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HeadlinesJune 03, 2020

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Minnesota Opens Human Rights Probe of Minneapolis Police Department

Jun 03, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in cities across the United States Tuesday, defying citywide curfews, braving police and military repression, and shrugging off fears over the spread of coronavirus, in order to protest the police killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz said Tuesday the state’s Department of Human Rights has opened a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

Gov. Tim Walz: “The investigation will review MPD’s policies, procedures and practices over the last 10 years to determine if the department has utilized systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color.”

Legal observers believe Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is preparing to charge the three other officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, including two who held Floyd to the pavement while officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while he repeatedly gasped “I can’t breathe” before falling still. On Tuesday, Minneapolis’s public school district said it was terminating its contract with the city’s police department to provide school resource officers.

Minnesota AFL-CIO Calls on Police Union President to Resign over George Floyd’s Killing

Jun 03, 2020

Minnesota’s AFL-CIO coalition of labor unions has joined calls demanding that Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll resign, after he called George Floyd a “violent criminal,” described protesters as terrorists and called on police to expand their use of force. In April, Kroll told a radio podcaster he wasn’t “bothered” by shootings he’s been involved in.

Lt. Bob Kroll: “I’ve been involved in three shootings myself, and not a one of them has bothered me. You know, maybe I’m different.”

Bob Kroll was welcomed to the stage last October by President Trump at a Trump 2020 campaign rally in Minneapolis.

George Floyd’s Family Members Join Protest March of 60,000 in Houston

Jun 03, 2020

In Houston, Texas, 16 members of George Floyd’s family joined a crowd of 60,000 protesters who marched to City Hall to remember Floyd, who spent most of his life in Houston. After headlines, we’ll go to Houston to speak with two of his friends.

Arrest Warrants Issued for Six Atlanta Cops Who Tased Black Students

Jun 03, 2020

A warning to our TV audience: The next story contains disturbing footage. Arrest warrants have been issued for six Atlanta police officers after they tased two Black college students and dragged them from their car for allegedly violating the city’s curfew Saturday night. One officer was filmed smashing the window of the car. Another slashed the car’s tires. Two of the officers have already been fired. The victims were 20-year-old Spelman College student Taniyah Pilgrim and 22-year-old Morehouse College student Messiah Young, who suffered a fractured wrist and needed 24 stitches. He spoke on Tuesday.

Messiah Young: “I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off of the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else.”

Army’s 82nd Airborne, Armed with Fixed Bayonets, Deploys to Washington, D.C.

Jun 03, 2020

In Washington, D.C., 700 soldiers with the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne armed with fixed bayonets have been deployed to enforce the district’s 7 p.m. curfew. The Army says another 1,400 soldiers are ready to be mobilized to the nation’s capital. President Trump reportedly ordered the show of military force as part of “Operation Themis” — the code name for his domestic military operation against protesters. The name refers to an ancient Greek goddess of law and order.

AG William Barr Personally Ordered Assault on Peaceful Protesters Outside White House

Jun 03, 2020

The Washington Post reports U.S. Attorney General William Barr personally ordered police to beat and tear-gas peaceful protesters gathered near the White House Monday in order to clear a path for President Donald Trump to walk to the nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church, where Trump posed for photos holding a Bible. Among the hundreds of people tear-gassed was the former assistant rector of St. John’s. President Trump visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine on Tuesday, sparking a new round of criticism from religious leaders. Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory said Trump’s visit at this time was “baffling and reprehensible.”

Australian Ambassador to Investigate Police Assault on Journalists Near White House

Jun 03, 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered his embassy in Washington to investigate an assault on an Australian camera crew at Monday’s peaceful protest outside the White House. Seven Network reporter Amelia Brace was clubbed, tear-gassed and shot with rubber-coated bullets while her camera operator, Tim Myers, was hit with a riot shield and punched in the face in a live broadcast that aired across Australia.

Amelia Brace: “We’ve also seen tear gas being used. Here we go. They’re moving through again. This is exactly what it looks like, exactly what it looks like. We’re just staying safely” —

7NEWS Anchor 1: “Ooh!”

7NEWS Anchor 2: “Whoa!”

The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented at least 125 press freedom violations across the U.S. through Monday, and new reports of police attacks on reporters continue to emerge.

Mayor Warns Against Military Deployment in Streets of New York

Jun 03, 2020

Here in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered nightly curfews from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Sunday. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to call out the National Guard, saying the New York Police Department had failed to protect people and property overnight Monday when some people set fires and smashed their way into retail stores. Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected the call at a Tuesday news conference.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: “Someone needs a history lesson. When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it. We have seen this for decades. Go back to the ’50s, ’60s, with the civil rights movement, on through all the way up to today.”

The New York Police Department says it arrested 200 curfew violators overnight — compared to about 700 the night before.

Thousands of Portland Protesters Hold Die-In to Protest George Floyd’s Killing

Jun 03, 2020

In Oregon, an estimated 10,000 people filled Burnside Bridge in Portland Tuesday, laying face down on the pavement for nine minutes — the length of time George Floyd was pinned beneath the three Minneapolis police officers who killed him on May 25. Later Tuesday, police unleashed volleys of tear gas, flash grenades and pepper spray at protesters who were marching on the downtown jail and police precinct.

In Los Angeles, where nearly 3,000 protesters have been arrested since Friday, UCLA issued a statement Tuesday saying it would no longer allow police to use its college baseball stadium as a “field jail.” The Jackie Robinson Stadium is named after Major League Baseball’s first African American player. Other protesters have been processed in L.A. County’s jail system, which on Sunday reported its first death from the coronavirus — a 47-year-old prisoner whose name has not been released. Nearly 300 employees and 2,000 prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 in L.A. jails since the pandemic began.

Puerto Rico Protesters Honor George Floyd, Denounce Island’s Legacy of Racism

Jun 03, 2020

In Puerto Rico, protesters marched outside the mansion of Governor Wanda Vázquez in Old San Juan Tuesday, with chants for justice for George Floyd and denouncing Puerto Rico’s own legacy of racism. Protesters ignored the island’s coronavirus curfew and stayed on the streets into the night. This is Shariana Ferrer-Núñez, a member of Puerto Rico’s Feminist Collective Under Construction.

Shariana Ferrer-Núñez: “We recognize that we must dismantle white supremacy, we must dismantle a racialized system, we must eradicate anti-Black violence.”

Palestinians Under Israeli Occupation Protest George Floyd’s Death

Jun 03, 2020

In the occupied West Bank, dozens of people protested Tuesday outside the Church of Nativity in the city of Bethlehem, denouncing the police killing of George Floyd and the recent killing of Iyad el-Hallak, a 32-year-old Palestinian special needs student who was shot to death by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem on Saturday. El-Hallak was reportedly chanting “Black lives matter” and “Palestinian lives matter” when Israeli police gunned him down, claiming el-Hallak was armed. This is one of the protesters in Bethlehem yesterday.

Ahmad Odeh: “We tell the people of the world, the free people and especially the American people, that what happened to them, the killing and racism against George Floyd, also happens in Palestine and to all of Palestine’s martyrs. We have today a photo of martyr Iyad el-Hallak, whose experience was not so different from what happened in the U.S. and the U.S. system that killed George.”

Thousands Protest Racial Violence, Police Brutality in France

Jun 03, 2020

Thousands of people in cities across France defied coronavirus restrictions against mass gatherings and took to the streets Tuesday for antiracist protests. In Paris, 20,000 people gathered peacefully demanding an end to police brutality, and paying homage to Adama Traoré, a Black man who died in police custody in 2016 after he was pinned down by an officer. Late in the day police fired volleys of tear gas canisters into the crowds to clear the protests.

Brazil Sees Record COVID-19 Toll as U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Top 106,000

Jun 03, 2020

In the latest news on COVID-19, Brazil has reported nearly 1,300 new coronavirus deaths, a new daily high for the country. Over 31,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil. More than 550,000 have been infected — the world’s second-highest total behind the United States.

Meanwhile, in India, the number of coronavirus infections has topped 200,000, and public health officials fear the peak could still be weeks away.

Here in the United States, the U.S. death toll has reached 106,000. Tyson Foods has revealed nearly 600 workers at a pork processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, have tested positive. Most were asymptomatic. Meanwhile, at least 16 graduating cadets at West Point have tested positive after returning to campus ahead of the June 13 commencement where President Trump is scheduled to speak in person despite warnings from public health officials about large public gatherings.

Trump Orders Republican National Convention Out of NC over Coronavirus Restrictions

Jun 03, 2020

President Donald Trump has announced he is moving this summer’s Republican National Convention from Charlotte. Trump accused North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper of being “still in Shelter-In-Place Mode” after the governor said a full-scale convention could not safely take place during a pandemic.

Amid Pandemic and Protests, Voters Struggle to Cast Ballots

Jun 03, 2020

Voters cast ballots in eight states and the District of Columbia Tuesday in primary and municipal elections marred by the coronavirus pandemic and police and military crackdowns on street protests, with voting rights activists warning of widespread disenfranchisement. In Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, where polling places remained open even as curfews went into effect, officials said people had permission to be out of their homes if they informed police of their intention to vote. In Baltimore, election officials opened just six in-person voting sites, citing the pandemic. At one polling place, about 100 people — most of them African American — were still waiting to cast their ballots around 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Ferguson, MO Elects First Black Mayor; Racist Iowa Congressman Steve King Loses Primary

Jun 03, 2020

In Iowa’s 4th U.S. Congressional District, openly racist Republican Steve King has lost a primary election to challenger Randy Feenstra, who will take on Democratic nominee J.D. Scholten in November’s general election. Congressmember King, who has repeatedly praised far-right politicians in Europe, was stripped of his congressional committee assignments last year after he said in an interview with The New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” In Missouri, Ferguson City Councilmember Ella Jones will become the first African American mayor in her city’s history after winning 54% of the vote on Tuesday. She’ll succeed James Knowles III, the former chair of the Missouri Young Republicans, who was Ferguson’s mayor throughout the militarized crackdown on protests that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in 2014. The officer, Darren Wilson, was never charged.

Biden Says He “Won’t Fan the Flames of Hate” After Trump Attacks Protesters

Jun 03, 2020

In his first major address since the protests began, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke in Philadelphia Tuesday and criticized President Trump for supporting the use of tear gas and flash grenades to disperse peaceful protesters outside the White House.

Joe Biden: “But I promise you this: I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain.”

Meanwhile, Biden has faced criticism for remarks he made about police training during a meeting with African American community leaders at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware.

Joe Biden: “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, shooting him in the leg instead of the heart is a very different thing.”

At Least 100,000 Evacuated in India as Cyclone Bears Down on Mumbai

Jun 03, 2020

In India, an estimated 100,000 people — including a number of coronavirus patients — have evacuated low-lying parts of the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra as a severe cyclone bears down on Mumbai for the first time in documented history. In Central America, at least 15 people were killed after Tropical Storm Amanda sparked severe flooding in El Salvador and Guatemala. The storm traversed from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, where it was rechristened Tropical Storm Cristobal. It’s the earliest C-named storm ever recorded, following Arthur and Bertha, which formed ahead of the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Climate scientists warn 2020 is on track to be the hottest year in human history, with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at 418 parts per million — the highest level in at least 3 million years.

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