(CNN)The half-brother of Robert Fuller, the 24-year-old black man who was found dead hanging in the city of Palmdale last week, was killed in a deputy-involved shooting in Kern County on Wednesday, a…
(CNN)The half-brother of Robert Fuller, the 24-year-old black man who was found dead hanging in the city of Palmdale last week, was killed in a deputy-involved shooting in Kern County on Wednesday, a…
The family of an African American man who died after being shot in the back by a police officer in the US state of Georgia are pleading for justice.
Rayshard Brooks was gunned down while fleeing two police officers after a struggle with them in a Wendy’s car park in Atlanta late last week.
The local medical examiner declared his death a homicide on Sunday.
“The trust that we have in the police force is broken,” his niece Tiara Brooks told a news conference.
“The only way to heal some of these wounds is through a conviction and a drastic change in the police department.”
Amid growing outrage, Mr Brooks’ widow asked that protests stay peaceful to keep her husband’s name “positive and great”.
Mr Brooks’ death comes at a time of nationwide reckoning over police violence against African Americans, initially sparked by the death of another black man, George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis.
On Monday morning, hundreds of protesters assembled in Atlanta, calling for criminal justice reforms and demanding justice for Mr Brooks.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a series of executive orders demanding police reforms concerning use of force policies.
What did Mr Brooks family say?
At a press conference on Monday, Mr Brooks’ family described him as a “loving husband and caring brother”, and doting father of three daughters. One of his children, Blessing, had her eighth birthday party on the day her father was killed.
“He was silly, had the biggest smile and the brightest heart,” said his niece Chastity Evans, who decried the death of her uncle “shot and killed like trash for falling asleep at a drive-through”.
Mr Brooks’ shooting comes at a time of nationwide upheaval, with thousands already taking to the street in cities across the country, demanding changes in the use of deadly force by police, particularly of African Americans.
On Sunday evening, more than 100 people turned out in the rain at the site of the shooting for a peaceful protest following Mr Brooks’ death. A day earlier, the Wendy’s drive-through restaurant where he was stopped was set on fire.
Speaking to the media, Mr Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller thanked demonstrators for their support, and asked that the gatherings in his name remain peaceful.
“If you could just keep it as a peaceful protest, that would be wonderful,” she said.
Why this case is different
Analysis by Jessica Lussenhop, BBC News
The swiftness with which a white police officer was fired in the killing of Rayshard Brooks is just the latest sign of how rapidly and dramatically police agencies have shifted strategy when it comes to dealing with deadly force cases.
Historically, not only have police chiefs been reticent to fire officers involved in in-custody deaths until a “full investigation” had taken place, they’ve been quick to defend the officer’s use of force if he or she “reasonably” believed that a person had a deadly weapon or posed immediate danger to the officer.
In this case, video shows that Brooks had taken the officer’s Taser and appears to use it. But not only is the weapon designated as less than lethal, the video shows he was running away and that the shots that killed him entered his back.
If the officer is criminally charged in this case, the question of whether or not a Taser should be considered a deadly weapon will surely come into play, as well as whether the officer had “reasonable” fear of Brooks.
But at this stage, what is already clear is that police departments are not feeling nearly as confident relying on the old strategies and rhetoric that historically have allowed them to slow-play their response to a police-involved killing.
Ms Miller told reporters that she and her husband had been following the protests incited by George Floyd.
“I’ve always said, ‘baby, I don’t want that to be you,'” she said.
What are the details of the Atlanta shooting?
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) says officers were called to fast-food restaurant Wendy’s because Mr Brooks had fallen asleep in his car, which was blocking the drive-through lane.
Body camera footage released by the police department shows the two officers administering a sobriety test, with Mr Brooks’ permission.
The two officers then try to handcuff him, at which point their body cams fall off, but security camera video shows them struggling with Mr Brooks on the ground. At the press conference on Monday, a lawyer for Mr Brooks suggested that he may have feared being placed in handcuffs, with the knowledge that George Floyd was handcuffed when he died.
He then grabs an officer’s Taser (electric stun gun), appears to punch one of them and breaks free from the officers, running away. As he is chased, Mr Brooks is seen turning around and pointing the Taser before continuing to run and being shot.
According to the Fulton County medical examiner, the manner of death of Rayshard Brooks was “homicide”. He suffered two gunshots to the back that caused organ injuries and blood loss.
The Atlanta chief of police has since quit, and the police officer suspected of shooting Mr Brooks has been fired.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told CNN that three charges could apply against sacked police officer Garrett Rolfe: murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.
A decision by his office following their investigation could come by midweek.
“We look forward to the District Attorney’s findings,” said L. Chris Stewart on Monday, an attorney for the Brooks family.
What did the Atlanta mayor say?
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday announced a series of administrative orders asking calling for reforms to the Atlanta police department’s use of force policies.
The reforms, complying with state law, demand that officers only use “the amount of objectively reasonable force necessary” to protect themselves and others, and require de-escalation by officers, particularly before the use of deadly force.
Ms Bottoms also introduced a “duty to intervene”, rendering police officers who witness other officers using unnecessary force “duty bound to intercede” and prevent that use of force.
“It’s very clear that our police officers are to be guardians and not warriors within our communities,” she said.
The mayor last week announced the creation of a task force on police reforms, meant to provide recommendations to the city in two weeks.
But she said Mr Brooks’ murder makes “clear that we do not have another day, another minute, another hour to waste”.
If you’re among the tens of millions of Americans who became unemployed during the pandemic, you have likely been dealing with more stress than just lockdowns, remote learning and social distancing have brought (and that was enough to begin with). It can be tricky to know whether—or how—to approach the topic of job loss with your kids; you don’t want to burden them or add more worry to an already difficult year.
But chances are, they already know something is wrong. And there are ways you can talk to them about it that is honest and candid without being alarming.
Unless they’re very young, if you previously worked out of the home and you’re no longer leaving for work at 8 a.m. sharp every morning, they’re going to notice that something is up. And even if you worked from home, you’re likely not spending eight straight hours in front of the computer anymore, and they’re going to notice that, too.
But even if you’ve managed to lie away the changes in your schedule, kids are very adept at picking up on the emotional temperature of the room—that is, if you’re stressed out, there’s a good chance they already know you’re stressed out. And if they don’t know why you’re stressed, kids also have a tendency to invent their own scenarios; and in lieu of another explanation, they often assume that they are the underlying cause.
You don’t want to lay your adult burden on their little shoulders but you do want to acknowledge that you’re although you’re going through a difficult time, you have a plan and the family will be okay.
If you have a partner, sit down with them first to discuss how you’ll talk to the kids about your job loss; you’ll need to be on the same page. Also choose a time to talk to the kids when you are feeling calm—not immediately after you receive the news or before you’ve really processed what happened.
They will largely take their cue on how to react by your demeanor, so try to talk to them in a way that is “hopefully realistic,” as psychotherapist Amy Morin writes for Very Well Family:
Your first instinct might be to sugarcoat the situation so it doesn’t sound so bad, but minimizing the seriousness of the situation too much is a mistake.
You don’t want to go overboard with the dramatics. So, find a good middle ground by being hopefully realistic about what the job loss means for your family.
Your tone really is the most important thing here; the actual words you use will depend on your family’s financial situation and your child’s age. If your family is financially secure and you can weather several weeks or months without your income, tell them that. If this means things are tight and some extras they’re used to, like the weekly pizza delivery, need to be paused while you look for a new job, you can tell them that, too. And make sure to point out all the supportive people in your lives, such as their grandparents or other loved ones, who will help, if needed.
Younger, elementary-age kids probably won’t need too many details. You can tell them the reason for the job loss, but keep it simple—the company shut down or they don’t need as many employees now as they did before because they’re not as busy. And they’ll probably want to know how it will directly impact them (will they still be able to attend summer camp?).
Tweens and teens may want to dig a little deeper and better understand the family’s financial picture. Talk about your plans going forward, whether it’s looking for a new job, doing some freelance work or side jobs, or going back to school for a career change. You can’t know that everything will happen according to plan, but it will be comforting for them to know that you’ve got some next steps in the works.
You may also want to talk about how private you want the family to be about the job loss, particularly with kids who are on social media. Just be careful not to imply that there is any shame in your situation; this isn’t a secret, but it may be something you prefer to keep private within the family or within your immediate social circle, and that’s okay.
Depending on your child’s age or temperament, they may display any number of emotional reactions to your news: indifference, anger, sadness, confusion. And don’t be surprised if their main reaction is about how the job loss may directly affect their lifestyle. As clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel writes for the New York Times, it’s helpful for parents to remember that heartbreak can often sound like entitlement:
You’re likely to hear some version of:
“THIS ISN’T HAPPENING! … No way! Not fair! You promised! … Where am I supposed to go all summer? … WHAT do I tell my friends?”
As challenging as it may be, try to respect your children’s disappointment without defensiveness. Of course the pandemic wasn’t your fault, but your children may lash out at you. Take it as a good sign. It means that they heard you and trust that you are sturdy enough to be able to absorb their feelings.
Give them space to ask questions and answer them as calmly and candidly as you can. And remember that they need time to process this, just like you did. This shouldn’t be a one-time conversation; like all big parenting talks, this is something that you can—and should—discuss from time to time as you check in with how they’re feeling or update them with any new developments.
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Rayshard Brooks was killed a day before he planned to celebrate his daughter’s birthday
March 23 is an important holiday to the Zaraysky family: It’s the day Susanna, her sister and her parents left the former Soviet Union for the United States. This past March marked the 40th anniversary of their departure from modern-day Russia, as well as her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and the family planned to celebrate.
“Before the lock down, my mom had me call different restaurants to figure out their menus and see if they had a room that could house 35 people,” says Susanna, who today is a content strategist for Google’s Material Design division. “But then, because of COVID-19, the restrictions kept coming.” Soon, Susanna and her family realized a party would be impossible.
“But we thought, ‘wait, this is a really big deal.’”
Finding a workaround wouldn’t be easy. Both of Susanna’s parents are hard of hearing, and primarily speak Russian. Susanna’s father is also in a nursing home, which wasn’t allowing visitors in. The family would stand outside, separated by a glass door, which there was little to no chance her father would be able to hear them through. “We knew that we weren’t even going to be able to bring food in and sit with him and eat and visit.”
A tool that Susanna had demoed at Google I/O last year proved to be the solution. “I had volunteered to work in the accessibility booth, and I did demos of Live Transcribe,” she remembers. Live Transcribe is a free, real-time speech-to-text transcription app for Android that works in more than 80 languages. “If someone had an accent, I would ask what language they spoke and asked them to speak in their native tongue and showed them the transcriptions in their language. It was amazing to see; people’s eyes would open up and their jaws would drop! They would say ‘oh I can use this with my parents and friends.’” After the launch, Susanna began using Live Transcribe with her father. During doctor’s visits, Live Transcribe allowed her father to read what the doctor was saying in real time, while family members helped clarify important information and ensure caption accuracy. Her parents had even visited Google’s campus to meet Dimitri Kanevsky, one of the creators of Live Transcribe, who also left the former Soviet Union, and communicated with him in Russian using the app.
“My parents and Dimitri communicated in Russian using Live Transcribe,” Susanna remembers. “People with disabilities in the former Soviet Union were not given many opportunities to excel. So to see someone like Dimitri, who is deaf, from your origin country create a life-changing, revolutionary technology…I think my parents are really proud that I work for a company that makes technology to help people with disabilities, especially because of my own background.”
Susanna was born with strabismus (crossed eyes) and placed in a Soviet preschool for the developmentally disabled, even though she had no developmental issues. “I know about limitations for the visually impaired first-hand.”
Susanna sees Live Transcribe as an assistive technology that helps everyone, regardless of whether or not they have an impairment. “The curb cut on the sidewalk is just as important to the grandmother in the wheelchair, as it is to the grandson wheeling it,” she explains. “That’s what makes it easier to maneuver the wheelchair across the street.” As more and more people use Live Transcribe, it builds social awareness about how we can, and why we should, integrate assistive tools into modern life.
This much was obvious for her family this past March. “One of the nurses wheeled my dad in his wheelchair to the glass doors of the nursing home,” she says. Her father wasn’t expecting to see her, or his grandchildren, standing outside. Holding her tablet up to the door, Susanna, her sister and her niece and nephew spoke and Live Transcribe typed out their words in real time in Russian and English on the screen, so her father could read them. They heard his spoken responses through the glass door and most importantly were touched by his smile when he read his granddaughter saying “We miss you and we love you” on the tablet screen. “We could not have ‘spoken’ to my dad in real time without the app,” Susanna says. Her family left food for him, chatted for a bit with the help of the app and took a few photos. While it wasn’t the big party at a nice restaurant they’d originally planned, that moment was a way to recognize a meaningful time for their family.
Because her mother is high risk, she couldn’t be at the nursing home for the celebration. And now, due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, quarantine procedures are even more strict and the family can no longer visit in person at all. It was a challenge figuring out how to have a virtual call with Russian captions that would have the same simple “glass door” experience, but eventually they found a way using a smartphone and video chat. “We held the tablet by our chest, so he could see us and the text on the screen at the same time,” Susanna says. The phone propped up on the table essentially became their new “glass door.”
Susanna says there’s an “irony” to commemorating her family’s freedom during a quarantine that’s separated them. When they left the Soviet Union, she remembers waving goodbye to her cousin and uncle through the glass doors of the Leningrad Airport. Forty years later, here they were, using assistive technology to feel closer despite the glass between them. “The fact that we used this technology to celebrate our family’s departure from a country that didn’t allow people to communicate…” Susanna says. “For me, there’s a significance beyond communicating with my dad through a glass door.”
Along with the companies that make hand sanitizer and toilet paper, puzzle manufacturers and sellers have been doing a brisk business lately. With everyone confined to their homes for the past few months, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had more time for slower-paced activities. If your family has hopped on the puzzle bandwagon and either ordered some new ones or broke out the puzzles hidden in the back of the closet, have we got the tiny hack for you. Here’s what you need to know.
If you don’t have a dedicated table for doing puzzles (which I’m guessing applies to most people), you may struggle with where to put the puzzle while you’re working on it. You don’t just want to leave it on the floor for people to trip over, but if you try to pick it up to move it, there’s a good chance you’ll ruin all the hard work you’ve already put into the project. Sure, you could use your kitchen or dining room table, but you’ll probably need those surfaces for other activities, like eating. So what’s a puzzle-lover to do?
For easy moving, do your puzzle on top of a bulletin board—that way you can just pick it up and transport it to any spot in the house without breaking it. This tiny hack comes courtesy of a very smart friend of mine who posted a photo on Instagram of her two daughters putting a puzzle together on top of a bulletin board. When a commenter inquired about the method, my friend informed her that it was to make the puzzle easier to move. Genius!
And this isn’t something she thought up during the pandemic—it’s a technique she’s been using for years. If the kids want to work on the puzzle, she can move it into a corner, so they’re not right in the middle of the room. And if they’re working on it at night, they can put it in front of a light. So many options!
If you’re wondering what makes a bulletin board so ideal for this use, let us break it down. While you may be familiar with a similar strategy involving doing a puzzle on top of a piece of cardboard, you should know that the bulletin board method is superior. First, if you’ve ever tried doing this with cardboard, you know how slippery that sucker can get. And, if you’re using a deconstructed box, the cardboard may be creased, so the surface isn’t completely flat. The smooth (and potentially uneven) surface may cause the puzzle to slide all over the place (including off the cardboard completely).
But a bulletin board isn’t quite as smooth as cardboard, making the puzzle pieces stay put. On top of that—and this is key—bulletin boards usually come with some sort of built-in frame. This way, even if your puzzle does slide around a bit, it won’t slide off the board completely (unless you deliberately dump it). The frame also makes it easier to pick the bulletin board up and move it around your home. You’re welcome.
If you relocated out of state during the coronavirus pandemic, whether to stay with family members or hunker down in a vacation home or Airbnb, you might want to find out whether your temporary change of scene will make your 2020 taxes a little more complicated.
Here’s why: If you worked remotely while living in a different state than the one associated with your permanent address, you might be required to file two state income tax returns. As Marketwatch explains:
If the “new normal” means a new address — even a temporary one — that can mean a new set of tax issues, experts say. That’s because states have different rules on how long it takes before a non-resident needs to start paying them income taxes.
In almost half the country, it can take one day for the requirement to kick in. Elsewhere, the clock starts after two months. Meanwhile, 13 states said they wouldn’t be requiring income tax from people who temporarily stay in their borders during the pandemic.
The 13 states currently waiving the income tax requirement for COVID-19 relocations are Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. If you relocated to one of the 37 states not on that list, it’s time to look up the tax laws in your temporary home—or (this is my personal recommendation) talk to a CPA.
This non-resident income tax situation can get really complicated, as not all states play by the same rules. Some states have what are called “reciprocity agreements,” by which people who live in one state and work in a neighboring state only have to pay income tax in their home state. In most cases, any tax you pay in your non-resident state will be credited against the tax you pay in your resident state (that is, you won’t be taxed twice on the same income), but there can be exceptions to this rule. You might need to talk to your employer about adjusting your withholdings so that each state gets its share of the money that comes out of your paycheck, and you might have to file a non-resident tax return in the state to which you relocated even if the rules indicate you don’t owe any tax in that state.
If all of this sounds confusing and time-consuming, don’t let that get you down—and don’t put all of this off into the future, either, as by then it could become even more confusing and more time-consuming. Keep records of when you lived where, how much money you earned while living in different states, what kind of tax withholdings and/or estimated tax were paid in each state and so on.
And then, once your records are in order, talk to a CPA. They can answer your questions, prepare your non-resident state tax returns and make the whole process much less of a nightmare.