WTF Community

US in crisis - Black Lives Matter Fallout - National and local responses

Youtube link to the Washington Post video pushing back against Trump’s propaganda walk:

Protesters singing Lean On Me outside the White House:

I am surely not the only one to have grave doubts that Bill Barr’s announce that the DOJ and FBI will investigate possible civil rights violations in death of George Floyd probably requires an asterisk for when he declares the police “very fine people”.


The Army is having none of it…

Dear Soldiers, Civilians, Family members and Soldiers for Life:

Over the past week, the country has suffered an explosion of frustration over the racial divisions that still plague us as Americans. And because your Army is a reflection of American society, those divisions live in the Army as well. We feel the frustration and anger. We felt it this week while traveling through the nation’s capital with the DC National Guard. We feel it, even though we can never fully understand the frustration and life experiences of people of color, in or out of uniform. But we do understand the importance of taking care of people, and of treating every person with dignity and respect.

Our ability to defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic, is founded upon a sacred trust with the American people. Racial division erodes that trust. Though we all aspire to live by the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, the Army has sometimes fallen short. Because just as we reflect the best of America, we reflect its imperfections as well. We need to work harder to earn the trust of mothers and fathers who hesitate to hand their sons and daughters into our care. How we respond to the anger that has ignited will chart the course of that trust.

Every Soldier and Department of the Army Civilian swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution. That includes the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. We will continue to support and defend those rights, and we will continue to protect Americans, whether from enemies of the United States overseas, from COVID-19 at home, or from violence in our communities that threatens to drown out the voices begging us to listen. To Army leaders of all ranks, listen to your people, but don’t wait for them to come to you. Go to them. Ask the uncomfortable questions. Lead with compassion and humility, and create an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing grievances. Let us be the first to set the example. We are listening. And we will continue to put people first as long as we are leading the Army. Because people are our greatest strength.

God bless all of the people of our United States Army: our Soldiers, Families, Civilians, and Soldier for Life retirees and veterans. And God bless the United States of America.

Michael A. Grinston

Sergeant Major of the Army

James C. McConville

General, United States Army

Ryan D. McCarthy

Secretary of the Army


Right-wingers on twitter are trying to trend “GeorgeFloydStaged” as a hashtag, claiming everything from the murder itself being fake or staged to him being a criminal or his daughter seeming happy because she mistook Stephen Jackson for her father returned.

I won’t post any links on this one. I just can’t. But I felt the need to make it known, because the “crisis actors” lie of the right is easily their most despicable slander.


A word from President Jimmy Carter

The 95-year-old former president issued a statement through the Atlanta-based Carter Center to address the angry and sometimes violent protests that have roiled the nation in wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Carter made no direct mention of President Donald Trump’s handling of the protests and the racial unrest that has fueled them. But he said: “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”

Carter noted he had declared “the time for racial discrimination is over” during his 1971 inauguration speech as Georgia’s governor, and bemoaned that he’s repeating those words almost 50 years later.

“We all must shine a spotlight on the immorality of racial discrimination,” Carter said. “But violence, whether spontaneous or consciously incited, is not a solution.”

He said his decades working to improve human rights worldwide have taught him that people of influence can’t remain silent.

People of power, privilege, and moral conscience must stand up and say ‘no more’ to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, immoral economic disparities between whites and blacks, and government actions that undermine our unified democracy,” Carter said.



Video from House Democrats featuring words from the late great Elijah Cummings.

I put it up on Youtube for easy spreading.

George Floyd protests: UK opposition parties urge Boris Johnson to suspend export of arms and riot gear to Donald Trump’s US

Labour says UK should not sell arms to US ‘at a time when Donald Trump is gearing up to use the US military to crush the legitimate protests taking place across America over the murder of black civilians’

New video from The Lincoln Project about Trump’s march across Lafayette Square.


Lo the Great Defender of Christianity, Whose White House Security Valiantly Blocks Episcopalian Bishop Mariann Budde From Holding a Vigil in her Own Church!


More violence from Police in many cities - some very graphic videos - with pushing, batons etc.

Judge rules NYPD can keep protest detainees over 24 hours | 1010 WINS>

# NY judge rules NYPD can keep protest detainees over 24 hours

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A New York State judge on Friday ruled that NYPD can now keep any peaceful protestors arrested for curfew and criminal looters detained for over 24 hours, given these are extraordinary times.

“It’s a crisis within a crisis,” Judge James Burke said. “All writs are denied, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Manhattan.”

Legal Aid Marlen Bodden had previously spoke out againt police for holding detainees for over than 24 hours, saying “they have no excuse for not processing them.”

The reason they are doing it is because the people are protesting police brutality,” Bodden said.

Judge Burke ruled in favor of the NYPD because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Therefore, I find it is necessary because we are in a crisis caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which prevents live arraignments, which in turn requires virtual arraignment which causes delay.”

Adding this

No ID’s - what?

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr on Thursday defended the deployment of black-clad federal law enforcement officers who wear neither badges nor any other visible identification in response to protests in Washington, D.C.

Barr and Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal said at a Thursday press conference that the officers were from the Bureau of Prisons Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

“We normally operate within the confines of our institution, and we don’t need to identify ourselves. Most of our identification is institution-specific and probably wouldn’t mean a whole lot to people in D.C.,” Carvajal said.

“I probably should have done a better job of marking them nationally as the agency. Point is well taken. But I assure you that no one was specifically told in my knowledge not to identify themselves.”

On Thursday, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, along with House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, wrote to Barr about the “the use of federal security forces to oversee protests without specific agency identifiers or badge numbers.”

Krishnamoorthi is chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy.

“The presence of these unidentifiable officials raises concerns that peaceful protesters might not be able to identify them as legitimate law enforcement officers, that law enforcement officers might not be able to identify each other, or that it might allow for other civilians that are ‘self-appointed assistants to police’ to falsely identify themselves as legitimate law enforcement officials,” their letter reads.

Adding this - Expectation that there will be the LARGEST protest on Saturday in DC

It was not immediately clear which groups were organizing the march, but #1MillionDCSaturday was trending on Twitter in a call for one million people to march on the capital to protest police brutality against African Americans and the death of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

The United States Park Police told McClatchy that it was using “intelligence to monitor upcoming events,” but would not preview its planning as doing so could “pose a hazard to the public and police.” The White House referred questions about Saturday’s march to the Secret Service, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Despite the anticipated event, about 700 members of an infantry battalion from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were being sent home.

The deployment of the 82nd Airborne Division’s Task Force 504, which was based just outside of Washington and did not enter the district at any time during the protests, had raised concerns that President Donald Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act to allow those federal troops to police thousands of protesters who have been gathering nightly in downtown streets.

At the White House on Thursday, principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that “all options are on the table” for the use of military forces to clamp down on American protesters – a phrase that has traditionally been reserved for dealing with threats overseas.

White House officials have underscored that the president has the “sole authority” to invoke the Insurrection Act. Still, in recent days, they have indicated that he will rely on National Guard troops, amid mounting criticism from top retired military officials over his approach to the protest movement.

“The Department made the decision to return members of some of the active duty units in the capital region to their home base. Military leaders are continuously monitoring this dynamic situation. Return of the remainder of the active duty service members will be conditions-based,” the senior defense official said.

There are still about 600 active duty military police from Fort Bragg and Fort Drum, N.Y., staged outside the city and could be called upon if necessary, the official said. Those active duty forces have not entered Washington, D.C., and policing of the city to date has been left to law enforcement officers and National Guard troops.

As of Thursday, 1,200 D.C. National Guard forces were on duty, and 3,300 others were either already in the district, or about to arrive from Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

The departure of Fort Bragg troops from the Washington area comes after reports that Defense Secretary Mark Esper had directed they be sent home on Wednesday, but switched course, and the Pentagon said they would remain in the area.

A senior defense official who spoke to McClatchy on the condition of anonymity said that the Saturday protest was one of the conditions taken into consideration on the decision to send the Fort Bragg soldiers home and their departure was a sign the Pentagon was confident it had enough forces on hand without them.

Esper angered the president and his top aides on Wednesday when he expressed public disapproval of Trump’s potential use of the Insurrection Act – without providing advance notice to the White House that he intended to make those comments.

Both Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Army Gen. Mark Milley issued messages to the armed forces Tuesday, reminding them of the public’s right to assembly and protest, and former Defense Secretary James Mattis said Trump’s decisions to use military personnel to support the removal of the protesters was in violation of the Constitution.

Read more here:


Richmond, VA


Yes, FBI is not on board with Barr, T 'n Co. Thanks Christopher Wray - tell it.

WASHINGTON — At a Justice Department press conference on Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray sought to clarify how his agents were being used in nationwide protests and make it clear that the FBI is intent on protecting civil liberties, a message he has been seeking to push all week, according to three sources familiar with the planning of the press conference.

"The protectors can quickly become the oppressors, particularly for people of color," Wray said. "Civil rights and civil liberties are at the heart of who we are as Americans."

Wray’s stance was distinct from that of Barr, who focused on violence caused by protestors to justify the deployment of federal agents and his authorization of the use of non-lethal force against crowds in front of the White House on Monday.

They feel a strong need to delineate what they are and are not doing,” said a source familiar with internal deliberations at the FBI. “You won’t see FBI agents with a baton and shield.”

The FBI’s recent arrest of three men connected to the far-right “Boogaloo” movement for their attempt to provoke violence at protests also underlines the Bureau’s distance from Barr who has, like Trump, said leftist extremist groups are to blame for the violence.

This is representative of the FBI trying to avoid Barr’s narrative by doing its job,” the source said.

A senior DOJ official told reporters on Wednesday, “When it comes to dealing with riots, it’s really a state and local issue.


Of all of the amendments Trump would wind up testing., I never expected the third amendment to be one of them.


Trump and the threat of the military in US cities has made the Third Amendment suddenly relevant. Here’s what it means.

DC mayor Muriel Bowser takes on Trump, sparks Third Amendment debate with call to remove troops from capital

The Third Amendment is one of the least debated constitutional provisions that bars quartering troops at homes without owners’ consent in times of peace



So Trump just declared that George Floyd would be smiling down on Trump’s unemployment rate.


D.C. Mayor Bowser has ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted on street leading to White House

The act was intended to honor protesters who had peacefully assembled earlier this week.


Oh, look, it’s Be- ZZZZZZZ - YAH! Um, Ben Carson not comprehending things again!

Housing Sec. Carson Says He Doesn’t Understand Why People Think Trump’s Response To Protests Is ‘Hateful’


Ahmaud Arbery murder suspect overheard saying, ‘f—ing n----r’ after the shooting: investigator




Weber State professor resigns after tweeting threats at those involved in police protests

Why Most Americans Support the Protests

Never before in the history of modern polling has the country expressed such widespread agreement on racism’s pervasiveness in policing, and in society at large.

The police are learning from Trump. They’ve gone from the thin blue line to the #ThinSkinnedLine.

ALL 57 members of Buffalo Police Department’s Emergency Response Team resigned.

Buffalo Police Officers Suspended After Shoving 75-Year-Old Protester

The protester, who was seen on video motionless on the ground and bleeding from his ear, was in serious condition on Friday, a county official said.

57 members of Buffalo police riot response team resign

Who the hell runs a round Texas threatening people with a chainsaw… wait.


To understand the police forces ringing Trump and the White House it helps to understand the dense and not-entirely-sensical thicket of agencies that make up the nation’s civilian federal law enforcement. With little public attention, notice and amid historically lax oversight, those ranks have surged since 9/11—growing by roughly 2,500 officers annually every year since 2000. To put it another way: Every year since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the federal government has added to its policing ranks a force larger than the entire Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Nearly all of these agencies are headquartered in and around the capital, making it easy for Attorney General William Barr to enlist them as part of his vast effort to “flood the zone” in D.C. this week with what amounts to a federal army of occupation, overseen from the FBI Washington area command post in Chinatown. Battalions of agents were mustered in the lobby of Customs and Border Protection’s D.C. headquarters—what in normal times is the path to a food court for federal workers. The Drug Enforcement Administration has been given special powers to enable it to surveil protesters. It is the heaviest show of force in the nation’s capital since the protests and riots of the Vietnam War.

As large as the public show of force on D.C.’s streets has turned out to be—Bloomberg reported Thursday that the force includes nearly 3,000 law enforcement—it still represents only a tiny sliver of the government’s armed agents and officers. The government counts up its law enforcement personnel only every eight years, and all told, at last count in 2016, the federal government employed over 132,000 civilian law enforcement officersonly about half of which come from the major “brand name” agencies like the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, DEA and CBP. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which serves as the general academy for federal agencies who don’t have their own specialized training facilities, lists around 80 different agencies whose trainees pass through its doors in Georgia, from the IRS’ criminal investigators and the Transportation Security Administration’s air marshals to the Offices of the Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Railroad Retirement Board. Don’t forget the armed federal officers at the Environmental Protection Agency or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement, whose 150 agents investigate conservation crime like the Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 USC § 971-971k) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (16 USC § 773-773k).

In and around D.C., there are more than a score of agency-specific federal police forces, particularly downtown where protests have played out over the past week, nearly every block brings you in contact with a different police force. A morning run around the National Mall and Capitol Hill might see you cross through the jurisdictions of the federal U.S. Capitol Police, the Park Police, the National Gallery of Art police, the Smithsonian Office of Protective Services, the Postal police, Amtrak police, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing police, the Supreme Court police, the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service, the Government Publishing Office police, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service. (Only recently did the Library of Congress police merge with the Capitol Police across the street into one unit.) Run a bit farther and you might encounter the FBI Police or the U.S. Mint police. And that’s not even counting the multistate Metro Transit police and the local D.C. Metropolitan Police.


Contradictions galore…keep 'em guessing AG Barr.

Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision.

Barr’s comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday were his most detailed explanation yet of what unfolded outside the White House earlier this week. They come after the White House and others said repeatedly that the attorney general ordered officers to clear the park. Shortly after officers aggressively pushed back demonstrators, President Donald Trump — accompanied by Barr, Pentagon leaders and other top advisers — walked through Lafayette Park to pose for a photo at a nearby church that had been damaged during the protests.


NFL’s Roger Goodell walks back some comments about those players who were protesting, and apologizes for not hearing and allowing for protest within the NFL.




Pentagon orders remaining active-duty troops to leave Washington area

The Pentagon will be sending back the remaining 900 active-duty troops who were sent to the Washington, D.C., area to potentially respond to civil unrest, and they are expected to start heading back to their home bases, a U.S. official told Reuters.

The official said on condition of anonymity that U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had made the decision and the troops would be heading back to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York.

While the troops were in the National Capital Region, they were not deployed to Washington and were on standby in case they were needed.

It’s just so wild… calling in the military on your own people, who the same people these service members fight to protect. He’s afraid and he should be the American people won’t forget the beatings and gassing of peaceful protesters while thousands of Americans die everyday.


WTAF. Who at #FauxNews thought “we need to show how horrible racial injustices make the stock market rise”?


“AG Karl Racine asked Barr, Esper & Meadows under what authority they brought other state National Guards into the the city and whether those national guards have been given the authority to arrest people at the protests.”

Why Washington’s Streets Have Filled With Troops the Mayor Did Not Want

Because it’s not a state, the District of Columbia is at a disadvantage in any clash with federal authorities.

O.C. Sheriff’s officials investigating deputy seen wearing extremist insignia at Costa Mesa protest