Mar 2, 2020 - Technology

Commerce Department official at center of 5G battles resigns

Photo: Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Commerce Department official Earl Comstock, who rankled others in the Trump administration on telecom policy issues including 5G, is resigning effective Friday, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Comstock was a controversial figure at the center of battles over how to free up airwaves for 5G as well as the administration's overall direction on the next-generation wireless networks. The friction has repeatedly spilled out in public and led to the resignation of Commerce's top telecom official last year.

What they're saying: In a statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross thanked Comstock for the three years he served as the director of policy and strategic planning.

  • "I value his wise counsel, his deep policy expertise, his innovative thinking and leadership, and I thank him for his service to the American people," Ross said in the statement. "I know he will excel in whatever new role he takes on and wish him the very best."
  • The Commerce Department declined further comment.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,945,737— Total deaths: 365,368 — Total recoveries — 2,515,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,747,087 — Total deaths: 102,836 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  5. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

Deaths without consequences

Community organizations and activists demand police accountability at a rally in Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Mike Brown's death by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Seven years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail.

The big picture: The Minneapolis police officer who was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — which is already a step beyond the consequences other police officers have faced. But it's no guarantee that he will face jail time.

Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd