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Joe Biden’s Family Bible Has a Long History

When President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the oath on Wednesday, he will likely get his hands on a family artifact that has followed him throughout his 50-year political career: a large Bible, accented with a Celtic cross. , which has been in his family since 1893.

The Bible has been a staple during Mr. Biden’s recent swearing-in ceremonies as US Senator and Vice President. His son Beau Biden also used it when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general.

Mr. Biden, who will make history as the country’s second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy, has often invoked his faith during the 2020 presidential campaign as he courted voters with a pledge to restore “l ‘soul of America’.

In an interview last month with Stephen Colbert, Mr. Biden shared a bit of history on the family legacy.

“Every important date is there,” Biden said. “For example, every time I take an oath for anything, the date is written.”

But on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Mr. Biden’s inaugural committee said he couldn’t confirm whether Mr. Biden would use that book for his inauguration – or even if he would use just one Bible. (President Trump used two.)

The Bible that a president-elect chooses to use for the swearing-in ceremony often sends a symbolic message to the American public, said Seth A. Perry, associate professor of religion at Princeton University and author of “Bible Culture and” Authority in the early United States. “

“It’s hard to imagine the inauguration ritual without this book at this point,” Professor Perry said. “It’s part of the landscape. It’s part of what gives the moment the authority it has.

Here’s a look at how the Bible has featured in some of the most pivotal moments in U.S. history: the inaugurations of new U.S. presidents.

Like much of the pageantry associated with presidential inaugurations, the presence of a Bible at swearing-in ceremonies is steeped in tradition, dating back to the country’s first president.

At his inauguration in 1789 in New York City, George Washington used a Bible from the Masonic Lodge of St. John’s No. 1. The Bible was allegedly retrieved after attendees noticed there was none in Federal. Hall, where Washington was preparing to take the oath of office, according to Claire Jerry, curator of political history at the National Museum of American History.

The Bible represented the deal Washington made with the American people, she said.

“Having sacred images associated with making a covenant is quite consistent and underscores this idea that we, who attend the swearing-in, and the individual who takes the oath enter into a very deep relationship. with each other, ”Dr Jerry says.

The Washington Bible was used in the inaugurations of four other presidents: Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush.

In 2017, Mr. Trump used a Bible given to him by his mother when he was a child, and one used by Abraham Lincoln for his inauguration in 1861, just before the start of the Civil War. Barack Obama also used the Lincoln Bible for taking the oath, but in 2013, for his second investiture, he supplemented it with a Bible given to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1954.

Some presidents have taken an oath with the Bible open to a specific verse or passage, Dr Jerry said. Popular choices include verses in Proverbs and Psalms.

According to Mark Dimunation, head of the Rare Books and Special Collections division at the Library of Congress, presidents-elect often look for a text they have a personal connection with, or a text that represents the story of the moment in which they take Office.

“The electricity of that moment was deep,” Dimunation said of the use of the Lincoln and King Bibles by Mr. Obama, the country’s first black president. “He was installed in these objects that really only seem like a book, but he carries with him the weight of his moment and his story.

The Library of Congress, home to many notable Bibles, including Lincoln’s, often receives inquiries from politicians for texts they hope to use for their oaths. Getting the library texts into the hands of politicians is no easy feat.

“You need a village,” Dimunation said.

Texts must go through a conservation examination and are often transported in a specially constructed box to provide protection from inclement weather and other adverse conditions. The whole process is “managed at a high level of security,” said Dimunation.

While presidents and members of Congress are constitutionally required to take an oath, they are not required to lay hands on a sacred text in doing so. But if they choose to swear on an object, they can pretty much use any text they like.

John Quincy Adams used a law book in his ceremony, and in 1963, after Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in on Air Force One with his hand on a Roman Catholic missal.

Over the years, members of Congress have also incorporated other texts into their swearing-in ceremonies, sometimes speaking of their own personal faith or belief, Dr Jerry said.

In 2007, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the only Muslim in Congress at the time, used Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an in his swearing-in ceremony. In her swearing-in photo, Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat from Michigan, used a Koran given to her by her best friend.

Jacey Fortin contribution to reports.

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Biden could be sworn in on a Bible that has been in his family since the 1890s.

When President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in on Wednesday, he may be accompanied by a family artefact that has followed him throughout his 50-year political career: a heavy Bible, accented with a Celtic cross, which has been in his family since 1893.

While this possibility has yet to be confirmed by Mr. Biden’s inaugural committee, the Bible has been a staple in Mr. Biden’s final swearing-in ceremonies as U.S. Senator and Deputy President. His son Beau Biden also used it when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general.

The Bible that a president-elect chooses to use for the swearing-in ceremony often sends a symbolic message to the American public, said Seth A. Perry, associate professor of religion at Princeton University.

“It’s hard to imagine the inauguration ritual without this book at this point,” Professor Perry said. “It’s part of the landscape. It’s part of what gives the moment the authority it has.

At his inauguration in 1789 in New York City, George Washington used a Bible from the Masonic Lodge of St. John’s No. 1. The Bible was allegedly retrieved after attendees noticed there was none in Federal. Hall, where Washington was preparing to take the oath of office, according to Claire Jerry, curator of political history at the National Museum of American History.

“Having sacred images associated with entering into a covenant is quite consistent and underscores this idea that we who witness the taking of the oath and the individual who takes the oath enter into a very deep relationship with each other. with others, ”she told me.

The Washington Bible was used in the inaugurations of four other presidents: Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush.

In 2017, Mr. Trump used a Bible given to him by his mother when he was a child, and one used by Abraham Lincoln for his inauguration in 1861, just before the start of the Civil War. Barack Obama also used the Lincoln Bible for taking the oath, but in 2013, for his second investiture, he supplemented it with a Bible given to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1954.

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Biden will be sworn in on a Bible that has been in his family since the 1890s.

When President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in on Wednesday, he may be accompanied by a family artefact that has followed him throughout his 50-year political career: a heavy Bible, accented with a Celtic cross, which has been in his family since 1893.

While this possibility has yet to be confirmed by Mr. Biden’s inaugural committee, the Bible has been a staple in Mr. Biden’s final swearing-in ceremonies as U.S. Senator and Deputy President. His son Beau Biden also used it when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general.

The Bible that a president-elect chooses to use for the swearing-in ceremony often sends a symbolic message to the American public, said Seth A. Perry, associate professor of religion at Princeton University.

“It’s hard to imagine the inauguration ritual without this book at this point,” Professor Perry said. “It’s part of the landscape. It’s part of what gives the moment the authority it has.

At his inauguration in 1789 in New York City, George Washington used a Bible from the Masonic Lodge of St. John’s No. 1. The Bible was allegedly retrieved after attendees noticed there was none in Federal. Hall, where Washington was preparing to take the oath of office, according to Claire Jerry, curator of political history at the National Museum of American History.

“Having sacred images associated with entering into a covenant is quite consistent and underscores this idea that we who witness the taking of the oath and the individual who takes the oath enter into a very deep relationship with each other. with others, ”she told me.

The Washington Bible was used in the inaugurations of four other presidents: Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush.

In 2017, Mr. Trump used a Bible given to him by his mother when he was a child, and one used by Abraham Lincoln for his inauguration in 1861, just before the start of the Civil War. Barack Obama also used the Lincoln Bible for taking the oath, but in 2013, for his second investiture, he supplemented it with a Bible given to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1954.

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Kamala Harris will make history, her family too

And while he hasn’t yet announced what he’ll be working on in Washington – we just know he’s planning to teach at Georgetown University Law School – he recently met a historian at the Library of Congress to better understand the role of the Second Partners over the ages.

His daughter hopes he will take up knitting.

When their “big blended family”, like the described Ella, will meet this week in Washington, it will be the first time in more than two months that they will all be together.

The last time was during election week, at a Delaware home where the news was streaming across the screens, and Ms. Harris kept saying it – at least at first, “That’s great, no ? Isn’t it good to be there? Isn’t it great to be all together?

They spent the time playing, karaoke, cooking – and anxiously awaited the official results of an election that would propel their family unit to even greater visibility. “One night we all started dancing,” recalls Cole.

In other words, it was an ordinary family spending time together – hopefully waiting for the story to unfold.

Until then, siblings Cole and Ella had managed to lead near-normal lives without talking too much about who their family was, or who was about to become.

“It’s not a chosen thing to be taken lightly,” says Ella. “Like, how do you say, in passing, ‘Well, my dad is a lawyer. My mother is a producer. My mother-in-law is… the vice-president. “

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Family reaches $ 3.5 million settlement over death of Maryland football player

The University of Maryland reached a $ 3.5 million settlement agreement with the family of a football player who collapsed from heatstroke during training in May 2018 and died two weeks later.

Details of the settlement were reported by ESPN and appeared in an agenda item for a meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works, which will vote on Jan. 27. The settlement was reached more than two years after the footballer’s death. player, Jordan McNair, a 19-year-old offensive lineman.

Mr McNair’s parents, Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson, could not be reached immediately for comment. “It has been a long and painful fight, but we will try to find a solution even if it is an injury that will never, never heal completely,” they said in a statement to ESPN.

Their son’s death sparked two inquiries and an ESPN report describing a “toxic culture” of intimidation and humiliation in the college football program. The team’s head coach and two coaches were fired, and the team’s conditioning coach resigned.

Mr McNair collapsed in the heat during training on May 29, 2018, with a fever of 106 degrees. An independent report commissioned by the university found that Mr McNair was not receiving proper care after showing symptoms of heat stroke. Cold water immersion, a standard treatment, was not performed, the report said, and it took more than an hour for someone to dial 911.

Head football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans have been placed on administrative leave while the university investigates the allegations raised in the ESPN report. The survey found that the program did not have a “toxic culture”, but acknowledged that “too many actors were afraid to speak out”. This suggested that Mr. Durkin had made mistakes, but was not responsible for many of the program’s problems.

A day after the university’s board of trustees said Mr. Durkin would be reinstated, citing the investigation, Wallace D. Loh, the university’s president at the time, rescinded the board and the returned.

Shortly after, the two athletic coaches who had attended Mr McNair were also fired, and Rick Court, the strength and conditioning trainer who oversaw the training where Mr McNair collapsed, took resigned.

The University of Maryland and the law firm representing McNair’s parents did not immediately respond to inquiries on Sunday about the settlement agreement.

Mr McNair’s death has prompted universities and the National Collegiate Athletic Association to criticize for failing to adequately monitor fitness workouts, especially in the off-season.

From 2000 to 2018, 31 NCAA football players died during off-season or preseason training from heatstroke, heart problems, asthma and other causes, according to Scott Anderson, the head athletic coach at the University of Oklahoma, who maintains a database of sports deaths. .

Mr Anderson said in an email that he was aware of eight serious cases of heatstroke involving NCAA football players, three of which have died.

Mr. McNair’s parents founded the Jordan McNair Foundation shortly after their son’s death to educate student athletes and parents on how to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke. In their statement to ESPN, they said they wanted to honor “Jordan’s legacy so that his death is not in vain.”

“No parent,” they said, “should have to wait that long for closure when their child has been treated unfairly or unfairly.”

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Kamala Harris will make history. It will be the same for his big blended family.

“It’s striking,” said Ralph Richard Banks, a Stanford law professor who has written on race, gender, and family patterns. “In a way, they are on the border with different aspects of American families and their evolution.”

Some might say they reflect the current situation of Americans. Today, the number of couples who are in an interracial marriage is about one in six, a figure that, along with the number of interfaith marriages, has been increasing since 1967, according to Pew.

Ms Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, was brought up with Christian and Hindu practices, while her husband, who is white, grew up attending a Jewish summer camp. (At their wedding, Ms. Harris took part in the Jewish ritual of breaking a glass.)

She was in her forties when they got married; older than the median age of first marriage for women in this country, although the number continues to rise.

Mr Emhoff divorced, with two children from his previous marriage, making his children one in four who do not live with both biological parents, according to the Census Bureau. Mrs. Harris had no children. Many Americans don’t because fertility rates have hit an all-time high. She often said that being “Momala” to her stepchildren was the role “that mattered most” to her.

“People have more choices,” said Professor Banks. “It’s a societal change, but it’s often not as visible in positions of power.”

In her acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention in August, Ms Harris spoke about her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, an immigrant who came to California as a teenager with dreams of becoming a cancer researcher, and raised Kamala and her sister, Maya, after divorce from her and their father. For most of Ms. Harris’ life, it was the three of them. When Maya got pregnant at 17 with her daughter, Meena, she became four.

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Trump and Aides led to family separation at border, documents say

WASHINGTON – President Trump and senior White House aides have vigorously pushed the hardening policy that has led migrant families to be separated on the border with Mexico, a senior Justice Department official says in a new report of the inspector general of the department, and other internal documents.

In the report, officially released on Thursday, Gene Hamilton, a senior justice official, said the policy was implemented after complaints from the president and other White House people involved in implementing the program. Immigration of the President.

“The attorney general was aware of the White House’s desires for further action related to tackling illegal immigration,” Hamilton said in the report in response to questions about the origins of the program, in which the ministry began to prosecute adult migrants who arrived at the border with children.

Mr. Hamilton said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions “saw the need for swift action” from Mr. Trump and that after a White House meeting on April 3, 2018, Mr. Sessions ” directed that I write a memo that establishes a zero tolerance approach to border immigration law enforcement.

In a statement released Thursday after the Inspector General’s report, Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general involved in politics, expressed deep regret over the zero tolerance policy and the role it played in its implementation.

“Since leaving the ministry, I have often wondered what we should have done differently, and no problem has dominated my thinking more than the zero tolerance immigration policy,” he said. . “It was a failed policy that should never have been proposed or implemented. I wish we had all done better.

Notes obtained by The New York Times of two meetings – one between federal prosecutors along the Southwestern border and Mr. Sessions, and the other with Mr. Rosenstein – also indicate that law enforcement were pushing the separation policy in response to pressure from the president.

In a May 11, 2018 meeting with Mr. Sessions, the attorney general told prosecutors, “We have to take children,” according to the notes. Moments later, he described Mr. Trump as “very intense, very focused” on the matter, according to a person taking notes at the meeting.

Another person who attended the same meeting wrote of the same part of the conversation involving Mr. Trump: “INTENSE: sue everyone.”

Mr Trump has repeatedly tried to evade responsibility for his administration’s family separation policy by wrongly blaming Democrats and former President Barack Obama. But the Inspector General’s report and other documents directly implicate the Trump White House.

On May 14, just days after Mr. Sessions met with his prosecutors, Stephen Miller, the chief architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy in the White House, emailed Mr. Hamilton noting a newspaper article indicating that American lawyers sometimes refused to do so. prosecute migrants who crossed the border illegally, in part because migrants were crossing with young children. Mr. Hamilton replied, “This article is a big deal.”

Eight days later, on May 22, Rosenstein met again with US lawyers who deal with border issues to insist that they prosecute any cases of illegal crossings referred to them by the border patrol. He dismissed concerns from at least one prosecutor that children under 5 would be separated from their parents if adults were prosecuted.

“If they refer, then go on. THE AGE OF THE CHILD DOESN’T MATTER, ”Rosenstein said, according to notes from one person at the meeting, who wrote in all caps.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement: “Those who have planned and executed the zero tolerance policy will have to live with the knowledge that their cruelty and cowardice are responsible for the scars these children will bear for the rest of their lives. They must be held accountable for the fundamental human rights violations they have committed. “

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Deposed governor of Puerto Rico describes panicked flight of family from island

Puerto Rico had just announced its first three cases of Covid-19 last March, a curfew was approaching, and Ricardo A. Rosselló, the scientist-turned-governor who had resigned in disgrace months earlier, saw an opening.

The once popular former governor, who has long enjoyed a perch among the establishment elite, was kicked out after a series of mocking text messages were made public and hundreds of thousands descended on him. the street to demand that he resign. Mr Rosselló, 41, trained as a biomedical engineer, saw Covid-19 as an opportunity to get back into the game.

As the global crisis looms, he posted a series of Facebook Live videos highlighting the danger and offering advice to the government on how to handle the crisis. “The purpose of this video is not to be alarmist,” he said in a video. “Rather, it’s about providing information so that we can do whatever is in our hands to prevent this from developing in a way that is breaking down our health care system.

Some of the videos were widely viewed, but after a month he abandoned the campaign, admitting Puerto Ricans probably didn’t want a “governor in the back.”

“The first three to four months were very difficult, as no one was too keen to give a resigning ex-governor a chance,” Rosselló said in a recent interview, his first with a newspaper since he took over. had been forced to resign this summer. from 2019.

“I have to put my credentials in there and get my chops back,” he said.

As signs appear that the powerful old guard embodied by Mr Rosselló are loosening their decades-long grip on Puerto Rican politics, Mr Rosselló would like to put aside the summer that blew his political career. After nearly a year and a half in exile, the former governor wants, if not to be forgiven, at least to be understood. He would like to get his good name back. He hired publicists to help him do it.

“It was painful to lose your governorship,” he said on a video call in December from a Washington suburb. “It was painful, because I worked really hard for it, and I thought we were doing good things. But I think what was really painful was the kind of utter devastation to my reputation.

Mr Rosselló, a university professor who at the time had no governance experience beyond being the son of a former governor, took office in 2017, taking control of a government struggling who was already crippled by $ 73 billion in debt and a ten-year recession. Four months later, the island essentially declared bankruptcy.

He had only been on the job for nine months when Hurricane Maria flooded towns, buried homes in mud and killed thousands. Two years after the island’s recovery began, the texting scandal arose, when local reporters posted hundreds of pages of a private conversation on the Telegram messaging app in which the governor and his relatives counselors, all male, used coarse and offensive language.

They ridiculed women, gays, fat people, political opponents – even some of their supporters, whom they dismissed as idiots. One of the texts joked about the people who died after Hurricane Maria. The governor called a former New York city councilor a “whore” and joked that he wanted the mayor of San Juan, a political opponent, dead.

The cat blew up pent-up frustration with the hurricane, which had led to months without electricity, as well as the years of recession and corruption the island had already endured. People said they were tired of the political elite. They had had enough of Mr. Rosselló.

As the product of an influential political family, with a handsome appearance as a game show host and a doctorate. from the University of Michigan, Rosselló initially thought he could get away with it. (“There was pride,” he admitted in the interview.)

He recounted the moment he knew he was going to have to quit his $ 70,000 a year job: with furious protests swirling through the streets, he and his family were in their car when it hit a pothole. Her 5 year old daughter was terrified and thought she had been hit by gunfire.

“Obviously I couldn’t protect her,” Rosselló said. “That’s when it really crystallized.”

Mr. Rosselló, a Democrat, had failed to make allies among the old Republican bloc of his new progressive party, and they called for his resignation. He resigned with more than a year left in office, boarded a private jet and did not return.

After a year of renting small apartments at Airbnbs, he now lives in a $ 1.2 million home outside of Washington, which he bought last month. And he’s working again.

Mr Rosselló admits that it has been a slow recovery to normal. He acknowledged the failures of the ‘judgment’ but expressed little regret and suggested the coronavirus had been mismanaged without it. In March, he said, he was alarmed that authorities had allowed a salsa festival despite the public health emergency.

Even healthcare workers lined up long lines for vaccines, and early on, a virus testing program was marred by a contract scandal. Still, the island has managed to escape, for the most part, the overwhelming infection rates that have plagued many states. About 1,600 people have died.

A criminal investigation into the cat recently ended without charge, and Mr Rosselló felt justified.

He now prefers to reflect not on the mistakes, but rather on what he calls neglected achievements, such as energy reforms, anti-corruption measures and a minimum wage increase for construction workers that took place during his time. mandate. His biggest mistakes, he said: trying to change too too soon, working too hard, and never getting enough sleep.

I have to show the other side of this story, ”said Rosselló. “From my perspective, everything I have done, I have done for the people of Puerto Rico.”

Mr Rosselló believes he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from the hectic days following Hurricane Maria, the Category 5 hurricane that ravaged the island in the fall of 2017 and killed nearly 3000 people. Officials were blamed for inadequate preparation, delays in restoring power and failing to admit, at least initially, that so many people had died.

In the aftermath, Mr Rosselló said, he went sleepless for a week and personally went out to help save people on the rooftops. Even after leaving office, he said, he would wake up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep.

“The deaths in Maria are a terrible and terrible pain that I still carry,” he said.

His political party also suffered consequences, retaining the governorship in the November election but losing its majority in the Puerto Rican House and Senate. After decades of bipartisan rule, third-party candidates have dramatically increased their share of votes in the governor’s race, signaling that a political realignment is underway.

Yarimar Bonilla, a political anthropologist at Hunter College specializing in Puerto Rico, said the changes reflected in the last election were monumental, and they confirmed that the activism born after the texting scandal endures in a big way. Mr Rosselló, she said, was right that things got worse after he left – but she blames him for it.

“Every agency is a complete failure because of all the lackeys he appointed,” she said, noting that the health secretary appointed by Mr Rosselló was forced to resign when doctors went public the lack of testing for coronavirus. The former governor will be remembered for members of his administration who have been accused of corruption, closing schools to save money and his quest to even privatize beaches, she said.

The fact that it was a pothole that prompted Mr Rosselló to resign struck her as an ironic consequence of the neglected public services he failed to manage, she said.

“There was no bomb threat, no one shot him,” Ms. Bonilla said. “What put her daughter’s life in danger was a pothole – the infrastructure, the neglected streets of Puerto Rico.”

Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi, a longtime politician whom Rosselló had originally chosen to replace him, won the governor’s race in November, but with less than 35% of the vote.

“I’m afraid to say that nowhere is as much soul-searching as there should be” within the party about these results, said Kenneth McClintock, a former party secretary of state. by M. Rosselló.

But he and Mr Rosselló both referred to a plebiscite in November in which nearly 53% of voters favored a Puerto Rican state – a sign, they said, that the New Progressive Party still represents the interests of ‘a large part of the electorate.

“Since his departure, they have worked to recreate his image,” said Sandra Rodríguez-Cotto, the journalist who published the first article on the chat – and was criticized there. “He thinks he’s coming back in 2023, but he left a lot of questions unanswered.”

Mr Rosselló said he “loves Puerto Rico” but declined to say if he is considering a return. Things are finally starting to change for him, he said. He works as a consultant for My Business Matches, a cloud-based networking company in San Antonio, Texas owned by someone he worked with on one of his father’s campaigns. Puerto Rico’s comptroller records show the company had a $ 25,000 contract with the government to provide networking services at a trade show.

And even though the public service videos did not take off, he found a potential business opportunity with the arrival of the coronavirus: he invested, he said, in a company with two Beijing-based scientists with whom he was working and looking to develop a drug treatment for Covid-19.

Mr. Rosselló said he was in charge of mathematical modeling.

Speaking publicly now, he said, he just wants people to see that no matter what, he cared about Puerto Rico’s well-being.

“I’m not aiming for people to think that I am, you know, God’s gift to the world, but I hope they don’t see the opposite either,” Mr. Rosselló said. “I just want to work. I just want to help.

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Officers who handcuffed black family will not be charged, prosecutors say

Colorado prosecutors said this week they would not charge two police officers who allegedly unsheathed their guns and handcuffed a black family, including two girls, after suspecting them of riding in a stolen car.

The meeting with Aurora police last August was recorded in a widely shared video that showed four children lying on the ground in a parking lot, crying and screaming as several officers stood above them near an SUV .

In a letter to the Aurora police chief on Thursday, a prosecutor said a review of police reports, body-worn camera footage, radio traffic and training materials as well as an outside report on the “use of force” had not found sufficient evidence to justify the filing of criminal charges.

“Despite the disturbing fact that terrified children were ordered out of a vehicle at gunpoint and placed face down on the ground, our conclusion is that there is no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the DPA officers involved have unlawfully, intentionally, knowingly or negligently violated Colorado criminal law, ”wrote Clinton McKinzie, the assistant chief attorney for the state’s 18th judicial district.

David Lane, an attorney for Brittney Gilliam, the black mother who was detained with her family during the August 2 meeting, called the decision not to charge the officers involved as “unfortunately no surprise”.

“This is an America where white cops can knock a 6-year-old down at gunpoint and suffer no consequences – in other words, it’s business as usual,” Mr. Lane in an email. “When cops investigate cops, it always works great for cops.”

The decision came the same week Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced the opening of a grand jury investigation into another police encounter that fueled outrage in Aurora and beyond – the death of Elijah McClain.

Mr McClain, a 23-year-old black man, died in August 2019 after police in Aurora restrained him with a strangulation that has since been banned.

In June, amid nationwide protests against police brutality, Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order designating Mr. Weiser as state attorney to investigate the case.

“Our investigation will be thorough, guided by the facts and the law, and worthy of the public’s confidence,” Weiser said in a statement Friday. “In order to maintain the fairness and integrity of the process, we have no further comments at this time.”

Mari Newman, an attorney for Mr. McClain’s family, questioned the need for a grand jury investigation, saying the body camera images “provide probable reason to believe that police and doctors are ‘Aurora committed several crimes when they killed Elijah McClain. “

“Prosecutors are not required to use a grand jury and in most cases do not, so we are left to ask ourselves if this is another example of policing being subjected to different standards than anyone else under investigation for murder ”” Newman said Friday.

Mr. McClain was walking home from a convenience store on August 24, 2019, when someone called 911, saying he “looked like nothing” and was wearing a ski mask and waving arms.

The officers arrived and, after having difficulty in handcuffing Mr. McClain, the officers took him to the ground and used a carotid plug, which restricted blood to the brain to render someone unconscious. When medical responders arrived, after about 15 minutes, paramedics injected her with ketamine, a powerful sedative.

Mr. McClain went into cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital. He died a few days later.

“If the grand jury in Elijah McClain’s case does not charge the officers and medics responsible for killing him, it will be because the attorney general’s office did not want charges laid,” Ms. Newman. “It would be a grave injustice.”

In the episode involving the Black family in the parking lot, Ms Gilliam took her nieces, baby sister and daughter to get their nails done. They were seated in their car when police arrived, Mr Lane said.

According to prosecutors, officers Darian Dasko and Madisen Moen from the Aurora Police Department believed the car had been stolen, based on information from a license plate reader.

They drew their guns and ordered the family, including four girls aged 17 to 6, to lie face down on the sidewalk, as Ms Gilliam protested that the car had not been stolen. Ms Gilliam and two of the older girls, aged 17 and 14, were handcuffed for about eight and a half minutes, as the younger children sobbed, prosecutors said.

Police eventually confirmed the car was not stolen and released Ms Gilliam and her family, who were “blameless” at the meeting, Mr McKinzie wrote.

In a statement last August, Chief Vanessa Wilson of the Aurora Police Department said the officers made a “mistake” and offered to provide therapy to children “who may have been traumatized.”

On Friday, the Aurora Police Department did not respond to requests for comment on the decision not to charge officers in the case or on the grand jury investigation into Mr. McClain’s death. There was no response to the phone numbers listed for Constables Dasko and Moen, and the police union did not respond to an email.

Mr Lane, Ms Gilliam’s attorney, said he plans to file a civil rights complaint against the town of Aurora and the officers involved as early as next week.

He said that until each state has empowered an independent agency to investigate police misconduct and prosecute when warranted, “justice will never prevail and white cops may continue to abuse citizens of color. “.

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Family of man killed by Minneapolis police say raid shook them

MINNEAPOLIS – Bayle Gelle said he woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of his wife screaming. He dived down the stairs and found her in the living room, confronted by the sheriff’s deputies.

The officers turned their guns at him, he said, and they barked orders he found it hard to understand.

Mr Gelle, who arrived in the United States in 1997 from war-torn Somalia, would learn later that night that his 23-year-old son, Dolal Idd, had been shot dead hours earlier by police in a parking lot from the gas station, near Minneapolis.

The fatal police shootout on Wednesday night would be the first in Minneapolis since the murder of George Floyd in May, which led to hundreds of protests across the country and a wave of calls for police reform. But as Mr. Gelle was sitting on the floor that night, his wrists held in plastic handcuffs and a breeze blowing through the open door behind him, he had no idea his son had been killed.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that his deputies acted “professionally and politely and followed due process” in executing a search warrant on the home in Eden Prairie, a suburb of Minneapolis.

“Based on the video I viewed, I am proud of the professionalism displayed by our deputies in executing this search warrant,” said Sheriff David Hutchinson.

Mr. Gelle, whose oldest son was born the same year he arrived in the United States, said he first settled in San Diego and then moved to the Minneapolis area, where other members of his family were already living.

In an interview, Mr Gelle said he worked as a businessman in the city and his eldest son was taking classes at a local community college.

On the night of the search, Mr Gelle said, MPs yelled at him and his youngest children, aged 4, 7 and 9, who had followed him downstairs but did not immediately identify themselves when ‘he asked who they were.

MPs told him to sit by an open door that led outside and continued to hold Mr. Gelle and his wife in plastic handcuffs while they secured the house. Her 18-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter were also in the house and being held.

The youngest children were not handcuffed but were crying amid the chaos, Mr Gelle said. He said MPs did not show him the warrant or tell him what they were looking for at first.

Every time he asked a question, Mr. Gelle would say, the officers would shout at him, “Shut up, shut up.”

“I never heard that voice, how it really scared us,” he said. “This voice came from a wild animal. It’s not human. It is not a respect.

It wasn’t until the officers were leaving, Mr. Gelle said, that they told him his son had been killed.

The shooting happened much earlier that night, around 6:15 p.m., when officers arrested Mr. Idd in his car at a gas station in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis. Police later said officers suspected he had a gun.

Body camera footage from the episode shows several police cruisers attempting to get Mr. Idd in as he attempts to pull away in a white sedan. His tires struggled for traction in the snowy parking lot and his car was quickly surrounded.

The footage then shows the driver’s side window exploding outward, suggesting that Mr. Idd shot the police. An officer swears and takes cover before he and at least one other officer start shooting the vehicle. A gun was later found in the car, police said.

Police and city officials said Mr. Idd fired first, but activists who protested the shooting, as well as the family, say the footage is unclear.

Mr Gelle said he had dinner with his son earlier in the day and that Mr Idd left the house in a good mood. He said he did not know his son owned or carried a gun.

Officers said they searched the family home about eight hours after the shooting to determine if Mr. Idd had any additional weapons there.

In a statement, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrived at the house around 2:15 a.m. to conduct a “hit and run,” a high-risk search warrant. Body camera footage from the search, which the sheriff’s office reviewed but refused to produce, showed officers knocking on the door, which was ajar, and entering the house, the department said.

The police have announced themselves on several occasions, saying they were there as part of an official search of the residence, the statement said. Once inside, officers “asked everyone in the house to come to the main level” and waited about 15 minutes for officers from the Minnesota Criminal Arrests Bureau to arrive and search.

The department said it was normal to handcuff all adults when executing high-risk search warrants.

Andy Skoogman, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the operation was rated high risk because the earlier shooting had given officers reason to believe there might be weapons in the house.

Jill Oliveira, spokesperson for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said officers removed the handcuffs after about 15 minutes, when officers from the office began the search.

The late night meeting with the sheriff’s deputies left the family uncomfortable in their own home, Mr Gelle said. The kids, he said, asked him if “will these crazy bullies come back?” He tells them he doesn’t know.

Jamal Hassan, Mr Gelle’s cousin, said the family had been “terrified” by the search and found it difficult to understand what had happened.

“We lost our son,” he says. “It didn’t matter what he did and what he did. We just want to be respected, his life respected, our dignity, our pain.

Sheelagh McNeill contributed to the research.