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

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

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.

Experts say new charge in George Floyd case fits

As the murder case against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was upgraded from third-degree murder to "unintentional" second-degree murder Wednesdaym experts said the revised allegations appear to be appropriate in the death of George Floyd.

The upgraded charge comes with a maximum sentence of 40 years compared to 25 for third-degree murder.

University of Minnesota Law School Professor Susanna Blumenthal said the new count means prosecutors would have to prove that a felony assault led to death.

"Second-degree felony murder does not require proof of intent to kill," she said by email. "What the prosecutor would need to establish is that the officer caused death while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense, which has been charged in this case as assault in the third degree."

Read the whole story here.

George Floyd's death resonates in Chicago

CHICAGO — For many activists and community organizers, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer was a brutal reminder of Chicago's racial divide and history of police brutality against African Americans.

Many of those interactions also ended in death.

“Chicago has dealt with this over and over again,” said Carlil Pittman, founder of the youth-led anti-violence organization Good Kids Mad City. “This was literally the last straw not just in our city but for the whole black community in America. It's a repeated trauma to continuously watch police officers kill our black and brown brothers and sisters with no remedy for it taking place.”

Read the whole story here.

Over 60 charged in Los Angeles County with looting, other crimes

More than 60 people have been charged with looting and other crimes for incidents in Los Angeles County that occurred amid protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the district attorney said Wednesday.

Sixty-one people have been charged and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said it expects additional cases to be presented by law enforcement this week.

"A majority of the charges filed over the past two days have been for looting," the district attorney's office said in a statement. Other charges include assault and battery on police, robbery and possession of a destructive device.

Los Angeles and other cities in the county, including Santa Monica, have seen looting during protests following Floyd's death on May 25, although city officials have stressed that the majority of protesters have been peaceful.

At a police commission meeting on Tuesday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said there had been around 2,700 arrests, with around 2,500 of those for failure to disperse or curfew violations, since the unrest began. Then on Tuesday law enforcement made around 900 arrests, also for mostly curfew violations, a law enforcement source familiar with the situation said.

George Floyd had coronavirus, autopsy shows

George Floyd had coronavirus, according to a full autopsy report released Wednesday. 

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s full autopsy report said Floyd first tested positive for the virus on April 3, nearly two months prior to his death. An earlier autopsy report from the county attributed Floyd's cause of death as a "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

It also listed other "significant" conditions, including hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use. 

San Diego sheriff bans carotid restraint

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Wednesday he's banning the use of the carotid restraint in the wake of criticism.

"In light of community concerns, and after consultation with many elected officials throughout the county, I am stopping the use of the carotid restraint by my deputies effective immediately," the sheriff in the nation's fifth largest county said in a statement.

It follows a Monday announcement by San Diego city police Chief David Nisleit that city officers would immediately cease using the restraint that involves wrapping an arm around a suspect's neck and squeezing.

George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pushed his knee into Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds on May 25, sparking nationwide unrest, prompting new scrutiny of techniques police use to forcefully detain people.

‘It felt like I was going to die’: Video shows Florida knee-on-neck arrest

Before George Floyd, video shows officer kneeling on Florida man’s neck during arrestVideo shows a Sarasota, Fla., police officer kneeling on the neck of 27-year-old Patrick Carroll, one week before a similar arrest resulted in the death of George Floyd. SNN's Samantha Sonner reports.

Mugshots released of former Minneapolis officers charged with aiding and abetting murder

Thomas Kiernan Lane, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Nmn Thao.Hennepin County Sheriff

Three former officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — are in custody Wednesday after being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

'He tries to divide us': Former Defense Secretary Mattis compares Trump's protest response to Nazi tactics

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday slammed President Donald Trump's response to the protests over the death of George Floyd as divisive and calling "bizarre photo-op" in front of St. John's Episcopal Church "an abuse of executive authority."

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis wrote in a statement published by the Atlantic.

"Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that 'The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics, Mattis wrote.

In the stunning rebuke of his former boss, the former general noted that he'd sworn to defend the Constitution when he was sworn into the Marine Corps "some 50 years ago."

Click here for the full story. 

U.S. Park Police officers placed on administrative duty over assault on Australian journalists

Two U.S. Park Police officers who were seen clubbing and punching Australian journalists in video footage from a demonstration outside the White House have been placed on administrative duty, officials said Wednesday.

In a statement, United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan said the move came while the June 1 incident in Lafayette Square is investigated. The announcement also came one day after the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., released a statement saying he takes "the mistreatment of journalists seriously.”

One of the journalists, Network Seven reporter Amelia Brace, told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday that the experience was “absolutely terrifying.” Footage showed an officer hitting Brace’s cameraman, Tim Myers, with a shield before grabbing his camera. Another officer can be seen swinging a baton at Brace’s back.

The journalists are among several who say authorities attacked them as they cover anti-police violence protests. Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, has called the assaults “reprehensible and clear violations of the First Amendment.”

Denver police officer fired over 'Let’s start a riot' social media post

A Colorado police officer was terminated after posting a photo with a controversial caption on social media, the Denver Police Department said in a statement. 

The department launched an investigation on Monday after Officer Thomas McClay reportedly shared a photo of himself and two other Denver officers in riot gear with the caption “Let’s start a riot,” referencing the city’s nights of protests over the death of George Floyd. 

An investigation revealed McClay’s post violated the department’s social media policy and was inconsistent with the values of the department, leading to his termination, the Denver Police Department said. The other two officers in the photo remain with the department and are not under investigation, NBC News affiliate KUSA reported.

Facebook's Oversight Board pushes to become operational

Facebook’s Oversight Board said Wednesday that it is not ready for action — but that it's pushing to get set up. 

“We are not in an immediate position to make decisions on issues like those we see unfolding today,” the board, which will make decisions about thorny content issues on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, said in its third update

The entity said training was beginning for its 20 initial members, which include former world leaders, academics and human rights advocates from all corners of the globe. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would create the body in a post last November. The Oversight Board has been dubbed a kind of Supreme Court for a global organization that reaches two billion users.  

The post comes during fierce debates about whether Faceebook should do anything about inflammatory statements made by President Trump. The board said it would begin to operate later this year, hearing issues such as how Facebook treats posts by public figures that might violate its standards. It did not say whether that would be ahead of the upcoming U.S. elections.