June 21 Black Lives Matter protests

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Amir Vera and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 12:33 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020
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11:42 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace "incredibly saddened" by noose found in his garage

Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR's top circuit, says he is "incredibly saddened" after a noose was found in his team's garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on Sunday.

"Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," Wallace said in a statement on Twitter.

But he said he won't be deterred by the "reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate."  

"This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in."

Wallace was instrumental in calling for the auto racing company to ban the display of the Confederate flag at its events. He raced with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme on his car during a NASCAR event last week.

11:28 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Noose found in garage of black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 14, in Homestead, Florida.
Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 14, in Homestead, Florida. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A noose was found in the garage stall of black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on Sunday, the auto racing company announced in a statement. 

"We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport," NASCAR said in its statement.

Wallace is the only full-time African American driver in NASCAR's Cup Series. He has spoken out in support of NASCAR's decision to ban the Confederate flag at all events.

"I was proud of the efforts by NASCAR, so hats off to them," Wallace told CNN.

Read more here.

11:18 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Richmond police declare unlawful assembly after protesters try to pull down statue

CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Police in Richmond, Virginia declared an unlawful assembly tonight after protesters attempted to pull down a statue of Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart with a rope.

The unlawful assembly was declared around 9.20 p.m., according to a tweet from Richmond police.

No arrests were made and no injuries were reported after police dispersed protesters, Virginia State Police Public Relations Manager Corinne Gellar said.

Most of the protesters have left the area and several are reconvening at a statue of Robert E. Lee, another Confederate general, in downtown Richmond, Gellar said.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, protesters and some city leaders have started removing Confederate statues across the United States, which they say are racist symbols of America's dark legacy of slavery. 

Over the weekend, protesters toppled a statue of Albert Pike, a senior officer of the Confederate States Army, in Washington DC. Two statues on a Confederate monument in North Carolina were also pulled down.

12:14 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

NYPD officer suspended following "disturbing apparent chokehold incident"

CNN's Mark Morales and Kristina Sgueglia

The video shows several officers arresting a man, with one officer appearing to put him in a chokehold. 
The video shows several officers arresting a man, with one officer appearing to put him in a chokehold.  NYPD

A New York City police officer has been suspended without pay after he was captured on video in what the police commissioner called a "disturbing apparent chokehold incident."

“While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Sunday.

The New York Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau launched an active use of force investigation after video of an arrest surfaced on social media.

What's in the video: The video shows several officers arresting a man, with one officer appearing to put him in a chokehold. 

Another officer is seen tapping the back of the officer who had the man in an apparent chokehold, and that officer appears to release his hold. 

According to a law enforcement source, the incident happened at 8:45 a.m. Sunday morning on a beach boardwalk in Rockaway, Queens as police were responding to a disorderly group in the area.

What led up to the incident: Body camera footage released by the NYPD shows three men in exchanges with police, sometimes in conversation, other times name-calling and taunting.

At one point, a man who eventually was taken into custody approaches the officers and taunts them, saying: “I’ll throw sh*t in your face.”

About 10 minutes into the video, one man reaches down and pulls up a plastic bag. He then walks out of view of the camera and his friend asks him “what are you doing?”

The officers then move in to make an arrest. A scuffle ensues and several cops work to arrest the man. The body camera video shows an officer eventually remove his arm from the man’s neck.  

“He’s choking him,” bystanders can be heard saying, even as police are walking the man to their vehicle. When asked by another bystander, a cop says: “He’s not getting arrested, he’s going to the hospital.”

What happened afterward: The man, whose name has not been released, suffered a laceration and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the police source. The man is still in custody and charges have not yet been announced or filed, the source added.

9:22 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Police fire rubber bullets and pepper spray on protesters in Compton, California

From CNN's Paul Vercammen

A protester carries a sign during a march in honor of Andres Guardado, on Sunday, June 21, in Compton, California.
A protester carries a sign during a march in honor of Andres Guardado, on Sunday, June 21, in Compton, California. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Earlier tonight, police deployed rubber bullets and pepper spray on a group of protesters in Compton, southern Los Angeles County.

At least six people were detained.

Almost 3,000 people marched peacefully through the city today, with tensions rising toward the evening as demonstrators went face to face with police near the Compton courthouse and the sheriff's substation.

"The demonstrators and those deputies ... were face to face and next thing you know, rubber bullets started flying," said CNN reporter Paul Vercammen from the scene. "Some sort of pepper spray-like substance was shot in the air, we heard flash bangs."

He added that the demonstrators were marching in protest after the death of 18-year-old security guard Andres Guardado, who was shot by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy while working at an auto body shop.

7:10 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

District attorney responds to calls for a special prosecutor in Rayshard Brooks case

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard released a statement Sunday in response to Republican US Rep. Doug Collins calling for state Attorney General Chris Carr to appoint an independent prosecutor in the Rayshard Brooks case.

"Today is Father’s Day. As I celebrated this time with one of my two daughters, I could not help but think of the wife of Rayshard Brooks who now has the task of raising four children without a father or husband. It would be fitting if Representative Collins and the Atlanta Police Union would at minimum pause their antics for one day to reflect upon this family and what this holiday must mean for them. 
"When the facts are present in a homicide case, it is my duty as District Attorney to move forward even when the case involves a police officer. No, I will not step aside. It is my plan to continue to charge cases based upon the facts rather than the rantings of groups or individuals whose ideals are inconsistent with the principles of justice and racial equality."
7:01 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

NYPD commissioner to testify Monday on interactions between police and the public during protests

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea will publicly testify Monday at 11 a.m. ET in an ongoing investigation by the New York Attorney General into recent interactions between the NYPD and the public, according to a press release from Attorney Gen. Letitia James’ office.

Shea’s testimony will be livestreamed. As part of the investigation, James' office held two days of public hearings last week that heard testimony from 100 witnesses about their interactions with the NYPD during the recent protests over police misconduct.

We heard hours of troubling testimony from brave New Yorkers about their interactions with the NYPD over the past few weeks, but our investigation would be incomplete without getting answers directly from the NYPD. True accountability and justice will only come when the truth is laid bare for all to hear," James said.  
4:41 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Protests in downtown Washington, DC, lead to closing some roads and highways

From CNN's Nicky Robertson and Yahya Abou-Ghazala

Demonstrators mounted a protest in the middle of a key highway that leads to Capitol Hill closing it for a while Sunday afternoon. The highway is now back open.

Video posted to social media showed dozens of protesters standing on the lanes of the highway, called the Southeast/Southwest Freeway.

Most protesters were wearing masks. Some of them held signs up with the messages "This Is A Revolt Against Racism." At least some of these protesters are aligned with a group supporting "Socialism" and "Liberation."

As a result of this protest, several key bridges were closed from Northern Virginia into Washington, DC – the 14th Street Bridge and Memorial Bridge – as well several highways leading to downtown Washington, Interstates 395 and 695. Several roads in that area and entries into a key tunnel leading to the Capitol were closed. 

The Metropolitan DC Police Department now reports those closures are over.

5:09 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Georgia attorney general responds to call for special prosecutor in Rayshard Brooks case

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Attorney Gen. Chris Carr responded to US Rep. Doug Collins's calls for a special prosecutor to be appointed in the Rayshard Brooks case, in a series of tweets. 

"Charging an Atlanta police officer with felony murder before the completion of the GBI's investigation was a political decision, not a legal one," Collins said in a statement Friday, adding that Georgians need to be ensured "this case is devoid of any and all political influence."

Carr's tweets included Georgia code stating that the attorney general can appoint a special prosecutor if the current district attorney disqualifies themselves or is disqualified by a court.