Hamptons surfers join ‘National Paddle Out’ to honor George Floyd

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Published in The New York Post on June 6, 2020

Surfers gathered in the Hamptons Friday for a totally rad, on-the-water memorial for George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose police custody death has galvanized protests around the country.

While hundreds marched at Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk, more than 100 local surfers gathered in the ocean to remember Floyd by joining in a “National Paddle Out” — a term used by surfers to pay respects when one of their own has died.

Some of the surfers decorated the rockers of their boards with the Black Lives Matter hashtag.

Around the country, others also participated in the event — which was organized by Black Girls Surf.

In California, more than 200 paddled through choppy waves to form a circle and chant Floyd’s name nine times to mark the nearly nine minutes his neck was pinned down under ex-cop Derek Chauvin’s knee.

Surfers also sang “Happy Birthday” to Breonna Taylor, a black EMT who was killed in her own home by Kentucky cops in March.

Rhonda Harper, the founder of Black Girls Surf, said she organized the national event because of a “lack of awareness and empathy in the surf community.”

“I have a lot of white surf friends who don’t get it or are so privileged that they don’t have to mourn the loss of a black life. They’re talking about waves being beautiful and there being too much negativity in the world,” Harper told The Associated Press.

With Post wires

Derek Chauvin mugshot (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Derek Chauvin ‘illegally’ voted in Florida before George Floyd death, lawyer alleges

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Published in The New York Post on June 6, 2020

The ex-cop charged with murder for kneeling on the neck of George Floyd illegally voted in Florida elections while living in Minnesota, a lawyer alleged on Friday.

Attorney Dan Helm sent a letter containing the voting record of ex-cop Derek Chauvin to Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, asking her to pursue charges, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“While living in Minnesota, working there, paying taxes there, Derek Chauvin cannot claim residency in Orange County. His home, residency and where he intends to live is in Minnesota, not Florida,” wrote Helm, who is running for election supervisor role in Pinellas County.

Chauvin’s court papers list his residence as being in the city of Oakdale, Minnesota — a suburb of Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis police department, where Chauvin worked when he fatally kneeled on Floyd’s neck during an arrest, does not require its police officers to hold a residence in the city, according to its website.

The Minneapolis Police Department had a residency requirement for its officers — which was removed in 1999 a bill called the “Stanek Residency Freedom Bill” was signed into law by then-governor Jesse Ventura prohibiting municipalities in the state from requiring residency for employment, according to MinnPost.com.

(Photo by Gage Skidmore used via Creative Commons)

Texas Gov. calls for resignation of GOP official over George Floyd conspiracy theory

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Published in The New York Post on June 4, 2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called for the resignation of a county GOP chair who posted a conspiracy theory that the death of George Floyd was staged.

Nueces County GOP Chair Jim Kaelin, a former sheriff in the county, shared the conspiracy theory — which said the death was staged to harm Trump with Black voters — to Facebook, freelance reporter James M. Russell reported.

“Interesting perspective: Staged Event? These officers were involved with something, I’m not sure exactly what, but something is just not adding up,” the post begins.

“I think there is at the very least the ‘possibility’, that this was a filmed public execution of a black man by a white cop, with the purpose of creating racial tensions and driving a wedge in the growing group of anti deep state sentiment from common people.”

Abbott’s office told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that Floyd’s death was a “crime and an act of police brutality.”

“Spreading conspiracy theories that the murder was staged simply defies reality; it is irresponsible, and unbecoming of anyone who holds a position in the GOP,” a spokesman for the governor told the Caller-Times.

Kaelin’s post comes after Abbott and other Republicans in the state called for the resignation of Bexar County GOP chair Cynthia Brehm — who refused to resign for posting the same comments, the Texas Tribune reported.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick slammed the comments as racist on Twitter.

“Cynthia Brehm must resign now, today. There is no excuse for this outrageous, ignorant racist message made worse by using her position as a local party leader to spread it.”

Republican U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have also called for her resignation, the outlet reported.

Brehm has since deleted her post but Kaelin’s remains up on Facebook, reports said.

Anthony Brennan III

Cyclist attacks girl putting up George Floyd flyers in Maryland, video shows

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Published in The New York Post on June 4, 2020

A maniacal cyclist flew into a rage in Maryland on Monday — attacking a small girl putting up flyers to honor the death of George Floyd, a viral video shows.

“Do not touch her! Do not touch her!” a woman is heard screaming at the man wearing spandex biking shorts and a red helmet.

The man then forcefully grasps the young girl’s arms with one hand while ripping the flyer out of her hands with the other.

“Get off of her!” A woman shouts at the man.

“F–k you,” he responds, before grabbing his bicycle and galloping towards the man filming.

The flyers were being posted by the group along the Capital Crescent Trail — which runs from Washington, D.C., into Maryland’s Montgomery County.

“KILLER COPS WILL NOT GO FREE,” the flyers read, according to WJLA.

Maryland-National Capital Park Police are on the lookout for the man.

Video shows car drive through crowd of protesters in California

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Published in the New York Post on June 3, 2020

A man was arrested Wednesday night after ramming his Mini Cooper through a crowd of protesters peacefully demonstrating in California after the death of George Floyd, video shows.

Dozens of people are heard screaming “Oh my God” as the car, which had Arizona plates, speeds through the Newport Beach Pier protest, video taken by KTTV shows.

“The suspect apparently told his friend he was being attacked by Antifa … that’s why he sped up,” anchor Elex Michaelson tweeted.

But witnesses the outlet spoke with could not verify the man’s claim.

The driver reportedly hit at least three protesters, though nobody was seriously injured, KCAL reported.

Newport Beach Police arrested the man on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Mayor Will O’Neill confirmed.

Cale Groff

Aspiring rapper arrested for telling fans to kill cops over George Floyd death

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Published in the New York Post on June 3, 2020

A wannabe Florida rapper was arrested after telling fans to kill cops in an Instagram post, a report said Wednesday.

Cale Groff, 20, was arrested Tuesday by St. Petersburg Police after calling on fans to gather at a local mall and throw bricks through the windows, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by The Smoking Gun.

“If you see a police … Throw a brick at his head or whatever’s in your hand… F–k all the police, we gonna kill them how they killed George,” Groff said in the video.

Groff, who makes music under the name “Ace $wift,” received a felony charge of making threatening communications or threats of mass shootings. He was released later Tuesday on a $20,000 bond, jail records show.

Groff posts music on his SoundCloud page to his 308 listeners, with songs titled “Pimpin Ain’t Easy,, “Still Scamming” and “F–k It.” Cover art accompanying the images shows Groff with weapons and cash.

Since his arrest, he has scrubbed his Instagram of all posts.

“We are not the same we cannot coexist,” Groff tweeted May 29.

The rapper is not affiliated with a political party, according to voter records.