Ex-cop in court over Floyd’s death as ‘police-free US’ call grows

 

George Floyd's accused killer is set to make his first court appearance overnight after US cities have declared they will begin taking the extraordinary step to "dismantle" and "de-fund" their police forces to appease Black Lives Matter protesters.

Sacked Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will face a judge after Floyd was killed on May 25 when he pressed his knee on the unarmed black man's neck for nearly nine minutes.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.

It comes as a US politician advocating a "police-free future" in the US says people who expect to be able to call police when their home is broken into come from "a place of privilege".

As a new movement sweeps the US calling for police departments to be "dismantled" and "de-funded" in the wake of the George Floyd riots, left-wing Democrat politicians are calling for "militarised police forces" to be disbanded in favour of unspecified new "community safety models".

In Minneapolis, where black man George Floyd died after white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, nine of 12 members of the Minneaplois City Council have voiced support to "dismantle" the city's police department.

Interviewed on CNN yesterday, council President Lisa Bender was asked who someone would call for help in a "police-free" society if their home was broken into in the middle of the night.

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, who advocates a 'police-free' society. Picture: Supplied
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, who advocates a 'police-free' society. Picture: Supplied

"I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbours," Cr Bender replied.

"And I know that comes from a place of privilege, because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality, where calling the police may mean more harm is done.

"And so in the very immediate we have to lean into whatever changes we can make into our existing police department.

"We have done an analysis of all the reasons people call 911 and looked at ways we can shift the response away from armed police officers into a more appropriate response for metal health calls, some domestic violence calls, some health-related issues."

She dodged a question about whether the left-wing attack on police was playing into the hands of President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump tweeted: "Now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police. Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!"

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden "does not believe that police should be defunded," a spokesman for his campaign said.

Mr Biden "hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change" and "supports the urgent need for reform".

But the spokesman said Mr Biden believes providing funding is necessary to help improve policing, including by supporting "community policing programs that improve relationships between officers and residents".

George Floyd's accused killer is set to make his first court appearance after US cities have declared they will begin taking the extraordinary step to "dismantle" and "de-fund" their police forces to appease Black Lives Matter protesters.

Sacked Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will face a judge after Floyd was killed on May 25 when he pressed his knee on the unarmed black man's neck for nearly nine minutes.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.

 

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mugshot after being charged in the death of George Floyd. Picture: Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mugshot after being charged in the death of George Floyd. Picture: Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

 

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.

Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd. Picture: Darnella Frazier via AP
Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd. Picture: Darnella Frazier via AP

JOE BIDEN TO MEET FLOYD'S FAMILY IN HOUSTON

 

Joe Biden is set to meet with George Floyd's family in person - but will avoid the funeral in case his Secret Service protection causes a stir.

The former Vice President is reportedly planning to visit Floyd's grieving relatives in Houston, Texas on Monday to give his condolences in person ahead of the funeral.

But Biden is concerned that if he attends the service flanked by his security guards it may be disruptive, reported CBS News.

"Vice President Biden will travel to Houston Monday to express his condolences in-person to the Floyd family," his spokesperson said on Sunday. "He is also recording a video message for the funeral service."

 

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden will meet George Floyd’s family in Houston ahead of Floyd’s funeral. Picture: AP
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden will meet George Floyd’s family in Houston ahead of Floyd’s funeral. Picture: AP

An insider told the station that Biden feels having guards with him may cause too much of a stir during the service.

An lawyer for Floyd's family said he was welcome to attend the 46-year-old's funeral.

Their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said last week that Biden had not confirmed whether he would be attending.

Making the trip from Delaware to Texas would be the furthest Biden has gone since the COVID-19 stay-home orders commenced in March.

Last week, he delivered a speech in Philadelphia about Floyd's death in police custody and has been vocal in his support of the Black Lives Matter movement - and his criticism of the President Donald Trump.

"Our nation is at an inflection point," Biden tweeted on Sunday, after another day of protests in Washington DC and other states.

"We can choose four more years of Donald Trump's poisonous rhetoric and divisive politics - or we can take the next great step forward.

George Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd, right, and cousin Shareeduh Tate in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Joe Biden will meet with members of Floyd’s family. Picture: AP Photo
George Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd, right, and cousin Shareeduh Tate in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Joe Biden will meet with members of Floyd’s family. Picture: AP Photo

 

"Donald Trump is the worst possible person to lead us through this moment," Biden added - days after he said 10 to 15 per cent of Americans were "not very good people."

Earlier, he made a vow to Floyd's family that his death would not be in vain: "we need real police reform to ensure this never occurs again," Biden declared.

His Twitter comments come after Barack Obama's right-hand man officially sealed the Democratic nomination on Friday night.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump have a furious battle ahead. Picture: AP
Joe Biden and President Donald Trump have a furious battle ahead. Picture: AP

Trump had lashed out at his rival on Twitter this weekend as he said Biden and democrats "controlled by the Radical Left" would aim to defund the police during the civil unrest that has gripped the country.

"Sleepy Joe Biden and the Radical Left Democrats want to 'DEFUND THE POLICE.' I want great and well paid LAW ENFORCEMENT. I want LAW & ORDER!" he raged on Saturday night.

On Sunday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would be cutting the NYPD's budget while officials in Minneapolis confirmed that they intended to disband the police force there.

 

SUNDAY PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT IN SEATTLE

As cities around the US withdrew police and ended their curfews as the protests have become more peaceful, the Seattle police department were still out in force last night, using tear gas to disperse protesters.

 

 

Two days ago, Seattle police promised to not use tear gas for the next 30 days, but on Sunday night protesters could be seen fleeing from clouds of tear gas that chased them down the street, amid several explosions from flash bangs.

 

 

 

MAN SHOOTS PROTESTER IN SEATTLE

Video footage has emerged of the moment a man drove a car at George Floyd protesters in Seattle, hit a barricade then exited the vehicle brandishing a pistol.

At least one person was injured in the shocking incident.

The Seattle Fire Department said the victim was a 27-year-old male who was shot and taken to a hospital in stable condition.

 

Video taken by a reporter for The Seattle Times showed part of the scene in the city's Capitol Hill neighbourhood, where demonstrators have gathered for days near a police precinct.

Police later said the suspect was taken into custody and a firearm was recovered.

 

A man drives into the crowd at 11th and Pike, injuring at least one person, before exiting the car and brandishing a firearm in Seattle. Picture: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP
A man drives into the crowd at 11th and Pike, injuring at least one person, before exiting the car and brandishing a firearm in Seattle. Picture: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man holds a firearm after having driven at George Floyd protesters. Picture: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP
A man holds a firearm after having driven at George Floyd protesters. Picture: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP

 

 

 

 

 

ANGER OVER MAYOR'S STANCE

Minneapolis City Council has also announced its intention to completely disband the Minneapolis Police Department.

Nine of 12 councillors said they supported the move to replace it with "a new public safety model" - although there was little detail to go with the dramatic announcement.

New York City and Los Angeles also announced their intentions to cut funding to their police departments, which will pit them against powerful and angry police unions.

"This council is going to dismantle this police department," Minneapolis Councillor Jeremiah Ellison told a joyous group of protesters.

 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was humiliated when he refused to commit to disband the police force when asked at a protest rally. He was heckled and booed as he shuffled away from the rowdy mob.

US policing expert Charles Ramsey said he was disturbed by the developments.

"Will the public be safe? Criminals don't go on holiday," he said.

"The Minneapolis Police Department needs reform. But throwing it out altogether without having some other plan in place seems hard to understand."

New York ended its curfew and President Donald Trump withdrew troops from Washington DC as large protests continued, but mostly peacefully.

BRITISH PROTESTS DESCEND INTO CHAOS

Not so in the UK, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson slammed protesters who attacked police officers.

Mr Johnson denounced the "thuggery" of protesters who turned Britain's streets into chaos for a second day, with bloodied police officers targeted with bottles.

Winston Churchill's statue was defaced and a lone protester tried to set the Union Jack on fire at The Cenotaph, a major war memorial in London.

A protester attempts to set fire to the flags on the Cenotaph memorial in London. Picture: Getty Images
A protester attempts to set fire to the flags on the Cenotaph memorial in London. Picture: Getty Images

In Bristol there were scenes reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's statue being torn down in Iraq, when the figure of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader was thrown into the harbour.

Protesters also closed major roads across the UK as the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis continued.

A worker cleans the Churchill statue in Parliament Square that was vandalised. Picture: Getty Images
A worker cleans the Churchill statue in Parliament Square that was vandalised. Picture: Getty Images

"People have a right to protest peacefully and while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police," Mr Johnson said.

"These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery - and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve.

"Those responsible will be held to account."

Police were chased down the streets near Parliament Square and Downing Street, with some officers injured and bloodied in the attacks.

 

Protesters throw the Colston statue into Bristol. Picture: AP
Protesters throw the Colston statue into Bristol. Picture: AP

A police officer fell off her horse on the weekend in earlier violent protests.

Churchill's statue in London was defaced for a second day, with protesters spraying the words "was a racist" under the name of the

man regarded as a war hero in Britain.

There were fears that the protests may spark another wave of COVID-19 across the world.

The White House infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he was dismayed by images of protesters linked arm in arm - many not wearing masks.

"I get very concerned, as do my colleagues in public health, when they see these kinds of crowds," he said.

"There certainly is a risk. As I sat in front of the TV and watched the screen go from Washington, DC, to New York City, to Los Angeles, to Philadelphia, I got really concerned.

"I was going, 'Oh my goodness. I hope this doesn't set us back a lot.' After all of the work in trying to maintain the physical distance and doing all the things, I became very concerned that we might see a resurgence."

 

 

 

Originally published as Ex-cop in court over Floyd's death as 'police-free US' call grows


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