1/ The Justice Department charged four current and former Louisville police officers with violating Breonna Taylor’s civil rights, who was shot and killed by police in 2020 while she was sleeping. The charges against Joshua Jaynes, Kyle Meany, Kelly Goodlett, and Brett Hankison include conspiracy, use of force, obstruction of justice, as well as various civil rights violations. They are the first federal charges in connection with Taylor’s killing. “Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said, adding that the falsification of the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant needed to authorize the raid had “violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death.” (CBS News / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News)
2/ The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a designation that will free up emergency funds and speed distribution of the vaccine. The declaration comes more than a week after the WHO declared the outbreak a global health emergency. The U.S. has confirmed more than 6,600 cases of monkeypox – about 25% of confirmed infections worldwide. Health officials estimate that the government needs about 3.5 million doses to fight the outbreak. The U.S is currently distributing about 1.1 million doses due in part to the Department of Health and Human Services failing to ask the manufacturer early on to process bulk stock of the vaccine it already owned into vials for distribution. The U.S. owns the equivalent of about 16.5 million doses of the vaccine in bulk storage. The next delivery of half a million doses isn’t expected until October. Further, roughly 5 million more doses won’t be delivered until next year. The last time the U.S. declared a public health emergency was in response to Covid-19 in January 2020. (Politico / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CNBC)
3/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Tampa’s elected prosecutor for pledging not to prosecute abortions and gender-affirming care, accusing Andrew Warren of “incompetence and willful defiance of his duties.” After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Warren and 90 other elected prosecutors across the country signed a joint statement saying that “enforcing abortion bans runs counter to the obligations and interests we are sworn to uphold.” Warren also signed a statement in June 2021, along more than 70 state prosecutors and attorneys generals, vowing not to prosecute crimes related to gender-affirming care. DeSantis, nonetheless, said Warren had “put himself publicly above the law” by signing the letters, adding: “Our government is a government of laws, not a government of men.” FBI Director Christopher Wray, meanwhile, told senators that the bureau has opened “a number” of investigations into abortion-related violent crime incidents. (Tampa Bay Times / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN / The Hill)
4/ Alex Jones conceded that the 20 first graders and six educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 – the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history – was “100 percent real” and not a hoax staged by crisis actors. Under oath and facing $150 million or more in damages for his false claims, the Infowars conspiracy theorist admitted that it was irresponsible of him to declare the school shooting a “false flag” by the government intended to force gun control on Americans. At one point, Jones was told that his legal team had inadvertently sent the contents of his cellphone – including the last two years’ worth of texts – to the lawyers for the Sandy Hook families, which showed that Jones had failed to produce court-ordered documents and contradicted claims that he had made under oath about his finances. Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the parents, asked Jones, “Do you know what perjury is?” Jones replied: “I’m not a tech guy.” (New York Times / Associated Press / NBC News / Washington Post)
5/ The Jan. 6 committee requested two years’ worth of records from Alex Jones’ phone as part of its investigation into the Capitol riot.The committee had previously requested records and a deposition from Jones regarding his role in the pro-Trump rally that preceded the riot. (Associated Press / New York Times / Axios / Rolling Stone)
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