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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Rochester, New York Mayor Lovely Warren announced the suspension of the police officers involved in the death of Daniel T. Prude, a Black man who died after officers placed a hood over his head and pressed his face onto the pavement.
  • The Rochester Police Department arrested nine individuals on Wednesday at the city’s Public Safety Building after demonstrators entered the office to protest the death of Daniel Prude.
  • Joe Biden spoke by phone with Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back by police, while meeting with Blake’s family in Wisconsin.

Biden’s trip to Wisconsin, which focused on racial injustice, was his first trip as the nominee to one of the nation’s most important swing states in November’s general election. It came the same week he lambasted President Trump’s handling of racial injustice and police brutality in a speech in Pittsburgh.

Biden met in Milwaukee with Blake’s father, brother and two sisters, with Blake’s mother and attorneys joining by phone.

Blake attorney Ben Crump tweeted a statement saying that it had been a “very engaging” 90-minute meeting.

“It was very obvious that Vice President Biden cared, as he extended to Jacob Jr. a sense of humanity, treating him as a person worthy of consideration and prayer,” Crump said.

  • A sheriff in Ohio issued a defiant warning to protesters after he said cities around the country had descended into “lawlessness” amid recent protests over the police treatment of Black Americans.

In a Facebook post, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones warned that any protesters who took action against police officers would be met with force. The post cited instances of objects, including rocks and water, thrown at officers responding to protests that have in some cases devolved into violence.

  • Three Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation to declare racism a public health crisis and create two new wings within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent racism in law enforcement and take on anti-racism initiatives.
  • San Leandro police officer Jason Fletcher has been charged with voluntary manslaughter over the April shooting of Steven Taylor, a 33-year-old Black man who was holding a baseball bat inside Walmart.

An investigation determined that the 20-year law enforcement veteran had been in the store for less than 40 seconds before the deadly conflict, which the district attorney called a “failure to attempt other de-escalation options.”

  • A man being investigated in the fatal shooting of a right-wing activist who was part of a pro-Trump caravan in Portland, Ore., was killed on Thursday night when authorities moved to arrest him, according to four law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation.

The officials said the suspect, Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was shot by officers from a federal fugitive task force during the encounter in Lacey, Wash., southwest of Seattle.

Trump Administration

  • A story in the Atlantic reports, when President Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

  • President Trump is denying an explosive new report that he denigrated U.S. service members, refused to support the funeral of Sen. John McCain and more. Trump slammed the reporting as a “disgrace” and suggested that the author and his sources are “liars.”

“I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more,” Trump said.

  • For nearly four years, President Trump has publicly railed against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, angrily demanding that its members pay more for Europe’s collective defense. In private, Mr. Trump has gone further — speaking repeatedly about withdrawing altogether from the 71-year-old military alliance, according to those familiar with the conversations.
  • The trade deficit in July spiked 18.9 percent to $63.6 billion, the highest since July 2008 during the Great Recession, according to newly released federal data. President Trump campaigned heavily in 2016 on reducing the size of the trade deficit.
  • Last week, 833,000 workers filed new claims for state unemployment benefits, while 759,000 new claims were filed by freelancers, part-time workers and others under a federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Both figures, which are not seasonally adjusted, were increases from the previous week.

“It’s pretty bad at this stage in the crisis,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at the forecasting firm Oxford Economics. “I feel like this is a very fragile labor market at a critical juncture.”

  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have informally agreed on a stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month
  • The U.S. economic recovery continued to lag over the past week with high frequency data on employment and retail traffic moving at a stodgy pace, pointing to a long trip back to normal.
  • Newly revealed documents show the Postal Service has paid XPO Logistics and its subsidiaries about $14 million in the past 10 weeks. The Postal Service had paid $3.4 

million during the same period in 2019 and $4.7 million during the same period in 2018. 

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy still holds a stake in XPO worth between $30 million and $75 million.

  • The EPA is being sued over a decision announced in June that it would not regulate the chemical perchlorate even though it estimated that up to 620,000 people could be drinking water with a concerning amount of the chemical, linked to fetal and infant brain damage.
  • The Justice Department plans to bring an antitrust suit against Google as soon as this month, people briefed on internal conversations said, after Attorney General Bill Barr overruled career lawyers who said they needed more time.

Presidential Campaign

  • Facebook said it would stop accepting new political ads in the week before the election in a series of moves the company billed as its plan for reducing risks of misinformation and election interference.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is warning that Russia is trying to undermine Americans’ confidence in the security and validity of mail-in voting.

Russian media and other groups are intentionally “amplifying” concerns around mail-in voting in order to undermine the 2020 U.S. election, spreading misinformation online including claims President Trump has made without evidence that the voting method will lead to widespread voter fraud.

  • “Republicans and Independents for Biden” a group of nearly 100 Republican and independent leaders headed by Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey who has become one of Trump’s fiercest critics and who spoke at the recent Democratic National Convention in support of Biden, endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president on Thursday.
  • President Trump took a swipe at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) during a campaign event in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, saying, “Utah, the home of our worst senator.. that’s Mitt Romney.” “Romney couldn’t be elected dog catcher right now in Utah.”

Trump doubled down on the notion that his supporters should vote twice in the November election, promoting voter fraud while stoking unfounded fear about the validity of the presidential election results.

Trump on Thursday mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing a face mask even as the US continues to lead the world in coronavirus cases, with more than 6 million infections.

Speaking to a largely mask-less crowd in Pennsylvania, Trump asked his supporters if they know “a man that likes a mask as much” as Biden.

“It gives him a feeling of security,” the President said. “If I was a psychiatrist, I’d say this guy has some big issues.”

“These mail-in ballots are a disgrace and they know it. Sign your mail-in ballot. Sign it and send it in and then you have to follow it. And if on Election Day or early voting, that is not tabulated and counted, you go vote,” Trump said, reiterating a similar message he had for voters in North Carolina a day earlier.

Trump appeared to justify his call to vote twice by telling rally attendees that if their mail-in ballot came in after they had voted in-person, then it would not get counted. It is illegal to vote twice.

  • President Trump’s campaign and three Republican groups filed a lawsuit against Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock over his directive allowing counties to conduct mail-in voting.
  • Democrats on the House Oversight Committee called for the Office of Special Counsel to investigate instances at the Republican National Convention where government officials appeared to use their official position to bolster President Trump’s reelection campaign. 

One of the most egregious violations, they argue, was when Mike Pompeo became the first sitting secretary of State to speak at a political convention in 75 years.

  • Attorney General William Barr said that President Trump’s pledge to send federal law enforcement to polling locations on Election Day would be legal if the president were responding to a “particular criminal threat.” 

Democratic lawmakers and civil rights groups argue Trump’s move could amount to voter intimidation. Federal law bars conduct that intimidates voters and some states have laws prohibiting law enforcement at polling sites.

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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