Trump declares war on America

Photo by munshots on Unsplash

“OPEN YOUR EYES, AMERICA.”

— CNN host Don Lemon, reacting to Trump’s speech last night in which he vowed to send military troops to quell protests sparked by the death of George Floyd

Don Lemon reacts to Trump’s speech.
  • Senator Cory Booker released the framework of a plan he’s drafting that would hold police accountable in federal court for misconduct, create a national police misconduct database, and improve training practices.
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights released a letter urging congressional leaders to take “swift and decisive legislative action” in the wake of Floyd’s death. The letter, which is co-signed by a number of other organizations including the Center for American Progress, lays out a number of specific policy changes intended to “ensure that police officers live up to their oath to protect and serve.”
  • Senator Brian Schatz said that he planned to introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act — the must-pass military funding bill — to eliminate a federal program through which surplus military-grade equipment is shipped to local police departments for their use.
  • The Center for American Progress released this proposal to expand the authority of state attorneys general to combat police misconduct prior to George Floyd’s death, but it’s worth revisiting as states look for ways to address police brutality.
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced a resolution Friday that condemns “police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force” and calls for stronger federal oversight of police misconduct, the implementation of all-civilian police review boards, and adoption of policies that reduce the disparate impact of police brutality on marginalized communities.
  • Senate Democrats announced today that they will introduce a resolution opposing Trump’s actions last night. The resolution condemns Trump “for ordering Federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting in Lafayette Square…thereby violating the constitutional rights of those peaceful protestors.”
  • After his speech last night, Trump made an unannounced visit to St. John’s Church in Washington for a photo op, where he stood outside, held up a Bible for the cameras, and left. We later learned that a directive to clear the streets for this church visit was the reason the military police took such aggressive and violent action against protesters just moments before. Faith leaders were incensed: “This was a charade,” said Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
  • National Guard troops reportedly used physical force to remove religious leaders from the church ahead of Trump’s visit while they were distributing hand sanitizer and snacks to protesters.
  • Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights has filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department, Governor Tim Walz told reporters this afternoon. The Governor also announced that they’d be launching an investigation of the MPD’s “policies, procedures, and practices” over the last decade to determine if they had engaged in “systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color.”
  • Rahul Dubey opened his Washington, D.C. home last night to 60+ protesters who were cornered and pepper-sprayed by police after the city’s curfew went into effect. Of the strangers he sheltered overnight, Dubey told WJLA he hopes his 13-year-old son “grows up to be just as amazing as they are.”

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