Kimberly Potter, the officer that shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man, has been fired and will face second-degree manslaughter charges. Potter, a 26 year veteran of the Brooklyn Center, MN police force and president of the police union. She claims she meant to use a taser, but pulled her weapon instead.
In more arguments for why we need to defund the police, Chicago police released body cam footage of an officer killing 13-year-old young black man, Adam Toledo, as he raised his hands up.
Minnesota protests continued and have been met with militarized police response.
Meanwhile, in Virginia a cop drew a weapon and pepper-sprayed a uniformed soldier at a traffic stop. The Windsor Police Department officer apparently thought the car had no plates, despite the new car temporary tags clearly displayed in the rear-window. When Army lieutenant Caron Nazario asked the officer what was going, officer Joe Jutierrez responde, “What’s going on is you’re fixing to ride the lightning, son.”
And lawyers for Derek Chauvin, the cop that slowly killed George Floyd, rested their case after trying to smear Floyd and falsely attribute his death to drugs. Chauvin refused to take the stand, invoking the 5th Amendment.
President Biden has been dragging his feet on relaxing Trump’s inhumane restrictions on refugees, leading to a lot of head-scratching and anger from Democrats and immigrant and refugee rights groups. According to new reporting by CNN, the reason for the delay is that Biden is fretting over the “political optics” of allowing more refugees into the country. The delay has left thousands of people seeking refuge in a state of limbo after an already lengthy waiting process.
The Guardian reports that police officers and public officials from around the country have been donating to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund. An executive internal affairs officer from Norfolk Virginia gave a donation that said “keep your head up, you’ve done nothing wrong.”
The Florida Senate passed an “anti-riot bill” that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been drooling over. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the bill will “grant civil immunity to people who drive through protestors blocking a road; prevent people arrested for rioting or offenses committed during a riot from bailing out of jail until their first court appearance; and impose a six-month mandatory sentence for battery on a police officer during a riot.”
In addition, “A new crime of “mob intimidation,” defined as three or more people “acting with a common intent” forcing or threatening to force another person from taking a viewpoint against their will, is created by the bill. It is punishable as a first-degree misdemeanor, and bail is denied until first court appearance for anyone charged with the crime.”
More alarming news on the climate front. In a new study by the Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat in Cambridge, UK, scientists found that “just 3% of the world’s land remains ecologically intact with healthy populations of all its original animals and undisturbed habitat,” according to The Guardian. Previous analyses put the number between 20- and 40%. However, those studies relied heavily on satellite images, which can give the false impression that the ecosystems are intact.
The numbers are in. Workers hoping to unionize the Amazon plant in Bessemer, AL lost their election in a blowout. The vote was 738 in favor to 1,798 against.. Writing in the The Nation, Jane McAlevey argues that the effort does not mean that unionizing Amazon plants are doomed; rather, there were warning signs all over that the campaign had some serious problems - some due to Amazon’s union-busting efforts, but also due to some “fatal flaws” in the organizing campaign itself.
- Inaccurate lists of workers
- Poor handling of discussions about union dues
- Focus on plant gates, no house calls
- No sign of majority support
Seth Grove and the House State Government Committee ended their dog and pony show relitigating the 2020 election. The meetings spanned 2 months, took up a total of 48 hours and continued to spread disinformation surrounding the 2020 election. In the waning days, Grove invited members from multiple Heritage Foundation fronts, the Foundation for Government Accountability, the Public Interest Legal Foundation and other Koch Brother backed organizations to continue Trump’s big lie.
The next phase of the PA House Republican’s plan to cancel voting rights in Pennsylvania moves forward. It may take months for legislation to take shape, but Pennsylvania will be a focal point as Republicans look to push a smorgasbord of voter suppression tactics, like signature matching and voter ID’s.
The Philadelphia Police Department launched a short-lived initiative to combat gun violence in the city this week. Commissioner Outlaw announced that the police department was going to team up with the Department of Parks and Recreation and teach children about gun safety. The problem? The Commissioner stated that they were going to use the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program without stating it was an NRA backed program. The initiative lasted less than a day after gun safety advocates and residents pounced on this idea.
Philadelphia Councilmember Kendra Brooks, introduced two bills this week that would end practice of landlords denying turning away prospective tenants based upon eviction records. Brooks explained her rationale to WHYY: “Structural barriers and biases in the renting process disproportionately impact low-income renters, especially Black women. And as we know, these same renters have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. We must work toward a pandemic recovery that leaves no one behind and protecting renters’ rights to access affordable rental properties is a key part of that.”
PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein, made his case for his plan to fundamentally redesign the 14 state-owned university system to the Board of Governors on Thursday. Board of Governors Chair, Cynthia Shapira, called Greenstein’s remarks “inspirational” as she threw her support behind his plans to merge 6 of the universities into 2; fire hundreds of faculty and staff; and force students into more online classes. A piece of good news from the meeting that is getting much more coverage is the Board agree to freeze tuition for a third straight year.
Kutztown University student, Natalie Santos running for Allentown City Council.
NASA’s InSight Mars lander is going into emergency hibernation due to a build up of dust on the lander’s solar panels. Since landing in Elysium Planitia in 2018, InSight has been busy - detecting more than 500 Mars quakes and beginning to measure Mars’s core. Scientists say the lack of the powerful gusts of wind that are common in other parts of the planet have led to the build up.
Still no flight for Ingenuity. An expected test flight for the little Mars helicopter was called off earlier this week due to a software issue related to its flight control. A fix has been identified and the NASA team say that Ingenuity may be ready to give it another go as early as next week.
Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk announced that not only will the Artemis mission put the first woman on the moon, it will also send the first person of color as well.
I will be seeking out Human Robot beer this coming week.
Free Will releases.