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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 4)

Trump’s Looting Remarks on Twitter Escalate Crisis in Minneapolis

President Trump on Friday threatened to send the National Guard to Minneapolis unless the city’s Democratic mayor brought the violent protests touched off by the death of a black man at the hands of four white police officers under control, injecting himself into a growing crisis over police abuse and race that will be another test of his ability to lead an anxious nation.

By the time the president had issued his threat in a string of tweets, Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota had already activated and deployed the National Guard in response to a request from local leaders.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

Mr. Trump began tweeting about the unrest in Minneapolis around 1 a.m., as cable news showed the police station where the four city police officers involved in the death of George Floyd were assigned engulfed in a fire set by protesters a short time earlier.

Mr. Floyd died on Monday after one of the white police officers knelt on his neck while he was handcuffed and lying face down on the ground, calling out “I can’t breathe.” Video of the episode ricocheted across social media and the officer, along with three others, were fired the next day.

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Updated 8m ago

No charges have been filed in connection with his death.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” the president wrote in another tweet, which was flagged by Twitter. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

In saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” Mr. Trump echoed a phrase coined by a Miami police chief in the 1960s about crackdowns on black neighborhoods during times of unrest.

Twitter officials responded to the threat by appending the tweets with a note saying the posts were “glorifying violence.” That provoked another tweet from the president accusing Twitter of having targeted “Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States” and prompting his aides to repost his original tweets on the official White House Twitter account. It was also flagged by Twitter.

When the video of Mr. Floyd lying on the ground with the police officer’s knee on his neck first circulated, Mr. Trump called it “shocking,” and at the White House on Thursday, the press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said the president was “very upset” seeing it.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172944165_814688e4-bedd-40fb-9371-e28461e0a835-articleLarge Trump's Looting Remarks on Twitter Escalate Crisis in Minneapolis United States Politics and Government twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Race and Ethnicity Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Black People
Credit…John Minchillo/Associated Press

But the protests in Minneapolis have recalled some of the worst scenes of unrest in response to police brutality in the treatment of black men over the last 30 years, and the president’s tone markedly changed.

The phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” was used by Walter Headley, the Miami police chief in 1967. At the time, Mr. Headley warned that young black men who he called “hoodlums” had “taken advantage of the civil rights campaign,” and added, “We don’t mind being accused of police brutality.”

Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign made a broad appeal to white grievances. Even as he has made efforts to appeal to black voters, he has demonized Hispanic immigrants and has shared Twitter posts from extremists whose feeds routinely traffic in racism.

When racial conflict has arisen during his presidency, Mr. Trump has often avoided taking a clear position. When neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and a counterprotester was killed, Mr. Trump condemned the death but told reporters there were “very fine people” on “both sides” of the matter, prompting outrage.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis

Westlake Legal Group live-george-floyd-protest-updates-from-minneapolis-scaled Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis Trump, Donald J Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Minneapolis (Minn) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Deaths (Fatalities)

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 28minneapolis-briefing-lede-sub5-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis Trump, Donald J Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Minneapolis (Minn) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Deaths (Fatalities)
Demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd boiled over late Thursday night. Protests broke out after a video went viral this week showing Mr. Floyd, a black man, struggling to breathe as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Mr. Floyd’s neck.CreditCredit…Carlos Barria/Reuters

As a police station burned, Trump threatened violence against those protesting a death in police custody.

A Minneapolis police precinct station was overrun and set ablaze by protesters Thursday night as destructive demonstrations raged in the city and spread across the country overnight Friday following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, in police custody.

He died after pleading, “I can’t breathe,” while a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck. The death set off days of continuing protests and scattered looting of stores in the Minnesota city, as demonstrators denounced another in a long line of fatal encounters between African-Americans and law enforcement officers.

President Trump, who previously called the video of Mr. Floyd’s death “shocking,” later called the protesters “thugs” on Twitter and said that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” prompting the social media network to attach a warning to the tweet, saying that it violated the company’s rules about “glorifying violence.”

The spectacle of a police station in flames and a president appearing to threaten violence against those protesting the death of a black man in police custody — set against the backdrop of a coronavirus pandemic that has kept many residents from engaging with one another directly for months — added to the anxiety of a nation already plagued by health and economic crises.

Tera Brown, Mr. Floyd’s cousin, has said: “I want to see action. This was clearly murder.”

The demonstration near the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct grew more intense in the hours after prosecutors said they had not decided whether to charge the officer videotaped pressing his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes.

The protests have spread across the state, leading to the evacuation on Thursday afternoon of lawmakers and employees from the State Capitol in St. Paul as a precaution.

Protests Over George Floyd’s Death Spread Nationwide

By Jin Wu

Other protests — many peaceful, some convulsed by violence — were reported across the country.

The State Capitol in Denver was put on lockdown after someone fired a gun near a peaceful demonstration, and protests in Columbus, Ohio, turned chaotic as crowds surging up the steps of the State Capitol and broke windows, videos posted by news outlets showed. The Columbus Dispatch reported that officers also used pepper spray on large crowds of demonstrators downtown after a few protesters tossed smoke bombs and water bottles at lines of officers.

In Phoenix, hundreds of protesters marched toward the State Capitol with relative calm, according to news reports, before tense face offs with police officers erupted later in the night.

Mayor: ‘Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.’

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172945632_5615374d-f3df-46e0-b494-8cdd57be87d3-articleLarge Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis Trump, Donald J Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Minneapolis (Minn) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Deaths (Fatalities)
Credit…John Minchillo/Associated Press

The anger and the rage in Minneapolis have been building for days.

After prosecutors announced on Thursday that they had not decided whether to charge the police officer who was caught on video with his knee pressed against the neck of George Floyd as the man begged for air, that rage turned to chaos.

Outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station, the crowds surged, with some people tossing fireworks and other items at officers, while the police fired projectiles back.

The standoff soon spiraled out of control, with officers retreating from the police station in vehicles just after 10 p.m. Thursday local time as protesters stormed the building — smashing equipment, lighting fires and setting off fireworks, according to videos posted from the scene.

By Jin Wu

“We’re starting fires in here, so be careful,” one man could be heard shouting as sprinklers doused protesters who had burst inside. Flames rose from the front of the building as hundreds of protesters looked on, and soon smoke was billowing from the roof.

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis said at a news conference Friday morning that he had made the call for officers to flee the Third Precinct, saying, “The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life.”

Mr. Frey, a Democrat, said he understood the anger of the city’s residents but pleaded with people to stop destroying property and looting stores. “It’s not just enough to do the right thing yourself,” he said. “We need to be making sure that all of us are held accountable.”

Mr. Frey also gave a fiery retort to Mr. Trump’s tweets during a news conference Friday morning.

“Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions,” he said. “Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis.” He added, “Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.”

“Unfortunately, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including arson, rioting, looting, and damaging public and private property,” Mr. Walz wrote in his proclamation. “These activities threaten the safety of lawful demonstrators and other Minnesotans, and both first responders and demonstrators have already been injured.”

Trump suggests protesters could be shot, and Twitter says the president violated its rules.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The company prevented users from viewing Mr. Trump’s message without first reading a brief notice describing the rule violation. Twitter also blocked users from liking or replying to Mr. Trump’s post.

But Twitter did not take the message down, saying it was in the public interest for the President’s words remain accessible.

Many police departments have sought to ban the use of neck restraints.

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Video Shows Arrested Man Telling Police He Can’t Breathe

A bystander’s video in Minneapolis shows a police officer with his knee on a man’s neck during an arrest. The man died a “short time” later, the police said.

Arrested man: [moaning] “What you trying to say?” Police officer: “Relax.” Arrested man: “Man, I can’t breathe — my face —” [inaudible] Police officer: “What do you want?” Arrested man: “I can’t breathe!” Bystander 1: “How long you all got to hold him down?” Unidentified speaker: “Don’t do drugs, kids —” Bystander 2: “This ain’t about drugs, bro.” [inaudible conversation] Bystander 2: “He is human, bro.” Bystander 1: “His nose —” Bystander 2: “ — right now bro, you know it’s broken. You can’t even look at me like a man because you a bum, bro. He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro.” Bystander 1: “His nose is bleeding.” Bystander 3: He’s passed out!” Bystander 2: “You [expletive] stopping his breathing, right now, bro. You think that’s cool? You think that’s cool? What is that? What do you think that is? You say — you call what he’s doing, OK?” Police officer: “Get back!” Bystander 2: “You’re calling what he’s doing OK. You call what he’s doing OK, bro?” Police officer: “Only firefighters —” Bystander 4: “Yes, I am from Minneapolis.” Bystander 2: “Bro, you, you, you call — you think that’s OK? Check his pulse!” Bystander 4: “The fact that you guys aren’t checking his pulse, and doing compressions if he needs them, you guys are on —” Bystander 1: “Oh my God!” [inaudible] Bystander 4: “OK, yeah, and I have your name tag.” Bystander 5: “Freedom of speech.” [shouting] Bystander 2: “Don’t touch me!”

Westlake Legal Group minneapolis-video-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600-v4 Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis Trump, Donald J Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Minneapolis (Minn) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Deaths (Fatalities)
A bystander’s video in Minneapolis shows a police officer with his knee on a man’s neck during an arrest. The man died a “short time” later, the police said.CreditCredit…Storyful

In the cellphone video of George Floyd’s death, the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, presses a knee on the back of Mr. Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes until the man on the ground stops speaking or moving.

For police trainers and criminologists, the episode appears to be a textbook case of why many police departments across the country have sought to outright ban or limit the use of chokeholds or other neck restraints in recent years: The practices have too often turned fatal.

“It is a technique that we don’t use as much anymore because of the vulnerability,” said Mylan Masson, a former police officer who ran a training program for the Minneapolis police for 15 years until 2016. “We try to stay away from the neck as much as possible.”

Department records indicate, however, that the Minneapolis police have not entirely abandoned the use of neck restraints, even if the method used by Officer Chauvin is no longer part of police training.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s manual states that neck restraints and chokeholds are basically reserved only for when an officer is caught in a life-or-death situation. There was no such apparent threat during Mr. Floyd’s detention.

Criminologists viewing the tape said that the knee restraint not only put dangerous pressure on the back of the neck, but that Mr. Floyd was also kept lying on his stomach for too long. Both positions — the knee on the neck and lying face down — run the risk of cutting off the oxygen supply.

Clashes break out across the country.

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Protesters Clash With Police in Union Square

At least 40 people were arrested as demonstrators surged into Union Square in New York City to protest what they called police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

[chanting] I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Black lives matter! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Black lives matter!

Westlake Legal Group 28minneapolis-vid-cover-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis Trump, Donald J Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Minneapolis (Minn) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Deaths (Fatalities)
At least 40 people were arrested as demonstrators surged into Union Square in New York City to protest what they called police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.CreditCredit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Peaceful protests against the death of George Floyd turned chaotic in several cities on Thursday night into Friday morning, with the Denver State Capitol put on lockdown after someone fired a gun near a demonstration and crowds in Columbus, Ohio, surging up the steps of the State Capitol and breaking windows.

Leslie Herod, a state representative in Colorado, said she had heard several shots near the Denver Statehouse. The Police Department said no injuries were immediately reported.

In Ohio, the police could be seen rushing to the Capitol and ordering protesters to disperse, while downtown, officers used pepper spray on large crowds.

Similar episodes occurred in Phoenix, where hundreds of protesters marched toward the State Capitol relatively calmly before gatherings grew more tense throughout the night, as some protesters threw stones at the city’s Police Department.

Near the Phoenix State Capitol, a pregnant woman was photographed in apparent pain on the ground. A reporter wrote on Twitter that she had been pepper sprayed.

A video taken at the Denver protest appeared to show the driver of a black S.U.V. driving through a crowd of protesters who had blocked traffic near the Statehouse. As a protester jumped off the car, and the driver sped up and knocked the protester him. It was unclear whether he was injured.

“I share the immense anguish we all feel about the unjust murder of George Floyd,” Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado said in a statement. “But let me be clear, senseless violence will never be healed by more violence.”

More than 40 people were arrested on Thursday night in Manhattan as hundreds of New Yorkers joined the nationwide protests. One woman taken into custody at Union Square yelled, “Black lives matter!” as officers dragged her to a police wagon, a video posted online showed.

Images on social media showed sometimes-chaotic scenes in New York as the mostly young protesters clashed with uniformed officers. Some protesters carried signs that read, “No Justice, No Peace” and chanted, “I can’t breathe.”

State prosecutors are weighing charges as the Justice Department promised a thorough investigation.

Credit…Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

The investigation will be led by the U.S. attorney in Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, and by F.B.I. agents in Minneapolis. Attorney General William P. Barr and the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Eric Dreiband, are closely monitoring their inquiry, a Justice Department spokeswoman said.

“The Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and F.B.I. criminal investigators to the matter,” the department said in a statement.

The department noted that is a violation of federal law for an officer acting in an official capacity to deprive another person of his or her constitutional rights, including the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment.

State and federal prosecutors are running simultaneous investigations into Mr. Floyd’s death after a video showed Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressing his knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd, who is black, as Mr. Floyd’s body became limp.

Mr. Chauvin and three other officers at the scene, who did nothing to stop Mr. Chauvin, were fired on Tuesday, and Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis has called for Mr. Chauvin to be arrested and charged. The Minneapolis Police Department has identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng.

State prosecutors said early Thursday night that they had not yet decided whether to charge any of the four Minneapolis police officers.

The Justice Department has declined to charge police officers in other high-profile cases in which a black person has died in their custody.

In July, after a five-year investigation, the department said it would not bring federal civil rights charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island police officer who killed Eric Garner by wrapping his arm around his neck. The killing was caught on video and widely circulated online.

The decision bitterly divided the Justice Department’s civil rights division lawyers, who wanted to charge Mr. Pantaleo, and prosecutors in Brooklyn, who believed they could not win the case at trial.

Mr. Barr ultimately sided with the Brooklyn prosecutors, who had argued that they did not have enough evidence to prove that Mr. Panataleo committed a federal civil rights violation because they could not prove that he had made a clear decision to use a chokehold, which the New York Police Department had banned, when he killed Mr. Garner.

Like Mr. Floyd, Mr. Garner also gasped, “I can’t breathe” before he died.

The Minnesota State Capitol was evacuated because of nearby unrest.

Credit…John Minchillo/Associated Press

Lawmakers and employees at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., were told to evacuate the building as a precaution on Thursday afternoon, after looting continued at nearby stores.

St. Paul police officers encountered large groups of people stealing merchandise from a Target store and other businesses in the city’s Midway neighborhood, said St. Paul Police Department spokesman Steve Linder.

Some threw rocks, liquor bottles and bricks at the responding officers, while another group of people rushed into a Foot Locker, he said, noting that a fight broke out in the parking lot.

“Our officers have been busy trying to keep things calm and de-escalate when possible, and protect people and property,” Mr. Linder said.

As crowds of protesters gathered in increasing numbers a few blocks away from the Capitol, the secretary of the Senate ordered staff members and legislators to leave the building at about 1:30 p.m. local time, according to staff members. About an hour later, the Capitol Security Department of Public Safety ordered all Capitol staff and employees to evacuate.

Democrats request an investigation into three killings of black people.

Credit…Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune, via Associated Press

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate Mr. Floyd’s death along with the recent killings of two other black people: Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot after being pursued by white men near Brunswick, Ga.; and Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police officers in Louisville, Ky., during a “no-knock” raid of her apartment. On Thursday night, seven people were struck by gunfire at a protest in Louisville, Ky., over the death of Ms. Taylor.

The committee members asked the department to open so-called pattern and practice investigations into potential police misconduct in all three cases. Federal law prohibits law enforcement officers from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives people of their constitutional rights.

They also asked that the department investigate the local prosecutors who were involved in Mr. Arbery’s case. The two armed men who chased Mr. Arbery had connections to local law enforcement and were not arrested for 74 days, until after a video of the shooting was widely circulated.

Mr. Arbery’s death and the subsequent local investigation “are reminiscent of early 20th century lynchings in the Jim Crow South,” the committee members wrote.

Jerry Nadler, the chair of the committee, said it is considering legislation to address racial profiling and the excessive use of force by police officers.

He noted that the Justice Department has uncovered rampant police abuses in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Cleveland and Chicago, which led the police departments in those cities to negotiate consent decrees with the federal government.

A fatal shooting near the protests was under investigation.

Credit…Tim Gruber for The New York Times

The police said they were investigating a fatal shooting near a looted pawnshop in the area where Wednesday night’s protests occurred.

In a news conference early Thursday morning, a Minneapolis Police Department spokesman, John Elder, said two officers responded to a call near the Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry shop, where they found the victim in grave condition on the sidewalk. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Mr. Elder declined to confirm media reports that the victim was involved in looting, or whether the store owner was the shooter.

“That is one of the theories we’re looking into,” he said, noting that the crime is still under investigation. “We want to make sure that we do in fact have all of the facts moving forward. We don’t want to cast aspersions on somebody if in fact they weren’t doing anything wrong.”

A suspect was taken into custody, Mr. Elder said, but he declined to provide the suspect’s identity, citing investigative protocol.

The violence came at the end of what had been a tense period.

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George Floyd Protests Escalate in Minneapolis

Protests over the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in police custody, have intensified in Minneapolis. Some have turned violent, with the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets and people setting buildings on fire.

“No justice, no peace. Prosecute the police. No justice, no peace.” “Why y’all doing this? What is y’all doing this for?” “This is crazy — absolutely insane. That’s South Minneapolis right there, four or five miles from here.”

Westlake Legal Group 28minneapolis-02alt-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Live George Floyd Protest Updates from Minneapolis Trump, Donald J Police Department (Minneapolis, Minn) Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Minneapolis (Minn) Floyd, George (d 2020) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Deaths (Fatalities)
Protests over the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in police custody, have intensified in Minneapolis. Some have turned violent, with the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets and people setting buildings on fire.CreditCredit…Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Protesters began gathering Wednesday afternoon outside the Third Precinct headquarters, but by early evening, officers were trying to disperse the crowds using flash-bang grenades and tear gas.

Some residents of the area said Thursday that they believed people from outside the city had been responsible for a large portion of the fires and looting.

“This is just painful,” said Cynthia Montana, 57. “I don’t think the people who did the looting and all this destruction are the same as the peaceful protesters that have been at Cup Foods,” where Mr. Floyd was arrested on Monday.

“I’m a protester,” Ms. Montana said. “It was so peaceful over there.”

She said the nearby neighborhood is diverse, but in the broader Twin Cities community, there are huge racial disparities.

“It’s like layer and layer and layer of gunpowder building over a long time,” she said, “and when you become an adult, it’s this stick of dynamite.”

‘I want to see action’: Mr. Floyd’s family calls for murder charges.

Credit…Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Mr. Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, called for justice on NBC’s “Today” show.

“I would like for those officers to be charged with murder because that’s exactly what they did,” Ms. Floyd said.

“I don’t want the protests to be for just show,” said Tera Brown, Mr. Floyd’s cousin, who appeared with two of Mr. Floyd’s brothers. “I want to see action.”

“This was clearly murder,” she added. “We want to see them arrested; we want to see them charged; we want to see them convicted for what they did.”

Stephen Jackson, the former N.B.A. player and now podcast host, told “The Today Show” on Thursday that the death of Mr. Floyd, a longtime friend, “destroyed” him.

“I jumped up, screamed, scared my daughter and almost broke my hand punching stuff because I was so mad,” Mr. Jackson said, describing his reaction when he learned the news.

Mr. Jackson told “The Breakfast Club” podcast that he grew up with Mr. Floyd in the Houston area. He joked that they looked so much alike that they could have the same father, so would refer to each other as “Twin.”

“Neighborhoods, they all get beefing,” Mr. Jackson said. “But you always have one guy that can go to all the neighborhoods and everybody will rock with him. Floyd was that guy.”

The Minneapolis police have received many excessive force complaints.

Credit…Kerem Yucel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Excessive force complaints against Minneapolis officers have become commonplace, especially by African-American residents. One of the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death, Mr. Chauvin, 44, had several complaints filed against him, three of which led to reprimands for his language and tone.

Mr. Chauvin shot a man who was trying to grab an officer’s gun in 2008, according to The Pioneer Press. He was also present at two other shootings, one of them fatal, but it was unclear if he fired his weapon in those cases, according to Communities United Against Police Brutality, a local organization advocating police reform.

African-Americans account for about 20 percent of the city’s population, but they are more likely to be pulled over, arrested and have force used against them than white residents, Police Department data shows. And black people accounted for more than 60 percent of the victims in Minneapolis police shootings from late 2009 through May 2019, data shows.

Yet there is a deep rift between the city’s police force — which also is predominantly white — and the community, one that seems to grow larger with each killing.

Reporting was contributed by Marc Santora, Elian Peltier, Raymond Zhong, Russell Goldman, Mike Wolgelenter, Victoria Bekiempis, Katie Benner, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Audra D.S. Burch, Sopan Deb, John Eligon, Matt Furber, Jack Healy, Dan Levin, Edgar Sandoval and Neil Vigdor.

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Twitter Places Warning on Trump Minneapolis Tweet, Saying It Glorified Violence

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172931115_a46552ea-338d-4dcd-b9d1-33132a437045-articleLarge Twitter Places Warning on Trump Minneapolis Tweet, Saying It Glorified Violence twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Minneapolis (Minn) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The company prevented users from viewing Mr. Trump’s message without first reading a brief notice describing the rule violation. Twitter also blocked users from liking or replying to Mr. Trump’s post.

But Twitter did not take the tweet down, saying it was in the public’s interest that the message remain accessible.

Twitter said that it had made its decision “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

In the tweet, posted early Friday morning, Mr. Trump called the protesters “thugs” and said he had told Minnesota’s governor that the military was “with him all the way.”

“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” the president wrote. “Thank you!”

The company’s decision comes a day after Mr. Trump signed an executive order that seeks to to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content posted on their platforms. The president had fulminated over Twitter’s decision earlier this week to add fact-checking labels for the first time to two of his tweets. In response, he accused Twitter of stifling speech and said that he would put a stop to the interference.

Mr. Trump’s tweet about the Minneapolis protests echoed a comment by Walter E. Headley, the Miami police chief who attracted national attention in the late 1960s for using shotguns, dogs and other heavy-handed policies to fight crime in the city’s black neighborhoods.

Mr. Headley announced a “get tough” campaign in a December 1967 news conference that prompted angry reactions from black leaders, The New York Times reported at the time.

“We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting,” he said, “because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

“We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,” Mr. Headley also said at that news conference. “They haven’t seen anything yet.”

In Mr. Trump’s tweets about the Minneapolis protests, the president criticized Mayor Jacob Frey’s response to the demonstrations.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,” the president wrote. Mr. Trump said Mr. Frey, a Democrat, must “get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

It was unclear if the president intended to send additional troops after Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to help restore order in the Twin Cities.

Mr. Trump had previously described the video of Mr. Floyd’s death as a “very shocking sight” and “a very very sad event,” saying he had asked the F.B.I.’s investigation to be expedited.

Mr. Frey did not know about Mr. Trump’s tweets until a reporter read them aloud during a news conference early on Friday. The mayor shook his head and then gave a fiery retort, slamming a podium for emphasis.

“Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions,” he said. “Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis.”

“Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis,” he continued. “We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.”

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The President Versus the Mods

Westlake Legal Group the-president-versus-the-mods The President Versus the Mods Zuckerberg, Mark E twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Facebook Inc Executive Orders and Memorandums Dorsey, Jack Cyberharassment Computers and the Internet Censorship
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As a teen in the early 2000s, I spent a lot of time on online message boards. They were funny, chaotic places where my fellow nerds and I spent hours arguing about everything under the sun: sports, music, video games, the latest episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

No matter the topic, there was one universal experience: On every board, some divisive issue would inevitably erupt into conflict, and an angry group of users — often led by a single, vocal one who felt they were being treated unfairly — would lead a rebellion against the “mods,” the moderators who had the privileges to delete posts, ban unruly users, and set the rules of the board.

Sometimes, the mods quelled the fight or struck a compromise, and brought the board back into harmony. Other times, the angry users broke off and started their own forum, or the board simply became so intolerable that everyone left.

That internet is long gone now. Social media apps killed the messy, unruly message boards and replaced them with slick personalized feeds. The new mods are mostly robots. And the people who make the rules — Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, and a handful of others — have become some of the world’s richest and most influential people, with the power to shift global politics and curate the information diets of billions.

This week, President Trump declared war on the mods after Twitter appended a fact check to his tweets for the first time. On Thursday, he issued an executive order threatening to narrow legal protections for platforms that censor speech for ideological reasons, and sent his followers after an individual Twitter employee he accused, wrongly, of censoring him. And he made it clear that he would seek to punish Facebook, YouTube, or other platforms that interfered with his ability to communicate directly with his followers.

The war escalated early Friday morning, when Twitter took action against another of Mr. Trump’s tweets, this one a post about the protests in Minneapolis, which implied that looters could be shot. Twitter hid Mr. Trump’s tweet behind a warning label, saying that it violated the site’s policies against glorifying violence.

The question of what kinds of online speech a world leader should be allowed to post on social media is a mind-bendingly complex one, with tons of conflicting priorities and few easy answers.

But for me, at least, it helps to think of what’s happening as a high-stakes version of the drama we’ve all seen play out on neighborhood Nextdoor threads, fractious Facebook groups, and rowdy Reddit forums for years.

Looked at this way, Mr. Trump’s war on the platforms is a familiar refrain. A power user with a passionate following is lashing out against the moderators of his favorite internet services. He likes the way these services were run in the past, when he could stir up trouble and speak his mind without consequences.

Now, the mods are putting in new guardrails, and he’s upset. He wants what internet trolls and rebels have always wanted: to be allowed to post in peace, free of limits and restrictions. Most of all, he wants the mods to know who is really in charge.

In a 2017 article about divisions within the alt-right, Katie Notopoulos of BuzzFeed News summarized the phases of message board drama as a period of messy infighting over rules and regulations, followed by the formation of a “splinter board” where rebellious users went to escape what they saw as an overly restrictive environment.

“This trajectory typically happens after moderators of the board run afoul of devout users, usually by instituting hard-line rules or issuing bans on users,” she wrote.

One obvious difference between those niche message boards and today’s social media platforms is that the latter are enormous, market-dominating corporations whose products are used by billions of people. Their power gives unhappy users fewer options for breaking off, and gives the mods more leverage. (Even Mr. Trump seems to recognize that he needs Twitter, no matter how unhappy he is with its decisions.)

Also complicating matters: Mr. Trump is the sitting president, with the power of the executive branch at his disposal. Unlike a disgruntled Buffy fan or an angry Beanie Baby collector, he can create legal and regulatory headaches for the platforms he posts on, which makes moderating his misbehavior a bigger risk.

But looking at Mr. Trump as an aggrieved user of a fractious internet forum, rather than a politician making high-minded claims about freedom of speech, clarifies the dynamics at play here. Mod drama is never really about who’s allowed to say what, or which specific posts broke which specific rules. Often, it’s part of a power struggle between chaos and order, fought by people who thrive in a lawless environment.

In Twitter’s case, the company is enforcing rules it already had on its books — one prohibiting misinformation related to the voting process, and another prohibiting glorifying violence. They’re both clear, sensible rules, and Mr. Trump’s punishment for breaking them was relatively gentle. Twitter didn’t ban Mr. Trump or take down his tweets. It placed a small disclaimer on two of them — a pair of baseless tweets stating that mail-in ballots were ripe for voter fraud — and put a warning label on another.

But given Twitter’s history of permissiveness with Mr. Trump, any action to restrain him was bound to cause a stir. And Mr. Trump and his allies wasted no time going nuclear.

After the fact-check response, his campaign released a statement accusing Twitter of conspiring to “pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters.” He also signed an executive order calling for greater scrutiny of social media platforms, and threatening to limit Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the much-cited passage that gives legal immunity to internet companies for user-generated content that appears on their platforms.

These may be empty threats. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are private enterprises, with no First Amendment obligations to users, and courts have consistently ruled that these companies can set their own rules, just as restaurants can require guests to wear shirts and shoes.

But Mr. Trump — whose entire online personality is built on pushing boundaries, and whose re-election campaign has already had some of its ads taken down for violating Facebook’s rules — has a strategic interest in getting the mods off his back, by intimidating social media executives into letting him post with impunity.

Facebook seems to have gotten Mr. Trump’s message. Before this week, it had very clear policies in place to prohibit voter suppression that even politicians, who are exempt from many of Facebook’s rules, were required to follow. But on Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, went on Fox News to say that the company would not fact-check Mr. Trump’s claim about mail-in voting, and that he was uncomfortable acting as an “arbiter of truth.” As of Friday morning, Mr. Trump’s statement implying that the Minneapolis protesters could be shot was still gathering likes on his Facebook page, with no warning labels in sight.

I’ll leave Mr. Zuckerberg’s motives for others to decode. But in my experience, mods who cede ground to bad-faith boundary-pushers have not found it easy to keep their communities on the rails.

I recently called Matt Haughey, the founder of one of my favorite early 2000s forums, MetaFilter. Having spent years overseeing a spirited online community, Mr. Haughey is a veteran observer and referee of message board drama. He said that Mr. Trump’s crusade against Twitter felt familiar.

“Every bad thing at MetaFilter happened with someone who had been testing the rules for a year or two,” he said. “Those are the ones who tend to blossom into super-trolls over time. They’ll see what they can get away with, they’ll figure out what the limits are, and just stay a step inside. It can go on forever. And when you inevitably break and say, this is a bad idea, they freak out, and try to play the victim.”

The stakes of Mr. Trump’s war on social media companies are significantly higher than the stakes of a random internet message board dispute. But the platforms can learn from their predecessors that some users do not want to compromise or be reasoned with. Their goal is power, not fairness. And if the mods are afraid to hold them accountable when they break the rules, they will keep pushing the limits again and again — until ultimately, the board is theirs to run.

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Twitter Warns that Trump Tweet Could Spur Violence

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ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172931115_a46552ea-338d-4dcd-b9d1-33132a437045-articleLarge Twitter Warns that Trump Tweet Could Spur Violence twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Minneapolis (Minn) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The company prevented users from viewing Mr. Trump’s message without first reading a brief notice describing the rule violation. Twitter also blocked users from liking or replying to Mr. Trump’s post.

But Twitter did not take the tweet down, saying it was in the public’s interest that the message remain accessible.

Twitter said that it had made its decision “based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

In the tweet, Mr. Trump called the protesters “thugs” and said he had told Minnesota’s governor that the military “is with him all the way.”

“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” the president wrote. “Thank you!”

The company’s decision comes a day after Mr. Trump signed an executive order that seeks to to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content posted on their platforms. The president had fulminated over Twitter’s decision earlier this week to append fact-checking labels for the first time to two of his tweets. In response, he accused Twitter of stifling speech and said that he would put a stop to the interference.

In Mr. Trump’s tweets about the Minneapolis protests, which he posted early Friday morning, he also criticized Mayor Jacob Frey’s response to the demonstrations.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,” the president wrote. Mr. Trump said Mr. Frey, a Democrat, must “get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”

It was unclear if the president intended to send additional troops after Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to help restore order in the Twin Cities.

Mr. Trump had previously described the video of Mr. Floyd’s death as a “very shocking sight” and “a very very sad event,” saying he had asked the F.B.I.’s investigation to be expedited.

Mr. Frey did not know about Mr. Trump’s tweets until a reporter read them aloud during a news conference early on Friday. The mayor shook his head and then gave a fiery retort, slamming a podium for emphasis.

“Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions,” he said. “Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis.”

“Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis,” he continued. “We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.”

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Why President Trump’s Order on Social Media Could Harm Him

WASHINGTON — President Trump, who built his political career on the power of a flame-throwing Twitter account, has now gone to war with Twitter, angered that it would presume to fact-check his messages. But the punishment he is threatening could force social media companies to crack down even more on customers just like Mr. Trump.

The executive order that Mr. Trump signed on Thursday seeks to strip liability protection in certain cases for companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook for the content on their sites, meaning they could face legal jeopardy if they allowed false and defamatory posts. Without a liability shield, they presumably would have to be more aggressive about policing messages that press the boundaries — like the president’s.

That, of course, is not the outcome Mr. Trump wants. What he wants is the freedom to post anything he likes without the companies applying any judgment to his messages, as Twitter did this week when it began appending “get the facts” warnings to some of his false posts on voter fraud. Furious at what he called “censorship” — even though his messages were not in fact deleted — Mr. Trump is wielding the proposed executive order like a club to compel the company to back down.

It may not work even as intended. Plenty of lawyers quickly said on Thursday that he was claiming power to do something he does not have the power to do by essentially revising the interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law passed by Congress in 1996 that laid out the rules of the road for online media. Legal experts predicted such a move would be challenged and most likely struck down by the courts.

But the logic of Mr. Trump’s order is intriguing because it attacks the very legal provision that has allowed him such latitude to publish with impunity a whole host of inflammatory, harassing and factually distorted messages that a media provider might feel compelled to take down if it were forced into the role of a publisher that faced the risk of legal liability rather than a distributor that does not.

“Ironically, Donald Trump is a big beneficiary of Section 230,” said Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which instantly objected to the proposed order. “If platforms were not immune under the law, then they would not risk the legal liability that could come with hosting Donald Trump’s lies, defamation and threats.”

Mr. Trump has long posted false and disparaging messages to his 80 million followers on Twitter, disregarding complaints about their accuracy or fairness. In recent weeks, he has repeatedly issued tweets that essentially falsely accused Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host, of murdering a staff member in 2001 when he was a congressman. Mr. Scarborough was 800 miles away at the time and the police found no signs of foul play. The aide’s widower asked Twitter to delete the messages, but it refused.

Mr. Trump and his allies argue that social media companies have shown bias against conservatives and need to be reined in. While they are private firms rather than the government, the president and his allies argue that they have in effect become the public square envisioned by the founders when they drafted the First Amendment and therefore should not be weighing in on one side or the other.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172428240_3233d6c6-abd3-4d83-a8b7-1e2573bc38eb-articleLarge Why President Trump's Order on Social Media Could Harm Him United States Politics and Government twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Freedom of Speech and Expression Executive Orders and Memorandums Conservatism (US Politics) Computers and the Internet Censorship
Credit…Glenn Chapman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The order that Mr. Trump signed said that an online provider that weighs in on some tweets beyond certain limited conditions “should properly lose the limited liability shield” of the law “and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.”

The order asks the Federal Communications Commission to draft regulations to that effect and directs the Federal Trade Commission to consider action against providers that “restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.”

On Thursday, Mr. Trump framed his goal as combating bias. “Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they’re a neutral platform, which they’re not, not an editor with a viewpoint,” he said in the Oval Office as he signed the order.

But some government officials said his plan was unenforceable. “This does not work,” Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the F.C.C. first appointed under President Barack Obama, said in a statement. “Social media can be frustrating. But an executive order that would turn the Federal Communications Commission into the president’s speech police is not the answer. It’s time for those in Washington to speak up for the First Amendment. History won’t be kind to silence.”

Even some conservatives objected, warning that the president was handing control of the internet to the “administrative state” and creating a bonanza for liberal trial lawyers to go after unpopular speakers traditionally filtered out by the mainstream media — including those like Mr. Trump himself.

“Conservatives must appreciate the fact that social media has empowered countless new voices on the right and allowed them to garner millions of followers and billions of views,” said Patrick Hedger, a research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The net effect of social media has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The Communications Decency Act was passed during the dawn of the modern information age, intended at first to make it easier for online sites run by early pioneer companies like Prodigy and AOL to block pornography even when it is constitutional without running afoul of legal challenges.

By terming such sites as distributors rather than publishers, Section 230 gave them immunity from lawsuits in many circumstances. Over time, the law became the guarantor of a rollicking, almost no-holds-barred internet by letting sites set rules for what is and is not allowed without being liable for everything posted by visitors, as opposed to a newspaper, which is generally responsible for what it publishes.

Since Section 230 was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the courts have repeatedly shot down challenges to get around it, invoking a broad interpretation of immunity. In recent years, the court system has been flooded with litigants claiming that social media companies blocked them or their content.

As a result, Mr. Trump may face an uphill road with his order. Daphne Keller, who teaches at Stanford Law School and has written extensively on internet law and regulation, said the order appeared to be “95 percent political rhetoric and theater that doesn’t have legal effect and is inconsistent with what the courts have said.”

However, Ms. Keller, who worked as an associate general counsel at Google for 10 years, said that even if the order did not carry legal weight, it may still be challenged because it was potentially an abuse of power that could violate the First Amendment rights of the companies.

Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School and a director of the High Tech Law Institute there, said that the order “doesn’t stand a chance in court” but that it could do some damage until a legal challenge reached the judicial system. “Section 230 is a magnet for controversy, and this order pours fuel on the fire,” he said.

While the courts have sided with the internet companies, Congress is a different matter. Both Republicans and Democrats have taken issue with the protections afforded to social media companies, even though they disagree on why.

Republicans have accused the companies of censoring conservative voices and violating the spirit of the law that the internet should be a forum for a diversity of political discourse. Democrats have argued that the companies have not done enough to remove problematic content or police harassment.

Jeff Kosseff, a cybersecurity law professor at the United States Naval Academy and the author of a book about the law, “The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet,” said he believed that Section 230 would be repealed by Congress in the next few years. He believes that the internet of 1996, when the law was written to protect start-ups, is different now and that many of the tech firms protected under the statute are among the most valuable companies in the world.

Without Section 230, courts would be forced to apply the protections of the First Amendment to the modern internet. “We haven’t had a test of that yet,” Mr. Kosseff said, “because there was always Section 230.”

In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s order may still have an impact. “I think what the order is trying to do is say a company like Twitter holds itself out to be a neutral platform, and when it is biased against conservatives, it is acting deceptively,” said Jeffrey Westling, a technology and innovation policy fellow at R Street Institute, a public policy research organization.

Mr. Westling said the legal theory would probably be difficult to pursue. “The issue I have and I think a lot of people are starting to realize is the executive order doesn’t need to be legally enforceable to still be a threat to these companies,” he said. “The companies will likely win any challenge, but no one wants to go through litigation. It becomes a cost-benefit analysis of, ‘Is it worth it to put a fact check the next time the president puts a false tweet out there?’”

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Daisuke Wakabayashi from Oakland, Calif. Kate Conger contributed reporting from Oakland, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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Biden vs. Trump on Coronavirus Testing

WASHINGTON — Joseph R. Biden Jr. has proposed harnessing the broad powers of the federal government to step up coronavirus testing, with a public-private board overseeing test manufacturing and distribution, federal safety regulators enforcing testing at work and at least 100,000 contact tracers tracking down people exposed to the virus.

The presumptive Democratic nominee’s plan, laid out in a little-noticed Medium post, stands in stark contrast to President Trump’s leave-it-to-the-states strategy, detailed in an 81-page document released over the weekend. And it presents voters in November with a classic philosophical choice over the role they want Washington to play during the worst public health crisis in a century.

With more than 100,000 Americans already dead from the coronavirus and at least 1.7 million infected, testing has emerged as a major campaign issue. Polls show that most people want better access to testing and believe that it is the job of the federal government. Like Mr. Biden, Democrats running for Congress have seized on testing as a prime example of what they view as Mr. Trump’s incompetent response to the crisis.

In Michigan, Senator Gary Peters, an incumbent Democrat, tells viewers in a TV ad that “our workplaces need to be safe” and “that means more testing.” In Colorado, an ad for Senator Cory Gardner, an incumbent Republican, begins with footage of a news anchor saying, “Coronavirus tests are coming to Colorado from South Korea because of Senator Cory Gardner.”

In Maine, Sara Gideon, a Democrat running to unseat Senator Susan Collins, is airing an ad in which she says that “the federal government needs to expand testing, which is critical to keeping us safe.” In Washington, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference on Tuesday to attack the Trump plan as insufficient.

“Mr. President, take responsibility,” Ms. Pelosi declared, adding, “That’s what the president of the United States is supposed to do.”

Beyond the slogans and congressional calls for a national testing strategy, Mr. Biden’s plan, laid out late last month as he struggled to grab voters’ attention, begins to flesh out what such a strategy would entail.

Harking back to the War Production Board created during World War II by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the former vice president proposed a “Pandemic Testing Board” to oversee “a nationwide campaign” to increase production of diagnostic and antibody tests, coordinate distribution, identify testing sites and people to staff them, and build laboratory capacity.

Testing, he and his advisers wrote, “is the springboard we need to help get our economy safely up and running again.”

Mr. Biden said he would do what the Obama administration did during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 — instruct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which regulates workplace safety, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue detailed guidance for how employers should protect their workers, including testing, campaign advisers say. OSHA would enforce compliance.

Under Mr. Trump, OSHA has issued Covid-19 guidance for employers that is “advisory in nature and informational in content” and does not mention testing. The C.D.C.’s interim guidance for employers says only that companies “should not require a Covid-19 test result” or a doctor’s note to grant sick leave or to determine whether employees can return to work.

Mr. Biden would also create a federal entity: the U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps, a force of at least 100,000 people, including AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers and laid off workers, to trace the contacts of those who test positive for the virus. It would also “become the permanent foundation” of a service that would address other public health priorities like the opioid epidemic.

Republicans argue in favor of a more localized response led by state governments. “With support from the federal government to ensure states are meeting goals, the state plans for testing will advance the safe opening of America,” says the Trump administration’s Covid-19 Strategic Testing Plan, prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, called Mr. Biden’s idea a “typical Democratic response.”

“There’s a big difference between what’s going on in Queens, N.Y., and rural Tennessee, and the governors know best what to do,” he said, adding, “Every time you have a national problem, whether it’s education or health, the instinct of Democrats is to say, ‘Let’s solve it from Washington,’ and my instinct and that of Republicans is that this is a country that works state by state, community by community.”

Some public health experts, including those who advise the Biden campaign and some who do not, say that is a false dichotomy. The federal government could and should cooperate with and support the states, and also take a more aggressive role, they say, particularly in a chaotic environment where a global shortage has left governors — and now employers — competing for scant supplies of test kits and wondering how best to use them.

“Every university, every employer, every organization is struggling to figure out how to use testing to create a safe environment,” said David A. Kessler, a Biden campaign adviser who was the commissioner of food and drugs under Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

“If you’re Amazon,” he added, “you can hire people to put in place testing systems to help assure the safety of your work force, but not everyone can do that. Why are we reinventing this firm by firm, school by school, employer by employer?”

Congress required Mr. Trump to provide a national testing strategy in the $484 billion stimulus package it passed last month and required the states to submit plans to the federal government for approval. But Democrats on Capitol Hill say the strategy the Trump administration offered over the weekend falls far short of what they envisioned.

Experts say there should be two main components to a comprehensive national testing strategy: a centralized effort to acquire test kits and distribute them, and clear guidance on how to use them.

Andrew Slavitt, who was the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama and has provided advice to the Trump White House during the pandemic, said one reason for the government to control the acquisition of coronavirus tests was that commercial labs were increasing their prices to as much as $140 a test.

“In this laissez-faire policy, there are scarce resources, and whoever has the scarce resources gets to charge what they want, and the states all get to bid and now the employers are bidding,” he said. “The consequences of this are to make the distribution much more costly, much more uneven.”

As for how to use the tests, Republicans say such plans are best developed state by state, community by community. But with a virus that respects no borders, Democrats insist that a national standard is essential.

“We would say, if you want to reopen a school, then you have to test so many kids per day; they have to be retested every so often,” said Representative Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, adding: “The same thing with employers. How many people have to be tested before it’s safe to go back to work? How often do they have to be retested?”

Polls show that voters tend to favor a prominent role for the federal government. In a Pew Research survey released this month, 61 percent of Americans said coronavirus testing was mostly or entirely the responsibility of the federal government, not the states.

A Fox News poll released last week found that 63 percent of registered voters viewed the “lack of available testing” as a “major problem.” Just 12 percent said it was not a problem at all. Voters said they trusted Mr. Biden to do a better job on health care than Mr. Trump by a 17-point margin and favored Mr. Biden on the handling of the pandemic by nine points over Mr. Trump.

In a CNN poll earlier in May, 57 percent of Americans said the federal government was not doing enough to address the limited availability of coronavirus testing.

“When Americans hear Trump talking about testing not being his responsibility, the takeaway is that he’s just passing the buck,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.

While Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that anyone who wants a test can get one, that is not true in many parts of the country. It is true in Tennessee, where Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, has decided that the state will pay for testing. “When in doubt, get a test,” he said on his Facebook page, adding, “Aggressive testing is key to our reopening strategy.”

And while Mr. Trump has emphasized the number of people who have been tested — more than 15 million Americans, as of Monday — experts say the more important metrics are what percentage of the population has been tested, what percentage of tests come back positive and how those tests are deployed.

“Instead of focusing on what we need to do as a country to keep ourselves and our populations and especially our vulnerable people safe, and saying let’s come up with the right testing strategy and make sure we have enough tests to implement it, we’ve just been fighting about the number of tests,” said Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Testing has been a confounding issue for Mr. Trump since the early days of the pandemic, when sloppy laboratory practices at the C.D.C. caused contamination that rendered the nation’s first coronavirus tests ineffective, delaying the rollout. The country never quite caught up.

Countries that had aggressive early testing campaigns — South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany, among others — have largely controlled their epidemics. Before the pandemic there were 12 direct flights between Taiwan and Wuhan, China, its epicenter, each week.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172826667_196189da-2caa-4721-985d-fb8c78a0cf1a-articleLarge Biden vs. Trump on Coronavirus Testing United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) Presidential Election of 2020 Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Biden, Joseph R Jr
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s travel ban “led us to believe that we had shut the barn door when there was a flood of virus coming into our country from multiple directions,” said J. Stephen Morrison, who runs a global health program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He added, “We didn’t have a testing system and we didn’t want one.”

Emily Cochrane and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting from Washington, and Giovanni Russonello from New York.

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Biden vs. Trump on Coronavirus Testing

WASHINGTON — Joseph R. Biden Jr. has proposed harnessing the broad powers of the federal government to step up coronavirus testing, with a public-private board overseeing test manufacturing and distribution, federal safety regulators enforcing testing at work and at least 100,000 contact tracers tracking down people exposed to the virus.

The presumptive Democratic nominee’s plan, laid out in a little-noticed Medium post, stands in stark contrast to President Trump’s leave-it-to-the-states strategy, detailed in an 81-page document released over the weekend. And it presents voters in November with a classic philosophical choice over the role they want Washington to play during the worst public health crisis in a century.

With more than 100,000 Americans already dead from the coronavirus and at least 1.7 million infected, testing has emerged as a major campaign issue. Polls show that most people want better access to testing and believe that it is the job of the federal government. Like Mr. Biden, Democrats running for Congress have seized on testing as a prime example of what they view as Mr. Trump’s incompetent response to the crisis.

In Michigan, Senator Gary Peters, an incumbent Democrat, tells viewers in a TV ad that “our workplaces need to be safe” and “that means more testing.” In Colorado, an ad for Senator Cory Gardner, an incumbent Republican, begins with footage of a news anchor saying, “Coronavirus tests are coming to Colorado from South Korea because of Senator Cory Gardner.”

In Maine, Sara Gideon, a Democrat running to unseat Senator Susan Collins, is airing an ad in which she says that “the federal government needs to expand testing, which is critical to keeping us safe.” In Washington, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference on Tuesday to attack the Trump plan as insufficient.

“Mr. President, take responsibility,” Ms. Pelosi declared, adding, “That’s what the president of the United States is supposed to do.”

Beyond the slogans and congressional calls for a national testing strategy, Mr. Biden’s plan, laid out late last month as he struggled to grab voters’ attention, begins to flesh out what such a strategy would entail.

Harking back to the War Production Board created during World War II by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the former vice president proposed a “Pandemic Testing Board” to oversee “a nationwide campaign” to increase production of diagnostic and antibody tests, coordinate distribution, identify testing sites and people to staff them, and build laboratory capacity.

Testing, he and his advisers wrote, “is the springboard we need to help get our economy safely up and running again.”

Mr. Biden said he would do what the Obama administration did during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 — instruct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which regulates workplace safety, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue detailed guidance for how employers should protect their workers, including testing, campaign advisers say. OSHA would enforce compliance.

Under Mr. Trump, OSHA has issued Covid-19 guidance for employers that is “advisory in nature and informational in content” and does not mention testing. The C.D.C.’s interim guidance for employers says only that companies “should not require a Covid-19 test result” or a doctor’s note to grant sick leave or to determine whether employees can return to work.

Mr. Biden would also create a federal entity: the U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps, a force of at least 100,000 people, including AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers and laid off workers, to trace the contacts of those who test positive for the virus. It would also “become the permanent foundation” of a service that would address other public health priorities like the opioid epidemic.

Republicans argue in favor of a more localized response led by state governments. “With support from the federal government to ensure states are meeting goals, the state plans for testing will advance the safe opening of America,” says the Trump administration’s Covid-19 Strategic Testing Plan, prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, called Mr. Biden’s idea a “typical Democratic response.”

“There’s a big difference between what’s going on in Queens, N.Y., and rural Tennessee, and the governors know best what to do,” he said, adding, “Every time you have a national problem, whether it’s education or health, the instinct of Democrats is to say, ‘Let’s solve it from Washington,’ and my instinct and that of Republicans is that this is a country that works state by state, community by community.”

Some public health experts, including those who advise the Biden campaign and some who do not, say that is a false dichotomy. The federal government could and should cooperate with and support the states, and also take a more aggressive role, they say, particularly in a chaotic environment where a global shortage has left governors — and now employers — competing for scant supplies of test kits and wondering how best to use them.

“Every university, every employer, every organization is struggling to figure out how to use testing to create a safe environment,” said David A. Kessler, a Biden campaign adviser who was the commissioner of food and drugs under Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

“If you’re Amazon,” he added, “you can hire people to put in place testing systems to help assure the safety of your work force, but not everyone can do that. Why are we reinventing this firm by firm, school by school, employer by employer?”

Congress required Mr. Trump to provide a national testing strategy in the $484 billion stimulus package it passed last month and required the states to submit plans to the federal government for approval. But Democrats on Capitol Hill say the strategy the Trump administration offered over the weekend falls far short of what they envisioned.

Experts say there should be two main components to a comprehensive national testing strategy: a centralized effort to acquire test kits and distribute them, and clear guidance on how to use them.

Andrew Slavitt, who was the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama and has provided advice to the Trump White House during the pandemic, said one reason for the government to control the acquisition of coronavirus tests was that commercial labs were increasing their prices to as much as $140 a test.

“In this laissez-faire policy, there are scarce resources, and whoever has the scarce resources gets to charge what they want, and the states all get to bid and now the employers are bidding,” he said. “The consequences of this are to make the distribution much more costly, much more uneven.”

As for how to use the tests, Republicans say such plans are best developed state by state, community by community. But with a virus that respects no borders, Democrats insist that a national standard is essential.

“We would say, if you want to reopen a school, then you have to test so many kids per day; they have to be retested every so often,” said Representative Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, adding: “The same thing with employers. How many people have to be tested before it’s safe to go back to work? How often do they have to be retested?”

Polls show that voters tend to favor a prominent role for the federal government. In a Pew Research survey released this month, 61 percent of Americans said coronavirus testing was mostly or entirely the responsibility of the federal government, not the states.

A Fox News poll released last week found that 63 percent of registered voters viewed the “lack of available testing” as a “major problem.” Just 12 percent said it was not a problem at all. Voters said they trusted Mr. Biden to do a better job on health care than Mr. Trump by a 17-point margin and favored Mr. Biden on the handling of the pandemic by nine points over Mr. Trump.

In a CNN poll earlier in May, 57 percent of Americans said the federal government was not doing enough to address the limited availability of coronavirus testing.

“When Americans hear Trump talking about testing not being his responsibility, the takeaway is that he’s just passing the buck,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.

While Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that anyone who wants a test can get one, that is not true in many parts of the country. It is true in Tennessee, where Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, has decided that the state will pay for testing. “When in doubt, get a test,” he said on his Facebook page, adding, “Aggressive testing is key to our reopening strategy.”

And while Mr. Trump has emphasized the number of people who have been tested — more than 15 million Americans, as of Monday — experts say the more important metrics are what percentage of the population has been tested, what percentage of tests come back positive and how those tests are deployed.

“Instead of focusing on what we need to do as a country to keep ourselves and our populations and especially our vulnerable people safe, and saying let’s come up with the right testing strategy and make sure we have enough tests to implement it, we’ve just been fighting about the number of tests,” said Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Testing has been a confounding issue for Mr. Trump since the early days of the pandemic, when sloppy laboratory practices at the C.D.C. caused contamination that rendered the nation’s first coronavirus tests ineffective, delaying the rollout. The country never quite caught up.

Countries that had aggressive early testing campaigns — South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Germany, among others — have largely controlled their epidemics. Before the pandemic there were 12 direct flights between Taiwan and Wuhan, China, its epicenter, each week.

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Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s travel ban “led us to believe that we had shut the barn door when there was a flood of virus coming into our country from multiple directions,” said J. Stephen Morrison, who runs a global health program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He added, “We didn’t have a testing system and we didn’t want one.”

Emily Cochrane and Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting from Washington, and Giovanni Russonello from New York.

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Defying Trump, Twitter Doubles Down on Labeling Tweets

OAKLAND, Calif. — Twitter continued to add new fact-checking labels to hundreds of tweets, even as the Trump administration prepared an executive order to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content posted on their platforms.

Twitter’s move escalated the confrontation between the company and President Trump, who has fulminated this week over actions taken by his favorite social media service.

Twitter on Tuesday had appended fact-checking labels for the first time to two of Mr. Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots, refuting their accuracy. In response, Mr. Trump accused Twitter of stifling speech and declared that he would put a stop to the interference.

Since then, White House officials have drafted an executive order that would make it easier for federal regulators to argue that companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter are suppressing free speech when they suspend users or delete posts. The executive order may come as early as Thursday.

But Twitter has doubled down. Late Wednesday, it added fact-checking labels to messages from Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry who had claimed that the coronavirus outbreak may have begun in the United States and been brought to China by the U.S. military.

Twitter also added notices on hundreds of tweets that falsely claimed a photo of a man in a red baseball cap was Derek Chauvin, an officer involved in the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died this week after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by police. The Twitter label alerted viewers that the image was “manipulated media.”

The drama between Twitter and Mr. Trump shows that a backlash against large tech companies, which had receded in the initial phases of the pandemic, is now back in full force. The Justice Department has also recently signaled that it is preparing to bring an antitrust case against Google, perhaps as soon as this summer.

“This proposed executive order seems designed to punish a handful of companies for perceived slights,” said Jon Berroya, chief executive of the Internet Association, a lobbying group representing many of the major tech companies. “It stands to undermine a variety of government efforts to protect public safety and spread critical information online through social media and threatens the vibrancy of a core segment of our economy.”

A Twitter spokeswoman said that the tweets modified on Wednesday contained “potentially misleading content” and that the fact-checking was consistent with the company’s approach this month.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, also said he would not back down from the fact-checking effort. “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information,” he wrote.

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Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

A draft of the executive order targets protections granted to technology services under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law gives tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter broad immunity from liability for content created by their users.

As Mr. Trump and other conservative figures have claimed that social media companies are biased against them, Republican lawmakers have proposed modifications to the statute. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has argued that to maintain Section 230 protections, social media services should be required to submit to a third-party audit to ensure their content moderation systems are politically neutral.

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who wrote the law, said Mr. Trump was threatening Section 230 to “chill speech and bully” the big tech companies into giving the White House more favorable treatment.

“He’s clearly targeting Section 230 because it protects private businesses’ right not to have to play host to his lies,” Mr. Wyden said in a statement. “Efforts to erode Section 230 will only make online content more likely to be false and dangerous.”

The draft of the executive order included new ways that federal agencies could enforce against what it called “selective censoring.” If introduced, it would likely face legal challenges.

Harold Feld, the senior vice president of Public Knowledge, a policy nonprofit, said that the draft executive order appeared designed to limit speech on social media that disagreed with the president. That was “literally the worst case scenario that the authors of the First Amendment were afraid of,” he said.

Twitter’s confrontation with Mr. Trump has also opened new fissures in Silicon Valley. While Mr. Dorsey has doubled down on fact-checking tweets, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has distanced his social network from that effort.

In a taped television interview that ran Thursday morning on Fox News, Mr. Zuckerberg said, “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

His comments were at odds with some of his own company’s actions. In the past, Facebook, too, introduced fact-checking labels, using third-party services to review potentially false information. The approach has been scattershot and uneven, and critics have argued that third-party fact checkers have been unable to keep up with the billions of pieces of content on the social network.

“We’re talking about this as if it’s about fact-checking, but it’s not,” said Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog. “It’s about whether platforms will facilitate fraud that undermines civic engagement.”

Facebook declined to comment.

On Twitter, Mr. Dorsey fired back after Mr. Zuckerberg’s comments became public before they were aired.

“This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth,’” he said of his decision to fact-check tweets. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”

Kate Conger reported from Oakland, Calif., and Mike Isaac from San Francisco.

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Trump Prepares Social Media Executive Order to Limit Protections

Westlake Legal Group merlin_172871268_935d1319-1413-4c5a-a888-d16081482813-facebookJumbo Trump Prepares Social Media Executive Order to Limit Protections United States Politics and Government twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Presidential Election of 2020 News and News Media Executive Orders and Memorandums

The Trump administration is preparing an executive order intended to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for what gets posted on their platforms, two senior administration officials said early Thursday.

Such an order, which officials said was still being drafted and was subject to change, would make it easier for federal regulators to argue that companies like Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter are suppressing free speech when they move to suspend users or delete posts, among other examples.

The move is almost certain to face a court challenge and is the latest salvo by President Trump in his repeated threats to crack down on online platforms. Twitter this week attached fact-checking notices to two of the president’s tweets after he made false claims about voter fraud, and Mr. Trump and his supporters have long accused social media companies of silencing conservative voices.

White House officials said the president would sign the order later Thursday, but they declined to comment on its content. A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment.

Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, online companies have broad immunity from liability for content created by their users.

But the draft of the executive order, which refers to what it calls “selective censoring,” would allow the Commerce Department to try to refocus how broadly Section 230 is applied, and to let the Federal Trade Commission bulk up a tool for reporting online bias.

It would also provide limitations on how federal dollars can be spent to advertise on social media platforms.

Some of the ideas in the executive order date to a “social media summit” held last July at the White House, officials said.

Although the law does not provide social media companies blanket protection — for instance, the companies must still comply with copyright law and remove pirated materials posted by users — it does shield them from some responsibility for their users’ posts.

Along with the First Amendment, Section 230 has helped social media companies flourish. They can set their own lax or strict rules for content on their platforms, and they can moderate as they see fit. Defenders of the law, including technology companies, have argued that any move to repeal or alter it would cripple online discussion.

But as conservatives have claimed that social media companies are biased against them and overmoderate their political views, Republican lawmakers have increasingly pushed to modify the statute.

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri also chimed in this week after Twitter applied its new fact-checking standard to the president. Both lawmakers have been critics of the protections that technology companies enjoy under Section 230, and they renewed their calls to alter it.

The president has long favored Twitter as a means to reach his supporters, posting personal attacks and previewing policy. This week, Mr. Trump repeatedly spread a debunked conspiracy theory about the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and the death of a woman who worked for him in his congressional office years ago. The woman’s widower has pleaded with Mr. Trump to stop.

The president ignored the widower’s request and denounced Twitter, claiming in a tweet that the social media company was trying to tamper with the November presidential election.

On Wednesday, he continued to criticize the company, accusing it of stifling conservative views. “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

A spokesperson for YouTube declined to comment on the executive order. Representatives for Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, appeared to be pre-emptively trying to soften any blowback from the White House. In a taped television interview scheduled for Thursday morning with Fox, he cast aspersions on Twitter’s willingness to fact check Mr. Trump on its platform in real time.

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”

Courts have often ruled in favor of technology companies, upholding their immunity. It is not clear that the executive order would alter judges’ views on the law.

“It’s unclear what to make of this because to a certain extent, you can’t just issue an executive order and overturn on a whim 25 years of judicial precedent about how a law is interpreted,” said Kate Klonick, an assistant law professor at St. John’s University who studies online speech and content moderation.

Ms. Klonick, who said she had seen a draft version of the order, said that it was “likely not going to be upheld by a court.”

Mike Isaac and Dai Wakabayashi contributed reporting.

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