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Defying Police Unions, New York Lawmakers Ban Chokeholds

Inspired by the protests sweeping the state and nation, New York legislative leaders on Monday began to approve an expansive package of bills targeting police misconduct, defying longstanding opposition from law enforcement groups, including police unions.

The measures range from a ban on the use of chokeholds to the repeal of an obscure decades-old statute that has effectively hidden the disciplinary records of police officers from public view, making it virtually impossible for victims to know whether a particular officer has a history of abuse.

The legislation marks one of the most substantial policy changes to result from the nearly two weeks of national unrest that followed George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, including in New York City, where tens of thousands of protesters participated in mostly peaceful marches to demand more police accountability.

The proposals signify a turning-point in Albany. Many of the policy changes being voted on this week languished for years because of opposition from influential police and corrections unions that contribute generously to the campaigns of elected officials — a tactic that had great effect in the State Senate, which has traditionally been under Republican control.

But Democrats assumed control of the full Legislature last year for the first time in nearly a decade, clearing the way for lawmakers to pass some of the law enforcement bills on Monday. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, said on Monday he supported the bills and intended to sign them into law.

The pressure on elected officials to enact police reforms has reverberated across the nation.

Officials in Minneapolis moved to ban chokeholds and pledged to disband its police department. In Congress, Democrats plan to unveil expansive legislation this week to combat racial bias and excessive use of force by law enforcement. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed for the first time to cut funding for the New York Police Department.

The protests in New York, which in some cases included violent clashes between the police and demonstrators, sparked a groundswell of support that seemed unlikely just a few weeks ago, placing unavoidable pressure on state and city lawmakers who were already consumed with the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

In one such clash, a police officer was recorded on video shoving a female protester to the ground and was heard calling her a “bitch.” The officer, who has been identified by elected officials as Vincent D’Andraia, is expected to be arrested on Tuesday and face prosecution by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, according to three law enforcement officials.

Officer D’Andraia, who has already been suspended without pay, is expected to face misdemeanor charges of assault, harassment and menacing over the May 29 incident, one of the officials said. The protester, Dounya Zayer, 20, has said she suffered a concussion and seizures as a result of the attack.

The pending arrest lies in stark contrast to the aftermath of Eric Garner’s death on Staten Island after a police officer held him in a chokehold in 2014.

The New York City Council soon introduced a bill to criminalize chokeholds by the police; after a Staten Island grand jury refused to approve criminal charges against the officers involved in Mr. Garner’s death, the measure gained momentum.

But in December 2014, as anger against the police heightened, two police officers were assassinated in an attack that many officers thought had been inspired by anti-police rhetoric after Mr. Garner’s death. Mayor de Blasio, in danger of losing the support of the rank-and-file police and their unions, threatened to veto the legislation.

The bill, which has languished since, now has enough support to overcome a mayoral veto, and will come to a vote on June 18. It would make the use of chokeholds by members of the New York Police Department a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Rory I. Lancman, a councilman from Queens and the primary sponsor of the city’s chokehold bill, said that when he saw video of Mr. Floyd’s death, he immediately recalled Mr. Garner’s death, and his repeated utterances of “I can’t breathe.”

“There was the same feeling of helplessness and wanting to jump in the screen and push that officer off him,” Mr. Lancman said.

Mr. Lancman’s bill has been expanded this year because of the way in which Mr. Floyd was killed. It will prohibit any action that “restricts the flow of air or blood by compressing the windpipe, diaphragm, or the carotid arteries” in the effort to make an arrest.

The State Legislature on Monday passed its own bill banning police chokeholds; the “Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act” characterizes police chokeholds as “aggravated strangulation” and classify that as a Class C felony.

Prosecutors would have to meet a higher threshold to charge an officer with a felony, compared to a misdemeanor, and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer’s intent was to block a person’s breathing in order to get a conviction. They could, theoretically, charge an officer with both a chokehold misdemeanor and felony.

But another policing bill has been even more contentious: State lawmakers received thousands of emails in recent days urging them to repeal a 1970s-era law in the state’s civil code known as 50-a, which prohibits the release of “all personnel records used to evaluate performance” of police officers without permission from the officer or a judge.

Under Mayor de Blasio, the New York Police Department fought in court to expand the interpretation of the law so that it shielded the results of disciplinary hearings against individual officers.

Calls to repeal the law escalated after Mr. Garner’s death at the hands of Daniel Pantaleo, a police officer whose litany of misconduct complaints was kept secret for years. Mr. Pantaleo, whose records were eventually leaked following an unsuccessful lawsuit to make them public, was fired last year after an administrative judge found him guilty of violating a department ban on chokeholds.

Legislation to repeal or modify the law, however, never gained significant traction in the State Capitol.

Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, a Democrat from Manhattan who sponsored the bill to repeal the law, said that while public defenders and activists supported it, most ordinary citizens were unaware of the bill, and momentum never coalesced.

That changed as New Yorkers learned recently of past misconduct complaints lodged against Derek Chauvin, the white police officer whose actions led to the death of Mr. Floyd, who was black. The records became public because Minnesota does not have a law barring the disclosure of such records; New York is one of the few remaining states with such a secrecy law.

“The biggest problem in our nation now is the lack of trust between policing authorities and the policed,” said Mr. O’Donnell, who first introduced the bill in 2015. “This is one way that would go a long way in restoring that.”

The move to repeal the law drew forceful opposition from the state’s powerful police unions, which argued that the changes could lead to reputational harm if complaints of misconduct that have not been substantiated were allowed to be released.

Union officials, including those from the Police Benevolent Association, which represents 40,000 active and retired New York City police officers, said lawmakers were voting with little deliberation and in the shadow of a pandemic and civil unrest.

“Beyond any specific policy changes, the overall impact of this legislative effort is to foster a view of law enforcement officers as alien agents of hostile power, whose authority can be disregarded or actively opposed at will,” a coalition of unions representing law enforcement officers wrote in a memo of opposition.

Carl Heastie, the Democratic speaker of the Assembly, said that the bills were not anti-police, but that the killing of Mr. Floyd was a breaking point for many lawmakers.

“Sometimes things happen, that even in the normal course of politics and governing, where it just opens people’s eyes,” he said during a news conference in Albany on Monday.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, said law enforcement has operated under “rules they set for themselves” for far too long.

“If I’ve got 20 accusations of excessive force that are unsubstantiated, that’s got to be a red flag, one way or the other,” she said in an interview. “We can no longer afford complaint after complaint built up on your record and then nobody does anything about it. That’s over.”

Mr. de Blasio has said he supports reforming, not repealing the law, with certain safeguards to protect officers’ privacy.

Mr. Cuomo, following years of remaining mostly noncommittal on the issue, threw his support behind repeal, acknowledging it would infuriate law enforcement unions.

Lawmakers will vote later this week on 50-a and on a bill that would require state police officers to wear body cameras.

Other law-enforcement bills passed on Monday included legislation to require courts to compile and publish racial and demographic data of low-level offenders. Another measures would enshrine in law the special prosecutor’s office to investigate police killings, which was created by executive order in 2015.

Another bill entitled people to “a private right of action” if they believed someone called a police officer on them because of their race, gender, nationality or any other protected class. The bill is a direct response to incidents of black people being falsely reported to the police, including the encounter caught on video last month of a white woman falsely claiming in a 911 call that a black birder was threatening her.

“I really don’t want to lose this moment,” said State Senator Kevin Parker, a Democrat from Brooklyn who introduced the bill. “The rate of protests is not sustainable indefinitely, so it’s important to get as much as we can during this period.”

Jesse McKinley contributed reporting from Albany, N.Y. and Jan Ransom from New York.

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Joe Biden’s ideal VP is Condoleezza Rice

The Washington Post just named its top 11 vice presidential picks for Joe BidenJoe BidenThe sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers Democrats seek to tap into fury over George Floyd Police brutality: Let’s get serious — training can’t touch this MORE. They’re all women, and they’re all Democrats. Each is reasonable, intelligent, articulate and brilliant. Each deeply respects the Constitution. Each, therefore, is far more qualified than President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors allege Avenatti may have violated terms of prison release Bolton plans to publish White House memoir in late June: report The sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers MORE to lead our country.

But given the ongoing, enormous national protests of George Floyd’s horrific killing by a white policeman and his complicit associates, Biden should and most likely will choose a black running mate. It’s not just the times; it’s the politics. Had as many black voters turned out for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden doubles lead over Trump in Michigan: poll Biden faces new hurdle: Winning as front-runner Ohio is suddenly a 2020 battleground MORE as did for President Obama, Secretary Clinton would now be president and our long national nightmare with President Trump would never have begun.    

Five of the Washington Post-designated VP candidates are black. But each comes with a considerable drawback. Only Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCongressional Black Caucus chair says ‘a lot of’ House GOP interest in police reform bill Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Kamala Harris to Trump: ‘Keep George Floyd’s name out of your mouth’ MORE (D-Calif.) has national name recognition. The rest – former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsDemocrats seek to tap into fury over George Floyd Trump officials claim there is no systemic racism in policing as protests sweep US Sunday shows – Powell ‘can not in any way support’ Trump, will vote for Biden MORE (D-Fla.) – do not.

Nor do any except Harris have the gravitas one looks for in a vice president, particularly one with a decent chance, given Biden’s age, of becoming president. Yet, for all of her talents, experience and brilliance, Harris does not appeal to the public, even the Democratic part of the public. That is why she failed to make it far in the presidential primaries.

Harris seemed unable to provide new answers to our country’s deep problems or even clearly articulate what those problems are. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Guam presidential primary Liberals: Which ‘science’ are we supposed to believe? Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination MORE (I-Vt.) had second-rate solutions, but at least they were solutions. Harris and the other candidates, including Biden, said largely what people wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear.

This may sound supercilious and condescending. But when I ran for president in 2016 as a registered write-in candidate, I did so after spending six months coming up with economically sound, novel solutions to the problems I see as an economist, most of which went completely ignored in the primary. 

I desperately wanted someone to say: “Here’s how we fix our thoroughly bankrupt fiscal system. Here’s why the poor can’t escape poverty. They face astronomical taxes and loss of benefits for doing so. Here’s how to fix the banks for good, not let them live to die another day. Here’s how to provide uniform national education at all grade levels. Here’s how to fix Social Security, which has a $38 trillion unfunded liability.” And the list goes on.  

In short, as an independent, I wanted to hear substance, not talking points. I don’t expect to hear much concrete from Biden in the coming campaign. His main message is that he’s not Donald Trump. That will carry the day for Democrats, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

But most independents are looking for more than someone on the left with a running mate who is even further to the left. They believe that our real problems don’t merit right- or left-wing answers. They deserve intelligent, first-best answers. In addition, they realize that Biden’s veep will need to be ready to immediately step into the president’s shoes given that Biden would be our nation’s oldest president.  

The best candidate is clearly Condoleezza Rice. As a black woman, she can help bring our country together.

Yes, Secretary Rice served in President George W. Bush’s Cabinet, both as our nation’s top diplomat and before that as national security adviser. But she also served (as an intern) in the Carter administration’s State Department as well as in President George H.W. Bush’s administration.

She’s a Republican, but she’s no ideologue. Consequently, she will instantly appeal to independents across the nation. Her selection would constitute a unity ticket and deprive President Trump not only of most votes in the middle, but millions of votes on the right. 

What everyone will immediately recognize in Secretary Rice is that she can, as needed, run the country. This isn’t simply due to her knowledge of foreign affairs, her deep experience with matters of national security and her close relationships with former and current world’s top leaders. It’s also because of her experience outside of government.

Rice successfully ran one of our nation’s largest and most important private enterprises, namely Stanford University, in her capacity as provost. And unlike many of the contenders to be Biden’s running mate, Rice has the gravitas needed to step in and take over as president at a particularly perilous time for our country.

Laurence Kotlikoff is a professor of economics at Boston University. 

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US coronavirus: As more Americans head out, 22 states are seeing jumps in new Covid-19 cases

But the situation would have been much worse had states not shut down, a new study says.
More than 1.9 million Americans have been infected, and more than 110,000 have died in just over four months, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Nationwide, 22 states are seeing upward trends in coronavirus cases. About 20 states have seen decreases in recent days, and eight states are holding steady.

One of the states with the biggest spikes in new cases is Florida. The number of new cases reported each day has increased an average of roughly 46% over the past week, just as most of the state entered a second phase of reopening.

And there’s global proof that the coronavirus pandemic is nowhere near over.

Sunday marked the most Covid-19 cases reported to the World Health Organization in a single day during this pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases were reported — the most in a single day so far,” Tedros said Monday. “Almost 75% of yesterday’s cases come from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.”

Shutdowns and school closures have helped

About 60 million US coronavirus infections were likely averted through early April thanks to emergency orders, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley said.
New York City exits coronavirus lockdown but enters a new crisis
“The findings come as leaders worldwide struggle to balance the enormous and highly visible economic costs of emergency health measures against their public health benefits, which are difficult to see,” UC Berkeley said.

Those emergency orders included business and school closures, travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders.

“The study did not estimate how many lives might have been saved by the policies because, with so many infections, fatality rates would be much higher than anything observed to date,” UC Berkeley said.

Concerns grow over Covid-19 spread at protests

While protesters flood streets to demand an end to systemic racism and police brutality, health officials emphasize the need to take precautions.
Confirmed coronavirus cases are rising faster than ever

So doctors say it’s extremely important to wear a face mask and try to keep your distance from others as much as possible.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday it was closely monitoring the protests.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said earlier this month that protesters should be evaluated and tested for the virus.

“I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” especially in metropolitan areas where there has been significant transmission, Redfield said.

More inland states are getting hit hard

While big cities on the coasts were hit hard early in the pandemic, the past few weeks have seen wider spread in inland states, including Arkansas, Texas and Arizona.
Here's where we stand on getting a coronavirus vaccine

In Utah, state Rep. Suzanne Harrison called a recent spike of cases “very concerning (and) approaching exponential.”

“Today’s 18.5% positive test rate is double yesterday’s (9.4%),” she tweeted over the weekend.

Friday, health officials in Utah said they were “very concerned” about the rise in new cases over the past week.

The state has recorded more than 12,000 infections, according to Johns Hopkins.

“When you’re away from home, please avoid close contact with others, and wear a mask when other social distancing measures aren’t feasible,” the Utah Department of Health tweeted.
Several universities have also reported new cases within their athletic programs — including Arkansas State University, Auburn University and Oklahoma State University.

An important drug could run out

The US government’s current supply of remdesivir, the only drug known to work against coronavirus, will run out at the end of the month, said Dr. Robert Kadlec, a US Department of Health and Human Services official.

The US government's supply of the only proven Covid-19 drug runs out at the end of the month

The government’s last shipment of the drug will go out the week of June 29. Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the drug, is ramping up to make more, but it’s unclear how much will be available this summer.

The US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization for remdesivir last month. The drug, an intravenous antiviral medication studied to treat Ebola, is now used on hospitalized Covid-19 patients. A study has shown it helps cut down the length of hospital stays.

The government has been working to help Gilead “with some of their supply chain challenges in terms of raw materials and being able to accelerate the process,” Kadlec said.

But “whatever the supply may be, there may not be enough for everyone who may need it.”

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Arman Azad and Elizabeth Cohen contributed to this report.

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Democrats kneel at Capitol, plan to unveil police overhaul


WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats proposed a far-reaching overhaul of police procedures and accountability Monday, a sweeping legislative response to the mass protests denouncing the deaths of black Americans in the hands of law enforcement.

The political outlook is deeply uncertain for the legislation in a polarized election year. President Donald Trump is staking out a tough “law and order” approach in the face of the outpouring of demonstrations and demands to re-imagine policing in America.

“We cannot settle for anything less than transformative structural change,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drawing on the nation’s history of slavery.

Before unveiling the package, House and Senate Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, reading the names of George Floyd and many others killed with police interactions. They knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — now a symbol of police brutality and violence — the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned under a white police officer’s knee before he died.

Trump, who met with law enforcement officials at the White House, characterized Democrats as having “gone CRAZY!”

As activists call for restructuring police departments and even to “ defund the police,” the president tweeted, “LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE.” He declared later, “We won’t be dismantling our police.”

Democratic leaders pushed back, saying their proposal would not eliminate police departments — a decision for cities and states — but establish new standards and oversight.

Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, “does not believe that police should be defunded,” said spokesman Andrew Bates.

The Justice in Policing Act, the most ambitious law enforcement reforms from Congress in years, confronts several aspects of policing that have come under strong criticism, especially as more and more police violence is captured on cellphone video and shared widely across the nation and the world.

The package would limit legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force incidents and ban police choke holds, among other changes.

It would revise the federal criminal police misconduct statute to make it easier to prosecute officers who are involved in “reckless” misconduct and it would change “qualified immunity” protections to more broadly enable damage claims against police in lawsuits.

The legislation would ban racial profiling, boost requirements for police body cameras and limit the transfer of military equipment to local jurisdictions.

Overall, the bill seeks to provide greater transparency of police behavior in several ways. For one, it would grant subpoena power to the Justice Department to conduct “pattern and practice” investigations of potential misconduct and help states conduct independent investigations.

And it would create a “National Police Misconduct Registry,” a database to try to prevent officers from transferring from one department to another with past misconduct undetected, the draft says.

A long-sought federal anti-lynching bill that has stalled in Congress is included in the package.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., a co-author with Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Democratic senators, will convene a hearing on the legislation Wednesday.

“The world is witnessing the birth of a new movement in this country,” said Rep. Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, which is leading the House effort. She called the proposal “bold” and “transformative.”

While Democrats are expected to swiftly approve the legislation this month, it does not go as far as some activists want. The outlook for passage in the Republican-held Senate is slim.

Republican campaign officials followed Trump’s lead in bashing the effort as extreme.

“No industry is safe from the Democrats’ abolish culture,” said Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the House Republican campaign committee, in an email blast. “First they wanted to abolish private health insurance, then it was capitalism and now it’s the police.”

Democrats fought back.

“This isn’t about that,” Pelosi said. Congress is not calling for any wholesale defunding of law enforcement, leaving decisions to local cities and states, Democrats noted. Some cities are shifting police resources to other community services in response to the protests.

It is unclear if law enforcement and the powerful police unions will back any of the proposed changes or if congressional Republicans will join the effort.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose Louisville hometown faces unrest after the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home, said he would take a look at potential Senate legislation.

Republicans are likely to stick with Trump, although McConnell was central to passage of a 2018 criminal justice sentencing overhaul the president signed into law, and some key GOP senators have similarly expressed interest in changes to policing practices and accountability.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said his panel intends to hold a hearing to review use of force and other issues. And Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has said he’d like to review the package coming from Democrats.

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who marched in support of Floyd in Houston, penned an op-ed Monday about how his own black father instructed him as a teen driver to respond if he was pulled over by the police. Hurd offered his own proposals for changes in police practices.

What started with the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has transformed with the killings of other black Americans into a diverse and mainstream effort calling for changing the way America polices its population, advocates say.

“I can’t breathe” has become a rallying cry for protesters. Floyd pleaded with police that he couldn’t breathe, echoing the phrase Eric Garner said while in police custody in 2014 before his death in New York.

“All we’ve ever wanted is to be treated equally — not better, not worse,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

Biden’s former presidential primary rivals, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.Y., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are co-authors of the package in the Senate.


Associated Press writer Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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Democrats pledge transformative change with police reform bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation on Monday to combat police violence and racial injustice, two weeks after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody sparked nationwide protests.

The 134-page bill would take numerous steps, including allowing victims of misconduct to sue police for damages, ban chokeholds, require the use of body cameras by federal law enforcement officers, restrict lethal force, and facilitate independent investigations of police departments that show patterns of misconduct.

“A profession where you have the power to kill should be a profession that requires highly trained officers who are accountable to the public,” Representative Karen Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, told a news conference.

Democrats expect to bring the legislation to the House of Representatives floor by July 4.

Anticipating resistance in the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats hope to enlist the aid of public sentiment as opinion polls show widespread public concern about police violence.

The bill does not address calls by protesters to defund police departments, a move advocates say would free up funds to address social ills that officers are ill-equipped to handle.

Instead, legislators said such issues would be addressed in subsequent legislation.

“We have confused having safe communities with hiring more cops … when in fact the real way to achieve safe and healthy communities is to invest in these communities,” said Senator Kamala Harris, seen as a potential running mate to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stands with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during a news conference to unveil police reform and racial injustice legislation after weeks of protests against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Biden’s campaign on Monday said it did not support defunding police, the latest sign of how the Democratic leadership remains uneasy about the idea.

That has not stopped President Donald Trump and his Republican allies from depicting defunding as if it was a part of the Democratic platform.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy took to Twitter to showcase Republican support for police, saying: “Democrats want to defund you, but Republicans will never turn our backs on you.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment on the substance of the new legislation and instead attacked the idea of cutting police budgets to fund social programs.

“Call me old-fashioned. I think you may actually want a police officer to stop a criminal and arrest him before we try to work through his feelings,” McConnell said.

Slideshow (7 Images)

After a weekend with no public events, Trump held a roundtable with law enforcement officials at the White House on Monday.

Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, where a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, was the latest in a string of deaths of black people at the hands of police that have sparked fresh calls for reforms. (here)

Among the legislation’s provisions, Democratic aides and analysts say allowing civil lawsuits against police could prove most effective in curbing police brutality. But it is likely to face opposition from Republicans.

A Reuters investigation published last month revealed how qualified immunity (here), refined over the years by the U.S. Supreme Court, has made it easier for cops to kill or injure civilians with impunity.

Reporting by David Morgan, additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone, Grant McCool, Bill Berkrot and Jonathan Oatis

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Live Coronavirus Updates: New York Reopens

New daily cases hit a record high on Sunday, the W.H.O. says.

The number of new daily cases worldwide hit a new high on Sunday, the World Health Organization reported on Monday, warning that the pandemic appeared to be worsening and urging countries that had seen improvement to remain vigilant.

“More than 100,000 cases have been reported on nine of the past 10 days,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director general, said at a briefing on Monday. “Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases were reported — the most in a single day so far.”

He said that three-quarters of the new cases reported on Sunday came from just 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia. While the situation in Europe has improved, Dr. Tedros issued an appeal to countries that had been seeing positive signs, warning them that “the biggest threat now is complacency.”

The pandemic has sickened more than 7,033,100 people worldwide, according to a New York Times database, and as of Monday afternoon, at least 403,300 people had died. More than a quarter of the deaths have been in the United States.

Dr. Tedros urged people to take care as protests against racism drew crowds around the world, calling for demonstrators to practice social distancing, wear masks, wash their hands, cover their coughs and stay home if they were sick.

“We continue to urge active surveillance to ensure the virus does not rebound, especially as mass gatherings of all kinds are starting to resume in some countries,” Dr. Tedros said. “W.H.O. fully supports equality and the global movement against racism. We reject discrimination of all kinds. We encourage all those protesting around the world to do so safely.”

Here are other developments from around the world:

  • A 14-day quarantine period for all travelers arriving in Britain took effect on Monday, to the anger of the country’s travel industry and doubts over the practicality of the new rules. Those entering Britain by air, ferry or train will have to provide an address at which they will isolate, with a fine of up to £1,000, or about $1,200, for violations.

  • With cases rising sharply in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that the country would “put the brakes” on plans to relax more restrictions in the days to come. He urged Israelis, many of whom have stopped wearing masks, to follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines. “For the sake of our economy, health and lives, I ask you to heed the rules,” he said.

  • Canada reopened its border on Monday to immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Anyone showing symptoms will remain barred, and everyone will be required to quarantine for 14 days. A border agreement between Canada and the United States is set to expire June 21.

  • The Polish Health Ministry reported 1,151 new cases over the weekend, a record for the country. More than half came from the Silesia region in southwest Poland, an area famous for its coal mines.

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan said he expected the virus to peak in the country by the end of July or August and urged residents to take precautions. Pakistan has seen a sharp rise in cases over the last week, surpassing 100,000 confirmed infections and more than 2,000 deaths.

  • New Zealand has no active cases and no new cases, officials announced on Monday, declaring that life could now return to a form of pre-pandemic normal.

Commuters wearing face masks waited for freshly scrubbed trains on a subway platform in Manhattan. Construction workers lined up to get their temperatures checked so they could get back on the job. The lights were back on in some neighborhood stores, and their doors were unlocked for curbside and in-store pickup — though many others remained shuttered and boarded up.

For the first time in months, New York City was officially back in business on Monday, with as many as 400,000 people returning to work in construction, manufacturing and limited retail operations.

“We’re not out of the woods, but we are on the other side, certainly,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

The first coronavirus case was confirmed 100 days ago in the city that became a center of the pandemic, where more than 205,000 people were infected and 22,000 people died. On Sunday, there were an additional 35 deaths statewide, and the city’s health commissioner said on Monday that the city was still in “a moderate transmission phase.”

Major challenges remain. More than 885,000 jobs vanished, and the city budget hemorrhaged tax revenue and now faces a $9 billion shortfall over the next year. Here’s what reopening looks like on Day 1:

  • To allay concerns about a typically crowded subway system, Mr. Cuomo rode the 7 line on Monday morning. “If the subway isn’t safe for me, then I wouldn’t ask anyone else go on the subway,” he said afterward.

  • To provide alternatives, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would add more bus lanes and close some streets to cars to allow buses to move more quickly, though it was not as many miles as the transit agency had requested.

  • Hospitals in the city can now resume elective surgeries, Mr. Cuomo said, as the need for hospital beds has lessened.

  • The reopening has also been complicated by the vast, mostly peaceful protests for racial justice. The governor reiterated that protesters should get tested and to consider themselves exposed. He also urged police officers to wear masks after photographs showed that many were not.

  • Some retailers are waiting for tensions to ease, and many stores in the city remain closed. “I think New York City needs a week or two of healing before a week or two of selling,” said Ken Giddon, a co-owner of Rothmans, a small clothing chain with a flagship near Union Square.

  • Many businesses that rely on commuters and office workers anticipated slow traffic until more people went back to work. At Rainbow Bakery in Jackson Heights in Queens, “normally, we have a lot of people picking up things on the way to work,” said Colleen Lau, a server wearing a plastic face shield over a surgical mask, while standing behind a plexiglass counter barrier.

  • At Gift Man in Park Slope in Brooklyn, Maggie Russo was worried about paying rent after weeks of online sales and with few shoppers looking for souvenirs. “I’m happy I’m alive and I didn’t get the virus, but do you want to be alive and broke and not have money to pay the rent?” she said.

  • Some New Yorkers were thrilled to be out again. “Like a lot of people in my situation, I’m so fed up being in my apartment, eating my own cooking,” said Michael Gilsenan, a college professor, after finishing his coffee and cake outside a bakery in Greenwich Village. “I don’t even like cheesecake!”

  • While areas surrounding the city will enter the next reopening phase this week, Mr. Cuomo was cautious about the city’s timeline. He also warned in an interview on NY1 that officials could reimpose restrictions if the virus showed signs of returning.

As the virus tore through Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro came under blistering criticism for sabotaging the isolation measures imposed by states, encouraging mass rallies by his supporters and lashing out about the soaring death toll, saying, “What do you want me to do?”

Now that the outbreak in the country has gotten even worse — it has more confirmed infections than any country but the United States, and the highest daily death tolls in the world — Mr. Bolsonaro’s government has decided to stop reporting the cumulative toll of the virus altogether.

Brazil’s health ministry on Friday took down the website where it had been reporting virus statistics. And then, when it came back online on Saturday, the site omitted the historical data, leaving out how many people had already been infected or killed.

Lawmakers and health experts quickly attacked Mr. Bolsonaro, condemning the government’s decision to withhold statistics and criticizing his administration’s practice of downplaying the danger of the virus.

Mr. Bolsonaro, who initially described the virus as a “measly flu,” says the challenge of the outbreak is dwarfed by the economic fallout of stay-at-home measures, and that the real danger is rising unemployment.

He has come under withering criticism for joining crowded protests; ordering the armed forces to produce hydroxychloroquine, an unproven medication for the virus; and fighting with his own health officials as the crisis intensified.

Thirty-nine of the 40 largest known virus clusters in the United States are in food processing or correctional facilities, according to a New York Times database. As the number of new cases in the country has plateaued at about 20,000 each day, major clusters have continued to emerge in prisons, jails and meatpacking plants.

Around Austin, Minn., where cases have grown to 504 from 36 a month ago, at least 186 cases have been tied to a local pork processing facility. In Kings County, Calif., at least 918 people have been infected at three state prisons, accounting for more than half the county’s total cases. And in northern Utah, the site of an outbreak at a meat processing plant, case numbers have exploded over the last week.

In Dodge County, Wis., where there are 400 total cases, at least 245 people have tested positive at Waupun Correctional Institution. And in the county that includes Storm Lake, Iowa, case numbers have grown to 1,142 from 18 over the course of a month. At least 591 employees of a Tyson plant in that city have tested positive.

Here are other developments from around the United States:

  • There are some hopeful signs in the data. In most of the Northeast, infection numbers continue to fall. Parts of the Midwest, including Illinois and Ohio, have seen new case reports trend steadily downward. And some of the counties with the most cases per capita — including Cass County, Ind., the site of a large meatpacking outbreak, and Trousdale County, Tenn., where more than 1,300 people at a prison became ill — have reported fewer than 10 new cases in June.

  • A man who attended “multiple house gatherings” on the New Jersey shore infected at least a dozen people in Pennsylvania with the virus, health officials said. Officials in Bucks County, Pa., said in a statement on Saturday that of the 33 new cases in the county, 11 were tied to an individual who visited a New Jersey beach “during the past two weeks.” On Monday, an official said that a 12th infection had been linked to the man. “This is exactly why we can’t let our guard down now, even if it feels ‘safe’ to be at the beach,” said Dr. David Damsker, the director of the Bucks County Health Department. New Jersey’s governor said the state would allow public and private swimming pools to reopen on June 22.

  • The United States economy officially entered a recession in February, the association of economists that officially designates downturns said on Monday. This downturn is the first since 2009, when the previous recession ended, and stopped the longest expansion — 128 months — in records dating back to 1854. Most economists expect this recession to be both particularly deep and exceptionally short, perhaps just a few months, as states reopen and economic activity resumes.

  • Florida’s last remaining closed beaches, in Miami-Dade County, will reopen on Wednesday, the mayor’s office announced. The beaches, which closed 81 days ago, were supposed to reopen on June 1 but did not because of a nightly curfew imposed after protests over the killing of George Floyd.

  • Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip reopened their doors last week to a flood of visitors after a 78-day hiatus. But figuring out when and where people contract the virus and then quickly tracing their contacts poses a particular challenge in Las Vegas, where guests outnumbered residents by 20 to 1 last year.

As some of the wealthiest health care companies in the United States received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to help them cope with lost revenue from the pandemic, they laid off or cut the pay of tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and lower-paid workers while continuing to pay their top executives millions.

The New York Times analyzed tax and securities filings by 60 of the country’s largest hospital chains, which have received a total of more than $15 billion in emergency funds through the economic stimulus package in the federal CARES Act.

The hospitals — including publicly traded juggernauts like HCA and Tenet Healthcare, elite nonprofits like the Mayo Clinic, and regional chains with thousands of beds and billions in cash — are collectively sitting on tens of billions of dollars of cash reserves that are supposed to help them weather an unanticipated storm. They awarded their five highest-paid officials about $874 million in the most recent year for which they have disclosed their finances.

At least 36 of those hospital chains have laid off, furloughed or reduced the pay of employees as they try to save money during the pandemic.

More than a dozen workers at the wealthy hospitals said in interviews that their employers had put the heaviest financial burdens on front-line staff, including low-paid cafeteria workers, janitors and nursing assistants. They said pay cuts and furloughs made it even harder for members of the medical staff to do their jobs, forcing them to treat more patients in less time.

The bailout money, which hospitals received from the Health and Human Services Department without having to apply for it, came with few strings attached.

Katherine McKeogh, a department spokeswoman, said it “encourages providers to use these funds to maintain delivery capacity by paying and protecting doctors, nurses and other health care workers.” The legislation restricts hospitals’ ability to use the bailout funds to pay top executives, although it doesn’t stop recipients from continuing to award large bonuses.

Despite all 50 states starting to reopen, many older adults are still feeling the effects of their prolonged isolation, which is likely to continue. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has urged that “extreme caution” be taken before allowing visitors to enter long-term care facilities.

In the interim, it helps Sally Love Saunders, 80, who lives in a retirement home in San Francisco, to speak regularly over Zoom with Sarah Hinkfuss, 32. Both women joined the volunteer phone bank of Mon Ami, which has connected thousands of older adults with younger volunteers across the country.

Ms. Saunders and Ms. Hinkfuss had their first conversation on April 12 and quickly bonded. Without her friends, nature walks and poetry readings, Ms. Saunders said she felt disconnected, bored and anxious.

“That’s why Sarah is good,” Ms. Saunders said. “She’s teaching me how to communicate with people in this dark age.”

Similar programs have sprouted up elsewhere. Henrico County in Virginia has an outreach call center to find adults 65 and older, a group that makes up about 30 percent of its population, according to Sara Morris, the county’s advocate for the aging.

And in Los Angeles, Margaret Irwin, the elder director of a neighborhood council, said she compiled a list of 3,000 older residents who had been called by 25 volunteers.

“Speaking to a stranger is the only antidote to the anxiety and fear that’s coming at this time,” said Madeline Dangerfield-Cha, a co-founder of Mon Ami. “It breaks down the feeling of being in a bubble.”

Disease specialists have their own timelines for returning to normal life.

Many epidemiologists are already comfortable going to the doctor, socializing with small groups outside or bringing in mail, despite the virus. But unless there is an effective vaccine or treatment, many said it would be more than a year before they would be willing to go to concerts, sporting events or religious services. And some may never greet people with hugs or handshakes again.

These are the personal opinions of a group of 511 epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists who were asked by The New York Times when they expected to resume 20 activities of daily life, assuming that the pandemic and the public health response unfolded as they expected.

Their answers are not guidelines for the public and incorporate respondents’ individual life circumstances, risk tolerance and expectations about when there will be widespread testing, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination for Covid-19. They said those factors would determine their actions, because the virus set the timeline.

“The answers have nothing to do with calendar time,” said Kristi McClamroch, a professor at the University at Albany.

Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended sweeping changes to American offices, companies are preparing elaborate new routines intended to keep employees healthy.

In many cases, the changes will transform offices into fortified sites resembling biohazard labs.

At Cisco, for example, employees will have to log into an app every day and answer several questions about their health. Those cleared by the app can head to the office, where they will face a temperature check. Anyone with a fever will be sent home.

Simply complying with the C.D.C. suggestions will present major hurdles for many companies, especially those in skyscrapers and dense urban centers.

For example, the agency recommends limiting elevator use to maintain social distancing. Some companies lease space in crowded office buildings, sharing elevators with many other tenants.

Even for companies that occupy entire buildings, elevators are a vexing problem.

“It can’t be two people per elevator in a high rise. That’s not just feasible,” said Rob Falzon, a vice chairman at Prudential, which occupies several large buildings in Newark. “It would take us two to three hours just to get everyone in.”

The company is considering putting ultraviolet lighting in elevators so surfaces are continuously disinfected.

The world’s biggest financial firms are preparing to bring thousands of employees back to their New York offices starting this month, but life on Wall Street will be quite different.

Grab-and-go packaged meals may replace midday buffets and three-figure lunches. Plexiglass could divvy up trading floors the size of football fields. Heat maps, accessible on a mobile app, will help identify restrooms with the smallest crowds. And even with sophisticated face-mask sensors in the lobby, temperature checks and touch-free elevators, it will be well into next year before most workers are back at their desks and the center of global finance begins to feel like its old self again.

Chanel streamed on Monday the first big digital fashion show since in-person unveilings were canceled. And Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic, was not impressed by the brand’s attempt to take its cruise collection online. Here is part of her review.

“The presentation, and the clothes themselves, seemed to entirely ignore the cataclysmic context in which they would be worn,” Ms. Friedman wrote. “It was more like a return to some of high fashion’s escapist failings of the past rather than a meaningful step toward the future.”

She added that “it mostly just seemed irrelevant. The video and pictures could not come close to the experience that even a livestream of a show in a specific geographic location conveys; on their own they felt like an old fragrance commercial.”

“But the brand didn’t have to do it in the first place. It could have skipped the season, like many others. Or simply sent the pictures to its stores and retail partners,” Ms. Friedman wrote. “Instead, it chose to stick with its version of the show as a public statement of intent and aesthetic. Shouldn’t one of the benefits of a digital presentation be its flexibility, and the ability to rethink it (or at least the news release) according to public events, even up to the last minute?”

“Chanel teased the event with videos on its Instagram feed that featured tweeting birds, waving bougainvillea and crashing waves (and appeared incongruously just after a trio of black squares in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter).”

She wrote: “If a statement from a designer can’t even acknowledge the pain and complications of her consumers, even the rich ones — then, pretty as the products may be, it is not doing its job.”

Regulators, game makers and gamblers are all working through questions raised by the shift to betting on e-sports in the general absence of anything happening in stadiums and arenas.

Offerings have gone beyond simple bets on whether one video game player can beat another. Some global sports books now offer betting on completely automated soccer matches within the FIFA 20 game made by Electronic Arts — computer versus computer. In the United States, DraftKings and FanDuel (which offer legal fantasy contests in over 40 states) have each offered new free contests based on automated games of Madden NFL 20, another Electronic Arts title.

In Europe, where sports betting is ubiquitous, half of all such wagering since early March has been on e-sports. Some bookmakers have seen increases in e-sports betting of more than 40 times.

Regulators in Nevada, which has allowed e-sports betting since 2016, recently approved betting on 13 separate e-sports leagues and tournaments.

The reaction from the game companies has been mixed. Some opposed betting on their products. Others have hired integrity monitors used by conventional sports leagues to guard against match fixing and have been working with casinos and bookmakers.

“E-sports are here to stay, e-sports betting is here to stay, and now we can just see that more clearly,” said Joe Asher, the chief executive of United States operations for William Hill, the British gambling giant.

A technological lifeline during a pandemic.

The pandemic has caused the way we communicate to evolve, and our relationship with technology is being pushed into new territory. Although states are slowly reopening, much of our professional and personal lives will continue to be lived almost entirely online for the foreseeable future.

Reporting was contributed by Azam Ahmed, Ian Austen, Kim Barker, Jo Becker, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Keith Bradsher, Quoctrung Bui, Letícia Casado, Stephen Castle, Damien Cave, Michael Cooper, Jesse Drucker, David Enrich, Vanessa Friedman, David Gelles, J. David Goodman, Michael Gold, Winnie Hu, Ernesto Londoño, Anatol Magdziarz, Salman Masood, Patricia Mazzei, Jesse McKinley, Claire Cain Miller, Raphael Minder, Derek M. Norman, Elisabetta Povoledo, Monika Pronczuk, Adam Rasgon, Margot Sanger-Katz, Matthew Sedacca, Anna Schaverein, Seth Schiesel, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Mitch Smith, Kaly Soto, Eileen Sullivan, Sameer Yasir and Karen Zraick.

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William Barr: ‘Hierarchical’ and “Authoritarian’ Are Not Accurate Descriptions

Attorney General William Barr attends a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 19, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

I wrote about the Attorney General’s speech at Notre Dame University (somewhat critically) last fall, and so this passage from a profile of Barr in the New York Times Magazine sounded wrong to me:

As far as what Barr is hoping to do with his canvas, [his former colleague Stuart] Gerson says he is committed to the “hierarchical” and “authoritarian” premise that “a top-down ordering of society will produce a more moral society.” That isn’t too far away from what Barr himself articulated in a 2019 speech at the University of Notre Dame. In Barr’s view, piety lay at the heart of the founders’ model of self-government, which depended on religious values to restrain human passions. “The founding generation were Christians,” Barr said. Goodness flows from “a transcendent Supreme Being” through “individual morality” to form “the social order.” Reason and experience merely serve to confirm the infallible divine law. That law, he said, is under threat from “militant secularists,” including “so-called progressives,” who call on the state “to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.”

Here’s one of the relevant passages from the speech

In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”

This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.

Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves — freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will — they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.

Barr goes on to complain that “militant secularists today do not have a live and let live spirit — they are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead, they seem to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.”

You can agree or disagree with these comments of Barr. But they’re not signs of an especially “hierarchical” or “authoritarian” mindset. And it’s notable that he uses a bottom-up metaphor, rather than a “top-down” one, to describe the social order he cherishes.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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Reebok cuts ties with CrossFit after CEO’s controversial tweets about George Floyd

Gyms across the country are dropping their affiliation with CrossFit over the company’s response to last week’s protests.

Gym owners say they were dismayed by CrossFit’s failure to quickly put out a statement expressing solidarity with protesters or support for black athletes, as dozens of corporations did in the days following George Floyd’s death. Then on Saturday, CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman posted several controversial tweets referencing Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic, sparking outrage online.

That led Reebok and other brand partners to distance themselves from CrossFit. Glassman apologized and walked back the tweets on Sunday.

“I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism,” Glassman said on Twitter. “I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake. Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim. I should have been sensitive to that and wasn’t. I apologize for that.”

But many gym owners say the tweets were not the only issue — the silence before them was too.

“Watching both the Covid-19 pandemic and then the United States waking up and fighting for social justice in a really big way and watching CrossFit say nothing was really painful,” said Alyssa Royse, owner of Rocket Community Fitness gym in Seattle, Washington.

CrossFit did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Royse changed the name of her gym from Rocket CrossFit to Rocket Community Fitness. CrossFit affiliate gyms pay an annual fee to the company to use the brand in their names and in descriptions of CrossFit-style workout classes, but otherwise the gyms function independently of the company.

“As a brand, Rocket couldn’t be aligned with a bigger brand that wasn’t on the right side of history … It’s this huge global behemoth that just said nothing,” Royse said.

CrossFit industry blog Morning Chalk Up said it had compiled a list of 210 gyms that had dropped their affiliations as of Monday afternoon. CNN Business could not independently verify that figure.

A ‘colossal misstep’

Soon after protests began during the last week of May, CrossFit gym owners and athletes began wondering on online forums when the company would put out a statement.

“Many gyms were emailing and posting about it,” said Lieven DeGeyndt, owner of Petworth Fitness in Washington, DC, formerly Petworth CrossFit.

“We’re not looking to them to lead protests or become an activist, but we were looking for something,” DeGeyndt said. “As a business owner, I understand it’s a challenge, but there’s a line between right and wrong here.”

Royse says she sent executives at CrossFit an email on June 3 explaining her decision to drop the affiliation and calling on the company to speak up.

“I had a long relationship with upper leadership at HQ,” Royse said. “I was really worried that they were making this colossal misstep not only in the arc of justice but in the health of the brand.”

DeGeyndt’s Petworth Fitness posted a statement to Instagram on June 5 explaining its decision to drop its affiliation with CrossFit.

“This is a difficult letter to write, but we wish to inform [CrossFit] and as many other affiliates as we can: The inaction of CrossFit regarding anti-racism work is unacceptable, and as a result, we are choosing to disaffiliate from CrossFit. As a brand that has preached about being ‘for all,’ the deafening silence on current and past issues of racism tells us all we need to know.”

Petworth’s $3,000 annual affiliation fee to CrossFit was due this month. Instead, the gym plans to donate the money to Black Lives Matter and to Know Your Rights, a nonprofit founded by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

On June 5, CrossFit finally released a statement saying it had been “having uncomfortable discussions on injustice, racism, and all forms of hate,” asking how it could better support the black CrossFit community.

“Members of this community feel neglected, left out, trapped, and hurt. Some are isolated, angry, and confused, while others are actively seeking ways to effect real change. We see you. We hear you,” the statement read.

Lost brand partners

But the following day, June 6, Glassman again drew criticism for several tweets in which he criticized the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s statement that racism is a public health issue.

“Floyd-19,” Glassman replied Saturday.

In a follow-up tweet, Glassman said the health research institute’s coronavirus model “failed,” and he criticized it for modeling a “solution to racism.”

“George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is ‘accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust, and riots,’” he tweeted.

Following Glassman’s tweets, Reebok said it would not renew its brand partnership with CrossFit.

“Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year,” Reebok said in a statement to CNN Business. “Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ. We will fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020.”

Sports equipment maker Rogue Fitness also distanced itself from the company, and said in a statement it plans to reevaluate its work with the company going forward.

“Rogue does not support the latest statements made by the CrossFit CEO, Greg Glassman,” the statement reads. “His comments are unacceptable under all conditions.”

Multiple other gyms disaffiliated following the tweets.

“West Fitness does not support the racially insensitive comments from CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman,” the owner of West Fitness (formerly CrossFit West) in Santa Cruz, California, said on Instagram Sunday in announcing his decision to disaffiliate. “His comments are unacceptable and not one of a leader we want to represent.”

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The Simpsons Gave A Very Simpsons 2020 Commencement Speech

The Simpsons had a few choice words for the Class of 2020. The animated family temporarily left their longtime home on Fox to join Beyoncé, Barack and Michelle Obama, Katy Perry, and more on YouTube for their virtual commencement event called Dear Class of 2020. While characters were in a new environment, they were still very recognizable.

As the family was theoretically socially isolating in their home in Springfield, they appeared on camera in the now all-too-common Zoom split screen format. Naturally it was Lisa who took the lead, reminding viewers that this time in quarantine has allowed people to focus on the family. Her heartfelt words were undercut by Homer trying (and failing) to put on a graduation gown, while Marge barely managed to pull herself onscreen surrounded by a mountain of dirty dishes and muttering, “I can’t cook anymore. I can’t cook anymore.” When she asked her brother Bart for his words, in typical Bart fashion, he aired his derrière with the words Class of 2020 emblazoned on his buttocks.

After that display, Lisa gave up and decided it was safer to go it alone, although she didn’t get very far. ”Well, the job is to be inspirational, and there are plenty of good things: the air is cleaner than every,“ she managed to say before being abruptly cut off by Homer bursting into the room.

“And drinking at home at 10 in the morning is not only acceptable, it’s called coping” Homer says, chugging a Duff brand beer.

Recognizing the new theme, Lisa adds, “And, not having friends over is seen as a healthy choice, instead of basic unpopularity.” Homer notes that as new graduates, the Class of 2020 can “go from living in your parents’ basement to working from your parents’ basement.”

To wrap things up, Homer says, “Love thy neighbor, even if it’s Flanders.” For the final moment of the address, Lisa holds up a sign with a serious request: “Congrats Class of 2020: Please save us.”

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Biden campaign rejects calls to defund police

“Biden supports the urgent need for reform — including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing — so that officers can focus on the job of policing,” Bates said.

While Biden supports increased funding for some programs that activists support, the former vice president’s platform also calls for increasing investment in law enforcement, a stance that runs counter to what many protesters have called for.

Last year, Biden released his plan for criminal justice reform, which pledged to invest $300 million into community policing efforts and would require police to reflect the racial composition of their communities.

Activists in favor of defunding police have instead advocated for money that would otherwise be earmarked for law enforcement instead be diverted towards other programs that address issues like homelessness and mental health. Proponents say that key to their demands is the fact that police brutality disproportionately affects communities of color. There is not widespread agreement on whether defunding the police would lead to disbanding all police.

For some activists, such as those behind the movement ‘8toabolition,’ defunding the police is part of a larger effort to redefine society.

“The end goal of these reforms is not to create better, friendlier, or more community-oriented police or prisons,” the group’s website reads. “Instead, we hope to build toward a society without police or prisons, where communities are equipped to provide for their safety and wellbeing.”

In Minneapolis, the site of Floyd’s killing, the city council announced on Sunday that it had a veto-proof majority to dismantle its police department.

Later on Monday afternoon, Trump Communications Director Tim Murtaugh labeled the Biden statement as “weak.”

The ‘Defund the Police’ train has already left the Democrat station, and Joe Biden is merely a weak passenger,” Murtaugh said in a statement.