In stark contrast, two top Trump administration officials said Sunday they do not believe there is “systemic racism” in the country’s police forces. Attorney General William P. Barr suggested he is reluctant to investigate potential deeper policing problems in Minneapolis, where the national firestorm began.
Here are some significant developments:
- President Trump said Sunday he is ordering National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and others had criticized the use of heavily armed federal officers as security during largely peaceful demonstrations.
- The New York Times announced the resignation of its editorial page editor James Bennet, days after the publication of a controversial op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton (R.-Ark.) that called for military intervention in U.S. cities where protests over police brutality have ignited violence.
- The concept of defunding the police has become a growing topic of interest as protests continue nationwide. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have called for the action as one step toward combating what they view as institutionalized racism within police departments.
- Philonise Floyd is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday, the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since his brother’s killing in police custody on Memorial Day.
- Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama addressed the unrest sparked by Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic in their commencement speeches to the Class of 2020 on Sunday, telling graduates that they, too, are anxious about the events that have unfolded in recent months. “It’s fair to say that your generation is graduating into a world that faces more profound challenges than any generation in decades,” Barack Obama said.
- The Denver Police Department changed its rules Sunday to ban all uses of chokeholds as part of a wider effort to address the use of force by its officers amid ongoing protests over Floyd’s death.