Atlanta police shooting of Black man ruled homicide

  • The medical examiner had ruled the police shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on Friday was a homicide, in a killing that has fuelled debate over the use of force by the police.

  • Atlanta’s police chief resigned on Saturday hours after the killing of Brooks, who had fallen asleep in his car while waiting in line at a fast food drive-through restaurant. Authorities said he resisted arrest and was shot during a struggle.

  • One of the four former Minneapolis police officers who was charged over the death of George Floyd has been released on $750,000 bail.

  • Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked calls across the US for policing reforms and triggered global protests.

    Monday, June 15

    07:30 GMT – UN leaders issue call to end racism

    More than 20 senior African leaders in the United Nations (UN) have called on the world to “go beyond and do more” to end racism.

    “Not enough can ever be said about the deep trauma and inter-generational suffering that has resulted from the racial injustice perpetrated through centuries, particularly against people of African descent. To merely condemn expressions and acts of racism is not enough,” the group said in an opinion piece.

    “Now is the time to move from words to deeds,” the piece read.

    The signatories included Tedros Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Winnia Byanyima, Executive-Director of UNAIDS, and Natalia Kanem, who runs the UN sexual and reproductive health agency.

    06:45 GMT – UK PM Johnson criticises ‘distortion of our history’

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the United Kingdom cannot “photoshop” its cultural landscape and complex history as doing so would be a distortion of its past, amid an ongoing row over the removal of statues of historical figures.

    “If we start purging the record and removing the images of all but those whose attitudes conform to our own, we are engaged in a great lie, a distortion of our history,” Johnson wrote.

    Johnson also defended Winston Churchill and said it was “absurd and deplorable” that the former prime minister’s monument should have been in any danger.

    On Monday, Johnson also announced a new commission that will examine the racism and the disparities experienced by minority ethnic groups in education, health and the criminal justice system.

    06:35 GMT – Football must take ‘giant leap’ to fight racism: Neville

    Former England international Gary Neville says words are not enough to combat racism in football and that he is “ashamed” he did not fight harder against it when he was a player.

    The former Manchester United defender made the comments in the wake of the death of George Floyd. 

    “Forget campaigns. Forget words. It has to be actions,” Neville said ahead of the Premier League’s restart on Wednesday following a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “We need to take a giant leap rather than minute steps each year.

    “I’m not going to hide away from it. We need education, we need protocols and processes in place which basically reverse what’s been happening in our country.”

    03:52 GMT – Trayvon Martin’s mother joins protest for racial equality

    The mother of Trayvon Martin joined hundreds of demonstrators at a rally in Miami, demanding racial equality following the death of George Floyd last month at the hands of a white police officer in Minnesota.

    Sybrina Fulton joined the demonstrators who carried signs that read “Stop Killing Us” and “We Are All Equal” at the Torch of Friendship, a 60-year-old monument erected as a welcoming beacon to the city’s Latin American and Caribbean neighbours. The protest organised by several churches was one of several across Florida on Sunday.

    Fulton’s unarmed son, Trayon Martin, was killed by a neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, while walking back from a central Florida convenience store in 2012.

    02:05 GMT – Brooks shooting declared a homicide

    The Fulton County medical examiner’s office has ruled the death of Rayshard Brooks a homicide caused by gunshot wounds to the back.

    An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that the 27-year-old died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds, an investigator for the medical examiner said in a statement. The manner of his death was homicide, it added.

    Brooks’s fatal encounter with police came after an employee of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta phoned authorities to say that someone had fallen asleep in his car in the restaurant’s drive-through lane.

    Sunday, June 14

    20:50 GMT – Report says Black people most arrested for Chicago curfew violations

    A new report says Black people made up 75 percent of those arrested in Chicago for alleged violations of a curfew put in place following demonstrations over George Floyd’s death.

    The Chicago Sun-Times analysed police data from the first five days of the curfew imposed on May 30 and lifted on June 7.

    The racial disparity in Chicago, where Black people comprise about 30 percent of the population, drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

    A Chicago police spokesman says the department’s curfew enforcement was “universal” regardless of race or neighbourhood.

    20:40 GMT – Macron says colonial statues will not be removed

    French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed  to stand firm against racism, while also insisting that France would not take down statues of controversial, colonial-era figures, as he addressed the issues for the first time since George Floyd’s death in the US.

    In a televised address to the nation on Sunday evening, Macron called for the nation’s “unity” at a key moment when the country is trying to put the coronavirus crisis behind it while being shaken by a series of protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

    Echoing American protesters, demonstrators in France have expressed anger at discrimination within French society, particularly toward minorities from the country’s former colonies in Africa.

    20:20 GMT – Beyonce demands justice for Breonna Taylor in letter to Kentucky attorney general

    Performer Beyonce has written a letter to the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was fatally shot when police raided her home in Louisville in March.

    “Three months have passed – and Breonna Taylor’s family still waits for justice. Ms Taylor’s family has not been able to take time to process and grieve. Instead, they have been working tirelessly to rally the support of friends, their community and the country to obtain justice for Breonna,” Beyonce wrote.

    The letter goes on to demand that the officers involved be charged, that the investigation and prosecution be transparent, and that the Louisville police department’s response to the killing be investigated.

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