police brutality

A federal judge has found the Seattle Police Department in contempt for violating an order to stop the "indiscriminate" use of chemical irritants or projectiles against protesters except in cases where officers faced imminent danger.

The Monday ruling by Judge Richard Jones of the Western District of Washington in Seattle said the department had failed to prove that its use of pepper spray, pepper balls, blast balls and paint balls during four Black Lives Matter protests was warranted.

Newly sworn-in Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón used his inaugural address to introduce himself as a transformational agent and unveil sweeping changes to the criminal justice system of California's most populous county.

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday it is joining the investigation into the death of 23-year-old Casey Goodson, a Black man who was shot and killed by law enforcement in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers of the Southern District of Ohio said the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the FBI, along with the Columbus Division of Police, are all investigating the case.

The Virginia Military Institute removed a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson on Monday morning. A small group watched as the bronze figure was hoisted off its pedestal in front of the VMI barracks.

The historic figure is being relocated from the campus in Lexington, Va., to its future home at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

Authorities in Ohio have identified a longtime Franklin County sheriff's deputy as the law enforcement officer who shot and killed a Black man in Columbus last Friday.

Law enforcement said the man was waving a gun while driving. His family said he was shot while carrying a bag of sandwiches outside his house.

The sheriff's office said the deputy who fired the shots, Jason Meade, a 17-year veteran of the force, was assigned full time to a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force at the time of the incident.

A wide-ranging survey shows Americans' willingness to receive a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes publicly available and confidence in its effectiveness are on the rise.

But when broken down by racial or ethnic group, Black respondents show the most reluctance, with less than half saying they will do so.

On Nov. 23, Aidan Ellison — a Black teenager — was shot and killed by a white man in Ashland, Ore. This small college town near the Oregon-California border has a progressive reputation, but Ellison's death has led many Black leaders to question that reputation and demand change.

They gathered along with a couple of hundred other people for a vigil Wednesday night at the Jackson County Courthouse. Organizers chose this location to send a message to the district attorney handling the shooting: there needs to be justice.

If you have the sense you're seeing fewer women on TV than you encounter in everyday life, a new study by the Nielsen company may offer an explanation.

The study is titled "Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV."

Researchers at Nielsen, the company which also provides TV viewership ratings, looked at the top 100 TV shows each in broadcast, cable and streaming, excluding sports, movies and animated shows.

The largest and most influential arts advocacy and service organization in the country has responded to sharp criticism over its lack of diversity and commitment to help arts groups lead by and for people of color. Americans For The Arts (which is also one of NPR's financial supporters) conceded that the steps they've taken towards "racial and cultural equity" "have not been enough."

AFTA serves the arts sector in a variety of ways including lobbying Congress, conducting surveys of the sector, training, panels and the like.

As the nation grapples with issues of racial injustice and social inequality, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing to remove the so-called slavery loophole from the United States Constitution.

With the adoption and ratification of the 13th Amendment 155 years ago, the practice of slavery formally ended in this country, but it did not strip away all aspects of involuntary servitude.

A Wisconsin court commissioner overseeing the case of a teenager accused of killing two people and injuring a third during protests in Kenosha, Wis., this summer, has denied defense attorneys' request to dismiss two of the six charges facing Kyle Ritttenhouse.

During a preliminary hearing conducted via video link Thursday, Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating also said he found enough evidence that support the charges against Rittenhouse, 17, for the case to proceed to trial.

Nasdaq wants to require the more than 3,000 companies listed on its stock exchange to improve boardroom diversity by appointing at least one woman and at least one minority or LGBTQ+ person to their boards.

Companies would have to report regularly on how many women and minorities sit on their boards and then follow that up by appointing at least one member of each group, under a rule submitted Tuesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced his office has filed five charges, including voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, against a former police officer who shot and killed a Black man suspected of carjacking a California Lottery minivan three years ago.

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old gunman accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, Wis., in August, posted $2 million bail and was released from custody on Friday.

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will become the first Black woman to serve as brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

It's the top leadership post for midshipmen — in civilian terms, the equivalent of a student body president — and she is the 16th woman to serve in the position in the 44 years women have been allowed to attend the Naval Academy.

Poised to take over the role as leader of 4,400 midshipmen next semester, Barber told NPR's All Things Considered that there was a time when she had no desire to attend the Naval Academy.

Joseph Mensah, a Wauwatosa, Wis., police officer who has been suspended from the department since this summer, is being allowed to resign at the end of this month, city officials announced.

Mensah has been suspended from the suburban Milwaukee police department since July 15. He has shot and killed three people in the line of duty since 2015, according to multiple reports, including a Black teenager outside a shopping mall in February.

Criminal charges for Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott and more than a dozen others have been dropped. Scott was part of a group arrested in September during a demonstration against the grand jury decision not to directly charge Louisville police officers over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

The white father and son who took part in killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot while jogging, have been denied bond.

Gregory, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, two of three suspects facing malice murder and felony murder charges appeared for their bond hearing on Thursday and Friday via video conference in Glynn County, Georgia.

A Chatham County Superior Court judge denied bond for a third white man involved in the fatal shooting, saying William "Roddy" Bryan, was a potential flight risk.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles County coroner's office announced Tuesday it will open an independent inquiry into the sheriff's deputy-involved death of an 18-year-old man shot in June.

North Minneapolis, one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in Minnesota, was already dealing with high coronavirus infection and death rates when George Floyd was killed by police outside a corner store just 3 miles away.

An Indianapolis police officer who fatally shot a man after a high-speed car chase that was captured on Facebook Live will not face criminal charges.

A grand jury on Tuesday declined to indict Dejoure Mercer who shot and killed Dreasjon "Sean" Reed on May 6.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A 19-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged with illegally providing the gun that prosecutors say Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, used to fatally shoot two men and injure a third during a protest this summer in Kenosha, Wis.

Philadelphia city officials on Wednesday released "traumatic" bodycam footage worn by the officers who fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. last week, urging the public to remain calm as the city comes under national scrutiny for the shooting.

The Philadelphia Police Department also released multiple 911 calls made by neighbors and Wallace's own family, pleading for help as the 27-year-old experienced a violent psychological episode.

First-year medical student Sean Sweat "didn't want to tiptoe around" issues of race when she sat down with 11 of her classmates to write a new version of the medical profession's venerable Hippocratic oath.

"We start our medical journey amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and a national civil rights movement reinvigorated by the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery," begins the alternate version of the oath, rewritten for the class of 2024 at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, in his first court appearance in the state after being extradited from Illinois last week.

Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting two demonstrators and injuring a third during protests on Aug. 25 that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot several times at close range by Kenosha police and is now paralyzed.

Police in Graham, N.C., moved in on a march and rally to drive voter turnout, using pepper spray and making several arrests on the state's last day of early voting.

According to video, police and participants, deputies with the Alamance County Sheriff's Office and Graham police officers twice used pepper spray on the "I Am Change" march to the polls.

This summer's massive protests over police brutality, spurred by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, demanded significant changes in policing.

Those protests have moved some cities and states to "reimagine" what departments could look like through changes in funding and legislation. Some efforts stalled, like in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

As some protesters smashed storefront windows to make off with merchandise during the chaos of Monday night's Walter Wallace Jr. protests, some Philadelphia Police officers smashed an SUV's windows and violently yanked out its driver and a teenaged passenger, threw them to the ground, then pulled a small child from the back seat.

The incident was captured on video and streamed live by Aapril Rice, who watched the "surreal" scene from a rooftop across the street.

Raleigh, N.C.'s mayor issued a citywide curfew Friday afternoon ahead of two planned protests over racial justice and police brutality.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced the curfew will begin at 10 p.m. and continue through Saturday, 5 a.m. citing the desire to keep the demonstrations under control. The curfew doesn't apply to law enforcement, medical personnel, delivery workers, and the media.

Walter Wallace Jr.'s family is seeking justice but they are not advocating for the officers who killed the 27-year-old Black man to be charged with murder.

The family, including Wallace's mother and wife who were at the scene of the killing, privately reviewed the police body camera footage of the fatal shooting early Thursday morning.

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