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Atlanta cop nearly got away with brutal beating of teen suspect despite supervisor’s concerns

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An Atlanta police officer was fired after trying to justify his violent arrest of a black teenager — but one of his supervisors didn’t think his story added up.

Former officer Matthew Johns, who was on the department’s elite Apex Unit, arrived at the scene Sept. 15, 2016, after a stolen car pursuit by Zone 3 officers and the Georgia State Patrol, reported WSB-TV.

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Johns wasn’t even involved in the chase, and video shows the U.S. Marine Corps veteran jumping out of a cruiser and rushing toward one of three teenage suspects.

The officer, who is white, is seen kicking the teen in the head multiple times, striking him repeatedly in the side and then kneeling on his neck and punching him while cuffing the compliant suspect.

Johns told investigators afterward that he thought the teen was reaching for a gun, but one of his supervisors doubted his account — and other officers said none of the suspects resisted arrest.

The teen’s family gave photos to WSB that show the boy’s injuries, and hospital records show he suffered a concussion in the incident.

Johns was immediately placed on administrative leave after the incident, but the investigation stalled until Chief Erika Shields reopened the case after taking charge of the department.

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Her investigation yielded a 503-page report obtained this week by the TV station, and Johns was eventually fired July 26, 2017.

Three other officers were disciplined for multiple violations, including the policy on pursuits.

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2020 Election

We are witnessing the birth of a movement — and the downfall of a president

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They almost always begin to right wrongs: illegitimate wars; decades of discrimination on the grounds of gender or racial or sexual identity; killings of innocents by police or gun-toting lunatics; oppression by governments wielding unequal laws; the deeply embedded legacy of centuries of racism.

This article first appeared in Salon.

They are imperfect. Arising out of rage, they can be unfocused, inchoate, contradictory. Protesting violence, they often involve violence. Protesting oppression, they sometimes oppress by destroying public spaces, small businesses, even entire neighborhoods.

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Susan Collins skipped Trump’s visit to Maine after president threatened colleague Lisa Murkowski

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Protesters were expected to meet President Donald Trump on his Friday afternoon visit to Maine, but Senator Susan Collins, caught in the middle of a hotly contested re-election race this fall, did not.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Instead, the embattled Republican senator will be in Washington, where she has "several federal and non-federal events on her schedule," a Collins spokeswoman told NBC News.

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2020 Election

HBO’s Maher taunts Trump fans over president hiding in a bunker from protesters: ‘Is America great enough for you yet?’

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In his opening monologue on Friday night, HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher both ridiculed Donald Trump and taunted his fans over reports the president was whisked away to an underground bunker to protect him from anti-police brutality protesters.

According to the HBO comedian, "As soon as some shit started outside the White House he went straight to the bunker, five floors below ground. He says he wasn't hiding, he said, I love this, it was more of an inspection -- and he didn't piss himself, he was watering his shoes."

"I tell you, deranged authoritarians and bunkers, always a winning combination," he added.

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