President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Tuesday that will encourage police departments in the U.S. to “meet the most current professional standards for the use of force.”
Amid calls for police reform across the nation, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday night to ban police from using tear gas and pepper spray. The vote comes after officers defied Mayor Jenny Durkan’s promise to not use tear gas on protesters in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Also Monday night, three New York Police Department officers were hospitalized after complaining of not feeling well after drinking shakes from a Manhattan restaurant, with the NYPD’s labor union claiming that the officers were “intentionally poisoned.”
A closer look at some recent developments:
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to ban police from using tear gas and pepper spray.
A hospital in California’s capital city of Sacramento removed a statue of John Sutter, who enslaved Native Americans, from outside its building.
Nineteen Atlanta officers resigned this week amid ongoing unrest in the city.
While fighting back tears in a press conference in Atlanta, Rayshard Brooks’ widow Tomika Miller said: “There’s no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what has been done.”
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3 NYPD officers hospitalized after drinking shakes from Shake Shack
The New York Police Department is investigating whether three of its officers were poisoned after drinking milkshakes on Monday night at a Shake Shack restaurant in Manhattan.
The officers complained of “not feeling well” before being hospitalized and later released, the NYPD said in a statement to USA TODAY, and Shake Shack said via Twitter that it was “horrified” and working with police.
The Detectives’ Endowment Association, the labor union that represents 20,000 active and retired New York City Detectives, condemned the incident as an attack on police, claiming on Twitter that the officers were “intentionally poisoned by one or more workers.”
Seattle City Council votes to ban police from using tear gas, pepper spray
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday night to ban police from using tear gas, pepper spray and several other crowd control devices after officers repeatedly used them on mostly peaceful demonstrators protesting against racism and police brutality.
The 9-0 vote came amid frustration with the Seattle Police Department, which used tear gas to disperse protesters in the city’s densest neighborhood, Capitol Hill, just days after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best promised not to.
The council heard repeated complaints from residents forced out of their homes by the gas even though they weren’t protesting; one resident said his wife doused their child’s eyes with breast milk.
A federal judge on Friday issued a temporary order banning Seattle police from using tear gas, pepper spray, foam-tipped projectiles or other force against protesters, finding that the department had used less-lethal weapons “disproportionately and without provocation,” chilling free speech in the process.
California hospital removes John Sutter statue from outside its building
Amid calls to remove controversial historic monuments nationwide, a hospital in California’s state capital removed a statue of John Sutter sitting outside of its building on Monday, KCRA reported.
Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento removed the statue “out of respect for some community members’ viewpoints,” according to a statement.
“There are important conversations happening across the country about the appropriate representation of statues and monuments, and we look forward to listening to and participating in future conversations about how our own community may display artwork from the different communities and individuals that have played important roles in Sacramento’s history,” the statement read.
Sutter was a Swiss-German who enslaved Native Americans and built the Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park in 1841, which is directly across the street from the hospital.
Donald Trump to sign order to encourage police to limit deadly force
Under political pressure over protests against police brutality, President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Tuesday that encourages law enforcement agencies to adopt high standards for the use of deadly force.
“We want law and order and we want it done fairly, justly, and we want it done safely,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday, declining to provide details ahead of a formal signing ceremony.
Trump and his staff developed the executive order amid protests in cities nationwide in response to a series of police killings, particularly last month’s death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The White House was itself the scene of protests in the week following Floyd’s death. The order comes down as Trump, down in pre-election polls to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, faces criticism over his handling of nationwide protests over Floyd’s death.
– David Jackson
19 Atlanta officers resign as morale falls after Rayshard Brooks shooting
Nineteen Atlanta Police officers have resigned in the last week amid unrest in the city following the tasing of two college students by APD officers, and most recently the killing of Rayshard Brooks.
Police Chief Erika Shields also stepped down after the shooting of Brooks, who was stopped Friday night at a Wendy’s due to suspicion of drunk driving.
Prior to the announcement of the resignations, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced reforms to the police department by limiting the use of force through executive orders.
“The morale is bad right now,” the mayor said, according to Fox 5 in Atlanta. “My understanding is it is really bad.”
– Autumn Schoolman
California authorities will further review hanging death of Robert Fuller
Los Angeles County officials acknowledged Monday that community pressure and voices nationwide against racial inequality prompted them to take another look at the circumstances surrounding the death of Robert Fuller, a Black man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California.
The authorities initially indicated the death of Fuller, 24, appeared to be a suicide. Fuller’s family has challenged that contention, and hundreds of protesters turned out Saturday for a march starting at the park where his body was discovered June 10, across the street from City Hall.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 260,000 people had signed an online petition demanding a full investigation. At a Monday news conference, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the civil rights division of the FBI would monitor the Fuller investigation in an effort to make sure “that we leave no rock unturned.”
– Jorge L. Ortiz and Lorenzo Reyes
Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller: ‘Long time before this family heals’
While speaking at a press conference alongside several other family members and family attorney L. Chris Stewart, Tomika Miller, Brooks’ widow, fought back tears and thanked the Atlanta community for an outpouring of support over the weekend.
“There’s no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what has been done,” Miller said. “I can never get my husband back. I can never get my best friend. I can never tell my daughter: ‘Oh, he’s coming to take you skating,’ or for swimming lessons. It’s just going to be a long time before I heal. It’s going to be a long time before this family heals.”
Miller asked protesters to remain peaceful during demonstrations “because we want to keep his name positive and great.”
Stewart said that another customer who was at the Wendy’s drive-thru sent him an image of a stray bullet hole that struck the customer’s car when the Atlanta police officer fired at Brooks.
“There could have been more casualties,” Stewart said. “That’s what happens when you fire in a crowded parking lot.”
Stewart also thanked actor and comedian Tyler Perry for his offer to pay for Brooks’ funeral services.
Breonna Taylor’s legacy could be an end to no-knock warrants
Louisville’s ban on no-knock search warrants, the kind used in the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, may be the start of something bigger. State Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, said she expects to prefile within the next week a bill to ban no-knock warrants in Kentucky. And U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has already said is filing a bill he’s calling the “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act” that effectively would end no-knock warrants in the U.S.
Police investigating a drug case obtained a warrant with a no-knock provision for Taylor’s apartment, though officials have said that officers knocked before crashing through the door. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker has said he did not hear anyone announce that they were police, and fired at what he thought were intruders. Taylor was killed in the ensuing gunfight. No drugs were found.
– Matt Mencarini, Louisville Courier Journal
More on protests:
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks updates: Donald Trump executive order