May 31 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 1 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last week continued to intensify across the U.S. Sunday, as protesters broke local curfews to voice frustration over policing in America.

In Minneapolis, a semi-truck was seen barreling toward a massive group of demonstrators on an interstate, though no protesters appear to have been injured in the incident.

Some elected leaders have blamed the violence that has broken out at some protests on organized extremists, though so far they have offered little evidence to support their claims.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he would designate the radical lefitst group antifa a terrorist organization after earlier attributing the violence to “thugs” who he said were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd." The comment drew criticism from Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Democratic mayor of Atlanta, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C, the Senate’s lone black Republican.

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 1 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Aggressive policing tactics called into question as national protests flare

Alongside the peaceful protests and images of destruction in the wake of the death of George Floyd, there have also been disturbing videos, photos and reports of police officers appearing to use excessive force and violence against demonstrators.

The incidents have raised questions about whether some officers are responding with an inappropriate use of force, forgoing training tactics and becoming overly hostile.

An arrest in Atlanta of two college students Saturday night, as a citywide curfew was going into effect, was so excessive, police officials said Sunday, that two officers involved were fired and three others were placed on desk duty.

video of the incident showed one of the students getting dragged from the car, while the driver, who remained behind the wheel, was tased and then pulled out of the vehicle. It's unclear what preceded the incident, but Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told reporters that "how we behaved is unacceptable," reported NBC affiliate WXIA.

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Senator says he will try to end transfer of military weapons to police

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted Sunday that he wants to stop the transfer of military equipment to police departments. 

Police watchdogs have warned for the years about the militarization of police departments. Former President Barack Obama attempted to reform the military-to-police pipeline of equipment. 

President Donald Trump reversed those efforts in 2017. That included the transfer of heavily armored vehicles.

"I will be introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to discontinue the program that transfers military weaponry to local police departments," Schatz tweeted.

NYPD top terrorism cop says anarchist groups worked to orchestrate damage, violence

On Sunday night, New York's top terrorism cop, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, detailed his office's analysis and investigation into why the New York City protests have become so violent and damaging at times.

"No. 1, before the protests began," Miller said, "organizers of certain anarchist groups set out to raise bail money and people who would be responsible to be raising bail money, they set out to recruit medics and medical teams with gear to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police."

Miller said that a review of 686 arrests since Thursday found that one of out of seven were from outside New York City, including Iowa, Nevada, Texas and a number of other states.

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Large truck drives through crowd of protesters on Minneapolis bridge

A large truck was seen driving into a crowd of protesters on a bridge in Minneapolis at full speed, sending people running for safety, during protests on Sunday.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety called it "very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators."

The truck driver was injured and is under arrest, the department said. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck, according to the department.

The truck was swarmed and video from the scene showed someone on the hood as it moved.

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Crowds in Washington, D.C., chant 'No justice, no peace'

Biden visits protest site, tours damage in Delaware

Former Vice President Joe Biden visited the site of George Floyd protests in Delaware on Sunday — just the second time he's been seen in public in more than two months.

The apparent Democratic presidential nominee toured stores that had been damaged in the protests with Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and posted video on Instagram posing for pictures with passersby. He also tweeted a picture of himself kneeling and speaking with a young African-American man. They were both wearing face coverings. 

“We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,” the former vice president wrote in a post on Medium.

Biden also released a statement just after midnight Sunday morning, calling the protests “right and necessary” while urging peaceful demonstrations over violence.

The unannounced visit was the second time Biden has been seen publicly in the past week. He visited a local war memorial in New Castle, Del., on Memorial Day.  

Customs and Border Protection is deploying agents to confront 'lawless' protesters, acting commissioner says

Customs and Border Protection is deploying officers, agents and “aviation assets” across the country to help authorities confront “lawless” protesters, the agency’s acting commissioner, Mark Morgan, said Sunday.

Morgan said in a tweet that the announcement came after requests from federal, state and local authorities. It wasn’t immediately clear where the agency was deploying to or what Morgan meant by “aviation assets.” A spokesman didn’t respond to a request for clarification. 

The agency confirmed Friday that it used a drone during protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis to help with “situational awareness” through live video. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and the American Civil Liberties Union denounced the agency’s use of the aircraft, saying that “no government agency should be facilitating the over-policing of the black community.” 

Morgan said the agency “carries out its mission nationwide, not just at the border.”

Federal officer killed in Oakland during George Floyd protest identified

Authorities on Sunday identified a contract federal officer who was shot to death in Oakland last week while working security during a protest over the killing of George Floyd.

The FBI’s San Francisco field office said in a statement that the officer, Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, died after someone fired at him from a vehicle.

A second officer who was with Underwood was injured in the Friday night shooting at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland, the FBI said. That officer has not been identified nor have any suspects.

The officers were working for the Federal Protective Service, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security that tries to prevent terrorists and other criminals from targeting government infrastructure. The FBI said it has not determined a motive for the shooting.

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Looting in Santa Monica, California, city extends curfew

The city of Santa Monica, California, famed for its beaches and pier, became the scene of looting Sunday amid another day of protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

News helicopter footage showed people looting stores before being chased away by police. People also broke into a large mall, and then ran out with arms full of merchandise. There were reports that protesters condemned looters during the day, chanting "shame! shame!"

At least one car was seen leaving the scene of looting with its license plate covered, apparently so it could not be identified. When a passing bicyclist ripped the covering off, a man got out and punched him.

Santa Monica extended its curfew for a second night, from 4 p.m. through Monday morning.