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Atlanta police officer fired, chief resigns after Rayshard Brooks killed; Secret Service admits to pepper spray – George Floyd live updates

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An Atlanta police officer was fired and another was placed on administrative duty Sunday as fallout continued from the fatal shooting of a Black man by an officer Friday night.

The death of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old father of three, also prompted the resignation of the city’s police chief, an independent investigation and apparently the fire that roared through a Wendy’s restaurant where the confrontation began.

Brooks was fleeing when he was shot by an officer following a struggle over a taser at the Wendy’s drive-thru after Brooks failed a sobriety test, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Within hours of Brooks’ death, Police Chief Erika Shields said she was stepping down. Hours later, officer Garrett Wolfe was fired and Officer Devin Brosnan placed on administrative duty. 

The shooting drew condemnation from the Georgia NAACP, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, Bernice King — the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. – and others.

Protests are continuing in streets across the United States and the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed as a white Minneapolis police officer held his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for the Daily Briefing.

A closer look at some recent developments:

  • California authorities are investigating two separate hanging deaths of Black men in Southern California. One is probing the hanging death of a Black man in Palmdale initially called a suspected suicide. In the second case, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says there are no indications of foul play in the hanging death of another Black man in Victorville last month.
  • Jefferson Davis and his legacy departed Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda after a 12-foot marble statue commemorating the lone president of the Confederate States of America was removed from its base Saturday morning.
  • The family of a Las Vegas police officer who was shot June 1 during a protest on the Las Vegas Strip says he is on a ventilator and paralyzed from the neck down.

Atlanta police fire officer, release body cam and dash cam footage 

Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, who was hired in October 2013, was fired and Devin Brosnan, who was hired in September 2018, was placed on administrative leave, according to a release from police spokesperson Sgt. John Chafee. The police department also released body camera and dash camera footage from both officers. On Saturday, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that Police Chief Erika Shields had stepped down after more than three years at the helm.

“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force,” Bottoms said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the shooting, said the deadly confrontation started with a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the Wendy’s restaurant drive-thru lane.

Inside CHAZ, Black protesters think white allies will lose interest

In just a few short days, Seattle protesters who once violently clashed with riot police over the death of George Floyd have had their rough edges dulled by tens of thousands of tourists and sightseers. Once criticized by President Donald Trump and FOX News commentators as a haven for anarchists and the far-left Antifa movement, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — or CHAZ — has morphed into what looks and feels like a mini Burning Man festival, complete with its own corps of volunteer street cleaners and medics, as well as dreadlocked white girls blowing soap bubbles and taking selfies in front of paintings of men and women killed by Seattle police.

The autonomous zone’s evolution from a somber protest site to street festival highlights the problem Seattle’s Black residents say they face: The city’s overwhelmingly white population loves to protest but might not be taking the Black Lives Matter movement as seriously as they should. Black protesters calling for systemic change following the death of George Floyd say they worry white allies will again lose interest.

– Trevor Hughes

Secret Service admits it used pepper spray prior to Trump photo op

After saying it didn’t, the Secret Service admitted Saturday it used pepper spray when it helped clear out Lafayette Square June 1 to allow for President Donald Trump’s photo op in front of St. John’s Church. The agency said last week none of their officers used tear gas or pepper spray. 

“After further review, the U.S. Secret Service has determined that an agency employee used pepper spray on June 1st, during efforts to secure the area near Lafayette Park ” according to a statement the agency tweeted Saturday. “The employee utilized oleoresin capsicum spray, or pepper spray, in response to an assaultive individual.”

In the days after the photo op, Trump and his allies pushed back forcefully against claims that tear gas was used to disperse protesters that most witness accounts say were acting peacefully right before they were forcefully removed. The U.S. Park Police, one of the law enforcement agencies involved with clearing the park, denied using tear gas. But the agency later acknowledged using “pepper balls,” another chemical irritant that causes people to tear up and cough.  

– Ledyard King

More on protests, George Floyd:

Texans’ J.J. Watt responds to a fan about taking a knee

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt sent a tweet Saturday that seemingly expressed support for NFL players who take a knee to protest police brutality. After Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Friday that he would take a knee with players during the national anthem, Watt was mentioned in a tweet from a fan that said, “Pretty sure you won’t see @JJWatt taking a knee.”

Watt responded with a quote telling the fan not to speak for him and saying, “If you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.”

In 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, Watt was one of several Texans players to hold a giant flag during the anthem before a game against the Chicago Bears. Though Watt did not explicitly state in the Saturday tweet that he would take a knee, it suggested he was open to the possibility. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to once again criticize the idea of kneeling during the national anthem. 

– Aria Gerson

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627435380/0/usatoday-newstopstories~Atlanta-police-officer-fired-chief-resigns-after-Rayshard-Brooks-killed-Secret-Service-admits-to-pepper-spray-%e2%80%93-George-Floyd-live-updates/

Publications

Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

Register

Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Crunchbase

Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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