from the state’s flag, said for the first time Saturday that he would sign a bill to change the banner if one is sent his way.
  • A Hoover, Alabama police officer was fired Friday for a social media post earlier this week that showed a protester in the crosshairs of a rifle scope.

The officer made the post on Facebook Tuesday in response to an article posted about protesters at the Georgia Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed.

The headline of that article was “Armed protesters remain at Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed. So what’s next?” The article was accompanied by a photo of a Black protester holding a shotgun.

In his response to the post, Officer Ryan Snow reposted the photo of the protester to show him in the crosshairs of a rifle scope. He wrote, “Exhale. Feel. Pause. Press steadily. That’s what’s next.”

  • Four police officers in San Jose, California, have been placed on leave while the department says it is investigating alleged racist and anti-Muslim posts on Facebook.

Screenshots published in a blog post on Medium by “the partner of an active law enforcement officer in a San Francisco Bay Area police department,” included posts that said, ““Black lives don’t really matter” and “I say re-purpose the hijabs into nooses.” The posts were made in a private Facebook group called 10–7ODSJ.

The FBI has been asked to assist in the probe

  • Federal prosecutors brought extortion charges against the man whose arrest this week sparked violence and destruction in Minneapolis.

U.S. Attorney Scott Blader filed the charges against Devonere Johnson, alleging he threatened to bash windows of downtown businesses unless employees gave him money. 

Blader also alleges Johnson, 28, threatened to “shut down and destroy” another business unless Johnson and his friends were provided free food and drinks.

Blader said Johnson sought to extort the business owners by taking advantage of protests and unrest following the death of George Floyd.

“Those who attempt to take advantage of recent events to extort local businesses under the guise of community activism will be vigorously prosecuted,” Blader said in a statement.

  • Protesters demonstrating over the death of Elijah McClain blocked Highway 225 in Aurora, Colorado Saturday evening.

McClain, a Black man who worked as a massage therapist, died last year following a confrontation with police officers in Aurora. An officer placed the main in a chokehold, and McClain later suffered a heart attack in an ambulance. He was declared brain dead three days later. 

McClain’s last words were caught on police body camera footage. In the footage, McClain could be heard saying, “I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies! I don’t eat meat! But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me … I’m so sorry.”

  • According to police, at around 9 pm, shots were fired in Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Personnel from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department performed live-saving measures on a male victim who eventually died.

Multiple eyewitnesses say a homeless man who had been kicked out of the park several times somehow acquired a gun and fired upon protestors. 

  • The president Retweeted a video of a supporter yelling “White Power” at counterprotesters in The Villages, a large retirement community in central Florida. The president praised his supporters, “Thank you to the great people of The Villages.”
  • White House spokesperson Judd Deere on Trump’s now-deleted tweet: “President Trump is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”

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

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