Today, Fisk University will host a Grammy celebration for the Fisk Jubilee Singers after the group won its first-ever Grammy Award this year.
Neighbor who tossed an elderly Jewish woman off a balcony while yelling 'Allahu Akbar' avoids trial because he smoked weed
A court ruled that Kobili Traoré, a drug dealer who smoked cannabis every day, will not go to trial for murdering Orthodox Jew Sarah Halimi in 2017.
Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey has a double-digit lead over Gov. Greg Abbott in latest Texas gubernatorial election poll
The "Dallas Buyers Club" actor has not yet declared his candidacy for Texas governor but has said that running is a "true consideration."
- Business Insider
Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, said he hasn't received medical treatment in jail after being poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Edinburgh was the "glue" that held his wider family together, his German great niece said on Saturday. Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg said the Duke's longevity meant he was the one common link to the past for foreign-based branches of the family, for whom he was an "idol". Her brother, Prince Philipp, is one of three German relatives of the Duke given the honour of being among the 30 mourners at St George’s Chapel. The Duke's four sisters all married into the German aristocracy but were not invited to his wedding in 1947 because of sensitivities around the Second World War. However Prince Philip, who outlived all his sisters by decades, remained close to their descendants and often visited them in Germany. Speaking from Munich, Princess Xenia said: "He's been like a glue for the family, because sadly a lot of our grandmothers passed away much too early. "But he was always there, he was the link, so he brought all of us cousins, even though we were in Germany – a lot of us but not all of us – he brought us all together on a lot of family occasions, the last one having been his 90th birthday celebrations 10 years ago at Windsor. We were all there, there was a huge bunch of us, and it was lovely."
- Business Insider
COVID-19 cases in Florida since the spring break have surged and deaths from new variants are mounting
As of Thursday, there were 5,177 cases involving variants of concern in Florida - six times higher than mid-March, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
- Business Insider
SpaceX's NASA contract has sparked reaction from industry figures seeking details. Blue Origin says it is 'looking to learn more about the selection.'
NASA entered exclusive negotiations with SpaceX for a $2.9 billion contract, excluding Blue Origin and Dynetics after their first bids were too high.
- Business Insider
'No personal liberties were taken away': Joe Scarborough blasts Jim Jordan for spreading 'lies' about Fauci
"They have lied about Fauci," said Scarborough, the MSNBC host and former GOP congressman. "They have spread conspiracy theories about Fauci."
- The Independent
Biden news - live: John Kerry apologises for Trump as Capitol rioters attempt a ‘journalist’ defence
Follow the latest in US politics as John Kerry apologises for the ‘last four years’ under Trump
As an adult, Chrissy loves Pepper's recipes, but as a child, she was admittedly embarrassed by the ingredients and the smells coming from her kitchen.
- The Conversation
Derek Chauvin trial: 3 questions America needs to ask about seeking racial justice in a court of law
A demonstration outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on March 29, 2021, the day Derek Chauvin's trial began on charges he murdered George Floyd. Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesThere is a difference between enforcing the law and being the law. The world is now witnessing another in a long history of struggles for racial justice in which this distinction may be ignored. Derek Chauvin, a 45-year-old white former Minneapolis police officer, is on trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man. There are three questions I find important to consider as the trial unfolds. These questions address the legal, moral and political legitimacy of any verdict in the trial. I offer them from my perspective as an Afro-Jewish philosopher and political thinker who studies oppression, justice and freedom. They also speak to the divergence between how a trial is conducted, what rules govern it – and the larger issue of racial justice raised by George Floyd’s death after Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. They are questions that need to be asked: 1. Can Chauvin be judged as guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? The presumption of innocence in criminal trials is a feature of the U.S. criminal justice system. And a prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of the defendant’s peers. The history of the United States reveals, however, that these two conditions apply primarily to white citizens. Black defendants tend to be treated as guilty until proved innocent. Racism often leads to presumptions of reasonableness and good intentions when defendants and witnesses are white, and irrationality and ill intent when defendants, witnesses and even victims are black. An activist watches the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on March 30, 2021. Kerem Yucel / AFP/via Getty Images Additionally, race affects jury selection. The history of all-white juries for black defendants and rarely having black jurors for white ones is evidence of a presumption of white people’s validity of judgment versus that of Black Americans. Doubt can be afforded to a white defendant in circumstances where it would be denied a black one. Thus, Chauvin, as white, could be granted that exculpating doubt despite the evidence shared before millions of viewers in a live-streamed trial. 2. What is the difference between force and violence? The customary questioning of police officers who harm people focuses on their use of what’s called “excessive force.” This presumes the legal legitimacy of using force in the first place in the specific situation. Violence, however, is the use of illegitimate force. As a result of racism, Black people are often portrayed as preemptively guilty and dangerous. It follows that the perceived threat of danger makes “force” the appropriate description when a police officer claims to be preventing violence. This understanding makes it difficult to find police officers guilty of violence. To call the act “violence” is to acknowledge that it is improper and thus falls, in the case of physical acts of violence, under the purview of criminal law. Once their use of force is presumed legitimate, the question of degree makes it nearly impossible for jurors to find officers guilty. Floyd, who was suspected of purchasing items from a store with a counterfeit bill, was handcuffed and complained of not being able to breathe when Chauvin pulled him from the police vehicle and he fell face down on the ground. Footage from the incident revealed that Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd was motionless several minutes in, and he had no pulse when Alexander Kueng, one of the officers, checked. Chauvin didn’t remove his knee until paramedics arrived and asked him to get off of Floyd so they could examine the motionless patient. If force under the circumstances is unwarranted, then its use would constitute violence in both legal and moral senses. Where force is legitimate (for example, to prevent violence) but things go wrong, the presumption is that a mistake, instead of intentional wrongdoing, occurred. An important, related distinction is between justification and excuse. Violence, if the action is illegitimate, is not justified. Force, however, when justified, can become excessive. The question at that point is whether a reasonable person could understand the excess. That understanding makes the action morally excusable. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified, Court TV via AP, Pool 3. Is there ever excusable police violence? Police are allowed to use force to prevent violence. But at what point does the force become violence? When its use is illegitimate. In U.S. law, the force is illegitimate when done “in the course of committing an offense.” Sgt. David Pleoger, Chauvin’s former supervisor, stated in the trial: “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint.” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified, “To continue to apply that level of force to a person proned-out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy.” He declared, “I vehemently disagree that that was an appropriate use of force.” That an act was deemed by prosecutors to be violent, defined as an illegitimate use of force resulting in death, is a necessary conclusion for charges of murder and manslaughter. Both require ill intent or, in legal terms, a mens rea (“evil mind”). The absence of a reasonable excuse affects the legal interpretation of the act. That the act was not preventing violence but was, instead, one of committing it, made the action inexcusable. The Chauvin case, like so many others, leads to the question: What is the difference between enforcing the law and imagining being the law? Enforcing the law means one is acting within the law. That makes the action legitimate. Being the law forces others, even law-abiding people, below the enforcer, subject to their actions. If no one is equal to or above the enforcer, then the enforcer is raised above the law. Such people would be accountable only to themselves. Police officers and any state officials who believe they are the law, versus implementers or enforcers of the law, place themselves above the law. Legal justice requires pulling such officials back under the jurisdiction of law. The purpose of a trial is, in principle, to subject the accused to the law instead of placing him, her, or them above it. Where the accused is placed above the law, there is an unjust system of justice. This article has been updated to correct the charges Chauvin is facing. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Lewis R. Gordon, University of Connecticut. Read more:Derek Chauvin trial begins in George Floyd murder case: 5 essential reads on police violence against Black menPolice officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of complaints by citizensWhite supremacy is the root of all race-related violence in the US Lewis R. Gordon does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- Associated Press
Less than three months after former President Donald Trump left the White House, the race to succeed him atop the Republican Party is already beginning. Trump's former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has launched an aggressive schedule, visiting states that will play a pivotal role in the 2024 primaries, and he has signed a contract with Fox News Channel. Mike Pence, Trump's former vice president, has started a political advocacy group, finalized a book deal and later this month will give his first speech since leaving office in South Carolina.
- The New York Times
Phil Colbert was on his way to meet his father for lunch before his shift at an Arizona auto dealership in 2019 when he saw the flashing lights of a sheriff’s patrol car in his mirror. He made sure his hands were on the steering wheel, planted at 10 and 2 as his parents had taught him, and asked why he had been stopped. “You can’t have anything hanging from your rearview mirror,” the La Paz County deputy, wearing a Blue Lives Matter wristband, told him. The officer was referring to the tree-shaped air freshener dangling near the windshield but quickly moved on to other questions: Do you have any marijuana? Do you smoke marijuana? When was the last time you did smoke marijuana? Do you have any cocaine? To Colbert, who is Black, the air freshener seemed nothing more than a pretext for the driving equivalent of a stop-and-frisk. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times “At that point, I was like, ‘This dude is coming up with anything. He’s just coming up with anything to talk to me or mess with me,’” said Colbert, 23, who recorded the traffic stop on his cellphone and ultimately was let off with a warning. The air fresheners that dangle from rearview mirrors have been a ubiquitous accessory in cars for decades. But they may be treated as illegal in a majority of states, which have laws prohibiting objects near the windshield that can obstruct motorists’ views. They are part of a suite of low-level offenses, such as tinted windows or broken taillights, that civil rights advocates complain have become common pretexts for traffic stops that too often selectively target people of color. The encounter this week in Minnesota that led to a police officer fatally shooting Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, began when officers initiated a traffic stop and raised the issue of a hanging air freshener, according to Wright’s mother, who talked to her son on the telephone moments before he was shot. Pete Orput, the Washington County attorney, said officers had noticed an expired registration tab on Wright’s license plate and decided to pull his car over. One of the officers later noted the air freshener hanging from the mirror, which was a violation of the law, Orput said. Racial bias in traffic stops has been a focus of researchers and civil rights advocates for years. At Stanford University’s Open Policing Project, researchers analyzing more than 100 million traffic stops around the country found persistent racial disparities, with Black and Hispanic drivers more likely to be stopped and more likely to be searched. Collectively, officers found contraband at a lower rate among those searches than in searches of white drivers. Traffic stops also have the potential to escalate, like the case of Wright, who was shot by a police officer after he got back into his car as the police tried to arrest him for an unrelated warrant. The officer, Kimberly Potter, who had shouted that she was preparing to use her Taser, resigned and was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Paige Fernandez, a policing policy advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union, said low-level infractions such as expired registrations and air fresheners on mirrors should not be handled by armed police officers. “The danger that police traffic stops pose greatly outweighs any benefit of having them engage in that,” Fernandez said. Mayor Mike Elliott of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where Wright was killed, said police officers should not be pulling people over because of an expired registration during the coronavirus pandemic. The prohibitions against objects hanging from rearview mirrors can extend to fuzzy dice, graduation tassels and rosaries. Last year, amid the pandemic, authorities in Maine warned against hanging masks. A woman who answered the phone for the manufacturer of one of the most common hanging air fresheners, Little Trees, said the company would have no comment on the legal debate. The company’s website shows the scented paper trees hanging from a rearview mirror. States have long grappled with how to best handle the obstruction issue. After court data showed more than 1,400 citations in one year for people driving on Maryland highways with windshields obstructed by objects or materials, the state changed its law in 2017. The violation is no longer a primary offense, which would justify a traffic stop, but a secondary offense, which can only be cited after a motorist has been pulled over for something more serious, such as speeding. Virginia has followed suit as part of a broader package of reforms limiting when the police can conduct traffic stops. Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said the group had supported some of the changes, including a prohibition on stopping people for recently expired registrations. When lawmakers changed the law to require that a driver’s view must be “substantially” obstructed by objects to be considered a violation, police agencies did not object. Making windshield obstructions a secondary offense could allow some motorists to continue driving even with substantial obstruction that limits their view. Schrad said that had raised concern that roads could become less safe. Schrad said that when officers stop people for minor violations, they can also discover other issues, including outstanding felony warrants or evidence of other crimes. “The more you limit the ability of a law enforcement officer to intervene in something that would be a violation of the law, you limit their ability to discover other criminal activity,” she said. In places where air fresheners have been treated as a primary offense, the traffic stops have faced legal challenges with various outcomes. On an April evening in 2008, Benjamin Garcia-Garcia was driving a minivan along Interstate 55 near Springfield, Illinois, when a state trooper who had been parked in the median moved onto the freeway and pulled him over. According to court records, the trooper claimed he had seen the pink air freshener hanging from Garcia-Garcia’s mirror and believed it violated the state statute prohibiting objects that could obstruct the driver’s view. The trooper later conceded that he did not stop every car with an air freshener and had not observed any other traffic violations. The trooper issued a written warning, but in the process he also learned that Garcia-Garcia and his passengers were in the country illegally. That triggered a response from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that resulted in Garcia-Garcia facing a federal charge of crossing the border illegally. He was imprisoned and deported. Garcia-Garcia challenged the justification for the stop as part of his criminal case, arguing that the trooper could not have seen the air freshener on a vehicle going at highway speeds and that he could not have concluded it was a material obstruction. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the argument. “The object the trooper observed was small, but given its size and position relative to the driver, a reasonable officer could conclude that it violated the Illinois statute prohibiting material obstructions,” the judges wrote. In a more recent case, on the South Side of Chicago, a police officer reported seeing an air freshener in a vehicle and began following the car, then stopped it for violating a municipal code provision prohibiting windshield obstructions. During the traffic stop, officers found guns in the vehicle and arrested the two men inside, who were Black. The men challenged the legality of the traffic stop, but the same appeals court once again held that the stop was constitutional. But in Connecticut in 2010, after a traffic stop in which a driver had a chain and cross dangling from his rearview mirror, the state Supreme Court sided with the driver, determining that the object was relatively small and that the trooper who initiated the stop did not articulate any concern that the object was blocking the driver’s view. The case of Colbert, the motorist stopped in Arizona in an unincorporated area between Parker and Lake Havasu, became public after he posted video of the traffic stop online. He later got a lawyer, Benjamin Taylor, who said he believed that the deputy engaged in racial profiling. “Even if you are polite, calm, even college-educated, the bottom line is that, at the end of the day, you are still Black,” Taylor said. “That’s all the cop sees and stereotypes.” The Sheriff’s Department later determined that the deputy had no legitimate basis for his repeated questioning of Colbert. The deputy, Eli Max, was fired in part for his handling of the stop. Colbert took steps to pursue a lawsuit but settled with the county before it got that far, Taylor said. Even for those who are ultimately let go with a warning, being pulled over for a rearview mirror infraction can have a lasting effect. In Galesburg, Illinois, Brittany Mixon was a senior in high school when she was pulled over by a police officer in 2003, ostensibly because of the air freshener hanging from her mirror. But when the officer approached the car, she said, his first question was about whether the Toyota Corolla she was driving was hers. “He kept asking me questions like he wanted to trip me up,” said Mixon, who is Black. Even now, at 35, she makes sure not to have anything hanging from her mirror — or from the mirror of a car she is riding in — because she does not want to risk getting pulled over. “If I get in a car with somebody and they have something hanging from their mirror, I’m like, ‘Can you take that down?’” Mixon said. “Being a Black passenger might trigger something in a racist cop, so let’s just remove that altogether from the situation.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Chicago police leader John Catanzara said the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month was "100 percent justified."
Photos of Prince Harry and Prince William walking apart at Prince Philip’s funeral don’t show the whole picture of their relationship
Prince Harry and Prince William walked separately at Prince Philip's funeral, with Peter Phillips separating them, as Buckingham Palace had planned.
Zack Snyder confirms Wayne T. Carr would have played Green Lantern in his 4-hour 'Justice League' movie
During a conversation at Justice Con 2021, Snyder confirmed that Wayne T. Carr would have played John Stewart in his "Snyder Cut."
- Business Insider
Biden promised a foreign policy centered on human rights, but is continuing Trump-era policies and practices
Biden is facing growing criticism from progressives and advocacy groups for upholding Trump era policies on everything from refugees to arms sales.
- LA Times
Sharon Osbourne sat down with Bill Maher on Friday for her first interview since getting fired from 'The Talk.'
From Trae Young to Kyrie Irving to Stephen Curry, we decided to rank the 15 best point guards in the NBA today.
- Business Insider
The operators of the Ever Given may be forced to unload its 18,000 cargo containers onto other ships, report says
Ever Given's operators are facing mounting pressure to deliver their goods to customers while the ship is trapped in legal limbo in the Suez Canal.
- Business Insider
The 19 electric vehicles you can buy new right now, from Mini's $30,000 hatchback to Porsche's $185,000 super sedan
With 19 options on the market, there's never been a better time to buy an EV - whether you're in the market for a six-figure sport sedan or a compact hatchback.