Equity & Justice

Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Culture, Income, and Justice

The police killings of George Floyd, Eric Garner and other black men and women began with allegations of a minor offense, such as passing a counterfeit $20 bill or selling individual, untaxed cigarettes.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney / NPR Illinois

The conservative Thomas More Society this week filed a lawsuit that in effect charges Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act violates the right to freedom of religion by forcing employers to pay for abortions.

Bubba Wallace has yet to win a race in NASCAR's premier Cup series, but he's been thrust into the spotlight as the lone African American driver in a sport steeped in white Southern heritage.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A Kentucky state commission voted on Friday to remove a statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol's main rotunda.

The statue of the former Confederate president, who was born in Kentucky, has stood in the rotunda for 84 years. The 11-1 vote by the state's Historic Properties Advisory Commission was requested last week by Gov. Andy Beshear, who said the statue should be moved elsewhere.

French police say they are being stigmatized during protests in France against police violence in the wake of George Floyd's death.

On Thursday, police gathered in front of precincts across the country and threw down their handcuffs in a symbolic gesture against what they say is unfair criticism.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Wednesday's NASCAR race was already going to be different.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Five-hundred laps at Martinsville - green flag.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says it's time to take down a statue of Confederate commander Robert E. Lee that stands over Richmond, the state's capital. Here he was speaking on this program last week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Office of state Sen. Kimberly Lightford

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford says she is overwhelmed with emotion these days.  

The majority leader from Maywood was inaugurated more than two decades ago as Illinois’ youngest – and only African American woman – senator. She’s struggled working toward legislation that would help her community, one that’s been hit particularly hard recently.

More than 90% of U.S. churches were closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Aidan Sykes was just 6 years old when he joined his dad, Albert, to protest the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. They've been attending protests against racial injustice ever since.

Twenty-nine-old Morgann Freeman's right eye is still alarming to look at. It's blotched bright red after a hemorrhage from exposure to tear gas. She's come back to the scene of where protests over the police killing of George Floyd turned violent in her hometown, Omaha, Neb.

More than a dozen Minneapolis police officers who say they represent hundreds of others condemned the former officer charged in the killing of George Floyd. And they expressed support for policing reforms in an open letter released Thursday that is addressed to "Dear Everyone — but especially Minneapolis citizens."

"We wholeheartedly condemn Derek Chauvin," the letter said at the outset, and it went on to denounce the now-fired officer's actions.

Across the United States, nursing homes trying to protect their residents from the coronavirus eagerly await boxes of masks, eyewear and gowns promised by the federal government. But all too often the packages deliver disappointment — if they arrive at all.

Some contain flimsy surgical masks or cloth face coverings that are explicitly not intended for medical use. Others are missing items or have far less than the full week's worth of protective equipment the government promised to send. Instead of proper medical gowns, many packages hold large blue plastic ponchos.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles Police Department has reassigned seven officers to nonfield duties as it investigates dozens of complaints of excessive force during recent protests against police brutality.

The department said it has assigned 40 investigators to look into 56 complaint investigations into "allegations of misconduct, violations of Department policy, and excessive force" during the protests – of which 28 involve alleged use of force.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday that he did not believe New York City's prominent statue of Christopher Columbus should be removed and pointed out its importance in the Italian American community.

Cuomo was asked on Thursday at a press conference whether it was time for the statue, which stands above the city's Columbus Circle subway stop, to go.

On June 8, a small group of Democratic lawmakers donned Ghanaian kente cloth before kneeling on the floor of the U.S. Capitol for nearly nine minutes. The gesture was meant to show solidarity for George Floyd as they unveiled their proposed police reform legislation. But photographs of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrapped in the colorful woven strips, gifted to them by members of the Black Congressional Caucus, quickly sparked controversy online.

Ella Jones will be sworn in as mayor of Ferguson, Mo., next week, becoming the first black mayor — and the first woman — to lead the city that gained national attention when police killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014.

The protests that erupted in response helped establish the Black Lives Matter movement of today.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Although New Zealand is about as far — in miles, at least — as you can get from Minneapolis, protests have erupted there over the killing of George Floyd. The Indigenous Maori people in particular have pushed back against police use of force, which disproportionately affects them.

President Trump sharply criticized Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for their handling of large anti-racism protests, saying via Twitter, "Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will."

The police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., have sparked a national conversation around racial justice.

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, announced this week that she has qualified to run for public office in Florida.

She is seeking an open seat for Miami-Dade County commissioner, District 1.

Trayvon was shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012. The man charged in the fatal shooting, George Zimmerman, was acquitted the following year.

Pages