Musicians including Rita Ora and James Blunt have united to stand against racism after rapper Wiley’s anti-Semitic tweets.
In an open letter shared online, around 700 artists and label executives called for the British music industry to ‘wipe out racism’ and declared ‘silence is not an option’.
‘Silence is not an option’: Rita Ora is one of around 700 artists who has signed an open letter calling for racism to be ‘wiped out’ in the British music industry after Wiley’s anti-Semitic rant
The letter read: ‘We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.
‘There is a global love for music, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Music brings joy and hope and connects us all.
‘Through music, education and empathy we can find unity. We stand together, to educate and wipe out racism now and for our future generations.’
The letter went on to explain why the high-profile artists have decided to speak out, referencing police brutality in America and anti-Jewish racism shared online.
Rants: The statement comes after Grime artist Wiley apologised for ‘generalising’ during a series of tweets in which he appeared to blame ‘a community of Jewish lawyers’ in the music industry for ‘using systemic racism’ against black artists
It read: ‘In recent months through a series of events and incidents, the anti-black racists and antisemites, plus those who advocate islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, have repeatedly demonstrated that they clearly want us all to fail.
‘Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division.
‘We are at our worst when we attack one another. Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered.
Speaking up: James Blunt (pictured) has also signed the letter, along with artists such as Niall Horan, Little Mix, Lewis Capaldi, Labrinth and Chic star Nile Rodgers
‘From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots — ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating.’
As well as singers and songwriters, several labels such as Island Records have also signed the open letter and shared it on their social media accounts
Using the #NoSilenceInMusic, dozens of musicians and music companies have shown their support for the anti-racism movement.
This is not the first time the music industry has stood together in an attempt to ‘wipe out racism’ and in the 1970s concert Rock Against Racism was staged.
Taking a stand: Nile Rodgers is among those who has signed the open letter and also shared the message to his Twitter account on Sunday
All together: Island Records also shared the powerful statement along with the hashtag No Silence In Music
However this move comes after a period of heightened political activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US.
The black man died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite him repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe.
And in the UK many have condoned grime star Wiley’s recent tweets in which he appeared to blame ‘a community of Jewish lawyers’ in the music industry for ‘using systemic racism’ against black artists.
Wiley has since apologised for ‘generalising’ during his anti-Semitic social media rants which prompted Twitter to permanently suspend his account.
Throwback: This is not the first time the music industry has stood together in an attempt to ‘wipe out racism’ and in the 1970s concert Rock Against Racism was staged
Making a difference: The Clash are pictured performing during the Rock Against Racism concert at Victoria Park in Hackney in 1976
The musician, 41, said that the argument should have stayed between himself and his manager, John Woolf.
‘I just want to apologise for generalising and going outside of the people who I was talking to within the workspace and workplace I work in,’ he said.
‘My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for generalising, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as anti-Semitic.’
Wiley also appeared to try to justify his provocative comments by suggesting ‘the Jewish community is powerful within the music business.’
Tweets: Wiley shared a series of anti-Semitic posts on Friday July 24. The comments made on Twitter and Instagram are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police
The musician, whose real name is Richard Cowie, was widely condemned for a series of anti-Semitic posts he made on social media, including a video shared last Friday telling Jews to ‘crawl out from under your little rocks.’
Twitter said on Wednesday it has permanently suspended him over posts – including one which called Jewish people ‘cowards and snakes’ – and is ‘continuing to assess the situation internally’. He was initially given a temporary ban.
Wiley has also been banned from Instagram and Facebook after continuing to post inflammatory comments on social media until Tuesday.
The musician caused further controversy when he claimed his Jewish associates in the music and entertainment industry ‘still see us as slaves’ in an interview with The Voice newspaper.
Thoughts: Lily Allen admitted she was ‘really worried’ after reading Grime artist Wiley’s anti-Semitic tweets that compared Jewish people to the Ku Klux Klan on Friday
He said: ‘Without generalising, there is no point saying all [Jews], it is the people I work with in the music and entertainment industry, the Jewish community that I have experienced.
‘The things that need to change is the way that the system was set up, why all of these families are rich, or all of these people have heritage, not just England, like, worldwide. They still see us as slaves.
‘Slavery hasn’t stopped, it’s just dressed-up in a million-pound record deal.’
The rapper, known as the Godfather of Grime, was made an MBE for services to music in 2018.
Action: The Campaign Against Antisemitism protested outside Twitter’s London office on Tuesday, projecting a message onto the social media company’s building
However the Campaign Against Antisemitism has said it will contact the Cabinet Office to ask for Wiley’s MBE to be revoked.
Speaking to Sky News, Wiley said he would be willing to give it up as he ‘never wanted it’.
He told the broadcaster: ‘I never felt comfortable going to get it. Just look at Britain’s colonialism history.’
The manager, who is Jewish, said he no longer represents Wiley and has cut ties with the rapper.
Wiley’s tweets saw him receive a backlash from the music community and also sparked concern from other artists.
Consequences: Wiley was permanently suspended from Twitter six days after his series of anti-Semitic posts sparked a 48-hour walkout by users in protest (pictured in 2018)
Lily Allen, who has signed the open letter, said she was ‘really worried’ after reading Wiley’s anti Semitic tweets last week.
The singer, 35, took to Instagram to reveal how she felt about the Grime artist’s remarks, and urged people to come together to have a sense of community.
Speaking from her bed the singer looked sad and upset as she said: ‘So I just had a look at Wiley’s Tweets. Oh dear.
‘Oh I’m really worried about everyone just going for each other on the Internet and it all being egged on by Big Data and big tech.
‘Its just really sad watching communities who should be like, coming together helping each other out, turn against each other and I just feel like it’s going to get worse. I hope it doesn’t.’
Shocking: In one post on his personal Facebook, Wiley claimed that ‘certain people’ viewed black people as ‘below them’ in society (pictured at Wireless Festival in 2018)
#NoSilenceInMusic: The full open letter to ‘wipe out’ racism signed by 700 artists and musicians
The powerful open letter signed by around 700 artists and members of the British music industry was posted online and shared on social media.
‘We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause.
‘In recent months through a series of events and incidents, the anti-black racists and antisemites, plus those who advocate islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, have repeatedly demonstrated that they clearly want us all to fail.
‘Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.
‘Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots — ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating.
‘We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.
‘There is a global love for music, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Music brings joy and hope and connects us all. Through music, education and empathy we can find unity. We stand together, to educate and wipe out racism now and for our future generations.’
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Professor teaching anti-Marxism course claims he’s ‘censored’
Evan Osborne, an economics professor at Wright State University, says he is not being allowed to teach a course critical of Marxism to the wider general student population
An economics professor at a public university in Ohio claims he is being censored because the administration won’t let him teach a class critical of Marxism to the general student population.
Evan Osborne, a professor at Wright State University, teaches a course entitled Marxism: A History of Theory and Practice, at the Dayton, Ohio, campus.
The course is described in its syllabus as ‘both an introduction to Marxist economic thought and the history of political power exercised in the name of that thought.’
But the course is only available this fall to honors students. Osborne has taught the class once before – in 2014 – but that was also exclusive to honors students.
Osborne says he has been denied a request to make the course available to the wider student population even though he says there are multiple classes taught by professors who praise Marx.
According to The College Fix, Osborne asked to teach his course about Marxism for the spring, summer, and fall 2020 semesters, but was rebuffed by Zdravka Todorova, the chair of the economics department.
Todorova told Osborne that the department was already offering a course about radical economics that term and there wasn’t room for any other class, The Fix reported.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Todorova for comment.
Osborne told The Fix that he was being denied the opportunity teach his class to more students because ‘we have an angry, radical-left cohort in the department, they praise Marxism in the classroom, they will not let me teach critically about it, and numerous people in the university have refused to do anything about it.’
‘That my department is full of extremists who probably don’t belong in a business-college economics department, to be sure, is a manifestation of academic freedom,’ Osborne told The College Fix.
‘And I do not want to change how economics is taught at WSU, broadly speaking. I just want my academic freedom to offer a different view to also be respected.’
Both Wright State University and Osborne have been contacted by DailyMail.com for comment.
Osborne said that it is easier for Wright State students to take courses that look critically at capitalism, including one class called Socialist and Radical Economics.
That course, which Osborne said is taught every spring, aims to give students the opportunity to ‘learn the rich history of critical analyses of the dominant form of capitalism (i.e., historical evolution of capitalist ownerships, capitalist labor process, and its socioeconomic outcomes) and to engage in a critical debate on the prospect of socioeconomic reform,’ according to its syllabus.
Wright State also requires students majoring in economics to take an ‘institutional economics’ course.
‘This class is consistently skeptical of free markets and “capitalism”,’ Osborne told The Fix.
‘Given the way Marx is favorably assessed in our curriculum, and Marxism’s actual historical record, I really thought our students deserved an alternate perspective.’
Osborne claims that the economics department on the Dayton, Ohio, campus (above) has ‘censored’ him by limiting his course about Marxism to honors students only
According to Osborne’s CV, he earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of California-Los Angeles.
He also studied Mandarin at the National Taiwan University.
Osborne told The Fix that his peers complained anonymously to the department chair, accusing him of ‘teaching Marxism incorrectly.’
He said his colleagues, whom he called ‘dissenters/censors,’ demanded that he include in his syllabus material that provided an alternate view of Marxism even though Osborne said ‘these points of view are already included in our curriculum in other courses.’
‘In my quarter-century at Wright State this kind of anonymous, secret criticism has not happened to anyone besides me,’ he told The Fix.
Osborne said that during his tenure at Wright State, elective courses proposed by other faculty members have always been approved without fuss – except for his Marxism class.
‘Institutions of higher learning are now almost all in crisis,’ according to Osborne.
‘The indulgence of unapologetic leftist censorship, at Wright State as elsewhere, is now impossible to justify.
‘If faculty want to preach that Marxism is a triumph of human thought, so be it.
‘If other faculty want to argue that actually it was a disaster, and a crime against humanity, this view should no longer be fanatically censored.’
Who is Karl Marx and what is his ‘The Communist Manifesto’?
Karl Marx’s ideas of society, economics and politics formed the theoretical base for modern international communism
Described as one of the most influential figures in human history, Karl Marx is a German revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist in the 19th century.
Perhaps best known for his critique on capitalism, Marx’s radical ideas of society, economics and politics have been collectively understood as Marxism.
His ideas formed the theoretical base for modern international communism ideology, which aims for shared ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes.
Born in 1818, Marx studied law in Bonn and Berlin and received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Jena.
In 1843, after a brief editor role at a liberal newspaper in Cologne, Marx and his wife Jenny von Westphalen moved to Paris, a hotbed of radical thought.
In 1848, Marx published ‘Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei’, commonly known as ‘The Communist Manifesto’ with fellow German thinker Friedrich Engels.
It became the most celebrated pamphlet in the socialist movement, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The manifesto introduced Marx and Engels’ concept of socialism as a natural result of the conflicts inherent in the capitalist system.
It states that the whole history of mankind has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes.
Marx asserted that these would ultimately disappear with the victory of the proletarians – the industrial working class.
It closed with the words: ‘The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!’
Marx actively pressed for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation.
Revolution subsequently erupted in France, Italy and Austria in the first months of 1848.
In June 1849, Marx moved to London and would remain based in the city for the rest of his life.
Marx also was the author of the movement’s most important book, ‘Das Kapital’, where in the first volume, Marx aimed to reveal the economic patterns underpinning the capitalist mode of production.
Although Marx did not live to publish the second and third parts, they were completed and published by Engels.
Marx died on March 14, 1883 and was buried at Highgate Cemetery in London.
In China and the Soviet Union, Marxism is enshrined as a ‘guiding ideology’ in the constitutions of both the party and the state.
The founding and ruling political party of modern China – the Communist Party – requires members to adopt the reading of Marxist works and the understanding of Marxist theories as a ‘way of life’ and a ‘spiritual pursuit’.
In many Chinese universities, an ‘introduction to the basic principles of Marxism’ is a mandatory course all students must pass to graduate.
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Victoria turns on ‘diabolical’ Dan Andrews after he refused to answer questions on hotel quarantine
Daniel Andrews has been slammed from all angles over his handling of the bungled hotel quarantine program that sparked Victoria’s coronavirus disaster – and for which no one has been held accountable.
Business leaders, health experts and the premier’s political opponents are among the latest take aim at his ‘diabolical’ leadership in a time of crisis.
His state’s horror second wave of cases – most, if not all of which can be traced to quarantine hotels – has derailed Australia’s economic recovery and plunged more than six million people back into lockdown.
The renewed criticism of Mr Andrews came after a press conference on Thursday when he promised to ‘own’ the errors of the quarantine fiasco – but couldn’t answer crucial questions about it.
A grilling from journalists took a heavy toll on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday
Mas Azemi of Mas Barber Shop was forced to shut up shop for six weeks on Wednesday afternoon in response to Victoria’s ongoing COVID-19 outbreak
State opposition leader Michael O’Brien said the premier was overseeing the ‘biggest public policy failure in Australian history’.
‘Can you name me any other public policy failure that has led to dozens and dozens of deaths, 250,000 Victorians being thrown out of work, the closure of tens and thousand of businesses, five million Victorians subject to a curfew and every Victorian forced to wear a mask,’ Mr O’Brien told Sky News on Thursday night.
‘He needs to answer questions. We shouldn’t have to spend $3million on an [hotel quarantine] inquiry for the premier to tell Victorians the truth.
‘His own chief adviser says everything that is happening now goes back to hotel quarantine.
‘That’s why he is so keen to avoid scrutiny. He shut down parliament. You can have Dan Murphy’s as an essential service, but you can’t have democracy as an essential service?’
State opposition leader Michael O’Brien (pictured) said Daniel Andrews was at the heart of the ‘biggest public policy failure in Australian history’
Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall was deserted on Thursday after retailers were forced to close
Premier Andrews was quick to sack two ministers and frontbencher Adem Somyrek after the party’s branch stacking revelations came to light in June.
But no public health official has been stood down over the hotel quarantine saga, with Mr Andrews admitting on Thursday he wouldn’t know who to sack.
He said he had no idea which government departments or ministers were responsible for the botched operation.
‘The lines of authority and accountability and exactly what has gone on here, it is not clear,’ he said.
‘I’ll be accountable for mistakes that were made, but I don’t have the answers. That’s why I’ve set up a proper inquiry to get those answers. We’re all entitled to them.’
The construction industry has been hard hit with building sites restricted to 25 per cent capacity. Pictured are workers building a new park in Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday
A Melburnian walks past a closed up shop on Wednesday as the city goes into stage four lockdown
Big business has taken aim at Premier Andrews as the economical implications of the stage four lockdown start to take effect.
Salta Properties billionaire owner Sam Tarascio slammed Premier Andrews’ leadership as diabolical.
‘The government is saying this is a health crisis and we can’t consider everything else,’ he told The Australian.
‘But that is like sticking your head in the sand. We can be healthy but we are going to stuff the whole state’s economy in the meantime.’
Salta is yet lay off any staff or slash wages during the pandemic so far.
‘But there may not be enough work for everyone from here — we may have to ask them to take some holidays and hope we work our way out of it,’ Mr Tarascio said.
Property developer Tim Gurner warned the restrictions placed on the construction industry down to 25 per cent capacity will see the sector go backwards.
He’s appalled the government didn’t consult builders and unions beforehand.
‘It is going to be catastrophic for the Victorian economy. It is policy on the run,’ Mr Gurner said.
Federal government officials are also angry they were forced to intervene after Victoria’s health authorities to share critical data with other states.
Senior health officials told the Herald Sun Victorian authorities have been ‘almost obstructive’ in theirs dealing with the Australian Health Protection Principal Commitee.
They also claimed the state’s chief health officer Brett Sutton was tight-lipped about the delays in contact tracing and notifying positive cases, sparking concern from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The healthcare sector has called for immediate government intervention to address the rampant spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings.
As of Thursday, 1388 healthcare workers in Victoria have contracted the virus.
Of the 810 active cases, 48 doctors, 346 nurses and 416 other healthcare workers are battling the virus.
Two-thirds are aged in their 20s and 30s.
‘The current infection rate is unacceptable,’ Australian Institute of Health and Safety chairwoman Naomi Kemp said on Thursday.
‘But more tragically, it is preventable.’
Another 1435 of Victoria’s 7449 total active cases are linked to aged care.
Property developers have slammed the Victorian government’s decision to restrict work on construction sites to 25 per cent of normal capacity. Pictured is a Melbourne working on his own on Thursday
The ‘failure’ to instil adequate health and safety standards contributed to the state’s second wave infiltrating hospitals and aged care centres, Ms Kemp said.
The national safety body claims many building site workers have better personal protective equipment to combat the virus than doctors and nurses.
National PPE guidance for use in hospitals does not require staff to wear P2 or N95 masks while treating confirmed or potential COVID-19 patients.
Surgical masks, more commonly used in hospitals, do not offer the same level of protection against the airborne virus.
The AIHS wants federal and state governments to step in and mandate the use of P2 and N95 respirators in these circumstances among a bevy of best-practice virus upgrades.
‘The Victorian experience will simply be repeated in other states unless we act urgently to introduce better protocols across Australia,’ Ms Kemp said.
‘We’re not saying that individual hospitals and aged care centres aren’t trying.
‘But many are only implementing the minimum health and safety standards, and those requirements are dangerously inadequate for frontline workers.’
The AIHS echoed calls from Victorian anaesthetists last week to provide staff-wide PPE ‘fit testing’.
Fit testing involves checking whether airborne particles can penetrate an N95 mask and other safety gear.
The Australian Society of Anaesthetists said it had made ‘numerous approaches’ to federal and state health authorities to request mandatory fit testing in all hospitals.
Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel and Protective service officers are seen on patrol
Police check the permit papers of a worker on day 1 of the full stage 4 lockdown restrictions
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Andrews came under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Justice Jennifer Coate, who is leading the inquiry into the hotel quarantine program, said on Thursday the premier and his ministers were free to answer questions about the probe.
But Mr Andrews still remained tight-lipped, telling reporters he doesn’t have all the answers yet.
The premier gave a fiery response at the suggestion he was hiding behind the inquiry when asked about the chain of command in the hotel quarantine program.
‘I’m not going to conduct a judicial inquiry from this podium. I’m not having two inquires at once. We are having a proper inquiry.
‘Judge Coate will take that inquiry where ever she wants to take it and she will report whatever she believes was appropriate.’
He said he took responsibility for mistakes that had been made.
‘I am accountable because of the job I have. I’m accountable for any mistakes, and all mistakes, that are made. I have never shirked that responsibility.
‘I’ve never moved so much as an inch away from that responsibility. That is the role that I have. I will own those errors. I will be accountable for those errors. So, please don’t be in any doubt about that.’
The inquiry was due to start this week but it has been pushed back to August 17 when it will be held via an online hearing due to the Melbourne lockdown.
People packed Queen Victoria Market on day one of the full stage 4 lockdown
Police and ADF are seen patrolling Flagstaff Gardens on day one of the full stage four lockdown restrictions in Melbourne’s CBD
Earlier during briefing Mr Andrews revealed the details on the reduction in capacity for the state’s meat processing facilities as distribution centres have been forced to reduce their workforce to two-thirds of normal production during the six-week lockdown.
Red meat expected to go down to 66 per cent of normal operations and poultry to 80 per cent.
Retail stores across the city will largely be closed to customers from Thursday, while construction and manufacturing work will also been scaled back in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
Employees allowed to work on-site now have to show a permit or official work ID if they are by stopped police to prove they can leave their homes, or face fines of up to $99,123 for businesses and up to $19,826 for individuals.
Melbourne has been in stage-four lockdown since Sunday night. Pictured is a heavy police presence in Melbourne on Wednesday
Permitted workers and those working from home who cannot supervise their kids must fill out separate forms to send them to child care, kindergarten or primary school.
The rules kicked in a day after Victoria recorded its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday with 15 fatalities, including that of a man in his 30s, and 725 new cases.
Melbourne has been in stage-four lockdown since Sunday with schools shut, weddings banned, and citizens restricted to within a 5km radius of their homes.
Between 8pm and 5am, residents are only allowed to leave their house for work and essential health, care or safety reasons.
There are now 7,227 active cases in Victoria, 2,280 of which have no known source.
What is closed in Melbourne Stage 4
Personal care including hairdressers
Pubs, taverns, bars, brothels and prostitution services, clubs, nightclubs
Food courts, restaurants, cafes, etc
Architectural, engineering and technical services
Travel and tour agencies
Non-emergency call centre operations
Non-urgent elective surgery
Museums, parks and gardens, ski resorts
Places of worship except what is required to stream services or provide soup kitchens and food banks
Manufacturing of non-metallic mineral and fabricated metal products, furniture, wood, textile, leather fur, dressing knitted, clothing and footwear, domestic appliances
All office-based and professional businesses, except those delivering critical services, must work from home
OPERATING BUT LIMITED
Building sites of more than three storeys – 25 per cent of workforce
Less than three storeys- five workers on site at a time only
Meat processing – workers cut by a third
Shopping centres for access to permitted retail only
Public transport, ride share and taxis only to support access to permitted services for permitted workers
Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing with minimum number of essential participants to operate safely
What is open in Melbourne Stage 4
Supermarkets, bottle shops, petrol stations, pharmacies, post offices, banks
Retailers working onsite to fulfill online orders
Hardware, building an garden supplies for trade
Specialist stationery for business use
Motor vehicle parts for emergency repairs, mechanics
Locksmiths, laundry and dry cleaners, maternity supplies
Disability and health services and equipment, mobility devices
Farms and commercial fishing
Vets, pounds and animal shelters
Supermarkets will stay open
Construction of critical infrastructure and services to support those projects
Critical repairs to homes where required for emergency or safety
Cafes and restaurants for takeaway
Critical service call centres
Law enforcement and courts for urgent matters
Prisons, facilities for parolees, adult parole board, youth justice facilities
Essential maintenance and manufacturing
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George Floyd death: Cop’s lawyer says he never touched victim
The lawyer for one of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged over George Floyd‘s death has claimed his client ‘only handled crowd control’ and had offered cops a hobble restraint to use during the fatal arrest.
Defense attorney Robert Paule filed a memo on Wednesday supporting his earlier motion to dismiss charges against fired officer Tou Thao for lack of probable cause.
The memo said Thao had his back to what was going on as officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee to the neck of Floyd, a handcuffed black man.
Chauvin had pinned Floyd down with his leg for more than eight minutes on May 25 even after he repeatedly pleaded for air.
The defense attorney for former Minneapolis cop Tou Thao (pictured right during a court hearing last month) is seeking to dismiss the charges against his client due to ‘lack of probable cause’
Thao (right) was fired alongside three of his colleagues, Derek Chauvin (far left) J. Alexander Kueng (second from left) and Thomas Lane (second from right) after footage of Floyd’s fatal arrest went viral in May
Thao was seen in footage of the fatal confrontation with his back to Floyd as he was pinned to the ground by Chauvin. Thao’s attorney has claimed he only handled ‘crowd control’ of the incident
According to the memo, Thao had offered a hobble restraint to the other three officers, but they refused it.
A hobble restraint is sometimes used to by police to restrain suspects by their wrists and ankles. The device limits the person’s movement while keeping them in a seated position.
Thao then ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers for the majority of the remainder of the arrest, the memo said.
‘When Officer Thao turned his back to Mr Floyd and the three other officers for the last time, Mr Floyd was still alive and breathing,’ the memo said.
‘Officer Thao did nothing to aid in the commission of a crime.’
Thao never placed his hands on Floyd, according to the memo, and asked about the status of an ambulance, radioing police dispatch to hurry up the response.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin (left) pressed his knee against his neck for more than eight minutes
Thao claims he offered officers a hobble restraint (pictured in a stock image) for Floyd, but they refused
The lawyer also argues Chauvin was using a non-deadly, Minneapolis Police Department-approved neck restraint, and that Thao and the other three officers ‘had been repeatedly trained to use neck restraints.’
Viral footage of the deadly police confrontation showed Thao standing on the street as Floyd was pinned to the ground behind him, struggling to breathe.
Thao was seen facing a group of bystanders who were recording the incident as they urged officers to release Floyd.
The disturbing footage captured Floyd’s final moments, during which he gasped for air and complained to cops that he couldn’t breathe before eventually losing consciousness.
He was later taken away in an ambulance and was pronounced dead shortly after on May 25.
Thao was fired the next day along with fellow officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane following widespread backlash over the video.
He was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd’s death triggered a nationwide protests against police brutality and the senseless killings of black Americans
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