Protestors were not cleared from Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., for then-President Donald Trump’s photo op, a report finds. Why weren’t body cameras worn when Winston Smith Jr. was shot and killed? And hospital workers were suspended for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
? It’s Laura. Wednesday’s news, here for you!
But first, holy sharks y’all! ? Listen, people ask me all the time why I moved away from Florida. “It snows in Colorado!” Yeah, and there are literal shark-infested waters in Florida. Check out this video of hammerheads circling a bunch of beachgoers.
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Fencing, not Trump’s photo op
A little over a year ago, Trump walked through Lafayette Park to a St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he posed with the Bible for photos. Just before that, federal and military police violently clashed with protestors who had filled the area in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the custody of Minneapolis police, driving them out of the park and nearby streets.
On Wednesday, a new report released by the Interior Department’s inspector general concluded U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service did not clear protestors from the area for the photo op. Instead, they had determined it was necessary to remove protesters from the area so that contractors could install new security fencing. Federal police didn’t learn of Trump’s plans to walk through the park until hours after they had begun developing plans for the security fencing. Shortly after the report was released, Trump issued a statement thanking the inspector general “for completely and totally exonerating me in the clearing of Lafayette Park!”
President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House on June 1, 2020. (Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)
Why weren’t there body cameras?
No video from the shooting of Winston Smith Jr. has been released. And activists in Minneapolis are calling for the U.S. Marshal for the District of Minnesota to be fired and an investigation into Smith’s fatal shooting, which sparked several days of protests and renewed scrutiny of the body camera policy for federal agents. Local activist groups have demanded Ramona Dohman step down as head of the U.S. Marshals Service in the state and protested outside her home Tuesday. Smith, a 32-year-old Black father of three, was fatally shot when officers on a U.S. Marshals Service task force tried to arrest him last week on a warrant for illegal possession of a firearm. Despite a change in Justice Department policy to allow cameras just months ago, the two deputies involved in the shooting had been told they could not use their body-worn cameras.
- Court will decide if murder charge fits Minneapolis police killing. Here’s how it could affect Derek Chauvin’s case.
People gather for a vigil at the site where Winston Smith Jr. was killed on June 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Smith was shot and killed yesterday during an altercation with law enforcement involving multiple agencies. Smith's family is demanding clarity in the case as authorities claim there is no video available from the incident. (Photo: Stephen Maturen, Getty Images)
What everyone’s talking about
- Prince Harry hits back at reports on his new daughter’s name in rare rebuke.
- Super rare but super deadly: Officials confirm Michigan’s first human case of a deadly hantavirus. What to know about the Sin Nombre virus.
- Long-awaited ‘Loki’ premiered today! Here’s how to watch it.
- Barack Obama praises his daughters’ take on ‘cancel culture’: They ‘don’t expect everybody to be perfect.’
- Could it be fate? Missing an appointment put an off-duty firefighter in the right place at the right time to rescue a bedridden woman.
No vaccine, no job?
In a controversial move that has drawn protests and outcry, scores of workers at a Houston hospital system have been suspended and face being fired for refusing a COVID-19 vaccination. Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom said that 27 of the 178 suspended workers have received one dose of the vaccine and that he is hopeful they will get the second dose. All are suspended for two weeks and risk being fired if they fail to be fully vaccinated. “I wish the number could be zero, but unfortunately, a small number of individuals have decided not to put their patients first,” Boom said. Hospital workers across the nation risked their lives during the pandemic, yet a recent survey revealed staff vaccination rates vary widely, from 51% to 91%.
- First in line, still no shot: You might be surprised at the number of hospital workers who refuse vaccines.
- Teens and adults missed 26 million doses of routine vaccinations last year.
Protesters wave signs at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital in Baytown, Texas, on Monday, June 7, 2021. (Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, AP)
Biden’s first European tour
President Joe Biden headed to Europe Wednesday on his first overseas trip in office, an eight-day blitz that will include meetings with key allies and one big adversary – Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Biden will attend the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, then head to Brussels for a NATO summit and a meeting with European Union chiefs before sitting down with Putin in Geneva. The European leaders should find Biden more cordial than predecessor Trump, who badgered NATO countries to increase their financial contributions and clashed with Europe on climate change, trade and other issues.
- Cicadas broke the whole White House press airplane, delaying trip by more than six hours.
- Queen Elizabeth II will host the Bidens at Windsor Castle. Here’s everything we know.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden depart the White House on June 9, 2021, for their first international trip, to the United Kingdom to attend a summit and to meet with Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)
- ‘Pain and shame’: Why Tuscaloosa’s Bloody Tuesday remains less-known.
- Sticky situation: Yankees ace dodges questions about foreign substance use.
- Nun accused of embezzling over $800,000 for gambling habit pleads guilty.
- ‘My baby’s gone’: Three girls killed, one badly injured in California hit-and-run.
Mom arrested after 7-year-old’s body found by hikers
Less than 12 hours after she was identified as a suspect in the death of her 7-year-old son, a mother from San Jose, California, was arrested Tuesday in Colorado. Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, was arrested by an FBI task force at a hotel in eastern Denver, Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Spencer said. Her son, Liam Husted, was found dead on May 28 by hikers outside Las Vegas. Spencer would not say how Liam died or offer a motive for the slaying. Liam’s body remained unidentified until a family friend told police on Friday that she had not seen him or his mother and she recognized the boy from a rendering.
This image provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children depicts a slain boy believed to be between the ages of 8 and 10 whose body was found Friday, May 28, 2021, off a hiking trail between Las Vegas and rural Pahrump, Nevada. Police in Las Vegas are trying to identify the child. They say he was 4-foot-11, weighed about 125 pounds, and his death was clearly a homicide. (Photo: (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department))
A break from the news
- Here’s how to save money on your energy bill as temperatures rise this summer.
- Beauty for all: 10 gender-inclusive beauty brands to support.
- Wanna get away? Airbnb is giving 12 people the chance to live anywhere for 10 months.
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Don’t get taken for a ride! Amazon Prime Day, one of the biggest online sales events of summer, arrives June 21. Ahead of that, we’re sharing our deal-hunting secrets in a series of live videos to help you get the best deals. You’re welcome.
- ?RSVP here for the free series that begins next week!
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