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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Committee to Protect Journalists: 125 press freedom infringements since Friday

At least 125 press freedom violations were reported by journalists across the U.S. in the last three days of protest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

The independent non-profit said in a statement that the infringements include 20 arrests and several accounts of journalists being hit with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets, and called on local and state authorities to stop targeting media workers.

“We are horrified by the continued use of harsh and sometimes violent actions of police against journalists doing their jobs. These are direct violations of press freedom, a fundamental Constitutional value of the United States,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna. “We call on local and state officials to explicitly exempt the news media from curfew regulations so that journalists are able to report freely.”

Hundreds detained on bridge in Dallas protest

Nearly 200 people were detained after police surrounded protesters in Dallas on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, confronting them and firing what appeared to be rubber bullets, NBC DFW reported.

Police illuminated the bridge at 7 p.m. Monday and hemmed in the protesters, who originated their march at the nearby Frank Crowley Courts Building. Dallas police Chief U. Renee Hall issued a curfew in parts of the city for 7 p.m., but the order did not include the courthouse or the bridge.

People began yelling at officers, which is when the police started firing rubber bullets, according to NBC DFW.

Attorney General William Barr booed at protest

Arrests in Los Angeles expected to be in hundreds after another day of protests

Police arrested more than 100 people throughout Los Angeles Monday night after another day of protests throughout area, officials said. The total number of arrests was expected to be in the hundreds, police said.  

A curfew was in effect again in the region after days of looting, violence and fires set in the days after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Looting hit the Van Nuys section of the city on Monday, NBC Los Angeles reported, and in Hollywood around 50 people were seen being detained for apparent curfew violations, the station reported. On Sunday looters trashed stores and set fires in Santa Monica.

The arrests Monday night are in addition to the more than 700 made Sunday night. Around 70 of those arrested involved suspicion of burglary and looting, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said earlier.

Floyd's death was "inhumane" and demanded justice, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said earlier. Still, the destructive acts of a few seeking to "exploit this moment" should not overshadow the effort to find justice, he said.

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."