June 17 Black Lives Matter protests news

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Helen Regan and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:03 a.m. ET, June 18, 2020
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2:26 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Atlanta district attorney will announce charging decision in Rayshard Brooks shooting this afternoon

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. will announce his charging decision in the fatal police shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, according to a statement from his office.

The district attorney will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. ET to reveal if he intends to charge Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta officer who shot Brooks, and fellow officer Devin Brosnan who was also present during the fatal shooting.

11:23 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Schumer: GOP police reform plan "does not rise to the moment"

From CNN's Clare Foran

Senate TV
Senate TV

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized the newly-unveiled Senate GOP policing proposal, saying, “we have only had the bill for a few hours and are reviewing it, but what’s clear is that the Senate Republican proposal on policing does not rise to the moment.”

Speaking from the Senate floor, Schumer called the Scott bill “ineffective,” and demanded “significant improvement.”

Schumer also criticized Senate Majority Leader McConnell for moving on judicial nominees before taking up the police bill. He did not say if Democrats will block first procedural vote. Schumer did say that he is glad McConnell "has listened to our demands to bring a police reform bill to the floor before July 4."

Schumer suggested that Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to negotiate changes. He said that Democrats expect Republicans to work with them to make improvements to the bill. 

“The Senate is a place where you can only succeed if you convince a substantial majority of the chamber that you have good legislation. We expect our Republican colleagues to work with us to make significant improvement to any legislation in order for it to pass. We take this very seriously. As we continue to review the Republican legislation, I will be talking with my caucus about the best way to strengthen it. This bill will need dramatic improvement," he said.

He added, that “There’s been a lot of talk from the Republican leader about the real challenge of getting onto a bill. Frankly, the real challenge is whether Senate Republicans will be able to step up to the plate and rise to the moment and vote for a bill that actually solves the problem. We Democrats are going to try to get them there. It’s important that we get this right.”

Schumer called the House Democratic proposal “comprehensive, strong and enduring reform.”

He said, “We have a tale of two chambers, a glaring contrast between a strong comprehensive Democratic bill in the House and a much narrower, and much less effective Republican bill in the Senate.”

Schumer also ran through an overview of key differences between the Democratic and GOP proposal to argue why he believes that the Republican plan falls short. 

  • “The Democratic bill has a ban on no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, while the Republican bill only requires data on no-knock warrants."
  • "The Democratic bill has a publicly available nationwide database on misconduct … the Republican bill would keep such information almost entirely shielded from public view."
  • "The Democratic bill bans chokeholds and other tactics that have killed black Americans. The Republican bill purports to ban chokeholds but only those that restrict air-flow and not blood flow and provides exceptions when deadly force is needed.” 
10:54 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

NYC mayor says internal NYPD disciplinary trial outcomes will be published online

From CNN's Sheena Jones

All internal NYPD trial decisions must be published online going forward, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.  

The mayor said the city plans on releasing information for approximately 1,100 pending cases in July. This will include releasing names, charges, hearing dates and resolutions, he said.  

This comes as the mayor continues to reform the New York City Police Department and move to more transparent discipline.  

The city is in the process of making comprehensive disciplinary records fully transparent and available online, de Blasio said.  

11:04 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

George Floyd's brother to UN Human Rights Council: "I am asking you to help us — black people in America"

From CNN’s Stephanie Busari in Lagos and Zamira Rahim in London

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, speaks via video during a United Nations Human Rights Council debate in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 17. The debate is about police brutality and systemic racism in the United States.
Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, speaks via video during a United Nations Human Rights Council debate in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 17. The debate is about police brutality and systemic racism in the United States. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations Human Rights Council is holding an urgent debate Wednesday on police brutality and systemic racism in the US, following the international protests over the death of George Floyd.

"The tragic events of 25 May in Minneapolis in the US, which led to the death of George Floyd, led to protests throughout the world against injustice and police brutality that persons of African descent face on a daily basis in many regions of the world," Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, the African Group's coordinator said on Monday. "The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident." 

The debate is underway at the UN headquarters in Geneva. It was requested by the African Group, composed of 54 member states from the African continent.

In a video message George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, addressed the gathering saying, "My brother was unarmed and was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. My family and I had to watch the last moments of his life. When people dared to raise their voice and protest for my brother, they were tear gassed."

"My brother, George Floyd, is one of the many black men and women that have been murdered by police in recent years. You watched my brother die. That could have been me. I am my brother's keeper."

"I am asking you (the UN) to help him. I am asking you to help me. I am asking you to help us — black people in America."

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who joined the debate in person, said, "We also need to make amends for centuries of racial discrimination."

"Time is of the essence. Patience has run out. Black Lives Matter. Indigenous lives matter," she said.

Those in attendance include Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso made the request on Monday as the group's coordinator.

10:23 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

GOP senator: I am hopeful we can work with Democrats on "a genuine effort to bring reform"

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham speaks at a news conference in Washington on June 17.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham speaks at a news conference in Washington on June 17. Pool

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham said he is hopeful that Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass police reform.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on police use of force.

"After the hearing, I had multiple Democratic colleagues come up to me and say, 'Let's try to reconcile our differences,'" Graham said today. "To the American people, after the hearing, I am more hopeful than I was before the hearing that there's going to be a genuine effort to bring reform to a problem that's been going on well before President Obama, and if we don't do something about it, it's gonna go on well past President Trump."

Remember: House Democrats and Senate Republicans are on a collision course over policing reform, despite a bipartisan consensus that action is necessary as nationwide protests in response to high-profile episodes of police misconduct continue.

House Democrats and Senate Republicans have each unveiled their own police reform plans. Major differences between the legislative proposals from Republicans and Democrats are likely to create hurdles to any attempt to get legislation across the finish line in Congress and to the President's desk.

WATCH:

10:25 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

McConnell says he'll bring the Republican police reform bill to the Senate floor

House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that he intends to bring up the police reform bill that a group of Republican senators — led by the only Black Republican senator Tim Scott — to the floor for a vote.

McConnell said, "So what I'm announcing today is after we do two circuit judges who are queued up early this week or next week we'll return to the Scott bill." 

On the "spirit" of the bill, Scott said, "too often we're having a discussion in this nation about are you supporting the law enforcement community or are you supporting communities of color? This is a false binary choice. The answer to the question of which side do you support, it's I support America."

"This legislation encompasses that spirit," he said.

McConnell called on Democrats to join Republicans and support this bill. He said if Democrats "want to make a law and not just make a point then I hope they'll join us in getting on the bill."

He added, "But I want you to know that we're serious about making a law here."

WATCH:

9:36 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Senate Republicans will soon unveil their police reform plan

Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, listens during a hearing in Washington on March 3.
Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, listens during a hearing in Washington on March 3. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Senate Republicans will soon unveil their police reform plan, which has been led GOP Sen. Tim Scott.

The plan will set up a clash with House Democrats — who have outlined their one reform legislation — despite a bipartisan consensus that action is necessary as nationwide protests and civil unrest in response to high-profile episodes of police misconduct continues.

Here's what we know about the GOP plan:

  • While the legislation has yet to be unveiled, the emerging Republican plan has a major emphasis on incentivizing states to take action.
  • Scott said Tuesday that his proposal does not include an outright ban on chokeholds but argued "we get very, very close to that place" by blocking federal grant funds to departments that don't ban chokeholds themselves.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for as broad support within the Senate GOP conference as possible for the emerging police overhaul bill, two GOP sources told CNN. That comes after tension within the Senate GOP conference on the timeline for taking up the legislation spilled out into public view.

And what we know about the Democratic plan:

  • The House Democrats' plan has a heavy emphasis on setting national standards.
  • It mandates for federal uniformed officers to wear body cameras and bans chokeholds.
  • More than 220 House Democrats have signed onto the House legislation, a sign it has strong Democratic support that ensures it will pass that chamber next week.
8:23 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

NYPD commissioner on disbanding plainclothes unit: "It was time for a change"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on CNN's "New Day" on June 17.
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on CNN's "New Day" on June 17. CNN

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said his decision to reassign the force’s roughly 600 anti-crime unit plainclothes officers was needed to foster trust and protect officers. 

“This is not a unilateral agreement, but it's my decision … and I stand behind it,” Shea said in an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto. “But I've been speaking about this internally for well over a year. I think it was needed. I think it was time for a change, for a lot of different reasons. I think it goes a long way to building trust in the community. I think it protects officers as well, quite frankly.”

Shea previously said the decision signals a "seismic shift" and closes one of the last chapters of the controversial stop-and-frisk policing practice.

“Law enforcement, in my opinion, is never static; it's always fluid, and this is one more change,” Shea said.

“People need to come to grips that … at the best of times, we have a broken criminal justice system,” he added.

Murder, burglary and grand larceny auto crimes have spiked in New York City this past month compared to the same period last year, according to NYPD statistics.

“With the pandemic, a broken system is even more in a state of chaos. So the answer to a broken system…can't be, go out and stop more people. It’s hurting trust,” Shea said.

Watch more:

7:46 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

McConnell expected to say police reform could be on Senate floor next week

From CNN's Manu Raju

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attends a news conference in Washington on May 12.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attends a news conference in Washington on May 12. Patrick Semansky/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may bring the GOP’s police bill to the chamber floor as soon as next week, a source told CNN. This comes after Republican leaders signaled it would wait until later in July, but Tim Scott and others pushed back. This will be discussed at this morning's 9:30am press conference unveiling the bill.

To bring it to the floor, there will need to be 60 votes to overcome any objections. It’s unclear at the moment if Senate Democrats will let the bill come forward. 

Major differences between legislative proposals from Republicans and Democrats are likely to create hurdles to any attempt to get legislation across the finish line in Congress and to the President's desk.

CNN asked Schumer multiple times yesterday if he would let the bill advance to the floor, but he said it’s “premature” because he wanted to see the bill text first.