March 21, 2015

In an interview with Sky News on Friday, Hyun Hak Bong, the North Korean ambassador to Britain, said that while his country does not want war, "if the United States strike us, we should strike back."

"We do not want war, but we are not afraid of war. We are ready for nuclear war with nuclear war," Hyun said as reported by Al Jazeera English. "It is not the United States that has a monopoly on nuclear weapon strikes."

North Korea quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993; the country has recently denounced joint military exercises between U.S. and South Korean troops as a "provocation." Experts are divided, though, on how advanced any of North Korea’s nuclear weapons might actually be; the country has conducted three tests since 2006, with dubious success, and a South Korean spokesman said the neighboring country does not believe North Korea has realized its goal of miniaturizing nuclear warheads, to be placed on missiles. Sarah Eberspacher

12:08 a.m.

A police officer in Columbus, Ohio, shot a teenage girl Tuesday evening while responding to reports of an attempted stabbing. The girl, identified by family members and Franklin County Children's Services as Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 p.m. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Bryant, who is Black, was shot at about 4:45 p.m., or 15 minutes before a Minneapolis jury returned guilty verdicts in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer who killed George Floyd, who was Black. Protesters quickly gathered near the home where Bryant was shot. A woman who identified herself as Hazel Bryant, aunt of the victim, told The Columbus Dispatch that Ma’Khia Bryant lived in a foster home and got into an altercation with someone at the home. The aunt said her niece had a knife, but maintained she dropped it before the officer shot her.

Columbus officials Tuesday night released body-camera footage from the officer who shot Bryant. It shows the officer firing four shots as Ma’Khia Bryant as she appeared to swing the knife at another woman. The other people at the scene erupted in angry disbelief.

"We know, based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community, but a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl [sic] will never be coming home,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said at Tuesday night's news conference. "It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," he added. "We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time" was critical.

Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods said BCI will be in charge of the investigation, and "we want to be sure that independent review from them, that we stay out of their way, and we provide the information that they request from us." Peter Weber

April 20, 2021

After being criticized for her remarks about George Floyd "sacrificing" his life "for justice," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried again on Twitter.

"George Floyd should be alive today," Pelosi tweeted on Tuesday evening. "His family's calls for justice for his murder were heard around the world. He did not die in vain. We must make sure other families don't suffer the same racism, violence, and pain, and we must enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act."

Pelosi appeared at a press conference with the Congressional Black Caucus shortly after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed Black man. Floyd's death gained worldwide attention, sparking global protests against police brutality, and during her remarks, Pelosi thanked Floyd "for sacrificing your life for justice." She added that because of him and "millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous for justice." Catherine Garcia

April 20, 2021

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who used her cell phone to record George Floyd's arrest last May outside of Cup Foods in Minneapolis, wrote on Facebook that she "cried so hard" on Tuesday when it was announced that former police officer Derek Chauvin had been found guilty of murdering Floyd, an unarmed Black man.

Frazier, then 17 years old, had gone to the market with her younger cousin to buy a snack. The footage she captured showed Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, and has been seen around the world, with many saying without it, Chauvin may have never been prosecuted. Frazier was one of the first witnesses to testify at Chauvin's trial, telling the court there have been "nights I stayed up apologizing and apologized to George Floyd for not doing more."

Per The Washington Post, Frazier wrote on Facebook Tuesday that before the guilty verdict was announced, "my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious," and she thanked God for Chauvin being convicted on all charges. "George Floyd we did it!" Frazier wrote, adding, "Justice has been served."

After the verdict was announced, President Biden called Frazier "brave," as did Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D), who said Frazier and the other bystanders who pulled out their phones and started recording Floyd's arrest "performed simple yet profound acts of courage." Catherine Garcia

April 20, 2021

President Biden said it took "a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors" for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to be found guilty of George Floyd's murder — a verdict that is "much too rare" when it comes to police brutality cases.

This was a "murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see systemic racism," Biden said during a televised address. He praised the "brave young woman with a smartphone camera" who recorded Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, and said the police officers who testified against Chauvin "instead of just closing ranks" should be "commended." It took all of that, plus a "jury who heard the evidence and carried out their civic duty in the midst of an extraordinary moment," to deliver "just basic accountability," Biden said.

Most men and women in law enforcement "serve their communities honorably, but those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable, and today, one was," Biden said. The verdict sends the message that "no one should be above the law," yet "it's not enough," and "in order to deliver real change and reform, we must do more to reduce the likelihood that a tragedy like this ever happens again."

Biden called on state and local governments, as well as the federal government, to "step up" and take action to fix the racial disparities in policing and the criminal justice system. He ended his remarks on a hopeful note, saying, "This can be a moment of significant change." Catherine Garcia

April 20, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday evening urged the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, saying that it would "hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities."

The legislation should not be viewed as "a panacea to every problem, but as a start," Harris said during a televised address. "This work is long overdue. America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans and Black men in particular have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human. Black men are fathers, and brothers, and sons, and uncles, and grandfathers, and friends, and neighbors. Their lives must be valued."

Racial injustice isn't just an issue for people of color, Harris said, it's "a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all, and it is holding our nation back from realizing our full potential. We are all a part of George Floyd's legacy and our job now is to honor it and to honor him." Catherine Garcia

April 20, 2021

In an emotional press conference on Tuesday evening, George Floyd's brothers discussed how relieved they are that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering their brother, and shared their hope that this is a turning point for the United States.

"This is a victory for all of us," Rodney Floyd said. "There's no color boundary on this. This is for everyone who has been held down, pinned down. We're standing together in union."

The recording of Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd's neck showed people around the world a "life being extinguished," Philonise Floyd said. Even with this guilty verdict, "I'm going to put up a fight every day," he said. "Because I'm not just fighting for George anymore. I'm fighting for everybody around this world. I get calls, I get DMs, from people from Brazil, Ghana, Germany. They are all saying the same thing: We won't be able to breathe until you're able to breathe. Today we are able to breathe again." Philonese thanked the protesters, activists, and supporters "who stepped up," adding that "justice for George means freedom for all."

Terrence Floyd called the verdict "monumental," and said he was grateful for the time he had with his brother George, who showed him how to be "strong," "respectful," and to "speak my mind." He is going to "miss him," Terrence added, "but now I know he's in history. What a day to be a Floyd, man." Catherine Garcia

April 20, 2021

With the dust settled — for now — on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who on Tuesday was convicted of murdering George Floyd, several journalists, including CNN's Jake Tapper, resurrected the original Minneapolis Police Department statement regarding Floyd's death last May.

The vague press release said only that a man had a "medical incident" during an arrest, officers called an ambulance, and the suspect died at a hospital. "At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident," the statement reads. There was no mention of Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

Some commentators said re-reading the statement nearly a year later "hits hard," while others cited it as an example of why readers should be skeptical of initial police statements on police-involved incidents. "This fabricated police story might have become the official account of George Floyd's death if concerned citizens had not intervened and recorded the police," Tapper's colleague Keith Boykin tweeted. Tim O'Donnell

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