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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Tapper: Some of Trump's allies think he's not up to the task

Police appear to target journalists as they cover George Floyd protests

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Dai...

George Floyd: Donald Trump under fire as violence flares across America | US news | The Guardian

Members of the US Secret Service hold a perimeter near the White House as demonstrators gather to protest the killing of George Floyd on Saturday in Washington DC.

"The chaos and crisis engulfing America came to the president’s doorstep on Saturday night, as protesters chanting “I can’t breathe” and “Fuck Donald Trump!” clashed with the Secret Service and police outside the White House.
It was a visceral warning that after three years of relative peace and prosperity, Trump is in danger of being overwhelmed by cascading disasters: the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken more than 100,000 lives, an economic slump that has cost 40m jobs, and rising social unrest.
“If there was ever a time we need leadership in the White House, it is now, to help heal our nation,” Democratic congresswoman Val Demings told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “But I don’t know why I would expect this president to do something that he has never done before and we have never seen before.”
The capital was no exception to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who was killed on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck.
People gathered outside the White House on Friday night and returned on Saturday, facing a barricade formed by the Secret Service, parks and city police and their vehicles. The executive mansion resembled a fortress.
Protesters knocked over steel barriers and threw fireworks and bottles. Officers used batons, riot shields and pepper spray. After hours of relative calm and a peaceful march through the city, the situation deteriorated around midnight, as demonstrators were driven back by tear gas.
Members of the US Secret Service hold a perimeter near the White House as demonstrators gather to protest the killing of George Floyd on Saturday in Washington DC. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Members of the US Secret Service hold a perimeter near the White House as demonstrators gather to protest the killing of George Floyd on Saturday in Washington DC. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Breaking into small groups, some set cars ablaze, smashed windows with bats and rocks and looted shops downtown. At the front of the Oval Room, a ritzy restaurant where guests have included former presidents George HW Bush and Bill Clinton, a protester sprayed red paint: “The rich aren’t safe anymore!”
From Atlanta to Chicago to Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, there were similar scenes as peaceful daytime protests were followed at night by fires and looting, police firing rubber bullets and tear gas. There was a demand for courageous moral leadership, to find a way out of the malaise by offering unifying grace notes.
But Trump, who forged his political identity in racist conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s birthplace, has proved unable to articulate the accumulated pain of black Americans over 400 years of slavery, segregation and police brutality, now exacerbated by a pandemic that has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of colour. Instead he has resorted to a series of tweets that critics found divisive, inflammatory and self-serving.
On Friday he branded the protesters “thugs” and warned: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”, a historically loaded phrase that Twitter hid behind a warning, accusing him of glorifying violence. On Saturday he claimed the Secret Service had been ready to deploy “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen” on crowds outside the White House.
He has also blamed the media, Democrats including Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis and an anti-fascist movement known as Antifa. On Sunday afternoon Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night. The Antifa-led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!”
Spray paint that reads ‘Do Black Vets Count?’ seen World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, on Sunday. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Spray paint that reads ‘Do Black Vets Count?’ seen World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, on Sunday. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP
He added: “The United States of America will be designating Antifa as a Terrorist Organization” – a tweet for which the legal basis was not immediately clear.
With an election less than six months away there are fears that Trump, who ran on the slogan “Make America great again”, is motivated more than ever by what plays to his support base, encouraging him to pour fuel on the fire of racial division with a law-and-order crackdown.
Robert Reich, a former labour secretary now a Guardian columnist, tweeted: “More than 100,000 Americans dead, the highest unemployment since the Depression, America in flames, the national guard deployed. Make America Great Again was a sick hoax.”
In such a dark hour, an American president might be expected to address the nation. Trump had no such plans on Sunday. David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, told CNN: “Well, that’s good, this president’s shouldn’t speak because what could he possibly say?
“He’s already spoken. He’s already conjured up the image of dogs attacking protesters, one of the most powerful anti-civil rights images this country has. That’s what’s on his mind. He’s identifying with the people who unleash dogs on protesters.”
Frum added: “Donald Trump’s authority is slowly draining away. He still has the power of the presidency but none of the moral authority.”
Trump has a long history of racially divisive rhetoric, including his response to deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when he drew moral equivalence between white nationalists and anti-fascist protesters. As on that occasion, few members of his own Republican party have spoken out to condemn him.
Democrats complained of a leadership vacuum. Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, told CNN’s State of the Union: “He should just stop talking. This is like Charlottesville all over again. He speaks, and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet. And I wish that he would just be quiet.
“Or if he can’t be silent, if there is somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a teleprompter and pray that he reads it and at least says the right things, because he is making it worse.”
Trump’s re-election hopes had already been damaged by impeachment and his handling of the pandemic. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump to 53% to 43% nationally.
Biden said in a statement: “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us.”

George Floyd: Donald Trump under fire as violence flares across America | US news | The Guardian

Video appears to show NYPD truck plowing through crowd

'There was no warning whatsoever': Police shoot tear gas toward protesters, MSNBC crew. This is a direct result of America being a racist nation and police, according to US Federal Courts have an average LQ of 104. Who would give someone with an IQ of 104 a gun?

'There was no warning whatsoever': Police shoot tear gas toward protesters, MSNBC crew

Opinion | Coronavirus, Racism and Injustice: No One Is Coming to Save Us - The New York Times

Eventually doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait for a cure for racism.
Contributing Opinion Writer.
Protesting the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Thursday.
Protesting the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Thursday."After Donald Trump maligned the developing world in 2018, with the dismissive phrase “shithole countries,
” I wrote that no one was coming to save us from the president. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, we see exactly what that means.
The economy is shattered. Unemployment continues to climb, steeply. There is no coherent federal leadership. The president mocks any attempts at modeling precautionary behaviors that might save American lives. More than 100,000 Americans have died from Covid-19.
Many of us have been in some form of self-isolation for more than two months. The less fortunate continue to risk their lives because they cannot afford to shelter from the virus. People who were already living on the margins are dealing with financial stresses that the government’s $1,200 “stimulus” payment cannot begin to relieve. A housing crisis is imminent. Many parts of the country are reopening prematurely. Protesters have stormed state capitals, demanding that businesses reopen. The country is starkly dividing between those who believe in science and those who don’t.
Quickly produced commercials assure us that we are all in this together. Carefully curated images, scored by treacly music, say nothing of substance. Companies spend a fortune on airtime to assure consumers that they care, while they refuse to pay their employees a living wage.
Commercials celebrate essential workers and medical professionals. Commercials show how corporations have adapted to “the way we live now,” with curbside pickup and drive-through service and contact-free delivery. We can spend our way to normalcy, and capitalism will hold us close, these ads would have us believe.
Some people are trying to provide the salvation the government will not. There are community-led initiatives for everything from grocery deliveries for the elderly and immunocompromised to sewing face masks for essential workers. There are online pleas for fund-raising. Buy from your independent bookstore. Get takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurant. Keep your favorite bookstore open. Buy gift cards. Pay the people who work for you, even if they can’t come to work. Do as much as you can, and then do more.
These are all lovely ideas and they demonstrate good intentions, but we can only do so much. The disparities that normally fracture our culture are becoming even more pronounced as we decide, collectively, what we choose to save — what deserves to be saved.
And even during a pandemic, racism is as pernicious as ever. Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting the black community, but we can hardly take the time to sit with that horror as we are reminded, every single day, that there is no context in which black lives matter.
Breonna Taylor was killed in her Louisville, Ky., home by police officers looking for a man who did not even live in her building. She was 26 years old. When demonstrations erupted, seven people were shot by police.
Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in South Georgia when he was chased down by two armed white men who suspected him of robbery and claimed they were trying perform a citizen’s arrest. One shot and killed Mr. Arbery while a third person videotaped the encounter. No charges were filed until the video was leaked and public outrage demanded action. Mr. Arbery was 25 years old.
In Minneapolis, George Floyd was held to the ground by a police officer kneeling on his neck during an arrest. He begged for the officer to stop torturing him. Like Eric Garner, he said he couldn’t breathe. Three other police officers watched and did not intervene. Mr. Floyd was 46 years old.
These black lives mattered. These black people were loved. Their losses to their friends, family, and communities, are incalculable.
Demonstrators in Minneapolis took to the street for several days, to protest the killing of Mr. Floyd. Mr. Trump — who in 2017 told police officers to be rough on people during arrests, imploring them to “please, don’t be too nice” — wrote in a tweet, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The official White House Twitter feed reposted the president’s comments. There is no rock bottom.
Christian Cooper, an avid birder, was in Central Park’s Ramble when he asked a white woman, Amy Cooper, to comply with the law and leash her dog. He began filming, which only enraged Ms. Cooper further. She pulled out her phone and said she was going to call the police to tell them an African-American man was threatening her.
She called the police. She knew what she was doing. She weaponized her whiteness and fragility like so many white women before her. She began to sound more and more hysterical, even though she had to have known she was potentially sentencing a black man to death for expecting her to follow rules she did not think applied to her. It is a stroke of luck that Mr. Cooper did not become another unbearable statistic.
An unfortunate percentage of my cultural criticism over the past 11 or 12 years has focused on the senseless loss of black life. Mike Brown. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Philando Castile. Tamir Rice. Jordan Davis. Atatiana Jefferson. The Charleston Nine.
These names are the worst kind of refrain, an inescapable burden. These names are hashtags, elegies, battle cries. Still nothing changes. Racism is litigated over and over again when another video depicting another atrocity comes to light. Black people share the truth of their lives, and white people treat those truths as intellectual exercises.
They put energy into being outraged about the name “Karen,” as shorthand for entitled white women rather than doing the difficult, self-reflective work of examining their own prejudices. They speculate about what murdered black people might have done that we don’t know about to beget their fates, as if alleged crimes are punishable by death without a trial by jury. They demand perfection as the price for black existence while harboring no such standards for anyone else.
Some white people act as if there are two sides to racism, as if racists are people we need to reason with. They fret over the destruction of property and want everyone to just get along. They struggle to understand why black people are rioting but offer no alternatives about what a people should do about a lifetime of rage, disempowerment and injustice.
When I warned in 2018 that no one was coming to save us, I wrote that I was tired of comfortable lies. I’m even more exhausted now. Like many black people, I am furious and fed up, but that doesn’t matter at all.
I write similar things about different black lives lost over and over and over. I tell myself I am done with this subject. Then something so horrific happens that I know I must say something, even though I know that the people who truly need to be moved are immovable. They don’t care about black lives. They don’t care about anyone’s lives. They won’t even wear masks to mitigate a virus for which there is no cure.
Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free."

Opinion | Coronavirus, Racism and Injustice: No One Is Coming to Save Us - The New York Times

The ‘Liberal World Order’ Was Built With Blood As the United States reckons with its decline, it should understand where its power came from in the first place.

The ‘Liberal World Order’ Was Built With Blood

As the United States reckons with its decline, it should understand where its power came from in the first place.

“If you read the commentary coming out of New York and Washington, or speak with elites in Western Europe, it’s easy to find people panicking about the loss of “American leadership.” From Joe Biden’s campaign pledges to trans-Atlantic think tanks, exhortations to revive American supremacy and contain China are everywhere.

They have reason to be worried: This moment is shaking the foundations of America’s hegemony. It is painfully clear that the United States is ill-equipped to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which does not play to American strengths (we can’t shoot it, after all). President Trump has for years been dismissing allies and antagonizing international institutions. And China is seemingly laying the groundwork for its arrival as a great power. American officials are now talking openly about a “new Cold War” to confront Beijing, and China now seems such a threat that Hal Brands of the American Enterprise Institute wonders whether the United States should get back in the business of covertly toppling unfriendly governments.

It’s unsurprising that establishment pundits, American policymakers and their allies would be alarmed about American decline. The United States and Western Europe have been the winners of the process that created this globalized world, the main beneficiaries of Washington’s triumph at the end of the Cold War. But a lot of people feel very differently.

In early April, I received a message from Winarso, a man I know in Indonesia who runs an organization that cares for the survivors of the mass murder that took place there in the 1960s. He was trying to raise money to buy rice so his community wouldn’t starve under lockdown. A dollar still goes a very long way in Indonesia, as Winarso knows too well. To explain America’s economic and political power, he points to the Cold War. It’s easy to see that Washington was truly victorious in the 20th century, he told me, because “we all got the U.S.-centered version of capitalism that Washington wanted to spread.” I asked him how America won. He answered quickly. “You killed us.”

I have spent the last three years with the losers of that great game, the individuals whose lives were shattered so this global order could be constructed. I spent most of my time interviewing the victims and survivors of a loose network of mass murder programs that targeted civilian opponents of Washington’s Cold War allies. I got to know people on four continents who lived through the coups and C.I.A. plots that Mr. Brands is talking about. To fully understand the nature of American power — and its future — their experiences are as important as those of anyone in a Paris boardroom or Washington think tank.

Associated Press

Winarso’s country is the most significant example. In 1965 and 1966, the American government assisted in the murder of approximately one million Indonesian civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the Cold War — Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country, and policymakers at the time understood it was a far more valuable prize than Vietnam. But it’s largely forgotten in the English-speaking world precisely because it was such a success. No American soldiers died; little attention was drawn to one more country pulled, seemingly naturally, into the United States’ orbit.

But the process was not natural. The U.S.-backed military used a failed uprising as a pretext to crush the Indonesian left, whose influence Washington had been seeking to counter for a decade, and then took control of the country. Recently declassified State Department documents make it clear that the United States aided and abetted the mass murder in Indonesia, providing material support, encouraging the killings and rewarding the perpetrators.

It was not the first time the United States had done something like this. In 1954, the American ambassador to Guatemala reportedly handed kill lists to that country’s military. And in Iraq, in 1963, the C.I.A. provided lists of suspected communists and leftists to the ruling Baath Party.

Indonesia in 1965 was the apex of anti-Communist violence in the 20th century. The slaughter obliterated the popular, unarmed Partai Komunis Indonesia, the largest Communist party outside of China and the Soviet Union, and toppled President Sukarno, a founding leader of the Nonaligned Movement and an outspoken anti-imperialist, replacing him with General Suharto, a right-wing dictator who quickly became one of Washington’s most important Cold War allies.

This was such an obvious victory for the global anti-Communist movement that far-right groups around the world began to draw inspiration from the “Jakarta” model and build copycat programs. They were assisted by American officials and anti-Communist organizations that moved across borders. In turn, leftist movements radicalized or took up arms, believing they would be killed if they attempted to pursue the path of democratic socialism.

In the early ’70s, right-wing terrorists in Chile painted “Jakarta” on the houses of socialists, threatening that they too would be killed. After the C.I.A.-backed coup in 1973, they were. Brazilian leftists were threatened with “Operação Jacarta,” too. By the end of the 1970s, most of South America was governed by authoritarian, pro-American governments that secured power by mass murder. By 1990, death squads in Central America pushed the Latin American death toll into the hundreds of thousands.

In North America and Europe, if people think about these terror campaigns at all, the narrative is too often that the United States made alliances with unsavory characters, who committed unfortunate abuses. That is wrong. The United States government was behind much of the violence, and it was far from inconsequential. Most nations in the former third world were set on their current path by conflicts that took place during the Cold War. The violence made possible a version of crony capitalism that comprises daily reality for billions of people, and it is an integral part of the version of globalization that the world ended up with.

Get For You, a personalized daily digest with more stories like this.

No reasonable person denies the great things the United States did in the 20th century, or that many countries enjoyed prosperity while in happy alliances with Washington. But as we move deeper into the 21st century, Americans are going to need to confront the darker side of American hegemony — because much of the rest of the world already has. Part of the reason the current order is so fragile is because so many people around the world know, indeed can physically feel in their bodies, that Washington used brutality to construct it.

We do not know yet what the world would look like were China to take up the position the United States is losing. There is no reason to believe that just because this world order has blood in its roots, something better will spring to life if it dies.

As Americans reckon with — and fret about — their country’s diminished position in the world, we need to understand that the United States is not, in fact, beloved as a beacon of freedom, democracy and human rights. From Argentina to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor to Iran, millions of people are skeptical of Washington’s intentions, even if they have no particular desire to emulate China’s government, either.

A failure to recognize reality, however, and a desperate attempt to claw back a deeply imperfect global order, could be very dangerous for everyone.”

Joe Biden: Trump's protest comments 'thoroughly irresponsible'

Don Lemon calls out Hollywood elite: Where are you during protests?

Protester calls out looters: There's something wrong with you

Saturday, May 30, 2020

George Floyd's brother says Trump didn't give him 'the opportunity to even speak' in conversation

What Happened in the Chaotic Moments Before George Floyd Died The episode began with a report of a $20 counterfeit bill. It ended in a fatal encounter with the police, which the authorities have described in detail for the first time.

What Happened in the Chaotic Moments Before George Floyd Died

The episode began with a report of a $20 counterfeit bill. It ended in a fatal encounter with the police, which the authorities have described in detail for the first time.

Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

MINNEAPOLIS — One was a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department who moonlighted as a security guard. The other provided security at a Salvation Army store, and spent some of his evenings at local clubs, working as a bouncer.

In the year before their fatal encounter, George Floyd, 46, and the officer now charged with his death, Derek Chauvin, 44, worked at the same Minneapolis Latin nightclub, both part of the team responsible for keeping rowdy customers under control.

Their paths crossed for the last time in the waning light of a Memorial Day evening, outside a corner store known as the best place in town to find menthol cigarettes. Within an hour, Mr. Floyd was dead, his last pleas and gasps captured in a horrifically graphic video.

In a move that has since prompted protests in cities across the country, Mr. Chauvin knelt down on Mr. Floyd behind a police vehicle outside the store. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to a criminal complaint filed on Friday by the Hennepin County District Attorney, the police officer pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck in silence, staring toward the ground as his captive gasped repeatedly that he could not breathe.

Bystanders waved their cellphones, cursed and pleaded for help, and still, for two minutes and 53 seconds after Mr. Floyd had stopped protesting and became unresponsive, the officer continued to kneel.

[Read the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin.]

The case has become part of a now-familiar history of police violence in recent years in which African-American men have died in encounters that were shockingly mundane in their origins — Eric Garner, who died after a 2014 arrest in New York for selling cigarettes without tax stamps; Michael Brown, who died in an encounter with the police the same year in Ferguson, Mo., after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.

Mr. Floyd’s case began with a report of a counterfeit $20 bill that a storekeeper said he tried to pass to buy cigarettes.

“He died for nothing — something about a fake bill — that was nothing,” said Jason Polk, 53, a city bus driver and one of a number of South Minneapolis residents who have expressed outrage over the case.

Gov. Tim Walz called the fatal arrest, and the nights of violent protests that have come after it, “one of our darkest chapters.”

“Thank God a young person had a camera to video it,” the governor said.

Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, via Associated Press

With Mr. Chauvin in custody and formally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors must now try to understand what happened in the chaotic moments before Mr. Floyd was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center and pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m.

Accounts from witnesses, cellphone and surveillance video and charging documents released on Friday tell much of the story of how the “forgery-in-progress” arrest unfolded.

Mr. Floyd had been a star football and basketball player in high school, moving to Minneapolis about five years ago. When he returned to Houston for his mother’s funeral two years ago, he told a cousin that Minneapolis had come to feel like home. “He was such a happy guy, he loved to be around people, loved to dance and he loved Minneapolis,” said Jovanni Thunstrom, who owned the Conga Latin Bistro where Mr. Floyd worked security on salsa nights. “He walked in every day with a smile on his face.”

It was another club, El Nuevo Rodeo, where both Mr. Floyd and Mr. Chauvin worked. Maya Santamaria, who sold the club in January, said she doubted that the two men interacted.

Mr. Floyd worked the occasional weeknight, she said, while Mr. Chauvin worked security on weekends over the past 17 years. Sometimes during the club’s boisterous “urban nights,” she said, when it draws a primarily African-American clientele, Mr. Chauvin was sometimes overly aggressive with customers, sometimes using pepper spray, she said.

“I did have words with him on various occasions, when I thought he was not reacting appropriately based on the situation at hand,” she said. “It was like, zero strikes and you’re out.”

Mr. Floyd’s younger brother, Rodney Floyd, 36, said he was the center of any room he walked into. “Always smiling, always somebody you could talk to and know that you would not be judged.”

The fatal encounter began just before 8 p.m., when Mr. Floyd entered Cup Foods, a community store run by four brothers, and a store clerk claimed that he had paid for cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. The police got a call from the store at 8:01 p.m.

“Um, someone comes our store and give us fake bills, and we realize it before he left the store,” the caller said, according to a transcript released by the authorities, “and we ran back outside, they was sitting on their car.”

The store clerk demanded the cigarettes back. “But he doesn’t want to do that, and he’s sitting on his car ‘cause he is awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself,” the clerk said, according to a transcript of the call to police. “He is not acting right.”

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The dispatcher pressed for a description, and the caller described the man as tall, bald, about 6 feet tall.

“Is he white, black, Native, Hispanic, Asian?”

“Something like that,” the caller replied.

“Which one? White, black, Native, Hispanic, Asian?”

“No, he’s a black guy,” the caller said.

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Not long after, Angel Stately, a regular customer and former employee, arrived at the store looking for menthol cigarettes. The police were already outside. Ms. Stately said the clerk, a teenager, was feeling bad; he had called the police, he told her, only because it was protocol.

The clerk held up a folded bill and showed it to her. The bill was an obvious fake, she said. “The ink was still running,” she said.

Ms. Stately said she saw an officer approach Mr. Floyd, with his hand at his gun at his hip.

The charging documents say that officers found Mr. Floyd in a parked blue car with two passengers. Soon, additional police units arrived and the officers tried to get Mr. Floyd into a police vehicle. But he struggled.

“Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers, intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still,” according to the charging document.

Even before he was placed on the ground under Mr. Chauvin’s knee, according to the prosecutors’ account, while standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying repeatedly that he could not breathe.

Mr. Chauvin tried to place him in the police car with Officer J.A. Kueng’s help.

At 8:19, Mr. Chauvin pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car. Mr. Floyd hit the ground, face down, handcuffs still on. Mr. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back while Officer Thomas Lane held his legs.

Mr. Chauvin lodged his left knee in “the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck,” the documents said, and Mr. Floyd continued to protest: “I can’t breathe,” he said repeatedly.


Video Shows George Floyd Telling Police He Can’t Breathe

A bystander’s video in Minneapolis shows a police officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck during an arrest. He died a “short time” later, the police said.

Arrested man: [moaning] “What you trying to say?” Police officer: “Relax.” Arrested man: “Man, I can’t breathe — my face —” [inaudible] Police officer: “What do you want?” Arrested man: “I can’t breathe!” Bystander 1: “How long you all got to hold him down?” Unidentified speaker: “Don’t do drugs, kids —” Bystander 2: “This ain’t about drugs, bro.” [inaudible conversation] Bystander 2: “He is human, bro.” Bystander 1: “His nose —” Bystander 2: “ — right now bro, you know it’s broken. You can’t even look at me like a man because you a bum, bro. He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro.” Bystander 1: “His nose is bleeding.” Bystander 3: He’s passed out!” Bystander 2: “You [expletive] stopping his breathing, right now, bro. You think that’s cool? You think that’s cool? What is that? What do you think that is? You say — you call what he’s doing, OK?” Police officer: “Get back!” Bystander 2: “You’re calling what he’s doing OK. You call what he’s doing OK, bro?” Police officer: “Only firefighters —” Bystander 4: “Yes, I am from Minneapolis.” Bystander 2: “Bro, you, you, you call — you think that’s OK? Check his pulse!” Bystander 4: “The fact that you guys aren’t checking his pulse, and doing compressions if he needs them, you guys are on —” Bystander 1: “Oh my God!” [inaudible] Bystander 4: “OK, yeah, and I have your name tag.” Bystander 5: “Freedom of speech.” [shouting] Bystander 2: “Don’t touch me!”

Video player loading
A bystander’s video in Minneapolis shows a police officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck during an arrest. He died a “short time” later, the police said.Storyful

He called for his mother. He said, “Please.”

One of the officers dismissed his pleas.

“You are talking fine,” one officer said, according to the charging documents.

At least one officer was worried: Mr. Lane asked if the officers should roll Mr. Floyd over on his side.

“No, staying put where we got him,” Mr. Chauvin replied.

“I am worried about excited delirium or whatever,” Mr. Lane said.

“That’s why we have him on his stomach,” Mr. Chauvin responded.

At 8:24 p.m., Mr. Floyd stopped moving.

Mr. Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse. “I couldn’t find one,” he said.

Still, none of the officers moved.

At 8:27 p.m., eight minutes and 46 seconds after he had lowered himself onto Mr. Floyd’s neck, Mr. Chauvin finally released his knee.

The medical examiner’s office listed the time of death as 9:25 p.m.

Matt Furber reported from Minneapolis, Audra D.S. Burch from Hollywood, Fla., and Frances Robles from Key West, Fla. Manny Fernandez contributed reporting from Houston. Susan Beachy contributed research.“

Minneapolis officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death, but protests continue around U.S.

Minneapolis officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death, but protests continue around U.S.

Opinion | Black Journalists Are Exhausted - The New York Times

A protest rally on Tuesday in Minneapolis after George Floyd died in police custody.

"But we keep on keeping on.

Ms. Peck is a journalist.

Two weeks ago, when I first pitched this essay about the unique stressors that many black journalists experience while covering the coronavirus pandemic, I pointed to the glaring racial disparities in deaths, the over-policing of black New Yorkers and Chicagoans, and the killings of Breonna Taylor, Douglas C. Lewis and Ahmaud Arbery.

But since then, the list has grown longer with each passing day, sometimes by the hour. It’s hard to keep up.

Kaleemah Rozier, a 22-year-old, was wrestled down by six New York police officers in front of her 5-year-old son in a subway station and arrested for not properly wearing a mask. Two white men told Chris Brown, 51, that he should leave Vermont because they didn’t want “any of [his] kind” there.

Skhylur Davis, 11, was assaulted by a white woman who falsely accused her of stealing her mail. Christian Cooper, 57, was reported to the police by Amy Cooper (no relation), a white woman who falsely claimed that “an African-American man” was threatening her. Gaynor Hall, 37, a television reporter in Chicago, was grabbed and sexually harassed by a white man as she was live on the air. And George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, died after a white police officer pushed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes.

Two weeks.

All the while, the racial disparity among coronavirus cases reportedly deepened in several states, including Maine, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, as an eviction crises looms in black neighborhoods in Baltimore and Philadelphia. And the obstacle course black business owners have to navigate to get federal aid — compounded with climbing unemployment rates — foreshadows an economic depression in black communities.

As we’ve heard again and again, these are extraordinary times. However, it’s an especially peculiar time to be a black journalist. The pandemic has laid bare many of the same racial inequities that generations of black journalists have been covering since 1827 when the Freedom’s Journal birthed the black press. While this pandemic is unique, the waves of trauma crashing down on my community are not.

That’s why earlier last month I launched a newsletter focused on the disease and pandemic as they relate to black people worldwide. I’ve spent countless hours researching, consuming and curating news. Covering these familiar incidents of black suffering during such a time is uncanny.

I feel caught between two separate realities that are simultaneously separating and folding in on themselves. The old normal and the new normal; our society has changed drastically, while also not changing at all. I am pulled taut, straddling a time when the black community could safely gather to celebrate, praise, commiserate, mourn, protest and uplift, or simply even just be, and I am pressed thin, experiencing déjà vu as time repeats itself like a broken record.

Almost a decade has passed since the murder of Trayvon Martin, launching a wave of reporting on police and vigilante killings and never-ending hashtags that I helped to cover first as a graduate student in journalism and later as a reporter.

I photographed and filmed the marches and protests. I called police stations for reports. I read the statements released by families and attorneys and watched news conferences. I considered the photographs of faces that looked like my mother and father and sisters and cousins and uncles and aunts and friends and Brooklyn neighbors. I watched videos of black people screaming about losing their breath, pleading for mercy or sometimes just silence before a stream of “pop, pop, pop.”

An Essential, Not Expendable demonstration during the coronavirus pandemic in April in Washington, D.C.Credit...Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This is a strange, maddening loop, out of which a new paradox has emerged: The pandemic and its subsequent crises have demonstrated the essential work of black journalists who cover racial inequities, while the crises have further eroded an already fractured media landscape rife with longstanding racial disparities.

The diversity reports that a few historically white publications release each year show that black writers, data journalists, editors, designers, illustrators, photographers, and audience and social media strategists are wildly outnumbered by their white peers. So we often become the go-to person when our colleagues need “sensitivity checks,” an invisible labor that typically goes unpaid, even though outside consultants charge exorbitant fees for it.

We are celebrated for our contributions during heritage months and given leadership positions in employee resource groups. But we are still glaringly underrepresented in management roles. All of this in a workplace where microaggressions, biases and discrimination occur as often in conference rooms, in Slack groups and even during happy hours as on sidewalks patrolled by police officers and in hospitals where black patients exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms are sent home.

These are some of the reasons I left staff writing jobs to freelance. On top of the anxiety and exhaustion of freelancing in a shrinking industry, for those of us who focus on black communities, every pitch is a precarious shooting of one’s shot if the gatekeeper is a white editor unfamiliar with your work. We wonder if rejections are about the story idea or the fact that it focused on a black person or issue specific to black people. Or both?

You may ask, “What about black publications?” So many of the inspiring magazines that I grew up with — Jet, Ebony, Vibe, Emerge — have either drastically downsized, been overhauled by new owners or simply folded. The ones that remain — including Essence, Black Enterprise and the newer outlets like Zora, The Root and Blavity — have produced stellar stories about the coronavirus pandemic that fill gaps their competitors overlook. But even so, I know that nonstop reporting of black suffering can still take a toll on one’s mental and emotional health.

To anchor myself during this pandemic (and while writing this essay), I speak to fellow journalists on similar beats. I also take breaks. Despite wanting to publish my newsletter on a regular basis out of fear of losing subscribers or being considered uncommitted, I recently took a weeklong hiatus: Caring for myself would only strengthen my work and passion for the long term.

The work must continue, but at a humane pace backed by institutional and industry support. Investment in black journalists is critical, not only through equitable compensation for our contributions, but also in addressing burnout, layoffs and mental wellness, particularly among those of us who keep on keeping on."

Opinion | Black Journalists Are Exhausted - The New York Times