Attorneys liken Tyre Nichols' arrest to Rodney King beating
Attorneys for the family of a Black motorist who died after a violent encounter with Memphis police say officers beat Tyre Nichols for three minutes in a “savage” encounter reminiscent of the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.
$4.9M payout to family of man shot 9 times by California cop
The family of a mentally ill man shot nine times by a police officer in a wealthy San Francisco Bay Area suburb has received a $4.9 million settlement from the town and county where the officer worked, nearly three years after the 2018 fatal shooting.
Jurors in ex-officer's high-profile trial face heavy burden
The huge task for jurors at the trial of Chauvin showed during jury selection as some would-be jurors said they were unnerved by the very thought of being on the panel. A high fence installed around the courthouse for the trial is a daily reminder for jurors of security concerns. Numerous people expressed unease about serving on the panel for Chauvin's trial during the more than two weeks of jury selection. All the Chauvin jurors were asked before being impaneled if they could set aside outside influences and decide the case only on evidence presented at trial. AdAlan Tuerkheimer, a Chicago-based jury consultant, said he believed the Chauvin jurors would become increasingly calm as the trial proceeds and would be able to block out the hubbub.
EXPLAINER: What is the impact of racially diverse juries?
FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2021 file photo, A mural of George Floyd is seen in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. DOES THE U.S. CONSTITUTION REQUIRE DIVERSE JURIES? In the 1940 decision Smith vs. Texas, the high court ruled unanimously that the Constitution prohibits racial discrimination in the selection of grand juries, finding it “at war with our basic concepts of a democratic society and a representative government.”WHY ARE DIVERSE JURIES MORE LIKELY TO DELIVER FAIRER VERDICTS? “With diverse juries, there are more vantage points,” he said. Other studies have found similarly positive effects on juries, even if just one or two non-white jurors are included with a mostly white jury.
Eager to act, Biden and Democrats leave Republicans behind
But lawmakers and advocates are racing to capitalize on House rules that allow any bill to bypass lengthy committee hearings if brought forward by April 1. Senate Republicans are now threatening similar delays. Ad“We’ll be fighting this in every way that we can,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said about the COVID-19 package. McConnell wants Senate Republicans to vote in lockstep against the virus aid, calling it a bloated liberal wish list, following the lead of House Republicans who gave it zero support. That leaves Democrats negotiating with themselves on the COVID-19 package, with Biden warning they won’t like every aspect as he courts centrists.
George Floyd kin joins protest anthem album project
Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, plays the drums with other artists during a recording session for an album of protest songs with the Rev. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – Before a late night rehearsal in December, Terrence Floyd couldn’t remember the last time he squatted on a drum throne, sticks in hand and ready to perform. Surely, he said, it had not happened since his brother, George Floyd, died at the hands of police in Minneapolis last May, sparking a global reckoning over systemic racism and police brutality. Kevin McCall, a civil rights activist who said he believes an album of street-inspired protest anthems does not yet exist. AdSome historians cite Billie Holiday’s musical rendition of the Abel Meeropol poem, “Strange Fruit,” in 1939 as one of the sparks of the civil rights movement.
Biden introduces Merrick Garland as attorney general pick
President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Garland as Attorney General. If confirmed by the Senate, which is likely, Garland would take over as the U.S. attorney general at a critical moment for the country and the agency. His confirmation prospects as attorney general were all but ensured when Democrats scored control of the Senate majority by winning both Georgia Senate seats. Biden also introduced three others for senior Justice Department leadership posts on Thursday, including Obama administration homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and former Justice Department civil rights chief Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, the No. Garland was selected over other finalists including former Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Black lawmakers reflect on civil rights then, and now
Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a Dream Speech, yet torn apart by the Black Lives Matter protests against the police shooting of another Black man, this time in Wisconsin. Friday's commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington comes as a new civil rights era is unfolding in real time in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after Sunday's shooting of Jacob Blake. REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIF.Maxine Waters said she started focusing on police violence in 1979 after Los Angeles police shot a Black homemaker, Eula Love, during a confrontation over an unpaid gas bill. Now the highest-ranking Black American in Congress, Clyburn was speaking Friday at a satellite rally in Columbia, South Carolina. So theres a lot of work for Black Lives Matter to do," Clyburn told AP, and I hope to live long enough to help them get it done.
Floyd's death spurs push to train cops to stop police abuse
Police departments nationwide are showing new interest in training officers how they should stop, or try to stop, abuse in their own ranks. Minneapolis adopted a policy in 2016 requiring officers to intervene when colleagues are using inappropriate force. In New Orleans, all officers have to take the peer intervention training, called Ethical Policing Is Courageous, or EPIC. Dallas, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky, are among the cities that have implemented duty to intervene policies in recent months. New York City has had an intervention policy since 2016.
55 years after riots, Watts neighborhood still bears scars
Lorinda Lacy, 45, stands outside her party store painted with a mural depicting Martin Luther King Jr. in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. There was violence and looting in some places, including Los Angeles, but not in LAs Watts neighborhood, forever linked to an uprising that broke out in the segregated community 55 years ago and became known as the Watts riots. Black residents, people born here and those who work to make life better in Watts spoke to The Associated Press about the challenges they faced and those that remain. He said the legacy of the Watts riots is something he keeps in mind as he tries to make life better for residents. Were not the same California we were 55 years ago or the city of Los Angeles 55 years ago.
'Building bridges': How Bass became a leading VP contender
California Congresswoman Bass has emerged a leading contender to be Democrats' vice presidential candidate. Allies say her reputation as a bridge-builder would make her a strong partner to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Enter Karen Bass, who became Assembly speaker that May, the first Black woman to hold the role. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee appeared with Bass for the first time at a fundraiser on Thursday. With Karen Bass' comments about Fidel Castro, it will be served up on a silver platter."
Barr able to put his stamp on executive power as Trump's AG
They ask Attorney General William Barr about elder fraud. Democrats have suggested he should be impeached and are holding hearings into what they say is the politicization of the Justice Department under his watch. Then, when Bush was elected, Barr joined the Justice Department first as assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel, then as deputy attorney general, and finally as attorney general. The actions have resulted in open letters signed by thousands of Justice Department alumni who have demanded Barrs resignation. He points to the Justice Department inspector generals report that found flaws in how the FBIs Russia investigation was conducted.
LAPD funding slashed by $150M, reducing number of officers
FILE - In this June 2, 2020, file photo, a demonstrator is taken into custody after the city's curfew went into effect in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating 56 allegations of misconduct during protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death. Of the 56 investigations, 28 involve alleged uses of force, the LAPD said Wednesday, June 10, 2020 in a statement. The move comes a day after the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to immediately cut its school police budget by a third. He told officers Wednesday that he was resigning immediately, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Famed architect Paul Williams' archive goes to Getty, USC
Paul Williams was a trailblazing architect whose long career helped shape Los Angeles and Southern California. The Los Angeles County Courthouse, Los Angeles International Airport and First African Methodist Church were among the projects he led or worked on. He was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects, its first African American Fellow and the first African American recipient of the institute's Gold Medal, its highest honor. Born in Los Angeles in 1894, Williams was orphaned following the death of his father at age 2 and his mother at age 4. The archives will be a central feature of the USC Center for Architecture + City Design and the African American Art History Initiative at Getty.
Police overhaul dims, but House Democrats push ahead on vote
The House is set to vote Thursday evening on the Justice in Policing Act, perhaps the most ambitious proposed changes to police procedures and accountability in decades. Trump acknowledged after Senate Democrats blocked the GOP policing bill Wednesday that it's possible no bill becomes law. The two bills, the House and Senate versions, would ultimately need to be the same to become law. Republicans and Democrats brought their bills forward as a starting point in the broader debate over how best to change policing practices. Instead, Senate Democrats are withholding their votes as leverage, believing once the House Democrats pass their bill, Senate Republicans facing the groundswell of public sentiment will have no choice but to negotiate.
Shooting, protests test Atlanta's image of Black prosperity
Touting itself for decades as the city too busy to hate, Atlanta has had an unbroken succession of Black mayors since 1973. After hiring its first Black officers in 1948, the Atlanta Police Department is now 60% Black, higher even than the city's Black population of 52%. King's legacy was often evoked in promoting cooperation between the city's Black leaders and white business establishment, Hobson said. Thats what made me mad.She's among more than a dozen owners seeking help from Atlanta Black Owned Business Relief, a group started after the protests. Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, an embodiment of Black prosperity in Atlanta, is helping pay the bill.
For immigrants, marching with Black Lives Matter has risks
Many immigrants feel solidarity with the Black Lives Movement and want to participate in ongoing national marches. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)PHOENIX Among the thousands who march each day in support of the Black Lives Matter movement are immigrants and their advocates. According to a report by the Toms Rivera Center completed shortly after the unrest, immigration authorities took advantage of the riots to find unauthorized immigrants. There were reports of not just immigration authorities pulling people aside, but of Los Angeles police sending people they'd detained straight over to them. He said the issue of police brutality against black people resonates with immigrants because theyre often subjected to or fear aggressive tactics by immigration authorities.
Large crowds march across California for George Floyd
The protest is sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after he was restrained by Minneapolis police. (Jason Pierce/The Sacramento Bee via AP)SAN FRANCISCO Thousands of demonstrators filled the streets in San Francisco, Sacramento, Simi Valley, San Diego, Los Angeles and elsewhere across California on Saturday, continuing more than a week of protest marches expressing outrage over the death of George Floyd. The large turnout of white protesters "is sending a powerful message. It was there that four white Los Angeles police officers were found not guilty of beating motorist Rodney King, sparking riots in 1992. Police can't operate without community trust that is broken when officers act improperly as they did most recently with Floyd, he said.
These movies, shows and documentaries about race should be required viewing
Netflix‘13th’Directed by Ava DuVernay (she’ll come up again in this list), the documentary shows you how America changed after the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, but also kickstarted the prison boom in America. ‘Moonlight’This Oscar-winning picture tells the story of a young black gay man living in Miami. chronicles the Central Park Five, a group of young black teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. The documentary tells the story of the days of protests, unrest and riots that followed. It’s a great film that shows how two different groups of people can react to fatal police shootings.
Meghan speaks out on racial divisions in US
LONDON Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has shared her sadness about racial divisions in the United States, telling students at her former high school that she felt moved to speak out because the life of George Floyd mattered. I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing, because George Floyds life mattered, she said in the virtual address Wednesday. "And I remember seeing men in the back of a van holding guns and rifles, and I remember pulling up to the house and seeing the tree that had always been there, completely charred. Meghan said she wished the graduates were starting their young lives in a better world. We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt.
Woods speaks out for 1st time since George Floyd's death
Tiger Woods is speaking out for the first time since George Floyds death, saying his heart goes out to Floyd, his family and everyone who is hurting right now. The 44-year-old golfer broke his silence with a statement on his Twitter account Monday night. I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement, Woods said. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the country, some of which became violent. We can make our points without burning the very neighborhoods we live in, Woods said.
Pelosi urges Trump to be 'healer in chief' as protests rage
Pelosi invoked Biblical scripture to reject Trump's clampdown on peaceful protesters outside the White House and she drew on past presidents including George H.W. Gone are the days when Black Lives Matter protests were met simply with Blue Lives Matter retorts in support of law enforcement. Instead, Congress seems to have heard the protesters outside its doors. One House Democrat probed the Secret Service for any communication about Trump's ordering the clampdown on protesters outside the White House. With the Capitol still partly closed due to the coronavirus, a pandemic that is disproportionately striking black Americans, Congress is now confronting another deepening crisis.
Minneapolis police face civil rights probe over Floyd death
Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the filing of the formal complaint at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. The FBI is also investigating whether police willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights enforces the states human rights act, particularly as it applies to discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations and public services. The Minneapolis Police Department has faced decades of allegations of brutality and other discrimination against African Americans and other minorities, even within the department itself. Arradondo himself was among five black officers who sued the police department in 2007 over alleged discrimination in promotions, pay, and discipline.
Spike Lee on what's different about these protests
FILE - In this June 29, 2009 file photo, Spike Lee attends a special 20th anniversary screening of his film "Do the Right Thing" in New York. Do the Right Thing, about rising racial tensions on a hot summer day in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, took direct inspiration from reality. Many years later, Eric Garner, automatically I thought of Ray Raheem," said Lee. I mean, he was quoting the words of Eric Garner: I cant breathe. He was channeling Eric Garner. I haven't seen this diverse protests since when I was a kid, Lee said, citing the movements of the '60s.
LA has seen racial uprisings, many not shocked by new round
The outcome outraged a community that watched video of King being beaten with police batons, shot with stun guns and stomped on. Police have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and thousands of arrests, many of them in LA. Kerman Maddox was a young radio reporter who lived just a block from one of the flashpoints in the 1992 riots. The experience inspired her to dedicate her career to public service after earning a master's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. That's still the problem, she said Sunday, not only in Los Angeles but in other U.S. cities.
Celebs take to streets for historic demonstrations
Across the U.S., many celebrities have been doing far more than tweeting supportive words or issuing carefully prepared statements. They took to the streets alongside thousands of people to condemn the killings of black people at the hands of police and to demand reform. The video shows Sampson step in front of his assistant and an officer hit him at least twice with a baton. Then an officer aims straight at me, no ricochet, and shoots (rubber bullets) Sampson wrote. Everyone is angry but there is a way to direct that anger, actor/director Taika Waititi wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Peaceful protesters get lost in action-packed coverage
Muslim protesters pray before joining a demonstration in the death of George Lloyd , Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Miami. What's easy to get lost are peaceful protesters concerned about police treatment of minorities the raw wound reopened by George Floyd's death. When darkness falls and prime-time television begins, earnest activism is replaced by tense scenes of conflict unique in their breadth. Networks have done strong work covering demonstrations and speaking to peaceful protesters during the day, but what comes later is hard to compete with, said Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. That gets lost in a newscast that goes from city to city, and scenes of looting or violence, Rather said.
Unrest overshadows peaceful US protests for another night
As the protests grew, President Donald Trump retweeted conservative commentator Buck Sexton who called for overwhelming force against violent demonstrators. At least 4,400 people have been arrested over days of protests, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press. Tim Walz brought in thousands of National Guard soldiers on Saturday to help quell violence that had damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in Minneapolis over days of protests. The scale of the coast-to-coast protests rivaled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras. About 5,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C.
Retreat or deploy? Police try to balance protest response
Tensions rose throughout the week and reached a crescendo Friday night as protests erupted in cities across America. In Minneapolis, leaders decided to evacuate a police precinct Thursday and surrender it to protesters who set it on fire. Los Angeles police arrested more than 500 protesters on Friday night. Youve got to defend that, said former Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Michael Downing. In Los Angeles, the center of the uprising was an intersection, Florence and Normandie avenues, and the violence spiraled into five days of riots and fires.