Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty To Violating George Floyds Civil Rights
Prosecutors have asked that Chauvin be sentenced to 25 years, which would run concurrently with the 22 ½ he is already serving for Floyd’s murder.
Chauvin Pleads Guilty
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin plead guilty on Wednesday to federal charges for violating George Floyd’s civil rights during the arrest that lead to his death.
Chauvin was convicted in April on state charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for killing Floyd after kneeling on his neck and back for over nine minutes in May of 2020.
He was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison, though he is appealing that sentence.
In May, Chauvin was separately indicted by a federal grand jury for violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer when he restrained Floyd face down in the street as he gasped for air and said he could not breathe.
The former officer initially pleaded not guilty to the federal charges but switched his plea in Wednesday’s proceedings, avoiding what was expected to be another high-profile trial.
As part of the plea deal, Chauvin also plead guilty to a separate charge alleging that he violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old during a 2017 arrest. During that incident, the then-officer kneeled on the boy’s neck and repeatedly hit him with a flashlight.
The judge overseeing the matter will ultimately decide Chauvin’s sentence, but the guilty plea will almost certainly result in more prison time. Prosecutors recommended 25 years, which would run concurrent to the 22 ½ years he is already serving.
Charges Against Other Officers
It remains unclear whether Chauvin’s plea will impact the upcoming trial of the three other former officers present during Floyd’s death. Those three were indicted on federal civil rights charges along with Chauvin back in May.
Per the indictment, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were charged for willfully failing to intervene in Chauvin’s unreasonable use of force.
Both men, along with Chauvin and ex-officer Thomas Lane, were also charged with failing to provide medical care to Floyd. Prosecutors agreed to drop that specific charge against Chauvin under his plea deal.
A trial in the federal case against the three men is set to begin in January, but an official date has yet to be set. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Kueng, Thao, and Lane additionally face state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. They are expected to go on trial on March 7.
Proceedings for the state trial were initially supposed to begin this past August. Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill, who is overseeing the matter, delayed the case to allow the federal proceedings to be carried out first and to create “some distance” from Chauvin’s highly publicized trial.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The Associated Press) (The New York Times)
White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds
“We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.
The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL.
The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents.
“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.”
The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year.
White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021.
Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.
“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”
“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)
Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years.
Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.
According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes.
On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.
“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press.
However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.
Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million.
If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.
Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.
As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval.
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)
Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages
98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff.
The Labor Crisis
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration.
According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.
With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.
Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care.
However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months.
Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.
However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim.