Racial Justice

Latest News and Updates on the Struggle Against Racism in America

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced his office has filed five charges, including voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, against a former police officer who shot and killed a Black man suspected of carjacking a California Lottery minivan three years ago.

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old gunman accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, Wis., in August, posted $2 million bail and was released from custody on Friday.

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will become the first Black woman to serve as brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

It's the top leadership post for midshipmen — in civilian terms, the equivalent of a student body president — and she is the 16th woman to serve in the position in the 44 years women have been allowed to attend the Naval Academy.

Poised to take over the role as leader of 4,400 midshipmen next semester, Barber told NPR's All Things Considered that there was a time when she had no desire to attend the Naval Academy.

Joseph Mensah, a Wauwatosa, Wis., police officer who has been suspended from the department since this summer, is being allowed to resign at the end of this month, city officials announced.

Mensah has been suspended from the suburban Milwaukee police department since July 15. He has shot and killed three people in the line of duty since 2015, according to multiple reports, including a Black teenager outside a shopping mall in February.

Criminal charges for Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott and more than a dozen others have been dropped. Scott was part of a group arrested in September during a demonstration against the grand jury decision not to directly charge Louisville police officers over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

The white father and son who took part in killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot while jogging, have been denied bond.

Gregory, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, two of three suspects facing malice murder and felony murder charges appeared for their bond hearing on Thursday and Friday via video conference in Glynn County, Georgia.

A Chatham County Superior Court judge denied bond for a third white man involved in the fatal shooting, saying William "Roddy" Bryan, was a potential flight risk.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles County coroner's office announced Tuesday it will open an independent inquiry into the sheriff's deputy-involved death of an 18-year-old man shot in June.

North Minneapolis, one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in Minnesota, was already dealing with high coronavirus infection and death rates when George Floyd was killed by police outside a corner store just 3 miles away.

An Indianapolis police officer who fatally shot a man after a high-speed car chase that was captured on Facebook Live will not face criminal charges.

A grand jury on Tuesday declined to indict Dejoure Mercer who shot and killed Dreasjon "Sean" Reed on May 6.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A 19-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged with illegally providing the gun that prosecutors say Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, used to fatally shoot two men and injure a third during a protest this summer in Kenosha, Wis.

A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, in his first court appearance in the state after being extradited from Illinois last week.

Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting two demonstrators and injuring a third during protests on Aug. 25 that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot several times at close range by Kenosha police and is now paralyzed.

Police in Graham, N.C., moved in on a march and rally to drive voter turnout, using pepper spray and making several arrests on the state's last day of early voting.

According to video, police and participants, deputies with the Alamance County Sheriff's Office and Graham police officers twice used pepper spray on the "I Am Change" march to the polls.

This summer's massive protests over police brutality, spurred by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, demanded significant changes in policing.

Those protests have moved some cities and states to "reimagine" what departments could look like through changes in funding and legislation. Some efforts stalled, like in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

As some protesters smashed storefront windows to make off with merchandise during the chaos of Monday night's Walter Wallace Jr. protests, some Philadelphia Police officers smashed an SUV's windows and violently yanked out its driver and a teenaged passenger, threw them to the ground, then pulled a small child from the back seat.

The incident was captured on video and streamed live by Aapril Rice, who watched the "surreal" scene from a rooftop across the street.

Raleigh, N.C.'s mayor issued a citywide curfew Friday afternoon ahead of two planned protests over racial justice and police brutality.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced the curfew will begin at 10 p.m. and continue through Saturday, 5 a.m. citing the desire to keep the demonstrations under control. The curfew doesn't apply to law enforcement, medical personnel, delivery workers, and the media.

Walter Wallace Jr.'s family is seeking justice but they are not advocating for the officers who killed the 27-year-old Black man to be charged with murder.

The family, including Wallace's mother and wife who were at the scene of the killing, privately reviewed the police body camera footage of the fatal shooting early Thursday morning.

Updated 4:45 p.m. ET

Philadelphia, still on edge following days of protests and unrest that engulfed the city in response to the police killing of a 27-year-old Black man, Walter Wallace Jr., experienced a relatively quiet night Wednesday.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw vowed on Wednesday that the department would release "in the near future" 911 tapes and body camera footage worn by the officers involved with the killing.

Updated at 2 a.m. ET Thursday

Philadelphia officials issued a citywide curfew on Wednesday after consecutive nights of protests — which at times turned violent — following the fatal police shooting of a 27-year-old Black man, Walter Wallace Jr.

He was holding a knife when police shot him.

The was in effect from 9 p.m. Wednesday and lasts until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney lamented the looting and property destruction that's taken place during nighttime protests.

Updated at 1:35 a.m. ET Wednesday

Several hundred troops from the Pennsylvania National Guard will be deployed to Philadelphia at the county's request, amid unrest following the shooting of a Black man on Monday.

Walter Wallace, 27, was killed after officers responded to emergency calls Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia. The city's mayor and police commissioner have promised a full investigation into the incident.

A police officer who shot and killed a young Black man and injured the man's girlfriend during a traffic stop last week in Waukegan, Ill., has been fired. City officials are expected to release police video of the encounter, which could come as soon as this week.

State and local officials attended a vigil Sunday in Waukegan, where attendees paid tribute to the deceased, Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and Tafara Williams, who is recovering from injuries sustained last week.

Researchers in Tulsa, Okla., have concluded their latest round of test excavations in the search for remains of Black victims killed during a race massacre nearly a century ago.

Tulsa officials said at least 11 coffins were discovered over four days of digging in specific areas of the city-owned Oaklawn Cemetery. It is one of the locations historians and researchers believe mass graves exist stemming from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Protesters in Waukegan, Ill., are calling for justice and urging federal authorities to open an investigation into the police killing earlier this week of Marcellis Stinnette, a young Black man.

Tafara Williams, the driver of the vehicle the pair was in at the time of the encounter, was also shot and is recovering from her injuries at a local hospital. Her relatives have told reporters that she was Stinette's girlfriend.

The men's basketball coach at Penn State University, Pat Chambers, has resigned following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct.

New York City officials say the city will join Portland and Seattle in a legal challenge against the Trump administration's decision to label them as "anarchist" cities. The designation could impact federal funding for the cities.

"This is a figment of Donald Trump's troubled imagination," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. "The only anarchy in this country is coming from the White House."

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

A Minneapolis judge has dismissed the third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, one of the four former police officers facing criminal charges in the May killing of George Floyd.

Chauvin, who was captured on cellphone video kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes, still faces a higher charge of second-degree murder. Chauvin's legal team filed a motion to have both charges dropped, but the latter was denied.

One of the Louisville police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor seven months ago said while her death was tragic, it is different from other high-profile killings of Black Americans this year.

"It's not a race thing like people try to make it to be," said Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the three officers who discharged their service weapons during the botched narcotics raid at Taylor's home in the early hours of March 13.

The Department of Justice has set aside $3 million in grants and established a National Response Center aimed strengthening police reforms and reducing the use of excessive force by law enforcement.

Federal officials unveiled the initiative in Minnesota Tuesday and expressed hope the city of Minneapolis would be the first jurisdiction to take advantage of the program.

Six months after driver Kyle Larson was suspended for uttering a racial slur, NASCAR announced he's been reinstated and is eligible to return to the sport in January.

Larson, 28, was dropped from his racing team and quickly lost sponsors after saying the N-word in April while playing a video game that viewers could follow along. NASCAR moved to bar him indefinitely and ordered him to attend racial sensitivity training.

In the early 1980s, Mary Ann Tellas was majoring in biology at Indiana University, and for the first time, she had a class taught by a Black professor.

As a young Black woman, Tellas says having a professor of her own race gave her the confidence to speak up in class and pursue a career in science. Now, she's a high school biology teacher in Indianapolis.

"I always felt as though, gosh, you know, there's nobody like me in my classes. Nobody looks like me," Tellas says. "I don't want to say it changed my life, but it did give me some perspective."

Updated 4:27 p.m. ET

Excavation crews are breaking ground on Monday at a new site in Tulsa, Okla., in an effort to find the remains of Black victims of one of the nation's bloodiest race massacres.

This will be the second such excavation led by the city this year, as it tries to determine where the estimated 150 to 300 victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre were buried.

Historians say white mobs targeted the area of the city known as Black Wall Street, killing Black residents and looting and burning businesses, homes and churches to the ground.

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