On Saturday June 26, hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned her back on the American flag while the national anthem played as she stood on the podium during the track and field Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, saying she felt “set-up” by the timing of the song. Berry had just placed third in her respective event, meaning she had secured her spot at the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The opening ceremony will take place on July 23, and the rest of the Olympics schedule can be found HERE.
According to the Associated Press, the national anthem had played once every night of the track and field qualifying events, meaning “The Star-Spangled Banner” had played consecutively for eight nights before Berry stepped onto the podium. USA Track and Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard said in a statement, “We didn’t wait until the athletes were on the podium for the Hammer Throw awards, the national anthem is played every day according to a previously published schedule.”
Berry, however, claimed that she was told the national anthem would play before the athletes walked back onto the field to receive their medals. “They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” Berry said. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
Berry’s behavior on the podium reflected her immediate surprise and discomfort when the anthem began to play. The Associated Press described the moment:
“While the music played, Berry placed her left hand on her hip and shuffled her feet. She took a quarter turn, so she was facing the stands, not the flag. Toward the end, she plucked up her black T-shirt with the words ‘Activist Athlete’ emblazoned on the front, and draped it over her head.”
Berry is no stranger to merging activism with top-tier athletics. At the 2019 Pan-American Games held in Peru, Berry raised her fist in protest as the national anthem played; she was, again, on the podium, this time receiving a gold medal. The backlash Berry faced for this action was swift and aggressive. According to ESPN, one Twitter user simply said, “Love our country or move out!!”
In defense of her silent and yet impactful protest at the 2019 Pan-American Games was her father, Michael Berry. He said, “For her to do that on the podium is more American than anything, if you ask me. Because that’s what our country is founded on: freedom of expression, freedom of speech.” It is important to note that Michael Berry is an Iraq War veteran—a member of a group that is often brought up as one that is disrespected by any form of protest during the playing of the national anthem.
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee however, clearly disagreed with Berry’s father’s statement, instead sentencing Berry to a one-year probation for breaking the Olympic code of conduct. At the time, this set of rules forbade any form of demonstration while at Olympic-affiliated venues. According to NBC News, the committee has since apologized to Berry for this punishment. Race Imboden, an American fencer, took a knee while on the podium at his respective medal ceremony at the same Pan-American Games and was also put on probation for one year. While these sorts of demonstrations are still illegal according to the International Olympic Committee, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee has since changed their rules to allow for some kinds of political demonstrations.
But after her most recent act of protest at the Olympic trials on Saturday, Berry is only renewed in her commitment to social justice, specifically in dismantling systemic racism. In the aforementioned conversation with the Associated Press, Berry said, “My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. I’m here to represent those […] who died due to systemic racism. That’s the important part. That’s why I’m going. That’s why I’m here today.”
In the wake of Berry’s actions, #gwenberry was trending on Twitter, triggering a storm of passionate comments voicing both praise and pride, as well as disappointment and downright hatred—with many users on the latter side calling for her outright removal from the Olympic team. Republican politician Tom Basile took to Twitter to say, “She’s a disgrace and should not be allowed to represent this country. Period.” Another user added, “When your [sic] supposed to rep your country in the Olympics and turn your back on the flag, you should be stripped of that chance at the Olympics. […] Rooting against her in Tokyo.”
The hashtag has also been flooded with support of Berry’s protest. One user said, “Storming the Capitol and enslaving Americans are NOT acts of patriotism but you don’t want to talk about that. Protesting is patriotic.” Columnist Carron J. Phillips agreed, saying, “She’s a patriot. And if you’re mad at a 2-time Olympian but not the terrorists who stormed the Capitol, you’re part of the problem.”
Other Twitter users astutely observed that Gwen Berry is among many famous and celebrated athletes who have used their high-publicity roles to engage in and push forward different social movements, specifically dismantling systemic racism in America. Former-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the center of a heated debate in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem before his games to send a message about police brutality and discrimination against Black Americans. And at the 1968 Mexico City summer Olympic games, track and field athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos made waves when they both raised a fist in the black power salute during the national anthem as they received gold and bronze medals, respectively.
All four of these athletes—Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Colin Kaepernick and now, Gwen Berry—are paragons of protest and serve as resonant reminders that protest is inherently meant to make us uncomfortable and catalyze change. Berry may be a newer member of this long-standing tradition of Black athletes pushing for political change, but she most certainly will not be the last.
Nike has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF shoes that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers “Satan Shoes” with rapper Lil Nas X. In the lawsuit filed today, Nike accused MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. of trademark infringement over the designer’s 666 pairs of modified Nike sneakers made in collaboration with the “Old Town Road” singer. All 666 pairs sold out Monday.
Fara Sunderji is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its New York office. Sunderji has extensive expertise in all stages of trademark, copyright, clearance, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement, and litigation. Of the lawsuit she says,
“Nike’s swoosh is probably one of the most recognizable non-word trademarks in the world. You see it and you automatically think of Nike as the source of the good on which it appears. This is how trademarks are supposed to operate, as a source identified. Nike’s case here is pretty simple to understand: MSCHF is selling Nike Air Max 97’s that have been modified in a way in which Nike does not approve. People see these “Satan Shoes” and think they come from Nike and some people don’t like that. Nike, therefore, claims that the release of these “Santa Shoes” is harming its valuable brand,” Sunderji says.
“MSCHF will likely argue that they are protected under a theory called the First Sale Doctrine, which allows third parties to resell trademarked goods that have already entered the marketplace. But the doctrine is limited to the sale of genuine goods. The doctrine is based on the premise that consumers are not being deceived because they are receiving what they have bargained for, the trademarked good. Under Second Circuit case law, goods are not genuine if they do not conform to the brand owner’s quality control standards, and it is easy to guess Nike’s take on this issue – Just don’t do it,” Sunderji says.
According to NBC News, the lawsuit states “We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters,” Nike said. “However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF.”
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Perrott PLLC stated to CNN Business that “It’s a legal rationale that grants artists who purchase and repurpose individual copyrighted products the ability to express and profit off their own creativity.”. He also pointed out Nike shoe redesigners like MSCHF commonly sell their work on online marketplaces. “You’ve got all kinds of artists that go out there and they take a shoe, and they’ll do a whole bunch of custom art on the shoe and maybe resell it for $1,000-3,000,” Gerben said. “This is something Nike is well aware of and has done absolutely nothing to mess with because there’s a sneaker culture here.”
Lil Nas X isn’t named as a party in the lawsuit. Representatives for the musician did not respond to calls or emails requesting comment.
The backlash from social media is incredible with thousands of people expressing their opinions with the shoes and the representation they bring:
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted “Our kids are being told that this kind of product, is not only okay, it’s “exclusive.” But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul. We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win.”.
NBA star Nick Young tweeted “My kids will never play Old Town Road again… I’m still debating about wearing Nike after this come Nike a drop of blood for real”.
On Instagram, celebrity musician Miley Cyrus shares a photo proudly wearing the controversial sneakers, captioning the post “Can you see Satan?”.
The controversial ‘Satan Shoes’ were strategically dropped after the release of Lil Nas X’s music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, which has already been viewed more than 54 million times.
Lil Nas X took to Twitter in his true fashion posting “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
DeMarcus Walker. Say his name. Say his name along with the other victims of the hate crimes that fill our society. Just over a year ago, Demarcus was going about his Saturday morning shopping just like many others. On March 7, 2020, at approximately 10:25 in the morning, Walker was run down with a Chevy Impala and then brutally beaten with a baseball bat.
DeMarcus Walker suffered life-threatening injuries and, unfortunately, was not able to pull through. He passed away April 11, 2020, from tracheal narrowing and cerebral edema and hemorrhage due to complications from blunt injuries of the head, which was noted in his autopsy. His death was ruled a homicide.
Zai’quaria Walker, DeMarcus Walker’s daughter, stated to NBC News Anchor Tom Powell “When it’s your family it’s a different kind of pain.” She desperately asked “Why that day? What was going through your head to do that then and there?”
Houston Walker, DeMarcus Walker’s father, commented during a news conference “I feel like it was a hate crime. It had to be. The way I understand in the paper, he was walking around Walmart with a ski mask on looking for people to beat up. That’s how I feel about it.”
Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, states “Senseless violence has afflicted America throughout the weeks, and it seems that there is no end in sight. As a nation, we must unite and abandon this malevolent behavior. Once we recognize why the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities are under constant attack because they are intrinsically different, then we will begin to heal. At the end of the day, our legal system is not designed to protect them. In the case of DeMarcus Walker, justice must be served and the person who attempted to kill him must be held accountable according to the highest standards of the law. We can no longer allow malicious intent to pass unnoticed in our judicial system.”.
Police arrested 21-year-old Levi Arnold, who has recently pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges of murder and resisting law enforcement for the cold-blooded crime he committed last year outside of the Apple Glen Walmart in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Arnold will be sentenced on April 16, 2021, and is facing 51 years in prison.
The American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker, the brilliant Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss has been extremely well known ever since he started his books and films. The books and films are classics and bring joy and childhood memories.
Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and released his first book in 1937 called And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In total, he has written over 60 books and sold over 600 million copies throughout his career. In his early career, he attended Lincoln College at the University of Oxford for English literature, but left without receiving a degree and came back to the U.S. After moving back to the United States, Dr. Seuss began to send his work to different advertising agencies, magazines and publishers. In 1927, his first cartoon was published in The Saturday Evening Post. His career was long, successful, and brilliant.
In the latest news, Dr. Seuss will stop being published due to “hurtful and wrong racist images.” In his books and cartoons, there has been ‘insensitive’ imagery that is causing this news. Dr. Seuss’s enterprise assured consumers that the books which are no longer being published are a part of the plan to “ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprise’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.” The decision of this issue most definitely was not easy for the Dr. Seuss organization. Since this is such a serious and sensitive issue, it required for the organization to think it through, bring in experts, and spend long hours deciding on what is best way to maintain Dr. Seuss’ name and be sensitive to all of his readers.
Not all of his books will stop being published, but they still will all be carefully inspected. The confirmed books that will no longer be available for purchase are McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!,The Cat’s Quizzer, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and If I Ran the Zoo. The Cat In The Hat has also been under discussion concerning discontinuation, but will be fully examined before any decisions are made.
In The Cats Quizzer, the Japanese character has a bright yellow face and is standing on Mt. Fuji. If I Ran A Zoo shows examples of orientalism and white supremacy. Another issue with the Dr. Seuss books has been that a majority of the human characters are white, which makes it appear that Dr. Seuss focuses on white men and women.
A school in Virginia has already banned the copies of these Dr. Seuss books, and others are having similar discussions.
Even in death, Dr. Seuss receives backlash from his work along with many other brands such as Aunt Jemima pancake mix and Uncle Ben’s Eskimo Pies, which also had to change their branding due to racial issues. Brands from this point on need to pay close attention to their advertising to ensure that they’re being inclusive of all audiences.
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.
An incident that allegedly occurred over 20 years ago, recently came to light when former model, Amy Dorris, accused current President, Donald Trump, of sexual assault at the 1997 US Open.
She told The Guardian, “He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off. And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything.”
Over the years since Trump began his presidency, dozens of women have come forward with assault claims and Dorris is the latest. Trump has 26 incidents of of unwanted sexual contact and 43 instances of inappropriate touching, according to the Independent.
Trumps track record with the way he treats women has always been in the public eye and even more-so since the start of his campaign in 2016. It seemed to start with the infamous leaked sound tapes from Access Hollywood. While Trump seems to have been crude to women his whole life, it wasn’t in the public eye until this was leaked. After this, numerous tapes were leaked and women came forward to accuse Trump of misconduct.
Now once again, his behavior is resurfacing. After Dorris gave the exclusive interview to The Guardian, Trump’s campaign legal advisor, Jenna Ellis, made a statement to NBC News claiming the allegations are completely false. “We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story. This is just another pathetic attempt to attack President Trump right before the election,” Ellis said.
However, Dorris has multiple out cry witnesses that include her mother, friends and her therapist. Which, if you’ve watched any episode of Law and Order: SVU, you’d know is enough to corroborate her story.
This recent allegation comes while Trump is currently facing a defamation lawsuit from author, E. Jean Carroll. The author accused him of raping her in a New York City department store in the 90’s, while Trump claims he has never met her (even though there are two photos of them together). Carroll sued Trump last November “Saying in a lawsuit filed in state court on [November 4, 2019] that Mr. Trump had damaged her reputation and her career when he denied her allegation in June,” according to the New York Times.
Carroll isn’t the only woman who has filed a lawsuit against the President following an allegation that was publicly denounce by Trump. Summer Zarros who was a contestant on “The Apprentice,” a show Trump was on, is suing for the same thing.
With the new allegation pending, Trump’s legal team say this accusation is strictly politically motivated; however, The Huffington Post reported that, “Dorris revealed her story to [The Guardian] 15 months ago, but she didn’t want to go public then to protect her family” and that she has now decided to come forward to be a role model to her teenage daughters.
Amy Dorris is now in the public eye along with many other women with the same accusations, hoping that by doing this they can empower other women and reveal the type of person who is President.
Kanye, an avid Trump supporter, has teased at a possible run for president over many years, both in 2020 and 2024, but there is still no explicit evidence that he truly plans to run this year. Like his would-be opponent, President Trump, Kanye is known to make unfounded statements. As far as we know, Kanye has not registered his name yet. Another important factor is that of the candidate filing deadline, which Kanye has missed in many states, making him unable to appear on a ballot. However, he still has time to register as an independent in many key states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.
If Kanye really does run as an independent, it could shake up the projected votes for the November 3rd election.
Various states within the U.S. have taken extreme caution, little caution, and everything in between when it comes to controlling the spreading of COVID-19. As Summer came around, certain states began to open many more businesses and public areas, including bars, restaurants, parks, etc.
These policies, coupled with many citizens yearning to return back to “normal” life, led to a specific group of students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama purposely trying to catch the virus and spread it further. ABC News reports that a number of students, already tested positive for COVID-19, have been organizing parties to “intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States.” These students have orchestrated a sort of game where they put money in a pot and whoever contracts the virus wins the money at the end. WAVY News calls this activity playing “Russian Roulette” with the health of these students. Tuscaloosa’s Fire Chief Randy Smith spoke out about this reckless behavior and the Alabama Department of Public Health has reiterated that those tested positive for the virus should remain quarantined for at least 14 days, or else they are subject to violations up to $500.
Since these parties have been reoccurring for several weeks, the state of Alabama has confirmed 10,000 new cases in the past 14 days, which is an alarming amount, considering the fact that there have been a total of approximately 38,000 confirmed cases since March. In this sense, there is a clear correlation between the presence of these coronavirus parties and a huge lump of new confirmed cases in the past two weeks. The CDC denotes the United States as a country with widespread ongoing transmission, and specifically, WHNT News admits that Alabama’s cases have doubled ever since the stay-at-home order was lifted on May 1st. For this reason, it is crucial that all citizens social distance, positively tested citizens quarantine themselves, and students refrain from spreading the virus in any way, especially in the case of parties.
KANYE WEST has released a new track and video “Wash Us In the Blood” featuring Travis Scott. “Wash Us In The Blood” was mixed by Dr. Dre. Artist Arthur Jafa created the artwork and directed the video. “Wash Us In The Blood” is the first track from West’s upcoming tenth solo studio album God’s Country.
“Wash Us In The Blood” is being offered for pre-order online HERE in a variety of different formats including a 12 inch picture disc, 7 inch red vinyl, red cassette, CD and a standalone digital single; all featuring artwork by Arthur Jafa.
Kanye West’s 2019 album Jesus Is King debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, surpassing the Beatles and once again tying Eminem for the most consecutive #1 album debuts in chart history, with nine.
Jesus Is King also made history with #1 debuts on both the Rap Album and Gospel Album charts.
On the Jesus Is King album, New York Magazine wrote “There comes a time, when musicians devote themselves to big questions, where the biggest question of them all comes calling, the question of what, if anything, orders the universe…Jesus Is King is the man coming full circle.”
On Kanye West, NBC News offered: “It is not hyperbole to call West a genius.”
A comprehensive report of the continuation and influx of unjustified treatment towards minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
February 23: 25-year-old Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while running unarmed. No arrests were made immediately, but Gregory and Travis McMichael, who claim to have been making a citizen’s arrest, have since been apprehended more than 2 months after the shooting and charged with murder and aggravated assault. The murder and its delayed action have sparked nationwide protests and calls for justice. The lawyer, hired by Ahmaud’s family, was also hired by another African American victim – Breonna Taylor.
March 13: Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville home after police entered the house on a search warrant. Taylor and her boyfriend believed they were burglars and began firing at the police. The shootout left 26-year-old Taylor dead and her boyfriend, 27, arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend Walker had a criminal record, but Walker had a firearm license.
March 23: A newly released video shows a 68-year-old black Missouri woman by the name of Marvia Gray and her son Derek being forcefully arrested on the floor of a department store on March 23rd. The two were accused falsely of trying to steal a television and were injured when thrown on the floor by police, according to Gray. They were however, arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
April 11: Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot on Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop. When Wright was pulled over, officers were attempting to handcuff him when the subject broke free and jumped into the driver’s seat. Officer Kim Potter threatened to tase him, yelling “Taser!” three times before shooting Wright. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said, “It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.” On Monday evening, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner reported that Wright died due to a gunshot wound to his chest. Potter resigned from the police department on Tuesday, and has now been arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter.
April 18: Steven Taylor, 33, was shot to death by police in a California Walmart while attempting to steal from the store and threatening violent acts with a baseball bat. Taylor was fatally shot, however, after becoming a non-threat, it prompted the family to call for charges against the officers. Taylor was also allegedly in a mental health crisis and has a history of disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Taylor leaves behind three children and three siblings.
April 21: A 42-year-old Black man, Andrew Brown Jr., was shot by North Carolina sheriff’s deputies in Elizabethtown just before 8:30 am. A private autopsy conducted by Brown’s family has revealed that he was shot five times, and was killed by a bullet blow to his head. The Pasquotank County sheriff claims that the deputies were conducting an arrest warrant on drug charges when Brown was shot. A local prosecutor claims Brown was trying to escape and had hit deputies with his car. The Brown family lawyer claims that Brown’s hands were on the wheel when he was shot, and says that Brown had no drugs or weapons in his vehicle. The family has not yet seen a search warrant from the Department, and the F.B.I. is opening a civil rights investigation into the case.
A clergy march in Elizabeth honoring Brown will take place on Saturday, May 8 at 11am. The march will be led by Bishop William J. Barber (President of Repairers of the Breach, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival former moderator with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)) II and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman (an elder with the AME Zion Church and former president of the N.C. Council of Churches), both of whom will lead a march of interfaith and interdenominational clergy. A public rally and news conference will follow the clergy march and begin at 11:30am. Clergy members are to meet at 10:30 am at 299 US Highway 158 N., in front of the old Elizabeth City Middle School. The clergy march is set to lead to the Pasquotank County Courthouse, where the public rally will be held. For more info, please visit this website.
April 24: Austin Police murdered 42-year old Michael Ramos after a nearby 911 call about a possible drug deal. The police shot Ramos when he was out of his car, with his hands above his head. When Ramos re-entered his vehicle and began driving away, he was shot again and soon after, died. A later investigation found no sign of a firearm in the car.
April 28: A shootout with police in Florida killed 26-year-oldJonas Joseph after his car was pulled over. Joseph began firing at police, who returned fire and killed the young man.
May 6: 21-year-old Sean Reed was killed by police following a vehicle pursuit on the evening of May 6, 2020. The police pursued Reed after being seen driving erratically on the highway. The pursuit terminated, but when Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chris Bailey spotted the car parked, he approached. Reed tried to flee, but the confrontation left the young man dead. A crowd of protestors at the scene demanded the reasoning for the officer’s use of force.
May 9: 48-year-old Adrian Medeariswas killed after being pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Houston. The officer conducted a sobriety test, and attempted to arrest Medearis, a well-known local Gospel singer and choir director, but he resisted arrest and was fatally shot in the ensuing altercation. His family and community are demanding the release of the video.
May 18: A Sarasota police officer was filmed using excessive force and kneeling on Patrick Carroll’s neck during an arrest. The video was put on social media and the officer in question has been put on administrative leave weeks after the event.
May 25: A woman named Amy Cooper called the cops on Christian Cooper, a Harvard alumnus and former Marvel Comics editor. The 57-year-old man was bird watching in Central Park when she approached him without her dog on the leash. After he asked her to put the dog on a leash, she called the police and claimed to be threatened. The altercation went viral after Christian Cooper posted a video of the event on social media, recording the woman aggressively restraining her dog and her saying, “I’m going to tell them [the police] there’s an African American man threatening my life.” Amy Cooper has since publicly apologized. But, Cooper has faced repercussions beyond negative comments on Twitter. She has been fired from her job at Franklin Templeton Investments, where she was vice president, and her dog has been rescued by a pet shelter.
May 25th: a Minneapolis man named George Floyd was murdered by police after an officer knelt on his neck despite his cries for help. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he died, and four officers were fired soon after the incident. A police statement says that Floyd was being investigated for a “forgery in progress” and resisted arrest. But, surveillance video of the arrest shows Floyd complying with the officers. On May 29th, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter, four days after George Floyd’s death. On June 3rd, the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s murder, J.A. Keung, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, were arrested and charged with Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder and Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter. Floyd’s murder sparked protests around the country with citizens looting and setting fire to buildings. The protestors have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets from police officers.
May 28: At a protest in Minneapolis, 43-year-old Calvin L. Horton Jr. was fatally shot and a suspect is in custody.
A Mississippi cop is on leave after a video is released of him choking a young suspect.
May 29: CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while reporting on the protest in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, another CNN reporter, Josh Campbell, says he was treated very differently by police and allowed to stay and report. Jimenez is black and Latino whereas Campbell is white. All three CNN workers were released from custody an hour later.
21-year-old Javar Harrell was not protesting but was fatally shot near protests in Detroit. It is unclear if his death is tied to protests.
May 30: The “Rally To End Modern Day Lynching” took place in Harlem in honor of George Floyd. The rally emphasizes that participants should still practice social distancing and wear a mask. Also on May 30th, participants will honor Floyd at the site of Eric Garner‘s murder in 2014. These New York protests became progressively more violent into the evening. Governor Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency and curfew for Atlanta in preparation for planned protests on May 31st. After four days of protests, Governor Newsom declares a state of emergency in Los Angeles. The courthouse and city hall were set on fire in Nashville.
A 21-year old unnamed man was fatally shot at a protest in Detroit.
In Dallas, a machete-yielding storeowner confronted protesters and was then violently beaten by the crowd; the man is now in stable condition.
Chris Beaty, 38, was killed from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene in Indianapolis.
May 31: After setting fires and looting in Santa Monica, the city declared a curfew. Curfews have since been set all around the country.
Italia Kelly, 22, and another victim were fatally shot while leaving a protest in Davenport, Iowa.
In Victorville, CA, Malcolm Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree and authorities are investigating the event as a potential homicide. Harsch’s family says they are very skeptical of his death being by suicide.
June 1: In Minneapolis, a group of men attacked Iyanna Dior, a black transgender woman; Dior is okay and in stable condition now.
53-year-old David McAtee was shot as national Guard troops and Louisville police broke up a protest; some footage shows McAtee shooting at police but it is unclear who fired their guns first because the officers involved did not activate their body cameras. The Louisville Metro Police Chief, Steve Conrad, was immediately fired because of the officers’ unactivated cameras.
16-year-old Jahmel Leach was tased in the face by NYPD and could be permanently disfigured from the attack. It is unclear why the police officers used force to arrest Leach.
June 2: Six Atlanta police officers have been fired and arrested for using excessive force towards Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim, two young black people leaving the protests.
77-year-old David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, was fatally shot by looters of a pawnshop after responding to an alarm.
June 4: At 3:45pm, NAACP holds a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd live on their Twitter.
June 5: All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s emergency response team resigned in protest for police brutality – particularly seen in a video of Buffalo police pushing an unarmed man.
Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigns from the company’s board and urges the company to replace his spot with a black candidate.
In a YouTube video, Robert L. Johnson, the first black American billionaire and co-founder of BET, talks to The Breakfast Club about racism and reparations.
20-year-old Dounya Zayer was violently shoved by a police officer at a protest in Brooklyn, NY.
June 6: Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand pledge $100 million donation over the next 10 years to organizations promoting social justice and racial equality.
A video shows protestors creating a human shield to protect NYPD officers fro rioters throwing objects at the policemen.
June 7: Virginia governor plans to remove Robert E. Lee statue later this week.
CEO of CrossFit Greg Glassman’s insensitive tweet about George Floyd has caused Glassman to face serious backlash. Partners of CrossFit, like Reebok or Rogue Fitness, and athletes, including Brooke Wells and Richard Froning, released statements that they will cut ties with CrossFit.
BLM protestors in Bristol pull down statue of Edward Colton, a slave trader who transported nearly 100,000 slaves in the 17th century.
Harry H. Rogers drove into a group of protestors near Richmond, Virginia. Rogers identifies as the leader of the Ku Klux Klan and prosecutors are investigating the assault as a potential hate crime.
June 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces police reform legislation called The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 which would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct, and more.
Minneapolis City Council announce plans to defund the Minneapolis police department.
GoFundMe suspends Candace Owens’ account saying that Owens, “spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community.”
June 9: Greg Glassman, the CEO and founder of CrossFit, retires after his inappropriate tweet about George Floyd’s murder.
New York Police Chief Mike O’Meara shames the press for vilifying police officers in a video here.
June 10: In Palmdale, CA, 24-year-old black man named Robert Fuller, was found hanging from a tree in what was originally described as an apparent suicide. Citizens are demanding that Fuller’s death is investigated as a homicide.
June 11: After Trump’s comments about Seattle protestors being “domestic terrorists” and that law enforcement must “dominate the streets” to “take back Seattle,” Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan clarifies that the protestors are not threatening and that the president’s claims are unconstitutional.
June 12: Atlanta police fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s drive-thru. Brooks’ murder caused Atlanta police chief Erika Shields to resign.
The officer who shot Brooks was Garrett Rolfe. Rolfe was terminated from his job one day after the shooting, but as of Wednesday, he was reinstated to his position. Atlanta’s Civil Service Board reinstated the officer because they found that Rolfe’s firing violated his due process rights. It is not being argued whether the shooting was justified, but rather if the proper firing procedures had been followed regarding the officer’s dismissal. At a board hearing on April 22, lawyer Allegra Lawrence-Hardy argues that “immediate dismal” of an employee “impairs the effectiveness of others.” However, despite being reinstated, Rolfe will remain on administrative leave until his murder and aggravated assault charges regarding the June 12 shooting are resolved.
June 13: Patrick Hutchinson, a black personal trainer from London, rescued ‘far-right’ protester who was badly beaten during protest clashes in London.
A young, black FedEx driver named Brandon Brackins turned to social media to tell his followers how he was called racial slurs while working.
June 16: A story resurfaces from 2006 when black, Buffalo, NY cop Cariol Horne was fired for stopping her white colleague from choking a handcuffed suspect.
Philadelphia court supervisor Michael Henkel is fired after video shows him tearing down BLM signs.
June 17: Quaker Oats plans to retire their Aunt Jemima branding and logo after acknowledging the racial stereotyping.
June 18: A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy fatally shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado.
June 20: Rioters storm the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma during President Trump’s rally.
June 21: A NYPD officer is on unpaid suspension after a chokehold incident in Queens.
June 22: Department of Justice is investigating a noose found in Bubba Wallace‘s NASCAR garage. Wallace is the only black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit. On June 23, the FBI determines that Wallace was not the target of a hate crime.
August 23: Jacob Blake is shot by Kenosha police officers after breaking up a nearby fight that two other women were having. Blake was unarmed and shot seven times in the back. He is currently hospitalized for his injuries.
December 5: Lt. Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, is suing two of the Town of Windsor police officers who conducted his traffic stop. Nazario is a Black and Latino man who was pulled over whilst wearing his uniform. He is requesting at least $1 million in damage costs and is looking for the court to rule that the officers violated his human rights, especially regarding the Fourth Amendment. He was pulled over by Officer Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez, who exercised knee-strikes, deployed OC spray, and took the Nazario’s gun in what his attorney, Jonathan Arthur, classifies as an illegal search. In body camera footage, Gutierrez can be overheard telling Nazario that if he had just complied, he would have “been gone by now” and threatened that the charges against Nazario could impact his career in the army, if Nazario complained about the incident. By threatening Nazario’s career, his attorney says that Crocker and Gutierrez violated the subject’s First Amendment Rights.
Looking for ways to help? Here are some places to donate to: