Violence has erupted in cities across the US on the sixth night of protests sparked by the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd. Curfews have been imposed in nearly 40 cities, but people have largely ignored them, leading to tense stand-offs. Riot police clashed with protesters in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, firing tear gas and pepper bullets to try to disperse the crowds.
Donald Trump has attacked who he called “thugs” in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a third night of violent protests over the death of an unarmed black man in custody. Demonstrators set fire to a police station as anger mounted after George Floyd died on Monday. Mr Trump claimed there had been “a total lack of leadership” among the city’s authorities as the protests intensified.
A black man has died after pleading that he could not breathe as a white police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest. Footage of the restraint was shared widely online after a bystander filmed the officer pinning the shirtless man to the ground in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Four police officers involved in the arrest have since been fired.
The family of a black woman killed in her own home by a white police officer have accused the officer of murder. Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in her home in Fort Worth, Texas. A neighbour had called police on a non-emergency line when they saw her front door was open. Fort Worth Police said officers saw someone near a window and one of them drew his duty weapon after “perceiving a threat”.
After years of silence, federal prosecutors said Tuesday that they won’t bring criminal charges against a white New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man whose dying words — “I can’t breathe” — became a national rallying cry against police brutality. The decision to end a yearslong civil rights investigation without charges was made by Attorney General William Barr and was announced the day before the five-year anniversary of the deadly Staten Island encounter.
The Minneapolis Police Chief, Janee Harteau, resigned on last Friday at the Mayor’s request. Last week one of her officers shot an unarmed Australian woman. The Mayor Betsy Hodges stated that she had lost confidence in the Chief’s ability to lead their police force and so forced the resignation. The woman, Justine Damond, a yoga teacher was fatally shot after calling 911 for help twice.
Three Chicago police officers have been charged with conspiring to cover up the death of a black teenager, Laquan Mcdonald, who was killed in 2014. Video footage was released of the teen being shot when trying to move away from police officers, the officer who shot McDonlad was charged with murder and now investigations have been turned to trying to “conceal the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of Laquan McDonald.”
Due to insufficient evidence surrounding the shooting of Alton Sterling, an African-American citizen who was fatally shot by two police officers in July 2016, federal prosecutors have ruled not to press charges against the two officers. Prosecutors were also unable to prove the statement made by police that Sterling was reaching for a gun when the unreasonable shots were fired from the officers. No further proceedings are scheduled to follow.
It has been reported that the mother of Philando Castile, the motorist who was killed by a Minnesota police officer in 2016, will receive $2.995 million as a part of the settlement for her son’s death. “The city and (Valerie Castile) were able to reach this agreement avoiding a federal civil rights lawsuit which may have taken years to work its way through the courts exacerbating the suffering of the family and of the community,” a joint statement from the city of St. Anthony and Mrs. Castile’s attorney was released.
Tulsa officer, Betty Shelby, shot and killed unarmed 40-year-old Terrence Crutcher on September 16th of 2016. She shot in “fear” as he had not complied to get on the floor as she had asked and suspected he was reaching for a gun in his car. An Oklahoma jury acquitted her of all charges on Wednesday drawing the verdict to not guilty. The jury deliberated 9 hours before coming to the conclusion that they had. The verdict drew a sharp response from the Crutcher’s father. “Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder,” the Rev. Joey Crutcher said.