The Latest: Mississippi legislators vote to retire flag

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The Latest on protests over racial inequality (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi legislators have voted to raucous cheers and applause to remove a Confederate battle emblem from their state flag.

Mississippi’s House and Senate took historic votes Sunday to retire the flag adopted in 1894. It’s the last state flag that included a Confederate symbol that many people condemn as racist.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has said he will sign the bill. The change comes amid widespread protests over racial injustice.

Mississippi has a 38% Black population. A commission would design a new flag that cannot include the Confederate symbol but must have the words “In God We Trust.”

Voters will be asked to approve the new design in the Nov. 3 election.

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6:15 p.m

DENVER — Police in Denver have arrested one person for suspected arson after a small group of protesters attempted to set fire to the pedestal of a Civil War statue toppled last week.

KUSA-TV reports that about 75 protesters had been demonstrating peacefully around the Capitol late Saturday when a small group broke off and went to the statue site. Just before 11 p.m. a fire was set atop the mostly-concrete pedestal using wood and other materials.

The Denver Fire Department extinguished the blaze and damage was minimal.

The incident comes as protesters across the nation have defaced and torn down statues of historic figures during recent demonstrations against racial injustice.

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5:50 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — Police in San Diego shot and critically wounded a robbery suspect who they said took out a gun from his waistband and pointed it at an officer who tried to engage him.

The shooting on a downtown sidewalk shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday sparked immediate anger among protesters, who marched through the streets Sunday demanding police release footage of the encounter from officer body-worn cameras.

Police tweeted a photo of the gun and said they they were working to gather all video evidence for release.

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5:40 p.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police have arrested eight people and fired crowd-control munitions to disperse protesters who threw rocks and bottles during demonstrations in front of law enforcement buildings on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Police say the series of confrontations began outside the Multnomah County Justice Center, where protesters used fencing and street barricades to block off a street.

Police say that lasers were shined into officers’ eyes and rocks, and bottles and paint were thrown at them during the demonstration. Saturday marked the 30th consecutive day of demonstrations in Portland since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis.

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3:30 p.m.

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi House has passed a bill to remove a Confederate battle emblem broadly condemned as racist from its 126-year-old state flag.

The House passed a bill 91-23 with broad bipartisan support, sending it to the Senate for more debate. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has said he will sign it.

The flag’s supporters resisted efforts to change it for decades, but rapid developments in recent weeks have changed dynamics on this issue in the tradition-bound state.

As protests against racial injustice recently spread across the U.S., including Mississippi, leaders from business, religion, education and sports have spoken forcefully against the state flag. They have urged legislators to ditch the banner for one that better reflects the diversity of a state with a 38% Black population.

The bill being considered Sunday will remove the current flag from state law as soon as Reeves signs it. A commission would design a new flag that cannot include the Confederate symbol and that must have the words “In God We Trust.” It would be put before voters, and if they rejected it, the commission would come up with a new design. In the meantime, Mississippi would not have a state flag.

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3:15 p.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Police in Kentucky say a suspect is in custody in the death of a man who was fatally shot amid a protest over the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder says the suspect is hospitalized and being interviewed by homicide investigators.

The suspect’s name was not released, and no charges were immediately filed. The shooting occurred Saturday night at Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville. The Jefferson County coroner’s office identified the victim as 27-year-old Tyler Charles Gerth of Louisville.

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12:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence says he doesn’t want to say “Black Lives Matter” because he doesn’t agree with what he believes is the political message behind it.

Pence says he stands against racism and that George Floyd’s death was inexcusable, but that “all lives matter.”

He tells CBS: “What I see in the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement is a political agenda of the radical left that would defund the police, that would tear down monuments, that would press a radical left agenda.”

Pence added that he cherishes “the progress that we have made toward a more perfect union for African Americans throughout our history.”

He said African American leaders have made clear to the Trump administration “they want law and order” and “peace in our streets.”

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10 a.m.

BOSTON — Communities of color in Boston are disproportionately affected by evictions in the city, with some of the highest rates in Black communities, according to a new report released Sunday.

Seventy percent of market-rate eviction filings occur in neighborhoods where a majority of residents are people of color, though only about half of rental housing is in these neighborhoods, according to three years of data by MIT researchers and a housing justice organization. The problem has only been exasperated by the coronavirus, which saw a spike in eviction filings before the state issued a moratorium in April. Almost 80% of those suspended cases were in communities of color.

The racial disparity in Boston evictions is part of a nationwide trend and mirrors findings in cities across the country and in Washington state. Much of the research has found that the racial composition of a neighborhood is the most important factor in predicting neighborhood eviction rates, even more than poverty and other neighborhood characteristics.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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