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The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd's death. It will be announced between 3:30 and 4 p.m. (ET).
Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, for more than nine minutes.
He is charged with murder and manslaughter for Floyd's May 25, 2020 death, which sparked protests across the United States and around the world against racial injustice and police brutality.
Watch live coverage, via NBC News, below:
LIVE: Jury Reaches A Verdict In The Derek Chauvin Trial | NBC News NOW www.youtube.com
The most compelling evidence in the case against Chauvin was the video of Floyd's arrest taken by a 17-year-old bystander, Darnella Frazier.
Prosecutors repeatedly showed excerpts from the video and in closing arguments, the state's attorney urged jurors to "believe your eyes."
"This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video," prosecutor Steve Schleicher said.
"This wasn't policing, this was murder," he said. "Nine minutes and 29 seconds of shocking abuse of authority."
Prosecutions of police officers are notoriously difficult in the United States because they enjoy what is called "qualified immunity," said David Schultz, a law professor at the University of Minnesota and Hamline University.
"Generally you can't hold police officers criminally responsible unless you can show they didn't follow department procedure or protocol, that they didn't act the way a reasonable officer would," Schultz said.
With reporting from AFP
The anti-Asian shootings at three massage parlours in Atlanta, Ga., in March 2021 have complex religious elements. Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed in the attacks. The alleged shooter emerged from an evangelical “purity culture" that teaches a narrow view of sexuality, often with racial undertones.
Purity culture has both specific and broad meanings. It directly refers to a 1990s wave of practices of “extreme abstinence," mainly directed at women. But it also incorporates decades of broader evangelical teachings restricting sexuality to within heterosexual marriage.
While some argue that purity culture only refers to the narrow 1990s practices that even many evangelicals now distance themselves from, there is no clear distinction and the underlying ideas are the same. According to Bradley Onishi, an American professor of religious studies, women are taught to “hate their bodies" and men to “hate their minds." This is the mindset that led the accused Atlanta perpetrator to claim he was plagued by a “sexual addiction," because he felt unable to manage his sexual thoughts and urges through purity culture's hardline approach of denial and self-loathing.
The head of a union representing more than 26,000 Social Security employees is using the pages of the largest daily newspaper in President Joe Biden's hometown to demand the immediate termination of Andrew Saul and David Black, Trump holdovers at the Social Security Administration who have been accused of sabotaging relief checks and undermining seniors' benefits.
"If Biden is invested in protecting and expanding Social Security, he must begin by immediately firing Saul and Black and replacing them with leaders who are ready to work with employees to build a better SSA."
—Ralph de Juliis, AFGE Council 220
Appearing in The News Journal (pdf)—the paper with the largest circulation in Wilmington, Delaware—three open letters by AFGE Council 220 president Ralph de Juliis published in the past week argue that as SSA commissioner and deputy commissioner, Saul and Black "continue to wreak havoc on the biggest social safety net program in the United States" and "harm the basic services of the federal government to score political points."
"Just recently, Saul delayed the delivery of $1,400 stimulus checks to millions of elderly and disabled, and only relented [after] leaders in Congress cried foul," de Juliis writes in a open letter that appeared in The News Journal's April 16 edition.
"Over the past two years, Saul and Black have also created a culture of anti-employee bias that ultimately harms the people we serve," de Juliis added. "When the entire corporate working world transitioned quickly to remote work at the onset of the pandemic, Saul refused to reinstate telework for thousands of SSA employees, putting the public health of Social Security recipients at risk."
In a statement on Tuesday, de Juliis said that "it is unacceptable that nearly 100 days into President Biden's first term, Social Security employees and the public we serve continue to remain under the thumb of Trump political appointees who were installed to run Social Security into the ground."
"If Biden is invested in protecting and expanding Social Security," de Juliis continued, "he must begin by immediately firing Saul and Black and replacing them with leaders who are ready to work with employees to build a better SSA."
The letters come as Biden is facing growing pressure from Democratic members of Congress and progressive advocacy groups to remove Saul and Black, whose six-year terms don't expire until 2025.
In a statement earlier this month, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)—chair of the Senate's Special Committee on Aging—urged Saul and Black to resign and "make room for new leadership who will be the careful stewards of Social Security Americans deserve."
"Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black were given an opportunity to strengthen Social Security," said Casey, "but they have instead focused their tenures on making it harder for Americans to receive essential benefits and on antagonizing the critical workforce they oversee."
While current law states that the SSA commissioner can only be removed "pursuant to a finding by the president of neglect of duty or malfeasance in office," advocacy group Social Security Works argues (pdf) that Supreme Court precedent set by Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gives Biden the power to oust Saul.
Federal statute does not protect the deputy commissioner from termination by the president.
"Andrew Saul and his deputy David Black are making it harder for people who spent decades working physically demanding jobs to claim Social Security disability benefits," Social Security Works tweeted Tuesday. "The president must fire Saul and Black now."
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