Los Angeles’s Garcetti:
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Saturday that all COVID-19 testing sites in the city would be closed, citing “safety worries” in wake of the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody, KTLA reports.
When asked about his decision to order a city-wide closure of COVID-19 testing locations, as opposed to the curfew which is imposed in certain areas, Garcetti said that he wants to clean the streets and board up stores to prevent further instances of looting. However, in his long-winded response, Garcetti also condemned the burning of police cars.
“Other parts of the city I believe in, and I believe that we can step back from the situation that we see at Fairfax. If we see other ones, have quick responses to make sure we’re not going to stand for the burning of police cars,” Garcetti said at the 49:00 mark in the above video. “We’re not going to stand for people who destroy shop windows. Those very few people who want the fight.”
“Whether you’re a protester, a police officer, or someone watching on TV, none of us should stand for that,” Garcetti continued. “All of us should condemn it, and all of us should support making sure that those people are brought to justice, too. There’s a much bigger call for justice that we need, and that is the one that we should keep our eyes focused on, not lighting up a police car as a way of making a point.”
People interpreted his remarks about the burning of police cars to contribute to his order to close all COVID-19 testing sites in the city. They believe that Garcetti saw the closure as a punitive measure over the recent protests.
Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot:
Thousands of families will now have to look for another way to feed their kids after Chicago Public Schools suspended its meal distribution program “based on the evolving nature of activity across the city,” officials announced late Sunday night.
The district, the nation’s third largest, has given out more than 12.5 million meals since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through a food program that has been widely praised by parents who rely on schools as a primary food source. Of CPS’ 355,000 students, 271,000 come from low-income families and about 17,000 are homeless.
The decision to suspend the program was an abrupt change from a letter sent to parents earlier in the evening by CPS CEO Janice Jackson that said the district would continue to provide free meals for all students.
Shortly before 10:30 p.m., the district posted on its social media accounts that “based on the evolving nature of activity across the city, we are suspending grab-and-go meal sites and all other school and administrative office activities tomorrow.” CPS said staff will work from home and remote learning will continue Monday.
In a letter to families, the district said the decision was made “in recognition of the potential challenges families and staff could face trying to reach school buildings and offices tomorrow.” CPS said it would monitor the situation and give an update on meal distribution Tuesday.
The district noted Monday morning that families who have signed up for home delivery will continue to receive their food. Anyone looking to set up that service can call (773) 553-5437. CPS representatives didn’t immediately answer how many families have used delivery services.
The Chicago Teachers Union criticized the move to cut school-site food pick-up in a late night tweet.
“CPS is already forcing children living in areas of extreme unrest and trauma into remote learning tomorrow. Now it’s cutting off their access to food,” the union wrote.
CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates, reached after the announcement, said only that she was “speechless.”
New York’s Bill de Blasio
Two New York Police Department vehicles plowed into demonstrators rallying against police brutality Saturday as the crowd pushed a barricade against one of them and pelted it with objects.
The incident occurred near Prospect Park in Brooklyn and was captured on at least two videos – one from the street and one from above – that were shared widely on social media. Several people were knocked to the ground, and it was unclear if anyone was hurt.
While some condemned the actions of the officers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the officers saying their safety was threatened by the crowd.
“Look, I’ve seen that video, and I’ve obviously heard about a number of other instances – it’s inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” de Blasio said at a news conference late Saturday.
“It’s clear that a different element has come into play here who are trying to hurt police officers and trying to damage their vehicles, and if a police officer is [in] that situation they have to get out that situation,” he said.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz:
[L]ast night is a mockery of pretending this is about George Floyd’s death, or inequities or historical traumas to our communities of color. Because our communities of color and our indigenous communities were out front fighting hand in hand to save businesses that took generations to build. Infrastructure and nonprofits that have served a struggling community were torn down and burned by people with no regard for what went into that. So let’s be very clear. The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.