President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday accused US authorities of treating pro-Trump protesters more leniently than anti-racism demonstrators who were forcibly dispersed by police in Washington last year.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday… they wouldn’t have been treated very, very different than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said.
“We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable.”
‘Darkest days’ in US history
The President-elect assailed Donald Trump a day after pro-Trump rioters smashed their way into the Capitol, saying the outgoing leader had caused one of the “darkest days” in US history.
“He unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset,” Biden said.
Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol was “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation,” he added.
“The evidence provided solid rationale for termination,” said Columbus police chief Thomas Quinlan. “Mr Coy will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill.”
Hill, who was not armed at the time of the shooting, was the second African-American killed by police in less than three weeks in Columbus.
“Andre Hill’s death is another tragic example of the tendency of police to view Black people as criminal or dangerous, and it points to the need for comprehensive, national police reform,” said Ben Crump, a lawyer who has represented the families of several of the victims of police killings, including that of George Floyd, whose death in May triggered the biggest wave of racial protests in decades.
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar defended the decision of his team and Istanbul Basaksehir to walk off the pitch in this week’s Champions League match following alleged racist remarks by an official, as the world’s most expensive player stated racism “has no place in football or in life”.
“What happened was unacceptable. In the times we live in we cannot accept differences being made like that about colour or race,” Neymar told French broadcaster RMC Sport after scoring a hat-trick when the game was restarted on Wednesday, with PSG winning 5-1.
“It has no place in football, or in life, or in any sport, so our attitude was perfect.”
The match in Paris was halted in the 14th minute on Tuesday as a row erupted amid accusations the Romanian fourth official had used a racist term to describe Basaksehir’s Cameroonian assistant coach, Pierre Webo.
With Basaksehir refusing to come back out unless the official was removed, the game was played to a finish 24 hours later with a new refereeing team.
Meanwhile, European football’s governing body UEFA has opened an investigation into the unprecedented incidents.
“Sometimes in extreme circumstances these things need to be done to see if the world can change a little,” said Neymar, who together with other players took a knee before the restart on Wednesday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘The fault of one person’
PSG had already qualified for the last 16 before the restart, but they needed to beat Basaksehir to finish top of their group and Kylian Mbappe scored their other two goals in a one-sided game.
Neymar added: “Yesterday I wasn’t very happy because we had prepared ourselves for the game, and so to go back home, then get the body warmed up again for the next day, is very hard, but we all accepted it. We all decided to do it together.”
Meanwhile, Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk accused the Romanian referee, Ovidiu Hategan, of failing to properly manage the situation after the alleged comments made by the fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu.
“The fourth official used an unacceptable word to Pierre Achille Webo. The referee should have dealt with the situation properly but didn’t. We had to show that we were with Webo,” Buruk said.
“The players decided to stop. Some of them didn’t want to come back out. We are a team and we had to stick together.”
He added: “UEFA did the right thing by making it possible to play the next day.
“Webo was upset. We all gave him our support, but it’s someone else who should feel bad and that is the person who used the words. He is the guilty one.
“We have to show that we can all live together. Humanity is the most important thing.”
The incident drew a reaction from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is understood to have close links to the Turkish champions.
However, Buruk played down suggestions that the row could spill over into a diplomatic issue.
“There are no problems between Turkey and Romania. It is the fault of one person, not an entire country,” he said.
England captain Harry Kane says Premier League players should carry on taking the knee in support of the fight against racial injustice, using their profile to raise awareness of the issue.
Clubs began making the symbolic gesture before kick-off when football resumed after the coronavirus hiatus last season, and it has continued into the current campaign.
“I think we are a huge platform to share our voices across the world, to be honest,” Kane told the BBC.
“Obviously we have done a lot with Black Lives Matter and taking the knee before games.
“I hear people talking about taking the knee and whether we should still be doing it, and for me I think we should.”
Kane said regular supporters were seeing the same gesture repeated every week but it was important to educate new fans.
“I think if you look around the world, you see children watching the game for the first time, seeing us all take a knee and asking their parents why — I think it’s a great chance for people to explain why,” he added.
“I think education is the biggest thing we can do. Adults can teach generations what it means, and what it means to be together and help each other, no matter what your race.”
Kane was England skipper in October last year when their 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria in Sofia was marred by racist chanting by home supporters.
“Myself, I’ve never been racially abused, I don’t know how that feels,” said the Tottenham striker.
“But my role is just to be there as a captain, a team-mate, and a friend. You want to be there for them, to listen to them and talk to them.
“As a player, I was embarrassed to be on that pitch and see that abuse to my friends and team-mates. I was proud of how everyone wanted to carry on and show on the pitch that we wanted to win.”
Paris Saint-German’s Neymar and Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez have avoided punishment after allegedly making racist and homophobic remarks in the meeting between the sides earlier this month, the French league (LFP) announced on Wednesday.
The world’s most expensive player was accused of making the remarks towards Marseille’s Japan right-back Hiroki Sakai and Gonzalez.
The Brazil attacker claimed the Spanish centre-back had called him a “monkey”.
“The disciplinary commission states that it does not have sufficient proof to allow it to establish the substance of the facts concerning discriminatory language,” the LFP said.
Marseille’s victory at Parc des Princes on September 13 was marred by an injury-time scuffle which saw five players red-carded.
Neymar was sent off for slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head and was given a two-match ban for the incident.
Last week, PSG’s Angel Di Maria received a four-match ban for spitting during the fixture.
Protesters demanded answers on Tuesday as they gathered in a south Los Angeles neighbourhood where sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a black man during a violent confrontation the previous day.
The man, identified as 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, was riding his bicycle when deputies tried to stop him for a code violation, according to the sheriff’s department.
Kizzee ran away and when deputies caught up to him, he punched one of them in the face while dropping a bundle of clothing he was carrying, authorities said.
“The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Lieutenant Brandon Dean, of the LA County Sheriff’s Department, told reporters.
Dean said it was unclear which vehicle code Kizzee allegedly violated.
Soon after the deadly confrontation, more than 100 people gathered at the scene demanding answers.
A small crowd gathered again Tuesday evening at the site of the shooting and peacefully marched, along with a caravan of cars, to the sheriff’s station nearby as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
Some of the protesters carried a banner that read “Stop Killer Cops.”
The shooting came as protests against police violence and racism have roiled the country in recent months following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
Civil right attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Kizzee’s family, said he was shot more than 20 times and urged witnesses on Twitter to contact him with any information.
“They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun,” Crump, who is also representing Floyd’s family, said in a tweet. “He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.”
Deja, a woman who witnessed the shooting told AFP that she yelled “don’t shoot him, don’t shoot him” as the deputies tried to stop Kizzee.
– ‘We are tired’ –
“They were trying to grab and take his stuff away from him and then finally when it failed, he turned around to run and they tased him in the back of his leg,” said Deja, who would only give her first name. “He turned around and then they shot him.”
Deja said she didn’t see Kizzee holding a gun and added that deputies handcuffed him after the shooting. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Kizzee’s aunt Fletcher Fair told reporters she believes her nephew’s race was a factor in the shooting.
“They (police) don’t kill any other race but us and this don’t make any sense,” she told a press conference.
“Why us? You have Asians … Hispanics even don’t get killed as much as we do. It’s just us and we’re tired,” she said.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva offered his sympathy to the family, saying a member of his own department is one of Kizzee’s cousins.
Last week, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin also shot a black man — Jacob Blake — in front of his three young sons and left him paralyzed following an altercation.
The shooting prompted demonstrations in several cities and led to violent clashes in Kenosha that left two people dead.
President Donald Trump visited the city on Tuesday despite pleas to stay away and claims he is dangerously fanning tensions as a re-election ploy.
George Floyd said he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times, called out for his children and late mother and said officers would “kill” him before he died in Minneapolis police custody, new evidence showed.
Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has unleashed a massive wave of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the United States and inspired demos across the world.
Video of his death went viral and showed Floyd shouting “I can’t breathe” and calling for his mother as he suffocated.
But transcripts of the police officers’ body camera footage, filed Tuesday in Minnesota state court by Thomas Lane, one of the officers involved in Floyd’s death, has revealed new details about his final moments.
When the officers first arrested him, Floyd begged them not to put him in the police car, telling them he was claustrophobic and in physical distress.
As they tried to force him into the car, Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe and was “going to die in here.”
Later, according to the transcript, he said, “Momma, I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.” He called for his mother and children several more times.
Throughout his arrest, Floyd said “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. The officers can be heard telling him to “relax,” and that he was doing “fine” and “talking fine.”
At one point, as Floyd insisted they were going to kill him, officer Derek Chauvin shouted, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”
– ‘I can’t breathe’ – According to the transcript, Floyd’s last words were, “They’re going to kill me. They’re going to kill me. I can’t breathe.”
The transcript was submitted Tuesday by Lane to have the charges that he aided and abetted in Floyd’s murder thrown out by a judge.
He and the other three officers involved — Chauvin, Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng — were all fired from the Minneapolis police force one day after Floyd’s death and charged in his murder. They each face up to 40 years behind bars.
Chauvin, who knelt on the handcuffed 46-year-old’s neck, faces second and third-degree murder charges.
Thao and Kueng, like Lane, have been charged with aiding and abetting a murder.
The bystander video of Floyd’s death stunned and horrified Americans, igniting protests and riots in cities across the country and sparking a national debate on racism and police violence.
Floyd was detained for the minor charge of attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill, and while in handcuffs, two of the officers held him down on the street while Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck and the fourth officer stood watch.
New York City announced Sunday it would remove a statue of former US President Theodore Roosevelt long criticized as a racist and colonialist symbol, but the move drew criticism from Donald Trump.
The decision comes with the United States gripped by widespread protests against racial inequality — sparked by the killing in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man — with demonstrators toppling a number of statues of figures with racist legacies.
The bronze sculpture of Roosevelt, which has been at the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for 80 years, depicts the former leader on horseback towering over a black man and a Native American man — who are both on foot.
Citing the ongoing movement for racial justice, the museum said: “We also have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.”
The Roosevelt statue, it added, “has long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist.”
New York City authorities agreed to the museum’s request to remove the statue,
“It explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
“The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th US president at the beginning of the 20th century, and while he was celebrated as a conservationist and progressive at the time, he also held racist views towards black and Native American people, according to the AMNH website.
A Roosevelt family member released a statement approving the removal.
“The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, aged 77, a great-grandson.
“The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.”
But President Donald Trump criticized the decision to remove the statue, tweeting: “Ridiculous, don’t do it!”
Trump had called on police to arrest demonstrators who took down a statue of Confederate general Albert Pike in Washington DC on Friday.
The protests against racial inequality and police brutality have seen the toppling or removal of statues depicting Confederate generals, colonial figures and slave traders in the United States, Britain and New Zealand.
The figures targeted by protesters have included Christopher Columbus and British colonialist Cecil Rhodes.
Donald Trump said Wednesday that US police have “not been treated fairly” and appeared to defend a white officer charged with the murder of a black man.
Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe was charged with murder Wednesday for shooting African American Rayshard Brooks in the back, and aggravated the case by kicking the 27-year-old as he lay on the ground bleeding.
The death of Brooks came less than three weeks after George Floyd died while being pinned down by Minneapolis police officers, fuelling a national uproar and anti-police brutality protests across the country.
“I thought it was a terrible situation, but you can’t resist a police officer,” Trump said of Brooks’ death in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“I hope he gets a fair shake because police have not been treated fairly in our country.
“But, again, you can’t resist a police officer like that. And they ended up in a very terrible disagreement and look at the way it ended. Very bad. Very bad.”
Trump also mentioned Floyd, saying he had been unable to watch the nearly nine-minute clip of Floyd’s death.
“Who could watch that?” he said.
On Tuesday Trump issued an order to improve policing — calling for a ban on dangerous chokeholds — but he has stopped well short of demands made at nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.
Critics, including the Democrat speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, have derided his efforts.
“The president’s weak executive order falls sadly and seriously short of what is required to combat the epidemic of racial injustice and police brutality,” she said in a statement this week.
Trump derided the Democrats during the Fox News interview, claiming: “They do nothing and they want to defund and they want to abolish, they want to abolish police departments.”
The Premier League resumed on Wednesday after a three-month hiatus, with players taking the knee at the start of a goalless draw between Aston Villa and Sheffield United overshadowed by a goalline controversy.
Coronavirus restrictions mean the 92 games remaining after the 100-day shutdown are being crammed into less than six weeks.
Defeat for Manchester City, who kicked off against Arsenal later on Wednesday, would leave Liverpool on the brink of their first English top-flight title for 30 years.
But Villa and Sheffield took centre stage to relaunch the English top-flight.
In front of a huge global audience, players and staff protested racial injustice for about 10 seconds in solidarity with worldwide protests following the death of American George Floyd while in police custody.
“In the first Premier League fixture of Project Restart both clubs hope that the act of ‘taking a knee’ will send a strong message of unity and amplify the many messages of support from Premier League players and the wider football family,” the clubs said in a statement.
Manchester City and Arsenal players also took a knee before kick-off at the Etihad.
All players will wear Black Lives Matter (BLM) on the back of their shirts where names are normally printed for the first 12 matches of the restart.
A BLM logo will feature on shirts for the remainder of the season along with a badge thanking Britain’s health workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 0-0 draw at Villa Park did not suit either side.
Aston Villa were seeking a precious win to lift them out of the relegation zone while Sheffield United are chasing a European spot next season.
The big talking point came late in the first half when a free-kick from United’s Oliver Norwood was caught by Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, but he stumbled backwards and looked to have carried the ball over his own goalline.
United players appealed for the goal, but the technology that alerts the referee when the ball has gone over the line did not award it and VAR did not intervene.
Despite replays showing the ball had clearly crossed the line before Nyland regained his footing, referee Michael Oliver had no choice but to let play continue.
Should Manchester City lose to Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who hold a 25-point lead at the top of the table, could be crowned champions as early as Sunday when they face local rivals Everton.
Despite concerns over fans congregating around stadiums, clubs won the battle to host matches in their home grounds.
Liverpool can win a long-awaited title in their own city, either at Goodison, or when the Reds host Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday.
But Klopp stressed the need for supporters to stay at home.
“Stay safe, support us from home. We are still with you and you’ll never walk alone,” he said.
The battle for Champions League places next season and to avoid the drop are far more closely contested.
Matches will be preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of those who have died from coronavirus. Britain is the worst-hit country in Europe with more than 42,000 deaths.
Three of the four managers to lead their sides on Wednesday have been touched by the virus.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith’s father died, while City manager Pep Guardiola lost his mother.
Guardiola’s former assistant Mikel Arteta returns to the Etihad for the first time as Arsenal manager three months after his positive test for coronavirus hastened the season shutdown.
With all games being played behind closed doors, players will have to get used to the eerie silence in the usually raucous stands.
Piping crowd chants into stadiums, cardboard cut-outs of supporters and live video fan walls will add colour but the Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters admitted there would be something missing without crowds.
“It is going to be an odd experience without fans at the stadia,” he said. “The Premier League won’t be back with a capital ‘B’ until fans are back.”
Just 300 people will be allowed in stadiums for each match, with strict health protocols in place.
Players have been told to maintain social-distancing during goal celebrations and are banned from spitting.