Following the Chauvin Verdict: Stay in the Streets! Abolish the Police! (+1 more)

By Workers World Party 

Workers World Party expresses its solidarity with the family of George Floyd, along with the Minneapolis community and anti-racist activists everywhere, who understandably applaud the three guilty verdicts against the racist, white, killer cop, Derek Chauvin, who wantonly lynched Floyd May 25, 2020. 

Chauvin was found guilty today, April 20, 2021, of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree intentional murder and third degree murder. Three other cops, who stood by as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck and body until he died, have been fired and will face charges for aiding and abetting in subsequent trials.

We are in solidarity with those who will be in the streets tonight and throughout the coming days and weeks who express relief with the verdict and at the same time, acknowledge its limitations. In the long run, more than the jailing of Chauvin or any individual killer cop is needed for eradicating police terror and white supremacy — two evils which go hand-in-hand.  

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WAAR on Chauvin Verdicts: ‘We’ll Accept Nothing Less Than Police Abolition’

By a guest author 

April 20 protest, New York City, WW PHOTO: Nathaniel Chase

The following statement was issued on April 20 by the Workers Assembly Against Racism, based in New York City.  

One killer cop in jail does nothing to address the violence and trauma that materially fills the experience of Black, Brown, and working people at the hands of our bloated, militarized police force.

Derek Chauvin is a tool of white supremacy, along with policing and incarceration as a whole. Although we’re witnessing this tool’s public “punishment,” we cannot accept these court proceedings as the theatrical interpretation of “justice” that the state so fervently desires. 

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Lofgren: Capitol Police official being investigated for directions to pursue only ‘anti-Trump’ protesters Jan. 6

An investigation found an official’s radio transmission to “all outside units’ attention” that they should not be “looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd,” according to Lofgren. A Capitol Police official denies her account.

An American flag flies beyond barbed wire near Union Station on January 19.

Many Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that some of the Capitol Police officers appeared to either wave the crowd through or pose for selfies with them. | Nathan Howard/Getty Images

By KYLE CHENEY

A Capitol Police official radioed units outside of the building on the morning of Jan. 6 and told them only to scout for anti-Trump troublemakers — not pro-Trump protesters, according to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who described what she said were details of an internal investigation conducted in the aftermath of the mob attack.

Lofgren (D-Calif.) revealed the finding while she questioned Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton, who appeared before the House Administration Committee Wednesday to testify about security failures that precipitated the Jan. 6 attack. Lofgren, who chairs the panel, described the findings as she asked him whether he had read the internal investigation reports.

Lofgren said the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility was reviewing information that a radio transmission to “all outside units’ attention” that they should not be “looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd,” according to Lofgren. She added they were “only looking for any anti-Trump.”

Bolton said he had yet to review the reports of internal investigations into the conduct of about three dozen officers on Jan. 6, many of which are ongoing in the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR.

A committee aide declined to disclose additional details from the investigation but emphasized that Lofgren’s panel “is recently in receipt of new documents and emails related to the Jan. 6 insurrection, including materials which brought to light these issues the Chair asked the (inspector general) about today. The committee is continuing to review those documents and emails and intends to review the relevant recorded audio when it is available.”

A Capitol Police official told POLITICO that the radio communication Lofgren described involved “a Capitol Police command official who told officers simply to be on the lookout for counterprotesters because that is often where we have clashes between both sides.”

“This is not, and was never, under investigation by OPR,” the official said, adding that the radio message was delivered at 8 a.m. “well before there were any issues with anybody in the Capitol.”

Although the details are still disputed, Lofgren’s comments are the first insight into specific concerns about the conduct of Capitol Police on the day of the insurrection. Neither Lofgren nor the department identified the official. The Capitol Police have acknowledged ongoing investigations — including the fact that six officers were suspended for their particular actions — but have provided no updates since they began months ago.

Many Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that some of the Capitol Police officers appeared to either wave the crowd through or pose for selfies with them. The reality has been more complex. About 138 Capitol Police and DC police officers were assaulted on Jan. 6, some receiving severe injuries. One died hours later of apparent strokes and two took their own lives in the days and weeks after the attack.

Footage from the riot shows at times savage hand-to-hand combat in which outnumbered police were attacked and beaten, pepper sprayed and bludgeoned with poles, batons and even a hockey stick and a skateboard. Inside the building, rioters often confronted police, and in other cases police were reduced to bystanders as the crowd patrolled Capitol hallways. Outside the House and Senate chambers, however, it was a different story, as police beat back fierce crowds attempting to breach the rooms where lawmakers were being evacuated.

[Source]

Capitol Police IG Says There’s No Oversight Over the Force’s Board (+2 more)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 13: Fencing topped with barbed wire surrounds the Capitol Building (Photo by Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By Kate Riga

While disparate congressional committees have chipped away at what exactly allowed a pro-Trump mob to muscle into the Capitol building on January 6, one thing has become clear: the opacity cloaking the inner workings of the Capitol police.

Much of that scrutiny has become focused on the Capitol Police Board, the overseeing body of the force comprised of the architect of the Capitol, House and Senate sergeants at arms and the chief of police in a non-voting role.

The board has authority over almost all of the security decisions made at the Capitol, but received little attention until the January 6 disaster. Calls for its reform have become a bipartisan unifier as lawmakers look to improve Capitol security. 

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Many GOPers Plan To Skip Biden’s First Speech To Congress If Invited

WILMINGTON, DE - JULY 28:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden addressed the fourth component of his “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan for working families, how his plan will address systemic racism and advance racial economic equity in the United States.  (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

By Cristina Cabrera

A lot of Republicans reportedly won’t attend President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress next week if invited.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office has not yet decided how many tickets for the event will be allotted to Democratic and GOP lawmakers in both chambers, but Republican leaders told Punchbowl that there’s little desire among rank-and-file members of their caucuses to go regardless.

“I don’t think I’ll probably attend,” Senate Republican Conference Vice Chair Joni Earnst (R-IA) said, according to Punchbowl.

It’s unclear why so many GOP lawmakers wouldn’t show up if they get invited, though some of them cited logistics as a reason for their absence.

However, a handful of Republicans said they do want to attend Biden’s speech, including Trump loyalists like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

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Watchdog Finds Trump Admin Created Obstacles That Delayed Relief Aid To Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Trump is in Puerto Rico to survey hurricane damage. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Zoë Richards

The Trump administration lined up unprecedented bureaucratic obstacles that delayed approximately $20 billion in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, according to an inspector general report that could be released publicly as soon as Thursday.

In a 46-page document first reported by the Washington Post early Thursday, the inspector general said it found procedural hurdles created by the White House budget office that stalled recovery aid even as watchdogs were met with efforts by Trump administration officials to obstruct their investigation into the delay by the request of Congress in 2019.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria had left Puerto Rico residents without power and clean water for months after ravaging the U.S. territory in 2017.

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Cops & Public Officials Gave Anonymous Donations & Messages of Support to Kyle Rittenhouse’s Crowdfunding Campaign (+3 more)

By Vivian Kane

A man wears a Trump hat and a shirt that says "Free Kyle", referencing Kyle Rittenhouse

Content warning: racism, police violence

Kyle Rittenhouse had so much support after allegedly shooting and killing Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer, that he was reportedly able to pay the entirety of his original $2 million bond with money from various crowdfunding campaigns.

One of those campaigns was on the site GiveSendGo, which calls itself the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site.” That campaign raised nearly $600,000 and is full of messages of support from anonymous donors—messages like “You did nothing wrong,” “Thank you for protecting us,” and “Thanks for being brave.”

Thanks to a data breach at the site, shared by a group called Distributed Denial of Secrets, those anonymous donors have now had their identities revealed. And an abhorrent but not at all surprising number of them are police officers and public officials.

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Expanding the Supreme Court Is Normal and We Should Do It; And Now.

By Jessica Mason

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: (L-R) Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) arrive for a press conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to announce legislation to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court on April 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Their bill would expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says she does not support the bill and doesn't plan to bring it to the House floor. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Yesterday on the steps of the Supreme Court, Senator Ed Markey, flanked by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, announced the introduction of a bill aimed at expanding the Supreme court from 9 to 13 seats. This was met with cries from the GOP of “court-packing” and Nancy Pelosi frustratingly said she would not bring the bill to the floor in congress.

The thing is that the Supreme Court should absolutely be expanded. And it has been before. There’s nothing in the constitution that says how many judges must sit on the Supreme Court, that’s up to congress. The court went from six to five to seven to nine to ten and back to nine in the 19th century, all for political reasons ranging from John Adams trying to screw with Thomas Jefferson’s appointments to the court all the way to trying to keep the court from ruling against Reconstruction.

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Simon & Schuster Won’t Distribute Book by Cop Involved in Breonna Taylor’s Death but That’s Not the End of This Conversation

By Vivian Kane

A group of protesters gather in the street in a march to the Breonna Taylor memorial

Just hours after the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported that one of the cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor had landed a book deal, Simon & Schuster said they were as surprised by its existence as anyone and that they would not be participating in its distribution.

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s book, titled, The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy, was picked up by Post Hill Press, a small conservative and “Christian” publishing house that is distributed by Simon & Schuster.

“Like much of the American public, earlier today Simon & Schuster learned of plans by distribution client Post Hill Press to publish a book by Jonathan Mattingly. We have subsequently decided not be involved in the distribution of this book,” the company wrote on Twitter.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene Backpedals Launch of White Supremacist ‘America First’ Caucus

When you’re so racist that even the GOP rejects you.

By Chelsea Steiner

Marjorie Taylor Greene and her dumb masks

Georgia republican and hillbilly Eva Braun Marjorie Taylor Greene has come under fire for trying to launch the “America First Caucus”, a white supremacist and nativist caucus designed to appeal to Trump supporters and extreme right wing conservatives. Greene organized the caucus with Arizona congressman and fellow Capitol riots instigator Paul Gosar, which aims to promote “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

The caucus document, which was circulated online yesterday, reads “The America First Caucus (AFC) exists to promote Congressional policies that are to the long-term benefit of the American nation,” adding that it aims to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.” The document is extremely nativist, and repeatedly refers to “Anglo-Saxon” traditions and supports infrastructure “that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture.”

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Justice for Daunte Wright! Smash Police Terror!

By Devin Cole 

On April 11, police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on the northwest border of Minneapolis, fatally shot a young Black man named Daunte Wright. According to witnesses, Daunte Wright was being stopped by Brooklyn Center police when he was shot by an officer. He then got back in his car and drove away, driving a few blocks before crashing the vehicle several blocks away. 

Carrying Black Lives Matter flags to denounce killing of Daunte Wright (inset photo), protesters are assaulted by police, April 11.

According to the Washington Post, the police told his father, Aubrey Wright, that they stopped his son initially due to an air freshener allegedly blocking his rearview mirror. The father questioned the police motive since his son’s car windows were tinted. The police then claimed that they asked Wright to step out of his car for an “outstanding warrant” before he was killed. (April 12)  

Police officials are now saying that the killing of Daunte Wright was an “accident” since the officer who shot him thought it was a taser.  

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Derek Chauvin’s Murder Trial Is Smashing Cops’ ‘Blue Wall of Silence’

Cops are testifying against a cop. That almost never happens.

By Trone Dowd

Left: Lt. Zimmerman testifies during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in Hennepin County Court in downtown Minneapolis (CourtTV). Middle: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is escorted from the rear of the Hennepin

LEFT: LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN TESTIFIES DURING THE TRIAL OF FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER DEREK CHAUVIN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY COURT IN DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS (COURTTV). MIDDLE: DEREK CHAUVIN IS ESCORTED FROM THE REAR OF THE HENNEPIN COUNTY FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2020, IN MINNEAPOLIS. (DAVID JOLES/STAR TRIBUNE VIA AP). RIGHT: MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO TESTIFIES DURING THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY COURT. (COURTTV).

The unspoken bond among police to defend each other, often no matter the circumstances, has continuously hindered investigating and prosecuting officers accused of wrongdoing. But that so-called Blue Wall of Silence is now crumbling around Derek Chauvin, who’s facing up to 65 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

“In no way, shape, or form is what Officer Chauvin did part of our training, ethics, or values,” Minneapolis’ first Black police chief, Medaria Arradondo, said plainly in front of the jury Monday.

In the last four days of Chauvin’s murder trial, several high-ranking police officers have taken the stand and openly condemned his actions, which reignited a national movement against police violence last summer. Law enforcement witnesses have repeatedly testified that Chauvin never should have kneeled on Floyd’s neck, and certainly not for more than 9 minutes when the 46-year-old Black man wasn’t actively resisting. They’ve also said that doing so violated their training, department policies, and moral promise to serve. 

“To rally around Chauvin and say, ‘This is policing as normal, this is acceptable practice,’ would risk greater harm to the reputation of the police than basically just coming forward and saying, ‘This is not who we are, and this is not what we do,” Daniel Medwed, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University’s School of Law, told VICE News. “I think all of them are aligned with coming forward and saying Chauvin is outside of our group: that he is a bad apple but we are a good tree.”

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