*Saturday night in Austin, Texas at a largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, a man was shot dead by a driver who sped toward the crowd before opening fire.
The dead man, identified as Garrett Foster, was pushing his paraplegic fiancee in her wheelchair just moments before the shooting.
Foster’s mother, Sheila Foster, spoke to “Good Morning America” on Sunday. She told the show that her son had attended several peaceful protests with his fiancee Whitney Mitchell, who is a quadruple amputee.
The shooting happened just before 10pm during a protest in Austin, police spokesperson Katrina Ratliff told reporters.
During the demonstration, a vehicle had honked, turned down a road and then sped toward protesters, witness Michael Capochiano told the Austin American-Statesman.
Foster, who Capochiano said was carrying a rifle, approached the vehicle and was shot by the driver. The driver then drove away, Capochiano said.
But according to Foster’s mother, the man “got out of his car and started firing shots, and my son was shot three times.”
Foster was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Sheila Foster told “GMA” that she wouldn’t be surprised if her son was carrying a gun because he was licensed to carry and probably “would’ve felt the need to protect himself.”
Police spokesperson Katrina Ratliff said a suspect has been detained in connection to the shooting and is cooperating with police.
The Black Lives Matter demonstration was streamed live on Facebook and captured audio of a vehicle’s horn honking.
Footage posted during the Facebook Live showed the moment when several shots rang out as a group of about 100 people marched and chanted “fists up! Fight back!”
There were no other deaths or injuries reported.
Massachusetts May Become 1st State to Ban Police Use of Facial Recognition Software (Watch Its Racist Algorithm in Action)
*On Tuesday, Massachusetts’ state House and Senate voted in favor of a police reform bill that would ban police use of facial recognition software, a technology that has been proven to provide results that are biased against people with dark skin.
The bill was introduced following the killing of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests across the US. It now needs to be signed by Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, to become a state law.
A recent study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found when using facial recognition technology there are higher rates of false positives for Asian and African Americans than for Caucasians, ranging from factors of 10 to 100. NIST reported higher rates of false positives for black women more specifically.
MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini, the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League at the university, found similar results in her work. Buolamwini, who also testified in favor of the moratorium, ran more than 1,200 faces through recognition programs offered by Face++, IBM and Microsoft and found the technologies frequently misidentified women of color.
Watch a video about her findings below:
The Massachusetts bill would almost entirely ban the use of biometrical surveillance by law enforcement and public agencies in Massachusetts … with one exception: police will still be able to run facial recognition searches against the state’s driver’s license database. This will only be possible with a warrant, however.
Law enforcement will also be obliged to publish transparency reports every year, with data on how many such warrants had been issued. The bill also outlaws chokeholds and rubber bullets, while placing restrictions on tear gas and other crowd-control means.
Congresswoman-Elect Cori Bush Says She Was Mistaken for Breonna Taylor at Congressional Freshmen Orientation (Watch)
*Rocking a beautiful Black Lives Matter Christmas “ugly sweater,” Congresswoman-Elect Cori Bush blessed the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday and talked about everything from her first priority after taking office, to going thrift shopping with her soon-to-be Congressional colleagues Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley – both members of “The Squad,” which will officially welcome the Missouri congresswoman into its progressive bosom in January.
Bush told Cobert that “COVID-19 relief” will be her first order of business after being sworn in. “It has hit my district in St. Louis … along with our state. We don’t have a mask mandate.”
Bush also talked about being mistaken for Breonna Taylor at her congressional freshmen orientation by fellow House members, and being driven to run for Congress to make sure America understands what Black people in the community are going through everyday.
Watch her interview with Colbert below.
Meet Noah Harris, First Black Man Elected Harvard Student Body President (Watch)
*Noah Harris has just become the first Black man to be elected president of Harvard University’s student body. On Tuesday, he appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to credit late Congressman John Lewis as his motivation and biggest inspiration.
Harris, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is a junior government major and also co-chairs the Undergraduate Council’s Black Caucus. He said that his three main goals will be improving student life, increasing access to mental health and wellness, and diversity inclusion.
Harris told O’Donnell that civil rights icon Lewis had a “profound impact” on him and that he hopes to embody his “love of country.”
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