July 2020 COVID 19

July 2020 COVID 19

We ended June with some States reaching the upper phases of reopening their economy, yet others, that  had opened too soon, having to go back and restrict contact.

July 1: the United States reported 49,932 new coronavirus cases, the fifth single-day case record in eight days, according to a New York Times database. North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas also hit daily records, with Texas reaching more than 8,000 new infections.

As new cases rose, states and localities reversed course on reopenings. New York City decided not to let its restaurants resume indoor service next week as originally planned. Miami Beach said that it would reinstate a nightly curfew beginning Thursday at 12:30 a.m., extending until 5 a.m., to try to curb the spread. And California shut down bars and halted indoor dining at restaurants in 19 counties that were home to more than 70 percent of the state’s population. [NYT article]

July 2020 COVID 19

532,687 COVID Deaths Worldwide

July 4: 11,364,440 cases; 532,687 deaths worldwide

132,302 COVID Deaths USA

July 4: 2,934,168 cases; 132,302 deaths in the United States

States Shatter Coronavirus Records

July 4: NPR reported that state authorities had again reported a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases.

Florida and South Carolina  both reported passing their previous single-day highs, while AlabamaTexas and a slew of others continued to reel from recent records of their own.

In Florida on July 3 alone, there were more than 11,400 newly confirmed cases of the virus. That sum shatters a record that was set in the state just a couple of days ago — around the same time that the U.S. as a whole recorded the world’s highest-ever daily tally, with more than 55,000.

In a desperate bid to curtail the latest spike in the statewide caseload, local leaders in Florida implemented a slew of measures to tamp down the weekend’s usual holiday festivities. Miami-Dade County, for one, has instituted a curfew beginning at 10 p.m. “until further notice,” while beaches across much of South Florida are closed.

July 4: the NY Times reported that the emerging clusters of infection increasingly confirm what many scientists had been saying for months: The virus lingers in the air indoors, infecting those nearby.

If airborne transmission is a significant factor in the pandemic, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation, the consequences for containment will be significant. Masks may be needed indoors, even in socially distant settings. Health care workers may need N95 masks that filter out even the smallest respiratory droplets as they care for coronavirus patients.

Ventilation systems in schools, nursing homes, residences and businesses may need to minimize recirculating air and add powerful new filters. Ultraviolet lights may be needed to kill viral particles floating in tiny droplets indoors.

The World Health Organization had long held that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that, once expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes, fall quickly to the floor.

July 2020 COVID 19

Previous COVID-19 posts:

June 2020 COVID 19

June 2020 COVID 19

374,327 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 1: 6,287,857 cases; 374,327 deaths worldwide

106,198 COVID Deaths USA

June 1: 1,837,578 cases; 106,198 deaths in the United States

June 2020 COVID 19

June 3: the NY Times reported that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine did not prevent Covid-19 in a rigorous study of 821 people who had been exposed to patients infected with the virus, researchers from the University of Minnesota and Canada are reported.

The study was the first large controlled clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that President Trump had repeatedly promoted and recently taken himself. Conducted in the United States and Canada, this trial was also the first to test whether the drug could prevent illness in people who have been exposed to the coronavirus.

This type of study, in which patients are picked at random to receive either an experimental treatment or a placebo, is considered the most reliable way to measure the safety and effectiveness of a drug. The participants were health care workers and people who had been exposed at home to ill spouses, partners or parents.

“The take-home message for the general public is that if you’re exposed to someone with Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine is not an effective post-exposure preventive therapy,” the lead author of the study, Dr. David R. Boulware, from the University of Minnesota, said in an interview.

388,441 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 4: cases, 6,597,734; 388,441 deaths worldwide

109,159 COVID Deaths USA

June 4: 1,902,768 cases; 109,159 deaths in the USA

June 4: the NY Times reported that the pandemic was ebbing in some of the countries that were hit hard early on, but the number of new cases was growing faster than ever worldwide, with more than 100,000 reported each day.

Twice as many countries had reported a rise in new cases over the past two weeks as have reported declines, according to a New York Times database. On May 30, more new cases were reported in a single day worldwide than ever before: 134,064. The increase had been driven by emerging hot spots in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Over all, there have been more than 6.3 million reported cases worldwide and more than 380,000 known deaths. More than a quarter of all known deaths have been in the United States. But the geography of the pandemic is changing quickly.

June 2020 COVID 19

402,686 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 7: 7,008,556 cases; 402,686 deaths worldwide

112,101 COVID Deaths USA

June 7: 1,988,700 cases; 112,101 deaths in the USA

June 2020 COVID 19

June 11: the NY Times reported that though they were still struggling with rising coronavirus cases, India, Mexico, Russia, Iran and Pakistan had decided they must end lockdowns and restart their economies.

402,686 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 11: 7,482,740 cases, 419,494 deaths worldwide

115,140 COVID Deaths USA

June 11: 2,066,611 cases; 115,140 deaths in the USA

June 2020 COVID 19

June 14: the NY Times reported that epidemiologists, small-town mayors and county health officials had warned for  weeks:  Once states begin to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases will follow.

That scenario was now playing out in states across the country, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West, as thousands of Americans had been sickened by the virus in new and alarming outbreaks.

Hospitals in Arizona had been urged to activate emergency plans to cope with a flood of coronavirus patients. On Sune 13, Florida saw its largest single-day count of cases since the pandemic began. Oregon had failed to contain the spread of the virus in many places, leading the governor on June 11 to pause what had been a gradual reopening.

And in Texas, cases were rising swiftly around the largest cities, including Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

432,901 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 14: 7,897,652 cases;  432,901 deaths worldwide

117,533 COVID Deaths USA

June 14: 2,142,515 cases; 117,533 deaths in the USA

June 2020 COVID 19

F.D.A. withdrew emergency approval for malaria drugs

June 15: the NY Times reported that the Food and Drug Administration said that it was revoking emergency authorization of two malaria drugs to treat Covid-19, saying that they are “unlikely to be effective.”

The drugs, hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, were heavily promoted by President Trump after a handful of small, poorly controlled studies showed that they could work in treating the disease.

June 2020 COVID 19

Inexpensive drug reduces virus deaths

June 16: the NY Times reported that scientists at the University of Oxford said  that they had identified what they called the first drug proven to reduce coronavirus-related deaths, after a 6,000-patient trial of the drug in Britain showed that a low-cost steroid could reduce deaths significantly for hospitalized patients.

The steroid, dexamethasone, reduced deaths by a third in patients receiving ventilation, and by a fifth in patients receiving only oxygen treatment, the scientists said. They found no benefit from the drug in patients who did not need respiratory support.

June 2020 COVID 19

440,390 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 16: 8,160,996 cases worldwide;  440,390 deaths worldwide

118,452 COVID Deaths USA

June 16: 2,187,671 cases; 118,452 deaths in the USA

June 2020 COVID 19

June 18: the NY Times reported that the federal government’s leadership in the coronavirus crisis had so faded that state and local health officials have been left to figure out on their own how to handle rising infections and to navigate conflicting signals from the White House.

About 800 Americans a day were still dying of Covid-19, a pace that, if sustained over the next few months, would yield more than 200,000 dead by the end of September. Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas all reported their largest one-day increases in new cases on June 16

On June 17, Oklahoma had recorded 259 new cases, a single-day record for the second day in a row, and just three days before President Trump was scheduled to hold an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa in defiance of his own administration’s guidelines for “phased reopening.”

Yet despite Mr. Trump’s assurances during a Sean Hannity interview on June 17 that the virus was “fading away,” the Trump campaign is requiring rally-goers to sign a statement waiving their right to sue the campaign if they get sick.

‘A new and dangerous phase’

June 19: the NY Times reported that the World Health Organization issued a dire warning that the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating, and noted that June 18 was a record for new daily cases — more than 150,000 globally.

“The world is in a new and dangerous phase,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the W.H.O. “Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and their economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible.”

If the outbreak was defined early on by a series of shifting epicenters — including Wuhan, China; Iran; northern Italy; Spain; and New York — it was now defined by its wide and expanding scope. According to a New York Times database, 81 nations had seen a growth in new cases over the past two weeks, while only 36 had seen declines.

Masks optional/Masks required

June 19: after the chief executive of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Adam Aron, had said on June 18 that moviegoers would not be required to wear masks at the company’s theaters when they reopen next month, AMC reversed its policy and said it will require moviegoers to wear masks at its theaters across the country, starting July 15. [Hollywood Reporter article]

June 2020 COVID 19

440,390 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June 19: 8,680,028 cases worldwide; 458,852 deaths worldwide:

118,452 COVID Deaths USA

June 19: 2,278,872 cases; 121,023 deaths in the USA.

June 2020 COVID 19

June 24: the NY Times reported that as the coronavirus pandemic hit more impoverished countries with fragile health care systems, global health authorities  scrambled for supplies of a simple treatment that saves lives: oxygen.

Many patients severely ill with Covid-19 require help with breathing at some point. But the epidemic was spreading rapidly in South Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa, regions of the world where many hospitals were poorly equipped and lacked the ventilators, tanks and other equipment necessary to save patients whose lungs were failing.

480,406 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June  24:9,382,647 cases worldwide; 480,406 deaths worldwide

123,476 COVID Deaths USA

June 24: 2,424,493 cases; 123,476 deaths in the USA.

June 24: the NY Times reported that more than two months after the United States recorded its worst day of new infections since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation reached another grim milestone as it reported 36,880 new cases.

The number of infections indicated that the country was not only failing to contain the coronavirus, but also that the caseload was worsening — a path at odds with many other nations that have seen steady declines after an earlier peak. Cases in the United States had been on a downward trajectory after the previous high of 36,739 cases on April 24, but they had roared back in recent weeks.

June 2020 COVID 19

June 25: the NY Times reported that younger people were making up a growing percentage of new coronavirus cases in cities and states where the virus was surging.

In Arizona, where drive-up sites were overwhelmed by people seeking coronavirus tests, people ages 20 to 44 accounted for nearly half of all cases. In Florida, which was breaking records for new cases nearly every day, the median age of residents testing positive for the virus dropped to 35, down from 65 in March.

In Texas, where the governor paused the reopening process as hospitals grow increasingly crowded, young people now account for the majority of new cases in several urban centers. In Cameron County, which includes Brownsville and the tourist town of South Padre Island, people under 40 made up more than half of newly reported cases.

“What is clear is that the proportion of people who are younger appears to have dramatically changed,” said Joseph McCormick, a professor of epidemiology at UTHealth School of Public Health in Brownsville. “It’s really quite disturbing.”

June 2020 COVID 19

The Month Ends on a Low Note

June 29: according to data released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of coronavirus infections in many parts of the United States was more than 10 times higher than the reported rate,

The analysis was part of a wide-ranging set of surveys started by the C.D.C. to estimate how widely the virus had spread. Similar studies, sponsored by universities, national governments and the World Health Organization, were continuing all over the world.

The C.D.C. study found, for instance, that in South Florida, just under 2 percent of the population had been exposed to the virus as of April 10, but the proportion was likely to be higher now given the surge of infections in the state. The prevalence was highest in New York City at nearly 7 percent as of April 1.

This study underscores that there are probably a lot of people infected without knowing it, likely because they have mild or asymptomatic infection,” said Dr. Fiona Havers, who led the C.D.C. study. “But those people could still spread it to others.”

480,406 COVID Deaths Worldwide

June  30: 10,439,188 cases worldwide; 508,983 deaths worldwide

128,819 COVID Deaths USA

June 30: 2,683,301 cases; 128,819 deaths in the USA.

June 2020 COVID 19

Previous COVID-19 posts:

Police Kill George Floyd

Police Kill George Floyd

With the story of Ahmaud Arbery still in the news, George Floyd, another black man, was killed while detained by police regarding a possible forgery.

Monday 25 May 2020

Monday, 25 May 2020: According to a statement from the Minneapolis Police Department, officers were called to Cup Foods to investigate reports of a forgery.

George Floyd, 46, who was suspected of attempting to spend a counterfeit $20 bill, was in his car when police arrived and ordered him to exit the vehicle.

According to police spokesman John Elder, Floyd “physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”

A Facebook user posted a video in which Floyd, 46, was killed by police outside the Cup Foods convenience store in Minneapolis, writing: “They killed him right in front of Cup Foods over south on 38th and Chicago! No type of sympathy.”

The video showed a white police office kneeling on a black man’s neck in the midst of the arrest. The man, Floyd, repeatedly tells the cop that he can’t breathe. After several minutes, the man ceases to move, yet the officer still bears down on his neck. Bystanders call for the officer to let the man go. “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one says, while another informs the officer that Floyd’s nose is bleeding and that he looks like he’s about to pass out.

Another video shows the incident from a different angle:

Police Kill George Floyd

Tuesday 26 May

Tuesday 26 May: the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating the incident, and the four officers involved were fired. “This is the right call,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said on Twitter. “Being Black in America should not be a death sentence,” he wrote on Facebook. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th last night is awful. It was traumatic. It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.”

Police Kill George Floyd

Wednesday 27 May

Wednesday 27 May: the Minneapolis police department revealed the names of the officers fired after the incident: Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng (via the New York Times). Mayor Frey called for prosecutors to file federal charges against the men at a press conference. “I want to see a charge take place,” he said. “I want to see justice for George Floyd.”

Police Kill George Floyd

Thursday 28 May

Thursday 28 May: prosecutors continued to investigate whether or not to charge Derek Chauvin. The lack of action from authorities, however, accelerated protests near the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct. Participants eventually set fire to the police precinct station, according to the New York Times. Protests also broke out in New York, Denver, Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio. Demonstrators also gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, to protest the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot by police while in her own home in March.

NBC reported that Chauvin had been the subject of several police-conduct reports — at least 12 since he started in 2001. Still, according to Minneapolis’ Communities United Against Police Brutality database — which has been cited in various reports on Chauvin’s record — he has received only a few verbal reprimands. Most of the complaints in the database are listed as “closed.”

Police Kill George Floyd

Friday 29 May

THUGS

Friday, 29 May: early in the morning, President Donald Trump denounced protesters, tweeting: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Twitter flagged the tweet with a message reading: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter had determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

This was the first time Twitter had flagged one of the president’s tweets as questionable. The move cames days after the platform added a fact-check option to some of Trump’s false tweets about mail-in voting, prompting him to threaten to close down Twitter. He then signed an executive order aimed at bolstering the government’s ability to regulate social media sites

Undeterred, the president spent the morning deriding the platform on Twitter, tweeting in the early afternoon: “The National Guard has arrived on the scene. They are in Minneapolis and fully prepared. George Floyd will not have died in vain. Respect his memory!!!”

Protesters across the country blocked highways and clashed with the police

The NY Times reported: chanting “Hands up! Don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe,” thousands of protesters gathered in cities across the country on Friday night .

  • A large crowd in Washington chanted outside the White House, prompting the Secret Service to temporarily lock down the building. Video on social media showed demonstrators knocking down barricades and spray-painting other buildings.

  • A march in Houstonwhere Mr. Floyd grew up, briefly turned chaotic as the windows of a police S.U.V. were smashed and at least 12 protesters were arrested. As a standoff continued, the police shut all roads into and out of downtown. “We don’t want these young people’s legitimate grievances and legitimate concerns to be overshadowed by a handful of provocateurs and anarchists,” the city’s police chief, Art Acevedo, said in an interview.

  • Images from news helicopters above San Jose, Calif., showed protesters throwing objects at police officers, blocking a major freeway and setting fires downtown. Mayor Sam Liccardo said in an interview that he watched from City Hall as a peaceful protest — what he called people “expressing their righteous outrage on the injustice in Minneapolis” — turned violent.

  • Demonstrators in Los Angeles blocked the 110 Freeway, marching through downtown and around Staples Center. Local television footage showed police officers clashing with a crowd suspected of vandalizing a patrol car. By 9:30 p.m., L.A.P.D. had declared all of downtown to be an unlawful assembly and was warning residents of the loft districts to stay inside.

  • The police said a 19-year-old man was killed in Detroit after someone opened fire into a crowd of demonstrators late Friday. Earlier, a small group gathered outside Police Headquarters, declaring “Black is not a crime.” The demonstration swelled to more than 1,000 protesters, who blocked traffic while marching on major thoroughfares.

  • In downtown Dallas, protesters and the police clashed during a demonstration blocks from City Hall. Protesters blocked the path of a police vehicle and then started banging on its hood. Officers eventually responded with tear gas, and a flash-bang was later heard.

  • In Portland, Ore., demonstrators broke into the Multnomah County Justice Center and lit a fire inside the building late Friday night, authorities said.

  • Hundreds of protesters converged on Civic Center Park in Denver, waving signs and chanting as Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” played over a loudspeaker. Some thrust fists in the air and scrawled messages on the ground in chalk, according to a news broadcast.

  • Protesters in Milwaukee briefly shut down part of a major highway, according to WTMJ-TV, and demonstrators shouted “I can’t breathe” — echoing Mr. Floyd’s anguished plea and the words of Eric Garner, a black man who died in New York police custody in 2014.

Police Kill George Floyd

Saturday into Sunday

A day of frustration turns into a night of fury

Saturday 30 May:  the NY Times reported that a largely peaceful day of protests descended into a night of chaos, destruction and sporadic violence overnight Saturday as tens of thousands of people poured into streets across the United States to express anger and heartbreak over the death of yet another black man at the hands of the police.

On Sunday morning, the authorities were still sorting through the smoldering wreckage as the vast scope of the unrest came into sharper focus.

Squad cars had been set on fire in Philadelphia, stores were looted in Los Angeles, police officers in Richmond, Va., were injured and hospitalized, and at least one person was killed in Indianapolis, where a deputy police chief said the department had received so many reports of shots fired that they had lost count.

Sunday 31 May

Continued Protests

May 31: NPR reported that protesters staged large-scale demonstrations across the country expressing outrage at the death of Floyd and, more broadly, anger at police brutality. Some cities, including Minneapolis, Atlanta and Seattle, saw clashes with police, buildings and cars set afire, and looting.

By evening, many demonstrations had given way to another night of violence and destruction, with protesters ignoring curfews imposed in dozens of cities. Police used tear gas and stun grenades and fired rubber bullets in attempts to disperse the crowds.

Police Kill George Floyd

Monday 1 June

Autopsies conflict

June 1: The criminal complaint supporting a murder charge for the officer, which referred to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s preliminary findings, said the autopsy had discounted traumatic asphyxia or strangulation as the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death.

Lawyers representing his family presented a very different version of how Mr. Floyd died. In their telling, three officers on the scene killed Mr. Floyd and should be held criminally responsible.

The private autopsy by doctors hired by Mr. Floyd’s family determined that he died not just because of the knee on his neck — held there by the officer, Derek Chauvin — but also because of two other officers who helped pin him down by applying pressure on his back.

The cause of death, according to the private autopsy, was mechanical asphyxia and the manner of death was homicide.

All three officers were fired last week, as was a fourth officer at the scene. [NYT article]

Trump

June 1: in his first remarks from the White House since massive protests have swept the country, President Trump said Monday evening that the looting and violent demonstrations in reaction to the death of George Floyd in police custody were “acts of domestic terror.”

Speaking in the Rose Garden as protesters and law enforcement held a tense standoff outside, Mr. Trump said he planned for a police and law enforcement presence to “dominate the streets” and said he would respond with an “overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.”

Afterwards, police officers used tear gas and flash grenades to clear out the crowd so Mr. Trump could visit the nearby St. John’s Church, where there had been a parish house basement fire Sunday night. The president stood in front of the boarded up church posing for photographs with a Bible, after the police dispersed peaceful protesters.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington criticized the president’s church visit. She said she was “outraged” that Mr. Trump went to the church “after he threatened to basically rain down military force.”

“The president used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without even asking us, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for,” she said in an interview. [NYT article]

Monday night

June 2: tens of thousands of protesters began another week of demonstrations and disturbances, returning to the streets of cities around the country despite curfew orders, threats of arrest and the words of the brother of George Floyd, who made an emotional plea for the destruction to end.

Police Kill George Floyd

Wednesday 3 June

Less violence

June 3: the NY Times reported that  for an eighth day and night, tens of thousands of people staged peaceful protests and impassioned marches across the United States, while the widespread destruction and looting that had followed demonstrations in recent days was largely absent.

President Trump called on states to bring in the military to restore order and combat “lowlifes and losers,” as an infantry battalion from Fort Bragg was dispatched to the nation’s capital as part of a broader show of force. But governors resisted the president’s entreaties, instead bolstering the police presence, changing tactics and imposing curfews to prevent people from using the protests as cover to wreak mayhem.

While demonstrators in many cities defied curfews, they did so peacefully.

No Active Duty Troops

June 3: responding to President’s Trump call for the military,  Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said that he did not think the current state of unrest in American cities warranted the deployment of active-duty troops to confront protesters.

In a Pentagon news conference, Mr. Esper said ordering active-duty troops to police American cities should be a “last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.” He said that, for now, this was not warranted.

Police Kill George Floyd

Minneapolis Police Use of Force

June 3: according to the Minneapolis’s own figures , about 20 percent of its population of 430,000 is black, but when the police get physical — with kicks, neck holds, punches, shoves, takedowns, Mace, Tasers or other forms of muscle — nearly 60 percent of the time the person subject to that force is black.

Since 2015, the Minneapolis police have documented using force about 11,500 times. For at least 6,650 acts of force, the subject of that force was black.

By comparison, the police have used force about 2,750 times against white people, who make up about 60 percent of the population.

All of that means that the police in Minneapolis used force against black people at a rate at least seven times that of white people during the past five years.

Four criminal complaints

June 3: Minnesota Public Radio reported that criminal complaints were formally filed against Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane.

According to new court documents, in addition to earlier charges officer Derek Chauvin now faces a charge of second-degree murder.  Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane, the three other former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in George Floyd’s death faced charges of aiding and abetting murder.

All four police officers were fired one day after Floyd died on Memorial Day. [NPR report]

Police Kill George Floyd

Maurice Lester Hall

June 4: the NY Times reported that Maurice Lester Hall, the longtime friend of George Floyd who was in the passenger seat of Floyd’s car when he was arrested said that Floyd had tried to defuse the tensions with the police and did not resist.

“He was, from the beginning, trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting in no form or way,” said Hall, 42, who was taken into custody in Houston on Monday and interrogated overnight by Minnesota state investigators, according to his lawyer.

“I could hear him pleading, ‘Please, officer, what’s all this for?’” Mr. Hall said in an interview with Erica L. Green of The New York Times.

Mr. Hall recounted Mr. Floyd’s last moments.

“He was just crying out at that time for anyone to help, because he was dying,” Mr. Hall said. “I’m going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face, because he’s such a king. That’s what sticks with me: seeing a grown man cry, before seeing a grown man die.”

Protests coalesce into a unified push for reforms

June 6: Demonstrations that began as spontaneous eruptions of outrage after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police two weeks ago coalesced this weekend into a nationwide movement calling for police reforms and racial justice.

Tens of thousands gathered in big cities like New York and Seattle and small towns like Vidor, Texas, and Marion, Ohio — in swelling crowds that have been multiethnic, spanning generations and overwhelmingly peaceful. The movement has also spread around the world, with protests this weekend in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. [NYT article]

Floyd Funeral

June 9: the Guardian reported that George Floyd’s life was celebrated at his funeral with eulogies that honored him as a father, brother, athlete and mentor whose death sparked a global reckoning over police brutality and racial prejudice.

Crowds descended on a church in Houston, Texas, after Floyd’s body was returned to his childhood hometown to be laid to rest in a cemetery in suburban Pearland next to his mother, whom he called out for as he lay dying with a police officer’s knee on his neck in May.

Police Kill George Floyd

NASCAR Bans Confederate Battle Flag

June 10: NPR reported that NASCAR banned the Confederate battle flag at all of its events and properties. In a  tweet, the stock car racing organization said the presence of the flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and industry.”

One of its popular drivers (and the only full-time African American racing in its top circuit), Bubba Wallace had repeatedly called for the flag’s ouster.

Police Kill George Floyd

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