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May 29 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

Here are the latest updates.
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

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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812d ago / 12:36 AM UTC

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. 

812d ago / 12:24 AM UTC

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.

812d ago / 12:05 AM UTC

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.

Click here for the full story

812d ago / 12:00 AM UTC

812d ago / 11:35 PM UTC

White House lockdown lifted after protests

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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.

812d ago / 11:27 PM UTC

812d ago / 11:22 PM UTC

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.”

Click here for the full story. 

812d ago / 10:39 PM UTC

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

Wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck.
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."

Read the full story here

812d ago / 9:37 PM UTC

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

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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. 

 

812d ago / 9:35 PM UTC

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

812d ago / 9:08 PM UTC

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.

812d ago / 8:52 PM UTC

Nation's police widely condemn move used to restrain George Floyd

Most of the nation's police departments have long cautioned their officers against putting pressure on the back or neck of someone lying face down during an arrest, as Minneapolis officers did to George Floyd.

There's widespread agreement in law enforcement that putting a knee on someone's neck — the move fired police Officer Derek Chauvin used to restrain Floyd — is especially dangerous.

"There hasn't been one person, one police chief, anyone I've talked to, who doesn't see this exactly the same way. The police officer and those who were there that day failed George Floyd," said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement-oriented think tank based in Washington. "Every police officer that looked at that video who knows anything about tactics shook their head."

Read the full story here

812d ago / 8:01 PM UTC
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812d ago / 7:35 PM UTC

Derek Chauvin had knee on George Floyd's neck for more than 2 minutes after he became non-responsive: charging documents

State charging documents allege that former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 2 minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd became non-responsive based on law enforcement review of body-worn camera video.

In total, the complaint says Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and “police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.”

The medical examiner found no findings that support diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation, the complaint says. Instead, it says that Floyd had coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease and “the combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”

The complaint says that initially Floyd was not cooperative with getting into the police vehicle and intentionally sat on ground.

812d ago / 7:32 PM UTC

Family of George Floyd calls officer's arrest 'a welcome but overdue step'

"The arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the brutal killing of George Floyd is a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice. We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested," George Floyd's relatives and attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. "We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer. The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America."

They added, "While this is a right and necessary step, we need the City of Minneapolis –- and cities across the country –- to fix the policies and training deficiencies that permitted this unlawful killing –- and so many others –- to occur."

812d ago / 6:48 PM UTC
812d ago / 6:43 PM UTC

Derek Chauvin faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of third-degree murder

Minnesota state law says that a person could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison if convicted of third-degree murder.

The crime is defined as a person not intending to cause the death of a person who does end up causing that death “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.”

In other words, he’s charged with causing Floyd’s death by perpetrating a dangerous act without regard to Floyd’s life –- even if he didn’t set out to do so.

812d ago / 6:12 PM UTC

Derek Chauvin charged with murder, manslaughter

Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced.

The former Minneapolis police officer was taken into custody Friday.

Read the full story here.

812d ago / 6:04 PM UTC

Photos: Signs in store windows ask looters to pass them by

A sign in a window in St. Paul, Minn., expresses solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as it asks to looters to spare the store.
A sign in a store window Friday in St. Paul, Minn., expresses solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as it asks looters to spare the property.J. Henderson
A sign in a store window in St. Paul, Minn., expresses solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as it asks to looters to spare the property.
J. Henderson
812d ago / 5:48 PM UTC
812d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Klobuchar defends prosecutorial record amid question over 2006 Chauvin incident

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, on Friday defended her record as a former county prosecutor, rejecting accusations that she declined to press charges against the cop who knelt on George Floyd's neck for the killing of a suspect in 2006.

In October 2006, that officer, Derek Chauvin, was involved in the fatal shooting of a stabbing suspect. At the time, Klobuchar was the attorney for Hennepin County, which contains Minneapolis. Klobuchar was elected to the U.S. Senate the next month.

Klobuchar, however, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Friday that she never declined to prosecute Chauvin. She explained that the investigation into the case began during her tenure but continued into the time during which she’d already been sworn into the Senate and was ultimately handled by her successor. 

“This idea that I somehow declined a case … against this officer is absolutely false. It is a lie. I don't know what else to say about it,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar explained that her successor sent the the case to a grand jury, which ultimately declined in 2008 to charge Chauvin. In a statement Friday, the Hennepin County attorney's office said, "Sen. Klobuchar's last day in the office here was December 31, 2006, and she had no involvement in the prosecution of this case at all."

812d ago / 5:36 PM UTC

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested in George Floyd case

The Minneapolis police officer shown on video putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd has been arrested, according to Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.

Derek Chauvin, who was fired on Monday along with three other officers involved in the detainment of Floyd, was taken into custody Friday.

Read the full story here.

812d ago / 5:28 PM UTC
812d ago / 4:48 PM UTC

Several police heads across nation condemn force used before Floyd death

The top brass at several large police departments across the country have decried the use of force seen in the arrest of George Floyd, the black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck during an arrest this week.

Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown said that Floyd's death was "caused by the unacceptable actions of a police officer."

"What took place in Minneapolis earlier this week is absolutely reprehensible and tarnishes the badge nationwide, including here in Chicago," Brown said in a statement.

Read the full story here.

812d ago / 4:40 PM UTC
812d ago / 4:23 PM UTC
812d ago / 4:17 PM UTC

Taylor Swift slams Trump for 'stoking the fires of white supremacy'

Pop star Taylor Swift slammed President Donald Trump for "stoking the fires of white supremacy" Friday after Trump's tweet about shooting protesters in Minneapolis.

"After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?" Swift tweeted, tagging Trump with a promise to vote him out in November. 

The comment is Swift's most overtly political statement to date, as the singer stayed out of partisan politics for most of her career. She was often touted by alt-right conservatives online as the ideal Aryan woman during her political silence. 

That changed in 2018, after the 30-year-old singer came out against the re-election of Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Swift has since made her own views on social issues known through her activism and her music. 

812d ago / 4:08 PM UTC
812d ago / 4:03 PM UTC

No, Trump has not sent troops to Minnesota

Overnight via Twitter, President Donald Trump seemed to float the idea of sending the military to Minnesota, and then noted Friday morning that members of the Minnesota National Guard were now "on the seen (sic)."

Five-hundred members of the Minnesota National Guard have been activated, but they are under the governor's control, and the president had no role in activating them. The president may activate members of the National Guard, but if a president does so federal law prevents the Guard from performing law enforcement duties.

As of Friday morning, the Defense Department had no request to send active duty, federalized troops to Minnesota, according to four defense officials.

“We have not seen any kind of request for that, period,” said one official.

812d ago / 3:40 PM UTC

Mall of America postpones reopening due to 'significant unrest in the community'

Mall of America, which is located near Minneapolis in Bloomington, Minnesota, said Friday that it is delaying its plans to reopen on June 1 due to the “significant unrest in the community.”

The country's largest mall is restricting all access to the building through at least Sunday.

“Our top priority is the safety of our tenants, their employees, and our team members; and restricting access to the building will allow us to do that,” the company told NBC News. “By delaying our reopening date, it will give Mall retailers additional time to prepare.”

Curbside pickup at the mall has also been suspended. The company said it will announce a new reopening date as soon as it is finalized.

812d ago / 3:37 PM UTC

Families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor appeal to Congress

The families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor — three black people whose deaths in recent weeks have become flashpoints and set off nationwide protests — are calling for a congressional hearing and national task force for the creation of bipartisan legislation to address excessive force and accountability in policing.

Two high-profile attorneys separately representing the families, Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, told reporters Friday that they also plan to present a case to the United Nation Human Rights Committee to bring about "sweeping changes to our nation's criminal justice system."

The men also said they would like Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, to be an independent prosecutor in the death of Floyd, and are concerned about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's handling of the case and his reluctance to immediately bring charges against the four officers at the scene.

Crump added that he plans to have an independent autopsy conducted of Floyd's body. The medical examiner's office said Thursday it was still conducting an investigation into the cause of his death.

"The family does not trust anything coming from the Minneapolis Police Department," Crump said. "How can they?"

812d ago / 3:31 PM UTC

'Let my building burn, justice needs to be served'

The owners of Gandhi Mahal, a Minneapolis restaurant that was damaged during overnight protests, released a powerful statement on Facebook.

"We won’t loose hope though, I am so greatful for our neighbors who did their best to stand guard and protect Gandhi Mahal, Youre efforts won’t go unrecognized. Don’t worry about us, we will rebuild and we will recover," wrote Hafsa, the owner's daughter.

"Let my building burn, justice needs to be served,” the owner said, according to the post. "Gandhi Mahal May have felt the flames last night, but our firey drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die! Peace be with everyone."

812d ago / 3:24 PM UTC

St. Paul mayor says rage understandable but getting expressed in 'destructive' way

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, whose city next to Minneapolis suffered extensive damage in Thursday night's unrest, said Friday that "rage is understandable" in the wake of George Floyd's death, but it is getting expressed in a "destructive way."

“This  anger, this rage, is understandable. It's inevitable, at some level,” Carter told MSNBC, a day after some stores were looted and many more damaged in St. Paul. “Unfortunately, it's coming out in a way that's really destructive and that's further victimizing the communities that are most in trauma already.”

Carter urged his constituents to take more constructive action: "Take that anger, take that sadness, take that rage that we feel, and let's channel it into a way that's going to help us build a stronger future for our children."

812d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

What state charges could be brought in George Floyd's death?

State prosecutors have several options to charge police officers in the State of Minnesota in deadly use of force incidents, like the type of incident that led to the death of George Floyd. 

Prosecutors can bring charges ranging from second-degree manslaughter to first degree murder, with the murder charges being the most difficult to prove in court.

According to a Hennepin County Attorney’s document on these types of cases –- and they are the state prosecutor overseeing this investigation –- the standard for second-degree manslaughter must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the  officer acted with “culpable negligence” in creating an unreasonable risk of death or great bodily harm.” State law says this includes when a person “consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.”

The Minneapolis Police Department Use of Force Manual does allow what they describe as a “neck restraint.” This restraint is defined “as compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure  to the trachea or airway (front of the neck).”

But the use of an “unconscious neck restraint,” where they say the goal is to render the person unconscious by applying adequate pressure, only applies “on a subject who is exhibiting active aggression, or  for life saving purposes, or on a subject who is exhibiting active resistance in order to gain control of the subject; and if lesser attempts at control have been or would likely be ineffective.”

812d ago / 3:13 PM UTC

More unrest rocks Minneapolis and other cities in wake of George Floyd’s death

812d ago / 3:11 PM UTC
812d ago / 3:09 PM UTC

'Racist president': Democrats accuse Trump of inciting violence in Minneapolis

Democrats on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for what they said was inciting violence against protesters who were demonstrating in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody.

Joe Biden, the apparent 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted, "I will not lift the President's tweet. I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I'm furious, and you should be too."

The former vice president said that he planned to speak about the events in Minneapolis later in the day Friday.

Read the full story here.

812d ago / 2:59 PM UTC
812d ago / 2:54 PM UTC

Where does the phrase 'When the looting starts, the shooting starts' come from?

Twitter said early Friday that a post by President Donald Trump about the protests overnight in Minneapolis glorified violence because of the historical context of his last line: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

The phrase was used by Miami's police chief, Walter Headley, in 1967, when he addressed his department's "crackdown on ... slum hoodlums," according to a United Press International article from the time.

Headley, who was chief of police in Miami for 20 years, said that law enforcement was going after “young hoodlums, from 15 to 21, who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign. ... We don't mind being accused of police brutality."

Read the full story here.

812d ago / 2:42 PM UTC

Photos: Fire and fury in Minneapolis

See more photos as protests escalate over the death of George Floyd. 

812d ago / 2:14 PM UTC
812d ago / 2:10 PM UTC

Activists call for murder charges in George Floyd's death. But they're rare against police.

Public demand for the arrest of the Minneapolis police officer seen kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died later, grew louder Thursday as the city came to grips with violent unrest that prompted Minnesota's governor to activate the National Guard.

Criminal justice and use-of-force experts believe Derek Chauvin, who was fired along with three other officers for their roles in the Memorial Day incident, will more than likely face some type of homicide charge, and black activists and community members said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman must act expeditiously.

"This man was killed in broad daylight while people videotaped him," said Mike Griffin, an activist and electoral organizer for the organization Community Change. "But long before that, there have been systemic racial problems that have harmed the black community and now has mushroomed into this crisis that we're having in this city. Mike Freeman has the power to charge these cops and the power to give us any form of justice."

Read the full story here.