The Latest: English city hauls toppled statue out of harbor
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— English city hauls toppled slave trader statue out of the harbor
— Jefferson Davis statue torn down in Richmond
— Officer charged in George Floyd's death posts bail.
— George Floyd's brother gives emotional testimony on Capitol Hill.
— Museums interested in preserving artifacts from protests in nation's capital.
LONDON — A statue of a 17th-century slave trader that was toppled by anti-racism protesters in Bristol, England, has been fished out of the harbor by city authorities.
Bristol City Council says the bronze statue of Edward Colston was recovered early Thursday morning to avoid drawing a crowd. The council says it has been taken to a “secure location” and will end up in a museum.
Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic and left most of his money to charity. His name adorns streets and buildings in Bristol, which was once the U.K.’s biggest port for slave ships.
After years of debate about what should happen to his statue, Black Lives Matter protesters hauled it down on Sunday and dumped it into the harbor.
The act has reinvigorated calls for the removal of other statues from Britain’s imperial past.
Officials in Bournemouth, southern England, say they plan to remove a statue of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell because it might become a target. Like many Englishmen of his time, Baden-Powell held racist views and he also expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.
Council leader Vikki Slade said “we are removing the statue so that we can properly involve all relevant communities and groups in discussions about its future.”
RICHMOND, Va. -- A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was torn down along Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue on Wednesday night by protesters.
The statue in the former capital of the Confederacy was toppled shortly before 11 p.m. and was on the ground in the middle of an intersection, news outlets reported. Richmond police were on the scene.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam last week ordered the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is four blocks away from where the Davis statue stood. A judge on Monday issued an injunction preventing officials from removing the monuments for the next 10 days.
About 80 miles (130 kilometers) away, protesters in Portsmouth beheaded and then pulled down four statues that were part of a Confederate monument on Wednesday, according to media outlets.
Efforts to tear one of the statues down began around 8:20 p.m., but the rope they were using snapped, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
The crowd was frustrated by the Portsmouth City Council’s decision to put off moving the monument. They switched to throwing bricks from the post that held the plaque they had pulled down as they initially worked to bring down the statue.
The Pilot reports that they then started to dismantle the monument one piece at a time as a marching band played in the streets and other protesters danced.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Protesters have pulled down a statute of Christopher Columbus outside the Minnesota State Capitol.
A rope was thrown around the 10-foot bronze statue Wednesday afternoon and they pulled it off its stone pedestal.
The protesters, including Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, said they consider Columbus as a symbol of genocide against Native Americans. They said they had tried many times to remove it through the political process, but without success.
State Patrol troopers in helmets, who provide security in the Capitol complex, stood by at a distance but did not try to stop the protesters, who celebrated afterward with Native American singing and drumming.
The troopers eventually formed a line to protect the toppled statue so it could be taken away.
The protest followed a similar incident Tuesday night in Richmond, Virginia, and another in Boston.
SEATTLE — Seattle Police say they’re looking to reopen a precinct that was shuttered during ongoing George Floyd protests.
At a news conference Wednesday, Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette said barriers were removed from the front of the precinct after it became a flashpoint between officers and protesters.
Nollette said the precinct has been boarded up because of credible threats that it would be vandalized or burned. She said police want to discuss reopening the precinct and noted officers are responding to 911 calls in the area.
Nollette said protesters have set up their own barricades, which are intimidating to some residents.
MINNEAPOLIS — One of four police officers charged in the death of George Floyd has posted bail and is out of jail.
According to online records, Thomas Lane, 37, posted bail of $750,000 and was released from the Hennepin County Jail, with conditions, shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Records show the other officers remained in custody.
Lane is charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter for his role in the arrest of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died Memorial Day after another officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck as Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe and became motionless.
Lane’s attorney Earl Gray did not immediately return a message seeking comment. But last week Gray said that Lane was a rookie, and that the only thing he did was hold Floyd’s feet so he couldn’t kick. The criminal complaint also says that Lane expressed concern about Floyd and asked Chauvin twice if they should roll Floyd to his side, but Chauvin said no. Gray said Lane also performed CPR in the ambulance.
Gray told the Star Tribune he plans to bring a motion to dismiss the charges.
WASHINGTON — Volunteers on the scene in the nation's capital are working to gather and preserve hundreds of items that were posted during days of protests over the death of George Floyd in police hands in Minnesota.
Hundreds of signs and posters that had been on the fence enclosing Lafayette Square near the White House have been moved across the street and taped to the walls of a construction site, or strung together and hung from trees lining the street.
At the volunteer medical tents on Wednesday, the call went out for more string to continue hanging up protest art.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Smithsonian have expressed an interest in preserving the artifacts. A spokesman for the National Museum of African American History and Culture says curators from three different parts of the Smithsonian network visited the scene Wednesday.
TACOMA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered an independent investigation into the death of a man in the custody of Tacoma police.
The move comes after new information emerged this week that at least one sheriff’s deputy and a state trooper were at the scene when the man, Manuel Ellis, was detained and died on March 3. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
Inslee said Wednesday that officials are working to determine who will conduct the investigation and who will make charging decisions. He said the goal is to make sure that the work is “done free of conflicts of interest.”
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department had been close to finishing an investigation, and a briefing with the prosecuting attorney was scheduled for Wednesday. It was canceled.
The police department has identified the four officers involved in restraining Ellis. They were put on administrative leave last week after the autopsy results were made public.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and the victim’s family have called for those officers to be fired and arrested.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating 56 allegations of misconduct during protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Of the 56 investigations, 28 involve alleged uses of force, the LAPD said Wednesday in a statement. Seven officers have been taken out of the field.
The agency has tasked 40 investigators with looking into allegations of misconduct and excessive force, as well as violations of departmental policy, during the protests.
While most protests have been peaceful, there were violent clashes with police and businesses were vandalized.