New York, NY – Telecommunications company Verizon has implemented a so-called “anti-racism” training for employees to help them decide whether they are “oppressed” or “oppressors” as they work to understand how racist the U.S. is, according to a whistleblower. The company has also been pushing employees to endorse a number of left-wing ideals, to include defunding law enforcement, according to investigative reporter Christopher Rufo. Rufo said a Verizon whistleblower handed him a slew of documents regarding the “Race & Social Justice” initiative the company established last year.
Among the programs created through the initiative is the “Conscious Inclusion & Anti-Racism” race reeducation program for employees, which is laden with critical race theory concepts such as “white fragility” and “systemic racism,” Rufo noted. Verizon employees are given official company worksheets so they can list out their “race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, education, profession, and sexual orientation” to help determine whether they are “oppressed” or an “oppressor,” according to Rufo. This information also helps employees determine where they fall on the “privilege” hierarchy, as they commit to a lifelong “anti-racism journey,” the investigative reporter noted.
San Francisco, CA – Almost 20 San Francisco police officers, deputies, and firefighters are facing unpaid suspensions after they refused to disclose their vaccination statuses to their departments.
Eight San Francisco police officers, two sheriff’s deputies, and seven firefighters received letters from their department heads that warned of impending disciplinary action, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The health and well-being of city employees and the public we serve are top priorities during our emergency response to COVID-19,” the letter read, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Your failure to comply with the vaccination status reporting requirement endangers the health and safety of the city’s workforce and the public we serve,” the letter continued.
San Francisco was the first major city and county in California to create vaccination requirements for all of its employees, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Under the guidelines, most employees will have 10 weeks to get vaccinated after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants approval to one of the vaccines, with those working in higher-risk settings on an accelerated schedule.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved by the FDA on Monday.
All of the city’s employees were required to report their vaccination status by Aug. 12, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Northampton, NY – New York State Police (NYSP) Trooper James Monda died in the line of duty after slipping beneath the surface of Great Sacandaga Lake while working a marine patrol detail on Sunday.
The 45-year-old trooper went underwater at a boat launch at approximately 4 p.m. on Aug. 22 and did not resurface, the NYSP said in a press release on Monday afternoon.
Trooper Monda was pulled from the water and rushed to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, where he was pronounced dead.
Additional details about the fatal incident have not been released.
“It is with deep regret and sadness that Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announces the line of duty death of Trooper James J. Monda,” the NYSP said. “Trooper Monda entered the State Police in September 2002 and served with the State Police for 18 years.”
Cullman, AL – When former President Donald Trump visited Cullman for his “Save America” rally on Saturday he was also “commissioned” as a deputy by the local sheriff’s department.
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry presented President Trump with a plaque on Aug. 21 in front of about 40,000 of the former President’s supporters, Yellowhammer News reported.
Sheriff Gentry explained the commissioning of the former President in a Facebook post on the sheriff’s department’s official page.
“As Sheriff of Cullman County, and on behalf of the citizens of Cullman County, I was privileged by the power and authority under the constitution as Sheriff to present President Donald J. Trump with an engraved wooden plaque commissioning him as a deputy sheriff of Cullman County,” the sheriff wrote.
“This plaque thanked President Trump for all his accomplishments for law enforcement as President of the United States,” the sheriff wrote.
President Trump built a strong relationship with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the United States during his time in office.
He repeatedly supported law enforcement initiatives to keep officers safer while battling crime.
Just before leaving office in January, President Trump signed an executive order that extended the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) of 2004 to include federal judges and prosecutors and made it easier for retired officers to get their LEOSA credentials.
Under LEOSA, qualified retired local, state, and federal law enforcement officers may take an annual test and be issued a photo ID card credential that exempts them from local firearms laws.
Washington, DC – U.S. senators who have been trying to work a compromise for police reform legislation in Congress have taken the abolishment of “qualified immunity” off the table.
Sources told Politico that police reform negotiators have stopped talking about the controversial legal doctrine that shields police officers from liability for civil damages for actions taken while acting in the capacity of a law enforcement officers, as long as the officer didn’t violate a person’s established rights.
If an officer violates a person’s legally-established rights, they are not eligible to claim qualified immunity.
Qualified immunity does not offer any protection from criminal charges but was established by the U.S. Supreme Court to curb gratuitous litigation against police officers.
On a practical level, it allows law enforcement officers to make arrests and split-second decisions regarding use of force without fear of constantly having to defend themselves personally from damages, as long as their actions were legal at the time.
Even if officers are shielded under qualified immunity, people are still able to sue the officer’s law enforcement agency for damages.
Republicans lawmakers have stood firmly against getting rid of qualified immunity.
Progressive Democrats, on the other hand, have said they will settle for nothing less than total elimination of the doctrine, Politico reported.
The House bill named after George Floyd passed in March and eliminated qualified immunity along with a host of other police reforms.
However, it has no chance of getting the 10 GOP votes needed to override a filibuster, so is considered pretty much dead in the water at this point, Politico reported.