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Toronto Star

Minnesota prosecutors eye charges for other officers in George Floyd death; Biden slams Trump’s ‘blinding ego’; Trudeau says it’s time to listen and learn

Jun 02, 2020 11:14:59 AM

arrest dc minnesota prosecutors eyeing more charges for officers involved in george floyd death 02 06 2020 world news thestar dam content www.thestar.com  https:

The latest news on the protests over the death of George Floyd Tuesday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.

READ MORE FROM THE STAR’S ED KEENAN HERE

1:07 p.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Video shows that a man fatally shot while police and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew in Louisville fired a gun as officers approached his business during protests, the city’s acting police chief said Tuesday.

The video showing David McAtee opening fire was obtained from security cameras at McAtee’s business and an adjoining business, acting police Chief Robert Schroeder said. It shows McAtee shooting while officers were trying to clear protesters from a parking lot, he said.

“This video appears to show Mr. McAtee firing a gun outside of his business door as officers, who are using pepper balls to clear the Dino’s (Food Mart) lot, were approaching his business,” Schroeder said. “This video does not provide all the answers. But we are releasing it to provide transparency. It does not answer every question, including why did he fire and where were police at the time he fired.”

McAtee, the owner of a barbecue spot at the location, was shot early Monday amid waves of protests in the Kentucky city set off by the death George Floyd.

WASHINGTON—The nearly 1,300 D.C. National Guard members who have been activated to deal with the civil unrest were joined Monday evening by Guardsmen from Utah and New Jersey, and almost 1,500 guardsmen are coming today from Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, according to Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

The general said more are due to arrive Wednesday.

A senior defence official said later that some states have turned down requests to send their Guard members to the District of Columbia, in some cases because governors are concerned about dealing with problems in their own state. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon. The official said New York and Delaware have declined to send Guard members to Washington, and Pennsylvania is considering the request but not yet given an answer.

12:49 p.m.

OTTAWA — As long-standing anger about discrimination boils over in the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians must recognize there is systemic racism in their own country.

Speaking during his daily news conference in Ottawa, Trudeau says many don’t see this bias but it is a reality for visible minorities in Canada.

Trudeau was asked about the protests in the U.S. and President Donald Trump’s talk of deploying the military to stop unrest.

He paused a full 20 seconds, lips pursed, jaw working, before saying that despite watching the United States with “horror and consternation,” Canadians must be aware of the challenges facing black Canadians and other minorities and take steps to address them.

“It is a time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades,” Trudeau said.

“But it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we too have our challenges, that black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day.

“There is systemic discrimination in Canada, which means our systems treat Canadians of colour, Canadians who are racialized, differently than they do others.”

12:32 p.m.

MINNEAPOLIS—More than $3 million has been raised to help rebuild south Minneapolis businesses damaged or destroyed in the sometimes violent protests that followed George Floyd’s death.

More than 38,000 donors have given to a fund set up by the Lake Street Council, a non-profit that advocates for the area’s business community, at welovelakestreet.com.

Many protests since Floyd’s death have been peaceful. But dozens of businesses, many owned by immigrants and people of colour, were hit by looting and arson. Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. The officer is charged with 3rd-degree murder.

RICHMOND, Va.—Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam rejected a request from Secretary of Defence Mark Esper to send between 3,000 to 5,000 of the state’s national guard to Washington D.C. as part of a massive show of force organized by the Trump administration in response to violent protests, according to Northam’s chief of staff, Clark Mercer.

Mercer said Trump’s comments to governors in a phone call Monday, in which the president said most governors were “weak” and needed to “dominate” the streets, played a role in the decision.

“The president’s remarks to the governors heightened our concerns about how the guard would be used,” he said.

MADISON, Wis.—Protesters spray painted graffiti on the Wisconsin state capitol, dumped paint on the beloved “Forward” statue outside, broke into businesses downtown and defaced the Wisconsin Veterans Museum before police in riot gear used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Police say that around 1 a.m. Tuesday someone fired a handgun in the air, two men were beaten with a crowbar and others attempted to light Molotov cocktails. Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl says in his blog that multiple police officers were struck with rocks and projectiles.

It was the third night of violence in Madison, the liberal state capital with one of the deepest racial divides in the nation. There was also a peaceful protest Monday night in Milwaukee in reaction to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The unrest late Monday in Madison came after an hours-long peaceful protest during which the mayor spoke with marchers who stopped traffic on a busy six-lane street downtown. Although the demonstration was tense at times it had moments of levity, with participants line dancing in the street.

Madison police said 15 people were arrested Monday night, bringing the number of arrests since Saturday to at least 32.

LAS VEGAS—Separate shootings in Las Vegas during continuing protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have left one man dead and a police officer gravely wounded.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Tuesday that the officer was on life support after being shot as police tried to disperse a crowd of protesters outside a Las Vegas strip hotel and casino.

Lombardo says the other shooting happened outside a federal building. He says a man was shot by officers several times after he reached for a weapon. The identities of the wounded officer and the fatally shot man have not been made public.

STOCKHOLM—More than six thousand people have attended a Sweden-organised online protest to express support with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The digital “Sweden in solidarity with Black Lives Matter” rally Tuesday urged participants to “check in” at the Facebook accounts of the U.S. Embassy in Sweden and Nordic neighbours Denmark, Finland and Norway and post photos inspired by the ongoing U.S. events with George Floyd’s death.

The one hour-long online event with several speakers including poets, activists and politicians was organised by Swedish non-governmental organisations and Aysha Jones, a Gambia-born and Sweden-based activist and fashion blogger.

Jones said the protest was important to show support to people in America, but also to remind Swedes that racism “does exist here, it’s very real and people are being harmed from it.”

In his speech, Rashid Musa, head of the Young Muslims of Sweden, called the current situation with African Americans in the United States as “colonialism 2.0.”

“Malcom X said it best: ‘Racism is like a Cadillac, they bring out a new model every year,’” Musa said.

ORLANDO, Fla.—The U.S. Census Bureau says it has temporarily closed offices in several cities as a precaution as cities grapple with unrest following the death of George Floyd.

The Bureau would not say Monday which offices have been closed. A spokeswoman says in an email that the closures were done out of an abundance of caution.

The Census Bureau is in the middle of the 2020 census, which is attempting to count every resident in the U.S.

Census Bureau offices around the country were closed for a month and a half as field operations were suspended in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The offices only began reopening on a rolling basis in the past several weeks.

12:26 p.m.

ARLINGTON, Va.—Arlington County, Virginia, pulled its officers out of the District of Columbia Monday night after they played a supporting role in clearing protesters from a park outside the White House so the president could walk to a church for a photo opportunity.

The County Board issued a statement Monday night saying its officers were used “for a purpose not worthy of our mutual aid obligations.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, for her part, said Tuesday that the District of Columbia never put out a call for mutual aid.

“I might suggest their officers shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” Bowser added.

Arlington officers joined a team of federal law enforcers using chemical agents and flash bangs to forcibly remove a large group of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park.

That cleared a path for President Donald Trump, vowing a crackdown from the Rose Garden, to walk in front of the White House over to St. John’s Church, which had been damaged in earlier protests. Trump then posed with a Bible for a few minutes.

County Board Chair Libby Garvey said on Twitter she’s “appalled” that the mutual aid agreement was abused “for a photo op.”

12:16 p.m.

ATLANTA—Six Atlanta police officers have been charged after a dramatic video showed authorities pulling two young people from a car during protests over the death of George Floyd, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges during a news conference.

“I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else,” said Messiah Young, who was dragged from the vehicle along with his girlfriend, Taniyah Pilgrim.

The Saturday night incident first gained attention from video online and on local news. Throughout, the couple can be heard screaming and asking officers what is happening.

Five of the officers are charged with aggravated assault, in addition to other charges.

Two of the officers, Investigator Ivory Streeter and Investigator Mark Gardner, were fired earlier this week.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Pilgrim was released without charges. She said Young, was released, too, and she’s ordering the charges against him dropped. She didn’t specify what charges he faced. A police report says Young was charged with attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license.

12:11 p.m.

REGINA—Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is chastising those responsible for defacing a war memorial outside the legislature ahead of a rally in support of black lives.

In social media posts, Moe says peaceful protests are always welcome, but vandalism is not.

Protests have been happening in cities across the United States and in Canada since George Floyd died in Minneapolis last week as a white police officer knelt on the black man’s neck.

A solidarity rally is expected at the Regina legislature later this morning for people to express their outrage over anti-black racism.

Moe shared a photo of the war memorial with ‘Justice For Floyd #BLM’ written on one of the stones.

He called it outrageous and encouraged anyone with information to contact police.

11:40 a.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Joe Biden on Tuesday blistered President Donald Trump a day after police drove back peaceful protesters near the White House so Trump could pose with a Bible before a damaged church. Biden said Trump’s “narcissism has become more important than the nation that he leads.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee delivered a speech at Philadelphia’s City Hall, addressing the civil unrest across America following the death of George Floyd. Biden said “the moment has come” to deal with systemic racism and deeply ingrained economic inequality — and insisted that the nation can’t wait until November’s election and its outcome.

“I call on the Congress to act this month,” Biden said, urging lawmakers to start “with real police reform” and citing proposed legislation outlawing choke holds.

But Biden stepped up his criticism of Trump as he works to elevate his voice in the national debate — after more than two months of the campaign for the White House being frozen amid the outbreak of the coronarvius.

“This president today is part of the problem and accelerates it,” Biden said, adding that Trump is “consumed with his blinding ego.”

11:35 a.m.

ATLANTA—The base of a massive Confederate monument in Alabama’s largest city was all that remained Tuesday after crews dismantled the towering obelisk and trucked it away in pieces. Other symbols came down elsewhere, leaving an empty pedestal and a bare flagpole.

Workers hired by the city of Birmingham began removing the top portion of the 115-year-old monument from Linn Park late Monday. By daybreak, the pedestal was the only thing left, covered with graffiti and pock marks from protests against police brutality.

Sarah Collins Rudolph, whose sister Addie Mae Collins died in a racist church bombing that killed three other black girls in the city in 1963, came to see the remains. She lowered a protective face mask to take in the sight.

“I’m glad it’s been removed because it has been so long. It’s a hate monument,” said Rudolph. She was seriously injured in the blast at 16th Street Baptist Church, and testified against Ku Klux Klansmen who were convicted in the killings.

11:25 a.m.

NEW YORK CITY— New York’s mayor extended an 8 p.m. curfew all week in hopes of stopping destruction that continued overnight despite the city’s efforts to stop protests over George Floyd’s death from devolving into lawless mayhem.

“We’re going to have a tough few days. We’re going to beat it back,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Tuesday as he announced that an 8 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew would hold through Sunday.

The plan came after a night when chaos broke out in midtown Manhattan and the Bronx.

On Monday, an 11 p.m. curfew — the city’s first in decades — failed to prevent destruction as groups of people smashed their way into shops, including Macy’s flagship Manhattan store.

Police said nearly 700 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday.

11:17 a.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called on President Donald Trump to be a “healer in chief” and not a “fanner of the flame” as the nation reels from mass protests over the treatment of black people in the United States.

Reading from Bible scripture at the Capitol, Pelosi drew on past presidents — including George H.W. Bush speaking in the aftermath of the Rodney King unrest and Barack Obama following the death of Eric Garner — as models of the nation’s chief executive at a time of crisis.

“We would hope that the president of the United States would follow the lead of so many presidents before him to be a healer in chief and not a fanner of the flame,” Pelosi said.

The remarks of the California Democrat, who is the party’s top ranking elected official, offered a stark contrast to the Republican president as the world watches a nation in turmoil.

Pelosi criticized the use of force to disperse the crowd of protesters late Monday at the White House so Trump could cross the street to nearby St. John’s church in what was widely seen as a photo opportunity and was later criticized by the Episcopal congregation’s bishop.

“Some people came out and beat them so they could clear the area so the president could come out and go forward. What is that?” asked Pelosi. “That has no place and it’s time for us to do away with that.”

11:07 a.m. Hong Kong’s leader blasted the U.S. for “double standards” in the way it handles protests after the Trump administration vocally supported sometimes-violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.

“Look at how the local governments handle chaos in the U.S. and what stance they took on a similar level of chaos in Hong Kong last year,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a weekly news briefing Tuesday. “They are highly concerned about their national security, while holding different standards for our country, especially over Hong Kong’s situation.”

Lam’s government is facing renewed anti-government protests as China’s plan to enact sweeping national security legislation over the city fuels public anger. President Donald Trump vowed to revoke some of the city’s special trading privileges and impose sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials “directly or indirectly involved” in eroding the city’s autonomy.

The U.S., which has passed bipartisan legislation backing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp, now finds itself engulfed by widespread unrest of its own, triggered by the death of George Floyd.

Lam on Tuesday addressed the possibility of U.S. sanctions, saying there was “no justification whatsoever” for any foreign governments to level them on Hong Kong.

10:38 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS—Minnesota’s attorney general says prosecutors are working as fast as they can to determine whether more charges will be filed against officers involved in the death of George Floyd, but they also have to work carefully and methodically.

Attorney General Keith Ellison was appointed lead prosecutor in the case Sunday. He told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that those who have culpability will be held accountable.

Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became motionless. Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. But members of Floyd’s family and many others are calling for more serious charges, as well as charges against the three other officers who were there.

Ellison says despite the widely viewed bystander video of Floyd’s final moments, cases against police are hard. He pointed to the deaths of Freddie Gray and Philando Castile, and the beating of Rodney King, as examples of cases where striking video of an incident did not lead to convictions of officers.

Ellison did not give a timeline for any new charges. All four officers have been fired.

10:35 a.m.

TOPEKA, KANSAS—Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says that bringing the military “into this contentious moment” would do more harm than good.

Kelly on Monday expressed sympathy for George Floyd’s family, families of other people killed by police and people outraged by Floyd’s “tragic murder.” She promised to work to address systemic racism.

“We need our leaders — myself included — to listen to those who felt their only means of being heard was to take to the street in protest,” Kelly said after President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military to states if they did not stamp out violent protests.

“We need action to change the systemic inequalities we have ignored for far too long. We need to stop with the divisive language and instead, come together and do what’s right for our state,” Kelly added.

She noted that Kansas protests have been peaceful and promised to work closely with local officials to ensure public safety.

10:30 a.m.

NEW YORK CITY—Broken glass and burned piles of debris littered parts of New York City’s early Tuesday after its first curfew in decades failed to prevent destruction as groups of people smashed their way into shops, including Macy’s flagship Manhattan store.

Police said more than 200 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday.

As the day dawned, the city appeared to have made progress limiting violent clashes between police and large groups of demonstrators marching throughout the city over the death of George Floyd. Several big marches went off peacefully, with one hours-long demonstration in Brooklyn allowed to continue long after an 11 p.m. curfew.

But for a second night, roving bands of young people attacked businesses in Manhattan’s glitzy shopping districts and a poor neighbourhood in the Bronx, where shops were looted and rubbish set on fire.

People rushed into a Nike store and carried out armloads of clothing. Storefront windows were smashed near Rockefeller Center and wreckage littered the inside of an AT&T store.

One officer was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Bronx and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said. Another video showed a group of men hitting a police officer with pieces of wreckage until he pulled his gun and they ran.

10 a.m. As protesters keep up their anti-racism rallies on both sides of the border, top health officials are hoping they don’t forget about the risk of COVID-19.

Canadian health officials are not suggesting people avoid protests, but they are stressing the importance of hand sanitizer and masks.

With physical distancing being nearly impossible in some of these settings, rally-goers may have to find other ways to try to keep themselves safe.

Protests have taken place in several Canadian cities in the aftermath of a Black man dying last week in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck.o

9:41 a.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The streets around the White House complex were shut Tuesday morning, guarded by a mix of Secret Service officers and FBI agents.

Overnight, a fence was constructed around Lafayette Park and along 17th St at Pennsylvania Ave, two areas that have been focal points for protests.

Work crews were still at work boarding up businesses in the area and attempting to remove graffiti from federal buildings.

9:40 a.m.

BUFFALO—A state trooper who was run over by an SUV that barrelled through a group of officers at a George Floyd demonstration in Buffalo broke his leg and shattered his pelvis, police said.

Another trooper and a Buffalo police officer were treated for minor injuries after being struck by the Ford Explorer when it broke through a blockade at about 10 p.m. Monday.

Troopers were deployed to Buffalo after violence flared downtown this weekend.

Officers fired shots at the vehicle before it was apprehended. The driver and a passenger had been shot and were hospitalized with injuries not considered life threatening. A second passenger was uninjured and taken into custody, police said.

It was not immediately clear whether the pair in the SUV were wounded by police. Officials in Buffalo initially said they may have been shot at a nearby intersection shortly before the officers were struck. State police say the investigation continues.

The unidentified trooper who was run over was treated at a hospital. The other trooper was treated and released for a hand-and-wrist injury.

9:40 a.m.

WASHINTON D.C.—A man said he sheltered about 70 protesters in his home all night after they got caught between police lines after curfew.

Rahul Dubey told WJLA-TV he was sitting on his porch around 8:30 p.m. last night when law enforcement officers began corralling protesters on his street. He let some sit with him, and helped others out through his back alley, but the situation then escalated when officers started pushing protesters to the ground and releasing pepper spray, creating a “human tsunami” into his home.

“I was hanging on my railing yelling, ’Get in the house! Get in the house!’” he told The Washington Post.

Officers also released pepper-spray through the window after he closed the door, Dubey told WJLA-TV. The protesters inside the home screamed, and started pouring water and milk into their eyes in a scene he described as “pure mayhem.”

One officer came to the door to ask for a piece of the pizza that was delivered to the house overnight as Dubey was on the phone with the TV station, WJLA reported. The protesters left the home after 6 a.m. Tuesday when the district’s curfew ended.

9:40 a.m.

ST. LOUIS—Police in St. Louis say officers in a marked police car were fired on early Tuesday from a car occupied by suspected looters.

The incident led to a chase that ended in the suburb of Jennings, where one of the suspects was shot. Police said the incident was separate from a shooting around midnight Monday in which four St. Louis officers were shot and injured.

The Jennings shooting began when officers in a marked police car on the north side of St. Louis who were searching for looting suspects were fired on from men inside a car, police said. That led to a chase that ended in Jennings, just north of St. Louis, when the three suspects bailed out of the car, and one was shot by a St. Louis County officer, police said.

One man, identified only as 21 years old, was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said another man who had been in the car was arrested, and a third escaped.

No officers were injured in the Jennings shooting.

7 a.m.

LAS VEGAS—An officer has been shot in Las Vegas and authorities are responding to another shooting as people protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said.

The officer was shot in the area of the Las Vegas Strip and an officer was involved in a shooting in the downtown area, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported early Tuesday.

BERLIN—Germany’s foreign minister says the peaceful protests in the United States following the death of George Floyd are “understandable and more than legitimate.”

Heiko Maas said in Berlin on Tuesday that his thoughts are with the friends and family of Floyd, who “lost his life in a truly terrible and shocking way, or one should say it was taken from him.”

Maas said that peaceful protests must always be allowed. He added that “the peaceful protest we are seeing in the United States — with many very moving gestures including by American police officers — this protest is understandable and more than legitimate.”

He added: “I can only express my hope that the peaceful protests do not continue to lead to violence, but even more express the hope that these protests have an effect in the United States.”

Maas also stressed that journalists must be able to do their jobs without risking their safety and criticized violence against them.

BRUSSELS—The European Union’s top diplomat said Tuesday the death of George Floyd was the result of an abuse of power and that the 27-nation bloc is “shocked and appalled” by it.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that “like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd.”

Floyd died last week after he was pinned to the pavement by a white police officer in Minneapolis who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck until he stopped breathing. His death set off protests that spread across America.

Borrell says law enforcement officials must not be “using their capacities in the way that has been used in this very, very unhappy death of George Floyd. This is an abuse of power and this has to be denounced.”

He underlined that Europeans “support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions.”

Borrell says “we trust in the ability of the Americans to come together, to heal as a nation and to address these important issues during these difficult times.”

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The Hungarian soccer federation has issued a written reprimand to a player of African origin who showed his undershirt with the words “Justice for George Floyd” after scoring for Ferencvaros in its 1-1 draw with Puskas Akademia on Sunday.

Tokmac Nguen was born in a refugee camp in Kenya to parents from South Sudan and grew up in Norway.

The federation’s disciplinary committee said in its ruling issued Monday that any similar actions by Nguen in the future would result in “actual penalties” on each occasion.

Just hours after Nguen’s reprimand, FIFA, the world soccer’s governing body urged soccer competition organizers to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players demanding justice for Floyd during matches.

The German soccer federation is investigating similar actions by four players in the Bundesliga, including American midfielder Weston McKennie, who wore an armband over his Schalke jersey with the handwritten message “Justice for George.”

SEOUL—South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says it has far confirmed 79 cases of property damage at stores run by Korean Americans amid U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd.

The ministry, which held a teleconferencing meeting with diplomats based in the United States to review the demonstrations’ impact on Korean Americans and South Korean citizens, said Tuesday it has yet to confirm any injuries or deaths.

The ministry says 50 cases of property damage were reported from Philadelphia, 10 from Minneapolis, five form Raleigh and four from Atlanta.

SYDNEY—More than 1,000 protesters marched through downtown Sydney on Tuesday in solidarity with Americans demonstrating against the death of George Floyd half a world away.

Police escorted a crowd carrying banners that said: “Black Lives Matter,” “Aboriginal Lives Matter,” “White Silence is Violence” and “We See You, We Hear You, We Stand With You.”

The group marched from Hyde Park to New South Wales state Parliament with plans to continue to the U.S. Consulate.

The protest proceeded despite some organizers cancelling it Monday for fear of conflict with counter protesters. But no counter protest emerged.

Around 2,000 demonstrators gathered in Australia’s west coast city of Perth on Monday night to peacefully protest Floyd’s death, and rallies are planned for other Australian cities this week.

Referring to the violence in U.S. streets, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “there’s no need to import things ... happening in other countries here to Australia.”

CICERO, Ill.—Two people have been killed during unrest in the Chicago suburb of Cicero as protests continued over the death of George Floyd, according to a town official.

Spokesman Ray Hanania says 60 people were arrested in the town of about 84,000 located west of Chicago. Hanania didn’t provide additional information about those killed or the circumstances of their deaths.

The Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Office were called in to help local police Monday as people broke into a liquor store and other businesses and stole items.

Monday June 1

American cities erupted in violence and destruction in a seventh straight night of unrest, with several police officers shot or run over, amid boasts and threats from President Donald Trump to send in troops to “dominate the streets.”

In New York, nonviolent protests Monday night were punctuated by people smashing shop windows near Rockefeller Center and breaching the doors of Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street, littering the pavement with broken glass. A vehicle plowed through a group of law enforcement officers at a demonstration in Buffalo, injuring at least two.

Demonstrations also broke out in such places as Philadelphia, where hundreds of protesters spilled onto a highway in the heart of the city; Atlanta, where police fired tear gas at demonstrators; and Nashville, where more than 60 National Guard members put down their riot shields at the request of peaceful protesters who had gathered in front of Tennessee’s Capitol to honour George Floyd.

The death toll from the unrest rose to at least nine, including two people killed in a Chicago suburb. The police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, was fired after a beloved restaurant owner was killed by police and National Guard members enforcing a curfew.

More than 5,600 people nationwide have been arrested over the past week for such offences as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew, according to a count by The Associated Press.

Peaceful protesters in Washington hit with tear gas so Donald Trump could pose at local church

Jun 01, 2020 8:29:00 PM

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WASHINGTON—In an unscheduled address on the White House lawn, President Donald Trump spoke just after 6:30 p.m. “I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

At virtually the same time as he said those words, federal officers under his command were deploying tear gas, flash-bang devices, and forcibly moving entirely peaceful protesters from the area around the park across the street so that when Trump finished speaking, he could parade across the square for a photo opportunity in front of historic St. John’s Church. As the White House Press pool reporter observed, the sting of tear gas was still in the air, causing reporters to choke and cough, as Trump strode through the park.

The shocking move seemed to directly contradict what Trump had said, and seemed likely only to ramp up the explosively confrontational atmosphere of street protests in Washington and around the country. But the move perhaps aligned more closely with the theme of Trump’s speech taking a hard line against those demonstrating in the streets.

Beginning his speech by promising justice for the death of George Floyd and making nods to peaceful protest as a virtue, in the meat of his remarks he promised to deploy the military to immediately “end” the vandalism and conflict with authorities that had occurred during late-night protests in recent days, which he characterized as “acts of domestic terrorism.”

Trump called on governors to deploy the National Guard to “dominate” street demonstrators, promised to send the military to do the job if they would not, and said he was sending “thousands and thousands of soldiers” into the streets of Washington to maintain order.

“I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties,” Trump said.

Ironically, before the crowd was violently cleared to make way for Trump, the protest unfolding through the afternoon and evening outside Lafayette Square had been among the most peaceful since before the weekend. Hundreds of people had gathered, with more arriving as the workday ended, chanting, “Take a knee” and “I can’t breathe” at police officers who stood casually with their shields down inside the park in the early evening sun. The protest had been peaceful and not at all tense.

Some protesters sang on the sidewalk, and three men put on a breakdancing demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the church across the street, where a fire had been started and extinguished Sunday night.

“I feel a shift in this country, I feel a change is coming soon,” said an African-American man from Washington named Diego. “Yesterday, I saw a 76-year-old woman who was an activist in the civil rights movement walking the streets. When I saw that, I decided to come out today. I didn’t want to look back on history and say I was just in my house watching it unfold. I want to be a part of that change.”

A few dozen metres away, protesters had climbed atop a brick washroom building that had been burned in the confrontations of Sunday night’s protest — the charred structure accessible to protesters on the street side, guarded by riot police on the park side. A cheer went up among the crowd around 5 p.m. when, in response to chants, one of the police officers inside briefly knelt.

“People are tired. We are tired as a community,” Marchelle Hayes, an African-American woman from Maryland, said. “Everything that’s been built up is coming out. We’ve been in a pandemic, locked up, and to see somebody blatantly killed — time and time again — we’re tired as a community. Tired of being walked on, as if we did not build this country. We built this country, brick by brick.”

There was, by that stage, no evidence of the kind of disorder Trump claimed would be the focus of his crackdown. Much of the surrounding area, and many other areas of Washington, had seen stores boarded up after windows had been smashed late Sunday night.

Earlier in the day, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had appealed for protesters to remain peaceful as she instituted a 7 p.m. curfew. “We applaud the American spirit of protest, and especially protest to their federal government,” Bowser said. “However, we do not, and we will not allow the continued destruction of our hometown by people who are coming here to protest or by D.C. residents.”

At the protest, a young woman named Elena said the scenes of vandalism were not her primary concern. “I think non-violent protesting has not worked for hundreds and hundreds of years, and if rioting is what it takes for them to hear us, then OK. But I don’t think looting is right,” she said. “I’m here because I think what the cops are doing is wrong, and I think it’s important that white people come out and show support.”

Trump, apparently, heard the message she was speaking of sent by civil unrest here and across the country, and decided to put a stop to it. His public silence Sunday had been widely remarked upon after a report from The Associated Press that he had briefly been taken to a secure bunker in the White House, and another that his aides had given up on the idea of having him address the nation to appeal for calm, reportedly because he had no interest in appealing for unity.

His political opponents were making such appeals: presumed Democratic front-runner Joe Biden had talked about the potential for reform in the wake of the protests at a visit to a Black church in Delaware earlier Monday. “I think the public is getting to a place that it’s never been before in understanding a lot of this,” he said. And former president Barack Obama published an essay in which he advised protesters on how he thought their movement could lead to “real change” in the country, helping it to live up to its ideals.

In his own speech, Trump made no direct mention of racial justice or police reform — though he did make a reference to the second amendment guaranteeing gun rights — and focused on a message portraying himself as the upholder of order. “Once order is restored we will help you, we will help your businesses, we will help your family,” he said.

Speaking to a reporter from the Washington Post immediately after Trump’s photo opportunity outside St. John’s Church, the Episcopal Bishop in charge of the church, The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, expressed outrage at the president’s clearing peaceful protesters with tear gas to “use one of our churches as a prop.”

“Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence,” Budde said.

As night fell on Washington, protesters remained in the streets despite the curfew and the heavy police, National Guard, and active duty Military Police presence.

It seems unlikely Trump’s words and actions will ease tensions with demonstrators outraged by abusive authority by police.

The Republican governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, said earlier in the day that the kind of talk of domination Trump was engaging in was not what the nation needed.

“At so many times during these past several weeks when the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found,” he said of Trump’s “incendiary” rhetoric, which he summed up as consisting of “bitterness, combativeness and self-interest.”

And he said that hours before Trump used tear gas to make way for a photo-op.

Edward Keenan is the Star’s Washington Bureau chief. He covers U.S. politics and current affairs. Reach him via email: ekeenan@thestar.ca

‘Racism exists in Canada:’ These are the stories from people who have lived it as eyes turn on U.S. after George Floyd death in Minneapolis

Jun 01, 2020 8:00:00 PM

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Editor’s note: The Star asked people across Canada to share their experiences with racism and their wishes for the future. The stories below are told in their own words. The conversation doesn’t stop here. If you’re interested, please share your story with us by email at social@thestar.ca.

As racial tensions in the U.S. boil over, leaders here are warning that anti-Black racism doesn’t stop at the border.

Protesters have spilled out across America following the death of George Floyd — whose last moments, captured on phone video as a police officer knelt on his neck, set fire to long-simmering concerns about police brutality against the Black community.

Back home, Canadians have also taken to the streets in solidarity, with leaders quick to dispel what they say are misconceptions that racial tensions only exist in the U.S.

“Racism exists in Canada. Anti-Black racism exists in Canada. Police brutality exists in Canada,” read signs at a protest that drew thousands in Toronto Saturday. It was led by the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Black woman who fell to her death after police responded to a call at her home last week.

A Minneapolis police officer is facing charges in connection with Floyd’s death, while the full details of Korchinski-Paquet’s death remain unclear and are the subject of an investigation by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. Regardless, the leaders in Canada’s Black community say the incidents have again exposed an undercurrent of racism that must be addressed.

Dr. Chika Oriuwa, MD, 2020 valedictorian for the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine

(Monday) morning, the day before I earn my Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Toronto, I awoke to an online comment which stated “I would never let her treat me.” This was tweeted in response to a Toronto Star article written about my narrative of being the only Black student in a class of 259, and now graduating as valedictorian after being selected by my peers.

These words came as a blow to me, despite it not being the first time I have been told this on online platforms, but also in my experience as a medical student on clinical rotations.

I have spent the past four years tirelessly advocating for diversity in medical education, equity in medical admissions and enhancing inclusive practices across all professional spheres. This has culminated in being invited to give over two dozen keynotes, seminars, and panelist discussions, alongside writing articles and engaging in public education through media syndication. However, like many advocates, this left me vulnerable to attacks on my character and merit as a physician. Throughout the last four years, I have fielded several racist and sexist comments and have tried to develop an armour against this kind of vitriol. I am fortunate to have the support of the community and their rallying messages of encouragement at this time.

Yet, there is a part of me that broke with disillusion over the past week. There is a misconception that once you’ve attained a certain level of success, education and accolade as a Black person, you would somehow become immune to the racism. I will admit that even I held onto this notion. I thought that when I finally earned my medical degree and joined the ranks of this noble profession, they would only ever respectfully view me as Dr. Oriuwa. The aforementioned tweet reminded me — poignantly within a day of becoming a physician — that there is no escaping the vise-like grip of anti-Blackness. It exists in the fabric of our society, throughout all systems and strikes without impunity.

And so, during a time where there is civil unrest due to persistent anti-Black violence in Canada and abroad, I am reminded more than ever the importance of aligning myself closely with my community. I am, and have always been, immensely proud to be a Black woman and physician. I cannot divorce my identity from my profession because the world has not given me that allowance, and I wouldn’t do so if the opportunity arose. Through my professional, clinical, and community work I will strive to address anti-Blackness in all of its permutations, and hope to create a world where it will be safer for us to simply exist.

Yasin Osman, photographer, cartoonist and founder of Shoot for Peace

Racism isn’t a political view, and it isn’t a sickness.

Having hate in your heart because of the colour of someone’s skin does not deserve compassion, forgiveness, understanding or empathy in any way.

This is something that is systematic and deeply engrained. It is not an illness, but a choice to be a terrible person.

As someone who has been a victim of racial profiling and someone who has lost a friend at the hands of police, it upsets me to hear from Canadians that racism doesn’t exist in Canada. We literally exist on stolen land. The last residential school closed in 1996. People of colour have been brutally harassed, assaulted and killed in this country since the day we stepped foot here.

Just because you’ve never experienced it, it does not mean it doesn’t exist. That just means you’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced such circumstances and aggressions. You cannot believe something you choose to ignore.

Pretending that racism doesn’t exist by creating and engaging with hashtags like #MeanwhileInCanada does not help the cause. Canadians need to do better because If you ignore the problem you are part of the problem.

Anthony N. Morgan, father and racial justice lawyer, Toronto

To my daughter,

Daddy loves you very much. I know you know and feel this every time we’re together. But I also know that as a Black child, it’s important that you’re reminded of this early and often. You’re growing up in a world where despite my best efforts, I’m not able to insulate you from recurring media cycles, images, attitudes or experiences that sting with the soul-throbbing pains of anti-Black racism. None of what you will be made to feel and experience because of this is your fault. My heart aches at thinking about what it will be like for you weathering anti-Blackness.

Though I will give you all I can, nothing I have done or will do will keep you from times where you feel that, because you are Black and especially because you are a Black girl, you are unloved or that you’re somehow not as special, valued and as treasured as you are. Sweetheart, forever and always, your beautiful Black life matters and you’re loved fiercely, no matter what the world around us tells you.

You can’t read this yet. But one day, you will. When you do, you won’t remember what these last days and weeks have looked and felt like for our Black communities in our city and across the African diaspora. My love, it’s been really sad and painful. Not because it’s new — because it isn’t.

By the time you read and fully understand this letter, I’m sure your generation’s technology will show you the pictures and articles on what this moment is meaning for our movement for Black freedom. What they are describing as riots, are rightful expressions of Black resistance. All people have the right to fight for the protection of their humanity, dignity and well-being of their communities, by any means necessary. What I mean is, if the people really experienced lives and histories where they could legitimately and reasonably feel they had other options than to burn and break things to protect their Black lives, they would not burn and break things, my love. I hope and trust that you will learn from daddy to recognize that the fires of racist social, political, cultural and economic neglect burned long before those buildings. And learn to realize that these systems that are said to be meant to protect us were broken in anti-Black ways well before any of those replaceable pieces of property were damaged. Black lives aren’t similarly replaceable. That’s part of the point our people are making and have been making since our first revolts against enslavement centuries ago.

For you, the names George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, D’Andre Campbell and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, will be what the names Raymond Lawrence, Kenneth Allen, Marcellus Francois, Presley Leslie, Sophia Cook, Michael Wade Lawson, Lester Donaldson, Anthony Griffin, and too many more, are to me. I hope you will remember these dead in how you grow to live your Black life: free, full, happy and resistant to anything that threatens this, your birthright.

Daddy loves you.

Chanelle Marshall, DJ

What I feel is not a new feeling. What I’m feeling is composed of many feelings. What I feel I’m not alone in feeling this way. What I feel doesn’t need to be said. We know.

I feel this way when I see my friends driving and I send up a quick prayer they return home safely. I have felt this way when my friends tell me they’re having a son and I cry for hours thinking about the conversations that will be had with him about police brutality. I felt this way one time when I was biking and a driver almost hit me then yelled the n-word at me. I have felt this way when my mom used to teach me about Jamaican history. I felt this way in Grade 11 and my teacher based whole lessons on Obama’s inauguration. I felt this way when there are issues with me and other Black women. I have felt this way when family relationships are strained because I’m queer. I feel this way when I see those with more privilege or access to resources choose not to use it to help those who don’t. I feel this way when I think of beauty. I feel this way when I think about having my own children. I have felt this feeling because I am a Black woman. That’s all. No other reason but I would never change who I am or the skin I was born into. The powerful history that had helped build the person I am today. What I want to enjoy living comfortably and freely, without worry of death by the hands of racism.

It’s been hard to put into words to say anything on social media because it’s been overwhelming. I’m seeing content on the climate for an issue that is constantly reminding me of a whole system that was designed to make sure I finish last. As much as I am thrilled conversations are being had, it’s like I’m reliving trauma over and over again. I’m constantly thinking to myself I need to do more and pressure to take action but I can barely go without a couple hours before crying.

What’s weighing on me is moving forward. The conversation can not fizzle out. Actions can not stop. Thinking about next steps is so important. Maintaining the momentum.

How are we as a community going to keep making changes to ensure a safer future? We are playing in their system. I question, how do we build our own? How do we build wealth? How do we make sure that all Black people are protected by our own networks? Do we keep our buying power only within Black communities? How do we make sure that change continues to happen? I just want to learn more about what we intend on doing as we move forward. This battle won’t end once the posts on social media die down.

I just keep thinking if this war will have to take more innocent lives to be stopped. I’m exhausted. But I will always be up for this battle.

Teaunna Gray, director and photographer

Being Black right now is nothing short of overwhelming. It’s been hard to articulate all the emotions we’ve been feeling. And these feelings are not new.

After coming back from the protest in Toronto on May 30th for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, I felt invigorated to start talking. Regis is an Afro-Indigenous woman with roots in Nova Scotia, which also happens to be my exact mix and where my roots are traced back to. She inspires me to use the voice I still have.

Racism and hatred against Black and Indigenous people is not a new phenomenon. North America was built on this. The responsibility to change systems that oppress should not fall on the ones being oppressed.

The call to action during this time is for those in the white community to “Do The Work.” I shared an example of what that can look like and why it is important on my Instagram. It’s called, Dear White People and it explains the outcome of what it was like confronting a white person on their problematic ideals and then my boyfriend, who is also white, doing the same and looking at the differences in the responses we each received.

Dear white people, be reflective. When you come across examples shared by Black voices, do not take it as an attack on you personally — take the time to listen.

Stories compiled by Star reporters Jenna Moon, Evy Kwong and Alex Boyd.

CP24 News

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