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tv   House Subcommittee Briefing on Violence Against Protesters Journalists  CSPAN  July 2, 2020 5:49pm-7:59pm EDT

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the house oversight subcommittee held a briefing on violence against protesters and journalists in the wake of the death of george floyd. speakers included protesters and journalists who were shot by police during demonstrations. this is about two hours, 10 minutes. >> the subcommittee will come to order.
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good morning andnd welcome to te subcommittee as of right and liberties briefing on the first amendment under attack detailing government bans against civil rights protesters and journalists covering them. your written testimony will be submitted as a major contribution to public understanding and discourse moment in time. we thank you want to thank a representative jackie speier who are not in the subcommittee but have joined us today. the eight-minute and 462nd video of his dangling and murder by the officer derek chauvin demanded a pair of the broken central contract in america per this mask movement touched every state barred city small towns and suburbs is up more than two-thirds of american people in public opinion polls galvanize the nation promotingat analysis
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and. police brutality has been an essential -- racial injustice for centuries which is why many of us are proud we have a bipartisan basis that george floyd police at the most comprehensive police reform dilma history of the united states of america. the movement against police has ditself led to serious violatios of the first amendment at the hands of government authorities and involving individual police officers but officials at all levels and c local police chiefs to the attorney general and president of the united states. this is the focus of her breathing today. official violence against first amendment protesters open the channels for political change america but turned the power of the government against the people itself. unjustified unnecessary and disproportionate government
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violence if the people attack on democracy itself that demands the immediate and serious response to the people's representatives in congress. we live in a society where violence -- in many different ways at dentist thousands of americans every year which is why we passed the universal violent background check legislation and we hope the senate will take it up. domestic violence affects or than 1 million women -- people year and we hope the senate will finally take that up too. violence by ideological extremist groups has victimized hundreds of of americans and westerners including nine african-americans person or set the mother manual church in charleston south carolina heather haier who was murdered in 2017 in charlottesville virginia a white supremacist james alex jr. and the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh at the hands of neo-nazi robert
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gregory bowers 23 latino persons killed in a racial massacre the walmart in el paso texas in 201918 by white supremacists patrick -- and so on. in the current wave of protest extremist provocateurs like lulu sought to infiltrate and instigate violence in the rallies held by groups practicing nontraditional violence in the americans of a rights movement. one federal security officer david patrick underwood was killed on may 29 the night of a protest in oakland california. his sister testified in the administrative committee on june june 10 although she had not been apprehended because her testimony certain members tried to point the finger at antifa but the fbi caught the actual culprit and charged two men from boogaloo planning a race for the united states one of whom wrote slogans in blood on the hood of
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his car. ever kind of violence we see in america is gun violence domestic violence white supremacist andom extremist violence but today in this briefing we see her in on the threat of government violence against the american people because of the content and viewpoint of their political speech of their. assembling their demands for resistance. we focus on -- at least by the government onio photojournalist related to police brutality but we should never use hockground -- social or extremist violence to normalize the practice of state violence against the people. as justice brandeis observed our government is the omnipresent future and teaches the whole people by its example. if it government becomes the lawbreaker breeds contempt for the law despite agreement to
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become a law of himself. it invites it energy per before i begin my opening statement i want to take a moment to play a video of some egregious attacks on protesters that have been caught on camera over the last several weeks. please go ahead and play the video. [video playing] [video playing]
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♪ >> get in, get in. a man got shot by rubber bullet. he was bleeding. i was helping him. i was helpind cutting his pants trying to look at the wound.
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[chanting] please keep these images in-line --e in mind as we begin today's briefing i will recognize myself from opening statement. people have been asking me what is the most important part of the constitution about representative government is a separation of powers and judicial review and these days domestic emolument clauses which prevent government officials theoretically from karting the government into self-enrichment
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that the truth is american democracy lives and dies by the first amendment. it is the heart of our constitution. the first amendment contains six rights and amazingly president trump and attorney general barr managed to violate every single right in the first amendment when they assembled a sacred and unidentified paramilitary squad of federal officers unleashed pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets on a crowd of peaceful protests. many of them were mike constituents and attending reporters to get uninvited to the st. johns church episcopal church certainly the most grotesque in the united states waiting waving someone else's bible upside down over his head. this violence in the cartoonist display of banana republic tramples on the right to
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peaceably assemble on the streets and sidewalks without being assaulted and the right to petition your government for grievances without inc. physically attacked by unidentified federal agents. the right to freedom of speech for direct the free press the free exercise of religion without -- coming to occupy your church property and is barring you from access to your own residence and funny the right to establish religion on the bcs to go power which president trump was trying to do in his inartful way looking at our rich responses from the president of -- episcopal church of washington d.c. where this act of narcissistic idolatry. .. s the president trampled the first amendmentac rights which a lot
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of religious citizens do take seriously in lafayette square it's an illustration of the kinds of official abuses of first amendment rights seen in the traditional public forum of streets and sidewalks and parks thehehe last five weeks since mr. floyd's mu batons and more. and citywide curfews as an excuse for intimidation and violence. and the residence were standing on their own front porches who are recording police margins after curfew . in los angeles, police methodically arrested people in a peaceful protest. in washington dc, police, went on to one house and sign three
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wedding outside all night ready to arrest any protesters who tried to go home. there is been just wasteful violence against protesters. we will there unforgettable testimonies today from two different women. one of the citizen protesting and the other was on the scene. both of whom were shot in the eye. in two different protest. in two different states . police hud use own called less than lethale weapons. and they were fired directly at their heads in in the faces and both of these protesters and journalists . 60 people have suffered serious injuries at the hands of police. in at least seven people have lost an eye. the unprovoked brutalities, some of these protesters really know because so many refused to stop exercising the very freedoms that are under attack. the videos captured,
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ex-employees indiscriminately spring terrorists and firing from work bullets. and shoving protesters who are literally rocking with her hands in there. one of the videos, police officers showed a 75 -year-old protester to the ground conflicting ahead would and leaving himes motionless. in some instances, videos should supporteo the police and attempting to excuse the work of misconduct. frees press, has been targeted. the cnn news group was arrested live in here . cameras were pulled out of the hands of reporters. in kentucky, news crews, were brutalized with police shields as they live streamed. the president has encouraged this authority in authoritarian response. millions of peaceful protesters, agitators looters and lowlifes.
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he consistently places blame on protesters and going and so far as to say that 75 -year-old victim, and in production tour pretty yet anotherab revealing statement on the presidential imagination is repeatedly taunted and threatening protesters. and for the officers to get tough with them. and rhetorical kerosene on the fire. and describes them as enemies of the people. any cause any unflattering reports, fake news. the free press and reporters are not the enemies. if they are the people's best friend. those who need to be there on governors, must on themselves, to have the power. and if he were to choosing the government without newspaper or newspaper without a government, i would not hesitate a moment to choose the latter. this president and those officials that follow him, have been at war with the first
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amendment. and wide open, and headed . in public debate, allows the protest, controversy and democratic engagement. destruction of the civil liberties is the road to authoritarianism. the people in history to moved past the breonn george floyd's,e not the enemies of the people. they are the people . in the american democracy, the constitution is the future all the loans to the, not in the government not less not to one person who occupies one public office. this protect the first amendment rights of the people with everything we've got. before i turn this over to mr. jordan, this time, an attack on the press. please plate the video.
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[background sounds]. [background sounds]. >> are you okay or your cameramen. >> i was taking a photo and then this exploded. i realize i got hit in the face with something. it was too much, could not see. i just close my eyes and started talking to the press. >> see walkway. i'm sorry. why might under arrest sir. why might under arrest . >> were going to end up in a place, you don' not want to be here. [background sounds]. >> move out of there as quickly as you can. are you okay.
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>> rubber bullets, rubber bullets. like directly at us. >> why are they doing that. do they not know, can they see thecr camera. [background sounds]. many americans are horrified by the scenes of violence being played out on the streets of the united states . i now recognize mr. jordan. >> i wish we could have been able to use the video that you just referenced. >> your office definitely hasn't and's available to you.
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>> it would be nice to actually see what you're putting out there for folks to see. i think the chairman. look, and the opening coming talked about the first amendment. he talks about the rights being trampled. for the past several months, the governors to the market citizens, you can't go to church you can't open your business, you can't get a gun, get go to your best friend's funeral. we sawra that somehow the mayorf news york city early may, nine protesters to reopen from the coronavirus lockdown. they were down by the city hall. they said my message to the jewish committee, is a symbol. the time for morning has passed. i told the nypd to arrest those
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who gather in large groups. and oh how that changed. he went from not allowing any kind of gathering, not even 20 people are hundred people are thousand people, and is later during the protest, i want to see the light. there is more than a light touch. mr. jordan:ne we had the mayor f los angeles, he ordered, to shut off utilities grade if they opened the business. you try to give somebody a haircut, they will cut off your water. he punished skaters by throwing sand. and he rested people going to the beach. and yes, during the process, a month later, he knelt down while the protesters were shouting defend the police. and as we know, he was not wearing a mask.
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and the mayor of minneapolis. a few months ago said there would be a public but then he said encouraged people to exercise caution when demonstrating and wearing a mask as much as possible. so how things have changed. that is my concern did unequal treatment under the laws. this is supposed to work at weiner country. the 20 general said a few months ago, the constitution is not suspended during a crisis and yet the actions that we have seen from so many of these individuals, democratic mayors and governors, during the coronavirus, prohibiting them from operating with their livelihoods and exercising their first amendment liberties. for charge and firearms and he was going to one's funeral. and when he came to the protest. an entirely different story.
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that is my concern. and let's hear from our witness. interesting democrats without the press statement dates included there witnesses but not the witnesses that we invited. which is highly unusual. we look forward to hearing from the experiences dealing with the terrorist organization and threatened him numerous times. with that mr. chairman a look forward to hearing from others. host: first we have linda was a freelance journalist. f an x we have a freelance journalist from new jersey. next we have timmy go of the radcliffe from harvard. in next latoya, an activist.
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next andy, editor purpose millennial was invited to the minority and last, but not least, the reverend . i would like to note several of our witnesses are coming by counsel today. in the council may intercede. the man answered the question. another is an outstanding litigation and some of the cases that we will be discussing today. and identify yourself before speaking. and without, will turn to ms. toronto. due to her injury she may close her eyes about her head but she will still be able to fully participate answer our questions. we are extremely grateful to you for joining us today for speaking out against your experience. you are now recognize for your five minutes.
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>> mr. chairman and mr. ranking member, today marks the one month anniversary of thehe last time i woke up with site in both of my eyes. tomorrow will be the one month anniversary of the morning i woke up in hospital and doctors informeded me that had been blinded in one eye. in minneapolis, fewer than 48 hours. my name is linda. and i am a journalist freedom erector, tempera photographer and a published author. i've gathered and uncovered civil unrest in america since 2014 in my work on this issue is taken me from chicago to washington dc to the mountain and wildlife refuge to finally to minneapolis. i'm in a bear witness to my own experience. i went to minneapolis because i expected that george floyd's death would an inch arrived on thursday it was out on the street and taking photos until
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4:00 a.m. on friday may 29, i went out about 8:00 p.m. it was the first night with a curfew. in the press had exempted from that so that we can do our jobs. i was wearing my usual) the situations. a t-shirt and a pair of shorts with a lot of pockets. i had a backpack and or my press conventional conspicuous leslie on my lantern around the neck. i was very might reporters notebook. in my recorder. i was also holding my professional grade nikon camera flash. y protesters impelled it immediately that i was working. they asked me more than once it was working with. protesters had no trouble identifying me as a journalist. as i have learned from covering other mass protests, these type of events have a similar patterns no matter where you go. police push protesters back. protesters retreat a few blocks
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and that is certain talk settles and on both sides while everyone waits to see what will happen next. i arrived during one of those. i took pictures of the police line. because it is my job to try to explain to the public what is happening on the street. on may 29th, when i hear from protesters that police were deploying to grass nearby where i was. my goggles and respirator and headed towards the precinct. i would like to share some of the pictures i took that line. they show clearly when i saw. here's one of my photographs showing the police during one of the moments i cried. there holding the line. the photos that i'm going to show now were month last pictures i took with my camera on friday night. i took these in the no man's land between gleason protesters. it is not uncommon for the press
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to be in that space particularly for photographers. so this is the fifth from last photograph i took. it shows officer loading is done on his best. you probably be able to tell from this photograph what rounds were being used by the police. i turn now to the third from the last photograph i took. the police aren't right here and wearing vests the clearly say minneapolis police department. finally, here's last photograph that i took before i was shot. you can see an officer pointing his gun dorothy, camera lens. you can also seek the least one of their officers pointing the gun at me did so this photograph, the group of officers seem to be milling around on that street corner. this is not a particularly dangerous moment for them.
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this was a moment to pause. this group of officers were not part of the race who had been holding the line. what he meant seems like was using his phone. they do not showplace the same concern about my presence. nor do i recall feeling as though i were an enemy or in danger. i felt confident in my position because i was readily identifiable as press. because it was not impeding the police. i recall lining up a photograph and then i recall pain and wetness. i registered, and i realized i got hit in the face of something. my goggles came off and to regress my eyes and realized i was bleeding so i immediately had my eyes shut and immediately started screaming press, i am press. hoping that would present me. protesters came into me by p the arm. and someone said they were taking me to the medic. i followed them blindly and let them manage my eye.
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i did not realize how bad i had been hurt. i did not panic. i thought i might need just a few stitches. someone put me into the van and drove me to the hospital. doctors told me i was going into surgery immediately to try to save my eye. he tweeted a photo of my face and a picture of my backpack which i noticed had been hit with a wraparound exec one of friends and family to know that i had medical here in kissimmee so me and lives during. i told the world would be off-line for a while because it was a bad idea to tweet when you're under sedation. i will get the next and the hospital. i remembered doctors coming to tell me that i lost sight in my left eye. i t remember i wanted was a whiskey and estate like a really hard or a clogging cheeseburger i had extra bananas.
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i, has been and asked him to find minneapolis drive me home. he served in the marine corps. his name a nurse, i joke with him that i have more, injuries than he has. so for the first week, i was allowed to take a shower. let me take you you, trying to wash share gas and dried blood out of your hair in about them without getting water under faces impossible. i can smell the sharp copper and gas and i could not be the stink of me for a week. i do not know what the rest of my life will be like. i don't know if i'll ever be able to cover protests against foresight entry will make this in 2014 too risky. but i will write in and will report and i will try to do a job as competently as i always have. i am angry of course. and i am grieving. and i worry that the united states is becoming more
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dangerous place to be a journalist. i lost and i but not any moral clarity. i was shot in the face for being a reporter. i'm grateful the subcommittee takes up the issue of the first amendment violations black lives matters protests. i will be as responsive as i can without that we have all seen and afraid and pain and fire. thank you for the opportunity to address the subcommittee and i look forward to your question. >> thank you for being with us today and thank you for your brave service as a journalist and to the people of america. mr. martinez, you're now recognized five minutes. >> thank you. good morning. thank you for this opportunity
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to sit beforebe you today. i must have reporter. i have been a journalist for 16 years and have a political focus and immense across several countries for more than a decade. when i was arrested, while covering a protester in jersey, have never been arrested or detained for reporting on political event. i speak up today because the silencing of journalists by law enforcement is fundamental. on the morning, i was assigned to cover the black lives matter test in thene park. that day, i gathered the protective gear to take with me including a safety helmet, eyewear, bracelets that were reflective. as a plan to carry my usual increment. my press pass was from a
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program. i wear these badges around the neck, lanyard. around 7:00 p.m. that evening, i headed over to the protest. for aboutut two and half hours, everything was fine. during that time, i spoke with several police officers who asked me why was there. i explained i was a reporter. and then around 930, there was a sudden shift in the atmosphere. first law enforcement began using their full board to tell people to go home. next the police officer approached me andbe said t he ws past curfew asked me why i was still there. i think tim and with my press badge around the neck and told him that i was a reporter. and i was there to report in the protest. and i said that we were exempt. he said to me and said, see want to taste of the action.
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you'll get a taste of it then. and soon after officers in riot gear arrived. i immediately put on my helmet and protective eyewear. i continued live streaming the events around me. around 10:00 p.m., members of the press and we sew found ourss in months the protesters. there being forcibly pushed out of the area. i stood to the side because of members of the media ignored documenting what was happening. as i, i shared screens. along with other journalists, and me into the direction they came from . tell people that were being pepper sprayed by the police. i was documenting what was happening. i shared on screen. i turned again and the police were pushing to young protesters, and man and the woman. i hear the young woman site they
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were living when suddenly, and man was and kept by several police officers and pushed to the ground. the young woman, white later learned was his sister tried to intervene on his behalf. the police officer grabbed her and threw her toed the ground. and i was g live streaming on my phone as is happened. and then i heard, he is the problem. and from the corner of my eyes, i saw a large police officer lunging towards me. a moment later found myself tackled to the ground. my iphone was still recording as i was not to the ground. there was the last thing on my screen was a police officer, saying you're under arrest. temperature has been a direct pretty no sooner had i get the ground, another officer yelled, face down with the phone. and the phone was locked out of my hand. and my lanyard was around my
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neck the entire time and i've been verbally myself to one of the arresting officers. i was handicapped and handed over to another officer to be loaded onto a van. that officers, badge and asked what it was. i said it was a press badge. i was a reporter. he and the other officers then strip me of my protective eyewear and helmet and backpack. it is still romantic when they loaded me into the van and to the police headquarters. more than five hours later, i was released from jail. and the next morning, learned that the charges against me and with the attorney general, issued an apology. and said in america, we don't arrest reporters for doing the job. he wants to again apologize. my experience on the night of june 1st, continues to haunt me. there's no question in my mind
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that i was arrested because i was reporting well in the events around them even though the first amendment protect my rights to do so. i hope that by speaking out tonight, it helps to ensure that as a public journalists were able to clearly reportst the nes censorship by law enforcement. thank you very much. thank you for that. we are now going to go to the next person who will be introduced by her. >> thank you. [inaudible]. among the millions of assimilated.
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[inaudible]. protests on may 31st in fort lauderdale. following the footsteps. [inaudible]. acts of violence while exercising rights. there was a cloud teargas rated. [inaudible]. i was so honored to welcome to share more about this experience. fighting for justice. i'm so proud. [inaudible]. >> the council has asked that we
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play brief video showing the moment she was shot by the police and in the clip that will follow, viewers can see near the center of the screen at about 19 seconds into the video. i understand that she does not wish to see the video herself being played. she doesn't want to relive the trauma the event . i will let you know what it is safe to open your eyes of the jew may go ahead and talk with testimony. please go ahead and play this video. [background sounds]. >> [background sounds].
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[inaudible]. [background sounds]. [background sounds]. [inaudible]. [background sounds]. >> members of the committee, goodod morning. i worked for a national organization . on a thank the committee for inviting me to share my story today. ndin 1964, told the story of how
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she and 17 other freedom writers and how the police used in were violating the civil rights that she and other citizens had laws. no simply exercising her right to protest. they arrested her and took her to a cell where she was beaten mercilessly. my great aunt was sick and tired of being sick and tired. i never met this woman but a wise felt her fierce nest as i spoke out against racial inequality with policing. i still don't know if i have, have little to no vision in my right eye. the doctors don't know if thatle will change. i was shocked and disgusted by the murder of george floyd. i wanted to do something. i heard about this demonstration and join in. i first attended one in miami on may 3rd. we exercise our first rights
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without incident of violence. because of this experience, i plan to attend another demonstration and the following afternoon. as i walked in fort lauderdale the day, looked around. many people share the common goal. i saw young and old wealthy and pork, black and white sand hispanic and others as you can imagine. one point we show that we were no threat and meant no harm. in other demonstrations, the police actually joined the demonstrators. the police were shooting robert bullets. officer shot me. a peaceful demonstrator and unarmed woman in the head with a rubber bullet. they exercising my first minute rights to speak out against police brutality. after the incident reports were filed, no claim that i did
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anything unlawful or wrong. i'm still waiting for an apology or it anybody from the city of moorpark modular. rather than apology, i received from the city, less than 48 hours ago, they issued another statement in which he attacked which you will hear today. [inaudible]. rather than speak to me, there continued to attack on me. the first moment on may 31st, and continued there is also my first amendment rights says. i would like to say as clearly as i can. every form, i am ready to sit down talk but if you think you're going to silence me with rubber bullets or intimidate me, you're wrong. i was significantly injured by police that day.
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i by no means the only one. a young man who was shot in the face, multiple witnesses claim ghosting to black men shot from behind with rubber bullets as they were running from the teargas rated i appreciate those people though honor and demonstrate the courage and sacrifice and dedication. it takes a special kind of person to be willing to go into danger when others run from it. bad cops can continue to abuse their power. it. [inaudible]. too often there is injustice. and sometimes even after someone is murdered. in the civil rights era of my great-aunt, they fought for implementing the change. progress is often achieved incrementally. the time for incrementally growth, we must entirely provide
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h eatment that millions of black people in this country suffer. i sit here today and with my own journalist, and nicholas told my story. having as countless lives of others who have dedicated themselves to be the eyes and ears of the public. i will black people in america to go to a point where protests are necessary, but it takes, no one should be arrested for exercising their first amendment right. it is truly hard to wash the trauma the video. blacka people, we live in this country far too long without truly being free and without truly being safe. thank you. thank you so much for your eloquent statement rated and like you, i never got to meet her but you are your
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great-aunt's great-niece partied and i daresay, if she were here today are often found here, she would be very proud of your courage and following in her path of creative and brave nine violence to fight for justice. thank you for whatti you're doi. thank you. mr. chairman and members of the committee. i'm at harvard university. and also constitutional law in history at harvard. i'm honored to been asked to offer testimony of great importance. the first amendment to the u.s. constitution protects the rights of people. [inaudible]. the rights to aircr grievances, distinguishes democracies such as ours from oppressive regimes.
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a supreme court justice noted, upholds the infections without arrest. by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state. nevertheless, the long list of american history shows that the times of local conflict. an active economic distress. during the suppression, civil rights movement, the vietnam war, and the recent weeks, film protests following the place killings of george floyd and police officers have ignored the principles and trying in the first amendment. must not hesitate the law enforcement, many individuals who are responsible. and rights and dignity of all community. number w of officers are demandg
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justice for george floyd rated even so, legacy was gone with the action to come, and it must be addressed. as a historian, i will draw examples. in memphis, when the 50 years ago, dr. martin luther king jr. delivered his h final address ad the sanitation workers after enjoying march. birmingham in 1963. it. [inaudible]. among many other incidents, eight to uphold the nation to the principles. he said into part, are we savedo america, if each and be true to easton on paper. other than china or even russia or even totalitarian country, maybe i could understand some of
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these illegal injunctions. maybe i could understand the uldenial of the basic first amendment privileges. because they have committed themselves to that over there. but somewhere i read, the freedom, and the freedom of speech and somewhere i read of the freedom of, the right to protest for rights. the next day course listed is injunction allowing the march to continue. kane, shot down by an assassin, would not be there but we still hear his message today. since the 1960s, there have been changes between law enforcement and communities of color at the same time, we are victims to the right to protesters. earlier backlash to assure
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accountability and equality. [inaudible]. captured on video invite journalists, and testimonies have survived. to be clear, government can regulate in the manner protest. lincoln held curfews and cities. to uphold public safety. governments cannot penalize the peaceful expression even in perhaps with criticism of public officials and policy. and this is true even if in the past led to all involved silence. and following the firstst amendment and under the law, we do not discriminate on the basis in 2020, and also in 1963. it is crucial that the individuals interested with
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enforcing the law, do more than observe the bedrock principle about democracy. thank you. >> thank you very much for that discussion of the fundamental importance of government respect for the first amendment i appreciate that. thank you germa. i'm speaking to you today, i'm putting my life in my own hands. for years i've been the victim of hundreds by extremists. when they would kill me, they spread lights about me being a fascist, neo-nazi, even a terrorist . they come in the middle of the night. it nearly killed me in broad daylight.
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[inaudible]. and also in the mid- dull of downtown portland. i was in the hospital is my brain blood from hemorrhage. this past week, written on a large wall and down town portland, a slogan of aca b. i received more threats than i told was all i was speaking to this committee. the truth is too important to remain silent. i've seen the photos of injuries sustained by my poachers . their absolutely horrific. this must be taken seriously. it is incomplete to focus on injuries perpetuated by law enforcement. about examining the violence extremist to instigate and carry
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out with other peaceful demonstrations. from coast-to-coast, american studies have been filled with riots. and now claiming dozens of lives, injuring hundreds and countless millions. over placing did not cause this credit violence extremist and criminal estate. in oregon writing most of my reporting, on protest have continued for more than 30 days. i can many cities on enforcement is demonized by the public. elected officials. i reported earlier this year for newsweek on the mainstreaming in portland, has created a culture of policing and intolerance of criminal behavior. on the evening of the 29th of may, 2020, violence rising spread to portland. after rioters stormed in the ground floor of the justice center, which houses the police
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and the sheriffs. they found that rage to downtown businesses. many were looking to carry out stuff. they were also blocking and kicking the leadership role in smashing windows and breaking in so that looters could go in. they destroyed countless businesses. you can hear the distance violence and of the police and no one would show up. police in portland are now sustaining serious injuries from rocks, concrete chunks, ied's and more. and the extremist use unintentionally designed. for example, they look like partially filled with paint and use the blind police. umbrellas with discrete pocketknives in them.
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[inaudible]. some of them look like plastic water bottles partially frozen solid. handheld lasers are shined in officers lives and someone else would slingshot in his face. [inaudible]. in new york nearly 400 officers and julie. , 150 local and federal officers were injured in washington dc. policeto were shot and killed. i see it with my own eyes. these peaceful protest to carry out violence against property and law enforcement. when i was undercover, and seattle, was inhabited, i received manuals and booklets providing instructions on how to use protesters as human shields as cover. their organizing committing extremists. they look to destabilize the
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country. they are trained to use communication to hide the trail encrypted. injured or arrested and even intervals. and is mostly, into the black wolf. the first amendment paramount. the street protest must be constrained by the rules operated on enforcement are probably one of the most important roles in keeping demonstrations safe. you've seen how this can work. and then protesting offended last month, was recorded in a violent video pretty camera off the street, peaceful protesters menaces distance arrest and handing them over to law enforcement. he's been charged. george floyd project deserves justice but that of countless americans and others victimized erby extremists to use us as hun shields. thank you.
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and our referenda, you're recognized for your five minutes. fi chairman reston, rankingin member jordan and members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to contribute to today's briefing. i serve as st. john's episcopal church in georgetown before assuming my current role six years ago, a previously served on the clergy staff of st. john's lafayette square. it was my ministry that brought me to lafayette square. in the afternoon of june 1st. the day before during my sermon, i looked directly into the camera my laptop because that house how i was speaking a date. and he called the church, the church as a whole to account for the lack of courage and leadership in dismantling systemic racism. and when christians celebrate the gift of the holy spirit and
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i that literally for centuries, the church has squandered this mighty gift. does not have the courage to stand up and cast out that evil of systemic and institutional racism. her civic body in the name of love. racial justice, in scripture is his rooted, is now critical ministry of the episcopal church. and it was that ministry at the invitation of my mission. my colleagues, lafayette square. the money i was there on behalf of the church to provide comfort and support to the peaceful protesters and a standard in solidarity with them and the cause of racial justice. i was there in support of people who were testing the governments use and brutality against
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innocent people and with my own eyes, i saw the government use brutality and violence against peaceful people. to be clear that day was marked by peaceful protests. in a group of clergy was based on what i call the patio of st. john's of its work. a largeas outdoor area on the corner of agent 16th street. regularly used by the church or gatherings in the ministry. passing out waters, snacks, and sanitizers, mass and try to ensure the patio area was a pleasant respite and peace the people when they gathered. this struck me for the patio house to become a deeply spiritual place that night. i called it the holy ground. while you may not think that episcopalians do this, we work literally nine hands on people and praying withh them.
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we also have been spiritual comfort and support. we put that in the shade and on the steps as a place of peace and respect. i would venture into the crowds, right around that corner offering water and snacks. you can do the people with megaphones inside of the courts leading the crowd in protest. no justice, no peace, no place. for hours that afternoon, i was absolutely peaceful. and then sometime after 615, things changed in an instant. suddenly i saw protesters running from lafayette park. i saw trails of smoke and billowing clouds of smoke billowing through the crowds. people began to run. from 16th street and violent to the patios. some of them crying and asking for help. asking for paper towels or water
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because their eyes were streaming with tears in her eyes were stinging. the first flash grenade went out sounding like gunfire. and i saw people dropping to the ground in fear that it was gunfire.nd but into my watch later because i could not understand what had happened to trigger this sudden change in the behavior of the police. it was 6:36 p.m. will be fo for the 7:00 o'clock curfew. i was on the patio at st. john's lafayette square and right across the street from lafayette park, i haven't heard anyone or any message from the police. but the first thing that i heard was a scream people running. people were runninghe and cryin. and they were dropping to the ground in terror. it is dehumanizing. as the protesters ran from the park, i called out, water. i wash.
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an attempt to assist the fleeing protesters. command knelt in front of me. he was terrified. his eyes looked swollen and red. i began to rinse his eyes. i heard someone help rubber bullets and i looked up from watching man's eyes, to see a man in front of me holding his stomach and bent over. he moved his arms i saw marks on his shirt and then i looked over his shoulder i could not believe my eyes. and while the police. in full right near was physically pushing people off of the st. john's patio. maybe 15 feet away from me. the scene was shocking. in the terrified faces of the protesters continued to haunt s me. they were peacefully protesting in the government's violence
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against him. that alone let me badlyth shake. when i later found out, the president had just minutes later stood in front of the church and of the bible, i was outraged. it might clergy and i were there in the name of those same scriptures. while we are praying with people and they were attacked by the police. all of the same scriptures after using rubber bullets and police and violent and right here. ea was horrifying. i say this not to make a political point menacing eye witness would've been equally devastated regardless of who was in the white house. police in full riot gear not
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wearing any identifying informationar blocked us from getting to a prayer vigil at the church. not permitted together in a church to pray. this like the events of june 1st, is everything hold dear in this country. hypothetical to my faith both individual and as a clergy person and should be ported to all people of faith. i'm here today tos offer my accounts of these m events. in demanding racial justice. to ensure that what happened in lafayette square that evening will never happen again. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much for your eloquent testimony.
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>> thank you so much. absolutely critical that we use our authority to buy reform to shine a spotlight on these abuses of power. just were simply expressing their first amendment rights. that's exactly what they were doing in fort lauderdale. our nursing the accounts onto b. on after all of this happened, this rally in protest, as i understand i have to tell you is astonishing to me. in our community that we can have this police overreaction. and i understand the protests,
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police teargas the protesters and then fired a salt bullets. if you care any warnings before the teargas or rubber bullets were fired. i also want to understand what this is been free to show up to the protests pretty can you describe what some of your life has been. were talking about people standing up for their first amendment rights. they should not have to be gravely injured for this. >> at no point prior, there was no nothing verbal. no mornings. even after teargas, or shot by rubber bullets. there is no acknowledgment from
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the officers to even come over and help as well. since that day, i couldn't choose, which is kind of surviving and beyond that, my i had issues, extreme a bite sensitivity. i'm still not able to look at the computer. often continuously look away. this is my daily routine to work on the computer and write. i'm no longer able to do that. a lot of the protest to simply exercise my first amendment rights.
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one to achieve afterwards, connecting with community organizations and being able to help them with funding. and things that they are looking to create or generate momentum in regards to these issues. if i have to put that on the back were for now. >> thank you very much. while counts, and first-hand account. as a violence was unfolding in vile accounts, this was a peaceful protest. the police overreacted towards the end of the protests. what message your belief, hopefully shoot it but peaceful protester, a peaceful protester
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who was on their knees. what message does it send to people want to stand up for with the policeman in protest. thank you for mentioning what it took from peaceful to chaos. as we seen other videos, there was a lament kneeling. that was a pivotal moment that took him from peaceful in that community valley, people coming together simply to exercise their first amendment rights, and then there was a change. seeing a video nationally recognizing that that wasas the moment and took the ground as people people. never sadly, it was the officers
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were granted the violence and knowing that even after the situation and come down from the officers they were still shooting rubber bullets. even though they are enlisted, with the police department, are supposed to protect and serve. and protect the lives of the community. at that point, i don't know that was effective anymore. don't know if i feel comfortable because i have not received an acknowledgment of the trauma. the physical and emotional, that i endured. so as a citizen, was peaceful,
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simply wanted to be part of a change in seeing the account that i was met with. it comes off as they didn't want us to express our opinion or that they care. ... ... with the united states of america that should happen is people have their first amendment rights knocked out by those. thankte you so much for your involvement. >> thank you very much going to recognize myself or my five minutes. let me pick p up on that you said it was the officers who created the violence. you did not see any rioting
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or. [inaudible] note mr. chairman i'd been at the demonstration for over three hours. i spoke to several individuals who attended the rally. at no point during those three hours did anyone become violence. did anyone express the need to become violent. as i see from the video and just the timing of the video of the girl being shoved by the police officer that is the only thing i can recognize that shifted from the peaceful momentum of the event to the chaos. >> want i've a question you serve on the police reform board in order to try to help police build stronger community relationships is that right? >> i was on the police advisor committee for a few months ago about a month and half prior
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to this. it was six or seven months of applying and is finally able to be on the board. >> so why? why did you want to do that? why do joint to serve in that way? >> because even after you look at the issues that black community and for some police brutality, i think there's always the place for people to manage i think as we continue to look at the reform i think one of the things we do is rebuilding the relationship withoo these officers and specifically with the black community. being able to be an active agent in that change in being someone who could offer advice on the initiative to rebuild the relationship they are important to me because the officers that are patrolling the communities still know the
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officers the officers know the citizens and they know the people and they know we don't mean harm. my hope is that would reduce the incidence. >> thank you very much. reverend, first of all as a representative for a lot of geaught up ine that para- military riots that was staged by attorney general barb president trump and lafayette square. i want to thank you to try to shield people from the violence of the rubber bullets and so on. i wondering if you could relive for us also your shock at being displaced from your own church property, also from the next day when you're not allowed to enter your own church breaded would wonder if you would comment on some of the police tactics you experience in terms of the
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pandemic everyone is told them to wear masks in public and remain social distance. so what does the pepper spray and these rubber bulls do in the middle of a pandemic? >> let's clarify that the church i in the head pastor ofnt is a different st. john's within georgetown. i had served on the clergy staff they were not able to get into their church until the day after. >> the whole prayer vigil of the clergy in your bishop at lafayettee square and we were not able to getting there. >> my experience of the protest was everyone was wearing a mask.
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as every was coming to us asking for hand sanitizer. we had public health officials at the risk of spreading covid is lesser outdoors. in the whole experience of being outdoors or everyone is moving around and people are mostly keeping a distance from each other. i felt no concern at all for covid. >> my concern later became when the people whose eyes i was washing out and i'm thinking of the first man's eyes i was washing out he was coughing and coughing and he pulled his mask down because he was coughing. i had to lean in close to be able to clear out hi eyes. and although i kept my own mask on, i realized several days later that was the first of what turned out to be
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several very close intimate encounters i had with people who had to pull their masks down so i could effectively douse their eyes and who were coughing. i was also coughing and i didn't mention earlier i had also gotten tear gassed and unlike linda, i was able to wear the tears out of my eyes that night. >> my time is up we let her go first a minute : a ranking member we go to the republican side so you are recognized. >> good to know mr. turn why the democrats ignore you? the chairman of the committee put your name on notice that went out about this hearing. why do you think they're trying to ignore you? >> i don't know if it's intentional i try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
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my message -- i've written for major publications about violence. my family is based in portland, oregon which is the epicenter. we had 30 straight days of violent rioting in downtown. lasts week they barricaded the north precinct and set it on fire and police were inside. this is the reality of what i'm seeing. >> last week on the house floor the chairman of the judiciary committee said. [inaudible] is it real? so yes it's real. i had hoped it was just out of ignorance and not out of political expediency. i'm holding out for you and affidavit from the gnomon county district attorney is involved i will read you from it.
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>> they started the fire using. [inaudible] they reported to be extremely excited about being labeled a terrorist and was very animated about her -- like this individual has been charged with a felony for austin and other crimes. the ga's office and the three people arrested are known members of the group which the self identified communist socialist group. the property to property and merchandise is validated over $20000 is not a conspiracy theory unit six come together as americans to count a drink counter these extremist harrisburg.
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>> let me tell you how sophisticated the m organizing we've had two arrested individuals the woman on the left do not she's accused of? the police said she was in charge of multiple felonies they say that on the second of june she was part of a unit she was driving around and writing downtown and resupplyingg her comrades with weapons and more supplies when police attempted to question and detainer she sped off the only way they could stop her was to use a strip of spikes. she injured an officer in the process of being arrested. the man on the right, he was driving a car with allegedly driving a car with a fake license plate from north carolina.
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when police pulled them over from suspicious behavior they found weapons filled with a cache of weapons. >> why did the police intervene last year, we've all seen the video or at least i've seen a video of you being attacked you're exercising your first amendment liberties as part of freedom of the press. why didn't thehy police intervene when they are right there seeing what's going on seeing you being attacked? >> is a few years ahead of what the rest of america has been experiencing ever since donald trump's election and november in 2016 it is been consistent routine violent rioting and involving antifa, people on the writes, clashes, the police have been dehumanized over and over for responding. >> are they accepted by the mayor and the city council to not to intervene in these
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situations? so i do not have the evidence of that but the mayor is the police commissioner and he has made it pretty clear. through my own reporting i found out this culture of police hatred was created an environment where the police are tolerating mob violence. we are seeing some data coming out now and the last month showing the increase of violence all across america as police are retreating. [inaudible] >> were about out of time so let me ask one more question, it's about this double standard. as you know the city council in minneapolis voted unanimously to disband the police department in minneapolis. we find out today, according to the news report members of the city council voted to eliminate the local police by being protected by private security detail. not just being protected by
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private security detail they are using taxpayer dollars to pay for that protection. give me your thoughts on this obvious double standard. >> public elected officials need to be protected, from those who seek to harm them. do you know who else deserves to also be protected by law enforcement? regular civilians and regular citizens. like michael panels and people like myself. >> thank you we will now go to representative crosley for her five minutes. >> thank you chairman for bringing us together for this important conversation pretty want to thank our brief first joining us and the survivors of violence for lifting their traumatic experiences. point to especially thank jean brown megan for joining us the congressional district thank you for sharing youren compelling testimony and
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historically contextualizing. a few weeks ago i sat proudly against my fellow bostonians at a demonstration in franklin park. it was a beautiful sight to bear witness to. multiracial multigenerational coalition peacefully protesting demonstrating gaining and speaking out in one voice against systemic inequity structural racism police brutality which has robbed us of black and brown lives. these demonstrations is a continuation of the long time in organizing many black and brown freedom writers and freedom fighters before them hthey had to fight to gain equal rights for centuries. while the chance may have changed the violent tactics used by these protesters is eerily similar as those used in other chapters. dog chapters in our nations history.
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1965 television viewers around the country watch state andtc local police use billy clubs and tear gas to attack hundreds of civil rights protesters including our esteemed colleagu colleague, congressman john lewis they marched across the bridge in selma alabama. >> ima like to count this moment our nations history, how many of the protests following the death of george floyd did the civil rights tradition in our country? >> thank you, i would say that so many of these protests are reminiscent of the peaceful protest thatro were vital to the change in the law and change of society that our country is so appreciative of today. the marchers in roxbury, the
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boston commons, throughout the country really participating and honorable so critically important tradition of citizens demanding more from accountability, citizens seeking change in a peaceful way. we ought to be happy in this country that citizens are choosing this honorable pathway to pursue reform. it is their right, we ought to lift them up for engaging in that manner. >> thank you ranking member jordan earlier we were talking about equal protection under the law and his experience with violation of the first amendment in the wake of a pandemic. the ironic things the recent there is unrest in the streets is because black americans have never had equal
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protection under the law that's why they're in the streets of the defense of a being met with more of a police state which is the very reason there is an uprisin uprising. the protesters the been on the frontlines today, would have been diane megan, doctor king of the early days of the civil rights movement we have seen the violent footage of law enforcement officers in philadelphia using tearhe gas on individuals trapped on an embankment, police shooting rubber bullets leaving damage and trauma. how did these historical images compared to the images we see throughout history? >> thank you for that question. as a empathize in my testimony, the images are in some instances eerily similar to the tactics people in selma and other figures whose points
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of view and tactics, with that we had left behind. in this era of american history. that ist inconsistent with the values of equal protection under the law. one of the things that is somewhat curious is that what one sees in history from the violent clash against police and protesters justice in the moment. i think that is what we'veve seen here on america see the injustice that others have lived with for so many years and have been talking about. they see the images that illustrates these problems millions are people who
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support the principles of the constitution. who support o equal justice has joint the perspective. so the police violence is counterproductive. >> went to thank you and spend save my time one difference between selma and lafayette square is the reaction of the person in the oval office in 1965 following works of civil rights organizers and demonstrators president johnston but for the passage of the voting rights act braided meanwhile the white house on the other hand to dominate the streets to promote protection of property over human life. just last week had executive order to withhold federal funds with vandalism and damage of confederal statues. ten years or militarized
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officers had zero consequences for exciting violence and reckless brutality it protests people spoke up justice president johnson state donald trump using forces. >> thank you the gentlest time has expired. going to come now to mr. keller might recognize him just when asked my staff to check on him in the ranking members correct there was a mixup on the press release which i knew nothing about he is indeed on the website and we thank you for your participation today i now recognize mr. keller for his five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman one implied we are having this'm meeting today i'm somewhat disappointed were following the hearing structure the house passed going to continue
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with these briefings what was the point of setting guidelines for hearing? in addition it should be conducted in washington more and more workers are showing up with jobs across the country with proven that congress can meet on the floor why can't we show up and work like so many other americans. in any case i think it is important discussion that we are having the right to peacefully protest is one of the things that makes this country so great i'm want to work with this committee for constitutional rights peaceful protest to be safe from harm but it is important to note that many of the protests we have seen lately have been anything but peaceful. there have been radical and arcus groups who have brought rioting, tearing them public statues, and the looting of
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private property. in the very businesses that we protect and work hard to protect in many cases those are being harmed. i'm not sure what other choice an officer has to continue to do their job in seattle he seen anti- police zones the radical leftis their vision of the future is mobs and not jobs. the attorney general bar stated that some of the rioting and violence evincing lightly was because of extremist groups hijacked some of these protests. can you speak to some of the instances shed some light on what's been happening within the groups inciting violence? >> i would like to bring your
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attention from this that i received from an thomas zone in seattle and i was there. there's a lot of radical anarchist there being disseminated like candy. this one in particular provides instruction on how to use crowds if the police have barricades the crowds be between us and the cause for the very specific instruction and training going around about using, exploiting large numbers of people as human shields and that's what we saw happening every day when they block the police district and
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starting it on fire people they were shouting going on and there is a lot of miss information and propaganda going on out there we saw on my view. many media crews on the ground in the situation because it's so dangerous. it's important to recognize that yes the majority of people taking to the street across the country are peaceful. but it only takes a very small amount of people to turn a demonstration into a riot and cause millions and millions of dollars in damages destroying livelihoods and causing the deaths of people. let's not forget that. >> if i understand you'ree saying is these instructions to beio put up by these groups like antifa, when they
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hijacked this crowd they kind of drowned out the message. there's harming down to people that should not be happening near cased by the groups and in other cases. >> i think police are in an impossible situation. in portland for example they retreated. you know what happens with the rioting mobs of people have full control of downtown looted them all started fires all over to the sign for the police to respond today is teargas and others to disperse violent rioters. that would explain police brutality and restricted some of their tools to effectively control the crowds. the same thing is happening in seattle at the same juncture there. i don't know what politicians
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want police to do. you want them to protect life and property? or do you want to give rioters the ability to destroy and kill as they have done? >> the gentleman's time is expired i now recognize. [inaudible] for her five minutes of questions. >> thank you so much and thank you for allowing me to it join you can you hearn. me? select yes he got you. >> i am a reporter, i am a reporter. i am a reporter. i am a reporter. i am a reporter. six time samantha reported that frazier she was arrested while covering philadelphia protest last week in response to police violence. you know, the ability to
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receive power is foundational and critical peace of our american democracy. it's a value that predates the constitution. it can be traced back to the trial in new york of john in 1735. newspaper articles the english governor that time right to the free press was f established the quintessential philadelphia lawyer, not to be confused with alexander hamilton but since that time our country, our countrymen and women enter constitution have recognized the importance of free press to expose corruption and seek truth the
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pastst few weeks we have seen an unprecedented number of arrests and attacks on journalists. there's even a website that chronicles it this used to be something we looked atr. other countries and shock and horror. attacks upon the press, salts upon the press. but we have seed growing number of attacks and arrests over the past three years. i want to thank you for bringing this together right now. i do want to mention that i have joined chairman adam shift but condemned the recent violence and arrests against reporters on the front lines and covering protests and to
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reaffirm congresses commitment to protecting the free press which is how we all get information so we know what is going on in our country. to help my colleagues on this committee will join us in this important resolution. i did want to talk to her to reporters here. mr. martinez, you said something that really resonated about the silencing of journalists by law a enforcement. that is the fundamental threat to our democracy. can you expand upon that? >> sure. many of you, it's the first amendment in our constitution. it's not just journalists go out and document and report what happens around them that is a great power and liberty we have it's alarming to see
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that actorstr are out there trying to silence what we do as journalists and also what we do by documenting other problems that are happening that for us and jim read and tracker that we noted does not appear there are over 141 incidents that have been recorded just since the start of this year. most of them occurring in there past month. so we know there is underreporting. who knew that she still with us but if she is talk about
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the fact the u.s. is becoming more dangerous to be journals can you expand upon that? stomach thank you congresswoman i've been covering unrest since 2019. and no time did i feel i would be shot in the face of the court of doing my job. there's incidents of violence against the press and attacks against us but i'd seen in previous years that worries me as a journalist. so thank you. i was involved in an took plex back into a 16 so your time is about to expire please get your questions. i do have strong concern about the escalation of violence
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fundamental threat so we will do one second round of questions i will recognize myself first for five minutes. there has been reporting about the extremist elements the non- violent movement and the protesters for the purpose of inciting a race war. i know there are several members have been arrested for ku klux klan other white supremacist groups are there there's no sign of antifa so
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far. no one associated with antifa's been a charged. my question is when do these extremists get into a crowd on they start throwing a bottle, kill the police or whatever, how does that change the dynamics of the protest? i read about some cases where the protestat try to isolate than what should the police response be if you've got a boogaloo guy who shows up with a gun or tries to exploit the situation? >> thank you for that
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question. i would say we ought to be able to distinguish between peaceful protesters and those who come in to exploit it. they tried to overtake it in ways that undermine the demonstration. police officers within their rights obviously the point i have made is the presence of those elements, those vital elements could not overdo the rights of peaceful demonstrating. >> what a great point in a way and has the police officer that ordered officer floyd we do not blame all officers are what that officer did. he is on being prosecuted for second-degree murder. he is the one that did that
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and we don't believe in collective guilt and mask punishment under our system of due process. at got one boogaloo guy who shows up and throws a bottle you don't start shooting journalists and other people because of that. i very much appreciate that point. speaking of which, mr. martinez you've been a journalist for a long time. you do you do anything to provoke violence to provoke arrests by the police? what was that you were doing when you're apprehended and arrested? >> determine thank you for the question. what i was doing i was following police orders they were ordering us to leave the area so i was leaving i start hearing screams from behind me on turn to record was
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happening. i always follow police orders. >> and ms. ratcliff limit come back to you. you had some time to reflect on your great aunt's career as a civil rights hero. she was one of the people who try to desegregate the democratic national convention or might colleagues would say the democratic convention in atlantic city in 1954. we are not ashamed of the civil rights movement became the demographic party we are proud for with the party that transformed itself and left white supremacy and violent racism behind. but i wonder what your reflections are about what your aunt with through and what you are going through today? >> thank you, mr. chairman for the question.
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i think it is a testimony of the resilience of the black community that continues many frontline of these issues. i think caring about facilities on the past two weeks and even learning more i think it's important to focus on how powerful and amazing she was. when she was arrested same issues that are beyond me. that's the same thing about were doing although we've encountered brutality and we have encountered opposition to what we are doing, it's not going to stop us. this is not something is going to prevent us from keeping our voices and changes take place in this country.
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>> thank you very much. episode five of eyes on the prize has a wonderful showing of what took place in 1964 for nuance interested in her great aunt and be happy to recognize the ranking member. there? >> mr. gordon are there? >> yes i am here. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. an opening statement you said they've violated first amendmen amendment. have some governors violated those liberties as well during this lockdown?
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>> i'm not quite sure what you mean. i did hear you talk about the lockdown orders and the way in which there has been treatment against the protesters but the people protesting my sense has been we've had restraint in the context of the lockdown protest and the governor my understanding is that's against the orders of some governors. >> let me ask you this. a month and a half ago, or two months ago we had an issue of memorandum to u.s. attorneys looking at violations of peoples rights and others. is it in that is not suspended in times of crisis do you
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believe that statement? so of course we need to be able take care of our t citizens during a pandemic have their constitutional right. >> through the governor says youar can't mean groups of larger than 1016 people met in a sanctuary that you would comment to her 25 people is deeply that's a violation of the american citizens first amendmentam rights? >> certainly those individuals are able to takeho that case to court if they want to make that. governments of course have powers that are designed to further public safety. i believe that was motivation behind that order. >> what about the same governor, governor northth and big press speaking in a much smaller room there 21 people in the room. is there some concern there we have a governor saying you can't exercise your liberty rights even though 16 people
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in a sanctuary that accommodates two and 25 people yet you did a press conference in a much smaller room at 20 people, is that concern you? lectures and instruct students on first amendment and their fundamental liberties? >> writes, i don't know very much about the facts you discuss who those people are, where they journalist, where the officers of the law? were they following the mandates? >> i know it louisville kentuckyvi the governor said the same thing you can't have church be good have a driving church and he was actually siding people at the dryvit in the car not going into the sanctuary. we never heard where the press was only the parishioners coming for a drive in service were cited some first moment liberties ought to be exercised with others words.
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this is what the governor of new jersey said when asked about all of this whether his lockdown order purported with the constitution he said i was not thinking of the bill of rights and we did this. is that concern you when you got a governor of a major statee things not focus on the bill of rights when issues locked hours? >> i would like to think the bill of rights is always present in our minds and as i said people are entitled to challenge the order. >> they arey challenging the mayor on his second amendment and gun stores being open their challenging governor newsom on the lockdown people not being able to go to church there definitely doing that american certainly understand are you concerned about the double standard? the idea that mayor can walk out without a mask in los angeles and walk out while the protesters are chanting deep on the police, kneel down
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without a master of all types of people but he can't stand at the state parks are you about the double standard ucf there? i'm not sure i'm seeing the same double standards you are articulatingrt i have of their places other people are wearing masks we are trying to reconcile. >> governor northam took a selfie at a protest when he would let 16 people go to church that holds i'm asking if it's a double standard to help with independent liberties or is it helpful? so i believe the governor apologize for not wearing a mask. >> he apologized but he still kept it on everyone else this is what's driving so many americans crazy is the double standard they see out there. mr. chairman or semi time is up. >> thank you mr. jordan for
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your question and ms. presley you are up again for five >> thank you very much mr. chairman picking up on my last line again in your earlier days of the civil rights movement people spoke up andov demanded justice johnson used forces to protect black americans today, donald trump and the surprises no one is using forces to attack black americans. as any other president of the united states responded to peaceful protesters in this way? >> i would say not to my knowledge. it is important to appreciate that president kennedy and president johnson and others understood the power of people and as you mentioned, the
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protests at birmingham and selma gave rise to the legislation that is made a substantially freer in this country today in terms of race. >> how does this response from the anti- lockdown demonstrations we have seen in dozens of states across the nation to protest life saving protective measures against the coronavirus? i would say that in the context of a lockdown protest people have been incredibly restrained not notice any violence times are bullets or teargas bike contrast of the protests on george floyd we have seen a lot of that.
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so there is been a remarkable difference in terms of the response. >> thank you jane. i would just say that the giant megan's, the doctor kings, feel the movement i'm quite certain they are vilified and mischaracterized those who thank you and i yield back. so thank you very much if you are still althea five more minutes. >> thank you so much. this is a favorite issue for me so i appreciate the opportunity to participate.
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just want to go back to you for a minute. can you speak as a constitutional scholar for a little bit the importance of the exercise of free press and our country and what that means is a pillar of our democracy? >> thank you for that question. the respect for the press the bundle of rights are protected under the first amendment it is absolutely vital to a free society members of the press are in a position to tell us to report on facts on the ground to expose government wrongdoingdo and therefore it is so important for us to respect the role of the press in the society. rnd in the american people.e.
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>> i want to return you for a minutes. you described in rather harrowing details what happened to you. let me just get into some of the details. how would police on the scene know you or anyone else on the scene as a journalist? >> i was wearing my credentials in a lanyard around myav neck. i had a professional big camera. i was also not right in with the protesters i was between the protesters and police clearly taking pictures. >> you have covered other protest of protest before including in ferguson after michael brown was killed, correct? >> and that was 2015? >> 2014. okay. can you kind of compare your experience in ferguson to what rhappened there? >> compare as to what? >> just in terms of
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interactions with the police. i assume you were not shot at in ferguson. >> yes i was in ferguson certainly unfortunately i was in minneapolis on thursday i and friday and i wasn't bedded in ferguson for quite a long time heard what i can say is it is very common and it was common and ferguson to speak to the police and identify your press ice carried on that same process in minneapolis to the extent i could. but overall, i would say that even in ferguson in the midst of thathe situation, i had no expectation that i wouldua be sho shot. >> what about the bundy
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standoff in 2014 were armed ranchers who happen to not be black had federal lands can you describe how the police responded to that incident in response to the black lives matter protest? >> sure. and to clarify that was in january of 2016. the main difference is that was a very tiny rural area versus an urban situation. that will change a lot of it. we rarely saw a federal or local police presence down on the refuge itself with the exception of occasionally the sheriff would come in there be a bit of a summit at the top of that hill. largely the fbi could confine itself to being in town and surrounding areas so that had been my experience out in oregon.on >> that was the situation
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where cattle ranchers actually occupied and took overe a federal insulation for some time heard. >> with the help of supplemental malicious yes. >> looking back, how have your experience of a freelance journalist than a journalist who worked for larger network? >> largely that's the question of workplace protection so for example i haven't editorial staff loyalist for legal fees, i would have presumably some insurance or worker's comp. since i'm self-employed and i wake work for various outlets, since this has happened to me i am responsible for all of the bills, any legal claims they might have where i could get arrested i would be responsible for bailing myself out as we saw in ferguson when
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they were arrested their companies came into bail them out so freelancers really have to look out for themselves on an area that's different than staff positions woodberry. >> my time is expired thank you for your journalism and photography skills and for being here todayto part. >> before we close i'm going to ask for any clothing thoughts. are there any brief he would like to take a minute to close enough that encapsulates it for you if there's anything else you wanted to say? >> i think the committee for taking the time for this issue. i really hope all of this collected witness to have any closing thoughts first?
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>> thank you for being a part of this at all since under the first right of the american people and journalist. >> thank you, would you leave us with the party thought? i like to thank those on the committee my co- panelist. i hope those get the justice they deserve. >> thank you, thank you for having me thank you for holding this very important briefing. thank you for being an inspiration. she continued to advocate for a first amendment rights. >> i appreciate that, mr. martinez? >> thank you.
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think of to the subcommittee for hosting me today, i would just love to remind everybody that the issue on the first amendment every thing we've seen today everybody is under the law that should be respected. >> thank you very much and finally reverend,. >> thank you. my faith calls made to respect the dignity of everype human being and part of that is to my faith is peaceful protesters with violent criminals. violence is never the answer. i witness the government's use of violence against peaceful people which violates the tenants of my faith in the faith of most peaceful people. and i ached for that. and i yearn for racial justice
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in this country. >> thank you for your witness and testimony. the closing thought i will recognize the ranking member. >> are you still there? okay let me just close i first of all, reverent your my constituents i'm especially proud of the role you've played in this. i'm really proud of every single person here for standing up for the first amendment, for the constitution and the freedoms that are the lifeblood of our democracy. i find it terribly searing that there are two people who appeared withi us today who were injured and i am very sorry of lost vision one of your eyes. this is the year 2020 and you
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still very much have perfect vision in terms understanding what's going on in america and fewer still still on the front lines of journalism. our thoughts and hopes are with you we hope you make a complete recovery from the injuries you suffered and for everyone here who suffered with different kinds of wounds and injuries at the hands of government violence or other types of violence our thoughts are with you. we are in the throes of a broken circle contract broken for centuries because of supremacy in the dred scott decision african-american as no rights in the constitution why men compactly tried to overthrow that understanding of the civil war with the reconstruction amendment and
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it lasted for 12 years with meaningful strong interracial progress in democracy before was undone again the ku klux klan and the night writers in the literacy tests the grandfather clauses and so on. that would almost be another century before the modern civil rights movement brought the second reconstruction through the non- violent sacrifice and everybody put their lives on the line to build the dream of america is a place of justice, equal rights and opportunity for all. we have slid back towards the baseline of violent white supremacy and far too many ways. that black lives matter had the wonderful young people have been out of the barricades in large cities and small towns across america gives hope for a newen lease on life and re- formation of our
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social contracts so meaningfully inclusive of everyone so we can fight for democracy and freedom and civil liberties for f everybody. i want to thank again all those for participating you done your country a great service today. i want to thank all of the members who participated as well. with that, the meeting is adjourned. >> ♪ ♪ c spence washington journal every day were taking your calls live on air on the news of the day and discussing policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, moderator of the swing state motor project discusses his focus groups with recent campaign swing voters in key counties across the country. then how the covid-19 pandemic and racial discord could influence campaign 2020 with ethics and public policy
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center and previous president trump's event on friday at mount rushmore. watch c-span2 washington journal live seven eastern on friday morning be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. >> president trump will kick off independence day celebrations with remarks at mount rushmore along with fireworks in a planned military flyover. live coverture begins friday night at ten eastern on c-span you can also watch online at or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> former homeland security secretary jeh johnson joins a conversation on how racial injustice and inequality could impact national security. from the center for strategic and international studies, this is an hour.


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