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Minnesota sheriff's office reprimanded for banning non-white corrections officers from guarding Derek Chauvin
On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that officials in Ramsey County, Minnesota are blasting their local sheriff's office over a policy in which corrections officers were racially segregated, with non-white officers prohibited from guarding now-convicted murderer Derek Chauvin while he was awaiting trial in 2020.
"On Tuesday, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners signed off on a nearly $1.5 million settlement after the officers sued for racial discrimination while working at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center, a facility run by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, in May 2020," reported Brooke Leigh Howard. "The board also officially apologized to the officers Devin Sullivan, Mohamud Salad, Timothy Ivory, Anabel Herrera, Stanley Hafoka, Nathaniel Gomez-Haustein, Cedric Dodds, and Chelsea Cox."
According to the lawsuit, the policy, which Superintendent Steve Lydon claimed was to minimize the trauma of officers of color, "prohibited all non-white correctional officers 'from interacting with or guarding Chauvin, or going anywhere on the fifth floor, where Chauvin was to be held. As a result…all officers of color who were assigned in those areas were segregated from Chauvin and reassigned to other locations within the jail.'" At one point, non-white officers had to stand by during an "emergency situation" and wait for white officers to arrive, because it was in the area they were prohibited from going.
"[The sheriff's office's actions] were more than just wrong — they were racist, heinous, highly disrespectful and completely out of line with Ramsey County’s vision and values," said the Board of Commissioners in a statement to the Beast. "No one ever should have questioned your ability to perform your job based on the color of your skin."
Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, became a national name after he was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Black suspect George Floyd, who died after nine minutes of gasping for air and begging for his life — an event that triggered civil rights protests around the country.
Chauvin was ultimately sentenced to 22 years in prison for murder after a highly publicized trial. He subsequently pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges at the end of last year.
Donald Trump has been frantically working the phones following Monday's FBI execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and his thinking about how to respond may be rapidly shifting.
A source close to Trump told People magazine, "Donald is furious yet scared."
"He feels victimized and is calling everyone he trusts to give him advice and reassure him that this is a witch hunt," the source said. "He is buoyed by the Republican support [after the] invasion of privacy."
CNN confirmed Trump's extensive phone conversations.
"After revealing the FBI had conducted a 'raid' of his Palm Beach residence in a statement Monday evening, Trump became inundated with calls from allies wanting him to dive into the 2024 race sooner rather than later, according to a person familiar with the matter," CNN reported. "He spent most of Tuesday hopping 'from one phone call to the next,' this person said, adding that the former president 'has been on the phone since daybreak.'"
On Tuesday evening, Trump has a previously scheduled meeting with the Republican Study Committee caucus in Congress at Bedminster.
"Top Republicans who have spent months trying to dissuade Donald Trump from announcing another presidential campaign before the midterms are coming around to the idea, after an unprecedented search of the former President’s Mar-a-Lago property by federal investigators on Monday lit up the GOP base," CNN reported. "Trump has received a fresh wave of encouragement to jump start his next presidential campaign in the 24 hours since his primary residence became the target of an FBI search warrant, several sources familiar with the matter told CNN."
Longtime confidante Michael Caputo explained why his advice on the question had changed.
"My advice that we should wait until after the midterms was based upon a rather standard landscape. [The Justice Department] set off a nuclear bomb on that landscape yesterday. This is no longer a business-as-usual campaign. Not even close," Caputo said. “Most of the downsides of announcing early are regulatory or financial but the Democrats just guaranteed that Trump will raise three times the money he was going to and probably in the immediate future."
Meanwhile, Trump supporters are demonstrating their loyalty to the former president with a rally in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
The far-right in the United States responded ominously to the FBI's Monday night search of former President Donald Trump's Florida mansion, with Republican lawmakers and television personalities baselessly accusing the Biden administration of weaponizing the Justice Department and popular as well as anonymous social media users beating the drums of a civil war.
"Lock and load," says the top comment related to the Mar-a-Lago search on patriots.win—a pro-Trump comment forum that emerged after Reddit banned the r/The_Donald group of nearly 800,000 for repeatedly posting racist and misogynistic content in violation of its rules against harassment and targeting.
When one user asks, "Are we not in a cold civil war at this point?" another suggests that violence is imminent, with "authentic pain" coming soon.
According to NBC News reporter Ben Collins, the content shared on pro-Trump forums Monday night was arguably even more violent than what was posted in the lead-up to the deadly January 6, 2021 attack.
As he did before last year's insurrection at the Capitol, Trump only has "to ask us," notes one commenter. Another writes: "None of this demonstrating in the snow shit. Summertime was made for killing fields."
It wasn't just anonymous posters threatening to mow down their perceived political enemies. For instance, highly influential reactionary Steven Crowder tweeted, "Tomorrow is war," followed less than 12 hours later by, "Today is war." The NRA also leapt at the opportunity to boost gun sales.
Fox News hosts and guests, meanwhile, quickly disparaged the Mar-a-Lago search as a "partisan witch hunt," "dark day for our republic," "preemptive coup," "Third World bullshit," and the work of the "Gestapo" and "Stasi," as documented by Media Matters for America.
The right-wing outrage machine was adopting talking points that Trump laid out in a statement portraying himself as the victim of "prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the justice system, and an attack by radical left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for president."
"Such an assault could only take place in broken, third world countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before," said Trump. "The lawlessness, political persecution, and witch hunt must be exposed and stopped."
As The Washington Post reported Tuesday:
We don't yet know much about what was in the search warrant used to raid Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. We do know that the raid concerned the removal of classified documents from the White House and that, according to Trump, agents raided his safe.
But we also quickly found out that a lot of influential people are rather uninterested in any of that, reflexively shouting "witch hunt" and baselessly blaming President [Joe] Biden for the raid in a way that bodes very poorly for whatever comes next in this process. Trump has marshaled his army of supporters to declare, in knee-jerk fashion, any legal scrutiny of him a deep-state operation.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) endorsed Trump's unsubstantiated claim that the Biden White House is "using government power to persecute political opponents," calling it "something we have seen many times" from authoritarian regimes in impoverished nations "but never before in America." The House Judiciary Committee's Republicans, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), echoed that message.
During an appearance on Fox News, Jordan demanded that Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray—a Trump appointee—answer the GOP's questions about Monday night's search at Mar-a-Lago.
As Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz explained, the Justice Department is not yet able to provide details given the ongoing nature of investigations into Trump's attempt to overthrow the U.S. government and other possible crimes, so the ex-president and his allies are "filling that vacuum" with baseless allegations of political malfeasance.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement that "when Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned," telling Garland: "Preserve your documents and clear your calendar."
Despite the fact that Garland hasn't yet publicly responded to the GOP's planned inquiry, McCarthy concluded that "the Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization" while Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel declared that "Democrats continually weaponize the bureaucracy against Republicans."
As the Post noted: "That's a lot of firm conclusions based on not much at all. But it's the fruit of years of Trump claiming persecution."
The newspaper continued:
This investigation hardly comes out of nowhere: Trump's handling of government documents has long been a focal point. The Washington Post reported as far back as February on Trump's "relentless document destruction habits." A couple of days later, the National Archives confirmed that it had retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago—including records marked as "classified" and even "top secret"—that should have been turned over, and then asked the Justice Department to investigate, which it clearly has.
The question from there is whether this is a matter that merits a search warrant. That the Justice Department would go this route would seem to suggest it sees something potentially incriminating beyond merely shoddy record-keeping and document retention. The department knows this decision will be harshly scrutinized; going down this path only for its destination to be a minor finding, ending in a slap on the wrist, isn't worth the blowback it'll get from 40% to 45% of the country.
Ironically, the Post added, Trump's supporters were "once quite consumed with the import of document security by would-be presidential candidates—and quite happy to promote the idea that their preferred candidate ought to 'lock' such an opponent 'up.'"
Trump relentlessly attacked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton over her private email server during the 2016 presidential campaign. Right-wing media outlets and members of Congress who condemned Clinton had much less to say when it was revealed that Trump unlawfully took documents to Mar-a-Lago.
Trump also tried to use his power as president to harm his political rivals, repeatedly asking Ukraine's president to investigate Hunter Biden. And although Clinton's home wasn't searched, the FBI did conduct a public probe of her use of a private email server in 2016—possibly contributing to her failure to win the White House that year.