Lawmakers have begun discussing a number of proposals, including toughening liability protections for businesses, providing aid to states and watering down unemployment benefits approved in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. But some Republicans have begun pushing back at the idea of more federal spending, raising the specter of the ballooning national debt.
In a joint statement, Mr. Schumer and Mr. Sanders said the budget office’s estimate undercut Republican arguments that Congress should wait to approve another relief package, as well as President Trump’s call to include tax cuts in the next measure.
“In order to avoid the risk of another Great Depression, the Senate must act with a fierce sense of urgency to make sure that everyone in America has the income they need to feed their families and put a roof over their heads,” the senators said. “The American people cannot afford to wait another month for the Senate to pass legislation. They need our help now.”
Later, on the Senate floor, Mr. Schumer called on the chamber to address before the end of the month not only coronavirus relief measures, but police violence, arguing that lawmakers should not “spend time on fringe conspiracy theories, not spend time on putting right-wing judges who have shown no sympathy to civil rights and racial justice and harmony on the floor of the Senate.”
But Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, gave little indication that the Senate would soon enter negotiations on another relief package. Instead, he announced on Monday, he hoped that the Senate would take up a measure that would soften the terms of a federal loan program intended to help small businesses during the pandemic.
Updated June 1, 2020
How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?
Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.
My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?
States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?
More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.
Should I wear a mask?
The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
How can I help?
Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.
The House approved the measure on Friday, 417 to 1. The legislation would give companies more time and flexibility to use the money, altering the Paycheck Protection Program to allow small businesses 24 weeks instead of eight weeks to spend the loan funds.
“These events only compound what has already been a historically challenging time for our country,” Mr. McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor. “As our nation continues to combat and contain the coronavirus, the Senate will continue to lead the response.”
Attorney General William Barr exited the White House on Monday evening to tour Lafayette Square, where protesters against police brutality gathered for another round of demonstrators.
Barr, who was surrounded by his security detail, toured the police line keeping the protestors at bay while demonstrators shouted at him. The night before, fires were started and buildings were vandalized in the area.
The attorney general’s appearance at the protests against the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody, comes after President Trump and Barr encouraged more aggressive action against those who cause violence during protests across the country following the killing of Floyd.
Barr told the state leaders earlier in the day that law enforcement officials must “have adequate force” and “go after troublemakers.”
“Law enforcement response is not going to work unless we dominate the streets,” Barr said.
The president urged governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited with helping calm the situation Sunday night in Minneapolis and demanded that similarly tough measures be taken in cities that also experienced a spasm of violence, including New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Between the protests and the response to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Guard has been deployed at its highest level in recent history, surpassing the number of troops sent to the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than 66,700 soldiers and airman have been activated — 45,000 to assist with the pandemic and more than 17,000 to help with the protests.
Barr’s tour also comes quickly results were released Monday from two separate autopsies declared the May 25 death of Floyd at the hands of police to be a homicide.
Attorneys for Floyd’s family released the results of an independent autopsy report Monday afternoon showing that Floyd’s death was caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, announced the autopsy results during an afternoon news conference. Crump said the autopsy found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and weight on his back made it hard to breathe.
Another autopsy, conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, stated that Floyd died from “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual restraint, and neck compression” while being restrained, Fox 9 reported. Its updated results went public Monday evening.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A woman walks past a boarded up store in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday. Professor Jody David Armour says protesters today are more diverse and have more empathy than in 1992.
Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images
Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images
A woman walks past a boarded up store in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday. Professor Jody David Armour says protesters today are more diverse and have more empathy than in 1992.
Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images
Looting, fires, vandalism and the National Guard on the streets — for many, the unrest of 2020 evokes memories of the destructive riots of 1992 in Los Angeles.
Both times the protests began in anger over police violence against black men — in 1992, when four police officers were acquitted of the brutal beating of Rodney King; now, when George Floyd died in Minnesota after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
“We keep telling ourselves that somehow technology or training will end police misconduct,” says Jody David Armour, a law professor who studies the intersection of race and the criminal justice system.
“But in this case, we saw that in Minnesota, the police department did a lot of that stuff. And still here we are.”
Armour, who has taught at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles since 1995, talked with All Things Considered about how protests have changed in the 28 years since the Rodney King riots.
On the people who are protesting now vs. in 1992
The protests and marches today you see are multiethnic, multicultural, even multigenerational. And the allyship is something that is more pronounced now than it perhaps once was. I think a lot of people, when they saw that video of George Floyd, who weren’t in the black community, felt agony. And I think this time around, more people feel that sympathy and empathy for members of the black community and are standing in solidarity with them.
On empathy for Rodney King vs. George Floyd
I think at the time of the Rodney King beating it was easier to view it as an isolated incident or as a few bad apples. But now, over time, we see a persistent and pervasive pattern. Over years and years.
We see Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, 25-year-old black man jogging and is shot dead. Two prosecutors look at the facts and don’t bring any action. Breonna Taylor in Louisville. No-knock raid, wrong house; she’s killed.
The procession of hashtags that made up the Black Lives Matter movement in the 2014, 2015, 2016 years. I think more and more people are seeing that it isn’t just isolated incidents, that there’s something more pervasive and more ingrained in America that we have to address. The police officer’s knee on the neck of George Floyd for many was a grim symbol of, kind of, America’s knee on the neck of black America.
On where broader protests go from here
My sense of where the protests can go from here, hopefully will go from here, is we’ll have a serious reckoning with the racial injustice that has really provoked and continues to provoke these kinds of eruptions. This is this really kind of a generational upheaval. We can either make some serious structural changes, redistribute power and wealth in a way that we haven’t been willing to consider in the past. I think more people are willing to consider things like, even just as a result of the coronavirus crisis, things like universal basic income and “Medicare for All.”
I think that as a result of this other kind of crisis — I think that racism is a kind of virus, too, that mutates and changes from time to time, but continues to persist — that we will take on the necessary work of redistributing wealth and power in such a way that we don’t have Skid Rows, 75% of which have black faces in them. That we don’t make the faces at the bottom of the well always black faces. And we do start to act as a society like black lives matter.
NPR’s Jonaki Mehta and Sami Yenigun produced and edited the audio version of this interview.
2/ During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC Lite (@MayorBowser) June 1, 2020
4/ •Individuals who are voting and participating in election activities, including poll workers, volunteers, and individuals exercising their right to vote.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC Lite (@MayorBowser) June 1, 2020
DC residents & biz, @MayorBowser has ordered curfew starting 7 pm through 6 am tomorrow, and again tomorrow beginning 7 pm through 6 am. Text below. What does this mean? Stay home, except if you are essential worker, need to vote, or have medical emergency. It is confusing. Con’t pic.twitter.com/63u1wbEzl9
@DCPoliceDept Chief Newsham said if you are asked by an officer explain you are going to vote or coming from voting or working at a poll. Please vote. We have a presidential primary on ballot, we need to vote Trump out of office and there are many important local races as well.
ATU Local 689 – the 80% black union representing 12,000 transit workers in the DMV region – has released a statement in support of protests, against deflecting blame onto “outside agitators”, and calling on the @AFLCIO to treat last night as a wake-up call https://t.co/qTSDDMUuCg
BREAKING: Independent autopsy ordered by George Floyd’s family found he was killed by “homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain,” according to early findings.https://t.co/dslAVpTIxqpic.twitter.com/2YQ6wD1cGe
Louisville police chief fired after it was revealed that the officers involved in a shooting that killed David McAtee early Monday did not activate their body cameras, mayor announces. https://t.co/lYSCcpfN9Y
Gov. Whitmer: “The president’s dangerous comments should be gravely concerning to all Americans, because they send a clear signal that this administration is determined to sow the seeds of hatred and division, which I fear will only lead to more violence and destruction.”
The death of a black man and a murder charge against a white police officer on Friday forced the Twin Cities to reckon with a history of discrimination that belies a progressive reputation shattered by fires, riots and rage that have ignited a nation.
Former Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged after a bystander’s video sparked three days of protests and looting that culminated in the destruction of a nearby police station Thursday night. Chauvin and three other officers involved in restraining George Floyd have been fired, but the others have yet to be charged, a prospect for many that has left justice unresolved.
As buildings smoldered and looting continued late Friday — and as both the country and this city confronted yet another flashpoint over race and policing — it was unclear if curfews, the deployment of the National Guard and other measures would be enough to stop the unrest. Across the nation, protests flared, bullhorns blared and police helicopters ominously circled city skies.
A police car was torched in Atlanta, sirens screamed as protesters gathered in downtown Los Angeles, and demonstrators in Minneapolis waited for nightfall. It was all brought about by another disturbing video that had gone viral at a time America was confronting the coronavirus and political divisions that again exposed deeper inequalities.
Speaking for the first time about the protests at the White House late Friday, President Trump said, “We can’t allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos. It’s very important, I believe, to the family, to everybody, that the memory of George Floyd be a perfect memory.
“The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters. They hurt so badly what is happening,” he said, alluding to previous comments on Twitter. The Floyd family’s attorney called Chauvin’s arrest “a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice.”
“We fully expect to see the other officers who did nothing to protect the life of George Floyd to be arrested and charged soon,” attorney Benjamin Crump said.
Michael Freeman, prosecutor for the surrounding County of Hennepin, said at a Friday briefing that Chauvin was the first of the officers charged because “we felt it was important to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator,” and added that the case “has moved with extraordinary speed.”
Freeman said he anticipates the other officers will be prosecuted, but declined to specify what charges they could face.
It’s uncertain whether Chauvin knew the 6-foot-7-inch Floyd, 46, before he restrained him while responding to a report that Floyd had passed a fake $20 bill at a convenience store Monday. Both worked security for the last year at a local club, El Nuevo Rodeo, according to former owner Maya Santamaria. Floyd worked inside while Chauvin coordinated a team of off-duty police officers securing the outside, Santamaria said. She wasn’t sure if they ever met.
Santamaria hired Floyd to work part-time and didn’t know him well, but said she worked with Chauvin for 20 years. The former officer could be relaxed and mellow, but also badge-heavy, using his authority to unsettle larger men, she said.
“He had to use the power of the badge to intimidate people that in a fair fight would have been on the winning side,” she said. “He did use his power as a police officer a little more than I would have liked.”
Chauvin got along with Latino customers, but did not like to work events that drew African American crowds, according to Santamaria. When he did and there was a fight, he would spray people with mace and call for police backup, which Santamaria called “overkill.”
When she first saw the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Santamaria said she recognized the officer immediately and started shouting at her cellphone screen, “My God — get off of him! What are you doing?”
“I never would have thought he was a murderer. I never would have seen him in that light. I would have thought he would be reasonable,” she said.
She said was glad to see the former officer charged.
“The streets will be safer tonight because of it. We need justice to be served in this country so we can heal,” she said. “He needs to be made an example out of. That way, maybe cops will think twice before doing this.”
Those familiar with the police and city’s history were dubious.
“I don’t think people are going to be appeased as far as justice is being done — the problem goes back years,” said Dave Bicking, a longtime board member at Communities United Against Police Brutality.
“We have some of the worst disparities in the country in education, employment and criminal justice. They’re known here to people who care,” said Bicking, who served on a civilian review board for the Minneapolis Police Department years ago, before several recent high-profile officer-involved deaths. “Despite all the happy talk about police and community relations, nothing has improved.”
Several hundred people who gathered Friday at a makeshift memorial to Floyd at the corner where he was restrained — while gasping, “I can’t breathe” — were upset that only one of the former officers had been charged.
Before an 8 p.m. curfew was imposed in the Twin Cities and some suburbs, several hundred protesters stopped traffic on a bridge near downtown Minneapolis, marching onto an interstate. Outside the charred 3rd Precinct police station on the city’s south side, protesters vowed to defy the curfew until all four officers were charged. There were fears that the 4th Precinct on the city’s north side also would be targeted; business owners boarded up windows and National Guard troops took positions.
“Those four police officers all need to be charged with murder. I don’t know what this city is going to do. I don’t know about my people. But I don’t think one police officer in jail is enough,” said Anjel Carpenter, 55, an African American registered nurse who lives nearby and described a pattern of racial profiling.
“The police are terrible here,” she said.
She and others in the crowd praised the sympathetic response of the city’s young mayor, Jacob Frey, and a like-minded City Council that includes two newly elected black transgender members. Some expressed approval for Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, a Mexican-African American who has attempted to overhaul the department, addressing racial profiling in arrests and police brutality.
Frey, 38, a civil rights lawyer, campaigned on issues of police reform and racial inequality when the then-city councilman ran for mayor in 2017. He posted on Facebook, “The man who killed George Floyd has been charged with murder. This [is] an essential first step on a much longer road toward justice and healing our city.”
But residents also see the city’s leadership as the new guard, operating against a backdrop of discrimination in education, employment and housing so ingrained and reinforced by state leaders, they’ve nicknamed it “Minnissippi.” For people of color, the “Minnesota nice” facade often camouflages microaggressions, said Angelique Kingsbury.
“You never really know where you stand with people,” said Kingsbury, 47, who has black, white and Native American heritage. “It’s very well veiled, and some of the so-called people that are progressive, they perpetuate it just as much.”
That includes white progressives who have quietly benefited from systemic racist practices such as redlining, she said, which lead to more segregated neighborhoods and schools.
Kingsbury said she has darker-skinned friends who have recently been stopped while walking in their neighborhoods and asked “Do you belong here?” Last year, a security guard stopped her from taking selfies near a downtown mosaic while she was wearing a head wrap, asking, “Where are you from?” This in a city represented by progressive Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, the country’s first Somali American congresswoman.
Kingsbury was pleased to see the mayor quickly support protesters, condemn the officers involved and call the attack what she believes it was — not just an attack on Floyd, but an attack on communities of color in the city.
“He understands the hurt and the frustration that’s been bubbling,” she said of the mayor, whom she voted for.
Kingsbury said residents need to rally around the mayor so that he and other local leaders can confront state officials whose default seems to be to send in more law enforcement to quell the protests.
“We have a long way to go,” she said as she stood watching protesters near a mural of Floyd chanting, “Revolution.”
One of the crown jewels of the Constitution is the Fourteenth Amendment — which promises that there will be “equal protection” for all people under our laws. And yet we all know this is a farce. In America, we routinely offer legal immunity to the rich and powerful, while giving the iron fist to everyone else. It is an ugly dichotomy we don’t talk much about — but it has been on display during this past week of protests roiling cities across the country.
Take the events that transpired in New York. There, the government deployed law enforcement to conduct mass arrests of protesters, and also to run them over and violently attack them in the name of “law and order.” At the same time, the government granted health care executives legal immunity for their profit-maximizing decisions that may have contributed to the deaths of thousands of people in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Washington, it’s the same thing. We have a president who tweets about “law and order” literally at the same time his party is pushing a proposal that would shield corporate executives and prevent them from being held liable for endangering their workers during the COVID-19 emergency.
Those new liability protections would be in addition to the de facto immunity he’s already giving his corporate friends: indeed, at a time when the Trump administration has dramatically increased immigration prosecutions, it has driven prosecutions of white-collar and environmental crimes to historic lows. That was an extension of trends that started under Obama, who increased immigration deportations and cracked down on whistleblowers while reducing white-collar prosecutions.
The result of all this was summarized by former labor secretary Robert Reich: “More peaceful protesters and journalists have been jailed in the past week than all the bankers who were jailed for fraud during the financial collapse.”
Not surprisingly, this dichotomy extends to the realm of criminal justice and civil liberties. Our legal system now grants “qualified immunity” to police officers and public officials when they violate Americans’ constitutional rights.
As law enforcement brutality has been getting worse in recent years, Trump shut down the Justice Department’s initiative to scrutinize local police conduct — and then he made it even easier for local police departments to obtain excess military weaponry. He did this at the very same time research has shown a link between police violence and the increased use of the Pentagon program that provides arms to local law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in at least six states have offered legislation in recent years to protect people who run over protesters — a move that was all too common this weekend. Some of the measures had support from local police unions and associations.
Oh my god. What is the @NYPDnews doing? pic.twitter.com/rZayr421pJ
— Rob Bennett 🤠 (@rob_bennett) May 31, 2020
For everyone else, it has been the opposite of immunity — Republican politicians who so often pretend to be defenders of liberty are now offering dissenters new “tough on crime” bills to try to criminalize protest.
From 2015 to 2019, there were 116 bills introduced in state legislatures to restrict the right to protest, and fifteen states passed those restrictions into law, according to a new report from PEN America, a journalism advocacy group. This is a new phenomenon — before Trump took office, there were almost no such state initiatives.
The report notes that the laws reflect the selective use of “law and order” — they deliver harsher punishment to protesters while limiting “the liability of public or private actors for harm caused to protesters” and creating “carve-outs for law enforcement action against protesters.”
Immunity for the powerful, crackdowns against the people — this discrepancy is now baked into our laws and embedded in our political culture itself. And that’s not only the fault of politicians — it is our fault, too, because our elections and culture tend to reward it.
George W. Bush lied us into a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and yet he is routinely treated as a lovable, statesman-like figure. Donald Trump scammed investors and bilked vendors — and he was rewarded by being elected president.
Trump’s likely general election opponent, Joe Biden, authored the crime bill (and still defends it), helped Republicans pass the bankruptcy bill, and helped Bush lead America into the Iraq War — and he was rewarded first by being named vice president, and then by being given the Democratic presidential nomination. His campaign is being advised by Rahm Emanuel, who remains at the highest reaches of Democratic politics even after having left public office in disgrace after his administration covered up video of police murdering a teenager.
Meanwhile, the same Democratic Party tried to throw Bernie Sanders off the New York ballot, works to crush progressive primary campaigns, and threatens to blacklist consultants who work for grassroots candidates who dare to run against corrupt incumbents — while party operatives are apparently permitted to work for corporate interests that attack the party’s candidates.
None of this is an anomaly. This is what America is: a place that eagerly gives out get-out-of-jail-free cards to the powerful, while meting out harsh punishment to everyone else.
The question now is whether we can imagine a society that is different?
Can we imagine a legal system that punishes police violence and bigotry, repeals doctrines like “qualified immunity,” and protects the right to peaceably protest?
Can we imagine an economy that protects fleeced homeowners and impoverished renters from draconian bankruptcy laws, and instead deploys the iron first of law enforcement against the actual looters who are pillaging our communities — the politicians, lobbyists, and corporate CEOs who just stole $4 trillion from the public treasury?
Can we imagine a political system that holds elected officials accountable for their crimes, and empowers the leaders who are trying to fix the system?
In other words: Can we imagine a better America?
Many of our politicians clearly can’t — this is the world they have deliberately constructed, and they are perfectly happy to sit in their fortified bunkers as the world burns.
But the peaceful protesters braving threats of retribution and violence suggest at least some can still imagine that better world. Now it’s up to all of us to create it.
In just a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated U.S. businesses and spending to the extent that it will shrink the country’s gross domestic product by nearly $8 trillion over the next decade.
A January report from the Congressional Budget Office provided to lawmakers on Monday showed that when adjusted for inflation, the GDP will be $7.9 trillion less by 2030—or 3.0 percent of cumulative real GDP—than what the nonpartisan agency predicted it otherwise would have been The “nominal” output will be $15.7 trillion—or 5.3 percent—less.
The revelations represented the degree to which the global health crisis has crippled the American economy and will hinder it for years to come. Last week, the Department of Labor said a total of more than 40 million have filed for unemployment benefits since the onset of the virus in mid-March.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who requested CBO to conduct and issue the report, used the bleak economic status to reignite their demands that Republicans and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately dole out more federal aid to struggling Americans.
Lawmakers continue to debate when and how to further respond to the pandemic in the wake of Congress providing a total of nearly $3 trillion on economic relief. That includes jobless benefits that the federal government is helping to subsidize that will stop occurring at the end of July.
“How can Senator McConnell look at these catastrophic economic numbers and believe there is no ‘urgency’ to protect America’s working families?” Schumer and Sanders said in a joint statement. “At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, how can President Trump believe that what this country needs is another huge tax break for the top one percent?”
White House Domestic Policy Adviser Brooke Collins told Politico Monday that President Donald Trump was eyeing certain proposals for Congress’ next stimulus package, which Republicans have signaled will not come until sometime in July. Among the measures Trump would like included, Collins said, are payroll tax cuts, restaurant industry bailouts, liability protections for companies that are reopening, payroll tax cuts and infrastructure funding.
Democrats, meanwhile, have passed a massive $3 trillion package in the House that includes items like another round of individual checks, an expansion of the unemployment benefits that includes an extra $600 per week from the federal government, hazard pay for frontline workers and more state and local aid.
However, the bill is far too bloated, McConnell has said, who is eyeing to eventually pass something more around one-third the size. He and some other Republicans have said they will not support extending the beefed-up jobless benefits, much to the dismay of Senate Democrats.
“The American people cannot afford to wait another month for the Senate to pass legislation,” Schumer and Sanders added. “They need our help now.”
A small group of peaceful demonstrators gathered near the police station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, yesterday to protest the death of George Floyd, the man killed last week by a Minneapolis cop. But as time pressed on, the police began to push the sign-waving group back, warning them that they would be arrested if they didn’t disperse. It was past 6:00 p.m., the city’s curfew.
The protests in Myrtle Beach have remained sparse and nonviolent, yet the people there were prohibited from leaving their residences from 6:00 last night until 6:00 this morning. Businesses were strongly encouraged to close, with the beach borough becoming a ghost town as commercial staples closed up shop.
A threat of violence against the Myrtle Beach Police Department had reportedly triggered the civil emergency. The threat never came to fruition, but officers made good on their promise to arrest those that didn’t comply. Seventeen people were taken into custody for violating Mayor Brenda Bethune’s executive order—a violation that amounted to nothing more than exercising their legal right to assembly.
That’s one problem with curfews: They criminalize behavior that is inherent to civil liberties. But imposing one in the face of police protests adds an extra layer of trouble—to enforce it, you need to give police more power. How do you do that without restoking the reason people are protesting in the first place?
You can see where the impulse to impose these curfews is coming from. Not every place has been as quiet as Myrtle Beach: D.C., Los Angeles, and Atlanta, for instance, have seen rioters smashing windows, robbing shops, and setting storefronts ablaze. By Sunday, at least 40 cities had instituted curfews, which vary in their restrictiveness. D.C. originally opted for 11 p.m. but moved that to 7 p.m. on Monday; Atlanta settled on 9 p.m.; Philadelphia, which has been the setting of some of the most intense riots, set one for 6.
Santa Monica and Beverly Hills opted for 1 p.m.
The U.S. has a knack for overcriminalizing things; we boast the highest incarceration rate in the world. But making it a crime to leave your residence after 1:00 p.m. really ups the ante.
Such ludicrously early curfews—or any curfews, for that matter—end up reinforcing the impulse to protest the cops. Our criminal justice system encourages bad police behavior by making criminals out of just about everyone, giving officers far too many opportunities to exercise power over Americans. Those scuffles can turn deadly.
Consider Tanya Kerssen of Minneapolis, who lives a few blocks north of where George Floyd was killed. On Saturday, while she was outside on her porch, the National Guard and the Minneapolis Police Department came by, firing paint canisters at her and any neighbors who failed to immediately obey their order to go inside. She was not protesting. Nor was she in violation of the local curfew, which applies only to public spaces, not private property.
Such overescalations will probably be even more common in poor, minority neighborhoods, where police already have a heavier presence. Blacks may also experience disproportionate enforcement for violating those curfews, with early data showing that African-Americans are potentially more likely to be arrested for flouting social distancing orders. That type of thing certainly won’t help quell the anti-police sentiment ramping up across the country.
Curfews aren’t new. If anything, Americans are probably more familiar with them now than they ever have been, thanks to COVID-19 and the regulations it inspired. But as I wrote last month, those coronavirus rules amount “mostly to an attempt to ‘do something,’ even if that something flouts science and common sense.”
D.C., Philadelphia, and Atlanta alike can all attest to the fact that curfews didn’t deter the riots. If anything, they intensified. But now officers have an excuse to arrest peaceful people. Just ask those protesters in Myrtle Beach.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on WAMC public radio Monday that New York City will have a curfew beginning 11 p.m. Monday night. The curfew will last until 5 a.m., according to the governor.
New York City is one of the last major cities to impose a curfew during the national protests following George Floyd’s death.
Cuomo clarified that the curfew will only apply to New York City, not upstate New York. When asked if the curfew will last multiple nights, Cuomo said: “It’s 11-5 tonight and then we’ll see where we are tomorrow.”
“Last night was a bad night in New York City,” he said, adding that people have used “the chaos of the moment” to rob businesses.
George Floyd’s death a homicide by asphyxiation, independent autopsy finds
The family of George Floyd released the results of an independent autopsy Monday afternoon. Dr. Allecia Wilson, one of the forensic pathologists who conducted the autopsy, said Floyd died as a result of mechanical asphyxiation and called the death a homicide. Those findings contradicted a preliminary report by the county medical examiner which found no evidence of asphyxia or strangulation.
The independent autopsy was conducted by Wilson and Dr. Michael Baden. Baden is the former chief medical examiner of New York City and was hired in 2014 to conduct the autopsy of Eric Garner, a black man who died when an NYPD officer used a banned chokehold during his arrest. Both Garner and Floyd pleaded with officers that they couldn’t breathe before their deaths seen on disturbing videos, and “I can’t breathe” has become a rallying cry among those protesting police brutality.
Over 17,000 national guardsmen have been deployed in response to protests
The National Guard said Monday that more than 17,000 of its members have been deployed in response to the nationwide protests. Governors from 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have activated the Guard in the last week, the bureau said in a statement.
Including the approximately 45,000 national guardsmen who have been activated to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, there are now 66,7000 national guardsmen activated for domestic operations in support of U.S. governors, which the bureau described as a “historic” amount. During Hurricane Katrina response efforts in 2005, only about 51,000 guardsmen were activated, the bureau said.
Good cops “can’t sit in complicit silence” about racial injustice, St. Louis prosecutor says
Police officers cannot remain silent about racial inequalities in the criminal justice system and deaths like George Floyd’s in Minneapolis, said Kimberly Gardner, the circuit attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. As the top prosecutor in St. Louis, Gardner said the country has to “attack the systemic racism” in police forces and the court system.
“We have to support good police that we know exists, but they can’t sit in complicit silence and watch some of their police officers abuse the community, disrespect the community in which they police, which are largely, predominantly people of color that we know are overrepresented in the criminal justice system,” Gardner said on CBSN Monday. “That blue code of silence needs to go.”
Gardner said the country has to “get rid of this us versus them” mentality. “The police are also made of the community,” she said.
Gardner, who is up for reelection this year, said a hindrance in holding “bad actors” of police departments accountable is the power of police unions. She filed a federal lawsuit in January against city officials and the city’s main police union accusing them of blocking her efforts for criminal justice reform. The union has called the lawsuit “the last act of a desperate woman.”
“We have to call for reforms of the police union’s collective bargaining contracts,” she said. “They basically negotiate behind closed doors … how to keep on the bad actors in the police departments and make it difficult for police chiefs and the community to hold those bad actors accountable, even the prosecutor.”
Obama says protests could be “a real turning point” in fight for police reform
Former President Barack Obama said Monday that nationwide unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis could prove to be a “real turning point” in efforts to reform policing and the criminal justice system if demonstrations lead to increased participation in state and local elections.
In an essay on Medium, Mr. Obama wrote that the protests “represent a genuine and legitimate frustration” and hailed demonstrators who are marching peacefully, saying they “deserve our respect and support.”
He also condemned the “small minority” of demonstrators who have resorted to violence, saying they’re “putting innocent people at risk” and hurting the very communities they are hoping to improve.
“I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back,” the former president wrote. “So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.”
Justice Department steps up law enforcement presence
The Justice Department is ramping up its law enforcement presence amid nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked violent clashes between police and demonstrators in major American cities.
A senior Justice Department official said Attorney General William Barr had directed the Bureau of Prisons to send riot teams to Miami, where the team was over the weekend, and Washington, D.C., where hundreds of protesters gathered at the White House for demonstrations that escalated as day turned to night.
In addition to deploying riot teams, known as special operation response teams, all FBI field offices have set up command posts.
ICE deploying agents to help local authorities
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Monday it is deploying agents to protect the agency’s offices and assist local authorities across the country as incidents of civil unrest continue in U.S. cities.
The agency, which is in charge of deporting people from the country and dismantling international criminal networks, will not be making immigration arrests at protests, an ICE official told CBS News. A binding internal memorandum from 2011 says ICE agents should generally avoid making immigration arrests at sensitive locations, which includes sites of “public demonstration.”
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fully respects the rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions,” the agency said in a statement. “In light of civil unrest taking place across the country, ICE personnel and Special Response Teams have been deployed to protect agency facilities and assets in support of the Federal Protective Service and assist local, state and federal law enforcement partners, as needed.”
The operation will involve ICE’s main offices, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, according to the agency official.
The announcement comes a day after U.S. Customs and Border Protection, another branch of the Department of Homeland Security, said it would be dispatching personnel and aviation assets to support local and state law enforcement respond to the unrest. The agency, the country’s largest federal law enforcement force, also said its assistance to local authorities would not be part of its immigration enforcement mission.
The world reacts to George Floyd’s death
As anger erupts in American cities over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, the international reaction has ranged from moral grandstanding by U.S. adversaries, to rallies in solidarity with black communities on the streets of London and Berlin.
Reactions in other nations have ranged from street level to the highest offices of government. Read more here.
President Trump tells “weak” governors they “have to dominate”
President Trump unloaded on the nation’s governors Monday morning, calling them “weak” for failing to more aggressively enforce law and order over the weekend. On the video teleconference, the president warned that the law enforcement presence across Washington is set to intensify today.
“Washington was under very good control, but we’re going to have it under much more control,” he said, according to audio of the meeting obtained by CBS News. “We’re going to pull in thousands of people.” He added later: “We’re going to clamp down very, very strong.”
His comments came as Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the nation’s capital will be under a 7 p.m. ET curfew for the next two nights.
“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate,” the president told governors.
Fort Lauderdale cop suspended after shoving kneeling protester to the ground
A Fort Lauderdale police officer has been relieved of duty and is under investigation for his actions toward protesters on Sunday. In a video posted to Twitter, the officer is seen becoming aggressive with protesters before shoving a woman, who was on her knees, to the ground.
Others on the force can be seen quickly pushing the officer away from the woman and then down the street as bottles were thrown.
“That officer has been taken off duty, he’s suspended at the moment,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, according to CBS Miami. “There’s going to be a complete investigation. If it’s turned out that he acted inappropriately, then we will have swift discipline in response to what he did. “
The officer in the video has not yet been identified.
George Floyd and Derek Chauvin worked at same club and likely crossed paths, owner says
George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing him, worked security at the same local club for much of the year before their fatal encounter on a Minneapolis street last week. The owner of El Nuevo Rodeo said the two were in close proximity once a week for their Tuesday night shifts, though she did not know if they ever actually met while working at the club.
Maya Santamaria said she had been paying Chauvin, when he was off-duty, to sit in his squad car outside El Nuevo Rodeo for 17 years. She said Floyd worked as a security guard inside the club frequently in the last year. In particular, they both worked on Tuesday nights, when the club had a popular weekly dance competition.
Santamaria reflected Friday evening on how her business suddenly became central to a death that sparked anguished waves of protest, first in Minneapolis and then in cities across America. Chauvin was fired from the police department last week and charged with third-degree murder for pinning Floyd by the neck.
She said Floyd was well known and liked by her patrons. He was “beloved in the Latin community because he worked at another Latin club too.”
Brother says George Floyd would urge peace “if he was here”
There have been anti-police protests in all 50 states during the past several days, and 22 states have activated National Guard troops. George’s other brother, Rodney, called on protesters to stop the violence.
“I’m asking for peace the same way my brother would ask us to if he could see the situation, if he was here. Peace. Peaceful protests. It is the best option we have to bring justice,” Rodney told CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.
In San Diego, where police declared a gathering an unlawful assembly and used flash-bang grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
In Philadelphia, cop cars were set ablaze and looters broke windows and ransacked shops.
In Atlanta, police used tasers to drag a pair of college students out of their car for allegedly breaking the city’s curfew.
Police nationwide show solidarity with Floyd protesters
Police officers throughout the U.S. have shown solidarity with people protesting the death of George Floyd.
Marchers in Flint Township, Michigan, arrived at a police station where Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson — responding to chants of “Walk with us! Walk with us!” — said, “Come on!” and joined the protest.
In New Jersey, Camden County Police Chief Joe Wysocki, who has been working in the city for decades, joined the front line of a march in Camden on Saturday afternoon, sporting his uniform, a protective face mask and a peace sign.
In New York, officers clapped on protesters, hundreds of whom stopped and took a knee with fists raised just north of the Empire State Building.
Police in Fargo, North Dakota, held hands with protesters while officers took a knee in Santa Cruz, California.
NYPD commissioner responds to video showing police cruiser driving into protesters
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea joined “CBS This Morning” on Monday to discuss his view on how officers responded to protests across the city over the weekend. He weighed in on policing of communities of color and de-escalation tactics used by police departments across the nation.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 25-year-old daughter was arrested for unlawful assembly Saturday night, according to the city’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information. Chiara de Blasio was at a protest in downtown Manhattan.
The New York Post obtained an arrest report saying she refused to leave a Manhattan street that officers ordered cleared because people were throwing things.
Chiara de Blasio, who is black, was later given a court summons and released.
Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged
President Trump was briefly moved to the White House bunker on Friday evening as protests were being held near the White House, CBS News confirmed. A senior administration official said the action was taken out of an abundance of caution.
On Sunday, the Justice Department deployed U.S. Marshals and Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Lafayette Park outside the White House to assist thes National Guard, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed to CBS News.
The nation’s capital was rocked by protests throughout the weekend that continued Sunday night. Fires were started and buildings vandalized in the vicinity of the White House.
Large crowds of protesters raise fears of potential new coronavirus outbreaks
The sight of protesters without masks over the past few days is raising fears of potential new coronavirus outbreaks. The concerns are especially high in New York, which has seen more virus-related deaths than any other city in the nation.
With hundreds of people protesting the death of George Floyd, it makes following social distancing guidelines very difficult. CBS New York’s Dr. Max Gomez believes this could increase the risk for another outbreak.
“All it will take is one or two infected people, they don’t even have to know they are infected, under those circumstances, not wearing a mask, spraying these droplets into those crowds, and you could very easily have an outbreak that’s traced right back to those demonstrations,” he said.
Cop arrested in George Floyd’s death moved to two detention facilities in same day
Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer who is now charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, has been moved to a second detention facility in the same day. CBS Minnesota reports Chauvin had been held at the Ramsey County Jail after being taken into custody in Minnesota.
On Sunday afternoon, he was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail. Just hours later, he was moved to a corrections department facility in Oak Park Heights, CBS Minnesota says.
During a news conference Sunday night, Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said Chauvin was moved partially due to COVID-19 concerns, especially considering the number of protesters who’d already been arrested on Sunday.
Minnesota attorney general to lead prosecutions related to Floyd’s death
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will join the investigation into George Floyd’s death, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Sunday night.
“It is with a great degree of humility and great seriousness that I accept the responsibility for leadership on this critical case in the death of George Floyd,” Ellison said.
Ellison said they will share resources. Freeman said they will meet Monday.
Walz said at Sunday night’s news conference that one of the things he has heard from protesters is that many people “don’t trust the process — they don’t believe justice can be served. They believe time and time again, the system works perfectly well as it was designed, to deny those rights and to deny justice to communities of color.”
Walz said bringing Ellison onto the case is a step toward restoring trust.
Video shows semi-truck trying to drive through protesters on Minneapolis interstate
A semi-truck is seen on video apparently trying to drive through crowds on Interstate 35W Bridge across the Mississippi River, before the driver was pulled from the cab. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the driver has been arrested and no protesters appeared to be injured.
There were thousands of people on the bridge when it came through at what appeared to be top speed. Video from CBS Minnesota’s chopper showed what appeared to be a few on top of the semi cab trying to get the driver to slow down.
The Department of Public Safety told CBS Minnesota that so far they are not notified of any injuries and that medics haven’t been called.
D.C. mayor activates National Guard amid heated protests
The entire Washington, D.C., National Guard – roughly 1,700 soldiers – is being called in to help with the response to protests outside the White House and elsewhere in the nation’s capital, according to two Defense Department officials speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press. .
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said she had requested 500 Guardsman to assist local law enforcement. Later on Sunday, as the protests escalated, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered the rest of the Guardsman – about 1,200 soldiers – to report, the AP said.
Numerous fires were seen around the city as the demonstrations continued Sunday night.