Will Bunch: In cities across the country, cops flood the zone, violate our rights — and make us less safe
After a veteran officer — also head of their police union — shot and killed a 20-year-old unarmed Black motorist named Daunte Wright during a traffic stop over expired tags and a dangling air freshener, you might think cops in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, would have at least a brief moment of reflection, even contrition. Yeah, right. Instead, officers in the Minneapolis suburb — just 10 miles or so from the corner where Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of a dying George Floyd, sparking an American racial reckoning that apparently wasn't — raised a version of the "thin blue line" flag over thei...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia police asked federal drug agents to 'infiltrate' protests last June, emails show
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Police Department enlisted federal drug agents to infiltrate crowds of protesters during racial justice demonstrations in the city last spring, a move critics say may have circumvented a decades-old ban aimed at deterring police from spying on activists. The undercover operation was made public last week by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a D.C.-based think tank that obtained emails between police and federal officials through a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. The emails show Philadelphia police requested the DEA support on Ju...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Texas GOP opposition to bill on changing 'Negro' place names raises sparks
AUSTIN, Texas — With attention focused on a Texas House hearing about competing bills — one to remove Confederate monuments from the Capitol and two to prohibit historical monuments from removal — it was Republican opposition to a relatively low-key bill that drew sparks Monday. Democratic state Sen. Borris Miles of Houston presented a resolution pressing federal officials to finally take action on a bill passed 30 years ago to rename areas of Texas containing the word "Negro" — many changed from the N-word in a futile bid to cleanse the sites of racial offense. No senators on the State Affair...
Missouri committee recommends lawmaker be expelled over alleged abuse of his children
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri House committee has recommended Lee’s Summit Rep. Rick Roeber be expelled from office after finding that he sexually and physically abused his now-adult children when they were young. In the House Ethics Committee’s report released late Monday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers deemed the freshman Republican’s accusers — including his ex-wife and three of his four children — credible. They testified he had committed acts that under Missouri law would constitute “sexual contact” or “deviate sexual intercourse,” according to the report. The committee also found acc...
The Kansas City Star
Ghislaine Maxwell to appeals court: Believe women
NEW YORK — Ghislaine Maxwell made an unexpected comparison to her alleged victims in new court papers Monday arguing for her release on bail. Maxwell attorney David Oscar Markus noted the feds say their case rests on the testimony of women, whose credible claims are backed up by documentation and other witnesses. But when Maxwell says the conditions of her confinement in the Metropolitan Detention Center are akin to torture, prosecutors say she can’t be believed, he complained. “The Government professes to believe women, but only when those women are on their side, despite their inconsistent a...
New York Daily News
Suspects, a father and son, plead not guilty in 1996 Kristin Smart murder case
Nearly a week after their arrests in the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, Paul and Ruben Flores pleaded not guilty Monday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to respective counts of murder and accessory. A judge also ruled that Paul Flores will remain in jail without bail and scheduled a hearing Wednesday to find out what, if any, bail amount Ruben Flores can afford given his assets. Ruben Flores’ bail is currently set at $250,000. Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle, the lead prosecutor in the case, had said last week that he expected to seek a higher bail amount for R...
The Sacramento Bee
Florida Gov. DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ bill into law, sparking outcry from Democrats, civil rights groups
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s “anti-riot” bill into law Monday, a measure that vastly increases law enforcement’s powers to crack down on civil unrest. The bill, pushed by the Republican governor, has been criticized by Democrats and civil rights groups as unconstitutional for infringing on the First Amendment’s right to peacefully protest. “If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Winter Haven surrounded by Polk County Sheriff Grady ...
Biden bars federal agencies from using controversial phrase ‘illegal alien’ President Joe Biden’s administration has ordered U.S. immigration agencies to stop using the controversial and dehumanizing phrase “illegal alien” in reference to migrants. The term was common during former President Donald Trump’s administration, turning up frequently in statements and news releases from both Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. The Washington Post reported that the shift — which also bans the phrase “assimilation” in favor of “integration” — was outlined in memos sen...
Tribune News Service
Corporations ask Legislature to drop bills targeting LGBTQ Texans
Raising concerns about legislation targeting LGBTQ people, a group of leading corporations on Monday urged Texas lawmakers to focus instead on urgent issues involving the pandemic, electric grid and education. "We are concerned to see a resurgence of efforts to exclude transgender youth from full participation in their communities, to criminalize or ban best-practice medical care that is proven to save lives, or to exclude LGBTQ people in a variety of other settings," the corporations said in a statement. "Such legislation would send a message that is at odds with the Texas we know, and with o...
NY attorney general granted power to launch probe into Cuomo's COVID-19 book
ALBANY, N.Y. — Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has formally called on Attorney General Letitia James to probe whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo misused state resources while writing and promoting his pandemic-themed book. DiNapoli penned a letter to James last week requesting a criminal investigation and referring to allegations that “public resources may have been used in the development and production of the governor’s book.” The New York Times first reported on the letter on Monday. Cuomo has come under fire amid multiple reports that staffers and senior aides were enlisted to assist in writing, editin...
New York Daily News