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Mourners vowing to be good Samaritans in the fight for racial justice packed a Houston church on Tuesday and paid tribute to George Floyd, whose death touched off worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.
“This will be a home-going celebration of brother George Floyd," Fountain of Praise pastor Mia K. Wright told mourners. "We may weep, we may mourn, but we will find hope."
Tuesday's service came one day after top Democrats in the House and the Senate unveiled far-reaching legislation to overhaul policing in the United States as protests over excessive force by law enforcement against African Americans and others have gripped the nation.
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HBO Max pulls 'Gone With the Wind,' says it will return with statement on race
Recently launched streaming service HBO Max on Tuesday confirmed it removed the 1939 epic "Gone With the Wind" over racist depictions but said the movie will return later with more context.
The original film will be brought back "with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions," a spokesperson for the service said in a statement.
The move comes amid furious calls against racism and for police reform after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The Oscar-winning Gone With the Wind, starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel, Leslie Howard and others, and set in the South during the Civil War, has been criticized for minimizing the horrors of slavery.
L.A. officer accused of repeatedly punching man is charged
A Los Angeles Police Department officer who was seen on video repeatedly punching a man in an encounter in April has been charged with felony assault, the county prosecutor said Tuesday.
Officer Frank Hernandez, 49, is set to be arraigned Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.
“This is a disturbing case of the illegal use of force at the hands of a police officer,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. “We believe the force was neither legally necessary nor reasonable.”
Prosecutors say Hernandez and his partner responded to a call of a trespasser at a vacant lot in Boyle Heights on April 27 and that "during a confrontation between police and the victim, Hernandez is accused of illegally punching the unarmed man more than a dozen times in the head, neck and body."
Protester, 75, who was shoved by Buffalo police out of ICU
Martin Gugino was hospitalized in serious but stable condition following the fall Thursday as a line of officers cleared a street during a George Floyd demonstration. Two officers were suspended without pay and charged with allegations of second-degree assault.
Gugino's lawyer, Byron W. Brown, responded on Twitter: "The City of Buffalo is laser focused on healing, taking action against racial injustice and building a good future for our residents."
Barr defends police response, military presence in D.C. in letter to mayor Bowser
Attorney General Bill Barr on Tuesday defended the federal law enforcement and military presence in Washington, D.C. after the city's mayor rebuked him and President Donald Trump for “inflaming” and “adding to the grievances” of protestors.
Barr, however, argued that a show of force was necessary because it looked as if “the United States was on the brink of losing control of its capital city" after police clashed with protesters over days following the death of George Floyd.
“Had the recent demonstrations remained peaceful and within the control of local law enforcement, the President would never have had any need to augment existing resources for the purpose of restoring law and order," Barr wrote, adding that law enforcement personnel were operating within the scope of the law.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, sent a letter to Trump, Barr and two mayors last week asking for the removal of federal law enforcement and various National Guard troops. She also criticized the use of federal personnel patrolling the streets and the use of helicopters to disperse crowds.
Barr also defended police forcefully pushing back peaceful protesters outside the White House last week in which rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, and flash-bang grenades were used to make way for Trump to pose for photos with a Bible at St. John's Episcopal Church.
At George Floyd funeral, Al Sharpton demands Roger Goodell 'give Colin Kaepernick a job'
Al Sharpton admonished NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at George Floyd's funeral on Tuesday, stating he should allow Colin Kaepernick to return to the league.
"Oh, it's nice to see some people change their mind," Sharpton said during a eulogy at the funeral in Houston. "The head of the NFL said, 'Yeah. Maybe we was wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest.'"
"Well, don't apologize — give Colin Kaepernick a job back," Sharpton said. His remarks were met with loud applause from the congregation.
"Don't come with some empty apology. Take a man's livelihood. Strip a man down of his talents," Sharpton also said. "And four years later, when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden, you ... talking about you sorry."
Washington, D.C. National Guardsmen test positive for COVID-19
The D.C. National Guard says that some of its members have tested positive for COVID-19 since it was mobilized to respond to the protests over George Floyd’s death in Washington, but would not disclose how many had tested positive because of what a Guard official called "operational security."
As of Monday, June 1, the entire D.C. National Guard, which has 3,400 members, had been activated to assist in the response to protests. Members of the National Guard from other states were brought into the capital as well, including South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Utah and Indiana.
"National Guard personnel are social distancing and use of PPE measures remained in place where practical throughout the entire National Guard support to assist local and federal law enforcement responding to the civil unrest in the District of Columbia," the branch said in a statement. "All Guardsmen who are suspected to be at high risk of infection or have tested positive for COVID-19 during demobilization will not be released...until risk of infection or illness has passed."
NYC to rename city streets to honor Black Lives Matter
New York City will paint and rename streets in the city to honor the Black Lives Matter movement, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
“It’s time to do something officially representing this city to recognize the power of the fundamental idea that black lives matter, the idea that so much of American history has wrongly renounced but now must be affirmed,” de Blasio said during his daily media briefing.
The proposal calls for the city to name streets and paint the words “Black Lives Matter” in a prominent area in each borough, with the Manhattan location being near City Hall. The mayor said he will work with the city council to determine the other four locations throughout the city.
The idea, de Blasio explained, came after a meeting he had Sunday with activists, including Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after being placed in an apparent chokehold by an NYPD officer. Washington, D.C. painted and renamed a section of street near the White House on Friday.
“What will be clear, the street name and on the streets of our city, is that message that now this city must fully, fully deeply feel and this nation must as well, that black lives matter,” de Blasio said.
'The world knows George Floyd, I know Perry Jr.'
George Floyd's family members, speaking at Tuesday's service, said they were grateful for well-wishers honoring their brother, uncle and nephew, often called "Perry," his middle name.
"I would like to thank the whole world," aunt Kathleen McGee said. "But I just want to make this statement: The world knows George Floyd, I know Perry Jr."
Floyd's niece told mourners she'll never forget her uncle's last words, "I can't breathe."
"Hello my name is Brooke Williams, George Floyd’s niece — and I can breathe," Williams said. "As long as I’m breathing, justice will be served for Perry."
McConnell says Tim Scott will lead group tasked with racial discrimination legislation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., will lead a Senate group tasked with crafting legislation to address racial discrimination.
Scott is the Senate's lone black Republican member and one of three black senators in the chamber.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, McConnell said he asked Scott "to lead a group that is working on a proposal to allow us to respond to the obvious racial discrimination that we've seen on full display on our television screens over the last two weeks and what is the appropriate response by the federal government."
"Tim spent most of our lunch explaining our proposal that's in the works, and he will have, and we all will have more to say about that in the future," McConnell added.
Rep. Al Green calls for creation of federal office to address historic mistreatment of African Americans
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, on Tuesday called for the creation of a federal Department of Reconciliation to atone for the historic mistreatment of African-Americans while speaking at George Floyd's funeral.
"But I believe there's one more thing that we ought to do to make a difference. We have got to have reconciliation. This country has not reconciled its differences with us," he said. "We survived slavery, but we didn't reconcile. We survived segregation, but we didn't reconcile."
He added, "It's time for a Department of Reconciliation in the highest land, the highest office. It's time to have someone who’s going to make it his or her business to seek reconciliation for black people in the United States of America every day of his life. That's what it is is all about. It's time for us to reconcile. We need a Department of Reconciliation."
Green is among several lawmakers who have pushed legislation to form a commission to examine slavery and discrimination in the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend remedies. Countries such as Austria, Canada, France and Germany have atoned for past wrongs by paying reparations. The U.S. also paid reparations to Japanese Americans who were held at internment camps, first with the Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act of 1948 and then the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, both of which allocated millions for survivors.
Biden calls for 'racial justice' during emotional George Floyd funeral speech
Joe Biden offered condolences to the grieving family of George Floyd during a taped emotional address played at Floyd's funeral service on Tuesday, urging the country to use his death as a moment for action to address systemic racism.
"Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America," an emotional Biden said in the video.
Addressing the Floyd family, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee offered his sympathy that the family had to grieve in public, but assured them their "numbness… will slowly turn, day after day, season after season, into purpose."
'We may weep, we may mourn, but we will find hope'
“This will be a home-going celebration of brother George Floyd," Fountain of Praise pastor Mia K. Wright told mourners at Floyd's memorial service. "We may weep, we may mourn, but we will find hope."
Gospel singer Dray Tate delivered a stirring rendition of "A Change Is Gonna Come," the famed Sam Cooke song that became an anthem of civil rights protests of the 1960s.
As Tate sang, artist Ange Hillz quickly painted a black-and-white portrait of Floyd behind him.
George Floyd's funeral service to include remarks by Joe Biden
George Floyd's funeral service is scheduled to include remarks by former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and U.S. Reps. Al Green, D-Texas, and Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
Biden on Monday met privately with Floyd's family.
Map: George Floyd protests around the world
NYPD officer seen in video shoving woman to ground is charged with assault
A New York City police officer who was seen in a video shoving a woman to the ground at a George Floyd protest in Brooklyn on May 29 is facing multiple charges, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said.
Vincent D'Andraia turned himself in at the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn on Tuesday. He is charged with assault, criminal mischief, harassment and menacing in the incident the city's police commissioner Dermot Shea has described as "troubling" and "disturbing."
He is the first city police officer in New York to face arrest over his conduct during the large protests that have followed since Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after a white officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis during an arrest.
"I fully support the long-held American tradition of non-violent protest," Brooklyn's district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, said in a statement, adding that he "cannot tolerate the use of excessive force against anyone exercising this Constitutionally guaranteed right. This is especially true of those who are sworn to protect us and uphold the law."
House leader Hoyer says Dems aim for vote on policing bill the week of June 22
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Tuesday that Democrats aim to put the policing overhaul bill that they unveiled this week to a floor vote by the week of June 22.
Hoyer laid out the timeline during his weekly pen and pad conversations with reporters, noting the plan could change depending on whether the bill will be ready by then.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation Wednesday and plans to mark up the measure next week. Hoyer urged Republicans to work with Democrats on crafting the final version by proposing amendments during the committee markup.
Asked about calls by some activists to defund police departments, Hoyer said, "Clearly we need our police departments," but added, "We cannot tolerate either systemic racism in police departments or individual actions of police."
George Floyd's casket arrives at Houston church ahead of funeral
Floyd's loved ones are set to honor the Minneapolis man and Houston native at the Fountain of Praise church before he's laid to rest at Houston Memorial Gardens in nearby Pearland, Texas.
His final resting place will be next to his mother, who he cried out for two week ago as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Four former Minneapolis officers were fired and arrested in connection to Floyd's death, which has touched off protests across the nation as Americans demand action against systemic racism and police brutality.
Al Roker and Craig Melvin talk about black fatherhood and raising sons
The protests against police brutality and racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd have also renewed the fears of many black fathers when it relates to their sons coming in contact with police.
Al Roker and Craig Melvin spoke with a trio of black fathers, Seith Mann, Ken Simril and Morgan Scott Tucker, on TODAY Tuesday and shared their own experiences of raising sons in a country where black men have had a fraught history with law enforcement.
"This is what scares me as a black man, as the father of a young black man — you can do everything right," Craig said.
"I know a lot of people do tell their children, 'Be polite, be respectful,''' Mann said. "And I will certainly tell my son that, but I also recognize that is not a guarantee of his safety."
Britain's Parliament observes a minute's silence in memory of George Floyd's death
"Racism has no place in U.K. Parliament: We believe black lives matter. Our parliamentary community stands with black friends and colleagues here and worldwide," Britain's legislature tweeted.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, also tweeted his support.
"He must not become just another name. His death must be a catalyst for change," said Starmer of Floyd, a black man killed by police in Minnesota.
London and other U.K. cities have seen a wave of solidarity protests since Floyd's death. Over the weekend, the statue of a slave owner, Edward Colston, was toppled and thrown into a river by protesters in the English city of Bristol, sparking a debate about Britain's relationship with race and colonialism.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an online video Monday night that the death of Floyd had "awakened an anger and a widespread and incontrovertible, undeniable feeling of injustice" among many, but that the U.K. was a "much less racist society than we were."
Rep. Scalise denounces defund police movement with personal story of being shot
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., criticized calls for defunding police departments, arguing that he wouldn't be alive if it weren't for the Capitol Police officers who saved him during the congressional baseball shooting in 2017.
"I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for the heroic actions of police officers," Scalise said Monday in an interview with Trump aide Mercedes Schlapp on the campaign's Team Trump Online show. "The Capitol Police not only saved my life but so many others, that day three years ago on the baseball field."
In 2017, Scalise and three other people were wounded when a gunman opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team during a practice. The gunman was shot and later died.
L'Oreal repairs relationship with black transgender model Munroe Bergdorf
Fashion brand L'Oreal said on Tuesday it was "repairing relationships" with transgender model and DJ Munroe Bergdorf, who was dumped from a campaign with the cosmetics company in 2017, after comments she made on race and white supremacy.
"I regret the lack of dialogue and support the company showed Munroe around the time of the termination," wrote L’Oreal Paris brand president Delphine Viguier on Instagram.
"While we both agree today that negative labels should not be used to define all individuals in any group, I understand much better the pain and trauma that were behind Munroe’s words back then and the urgency she felt to speak in defense of the Black community against systemic racism," she added.
L'Oreal said it would be forming a U.K. Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, which Bergdorf had agreed to be part of, and said the company planned to donate to causes that supported social justice and "causes that are deeply personal to Munroe’s experience." It did not specify an amount.
Bergdorf confirmed to her online followers that she had spoken to L'Oreal and looked forward to "new beginnings" with the company. "I believe in accountability and progress, not cancellation and grudges," she wrote in a statement posted on social media.
San Diego's City Council budget hearing draws hundreds of calls, comments
San Diego City Council received hundreds of calls and thousands of comments — many of which asked to reduce police funding, according to NBC San Diego — during a hearing on its new budget that was later overwhelmingly approved.
The 2021 budget that passed late Monday sees a $27 million increase in funds for the San Diego Police Department, as well as the creation of a city Office of Race and Equity, funds for community services like parks and libraries, and rent relief and childcare, according to the mayor.
"Not only must we help our community recover from the COVID crisis in this moment, we must help our nation acknowledge and act on the systemic racism that has held far too many Americans back from their true potential," said Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer, in a statement. "This budget document is shaped by the historic time we are living in and prioritizes the real and immediate needs of our community."
As the sole black council member, Monica Montgomery voted in favor of the budget but acknowledged that some in the community would express "disappointment" at her decision. However, she added, that the budget would "provide social and economic justice relief for our communities of concern."
London mayor orders review of capital's landmarks, statues, street names
A new commission in London will review the capital’s landmarks, street names and statues after a wave of anti-racism protests held in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been willfully ignored,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement.
The announcement comes after a statue of 18th-century British slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into Bristol harbor on Sunday.
Virginia has the most Confederate memorials in the country, but that might change
As nationwide protests continue following the death of George Floyd in police custody, the debate over removing Confederate statues has reignited — and the city that was once the capital of the Confederacy is taking the lead.
The Richmond, Virginia, City Council on Friday decided unanimously to remove four Confederate statues on Monument Avenue. The decision followed an announcement by the state's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, that the six-story-tall statue of Robert E. Lee that looms over the street would come down "as soon as possible."
Virginia is home to 110 Confederate monuments, 13 of which are in Richmond, according to 2019 data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC. The state has 244 Confederate symbols, which includes roads and bridges named after Confederate leaders, more than any other state, the SPLC says. There are 41 symbols for Lee alone.
St. Paul man charged in connection with police precinct arson
A Minnesota man is facing federal charges in connection to the fire that was set at a Minneapolis police precinct station during protests over the death of George Floyd, prosecutors said Monday.
Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, has been charged with aiding and abetting arson in connection with fires set at the police department's third precinct on May 28, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota said in a statement.
The precinct "was overrun and heavily damaged due to vandalism and arson," the U.S. attorney's office said, with multiple fires set inside.
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Los Angeles police chief orders moratorium on carotid hold
LAPD Chief Michel Moore on Monday issued a moratorium on the training and use of the "carotid restraint control hold," a type of neck restraint that had already been restricted by department rules.
The memo follows the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday called for the end of the carotid hold and other techniques like it and ordered that it be removed from the state police training programs and state training manuals.
The LAPD in 1982 banned bar-arm chokeholds and other techniques following a federal lawsuit.
The Los Angeles Police Commission followed up the bar-arm ban weeks later by restricting the carotid chokehold, designed to immobilize a suspect by blocking the neck artery and, by extension, the flow of blood to the brain.
The department still allowed officers to use a carotid restraint but limits those situations to immediate danger to life. The memo ordering the moratorium says that the Board of Police Commissioners will conduct a detailed review.