police brutality

A report released Tuesday found that 168 Confederate symbols were removed across the United States in 2020, virtually all of them following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Only one of the symbols was removed prior to Floyd's death, when Virginia renamed Lee-Jackson Day in April as Election Day.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

New York Attorney General Letitia James says a grand jury voted that no charges will be filed against Rochester police officers in connection with the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who was in the midst of a mental health free fall during his encounter with the police.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was chased and gunned down by a group of white men in Glynn County, Ga., while jogging, has filed a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit against several people involved in the killing or the subsequent investigation.

They were hailed as the first Black students to integrate public schools in Tennessee, in 1955. But until recently, the brave acts of the students, known as the Oak Ridge 85, were relatively forgotten. That started to change last year – and now the local school board is moving to add the history of the Oak Ridge 85 to its classrooms' curriculum.

Updated at 9:35 p.m. ET

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Monday that makes Illinois the first state in the country to abolish cash bail payments for jail release for people who have been arrested and are waiting for their case to be heard.

Chicago police showed "confusion and lack of coordination" in their response to last summer's protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, according to a new watchdog report, which said officers frequently did not understand who was in charge or how to handle sometimes violent demonstrators.

Amy Cooper, a white dog owner who was at the center of a controversial encounter with a Black man bird-watching in New York's Central Park last year, had her misdemeanor charge stemming from that incident dropped on Tuesday.

The woman had been facing a charge of falsely reporting an incident to police after she told them Christian Cooper, who is not related to her, threatened her and her dog. He did not.

Editor's note: This story contains descriptions that may be offensive.

Objects from the past fill every corner of the Farmers Co-op Antiques Mall in central Oregon: decoy ducks nested among the rusty typewriters, musky clothes and toys made for children who grew old long ago.

The floorboards creak as customers wander this maze of booths. A couple of months ago, one glass display case looked a lot like dozens of others full of knickknacks. But something inside the well-lit case made 15-year-old Lily Gallentine do a double take.

Erie County, N.Y., district attorney John Flynn said Thursday that a grand jury proceeding has cleared two police officers accused of assaulting a 75-year-old protester last summer.

The incident occurred in Buffalo on June 4 during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

A Wisconsin judge has refused to issue a new arrest warrant for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old charged with killing two people in Kenosha, Wis., during protests last summer.

Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder also refused to increase Rittenhouse's bail.

Stacey Plaskett made history on the Senate floor Wednesday when she became the first nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives to serve as an impeachment manager.

Plaskett represents the U.S. Virgin Islands, which as a territory does not have a vote in Congress. She is in the unique position of arguing the case to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol but having been barred from voting to impeach him in the chamber she serves.

Three former Aurora, Colo., police officers have lost a bid to get their jobs back after being fired in connection to posed photos reenacting a chokehold near the site where Elijah McClain was pinned down by police.

The city's Civil Service Commission upheld the firings of Officers Erica Marrero, Kyle Dittrich and Jason Rosenblatt. A fourth officer resigned before the others were kicked out of the department.

A judge has barred Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón from implementing a significant piece of his criminal justice reforms, ruling the progressive's policy to end sentencing enhancements in criminal cases is unlawful.

Fired Columbus Police officer Adam Coy has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the December killing of Andre Hill. His bond was set at $3 million.

Coy was arrested and indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on two counts of dereliction of duty, which are second-degree misdemeanors, and one count each of felonious assault and murder. If convicted, the charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The mother of the 9-year-old girl who was handcuffed and pepper sprayed by police in Rochester, N.Y., last week said she was never informed by law enforcement that a chemical irritant was used on her daughter.

In addition, she allegedly told officers she feared her daughter may be experiencing a mental health crisis and requested trained personnel to assist. But that request was denied.

New York state lawmakers have introduced legislation that bans law enforcement officers from using chemical irritants on minors.

It was a quick response to Rochester Police pepper-spraying a handcuffed 9-year-old girl as officers were responding to a call of a family disturbance last week. Video of the girl's encounter with police was released by city officials, sparking protests in the city Monday evening.

Updated at 5:23 p.m. ET

Rochester, N.Y., police officers involved in restraining and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl last Friday were suspended Monday by order of Mayor Lovely Warren "at a minimum" until the conclusion of an internal police investigation.

"Unfortunately, state law and union contract prevents me from taking more immediate and serious action," Warren said in a statement.

The suspensions came after city officials released police body-camera footage showing the encounter between officers and the girl.

In one of her first moves as the newly elected Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis is asking for another prosecutor to take over a controversial felony murder case.

Willis sent a letter on Wednesday to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr asking that he transfer the felony murder case against former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in June. Rolfe is white and Brooks was Black.

Joseph Mensah, who quit his job as a police officer in Wauwatosa, Wis., after shooting and killing three people in the line of duty over a five-year period, has a new job as a sheriff's deputy. Sheriff Eric Severson of neighboring Waukesha County says multiple authorities concluded Mensah's controversial use of force was both legal and in line with his training.

In announcing the hire, Severson acknowledged that "some have expressed concerns about Mr. Mensah's past uses of force." But he said Mensah had gone through "an extensive, thorough and exhaustive hiring process."

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Biden's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, pledged to take a tougher line against China and its push to exert influence over the multinational organization during her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

"We know that China is working across the U.N. system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the values of the institution," Thomas-Greenfield told lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

The Biden administration says the federal government needs to do a better job of acknowledging the ways that communities of color are blocked from fair and equal access to housing.

"Today the average Black family has just one-tenth the wealth of the average white family, while the gap between white and Black in home ownership is now larger than it was in 1960," Susan Rice, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said in a news briefing Tuesday.

The vast majority of mayors in American cities do not support sweeping changes to the funding of their police departments, and most say last year's racial justice protests were a force for good in their cities, according to a new survey of more than 100 mayors from across the U.S.

Ronell Foster was riding his bicycle through the hushed streets of Vallejo, Calif., one evening when a police officer noticed that the bike had no lights and that he was weaving in and out of traffic.

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET

Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star Army general, has been confirmed by the Senate, making him the first Black defense secretary in U.S. history.

The Senate approved President Biden's nomination for Pentagon chief in a near-unanimous 93-2 vote Friday.

"It's an honor and a privilege to serve as our country's 28th Secretary of Defense, and I'm especially proud to be the first African American to hold the position," Austin tweeted Friday.

"Let's get to work," he added.

Updated 7:10 p.m. ET

Gen. Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden's pick to head the Pentagon, went before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday in a bid to make history by being confirmed as the nation's first Black secretary of defense.

During his opening statement, Austin, 67, addressed the biggest issue hovering over his nomination.

Sean Urbanski, a former University of Maryland student who stabbed and killed a Black Army lieutenant at a bus stop in May 2017, was sentenced to life in prison for what prosecutors said was a racially motivated hate crime.

A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge handed down the life sentence for Urbanski, 25. However, the judge denied the prosecution's request for a sentence without parole.

"I'm absolutely satisfied that justice was served," said Maryland State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy, whose office prosecuted the case.

A Minnesota judge has ruled that the former Minneapolis police officer seen in cellphone video kneeling on George Floyd's neck for several minutes last summer, will stand trial alone in March.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill ruled that the trial for Derek Chauvin, who is facing charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death, will begin on March 8.

Social media behemoth Facebook announced Monday it has created a new executive role at the company and that it will be filled by a veteran of the Obama administration.

Roy Austin Jr. has been named vice president of civil rights with the mandate to oversee Facebook's accountability on racial hatred and discrimination on its platform. He's slated to start Jan. 19.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Still reeling from the aftermath of the deadly insurrection at the seat of the U.S. government last week, U.S. Capitol Police have designated Yogananda Pittman as the law enforcement agency's acting chief.

She has been with the force since April 2001 and was named acting chief on Friday, according to the U. S. Capitol Police (USCP) website. That came two days after pro-Trump extremists faced off and eventually overwhelmed security forces at the U.S. Capitol complex.

Pages