Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Minnesota AG gives update on George Floyd case … Flint implements police reforms … Confederate monument removed in Birmingham.
Federal law enforcement will help investigate the Louisville police officers who shot and killed David McAtee, a black business owner, early Monday morning. Police and National Guard soldiers said they were trying to break up a crowd of protesters who were out after the city’s 9 p.m. curfew when someone fired a gun and officers shot back. On Tuesday, Louisville police released store video and said that McAtee “appears to fire at the officers” outside his BBQ stand as officers advanced with pepper spray. Interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder noted the video "does not answer every question," particularly why McAtee would have fired a gun. Schroeder is serving as chief because Mayor Greg Fischer fired former Chief Steve Conrad on Monday after it was revealed that the two officers involved in the shooting had deactivated or were not wearing their body cameras. "This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated,” Fischer said. The mayor on Tuesday noted that the video of McAtee is hard to watch. "David was well-known in the community and loved by many, including many of our police officers that frequented his restaurant," Fischer said. Many of those in attendance at the BBQ stand early Monday morning denied that there was a protest, saying that the crowd of people was composed of customers waiting in line for food. McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, said that her son died protecting his niece from police gunfire, and described him as a "community pillar” who often let police eat at his barbeque stand for free. “He left a great legend behind. He was a good person,” Riley said. “All he did on that barbecue corner is try to make a dollar for himself and his family. And they come along and they killed my son.” [Courier-Journal; CBS News; NPR; The Cut]
GEORGE FLOYD CASE | Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Monday night that he will "hold everyone accountable” who was involved in the death of George Floyd, who died when a police officer kneeled on his neck while other officers held down his back and legs. "We are looking very carefully at holding everybody accountable who failed to do their duty and fell below the legal requirements of their position, or did something affirmatively that would be in violation of the law," Ellison said. He did not comment on what decisions his office might make with regards to charges or prosecution. Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned Floyd with his knee, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. [CNN]
POLICE REFORM | The mayor of Flint, Michigan announced on Monday that the city is creating a Black Lives Matter Advisory Council for the Flint Police Department. The measure was announced with several other police reform efforts following widespread protests in the city. "Black lives matter,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley. "We have to work together for a better tomorrow. Today, action will take place in the city of Flint—not just talk but real action." [WJRT]
MONUMENT REMOVED | The city of Birmingham, Alabama took down a Confederate monument late Monday night after protesters tried unsuccessfully to tear it down on Sunday. The monument had stood in front of Birmingham City Hall for 115 years. Activists have asked for it to be removed for years. [AL.com]
MEAL PROGRAM | Chicago Public Schools announced that it would restart its grab-and-go meal program after the initiative was suspended on Monday due to “the evolving nature of activity across the city.” So far, 300 schools have handed out more than 13 million meals during the coronavirus pandemic. Community organizations stepped in to provide thousands of meals when the program was suspended. [Block Club Chicago]
Emma Coleman is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.