Saturday News: "I want to be free."


DURHAM POLICE DREW GUNS ON 3 CHILDREN AT APARTMENT COMPLEX: More than 100 people came together Friday night to speak out after Durham police officers recently drew their guns on a group of Black children at an apartment complex. Three children — ages 9, 11 and 15 — were playing tag at Rochelle Manor Apartments when five officers pointed guns at them and told them to freeze, two of the children have told media outlets about the Aug. 21 incident. Officers handcuffed the 15-year-old boy, they said. “I don’t want to have to be scared when I go outside,” Jaylin Harris, the 15-year-old, told those gathered outside Durham City Hall on Friday. “I want to be free.” In a statement Sunday, Police Chief C.J. Davis expressed remorse and said officers had approached the children with their guns drawn because they were responding to a report of a man with a gun who had been involved in an earlier shooting.

JUDGES RULE FELONS WHO HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM PRISON CAN VOTE: The decision undoes, at least temporarily, part of North Carolina election law. It may be appealed. The North Carolina NAACP and the Community Success Initiative sued last fall over the law, seeking broader relief than the court granted late Friday. In North Carolina, felon voting rights are restored automatically, but only after people complete probation and pay whatever money they owe. The groups in the suit made a number of constitutional arguments against the process, and two of the three judges handling the case agreed Friday with one of those arguments: That requiring people to pay fees first violates a constitutional prohibition against a "property qualification" affecting the right to vote. "The requirement ... does exactly that," the judges wrote. "The ability for a person convicted of a felony to vote is conditioned on whether that person possesses, at minimum, a monetary amount equal to any fees, fines and debts assessed."

"MAGA AT YOUR OWN RISK." TRUMP CAMPAIGN IMMUNIZES ITSELF LEGALLY BEFORE NC RALLY: "By registering for this event, you understand and expressly acknowledge that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. In attending the event, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and waive, release and discharge Donald J. Trump for President," the invitation states. Dr. Amir Barzin, an assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine, said Friday that, when it comes to any large event right now, political or otherwise, the best bet is to avoid it because you simply don’t know if someone nearby is infected. Oklahoma health officials reported a spike in coronavirus cases in that state shortly after Trump held an indoor rally in Tulsa in late June. Dozens of the president's Secret Service agents and a number of campaign staffers had to be quarantined after interacting with people who later tested positive for the virus. Four people were infected at the RNC meeting in Charlotte last week. Instead of attending a political rally, Barzin recommended that people get involved in a campaign virtually by speaking out online or donating.

CRAZY GEORGIA Q-ANON CANDIDATE POSTS PICTURE HOLDING GUN AT 3 MINORITY CONGRESSWOMEN: A House candidate whom President Trump recently called “a future Republican Star” posted an image of herself holding a rifle with photos of three liberal congresswomen of color and the vow to “go on the offense” against members of the “Squad,” an unprecedented threat against lawmakers from a probable future colleague. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the GOP candidate for a Georgia congressional seat in a heavily Republican district and a professed QAnon conspiracy believer, posted the photoshopped image Thursday on Facebook. The image includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). On Friday, the post had been taken down. Before it was removed, the caption under the gun-toting Greene read: “Squad’s worst nightmare.” It was unclear whether the U.S. Capitol Police, which is tasked with ensuring the safety of members of Congress, would investigate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on Republicans to “immediately condemn this dangerous threat of violence against Democratic Congresswomen.” Greene has already created problems for Republicans. As an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy, she backs the baseless theory that Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs that worships Satan and traffics children for sex. The FBI has labeled the group a domestic terrorism threat.

TRUMP USES CAMPAIGN DONATIONS TO PAY FOR HIS LAWYERS: In New York, Mr. Trump dispatched a team of lawyers to seek damages of more than $1 million from a former campaign worker after she claimed she had been the target of sexual discrimination and harassment by another aide. The lawyers have been paid $1.5 million by the Trump campaign for work on the case and others related to the president. In Washington, Mr. Trump and his campaign affiliates hired lawyers to assist members of his staff and family — including a onetime bodyguard, his oldest son and his son-in-law — as they were pulled into investigations related to Russia and Ukraine. The Republican National Committee has paid at least $2.5 million in legal bills to the firms that did this and other legal work. In California, Mr. Trump sued to block a law that would have forced him to release his taxes if he wanted to run for re-election. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have paid the law firm handling this case, among others, $1.8 million. The spending on behalf of Mr. Trump covers not only legal work that would be relatively routine for any president or candidate and some of the costs related to the Russia inquiry and his impeachment, but also cases in which he has a personal stake, including attempts to enforce nondisclosure agreements and protect his business interests. Many of the bills being paid by donors to Mr. Trump and his party have come from the Republican National Committee’s “recount account.” It is a special fund created after 2014 when Congress — at the request of campaign finance lawyers and leaders of both parties — allowed much larger contributions by individuals to the political parties, totaling $106,500 per person, compared with the normal $2,800 limit. A spokesman for the Trump family would not say how much Mr. Trump had paid out of his own pocket or his company’s in legal fights, including Mr. Trump’s attempt to block access to his personal financial records.