President Trump Cancels Alabama Rally Over COVID-19

Breaking News

President Trump is ditching plans to hold a rally in Alabama next weekend ... and it seems his campaign is finally taking COVID-19 seriously amid rising infections in the U.S.

The Prez was scheduled to visit Alabama ahead of its Senate race between Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, and Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn head football coach, but plans were scrapped as Alabama officials started voicing concerns about a mass gathering amid the pandemic.

Trump's campaign ultimately decided against another rally like the one in Tulsa ... where masks and face coverings were not required and campaign staffers ordered the removal of social distancing signage.

Off They come
The Washington Post

Alabama's Governor Kay Ivey announced a state order Tuesday encouraging face coverings in public and prohibiting non-work-related gatherings of any size where social distancing cannot be maintained ... which makes a massive rally unfeasible. Coronavirus cases in Alabama are also on the rise again.

The scrapped rally is just the latest sign some of the President's allies are getting serious about COVID-19 concerns -- even if he isn't yet.

Donald Trump Jr. now says "I don't think it's too complicated to wear a mask or wash your hands and follow basic hygiene protocols." Mitch McConnell finally said wearing a mask can't be stigmatized, and wearing face coverings in public are part of American's new routine in the pandemic.

The Tulsa rally also offered some hard lessons for Trump's campaign ... his first rally in 3 months of coronavirus restrictions resulted in 8 campaign staffers and 2 Secret Service agents in Tulsa testing positive for COVID-19, and the rest of his campaign staff at the rally ended up in quarantine.

Steak House Brawl Fists Fly over Social Distancing ... You're Too Damn Close!!!

A melee broke out in Arkansas when one restaurant customer felt others were too close for comfort -- but they all got much closer while breaking bottles and punching each other.

This nasty fight went down at the Saltgrass Steak House in Little Rock, and the video shows four grown adults just going at it Saturday night. According to cops, tensions started rising when one patron complained about social distancing.

You can see her -- the complaining someone else had coughed on her.

Here's your scorecard ... based on the police report, obtained by TMZ: the black woman claims the white guy (in the USA shirt) and his friends were not staying 6-feet away from her ... and when she expressed her frustration, they started harassing her.

Now, in the report ... there are differing accounts of who started coughing purposely on people. At any rate, everyone agrees things escalated from there -- and in the video, you see the brawl really exploded when a Black guy at the bar turned around with a bottle or glass ... and smashed another guy in the head.

At the end of the day ... 2 guys were cited for battery, and everyone went about their business of social distancing. Or not.

NHL 26 Players Test Positive For COVID ... Since June 8

Breaking News

The NHL is releasing its COVID-19 numbers ... with the league reporting 26 out of roughly 250 players have tested positive for the virus since June 8.

The NHL allowed small groups of players to start training at their team facilities earlier this month as part of its Phase 2 of returning to action ... and says it has handed out more than 1,450 tests during that period.

"All players who have tested positive have been self-isolated and are following CDC and Health Canada protocols," the NHL said Monday.

The news comes a week after the Tampa Bay Lightning had to shut down their facility after at least 3 players tested positive for COVID-19. The facility has since reopened.

"The NHL will continue to provide regular updates on the number of tests administered to Players and the results of those tests."

The league hopes to kick off Phase 3 in the next few weeks ... and hope to return to games shortly after.

Detroit PD Chief James Craig Cops Drove Through Protesters Because ... 'They Believed They Could Be Shot At'

MOVE IT OR LOSE IT
Detroit Police Departme

11:14 AM PT -- Detroit Police Chief James Craig just defended the officers involved in Thursday night’s incident saying they "did the right thing" after a crowd of about 25-30 people went from agitators to violent. He did not ID the officers involved.

Craig said the officers heard a loud bang — after the rear window was smashed — and “in their mind, they believed they could be shot at.” Craig also said the agitators yelled obscenities at them before some hopped on the hood of the car.

COPS DID THE RIGHT THING
Detroit Police Department

Then there's this ... Craig said, “There was information that officers reported several of the protesters were armed with hammers.” Craig couldn’t point out how many protesters were allegedly armed with hammers.

When the police cruiser took off, Craig said it maxed out at about 25 MPH and asked reporters, “What would you have them do?” Craig, who confirmed the officers involved remain on duty, said cops are also looking for a woman on a scooter who blocked a second police cruiser and hit the driver’s side tire. The incidents remain under investigation.

OUTTA MY WAY OR ELSE
@DJEazyTwist / Twitter

Yet another video showing a police officer mowing down Black Lives Matter protesters ... this time in Detroit where the cop in his cruiser's doing exactly that.

The horrifying incident unfolded late Sunday night in Southwest Detroit where protesters were peacefully demonstrating against systemic racism. They were heading back to Patton Park, where the protest began ... but met by cops who were determined to block them.

A tense standoff between protesters and the cop in his SUV followed. You can see the officer creep up in his car with protesters standing in front of the cruiser -- then the cop FLOORS it ... mowing down protesters along the way. You see a protester clinging to the hood of the SUV as the cop takes off.

A protester who says he was hit by the cop told the Detroit Free Press the cop "ran over a couple people's arms, feet. He ran over her phone. I think I was the last person on the car. I was just holding onto the car. I could feel him speeding up and then he did one of these and he flinged me off the car."

Medics treated as many as 10 people on the scene following the incident.

The Detroit PD says it's investigating the incident. This violent clash is reminiscent of what went down in NYC earlier this month when cops were seen on video driving their cruisers into a crowd of protesters behind a barricade.

Originally published -- 6:55 AM PT

Broadway Closed Through End Of Year ... See Ya In January?!?

Breaking News

The coronavirus pandemic is keeping the curtain closed on Broadway ... at least through the end of the year.

The Broadway League announced Monday all Broadway performances in New York City are on hold for the next 6 months and beyond due to COVID-19.

While there is no exact date for the curtain to open on Broadway, producers say they are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased to performances through Jan. 3.

The Broadway League says it's just not safe to host throngs of fans for indoor performances in the pandemic -- not to mention the cast, crew and orchestra -- so things remain in a holding pattern.

As you know ... Broadway has been shuttered since March 12, and the shutdown was previously extended through June 7 and then Sept. 6.

Now, all of 2020 is a wash for Broadway. Break a leg ... next year?!?

NBA's Rudy Gobert Still Can't Smell After COVID-19 Battle ... 'Could Take a Year'

Breaking News

It's been almost 4 months since Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 ... but his sense of smell is still MIA.

The Utah Jazz star was one of the first cases of coronavirus in pro sports when it was confirmed on March 11 ... leading to the shut down of the 2019-20 NBA season.

One of the common symptoms is loss of smell and taste -- and the 28-year-old Frenchman is telling L'Equipe he still isn't fully recovered in that sense.

"The taste has returned, but the smell is still not 100%," Gobert said in French.

"I can smell the smells, but not from afar. I spoke to specialists, who told me that it could take up to a year."

Remember, Gobert was the guy who famously joked around about COVID-19 ... jokingly touching a bunch of microphones and other recording devices at a press conference before he formally tested positive.

MARCH 2020
RISKY MOVE

Afterward, Gobert's teammate, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive -- leading to a rift between the two.

Gobert later apologized and donated $500k to COVID relief.

Elderly Buffalo Protester $upport, Gifts Pouring In From All Over the World

Exclusive

Martin Gugino remains hospitalized after that violent shove to the ground from cops in Buffalo -- but at least he's getting showered with love and support.

Gugino's attorney, Kelly Zarcone, tells TMZ ... the 75-year-old has received more than 1,000 messages of support, some even handwritten and delivered by snail mail. Supporters sent gifts too ... like an autographed book from an author, an original painting and some religious jewelry. Someone also made, by hand, a prayer blanket, which we're told is on its way to the hospital.

It's unclear how much Martin will rack up in hospital bills but no doubt it'll be substantial -- he's been in since June 4. Initially, Kelly says Martin didn't authorize any GoFundMe accounts, but Martin's changed his tune since then because Kelly says he now realizes he'll need all the help he can get to cover his medical and recovery costs.

There are now TWO official GoFundMe accounts to help Martin cover his medical expenses -- and, so far, they've amassed $80k in donations.

6/4/2020
"HE'S BLEEDING OUT OF HIS EARS!!!"
@mikedesmondWBFO

We're told Martin's reading all the comments on the GoFundMe accounts -- as well as the letters and emails -- which have been very comforting while he continues to recover in the hospital's rehab wing.

As we reported ... he fractured his skull and bled after he was shoved by cops, who were ultimately suspended. That suspension triggered 57 officers resigning from the Emergency Response Team.

The support, of course, is a stark contrast to the death threats Martin received just a little over a week ago. As we reported ... the barrage of threats left Martin feeling unsafe about going home, once he's healthy.

Model Emily Sears Brain Surgery's a Success!!! On the Road to Recovery

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Emily Sears -- a model known for starring in some saucy Carl's Jr. ads -- is recovering from successful brain surgery ... and looking forward to getting her life back after a major health scare.

Emily tells TMZ ... she underwent a craniotomy last week in order for surgeons to remove a cavernoma, a cluster of abnormal blood vessels that was irritating her brain tissue and causing seizures.

The model says she was in a store in L.A. back in April 2019 when she had her first seizure and collapsed, which led to her diagnosis.

Despite trying several medications to deal with the issue, she had at least 5 more seizures before suffering a bad fall near the end of the year ... which is when she decided to schedule brain surgery to remove the cluster.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic delayed her procedure, but she was finally able to have it done last week ... and it was an extremely intricate process.

We're told, Emily's surgery took more than 5 hours because the cavernoma was against the speech area of her brain ... so doctors had to wake her up in the middle of it to test her speech with flashcards, to make sure they didn't remove any vital tissue.

Whoa.

Thankfully, Emily says the surgery was a success -- the whole cluster was removed -- and she's happy and healing and eager to return to normal living.

Get well soon!

Tampa Police Cops Forcibly Separate Kids from Mom in Distress

Breaking News 6/27/20
SEPARATION ANXIETY
@jzapata23 / Twitter

4:45 PM PT -- 6/29 -- Cops say they responded to a call of an abandoned car after a citizen attempted to offer assistance to the woman and her kids. Police claim the mother "reportedly became combative" with the good samaritan.

Police say "officers intervened when the mother attempted to walk on the interstate out of concern for the safety of her and her children."

In the end, cops say no one was arrested or injured during the incident.

Tampa cops responded to a call about a woman in distress who was walking in the street with her kids ... and it turned into a gutwrenching scene of the children being ripped away from their mom.

Police got the call of a woman "under severe mental distress." When they arrived in the downtown area, they saw her walking in the road with her 5 barefoot kids.

The way police handled the situation is raising lots of questions ... in particular, whether this was the way to handle and de-escalate the situation.

You see one cop holding the woman against a fence, while one of her daughters stands by her side. Then, another cop held the girl with one hand as he restrains 3 of her brothers who are trying to free their sister from the officer.

Police eventually took the woman to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. They also took the kids to the hospital so they could be near their mom.

This is yet another example of how important it is for police to assess non-violent situations and figure out ways of de-escalating without causing needless trauma, force or worse.

Originally published -- 6/28 8:33 AM

NBA's Larry Sanders Gunning For Comeback 'I Can Definitely Contribute'

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READY TO PLAY
TMZSports.com

It's been 3 years since Larry Sanders stepped foot on an NBA court ... but the 31-year-old says he's FAR from done -- telling TMZ Sports he wants another shot at getting back in the league.

Remember, Sanders had a solid career with the Milwaukee Bucks from 2010-2015 ... before failed drug tests and battles with mental health kept him out of work.

L.S. briefly had a comeback with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 ... but reportedly struggled with keeping up with his responsibilities.

We spoke with Sanders about his career ... and he makes it clear he's not ready to hang up the sneaks yet.

"I think with things shifting a bit, me still young, I feel like I'm in the prime stage, I can definitely contribute."

"I would just love to contribute to a team and help them win and give my knowledge, give my defensive presence and just being able to play basketball."

"That's ideal for me. That sounds like heaven."

But, as for what Sanders has been up to OFF the court, he tells us he's working with a spray cannabis company called CLICK ... and says it's perfect for someone with his athletic lifestyle.

MINDIN' MY HEALTH
TMZSports.com

"It's super discrete, super cool and sleek and I just fell in love with it because for me, it's healthier."

"I can use it at all times of the day and it's a great alternative for athletes and health-conscious people."

Trump Campaign Ordered Removal of Distance Signage Video Shows Staff Doing It

President Trump's campaign staff reportedly told arena staff members to remove social distancing signs before they opened the doors, and there's video showing folks doing just that.

The story was reported by the Washington Post and Billboard -- with the former citing sources familiar with the situation ... and the latter getting one of the venue's main overseers on record. The VP of ASM Global -- the company that manages the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa -- told the magazine that Trump's campaign had, in fact, given the order.

The VP, Doug Thornton, says the campaign instructed them to stop labeling every other seat with "Do Not Sit Here, Please!" stickers, which the arena staff had already done to nearly every row. The place sits 19,000 -- so, at least 9,500 were presumably used.

Off They come
The Washington Post

There was even video captured and posted by WaPo that shows a few men with badges going around and actually removing those stickers. It's shot from a distance, so it's hard to make out what the stickers say, but it seems pretty clear they were the ones in question.

It's unclear if these guys are Trump staffers or arena staffers. In any case, it's a smoking gun.

This is insane, considering the BOK Center was actually trying to do the right thing and take safety precautions ... only to be thwarted by the man's own team come showtime.

Of course, if you saw the rally live -- not to mention the people lining up to get in before doors opened -- you know it was already a 'rona danger zone. Now, the place ended up being mostly empty inside, especially those upper rows. Still, those that were there did pack in like sardines, and now, we appear to know why -- at least partially, anyway.

The Trump campaign did not comment on the sticker removal.

Kings Star Jabari Parker Out Playing Tennis, Mask-Less After COVID Announcement

Exclusive

Jabari Parker just told the world he'd contracted coronavirus -- and less than 3 days later, the guy doesn't appear to be in isolation ... but rather, he's playing tennis in public.

The Sacramento Kings star was spotted Saturday in Chicago's Longfellow Park, where he was rallying with a buddy on the other end of the net ... all smiles, and without a mask. Mind you, he'd just announced a few days earlier that he had test positive for COVID-19.

It's hard to say what we should make of these photos of him seemingly doing just fine in light of that. On the one hand, it's kind of a bad look -- but also, it might be perfectly understandable ... as we don't know the exact status of his recovery at the moment.

In his statement through the Kings, Jabari said he found out his diagnosis "several days ago," but didn't specify when or how long he's been quarantined in Chi-Town. You'd like to assume he's on the tail end of his 14-day isolation here, but we just don't know.

Another somewhat troubling sign -- sources tell us Jabari was recently seen out at a restaurant there in the Windy City. Again, unclear if he's all better now or still sick.

In any case, we've reached out to his rep for clarification -- so far, no word back.

Trader Joe's Customer Goes Nuts Over Face Masks

Exclusive Details
TRADER KAREN
@ItsRellzWorld/Twitter

A Trader Joe's was the backdrop for an explosion of anger by a customer who felt it was her right to shop without a face mask.

The woman came to the San Fernando Valley store Friday wearing a mask ... the manager tells TMZ. At some point, as she was shopping the mask disappeared from her face. She says she has a breathing problem and that's why she took the mask off, but her lungs were filled with anger as her voice billowed through the store.

Either way ... we're told employees approached the woman and asked her to cover her face, but she refused. At that point, she goes insane, suggesting this was some sort of conspiracy by Democrats.

She was ordered to leave the store -- which she did.

BTW ... Los Angeles is having a huge spike in coronavirus cases. Also, you go to a grocery store you have to wear a mask. Period.

Old news is old news!
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