George Floyd

a photo of protester talking to police
JOSH TROCHE / USED WITH PERMISSION

Organizers of a town hall meeting tonight in Stark County are hoping to deepen community dialogue about policing and race relations.

John Spitzer, Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Israel Canton, and Ron Ponder, former president of the NAACP in Stark County, have been helping organize the meeting tonight and another one on Thursday at Faith Family Church in North Canton. Ponder is moderating the sessions. He thinks there’s something to learn from what’s been happening in Canton.

police on steps of justice center
JOSH TROCHE

The phrase “defund the police” has become one of the battle cries of protesters across the country since George Floyd was killed in May by Minneapolis police. 

Floyd’s death has sparked a new push for police reform, which many say is decades overdue.

The city of Akron, like many cities, is in the early stages of what could add up to significant change for the police department.

Black Lives Matter rally
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Juneteenth is the day commemorating the end of slavery for African Americans in the U.S.

The commemoration was born after the end of the Civil War in Texas on June 19th, 1865 when the U.S. Army arrived and let people know that emancipation passed and that African Americans were no longer enslaved.

Liz Smith-Pryor specializes in African American history at Kent State University. She says the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police has helped bring greater attention to the day.

The state’s largest law enforcement organization says it’s cautiously on board with a lot of ideas being pushed out at the local, state and federal levels on police reforms.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The weeks since the killing of George Floyd have been a cauldron of outrage, frustration and, at times, violence. But on Friday, Juneteenth brought another emotion to this simmering mixture: the joy of celebration.

Gov. Mike DeWine is asking the Ohio General Assembly to ban chokeholds, except in life-or-death situations, and to require independent investigations for all police shootings and deaths in police custody.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training — a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against nonwhites.

The order comes as the president faces tremendous pressure to take action following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police last month.

zoom meeting image
ZOOM

Akron City Council has had a busy week, and it's just getting started, said Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville.

On Monday, council unanimously declared racism a public health crisis. In separate legislation, council banned chokeholds by police.

“There’s a lot of reform that we can make that will bring pretty good changes,” Sommerville said.

DeWine Wants Standards On Law Enforcement Response To Protests

Jun 9, 2020

As demonstrations continue in honor of George Floyd, and many cities in Ohio and elsewhere have come under fire for police response to such protests, Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced he is asking Ohio's Collaborative Community Police Advisory Board to develop minimum standards on law enforcement response to mass protests.

Updated 7:28 p.m. ET

George Floyd, whose killing by police inspired worldwide protests calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, was taken to a cemetery for burial Tuesday in his hometown of Houston.

The black man died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. A video captured by a bystander showed Floyd pleading for air and calling out for his mother.

Floyd, 46, was to be buried next to his mother.

photo of police in gear
JOSH TROCHE

Reports from around the country show journalists arrested and some seriously injured by police during the recent protests over the death of George Floyd. So far, that’s not the case in Akron.

A resolution introduced last week to declare racism a public health crisis is getting its first hearing in the Republican-dominated Ohio Senate, where one member of the GOP has joined eight Democrats in sponsoring the measure.

The Ohio National Guard is returning to the state after being called to Washington, DC to secure demonstrations in the District. However, members of the guard are still in some Ohio cities as protesters continue to demonstrate against the deaths of George Floyd and other black people killed by police.

President Trump on Monday rejected calls to disband or defund police departments as a response to massive protests against police brutality, sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd by police.

"Sometimes you'll see some horrible things, like we witnessed recently," Trump said. "Ninety-nine percent of them are great, great people."

"The police are doing an incredible job," Trump said, citing crime statistics. "We're going to talk about ideas how we can do it better and how we can do it if possible in a much more gentle fashion."

photo of Shawn Mansfield
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The protests over the killing of George Floyd continued in downtown Akron today. Several groups held events calling for an end to racism and police brutality.

Updated 3:45 a.m. ET Sunday

The flame ignited by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis still burned bright in cities across the country Saturday as largely peaceful anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests continued with some of their biggest crowds yet.

As more than a hundred protestors chanted and demonstrated outside the Statehouse, the Ohio House held a voting session that concluded with some passionate comments about the killing of George Floyd and the bigger issues that’s raised.

As the country erupts in protests over police brutality and racism, two-thirds of Americans think President Trump has increased racial tensions in the U.S., according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

The poll offers a snapshot of a nation in upheaval after a video captured a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man named George Floyd, who was pleading for his life before he died.

a photo of a protester in Cleveland.
TAYLOR HAGGERTY / WCPN

Cleveland has been under a curfew since Saturday, when protests against the police brutality in Minneapolis that led to the death of George Floyd, turned violent.

The curfew restricts activity from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the Central Business District and the W. 25th Market District and is in effect until tomorrow, at this point.

A picture of Senator Sherrod Brown on June 8, 2018.
BROWN.SENATE.GOV

Sen. Sherrodd Brown (D-Ohio) is cosponsoring legislation that would add teeth to laws intended to end racial profiling. The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act would strengthen existing equal protection laws.

Following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, Brown says it’s important to dismantle all racist systems and not just focus on police brutality.

A bicycle mounted Cleveland police officer rides along the street during an inaguration day protest in downtown Cleveland. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, June 4: 

photo of Progressive Field SWAT team
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Businesses in Downtown Cleveland opened today for the first time since last weekend’s protests over the killing of George Floyd. The city has imposed curfews since Saturday.

Deon Sankey was outside, taking a break from cleaning up at the bar where he works near Progressive Field. He says there will likely be more peaceful protests. And he says people need to understand the difference between a protest and a riot.

a photo of a protester in Cleveland.
TAYLOR HAGGERTY / WCPN

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 3:

JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. Mike DeWine dedicated most of his press conference about the coronavirus Tuesday to discussing racism in the state. 

A photo of the City of Akron.
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

Akron was among cities around the country where people gathered Saturday to protest the killing of George Floyd,  a black man in Minneapolis. The white officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck is now charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

As they have elsewhere, the protests in Akron turned violent, with protestors shattering windows in buildings and city vehicles, and throwing rocks. Akron Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Mayor Dan Horrigan talked about how the city will work to resolve community unrest.

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