He had his hands up. Newly released body camera footage shows Chicago police gunning down a child who was not, as originally claimed, armed with a pistol.
Meanwhile, tensions are rising between the US and Russia. Will a new round of sanctions help or hinder the cause of peace?
And lastly, some Congressional Democrats are pushing to expand the Supreme Court ahead of the Biden administration’s timetable. They say leadership needs to take a stand over the two seats stolen by Republicans.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
It could’ve been any Black child in this country. A thirteen-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Chicago by a police officer had his hands up when the cop fired his weapon, new videos show, according to BuzzFeed News. The city's Civilian Office of Police Accountability posted the videos online yesterday along with police reports related to the shooting of Adam Toledo, following weeks of protest over the boy's killing and demands to release the body camera footage to the public.
BuzzFeed reports that Mayor Lori Lightfoot described viewing the footage as "excruciating." She also urged Chicagoans to respond peacefully and cautioned that the videos should not be viewed by children. On March 29, a police officer shot the boy to death in an alley in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood after a foot pursuit. Officers were responding to a call of shots fired when they chased Toledo and twenty one-year-old Ruben Roman, who officials said fired the initial gunshots that brought police to the area. Body camera footage shows the cop running after the boy, yelling, "Stop, stop right fucking now." The boy is then seen with his hands raised as the officer fires one round, causing Toledo to fall backward to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A gun is not visible on the body. Prosecutors initially said the boy had a gun in his right hand.
The officer who shot Toledo has been placed on administrative duties for thirty days, BuzzFeed reports. Toledo's death has sparked outrage across the city. He had a big imagination and curiosity and loved animals, riding his bike, and zombies, his mother, Elizabeth Toledo, said in a statement. Protests will continue through the weekend.
Biden Sanctions Russia
Here’s a clear departure from the foreign policy of the Trump era. The Washington Post reports that the Biden administration yesterday imposed the first significant sanctions targeting the Russian economy in several years in order to punish the Kremlin for a cyberespionage campaign against the United States and efforts to influence the presidential election. The administration also sanctioned six Russian companies that support Russian spy services’ cyberhacking operations and will expel ten intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover in the United States. It formally named the Russian intelligence service SVR as responsible for the hacking operation commonly known as SolarWinds.
The measures were taken under a new executive order, the Post reports. They are an effort to make good on President Joe Biden’s vow to hold Moscow accountable for a series of operations, including the election influence and the cyberhacks, that compromised nine federal agencies and about one hundred private firms. Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a call on Tuesday that Washington would be taking actions in the coming days to defend US national interests, without specifying the exact timing or measures. Biden also raised the possibility of a summit with Putin in the coming months in a third country.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that Russia viewed any US sanctions as illegal and would retaliate in kind, according to the Post. Peskov said sanctions would not be helpful in the lead-up to the proposed summit. The SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence ageency, dismissed the accusations it was involved in cyberattacks as "nonsense." It’s such a shame when people don’t take pride in their work.
Democratic Bill Would Expand Supreme Court
They should call it right-sizing, maybe. A group of congressional Democrats introduced legislation yesterday to add four seats to the Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports. It’s a long-shot bid designed to counter the court’s rightward tilt during the Trump administration. President Biden last week created a commission to spend the next six months examining the politically incendiary issues of expanding the court and instituting term limits for justices.
But the bill’s introduction had an inauspicious start, according to the AP. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might not bring it up for a vote if it advanced out of committee. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was noncommittal as well. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would wait for the commission’s work to play out, before taking a position on the matter.
Democratic lawmakers and groups supporting the court expansion bill gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court to make their case, the AP reports. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, New York Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, said "Some people say we’re packing the court. We’re not packing it. We’re unpacking it." He said the GOP had packed the court over the last couple of years and called the proposed expansion a necessary step in the evolution of the court. Senator Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, went right to the anger and frustration that so many Democrats have with the judicial conformation process under GOP stewardship. He said, "The Republicans stole two seats on the Supreme Court and now it is up to us to repair that damage." When you put it like that, doing nothing seems like the worst option. Joe Biden, are you listening?
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
The AP reports that former officer Derek Chauvin chose not to take the stand as testimony at his murder trial ended yesterday, passing up the chance to explain to the jury and the public for the first time what he was thinking when he pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck. Closing arguments are set to begin Monday in Minneapolis. To call the atmosphere tense would be an understatement.
Former Vice President Mike Pence underwent surgery on Wednesday to implant a pacemaker in his chest after experiencing a slow heart rate, the New York Times reports. Maybe it’s a sign from God telling him to retire.
House Democrats approved legislation yesterday that they say would help close the gap between what men and women are paid in the workplace, the AP reports. The bill would, among other things, make it easier to sue employers over pay discrimination. It would also ban employers from prohibiting employees from discussing their salaries. Overdue!
The spring wave of the pandemic has driven hospitalizations above forty seven thousand, the highest since March 4, according to the Washington Post. Thirty-eight states have reported an increase during the past week in the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19. Take care on the way to your vaccination appointments, folks. The end is in sight.
APRIL 16, 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn