Former President Barack Obama on Monday addressed the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, praising the “overwhelming majority” of peaceful demonstrators, condemning the violence brought on by a “small minority” and calling on a “new generation of activists” to “bring about real change.” “The waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States,” Obama wrote in an essay published on Medium.com. The former president then lauded police in Camden, N.J., and Flint, Mich., for publicly supporting peaceful protests before he criticized demonstrators who have been acting violently.
Joe Biden said Monday that police under attack in the line of duty should shoot their assailants “in the leg instead of the heart” as a way to avert the killing of civilians. Biden's remarks were made as cities across the nation continue to be engulfed in violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American, in police custody in Minneapolis. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The survey, conducted on May 29 and 30, found that 52 percent of Americans answered yes when asked whether they “think that President Trump is a racist.” Only 37 percent said no. Just 33 percent said the president should continue “posting messages on Twitter.”
A soldier in Minneapolis opened fire on a speeding vehicle that posed a threat Sunday night -- the second known instance of a National Guard member discharging a weapon during the nationwide mass protests, the Minnesota National Guard commander said Monday. "Our soldier fired three rounds from his rifle in response to a direct threat" from a vehicle that drove at a position held by local law enforcement supported by the Guard, said Army Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. Read Next: Army Vet Lawmaker: Invoke Insurrection Act, Deploy Active-Duty Troops to Riots The driver ignored warnings to stop or turn away before the soldier opened fire, Jensen added.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York progressive, slammed a New York City Police Department union for tweeting confidential information about Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter's arrest on Saturday during a protest against racism. The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted a screenshot of Chiara de Blasio's arrest record and attacked the mayor over his daughter's participation in the protests. Ocasio-Cortez urged the NYPD to de-escalate with protesters rather than respond with violent force, and she told the union to "apologize and own this egregious behavior."
Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University denounced school President Jerry Falwell Jr. on Monday, suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia's mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state's governor last year. In a letter to Falwell, shared with The Associated Press, 35 faith leaders and former student-athletes told Falwell that his past comments “have repeatedly violated and misrepresented" Christian principles. “You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviors of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths,” they wrote, advising Falwell that “your heart is in politics more than Christian academia or ministry.”
The federal judge overseeing the fraught prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn Monday defended his decision to review the Justice Department's effort to abandon the case, calling such a move "unprecedented." "It is unusual for a criminal defendant to claim innocence and move to withdraw his guilty plea after repeatedly swearing under oath that he committed the crime," attorneys for U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said in documents filed in a D.C. appellate court. "It is unprecedented for an acting U.S. Attorney to contradict the solemn representations that career prosecutors made time and again, and undermine the district court's legal and factual findings, in moving on his own to dismiss the charge years after two different federal judges accepted the defendant's plea."
Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat facing a tough primary challenge and questions about his absence from his district, was caught on a hot mic at a district event responding to unrest saying twice that he only wanted press coverage because of an electoral threat. “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn't care,” Engel said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, at a Tuesday press conference responding to unrest and vandalism in his district related to the recent death of George Floyd. Diaz worried about having too many elected officials speak, but Engel pleaded with him for coverage.
Dave Grossman's "Bulletproof Mind" is teaching law enforcement agencies across the United States militarized tactics in which officers are told to see themselves as "at war" on the streets. Agencies have started turning away from the courses in recent years, after it was discovered the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile had taken one of Grossman's courses. If you're prepared to kill, Dave Grossman, says, it's "just not that big of a deal."
The capital was awash with anger and pain as tear gas blew along the streets and rubber bullets flew Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning. Protesters clashed with law enforcement for the third straight evening outside the White House, and numerous businesses were vandalized by rioters defying a citywide curfew. Protesters gathered throughout Sunday in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House and has been a focal point of the demonstrations that began here Friday evening.
Joe Biden on Monday suggested that police forces could train officers to shoot attackers in the legs in order to reduce potential fatalities. There is “the idea that instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there's an unarmed person, coming at him with a knife or something, to shoot him in the leg instead of in the heart,” Biden said. Biden made his remarks while meeting with African American community leaders at the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. The former vice president was discussing the widespread protests touched off by the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, Minn.
Chechnya's gay-purging strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has made an unexpected foray into US politics by suggesting Donald Trump might have a thing or two to learn from him about human rights. In a social media post published early on Tuesday morning, the controversial leader demanded American authorities “put an end” to “mayhem” and “illegal actions against citizens.” “Police are lynching people right on the streets of American cities,” he wrote.
Hours into the mandatory curfew in Washington, D.C., several police officers were recorded engaging in peaceful dialogue with protesters. While remaining in opposition to the extended protests over George Floyd's death, one officer appeared to commiserate with protesters' desire to seek change.
A truck driver accused of speeding into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis has been released from jail, acquitted of assault charges. Bogdan Vechirko drove an 18-wheeler among a large group of peaceful protesters on the highway in Minneapolis on Sunday. Video shows the truck driving past protesters gathered on the highway shoulder and then coming to a stop just short of hitting some people who stood in front of its path.
Israel's defense minister urged the military on Monday to hasten preparations for the country's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, in apparent anticipation of what could be fierce Palestinian protests against the move. The statement by Benny Gantz came as Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed annexation on Monday in a call with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser who stands behind a White House Mideast plan that largely favors Israel. In a statement sent by his office, Gantz appeared to command the military to prepare for the fallout from annexation, asking the military chief of staff to “speed up the (military's) preparedness ahead of political steps on the agenda in the Palestinian sphere.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday faced calls to fire Police Chief Michel Moore after Moore said the death of George Floyd was on the "hands" of those inciting criminal acts at protests as much as the officers involved in Minneapolis. While providing an update on Monday, alongside Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas, Moore reported the LAPD had made 700 arrests on Sunday night — 70 of those arrests, he said, were people "who were either burglarizing or looting, victimizing, businesses further." "We didn't have protests last night.
Their lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who also represented Asia Bibi, another Christian woman who had a death sentence for blasphemy successfully overturned, told the BBC the evidence used to convict the couple was deeply flawed. But, he warned, that judges can be "fearful" of acquitting suspects, in case they are targeted themselves by extremists. Court proceedings have also slowed in recent weeks as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mexico's military is cooperating with a fresh probe into the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. The apparent massacre of the youths, whose remains are still being searched for, is widely believed to have been committed by corrupt police working with a violent drug gang, and has drawn international outrage. Lopez Obrador, who came into power in 2018, has vowed to uncover what really happened and examine the prior handling of the case, which led to one of the worst crises of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto's administration.
The Philippines has told the United States it is suspending its bid to break off a key military pact, the two allies said Tuesday in a sharp turnaround of President Rodrigo Duterte's foreign policy. Duterte in February gave notice to Washington he was axing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after accusing the US of interference in his internationally condemned narcotics crackdown. That began a 180-day countdown to ending the deal central to hundreds of joint military exercises with the US per year and a major component of their nearly 70-year-old alliance.
China's Ministry of National Defense is reporting that its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the CNS Shandong, is now carrying out sea trials in preparations for deployment and possible war, marking a substantial step forward in China's longstanding Naval modernization efforts. While of course there are many unknowns with China's first home-built carrier, it does appear to massively increase the country's power-projection possibilities, bringing new Pacific-area and international threat possibilities to the U.S. Navy. The sea trials are being conducted according to an annual plan, spokesperson Ren Guoqiang told reporters, according to the Chinese publication People's Online Daily.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst A technology advocacy group filed the first lawsuit challenging President Trump's recent executive order targeting social-media companies. The lawsuit on Tuesday, filed by the Center for Democracy in Technology, argues that the order violates the First Amendment. Trump issued the executive order, which seeks to change a law protecting social-media companies, after Twitter flagged his tweets with a fact-check label.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has told reporters that he is proud of his daughter, Chiara de Blasio, for getting arrested at a George Floyd protest over the weekend. Ms de Blasio was arrested on Saturday, at a protest at East 12th Street in Manhattan, for “unlawful assembly,” according to NBC News. The mayor's daughter was one of 345 people arrested at protests in New York City on Saturday, and was briefly detained, then released from custody.
REUTERS/John Sibley In this photo, protesters are also seen marching with signs in London's Parliament Square. REUTERS/John Sibley In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality. REUTERS/Christian Mang "People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where 'I have a dream' is a real and universal political program," Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.
In a poll released in May, a representative survey of U.S. adults by the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found two-thirds of Americans don't think that "prohibiting in-person religious services" during the pandemic is a violation of freedom of religion, and that includes a majority of evangelical Christians and Republicans, according to our analysis. When asked about "placing restrictions" on in-person religious services, rather than prohibiting them, 82% of American adults overall think that would not violate religious liberty.
PHOENIX Like many police chiefs across the country, Phoenix Chief Jeri Williams has denounced the death of George Floyd, the black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, while at the same time she struggles to support her officers and maintain peace in the midst of the resulting protests. "The level of voice that we're seeing now is unlike anything that the world has ever seen, especially in the United States of America," Williams said.