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AG Merrick Garland announces DOJ probe of Minneapolis Police Department

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Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday a Justice Department probe into the Minneapolis Police Department after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday of all charges in the death of George Floyd.

A video of the incident showed Chauvin, who was arresting Floyd at the time, with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd said multiple times “I can’t breathe.” Despite Floyd’s desperate calls, Chauvin didn’t let up the pressure for nearly nine minutes and Floyd died in police custody.

“The investigation I’m announcing today will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests,” Garland said. “The investigation will also assess whether the MPD engages in discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful.”

He added, “It will include a comprehensive review of the Minneapolis Police Department’s policies, training, supervision, and use of force investigations. It will assess the effectiveness of the MPD’s current systems of accountability and whether other mechanisms are needed to ensure constitutional and lawful policing.”

On Tuesday, a jury found Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter.

“The jury in the state trial of Derek Chauvin has fulfilled its civic duty and rendered a verdict convicting him on all counts. While the state’s prosecution was successful, I know that nothing can fill the void that the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death. The Justice Department has previously announced a federal civil rights investigation into the death of George Floyd. This investigation is ongoing,” said Garland in a Tuesday response to the jury’s decision.

The DOJ didn’t immediately respond to this reporter’s request for comment. The story will be updated if and when a statement is provided.

“If the Justice Department concludes that there’s reasonable cause to believe there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, we will issue a public report of our conclusions,” said Garland.

Concluding his remarks, Garland emphasized his respect for law enforcement, emphasizing that the majority of them are good officers.

“Most of our nation’s law enforcement officers do their difficult jobs honorably and lawfully. I strongly believe that good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices. Good officers welcome accountability because accountability is an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust.”

You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Middle East

Facebook, Instagram Employees ‘Censor or Delete’ Protests against Iran

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Iran President Rouhani

Former and current Facebook and Instagram employees are shedding light onto the “fact checkers” that are censoring vital content such as protests against Iran. “According to a report by BBC Persian, these employees admitted that at all levels of the company, the Iran regime’s influence has infiltrated, leaving biased and pro-regime content monitors to restrict, censor or delete posts about the current protests in Iran” reports The Foreign Desk.

Similar to censorship at the companies in the United States and elsewhere, the behavior is its own political movement. “The actions by these Iranian employees to remove images of the demonstrations in Iran and associated hashtags helps reinforce the Islamic Republic’s argument that the protests are not so widespread.”

According to one of the former employees who had his identity hidden for security purposes, told the BBC Persian in an interview from Germany, that the workers travel back and forth between Europe and Iran. “About 90 percent” of the decision making on censorship is done by these “fact checkers.”

“These are individuals who single-handedly take posts down. According to the source, employees are not allowed to have their personal cellular devices with them at their workstations, so these individuals go to the break room to report a post from their personal phones and then come back to their workstations and address the ‘complaint’ they just created.”

 

The Foreign Desk adds:

In 2019 TELUS International became the third-party company contracted with Instagram and Facebook to become their fact checkers and address complaints from users reporting posts for violent, hateful, or threatening material. 

A second source, a former TELUS employee, said approximately 400-500 Iranians work at the company in Germany, a country that is known to have diplomatic and bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic. 

The Islamic Republic has learned from the Green Revolution of 2009 to infiltrate Western social media outlets and their parent companies to control the narrative and prevent the international community from siding with anti-regime demonstrators.

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