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Police Brutality

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Dozens of police brutality protestors held demonstrations last night in Columbus over a Kentucky grand jury's decision not to charge Louisville officers with the death of Breonna Taylor. 

Updated at 2:51 p.m. ET

A spokesperson for Joint Forces Headquarters Command in Washington, D.C., confirmed to NPR that hours before federal police officers cleared a crowded park near the White House with smoke and tear gas on June 1, a military police staff officer asked if the D.C. National Guard had a kind of "heat ray" weapon that might be deployed against demonstrators in the nation's capital.

A law firm has been examining claims of officer misconduct stemming from interactions between Columbus police and protesters that started during the final weekend of May.

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Columbus City Council last night indefinitely tabled a proposed ordinance to demilitarize police by limiting officers use of chemical agents, helicopters, military-style rifles and rubber and wooden bullets. 

Ohio Attorney General's office

Ohio Attorney General David Yost is calling for more respect - and more training - for law enforcement officers.  

Federal police officers who cleared a crowded park near the White House with smoke and tear gas in June violated court-ordered regulations that spell out how demonstrators are to be warned before aggressive tactics are used against them, attorneys who helped write the agreed-upon rules say.

As U.S. law enforcement departments are accused of racist policing, one of the most common responses by the people in charge has been to have officers take "implicit bias" training.

The training usually consists of a seminar in the psychological theory that unconscious stereotypes can lead people to make dangerous snap judgments. For instance, unconscious associations of African Americans with crime might make cops quicker to see them as suspects.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A police officer in Salt Lake City shot a 13-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder on Friday after his mother called 911 seeking help for her son, who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Golda Barton told CBS affiliate KUTV that she called police to request that a crisis intervention team transport her son, Linden Cameron, to a hospital for treatment as he was having a "mental breakdown."

Family photo via Columbus Division of Police

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has sent  a wrongful death lawsuit filed against two white Columbus police officers in the shooting death of a black man back to federal district court for more consideration. 

The Trump administration has instructed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity trainings that address topics like white privilege and critical race theory, calling them "divisive, anti-American propaganda."

In a letter to federal agencies Friday, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said the president recently became aware of the racial sensitivity programs, which encourage frank conversations about race in the workplace and discuss potential actions to combat systemic racism.

cnn.com

More than 100 people gathered in downtown Columbus Saturday and Sunday to protest the Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

A man was fatally shot during a night of confrontations between Trump supporters and counterprotesters in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, the latest high-profile incident in a city that has seen nightly demonstrations for three consecutive months. On Sunday, city leaders denounced the violence while President Trump criticized their ability to contain it.

Updated 4:13 p.m. ET

Thousands of demonstrators braved sweltering temperatures in the nation's capital on Friday to demand an overhaul of the country's criminal justice system and push for racial equality.

The event, called the Commitment March, was held at the Lincoln Memorial, the same site where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called for those same reforms decades ago in his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

Ohio Public Radio

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has ruled a Columbus Police officer is protected by qualified immunity after pepper-spraying a protester in 2017. 

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Top White House officials are brushing off the significance of NBA protests this week over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

President Trump also weighed in, lamenting Thursday that the NBA has become "like a political organization," but saying he didn't know much about the protests.

"I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly, but I don't know too much about the protests," Trump said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Anti-Black racism had always bothered John Collins, but he'd never personally done anything about it.

That changed after police killed George Floyd in May.

Stuck at home and furloughed from work because of the pandemic, Collins had time to watch coverage of the protests Floyd's death had set off and to reflect on the nation's history of racial injustice.

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Reynoldsburg city officials and the local police union have reached an agreement in principle to create a civilian review board to oversee police. 

Amnesty International says it has documented 125 separate instances of violence against protesters for racial justice in the U.S. over an 11-day period earlier this summer.

In a report published Tuesday, the human rights organization says that in the five years since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., "there has been a disturbing lack of progress ... in ensuring that police officers use lethal force only when there is an imminent risk of death or serious injury to themselves or others."

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Pickerington Local Schools have rescinded the promotion of an assistant principal after a social media post showed profane language critical of police. 

Police say the masked, umbrella-wielding man who smashed windows at a Minneapolis auto parts store two days after George Floyd's death has ties to a white supremacist group and specifically sought to inflame racial tensions.

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Columbus City Council last night approved legislation requiring bars and restaurants to close at 10 pm starting tonight due to the covid-19 pandemic. 

columbus.gov

Columbus City Council tonight is expected to hold votes on police reform legislation.  

The Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General has opened an investigation into allegations that DOJ personnel have improperly used force this month in Portland, Ore., as well as an inquiry into their role in responding to mass protests in Washington, D.C., since late May.

President Trump on Wednesday said his administration would "surge" federal law enforcement officials to help fight crime in Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M., as part of the Justice Department's controversial Operation Legend.

Trump accused local politicians in the cities of not doing enough to address what he says are waves of crime as the public and some politicians call for the reduction of police department budgets.

Columbus officials today announced an independent research review of the city's response to recent protests.

As federal law enforcement agents continue to occupy Portland, Ore., state and local officials are demanding that they leave. Protesters have demonstrated in the city's downtown for more than 50 nights since George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

Columbus officials today announced a charter amendment to establish a civilian police review board and an inspector general for the police division.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

President Trump dismissed outrage over police killings, saying Tuesday that "more white people" are killed by police than Black people.

"So are white people!" Trump said when asked in an interview with CBS News about why so many African Americans have been killed at the hands of police. "So are white people! What a terrible question to ask."

Trump added that "more white people, by the way" are killed by police than Black people.

Civil liberties advocates are urging Attorney General William Barr to name a special prosecutor to investigate possible violations of protesters' rights during the June 1 crackdown in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., NPR has learned.

Federal officers deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and smoke canisters to scatter the mostly peaceful group of demonstrators, clearing the way for President Trump to pose for pictures in front of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church.

reddit.com

The Montgomery County Coroner's office says autopsy results show a police brutality protestor who died days after being exposed to a chemical agent deployed by Columbus police died from a coronary artery dissection due to a previously undiagnosed genetic variant of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. 

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