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June 2 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.
Image: Protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York
Demonstrators gather after curfew during a protest in New York City on June 2, 2020.Brendan McDermid / Reuters

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 3 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Protests over the in-custody death of George Floyd passed the one-week mark Tuesday with no signs of slowing down. From New York to North Carolina and Los Angeles to Minnesota, thousands hit the streets while Floyd’s family called for the arrests of three other officers involved in the Memorial Day incident.

As authorities across the country respond to destructive and chaotic demonstrations with curfews and mass arrests, there’s been one notable exception: Baltimore.

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz announced a sweeping civil rights investigation of the police department in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, saying the inquiry will root out "systemic racism that is generations deep."

Download the NBC News app for the latest updates.

Police in Vallejo, Calif., fatally shoot man kneeling outside a Walgreens

761d ago / 2:59 PM UTC

A 22-year-old man was in a half-kneeling position when an officer in a Bay Area city fatally shot him through a police vehicle's windshield, police said Wednesday.

Sean Monterrosa, 22, of San Francisco, was outside a Walgreens in Vallejo, California, shortly after midnight Tuesday when police responded to a report the store was being looted, police said.

Monterrosa began running toward a car, and then stopped, crouched down in a half-kneeling position facing officers, authorities said. He had in his sweatshirt pocket a hammer. Police said they thought it was a gun and that he was kneeling "in preparation to shoot."

Monterrosa reached for his waist area, police said, and an officer in a police vehicle shot him five times through the windshield, striking him once and killing him.

Read the full story here.

Portland uses 'riot control agents' on group that splintered off peaceful protest

762d ago / 6:09 AM UTC

Police in Portland, Oregon, declared an unlawful assembly and used "riot control agents" after a crowd threw bottles and other objects near a government building that was targetted last week.

Police Chief Jami Resch said that thousands protested peacefully Tuesday, but a smaller group of a several hundred split off and approached the fenced-off Multnomah County Justice Center.

"Attempts were made to tear down and breach the fencing. Projectiles including bottles, bats and mortars have been thrown at the police," she said in a video statement.

News helicopter footage from NBC affiliate KGW appeared to show smoke or tear gas being used and what a reporter from the station described as flash bangs.

A fire was set at the Multnomah County Justice Center after it was broken into in a night of violence late last week that the city's mayor described as a "full-on riot." 

More than 200 arrested in Houston

762d ago / 5:57 AM UTC

L.A. police use Jackie Robinson Stadium as 'field jail' without UCLA's consent

762d ago / 5:38 AM UTC

UCLA on Tuesday night said Los Angeles police used its Jackie Robinson Stadium, named for Major League Baseball's first African American player, to temporarily house people who had been detained.

"We’re troubled by accounts of Jackie Robinson stadium being used as a 'field jail,'" the university said on Twitter. "This was done without UCLA’s knowledge or permission. As lessee of the stadium, we informed local agencies that UCLA will NOT grant permission should there be a request like this in the future."

The Los Angeles Police Department acknowledged using the field in West L.A. for suspects arrested during the city's George Floyd protests. "We are no longer using it," Officer Mike Lopez said.

The field, home of the men's UCLA baseball team, is leased and occupies federal Veterans Affairs land. It's not clear what exactly the lease allows or disallows the city to do. The V.A. land is on an island of unincorporated Los Angeles County that is not in the city's jurisdiction.

NYC demonstrators on why they protest: We need to be heard

762d ago / 5:33 AM UTC

Tear gas quickly disperses crowd in Atlanta

762d ago / 5:23 AM UTC

ATLANTA — Hundreds of protesters lingered on the streets of downtown Atlanta on Tuesday night ahead of another 9 p.m. curfew imposed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Authorities used armored vehicles to form a cordon at the state Capitol nearby.

Bottoms has implemented the curfew every night, starting Saturday.

As the curfew took effect, police and National Guard troops moved in, firing tear gas. The crowd quickly dispersed, and television footage showed police leading some people away in zip ties.

Police detain Hollywood protesters after curfew

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763d ago / 4:38 AM UTC

Hours after a curfew took effect, police in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles began making arrests Tuesday night. The detainments followed a day of peaceful protests. 

Los Angeles is under a 6 p.m. curfew, and about 9 p.m., officers were seen taking people out of cars and detaining people near a protest group, according to news helicopter footage and an NBC News reporter at the scene.

Several dozen people appeared to have been detained. Multiple sources familiar with the arrests in progress Tuesday said most were for curfew violations.

Arrests were also seen in the Koreatown section of the city, according to NBC Los Angeles.

On Monday, the LAPD Hollywood Division broke its one-day record for arrests with a total of at least 585 arrests, according to department officials.

As of Tuesday morning, the LAPD had arrested more than 2,700 people, about 2,500 for failure to disperse or curfew violations across the city, police Chief Michel Moore said. The other arrests included burglary, looting, and assault on police, Moore said.

Oakland protesters defy curfew after peaceful demonstrations

763d ago / 4:14 AM UTC

Seattle mayor: 'We want you to march, we want you to raise your voices'

763d ago / 4:11 AM UTC

SEATTLE — Mayor Jenny Durkan addressed a large crowd protesting George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, telling them their “voices holding me accountable are important.”

Tuesday was the fifth day of protests in the Northwest’s largest city over the death of Floyd in police custody. Monday’s protests were largely peaceful but turned chaotic as officers dispersed the crowd at night using tear gas and flash-bang devices. Authorities said demonstrators threw fireworks and tried to storm a barricade, but citizen video showed the chaos began when an officer grabbed a pink umbrella that a demonstrator was holding just across a barricade.

Standing next to the city’s police chief at the downtown Emergency Operations Center, Durkan said she supported the crowd’s right to rally against injustice.

“We want you to march, we want you to raise your voices, we want you to continue on your path of justice,” Durkan said over a microphone as the crowd listened, mostly in silence. “But we need you, please, to do it peacefully.” The mayor, a former U.S. attorney, then took questions from some in the crowd.

St. Paul Mayor, son of a police officer, on the importance of community policing

763d ago / 3:45 AM UTC

A somber protest at the Minneapolis intersection where Floyd died

763d ago / 3:42 AM UTC

MINNEAPOLIS — The curfew came and went, but a group of demonstrators remained at the Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd's life came to an end more than a week ago.

“One nation, one love,” a protester said holding a microphone. “America where is your compassion for us? Where is your compassion for human rights?”

Meanwhile, a small group protesters climbed to the top of a nearby boarded-up Speedway store and looked on while listening to the speakers.

Protesters had gathered dozens of bouquets of flowers, signs and candles to form a circle as a small group of demonstrators gathered around silently paying their respects.

Footage shows Milwaukee police disperse protesters with tear gas

763d ago / 3:14 AM UTC

Video footage from Milwaukee on Tuesday showed authorities using tear gas on protesters moments after many were kneeling or had their hands up.

The Milwaukee Police Department said officers dispersed the crowd after people threw rocks, glass and Molotov cocktails at officers. The department added that someone in the crowd with a gun was taken into custody.

The footage, captured by NBC affiliate WTMJ, did not show this. The station reported that tear gas was used minutes after the demonstration was declared unlawful.

The “Justice for George Floyd” demonstration began at 1 p.m. in the Bay View section of the city and ended 6.5 miles away in downtown Milwaukee, NBC affiliate WTMJ reported.

Arkansas declares state of emergency

763d ago / 3:09 AM UTC

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency Tuesday in response to continued demonstrations to protest the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

A statement from the governor’s spokeswoman said the action will unify command of local and state police, the Arkansas National Guard and the state Department of Emergency Management.

The spokeswoman minimized the significance of the move, however. “This is a normal executive order issued when the National Guard is activated under state control in regard to civil disturbance. Under this executive order, sheriff offices and police departments maintain command and operational control of their respective jurisdictions,” Katie Beck said in her statement.

Also Tuesday, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott expanded the city’s curfew a day after Arkansas authorities again used tear gas to break up protests outside the state Capitol. Scott said the city’s nighttime curfew will begin 8 p.m.

Thousands protest outside Colorado State Capitol

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763d ago / 3:02 AM UTC

Thousands of peaceful protesters in Denver swarmed the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday evening, chanting slogans like “This is what democracy looks like,” to protest the death of George Floyd.

 

The crowd, which was marching toward the Capitol, spanned several city blocks, according to NBC affiliate KUSA

Protesters also chanted, “Peaceful protest,” with limited police presence, as Denver’s 9 p.m. curfew drew near. Denver extended its curfew through Friday morning, according to the city.

Thousands of protesters stream back toward Brooklyn after 'tense' bridge standoff

763d ago / 2:45 AM UTC

After a standoff lasting more than an hour, at least 1,000 protesters turned back to Brooklyn after being denied entry to Manhattan by NYPD.

Image: Protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York
Demonstrators block the base of the Manhattan Bridge after curfew during a protest in New York City on June 2, 2020.Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

Some of the protesters had tried to negotiate with police in order to be let through. Two said they felt tensions were high.

“This seems very tense. They’re on defense instead of support," Vanessa, 27, said.

The protesters, out after New York City's curfew, could be seen streaming back across the bridge, a 1-mile walk, with their hands up. After a brief standoff on the Brooklyn side, protesters were allowed into the borough. 

Booker: ‘America, I love you. Do you see me?’

763d ago / 2:34 AM UTC

Army moves 1,600 troops to D.C. area

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763d ago / 2:31 AM UTC

The Department of Defense moved 1,600 soldiers to the Washington D.C. area in response to the growing unrest and protests, according to the top Pentagon spokesman.

"The Department of Defense moved multiple active duty Army units into the National Capitol Region as a prudent planning measure in response to ongoing support to civil authorities operations," Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said in a statement.

Trump said on Monday he'd use the U.S. military to stop the nationwide riots sparked by the death of George Floyd

The troops,16th Military Police Brigade headquarters from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 91st Military Police Battalion from Fort Drum, New York, were relocated to military bases in the National Capitol Region by military aircraft within the last 24 hours, the statement said. 

The brigade provides a command and control element for the battalion, which primarily provides military police and engineering capability. 

Peaceful protest in Charlotte escalates after group throws fireworks, 'chemical agent' at police

763d ago / 2:16 AM UTC

What began as a peaceful protest in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday escalated when a small group of people hurled bottles, fireworks and a “chemical agent” at police, authorities said.

The demonstration, organized by the NAACP, had spanned several blocks in the downtown area earlier in the day, NBC affiliate WCNC reported. Shortly after 6 p.m., the sprawling group took a knee in a moment of silence for George Floyd, according to the station.

Around 9 p.m., the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department began tweeting that people were shining lasers at officers and throwing water bottles, a chemical agent and other items. It wasn't immediately clear what kind of chemical struck the officer, who the department said was on a bike. His condition also wasn't immediately known.

“Violence is escalating putting protesters and officers in danger,” the department said. The department said it used tear gas and other riot control agents to disperse the group.

Seattle curfew extended until Saturday morning

763d ago / 2:09 AM UTC

Seattle's police chief on Tuesday announced that a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would be extended until Saturday morning, after protests in the city that have become violent in recent days.

"We're using this as a tool to help us make sure that we can do everything that we can to keep all of us safe as we're out there in the field with the protests and the demonstrations," Police Chief Carmen Best said at a news conference. Several other cities have also imposed curfews across the nation.

Best said that the majority of protesters have been peaceful, but that there has been rioting, looting, and attacks on police.

Monday night an officer was struck in the face with a large piece of concrete and other officers sustained injuries, she said.

Best said that since protests began in Seattle following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, there have been 86 arrests, including for assault, burglary and property destruction.

Minneapolis schools end contract with Minneapolis Police Department

763d ago / 1:57 AM UTC

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis school board has voted to end its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department following the death last week of George Floyd.

The Star Tribune reports the vote was unanimous Tuesday.

Minneapolis Public Schools will stop further negotiations with the Police Department. Schools Superintendent Ed Graff must come up with a new plan for school safety by the board’s Aug. 18 meeting.

School board chairwoman Kim Ellison said in an interview that she values “people and education and life.” Ellison said she’s now convinced, “based on the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department, that we don’t have the same values.”

The Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts have faced criticism over the use of school resource officers. Both districts have sought to transform the role to be more of a mentor than an enforcer.

Protesters coming over Manhattan Bridge blocked by police

763d ago / 1:40 AM UTC

Thousands of protesters on the Manhattan Bridge Tuesday night were blocked from entering Manhattan by a large police presence.

The protesters were out in defiance of New York City's 8 p.m. ET curfew, massing on the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

It's unclear whether the other side the bridge is also being blocked.

Las Vegas officer shot amid protests on life support; suspect booked

763d ago / 1:25 AM UTC

A Las Vegas police officer remained in critical condition and on life support after being shot amid violent protests Monday, and the suspect has been booked on attempted murder and other charges, police said.

Officer Shay Mikalonis, 29, who has been with the department for four years, was struck by a bullet fired from across the street as police were taking someone into custody near Circus Circus, police said.

Edgar Samaniego, 20, allegedly was seen on surveillance video "firing a handgun at the officers as he walked down the street," and he was found at a motel and arrested, police said in a statement.

Samaniego was booked on one count of attempted murder on a police officer and two counts of unlawful discharging of a firearm, police said.

Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement that he was praying for the officer, and he called the shooing senseless. "There is no place for this behavior in Nevada," Sisolak said.

It was one of two shootings in Las Vegas Monday night. In another unrelated incident, an armed man identified as Jorge Gomez, 25, was fatally shot by police after he allegedly raised a weapon at officers, police said.

Sisolak said Tuesday he activated additional members of the National Guard after a request.

Esper orders inquiry into why Guard chopper flew low over D.C. protestors

763d ago / 1:07 AM UTC

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper told NBC News that at least one of the helicopters that seemed to "buzz" Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood during Monday night's protests was a National Guard helicopter, and said he has ordered an inquiry into why the chopper was flying and why it was flying low.

"The inquiry is to get the facts," said Esper. He said the Defense Department has asked the Army to conduct the inquiry.

Protestors took video of Lakota and Black Hawk helicopters flying low over various D.C. neighborhoods. 

Witnesses said a chopper that hovered low over Chinatown near the Capital One Arena was a Lakota with U.S. Army markings and the red cross of an air ambulance. The D.C. National Guard has Lakotas.

Thousands defy police ban to protest racial injustice in Paris

763d ago / 12:56 AM UTC

Pockets of unrest broke out in a mainly peaceful demonstration against the 2016 death of a black Frenchman in police custody. Protesters also expressed solidarity with the U.S. Black Lives Matter movement.

At D.C. demonstrations, a heavily guarded Lincoln Memorial

, and

763d ago / 12:55 AM UTC

Dozens of military members and police in body armour stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday night overlooking hundreds of protesters in the area.

Photos and videos on social media showed peaceful protesters standing before the memorial in protest of the killing of George Floyd, some holding signs that read, "enough," and "Black Lives Matter."

Protesters who were using megaphones to speak to the crowd urged others to educate themselves about injustices facing people of color, such as voter suppression, unlawful incarceration and gerrymandering. 

Keke Palmer asks California National Guardsmen to march with protesters

763d ago / 12:53 AM UTC

Actress Keke Palmer engaged in a conversation with a group of California National Guardsmen in Los Angeles and asked they march with protesters. 

In a video captured by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz, the "Hustlers" and "Akeelah and the Bee" star urged a man in uniform to stand with the community against "governmental oppression." The man, who had the name "Koenig" on his uniform, told Palmer that he could not march with the crowd because he had to stay and patrol the area but offered to march on the street they stood on. 

"I'll make you a deal, I can't leave this post," he said. "I will march through this street with you guys, to that next intersection." 

Palmer told him she was "at a loss" and that the offer was not enough. When another protester asked him to take a knee, the group of guardsmen did take a knee with protesters. 

"That ain't enough for me," Palmer said repeatedly in the background.

While some have praised images of law enforcement and authorities kneeling in seeming solidarity with protesters in recent days, others have accused officers of co-opting the silent protest that cost former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick his career.

Peaceful crowd gathers in Seattle after night of clashes

763d ago / 12:50 AM UTC

Couple discovers what appears to be unexploded grenade in Washington, D.C.

763d ago / 12:43 AM UTC
A rubber grenade found on street in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2020, the morning after there were protests throughout the city.
A rubber grenade found on street in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2020, the morning after there were protests throughout the city.Claire Felten

A couple was surprised to find what appeared to be a rubber grenade while out for a morning walk in Washington, DC. 

Claire Felten, 24, and Arthur Nelson, 25, made the discovery outside the Apple Carnegie Library about 7:30 am in the area of Mount Vernon Square on June 2.

Felten said that when she noticed the black sphere on the ground, she picked it up to take a closer look thinking it was debris left over from civil unrest in the area the night before.

“I realized that there were like little pellets or something inside it that I could feel when I shook it,” Felten said. “We realized, ‘oh wait, nope, this is unexploded so we’re going to put this down and we're going to walk away.”

The couple called D.C. police who responded and disposed of the munition. Authorities described the device as “a non-hazardous rubber shell of a sting ball, a crowd control device used by law enforcement,” in an email to NBC News.

NBC Washington’s Anthony Mague reported that flash bangs and police helicopters could be heard outside of the Apple Carnegie Library on June 1. He tweeted a video showing groups of people running with law enforcement vehicles following behind them. 

Thousands gather in Hollywood protesting George Floyd's death

763d ago / 12:34 AM UTC

NBC News Correspondent Gadi Schwartz reports from Los Angeles as thousands gather protesting the death of George Floyd.

Official resigns from Defense Science Board over protesters being cleared for Trump photo-op

763d ago / 12:26 AM UTC

James N. Miller, the former under-secretary of defense for policy, resigned from the Defense Science Board on Tuesday, citing President Donald Trump's use of federal police to forcibly move peaceful protesters Monday night.

"If last night’s blatant violations do not cross the line for you, what will?" Miller wrote in his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, which was published in The Washington Post. "Unfortunately, it appears there may be few if any lines that President Trump is not willing to cross, so you will probably be faced with this terrible question again in the coming days."

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.

Democrats and religious leaders criticized the president for using force to push back protesters to pose for pictures. 

New York protesters march toward Trump Tower

763d ago / 12:19 AM UTC

A large number of protesters are marching towards Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York City.

N.J. police dispatcher resigns over racist comment on black protester

763d ago / 12:14 AM UTC
A police dispatcher resigned from the Woodbridge Police Department in New Jersey after a racist comment he wrote on Facebook.
A police dispatcher resigned from the Woodbridge Police Department in New Jersey after a racist comment he wrote on Facebook.Woodbridge Police Department / via Facebook

A police dispatcher in New Jersey resigned Monday after posting a racist comment on Facebook about a black boy at a George Floyd protest.

In a photo posted on Facebook, the 8-year-old boy is pictured at a protest in Boston on Friday holding a sign, "At what age do I go from handsome to a threat?"

The dispatcher, Marc Repace, commented, "17 give or take a year or two" and "LMFAO totally kidding."

Repace, 21, was suspended Sunday from the police department in Woodbridge, about 20 miles south of Newark, where he worked for three years.

"Once the department determined he made the Facebook comment, he was immediately suspended," John Hagerty, a spokesman for the township, said Tuesday.

Read the full story here.

Police implored to take a knee near Union Square as NYC curfew nears

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763d ago / 11:35 PM UTC

In Manhattan, a large, peaceful demonstration marched from Union Square down to Washington Square Park before returning, gathering just south of Union Square.

Juan, 32, said the protests so far have been “very loud, but there’s been no pillaging and are going very peaceful.” The crowd, possibly in the thousands earlier in the evening, began to thin out a bit as New York City's curfew — 8 p.m. ET — neared. When phones blared an alert telling everyone to go home, chats of "f--- the curfew" broke out.

Meanwhile, on the Upper East Side near Lenox Hill Hospital, protesters and hospital workers cheered for each other.

Image: Hospital workers cheer on protesters in NYC
Hospital workers cheer on protesters as they walk near Lenox Hill Hospital in New York on June 2, 2020.Patrick Chovanec

Long Island restaurant owner faces backlash over racist remarks about peaceful protesters

763d ago / 11:31 PM UTC

A Long Island, New York, restaurant owner was being slammed as racist Tuesday after he recorded himself in a Facebook video calling people who were peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd "animals" and "savages" and saying he would throw watermelons at them.

Luigi Petrone, the co-owner of Tutto Pazzo restaurant, recorded a Facebook Live on Monday afternoon as protesters approached New York Avenue in Huntington Village, where his business is located.

"Bunch of kids, little punks, they look like little animals, savages,” he said at the beginning of the video.

He estimated in the video, first reported by Huntington Now, that there were 100 police officers present. A Suffolk County police spokeswoman told NBC News the protest was peaceful and drew up to 200 people.

Sabrina Chavez, 22, a lifelong Huntington resident, saved the video and posted it to Facebook.

"THIS WAS A PEACEFUL PROTEST AND IT STILL WAS A PROBLEM TO SOME PEOPLE...," she wrote in the post Monday that has been widely shared. "DO YOU SEE WHY PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE FED UP NOW?"

Read the full story here.

Democratic Rep. Engel caught on hot mic: 'If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn’t care'

763d ago / 11:26 PM UTC

Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat facing a tough primary challenge and questions about his absence from his district, was caught on a hot mic at a district event responding to unrest saying twice that he only wanted press coverage because of an electoral threat.

“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, at a Tuesday press conference responding to unrest and vandalism in his district related to the recent death of George Floyd.

 

The moment was captured on a hot mic by a local television station and quickly went viral in a tweet that has nearly 1 million views as of Tuesday evening.

It comes as Engel has faced his toughest primary since being elected to Congress in 1988. He represents New York’s 16th Congressional District, which includes portions of the Bronx and Westchester as well as Mount Vernon, Yonkers and New Rochelle, which was one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak. Engel has faced growing criticism about his lack of presence in his district, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic, and now given the demonstrations and vandalism in his district.

Click here for the full story. 

Protesters take a knee outside Trump Hotel in New York City

763d ago / 11:21 PM UTC

Mother of George Floyd's daughter gives emotional plea for justice

763d ago / 11:06 PM UTC

The mother of George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter broke down crying during an emotional plea for justice at City Hall in Minneapolis on Tuesday, lamenting that he would never watch his child grow up.

“I wanted everybody to know that this is what those officers took from me,” Roxie Washington said, her voice breaking, while she stood with her daughter, Gianna. “At the end of the day they get to go home and be with their families. Gianna does not have a father.”

"If there's a problem that she's having and she needs her dad, she does not have that anymore," she said. 

“He will never see her grow up, graduate, he will never walk her down the aisle,” she said, wiping away tears.

“I'm here for my baby and I'm here for George because I want justice for him. I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good,” she said, later adding that Floyd was a good father. “He loved her, he loved her so much,” she said.

Houston protesters honor George Floyd, push for changes

763d ago / 11:00 PM UTC

HOUSTON — Protest organizers estimate that more than 60,000 people marched on Tuesday through downtown Houston, the city where George Floyd grew up and lived most of his life.

Eighteen members of Floyd’s family stood on the steps of City Hall and thanked protesters for coming out. Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, called on the marchers to remain peaceful.

“You’re shaming all our names, not just his name,” he said, referring to protests that have turned violent in other parts of the country. “It’s bigger than my brother.”

The Houston rally, endorsed by city and police officials, was advertised as a peaceful protest to honor Floyd’s family. But many in the crowd said the anger driving people to violence across the country is real — and justified.

Keondra Cooper, 26, carried a sign with the words, “Sick of this s---!” painted in bright red letters. She said she’s tired of watching viral videos of black men and women killed by police — every few weeks, it feels like — followed by social media hashtags but no policy changes.

Cooper, who worked in finance, says she lost her job as a result of the coronavirus crisis. In the midst of a pandemic stripping black people of their lives and jobs at disproportionate rates, Cooper said she wanted to make sure her voice was heard.

“We’re tired of black men and black women being killed senselessly,” Cooper said. “I have brothers. I have sisters. I’m a sister, and I’m going to be a mother one day. I don’t want that for my people or my family.”

LAPD arrests more than 1,000 on Monday, breaking records

763d ago / 10:53 PM UTC
Image: Los Angeles protest
A driver shows her support for demonstrators as they march in protest in Los Angeles, on June 2, 2020.Jae C. Hong / AP

The Los Angeles Police Department made 1,200 arrests Monday, a law enforcement source familiar with the numbers told NBC News. Most of the arrests were for curfew violations and a lessor extent looting Department did not have specific breakdown.

That number is about seven time greater than the average daily number of arrests since March 15, when the coronavirus stay at home order was issued, and several times higher than typical daily arrests for Spring — nearly 250 arrests. The number of people arrested Monday is equivalent to a typical arrest number in single week.

The LAPD Hollywood Division broke its one-day record for arrests with a total of at least 585 arrests per department officials. In Hollywood, most were for curfew violations and 20 arrests for looting, At least 50 vehicles were impounded.

Officials said they expected the number of looting arrests to jump this week as police continue to learn the looters' tactics and react accordingly.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at a Police Commission meeting earlier Tuesday that since the unrest began there have been more than 2,700 arrests, around 2,500 of which were for failing to disperse or violating a curfew. The rest include burglaries, looting and assault on police, including one attempted murder case.

Sixty-six police vehicles have been damaged, with seven of them burned, and 27 LAPD personnel have been injured, with two requiring hospitalization. Those two cases involved a fractured skull and a broken knee, and both officers have been released and are recovering at home, Moore said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, her husband (and Bailey) seen at protest near White House

763d ago / 10:40 PM UTC

 

George W. Bush: 'It is time for America to examine our tragic failures'

763d ago / 9:50 PM UTC

Former President George W. Bush released a lengthy statement on Tuesday calling on the country to listen to black Americans and “examine our tragic failures.”

“It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future," he wrote in a lengthy statement. "This tragedy — in a long series of similar tragedies — raises a long overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society?”

Bush called on people to listen to “grieving” African Americans, saying it was critical to seeing the country's reality honestly and improving on it. 

Bush did not speak out publicly on police killings during his two terms as president, despite two major cases, according to the New York Times. And he did not reference policy brutality specifically, instead speaking of racism and that black Americans "are harassed and threatened in their own country."

Click here for the full story.

'Exhausting, traumatizing': Minneapolis protests push peace amid police confrontations

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763d ago / 9:44 PM UTC

MINNEAPOLIS — Ashley Phelps and Ahmad Eltawely developed a fast bond on Saturday night while fleeing tear gas and running from advancing police who were macing protesters.

They had met for the first time earlier in the day at a peaceful protest and sit-in with thousands of demonstrators who were not involved in the burning of businesses and a police station on previous nights, said Eltawely, who had a microphone and passed it around for people to speak.

“That’s not a demonstration," he said of the violence. Instead, their sit-in "was so peaceful to the point we wouldn’t even allow anybody to yell out any chants that were anti-police."

But less than an hour after the 8 p.m curfew passed on Saturday, a wall of Minnesota State Patrol officers warned the crowd to disperse or face arrests. The officers then immediately began advancing into the crowd, using tear gas and pepper spray and filling the streets with smoke. People were seen running, throwing up and crying as police fanned out. Shots rang out in the distance.

“We were running from the cops attacking us,” said Phelps, 32, who earlier had led the crowd in the sit-in.

Read the full story here.

Clip of Biden blasting apartheid in 1986 goes viral amid broader race conversation

763d ago / 8:47 PM UTC

A decades-old video clip of Joe Biden went viral Tuesday showing the then-senator angrily blasting South Africa’s apartheid system and tearing into the Reagan administration over not taking a stronger position against it.

The two-minute clip, from a July 23, 1986, Senate hearing involving George Schultz, Reagan’s secretary of state at the time, made the rounds on Twitter Tuesday, during a time where the conversation over racism, civil rights, protesting and police brutality has sizzled following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

“Damn it, we have favorites in South Africa. The favorites in South Africa are the people who are being repressed by that ugly white regime,” Biden, then a Democratic U.S. senator from Delaware, is seen saying. “Our loyalty is not to South Africa, it’s to South Africans. And the South Africans are majority black. And they are being excoriated,” adds Biden, pounding his fist.

He then praises black South African citizens for rising up in opposition to the racist apartheid policy, noting that it was their last resort.

“They’re rising to with the only thing left available to them, with that repulsive, repugnant regime,” Biden says in the video. “They tried everything for the last 20 years. They begged, they borrowed, they crawled, and now they're taking up arms.”

“These people are being crushed, and we’re sitting here with the same kind of rhetoric,” he said.

Reagan’s administration was notoriously patient with the South African regime. Reagan himself vetoed the Comprehensive Apartheid Act, which put in place economic sanctions against South Africa over its apartheid policy. The veto, however, was overridden in both the House and the Senate.

Houston march begins with moment of silence

763d ago / 8:46 PM UTC

HOUSTON — A march protesting George Floyd's death drew thousands of people to downtown Houston on Tuesday afternoon. 

It started with 30 seconds of silence, as protesters dropped to one knee and raised their fists in Discovery Green, a public park. The protesters then began marching toward City Hall. 

Floyd grew up in Houston, and his relatives and friends joined Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rep. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in leading the march. 

NYPD union head says Chauvin 'was not a police officer — he was a criminal'

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763d ago / 8:43 PM UTC

The president of New York City’s largest police union says that the officer who is charged with the murder of George Floyd “was not a police officer — he was a criminal.”

Patrick Lynch, who heads the NYC Police Benevolent Association, has been an outspoken leader of the union that represents patrol officers for the largest police department in the United States and offered a very rare rebuke of another officer over misconduct. 

Lynch, who criticized the NYPD’s decision to fire the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, says of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, “there is no one that is defending him at all in the New York City Police Department or law  enforcement as a whole.”

 

Ben & Jerry’s issues strong statement regarding the death of George Floyd

763d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

In a statement posted on its website on Tuesday titled “We Must Dismantle White Supremacy,” Ben & Jerry’s expressed its outrage over the death of George Floyd, saying it supported demonstrators who have gathered around the country to protest his death. 

The ice cream company wrote that Floyd’s death was “the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy” and that the officers involved in his death needed to be held responsible. 

Ben & Jerry’s also said in its statement Tuesday that specific action needed to be taken in response to Floyd’s death, calling for Congress to pass a bill that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination and the creation a national task force that would draft legislation aimed at ending racial violence and increasing accountability for police departments. 

Five years after Freddie Gray unrest, Baltimore sets an example for peaceful protests

763d ago / 8:28 PM UTC

BALTIMORE -- As cities across America burned in recent days, there was a notable omission from those facing curfews, mass arrests, arson and police brutality: Baltimore.

The Maryland city is no stranger to racial tensions, having experienced civil unrest after the 2015 police custody death of Freddie Gray. But demonstrations for George Floyd over the past four days have been largely peaceful, with no curfews issued and Monday’s youth-led march drawing more than 1,000 participants on the eve of Baltimore’s consequential mayoral primary election.

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Tuesday, “I’m proud that Baltimore is showing the nation how we can begin to build a more perfect union.”

“We had thousands of people out expressing their very legitimate and real frustrations and anger but peacefully, working together in cooperation,” he told a local radio station.

Read the full story here.

Protester in Manhattan talks about the burden of enabling change

763d ago / 8:16 PM UTC

Monica Williamson, a resident of New York City, came to the protests at Foley Square in Manhattan on Tuesday. While she was there to stand in solidarity, she said that as a black woman she was not responsible for changing the system or providing answers.

The burden of enabling change lies with those who have the power to create it, Williamson said.

“Is this my fight alone? No, no. Vote, get these folks out of office who perpetuate this system. Stop being afraid of losing your sense of comfort. Because if you operate from a position of greed and hyper-paranoia then there is no shot of equality. There won’t ever be enough for everyone.” 

Protesters in lower Manhattan kneel in the middle of 23rd St between 3rd Ave and Park as part of a march on the afternoon of June 2, 2020.
Protesters in lower Manhattan kneel in the middle of 23rd St between 3rd Ave and Park as part of a march on the afternoon of June 2, 2020.Phil McCausland / NBC News

State of Minnesota files civil rights charge against Minneapolis Police Department

763d ago / 8:13 PM UTC

The state of Minnesota launched a sweeping civil rights probe into the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday, a week after an officer allegedly killed a black man during an arrest, officials said.

The probe, stemming from the death of George Floyd, will be designed to root out "systemic racism that is generations deep," Gov. Tim Walz told reporters.

"The Minnesota of Department of Human Rights is filing a commissioner's charge of discrimination and launch a civil right investigation against the Minneapolis Police Department," Walz said.

Read the full story here.

Protesters on horseback arrive at Houston march

763d ago / 8:09 PM UTC

HOUSTON — An urban trail riding club, Nonstop Riders, arrived at a downtown Houston march Tuesday afternoon to protest George Floyd's death. 

Image: Marcus Johnson
Marcus Johnson.Mike Hixenbaugh / NBC News

Marcus Johnson, of Houston’s Fifth Ward, raised his fist in the air. “We’re here representing for all our black brothers and sisters," he said. 

The mounted protesters planned to join thousands more on foot as they made their way from Discovery Green, a public park, to City Hall. 

763d ago / 8:03 PM UTC

Protesters rally against racial injustice, police brutality in France

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763d ago / 7:49 PM UTC

Protesters in France defied a coronavirus-related police ban on large gatherings Tuesday to demonstrate against racial injustice and police brutality as outrage over George Floyd’s death in the United States rippled throughout the world.

Video footage posted on social media showed people peacefully congregating in the French capital on Tuesday evening to show solidarity with U.S. protesters and to denounce the death of Adama Traore, a black man in French custody four years ago. Reports from the ground in Paris said tear gas had been fired to disperse the protest. Local media also reported that tear gas had been fired at another protest in Lyon.

   

Signs reflected those thousands of miles away in the United States, including “Black Lives matter” and “without justice there is no peace.”

763d ago / 7:37 PM UTC

MAP: Nationwide outrage following George Floyd's death

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763d ago / 7:11 PM UTC
Protest map

See the growing list of cities here.

From St. John's Episcopal Church to pandemic response, Trump is co-opting religion to keep the religious right on his side

763d ago / 7:00 PM UTC

This week, as protests swelled across the country after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, President Donald Trump had federal law enforcement deploy flash bangs, tear gas and rubber bullets to clear citizens peacefully protesting in Lafayette Square, so that he could have a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Though the moment was condemned by the Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop for the Diocese of Washington, for using “a Bible and a church of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for," it wasn't Budde's parishioners who Trump was signaling. The moment was crafted for people like his ally Robert Jeffress, a pastor who opined that Trump's stance in front of St. John's was about "demonstrating his intent to protect churches from those who would try to destroy them."

From the beginning of the pandemic, Trump has sought not to "protect" liberal churches like St. John's, but to cement support from his evangelical base embittered that stay-at-home orders have prevented them from meeting in person. And in so doing he has signaled to his supporters on the religious right that his paeans to "religious freedom" apply only to Christians who continue to support his presidency through every calamitous turn.

Read the full story here.

763d ago / 6:19 PM UTC

New poll: Majority believe anger that led to George Floyd protests justified

763d ago / 6:17 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans say that the anger that has led to nationwide protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd is justified, and nearly six-in-ten now say that police officers are more likely to use excessive force against a black person than a white one when faced with a dangerous situation, according to a new Monmouth poll.  

The poll finds that  57 percent of Americans believe that protestors’ anger is “fully justified,” while another 21 percent say it is “partially justified.”  Just 18 percent say the anger motivating the protests is not justified at all. 

The public expresses more ambivalence about specific actions taken in those protests, which have included the burning of a police precinct as well as looting in major cities. Just 17 percent said protestors’ actions are “fully” justified, although another 37 percent say they are “partially” justified. 

The poll also notably found a jump in the public’s belief that black people face unequal treatment at the hands of police. Fifty-seven percent — including 87 percent of black Americans and 49 percent of white Americans — say that police are more likely to use excessive force with a black person than with a white person in the same situation. That’s up from just a third of Americans who said the same in a Monmouth poll of registered voters in 2016. 

Additionally, three-quarters of Americans — 76 percent — now say racial discrimination is a major problem in America, up from 68 percent in 2016. 

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in the new survey shows 42 percent of the public approving and 54 percent disapproving. That’s a downtick — although within the poll’s margin of error — from a 43 percent to 51 percent split in May. 

The Monmouth poll was conducted from May 28 to June 1 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Tiffany Trump posts black square to Instagram in support of George Floyd

763d ago / 5:51 PM UTC

President Donald Trump's daughter, Tiffany Trump, posted a black square to her Instagram feed on Tuesday, joining a social media movement that condemns the police killing of George Floyd.

She captioned the post with a quote from Helen Keller — "Alone we can achieve so little; together we can achieve so much" — and added the hashtags #blackouttuesday, referring to the name of the social media movement, and #justiceforgeorgefloyd.

The post comes one day after President Trump threatened to deploy military troops if states couldn't contain protests that have been taking place in cities nationwide in response to police brutality and systemic racism.

Tiffany Trump is the youngest of the president's four adult children, and his only child with second wife Marla Maples. A recent law school graduate, Tiffany Trump, 26, has had noticeably less involvement in her father's business and political ventures than her older siblings Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.

Reactions to her Instagram post were mixed, with some commenters vowing to unfollow her and others commending her for taking a stronger stance in the matter than the president has. "Maybe you could try to explain this to your father," one person wrote.

George Floyd's family was told other officers 'will be charged' following autopsy results, lawyer says

763d ago / 5:28 PM UTC

The attorney for George Floyd's family, Ben Crump, said Tuesday that authorities have told them the other three officers involved in the detainment that preceded his death will be charged.

Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes as he exclaimed "I can't breathe," has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers involved in the incident, two of whom restrained Floyd's lower body and one of whom stood by as the horrific scene unfolded, have been fired but not charged.

"We heard that they expect to charge those officers," Crump said on the "TODAY" show Tuesday. "And now with the autopsy, the independent autopsy from the family that pays particular attention to the two knees at the back compressing his lungs, which is equally important as the neck compression cutting off the flow of air ... they will be charged, we understand. That is what the families are hearing from the authorities."

"He was dying for breath," Crump said.

Read the full story here.

Floyd family lawyer says Biden will attend Floyd funeral

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763d ago / 5:24 PM UTC

Former Vice President Joe Biden will attend the funeral of George Floyd next Tuesday, a lawyer for the the Floyd family said Tuesday.

"We understand Vice President Biden will be in attendance," Benjamin Crump, the Floyd family's attorney, said during a video conference streamed on Facebook.

Multiple services in multiple states are being planned to honor Floyd, but Biden would attend the private funeral service in Houston on Tuesday, June 9, at 11 a.m., Crump said.

Biden campaign officials did not immediately respond to questions from NBC News about whether Biden would be attending the funeral.

Memorials planned for George Floyd in North Carolina, Texas and Minnesota

763d ago / 5:01 PM UTC

George Floyd, who was born in North Carolina, lived in Texas and died in Minnesota, will be formally memorialized in all three places in the coming days.

A memorial service for Floyd will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Minneapolis’ Trask Word and Worship Center at North Central University. Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at this service. Sharpton, the longtime leader off the National Action Network, a civil rights organization, is an outspoken public advocate of increased police accountability, as well as the host of MSNBC's "PoliticsNation."

A second memorial will be held for Floyd in North Carolina on Saturday. Details were not immediately available Wednesday morning.

On Monday, a viewing of Floyd’s body, an African American funeral tradition and effort to create space for public mourning during a pandemic, will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the Fountain of Grace Church in Houston. Several members of Floyd’s family attend the Houston megachurch. A funeral service for Floyd will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, at the same worship space. Access will be limited due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Viral rumors about bricks meant to encourage protest shown to be false

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763d ago / 4:49 PM UTC

Social media posts of piles of bricks have gone viral in recent days, with unfounded claims that they are being placed around cities in an effort to foment violence during protests.

But analysis by NBC News' Verification Unit found no evidence for such claims. 

Images of piles of bricks across the country have been posted: from a suburb of Minneapolis, to Tacoma, Washington, and San Francisco. 

Video of police in Boston unloading bricks from a vehicle has been viewed millions of times. The person who first posted it has since taken it down, saying she can’t be sure whether it does indeed show officers leaving the bricks at a protest site as she first suggested. That hasn’t stopped others repeating the claim. NBC News’ has now verified the footage shows the police unloading the bricks at the police station. 

Bricks at a Dallas parking lot
NBC News' Verification Unit geolocated the photos and tracked down the bricks to a Dallas parking lot. They have been there for months, close to a construction site, and can be seen in an image on Google Maps Street View from February.Google Maps

Some photos, like this one in Dallas, claim the police left the bricks there to encourage a riot that they could then clamp down on.

NBC News’ Verification Unit geolocated the photos and tracked down the bricks to a Dallas parking lot. They have been there for months, close to a construction site, and can be seen in an image on Google Maps Street View from February.

Another post in Frisco, TX asked “Anyone know why these random piles of bricks keep showing up near protest sites??? Someone is funding the rioting.” The local police later put out a tweet saying they’d investigated, the bricks were for a planned construction project, and they’ve been removed.  

Unsubstantiated claims about bricks come as conspiracy theories about efforts to foment protests have spread on social media. 

Bricks have been thrown during some protests, including video that appears to show a police officer being hit by a brick. There is also video that shows a woman who gives back a brick that was handed out by someone from a passing car. She doesn’t know the people in the car and she shouts angrily at them to stop putting people’s lives in danger. 

But there is no evidence that piles of bricks have been strategically placed in U.S. cities to encourage protest violence.

D.C. police response to George Floyd protests prompts alarm abroad

763d ago / 4:46 PM UTC

America's allies and adversaries can't believe what they are witnessing unfold in Washington, D.C. — a police officer punching an Australian cameraman and using his shield to strike him in the chest, while another officer uses a baton to hit the correspondent as the news crew attempts to flee.

Violent, chaotic scenes like this have been seen elsewhere around the globe — but other countries are reacting with horror as they are not used to seeing them in the heart of the U.S. capital.

"With all of its shortcomings, the U.S. has stood for many ideals we dearly share," said Ziya Meral, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank. "Now we are witnessing an America spiraling down into chaos, poor governance, social friction, poor policing and poor leadership."

"The city on a hill no longer inspires or shines," added Meral, who specializes in foreign affairs and Middle East politics, in a reference to President Ronald Reagan's soaring 1989 farewell address.

Read the full story here.

Cuomo: The NYPD and NYC mayor did not do their job Monday night

763d ago / 4:40 PM UTC

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday criticized the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the law enforcement response to looting and vandalism in parts of New York City on Monday night.

"The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night," Cuomo said at a news conference. "I believe that."

The NYPD is the largest police department in the United States, the governor said, adding, "I don't believe they have used enough police to address the situation." 

The governor said multiple times that the city's police force has 38,000 members. According to the NYPD's website, it employs about 36,000 officers.

Cuomo said the NYPD has protected the city before in similar situations.

"I've seen them do it before. I know they can do it because I have seen them do it," he said. "They did not do it last night, but I believe in the inherent capacity of the NYPD if managed and deployed."

He added, "That's what I think hasn't worked and that has to be fixed and it has to be fixed today. Stop the looting. I do believe that the NYPD well-deployed would not need the National Guard."

6 Atlanta officers charged after students pulled from car

763d ago / 4:12 PM UTC

ATLANTA — Six Atlanta police officers have been charged over excessive use of force during a protest arrest incident involving two college students, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges during a news conference.

The Saturday night incident first gained attention from video online and on local news.

Five of the officers are charged with aggravated assault, in addition to other charges. Two of the officers, Investigator Ivory Streeter and Investigator Mark Gardner, were fired earlier this week.

Bottoms said the woman, Taniyah Pilgrim, was released without charges. She said the man, Messiah Young, was released, too, and she’s ordering the charges against him dropped. She didn’t specify what charges he faced. A police report says Young was charged with attempting to elude police and driving with a suspended license.

What is a president's authority to send in federal troops?

763d ago / 4:10 PM UTC

President Donald Trump has vowed to use the U.S. military to quell the riots and unrest across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death if cities or states "refuse to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents.”

But what is the president's authority to send in troops?

The Constitution says Congress has the power "to provide for the calling forth of the militia ... to suppress insurrections," and it has given that authority to the president in various forms since 1792.

As currently worded, the Insurrection Act allows the president to call up the active military or federalize the national guard under three circumstances.

Read more about Trump's Insurrection Act authorities.

45 percent of registered voters say Trump’s handling of the protests is 'poor'

763d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

In a new poll released by market research company Morning Consult, voters were asked between May 31 and June 1 in an online poll how thought they President Trump was handling the protests and demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities in response to the killing of George Floyd.

21 percent of registered voters responded “excellent" or “very good,” 22 percent responded “good” or “only fair” and 45 percent responded “poor.” 12 percent of responded said they didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.

Among African Americans polled, 69 percent rated the president’s handling of the protests “poor.”

NYC curfew extended for rest of the week

763d ago / 3:12 PM UTC

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. citywide curfew would be extended through Sunday, June 7.

Extra police officers would be added to monitor protests where needed and to work "actively and strategically to stop any disorder," de Blasio said.

"If you choose to protest today, do it in daytime hours and then please go home because we have work to do this evening to keep a peaceful city," de Blasio said. He added that he worried more days of protests increased the potential for greater coronavirus spread. 

Joe Biden: Floyd's final words 'I can't breathe' are a wake-up call 'for all of us'

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763d ago / 2:43 PM UTC

PHILADELPHIA — Joe Biden on Tuesday praised the nationwide peaceful protests to the death of George Floyd, calling his killing in police custody a "wake-up call for our nation" and drawing a stark contrast between President Donald Trump's tactics and how he would respond.

In a speech from Philadelphia City Hall, Biden repeated Floyd's final words before he died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes — and said it was time "to listen to those words ... and respond with action."

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. George Floyd’s last words," the apparent 2020 Democratic presidential nominee said. "But they didn’t die with him. They’re still being heard. They’re echoing across this nation."

Read the full story here.

Washington resident houses dozens of protesters who cops wanted to arrest for breaking curfew

763d ago / 2:17 PM UTC

Dozens of protestors took refuge in a Washington resident’s home over night after police boxed them in and tried to arrest them for violating curfew.

One protester, who goes by Meka, said on Twitter that police surrounded the group of peaceful protesters and started hitting and macing them on Monday evening. A local resident, Rahul Dubey, took the protesters into his home, and let them stay there until curfew let up the next morning as police continued to arrest people outside. Video posted by Meka, who confirmed the account to NBC News, also showed another neighbor letting protesters into their home.

“I hope they continue to fight and I hope they go out there today peacefully as they did yesterday,” Dubey said of the protesters on ABC 7 News Tuesday morning. “Our country needs them and needs you and everybody more than ever right now.”

Police chief says officers ‘will be disciplined’ after tear gas deployed in Richmond, VA

763d ago / 1:54 PM UTC

Police officers have been pulled from the field after “unwarranted use” of tear gas on demonstrators, Richmond Police Department said in a statement

Footage shared on social media showed demonstrators running away from Monument Avenue as smoke engulfed Robert E. Lee Monument Monday evening. Demonstrators claim that the gas was deployed fifteen minutes before curfew. 

Richmond Police Department Chief William Smith apologized and said that officers “will be disciplined because their actions were outside department protocols and directions given”.

Shootings on Las Vegas Strip leave one dead and a police officer injured

763d ago / 1:44 PM UTC

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed Tuesday morning that it was investigating two shooting incidents that took place on Monday night. The first was an officer-involved shooting that occurred after a man carrying firearms and appearing to be wearing body armor approached local  and federal officers guarding the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse on the Las Vegas Strip from protesters.

The department said that officers engaged with the man after he reached for a firearm, and the man was struck by gunfire. He was then transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Videos filmed near the courthouse showed a man who appeared to be wearing body armor walking toward the building, while gunfire can be heard in another video. 

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that an officer was gravely injured in a separate shooting when attempting to disperse a large crowd of protesters in front of the Circus Circus hotel, also on the Strip. Lombardo said that a suspect had been identified and taken into custody.

About 700 arrests made in NYC, NYPD Sgt. struck by car

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763d ago / 1:31 PM UTC

Around 700 people were arrested as a result of looting and destroying property during Monday night's protest in New York City, a New York Police Department spokesperson told NBC News.

The Midtown and Union Square areas in Manhattan and Fordham Road section of the Bronx were particularly hard hit.

An NYPD sergeant who was run over by a car in the Bronx has serious injuries and is expected to survive. 

763d ago / 1:24 PM UTC

Confederate monuments removed or defaced in several cities amid unrest

763d ago / 1:20 PM UTC

Confederate monuments and statues across the U.S. have been removed or defaced amid unrest over the killing of George Floyd in recent days, putting the nation's fraught and contentious history in the spotlight.

In some cases, Confederate symbols have been removed by city officials or owners.

  • The statue of a Confederate soldier in Alexandria, Virginia, was taken down Tuesday morning and reportedly will be moved elsewhere by its owners, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, according to NBC Washington.
  • The mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, ordered the removal of the 115-year-old Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Linn Park on Monday, one day after protesters there defaced it, according to The New York Times.

In other cases, symbols of the Confederacy or racist historical figures were targeted by people who participated in protests and demonstrations. 

  • The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, was graffitied on Sunday, covered in phrases such as "No More White Supremacy," "Blood On Your Hands" and "Black Lives Matter," according to The Washington Post.
  • The statue of Edward Carmack, an early 1900s Tennessee politician who espoused racist views and denigrated the civil rights journalist Ida B. Wells, was toppled by protesters in Nashville on Saturday.

Chinese state newspaper calls U.S. handling of protests 'ruthless'

763d ago / 12:56 PM UTC

The editor-in-chief of a Chinese state newspaper, a mouthpiece of the country's ruling Communist Party, has called the U.S. handling of the mass protests sparked by the death of George Floyd "ruthless," saying American authorities showed zero tolerance for unrest at home despite supporting protests in other countries.

"How ruthless these US politicians are!" wrote Hu Xijin in an op-ed in the paper on Tuesday. "They talk about humanity, justice, and morality all the time. They condemned Hong Kong police simply for the latter's use of tear gas and water cannon against violent rioters. The U.S. unrest just began a few days ago, but police already fired shots at protesters before efforts for peaceful dialogue were even made."

The Chinese government has been accused by many countries, including the U.S., of violently cracking down on protesters in Hong Kong during last year's months-long demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill. Human rights groups have raised alarms about peaceful protesters in Hong Kong having been attacked with tear gas and batons, arrested under vague charges and beaten in custody.

Hu alluded to President Donald Trump's announcement Monday that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots across the country if state officials are unable to contain protest violence, saying U.S. politicians can't tolerate domestic unrest. 

"When riot breaks out in the U.S., they want to use all means necessary, and cannot stand the loss of order for even one more day," he added. 

'Blackout Tuesday' hits music industry, social media for day of reflection

763d ago / 12:45 PM UTC

Social media users filled feeds on Tuesday with blacked-out images as part of what is being called "Blackout Tuesday."

It's not clear when the movement, spearheaded by two black women in the music industry as a way to pause and reflect, became associated with the black boxes, which have become most prominent on Instagram. 

Jamila Thomas, senior director of marketing at Atlantic Records, and Brianna Agyemang, a former Atlantic executive, birthed the concept after posting to Instagram that the music industry had to reflect on what was happening to Black and brown people in America, according to The Verge

Because of Thomas and Agyemang, many participating in Blackout Tuesday are using the hashtag "TheShowMustBePaused."

They've also created the website "The Show Must Be Paused," which explains that the industry "will not continue to conduct business as usual without regard for Black lives."

"Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of black people accountable. To that end, it is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower the black communities that have made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent," the pair states on the website.

Major labels, streaming services, radio stations, musicians and other players in the music industry, such as Columbia Records, Atlantic Records, Spotify and others had pledged participation in the movement.

While "Blackout Tuesday" is labeled as a day meant to "intentionally disrupt the work week" and inspire reflection and hold the music industry "accountable," its specific goal is unclear, according to Rolling Stone. "The Show Must Be Paused" said a long-term initiative would be announced.

Additionally, on social media, participants urged those posting black squares not to include the hashtag "BlackLivesMatter" as that tag is used to distribute information and the black boxes could potentially drown that information out. 

A calmer night in Atlanta

763d ago / 12:14 PM UTC

Australian TV crew struck by police during protest outside White House

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763d ago / 11:38 AM UTC

A news director of an Australian TV network whose reporter and cameraman were struck by police during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C., on Monday called the incident "nothing short of wanton thuggery."

Channel 7 News U.S. correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myer were filming live amid the protests outside the White House when police began moving the crowd. An officer hit Myer with a shield and punched him. Brace also appears to have been struck by a baton.

“They weren’t in anyone’s way just simply doing their job," Craig McPherson, network director of news at 7 Network Australia, said in a statement. Brace later told the station she and Myer were OK, but sore, as they were also hit by rubber bullets. "We'll have a few bruises tomorrow," she said, adding that they now feel safe. 

McPherson said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has informed them that he has been in touch with the Australian Embassy in Washington to have the matter urgently investigated. NBC News has reached out to Morrison's office for further comment, but has not heard back. 

The U.S. Embassy in Australia's capital, Canberra, issued a statement on Twitter Tuesday, saying it takes "mistreatment of journalists seriously."

763d ago / 11:34 AM UTC

White House releases video of Trump walking to church set to triumphant music

763d ago / 11:09 AM UTC

The White House released a video of President Donald Trump striding to fire-damaged St. John's Episcopal Church set to triumphant music after a speech in which he said that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots across the country.

While Trump spoke, sirens wailed and flashbang grenades popped across the street where police backed by the National Guard stormed into a peaceful protest being held before curfew outside the White House. But the video posted by the White House on Twitter contains no images of the violence, and instead shows Trump striding — accompanied by members of his administration and the military — to the church where he held a Bible and posed for photos.   

The Episcopal bishop of Washington blasted Trump on Monday night, saying it was "deeply offensive" for him to use the St. John's "as a backdrop and the Bible as a prop" for a photo-op.

Police shot, hit by vehicles in George Floyd protests

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763d ago / 10:58 AM UTC

Police officers were among those injured across the U.S. overnight amid continuing protests and violence sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.

Four officers in St. Louis, Missouri, were shot after a peaceful protest turned violent in the early hours Tuesday. Two officers were hit in the leg, one in the foot and one in the arm, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Commissioner Col. John W. Hayden said during a news conference.

"Some coward fired shots at officers," he said. "Thankfully, they're alive. They're alive."

Read the full story here.

763d ago / 10:53 AM UTC

E.U. foreign policy chief says he's 'appalled' by Floyd's death

763d ago / 10:49 AM UTC

The European Union is "shocked and appalled" by the death of George Floyd in police custody, the bloc's top diplomat said on Tuesday, calling it "an abuse of power" and warning against further excessive use of force.

"Like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd ... all societies must remain vigilant against the excessive use of force," Josep Borrell, the E.U.'s foreign policy chief, told reporters.

Borrell called Floyd's death a "very, very unhappy" one and said it showed "an abuse of power" by law enforcement. "We condemn racism of any kind ... we trust in the ability of the Americans to come together, to heal as a nation."

NYPD officer hit by car in the Bronx

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763d ago / 10:06 AM UTC

A New York police officer was hit by a car in the Bronx early on Tuesday, the NY Police Department confirmed after a video of the incident was posted on social media. However, it's unclear from the video whether the police officer was intentionally targeted.

The New York Police Department told NBC News that the officer was hit by a black sedan when he got out of an unmarked car while checking reports of break-ins in the neighborhood.

Video footage on Twitter (warning: contains profanity) appears to show the moment the officer was struck. The sedan fled the scene, the department said.

NYPD said the officer was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, but is in stable condition. No arrests have been made. 

763d ago / 9:42 AM UTC

St. Louis police say 4 officers hit by gunfire amid violent protests

763d ago / 6:49 AM UTC

Four police officers were struck by gunfire in St. Louis amid violence that followed protests, police said early Tuesday. None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening and all the officers were conscious, police said. They have been taken to area hospitals.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Commissioner John W. Hayden said at a news conference that the four officers were near a police line when they felt pain and realized they were injured. People had pelted officers with rocks and fireworks throughout the night, he said, and looted stores.

"I believe some coward randomly shot at the police line," Hayden said. Two officers were hit in the leg, one in the foot and one in the arm, Hayden said, adding that police have not made any arrests, and did not immediately know if there was a single shooter or more than one. 

ACLU urges governments to ignore Trump comments on military

763d ago / 6:10 AM UTC

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday urged governors, mayors and police chiefs to ignore President Donald Trump's comments on using the military amid violent protests on cities across the country.

"This country does not need authoritarian tactics like military intervention to silence dissent," the ACLU said in a statement. "It needs the political will to dismantle the deep-seated racism and inequity that permeates our institutions — especially our police departments."

"Governors, mayors, and police chiefs would do well to heed and hear the voices of the protesters, while ignoring the words of Donald Trump," he ACLU said.

Trump in a Rose Garden address earlier Monday said in part: "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."

The National Guard has been activated by several governors in order to support law enforcement in violence amid protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Curfews have been imposed in some areas.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted: "The president is calling out the American military against American citizens" and said that peaceful protests were forced back so that the president could have what Cuomo called a "photo op at a church."

"It's all just a reality TV show for this president," Cuomo, a Democrat, wrote. "Shameful." New York City has seen violent clashes and vandalism  amid protests over Floyd's death. To activate the military to operate in the U.S., Trump would have to invoke the 213-year-old Insurrection Act. 

Committee to Protect Journalists: 125 press freedom infringements since Friday

763d ago / 5:58 AM UTC

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

763d ago / 5:56 AM UTC

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.

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

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764d ago / 4:45 AM UTC

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.