May 29 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

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Image: A check-cashing business burns as a protester raises his fist in Minneapolis on May 29, 2020.
A check-cashing business burns as a protester raises his fist late Friday in Minneapolis. John Minchillo / AP

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading May 30 coverage of George Floyd's death and the Minneapolis protests.

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer seen kneeling on the neck of George Floyd before his death, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The arrest comes after outrage over Floyd’s death and protests overnight during which the police precinct where Chauvin was stationed was set ablaze.

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Customs and Border Protection used drone over Minneapolis

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that it used a drone over Minneapolis.

A CBP spokesperson said it received a request to dispatch an unmanned aircraft system from its federal law enforcement partners to assist with “situational awareness” through live video.

“The unmanned aircraft system provides live video feed to ground law enforcement, giving them situational awareness, maximizing public safety, while minimizing the threat to personnel and assets,” according the statement.

CBP said that its Air and Marine Operations regularly work with officials across federal, state and local agencies to help with both “law enforcement and humanitarian relief efforts.”

The American Civil Liberties Union reacted online to reports of a drone over Minneapolis, that it “should be halted immediately.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also weighed in on social media too, stating, “We need answers.”

“After arriving into the Minneapolis airspace, the requesting agency determined that the aircraft was no longer needed for operational awareness and departed back to Grand Forks,” a CBP spokesperson added. 

Mississippi mayor ignores calls to resign over comments on George Floyd's death

Petal, Mississippi, Mayor Hal Marx is resisting calls to resign after he said “if you can talk, you can breathe" about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

"What I said, came out in a way that I wish I said it differently," Marx said Thursday night. "It wasn't to minimize that gentleman's death."

Floyd, 46, who was black, died in Minneapolis police custody Monday after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned him to the ground and put his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin and three other officers have been fired, and on Friday Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Marx had tweeted: "If you are talking about the incident in MN, I didn’t see anything unreasonable. If you can say you can't breathe, you’re breathing. Most likely that man died of overdose or heart attack," with no evidence. 

The Petal Board of Aldermen held a special meeting Thursday night and the board voted unanimously to ask for Marx's resignation. In Mississippi, an elected official can only be involuntarily removed from office if he or she has committed a felony, according to the Clarion Ledger. Petal is about 90 miles southeast of Jackson.

Read the full story here.

National protests over George Floyd's death was 'conflagration waiting to happen'

Minneapolis remained on edge Friday after another chaotic night when a police station and other buildings were torched, and protesters there and in neighboring St. Paul hit the streets in demonstrations marred by violence, vandalism and looting.

But it wasn't only the Twin Cities where emotions have run high in reaction to George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man heard crying out "I can't breathe" during a police encounter on Monday and whose death has become the latest flash point in a string of fatalities involving African Americans.

While the arrest Friday of Derek Chauvin, one of the Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death, on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter may blunt some of the initial anger that has boiled over, tensions will remain fraught as long as there's a lag in charges for the three other officers in the case, black activists and community members say.

"This is a young rage, the same way young people took to the streets in the 1960s, 70s and 80s," Saje Mathieu, a history professor at the University of Minnesota who lives in suburban Minneapolis, said. "They're saying, 'We're already cut. We're already hurt. We're already bruised. There's no other way to communicate my pain and rage than to take to the streets.'"

That pain has resonated in major cities across the country, where protests were expected to unfold Friday night and over the weekend from Atlanta to Oakland, California, and Denver to Dallas.

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White House lockdown lifted after protests

The U.S. Secret Service lifted the lockdown on The White House Friday after growing unrest in Washington and around the country related to the death of George Floyd. 

The lockdown was in effect for a little over an hour. The Secret Service had closed off the White House press room doors as a precaution, instructing members of the media not to leave the area. 

Multiple videos of protests have circulated on social media showing protesters calling for justice in the police-involved killing and jostling with law enforcement. One protester was also seen scaling the wall of a federal building to spray paint an obscenity directed at the president. 

"In the interest of public safety we encourage all to remain peaceful," the Secret Service said in a tweet.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family: 'I just expressed my sorrow'

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that he spoke with members of George Floyd's family, calling them "terrific people," and adding that the protests in Minneapolis were "bad for the memory" of Floyd, who died at the hands of police earlier this week.

“I spoke to members of the family, terrific people, and we'll be reporting as time goes by," Trump said during an event at the White House Friday evening.

“I just expressed my sorrow. That was a horrible thing to witness," Trump continued, adding that it "looked like there was no excuse for it.”

Trump said that he could tell the family was "grieving very much" and that he could see that "they loved their brother.”

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Wrestling coach in Washington state fired over post on George Floyd's detention

Wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck's Facebook post.Dave Hollenbeck / via Facebook

A high school wrestling coach in Washington state has been fired over a post about George Floyd's getting pinned down by a Minneapolis police officer.

Dave Hollenbeck, a first-year coach at Bethel High School, uploaded a photo to Facebook of himself on the floor, smiling, with a knee to the back of his neck, similar to images of Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who died on Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white officer, Derek Chauvin, who had his knee on Floyd's neck for about eight minutes.

Hollenbeck, 44, wrote in the post: "Not dead yet I'm doing this for ... police officers the media is a race baiting machine and I'm tired of it I’m going to speak out every time if you don’t like that I’m sorry but I love All people.. Wake up America."

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Graham calls for Senate hearing on police use of force following George Floyd's death

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the Judiciary Committee chair, said Friday the panel would hold a hearing on officers' use of force following the police-involved death of George Floyd. 

“We intend to shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation," Graham said in a statement. 

Graham said he and ranking member Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., "are appalled at what we saw and believe it is important to have a hearing as soon as possible as to how to combat this outrage."

Derek Chauvin, who was fired on Tuesday along with three other officers involved in the detainment of Floyd, was arrested Friday and charged with murder and manslaughter.

“The Committee intends to call a wide variety of witnesses on the topics of better policing, addressing racial discrimination regarding the use of force, as well as building stronger bonds between communities and police," Graham said. 

 

Trump: George Floyd's family 'is entitled to justice'

George Floyd and officer who kneeled on his neck had worked at same nightclub, former owner says

George Floyd worked at the same local nightclub as the Minneapolis police officer who was shown on video kneeling on Floyd's neck as he said, "I can't breathe."

Floyd, who died in police custody after his arrest on Monday, would occasionally provide security inside El Nuevo Rodeo club, according to former owner Maya Santamaria, who has since sold the club.

Floyd was a sweet man with a big smile, she recalled.

"He would say, 'Hi boss lady. How you doing tonight?' Real sweet guy, lots of charisma," she said. "He was very beloved in the Latino community and certainly in his community as well."

Read the full story here.