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CNN Producer Violently Arrested, Asked Offensive Question

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Carolyn Sung, an Asian-American producer for CNN, was arrested on April 13 while covering the Brooklyn Center protests against the police’s killing of Daunte Wright. An officer proceeded to ask her if she spoke English while restraining her.

What We Know:

  • Attorney Leita Walker of Ballard Spahr wrote a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) explaining the law enforcement officers’ behaviors. She defends nearly 30 journalism and news associations. Walker detailed how police assaulted members of the press. This is where she discussed Sung’s arrest.
  • In one instance, state troopers threw Sung to the ground while attempting to comply with a dispersal order on Tuesday. Police arrested Sung despite her showing credentials and identifying herself as a producer. She then informed the officers the zip ties on her wrist were too tight. After this, a policeman asked her about what language she spoke. She spoke only in English while speaking to the officer. Authorities also detained her male security agent but released him after he showed his credentials.
  • The police sent Sung to Hennepin County Jail in a prisoner transport bus. Wright stated a female officer patted down and searched Sung. In addition, Sung was fingerprinted, electrically body-scanned, and put in an orange uniform. This happened before her attorneys could locate her and ensure her release, “a process that took more than two hours.”
  • In the letter to Gov. Walz, Walker says the news organizations are “deeply troubled” by these occurrences. She cited the First Amendment in her letter to explain the journalists’ upsetness.

“The First Amendment is clear: journalists have a robust right of access to gather and report the news without fear of intrusion or interference by law enforcement,”  Walker noted.

  • Other members of the press faced similar treatments last Friday. According to the Huffington Post, police repeatedly hit New York Times photographer Joshua Rashaad McFadden. The authorities surrounded McFadden’s vehicle and even tried to break his camera. Officers also forced J.D. Duggan to the ground and pushed him onto his stomach. He told the Star Tribune that police are not supposed to arrest the media. In addition, officials pepper-sprayed, tackled, and hit Tim Evans in the face. Evans notified them of his journalist background, but the police ignored him.
  • After a meeting with law enforcement, news organizations, and other stakeholders, Walz made a public response on Twitter. He scorned the officers’ behaviors, declaring that reporters “worked tirelessly” throughout the “tumultuous” year to inform Minnesotans. In another tweet, he expressed that officers must allow journalists to cover protests and civil unrest safely. He informed his followers that he directed his law enforcement partners to make changes. He wants the police to ensure “journalists do not face barriers to doing their jobs.” Walz also shared a link to a Star Tribune article about his interview on the situation. The report also has coverage of more journalists’ experiences.

Minnesota leaders took the initiative in guaranteeing this won’t happen again. On Friday, a U.S. District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order. It prevents police from arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against members of the press. After this decision and Walz’s response, the Minnesota State Patrol announced in a press release they will exempt the media from dispersal orders. They also banned the use of chemical sprays on them.

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Diego Maradona’s Doctor and Six Others to be Questioned in His Death

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Soccer icon Diego Maradona suffered a heart attack weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot and died in November 2020 at 60 years old. After this, two of his children filed a complaint with the Argentine Justice Department against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, citing that he allowed their father’s health to deteriorate. Medical experts agreed with their claims.

What We Know:

  • Argentina’s public prosecutor brought in a panel of twenty medical authorities to analyze Maradona’s treatment. They concluded that the care the legend received held “deficiencies and irregularities;” they also determined the medical team left his survival “to fate” and could have survived if tended to at a healthcare facility. Maradona died in a rented Buenos Aires home, where he obtained home care.
  • Alongside Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, nurses Ricardo Almiron and Dahiana Madrid, nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, and medical coordinator Nancy Forlini will face interrogation.
  • Beginning Monday and spanning two weeks, the seven will appear “one by one” before prosecutors to reply to the allegations. They may receive charges such as manslaughter if found guilty.
  • The hearings were supposed to begin last month, but officials needed to postpone them due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Prosecutors will end questioning on June 28 with Luque. Once this finishes, a judge will decide if the matter should proceed in court. This process may take months or years. While awaiting their fate, the seven must follow strict rules, such as not leaving the country. They risk eight to twenty-five years in prison if they do so.
  • Luque actively denies all the accusations against him. He claims he “tried his best” and offered Maradona everything he could. He also states that the soccer player accepted some things and denied others.

In addition, Luque says that Maradona felt very depressed in his final days; he declares that the “quarantine hit him very hard.” Because of this, Dr. Luque wants dismissal of the case. Despite his pleas, the courts will continue their movement to bring justice to Maradona’s family and fans.

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9 Mass Shootings This Weekend Brings Total to 272 This Year

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From Friday afternoon to Sunday, nine mass shootings occurred in six states. This brings the total of mass shootings for 2021 to 272.

What We Know:

  • A mass shooting is defined by the Gun Violence Archive as an incident in which four or more people are shot, regardless of fatalities. Initial reporting from ABC News detailed four mass shootings in the span of six hours this weekend. Further coverage from CNN revealed the number to be nine.
  • In Savannah, Georgia on Friday evening one person was killed and eight others were injured. The youngest victim was 18 months old. Police are still working to identify a suspect or suspects who pulled up to a residential home and opened fire. The same house had been targeted the Tuesday before and the events are believed to be linked.
  • 4 hours later in Austin, Texas, gunfire was reported in the entertainment district. One was reported dead, 13 wounded, and one in critical condition. Police arrested one suspect but another is being sought out.
  • Shots were also fired in Dallas, Texas earlier in the day. Five people were wounded including a four-year-old and four adult victims. Police said the incident occurred when two groups became involved in some sort of disturbance.
  • On Friday afternoon in Washington state, just south of Seattle, officers responded to reports of a shooting. Two people were found dead at the scene and two others were hospitalized with injuries.
  • In North Carolina on Friday night, numerous shots were fired. There were four victims total, one was pronounced dead when responders arrived. Police recovered two guns from the scene and other evidence.
  • In the early morning hours on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois, one woman was fatally shot and nine others injured. Two suspects reportedly approached a crowd in the Chatham neighborhood and opened fire.
  • Two Ohio cities experienced incidences this weekend as well. In Cleveland, three people were killed outside of a gas station Saturday morning. Three other victims were hospitalized. In Cincinnati, at least four people were wounded that same day. Two of the victims aged 6 and 8 are in critical condition.
  • The non-stop incidents that have occurred so far have officials concerned as COVID-19 restrictions lift nationally. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Research Forum, stated, “There was a hope this might simply be a statistical blip that would start to come down. That hasn’t happened. And that’s what really makes chiefs worry that we may be entering a new period where we see a reversal of 20 years of declines in these crimes.”

The Gun Violence Archive reports that the total number of mass shootings so far this year is 40% higher than that of this time in 2020 and 65% higher than in 2019. With gun control legislation continuing to be a hot topic, and with decisions like that of Judge Roger Benitez overturning preexisting legislation, it is unclear what the rest of the year may bring.

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Senate Announces Bipartisan $1 Trillion Infrastructure Deal

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(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of 10 Senators have been engaged in negotiations with President Biden to create an infrastructure bill. After negotiations ceased this Tuesday, the group announced they have a tentative plan to propose in the coming weeks.

What We Know:

  • The plan includes $579 billion in new spending, which would add up to $1.2 trillion over eight years. Senators said in a statement that the proposal would be paid for and would not include tax increases. There have been talks amongst the group of indexing the gas tax to inflation to cover the cost, but Biden’s unwillingness to raise taxes for those who make less than $400,000 a year would prove difficult.
  • Republicans are skeptical of this deal and Democrats are impatient. Many are hopeful that a bipartisan agreement will pass. In a joint statement, the group said, “We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs.”
  • Some Democrats are vehemently opposed to the deal as it makes no mention of clean energy or climate change. They are encouraging leadership to push through a partisan bill, which still would require ten votes on the Republican side to pass.
  • Regardless of opinion, many agree that a bill needs to pass swiftly. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is among these representatives, “I worry about time being wasted. Even if our Republican colleagues [work in] good faith, we simply do not have the time to delay.”

The uncertainty in this decision follows a few weeks of tumult in the Senate between Democrats and Republicans. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, “Senior White House staff and the Jobs Cabinet will work with the Senate group in the days ahead to get answers to those questions, as we also consult with other members in both the House and the Senate on the path forward.”

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