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

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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."

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

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

A somber protest at the Minneapolis intersection where Floyd died

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

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

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

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

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.

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?’

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

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

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

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.