Manchester's northern quarter in lockdown – in pictures

Reflections through the windows of cafes, restaurants and shuttered shopfronts in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The photographer Christopher Thomond steps out around the central Manchester district during the third national coronavirus lockdown

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Chicago’s police oversight group released footage Thursday of an officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy more than two weeks ago.Police pursued, shot and killed Adam Toledo early March 29 in the primarily Latinx neighborhood of Little Village on the southwest side of the city. Police said the shooting followed an “armed confrontation” and that the child had a gun. However, video footage shows no gun in Toledo’s hand and that he complied by putting his hands up.As a seventh-grader, Toledo is the youngest person in years to be killed by Chicago police. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released materials on Thursday that include 17 body camera videos, four third-party videos, police incident reports, one officer radio transmission, two 911 calls and six recordings from the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system.“If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air, it is an assassination,” Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, the Toledo family’s attorney, said at a press conference following the video’s release.Bodycam footage shows two officers getting out of a car and immediately chasing after someone. A female officer can be seen tackling and handcuffing a taller person in a beige coat with red gloves. A male officer continues to pursue Toledo on foot while shouting, “Stop right fucking now, show me your fucking hands, stop it!”Almost immediately after shouting at the child, who had put his hands up, 34-year-old officer Eric Stillman shoots him in his chest. Toledo is wearing a black hoodie and a white baseball cap and is seen lying in the alley with blood on his clothes and face, mouth agape.The officer calls for an ambulance and asks Toledo where he was shot, but the boy is unresponsive. Additional officers can be seen coming over to Toledo, telling him, “Stay awake, man” and attempting chest compressions until an ambulance arrives. The officer who killed the boy shined a light on the back of the fence where he was lying, showing a gun several feet away.Toledo was pronounced dead on the scene. Stillman identifies himself in a tactical response report posted by COPA. The report includes a set of boxes for officers to check, in which Stillman made claims about Toledo’s behaviour ― many of which aren’t proven in the bodycam video. The officers alleged in the report that Toledo did not follow verbal commands, fled, posed an imminent threat, used force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, and was armed with a semi-automatic pistol.The female officer tackled 21-year-old Ruben Roman, who prosecutors say fired the initial gunshots. Roman told police that he had just dropped his girlfriend off and was on his way to his hometown of Maywood via public transit when he was tackled. He said he thought so many officers arrived at the scene because of “shots fired.”“He’s gotta be some kinda King,” one officer said of Roman, who was on the opposite side of the alley from Toledo, referring to a gang affiliation. Before the video’s release, prosecutors claimed officers were dispatched after a ShotSpotter detected eight gunshots nearby and that Toledo and another person fled as police arrived. Two officers chased the boy and Roman into an alley, where one of the officers shot and killed the child.  Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had previously seen what she called on Thursday the “excruciating” video of police killing Toledo, but would not talk about what she saw because she said it could compromise ongoing investigations by COPA and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. She previously vowed to find the people responsible for “putting a gun into the hands” of Toledo, shifting the blame away from the officer who shot him.During Roman’s bond hearing, prosecutors alleged that Toledo had a gun in his hand when police shot him. At a news conference on Thursday ahead of the video’s release, Lightfoot said the details of the boy’s death released in court were correct.But right after the mayor’s press conference, WGN-TV reported that the state’s attorney’s office said its own detail about Toledo having a gun when he was shot was inaccurate.“An attorney who works in this office failed to fully inform himself before speaking in court,” Sarah Sinovic, a spokesperson for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, told WGN on Thursday. The news came just hours before COPA released video of the encounter, which did not show a gun from bodycam footage of the officer who killed him.Footage from a camera across a parking lot next to the alley showed Toledo’s right arm moving behind the fence in a tossing motion before putting his hands up.Weiss-Ortiz said that she won’t deny it was a gun Toledo tossed, but that it’s irrelevant because he was unarmed with his hands up when the officer killed him.Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, Adam Toledo's family attorney: "I don't think it matters whether Adam is a choir boy, whether he is involved in some other untoward activity — the fact of the matter is that he was walking in the street and he was shot unarmed." pic.twitter.com/I83aUm9bck— The Recount (@therecount) April 15, 2021“I don’t think it matters whether Adam is a choir boy, whether he is involved in some other untoward activity; the fact of the matter is that he was walking in the street and he was shot unarmed,” Weiss-Ortiz said. “That could’ve been me in that street, that could’ve been my son in that street, that could’ve been any one of us in that alley that evening.”Stillman’s attorney Tim Grace said he had seen all the footage and did not expect his client to be charged with any wrongdoing or crimes, according to Block Club Chicago. Stillman has been on the force for a little over five years. There are no previous allegations or use of force reports against him, according to the Citizens Police Data Project, which collects and publishes information about the city’s police misconduct.Toledo’s family was not notified of his death until two days after the shooting. Police said the delay was due to being unable to identify him, despite a missing person’s report filed days earlier. Roman faces several felony charges, including child endangerment.“I have seen those videos and they are particularly difficult to watch ― especially at the end,” Lightfoot said at Thursday’s presser, calling for people to withhold judgment until COPA finishes its investigation. “Simply put, we failed Adam.” COPA allowed the boy’s family to privately view the footage Tuesday, an experience that the Toledo family attorneys said was “extremely difficult and heartbreaking” for everyone in the room. According to the Toledo family, the child lived with two of his siblings, his mother and his grandfather.The family requested that COPA delay releasing the footage as relatives still grieve Toledo’s death. COPA said that although it is “acutely sensitive to the family’s grief and their desire to avoid public release” of the video, the office is required to comply with the city’s video release policy that mandates footage be released within 60 days of the incident.Chicago Police superintendent David Brown said April 5 that “one of his greatest fears has been a deadly encounter between one of our officers and a juvenile,” before including a defence of police who he said carry “a heavy burden” when it’s time to “make split-second decisions” about deadly force.Toledo’s death reignited the grief and trauma Chicagoans have felt before, specifically from when a Chicago police officer shot at 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times and killed him. Lightfoot’s predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, withheld dash-cam video of McDonald’s murder from the public for over a year, until a lawsuit forced the city to release it. The cover-up is considered a major stain on Emanuel’s tenure as mayor.Lightfoot has lost considerable trust from the public during her time so far as mayor, especially when local station WBBM-TV released body-cam footage of heavily armed officers raiding the wrong home, breaking the door down and handcuffing a naked woman in distress. The incident with Anjanette Young happened in February 2019 ― just months before Lightfoot took office ― however, Chicago police under Lightfoot tried to block Young from obtaining video of her own trauma, and the city’s lawyers attempted to block WBBM-TV from airing the footage.The mayor also came under fire after media outlets reported that Lightfoot spent $281.5 million in federal Covid-19 relief money on covering overtime pay for police officers instead of on needed housing relief, business support and vaccine outreach for Chicagoans most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Lightfoot faced harsh scrutiny from both activists and aldermen who accused her of prioritising the police department over working families.Protests demanding justice for Adam Toledo and his family have been passionate and peaceful. The child’s tight-knit community of the Little Village (locally known as La Villita) held a vigil to mourn his life, and residents marched in the boy’s name. Community leaders spoke about the anger and pain of once again losing someone so loved to police violence, and of the overpolicing that Chicago’s Black and brown neighborhoods face.Even with the peaceful protests, tension in the city ahead of the release of the reports and video footage was palpable. CPD has informed officers that days off will be cancelled and shifts will be extended to 12 hours in anticipation of potential civil unrest.Lightfoot released a joint statement ahead of the video’s release on Thursday with her legal department and the Toledo family’s attorneys. The statement said that both sides agreed to releasing a slowed-down compilation of the encounter that led to police killing the boy.“We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city,” the statement read. “We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully.”The Chicago Department of Transportation announced that a bridge over the Chicago River will be raised Thursday night for “testing and maintenance” and says the closure is unrelated to the video’s release. Lightfoot and the city faced intense backlash last summer for raising the bridges that connect downtown to the city’s neighborhoods during protests against racial injustice and police brutality. That decision, along with Lightfoot’s call to stop public transit from entering downtown, made it difficult for protesters to escape police violence and go back to their homes, according to an inspector general’s report on Chicago police’s handling of the protests. Related...Former Minnesota Police Officer To Be Charged In Death Of Daunte WrightJoe Biden Calls To Ban Assault Weapons After Boulder Grocery ShootingUS Police Chief: Chauvin 'Absolutely' Violated Use Of Force Policy In Floyd Arrest
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Man Who Spat On Belly Mujinga May Have Been ‘Connected’
Lawyers for Belly Mujinga, who died a year ago after contracting Covid-19, have raised questions about why a 57-year-old man escaped arrest despite allegedly spitting at the railway worker.Lawrence Davies, a lawyer for Mujinga’s family, told HuffPost UK a complaint had been made to the police watchdog over the British Transport Police’s (BTP) handling of the investigation as aspects of the case “don’t add up”.Concern has been raised over the weight placed on the alleged assailant’s negative test for Covid-19 at such an early stage of the pandemic, the CCTV footage, and the refusal to disclose his name to the family – who wish to consider suing him for harassment and assault.The railway worker, 47, died on April 5 last year – two weeks after the March 21 incident at London Victoria station.According to Davies, BTP gave the man a choice between being arrested or attending an interview under caution. After opting to be interviewed, which finally took place in May, he allegedly explained his actions by saying he had an involuntary cough and was in a hurry when he spoke to Mujinga and her colleague.He also said he didn’t have Covid because he had received a negative antibody test four days after the alleged assault.But Davies, who has seen CCTV footage of the incident, counters the explanation.Davies says the alleged assailant twice approached Mujinga and the colleague she was with, covering them in spittle while talking.Between the two outbursts, the alleged attacker moved to a different area of the station and waited to be served at a ticket window. He appeared to be angered by the woman who served him, too. Given all this, Davies disputes the suggestion the man was in any particular hurry.He also raises the significance of the man having had access to a Covid-19 antibody test – according to police, the test was taken as “part of [the man’s] occupation” – so early in the pandemic.Davies told HuffPost UK: “For his employer to have access to an antibody testing regime at that time – when most employers didn’t – suggests he works for an organisation that is very well connected. So you’re looking at the health service, police, military, government.”He also points to the high proportion of false negative tests that marked the early days of the outbreak. On April 6, professor John Newton, Public Health England’s head of testing, admitted that antibody tests ordered by the government up to that point were not good enough to use, and only people who had been severely ill would have tested positive.Davies asks why BTP assumed the test was accurate and why the assailant wasn’t tested again in May when he was interviewed at a London police station.The claim the cough was involuntary is also disputed by Davies. Both Belly and her colleague step back on the two occasions the alleged assailant is close to them. “The assault is quite clear from the CCTV,” he told HuffPost UK. “We think the story doesn’t add up.”The footage, says Davies, also suggests a “racial intent”. He adds: “It doesn’t add up that he wasn’t charged. It’s hard to believe that if he had been a hulking Black guy – big framed, towering over two white female staff, put the fear of god into them, and assaulted them twice – [...] it’s hard to believe the BTP would not have done him for assault.”Davies is also alarmed that Network Rail deleted the CCTV footage because Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Mujinga’s employer, had not reported the incident to the police within 30 days.The “grainy” footage Davies has seen emerged following a request GTR had made on April 8 to Network Rail, but it did not say an alleged assault had taken place. He questions whether there was original footage from better angles, and what BTP asked for.BTP said in May there was not enough evidence that a crime had taken place and closed the case. In August, the Crown Prosecution Service’s independent review had found “no further reliable evidence” to change the decision.The CPS pointed out that, aside from the negative test, there was no medical evidence to link the suspect with Mujinga’s illness. It said DNA analysis of Mujinga’s clothing was inconclusive as to whether she had been coughed or spat on.Suzanne Llewellyn, deputy chief Crown prosecutor, said at the time: “We considered whether charges could be brought in relation to homicide, assault or public order offences.“As part of this review, we studied enhanced CCTV, forensic materials and witness statements.“CCTV and witness evidence was insufficiently clear and consistent to substantiate allegations of deliberate coughing or spitting, meaning no charges can be brought for assault or public order offences.“Medical tests confirmed the suspect had not been infected with coronavirus, which together with the lack of other evidence rules out any charges in relation to homicide.“Therefore, after careful consideration and with all lines of enquiry explored, we have advised BTP no further reliable evidence has become available to change their original decision in this case.”But there are other concerns, too, about the conditions Mujinga was working under and how she was treated by her employer. Among them is the fact Mujinga had already made a racism complaint about the supervisor who she alleged sent her to work without a mask weeks before she died, Davies says.In February 2020, Mujinga had complained about the supervisor – a letter to her employer has been seen by HuffPost UK – asking why she was suspended for weeks over a simple mistake that others had made and escaped punishment for.The family is also alarmed that Mujinga – who suffered from a respiratory ailment – was taken off the rota working behind a ticket counter and was instead told to work on the concourse where she had to engage directly with the public.GTR could not confirm whether the race complaint had been upheld, or whether any action had been taken subsequently. HuffPost UK has seen no evidence that the supervisor acted wrongly in relation to her shift pattern or the spitting incident.This is the last video Belly Mujinga made. A year on her family are still waiting for answers & accountability!@BorisJohnson grant them a public inquiry now #JusticeforBellyMujingapic.twitter.com/MKVBlN4h72— Lawrence GC Davies (@LDaviesEJ) April 7, 2021Mujinga suffered from sarcoidosis, which affected her breathing and meant she had regular medical check-ups and some restrictions on her operational duty.On March 21, the rota shows Belly was supposed to be working at a ticket window, and not outside, and video she took days before her death shows how scared she was.Davies says: “There was no objective need for them to be outside. The only time they are supposed to leave the ticket office is if there’s a super long queue, and it’s felt getting people outside can tackle the queue. But there’s no queue outside. In fact, there’s more staff outside than there are people.”It was already in the public domain that GTR had not issued masks to its staff at the time of the attack – which was before mask-wearing was advised by the government.But Davies alleges GTR had gone further and had actually forbidden its staff from wearing masks outside even if they wanted to, which was “an unusual step”.He told HuffPost UK: “Management generally told staff they couldn’t wear masks. They didn’t provide them and told them they couldn’t wear them. According to the union, one person was disciplined for wearing a mask.“Belly needed to because she had a respiratory condition, and she needed not to be working outside in the vicinity of the public. But if she was outside the very least she could have had was a mask.“Apparently, she did have a mask – she was using a scarf – but people who were trying to wear masks were having them taken off them by management.” He says there “seems to be a general lack of care towards staff safety”.As a result of the litany of concerns about the investigation, Mujinga’s family has complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates the police. They are also considering a civil claim against GTR. A coroner is still to decide on whether to hold an inquest which in turn will inform whether the government launches a public inquiry.It has been a year since Belly Mujinga died from Covid after being "spat at" - the lawyer representing her family explains the "murky" issues surrounding the case. Read more: https://t.co/x0mWoOlwhU@mrjamesobpic.twitter.com/wwWyKUPHqU— LBC (@LBC) April 7, 2021HuffPost UK put the “race complaint” allegation to GTR, and asked whether any action was taken against this supervisor. A spokesperson said it would not comment on specific allegations, adding: “GTR does not tolerate racism and takes any allegation of racism extremely seriously.” Of the same supervisor sending Mujinga out to work on the concourse on the day the alleged assault took place, GTR referred HuffPost UK to an investigation report it published last autumn in which it stated that all office colleagues at the station were obliged to work in the ticket office and on the station concourse as part of their normal, daily duties. The report also claims Mujinga’s condition was not included in government guidance classifying an individual as vulnerable, though this changed in April after she had died. It has been frequently reported by Mujinga’s union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), that Mujinga pleaded with her bosses after the attack not to be sent outside, asking instead to work from inside the ticket office. This was refused, it is said. She was only eventually authorised to shield after her doctor telephoned her employers after the incident on March.Of not issuing masks to its staff at the time of the attack, the GTR report states: “At the time of the alleged incident, which took place prior to the wider lockdown, there was no guidance or advice in place suggesting face coverings or masks should be worn.“As the pandemic developed, advice evolved and the travelling public was advised to wear face coverings. As soon as the official advice changed in May, we provided colleagues with face coverings. We currently offer colleagues a choice of disposable surgical masks, reusable cloth masks and face visors.”On refusing to disclose the suspect’s name to Mujinga’s family or lawyer, BTP has said it has to consider the “safety and security” of the person involved, as well as the Data Protection Act which restricts the sharing of personal data gathered as part of a criminal investigation. A BTP spokesperson said: “Consequently and as per national policing guidelines, we would only release someone’s name in the public domain if and when criminal charges have been brought against them.“In this case following consideration of the evidence, interview under caution and subsequent review by the Crown Prosecution Service, no further action was taken against them.”The force said it is “not within the remit” of the police to assist the public in its pursuit of “civil remedies”.Members of Mujinga’s family, including her husband Lusamba, attended a vigil outside Victoria station last week.Sonali Bhattacharyya, a volunteer with the Justice for Belly campaign group, said campaigners were calling for an inquest into her death and a public inquiry to determine if GTR was culpable. There is no suggestion that Mujinga’s supervisor is culpable for any specific wrongdoing.She said: “We’re here today on the first anniversary of Belly Mujinga’s death, united in anger and grief.“A year on, and her family still have no answers. They still wait for justice.”Related...Union Calls For Inquest To Address 'Unanswered Questions' Over Belly Mujinga's DeathSix Unanswered Questions About Belly Mujinga’s Death As Pressure Mounts For An InquestBelly Mujinga: Prosecutors Rule Out Charges Over Railway Worker's DeathBelly Mujinga's Family Deserves Coronavirus Compensation, Urges MPBelly Mujinga's Colleagues Speak Out As CPS 'Reviews Evidence' Around Spit Attack
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Gal Gadot Looked To Princess Diana As Inspiration For Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot channeled real-life royalty when she was getting ready to portray Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince.The Israeli actor, who has played the DC Comics superhero since 2016, revealed this week that her performance was largely inspired by another Diana ― namely, the late Princess Diana of Wales.“I remember watching a documentary about Princess Diana,” Gal said in a virtual chat with Vanity Fair for the publication’s Cocktail Hour Live! event. “There was a part where they say that she was full of compassion and she always cared for the people, and that was like, ‘Ding-ding-ding.’ That should be the Wonder Woman that we have.” “I wanted to portray a character that people will be inspired by, but also be able to relate to,” she continued. “I wanted to show her vulnerabilities and heart.” Gal Gadot tried to channel Princess Diana’s compassion in her Wonder Woman role. #vfchlivepic.twitter.com/e3YRR9LzsF— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) April 13, 2021The revelation is certain to lend new meaning to Gal’s scenes in films like Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984 and, most recently, Zack Snyder’s Justice League.Though Princess Diana died in a 1997 car crash, her influence across pop culture is perhaps stronger than ever. In February, actor Emma Corrin won an Emmy for her portrayal of Diana in the Netflix series The Crown. A forthcoming feature film, Spencer, will star Kristen Stewart as the late royal. And later this year, Diana’s story will come to Broadway in a new musical, Diana, which will also be filmed for a Netflix release.  Interestingly, the late princess of Wales isn’t the only public figure whose essence can be felt in the Wonder Woman franchise.Last year, director Patty Jenkins confirmed that Maxwell Lord, the greasy villain of Wonder Woman 1984, was inspired in part by former President Donald Trump and disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, who died Wednesday. “Trump’s definitely one of the people that we looked at,” Patty said of the character, played by Pedro Pascal. “But it’s any of those kind of mavericks of business success that was big in the ’80s [and] went on to be major players in our world in potentially questionable other ways.”READ MORE:Michael J Fox Reveals 'Nightmare' Of Sitting Next To Princess Diana At The Back To The Future PremiereGet Ready For Yet More Royal Drama: A Brand New Princess Diana Musical Is Coming To NetflixOlivia Colman's Reaction To Emma Corrin's Golden Globes Win Was Adorable And So Olivia Colman
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Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams review – a gentle, hopeful story
Based on real events, this tale of the OED’s compilation explores how words take on different meanings for men and women In 1901, a concerned member of the public wrote to the men compiling the first Oxford English Dictionary to let them know that there was a word missing. In 1857 the Unregistered Words Committee of the Philological Society of London had decided that Britain needed a successor to Samuel Johnson’s 1755 dictionary. It had taken 40 years for the first volume – the letters A and B – to be published, and now they had only gone and left out a word.The word was “bondmaid”, and when Australian author Pip Williams learned of its exclusion, she knew she had the makings of a novel. The Dictionary of Lost Words tells the story of the OED’s compilation through the fictional Esme, daughter of one of the men working on it, and her interactions with characters based on the real men and women behind the book. Continue reading...
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Jennifer Aniston's Ex-Husband Justin Theroux Clears Up Those Rumours Surrounding Their Breakup
Justin Theroux is clearing the air about his breakup with Jennifer Aniston and even has some words of wisdom on relationships.The actor talked about the dissolution of his marriage to the Friends star in a new interview with Esquire, dispelling rumours about why the pair parted ways.Reports indicated the couple, who had been romantically linked since 2011, married in 2015, and separated and divorced in 2018, had disagreed over whether they’d live in New York or Los Angeles.“That’s a narrative that is not true, for the most part,” Justin told Esquire.“Look, people create narratives that make themselves feel better or simplify things for them. That whole ‘This person likes rock ’n’ roll, that person likes jazz. Of course!’ That’s just not the case. It’s an oversimplification,” he said, not offering any addition commentary on the matter.Justin explained that he and Jennifer have “remained friends.”“We don’t talk every day, but we call each other. We FaceTime. We text,” he said. As to how he navigates “the complicated emotional terrain” left after a breakup, he insisted that because he and Jenniferm“didn’t have that dramatic split,” they “love each other.” “I’m sincere when I say that I cherish our friendship. We can not be together and still bring each other joy and friendship. Also, she makes me laugh very, very hard. She’s a hilarious person. It would be a loss if we weren’t in contact, for me personally. And I’d like to think the same for her,” he shared.Justin said he believes when one gets “good at relationships ― and here I am, single ― if you love the person the same way you loved them in the relationship, it would behoove you to love them the same way out of the relationship.”“Who wants to take a shit while you’re walking out the door?” he asked.It seems what The Leftovers star said in 2018, mere months after the pair announced they’d be separating, has held firm.In an interview with The New York Times in September 2018, he insisted “there was no animosity” in the breakup and that it was “amicable” and “boring.”“It was heartbreaking, only in the sense that the friendship would not be the same, as far as just the day to day,” he noted. “But the friendship is shifting and changing, you know, so that part is something that we’re both very proud of.”READ MORE:Jennifer Aniston's Rep Sets The Record Straight Over Adoption RumoursJennifer Aniston Says What We Were All Thinking In Birthday Message For Paul RuddNo, Jennifer Aniston Doesn’t Have A ‘Vocal Tic’, It’s Called Acting, Daaaahhling
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