The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign News

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations

  • A man who the authorities say drove into a group of Black people at a Southern California hotel, injuring one person, has been accused of a hate crime, prosecutors said on Monday.

The man, Dennis Wyman, 42, of Redondo Beach, struck an off-duty security guard after he yelled “racial insults” at the group last month, the Torrance Police Department said

  • Sgt. Janak Amin, a 21-year veteran with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa has been fired and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after aiming his gun inches from a handcuffed black man’s head and threatening to kill him if the man did not give his name, according to the sheriff.

Employees at the Hillsborough County Jail had accidentally released the victim, “inadvertently” transferring him to a treatment facility for those with substance-abuse or mental-health issues, where he was not supposed to be. He then left the facility.

Once the sheriff’s office realized the mistake, they went looking for him. They found him hiding behind a trailer. When officers confronted the man and put him in a “prone position,” the handcuffed man would not give his name.

So Amin knelt down next to him. He drew his firearm and pointed it inches from the man’s head.

Then, he told the man that if he refused to give his name, he would “splatter his brains all over the concrete.” Other officers on site then intervened.

  • The House Appropriations Committee has approved a $694.6 billion defense spending bill that includes money for the Army to change Confederate base names and that seeks to block President Trump’s use of Pentagon funds for his border wall.
  • U.S. Forces Japan has joined U.S. Forces Korea in banning the display of the Confederate flag, the latest move by the military aimed at preventing racial division in the ranks.

“The Confederate Battle Flag does not represent the values of U.S. Forces assigned to serve in Japan,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, commander of U.S. Forces Japan, said Monday in announcing the ban.

  • The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is calling for the immediate removal of a mural containing a depiction of Ku Klux Klan riders from the Baker County Courthouse in Macclenny.

The mural, located prominently inside the courthouse in Macclenny, was painted 19 years ago with the intention of illustrating significant events in the history of the small, rural county north of Jacksonville.

Three KKK riders in white robes and hoods on horseback are depicted in one section of the mural.

  • President Trump defended a St. Louis couple who went viral after they stood outside their home brandishing weapons as a group of protesters marched past them.

“They were going to be beat up badly if they were lucky, OK, if they were lucky,” Trump asserted in an interview at the White House with the conservative outlet Townhall.

“They were going to be beat up badly, and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down like they tried to burn down churches,” the president continued.

  • President Trump falsely asserted that “more” white Americans die at the hands of police than Black Americans and criticized a reporter for asking why African Americans are still dying in law enforcement custody.

“So are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask,” Trump told CBS News’s Catherine Herridge when asked about the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police. “So are white people. More white people, by the way. More white people.”

NOTE: A study published by Harvard University researchers in June that analyzed data from 2013 to 2017 found that Black Americans were more than three times more likely than white Americans to be killed by police.

Trump Administration News

  • The Trump administration carried out the first federal execution since 2003, following a series of court battles and a Supreme Court order, released shortly after 2 a.m., clearing the way for the lethal injection to take place. 

At a penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN, federal officials executed Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, who was convicted in 1999 of killing a family of three. Lee was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m. Tuesday.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer,” Lee said when asked if he wanted to make a final statement, according to the pool report. His final words were: “You’re killing an innocent man.”

  • President Trump is expected to finalize a rollback to the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. A move critics say will be particularly harmful to minority communities.

The changes to NEPA, which mandates environmental reviews of major construction projects and pipelines, are being pitched by the Trump administration as a way to cut regulations, expedite energy and infrastructure projects, and give a boost to the economy.

Critics argue that Trump’s erosion of 50-year-old protections will hit minority communities the hardest since polluting industries are disproportionately likely to be located in neighborhoods with large nonwhite populations.

“The Trump administration’s NEPA rollback will further endanger those bearing the greatest burden of legacy environmental injustice and structural racism,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) on a press call.

  • The Trump administration is resisting calls — even from political allies — to withdraw a proposal to make it more difficult to bring discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act.
  • President Trump said he signed legislation and an executive order ending Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a punishment against China for what he called its “oppressive” actions against the people of Hong Kong.
  • President Trump said the immigration executive order his administration was planning would be “merit-based.”

“We’re going to take care of DACA because I’m going to be doing, in the not too distant future, pretty soon, I’m going to be signing a new immigration action – very, very big merit-based immigration action – that based on the DACA decision, I’ll be able to do.”

  • Trump said California’s two largest school districts were making a “terrible mistake” by making students stay home for the upcoming term in the face of the resurgent coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to reinstate Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas. Over 18,000 people lost their Medicaid coverage in Arkansas in the five months the requirements were in effect before they were blocked by the court.
  • The Defense Department has announced that U.S. troops have withdrawn from five military bases and reduced the size of its forces in Afghanistan to the mid-8,000s as part of the agreement reached with Taliban in February.

Presidential Campaign

  • Roger Stone, who was convicted of charges stemming from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, said that he plans to start campaigning for President Trump’s reelection now that his prison sentence has been commuted, saying that he is prepared to “do anything necessary to elect my candidate, short of breaking the law.”
  • Biden told reporters that, although he supported the filibuster in the past and still harbors hopes for bipartisan compromise, the level of defiance from Senate Republicans could influence his thought process.
  • Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said that polls showing President Trump trailing in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania do not accurately reflect the state of the race on the ground.

Speaking with reporters on a conference call, Kelly said the polls are not taking into account Trump’s support from those who turned out to vote for the first time ever in 2016.

  • Joe Biden released a plan Tuesday aimed at combating climate change and spurring economic growth in part by overhauling America’s energy industry, with a proposal to achieve entirely carbon pollution-free power by 2035.

Biden’s plan differs with the Progressive Green New Deal’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the economy by 2030.

In the plan, Biden pledges to spend $2 trillion over four years to promote his energy proposals, a significant acceleration of the $1.7 trillion over 10 years he proposed spending in his climate plan during the primary.

Senior campaign officials who requested anonymity to discuss strategy said it would require a mix of tax increases on corporations and the wealthy and deficit spending aimed at stimulating the economy.

  • President Trump said he “could go on for days” as he railed against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the “radical left”, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others in a Rose Garden event that, to many, sounded like a campaign rally.

During the nearly hour long presser in 90-degree heat, Trump claimed Biden “never did anything, except make very bad decisions, especially on foreign policy” and declared he was not the underdog and has widespread support in the fall race.

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

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