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Jacob Blake protests: Timeline of unrest over police shooting | News

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The United States has witnessed months of demonstrations over the police treatment of Black people and systemic racism since May, following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. 

Kenosha, Wisconsin has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing protests against racial injustice after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot and wounded by police as he leaned into his car on Sunday.

Video footage of the incident has been widely shared online, sparking protests in several US cities over police use of force.

Protests in Kenosha have turned violent, with scuffles reported between protesters and the police, as well as armed vigilante groups. Some among the demonstrators have damaged buildings and set fires and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers authorised the deployment of the National Guard.

On Tuesday, the third night of the protests in the city, at least two people were shot dead and another was wounded. A teenager has been charged with murder in connection with the shootings.

Here is a timeline of key events: 

Sunday, August 23 – Blake shot by Kenosha police

Kenosha police responded to a “reported domestic disturbance” around 5pm (22:00 GMT) on August 23. When they arrived, Blake was reportedly attempting to de-escalate the situation, a fight between two women. 

Details were not immediately clear, but witnesses claimed they saw police confront Blake, using a taser and grappling with him before the shooting. A video taken by witnesses appears to show Blake attempting to re-enter his vehicle as two police officers pursued him.

At one point, a police officer appears to grab Blake’s shirt and shoots him in the back from close range. Witnesses say they heard at least seven shots. 

Police shooting lays bare Wisconsin’s deep partisan divide

Medical aid was administered to Blake by police and he was airlifted to a nearby hospital and reported to be in serious condition.

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump posted the video of Blake’s shooting on his Twitter account that evening. 

The spread of the video, watched by millions on its first day, sparked protests in Kenosha, a Wisconsin city south of Milwaukee on Lake Michigan and several other US cities.

Videos and photos appeared to show demonstrators setting buildings on fire and clashing with police. 

Wisconsin Governor Evers denounced police excessive force that night. 

Monday,  August 24 – Investigation begins, National Guard deployed

The following day, Wisconsin authorities announce they have placed the officers involved in Blake’s shooting on administrative leave. 

The investigation is handled by the Wisconsin Justice Department, Wisconsin State Patrol and the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office. 

As tear gas fills the air, police try to push back demonstrators near the Kenosha County Courthouse during unrest [Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP]

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said two questions will need to be answered before charges can be brought against the involved officers: “One, did any officer in this case commit any crimes? And two, are there any crimes we believe were committed that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt?

“If those two things are concluded as a ‘yes,’ then criminal charges would be brought at the end of that process”, Graveley said, noting the investigation was in its early stages. 

Blake’s shooting continued to gain notoriety with politicians and sports stars like LeBron James, who has long been vocal in his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, calling for justice. 

Crump, who has handled recent high-profile cases of alleged excessive force against Black Americans by police, announced he would represent Blake’s family.

An 8pm curfew was declared, though it was ignored by many as forceful protests continued that evening. Evers deployed the National Guard, which, along with local police, were met with lobbed water bottles. 

Demonstrators also allegedly looted and sprayed graffiti on businesses. The Kenosha courthouse also became a target of the demonstrations, similar to demonstrations in Portland, Oregon. 

Authorities used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the protest that evening, as demonstrations spread to larger cities. 

Tuesday, August 25 – Blake paralysed, protests continue   

Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday his son was paralysed with “eight holes” in his body from the shots. 

Crump confirmed via Twitter that same day that Blake was paralysed, saying he hoped it was not permanent. 

Protests continued to escalate, with demonstrators setting fire to a department of corrections building in Kenosha. The National Guard and police continued with crowd dispersal tactics seen frequently in recent protests. 

Evers said on Tuesday afternoon he was requesting more National Guard troops and asked demonstrators to “protest peacefully and safely”. Evers declared a state of emergency shortly thereafter. 

At a news conference featuring the Blake family that day, a lawyer representing the family announced Blake suffered damage to numerous internal organs and had  much of his colon and small intestine removed. 

One of Blake’s sisters, Zietha Blake, said police treated her brother as a “foreign object” that “didn’t belong”.

Zietha called attention to the fact that  “His kids are his world. But not only that, his family is his world. He’s upset because we’re hurt, we’re upset. He doesn’t even care about himself. He’s more so worried about us.”

Confusingly, US President Donald Trump tweeted that Evers should call in the National Guard that day, although Evers had already done so. 

Protests continued that night with demonstrators ignoring curfews and displaying the same raucous behaviour. 

Authorities responded in kind. 

Wednesday, August 26 – Two dead, one wounded in shooting, suspect arrested

Police confirmed early on Wednesday that three people had been struck by bullets during the protests that began Tuesday night in Kenosha.  

Two people died and the third victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries, police said. The shooting reportedly took place at around 11:45pm on Tuesday.

A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shooting, police said later.

Kenosha protests

A flag flies over a department of corrections building ablaze during protests, late Monday, August 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier (AP Photo/Morry Gash) [Daylife

Trump said he had spoken with Governor Evers, who had agreed to accept US law enforcement support.

“TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!” Trump wrote on Twitter, without elaborating.

Evers said in a statement he had authorised 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement in Kenosha County, but did not confirm Trump’s claim that federal law enforcement would be deployed.

Follow here for more updates as they unfold…





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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FDC activists win Bank of Uganda pig case by simply keeping quiet

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FDC activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja

Buganda Road Magistrate’s court has acquitted two opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja of common nuisance charges.

FDC deputy chief administrative officer Ojobile and Mayanja have been acquitted by the grade one magistrate Fidelis Otwao on charges stemming from their protest held in November 2018 when they carried pig heads to the central police station (CPS) in Kampala protesting the rot in the Bank of Uganda that had reportedly resulted into the closure of a number of commercial banks in the country for many years.


According to them, corruption at the Central bank had been the sole ingredient for the closure of commercial banks in Uganda over the years because it reportedly mismanaged them and made erroneous decisions that led to their closure.

With fresh pig heads tied around their necks and stinking blood oozing across their white T-shirts, Mayanja and Ojobile walked through the streets of Kampala to the police in a protest that was spearheaded by their pressure group known as the Jobless Youth.

One pig head had a placard bearing the name of the former and late BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and the other of his former deputy Louis Kasekende.

The protest at CPS came a few days after another that was staged at the Central bank where two piglets were dumped bearing the name of Juma Kisaame (a Muslim), the former managing director of DFCU bank. 

As a result, the duo was arrested and taken to Buganda Road court on charges of common nuisance and the prosecution adduced evidence from five witnesses who included police officers and Muslims who were reportedly angered by the protest.

According to the witnesses, the actions of Mayanja and Ojobile were annoying to the people whose names were mentioned and tagged on pig heads, and the smell that was coming out of the fresh pig heads was most likely to result in injury to a considerable number of the public by affecting their health, and the protest affected businesses since some shops allegedly had to close to see what was happening outside due to their commotion.

But when Mayanja and Ojobile were asked to defend themselves over the allegations, the duo that didn’t have legal representation chose to keep quiet as their defense and let the court make its decision based on what the prosecution witnesses had testified to.

In a judgement read today Friday by Otwao, he indicated that the evidence from the prosecution witnesses is wanting because none of the people alleged to have been annoyed by the actions of the activists testified in the case or recorded a statement with police.

According to Otwao, the testimonies were based on what the witnesses were feeling as individuals and that there were no abusive statements on the pig heads that the prosecution had indicated which would cause annoyance, save for putting the names of people only. 

As such, the court has ruled that such testimonies cannot be relied on to convict a person because the prosecution has failed to prove that there was common injury, danger to the public or destruction of property.

Consequently, the magistrate has acquitted the duo and directed that each of them starts the process to seek a refund of the Shs 500,000 that each had paid to be released on bail.

The activists have welcomed the ruling saying that the court has recognized that the citizens have a right to protest peacefully.

The pig protests have been commonly used by activists who subscribe to this group known as the Jobless Brotherhood which has since rebranded to the “Alternative”.

In 2016, their members including Luta Ferdinand who is now facing trial in the court-martial on different charges, and Joseph Lukwago were arrested for dumping piglets at parliament protesting the Shs 200 million given to each MP for buying personal cars.



Source – observer.ug

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Saudi Arabia executes 81 people in a single day | Death Penalty News

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The death penalty applied for a range of charges in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom’s modern history.

Saudi Arabia has executed 81 men over the past 24 hours, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national, on charges including “allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations” and holding “deviant beliefs”, state news agency Saudi Press Agency said, in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history.

The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

“These individuals … were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children,” SPA said on Saturday, citing a statement from the interior ministry.

“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS [ISIL], al-Qaeda and the Houthis,” it added.

Some travelled to conflict zones to join “terrorist organisations”, according to the SPA.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process,” it said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It has faced strong criticism of its restrictive laws on political and religious expression, and the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.

Saudi Arabia denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security according to its laws.

SPA said the accused were provided with the right to a lawyer and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Nigerian student in Ukraine: 'Mummy we keep hearing bombs'

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Hauwa’s son Suleiman is a Nigerian student in Sumy – she says the family are fearful and anxious.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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