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May 29 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

Here are the latest updates.
Image: A check-cashing business burns as a protester raises his fist in Minneapolis on May 29, 2020.
A check-cashing business burns as a protester raises his fist late Friday in Minneapolis. John Minchillo / AP

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading May 30 coverage of George Floyd's death and the Minneapolis protests.

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer seen kneeling on the neck of George Floyd before his death, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The arrest comes after outrage over Floyd’s death and protests overnight during which the police precinct where Chauvin was stationed was set ablaze.

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Klobuchar defends prosecutorial record amid question over 2006 Chauvin incident

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, on Friday defended her record as a former county prosecutor, rejecting accusations that she declined to press charges against the cop who knelt on George Floyd's neck for the killing of a suspect in 2006.

In October 2006, that officer, Derek Chauvin, was involved in the fatal shooting of a stabbing suspect. At the time, Klobuchar was the attorney for Hennepin County, which contains Minneapolis. Klobuchar was elected to the U.S. Senate the next month.

Klobuchar, however, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Friday that she never declined to prosecute Chauvin. She explained that the investigation into the case began during her tenure but continued into the time during which she’d already been sworn into the Senate and was ultimately handled by her successor. 

“This idea that I somehow declined a case … against this officer is absolutely false. It is a lie. I don't know what else to say about it,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar explained that her successor sent the the case to a grand jury, which ultimately declined in 2008 to charge Chauvin. In a statement Friday, the Hennepin County attorney's office said, "Sen. Klobuchar's last day in the office here was December 31, 2006, and she had no involvement in the prosecution of this case at all."

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested in George Floyd case

The Minneapolis police officer shown on video putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd has been arrested, according to Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.

Derek Chauvin, who was fired on Monday along with three other officers involved in the detainment of Floyd, was taken into custody Friday.

Read the full story here.

Several police heads across nation condemn force used before Floyd death

The top brass at several large police departments across the country have decried the use of force seen in the arrest of George Floyd, the black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck during an arrest this week.

Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown said that Floyd's death was "caused by the unacceptable actions of a police officer."

"What took place in Minneapolis earlier this week is absolutely reprehensible and tarnishes the badge nationwide, including here in Chicago," Brown said in a statement.

Read the full story here.

Taylor Swift slams Trump for 'stoking the fires of white supremacy'

Pop star Taylor Swift slammed President Donald Trump for "stoking the fires of white supremacy" Friday after Trump's tweet about shooting protesters in Minneapolis.

"After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?" Swift tweeted, tagging Trump with a promise to vote him out in November. 

The comment is Swift's most overtly political statement to date, as the singer stayed out of partisan politics for most of her career. She was often touted by alt-right conservatives online as the ideal Aryan woman during her political silence. 

That changed in 2018, after the 30-year-old singer came out against the re-election of Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Swift has since made her own views on social issues known through her activism and her music. 

No, Trump has not sent troops to Minnesota

Overnight via Twitter, President Donald Trump seemed to float the idea of sending the military to Minnesota, and then noted Friday morning that members of the Minnesota National Guard were now "on the seen (sic)."

Five-hundred members of the Minnesota National Guard have been activated, but they are under the governor's control, and the president had no role in activating them. The president may activate members of the National Guard, but if a president does so federal law prevents the Guard from performing law enforcement duties.

As of Friday morning, the Defense Department had no request to send active duty, federalized troops to Minnesota, according to four defense officials.

“We have not seen any kind of request for that, period,” said one official.

Mall of America postpones reopening due to 'significant unrest in the community'

Mall of America, which is located near Minneapolis in Bloomington, Minnesota, said Friday that it is delaying its plans to reopen on June 1 due to the “significant unrest in the community.”

The country's largest mall is restricting all access to the building through at least Sunday.

“Our top priority is the safety of our tenants, their employees, and our team members; and restricting access to the building will allow us to do that,” the company told NBC News. “By delaying our reopening date, it will give Mall retailers additional time to prepare.”

Curbside pickup at the mall has also been suspended. The company said it will announce a new reopening date as soon as it is finalized.

Families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor appeal to Congress

The families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor — three black people whose deaths in recent weeks have become flashpoints and set off nationwide protests — are calling for a congressional hearing and national task force for the creation of bipartisan legislation to address excessive force and accountability in policing.

Two high-profile attorneys separately representing the families, Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, told reporters Friday that they also plan to present a case to the United Nation Human Rights Committee to bring about "sweeping changes to our nation's criminal justice system."

The men also said they would like Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, to be an independent prosecutor in the death of Floyd, and are concerned about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's handling of the case and his reluctance to immediately bring charges against the four officers at the scene.

Crump added that he plans to have an independent autopsy conducted of Floyd's body. The medical examiner's office said Thursday it was still conducting an investigation into the cause of his death.

"The family does not trust anything coming from the Minneapolis Police Department," Crump said. "How can they?"