The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Issues, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 11 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Protests erupted in Los Angeles after a Black man was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in the city’s Westmont area.

The man was seen riding a bicycle Monday afternoon and allegedly violated a vehicle code.

The sheriff’s office reported that the man was holding some “clothing items” in his hand as deputies made contact. He allegedly punched one officer in the face before dropping the bundle, and deputies said that a black semi-automatic handgun was among the items he dropped.

Two deputies opened fire and the man, who was in his 30s, was struck multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

  • Authorities in Oklahoma are investigating the arrest of two black teenagers who were accused by white police officers of jaywalking.

Tulsa police released two body camera videos of the officers who handcuffed two black teenagers for allegedly jaywalking after a video of their arrest went viral on social media.

  • Charles McMillon Jr., his son, and a friend were dropping off a U-Haul van in Tallahassee, Florida when they were shot at. An older couple came toward them, both pointed guns in their direction and yelled “Don’t move!”

The group sped off in a panic as they heard more gunfire as they fled. A police officer who happened to be in the parking lot intervened after the shooting began.

The two shooters, Wallace Fountain, 77, and his wife, Beverly Fountain, 72, own the strip mall and were staking it out inside a U-Haul of their own. They said they were having problems with people stealing gas and wanted to scare off any culprits.

Tallahassee Police Department officers arrested the Fountains on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. They were found carrying several pistols, including a .357-caliber Magnum and a Glock 19. Officers also found a shotgun in their U-Haul.

  • A Florida man, Daniel McMahon, 32, who called himself “the Antifa hunter” was sentenced to more than three years in prison for using social media to threaten a Black activist. McMahon also admitted that he threatened to sexually assault the young autistic daughter of a North Carolina woman who protested against white nationalists.
  • President Trump offered up a vague and unsupported conspiracy theory during an interview with Fox News, claiming nefarious unidentified individuals are controlling Democratic nominee Joe Biden from “the dark shadows.”

“They’re people that are on the streets, they’re people that are controlling the streets,” Trump said, before appearing to reference a false viral post from earlier this summer about alleged Antifa protesters.

  • Kenosha police said they arrested a total of 175 people between last Monday, when protests erupted after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and this Sunday. Of the 175 arrests, 102 listed addresses from outside of Kenosha and spread across 44 different cities.
  • President Trump criticized Democratic leaders and asserted that his visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin would help mend racial divisions.

Trump criticized the recent unrest in Portland, Oregon and took credit for the ease in violence in Kenosha after the state’s Democratic governor called up the National Guard.

“I think a lot of people are looking [at] what is happening to these Democrat-run cities and they are disgusted,” Trump told reporters;

“One of the reasons I am making the trip today in going to Wisconsin is we have had such a big success in shutting down what would be right now … a city that would have been burned to the ground right now,” Trump said.

  • President Trump refused to answer whether he thought systemic racism is a problem.

“You just keep getting back to the opposite subject,” Trump said when a reporter asked if he thought systemic racism was a problem. “We should talk about the kind of violence that we’ve seen in Portland and here and other places, it’s tremendous violence.”

The president also dismissed the notion that police brutality was systemic, pointing to “some bad apples” and the idea that police officers “choke sometimes” while under the pressure of their jobs.

  • The Portland, Oregon Fire Department clapped back after President Trump railed against the city, declaring “the entire city is ablaze all the time” due to protests, saying “WE ARE NOT ABLAZE IN PORTLAND,” adding no recent incident has even required more than 1 fire engine.
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that “citizen soldiers” should mobilize to “overwhelm rioters” on the streets of America.

Johnson declared that “the way you stop the violence, the way you stop the rioting, is you surge manpower and resources, citizen soldiers, National Guard, and you overwhelm the number of rioters.”

  • Brookhaven Fire Department officials apologized amid the uproar caused by a viral social media post showing a Confederate flag draped on the side of a department fire truck. 

A photograph of the truck decorated with a Confederate flag, went viral on Sunday and led Chief of Department Peter Di Pinto Jr. to apologize to the community, EMS workers and firefighters for the flag that was draped on the side of the fire truck. 

Di Pinto Jr. said in a letter posted on Facebook. “The unauthorized action was done without the knowledge of the leadership team and is condemned in the strongest terms. 

Di Pinto added, “We can assure our community that Racism has no place in our Firehouse.”

  • The district attorney for Bronx County, New York announced that her office would recommend that charges be dropped for more than 300 protesters who were arrested during a protest in the borough for violating the curfew.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed a bill that makes it a crime to call 911 or file a false police report to solely intimidate someone because of race, ethnicity, religion or gender. The law went into effect immediately.

California lawmakers also passed similar legislation.

  • New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart mocked President Trump after he railed against the NBA and claimed that player protests caused the league’s ratings to slump: “What a dumbass”
  • Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete, wore a face mask with the words “Breonna Taylor” during her victorious first-round match at the U.S. Open.
  • Virginia’s Commission on African American History Education recommended this week that students be required to obtain a credit in African American history in order to graduate and also recommended that all teachers licensed in the state obtain certification in the subject.
  • The NFL will be installing messages against social injustice in the end zones of every stadium when the season begins. The end zones are set to include “End racism” and “It takes all of us.”

Trump Administration

  • President Trump denied having “a series of mini-strokes” as he sought to respond to a bombshell new report that he was poised to hand over power to Vice President Mike Pence during a mysterious visit to Walter Reed Hospital last year

“Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted.

Trump was responding to excerpts from a forthcoming book by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt that shed new light on the extraordinary measures taken during the still-unexplained trip to the hospital.

Curiously, the report never claims that Trump suffered a “mini-stroke” or any other specific medical condition.

  • President Trump blasted Matt Drudge, owner of the right-leaning Drudge Report website, for the site’s coverage of his remarks from earlier in the day denying that a series of “mini-strokes” had sent him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“Drudge didn’t support me in 2016, and I hear he doesn’t support me now. Maybe that’s why he is doing poorly. His Fake News report on Mini-Strokes is incorrect. Possibly thinking about himself, or the other party’s ‘candidate,'” the president tweeted.

  • White House physician Sean Conley maintained that the president has not had any heart issues after Trump himself denied having a series of “mini-strokes.”

“I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies,” Conley said in a statement issued at Trump’s direction.

  • A federal appeals panel has temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that would have forced President Trump to comply with a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for eight years of his financial records.
  • The federal government will pay South Carolina $600 million and clean up weapons-grade plutonium to settle a long-running dispute with the state.

The agreement, announced Monday by Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, calls for the removal of 9.5 metric tons of plutonium and resolves years of litigation over the issue.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents lack the training to take over the initial processing of asylum claims, a federal judge ruled.

For nearly 20 years, officers from Citizenship and Immigration Services have conducted all interviews with asylum-seekers and made what are called “credible fear determinations” for those who arrive at the nation’s borders while fleeing to the U.S. to escape persecution.

But in January, Department of Homeland Security officials issued a memorandum delegating authority from CIS to Customs and Border Protection to allow CBP agents to handle the early screenings, arguing that their training was comparable to that of CIS. 

“Poppycock!” U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote in his opinion blocking CBP from conducting the interviews of asylum-seekers.

  • Top Interior Department officials misled Congress when they claimed high office rent in Washington, D.C., was a factor in the need to move the Bureau of Land Management to a new headquarters in Colorado, according to a new report from a top government watchdog.
  • The Trump administration finalized a rule that gives the Bureau of Land Management permission to issue massive widespread cuts to critical fees that companies pay the government in exchange for permission to mine on public lands. Critics argue that the move will help industries that are harmful to the environment at taxpayer expense.
  • The Trump administration is seeking to end endangered species protections for gray wolves throughout the nation by the end of the year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Army leadership has removed the commander of Fort Hood from his role and barred him from a planned position at another Texas base following multiple high-profile deaths under his tenure including Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, who was found hanging in a tree last week, and Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, who went missing in April before her body was discovered.

Presidential Campaign

  • Democratic nominee Joe Biden has received the endorsement of an interfaith collective of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh spiritual leaders ahead of November’s US election, with the group calling on the candidate to “restore the soul of this nation”.

Faith 2020 said America had lost its “moral clarity” under Donald Trump and that its 350 members are “seeking change”.

  • Joe Biden’s campaign is expected to have raised more than $300 million in August, surpassing the Democratic presidential nominee’s previous monthly record for fundraising, which is believed to be $193 million collected for former President Obama’s campaign in September 2008.
  • Animal Crossing users will now be able to add Joe Biden campaign yard signs to their villages. The campaign released four styles of campaign signs: the official Biden-Harris logo, the “Team Joe” logo, the “Joe” Pride logo, and an image of aviator sunglasses shaded in red, white, and blue.
  • A group of Republicans who want to rid their party of President Trump is making a hefty investment to turn Florida blue.

Officials with Republican Voters Against Trump said they would begin a campaign dubbed “Project Orange Crush” aimed at persuading politically moderate Floridians to back Joe Biden, hopeful that the support of those voters can swing the battleground state — and possibly the presidency — toward the Democratic presidential candidate this fall.

The effort is expected to spend $8M to $10M over the next two months and will include TV, social media, and digital ads. It will target nearly a half-million voters in the state, including independents and moderate Republicans who are wary of Trump but have not yet committed to voting for Biden.

  • The Lincoln Project announced nearly two dozen veterans, advocates, Blue Star and Gold Star family members and others who will serve on a leadership coalition for the Republican anti-Trump group: “Our veterans, service members, and their families know what a leader should be and have seen first hand how Donald Trump has failed his sacred duty as Commander-in-Chief.”
  • The infamous St. Petersburg troll group that was part of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are trying to target Americans again, Facebook announced Tuesday after receiving a tip from the FBI.

The disrupted operation used fake personas including realistic-looking computer-generated photos of people, a network of Facebook accounts and pages that had only a small amount of engagement and influence at the time it was taken down, and a website that was set up to look and operate like a left-wing news outlet.

  • A majority of Americans said in a new poll that they plan to vote early, including 19 percent who plan to vote in person and 33 percent who plan to vote by mail. About one in three adults say they plan to vote in person on Election Day.
  • President Trump reiterated his call for both candidates to take a drug test ahead of the presidential debates, claiming without evidence that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is “on some kind of an enhancement.”
  • Twitter removed a video from one of President Trump’s tweets that featured Eddy Grant’s hit song “Electric Avenue” after the musician sued the president’s reelection campaign, alleging it amounted to an infringement of his copyrights.
  • Nate Lucas, a sports radio host in Missouri, was taken off the air for using an offensive, sexist slur to describe Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

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

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