The death of African-American George Floyd by police officers shakes the United States: there are repeated riots in numerous cities. The US President once again creates a spectacle with a statement. All information in the FOCUS Online news ticker.
The essentials in brief:
- After the violent death of African-American George Floyd, protests and criticism of the president have increased in the United States
- All officials involved have been arrested – the policeman who is held responsible for Floyd’s death is now facing a second-degree trial, among other things, for murder
- Hundreds attended Floyd’s funeral service, with US civil rights activist William Lawson indirectly calling for Trump to be voted out
- Los Angeles police prohibit stranglehold
Amazon US police initially banned the use of facial recognition software
09.28 a.m .: Amazon has initially banned the US police from using its facial recognition software. The preliminary ban is for one year and should give Congress time to adopt “appropriate rules” for the use of such technologies, the US internet company said on Wednesday.
With this step, Amazon responded to criticism from activists who campaign for the rights of minorities. They warn that Amazon’s facial recognition software and observation cameras could be used by the US authorities to discriminate against African Americans and other minorities.
An alliance of activist groups launched a petition this week against Amazon’s “observation empire”. The company is asked to cut its ties to the police and immigration authorities.
Amazon must “investigate its structural role in systematically oppressing black people,” said Myaisha Hayes, campaign leader at the Media Justice activist group. The observation cameras from Amazon are intended for the protection of private houses. However, the owners in the United States can let the police view the video recordings.
Public debate about discrimination against blacks and other minorities had gained momentum in a brutal police operation in the United States in recent weeks following the death of African American George Floyd. Nationwide protests against racism took place.
Another case of police violence: fuss over new video from Washington
07.20 a.m .: In the US state of Washington, the case of an African American who died in police custody in early March is to be re-examined. This was announced by Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday after a new video of the incident surfaced. According to a lawyer for the bereaved, it can be heard, as 33-year-old Manuel Ellis said several times when he was arrested in the city of Tacoma: “I cannot breathe.” African American George Floyd used the same words.
Forensic medical examinations of Ellis’ death so far have shown that he died of respiratory arrest due to physical violence. Taking methamphetamine and a heart disease could also have contributed to his death. The Mayor of Tacoma, Victoria Woodards, last week called for criminal investigations into the four police officers involved in Ellis’ arrest.
Based on the newly surfaced video, Governor Inslee now decided that the investigation into the incident should not be left in the hands of the police and prosecutors in the Pierce county, in which Tacoma is located. He explained that there was a “conflict of interest” with these authorities. The previous investigation will therefore be stopped and a completely new investigation led by other authorities.
No Confederate flag at Nascar races – US motorsport series bans symbol of racism
Thursday, June 11th, 0.34 a.m .: After nationwide protests against racism and police violence against blacks, Nascar will in future ban the Confederate war flag at all events of America’s most popular motorsport series. “The presence of the Confederate flag at Nascar events contradicts our commitment to provide an inclusive environment for all of our fans, participants and industry,” said a statement released on Wednesday (local time). The only African-American Nascar driver, Bubba Wallace, had only spoken out in favor of such a ban a few days ago.
The Confederates had fought against the north in the American Civil War (1861-1865) of the southern states and had fought against the abolition of slavery and against more rights for blacks. The war flag is a symbol of racism in the eyes of many Americans. Protests and demonstrations have been going on in the United States for days. The trigger was the death of George Floyd. The African American was killed in a brutal police operation on May 25.
Worldwide demonstrations: NFL team removes statue of ex-team owner as a precaution
11.33 p.m .: As part of the anti-racism protests, the Carolina Panthers removed a statue of former team owner Jerry Richardson from the National Football League in front of the stadium. There was concern that attempts could be made to tear down the statue, the team said in a tweet published on Wednesday (local time). “We move the statue in the interest of public security.” Richardson’s statue has stood in front of the arena since the stadium opened almost 25 years ago. In 2017, he sold the team after allegations of sexual insult and racist comments became public.
The nationwide protests and demonstrations against racism and police violence against blacks were triggered by the death of George Floyd on May 25. He had been killed after a white policeman knocked his neck for several minutes and ignored Floyd’s requests that he be unable to breathe.
Military bases with Confederate names: Trump does not want to rename the “holy place”
9.50 p.m .: US President Donald Trump does not want to change controversial names of military bases – despite the willingness from the ranks of the military to send a signal against racism. “It has been suggested that we rename ten of our legendary military bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc. These monumental and very powerful bases have become part of a great American heritage and a story of winning “Victories and Freedom,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Trump called the facilities “holy places” where “heroes” were trained. “That’s why my government won’t even think about renaming these magnificent and legendary military facilities.” America’s history as the “largest nation in the world”, which won two world wars, was not shaken. Trump demanded respect for the military.
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said at a press conference that Trump would not sign any Congress law to rename it. “When you think of Fort Bragg, we think of the brave soldiers who were deployed from there.” Braxton Bragg was a general of the Confederate Army.
In the midst of protests against racism and police violence against blacks after the death of African American George Floyd, the civilian chief of the army, Ryan McCarthy, had openly discussed the renaming of ten bases and facilities named after military leaders from the Confederate States . The Confederates had fought against the north in the American Civil War (1861-1865) of the southern states and had fought against the abolition of slavery and against more rights for blacks.
Virginia state governor Ralph Northam ordered the removal of a controversial statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond last week. Lee is transfigured as a hero by the right-wing scene in the United States. Many Americans see monuments like the one in Richmond as symbols of racism.
Questionable practices? Reality series “Cops” about police operations is discontinued
9:04 pm: The popular US reality television series “Cops”, in which camera teams accompany the police during operations, has been discontinued by the US broadcaster Paramount Network. “Cops” is not on the program “and we have no plans for a return now or in the future,” said the station on Tuesday, according to “Variety” and “Hollywood Reporter”. After nationwide protests against police brutality and racism after George Floyd’s violent death from police violence in Minneapolis, the show had been canceled a few days ago. Actually, season 33 should premiere on Monday of this week.
The reality series “Cops”, in which real police operations are accompanied by the camera, made the TV broadcaster Fox very popular during its debut in 1989. The series without a prescribed script, which later ran on Spike TV and Paramount Network, was shot in dozens of US cities. “Cops” has come under fire in recent years for questionable filming practices and depictions of policing.
Biden at George Floyd’s funeral: “America has never been great”
2:11 p.m .: The designated Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, called in a video message to step up the fight against racism in the United States.
The US should no longer turn its back on the problem of racism, Biden demanded in his video message shown during the funeral service. “Now is the time for justice for all races,” said the former vice president.
Biden did not explicitly address President Donald Trump’s stance on the protests and racism, while other speakers openly attacked the president. “Someone said, ‘Make America great again,” said Floyd’s niece Brooke Williams, referring to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan. “But America has never been great.” There should be no more “hate crimes”.
Fear of new wave of infections: US National Guardsmen infected after protests
Wednesday, June 10th, 6:17 p.m .: The United States National Guard has seen cases of coronavirus infection after serving in anti-racism protests in Washington. This was announced on Tuesday by a spokeswoman for the National Guard unit of the capital. She did not want to disclose the number of cases of infection. The contagion cases among the soldiers are likely to fuel concerns that the current mass protests in the United States could promote the renewed spread of the virus.
The Washington National Guard’s infections were found, according to the spokeswoman, after the force had been involved in protests near the White House. Many of the demonstrators wore respirators, but not all. Many members of the security forces did not wear masks.
The members of the group had been tested for the coronavirus before and after their protests, the spokeswoman said. President Donald Trump ordered the National Guard to withdraw from Washington on Sunday. The situation in the capital is now “under perfect control,” he said. There have been repeated riots on the sidelines of the nationwide anti-racism demonstrations.
The United States National Guard consists of reservists. It was last used in many US cities to contain the riots. 1,700 National Guard members had been mobilized in Washington.
Trump, Obama and the Racism Debate: Two Images Spread Like Wildfire
When George Floyd’s coffin is carried out of the church, visitors raise their fists
11:04 pm: After a moving memorial service for George Floyd, the body of the African American killed in a brutal police operation is on the way to his final resting place. When his coffin was brought out of The Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, Texas, many visitors raised their fists as a sign of the fight against racism, as shown on TV pictures. Escorted by the police, Floyd’s body is now taken to a cemetery in the neighboring town of Pearland. The last mile (about 1.6 kilometers) of the procession, his coffin is said to be transported in a horse-drawn carriage. According to consistent media reports, Floyd is then buried next to his mother’s grave on Tuesday.
US civil rights activist indirectly calls for Trump to be voted out of office at Floyd funeral service
9:45 pm: US civil rights activist William Lawson indirectly called for the elections of US President Donald Trump at the funeral service for George Floyd. The struggle to overcome racism must not end after George Floyd’s funeral, the retired pastor said Tuesday in the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston. “We can make sure that we don’t stop the fight.” With applause from the mourners, Lawson added, “Of course, the first thing we need to do is sweep out the White House.” He did not mention Trump’s name.
Looking at Floyd’s death and subsequent protests, Lawson said far beyond the United States: “His death has given rise to a movement, a worldwide movement. And this movement will not stop after two weeks, three weeks, one month. This movement will change the world. “
Five streets in New York will be called “Black Lives Matter” in the future
9.05 p.m .: After days of protests against racism and police brutality after the death of African American George Floyd, five streets in New York are to be named “Black Lives Matter” in the future. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that a major street in each of the five metropolitan areas of the metropolis – Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Bronx – should be renamed accordingly. In addition, the lettering should be painted on a street in every district, for example in Manhattan near the town hall.
Previously, the Mayor of the US capital Washington, Muriel Bowser, had arranged that the square in front of the White House should now be called “Black Lives Matter” square. In addition, she had “Black Lives Matter” painted in huge yellow letters on the street there – in German, for example: Black lives count. The protests were triggered by the death of African-American George Floyd in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis in late May.
“We’re Celebrating His Life”: Hundreds in Texas mourn George Floyd
8 p.m .: “We’re celebrating his life”: The funeral service for the funeral of the African American George Floyd, who was killed in a brutal police operation, began in Houston, Texas. 500 guests were invited to the ceremony in the “Fountain of Praise” church on Tuesday – relatives, friends, politicians and celebrities such as rapper Paul Wall and boxer Floyd Mayweather. Many of the guests appeared in white clothes.
“We celebrate his life,” said Pastor Remus Wright at the beginning of the service. Co-Pastor Mia Wright added: “We can cry, we can grieve, we will find comfort and we will find hope.” As was the case last week at a ceremony in Minneapolis, the funeral speech was to be given by the well-known pastor and civil rights activist Al Sharpton.
Already on Monday, more than 6,000 people said goodbye to Floyd. On Tuesday morning, policemen stood trellis and saluted when Floyd’s coffin was brought to church. The father of the family, who grew up in Houston and spent most of his life there, is buried alongside his mother, Larcenia, who died in 2018.
Floyd’s violent death two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police violence and racism. A white policeman had put his knee on the neck of the 46-year-old for almost nine minutes after he was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota, although Floyd repeatedly complained that he was unable to breathe. Floyd’s sentence “I can’t breathe” went around the world.
Police officer Derek Chauvin was released after the crime, arrested and accused of “second degree murder”. This can be punished with up to 40 years in prison in the United States. Three other police officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest are charged with the aid.
The Floyd case has given fresh impetus to US police reforms. Critics complain that police officers usually go unpunished if they use excessive force in operations. In the United States, blacks are often victims of police violence.
Could be “Antifa provocateur”: Donald Trump blames 75-year-old for police attacks in Buffalo
5:35 p.m .: The police attack on a 75-year-old protester in the US city of Buffalo caused outrage last week – now President Donald Trump has spoken of a possible “card game”. The protester Martin Gugino could be an “antifa provocateur”, Trump wrote on Tuesday in the short message service Twitter. “I looked at it, it fell harder than it was hit.”
Gugino also apparently “scanned police communications to turn off the equipment,” the president continued. Possibly it is a “card game”.
A video of the police attack on Gugino in Buffalo, New York, had caused outrage last week: two police officers had knocked down the 75-year-old in demonstrations against police violence after the death of African-American George Floyd. Gugino fell backwards on the floor and lay motionless and bleeding. He is still in the hospital.
The two police officers were suspended. New York governor Andrew Cuomo condemned her actions as “completely unjustified and extremely disgraceful”.
In his tweet, Trump referred to the right-wing broadcaster OANN on Tuesday, which repeatedly spreads conspiracy theories. OANN had reported that the Buffalo incident may have been a “provocation” by Antifa. Gugino tried to scan the police communication with his cell phone.
The video of the incident shows that the protester is holding a cell phone in his hand as he approaches the police. Scanner apps that can be used to eavesdrop on radio communications from police officers are legal and widespread in the United States.
Trump, who has repeatedly blamed Antifa for rioting on the fringes of police violence and racism, made his tweet in Houston a few hours before George Floyd’s funeral. Floyd had been killed in a brutal police operation in the city of Minneapolis two weeks ago. A white policeman pressed his knee on the African American’s neck for almost nine minutes, although Floyd repeatedly complained that he was unable to breathe.
Funeral in Texas: thousands commemorate Floyd
Tuesday, June 9th, 3.16pm: Before the funeral of African American George Floyd, who was killed in a brutal police operation, in Houston, more than 6,000 people said goodbye to the 46-year-old’s coffin on Monday. Many mourners knelt before the body of Floyd or said silent prayers. In Washington, the opposition Democrats in Congress thought Floyd would kneel. The White House immediately rejected a police reform proposed by the Democrats.
The coffin was kept in the Fountain of Praise church in Floyd’s hometown of Houston for six hours. Because of the corona pandemic, most of the funeral guests wore respirators.
The memory of Floyd “brings us closer together as a country,” said 41-year-old Kevin Sherrod, who had come to church with his wife and two sons. “Being here with my boys means a lot to me. This is an important point in history and they will always remember that they were part of it.”
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