The Latest: Minn troopers punctured tires during protests
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— Germany received 10% more complaints about racism last year.
— French minorities collecting video evidence in fight against police brutality.
— Protesters heartened by swift reform, but vow broader change.
MINNEAPOLIS — Law enforcement agencies have acknowledged police officers punctured the tires of numerous unoccupied vehicles parked during the height of recent unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon says troopers deflated tires to stop vehicles from “driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement.”
Troopers also targeted vehicles “that contained items used to cause harm during violent protests” such as rocks, concrete and sticks, Gordon said Monday, according to the Star Tribune.
Deputies from Anoka County also deflated tires on vehicles during the protests connected to Floyd’s death, according to Anoka County Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Knotz. Deputies were following orders from the state-led Multiagency Command Center, which was coordinating law enforcement during the protests, Knotz said.
All four tires on the car of Star Tribune reporter were slashed in a Kmart parking lot while he was on foot covering the protests and unrest, the newspaper reported.
Protesters nationwide are calling for police reforms in response to Floyd’s death.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte City Council voted 9-2 to stop funding chemical agents for police use after officers boxed in and gassed demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd.
After a demonstrator documented the use of gas last Tuesday in a widely shared video, the mayor condemned it and the police chief called it “disturbing.”
The city’s police department has spent $103,000 on chemical agents in 2020, City Budget Director Ryan Bergman said. Taking them away is “one step toward defunding the entire police department,” Tin Nguyen, an organizer and attorney, told the Charlotte Observer.
Council member Ed Driggs, who voted against the ban, called it a “gratuitous dig at police.”
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday its deputies would stop using tear gas in protests, citing tensions with the community. A local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police slammed the city council’s decision as “dangerous” following the vote.
BERLIN — Germany’s official anti-discrimination watchdog says it received significantly more complaints about racism in 2019 than the year before.
The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency said Tuesday that it received 1,176 complaints about racism last year, an increase of 10% compared to 2018.
This represented about a third of all 3,580 complaints received by the agency. Others concerned discrimination based on gender, disability, age, religion, sexual identity and world view.
The number of complaints about racism has more than doubled since 2015.
Bernhard Franke, the head of the agency, called for changes in the law to improve the legal standing of those affected by discrimination, saying that “Germany needs to do more in the fight against racist discrimination.”
He noted that the coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated some forms of discrimination, with his office receiving numerous reports of racist abuse suffered by people of Asian background in recent months.
PARIS — The relationship between police and residents of France’s low-income neighborhoods, many of whom are Arab or black and trace their roots to former French colonies, has long been tense.
Safety measures intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 further empowered police — but also empowered community activists using apps or online sleuthing to track and challenge what they see as an abuse of police power.
George Floyd’s death in the U.S. has resonated especially loudly in places like Villeneuve, one of many banlieues, or suburbs, where poverty and minority populations are concentrated in France. Floyd-related protests against police violence and racial injustice have been held around France, and more are planned for Tuesday evening.
HOUSTON — The black man whose death has inspired a worldwide reckoning over racial injustice will be buried Tuesday in Houston, carried home in a horse-drawn carriage.
George Floyd, 46, will be laid to rest next to his mother. As a white police officer pressed a knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes on May 25 in Minneapolis, the dying man cried out for his mother.
His funeral will be private. A public memorial service was held Monday in Houston, where he grew up. Some 6,000 people attended.
Under a blazing Texas sun, several mourners waiting to pay their respects wore T-shirts with Floyd’s picture or the words “I Can’t Breathe” — which he cried out repeatedly while pinned down by the police officer. Floyd’s body, dressed in a brown suit, lay in an open gold-colored casket.
Shorty after the memorial ended, Floyd’s casket was placed in a hearse and escorted by police back to a funeral home.
ATLANTA — In the two weeks since George Floyd was killed, police departments have banned chokeholds, Confederate monuments have fallen and officers have been arrested and charged amid large global protests against violence by police and racism.
The moves are far short of the overhaul of police, prosecutors’ offices, courts and other institutions that protesters seek. But some advocates and demonstrators say they are encouraged by the swiftness of the response to Floyd’s death.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters walked onto Interstate 84 on Monday evening in Portland’s Lloyd District, which led to officials temporarily shutting it down in that area, news footage showed.
Earlier, protesters cheered when a speaker at the demonstration talked about the police chief’s resignation.
“Are we done yet?” he asked the crowd. “No,” the crowd shouted back.
Another crowd near the downtown jail after 9 p.m. was urged by police not to shake and climb a fence erected to keep protesters away.
“We are not here to police a fence,” Portland police said on Twitter. “We are here to protect the people who work in the Justice Center and the adults in custody who are living there.”
Police were staying farther away from the fence than other nights. The crowd had grown to hundreds by around 9:40 p.m., The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
WASHINGTON — That massive fence erected around Lafayette Park has become a do-it-yourself gallery of protest art. Messages, posters and portraits, ranging from loving to enraged, almost blot out the view of the White House across the way.
One block away at the corner of 16th and I streets — a constant flash point for most of last week — the calliope version of “La Cucaracha” rang out from an ice cream truck parked just outside the police roadblock. In front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, it was so tranquil Monday afternoon you could hear the birds chirping while a white visitor paid for a $20 Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
As the nation’s capital emerges from a violent and chaotic 10-day stretch of protests and street battles, a different mood is taking hold. The anger has given way to something closer to a street fair as community leaders, members of Congress and the D.C. government have rallied to the protesters’ cause.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer who has met with and walked with demonstrators a number of times was involved in a scuffle Monday afternoon with protesters a day after he’d had another tense interaction.
Video shows CMPD Captain Brad Koch surrounded by chanting protesters Monday in front of the local government center before a white male protester approaches and shoves him. After being pushed, Koch took the man to the ground as more protesters were seen piling on. He was the only officer in the immediate vicinity.
No injuries were reported but in a tweet, CMPD said Koch was “assaulted in broad daylight” and is asking for the public’s help to identify those involved.
Koch has repeatedly walked with protesters through the city. He was pictured kneeling alongside them last week. The police department said in a tweet that he has walked more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) with protesters in recent days.
But his interactions haven’t been well-received by all protesters. Some say he isn’t welcome to march with them.