DML Morning Briefing ~ July 29

Biden tries to make a deal with Russia, elected official mows down bicyclist, death toll rises in KY, more…

By  Anneta Griffee

1 – Russian officials respond to US offer for Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan
Fox News reports: Russian officials on Thursday responded to reports from the Biden administration that a “substantial proposal” was offered to bring home WNBA player Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, claiming that no deal has been finalized.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a press conference on Wednesday that the Biden administration made the proposal weeks ago, but made no mention of a deal including Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death,” who several reports named as being a part of a potential prisoner swap.

Asked about the proposal during a press conference the following day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that prisoner swaps were typically negotiated discreetly behind the scenes.

“We know that such issues are discussed without any such release of information,” he said. “Normally, the public learns about it when the agreements are already implemented.”

Peskov emphasized that “no agreements have been finalized” and refused to provide further details.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said separately that while the Kremlin and U.S. officials have engaged in talks, “there has been no concrete result yet.”

MY TAKE: Everything the Biden administration touches turns into a DISASTER.

2 – Two former Minneapolis officers sentenced to prison for violating George Floyd’s civil rights
NBC News reports: Two former Minneapolis police officers who were found guilty of federal charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights were sentenced to prison Wednesday.

A judge sentenced J. Alexander Kueng to three years and Tou Thao to 3½ years for their roles in Floyd’s death in 2020. Both are also required to complete two years of supervised release when their prison sentences end.

Kueng and Thao were convicted in February of depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority when they failed to give him medical aid and of not intervening to stop their fellow officer Derek Chauvin from using excessive force.

Kueng and Thao still face state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in a trial set for late October.

MY TAKE: Does it ever seem like felons have more “civil rights” than you and I?

3 – Death toll rises in deadly Kentucky flooding
The Associated Press reports: JACKSON, Ky. (AP) — Search and rescue teams backed by the National Guard searched Friday for people missing in record floods that wiped out entire communities in some of the poorest places in America. Kentucky’s governor said 15 people have died, a toll he expected to grow as the rain keeps falling.

“We’ve still got a lot of searching to do,” said Jerry Stacy, the emergency management director in Kentucky’s hard-hit Perry County. “We still have missing people.”

Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns that hug creeks and streams in Appalachian valleys and hollows, leaving vehicles in useless piles, crunching runaway equipment and piles of debris against bridges and swamping homes and businesses. Mudslides on steep slopes left many people marooned and without power and made rescues more difficult.

Gov. Andy Beshear told the AP before touring the disaster area that the 15 dead in Kentucky includes children, “but I expect that number to more than double, probably even throughout today.”

MY TAKE: Horrific!  Prayers to the people of Kentucky!

4 – Lori Leadfoot! Chicago mayor is condemned as it’s revealed her official SUVs have racked up at least eight tickets – NONE of them paid – for speeding and running red lights with footage capturing their brazen bad driving
The Daily Mail reports: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s motorcade has been busted for multiple speeding and traffic offenses – despite the lawmaker pushing for harsher punishments for drivers who go too fast.

Lightfoot’s SUVs have since February 2020 been involved in at least eight incidents, and since May 2021 received three speed camera tickets and two warnings, plus a red light ticket.

None of the fines – now totaling $658 – have been paid, CWB Chicago reported.

Footage first uncovered by CWB shows multiple incidents involving the cars. In one clip, two Ford Expedition SUVs race through a set of red lights, with traffic camera seen flashing in their wake.

In another, a black Chevy SUV can be seen making a left turn at a red light at a large intersection. It is unclear if Lightfoot was in the SUVs at the time, although she won’t have been driving them in either instance.

The revelations come as Lightfoot, who took over in May 2019, continues to push to lower the ‘buffer zone’ threshold that speed cameras allow before issuing a citation.

MY TAKE: “Rules for thee, not for me.” Ladies and gentlemen… here’s your mayor of the crime-ridden city of Chicago!

5 – NJ councilwoman caught on video slamming into UberEats cyclist — and driving away
The New York Post reports: A New Jersey councilwoman allegedly hit a cyclist with her SUV and knocked him off his bike— then sped away without stopping, according to reports and stunning footage.

Jersey City councilwoman Amy DeGise was captured on camera slamming into Andrew Black at 8 a.m. on July 19, causing him to fly over vehicle’s hood and fall to the ground, according to hudpost.com.

“I look left, suddenly I just hear ‘Ba[m].’ I get hit,” said Black, a 29-year-old UberEats deliveryman. “I roll over and I’m in such pain.”

Instead of stopping to help, the lawmaker drove away from the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street in a Nissan Rogue, said Black, who was able to stand up shortly after the accident.

Black didn’t suffer any major injuries — but is angry that a community leader failed to do the right thing.

MY TAKE: RESIGN, then go straight to JAIL!!