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.

Biden campaign asks supporters to donate to NAACP

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked supporters who want justice for George Floyd to donate to the 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.

50 ATMs exploded in Philadelphia in attempt to steal them, money

PHILADELPHIA — Explosions have hit 50 cash machines in and near Philadelphia since the weekend in a coordinated effort to steal them or take the money inside, authorities said Wednesday.

A 25-year-old who’s accused of selling homemade dynamite on the streets with instructions on how to use it on ATMs has been arrested, though authorities aren’t yet sure whether the man is connected to the coordinated effort, the state attorney general said.

One theft resulted in the death of a 24-year-old man hours after he tried to break into an ATM early Tuesday, authorities said.

Cash machines in other cities also have been stolen from or damaged since civil unrest struck the nation after George Floyd died on Memorial Day.

Seattle lifts curfew after peaceful demonstrations

As crowds protest police violence, social distancing takes a back seat

California woman charged after video of protesters being sprayed from car

A Los Angeles-area woman has been arrested on a count of unlawful use of tear gas after video appeared to show her pepper-spraying "Black Lives Matter" protesters from her vehicle Sunday, officials said Wednesday.

Amy Atkisson allegedly pepper-sprayed a protester in Thousand Oaks, a city in Ventura County west of Los Angeles. 

Video posted on Twitter captured the license plate of the vehicle and led to the arrest, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Sheriff's Capt. Denise Sliva said that pepper spray generally doesn't result in lasting physical injuries and she was not aware of any injuries from the incident.

Video posted in media outlets appeared to show a protester yelling "black lives matter" near a vehicle but not making any physical contact with the vehicle before the window is rolled down and the substance is sprayed at the group in bursts. A person recording one of the videos then goes to the rear and captures the license plate.

Atkisson was released under the California Judicial Council’s zero bail schedule, and her court date is scheduled for July 31, the sheriff's office said.

Online jail records show her age as 46. Online court records did not appear to have her case available Wednesday night, and it was not clear if she has an attorney. A message left at a phone number that might be connected to her was not immediately returned.

Possession of tear gas style devices are legal for self-defense purposes in California, but it is illegal to use them for anything other than self-defense, according to the criminal statute.

NYPD appears to push back protesters at Brooklyn Borough Hall

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams called the New York Police Department’s use of force on nonviolent protesters “disgusting” Wednesday night. 

Williams shared live video of the scene outside Brooklyn Borough Hall on Twitter, which showed law enforcement appearing to push back protesters. 

“There’s no looting going on,” said a voice that appears to be Williams’. “There’s no looting. There’s no fires. Why are we pushing them? Why are we pushing them? Why are we pushing the protesters?” 

Additional footage posted to social media appeared to show NYPD officers forcefully pushing protesters back, with some yelling, “Go home.”

“I can't believe what I just witnessed & experienced. The force used on nonviolent protestors was disgusting,” Williams wrote in a separate tweet. “No looting/no fires. Chants of ‘peaceful protest.’ @NYPDnews was simply enforcing an ill advised curfew. 

What happened was completely avoidable. I'm so ashamed of @NYCMayor.” 

Protesters and police could also be seen clashing at nearby Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn. 

Flyer recruiting 'professional anarchist' is fake, George Soros foundation says

A photo circulating online claiming to show a job opportunity for a “professional anarchist” and funded through George Soros’ charity isn't real, the group said, calling it “false content.”

“Those protesting the death of Mr. Floyd and police brutality across the nation do so out of a deep and abiding concern for country; they don't do so for pay from these foundations or any other, as some cynics claim,” an Open Society Foundations spokesperson told NBC News.

“Such assertions are false, offensive, and do a disservice to the very bedrock of our democracy, as enshrined in the First Amendment," the spokesperson added.

The flyer also included incorrect contact information for the Thurston County Democrats of Washington, who also discredited the flyer in a Facebook post.

“If social media users come across this or other false content like this online, we recommend they report the content as suspicious to the social media platform,” an Open Society Foundations spokesperson said.

Mounted NYPD officers patrol high-risk areas to deter looters

The New York Police Department dispatched its Mounted Unit to patrol high-risk areas around the city in an effort to deter looting Wednesday evening. 

Officers on horseback "will be assisting in identifying any businesses that may be vulnerable to looters," NYPD Chief of Special Operation Harry Wedin wrote on Twitter. 

New York City's mayor, Bill de Blasio, blamed most of the looting and illegal acts in recent days on "a small anarchist element ... a small criminal element." 

The mayor announced Tuesday that New York City's curfew will continue through Sunday. 

Minneapolis council members says police unions block real police reform

Protesters sing 'Lean on Me' at demonstration near White House

Protesters sang “Lean on Me” during a demonstration Wednesday evening in Washington, D.C.

Videos posted on social media show crowds of demonstrators singing the Bill Withers song while swaying and waving phones with illuminated flashlights in the air.

The peaceful demonstration took place about two blocks from the White House.