The latest on protests around the world against racism and police brutality.


A memorial continues to grow Monday at the site of the arrest of George Floyd. Floyd died in police custody after video shared online by a bystander showed former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Associated Press//Jim Mone

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota prosecutors acknowledged Wednesday that a police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes, 46 seconds – not the 8:46 that has become a global symbol of police brutality.

The initial complaint alleges Derek Chauvin “had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive.” But timestamps cited in the document’s description of the incident, much of which was caught on video, showed Chauvin had his knee on Floyd for 7 minutes, 46 seconds, including 1 minute, 53 seconds after Floyd appeared to stop breathing.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office said in a statement that “these kinds of technical matters” can be handled in a future amendment to the criminal case if it becomes necessary.

The Associated Press began asking about the error the day after the initial charges were filed, but prosecutors had repeatedly declined to address it as their 8 minutes and 46 seconds began to be used by protesters around the globe for its symbolism.

Black filmmakers and executives get honest about their experiences in Hollywood


LOS ANGELES — After George Floyd’s killing in the custody of Minneapolis police last month, Hollywood entertainment companies sent out a flurry of statements supporting the Black Lives Matter movement’s fight against police brutality and systemic racism.


Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in a scene from “Harriet.” “This conversation needed to happen for a long time about racism and race in our industry,” said Erivo. Glen Wilson/Focus Features via Associated Press

Studios, music labels and streaming services promised donations to antiracist nonprofits and declared their commitment to diversity. Internal memos called for reflection on the industry’s poor record of inclusion and diversity.

Still, the entertainment industry’s long history of failures when it comes to race continues to weigh on the minds of many of the black filmmakers, executives and others interviewed by The Los Angeles Times. Many note the stark absence of black executives in studios’ ranks. The Writers Guild of America West’s Committee of Black Writers on Friday published an open letter to studios demanding that actions follow words.

The Times interviewed nearly two dozen black entertainment industry professionals, spanning directors, producers, writers, designers, agents and executives. They discussed systemic racism in Hollywood, what needs to change and their frustration with years of talk and little action.

“This conversation needed to happen for a long time about racism and race in our industry,” said Cynthia Erivo, the actor, singer and songwriter who was nominated for two Oscars for 2019’s “Harriet.” “It feels like for the first time people are listening.”

Read the full story about race in Hollywood here.


FBI launched database on police use of force last year, but only 40 percent of police participated

On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order calling for, among other things, the establishment of a database on police use of force. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans included a similar provision in their own reform bill. But the FBI already has such a database – and so far a majority of police are not participating in it.

The FBI launched that program, the National Use-of-Force Data Collection project, last year. Now, with another wave of protests against police brutality gripping the country, many police agencies have not responded to the voluntary call for information about their officers — only 40 percent submitted their data for 2019, the FBI said. And the database has yet to be published. The first report is planned for this summer.


Surrounded by law enforcement officials, President Trump signed an executive order on police reform on June 16. Associated Press/Evan Vucci

In his executive order on police reform issued Tuesday, President Trump called for “a database to coordinate the sharing of information” between law enforcement agencies on “instances of excessive use of force related to law enforcement matters,” and said that the Attorney General “shall regularly and periodically make available to the public aggregated and anonymized data from the database.” It was not immediately clear if the FBI’s Use-of-Force project will be the vehicle for that order.

Trump’s order also states that federal funds should be withheld if a police department doesn’t submit its data, as does the reform bill submitted by Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

For decades, the FBI has collected crime data from police departments across the country, in its Uniform Crime Reports, and participation there is nearly 100 percent. But as with the annual crime reports, participation in the Use-of-Force project is voluntary


After 130 years, Aunt Jemima will vanish from packaging

NEW YORK — After more than 130 years, Aunt Jemima is being removed from packaging for syrup and pancake mix.

Quaker Oats company is changing the name and marketing image of the 131-year-old Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup. The new packaging will hit shelves by the fourth quarter of 2020. The company will announce the new name at a later date.


Pepsico-owned Quaker Oats Company says that it recognized Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype and that the 131-year-old name and image would be replaced on products and advertising by the fourth quarter of 2020. Associated Press

“As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations,” said Kristin Kroepfl of Quaker Foods North America. “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”

This year, Land O’Lakes announced that it would no longer use the Native American woman who had graced its packages of butter, cheese and other products since the late 1920s.

U.S. ambassador: Nation addresses ‘shortcomings’ regarding racism, police brutality


GENEVA – A U.S. ambassador says the United States is committed to addressing its “shortcomings,” ahead of the U.N. human rights body’s discussion of systemic racism and police brutality.

Andrew Bremberg, the U.S. ambassador in Geneva, noted President Donald Trump has condemned the actions of Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Trump signed an executive order on police reform on Tuesday.

“The United States recognizes and is committed to addressing its shortcomings, including racial discrimination, and injustices that stem from such discrimination, that persist in our society,” Bremberg said in a statement. “Every democracy faces challenges — the difference is how we deal with them.”

Bremberg says the executive order was “an example of how transparent and responsive our government leaders are in holding violators accountable for their actions and reforming our own system.”

The Human Rights Council in Geneva, following a call by African nations, will discuss “racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests.”

Whereabouts of slave owner statue unknown


NEW ORLEANS — The whereabouts of a statue of a slave owner toppled by protesters in New Orleans and thrown into the Mississippi River remain unknown after a group of men fished the bust out of the water.

A video shows the group using ropes and a plank to carry the paint-splattered bust of John McDonogh out of the river and onto a pickup truck Sunday.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate the bust is “considered stolen property,” and whoever has it should contact the city regarding its return.

McDonogh left much of his money to New Orleans and Baltimore for schools, and many schools in New Orleans are named after him.

On McDonogh Day each year, schoolchildren from across the city lined up to lay flowers in a racially segregated ceremony. It was boycotted in the 1950s when African-American children would have to wait for hours for white children to lay their flowers first.

Demonstrators tear down another Confederate statue in Richmond


RICHMOND, Va. — Demonstrators in Richmond tore down another Confederate statue on Tuesday night.

The Howitzers Monument located near Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park campus was toppled after protesters spent the night marching in the rain and used a rope to pull it down from its pedestal.

A video from the Richmond Times-Dispatch shows the paint-splattered statue on the ground as the rain continued overnight in Virginia’s capital city.

It’s the third Confederate statue, and the fourth monument, to be torn down in Virginia since international protests erupted following the death of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.

Statues of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham as well as Christopher Columbus were toppled.

The protesters in Richmond started their march Tuesday night advocating for the removal of all Confederate statues, establishing a civilian policing review board and defunding the police, among other things.


The Howitzers Monument, showed a Confederate artilleryman standing in front of a gun, was erected in 1892 to memorialize the city’s Civil War artillery unit, according to the Encyclopedia of Virginia.

Pair of reporters in Oregon hurt covering protests

PORTLAND, Ore. — At least two Portland-based reporters have been hurt in recent days while covering protests against police brutality.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Oregonian journalist Beth Nakamura recounted being slammed by a baton. Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling said he was shoved into a wall by a police officer and hit by a crowd control munition.

The reporters say they identified themselves to police as press. In both incidents, the reporters were told by police, in what the journalists described as profanity-laced responses, that their press credentials did not matter.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Twitter they were alarming incidents that need to be addressed.


Police spokesperson Lt. Tina Jones says they continue to work with media partners about the importance of following lawful orders so they can stay safe and avoid arrest or altercation.

However, the media has a fundamental right to do their jobs during demonstrations.

Licensing board in Minnesota to review Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota board that licenses and set training standards for all peace officers in the state plans to review the death of George Floyd.

The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) is required to review all misconduct complaints against licensed police officers. If the complaint is ruled justified, the board can revoke any officer’s license, the Star Tribune reported.

All four Minneapolis police officers who have been charged in the May 25 death of Floyd were fired from the department, but they are still licensed Minnesota peace officers.


The POST Board has asked the court for copies of the criminal complaints against former officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, as well as former officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng, who are all charged with aiding and abetting. A witness video captured Chauvin, who is white, pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck before the handcuffed black man died in Minneapolis.

In a statement, the board said Chauvin’s actions do not reflect any training that officers receive.

“The video is troubling and disturbing and it is the Board’s position that sanctity of life must be the guiding principle for all law enforcement officers,” the statement said.

FBI Director visits Minneapolis field office

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — FBI Director Christopher Wray visited the bureau’s Minneapolis field office on Tuesday to check in on employees and get briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

Minneapolis FBI spokesman Kevin Smith said Wray came to the local office on Tuesday morning for a quick “welfare check” on employees who have been working on the civil rights investigation, as well as investigations into violent protests and civil unrest. Smith said Wray offered his support and acknowledged the office’s hard work.


Smith said Wray also got a thorough briefing on the civil rights investigation, and underscored that investigators need to move swiftly but correctly as they determine whether to charge former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao with violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and stopped moving.

Chauvin has been charged in state court with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three men are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired.

The federal investigation is ongoing.

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