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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

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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Military helicopters fly low over protesters in Washington, D.C.

As protesters marched through metro Washington, D.C. on Monday evening, what appear to be military-grade helicopters flew overhead.

In photos and videos posted on social media, the reported Blackhawk helicopters can be seen flying lower than building height, kicking up debris and knocking branches off trees. The low-flying helicopters were reportedly used to disperse protesters.

LAPD chief walks back comment about looters having hand in Floyd's death

Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore walked back comments on Monday that equated looters to the Minneapolis officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

“His death is on their hands, as much as it is on those officers," Moore said during a briefing about the civil unrest in L.A. 

Hours later, Moore clarified via Twitter:  "Let me be clear — there are 4 police officers and 4 alone responsible for the death of George Floyd. Simply put: Those intent on spewing mayhem and distraction into our communities are a disgrace to his memory."

Moore's boss, Mayor Eric Garcetti, said he appreciated the chief's new comments: "The responsibility for George Floyd’s death rests solely with the police officers involved. Chief Moore regrets the words he chose this evening and has clarified them." 

Tear gas used in Philadelphia after protest moves to freeway

Police used tear gas to disperse huge crowds that went onto a Philadelphia freeway Monday.

A crowd in the thousands briefly shut down Interstate 676 in Center City before state and city police used tear gas, NBC Philadelphia reported.

State police told the station they deployed the tear gas after some people on the Vine Street Expressway  pelted them with rocks and bottles. 

“June 1st, Philadelphia Police tear gassing peaceful protestors, trapped inside a fence in a highway,” wrote Instagram user Elias Sell. 

Some protesters attempted to escape and climb over a fence to get away from the tear gas. Police arrested several people in the embankment, according to NBC10.

There have been looting and fires in Philadelphia over the weekend. Police said earlier Monday that over the weekend, multiple police cars were set on fire, officers were attacked with thrown objects, and authorities responded to more than 300 fires, 14 of which had been ruled as arson. There were more than 200 commercial burglaries over the two days, and more than 150 cases of vandalism, police said.

From noon Saturday to Monday afternoon, police said there had been more than 400 arrests, including 146 for what was described by police as "looting/burglary." A curfew is in effect in Philadelphia until 6 a.m.

Arrests made at Minnesota Capitol

More than 200 arrested in New York City

New York City’s midtown, downtown and parts of the Upper East Side and the Bronx have been hit by roving groups smashing windows and lighting small street fires.

“There are packs of youths running as fast as they can, smashing windows as fast as they can, and police are trying to catch them as soon as possible,” a police spokesperson told NBC News.

More than 200 people have been arrested.  

High-end stores have been hit and larger department stores have also been targetted. 

Missouri officers walk arm in arm with demonstrators

Police officers in Fallon, Missouri walk arm in arm with demonstrators.@thebecker

Police officers in O'Fallon, Missouri, marched arm in arm with protesters during a demonstration Monday evening. 

The demonstration, organized by Fort Zumwalt West High School senior Ryan Staples drew approximately 400 demonstrators, NBC News affiliate KSDK reported. Staples told KSDK that it was important that their voices be heard, but only in a peaceful manner.  

Police officers in Fallon, Missouri walk arm in arm with demonstrators.@thebecker

Police Chief Tim Clothier, along with a patrol lieutenant and the high school’s school resource officer, participated. Videos and photos posted on social media show Chief Clothier linking arms with demonstrators holding signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “We Will Not Be Silent.”

Louisville protesters see police as 'corrupt'

Federal Bureau of Prisons in nationwide lockdown

For the first time in 25 years, the entire Bureau of Prisons system and all of its facilities are under complete lockdown. The lockdown, prompted by protests and rioting across the country after the death of George Floyd, went into effect late Monday afternoon.

The bureau had been operating under what it calls “an enhanced modified operational model” -- a modified lockdown -- to promote social distancing and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

But in the wake of protests across the county, the BOP says it implemented an additional, temporary security measure that results in a complete lockdown of all inmates. The order is to ensure the safety and security of staff and inmates, the agency said.   

An official for the agency said that the hope is that the lockdown is short-lived and that inmates will be restored to limited movement quickly.  BOP is monitoring the situation and says it will adjust security levels as events warrant.

The bureau runs 122 institutions nationwide. On Monday night, 165,575 inmates were in the federal system.

The last time a nationwide lockdown was activated was October 1995, when rioting broke out at prisons in four states. But BOP said Monday's lockdown is not punitive or a reaction to any disturbances inside the prisons, rather it's precautionary.

New York City will impose earlier curfew Tuesday night

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation's most populous city, set to be under curfew starting at 11 p.m. on Monday, would begin its curfew even earlier Tuesday.

The curfew Tuesday will start at 8 p.m., the mayor told local news station NY1, adding that he wanted it to start while it is light out.

Before Monday's curfew began, looters hit Midtown and Lower Manhattan, hitting several stores. NBC New York reported that officers attempted to keep up with groups running between department stores, breaking windows and stealing merchandise.

Chicago suspends all bus, rail service

Truck rams into protesters in Tulsa, Oklahoma