Posted on

Attorney General Bill Barr Sets CBS’s Margaret Brennan Straight Over Fake News Reports on DC Riots (VIDEO)

US Attorney General William Barr on Sunday spoke to CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan about the ongoing George Floyd riots.

As per usual, CBS’s Margaret Brennan did her best to spread fake news and propaganda by claiming the protests have been “largely peaceful,” however, Bill Barr destroyed all of her talking points.

“A senior administration official told our CBS’s David Martin that in a meeting at the White House on Monday morning, the President demanded that 10,000 active-duty troops be ordered into American streets — Is that accurate?” Brennan asked Barr.

“No, that’s completely false. That’s completely false,” Barr replied.

TRENDING: Actor Tom Arnold Calls For Armed Insurrection Against Trump Supporters

Barr dismantled her fake news propaganda and explained that the DC police had told him in a meeting that the riots on Sunday night in Washington were the most violent in 30 years.

“And there had been a riot right along Lafayette Park. I was called over and asked if I would coordinate federal civil agencies and that the Defense Department would provide whatever support I needed or we needed to protect federal property federal– at the White House, federal personnel. The decision was made to have at the ready and on hand in the vicinity some regular troops,” Barr said.

Later on in the interview, Margaret Brennan referred to the violent rioters as “peaceful protesters” and Barr called out the lying media.

“Did you think it was appropriate for them to use smoke bombs, tear gas, pepper balls, projectiles at what appeared to be peaceful protesters?” Brennan asked Barr.

Barr replied, “They were not peaceful protesters. And that’s one of the big lies that the media is– seems to be perpetuating at this point.”

WATCH:

Posted on

Minneapolis City Council members announce intent to defund and dismantle the city’s police department

“We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe,” Council President Lisa Bender told CNN.

With nine votes the city council would have a veto-proof supermajority of the council’s 13 members, Bender said.

Sunday’s pledge was an acknowledgment that the current system is not working, Bender said.

“(We need) to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of color, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community,” she said.

Pressed for details on what the dismantling might look like, Bender told CNN she was looking to shift police funding toward community-based strategies and that the city council would discuss how to replace the current police department.

“The idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term,” she added.

Bender and other council members analyzed the nature of 911 calls by constituents, she said, and found most were for mental health services, health and EMT and fire services.

The nine council members made the announcement at a community rally in Minneapolis. News of the announcement was first reported by The Appeal.
Calls by some to defund or outright abolish police departments have grown in the wake of Floyd’s death and nationwide protests against police brutality.
City council members had previously said they would take steps to dismantle the police department, including Bender, who tweeted earlier this week, “Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”
Jeremiah Ellison, city councilman for Ward 5, tweeted a similar message Thursday, writing, “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed by protesters Saturday night when he refused to commit to defunding and abolishing the city’s police force.

A spokesperson for the mayor said in a statement that he is “unwavering in his commitment to working with Chief (Medaria) Arradondo toward deep structural reforms and uprooting systemic racism.”

New York, Chicago and Philadelphia lift curfews

The city council’s announcement came as protests stretched into their thirteenth day.

On Sunday afternoon a crowd of protesters in Washington marched from DuPont Circle to the stretch of 16th Street that now bears a massive mural declaring, “Black Lives Matter.” There, protesters participated in a lie-in while chanting, “I can’t breathe” — echoing the words of Floyd as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

Protesters in Southern California, many of them Latino, planned to caravan from Compton to the Los Angeles Police Department’s headquarters. An organizer said the demonstration was meant to be inclusive and socially distant, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Covid-19 is real,” organizer Ron Gochez told CNN. “We wanted people to be careful. That’s why this is another way we can show our solidarity with the black community and the movement against police terrorism.”

The damage and looting that overshadowed the earlier days of unrest have mostly subsided and some cities have done away with curfews, including New York.

The city lifted its curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. “effective immediately,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter Sunday morning. His announcement came after several days of largely peaceful demonstrations.

Chicago, Philadelphia, and Buffalo, New York, also lifted curfews Sunday.

Saturday’s protests drew some of the largest crowds since the demonstrations began — especially in Washington, DC. But chants of “Black Lives Matter” were not only heard in US this weekend, but in cities around the globe, including in France, Germany, England, Australia and Canada.

Despite experts’ concerns about coronavirus spread, the peaceful crowds decrying police brutality and demanding both justice for George Floyd and sweeping changes within the country’s policing systems continue to swell in size.

Some police departments suspend tear gas use

As the protests enter day 13, some cities have begun rolling out new rules for officers or plans of reform, prompted by both the demonstrations and the violent police response they’ve been met with, including tear gas and rubber bullets.

Police forces all over the US have come under fire for their use of excessive force during the protests — the very thing demonstrators say they are speaking out against.

Mayor de Blasio said Sunday that two NYPD officers were suspended without pay due to their actions while policing protesters. One was accused of shoving a woman to the ground in Brooklyn last Friday, while the other was accused of pulling down a protester’s face covering and spraying the protester with pepper spray.

Both officers face further disciplinary action, de Blasio said. Additionally, a supervisor in charge of the officer who pushed the woman has been reassigned.

In just a week, footage showed police in Buffalo, New York, push an elderly protester to the ground, causing him to bleed from the head. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, an officer was placed on administrative leave after shoving a kneeling protester during a demonstration. And in Kansas City, Missouri, footage shows officers using pepper spray and restraining a man who was yelling about police using excessive force.

Dare we believe that this time will be different?
On Saturday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler directed the city’s police chief to stop using tear gas to disperse crowds “unless there is a serious and immediate threat to life safety, and there is no other viable alternative for dispersal.”

“I stand in solidarity with our non-violent demonstrators, who are sending a strong message that we are long overdue for meaningful reform and restorative justice,” the mayor tweeted.

Portland is the latest US city to move away from the tactic.

The Seattle police chief said Friday she suspended the department’s use of tear gas for crowd management for at least the next month. And in Denver, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the use of “chemical weapons or projectiles of any kind” against peaceful protesters.

The order comes after four Denver residents who participated in demonstrations filed a complaint Thursday challenging the department’s use of chemical agents and rubber projectiles during protests.

President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted that he had ordered the National Guard to withdraw from the nation’s capital following days of peaceful protests. Around 5,000 troops were sought to patrol Washington, approximately 3,900 of which were from out of state.

Trump did not specify whether all forces would be withdrawn or just those from out-of-state.

His comments came are Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of the DC National Guard, told CNN Saturday that out-of-state troops would begin leaving as soon as Monday.

Similar steps were taken in Los Angeles. According to a senior law enforcement official, the city will see dramatically less of a National Guard presence on the streets.

“You are not going to see the National Guard on the street,” the official said. “But they remain here on standby and are ready to be deployed.”

Floyd remembered near his birthplace

A public viewing for Floyd is set to take place in Houston on Monday. Floyd’s body arrived in the city Saturday night, according to a statement from the public relations firm handling the memorial.

A private memorial and burial will take place Tuesday. Floyd will be buried next to his mother, the statement said. Floyd he cried out for her as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

Ahead of Floyd’s memorial in Houston, hundreds lined up for a public viewing Saturday of Floyd’s casket in Raeford, North Carolina — about 20 miles from where he was born.

This Minnesota journalist says there's something important the media is missing about protests

Floyd died last month after pleading for his life as ex-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on the man’s neck.

Chauvin is expected to make an appearance in court in Minneapolis on Monday.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. Prosecutors later brought the more serious charge of second-degree murder.
The other three officers involved in Floyd’s death, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

In a packed memorial for Floyd on Saturday, Rev. Christopher D. Stackhouse recounted the protests all over the country and said it was “Floyd who sparked the fuse that is going to change this nation.”

CNN’s Josh Campbell and Aaron Cooper reported from Minneapolis, while Dakin Andone and Christina Maxouris reported and wrote this story in Atlanta. CNN’s Nicole Chavez, Hollie Silverman, Jennifer Henderson and Alta Spells, Maggie Fox and Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.

Posted on

Trump officials say there is no systemic racism problem in law enforcement

Top Trump administration officials rejected the idea of systemic racism influencing law enforcement Sunday amid nationwide protests against police brutality, disproportionate police violence against people of color, and racial inequities.

The comments come as President Donald Trump has repeatedly broadcast his support for law enforcement, even as police have been documented attacking journalists, protesters who have mostly remained peaceful, and bystanders at demonstrations.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told ABC’s Martha Raddatz Sunday morning that protesters’ anger over George Floyd — an unarmed black man who was killed by a former Minneapolis police officer on May 25 — is “very real, very legitimate.” But, he claimed, “What we see across the board, by and large, is law enforcement doing their job.”

Wolf added the US does not “have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers,” and said, “Painting law enforcement with a broad brush of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge, the uniform every day.”

Attorney General William Barr echoed Wolf’s sentiments in an interview with CBS News’s Margaret Brennan, saying, “there’s racism in the United States still, but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist.” Barr went on to say he thinks law enforcement reforms put in place following the civil rights era are working, and that the majority of police officers are “civic minded people who believe in serving the public.”

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson went a step further, suggesting that not only does systemic racism not exist in the law enforcement field, but that it no longer exists in any meaningful way in American life in general.

Carson told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he “grew up in a time when there was real systemic racism,” telling a story about a time when he was the only black student in his class, got the best grades, and had to listen to his teacher berate the white students for not trying hard enough.

“That kind of thing is very uncommon now,” Carson said. “Are there still racists around? Absolutely. There were yesterday, there are today and there will be tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight it.”

Despite the assertions of the Trump administration, systemic racism does affect policing

As Vox’s Sean Collins has reported, massive inequities do remain in the way law enforcement treats Americans of different races. For instance, a recent analysis by advocacy group Mapping Police Violence found black Americans are twice as likely to be killed by police as Latinx people, and three times more likely than white people. The same study also found that black people are 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed when they’re killed by police than white people are.

Data also shows little accountability for this disparity. An analysis of law enforcement records and public databases by Mapping Police Violence found that 99 percent of police killings from 2013 to 2019 didn’t result in charges for the officers involved.

Those trends are borne out in the way Americans of different races feel about the police. According to an Axios-Ipsos poll of 1,033 US adults taken from May 29 to June 1 (with a 3.1 percentage point margin of error), 77 percent of white Americans polled said they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in local police, while only 36 percent of African American respondents did.

Still, Trump and top officials are making clear they support state and local police, even as disturbing images and videos of law enforcement officers retaliating against mostly peaceful protesters circulate.

The president himself has tweeted “LAW & ORDER” four times in the last week alone, called upon the police to “get tough,” and retweeted multiple tweets from Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, whose advocacy for sending US troops into American cities to quash protests caused a staff revolt inside the New York Times.

Trump also reportedly demanded that the US military send 10,000 active duty troops into cities on Monday, despite opposition from Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley. Barr called that report “completely false” on Sunday morning, saying instead they were put “on standby in case they were needed.”

Trump’s hardline approach has not, however, engendered goodwill among some of those who traditionally support him. Several top military leaders have spoken out in recent days against the president’s support for police retaliation, and conservative televangelist Pat Robertson said his plan to send in troops “isn’t cool.”

He added: “You just don’t do that, Mr. President.”


Support Vox’s explanatory journalism

Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.

Posted on

Chris Doyle Responds To Allegations From Former Iowa Players, Says He Has Never ‘Crossed The Line Of Unethical Behavior Or Bias Based Upon Race’

Iowa Hawkeyes football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle released a statement late Sunday afternoon about allegations of racially charged behavior.

Doyle has been accused by several former players of making racially insensitive remarks over the years, and he’s since been placed on administrative leave.

However, he said he’s an innocent man and doesn’t believe any of the allegations are true. In his statement posted to Twitter, he told fans in part, “At no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race. I do not make racist comments and I don’t tolerate people who do.”

You can read his full statement below.

This is going to get really ugly, and that’s now obvious at this point in time. It’s not a single allegation Doyle is facing.

He’s facing many of them, and he more or less just said they’re all untrue. Both sides are going to likely dig in at all costs.

Ultimately, I’m not even sure how you can prove what did or didn’t happen. It’s not like any of these alleged comments about the way players dressed, tattoos and such are on tape.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz said there’ll be an independent investigation, and I guess Iowa fans will just have to wait and see.

Keep checking back for more updates on this situation when we have them!

Posted on

Mike Huckabee encourages all Republicans to ‘make the right move,’ support Trump’s reelection

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee encouraged all Republicans to “make the right move” and stand behind President Trump, following a New York Times report that claimed former President George W. Bush and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, won’t support Trump’s reelection.

Huckabee, a Fox News contributor, told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday, “If you have people who were nominated and in the case of President Bush, actually elected to be president by Republicans, and they will no longer support the Republican nominee, who went through the process and got elected, then I’m going to be not just unhappy, I’m going to be livid.”

The New York Times article, headlined, “Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon,” was published Saturday.

“Former President George W. Bush won’t support the re-election of Mr. Trump, and [former Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush isn’t sure how he’ll vote, say people familiar with their thinking,” the article read. “Senator Mitt Romney of Utah won’t back Mr. Trump and is deliberating whether to again write in his wife, Ann, or cast another ballot this November.”

The article went on to note that “Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, is almost certain to support [former Vice President Joe Biden but is unsure how public to be about it because one of her sons is eying a run for office.”

Huckabee said he wasn’t sure if the information in the article was true “because it’s in the New York Times and I take a lot of things in the New York Times with a grain of salt because they’re wrong more than they’re right.”

He then went on to explain why he would be “livid” if the information in the article were correct.

GEORGE BUSH SPEAKS OUT ON GEORGE FLOYD, RACISM

“We didn’t all agree on some of the policies of Bush or McCain or Romney, but when it came down to it, we had a choice,” Huckabee said. “We could choose a far-left liberal or we could choose somebody that was closer to our views.”

He went on to say, “I get it that Donald Trump’s bedside manner is somewhat more like ‘Mean’ Joe Greene than it is the cool, collected Tom Brady, if it’s on the football field.”

Huckabee then explained what he didn’t understand “with these Never Trumpers” and outlined an “incredibly long litany of things” Trump has accomplished.

“This president is more pro-life than we’ve ever had, period. He’s more pro-Israel. He has deregulated so much government so that the businesses of America can thrive and they have until this COVID stuff happened,” Huckabee said. “This is a president who has stood up to the globalists, stood up to the unfair trade practices, brought back American jobs, has done more for minorities than any president in my lifetime in actually helping people to have good, decent jobs and a future.”

He then noted that despite all that, some people said they did not like Trump because of his personality.

“Well, get over it,” Huckabee said. “This is not about electing a personality, this isn’t Hollywood, this is the rough, tumble world of politics.”

He then acknowledged that perhaps Trump was “not as genteel as some of us would like, but, by gosh, he’s getting the job done, and it’s time Republicans rally because if they don’t, they’re going to get Joe Biden, who isn’t pro-life, who is for higher taxes, open borders. He’s going to succumb to China.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Huckabee said Biden will embrace “everything that we find disgusting,” including socialism. “That’s why we have to realize this is a simple choice and we better make the right move.”

In a statement sent to Fox News reacting to The New York Times article the Trump campaign wrote, “President Trump has the support of a record number of Republicans across the country. He leads a united party and will win in November.”

Posted on

Lindsey Graham Says He’s Been Denied Access To FBI Employees Who Interviewed Key Dossier Source

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he has been denied access to interview an FBI agent and an FBI analyst who met with a key source for the Steele dossier who disavowed the salacious document.

Graham has sought interviews with the FBI case agent and supervisory intelligence analyst to discuss their interview in January 2017 with the primary source for Christopher Steele, the former British spy who investigated the Trump campaign for Democrats.

Steele’s source disputed many of the allegations attributed to him in the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI and Justice Department failed to disclose those red flags in applications to federal judges for authority to surveil Page.

“I made a request to interview the case agent and the intel analyst…and they’re denying me the ability to do that,” Graham said in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“I’m going to keep working the system,” Graham said.

Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not say whether the FBI or the Justice Department have blocked his request to interview the FBI employees.

Graham is considering a subpoena for 53 current and former government officials as part of a sweeping review of the investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to the Russian government.

Graham has said he wants to get to the bottom of how information from the source was handled at the FBI and Justice Department. (RELATED: FBI Agent Faulted For ‘Significant’ Role In Surveillance Abuse Worse Many Hats During Trump Probe)

“The question is, did the case agent and intel agent refuse to tell the system about exculpatory information? Does the fault lie with two or three people, or was it a system out of control?” Graham said on Fox News.

“Here’s what I think. Every time there was a stop sign for Carter Page or Flynn, the system moved forward because the people at the top did not want to stop.”

WATCH:

Graham said he plans to call former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to find out whether they knew that Steele’s source disputed information in the dossier.

“I find it hard to believe that McCabe and Comey did not know that the Russian subsource told the FBI in January, ‘oh, by the way, the documents you’re using to get a warrant against Carter Page, the Steele dossier, it’s a bunch of hearsay, bar talk and garbage,’” Graham said.

One of the agents who took part in the initial interviews with the source is Stephen Somma, a counterintelligence investigator in the FBI’s New York field office. An inspector general report faulted Somma — who is identified as “Case Agent 1” — for numerous errors and omissions in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.

Two Justice Department officials also took part in the interview with the Steele source and failed to disclose the information that undermined the dossier. Graham is seeking to interview one of those officials, David Laufman. Laufman served as chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division through 2018.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Posted on

Protesters tear down statue of slave trader as anti-racism demonstrations spread around world

In London, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Sydney, Hong Kong and countless other cities, protesters packed streets that have laid deserted for months to tell governments around the world that “Black Lives Matter.”

Some defied coronavirus lockdowns and warnings from politicians to do so. Many protesters wore masks during the weekend’s rallies, while some carried messages that racial inequality is also a public health crisis.

But they turned out to draw attention to racial injustice in their own nations, too.

Colonial-era statues ripped down with ropes

In London, thousands congregated outside the US Embassy on Sunday despite British ministers saying that public protests ran the risk of increasing the spread of Covid-19.

Chants of “No Justice, No Peace” and “Black Lives Matter” bounced off the building in the Vauxhall region of the city, with a jubilant atmosphere for much of the day.

“Together, we will let our voices be heard. Enough is Enough. Black people cannot keep suffering,” one protester addressed the crowd.

At times, the activists chanted “The UK is not innocent.” Others had messages for the US President, with one sign reading: “Black lives trump your ego, Mr. President.”

The previous day, activists had descended onto Parliament Square in the center of the city. Protests were peaceful for several hours, but turned heated in the evening when police and crowds faced off outside Downing Street.

In one incident, video posted online showed a police horse suddenly bolting, causing its officer to crash into a street light and fall to the ground. The loose horse then caused panic as it ran through groups of protesters, before making its way back to police stables.

“I stand with you. George Floyd’s brutal killing must lead to immediate and lasting change everywhere,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a Sunday message to protesters, while condemning the minority who turned violent and reminding activists to try to limit physical interactions.

Demonstrators kneel facing police officers during another Black Lives Matter march in London on Saturday.

A number of Boris Johnson’s government ministers had previously urged protesters to avoid gathering at all for public health reasons, with Home Secretary Priti Patel saying on Saturday: “I would say to those that want to protest, please don’t.”

Similar protests took place in Edinburgh, Scotland — and a dramatic scene unfolded in Bristol, southwest England, where activists tore down a statue of 17th century slave owner Edward Colston.

Protesters throw statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest rally, Sunday June 7.
Protesters pull down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston during a Black Lives Matter protest rally on College Green, Bristol, England, Sunday June 7, 2020.

The monument had stood in the city center since 1895 but had become increasingly controversial, with petitions created to demand its removal. On Sunday it was ripped down with ropes to loud cheers from a crowd of demonstrators.

Europe’s streets filled after months of lockdown

The messages of those protesters were echoed by thousands more around the world.

In Spain, permission was given for demonstrators to assemble outside the US Embassy but, after defying orders from the government, protesters marched through the city to Puerta del Sol — one of the best-known and busiest places in the city.

Demonstrators were seen holding placards and chanting phrases including “Donald Trump is a criminal.”

According to figures released by the government’s delegation in Madrid, approximately 2,000 protesters were in attendance; organizers say 4,000 people attended.

In Madrid, a protester warns that "Systemic racism is a pandemic."
Protesters kneel holding placards in Rome.

Lisa Okpala, a spokeswoman for CNAAEB — an anti-racism platform in Spain — told CNN that the purpose of the demonstration was to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and to “denounce and demonstrate against structural and institutional racism” in the country.

“We felt not only sad because, as I said, racism is a problem here also, but also we felt the rage that the people in the United States are feeling now, especially the black community. So, there is a mix between sadness and rage,” Okpala said.

Thousands more gathered in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo — the major square that just weeks ago had sat empty, a defining image of Italy’s devastating coronavirus outbreak.

Protesters hold an upside-down US flag in Rome.

Activists there took a knee in silence for a full eight minutes in a symbolic tribute to Floyd, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

During the demonstration, the protesters were addressed by representatives of Italy’s migrant community and American expatriates; the names of all those killed in the US as a result of police brutality were listed and commemorated by the crowd.

While the large gathering made it difficult for protesters to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines, those demonstrating in the piazza were seen to be attempting to maintain a one-meter gap between themselves, with many also wearing masks and face coverings.

Meanwhile in Warsaw, streets were lined outside the American embassy. The previous day, crowds have swarmed through Paris and other French cities like Lille, Marseille, and Nice.

Crowds outside the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
Players from both teams take a knee in protest prior to the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg in Germany on Sunday.

Court allows Sydney protests to go ahead

Hours earlier, cities in Australia had been similarly active.

A court in the country overturned an injunction that banned a march and rally in Sydney on Saturday, allowing thousands to gather in the city.

Performances from Aboriginal protesters took place, and demonstrators held banners calling for an end to deaths in police custody both in the US and in Australia.

Activists in Brisbane on Saturday.
Small crowds gather outside the US Embassy in Hong Kong.

New South Wales state officials had sought to ban the protest due to social distancing concerns and received an injunction Friday night. The New South Wales Court of Appeals overturned it in time for the actions to take place.

Another rally took place in Brisbane and Melbourne.

In Hong Kong, smaller crowds gathered outside the Consulate General of the United States. And in Seoul, South Korea, activists in face masks held up signs on Saturday to commemorate Floyd’s death.

CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro, Al Goodman, Duarte Mendonca, Ben Wedeman and Alessandro Gentile contributed reporting.

Posted on

Chantel Moore’s family plan healing ceremonies, will seek answers during N.B. trip

FREDERICTON — Ten family members of a 26-year-old Indigenous woman who was fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B., are travelling across the country from British Columbia to offer support to her mother and daughter, relatives said Sunday.

Amy Charlie, who grew up with Chantel Marin, said in an interview from Tofino, B.C., that it will be important for the family to gather in the days to come.

“We grew up together. I think I need to say a final goodbye to her,” said the 20-year-old cousin, adding that in Tla-o-qui-aht culture she is referred to as Moore’s sister due to their close relationship.

She and her grandmother, Nora Martin — who will also be on the trip — say the family is also hoping to meet with investigators to find out more about what occurred.

Moore died Thursday when police arrived at her home in response to a request to check on her well-being, and police have alleged their officer encountered a woman with a knife making threats.

Charlie and her grandmother say they are seeking more complete information from officials on what occurred,

“We all want answers,” said Charlie.

Martin is the sister of Moore’s biological grandmother but says she is considered a grandmother in their Tla-o-qui-aht culture.

She has said in earlier interviews with The Canadian Press that her family has endured previous trauma at the hands of police, and she is calling for lasting change to break the pattern.

More than 50 years ago, Martin’s grandfather suffered a broken neck while in police custody, she said.

Another relative died 10 to 12 years ago while in police custody, she said. There was an investigation and recommendations were made, but Martin says little has changed.

She and her sister, Grace Frank, have said they doubt the police version of events as Moore was a petite woman who they say was not violent.

“We have to know the circumstances. We can’t go with what the RCMP say. We don’t believe that Chantel attacked him. There’s no way in the world she would attack anybody,” said Martin.

“She had no mental health issues.”

However, the primary focus of the journey will be to offer support to their sister — Moore’s mother — and Moore’s five-year-old daughter.

Martin said the family expects they will meet Maliseet First Nation leaders after they arrive in Fredericton on Monday morning.

They are hoping to hold private, traditional ceremonies for Moore during a funeral and burial, once the coroner releases the body to the family.

“We can’t really do anything until we hear from the coroner,” the grandmother added.

“It’s very important. We value our family, whether they are alive or not. We treat the family member who has passed on with much, much respect,” she said.

Martin said later in the week it’s expected there will be a “medicine walk,” which she says is a healing ceremony, in honour of Moore.

Late last week, a coalition of Maliseet First Nations called for an independent probe of the New Brunswick justice system in light of Moore’s death.

The six chiefs in the Wolastoqey First Nation in New Brunswick issued a joint statement expressing their condolences to Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in B.C. to which Moore belonged.

It is signed by the chiefs of communities along the Saint John River Valley, including Tobique, St. Mary’s, Madawaska, Oromocto, Kingsclear and Woodstock First Nations.

Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart said in an emailed statement that a probe has started through Quebec’s independent police investigation agency, known as the Bureau des enquetes independantes, along with a New Brunswick coroner’s investigation.

“Decisions on next steps will be taken after the investigations have been completed,” wrote the solicitor general.

It remains unclear what agency will recommend if a prosecution should proceed for the shooting, as the Bureau des enquetes independantes has stated its sole role is to produce a summary of the facts.

Their findings will be sent to the public prosecution service and the RCMP, said an email from a spokesman for Urquhart.

The Quebec agency has provided a brief statement, saying its investigation will determine if the information provided by police is accurate.

The City of Edmundston and the Edmundston Police Force said Friday they will make no further comment.

The union representing the 30 police officers and 11 dispatchers in the service said on Saturday in a release that it wished to offer sincere condolences to the family of Moore, calling the death “a difficult and tragic situation for all the parties involved.”

Relatives have said that Moore’s mother, Martha, had been raising Chantel’s daughter Gracie in New Brunswick, and Moore recently moved there to be with her mother and daughter and to go to college.

In Ottawa Friday, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has said the family deserves answers, quickly. “It was a wellness check and someone died,” he said. “I can’t process that.”

— Story by Michael Tutton in Halifax.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2020.

Posted on

Trump wanted to deploy 10,000 troops in Washington D.C., official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump told his advisors at one point this past week he wanted 10,000 troops to deploy to the Washington D.C. area to halt civil unrest over the killing of a black man by Minneapolis police, according to a senior U.S. official.

FILE PHOTO: National Guard members look on while mounting guard at the Lincoln Memorial during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 6, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

The account of Trump’s demand during a heated Oval Office conversation on Monday shows how close the president may have come to fulfilling his threat to deploy active duty troops in U.S. cities, despite opposition from Pentagon leadership.

At the meeting, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and Attorney General William Barr recommended against such a deployment, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The meeting was “contentious,” the official added.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump has since appeared satisfied with deployments by the National Guard, the option recommended by the Pentagon and a more traditional tool for dealing with domestic crises. Pentagon leaders scrambled to call governors with requests to send Guard forces to Washington. Additional federal law enforcement were mobilized too.

But also key for Trump appears to have been Esper’s move to preposition — but not deploy — active duty soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division and other units in the Washington D.C. area. Those troops have since departed.

“Having active duty forces available but not in the city was enough for the president for the time,” the official said.

Barr told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that no active duty troops were deployed on Washington streets, but there were some military police nearby.

“We had them on standby in case they were needed,” Barr said.

Trump’s bid to militarize the U.S. response to the protests has triggered a rare outpouring of condemnation from former U.S. military officials, including Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis, and retired four-star generals who normally try to steer clear of politics.

Those comments reflect deep unease inside and outside the Pentagon with Trump’s willingness to inject the U.S. military into a domestic race relations crisis following the killing of George Floyd, 46, who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd’s death has led to a wave of protests and national soul-searching over the country’s legacy of violence and mistreatment of African Americans and other minorities.

It has also led some Pentagon leaders of color to issue unprecedented statements bit.ly/30mxTlD about their experiences dealing with issues of race in the U.S. military.

ESPER’S FUTURE?

Esper publicly voiced his opposition on Wednesday to invoking the Insurrection Act to deploy active duty forces — remarks to reporters that did not go over well with either Trump or his top aides.

The senior U.S. official said Trump yelled at Esper after that news conference.

As speculation swirled over whether the president might fire him, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “remains confident in Secretary Esper.”

“Secretary Esper has been instrumental in securing our nation’s streets and ensuring Americans have peace and confidence in the security of their places of business, places of worship, and their homes,” McEnany said in a statement.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters on Sunday he believed “we came right up to the edge of bringing active troops here,” but added that he did not speak to the president. He expected all National Guard who came from out of state to be heading back home within 72 hours as the crisis eased.

Esper issued a memo on Tuesday reminding Defense Department personnel “we commit to protecting the American people’s right to freedom of speech and to peaceful assembly.”

Milley issued a similar statement reminding troops of their oath to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to peaceful protests.

Those statements by Milley and Esper came after they took fierce criticism for using military planning terms like “battlespace” to describe American protest sites during a conference call with state governors that Trump hosted on Monday, a recording of which leaked.

At the time, the Pentagon was concerned that Trump might deploy active duty troops if the governors did not sufficiently employ the National Guard, the official said.

Esper and Milley have also faced criticism for accompanying Trump for a photo opportunity outside a church near the White House on Monday after police cleared the area by firing smoke grenades and chemical irritant “pepper balls” and charging into peaceful protesters.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Posted on

After months of lockdown, people across the world head outside to protest against racism

In London, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Sydney, Hong Kong and countless other cities, protesters are packing streets that have laid deserted for months to tell governments around the world that “Black Lives Matter.”

Activists filled public spaces in huge numbers for the second consecutive weekend to commemorate the death of George Floyd and demand an end to systemic racism — staging “die-ins” outside US embassies and even tearing down a statue of a former slave trader in the British town of Bristol.

Some defied coronavirus lockdowns and warnings from politicians to do so. Many protesters wore masks during the weekend’s rallies, while some carried messages that racial inequality is also a public health crisis.

They marched in solidarity with tens of thousands in the US, whose protests on Saturday were the biggest yet since video of Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer ignited a wave of anger and action.

But they turned out to draw attention to racial injustice in their own nations, too.

Colonial-era statues ripped down with ropes

In London, thousands congregated outside the US Embassy on Sunday despite British ministers saying that public protests ran the risk of increasing the spread of Covid-19.

Chants of “No Justice, No Peace” and “Black Lives Matter” bounced off the building in the Vauxhall region of the city, with a jubilant atmosphere for much of the day.

“Together, we will let our voices be heard. Enough is Enough. Black people cannot keep suffering,” one protester addressed the crowd.

At times, the activists chanted “The UK is not innocent.” Others had messages for the US President, with one sign reading: “Black lives trump your ego, Mr. President.”

The previous day, activists had descended onto Parliament Square in the center of the city. Protests were peaceful for several hours, but turned heated in the evening when police and crowds faced off outside Downing Street.

In one incident, video posted online showed a police horse suddenly bolting, causing its officer to crash into a street light and fall to the ground. The loose horse then caused panic as it ran through groups of protesters, before making its way back to police stables.

“I stand with you. George Floyd’s brutal killing must lead to immediate and lasting change everywhere,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a Sunday message to protesters, while condemning the minority who turned violent and reminding activists to try to limit physical interactions.

A number of Boris Johnson’s government ministers had previously urged protesters to avoid gathering at all for public health reasons, with Home Secretary Priti Patel saying on Saturday: “I would say to those that want to protest, please don’t.”

Similar protests took place in Edinburgh, Scotland — and a dramatic scene unfolded in Bristol, southwest England, where activists tore down a statue of 17th century slave owner Edward Colston.

The monument had stood in the city center since 1895 but had become increasingly controversial, with petitions created to demand its removal. On Sunday it was ripped down with ropes to loud cheers from a crowd of demonstrators.

Europe’s streets filled after months of lockdown

The messages of those protesters were echoed by thousands more around the world.

In Spain, permission was given for demonstrators to assemble outside the US Embassy but, after defying orders from the government, protesters marched through the city to Puerta del Sol — one of the best-known and busiest places in the city.

Demonstrators were seen holding placards and chanting phrases including “Donald Trump is a criminal.”

According to figures released by the government’s delegation in Madrid, approximately 2,000 protesters were in attendance; organizers say 4,000 people attended.

Lisa Okpala, a spokeswoman for CNAAEB — an anti-racism platform in Spain — told CNN that the purpose of the demonstration was to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and to “denounce and demonstrate against structural and institutional racism” in the country.

“We felt not only sad because, as I said, racism is a problem here also, but also we felt the rage that the people in the United States are feeling now, especially the black community. So, there is a mix between sadness and rage,” Okpala said.

Thousands more gathered in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo — the major square that just weeks ago had sat empty, a defining image of Italy’s devastating coronavirus outbreak.

Activists there took a knee in silence for a full eight minutes in a symbolic tribute to Floyd, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

During the demonstration, the protesters were addressed by representatives of Italy’s migrant community and American expatriates; the names of all those killed in the US as a result of police brutality were listed and commemorated by the crowd.

While the large gathering made it difficult for protesters to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines, those demonstrating in the piazza were seen to be attempting to maintain a one-meter gap between themselves, with many also wearing masks and face coverings.

Meanwhile in Warsaw, streets were lined outside the American embassy. The previous day, crowds have swarmed through Paris and other French cities like Lille, Marseille, and Nice.

Court allows Sydney protests to go ahead

Hours earlier, cities in Australia had been similarly active.

A court in the country overturned an injunction that banned a march and rally in Sydney on Saturday, allowing thousands to gather in the city.

Performances from Aboriginal protesters took place, and demonstrators held banners calling for an end to deaths in police custody both in the US and in Australia.

New South Wales state officials had sought to ban the protest due to social distancing concerns and received an injunction Friday night. The New South Wales Court of Appeals overturned it in time for the actions to take place.

Another rally took place in Brisbane and Melbourne.

In Hong Kong, smaller crowds gathered outside the Consulate General of the United States. And in Seoul, South Korea, activists in face masks held up signs on Saturday to commemorate Floyd’s death.