George Floyd cop demands charges against him be dropped
The George Floyd cop who "tried to have Derek Chauvin turn him over" has asked for his charges to be dropped.
Thomas Lane's lawyer, Earl Gray, filed the motion to dismiss the charges (full report below).
New York birdwatcher will refuse to co-operate with prosecutors against a woman known as "Central Park Karen" who falsely told police the man was attacking her.
Christian Cooper, 57, used his phone to take video footage of Amy Cooper (no relation), 41, telling cops he was threatening her after he asked her to put her dog on a leash.
The video went viral and led to widespread condemnation of Amy and the labelling of her as a "Karen" - a term referring to an entitled white woman. The term is also used on social media to describe bigoted white women who unnecessarily call police on people of colour.
She was sacked from her job as a head of insurance portfolio management at Franklin Templeton as the storm of controversy grew against the background of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Police also took a dim view of her actions when it became clear that despite filming her, Mr Cooper never threatened her and even encouraged her to call the police as the incident continued.
Ms Cooper was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, which police said they regard as a serious matter.
But Mr Cooper said he believes the woman has already paid a high price for her actions and he will not be assisting prosecutors.
"On the one hand, she's already paid a steep price," Mr Cooper told the New York Times.
"That's not enough of a deterrent to others? Bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.
"If the DA feels the need to pursue charges, he should pursue charges. But he can do that without me."
Announcing the charges, Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, said: "Our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
"We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable."
Ms Cooper was issued a desk appearance ticket and will be arraigned on October 14.
Mr Cooper, a Harvard graduate who works in communications, has long been a prominent birdwatcher in the city and is on the board of the New York City Audubon Society.
He said he accepted Ms Cooper's apology, which she issued through a public relations firm.
During the incident on May 25, Ms Cooper was asked by birdwatcher Mr Cooper to put her dog on a leash, as park guidelines dictate.
In a Facebook post, he claimed the dog was "tearing through the plantings" in the Ramble area of the park, and told her she should go to another part of the park.
When she refused, he pulled out dog treats, causing her to shout at him to not come near her dog.
Ms Cooper then called the police, adopting a hysterical tone when talking to the operator and demanding that officers respond because she was being threatened.
"I'm in the Ramble, there is a man, African-American, he has a bicycle helmet and he is recording me and threatening me and my dog," she said hysterically to the 911 operator as she gripped her dog's collar tightly.
"I am being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately!"
The development comes as San Francisco looks to take aim against so-called "Karens" - by introducing an ordinance making it illegal to report bogus "racially biased" calls to cops.
City Supervisor Shamann Walton said he introduced the CAREN Act - or the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act - during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting in response to several high-profile 911 calls involving people of colour.
"This is the CAREN we need," Walton tweeted, adding that "racist 911 calls" are unacceptable.
The ordinance would amend San Francisco Police Code to make it unlawful for anyone to "fabricate false racially-biased emergency reports".
COP CHARGED OVER DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD WANTS TO WALK FREE
The George Floyd cop who "tried to have Derek Chauvin turn him over" has asked for his charges to be dropped.
Thomas Lane's lawyer, Earl Gray, filed the motion to dismiss the charges, the Star Tribune reported.
The lawyer said that there is not enough evidence to establish probable cause that Lane committed a crime, according to the outlet.
Gray has previously argued about the charges as he said that the officer asked if they should turn Floyd over.
Lane is one of the four Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd - who died on May 25 after a Minnesota cop knelt on his neck.
Last month, he posted bail and was released from prison.
NEW VIDEO SHOWS COP IN TENSE STANDOFF WITH NY FAMILY
Meanwhile, new shocking video has emerged once more apparently showing police using extreme force against a suspect in highly emotional, charged circumstances.
The disturbing video has emerged of a cop in Schenectady - about 300km north of Manhattan - punching a man and kneeling on his neck during a violent altercation that drew comparisons to the Minneapolis police arrest of George Floyd, who died after being unable to breathe, according to a report.
Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud, 31, a member of the upstate city's Guyanese community, told the Daily Gazette that he was stopped Monday by police investigating a report that his neighbour's tires had been slashed.
He said he told the unidentified officer to provide evidence and began walking away.
"Put your hands behind your back!" the cop orders as he pulls out a pair of handcuffs, according to the footage shot by the man's father, Jaindra, who was ordered to move back during the encounter.
"Put your hands behind your [expletive] back!" the officer yells as he lifts Yugeshwar's leg and begins punching him in the torso as he appears not to move.
As the officer delivers the blows, his father and wife yell in protest.
"You got the foot on his head!" Jaindra shouts. "You've got the foot on his head!"
Two additional officers finally show up and place him in handcuffs. Only then does the first cop remove his knee from Gaindarpersaud's neck area.
Police Chief Eric Clifford defended the officer's actions, saying Gaindarpersaud was resisting arrest "both actively and passively" and was ignoring orders.
"The goal of law enforcement during a combative encounter should be to gain control of the subject, situation and achieve custody without causing injury," Clifford said, according to the Gazette.
"At no time did the officer attempt to impair Mr. Gaindarpersaud's breathing or blood circulation. The officer was alone and attempting to gain control of the continually struggling Mr. Gaindarpersaud," he added.
CAR SLAMS INTO WOMAN IN SHOCKING VIDEO FROM VIDEO
WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE
Video taken during a protest in the US over the weekend has captured the moment a car slammed into a woman and drove off with her on the hood.
At least two protesters were struck, reported local Indiana station, WRTV-TV.
It comes as violence continues to escalate across the US amid racial tensions and Black Lives Matter protests and the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
The protesters were calling for the arrests of a group of white men in an alleged attempted lynching of a black man in the town of Bloomington.
The alleged incident happened on July 4 in which several people hurling racial slurs pinned a black man down.
Vauhxx Booker, a civil rights activist in Bloomington, detailed the incident in a harrowing Facebook post.
"I don't want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching," he wrote. "I don't want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can't be hidden or avoided."
As he and a friend cut through some woods to a public area around Monroe Lake to see the lunar eclipse, they were stopped by a large, "seemingly drunk" man in a Confederate hat, he said, adding that he could only describe the July 4 attack as a hate crime.
"I was attacked by five white men (with confederate flags) who literally threatened to lynch me in front of numerous witnesses," Booker wrote.
It was a group hanging out in the woods, blocking access to the public beach, and claiming to own the land, he said. When he and his friends tried to leave after talking to them, five large men jumped him, piling on, pinning his arms behind his back and threatening to break them.
So this just happened IN Bloomington, Indiana... a lady was hit by this car and the driver sped off. WITH HER STILL ON THE HOOD. pic.twitter.com/H4GdqoNVJl— Rodney C. Root (@RodCRoot) July 7, 2020
They dragged him and pinned his body against a tree, he said, ripping out some hair and at one point jumping on his neck.
"At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck," he wrote. "I could feel both his feet and his full body weight land hard against my neck."
That's when people started filming, videos that Booker also posted and The Bloomingtonian combined into a single YouTube video - clips disturbing enough that Booker cautioned his friends and family they "may not want to watch."
Police arrived at the scene and declined to press charges against the men, despite the videos and first-hand accounts by numerous witnesses, including those who had separated Booker from his attackers.
Talking with #VauhxxBooker.— Cameron Ridle (@CameronRidle) July 6, 2020
He is the man seen in a viral video being attacked by a group of men as they push him up against a tree.
He thought he was going to be lynched. He said he thought he was listening to the plans of his murder as his attackers said “get a noose.” pic.twitter.com/MrH0HBkSBf
"I lack the ability to adequately express my thoughts regarding this moment," Booker wrote. "How many Black people had the same surreal and terrifying experience of strangers talking about their own murders in front of them, who then didn't live to see another day."
On Monday (local time), hundreds of people gathered outside the Monroe County Courthouse in Bloomington to demand arrests.
Police said an investigation is under way.
"The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division is working diligently with the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office to ensure a lawful resolution," the DNR told the Indianapolis Star. "This matter remains under investigation, and no further information will be released at this time."
MAN GUNNED DOWN ON NYC STREET IN FRONT OF HIS DAUGHTER
Meanwhile, harrowing surveillance footage captured the moment a man was fatally shot while crossing a New York street - hand-in-hand with his four-year-old daughter.
The video opens with Anthony Robinson approaching a crosswalk in the Bronx around 5:50pm (7.50am AEST) on Sunday, reports the New York Post.
Clasping his young daughter's left hand in his right, Robinson, 29, stops at a crosswalk to eye a dark car slowing next to them, appearing to check whether the driver was turning into their path.
But the driver continues to roll along next to father and daughter as they cross the street, the video shows.
Nearly out of the crosswalk, Robinson turns as though to say something to his daughter - leaving his back to the sedan.
The shooter then sticks a handgun out of the passenger's window and opens fire, striking Robinson in the chest.
As Robinson crumples to the pavement, his terrified daughter takes off running down Sheridan Avenue, apparently unharmed, the footage shows.
Robinson, a resident of East New York, Brooklyn, was pronounced dead at BronxCare Health System.
His murder was one of eight across the city on a bloody July 4th holiday weekend in New York, his shooting one of at least 49.
Police have yet to make an arrest in the case.
'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH' AFTER YOUNG GIRL SHOT DEAD
It comes as Atlanta remained on edge after the shooting death of an eight-year-old girl over the weekend.
Secoriea Turner was killed, police said, after an armed group stopped her family's car near the Wendy's restaurant where black man Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police last month.
"You killed your own - you killed your own this time," her father, Secoriya Williamson, said. "You killed a child. She didn't do nothing to nobody."
"I am asking you to please honour this baby's life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said.
Mayor Bottoms & Interim Chief Bryant speak on 8-year-old murdered over the holiday weekend. https://t.co/iCjls5QC47— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) July 5, 2020
"Enough is enough. We have talked about this movement that is happening across America at this moment in time when we have the ears and the interest of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change."
Mayor Bottoms' sentiments were echoed throughout the US as a number of children have died in recent days in a surge of gun violence.
TRUMP IN WAR OF WORDS WITH SPORTS STAR
On Monday, a war of words erupted between Donald Trump and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace after the US President demanded the star "apologise" over a "hoax" noose that was found in his garage stall.
Wallace, the sport's only black driver, accused the US President of spreading "hate".
"Has @BubbaWallace apologised to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?" Mr Trump said on Twitter on Monday (local time).
Wallace responded soon after with a statement, saying, "Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it's HATE from the POTUS."
NBA superstar LeBron James backed Wallace up. "Right HERE too with you!!" James replied. "As well as the next generation who follows in my footsteps! Kings and Queens."
The garage door pull-rope fashioned like a noose - widely seen as a symbol of lynchings in the American South - sparked outrage when it was found but the FBI concluded it was not the result of a hate crime.
Dozens of Wallace's fellow drivers staged a demonstration against bigotry but the FBI probe discovered that the rope had been hanging in the stall months before the June 23 race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
Mr Trump also spoke out on Monday (local time) about US sports franchises considering changing their Native American-themed team names - ahead of November's presidential election.
The noose discovery was made shortly after Wallace had successfully campaigned for a ban on flying the controversial Confederate flag at NASCAR, a popular sport with conservative Americans.
Mr Trump also claimed in his tweet that the ban and the noose controversy had "caused lowest ratings EVER!"
NASCAR president Steve Phelps noted after the inquiry had finished that "the noose was real" and "our initial reaction was to protect our driver." "In hindsight, I should have used the word 'alleged' in our statement," said Mr Phelps.
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Mr Trump also took aim at the NFL after the governing body of America's National Football League backed a decision by the Washington Redskins to launch a "thorough review" of the team's name, which is a term for Native Americans that is seen as a slur.
Major sponsors such as Nike, PepsiCo and FedEx have finally put pressure on the organisation to reconsider its name after years of protesting.
But Mr Trump was not impressed.
"They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct," Mr Trump said via Twitter.
"Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!"
The United States has been up-ended by coast-to-coast protests since the May killing of African-American George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
The demonstrations have seen attacks on symbols of the country's slave-holding history such as the Confederate flag and statues of Confederate generals.
Mr Trump has branded the movement a "left-wing cultural revolution" and an assault on American "heritage," and vowed to resist it.
The White House slammed the media over the Wallace clash, saying reporters were "mischaracterising" Mr Trump's words.
"The intent of the tweet was to stand up for the men and women of NASCAR and the fans, and those who have gone in this rush to judgment of the media to call something a hate crime, when in fact the FBI report concluded this was not an intentional racist act," Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
Ms McEnany also declined to say whether Mr Trump agrees with NASCAR's decision to ban the rebel-themed flag, saying the president has not made a judgment "one way or the other."
MOMENT CAR STRIKES BLM PROTESTERS
A young Black Lives Matter protester has died after a man drove through a small group of demonstrators in Seattle on the July 4 weekend.
Summer Taylor, 27, died hours after a man in a white Jaguar drove through a closed section of a freeway at 1.40am on Saturday (local time), hitting her and another woman, Diaz Love, who was left seriously injured.
The shocking incident was caught on surveillance video which shows the vehicle speeding down the freeway and swerving around a car before striking the two women and launching them into the air.
The driver fled the scene but was later arrested.
"Very candidly, we don't know, at this point in the investigation, what the motive was, what the reasoning was," Capt. Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol said at a news conference.
Seattle has been the site of protests for weeks since the killing of George Floyd on May 25 and the I-5 freeway had been shuttered due to protest-related activity.
Activists in the city briefly drove out cops from much of downtown to establish a police-free "autonomous zone" which swiftly became the site of much violence.
Protesters were driven out of the encampment this week.
It come as more than two dozen people were shot, two fatally, overnight in New York City on a violent July 4th weekend.
Nearly 30 people in total were shot but the NYPD wasn't able to immediately provide the exact number of shootings, the New York Post reported.
The July shootings come on the heels of a violent June in the city.
With a total of 205 shootings during the month, it was the bloodiest June in 24 years - going back to 1996, when the NYPD logged 236 incidents, the NYPD said.
It comes as violence and protests, some of which descended into anarchy, gripped the nation in response to the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd by police officers.
The most recent bloodshed occurred in Seattle when a car ploughed into protesters, hitting two young women and critically injuring them.
It has been reported that Summer Taylor, one of the women struck by the speeding car, has died from her injuries.
A group of people protesting in support of Black Lives Matter had peacefully gathered on a closed stretch of highway in Seattle on Saturday night when a car got onto the road and appeared to deliberately run down two of the activists.
Taylor died from her injuries sustained in the hit and run, while the other person remains in serious condition in the ICU.
I talked to Katelyn Hoberecht, vet clinic co-worker of Summer Taylor, dead at 24: “Staying out all day and night (at the protests) while still working full time taking care of animals . . .the most ecstatic human being I have ever met . . ." https://t.co/Lj8iwpet8m pic.twitter.com/ifCxWR3JDI— Erik Lacitis (@ErikLacitis) July 5, 2020
US President Donald Trump told Americans that the country was getting ready to fight its way out of the coronavirus pandemic at the end of an Independence Day marked by a sombre national mood and ongoing political protests.
In an online video message, Mr Trump said: "We got hit with this terrible plague from China, and now we are getting close to fighting our way out of it."
But new virus data told a different story, with the daily infection rate hitting a new high of 57,683. More than 132,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the first confirmed case in the US on January 21.
Mr Trump was also criticised for claiming, during a speech on the White House Lawn, that 99 per cent of coronavirus cases were "totally harmless"
The President struck a more aggressive tone in a speech delivered earlier in the day at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, where he slammed "cancel culture" and "left-wing fascism".
In a wide-ranging 20-minute speech, Mr Trump condemned what he described as a "merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children".
"This monument will never be desecrated," he said, referring to Mount Rushmore.
"Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders and unleash violence in our cities," he said.
"They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But they don't know they are strong and won't allow its history and culture to be taken from them."
The Republican leader also took aim at the so-called "cancel culture" as a "radical assault" on America.
"There is a new far left fascism that demands absolute allegiance," he said.
"If you do not follow its commands you will be censored and punished. That's not going to happen to us.
"We will not be tyrannised. We will never surrender the spirit of July 4th 1776."
Mr Trump's remarks were matched by equal passion on social media, with celebrities including Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian making pointed political statements about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Usually a day of mass celebration, July 4 was a more subdued affair this year, with many Americans warned to stay home and keep celebrations small due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Beaches in California and Florida were closed as the states experienced big surges in new cases.
President Trump's July 4 celebrations were disrupted by protests and a positive coronavirus test for another member of the President's inner circle.
Protesters blocked an access road to Mount Rushmore before he delivered his speech.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for COVID-19 while in South Dakota.
Guilfoyle, who has also acted as a fundraiser for President Trump, had been expected to attend the Mount Rushmore event.
However, Guilfoyle, who is asymptomatic, has not been in direct contact with the president and did not fly on Air Force One.
The protest group was mostly Native Americans protesting that South Dakota's Black Hills were taken from the Lakota people against treaty agreements.
One group parked three vans across the road and took the tires from two of them to make it more difficult to remove them. Several demonstrators climbed on top of the vans chanting "Land back!"
Police warned the protesters to disperse but didn't take any immediate action against them.
The sheriff's office said attendees had been told to arrive early to avoid the roadblock. However, some motorists who had tickets for Friday evening's fireworks show were unable to get through the protests and were standing by their cars watching the standoff.
Police in riot gear as well as members of the National Guard arrived on the scene and declared the group an unlawful assembly.
Mr Trump's speech was followed by a firework display above the iconic monument. A reported 7000 tickets were distributed for the event, and South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem promised social distancing guidelines would not be enforced.
Originally published as George Floyd cop demands charges against him be dropped
They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct. Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020