AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

AM Prep-Cooler Copy

March 31, 2021 GMT

WITNESSES: DEREK CHAUVIN IGNORED PLEAS TO GET OFF GEORGE FLOYD’S NECK

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The teen who shot the video of George Floyd’s arrest has testified at the murder trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. And that young witness says when bystanders urged Chauvin to take his knee off Floyd’s neck, Chauvin gave them a “cold” and “heartless” stare.

In tearful testimony yesterday, 18-year-old Darnella Frazier said Chauvin kept kneeling on Floyd and that fellow Officer Tou Thao held the crowd back — even when one onlooker identified herself as a firefighter and begged repeatedly to check Floyd’s pulse.

ADVERTISEMENT

Frazier says when that happened, the officers “put their hands on the Mace, and we all pulled back.”

Frazier said of Chauvin, “He just stared at us, looked at us. He had like this cold look, heartless. He didn’t care. It seemed as if he didn’t care what we were saying.”

Floyd’s death last May, along with the video of the Black man pleading that he couldn’t breathe, triggered protests around the world and a reckoning over racism and police brutality across the U.S.

BIDEN CALLS FOR STATES TO STICK WITH MASK MANDATES

UNDATED (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pleas for states to stick with mask mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus are being largely ignored as several Republican governors are staying on track to drop the requirement in their states.

Biden and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that this is no time to relax safety measures.

In a call with governors yesterday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited “concerning” national trends: The seven-day average of 61,000 new COVID-19 cases per day is up 13%, and the seven-day average of deaths is up 6%.

But Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison says he’s dropping the state’s mask mandate. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey plans for her state’s mask mandate to end on April 9. And the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate voted Monday to rescind its mandatory mask policy.

GA. LAWMAKER ARRESTED FOR KNOCKING ON GOV’S DOOR DEFEND HER EFFORTS

ATLANTA (AP) — Allies of a Democratic lawmaker arrested last week during a protest of Georgia’s new Republican-backed election law are pushing back on a police report that compares the lawmaker knocking on the door of the governor’s office to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob in January.

Democratic Rep. Park Cannon was arrested last week after she said she wanted to see GOP Gov. Brian Kemp sign legislation that puts new restrictions on mail voting. She was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and disruption of the General Assembly. Cannon was released from jail later that evening.

ADVERTISEMENT

An officer who wrote up an incident report said he felt if he didn’t take action, it would become an “attempt to gain entry into a secure part of the Capitol.”

Other Democratic lawmakers say that’s a stretch.

Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick responded on Twitter that Capitol officers “weren’t threatened by a possible insurrection” by someone with “no weapons and no raised voice.” Kendrick adds, “they were threatened by a black woman. Period. Full stop.”

FLA. H.S. JANITOR GETS 20 YEARS FOR PUTTING CAMERA IN GIRLS’ LOCKERS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A former janitor at a Florida high school has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for hiding a camera in a girls’ locker room.

Court records say Jason Brian Goff, 45, of Starke, was sentenced last week in Jacksonville federal court. He pleaded guilty in September to attempted production of child pornography.

According to a plea deal, two 14-year-old girls reported a suspected camera in August, 2019 at Clay High School in Green Cove Springs. Officials found a cellphone taped to the inside wall of an unassigned locker. A video on the phone showed girls changing, along with a shot of Goff’s school ID badge.

Goff was arrested the next month and acknowledged trying to film girls in the locker room at least three times. Investigators say other electronic devices he owned had additional images from the girls’ lockers — and a stash of child pornography.