February 3, 2019

It may not be "within the realm of the possible" to reunite thousands of migrant children separated from their families at the southern border with their parents or guardians, the Trump administration said in court filings late Friday.

The statement from the Office of Refugee Resettlement said at this point it would "destabilize the permanency of [the children's] existing home environment, and could be traumatic to the children" to remove them from the sponsor homes where they were placed after separation.

These filings come in response to an ACLU suit that returns to court Feb. 21. "The Trump administration's response is a shocking concession that it can't easily find thousands of children it ripped from parents, and doesn't even think it's worth the time to locate each of them," said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who is leading the suit. "The administration also doesn't dispute that separations are ongoing in significant numbers." Bonnie Kristian

November 4, 2018

A white supremacist group called The Road to Power sent out a robocall in Georgia this weekend in which a speaker impersonated Oprah Winfrey and made racist and anti-Semitic comments.

Winfrey has campaigned for candidate Stacey Abrams (D), who will be the country's first black woman governor if she bests rival Brian Kemp (R). It is not known how many Georgia voters received the calls targeting Abrams.

Both campaigns roundly denounced the robocalls, with Kemp calling them an "absolutely disgusting" example of "unbridled hate and unapologetic bigotry." However, a statement from Abrams' campaign suggested Kemp has previously not been quick enough to denounce racism from his allies, deriding him for "suddenly decid[ing] to find a conscience as polls are tightening." Bonnie Kristian

August 25, 2018

A Confederate statue known as "Silent Sam" at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina will be reinstalled after it was toppled by protesters this month, a member of the university's board of governors, Thom Goolsby, has announced. The monument's restoration will happen within 90 days.

Meanwhile, three of the protesters who downed the statue have been charged with misdemeanor rioting and defacing a public monument. "The Hammer Is Coming Down on Outside Criminal Agitators Who Prompted the Destruction of 'Silent Sam,'" Goolsby added on Twitter Friday evening. "Expect more arrests with FELONY charges."

Silent Sam was erected in 1913, the occasion marked by a speech from Ku Klux Klan supporter Julian Carr featuring a fond recollection of "horse-whipp[ing]" a black woman until "her skirts hung in shreds." Carr described his own brutality as a "pleasing duty" and praised Confederate soldiers for helping to ensure "the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States."

"I watched it groan and shiver and come asunder," said UNC professor Dwayne Dixon of the statue's fall. "I mean, it feels biblical. It's thundering and starting to rain. It's almost like heaven is trying to wash away the soiled contaminated remains."

Another protest of the monument is expected in Chapel Hill Saturday. Bonnie Kristian

June 30, 2018

Reginald Fields, age 12, of Maple Heights, Ohio, is the proprietor of Mr. Reggie's Lawn Cutting Service. This week, he was also the subject of a 911 call from neighbors who complained he accidentally cut about one foot of grass across the property line in their yard.

Lucille Holt, who had hired Reggie to mow her lawn, caught the situation on camera and shared it on Facebook. Her video went viral, and soon, she said, friends got in touch asking how they could hire Reggie. "People are inboxing me, like, 'How can I get in touch with this children? Where are they at? I got property I want these kids to cut,'" Holt said.

"Just give me a call. I will be there," Reggie told a local ABC affiliate. "On time!" Watch Reggie in action below. Bonnie Kristian

May 30, 2018

A 74-year-old Alabama man named Jon Broadway was arrested, charged with misdemeanor criminal tampering, and jailed for about eight hours after he got ketchup on a statue while conducting an anti-racism demonstration.

The statue at the Alabama State Capitol depicts Dr. J. Marion Sims, who is known as the father of modern gynecology. Sims developed his techniques by practicing on enslaved black women, testing instruments and conducting surgeries without anesthesia and possibly without their consent. One woman, Anarcha, was subjected to 30 surgeries.

Broadway, who is white, performed a skit in front of the statue with a black woman, he dressed as a doctor and she as slave. (The woman was not arrested, and Broadway has declined to give her name unless she chooses to identify herself publicly.) "[Sims] was a butcher," the woman says in video of the incident, putting ketchup on the statue to symbolize blood. "He didn't try to save black babies; he just used us like guinea pigs," she continued. "Know your history. This statue needs to be removed."

After the skit, Broadway was detained by more than a dozen police officers. He was held in jail until his wife was able to bail him out, and his clothes were confiscated by police "for evidence." Broadway left jail dressed only in long underwear. His trial is set for September. Bonnie Kristian

April 23, 2018

Linus Phillip was killed by police in Largo, Florida, in March after he attempted to drive away from officers who wanted to search his car at a gas station because they said they smelled marijuana. The officers involved in the fatal shooting will not be prosecuted, but the Largo police are continuing a controversial post-mortem investigation on Phillip.

Two officers went unannounced to the funeral home where Phillip's body was located and used his finger in an attempt to unlock his cell phone. They did not notify his family in advance, nor did they obtain a warrant.

The Supreme Court has held that police cannot search a cell phone without a warrant, but the situation is legally complicated when the phone's owner is dead. "While the deceased person doesn't have a vested interest in the remains of their body, the family sure does, so it really doesn't pass the smell test," Charles Rose, a Stetson University law professor, told the Tampa Bay Times. "This is one of those set of factors that walks on the edge of every issue."

Phillip's fiancée, Victoria Armstrong, happened to be at the funeral home when the detectives arrived. "I just felt so disrespected and violated," she said of their surprise appearance. Armstrong has called for further investigation of Phillip's death, particularly because the police have reported differing quantities of drugs they say were in his vehicle. "There's so many parts of the case that still aren't adding up," she said to the Tampa Bay Times. "I just want the truth." Bonnie Kristian

April 2, 2018

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are lampooning new security measures that require them to use clear backpacks. The rule change took effect Monday as students returned to campus after spring break.

The school, located in Parkland, Florida, implemented the measure after 17 people were killed there in a shooting in February. Students and staff members are also being issued identification badges to be worn at all times, BuzzFeed News reports. Stoneman Douglas families were informed of the new rules in a letter from superintendent of Broward County Public Schools Robert Runcie, The New York Times reported last month.

The district is also considering "using metal-detecting wands and installing permanent metal detectors," BuzzFeed News reported last month. The New York Times described the new rules as "reminiscent of security measures at airports and professional sports venues."

Stoneman Douglas students voiced their criticism of the rule — along with a healthy dose of sarcasm — Monday on Twitter.

The backpack and identification rules were announced days after the suspected shooter's brother trespassed on school property and two Stoneman Douglas students were arrested for bringing knives to school, BuzzFeed News noted. Mary Catalfamo

February 2, 2018

In a segment Friday, CNN's Jake Tapper confronted Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) over his choice of State of the Union guests.

"You brought to the State of the Union … somebody who is a fairly notorious racist and Holocaust denier," Tapper said, referring to alt-right personality Chuck Johnson. Gaetz confirmed to The Daily Beast earlier this week that Johnson attended President Trump's address with a ticket from his office.

Tapper invited Gaetz to explain his decision-making. In response, Gaetz said, "I would refer folks to the statement of the individual that attended, saying he is not a denier of the Holocaust, not a white supremacist." The Florida congressman also noted that Johnson claims to give money to organizations that "actually go and hunt down Nazis living double lives."

"I don't agree with everything Mr. Johnson says," Gaetz insisted. "But I think that when ... we only talk to audiences or people that agree with us, I think we end up in a myopic state of politics."

Tapper did not press Gaetz on his response, ending the interview moments later. Shortly thereafter, however, he did tag Gaetz in a tweet linking to an old post Johnson wrote on Reddit, where he claimed that less than a million Jews died in the Holocaust and said "the Allied bombings of Germany were a war crime." Kelly O'Meara Morales

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