The death of African-American George Floyd by police officers shakes the United States: there are repeated riots in numerous cities. US President Trump is again making 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
Trump postpones rally after allegations of racism
Saturday, June 13, 12.05 p.m .: After massive criticism, US President Donald Trump postpones his first campaign event in more than three months. The rally in Tulsa (Oklahoma) will now take place next Saturday instead of as planned the day before, Trump said on Twitter. The timing and location of Trump’s rally had come under fire against the backdrop of protests against racism and police violence in the United States after the death of African American George Floyd.
Next Friday (June 19), “Juneteenth” will be celebrated in the United States to commemorate the end of slavery. Tulsa was also the scene of a massacre by a white mob against the black population in 1921. Historians consider this the worst clash between whites and blacks in the United States after the end of the civil war. Hundreds of people were killed.
There had been much criticism of the choice of the date and location for the rally. For example, Democratic Senator Kamala Harris accused Republican Trump of encouraging right-wing radicals. Trump said Saturday night that “many of my African American friends and supporters” had suggested changing the date out of respect for “” Juneteenth. With the postponement he will do that.
Trump wrote that more than 200,000 supporters had already applied for tickets to the event in Tulsa. “I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!” Trump had rejected allegations in a Friday aired interview that he had deliberately chosen the date. The president – who is running for a second term in the November election – told Fox News: “” My rally is a celebration. “
Up to 15 years imprisonment: New York bans stranglehold in police operations
7:33 p.m .: After weeks of protests against police brutality, New York state governor Andrew Cuomo signed a first legislative package of reforms on Friday. Among other things, it provides maximum prison terms of up to 15 years for police officers who are injured or killed by a stranglehold. In addition, the files on misconduct and disciplinary proceedings by police officers should be easier to view in the future.
In the United States, approximately 1,000 people die in police operations each year. According to an analysis by Bowling Green State University in Ohio, between 2005 and 2018, only 97 police officers were arrested for murder or homicide, and only 35 convicted. There have been discussions about police violence in the United States for years because it disproportionately affects black people.
In numerous cities in the United States, including the state and the metropolis of New York, hundreds of thousands of people in the past few days have largely peacefully demonstrated for an end to racism and for justice for the African American George Floyd, who was killed in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis.
“This is not a game”: Trump threatens to interfere with protests
6.02pm: US President Donald Trump has threatened to intervene in the Seattle city protests following the death of George Floyd. On Twitter, the Republican President exchanged blows with Mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Trump again urged the two Democrats to regain control in Seattle on Thursday. “Get your city back NOW. If you don’t, I’ll do it. It’s not a game.”
The president demanded that “ugly anarchists” be stopped immediately. Trump previously wrote that “domestic terrorists” had taken control of Seattle’s west coast. Governor Inslee then wrote, “A man who cannot govern at all should stay clear of Washington State affairs.” Durkan replied to Trump’s tweet: “Get us all safe. Go back to your bunker.”
The mayor was referring to the fact that Trump was temporarily in the White House bunker during angry protests in the capital Washington at the end of May. Trump had rejected the statement that he was there for security reasons.
After days of protest and clashes with the police, demonstrators set up an “Autonomous Zone” near the Capitol in Seattle. Police left a guard in the area on Monday, according to US media reports. In the “Autonomous Zone”, the police have no access, there is free food and documentaries are shown in the evening, the Washington Post reported.
The “New York Times” spoke of an experiment that was partly a street festival, partly a commune. Hundreds would have gathered to hear speeches, poems and music. As in many other cities, the protests were triggered by the death of African-American Floyd in a brutal police operation on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Because of “Black Lives Matter” tweet: Scientists demand suspension of a German professor
3:28 pm: The German economics professor Harald Uhlig has caused great displeasure in the scientific scene with a tweet about the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The outrage goes so far that some researchers are calling for his dismissal as editor of the renowned “Journal of Political Economy” (JPE). The scientist had raised concerns that the “Black Lives Matter” movement harmed itself by demanding that the police be deprived of funds.
Uhlig’s critics, including Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, accuse the economics professor of marginalizing the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Specifically, Krugman wrote on Twitter: “And another privileged white man who apparently cannot control his urge to minimize the worries of the less fortunate.” He also indicated that Uhlig was not at the top of the JPE, possibly even a minority Impede progress. In addition to Krugman, other scientists are also promoting Uhlig’s suspension as editor of the JPE. The economist Maximilian Auffhammer, who does research at the University of Berkeley, published a list of signatures with Justin Wolfers, professor at the University of Michigan, that aims to do just that.
But not only his current tweet could be doom for Uhlig. In 2017, the economics professor accused journalists who spoke out against football violence for the kneeling of football players to have to defend them even if the players “wore a Ku Klux Klan cowl and waved the southern states flag”. In the meantime, Uhlig has apologized for his choice of words.
Groups call for UN Human Rights Council special session on US unrest
12.16 p.m .: Hundreds of organizations are calling for a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to shed light on police violence and what happened in the United States after George Floyd’s violent death. A corresponding letter has been received, the spokesman for the Council confirmed on Friday in Geneva. However, such meetings must be requested by at least a third of the 47 member countries.
No request had been received by Friday, the spokesman said. The UN Human Rights Council continues its spring meeting that broke off in March due to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday (June 15). Racism will be on the agenda from Tuesday. An emergency debate could still take place in the coming week, a special session would have to be convened outside of the regular council meetings, i.e. at the earliest in the week from June 22.
At a virtual preparatory meeting on Monday at the request of South Africa in solidarity with the organizers of the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the United States, the member countries had taken a minute’s silence, the spokesman said.
In the letter, more than 600 signatories express concern about a “severe human rights crisis” in the United States. The police violated and suppressed protests violated its obligations under international law. The organizations, organized by the ACLU civil rights movement, require an independent investigation. “It is time for the United States to face the same scrutiny and assessment that it is quick to give to other countries,” said Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU Human Rights Program.
After George Floyd’s death: Trump’s dispute with his governors escalates
11.48 a.m .: After the death of George Floyd, US President Donald Trump wants to strengthen the police authorities. During a visit to Dallas, Texas, Trump made it clear on Thursday that police funding would not be cut under his government. “We have to dominate the streets,” he said. Trump added that this must be done with “compassion”. In view of ongoing protests in the city of Seattle, he advocated a tough line. However, he promptly encountered resistance.
Demonstrators have set up an “autonomous zone” in the city in the northwest. Trump wrote on Twitter to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t, I’ll do it. It’s not a game. ”The president asked the two Democrats to stop“ ugly anarchists ”immediately. He later threatened, “If you don’t fix the situation, we’ll fix it.”
The governor wrote to Trump: “A man who can’t govern at all should stay out of Washington State affairs.” Durkan said, “Get us all safe. Go back to your bunker. ”She was referring to the fact that Trump was temporarily taken to the White House bunker during angry protests in the capital Washington at the end of May.
Thanks to the fundraising campaign: the accused are once again at large
Friday, June 12, 7:41 a.m .: Thomas Lane, one of the four police officers who attended George Floyd’s arrest, has been released from prison, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. Since he and his other two colleagues were not actively involved in the death, they were charged with manslaughter aid 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”.
After George Floyd’s death: 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 assessment 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 temporary 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 after 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 remain 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 will be carried out.
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 knuckled his neck for several minutes and ignored Floyd’s requests that he be unable to breathe.
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