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June 22 Black Lives Matter protests

Why do we care about statues?
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Constitutional law expert says attempts to remove Andrew Jackson statues "long overdue"

Michael Higginbotham speaks with CNN's Don Lemon on Monday, June 22.

Michael Higginbotham, professor of constitutional law at the University of Baltimore, said from a historical perspective attempts to pull down statues of former US President Andrew Jackson were “long overdue.”

“Many Americans, they have sort of a movie version of American history, like a Birth of a Nation or Gone With the Wind version, and it’s false, it’s one-sided, and it’s superficial,” Higginbotham told CNN’s Don Lemon.

A debate has raged across the US over recent weeks over whether statues of controversial figures from American history should be removed or left standing, include Confederate war heroes and former slave owners.

On Monday, protesters in Washington D.C. attempted to pull down a statue of Jackson, the seventh US President, who has been criticized for his harsh treatment of Native Americans. Jackson’s policies eventually led to the forced relocation of Native Americans, killing thousands along the infamous “Trail of Tears.”

President Donald Trump in a tweet on Monday described the protesters’ actions as “disgraceful vandalism.”

But Higginbotham said that the US needed to be “more sophisticated about our analysis of our founders and of our history,” including adding statues of people whose morality has “stood the test of time.”

“People like George Wythe, who signed the Declaration of Independence but freed all his slaves at the time he inherited them,” Higginbotham said.

Trump warns protesters who defaced church exterior could face up to 10 years in prison

President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable meeting at the White House on June 15 in Washington.

US President Donald Trump has warned that protesters who defaced the exterior of St. John’s Church close to the White House could face up to 10 years in prison.

A group of several hundred protesters tried to occupy Lafayette Park across the street from the White House earlier tonight, to create what some called a “Black House Autonomous Zone,” similar to the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone” in Seattle.

“BHAZ” was spray-painted across the front of St. John’s Church. Protesters also tried to remove the statue of former President Andrew Jackson in the park.

In a late night tweet, President Trump described the protesters’ actions as “disgraceful vandalism.”

“Numerous people arrested in D.C. for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street. 10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!” he said.

Confederate flag "represents treason," says former NASCAR driver Willy T. Ribbs

Willy T. Ribbs speaks with CNN's Don Lemon on June 22.

Former NASCAR driver Willy T. Ribbs has compared the Confederate flag to the Nazi swastika, saying a decision to ban the flag from all NASCAR events is overdue.

“The Confederate flag means the same to African Americans as the swastika does to Jewish people,” Ribbs told CNN’s Don Lemon tonight.
“It’s more than demeaning, it represents the support of slavery, it represents treason. For this country to survive socially, we’ve got to get through this or we’re not going to make it to 2050. We’ll be done.”

NASCAR announced on June 10 that it would be banning the Confederate flag from all events, saying it “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment.”

But there was pushback to the move. After NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace repainted his car with a “Black Lives Matter” slogan, a noose was found in his garage.

Ribbs said that he had regularly experienced racism during his time as a NASCAR driver, saying he had received abusive letters and death threats.

“There is going to be some people are going to push back and it’s not everyone … The good thing is, that the good people in all colors are going to push for the right thing,” he said.

Watch:

Protesters tried to form "Black House Autonomous Zone" in front of White House, CNN reporter says

Protesters pull down a fence surrounding the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House on June 22 in Washington.

Protesters in front of the White House told CNN’s Boris Sanchez that they had been attempting to start a “Black House Autonomous Zone,” similar to the one in Seattle, when they were forced out by police.

Hundreds of protesters are still on the scene, being held out of the park by police lines.

CNN’s Sanchez said he was walking away from the area at about 6:30 p.m. ET when he saw protesters grab a fence from a nearby construction site and try to block access to the area.

“They let me in and I spoke to one of the organizers of what they’re calling the ‘Black House Autonomous Zone’ … (One protester said) that this spontaneous move was not planned, this is something that protesters are just sort of doing spontaneously,” Sanchez told CNN’s Don Lemon.

Images of the historic St John’s Episcopal Church showed “BHAZ” spray-painted on the pillars at the building’s entrance. US President Donald Trump held a controversial photo-op outside the church earlier in June.

The Seattle “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” as it is known by protesters, is an area of the city occupied by protesters surrounding the East Precinct police department, which has been boarded up and abandoned. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan called for it to be cleared on Monday.

Watch:

Rep. Val Demings calls for police reforms

Val Demings speaks with CNN's Anderson Cooper on June 22.

Changes need to be made to help resolve growing tensions between police and the communities they work in, former police officer and Democratic Rep. Val Demings told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday.

Demings called for greater authority to be given to police chiefs and sheriffs to allow them to hold personnel to account, including the authority to fire or discipline officers.

“Also, banning chokeholds. I’d like to say banning neck restraints of all kinds, any restraint above the shoulders should be banned. Also looking at training … police departments all over the country should already know that the use of deadly force should be a last resort,” Demings said.

Demings has been mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee to run with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Speaking about the ongoing removal of statues by protesters and authorities across the country, Demings said that while she wouldn’t call for the statues to be “removed or destroyed,” it was time to “address racism in America in a most serious way.”

“In this country, for the past 400 years, racism has been the ghost in the room,” Demings said.

Watch:

Autopsy for teen shot dead by deputy placed on "security hold"

Andres Guardado's shooting in the city of Gardena sparked protests over the weekend.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has placed a “security hold” on the autopsy report for Andres Guardado, the 18-year-old man who was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy last week in the city of Gardena.

“Since LASD placed a security hold on the case, the report and the cause of death cannot be released to the public,” Sarah Ardalani, the Public Information Officer for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office told CNN on Monday.

Ardalani said a security hold can last “from months to years, depending on the investigation and the agency.” Guardado’s body was scheduled to be examined on Monday. 

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office told CNN they could not immediately comment on the matter.

Guardado’s shooting in the city of Gardena sparked protests over the weekend with hundreds of demonstrators demanding justice for the 18-year-old, leading to clashes with police.

Seattle mayor says it's time for people to leave the city's "autonomous zone"

People walk around the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone," on June 11 in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday that authorities will be working to get protesters to clear the “autonomous zone” established in the Capitol Hill neighborhood – but they won’t use force.

“It’s time for people to go home,” Durkan said. “We can still accommodate people who want to protest peacefully … but the impacts on the businesses and residents in the community are now too much.”

The “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” as it is known by protesters, is an area of the city occupied by protesters surrounding the East Precinct police department, which has been boarded up and abandoned.

But after a weekend with three nighttime shootings in the area, Durkan said the city will be working with Black-led community organizations to speak with leaders of the “autonomous zone” to convince them to leave the area, especially during the most dangerous overnight hours.

“We don’t have a specific date by which I can promise you it’s all going to be resolved,” Durkan said.

Press told to leave White House grounds amid protests

In an unusual move, CNN’s team at the White House, along with other members of the White House press corps, have been told by the US Secret Service to immediately leave the White House grounds.

The move comes during an ongoing situation in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, where protesters have been trying to bring down the statue of former President Andrew Jackson.

Those protesters have now been pushed back out of the park by police.

“Protesters put ropes around a statue of Andrew Jackson in the park, they were trying to topple that statue and very quickly you saw police push those protesters back,” CNN’s White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins said from in front of the White House.

Watch:

Seattle police will return to precinct emptied during protests

The vacated Seattle Police Department's East Precinct is seen in the area known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone on June 12 in Seattle, Washington.

The Seattle Police Department will be returning to the East Precinct, which was boarded up and abandoned after protesters established an “autonomous zone” outside the building.

Mayor Jenny Durkan, speaking at a news conference Monday evening, did not give an exact deadline for officers to return. 

Three people were shot in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area over the weekend, said Police Chief Carmen Best, including a 19-year-old man who was killed. “It is not unnoticed that the victims were Black men,” Durkan said.

Best said officers who responded to the most recent shooting were met by a “hostile crowd” who prevented first responders from quickly reaching the victims. Best said there have also been reports of rape, arson and property destruction in the zone.

“We cannot walk away from the truth of what is happening here,” Best said. “This is about life or death.”

The police chief strongly criticized City Council’s decision to prevent officers from using crowd control weapons like tear gas.

“A life might have been saved if not for the circumstances created by hasty legislation,” Best said.

"All in all, we won today," says Bubba Wallace following show of support at NASCAR race

Bubba Wallace takes a selfie of himself and other drivers that pushed his car to the front in the pits of the Talladega Superspeedway prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series race on June 22 in Talladega, Alabama.

Following Monday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, Bubba Wallace approached the stands and gave high-fives to fans — some wearing Black Lives Matter shirts — after his performance.

“This is probably the most badass moment right here,” he told FOX Sports.

Wallace also later went on to say: “This sport is changing. The deal that happened yesterday — sorry I’m not wearing my mask, but I wanted to show whoever it was that you’re not going to take away my smile. I’m going to keep on going.”

Wallace at one point led the field but was running low on fuel late, ultimately finishing 14th.

“Man, I know I should’ve won that damn race,” Wallace said. “We ran out of gas. Just the stars didn’t align for us completely. All in all, we won today. The pre-race deal was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to witness in my life. … This is truly incredible, and I’m proud be a part of this sport.”

What happened before the race: NASCAR drivers, pit crew members and others walked alongside Wallace and escorted his Number 43 car in a show of support at the Talladega Superspeedway a day after a noose was found in his garage.

The discovery of the noose Sunday afternoon in Wallace’s garage stall comes as the United States, and NASCAR in particular, more squarely address America’s systemic racism in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and the corresponding protests against racism and police brutality. He wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt before one event, repainted his car with the “Black Lives Matter” phrase and pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag.

Mourners pay their respects to Rayshard Brooks at public viewing

Rev. Raphael G. Warnock comforts Tomika Miller, the wife of Rayshard Brooks, during Brooks'  public viewing at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday, June 22 in Atlanta.

Mourners attended a public viewing today for Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed on June 12 by an Atlanta police officer.

His casket departed following the viewing at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

His private funeral service will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968.

About the service: King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will speak at Brooks’ funeral. Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, will provide the eulogy.

Tyler Perry has offered to pay for the funeral arrangements, according to Brooks’ family attorney Chris Stewart and a news release. Gospel singers Smokie Norful, Tamela Mann and Kurt Carr are expected to perform at Tuesday’s service.

Hear more:

Senate Democrats signal they're prepared to block GOP police reform bill on Wednesday

Democratic senators on Monday gave their strongest indications yet they may block the GOP’s police reform bill from coming to the floor, a risky move that could prevent any overhaul measure from being enacted this year over their party’s concerns that the GOP bill is far too weak. 

Democrats are demanding clear commitments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that they will be able to vote on amendments on the floor. But McConnell has so far said he’d be willing to have an “open” process on the floor but has not specified which amendments would be considered. Democrats are expected to continue to discuss their strategy on Tuesday.

After a Monday afternoon caucus call, Senate Democrats were downbeat about the prospects of the path forward on the bill offered by GOP Sen. Tim Scott, saying far more needs to be changed and contending McConnell had failed to commit to allowing votes on amendments on the floor. Many expected the bill to be blocked since Republicans need at least seven Democratic votes to break a filibuster. 

Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, said Scott’s bill “doesn’t do what we should be doing which is doing honest police reform.”

“The time to talk is before the bill hits the floor … if you really want to do serious work on a serious matter, you ought to be having discussions right now,” she said.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin declined to discuss his party’s strategy, but he pointed to the Democrats’ decision to block McConnell’s initial $2 trillion stimulus plan in March. Afterwards, the two sides cut a deal that Democrats got behind after changes were made to the historic rescue package.

“We faced similar offers in the past — on the CARES Act — and I think the best thing that happened is we didn’t accept his offer and demanded a bipartisan approach to it,” Durbin said. 

Moreover, key groups also began to urge their opposition to the plan, including the influential NAACP, which urged senators to block the bill on Wednesday’s procedural vote.

Also on Monday, both Rev. Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump — the attorney representing the family of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed while in Minneapolis custody when an officer knelt on his neck — announced their opposition to the Scott plan. 

“The Black Community is tired of the lip service and is shocked that this $7 billion package can be thought of as legislation,” Crump said. 

Many Democrats would not say if they would vote against proceeding to the bill, even as they were uncertain how they would get to a “yes” vote on Wednesday.

  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a lead author of the Democrats’ bill, would not say Monday if he would vote to advance the Scott bill. “We’re having a lot of conversation,” Booker said. “I think there are a lot of things right now that show that the process we are headed towards is just not a good process …The House went through a process. They went through committee they did a lot of things. It was a normal, regular order process. This is not that. We’re having a lot of conversations about that now and we’ll see where it ends up.”
  • Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut added: “There has been no outreach from McConnell.”
  • Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, was sharply critical of the Scott bill, called the Justice Act. “Where is the justice in the Justice Act?” he said. Asked if Democrats could change it on the floor to their liking, Menendez said: “If you got commitments up front. There are none.”

One Democrat in a difficult reelection, Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, said he is inclined to vote to proceed to the bill. But when asked about a lack of progress in talks with McConnell, Jones said: “There never is. We’ll see where it goes.” 

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat and swing vote, said: “I have no idea (how I will vote.) Everything is still open.”

City of Compton demands answers over death of Andres Guardado

People leave candles and other items at a makeshift memorial for Andres Guardado on June 21 in Gardena, California.

The city of Compton is demanding answers over the death of Andres Guardado, the 18-year-old man who was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles County.

“The only acceptable reaction to the murder of Andres Guardado is immediate action by all responsible parties. People are hurting and they are tired of excuses. I strongly urge the LA County Sheriff’s Department to address this incident immediately and provide answers for the family and our community,” the city of Compton said.

Sunday’s march from Gardena to Compton to protest the shooting of Guardado ended in a clash between police officers and protesters.

Protesters were tear gassed and struck with rubber bullets, according to organizers of the march.

"None of us are safe until all of us are safe," says reverend at Rayshard Brooks visitation

Rev. Raphael Warnock, speaks at Ebenezer Baptist Church on June 22 in Atlanta.

Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, told reporters at today’s public visitation for Rayshard Brooks that “none of us are safe until all of us are safe.”

“Tragically, we’ve been here before. Someone asked me last week, what was it like to preach the Sunday after the death of George Floyd. My answer then and my answer now is it’s sort of like it was the Sunday after I preached following the death of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery. Sadly, we’ve had a lot of practice with this kind of thing,” he said.

He added: “I’m very hopeful though. Because there is this multiracial coalition of conscious pouring out into American streets saying that we’ve got to address this age old virus of racism that we are one people and that in a real sense, none of us are safe until all of us are safe. Your children are not well unless my children are well.”

Brooks was shot and killed on June 12 by an Atlanta police officer.

His funeral will be held on Tuesday at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Warnock will provide the eulogy.

Here's the latest on the Black Lives Matter protests

It’s 5:30 p.m. in New York, and 2:30 p.m. out West.

It has been nearly a month since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, which sparked the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the US and around the world. Here’s a look at the latest headlines:

  • NASCAR drivers offer Bubba Wallace show of support after noose found in his garage: A noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall on Sunday, the auto racing company said. In a statement, Wallace, the only Black NASCAR racer, called it a “despicable act of racism and hatred.” NASCAR drivers, pit crew members and others walked alongside Wallace and escorted his Number 43 car in a show of support at the Talladega Superspeedway on Monday.
  • Passengers alleging racial discrimination sue American Airlines over Black man’s removal from flight: American Airlines is being sued by five passengers who allege they were improperly removed from a flight because of racial discrimination by the airline. American says it is investigating the incident but at this point it believes the allegations in the federal lawsuit are inaccurate.
  • NYPD officer suspended: A New York City police officer has been suspended without pay after he was captured on video in what the police commissioner called a “disturbing apparent chokehold incident.” An internal police investigation is ongoing.
  • Rayshard Brooks’ funeral: Brooks was the 27-year-old father shot and killed by Atlanta police. His funeral will take place on Tuesday at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor and where King’s funeral service was held.

This post was updated to accurately reflect the circumstances surrounding Brooks’ death.

English Premier League team condemns "White lives matter" banner flown over soccer match

A plane flies over Etihad Stadium with a banner reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' prior to the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC on June 22 in Manchester, England.

The English Premier League club Burnley released a statement condemning a banner reading “WHITE LIVES MATTER BURNLEY” that was seen flying over Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, ahead of the team’s match against Manchester City.

“We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor,” the statement said. “This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.”

Emmett Harper, who lives in a flat near Manchester’s Etihad Stadium where Manchester City is playing Burnley, told CNN he saw a plane flying over the city pulling a banner that said “White Lives Matter Burnley.”

Harper said he saw the plane flying over the stadium just before the game for about 10 minutes.

Players for both teams are wearing “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the back of their jerseys.

Here’s Harpers’ tweet:

Bubba Wallace posts Instagram video of display of support from NASCAR drivers

Bubba Wallace gives a thumbs up prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 22 in Talladega, Alabama.

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace posted a selfie video to his Instagram ahead of today’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. The caption on the post simply reads, “together.”

Earlier, many other racers joined together in a display of solidarity for Wallace, the only Black NASCAR racer, by walking down the track behind his #43 car.

A noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall on Sunday at the Alabama racetrack. Authorities are investigating the incident.

McConnell criticizes Senate Democrats for "agonizing" over GOP policing bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at a news conference in the Capitol in Washington DC on June 17.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Senate Democrats for “agonizing over whether to block” the GOP’s Justice Act, adding that the “only way” to conference the Republican Senate policing bill and the House Democrats’ bill is by passing Sen. Tim Scott’s bill in the Senate.

McConnell pointed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments last week that she’d like to end up in conference on police reform legislation.

He continued to say that he hopes his Senate Democratic colleagues will yield to “the American people’s hunger for progress. We’re gonna find out when we vote later this week.”

A key test vote on the Senate Republican police reform bill is expected Wednesday, but Democrats will have to provide at least seven votes to begin debate on the bill.

Some background: House Democrats and Senate Republicans are on a collision course over policing reform, despite a bipartisan consensus that action is necessary amid nationwide protests and civil unrest in response to high-profile episodes of police misconduct.

Major differences between the legislative proposals from Republicans and Democrats are likely to create hurdles to any attempt to get legislation across the finish line in Congress and to the President’s desk.

The emerging GOP plan has a major emphasis on incentivizing states to take action. The Democratic plan, in contrast, has a heavy emphasis on setting national standards, such as mandates for federal uniformed officers to wear body cameras and banning chokeholds.

NASCAR drivers follow Bubba Wallace's car down the track in show of support

NASCAR drivers push the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, driven by Bubba Wallace, to the front of the grid as a sign of solidarity with the driver prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama on June 22.

Many NASCAR drivers, pit crew members and others were seen showing support for fellow driver Bubba Wallace ahead of the GEICO 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama today.

In a video tweeted by NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell, Wallace’s #43 car is being followed and pushed down pit row by a large procession of people. The national broadcast also showed the sign of support.

Wallace was emotional while hugging his fellow drivers. He took a selfie with what appeared to be the entire pit row standing behind him. 

Some background: On Sunday, a noose was found in Wallace’s garage at the speedway. Wallace, the only Black NASCAR driver, has been a outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests against racism and police brutality. NASCAR has said it is investigating the incident, along with the FBI.

Public viewing for Rayshard Brooks has begun in Atlanta

The body of Rayshard Brooks arrives for his public viewing at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 22.

public viewing has begun for Rayshard Brooks at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Brooks — a father of 3 young girls and a 13-year-old stepson — died after he was shot on June 12 by an Atlanta police officer, who had responded to a Wendy’s following reports that Brooks was asleep in his car in the drive-through lane.

A private service will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968. 

King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will speak at Brooks’ funeral. Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, will provide the eulogy.

First Black woman to join NASCAR pit crew says noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage is "disturbing"

Brehanna Daniels, the first Black woman to join a NASCAR pit crew, said hearing the news about a noose being found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall made her “very angry.”

“This is not what NASCAR represents at all because we’re a family at NASCAR and we don’t do things like this. So, I hope whoever is involved with placing the noose in Bubba’s garage gets … what they deserve and they’re banned forever,” she told CNN’s Brianna’s Keilar.

Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and the corresponding protests against systemic racism and police brutality. He wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt before one event, repainted his car with the “Black Lives Matter” phrase and called on NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag, which the organization agreed to do June 10.

Daniels said that Wallace’s garage was an area that not a lot of people had access to, especially since fans are not allowed at racing events currently, which “makes it more interesting to learn about who really is behind this.”

She said that there are not many cameras around the garage areas and that means it had to be somebody who’s a part of some of the teams. “It had to be somebody who was in the garage area who was behind this,” Daniels said.

“I hope NASCAR finds out who this person was so we can just remove them altogether because that’s not what NASCAR’s about,” she said.

The Department of Justice is looking into the incident.

“The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the situation surrounding the noose that was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage to determine whether there are violations of federal law,” US Attorney Jay E. Town said in statement.

As for Daniels this latest incident hasn’t dampened her spirits about the sport.

“You already know that it’s hard being a Black woman in NASCAR and I’ve had my struggles. I’ve been through things, but hey, I’m here in this sport for a reason. I’m here to make a change, make a difference. And NASCAR’s my family. I’m so behind them, you know, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and just basically taking the necessary steps that we need in order to progress our sport and make it a better sport that welcomes all faces,” she said.

Watch full interview:

Los Angeles school district to review role of police on campus by end of the year

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner speaks during a press conference at Western Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles on June 5, 2019.

The second largest school district in the nation will re-evaluate the role of school police on its campuses. 

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner assembled a nine-member task force that will present its initial recommendations to the school board in August and will finalize its report by the end of the year. 

“No person should feel the presence of a safety officer on campus is an indictment of them or their character, students deserve to be heard in this topic, and their views taken into account,” said Beutner in his weekly address to the school district community.

He vowed to take a balanced look at various arguments for keeping or abolishing campus police and clarified that the school district police is not contracted through municipalities, Los Angeles Police Department, or the sheriff’s department. 

“Together, we will look at what is needed to keep schools safe as well as what students need to feel free from stigma and to feel they are a respected part of their school community. We will ask hard and uncomfortable questions and come up with concrete recommendations. The goal is not to make a political statement, it’s to do the best we can for students,” he said.

Los Angeles Unified School District serves more than 600,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade at more than 1,000 schools across the county. 

Rayshard Brooks's casket arrives at Ebenezer Baptist Church for public viewing

Pallbearers bring the remains of Rayshard Brooks into the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 22.

The casket of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer on June 12, has arrived at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

The casket arrived in a black and white topped funeral hearse shortly after 2 p.m. ET. A small group of mourners and media assembled for the arrival. The hearse has a poster with a photo of the 27-year-old father that reads “killed in Atlanta Georgia 2020.” 

A public viewing will be held this afternoon from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. A private service will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968. 

King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will speak at Brooks’ funeral. Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, will provide the eulogy.

Ebenezer Baptist Church released an advanced portion of Warnock’s Eulogy on Monday. 

It reads impart: “Rayshard Brooks wasn’t just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes slaves out of people. A system that doesn’t give ordinary people who’ve made mistakes a second chance, a real shot at redemption.”

NASCAR president says those responsible for noose will be banned from sport for life

NASCAR President Steve Phelps walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina on May 17.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said that those who are responsible for the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s team garage will “unequivocally … be banned from this sport for life.”

Phelps also said in a teleconference Monday that any speculation that the noose found in the garage was staged is something that personally offends me.”  

He said he told Wallace about the noose and that Wallace has handled this situation with grace.

Some background: Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and the corresponding protests against systemic racism and police brutality. He wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt before one event, repainted his car with the “Black Lives Matter” phrase and called on NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag, which the organization agreed to do June 10.

Autopsy report shows Rayshard Brooks died from gunshot wounds to the back

The full autopsy released by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office says that Rayshard Brooks died from two penetrating gunshot wounds to the back after being transported to Grady Hospital. 

According to the report, Brooks had a gunshot entry wound to the left side of the middle of his back and an entrance wound on his left buttock.

In her report, Fulton County Medical Examiner Karen Sullivan said, “It is my opinion that Rayshard Brooks died due to injuries incurred when he was shot by another individual. The manner of Mr. Brooks’ death is classified as a homicide.” 

The autopsy report notes that toxicology results are still pending.

The autopsy was performed on June 14. Brooks was shot and killed by former Atlanta Police officer Garrett Rolfe on June 12 after police responded to a Wendy’s on reports of an intoxicated person parked in the drive-thru.

Here are the latest developments on the Ahmaud Arbery case

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed while running through a neighborhood outside of Brunswick, Georgia, approximately 40 miles north of the Florida-Georgia border on February 23.

A bond hearing for one of the men charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery has been delayed after the state and defense agreed to continue it.

The hearing for William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., the man who recorded the fatal shooting a Arbery, was supposed to be held on Friday.

Here’s what you need to know about the killing of Arbery and the case:

  • The shooting: Arbery was killed in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23. Former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis, who are White, were arrested May 7 for the shooting death and face state charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. Bryan, the man who recorded the fatal shooting of Arbery, was arrested later on charges including felony murder.
  • Racist remark during the killing: Bryan told investigators he heard Travis McMichael use a racial epithet after fatally shooting Arbery in Glynn County, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent testified at a preliminary hearing. Body camera footage also showed a Confederate flag sticker on the toolbox of McMichael’s truck, the agent said.
  • What happens next: Attorneys for all three men have claimed they are innocent. The McMichaels are being held without the possibility for bail. According to an order issued by Glynn County Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley, Bryan has not withdrawn his motion for bond. His bond hearing will be rescheduled. This case is also being investigated as a possible federal hate crime, according to an attorney for Arbery’s family.