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US Monthly Headline News June 2020 Page 1

By Ann E. Marimow and Spencer S. Hsu

A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday appeared reluctant to order a judge to immediately dismiss the guilty plea of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, suggesting courts have the authority to review whether Justice Department moves to drop a prosecution are “in the public interest.” Flynn, joined by the Justice Department, had asked the appeals court to force U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to quickly close the case and put a stop to Sullivan’s examination of the government’s unusual decision to drop the charges against the retired three-star general. But Judges Karen Henderson and Robert Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit expressed skepticism of Flynn’s argument that Sullivan cannot conduct an independent evaluation or name an outside party to argue against the Justice Department’s May 7 motion. “If Judge Sullivan had just kept this motion waiting and languishing, that’s one thing,” Henderson told Flynn attorney Sidney Powell. “But he has set a hearing for mid-July. For all we know, by the end of July he will have granted the motion. You also know courts have said he’s not a ‘mere rubber stamp’ either. There’s nothing wrong with him holding a hearing — there’s no authority I know of that says he can’t hold a hearing.” Wilkins agreed, citing two cases in which he said the Supreme Court upheld the authority of federal judges “to perform an independent evaluation” before granting a government motion to drop a prosecution. “You’re saying the Supreme Court got it wrong,” he asked. “No,” Powell said, “I’m saying the independent review of the record consists of just that, and the record in this case is extremely well documented of prosecutorial misconduct, and suppression of [exculpatory] evidence which would warrant dismissal in any circumstance.”

The subpoenas are part of a GOP-led investigation into the genesis of the Russia probe and Robert Mueller’s appointment.

Senate Republicans are ramping up their investigations into President Donald Trump’s foes. In a party-line vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee authorized Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to issue a broad range of subpoenas to a slew of former Obama administration officials who opened or were involved in the counterintelligence investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.  It’s part of a GOP-led investigation into the genesis of the Russia probe and former special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment — a probe that that President Donald Trump has long sought, particularly as he seeks retribution after his acquittal in the Senate’s impeachment trial. The subpoenas target former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, among others. Graham has said he plans to seek testimony from Mueller himself, “or an appropriate designee.” - Republican are at it again. Republican have to cheat to win they use voter suppression and fake scandals to get votes and drive down support for democrats.

By Ledyard King USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Not every Republican on Capitol Hill is joining President Donald Trump's call to preserve Confederate heritage. While the president this week decried efforts to rechristen U.S. military bases named for Confederate generals, the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday decided to add a bipartisan provision to the Pentagon's annual spending bill that would begin the process of renaming those installations. "If we're going to have bases throughout the United States, I think it should be with the names of individuals who fought for our country," South Dakota GOP Sen. Mike Rounds, a senior member of the committee, told reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill. "This is the right time for it. And I think it sends the right message." In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called for the removal of 11 Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol Building. The request was made in a letter addressed to a special panel created to oversee the 100 statues states send for display in the Capitol. Each states gets two statues. "The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation," she wrote. "Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals." Several Republican lawmakers asked about Pelosi's request said any decision to remove the statues should either come from the states or by changing the law that permits their display. But a few said they would not object to such a change. "Not opposed to it," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Trump's "poorly educated" line sparked much reaction, including smirking and shock.
By David Mikkelson

In February 2016, when Donald Trump was merely one of several contenders for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination (and still considered something of a longshot), he surprised many pundits by winning the preponderance of delegates in three straight contests: the New Hampshire primary, the South Carolina primary, and the Nevada caucus. Contemporaneous reporting of the latter contest noted that Trump did particularly well among “less educated voters”: Trump did well across the board in Nevada, garnering 45.9% of the vote, but he did even better among voters with a high school education or less. Fifty-seven percent of those voters supported him, according to entrance polls. The next closest candidate among high-school-or-less voters was Ted Cruz, who had 20%. That’s a sizable gap of 37 percentage points. Trump didn’t just win with less educated voters … he crushed it. Afterwards, in a speech to supporters, Trump touted how many different demographic groups he won in Nevada, declaring that “We won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated,” before exclaiming “I love the poorly educated!”:

By Griffin Connolly

Speaker Nancy Pelosi lit into Republicans on Thursday for the hours-long lines, broken voting machines, and understaffed polling places that plagued the primary elections in Georgia this week. "What we saw in Georgia the other day was shameful. It was either a disgrace of incompetence or a disgrace of intention to suppress the vote," Ms Pelosi told reporters on Thursday. With waits that dragged on for hours to cast a ballot, voting machines that did not work, inadequately trained staff, extended polling times, and widespread claims of voter suppression — all against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic — outside commenters have described Georgia’s primary election as “chaos” and a “hot mess." Predominantly minority counties were especially hard hit. "It looks like part of a pattern" of traditional GOP voter suppression in the state, Ms Pelosi said, adding that neglecting voting precincts in parts of the state with minority communities is "all part of the republican playbook because they're afraid of the voters. They're afraid of the vote." Georgia has been a hot spot in recent years for allegations that Republican leaders in the state have sought to suppress the black vote. In 2018, the Republican nominee for governor, then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was in charge of running his own election against Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams. Before the election, Mr Kemp's office wrongfully flagged more than 300,000 Georgia residents as ineligible to vote, and delayed the registrations of 53,000 voters without properly notifying them. Mr Kemp eventually won the election by less than 55,000 votes out of nearly 4m cast — a 2 per cent margin.

By Rebekah Riess, Jamiel Lynch and Jennifer Henderson, CNN

(CNN) Tulsa police have released body camera footage from two officers who arrested a black teenager and handcuffed a second for jaywalking last week. The videos were released in response to social media messages from the community about the arrest, police said. The videos appear to have been blurred and redacted by police to conceal the teenagers' identities. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement Wednesday that the incident is under investigation. "I want every kid in Tulsa to feel safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood. No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street. I viewed that footage last night more as a parent than a mayor," he said. "I know the officers in that unit focus on removal of illegal guns from the streets, but the goal of that work should be that families feel safe in their neighborhood. This instance accomplished the opposite." In the videos of the June 4 incident, the two teenagers can be seen walking down the middle of a road together before they are approached by an officer on foot and a second in a squad car. Once the officers reach the teenagers, one officer can then be seen forcing a teenager onto his stomach to handcuff him, while holding him down with his arms and knees. The second teenager is also handcuffed, but doesn't struggle and remains standing.

As many as 13 officers broke into the congressman’s campaign office while nearby businesses were vandalized in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

CHICAGO — As many as 13 Chicago police officers broke into Rep. Bobby Rush’s Chicago campaign offices to lounge on chairs, drink coffee and make popcorn while looters vandalized nearby businesses in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Rush and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Thursday. The two Illinois Democrats stood together at a news conference to call out the actions, which took place at the end of May. While they spoke, images of officers “in repose,” as Rush said, were flashed on a screen. “Looting was going on, buildings were being burned, officers were on the front lines truly taking a beating with bottles and pipes, and these guys were lounging — in a congressman’s office,” Lightfoot said. “The utter contempt and disrespect is hard to imagine.” The mayor added that “it’s almost inconceivable with what was going on … where looting continued into Monday morning, having started Saturday night.” “Look at this guy, sleeping on a congressman’s couch,” Lightfoot said, pointing to an image of an officer. Rush added: “They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn — my popcorn — in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight and within their reach.”

The president said Wednesday that he would “not even consider” renaming Army bases that honor Confederate leaders.
By Kasie Hunt and Julie Tsirkin

The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved a proposal to strip Confederate names from military bases and other Defense Department facilities within the next three years, setting up a possible clash with President Donald Trump on the issue. While a number of Republicans, including committee Chairman Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, expressed some concerns about the way the changes would be implemented, the proposal passed by voice vote Wednesday with only a handful of dissenters. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., offered the proposal as an amendment to the massive National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes funds and sets policies for the military every year; the broader bill was approved by the committee in a 25-2 vote. If the language survives the floor vote and is also included in the House version of the package, the president would have to veto the entire bill in order to prevent the names from changing. Trump said Wednesday that he would “not even consider” renaming Army bases that honor Confederate leaders, despite a nationwide reckoning over racial discrimination in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The Army has 10 military posts named after Confederate military officers, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas. The president tweeted Thursday that Republican senators hopefully wouldn't "fall for" supporting Warren's proposal, first reported by Roll Call.

By Pete Muntean and Gregory Wallace, CNN

Washington (CNN) A small Cessna Citation jet flying straight into Washington's highly restricted airspace would typically be met with fighter jets on its wing. But when one flew over the nation's capital on June 1 and circled the White House 20 times, it was hardly an accident. The plane was only one of several aircraft -- both piloted and unpiloted -- that CNN has been able to track flying over protests in Washington, Minneapolis and Las Vegas. Government watchdogs fear the planes were used to track protesters and perhaps capture cell phone data. The government's use of surveillance planes to watch over those protesting the police killing of George Floyd has captured the attention of nearly three dozen Democrats in Congress who want to know whether the planes -- typically equipped with live video cameras and heat sensors -- were used for "surveilling of Americans engaged in peaceful protests." In a June 9 letter to the heads of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection and the National Guard, lawmakers demanded an end to the practice "immediately and permanently" and called the use of aircraft above protests a "deep and profound" breach of Americans' First and Fourth Amendment rights. The letter points to a trio of government aircraft flown over protest cities. CNN has independently verified that the flights took place, using publicly available flight path data from websites such as ADS-B Exchange. The site is known as "the world's largest source of unfiltered flight data." The FBI has not specifically confirmed or denied the use of aircraft to surveil protests. But in a statement to CNN when asked about the flights, the FBI said it has been "focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity." ADS-B Exchange data shows an RC-26B -- a twin-engine turboprop typically used by the FBI and the National Guard for drug interdiction -- over Washington and Las Vegas. A National Guard fact sheet says the same type of plane is normally outfitted for thermal imaging and "can be used both day and night to monitor illegal activity." An RC-26B did at least 50 circles above Washington for nearly four hours on the evening of June 2nd, the city's fourth straight night of protests. A similar flight occurred over Washington the following night. Data shows a different RC-26B flew over Las Vegas as protests took place there on June 2 and June 3. Of the flights over Washington, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted, "I have questions," adding that this was the "first time I can find that this aircraft, normally used for war zones/disasters/narcotics, has been used to gather intel at a protest."

By Ewan Palmer

Nearly half of Americans consider displaying the Confederate flag as merely expressing Southern pride, compared to just over one third who consider it a symbol of racism, according to a poll. A study of nearly 2000 registered voters, conducted by Morning Consult and Politico, revealed that 44 percent of people see the displaying the Confederate flag a symbol of Southern pride, with 36 percent seeing it as racist. Twenty percent of registered voters taking part in the said "don't know" when asked their views on displaying the flag. The poll also reveals that the percentage of Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—who believe the flag is a sign of racism (49 percent) is nearly double that of the Baby Boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964 (28 percent). More than half of Baby Boomers (58 percent) believe that the Confederate flag is a source of Southern pride, compared to less than a quarter (24 percent) of GenZers who were born between 1997 and 2012. The demographics who most strongly believe the confederate flag is a symbol of racism are liberals and atheists (both 67 percent).

By Ewan Palmer

Nearly half of Americans consider displaying the Confederate flag as merely expressing Southern pride, compared to just over one third who consider it a symbol of racism, according to a poll. A study of nearly 2000 registered voters, conducted by Morning Consult and Politico, revealed that 44 percent of people see the displaying the Confederate flag a symbol of Southern pride, with 36 percent seeing it as racist. Twenty percent of registered voters taking part in the said "don't know" when asked their views on displaying the flag. The poll also reveals that the percentage of Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—who believe the flag is a sign of racism (49 percent) is nearly double that of the Baby Boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964 (28 percent). More than half of Baby Boomers (58 percent) believe that the Confederate flag is a source of Southern pride, compared to less than a quarter (24 percent) of GenZers who were born between 1997 and 2012. The demographics who most strongly believe the confederate flag is a symbol of racism are liberals and atheists (both 67 percent).

Critics called the president racist for planning a campaign event on the date marking slavery's end and doing it in Tulsa, where African Americans were murdered in 1921.
By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was hit with strong backlash Thursday over his decision to hold a campaign rally next week on Juneteenth, a holiday marking the end of slavery, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of one of the deadliest race riots in American history, in 1921. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the decision to hold a rally there on June 19 "is disrespectful to the lives and community that was lost during the Tulsa race riot." "This was a massacre of innocent Black inhabitants by White supremacists in a span of 24 hours," Bass said in a statement to NBC News. "This was the worst act of racial violence to date," she added, "and yet this is the place that the president, who has pursued nothing but a hostile and oppressive agenda for black people since his inauguration, has chosen to celebrate." "To make matters worse, he has chosen Juneteenth, a day of our emancipation. This is ridiculous and yet another slap in the face to black people," Bass added. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, a member of the caucus, tweeted that a Trump campaign rally with "rebel flags" on Juneteenth "is overt racism from the highest office in the land."

   Congressman Al Green  @RepAlGreen
   A Trump rally with rebel flags (a symbol of slavery and racism) in Tulsa, OK (the place of #TulsaMassacre) on Juneteenth (a day of emancipation recognition) is more than a slap in the face to African Americans; it is overt racism from the highest office in the land. #RejectRacism

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., called it "a message to every Black American: more of the same." Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., tweeted: "99 years ago a white mob massacred hundreds of Black people in the Greenwood District of Tulsa. The most racist President of my lifetime knows exactly what message he’s sending when he goes there on Juneteenth."

By Dominic Patten

Tucker Carlson has one of the most-watched shows on cable news, but the Fox News Channel host is losing advertisers – again. Whereas in 2018, when 20 companies yanked their ads after Carlson obtusely proclaimed that undocumented immigrants made America “poorer, and dirtier, and more divided,” this time the exits are over the host’s stance on the death of George Floyd and the ensuing nationwide protests against police violence and racism. Both Disney and T-Mobile have cut ties with the primetime Tucker Carlson Tonight over the host’s polarizing point of view on the Black Lives Matter movement and the desire for justice and equality in America that many of its members advocate. Along with Papa John’s and SmileDirectClub, the media giant and the telecommunications brand faced a backlash in recent days for their association with Carlson and his belief that the well-attended protests were “Black Lives Matter riots.” Or, put another way, putting money in Rupert Murdoch’s corporate pocket was not a branding position Disney or T-Mobile wanted to be in at this moment in America. Fox News did not respond to request for comment tonight on the ad exits. (UPDATE, 10 AM June 11: A Fox News spokesperson confirmed all national dollars/ads were moved to other programs and there has not been any national money lost.) Disney, which has run ads about 29 times this year on the much-watched FNC, did not respond to request for comment tonight on the issue. However, sources tell Deadline that the ads for ABC shows on Tucker Carlson Tonight were placed in error by third parties. The ads will not be running anymore, and no more placements by the Bob Chapek-led House of Mouse are expected on the show anytime soon. (UPDATE, 10:45 PM: “The ABC advertisements were placed on the show without our knowledge by third party media buyers who were unaware that we do not advertise on the show, and they have now been notified not to place any further ads,” an ABC spokesperson told Deadline tonight.)

From The New York Times and CrossFit to the L.A. Galaxy and ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ people are losing their jobs over racist or racially insensitive behavior. Here are all of them.
By Tarpley Hitt

In the days after George Floyd’s tragic death, protests erupted in over 350 American cities, the National Guard was deployed to 23 states, and more than 14 metro areas implemented curfews. For more than two weeks, protesters have taken to the streets, sometimes several times per day, demanding justice for Floyd’s family, police defunding, and a comprehensive reimagination of public safety. But as the civil unrest played out in public, it has also migrated into the workplace. In the past 15 days, workers at media institutions, sports franchises, TV shows and food chains, as well as online critics, have forced companies and corporations to confront charges of racism, overhaul their hiring practices, and interrogate how places from The New York Times and CrossFit to the grocery store Holy Land might find ways for reform. More than once, this has led to oustings and resignations. Here are all of them so far. (This story will be updated as more developments follow.)

By Betsy Klein and Jasmine Wright, CNN

(CNN) White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Thursday that President Donald Trump will resume campaign rallies on Juneteenth, a holiday marking the emancipation of slaves, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city with a history of a racial massacre. She claimed Trump will "share some of the progress that has been made" for black Americans -- but that explanation is being rejected by many African American leaders. "The African American community is very near and dear to his heart. At these rallies he often shares the great work he has done for minority communities," McEnany said, citing criminal justice reform and funding for historically black colleges and universities. "He's working on rectifying injustices ... So, it's a meaningful day to him, and it's a day where wants to share some of the progress that's been made as we look forward and more that needs to be done." But given Trump's history of racist statements, including the birther movement, many instead see a call out to rally white supremacists. Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who is widely viewed as a top contender to be Joe Biden's vice presidential pick, blasted Trump's decision to hold the rally there on Juneteenth. "This isn't just a wink to white supremacists -- he's throwing them a welcome home party," she tweeted Thursday. Harris has been critical of Trump's posture on race, frequently saying he's unfit to be president because he doesn't understand the racial turmoil engulfing the nation. Other Democratic leaders chimed in to slam the President for holding the rally at the site that bore a horrific act of communal racial violence 99 years ago. Texas congressman and Congressional Black Caucus member Al Green tweeted: "Trump rally with rebel flags (a symbol of slavery and racism) in Tulsa, OK (the place of #TulsaMassacre) on Juneteenth (a day of emancipation recognition) is more than a slap in the face to African Americans; it is overt racism from the highest office in the land. #RejectRacism." While the President has said he sympathizes with peaceful protesters marching after Floyd's death, he has a history of stoking racial animus, including calling some protesters "thugs" and threatened to deploy the military to "dominate" looters.

Garrison Courtney swindled more than $4 million from firms by falsely claiming to be working on an undercover CIA 'task force.'

A former head of public affairs for the Drug Enforcement Administration who later worked as a producer for TMZ has admitted to a fraud scheme that involved posing as an undercover CIA operative in order to swindle government contractors out of over $4 million. Details of the complex scam carried out by Garrison Courtney, 44, became public Thursday morning after he pleaded guilty to a felony wire fraud charge in Alexandria, Va., before U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.  In the scheme, Courtney informed various businesses that the CIA or other agencies needed to place individuals on the companies’ payroll as part of an undercover operation — an arrangement sometimes called nonofficial cover — O’Grady explained as he read from an agreed statement of facts in the case. Courtney told the firms the program involved a “task force” set up by the president, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence, according to the judge. Courtney even drafted fake letters from the attorney general claiming those involved in the operation had legal immunity from prosecution, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria. In fact, Courtney had no position at the CIA and the covert operation he was purporting to support did not exist. He did, however, manage to convince several real government officials that they had also been asked to take part in the nonexistent program.

By Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com

Black Lives Matter demonstrators and pro-police counter-protesters joined forces in Nevada to chase off a small group of men wearing the white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan who tried to disrupt their peaceful rallies. The incident occurred on Monday in Fallon, a small city 60 miles east of Reno, where a group of BLM protesters and counter-demonstrators had faced off across a street chanting at each other. In a surprise move, the two sides joined together and exchanged hugs and dialogue - but as the rallies wound down, two men tried to disrupt the peace by marching up wearing KKK hoods and waving a flag supporting President Donald Trump. Both the BLM protesters and the pro-law enforcement demonstrators began shouting at the men in hoods, and chased them off as police escorted them away. A spokesman for the Fallon Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com about the incident. The two official protests had begun with animosity, exchanging chants of 'Black Lives Matter!' and 'All Lives Matter' across the street from each other. But at some point, the aggression turned to dialogue as the two sides crossed the street and exchanged hugs. 'We all want peace. Yes we do,' said pro-police demonstrator Max Ryan as he hugged BLM protest leader Ladaysha Dula, in a moment captured by KTVN. Ryan was openly carrying a gun to the protest to demonstrate support for his Second Amendment rights, and ensure things didn't devolve into violence, he said.

There are 771 standing monuments of anti-abolitionists across the US. Protesters are demanding they be taken down.
By Mohammed Haddad, Usaid Siddiqui |

It has been more than 150 years since the end of the four-year American Civil War (1861-1865) that claimed more than 600,000 lives. The Confederate States of America, also known as the Confederacy, was a group of 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union in 1860. The states, in order of their secession, were South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. These states wanted to preserve the institution of slavery which they largely depended on to build their economies. In the end, the Confederacy was defeated and slavery was abolished.

Monument debate and removal
Across the United States, there are an estimated 1,741 public symbols of the Confederacy, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  These symbols include schools, parks, bridges, roads, statues and more. Although many Americans recognise the immorality of historic colonialists, slave owners and anti-abolitionists, some say these symbols should be preserved as a reminder of the country's past. In 2017, during a protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee, a self-described neo-Nazi killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer after he rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, at least 44 monuments have been removed across the country. The map below shows where the 771 statues and monuments are in the US:

By Jose Martinez

Tulsa Police Department major Travis Yates claims he was misquoted during a recent podcast appearance where he stated that officers are "shooting African-Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed." The most baffling part is Yates' misquote defense isn't even in regards to that callous comment you just read above. In a statement obtained by KTUL, Yates claims that prior to that disturbing line, he mentioned some research from Roland Fryer, Heather MacDonald, and the National Academy of Sciences in an effort to somehow support his argument, but his remarks were diminished in the transcript by Public Radio Tulsa to "All of their research says." You're probably going to return to that Idris clip in a little bit. Here's what he said leading up to that line. "You get this meme of, 'Blacks are shot two times, two and a half times more,' and everybody just goes, 'Oh, yeah,'" Yates said. "They're not making sense here. You have to come into contact with law enforcement for that to occur. "If a certain group is committing more crimes, more violent crimes, and law enforcement's having to come into more contact with them, that number is going to be higher," Yates continued. "Who in the world in their right mind would think that our shootings should be right along the U.S. Census lines? That's insanity. All of the research says we're shooting African-Americans about 24% less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed."

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday it was putting the finishing touches on proposals to reform the police following George Floyd’s killing while in police custody, but warned that reducing immunity for officers was a non-starter. Speaking at a White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said administration plans to address protester concerns about police brutality were reaching “final edits,” adding she hoped the proposals could be made public in the “coming days.” “The president has spent the last 10 days quietly and diligently working on proposals to address the issues that the protesters raised across the country, legitimate issues,” McEnany said.

Alabama representative Mo Brooks cites Floyd’s past record and drug use to question protests
By Angela Stelmakowich

A U.S. congressman from Alabama suggested in a tweet that George Floyd’s use of drugs disqualify him as a worthy candidate for the protests sparked by his murder last month. World-class speller Mo Brooks noted in the tweet: “#GeorgeFloyd = armed robber (gun versus lady) + deadly cocaine, fetanyl [sic], methamphetamine, marijuana user.” Predictably, social media had a lot to say in response. “I’m ashamed that you are my congressman. I’m ashamed that you graduated from the school where I used to teach. I am VERY ashamed that I ever let you speak to my students. You are not fit to serve in the US Congress,” one outraged citizen tweeted. - Mo Brooks you should be ashamed of yourself his drug use has nothing to do with how or why he died. Blaming the victim does not justify what was done to victim of a crime. George Floyd was murder plain and simple his drug use had nothing to do with Derek Chauvin keeping his knee on George Floyd neck.

Critics called the president racist for planning a campaign event on the date marking slavery's end and doing it in Tulsa, where African Americans were murdered in 1921.
By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was hit with strong backlash Thursday over his decision to hold a campaign rally next week on Juneteenth, a holiday marking the end of slavery, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of one of the deadliest race riots in American history, in 1921. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the decision to hold a rally there on June 19 "is disrespectful to the lives and community that was lost during the Tulsa race riot." "This was a massacre of innocent Black inhabitants by White supremacists in a span of 24 hours," Bass said in a statement to NBC News. "This was the worst act of racial violence to date," she added, "and yet this is the place that the president, who has pursued nothing but a hostile and oppressive agenda for black people since his inauguration, has chosen to celebrate." "To make matters worse, he has chosen Juneteenth, a day of our emancipation. This is ridiculous and yet another slap in the face to black people," Bass added. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, a member of the caucus, tweeted that a Trump campaign rally with "rebel flags" on Juneteenth "is overt racism from the highest office in the land."

By Allison Morrow, CNN Business

(CNN Business) In the news business, it's easy to get cynical (just look at what we saw on Fox News, below) but then some days you start to see good news pile up, and today that good news is a list of Very Important Brands choosing to fight for racial justice. Let's get into it.

On Tuesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity compared President Donald Trump to George Floyd, arguing they are both victims of "crooked cops." As Hannity tells it, the FBI, in investigating the president's alleged connections to Russia, "tried to rig an election and destroy Donald Trump at all costs." (They didn't.)

BE AWARE: That moment was just the cherry atop a sundae of misinformation coming from the network. For several days, Fox has been playing back old riot footage over and over like it's the Zapruder film. You'd be forgiven for thinking Minneapolis is still burning (it's not), or that the unrest is getting worse in America's cities (it's not). CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter has more on the alternative universe that's playing out on Fox.

Conventional wisdom goes that Wall Street likes a Republican in office, especially when stocks are on a tear like they are right now. But lately, it seems the market no longer cares who's leading in the polls. The fact that Trump is now lagging behind Joe Biden as stocks rally is noteworthy. Up until recently, the market had been moving practically in lockstep with the general election polls, so Biden's rise should have led to a dip. It hasn't.

By Alexandra Meeks and Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN) At least seven Los Angeles police officers were removed from their field duties after using excessive force during recent protests, the police department told CNN Wednesday. The move comes as police across the nation have come under fire for violent responses to demonstrators protesting police brutality. Critics have pointed to the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and in several cases, physical actions as examples of excessive force. "The Los Angeles Police Department continues to investigate allegations of misconduct, violations of Department policy, and excessive force during the recent civil unrest," police said in a statement. "Seven employees have been assigned to non-field duties due to improper actions during the protests." The department has assigned 40 investigators to "look into every complaint thoroughly" and "hold every officer accountable for their actions," the department said. Fifty-six complaints are currently being investigated, with 28 involving alleged uses of force, Los Angeles police said. After facing backlash over how LAPD officers treated demonstrations during the first week of protests, city officials announced they would not prosecute those arrested for curfew violations and failure to disperse. The protests in Los Angeles and across the country began after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. Several organizations and city leaders spoke out about reports of Los Angeles police behavior during protests. "I am alarmed by the growing number of disturbing accounts and images of peaceful protesters being assaulted with plastic bullets, Tasers, batons, physical force, and of reports that protestors were detained unnecessarily by law enforcement during last weekend's George Floyd solidarity protests," LA Councilman Mike Bonin said in a letter to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore.


CNN's Anderson Cooper called out White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's defense of President Donald Trump's baseless tweet about Buffalo protester Martin Gugino.

By Dakin Andone and Andy Rose, CNN

(CNN) Seattle police want to resume operations at a downtown precinct they left empty as protesters began occupying the area around it. "We're trying to get a dialogue going so we can figure out a way to resolve this without unduly impacting the citizens and the businesses that are operating in that area," Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette said in a news conference Wednesday. According to CNN affiliate KOMO, police boarded up the East Precinct building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and left it unoccupied amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Since then, protesters have cordoned off the area with barricades and are calling it the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone," or CHAZ. Protesters have hung signs on the East Precinct, KOMO reported, some of which read "Seattle People Department" and "The Property of the People." Officers are still responding to emergency calls in the area, Nollette told reporters. Nollette said police had received reports that protesters allegedly set up barricades, " with some armed individuals running them as checkpoints into the neighborhood." "While they have a constitutionally-protected right to bear arms, and while Washington is an open carry state, there is no legal right for those arms to be used to intimidate community members," Nollette said, adding that anyone subjected to these demands should call 911. "No one at these checkpoints has the legal authority to demand identification from anyone."

New Day

Another 1.5 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Department of Labor reported. Source: CNN

By Michael Cavna

Co-owners of the Washington Missourian in Franklin County, Mo., resigned in protest Wednesday over the newspaper’s decision to publish a syndicated cartoon that satirizes the defunding of police departments. “We believe it was racist and in no circumstance should have been published,” Susan Miller Warden and Jeanne Miller Wood wrote about the cartoon in a message to readers. “We apologize to our readers and our staff for the obvious pain and offense it caused.” That choice to publish was made by their father. In the cartoon, by Tom Stiglich of Creators Syndicate, a light-skinned woman screams, “Help!! Somebody call 911!” A darker-skinned man who is attempting to snatch her purse says: “Good luck with that, lady. … We defunded the police,” a reference to a proposal that some activists have put forward to reform law enforcement.

By Alex Horton

President Trump said on Twitter he was against a growing effort to rename Army installations bearing names of Confederate commanders, two days after Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper signaled he was open to the idea. “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump said, adding that the administration “will not even consider” renaming them. Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Monday that they were open to “bipartisan discussion” of the issue, which was first reported by Politico. Defense officials declined to comment on plans for the installation names after Trump’s remarks. The GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment for the Pentagon to strip the names from the installations within three years, CNN reported Thursday.

What is the controversy?
Ten Army installations in the United States were named after senior Confederate commanders who fought against U.S. troops during the Civil War to preserve the institution of slavery. Calls to rename the bases escalated after a white supremacist and Confederate sympathizer killed nine worshipers in a South Carolina church in 2015, and two years later when a counterprotester was killed in Charlottesville during a white-nationalist rally. Efforts to rename the bases intensified again following the death of George Floyd, amid another struggle over the nation’s identity and centuries of racism.

Who are the bases named after?
The bases, all in former Confederate states, were named with input from locals in the Jim Crow era. The Army courted their buy-in because it needed large swaths of land to build sprawling bases in the early 20th century up through World War II.

By Ryan Browne, Barbara Starr and Zachary Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) America's top general is apologizing for appearing in a photo-op with President Donald Trump after the forceful dispersal of protesters outside the White House last week, saying the move was a "mistake." Gen. Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also said that he was "outraged" by the killing of George Floyd and added that the protests it sparked spoke to "centuries of injustice toward African Americans." "As senior leaders, everything you do will be closely watched. And I am not immune. As many of you saw, the result of the photograph of me at Lafayette Square last week. That sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society," Milley, said in a pre-recorded speech to a group of graduates from the National Defense University released on Thursday. "I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it," he added. While he did not pose for photographs with Trump upon arriving at St. John's Church, Milley, dressed in his combat fatigues, was captured on camera walking behind Trump as he moved from the White House to the church. Both Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have told colleagues they are distressed with the criticism about the walk to St. John's because it became a photo-op with political overtones. When asked if they regret being on the walk, one administration official close to both men recently told CNN, "Of course they do."

By John Bowden

An internal memo sent to Starbucks employees last week specifically warned staffers against wearing accessories or clothes bearing messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, reminds staffers that such messages are prohibited under the company's policy against accessories that "advocated a political, religious or personal issue." Numerous employees told the news outlet, however, that the company regularly allows or even encourages employees to wear pins in support of LGBTQ equality, especially during Pride Month every June. "Starbucks LGBTQ+ partners wear LGBTQ+ pins and shirts, that also could incite and create violent experiences amongst partners and customers," one black transgender employee of the coffee chain told BuzzFeed. “We have partners who experienced harassment and transphobia/homophobia for wearing their pins and shirts, and Starbucks still stands behind them." A video from a top company executive reportedly sent with the memo warned employees that "agitators who misconstrue the fundamental principles" of the movement could seek to "amplify divisiveness" if the messages are displayed in stores. "We know your intent is genuine and understand how personal this is for so many of us. This is important and we hear you," the memo read.

By Lee Brown

The fired rookie cop who bailed out of jail on serious charges over George Floyd’s death managed to raise his $750,000 bond with the help of donations to a crowdfunding site, according to a report. Thomas Lane, 37, posted cash bail Wednesday thanks in part to those who responded to an appeal decrying how high the bail was set, the Star Tribune said. “Lane and his family appreciate your support and prayers during this time,” said the site, which was taken down once he was bailed out, the paper noted. Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, confirmed to the paper that it had been a legitimate fundraiser. However, he did not reveal exactly how much of the money came from collections, or who was behind it.

By Tina Moore and Amanda Woods

A Manhattan NYPD lieutenant sent an email to his fellow officers apologizing for kneeling alongside George Floyd protesters late last month — telling them that “the cop in me wants to kick my own ass.” In a June 3 email obtained by The Post Thursday, Lt. Robert Cattani of the Midtown South Precinct said he regrets his “horrible decision to give into a crowd of protesters’ demands” and kneel at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, with several other cops. “The conditions prior to the decision to take a knee were very difficult as we were put center stage with the entire crowd chanting,” Cattani wrote. “I know I made the wrong decision. We didn’t know how the protesters would have reacted if we didn’t and were attempting to reduce any extra violence.” Video from the demonstration shows thousands of protesters chanting, “NYPD, take a knee” at officers. After some prodding from the crowd, at least four cops knelt and were met with raucous cheers.

By Ewan Palmer

A peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Nevada was briefly interrupted by two men wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods and carrying Donald Trump flags. Video has emerged showing the moment protesters from both sides came together to jeer and chant against the men who showed up at the demonstration in Fallon on Monday. The clip shows one officer arriving to talk to the men in white hoods while at least one protester chants: "No Trump, No KKK, no racist, fascist USA." The footage ends with both men appearing to turn and walk away from the crowd after being spoken to by the officer. The Fallon Police Department has been contacted for further comment. The incident had marred what had been a peaceful protest, which resulted in BLM protesters and "all lives matter" counter-demonstrators, some of whom were armed, coming together and hugging. Max Ryan, one of those who brought a gun to the rally in order to "address my second amendment right to bear arms and to make sure this stayed peaceful," described how the BLM came over to the counter-demonstrators to discuss their views.

By Ewan Palmer

Calls for the government to list the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization are continuing to grow as a number of online petitions attract more than half a million signatures. For the past few days, several change.org petitions demanding the white supremacist group be classified as terrorists have gone viral. As of the morning of June 10, three petitions have gained at least 517,000 signatures between them, with a fourth petition demanding "Make the KKK Illegal" also attracting more than 233,000 signatures. "The KKK has long been a group of thugs that have suppressed the voices of and invoked fear into Minority Communities across the country. It is time for that to end," a description on the Declare the KKK a Terrorist Organization petition, backed by 118,000 signatures, reads. "This organization does not belong in this country, if declared a terrorist organization any attack would be an act of terror and will be treated as such. If equality and protecting the American people is your true goal this will easily resonate with you." A second petition, Change KKK Status into Terrorist Organization, has gained more than 300,000 signatures. It said that the KKK could be considered the best example of a "modern terrorist group that was even allowed, by the government, to function and even do marches in the capital of the country."

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) The mayor of Seattle on Wednesday told President Donald Trump to "go back to your bunker," after Trump appeared to suggest he would intervene in the city's growing protests and called for law and order. "Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will," the President warned Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Wednesday. "This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!" Trump also claimed that the protesters, who he called "domestic terrorists," have taken over Seattle. The President has threatened to use active military to tamp down protests and has encouraged governors to deploy the National Guard to help assist with demonstrations. The two Democrats, Inslee and Durkan, responded to the President on Wednesday, ratcheting up the Twitter spat during dual health and economic crises and nationwide civil unrest over racial injustice. "Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker," Durkan wrote, referring to Trump being moved to the White House bunker for nearly an hour amid intense protests last month. "A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state's business. 'Stoop' tweeting," Inslee wrote. Hundreds of protesters marched into Seattle's City Hall late Tuesday, calling for Durkan to step down after police continued to use chemical irritants to disperse crowds -- despite the mayor's 30-day ban on tear gas that she announced Friday. Led by city council member Kshama Sawant, the protesters peacefully marched from Capitol Hill to City Hall, where Sawant allowed the protesters inside the building, CNN's affiliate KOMO reported. Protesters left the building around 10:30 p.m. local time, and Seattle police did not report any arrests. Durkan's office responded late Tuesday in a statement to KOMO, saying the mayor "will not be distracted from the critical work that needs to be done at a moment that Seattle is facing its most challenging time in its history. "As the person who originally investigated the Seattle Police Department for the unconstitutional use of force, Mayor Durkan believes that SPD can lead the nation on continued reforms and accountability, but knows this week has eroded trust at a time when trust is most crucial," the statement read.

Minneapolis residents are forming patrols to protect their city from people who would mar the protests with violence—and some report having strange run-ins with armed white men.
By Justin Glawe, Kate Briquelet

MINNEAPOLIS—Edward walked up to an SUV full of four armed white men on Monday night, pumped his shotgun, and told them to get out of his neighborhood. The men—who he said were armed with hunting knives and wearing tactical vests—told him they were from a suburb south of the city. After repeatedly asking them what they were doing and why they were in the Field neighborhood of South Minneapolis, Edward signaled to his wife, who retrieved the weapon and gave it to her husband. “I just figured I’d respond using the language and methods that they use, and it worked,” Edward, who requested to use a pseudonym out of concern for his safety, told The Daily Beast. The incident speaks to the fear that has descended on Minneapolis in the week since George Floyd was killed by a local police officer, and protests—including occasional bursts of violence, looting, and arson— consumed the city. Across the city and its surrounding suburbs, residents who sympathize with anti-police protesters are creating small, independent groups of citizens—or else arming themselves individually—to look out for their own neighborhoods. In other words, with police—and a bevy of state and National Guard reinforcements—focused on monitoring protests, the people of Minneapolis are in some cases policing themselves. KB Brown, who owns a printing shop in north Minneapolis, said he coordinated community patrols two days after Floyd’s death, when protests began to roil the city. These volunteers included rival gang members, now reportedly united to protect the area, a contingent of biker clubs, and even “white people with hockey sticks.” “We were abandoned by law enforcement so I figured the quote-unquote thugs were the best ones to patrol the streets, and they were more than willing to do it,” Brown, 45, told The Daily Beast. “I agree with you protesting over Floyd,” the business owner said, adding that one of his printing machines was damaged in the riots. “I don’t agree with you tearing up my stuff. I worked too hard for it. A lot of people in the neighborhood felt the same way.” Brown’s nighttime network of about 60 people has covered a large swath of north Minneapolis, which is predominantly black, to fend off outsiders and looters. At one point, he says, his group faced off with armed white men firing shots, and thieves trying to break into a single mother’s house. Using patrols by foot and by car, Brown says, he provided intel to the mayor’s office and police. One night he stationed himself outside a mosque on Lyndale Avenue N.


Residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a nearby suburb are receiving anonymous threats over their Black Lives Matter signs on their properties.
By Justin Glawe, Kate Briquelet

As protests continue to rage over the death of George Floyd, residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a nearby suburb are receiving threats over the Black Lives Matter signs on their properties and over their support of anti-racist causes. Julie Reuvers, a single mother of two in Roseville, between Minneapolis and St. Paul, woke up Saturday morning to find a handwritten note tucked inside her door. “In light of Rioters with Blm signs I would be in The best intrest [sic] of your safty [sic] to Remove your sign Because Pay Back is Coming,” read the ominous message, written in black marker on a sheet of white computer paper. Reuvers, 47, called the Roseville Police Department, which has since fielded reports of nearly identical missives and is investigating, the department tweeted Monday. Because she feared for her children’s safety, Reuvers decided with a heavy heart to take down her homemade Black Lives Matter sign, which had been propped inside her front window. She alerted neighbors to the unsettling discovery on the Nextdoor platform, and on Sunday morning, another resident reported receiving a similar letter with matching handwriting: “Your neighbors are sick of riots and your SJW Shit. Your sign ‘Bullshit Matters’ comes down or you and your Home will Burn real Quiet while you sleep in it!” According to Reuvers, this homeowner seemed to be targeted over a Social Justice Warrior poster on his property. “We don’t know who’s leaving notes, but find comfort in continuing to teach our children our values,” Reuvers said in a tweet about the second threat. A third neighbor on Nextdoor reported finding a note on her windshield, Reuvers said.


Anti-racism protests in smaller towns—particularly on the West Coast—have attracted armed counterprotesters who monitor, harass, and sometimes even attack marchers.
By Kate Briquelet

Protests and violence in large cities over the death of George Floyd have dominated national news networks. But in smaller towns across America, counter-protesters are showing up to monitor or harass—and in some cases assault—peaceful demonstrators. And in places like Snohomish, Washington, and Missoula, Montana, some of these agitators have been heavily armed as they stake out protests against police brutality. The Missoulian, a daily newspaper, reported that a couple of pickup trucks, with people waving Trump campaign banners and American flags, parked near Missoula demonstrators on Tuesday night. Some armed men also stood sentinel at a pawnshop. In Snohomish, protesters marched downtown Monday, chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and hoisting signs, according to local TV station King5. They were ambushed by at least one white man in a camouflage sweatshirt and baseball cap who started punching demonstrators, video shows. “I just saw someone get punched and before you know it, I had two, three people choking me,” Julien Crawford told the news outlet. On Tuesday night, a faction of “heavily armed men” joined the protesters. One of them, carrying an assault rifle, announced: “We support you. We just want you to be safe, we want you to be peaceful. We don’t want any vandalism or graffiti.”

As people enraged by the death of George Floyd took to the streets in cities across the country, white men with guns started showing up—and risking disaster.
By Kelly Weill

Protesters in Minneapolis didn’t know the precise affiliation of a man who showed up on Tuesday at the first night of unrest over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody. What they did know was that he was white and heavily armed. “There was what we think was a white supremacist who was fully armed with clips and everything, who some of the men in the crowd were able to identify and remove,” Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a civil rights attorney who attended the Tuesday protests, told The Daily Beast. “He [the armed white man] actually said, ‘You all just saved some lives tonight.’” The Minneapolis protests this week—which resulted in fires and broken windows and reports of at least one adjacent shooting death—aren’t just drawing racial justice activists. They’re attracting attention from heavily-armed forces on the right. Some of them, members of a growing white supremacist movement, openly hope to co-opt the protests to start a race war. Others claim to make common cause with anti-police protesters, but may be inclined to turn guns on protesters when they appear to threaten private property. Both are a potential powder keg as protesters take to the streets in cities across the country, and hint at a new coalition of volatile right-wing ideologies. Brian Hughes, associate director for the Polarization & Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, said the protests were drawing attention from a range of far-right tendencies. “On the far other side of the spectrum, you have accelerationist and dyed-in-the-wool fascists and neo-Nazis,” he told The Daily Beast. “They want to see ‘Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo’ happen, and make it a race war.”


Barring the unexpected, Marjorie Taylor Greene is going to be elected the next representative from Georgia’s 14th District. And boy does she have some wild ideas.
By Will Sommer

A believer in a conspiracy theory the FBI classifies as a possible domestic terrorist threat is in a prime position to soon be elected to Congress, after coming in first in a Republican primary in Georgia on Tuesday. QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has frequently posted messages about the bizarre pro-Trump conspiracy theory on social media, handily leads the primary field of Republicans in Georgia’s heavily Republican 14th District. Greene, who beat her closest opponent by more than 20 percent, will head to an August run-off after receiving 41 percent of the primary vote. Greene is an outspoken supporter of QAnon, a conspiracy theory based on a series of anonymous messages posted online by a mystery figure named “Q.” QAnon believers think that Donald Trump is engaged in a shadowy war against a cabal of global elites, including the Democratic Party, and will soon arrest or even execute top Democrats in an event they know as “The Storm.” Despite such ludicrous claims, Greene has praised QAnon. In a video posted online, she called the anonymous “Q” a “patriot” and said that their predictions had been accurate. “Many of the things that he has given clues about and talked on 4Chan and other forums have really proven to be true,” Greene said. Greene’s QAnon beliefs haven’t stopped her from winning the backing of at least one high-powered Republican. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) endorsed her bid, calling her “exactly the kind of fighter needed in Washington to stand with me against the radical left.” Greene has also been boosted by $44,000 in spending and $78,000 in earmarked contributions from the House Freedom Fund, a PAC tied to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to campaign finance watchdog group Open Secrets.

By David Shortell, CNN

(CNN) More than 1,250 former Justice Department employees have asked the agency's internal watchdog to investigate Attorney General William Barr for his role in the forcible clearing of peaceful protesters outside the White House earlier this month ahead of a staged photo opportunity by the President. In a letter released Wednesday, the former officials, who served in career and politically appointed positions under Democratic and Republican leadership, said they were "disturbed" by the episode and that Barr may have trampled protesters' constitutional rights when he ordered the move. They asked Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to review the attorney general's involvement. "If the Attorney General or any other DOJ employee has directly participated in actions that have deprived Americans of their constitutional rights or that physically injured Americans lawfully exercising their rights, that would be misconduct of the utmost seriousness, the details of which must be shared with the American people," the former officials wrote. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 1,264 former Justice Department employees had signed their names to the letter. Spokeswomen for Barr and Horowitz declined to comment to CNN on the letter.

Republicans equated police lives with black lives at a House hearing Wednesday.
By Katelyn Burns

Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing was Congress’s first big forum for discussing the killing of George Floyd, the nationwide protests it sparked, and the country’s problems with police brutality and racism. It was also apparently, in some Republicans’ view, a chance to try to redirect the conversation to some both sides-isms. About midway through the question-and-answer period of the hearing — which was about a Democratic bill proposing several key policing reforms, including a ban on using chokeholds and creating a national database of officers who are fired for misconduct — Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) asked George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd a question. She asked him to speak about the pain he’s felt over the past two weeks since his brother was killed after a Minneapolis, Minnesota, officer pinned him by the neck with his knee for several minutes, and what he hoped to see from Congress. In his response, Floyd made a very simple, moving statement: that black lives matter because “all life is precious.” But some Republicans on the committee took that phrase as an opportunity to “both sides” the issue. Immediately after Floyd’s heartfelt message, another committee member called on Republican witness Angela Underwood Jacobs, whose brother was a member of the Federal Protective Service and was killed while guarding a courthouse in Oakland, California, during recent unrest over Floyd’s death. “The heartbreak and the grief is hard to articulate when your entire world has been turned upside down,” said Jacobs. “I do want to know, though, when I think about all of this is that, my brother wore a uniform and he wore that uniform proudly — I’m wondering where is the outrage for a fallen officer that also happens to be African American?” The moment seemed designed to create a “both sides” situation, redirecting the conversation away from those harmed by police. Jacobs did go on to implore the Congress members there to find a solution to this issue, but the seeds were sown in that moment for some Republican lawmakers.

Some Republicans seemed more worried about protecting law enforcement than addressing police brutality
Amid discussion of specific policy proposals and their various merits and shortcomings, several Republican lawmakers instead took stands against concepts like “abolish the police” or “defund the police.” (The bill that prompted the hearing included neither.) Other GOP members of the committee seemed committed to equating black lives and police lives. Shortly after the moment with Floyd’s brother and Jacobs’s story, ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) seized on the “both sides” narrative in an exchange with Republican witness and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino during his round of questioning.

By Fredreka Schouten and Gregory Krieg, CNN

(CNN) The long lines. Poll locations not opening on time. Workers flummoxed by new voting machines. For Bobby Fuse, a long-time Democratic activist from Americus, Georgia, the chaos that gripped Tuesday's primary felt familiar -- and intentional. "It's the same game that we were fighting 50 years ago," said Fuse, a 68-year-old political strategist who attended his first civil rights march -- a protest against the arrest of four black women for standing to vote in the line reserved for white women -- as a 13-year-old in July 1965. "There's always some sneaky trick that's played," Fuse told CNN. "This time, they had a whole bunch of sneaky tricks." Tuesday's meltdown of the voting system in Georgia -- a potential presidential battleground in November -- has sparked widespread concerns about voter disenfranchisement and charges by activists that Republican state officials engaged in efforts to suppress the vote in predominantly African American communities. Civil rights groups and African American leaders, who have spent years fighting Georgia's restrictive voting laws, expressed concerns ahead of the primary over potential difficulties with new systems and equipment implemented by the state. By the time polls were scheduled to close and hours-long lines of voters continued their long wait to cast a ballot, those fears had been realized. The troubles in Georgia were most harshly felt in heavily African American counties in and around Atlanta, where some defective machines set off scrambles for provisional ballots, which were in short supply. There were also widespread cases of voters across the state reporting that their absentee ballots showed up late -- or not at all -- for a primary election twice-delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

By Nikki Carvajal

(CNN) President Donald Trump said Wednesday he opposes any effort by the US military to rename the nearly one dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders. US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are said to be open to holding a "bipartisan conversation" about renaming nearly a dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders, according to an Army official. But Trump tweeted: "These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a... ....history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations." Army installations named after Confederate leaders include Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Army bases across the country have continued to bear the names of Confederate military commanders even amid intense external pressure to rename them.

By Katie Shepherd

In one video, Philadelphia police staff inspector Joseph Bologna Jr. shoved a retractable baton into a protester’s neck and then struck a Temple University student in the head with the metal rod before tackling him to the ground. In another, after a woman appeared to tap his bicycle, he threw the bike to the ground and lunged to grab her, sparking a scuffle amid a previously peaceful protest. On Tuesday, another protester who had been arrested and restrained with zip ties on June 1, alleged Bologna bent each of her fingers one-by-one at the knuckle hard enough that she believed her bones would snap. He “systematically went along each of my fingers to twist them at a 90-degree angle to break them,” 31-year-old Shoshana Akins told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He went down all my bottom knuckles, and he started on my top knuckles, and he did this in about 20 seconds. So fast.”

By Don Winslow

Voting is an American citizen’s most basic and inalienable right, the absolute foundation of our republic. It’s simple – no fair election, no democracy. That’s just what this administration and its cohorts in too many states want – to kill our democracy by suppressing the vote. Sadly, one of those states is Georgia. Yesterday’s election was a disgraceful travesty. Impossibly long lines, inoperable machines, understaffed voting sites, unavailable absentee ballots and a myriad of other problems caused a chaotic, uncertain, and unfair election. To the surprise of no one, these problems were most acute for African-American voters. Whether it’s the deliberate culling of the voter rolls, as Governor Kemp did to steal the 2018 gubernatorial election from Stacey Abrams, or the blazing – and I think, deliberate – incompetence that was on brutal display in yesterday’s election, the intent is the same.  The entrenched powers-that-be know that they will be defeated if all eligible voters get to cast their ballots. This is true in Georgia, it is true nation-wide. Kemp knows that, Barr knows that, and Trump knows that. They know they can’t win fairly, so they cheat. Let’s don’t be naïve – while there were problems voting in both traditionally Republican and Democratic precincts in Georgia, the worst problems were in areas where the majority of eligible voters were African-American. Voting in white precincts generally took minutes, in black districts it generally took hours.

By Greg Sargent Opinion writer

When President Trump floated the despicable conspiracy theory that a 75-year-old man who got brutalized by police might be linked to “antifa,” it dominated an entire news cycle. That’s perhaps understandable. But let’s not lose sight of this: It’s also a huge deal that Trump and his top law enforcement officials have all said repeatedly that the civil unrest has been infiltrated by antifa, not just as a throwaway bit of political theater, but to help sustain the claim that we’re under attack from “domestic terror.” Not only that, Trump has said this to justify floating what would be an enormously consequential policy move — that is, invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 to send in troops to quell the unrest. Trump’s antifa bluster, however, has just taken another hit. ABC News reports:

POLITICO spoke to 10 National Guardsmen who have taken part in the protest response across the country since the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

Pvt. Si’Kenya Lynch, a member of the D.C. National Guard, was on duty at Lafayette Square near the White House last Monday when U.S. Park Police cleared the area of protesters ahead of President Donald Trump’s now-infamous photo op. Lynch said she supports the protests, and that her brother was among the demonstrators on the other side of the line, adding that “he coughed a lot” due to the tear gas fired into the crowd. “I was happy to see him out there ... to walk for me when I couldn’t,” she said, adding that if she hadn’t been activated as a citizen-soldier, she would have been among the protesters “to support the people, and I wanted to support what was right.” POLITICO spoke to 10 National Guardsmen who have taken part in the protest response across the country since the killing of George Floyd while in police custody. Many Guardsmen said they felt uncomfortable with the way they were used to handle the unrest because demonstrators lumped them in with the police. They felt that while they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, their presence at times intimidated Americans from expressing their opinions and even escalated the tension. And in the case of Guardsmen involved in the Lafayette incident, some felt used. “As a military officer, what I saw was more or less really f---ed up,” said one D.C. Guardsman who was deployed to Lafayette Square last Monday and who, like some others, spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely. The official line from the White House that the protesters had turned violent, he said, is false. “The crowd was loud but peaceful, and at no point did I feel in danger, and I was standing right there in the front of the line,” he said. “A lot of us are still struggling to process this, but in a lot of ways, I believe I saw civil rights being violated in order for a photo op.

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Harry Enten, CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's campaign is demanding CNN retract and apologize for a recent poll that showed him well behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The demand, coming in the form of a cease and desist letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker that contained numerous incorrect and misleading claims, was immediately rejected by the network. "We stand by our poll," said Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman. The CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on Monday shows Trump trailing the former vice president by 14 points, 55%-41%, among registered voters. It also finds the President's approval rating at 38% -- his worst mark since January 2019, and roughly on par with approval ratings for one-term Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush at this point in their reelection years -- and his disapproval rating at 57%. In the letter to Zucker, the Trump campaign argued that the CNN poll is "designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling." "It's a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President," read the letter, signed by the Trump campaign's senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis and chief operating officer Michael Glassner. The campaign formally requested that CNN retract the poll and publish a "full, fair, and conspicuous retraction, apology, and clarification to correct its misleading conclusions." David Vigilante, CNN's executive vice president and general counsel, told the campaign that its "allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety." "To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40-year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN's polling results," Vigilante wrote in his response. "To the extent we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media."

Claims made by AG Barr's Justice Department "are not credible," the retired judge wrote, adding, "Everything about this is irregular.".
By Pete Williams

WASHINGTON — The retired judge appointed to act as a friend of the court in the Michael Flynn case strongly urged the court Wednesday not to let the Justice Department abandon the prosecution. In a scorching 83-page submission, John Gleeson said the government's move to drop the case was "riddled with inexplicable and elementary errors of law and fact," which were contradicted by the positions it has taken in other false statement cases and by its own previous court filings about Flynn's conduct as well as his decisions to plead guilty twice. "Even recognizing that the Government is entitled to deference in assessing the strength of its case, these claims are not credible," the retired judge wrote. "Indeed, they are preposterous. For starters — and most unusually — they are directly and decisively disproven by the Government's own briefs filed just months ago in this very proceeding." Gleeson said judges must ordinarily defer to the wishes of the Justice Department about whether to pursue a prosecution, but not when the motives of the government are suspect. In Flynn's case, the government's move to dismiss the case "is based solely on the fact that Flynn is an ally of President Trump."

By Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) The Justice Department's handling of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's case is a "gross abuse of prosecutorial power," a court-appointed attorney and former judge wrote in a searing 82-page analysis on Wednesday. The court-appointed lawyer John Gleeson also argued that Flynn should be sentenced for lying, including for perjuring himself in court for admitting his crimes then disavowing them. Gleeson, looking at Flynn's full case record, reasoned that the Justice Department's recent support of Flynn is so politically advantageous to President Donald Trump and atypical for prosecutors, it's undermined the public's trust in the rule of law. "The facts surrounding the filing of the Government's motion constitute clear evidence of gross prosecutorial abuse. They reveal an unconvincing effort to disguise as legitimate a decision to dismiss that is based solely on the fact that Flynn is a political ally of President Trump," Gleeson wrote to US District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday. The Justice Department "abdicated that responsibility" to prosecute defendants without fear or favor, Gleeson wrote, by "attempting to provide special treatment to a favored friend and political ally of the President of the United States," capturing what many critics of Attorney General William Barr and Trump, especially in the legal community, have alleged. "It has treated the case like no other, and in doing so has undermined the public's confidence in the rule of law," he wrote.

Unusual territory
Gleeson made the argument on Wednesday after Sullivan requested his analysis on Flynn's statements under oath, and asked him to argue against the Justice Department's request to drop Flynn's case. Gleeson's filing highlights the unusual territory the Flynn court case has waded into and the legal questions Sullivan is now weighing. Flynn is also trying to short-circuit Sullivan's consideration of the case, prompting the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to also consider the questions of whether Gleeson can weigh in on the case and whether the case must be dismissed immediately. Flynn pleaded guilty before two federal judges to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador in late 2016, when he asked Russia not to retaliate for Obama administration sanctions for election interference and to split from the Obama administration on an upcoming UN vote on Israel. He cooperated for a year in interviews with the special counsel's office and a federal grand jury about his interactions with Russia and about his work in 2016 lobbying for Turkey, before renouncing his admissions. Barr then decided last month to drop Flynn's charge. The Justice Department has argued Flynn's lies weren't "material" to an investigation, because Flynn should never have been under investigation for his interactions with Russian officials.

By Tom Bowman

It was the summer of 1917. America had declared war on Germany a few months earlier, and young men were streaming into the Army by the tens of thousands. So the U.S. War Department rushed to create new camps and bases around the country for all the soldiers who would soon go to war. A July 2 memo to the Army Chief of Staff spelled out how to choose names for the new facilities. It was titled: "Names for cantonments, National Army, and camps, National Guard." The memo said the bases and camps would be named after Americans — preferably those with short names, to "avoid clerical labor." The military would choose the names of "Federal commanders" for facilities in the North, the memo stated, and "Confederate commanders for camps of divisions from southern states."

Video shows a man kneeling on the neck of another man shouting unintelligibly back at protesters in New Jersey
Associated Press

A corrections officer who participated in a counter-protest to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in New Jersey in which people re-enacted the death of George Floyd was suspended after the video was widely shared on social media. In the video, protesters march along a street Monday in Franklin Township, Gloucester county, chanting George Floyd! and Black Lives Matter! The video shows they are being escorted by local police. They pass a private property filled with firewood for sale. Video filmed by someone marching shows a man kneeling on the neck of another man shouting unintelligibly back at protesters. Protesters shout back. Two more men are standing nearby and one of them is filming on a cellphone. The group is standing on the roadside in front of a pickup truck outfitted with an American flag and a Trump banner. Several others are nearby. An All Lives Matter sign is also hanging. Another truck shows the thin blue line flag, meant to show support for law enforcement workers. The video has garnered tens of thousands of views and shares on social media. Floyd, a black man, was pinned to the pavement on 25 May by a white Minneapolis police office who put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after Floyd stopped responding. Protests have been held in cities and towns around the world calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism.

By Brakkton Booker

Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., has made history. The Senate unanimously confirmed the four-star general as the U.S. Air Force's chief of staff in a 98-0 vote, making him the first African American to lead a U.S. military service. His historic confirmation comes as the United States is grappling with its history of racial injustice and systemic mistreatment of black communities by law enforcement. Brown's confirmation happened on the same day as the family of George Floyd held his funeral in Houston. Floyd's death has sparked protests across the United States and in many international cities. Floyd, a black man, died last month after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Brown, who is nicknamed "CQ," recently spoke out about the protests and reflected on his own experiences with racism, both growing up and in the military.

By Dade Hayes

UPDATED, with The View discussion: Former Fox News and NBC News host Megyn Kelly unloaded on the decisions to pull Gone with the Wind and Cops in light of protests after the death of George Floyd, with a series of tweets and “unfollow me” replies to her critics. HBO Max said Tuesday it removed 1939 Best Picture Oscar winner Gone with the Wind from the recently launched streamer, saying it would restore the classic film to the service with “a discussion of its historical context.” The Paramount Network, meanwhile, has canceled the long-running docuseries Cops, while A+E Networks is evaluating the future of its A&E megahit Live PD. Kelly warmed up by retweeting an article from the conservative Daily Caller about the HBO Max decision. Then she asked, “Are we going to pull all of the movies in which women are treated as sex objects too? Guess how many films we’ll have left? Where does this end??” She then tweeted at HBO Max, using its Twitter handle: “Let’s do this – every episode of Friends needs to go right now. If not, you hate women (& LGBTQ ppl, who also don’t fare well on Friends). Obviously Game of Thrones has to go right now. Anything by John Hughes … Woody Allen… could go on & on… & on…& on…” Continuing the outburst, she wrote, “You can loathe bad cops, racism, sexism, bias against the LGBTQ community, and not censor historical movies, books, music and art that don’t portray those groups perfectly. Ppl understand art reflects life… as we evolve, so do our cultural touchstones.” Moving on to cop shows, she retweeted Deadline’s coverage and noted that Live PD is “consistently one of the highest rated shows on cable. But now it may go away bc even watching a police show is somehow offensive to some. (Secret option #2: if you don’t like it, don’t watch.)” Backlash from her takes was immediate and fierce, with Kelly then jousting with those who pushed back at her comments. “Please unfollow me,” she told one member of her 2.4 million-strong retinue. “So weird that you follow me,” she scolded another.

By Michael Rothstein ESPN Staff Writer

The Players Coalition has gathered the signatures of more than 1,400 current and retired athletes, coaches, general managers and staff members from the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball for a letter to the United States Congress supporting a bill to end qualified immunity, which makes it difficult to sue police officers for brutality. Among the prominent athletes and coaches who signed the letter are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Myles Garrett, Alex Bregman, CC Sabathia, Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich. U.S. Reps. Justin Amash, L-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., introduced the bill Thursday, seeking to eliminate the doctrine of qualified immunity and give Americans a better chance to hold police and other public officials accountable in court when the citizens believe their constitutional rights are violated. Amash and Pressley introduced the bill in response to the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police.

By Vanessa Romo

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace, the first full-time African-American driver on NASCAR's top circuit in more than 45 years, wasn't always offended by the Confederate flag. But now he wants them banned from all races. The 26-year-old from Alabama said he's been making an effort to educate himself on what the flag signifies for many people. Presumably, that for some it's become an emblem for white supremacy, and is a reminder of America's slave history, bigotry and oppression of African Americans. "What I'm chasing is checkered flags, and that was kind of my narrative," Wallace said in a Monday interview with CNN. "But diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that, people talk about that — that's the first thing they bring up." He added, "My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags. No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them."

The department must appear in court to “address the court’s questions regarding certain redactions" from the report
By Alex Henderson

The Mueller report hasn't been in the headlines much in 2020, a year that has found reporters heavily focused on the Ukraine scandal, President Donald Trump's acquittal on two articles of impeachment, the coronavirus pandemic, former Vice President Joe Biden's surge in the Democratic presidential primary and — most recently — the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. But the Mueller report is still a compelling read, and a federal judge is demanding some answers after confirming, on June 8, that he has read an unredacted version of the lengthy document. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, according to Law & Crime's Matt Naham, has ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to answer questions "regarding certain redactions of the Mueller Report" at a hearing now set for July 20. In the past, Walton has been critical of Attorney General William Barr's response to the Mueller Report, asserting that Barr, in 2019, "distorted" the findings of former special counsel Robert Mueller. And now that Walton has read the Mueller Report in unredacted form, he is more concerned than ever about Barr's response to it.

CBS Evening News

Both George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged for Floyd's death, worked together at a nightclub and had a history of not getting along. The owner of the nightclub says Chauvin was afraid and intimidated by black people. Jeff Pegues has the details.

He’ll be buried Tuesday next to his mom, whom he called out for in his final moments.
By Katelyn Burns

Two weeks after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota — sparking nationwide protests against racism and police brutality — he is being laid to rest in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. Floyd’s family, clad in white, and friends gathered with elected officials and civil rights leaders at the Fountain of Praise church to remember Floyd for his third and final funeral service before the burial. They were joined by the families of other Black people killed at the hands of police, such as Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, and Eric Garner. Even though the service was limited to 500 people, hundreds of mourners traveled to the church, not expecting to make it inside. They gathered instead outside the church to show support and solidarity. Through video, former Vice President Joe Biden addressed Floyd’s family at the service. “Unlike most, you must grieve in public and it’s a burden. A burden that is now your purpose to change the world for the better, in the name of George Floyd,” he said. He also spoke directly to Floyd’s daughter, Gianna. “You are so brave, I know you have a lot of questions, honey,” he said. “No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have to ask for generations, ‘Why is Daddy gone?’”

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) The footage is striking. An elderly man approaches a police line in Buffalo, New York. He is pushed backward by police, stumbles and falls, hitting his head on the pavement. Blood immediately begins to pour from his ear. None of the officers stop to help him. In a country on high alert for incidents of unnecessary use of force by police against those protesting in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the video sparked outrage. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the episode "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful." The two officers involved in the incident were suspended. But on Tuesday morning, the President of the United States suggested -- without offering a shred of evidence -- that the entire episode was the result of a broad scam involving Antifa, a protest organization "whose political beliefs lean toward the left -- often the far left -- but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform."

By Yelena Dzhanova

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ripped into President Donald Trump on Tuesday for tweeting the unsupported notion that an injured Buffalo, New York, protester was involved with antifa. Early Tuesday Trump said the elderly man who had been pushed down by police officers while protesting against the death of unarmed black man George Floyd was part of the group. “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment,” Trump tweeted. ”@OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?

The Meidas Touch is a progressive PAC founded in April by attorney Ben Meiselas and his two brothers
By Danielle Zoellner

A new political action committee, which was founded by Colin Kaepernick's attorney, has released a scathing ad against Ivanka Trump. In the video, the committee compiled Ms Trump's commencement speech she prepared for Wichita State University with statements from Donald Trump, and news footage of police brutality against protesters. Ms Trump was initially supposed to give the commencement speech to the 2020 graduates, but the Kansas school dropped her speech following a backlash from students.  In response, the president's daughter shared her video on Twitter.

Law enforcement agencies acknowledge involvement in deflating tyres after viral video shows police in military gear striking parked cars
By Chris Riotta

Law enforcement officers were caught on camera slashing tyres near protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, with reports revealing the vehicles belonged not just to demonstrators, but medics and journalists as well. Officers from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Troopers were ordered to deflate tyres as part of an effort to quell the protests, both agencies confirmed this week. The acknowledgement comes after videos surfaced online showing law enforcement dressed in military attire slashing tyres at a parking lot near the demonstrations. Before the videos — which have since gone viral — surfaced online and were published by Mother Jones, many believed the slashed tyres were done by protestors rather than the police. Bruce Gordon, spokesperson for the Minneapolis Department of Public Safety, said in a statement that slashing tyres was “not a typical tactic” while adding: “Vehicles were being used as dangerous weapons and inhibited our ability to clear areas and keep areas safe where violent protests were occurring.” “State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tyre … in order to stop behaviours such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement,” Mr Gordon said in a statement to the Star Tribune, which initially reported on the tyres slashing.

The president’s conspiratorial tweet comes after a video of the encounter between Martin Gugino and two police officers went viral online.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested without evidence that the 75-year-old man whose head was cracked open by Buffalo law enforcement last week was an “ANTIFA provocateur,” alleging the protester was seeking to “set up” the police officers who assaulted him. “Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN,” Trump wrote on Twitter, citing the conservative cable channel One America News Network. Trump added: “I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?” The president’s conspiratorial social media post comes after a video of the encounter last Thursday between Martin Gugino and Buffalo, New York, police — shot by local NPR affiliate WBFO — went viral online amid nationwide protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by Minneapolis police. The footage shows Gugino approach two officers outfitted in tactical gear who were part of a larger group of police enforcing the city’s 8 p.m. curfew in Buffalo’s Niagara Square, in front of city hall. After a brief interaction, the officers forcefully push Gugino, and he falls backward onto the pavement. Officers can then be seen walking past Gugino’s body as he bleeds from his head.

“This is the duality I live with as a black man in America, even one who is privileged to be part of systems of power,” Foreman said.
By Alexandra Kelley

The president of the Chicago Police Board, Ghian Foreman, said Friday that he was struck with batons by police officers as they clashed with protesters on the South Side of the city. Like many other cities, they were protesting police brutality in light of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died during an arrest on May 25. The Chicago Tribune reports that Foreman was not participating in the demonstrations, but encountered it on a walk when it became confrontational. He said during a Police Board press conference that he was hit about five times in his legs with batons. “It was chaos. It was a no-win situation on both sides,” Foreman said of the clash. Foreman told the press that he shared his experience to reinforce his position on police accountability as well as the fact “that it seems ironic that someone in a public-facing position could also become a victim of police aggression.” “This is the duality I live with as a black man in America, even one who is privileged to be part of systems of power,” he explained. “I am not exempt from what any other black man faces on the streets.”

Social media posts showed someone slashed the tires on nearly all of the cars parked at a Minneapolis Kmart located near George Floyd protests.
By Alex Kasprak

On May 30, 2020, amid a militarized police operation aimed at quelling unrest in the streets of Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, the tires on numerous cars in a Kmart parking lot located near some demonstrations were slashed. Several videos showed what appeared to be law enforcement officers slashing these tires, and posts on social media indicated that tires on most if not all of the cars in this lot were slashed. Video also showed law enforcement officers slashing tires parked on a street the next day. These events, featured in a story in Mother Jones magazine, were well-documented, in part because numerous journalists and news producers were among those whose tires were slashed. This included Star Tribune reporter Chris Serres, New Yorker reporter Luke Mogelson, WCCO news anchor Jeff Wagner, Radio Canada reporter Philippe Leblanc, and Los Angeles television producer Andrew Kimmel. Speaking of the parking lot when he returned to his car, Kimmel said that “every tire on my rental car” had been slashed “as well as every tire of every car in this parking lot.” Serres told the Star Tribune that, “As far as I could see, it looked like all their tires had been slashed.”

By Scottie Andrew, CNN

(CNN) Last week, Minneapolis officials confirmed they were considering a fairly rare course of action: disbanding the city police department.
It's not the first locale to break up a department, but no cities as populous have ever attempted it. Minneapolis city council members haven't specified what or who will replace it if the department disbands. Camden, New Jersey, may be the closest thing to a case study they can get. The city, home to a population about 17% of Minneapolis' size, dissolved its police department in 2012 and replaced it with an entirely new one after corruption rendered the existing agency unfixable. Before its police reforms, Camden was routinely named one of the most violent cities in the US. Now, seven years after the old department was booted, the city's crime has dropped by close to half. Officers host outdoor parties for residents and knock on doors to introduce themselves. It's a radically different Camden than it was even a decade ago. Here's how they did it.

Why departments dissolve police
A city's decision to dissolve its police department is often a matter of money -- and the cities that chose to do so are often quite small. Camden comes closest to Minneapolis in its size and history of misconduct. Earlier this year, the village of Deposit, New York, dissolved its department because it cost $200,000 per year. Now, a single sheriff's deputy is assigned to the village, CNN affiliate WICZ reported. Garden City, Missouri, laid off all of its officers and suspended its police chief because, as its mayor said in 2018, the city couldn't afford to keep them employed. In a bizarre move, Rio Vista police leadership abruptly left the department, and half of the remaining officers left for other jobs, so the California city's department could no longer go on, CNN affiliate KCRA reported in January.

By Lori Robertson

The national semantics exercise over “pepper balls” and “tear gas” has continued. On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Attorney General William Barr was asked if it was appropriate for the U.S. Park Police “to use smoke bombs, tear gas, pepper balls, projectiles at what appeared to be peaceful protesters” outside the White House on June 1. Barr objected to the description of “pepper spray” as a “chemical irritant,” saying, “It’s not chemical.” But Barr is contradicted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Department of Justice, as Dr. Ranit Mishori, senior medical adviser for Physicians for Human Rights and a Georgetown University professor of family medicine, told us. “Barr should know better and perhaps brush up on his high school chemistry lessons,” Mishori said. “Pepper spray is a chemical irritant. Period. The CDC classifies it as a chemical irritant, as does his own Department of Justice.” On its website, the CDC says pepper spray is a “riot control agent,” and such agents “(sometimes referred to as ‘tear gas’) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.” Mishori referred us to a 2009 DOJ Office of Inspector General report on “less-lethal weapons” that describes pepper spray, and the brand name PepperBall system, as “chemical agents.” (It’s worth noting the report also lists “CS Gas (Tear Gas)” in that category.) As we’ve written, President Donald Trump objected to media descriptions of the use of “tear gas” to disperse protesters near the White House before the president walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church to pose for photos with a Bible. The U.S. Park Police acting chief said in a statement, “No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners” that night, but said “smoke canisters and pepper balls” were used. Pepper balls contain a pepper spray-like irritant. We found some sources — including the Scientific American — consider pepper spray a type of tear gas, while others say both chemicals have the same effect on people.

By Barbara Starr and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

(CNN) US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are said to be open to holding a "bipartisan conversation" about renaming nearly a dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders, according to an Army official. The official said that though McCarthy believes he has the potential authority to unilaterally rename the installations, there would need to be consultation with the White House, Congress and state and local governments. In a statement Monday, the Army confirmed that McCarthy and Esper are "open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic" but added that "each Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a significant place in our military history." "Accordingly, the historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies," the statement said. Army installations named after Confederate leaders include Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. The news come as the country continues to see widespread protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed last month in police custody in Minneapolis. Protesters have demanded justice for Floyd and have sought to draw attention to decades of police brutality toward black Americans as a result of what they say is institutionalized racism in law enforcement agencies. As a result, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced earlier this month plans to remove a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue. And on Friday, the US Marine Corps announced it had ordered the removal of all public displays of the Confederate flag from Marine installations. That includes eliminating any depictions of the flag from individual offices and storage spaces to naval vessels and government vehicles. "The Marine Corps shall remove the Confederate battle flag from all installation public spaces and work areas in order to support our core values, ensure unit cohesion and security, and preserve good order and discipline," the order said.

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Faced with outrage from black alumni and the resignation of at least three African American staffers, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has deleted and apologized for a two-week-old tweet that showed a face mask decorated with a photo of a person in Ku Klux Klan robes and another in blackface. The images were intended to mock the mask requirement implemented by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who nearly resigned from his office last year amid revelations that the racist photo had been featured on his medical school yearbook page. But it upset many of the African American students, staff and alumni at Liberty, which was founded in Lynchburg, Va., in 1971 by Falwell’s father, Jerry Falwell Sr., and is one of the largest Christian universities in the world. LeeQuan McLaurin, who began as a student at Liberty in 2012 and has worked there since, resigned from his position as director of diversity retention last week. He said in an email that Falwell’s tweet on May 27 was a tipping point of larger racially related problems that he has experienced at the school, which he said have contributed to a drop in Liberty’s residential undergraduate African American population from 10 percent to 4 percent between 2007 and 2018.

CBS This Morning

As nationwide protests continue to call for an end to police brutality, law enforcement faces increasing scrutiny and pressure for immediate change. Gayle King spoke to four police chiefs from around the country to discuss much-needed change, systemic racism and their reaction to the video of George Floyd's death.

By Helier Cheung BBC News, Washington DC

Thousands of Americans are taking to the streets to protest about racism - many for the first time in their lives. Why has this particular tragedy struck such a chord? George Floyd is not the first African American whose death in police custody sparked protests. There were also rallies and calls for change after Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed by police. But this time seems different, with the response more sustained and widespread. There have been demonstrations across the US - in all 50 states and DC - including in cities and rural communities that are predominantly white. Local governments, sports and businesses appear readier to take a stand this time - most notably with the Minneapolis city council pledging to dismantle the police department. And the Black Lives Matter protests this time seem more racially diverse - with larger numbers of white protesters, and protesters from other ethnicities, standing with black activists. A number of different factors combined to create "the perfect storm for rebellion" over George Floyd's death, Frank Leon Roberts, an activist who teaches a course on the Black Lives Matter movement at New York University, told the BBC.

Floyd's death was particularly 'gruesome and obvious'
A police officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee on Mr Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes - even as Mr Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe" and eventually became unresponsive. The incident was clearly recorded on video. "In many previous instances of police violence, there's a possibility of an ambiguous narrative - there's a partial view of what happened, or the police officer says they made a split-second decision because they feared for their life," Mr Roberts said. "In this case, it was a completely unambiguous act of injustice - where people could see this man [Floyd] was completely unarmed and incapacitated."

By Harmeet Kaur and Kay Jones, CNN

(CNN) A man who is accused of driving his car through a group of protesters in Virginia is an "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology," according to the Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney. Harry Rogers, 36, is charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism, and assault and battery, and is being held without bond. He was arraigned in court on Monday morning, according to online court records.
Rogers' next court hearing is scheduled for August 18. The Henrico County Police Division said in a statement that it received a call from Richmond Police on Sunday about an incident that had happened during a protest in Richmond. CNN affiliate WTVR reported the protest was a Black Lives Matter march, one of dozens that have occurred across the country since the death of George Floyd last month. Several witnesses reported that a vehicle had "revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway," police said.

By Melissa Alonso and Susannah Cullinane, CNN

(CNN) A retired US Navy captain who used derogatory language and racial slurs during a conversation with his wife that was accidentally live streamed on Facebook says he is "mortified" and working to be a better person. Scott Bethmann resigned from the US Naval Academy Alumni Association board after he accidentally streamed the conversation with his wife Nancy, according to a statement from the alumni association and a family spokesperson.
Bethmann and his wife were live on Facebook for more than 30 minutes, discussing recent events around the country, according to audio obtained by CNN affiliate WJXT.  Bethmann is heard using the N-word and complaining about not being able to speak his mind, saying, "The white m*****f*****s can't say anything. That's the point we're making here, Nancy." His wife is heard in the recording talking about "F****** Asians from China who love to steal all of our intellectual property." Bethmann's Facebook page has since been removed.

'We are deeply sorry'
In a statement issued through a family spokesperson, Bethmann said it was never appropriate "to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man." "There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media," he said. "I know that an apology from us rings hollow on many ears in our community, especially in the current environment. We intend on using this experience as an opportunity to grow, listen, learn, and reflect. - They are always sorry after they get caught.

The HBO host discussed why defunding the police doesn't mean what many believe.
By Kevin Slane, Staff Writer

John Oliver devoted Sunday’s entire episode of “Last Week Tonight” to the ongoing protests against police brutality, diving into one of the rallying cries of the demonstrations: defund the police. As the HBO host explained, “defund the police” doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of all law enforcement. Instead, it’s about refocusing state budgets in order to make police intervention less necessary, he said. In support of this idea, Oliver played a clip of a former Dallas police chief who said that police are often asked to solve problems like drug addiction, mental health, and even stray dogs because funding in other departments has been slashed over the course of decades. “Defunding the police absolutely doesn’t mean we eliminate all cops and succumb to ‘The Purge,'” Oliver said. “Instead, it’s about moving away from a narrow conception of public safety that relies on policing and punishment and investing in a community’s actual safety net — things like stable housing, mental health services, and community organization. “The concept is the role of the police can significantly shrink because they’re not responding to the homeless, or to mental health calls, or arresting children in schools, or other situations where the best solution isn’t someone showing up with a gun,” Oliver continued. “This clearly isn’t about individual officers, it’s about a structure built on systemic racism, that this country created intentionally and now needs to dismantle intentionally and replace with one that takes into account the needs of the people it actually serves, and this is going to take sustained pressure and attention over a long period of time from all of us.”

Filibusters against the president's nominees have hit historic highs.

President Donald Trump is facing more delays to his nominees than any previous president. And if Joe Biden beats him, the former vice president might get it even worse. The Senate’s confirmation process is nearly broken, and the numbers show it’s a race to the bottom. George W. Bush faced the most procedural hurdles and filibusters to his nominees until Barack Obama was elected and faced historic blockades. Then Trump came along and became the record holder in just part of a term, according to a POLITICO analysis of Senate votes. It’s the latest glaring sign of Senate dysfunction, showing just how difficult it has become to staff up an administration. And it’s hard to imagine that Republicans will go easy on Biden if he wins, even as both parties decry the trend. “It’s a major concern, having gone through a couple confirmations myself,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who faced little opposition when confirmed to be Bush’s budget director and top trade diplomat. “We’ve got to figure this out. If you do it to one side, it tends to happen to the other side.” With Senate leaders gutting the chamber’s supermajority requirement for nominees, delaying an eventual confirmation is now the only tool the Senate minority has to fight nominees they oppose. Any one senator can do it, and there’s enormous political pressure from the opposition party to resist nominees of a sitting president — especially a controversial figure like Trump.

Voting rights advocates worry the effort will target and intimidate minority voters.
By Jane C. Timm

Republicans are recruiting an estimated 50,000 volunteers to act as "poll watchers" in November, part of a multimillion-dollar effort to police who votes and how. That effort, coordinated by the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, includes a $20 million fund for legal battles as well as the GOP's first national poll-patrol operation in nearly 40 years. While poll watching is an ordinary part of elections — both parties do it — voting rights advocates worry that such a moneyed, large-scale offensive by the Republicans will intimidate and target minority voters who tend to vote Democratic and chill turnout in a pivotal contest already upended by the coronavirus pandemic. Some states allow poll monitors to challenge a voter's eligibility, requiring that person's ballot undergo additional vetting to be counted. In Michigan, for example, a challenged voter will be removed from line and questioned about their citizenship, age, residency and date of voter registration if, according to election rules, a vote challenger has "good reason" to believe they are not eligible. They are required to take an oath attesting that their answers are true and are given a special ballot.

Amid the crisis, some are worried about Trump's discussion of "total" authority.
By Matthew Mosk and Katherine Faulders

Thousands of soldiers and law enforcement officers descended on the nation's capital. Steel fences encircled the White House. Heavily armed officers met protesters with flash-bang grenades and chemical agents. The bleak new look for the seat of American democracy last week came matched with rhetoric from President Donald Trump, who began publicly flirting with the idea of using active duty military to "dominate" and reclaim the streets from what he described as chaotic crowds in places not willing or able to contain the unrest. In response to the president's threats to deploy military assets in a domestic setting, former military brass and departed Trump aides leveled a succession of pointed warnings. And lawmakers have sought reassurances that any future spike in violence or disease won't bring a military crackdown. Even though Trump has been prone to using fiery language for spectacle, and appears to have retreated from flexing about using more force, his critics maintain there are fresh reasons to worry. He could seek to further expand the boundaries of his power, they told ABC News, with several adding ominously that there are two words they fear most: martial law. "This president has indicated no respect for limitations on his authority," U.S. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, told ABC News on Friday. "What is he capable of? I think the answer is, pretty much anything."

By Nandita Bose, Makini Brice, Lucas Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators amassed in Washington and other U.S. cities on Saturday demanding an end to racism and brutality by law enforcement, as protests sparked by George Floyd’s fatal encounter with Minneapolis police stretched into a 12th day. A Lincoln Memorial rally and march to the White House marked the largest outpouring yet of protests nationwide since video footage emerged showing Floyd, an unarmed black man in handcuffs, lying face down and struggling to breathe as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Demonstrators rallied on Saturday in numerous urban centers - among them New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Miami - as well as in small, rural communities across the country. “It feels like I get to be a part of history and a part of the group of people who are trying to change the world for everyone,” said Jamilah Muahyman, a Washington resident at a demonstration near the White House.

By Lisette Voytko Forbes Staff

As protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing enter their 12th day, stunning images and video have emerged over the past 24 hours from around the world, including a group of U.K. protesters throwing the statue of a slave trader into a river.

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that President Donald Trump has "drifted away" from the Constitution, adding to a growing list of former top military officials who have strongly criticized the President's response to the nationwide protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd. "We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it," Powell, a retired general who served under President George W. Bush, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." The comments from Powell, the first African American secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, add to a growing list of rebukes made in recent days by former top officials who have expressed discontent with Trump's strongman approach to the protests sparked by the death of Floyd, a black man who was killed in late May by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Powell said he's "proud" of what a number of former generals, admirals and diplomats have said about Trump's response last week to the widespread protests, adding that he hadn't released a public statement denouncing Trump's response because he felt he had demonstrated his displeasure with Trump in 2016 when he voted against him. "I think what we're seeing now, is (the most) massive protest movement I have ever seen in my life, I think it suggests the country is getting wise to this and we're not going to put up with it anymore," the retired general told Tapper. In contrast, he called out Republican lawmakers for largely staying silent on Trump's response last week to the national unrest. "I watched the senators heading into the chamber the other day after all this broke, with the reporters saying, 'What do you have to say? What do they you to say?'" he said. "They had nothing to say. They would not react."

By Teo Armus, Meryl Kornfield and Annie Gowen

One Facebook post falsely claimed that the killing of George Floyd in police custody last month was a “staged event,” meant to rile up opposition to President Trump. Another showed a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. next to a banana — an established racist trope. And a third claimed that George Soros, the liberal billionaire, paid “white cops to murder black people” and “black people to riot because race wars keep the sheep in line.” All of these posts were shared in recent days by Republican county leaders in Texas, some of whom are now facing calls to resign from top officials within their own party, including Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott, who called the posts “disgusting,” the Texas Tribune reported. The posts have unleashed a firestorm of controversy in the state of 29 million where Republicans are struggling to beat back Democratic advances in the rapidly diversifying electorate.

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Kelly Mena, CNN

Washington, DC (CNN)A Texas Republican county chairman-elect said Saturday he won't assume office amid backlash over posting a controversial image of a Martin Luther King Jr. quote with a banana in the picture. Keith Nielsen, the GOP chairman-elect in Harris County, announced in a Facebook post that he would be stepping aside and would not be taking office in August. Harris County encompasses Houston and the surrounding area. "I have spent my entire adult life supporting conservative candidates and causes and I am grateful for the thousands of supporters who have reached out to me over the last several days," Nielsen's post began. "I regret that I must step aside as Chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party and will not be taking office on Aug. 3rd. I will continue to stand up for the values that have made our country great...'Faith, family and freedom.' Dr. King's quote is as relevant today as when it was delivered. 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'" he added. Earlier this week, Nielsen had posted to Facebook an image of a King quote -- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" -- featured with a banana, according to The Texas Tribune.

The viral anti–Black Lives Matter protests in Merrick, New York, stem from Long Island’s history of racist housing policy.
By Rebecca Onion

Among the many viral videos of nationwide protests against police brutality this past week was a clip of a tense scene from Merrick, New York, a mostly white town on Long Island. On Tuesday, residents tried to block 100 Black Lives Matter protesters from marching down Route 27A, yelling “Get them the hell out of here!,” and suggesting that they be rerouted to march through a more diverse town nearby. Undaunted, protesters returned on Wednesday, to scattered reports of conflict. The renewed demonstration was largely peaceful; this time, a viral video of 7-year-old protester Wynta-Amor Rogers marching and chanting dominated the coverage. Still, the incidents on Tuesday had some wondering: What is going on, out there on Long Island, given its location in a blue state and its proximity to liberal New York City? (The actor Billy Baldwin tweeted: “I grew up near #Merrick … Lots of good people there but like many other towns on Long Island … far too many ignorant, intolerant pricks.”) I spoke with Douglas Massey, a sociologist at Princeton University who writes about residential segregation, about Long Island’s unique history, and its enduring divisions. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

CBS Evening News

President Trump initially wanted to deploy 10,000 troops to Washington D.C. following last week's protests over the death of George Floyd. High-ranking members of Mr. Trump's cabinet managed to dissuade him of the idea. Ben Tracy reports.

Will the military allow the President to use it for political advantage?
By Dexter Filkins

The image of Donald Trump leading his advisers to St. John’s Church may prove to be a defining one of his Presidency: Trump, passing through streets that had been cleared of protesters by tear gas, to pose with a Bible while fires burned all over the country. For many members of the military, the image contained an especially discordant note. Amid the political aides in blue suits was a barrel-chested Army officer wearing combat fatigues: General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America’s highest-ranking soldier. A former senior defense official described to me his disgust with that moment and the de-facto endorsement that it represented. “Walking the streets of D.C. in your combat fatigues—are you kidding me?” he said. Milley’s appearance breached the long-standing Washington norm that senior officers don’t visit the White House dressed for combat. More important, it violated one of the oldest traditions of the American constitutional order: soldiers stay out of politics. With relatively few exceptions—including the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, the Civil War, and Reconstruction—the armed forces have hewed to the rule that they should never be deployed against American citizens. This helps to explain why the military is among the few national institutions that still enjoy broad public confidence. But Trump has shown himself willing to trash any institution—the press, the F.B.I., the State Department—that he can’t bend to his will. This week, Milley and Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense, allowed the armed forces to be drawn into Trump’s protest response—and allowed themselves to be used for Trump’s political gain.

The activity by a senior Trump campaign adviser, and former White House aide, reflects a broader movement by some Republicans to attack the protests against police brutality.

President Donald Trump and his allies for years have amplified racist messages on Twitter while simultaneously reaching out to black and Hispanic voters, a dissonant balancing act that’s now rocking the GOP amid nationwide racial-justice protests. The two competing forces collided Saturday on the Twitter feed of Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp, when she boosted a tweet that lauded a man in Texas in a viral video as he yelled the n-word and wielded a chainsaw to chase away anti-racism demonstrators. After POLITICO reached out to her and the campaign Saturday morning, Schlapp then retweeted another account that posted a version of the video that muted the racist slur. After this story published, she removed both her retweets and issued a written apology Saturday evening. “I deeply apologize and I retweeted without watching the full video. I deleted the tweet,” Schlapp wrote. “I would never knowingly promote the use of that word. This is time for healing the nation and not division.” Beyond Trump’s inner circle, Republicans have been under fire over racist social-media posts in Texas, where the chainsaw incident happened, triggering strife within GOP circles. A dozen GOP county chairs in the state are under scrutiny for sharing racist social media posts commenting on the unrest and uprisings across the nation in response to the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a white Minnesota police officer. One county chair juxtaposed a Martin Luther King Jr. quote next to an image of a banana, and another commented that “pandemic isn’t working. Start the racial wars.”

By Joel Shannon - USA TODAY

The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday ordered all public displays of the Confederate flag removed, a ban that extends to bumper stickers, clothing, mugs, posters and more. The order directs Marine Corps commanders to find and remove displays of the flag in "work places, common-access areas, and public areas" on base. "The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps," a notice posted by the U.S. Marines on Twitter says. Exceptions to the order include state flags that include the Confederate flag and Confederate soldiers' gravesites. Individual barracks, living quarters and private vehicles will not be inspected, the order says.  In April, top Marine Gen. David Berger banned the display of the Confederate flag and other such symbols. The Marines' Friday announcement formalizes that ban. It's a position that no other military branch has yet taken, Military.com reports.

By Sam Cooper

Many former football players at the University of Iowa are speaking out about some of the negative experiences they had during their time playing in Iowa City. The players, most of whom are black, were critical of the culture of the Hawkeyes program with many detailing negative interactions with coaches and saying simply that they felt like they could not be themselves inside the walls of the football facility. James Daniels, a 2018 second-round pick of the Chicago Bears, was the first to really open up. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz spoke with reporters earlier this week and was asked about the social unrest that has followed the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. One of Ferentz’s responses sparked a comment from Andrews, who said if the Iowa football team decided to kneel during the national anthem, it would “bring about a cultural change for both Iowa and the state of Iowa” he believes is “long overdue.”

Half a decade after a spate of officer-involved deaths inspired widespread protest, many police unions are digging in to defend members.
By Noam Scheiber, Farah Stockman and J. David Goodman

Over the past five years, as demands for reform have mounted in the aftermath of police violence in cities like Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and now Minneapolis, police unions have emerged as one of the most significant roadblocks to change. The greater the political pressure for reform, the more defiant the unions often are in resisting it — with few city officials, including liberal leaders, able to overcome their opposition. They aggressively protect the rights of members accused of misconduct, often in arbitration hearings that they have battled to keep behind closed doors. And they have also been remarkably effective at fending off broader change, using their political clout and influence to derail efforts to increase accountability. While rates of union membership have dropped by half nationally since the early 1980s, to 10 percent, higher membership rates among police unions give them resources they can spend on campaigns and litigation to block reform. A single New York City police union has spent more than $1 million on state and local races since 2014. In St. Louis, when Kim Gardner was elected the top prosecutor four years ago, she set out to rein in the city’s high rate of police violence. But after she proposed a unit within the prosecutor’s office that would independently investigate misconduct, she ran into the powerful  local police union. The union pressured lawmakers to set aside the proposal, which many supported but then never brought to a vote. Around the same time, a lawyer for the union waged a legal fight to limit the ability of the prosecutor’s office to investigate police misconduct. The following year, a leader of the union said Ms. Gardner should be removed “by force or by choice.” Politicians tempted to cross police unions have long feared being labeled soft on crime by the unions, or more serious consequences. When Steve Fletcher, a Minneapolis city councilman and frequent Police Department critic, sought to divert money away from hiring officers and toward a newly created office of violence prevention, he said, the police stopped responding as quickly to 911 calls placed by his constituents. “It operates a little bit like a protection racket,” Mr. Fletcher said of the union.

By Sean Carlin

Quick Take
Some viral social media posts misleadingly suggest that piles of bricks are being staged ahead of the protests over the death of George Floyd to incite violence. We reviewed five social media posts making such claims and found no evidence of staging. In many cases, the bricks had been delivered for construction projects, or had been at the sites for some time.

Full Story
Cities and communities throughout the U.S. have experienced protests and unrest since George Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25. The protests and clashes between police and demonstrators have spurred memes and social media posts to misleadingly claim that large piles of bricks have been deliberately placed near the locations of planned protests in several cities to incite more violence. But we found no evidence of such staging. In many cases, news reports and officials in several cities have said that the pallets of bricks were delivered for construction projects or have been at those locations for some time — and were not placed there for protesters. Here’s what we found:

Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

(CNN) The past week and its showcase of President Donald Trump's erratic behavior offered a window into how he would deal with defeat. Surely he would offer excuses and question the results. But would he do something more drastic? For that matter, how would he act after a victory? I reached out to Kate Andersen Brower, the journalist, CNN contributor and author of a number of books about presidents and the presidency, most recently "Team of Five: The Presidents' Club in the Age of Trump," about the most recent presidents and their relationships with each other. Our Q-and-A, lightly edited, is below.

By Brendan Cole

An illustrious list of dozens of former U.S. defense leaders, both military and civilian and across the political spectrum, have signed a strongly-worded letter condemning President Donald Trump's call for a military response to quell protests. Leon Panetta is one of four former defense secretaries at the top of the list of 89 signatures backing the letter which accuses Trump of using "inflammatory language" in the unrest caused by the death in custody of George Floyd. The letter published in The Washington Post describes Trump's pledge to send active-duty members of the military to "dominate" protesters, whether local mayors or state governors wanted him to or not as a "shocking promise." In comments in the Rose Garden on Friday, Trump repeated the word he used earlier in the week, appealing to governors: "You have to dominate the streets. You can't let what's happening, happen," according to Reuters.

By Rachel Sharp and Karen Ruiz For Dailymail.com

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has said the 75-year-old man who was shoved to the ground by two cops on Thursday was an 'agitator' who tried to work up the crowd and had been asked to leave the area 'numerous' times. Brown addressed the incident in a press conference on Friday after 57 officers on the Emergency Response Team resigned from their positions in support of their two colleagues who were suspended without pay after video showed them pushing protester Martin Gugino and causing him to fall and hit his head. Gugino, a longtime peace activist from Amherst, had been at a protest at Niagara Square near Buffalo City Hall when he approached a line of officers in riot gear after the city's 8pm curfew went into effect. 'What we were informed of is that that individual was an agitator. He was trying to spark up the crowd of people. Those people were there into the darkness. Our concern is when it gets dark, there is a potential for violence,' Brown said.

Al Sharpton delivered a powerful eulogy at George Floyd’s memorial as peaceful protests went on. Plus, the Trump-loving cop blocking reform in Minneapolis
By Tim Walker

Good morning, Curfews were lifted from Los Angeles to Washington DC on Thursday as peaceful protests against police violence continued for another day in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by officers in Minneapolis. Floyd’s family led the mourners at a memorial service in the Minnesota city – the first of three such events planned across the country – where the Rev Al Sharpton gave voice to the passion, anger and hope of the protesters in a moving eulogy: What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country in education and health services and in every area of American life. It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks. Amid the widespread unrest over Floyd’s death, several fresh incidents of police violence stand out. Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, have been suspended following the emergence of a video in which they shoved a 75-year-old man to the ground. In Vallejo, California, police shot dead an unarmed 22-year-old who was on his knees with his hands up. In Austin, Texas, a black college student is in critical condition after suffering brain damage from a police beanbag round during a protest. The nephew of David McAtee, shot dead by law enforcement in Louisville this week, says the police “need to apologize and say ‘we was wrong’.” The death of Manuel Ellis, who suffered a respiratory arrest in police custody in Washington state in March, has been ruled a homicide. Rather than reform policing in America, we ought to defund it and use public spending in more publicly responsible ways, says the laywer and activist Malaika Jabali, arguing that police were never really created to protect and serve the masses:

The police are supposed to protect free speech, not suppress it.
By The Editorial Board

When George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, the scourge of police violence, festering for generations, became a rallying point for Americans yearning for the fulfillment of this country’s founding aspiration to promote life, liberty and happiness. Yet as they turned out to exercise their most basic rights as citizens, these Americans have often encountered only more contempt for those rights from the people who are supposed to protect them. Some protesters crossed the line into violence. Some people took advantage of the chaos to loot. But all too often, facing peaceful demonstrations against police violence, the police responded with more violence — against protesters, journalists and bystanders. In a handful of cities, local leaders recognized what was at stake, and their response can point the way forward for the country. In Houston, the police chief, Art Acevedo, told protesters: “We will march as a department with everybody in this community. I will march until I can’t stand no more. But I will not allow anyone to tear down this city.” He had the sense to recognize that a vast majority of demonstrators wanted what he wanted, a better city. And he clearly saw that the responsibility of the police was not to abridge but to safeguard the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, assembly, the press and religion. In many places, the country is experiencing a communal breakdown so complete that mayors have thrown up their hands and ordered curfews or called in the National Guard. Unable to maintain urban life, they have tried to suspend it, just as they had done in response to the spread of the coronavirus. - Trump and Barr do not care about our 1st amendment rights.

The announcement comes after the tech giant's inaction on the president's posts sparked uproar, in and out of the company.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Friday the social media giant will reexamine its policies against violent threats and voter suppression after facing intense backlash over its recent handling of incendiary posts by President Donald Trump, particularly from its own employees. In a lengthy Facebook post, Zuckerberg said he wanted to “acknowledge the real pain expressed by members of our community” over the company’s decision not to take any action on a Trump post that appeared to threaten protesters with violence. The move has sparked unrest at the tech behemoth, with scores of staffers publicly denouncing the decision and skipping work in protest. In response, the tech mogul said Friday the company will be revisiting its policies against “threats of state use of force” and voter suppression efforts, as well as its current “binary” standard of either taking down or leaving up posts that may incite violence. “We're going to review potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions,” he wrote. “I know many of you think we should have labeled the President's posts in some way last week.”

NBC News

Manuel Ellis could be heard telling officers “I can’t breathe” in a witness’s video of his arrest three months ago in Tacoma, Washington. The 33-year-old’s death was ruled a homicide on Wednesday, with the city’s mayor vowing to take action.

By Katelyn Polantz and Kelly Mena, CNN

(CNN) A spokesperson for the US Park Police said Friday afternoon that the department had made a mistake by denying use of tear gas to clear peaceful protesters from a public park outside the White House earlier this week. Not long after, the department's acting chief once again denied using tear gas. Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a spokesperson for the Park Police, told CNN on Friday he now realized the department could have called the pepper balls it used "tear gas," reiterating what he had first told Vox, that it was a "mistake" to say the force hadn't used tear gas on Monday. "The point is we admitted to using what we used," Delgado first told Vox. "I think the term 'tear gas' doesn't even matter anymore. It was a mistake on our part for using 'tear gas' because we just assumed people would think CS or CN." CS and CN are two substances widely referred to as tear gas. The semantics debate over what to call the particular chemical irritants police used to disperse protesters began when the department released a statement on Tuesday saying that it "did not use tear gas" to clear dozens of protesters from Lafayette Square on Monday evening in a chaotic scene of gas and force. The protesters were cleared so that President Donald Trump could walk to the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo op. Trump and conservatives cited the Park Police's statement in attacks on media coverage of the event -- even though the police acknowledged using chemical irritants. Delgado said on Friday that the force still stood behind its statement from Tuesday, which explained that it had used smoke bombs and pepper balls to clear the crowd. The force has never said it used CS gas, a chemical irritant that the Park Police claimed they commonly refer to as tear gas, and stands by that still.

By Nick Miroff

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has asked contractors for help making President Trump’s border wall more difficult to climb over and cut through, an acknowledgment that the design currently being installed along hundreds of miles of the U.S.-Mexico boundary remains vulnerable. The notice of the request for information that CBP posted gives federal contractors until June 12 to suggest new anti-breaching and anti-climbing technology and tools, while also inviting proposals for “private party construction” that would allow investors and activists to acquire land, build a barrier on it and sell the whole thing to the government. Trump continues to campaign for reelection on a promise to complete nearly 500 miles of new barrier along the border with Mexico by the end of 2020, but administration officials have scaled back that goal in recent weeks. The president has ceased promoting the $15 billion barrier as “impenetrable” in the months since The Washington Post reported that smuggling crews have been cutting through new sections of the structure using inexpensive power tools. In a statement, CBP officials said their request for information — first reported by the KJZZ Fronteras Desk in Arizona — does not amount to an admission that the current design is inadequate or flawed. “We have an adaptive adversary; regardless of materials, nothing is impenetrable if given unlimited time and tools,” the agency said. “Walls provide the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) the ability to slow and stop potential crossings. That means building wall will deter some people from attempting to cross, while slowing the efforts of those who still try.”


In a message addressed to President Donald Trump on Friday night, Drew Brees stood by his apology for earlier comments on "disrespecting the flag," after Trump wrote that the New Orleans Saints quarterback should not have changed his stance. Brees was following up on his pledge to be an "ally" for the black community in the fight for racial equality and social justice. "Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been," Brees wrote on Instagram. "We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. "We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us."


In a message addressed to President Donald Trump on Friday night, Drew Brees stood by his apology for earlier comments on "disrespecting the flag," after Trump wrote that the New Orleans Saints quarterback should not have changed his stance. Brees was following up on his pledge to be an "ally" for the black community in the fight for racial equality and social justice. "Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been," Brees wrote on Instagram. "We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. "We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! If not now, then when? "We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! If not now, then when?

The video of the officer warning armed white men who were protecting a store has prompted a public apology from the chief of police in Salem, Oregon.
By David Mack BuzzFeed News Reporter

The police chief in Salem, Oregon, has apologized after a viral video showed one of his officers telling a group of armed white men protecting a store to shelter inside to avoid being arrested for violating a curfew so officers "don't look like [they're] playing favorites." "We're going to really enforce the citywide curfew shutdown so we can arrest anybody walking around," the unidentified officer tells the men. "My command wanted me to come talk to you guys and request that you guys secrete people inside the businesses or in your vehicles somewhere where it's not a violation ... so we don't look like we're playing favorites." He adds, "That would be unhealthy." A clip of the encounter uploaded to TikTok went viral after it was shared on Twitter.

BBC News

There's renewed anger in the United States over police violence. Footage has emerged of a 75-year-old demonstrator, protesting the death of George Floyd, being pushed to the ground by officers and  suffering serious head injuries. It happened in the city of Buffalo, in upstate New York. The two officers involved have been suspended. Protests have continued across America after the death of Mr Floyd, who died at the hands of four police officers, in the city of Minneapolis last month. Clive Myrie presents BBC News at Ten reporting from North America Correspondent Aleem Maqbool.

By Rishi Iyengar, CNN Business

(CNN Business) Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will review its policies concerning the state use of force, voter suppression and content moderation, as the company faces a backlash from many of its own workers over its inaction on controversial posts by President Donald Trump. In a note to employees that he later shared on his Facebook (FB) page on Friday, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the decision about Trump's posts "left many of you angry, disappointed and hurt."
The Facebook cofounder and CEO also addressed the protests that have erupted across the United States and around the world following the death of George Floyd. "To members of our Black community: I stand with you. Your lives matter. Black lives matter," he wrote. Zuckerberg's remarks come days after he hosted a contentious town hall with Facebook employees, a number of whom expressed outrage at Facebook's decision not to take action against posts by Trump that rival platform Twitter flagged as having violated its own rules. One of those posts referred to mail-in ballots, while another containing the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" was labeled by Twitter for flouting its policies on glorifying violence.

By Kimberly Kindy, Shayna Jacobs and David A. Fahrenthold

Police in riot gear were marching across a mostly empty plaza in Buffalo when two officers shoved a lone 75-year-old man who stood in their way. He fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete. Officers marched past him as he lay motionless and bleeding from the ear. The city suspended the two officers after video of the incident spread around the world. Then, on Friday, the Buffalo Police Department’s entire riot-control team — 57 officers — quit the unit. Not to protest their colleagues’ use of force. To protest the city for suspending them. “These guys did nothing but do what they were ordered to do,” police union President John Evans said in a statement, referring to their directive to clear the plaza. “This is disgusting.” The incident involving police responding to demonstrations in Buffalo is one of many caught on video in recent days displaying police riot tactics — the use of batons, rubber bullets, tear gas and shields to move people out of the way. Such violent interactions have been viewed by police as necessary to do their job, age-old approaches to dealing with unruly gatherings. But they also have fueled what began as a local outcry over a police killing in Minneapolis into a swelling national protest of police brutality.

By Jay Croft and Elizabeth Hartfield, CNN

(CNN) Fifty-seven police officers in Buffalo, New York, have resigned from the force's emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who allegedly pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, a source close to the situation said Friday. An investigation is underway in a protest incident Gov. Andrew Cuomo called "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful." The man was seriously injured. Video of the demonstration Thursday shows a row of officers walking toward the man and two pushing him. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him. The demonstrators in Niagara Square were, like those across the country, calling for racial justice after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. The 57 officers resigned from the emergency unit but not from the force. The Buffalo mayor's office told CNN that the 57 members that resigned from the unit make up the entire active emergency response team. A few members of the unit are out currently and are not included in the 57 that resigned, according to the mayor's office. "Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders," Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans told WGRZ on Friday. WKBW also reported news of the resignations. The man's identity, Martin Gugino, was confirmed by Cuomo's office. Gugino is hospitalized in serious but stable condition, authorities said.

By Heather Long, The Washington Post

When the U.S. government's official jobs report for May came out on Friday, it included a note at the bottom saying there had been a major "error" and the unemployment rate likely should be higher than the widely report 13.3 percent rate. The special note said that if this misclassification error had not occurred, the "overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported," meaning the unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May.

George Floyd's death, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has convulsed the United States.

Frankfurt / London: Protesters around the world took to the streets again on Friday, despite coronavirus warnings, in a wave of outrage at the death of African American George Floyd in the United States and racism against minorities in their own nations. Floyd's death, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has convulsed the United States. The largest demonstrations elsewhere on Friday appeared to be in Germany, where more than 10,000 people gathered in Frankfurt and Hamburg, according to Reuters journalists. Many raised hands in the air and held banners with slogans such as: "Your Pain Is My Pain, Your Fight Is My Fight". One poster at the Frankfurt rally asked: "How Many Weren't Filmed?" in reference to the fact that Floyd's case was caught on camera in Minneapolis. As authorities in many parts warned of the risk of COVID-19 infections from large gatherings, many protesters wore anti-coronavirus masks, some in black or with a clenched fist image. In London's Trafalgar Square, dozens took to one knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

By Valerie Bonk

Anthony Brennan III, of Kensington, Maryland, was arrested and charged on Friday with three counts of second-degree assault, according to a news release from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. Brennan, 60, is the man in a widely circulated video allegedly showing him assaulting three young walkers posting flyers protesting the death of George Floyd on the Capital Crescent Trail in Montgomery County on June 1. The video shows Brennan, a white man wearing an orange helmet, arguing about the flyers and forcibly grabbing one of the papers from one of the walkers before pushing his bicycle toward the man taking the video, causing him to fall to the ground.

By Adrianna Rodriguez - USA TODAY

Don’t wash your food with bleach. Don’t eat or drink cleaning products. These lifesaving warnings may seem like common sense, but a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests Americans are throwing common sense out the window as they attempt to keep the coronavirus out of their homes. In a survey published Friday, 39% of 502 respondents reported engaging in “non-recommend, high-risk practices,” including using bleach on food, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to their skin and inhaling or ingesting such products. The agency also found many people had limited knowledge of how to safely prepare and use cleaning products and disinfectants. Only 23% responded that room temperature water should be used to dilute bleach and 35% said that bleach should not be mixed with vinegar. More surprisingly, only 58% of respondents knew bleach shouldn’t be mixed with ammonia.

Black men are still disproportionately likely to be killed by police.
By Sean Collins Updated Jun 1, 2020, 3:34pm EDT

The protests that have risen up in many cities in the United States over the past week were sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by now-fired police officers in Minneapolis. Even though one former officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder, protests have continued night after night because they are not just about that single killing but what it represents: rampant police brutality that seems to have no consequences. In fact, a recent analysis by advocacy group Mapping Police Violence found that 99 percent of police killings from 2014 to 2019 did not result in officers even being charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime. Mapping Police Violence’s data, which is gathered from public databases and law enforcement records, also shows that the number of police killings varied by year from 2013 to 2019 but did not fall significantly overall — in that span, the number of killings fell to a low of 1,050 in 2014, and had a high of 1,143 in 2018. For comparison, 373 people were killed in mass shootings in 2018 and about 1,010 Americans died of Covid-19 on May 30.

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