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An elderly man falls after appearing to be shoved by riot police in Buffalo, New York, June 4. Photo from video: WBFO/via Reuters

One reality for black people that's becoming increasingly apparent to the rest of America: Police officers sometimes don't tell the whole truth.

Why it matters: It's no longer the word of a police officer vs. the suspect. Now it's the police officer vs. video cameras, often held by members of the communities they patrol.

The big picture: At least three big police departments have been caught in the act in just the past few weeks because of video footage, AP notes.

  • Minneapolis police initially told the public that George Floyd resisted arrest and that he died after a “medical incident during a police interaction.”
  • Buffalo police said a protester “tripped and fell.”
  • Philadelphia police alleged that a college student who suffered a serious head wound had assaulted an officer.

Reality checks, delivered by video:

  • George Floyd didn't resist arrest, and the Minneapolis police omitted the knee that a former officer placed on his neck for almost 9 minutes.
  • Protester Martin Gugino, 75, was pushed by Buffalo police officers and suffered brain damage. President Trump tweeted a conspiracy theory about Gugino today, but you can watch the tape for yourself. The man was shoved to the ground by cops, and no one stopped to help.
  • The Philadelphia officer was seen on video striking a 21-year-old Temple University student in the head and neck with a metal baton. That student was released after prosecutors saw the video and decided to pursue the officer instead.

The bottom line: Civil rights lawyer Michael Avery, who is the board president of the National Police Accountability Project, told the AP that false claims by the police had long been known to inner-city communities.

  • “But what is happening now with video, this is getting out into the larger world, into the media, into white communities, suburban communities, and people outside the affected communities are becoming more aware of what’s going on,” he said. ”It’s a completely different situation.”

Go deeper

Updated Sep 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rochester police chief fired following Daniel Prude's death

A make shift memorial at the site where Daniel Prude was arrested in Rochester, New York. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Monday she's fired Police Chief La'Ron Singletary and suspended two others following protests over the police killing of Daniel Prude, a Black man says after being hooded and held down by local police.

Why it matters: The firing of Singletary comes almost a week after he announced his retirement. Activists have called for Singletary's resignation after details of Prude's March death surfaced recently, the Democrat and Chronicle notes. Warren accused Singletary of failing to properly brief her on the killing.

2 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).