June 23 Black Lives Matter protests

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5:43 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Walmart removes Mississippi state flag from display in stores

From CNN's Cristina Alesci

Walmart removed the Mississippi state flag from display in their stores Tuesday, saying they believed it’s “the right thing to do.”

“Displaying state flags in our stores is a common practice nationwide,” Walmart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez told CNN. “We know the design of the Mississippi state flag is being discussed by various stakeholders. While the issue continues to be discussed, we’ve made the decision to remove the Mississippi state flag from display in its current form from our stores."

He added: “We believe it’s the right thing to do, and is consistent with Walmart’s position to not sell merchandise with the confederate flag from stores and online sites, as part of our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all of our customers in the communities we serve.”

Last week, CNN reported that the preeminent collegiate athletics conference in the South, the Southern Conference, said it would consider banning championship events in Mississippi until the state removed the Confederate symbol from its flag.

5:34 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Georgia State Senate approves passage of hate crime bill

From CNN’s Angela Barajas, Dianne Gallagher and Erica Henry

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will sign a bipartisan bill that would impose stricter sentencing and penalties for those convicted of hate crimes, his spokesperson said.

According to the Georgia State Senate press office, HB 426 passed by substitute by a vote of 47-6.

Georgia State Rep. Scott Holcomb said it then passed the House for final passage by a vote of 127-38. 

Georgia Attorney General Carr tweeted support for the passage of the bipartisan hate crime bill late Tuesday afternoon, calling it a “proud and historic moment in our state."

The passing and signing of House Bill 426 would mean that judges imposing sentences can increase punishment against those who target victims based on perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability or physical disability.

Georgia is one of four states — including Arkansas, South Carolina and Wyoming — that don't have hate crime laws or require data collection on such crimes, according to the US Justice Department website. However, even if a state doesn't have hate crime laws, the Justice Department says such crimes can still be reported to the FBI. 

4:40 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Attorney for Brooks' family: "I personally cried again at a funeral that I shouldn't have to be at"

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch 

Attorney Justin Miller speaks outside of the funeral for Rayshard Brooks at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 23.
Attorney Justin Miller speaks outside of the funeral for Rayshard Brooks at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 23. CNN

Attorneys representing the family of Rayshard Brooks, L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller, spoke to reporters outside of Brooks' funeral today.

Miller said he watched Brooks’ 8-year-old daughter, Blessing, during the funeral.

“I personally cried again at a funeral that I shouldn’t have to be at. I shouldn’t have to be there, we shouldn’t have to be here. None of you should have to be here today to witness this," he said.

“This has to stop and it has to end and it can end, but like Chris said – the division is killing us. It is killing all of us, it’s killing our country and it has to end.”

Miller encouraged everyone to not stop fighting and continue to push.

“Stay in the streets until real change happens, because I don’t want to watch another 8-year-old girl have to go through that again,” he said. 

4:11 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

GOP senator says he's uncertain about the path forward if his policing reform bill fails tomorrow

From CNN's Manu Raju

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during a news conference after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Hart Building in Washington, D.C., on June 23.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during a news conference after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Hart Building in Washington, D.C., on June 23. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP/Pool

Republican Sen. Tim Scott, the lead sponsor of his party's police reform bill, said he's uncertain if there's a path forward on police reform this year if Democrats block his bill tomorrow, as they plan to do.

"I've been talking to Booker for a long time now," Scott said of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the lead sponsor of the Democrats' bill. "Frankly the bottom line is simple, that we have been willing to engage, we want to have an open amendment process, that means if they don't like the legislation they can make it better. What else are we supposed to do?"

"What happens if it fails? That's a question I can't really answer at this point," he added.

About the bill: The GOP plan has a major emphasis on incentivizing states to take action. The Republican proposal does not include an outright ban on chokeholds but Scott argued earlier this week "we get very, very close to that place" by blocking federal grant funds to departments that don't ban chokeholds themselves.

3:36 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence says US will prosecute those who attempted to remove Andrew Jackson statue

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event at the Ingleside Hotel on June 23 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event at the Ingleside Hotel on June 23 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Morry Gash/AP

Vice President Mike Pence briefly addressed the recent disruptions by demonstrators outside the White House, saying the US will prosecute those who attempted to remove a statue of Andrew Jackson and recently vandalized the historic church that was set on fire during demonstrations a few weeks ago. 

“You know, just last night, just across the street from the White house, vandals defaced St. John’s Church again after trying to set it on fire a few weeks ago. They also tried to tear down the statue of President Andrew Jackson,” Pence said Tuesday during remarks at a “Faith in America” event in Wisconsin.

“So let me be clear: burning churches is not protest. Desecrating synagogues is not free speech. There will be no tolerance for vandalism or violence in the United States. We will prosecute those who do it to the fullest extent of the law,” Pence continued.

Earlier this week, President Trump said he plans to sign an executive order related to force cities to “guard” monuments.

3:34 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Suspect in Atlanta Wendy’s arson is in custody, sheriff says

From CNN’s Ryan Young and Devon M. Sayers

The Fulton County Sheriff’s office tweeted today confirming that the person suspected of arson for a fire at an Atlanta Wendy's that took place after the death of Rayshard Brooks is in custody.  

More on this: The woman, Natalie White, was charged with first-degree arson for the fire that took place as protests escalated last week after Brooks' death.

Read the sheriff's tweet:

3:29 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Rayshard Brooks' funeral has ended 

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

The casket of Rayshard Brooks is carried out of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 23.
The casket of Rayshard Brooks is carried out of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 23. CNN

The funeral for Rayshard Brooks has ended. His casket is being taken out of the church followed by the family, all dressed in white.

 At the service, Brooks' family and friends spoke about the 27-year-old father.

Ambrea Mikolajczyk, who runs a construction company in Toledo, Ohio, where Brooks worked last year, said he was a hard worker who biked to work every day as he tried to overcome the restrictions placed on him while on probation.

"Ray had overcome his circumstances. He was working hard to become the best provider, caretaker, community builder, father, husband, son, brother and relationship agent he could possibly be," she said.

Jymaco Brooks said his cousin was a person who would always make you laugh.

“He wanted to smile, crack jokes, dance a little and live,” he said.

4:31 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Rev. Bernice King says Brooks was killed in a city that's home to "civil and human rights"

From CNN’s Laura Robinson and Erica Henry

Rev. Dr. Bernice King makes a fist saying‚ no justice no peace‚ while speaking at Rayshard Brooks funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on June 23 in Atlanta.
Rev. Dr. Bernice King makes a fist saying‚ no justice no peace‚ while speaking at Rayshard Brooks funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on June 23 in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP/Pool

The Rev. Bernice King said it was especially troubling that Rayshard Brooks was killed in a city that is home to “civil and human rights." 

“This happened in the city that has been known as the black mecca. This happened in the city whose grounds are known for America and the world warrior of peace, my daddy, Martin Luther King, Jr, who taught us that true peace is not merely the absence of tension but it is the presence of justice. Therefore, there can be no peace in Atlanta nor anywhere in our nation where there is no justice," she said at Brooks' funeral.

King raised her fist in the air and said: "No justice, no peace.”  

The funeral comes more than a week after the 27-year-old father was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer after he fought with police and tried to flee during an attempted arrest. The shooting, amid nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality, has led to the resignation of the police chief and criminal charges against the officer who killed him and another officer on scene.

Watch:

3:36 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Twitter puts warning on Trump tweet for "threat of harm" against DC protesters

From CNN's Donie O'Sullivan

Twitter on Tuesday put a warning label on a tweet from President Trump in which he warned if protesters tried to set up an “autonomous zone” in Washington, DC, they would be “met with serious force!”

“We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group,” Twitter said.

Trump has been critical of the “autonomous zone” in Seattle.