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Atlanta Police walk out after Officer is charged with the murder of Rayshard Brooks

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Rumors insinuated that Atlanta police department had call-ins from officers Wednesday as officer Garret Rolfe was charged with murder.

What We Know:

  • Garret Rolfe, the officer who fatally shot 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, was charged with felony murder charges on Wednesday. Hours after the charges were announced, a large number of Atlanta police officers called in “sick” during Wednesday’s evening shift.
  • As emergency calls began to ensue, the city was left scrambling to cover the absences of so many officers. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tried to quiet down rumors of a walkout saying “We do have enough officers to cover us through the night”. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms continued, “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out”. The Atlanta police department also tried to quiet down rumors.

  • According to NBC News, a walkout was in fact the case for a large number of call-ins on Wednesday, though the call-out was not organized. Throughout Wednesday night, call-ins increased as officers went radio silent and only responded to back up calls. Many stated that the call-ins were in fact a “blue-flu” in other words an actual police strike. The call-in strategy was due to the fact that walk-outs are legally forbidden in many jurisdictions.
  • “This is not an organized thing, it’s not a blue flu, it’s not a strike, it’s nothing like that,” Vince Champion, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, told NBC News. “What it actually is is officers protesting that they’ve had enough and they don’t want to deal with it any longer.”
  • Champion went on to say that many officers felt that prosecutors had not shared enough evidence to charge Rolfe with murder. Trump in the midst of him signing an executive police reform suggested on a Sean Hanity show, that the incident was Brooks’ fault. “I thought it was a terrible situation, but you can’t resist a police officer”.
  • Trump goes on to state “I hope he gets a fair shake because police have not been treated fairly in our country…..But again, you can’t resist a police officer like that. And they ended up in a very terrible disagreement and look at the way it ended. Very bad. Very bad.”
  • The weeks in Atlanta have been very tempestuous, as Brooks’ fatal video was released to the public. Days later, the Wendy’s where it happened was burned down to the ground. Mayor Bottoms called for Rolfe to be fired which proceeded to happen on Sunday. Shortly after, former police chief Erika Shields resigned, and a week after Rolfe and assisting officer Brosnan had been criminally charged.
  • Many civilians have praised the quick actions brought upon Atlanta’s police department, while many officers believe that everyone is against them. Bottoms stated that she was more worried about the detriment of Atlanta’s police morale. “The thing that I’m most concerned about is how we repair the morale in our police department,” Bottoms said on CNN, “and how do we ensure our communities are safe as they interact with our police officers”.

Atlanta contiunes to try to get the police and civilians on one accord as the separation continues to deepen.

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Senate Prepares to Move Forward with Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

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On Monday, the Senate pushed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill just hours after its legislative language was completed and unveiled. Senators who created the proposal expect it to clear the upper chamber in the following days.

What We Know:

  • Senate negotiators completed the 2,702-page bill on Sunday night. The bill, known as H.R. 3684, aims to provide $550 billion to fund the nation’s roads, bridges, railways, and public transit systems.
  • Since then, the Senate began taking up two amendments to the proposal. In addition, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer previewed three bipartisan amendments for consideration. Currently, it is uncertain how many amendments the Senate will consider. However, Schumer wants to vote on amendments quickly; he also noted that the first three “constitute only the first tranche of potential amendments.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell commented that H.R. 3684’s text lays out “a good and important jumping point for what needs to be a robust and bipartisan process” on the Senate floor. McConnell added that an “artificial timetable” must not affect the Senate’s “full consideration” of the bill.
  • On July 28, the bipartisan group of Senators and the White House reached an agreement on H.R. 3684’s details. Officials also voted 66-28 on the deal, which opened the package to potential changes during the amendment process. After this, Senators worked throughout the weekend to hammer out the legislative language.
  • If the Senate passes H.R. 3684, it will be a significant victory for President Joe Biden. A key proposal in his economic agenda, Biden boasted on the impact H.R. 3684 will hold on the nation. On Sunday, he tweeted that the deal is the most important investment in America’s public transit history. He additionally stated the bill will impact the U.S. just as much as the invention of the Amtrak 50 years ago.

If Congress approves H.R. 3684, it will ensure that Democrats may begin work on a $3.5 trillion proposal that focuses on Biden’s plans for childcare, healthcare, education, the environment, and possibly immigration. Doing so will ensure another success on Pres. Biden’s behalf.

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Coronavirus

Florida Breaks Record for COVID-19 Hospitalizations

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Florida recently saw 10,207 hospitalizations caused by coronavirus cases, the highest number since July 23, 2020.

What We Know:

  • On July 23, 2020, Florida reached a high of 10,170 hospitalizations, just six months before the COVID-19 vaccine became available. The new record makes Florida the leader in per capita hospitalizations for the virus.
  • Most of the new cases come from the highly contagious Delta variant. On average, Florida sees 1,525 adult and 35 children hospitalizations daily. In addition, Saturday revealed a peak in positive numbers, as the stated reported  21,683 occurrences of COVID-19. The day prior, the Sunshine State saw 17,093 cases.
  • Many hospital employees believed the excess hospitalizations would end soon because of an increase in vaccinations. However, the Delta variant changed all this. The Associated Press wrote that several hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic Florida and the UF Health North emergency room, needed to operate overcapacity and put beds in hallways to treat patients; the Mayo Clinic will continue to do so until the current surge ends. In Tampa, some local ambulances already needed to divert ambulances to other locations because of capacity concerns.
  • The higher numbers also are a direct result of a loosening of restrictions and a governor’s stubbornness. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis actively declares he will not enact any more mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Along with the state Legislature, this makes it difficult for local officials to impose restrictions that will ease the positive numbers.
  • Medical officials scorned DeSantis for his adamance on the issue. Dr. Bernard Ashby, a Miami-based vascular cardiologist and Florida State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, commented that the state would not be in its position now if DeSantis focused more on lowering cases than proving Dr. Anthony Fauci wrong. Gainesville infectious disease expert Dr. Frederick Southwick agreed with Ashby’s statement, saying that DeSantis needed to stop acting like “Florida won the pandemic.”

DeSantis recently announced that Florida would resist any federal authorities’ campaigns to enforce mask mandates inside schools despite the criticism.

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NY Attorney General: Gov. Cuomo harassed women, tried to retaliate against accuser

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NEW YORK — Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday announced the findings of her inquiry into accusations against Andrew Cuomo, concluding that the governor sexually harassed multiple women. James said victims included current and former employees, and that Cuomo tried to retaliate against at least one woman who came forward. Over 179 people were interviewed.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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