Jamie Foxx is lending his support to protesters following the death of George Floyd.
On Friday, the Academy Award-winning actor, 52, attended a social justice rally for Floyd, a black man who died earlier this week after being forcefully restrained by police, held at Minneapolis City Hall.
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“This is the toughest time when things like this happen,” Foxx said at a press conference alongside retired NBA player Stephen Jackson, who grew up with Floyd and has been vocal about the injustice surrounding his death. “All I wanted to do was let you know that we’re not afraid to stand…we’re not afraid of the moment.”
Speaking of the cycle of police brutality against people of color, Foxx said that it “overcomplicates everything” black parents tell their children about “how to function in life.”
“Even the things that we’ve taught them don’t seem to work,” he continued, asking how is it that incidents with cops can escalate “to something like we have today.”
RELATED: CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez Released After He Was Arrested Live on Air amid George Floyd Protests
“All we’re trying to do is ask questions of why,” he continued, making the comparison between Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who fatally shot nine members of a historically black church in 2015, and was arrested without incident, with what happened with Floyd, who was arrested after police received reports of forgery.
“I’m not a celebrity. I’m from Terrell, Texas. These are my brothers. This means everything because at the end of the day, when we see you guys out there on the frontline, we want to let you know that you’ve got support,” Foxx continued. “God bless George and his family.”
After speaking, Foxx also shared a lengthy video on Instagram of others speaking at the peaceful rally, which was attended by numerous social justice advocates.
RELATED: George Floyd’s Girlfriend Pleads for Peace at Protests, Says Destruction Would ‘Devastate’ Him
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced on Friday that the fired Minneapolis police officer, who was filmed placing his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Freeman also said that he anticipated charges would be brought against the three other fired officers who were present at the time of Floyd’s death on Monday.
When asked if public pressure, which included protests in Minneapolis and beyond that have turned violent, had anything to do with the charges, Freeman replied, “I am not insensitive to what’s happened in the streets…[but] my job is to do it only when we have sufficient evidence.”
In the initial media statement after Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department alleged that he was “under the influence,” and that police were responding to a report of forgery. Police also alleged that Floyd resisted arrest, although many lawmakers have questioned the account, pointing out that no video evidence shows Floyd resisting.
DOJ, IRS Investigating Crypto Exchange Binance
Binance Holdings Ltd. is facing a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Officials specializing in tax and money-laundering investigations are probing the world’s largest crypto exchange, according to the report.
Binance operates a sprawling global empire of crypto trading, including derivatives, which are essentially barred from the U.S. market. The Binance brand has attempted to project itself as above-board through recent regulatory hires including former U.S. senator Max Baucus. Former banking regulator Brian Brooks was installed as CEO of Binance’s U.S. affiliate last month.
“We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion,” a Binance spokesperson said in a statement. “We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity.”
She declined to comment on the reported investigation.
Binance CEO “CZ” Changpeng Zhao commented on the Bloomberg article in a tweet:
The CDC director just gave us a dark coronavirus warning
The latest coronavirus update for the US through mid-morning on Thursday shows that, according to the latest data collected by the team at Johns Hopkins University, more than 28.7 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, the coronavirus death toll in the US was approaching 519,000 as of the time of this writing.
Nevertheless, two states created an uproar this week when both states (Texas and Mississippi) announced their decision to pull back restrictions and mandates imposed during the pandemic, like max capacity requirements for businesses and statewide face mask rules. President Biden criticized these moves as the product of “Neanderthal thinking,” while CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky actually went farther than that — warning during a White House press briefing this week that the US could lose all of the progress made thus far as a result of the spread of more transmissible coronavirus variants. Spread that would be helped even more by states like these and others that join them pulling back on their coronavirus-related public safety measures too soon.
“Please hear me clearly,” Dr. Walensky said. “At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and to our progress. Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know could stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, not when we are so close.”
While there has been a degree of promising news coverage in recent days and weeks, make no mistake: We’re still very much in the middle of a dangerous pandemic. COVID-19 cases, as well as related deaths, are up about 2% compared to last week — and we’re now averaging around 67,000 coronavirus cases per day, along with some 2,000 deaths each day.
Along these lines, and related to the Texas and Mississippi news, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb had an important insight to share in a CNBC interview this week — namely, that governments and public health experts need to start talking to people about the end of the pandemic and how we get there. Else, we’ll see more people go down this same road, either by feeling like things are hopeless or prematurely easing up on safety measures. “If we continue to be very prescriptive and not give people a realistic vision for a better future, they’re going to start to ignore the public health guidance,” Gottlieb said.
Walensky continued her remarks by noting that an average of less than 70,000 coronavirus cases a day seems good compared to where we were a few months ago. But we “cannot be resigned” to that.
“Please stay strong in your conviction, continue wearing your well-fitted mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work,” she said. “Ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic. To get there, we need to vaccinate many more people.”
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