Vlad is a teensy bit mad.
Vlad is a teensy bit mad. Thomas Kronsteiner/Staff

We're living in a moment, that's for sure: Okay, hi it's Nathalie, I'm here to give you some normal Slog AM on top of Chase and Jasmyne's live reporting of Wednesday's Seattle protest. You can find that at the bottom of the post. They worked their tails off last night. Seattle is not alone in its demonstrations for George Floyd, against police brutality, for defunding the police, and so on...

LA mayor to cut millions from LAPD budget: Mayor Eric Garcetti is slashing $250 million in the city budget from the projected $1.8 billion allocated to the Los Angeles Police Department. Which, you know, is peanuts from that behemoth of a budget. That money will be given to communities of color.

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Virginia is going to take down a Robert E. Lee statue??? Whoa, hold the phone. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is expected to announce that the statue of the famous Confederate leader on Monument Avenue in Richmond will be removed. There is still an abundance of statues memorializing the Confederacy. They're attracting an abundance of spray paint right now—messages like "end police brutality" and "stop white supremacy" cover these symbols of oppression. Anyway, Robert E. Lee is outta here.

Back to coronavirus news for a second: Sorry, we gotta give at least a sliver of air time to the other generational crisis impacting the country and the world. There are more coronavirus cases and they're "growing faster than ever" worldwide, the New York Times reports. New hot spots are emerging. Brazil is on par with the U.S. as far as deaths go (this is not a good thing), Egypt is spiking with infections, as are Bangladesh and Indonesia. Worldwide, there are more than 6.3 million reported cases and 380,000 known deaths. Wait for this gut-punch: "A quarter of all known deaths have been in the United States."

Sweden admits its strategy sucked: And resulted in the highest per capita death rate last week. Sweden infamously has done little to combat the coronavirus. There was no lockdown there. The strategy was to get herd immunity. Sweden's chief epidemiologist and the guy who designed this plan admitted there was “quite obviously a potential for improvement in what we have done”

Trump finally gets a wall: Too bad it's around the White House.

George Floyd's memorial service is today: In Minneapolis. The officer who killed him, David Chauvin, has had his charge moved up from third-degree murder to second-degree murder. Three other offices were charged with aiding and abetting. Watch the service for Floyd here:

Meanwhile: Democratic senators observe a moment of silence for Floyd and others killed by police violence.

A state of emergency in Russia: 20,000 tons of diesel oil leaked into a river in the Arctic Circle. That's no good. The spill happened last Friday but officials only learned of it on Sunday. Vladimir Putin was not pleased. He's declared a state of emergency.

Florida can breathe a sigh of relief: Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents.

Spanish porn star investigated after photographer dies during toad-venom ritual: No, this was not a Mad Libs prompt. Apparently, Spanish porn star Nacho Vidal hosted a "mystic ritual" last year where a photographer smoked a substance secreted from the glands of an endangered North American toad. Vidal says he is innocent.

Some answers in the Madeline McCann case: The three-year-old British girl disappeared from a Portugal hotel room without a trace in 2007. There have been virtually no answers since then. Now, prosecutors believe they have a suspect: an imprisoned German child abuser. They also believe that Madeline is dead.

Thousands gather, ignore Hong Kong's ban on Tiananmen vigil: Today is the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Hong Kong tried to make it harder for remembrance to take place, banning the vigil and passing a law Thursday that makes it a crime to mock the Chinese national anthem.

Belgian man haunted by free pizza for almost a decade: This 65-year-old man has been receiving pizzas he didn't order for nine years. Sometimes he'll get multiple pizzas in one day. Sometimes its other delivery food. On one day in 2019, he was visited by 10 different delivery men, one gave him 14 pizzas. He refuses all of the deliveries so as not to have to pay money. “I cannot sleep anymore. I start shaking every time I hear a scooter on the street. I dread that someone will come to drop off hot pizzas yet another time,” he told the Belgian Times.

This is one of my favorite parody Twitter accounts:

Annnnd now for the protest live updates: Read on to see what went down last night and early this morning at the Seattle protest.

2 AM

We're calling it! Thanks for sticking with us. The protestors are still out there. Future Crystals' stream is still going on Instagram. As of now, everything remains peaceful. See you on the other side of this AM.

1:30 AM

Good point from someone in our Instagram stream: We're now 12 hours from the start of today's rally in Cal Anderson. The crowd is currently shouting "you go home, we go home" at the police.

Seattle police say we can stay here all night, reports Seattle Times in their live update post. “There have been no breaking bottles tonight,” said the police spokesman. “It’s been really peaceful."

From Mike Baker at the New York Times:

A black man who called out “I can’t breathe” before dying in police custody in Tacoma, Wash., was killed as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him, according to details of a medical examiner’s report released on Wednesday.

1 AM

Crowd check:

Hip-hop artist Raz Simone is leading the crowd on the megaphone: He's guiding the crowd through chants, which you can get a closer look at through Raz's Facebook and Future Crystals' Instagram stream. He's been deescalating tension that occasionally rises up within the crowd and also providing needed energy.

12 AM

It's midnight. There's a saxophone playing at 11th and Pine. Protestors are shouting "every day! every day! every day!" as we reach a new day. We've been blogging all night, which you can read over on Slog PM. But now it's AM. So we're going to start blogging in this post. Updates below. Watch our stream over on Instagram.

Earlier tonight, Durkan told Civil Cocktail's Joni Balter that the city needs to work on how they disperse people at the end of the night. "What we’ve seen is at the end of the night, when people need to disperse, we need to work on how we do it, because it has not ended well any night," Durkan told Balter. Wednesday was the first day since Saturday that Seattle's curfew has been lifted, and the crowd at 11th and Pine outside the East Precinct has remained peaceful, minus one incident of a few plastic bottles being thrown and the police giving a warning.

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Mayor Durkan rescinded Seattle's curfew after a big day of meetings and protests around Seattle. Rescinding the curfew was one of the demands made by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County early on Wednesday.

During Wednesday night's protests in Capitol Hill, there was a notable moment when Omari Salisbury, the citizen journalist who captured this incredible moment on Monday, was allowed behind police lines and streamed alongside Chief Carmen Best.

Our small, mighty, and local team is working hard to bring you coverage from Seattle's ongoing protests and policy discussions in response to the killing of George Floyd. If you are able, please consider supporting our work.

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