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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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Atlanta mayor: 'We are better than this'

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered an impassioned address to protesters Friday, urging them not to burn down a city with a deep legacy of African American achievement.

Vandals damaged nine police vehicles and broke windows at CNN headquarters as they took to the streets to decry the recent deaths of African Americans George Floyd, killed by a white police officer Monday, Ahmaud Arbery, fatally shot by a white man while he was jogging, and Breonna Taylor, killed by police during a raid of her home.

"This city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs," Bottoms said. "if you care about this city then go home. This won't change anything."

The mayor said Atlanta rapper T.I. and activist Killer Mike, who later took to the same lectern at a news conference to urge peace, "own half the Westside -- so when you burn down this city you’re burning down our community."

"We are better than this," she said.

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., also delivered remarks at the news conference, noting her father, born in Atlanta, was steadfast about nonviolent protest. "The only pathway I know how to do this is through nonviolent means," she said.

CNN headquarters in Atlanta defaced by protestors

Protestors damaged windows outside CNN's headquarters in Atlanta on Friday and spray painted a company sign. 

Atlanta was one of many U.S. cities where large protests have broken out over the killing of George Floyd. A large group of protestors formed in downtown Atlanta, with a significant number of law enforcement officers sent to the area.

Some of those protestors targeted CNN's nearby building, breaking windows and defacing the large CNN sign outside the building. A small group of police officers entered the buildings to ensure protestors did remained on the outside. 

CNN broadcast scenes from the building's lobby where law enforcement had been positioned. At one point, some small explosions that appeared to be firecrackers thrown by protestors into the building pushed CNN's Nick Valencia to retreat farther into the building.

'Let my building burn': Owner of damaged Minneapolis restaurant supports protest

Over the past few days, the Islam family had converted their Minneapolis restaurant Gandhi Mahal into a refuge for protesters seeking shelter from the police's mace, tear gas and rubber bullets.

Early Thursday morning, they learned their eatery had burned down as protesters took to the streets over the arrest and killing of George Floyd.

"We won’t lose hope though, I am so grateful for our neighbors who did their best to stand guard and protect Gandhi Mahal, Youre efforts won’t go unrecognized," wrote Hafsa Islam, the 18-year-old daughter of owner Ruhel Islam, in a now-viral Facebook post. "Dont worry about us, we will rebuild and we will recover."

"Let my building burn, justice needs to be served,” Ruhel said, according to the post. Those words seemed to resonate with fans and followers, causing the post to be shared more than 20,000 times.

The post continued: "Gandhi Mahal May have felt the flames last night, but our firey drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die! Peace be with everyone."

In 1996, Ruhel Islam came to the United States from Bangladesh when he was 19 years old, working as a busboy in New York City.

"When I came here to America, I was a stranger," he told TODAY Food. "I am from Bangladesh, you know, we experienced police like this. We lived in a police state."

Read the full story here.

George Floyd's death and civil unrest thrust Mayor Jacob Frey into spotlight

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who pledged "to mend wounds" in a city that's struggled with police brutality for years, has been thrust into the spotlight after protests and rioting rocked his city over the death of George Floyd.

President Donald Trump attacked Frey, elected in 2017, as a "very weak Radical Left Mayor" who needs "to get his act together and bring the City under control."

Frey defended himself and his city and said Friday: "Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell."

Frey, a civil rights lawyer, campaigned on issues of police reform and racial inequality when the then-city councilman ran for mayor in 2017.

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Customs and Border Protection used drone over Minneapolis

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that it used a drone over Minneapolis.

A CBP spokesperson said it received a request to dispatch an unmanned aircraft system from its federal law enforcement partners to assist with “situational awareness” through live video.

“The unmanned aircraft system provides live video feed to ground law enforcement, giving them situational awareness, maximizing public safety, while minimizing the threat to personnel and assets,” according the statement.

CBP said that its Air and Marine Operations regularly work with officials across federal, state and local agencies to help with both “law enforcement and humanitarian relief efforts.”

The American Civil Liberties Union reacted online to reports of a drone over Minneapolis, that it “should be halted immediately.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also weighed in on social media too, stating, “We need answers.”

“After arriving into the Minneapolis airspace, the requesting agency determined that the aircraft was no longer needed for operational awareness and departed back to Grand Forks,” a CBP spokesperson added. 

Mississippi mayor ignores calls to resign over comments on George Floyd's death

Petal, Mississippi, Mayor Hal Marx is resisting calls to resign after he said “if you can talk, you can breathe" about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

"What I said, came out in a way that I wish I said it differently," Marx said Thursday night. "It wasn't to minimize that gentleman's death."

Floyd, 46, who was black, died in Minneapolis police custody Monday after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned him to the ground and put his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin and three other officers have been fired, and on Friday Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Marx had tweeted: "If you are talking about the incident in MN, I didn’t see anything unreasonable. If you can say you can't breathe, you’re breathing. Most likely that man died of overdose or heart attack," with no evidence. 

The Petal Board of Aldermen held a special meeting Thursday night and the board voted unanimously to ask for Marx's resignation. In Mississippi, an elected official can only be involuntarily removed from office if he or she has committed a felony, according to the Clarion Ledger. Petal is about 90 miles southeast of Jackson.

Read the full story here.

National protests over George Floyd's death was 'conflagration waiting to happen'

Minneapolis remained on edge Friday after another chaotic night when a police station and other buildings were torched, and protesters there and in neighboring St. Paul hit the streets in demonstrations marred by violence, vandalism and looting.

But it wasn't only the Twin Cities where emotions have run high in reaction to George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man heard crying out "I can't breathe" during a police encounter on Monday and whose death has become the latest flash point in a string of fatalities involving African Americans.

While the arrest Friday of Derek Chauvin, one of the Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death, on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter may blunt some of the initial anger that has boiled over, tensions will remain fraught as long as there's a lag in charges for the three other officers in the case, black activists and community members say.

"This is a young rage, the same way young people took to the streets in the 1960s, 70s and 80s," Saje Mathieu, a history professor at the University of Minnesota who lives in suburban Minneapolis, said. "They're saying, 'We're already cut. We're already hurt. We're already bruised. There's no other way to communicate my pain and rage than to take to the streets.'"

That pain has resonated in major cities across the country, where protests were expected to unfold Friday night and over the weekend from Atlanta to Oakland, California, and Denver to Dallas.

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White House lockdown lifted after protests

The U.S. Secret Service lifted the lockdown on The White House Friday after growing unrest in Washington and around the country related to the death of George Floyd. 

The lockdown was in effect for a little over an hour. The Secret Service had closed off the White House press room doors as a precaution, instructing members of the media not to leave the area. 

Multiple videos of protests have circulated on social media showing protesters calling for justice in the police-involved killing and jostling with law enforcement. One protester was also seen scaling the wall of a federal building to spray paint an obscenity directed at the president. 

"In the interest of public safety we encourage all to remain peaceful," the Secret Service said in a tweet.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family: 'I just expressed my sorrow'

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that he spoke with members of George Floyd's family, calling them "terrific people," and adding that the protests in Minneapolis were "bad for the memory" of Floyd, who died at the hands of police earlier this week.

“I spoke to members of the family, terrific people, and we'll be reporting as time goes by," Trump said during an event at the White House Friday evening.

“I just expressed my sorrow. That was a horrible thing to witness," Trump continued, adding that it "looked like there was no excuse for it.”

Trump said that he could tell the family was "grieving very much" and that he could see that "they loved their brother.”

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