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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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A peaceful protest at site of Floyd's death

Protesters sit together at the intersection where George Floyd was killed a week ago, in Minneapolis on June 1, 2020.Daniella Silva / NBC News

MINNEAPOLIS — Hours after George Floyd’s brother visited the intersection where his sibling died a week ago while in police custody, hundreds continued a peaceful vigil and protest deep into Monday night.

Some hugged and others held their fists in the air around the memorial, which held a circle of flowers and signs.

One protester held a poster saying “I shouldn’t have to fear for my black children’s future” and another read “Stop killing my black brothers and sisters”

“He was a man of the community,” Samantha Eillagrana, 18, said of Floyd. “That could’ve been anyone.”

“I think it’s amazing how everyone came together here for him."

NBC News' Jo Ling Kent hit by flash-bang grenade as Seattle protest gets chaotic

NBC News correspondent Jo Ling Kent was hit by a flash-bang grenade while she was reporting from a demonstration in Seattle on Monday. 

While the NBC News crew initially thought that Kent had been hit by a firework, after reviewing footage of the incident from multiple angles the team concluded it was a flash-bang grenade.

NBC News reached out to the Seattle Police Department for comment, but hasn't heard back. 

Seattle Police declared the demonstration in the Capitol Hill neighborhood a riot Monday evening after people in the crowd threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers and attempted to breach barricades, a tweet by the department said.

Episcopal bishop 'deeply offended' by Trump using Bible, church as a 'prop'

The Episcopal bishop of Washington blasted President Donald Trump on Monday night, saying it was "deeply offensive" for him to use the "church as a backdrop and the Bible as a prop" for a photo-op hours earlier.

The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, whose diocese includes historic St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House, said she was given no advance word that Trump would pose for pictures outside the historic house of worship moments after vowing to use military force to end violent protests.

"I was sitting at home watching the news when I saw the images" of Trump, Budde told MSNBC's "The 11th Hour with Brian Williams."

U.S. Park Police and the National Guard used smoke and flash-bangs to push away peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square and its surrounding streets, allowing Trump a cleared path to walk across the street to St. John's Episcopal Church, which suffered fire damage in protests Sunday night.

"He held, in his hand, the most sacred texts of our Jewish and Christian traditions - texts that call upon us to love God and love neighbor, that proclaims every human being to be a beloved child of God," Budde said.

"He was preceded by a violent clearing of non-violent protesters to make his way. And he was using our church as a backdrop and the Bible as a prop in ways that I found to be deeply offensive." 


Officers hit by vehicle during protest in Buffalo, New York

A New York State police officer and a Buffalo police officer were hit by a vehicle during protests in the city Monday night.


Both officers were taken to Erie County Medical Center with serious injuries but are in stable condition, said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

In a video that has been circulating on social media, officers can be seen rushing to the aid of the injured right after the truck drives through the crowd.

Police were on scene outside the department’s E-District station where people gathered to protest the killing of George Floyd

New York police make arrests as looters hit iconic Macy's store

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.”