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Philadelphia beats US appeal in sanctuary city case

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A federal appeals court said on Friday the Trump administration cannot cut off grants to Philadelphia for its refusal to cooperate with immigration authorities seeking to deport immigrants who are in the country illegally.

In a 3-0 decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said the U.S. attorney general lacked power to condition that city’s receipt of $1.6 million for local law enforcement on its compliance with three new requirements.

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These included alerting Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials when undocumented immigrants are being released from prison, providing access to interview immigrants, and barring the withholding of immigrants’ citizenship status.

Several other “sanctuary cities” have also opposed to the requirements, and Chicago, New York and San Francisco have won court rulings blocking their enforcement.

In Friday’s decision, Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell said the attorney general has only limited oversight of the program for awarding the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants.

“Allowing the attorney general to withhold all funds because a jurisdiction does not certify compliance with any federal law of the attorney general’s choosing undermines the predictability and consistency embedded in the program’s design,” Rendell wrote.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Friday’s decision largely upheld a June 2018 ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson in Philadelphia, but voided his requirement that the government obtain warrants before seeking custody of immigrants in city custody.

It was issued a couple of hours before President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to fund a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval. Democrats vowed to challenge his action as unconstitutional.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney praised the appeals court decision, in a statement referring to Trump’s declaration.

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“The conditions imposed by the DOJ were an unconscionable attempt to bully the city and its residents into changing our policies,” Kenney said. “On the very day the president declared a bogus national emergency to build a useless wall, I say to our immigrant community: we are glad you call Philadelphia home.”

The case is Philadelphia v. Attorney General of the United States, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-2648.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing by G Crosse


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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US planning to slash troops in Germany: report

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US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to slash the number of troops it maintains in Germany by more than a quarter in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper said the Defense Department would cut the number of military personnel by 9,500 from the current 34,500 permanently assigned to Germany postings.

The Journal also said a cap of 25,000 would be set on how many US troops could be inside German at any one time, whether in permanent postings or temporary rotations, half of the current allowance.

The move would significantly reduce the US commitment to European defense under the NATO umbrella, though it could also impact Pentagon operations related to Africa and the Middle East.

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Manhattan DA announces protesters arrested by NYPD will not be charged: ‘Our office has a moral imperative’

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The Manhattan District Attorney announced on Friday that his office would not be prosecuting protesters arrested for low-level crimes.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. announced that Unlawful Assembly and Disorderly Conduct would not be prosecuted during the demonstrations over police violence.

"“The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime. We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard," Vance said in a statement.

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Chicago Police Board president files complaint alleging he was struck 5 times by cops at George Floyd protest

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On Friday, WTTW reported that Ghian Foreman, the president of the Chicago Police Board, has filed a complaint alleging he was beaten in the legs five times by police officers at a protest against the killing of George Floyd last Sunday.

The Chicago Police Board is an independent civilian commission that has power over police disciplinary cases.

"Foreman filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability alleging that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, said Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesperson for the agency," said the report. "Foreman’s complaint, which identifies the officer Foreman said struck him, is one of 344 complaints of police misconduct filed with COPA between midnight May 29 and 7 a.m. Friday, Eaddy said. The complaint itself is confidential."

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