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Rhode Island cops pepper-spray high-schoolers protesting siblings’ violent arrest

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Police in Pawtucket, Rhode Island used pepper spray while arresting eight minors and two adults on Thursday during a protest touched off by a violent encounter caught on video, WPRI-TV reported.

“The message is for cops to ease up on kids,” said one demonstrator, Montrell Sivils. “We shouldn’t be treated as criminals.”

The demonstration outside William E. Tolman High School, which reportedly drew around 100 students, was a response to footage of an officer slamming a 14-year-old student identified only as Tyler after handcuffing the boy’s 17-year-old brother, identified as Evander.

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The footage, shot on Wednesday, begins with Evander already on the ground. Within seconds, the officer can be seen wrapping his arm around Tyler’s neck from behind and then throwing him down. Authorities said that the older brother was throwing punches at a wall before being handcuffed, an allegation he has denied.

Police have also said that Tyler approached the officer and threw punches at him, but that is not apparent in the footage. Both teens were charged with resisting arrest, though Ivander was also charged with simple assault.

According to WPRI, Thursday’s protest began without incident until a fire alarm forced the school to be evacuated. A group of students were invited inside City Hall to watch the video of the siblings’ arrests, but the crowd — which had grown to around 200 students by then — remained outside the building.

The demonstration then moved to a private business’ parking lot, where authorities said one student broke a car window while others spat and threatened officers, prompting them to use their pepper spray.

Mayor Donald Grebien said that local police will work with state authorities to investigate the incident.

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“I believe that we need to make sure this is a transparent process,” he said. “There needs to be some open dialogue.”

There were no arrests at the school on Friday, though WPRI noted that there was a heavier police presence on campus. The officer seen in the video was not at the school on Friday, but he remains on active duty.

There are reportedly plans for another protest concerning the incident, possibly working with members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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“Whenever you talk about minors, it goes back to the training of policing across this nation,” said a local activist, Gary Dantzler. “What is it showing?”

Watch WPRI’s report on the protest, as aired on Thursday, below.

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[h/t The Free Thought Project]

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

But, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, that doesn't mean Democrats don't have one last big play to rein in the president's abuses of power. They can use the first and strongest authority delegated to them: the power of the purse.

"What can Democrats really do when it comes to oversight of the president?" asked Cooper. "I mean, now that impeachment is over, does seem like there are fewer and fewer guardrails, if any."

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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