The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations News

Read Time: 2 Minutes

  • 90 percent of Americans surveyed in a new poll agreed that racism and police brutality are problems in the United States.
  • An Indiana woman was arrested in a hit-and-run crash that sent one woman to the hospital and caused minor injuries to a man during a southern Indiana protest over the assault of a Black man by a group of white men.
  • A Pennsylvania police officer who was seen kicking a seated protester on May 30 will not face criminal charges, Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri announced Thursday, the Erie Times-News reported. 

Daneri also said that Hannah Silbaugh, the 21-year-old protester seen in the video of a protest in Erie, will not face charges.

  • Work on another Black Lives Matter mural in New York City started on Thursday — this one situated directly in front of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan. President Trump previously slammed plans to paint it.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the new mural will send a message that “Black lives, in fact, do matter.”

  • Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler doubled down on her attacks against the Black Lives Matter Movement after facing blowback for her stated opposition to the WNBA’s plan to let players wear warmups emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name.” Loeffler, a co-owner of the league’s Atlanta Dream, claimed that the movement “seeks to destroy the American principles” and that she had to “draw the line.”
  • The top U.S. general said that the military had to take a “hard look” at symbols of the Confederacy, including the names of bases, and said he had recommended a commission to look at the issue even as President Donald Trump has ruled out renaming military bases that are named for Confederate leaders.
  • “The Confederacy, the American Civil War was fought, and it was an act of rebellion,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, told members of the House Armed Services Committee. “It was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution, and those officers turned their back on their oath.”
  • Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went off on GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for issuing an executive order deploying state National Guard troops due to an escalation in violence in the city.

“The irony of that is that I asked Governor Kemp to allow us to mandate masks in Atlanta and he said no,” Bottoms said. “But he has called in the National Guard without asking if we needed the National Guard.”

Kemp’s emergency order allows as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to be activated.

  • In the last week alone, 179 NYPD officers have filed for retirement compared to 35 in 2019. Since May 25 — the day that George Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody — 503 NYPD officers have filed for retirement, compared to 287 who filed for retirement during the same period last year.
  • Ahead of its first game since the coronavirus pandemic, a group of nearly 200 Major League Soccer players stood in midfield dressed in black to mark George Floyd’s death with 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence.
  • The House Appropriations Committee advanced a spending bill that would prohibit military construction projects on bases named for Confederate officers.

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

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

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations 

  • An attorney representing Thomas Lane, one of the former Minneapolis police officers charged for his role in the arrest and death of George Floyd, has filed a motion asking for the case against the Lane to be dismissed for what he called a “lack of probable cause based on the entire record.”
  • Senegal’s Goree Island, which for centuries served as a way station in the Transatlantic slave trade, has changed the name of its Europe Square in response to the death of George Floyd in the United States and the global movement it inspired.

It will now be known as Freedom and Human Dignity Square, the municipal council decided.

  • A police officer in Illinois has reportedly been placed on leave and lost his badge after he told local media about his department’s alleged attempts to conceal footage of the arrest of Eric Lurry, a Black man who died in police custody earlier this year.
  • A detective with the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state was placed on leave after he made comments mocking two protesters hit by a car in Seattle — one of whom died of their injuries.

The detective, Mike Brown, reportedly posted a photo on Facebook of a vehicle hitting a group of people, according to NBC affiliate King-TV in Seattle. The image was captioned “All lives splatter” and “Keep your ass off the road.”

  • The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue in Richmond, Virginia, was removed Wednesday morning, adding to the growing list of monuments ordered to come down in the former capital of the Confederacy, according to the city’s mayor.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on July 1, citing his emergency powers declared in late May, ordered the removal of all city-owned Confederate statues.

  • The University of California Regents have appointed Michael V. Drake as the new head of the school system and become its first Black president. 

The Board of Regents unanimously approved Drake, a physician. He will oversee the renowned system of five medical centers, 10 campuses, three nationally affiliated labs, more than 280,000 students and 220,000 faculty.

  • Black protesters were charged with felonies at a rate quadruple that of white ones during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in New York City, according to a preliminary report from state Attorney General Letitia James’s office.
  • New York City is moving ahead with its plans to have a mural of the words “Black Lives Matter” painted on the street in front of Trump Tower this week, despite pushback from the president. 
  • A Seattle man, Dawit Kelete, who the authorities said drove into a protest on a closed section of Interstate 5 over the weekend, killing one demonstrator, was charged on Wednesday with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving.

Two of the charges, vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, are felonies, a spokesman 

The Washington State Patrol and the F.B.I. were still investigating the matter, and Mr. Kelete could face additional charges, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

  • Amazon is pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from its website, with sellers given 48 hours to review and remove any products flagged by the company.

Administration News

  • The federal deficit in the first nine months of the fiscal year hit a record $2.7 trillion, nearly double the largest full-year deficit on record, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

In June alone, the deficit hit $863 billion, more than 107 times the $8 billion deficit recorded in June of last year.

The deficit is on track to exceed $3.8 trillion, shattering the $1.4 trillion record set in 2009 as the global financial crisis led to the Great Recession.

  • The Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration regulation allowing employers with religious objections to limit access to free birth control.
  • Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, is retiring from the US Army after more than 21 years of military service because he determined that his future in the armed forces “will forever be limited” due to political retaliation by the President and his allies, his lawyer told CNN Wednesday.

Vindman has endured a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” spearheaded by the President following his testimony in the impeachment inquiry last year, according to his attorney, Amb. David Pressman.

  • Facebook removed 50 personal and professional pages connected to President  Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone, who is due to report to prison next week.

The social media platform said Stone and his associates, including a prominent supporter of the right-wing Proud Boys group in Stone’s home state of Florida, had used fake accounts and followers to promote Stone’s books and posts.

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had approved Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman for promotion as part of a crop of new promotions due to be sent to the White House in the coming days, a senior U.S. defense official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Esper had approved the list on Monday with Vindman’s name.

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that his department “will work with Congress” in regards to the delivery of U.S. funds earmarked for the World Health Organization, as the Trump administration begins the formal process of withdrawing from the global health body.

The U.S. owes an estimated $203 million as part of its assessed contributions to the WHO for its two-year operating budget. The amount also includes funds that have yet to be paid for the 2019 operating year.

  • The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into allegations that popular app TikTok failed to live up to a 2019 agreement aimed at protecting children’s privacy.
  • A federal court has upheld a lower court decision reversing a Trump administration policy that eliminated protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.
  • Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador heaped praise on President Trump on Wednesday as the two leaders celebrated the official start of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the White House.
  • The top U.S. general in the Middle East predicts that a small amount of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

“I believe that going forward, they’re going to want us to be with them,” U.S. Central Command head Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters Tuesday after he met with Iraq’s new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, according to The Associated Press.

“I don’t sense there’s a mood right now for us to depart precipitously. And I’m pretty confident of that.”

  • Initial Jobless Claims fell last week, even as a slew of states hard-hit with COVID-19 reintroduced restrictions.For the week ending July 4, 1.3 million people applied for initial unemployment claims, down from 1.427 million the week before.

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

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

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations

  • Lafayette County (Mississippi)  Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to keep its monument to Confederate soldiers.
  • “Enough is enough” was the headline in all capital letters across the front page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, repeating the frustrated words of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at a news conference on Sunday and echoing a sentiment shared in other parts of the country as a number of children have died in recent days in a surge of gun violence.

“The reality is this: These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other,” Ms. Bottoms said in her news conference.

  • Work crews in Richmond, Virginia took down a monument to Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, the third major statue to be removed  in the former Confederate capitol in less than a week. Richmond is rushing to remove symbols of oppression after protests.
  • The city council in a Mississippi city named after Andrew Jackson votes to move a statue of the former U.S. president from the city’s downtown to a less prominent place. Jackson owned enslaved people and oversaw the forced migration of Native Americans.
  • On Monday, Tucker Carlson criticized Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth for suggesting during a recent CNN interview that the US should consider arguments for removing monuments of George Washington. Carlson said,  “Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is… These people actually hate America.”  

Duckworth, who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents., replied by challenging Carlson to “walk a mile” in her legs. 

  • A car in Bloomington, Indiana on Tuesday struck demonstrators protesting an alleged attempted lynching captured on video earlier in the week, and the driver has yet to be identified.

Witnesses told NBC affiliate WTHR a passenger in the car had stepped out and thrown a scooter that had been left in the road, prompting the woman to attempt to intervene by putting her hands on the hood of the car, at which point the car accelerated.

  • Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) is coming under criticism from the WNBA Players Association after writing a letter saying that the league should not go forward with a plan to put the names of Black victims of police violence on player jerseys.

“The truth is, we need less—not more politics in sports. In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote,” Loeffler wrote to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.”

Loeffler has co-owned the Atlanta Dream, one of the WNBA’s franchises, since 2011.

  • The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced that Nichole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, both residents of Martinez, California, would be charged with three misdemeanor counts,  including a hate crime. The pair were caught on camera vandalizing a Black Lives Matter mural on July 4. Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint and Nelson directly aided in her alleged criminal conduct.
  • Surveillance video released Tuesday shows a Michigan teenager being forcefully restrained by at least seven staff members in a youth facility before his death days later. 

16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks was pushed and held down by staff members at the Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo after he threw a sandwich in the cafeteria. 

The teenager screamed “I can’t breathe” as he was being restrained for about eight minutes on April 29. Fredericks went into cardiac arrest when being detained and died on May 1.

  • The U.S. Park Police has said that its radio communications system did not record any transmissions when the agency and other law enforcement officers dispersed a crowd of protestors gathered around Lafayette Square on June 1 ahead of President Trump’s visit to a nearby church. The episode is now the subject of investigation from Congress and the Interior Department’s internal watchdog.

Administration News

  • Top White House aides are reportedly narrowing in on a list of fewer than 10 potential Trump administration officials who could have leaked information about Russian agents providing funds to Taliban-linked militants to target American troops in Afghanistan.
  • President Trump is scheduled to receive his first intelligence briefing this month on Tuesday. It is his first “daily” intelligence briefing since June 30.
  • Some White House officials are privately expressing frustration over President Trump’s recent embrace of a message stoking racial and cultural divisions.

But Trump is “going with his gut” and “relying on instinct,” the two officials said. Instead of touting wins, Trump has opted to zero in on the national debate about race and side with supporters who view themselves as victims unfairly cast as racists in the renewed national discussion about discrimination targeting minorities.

  • The United States will leave the World Health Organization on July 6, 2021, the United Nations said on Tuesday, after receiving notification of the decision by President Donald Trump, who has accused the agency of becoming a puppet for China during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Payday lenders won’t have to check whether borrowers can afford to repay their high-interest loans under a new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Its director, Kathleen L. Kraninger, said the new provision will provide “access to credit from a competitive marketplace.”

The rule rolls back a 2017 provision by the Obama administration to protect consumers from taking out expensive payday loans, which can carry interest rates as high as 400%.  With the new rule, lenders will no longer be required to “reasonably” determine whether a consumer can repay the loan in a timely manner.

  • U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul on Wednesday for wide-ranging talks, overshadowed by Pyongyang’s insistence that it has no intention of returning to denuclearisation negotiations any time soon.

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

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

Read TIme: 3 Minutes

Protest/Race Relations

  • Two protesters were injured, one critically, in Seattle early on Saturday, when the women were hit by a speeding car that drove past other stopped vehicles into a crowd demonstrating on an interstate highway, police said.

UPDATE: One of the pedestrians has died. Summer Taylor was 24. A 27 year old suspect is in custody. 

  • A giant 20-by-30 foot Confederate flag was raised along a busy highway in North Carolina this weekend to mark the Fourth of July, but despite complaints local officials say there are no ordinances against it. The Sons of Confederate Veterans raised the flag, saying they did so to mark Independence Day and in response to the removal of Confederate statues in the state.
  • Protesters yanked down the Christopher Columbus statue near Little Italy and tossed it into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as fireworks went off around the city on the evening of the Fourth of July.
  • Former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick marked July Fourth by sharing a video of actor James Earl Jones reciting Frederick Douglass’s historic speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” with Kaepernick calling the holiday a “celebration of white supremacy.”

“Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence’, while you enslaved our ancestors,” he wrote. “We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all.”

  • “We have Americans that cannot breathe, except on ventilators. Who cannot breathe because of a knee on their neck, because of oppression and racism,” the former GOP California governor said in his message. “Slavery and racism are incompatible with freedom… on this July Fourth we celebrate the day America’s promise will be real for everyone.”

“We must fight every day to make sure that dream is as true for a black child born in Minneapolis as it was for a white bodybuilder born in Austria.”

  • Protesters marched and gathered outside the Aurora Police Department precinct to demand the remaining two officers involved in the death of Elijah McClain to be terminated from their jobs.

One officer involved in McClain’s death already resigned after a recent image appeared depicting police reenacting the carotid hold near a memorial for McClain, the same chokehold used at the time of his death.

  • In his Independence Day Speech, Trump compared his fight against the “radical left” to the US’s fight against Nazis in WW2. “American heroes defeated the Nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles and chased down the terrorists to the very ends of the earth,” Trump said. “We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing.”
  • “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms,” President Donald Trump said in a July 4 speech. 
  • In an Independence Day message, Joe Biden said, “Our country was founded on an idea: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ We’ve never lived up to it. Jefferson himself didn’t – he held slaves, women were excluded. But once proposed, it was an idea that couldn’t be restrained. Through it all, these words have gnawed at our conscience and pulled us towards justice. We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country. We have a chance to live up to the words that founded this nation.”

Administration News

  • North Korea does not feel the need to have talks with the United States, which would be nothing more than “a political tool” for Washington, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Saturday, ahead of a U.S. envoy’s visit to South Korea.
  • The United States is sending two aircraft carriers into the South China Sea at the same time as China is conducting military exercises in the contested waterway.
  • President Trump took aggressive swipes at the “radical left” and news media during his wide-ranging Independence Day address.

In one part, Trump said when people, specifically the media, call his and allies’ actions racist: “You not only slander me, you not only slander American people, but you slander generations of heroes who gave their lives for America.”

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

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

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations News

  • Boston city officials voted to remove “The Emancipation Statue” depicting President Lincoln standing tall above a formerly enslaved Black man kneeling at his feet. Critics argue the controversial monument is a “reductive representation” of the role Black Americans played in the abolition movement and the Civil War.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Thursday he plans to introduce legislation withholding federal funding for states and cities that don’t enforce laws protecting statues and monuments.
  • GOP Rep. Andy Biggs is calling for the White House to dissolve its coronavirus task force so that health officials like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx can’t contradict many of Trump’s “stated goals and actions” when it comes to the economy.
  • U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) are proposing scrapping Columbus Day as a federal holiday and replacing it with Juneteenth.
  • Newly released body-camera footage shows two officers laughing about shooting protesters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with rubber bullets, with one saying, “Did you see me fuck up those motherfuckers?” Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione defended the footage and said his officers were under attack.

Video shows protesters were mostly peaceful, however, and police were responding to a water bottle being thrown at them because another officer had pushed a kneeling woman to the ground.

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has confirmed that soldiers who were deployed to Washington, D.C. to quell the protests over George Floyd’s death were given bayonets, knife-like attachments for rifles and other guns that allow them to be used as spears.

The members of the division and the regiment never were sent to the demonstrations to respond and were told no weapons would enter the city without orders or before nonlethal response methods were analyzed.

  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson called on protesters across the U.S. to cease efforts to dismantle statues of some historical figures and called on state leaders to dismantle “autonomous zones,” an apparent reference to the now-dismantled Seattle Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone.
  • The NFL is planning to have “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” long referred to as the Black national anthem, played or performed before games during the first week of this year’s season.
  • An Aurora, CO police officer who was involved in taking pictures reenacting the police chokehold used on Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died three days after the encounter, has resigned from the force.

The photos show officers from the Aurora Police Department posing inappropriately near his memorial site and reenacting the carotid restraint used on McClain before his death

  • A husband and wife were charged with assault Thursday, one day after pulling a gun on a Black mother and her two daughters amid an alteration in Oakland County, Mich.

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper charged Jillian and Eric Wuestenberg with one count each of felonious assault.

  • As statues are removed in the U.S., Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has offered to take the statues and move them to Spain. Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya has sent diplomatic letters to “federal, state and local authorities” in the United States to address the issue. 

“We have made them aware of the importance we award to this shared history with the United States, as shared as it is unknown.”

  • Parole, a historically Black suburb of Annapolis, MD, will soon be the site of a large mural of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman who was fatally shot by police in her home in Kentucky earlier this year.

According to The Capitol Gazette, the mural of Taylor, which also will feature the phrase “Black Lives Matter” along with her date of birth and death, is expected to span 7,000-square feet across several basketball courts at Chambers Park, with creators aiming to make it visible from space.

  • FedEx has requested the NFL’s Washington team change its name from the Redskins. A FedEx spokesperson released this statement: “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.”

FedEx is the title sponsor of the team stadium in Landover, MD.

  • Fans of Waverly-Shell Rock High School baseball team in Iowa taunted the opposition’s only Black player with racially charged insults. Charles City High School’s Center Fielder, Jeremiah Chapman, said, “They called me Colin — I assumed they were just calling me Colin Kaepernick.” After making a play, “They said, ‘You need to go back to the fields to do your job.’”

“They looked at me and said, ‘You should have been George Floyd,'” the Minneapolis man killed by a police officer. “Then they started chanting ‘Trump 2020,'” Chapman said.

Waverly-Shell Rock High School put out a statement on their Facebook page saying they “fully acknowledge” the remarks happened. “This behavior is unacceptable. We make no excuses, because there are none,” the post said. “We do, however, wish to make a sincere apology to the Charles City school district and community and, in particular, the young man towards whom these comments were directed.”

Administration News

  • The U.S. Supreme Court says it will decide whether US House investigators can get access to grand jury material from Mueller’s special counsel team; the court will hear the case during the new term in the fall, delaying Congress’ potential access to the material.
  • The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June.
  • The Commerce Department’s internal watchdog is accusing the department of “actively preventing” it from releasing a full report expected to detail a “flawed process” during what is now known as the Sharpiegate controversy.
  • The Trump administration has reportedly awarded a contract to a California-based tech startup to set up hundreds of “autonomous surveillance towers” along the U.S.-Mexico border to aid its immigration enforcement efforts. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Thursday that the towers, which use artificial intelligence and imagery to identify people and vehicles, were now a “program of record” for the agency and that 200 would be deployed along the southern border by 2022.

  • A little-known North Dakota construction firm that was awarded the single largest border wall contract–after its CEO praised the president in a slew of conservative media appearances–is now defending its product as experts warn the structure is in danger of collapsing, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Thursday.

Several experts interviewed for the report said poor planning and shoddy engineering have left the wall “in danger of falling into the Rio Grande.”

  • Mark Burkhalter, president Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Norway, is facing demands that he abandon his pursuit of the diplomatic post following the unearthing of a 1994 court filing indicating his involvement in the production of a racist campaign flier against an African American politician in Georgia.

Burkhalter  helped create a flier that distorted and exaggerated the features of Gordon Joyner, a candidate for county commissioner in north-central Georgia. Joyner was pictured with some features darkened, a large Afro, enlarged eyebrows and a warped eye.

Joyner sued for libel, resulting in an out-of-court settlement, an apology signed by Burkhalter and three other men, and payment of an undisclosed sum.

  • Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, who resigned last month under pressure from Attorney General William Barr, will testify to the House Judiciary Committee next week about the circumstances of his departure, according to a congressional aide.
  • Weeks after the firing of former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, Richard Donoghue, a top Washington deputy to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, is under consideration to replace an outgoing prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, CNN reported.
  • Former Trump administration officials said President Trump’s national security advisers began limiting their briefing of the president on matters relating to Russia due to his frequent pushback on such assessments, CNN reported.

Former officials responsible for briefing Trump on national security issues said they found he frequently became angry when being presented with intelligence implicating Russia in political interference.

“The president has created an environment that dissuades, if not prohibits, the mentioning of any intelligence that isn’t favorable to Russia,” a former senior national security staffer told the network.

  • President Trump retweeted a series of tweets from ACT for America, which is an anti-Muslim hate group. 

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Race Relations News

  • NYC Mayor de Blasio said “Black Lives Matter” will be painted on Manhattan’s 5th Ave. in “a matter of days.” 

Whenever President Trump comes back to New York, “he’ll get a message that he still doesn’t understand. Maybe seeing it outside his doorstep will help him get the point.”

  • “NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue. This will further antagonize New York’s Finest, who LOVE New York & vividly remember the….

….horrible BLM chant, “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”. Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!”

  • President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts, three people with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: One person who spoke with the president interpreted his thinking this way: “No more of Jared’s woke shit.” Another said Trump has indicated that following Kushner’s advice has harmed him politically.

  • In response to this Axios report, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement, “President Trump is very proud of the historic work that he’s done to benefit all communities. The First Step Act made historic strides toward rectifying racial disparities in sentencing while his executive order to secure America’s streets works with our nation’s heroic police officers to ensure we have safe policing and safe communities.”
  • A vehicle carrying Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) on Tuesday hit a Des Moines Black Lives Matter protester who officials say intentionally stepped in front of its path.
  • Police in Seattle arrested thirteen people Wednesday as officers returned to a police precinct and an area of downtown that demonstrators had taken control of during protests last month following the police killing of George Floyd.

The arrests came after the mayor’s executive order directing all residents to vacate the area of downtown now known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone.

  • Selwyn Jones, one of George Floyd’s uncles, is pushing officials in Gettysburg, South Dakota, to remove the Confederate battle flag from the local police department’s logo, and has inspired a petition with over 4,000 petitions calling for its removal.

The mayor has pushed back, however, saying it won’t be removed because “the liberals and the press telling us we have to change it. People here do not feel it’s racism.”

  • The House Armed Services Committee has approved an amendment to ban the display of the Confederate battle flag at all Pentagon property, which includes bases, workspaces and front porches of military housing.
  • Dozens of investment firms and shareholders are calling on Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to end their business relationships with the Washington Redskins unless the team changes its name.
  • Several students protested outside a Montclair, NJ woman’s home after footage went viral of her accusing her Black neighbors of building a stone patio without a permit and eventually calling the police.
  • The Los Angeles City Council voted to reduce their police department budget by $150 million amid local and nationwide activists’ calls to defund the police, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The council voted 12 to 2 to bring the Los Angeles Police Department workforce down to 9,757 officers by next summer. The last time that level of police staffing was seen in the city was 2008.

  • The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved an immediate 35% cut to its school police force, a reduction of $25 million, in response to weeks of protests by student activists and community groups who had called for the elimination of the department.

In the wake of the decision, the department’s police chief, Todd Chamberlain, who has been in the job less than a year, resigned from his post Wednesday.

  • A whipping post was removed from the grounds of a historic Delaware courthouse on Wednesday after calls from activists to address its troubled, racist history. The removal was carried out by the state’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.
  • Virginia’s capital city began taking down its statue of Stonewall Jackson after Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the immediate removal of multiple Confederate statues in Richmond.
  • A construction crew removed the massive Christopher Columbus statue from outside Columbus, Ohio’s City Hall on Wednesday morning, in one of the most dramatic cases yet of a city reshaping how its monuments reflect its sense of history and community identity.
  • The Dept. of Homeland Security says it will deploy personnel across the U.S. to carry out President Trump’s order to protect statues and monuments from vandalism amid ongoing protests for racial justice.
  • Clay County, Florida Sheriff Darryl Daniels says he will deputize every gun owner in his county to put down violent protests his deputies can’t handle alone.

Trump Administration News

  • The USMCA trade pact, which replaces NAFTA, went into effect Wednesday.
  • As Sen. Elizabeth Warren exited the Senate SCIF after what appeared to be a briefing on Russian bounties, she said, “There was no one there who had any information about what information was given to the president or when it was given to him.”She added: “That was NOT a briefing.”
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing journalists of spreading misinformation related to reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-backed fighters to kill U.S. service members in Afghanistan, alleging reporters don’t have enough intelligence information but refusing to discuss what he knows of the issue.
  • Three NATO officials say they had been briefed on intelligence that Russian operatives were secretly offering cash bounties to Taliban-linked militants for US casualties in Afghanistan — as President Donald Trump claimed he was not, and dismissed news reports on the intelligence as a “possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax.”

The revelation that US intelligence had briefed the White House on the Taliban bounties had been a closely-held secret for several months, until US officials began briefing UK and other European allies last week.

  • “The Taliban have been paid by Russian intelligence for attacks on U.S. forces—and on ISIS forces—in Afghanistan from 2014 up to the present,” says Mullah Manan Niazai, who was formerly a senior figure in the Taliban.
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said on Wednesday that after reading classified intelligence he believes the Trump administration should brief the Senate on reports that Russians offered bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
  • Senate Democrats are requesting a briefing on wire transfers intercepted by U.S. intelligence connected to reports of bounties being offered by Russian forces to incentivize Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
  • Afghan contractor Rahmatullah Azizi was named in a U.S. intelligence report as one of the key middlemen who delivered cash from Russia’s GRU to the Taliban to target American troops, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

American and Afghan officials reported that Azizi spent several years transferring money to reward Taliban-linked fighters for targeting American troops in Afghanistan.

  • CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone will brief congressional leaders known as the Gang of Eight on intelligence related to suspected Russian bounties on U.S. forces on Thursday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed at a press briefing that the classified briefing would take place on Thursday. The Gang of Eight includes the top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate as well as the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations News

Read Time: 4 Minutes

  • A Missouri couple drew their firearms on demonstrators as a group marched past their home toward St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation on Sunday.⁠

Early Monday morning, the president retweeted the video without comment.

  • St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said her office is investigating the incident: “We will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”
  • YouTube ​banned six accounts used by high-profile white nationalists on Monday. According to YouTube, the respective channels “repeatedly or egregiously violated our policies by alleging that members of protected groups were innately inferior to others, among other violations.”

The removed accounts include those ​owned by far-right political entertainer Stefan Molyneux, white nationalist outlets American Renaissance and Radix Journal, as well as longtime Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. YouTube also removed two associated channels: one belonging to alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer and another hosting American Renaissance podcasts.

  • Members of Kansas State University’s football team say they will boycott all team activities until action is taken against a student who posted a racist tweet about George Floyd.

Players are, “demanding that Kansas State University put a policy in place that allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful actions toward a student or groups of students.”

  • The Louisville Metro Council, a powerful oversight group with subpoena power, announced that its government oversight committee plans to launch a probe into the steps taken by Mayor Greg Fischer and members of his administration leading up to and after the police killing of Breonna Taylor.
  • Sioux Rapids, Iowa, Police Chief Tim Porter has been suspended for two weeks without pay after making a controversial comment on social media. In response to an image of a pickup attempting to drive through a crowd of protesters, Porter commented, “HIT THE GAS AND HANG ON OVER THE SPEED BUMPS.”
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing a $1 billion cut to the New York Police Department’s annual budget, as calls grow across the nation for local governments to defund the police, and send the money to social services instead. Some of the money in NYC will instead go towards youth centers and New York City Housing Authority developments.
  • Detroit police say that an officer who was seen on camera striking roughly a dozen protesters with a police cruiser was just attempting to escape a crowd, claiming it had turned violent. The viral video shows the protesters surrounding the car chanting “no justice, no peace” when the officer barrels through, striking some and nearly running over one protester who is seen barely rolling out of the way of a wheel.
  • Twitch, the live-streaming service owned by Amazon, on Monday temporarily suspended President Trump’s account for violating the company’s policy on “hateful conduct.” It was taken down after a 2015 speech of Trump’s was rebroadcast, in which Trump called Mexicans “rapists.”
  • Nearly 40 descendants of soldiers listed on the Confederate Memorial Obelisk in St. Augustine, Florida are suing the city to stop the removal of the 30-foot tall monument without first undergoing the legally required review process to “prevent its damage or destruction.”
  • Reddit has confirmed that it is banning r/The_Donald, a political subreddit group in support of President Donald Trump, as well as an additional 2,000 subreddit groups associated with the account, for violating its policies against hate speech.
  • Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he received a message calling him a “piece of shit n—-” and saying “You should swing from a tree, I’m not threatening it, but would love to see it,” as residents express outrage over his new mandate requiring people to wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus.
  • 2 more people have been shot, one fatally, in the fourth shooting in 10 days within the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone near downtown Seattle. City officials have vowed to dismantle the free-protest area.
  • A prosecutor in Texas has resigned after sharing a Facebook post that appeared to equate people protesting racism and police brutality with Nazis who “tore down statues”
  • The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd and the three other officers accused of aiding and abetting in his death appeared in court on Monday for a pretrial hearing.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Race Relations News

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protest/Race Relations News

  • Following years of criticism about the racist origins of the ride, Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort will be re-themed to reflect the story of The Princess and the Frog, the company said Thursday. The re-themed ride has been planned since at least last year.
  • Native American activists have for years protested what they view as the desecration of the Black Hills, a sacred Lakota Sioux site that was sculpted into Mount Rushmore by KKK member Gutzon Borglum, saying “It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land then carve the white faces of the conquerors who committed genocide.”

Now, as President Trump is set to visit next week, more protests are planned.

  • A New York police officer who allegedly used an illegal chokehold while conducting an arrest earlier this week has been detained and charged with second-degree strangulation. A viral video caught the officer holding a man in a chokehold as onlookers screamed: “Stop choking him! Let him go!”
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has directed officials in his office to reexamine the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old unarmed Black man who died in police custody last year, after more than 2.6 million people signed a petition demanding justice.

McClain was placed in a chokehold by police and injected with ketamine after someone called 911 to report him as suspicious while he walked home from a convenience store.

  • Three employees of a Michigan youth center have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse in the death of 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks. The Black teenager went into cardiac arrest and died of asphyxia after he was restrained by staff for allegedly throwing part of his sandwich at another resident.
  • A newly-released State Department report found that racial and ethnic terrorism — particularly white supremacist threats — are “on the rise and spreading geographically.” The report warned that white terrorist groups are increasingly targeting immigrants, LGBTQ people, as well as Jewish, Muslim and other religious minorities.
  • The University of Alabama football team released a powerful new video calling for “building a better, more just future” and saying that “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.”

“We speak for justice, for fairness, for equality, for greater understanding. We stand together against racism, against brutality, against violence, for a better world.”

  • NAACP President Derrick Johnson sees some of the Trump administration’s actions on race and citizenship as reminiscent of the US before the Civil War, likening the president’s efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857 that ruled Black Americans were not citizens.

“He’s operating from a space of creating a divisive tone, allowing for levels of racism to germinate from the White House.”

  • A new bill proposed by Republican Sen. Joni Ernst would withhold federal funding from local governments that don’t disband autonomous zones created by non-government figures and accused local leaders of not doing an adequate job keeping peace in their areas. The proposal comes as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan addresses what was initially dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and later the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest
  • New York City appears set to receive a “Black Lives Matter” street mural outside Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, according to a statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

“The president is a disgrace to the values we cherish in New York City. He can’t run or deny the reality we are facing, and any time he wants to set foot in the place he claims is his hometown, he should be reminded Black Lives Matter,” Julia Arredondo, the mayor’s spokeswoman, said Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.

The statement will be painted along Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets in front of President Trump’s notable Manhattan building sometime before July 4.

The new mural is one of seven that will be added throughout the city’s five boroughs.

  • President Trump accused a Black Lives Matter leader of promoting treasonous activity and objected to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to install a street mural in support of the movement outside Trump Tower.

“Black Lives Matter leader states, ‘If the U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it,’” Trump tweeted Thursday. “This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”

The president’s comments appeared to be in response to remarks made by Hawk Newsome, leader of Black Lives Matter Greater New York, in an interview Wednesday on Fox News about the movement’s objectives after the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. I can be speaking figuratively, I can be speaking literally, it’s a matter of interpretation.”

“Told that @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign. ‘Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon’, referring to killing Police, is their chant. NYC Police are furious!” Trump tweeted.

  • The Madison, Wisconsin police department is investigating a Wednesday assault as a hate crime after four white men allegedly poured lighter fluid and threw a lighter at a teenage bi-racial woman after yelling “the N-word really loud”. The 18-year-old, Althea Bernstein, works as an EMT and was in her car at a red light when the incident took place and said medical professionals “had to pretty much scrub the skin off, which was extremely painful.”
  • Prosecutors added hate crime charges Thursday against Harry H. Rogers, a self-identified leader in the Ku Klux Klan, accused of driving through peaceful protesters in Richmond.

Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor brought additional charges against Rogers, including four counts of assault with hate crimes, two counts of felonious attempted malicious wounding and one count of felony hit and run.

Video footage and photos shown during the hearing Thursday show Rogers driving onto the median to pass a group of cars behind an estimated 300 protesters headed north on Lakeside Avenue near Vale Street. From there, footage shows Rogers’ driving into at least two bicyclists and one demonstrator on foot.

  • The U.S. Senate voted 90-7 on Thursday to debate the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, setting the stage for a battle between Democrats and President Donald Trump’s Republicans over changing the names of military bases named after Confederate generals.
  • President Trump suggested unruly protesters who deface or topple monuments and statues will likely face “retribution,” likening them to “terrorists.”

Trump sat for a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity during a trip to Wisconsin. During the question-and- answer session, one attendee asked what the government was doing to “give us back our streets” amid national unrest over racial injustice and police brutality.

“Every night we’re going to get tougher and tougher, and at some point there is going to be retribution because there has to be,” Trump said. “These people are vandals, but they’re agitators, but they’re really, they’re terrorists in a sense.”

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protest/Race Relations News

Read Time: 2 Minutes

Protest/Race Relations News

  • GOP Sen. Josh Hawley unveiled a proposal to remove language in the mammoth defense bill that requires the Pentagon to implement a plan to rename Confederate-named bases and other military installations, saying the requirement “smacks of the cancel culture the Left wants to impose on the nation.”
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren and dozens of other Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would require the Pentagon to strip Confederate names from military bases and other property within one year.
  • NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace dismissed an FBI investigation that concluded a noose found in the garage he was recently assigned to at Talladega Superspeedway was a garage door pull that had been there since last year and not a hate crime directed at him, with the 26-year-old driver calling it “a straight-up noose” in an interview.
  • The National Guard has agreed to send unarmed members to assist U.S. Park Police in securing Washington’s national monuments.
  • GOP Sen. Mike Braun introduced legislation to scale back qualified immunity, an idea that divides Senate Republicans. 

Braun’s bill, titled the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act, would get rid of a current standard that shields police officers from civil lawsuits if their behavior didn’t  violate a “clearly established” law.

Instead, a police officer would be eligible for qualified immunity if the conduct in question “had previously been authorized or required by federal or state statute or regulation” or if a court has found it is “consistent with the Constitution and federal laws.”

  • Senate Democrats blocked a narrow Republican bill to incentivize police departments to change their tactics. They denounced the measure as an insufficient and irredeemably flawed answer to the problem of systemic racism in law enforcement.
  • The Department of Justice has told lawmakers that it is considering launching a probe into potential discriminatory practices taking place at the Minneapolis Police Department.
  • Three Wilmington, NC police officers – Michael ‘Kevin’ Piner, James ‘Brian’ Gilmore, and Jessie E. Moore II – have been fired after a customary review of dashcam footage revealed the officers engaging in racist conversations. Among the comments, Moore was discussing with Piner the arrest of a Black woman the previous day, “‘she needed a bullet in her head right then and move on. Let’s move the body out of the way and keep going.”

After more derogatory comments about the arrestee and the magistrate, the conversation took an even bleaker turn, as the two officers discussed an upcoming civil war.

“Piner tells Moore later in the conversation that he feels a civil war is coming and he is ‘ready.’ Piner advised he is going to buy a new assault rifle in the next couple of weeks. A short time later Officer Piner began to discuss society being close to ‘martial law’ and soon “we are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them fucking niggers. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.”

  • The three white men arrested in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was chased while running in a South Georgia neighborhood, have been indicted on murder charges by a Georgia grand jury, the prosecutor in the case announced on Wednesday.

The men — Gregory McMichael, 64; his son Travis McMichael, 34; and their neighbor William Bryan, 50 — were arrested and charged last month with murder and other charges in connection with Mr. Arbery’s death, which prompted nationwide protests and indignation, particularly after a graphic video of his Feb. 23 killing was released online.

  • NASA will rename its Washington, D.C., headquarters after Mary W. Jackson, the agency’s first Black woman engineer, Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Wednesday.

Jackson worked for seven years in the agency’s segregated West Area Computing division in 1951 before becoming an engineer in 1958. She had achieved the senior-most engineering title within NASA by 1979, and voluntarily took a demotion to work as an Equal Opportunity Specialist, seeking out accomplished women and minorities for recruitment within NASA.

Jackson retired in 1985 after 34 years at NASA; she died in 2005 at the age of 83.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protest/Race Relations News

  • North Carolina’s governor called for the removal of Confederate monuments from State Capitol grounds on Saturday, citing public safety after anti-racism protesters in Raleigh pulled two statues down with ropes Friday night.
  • ▪NASCAR launched an investigation after noose was found in Black driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall. at the race in Alabama. It comes less than two weeks after Wallace successfully campaigned to ban the displaying of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events. Wallace, who is the circuit’s only full-time Black driver, released a statement of his own, saying “This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down.”
  • South Africa’s last apartheid president, F.W. de Klerk, has withdrawn from a U.S. seminar about minority rights because he did not want to embarrass himself or his hosts in the current charged racial climate.

De Klerk was scheduled to speak at an American Bar Association virtual event on issues such as minority rights, racism and the rule of law.

  • Eight minority corrections officers in Minnesota have filed discrimination charges with the state’s Department of Human Rights after they were barred from guarding Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop charged in George Floyd’s death.

As Chauvin was brought to the lockup, all officers of color were ordered to another floor, according to the Star Tribune, which obtained a copy of the racial discrimination charges.

A supervisor told one of the minority officers that, because of their race, they would be a possible “liability” around Chauvin. 

“I understood that the decision to segregate us had been made because we could not be trusted to carry out our work responsibilities professionally around the high-profile inmate — solely because of the color of our skin,” wrote one acting sergeant, who is black, the Star Tribune reported.

“I am not aware of a similar situation where white officers were segregated from an inmate,” the officer added.

  • At least one person is dead and another is in critical condition after a reported shooting early Saturday morning in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). 

The Seattle Police Department, which was driven out of the CHAZ by Black Lives Matter protesters last week, tweeted that it was investigating a shooting in the area.

  • The New York Police Department said on Sunday that it was investigating the use of force during an arrest of a black man in Queens, after cellphone video of the encounter that was posted online showed an officer appearing to use a chokehold on the man until he became limp.
  • Three Thousand Oaks, CA men — including two who worked as civilian employees for local law enforcement agencies — were recently arrested on suspicion of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter sign in Westlake Village, authorities said.

The sign, described as a tarp with the letters BLM painted on it, has been displayed on a fence on Westlake Boulevard for the past three weeks, officials said, and has been damaged or removed on several occasions.

The sign’s owner installed a surveillance camera which documented the damage, officials said. When video of one of the crimes was posted on social media, detectives with the sheriff’s office recognized the employee.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • In a CNN interview, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the coronavirus was a “product of the Chinese Communist party” and suggested without evidence that the potentially fatal virus may have been purposefully created by the Chinese government.
  • Navarro also defended the president’s statement that he directed officials to “slow the [coronavirus] testing down.” “Come on now, Jake. You know it was tongue in cheek. Come on now. That was tongue in cheek,” cutting off Tapper as he repeatedly asked about the president’s remarks.

“I don’t know that it was tongue in cheek at all,” Tapper retorted.

  • Navarro said that the White House was working to prepare for the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus in the fall, though he said it wouldn’t necessarily come.

“We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall,” “We’re doing everything we can.”

  • Nationwide, cases have risen 15 percent over the last two weeks. Cases are rising in 18 states across the South, West and Midwest. Seven states hit single-day case records Saturday, and five others hit a record earlier in the week.
  • Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended a state of emergency imposed to contain the coronavirus.
  • Chinese researchers have started phase 2 tests on humans of a possible vaccine against the new coronavirus.
  • Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections, which caused the country’s virus reproduction rate to spike.
  • The Trump administration is doing “a great job” reopening the country after lockdowns to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said on Sunday, as infections continued to spike in several states.
  • Beijing is capable of screening almost 1 million people a day for the coronavirus, an official said on Sunday, as testing continued across the city to try to contain the spread of a fresh outbreak.
  • The drastic reduction in pollution during coronavirus lockdowns around the world should lead to greater concern for the environment as restrictions are lifted, Pope Francis said.
  • India’s drug regulator has given Hetero Labs the green light to manufacture and market its generic version of Gilead Science’s experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir.
  • Britain will outline its plans to ease the coronavirus lockdown this week, health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday, potentially relaxing the two-metre rule on social distancing, allowing many businesses to reopen in early July.

Administration News

  • The Tulsa Fire Department said just under 6,200 people attended President Trump’s campaign rally at the BOK Center in Oklahoma, a figure far short of the arena’s full capacity of 19,000 and well below the campaign’s expectations.
  • Trump was “furious about the unused outdoor stage and the comparatively thin crowd in the stadium,” according to two people familiar with his reaction. News broadcasts carried video of the partially empty stadium.
  • The family of Tom Petty sent a cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign after it played one of the rock legend’s songs, “I Won’t Back Down,” at a rally in Tulsa,OK: “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”
  • At least 135 former U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys signed an open letter condemning the firing of former Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, saying that they “deplore” President Trump and Attorney General William Barr’s actions: “The actions of the President and the Attorney General are an attack on the concept that investigations should be conducted in a nonpartisan manner.”
  • President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview published Sunday that he intends to vote against Trump in November.

“In 2016 I voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton. Now, having seen this president up close, I cannot do this again. My concern is for the country, and he does not represent the Republican cause that I want to back.”

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