Senate blocks commission to study Capitol riot, Chicago police foot chase policy: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of 5 Things: The Senate falls short of the 60 votes needed to overcome Republicans’ filibuster, voting 54-35 to block a commission to study the causes of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Plus, how a staggering percentage of college students report feeling anxiety due to the pandemic, Chicago police create a new foot chase policy following the killings of Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez and Germany officially recognizes their early 20th-century colonial killings in Namibia as genocide.

Hit play on the podcast player above and read along with the transcript below.

Claire Thornton:

Good morning, I’m Claire Thornton and this is 5 Things you need to know Saturday, May 29th, 2021. I’m filling in for Taylor Wilson.

Today, how the Senate voted against creating a commission to study the January 6th Capitol attack. We’re also talking about how the pandemic is affecting college students’ mental health.

Here are some other top headlines:

Senate Republicans voted to block a bi-partisan commission that would have investigated the January 6th Capitol attack.

The Senate voted 54-35, with Democrats falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome Republicans’ filibuster. It was the first Senate filibuster during Biden’s presidency.

Nine Republicans senators and two Democratic senators didn’t vote.

This week, people like Gladys Sicknick, whose son was Brian Sicknick – the Capitol Police Officer who died as a result of the attack – and officers Michael Fanone and Harry Dunn met with lawmakers and tried to urge them to create the commission.

The 10-member commission would have had half its members appointed by Democratic members of Congress and half by Republicans.

If approved, the commission would have issued subpoenas for information in a bi-partisan manner. Its members would have also produced a final report by December 31st 2021.

Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar spoke on the Senate floor in support of creating the commission.

Here’s Senator Klobuchar:

We owe it to the heroic Capital Police, to the first responders, the the staff members who sat in closets for hours and hours and hours. To the police officer who was called the n-word fifteen times and then sat in the rotunda and looked at another officer and said, “Is this America?” We owe it to them, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the Capitol and the sacred democratic process. 

Claire Thornton

The Justice Department is prosecuting 445 suspects in the Capitol attack and more arrests are expected. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he didn’t support the Capitol attack commission because the Justice Department is already involved. 

McConnell accused Democrats of seeking to ‘relitigate’ former president Donald Trump, who was impeached, charged with inciting the January 6th insurrection, and acquitted during Senate hearings earlier this year.

Claire Thornton:

Nearly half of college students experienced a financial setback because of the pandemic. 

COVID-19 also caused millions of college students to move back home with family. That change in setting – and change in support networks – created even more negative impacts on students’ mental health, experts say.

89% of college students say they felt stressed or anxious because of the pandemic, and 79% say they felt feelings of sadness or disappointment.

These numbers come from Active Minds, a nonprofit that tries to raise awareness about mental health issues for college students.

In fall 2020, when many students returned to campus, some reported experiencing more social isolation than they did at home.

Only 28% of students reported accessing virtual mental health services last year.

When college mental health centers return to pre-pandemic procedures, it could become harder for students to access easy, virtual therapy appointments.

Experts say even though COVID-19 cases are dwindling, the mental health impacts from the pandemic are going to linger for a while.

And as recent grads leave their college campuses, they’ll lose access to more affordable mental health resources.

You can read the full story, including how health care professionals are calling on universities to expand on-campus counseling this year, at the link I’ve put in the episode notes. Or, search “college therapy” on usatoday.com

Claire Thornton:

Chicago police are adopting a new foot chase policy, months after Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez were shot and killed while being pursued by officers.

Adam Toledo was 13 years old and Anthony Alvarez was 22.

According to a 2016 Chicago Tribune investigation, foot chases played a role in more than a third of police shootings where someone was wounded or killed between 2010 and 2015.

Back in April, when authorities released the body cam footage of Adam Toledo being shot by an officer, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has to do better to protect young people.

Here’s Mayor Lightfoot:

How we’re making investments, how we’re intervening, to do better, for our young people, who are here – so that they can walk a life in their streets in their neighborhoods without fear, without feeling like they are prey, wherever the violence comes from, wherever it comes from. 

Claire Thornton:

The police department’s new foot chase policy will prohibit foot chases that stem from minor traffic offenses and certain misdemeanor criminal offenses.

The policy will discontinue foot pursuits if someone is injured and requires immediate medical help or if officers are unaware of someone’s location. The new policy will also discontinue foot chases if officers engaged in the pursuit believe they would not be able to control the suspect if a confrontation were to occur.

The new policy will take effect on June 11th.

Chicago’s civilian police oversight agency is still investigating the fatal shootings of Toledo and Alvarez.

Claire Thornton:

Germany is officially recognizing their colonial-era killings of 65,000 Herero people and 10,000 Nama people in what is now Namibia as genocide.

Between 1904 and 1908, when Germany was colonizing the southwest part of Africa that is now Namibia, the military instructed troops to wipe out an entire tribe of people.

The accord announced Friday is the result of more than five years of talks between Germany and Namibia.

In a statement, Germany’s Foreign Minister said, “In light of Germany’s historical and moral responsibility, we will ask Namibia and the descendants of the victims for forgiveness.”

In the agreement between the two countries, Germany is committing to spending a total of $1.3 billion on a rebuilding and development program in Namibia.

Claire Thornton:

Six states are implementing laws on July 1st that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.

Those six states are Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Florida. 

It’s unlikely that Congress or the White House will have a federal equivalent by July 1st, meaning there are gonna be more serious ramifications for the NCAA.

In at least two of the six states ready to implement the new laws, public and private schools are gonna face different implications.

Check out the full story which breaks down the different laws in each state at the link I’ve included. Or, search “name, image, and likeness” on usatoday.com

Claire Thornton:

Thanks for listening. 

If you liked this episode of 5 Things, write us a review on Apple Podcasts letting us know what you liked about it.

I’m Claire Thornton with USA TODAY. I’ll be back tomorrow morning with a special Sunday episode of 5 Things about the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre and calls for reparations.

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