The Rev. Al Sharpton on Tuesday used his eulogy at George Floyd’s funeral service to take aim at President Trump after former vice president Joe Biden in a somber video linked Floyd’s death in police custody to the nation’s enduring struggle for civil rights.

Floyd — whose final words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry, sparking widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice — will be laid to rest at Houston Memorial Gardens.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Sharpton said that the outcome for the now-fired Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck would be very different if their races were flipped.
  • The New York state legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that would disclose years of law enforcement disciplinary records. Those in support of the bill say it will help rebuild public trust in law enforcement and increase accountability.
  • Trump sparked another uproar with a morning tweet endorsing the baseless conspiracy theory that a 75-year-old protester in Buffalo could have been part of a “set up” coordinated by anti-fascist demonstrators.
  • A New York police officer who was caught on video violently shoving a woman to the ground during a recent protest is facing criminal charges, prosecutors said.
  • A Chicago police officer who was pictured flipping off a crowd of protesters is on desk duty, the police department announced Tuesday.
  • Joe Biden said in an interview with CBS News that there is “absolutely” systemic racism in policing, but also in housing, in education and “in everything we do.”
June 9, 2020 at 9:42 PM EDT
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Bubba Wallace: NASCAR needs to ‘get rid of’ Confederate flags in stands

By Matt Bonesteel

NASCAR has long banned the use of the Confederate flag on its racecars and licensed merchandise, but it hasn’t entirely eradicated what many see as a racist symbol.

In 2015, when photos surfaced of Dylan Roof posing with the flag after he murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., NASCAR requested that fans not bring the Confederate flag to its tracks “in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events.” It even offered a trade-in program in which fans could swap a flag of their choice for the U.S. flag.

Still, the Confederate flag persists when fans are allowed into the tracks. Bubba Wallace, the circuit’s lone African American driver, thinks that needs to change.

“We are trying to figure out next steps. My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday night. “There should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying."

June 9, 2020 at 9:32 PM EDT
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Chicago police officer placed on desk duty after flipping off protesters

By Meryl Kornfield

A Chicago police officer who was pictured flipping off a crowd of protesters is on desk duty, the police department announced Tuesday.

Police Superintendent David O. Brown reassigned the officer because of “conduct unbecoming,” according to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department. The name of the officer wasn’t released.

“The officer used a vulgar, offensive gesture directed at a member of the public while on duty and in uniform,” the statement said.

A photo of the officer holding his middle fingers up at protesters was shared over 1,400 times on Twitter, infuriating protesters and people demonstrating against police misconduct.

The police department responded to the tweet, saying that it would open an investigation.

“CPD strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with dignity & respect. We do not tolerate misconduct of any kind, & have opened an investigation into this incident,” according to the department’s tweet.

In a news briefing Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) called for the officer to be fired.

“In my view, that person needs to immediately be stripped of their police powers and start the process for firing him,” Lightfoot said. “We will not tolerate that kind of abusive, offensive conduct on the part of police officers. Period.”

June 9, 2020 at 9:10 PM EDT
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How the Black Lives Matter movement went mainstream

By Jose Del Real, Robert Samuels and Tim Craig

The three words were once a controversial rallying cry against racial profiling and police violence. Now, “Black lives matter” is painted in bright yellow letters on the road to the White House. Celebrities and chief executives are embracing it. Even Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican former presidential candidate, posted the phrase on Twitter.

As consensus grows about the existence of systemic racism in American policing and other facets of American life, longtime organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement are trying to extend its momentum beyond the popularization of a phrase. Activists sense a once-in-a-generation opportunity to demand policy changes that once seemed far-fetched, including sharp cuts to police budgets in favor of social programs, and greater accountability for officers who kill residents.

“It’s now something where the Mitt Romneys of the world can join in, and that was something unimaginable back in 2014. That is the result of six years of hard work by people who are in the movement and have put forward so many discussions that really changed people’s hearts and minds,” said Justin Hansford, who was an activist in Ferguson, Mo., during the unrest after the police killing of an unarmed black teen there. He is now the executive director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University.

June 9, 2020 at 9:04 PM EDT
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Video released of Austin-area black man dying in deputies’ custody after chase

By Marisa Iati

Austin police on Saturday released body-camera video of a 2019 car chase that led to a black man’s death in the custody of sheriff’s deputies while a TV crew from the reality show “Live PD” filmed.

In the early morning of March 28, 2019, Williamson County, Tex., sheriff’s deputies tried to pull over Javier Ambler for failing to dim his headlights, according to the footage, released to the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE.

When Ambler did not stop, the deputies chased him for about 20 minutes — with Austin police joining — before his car crashed. They used a Taser on him several times and tried to move him onto his stomach as he told them that he had congestive heart failure and couldn’t breathe, the video shows.

The deputies handcuffed Ambler, 40, and he eventually became unresponsive. They tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

A custodial death report from the state attorney general’s office indicates the manner of death was homicide and says that designation includes justifiable homicides. The cause of death was determined to be congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease in combination with forcible restraint.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore told the American-Statesman her office intends to present the case to a grand jury. On Tuesday, the newspaper reported two county commissioners were pushing for Sheriff Robert Chody to resign.

Representatives from the sheriff’s office did not immediately return a call from The Washington Post but declined to comment on Ambler’s death to the American-Statesman.

A&E Networks, which produces “Live PD,” said in a statement that its footage of the death was not aired because it involved a fatality.

“As with all calls we follow, we are not there to be an arm of the police or law enforcement but rather to chronicle what they do and air some of that footage and our policies were in place to avoid having footage used by law enforcement against private citizens," the statement said.

June 9, 2020 at 9:02 PM EDT
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New York passes bill to release police disciplinary records

By Michael Brice-Saddler

The New York state legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that would disclose years of law enforcement disciplinary records — a moment that comes on the heels of statewide protests and calls for bolstered police transparency across the nation.

The bill, which passed in both chambers of the legislature, repeals a section of the state’s civil rights law adopted in 1976. The exemption creates a “special right of privacy” for personnel records, including performance evaluations for members of the state’s law enforcement.

Due to the exemption, “records of complaints or findings of law enforcement misconduct that have not resulted in criminal charges against an officer are almost entirely inaccessible to the public or to victims of police brutality, excessive use of force, or other misconduct,” a summary of the bill reads.

The Associated Press notes that eliminating the law would make public complaints against officers, as well as transcripts and final dispositions of disciplinary proceedings. Versions of this bill were proposed in years past.

Those in support of the bill say it will help rebuild public trust in law enforcement and increase accountability.

“This is no time for rejoicing,” State Sen. Kevin Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, told the AP. “This bill has been around for over a decade. … And the only reason why we’re bringing it to the floor now is because the nation is burning.”

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has said he would sign the repeal, the AP reported. After passing through both chambers Tuesday, the bill now moves to his desk.

June 9, 2020 at 8:55 PM EDT
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CrossFit CEO retires after comments making light of George Floyd’s death

By Des Bieler

CrossFit’s founder and CEO, Greg Glassman, announced his retirement Tuesday evening, following a multi-day firestorm over remarks he made on Twitter that appeared to make light of the death of George Floyd.

“On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members,” Glassman, 63, said in a statement released by the company. "I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions. They are too important to jeopardize.”

Glassman was replying to a health research institute’s declaration on Twitter Saturday that “racism is a public health issue,” when he tweeted, “It’s FLOYD-19.”

By Sunday, gyms across the country were dropping their affiliations with the brand — one informal count provided to The Washington Post put the number at well over 1,100. Many gym owners took to social media to make it clear that, as one facility put it, the tweet was “just the last straw” for it, following years of disillusionment with CrossFit’s corporate leadership.

Gym owners also expressed disgust with what they saw as CrossFit’s unacceptable silence over on issues of racial justice in the wake of the death of Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer. Adding to the furor was a BuzzFeed report Tuesday which said that Glassman told some owners, "We’re not mourning for George Floyd,” in a Zoom call Saturday, a few hours before his tweet.

At the same time as it posted Glassman's retirement announcement, CrossFit released a separate, lengthy statement in which it apologized for his "incredibly insensitive and hurtful" actions and said, "We failed catastrophically by not effectively communicating care for the Black community, all as the online world was watching and experiencing extreme pain."

Replacing Glassman as CEO is Dave Castro, who has served as the director of the CrossFit Games.

“Our shared bond brings together millions of people with differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences,” Castro said in a statement. “Friction is inevitable. Common ground, mutual respect, and fellowship must also be inevitable.”

June 9, 2020 at 8:45 PM EDT
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Activists around the world protest their own countries’ police killings

By Amanda Coletta

Tens of thousands of people around the world have flouted stay-at-home orders to flood the streets in solidarity with protesters in the United States calling for justice and change.

But as demonstrators from Canada to France to Australia have held up Floyd’s photograph and chanted “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe,” they’ve also used the moment to draw attention to cases in their own countries.

All involve the deaths of people of color, migrants or indigenous people during interactions with police or prison guards. From Mark Duggan to David Dungay Jr., here are some of their stories.

June 9, 2020 at 8:31 PM EDT
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For 48 hours, the nation’s capital was gripped by chaos. Then everything changed.

By Peter Jamison, Marissa Lang and Fenit Nirappil

The crowd swarming the fence north of the White House turned its attention from the rows of riot police on the other side of the barrier to one of their own. A young man had scaled the street sign at 16th and H streets last Tuesday night and was trying to tear it down.

Boos erupted around him, and he was pelted with water bottles. A chant — “Peaceful protest” — rumbled to life in the same place where, a day earlier, demonstrators had been tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets to clear the way for President Trump’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church. The young man climbed down and was carried out of the crowd.

The scene captured the warring impulses that gripped the nation’s capital early last week during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. For 48 hours, Washington teetered on the brink of chaos, with the city poised to descend into the kind of civil unrest last seen in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Instead something very different happened.

June 9, 2020 at 8:22 PM EDT
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Barr to D.C.: Massive federal response due to impression U.S. was ‘on the brink of losing control of its capital city'

By Matt Zapotosky

Attorney General William P. Barr on Tuesday wrote to officials in D.C. to defend federal law enforcement’s blitzing of their city in the past week to quell unrest, saying that the television images of what was happening “conveyed the impression that the United States was on the brink of losing control of its capital city” and that the massive response was meant to ensure “that law and order in the Nation’s capital would be restored.”

“Surely you understand that the President could not stand idly by when unrest at the seat of the federal government threatened the safety of federal law enforcement officers and the operations of the United States government,” Barr wrote in a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine. “By the same token, now that federal and local law enforcement personnel — assisted by the citizen soldiers of the National Guard — have successfully stemmed further rioting, the President has made clear that our response should be adjusted accordingly.”

Bowser has clashed with President Trump over the federal response in D.C., which included deploying national guardsmen and mobilizing every federal law enforcement agency that works under the Department of Justice, including Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Bureau of Prisons riot teams. Barr, though, has consistently defended the Justice Department's moves, and in the letter Tuesday, pointed to the burning of a historic structure in Lafayette Square and the setting of a fire inside nearby St. John’s Church as reasons for them.

Barr insisted that all those deployed in D.C. were operating under proper legal authorities, and his letter spelled out more specifically how some agencies had their normal functions expanded. For example, he wrote, the Justice Department had given “additional law enforcement responsibility” to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Marshals Service had deputies officers from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

June 9, 2020 at 8:06 PM EDT
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Biden says there is ‘absolutely’ systemic racism in law enforcement

By Colby Itkowitz

Joe Biden said in an interview with CBS News that there is “absolutely” systemic racism in policing, but also in housing, in education and “in everything we do.”

“It's real. It's genuine. It's serious. Look, not all law enforcement officers are racist. My lord, there are some really good, good cops out there. But the way in which it works right now is we've seen too many examples of it,” Biden said.

In the same interview, the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee reiterated his campaign’s position that he does not favor “defunding” the police but supports tying federal police funds to certain standards “of decency and honorableness.”

June 9, 2020 at 7:59 PM EDT
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Court denounces use of deadly force by police and says, ‘This has to stop’

By Ann Marimow

A federal appeals court sent a powerful message Tuesday against deadly police force when it refused to dismiss a lawsuit from the family of a mentally ill man shot 22 times by officers and concluded: “This has to stop.”

Wayne Jones, a black man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot as he lay motionless on the ground after he was stopped by the police for walking in the road, rather than on the sidewalk, in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The case was filed long before the death George Floyd in police custody prompted massive protests across the country. But the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit took notice in ruling that the officers who shot and killed Jones are not shielded from his family’s lawsuit.

“Although we recognize that our police officers are often asked to make split second decisions, we expect them to do so with respect for the dignity and worth of black lives,” wrote Judge Henry F. Floyd, who also detailed the killing by police of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.

Read more here.

June 9, 2020 at 7:44 PM EDT
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Long-running series ‘Cops’ canceled at Paramount Network

By Michael Brice-Saddler

Paramount Network has canceled “Cops,” the unscripted, long-running reality show centered on policing, Variety and Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday.

“‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount Network spokesperson told Variety.

Both A&E and Paramount Network recently pulled episodes of “Live PD” and “Cops” from their schedules in the wake of protests after Floyd’s death, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Paramount Network’s decision to cancel the iconic series, which began on Fox in 1989, may signal a moment of reckoning for unscripted policing TV shows.

Austin Police on Saturday released body-camera video of a 2019 car chase which led to the death of a black man who was in the custody of sheriff’s deputies. At the time, a TV crew from the reality police show “Live PD” filmed.

A&E Networks, which produces “Live PD,” did not return a request for comment from The Post.

June 9, 2020 at 7:42 PM EDT
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Protesters sue Seattle, alleging ‘unnecessary violence’ by police

By Meryl Kornfield

A Black Lives Matter chapter, protesters and a journalist are suing the city of Seattle, alleging violations of their constitutional rights over Seattle Police Department officers’ use of what they say was “unnecessary violence” against crowds.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Seattle alleges that Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) and Police Chief Carmen Best allowed the police to deploy chemical agents and projectiles such as tear gas and rubber bullets to crack down on the protests against police brutality. The filing describes how several protesters and a journalist were injured or in fear of even attending the demonstrations.

“In response to these protests, the SPD has exercised an overwhelming and unconstitutional use of force to discourage these protesters from exercising their constitutional rights,” the complaint alleges. “On an almost nightly basis, the SPD has indiscriminately used excessive force against protesters, legal observers, journalists, and medical personnel.”

Although Durkan and Best have largely stood by the practices of law enforcement during the demonstrations, Durkan apologized to protesters during a Sunday news briefing and vowed reform. The mayor previously called for the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General to investigate the use of force by police against protesters. She also suspended the use of tear gas for 30 days.

“I know that safety was shattered for many by images, sounds and gas more fitting of a war zone: I am sorry,” Durkan said. “To all those who came peacefully and had their constitutional right to protest impacted: I am sorry.”

Durkan’s spokeswoman, Kamaria Hightower, wrote to The Post that it’s “fitting” that the lawsuit “lifts the voices and experiences of Black Lives Matter and longtime civil rights leaders,” naming one of the plaintiffs, Sharon Sakamoto.

“Today’s lawsuit represents another step by the community to hold the City accountable for its response to the recent events,” Hightower wrote. “From the onset, the Mayor has been clear that she believes that people are righteously marching to fight systemic racism. The City will protect every individual’s First Amendment right to safely protest their government and demand action.

"The Mayor and Chief Best have acknowledged that the city can and must do better for crowd management,” Hightower added.

June 9, 2020 at 7:33 PM EDT
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D.C. National Guard members test positive for coronavirus after deploying to protests

By Meryl Kornfield

Multiple D.C. National Guard members have tested positive for the coronavirus following their deployment to respond to protests over the police killing of George Floyd, a spokeswoman for the Guard told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Air Force Lt. Col. Brooke Davis, the Guard’s spokeswoman, didn’t specify how many Guardsmen were infected. U.S. officials told the AP they believe it is not a large number.

The news comes as public health experts have expressed concern over possible exposure from the national protests, especially as it’s largely impossible to maintain social distancing amid large demonstrations.

The AP reported that most D.C. Guardsmen were not wearing face coverings. Davis said unit commanders were responsible for ensuring their troops adhered to health guidelines.

The coronavirus cases within the D.C. National Guard were first reported by McClatchy.

The Guardsmen who tested positive or are at high risk of becoming infected by the virus will be quarantined, Davis told McClatchy.

“All Guardsmen who are suspected to be at high risk of infection or have tested positive for covid-19 during demobilization will not be released from Title 32 orders until risk of infection or illness has passed," Davis said.

About 1,300 D.C. National Guard members were deployed to assist local police respond to rioting May 31. Eleven other states deployed National Guardsmen to Washington.

Two members of the Nebraska National Guard who responded to protests in Lincoln also tested positive for the virus, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.