Georgia Senate Committee Weighs Pension Changes to Attract and Retain Troopers

A committee established this year to examine retirement security for Georgians focused on public servants’ retirement needs in a hearing Thursday, particularly those of law-enforcement officers strained by heightened crime and a hostile media.

Members of the Senate Retirement Security for Georgians Study Committee examined pension reform—specifically the potential shifting from the current 401(k) system to an entirely defined-benefit plan for state law-enforcers—to attract and retain more personnel.

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District Attorney Announces He Will Seek the Death Penalty Against the Clifton Man Charged with Murdering Hardin County Deputy Matthew Locke

Over the weekend, Hardin County Deputy Matthew Locke was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Todd Alan Stricklin, 48 from Clifton, has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting the deputy just after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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Water Rescues Underway After Middle Tennessee Is Hit with Another Round of Flooding

On Monday, Middle Tennessee was rocked with another round of heavy rainfall that led to dangerous flooding. Multiple water rescues were underway in Rutherford, Maury, and Williamson County to help those trapped by the water.

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Posters on Display in California High School Classroom Display ‘F*** The Police’ and ‘F*** Amerikkka’ Phrases

outside of Alexander Hamilton High School

A California high school classroom displayed what an anonymous parent called “disgusting brainwashing of students with taxpayer dollars” over photos that show F*** the Police and F*** Amerikkka posters and Pride and Black Lives Matter flags, according to a tip provided by a parent to Parents Defending Education.

The parent of a student at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) shared photos of the posters and flags in the classroom with Parents Defending Education (PDE), a national grassroots organization working to fight “indoctrination in the classroom.”

Photos show an American flag lying on furniture in the classroom, while the Palestine flag, a transgender flag, a Pride flag and a Black Lives Matter flag hang prominently from the blackboard, according to the photos obtained by PDE.

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Arizona Police Recruiting in Washington Days After Vaccine Mandate

Arizona state trooper SUV in desert

Arizona’s state police force is in the Pacific Northwest in an attempt to bolster its ranks. The push comes on the heels of news that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee isn’t allowing exceptions to his vaccine mandate.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety announced that they would be in Washington from Sept. 7 through Sept. 19 to recruit potential new officers. 

Their counterpart, the Washington State Patrol, shared Arizona’s announcement on Twitter. 

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Police Officers, Firefighters Sue Oregon Governor Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Police and firefighters are suing Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, arguing her vaccine mandate for state workers conflicts with the U.S. and state constitutions.

The lawsuit filed in Jefferson County by the Oregon Fraternal Order of Police and the Kinglsey Firefighters Association asks the judge seeks to block the state from enforcing Brown’s executive order requiring COVID-19 inoculations fir all executive branch employees.

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Transgender Person Who Allegedly Exposed Himself at L.A. Spa Charged with Indecent Exposure

Close up of Wi Spa sign on building

The transgender individual who exposed himself in front of women and children at a California luxury spa earlier this year, has been charged with indecent exposure, the New York Post reported Thursday. Darren Agee Merager, 52, is a registered sex offender with two prior convictions of indecent exposure, according to the Post’s law-enforcement sources. Merager is also facing “six felony counts of indecent exposure over a separate locker room incident in December 2018,” according to the Post.

As American Greatness previously reported, several women complained last June, when the biological male allegedly exposed his penis at the Wi Spa in Los Angeles.

Viral video footage of the incident showed a woman angrily confronting a staff member of the spa about a naked man who had apparently exposed himself in an area reserved for females.

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St. Paul Chief Paints Grim Picture of ‘Incredibly Overworked’ Police Department

Todd Axtell

St. Paul police officers “are being pushed to the brink” as they grapple with high turnover and record crime rates, the chief of police told a St. Paul City Council committee Wednesday.

Police Chief Todd Axtell’s budget presentation was met with harsh criticism from some council members who were “astounded” by his request for a $3.1 million increase over what the mayor has proposed for the department’s 2022 budget.

Council Member Mitra Jalali scolded the chief for “doing 30 minutes of a speech instead of an actual department presentation.”

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Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief and Gubernatorial Hopeful Craig Appoints Team to Generate Anti-Crime Solutions

Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief James Craig, a Republican who is exploring a run for governor, announced Monday the formation of his Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT), an advisory panel to craft legislation to strengthen public safety.

The group is made up of lawmakers and law-enforcement officials, including two Democrats: Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Gladwin County Sheriff Mike Shea.

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University of Minnesota Professor Opposes School Hiring Police ‘in the City of George Floyd Uprising’

A professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is pushing back against the school’s decision to hire more police officers.

Nate Mills, a professor of English, criticized the school in a tweet saying “In consistency with the city of Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota has decided, in the city of the George Floyd Uprising and continued racist police violence, that it too needs *more* police officers.”

In consistency with the city of Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota has decided, in the city of the George Floyd Uprising and continued racist police violence, that it too needs *more* police officers: pic.twitter.com/WANoIeaY5S— Nate Mills (@frozenagitation) July 23, 2021

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Virginia County Tells Second-Graders They Should Feel Safe with No Police

It has been revealed that the Fairfax County Public School district (FCPS) is encouraging second-graders to be anti-police, with a “Summer Learning Guide” that includes the phrase “I feel safe when there are no police,” according to an exclusive report by Breitbart.

The stunningly radical content was revealed by a document leaked to the nonprofit group Parents Defending Education (PDE). Fairfax is the most populous school district in the state of Virginia, and has widely been viewed as the epicenter of the battle over “Critical Race Theory” – the notion that all White people are automatically racist, and that America is a fundamentally racist nation – and other far-left ideas with which children are being indoctrinated.

The summer curriculum requires students to watch a far-left YouTube channel called “Woke Kindergarten,” and one video in particular called “Safe by Ki.” The video says, in part: “I feel safe when there are no police. And it’s no one’s job to tell me how I feel. But it’s everyone’s job to make sure that people who are being treated unfairly…feel safe too.” The “lesson” ends with several loaded questions, including “Why do some people feel safe with police and others don’t,” as well as “What can you do to make sure other people feel safe?”

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When Asked About Police ‘Murderers,’ Virginia Delegate Candidate Sponsler Lashes Out: ‘Enjoy Your Soulless Life’

Katie Sponsler

In a video revealed Monday, Democratic Virginia delegate candidate Katie Sponsler amplified her recently publicized comment about police violence with pointed words to someone filming and questioning her about it: “Enjoy your soulless life.” 

An audio recording that came to light last week showed the candidate for House District 66 saying of police, “There’s definitely some who are murderers.”

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Detroit, Michigan Voters to Decide on Left-Wing ‘Proposal P’ on Tuesday

When Detroit, Michigan voters head to the polls for next Tuesday’s primary, they will decide on a referendum concerning a major proposed revision of the city charter which would institute numerous left-wing programs and reforms.

The ballot item, known as “Proposal P,” provides for the creation of a new “Task Force on Reparations and African American Justice,” an “Office of Economic Justice and Consumer Empowerment,” a “Department of Environmental Justice and Sustainability” and an “Office of Immigrant Affairs,” among other new government offices. 

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Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Craig: Leftist Officials Who Use Private Security Should Stop Bashing Police and Gun Owners

Former Detroit, Michigan police chief and Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig, speaking on Fox News on Monday, denounced progressive public officials who retain security professionals while bashing police and firearm owners. 

Craig expressed his reprehension in response to reports of campaign-finance documents showing Representative Cori Bush (D-MO-1) has spent $70,000 on private security professionals.

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Interim Chief: Austin Police Department in ‘Dire Crisis’ after Defunding

The city of Austin faces a crisis of rising violent crime after the City Council voted last year to drastically reduce the police department’s budget, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon says.

Last summer, the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department by $150 million, which resulted in canceling multiple cadet classes and disbanding multiple units responsible for responding to DWIs, domestic violence calls, stalking, and criminal interdiction.

Instead, the council redistributed the money to other city programs and suggested that community organizers respond to 911 calls, instead of the police department.

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New Arizona Law Aims to Improve Civilian Review Boards on Police Misconduct

One of the bills passed this year in the Arizona Legislature and signed by the governor, HB 2567, adds rules for independent community oversight of Arizona police departments. Although Arizona isn’t plagued like some states by high-profile incidents involving law enforcement, overall community concern led to the legislation.

John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who comes from a law enforcement background and sponsored the bill, said, “I’m not throwing cops to the wolves, especially politically motivated wolves.

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Ohio Representative: Expanding Definition of Obstruction of Justice Helps Police

A bill Ohio Republicans call an effort to protect law enforcement and Democrats said limits protest quickly went from committee passage to House passage on nearly a party line vote.

Sub House Bill 22 expands the state’s definition of obstruction of justice to include failure to follow a lawful order, throwing objects and inhibiting or depriving a law enforcement officer of control over a detainee.

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New Legislation Would Require Bodycam Footage of Deadly Police Violence to be Released in 5 Days

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive action on Monday requiring law enforcement officers to release bodycam footage of deadly incidents involving police within five days of the incident. The Governor’s Office says that the new legislation will “increase transparency and accountability” in Minnesota public safety.

The executive action will also allot $15 million in violence prevention grants. The order says that, “The funding will fill critical gaps in Minnesota’s public safety response as the pandemic has had a disproportionate response on communities of color.”

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Data Shows Increased Homicides in Six Major Cities Across the Country

Police line do not cross tape

The number of homicides in six major cities across the country has increased compared to last year, disproportionately affecting black people, according to crime data.

Black people have represented a massive share of murder victims in six major cities through the first six months of 2021 compared to last year, which itself saw a large crime surge, according to data analyzed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The DCNF analyzed both police department data and homicide reports compiled by local news outlets to determine how black people have been victimized in the wake of the 2020 crime spike.

“We are seeing an uptick in violent crime across the country, specifically gun violence,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told The New York Times earlier this month.

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Seth Barron Author of ‘The Last Days of New York’ Talks NYC Crime and Mayoral Candidate Scenarios

Seth Barron

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed City Journal associate editor and author of The Last Days of New York, Seth Barron to weigh in on the increase of crime and the mayoral candidates running for New York City mayor.

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Wisconsin Student Charged with Misdemeanor for Residence Hall Fire in Hate-Crime Hoax

Viterbo University

A former Viterbo University student has been charged with one misdemeanor count of negligent handling of burning materials after police say she set a fire inside her dorm in April for “attention purposes.”

Victoria Unanka, if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine or nine months in prison, or both, according to the criminal complaint.

Unanka, through her attorney, entered a not guilty plea at a court hearing on Wednesday, the La Crosse Tribune reports.

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Chauvin Trial Overtime Cost Nearly $3 million

Derek Chauvin

Ramped-up security during the three weeks of Derek Chauvin’s trial cost taxpayers nearly $3 million, the Minneapolis Police Department said Thursday.

Citing unexpected costs, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo asked the Minneapolis City Council for an additional $5 million.

The MPD has 632 sworn officers, down from 845 one year ago — a 25% drop — to protect the 425,000-person city that’s fighting spiking violent crime.

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Brooklyn Center Makes Changes to Policing Following Daunte Wright Shooting

Brooklyn Center Police Department Squad Car

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota implemented new changes to policing in a 4-1 vote in the city council meeting, following the death of Daunte Wright in April. The changes include a new department of public safety that will have unarmed officers to conduct traffic stops and a mental health division.

Daunte Wright was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Park Police Officer Kim Potter, after it was discovered he had a warrant out for his arrest. Wright did not follow police instructions and reentered his vehicle while the officers were attempting to arrest him.

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Brother of Wanted Man Shot by Minneapolis Police Calls for Better Justice System: ‘We Should Fight Together’

Winston Smith protests

The brother of Winston Smith, a wanted man who was shot and killed in an officer involved shooting incident after he pulled a gun on police, has spoken out about the need for police. He feels his brother’s death was an injustice but wants to work together with police to improve the justice system. 

Winston Smith’s brother, Kidale Smith, was seen shaking hands and hugging police officers who were out on the streets monitoring the protests that had been taking place since his brother’s death. He reported that he felt like maybe the police officers needed a voice too.

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Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Protect Police, First Responders

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill introduced by Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) that will enhance protection for individuals who serve in law enforcement or as a first responder.

If enacted, an assault of an emergency responder or their families could lead to a possible 4th degree felony. Further, an individual who places a first responder or their family in fear of physical harm can be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor.

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Georgia Lawmakers to Study Crime in Atlanta

Police line do not cross tape

Georgia lawmakers will study the rise in crime in Atlanta this summer.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee plans to hold a series of hearings to look at the causes and solutions for the increase in crime in the state’s capital city.

“We want to have productive hearings that can get down to exactly what’s going on because, as you all know, the success of the city of Atlanta is directly impacted by the success of Georgia and vice versa,” Committee Chair J. Collins, R-Villa Rica, said.

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Texas State Border Officials Fear Large Spikes in Overdose Deaths with Drug Traffic Increases

Texas Department of Public Safety SUV

Texas officials said Thursday they’re worried about dramatic spikes in drug overdose deaths in some areas of the state as illegal border crossings and drug trafficking have picked up since President Joe Biden took office.

Gov. Greg Abbott joined Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw and Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn on Thursday in Fort Worthto provide an update on the border crisis.

“We’re heading for a 50 percent increase in overdose deaths in Tarrant County alone,” Waybourn warned, noting that the amount of drugs flooding into Tarrant County has skyrocketed even with DPS intervention.

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Gunfire Mars Festival at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis on Anniversary of His Death

George Floyd memorial

An apparent drive-by shooting at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis was caught live by news cameras Tuesday morning, as Black Lives Matter supporters gathered to observe the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death in police hands.

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St. Paul Commission Wants City to ‘Rethink’ Police Response

Side of police car while it's raining

A St. Paul public safety committee recently called for a slew of operations to be moved out of the police department and into non-law enforcement divisions.

The St. Paul “Community-First Public Safety Commission” advised the city to “rethink” its response to certain service calls and provided specific measures to implement in traffic-stop scenarios. The commission was appointed by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and is headed by the Citizens League, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization.

The commission’s recommendations call for ending the practice of pulling people over for “motor vehicle repair notices” and “other moving violations.” Instead, police should “utilize a mailed citation,” according to the commission. Repair notices include broken lights, turn-signal malfunctions, and expired tabs, to name a few.

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Michigan House GOP $80 Million Plan Pushes Stronger Police Support

Speaker Jason Wentworth

Michigan House GOP unveiled a plan to spend roughly $80 million to support local police departments.

The plan aims to counter the “defund the police movement,” House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, said in a Thursday morning press conference.

House Republicans say the plan supports law enforcement, strengthens the criminal justice system and expands community policing statewide.

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Over 200 Officers Have Left the Minneapolis Police Department Since Last May

Over 200 police officers have left, are in the process of leaving, or are on extended leave from the Minneapolis Police Department. 

Several police officers explained it is due to lack of support and the feeling that they had to defend themselves throughout the course of the riots that plagued the city last summer, according to a report from WCCO in Minneapolis. 

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Adjunct Professor Berated Student After Student Suggested That Police Officers Are Heroes

Student Braden Ellis with adjunct professor on Zoom

An adjunct professor berated a student in her class after he expressed support for law enforcement.

Cypress College student Braden Ellis delivered a presentation about cancel culture during a Zoom communications class. In a phone interview with Campus Reform, Ellis affirmed The Daily Wire’s report that he had been discussing the attempted cancellation of “Paw Patrol” during the presentation.

“So you brought up the police in your speech a few times. So, what is your main concern?” asked the adjunct professor. “Since, I mean, honestly… the issue is systemic. Because the whole reason we have police departments in the first place, where does it stem from? What’s our history? Going back to what [another classmate] was talking about, what does it stem from? It stems from people in the south wanting to capture runaway slaves.”

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Police Departments Say Budget Cuts Are the Reason They’ve Been Unable to Hire New Officers

Two police officers walking in front of LED American flag

Multiple police departments told the Daily Caller News Foundation that recruiting officers is not an issue, but budget constraints have limited their ability to increase manpower.

Almost a year after George Floyd died during an arrest where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes resulting in nationwide civil unrest and the defund the police movement, most police departments say they still have a sufficient number of candidates but lack the funding to recruit them.

“The Minneapolis Police Department, like every department, has seen a drop in application numbers over the last several years,” Minneapolis Police Department Spokesperson John Elder told the DCNF. “Whereas we have seen a reduction in applications, we still have ample qualified candidates who wish to be Minneapolis Police Officers and Cadets [and the department’s] recruitment efforts are ongoing.”

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Michigan Police Retirements, Recruitments Appear to Fare Better Than Minnesota’s

Michigan Police

Michigan police forces appear to be faring better than those in Minnesota’s largest metro areas after a year troubled by controversial and tragic police encounters ending in death.

In many metropolitan cities across the United States, violent crime increased in 2020. In Detroit, there were 327 murders, up 19% from 2019, and 1,173 non-fatal shootings, up 53%, Michigan Public Radio reported.

Michigan State Police (MSP) spokeswoman Shanon Banner said the state police tracks enlistment numbers by fiscal year, but it’s difficult to conclude whether retirements are “up” or “down” from year to year because retirements are largely based on when recruits become eligible for retirement.

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Florida Police Related Shooting Deaths Up 52 Percent in 2020

People rioting

In a year that saw a social justice movement, a pandemic, and an increase in violent crime, police relating shooting deaths in Florida in 2020 were up 51.5 % when compared to the previous five years. In contrast, police related shootings nationwide were up just 3.4%.

The numbers come from the Washington Post police related shooting database which began logging information in 2015. The data shows that from 2015 to 2019 Florida averaged approximately 61.4 police related shooting deaths per year. In 2020, there were 93 police related shooting deaths, a 51.5% increase.

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Ohio Attorney General Pleads for Patience Around Bryant Shooting Investigation

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has spent a lot of time pleading for patience and talking of the dangers of rushing to judgement in reaction to the shooting death of a 16-year-old girl by Columbus police officers.

Community organizers, however, are calling for a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Columbus Police Department, and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said there is lack of trust between the community and police.

Yost consistently has said half-facts lead to half-truths, tweeting two days after the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, “Let’s get all the facts and find the whole truth.”

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Abbott Calls for Biden to Label Mexican Cartels as Terrorist Organizations as Texas Ranchers Fend off Criminals

Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris asking them to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

The cartels are bringing terror into Texas communities, Abbott said in his fourth letter to the administration about the border crisis.

The cartels “smuggle narcotics and weapons into the United States to fund their illegal enterprises,” Abbott writes. “They force women and children into human and sex trafficking – enriching themselves on the misery and enslavement of immigrants. They murder innocent people, including women and children. These Mexican drug cartels are foreign terrorist organizations, and it is time for the federal government to designate them as such.”

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Defund the Police Movement Contributed to Rise in Violence, Experts Say

Group of protestors

Calls to defund the police have once again been thrust into the national spotlight after a string of high profile police shootings, but data show the rallying cry for police reformers may not hold water.

After the death of Daunte Wright at the hands of police in Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Rashida Talib, D-Mich., made headlines this week for posting on Twitter: “No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.”

Later in the week, Senate lawmakers blasted President Joe Biden’s Justice Department Civil Rights Division nominee Kristen Clarke after reports that she wrote an op-ed calling for defunding the police. Clarke pushed back, arguing that was not the point of her writing.

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Minneapolis to Pay Record $27 Million in George Floyd’s Wrongful Death Settlement

The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to settle George Floyd’s wrongful death lawsuit for a record $27 million. 

The settlement was announced on Friday.

In a viral May 2020 video, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, causing police brutality protests worldwide. Floyd died later that night. By the end of the week, the three officers involved were fired. 

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Commentary: Promoting Myths About Police Won’t Make Us Safer

The House of Representatives passed the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021” this week, the bill’s proponents rightly decry pernicious stereotyping and generalizing based on race.

Yet many of those who rightly condemn such dangerous biases, and the lies they are built upon, make misleading claims of their own to advance another reckless bigotry — anti-police bias.

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Minneapolis City Council Votes to Ban Facial Recognition for Police Use

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to ban facial recognition technology for police use.

The determination prohibits every city department from acquiring, obtaining, or using facial recognition technology or information derived from the technology.

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Biden State Dept. Spox Calls Police ‘Blue Klux Klan,’ and ‘Largest Threat to U.S. National Security’

Just a few short years ago, the newly appointed deputy spokesperson for the Biden State Department wrote that the police posed the largest national security threat in America—greater than that of ISIS or Russia—because they were committing “genocide” against Black Americans.

In a 2016 Facebook post, uncovered by the Washington Free Beacon, Jalina Porter wrote: “The largest threat to US national security are US cops. Not ISIS, not Russian hackers, not anyone or anything else. If ya’ll don’t wake up and rise up to this truth, the genocide against Blacks in America will continue until we are near extinct. That’s not the world I seek to live in or create for myself and those around me.”

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Tennessee Senate Considers Bill to Allow First Responders to Live Outside the Jurisdictions They Serve

State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) on Wednesday filed SB 29 which would allow first responders to live where they choose, the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement.

Kelsey posted on the caucus’ Facebook page, “This is a public safety bill. It will enable us to hire more police officers, which will help us fight our rising crime rates.”

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Baltimore Police Department Say They Need 500 Additional Officers to Stem City-Wide Crime Spike

After another violent weekend with a number of homicides and shootings in the city, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) called out Police Commissioner Michael Harrison Tuesday morning, saying more officers have left the department than have been hired during his tenure, leaving the police department 500 officers short.

WJZ reported there were seven non-fatal shootings and five murders over the weekend in Mayor Brandon Scott’s (D) Baltimore, and another fatal shooting in broad daylight Monday, bringing the homicide total to 325 so far this year.

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