Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Virginia police officer accused of assaulting U.S. Army officer fired
One of two police officers in Virginia accused of assaulting a U.S. Army lieutenant by pointing their guns and pepper-spraying him during a traffic stop has been fired, according to an official statement. Officer Joe Gutierrez was terminated from his employment after an investigation determined he did not follow policies of the local police department, the town of Windsor, Virginia said in a statement.
First dog Major to get extra training after White House biting incidents
One of President Joe Biden’s two dogs, Major, is headed to training outside the White House after two biting incidents at his new home, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden said Monday. The off-site, private training will take place in the Washington area, and it is expected to last a few weeks, said Michael LaRosa.
White House seeks bipartisan infrastructure push; Republicans wary
President Joe Biden could find himself under pressure on Monday to prove his much-touted interest in working with Republicans in Congress, as lawmakers return from their spring break to grapple with his $2.3 trillion proposals to improve U.S. infrastructure. The Democratic president appears to be losing political capital with a group of Senate Republicans, including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, who may represent his best chance of enacting legislation garnering the support of both parties.
Native health providers drive Alaska’s vaccination success story
Despite its sprawling geography and often-inhospitable climate, Alaska ranks among the top U.S. states for getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of its residents, and its indigenous population has played a major role in that achievement. With a history and culture deeply shaped by deadly outbreaks of disease that have periodically ravaged remote corners of their subarctic homeland, Alaska Natives have aggressively led the way on inoculations against COVID-19 for the state as a whole.
Sixth victim dies from shooting by ex-NFL player in South Carolina home
An air conditioning technician has become the sixth person to die after being shot by a former National Football League player at a South Carolina home last Wednesday, the county coroner said. Robert Shook, 38, was shot in the driveway of the Rock Hill, South Carolina home where he had been working, the York County sheriff said, and he died from his wounds on Saturday.
Analysis: Police and bystander accounts bolster Chauvin prosecution
Prosecutors will rest their case this week against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, bolstered by police testimony and emotional eyewitness descriptions of Floyd dying under Chauvin’s knee. So far, prosecutors have called eight members of the Minneapolis Police Department, including the chief. Much of the testimony described Chauvin as using excessive force when he pinned a handcuffed Floyd for more than nine minutes, which Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson described as “devastating” for the defense.
Thousands of low-level U.S. inmates released in pandemic could be headed back to prison
For Kendrick Fulton, the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door to an unexpected opportunity to rebuild his life in Round Rock, Texas, after serving 17 years behind bars for selling crack cocaine. As officials scrambled last year to stem the spread of the coronavirus in prisons, the Justice Department let Fulton and more than 23,800 inmates like him serve their sentences at home.
Crowd of 23 candidates floods special congressional election in Texas
The race to succeed the only sitting U.S. congressman to have died from COVID-19 has drawn a free-for-all of 23 candidates in a Republican-leaning district of north Texas, where Democrats have made gains in recent years. Representative Ron Wright, a Republican, succumbed to COVID-19 in February. The May 1 special election to replace him will be the first test of the Texas electorate, where Democrats hope to advance since President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
‘This is their blood’: Civil rights lawyer Crump fights for George Floyd’s family
As the world follows the often emotional testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, members of Floyd’s family watch a live feed in a separate room in the courthouse. Frequently by their side is civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who heads the family’s legal team.
Protests erupt after police shoot Black man in Minneapolis traffic stop
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as angry protests erupted in a Minneapolis suburb after a 20-year-old Black man was shot dead during a traffic stop. The unrest in Brooklyn Center came hours before the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, was set to resume in a courtroom less than 10 miles (16 km) away on Monday.
(With inputs from agencies.)