Protests, rallies and change followed in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police. From brands promising they will diversify and donate funds to racial justice causes, to cities like L.A. being pressured to reevaluate the way policing should be funded and managed; here, we have tried to organize the order of events that have taken place throughout L.A. County and neighboring communities.
Saturday, June 13, 2020
A young black man named Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale a few days ago. Officials say it was an apparent suicide. Fuller’s family objects, saying he was not suicidal or upset, and since there was no evidence to conclude a suicide occurred, could law enforcement please investigate his death as a homicide? They also ask for an independent autopsy. Thousands arrived in Palmdale to mourn the 24-year-old’s mysterious death.
Meanwhile, 51 miles away, another Black man was found hanging today. The sheriff’s department says foul play is not suspected after he was found hanging from a tree near the Victorville City Library.
In colorful ALL-CAPS, the words “All Black Lives Matter” are painted down Hollywood Boulevard, west of Highland in preparation for the All Black Lives Matter rally and march to be held Sunday celebrating the Black LGBTQ community.
Allegations that ABC News executive Barbara Fedida has an extensive history of insensitive comments arise. The network places her on administrative leave as it investigates the troubling accusations.
Sunday, June 14, 2020
At least 30,000 people march along a route that stretches from Hollywood & Highland to Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards for the All Black Lives Matter rally.
More than 100 skateboarders grind their way from Venice High School to the famous Venice Skate Park in a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
Monday, June 15, 2020
Grey’s Anatomy’s showrunner writes an insightful thread sharing her experiences with the police:
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell orders crews to stop the removal of the All Black Lives Matter mural from Hollywood Boulevard. Additionally, he announces he will introduce a motion Tuesday to create a permanent memorial to commemorate Sunday’s march, which attracted tens of thousands of marchers.
The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to reexamine a much-criticized modern-day legal doctrine that has shielded police and other government officials from lawsuits over their conduct.
In Virginia, a teenage girl who organized a BLM rally was greeted with a burning cross on her front yard.
In Albuquerque, a man shoots at protesters attempting to tear down a statue of Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate.
Some journalists have used terms like “internal uprising” to describe their anger over racial inequity at the Los Angeles Times. Scores have participated in intense internal debates over the newspaper’s coverage of recent protests and hiring practices, to the point that senior editors have weighed in, promising to listen and learn. “I would say in the case of black journalists, that we do not have enough journalists in positions where they are able to help us tell stories that really need to be told,” L.A. Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine told NPR.
In Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, an alleged family court supervisor used profanity as he tore down BLM materials from a fence on public property.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
The defunding of the LAPD seems to be gaining momentum in the L.A. City Council:
The California Highway Patrol incurred $38.2 million in overtime costs policing the recent protests. That price tag comes in addition to the nearly $25 million it cost the state to deploy 8,000 National Guard soldiers throughout California to help local law enforcement quell violence.
President Donald Trump signs an executive order banning the use of chokeholds by police, except when an officer believes his or her life is in jeopardy. According to officials, the order will create a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct.
Louisiana Senator John Kennedy argues that a Senate amendment to remove the names of Confederate leaders on military property “picks on the South unfairly.” “I think history will show that in the 18th century, in the 19th century, and well into the 20th century, there were many non-Confederate generals, soldiers and others, in both the South and the North who practiced racial discrimination, anti-Semitism and misogyny,” Kennedy said. “I don’t think we ought to just pick on the South.”
The University of Virginia will change recently updated logos used in athletic competitions to remove design aspects that refer to landmarks on campus associated with the school’s history of using slave labor. The university’s previous logo — a large “V” placed above crossed sabers — was updated on April 24, with the added details to the grip of the sword handles meant to “mimic the design of the serpentine walls” found on campus. Those original walls, built in the 1820s, were designed by university founder Thomas Jefferson to muffle the sounds of and hide from view the slaves who toiled on campus. Those walls were later removed and replaced with shorter versions in the 1950s.
The L.A. Times editorial board on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: If [he] wants to be taken seriously when he says that the league is listening to players, that it acknowledges the struggles of Black Americans and that it wants to “improve and go forward,” the place to start is by ensuring Colin Kaepernick has a job again as an NFL quarterback.
Confederate statues are going down. Fans of Dolly Parton suggest her image should go up in their place. It wouldn’t be her first statue.
Justice is blind? In about 72% of the cases reviewed, prosecutors used their peremptory challenges to remove Black prospective jurors, according to a UC Berkeley study. Prosecutors struck Latinos in about 28% of the cases, Asian Americans in less than 3.5% and white people in only 0.5%.
An innocent bystander driving her car ended up spending nine days hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai after an LAPD-fired projectile, likely a 40 mm hard foam round, struck her after it flew in through her open window. She is suing the department for $10 million. A 2017 analysis of 1,984 people struck by rubber or plastic bullets found that 3% were killed and 15% permanently injured.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Six people of color have died in a recent string of hangings across the U.S. A disturbing number of Black and Hispanic Americans are being discovered hanging from trees as racial tensions continue to fester in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The six incidents are also fueling fear and suspicions about the possibility of lynchings, but officials have so far ruled every case a suicide.
“Get the police off our sets and events,” said “Insecure” star Kendrick Sampson regarding the number of cops in and around Hollywood events and productions. Sampson was struck by seven rubber bullets while at a protest this month. “Coming to set after experiencing police brutality — I’ve been pulled out of my car at gunpoint — there’s trauma there,” he said. “I’ve also seen certain celebrities, even performers, profiled and blocked from entering Emmy parties by police.”
Meanwhile in Congress…
Aunt Jemima is going through a makeover “to make progress toward racial equality.” The parent company of Quaker Oats, Pepsico, which has owned the Aunt Jemima brand since 1926, announced it will drop the smiling mammy image, which was popularized in minstrel shows after the Civil War and first used to pitch pancake mix and syrup in 1890. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough,” Quaker’s CEO said.
Former Atlanta police officers have been charged in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks who was caught sleeping in his car, drunk at a Wendy’s. After police arrived and talked with him, a struggle ensued when they attempted to handcuff him. At one point, he grabbed one officer’s taser, and as he fled, fired the taser at Rolfe, who then shot and killed Brooks. “We’ve concluded at the time that Mr. Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas. It also marks a quasi-second Independence Day for African Americans. Since 1980 in Texas, Juneteenth has been a legal state holiday. Lawmakers like California Sen. Kamala Harris is working with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are determined to make the date a national holiday.
The newly hired LA Times columnist Erika Smith reporting on the curious response by officials who — only after the public pressured them — reluctantly investigated the hanging deaths of two Black men: “A suicide in public, or a hanging in a public place, is not, uhm, unheard of. They do occur,” L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner Jonathan Lucas insisted at a news conference on Monday morning. “And, uhm, I think initially, [long pause] there wasn’t any evidence, uhh, or information that led, uhh, us to believe that there was anything other than a suicide, but that that was, uhh, that change very — I should say we, we felt better that we should look, uhm, into a little more deeply and carefully just considering all the circumstances at play.”