In California, seven people were killed and another person was critically wounded Monday as a gunman opened fire on two sites in the coastal community of Half Moon Bay. Police say the suspect, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, turned himself in to police after the massacres. Authorities could not confirm whether the semiautomatic weapon he used was obtained legally. A local official says the victims were Chinese and Latinx farmworkers at a local mushroom farm where Zhao reportedly worked for decades. Dave Pine is with San Mateo County’s Board of Supervisors.
Dave Pine: “But in the end, there are simply too many guns in this country, and there has to be a change. This is not an acceptable way for modern society to live and conduct its affairs.”
There have been three mass shootings in California in the past three days. In Oakland, California, at least one person was killed and another seven injured in a shootout at a gas station just after 6 p.m. on Monday night. It came as police in Des Moines, Iowa, charged an 18-year-old with murder after a shooting at a center that provides education for struggling high school students. Two students were killed in Monday’s assault, and a teacher was injured.
In Tennessee, the parents of a 29-year-old African American man who died after he was brutally beaten by Memphis police officers say their son was “defenseless” during his ordeal. Tyre Nichols died of kidney failure and cardiac arrest on January 10, three days after his violent arrest following a traffic stop. On Monday, Memphis officials privately showed police body-camera footage of Nichols’s arrest to family and attorneys. They said, after viewing the video, that Nichols was pepper-sprayed, tased, restrained, kicked and beaten. This is family attorney Antonio Romanucci.
Antonio Romanucci: “He was defenseless the entire time. He was a human piñata for those police officers. It was an unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating of this young boy for three minutes.”
RowVaughn Wells: “Oh my god!”
Antonio Romanucci: “That is what we saw in that video.”
In the wake of Nichols’s death, Memphis police officials fired five officers for violating department policies, including excessive use of force and failing to render aid. Like Nichols, all five of the former officers are Black. Tyre Nichols was a skilled skateboarder, an amateur photographer, and father to a young son.
Four more members of the far-right group the Oath Keepers were convicted of seditious conspiracy Monday for plotting to keep Donald Trump in power after the 2020 election, resulting in the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Last month, a jury also convicted Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes of the same charges.
In related news, an Arkansas man who was photographed with his boot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the attack on the Capitol was convicted Monday on eight charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding. Richard Barnett, who was also convicted for carrying a stun gun inside the Capitol, faces up to 47 years in prison.
This follows the arrests of three active-duty marines who’ve been charged for taking part in the Capitol insurrection. Micah Coomer, Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen were among the mob of Trump supporters attempting to stop the counting of electoral votes on January 6, 2021.
Here in New York, a former senior FBI official was indicted in a federal court in Manhattan Monday after prosecutors accused him of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and conspiring to get Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska removed from a U.S. sanctions list. Fifty-four-year-old Charles McGonigal pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include money laundering and violating U.S. sanctions.
The United States and Israel have launched one of their largest-ever joint military exercises, in the latest ratcheting-up of tensions over Iran’s nuclear program. The exercise, code-named “Juniper Oak,” involves thousands of soldiers, a dozen naval vessels and over 140 warplanes, including nuclear-capable bombers.
In the occupied West Bank, Palestinian protesters gathered Monday at the site of a Bedouin village after two high-profile Israeli lawmakers demanded its demolition to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. This is Eid Jahalin, a spokesperson for the Bedouin villagers.
Eid Jahalin: “The existence of settlements here means fragmentation of the West Bank. This village is the key for peace in the Middle East or the dream of every Palestinian for the establishment of a state. If this village is taken and gone and they confiscate the area from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, the West Bank will be split into West Bank North and South.”
On Monday, Human Rights Watch warned in a new report that Israeli guidelines on access to the West Bank for foreigners threaten to further isolate Palestinians from loved ones and global civil society. The group added in a statement, “By making it harder for people to spend time in the West Bank, Israel is taking yet another step toward turning the West Bank into another Gaza, where two million Palestinians have lived virtually sealed off from the outside world for over 15 years.”
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has fired the commander of Brazil’s Army, two weeks after the attempted coup and violent attack on government buildings in the capital Brasília by supporters of the far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro. Army General Júlio Cesar de Arruda is the highest-ranking of dozens of military officers removed by President Lula over their suspected involvement in the January 8 riots.
In California, employees at a Peet’s Coffee store in Davis have approved the coffee chain’s first union. Peet’s Workers United celebrated the victory tweeting, “We will not be the last.” Starbucks Workers United, which has unionized hundreds of Starbucks shops across the U.S., said on social media, “Solidarity, from coffee shop to coffee shop…welcome to the labor movement.”
In Alabama, a worker who helped lead an unsuccessful union organizing drive at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer says he was abruptly fired without explanation. Darryl Richardson, who led a campaign to organize his co-workers into the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, says he was given no reason for the firing, but he believes it was because of his union activity. This comes just days after the National Labor Relations Board threw out Amazon’s objections to a union drive at the company’s massive Staten Island warehouse, known as JFK8, declaring the Amazon Labor Union won last April’s election. To date, it’s the only successful unionization campaign at an Amazon facility. It came as the percentage of U.S. workers who are members of a union fell to a new low in 2022 — just over 10% of the working population.