Tag Archives: Minnesota

George Floyd’s Death: Prosecutors demand tough punishment for killer cops. [United States]

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Prosecutors are seeking stiffer-than-usual sentences for four former US police officers charged over the killing of George Floyd, arguing that they showed “particular cruelty” to the handcuffed African American.

The 46-year-old resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota died in May after being pinned to the pavement under the knee of white officer Derek Chauvin as Floyd gasped that he could not breathe.

The case is proceeding amid renewed fury over police violence against African Americans, galvanized by the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin this week.

Court papers filed Friday in the Floyd case indicate that the Minnesota attorney general’s office will argue there were a number of aggravating factors.

These include evidence that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as bystanders, including multiple children, pleaded for his life and then watched him die.

“George Floyd, the victim, was particularly vulnerable because officers had already handcuffed him behind his back and then placed him chest down on the pavement, and Mr. Floyd clearly and repeatedly told the officers he could not breathe,” the court documents state.

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Chauvin inflicted “particular cruelty,” as well as “gratuitous pain” as he abused his position of authority, prosecutors allege.

“Despite Mr. Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe and was going to die, as well as the pleas of eyewitnesses to get off Mr. Floyd and help him, (the) defendant and his co-defendants continued to restrain Mr. Floyd,” the papers say.

A man screams with emotion as he sees a policeman take a knee while hundreds protest the death of George Floyd next to the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

Three or more suspects “actively participated” in the killing, prosecutors noted, saying this would justify longer sentences.

Groundswell of outrage
The charges against Chauvin include unintentional second-degree murder, while three ex-colleagues — J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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The shockingly public nature of Floyd’s death — which bystanders filmed and then posted on social media — sparked an enormous mobilization nationwide, as protesters took to the streets to denounce racism and police brutality.

The groundswell of outrage reached beyond American borders, prompting huge demonstrations around the world against the mistreatment of ethnic minorities and the rewriting of colonial history.

The face of Floyd, a father-of-three whose last job was as a security guard, has become a symbol brandished in anti-racist marches everywhere.

He was remembered at a massive demonstration in Washington on Friday that highlighted the case of 29-year-old Blake, who was gravely wounded when a policeman fired multiple shots at him as he tried to get into his car on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

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Conviction in Minnesota for second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder usually carries sentences of up to 12 and a half years.

The court documents did not say how much extra time prosecutors will request if the men are convicted, but the maximum for second-degree murder is 40 years in prison.

A defense attorney for ex-officer Kueng sought a dismissal Thursday, attributing the death to health problems and fentanyl in Floyd’s system.

Attorney Thomas Plunkett will file evidence that Floyd swallowed drugs during a May 6, 2019, arrest for selling drugs and was convicted of a 2007 armed drug robbery in Texas.


#Newsworthy…

Storyline: Jacob Blake Shot Seven Times In United States

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Jacob Blake is shackled to his hospital bed even though he is paralyzed after US police shot him repeatedly in the back, his father said Friday.

“Why do they have that cold steel on my son’s ankle?” Blake Sr., who visited his son in the hospital Wednesday, said in an interview on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media).

“He can’t get up, he couldn’t get up if he wanted to.”

African American Blake, 29, was shot over the weekend by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin and has no movement from the waist down.

The latest shooting of a black man by a white officer has triggered a new national uproar over police violence against people of color in America.

Demonstrators march through the city during a protest in New York, August 24, 2020 against the shooting of Jacob Blake who shot in the back multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, prompting community protests. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

“This is an insult to injury,” said Justin Blake, an uncle of the younger Blake. “He is paralyzed and can’t walk and they have him cuffed to the bed. Why?”

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Blake Sr. said his son told him he can feel pain in his legs but that he himself is not sure if the pain is actually coming from his legs.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said he was baffled as to why Blake is tied to his bed.

“I would have no personal understanding why that would be necessary,” Evers told reporters Thursday.

“I would hope that we would be able to find a more, a better way to help him … in recovering. That seems counterintuitive. It seems to be bad medicine.”


#Newsworthy…

Jacob Blake: Riot full Minneapolis after black man’s assault. #BLM

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The US continues to grapple with racial injustice as protests continue in several cities in the wake of shootings.


Relative calm returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin, overnight Wednesday into Thursday after two people were shot dead during protests the night before, while unrest in Minneapolis prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency, as the United States continues to grapple with racial injustice.

Kenosha authorities had on Wednesday identified the officer who fired seven shots at the back of Jacob Blake, paralysing the Black man, and sparking anti-racism protests.

After three nights of civil strife – including arson, vandalism and the shootings that killed two people on Tuesday night – calm appeared to take hold in Kenosha.

Violent protests had erupted on Wednesday night in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis, 598km (372 miles) northwest of Kenosha, following the death of a Black homicide suspect who, police say, shot himself.

The governor of Minnesota declared a state of peacetime emergency.

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The city has been the centre of protests following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who died in May after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd’s death and further violence against Black people have led to broader anti-racism protests and demonstrations against police brutality in cities across the US.

Protesters march in Minneapolis during a demonstration against police brutality and racism on August 24, after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his children nearby [File: Kerem Yucel/AFP]

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew following what he described as mass looting of businesses, destruction of property and unrest. Authorities also said misinformation was spread concerning the death of the suspect.

A video posted on social media, which could not be verified immediately by Reuters news agency, showed shots being fired and ransacking of shops.

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Minneapolis police posted a surveillance video of the shooting on Twitter, saying that the victim, a suspect in a homicide, committed suicide and that no weapons were fired by police.

The video shows a Black man shooting himself at the entrance of a building as a nearby group of people ran away and police approached the scene.

Other unverified videos posted on social media appeared to show police shooting demonstrators with less-lethal munitions as they moved away from authorities.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and said the National Guard would be deployed in the area.

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“Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order,” Walz said in a statement.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul had on Wednesday identified Rusten Sheskey as the white police officer who shot Blake after the latter opened his car door on Sunday. Blake’s three young sons were in the car. Kaul also said investigators found a knife on the floor of Blake’s car.

Rifle-toting civilians had come to Kenosha during the protest, among them 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was arrested on Wednesday on homicide charges in connection with Tuesday night’s shootings. Rittenhouse, a police supporter, was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, about 30km (20 miles) away.

Anti-racism protests have become a polarising issue ahead of the November 3 presidential election, which Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans described as a choice between “law and order” and lawlessness at their national convention on Wednesday.

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“The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence told the crowd seated on a lawn at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore in reference to the Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump.

Teenager charged over killings at Kenosha protest
Police in Portland, Oregon, had on Wednesday declared a demonstration near a US immigration agency building as an “unlawful gathering”, ordering the crowds to disperse. Police said they made 11 arrests in the city which has been the scene of weeks of anti-racism protests and unrest.

Violent protests also erupted in Oakland, California, resulting in the arrests of several people after multiple fires were set during the demonstrations, according to police.

Oakland police said on Twitter a fire was started at the Alameda Superior Court by people who protested in solidarity with Wisconsin demonstrators on Wednesday.

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) postponed three play-off games scheduled for Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks, protesting against racial injustice, boycotted Game 5 of their play-off series against the Orlando Magic.

NBA players and officials were to meet on Thursday to decide whether the boycott would continue.

Tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of the semi-finals of a tennis tournament in Ohio on Wednesday in protest against the shooting of Blake.

Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father and has been a vocal supporter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, said in a social media post: “Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman.”


#Newsworthy…