This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 8 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.
As the national anger over the death of George Floyd showed little sign of abating, from coast to coast demonstrators marched in cities across the country.
Thousands gathered in Washington D.C. to protest both Floyd's death and President Donald Trump's use of military personnel in response to largely peaceful demonstrations. Marchers also filed across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, while others walked the boulevards of Hollywood and a Nashville, Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Floyd's family members gathered for a song- and prayer-filled private memorial service in North Carolina on Saturday after an earlier public viewing of his body drew long lines of mourners from around the country.
Elsewhere, British anti-racism protesters briefly clashed with mounted police as thousands gathered in central London, while demonstrations also took place in, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Tokyo and a number of other cities around the world.
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Cincinnati Reds great Joey Votto says #BlackLivesMatter
Cincinnati Reds great Joey Votto on Sunday penned a scathing column - targeting himself and admitting he's turned a blind eye to systemic racism and police brutality.
"That privilege kept me from understanding the 'why' behind Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. That privilege allowed me to ignore my black teammates’ grievances about their experiences with law enforcement, being profiled, and discriminated against," wrote Votto, who grew up just outside of Toronto. "And that privilege has made me complicit in the death of George Floyd, as well as the many other injustices that blacks experience in the U.S. and my native Canada. "
Votto, 36, said supports the Black Lives Matter movement and added: "Only now am I just beginning to hear. I am awakening to their pain, and my ignorance. No longer will I be silent."
Protesters call to defund the police
Majority of Minneapolis City Council commits to dismantling city's police department
A majority of the Minneapolis City Council agreed Sunday to dismantle the city’s police department after the in-custody killing of George Floyd, a council member said.
In an interview with NBC News, councilman Jeremiah Ellison said the council would work to disband the department in its "current iteration."
"The plan has to start somewhere," he said. "We are not going to hit the eject button without a plan so today was the announcement of the formulation of that plan."
Mitt Romney marches with protesters in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) marched with a group of Christian demonstrators in Washington on Sunday evening, protesting the death of George Floyd.
In videos posted on social media, Romney is seen wearing a mask as the faith-based protesters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House. Romney had previously posted a statement on his Twitter account calling Floyd’s killing “abhorrent” and emphasizing the importance of peaceful protests.
“We need a voice against racism. We need many voices against racism and against brutality. And we need to stand up and say black lives matter,” Romney told NBC News when asked why he was marching.
This comes on the heels of Romney joining a group of prominent Republicans who have said that they will not vote for President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
U.K. statue of former slave trader knocked over, dumped into Bristol Harbor
Black Lives Matter protesters took down a statue of Edward Colston in the city center of Bristol, U.K., on Sunday and tossed it into Bristol Harbor. As a Conservative Tory MP for Bristol from 1710 to 1714, Colston defended the city’s "right" to trade in enslaved Africans. Colston ran the Royal African Company for more than a decade before opening up the transatlantic slave trade for the British city.
Colston also invested in the Spanish slave trade as well as in slave-produced sugar. The statue has been a point of contention for the city, which has gone back and forth for the last decade about adding a plaque to elaborate on Colston's slave trade ties. Protesters can be seen in footage that emerged Sunday on social media throwing the statue into the city's harbor.
Canadian pilot draws tribute to George Floyd with airplane
A Canadian pilot used his airplane to draw a tribute to George Floyd over the skies of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Thursday.
The pilot, Dimitri Neonakis, wrote on his Facebook page that the tribute was his way of showing support to those demonstrating against the death of George Floyd.
“While I was up there moving around free, the words of George Floyd “I can’t Breath” came to mind a few times, a stark contrast,” Neonakis wrote.
Neonakis has drawn other tributes reacting to tragic events, including a heart after the deadly mass shooting in Nova Scotia in April.
Photo: Solidarity in Italy
Joe Biden to visit with family of George Floyd on Monday
Former Vice President Joe Biden will head to Houston on Monday to personally show his condolences to the family of George Floyd, the Biden campaign announced Sunday.
“Vice President Biden will travel to Houston Monday to express his condolences in-person to the Floyd family. He is also recording a video message for the funeral service,” campaign spokesman T.J. Ducklo said in a statement to NBC News.
The Floyd family’s personal lawyer, Benjamin Crump, initially raised eyebrows when he said during a virtual livestream last week that the presumptive Democratic nominee was expected to attend the private funeral in Houston on Tuesday.
Acting on Biden’s wish to personally give his condolences to the Floyd family, the campaign considered multiple options of how best he could pay his respects without disrupting the memorial services this past week. Now that the Democratic candidate is protected by Secret Service, they concluded that attending last Tuesday’s service would have caused too much logistical trouble, so they opted for a private family meeting on Monday with no press in attendance.
4 injured after SUV plows into Brooklyn protesters, driver arrested
A suspect was arrested after an SUV drove through a crowd of kneeling protesters in New York City on Saturday night, leaving four people injured. The driver now faces multiple charges, including reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of marijuana, the NYPD said in a statement to NBC News.
Jacob Leiper, a 44-year-old Queens resident, struck a cyclist after he approached the intersection between Saint John’s Place and Brooklyn Avenue, according to police.
“In an effort to go around the crowd and circumvent the delay, the vehicle operator did drive onto the sidewalk, where he encountered more protestors, some of which struck his car and climbed on it as well,” the NYPD said.
Video posted on social media showed the car driving on the sidewalk into the protesters and hurriedly leaving the scene. Another video posted by Brooklyn resident Chris Welch showed the NYPD arresting Leiper.
Mayor Bill de Blasio proposes shifting funds away from NYPD
Hours after announcing he would be lifting the curfew in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a series of reforms to the New York Police Department in response to the protests over the death of George Floyd that have gripped the city in the past week.
During his Sunday press conference, de Blasio announced four proposals:
1. Shift funding from NYPD to youth and social services
2. Reform 50-a, the law used to prevent police misconduct records from being released to the public
3. NYPD will no long be responsible for vendor enforcement
4. Bring community voices into senior level of NYPD
"In New York City, it takes too long for there to be accountability for officer’s who do the wrong thing," de Blasio said, NBC New York reports.
Jesse Jackson calls on Congress to pass anti-lynching law
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling for Congress to pass an anti-lynching law and eliminate protections for police officers from lawsuits.
Jackson made the plea Saturday during a news conference in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was to meet with Mayor Greg Fischer and the family of the late Breonna Taylor.
The 26-year-old African-American woman, an emergency room technician, was shot at least eight times in her home after a brief confrontation with police who were there to serve a warrant in mid-March.
Minneapolis mayor leaves rally after boos from crowd
The mayor of Minneapolis jeered by protesters Saturday after telling them he was opposed to their demands to de-fund the city's police department after George Floyd died under the knee of one the force's former officers.
A video showed Jacob Frey leaving the crowd as he was showered with angry chants of “Go home, Jacob, go home,” and “Shame, shame.”
The mayor had told the crowd that he did not support the “full abolition” of the police department, but instead favored police reforms.
NYC curfew lifted, effective immediately, Mayor de Blasio says
Protests expected to continue around the globe on Sunday
Massive protests against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd are expected to continue around the world on Sunday.
Dozens of people gathered in front of the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday and stood in pouring rain holding photos of Floyd and signs that read "Black Lives Matter."
Demonstrations are expected to continue in London on Sunday — where protestors on Saturday briefly clashed with police — and across the rest of Europe in Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, and Nice.
There is also a “Say their names” vigil scheduled in Seoul, South Korea and other peaceful demonstrations in Brazil and Thailand.
Some governments have expressed concern about the gathering of large groups in the midst of the pandemic. In Paris, police officially banned protests on Saturday citing fears of the respiratory illness, and U.K. officials urged people to stay home for the same reason. Both were ignored.
Police use flash bang devices, pepper spray to disperse Seattle protesters
Police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse a crowd of protesters in Seattle on Saturday night, the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city.
The mayhem in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in the day with medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality. It also came a day after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.
NBC affiliate KING-TV reported that a small group of protesters started throwing objects at officers about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police ordered the crowd to move, then used incendiary devices.
U.K. health minister: Protests against police brutality "undoubtedly a risk" for coronavirus spread
Protests against police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis are "undoubtedly a risk" for increasing the spread of coronavirus, Britain's health minister said Sunday.
"I support very strongly the argument that's being made by those who are protesting for more equality and against discrimination," Matt Hancock said in an interview with Britain's Sky News Sunday. "But the virus itself doesn't discriminate and gathering in large groups is temporarily against the rules, precisely because it increases the risk of the spread of this virus."
With the number of deaths in the U.K. now exceeding 40,000, London remains under partial lockdown, but mass gatherings are still banned and many businesses are still shuttered.
"I would urge people to make their argument, and I will support you in making that argument," Hancock said. "But please don't spread this virus, which has already done so much damage and which we are starting to get under control."
14 London police officers injured after Saturday clashes with protesters
Fourteen officers with London’s Metropolitan Police were injured after a solidarity protest against the death of George Floyd in the British capital took a violent turn Saturday evening.
The Metropolitan Police said a small group of protesters began throwing missiles and flares at officers after the majority of demonstrators left the area near Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s residence, resulting in a mounted police officer falling from her horse.
She is currently receiving hospital treatment, but her injuries are not life-threatening, the force said.
The police force commissioner, Cressida Dick, called the number of officers injured “shocking and completely unacceptable” Sunday.
In Klamath Falls, Oregon, victory declared over antifa, which never showed up
About 200 protesters came to Sugarman’s Corner, the local hotspot in downtown Klamath Falls, Oregon, last Sunday night to protest the killing of George Floyd.
Like in many of the protests that have recently sprung up in cities across the United States, the group was made up of white, black and Latino people, members of the Native American Klamath Tribes, and the LGBTQ community; a diverse coalition in a county of 68,000 where 9 out of every ten residents are white, according to Census estimates. They held signs, many of which have become common during recent protests: "Black Lives Matter" and "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Though it was a small gathering, they had company.
Just across the street, hundreds of their mostly white neighbors were there for decidedly different reasons. They leaned in front of local businesses The Daily Bagel and Rick's Smoke Shop wearing military fatigues and bulletproof vests, with blue bands tied around their arms. Most everyone seemed to be carrying something: flags, baseball bats, hammers and axes. But mostly, they carried guns.
Police in Rhode Island drew guns on African American firefighter in uniform
An African American firefighter in Providence, Rhode Island, said Saturday he was in uniform when he was recently stopped by police officers who drew their guns on him earlier in the week.
Terrell Paci, 23, said two officers who work for the same city drew their guns on him as he was sitting in a friend's vehicle outside his fire station, according to NBC affiliate WJAR. He said the officers told him they were looking for a suspect reportedly waving a gun in the area.
"The situation makes clear that even in uniform — a young black man is not immune from the impact of systemic, institutional racism," Derek Silva, the president of the Providence Firefighters Union, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said the incident was under investigation. Paci joined George Floyd protesters Friday. "Why is a young black male in uniform at his job a threat to a police officer?" he asked WJAR.
Philadelphia Inquirer executive editor resigns after publishing controversial headline
Philadelphia Inquirer executive editor Stan Wischnowski announced his resignation Saturday, just days after some 40 journalists called out "sick and tired" from work following a controversial headline published in the newspaper.
On Tuesday, the Inquirer ran a story titled "Buildings Matter, Too," which looked at the destruction of businesses across the city as some protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent.
The headline drew immediate backlash from dozens of reporters and countless readers, who called it tone deaf at best and insulting at worst. The Inquirer issued an apology, saying the headline was "offensive, inappropriate and we should not have printed it."
"We deeply regret that we did," the statement read in part. "We also know that an apology on its own is not sufficient."
Wischnowski worked at the Inquirer for 20 years, according to the newspaper.
'White Coats for Black Lives': Medical workers on virus frontlines join protesters