George Floyd death: co-accused released after fundraiser

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 civil rights activist William Lawson indirectly calling for Trump to be voted out
  • Los Angeles police prohibit stranglehold

Thanks to the fundraising campaign: the accused are once again at large

7.41 a.m .: Thomas Lane, one of the four police officers who attended George Floyd’s arrest, has been released from prison, the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reports. Since he and his other two colleagues were not actively involved in the death, they were charged with manslaughter only and their bail was lower than that of the main perpetrator Derek Chauvin.

Lane was released on payment of this $ 750,000 deposit. The money was raised on a fundraising website. This was launched by previously unknown initiators, since Lane “did everything he could” to save Floyd’s life and the bail would therefore be “inappropriately high”. The total amount of money raised is not known. The site is now offline.

On June 29, Thomas Lane will still have to answer to court. The four police officers could even be convicted of murder rather than accidental death due to a peculiarity of Minnesota state law.

The background is the so-called “Felony Murder Theory”, the “murder crime”. Paul Butler, law professor at the University of Law in Georgetown, told the Washington Post when these circumstances apply: “Suppose a man threatens someone else with a gun and says ‘give me your valuables’ and the man dies of terror a heart attack – then the court can interpret this as murder ”.

In George Floyd’s specific case, these circumstances could also exist. The prosecution must prove that Derek Chauvin committed a crime, serious physical injury, by kneeling on the victim’s neck, although the victim said on several occasions that he could no longer breathe. Since George Floyd died in the course of this crime, a conviction for murder could also be legal according to the “Felony Murder Theory”.

Netflix introduces its own “Black Lives Matter” section

12.41 p.m .: In the United States, unrest rages after the violent death of African American George Floyd in police custody – protesters protest police violence and call for an end to racism. In the wake of this movement, the streaming giant Neflix, based in Los Gatos, California, sided with the protesters and introduced a special section on their steaming offer called “Black Lives Matter”. This collection of selected films, series and documentaries deals with “racial injustice and the experiences of blacks in America”.

All works are “carefully selected” – these include, for example, newer productions such as the three-time Oscar winner “Moonlight”, “I Am Not Your Negro”, “Next stop: Fruitvale Station” or the Beyoncé documentary “Homecoming” as well as classics such as “Malcolm X”.

“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter’, we also mean ‘Black Storytelling matters’. Aware that our commitment to real, systemic change will take time, let’s start by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the experience of black people, ”Netflix writes on Twitter.

CrossFit founder Glassman resigns after statements about George Floyd’s death

12.41 p.m .: After a much criticized tweet about the death of African American George Floyd, the founder and chief of the fitness company CrossFit, Greg Glassman, has resigned. He caused a “rift in the CrossFit community” with his remark, Glassman said on Tuesday evening (local time). Without wanting to, he “hurt” many of their members. He is stepping down as head of CrossFit.

Glassman responded to a health research institute’s statement in a message on the Twitter online platform on Saturday that racism and discrimination were also a problem for public health in the United States. “It’s Floyd-19,” wrote the sports entrepreneur – a nod to Covid-19, a lung disease caused by the novel corona virus.

Earlier in a video conference with fitness club owners, Glassman said on the BuzzFeed News website: “We don’t mourn George Floyd – I think neither I nor any of my employees do it.”

With the tweet and the comments, Glassman attracted harsh criticism. The sporting goods manufacturer Reebok announced that it would stop working with CrossFit. More than a thousand fitness studios cooperating with CrossFit are said to have already cut the connections.

Glassman is the inventor of the CrossFit training method, a kind of modern version of classic circuit training. He has found numerous followers worldwide. According to the company, the training is offered in more than 13,000 fitness studios working with CrossFit worldwide. CrossFit has annual sales of approximately $ 4 billion.

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 the past few 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 to date 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 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 recently spoken out in favor of such a ban.

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 removed from the program 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 fringes 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.

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