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George Floyd: Prosecutors seek tougher sentences for accused cops | US & Canada News

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Minnesota state prosecutors have filed a motion to seek longer sentencing beyond the current state guidelines for the four officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old died after police office Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an incident in Minneapolis on May 25.

Video recordings of Floyd telling the officers he could not breathe before going silent have sparked national and international condemnation and protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

The charges against Chauvin include unintentional second-degree murder and three other officers – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.  

‘That same fight’: DC civil rights march commemorates MLK’s dream

The reasons given by prosecutors to justify the longer sentencing include that Floyd was “particularly vulnerable” because he was already handcuffed and had been placed “chest down on the pavement”. 

They also said the fact that officers did not respond to Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe represented “particular cruelty”, that the officers abused their authority, that they acted in a group, and that they “committed the crime in the presence of multiple children”.

Call for dismissal

In a separate court filing, lawyers for Chauvin called for the second-degree murder charges against the former police officer to be dismissed.

In the documents filed on Friday, Chauvin’s lawyers argued there was not enough evidence to prove the officer intended to kill Floyd.

In the court filings, the defence lawyers also charged that Floyd died from an overdose of fentanyl combined with other drugs and pre-existing health conditions, not from Chauvin’s actions, while adding that Chauvin was following police training during the death.

“What Mr Chauvin saw was a strong man struggling mightily with police officers, which seemed contradictory to Mr Floyd’s claims about not being able to breathe,” said the filing.

“Mr Chauvin could not have known about Mr Floyd’s underlying issues when he arrived on the scene,” said the filing, which cited a June autopsy report conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner and a conversation between the medical examiner and the prosecutors in support of the claim.

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In a statement for the Wall Street Journal, Ben Crump, a lawyer representing the Floyd family, called the request for dismissal a “desperate attempt with charlatan tactics” and cited the results of an independent autopsy requested by the family that showed the cause of death to be “asphyxia from the compression of his neck and back”.

Chauvin’s lawyers also argued that a fair trial could not be held in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, which includes Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as the “jury pools have surely been tainted” by local and international coverage of the protests, “riots and lootings” in the area following Floyd’s death.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Gov’t Promises to Mend Relationship with NGOs

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The Minister for Internal Affairs General Jeje Odongo has dismissed claims that Government is currently not at the best of terms with Non-Governmental Organizations and embarked on policies aimed at suppressing them.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Uganda’s Civil Society’ in Kampala, Odongo noted that while some things might not have moved on well between Government and some NGOs, the former is willing to address these issues so that the two parties can continue operating hand in hand.

“I would like to assure you that Government in the process of regulating this field through the NGO bureau. Government doesn’t have any sinister motives but is focused on improving the sector.”

As the line minister, Odongo vowed to ensure that the relationship between Government and these Organizations is improved to the extent that where there is a need, government will be ready to come in and support them.

The new book, which contains crucial information about these bodies, Odongo said, will be of great importance to various stake holders.

Stephen Okello the head of the NGO Bureau applauded the author and financer of this publication, saying it had come at a time when the country lacks a one stop center as far as operations of NGOs in the country is concerned.

“This book is very important because it’s going to spark off discussions on issues affecting CSOs; therefore, I ask everyone to spare time and read it.”

Joel Senyonyi the spokesperson for National Unity Platform (NUP) asked Government to stop referring to its critiques as enemies of the state or Agents of Europeans because they do all this as a result of love for their nation.

Sarah Bireete the Executive Director for Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG) noted that the Government is more comfortable with them sensitizing people on Sanitation matters than issue of Governance issues.

The post Gov’t Promises to Mend Relationship with NGOs first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Taking a knee, lifting fist to be punished at Tokyo 2020 Olympics | Black Lives Matter News

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Against the backdrop of the BLM movement protesting racial injustice, calls increased for change to IOC rule.

Taking a knee during the Tokyo Olympics or lifting a fist in support of racial equality will be punished as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) maintained its ban on athletes’ protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies and on podiums.

The IOC’s Rule 50 forbids any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in venues and any other Olympic area and the Games body concluded the rule should be maintained following an athlete consultation.

Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement against racial injustice, calls have increased in recent months for a change to that rule that would allow athletes to protest.

Some international federation chiefs, including World Athletics’ President Sebastian Coe, have said athletes should have the right to make gestures of political protest during the Games.

The IOC’s Athletes’ Commission chief Kirsty Coventry, who led a review of the rule, said 70 percent of the athletes consulted were against any protests within the fields of play or the podiums.

“I would not want something to distract from my competition and take away from that. That is how I still feel today,” Coventry, a former Olympic swimming champion for Zimbabwe, said in an online presentation of the Rule 50 consultation results.

Coventry said there were a series of recommendations approved by the IOC’s Executive Board on Wednesday, including providing clarity on sanctions, more information about Rule 50, a change of wording of the Olympic Oath with messages on inclusion, and producing athlete apparel with inclusive messaging.

The IOC’s recommendations are the result of a consultation process that started in June 2020 and involved more than 3,500 athletes.

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, kicks off on July 23.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Terego headteacher arrested over defiling own daughter

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The headteacher of Yole primary school in Tergo district, northern Uganda has been arrested on allegations of defiling and battering his own daughter. 

Tom Amayo was arrested on Tuesday by officers from Katrini police post following a tip-off by the victim’s uncles where she had sought refuge. 

According to preliminary police findings, the suspect committed the offence several times at his residence in the staff quarters where has been living with the victim. Agnes Anyu, the Terego district police commander, says that they have charged the suspect rape, defilement and torture.

Geoffrey Aziz, a member of Yole primary school management committee told URN that they are in the process of holding an emergency meeting following the arrest of the headteacher to forge away forward to allow the school to run normally. 



Source – observer.ug

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