The police officer accused of killing George Floyd had his charge increased from 3rd degree to 2nd degree murder yesterday, and the other three police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were charged with accessory to murder and arrested. It was a significant and overdue step on the road toward justice for the Floyd family and the nation. Minnesota AG Ellison noted that it will be difficult to obtain convictions but he believes the state has a strong case.
Trump continued to take heat for his disastrous photo-op at St. John’s Church near the White House, especially for using the military to force out peaceful protesters from the area. Two days ago James Miller resigned from the Defense Science Board and accused Secretary Esper of violating his oath by going along with Trump’s photo stunt, and many wondered if any military brass would speak up in similar fashion. Yesterday we got our answer.
First, Secretary Esper surprised Washington and Trump by claiming in remarks to reporters that he didn’t know what the trip to the church was all about. Further, Esper said that bringing the military into a civilian matter like protests was wrong, and that invoking the Insurrection Act should only be done as a last resort in times of grave threat, something America is nowhere near. The remark went squarely against the Trump party line, and many are wondering if Esper will be fired soon.
Second, General George Mattis, former Trump Secretary of Defense, issued a scathing statement about Trump’s use of the military in DC, pointing out that Trump is the first president in Mattis’s lifetime who does not try to unite the country, but rather tries to divide us, saying that we have not had mature leadership in Trump’s tenure, and implying that Trump is making a mockery of the Constitution. Trump later tried to belittle Mattis despite the fact that Trump hired him and praised him constantly. Read the full statement by Mattis here:
Third, retired Marine 4-star General John Allen said, “Right now, the last thing the country needs–and, frankly, the U.S. military needs–is the appearance of U.S. soldiers carrying out the president’s intent by descending on America citizens.” He added, “We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of American democracy.”
Trump enforcer William Barr, however, continued to push for military involvement in the DC protests, and yesterday many members of law enforcement were recorded facing protesters wearing full battle gear without any badge, nametag, nor branch insignia. When asked who they worked for, all they would say was “the Department of Justice.” In other words, Barr seems to have co-opted his own military unit.
Fortunately, thanks in part to the arrest of the three officers assisting in the killing of George Floyd, protests around the nation yesterday seemed less intense, with fewer violent incidents.
Barack Obama participated in a live town hall for the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, part of the Obama Foundation, that serves black boys and young men. NPR had a good summary of the comments here:
Obama spoke about how we should be responding to the Floyd killing, and it was an extraordinary reminder of what a thoughtful, hopeful president sounds like, rather than a blustering, whining, divisive liar like Trump.
It’s also important to note that the Covid pandemic continues to ravage the nation. America saw an UPTICK in the number of cases yesterday, and several southern states including Alabama, South Carolina and Virginia all experienced a weekly rise in new cases of 35% or more. This outbreak isn’t going away, and we might in fact be seeing the beginning of a second wave as the federal government has essentially abandoned any effort to fight or contain the virus and certain states relax restrictions. Again, Trump and the feds seem to have given up and gone home, hoping that the states will deal with the mess. No more pressers, no more Doctor Fauci. It’s truly a disgraceful capitulation by an incompetent administration that will cost tens of thousands more lives.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”