Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins called on state and local officials Thursday to declare racism a public health emergency — while also urging protestors to keep "peace and calm in our streets" in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The big picture: Jenkins, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the U.S., addressed a press conference after the city's mayor, Jacob Frey, announced an "all-out effort to restore peace and security in our city" after a second night of clashes between police and protesters left one person dead.

  • The FBI and the Justice Department have opened an investigation into the case of Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes during an arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill. The incident was caught on video.
  • Four officers involved in the incident have been fired, and Frey has called for immediate charges against the officer who detained Floyd.

What they're saying:

"Until we name this virus, this disease that has infected America for the past 400 years, we will never, ever resolve this issue. To those who say bringing up racism is racist in and of itself, I say to you, if you don't call cancer what it is, you can never cure that disease. And so in an effort to try and cure this disease, I am stating exactly what everyone else has witnessed, and that is racism. 
"Today is a sad day for Minneapolis. It's a sad day for America. It's a sad day for the world. I want to remind all of the people that are in the streets protesting, you have every absolute right to be angry, to be upset, to be mad, to express your anger. However, you have no right to perpetrate violence and harm on the very communities that you say that you are standing up for. We need peace and calm in our streets, and I am begging you for that calm."
— Andrea Jenkins

Go deeper

Updated Sep 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Barr says "epidemic" of police brutality against Black people is "false narrative"

Attorney General Bill Barr denied Wednesday that there are "two justice systems" for Black and white people in the U.S., claiming in a wide-ranging interview on CNN that the idea that there is an "epidemic" of police shooting unarmed Black men is "simply a false narrative."

The big picture: Barr acknowledged that there is a "widespread phenomenon" of Black men being treated with "extra suspicion" and "maybe not being given the benefit of the doubt" by police officers, but he denied that this is the product of "systemic racism." A number of other Trump Cabinet officials and the president himself have denied that there is systemic racism in policing.

Updated Sep 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Demonstrators protest death of Black man restrained by police in N.Y.

Dozens of demonstrators in Rochester, New York, protested into the night Wednesday over an incident that saw police put a hood over the head of a Black man who died seven days later, per the New York Times.

Details: New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday her office was investigating the March 30 death of Daniel Prude. His brother said Wednesday he called police to say he was having a mental health issue. The family has called for the officers involved to be fired.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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