Things That Matter

A Louisiana Cop Has Been Fired After Saying It Was ‘Unfortunate’ That The Coronavirus Hasn’t Killed More Black People

study released last week, as U.S. deaths from the Coronavirus approached the 100,000 mark, shows that the black population is dying of the virus at a rate 3.57 times higher than the white population. In some places, such as New York, that rate is even higher.

That is apparently not enough for a Louisiana police officer, who has been fired for writing on Facebook that it is “unfortunate” more black people have not died of the deadly illness.

A white Louisiana cop has been fired following a social media post that revealed his views on the Coronavirus and black people.

Steven Aucoin was a police officer with the Kaplan Police Department – a town about 60 miles outside the Louisiana capital of Baton Rouge. He was fired earlier this month after an investigation showed he made extremely racist comments on a Facebook post.

Aucoin’s comments, which were shown in a screenshot of the live stream, were in response to another user who described the Coronavirus as the “virus that was created to kill all the BLACKS is death.” The officer clearly responded with two statements, “Well it didn’t work.” And directly under that comment he then said, “How unfortunate.”

In another section of the thread, Aucoin wrote, “I can’t wait until the next part of the plan is implemented and they see what’s in store for their kind.”

The police chief investigated the comments and quickly fired Aucoin.

Credit: Kaplan Police Department / Facebook

According to Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy, the matter was looked into, investigated, and Aucoin was fired shortly after.

In a brief statement posted to Facebook, the agency said “Chief Hardy and the Kaplan Police Department would like to apologize for this matter. As a police officer, we’re held to a higher standard than normal civilians, so you got to watch what you do. You got to watch what you say.”

Aucoin’s firing was met with some applause – including in meme form – on the department’s Facebook page.

Credit: Kaplan Police Department / Facebook

“I applaud your swift and decisive action regarding this matter,” one commenter wrote. “Your willingness to serve notice on bigotry and ignorance is a genuine representation of redoubtable leadership that is necessary during these difficult times.”

The racist officer’s comments and firing comes as a number of high-profile racial incidences have made headlines across the country.

Credit: Shaun Rayford / Getty

Just a few weeks ago, the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery – a 25-year-old black man – made headlines after a video was shared on social media of former police officer Gregory McMichael and son Travis that chasing and gunning him down. The two men were arrested and public outrage over the lack of response from local officials in February has been wide-spread.

Shortly after that, a video showing a white Minneapolis Police Department officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for over 8 minutes, until he died, has sparked outrage and massive protests against the murder around the country.

Also in May, a white woman named Amy Cooper was walking her dog off the leash in Central Park in New York. When a black man  – Christian Cooper, who was out bird watching – asked if she could put her dog on the leash, she called the cops on him, saying her life was being threatened by an ‘African American man’. She has since been terminated from her job as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton on Tuesday, having been placed on administrative leave a day earlier. 

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People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

Things That Matter

People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

@KRISTENCLARKEJD / TWITTER

Cities across the U.S. are seeing a new wave of unrest following the grand jury’s finding on the Breonna Taylor case. Emotions are high as people protest against the lack of charges against the officers who were involved in Taylor’s death.

Protesters are raising their voices after the decision not to charge all of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed on March 13 when police raided her apartment. The 26-year-old ER technician was sleeping when the police executed a “no-knock” warrant. However, police had the wrong address and Taylor’s boyfriend, believe their lives were in danger, fired at the police. Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment that night.

Major cities across the country saw major demonstrations spurred by the anger against the justice system.

A grand jury found one officer responsible for wanton endangerment after firing his weapon into neighboring apartments. There were no charges tied directly to Taylor’s death. The lack of charges has angered activists and advocates who are seeking significant police reform to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

People have become hyper-aware of the issue and are paying attention to the outcomes.

Protest signs in different crowds show that the American people are paying attention. The Black Lives Matter movement became the cause at the forefront of American mentality since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked national outrage and renewed energy into fighting to stop the disproportionate violence Black men, women, and children face at the hands of police.

Some motorists have turned violent against the protesters.

Video captured in both Denver and Los Angeles show vehicles driving through crowds of protesters. In Denver, the driver claims to have acted in self-defense after protesters surrounded his car. The driver claims that he did not intend to hurt anyone but reacted when protesters shattered his windshield.

In Louisville, police arrested the only Black woman in the Kentucky state legislature for protesting.

State Rep. Attica Scott was arrested for first-degree rioting, which is a class-D felony. The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department arrested 24 people Thursday night while protesting the decision not to charge the officers. Rep. Scott was arrested with other and charged with first-degree rioting and two misdemeanors for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

“Our call to action is to continue to make sure that the city of Louisville understands that we will not go away, that we will continue to demand the defunding of police and the dismantling of this police department because it’s corrupt from the inside out, from the bottom to the top,” Scott told NPR before the grand jury decision. “And it cannot continue to function in the way that it does.”

Taylor’s death has mobilized the nation with celebrities and politicians calling for justice.

The fight for racial justice and a systemic change to our justice and policing systems is ongoing. The people are tired of being scared and are taking a stand with their protests.

If you are out there protesting, send us your videos and photos so we can see your activism in action!

READ: Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

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Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Things That Matter

Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Chris Bouroncle / Getty Images

Earlier this month, Peru’s Congress moved to initiate impeachment proceedings against the country’s president over his alleged involvement with a singer involved in a fraud case. However, Peru’s struggle to contain the Coroanvirus outbreak also became a focal point of the impeachment proceedings.

Although, President Martín Vizcarra survived the impeachment vote this week, his country is still spiraling out of control in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. Peru now has one of the world’s highest mortality rates, made worse by political strife and Peruvians are wondering where the country goes next amid all the turmoil.

Peru’s President survived his impeachment trial but he still faces serious hurdles in the road ahead.

What started out as an alleged fraud and corruption case, devolved into a sort of referendum on Vizcarra’s handling of the country’s failed Coronavirus response. The Coronavirus tragedy has fueled political insurrection. On Sept. 18, an opportunistic legislature tried to oust the president, who has been dogged by accusations of misusing public funds and then covering up the scandal.

However, the revolt fell flat. Just 32 lawmakers voted to remove Vizcarra, glaringly short of the 87-vote impeachment threshold, which is a good thing. Regime change on top of a public health hecatomb might have pushed the afflicted nation that much closer to collapse.

The decision came after long hours of debate in which legislators blasted Vizcarra but also questioned whether a rushed impeachment process would only create more turmoil in the middle of a health and economic crisis.

“It’s not the moment to proceed with an impeachment which would add even more problems to the tragedy we are living,” lawmaker Francisco Sagasti said.

The original impeachment case stemmed from his alleged involvement with a singer who faced serious charges of fraud.

President Vizcarra faced the challenge to his leadership after the Congress approved a motion to start impeachment proceedings against him over leaked audio tapes and alleged ties to a singer involved in a fraud case.

Lawmakers in Peru’s Congress, a mosaic of parties from the left and right with no overall majority, heard recordings of two private conversations between Vizcarra and government officials about meetings with Richard Cisneros, a little-known singer.

Vizcarra told reporters that the new challenge represented “a plot to destabilise the government.” “I am not going to resign,” he said. “I have a commitment to Peru and I will fulfill it until the last day of my mandate.”

Presidential elections are due to be held next year and Vizcarra has already said he will not run again.

But given Peru’s failed Covid-19 response, the president also faces serious doubts in his abilities to bring the country back from the brink.

Latin America has been devastated by the pandemic and it’s only been exacerbated by the total obliteration of growing wealth across the region – as millions are left out of work. The pandemic has largely undone decades of hard work that helped pull millions of Latin Americans out of poverty.

And Peru once the showpiece of Latin American economies — growing at a pacesetting 6.1% a year between 2002 and 2013 and lifting 6.4 million out of poverty — the country saw gross domestic product fall 30% in the second quarter, and is likely to finish the year aound 17% poorer before rebounding next year, according to Bloomberg Economics. Despite generous aid to the poor and strict social distancing rules that drew international praise, the Andean country has been burdened by the pandemic with one of the world’s highest mortality rates.

The possibility of a president being impeached amid the pandemic, had many in the U.S. wondering if we could do the same.

In the U.S., Donald Trump has left much of the country to fend for itself as the pandemic ravages state after state. There has been little in the way of a national plan for how to overcome the outbreak. In fact, many lies about the virus, treatment, and contagion have come directly from the president himself.

He’s even instructed the CDC to stop sharing pandemic-related information with the public, and instead to send all data directly to the White House.

Donald Trump and his administration have sowed division and false information that has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans and months of on and off again quarantine orders that seem to have no end in sight. With policies like this, it’s no surprise that some are seriously considering a second impeachment trial.

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