Public Health Experts Who Support Of Protests On Race Grapple With Their Own Conflicting Advice
When some Americans protested shutdown measures, public health experts staunchly warned against mass gatherings. But as thousands pour into the streets to demonstrate against police violence and racial disparities, some of those same experts now say the benefit is worth the risk in terms of long-term public health gains. Meanwhile, cities and states across the country review police tactics and their implications on public health.
The Washington Post:
Political And Health Leaders’ Embrace Of Floyd Protests Fuels Debate Over Coronavirus Restrictions
The governor of Michigan attended a street protest even though it appeared to violate her own order demanding social distancing. So did Pennsylvania’s governor. Washington’s mayor for weeks had a Twitter handle that told people to “stay home” — while sharing video of protesters massing near the White House on a street emblazoned with a mural she commissioned. Months after the coronavirus forced Americans into their homes, protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody drove hundreds of thousands of people back to the streets. (Weiner, 6/11)
White Coats And Black Lives: Health Care Workers Say 'Racism Is A Pandemic Too'
In San Francisco, Dr. Maura Jones, a doctor at one of the city's largest hospitals located just 15 minutes from the Golden Gate bridge--the site of a massive protest, sees the effects of the pandemic. When her hospital, the University of California-San Francisco, gave doctors of color a day off earlier this month to reflect, grieve and use their time in the best way that they felt, Jones went out with many of her colleagues to join protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death while in police custody. (Smith, 6/12)
One Of Biotech’s Biggest Conferences Grapples With How To Talk About Race
If you’re trying to explain systemic racism to a group of scientists and biotech professionals, do it in terms they understand. Racially unjust systems are like “a mutation … in the social DNA,” said Cerevel CEO Tony Coles, speaking on a panel about race and inequality at a now-virtual conference held by the Biotech Innovation Organization, an industry trade group. (Sheridan, 6/11)
Why Rural America Is Joining The Movement For Black Lives
The list is long: Bethel, Alaska; Garden City, Kansas; Hailey, Idaho; Meridian, Mississippi; Kanab, Utah; Dubois, Wyoming. In the weeks since a Minneapolis police officer pushed his knee into George Floyd’s neck and squeezed the life out of his body, residents of dozens of small towns across the country have held demonstrations to oppose police brutality and declare that black lives matter. (Simpson, 6/12)
Kaiser Health News:
COVID-19 Batters A Beloved Bay Area Community Health Care Center
A small band of volunteers started the Marin City Health and Wellness Center nearly two decades ago with a doctor and a retired social worker making house calls in public housing high-rises. It grew into a beloved community resource and a grassroots experiment in African American health care. “It was truly a one-stop shop,” said Ebony McKinley, a lifelong resident of this tightknit, historically black enclave several miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. “And it was ours.” (Scheier, 6/12)
The Associated Press:
Experts: Police 'Woefully Undertrained' In Use Of Force
Seattle officers hold down a protester, and one repeatedly punches him in the face. In another run-in, officers handcuff a looting suspect on the ground, one pressing a knee into his neck — the same tactic used on George Floyd. The officers were captured on videos appearing to violate policies on how to use force just days after Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police, setting off nationwide protests. (Bellisle, 6/12)
U.S. Surgeon General: George Floyd 'Could Have Been Me'
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told POLITICO that he sees parallels between himself and George Floyd in his most extensive comments about the death of the unarmed black man that launched a wave of national protests. Floyd was "the same age that I am,” Adams told POLITICO’s “Pulse Check” podcast, reflecting on the 46-year-old’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police last month, which was captured on video and immediately shared around the globe. “And I look at him, and I really do think that could have been me.” (Diamond, 6/11)
POLITICO's Pulse Check:
U.S. Surgeon General: George Floyd 'Could Have Been Me'
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams joins host Dan Diamond to discuss America's dual pandemics: the coronavirus crisis and systemic racism in the health care system, and how the killing of George Floyd is affecting him personally. (6/11)
Exclusive: Most Americans, Including Republicans, Support Sweeping Democratic Police Reform Proposals - Reuters/Ipsos Poll
Most Americans, including a majority of President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, support sweeping law enforcement reforms such as a ban on chokeholds and racial profiling after the latest death of an African American while in police custody, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Thursday. (Kahn, 6/11)
The Washington Post:
D.C. Police Reform Measures Make It Easier To Fire Officers For Misconduct, Expand Civilian Review Over Force
Sweeping legislation swiftly passed by the D.C. Council this week to bring greater accountability and transparency to the District’s police force will expand civilian review, make it far easier to fire officers and tweak rules governing the use of deadly force. The department must now publicly release the names of officers involved in deadly confrontations as well as the body-camera footage of those incidents, information that before was rarely revealed. (Hermann, 6/11)
Tim Scott Wades Into The Reckoning Over Race And Police: 'I'm One Person'
Tim Scott doesn’t regularly seek out the spotlight. Yet the spotlight has a way of finding him anyway. And there might be no bigger moment so far for the South Carolina senator than this one. Scott has been tasked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to do the near-impossible: Assemble a set of reforms that responds to the national outrage over police killings of African Americans and also satisfies President Donald Trump, conservative Republicans and enough Democrats to become law. (Everett, 6/11)
Ohio Politician Fired As ER Doctor After Asking Whether 'Colored Population' More Likely To Get COVID-19 Because They Don't 'Wash Their Hands As Well'
An Ohio lawmaker was fired from his job as an emergency room doctor Thursday after he sparked a backlash by asking whether the "colored population" is more susceptible to the coronavirus because they "do not wash their hands as well as other groups." State Sen. Steve Huffman, a Republican from the town of Tipp City, asked the question Tuesday during a hearing on whether to declare racism a public health crisis in Ohio — and as hundreds of people were outside the Statehouse in Columbus protesting the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. (Siemaszko, 6/11)
The New York Times:
Ohio Lawmaker Asks Racist Question About Black People And Hand-Washing
A witness before the State Senate committee, Angela C. Dawson, the executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, instantly pushed back on Mr. Huffman’s remarks. “That is not the opinion of leading medical experts in this country,” she told him, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. On Thursday, a spokesman for TeamHealth, which employed Mr. Huffman as an emergency room doctor, said he had been dismissed for his remarks. (Bagriel, 6/11)
LA Doctor Receives 'Hundreds' Of Requests After Offering Free Medical Aid To Injured George Floyd Protesters
A Los Angeles doctor says he has received hundreds of requests after offering on social media to treat injuries suffered by protesters from law enforcement during the protests over the death of George Floyd for free. Amir Moarefi, a Long Beach-area ophthalmologist, posted on Instagram that he would provide "free health care and eye care, especially to those without any insurance" for any Californians injured by police during recent protests across the state. (Bowden, 6/11)
Los Angeles Times:
Was LAPD Force Appropriate In George Floyd Protests?
Since the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, Angelenos have turned out to protest many facets of modern policing, including the use of excessive force against the public. Witnesses have flooded social media with videos showing police responding aggressively in turn to the large and sometimes volatile protests. A Times review of social media videos from the first days of the protests found Los Angeles Police Department officers using extreme and at times violent measures against protesters, seemingly without following department protocols around the implementation and escalation of force — which themselves offer little by way of guidance. (6/11)
LA Police Union Official Fends Off Criticism And Slams Garcetti's Budget Cuts
In the two-and-a-half weeks since police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, the question of how to change policing has eclipsed almost every other topic of debate. Some of the loudest voices opposing dramatic change are from police unions.In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to cut the police budget by as much as $150 million. In a recent speech, he referred to police as "killers." In response, union directors questioned the mayor's mental health. (Shapiro and Dorning, 6/11)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Nurses Lie Outside San Francisco City Hall, Call For Health Care Reform
The Nurses for Racial Justice rally started at 7:45 p.m. — timed for nurses getting off a 12-hour shift — at CPMC Van Ness Campus. People in passing cars honked, raised fists and recorded video as the group marched along Van Ness Avenue to City Hall. The crowd cheered as a neighbor clanged together a metal spoon and pot while watching from an apartment high above the street. (Bauman, 6/11)
Black Restaurant Community Talks Next Steps For Anti-Racism
Since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25, protests have erupted in cities across the country and throughout the Bay Area. As our communities face this latest wave of racist violence in the shadow of a pandemic, the most vulnerable of our populations are put at even greater risk. Possibly at the center of all of this is food and the role it plays in dictating who can rise up and who cannot. From restaurants supplying food to protesters to its history of exploitive labor and exclusive rights to own farmland, food could be considered a medium of conversation for race and injustice. (Wise, 6/11)
These Cities Have Tried To Reform Their Police Departments. The Results Have Been Mixed
It’s a message scrawled across homemade signs and reverberating through protests across the country: Defund the police. The idea — to cut or eliminate funding to police departments — strikes some observers as extreme. But activists say the rallying cry is the only sensible course of action after decades of piecemeal reform efforts that did little to change police culture. (Krueger. 6/11)
The New York Times:
Schools Move To Eliminate Campus Police Officers
The national reckoning over police violence has spread to schools, with several districts choosing in recent days to sever their relationships with local police departments out of concern that the officers patrolling their hallways represent more of a threat than a form of protection. School districts in Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have all promised to remove officers, with the Seattle superintendent saying the presence of armed police “prohibits many students and staff from feeling fully safe.” (Goldstein, 6/12)
For People’s Breakfast, Black Liberation, Food Access And Bail Funds Intersect
The successive waves of a pandemic and a national uprising against police brutality have overwhelmed the capacity of community-based organizations. But for Oakland’s People’s Breakfast, these moments have galvanized their work. The organization first started as a food distribution program in 2017 that has since evolved to providing masks and hand sanitizer throughout the pandemic. Most recently, the Oakland founders Delency Parham and Blake Simons took action for their community by bailing out Black protesters who've been arrested in the uprisings against police brutality. (Gebreyesus, 6/11)