MLB All-Star Game yanked from Atlanta over voting law
This is all things considered. I'm Audie Cornish and I'm Elsa Chang in Los Angeles. Totally unnecessary. That is what a top lieutenant in the Minneapolis Police Department said today about the way that former police officer Derrick Show Vin Pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd, he testified on the fifth day of Sheldon's murder trial. NPR's Adrian Florido has been covering the proceedings and joins us again from Minneapolis. Hey, Adrian. Hi, Elsa. All right. So today wrapped up the trial's first week, which, as you know, I've been talking about has been packed with so much emotional testimony, like from bystanders who watched Floyd died to first responders who couldn't revive him. But today the trial seemed to shift a little right. Tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. Today, the prosecution worked to build its case that Derrick show Vin used excessive force on George Floyd. And to do that they called Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman to the stand. He is the longest serving police officer in the Minneapolis PD. He's been on the force since 1985. He's the head of the homicide division. And importantly, after George Floyd's death, he was one of the department employees who publicly condemned what show Vin did. Prosecutor Matthew Frank spent time today asking him about the dangers of restraining a suspect by laying them face down. Have you ever in all the years you've been working for the Minneapolis Police department. On been trained. To kneel on the neck of someone who is handcuffed behind their back in a prone position. No, I haven't. Is that if that were done with that be considered force absolutely. What level of force might that be? That would be the top tier the deadly force. Why? Because of The fact that if you need is on a person's neck That can kill him. Not not mincing words. They're obviously right. Well, what exactly did Lieutenant Zimmerman's say about the way show Vin handle George Floyd. So here is the same prosecutor asking Zimmerman a question about what he saw in the body cam footage of George Boyd's arrest. What is your? You know, your View of that use of force during that time period. Totally unnecessary. What do you mean? Well, first of all. Pulling him down to the ground face down. And putting your knee on the neck. For that amount of time. Is just Uncalled for. I saw no reason why The officers felt they were in danger if that's what they felt. And he said, the danger is what show then I would've had to field to justify keeping his his knee on Floyd's neck for that, Monk. E mean it's not every day that you hear. A police officer, especially a senior police officer criticized Another officer, even a former one, right, right? Yeah. But on cross examination, eyes show, Vin's attorney, Eric Nelson, worked to poke holes in his testimony, his main focus being the latitude that police officers are allowed during under the police department's use of force policy when they're responding to incidents, So here's Nelson asking that the same witness a question. You would agree, however, that in the fight for your life generally speaking in a fight for your life, you is an officer are allowed to use whatever force is reasonable and necessary. Correct? Yes. And that could even involve improvisation, agreed. Yes. Minneapolis Police department policy allows a police officer to use whatever means there never are available to him to protect himself and others, right? Yes. The defense attorney there, obviously giving clues about the kind of arguments he's going to make when it's his turn to present his case that show been feared for his life that he was dealing with the dynamic situation. Struggling suspect an angry crowd. And real quick. When do we expect the defense to start calling their own witnesses? Well. The prosecution is expected to wrap up their case by the end of next week. And then it'll be the defense's turn. We expect starting the following week that is NPR's Adrian Florido in Minneapolis. Thank you, Adrian. Thank you, Elsa. Critics say that George is controversial New election law restricts voter access and disproportionately effects people of color and in protest Major League Baseball announced today It will relocate the summer's All Star game and draft out of Georgia and under pressure from voting rights advocates. Major companies like Delta and Coca Cola have issued critical statements. Now. Stetson University law professor Ciara Tourist Spellissy studies the influence of corporations and lawmaking earlier today, I spoke to her about what she found striking about this wave of corporate criticism. One of the things that's remarkable about the new statements from Delta and Coca Cola is that they have changed positions a few days ago. They put out pretty Tepid criticisms and or support for the Georgia legislation, and now that the legislation has become law, and they've been under pressure from voting rights advocates They have changed their tune on. That doesn't happen that often. Let's dig into that a little more, because obviously corporate America lobbies. Statehouses Congress for all kinds of things, right? Can you talk about how aggressive they can be in this area or how reluctant they have been in this area in the past? So corporations have two main ways that they influence policy. One is through corporate donations to particular candidates. They then spend even more money lobbying lawmakers to get the policies that they want. Now, most of the policies that a corporation wants are for its own benefit. No, this is a little bit different because voting rights advocates in Georgia put pressure on corporations not just because they were located in Georgia, but also because they had given money to Some of the politicians who created this regressive Election law in Georgia. Can you talk about a moment in recent history where we've seen corporate activism lead to significant legislative change? I think the biggest Example of this was the 2017 tax cut. And the tax cut was literally for corporations. So you had political donors putting enormous pressure on Members of Congress and the corporate tax rate was cut significantly. Another example is bathroom bills and so by bathroom bills. These are Laws at the state level that direct individuals to only use the bathroom of the gender of their birth. And one of these bathroom bills was passed in North Carolina. The end see double a pulled championship games from North North Carolina. And that got AH lot of attention and and North Carolina. Rolled back that bathroom, Phil. We've been hearing a lot, especially in the last year about corporate responsibility, so to speak. What you going to be looking for going forward to see whether this is Real or not, well, one of the things that we saw after the riots at the Capitol on January 6th. Woz corporations deciding to pull back corporate PAC money from the Republicans who objected to The electoral college votes for Joe Biden. But now there is pressure from the U. S Chamber of Commerce, which is one of the largest trade associations in America. It's also one of the largest Dark money, political spenders in America, and they're urging their members to get back in the political spending game. So one of the things that I will look at After Georgia and after the riots on January, 6th is Do any of these corporations actually changed their political spending behavior. Ciara Torres Spellissy is a professor of law at Stetson University in Gulf Port Florida. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you. There is a new attempt to bring the U. S and Iran back to the 2015 nuclear deal with one The Trump administration left in direct talks are set to begin in Vienna next Tuesday.