protest

As the U.S. begins to open back up, coronavirus clusters — where multiple people contract COVID-19 at the same event or location — are popping up all over the country. And despite drawing massive crowds, protests against police violence and racial injustice in Washington state weren't among those clusters.

Kevin Truitt (green hat at left) at a recent demonstration in Columbus on May 30, 2020, just before the crowd was pepper sprayed by police.
Katie Forbes / KRForbesPhotography

Neon green shirts and caps can be spotted sprinkled across crowds at rallies in Columbus. But the people wearing them aren't there to demonstrate; rather, these legal observers are tasked with witnessing and recording any possible civil rights violations against protesters.

What they see and write may help attorneys build a case against law enforcement misconduct.

Video purports to show a protester whose prosthetic limbs were removed by Columbus Police during demonstrations Sunday.
meanmrbadger / Reddit

Columbus Police released video footage Monday to push back on allegations that officers took away the prosthetic limbs of a protester during a clash Sunday afternoon.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund, which bails low-income people out of jail or immigration detention, used to run on a shoestring budget.

"We were always in need of more money," says board member Mirella Ceja-Orozco, " constantly writing grant proposals ... to kind of figure out how we could obtain money to last us for the next few months."

In 2018, the last year it filed its taxes, the group had about $150,000. It had to turn down a lot of requests for assistance because of a lack of funds.

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and business groups are pooling resources to help Downtown shops vandalized in the wake of demonstrations last month. The money will help businesses make up for losses insurance doesn’t cover.

Applications are due by the end of business on Tuesday, according to the online form. As of Monday morning, 38 businesses had applied, Downtown Cleveland Alliance CEO Joe Marinucci told Cuyahoga County’s Board of Control.

State troopers and police officers blocking the intersection of High and State streets. Police vehicles took over the center turning lane for nearly two blocks of High Street between Broad and Town Streets on Sunday.
Nick Evans / WOSU

A rift is emerging between Columbus City Council and Mayor Andrew Ginther after police officers deployed pepper spray against protesters over the weekend, less than a week after the city banned the use of chemical agents against non-violent crowds.

Police and demonstrators on Broad and High Streets.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Columbus Police in riot gear returned to downtown Sunday afternoon, intent on forcing protesters out of city streets—and using chemicals like pepper spray to do so.

Patricia Lyons is head of the local Association of Black Social Workers.
Nick Evans / WOSU

At Bicentennial Park on Friday night, a group of Black men and women who work in the criminal justice system capped off a day of Juneteenth commemorations, while a more raucous affair took place at the Ohio Statehouse steps.

The dance group Dance Elite Performance Academy performs at a Juneteenth celebration.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

As hundreds of Columbus residents celebrated Juneteenth on the city’s East Side, the city government moved to formally recognize June 19 as a holiday.

Terrance Curtain has attended a few different demonstrations around Cleveland since the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Sometimes, the pastor and assistant school principal speaks about racial inequality. Sometimes, he leads the crowd in chants.

But when he started thinking about how he wanted to mark Juneteenth this year, he imagined something different.

Peaceful, student-led protests have been a powerful force for change throughout American history.

In 1925, for example, students at Fisk University staged a 10-week protest to speak out against the school's president, who didn't want students starting a chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. In 1940, almost 2,000 students protested after New York University decided to pull a black player from its football roster to accommodate the University of Missouri's segregationists.

And campus-based protests, including against racism, were a major lever of social change in the 1960s.

Adrienne Hood is the mother of Henry Green, who was killed by plainclothes Columbus Police officers about four years ago.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Adrienne Hood's son Henry Green died in 2016 when two plainclothes Columbus Police officers shot him in a South Linden neighborhood.

Four years after Green's killing, Hood has mixed feelings about the police reforms being proposed by Gov. Mike DeWine and other local leaders.

In the wake of the massive turnout at anti-racism demonstrations around the country, public health officials are encouraging protesters to get tested for the coronavirus. As purely precautionary testing has become more common, some insurance companies are arguing they can't just pay for everyone who's concerned about their risk to get tested.

The team overseeing Cleveland’s police reform agreement will review the department’s handling of local demonstrations prompted by the death of George Floyd.

Monitor Hassan Aden notified city leaders of the review in a memo dated June 17 and filed in federal court Thursday. The review will examine preparations for the protests, community engagement, arrests and uses of force, Aden wrote.

Franklin County jail in downtown Columbus.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

A small group of lawyers and activists known as the Columbus Freedom Fund has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations to bail out protesters arrested during recent demonstrations. The group's sudden rise to prominence, however, has raised questions: Who are they, and how exactly are they using the money?

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