Uber will bail out food-delivery workers arrested past curfew
Online food-ordering service Uber Eats has pledged to offer its delivery workers legal support if they are wrongly arrested for violating New York City’s curfew while delivering on the app.
“During the last several months, delivery people have been critical to keeping New York City going. None of these essential workers should now have to fear that they will be arrested simply for trying to work, especially when the city government has asked them to continue delivering food to New Yorkers during the curfew,” Uber said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.
The curfew, implemented to control protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, is in effect every day from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. until June 8, but essential workers, including people who make food deliveries, are permitted to do their jobs during those hours, according to the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
If they are stopped by police, delivery people need only to identify themselves as essential workers. They are not required to show ID or a business card. Those individuals who are not exempt from the curfew are to be given “every opportunity to return home,’ according to guidelines from the mayor’s office.
Despite this, videos appear to show at least one delivery worker being arrested by NYPD officers while lawfully making a delivery just past curfew.
California governor orders police to end use of “carotid holds”
California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the state police training program to stop teaching officers how to use a hold that can block the flow of blood to the brain.
Newsom, a Democrat, took the action after two weeks of protests across the country prompted by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd died on Memorial Day after a police officer put his knee on his neck for several minutes.
Since then, some police departments have moved to end the use of carotid holds that stop or slow the flow of blood to the brain. Newsom said that hold has no place in the 21st Century.
Michael Jordan announces $100 million donation to charities working to “ensure racial equality”
Basketball legend Michael Jordan announced Friday that he and the Jordan Brand will donate $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations working to “ensure racial equality.”
“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people,” Jordan’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“Today, we are announcing that Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand will be donating $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education,” the statement added.
Congress crafts police reform legislation in response to police violence
In widespread protests across the country following the police killing of George Floyd, demonstrators are demanding that Congress take action to make police departments more accountable and to curb racial violence. Federal lawmakers are beginning to craft their legislative response. Congress is so far considering around a dozen proposals.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that a new initiative would be introduced next week to end racial profiling and excessive use of force by police officers. The Congressional Black Caucus is leading the effort to put forward a package of bills on police reform in the coming days.
Congresswoman Karen Bass, the chairwoman of the CBC, told CBS News’ Major Garrett that police accountability was the “number one issue” with policing. She said that she expected the final package to incorporate several reforms, including a bill proposed by Representative Hakeem Jeffries that would ban police chokeholds. Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus, introduced the legislation in 2015, after the killing of Eric Garner who, like Floyd, said, “I can’t breathe” as he was placed in a chokehold.
“I’m inclined to push the envelope as far as we can because we have a moment now,” Bass said.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden endorsed Jeffries’ plan in a speech in Philadelphia earlier this week. As the issue of police violence and racial injustice comes to the forefront of the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said legislation can’t wait until a new administration and called for making “a down payment” now on a policy response.
There are new bills to address elements of policing, and others are re-upping previous proposals. The various measures address accountability standards and the review process for misconduct, demilitarizing the police force, requirements and resources for body cameras, the overhaul of police training, and making the use of deadly force a last resort.
Ohio National Guardsman removed after expressing white supremacist views
Ohio’s governor on Friday announced a member of the state’s national guard has been suspended after the FBI discovered the guardsman expressed white supremacist ideology online, CBS affiliate WBNS reports.
“While I fully support everyone’s right to free speech, guardsmen and women are sworn to protect all of us, regardless of race, ethnic background, or religion,” Governor Mike DeWine said.
DeWine said the National Guard and Ohio Department of Public Safety are fully cooperating with the FBI in the investigation and the member is currently suspended from all missions.
“Following due process, it is highly likely that this individual will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard. I have directed General Harris to work with Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath to set up a procedure so occurrences like this do not happen in the future,” DeWine said.
South African president decries global racism
South Africa’s president is noting the “naked racism in the United States” and says he firmly believes “this is a moment we should regard as a turning point with regard to tackling racism around the world.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke as the ruling African National Congress launched a Black Friday event in response to the “heinous murder” of George Floyd and “institutionalized racism” in the U.S., at home and “wherever it rears its ugly head.”
Ramaphosa said human dignity is a universal aspiration and respect for it is “the only guarantee of any nation’s prosperity.” He pointed out South Africa’s enduring racial inequality a quarter-century after the end of the racist system of apartheid, and he expressed his “deepest regret” at the death of nearly a dozen South Africans allegedly at the hands of security forces during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown.
While he said the deaths “do not have the obvious racial dimensions of the murder of George Floyd, they do rely on a similar contempt for the intrinsic human worth of the victim” and must be condemned “just as vehemently.” The cases are under investigation.
Supreme Court announcement on reexamining qualified immunity for police could come soon
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week after a police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leaving him struggling to breathe, sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and calls for policing reforms.
While Congress has begun crafting legislation aimed at addressing inequities in the criminal justice system, the Supreme Court could as soon as Monday announce whether it, too, will jump into the national conversation on policing as it weighs appeals involving the legal doctrine that shields law enforcement from lawsuits for constitutional violations.
At their weekly conference Thursday, the justices were scheduled to discuss at least half a dozen cases pending before the court that involve qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that protects government officials from liability for conduct on the job unless they violate “clearly established” constitutional rights.
The doctrine was created by the high court decades ago, but legal experts calling on the Supreme Court to rethink qualified immunity believe the standard victims must meet to hold law enforcement accountable has become exceedingly difficult to reach.
“Qualified immunity has become a get-out-of-jail-free card,” Emma Andersson, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, told CBS News.
Andersson and the ACLU are representing Alexander Baxter, a Tennessee man, in one of the cases discussed by the justices Thursday. Baxter was bitten in the armpit by a police dog after surrendering to Nashville police who responded to a report of a residential burglary. The dog was released by one of the officers, Spencer Harris, after Baxter sat on the ground and raised his hands in surrender, according to the ACLU’s petition with the Supreme Court.
Burning cross found atop interstate overpass in Alabama
Motorists driving along an interstate highway in a majority African American county near the home of historically black Tuskegee University late Thursday found a cross burning on an overpass, news outlets reported. The flaming cross was on top of a bridge over Interstate 85 in Macon County Thursday night, Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson told WRBL-TV. Police were investigating, but no suspects or arrests were announced.
John Bolton, who saw the burning cross while in a car on I-85, told the news outlet he saw what “looked like a shadow” flee from the scene as he ran toward the blaze with two other men who were with him. He then called 911 while “one of the guys climbed up to the bridge to knock the cross down,” Bolton said.A few minutes later, deputies arrived and helped extinguish the fire, Brunson said. Once the fire was gone, Bolton said they saw a tire and a fuel canister had also been set on fire.
Cross burnings have historically been used by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations to rally supporters and terrorize black people in the South and elsewhere.
Brunson told the Opelika-Auburn News that police “just can’t let people get away doing that.”
“That is something to strike fear in people’s hearts, and we’re not going to let people make them afraid. We need to bring that person to justice.”
Alexis Ohanian resigns from Reddit board, says “fill my seat” with black candidate
The co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, announced Friday that he is resigning from the board of the company. He said he has urged board members to fill his seat with a black candidate.
Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit 15 years ago, announced his resignation in a blog post on Friday. He said that it is “long overdue” for him to “do the right thing” amid ongoing protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
“I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country,” Ohanian said. “I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks, ‘What did you do?'”
“I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate,” the venture capitalist said. He added that he plans to use future gains on his stock with the company to serve the black community.
Ohanian also announced he is pledging $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s “Know your Rights Camp,” which aims to educate, empower and mobilize black and brown communities.
Minneapolis agrees to ban chokeholds and require cops to intervene against unauthorized use of force
Negotiators for the city of Minneapolis have agreed with the state to ban the use of chokeholds by police, and to require police to report and intervene any time they see an unauthorized use of force by another officer, CBS Minnesota reports.
The moves are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. The City Council is expected to approve the agreement Friday.
The agreement, which will be enforceable in court, would require any officer, regardless of tenure or rank, to immediately report the use of any neck restraint or chokehold from the scene to their commander or their commander’s superiors.
Cuomo says Buffalo police video “disturbs your basic sense of humanity”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that video of an elderly man being pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo, New York, “disturbs your basic sense of humanity.” The video shows the man bleeding from his head after hitting the pavement.
“It’s just fundamentally offensive and frightening… Who are we? How did we get to this place?” he said of the video. The governor said he spoke to the man in the video on the phone Friday, adding: “Who, thankfully, is alive.”
Two Buffalo officers have been suspended over the incident. Cuomo said he also supports firing the officers, but noted that it is dependent on union rules.
D.C. paints “Black Lives Matter” in huge letters near White House
City workers and activists painted the words “Black Lives Matter” in enormous bright yellow letters on the street leading to the White House, a highly visible sign of the District of Columbia’s embrace of a protest movement that has put it at odds with President Donald Trump.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted aerial video of the mural shortly after it was completed Friday. The letters and an image of the city’s flag stretch across 16th Street for two blocks, ending just before the church where Trump staged a photo-op after federal officers forcibly cleared a peaceful demonstration to make way for the president and his entourage.
“The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,'” Bowser tweeted. A black and white sign was put up to mark the change.
Friend at scene says George Floyd didn’t resist arrest
A man with George Floyd says his friend didn’t resist arrest and tried to diffuse the situation when officers began screaming at Floyd. Maurice Lester Hall, a longtime friend, was a passenger in Floyd’s car when police approached him on May 25 while responding to a call about a possible use of counterfeit money.
Hall told the New York Times that Floyd was trying in his “humblest form to show he was not resisting arrest in no form or way.”
Hall, 42, was arrested Monday in Houston on outstanding warrants.
He has been interviewed by Minnesota authorities and is a key witness in the state’s investigation into the four officers who apprehended Floyd. All four officers were fired and charged, including Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.
“He was just crying out at that time for anyone to help because he was dying,” Hall told the Times. “I’m going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face because he’s such a king. That’s what sticks with me, seeing a grown man cry, before seeing a grown man die.”
Trump says it’s a “great day” for George Floyd
President Trump declared victory Friday over improving unemployment numbers and the civil unrest that has swept the nation over the death of George Floyd, even as unemployment ticked up slightly for minority groups and legislative or policy changes have yet to be made in Washington to address police brutality or racial inequality.
The president declared the months of May a “tribute to equality” as the nation protests racial discrimination and police brutality. Mr. Trump also seemed to declare success after a week of protests that swept the nation.
“Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, they have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement,” the president said. “They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great thing for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”
D.C. mayor asks Trump to withdraw “extraordinary” military and unidentified law enforcement
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he withdraw “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from the city. Protesters have held largely peaceful demonstrations against police brutality and racial violence in the wake of George Floyd’s death every day for the past week in the district.
Over last weekend, however, there were some clashes late in the evening, with scattered fires and looting in the capital, as well as vandalism of buildings and historic places, including the Lincoln and World War II memorials and St. John’s Episcopal Church, near the White House.
In response, the mayor announced curfews that extended through Thursday morning, and requested national guard troops assist D.C. law enforcement.
Virginia city removes 176-year-old slave auction block
A 176-year-old slave auction block has been removed from a Virginia city’s downtown. The 800-pound stone was pulled from the ground at a Fredericksburg street corner early Friday after the removal was delayed for months by lawsuits and the coronavirus pandemic, The Free Lance-Star reported.
The weathered stone was sprayed with graffiti twice and chants of “move the block” erupted this week during local demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, city officials said in a statement announcing the removal.
NYC mayor: “You will see change in the NYPD”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising that change will come to New York City and the NYPD.
“You will see change in this city. You will see change in the NYPD. We simply have not gone far enough. The status quo is still broken, it must change,” the mayor said Friday, CBS New York reports.
“This will be the work for the next year and a half of this administration: To make more change, to make it urgently, to make it powerfully, to make it clear. And that work will proceed immediately. And you will see those results and you will judge for yourself, as all New Yorkers do.”
De Blasio said that while words matter, actions matter more.
De Blasio said there are adjustments that continue to need to be made to NYPD response to peaceful protests, but praised the “overall restraint levels.”
“We need that respect. Respect that restraint,” the mayor said.
Thousands rally in Australia
Thousands gathered in Australia’s capital on Friday to remind Australians that the racial inequality underscored by George Floyd’s death was not unique to the United States. The Canberra rally comes before larger rallies are planned for Australia’s most populous cities on Saturday.
“Australians have to understand that what’s been going on the United States has been happening here for a long time,”
Matilda House, an elder of the Ngambri-Ngunnawal family group who are the traditional owners of the Canberra region, said.
Australia had to move beyond a colonial attitude “that blacks are only here to be walked on, trodden on and murdered,” House said in the first speech of the rally.
A demonstrator who interrupted House, arguing that the rally’s focus should be on “what’s happening in the United States” rather than Australia’s colonial history, was shouted down in a heated confrontation with several protesters. The demonstrator eventually followed the crowd’s advice to leave.
Organizers handed out masks and hand sanitizer and most protesters attempted to keep the recommended 5 feet of social distancing until the speeches began and people drew closer.
Minneapolis City Council to hold emergency meeting on police department’s future
The Minneapolis City Council is holding an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss the future of the city’s police department.
CBS Minnesota reports the council will get an update on the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights’ investigation into MPD, and will vote on a court order demanding immediate changes.
Council President Lisa Bender and member Jeremiah Ellison tweeted Thursday that they plan to dismantle the police department.
The city’s school district, the University of Minnesota and other agencies, organizations and businesses have severed ties with the department in the past 10 days since George Floyd died while being arrested.
Dallas County is providing protesters with masks and hand sanitizer
Texas’ Dallas County is giving people protesting in its streets masks and hand sanitizer donated by the Dallas Mavericks, CBS DFW reports.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is also advising protesters to stay six feet apart during demonstrations, and encouraged people to look for alternate ways to have their voices heard, worried they may inadvertently hurt the communities they aim to help.
“I think what you’re doing is an important thing. Again, if you could find a way to do it outside of a large crowd because of COVID because we know it is disproportionately affecting communities of color, please find a way to do that,” he said.
With a single-day record of 285 new COVID-19 cases in Dallas County on Thursday, Dallas’ City Manager T.C. Broadnax also expressed concern.
In a statement he urged “anyone who has been in close proximity of these large crowds to get tested at one of the city’s drive-thru community-based testing sites.”
NFL stars call on league to condemn racism and systematic oppression
Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Michael Thomas are among more than a dozen NFL stars who sent a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality. The 70-second video was released on social media Thursday night and includes Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins, among others.
Thomas, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver who has led the league in receptions the past two seasons, opens the video with the statement: “It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered.”
The players then take turns asking the question, “What if I was George Floyd?”
They demand the NFL state that it condemns “racism and the systemic oppression of black people. … We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. … We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
NYC mayor says “This is NOT acceptable” after deliveryman detained under curfew
Protests were held for another day in New York City on Thursday. Police started handcuffing about a dozen demonstrators on Manhattan’s Upper East Side less than an hour after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew started.
Social media video from the Upper West Side also showed officers detain a food delivery worker on the job, CBS New York reports.
The worker can be heard saying, “Are you serious? Look, look, look. I’m not even doing anything.”
“It tells me on the app that I can show you guys something,” the worker said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded on Twitter overnight, saying, “Just got off the phone with @NYPDShea after seeing the troubling video of a delivery worker arrested by police while doing his job. This is NOT acceptable and must stop. Food delivery is essential work and is EXEMPTED from the curfew.”
Police said the worker was released after his credentials were verified.
The food delivery app DoorDash said it’s working with city officials to determine what happened, adding, “Essential workers must be able to complete their work and feel safe and secure while doing so.”
The NYPD says approximately 200 people were arrested Thursday, many of them people who were continuing to march after the city’s curfew, which is aimed at containing violence and looting seen amid protests over George Floyd’s death.
2 National Guardsmen injured by lightning strike during George Floyd protests in D.C.
Two National Guardsmen were injured after suffering the effects of a lightning strike near the White House on Thursday, officials said early Friday. CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reports the two service members were struck shortly after midnight within the Lafayette Park perimeter, where protests over the death of George Floyd continued for a seventh day.
Both of the officers were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, D.C. Fire and EMS officials said.
WUSA reported that the stormy weather cleared out many protesters, but some remained through the downpour in the area of Lafayette Square past midnight.
Activists paint Black Lives Matter sign on road by White House
Activists were busy Friday morning painting a giant “BLM” sign, for the Black Lives Matter movement, across 16th Street in Washington D.C. — right near the White House — as seen by reporter Matt Gregory of CBS affiliate WUSA TV.
Gregory said city authorities were keeping the road clear of traffic to let the painters finish.
A chain-link fence was erected around the White House on Thursday, effectively widening the security perimeter around the executive mansion after several nights of violent clashes between protesters, police and National Guard members.
The Trump administration has defended the forceful clearance of peaceful protesters from a park near the White House to enable Mr. Trump to walk to a nearby church for a photo-op this week. Meanwhile, photos of unidentified, armed officers donning face shields and protective gear standing guard near the White House have raised concerns among Democrats, who’ve warned the lack of identification could deny victims the ability to hold officers accountable if they engage in misconduct.
Breonna Taylor’s neighbor sues police, says officers sprayed gunfire with “total disregard” for life
A neighbor of Breonna Taylor, the black woman shot to death in her apartment by police in March, has sued the police involved in the operation for firing “blindly” and sending rounds flying into her home, the Louisville Courier Journal reported on Thursday.
Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend when a trio of armed men smashed through the front door. Gunfire erupted and Taylor was killed. The three men turned out to be plainclothes police detectives of the Louisville Metro Police, one of whom was wounded in the chaos and violence that night.
Taylor’s death, along with the subsequent death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, has fueled the protests since his death in Louisville and across the country.
According to the Courier Journal, the lawsuit filed in May by Taylor’s neighbor states that the three officers involved in the raid, after being confronted by Taylor’s boyfriend who opened fire first, believing the three men to be intruders, then began to “spray gunfire into Chelsey Napper’s apartment with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
“A bullet that was shot from the defendant police officers’ gun flew inches past Cody Etherton’s head while he was in the hallway of Chelsey Napper’s apartment,” the suit states, referring to a man who was in Napper’s home at the time.
The suit claims rounds from the officers’ guns hit objects in at least four different parts of in Napper’s house, shattering a glass door.
Congresswoman: Police reform package will be about “accountability”
Police reform legislation being drafted in the House will focus on “accountability” for officers, says Congresswoman Karen Bass. Bass, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, talked about the legislative package currently being written in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests against police brutality which have roiled the nation.
“The number one issue in policing is police accountability,” Bass said in an interview with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. She said she expected the final legislation would include several bills, such as Congressman Hakeem Jeffries’ proposal to ban police chokeholds.
“I’m inclined to push the envelope as far as we can because we have a moment now,” Bass said about the final proposal.
Few arrests, mayor heckled, but a much more peaceful night of protest in New York City
The latest night of protests in New York City sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police was markedly calmer. Protesters again stayed on the streets past 8 p.m., in defiance of the citywide curfew that’s set to remain in effect through at least Sunday.
The city saw fewer violent clashes than in days past. But several videos posted to Twitter on Thursday night showed police aggressively confronting peaceful protesters — often resulting in arrest — in the Bronx and elsewhere. In other places, police watched but didn’t immediately move in, or made orderly arrests without the batons and riot gear of previous nights.
Earlier Thursday, a memorial service featuring Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd was held at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza, where the night before police had used batons and pepper spray on protesters who remained after curfew, videos show.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has defended his officers and the department’s overall use of force.
Mayor Bill De Blasio was booed and heckled at Floyd’s memorial. The mayor had previously praised the police for using “a lot of restraint” overall, but added that “if there’s anything that needs to reviewed, it will be.”
Floyd’s “heinous murder” prompts South Africa to launch “Black Friday” campaign
South Africa’s ruling party says it is launching a “Black Friday” campaign in response to the “heinous murder” of George Floyd and “institutionalized racism” in the U.S., at home, and “wherever it rears its ugly head.”
A statement by the African National Congress says President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday evening was to address the launch of the campaign that calls on people to wear black on Fridays in solidarity.
The campaign is also meant to highlight “deaths by citizens at the hands of security forces” in South Africa, which remains one of the world’s most unequal countries a quarter-century after the end of the racist system of apartheid.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, a South Africa leader who was involved in the struggle to end apartheid and is now an Under Secretary General of the United Nations, spoke with CBS News’ Pamela Falk from Johannesburg this week about the protests and where they might lead.
“People are feeling exhausted about us talking about racism. Try living it to know how exhausting it is to live it,” she said. “Those who cannot take talking about it, they haven’t lived it to know how much that it eats you from within. So, we need to make sure that we create conditions that will make people feel and touch the changes that are coming into their lives.”
Kanye West joins protest calling for end to Chicago Public Schools’ contract with police
Kanye West was in attendance Thursday evening for a protest rally in solidarity with George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police last week. The rally was organized by activist and onetime mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green. It is intended to protest the $33 million contract that Chicago Police has with Chicago Public Schools.
The protest began at the Chicago Public Schools District Office and proceeded to Chicago Police Headquarters. West did not address the rally and only marched briefly. He wore a hoodie and mask and walked along with hundreds of people.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, there have been calls for West to speak out and have more of a voice in recent days.
He has made a $2 million dollar donation to support the families of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police in March, while three white men are charged with shooting and killing Arbery while he was jogging in Glynn County, Georgia.
Dallas police make it “duty of every employee” to intervene if excessive force used
Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall has put a new rule on the force’s policy books making it “the duty of every employee” who witnesses the use of physical force “being inappropriately applied” or used longer than necessary “to either stop, or attempt to stop” the action in question.
A statement released Thursday by the Dallas Police said the new “Duty to Intervene” order was implemented by Chief Hall, “to create a culture where what happened to Mr. [George] Floyd does not happen again.”
“Millions watched a Minneapolis police officer suffocate Mr. George Floyd to death by applying pressure with his knee on the victim’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. His fellow co-workers either assisted or stood by and watched Mr. Floyd take his last breath. Had the officer’s partners intervened, the outcome might have been different,” the police said in the statement.
Kansas City announces reforms to police procedures, but embattled chief staying put
Kansas City is reforming police procedures after criticism from black organizations about police conduct during nearly a week of protests as well as long-standing tension between the department and minorities, the mayor announced Thursday.
A coalition of civil rights organizations demanded Wednesday that Police Chief Rick Smith be fired. But Mayor Quinton Lucas said Smith would remain “as we weather our current crisis and also as we continue to address our issues related to violent crime and the high number of homicides in Kansas City.”
Lucas said after a closed meeting of the Kansas City Police Board of Commissioners that the city would ask an outside agency to review all police-involved shootings; create whistleblower protections for officers; end a department policy of not sending probable cause statements to prosecutors in officer-involved shootings; review officers’ use of tear gas and projectiles; and provide updates to the city council on the department’s community engagement efforts.
Lucas said he hoped a review of tear gas and projectile use would lead to a new policy in the near future.
The city announced Wednesday that $2.5 million in private funding has been donated to buy police body cameras.
Tacoma mayor says officers involved in black man’s death should be fired and be prosecuted
Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell issued a statement Thursday on the death of Manuel Ellis, confirming the four officers involved in his arrest had once again placed on administrative leave. Ramsdell offered his “most sincere condolences” to Ellis’ family and friends. Ellis, a 33-year-old black man, died on March 3 in handcuffs while being restrained on the ground by Tacoma police.
He was found to have died of respiratory arrest due to hypoxia due to physical restraint, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, which ruled his death a homicide.
Speaking Thursday night, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards called for the officers involved to be fired and said they should be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In a 12-minute police radio recording taken the night of Ellis’ death, he can be heard at one point saying, “I can’t breathe.”
“Our hope is that any investigations bring with them answers for everyone involved,” Ramsdell said.”I would also like to recognize the compassion and empathy our community has shown during this difficult time. We hear your anger, frustrations and hopes. I want you to know we continue to be committed to engaging with you on topics of safety, community policing and race, so that all people feel safe in Tacoma.”