Protesters brutalized across the nation; slave trader statue tossed in river in England & more

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Dallas man loses eye to police projectile during protest

Courtesy of Twitter Brandon Saenz

Brandon Saenz was protesting against police violence last weekend when he became a victim of it. Police hit him in the eye with what authorities in Dallas said was a non-lethal sponge round which resulted in him losing his left eye.

“All I heard was a boom. I got hit,” Saenz told Dallas media. “I put my hands up, and I put my hand on my eye, and then I took off running,” he said. Saenz said he did not do anything that would have provoked police to shoot him. He has retained an attorney and plans on suing the city of Dallas.

A Dallas police oversight board reported that it has had over 100 calls from residents complaining about police brutalizing protesters and reporting injuries as a result of police firing non-lethal but obviously harmful projectiles.

Bristol England

Courtesy of YouTube Edward Colston statue tossed in the river

Black Lives Matters protesters in Bristol, England pulled down a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston and pushed it into the Avon river.

The 18-foot bronze statue, erected in 1895, has long been a focal point for anger at the city’s role in the slave trade and the continued commemoration of those who were involved in it. Colston’scompany transported more than 100,000 slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas between 1672 and 1689, cramming them into ships to maximize profit.

A petition to remove it had garnered more than 11,000 signatures read, “Whilst history shouldn’t be forgotten, these people who benefited from the enslavement of individuals do not deserve the honor of a statue. This should be reserved for those who bring about positive change and who fight for peace, equality, and social unity.”

Ft. Lauderdale cop caught on camera kicking teen

Courtesy of Twitter Latoya_Ratlieff

An Ft. Lauderdale cop was caught on camera as he kicked a pre-teen Black girl in the back as she was kneeling in a moment of silence at a protest for justice for George Floyd. The cop Steven Pohorence was suspended. According to Internal Affairs investigators, there have been at least 51 incidents in which Pohorence, who had been on the Ft Lauderdale force for only four years has drawn his gun.

At the same protest, LaToya Ratlieff had been kneeling in a moment of silence for Floyd when she was shot in the head with a rubber bullet. The projectile cracked her skull requiring several stitches blackening both eyes. “I was walking away,” she said. “I was peaceful and I was still attacked. I’m okay. My eye will heal. I was able to come home. But, George Floyd and many others did not.”

Earlier, a cop was caught on tape pushing a teenage girl in the back who was observing a moment of silence with others on her knees.

Louisville man defending himself from police attack shot and killed

Courtesy of Facebook McAtee

Louisville police shot and killed restaurant owner David McAtee last week during a protest on behalf of George Floyd. Police video of the incident suggests that McAtee was defending his and fired after police were firing weapons at him and his relatives. The police, it turns out, were firing non-lethal projectiles, pepper balls.

McAtee’s shooting was featured in a recent New York Times article. His West End restaurant YaYa’s BBQ was popular among Black Lousiville residents and according to all reports he was well-liked, even by the local police. He was known to be very charitable even giving food to customers who could not afford it.

“He fed them police, I know that for myself. Gave them food, didn’t charge them nothing,” recalled his mother Odessa McAtee, who sometimes helped out at the restaurant. “He fed a whole lot more people. Homeless people. He fed them. Why? That’s the way I raised him. To be nice to people. Treat people right.”

Journalist loses eye in Minneapolis

Courtesy of Facebook Linda Tirado

Journalist Linda Tirado was hit in the face by a rubber bullet fired by Minneapolis police on May 31, which resulted in her losing an eye. Minneapolis police claim they don’t fire rubber bullets, but protesters have reported being hit by projectiles and have shown news media large rocket- and bullet-shaped objects that police have fired at them.

“It comes to my attention that some folks are using my injury to argue that people should stop protesting,” Tirado said. “F— that; stay in the streets double for me, cause I can’t. It was police who shot me, not protesters.”

“If someone believes that we have injured them, we encourage people to contact our Internal Affairs Unit or the Office of Police Conduct Review,” said John Elder, MPD spokesperson.

Ku Klux Klan member runs into BLM protesters

Courtesy of Henrico County Sheriff's Office

The identity of a man who drove into protesters in Virginia has been revealed as self-proclaimed Ku Klux Klan member Harry Rogers, according to reports.

According to witnesses, the Rogers revved his engine prior to driving through a group of around 300 protesters at a Black Lives Matter march on Sunday. The protest was one of many across the nation following the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day.  Rogers now faces charges of attempted malicious wounding, destruction of property, and assault and battery, police said. A hate crime investigation is underway. No one was reported as being seriously hurt.

Seniors cooling on Trump in light of his COVID response

Courtesy of CDC

President Trump’s support has taken a hit among seniors in light of his COVID-19 response, according to recent polling. First, the Christian Monitor reported that Trump’s approval rating has dropped 20 points among voters over age 65, the biggest drop any other age group aside from 18-29-year-olds.

“The people my age, we have become dispensable,” Wendy Penk told the Christian Monitor. Penk is listed as a lifelong Republican in her 60s from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her views were echoed by other seniors quoted in the story.

The Guardian also recently reported a “19-point erosion in just two months.” The coronavirus has hit seniors particularly hard, and the president’s frequent refrain to “open up” the country in spite of the lack of a vaccine, widespread testing, and contact tracing has apparently not gone unnoticed by this very critical voting block. As the Christian Monitor reports, many of the battleground states Trump will need to secure a second term—Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona—also happen to be the oldest.

Goodbye to Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, retired White House butler Wilson Roosevelt Jerman

Longtime Wilson Roosevelt Jerman whose career spanned five decades as a White House butler recently died of coronavirus at age 91. Jerman’s career began in 1957 during the Eisenhower administration and in his last position, he served as a maître d’ in the Obama White House, leaving his position in 2012. He died May 16.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama remembered Jerman in a statement, saying her family was lucky to have known him.

“His service to others—his willingness to go above and beyond for the country he loved and all those whose lives he touched—is a legacy worthy of his generous spirit,” she said.