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US Calm, but no plans yet from California governor amid unrest

08:35  03 june  2020
08:35  03 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

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As deaths from coronavirus continued to drop to lows not seen since March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo used his daily coronavirus briefing Sunday afternoon to plead for calm after a night of unrest statewide. "Violence never works," he said.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — When California Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the protests over police brutality and accompanying violence that had dominated his state over the weekend, he declared that for too long state leaders had not addressed systemic racism and called for an end to lip service without action.

Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the pain California's black community is feeling Monday, June 1, 2020, over the death of George Floyd, after a meeting with African American leaders in Sacramento, Calif. Newsom urged people to continue expressing themselves through protest, and criticized people who are trying to exploit the protests with violence. Floyd, a black man, died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) © Provided by Associated Press Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the pain California's black community is feeling Monday, June 1, 2020, over the death of George Floyd, after a meeting with African American leaders in Sacramento, Calif. Newsom urged people to continue expressing themselves through protest, and criticized people who are trying to exploit the protests with violence. Floyd, a black man, died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“Our institutions are responsible. We are accountable in this moment,” he said Monday from a church in Sacramento.

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President Donald Trump told the nation's governors in a video teleconference to aggressively go after violent protesters after three nights of unrest in dozens of cities across the country. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has the details.

California Governor Gavin Newsom was introduced at his Monday press conference by the pastor of a black church in Sacramento. He began by emphasizing his view of the cause of the protests, saying it was deeper that the tragic killing of George Floyd. "The black community is not responsible for what.

It was his first time addressing the public after a weekend of unrest in which he declared a state of emergency and sent the National Guard to Los Angeles at the mayor's request. In his speech that followed, he did not endorse policy changes or announce any concrete actions in response to protests over the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who begged for air as a police officer held his knee on his neck last week.

Some said his tone was spot on during a tumultuous time for the state. Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Democrat from Los Angeles and a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, said she wouldn’t want Newsom to roll out policy initiatives without “input from the right people.”

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President Trump on the call accused many of the governors of being slow to call for federal help like the National Guard in their states. "Why you're not calling them up I don't know -- but you making a mistake and making yourselves look like fools."

Floyd's family as well as many mayors and governors support the protests but have condemned the looting and violence that has led to multiple arrests nationwide. Mayor Bill de Blasio said a Brooklyn protest at the Barclay's Center was calm but urged people to go home, saying there were people in

“He stood square, looked into the camera, said that racism needed to end and it wasn't black people's responsibility to fix it,” Mitchell said.

But Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager, another Democrat and caucus member from Los Angeles, said she would like to see the governor use his platform to advocate for concrete change.

She questioned the decision to deploy National Guard troops to quell unrest, which she said causes fear in many communities. Kamlager has introduced legislation that would pay community groups to respond to some crises instead of the police, as well as an effort to reform the parole system.

“We should be using our bully pulpit to say, ‘This might be uncomfortable, but we have a responsibility to look at our systems and say how do we make them better?’” she said. “You don't do that by sending in the National Guard.”

Newsom has sent in a total of 4,500 Guard troops to cities including Los Angeles, Sacramento and Long Beach at the request of local law enforcement. Similarly, Newsom said the state government's role has largely been to assist local governments with additional resources such as the California Highway Patrol and others.

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We will only win by assuming they will do whatever they believe offers them the best chance to stay in power, with the one exception of Trump’s narcissism/stupidity/ignorance sabotaging them, and planning accordingly.

President Donald Trump is planning to meet via videoconference with governors on Monday to discuss “keeping American communities safe,” as cities around the U.S. erupted in protest amid outrage sparked by the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody.

He declined to directly respond to a reporter's question about President Donald Trump's calls for guard troops to “dominate the streets,” or his threats to send soldiers into states if local leaders do not get violence under control. Spokesman Jesse Melgar said Newsom “strongly disagrees” with Trump's actions on Monday night for law enforcement to clear and tear gas peaceful protesters from the street outside the White House.

Newsom's response to the statewide protests and violence has been notably different from his response to the coronavirus pandemic that is still gripping the state and nation. When the virus was first being detected in California, Newsom held a news conference on every weekday and some weekends, rolling out a litany of actions and specific details about how the state was responding.

In contrast, he spoke Friday about racial justice and Floyd's killing but waited until Monday to address the state again, even as scenes of both peaceful protesting and violence including smashing store windows, stealing and setting fires played out all weekend. On Tuesday, Newsom cleaned up graffiti in downtown Sacramento alongside local activists, including the brother of Stephon Clark, a black man killed by Sacramento police in 2018.

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Yet there is also a recognition that Biden needs to do more than simply wait for voters who may be turned off by Trump to turn toward him. And some Democrats who have criticized Biden in the past for not being more visible during the onset of the coronavirus said he is making the right moves now.

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“Gavin Newsom has been better on (the coronavirus) than he has been so far on the rebellion response, but he has spoken into it and he has said the right things,” said James Lance Taylor, a professor of political science at the University of San Francisco. “He has been on the right side of these issues long before this happened.”

But Taylor said it wasn't just Newsom who could've been more vocal in what he described as a “vacuum of leadership” nationwide last weekend, with few politicians speaking about the chaos.

He noted that Newsom, like any politician, straddled his role.

“He has to stand on the side of the law but he’s also on the side of the people. He’s in a very difficult position,” Taylor said.

Outside of the public eye, Newsom's office says he's been engaged with a diverse group of leaders and has tasked his senior leadership to determine how his administration can tackle systemic injustices. Newsom signed legislation last year restricting police use of force. And he's made it a point to address racial disparities when discussing the coronavirus. He plans to visit Los Angeles, the epicenter of the pandemic in California and the center of protests, later this week.

“The Governor is aware of his privilege and that this is a moment for elected officials like him to listen, reflect and commit themselves to rooting out systemic injustice and racism," Melgar, the spokesman, said. “He's been focused on doing the work behind the scenes.”

Eric Schickler, a political science professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said he expects to see Newsom out and about more if the protests continue.

“I think he still has an opportunity to get out there and craft a kind of proactive governmental response to what's going on,” Shickler said.

Joe Biden comes out against ‘defund the police’ push amid unrest over George Floyd’s death .
Instead of withholding cash, Biden believes departments need more funding for “community policing programs that improve relationships between officers and residents," a spokesman for his campaign said.The former vice president came out against stripping resources from local police departments on Monday, breaking with a growing chorus of activists who are demanding downsizing amid continued unrest over George Floyd’s death.

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