A veto-proof majority of Minneapolis city council members vowed to defund and disband the Minneapolis Police Department.1 2 The decision followed two weeks of large-scale protests—in every state and on six continents—against police brutality and for the defunding or abolition of police departments.3 The demonstrations have followed the deaths of George Floyd, a Black community leader who was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and Breonna Taylor, a Black EMT who was shot eight times while lying in bed by police officers who had entered her apartment with a no-knock warrant.4 5 During last week’s protests across the United States, police officers arrested more than 10,000 people; assaulted at least 173 journalists; destroyed a medic tent in Asheville, North Carolina; used tear gas on protesters in Seattle after it had been banned by the city; pulled down a man’s face mask to pepper-spray him in Brooklyn; shoved a 75-year-old Buffalo activist onto the ground; groped, beat, and handcuffed a woman in Indianapolis; knee-choked a man for violating a curfew in Columbia, South Carolina; broke into a woman’s car and knee-choked her in Chicago; fractured the skulls of two students by firing “less-lethal” ammunition into a crowd in Austin, Texas; fatally teargassed Sarah Grossman, an environmentalist and recent Ohio State graduate, in Columbus, Ohio; and shot and killed David McAtee, a Rastafarian owner of a barbecue restaurant, while enforcing a curfew in Louisville, Kentucky.6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Body-camera footage was released showing that 22-year-old Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal was shot more than 20 times while running from the police in Salt Lake City.20 Police officers used assault weapons to fire more than 40 rounds at a stolen truck in Oakland, California, killing 23-year-old Erik Salgado and injuring his pregnant girlfriend less than a block from his mother’s house.21 An Edmonton, New Brunswick, police officer was called to conduct a wellness check on a 26-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation citizen, Chantal Moore, and shot her dead.22 When a stun gun failed to interrupt a Bay Area man who was cannibalizing his 90-year-old grandmother, four police officers handcuffed him.23 In Austria, plans were announced to turn the house where Adolf Hitler was born into a police station.24
Black teenagers organized marches in Orange County, California; Detroit; and Nashville, Tennessee.25 26 27 More than 150 people protested in Vidor, Texas, a town where in 1993 federal marshals were called in to protect Black residents who were integrating into public housing.28 29 Fans of Korean pop music shut down police department surveillance apps in Dallas and Grand Rapids, Michigan, and overwhelmed counterprotesters’ social-media accounts with images and videos of K-pop stars.30 “The only blue thing that matters is Namjoons hair #blueLivesMatter,” read one tweet. British protesters toppled an 18-foot-tall statue of a 17th-century slave trader and dumped it into Bristol Harbor; statues of King Leopold II, who was responsible for the deaths of some 10 million Congolese people, were doused with red paint and set on fire across Belgium.31 32 33 The official GoFundMe memorial fund for Floyd, created by his brother, raised nearly $14 million, the most in the site’s history, and a bail fund for protesters in Minnesota received more than $20 million in donations.34 35 The mayor of Cleveland refused to reallocate any of the $218 million budgeted for the city’s police department, then lamented that Cleveland is considered “the butthole of the world.”36 San Jose police officers shot a rubber bullet at a Black community activist who had led implicit-bias workshops with the city’s police department, rupturing his testicles; Chicago police officers clubbed the president of the Chicago Police Board five times; in a department-wide email, the Fargo deputy chief of Police apologized for saying, in “a casual, low voice, yah, fuck those police” while attempting to infiltrate a local protest.37 38 39 “I took actions that forever many within this department will call me stupid. That is probably just, I can’t argue that,” he wrote.
The police charged a Massachusetts man with assault for throwing an object “later determined to be a large pickle” at a Vermont highway worker.40 British rail workers mistook a naked man sunbathing on train tracks for a dead body.41 “It is not as uncommon as you might think,” a spokeswoman for the rail company said. A German shepherd from New York became the first American dog to test positive for the coronavirus, an Indian entrepreneur was coordinating a private jet to reunite pets with their quarantined owners, and the Netherlands ordered the culling of 10,000 minks to prevent the virus from spreading across fur farms.42 43 44 Madagascar’s minister of education was fired after she proposed that every student in the country be given three lollipops to make up for the bitter aftertaste of an unproven herbal remedy for COVID-19.45 “Dr. Miami,” a surgeon and reality-TV star, offered his clients drive-through Botox injections for parts of their faces not covered by masks.46 There were new COVID-19 outbreaks at a meatpacking plant in Utah and a seafood-processing facility in Oregon.47 48 Donald Trump, who toured a factory manufacturing COVID-19 tests without a mask or gloves, signed an executive order that would allow construction projects to circumvent environmental regulations after an “economic emergency” had been declared by the president; the EPA proposed that public health be excluded from its cost-benefit analyses; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that there was more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any time in history.49 50 51 52 The third named storm of the 2020 hurricane season, Cristobal, made landfall on the Gulf Coast. No police officers were injured.53—Jordan Cutler-Tietjen