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

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's attorney called on Shawanda Hill to testify on Tuesday morning. Chauvin is on trial on murder and manslaughter charges in George Floyd's death.

Hill told the court she was at the Cup Foods store last May 25 when she ran into Floyd, whom she knew. She described his behavior as "happy, normal, talking, alert."

She said Floyd offered to give her a ride to her house, and she went with him to the car he was driving.

Protests spread across the country Monday night after police officials in Brooklyn Center, Minn., said they believed that the officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright had intended to use her Taser but accidentally fired her handgun instead.

Even as a cold drizzle fell in Minnesota, hundreds turned out for a memorial protest at the police department in Brooklyn Center, a few miles from the scene of Wright's death, despite a 7 p.m. curfew that had been called across much of the Twin Cities area.

Updated April 13, 2021 at 12:52 PM ET

The defense of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began presenting its case on Tuesday over the killing of George Floyd.

The first witness for the defense was former Minneapolis police officer Scott Creighton. The defense showed Creighton's bodycam footage from a traffic stop in May 2019, in which the passenger of the car was Floyd.

Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and use of force expert, told jurors in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin that the actions by the officers involved in George Floyd's killing violated those of a "reasonable officer" throughout the fatal arrest.

Stoughton reiterated many of the findings in his 100-page-plus report, chronicling the pivotal moments in which Floyd's actions affected the officers' response and how what the officers were doing changed Floyd's behavior, as well as the potential threat level of the crowd.

Elvert Barnes via CC BY-SA 2.0


The past year has shown evidence of an increase in Anti-Asian violence in major cities. All of that escalated when six Asian women were murdered in the March Atlanta spa shooting. But has that anti-Asian sentiment permeated into smaller, rural areas in the U.S.? And what does it look like?

The short answer is: Yes, it has permeated into smaller, rural towns. However, it's been present even before COVID-19 hit. The pandemic just exacerbated it.

Updated April 12, 2021 at 4:12 PM ET

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother, took the witness stand on Monday to testify in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Philonise Floyd, 39, lives in Houston, where he is married with two children.

Testifying for the prosecution, he reflected on a childhood in Houston with his oldest brother George as the two played Tecmo Bowl and Double Dribble on Nintendo.

Updated April 12, 2021 at 10:44 PM ET

The police officer said to have fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man killed in what started as a traffic stop, has been identified as Kim Potter.

After a fatal police shooting near Minneapolis on Sunday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's attorney expressed concern that jurors in his murder trial could be swayed by the events. Judge Peter Cahill denied the request to re-question jurors and immediately sequester them.

Cahill said the jury would be fully sequestered beginning next Monday when closing arguments are expected to start.

When jurors report for duty each morning in Derek Chauvin's trial, they do so as a group, escorted into the courthouse building by members of the Hennepin County Sheriff's office using a private entrance. The building itself has been fortified — one of many extraordinary security measures for a high-profile murder trial that is playing out amid a pandemic.

April is National Poetry Month, a celebration of poets and poetry that's been in place for 25 years.

Last month, as the U.S. grieved over attacks against Asian Americans, NPR's Morning Edition collected poems on how people grapple with the increased violence and discrimination.

Tamika Palmer says the art exhibition dedicated to her daughter, Breonna Taylor, is everything she hoped it would be; it's peaceful, she says, "to be able to come to this place and just be filled with her spirit."

It's been nearly 13 months since Louisville Metro Police officers shot and killed Taylor in her home. Now a show in her honor is on view at Louisville's Speed Art Museum. It's called "Promise, Witness, Remembrance." Palmer never imagined her daughter would be memorialized this way.

Lately, Candy has been running to the bus stop on her way home from work. The 26 year-old dance instructor said it's usually dark outside by the time she finishes her shift at a studio in San Francisco — and she's started to dread commuting in the "pitch black."

"I usually call my best friend who lives in New York," she said. "I have him on the phone with me while I run to the bus stop and shiver, nervously waiting for the bus to come."

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bill into law limiting the use of no-knock warrants on Friday, just over a year after the police killing of Breonna Taylor that sparked calls for change in Louisville and beyond.

Senior Special Agent James Reyerson of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is testifying in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in last May's death of George Floyd.

The BCA routinely investigates police use-of-force incidents in Minnesota. Chauvin is facing charges of second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter. Video footage from the scene showed Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck area for more than nine minutes.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 10:39 AM ET

The Minneapolis police chief and other members of his department have testified that former officer Derek Chauvin's restraint of George Floyd was excessive and that it violated the department's policies on use of force.

The San Francisco Board of Education will ultimately keep the names of dozens of public schools in a case of high-stakes second thoughts.

Updated April 6, 2021 at 4:49 PM ET

Officer Nicole Mackenzie, the medical support coordinator with the Minneapolis Police Department, was the third witness called on Tuesday afternoon in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin is facing charges of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death last May.

Mackenzie, who trains officers in medical support, was asked by defense attorney Eric Nelson about "agonal breathing," which can occur in people in distress such as a medical emergency.

Inspector Katie Blackwell, who commands the Minneapolis Police Department's 5th Precinct and used to run the department's police training, methodically told the court on Monday that former officer Derek Chauvin went against authorized training when he used his knee on George Floyd's neck to pin him to the ground.

After describing the training that Chauvin, whom she said she has known for 20 years, has received throughout his career, Blackwell said his technique — kneeling on Floyd's neck while the Black man lay on his stomach — was not a maneuver the training operation taught.

Sarah Marino

The American West is a complex landscape where many cultures and ethnic groups live together.

As some of the most contentious Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 erupted in Portland, Ore., last spring, 29-year-old Cameron Whitten started getting a deluge of messages. Friends from all corners of his life were checking in on him.

"At first I was like, 'Did something happen to me?' " says Whitten. Realizing people were just concerned about his well-being, he reached out to other Black people to ask: "Are you having white people message you too?"

On the fourth day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial in the death George Floyd, jurors heard from multiple first responders who treated the Black man as he lay motionless last Memorial Day.

Hennepin County paramedic Seth Bravinder said Floyd's heart "flat-lined" in the ambulance and his team never detected a pulse in the 46-year-old man who died in police custody.

Updated April 1, 2021 at 1:54 PM ET

Prosecutors began the fourth day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial on murder charges by calling George Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, to the stand. Ross spoke about her affection for Floyd; she also acknowledged that both she and Floyd struggled with opioid addiction.

In her emotional testimony, Ross described to the jury the man she knew, adding detail to a life that ended when Floyd died in police custody last Memorial Day.

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