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Jail allowed only white staff to guard ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Staff members working at the jail that held Derek Chauvin, the white officer charged with murder in the killing of George Floyd, said that only white employees were allowed to guard him when he was first brought to the facility last month.

Eight officers have filed complaints with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, saying that the superintendent of the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul kept them from bringing Chauvin to his cell — or even being on the same floor as him — last month, solely because of their race.

The officers, half of whom are Black and all of whom are people of color, said the orders from the superintendent, Steve Lydon, who is white, amounted to segregation and indicated that he thought they could not be trusted to do their jobs because they are not white.

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After initially denying that officers’ contact with Chauvin had been determined by race, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office acknowledged the move this weekend and said Lydon had been temporarily removed from the superintendent role as the sheriff investigates the officers’ claims.

Roy Magnuson, the spokesman, provided a statement that he said Lydon gave to investigators. In it, Lydon said he had segregated employees because he believed having people of color interact with Chauvin could have “heightened ongoing trauma.” He said he had only done so on short notice and for 45 minutes before realizing that he had made a mistake, after which he reversed the order and apologized. Officers said it had lasted longer — affecting one shift two days later — and that not enough had been done in response.

The discrimination complaints, which were first reported by The Star Tribune, were the latest instance in which correctional officials have been accused of giving preferential treatment to a white inmate.

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New York Times

Confederate statues come down; other symbols eyed

RALEIGH, N.C. — Spectators in North Carolina’s capital cheered Sunday morning as work crews finished the job started by protesters Friday night and removed a Confederate statue from the top of a 75-foot monument.

News outlets reported that work crews acting on the order of Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper removed the statue Sunday morning and began taking down the obelisk on which it stood.

Sunday’s work follows the removal of two other Confederate statues on the state Capitol grounds in Raleigh on Saturday.

In Baltimore, a statue and memorial to George Washington in a city park were vandalized with red paint.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the memorial in Druid Hill Park in northwest Baltimore also had the words “Destroy Racists” and the initials for the Black Lives Matter movement written on the base.

Police said Sunday morning that they had not received any complaints about the vandalism.

Baltimore removed several statues and memorials linked to the Confederacy in 2017.

As statues and memorials to the Confederacy have been targeted across the South, protesters have also at times targeted Founding Fathers who were slaveholders.

In California, protesters over the weekend targeted statues and busts of former President Ulysses Grant, who commanded the Union Army that defeated the Confederacy; Francis Scott Key, who wrote ‘‘The Star Spangled Banner;” and Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, who is credited with bringing Roman Catholicism to the western United States. Grant and Key were slave owners at points in their lives.

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Associated Press

New York museum to remove Theodore Roosevelt statue

NEW YORK — The American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.

The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

The museum’s president, Ellen Futter, told The New York Times that the museum’s “community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd.”

Officials said it hasn’t been determined when the Roosevelt statue will be removed.

Associated Press

No arrests in shooting in Seattle protest zone

Seattle police on Sunday pursued their investigation into a weekend shooting in a park in the city’s protest zone that killed a 19-year-old man and critically injured another person.

No arrests had been made.

An “active and ongoing” investigation was under way into the shooting, which occurred about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in an area near downtown known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone, said Detective Mark Jamieson. The suspect or suspects fled the scene, and police asked the public for any information that could identify them.

Associated Press