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Morning Brief: Processing George Floyd’s Death Again, Young Climate Activists Make Moves, And Going From Tijuana To Temecula

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A mural depicting various scenes of Hip Hop in downtown Los Angeles
(Chava Sanchez
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Good morning, L.A. It’s April 19.

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As attorneys prepare to make their closing remarks today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with the death of George Floyd, people around the country are reflecting on the horrific images they watched throughout the trial.

The nine-minute-plus video of Floyd’s death, which circulated widely last summer, depicts Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly says that he can’t breathe. On our newsroom’s AirTalk show, listeners called in to process their feelings about watching the now-infamous footage again.

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"He knows he’s killing this man. He has no problem with that, he is almost enjoying himself," said caller Batia Adrabi. "He's looking directly at the people surrounding him. They're begging him to stop and he has no problem with that."

Caroline Randall Williams called in to voice her disturbance at Chauvin’s seeming lack of regard for Floyd’s humanity.

"It’s this idea that no matter how much you ask for your rights, how much you're asking for your life to look like something that needs to be preciously cared for, there are people who are just prepared to see you as like an animal,” she said.

Meanwhile, protests in Minnesota over the death of yet another unarmed Black man at the hands of law enforcement drew a prominent L.A. politician. On Saturday night, L.A. Congresswoman Maxine Waters attended a protest over the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

"I just could not sleep, I could not rest, I could not be satisfied without coming here to let the family know, and the friends know and all those who organized for justice know, that I stand with you," Waters said. “We have to persist in calling for justice.”

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Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • For L.A.’s unhoused community, many of whom do not have a bank account or internet access, accessing pandemic financial relief from the government has proven difficult.
  • There are pros and cons to L.A. Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner's proposed plan to extend the 2021-22 school year.
  • As Earth Day approaches on April 22, young climate activists are working hard to clean up their communities.
  • A hiker rescued this week from the Angeles National Forest with the help of a photograph and a Twitter user might now be in trouble with the feds.

Before You Go … From Tijuana To Temecula To LA: A Fronterizo's Struggle For A Sense Of Belonging

RILA lead image 4/16
Juan Ricardo Gomez outside his former high school in Temecula last year.
(Courtesy of Juan Ricardo Gomez)

Since June 2020, we've asked for your stories about how race and ethnicity shape your life. Here, contributor Juan Ricardo Gomez shares his story about struggling to belong:

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“I'm a proud fronterizo.

I'm a Mexican immigrant from the border region. I was born and raised in Tijuana, but often spent time in San Diego, where many of my family members live. I moved to California in my junior year of high school to live with my uncle and his family in, of all places, Temecula.

When I officially enrolled in my new high school, I didn't feel ‘different,’ per se. Those feelings quickly changed as I started interacting with the students and staff.”


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