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Black Lives Matter movement

運営事務局 JIMOPLE 56 June 20, 2020

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Alexandra Meeks

Suspicions of foul play were raised when the bodies of two Black men were found hanging about 50 miles and 10 days apart in California. But the family of one of those men announced Friday that he killed himself.

"On behalf of the family of Malcolm Harsch, unfortunately it seems he did take his own life," Najee Ali, a family spokesman told CNN.
"The Victorville Police Department officials released new video evidence to family members. The family wants to sincerely thank everyone for their support and prayers."

The Department of Justice and the FBI were reviewing Harsch's death along with that of Robert L. Fuller, 24. Harsch was found May 31 in Victorville and Fuller was found 10 days later in Palmdale. The proximity of the deaths to the outbreak of protests appeared to be an intimidation tactic, said one protester who called for further investigation.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department announced Friday no foul play was involved in Harsch's death after detectives obtained surveillance video from a vacant building near where he was found. The evidence from the case, including the surveillance video, was shown to Harsch's family members per their request, the department said in a statement.

The forensic pathologist is now waiting for toxicology results before assigning the cause and manner of death, the department said.

The investigation into Fuller's death remains active. Despite his death being consistent with suicide, officials "felt it prudent to roll that back and continue to look deeper," said Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas.

Read more here.

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

A group of friends with big dreams and even bigger hearts started a summer business that is helping Black-owned businesses and neighborhoods in Minneapolis affected by the coronavirus pandemic and protests following the death of George Floyd.

Fueled by boredom and an itch for something new, 9-year-old Kamryn Johnson and five of her friends who live in neighboring Chanhassen decided to open a stand selling friendship bracelets.

After a lot thinking about where the money would end up going, the group agreed that the proceeds would be donated to businesses and food banks in Minneapolis.

Led by Kamryn, the group named their effort "Kamryn & Friends: Bracelets For Unity & Justice." Since setting up the stand on May 30, the kind kiddos have raised more than $90,000 through sales of the bracelets online fundraising and donations, according to Kamryn's dad, former NFL player Ron Johnson.

"She has a huge heart and simply wanted to be of help in whatever way she could," Johnson told CNN.
"She and her friends are finding ways to feed the families of Minneapolis and give back to their community in the way they know how."

Read more here.

From CNN's Allyssia Alleyne

Since May 26, headlines have been dominated by the killing of George Floyd and the international protests it has ignited. Thousands have taken to the streets around the world to denounce police brutality and anti-Blackness, while online, thousands more have posted en masse in support of #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) and called for an end to systemic racism.

On social media, many fashion brands were quick to align themselves with protesters, posting black squares to Instagram on #BlackoutTuesday, and sharing lengthy captions denouncing racism, discrimination and violence. But not everyone was buying it.

"Plain and simple, I don't think there is the intention behind it to make long-lasting, sustainable change," Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner said in an email to CNN.
"Everyone can hop onto the BLM movement right now on social media, but what are you doing in your home, in your corporate office, with your connections, with the power you have?"

Charges of hypocrisy have plagued brands since the onset of the protests.

On social media, commenters questioned whether the luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo, who declined to comment for this story, could be an ally in the fight against racism when actor Tommy Dorfman accused it of discriminating against trans models and models of color in a recent campaign. Or whether LA label Reformation could truly support #BlackLivesMatter when people claiming to be former employees were accusing the brand of workplace racism in the comments (founder Yael Aflalo has apologized and resigned from her post as chief executive officer). Or whether Anthropologie could genuinely claim "Our hearts, with yours, are breaking at current events," as it did in a since-deleted Instagram post, when it has been accused of racial profiling customers -- allegations that the brand has denied.

Read more here.

From CNN's Rob Picheta, Salma Abdelaziz and Samantha Tapfumaneyi

Simeon Francis died while in police custody in May 2020.
Simeon Francis died while in police custody in May 2020. Family photo

An investigation has been launched after video footage emerged Friday showing a Black man shouting "I can't breathe" while being arrested in Britain last year.

Simeon Francis was arrested in July 2019 in the western English seaside town of Torquay and later released. He died 10 months later while in police custody after he was arrested again in May 2020.

His family provided CNN on Friday with a 19-minute video of last year's arrest, which shows Francis being handled by at least 10 police officers with several of them pinning him to the ground. He is heard shouting "Get them off me, you racists!" After around 13 minutes, still yelling, he is lifted by the officers and carried into a police van.

Francis also tells officers he "can't breathe," a plea that echoes the one made by George Floyd during his death in the United States in May, and which has become a slogan of demonstrators protesting against police brutality around the world.

It is unclear if Francis needed medical attention, why he was being arrested, or what led up to the incident, Desmond Jaddoo, a community activist and representative for the family told CNN. Devon and Cornwall police have not responded to CNN's requests for comment citing an ongoing investigation.

Read more here.

People stand around the statue of Confederate general Albert Pike after it was toppled by protesters on June 19 in Washington.
People stand around the statue of Confederate general Albert Pike after it was toppled by protesters on June 19 in Washington. Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters in Washington DC toppled the statue of Confederate general Albert Pike on Friday, according to reporting from CNN affiliate WJLA.

The statue stood in the city's Judiciary Square neighborhood.

A video showed the monument teetering with yellow ropes tied around it before it hit the ground at around 11.15 p.m. ET.

Minutes later the statue was seen lying in the grass, burning and covered in graffiti. Protesters appeared to take turns adding items to the fire as the statue burned.

"It's almost a sign of equalism, now we're getting back our freedom and our rights, symbolizing people you know, stand for us, stand for our culture, not stand for things that been passed in America that's been viewed as hateful," one protester at the scene told WJLA.

Police officers were at the scene but did not attempt to arrest any of the protesters.

CNN has reached out to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia for comment. 

Donald Trump sharply criticized the DC police over the demonstration.

"The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn," the US president wrote on Twitter.

"These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!"

Pike was the Confederate Indian commissioner and military commander of Indian Territory during the US Civil War, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Confederate monuments have become a flashpoint for the Black Lives Matter protests. A 30-foot obelisk in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur was also removed just before midnight Thursday after a judge ordered its removal.

From CNN's Amir Vera

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Beyoncé dropped a new song late Friday, in the closing moments of Juneteenth

The song "Black Parade" made its debut on the streaming platform Tidal and promotes Black pride.

"Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power," the singer wrote on Instagram. "'BLACK PARADE' celebrates you, your voice and your joy and will benefit Black-owned small businesses."

Her new song comes out as artists release their own versions of protests songs in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. 

The song's release also coincides with Beyoncé's "Black Parade Route," a directory of Black-owned businesses that's powered by the National Urban League.

From CNN's Laura Ly

People participate in Juneteenth rally at Grand Army Plaza on June 19 in New York.
People participate in Juneteenth rally at Grand Army Plaza on June 19 in New York. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Rallies, peaceful marches and celebrations commemorating Juneteenth occurred across the United States on Friday, bringing together countless Americans in remembrance as the nation confronts a history saturated with systemic racism and injustice. 

What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth, known as the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, is not yet a national holiday. While it has been celebrated by Black Americans for more than 150 years, states, cities and universities around the country have begun to acknowledge the often-overlooked date as one that deserves greater recognition. 

In New York City: Beginning next year, Juneteenth will officially be a holiday in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

"We'll work with all the unions to work through the plan, give this day the importance and recognition it deserves. Every city worker, every student will have an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of our history and the truth, and to think about the work that we have to do ahead," de Blasio said.

The official city holiday designation also comes with the establishment of a new commission that will work to understand the effects of structural and institutional racism in New York City and "create a historical record of racial discrimination, with an emphasis on housing, criminal justice, environmental racism and public health," according to a city press release.

"The movements led by African American people changed this country to the core and will continue to. So, this is just a beginning to acknowledge this holiday, but we have a lot more to do," de Blasio said. 

In Washington, DC: Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a proclamation recognizing June 19 as "Juneteenth Day" in the nation's capital, calling this year's celebrations "particularly significant as Black Lives Matter demonstrations happen across all 50 American states and around the world to protest centuries of police brutality and systemic racism against African Americans."

Elsewhere: The governors of Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, Kansas and Illinois were among state leaders who issued official proclamations designating June 19 as "Juneteenth Freedom Day" or "Juneteenth Recognition Day."

Read the full story here.

From CNN's Faith Karimi

J. Alexander Kueng
J. Alexander Kueng Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

A second former Minneapolis police officer awaiting trial over the death of George Floyd has been released from jail. 

J. Alexander Kueng's bail was $750,000 and he left the Hennepin County Jail on Friday night on "bond and conditional release." 

Kueng was one of the four officers involved in arresting Floyd on Memorial Day on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. The arrest led to Floyd's death, which has sparked global protests against racial injustice and police misconduct.

Another officer, Thomas Lane, 37, was released earlier this month on $750,000 bond.

The background: Floyd's death was captured by bystanders on video. The footage showed then-officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd's neck while he was on the ground outside a police vehicle. Floyd repeatedly said he couldn't breathe and was pronounced dead at a hospital. 

The charges: Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder. The other three officers at the scene -- Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao -- were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Chauvin's bail was set at $1.25 million. Like his three colleagues, he was offered a reduced bail of $1 million if he agrees to certain conditions, including that he not work in security or law enforcement, not have contact with Floyd's family, not leave Minnesota and surrender all firearms and permits. If he posts bail, his release would be supervised.

The other three officers were each held on $1 million bail but it could be lowered to $750,000 with conditions.

Chauvin and Thao remain in custody.

Read the full story here.

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

edian Trevor Noah spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper this week about racism, police abuse and protests in America, saying White people who were horrified by looting should realize many Black Americans feel their bodies are looted by police every single day. 

"Maybe it would help you if... you think about that... unease that you felt watching that Target being looted, try to imagine how it must feel for Black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day," said Noah, who is the host of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah."
"That's fundamentally what's happening in America. Police in America are looting black bodies."

While Donald Trump has sought to position himself as a law-and-order president in the wake of the unrest, Noah said it is actually law and order that protesters and organizers who took the streets are demanding.

"When they're fighting, when they're out there in the streets, what they're protesting for is law and order," Noah said. "They're fighting for an equal application of law and order. And I think that's what a lot of people don't realize."

Read the full story here.