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

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Police body camera footage released on Wednesday shows Rochester officers handcuffing Daniel Prude, placing a hood over his head and pressing his face into the pavement until he is silent. In the video, medics performed CPR on Prude before he was loaded into an ambulance. Prude died seven days later on March 30, with an autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office saying his cause of death included “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” His brother, Joe Prude said he initially called police for help because Daniel was having a mental health incident.
  • Joe Biden will meet with the father of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by police multiple times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when the former vice president travels to the city on Thursday. The visit comes after President Trump went to the state and did not meet with Blake’s family.
  • A business owner in Kenosha, Wisconsin accused President Trump of using his destroyed store for political gain during a visit to the city on Tuesday.

Tom Gram, the owner of a century-old store called Rode’s Camera Shop that burned to the ground last week amid protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, told local outlet TMJ4 that he declined the White House’s request to be part of Trump’s tour of the damage.

He also said he was stunned to see the store’s former owner, John Rode, who sold the family business to Gram eight years ago, participating in the tour with the president.

  • Elvis Presley’s iconic Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee was graffitied with messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and defunding the Memphis Police Department.
  • Texas prosecutors have dropped charges against a Black man who was arrested while out on a run after being mistaken for a domestic-violence suspect. Officers still charged the man with assault claiming he had kicked them during the arrest, even though eyewitnesses say he cooperated peacefully.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is the only Republican who has condemned President Trump’s recent comments about Black Lives Matter protesters, saying that trumps “comments and tweets over the past few days, including a retweet of a 2019 video clearly intended to further inflame racial tensions, are simply jaw-dropping.”
  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said that systemic racism doesn’t exist and there’s “more to the story” of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody in late May.
  • Facebook has removed a post by Republican Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins for breaking its policies against inciting violence. The post in question was about protests in his city, and warned that officials will “eliminate the threat” of aggressive demonstrators adding “if we recognize threat… you won’t walk away.”
  • Charles Andrews defeated incumbent Sandy Smith and is set to be sworn into office on Nov. 2., officially becoming the first Black mayor of Monroeville, the Alabama town that inspired “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
  • Fast food chain McDonald’s was hit with a $1 billion class action lawsuit this week accusing the company of racial discrimination. Fifty-two former Black franchise owners allege that company officials steered them into economically depressed and high-crime areas, setting them up to fail.
  • A Washington, DC task force recommended renaming a slate of government buildings, parks and public schools after determining their namesakes —including some Founding Fathers and former presidents Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — have ties to “slavery, systemic racism and other biases.”

Trump Administration

  • The Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance fund, which pays out retirement benefits, is on track to run out in 2031. 
  • The federal deficit is expected to reach a record $3.3 trillion this year, will amount to 16 percent of GDP, the largest since 1945 and more than twice the level on record, according to new Congressional Budget Office projections.
  • Controversial oil drilling projects in Alaska’s pristine reserves are among those that benefitted from a June order from President Trump waiving environmental reviews to speed construction — a move he said would aid the economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. There are now 21 fossil fuel and mining projects that have been approved as well as 70 other construction projects.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump suggested supporters in North Carolina should illegally attempt to vote both by mail and in person, saying doing so would test the integrity of the system.
  • Carlos Enrique Gavidia, 53, is slated to appear in court on Wednesday to face a felony charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm. An avid supporter of President Trump who organizes boat parades in Florida and attended the Republican National Convention last week, Gavidia is accused of sending threatening messages to his neighbor that allegedly included: “fuck you, you fucking little Jew…. You fucked with the wrong guy I’m coming for you you’ll see you will see you little fucking piece of shit… I’ve got nothing to lose but you have plenty like your life.”
  • Attorney General William Barr played up the risks of the widespread use of mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic, echoing President Trump’s attacks and claiming without evidence that foreign actors will counterfeit ballots to illegally vote and sway the election. Pressed in the interview on his claims, Barr said he had no evidence but was basing it on “logic.”
  • More than 1 million ballots were delivered to voters late during the 2020 primaries, according to the Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. The investigation found that ballots mailed the week before an election were “high risk” for not making it to election officials on time.
  • Eighty-one Nobel Prize winners endorsed Joe Biden for president in an open letter on Wednesday, citing the former vice president’s “willingness to listen to experts” and his “deep appreciation for using science to find solutions.”
  • The presidential debates between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be moderated by journalists from Fox News, C-SPAN and NBC, with CNN being shut out of the debates for the first time since 2008.
  • Joe Biden suggested there should be a live fact-check feature during his upcoming debates with President Trump: “What I’d love to have is a crawler at the bottom of the screen, a fact-checker as we speak. If we really wanted to do something, I think that would make a great, great debate if everything both of us said was instantly fact-checked.”
  • Joe Biden directly addressed President Trump in a new speech, scolding his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and telling him to “get off Twitter” and strike a stimulus deal.

“You always talk about your ability to negotiate. Negotiate a deal, a deal for somebody other than yourself.”

  • Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign released a new ad that condemns rioting and violence as President Trump’s campaign continues to frame a Biden presidency as one that would lead to more turbulence and unrest.

“I want to make it absolutely clear rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple, and those that do it should be prosecuted.”

  • The Department of Homeland Security in July reportedly withheld an analysis meant for its federal, state and local law enforcement partners that warned Russia would attempt to push “allegations about the poor mental health” of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
  • State officials in Georgia are alleged to have wrongfully purged approximately 200,000 people from its voter rolls in 2019, with officials incorrectly concluding they had either moved, died or not participated in recent elections.
  • Model Karlie Kloss, the sister-in-law of White House adviser Jared Kushner, will appear at a campaign event this week with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as she and her husband openly speak out against President Trump. 
  • President Trump overtook Democratic rival Joe Biden on European-based betting exchange Betfair as the favorite to win the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

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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