- A 14-year-old in Florida admits that he tossed a gum wrapper on the ground while leaving a FedEx store with his family.
- His grandmother reprimanded him for doing so and he was on his way to pick it up when an unidentified woman began yelling racial slurs at him.
- “Get down on your knees and find it…No count, little n****r,” she said in the now-viral video.
- The teen has since been applauded for his calm response to the woman’s anger.
A cellphone video captured in Florida shows a woman shouting racial slurs at a teen who threw a gum wrapper on the ground.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg when 14-year-old Barry Henry was with his grandmother and cousin. The teen and his family members stopped by a local FedEx store after church to drop off some documents for his grandmother. When leaving the store, he opened up a stick of gum and tossed the silver wrapper on the ground.
Henry and his family admit that he did litter and acknowledged that it was wrong. In fact, the teen says that his grandmother yelled at him to pick it up.
Henry was on his way to do so when an unidentified woman began shouting at him. The teen’s cousin recorded the interaction which was later posted to Facebook by Henry’s sister Deysha Henry.
“Nuh-uh, don’t even act like that. Pick it up, find it. Get down on your knees and find it,” the woman, who the internet has now dubbed “Pick it up Peggy,” says in the video.
After a few seconds, the teen turns and walks away as the woman repeatedly shouts the n-word.
“No count, little n****r,” the woman says. “That’s how you are. All y’all. No count fucking n****rs.”
Family Speak Out
In the Facebook post, the teen’s sister wrote, “Almost 2020, and we still are dealing with being spoken to in this manner over what exactly? A gum wrapper.”
She later told WFLA 8 On Your Side, “I never in a million years expected this kind of reaction.”
“Yes, he was wrong for dropping a gum wrapper on the ground, but that did not warrant her response,” she continued.
His mother made a similar statement to a local NBC affiliate station explaining that she addressed the littering issue with her son and was upset with him for doing it, however, she was more horrified by the response from the woman.
“He knows better than that and I told him, I talked to him about that. I said, ‘Why did you throw that gum wrapper, why did you do that? It was so small.’ I told him he should have picked up the gum wrapper. You don’t litter! And he said, ‘I didn’t even think about it, mom. I was just walking, and it was just a little silver wrapper. I just threw it down,’” his mother said. “I said to him, ‘Don’t ever litter. You just don’t do that because we want to keep our communities clean.’ He should not have littered. Trust me, he understands that.”
She went on to say that her son was very hurt by the woman’s words and felt “traumatized” by the situation.
Henry has been met with a flood of support from social media users who commended him for remaining calm. St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell shared the video on Facebook and asked for help identifying the teen so that he could find a way to honor him.
“If anyone knows this young man I would love to honor him at this week’s City Council meeting for his extreme politeness towards this woman who did not deserve it at all. It says a great deal about him and about her….”
According to Henry’s sister, Kornell did get in contact with the family. “He called and asked if he could take the boys to the Rays’ playoff game (Monday) but they had school,” the sister told WFLA. “He was completely apologetic about what happened and wanted to thank them for their politeness.”
The teen’s sister has since updated the facebook post to thank the public for their support, but the family wanted to be clear that they are not encouraging anyone to engage in more negative behavior.
“The point of this post is/was to continue to raise awareness regarding inappropriate behavior, and racism in our city, country, and world. Please note that we are not a confrontational family, and we are not looking for vengeance towards this woman, nor are we looking to fight racism, with racism. ❤️🌏”
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Police in Two Qualified Immunity Cases
The move further solidifies the contentious legal doctrine that protects officers who commit alleged constitutional violations.
SCOTUS Hears Qualified Immunity Cases
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of police in two separate cases involving qualified immunity, the controversial legal doctrine that shields officers accused of violating constitutional rights from lawsuits.
The topic has become a major flashpoint in debates over police reform and curbing police violence since the protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the summer of 2020.
On one side, supporters of qualified immunity claim it is necessary to ensure that police can do their jobs without worrying about frivolous lawsuits.
However, opponents argue that judicial interpretations of the doctrine over time have given police incredibly broad legal immunity for misconduct and use of excessive force. Under a previous Supreme Court ruling, in order for officers to be held liable, plaintiffs have to show that they violated rights “clearly established” by a previous ruling.
In other words, officers cannot be held liable unless there is another case that involves almost identical circumstances.
As a result, many argue the doctrine creates a Catch-22: Officers are shielded from liability because there is no past precedent, but the reason there is no past precedent is because officers are shielded from liability in the first place.
An Ongoing Debate
Critics argue that the two cases the Supreme Court saw Monday illustrate that double bind, as both involved accusations of excessive force commonly levied against police.
In one case, officers used non-lethal bean bag rounds against a suspect and knelt on his back to subdue him. In the other, police shot and killed a suspect after he threatened them with a hammer.
The justices overturned both lower-court rulings without ordering full briefing and argument because of the lack of precedent. The court issued the decisions in unsigned orders with no dissent, signaling they did not even see the cases as close calls.
Advocates for qualified immunity claim the decisions signal that the current Supreme Court is not open to changing qualified immunity, and the most likely path for opponents of the doctrine is legislation.
While Democrats in Congress have made numerous efforts to limit qualified immunity, including most recently in the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act passed by the House earlier this year, all those attempts have been blocked by Republicans.
At the state level, dozens of bills have been killed after heavy lobbying from police unions. As a result, it remains unclear what path proponents for reform have at this juncture.
See what others are saying: (NPR) (The New York Times) (The Washington Post)
Florida School Says Students Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Must Stay Home for 30 Days
The school falsely claimed that people who have just been vaccinated risk “shedding” the coronavirus and could infect others.
Centner Academy Vaccination Policy
A private school in Florida is now requiring all students who get vaccinated against COVID-19 to quarantine for 30 days before returning to class.
According to the local Miami outlet WSVN, Centner Academy wrote a letter to parents last week describing COVID vaccines as “experimental” and citing anti-vaccine misinformation.
“If you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student(s), we ask that you hold off until the Summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease,” the letter reportedly stated.
“Because of the potential impact on other students and our school community, vaccinated students will need to stay at home for 30 days post-vaccination for each dose and booster they receive and may return to school after 30 days as long as the student is healthy and symptom-free.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has debunked the false claim that those newly vaccinated against COVID-19 can “shed” the virus.
According to the agency’s COVID myths page, vaccine shedding “can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus,” but “none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.”
In fact, early research has suggested that vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people.
Beyond that, unvaccinated people are more likely to spread COVID in general because they are much more likely to get the virus than vaccinated people. According to recently published CDC data, as of August, unvaccinated people were six times more likely to get COVID than vaccinated people and 11 times more likely to die from the virus.
Centner Academy Continues Spread of Misinformation
In a statement to The Washington Post Monday, Centner Academy co-founder David Centner doubled down on the school’s new policy, which he described as a “precautionary measure” based on “numerous anecdotal cases that have been in circulation.”
“The school is not opining as to whether unexplained phenomena have a basis in fact, however we prefer to err on the side of caution when making decisions that impact the health of the school community,” he added.
The new rule echoes similar efforts Centner Academy has made that run counter to public health guidance and scientific knowledge.
In April, the school made headlines when its leadership told vaccinated school employees that they were not allowed to be in contact with any students “until more information is known” and encouraged employees to wait until summer to get the jab.
According to The New York Times, the following week, a math and science teacher allegedly told students not to hug their vaccinated parents for more than five seconds.
The outlet also reported that the school’s other co-founder, Leila Centner, discouraged masking, but when state health officials came for routine inspections, teachers said they were directed in a WhatsApp group to put masks on.
See what others are saying: (WSVN) (The Washington Post) (Business Insider)
Katie Couric Says She Edited Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quote About Athletes Kneeling During National Anthem
Couric said she omitted part of a 2016 interview in order to “protect” the justice.
Kate Couric Edited Quote From Justice Ginsburg
In her upcoming book, journalist Katie Couric admitted to editing a quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 2016 in order to “protect” Ginsberg from potential criticism.
Couric interviewed the late justice for an article in Yahoo News. During their discussion, she asked Ginsburg about her thoughts on athletes like Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg is quoted saying in the piece. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
According to The Daily Mail and The New York Post, which obtained advance copies of Couric’s book “Going There,” there was more to Ginsburg’s response. Couric wrote that she omitted a portion where Ginsburg said the form of protest showed a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life…Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from.“
Couric Says She Lost Sleep Making Choice
“As they became older they realize that this was youthful folly,” Ginsberg reportedly continued. “And that’s why education is important.“
According to The Daily Mail, Couric wrote that the Supreme Court’s head of public affairs sent an email asking to remove comments about kneeling because Ginsburg had misspoken. Couric reportedly added that she felt a need to “protect” the justice, thinking she may not have understood the question. Couric reached out to her friend, New York Times reporter David Brooks, regarding the matter and he allegedly likewise believed she may have been confused by the subject.
Couric also wrote that she was a “big RBG fan” and felt her comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality.” Because she knew the remarks could land Ginsburg in hot water, she said she “lost a lot of sleep” and felt “conflicted” about whether or not to edit them out.
Couric was trending on Twitter Wednesday and Thursday as people questioned the ethics behind her choice to ultimately cut part of the quote. Some thought the move showed a lack of journalistic integrity while others thought revealing the story now harmed Ginsburg’s legacy.