This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 4 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.
As protesters nationwide continued to hit the streets Wednesday, three more former Minneapolis police officers were charged in the death of George Floyd.
The three former officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, were charged with aiding and abetting murder, according to criminal complaints filed by the state of Minnesota. The murder charge against the fourth, Derek Chauvin, was also elevated to second-degree, from third-degree.
Curfews and arrests have done little to deter determined protesters in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Washington. Overall, however, demonstrations on Tuesday night and Wednesday have passed more peacefully than those held in previous days.
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Police in New Orleans use tear gas on crowds on highway bridge
New Orleans police said they used tear gas on protesters Wednesday night after crowds approached in an apparent attempt to cross a Crescent City Connection highway bridge.
Police tweeted that they were "compelled" to use the irritant "in response to escalating, physical confrontation with our officers."
Video from NBC affiliate WDSU showed tear gas billowing over the bridge and crowds retreating. Maria Singer, who was in the back of the crowd, told NOLA.com that some people panicked. "I wasn't scared of the tear gas as I was the stampede of people," she told the outlet. No injuries had been reported by police.
There was no violence reported by police in the incident. NOLA.com reported that almost everyone was peaceful but a handful of protesters were more aggressive and began pushing into the police line just before police used the tear gas.
Earlier Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards thanked the people of his state for holding peaceful demonstrations in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, avoiding the violence and property damage seen in other parts of the country.
Reverend who marched with MLK in 1962 reflects on protests
Black Lives Matter sues L.A., county over curfews
Black Lives Matter and a group that includes protesters and a journalist on Wednesday sued the city and county of Los Angeles and San Bernardino in a bid to end nightly curfews that were ordered as a reaction to raucous demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.
The federal suit, filed by the ACLU of Southern California, argues the curfews, imposed in the city of Los Angeles since May 30, violate the First Amendment as well as the Constitution’s protection of freedom of movement.
"They are attempting to suppress our ability to fully mobilize and focus full attention on the true issue of concern in the protests — police violence against Black people," Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of the L.A. chapter of Black Lives Matter, said in a statement.
The suit states that the curfews "have given police an excuse to commit violence against BLM-LA’s members and others who have joined in the protests."
It seeks an injunction against such curfews, a declaration that they are constitutionally unlawful, an end to enforcement of unlawful assembly arrests related to the curfews, attorneys' fees and "any other relief" the court might grant.
The mayor on Wednesday said that as long as there isn't additional looting or violence in Los Angeles associated with the protests, he would end the curfews, NBC LA reported.
Los Angeles looks to cut $150M in police funding, invest in communities 'left behind'
The mayor of Los Angeles, whose city has seen days of protest as well as some looting and violence, said Wednesday that the city is committed to identifying $250 million in cuts that he wants to spend on black communities and others he said have been left behind.
The police commission president said it is committed to working with others to identify between $100 million and $150 million in cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department budget.
"We've made cuts because of COVID-19," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "It's time to also make cuts because racial justice is something worth fighting for, and something worth sacrificing for."
Other changes eyed include requirements that police officers intervene when they see the inappropriate use of force; requirements that officers report misconduct immediately; and that a special prosecutor outside the district attorney's office will be appointed to prosecute officers who engage in misconduct.
Garcetti said he wants to spend the money investing in jobs, education and health in communities, and every department would be affected. There will also be an increase in police training, he said.
Armed troops remain at D.C. protest
Federal teams will help Minnesota investigate fires set during unrest
MINNEAPOLIS — The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sent a national response team to Minneapolis and St. Paul to help investigate fires set during unrest following the death of George Floyd.
Local and state authorities requested the team’s help in investigating about 100 business fires in Minneapolis and about 35 in St. Paul.
Special Agent in Charge William Henderson of the ATF’s St. Paul Field Division said in a statement Wednesday “the cause of these fires is quite obvious. The task at hand now is to determine who is responsible.”
The team arrived earlier this week.
Seattle protesters use umbrellas to guard against possible pepper spray
San Francisco to lift curfew Thursday
Minnesota AG cites 'additional evidence' in new charges in Floyd case
Biden campaign asks supporters to donate to NAACP
In the first official fundraising email of the month, the apparent Democratic presidential nominee's campaign expressed support for those questioning police uses of force against African Americans like Floyd.
"What we do in this moment in history will define us, and we must all answer this call to action," the campaign said. "That’s why we’re asking you to support the NAACP’s work to bring justice for George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been cut short by systemic racism today."
A previous email told supporters that the campaign is not sending fundraising emails to those living in cities that have seen days of protests over Floyd's death.
Army leadership acknowledges racial divisions within military
Racial divisions at the forefront of recent protests across the nation exist in the military as well and must be addressed, U.S. Army leadership said in a letter Wednesday.
"Just as we reflect the best of America, we reflect its imperfections as well," the letter, addressed to soldiers, civilians, family members and "soldiers for life" reads.
"We need to work harder to earn the trust of mothers and fathers who hesitate to hand their sons and daughters into our care," the message reads. "How we respond to the anger that has ignited will chart the course of that trust."
The message from Army leaders also reminds members that every soldier and Army civilian has sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution. "That includes the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances," the letter reads.
President Donald Trump has warned that active duty military may be used amid riots that have occurred in some cities.
Earlier Wednesday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper reversed his decision to send home some active-duty troops deployed to Washington, D.C.
During a news briefing Wednesday morning, he said that using active-duty military for law enforcement purposes "should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations," adding: "We are not in one of those situations now."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley issued a memo that the rights of assembly and speech are guaranteed. "We in uniform – all branches, all components, and all ranks – remain committed to our national values and principles embedded in the Constitution," the memo says.
Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, echoed that statement on Twitter Wednesday.