Tag Archives: Fear

Minneapolis City Council President Claims Fear of Dismantling Police ‘Comes From A Place of Privilege’

Minneapolis City Council President Claims Fear of Dismantling Police ‘Comes From A Place of Privilege’Fears of dismantling local police forces come from a "place of privilege," Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender told CNN on Monday."What if in the middle of the night my home is broken into. Who do I call?" CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota asked Bender after the city council president laid out her vision for a post-police city."I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors, and I know — and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege," Bender responded. "For those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm instead."> Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender on the intent to defund and dismantle the city’s police department: “[We] have looked up ways we can shift the response away from our armed police officers… the groundwork is laid already.” https://t.co/h0eSepelHE pic.twitter.com/wBASgjsIbq> > — CNN (@CNN) June 8, 2020Bender and eight other City Council members, who together form a veto-proof majority on the twelve-seat body, have already signed a pledge to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Mayor Jacob Frey has backed reform but refused to defund the city's police force entirely.However, Bender appeared to temper a push to defund the MPD immediately, saying it would take "years" before police would not be necessary. She and other Council Members had come out in support of a "police-free future" in 2017."To me, [a police-free future] is a long way away, and it would take an enormous amount of investment in things that we know work to keep people safe," Bender said. "I know the statement was bold, and I stand by that bold statement, but the work ahead of us will be long."Calls to defund and dismantle police departments have grown after the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by four Minneapolis police officers. The city saw widespread demonstrations and riots following Floyd's death, with rioters looting and burning down buildings including the headquarters of the city's 3rd precinct, where the four officers were stationed.



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North Korea outbreak fear as Chinese border city locked down

North Korea outbreak fear as Chinese border city locked downChina has enforced a lockdown on a city bordering North Korea, raising suspicions about a coronavirus outbreak in the isolated country. Residential compounds have been closed and transportation shut down in Shulan, a city of 700,000 in the north-eastern province of Jilin, state broadcaster China Central Television reported on Sunday. Students who already had returned to school, were sent back home again to study, and the city’s threat level has been raised from medium to high risk. As of Saturday, Jilin province had reported a total of 105 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and 19 imported ones. There were 11 new coronavirus cases in Shulan on Saturday, local health authorities said. North Korea closed its borders in January when Covid-19 first began to take hold in China, and has consistently stated that nobody inside the country has been infected.



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Older states grapple with fear, isolation and medical care

Older states grapple with fear, isolation and medical careThis isn’t the way Betsy Steen and her husband wanted to spend their golden years: Hunkered down at home, living with fear and isolation. Steen, 76, and her husband David, 75, both take immuno-suppressant medications, placing them at high risk if they contract the coronavirus. States with older populations carry special worries during the deadly pandemic: Loneliness takes an emotional and physical toll on fragile residents.



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Detainees in US immigration jails living in fear as coronavirus spreads

Detainees in US immigration jails living in fear as coronavirus spreadsRecordings obtained by Guardian reveal people in Ice centers in the south concerned they are not being properly cared forDetainees at immigration detention centers across the American south have alleged heavy-handed crackdowns amid increasing panic and protest over the coronavirus pandemic, according to advocates and recordings of detainees obtained by the Guardian.A number of detainees have expressed concern they are not being properly cared for in packed detention centers. Former senior immigration officials and attorneys have called for the release of nonviolent detainees. Judges in New Jersey, New York and California have ordered the release of small numbers, based on health concerns.“People are terrified for their lives and think that they’re going to die there,” said Phoebe Lytle, a law student volunteer who has spoken with detainees at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) facilities in Louisiana. “I don’t think anyone is saying it in a light or flippant way.”Jaclyn Cole, an outreach paralegal at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), said she was called on Tuesday by a Cuban asylum seeker who said officers dressed in riot gear were shooting rubber bullets and using chemical agents on detainees after a dispute with guards.During the five-minute call to Pine Prairie Ice processing center, Cole said she heard between 10 and 15 shots.Ice spokesperson Bryan D Cox did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has previously denied that the privately operated facility possesses rubber bullets, after detainees have reported their use. Cox did confirm to Mother Jones that seven people at Pine Prairie were pepper-sprayed on Tuesday.Elsewhere in Louisiana, guards at the LaSalle Ice center allegedly sprayed a man with what he called “toxic gas” on Monday after two other detainees cautioned detainees to forgo meals because food could carry Covid-19. The man was hospitalized, said Verónica Fernández, a project coordinator with the SPLC’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative.Cox did not respond to a request for comment on that incident. He did confirm a separate use of force at LaSalle on Wednesday to Buzzfeed News.Since Covid-19 started spreading through the US, health and immigration experts have expressed concern that Ice is unequipped to deal with the crisis. The US runs the largest immigration detention system in the world and there is a well-documented record of infections ballooning into outbreaks in such facilities. Now, coronavirus has infected some of the agency’s employees and detainees, which experts said was inevitable.Two detainees in New Jersey Ice facilities and five employees at four facilities in Texas, Colorado and New Jersey have confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Ice. No cases have been publicly announced in southern states.The Trump administration has massively expanded the use of immigration detention facilities, with hardline policies that have driven the detention population to record highs. States in the deep south have opened more new facilities than anywhere else.Advocates say immigrants held in Louisiana suspect Covid-19 has reached their facilities as the state becomes a major virus hotspot. At Ice’s South Louisiana center, a woman alleged she saw officers in hazmat suits feeding someone through a slot in a door, Cole said. At LaSalle, Fernández said, a dorm has reportedly been quarantined, and detainees believe two people have the disease.“They’re not giving people what they need to protect themselves, and that is social distancing,” said Fernández. “That’s not something people can do in detention.”Ice has said detainees’ “health, welfare and safety … is one of the agency’s highest priorities”.“Since the onset of reports of Covid-19, Ice epidemiologists have been tracking the outbreak, regularly updating infection prevention and control protocols, and issuing guidance to Ice Health Service Corps (IHSC) staff for the screening and management of potential exposure among detainees,” according to the agency’s website.Some detainees believe they will not receive fair treatment in government care. In a recorded call from Richwood correctional center in Louisiana, released by the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and shared with the Guardian, one detainee said: “They’re not going to take a facemask from anyone, from any American, to put it on an immigrant. This means we are going to die.”Advocates say anyone in detention is likely to have a compromised immune system, but some also have pre-existing conditions. Lytle said she spoke to a 61-year-old asthmatic at Jackson Parish correctional center, another facility used by Ice in Louisiana, whom she said was “very, very worried” and called to tell her people in his dorm were refusing meals.A woman named Denisse, whose husband is at Stewart detention center in Georgia, feared what might happen as new detainees arrived and guards came and went.“It’s just spreading rapidly, you know?” Denisse said. “And his immune system is already weak.”Her husband has a pre-existing condition that has become worse since he arrived at the facility in September, she said, adding that he recently underwent a procedure and uses a catheter. She shook with relief when she learned he would be released on Monday. The reason for his release was unclear.Hilda Jorge Perez, whose husband is at Richwood, said he had heart problems and high blood pressure. She worried that if he got infected, she would not be able to see him.Perez’s husband was among at least 60 people who staged a hunger strike earlier this week. The protesters were forced to end the strike after officials told them they would be put in Ice’s version of solitary confinement and have phone and television privileges removed, Perez said.Detainees at Stewart planned a similar strike. They demanded they either be released or deported instead of waiting to be infected, according to recordings of calls provided by a North Carolina advocacy group.“We’re not going to eat until Ice comes here and gives us answers, and gives us a solution,” one man said.A spokesperson for Ice accused advocates of circulating rumors about a hunger strike at Stewart, which she said never happened.



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U.S. airport screeners, health workers plagued by fear and anger as coronavirus spreads

U.S. airport screeners, health workers plagued by fear and anger as coronavirus spreadsScreeners with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked their supervisors this week to change official protocols and require stronger masks, according to an internal document reviewed by Reuters. On Friday evening, they learned their worst fears were realized: Two screeners, both working at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), had tested positive for the virus. “Sad news,” a senior quarantine official at the CDC wrote in an email Friday evening to colleagues about the two workers.



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