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Justice for George illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Derek Chauvin Trial Coverage

By: Emily Bunn

The case regarding the former police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has been unfolding. Chauvin has now been charged with both second- and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He was found guilty on all accounts. The case can be viewed live on CNN’s website here.

George Floyd’s death was recorded via cellphone footage from a nearby bystander, Darnella Frazier. Frazier, then seventeen at the time, has brought critical attention to Floyd’s death as a result of her footage, a major piece of evidence in bringing light to the case. Frazier has revealed that she only observed violence from the police officers at the scene of Floyd’s death, which contradicts the defense’s illustration of the bystanders as a “angry mob that was striking fear into the police.” Earlier this month on Facebook, Frazier had posed a query to her followers, asking what would have happened if no one recorded Floyd’s arrest and death, posing an important question surrounding the relationship between the police and the community members that the force governs. Frazier ended her testimony with an emotional statement: “When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad. I look at my brothers. I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that, and I look at how that could have been one of them.”

Frazier had witnessed the distressful scene alongside her nine-year-old cousin. The witness said that the officer on the scene had his knee on Floyd’s neck, even after the EMT personnel asked “him nicely to get off of him.” She continues, explaining that the ambulance personnel had to get the officer off of Floyd. “I was sad and kind of mad”, she remarks, “because it felt like he was stopping his breathing, and it was kind of like hurting him.”

Another witness to Floyd’s death, mixed-martial artist Donald Williams II, has taken to the stand to account what he observed at the scene of Floyd’s arrest. Williams had called the police on the police after seeing Floyd transported from the gruesome scene via ambulance. Williams claims, “I believed I witnessed a murder.”

Williams has faced speculation and discreditation from the defense attorney of Officer Chauvin, Eric J. Nelson. Nelson spent much of the morning on the second day of the trial questioning William’s knowledge of martial arts defense. Nelson also attempted to portray Williams as angry, to which Williams clarified his reaction was out of desperation because of the harrowing situation at hand. Nelson also attempted to portray the crowd of bystanders as mad at and violent towards the police officers present at the scene. As earlier stated, this claim contradicts Frazier’s assertion that the police were the source of violence at the scene. Nelson averted the attention from the video footage, asserting that there are 50,000 items in evidence and this case is “is clearly more than about 9 minutes and 29 seconds.”

On the other hand, the prosecution said it would bring in seven medical experts and the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Floyd (who classified the case as homicide) to bring further clarity to the case. Chauvin’s attorney is arguing that Floyd died due to a drug overdose and heart condition, though the nine minutes and twenty-nine second video also clearly shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, restricting his ability to breathe. Prosecuting attorney, Jerry W. Blackwell, spoke about the video footage: “You can believe your eyes, that it’s homicide–it’s murder.”

Another witness to the scene, paramedic Seth Zachary Bravinder, testified that when he arrived on scene, he could tell that Floyd already wasn’t breathing. When lifting Floyd into the ambulance, the paramedic recalls Floyd’s state: “I guess limp would be the best description. He wasn’t — he was unresponsive and wasn’t holding his head up or anything like that,” Bravinder said. He continues, explaining that Floyd flatlined while on the way to the hospital. Once realizing his patient had flatlined, Bravinder and his partner stopped the ambulance to give medical aid to Floyd. Bravinder elaborated on the condition of Floyd, explaining that the term “flatlining” refers to “not a good sign…basically just because your heart isn’t doing anything at that moment. There’s not — it’s not pumping blood. So it’s not — it’s not a good sign for a good outcome.”

Another paramedic who delivered medical assistance to George Floyd, Derek Smith, also delivered a testimony in the trial of Chauvin. Upon arriving on scene, Smith reports that he saw Floyd on the ground with three officers on top of him. He continues detailing the scene: “I walked up to the individual, noticed he wasn’t moving. I didn’t see any chest rise or fall on this individual.” Smith reported that he thought Floyd was dead, and upon checking the victim, he says that Floyd’s pupils were “large” and “dilated” and that he couldn’t detect his pulse. Still, Smith says he did all that he could in an attempt to revive Floyd: “”[H]e’s a human being and I was trying to give him a second chance at life.”

A doctor who provided emergency care to Floyd at Hennepin County Medical Center, Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, also took to the stand. Dr. Langenfeld had pronounced Floyd dead on May 25, 2020. Langenfeld attested that the emergency responders who responded to the event were originally called upon for a “lower type of acute event of facial trauma,” but the call was later upgraded to call for “an individual under distress.” When Floyd arrived at the hospital, Langefeld explains that the paramedics attempted to resuscitate Floyd for “approximately 30 minutes,” by inserting a tube down his throat to ventilate his lungs, as well as attempted to administer CPR and medication. The report did not mention that the police officers on scene nor any of the bystanders attempted to give Floyd CPR. Langenfeld, who provided medical treatment to Floyd, testified that hypoxia was likely a cause of Floyd’s cardiac arrest. He says,  “Based on the history that was available to me, I felt that hypoxia was one of the more likely possibilities.” Langenfeld clarified to prosecutor Jerry Blackwell that hypoxia refers to “cardiac arrest meaning oxygen insufficiency.” Langenfeld continues describing the condition of his patient: “There was no obvious, significant external trauma that would have suggested he suffered anything that could produce bleeding to lead to a cardiac arrest.” Jerry Blackwell asked if Langenfeld theorized oxygen deficiency as the leading cause of Floyd’s death, to which Langenfeld replied: “That was one of the more likely possibilities. I felt at the time based on information I had, it was more likely than the other possibilities.”

Capt. Jeremy Norton of the Minneapolis Fire Department had also been in the ambulance which escorted Floyd to the hospital. In his testimony, he recalled the scene when he entered the ambulance: “He was an unresponsive body on a cot.” Norton continues, attesting that after Floyd was delivered to the hospital, he filed a report with his supervisors regarding the incident. Norton says, “”I was aware that a man had been killed in police custody, and I wanted to notify my supervisors to notify the appropriate people above us in the city, in the fire department and whomever else, and then I also wanted to inform my deputy that there was an off-duty firefighter, who was a witness at the scene.”

Minneapolis police inspector, Katie Blackwell, also testified in Chauvin’s trial. She detailed that she had worked with Chauvin for over 20 years, and had selected him as a field training officer. Blackwell documented that Chauvin had been regularly instructed in defensive tactics and the proper use of force as taught by the Minneapolis Police Department. She continued testifying, adding that officers are also trained in their medical unit about the dangers of possible asphyxiation and the cruciality of positioning people up right or on their side to recover from such. She added that once a person is under control, officers should position them in a recovery position “as soon as possible.” Further, Blackwell said that Chauvin participated in a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training in 2016, and another seven hour refresher course in 2018– which included de-escalation training as part of the program. In viewing an image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Blackwell said: “I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is,” she said. “It’s not what we train.”

Another witness, Christopher Martin, continues to fill in more details to the harrowing day of Floyd’s death. Christopher Martin was the cashier at Cup Noodles, a convenience store in south Minneapolis. He explains that Floyd came in to buy cigarettes with a friend on May 25, and describes Floyd’s condition as “very friendly” and “talkative.” Martin testified that Floyd appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Martin continues, explaining that Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 bill. After realizing the counterfeit payment, Martin reported it to his manager, as the store had a policy of deducting the amount of counterfeit payment from its employee’s paychecks. Martin’s boss instructed the worker to approach Floyd and ask him to come back into the store, and Martin was met with refusal. He returned to the store and told his manager that he would accept the pay deduction, but Martin’s manager encouraged him to again approach Floyd. After Floyd refused for the second time, Martin’s manager told another store worker to call 911. Minutes later, Martin says that he recalls a large crowd of people gathering outside, “yelling” and “screaming.” Martin joined the crowd outside, observing as bystanders demanded for the police to take Floyd’s pulse as Chauvin continued to kneel on the victim’s neck. Reflecting on the scene, Martin says he felt “disbelief and guilt.” Elaborating on that statement, Martin explains: “If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided.” Martin has also added that “the one thing I would say to Derek Chauvin is justice will be served.”

The man who had been in the car alongside Floyd, Morries Hall, refuses to testify in the trial of Derek Chauvin and has asserted that he will invoke his Fifth Amendment if called to the stand. Hall had fled Minnesota shortly after Floyd died, and was soon after arrested in Texas on account of outstanding felony warrants that had been issues to him prior to Floyd’s death. One of the charges includes being a felon in possession of a firearm. Regarding the day of Floyd’s death, Hall has been accused of trying to get rid of evidence related to the case. A court document filed by the defense reports: “Surveillance video from the nearby Dragon Wok restaurant shows that Mr. Hall appeared to use Mr. Floyd’s resistance as a distraction to destroy evidence…The video demonstrates that Mr. Hall watched through the windows of Mr. Floyd’s vehicle to ensure that he was not being observed by police, then…. Mr. Hall furtively dropped something into the sewer drain on the street.”

Courteney Batya Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend since August 2017, took to the stand and revealed that both herself and Floyd had struggled with opioid addiction. She explains their opioid use: “Both Floyd and I, our story — it’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids. We both suffered from chronic pain. Mine was in my neck and his was in his back. We both have prescriptions. But after prescriptions that were filled, and we got addicted, and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.” Elaborating on Floyd’s opioid usage, Ross disclosed that Floyd had been hospitalized for overdose in March of 2020.

The prosecution presented this information regarding Floyd’s usage to light not to paint him in a negative light, but to show the full truth of the situation. CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explains the prosecution’s strategy: “’It’s because as the prosecutor, you want to present and address and resolve these bad facts. You don’t want to have the defense be able to say, ‘Hey, jury, why didn’t they tell you about this? Here are the things they don’t want you to know.’ Sprinkling seeds of doubt’….Coates added that the prosecution is addressing it so they can “package it essentially” to say, “‘So what? He has an opioid addiction.’ And of course in America, we view opioid abuse very differently than we did even decades ago. How does this actually impact Chauvin’s decision to act?’”

Retired Sgt. David Pleoger of the Minneapolis Police Department took to the stand to describe a phone call that had taken place between Chuavin and himself on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin had kneeled on Floyd’s neck. He recalls: “I believe he told me that they had — tried to put Mr. Floyd — I didn’t know his name at the time, Mr. Floyd into the car. He had become combative,” adding that “I think he mentioned that he had injured — either his nose or his mouth, a bloody lip, I think, and eventually after struggling with him, he suffered a medical emergency and an ambulance was called and they headed out of the scene.” Pleoger also detailed that he has known Chauvin since 2008.

Another member of the force, Jon Curtis Edwards, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department, took to the stand to discuss details about the crime scene and body camera footage. Edwards reports that he arrived at the scene of 38th and Chicago around 9:35 p.m. ET. Upon arrival, Edwards says there were only two officers still present­– J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane– and not many other people around. While Edwards attests that he arrived on scene with his body camera turned on, he says that the two officers who had been at the scene did not have their cameras on. Edwards asked them to turn their body cameras on. Then, after the two officers detailed to Edwards where the scene had occurred, Edwards told them to place crime scene tape around the area “so that we could preserve any potential evidence that was there.”

The most senior officer on the Minneapolis police department and head of the Minneapolis Police’s homicide unit, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, also took to the stand. He clarified that the actions of Chauvin are not compliant with the training that police officers receive, adding that  “if your knee is on a person’s neck, that could kill them.” As the most long-standing member of the police force, and having been trained every year in the appropriate use of force, he says that he has never received instruction to deliver force via kneeling on the back or neck of someone, as Chauvin demonstrated. “Pulling him down to the ground face down, and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger — if that’s what they felt — and that’s what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force,” Zimmerman stated. He says that Chauvin’s use of force would only be used in a “top-tier, deadly force” situation and in case of Floyd was “totally unnecessary.” There are varying degrees of how officers can work to restrain someone. Zimmerman explains, “Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way. They are cuffed, how can they really hurt you,” he said. “You getting injured is way down. You could have some guy try to kick you or something, but you can move out of the way. That person is handcuffed, you know, so the threat level is just not there.” Upon arriving at the crime scene around 10 p.m., Zimmerman recalls walking up to officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. Determining the two as “involved officers,” Zimmerman says he instructed them to go to city hall to be interviewed. Zimmerman explains that the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) took over the handling of the case when the hospital determined Floyd had passed. Lt. Richard Zimmerman, head of the Minneapolis Police’s homicide unit, said the use of force by former officer Derek Chauvin against George Floyd was “totally unnecessary.”

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo from the Minneapolis Police Department also took to the stand to discuss the use of force and de-escalation techniques. He has held his position as chief for three years, and has been involved with the department since 1989. At the beginning of his testifying, he was asked to identify Derek Chauvin, whom he successfully pointed out. He discussed de-escalation tactics and the use of force in the Minneapolis Police Department. Reading the department’s policy, Arradondo states: “As an alternative and/or the precursor to the actual use of force MPD officers shall consider verbally announcing their intent to use force including displaying an authorized weapon as a threat of force when reasonable under the circumstances.” He continues, “The goal is to resolve the situation as safely as possible. So you want to always have de-escalation layered into those actions of using force.”

When asked about Chauvin’s use of force unto Floyd, Arradondo said “The conscious neck restraint by policy mentions light to moderate pressure. When I look at exhibit 17 and when I look at the facial expression of Mr. Floyd, that does not appear in any way, shape or form that that is light to moderate pressure.” Arradondo comments on the use of restraint by Chauvin: “I absolutely agree that violates our policy,” detailing that the Department’s core values include treating everyone with “dignity and respect.” Arradondo continues, “Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting. And certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped. There is an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds. But once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive, and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned-out, handcuffed behind their back. That, in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy. It is not a part of our training. And it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”

Arradondo also commented on the first amendment right of protesters to record officers with their cellphones, even if the officers find the recording “irritating.” This “absolute first amendment right” is granted to all people, “with the exception that they cannot obstruct the activity of the officers but they absolutely have the right, barring that, to record us performing our duties,” he added. In the case of Floyd, the recording of officers was deemed by Arradondo as non-obstructive.

In his own viewing of the footage surrounding Floyd’s death, Arradondo commented that the city-owned video camera footage he originally saw didn’t show as much detail as community member footage. Arradondo recalls learning of the bystander video recording: “Probably close to midnight a community member had contacted me and said, chief, almost verbatim, but said, chief, have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man at 38th and Chicago? And so once I heard that statement, I just knew it wasn’t the same milestone camera video that I had saw. And eventually within minutes after that, I saw for the first time what is now known as the bystander video.”

In reviewing the footage, which showed Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd’s neck, Arradondo commented on whether the officer followed the department’s de-escalation policy: “”I absolutely don’t agree with that”…”that action is not de-escalation. And when we talk about the framework of our sanctity of life and when we talk about the principles and values we have, that action goes contrary to what we’re taught.”

George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, also was present in the court room alongside the Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump.  Having to relive his brother’s death through re-watching the traumatic video footage, Philonise commented that it was an “emotional day watching his brother being tortured to death, screaming for his mom, talking about his kids… it was a tragedy that should have never happened.” While Chauvin and his defense are attempting to pin Floyd’s death on other factors, including drug use and health issues, Crump refocuses the case on Chauvin’s defense’s allegations: “That’s their playbook. That’s what they’ve done to so many people of color who have been unjustifiably killed by police. [They] assassinate their character so it can be a distraction from their excessive use of force.” As Chauvin’s defense looks to explain the cause of Floyd’s death as due to factors outside of the police force, Crump declares “The reason Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck is because he lacks humanity.”

When it came time for Chauvin to take the stand, he plead his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent, choosing not testify in his own defense. On Thursday, Chauvin’s attorneys rested their case shortly after his invocation. The prosecution had rested its case on Tuesday, after hearing from 38 witnesses over 11 days of the murder trial. Chauvin has plead not guilty to second-degree unintentional manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder charges.

Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, said during his closing argument that “that Derek Chauvin’s own use of force trainer at the Minneapolis Police Department testified that placing the knee on the neck of a suspect “is not an unauthorized move,” according to CNN. Nelson is referring to the earlier testimony of Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil, who conducts the training for the Department. Mercil had testified that using a knee on someone’s neck “can be justified in certain circumstances,” perhaps as a means of “using body weight to control.” However, Mercil had also remarked “however, I will add that we don’t — we tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible and if you’re going to use body weight to pin, to put it on their shoulder and be mindful of position.” Keeping all this in mind, during his closing argument Nelson urged the jury to consider the circumstances Chauvin had arrived at on-scene, including meeting “active resistance” and “potentially active aggression” from Floyd. Nelson stated to the jury, “The state has really focused on the 9 minutes and 29 seconds, 9 minutes and 29 seconds, 9 minutes and 29 seconds. It’s not the proper analysis because the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous 15 minutes and 59 seconds. Completely disregards.” Nelson reminded that jury that his client, Chauvin, has a “presumption of innocent,” until possibly being proven guilty beyond a reasonable guilt by the state.

The case’s prosecuting attorney, Steve Schleicher, reminded the jury that “George Floyd is not on trial here,”…”For 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He begged, George Floyd begged until he could speak no more, and the defendant continued. This assault. When he was unable to speak, the defendant continued. When he was unable to breathe the defendant continued. Beyond the point that he had a pulse. Beyond the point that he had a pulse, the defendant continued this assault. Nine minutes and 29 seconds.” During Schleicher’s closing statement, he asserted that Chauvin’s actions were not in line with the motto of the Minneapolis Police Department, “to protect with courage.”

Another prosecuting attorney, Jerry Blackwell, took to the stand again to deliver his closing statement. He reminded the jury that while “”when he [Eric Nelson] was talking about causation, he talks about fentanyl, heart failure, hypertension. He says that we have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that none of these other factors played a role”…but “”what we need to prove is that the defendant’s actions were a substantial causal factor in his death. It does not have to be the only causal factor. It doesn’t have to be the biggest substantial factor. It just has to be one of them.” Further, he asserted the power that Chauvin held over Floyd while kneeling on the victim’s neck: “He had the bullets, the guns, the mace that he threatened the bystanders with. He had backup. He had the badge. He had all of it. And what was there to be afraid of, here particularly, at this scene?”

Blackwell also urged the jury to consider what he called the case’s 46th witness– common sense. He cited the eyewitness account of the nine-year-old bystander, claiming that the case is “so simple a child could understand… [t]he 9-year-old girl said, ‘get off of him.’ That’s how simple it was. Get off of him. Common sense.”

As the closing arguments of the case are being released today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released her statement: “Today is a solemn day as the closing arguments are presented in the George Floyd murder trial. I commend the Floyd family for their dignified calls for justice, which were heard around the world”…”As outraged as we are by his death, let us be prayerful that the truth will prevail and will honor George Floyd’s memory.”

Chauvin is on trial for  three different charges, in which the jury must deliberate whether or not the prosecution “proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” The first charge Chauvin could be convicted of is second-degree unintentional murder. The prosecution must prove that Chauvin caused George Floyd’s death while committing an underlying felony. Futher, prosectors must also prove that Chauvin acted with no intent to kill, just intent to act. If convicted, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison. Secondly, Chauvin faces a possible charge for third-degree murder. In order to be convicted, prosecutors must prove Chauvin committed a reckless act that is “eminently dangerous” to others with “depraved mind.” If Chauvin is convicted of third-degree murder, he could face up to 25 years in prison. Finally, Chauvin faces a third conviction for second-degree Manslaughter. In order to be charged, the prosecution must prove Chauvin was “culpably negligent” and disregarded awareness of substantial risk of great bodily injury or death of Floyd. If convicted of second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin could face up to 10 years in prison. All of the charges are seperate, so Chauvin could end up being charged for a combination of charges, being found guilty on all accounts, or be found completely non-guilty.

While the world waits to heart the outcome of Derek Chauvin’s trial, the NYPD is bracing for the reaction to the case’s verdict. In a statement, the. NYPD said that the department has been preparing for months and has provided the necessary training for its officers to “protect and facilitate the constitutional right to peace protest.” In DC, the Army has positioned 250 members of the National Guard in preparation for potential protest, riots, and civil unrest. Around the country, police departments are preparing to face the reaction to the outcome of the trial.

The jury panel working to determine the outcome of the trial consists of six white jurors and six Black or multi-racial people. Of the jurors, seven are women and five are men. The panel consists of a grandmother, nurse, chemist, and auditor, among others. The jury’s verdict must be unanimous, and must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Shortly after the juror deliberations had begun, several of Minnesota’s most prominent politicians spoke about to urge for calm, regardless of the trial’s outcome.

Gov. Tim Waltz spoke to Minnesota residents: ““We must acknowledge two truths: We cannot allow civil unrest to descend into chaos, we must protect life and property,” the governor continued. “We also must understand very clearly, if we don’t listen to those communities in pain, and those people on the streets, many of whom were arrested for speaking a fundamental truth, that we must change, or we will be right back here again.”

Minneapolis’ mayor, Jacob Frey, echoed similar peaceful sentiments: ““There’s been pain and anguish, anger and frustration that is undoubtedly acutely felt by our Black and Brown communities,” Frey said. “Regardless of the outcome of this trial, regardless of the decision made by the jury, there is one true reality, which is that George Floyd was killed at the hands of police.” Similarly, Saint Paul’s mayor cautioned against violence.

Gov. Melvin Center spoke out about the jury deliberations on Monday afternoon: ““Whatever the jury decides, we know that in this age of insurrection and extremism that we must be ready for the possibility of those who would exploit this moment and drown out the powerful voices of constructive protests across our nation with violence and destruction.'”

Even President Biden spoke out about the trial, sharing similar thoughts. The President said he hopes the right outcome of the trial will prevail, and commented on the “overwhelming” evidence of the case. Biden also had a private conversation to discuss familial loss with George Floyd’s brother, Philonise.

The verdict of the case has been decided and publicly announced, as reported by CNN: “Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all charges by a jury in the Hennepin County court. The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death in May 2020.”

As seen in media from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach:

“Today’s three guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin are an important public act of accountability. But any verdict on a charge of less than first-degree murder — a charge that Chauvin did not face — is a sign that we still have work to do. Before the entire nation, fellow officers took the stand in this trial and testified that their colleague did not protect and serve but abused power and killed George Floyd. We must meet this public act of justice and accountability with federal legislation that will hold officers of the law accountable in every state, and we must continue to work in every community to shift public investment from over-policing poor, Black and brown communities to ensuring restorative justice and equity for all people.”

Gun Violence illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Indianapolis FedEx Mass Shooting

EIGHT KILLED IN INDIANAPOLIS FEDEX FACILITY SHOOTING

What we know so far

  • Brandon Hole, the shooting suspect, opened fire outside and inside of a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday evening.
  • Eight people were shot and killed, while several others were wounded in addition to the gunman.
  • Police believe the gunman killed himself as officers encountered him.
  • The motive for the shooting known at this time.

Law enforcement were notified of a mass casualty situation at the Indianapolis FedEx location late Thursday evening. Timothy Boillat, a FedEx employee, was inside of the building when the gunshots began, according to CNN. He was on break when he heard “two loud metal clangs,” not realizing that it was gun shots. Boillat said his friend saw someone grabbing a gun out of the trunk of their car. It was at that moment that Boillat saw a body on the ground. Levi Miller was interviewed this morning by the Today Show and stated “I saw a man, a hooded figure. The man did have an AR in his hand, and he started shouting and then he started firing. I thought he saw me, so I immediately ducked for cover.”

Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations for Indianapolis Police, Craig McCartt, stated that four of the victims were found inside of the FedEx facility and four were found outside. The suspect was found deceased, in addition to eight other people. The Indianapolis Police Department said they have an idea of who the suspect was, however, have not formally identified him. The Department believes that the shooter was using a rifle, but they do not yet have any specifics on the weapon. The police are being assisted by the FBI in searching the suspect’s house. Special agent Paul Keenan is in charge.

During a news conference McCartt stated, “This suspect came to the facility. He got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility. There was no confrontation with anyone. That began in the parking lot and then he did go into the building.”

Alfarena McGinty, the Chief Deputy Coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said that the Department is conducting an investigation, but cannot yet enter the crime scene to confirm the victims’ identity until all evidence has been collected. “We are still a number of hours out before we are able to go on to the scene to conduct our investigation, and then after that, we’ll work with the families. Following that process, what we have to do is we will perform our examinations,” she said, adding that extra staff will be called in to complete those examinations in the next 48 to 72 hours, reports CNN.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 147 mass shootings incidents in 2021 in the United States. The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from various law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily in order to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA is a non-profit corporation based out of Washington DC, as stated on their website.

UPDATE:

Indianapolis Police has released the names of the deceased victims from Thursday night’s shooting. 

The victims are: 

  • 32-year-old Matthew R Alexander 
  • 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell
  • 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal
  • 64-year-old Jaswinder Kaur
  • 68-year-old Jaswinder Singh
  • 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon
  • 19-year-old Karlie Smith
  • 74-year-old John Weisert

A statement by IMPD says the next of kin has been notified by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

The cause of death will be determined after autopsies are complete, according to the statement. 

IMPD said the names of those injured are not being released. 

Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art

A Group Show Curated by Indira Cesarine

OPENING RECEPTION: April 17, 2021

VIP Preview 1pm – 3pm // Opening Reception 3pm – 8pm

EXHIBITION ON VIEW: April 17 – May 28, 2021

45 Lispenard Street, NYC 10013

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” group show opening on April 17 and on view through May 28, 2021. Curated by Indira Cesarine, the exhibition will feature textile and fiber-based artworks by 40 contemporary women artists. “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” explores in depth the themes and techniques of the medium through the works of female-identifying artists working with natural and synthetic fiber, fabric, and yarn. The exhibition presents figurative and abstract works that address our lived experience and history through the lens of women weaving, knotting, twining, plaiting, coiling, pleating, lashing, and interlacing. Narratives of self-identification, race, religion, gen­­der, sexuality, our shared experience, as well as protest and the patriarchy are literally “unraveled” through embroidery, felt, woven and hooked rugs, braided and sewn hair, sewn fabrics, discarded clothing, cross-stitching, repurposed materials and more.

Exhibiting Artists: Amber Doe, Carol Scavotto, Caroline Wayne, Christy O’Connor, Daniela Puliti, Delaney Conner, Dominique Vitali, Elise Drake, Elizabeth Miller, Hera Haesoo Kim, Indira Cesarine, Jamia Weir, Jody MacDonald, Julia Brandão, Kathy Sirico, Katie Cercone, Katie Commodore, Katrina Majkut, Katy Itter, Kelly Boehmer, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Lisa Federici, Marianne Fairbanks, Mary Tooley Parker, Melanie Fischer, Melissa Zexter, Mychaelyn Michalec, Mz Icar, Orly Cogan, Robin Kang, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Ruta Naujalyte, Sally Hewett, Sarah Blanchette, Sooo-z Mastopietro, Sophie Boggis-Rolfe, Stacy Isenbarger, Stephanie Eche, Victoria Selbach, and Winnie van der Rijn.

Curatorial Statement:

unravel [ uhn-rav-uhl ] to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.). to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” investigates the narratives of contemporary fiber artists. The exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who each address through their own personal vision, materials, and methods, works that are deeply rooted in the history of feminism, in the intersection of art and craft, addressing our living experiences and personal languages. We live in a world of extremes – on one hand, the pandemic has brought forth an intensity on digital and online programming peaking with the emergence of NFT art, and on the opposite end of the spectrum we are seeing a return to the comforts of the home and along with it a renaissance of organic and handmade artworks that embody that spirit. The laborious and repetitive methods required to create one work of fiber art can take hundreds of hours, yet equally the creation process is often referred to as a mediative act of healing, allowing for an expressive personal and cultural interrogation.

Fibers have been an integral part of human civilization for thousands of years. Textile art is one of the oldest art forms, dating back to prehistoric times. Despite early works of textiles such as embroideries and tapestries having been made by both men and women, the tradition of textiles and needlework evolved into that of “women’s work” and was not only dismissed as not “important” but was literally banned from the high art world by the Royal Academy in the 18th century (circa 1769). With the rise of the women’s movement as well as technological advances, women reclaimed the medium, subverted its history as a lesser art form, and transformed it into a tool of expression, of protest, of personality. From early suffrage movement embroidered banners to the groundbreaking exhibitions and works of female pioneers such as Bauhaus weaver Anni Alber’s momentous solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949, Lenore Tawney’s exhibition at the Staten Island Museum in 1961 to Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking 1979 work “The Dinner Party”, we have seen the medium evolve and inspire new generations of fiber artists.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” explores this new wave of female-identifying artists who are using materials ranging from thread and yarn to human hair, fabrics, and discarded clothing, among a range of other components to unravel the “language of thread” with works that provoke and interrogate. Whether drawn from a deeply personal narrative, or rooted in political motivation, each artist weaves, spins, sews, and hooks the viewer with their detailed and intricate textures that communicate and empower. The exhibition presents two and three-dimensional pieces that explore with gravity and humor our contemporary culture, its beauty, flaws, and idiosyncrasies through murals, assemblages, fragile and gestural threads, meditative, and metaphorical fibers. “UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” pushes the boundaries, investigates ancient as well as new materials and techniques, and presents a contemporary universe of the language of women and their interwoven, progressive vocabulary.”– Curator Indira Cesarine

“To know the history of embroidery is to know the history of women.” – Rozsika Parker author of “The Subversive Stitch” (1984)

“I am a multimedia artist who uses sculpture and performance to bear witness to the experiences of black women even as American society aims to render us and our lives as invisible and meaningless. Despite the prevalent “urban black” narrative, my experience is tied to the natural world, and I use materials that reference my desert environment and my lived experience as a black woman with Indigenous roots.” – Artist Amber Doe

“I mix subversion with flirtation, humor with power, and intimacy with frivolity. My subject matter is frank and provocative, dealing with issues of fertility, sexuality, self-image, isolation, vulnerability, indulgence, and beauty in the mundane, which are designed to challenge social stereotypes embedded within childhood fairytales. My work explores the many flavors of feminism.” – Artist Orly Cogan

“I pull from my autobiography to illustrate stories of trauma, sexuality, intimacy, and growth. Detailed beading and cyclical patterning emphasize the consistent labor in the repetitive motion of handsewing, that which mirrors the emotional and psychic labor expended in order to manage the suffering a body can accumulate over time. My sculptures translate the life experience of a survivor of complex trauma through the lens of glittering beadwork in order to recount deeply traumatic stories for the same cultural collective that due to repression, denial, censorship and deliberate silencing…” –Artist Caroline Wayne

“This body of work scrutinizes the amalgamation of victim shaming tropes that men and women are taught throughout their lives, both passively and actively, through social norms, pop culture, our educational and legal systems, religious establishments, and familial influences and upbringing.” – Artist Christy O’Connor

“My work focuses on my personal experience living within the confines of a female body, exploring sexuality, religion, and body image. The shared narratives of childbirth, menstruation, dysmorphia, sexual violation, and societal scrutiny all come into play and find connections with the viewers in their shared commonality.” – Artist Dominique Vitali

“My textile works are hand-sewn, fabric based sculptural pieces made from recycled materials that have multiple uses as ritual talismans, wearables, ecstatic birth blankets, dreamcatchers and traveling altars”. – Artist Katie Cercone

“Discarded clothing is my paint. I give second chances to the worn, the damaged, the mistreated, the abandoned, the unwanted, and to myself. My emotional narrative portraits and figurative artworks examine the human condition through my own lived experience. The violence of cutting and deconstruction make way for the reconstruction and refashioning of a broken past.” – Artist Linda Friedman Schmidt

“We are drawn to the grand gesture, the loud assured voice, the bold move, the aggressive brush stroke. I celebrate the opposite: the small moments in our lives – the unremarkable… as Covid-19 took over, some of the things I was celebrating became even more pertinent; toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer. These objects became signs of hope, of safety, of comfort.” – Artist Melanie Fischer

ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE

The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2015 by artist Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary-pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of women in art. Since launching The Untitled Space gallery, Cesarine has curated over 40 exhibitions and has exhibited artwork by more than 450 artists. Her curatorial for The Untitled Space includes solo shows for artists Sarah Maple, Rebecca Leveille, Alison Jackson, Fahren Feingold, Jessica Lichtenstein, Tom Smith, Loren Erdrich, Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface, Katie Commodore, and Jeanette Hayes among many others. Notable group shows include “Art4Equality x Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness” public art exhibition and group show presented in collaboration with Save Art Space, “IRL: Investigating Reality,” “BODY BEAUTIFUL,” “SHE INSPIRES,” Special Projects “EDEN” and “(HOTEL) XX” at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and internationally celebrated group shows “UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN,” and “ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE” responding to the political climate in America, as well as numerous other critically-acclaimed exhibitions. Recent press on Indira Cesarine & The Untitled Space includes Vogue (US), Vogue Italia, CNN, Forbes, Newsweek, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, i-D Magazine, Dazed and Confused, and The New York Times among many others.

*Featured image artwork by Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. 

artwork by  Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.

artwork by Indira Cesarine, for UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Mary Tooley Parker, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.

End Gun Violence illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Boulder Shooter Kills Ten People

Colorado Supermarket Mass Shooting:

Gunman kills 10, including police officer

The series of mass shootings have continued within the United States, this time in Boulder Colorado at 3600 Table Mesa Drive. A gunman killed 10 people at a King Soopers supermarket on Monday afternoon. One of the victims included police officer Eric Talley who was first on the scene. Officer Talley was first to respond to report of gunfire at the grocery store. The workers and shoppers that survived were able to flee the scene and others were able to take shelter within the store – enduring the horrific violence that echoed throughout the store.

The shooting started shortly after 2:30 p.m. in the parking lot of King Soopers. Videographer Dean Schiller provided a livestream video showing what appears to be victims and an employee saying the shooter was inside of the store. Two roommates commented that “he just came in and started shooting” without saying a word. They went on to note that the gunman “let off a couple of shots, then was silent, and then he let off a couple more – He wasn’t spraying.”.

Survivor Ryan Borowski commented to CNN’s Don Lemon that he was still processing what happened. Borowski had just gone to buy some ice cream at the grocery store. He had changed his mind at the last minute and went down a different aisle. Borowski then heard the first gunshots, which he then started running to the back of the store. Borowski and several others rushed out of the store through the back, telling employees “Gun, gun, gun. Run, run, run.” Borowski went on to comment “I don’t remember anybody screaming. It was just go, go, go, get out of here… I knew I had to move.”.

Steven McHugh commented that his son-in-law and his two granddaughters were in the store as their dad got the vaccination for Covid-19. McHugh was told that his family watched people get shot and managed to run to a staff area to hide in a coat closet until police were able to intervene.

The 21-year-old suspect, Ahmad Al Issa, was taken into custody and treated for injuries, however, there are not many answers as to why the violent crime was carried out. Issa is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and will be taken to Boulder County Jail. Officials say it will take days to investigate the crime scene thoroughly and notify families of the loss of their loved ones. Local, state, and federal agencies responded to the scene to aid in the investigation.

Officer Eric Talley had been with the department since 2010 and was very passionate about his job according to Officer Mark Bliley, head of the Boulder Police Department’s union. Bliley continued to say that Talley had a unique ability to connect with people; that he was a highly respected, well-loved person and officer – a solid person that everyone loved.

Kelli McGannon, King Soopers spokeswoman, said the company is working with investigators and will be deferring to law enforcement on all inquiries about the shooting. “Our hearts are broken over this senseless act of violence,” she said.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords commented “It’s beyond time for our leaders to take action” on gun control. Giffords is a gun control advocate and mass shooting survivor. She went on to comment that “This is not normal, and it doesn’t have to be this way. This is an especially personal tragedy for me. I survived a shooting at a grocery store, in a tragedy that devastated my beloved community of Tucson. It’s been 10 years, and countless American communities have had to face something similar. Today it’s a tragedy in Boulder, Colorado. This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area.”

The supermarket shooting occurred just seven days after the violent mass shooting in Atlanta where eight innocent people, including six Asian women, were killed when a gunman terrorized three spas. On March 17, five people were gunned down in a drive-by shooting while preparing a vigil in Stockton, California. Just a day later, four victims were shot in Gresham, Oregon. In Houston, five people were shot within a club during a disturbance on March 20. In Philadelphia, five people were injured and one murdered during a shooting at a party on the same day.

The Colorado Healing Fund is collecting donations for victims of the Boulder shooting. The Colorado Healing Fund is a non-profit organization created to support victims of mass tragedies.

Victims of the King Sooper’s Mass Shooting:

  • Denny Strong, 20 years old
  • Neven Stoanisic, 23 years old
  • Rikki Olds, 25 years old
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49 years old
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59 years old
  • Teri Leiker, 51 years old
  • Officer Eric Talley, 51 years old
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61 years old
  • Lynn Murray, 62 years old
  • Jody Waters, 65 years old
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Illustration by Kaelen Felix

The Presidential Inauguration

Today, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States which commences his four-year presidency and Kamala Harris as Vice President. 

Earlier it was revealed that former president Donald Trump would not attend the ceremony. Trump announced this on his Twitter account before the account was suspended. On January 8 he tweeted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Trump is the sixth outgoing president that did not attend the presidential inauguration. The last time this occurred was in 1921 when Woodrow Wilson did not attend the inauguration of Warren G. Harding because of poor health. 

“It’s usually a sign that American society is in the midst of major political feud,” the presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said in the New York Times. “The fact that the incoming and outgoing presidents can’t shake hands and co-participate in an inauguration means that something’s off-kilter in the democracy.”

President Biden took an upbeat approach while speaking to the public in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the “Celebrating America” concert. After  addressing many difficulties the nation has encountered recently, he asked if American’s were up for a challenge. 

“Will we meet the moment like our forebearers have?” he asked. “I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America than I am this very day.”

“There isn’t anything we can’t do, if we do it together,” he added. 

“So thank you for this honor, I will give my all to you,” Biden concluded. 

The “Celebrating America” concert was star-packed and many celebrities came together to celebrate the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris. Performers such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, John Legend and Katy Perry all had smashing performances. The celebration was hosted by Tom Hanks, who many sources noted as looking “freezing” because he didn’t have time to take a break in the heated trailers set up for performers. 

There was of course concerns because of the violence that recently occurred at the Capitol earlier in January, explained Adrienne Elrod, the director of talent for the Biden transition team. “What happened on January 6th I wouldn’t say derailed us, but it certainly caused us to take a step back,” she said.

This inauguration is monumental as the first female Vice President is sworn in inspiring girls throughout America. Many people showed heartwarming tweets of their daughters watching Harris as she was sworn in as president. It was also reported that Harris will not immediately be moving in to the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory. 

In Harris’s first statement to the public in her role as Vice President, she encouraged the people of the United States to unite in this time of crisis. 

“In many ways this moment embodies our character as a nation. It demonstrates who we are, even in dark times. We, not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted, in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up. This is American aspiration,” Harris said.

Dr. Jill Biden tweeted a video of her and President Biden arriving at the North Portico of the White House as her first official tweet as First Lady. “Thank you for your faith in something that is bigger than all of us: that we will build a better world because we’re going to do it together,” the tweet read.

One unexpected part of the inauguration that has taken social media by storm is an image of Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair with mittens on. A huge number of memes have been created of Sanders in various locations and according to the Los Angles Times Sanders has also been laughing at the memes. 

A school teacher from Vermont was responsible for crafting the famous mittens and has since been flooded with requests from people that want to buy them. However, she has announced she is no longer selling them.

“Thanks for all the interest in Bernie’s mittens!” Jen Ellis wrote on Twitter. “I’m so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on ETSY who make them.”

Sanders said he had no idea that the image of him would cause such an uproar on social media. “I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on,” he said during an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Thursday. Even celebrities like Reba and Sarah Jessica Parker joined in on the fun making memes of the image. 

Biden began his duties as early as Wednesday when he finalized over a dozen executive moves in the Oval Office. “There’s no time to start like today,” Biden told reporters as he began signing a stack of orders and memoranda. “I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people.”

Biden also made it clear during a swearing-in ceremony that his employees are expected to respect each other.”If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treating another colleague with disrespect, talking down to someone, I will fire you on the spot,” said Biden. 

The Biden administration has also put a plan in place to focus on specific issues that need attention. Starting on January 20, the Biden Administration began with Inauguration and four Crises to focus on.

They decided to pick a theme for the following ten days so they would be able to focus on specific issues each day. Some of these themes include Covid, Economic Relief, Climate, Health Care and Immigration. In February there is a plan to focus on restoring America’s place in the world. Throughout these days there will be a variety of executive orders depending on the theme.

Lexus Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Lexus – “All In”

Sneakerhead, audiophile, fashionista, gamer … these people are “all in” on their passions. In a new marketing campaign breaking today for the Lexus 2021 IS, the automaker celebrates its own obsession: an unapologetically pure sports sedan. Entitled “All In,” the new campaign engages an audience that’s just as unapologetic about pursuing their unique interests. It features influencers and deep, diverse media partnerships.

“The IS customer is our youngest, most fiercely authentic yet,” said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Lexus marketing. “The marketing campaign, like the new IS, is equally authentic and celebrates those who fully embrace their passions.”

Rather than casting actors, the campaign features eight micro-influencers. The first spot, “Names,” moves quickly through people from different walks of life who introduce themselves by the names they’ve earned—be it sneakerhead, gamer or audiophile.

Another spot, “Vanity Plates,” demonstrates just how far these enthusiasts will go to show off the obsessions that define them.  To ensure a connection with all consumers, unique ads were created to further explore the meaning of “all in” for Asian, Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ markets.

“Names” and “Vanity Plates” will air during primetime, special events and sports including NFL playoffs and NBA. Potential drivers and enthusiasts of Lexus will be able to ask their Google Assistant-ready devices about the new Lexus IS model to learn more about the vehicle’s latest technology, audio, performance and safety features, as well as a link to nearby dealerships. The campaign also includes video, audio, connected speakers, print, social and display.

Lexus is connecting with an audience that embraces their passions fully by providing content that celebrates those who go “all in.”

  • Epic Race. Lexus partnered with MotorTrend for an epic race between race car driver Rhys Millen and downhill skater Josh Neuman at speeds of over 70 MPH on Malibu’s legendary Deer Creek Road. The video is live now.
  •  Travel Influencer. Lexus is partnering with Courageous Studios, CNN’s brand studio, to produce a documentary-style campaign that follows Ugandan-American photographer, self-proclaimed geography nerd and travel expert Jessica Nabongo. The first black woman to visit every country in the world, Jessica’s story unfolds as she approaches her next milestone: seeing every state in the U.S. The campaign will be distributed via CNNgo in February.
  •   Fantasy Football. Last Fall, Lexus worked with Yahoo to create dynamic banners on the Yahoo Fantasy Football web site that leverage the players’ stats to serve custom ads to fans engaging in their passion.

About Lexus

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its guests. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries.

In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 242 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

Keep up with Lexus on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest

Lexus Press Release Image curtsey of Jesse Zand
Lexus Press Release Image curtsey of Jesse Zand
Lexus Press Release Image curtsey of Jesse Zand
Kaelen Felix illustrates Chadwick Boseman of Black Panther for 360 magazine article

Chadwick Boseman

Although Chadwick Boseman passed earlier this year, his 44th birthday would be coming up on November 29. To commemorate Boseman, National Today has created Chadwick Boseman Day in his honor.

Boseman accomplished many things over his 44 years of life and has inspired people everywhere. He always encompassed black excellence and this shines through in each role he portrayed throughout his career.

As T’CHalla in Black Panther, Boseman gave young people of color a hero to look up to in the Marvel universe. This was a monumental role as the first black superhero for Marvel. He also represented the first African American Supreme Court Justice in the movie Marshall. In the famous film 42, Boseman took on the lead as Jackie Robinson, the first black MLB player. These roles only highlight Boseman’s wildly successful career. He took on powerful roles that gave representation to the African American community and will be remembered for these roles and many others.

Chadwick Boseman passed after a four year battle with colon cancer on Friday, August 28, 2020. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage three cancer which had progressed to stage four. Boseman was able to pass at home surrounded by family.

Boseman’s passing, whose struggle with cancer was not often in the public eye, came as a shock to a majority. Even Sarah Halley Finn, who casted Boseman for the role of King T’Challa in “Black Panther” did not know he was battling cancer.
According to Vulture, “Finn had no idea the actor had been diagnosed with stage three cancer when cameras rolled on Black Panther in 2017.”

Chadwick Boseman not only was an actor, but a pillar in the black community often playing roles of historical black men, such as Jackie Robinison in “42”. His latest role as King T’Challa in “Black Panther” and the Avengers series was a historical role itself.

The black community had never seen a super hero represent them before and Chadwick Boseman’s adaptation of T’Challa provided many young boys and girls a super hero that looked just like them.

Boseman’s humble spirit was always felt throughout Hollywood. CNN entertainment shared the story of Boseman praising fellow actor, Denzel Washington, for his charity that allowed Boseman to pursue acting.

From pulled quotes from Boseman’s speech at the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, the story of how Washington paid for Boseman’s tuition at the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program after Boseman was accepted but could not attend because he could not afford it. Washington not only helped pay for this program, but helped pay for Boseman to attend Howard University.

 Boseman recounted how the sponsorship was “an offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope, a bud of faith.”

“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said. “And not just because of me, but my whole cast — that generation — stands on your shoulders.”

Boseman’s role as T’Challa was much more than that, a role. This role became a national symbol of black power and strength. The “Wakanda Forever” gesture of arms crossed over the chest, became a symbol itself of perseverance and pride. 

CBS New York spoke to people in New York about how Blank Panther made them feel. “Thirteen-year-old Brehima Gueye says watching Boseman in the 2018 Marvel film “Black Panther” gave him purpose and a sense of pride.”

According to CBS, “Family members say Boseman was a true fighter who continued to work while undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy for colon cancer that progressed to stage four.” 

On August 29, 2020 fans in Los Angeles attended a vigil at Leimert Park where they remembered the impact Boseman had within the black community. The Los Angeles Times stated, “Boseman’s death in the midst of so much racial tension in the country serves as reminder to keep fighting for racial justice like he did.”

Fans of the franchise worry about how it will continue on without Boseman but are hopeful that Wakanda and King T’Challa’s legacy will live on.

Boseman’s role in not only Hollywood, but within the black community and as a symbol of black strength will not be forgotten. While his role for the Avengers franchise brought monetary achievements, it brought much more than that. It brought a symbol of power, endurance and hope that will forever be immortalized on screen.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

Covid Risk Increases During Holidays

By Hannah DiPilato

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Covid cases are skyrocketing all over the country and officials are advising people to social distance this holiday season.

According to CNN, more than 12 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and over 260,000 people have died. With those that are elderly or immune-compromised, the risk of complications due to COVID-19 is higher.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the safety guidelines for traveling. “CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving Day period,” Dr. Henry Walke, Covid-19 incident manager for the CDC, said in a conference call.

“Right now, especially as we are seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time,” Walke continued.

The CDC has also recommended people stay in their immediate households for the holiday season. Even without traveling across the country, seeing those you don’t usually see can lead to a breakout of coronavirus.

Walke said he does not plan to visit his own family for the holiday season. “I haven’t seen my parents since January. I’m staying home and that’s been difficult as I have older parents who would like to see me and who would like to see my children as well,” he said.

“It’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months now, and people are tired. And we understand that and people want to see their relatives and their friends in the way they’ve always done it,” he continued, “But this year, particularly, we’re asking people to be as safe as possible and limit their travel.”

If you plan to gather with those outside of your immediate household, there are important precautions to take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. First, keep gatherings as small as possible. Many states have restrictions in place which limit the number of people allowed to gather inside. Check your local and state regulations to ensure your gathering is following the laws.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz said, “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household.”

If possible, move your Thanksgiving dinner outside. Coronavirus is less likely to spread outside where there is better ventilation than indoors. Although many places are getting cold, tell your guests to load up with blankets and winter gear. If it’s too cold for an outside gathering, keep the windows open to ventilate the area.

One of the most important and simplest things you can do to stop the spread of Covid is to wear a mask. In many states, masks are required in public places and Thanksgiving dinner should be no exception. Keep your mask on unless eating and remain six feet away from other guests.

It is also recommended that guests handle making their own food and bringing their own utensils to Thanksgiving dinner this year. This prevents the spread of germs as well as cross-contamination between households. Remember to frequently wash your hands when cooking, eating and generally to stop the spread of germs.

Covid cases are rising in communities as well as healthcare networks which is making the virus even harder to handle. Many more people are becoming hospitalized due to the virus and healthcare workings are at risk.

According to the Associated Press, 905 staff members at The Mayo Clinic Health System have been infected with coronavirus in the last two weeks. The Mayo Clinic Health System is a network of clinics and hospitals in the midwest that are run by Mayo Clinic.

Executive dean of Mayo Clinic Practice, Dr. Amy Williams, said that most cases came from exposure within the community and not from work. “It shows how widely spread this is in our communities and how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the communities here in the Midwest,” she said.

If a virtual gathering isn’t in your Thanksgiving plans this year and you will be seeing people outside of your family in person, consider isolating yourself beforehand. Since the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, a negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean a person does not carry the virus. Although a negative test result for coronavirus isn’t a sure sign of safety, it is an extra precaution everyone should add before mingling this holiday season.

Besides getting a coronavirus test, people should also consider a 14-day quarantine before seeing loved ones, or afterward. Isolating before seeing family will decrease the risk of spreading the disease within your holiday circle. If you plan on traveling for the holiday, consider isolating yourself after returning to prevent the spread of covid in your community.

The CDC has predicted this will be a dark winter and although a vaccine is in the works, it likely won’t be ready for mass distribution for a few more weeks. The holiday season will only lead to more cases with an increase in travel and group gatherings. As the weather in many places gets colder, inside gatherings are more likely to occur.

The CDC also recommends everyone get their flu shot for the upcoming flu season. By protecting yourself from the flu, you can help the healthcare system more easily manage the large influx of people going to the hospital.

In all states except Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, there is an active or imminent outbreak of coronavirus according to Covid Act Now. Even these three states are at risk for an outbreak. Currently, North Dakota has the highest number of new daily cases per 100,000 people with 159.6 cases. Wyoming and New Mexico follow closely behind.

Many states have separated their cities and counties into different zones depending on the number of Covid cases present. The restrictions in place for these areas are then determined by the number of cases.

New York City is starting to enforce tighter restrictions as cases start to rise. “In the next week or two we should see some substantial restrictions,” said Mayor, Bill de Blasio. “I think indoor dining will be closed, gyms will be closed.  I’m not happy about it. No one is happy about it but that’s what’s coming.” There is currently a 10 person gathering limit and a curfew for nonessential businesses between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Similarly, in Boston, Governor Charlie Baker has released a stay-at-home advisory for the same time frame. People are urged to only go out between these hours for essentials. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people while outdoor gatherings should be capped at 25 people.

Things on the west coast seem just as bleak. According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries will be closed for dine-in services for at least three weeks. People in Los Angeles are being advised to stay home and have a similar curfew to Boston and New York City.

In some cities where cases are skyrocketing, restrictions are not being put in place as heavily as in California and New York. In Miami, restaurants are able to be open to 100% capacity and seat 10 people per table. Most things in Miami are reopened, but with restrictions such as requiring masks.

It is crucial for everyone to work together to bring covid cases back down over the coming weeks. As cases spike, it is important to remember that each state has precautions in place for a reason. Although many states won’t fully shut down, you can decide to continue social distancing and only going out for essentials.

Trebek illustration by Kaelen Felix

Alex Trebek Dies at 80

By Hannah DiPilato

Alex Trebek, the face of “Jeopardy!” for many years, has passed away at 80 years old. He is known and loved by many for being the show’s host since 1984.

“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the official Jeopardy account tweeted on Sunday morning. “Thank you, Alex.” 

Trebek leaves behind his wife Jean and his children Emily, Matthew and Nicky. Trebek has been fighting stage four pancreatic cancer since March 2019. 

Trebek shared this cancer diagnosis in a video to fans on March 6th. “Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working,” Trebek said while vowing to keep hosting the show. 

Trebek hosted over 8,200 episodes of “Jeopardy!,” and shared answers through 37 seasons according to CNN. He accomplished many things throughout his 36 years as host, including five Daytime Emmy Awards. Similarly, he surpassed Bob Barker of “The Price is Right” for the person that has hosted the most games-show episodes. Trebek now holds this record in the Guinness Book of Records. 

In 2018 Trebek hinted at retirement but signed a final contract extension that was set to end in 2022. “I’m just enjoying what I’m doing, I’m happy to have a job,” said Trebek in a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I like the show, I like the contestants and it pays well.” It was clear Trebek loved his job and the show. 

“He loved that ‘Jeopardy!’ popularized intelligence and it was important for him,” said Mike Richards, the show’s executive producer to CNN. “I think he really became synonymous with the show, in that he really was that smart.” 

Trebek “reveled in these intelligent people, in the contestants, in the writers,” Richards continued. “It’s just who he was — he craved knowledge and it showed.”

According to People, Trebek and Jean celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary in 2019 but agreed that almost thirty years married still wasn’t enough. 

“I’m pretty satisfied with my life,” Trebek shared with People. “But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years.  I thought, oh my gosh … if I’d just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together.”

Jean added about her husband to People. “He takes his job very seriously, but won’t take himself too seriously,” said said. “He’s just an intelligent human being. Part of Alex’s staying youthful is his staying curious,” she continued. 

Throughout his years on “Jeopardy!” Trebek battled many health complications. Besides battling cancer, he suffered from two heart attacks, a knee replacement, blood clots on his brain and a torn Achilles tendon according to People

Trebek kept fighting until he passed away peacefully in his home. According to Sony Pictures episodes of “Jeopardy!” featuring Trebek will continue to air until December 25.

Kael Felix illustrates Joe Biden for 360 Magazine

BIDEN WINS

By Payton Saso

THE OVERWHELMING UNCERTAINTIES

As four years of uncertainty may be coming to a close, there is not the expected sigh of relief we could hope for. As election day takes way, it is hard to ignore all the uncertainties that still loom over America. 

The nation we are living in is something many young voters have not seen before. As big cities board up businesses in preparation for the salient threat of riots and protests following election results, COVID-19 cases are on the rise and the fear amongst Americans is palpable.

Reuters analysis of state and county reports showed that COVID cases have risen 18% and deaths have risen 3%. While 3% may not seem exponential, “Nationally, nearly 5,800 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Nov. 1,” they reported.

The election follows the week in which Amy Coney Barrett [ACB] was confirmed to serve her life-long term on the Supreme Court, making some voters even more concerned regarding the outcome of the election and the fate of their human rights.

In its first hearing since ACB was confirmed, the Court will start its hearings in a case regarding the Catholic Social Services in Pennsylvania. The case follows the suing of the City of Philadelphia by the CSS for not allowing children to be placed in foster care with organizations like the CSS who exclude same-sex couples from being fosters, according to the local news stations NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Originally facing the Supreme Court’s docket when the late Justice Ginsburg still served, the new outcome of the case is truly up in the air. With the addition of ACB, who is conservatively Catholic, it is unclear whether she will side with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in their claims that their First Amendment rights are being violated. 

It is clear that how ACB votes on this case, will set the precedent for her term and quite frankly how she will vote if President Trump objects to the outcome of the election. 

Which is an evident possibility, seeing that the G.O.P. in Texas has already attempted to get 127,000 votes from Harris County. The county, which is largely Democratic, instilled drive-through ballot drop locations throughout by Harris County clerk, Chris Hollins, the New York Times stated.

Though the case was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court, those in the lawsuit claimed that the locations were illegal and favored Democrats. However, it seems that this is a tactic of voter suppression in hopes to throw out Democratic votes. 

Similarly in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court ruled last month to reject “Republican request for a stay on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that would allow ballots to be counted up to three days after Election Day,” Politico reported.

This attempted block is another attempt to threaten the validity of mail-in votes to which President Trump has been very vocal about opposing. The use of these absentee ballots; however, are just to yield some relief on the growing pandemic numbers to ease traffic at the polls today.

As of 12:17 EST, the US Elections Project gathered data that 100,611,070 Americans have voted early. With a mass number of votes already cast, it is clear this election will be historical in every way.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN WON’T STOP

Regularly dressed to the nines with his signature Aviator sunglasses, Biden has had to add another signature accessory to this fit, a mask. But that hasn’t stopped him from emanating the vibe of the cool Uncle Joe. His recent Twitter post for one of his campaign videos shows that.

Using the iconic Eminem song “Lose Yourself” from the “Eight Mile” soundtrack, the black and white video was Tweeted alongside the words by Biden, “ We have one shot. One Opportunity. One moment. Don’t miss the chance — vote.”

Appealing to those of all ages, “Lose Yourself” has become a song of triumph relished by sports teams, boxers and just the average joe in need of a confidence boots. The Grammy Award winning song was licensed to the Biden-Harris campaign which, Variety says, is a song rarely allowed by Eminem to be used.

It is no surprise that Eminem is one of the celebrities endorsing the Biden-Harris ticket. In 2017, he rapped a freestyle for the BET Awards that tore into Trump as president and as a human. He then released an album entitled “Revival” that year in which he continued to criticize Trump more. His song “Framed” on the track led the Secret Service to investigate the rapper.

While the Secret Service would not confirm this, “documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed that they did,” Rolling Stone claimed.

However, “One Shot,” regardless of the artist’s own personal hits at the President, encompasses the feeling of the American people in this time. The video depicts everyday people, our essential workers, nurses, doctors, those waiting in the long lines of the polls, and every other demographic Biden says he will work for. 

The power and importance of this election reigns true with the words ‘we only got one shot’ to make a promising change in America.

TRUMP PROMOTES THE AMERICAN DREAM

With the final push for votes occurring, both candidates are Tweeting out new campaign videos in hopes to still appeal to undecided voters.

President Trump Tweeted today a video that appeals to the masses who are patriotic and believe American is the greatest country. Playing to the idea of the American Dream, which he has made a prominent stance on, the video shows masses of Americans rallying together waving Trump flags and signs.

The images of American Flag sliced into images of the Armed Forces cheering and standing at attention, are overlaid with the words of President Trump. “America is the place where anything can happen. America is the place anyone can rise,” Trump asserts. 

The immensely patriotic video comes the day after President Trump announced his American Dream Plan. “President Trump recently released the American Dream Plan to reaffirm his commitment to fight for Hispanic prosperity and opportunity for all to achieve the American Dream,” The White House announced.

This final appeal to voters goes along with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” where he says he will create a country completely independent of China, create job opportunities and create an environment where the American Dream can be accomplished. 

This video is in contrast to his opponent’s, Joe Biden, recent campaign video by using B-roll and music that is simple and might appeal to older voters, while Biden’s campaign used music and video editing that might appeal better to younger voters. 

Regardless of who the candidates are trying to appeal to, hopefully these campaign videos help some undecided voters to choose who they believe is best for our country.

ELECTION PREDICTIONS

The results of this election are being awaited anxiously by Americans everywhere. Because of so many people using mail-in ballots, the final results may take longer than usual to be confirmed. Many predictions have been made about who the winner may be.

Primary Model predicts that Trump will take the win and gives him a 91% chance of doing so. They predict Trump will get 362 electoral votes while Biden will only get 176. Since Primary Model was created in 1996, they have correctly predicted all but one presidential election.

It is predicted that voter turnout will surge this year. “The intensity of the electorate is without recent precedent,” Tom Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political-data firm, said in The Atlantic. It was predicted last year that 150 million Americans would vote this fall.

A historian and professor at American University, Allan Litchman, has predicted every presidential election correctly since 1984. Litchman explained on Fox News his prediction model called “The 13 Keys to the White House.” He explained Trump was in the lead to win until the coronavirus pandemic hit America.

“My prediction is that Donald Trump will become the first sitting president since George H. W. Bush in 1992 to lose a reelection bid, and Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States,” said Litchman.

Henry Olson also gave his prediction in The Washington Post. He predicted that Biden would win the popular vote with 52.5% of votes. He believes Biden will conclude with 350 electoral college votes while Trump will conclude with only 188.

AFTER ELECTION NIGHT

It is no surprise that results for this election are taking longer to finalize. With more early and mail-in votes due to the pandemic, some states are still counting ballots on November 4.

As of 3 pm on November 4, Biden is in the lead with 237 electoral college votes compared to the 213 Trump has. Six states are still undecided including Alaska, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. Michigan and Nevada are currently leaning blue while the other remaining states lean red.

President Donald Trump seems dissatisfied with the fact that ballots are still being counted. “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” tweeted Trump at 12:49 am on November 4.

He also tweeted, “They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!” The Trump campaign has also filed a lawsuit to stop vote counting in Michigan.

Candidate Joe Biden has been more positive on his Twitter account. At 1:03 am on November 4 he tweeted, “We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election.”

THE WAIT FOR A WINNER

As of Friday morning, Biden has taken over Georgia and Pennsylvania. Georgia is 99% reporting and Biden is winning with just over 1,000 votes. Pennsylvania is 98% reporting and Biden has a slightly greater advantage than in Georgia.

The last time a Democrat won Georgia was almost 30 years ago when Bill Clinton won over his opponent George H.W. Bush in 1992. Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has already announced there would be a recount due to the small margin.

Nevada is at 84% reporting and Biden remains in the lead. Trump is leading in North Carolina and Alaska.

The Trump campaign continues to protest the results. They plan to sue in Nevada and claim that votes are being counted for people that have moved or died. According to Daily Mail, Trump plans to sue every battleground state that Biden has won.

This election is being compared to the 2000 election where George W. Bush and Al Gore had an incredibly tight race. This election lead to the supreme court decision to stop the recount known as Bush v. Gore. Bush ended up winning Florida by only 537 votes. In 2000 the winner wasn’t determined until December 12th and Americans everywhere are strapping in for what could be another long battle for the election results.

Joe Biden has passed 270 votes as of Saturday morning. Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris posted on her Twitter in celebration.

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