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Pelosi lambasted GOP leaders for giving a seat on the education committee to a congresswoman who called for school shootings.

President Nancy Pelosi on Thursday berated Republican House leaders for appointing Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to serve on the Education and Labor Committee, despite Ms. Greene’s earlier false claims that fatal school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Newtown, Connecticut, were held.

Ms Greene, a first-term Georgian congresswoman with a history of supporting the pro-Trump movement QAnon, wrote on Facebook in 2018 that she agreed with one of her followers that the Parkland massacre which has killed 17 students was a “false flag”. event, a term used by conspiracy theorists to describe an act committed by one group – usually the government – for which another group is blamed.

In a video posted to YouTube in 2020 by her campaign, Ms Greene followed and harassed David Hogg, a Parkland survivor who was visiting Capitol Hill to lobby for gun safety measures. In the video, Ms Greene demanded he explain why he was “using children” to advance his cause, shouted that she was allowed to carry a gun and called him a “coward”.

Republican leaders announced this week that Ms Greene will be part of the House education panel.

At a press conference Thursday, Ms Pelosi expressed concern that Republican House leaders were comfortable assigning Ms Greene to the education committee “when she laughed at the murder of small children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when she mocked the murder of high school teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“What could they think – or think a word too generous for what they could do?” Ms. Pelosi said. “It is absolutely appalling.”

Ms Pelosi appeared to have been referring in part to a report last week from Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, which said Ms Greene commented approvingly on Facebook in 2018 to a user who claimed the shooting at the The 2012 Newtown school, in which a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 small children, was staged. “This is all true,” Ms. Greene replied, according to the report, although the post appears to have been deleted.

Ms Greene’s penchant for conspiracy theories has created an enigma for Republican leaders and has privately infuriated many of her rank-and-file colleagues, who are upset with many of her comments as well as the flood of negative press they have attracted.

A spokesman for Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, told Axios this week that Facebook posts recently posted by Ms Greene and reported by CNN, in which she discussed the execution of senior Democratic politicians , including Ms. Pelosi, were “deeply disturbing. . A spokesperson said Mr McCarthy was planning to “have a conversation” with her about them.

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Police officer who quit after fatal shootings has been hired as sheriff’s deputy

A former Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, policeman who shot and killed three people during his tenure and resigned following protests last year, returned to policing Monday when he was sworn in as sheriff deputy just across the border.

Deputy Joseph Mensah resigned from the Wauwatosa Police Department in November. He now works for the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, which announced the hiring in a declaration Tuesday.

“While some have expressed concerns about Mr. Mensah’s past uses of force, I assembled a team that comprehensively reviewed Mr. Mensah’s work history,” Waukesha County Sheriff said , Eric Severson, in the press release.

That team, he said, concluded that Mensah’s use of force was within the law, as did a handful of internal and independent investigations last year.

When Tracy Cole of Milwaukee heard the news, her heart sank. Last year Mr Mensah shot and killed his son, Alvin Cole, who would have turned 18 last week. “It’s just a slap in my face, and the face of my family,” said Ms. Cole, 49. “I just want to see justice, for once.

Mr. Mensah, a black officer who joined the Wauwatosa Department in 2015, shot Mr. Cole, an armed black teenager, in a parking lot at a shopping mall on February 2. In October, John Chisholm, the district attorney for Milwaukee, said he would not do so. prosecute Mr. Mensah for the shooting. He said officers reported Mr. Cole pointed a gun at them at one point and fired the gun while fleeing.

The episode brought closer scrutiny to Mr. Mensah’s two previous fatal shootings. In 2016, he shot a man named Jay Anderson Jr. in his car after he said Mr. Anderson had searched for a gun. In 2015, Mr. Mensah and another policeman shot and killed Antonio Gonzalez, who was wielding a sword when confronted by police.

Mr Chisholm’s decision came the same day an independent investigator released a report recommending Mr Mensah’s dismissal. Investigator Steven M. Biskupic said in his report that Mensah made “inconsistent and misleading” statements about fatal shootings.

In the case of Mr. Cole’s shooting, Mr. Biskupic said that Mr. Cole did not shoot the police during the chase and accidentally shot himself in the arm.

Mr. Mensah was suspended with pay in July. He agreed to resign on November 30 as part of a “separation agreement” with the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association, the police union and the Joint Council, the governing body of Wauwatosa, which is a suburb of Milwaukee.

According to a copy of this agreement, the city agreed to pay Mensah 13 months severance pay and an additional $ 15,000 and part of his health insurance costs.

A spokesperson for the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday did not respond to a request for comment. In an interview with WISN 12, the local ABC News affiliate, Sheriff Severson said he did not seek a candidacy from Mr. Mensah and had carefully reviewed Mr. Mensah’s case.

“If my family needs a policeman, I hope Joseph Mensah will be the first at my door,” he added. “That’s how confident I am in his abilities.”

Kimberley Motley, lawyer for the Cole family, said the hiring was “disrespectful to grieving families.”

“I think it was clearly an emotionally charged decision, as opposed to a smart one,” she added. “The amount of legal liability has widened in Waukesha County.”

Barry M. Weber, the head of the Wauwatosa Police Department, signed a letter of recommendation for Mr. Mensah. Wednesday, the department shared this letter on Twitter.

“He turned out to be an excellent police officer,” said the letter, dated December 23. She added that Mr. Mensah was “an articulate, thoughtful and intelligent man” who had been “placed in difficult situations and responded in a thoughtful and professional manner. “

Mr Mensah’s phone and email contacts could not be found and a lawyer who represented him did not respond to inquiries by phone and email on Wednesday.

In a radio interview with Dan O’Donnell of WISN in Milwaukee in July, two months after George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police, Mr. Mensah said protesters approached his property and had confronted members of his family. And he wondered why protests erupted in 2020, even though two of his fatal shootings had taken place years earlier.

“I feel for these families,” he added. “I had no intention of going there and killing their loved ones.”

Ms Cole said she has feared for her family since her son’s death. She and her daughters took part in protests demanding that Mr. Mensah be brought to justice and two of her daughters were arrested. She said that on October 8, she was stopped in her car by police who imposed a curfew intended to cancel the protests.

In video of the arrest posted to Facebook, she can be heard saying, “Don’t touch me,” and identifying herself as Alvin Cole’s mother as officers threaten to arrest her and use a Taser on her. “I can’t breathe,” she said. “I can’t believe you all did this to me.

Ms Cole said on Wednesday that the injuries she sustained that day had not healed and knowledge of Mr Mensah’s position within the sheriff’s department added insult to those injuries.

“We cry every night,” Ms. Cole said. “When is it going to end? We need change. We need the police to be accountable for what they do. “

Maria cramer contribution to reports.

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Protests in Philadelphia continue after fatal police shootings

PHILADELPHIA – Protesters looted shops and clashed with police on Tuesday night on a second night of street protests against the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old black man, during a confrontation more than 24 hours earlier.

Local television and news websites showed looters breaking into stores in the Port Richmond neighborhood, northeast of the city center, as police grapple with protesters in the heart of West Philadelphia , where Mr. Wallace was killed Monday afternoon after approaching police with a knife.

The victim’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., urged the looters to stop. “It will leave a bad scar on my son, with all this looting and chaos,” Wallace said in an interview on CNN. “This is where we live, and it’s the only community resource we have, and if we take all the resources and burn them, we have nothing.”

Danielle Outlaw, the police commissioner, told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that she would release information about the shooting in the next few days, but was unsure if that would include body camera footage of officers who have shot Mr. Wallace.

“It’s common for officers to respond to domestic disturbances or any type of call with a gun, as it’s one of the tools we wear on our toolbelt,” said Commissioner Outlaw, who added that officers were not carrying a stun gun.

The protests in Philadelphia are the latest in a series of nationwide protests demanding justice over the police murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., And Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, among others.

In addition to the signs and chants, some of the rallies from New York to Portland, Oregon, included the looting, arson and destruction of police vehicles. Police sometimes aggressively targeted protesters, throwing tear gas and hitting them with batons.

In a joint statement Tuesday, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democratic presidential candidate, and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, sought to validate protesters’ anger at the to the death of Mr. Wallace while discouraging violence and attacks on the police.

“We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death,” said Mr Biden and Ms Harris. But, they added: “Looting is not a protest, it is a crime. It distracts attention from the real tragedy of a shortened life.

Thirty policemen were injured on Monday as protesters threw bricks and stones at them, a police spokesman said, adding that a policeman had a broken leg after being hit by a van. The Pennsylvania National Guard was scheduled to send hundreds of people to Philadelphia in the coming days, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Protesters rallied in response to Mr Wallace’s death. In a video posted to social media, cries of “Save!” and “Put down the knife!” can be heard walking towards two officers before collapsing in a flurry of gunfire. A woman moans as other agents arrive.

“Brother, they just killed him in front of me,” one man can be heard saying in the video. “You don’t have to hit him that many times.”

Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Monday night that he had spoken with Mr. Wallace’s family and that a full investigation into the shooting would be conducted.

“I watched the video of this tragic incident,” he said, “and it presents tough questions that need to be answered.”

Azi Paybarah contributed reporting from New York.