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June 14, 2020

Atlanta on the Brink

This Day in History | 1776

The Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Flashpoint: Atlanta, GA. It’s the capital of the south, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., and it has been the home of some of America’s most successful black-owned businesses. But today on June 14th, 2020 Atlanta Georgia is waking up, literally smoldering after a night of racial tension. The police chief has resigned and a sergeant fired after the death of an unarmed black man. It’s a sign that George Floyd’s death was the start of this new wave of “by any means necessary” pursuit of racial justice. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Atlanta Police Chief Resigns After Fatal Police Shooting

(AP) – An Atlanta police officer was fired following the fatal shooting of a black man and another officer was placed on administrative duty, the police department announced early Sunday.

The moves follows the Saturday resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who stepped down as the Friday night killing of Rayshard Brooks, 27, sparked a new wave of protests in Atlanta after turbulent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police had simmered down.

The terminated officer was identified as Garrett Rolfe, who was hired in October 2013, and the officer placed on administrative duty is Devin Brosnan, who was hired in September 2018, according to a release from police spokesperson Sgt. John Chafee.

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Related: Rioters Burn Down Wendy’s Where Police Shot, Killed Black Man

(Reuters) – The restaurant was in flames for more than 45 minutes before fire crews arrived to extinguish the blaze, protected by a line of police officers, local television showed. By that time the building was reduced to charred rubble next to a gas station.

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GOP Struggles to Confront Racial Issues

(The Hill) – Less than five months before the election, congressional Republicans are struggling to confront a host of thorny racial issues that have been unexpectedly thrust into the 2020 campaign spotlight.

They’re still scrambling to craft a response to nationwide protests against police brutality following the May 25 killing of George Floyd, divided over whether to rename Army bases named after Confederate leaders and resistant to banning all Confederate statues from the Capitol.

The resistance to remove the Confederate statues — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argue states should decide which figures represent them in the hallowed building — is even creating friction in the party.

Rep. Will Hurd, the only black House Republican, said it’s a no-brainer to remove the nearly dozen statues of Confederate generals and soldiers who fought against the Union.

“The bottom line for me is if someone didn’t want to be part of this great country, then why would we want to have their statue in the Capitol?” Hurd, who is retiring this year, told The Hill.

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