Racial Justice

Latest News and Updates on the Struggle Against Racism in America

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Following months of outrage, activism and anticipation, a Kentucky grand jury has decided to indict one of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.

Brett Hankison, who was terminated in June, has been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment over shooting into neighboring apartments. Bond was set at $15,000.

Uncle Ben's will now be known as Ben's Original.

Food giant Mars, Incorporated said Wednesday that it is changing the rice brand's name, which has faced criticism for racial stereotyping. It said the change signals "the brand's ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining its commitment to producing the world's best rice."

Mars also said it will remove the image of the elderly Black man in a bow tie from its packaging.

Swastika, New York, Is Keeping Its Name

Sep 23, 2020

Michael Alcamo lives in New York City but loves cycling through the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York, with their tiny towns and hamlets and historical cemeteries.

He was on a trip like this, winding through a remote stretch this summer, when he noticed something else, a small brown street sign with the name "Swastika."

At a time when symbols and place names with links to white supremacy are being debated across the U.S., Alcamo found the name of the unincorporated hamlet he had crossed into unsettling.

Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, Ky., said Tuesday he has declared a state of emergency for the city "due to the potential for civil unrest."

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is poised to announce whether his office will bring charges against the police officers who fatally shot 26-year-old Breonna Taylor during a botched narcotics raid at her home on March 13.

The mayor reiterated he has no insight about when Cameron's decision will be announced, but he said the city must be prepared.

NBA legend Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player and known for his elite competitiveness, is taking another big challenge: trying to make NASCAR more inclusive.

The hoops icon announced on Monday that he and NASCAR superstar Denny Hamlin have teamed up to form a new racing team. They've recruited Bubba Wallace to be its driver.

On a street in Rochester, N.Y., earlier this month, police and demonstrators clashed violently, with marchers shouting and coughing as officers in riot gear fired pepper balls at the crowd.

As tear gas fogged the intersection, a Black protest leader urged white demonstrators forward.

"If you're a white person, you're getting to the perimeter, you're putting your body on the f****** line right now!" she shouted to a group of protesters wearing goggles, filter masks and bicycle helmets.

They responded by hustling forward, forming a line with homemade shields.

The family of a 53-year-old Black man shot and killed by a National Guard soldier during protests this summer in Louisville, Ky., is filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the case.

David "Ya Ya" McAtee was killed just after midnight on June 1 by a single bullet to the chest while he stood in the doorway of his barbecue stand in the city's West End as police and National Guard troops enforcing a curfew converged on a crowd nearby. Investigators say the lethal shot was fired by a Guard soldier, who has not been publicly identified.

A white Omaha, Neb., bar owner who was recently indicted for his role in the fatal shooting of a young Black man in May during racial justice protests has died by suicide, according to the man's attorneys.

For months, protests over the police involved killing of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, George Floyd in Minnesota and others around the country reinvigorated an intense debate over policing. Then when Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, Ky., recently announced the city would pay $12 million to Taylor's family and institute a number of police reforms, that highlighted an aspect less discussed — the financial impact of police misconduct on cities and taxpayers.

The mother of Breonna Taylor says that if the police reforms announced this week by officials in Louisville were in place six months ago, her daughter might still be alive.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency room technician, was fatally shot by Louisville police during a botched narcotics raid at her home during the early morning hours of March 13.

A decision on whether to bring charges against the three officers who carried out the raid is expected in the coming days.

A Salt Lake City police officer is facing a felony charge stemming from an April encounter in which he ordered a police dog to attack a Black man who was on his knees with his hands raised, seemingly complying with officer commands.

Updated at 2:53 p.m. ET

The city of Louisville, Ky., announced a $12 million settlement Tuesday in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor.

The settlement also includes a series of police reforms to be adopted by the Louisville Metro Police Department, including establishing a housing incentive program to encourage officers to live in low-income neighborhoods within the city.

Other changes to police tactics include creating a clearer command structure when executing warrants at multiple locations.

Demonstrators gathered to protest the death of 27-year-old man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Lancaster, Pa., over the weekend.

The Lancaster District Attorney's office said in a statement that the investigation is ongoing, and that the man, identified as Ricardo Munoz, was armed with a knife when he was shot dead by an officer who has not been publicly identified.

Nine Black Lives Matter protesters who were confronted by a white St. Louis couple waving an AR 15-style rifle and a semi-automatic pistol as they allegedly stood guard on the beautifully manicured lawn of their mansion, have been issued trespassing summonses for marching onto a private property.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department issued the citations after more than two months of investigations, and these are now under review by the city counselor's office, officials told NPR.

Four Houston police officers have been terminated for their involvement in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Nicolas Chavez in April.

The Houston Police Department announced the firings Thursday and released body camera footage of the encounter.

Multiple officers were on the scene the night Chavez was shot to death. They fired a total of 24 shots at Chavez — only three of which were deemed "objectively reasonable," Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.

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Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler is telling the city's police to "end the use of CS gas for crowd control" in a policy change that he says is effective immediately.

Days before the U.S. commemorates the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the New York City Fire Department said it is renaming its most prestigious firefighting medal because of the "deeply racist beliefs" of its namesake.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced this week that the James Gordon Bennett Medal will now bear the name of Chief Peter J. Ganci Jr., who was the department's highest-ranking member to lose his life on 9/11.

George Washington University says associate professor Jessica A. Krug has resigned, after a blog post published under her name last week said she had invented several Black identities.

The blog post stated that Krug is actually a white, Jewish woman from the Midwest, who for years has "assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness."

As U.S. law enforcement departments are accused of racist policing, one of the most common responses by the people in charge has been to have officers take "implicit bias" training.

The training usually consists of a seminar in the psychological theory that unconscious stereotypes can lead people to make dangerous snap judgments. For instance, unconscious associations of African Americans with crime might make cops quicker to see them as suspects.

Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall, the first Black woman to head the department, has announced that she is stepping down from the post. Her resignation follows criticism over the department's response to protests against racism and police violence.

In a summer of unrest over police violence, you might think that suing the police is a way for the families of those killed to get justice. It can be, but the amount of justice available — in monetary settlements from cities and towns — may depend on the local politics of where the killing happened.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

La'Ron Singletary is resigning as police chief in Rochester, N.Y., as protests continue over the March death of a Black man, Daniel Prude, by asphyxiation after being restrained by police. Much of the encounter was caught on video.

Other senior police leaders are joining Singletary in leaving the department, Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said.

It's been four long years, but Colin Kaepernick is finally getting the chance to take the field again — this time for any team of your choosing.

Developers at EA Sports, the maker of the ubiquitous Madden NFL franchise, announced Tuesday that gamers will now have the opportunity to add the former superstar quarterback to both its Play Now and Franchise modes. It's the latest update for Madden NFL 21, which was released last month.

The mayor of Louisville, Ky., has named Yvette Gentry as the city's new interim police chief, making her the first Black woman to lead the Louisville Metro Police Department when she starts on Oct. 1.

Gentry is not a new face at the department. She served more than 20 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department, including as its deputy chief starting in 2011, before retiring from the force in 2014.

The police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosa, Wis., resonated with Roy Divine, who grew up 30 miles from the Milwaukee suburb, but says it "didn't feel that different" than the police killing of George Floyd that sparked nationwide protests earlier this summer.

After more than 100 days of protests in Portland, there is fatigue and increasing anxiety heading into opposing Labor Day demonstrations as officials urge protesters on opposing sides to stop the violence.

Among labor organizers and Black Lives Matter supporters, who began convening on the city's streets to protest police brutality and social injustice following the killing of George Floyd in May, there is a growing sense of dread over a possible confrontation with pro-Trump groups.

The mayor of Rochester, N.Y., is promising reforms to the city's police department after five nights of protests over the death of Daniel Prude after his arrest in March.

Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot by police in Wisconsin last month, spoke from his hospital bed about the pain of recovery and his hope for the future in a video posted to Twitter by his attorney on Saturday.

Updated at 7:41 p.m. ET

The New York attorney general announced on Saturday that she is putting together a grand jury as part of her office's investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after being restrained by police in March.

Last week, the Milwaukee Bucks shocked the sports world when they decided not to play in their playoff game against the Orlando Magic, in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. As other pro sports teams joined in the sit-out, it seemed as if the NBA season might come to a dramatic, unforeseen end that could have cost the league millions of dollars.

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