We hit 115 degrees today, and it’s only June 3.
Meanwhile, the country remains a mess … although we got some good news today.
Let’s get right into the links:
• The big national news of the day: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that Derek Chauvin—the Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, resulting in Floyd’s death—would be charged with second-degree murder; and that the other three officers involved in the incident—Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao—would be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Chauvin had previously been charged with third-degree murder; the other three officers had not yet been charged.
• Ellison, however, also offered a warning: He said that getting a conviction in the case(s) against the officers “will be hard.”
• While some Republicans are standing by President Trump’s attempt to militarize law-enforcement responses against the protests taking place around the country (or, rather, make the responses even more militarized), others—including Defense Secretary Mark Esper—are quickly backing away.
• Meanwhile, a former Trump defense secretary—James Mattis, who served in the position until December 2018—excoriated Trump. Key quote: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
• The Guardian offers a look at the lives of some of the men and women killed during the protests over the last eight days.
• It’s been said that if you want to understand the nature of a police force, you look not at the chief, but at the head of the union. Well, The Intercept looked at Lt. Bob Kroll, head of Minneapolis’ police union—and saw some pretty rotten stuff.
• More evidence of rot in the Minneapolis PD comes from The New York Times: Black people make up 19 percent of Minneapolis’ population—but 58 percent of the police-use-of-force cases.
• The New York Times examined how some law-enforcement offers are feeling very conflicted right now. The headline and sub-headline: “For Police Officers, Demonstrations Take a Toll and Test Duty: As the world watches demonstrations unfold on television and social media, both the best and the worst of American law enforcement has been on display.”
• The Los Angeles Times looks at the protests taking place in the Inland Empire—and the previous cases of police violence that are helping motivate them.
• This NPR headline just made me sigh and desire a cocktail: “In George Floyd Protests, China Sees A Powerful Propaganda Opportunity.”
• Former President Barack Obama spoke today as part of a Town Hall organized by his foundation. Read about his remarks—or watch what he had to say—here.
• A very cool feature from the Newseum—which continues online after closing its physical space at the end of last year: Each day, hundreds of newspapers send their front pages to the Newseum to post online. Check it out.
• And now to the day’s coronavirus news—which is very much still a thing: According to The Conversation, California’s relatively early shelter-in-place order may have saved 1,600 lives in one month.
• Riverside County has set aside more than $30 million in federal stimulus money for tenants who need help with rent. Applicants may receive up to three months’ rent, or $3,500, whichever is less. Learn more here.
• Keep your fingers crossed: Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview yesterday that he’s hoping we will have a couple hundred million doses of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ready by the end of the year. Yay!
• However, he also said the vaccine may not offer protection for very long. Boo!
• AMC Theatres says that it may not be able to survive the pandemic.
That’s enough news for the day. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Black Lives Matter. If you value independent, local, honest journalism, and can spare a few bucks, please consider becoming a Supporter of the Independent. We’ll be back tomorrow.