The Latest: Police: 2 dead, 7 wounded in N Carolina shooting

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A 1970’s-era poster of activist Angela Davis hangs at a boarded up and closed Seattle police precinct Sunday, June 21, 2020, in Seattle, where streets are blocked off in what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone. Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building earlier in the month after clashes with people protesting the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) —

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— North Carolina shooting leaves 2 dead, 7 wounded

— Seattle police say person wounded in 2nd shooting in less than 48 hours

— NYC officer suspended without pay for ‘apparent chokehold.’

— Spanish missionary statue in Los Angeles toppled by demonstrators.

— George Washington memorial vandalized in Baltimore.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Authorities in North Carolina say a shooting at an impromptu block party has left two people dead and seven others wounded.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters early Monday the shooting happened around midnight at a block party that was a continuation of Juneteenth celebrations. Jennings said police responding to a pedestrian call found hundreds of people in the streets.

After authorities arrived, several shots were fired and the crowd scattered. Jennings said five people were hit by cars while running away from the shooting. He said there was evidence of multiple shooters.

Further details weren’t immediately available.

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SEATTLE — Police in Seattle say one person has been wounded in the second shooting in Seattle’s protest zone in less than 48 hours.

The shooting happened late Sunday night in the area near Seattle’s downtown area known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.” Police tweeted that one person was at a hospital with a gunshot wound. A hospital spokesperson says the person was in serious condition.

A pre-dawn shooting Saturday had left a 19-year-old man dead and another person critically injured. No arrests in that shooting had been made as of Sunday.

The CHOP zone is a several-block area cordoned off by protesters near a police station in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.

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NEW YORK — A New York City police officer was suspended without pay Sunday after he was recorded putting his arm around a man’s neck in what the police commissioner called an “apparent chokehold.”

The department’s action to suspend the officer was stunning in its swiftness, occurring just hours after the morning confrontation on a beach boardwalk in the Rockaway section of Queens.

A video shot by one of the men involved showed a group of officers tackling a Black man, with one of them putting his arm around his neck as he lay face-down on the boardwalk.

In the video, someone yells, “Stop choking him, bro!” The officer relaxes his grip after a fellow officer taps him and pulls on his shirt.

It was unclear whether the man who was tackled suffered more than superficial injuries. He stood under his own power after he got off the ground and refused to let medics examine him after the incident.

The NYPD has long banned chokeholds. Their use has been especially fraught since the 2014 death of Eric Garner after an officer put him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law a sweeping package of police accountability measures including a ban on chokeholds following protests over George Floyd’s killing.

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GARDENA, Calif.– Two Democratic lawmakers called Sunday for California’s Attorney General to investigate the fatal shooting of a young man by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Reps. Maxine Waters and Nanette Diaz Barragán said in a statement there’s a need for an independent investigation into the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado so the public will trust the findings.

Messages seeking comment were sent to the state Attorney General’s office and the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department. Guardado was shot Thursday after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies spotted him with a gun in front of a business near Gardena. Several hundred people gathered Sunday to protest the shooting.

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NEW YORK — The American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.

The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

The museum’s president, Ellen Futter, told the New York Times that the museum’s “community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd.”

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SEATTLE —Seattle police on Sunday pursued their investigation into a weekend shooting in a park in the city’s protest zone that killed a 19-year-old man and critically injured another person.

No arrests had been made.

An “active and ongoing” investigation was under way into the shooting, which occurred about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in an area near downtown known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone, said Detective Mark Jamieson. The suspect or suspects fled the scene, and police asked the public for any information that could identify them.

The zone evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Officers responding to the shooting said they had trouble getting to the scene because they were “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” according to a police blog.

Video released later Saturday by police appears to show officers arriving at the protest zone saying they want to get to the victim and entering as people yell at them that the victim is already gone. Police mostly retreated from the zone after clashes with protesters, KIRO-TV reported.

Private vehicles took two males with gunshot wounds to Harborview Medical Center, where the 19-year-old man died. A 33-year-old man, whose name was not immediately released, remained in critical condition Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg told KOMO-TV.

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ROME — Premier Giuseppe Conte says Italy is watching closely, and with concern, as Black Lives Matter protests sweep across American cities, particularly as the U.S. is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Conte was asked at a news conference Sunday to comment on the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman and the protests that have occurred in the aftermath.

Conte said the protests had “touched the raw nerve of racial discrimination in American society,” while reflecting problems of inequality, suffering and marginalization among certain facets of the population.

He said violent protests “are never admissible” and that Italy respected the internal matters of its longtime ally. But he said Italy was following “closely, and with concern what is happening in the U.S., at a time when our American friends are dealing with a pandemic that is causing so many victims.” Italy has had a handful of peaceful rallies in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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