Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that it was “entirely appropriate” to forcibly remove protesters from the area surrounding the White House ahead of President Trump's seemingly impromptu photo opportunity in front of St. John's Church. “I think the president is the head of the executive branch and the chief executive of the nation and should be able to walk outside the White House and walk across the street to the church of presidents,” Barr said at a press conference when asked about regrets expressed Wednesday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper over the political implication of his appearance with the president at the church.
After infection, symptoms can take up to 14 days to present; testing positive or requiring hospitalization can take even longer. While the country has shifted its attention from the pathogen to the protests, and while COVID-19 infections have continued to decline in some of America's hardest-hit cities, cases have been climbing elsewhere — especially in the South and the West, and most of all in states that moved to reopen early. More than a month has passed since the first wave of reopenings — enough time to start to gauge the impact of looser restrictions, increased interaction and more relaxed attitudes toward social distancing.
The New York Police Department detained a Caviar delivery person for violating the city's 8:00 p.m. curfew by less than 30 minutes, even though essential workers, such as food delivery people, are exempt. The delivery person, who was riding a bicycle and carrying a Caviar branded delivery bag, attempted to prove their identity on site but was taken to the station where their identity was verified. City guidelines state that essential workers only have to identify themselves as essential workers to avoid a potential penalty and that anyone violating curfew would be allowed to disperse multiple times before any legal penalties.
The Trump administration has ordered Marriott International to wind down hotel operations in Communist-run Cuba, a company spokeswoman told Reuters, extinguishing what had been a symbol of the U.S.-Cuban detente.
An entire tactical unit of a US police department has quit after two officers accused of brutality were sent on unpaid leave, reports local media. In a video that went viral on Thursday, officers in the city of Buffalo, New York, were seen shoving an elderly man to the ground. According to the Buffalo News, the members have quit the Emergency Response Team, but not the police department.
Peaceful protests in New York took a dark turn Thursday as graphic video emerged of an elderly man being knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo and protesters in New York City were confronted with swarms of police officers using heavy-handed tactics to enforce a statewide 8 p.m. curfew. The shocking incident in Buffalo's Niagara Square occurred outside City Hall, where video posted by local media shows the man approaching police as they attempt to clear the square, only for him to be violently shoved.
A conservative writer from Portland, Oregon, filed a lawsuit Thursday against purported elements of the nebulous, far-left militant groups collectively known as antifa, days after President Donald Trump blamed those groups for inciting violence at protests over police killings of black people. The suit was filed on behalf of Andy Ngo, who is known for aggressively covering and video-recording demonstrators. “I am hoping that this marks a turning point, that militants belonging to a criminal movement can no longer depend on the anonymity ... to get away with their crimes,” said Ngo, who previously was a writer with the online publication Quillette and now is with The Post Millennial.
Delta Air Lines announced the suspension of service to 11 US cities and Ottawa, Canada amid its pandemic-related recovery efforts. The Department of Transportation approved the cuts, scheduled to take effect on July 8, which primarily impact small, regional destinations across the US. The airline is only cutting service to cities with other air carriers to provide service.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper and a Tallahassee employee of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles have been fired for making "abhorrent" comments about George Floyd protesters, the department said. The two workers had directed “hateful, racist and threatening remarks” toward Florida demonstrators calling for better policing as part of nationwide protests in the wake of Floyd's death in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis. Long-simmering tensions stoked by police tactics toward black men erupted over the weekend with marches and demonstrations by a diverse group of protesters, many in their teens and 20s, that blocked roadways in Florida cities and elsewhere in the country.
Retired Marine Gen. John Allen on Wednesday said President Trump's threats to use the U.S. military on protesters “may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.” Allen, the former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Trump's halting Rose Garden speech in which he declared himself the “president of law and order,” the use of tear gas on protesters outside the White House and the church photo op that followed Monday was a “stunning” moment and potentially a pivotal one. “Donald Trump expressed only the barest of condolences at the murder of George Floyd, but he also said nothing about the fundamental and underlying reasons for the unrest: systemic racism and inequality, a historic absence of respect, and a denial of justice,” Allen wrote.
The government's increasingly militarized response to nationwide protests has sparked concern among employees of a Pentagon intelligence agency, who fear they might be compelled to help conduct surveillance on Americans participating in demonstrations, sources tell Yahoo News. The May 25 killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minneapolis police custody set off a series of nationwide protests, including in Washington, D.C. In response, the Trump administration has sent a wide range of law enforcement and military personnel to the nation's capital to help police the demonstrations. The use of military personnel has prompted questions about overreach, including now at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were two of the four police officers involved in George Floyd's deadly arrest on May 25. Attorneys for the two men told a court on Thursday that they were rookies who had been on the job for less than four days and had no choice but to follow the command of their ranking officer, Derek Chauvin. Previously released police records, however, show that the two men were made full officers in December.
A black man who called out “I can't breathe” before dying in police custody in Tacoma, Washington, was killed as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him, according to details of a medical examiner's report released Wednesday. The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that the death of the man, Manuel Ellis, 33, was a homicide. Investigators with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department were in the process of preparing a report about the March death, which occurred shortly after an arrest by officers from the Tacoma Police Department, said the sheriff's spokesman, Ed Troyer.
As protesters clash with riot squads in cities across the country, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has drawn national praise for his willingness to march with activists and call for officers to be held accountable when they kill without justification. Days after George Floyd's death last week under the knee of Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin, Acevedo was among the first big city police chiefs to speak out, telling The Washington Post that “actions have to have consequences.” When President Donald Trump called on governors to “dominate” protesters in the streets, Acevedo responded on national television with a message of his own: “Keep your mouth shut.”
LONDON—A corrupt former police officer who was caught working with Trump Tower lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has revealed in a Swiss court how Russia's complex foreign influence campaign targets justice systems in Western countries. The former consultant to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office was sacked and convicted after his entanglement with Veselnitskaya and the Russian prosecutor general's office was exposed. On the visit to the spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal, the official, who is identified only as Victor K., reportedly admitted that he spent a week fishing, enjoying the rugged countryside, and hunting for bear, including from a helicopter, with officials from the Russian prosecutor general's office.
The rocket flew its first test flight on June 4, 2010. It's been a decade of spaceflight innovation ever since. From Popular Mechanics
Kamala Harris and Corey Booker spoke out against an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul that is holding up an anti-lynching bill. Paul claimed the bill was too broad. The effort came as a memorial service was being held for George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of a police officer who has since been fired and charged with murder.
Read this: Officials blame 'out-of-state' agitators but those at the heart of protests are homegrown Riot, violence, looting: Words matter when talking about race and unrest, experts say Leggat, the security consultant, said intelligence reports from his colleagues indicate most of the hard-core protesters in Minneapolis were far-left or anarchists, and that far-right groups have not yet made a significant appearance. He said looting is typically done by locals – usually people with no criminal record who just get caught up in the moment. But direct conflicts with authorities come from a mix of both locals and outside groups who see these conflicts as a core part of their mission.
A number of prominent political reporters misrepresented comments President Trump made about George Floyd during his Friday press statement, falsely claiming that the president suggested Floyd would be happy with the May job numbers that had been released hours earlier. Trump spoke at length about the release of May's unexpectedly positive job numbers, which showed 2.5 million jobs added and a dip in the unemployment rate, calling it “probably . the greatest comeback in American history.
Attorney General William Barr on Thursday defended the deployment of black-clad federal law enforcement officers who wear neither badges nor any other visible identification in response to protests in Washington, D.C. Barr and Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal said at a Thursday press conference that the officers were from the Bureau of Prisons Special Operations Response Team (SORT). Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, along with House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, wrote to Barr about the “the use of federal security forces to oversee protests without specific agency identifiers or badge numbers.”
Demonstrations across the U.S. to condemn racism and police abuses remained large but mostly without the violence of previous nights on the eve of a Thursday memorial service for George Floyd that kicks off a series of events to mourn the man whose death empowered a national movement. The calmer protests followed a decision by prosecutors to charge three more police officers and file a new, tougher charge against the officer at the center of the case. The most serious new charge Wednesday was an accusation of second-degree murder against Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd's neck.
China could stand to lose almost all of its ballistic and cruise missiles if it were to sign a new strategic arms control treaty, according to a new regional security assessment. The analysis, titled “The End of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty: Implications for Asia,” is one of the chapters of the annual Asia-Pacific regional security assessment published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank. IISS' report was released June 5 and covered regional security topics such as Sino-U.S. relations, North Korea and Japanese policy.
Protesters in a rural Indiana city who took to the streets to condemn racism and police killings of black people encountered bystanders who were holding rifles during the demonstration. A video that circulated on social media shows 21 people standing along a bike trail near downtown Crown Point, Indiana, watching protesters march past them Monday during a peaceful protest against police brutality and racism. Eight of the bystanders held firearms, an act Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land said is protected under state law.
Fears continue to grow over the growth of COVID-19 in Latin America, with the number of confirmed cases in Brazil passing that of Italy to make it the second worst-affected country, after the United States. Brazil recorded 1,349 deaths in a single day Thursday — only the U.S. and the U.K. have declared more COVID-19 related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of minimizing the effects of the crisis.
Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam has announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee will be removed from the state capital. The monument has been vandalised during recent protests over the killing of African American George Floyd. At a news conference, a round of applause erupted when Governor Northam said the 12-ton statue would be removed.