Outpouring of Rage Continues Over Death of George Floyd

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black father, was killed on Monday by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes until he suffocated.

Floyd was handcuffed, face-down on pavement, and telling the officer “I can’t breathe.” The incident was caught on a video that went viral, sparking widespread outrage and protests that have met police violence, covers Colorlines.

An initially peaceful Minneapolis rally Wednesday night protesting the encounter turned violent as police fired rubber bullets from rooftops and buildings caught fire.

Police Officer Charged for Killing George Floyd

After days of protest, Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

Floyd had been arrested for alleged use of a counterfeit $20 bill, reports Common Dreams.

After the killing, the Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved at the scene: Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.

Human rights activists and protesters in Minneapolis and other cities demanded a murder charge. But the civil rights attorney representing Floyd’s family is looking for a first-degree murder charge and having the other three officers detained.

A Lynching Without Rope—Nothing New in America

Salon’s Lucian K. Truscott IV enumerates riots resulting from white, and especially white police, violence against black men and boys from 1964 to 2020.

“Why did the cities burn?” asks Truscott. “Because even today black people are intimate with the same violence and death their ancestors suffered as slaves.” Governors’ lamentations and lame pledges of bettering allow for the next black killing.

“George Floyd was lynched without a rope or a tree, but he might as well have been strung up from a streetlight.”

The Senate passed a 2018 bill to make lynching a hate crime and the House passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act this year. Neither bill has been signed into law. Lynching is still not a federal crime.

Cop Watchers and Racist Policing

George Floyd was killed by a police officer who remained on the force despite a record of violence and complaints, the police department covered up Floyd’s death as a “medical incident,” and police tear-gassed protesters. Now law enforcement will investigate law enforcement.

FAIR’s “CounterSpin” has covered racist policing before, as with a trio of unfortunately relevant interviews: professor Alex Vitale recounts the origin of police as a tool for worker oppression, civil rights attorney Chase Madar speaks to the bleak prospects of court justice for police crimes, and activist Shahid Buttar outlines the necessity for grassroots reporters capturing police violence.

“The people who are capturing police violence on video are the ones enhancing public safety and standing behind constitutional rights.”

Trump’s Campaign Was Always Going to Be About Racism

Donald Trump’s uncharacteristically subdued response to the recorded killing of George Floyd quickly gave way to aggression and intimidation, reports Mother Jones.

Trump believes what happens in Minnesota, a state he narrowly lost in 2016, could make or break his reelection chances. By threatening violence against protesters, he’s maintaining a longstanding strategy to divide and flip the state’s vote.

“Trump’s campaign in Minnesota, now as ever, is rooted in white grievance and fear and what he calls ‘law and order,’ by which he means targeting immigrants and people of color for abuse.”

Anti-War Veterans Call on National Guard to Stand Down

After the killing of George Floyd prompted the Minneapolis uprising that left a police precinct ablaze Thursday night, Minnesota governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, activated the National Guard.

In response, U.S. military veterans of the “war on terror” are calling on National Guard members to refuse orders to deploy, reports In These Times.

In an open letter to the Minnesota National Guard published Friday morning, members of About Face: Veterans Against the War asked them to “stand up for Black lives by standing down.”

Trump Signs Executive Order Aimed at Twitter

Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday to re-examine social media sites’ protection of user-produced content in response to a fact check he received from Twitter earlier this week.

Trump had tweeted without evidence that mail-in-voting would be rife with fraud. Twitter posted a small link below his tweets directing users to a page refuting his claims.

Trump hopes his order to examine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 will result in a re-interpretation of the law that was “crucial for the birth of the internet,” reports Truthout.

Margaret Kimberley with the tweet of the week:
COP 26 Delayed, World Leaders Urged to Pursue Climate Action

On Thursday, organizers of the United Nations COP 26 Climate Change Conference that has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic announced the summit will be held November 2021 in Glasgow.

Common Dreams reports the announcement has sparked calls for world leaders to further climate crisis action.

Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan said, “Right now, real leaders should be doubling-down their efforts to ensure a green and just recovery in handling this health crisis and the climate emergency.”

The Headlines

1. George Floyd protests — live: Police officers filmed being dragged along street in Chicago as unrest escalates across America (The Independent)

2. SpaceX Pulled It Off (The Atlantic)

3. More Protesters Across The Country Demand Justice For George Floyd (HuffPost)

4. Coronavirus: Backlash after Trump signals US exit from WHO (BBC)

5. ‘A national crisis’: how the killing of George Floyd is changing US politics (The Guardian)