The Latest: Mpls union leader says members scapegoated

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FILE – In this July 30, 2018 file photo, Minneapolis Police Union President Lt. Bob Kroll speaks during a news conference in Minneapolis. Talk of changing the Minneapolis Police Department is everywhere in the wake of George Floyd’s death in an encounter with four officers. But real change may depend on confronting a powerful union that has resisted similar attempts for years. Local politicians and police leaders have long blamed an entrenched culture in the department and the union. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— Minneapolis union president says members scapegoated.

— North Carolina shooting leaves 2 dead, 7 wounded.

— Seattle police say person wounded in 2nd shooting in less than 48 hours.

— NYC officer suspended without pay for ‘apparent chokehold.’

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MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll called the bystander video of the death of George Floyd “horrific” while cautioning the public not to rush to judgment.

The union has been mostly silent about Floyd’s death since issuing a statement soon after he died on May 25 after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes. Kroll said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” he thinks union members are being scapegoated for incompetent department leadership.

Kroll says the union has been denied its right to review officer body-camera video. Union director Rich Walker says “any human being” watching the video knows Floyd’s arrest “should not have ended the way it did.” But Walker questioned statements that Floyd didn’t resist officers because the union hasn’t seen footage of the minutes leading up to the bystander video showed.

Police chief Medaria Arradondo said after Floyd’s death that he’s pausing contract negotiations with the union to consider major changes. Anna Hedberg, another union director, says the union had been having “great conversations” with city leaders and Arradondo before Floyd’s death.

She says it’s “dumbfounding to me that one incident, we become the scapegoat to having a bad officer.”

Ex-officer Derek Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers at the scene are charged with aiding and abetting.

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WASHINGTON — Americans overwhelmingly want clear standards for police on when officers may use force and consequences imposed on officers who do so excessively.

That’s according to a new poll from the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that finds Americans favor significant changes to the country’s criminal justice system. Americans are largely united behind the idea that action is required: 40% say it needs “major changes;” 29% think the criminal justice system needs “a complete overhaul” and 25% say it needs “minor changes.” Just 5% believe no changes are necessary.

The poll also finds there is strong support for penalizing officers who engage in racially biased policing. Americans are more likely now than five years ago to say that police violence against the public is a very serious problem and that officers who cause injury or death on the job are treated too leniently.

The survey of American adults took place after weeks of mass demonstrations against police violence and calls from some politicians and activists to “defund” police departments in response to the death of George Floyd.

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DES MOINES, Iowa —The Des Moines City Council unanimously approved an anti-racial profiling ordinance that prohibits biased policing and requires city employees to report violations by officers.

Some supporters say the vote Monday night was only a first step and officials need to take additional actions.

The ordinance prohibits discriminatory pretextual stops, in which drivers are stopped for one infraction but charged with a different infraction. Many residents who spoke before the council voted wanted all pretextual stops banned.

The ordinance also mandates additional officer training, requires city employees to report incidents of biased policing they witness and creates a board with community members that helps the city manager review data and make policy recommendations.

Daniel Zeno, policy and advocacy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, says passage of the measure was a good step. He’d also like to see a citizen oversight committee.

For years, advocates have been calling for the council to approve such an ordinance. Officials began working on the new rules following protests of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Authorities in North Carolina say a shooting at an impromptu block party has left two people dead and seven others wounded.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters early Monday the shooting happened around midnight at a block party that was a continuation of Juneteenth celebrations. Jennings said police responding to a pedestrian call found hundreds of people in the streets.

After authorities arrived, several shots were fired and the crowd scattered. Jennings said five people were hit by cars while running away from the shooting. He said there was evidence of multiple shooters.

Further details weren’t immediately available.

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SEATTLE — Police in Seattle say one person has been wounded in the second shooting in Seattle’s protest zone in less than 48 hours.

The shooting happened late Sunday night in the area near Seattle’s downtown area known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.” Police tweeted that one person was at a hospital with a gunshot wound. A hospital spokesperson says the person was in serious condition.

A pre-dawn shooting Saturday had left a 19-year-old man dead and another person critically injured. No arrests in that shooting had been made as of Sunday.

The CHOP zone is a several-block area cordoned off by protesters near a police station in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.

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NEW YORK — A New York City police officer was suspended without pay Sunday after he was recorded putting his arm around a man’s neck in what the police commissioner called an “apparent chokehold.”

The department’s action to suspend the officer was stunning in its swiftness, occurring just hours after the morning confrontation on a beach boardwalk in the Rockaway section of Queens.

A video shot by one of the men involved showed a group of officers tackling a Black man, with one of them putting his arm around his neck as he lay face-down on the boardwalk.

In the video, someone yells, “Stop choking him, bro!” The officer relaxes his grip after a fellow officer taps him and pulls on his shirt.

It was unclear whether the man who was tackled suffered more than superficial injuries. He stood under his own power after he got off the ground and refused to let medics examine him after the incident.

The NYPD has long banned chokeholds. Their use has been especially fraught since the 2014 death of Eric Garner after an officer put him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law a sweeping package of police accountability measures including a ban on chokeholds following protests over George Floyd’s killing.

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GARDENA, Calif. — Two Democratic lawmakers called Sunday for California’s Attorney General to investigate the fatal shooting of a young man by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Reps. Maxine Waters and Nanette Diaz Barragán said in a statement there’s a need for an independent investigation into the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado so the public will trust the findings.

Messages seeking comment were sent to the state Attorney General’s office and the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department. Guardado was shot Thursday after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies spotted him with a gun in front of a business near Gardena. Several hundred people gathered Sunday to protest the shooting.

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NEW YORK — The American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.

The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

The museum’s president, Ellen Futter, told the New York Times that the museum’s “community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd.”

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SEATTLE — Seattle police on Sunday pursued their investigation into a weekend shooting in a park in the city’s protest zone that killed a 19-year-old man and critically injured another person.

No arrests had been made.

An “active and ongoing” investigation was under way into the shooting, which occurred about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in an area near downtown known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone, said Detective Mark Jamieson. The suspect or suspects fled the scene, and police asked the public for any information that could identify them.

The zone evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Officers responding to the shooting said they had trouble getting to the scene because they were “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” according to a police blog.

Video released later Saturday by police appears to show officers arriving at the protest zone saying they want to get to the victim and entering as people yell at them that the victim is already gone. Police mostly retreated from the zone after clashes with protesters, KIRO-TV reported.

Private vehicles took two males with gunshot wounds to Harborview Medical Center, where the 19-year-old man died. A 33-year-old man, whose name was not immediately released, remained in critical condition Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg told KOMO-TV.

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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