June 1 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.
Image: People run as police disperse demonstrators during a protest amid nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington
People run as police disperse demonstrators during a protest amid nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, May 31, 2020.Jim Bourg / Reuters

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 2 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

After a weekend of protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Americans on Monday began the process of cleaning up after riots left damage in major cities, including Chicago and Philadelphia.

President Donald Trump expressed his ire over the protests to governors during a White House videoconference, telling them that “most of you are weak” and calling them "fools." He announced from the Rose Garden on Monday that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots as sirens wailed and flash-bang grenades popped just across the street.

Floyd's younger brother, Terrence, cried and knelt in prayer at the site of the man's death, along with expressing hope that protests would continue peacefully.

"If I’m not over here wilin’ out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community — then what are y’all doing? Nothing, because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all," he said.

An independent autopsy requested by Floyd's family declared his cause of death to be mechanical asphyxia, contradicting a report Hennepin County medical examiner. The county's report said Monday that his cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

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NYC mayor defends daughter, 25, who was arrested

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his daughter on Monday following her arrest during weekend protests, and insisted she would not "commit any violence."

Chiara de Blasio, 25, was taken into custody late Saturday night at East 12th Street and Broadway in Manhattan for alleged unlawful assembly,

"I trust my daughter, I've known her her her whole life. She's an incredibly good human being," de Blasio told reporters, while not offering specifics on the arrest. "This is not someone who would ever commit any violence ... she was very clear she believes she was following the instructions of police officers and doing what they were asking. I'm going to let her speak for herself." 

The mayor lashed out at the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the NYPD union that has been a constant critic of de Blasio, for tweeting out an image of Chiara de Blasio's arrest information, which included her home address and ID number: "The SBA did something unconscionable and it's not just because it's my daughter." 

Obama praises peaceful protesters, condemns violence at George Floyd protests

Former President Barack Obama on Monday addressed the nationwide protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.

In a Medium post, Obama praised peaceful demonstrations, condemned violence at the demonstrations and pushed protesters to vote in upcoming elections, particularly in down-ballot races that hold great influence over local policing and the criminal justice system.

"First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States," Obama wrote. "The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support, not condemnation — something that police in cities like Camden and Flint have commendably understood."

"On the other hand, the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause," he continued, adding, "So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves."

Obama also called on protesters to make very specific demands of the criminal justice system and for police reform, pointing to a report and toolkit developed during his administration.

Facebook employees go public with disagreement over Zuckerberg's handling of Trump

Facebook employees are speaking out on social media in opposition to the company's handling of posts from President Donald Trump that have been widely condemned as attempts to incite violence.

Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been at the center of a heated debate over how technology companies should handle some of the president's recent statements about protesters and rioting, including "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Twitter put a warning on a tweet from the president with that language, but Facebook did not take action. Zuckerberg has repeatedly defended the company's policies to take a hands-off approach with statements from politicians.

That has led to widespread criticism from outside the company, and reports of growing unrest inside the company.

Read the full story here.

Biden visits Delaware church to talk with community leaders

'No major incidents' on Sunday night, Atlanta police say

Communities look to clean up after Sunday protests

A weekend of protest across America

Emotions run high at scene of Louisville shooting

Warning: This video contains explicit language.

Chicago limits access to parts of city center as protest cleanup begins

Parts of central Chicago will be closed off Monday to everyone except workers whose businesses are located in the area, residents and essential workers in order to maintain public safety after protests turned violent over the weekend, officials said. 

A statement from the Chicago mayor's office said train and bus services would bypass stops in the Loop area and central business district while some roads would also be closed. Essential workers were advised to take taxis or ride-share vehicles rather than drive themselves to reduce the number of vehicles in the area. 

Police are manning every street around the Loop area while the city works with neighborhood chambers of commerce and business organizations to ensure that sites that were damaged by looting and unrest are cleaned and boarded up. 

NYPD commissioner 'troubled' by video of cop cars driving into protesters

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he was “troubled” by the video of two NYPD vehicles driving into a crowd of protesters, but said it was a “very difficult situation” for police.

In an exclusive interview with the “TODAY” show on Monday morning, Shea told Savannah Guthrie that “anyone that looks at that has to be troubled by what they saw.”

The footage from Saturday shows people placing a metal barrier in front of one NYPD SUV that had come to a stop on a street. Another vehicle then pulls up and slows down. When protesters began banging on the second vehicle, the police accelerated the vehicle, pushing numerous people in the crowd with it. The first vehicle then drove into the protesters, pushing them forward and knocking them on the ground.

“There will be an investigation,” Shea said of the incident.

Read the full story here.