HERE’S YOUR WALL, MR. PRESIDENT.

As the protests over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd ramped up in the past week, the administration of Donald Trump increasingly fortified the area around the White House.

Entrances to Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street NW, the Ellipse, and Lafayette Square are barricaded by about 1.7 miles of mesh metal fences and guarded by police.

Meanwhile, Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed concern that some of the measures may be permanent.

The barriers have been a jarring sight for many Washingtonians, long used to free access to spaces that serve as a symbol of democracy and where First Amendment protests have played out for over a century. Throughout the week, protesters could often be heard pressed up against the fence, chanting…

“This Is What Democracy Looks Like.”

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CONFEDERACY OF RACIST BUFFOONERY

Protesters in Richmond toppled a statue of Jefferson Davis that stood since 1907.

Police watched as a tow truck took the statue away. Protesters toppled the statue.

The statue of Davis, who was president of the Confederacy, was the 3rd to be torn down.

A statue of Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham was toppled from its pedestal. A statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down and dumped in a lake.

Good. Riddance.

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DEFUND DOC

I am an 85-year-old white man who watched Dr. Martin Luther King as he responded to being struck in the forehead with a rock by staggering and then singing.

We stood and sang and looked into the eyes of white people whose hatred I can still feel.

Fifty years later, George Floyd was murdered by police as other white cops stood by.

Same hate.

Cell phones may make the difference in this battle for human rights. Millions of Americans, led by young people, are responding to state violence, exposed by phone cameras, in a way that offers hope.

I wish we had cell phones and cameras in prisons.

For the past 25 years, I have visited and advocated for people in Illinois prisons. My best friends, outside my family, are all imprisoned. On a daily basis, everyone in prison, but especially those who are black and brown, are subject to disrespect and insidious treatment.

The prison culture is built on security and fear, not respect and rehabilitation.

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SILENCE = COMPLICITY

Akron City Council voted to hold police officers criminally liable if they if they witness unlawful use of force and do not intervene or report it.

The addition to prohibited public safety practices is a response to the outcry over the death of George Floyd.

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DECONSTRUCTING PRIVILEGE

The killing of George Floyd was shocking. But to be surprised by it is a privilege African Americans do not have.

A black person is killed by a police officer in America at the rate of more than one every other day. Floyd’s death followed those of Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician shot at least eight times inside her Louisville home by plain-clothes police executing a no-knock warrant, and Ahmaud Arbery, killed in a confrontation with three white men as he jogged through their neighborhood in Brunswick.

Floyd’s gasps were familiar, the same words Eric Garner uttered on a Staten Island street corner in 2014…

“I Can’t Breathe.”

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GET YOUR KNEE OFF OUR NECK

Historic uprisings are sweeping the country in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

While protests against state-sanctioned violence and racism are taking place in every state, Oregon’s are significant, as they continue to swell well beyond the Portland metro region, and in unprecedented numbers.

Now, a state whose constitution once banned Black people from living within its borders is seeing its largest demonstrations calling for their liberty. And some Black Oregonians are seeing opportunities for reform.

Jah’di Levvi, 30, has been marching in the streets every night since the demonstrations began.

He said that he hadn’t been to a protest in about five years — the last time was following another murder — but after witnessing Floyd’s execution online, he was moved into action.

“That image of the knee on his neck sent me over the edge. I was like, there’s no way I’m not going to protest.”

Now he finds himself organizing with the newly formed Portland Civil Rights Collective, helping lead the group he estimates to be around 150 strong take to the city’s streets, parks and bridges each night in the name of justice.

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HONOR FRED HAMPTON: DEFUND CPD

The story of his assassination is harrowing in the shadow of the George Floyd Uprising.

In the predawn hours, a heavily armed Chicago Police Team stormed Hampton’s apartment. The police had obtained a warrant ostensibly in search of illegal weapons, which they used as a pretext for killing Hampton.

They fired more than 90 rounds. He was 21 years old.

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SAY HER NAME: BREONNA TAYLOR.

The Black Lives Matter movement continues to show up on Milwaukee buildings.

Artists Ruben Alcantar and Chris Burke teamed up to create a mural of Breonna Taylor.

Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky.

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HEADS ROLL

The Christopher Columbus statue in Boston’s North End will be removed, hours after it was beheaded.

The statue in Christopher Columbus Park on Atlantic Avenue was surrounded by crime scene tape early Wednesday morning as the head lay on the ground next to the base.

 

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CULTURE OF VIOLENCE

One late summer evening, Debbie cracked.

After weeks of deliberating, she phoned Merseyside Police to report her partner for serious allegations of physical and verbal abuse. It was a decision she would soon regret. The problem, she says, is that he was an officer with the same force.

“He used to say the police would protect him and if I phoned up against him, he’d just get me put in prison,” she said. “One day it was too much and I did phone. In hindsight that was the biggest mistake of my whole life.”

Domestic abuse is often predicated on fear. Fear of what your abuser will do next, fear that you’re going mad, fear that no one will believe you. Many of those affected are understandably afraid of how their partner will react if they report them; some do so anyway.

So what happens when your abuser is part of the system that’s supposed to protect you?

Debbie is one of multiple women who have told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism they suffered emotional or physical abuse at the hands of police officer partners, and that they believe their partners used their professional positions to seek to intimidate or harass them.

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