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June 5 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country. Here are the latest updates.
Image: Protesters lay in the middle of the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Second Avenue in Memphis Thursday, June 4, 2020
Protesters lay in the middle of the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Second Avenue in Memphis Thursday, June 4, 2020 for the protests over the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.Patrick Lantrip / AP

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 6 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Protesters hit the streets in cities across the U.S. for a 10th night in a row just hours after George Floyd’s family condemned the “pandemic of racism and discrimination” at a memorial service.

In Washington D.C., where workers walled off more of the White House complex to keep demonstrators at bay, Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said the department was preparing for big numbers of “peaceful demonstrators coming to exercise their First Amendment rights” on Saturday.

And in Buffalo, two police officers were suspended without pay after a video showed authorities knocking down a 75-year-old man during a protest, Mayor Byron Brown said.

Download the NBC News app for the latest updates.

977d ago / 8:07 PM UTC

A North Carolina lawyer has compiled more than 300 examples of alleged police violence against protesters

A North Carolina attorney has compiled a running thread on Twitter of examples of police violence at protests nationwide in the wake of George Floyd's death. 

T. Greg Doucette has compiled the thread, which now has more than 300 examples of alleged police violence against demonstrators. He said the examples have been sent to him by friends, protesters and even random Twitter users from across the country. NBC News has not independently verified each incident. 

"It's terrifying. It's absolutely terrifying," said Doucette, who is a criminal defense and First Amendment lawyer. 

To keep track of where the incidents are taking place, one Twitter user has put the examples from the thread into a spreadsheet, tracking where the incidents happen with a link to footage and background from Doucette. Another user has visualized the data using a map of the United States. The cities with the most incidents so far appear to be New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed by a police officer.  

By compiling the thread, Doucette said he hopes people understand that "this is an everyday thing." 

"Courts and politicians have gone out of their way to make this okay and it's not," he said. 

977d ago / 6:38 PM UTC

Biden shreds Trump for calling Friday a 'great day' for George Floyd

Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump for remarking Friday that “this is a great day for” George Floyd — who died last week in police custody — while touting positive economic data.

Speaking in Dover, Del., the apparent Democratic presidential nominee ripped into Trump for “speaking of a man who was brutally killed by an act of needless violence” and accused the president of failing to curb a “larger tide of injustice that has metastasized on” his watch.

“George Floyd's last words, ‘I can't breathe. I can't breathe,’ they've echoed all across this nation, quite frankly around the world,” Biden said. “For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I frankly think is despicable."

At a news conference earlier Friday to address May unemployment figures that were released in the morning, Trump said, “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, 'This is a great thing happening for our country.'”

Read what else Biden said.

977d ago / 6:01 PM UTC

Ex-Trump chief of staff John Kelly: 'I agree' with Mattis' rebuke of the president

John Kelly, President Donald Trump's ex-chief of staff, said Friday that he agrees with former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's scathing critique of the president, but largely avoided direct criticism of his former boss himself.

In an interview with former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Kelly said, "None of us would take making a statement like that lightly, but there is a concern — I think an awful big concern — that the partisanship has gotten out of hand." Kelly added, "He's quite a man, Gen. Jim Mattis, and for him to do that tells you where he is relative to the concern he has for our country."

"I agree with him," Kelly continued. "I think we need to step back from the politics." Referring to the constitutional separation of powers, the former White House chief of staff added, "No president, ever, is a dictator or a king." 

In a statement to The Atlantic magazine published Wednesday, Mattis — like Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general — said Trump "tries to divide us" and abused his executive authority by violating the constitutional rights of demonstrators outside the White House on Monday who were protesting the killing of George Floyd. That's when federal law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters out of the area shortly before Trump used the scene for what Mattis called a "bizarre photo-op" in front of a fire-damaged church. 

Kelly, who was Trump's head of Homeland Security before becoming his chief of staff, said "the end result" of the photo-op was "predictable," but "the jury is still out on tear gas and who got hit." He added, "I would have recommended against it."

977d ago / 5:59 PM UTC

Protesters in Maine await President Trump's arrival

977d ago / 5:49 PM UTC

A block party vibe in Washington

977d ago / 5:44 PM UTC

Reddit co-founder steps down from company's board, urges it be filled by a black candidate

Reddit co-founder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian stepped down from the company’s board on Friday and “urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate."

Ohanian also committed money made on his Reddit stock "to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate” in his announcement on his official Twitter account. He said his first donation would be to Colin Kaepernick’s racial justice charity Know Your Rights Camp.

“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop,” Ohanian wrote on Twitter.

Reddit, the sixth-most visited website in the United States, according to web analytics company Alexa, has been the subject of critique for how it has handled racism on its platform. 

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman released a statement on Monday stating “we do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear.”

Huffman’s predecessor as CEO, Ellen Pao, tweeted a rebuke to the blog post hours later.

“So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long,” Pao wrote.

The site has struggled in the past to curtail communities devoted to hate speech. In April of 2018, when asked “Is obvious open racism, including slurs, against Reddit’s rules or not?” Huffman responded, “It’s not.”

“On Reddit, the way in which we think about speech is to separate behavior from beliefs. This means on Reddit there will be people with beliefs different from your own, sometimes extremely so,” Huffman said. “When users actions conflict with our content policies, we take action.”

Ohanian and his wife, tennis star Serena Williams, have for years supported charities that help the black community. They have also donated to and hosted events for Black Girls Code dating back to 2014.

977d ago / 3:45 PM UTC

D.C. Mayor Bowser has 'Black Lives Matter' painted on street leading to White House

WASHINGTON — District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday had "Black Lives Matter" painted on the street that leads to the White House where protesters have been demonstrating following George Floyd’s death in police custody.

"There was a dispute this week about whose street this is," John Falcicchio, chief of staff for Bowser, a Democrat, said in a tweet. "Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC's street and to honor demonstrators who (were) peacefully protesting on Monday evening."

People were seen painting the words "Black Lives Matter" on Friday morning in large block letters in yellow across 16th street, which leads to Lafayette Square and the White House.

The official D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, however, suggested in a tweet that this move was merely an empty gesture by Bowser.

Read the full story here.

977d ago / 3:42 PM UTC

'No child should live through that': Viral protestor Raymon Curry on growing up black

977d ago / 2:59 PM UTC
977d ago / 2:52 PM UTC
977d ago / 2:49 PM UTC

NYC Mayor addresses detainment of essential worker after curfew

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated Friday that essential workers are exempt from the city's 8 p.m. curfew after a food delivery worker was detained by officers on Thursday night. 

The 8 p.m. curfew began Tuesday and will remain in effect until Sunday. 

A delivery worker on Thursday was cuffed, but not arrested, by officers near Central Park West, according to NBC New York. A journalist who was standing in front of her home was "roughed up" by police the day before, NBC New York reported

De Blasio said it needs to be "abundantly clear" to both the NYPD and essential workers that people "doing their job are exempted from curfew." 

As far as "news media out there doing their job, reporting, looking at the truth," de Blasio said. "Their right to do their job must be protected at all times."

The curfew will remain in effect until Monday morning as originally planned, he said. 

977d ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Washington mayor calls for federal law enforcement and military to leave

977d ago / 1:06 PM UTC

‘A giant mistake’: Police jeopardized more than protesters’ civil rights with crackdowns

Police advance on demonstrators Saturday in Minneapolis.
Police advance on demonstrators last Saturday in Minneapolis.Scott Olson / Getty Images

The aggressive police response to demonstrations over George Floyd's death shows that departments have not learned the lessons of earlier protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray and in Ferguson, Missouri, over the death of Michael Brown, experts said.

The way police in many cities have responded to the recent protests — including clashes in which officers may have violated protesters' civil rights — threatens to jeopardize the limited progress on reforms made over the past several years. 

“I don’t think anyone would agree that police have emerged better off than they were a few days ago,” said Edward Maguire, an Arizona State University criminologist who researches police response to protests. He has seen images of officers beating up protesters and firing tear gas and rubber bullets on crowds in ways that may have made things worse, he said. “They have actively diminished their image over the past few days and it’s a giant mistake for them to have responded in that way.”

Read the full story here. 

977d ago / 12:09 PM UTC

Paris police ban rallies at the U.S. Embassy over coronavirus concerns

The Paris police have banned two rallies meant to take place Saturday outside the U.S. Embassy, citing restrictions on large gatherings in place to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier in the week, the Defense League for Black Africans in France had scheduled a demonstration to denounce racism and in solidarity with protesters in the U.S.

A June 2 demonstration against police violence and racism was also banned by police, but 20,000 people attended to protest near the Palais de Justice in central Paris.

Image: People in Paris, France run from tear gas as they attend a banned demonstration on Tuesday.
People in Paris, France run from tear gas as they attend a banned demonstration on Tuesday held in memory of Adama Traore, a black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation, which some have linked to the death of George Floyd in the U.S.GONZALO FUENTES / Reuters
977d ago / 12:00 PM UTC
977d ago / 11:47 AM UTC

Mobile, Alabama, removes Confederate statue without warning

The city of Mobile, Alabama, removed a Confederate statue early Friday, without making any public announcements about it beforehand.

The bronze figure of Adm. Raphael Semmes had become a flashpoint for protest in the city. AL.com reported that it was removed from its pedestal after being vandalized this week and before demonstrations announced for Sunday calling for it to be taken down.

The removal of the 120-year-old figure follows days of protests in Alabama and across the nation over killings by police of African Americans. Some other Confederate symbols are coming down around the South. The city of Birmingham removed a towering obelisk after another statue was toppled by protesters. Virginia's governor has decided to remove a huge statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, after city authorities said they'll remove other Confederate monuments from Monument Avenue.

977d ago / 11:24 AM UTC

Dallas implements ‘duty to intervene’ policy after George Floyd’s death

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The Dallas Police Department implemented a new “duty to intervene” order in a reaction to watching co-workers of a Minneapolis police officer either assist or stand by as George Floyd suffocated to death while the officer applied pressure with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

“It shall be the duty of every employee present at any scene where physical force is being applied to either stop, or attempt to stop, another employee when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required,” the new general order says, according to a news release obtained by NBC affiliate KXAS on Thursday evening. 

The order was developed to create a culture where what happened to Floyd does not happen again, the statement said. It came after protesters gathered outside the Dallas Police Association building on Thursday to ensure police accountability, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

977d ago / 10:36 AM UTC

NYPD 'detained' food delivery worker, mayor says it's 'not acceptable'

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New York City police "detained" a delivery person for violating the city's 8 p.m. curfew on Wednesday evening, even though city guidelines exempt delivery people, according to videos on social media and the police department.

The video, filmed by Kirsti Karttunen, shows a food delivery driver who worked for DoorDash — a food delivery service company — handcuffed by multiple police officers. The officers tell him to calm down as he shouts.

Police told NBC affiliate WNBC that the delivery worker was "detained" for a short period of time until his credentials were verified, then he was released.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio later tweeted that “This is NOT acceptable and must stop. Food delivery is essential work and is EXEMPTED from the curfew.”

“We are alarmed by reports that a courier appears to have been arrested this evening in New York City shortly after curfew,” DoorDash said in a statement. “We are gathering information and are in contact with city officials to determine what transpired. Essential workers must be able to complete their work and feel safe and secure while doing so, and we are prepared to provide them with our support.”

977d ago / 10:29 AM UTC

Kanye West sets up college savings fund for George Floyd's daughter, joins march in Chicago

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Rapper Kanye West has donated $2 million to the families and legal teams of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, a spokesperson for West told NBC News on Thursday. West has also set up a college savings fund for Floyd’s daughter Gianna, and made a donation to cover all legal costs for the Arbery and Taylor families.

Floyd and Taylor — who were both black and unarmed — were recently killed by police, and a white Georgia man shot and killed Arbery, also black and unarmed. 

The rapper and fashion designer also appeared at a march in his hometown Chicago on Thursday evening, demanding that the city keep police officers out of their schools, according to NBC News affiliate 5Chicago

In 2018, West visited President Donald Trump in the Oval Office to discuss prison reform and gang violence prevention.

977d ago / 10:13 AM UTC

Police try to stop Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney due to coronavirus fears

Image: Protesters hold an Aboriginal flag in Canberra, Australia on Friday.
Protesters hold an Aboriginal flag in Canberra, Australia on Friday.Rod McGuirk / AP

Police challenged whether a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Saturday in Sydney is too much of a virus risk. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is among those who criticized the plans, saying of the protesters: “I say to them, don’t go.”

Outdoor gatherings in Australia's largest city are restricted to 10 people, while up to 50 people can go to funerals, places of worship, restaurants, pubs and cafes.

In Canberra, organizers of a rally Friday that attracted about 2,000 demonstrators handed out masks and hand sanitizer. Most protesters kept a recommended social distance but drew closer to hear speeches. Public gatherings are limited to 20 in Canberra, but police did not intervene.

School teacher Wendy Brookman, a member of the Butchulla indigenous people, said Australia should not accept more than 430 indigenous Australians dying in police custody or prison in the past three decades. “We’re not here to jump on the bandwagon of what’s happened in the United States,” Brookman said. “We’re here to voice what’s happening to our indigenous people.”

977d ago / 9:51 AM UTC

977d ago / 7:36 AM UTC

California mayor quits after email with 'I don't believe there's ever been a good person of color killed by a police'

The mayor of Temecula, California, has resigned after sending an email that read "I don't believe there's ever been a good person of color killed by a police officer" — something he blamed on a speech-to-text program he uses because he has dyslexia.

Mayor James "Stew" Stewart had previously apologized and said in a statement Wednesday "I absolutely did not say 'good' I have no idea how that popped up." He said he intended to say he did not think there had ever been a person of color murdered by a police officer locally.

Thursday night in a Facebook post, Stewart said in part: "My typos and off-the-cuff response to an email on a serious topic added pain at a time where our community, and our country, is suffering."

"I may not be the best writer and I sometimes misspeak, but I am not racist," Stewart said. "I deeply regret this mistake and I own it, entirely. I am truly sorry."

Stewart said he would step down as mayor and from the city council effective immediately. The email came in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last week. The white officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck and three other officers have been fired and criminally charged.

Temecula is a city of around 114,700 in Riverside County, southeast of Los Angeles.

977d ago / 6:24 AM UTC

NFL stars call on league to 'admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting'

Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Michael Thomas are among more than a dozen NFL stars who united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.

The 70-second video was released on social media platforms Thursday night and includes Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins, among others.

Thomas, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver who has led the league in receptions the past two seasons, opens the video with the statement: “It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered.” The players then take turns asking the question, “What if I was George Floyd?”

The players then name several of the black men and women who have recently been killed, including Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner.

The video closes with the players insisting they “will not be silenced.” They also demand the NFL state that it condemns “racism and the systemic oppression of black people. ... We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. ... We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”

The NFL has been a flashpoint for protests over police violence ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during national anthems before games. Kaepernick has since gone unsigned — and emerged as a leading voice in opposition of police violence. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke against Floyd's death but has been accused of hypocrisy and insincerity in his response, with critics pointing to the way the league handled Kaepernick's protest against police brutality in 2016.  

978d ago / 5:11 AM UTC

2 National Guard members hospitalized after D.C. lightning strike

Two people thought to be National Guard members deployed during protests in Washington, D.C. were hospitalized after lightning struck the area of their post not far from the White House early Friday, a fire official said.

The strike and possible injuries were reported shortly after midnight inside a perimeter anchored by Lafayette Square, the site of George Floyd demonstrations this week, according to Vito Maggiolo, spokesman for the district's fire and emergency medical services department.

The two were hospitalized in non-life-threatening condition, he said. 

Immediate information appears to indicate the pair wasn't struck directly. He said the victims "felt the effects of a nearby lightning strike."

Overnight White House social media director Dan Scavino retweeted imagery of lightning striking the capital.

978d ago / 3:59 AM UTC

Buffalo officers suspended after shoving man to ground on video

Two Buffalo police officers were suspended without pay Thursday after a video showed authorities knocking down a 75-year-old man during a protest, Mayor Byron Brown said.

In a statement, Brown said the suspension came after the city’s police commissioner launched an investigation into the incident. Brown did not identify the officers.

Brown said he was "deeply disturbed" by the video, which was published by the local National Public Radio affiliate, WBFO.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, is in serious but stable condition at a local hospital, Brown said.

Read the full story here