One of four police charged over Floyd’s death freed: Live updates
The police killing of George Floyd has triggered anti-racism protests around the world. A number of monuments with links to colonialism and slavery have been defaced...
The police killing of George Floyd has triggered anti-racism protests around the world. A number of monuments with links to colonialism and slavery have been defaced...
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The police killing of George Floyd has triggered anti-racism protests around the world. A number of monuments with links to colonialism and slavery have been defaced or pulled down in Europe and the United States as protests for racial justice continue.
Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, has testified before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, along with family lawyer Ben Crump and 10 others at the first congressional hearing to examine the social and political undercurrents that have fuelled weeks of protests nationwide and overseas.
Floyd died on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death sparked nationwide calls for policing reforms.
Spurred on by the anti-racism protests in the United States, Dalits – a marginalised community once referred to as “untouchables” – have called on India to acknowledge centuries of oppression they have endured.
Dalits find themselves outside the Hindu caste hierarchy – a membership determined at birth – and have historically faced violence, segregation and been barred from even having their shadows touch those of people from more privileged castes.
Read more here.
One of the four former Minneapolis police officers who were charged over the death of George Floyd has been released on bail.
The dismissed police officer released, Thomas Lane, 37, had been held on $750,000 bail and was freed from Hennepin County jail, sheriff’s office records showed.
He was one of the three officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the 46-year-old Floyd’s death on May 25.
Volunteers on the scene in the nation’s capital are working to gather and preserve hundreds of items that were posted during days of protests over the death of George Floyd in police hands in Minnesota.
Hundreds of signs and posters that had been on the fence enclosing Lafayette Square near the White House have been moved across the street and taped to the walls of a construction site, or strung together and hung from trees lining the street.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Smithsonian have expressed an interest in preserving the artefacts.
A statue of a 17th-century slave trader that was toppled by anti-racism protesters in Bristol, England, has been fished out of the harbour by city authorities.
Bristol City Council says the bronze statue of Edward Colston was recovered to avoid drawing a crowd. The council says it has been taken to a “secure location” and will end up in a museum.
Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic and left most of his money to charity. His name adorns streets and buildings in Bristol, which was once the UK’s biggest port for slave ships.
Although many Americans recognise the immorality of historic colonialists, slave owners and anti-abolitionists, some say these symbols should be preserved as a reminder of the country’s past.
The New York Knicks and James Dolan, the executive chairman of the team’s parent company, The Madison Square Garden Company, issued a statement about the death of George Floyd after coming under fire for their delayed response to the incident.
While most NBA organisations were quick to issue public responses, the American professional basketball team based in the New York City borough of Manhattan, only issued a statement 15 days after Floyd’s death.
Posting a statement on its social media accounts, the Knicks said: “Every one of us has a role to play in creating a more just and equal society, where there is no racism, bigotry, violence or hate. We stand with all who act for positive change.”
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) June 9, 2020
At least seven Los Angeles police officers were removed from their field duties for using excessive force during recent protests, the police department told CNN.
The move comes as police across the US have come under attack for the use of violence in response to demonstrators protesting against police brutality.
Critics have pointed to the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and physical attacks as examples of excessive use of force.
The Australian police have warned people not to attend a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Sydney on Friday unless they want to risk being arrested.
Mick Willing, New South Wales’s assistant police commissioner, said the event is unauthorised because the organisers did not notify the police in advance.
The police would deploy “significant resources” to enforce COVID-19 restriction orders. People could face arrest if they choose to attend the event, Willing told reporters.
A local authority in southern England said it would remove a statue of Robert Baden-Powell, the latest memorial to be taken down in the wake of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
While Baden-Powell was hailed as far-sighted for setting up the scouts, critics said he held racist views and was a supporter of Adolf Hitler and fascism.
Poole council said the statue of Baden-Powell would now be moved from its location on the quayside of the seaside town where it has been for just over a decade to safe storage while there were discussions with local communities about its future.
“Whilst famed for the creation of the Scouts, we also recognise that there are some aspects of Robert Baden-Powell’s life that are considered less worthy of commemoration,” council leader Vikki Slade said.
Protesters in Portsmouth, Virginia, beheaded and then pulled down four statues that were part of a Confederate monument, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported.
As the statues fell, a protester was hit on the head, causing him to lose consciousness. He was then taken to hospital.
All four have been beheaded tonight pic.twitter.com/uMRKFziPYb
— Saleen Martin (@Saleen_Martin) June 11, 2020
The toppled monument sits at a site where slaves were punished on a whipping post, according to the Virginian-Pilot, and efforts to tear one of the statues down began around 8:20pm, but the rope protesters were using snapped.
They then started to dismantle the monument one piece at a time as a marching band played in the streets and other protesters danced.
A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was torn down along Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue on Wednesday night by protesters.
The statue in the former capital of the Confederacy was toppled shortly before 11pm and was on the ground in the middle of an intersection, news outlets reported. Richmond police were on the scene.
BREAKING: The Jefferson Davis statue on Monument Ave. has been pulled down tonight, this video is from a person in the area who tells me police are now on scene. @8NEWS
(Explicit language warning) pic.twitter.com/maZ2YxklLk
— Nick Conigliaro 8News (@NConigliaroNews) June 11, 2020
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam last week ordered the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee, which is four blocks away from where the Davis statue stood. A judge on Monday issued an injunction preventing officials from removing the monuments for the next 10 days.
Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, has ordered an independent investigation into the death of a Black man who died while in the custody of Tacoma police.
The move comes after new information emerged this week that at least one sheriff’s deputy and a state trooper were at the scene when the man, Manuel Ellis, was detained and died on March 3. In a nearly nine-minute clip released by the lawyer representing Ellis’s family, the 33-year-old man is heard crying out “I can’t breathe, sir” while handcuffed.
The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department had been close to finishing an investigation, and a briefing with the prosecuting attorney was scheduled for Wednesday. Inslee said he ordered a new probe to make sure that the work is “done free of conflicts of interest” as officers from the sheriff’s department were present at the scene.
The police department has identified the four officers involved in restraining Ellis. They were put on administrative leave last week after the autopsy results were made public.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and the victim’s family have called for those officers to be fired and arrested.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, acknowledged concerns about his support for a 1994 crime bill that critics say contributed to the mass incarceration of racial minorities in recent decades.
Speaking during a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) town hall event on systemic racism, Biden said questions about his role in writing the bill are “legitimate”. But he insisted that people should judge him based on his current actions, not his past.
He said that while he has been “told all along” that young people oppose his past stances on criminal justice issues, “there is no polling evidence to sustain that. Nor is there voting evidence thus far to sustain that”.
“Watch what I do. Judge me based on what I do, what I say and to whom I say it,” he added.
US Congress, Trump contest police reforms after protests (2:30)
The co-owners of a family-owned Missouri newspaper resigned from their positions in protest after the publication of a racist syndicated cartoon that depicted a Black man stealing a handbag from a white woman while hailing funding cuts to police.
The cartoon published in the Washington Missourian on Wednesday shows a white woman asking for someone to call 911, but the masked Black man says, “Good luck with that, lady … we defunded the police.”
Washington Missourian owners and sisters Susan Miller and Jeanne Miller Wood said in an apology that the newspaper’s publisher – their father – made the decision to run the cartoon and did not let them know in advance.
“As co-owners we believe it was racist and in no circumstance should have been published,” they wrote of the cartoon. “We apologize to our readers and our staff for the obvious pain and offense it caused. For the record, we abhor the sentiment and denounce ANY form of racism.”
Thomas Lane, one of four police officers charged in Floyd’s death, posted bail of $750,000 and was released from the Hennepin County Jail, with conditions, shortly after 4pm on Wednesday.
The other officers remain in custody.
Lane, 37, is charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter for his role in the arrest of Floyd, after another officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee to the unarmed Black man’s neck.
Lane’s lawyer said last week that Lane was a rookie, and that the only thing he did was hold Floyd’s feet so he could not kick. The criminal complaint also says that Lane expressed concern about Floyd and asked Chauvin twice if they should roll Floyd to his side, but Chauvin said no.
Buffalo will replace its police Emergency Response Team with a new “public protection unit” following the suspension and arrest of two ERT members seen on video shoving a 75-year-old protester who fell and cracked his head, Mayor Byron Brown said.
The city will also halt arrests for low-level, non-violent offences like marijuana possession and make it easier for the public to view police body camera video under measures Brown introduced as “a critical first step” in making Buffalo more inclusive and equitable.
“We will shift policing in Buffalo away from enforcement and to a restorative model that promotes stronger community bonds, civic engagement and an end to young Black men, Black people, being caught in a cycle of crime and incarceration by consciously limiting their negative engagement with police,” Brown said at a news conference.
Speaking at a virtual NAACP town hall on systemic racism, Biden backed calls for reforms in US policing methods
“This is an inflection moment in American history, a moment where we must make substantive changes now, changes the American police as the police is long overdue,” the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate said.
There is systemic racism not just in our law enforcement but also in housing, education, and everything we do — and we have to do the hard work to end it. pic.twitter.com/w9H77Jbuqa
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 11, 2020
Biden highlighted his proposals for additional community policing funds. But still, he avoided a major flashpoint in the conversation around such reforms – whether he would support reparations for African Americans.
Pressed multiple times on his stance, Biden said only that a study should be done and that his support for cash reparations “would depend on what it was and if it will include Native Americans as well”.
Amazon banned police use of its facial-recognition technology for a year, making it the latest tech giant to step back from law-enforcement use of systems that have faced criticism for incorrectly identifying people with darker skin.
The Seattle-based company did not say why it took action now.
Civil rights groups and Amazon’s own employees have pushed the company to stop selling its technology, called Rekognition, to government agencies, saying that it could be used to invade people’s privacy and target minorities.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Amazon said that it hoped Congress would put in place stronger regulations for facial recognition.
A group of protesters pulled down a statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the latest US monument to be torn down amid nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and racial inequalities.
The 10-foot bronze statue was pulled from its granite base by several dozen people led by a Minnesota-based Native American activist, Mike Forcia, outside the state Capitol.
“It was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it,” Forcia told Reuters news agency, in apparent reference to more than two weeks of protests over the police killing of Floyd, an unarmed Black man.
Native American activists have long objected to honouring Columbus, saying that his expeditions to the Americas led to the colonisation and genocide of their ancestors.
Australian police are warning those that attend public rallies in support of Black Lives Matter risk fines and arrest if they breach social distancing restrictions, as politicians warn the events risk spreading the disease.
Tens of thousands attended rallies last weekend, and more protests are planned on Friday.
“We will start writing tickets of 1,000 Australian dollars ($700), and we can use all our powers to move people on,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told local radio station 2GB Radio. “If you don’t move on, you’ll be arrested.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has refocused attention on Australia’s treatment of its Indigenous people and the high number of Aboriginal deaths in custody.
The US Soccer Federation says it has repealed a 2017 requirement that all players stand during the national anthem.
The sport’s governing body introduced the policy after Megan Rapinoe, a member of the US women’s team took a knee before a match in 2016 to show her solidarity with American football player Colin Kaepernick who took a knee to bring attention to racial injustice.
“We apologize to our players – especially our black players – staff, fans and all who support eradicating racism,” the federation said in a statement.
“Sports are a powerful platform for good and we have not used our platform as effectively as we should have. We can do more on these specific issues and we will.”
The Pohlad family – the owners of the Minnesota Twins baseball team – have pledged $25m for racial justice.
“Black people have experienced oppression and racism for far too long in this country,” Bill Pohlad, the president of the Pohlad Family Foundation, said in a statement. “We condemn racism in all its forms, and we are firmly committed to helping enact meaningful change. We know this will take time and effort and we are committed to this work beyond this seminal moment in our country’s history.”
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 10, 2020
Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to the House-Senate panel in charge of the National Statuary Hall collection in the Capitol to take down the likenesses of 11 Confederate soldiers and officials that she said “pay homage to hate, not heritage”.
Calling the halls of Congress “the very heart of our democracy” she said the statues should embody Americans’ “highest ideals” – not men “who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end”.
The statues which fill the halls of Congress should reflect our highest ideals as Americans. Today, I am once again calling for the removal from the U.S. Capitol of the 11 statues representing Confederate soldiers and officials. These statues pay homage to hate, not heritage.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 10, 2020
The letter is the latest move in the wake of global protests over racism, to remove statues of those associated with perpetrating it. Across the United States and internationally, statues have been toppled, removed or covered.
US professional stock-car racing league NASCAR says will ban Confederate flags at future events, according to a report in the Washington Post.
“The presence of the Confederate flag … runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” NASCAR said in a statement.
The decision comes two days after Bubba Wallace, the only African American driving in the NASCAR Cup Series, requested NASCAR ban the flag viewed as a symbol of hate for many.
Wallace used a #BlackLivesMatter livery on his Richard Petty Motorsport Chevrolet for a race at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 7, 2020
“I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push,” Wallace said before the decision.
The White House says it is putting the finishing touches on proposals to reform the police, and that reducing immunity for officers is a “non-starter”.
Speaking at a White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said administration plans to address protester concerns about police brutality are reaching “final edits,” and said the proposals could be made public in the “coming days”.
President Donald Trump rejected any proposal to rename US military bases that are named for Confederate leaders from the 1860s civil war.
As many as 10 bases carry the names of Confederate leaders, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina, one of the largest in the United States, and Fort Hood in Texas. Discussions about renaming them emerged as a way of racial reconciliation.
“The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations…” Trump wrote in a tweet.
…history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2020
Boston is offering those who joined street protests following Floyd’s death access to coronavirus testing.
Mayor Marty Walsh said in a news conference that his administration was reaching out to organisers of the demonstrations and is working to create a mobile pop-up testing site in a Boston neighbourhood that will be open to everyone, whether or not they are showing signs of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
“There is no special screening or requirements,” Walsh said. “As people lift their voices to fight racism and injustice, we want to make sure that we keep them safe, as well.”
Thousands of people demonstrated in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in a park in Amsterdam named for South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
It was the latest in a series of protests in Dutch cities that have taken place in recent days.
“We are here to hold up a fist against the global pandemic of racism,” protester Mitchell Esajas told the crowd.
Public debate about racism, discrimination and historical links to the slave trade have intensified in the Netherlands since Floyd’s death.
A Dutch human rights organisation called on the government to appoint a coordinator to help tackle what it called “structural discrimination” in the Netherlands.
The Minneapolis Police Department will withdraw from police union contract negotiations, Chief Medaria Arradondo said as he announced the first steps in what he said would be transformational reforms to the agency.
Arradondo said a thorough review of the contract is planned. He said the contract needs to be restructured to provide more transparency and flexibility for true reform. The review would look at matters such as critical incident protocols, use of force and disciplinary protocols, including grievances and arbitration.
He said it was debilitating for a chief when there were grounds to terminate an officer and a third-party mechanism worked to keep that person on the street.
“This work must be transformational, but I must do it right,” Arradondo said of changes to the department.
He also promised new research and strategies to spot and intervene with problem officers.
“We will have a police department that our communities view as legitimate, trusting and working with their best interests at heart,” he said, adding that the department has to address issues of racism head-on.
Legislators heard urgent pleas from George Floyd’s brother, who called for reforms and better training for police officers.
“Teach them what necessary force is,” he said, “Teach them that necessary force should be used rarely, and only when life is at risk.”
He also reminded the panel that police were called because his brother had allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill.
“George wasn’t hurt anyone that day. He didn’t deserve to die, over $20. I’m asking you. Is that what is that what a Black man is worth – $20? This is 2020. Enough is enough. The people watching in the streets are telling you enough is enough,” he said.
The judiciary panel is preparing to shepherd a sweeping Democratic package of legislation aimed at combating police violence and racial injustice to the House floor by July 4, and is expected to hold further hearings next week to prepare the bill for a full House vote.
George Floyd’s brother testified on Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on issues of racial profiling, police brutality and lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now, and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason,” Philonise Floyd said during his testimony.
“I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired,” Floyd said. “George’s calls for help were ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family, and to the calls ringing out in the streets across the world.”
“If his death ends up changing the world for the better. And I think it will. I think it has. Then he died as he lived. It is on you to make sure his death isn’t in vain,” he said.
Read more here.
The White House on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s promotion of an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about a 75-year-old protester injured by police in Buffalo, saying it was Trump’s “prerogative” to raise questions about the incident.
The protester, Martin Gugino, was shoved by police and critically injured when he approached them during a march against racism and police brutality in an incident that was captured on video and led to criminal charges against the officers involved.
Trump, offering no evidence, tweeted on Tuesday that Gugino’s fall could be a “set up” with ties to the anti-fascist movement Antifa.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
“The president was just raising some questions, some legitimate ones, about that particular interaction. And it’s his prerogative to do so,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News on Wednesday.
A lawyer for Gugino called Trump’s statement “dark, dangerous, and untrue,” according to media reports. Gugino told USA Today he had “no comment other than Black Lives Matter” and that he has been released from intensive care and “should recover eventually”.
Buffalo Police Officers Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, face felony assault charges over the incident.
Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Square Inc and Twitter Inc, said June 19, popularly known as “Juneteenth”, would be a permanent company-wide holiday in the United States to show support for racial diversity.
— jack (@jack) June 9, 2020
June 19 commemorates the US abolition of slavery by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was belatedly announced in the state of Texas on June 19, 1865, after the end of the Civil War.
The US top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, expressed concern that recent mass protests against police brutality and racism would spread the novel coronavirus because of a lack of social distancing.
Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC’s Good Morning America he is not surprised that members of the Washington, DC National Guard who mobilised in response to the protests had tested positive, but he called the development “disturbing”.
“The issue of physical separation is important. Masks can help, but it’s masks plus physical separation and when you get congregations like we saw with the demonstrations, like we have said – myself and other health officials – that’s taking a risk,” Fauci said. “Unfortunately, what we’re seeing now is just an example of the kinds of things we were concerned about.”
Streaming service Netflix announced that it is promoting a new “Black Lives Matter” collection to US subscribers, featuring more than 45 movies, television shows and documentaries about racial injustice and the experience of Black Americans.
The collection includes Da 5 Bloods, 13th, When They See Us, Mudbound, Orange Is the New Black, Dear White People, as well as Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning Moonlight.
When we say “Black Lives Matter,” we also mean “Black storytelling matters.”
With an understanding that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time – we’re starting by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 10, 2020
“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we also mean ‘Black storytelling matters,'” Netflix said in a tweet. “With an understanding that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time – we’re starting by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience.”
One of the brothers of George Floyd is due to speak to a Democratic-led congressional panel as legislators take on the twin issues of police violence and racial injustice.
Philonise Floyd, 42, will testify before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, along with family lawyer Ben Crump and 10 others at the first congressional hearing to examine the social and political undercurrents that have fuelled weeks of protests nationwide and overseas.
The judiciary panel is preparing to shepherd a sweeping package of legislation, aimed at combating police violence and racial injustice, to the House floor by July 4, and is expected to hold further hearings next week to prepare the bill for a full House vote.
Protesters in Portsmouth, Virginia, covered a Confederate monument in the city with rubbish bags and sheets, several hours after the city’s council members had a meeting to figure out ways to relocate it.
A white sheet that read “BLM” – the acronym for Black Lives Matter – covered the fence in front of the monument hours after the Portsmouth city council met to discuss who owns the figure, a local TV channel reported. The question about who owns the monument has been the main roadblock in the city’s years-long quest to remove it.
In Richmond, Virginia, a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then thrown into a lake on Tuesday. The statue was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered in the city’s Byrd Park chanted for the statue to be taken down, news outlets reported.
A white man seen in a video circulating on social media mocking George Floyd’s death included a corrections officer in South Jersey, local media reported.
The man – whose identity has not been verified – was filmed kneeling on another man, recreating how Floyd died on May 25, while Black Lives Matter protesters marched by.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections confirmed in a statement that the man in the video was a corrections officer at Bayside State Prison and that he has been suspended while the agency conducts an investigation.
“We have been made aware that one of our officers from Bayside State Prison participated in the filming of a hateful and disappointing video that mocked the killing of George Floyd,” an NJ Department of Corrections statement said.
Catch up on Tuesday’s updates here.