More Arrests In George Floyd Killing, Officials Upgrade Derek Chauvin’s Murder Charge

George Floyd under the knee of former police officer Derek Chauvin (screen capture)

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on an unarmed Black man’s neck until he lost consciousness, has had his murder charge upgraded.

The other three fired officers who were present at the incident have now been charged as well.

From the New York Times:

Minnesota officials charged three more former police officers on Wednesday in the death of George Floyd, and added a higher charge to those already lodged against the former officer who pressed his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota, announced the charges at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The three officers, Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, were charged with aiding and abetting murder, court records show. Mr. Kueng was in custody on Wednesday, county jail records showed. The authorities said they were in the process of arresting Mr. Lane and Mr. Thao.

The fourth officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, who was arrested last week, faces an increased charge of second-degree murder.

Grindr Deletes Ethnicity Filter, Stands With #BlackLivesMatter

In response to the ongoing protests across the country in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died face down on the ground, handcuffed with a knee on his neck for several minutes, the gay dating app Grindr says “We will not be silent.”

In posts to the company’s social media accounts, Grindr has announced the ethnicity filter on its app is history. Gone.⁣

View this post on Instagram

We will not be silent. Black lives matter. ⁣ ⁣ We were planning to announce our #PridePerseveres initiative today, but in light of the ongoing violence and injustices against our POC family, that no longer feels appropriate. How can we launch a month of celebration when so many of us are hurting? How can we celebrate Pride without acknowledging that we wouldn’t even HAVE a Pride month if it weren’t for the brave black, brown, trans, and queer folks whose uprising against the police at Stonewall gave birth to the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement? It is our responsibility to speak out against the hate and violence that such a vital part of our community continue to face.⁣ ⁣ We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day. We will not be silent, and we will not be inactive. Today we are making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute @mpjinstitute and Black Lives Matter @blklivesmatter, and urge you to do the same if you can (links in bio). We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.⁣ ⁣ Tomorrow, we will announce our #PridePerseveres calendar, but in a different light. Yes, we can still come together in the spirit of Pride, but Pride this year has an added responsibility, a shifted tone, and a new priority that will be reflected in our programming—support and solidarity for queer people of color and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

A post shared by Grindr (@grindr) on

“We were planning to announce our #PridePerseveres initiative today, but in light of the ongoing violence and injustices against our POC family, that no longer feels appropriate,” begins the statement on Instagram. “How can we launch a month of celebration when so many of us are hurting?”

“How can we celebrate Pride without acknowledging that we wouldn’t even HAVE a Pride month if it weren’t for the brave black, brown, trans, and queer folks whose uprising against the police at Stonewall gave birth to the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement?”

Announcing the company stands “in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day,” the dating app says it will not be silent nor be inactive. “Today we are making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter, and urge you to do the same if you can.”

“We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform,” the statement continues. “As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.”

Grindr goes on to mention their previously announced #PridePerseveres calendar, a series of Pride events taking place each day of June, will go on but “in a different light.”

Noting that Pride this year “has an added responsibility, a shifted tone, and a new priority,” the programming for the series will be amended to show “support and solidarity for queer people of color and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.”

Four Minneapolis Police Officers Fired Following Death Of Black Man

Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd

The Minneapolis Police Department has fired four officers involved in the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being arrested on Monday. He was reportedly being detained as a possible suspect in a bad check-writing case.

The incident, showing one officer kneeling on the neck of handcuffed Gregory Floyd as he lay face down on the ground, was recorded and shared across social media on Monday night.

In the video, Floyd can be heard saying he could not breathe many times. As the video continues, he seems to lose consciousness.

Floyd was later pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

You can see portions of the video footage below. Warning: extremely disturbing.

“The man looked already dead before the ambulance even got there. He was clearly trying to tell them he couldn’t breathe and they ignored him,” Darnella Frazier, one of the people who filmed the incident, told NBC News.

The police department has told reporters that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been contacted to independently investigate. Additionally, the department announced the FBI would also be investigating.

The names of the four officers have not been released by the Minneapolis Police Department.

The news of the firing of the officers was shared by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Twitter where he called the decision “the right call.”

“Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated,” Frey wrote. “This is the right call.”

Update: 12-Year-Old Says She Made Up Story Of Boys Cutting Off Her Hair

Amari Allen

UPDATE: CBS News is reporting that Amari Allen has recanted her accusations regarding white boys holding her down and cutting off her hair.

Following an investigation by the Fairfax County Police Department, Danish said Amari Allen, the student who accused three of her classmates of assault, acknowledged the accusations were not true. 

Allen’s family apologized to the boys and the school for “the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused.” 

“To the administrators and families of Immanuel Christian School, we are sorry for the damage this incident has done to trust within the school family and the undue scorn it has brought to the school,” the family said. “We understand there will be consequences, and we’re prepared to take responsibility for them.” 

They added, “To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust.”

The girl’s aunt says Amari did have a verbal dispute with the boys but “embellished the story.”

From NBC News:

Three sixth-grade boys at a Christian school in Northern Virginia pinned down a black classmate and cut off some of her dreadlocks while telling her her hair was “nappy” and “ugly,” she told News4.

Twelve-year-old Amari Allen said the three boys, who she said are white, cut off her hair on Monday. She’s a student at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, where Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, teaches part-time.

“They said my hair was nappy and I was ugly,” she said.

Amari — a straight-A student and violin player — said the boys started bullying her at the beginning of the school year. She has attended the school since kindergarten and has always liked it.

But on Monday, she was at recess and about to go down a slide when one of the boys grabbed her and put a hand over her mouth. Another boy grabbed her arms. A third boy cut off some of her hair.

“They put their hands over my mouth. They put my hands behind my back. And they started cutting my hair and saying it was ugly,” Amari said.

The bell rang and the boys ran off laughing.

Scared, Amari told no one. On Wednesday, her grandmother was doing her hair when she noticed long portions of it missing. The girl started crying and told the whole story.

The family called Fairfax County police, who took a report of the incident.

Amari’s grandparents aren’t sending her back to the school until the boys are punished.

Mass Shootings: Trump Condemns “Racism, Bigotry And White Supremacy”

Donald Trump (screen capture)

Donald Trump denounced white supremacy, racism and bigotry on Monday as he addressed the two mass shootings that occurred over the weekend.

From the New York Times:

“In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Mr. Trump said.

But Mr. Trump stopped well short of endorsing the kind of broad gun control measures that activists and Democrats have sought for years, instead falling back on time-honored Republican remedies, calling for stronger action to address mental illness, violence in the media and in video games.

He warned of “the perils of the internet and social media” with no acknowledgment of his use of those platforms to promote his brand of divisive politics.

It remained unclear whether Mr. Trump’s 10-minute remarks after one of the most violent weekends in recent American history could place him in a position to unify the nation when many Americans believe he is personally responsible for inflaming racial division. He took no responsibility for the atmosphere of division, nor did he recognize his own reluctance to warn of the rise of white nationalism until now.

Liar: After Followers Chant “Send Her Back” Trump Says He Disagreed With It & Tried To Stop It

At last night's campaign rally, Donald Trump whipped up the crowd to such a frenzy, they began chanting "Send her back," referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Donald Trump

At last night’s campaign rally, Donald Trump whipped up the crowd to such a frenzy, they began chanting “Send her back,” referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Trump claims he “disagreed it,” and tried to stop the chant saying he began speaking “very quickly.”

But if you watch the video, 13 long seconds of chanting goes by before he continues speaking. And when he does, it isn’t to admonish the racist chant.

We do have video recordings, you know…

Rep. Omar responded to the news of the chant by tweeting a quote from author Maya Angelou:

Ohio: White Security Guard Pulls Gun On Black Uniformed Sheriff’s Deputy

A white security guard in Ohio has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated menacing after he was caught on surveillance video pulling a gun on a uniformed black sheriff's deputy because he was armed.
(screen capture via 13ABC)

A white security guard in Ohio has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated menacing after he was caught on surveillance video pulling a gun on a uniformed black sheriff’s deputy because he was armed.

Lucas County Sheriff’s deputy Alan Gaston dropped by his local IRS office in Toledo on May 31 to inquire about a letter he had received.

Dressed in his full sheriff’s office uniform with his badge and gun clearly visible, Gaston was told by a security guard – identified as Seth Eklund – that he would have to leave his gun in his car to enter the offices.

Gaston explained he couldn’t do that as he was on duty so he decided to leave the office.

Video footage shows Gaston exiting the office as the security guard followed him with his gun drawn and aimed at the deputy’s back. With his gun drawn the entire time, Eklund followed the deputy to the building’s elevators.

According to Gaston, the security guard attempted to take the sheriff’s deputy “into custody.”

Gaston told local ABC news affiliate 13ABC that he felt the best way to de-escalate the situation was to try and calmly walk away. The sheriff’s deputy works as a defensive tactics instructor.

“I was basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment,” said Gaston. “Bracing for a shot in my back. There’s really no way to know how you’re going to act when there’s a gun pointed at you and when you think you’re going to lose your life.”

According to reports, a worker at the IRS office made a call to 911 saying there was someone there with a gun. At no point did the caller mention that the ‘man with a gun’ was a sheriff’s deputy.

Gaston has filed a lawsuit against Eklund saying he has suffered emotional and psychological distress from the incident. He has been on medical leave from work since the incident.

Trump Twitter Rant: “Those Tweets Were Not Racist!”

Donald Trump

As the U.S. House prepares to vote to formally condemn Donald Trump’s racist tweets directed at four progressive House Democratic congresswomen, Trump took to Twitter to again rant on the subject.

Trump claims there was nothing racist about telling women of color to “go back” to the countries they came from.

p.s. all four are U.S. citizens; three of the four born in the U.S.


The Donald also begged House Republicans not to vote against him regarding the resolution.

Mayor Pete Claps Back At Racist Troll At Campaign Event

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (L) shuts down racist troll at campaign event

Speaking to voters in Iowa during an Independence Day event, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg clapped back at a man for making a racially-charged comment about black Americans.

Due to the recent police shooting of an African American man in his hometown, Mayor Pete has encountered questions and scrutiny on matters related to race on the campaign trail.

“Mayor Pete, there has been some controversy in South Bend between the police and the black community, and I have a solution for you, and I’d like you to make a comment on my proposal,” said a man who later identified himself as Dave Begley. “Just tell the black people of South Bend to stop committing crime and doing drugs.”

After a pause in the crowd, Begley was roundly booed as Buttigieg shook his head before responding, “Sir, I think racism is not going to help us get out of this drama.”

“No, no, just stop committing crimes,” insisted Begley. “It has nothing to do with race.”

p.s. when the subject of your suggestion is “black people,” the issue has intrinsically turned to race.

“The fact that a black person is four times as likely as a white person to be incarcerated as a white person for the exact same crime is evidence of systemic racism,” Buttigieg told Begley, as the crowd applauded. “It is evidence of systemic racism.”

“And, with all due respect sir, racism makes it harder for good police officers to do their job, too,” added the Democratic presidential contender. “It is a smear on law enforcement.”

As chants of “USA, USA” began, Mayor Pete stared the man down before continuing, “Sir, when black people and white people are treated the same by the criminal justice system, it will be easier for white people and black people to live in this country.”

“And it will be easier for law enforcement to do their job,” he added. “But racism has no place in American politics, or in American law enforcement.”

Politico reports that Begley spent the rest of the event looking at his phone.

Begley later told reporters he is not a member of the Carroll County Democratic Party, but he attended the event as a writer for a conservative blog, Power Line. According to the website, he is a practicing attorney in Omaha, Nebraska. He has posted several ‘reports’ following Democratic presidential candidates out on the campaign trail.

Saying he planned to file a “full report on this,” Begley insisted that he didn’t believe his comment was racist and said he “resented” Buttigieg’s response.

Begley told reporters after the question-and-answer session said he resented Buttigieg’s response. Begley said he didn’t think his comment was racist.

“I just urged him, in order to resolve the racial controversy in South Bend, to urge the blacks in South Bend to obey the law so they’re not going to have confrontations with the police,” said Begley. “And he dismissed me as a racist, which I resented, and he knows he’s wrong.”

Watch the confrontation below.

Mississippi: White Woman Pulls A Gun On Black Couple Having Picnic At Lake

A white female campground manager in Mississippi pulled a gun on a black couple and their dog accusing them of not having a reservation to picnic at the lake.
(screen capture)

A white female campground manager in Mississippi pulled a gun on a black couple and their dog accusing them of not having a reservation to picnic at the lake.

Jessica Richardson filmed the woman approaching her and her husband with a gun at the Kampgrounds of America in Starkville, Mississippi, on Sunday. Her husband, Sgt. Franklin Richardson, had just returned from a 9-month deployment in the Middle East and they were simply looking to enjoy the holiday weekend.

Brandishing her pistol, the woman told the couple to leave when she found out they didn’t have a reservation.

According to reports, the manager has since been fired.

Richardson posted the video to Facebook with the following caption:

“RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!! Today was a beautiful day so my husband (who’s a vet), our 2 year old dog, and myself, decided to Google a lake to visit and have a picnic. We found a lake located in Starkville and decided to visit. Not five mins later a truck pulls up and a white lady screams at us, she then jumps out of her truck with a gun… and proceeded to point it at the 3 of us, simply because we didn’t make reservations. After leaving, my husband stopped by the office and talked with her husband (they’re the property managers). The husband tells my husband that reservations aren’t needed for the lake.”

Click the image below to watch the video.

One Twitter user says he identified the woman as Ruby Howell, whose Facebook profile describes as a Christian who loves the Confederate flag.