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Woman sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $1.2M from employer
By Web Staff

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    OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR/KAUT) -- An Oklahoma woman has been sentenced to federal prison for embezzling more than $1.2 million from her employer through wire fraud.

According to federal charges, Christa Dawn Jackson, 46, of Tuttle, worked as an office manager at AllPoints Pipe Service, Inc., where she had access to company checks and accounting systems.

Prosecutors say from February of 2010 to June of 2017, she wrote company checks out to herself and then forged the signature of the company's owner on those checks.

Officials say she also made electronic transfers from the company bank accounts to third parties for her own benefit. They also say that she created false invoices to conceal the embezzlement.

In addition to charging her with wire fraud, she was charged with signing a false federal income tax return where she reported that her income was $96,496 but her income was substantially higher.

Jackson pleaded guilty to both crimes and agreed to pay restitution to the company for more than $1.2 million and to the IRS for more than $223,000.

She was sentenced to 48 months in prison followed by a term of three years of supervised release for committing wire fraud. She was also sentenced to a term of 24 months in prison and a term of 12 months of supervised release for signing a false tax return, with the terms of imprisonment and supervised release to be served concurrently.

Jackson was ordered to pay a total restitution of $1,477,872.10, including $223,808.00 to the IRS, $1,229,064.10 to the victim company, and $25,000 to an insurance company. Jackson was ordered to report to the Bureau of Prisons on July 21 to begin serving her sentence.

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'Please don't destroy our restaurant': Minority business owner sends message to Denver rioters
By Kristin Haubrich

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    DENVER (KDVR/KWGN) -- Dozens of local businesses in Denver are picking up the pieces after rioters tagged and vandalized their restaurants over the weekend.

Protesters lined the streets of Colfax Avenue in front of Saki Melius' restaurant, Menya Ramen & Poke.

"I respect and support the peaceful protest," Melius said.

She shares in their outrage over the senseless killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. But when nightfall covered the city of Denver, the protests turned violent.

"Today I'm alone because my employees are afraid to come in," Melius explained.

Melius was caught in the middle. Agitators shattered her windows and set her dumpster on fire. She was forced to close her restaurant for two months due to coronavirus, now this damage is another setback.

"Being a minority, we are working so hard. We want to make it through this and after COVID. So yesterday morning I was hoping to just clean up and open, but I couldn't because I was so sad. I couldn't stop crying," she said.

Melius put pen to paper and lined her windows with a message to the aggressors. She is pleading with them to leave her restaurant alone.

"We don't need that. We're here to survive together."

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Can this airplane seat keep you safe from Covid-19?

Can this airplane seat keep you safe from Covid-19?
Francesca Street, CNN

As conversations continue about if, when and how it's safe to be flying, airplane seat designers continue to sketch out concepts for what the future of aviation might look like.

The latest off the drawing board is Interspace Lite, presented by Luke Miles, founder of transportation technology company Universal Movement.

Back in December 2019, Miles premiered a new seat design dubbed Interspace, designed to make sleeping in economy a little easier thanks to "padded wings" that fold out from behind both sides of the seat back. CNN Travel tested out the product at its London launch.

Interspace Lite reworks this design in response to Covid-19. Miles reckons it'll provide an active solution to on board social distancing.

Like other recent pandemic-inspired airplane seat designs, Interspace Lite involves adding kit to the airplane middle seat. It leans on the idea that airlines will temporarily block out middle seats in order to better enable distancing, but won't want to permanently change the cabin interior.

What makes this concept stand out, says Miles, is that the divider that separates the window and aisle seat isn't a clear screen, which will make travelers feel more comfortable.

"We don't want it to look, in any way, medicinal, I suppose," the designer tells CNN Travel. "We don't want remind people of where they are, we just want them to feel more comfortable."

Ideally, the divider would be made of the same material as the upholstery that's on the airplane seat, although part of the appeal is that the seats are retrofittable.

Miles has also envisaged a way in which the two passengers on either side of the divider can make use of the middle seat.

"When you taxi, takeoff or land you have the armrest down, but you can put the armrest up when in flight, and so essentially you get what we've kind of coined as a 1.5 economy seat," he says.

This extra space could work out as a place to store belongings or just give you a bit of space to play with during the flight.

Coming soon

Miles hopes the aesthetic and the features will make people feel more comfortable flying again.

In fact, if Miles and his team get their way, you could be on a plane with some variation of Interspace Lite before the summer is over: Universal Movement has officially partnered with airplane seat manufacturer Safran and aims to bring Interspace to market ASAP.

"There's a lot of effort going into making Interspace Lite operable by late summer," he says.

Quentin Munier, Safran's executive vice president for strategy and innovation, adds that his company is working on several other concepts that will help make flying in the wake of Covid-19 safe and secure.

He gives the example of touchless travel, such as activating your food tray table with a pedal, rather than with your hands.

The company is also developing kit called Ringfence, which is a removable partition that could be placed around each traveler's seat.

Future of the middle seat?

Other new airline interior concepts that have premiered over the past few months include Aviointeriors' idea of a row of three economy seats with the middle seat facing the opposite way and French engineer Florian Barjot's concept, PlanBay, which also includes a removable piece of kit that could be placed on the middle seat.

Although many of these designs involve reimagining the airplane middle seat, on May 5, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents carriers around the world, released a statement suggesting blocking off the middle seat was not something it supported.

"Airlines are fighting for their survival. Eliminating the middle seat will raise costs," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO, said in the statement. "If that can be offset that with higher fares, the era of affordable travel will come to an end. On the other hand, if airlines can't recoup the costs in higher fares, airlines will go bust. Neither is a good option when the world will need strong connectivity to help kick-start the recovery from COVID-19's economic devastation."

But Munier reckons Interspace Lite is viable, and suggests carriers agree. He won't give names, but he says airlines were in touch with Universal Movement following the launch of the original Interspace seat back in December and discussions remain ongoing.

"Time is of the essence," he says. "We have identified the right technology, the right resources and ways to achieve it."

"We want to get people flying again and we want people to fly feeling comfortable. The industry has been knocked," adds Miles.

Jimmy Fallon reflects on his blackface mistake in 'Tonight Show' monologue
By Marianne Garvey, CNN

Jimmy Fallon used "The Tonight Show" to have a discussion about racism in America on Monday night.

Fallon began the episode by saying it would be a "different kind of show," and readdressed his participation in a "Saturday Night Live" skit from 2000 in which he appeared in blackface to impersonate Chris Rock.

"I had to really examine myself in the mirror this week because a story came out about me on 'SNL' doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface. And I was horrified. Not of people trying to 'cancel' me or cancel this show, which is scary enough. The thing that haunted me the most was, how do I say I love this person?" Fallon said. "I respect this guy more than I respect most humans. I'm not a racist. I don't feel this way."

Fallon had previously addressed the controversy with a statement on social media, calling the sketch a terrible decision. He added that he had been advised to just stay quiet on the controversy, but instead wanted to learn from his mistake

"I realized that I can't not say I'm horrified and I'm sorry and I'm embarrassed," Fallon said. "I realized that the silence is the biggest crime that white guys like me and the rest of us are doing, staying silent. We need to say something. We need to keep saying something. And we need to stop saying 'that's not OK' more than just one day on Twitter."

Fallon invited NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson on the show to discuss recent events. Johnson said this time is an opportunity to learn from one another.

"One of the worst things about these moments of realization is people want to have a quick-fix outpour and then go back to their corners," Johnson said. "The way we keep the momentum going is keeping the dialogue open, appreciating the uniqueness we all bring to the table and celebrating that uniqueness and not allowing demagogues to create otherness from people who may be different."

DC mayor says she's 'shocked' and 'outraged' at treatment of peaceful protesters at White House
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington D.C.'s mayor said Tuesday she was "shocked" and "outraged" that peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday were teargassed and shot at with rubber bullets by law enforcement.

"We were very shocked and quite frankly outraged that people who were not violating the curfew, and who did not seem to have provoked attack, were attacked in a move out by the federal law enforcement officials who were directed to clear the way for the President," Mayor Muriel Bowser told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."

After a weekend of unrest in the nation's capital over the death of George Floyd, Bowser had issued a citywide curfew starting 7 p.m. ET Monday. Roughly a half hour before the curfew went into effect, law enforcement began pushing back the crowd of protesters gathered outside the White House with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets.

President Donald Trump on Monday night delivered remarks in the White House Rose Garden and then -- after the protesters were dispersed -- walked over to the St. John's Episcopal Church, which had been partially burned in a Sunday evening protest, to pose for a photo-op with a Bible.

"We wanted to make sure that our Metropolitan Police Department could ensure that people could exercise their First Amendment rights, but also protect our city from damage and destruction that we had seen the night before," Bowser told CNN Tuesday. "But at no time do we think it was appropriate that people who had not violated the curfew or anything else receive that treatment."

The Democratic mayor has clashed with Trump over the city's handling of the Floyd protests.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Artists decorate plywood used to board up vandalized businesses
By Michael Hennessey

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    GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) -- Monday in Greensboro came with a high temperature of 74 degrees and a radiant blue sky. In the words of FOX8 Chief Meteorologist Van Denton, the weather was "perfect." But, if you drove down Elm Street and had no idea of what happened across the country over the weekend, you would have thought a storm was coming. Businesses were boarded up as though a hurricane was headed for North Carolina. But the storm had already passed.

Sunday night came with peaceful protestors speaking out in the wake of the death of George Floyd. But, as the day was coming to a close, it was looters who began to emerge. Businesses had their windows smashed, some, with their owners still inside.

"Driving down Elm Street, I was in tears," said Jennifer Graf, owner of Vintage to Vogue Boutique.

Graf says she was alone inside her store when her windows were smashed. She pleaded with the people vandalizing her building to stop. But, she says, it was the peaceful protesters who banded together and protected her and her store.

Others weren't as lucky.

Becky Causey, owner of The View on Elm, was notified by her alarm company that looters had taken over her store around 11:30. She and a friend then headed to the store to take inventory.

There wasn't much inventory that hadn't already been taken.

"I came through the back door and I have no words," Causey said.

In her words, the store is "decimated."

"We can't just bounce back tomorrow," she added.

As local painter Gina Franco made her way downtown, she was greeted by the scent of sawdust and sound of hammers and drills. But, being creative by nature, Franco had a vision.

"I'm driving down here and I'm like, 'wow, look at all this canvas,'" she said.

Franco packed her trunk with gallons of paint, a ladder and tools and started asking business owners if she could use their plywood to create something beautiful.

"Challenging my other local artist friends to come out and talk to the business owners and see if they would like some artwork," she explained.

In a matter of hours, the once bare plywood was decorated with art, names, messages of unity and so on.

"Something just bright, colorful, positive," Franco said.

Sarah McDavid, owner of Terra Blue, says her building was decorated with graffiti well before last weekend.

"I don't mind graffiti in positive frames. I never have. I mean we've had graffiti on the side of our building for years and they tried taking it off and we're like, 'leave it.' That's such a beautiful piece of art. It's OK with us. You know, it's an expression of someone's soul," she detailed.

McDavid said the art going up on Greensboro's main strip is a show of "community solidarity."

"Love, peace, togetherness," she said. "Let us fight for justice."

At a time where there is severe unrest in America, when people are being asked to distance themselves, Monday was simply the latest show of people coming together for what they believe in.

"It's a good idea," Graf said. "It's a way that we can come together and unite."

Franco and other artists remained on Elm Street until Monday's curfew went into effect. She plans to go back out to the area on Tuesday.

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Zoom's rise kicked off a tech battle over video conferencing. Here's what's at stake
By Rishi Iyengar, CNN Business

Before a pandemic forced millions around the world into lockdown, the phrase "video conferencing" generally conjured up an image of stuffy corporate meetings with people unable to physically be in the boardroom.

But the coronavirus, in a matter of weeks, turned a work tool into the backbone of our social lives. And as millions of people participate in virtual birthday parties, religious events, school and college classes, the tech industry is racing to win over a new and rapidly growing user base -- even though it's unclear how long people will need or want to live out so much of their lives on camera.

"We may have accelerated five to seven years' worth of adoption behavior," said Wayne Kurtzman, research director for social and collaboration at IDC. "Everyone was forced to do a seven-year plan in two weeks."

Zoom has been an early frontrunner, reaching hundreds of millions of daily meeting participants and becoming the go-to service for people trying to stay connected during quarantine. The company will report earnings for the three months ending April 30 on Tuesday, where it is expected to give the first official indication of just how large its surge in usage has been during the pandemic -- and offer perhaps the clearest glimpse yet at the overnight potential for the market. It's also Zoom's first earnings report since freezing new feature rollouts to shore up its security and privacy after a series of controversies.

More established rivals such as Cisco's Webex and Microsoft Teams have also seen a spike in growth, and Google and Facebook are rejiggering their video offerings to meet the moment, with new services that mimic some of Zoom's most popular features.

It's become the tech industry's next big battleground, and one where it isn't that lonely at the top.

"I see room for multiple vendors at the top of the conferencing space," said Kurtzman. "They will each serve very real purposes in the market, but the winners will be whoever can be the easiest to use, the easiest to get value with, and the easiest to integrate to other applications needed in and outside the workplace."

The prize appears to only be getting bigger. The video conferencing market was worth $14 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow to $50 billion by 2026, according to a report earlier this month from research firm Global Market Insights. "The video conferencing market is expected to witness high growth during the coronavirus outbreak," the report said.

Google has not revealed how many businesses currently use Google Meet, but its G Suite, which includes the video conferencing service, is used by 6 million businesses around the world. The company made several of Meet's premium features free to use through the end of September.

Facebook is touting its new video conferencing service, Messenger Rooms, as more of a consumer tool, but Kurtzman says it could also "be effectively used by small businesses who can't afford a stronger solution." The company also expanded video calling on its mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, touting the service's end-to-end encryption in an apparent swipe at Zoom's troubles on that front.

Zoom carved out its place in a crowded market using a "freemium" model -- with no fee for meetings up to 40 minutes and 100 participants -- betting that users would convert to subscriptions thanks to its superior user experience. While that strategy has worked well so far, the free offerings from Google and Facebook could potentially siphon off some of the non-business user base.

Several companies -- including Facebook and Twitter -- have suggested that remote working could become the permanent norm for many of their employees. But there are still question marks over whether the sudden video boom will outlast the pandemic, as countries and states gradually begin to emerge from lockdown. Many workers will likely either have to go back to offices or will choose to do so rather than living their entire lives on video, meaning demand for these services could drop.

"Video is going to be used more, but it will also be overused more. The trade-offs of being always-on and connected apply just as much or more to video," said Adam Preset, senior analyst for digital workplace at research firm Gartner. "For some, a long day of video meetings at work is going to make video happy hour with friends much less enticing."

And as Zoom has learned the hard way, having a product seen as versatile and easy to use may not be enough to keep users happy. A host of security issues emerged in early March, including controversies over the level of encryption it provides and the practice of "Zoombombing" -- where trolls interrupt meetings to share profanity or pornography -- prompting scrutiny from US authorities and temporary bans from schools in New York City and Singapore.

Zoom responded by scrambling to make fixes, suspending all new features for a period of 90 days in order to focus on privacy and security measures. That 90-day period is set to conclude at the end of next month.

"All video vendors ultimately have security issues they need to resolve," said Preset. "Short term fixes without the right motivation can be just damage control. There's really no rest if a vendor wants to retain its customer's trust and preserve its own reputation."

While Zoom appears to be holding steady so far, Preset says the effects of new rivals with deep pockets may take a while to play out. "One signal will be your next colleague, friend or family member who invites you to meet in something other than Zoom," he said.

But the uncertainty of how long the pandemic and lockdowns will last, and whether the video boom can outlast them, might give some companies pause before going all-in.

"In enterprise, the video battle has been raging for some time between a few of the most well-known technology companies," said Preset. "Now what we're seeing is a spillover as video calls become more necessary and more prominent for consumers. It's risky to join this fray right now."

Donald Trump's twisted definition of toughness

Donald Trump's twisted definition of toughness
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

On Monday night, after days of protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump addressed the nation with a very simple message: I am tough as hell.

"I am your President of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters," Trump said.

"Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets," he said.

"If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," he said.

"One law and order, and that is what it is, one law. We have one, beautiful law," he said.

And then, on ground where police had forcefully cleared peaceful protesters just minutes before, Trump strode across Lafayette Park -- accompanied by a slew of police officers and Secret Service -- for a staged photo-op in front of the historic St. John's Church and hold up a Bible. "It's a Bible," Trump said, to clear up any confusion.

"D.C. had no problems last night," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. "Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!)."

The whole thing -- the speech punctuated with talk of "law and order" and the need to "dominate," the walk across ground that had been the site of protests moments before -- was orchestrated to push back against a story that had broken over the weekend: That amid the protests on Friday night outside the White House, Trump had been taken to the bunker under the White House for his protection.

The image of Trump cowering in a bunker while people take to the streets to protest the death of a(nother) unarmed black man immediately became fodder for Trump's two preferred mediums of communication: cable TV and Twitter. "Trump's Bunker" trended on Twitter. Cable TV repeatedly ran the story of a President being whisked away to safety.

And it drove Trump crazy. As CNN reported Monday night:

"Trump himself was angered by coverage depicting him holed up in an underground bunker. He told aides on Monday he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, according to a person familiar with the matter, which is part of what drove the decision to stage the photo-op at St. John's Church."

Why did it drive Trump crazy? Because his idea of strength and toughness is deeply distorted, twisted and gnarled over many decades of grievance and bravado. See, for Trump, being strong and being tough is tied directly to winning, to dominating, to using overwhelming force to get a desired result.

In his mind, might makes right. And the world is split between people willing to use their power over others and those too afraid to exert it.


* On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump repeatedly defended the use of waterboarding and other methods of torture to get information out of enemy combatants. "Don't tell me it doesn't work -- torture works," Trump said in South Carolina in February 2016. "Half these guys [say]: 'Torture doesn't work.' Believe me, it works." In November 2015, he openly acknowledged that he was fine with torture even if it didn't work. "It works," Trump said at a rally in Ohio. "Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway, for what they're doing. It works."

* In a speech to law enforcement on Long Island in 2017, Trump urged officers to treat arrested gang members rougher. He said this:

"When you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don't hit their head, and they just killed somebody -- don't hit their head," Trump continued. "I said, you can take the hand away, OK?"

* In 2018, following reports that he had referred to some African nations as "s***hole countries," Trump defended himself -- via tweet -- this way: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!"

* "Throw them out into the cold," Trump famously/infamously said of protesters at a rally in Burlington, Vermont, in January 2016. "Don't give them their coats. No coats! Confiscate their coats."

There are lots more examples, but they all tell the same story: Donald Trump thinks strength and toughness is about domination. About winning. About the powerful rolling over those less powerful.

And he views himself as the Platonic ideal of that toughness, a break from past presidents and politicians -- Democratic and Republican -- who haven't been willing to exert their power and dominance domestically and around the world.

"Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors," Trump urged in response to the protests. "These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!"

There is nothing Trump cares more about -- and, of course, fears more -- than being perceived as weak and being mocked and laughed at for it. He is willing to say and do absolutely anything to keep from being put in that situation. So when he was being mocked for retreating to the White House bunker, his response was immediate: I'll show them. ... I'll walk right across the ground they were protesting on!

Of course, as any emotionally mature person understands, might doesn't, in fact, make right. Toughness is not always about exerting your dominance because you can. True strength is rooted in the actions you don't take, the ability to understand that brute force should be your last resort, not your first instinct.

That's true for any person. But it's especially true for a President of the United States faced with protests on American streets driven by the death of yet another black man at the hands of the police. Truly tough people, truly strong people -- they don't need to show and tell everyone how strong and tough they are. It's in their restraint, in their understanding that might doesn't make right that their true strength shines through.

Donald Trump doesn't know that.

Why posting a black image with the 'Black Lives Matter' hashtag is doing more harm than good
By AJ Willingham, CNN

It's Blackout Tuesday, a day promoted by activists to observe, mourn and bring about policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd. This movement has spread on social media, where organizations, brands and individuals are posting solemn messages featuring stark black backgrounds, sometimes tagging the posts with #BlackLivesMatter.

Here's the problem. While these posts may be well-intended, several activists and influencers have pointed out that posting a blank black image with a bunch of tags clogs up critical channels of information and updates. Protests are still raging around the country. Arrests are piling up by the thousands. Visibility for different groups and activist projects are key right now. And one of the most common ways to keep track of all of this is by monitoring or searching tags.

"We know that's it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message," mental health advocate and Black Lives Matter activist Kenidra Woods posted on Twitter. "We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!!" A video scroll of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Instagram proves her point: It's row after row of black squares, with very few posts of note in between.

Don't use the #BlackLivesMatter tag, activists say

There are two issues here: One, the actual tags used on Blackout Tuesday posts. Two, the actual purpose of posting a black image in the first place.

When you post an image with a tag on, say, Twitter or Instagram, it gets automatically added to a searchable feed, which people can find using that tag. It's a common way for people to monitor a situation or interest. And since people have been including the #BlackLivesMAtter tag, in the words of activist Feminista Jones, the protests have been erased from Instagram.

"When you check the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, it's no longer videos, helpful information, resources, documentation of the injustice, it's rows of black screens," music artist Kehlani explained on her Instagram story.

People want to keep the information flowing

Blackout Tuesday gained traction from the work of music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, who led an effort in the music community to pause normal business operations on June 2nd "in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard."

As the movement grew, the notion filtered down to individuals and brands who have vowed to not post any content on June 2nd in deference to the situation.

However, there's concern that while what amounts to a virtual moment of silence may be a powerful reminder to some, it comes at a time when the voices of black activists and advocates are needed the most.

Rapper Lil Nas X was critical of the movement on Twitter. "I just really think this is the time to push as hard as ever," he wrote. "I don't think the movement has ever been this powerful. we don't need to slow it down by posting nothing. we need to spread info and be as loud as ever."

However, some people have taken the call to action to mean a pause on posting about personal things or issues unrelated to Black Lives Matter or the ongoing protests rather than complete silence. Some widely shared posts about the day encourage people to refrain from self-promotion and use their presence on various platforms to uplift members of the black community instead.

Police: Man attacks Motel 6 employee and several guests

Police: Man attacks Motel 6 employee and several guests
By Jermaine Rowley

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    YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WPMT) -- A man attacked a Motel 6 employee and several guests in Fairview Township Sunday evening, according to police.

At around 5:13 p.m., police were dispatched to Motel 6 for a report of a man with a knife attacking people.

Upon arriving on the scene, police located Vincent Williams Jr. in the parking lot. He said he was "high on molly" and attacked people with a knife, according to police documents.

Authorities then spoke to an employee at the hotel who said he had received several calls from the room in which Williams stayed. Each time the employee answered, Williams would not speak with him, court documents said.

After several minutes, the employee walked to the room Williams occupied to speak with him. As he approached Williams' room, Williams exited with a folding knife in his hand, according to court documents,

He had the knife open and pointed at the employee, court documents said.

Williams then charged at the employee and held him against the second-floor balcony railing. While Williams held the employee against the railing with the knife in his hand, he punched the employee several times in the head and the body, court documents said.

While Williams was punching the employee, several guests rushed to his aid. He also attacked the guests while he was holding the knife, according to court documents.

Williams struck a woman and her 12-year-old daughter in the process, court documents said.

During the struggle, Williams also said verbal threats to the guests, according to court documents.

The guests took Williams' focus off of the employee which allowed the employee time to escape. The employee retreated into a nearby hotel room and Williams began to beat on the door, court documents said.

Williams threatened to kill anyone that came out of the room and said, "If you come out of the room you will not make it off the block," according to court documents.

Williams is charged with four counts of simple assault, making terroristic threats, harassment and recklessly endangering another person, among other charges, according to court documents.

Police say nobody involved needed medical attention.

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Derek Chauvin's wife requests to change her last name in divorce filing
By Scottie Andrew, CNN

In her filing for divorce from former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Kellie Chauvin requested a last-name change and the titles to both of their homes.

Kellie Chauvin separated from her husband on May 28, the day before he was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd, according to the filing.

The filing cites an "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" that was beyond saving. The couple has been married since June 2010, just under 10 years.

Chauvin said in the filing she wants to change her last name, among other requests. She didn't say in the filing which surname she'd take once the divorce was finalized, but the petition notes that she was formerly known as Kellie Thao and Kellie Xiong.

Chauvin also requested full rights and titles to the couple's properties in Oakdale, Minnesota, and Windermere, Florida, located in the Orlando metropolitan area. She asked for an equitable division of their shared vehicles and bank accounts, and she won't require spousal support since she makes an independent income as a Relator, according to the filing.

About Kellie Chauvin

Chauvin was born in Laos and later moved to Wisconsin after her family fled a refugee camp. She has two children from her previous marriage, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported in a profile of Kellie Chauvin in 2018.

In the same profile, she said she met Derek Chauvin at the medical center where she worked when he brought a suspect in for a health check before bringing them to jail.

In 2018, she competed for Mrs. Minnesota, a pageant for married Minnesotans. Her platform, she told the Pioneer Press, involved buying groceries for police officers and military members, rescuing animals and volunteering with a nonprofit for Hmong women, an ethnic group from southeast Asia that she belongs to, who recently moved to the US.

Chauvin hasn't made a public statement since filing for divorce from the former police officer, but the law firm representing said Friday that she was "devastated by Mr. Floyd's death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy."

Top Air Force enlistee posts passionate plea for justice

Top Air Force enlistee posts passionate plea for justice
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

The US Air Force's top enlistee said he's "outraged" by the death of George Floyd, vowed to do more to fix the racial inequality among ranks and encouraged his fellow airmen to fight for justice and equality, and understanding.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright posted on Twitter Monday, "Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks...I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes."

"Who am I? I am a Black man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. I am George Floyd," Wright said.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died Monday in Minneapolis police custody after video showed him pleading for air as an officer knelt on his neck. Floyd's death has sparked protests and unrest across the nation as demonstrators demand police reform and justice served to Floyd's arresting officers.

Wright said Monday that what happened to Floyd and occurs "all too often in this country to Black men who are subjected to police brutality that ends in death" could happen to him or any black airman -- regardless of rank.

"I hope you realize that racism/discrimination/exclusion does not care much about position, titles or stature....so yes, it could happen to you," he wrote.

Wright, who's responsible for 410,000 enlisted members, said his "greatest fear" is "not that I will be killed by a white police officer (believe me my heart starts racing like most other Black men in America when I see those blue lights behind me) ... but that I will wake up to a report that one of our Black Airmen has died at the hands of a white police officer."

Wright said he struggles with the "Air Force's own demons" of racial disparities in military justice and discipline and the "clear lack" of diversity in leadership.

"I can only look in the mirror for the solution," he wrote, concluding that "whatever I have done in the past is just not enough."

Wright said he's working with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein to conduct a "full and thorough" independent review of the military justice system to "uncover where the problem lies, and how we can fix it."

He also said they are working to improve the diversity of the force, particularly in its senior officer ranks.

Wright also made an impassioned plea to his fellow servicemen to take action.

"Like me, acknowledge your right to be upset about what's happening to our nation. But you must then find a way to move beyond the rage and do what you think is right for the country, for your community, for your sons, daughters, friends and colleagues ... for every Black man in this country who could end up like George Floyd," Wright wrote.

He urged his readers to "vote, protest peacefully, reach out to your local and state officials, to your Air Force leadership and become active in your communities."

"We didn't get here overnight so don't expect things to change tomorrow," he added.

University athletic director recounts being profiled by law enforcement
By Richie Mills

Click here for updates on this story

    New Orleans, LA (WGNO) -- 5 days before Georg Floyd was tragically murdered during an encounter with Minnesota police officers, UNO Athletic Director, Tim Duncan, reflects on an encounter with Massachusetts law enforcement.

Duncan says that he and his wife were walking to a store near their Newton home when multiple squad cars pulled up to stop them.

Guns were drawn because they fit a profile of a murder suspect.

"It's not okay. It's not okay that just because I'm a tall black man walking one block from his house that I'm pulled over and say I fit a profile of a murder suspect because he was tall. I understand the police have to do their job, but to roll down on me guns drawn when I'm walking on a Wednesday afternoon with my wife is uncalled for."

Duncan released this video Monday night after he told his student-athletes about the encounter.

He also released this statement saying, "We have to fight institutional racism and racism of any kind.

"We at New Orleans Athletics hold diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values and that they stand against racism and bigotry."

Duncan wants his student-athletes to know that it can happen to anyone, regardless of skin color.

"I wanted them to understand that this doesn't just happen to what is portrayed as thugs on television. It can happen to anyone, to your athletic director and to anyone of color. That's not right. That's racism. That's systemic. That's institutional racism that we have to fight against, and I promise that I will do better."

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If you're planning to take part in protests, know your rights. Read this.
By Scottie Andrew, CNN

Every American has the right to demonstrate peacefully. It's right there in the First Amendment. But it's not as simple as showing up with a sign.

There are some measures officials can use to limit protests, and it's easy to accidentally tiptoe into legally murky territory if you don't know the specifics.

So before you go, read up.

Timothy Zick is a professor of Government and Citizenship at the College of William & Mary Law School. He specializes in constitutional law and the First Amendment, and he's written several books about both, including 2009's "Speech Out of Doors: Preserving First Amendment Liberties in Public Spaces."
Emerson Sykes is a staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Technology and Privacy Project, who studies free speech protections under the First Amendment. Previously, he worked for Africa at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law to protect free speech.

1. What are my rights as a protester?

The First Amendment gives Americans the right to assemble peacefully and air our grievances. Historically, we've relied on protests to hold power to account -- think the March on Washington in 1963 for civil rights or the March for Our Lives demonstration in 2018 for gun control.

The government can't stop you from peacefully protesting, but they can impose some restrictions on the time, place and manner of the protest -- for example, barring protesters from walking onto a public highway or instituting a curfew that affects when protests end, Sykes said.

They can't block a protest simply because of its content, though.

If protests are planned in advance, organizers may obtain a permit so law enforcement can block off public spaces for them to demonstrate, Sykes said.

There are protections, though, for "spontaneous protests" that spawn in response to current events, like the protests that spawned after George Floyd's death, he said.

The First Amendment does not continue to protect protests that escalate to violence or the destruction of private or public property, he said.

That's when law enforcement has the right to end them and deescalate threats of violence, he said.

2. Where can and can't I protest?

A slew of public spaces are OK for protests -- sidewalks, city parks, streets and other public forums are usually lawful, Sykes said.

Some states require you file a permit to block off streets, and the right to assembly doesn't give you the automatic right to march on a public highway, Zick said.

People can be arrested or cited for blocking passage, he said.

On private property, you don't have the right to assemble.

Zick called it the "no man's land" in terms of the First Amendment, and police can move you off the property and keep you from demonstrating there.

They may even have that right to move you even if you're on public property. Special rules apply to government buildings because protests may disrupt business going on inside, Sykes said.

If the protest was permitted, you should be allowed to stay where you are -- but leaving the permitted protest site may unintentionally lead you into prohibited places, he said.

3. Can police or local leaders tell us to disperse?

It depends, Sykes said: If a mayor pleads with people to go home, you have no legal obligation to comply.

But police and local government can order you to leave, say, if they've imposed a curfew, as long as they give you ample notice to leave safely, Sykes said.

If you stay on the street past a curfew -- or if you protest on private property -- you may be cited or arrested.

4. What can I record?

You have the right to take photos and videos of what's happening at a protest in a public place, and you can record police, too.

Different states have different rules about audio recording and sharing that without the consent of the people whose voices you recorded, but the visual portion of videos and photos are always protected by the First Amendment, Sykes said.

If you're interfering with legitimate police operations, they can ask you to move. It's best to videotape them from a safe distance.

Police can't ask you to give them your phone or forcibly confiscate it without a search warrant, which they would've needed to obtain from a judge, he said.

If they demand your phone, though, comply to avoid escalating the confrontation. Afterward, you can file a police misconduct complaint or contact the ACLU, he said.

5. Someone took a picture of my face at a public protest. Is that allowed?

At a public protest in the United States, you consent to a photo just by being there. Anyone who photographs you protesting in a public place may have a right to use your image, and you may see images of yourself in the media or online, Zick said.

6. What should I pack to stay safe at a protest?

Pack light, Sykes said. He suggests you bring water and a snack at minimum. If you bring a bag, prepare for it to be searched.

In a pandemic, wearing a mask can keep you from breathing in droplets containing coronavirus. Coming within close contact of other protesters could expose you to their spit or sneezes, which may carry the coronavirus.

Of course, keep an ID on your person, too.

And if you fear you'll be arrested and will need legal help, memorize the number to a local or national law organization that could assist you in getting out of jail and handling your case afterward, Sykes said.

7. What can -- and can't -- police do during a protest?

It's the responsibility of police to protect your right to peaceful assembly.

They're also empowered to uphold law and order, which gives them broad authority to deescalate threats of violence how they see fit.

How they deescalate that violence depends on local laws and the circumstances under which they use them, which can be difficult to prove in court if you believe they used force unlawfully, Zick said.

Like Sykes said, police do not have the right to search your phone or personal devices without a warrant, which only a judge can grant them.

They also don't have permission to delete content from your phone, so if they tell you to delete a video you took or delete it themselves, they're in the wrong, he said.

8. What can I do if a police officer stops me?

Be polite. Don't resist.
Ask them if you're free to go after speaking with them, Sykes said.
If they say yes, calmly walk away and rejoin the protest if it's safe to.

If they say no, and they detain you, don't resist and keep calm, Sykes said. Ask them what crime you're suspected of committing.

9. What can I do if I get arrested?

Some people get arrested intentionally as a form of civil disobedience. But whether or not you planned to get handcuffed, you shouldn't resist arrest, Sykes said.

It's the best chance you have to stay safe.

During your arrest, you can remain silent, as is your right, Sykes said.

In some states, police are permitted to know your name if they ask, but they don't have the right to know where you're from or your citizenship status, he said.

You can also ask for a lawyer -- remember that number you held onto for legal support.

If you're booked into jail, call a lawyer immediately, Sykes said.

Police can't listen in on your call if you're phoning a lawyer, but they can listen in if you're calling a friend or family member, so be aware, he said.

10. What can I do if I feel law enforcement or other officials violated my rights?

You can sue for civil rights violations.

You're allowed to do that under Section 1983 of federal law, which covers violations by state actors and police who violate First Amendment rights to assemble, speak and petition.

Some protesters file large class-action suits that are occasionally successful, and sometimes authorities can pay damages when they decide litigation isn't worth it, Zick said.

But qualified immunity can shield officers from civil liability if they didn't violate a clearly established law, he said.

Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that protects police officers accused of interfering with constitutional rights from being liable unless they violated a clearly established and defined law.

The lines are blurred at protests of what police are allowed to do and what constitutes overreaching, so "clearly established" constitutional rights are difficult to determine, Zick said.

In this way, many police officers are protected by qualified immunity, Sykes said.

"Those cases are difficult to win and expensive in terms of personal time and resources," Zick said. "Naturally, I think a lot of the protesters whose rights may well have been violated may not pursue cases."

11. Can my workplace fire me if they find out I attended a protest?

That depends on the contract you made with your employer when you were hired, but yes, it's possible, Sykes said.

You have stronger constitutional protections for what you do outside of work, but depending on what you agreed on when you were hired, a company may be able to terminate your employment, he said.

Bank of America pledges $1 billion to fight racial inequality
By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Bank of America is donating $1 billion over the next four years to community programs and small businesses to help address economic and racial inequality that has been exacerbated by Covid-19.

CEO Brian Moynihan said in press release Tuesday that "underlying economic and social disparities" were made worse by the pandemic and mentioned the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody has "created a sense of true urgency."

"We all need to do more," he said.

The billion-dollar donation is an expansion of the several hundreds of millions of dollars Bank of America donates to nonprofits and lends to small, minitority-owned businesses.

Bank of America said the money will expand health services, like vaccination clinics, in communities of color, "support" small businesses, and recruitment of new bank employees in economically disadvantaged communities.

Bank of America's donation, which amounts to $250 million a year over the next four, is tiny fraction of the $27.4 billion it made in 2019. It also returned a record $34 billion in share repurchases last year, the bank announced earlier this year.

The bank also has a troubled history with minorities: It was fined $2.2 million in 2013 for discriminating against black job candidates over two decades. The US Department of Labor ordered it to pay the fine after finding that more than 1,100 African-American job seekers faced discrimination at the company's offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, at various times between 1993 and 2005.

Moynihan is the latest high-profile CEO to publicly speak about the protests. Fitness startup Peloton, Intel and Verizon also announced donations to minority oriented organizations.

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