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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Empire State Building going dark to honor Floyd

Matt Gaetz tweet on hunting antifa hit with warning from Twitter for glorifying violence

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., arrives for a meeting with President Donald Trump and fellow Congressional Republicans in the State Dining Room at the White House on May 8, 2020.Anna Moneymaker / Pool via Getty Images

Twitter placed a notice on a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz after the Florida Republican tweeted about hunting “antifa" on Monday, but the social media platform did not take down the statement.

The congressman’s tweet was hidden with a notice that it violated Twitter’s rules for glorifying violence, similar to a notice that was placed on a tweet from President Donald Trump last week. Gaetz posed a question about hunting Antifa in reference to Trump’s decision Sunday to label the group as domestic terrorists.

“Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?” Gaetz tweeted.

Read the full story here.

Trump stands in front church, holds Bible after threatening military action against protesters

President Donald Trump walked from the White House, crossed Lafayette Square, and stood in front of St. John's Church holding a Bible moments after telling reporters he would deploy the military if state officials could not contain protests across the nation.

As protests sweep nation, research finds social distancing most effective at slowing coronavirus spread

Demonstrators sit in an intersection during a protest over the death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020, in Los Angeles.Mark J. Terrill / AP

Social distancing is the most effective way to slow the spread of the coronavirus — more so than face coverings and eye protection — according to a meta-analysis published Monday in The Lancet.

The findings have new significance as thousands of Americans are gathering alongside strangers in the midst of the pandemic, demonstrating against the death of George Floyd and demanding an end to social injustice.

"We just spent 93 days limiting behavior, closing down, no school, no business, thousands of small businesses destroyed," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, "And now? Mass gatherings, with thousands of people, in close proximity?"

"What sense does this make?"

Read the full story here. 

Trump says he will deploy military if state officials can't contain protest violence

WASHINGTON — As the sound of sirens wailed and flash bangs popped across the street, President Donald Trump announced from the Rose Garden that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots across the county that have been sparked by the death of George Floyd.

“I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans,” Trump said in the extraordinary address, which was delivered as police fired tear gas outside to push protesters back from the White House.

"If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said, referring to himself as "your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

Read the full story here. 

Omaha prosector says white bar owner killed black protester in self-defense

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine begins his news conference responding to the death of James Scurlock on June 1, 2020.WOWT

The white Omaha bar owner who shot and killed a 22-year-old black protester on Saturday night will not be charged, the Douglas County Attorney announced on Monday.

James Scurlock, 22, was shot by local bar owner Jacob Gardner, while protesting the police custody death of George Floyd on Saturday, according to the prosecutor Don Kleine and NBC Ohama affiliate WOWT.

Read the full story here. 

Protest outside White House broken up with flash bangs by mounted police

Mounted police used flashbangs to clear the protest from Lafayette Park near the White House that MSNBC’s Garrett Haake said had been “100 percent peaceful” up to that point.

ViacomCBS channels air almost nine minutes of 'I can't breathe' video

Many of the ViacomCBS-owned TV channels observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence on Monday to recognize the importance of the protest movement sparked by the death of George Floyd.

The channels included Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, which aired a video showing the words "I can't breathe" on the screen with a haunting audio of someone breathing. The moment was observed at 5 p.m. ET.  The networks previously observed a period of silence in 2018 to mark the mass school shootings at Parkland. 

NYPD officer appears to brandish gun at protesters; mayor calls it 'absolutely unacceptable'

A New York police officer appeared to brandish his gun during protests Sunday night in downtown Manhattan, sending demonstrators scrambling, and a video of the incident is being investigated by the department.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the officer's actions "absolutely unacceptable," and said that while claims of police use of excessive force are "rare," they "must be addressed in every instance."

Read the full story here. 

George Floyd death ruled a homicide by medical examiner

Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, reacts at a makeshift memorial honoring George Floyd, at the spot where he was taken into custody, in Minneapolis on June 1, 2020.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Authorities in Minnesota said Monday that George Floyd’s death was a homicide that occurred while he was being restrained by law enforcement.

In an autopsy, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner listed Floyd’s cause of death as a “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

The autopsy listed other "significant" conditions, including hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.

Read the full story here. 

Officers cut off blood and air flow to George Floyd's brain, causing his death, independent autopsy says

Police officers, pressing on George Floyd's neck and body, cut blood and air flow to the Minneapolis man's brain, causing him to die by mechanical asphyxia, pathologists hired by the family said Monday.

Floyd's death, which was videotaped by passersby last week, led to the arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and set off protests across the nation.

"He couldn't breathe — asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back," Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City, told reporters in a video conference. "And that's homicidal."

Read the full story here.