June 2 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.
Image: Protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York
Demonstrators gather after curfew during a protest in New York City on June 2, 2020.Brendan McDermid / Reuters

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 3 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Protests over the in-custody death of George Floyd passed the one-week mark Tuesday with no signs of slowing down. From New York to North Carolina and Los Angeles to Minnesota, thousands hit the streets while Floyd’s family called for the arrests of three other officers involved in the Memorial Day incident.

As authorities across the country respond to destructive and chaotic demonstrations with curfews and mass arrests, there’s been one notable exception: Baltimore.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz announced a sweeping civil rights investigation of the police department in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, saying the inquiry will root out "systemic racism that is generations deep."

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Footage shows Milwaukee police disperse protesters with tear gas

Video footage from Milwaukee on Tuesday showed authorities using tear gas on protesters moments after many were kneeling or had their hands up.

The Milwaukee Police Department said officers dispersed the crowd after people threw rocks, glass and Molotov cocktails at officers. The department added that someone in the crowd with a gun was taken into custody.

The footage, captured by NBC affiliate WTMJ, did not show this. The station reported that tear gas was used minutes after the demonstration was declared unlawful.

The “Justice for George Floyd” demonstration began at 1 p.m. in the Bay View section of the city and ended 6.5 miles away in downtown Milwaukee, NBC affiliate WTMJ reported.

Arkansas declares state of emergency

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency Tuesday in response to continued demonstrations to protest the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

A statement from the governor’s spokeswoman said the action will unify command of local and state police, the Arkansas National Guard and the state Department of Emergency Management.

The spokeswoman minimized the significance of the move, however. “This is a normal executive order issued when the National Guard is activated under state control in regard to civil disturbance. Under this executive order, sheriff offices and police departments maintain command and operational control of their respective jurisdictions,” Katie Beck said in her statement.

Also Tuesday, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott expanded the city’s curfew a day after Arkansas authorities again used tear gas to break up protests outside the state Capitol. Scott said the city’s nighttime curfew will begin 8 p.m.

Thousands protest outside Colorado State Capitol

Thousands of peaceful protesters in Denver swarmed the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday evening, chanting slogans like “This is what democracy looks like,” to protest the death of George Floyd.

 

The crowd, which was marching toward the Capitol, spanned several city blocks, according to NBC affiliate KUSA

Protesters also chanted, “Peaceful protest,” with limited police presence, as Denver’s 9 p.m. curfew drew near. Denver extended its curfew through Friday morning, according to the city.

Thousands of protesters stream back toward Brooklyn after 'tense' bridge standoff

After a standoff lasting more than an hour, at least 1,000 protesters turned back to Brooklyn after being denied entry to Manhattan by NYPD.

Demonstrators block the base of the Manhattan Bridge after curfew during a protest in New York City on June 2, 2020.Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

Some of the protesters had tried to negotiate with police in order to be let through. Two said they felt tensions were high.

“This seems very tense. They’re on defense instead of support," Vanessa, 27, said.

The protesters, out after New York City's curfew, could be seen streaming back across the bridge, a 1-mile walk, with their hands up. After a brief standoff on the Brooklyn side, protesters were allowed into the borough. 

Booker: ‘America, I love you. Do you see me?’

Army moves 1,600 troops to D.C. area

The Department of Defense moved 1,600 soldiers to the Washington D.C. area in response to the growing unrest and protests, according to the top Pentagon spokesman.

"The Department of Defense moved multiple active duty Army units into the National Capitol Region as a prudent planning measure in response to ongoing support to civil authorities operations," Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said in a statement.

Trump said on Monday he'd use the U.S. military to stop the nationwide riots sparked by the death of George Floyd

The troops,16th Military Police Brigade headquarters from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 91st Military Police Battalion from Fort Drum, New York, were relocated to military bases in the National Capitol Region by military aircraft within the last 24 hours, the statement said. 

The brigade provides a command and control element for the battalion, which primarily provides military police and engineering capability. 

Peaceful protest in Charlotte escalates after group throws fireworks, 'chemical agent' at police

What began as a peaceful protest in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday escalated when a small group of people hurled bottles, fireworks and a “chemical agent” at police, authorities said.

The demonstration, organized by the NAACP, had spanned several blocks in the downtown area earlier in the day, NBC affiliate WCNC reported. Shortly after 6 p.m., the sprawling group took a knee in a moment of silence for George Floyd, according to the station.

Around 9 p.m., the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department began tweeting that people were shining lasers at officers and throwing water bottles, a chemical agent and other items. It wasn't immediately clear what kind of chemical struck the officer, who the department said was on a bike. His condition also wasn't immediately known.

“Violence is escalating putting protesters and officers in danger,” the department said. The department said it used tear gas and other riot control agents to disperse the group.

Seattle curfew extended until Saturday morning

Seattle's police chief on Tuesday announced that a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would be extended until Saturday morning, after protests in the city that have become violent in recent days.

"We're using this as a tool to help us make sure that we can do everything that we can to keep all of us safe as we're out there in the field with the protests and the demonstrations," Police Chief Carmen Best said at a news conference. Several other cities have also imposed curfews across the nation.

Best said that the majority of protesters have been peaceful, but that there has been rioting, looting, and attacks on police.

Monday night an officer was struck in the face with a large piece of concrete and other officers sustained injuries, she said.

Best said that since protests began in Seattle following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, there have been 86 arrests, including for assault, burglary and property destruction.

Minneapolis schools end contract with Minneapolis Police Department

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis school board has voted to end its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department following the death last week of George Floyd.

The Star Tribune reports the vote was unanimous Tuesday.

Minneapolis Public Schools will stop further negotiations with the Police Department. Schools Superintendent Ed Graff must come up with a new plan for school safety by the board’s Aug. 18 meeting.

School board chairwoman Kim Ellison said in an interview that she values “people and education and life.” Ellison said she’s now convinced, “based on the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department, that we don’t have the same values.”

The Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts have faced criticism over the use of school resource officers. Both districts have sought to transform the role to be more of a mentor than an enforcer.

Protesters coming over Manhattan Bridge blocked by police

Thousands of protesters on the Manhattan Bridge Tuesday night were blocked from entering Manhattan by a large police presence.

The protesters were out in defiance of New York City's 8 p.m. ET curfew, massing on the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

It's unclear whether the other side the bridge is also being blocked.

Las Vegas officer shot amid protests on life support; suspect booked

A Las Vegas police officer remained in critical condition and on life support after being shot amid violent protests Monday, and the suspect has been booked on attempted murder and other charges, police said.

Officer Shay Mikalonis, 29, who has been with the department for four years, was struck by a bullet fired from across the street as police were taking someone into custody near Circus Circus, police said.

Edgar Samaniego, 20, allegedly was seen on surveillance video "firing a handgun at the officers as he walked down the street," and he was found at a motel and arrested, police said in a statement.

Samaniego was booked on one count of attempted murder on a police officer and two counts of unlawful discharging of a firearm, police said.

Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement that he was praying for the officer, and he called the shooing senseless. "There is no place for this behavior in Nevada," Sisolak said.

It was one of two shootings in Las Vegas Monday night. In another unrelated incident, an armed man identified as Jorge Gomez, 25, was fatally shot by police after he allegedly raised a weapon at officers, police said.

Sisolak said Tuesday he activated additional members of the National Guard after a request.