Memphis: former cops charged in Tyre Nichols’ murder now face federal charges.
McCarthy endorses impeachment inquiry on Biden.
Libya: 10,000 missing after devastating flood.
Memphis: former cops charged in Tyre Nichols’ murder now face federal charges
The Department of Justice has now brought federal charges against the five former Memphis PD officers accused of beating Tyre Nichols to death in January this year. All five officers, Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin and Justin Smith, were already facing state-level second-degree murder charges. Each of them now also faces federal criminal charges: deprivation of rights under the color of law through excessive force and failure to intervene, and through deliberate indifference; conspiracy to witness tampering; and obstruction of justice through witness tampering.
The DOJ has already opened a probe of Memphis PD’s policing practices, including use of force and discriminatory enforcement. Shortly after Nichols’ death, MPD disbanded the violent special-enforcement unit known as SCORPION, whose officers were responsible for Nichols’ death. But months later, locals are frustrated at the lack of accountability and transparency at the top of the department.
MPD Chief Cerelyn Davis, who established the SCORPION unit not long after she become chief, remains in her job despite widespread calls for her dismissal. Davis had a long history of promoting similarly brutal and lawless units long before she came to Memphis, going back to her time on Atlanta PD’s infamous Red Squad in the early 2000s.
McCarthy endorses impeachment inquiry on Biden
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced that House Republicans will open a formal impeachment investigation of President Biden. Republicans have already been conducting hearings to probe Biden and members of his family since they took control of the House in January. So far, while the Republicans have dug up plenty of dirt on Biden’s son Hunter. Most of the material has to do with Hunter’s dealings with foreign companies during the time his father was Obama’s VP.
The hearings haven’t yet turned up anything concrete showing misconduct by Biden himself, nor any evidence that Biden himself profited from his son’s activities. The impeachment inquiry will pretty much be a continuation of the same investigation. To bring an impeachment proceeding, House investigators will have to narrow the focus to any potential misconduct by Biden himself, either as President or during his time as VP.
Libya: 10,000 missing after rain bursts dams
Storm Daniel which recently brought deadly flooding to the Balkans has now wrought havoc in Libya. The storm brought torrential rains, the weight of which ruptured two massive dams near the city of Derna. The water pouring forth from these dams cut a swath of destruction through the city, washing away buildings. Hundreds of bodies were likely swept out to sea, while hundreds are piled where the flood waters left them. One government minister estimated that about 25% of Derna, a city of about 90,000 people, had disappeared.
As of now, the Red Cross says about 10,000 are missing throughout Libya and over 5,300 have been confirmed dead. Aid workers expect that about 10,000 people have died. The Norwegian Refugee Council also said the flood had displaced tens of thousands more people who have no prospect of returning home.
Engineers had been warning for years that the dams were at risk of collapse from a huge rain event. The dams’ collapse illustrates the deterioration of infrastructure throughout Libya over the past decade. Since a US and UN-backed rebellion ousted longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has become a failed state despite its massive oil wealth. Currently, two rival military governments have divided rule in the country, which will no doubt hamper rescue and rebuilding efforts as well.