May 29 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

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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

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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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Protesters torch NYPD van in Brooklyn

A New York Police Department van was set ablaze in Brooklyn on Friday night as protests, decrying the death of George Floyd, sprung up across the city.Myles N. Miller / NBC New York

A New York Police Department van was set ablaze in Brooklyn on Friday night as protests, decrying the death of George Floyd, sprung up across the city.

An NBC New York reporter posted video of the moment when an NYPD van went up in flames near the corner of Dekalb Avenue and Fort Greene Place, just blocks from the Barclays Center, a major protest hub on Friday night. 

As the sun went down, hundreds of protesters also massed at Foley Square, steps away from Manhattan’s criminal, federal and civil courthouses. The protesters there chanted, “I can’t breathe,” the words uttered by Floyd before he died - and the same desperate appeal voiced by Eric Garner, who was killed in Staten Island during a confrontation with police in 2014. 

Houston mayor urges crowd to go home

In Houston, where George Floyd grew up, several thousand people rallied in front of City Hall. As the scene grew more volatile after dark, Mayor Sylvester Turner urged residents to go home. 

Booking photo of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin released

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. He remains in police custody. 

Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin.Ramsey County Jail

After Trump's posts about looters, Zuckerberg says he's 'struggling' but leaving them up

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Friday he wasn’t going to take down President Donald Trump’s posts about shooting alleged looters in Minneapolis nor put a warning on them as Twitter did, but he acknowledged he had been "struggling all day" with how to respond.

Zuckerberg, in a late afternoon post on his Facebook wall, largely stood by his long-held view that social media companies should take a light touch when deciding how to moderate the statements of politicians.

“I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open,” Zuckerberg said.

Trump early Friday posted on both Twitter and Facebook that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — a phrase with an ominous history that many readers interpreted as a threat to shoot American citizens.

Twitter left the message up but put it behind a warning label so that users would need to click through to see it.

Read the full story here.

Outrage over George Floyd's death could tip fortunes in Joe Biden's VP search

As Joe Biden’s vice presidential search moves into a new, more concentrated phase, issues of race and criminal justice raised by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis appear likely to intensify a public pressure campaign as to who he should choose.

It revived one of the biggest questions surrounding Biden’s choice: Will he choose not just a woman, but a woman of color?

The stakes are highest for one Democrat who has long seen as a potential favorite of Biden — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Her handling of police-involved cases has been branded as disqualifying for some.

On the other end of the spectrum is Florida Rep. Val Demings, an African American and former Orlando police chief whose public profile grew after serving as a House impeachment manager earlier this year.

Biden’s search for a running mate has already proven to be a more public process than usual, with some of the more than dozen potential candidates at times seeming to audition or campaign for the role. The former VP has himself discussed his deliberations over the choice more in public than any previous apparent nominee.

Read the full story here.

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.

Read the full story here.

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.