Homicide in Seattle autonomous zone being investigated; Trump rally draws smaller-than-expected crowds

Laveta Brigham

Police are investigating a homicide inside the Seattle autonomous zone. The shooting Saturday morning left one person dead and another hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma hosted a smaller-than-usual crowd, with empty seats in the 19,000-capacity BOK Center. Trump’s campaign canceled planned outdoor speeches […]

Police are investigating a homicide inside the Seattle autonomous zone. The shooting Saturday morning left one person dead and another hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma hosted a smaller-than-usual crowd, with empty seats in the 19,000-capacity BOK Center.

Trump’s campaign canceled planned outdoor speeches before his rally.Campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said the cancelation was because of protests outside. But journalists on the ground refuted seeing large numbers of individuals turned away due to protesters.

Trump had initially planned a campaign rally in Tulsa on Friday but later rescheduled to Saturday after learning about the significance of Juneteenth. The city is also where a white mob destroyed the “Black Wall Street” in 1921. 

A closer look at some recent developments:

  • Seattle Police are investigating a homicide that happened early Saturday in which one person was killed and another in critical condition in Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” or (CHOP) zone.

  • One man is dead and 11 people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds after an early morning shooting in Uptown Minneapolis.

  • Among the statues torn down by protesters for their historical ties to slavery: A statue of Francis Scott Key in a San Francisco park. Key wrote the U.S. national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” and owned slaves.

  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper had two Confederate statues outside the state capitol in Raleigh removed after protesters toppled other statues. 

  • Court documents say a man has confessed in the death of Oluwatoyin Salau, a 19-year-old Black Lives Matter protester, and Victoria Sims, 75, a retired state worker and volunteer.

What we’re reading today: Students are sick of “lip service” and want action from colleges over racism. In North Carolina, a coalition of Black student organizations is demanding reforms to the campus police.

Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for The Daily Briefing.

If Congress bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, local police may not comply

The national outcry over the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans at the hands of police has Congress moving with unusual speed to debate sweeping reforms such as bans on chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

The bill House Democrats are expected to bring to the floor Thursday goes further than the version Senate Republicans plan to call up this week.

But even if the chambers can agree on a final measure, there’s a real question whether state and local law enforcement agencies will go along.

The proposals rely on the threat of a loss of federal funding for many of the suggested changes. When that has been tried in the past, federal oversight has been slow, and some states have determined that the funding cuts are smaller than the cost of complying. 

“We already have examples of penalties leveraged,” said Chris Asplen, executive director of the National Criminal Justice Association, which represents state, local and tribal governments on crime control. “I would suggest they are not as effective as I think the originators would have liked them to be.”

– Maureen Groppe

Seattle Police investigating homicide inside Autonomous Zone

Seattle Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened early Saturday morning inside the city’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone.

Formerly known as CHAZ, or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, it is an area that stretches several city blocks and has been cordoned off by protesters where artists paint murals, speakers discuss topics of racial equity and snacks are handed out for free.

A 19-year-old man died at a hospital after being treated for the shooting, and another is “being treated for life-threatening injuries,” police said in a statement.

Police said they responded to a call about shots fired at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Officers “attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” police said. 

They added that the suspect or suspects fled and are at large, with no description available.

Is George Soros paying protesters? Soros’ conspiracy theories surge as protests sweep nation

George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist, is now being accused without evidence of orchestrating and funding the protests over police killings of Black people that have roiled the United States. Amplified by a growing number of people on the far right, including some Republican leaders, online posts about Soros have skyrocketed in recent weeks.

They have been accompanied by online ads bought by conservative groups that call on authorities to “investigate George Soros for funding domestic terrorism and his decades-long corruption.”

Soros, 89, has donated billions of dollars of his personal wealth to liberal and anti-authoritarian causes around the world, making him a favored target among many on the right. Experts who study conspiracy theories say the new claims about Soros are a way to delegitimize the protests and the actual reasons behind them.

K-pop fans, TikTok teens may have contributed to small Trump rally turnout

Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma featured smaller-than-expected crowds, with rows of empty seats at the 19,000-capacity BOK Center despite an expected turnout of nearly a million supporters. A call to action coordinated by teens and young adults on TikTok and K-pop users on Twitter could explain what happened.

After the Trump re-election campaign opened up registration for free tickets to the rally, K-pop fans on Twitter shared information on how to sign up — with directives to obtain tickets, but not attend. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the collective involved in the action, telling Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale “you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok.”

“Shout out to Zoomers,” she said, referring to the largely Gen Z makeup of these groups. “Y’all make me so proud.” 

One man dead, 11 people wounded in Minneapolis shooting, police say

One man is dead and 11 people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds after an early morning shooting in Uptown Minneapolis, police said.

The man, who is unidentified by police, died at the hospital. All injured were adults.

“Individuals on foot” started shooting at around 12:30 a.m., a police release stated, and fled the scene. Screaming and the sound of gunfire can be heard in a video circulating on social media. Another shows small crowds of people surrounding shooting victims as they were transported by police to the hospital.

No one was in custody in connection with the shooting as of Sunday morning. The victim’s identity will be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Minnesota lawmakers fail to reach deal on revamping policing

Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a session that one group called “a train wreck.”

The two sides may be back at it in another special session next month.

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said Saturday he was disappointed with the special session’s failure and that his administration is planning its next steps.

The Democratic-controlled House early Friday passed an extensive package of police accountability measures wrapped into one bill. It included elements of more modest policing bills that the Republican-controlled Senate passed earlier in the week, but with some additions that Republicans did not like.

Early Saturday, Democratic leaders backed away from some of their demands that Republicans opposed, including having the state attorney general prosecute all police-involved deaths and restoring voting rights for felons.

But they insisted that Republican senators needed to support other major pieces, including banning “warrior-style” training for police, allowing cities to impose residency requirements on officers and creating a state community-led public safety office, the Star Tribune reported.

Tulsa police say Trump campaign ‘requested’ removal of protester 

Black Lives Matter protests against President Donald Trump began peacefully Saturday as the president held his first campaign rally in months in Tulsa, despite warnings from public health officials about the coronavirus.

Protesters flooded the city’s downtown streets and briefly blocked traffic at an intersection, but police reported just one arrest Saturday afternoon.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the Tulsa Police Department said it removed a protester from the area outside the BOK Center after the Trump campaign “requested” her removal from a secure area set up in the blocks around the arena.

The department said they tried to convince the protester to leave before being escorted away and arrested for “obstruction.”

The protester told reporters at the time she had a valid ticket for the event. The department said her ticket holder status was “not a contributing factor” in her arrest.

More on protests

Coronavirus surges aren’t linked to protests, USA TODAY analysis finds

The United States has seen new coronavirus cases climb from about 21,000 a day the last week of May to nearly 23,000 a day this week. Positive tests and, in some places, hospitalizations have spiked, too, leading many to wonder if a change in behavior caused outbreaks in states such as California, Arizona and Florida.

But neither protests or more people leaving home explain the surge of new COVID-19 cases, a USA TODAY analysis of counties with at least 100 cases has found. Residents of counties with growth of 25% or more over the previous two weeks left their homes at the same rate as people in counties without a surge of new infections, according to cell phone location data compiled by the company SafeGraph. 

And large protests were as common in counties without outbreaks as in others – although those events could have seeded the virus broadly, and could still lead to outbreaks. Read more here. 

– Matt Wynn and Jayme Fraser

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump rally small crowd; Seattle CHOP shooting leaves one dead

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