AG Actions Update: Democratic AG Leadership in Response to Protests Around the Country
June 4, 2020
Democratic Attorneys General are providing critical leadership in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police. They are responding to the important calls for police reform and anti-racist policies from communities across the country.
Here is the latest from Democratic AGs:
LATEST IN MINNESOTA
- Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, who is leading the investigation into the killing of George Floyd, announced that he was upgrading the charges brought against the initial officer arrested to second-degree murder and charging the three other officers at the scene with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
DEM AG LEADERSHIP
- A coalition of 18 Democratic AGs sent a letter urging Congress to give state Attorneys General the authority to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing, particularly in the event that the U.S. Department of Justice fails to use its authority to act.
- New York AG James has been tapped by the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, to lead an extensive investigation into the NYPD after reports emerged that officers used violent tactics towards peaceful protesters. AG James took to Twitter to remind New Yorkers that she will protect their right to peacefully protest, and she encouraged protesters to report any concerns to her office.
- Nevada AG Aaron Ford facilitated a roundtable with law enforcement and community leaders to discuss better approaches and much needed solutions to break the cycle of violence toward communities of color, particularly the Black community. At the end of the discussion, AG Ford said, “It’s not fair that my sons who are healthy can’t jog without some retired rogue cop killing them. It’s unfair they can’t wear a hoodie without some vigilante taking their lives. It’s unfair that they can’t do certain things and interact with cops in a way that they know won’t result in possible death.”
- Massachusetts AG Maura Healey addressed the Boston Chamber of Commerce about the need to confront institutional racism and called upon the business community to be an active ally in that work. AG Healey said, “If there’s anything I wanted to do as AG, it was to address the systemic racism that’s plagued all aspects of society. I’ve fallen short. But I know I have power. And the Chamber has influence. After 400 years of racism in America, we have a responsibility to own up and act.”
ON TRUMP’s VIOLENT RHETORIC
After President Trump suggested that police and military forces should “dominate” the states in response to protests and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy troops across the nation, Democratic AGs responded forcefully.
- Wednesday night, District of Columbia AG Karl Racine joined CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett to discuss the protests happening outside the White House and the President’s use of force against peaceful protesters. “The District of Columbia is looking very carefully at the federal government’s actions,” said AG Racine. “And we have grave concerns about the legality of it. We don’t appreciate being used as a stage for the President to act tough.”
- On Tuesday evening on CNN’s Outfront, New York AG Tish James addressed the violent rhetoric directly saying, “We do not need individuals, particularly coming from the White House, that will engage in race baiting and continue to divide us.” AG James also released a statement earlier in the day proclaiming, “The President of the United States is not a dictator, and President Trump does not and will not dominate New York state. In fact, the president does not have the right to unilaterally deploy U.S. military across American states.”
- Monday night on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison addressed Trump’s rhetoric saying, “The attitude where you want to dominate someone is exactly what I believe is at the heart of so much of the problems between police and community.”
Additionally, DAGA Co-Chairs Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum released this statement regarding the killing of George Floyd, the protests, and the leadership of their colleague Minnesota AG Keith Ellison.