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June 1 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.
Image: People run as police disperse demonstrators during a protest amid nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington
People run as police disperse demonstrators during a protest amid nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, May 31, 2020.Jim Bourg / Reuters

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 2 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

After a weekend of protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Americans on Monday began the process of cleaning up after riots left damage in major cities, including Chicago and Philadelphia.

President Donald Trump expressed his ire over the protests to governors during a White House videoconference, telling them that “most of you are weak” and calling them "fools." He announced from the Rose Garden on Monday that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots as sirens wailed and flash-bang grenades popped just across the street.

Floyd's younger brother, Terrence, cried and knelt in prayer at the site of the man's death, along with expressing hope that protests would continue peacefully.

"If I’m not over here wilin’ out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community — then what are y’all doing? Nothing, because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all," he said.

An independent autopsy requested by Floyd's family declared his cause of death to be mechanical asphyxia, contradicting a report Hennepin County medical examiner. The county's report said Monday that his cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

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Driver who plowed through Minneapolis protest may have 'panicked'

It does not appear that a tanker truck driver who drove through a crowd of protesters on a Minneapolis freeway Sunday intended to hit people or target the protest, officials said Monday.

Rather, it appears the truck driver, who has been arrested, got to the freeway before barricades were set up to block traffic. The freeway was being closed to protect protesters in the roadway, who were peaceful.

"We do have some information that he saw the crowd and initially, what it looks like, he panicked," Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Monday at a news conference.

The driver kept "barreling forward" and said he slammed on the brakes after a woman on a bike fell in front of him, Harrington said. "We don't have any information that makes this seem like this was an intentional act," Harrington said.

No one has been reported hurt in the incident, officials said. Video showed the truck driving through crowds of demonstrators who fled to safety and who swarmed the truck after it stopped.

A witness told NBC affiliate KARE11 the truck was "barreling down, blaring its horn." The driver was attacked and was briefly hospitalized but others in the crowd stepped in to protect him, officials have said. The investigation is still open and ongoing.

Sacramento mayor estimates at least $10 million in damage

Sacramento has imposed a curfew for the city, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg said 500 members of the National Guard will also be deployed to the city Monday night to protect critical infrastructure.

Steinberg said that protesters and looters have caused at least $10 million in damages.

He said the city is expecting more trouble Monday night. 

NYPD top cop takes a knee with protesters

New York City’s top uniformed member of the force, Chief of Department Terrence Monahan, stepped into a crowd of protesters after items were thrown at police, and at the encouragement of protesters who urged the crowd to stop and delivered a message.

“Everyone, this has got to end, we all know Minnesota was wrong, they were arrested which they should be. There’s not a police officer over here that thinks Minnesota was justified. We stand with you on that.”

“But this is our city, our city, do not let people not from this city have you come here and screw-up your city. We cannot be fighting. We have to live here. This is our home.”

Then the protesters and Monahan kneeled.

Empire State Building going dark to honor Floyd

Matt Gaetz tweet on hunting antifa hit with warning from Twitter for glorifying violence

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., arrives for a meeting with President Donald Trump and fellow Congressional Republicans in the State Dining Room at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker / Pool via Getty Images

Twitter placed a notice on a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz after the Florida Republican tweeted about hunting “antifa" on Monday, but the social media platform did not take down the statement.

The congressman’s tweet was hidden with a notice that it violated Twitter’s rules for glorifying violence, similar to a notice that was placed on a tweet from President Donald Trump last week. Gaetz posed a question about hunting Antifa in reference to Trump’s decision Sunday to label the group as domestic terrorists.

“Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?” Gaetz tweeted.

Read the full story here.

Trump stands in front church, holds Bible after threatening military action against protesters

President Donald Trump walked from the White House, crossed Lafayette Square, and stood in front of St. John's Church holding a Bible moments after telling reporters he would deploy the military if state officials could not contain protests across the nation.

As protests sweep nation, research finds social distancing most effective at slowing coronavirus spread

Demonstrators sit in an intersection during a protest over the death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020, in Los Angeles.Mark J. Terrill / AP

Social distancing is the most effective way to slow the spread of the coronavirus — more so than face coverings and eye protection — according to a meta-analysis published Monday in The Lancet.

The findings have new significance as thousands of Americans are gathering alongside strangers in the midst of the pandemic, demonstrating against the death of George Floyd and demanding an end to social injustice.

"We just spent 93 days limiting behavior, closing down, no school, no business, thousands of small businesses destroyed," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, "And now? Mass gatherings, with thousands of people, in close proximity?"

"What sense does this make?"

Read the full story here. 

Trump says he will deploy military if state officials can't contain protest violence

WASHINGTON — As the sound of sirens wailed and flash bangs popped across the street, President Donald Trump announced from the Rose Garden that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots across the county that have been sparked by the death of George Floyd.

“I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans,” Trump said in the extraordinary address, which was delivered as police fired tear gas outside to push protesters back from the White House.

"If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said, referring to himself as "your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

Read the full story here. 

Omaha prosector says white bar owner killed black protester in self-defense

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine begins his news conference responding to the death of James Scurlock on June 1, 2020.WOWT

The white Omaha bar owner who shot and killed a 22-year-old black protester on Saturday night will not be charged, the Douglas County Attorney announced on Monday.

James Scurlock, 22, was shot by local bar owner Jacob Gardner, while protesting the police custody death of George Floyd on Saturday, according to the prosecutor Don Kleine and NBC Ohama affiliate WOWT.

Read the full story here. 

Protest outside White House broken up with flash bangs by mounted police

Mounted police used flashbangs to clear the protest from Lafayette Park near the White House that MSNBC’s Garrett Haake said had been “100 percent peaceful” up to that point.

ViacomCBS channels air almost nine minutes of 'I can't breathe' video

Many of the ViacomCBS-owned TV channels observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence on Monday to recognize the importance of the protest movement sparked by the death of George Floyd.

The channels included Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, which aired a video showing the words "I can't breathe" on the screen with a haunting audio of someone breathing. The moment was observed at 5 p.m. ET.  The networks previously observed a period of silence in 2018 to mark the mass school shootings at Parkland.