Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Elliot Setzer
Monday, June 8, 2020, 2:10 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

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A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council told a crowd yesterday that they will “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department,” reports the Star Tribune. Some council members provided hints of what the changes might mean— including sending mental health professionals or social workers to respond to certain emergencies, for example—but the group also said they yet don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future will entail.

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing in police custody last month, calls to “defund the police” have surged across the country, according to the Washington Post.

Mayor Bill De Blasio announced yesterday that New York City would immediately end its curfew and that he would shift funds from the NYPD into youth and social services, writes NPR.

President Trump said on Sunday that he had ordered National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from Washington D.C., following criticism of his threat to respond to peaceful protests with military force, reports the New York Times. The president said soldiers would withdraw “now that everything is under perfect control.”

House and Senate Democrats have drafted a police reform proposal that would ban chokeholds, limit “qualified immunity” for police officers, establish a national misconduct registry, prohibit the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases and make lynching a federal crime, among other changes, according to Politico.

The Brazilian government has ceased publishing data on the total number of coronavirus fatalities in the country after official numbers showed the third-highest death toll in the world, writes the Associated Press. Critics have called the move an attempt to hide the true impact of the disease.

Families of American soldiers and personnel wounded or killed in Afghanistan filed an amended complaint accusing two U.S. contractors of paying protection money to the Taliban, reports the Wall Street Journal.The companies received at least $1.7 billion in contracts to implement U.S. aid projects in the country.

The Justice Department is moving forward with its criminal case against a former business partner of Michael Flynn, despite Attorney General Bill Barr’s controversial move to drop charges against President Trump’s former national security adviser, writes Politico. Prosecutors filed a brief with a federal appeals court on Sunday seeking to revive the convictions of Bijan Rafiekian.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Mark Lagon and Rachel Sadoff argued China has led the aid response to the coronavirus crisis in Africa—and that the United States should step up.

Nathaniel Sobel summarized “qualified immunity” and what it has to do with police reform.

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Elliot Setzer is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford Law School and a Ph.D student at Yale University. He previously worked at Lawfare and the Brookings Institution.

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