June 12 Black Lives Matter protests

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Black police officer: I feel torn between my race and my badge
02:40 - Source: HLN

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Our live coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests has moved here.

Mother of black man who died after arrest in Oklahoma City: "My heart is broken"

Vickey Scott speaks to Don Lemon on CNN.

Vickey Scott, whose son Derrick died after being arrested and telling police “I can’t breathe,” said the renewed interest in her son’s death has been difficult “because I did not know the truth from the beginning.”

Oklahoma City police this week released body-camera video of the 2019 incident, when Derrick Scott was arrested. He died not long after, saying repeatedly during the encounter that he couldn’t breathe.

The police footage of Derrick Scott’s arrest was released to media after a recent Black Lives Matter protest in front of a city police station.

Vickey Scott said she didn’t learn of her son’s death until four days after he died. She wasn’t allowed to see his body until the day before his funeral, eight days after the incident, she said.

She said she hasn’t watched all of the body-camera video because it was too painful.

“No mother or father should have to go through this,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon.

“The other night I was lying in bed and I woke up and it was on the television and I just caught the part at the end of it where he was calling my name when he was saying mama, mama and that just killed me, because I had no idea. I had no idea. My heart is broken,” she said. 


Rapper Chuck D: "This generation right here is connected ... they're going about doing something."

Public Enemy rapper Chuck D speaks to Chris Cuomo on CNN.

Public Enemy rapper Chuck D said he believes the protests against systemic racism and racial injustice across the US are “different” and powerful because of their grassroots nature.

“Every generation has been angry,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday night. “But this generation right here is connected where their voices are heard. Their voices are felt, and they’re going about doing something.”

He continued:

“This generation right here, is one that is connected. They’re connected by technology. Their feelings of anger. Their desire for change throughout the world,” he said. “This is leaderless … but there is leadership in all of these voices.” 

Watch more of the conversation:

New York leaders don't want to see Columbus statue removed or Columbus Circle renamed

As municipalities across the United States revisit the naming and display of monuments honoring people with histories of racism and violence toward minorities, the Christopher Columbus statue and Columbus Circle in New York City have come under fire for commemorating the man often credited with “discovering” America.

petition has started on change.org asking for the renaming of the circle and the removal of the statue “from public view.” However, recent comments from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and state Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggest that neither the statue, nor the name of the circle, is going anywhere.

Cuomo said at a press conference Thursday that he felt the statue of Columbus, who originally hailed from Italy, was an important symbol for Italian Americans.

“The Christopher Columbus statue represents in some ways the Italian American legacy in the country, and the Italian American contribution in this country,” he said. “I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts which nobody would support, but the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York so for that reason I support it.”

De Blasio said Friday he would stick by the January 2018 decision the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers. A majority of commission members “advocated for keeping the Columbus statue and fostering public dialogue,” according to the commission’s report.

Read more:

The statue of Christopher Columbus on June 12, 2020, at Columbus Circle in New York City. Governor Andrew Cuomo defended the statue at the circle on June 11, 2020, as a symbol of "Italian-American legacy" after calls to remove it mounted. - Statues of Christopher Columbus from Boston to Miami have been beheaded and vandalized as calls to remove sculptures commemorating colonizers and slavers sweep America on the back of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Cuomo, de Blasio don't want to see Christopher Columbus statue removed or NYC's Columbus Circle renamed

What it's like in Seattle's "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone"

CNN's Dan Simon.

CNN’s Dan Simon was inside an area in Seattle near a downtown police precinct that protesters have occupied and are referring to as the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”

Simon said it felt like a “Friday night social scene.”

“You have a street-like festival situation, hundreds of people. There’s a barbecue going on. You’ve got people walking around with their six-packs of beer, you have folks who aren’t necessarily part of this movement, just coming by to have a look at things,” he said.

Watch his report here:

A Twitter spat with the President: With demonstrators refusing to leave the Capitol Hill neighborhood, police were told to board up and empty the neighborhood’s East Precinct building.

President Donald Trump has been highly critical on Twitter of how Mayor Jenny Durkan has handled the situation. He accused her of letting “anarchists” take over the city.

Durkan told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Friday night that there’s nothing about the city’s “autonomous zone” to be concerned about. 

Durkan said authorities are going to “continue to analyze whether that’s the best place for police to operate.”

Read more:

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 10: A sign welcomes visitors to the so-called "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" on June 10, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The zone includes the blocks surrounding the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct, which was the site of violent clashes with Black Lives Matter protesters, who have continued to demonstrate in the wake of George Floyds death. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Right-wing media says Antifa militants have seized part of Seattle. Local authorities say otherwise

Lawyer of arrested boy: "The only thing the teenagers were guilty of is walking while black."

Tawanna Adkins and Damario Solomon-Simmons speak with Chris Cuomo on CNN.

The lawyer for one of two teenagers arrested in Tulsa for jaywalking has told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that footage of the incident shows “the only thing the teenagers were guilty of is walking while black.”

Videos of the June 4 arrest were released in response to social media messages from the community about the incident, police said. The videos appear to have been blurred and redacted by police to conceal the teenagers’ identities.

In the footage, the two teenagers can be seen walking down the middle of a road together before they are approached by an officer on foot and a second in a squad car.

Once police reach the pair, one officer can be seen forcing a teenager onto his stomach to handcuff him, while holding him down with his arms and knees. The second teenager is also handcuffed, but doesn’t struggle and remains standing.

Lawyer Damario Solomon-Simmons told Cuomo the boys “were not jaywalking.”

Solomon-Simmons said the two kids were “petrified to go outside again.”

Tawanna Adkins, the mother of one of the teens, said she believes the pair were racially profiled. She and Solomon-Simmons said the teen who struggled is the victim of previous trauma, and the incident with police “triggered him.”

The mayor’s response:

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement Wednesday that the incident is being investigated.

“I want every kid in Tulsa to feel safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood. No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street. I viewed that footage last night more as a parent than a mayor,” he said.
“I know the officers in that unit focus on removal of illegal guns from the streets, but the goal of that work should be that families feel safe in their neighborhood. This instance accomplished the opposite.”

Watch Chris Cuomo’s conversation with Solomon-Simmons:

Videos raise question about in-custody death deemed an "accident" by Tennessee officials

Within hours of his call to 911 outside a convenience store, Sterling Higgins lay dead, after video shows him being forcibly restrained on the floor at the Obion County Jail in Union City, Tennessee.

A surveillance camera video from that morning, 15 months ago, shows a correctional officer gripping Higgins’ neck and head for nearly six minutes, and part of that time his arresting officer with one foot on him. Then, Higgins’ limp body was dragged to a restraint chair and wheeled into a cell.

The video, submitted in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal district court in Tennessee, is at the heart of a claim that yet another black man needlessly died in custody because of law enforcement misconduct. All the defendants have denied the allegations in legal filings.

Those videos were never shown to a grand jury that, last October, declined to indict any of the officers involved, as first reported by WSPD, in Paducah, Kentucky. The 27th District attorney general, Tommy Thomas, told CNN he didn’t see the need to show jurors the video because he already had decided not to seek criminal charges against the officers.

He said that while he doesn’t believe the officers handled the situation correctly, “that’s a long way from being criminally responsible for a homicide.”

Edwin Budge, a Seattle-based attorney representing Higgins’ estate, said the videos are crucial evidence and that the grand jury “should have been provided with those facts; and now it’s our job as civil attorneys to bring these facts to light.”

Higgins’s death raises questions not only about the events of that night, and the officers’ use of force, but also about police training and practices in how to handle people behaving bizarrely or who seem to be mentally distressed.

Read more:

Sterling Higgins with his daughter and her mother, Jennifer Jenkins, the administrator of Higgins' estate.

Videos raise question about death in custody

Actress Tiffany Haddish: As a black woman, "I can't even drive" in America

Actress Tiffany Haddish cries at a memorial service for George Floyd at North Central University on June 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish spoke with CNN about the racism she experiences as a black woman in America.

Haddish shared her frustration about being a good citizen and working hard but not being able to drive around without getting stopped.

“I shouldn’t be afraid when I see those lights come on,” Haddish said while referring to the lights on a police car. “I got PTSD watching my friends being killed by the police.”

Haddish, who is known for her roles in “Girls Trip” and “Like a Boss,” expressed concern for certain family members of hers that may not come back when they walk out the door.

“It’s devastating, it’s scary. Sometimes I want at least two white friends to go out with me,” she added.

Protests continue to grow across the United States

It’s been nearly three weeks since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer and protesters are still on the streets across the country.

Hundreds of protesters in Minneapolis are marching Friday night, saying they don’t believe enough has been done in response to Floyd’s death.

Here’s a look at the protests across the country:


Nekima Levy Armstrong, civil rights lawyer, speaks during a rally outside the Minneapolis Police and Fire Union Office on June 12 in Minneapolis.

Washington, DC


Demonstrators walk during a Black Lives Matter of Seattle-King County silent march on June 12 in Seattle, Washington.

Los Angeles

Lora King, Rodney King's daughter, left with the megaphone, holds a Black Lives Matter protest at Venice Beach on June 12.

New Jersey police officer charged with assault after allegedly deploying pepper spray

A New Jersey police officer was charged with two counts of assault on Wednesday after allegedly deploying pepper spray on two people “without provocation,” the Camden County Prosecutor’s office said in a statement

Ryan Dubiel, 31, a police officer with Woodlynne Police Department, was charged with two counts of simple assault, prosecutors announced.

Dubiel and another officer were dispatched on a call in the afternoon of June 4 for a complaint of possible trespassing and loitering, according to a recording of a 911 call released by prosecutors.

The details: Body camera footage was also released by prosecutors and shows Dubiel talking with several young men sitting on a front porch.

An officer is heard on the video telling the young men they are responding to a call for trespassing. Officers are seen on video asking the people on the porch for their names and other identifying information, but many refuse. One of the young men goes to call his brother and Dubiel tells him to put his phone down. When the person continues to call, Dubiel is seen proceeding to pepper spray multiple people.

In addition to the charges, Dubiel has been suspended from the department without pay. Dubiel has been with the Woodlynne Police Department for 10 months — this is the ninth police department where he has served, prosecutors said in a statement. 

It was not immediately clear if Dubiel retained an attorney. CNN has attempted to reach Dubiel for comment.

Georgia judge orders Confederate monument in Decatur Square be removed

A DeKalb County judge ordered a monument in Decatur Square be relocated immediately.

Judge Clarence Seeliger issued the order Friday after the city argued the 30-foot obelisk had become a threat to public safety during recent protests.

After calling the obelisk a “figurative lighting rod for friction among citizens,” Seeliger said the monument should be removed by midnight on June 26 and placed into storage until further order by the court.

Seeliger also ordered the DeKalb County police and sheriff’s office provide support to Decatur police in preserving public safety in the square until the obelisk is removed.

CNN has reached out to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for comment on the removal order.

Seattle police can no longer use chemical irritants or projectiles against peaceful protesters

Police officers face off with demonstrators near the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct in Seattle, on June 6.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) can no longer use tear gas against peaceful protesters under a temporary restraining order issued Friday. 

Judge Richard Jones says police are prohibited from using any “chemical irritants or projectiles of any kind against persons peacefully engaging in protests or demonstrations.”

Some context: The order is in response to a lawsuit from a local Black Lives Matter chapter. 

The judge says there is evidence that the SPD used so-called “less lethal” weapons, at times, without provocation. 

“SPD’s use of less-lethal, crowd control weapons have surely chilled speech,” Jones wrote in his order, saying tear gas and police projectiles are known to be intensely painful. 

The federal court order says such weapons have sometimes been used against people who were not threatening officers, violating the First and Fourth Amendment rights of the protesters.

The judge’s order says that chemicals and projectiles may only be used by police when they are “targeted at the specific imminent threat of physical harm to themselves or identifiable others or to respond to specific acts of violence or destruction of property.”

Miami-Dade Police will no longer authorize use of "carotid triangle restraint"

Miami-Dade Police Department director Alfredo Ramirez III talks during the press conference at Miami-Dade Police Department Headquarters in Miami, on January 8.

The Miami-Dade Police Department have said it will no longer authorize the use of “carotid triangle restraints.”

Police Director Alfredo Ramirez III said in a statement after review, he has decided to no longer authorize the utilization of that hold due to a multitude of factors, including officer and public safety, feedback from policing professionals, members of our community, local leaders and officials, and recommendations from the Police Executive Research Forum.

3 New York residents indicted in connection with Molotov cocktails attacks on NYPD vehicles

A seven-count indictment was returned Thursday in federal court charging three New York residents in connection with Molotov cocktails attacks on New York City Police Department vehicles during the protests last month.

Samantha Shader, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman are charged with the use of explosives, arson, use of explosives to commit a felony, arson conspiracy, use of a destructive device, civil disorder, and making or possessing a destructive device, according to a release from the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

According to court filings, Rahman was recorded on an NYPD surveillance camera allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle last month during the protests in Brooklyn.

According to the indictment, after Rahman left the scene in a minivan, officers pursued and later arrested Rahman and also Mattis who was driving the van. Court documents reveal the NYPD found “several component items for Molotov cocktails, including a lighter, a bottle filled liquid suspected to be gasoline and toilet paper, additional bottles and toilet paper, and a gasoline canister.”

The indictment against Shader alleges she ignited a Molotov cocktail and threw it at an NYPD vehicle occupied be four police officers, shattering two of its windows. The scene, according to court filings, was captured on video by a witness who recorded the alleged event.

According to the US attorney’s office, the defendants, if convicted on all counts, face sentences of up to a life in prison.

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