Inequality in the Equality State: Race, Racism, and Identity

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Andrew Graham, WyoFile

In February, Albany County Sheriff David O'Malley dismissed concerns raised by a Laramie resident about a controversial deputy by telling a county human resources official that the complainant needed "professional help" and was "difficult to listen to."

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

After more than 120 years of flying over the state of Mississippi, the Confederate battle flag is no longer a part of the state's official flag.

On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed into law a bill fast-tracked by the Mississippi Legislature over the weekend that calls for a new design.

In a somber ceremony, Reeves said he was signing the law to turn a page in Mississippi.

Dearfield, Colorado, is one of the last standing towns started by Black homesteaders in the Great Plains. Now, property in the ghost town has changed hands, ensuring that key sites will be protected.

Updated at 5:21 p.m. ET

A Fulton County Superior Court judge granted the former Atlanta police officer accused of shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot a bond of $500,000 on Tuesday.

Garrett Rolfe, who was fired from the Atlanta Police Department shortly after the June 12 killing of Brooks, will be required to turn over his passport if he has one, wear an ankle monitor and be subject to a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The policies of Belgian King Leopold II left millions of people dead more than a century ago in the region that is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now, in a first for the Belgian monarchy, King Philippe has expressed his "deepest regrets" for a colonization campaign that remains notorious for its brutality.

Updated Friday at 10:08 p.m. ET

Four Aurora, Colorado police officers have lost their jobs in the continued fallout over the arrest and death of Elijah McClain.

McClain was stopped by police as he walked home from a convenience store last summer. In the ensuing confrontation he was placed in a chokehold by police and later sedated. His death has been compared to that of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and has prompted outrage and protest.

The NAACP is planning a big move.

Leaders of the 111-year-old civil rights organization signed a letter of intent to relocate its headquarters from Baltimore, where it's been for decades, to Washington, D.C.

Muriel Bowser, the mayor of the District of Columbia, said the plan is to have the NAACP move to the city's historic U Street corridor.

The Antelope Valley's decades of entrenched racism have helped fuel the outcry over the death of 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a Black man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, Calif., earlier this month.

Many locals are skeptical that Fuller's death was a suicide — the initial explanation that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department issued and then retracted days later.

Some call it a lynching. Thousands have poured into Palmdale's streets, at times shutting down traffic. They're demanding an independent investigation by California's attorney general.

Dungeons and Dragons is reconsidering what it means to be evil.

The classic role playing game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, recently announced some changes it was making to the game in response to the ongoing protests over racism and police violence. While this includes editing some past racist descriptions, as well as adding more diverse writers, the game's designers are also making a fundamental change to the way certain playable characters are portrayed.

A judge in Minnesota has set a March 8 trial date for the four former police officers accused in the death of George Floyd.

At an omnibus hearing Monday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said the trial date assumed that the former Minneapolis Police Department officers — Derek Chauvin, 44, who knelt on Floyd's neck and is charged with second-degree murder; J. Alexander Kueng, 26; Thomas Lane, 37; and Tou Thao, 34 — would be tried together, but he said that he expected motions to be filed by their attorneys for separate trials.

Reddit announced on Monday that it is shutting down a forum dedicated to President Trump's most ardent fans, saying it repeatedly violates the online platform's rules against harassment, hate speech and content manipulation.

The San Jose Police Department said it has placed four police officers on administrative leave. It is investigating allegations that they posted racist and anti-Muslim messages in a private Facebook group.

"We have no place for this," SJPD chief Eddie Garcia said in a written statement. A spokesperson for the police department did not identify the officers.

"WE ARE GEORGE FLOYD," by Julian Marshall, is a film that captures New York City's protests in the days after George Floyd was killed by a police officer. It tells the story in two parts.

St. Louis, St. Paul, Richmond, Boston — cities across the country have dismantled, torn down or removed their statues honoring the explorer Christopher Columbus. One of the more recent and more surprising additions to that list is his namesake: Columbus, Ohio. The city once had three Christopher Columbus statues.

Construction crews recently dismantled a marble statue on the campus of Columbus State Community College, loading it piece by piece onto a flatbed truck to be put into storage.

A small Columbus statue still stands on the lawn of the statehouse.

Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET

Members of Congress held a hearing Monday to examine the forced removal of peaceful protesters by U.S. Park Police near the White House in early June.

Nikkolas Smith calls himself an "artivist": an artist and an activist. For the past seven years, the Los Angeles-based concept artist has celebrated and mourned Black lives in his work. He says he's following the lead of the late singer Nina Simone, who advised it's the artist's duty to reflect the times.

"I'm always looking at what's going in the world and trying to reflect that," Smith says. "There are so many Black lives that have just been taken from this Earth. I've been trying to trying to process how that made me feel as a Black man."

Mississippi plans to fly a new state flag — a flag without the Confederate battle emblem in the corner. The state House and Senate voted Sunday to retire the current flag, and Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to sign the measure.

Democratic state Sen. Derrick Simmons voted for the bill, which calls for a nine-member commission to design a new flag that includes the phrase "In God We Trust."

The deaths of 27-year-old Carlos Ingram-Lopez in Tucson and 18-year old Andres Guardado in Los Angeles have reignited calls to not only end incidents of police brutality against Black people, but also those against Latinx people.

The Justice Department is charging four men with destruction of federal property over an attempt to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C.

In a criminal complaint unsealed on Saturday, the DOJ alleges that Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, Connor Matthew Judd, 20, Ryan Lane, 37, and Graham Lloyd, 37, participated in a June 22 attempt to tear down the statue in Lafayette Park, just near the White House.

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

A video shared by President Trump on Twitter Sunday includes a man who appears to be a Trump supporter saying "white power" in response to protesters.

In the video, apparently taken at The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, people wearing Trump shirts and with Trump signs on their golf carts drive by protesters yelling insults at them and about the president.

Colorado voters could well decide this fall which party controls the U.S. Senate.

But first, on Tuesday, voters will pick the Democrat to challenge GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper is the national party's first choice for the nomination, but his campaign has hit some snags in recent weeks. He was a two-term governor, former mayor of Denver and had a short-lived presidential bid.

From Richmond to Seattle, cities are taking a fresh look at – and sometimes taking a sledgehammer to – statues of slave owners. U.S. military bases named for Confederate generals are under scrutiny, and the Marine Corps has banned Confederate flags. Some veterans would like to see this momentum help change the gender-exclusive motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, in addition to thousands of protests, have sparked new conversations across the country, one thing that's remained for many families is "the talk."

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

Authorities in Louisville, Ky., have identified the victim in a fatal Saturday night shooting in a park where demonstrators gathered to protest the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Sunday that 27-year-old Tyler Gerth died shortly after a shooter opened fire into a group of protesters in Jefferson Square Park.

Updated at 8:43 p.m. ET Sunday

Lawmakers in Mississippi voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag on Sunday, clearing the way for Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to sign the measure into law.

The state House and Senate both approved legislation to remove the 126-year-old current flag and to form a commission to redesign it.

Princeton University will remove Woodrow Wilson's name from its public policy school over "racist thinking and policies" the former president had championed, the university says.

Dr. William Strudwick was finishing a shift at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University Hospital when his wife, Maria, texted. Their 19-year old son, Cole, wanted to join a protest five days after the killing of George Floyd.

It was 9 p.m. After dark, Strudwick weighed, he couldn't predict how protesters would act — or how police would treat his son. He wrote back one word to his wife: "No."

"When I came home, he was not there, and so I called him," Strudwick said. "And we had the conversation about him returning immediately."

A little under a year ago, Eso Won Books, a Black-owned bookstore in Los Angeles, hosted Ibram X. Kendi for a signing. Eso Won sold about 40 copies of Kendi's newest book, How to Be an Antiracist, that night. In the months after, they sold very few.

But in these past few weeks? They've sold 500 copies — and counting.

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate the city's police department, marking the first step toward establishing a new "holistic" approach to public safety.

The move follows more than a month of national outrage and protests against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for more than eight minutes.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed a hate crimes bill into law.

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man shot dead while jogging in February, drew nationwide attention and energized efforts to pass this law.

Ahead of the signing on Friday, Kemp called House Bill 426 a "silver lining" amid difficult and stormy times.

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