Connect with us

General

Joe Biden says mass shootings plague the US ‘every damn day’ – follow live | Donald Trump

Joe Biden says mass shootings plague the US ‘every damn day’ – follow live | Donald Trump


Mass shootings plague America ‘every damn day’ – Biden

In a speech marking the one-year anniversary of a major bill intended to fight gun violence, Joe Biden decried how mass shootings occur in the United States “every damn day”.

The president recounted how public outrage swells after high-profile killings at schools and places of worship, before declaring, “Every damn day in America, in areas that are poor, mostly minority, there’s a mass shooting. It never reaches the crescendo that it reaches other places – every single day.”

Biden’s was speaking in Connecticut during a summit to mark last year’s passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Congress approved following the mass shooting weeks earlier at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The legislation toughened background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keeps firearms from more domestic violence offenders and helps states put in place red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people adjudged to be dangerous.

Updated at 15.09 EDT
Advertisement

Key events

Here’s the moment where Joe Biden decried how mass shootings happen in the United States “every damn day”:

Advertisement

“Every single day, every damn day in America. In areas that are poor, mostly minority, there’s a mass shooting that never reaches the crescendo that it reaches other places. Every single day.”

— Biden decries the drumbeat of shootings at a gun safety summit in Connecticut pic.twitter.com/uWY3QjIBEW

— The Recount (@therecount) June 16, 2023

Later in the speech, which was delivered before an audience of gun safety advocates, he called for stricter liabilities for gun owners whose weapons are used in crimes:

President Biden: “If any one of you drove up to the parking lot here today … and left your key in your car, and a kid comes along … takes it on a joyride and kills someone, guess what? You’re liable. Why should that not be the case if you don’t lock up your weapon?” pic.twitter.com/wPXVGtu2Ba

— The Recount (@therecount) June 16, 2023

Mass shootings plague America ‘every damn day’ – Biden

In a speech marking the one-year anniversary of a major bill intended to fight gun violence, Joe Biden decried how mass shootings occur in the United States “every damn day”.

Advertisement

The president recounted how public outrage swells after high-profile killings at schools and places of worship, before declaring, “Every damn day in America, in areas that are poor, mostly minority, there’s a mass shooting. It never reaches the crescendo that it reaches other places – every single day.”

Biden’s was speaking in Connecticut during a summit to mark last year’s passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Congress approved following the mass shooting weeks earlier at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The legislation toughened background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keeps firearms from more domestic violence offenders and helps states put in place red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people adjudged to be dangerous.

Updated at 15.09 EDT

Daniel Ellsberg’s family has released a statement about his death earlier today:

Here’s the Guardian’s Martin Pengelly with a look back at the life of Daniel Ellsberg:

Advertisement

Daniel Ellsberg, a US government analyst who became one of the most famous whistleblowers in world politics when he leaked the Pentagon Papers, has died. He was 92. His death was confirmed by his family on Friday.

In March, Ellsberg announced that he had inoperable pancreatic cancer. Saying he had been given three to six months to live, he said he had chosen not to undergo chemotherapy and had been assured of hospice care.

“I am not in any physical pain,” Ellsberg wrote, adding: “My cardiologist has given me license to abandon my salt-free diet of the last six years. This has improved my life dramatically: the pleasure of eating my favourite foods!”

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg dies, aged 92

David Smith

Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers detailing secrets about America’s policy during the Vietnam War, has died at the age of 92, the Guardian can confirm.

Ellsberg’s son, Robert Ellsberg, said by phone that Ellsberg died this morning. In March, Ellsberg announced he had terminal cancer. The former US government analyst’s leaks revealed to the public that successive presidents believed American troops could not win in Vietnam.

Advertisement

Updated at 14.30 EDT

Ilhan Omar, the progressive Democrat whose district in the House of Representatives includes Minneapolis, has responded to the justice department’s report finding the city’s police “routinely” use excessive force and discriminate against Black and Native Americans and people with behavioral health issues.

Her statement reads, in part:

As a Black woman living in Minneapolis, I have experienced some of these violations firsthand.
For years, we have been offered a false choice between public safety and accountability. We have been told that bending to the will of the police union and the MPD is the only way to reduce crime. But rampant abuse and racism, constitutional violations, and killing of unarmed Black people does not make our community any safer. Lack of accountability only undermines relations with the community they are designed to protect, and poisons the civic trust that is the lifeblood of a democracy and its institutions.
I welcome this accountability from the Justice Department and support the consent decree being negotiated between the city and the federal government. We must demand a public safety system built on data and trust, not fear and racism.
We must recognize that we cannot prosecute and incarcerate our way to sustainable public safety, that building that trust requires that we address the system that allows racial discrimination—from the disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates Black and brown people face, to the marijuana laws that criminalize Black and brown people. We need to act at the federal level, including by passing my Amir Locke End Deadly No Knock Warrants Act, my package of bills making police violence against protesters a federal crime (among other provisions), and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. And most of all, we must build a police force that is well-trained, held accountable by its leadership, and follows the highest standards of ethics and conduct.

Britain’s former prime minister Boris Johnson and America’s former president Donald Trump appear headed down different paths this week as they navigate the fallout from their conduct now that they’ve left higher office – a reflection of the varying political cultures and systems in the nations they once led, the Associated Press reports.

Here’s mostly AP’s take, with some light Guardian editing:

Advertisement

On Thursday, a committee of the House of Commons released a scathing report about how Johnson lied to Parliament and intimidated those investigating lockdown-flouting parties in his administration during the pandemic. The committee said Johnson’s conduct was so flagrant that it warranted a 90-day suspension from Parliament, although that recommendation was largely symbolic because he resigned from the House of Commons last week. He was ousted as prime minister almost a year ago, partly due to the “partygate” scandal.

“I’m with this guy.” Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at an event together when they were both in charge, in 2019.
“I’m with this guy.” Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at an event together when they were both in charge, in 2019. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Two days earlier, Trump became the first former US president to appear before a federal judge in a criminal case. He also faces charges of filing false business documents in an unrelated matter in New York involving Stormy Daniels, and additional legal risk in two more investigations of his attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss, and the ongoing civil case with writer E Jean Carroll after a jury found he sexual assaulted her.

Both Trump and Johnson want to return to power. But while Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the 2024 election, despite facing possibly decades in prison if he is convicted in federal court, Johnson is out in the cold, politics-wise (if not media-wise).

Under Britain’s parliamentary system, prime ministers are selected not by popular vote but because they are the leaders of the party that controls a majority in the House of Commons. That means Johnson would have to win back the support of luminaries in his Conservative Party before he had any chance of returning to Parliament, much less the prime minister’s office.

“We are a parliamentary as opposed to a presidential system. That means that actually there is probably less room for a thorough-going populist to capture both his or her or her party – and, indeed, the country – in the United Kingdom than there is in the United States,” said Tim Bale, a political science professor at Queen Mary University of London.

That’s because of the United States’ two-party system, which Trump exploited in 2016 when he entered electoral politics for the first time. The parties nominate candidates in primary elections decided by their own voters, giving an edge to the most partisan or bombastic. Trump has cemented his power by focusing on building loyalty among Republican voters, so any party member who criticizes him is vulnerable to a primary challenge. That’s effectively split the United States in two.

Advertisement

By contrast, Britain doesn’t have primary elections and doesn’t elect prime ministers by popular vote, making it difficult for politicians to take their message to voters without first winning the support of party leaders.

Updated at 13.52 EDT

The US senator Tina Smith, a Democrat of Minnesota, has praised the federal investigation into policing in Minneapolis in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in the city in 2020 and said the “findings released today enumerate in vivid and heartbreaking detail what members of this community have known for a long time”.

Smith issued a statement, saying:

I commend the Department of Justice for its thorough investigation into the patterns and practices of the Minneapolis Police Department. Following the tragic murder of George Floyd, and the violence and harm done to too many people at the hands of the MPD, I called on the Department of Justice to conduct this investigation. The findings released today enumerate in vivid and heartbreaking detail what members of this community have known for a long time, that the MPD has engaged in longstanding practices that deny people their rights under the Constitution and federal law, and has brought lasting and real harm to people. Nonetheless, it is shocking to see spelled out the discriminatory, violent and unaccountable behavior of MPD, especially toward Black and Native American people, and those living with behavioral disabilities.
Every Minnesotan deserves to be safe and protected by law enforcement in their community. Minneapolis has taken some initial steps in advancing reforms, and this investigation provides a template for the work ahead to remake MPD policies, supervision, training, and officer wellness programs so we have true accountability. I’m grateful for the city leaders, faith leaders, public safety and mental health providers, and all the community members who provided their experiences for this report.
I am also deeply aware of the challenges facing MPD officers, and know there are many people inside the department who work hard every day to make our community safe and want the department to do better. I look forward to the Department of Justice negotiating with the City and MPD toward a consent decree to enforce reform. It is vitally important that the community have every opportunity for input into that process.”

What else has Smith been talking about lately? Here are a couple of pertinent tweets.

Advertisement

About the Supreme Court decision yesterday:

This is a welcome decision — but efforts to undermine Tribal sovereignty will no doubt continue.

I’m fiercely committed to defending the law and upholding our responsibilities to Tribal Nations. https://t.co/fxvmEG81FR

— Senator Tina Smith (@SenTinaSmith) June 15, 2023

This:

A policy that lifted *millions* of kids out of poverty expired. Sitting on our hands and doing nothing isn’t an option.
 
The Child Tax Credit is what politics is all about: improving people’s lives.

We need to renew it. https://t.co/Frjio5cAP9

Advertisement

— Senator Tina Smith (@SenTinaSmith) June 14, 2023

And this!

Republicans’ America:

Violate the Espionage Act? Meh.
Perform an abortion? Jail.

— Tina Smith (@TinaSmithMN) June 15, 2023

Updated at 13.34 EDT

The day so far

The justice department announced the disturbing findings of their investigation into the Minneapolis police department, whose officers killed George Floyd in 2020, sparking weeks of nationwide protests. Federal investigators determined Minneapolis cops “routinely” use excessive force, and discriminate against Black and Native American people, as well as those with behavioral health issues. The city and the federal government agreed to negotiate on an agreement to make what appear to be much-needed changes to the department. Meanwhile, the supreme court announced more decisions, but did not include closely watched cases on affirmative action or Joe Biden’s student loan plan.

Advertisement

Here’s what else happened today:

  • Iowa’s top court maintained a block on the state’s strict abortion ban, but lawmakers appear to have an avenue to reimpose it.

  • National security experts are reacting with horror to the emerging revelations about Donald Trump’s handling of government secrets.

  • The next opportunity for the supreme court to release decisions is on Thursday, 22 June.

As he headed to the airport for today’s visit to Connecticut, Joe Biden said he had not been briefed about the justice department’s findings into the Minneapolis police department.

“I haven’t spoken to the attorney general at all,” the president replied, when asked by a reporter.

That’s consistent with what he’s been saying ever since the federal charges against Donald Trump were unveiled last week – that while he may have appointed Garland as the country’s top law enforcement officer, he does not discuss such things with him.

As the press conference ended, assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke elaborated on how the consent decree will be negotiated:

Advertisement

The community will be deeply engaged every step of the way. The city has entered into an agreement in principle and agreed to enter into a consent decree that will include an independent monitor. That consent decree will be entered in a federal court before a federal judge. We will take an input from the community, from stakeholders, and from law enforcement in putting together the terms of that consent decree, that will include the reforms that we deem necessary to resolve the four core findings that are set forth in the justice department’s findings report.

After all that, Minneapolis police chief Brian O’Hara spoke to reporters.

“We are incredibly thankful for the deep dive assessment that the United States department of justice has done on behalf of the people of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis police department,” O’Hara said. “We acknowledge the pain, anger, frustration, fear and sense of vulnerability that many people in our community have endured.”

He continued: “Our goal is to move forward together and ensure that we provide the best possible policing services for all members of our community. I promise you today that our department will be transparent and will provide an ongoing accounting of our successes as well as our challenges while at the same time continuing our dedicated efforts to keep all people of Minneapolis safe and secure, today and tomorrow.”

“Out of the darkness and trauma our residents and our police officers have experienced over the last three years, we will emerge as a beacon of light for the rest of the world,” O’Hara concluded.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey took the podium to remark on the justice department’s findings.

Advertisement

“Today marks a new chapter in the history of public safety in Minneapolis,” Frey said.

“Our success won’t be relegated to a report. It won’t be relegated to compliance figures or a judge’s signature,” Frey vowed. “Our success will be defined by the people of Minneapolis feeling safe in fact feeling safer when interacting with police in our city. We are not going to stop until every single person in every single neighborhood and zip code will feel safe interacting with the police.”

Clarke elaborated further on the investigation’s finding that Minneapolis police discriminated against Black and Native American people:

We found that MPD disproportionately stops Black people and Native American people. During stops involving Black and Native American people, MPD performs searches more frequently than during stops involving white people, even when they behave in similar ways. MPD also … uses force during stops involving Black and Native American people more frequently than they do during stops involving white people, even when they behave in similar ways.

The determination came after a deep analysis of police data, Clarke said. “We reviewed over five years of MPD data from November 1 of 2016 to August 9 of 2022 on roughly 187,000 traffic and pedestrian stops. We also conducted interviews and ride alongs and we reviewed other documents and information that the city provided.”

Kristen Clarke, the justice department’s assistant attorney general for civil rights, related more horror stories about the Minneapolis police at their ongoing press conference.

Advertisement

“We found that officers use deadly force without probable cause to believe that there was an immediate threat of serious physical harm to the officer or another person,” Clarke said. “In one example, an off-duty officer fired his gun at a car containing six people within three seconds of getting out of his squad car.”

Clarke continued by saying that the police use neck restraints, tasers, pepper spray and bodily force without warning and in ways that is inconsistent with the law.

“We saw repeated instances of excessive force against kids without appropriate attempts to de-escalate the situation,” Clarke said. In one instance, “an MPD officer wearing street clothes drew his gun and pinned a teenager to the hood of a car for allegedly taking a $5 burrito without paying”.

There were instances where Minneapolis police did not take proper care of people in their custody, Clarke said.

“After pepper spraying a group of people who were fighting, MPD officers ignored pleas to call an ambulance for one woman who needed help because she had asthma. Disregarding the medical distress of a person who is in custody or after a use of force is unlawful, and often officers who could have intervened to stop the use of excessive force by their colleagues did not do so. This violates the constitution,” she said.

Advertisement

Updated at 11.46 EDT

Garland noted that the police department had already made some progress in changing their ways, but more needs to be done.

“Some important changes have already been instituted. Those include prohibiting all types of neck restraints and banning no-knock search warrants,” the attorney general said.

“But as the report outlines, there is more work to be done. The justice department is recommending 28 remedial measures that provide a starting framework to improve public safety, build community trust and comply with the constitution and federal law.”

The Minneapolis police also beat up reporters, Garland said.

Advertisement

“One officer approached a journalist who was filming while holding up his press credential and shouting, ‘I’m press.’ The officer … forcefully pushed the journalist’s head to the pavement … and when the journalist held up his press credential again, an MPD sergeant pepper sprayed him in the face and walked away.”

Garland then got into the specifics of what the justice department determined the Minneapolis police did, including instances of brutal treatment of citizens and racist language.

“We found that the Minneapolis police department routinely uses excessive force, often when no force is necessary, including unjust, deadly force and unreasonable use of tasers,” the attorney general said. He related a 2017 incident in which a police officer fatally shot a woman, who an officer said “‘spooked him’ when she approached his squad car. The woman had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in a nearby alley.”

Garland said Minneapolis police “routinely disregard the safety of people in their custody”.

“Our review found numerous incidents in which MPD officers responded to a person’s statement that they could not breathe with a version of ‘you can breathe. You’re talking right now.’”

Advertisement

The attorney general also related a story of four Somali American teens who were stopped by police. “One officer told the teens, ‘do you remember what happened in Black Hawk Down, when we killed a bunch of your folk? I’m proud of that. We didn’t finish the job over there. If we had, you guys wouldn’t be over here right now.’” The comments were a reference to a 1993 battle in Mogadishu, Somalia, involving US special forces.

“Such conduct is deeply disturbing, and it erodes the community’s trust in law enforcement,” Garland said.

Updated at 11.23 EDT

Garland also said the justice department and the city of Minneapolis “have agreed in principle to negotiate towards a consent decree”.

That the sort of agreement federal prosecutors reach with cities to reform their police departments following investigations into how they interact with the community.

Advertisement

“We observed many MPD officers who did their difficult work with professionalism, courage and respect. But the patterns and practices we observed made what happened to George Floyd possible,” Garland said. “As one city leader told us, ‘these systemic issues didn’t just occur on May 25 2020. There were instances like that, that were being reported by the community long before that.’”

Updated at 11.16 EDT

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Joanna Walters (now) and Chris Stein (earlier)

Published: 2023-06-16 20:09:22

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment
>