Feb 6, 2019

Fairfax doubles down on denial of sexual assault allegation

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax issued a statement Wednesday again denying a sexual assault allegation from 2004 that resurfaced this week.

"I'd like to begin by emphasizing how important it is for us to listen to women when they come forward with allegations of sexual assault or harassment. ... As I have stated previously, fifteen years ago, when I was an unmarried law student, I had a consensual encounter with the woman who made the allegation. ... She in no way indicated that anything that had happened between us made her uncomfortable. ... I cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true."

The big picture: Originally, Fairfax called the allegation a smear campaign and questioned the timing of its release in the immediate aftermath of the scandal involving Gov. Ralph Northam and a racist yearbook picture, which raised the possibility that Fairfax could be elevated to the governorship. Fairfax said today that he has nothing to hide and that he wishes the woman no harm or humiliation.

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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.