Read Time: 8 Minutes
Protest/Race Relations News
- President Trump warned individuals against protesting in Tulsa ahead of his Saturday campaign rally there, suggesting any demonstrators would be treated harshly.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!”
- Brett Hankison has been fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department after he was accused of “blindly” shooting 10 rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor after her boyfriend opened fire, believing that the officers executing a no-knock warrant were intruders.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” the police chief wrote in the termination letter. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.”
- Colorado has become one of the first states in the country to end qualified immunity as part of a historic comprehensive police accountability bill. Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the sweeping police reform bill into law on Friday.
The bill ends the legal doctrine that protects police officers from civil lawsuits. The bill also requires all state and local police to wear body cameras by 2023 — with footage being made public; bans chokeholds, shooting fleeing suspects and using deadly force unless a life is in immediate danger. It also requires officers to report every time they stop someone they suspect of a crime and record that person’s ethnicity, race and gender.
The bill also asks cops to report their colleagues for wrongdoing, and will make officers personally liable for up to $25,000 in damages if they violate someone’s civil rights.
- The Associated Press and numerous other newsrooms are adopting a style change going forward to capitalize the B in the word “black” when used “in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense.”
- The NCAA’s board of governors announced that it is expanding its policy on the Confederate flag to bar any collegiate championship events from being played in states where the symbol is prominently displayed.
- The Seattle Police Department has just announced that it is banning neck holds and “carotid restraints,” or chokeholds, as part of an updated use-of-force policy.
- “Below Deck Mediterranean” star Peter Hunziker has been terminated by Bravo after sharing a racist and misogynistic Instagram post.
- A veteran police officer in Pennsylvania has been fired after he sent a “racist and derogatory” email to several local reporters. The chief traffic investigator accused African Americans of being unable to “take care of their own or anyone else without playing the race card” and suggested without evidence that the Clinton Foundation and billionaire George Soros are funding Black Lives Matter and anti-racist movements.
- Homeland Security officials used planes, helicopters and drones to record recent Black Lives Matter protests in 15 American cities. They logged at least 270 hours of surveillance — far more than previously known.
- Intelligence analysts warned law enforcement this week that far-right extremist “boogaloo” members live in—and may be setting sights on—D.C. A separate DHS memo sent to LE today is focused entirely on the threat of boogaloo violence.
- President Trump late Friday called for the arrest of individuals in Washington, D.C., who took part in toppling the statue of Confederate general Albert Pike in Judiciary Square.
“The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn,” Trump tweeted. “These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!”
- Undeterred by this week’s Supreme Court ruling, Trump says he will renew his effort to end legal protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children.
- The Navy is reportedly not expected to reinstate the fired commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier following an investigation of leadership’s handling of a coronavirus outbreak onboard in March. The move is an about-face after a preliminary probe recommended that Capt. Brett Crozier get his job back.
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller probed whether President Trump misled him in his Russia investigation, according to newly unredacted portions of the Mueller report that were re-released on Friday. The development could mean Mueller believed Trump may have tried to obstruct justice in his probe, after Trump’s written answer on WikiLeaks contradicted testimony from others.
- Facebook and Twitter have taken down a video posted to President Trump’s account that doctored a video of two toddlers. Their removal of the video comes in response to a copyright complaint from a parent of one of the children in the video.
- President Trump will visit Arizona and Wisconsin next week, a pair of swing states where recent polls show him trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. In Arizona he is set to visit a portion of border wall and attend a “Students for Trump” event. In Wisconsin, he will visit a shipyard in Marinette that the Trump administration selected to build 10 new ships for a multi-billion dollar contract.
- The internal watchdog for the Homeland Security Department released a new report that documents how Customs and Border Protection was overwhelmed by the influx of migrants in 2019, which led to a myriad of problems like overcrowding and the spread of contagious illnesses.
It also noted that CBP was not often “offering children access to telephones, giving children hot meals and a change of clothing, providing access to showers, and safeguarding detainee property.”
- In July 2016, political consultant Roger Stone told Trump as well as several campaign advisors that he had spoken with Julian Assange and that WikiLeaks would be publishing the documents in a matter of days. Stone told the then-candidate via speakerphone that he “did not know what the content of the materials was,” according to the newly unveiled portions of the Mueller report, and Trump responded “oh good, alright” upon hearing the news. WikiLeaks published a trove of some 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee on July 22 of that year.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told federal investigators that he overheard the phone call between Stone and Trump. Agents were also told by former campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates that Stone had spoken several times in early June of something “big” coming from WikiLeaks.
- President Trump will host a 4th of July event despite pleas from lawmakers to cancel over concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The event will feature music, military demonstrations and flyovers, as well as an address from the president.
- The Trump administration announced Friday night that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, whose office has handled a number of investigations involving the president or his campaign, will be “stepping down.”
Attorney General William Barr announced the change, saying the president plans to nominate the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, for the job.
Berman’s office has been conducting a criminal investigation of President Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, in a campaign finance case that has already led to charges against two of Giuliani’s associates.
While the Senate considers Clayton’s nomination, Barr said, the job will be filled by Craig Carpenito, who currently serves as the U.S. attorney in New Jersey. Carpenito will take over the job on July 3, Barr said.
- U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman released a statement saying, “I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney. I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning my position..I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.”
- President Trump pushed back on comments made by infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, who warned that it would be “very hard” for the NFL to return this fall during the coronavirus pandemic unless players are in a “bubble.”
“Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football,” Trump tweeted. “They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don’t stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won’t be watching!!!”
- In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump, in an effort to discredit John Bolton, falsely said Bolton was his National Security Advisor in 2020 and made the wrong call on the coronavirus. “I acted very early. I closed our country to China. By the way, Bolton disagreed. He thought we shouldn’t do it. OK?”
NOTE: Bolton left the White House in mid-2019.
- As coronavirus cases surge in the U.S. South and West, health experts in countries with falling case numbers are watching with a growing sense of alarm and disbelief, with many wondering why virus-stricken U.S. states continue to reopen and why the advice of scientists is often ignored.
“It really does feel like the U.S. has given up,” said Siouxsie Wiles, an infectious-diseases specialist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand
- Florida added 3822 new COVID-19 cases overnight Thursday. Another new record.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have temporarily closed their training facilities after several players and staffers test positive for COVID-19.
- The Philadelphia Phillies spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida has been closed after a corona-virus outbreak.
5 players and 3 staff members working at the club’s Clearwater facility have tested positive for Covid-19.
- More than 21% of Arizona’s COVID tests (3,246/15,031) reported Friday came back positive.
- New York state tested a record 79,303 people for COVID Thursday. Only 796 tests — 1.0% of total — came back positive.
- The Oklahoma Supreme Court has denied a request for an order directing the BOK Center in Tulsa to enforce coronavirus CDC recommendations at Trump’s campaign rally.
- Houston Judge Lina Hidalgo issued an order mandating that businesses in the county must require customers wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order goes into effect Monday, June 22.
- Washington, D.C. will reopen under phase two Monday, which will relax restrictions affecting many public places and private businesses alike, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced.
- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has told local government officials that they won’t get federal coronavirus relief funding if they require individuals to wear face masks in government buildings.
- Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of the most prominent members of the White House coronavirus task force, reportedly advised Trump against holding an in-person rally in Tulsa this weekend.
Sources: ABC News, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post