Welcome to our IRL (In Real Life) weekday news roundup where we highlight the major new stories that we think you should be paying attention to and following.
LeBron James Forms Group to Stop Black Voter Suppression
LeBron James announced Wednesday that he and several other professional athletes plan to found a charitable organization to protect black Americans’ voting rights, five months ahead of the presidential election, The New York Times reported.
The move comes as mammoth protests have swept the United States and the world calling for an end to hundreds of years of racial discrimination against black people.
“We feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference,” James told the Times.
The organization, called More Than A Vote, aims to encourage African Americans to register to vote and to show up to the polls for the November 3 elections.
The group will also fight against any factors that could contribute to African Americans’ disenfranchisement.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James told the Times. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”
James, who has more than 135 million followers across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, said he plans to use social media to denounce attempts to limit voting by racial minorities.
(Via The New York Times)
2019 Video of White Cop Saying “I Don’t Care” to Black Man Who Says He Can’t Breathe Goes Viral
An Oklahoma City police officer responded “I don’t care” when a black man, who later died in the hospital, told him he couldn’t breathe, newly released body camera footage of a 2019 incident shows.
May 20, 2019 footage depicts Derrick Scott repeatedly asking for medication and saying he is unable to breathe while three officers restrain him. One officer, Jarred Tipton, responds “I don’t care.” A second officer says “You can breathe just fine” later in the recording. Scott was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the arrest, with an autopsy report obtained by NBC News listing a collapsed lung as his cause of death.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Larry Withrow said in a statement that officers were called to the scene over reports of a black man brandishing a gun. In the footage, Scott runs from officers after Tipton asks if he is armed. Another officer removes a handgun from Scott’s pocket shortly after police tackle him.
The footage also depicts an officer attempting CPR ahead of paramedics’ arrival.
The autopsy report said the police restraint did not cause “fatal trauma” and said asthma, emphysema, heart disease, physical restraint and drug use all contributed to Scott’s death. Withrow noted that all three officers were cleared by an investigation, saying Tipton’s comments were only made in “the heat of a conflict.”
(Via The Washington Post)
Twitter Would Like You to Actually Read Stories Before You Retweet Them
Twitter Inc. will prompt some users to click links to other websites before retweeting them, part of an effort to discourage the spread of misinformation and foster more thoughtful communication on its social network.
“Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it,” the company said in a tweet Wednesday. The prompt will only apply to Twitter users on the Android mobile operating system for now. The San Francisco-based company is experimenting with other ways to improve user interactions on the service — it’s also running a test where it will ask users to reconsider before they send vulgar tweets.
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey promoted the feature with a tweet of his own. “Did you read the article you’re about to spread?” he posted along with the announcement.
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The Donald Trump Tweet of the Day
- America’s top general is apologizing for appearing in a photo-op with President Donald Trump after the forceful dispersal of protesters outside the White House last week, saying the move was a “mistake.” Gen. Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also said that he was “outraged” by the killing of George Floyd and added that the protests it sparked spoke to “centuries of injustice toward African Americans.” [CNN]
- Former Vice President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday that President Donald Trump will try to “steal” the general election in November by limiting Americans’ access to voting. [Politico]
- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Thursday that President Donald Trump will resume campaign rallies on Juneteenth, a holiday marking the emancipation of slaves, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city with a history of a racial massacre. She claimed Trump will “share some of the progress that has been made” for black Americans — but that explanation is being rejected by many African American leaders. “The African American community is very near and dear to his heart. At these rallies he often shares the great work he has done for minority communities,” McEnany said, citing criminal justice reform and funding for historically black colleges and universities. “He’s working on rectifying injustices … So, it’s a meaningful day to him, and it’s a day where wants to share some of the progress that’s been made as we look forward and more that needs to be done.” [CNN]
- Rob McElhenney shows off his jacked body in Men’s Health
- Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez officially split, ‘we’re better as friends’
- Billy Eichner supports Colton Underwood’s coming out after joking about Colton being gay years before
- Bobby Brown blames Nick Gordon for Whitney Houston’s death
- Machine Gun Kelly to release unisex nail polish line
- Kyra Sedgwick never invited back to Tom Cruise’s home after accidentally pushing the panic button
- Channing Tatum, Sebastian Stan, Sam Heughan, and more Insta Snaps
- Nick Jonas says his wife Priyanka Chopra is his muse