June 3 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.
Image: US-POLITICS-RACE-UNREST
Protesters hold up their hands during a demonstration outside the White House on June 3, 2020.Eric Baradat / AFP - Getty Images

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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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U.K. police chiefs 'appalled' by Floyd death, say 'there is always more to do'

Police forces across Britain issued a joint statement of solidarity with protesters on Wednesday. 

"We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow," the statement said. "The relationship between the police and the public in the U.K. is strong, but there is always more to do."

In 2011, British police shot and killed Mark Duggan, who was black, in London. An inquest found the police had acted lawfully but Duggan's death sparked a wave of rioting in 2011 in the worst civil unrest in the country in decades.

Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was called out by the opposition Labour Party leader Kier Starmer for not speaking out sooner on the death of George Floyd, during weekly questions in Parliament. 

Starmer urged Johnson to convey the "U.K.'s abhorrence" over the killing, when he next spoke to President Donald Trump. Johnson then said that Floyd's death was "appalling" and "inexcusable," and that he was "happy to look into any complaints" over the export of riot equipment from Britain to the United States.

Fiery clashes at huge Paris protest against police violence

Outrage over George Floyd’s death in the United States has rippled throughout the world, prompting messages of solidarity from far-flung countries and people to reflect on racial injustice and police violence in their own societies.

In France, Floyd’s death has reignited anger over the death of Adama Traoré, a black man who died in police custody four years ago, as well as decades of strained police relations with immigrant communities in Paris’ suburbs.

Thousands of French protesters defied a coronavirus-related ban on large gatherings on Tuesday evening to denounce Traoré’s death, speak out against racism and police violence and to pay homage to Floyd who died in custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Read the full story here.

U.K. cities turn out in solidarity with George Floyd protests

Protesters in the northern English city of Liverpool, home of the Beatles band, came out Tuesday in solidarity with demonstrations sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in the United States. 

In nearby Manchester, colorful murals of Floyd were painted in the town center and the city's historic Wythenshawe Hall was lit-up purple as a symbol of solidarity. "Manchester will always stand beside those who face inequality," city officials said online.

At least two separate protests are set to take place in the capital, London, on Wednesday, after protests there over the weekend.

Chicago to 'cautiously' restore access to its central business district, mayor says

Chicago will "cautiously" restore access and reopen its central business district and Loop area on Wednesday, the mayor's office said in a statement.

The area has been closed off for several days to everyone apart from local residents and workers to maintain public safety after protests against the police killing of George Floyd turned violent over the weekend, officials said. Some property in the area had been damaged by looting and unrest. 

"We will clean up these broken windows. But we can’t stop there. We must also repair and clean up our broken systems," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a press briefing on Tuesday. 

Train and bus services will be restored, and bridges reopened in the downtown area. But a citywide curfew will remain in place for all residents and visitors, effective from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. "until further notice," according to the mayor's office.

New York police say 200 protest-related arrests were made Tuesday

More than 200 protest-related arrests were made in New York city Tuesday night, the New York Police Department told NBC News' local affiliate, WNBC.

An 8.00 p.m. city-wide curfew is in place until June 8, excluding essential workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that "so far, the curfew is certainly helping." 

Demonstrators in the city marched along the Manhattan Bridge that leads to Brooklyn on Tuesday. Meanwhile, sections of Grand Central Terminal were boarded up and restaurants and shops remained closed.

After night fell, the Empire State Building also went dark "to recognize injustice in all its forms and all its victims," its owners said in a statement.

Pope Francis calls racism a 'sin,' and says he has 'great concern' over social unrest

Pope Francis called racism a sin and urged national reconciliation during his weekly general audience on Wednesday.Vatican Media / Reuters

Pope Francis said he had witnessed with "great concern" the social unrest sweeping the United States, calling racism intolerable and the recent violence "self-destructive and self-defeating." 

"My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form," he said at the Vatican in Rome on Wednesday.

The leader of the Catholic Church said he would pray for Floyd and all those who had lost their lives as a result of "the sin of racism" and urged Americans to move toward "national reconciliation and peace."

the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. 

German foreign minister warns that 'threatening with violence only triggers further violence'

Germany's Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas warned Wednesday that "threatening with violence only triggers further violence," in a series of tweets with the hashtag BlackLivesMatter.

He also warned that “democrats must never escalate — not even with words."

In a separate tweet posted on the German Foreign Office twitter feed, Maas called George Floyd's death "gruesome" and "shocking," and said the protests were "understandable and legitimate."

He also stressed that "journalists must be able to carry out their reporting duties without jeopardizing their security." On Tuesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said that at least 125 press freedom violations were reported by journalists across the U.S. between Friday and Monday.

 

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

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."