Protests erupted across the Twin Cities area in Minnesota yet again on Sunday and Monday after police officers shot and killed a black man at a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers propose one of the most barbaric and inhumane anti-trans bills yet, which would seek to separate children who identify as trans from their parents.
And lastly, New Mexico became the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana, as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that included recreational use and key social justice provisions around marijuana use that advocates have been seeking for years.
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On Sunday, a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop, in a shocking incident that was capture on body camera video.
Wright’s killing immediately sparked protests, and officials called for a strict 7 p.m. curfew. As of script time, large street protests after that curfew were being met with the now-familiar levels of brute force by several different police departments. The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul declared states of emergency, and professional sports games in the state were postponed.
Remember, this is all happening in the middle of the Derek Chauvin trial, who is being charged with murder for the killing of George Floyd last spring.
The Brooklyn Center police said that Wright was mistakenly killed, as the officer who shot him once in the chest believed she was reaching for her taser. Regardless of intent, Wright’s death was absurd. The police department’s immediate investigation will surely not satisfy a city and national already on edge.
Speaking from the oval office, President Biden said:
“We do know that the anger, pain and trauma amidst the Black community is real.” Endquote. But then he continued quote. “In the meantime, I want to make it clear again: There is absolutely no justification — none — for looting. No justification for violence. Peaceful protest? Understandable.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walsh was more direct, saying what Biden apparently wouldn’t:
“Our time was made clear last May in Minnesota. Our time to get one shot at fixing it was there. And in the midst of this trial that the world’s watching, the situation repeated itself yesterday.”
Texas lawmakers are attempting to outdo their bigoted colleagues in Georgia and other Republican-led states, proposing one of the most barbaric anti-trans bills yet.
The bill, designated Senate Bill 1646, would separate trans children from their families for providing them with gender-affirming care, according to Insider. Specifically, the bill’s language criminalizes families who consent to allow their children to begin hormone therapy to match their preferred gender, naming such behavior so-called “child abuse.”
In other words, simply by trying to care for their children as best they could, sympathetic parents would be named as abusers.
Adri Perez, a policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Texas said:
“Gender-affirming care is essential and life-saving care. Make no mistake, restricting and even criminalizing access to healthcare for transgender people will cost lives."
Arkansas’s state legislature passed the first similar bill regulating trans healthcare for minors on April 6, and it’s clear that Texas is eager to follow in its footsteps. Several other conservative-led states are considering similar bills, meaning that the GOP’s dominance over state houses is about to get even more dangerous for marginalized groups in the coming months.
Things are about to get a little more mellow down in New Mexico. After years of work by advocates and months of specific interest by top leadership, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, signed legislation that legalized the adult recreational use of marijuana.
Lujan Grisham made this issue one of her pet projects, at one point calling a special session of the state’s legislature in late March to reinvigorate legalization efforts.
Advocates say the bill does a lot more than just legalize taking a toke or two, however. Crucially, it includes sentencing provisions that could release thousands of low-level cannabis offenders from jails and prisons across the state.
Lujan Grisham said:
“Legalized adult-use cannabis is going to change the way we think about New Mexico for the better—our workforce, our economy, our future. We're ready to break new ground. We're ready to invest in ourselves and the limitless potential of New Mexicans. And we're ready to get to work in making this industry a successful one."
The Governor also mentioned that the adult-use cannabis industry could create more than 11,000 jobs over the next few years, and top $318 million in sales in the first year.
That last point is what likely makes legal weed so attractive for progressive governors: in short, it’s going to make them money. And if it’s also the right thing to do, well, we aren’t complaining.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Biden’s dog major is headed to the big house. He’s fine of course, but he is headed for a doggie re-education camp in the D.C. area to receive anti-biting training from the professionals. It should last a couple weeks -- if he doesn’t return after then, we’ll have an update on this very important national story.
A high school student was shot and killed after exchanging gunfire with police officers on a school campus in Tennessee, just days after the state’s governor signed a bill allowing adults to carry handguns without a permit.
Thanks to centrist Democratic spoilers like Joe Manchin, Biden is already being forced to find compromise on his ambitious infrastructure bill, meeting with a bipartisan group of congresspeople on Monday to discuss how to find some middle ground. Doesn’t bode well for the final project!
Arkansas is poised to finally pass anti-hate crime legislation, and while the bill does enforce some penalties for crimes against certain groups of people, critics say that the bill’s omission of any mention of race, sexuality or gender renders it largely useless.
APRIL 13 , 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn