June 4 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country. Here are the latest updates.
Image: Reverend Al Sharpton speaks during a memorial service for George Floyd following his death in Minneapolis police custody, in Minneapolis
Reverend Al Sharpton speaks during a memorial service for George Floyd following his death in Minneapolis police custody, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., June 4, 2020.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 5 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

On Thursday, George Floyd’s family held a memorial in Minneapolis, with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered a powerful eulogy and announced a march on Washington is scheduled for August.

An ex-Minneapolis police officer accused of aiding and abetting the alleged murder of George Floyd tried to warn his fellow officers when one of them put his knee on the man’s neck for more than eight minutes.

“You shouldn’t do that,” a lawyer for the officer, J. Alexander Kueng, said he told the officers.

Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco added their names Thursday to a growing list of cities that were lifting their curfews after a wave of nationwide protests that were sometimes accompanied by looting, property destruction and violence.

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Los Angeles Mayor lifts curfew

NYPD officer appears to make white power sign at protest, prompting probe

A video of a uniformed New York City police officer appearing to make a white power symbol at a George Floyd protest Saturday in New York City has prompted an internal review.

The video showing the officer making the apparent "OK" hand gesture — touching the thumb and index finger to make a circle, with the remaining three fingers held outstretched — was posted to social media over the weekend.

NBC News is not publishing or linking to the video to avoid providing a platform to apparent expressions of hate or white supremacy.

The "OK" gesture has been used by people around the world for centuries, typically to signal consent, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Recently, the hand signal has also been appropriated to represent the letters w and p to signify "white power," stemming from a hoax in 2017 by members of the website 4chan, an anonymous and unrestricted online message board, the ADL says.

Read the full story here.

Damaged Asian businesses show solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters

When David Choi, owner of the street food chain Seoul Taco, pulled up to one of his Downtown Chicago restaurants on Sunday morning, he saw doors and windows reduced to a pile of shards, a vandalized flat-screen TV, and the cash register and several iPads missing, presumably stolen.

Still, in his first message to customers, he made clear that those who ransacked his store in no way weakened his support for the fight against police brutality.

“EVERYTHING IN MY STORE WILL BE REPLACEABLE,” he wrote on Facebook within hours of the incident, “while lives are being senselessly lost, on a way too regular basis, is the way bigger issue.”

From California to New York, scores of Asian businesses were caught in the crossfire, suffering extensive property damage atop already prevalent anti-Asian racism. But owners young and old continue to express solidarity with protesters and vocally draw the distinction between material and human loss.

Read the full story here.

Florida professor cites 'black privilege' amid George Floyd protests, prompting calls for his firing

University of Central Florida psychology professor Charles Negy reads from a letter complaining about his teaching on Aug. 23, 2012.George Skene / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

University of Central Florida students and others on social media are calling for the firing of a psychology professor at the school who is citing "black privilege" in tweets amid the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

"Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they're missing out on much needed feedback," said one tweet from professor Charles Negy on Wednesday. He is the author of "White Shaming: Bullying based on Prejudice, Virtue-Signaling, and Ignorance."

In a tweet Thursday morning, a statement from the school said: "Being actively anti-racist means calling out and confronting racist comments. We are aware of Charles Negy’s recent personal Twitter posts, which are completely counter to UCF’s values. We are reviewing this matter further while being mindful of the First Amendment."

Negy, in an email, told NBC News that he believes "The lives of black people matter as much as the lives of anyone else in this country. ... The timing of my controversial views that have been posted on twitter recently was poor, perhaps, but my views were not addressing the sadistic murder of George Floyd. ... I'm addressing other issues that I think ought to be discussed if we're ever going to make progress on race relations."

Read the full story here. 

Dr. Leana Wen: 5 safety measures to keep in mind if you're protesting during COVID-19

Americans are taking to the streets to protest the police killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and more. And while any time people gather in groups, there’s an increased risk of getting or spreading COVID-19, there are ways to reduce your risk and stay safer, said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and former health commissioner for Baltimore.

Dr. Wen, who has been a leading voice in public health and a frequent commentator about coronavirus, recently spoke to Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, about safety measures protesters should keep in mind as they make their voices heard.

Read the full story here.

FBI wanted to separate itself from Barr's tough stance on protests, sources say

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, officials at the FBI considered, and later canceled, a press conference to clarify how agents were being used in protests, according to three sources familiar with the planning.

The Bureau, led by Director Christopher Wray, wanted to separate itself from the tough stance Attorney General William Barr was taking in his pledge to continue ramping up federal law enforcement's response in D.C. even as protests turned largely peaceful on Tuesday night.

"They feel a strong need to delineate what they are and are not doing," said a source familiar with internal deliberations at the FBI. "You won't see FBI agents with a baton and shield."

The FBI's recent arrest of three men connected to the far-right "Boogaloo" movement for their attempt to provoke violence at protests also underlines the Bureau's distance from Barr who has, like Trump, said leftist extremist groups are to blame for the violence.

"This is representative of the FBI trying to avoid Barr's narrative by doing its job," the source said.

Read the full story here.

YouTuber Jake Paul charged with trespassing following Arizona looting

YouTube star Jake Paul was charged with trespassing after he allegedly entered an Arizona mall after it was looted last month, police said Thursday.

Paul, 23, was filming looting of the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall on May 30, according to video and a Scottsdale Police Department press release.

In footage of the looting, Paul is seen watching as rioters break into the mall. Paul later appears in footage that appears to show him inside the mall and filming inside of it after it had closed, according to video and the press release. It was unclear if Paul took anything from the mall.

The Scottsdale Police Department's statement said that it "received hundreds of tips and videos identifying" Paul as "a participant in the riot."

"Our investigation has revealed that Paul was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by the police," the statement read. "Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed."

Read the full story here.