Newsletter: In Kenosha, a great divide
Trump met with police, government officials and business owners to announce increased funding for law enforcement. He did not meet with the family of Jacob Blake.
President Trump’s visit to Kenosha, Wis., exposes divisions over race and policing ahead of the November vote.
In Kenosha, a Great Divide
With President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden locked in a campaign battle over racism and violence, the scene in Kenosha, Wis. — where Trump visited for two hours Tuesday — offered an example of the country’s divisions on such issues.
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“In front of a brick building northwest of downtown, on a day when the nation’s gaze again fixed on this once-strong factory city, Justin Blake declared that President Trump must be defeated as he stood over the spot where a police officer shot his nephew in the back seven times,” wrote The Times’ Jaweed Kaleem and Molly Hennessy-Fiske. “‘We don’t have any words for the orange man,’ Blake said of Trump as he spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people — most of them Black — who had come for a block party complete with barbecue and bounce house. ‘All I ask is he keep his disrespect, his foul language far away.... Our president hasn’t been a unifier.’”
Two and a half miles away, a different scene unfolded in uptown Kenosha, as the president’s supporters lined up behind barricades in anticipation of his arrival, waving American flags.
Sue Wells, a 57-year-old retired cleaner and factory worker, came with her daughter and her 5-year-old grandson. She signed a petition to recall the state’s Democratic governor and disparaged the racial justice movement as she stood by the historic Danish Brotherhood Lodge, which had burned to rubble during recent protests.
“If you’re so for Black Lives Matter, why are you destroying their community?” asked Wells, a white Kenosha resident. The protesters, she said, don’t “understand how it is dividing us.”
‘I’m Sad, and I’m Mad’
In Los Angeles, the fatal shooting of a Black man by two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies has prompted outrage, renewed calls for law enforcement transparency and the demand that those involved be arrested and prosecuted.
Much remains unclear about what led to the shooting of Dijon Kizzee, 29, who relatives said was visiting the South L.A. neighborhood of Westmont on Monday from his home in Lancaster. The circumstances of the incident, which officials say began when the deputies were trying to stop Kizzee as he was riding a bicycle, have led to questions about whether deadly force was warranted. The Sheriff’s Department also came under fresh criticism from activists for failing to outfit deputies with body cameras; the devices are scheduled to start rolling out at five stations in October.
“Right now, I’m sad, and I’m mad at the same time,” Kizzee’s aunt Fletcher Fair said. “Why us? ... We are tired. We are absolutely tired.”
Why Police Reform Stalled Out
After George Floyd was killed in May in Minnesota, protests shook the U.S. In California, they spurred more than a dozen police reform proposals in Sacramento. But when the state legislative session ended at midnight Monday, only a handful had passed.
Among the bills that failed without a vote were proposals to give citizens access to more police personnel records and to curtail the use of tear gas and rubber bullets at protests. Overall, it was a demonstration that law enforcement unions still hold serious sway at the Capitol.
And with lawmakers facing a massive budget deficit, the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, eviction cliffs and unemployment, police reform competed for attention.
A New Reporting System
A month after the failure of a state public health computer database caused the distortion of COVID-19 test results across California and disrupted the state’s response to the pandemic, the Newsom administration has announced that a new reporting system will be online in October.
The state signed a contract with software company OptumInsight Inc. for a database that will handle all COVID-19 testing results, replacing the troubled California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, or CalREDIE.
Because of a glitch in that system in late July, up to 300,000 test results had not been uploaded to the database, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the state’s actions taken to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
More Top Coronavirus Headlines
— Los Angeles County officials are weighing whether to allow the reopening of indoor shopping centers, retail shops and hair salons in accordance with the state’s new guidelines, which permit counties — no matter their COVID-19 status — to reopen such businesses under certain conditions.
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is getting heat over a solo visit to a hair salon in San Francisco at a time when California businesses are limited by concern over the coronavirus.
— Antibodies that people produce to fight the coronavirus last at least four months after diagnosis and do not fade quickly, as some earlier reports suggested, scientists have found.
For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
V-J Day — Aug. 15, 1945 — is recognized as the end of World War II, when Japan surrendered to the United States. But the surrender was not formalized until representatives from the Allied Powers and Japanese officials met aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2.
The ship was anchored in the Tokyo Bay while military and government leaders signed the surrender documents. The Americans wore their daily khaki uniforms as they welcomed the Japanese delegation under a cloudy sky. According to veterans who were there, the mood was more somber than celebratory, even after the documents were signed. More than 60 million people died in the war. Read more about how the ceremony unfolded here.
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— California is poised to become the first state to develop its own line of generic drugs, targeting soaring drug prices. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved a measure this week that would direct the state’s top health agency to partner with one or more drug companies by January.
— “Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack.” The FBI is investigating after two commercial airline pilots told air-traffic controllers they had just seen a man flying with a jet pack Sunday night near LAX.
— Los Angeles plans to spend nearly $10 million on a new eviction defense program to help tenants in court, plus another $50 million to help poor residents amid the pandemic, per a City Council vote.
— An L.A. housing department employee was caught moonlighting as a consultant at a motel, assisting a building owner who has been accused of illegally ejecting tenants and jeopardizing their health. His dual role has raised concerns from the city and residents.
— The University of California must immediately suspend all use of SAT and ACT test scores for admission and scholarship decisions under a preliminary injunction issued by an Alameda County Superior Court judge.
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— Speaker after speaker at last week’s Republican National Convention sought to soften President Trump’s hard edges on immigration, race, women and other issues. Since then, Trump has reasserted himself as a one-man political wrecking ball, comparing police brutality to missing a “three-foot putt.”
— If elected, Biden says his first task will be repairing much of what he and his supporters consider to be the damage done by Trump in the Middle East. The challenge? Figuring out which ones are doable.
— For the first time in U.S. history, a Kennedy has lost an election in Massachusetts. Sen. Edward J. Markey beat back a challenge from Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III in the state’s Democratic primary for Markey’s seat.
— Lebanese officials facing a devastated economy, coronavirus concerns and the task of forming a new government took a back seat to visiting French President Emmanuel Macron during the country’s centennial.
— Three weeks after the election that kept Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in power, election workers say they saw ballot fraud or were pressured to falsify results in favor of Lukashenko.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— Commercial shoots were Hollywood’s first step toward resuming production. The death of a 51-year-old assistant director who had COVID-19 is raising new concerns.
— As the pandemic grinds on, the fate of L.A.’s shuttered music clubs rests with a divided Congress.
— On NBC, “Transplant” is a new kind of medical drama: The show puts an immigrant, and his largely underrepresented perspective as a person of color, front and center.
— At age 25, writer Emma Cline was a literary darling. Then she became a target. Now she’s back with a new collection of short stories, “Daddy.”
— Under a California law that just took effect, debt collectors can no longer completely drain your bank account; they now must stop when it’s down to $1,788, the minimum the state says a family of four needs to get by for a month, columnist David Lazarus writes.
— Facebook is threatening to block Australian publishers and individuals from sharing news stories on its platform. The move comes in response to an Australian measure that would require the platform to pay media organizations for the use of their stories.
— Why is Vin Scully jumping into social media at age 92? “I miss the fans, I really do,” the former Dodgers announcer said. “I’ve always said I needed the fans more than they needed me.”
— The Big Ten Conference is already in court and under pressure from players and parents over its decision to cancel fall football. Now Trump is pressing the conference to start the season.
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— If Trump is moving toward a “herd immunity” strategy, he should be honest that it means accepting that millions of Americans may die before their time, The Times’ editorial board writes.
— As professional athletes take action against racism and police brutality, they’ve made one thing clear: To be Black in the NBA is to live with a grim double consciousness, writes Keenan Norris.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— Melania Trump’s former friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff said in an interview that the first lady used private email accounts while in the White House. (Washington Post)
— Is staying indoors staying safe in the long run? (The New Yorker)
ONLY IN L.A.
How do you capture an entire city in one Olympic logo? With a place as diverse as Los Angeles, you can’t. That’s why the organizers of the 2028 games commissioned 26 of them and plan on using the them all. They enlisted singer Billie Eilish and actress Reese Witherspoon, as well as a streetwear designer, a chef and a tattoo artist. They also recruited prominent athletes. “Everyone is part of the L.A. story,” said Janet Evans, an executive with the organizing committee and a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming.
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