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.

Download the NBC News app for the latest updates.

Ella Jones elected first black mayor of Ferguson nearly six years after death of Michael Brown

In the midst of widespread civil unrest in the United States after the police killing of George Floyd comes a spark of hope.

Ella Jones was elected on Tuesday as the first female and black Mayor of Ferguson — the St. Louis suburb where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed almost six years ago. 

Brown's death sparked protests in 2014, solidified the nascent Black Lives Matter movement, and put Ferguson under the national spotlight.

Jones, 65, beat fellow council member Heather Robinett in Tuesday's non-partisan election for a three-year term, which starts later this month.

Retired black officer David Dorn killed by looters in St. Louis, police say

David Dorn, a retired black police captain in St. Louis, died during widespread unrest on Tuesday.

Dorn, 77, was "murdered last night by a looter," while guarding a pawn shop, city officials told reporters, adding that surveillance tools would be used to identify the criminals.  

St. Louis' "Ethical Society of Police," founded in 1972 by black officers to address corruption and racial discrimination, mourned the captain's loss. 

"He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to. Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer. RIP Captain!" the organization tweeted.

President Trump also offered his condolences to Dorn's family. Tweeting that Dorn had been "viciously shot and killed by despicable looters." Trump also shared a memorial fund set up for Dorn's family, which had raised over $150,000 Wednesday morning. 

Separately in St. Louis, four officers were shot at on Tuesday after a peaceful protest turned violent. 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 at a news conference.

Officers in Las Vegas and New York had also been critically wounded and injured during ongoing civil unrest, officials said.

Read the full story here.

'What is this, a banana republic?': Pelosi unloads on Trump over gassing of protesters outside White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed dismay Wednesday at what happened outside the White House on Monday evening when security forces used tear gas and flash bangs against a crowd of peaceful demonstrators to clear the area for the president.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pelosi said that her daughter Alexandra, a filmmaker and journalist, was at the scene that night and called her mom to tell her about what she had witnessed.

“She said, 'Mom, you wouldn't even believe it. These people were demonstrating peacefully. And all of a sudden, this barrage of security came through using clubs to beat people and these explosive scat little bullets that explode into stuff that burns your eyes,’” the speaker said.

“What is this, a banana republic?” Pelosi added.

See what else Pelosi said.

As protests continue, so does the coronavirus

WASHINGTON — As the country turned its attention to one crisis, it turned away from another.

In the last 24 hours, there were nearly 20,000 confirmed coronavirus cases inside the United States, as well as more than 1,000 reported deaths — bringing the total to nearly 107,000 Americans killed by the virus.

And the question becomes: Is the lack of social distancing in cities across the country going to lead to a spike in new cases?

Read more here.

A protester wears a surgical mask with "Black Lives Matter" written on the front in Seattle./Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

 

U.S. legislatures slow to limit use of force

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A wave of police killings of young black men in 2014 prompted 24 states to quickly pass some type of law enforcement reform, but many declined to address the most glaring issue: police use of force. Six years later, only about a third of states have passed laws on the question.

The issue is at the heart of nationwide protests set off by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes while he pleaded for air.

Now, some lawmakers and governors are hoping to harness the renewed wave of anger to push through changes on the use of force they couldn't manage after 2014, a year that included the deaths at the hands of police of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.

“We’re absolutely at a point in time where we have to do more,” said Maryland state Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat who will chair a working group announced this week that will take up use-of-force standards for that state.

Read more about state-level action on use of force.

Barack Obama to make first on-screen comments on George Floyd

Former President Barack Obama will on Wednesday make his first on-screen comments about the killing of George Floyd while in police custody and subsequent unrest.

Obama is expected to speak at 5 p.m. ET in a virtual town hall hosted by My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a program that is part of his charitable Obama Foundation. 

The discussion, entitled "Reimagining policing in the wake of continued police violence," will be livestreamed on Obama.org and will center around the recurrent problem of racial bias in the criminal justice system.

Last week the former president issued a statement on the killing, saying that such events "shouldn’t be normal in 2020 America." He later penned a longer essay on how to make this moment a "turning point" for change. 

 

Barack Obama speaks at a town hall with young European leaders in Berlin.John Macdougall / AFP via Getty Images file

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.