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June 6 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

Here are the latest updates on protests across the country about George Floyd's death.
Image: Black Lives Matter demonstration
Demonstrators walk along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on Saturday.Andrew Harnik / AP

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 7 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Demonstrations are taking place this weekend as the national anger over the death of George Floyd showed little sign of abating.

In Washington D.C., thousands of people gathered to protest both Floyd's death and President Donald Trump's use of military personnel in response to largely peaceful demonstrations. After more than a week of protests in Washington, city officials said they expected Saturday to be the largest demonstration yet with potential for tens of thousands of people taking to the streets.

Meanwhile, Floyd's family members gathered for a song- and prayer-filled private memorial service in North Carolina on Saturday after an earlier public viewing of his body drew long lines of mourners from around the country.

Download the NBC News app for the latest updates.

844d ago / 8:34 PM UTC
844d ago / 8:16 PM UTC
844d ago / 8:12 PM UTC

Sambo's, which once had 1,100 restaurants, changes name amid national George Floyd protests

Sambo's, once a chain with more than 1,100 restaurants that traded in racist iconography, will change the name of its last remaining site amid the national protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Once a chain that boasted locations across 47 states, it is now down to one family-run restaurant in Santa Barbara, California. The owners said they decided to change the name from "Sambo's," a racist term for people of African descent, to something undetermined.

"Our family has looked into our hearts and realize that we must be sensitive when others whom we respect make a strong appeal," they said in a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page, which still carries the "Sambo's" name. "So today we stand in solidarity with those seeking change and doing our part as best we can."

Read the full story here.

844d ago / 7:41 PM UTC
844d ago / 6:27 PM UTC

'Beautiful, peaceful and diverse': Thousands of protesters flood streets near White House

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people gathered outside Washington D.C. monuments and the White House on Saturday protesting the killing of George Floyd, years of unanswered calls for police reform and President Donald Trump's use of the military in response to largely peaceful demonstrations.

“I’m tired of the racism. Just tired,” said Rochelle Grate, a 58-year-old information technology specialist from fort Washington, Maryland, who described the Saturday protest as “beautiful, peaceful and diverse.”

Image: Lincoln Memorial
Demonstrators protest on June 6, 2020, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, over the death of George Floyd.Alex Brandon / AP

 

“This is different," she said about the protests seen around the country over much of the past two weeks since Floyd, a black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. "It snapped people not of color to say ‘Man, this is real and I’ve been blind to it.’”

After more than a week of protests in Washington, city officials said they expected Saturday to be the largest demonstration yet with potential for tens of thousands of people taking to the streets.

Click here to read the full story.

844d ago / 6:05 PM UTC
844d ago / 5:42 PM UTC

PHOTO: Protesters at the Lincoln Memorial

Image: Lincoln Memorial
Protesters gather outside the Lincoln Memorial on Sat. June 6, 2020, for another day of demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.Lauren Egan
844d ago / 5:20 PM UTC
844d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

Thousands defy coronavirus bans to take a knee at global George Floyd protests

From Paris to London, Sydney to Tokyo, thousands of protesters got down on one knee to honor George Floyd, during the second weekend of worldwide protests.

Many dressed in black and most defied coronavirus lockdown rules to pour onto the streets.

In Paris, police officially banned protests on Saturday, citing fears of the respiratory illness. It was to no avail as people turned out in force in the center of the French capital.

In a gray and rainy central London, thousands defied a plea from Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel to stay at home and gathered in Parliament Square, a traditional venue for protests outside the country's legislature.

Read the full story here.

Image:
Demonstrators gather at Downing Street during a Black Lives Matter march in London.Frank Augstein / AP
844d ago / 4:49 PM UTC

LA Galaxy release Serbian soccer star Aleksander Katai over wife's racist social media posts

The LA Galaxy said it released Serbian soccer star Aleksander Katai on Friday after his wife, Tea Katai, shared a series of "racist and violent" social media posts in response to the George Floyd protests occurring across the country.

The Major League Soccer club met with Katai on Thursday after it was made aware of two of his wife's Instagram posts that she shared the day before. After fans protested outside the LA Galaxy stadium, the club announced in a one-sentence statement on Friday that it would drop Katai from its roster.

The club said the two sides had "mutually agreed" to part ways.

"The LA Galaxy strongly condemn the social posts and requested their immediate removal," the club said in a statement days before announcing Katai's removal. "The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of social equity."

Read the full story here.

844d ago / 4:47 PM UTC

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr voice support for George Floyd protesters

The two living Beatles members have issued statements of support for those protesting the police killing of George Floyd.

"I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later, and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before," Paul McCartney wrote.

"All of us here support and stand alongside all those who are protesting and raising their voices."

The singer-songwriter also shared a story from 1964 when the popular British band refused to play to a segregated audience in Jacksonville. 

Drummer Ringo Starr echoed his band-mate's sentiment: "The Beatles always stood for equal rights and justice and I’ve never stopped working for peace and love," he said online.

"I send my peace, love and continuous support to everyone marching and speaking up for justice."

844d ago / 4:34 PM UTC

'Blackout Tuesday' on Instagram was a teachable moment for allies like me

#BlackoutTuesday was a reminder that being an ally sometimes means making mistakes.
#BlackoutTuesday was a reminder that being an ally sometimes means making mistakes.TODAY illustration

This week I discovered the extent to which some of my attempts at allyship were hurting, not helping, the struggle for black liberation. As a queer woman of color, this was a difficult pill to swallow. But I wasn’t alone. #BlackoutTuesday forced a lot of us wannabe allies to confront the ways in which our allyship can be misguided and, frankly, lazy.

On Tuesday, as Americans across the country searched for ways to express solidarity with black people, #BlackoutTuesday took social media by storm. It was an ostensible display of allyship — posting a black square with the aforementioned hashtag — with a promise not to post anything else that day and instead take the time to think about the ways in which many nonblack Americans benefit from structural racism.

While Tuesday morning saw a great many Instagram feeds flooded with black tiles, by the evening, many of these posts had been deleted, with people attempting to make amends. I was one of these people. There was an important lesson to be learned, if people were paying attention, and it had nothing to do with policing behavior or judgement. Rather, the #BlackoutTuesday debacle was a reminder that being an ally, sometimes, means making mistakes. But a true ally doesn’t give up when corrected; a true ally listens and course-corrects without shame or resentment. I say this as someone who’s wished, on numerous occasions, friends and family would do the same when I point out their transgressions, but who can still gets defensive if I’m not being thoughtful about it.

Read the full story here.

844d ago / 4:30 PM UTC
844d ago / 3:51 PM UTC

Photo: Justin Trudeau takes a knee

Image: Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a knee during a Black Lives Matter protest on Parliament Hill, June 5, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada.Dave Chan / AFP - Getty Images
844d ago / 3:51 PM UTC

Two Buffalo officers charged over police shoving 75-year-old man to ground

Two officers in Buffalo, New York, who were suspended after video showed police shoving a 75-year-old man onto the ground at a George Floyd protest Thursday night, were charged with second-degree assault on Saturday, NBC affiliate WGRZ reported.

The two officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance. The 75-year-old man, Martin Gugino, a longtime social justice activist, was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition after the incident.

Read the full story here.

844d ago / 3:49 PM UTC

George Floyd's death sparks protests across Europe

Solidarity protests have erupted this weekend across Europe in response to George Floyd's death and racism in America. 

Many took a knee and observed 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence — the length of time a white police officer kept his knee on Floyd's neck. 

Thousands gathered in London, defying government advice to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While in Berlin, an estimated 30,000 people gathered, up from 2,000 last weekend. 

844d ago / 3:27 PM UTC
844d ago / 3:06 PM UTC

Street artist Banksy reveals new artwork examining George Floyd death and protests

The anonymous British street artist Banksy revealed a new artwork on Saturday in light of global protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

"People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system," the mysterious artist wrote on his Instagram page. "This faulty system is making their life a misery, but it's not their job to fix it."

The image shows a memorial with a photo and flowers, surrounded by candles — one flame beginning to set alight the flag of the United States.

844d ago / 3:01 PM UTC

George Floyd memorial service to be held in North Carolina, with police escort of his body

George Floyd died last week in Minneapolis police custody and on Saturday another set of law enforcement officers will escort his body for a memorial service in North Carolina.

The Hoke County Sheriff's Officer will escort Floyd's body for the service, which is to include a public viewing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cape Fear Conference B in Raeford, about 24 miles from Fayetteville. A private service for family members only will begin at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast.

Read the full story here. 

844d ago / 3:00 PM UTC
844d ago / 2:53 PM UTC

Pompeo criticizes China for using George Floyd death for 'political gain'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has criticized China for using the death of black American George Floyd for "its own political gain."

Pompeo didn't refer to a specific incident but called the ruling communist party "callous." 

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Pompeo has become an outspoken critic of China, often engaging in a tense war-of-words, which some experts have dubbed a new cold war between the two powers.

844d ago / 2:31 PM UTC
844d ago / 2:24 PM UTC

House Oversight Committee wants to know more about unidentified officers in D.C.

and

The House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr seeking information about the “sudden surge of federal and unidentified law enforcement officers in the District of Columbia following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.” 

The Committee is requesting a number of documents and information by June 10, including a list of departments and agencies that have been activated since June 1 to enforce federal law in D.C., the number of law enforcement officers deployed or assigned, and the overall mission of the federal law enforcement response in the city.

The letter reads in part, “The vast majority of protests in the District of Columbia have been peaceful. It appears that the massive influx of federal forces is intended to assert authoritarian power over the District of Columbia rather than to protect federal property, enforce federal law, or protect people exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting systemic racial inequalities within the U.S. criminal justice system.”

844d ago / 1:39 PM UTC

Hong Kong black lives matter event cancelled due to coronavirus and politics, organizers say

HONG KONG - Organizers of a black lives matter solidarity protest in Hong Kong, planned for Sunday, cancelled the event amid fears that other groups may use it to "push their own agenda" and worries over breaching social distancing rules in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the event organizers Max Percy told NBC News that there was large interest in the event meant to honor George Floyd. 

"It has come to our attention that due to the number of people trying to use this event to push their own agenda, there are concerns that the event will no longer abide by the terms set by the Hong Kong Police and we have been forced to cancel," Percy wrote on a now deleted Facebook page.

"This is an enormous shame that people have lost sight of the reason why we were doing this event in the first place ... We are saddened by the state of Hong Kong."

Protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong multiple times this year to challenge Beijing-led security laws and to mark the recent anniversary of the 1989 quashing of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

844d ago / 1:07 PM UTC

Black girls and supporters surf around the world to honor George Floyd

From California to Indonesia, Senegal and Australia, black girls and supporters floated on surfboards on Friday to pay tribute to George Floyd, the black man whose death in U.S. police custody has sparked protests worldwide.

The "Solidarity in Surfing" events in more than 100 locations were organized by Black Girls Surf, a group founded in 2014 to teach the sport to girls of color aged 5 to 17.

In Santa Monica, California, about 200 surfers of various ages and races waded into the water for a paddle out, a traditional Hawaiian ceremony to celebrate the life of someone who has died.

About 200 yards offshore, they held a moment of silence while floating on their boards in a large circle, and placed yellow, pink and red flowers in the water.

844d ago / 11:51 AM UTC

French police ban George Floyd solidarity protest citing coronavirus fears

French police banned a handful of protests against racism and police brutality in Paris on Saturday, citing fears of coronavirus spread.

They had been due to take place outside the U.S. embassy and underneath the city's iconic Eiffel tower, until the Prefecture de Police banned them. 

Many protesters were nonetheless expected to defy the order and risk clashing with police. Organizers have called for peaceful demonstrations that respect social distancing measures, in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. 

A demonstration last week against police violence and racism was banned by authorities, but 20,000 people still showed up to protest near the Palais de Justice.

 

Image: Banned demonstration in Paris in memory of Adama Traore in Paris
People run from tear gas as they attend a banned demonstration in front of courthouse in Paris, France June 2, 2020.GONZALO FUENTES / Reuters
845d ago / 11:24 AM UTC

White House compares Trump-Churchill leadership styles, and historians scoff

This week, the White House has likened Donald Trump to Winston Churchill, the hard-drinking and eccentric prime minister who led Britain as it faced off against the Nazis during World War II.

Some historians have responded to that with a resounding: Mr. President, you're no Winston Churchill.

Others, meanwhile, have raised Churchill's troubling record on race, saying the American president shouldn't try to emulate the British leader whose disturbing views on race were rooted in 19th-century colonialism.

Read the full story here.

Image: The Conservative statesman and war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) at his Kent home
The Conservative statesman and war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill at his Kent home, England.Hulton Deutsch / Corbis via Getty Images file
845d ago / 9:54 AM UTC

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says community has 'begun to rebuild'

Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz said on Saturday night the community where black man George Floyd was killed by a white police officer, was showing "signs of resilience" and starting to rebuild.

But there was still a lot of work ahead, he warned. 

845d ago / 9:08 AM UTC

Canadian pilot draws solidarity fist in the sky

A pilot in Canada marked out a fist in the sky through his flight path as a gesture against police brutality and racism.

Dimitri Neonakis took to the skies above Halifax in Canada to create the fist image. 

"I see a world of one race with many colours in which everyone of us can 'breath free'," he wrote on Twitter.

845d ago / 8:27 AM UTC

Protests take place in Australia, Japan and Thailand

Thousands of people took to the streets in Australia on Saturday to support protests against police brutality across the U.S.

Demonstrations were limited by social-distancing curbs due to the coronavirus pandemic. But in Brisbane, police estimated 10,000 people joined a peaceful protest, wearing masks. Many wrapped themselves in indigenous flags, calling for an end to police mistreatment of indigenous Australians. 

Protests also took place in Japan and others were planned in South Korea, while a virtual rally was also set to be held in Thailand.

In Sydney, a last-minute court decision overruled a coronavirus ban as several thousand people marched, amid a heavy police presence, chanting: "Whose lives matter? Black Lives matter."

In Tokyo, marchers protested against what they said was police treatment of a Kurdish man who says he was stopped while driving and shoved to the ground, leaving him with bruises. "No justice, no peace, no racist police," the crowd chanted.

845d ago / 5:15 AM UTC

Judge orders Denver police to stop firing tear gas, projectiles at peaceful protesters

845d ago / 4:53 AM UTC

D.C. asks National Guard to go home

On a day when the governor of Ohio said a state National Guard member was removed from duty in Washington, D.C. after the FBI discovered evidence of the soldier's white supremacist ideology online, the city's mayor asked Ohio to withdraw its guard members.

District Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday wrote letters to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy arguing that the presence of their guard members is "unnecessary and may be counterproductive." The troops were sent at the behest of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, DeWine said.

Bowser didn't mention the removal of the guard member. DeWine said Friday the soldier was under federal investigation and it appeared likely "he will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard."

Bowser said the city's state of emergency in response to George Floyd protests that took place near the White House ended Friday morning.

845d ago / 4:43 AM UTC

Breonna Taylor honored by protesters on her birthday

845d ago / 4:32 AM UTC

Confederate statue in Mobile, Alabama, moved

A statue of a Confederate admiral was removed from public view overnight in Mobile, Alabama, the city's mayor said Friday.

The statue of Civl War Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes near the History Museum of Mobile was dedicated in 1900. Mayor Sandy Stimpson did not mention nationwide protests over the in-custody death of George Floyd, but she said moving the monument would help the city heal.

"Moving this statue will not change the past," he said. "It is about removing a potential distraction so we may focus clearly on the future of our city."