To be demolished: Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond
A giant statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has remained on Monument Avenue in Richmond for more than a century. But the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday (Sept. 2) that the statue can be removed. The matter came before the court after residents of Virginia filed two suits to prevent the statue from being removed, which Gov. Ralph Northam said he would do last year.
5 residents owning property nearby the statue claim Northam has an obligation to protect and maintain the statue, as a result of a joint declaration of the Virginia General Assembly in 1889. The descendant, William Gregory, stated in his lawsuit that the state of Virginia had committed to protecting the statue faithfully and affectionately back when it was accepted.
In contrast, the court explained that the “restrictive covenants” in the 1887 and 1890 deeds do not apply anymore.
“Such covenants are unenforceable because they are contrary to public policy and because the effect they have is to force the Commonwealth to continue to express messages it no longer agrees with,” the justices wrote.
Mark Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, said that a small group of residents cannot force the state to maintain an ancient monument that does not reflect its values.
Last June, ten days after George Floyd’s murder, Northam announced his decision to remove the statue. In Richmond, the Confederacy’s capital during most of the Civil War, the statue became a focal point of racial inequality protests.
A plan for the removal of the monument is reportedly being worked on, but it was not revealed how quickly it would be removed.
An ex-prosecutor faces misconduct charges over Ahmaud Arbery’s investigation
Ahmaud Arbery’s former district attorney has been charged with misconduct. Multiple news outlets reported that ex-District Attorney Jaquelyn Lee Johnson faced charges of violating the oath of office and obstructing a police officer in relation to the case that ended in Arbery’s death.
Her actions were deemed to be contrary to her law enforcement responsibilities when Johnson showed “favor and affection” to Greg McMichael – who served in her office for three decades before retiring in 2019 – and failed to treat Ahmaud Arbery in a fair manner.
Back in February 2020, Greg McMichael and his son Travis McMichael jumped into their pickup truck and chased Arbery through the neighborhood as he jogged. When Travis encountered the McMichaels, a scuffle ensued, resulting in a fatal shooting. According to Travis and his father, Arbery was perceived to be a burglar. But the shooting itself occurred as a result of an alleged attack from the jogger.
According to the indictment, Johnson advised officers not to arrest Travis when they arrived at the scene of the crime. Later, she cited a former professional relationship with Greg to excuse herself from the case.
Upon Johnson’s departure, the former district attorney recommended Waycross Circuit District Attorney George E Barnhill replace her, but he was forced to recuse himself when it was learned that his son had been assistant prosecutor to Johnson.
A felony murder charge was filed against the McMichaels by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The McMichaels’ neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan also faces the same charge, despite asserting he was only a witness.
An ex-cop who shot Daunte Wright has been charged with first-degree manslaughter
The charges against the former police officer who killed Daunte Wright have been upgraded by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Sources recall that Kimberly Potter was originally charged with second-degree manslaughter, however, prosecutors added a charge of first-degree manslaughter on Thursday (Sept. 2) to her original charges. By the amended complaint, the former officer is alleged to have caused Wright’s death by recklessly using a firearm in such a dangerous manner that death or great bodily injury to anyone was reasonably foreseeable.
As alleged in the complaint, Potter claimed she would go to prison. A list of the ex-cop’s qualifications appeared alongside the statement, “I shot a boy.”. She received a “substantial amount of” training on how to differentiate between tasers and handguns throughout her 26 years on the force. Potter had already completed two taser-specific training courses six months before the shooting.
These courses included information regarding the correct use of tasers as well as safety concerns associated with the use of them. At the end of the course, Potter completed a written test in order to demonstrate that she comprehended the information presented. She also signed a certificate of completion.
Potter fatally shot Wright, 20, during a traffic stop in April. His registration was expired, so he was pulled over. Wright fled from authorities after finding out he was wanted on an outstanding warrant. Though authorities attempted to arrest him, he reportedly got back into his vehicle and fled the scene.
Potter, who is a former union president, fired her weapon at Wright in the chest. Instead of shooting her gun, she meant to fire her taser. On Dec. 6, her trial will begin.