Albert Samaha, BuzzFeed
Bernalillo County district attorney Kari Brandenburg was great at her job and admired in her community. But when she decided to charge two Albuquerque policemen with murder for shooting a homeless man named James Boyd last January, her own police department turned on her. "They stripped from her the biggest case of her career," Samaha writes. "They resisted the authority of her office. And, she told those around her, they threatened her family’s safety. It was a surreal turn of events: a district attorney scared of her city’s police department."
The most devastating part? Brandenburg's story echoes others: Baltimore police turned against State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for charging officers for the death of Freddie Gray, San Francisco police attacked District Attorney George Gascón, a former police chief, after he led a racial bias investigation in his department in February. It's exhausting to keep track of all that is broken.
Amos Barshad, The FADER
This is the true, strange tale of Deso Dogg (a.k.a. Denis Cuspert), the German rapper who fled to Syria to sing songs for ISIS. Plus, though there have been many rumors of his death over time, this week the Pentagon confirmed that Cuspert still lives.
Ankita Rao, Motherboard
While gun control legislation is stalled in Washington, what can we do to curb gun violence and mass shootings? One idea: construct our buildings not only for safety and protection, but ideal for creating and maintaining community.
Ruth Saxelby, The FADER
Artists, activists, and entrepreneurs are changing how we talk — and think — about menstruation. Musician Jenny Hval (whose new album is called Blood Bitch), activist Kiran Gandhi (she's the one who ran the London Marathon while bleeding freely), illustrator Faye Orlove (who made the bloody art for this piece), and more talk about denouncing period shame, and how “the strongest blood in the universe is probably menstrual blood,” as Hval put it. If you bleed (or even if you don't), this is a must-read.
Meg Neal, Atlas Obscura
Ah, the Olympics. This year in Rio, officials have already lost the keys to the stadium, and played Niger's anthem instead of Nigeria's. Ahead of Friday's Opening Ceremonies, take a look at what happens when the Olympics leave a city, and the stadiums that were built for the Games are reclaimed by nature.
Plus, the New York Times has this Olympics Issue interactive, which is very cool.
Lindsay Zoladz, The Ringer
"Young people right now are becoming increasingly vocal about structures and abuses of power," Zoladz wrote in this piece about what millennials find funny, and what they don't. "By and large," she said, "the comedians that are currently striking a chord with millennials are not interested in offending marginalized groups so much as deriving humor from their specific truths." Comedians like Samantha Bee, Aziz Ansari, Jessica Williams, and Chelsea Peretti, and even Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland in their show Rick And Morty (speaking of which, watch the show's main characters act out an insane, real court transcript), are tapped into our particular political moment, and that's what makes them appealing.
Muna Mire, GQ
Another day, another senseless death. Muna Mire talks violence against black women after the killing of Korryn Gaines.
Also: Eli Hager of The Marshall Project rounded up all the alternatives to bullets police should use.
Barack Obama, Glamour
Yes, our commander in chief penned an op-ed for women's lifestyle magazine Glamour yesterday, and yes, he did say "this is what a feminist looks like." Obama's the first president to ever refer to himself as a feminist, proving he's the coolest POTUS ever to live. In his piece he wrote, "Forcing people to adhere to outmoded, rigid notions of identity isn’t good for anybody—men, women, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise. These stereotypes limit our ability to simply be ourselves." 👏
Also in how much POTUS rocks this week: Obama to Leave the White House a Nerdier Place Than He Found It, from The New York Times's White House Letter.