23.09.2020

ALEX FROM MONTREAL PERSONAL BLOG

This blog belongs to a fully trilingual person and translator/interpreter Alexandre (Alex) Nikolaev.

First man shot death amid looting

A protester has been shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on the fourth night of unrest following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd.

It is not clear if the man was shot by National Guard – who were brought in on Saturday to quell the unrest in the city – or by a police officer. 

The man, understood to be the owner of a local barbecue restaurant, was killed shortly after midnight when a large crowd gathered in a parking lot after the ‘dusk to dawn’ 9pm curfew began.

Officers tried to break up the crowd when one person fired a shot at the police who shot back, WLKY reported.

It is unclear if the man who died is the one who first fired the shot.

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad called the man a ‘protester’, however witnesses said they were not part of the demonstrations. 

The victim would be the first person killed by an officer during the nation-wide unrest. 

Speaking at a press conference today, police chief Conrad said: ‘It’s very clear that many people do not trust the police. That is an issue we’re going to work on and work through.’

His death comes just days after gunfire wounded at least seven people at another Louisville protest against the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed by police in March. 

One person was left in critical condition. Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer said police officers did not fire the shots.

Protests have erupted up and down the country after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on unarmed George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds last week, despite Floyd’s desperate repeated pleas for help. Floyd passed out and later died. 

more videos

A protester has been shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on the fourth night of unrest following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd. Pictured: Police at the scene last night

A protester has been shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on the fourth night of unrest following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd. Pictured: Police at the scene last nightIt is not clear if the man was shot by National Guard - who were brought in on Saturday to quell the unrest in the city - or by+65

It is not clear if the man was shot by National Guard – who were brought in on Saturday to quell the unrest in the city – or by a police officer. Pictured: Police at the sceneShocking footage of the raid - taken from inside an onlookers car - shows police and national guard storming the parking lot outside a grocery store+65

Police and national guard can be seen outside the store+65

Shocking footage of the raid – taken from inside an onlookers car – shows police and national guard storming the parking lot outside a grocery storeLaw enforcement officers used the witness's car as a barricade as they crouched down - clutching guns - after a shot was fired+65

Law enforcement officers used the witness’s car as a barricade as they crouched down – clutching guns – after a shot was fired

His death is seen as a symbol of systemic police brutality against African-Americans sparking outrage country-wide.

On Sunday night, 40 people were arrested in Louisville alone after officers used tear gas to break up crowds of protesters. 

Tens of thousands of people gathered as the National Guard was deployed to over half the states in the country on Sunday for protests that have seen 4,100 people get arrested this weekend alone.

But even the threat of heavy officer presence didn’t deter protesters in Philadelphia from hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, crowds to raid stores including Coach and Chanel in New York and San Francisco, and fires being ignited mere feet from the White House. 

Late Sunday in Washington D.C. a fire was set ablaze in the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church and Lafayette Park in front of the White House. 

The demonstrations have marked unparalleled civil unrest in the US that hasn’t been seen since the 1968 assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.   https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/JQeyL/4/
AP Privacy Policy

more videos

Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd+65

Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George FloydPolice and Secret Service pictured standing guard in front of the White House as protesters edge closer on Sunday+65

Police and Secret Service pictured standing guard in front of the White House as protesters edge closer on Sunday Demonstrators pictured flipping a car over and smashing its class windows during a protest near the White House on Sunday+65

Demonstrators pictured flipping a car over and smashing its class windows during a protest near the White House on SundayA protester raises their first near a fire outside the White House as protests engulfed the country for another night+65

A protester raises their first near a fire outside the White House as protests engulfed the country for another night The historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington DC was set ablaze in protests on Sunday. Police form a line in front of the church late Sunday+65

The historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC was set ablaze in protests on Sunday. Police form a line in front of the church late SundayBy Sunday night the church was engulfed in orange flames, but it's not clear how the blaze started+65

By Sunday night the church was engulfed in orange flames, but it’s not clear how the blaze started+65

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening+65

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday eveningOver 1,000 protesters gathered around a fire ignited near the White House on Sunday evening+65

Over 1,000 protesters gathered around a fire ignited near the White House on Sunday evening

How controversial ‘no knock’ search warrants lead to the death of Breonna Taylor

It’s the stuff of nightmares: Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend were in bed when a trio of armed men smashed through the front door. Gunfire erupted, killing the 26-year-old black woman.

The three men turned out to be plainclothes police detectives, one of whom was wounded in the chaos and violence that March night. 

Taylor’s death led to protests and a review of how Louisville police use ‘no knock’ search warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without announcing their presence, often in drug cases to prevent suspects from getting rid of a stash.

Taylor’s name is one of those being chanted during nationwide protests decrying police killings of black people. The unrest began after the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded that he couldn’t breathe as a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee.

More than two months after Taylor’s death, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced last week that the police department’s use of no-knock warrants has been suspended indefinitely. Civil rights advocates are calling for a permanent ban, though Oregon and Florida are the only states that have outlawed such warrants.

Fischer changed the policy after an outcry from Taylor’s family and they sued the department and the three officers who served the warrant. The new policy requires Louisville’s police chief to sign off on all no-knock warrants before they go to a judge.

‘These changes, and more to come … should signal that I hear the community and we will continue to make improvements anywhere that we can,’ Fischer said.

The three narcotics detectives had a no-knock warrant when they busted down the door of Taylor’s apartment after midnight on March 13. They were investigating a drug dealer named Jamarcus Glover, who was arrested elsewhere the same day. Police said Glover was using Taylor’s address to receive packages they believed could be drugs. No drugs were found at her apartment.

Tom Wine, the city’s top criminal prosecutor, said he believes police knocked and announced their presence.

‘Simply because the police get a no-knock warrant does not mean they can’t knock and announce,’ Wine said last week.

But the lawsuit filed on behalf of Taylor’s mother says neighbors didn’t hear the plainclothes detectives knock or identify themselves as officers before they crashed into the apartment.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told investigators that he thought he was being robbed or that it might be an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s trying to get in. Walker told police he heard knocking but didn’t know who it was. He said he and Taylor were moving toward the door when it was knocked down, so he fired a shot that hit an officer.

Authorities had charged Walker with attempted murder but dropped the case last week. Wine said he wanted to let state and federal authorities complete their review of the shooting.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has urged city leaders to ban no-knock warrants, saying they lead to the deaths of innocent people.

A 2014 ACLU report on police militarization detailed several botched SWAT team raids as no-knock warrants were served, including one that year in Georgia that ended with a toddler in a medically induced coma.

More recently, police in Montgomery County, Maryland, shot and killed 21-year-old Duncan Lemp in his family’s home while serving a no-knock search warrant. An eyewitness said Lemp was asleep in his bedroom when police opened fire from outside his house, according to an attorney for his family. Police said Lemp, who was white, was armed with a rifle and ignored commands.

Lemp family attorney Rene Sandler said police began using no-knock warrants decades ago as a tool in the nation’s war on drugs. They have become the ‘norm’ for many kinds of criminal cases, including non-violent offenses, she said.

At least 40 cities have imposed curfews in light of the riots and violence and National Guard members have been activated in 26 states and Washington, DC. 

Washington state governor Jay Inslee was among those to send for the National Guard after vandalism and looting in multiple cities, calling the riots ‘illegal and dangerous’ but adding they should not ‘detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd’.  

In total at least five people have been killed in protest violence after gunfire rang out in Detroit and Indianapolis and in Omaha a 22-year-old black protester was killed in a struggle with a local business owner.

Two Atlanta police officers were fired Sunday after video emerged showing them using excessive force during protests this weekend, including tasing and dragging two college students from a car.

St. John’s church, which was opened in 1816, was set ablaze Sunday night in the nation’s capital, but it’s not clear how the fire started. The fire was put out shortly after 11pm.

A fire was also set in Lafayette Park, located just in front of the White House, where a protester set a US flag on fire sending smoke into the air as more than 1,000 gathered and raised their fists in solidarity.

Fury erupted even as it neared curfew in Washington DC and as police fired tear gas and pepper spray amid blazes in the capital.On Sunday alone more than 50 Secret Service officers were injured so far, a senior official said to Fox News, after rioters threw bottles and Molotov cocktails at them.  

People were seen throwing branches and fireworks into the fires as police advanced forward in a line in a bid to push back the crowds to send people home as curfew is called for 11pm local time and will lift Monday morning at 6am, as designated by Mayor Muriel Bowser. 

Before the blaze at the church broke out church officials said they were thankful that the church wasn’t hit by protests the day before.

‘We are fortunate that the damage to the buildings is limited,’ Rev. Rob Fischer, the rector of the church, said earlier on Sunday. He said that that same morning church officials had secured its valuables.  

In Manhattan a line of cops armed with plastic shields and batons were seen storming into a crowd of protesters on Sunday evening amid growing agitation. 

A circle of eight cops was seen gathering around one protester, flinging him to the ground and arresting him. Nearby also in Manhattan a car was sent up in flames Sunday evening, leaving demonstrators scrambling.

In New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter Chiara de Blaio was arrested Saturday night alongside protesters in Greenwich Village for unlawful assembly and was later released, police said. 

On Sunday stores across all boroughs were ransacked, including a Chanel in Soho and a Coach store in Midtown.

Around a dozen people were seen forcing entry into the Chanel located on Spring and Wooster after 11pm. One man was spotted leaving with four bags, as per the New York Post.

Two men fleeing the store were arrested down the block by cops who arrived two minutes after the break in.

In Los Angeles the county sheriff said people were out on the streets ‘acting like terrorists’ following a day that saw peaceful protests alongside widespread looting and store raids. 

‘The peaceful [protesters]… tend to remain peaceful but what’s embedded within them are people that are right now, they’re just acting like terrorists, trying to instill fear, damage property and loot,’ Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said to press Sunday. 

‘There’s no lawful protesters left anymore. Everybody who’s here is just trying to do damage,’ he added.  The fire grew into a massive blaze in the middle of the park, where protesters gathered and raised their fists in solidarity+65

The fire grew into a massive blaze in the middle of the park, where protesters gathered and raised their fists in solidarityPolice armed with plastic shields, bulletproof vests, and weapons pictured at Lafayette Park as demonstrators gathered for the sixth night on Sunday evening+65

Police armed with plastic shields, bulletproof vests, and weapons pictured at Lafayette Park as demonstrators gathered for the sixth night on Sunday eveningPolice officers charge forward during a protest outside the White House on Sunday+65

Police officers charge forward during a protest outside the White House on Sunday

%d bloggers like this: