The lethal history of rubber bullets—and why they should never be used on peaceful protesters

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Rubber bullets fired on protesters can kill. So why are we using them—and can they be improved? As protests have taken over the U.S., police officers in Minneapolis , Los Angeles , Sacramento , Kansas City , Chicago , and more have opened fire on crowds—bruising, maiming, and even permanently blinding peaceful demonstrators and members of the press . The shots fired have primarily been with what are colloquially called rubber bullets. Read Full Story

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Walmart removes guns and ammo from some stores due to ongoing protests against police brutality

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The move comes after some retailers, including Walmart competitor Target, have been looted during the overwhelmingly peaceful protests. As protests around the country over the killing of Gorge Floyd at the hands of police officers enter their second week, brick-and-mortar retailing giant Walmart has confirmed that it has removed firearms and ammunition from some of its stores across the country. Read Full Story

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This map reveals 1,747 monuments and other Confederate symbols of America’s racist past

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The map was compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center to show how prolific glorification of the Confederacy is. The George Floyd killing last month has led to a flurry of activity surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. The overwhelmingly peaceful protests that started and continue in the wake of his death have led to sweeping police reform proposals , calls to defund the police and reallocate that funding directly back into the local community , and even TV shows that helped glorify police violence being canceled . Read Full Story

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As cities make deep cuts because of COVID-19, police departments are keeping their funding

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Across the country, the police are often the one city agency not facing deep cuts in proposed post-pandemic budgets. As protesters face off against incredibly well-equipped police, they’re asking what that money is for. As images from protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death have spread around the country, a key demand from protesters has been the defunding of city police departments: that cutting the money a city spends on police would, in fact, make communities safer. They’ve pointed to the tactical gear and equipment that the police have been pictured using as evidence that cities spend far too much money on their law enforcement, at the expense of other agencies that often lack funds to offer basic services to residents. Read Full Story

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Police conducted a ‘planned assault’ on protesters, according to a new visual investigation

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Human Rights Watch and SITU Research use 3D modeling and video analysis to show how the New York Police Department tried to suppress a peaceful protest in June. When about 300 people gathered on the streets of the Bronx for a peaceful march one evening in early June, the New York Police Department was ready for them. According to a new report and video evidence collected from members of the public and analyzed by a team of human rights advocates and architects, officers deliberately trapped protesters using a tactic that resulted in violence and hundreds of arrests. Read Full Story

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The Capitol insurrection could not have happened without guns

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With help from the gun lobby, pro-gun rhetoric has become an indispensable element of the far-right extremist movement. On the day Congress gathered to formalize the election of the next president, the world watched as aggressive mobs looted and ransacked the U.S. Capitol with only gentle police pushback. Many observers commented that rabbles freely rioting in the halls of Congress showed a blatant double standard in the police response to the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, who were met with 14,000 arrests, military intervention, and the spraying of rubber bullets and PepperBalls. Read Full Story

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George Floyd protests: Press Freedom Tracker shows attacks on journalists are growing

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Freedom of the press is under attack as journalists covering the George Floyd protests are targeted around the United States. Freedom of the press is under attack. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports there have been at least 125 incidents around the United States of journalists being targeted as they cover protests over the death of an unarmed black man who was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. Read Full Story

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Does defunding the police sound radical? Some cities have already taken the first steps

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Small examples from around the country show how cities are moving money from police budgets to investing in communities. Nationwide, we spend more than $100 billion on policing a year, a statement of budgetary priorities that has come under renewed scrutiny after George Floyd’s death and protests against police brutality across the country. Calls to “defund the police” are gaining traction, but the idea itself is not new. Though it has usually only happened in small doses, some communities have already been chipping away at their outsized police budgets for years, investing that money back into the community rather than into armed cops. Read Full Story

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Racist monuments are coming down all over the U.S. What should replace them?

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Prominent designers, artists, and thinkers weigh in. Protests against police brutality in the United States have thrown the spotlight on another aspect of systemic racism in America: More than 1,700 Confederate monuments remain standing today. But activists are fighting back. So far, over 25 monuments have been taken down by protesters since the killing of George Floyd , including statues of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. As more monuments come down, many are asking what the fallen monuments should be replaced with. Read Full Story

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