Death of George Floyd

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump supporters and protesters clash in Portland, one dead
Trump supporters and protesters clash in Portland, one dead
Credit: David Geitgey Sierralupe from Eugene, Oregon / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Saturday night, supporters of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer clashed with BLM protestors after a caravan of around 600 vehicles entered downtown Portland. Journalists have reported hearing three gunshots. As gunfire erupted a man wearing the insignia of the far-right Portland area group Patriot Prayer got shot and killed. According to the founder of Patriot Prayer the shot man was a supporter of the group and a “good friend.

"It is still early in this investigation, and I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place," so Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, who's asking people who have information to come forward.

Protests in Portland have been going on for three consecutive months.

Regional News • Americas • United States
125 human rights abuses during BLM protests by US law enforcement, says Amnesty International
Black Lives Matter Protest in DC, 5/31/2020.
Black Lives Matter Protest in DC, 5/31/2020. Credit: unsplash.com/Koshu Kunii

According to a press release by Amnesty International, US law enforcement committed at least 125 incidents of police violence against "protestors, medics, journalists and legal observers in 40 states and D.C." during the Black Lives Matter protests in May and June.

The NGO further stated that US law enforcement "repeatedly used physical force, chemical irritants such as tear gas and pepper spray, and kinetic impact projectiles as a first resort tactic against peaceful protestors rather than as a response to any sort of actual threat or violence." Amnesty recorded 89 cases of use of tear gas, six incidents of the use of batons, 13 instances of the use of rubber bullets and 31 cases of unlawful pepper spray.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Fifteen US mayors sign letter opposing use of federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd. Credit: unsplash.com/Tito Texidor III

Fifteen US mayors have addressed a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf opposing the use of federal federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters. The letter is calling the act of deploying federal forces against protesters an "abuse of power" and is demanding the withdrawal of "extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from Portland and other American cities.

"These are tactics we expect from authoritarian regimes -- not our democracy [...] The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national uprising and reckoning. The majority of the protests have been peaceful and aimed at improving our communities. Where this is not the case, it still does not justify the use of federal forces. Unilaterally deploying these paramilitary-type forces into our cities is wholly inconsistent with our system of democracy and our most basic values," the letter, posted by Mayor Muriel Bowser, said.

The list of mayors who signed the letter is as follows: Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle; Ted Wheeler, Portland; Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta; Lori Lightfoot, Chicago; Muriel Bowser, Washington DC; Quinton D. Lucas, Kansas City; Martin J. Walsh, Boston; Jim Kenny, Philadelphia; Michael Hancock, Denver; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles; Sam Liccardo, San Jose; Libby Schaaf, Oakland; Regina Romera, Tucson; Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento; Kate Gallego, Phoenix.

Portland officials had previously stated that federal officers were working in coordination with local law enforcement but have since come out saying that "coordination was not made with Portland police" as the "federal police have their marching order."

According to Chad Wolf, federal law enforcement had only been deployed to Portland. On Monday, Trump vowed to send federal officers to other cities.

Regional News • Americas • United States
George Floyd said "I can't breathe" over 20 times, body camera transcription shows
Screenshot of Police Body Camera Footage, filed in District Court State of Minnesota
Screenshot of Police Body Camera Footage, filed in District Court State of Minnesota Credit: Screenshot via NYTimes' Transcript Copy

On Wednesday, the transcript of former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane's body camera footage detailing the last minutes of George Floyd's life was made public. George Floyd told the police officers over 20 times that he can't breathe, crying out "Mama, I love you. I can't do nothing," and "Tell my kids I love them. I'm dead."

Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pressed his knee onto Floyd's neck for over 8 minutes, told Floyd at one point to "stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk."

The transcripts were released as part of a motion filed by Lane's attorney Earl Gray who seeks to have Lane's charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death dismissed.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Tou Thao, ex-officer charged in George Floyd's death, has been released from jail
Tou Thao
Tou Thao Credit: Facebook Reproduction

Tou Thao, a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death, has been released from jail after posting a $750,000 bond. He had been held on $1 million bail with no conditions or $750,000 with conditions.

Thao should appear in court on September 11 on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.

Now only Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck, is still in custody on $1.25 million bail.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Mississippi to replace state flag displaying Confederate emblem
The Mississippi state flag
The Mississippi state flag Credit: Michaelswikiusername at English Wikipedia / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

On Sunday, the Mississippi state legislature passed a bill to remove the Confederate emblem from the state's flag, the last remaining state flag to display the Confederate insignia. The Mississippi House voted 91 in favour and 23 opposed of removal, the Senate vote was 37 to 14. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) said he would sign the legislation into law.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump admits he hasn't watched the full video of George Floyd's death
Trump on June 1, 2020
Trump on June 1, 2020 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

In a recent phone interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Trump admits that he hasn't watched the full video of George Floyd's death as it was too long. He went on saying that the officer responsible for Floyd's death appears to have "some big problems".

Trump told Hannity: "Well, the George Floyd case, nothing has to be said. I watched that. I couldn’t really watch it for that long a period of time, it was over eight minutes. Who could watch that? But it doesn’t get any more obvious or it doesn’t get any worse than that."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Breonna's Law passed, banning "no-knock warrants" in Louisville
A sign at BLM protest in Atlanta, demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor
A sign at BLM protest in Atlanta, demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor Credit: unsplash.com/Maria Oswalt

On Thursday, the Metro Council of Louisville, Kentucky has unanimously passed Breonna's Law, banning "no-knock" search warrants. The law is named after Louisville 26-year-old resident Breonna Taylor who was shot in her home by police officers on March 13. Officers will be required the also turn on body cameras before entering and searching an apartment.

District 1 Councilwoman Jessica Green told WHAS: "This is probably the proudest moment I have had as a member of this council. So, it's a good day to be a Louisvillain. The entire world is watching us."

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft: No facial recognition software without a legal basis
Brad Smith
Brad Smith Credit: Microsoft (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

After IBM and Amazon, Microsoft has now announced that it no longer wants to make facial recognition software available to the US police.

The basis for further cooperation can only be a legal framework based on human rights.

The reason for the temporary interruption of the cooperation is seen in the criticism that was given in the context of the demonstrations surrounding the death of George Floyd.

"We will not sell facial recognition tech to police in the U.S. until there is a national law in place," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's president ,speaking via video conference at a Washington Post event.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight loses advertisers over Black Lives Matter comment
Tucker Carlson at the 2018 Student Action Summit
Tucker Carlson at the 2018 Student Action Summit Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Many US companies have pulled advertising from Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight after Carlson's comment on the recent Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. In his show on June 6, Carlson told viewers: "It is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will."

The list of companies that are distancing themselves from Carlson, include Disney, Papa John's Pizza and T-Mobile. Asked whether T-Mobile would support Carlon's message on Twitter, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert replied: "It definitely is not. Bye-bye Tucker Carlson! #BlackLivesMatter"

Regional News • Americas • United States
Gen Mark Milley says accompanying Trump to church photo-op was a mistake
President Donald J. Trump walks from the White House, Mark Milley in a military uniform
President Donald J. Trump walks from the White House, Mark Milley in a military uniform Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

United State’s chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen Mark Milley has publicly apologised for participating in Donald Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington on June 1.

In a pre-recorded video commencement address Milley told the National Defense University: "I should not have been there. My presence at that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Joe Biden calls for racial justice in video message shown at George Floyd's funeral
Joe Biden calls for racial justice in video message shown at George Floyd's funeral
Credit: Lorie Shaull (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden did not attend George Floyd's funeral in person but spoke to attendees via a video link. In his speech, Biden called for racial justice, saying "Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America."

Biden also addressed Gianna, George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, telling her: "When there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America. Then, Gianna, your daddy will have changed the world."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
TV show "Cops" gets canceled amid global outcry against police brutality
Logo of Reality TV Show "Cops"
Logo of Reality TV Show "Cops" Credit: Langley Productions / Public domain

Long-running reality TV show "Cops" has been cancelled after 32 seasons. Paramount Network confirmed the cancellation on Tuesday, saying in a statement that "Cops is not on the Paramount Network" and they "don’t have any current or future plans for it to return."

"Cops" was pulled from the network's schedule last month amid growing outcry and protests against police brutality following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Today's funeral of George Floyd to be live-streamed
George Floyd mural
George Floyd mural Credit: Lorie Shaull (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

George Floyd will be laid to rest in Houston, Texas today. The funeral and celebration of his life will be held at The Fountain of Praise Church at 11 AM CT. The service is limited to 500 people but will be live-streamed by major news networks such as ABC, CBS and MSNBC.

Mia K. Wright, co-paster of the church, told Don Lemon on Monday: "We celebrate a life that had its ups and downs as many lives do but also a life that was connected to God and one that all people around the world have now connected to because of the tragedy and the trauma by which he passed."

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Canadian pilot 'drew' raised BLM fist in the sky in dedication to George Floyd
Screenshot of Neonakis' flight path
Screenshot of Neonakis' flight path Credit: flightaware.com

Canadian pilot Dimitri Neonakis took a different approach to show his support for the BLM movement: he designed a flight path that 'drew' the outline of the raised BLM fist. In a post to Facebook, the pilot shared a screenshot of his path alongside a photograph of George Floyd and adding "For George". FlightAware also shared the route timelapse on Twitter.

Business • Economy
Sony to donate $1 million to Black Lives Matter
Sony to donate $1 million to Black Lives Matter
Credit: unsplash.com/Taylor Rogers

In an interview with CNET in which he announced the postponement of the PS5 games event, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony's PlayStation, also announced that Sony would pledge $1 million to the black community.

"There are moments in life when something happens around you and you realize that what you've been doing is either not big enough, not good enough, or just wrong. This is such a moment," Ryan told CNET via email and added: "We are going to take a good hard look at how we behave as a company, and how we behave towards our community."

Science • Space
The D.C. BLM mural can be seen from space
Screenshot of Planet's Tweet showcasing the BLM mural in DC
Screenshot of Planet's Tweet showcasing the BLM mural in DC Credit: Planet via Twitter

The Black Lives Matter mural in D.C. was spotted by Planet, a SF-based observation satellite company. Planet posted an image to Twitter, showing a satellite view of downtown D.C. with the Black Lives Matter mural painted on the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza clearly visible. The company has also voiced support for the BLM movement earlier this month.

Technology • Games
PS5 event's new date set for June 11
PS5 event's new date set for June 11

Sony's event to show off new games for its PlayStation 5, launching in the fall, will be on June 11 20:00 (UTC). The event had been delayed to allow more focus on George Floyd protests.

The broadcast will be streamed at 1080p and 30 FPS, instead of 4K and 60 FPS that may be required to showcase what the console has to offer. About this "downgrade" Sony stated: "This eased the show’s production process during a time when many of our team and developers are working from home. The games you'll see on Thursday will look even better when you play them on PS5 with a 4K TV, as you'd expect.".

Sports
CrossFit CEO faces backlash over tweet which associated Covid-19 with George Floyd
Black kettle bell
Black kettle bell Credit: Jesper Aggergaard

In response to a tweet by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington stating that "racism is a public health issue" the CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman tweeted "FLOYD-19", associating George Floyd whose murder by the police has sparked protests around the world with the Covid-19 pandemic. As a response, hundreds of gyms that ran on an affiliate model for CrossFit have removed the brand from their name and the Reebok brand has announced to end their relationship with CrossFit. Since then Glassman has apologized and CrossFit stated that it'll "not stand for racism".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Fans of K-Pop band BTS match $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter
Fans at the BTS world tour concert 'Love Yourself' in Los Angeles
Fans at the BTS world tour concert 'Love Yourself' in Los Angeles Credit: LG (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In just 24 hours the fans of the K-Pop band BTS which call themselves "BTS ARMY" have matched the $1 million donation of the band for the Black Lives Matter cause. Under the hashtag #MatchAMillion the fans had tweeted and called for matching donations, reaching over 490,000 tweets. The matching donation of over $1 million will be split between several organizations that support Black Lives Matter and the fight against racism.