Protests, looting erupt in Minneapolis over racially charged killing by police

UNTV News   •   May 28, 2020   •   179

Protesters clashed with riot police firing tear gas for a second night in Minneapolis on Wednesday (May 27) in an outpouring of rage over the death of a black man seen in a widely circulated video growing limp and lifeless as a white officer knelt on his neck.

The video, taken by an onlooker to Monday (May 25) night’s fatal encounter between police and George Floyd, 46, showed him lying face down and handcuffed, gasping for air and groaning for help, repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

The second day of demonstrations, accompanied by looting, began hours after Mayor Jacob Frey urged prosecutors to file criminal charges against the white policeman shown pinning Floyd to the street.

The policeman and three fellow officers who participated in Floyd’s apprehension were dismissed from the police department on Tuesday as the FBI opened an investigation into the incident.

Hundreds of protesters, many with faces covered, thronged streets around the Third Precinct police station late on Wednesday, about half a mile from where Floyd had been arrested, chanting, “No justice, no peace.”

The crowd grew to thousands as night fell and the protest turned into a standoff outside the station, where police in riot gear formed barricade lines while protesters taunted them from behind makeshift barricades of their own.

Police, some taking positions on rooftops, used tear gas, plastic bullets and concussion grenades to keep the crowds at bay, while protesters pelted police with rocks, water bottles and other projectiles. Some threw tear gas canisters back at the officers. (Reuters)

(Production: Bob Mezan)

U.S. House of Representatives passes Democratic police reform bill

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a controversial Democratic police reform bill on Thursday (June 25), sending the measure to the Senate despite opposition from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 236-181 roughly along party lines to adopt the legislation, one month to the day after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody sparked weeks of worldwide protests over police brutality, especially against African-Americans.

But the Democratic bill, which mandates concrete changes in law and policy to rein in police misconduct, is unlikely to be passed in its current form in the Republican-led Senate, where Democrats blocked a Republican reform measure on Wednesday. (Reuters)

(Production: Vanessa Johnston)

White House proposals on police reform being finalized, reduced immunity off table

UNTV News   •   June 11, 2020

The White House said on Wednesday (June 10) it is putting the finishing touches on proposals to reform the police in the wake of George Floyd’s killing while in police custody, adding that reducing immunity for cops is a “non-starter.”

Speaking at a White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said administration plans to address protester concerns about police brutality are reaching “final edits,” and said the proposals could be made public in the “coming days.”

Also on Wednesday, President Donald Trump rejected any proposal to rename U.S. military bases that are named for Confederate leaders from the 1860s Civil War, dismissing appeals made in the wake of Floyd’s death.

McEnany said renaming the bases was “an absolute non-starter for the president.” (Reuters)

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

George Floyd’s brother asks U.S. Congress to ‘stop the pain’ of police killings

UNTV News   •   June 11, 2020

A brother of George Floyd, whose killing in Minneapolis sparked protests around the world, asked the U.S. Congress on Wednesday (June 10) to stop the pain of black people caused by police violence.

“I’m here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain,” a tearful Philonise Floyd, 42, said in testimony before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. “George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family and the calls ringing on the streets of all the world.”

George Floyd’s death on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes was the latest in a string of killings of African-American men and women by police that have sparked anger on America’s streets and fresh calls for reforms.

The Judiciary Committee is preparing to shepherd a sweeping package of legislation, aimed at combating police violence and racial injustice, to the House floor by July 4, and is expected to hold further hearings next week to prepare the bill for a full House vote. (Reuters)

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

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