June 8 George Floyd protest news

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 9:43 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020
10 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:36 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

George Floyd's family calls on UN to intervene in his case

Protestors gather near the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30.
Protestors gather near the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

George Floyd's family has appealed to the United Nations to intervene in his case and to send recommendations for systemic police reform in the US, according to a press release.

In a June 3 letter to the UN Working Group on the Rights of People of African Descent, the family and civil rights attorney Ben Crump urged the UN to investigate Floyd’s death and encourage the US government to press federal criminal charges against the officers involved.

They requested reforms including de-escalating techniques, independent prosecutions and autopsies for every police killing.

Crump said in a statement that the US "has a long pattern and practice of depriving Black citizens of the fundamental human right to life."

He said he had sought the protection of the federal government on innumerable cases of police brutality against black people -- including Martin Lee Anderson in Florida, Michael Brown in Missouri and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky -- but that the government had failed to hold officers accountable, even in cases with irrefutable video evidence.

"When a group of people of any nation have been systemically deprived of their universal human right to life by its government for decades, it must appeal to the international community for its support and to the United Nations for its intervention. We echo the words of [Ethiopian] Emperor Haile Selassie I in his 1963 speech to the United Nations in which he pledged to continue to fight for equality and justice, 'until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned … until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eye,'" said Crump.

International legal strategists and advocates Jotaka Eaddy and Jasmine Rand added:

"The comments made by President Trump on June 1, 2020, wherein he highlighted protecting citizens' right to bear arms above African Americans' right to life, heightens the urgency of the appeal to the United Nations, as we believe his comments will incite vigilante behavior and violence against African Americans."

They said the failure to address police violence had "weaponized racism against African Americans."

12:26 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Police use force to disperse demonstrators in Seattle

From CNN's Alta Spells

Smoke fills the air as demonstrators clash with police near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, in Seattle.
Smoke fills the air as demonstrators clash with police near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, in Seattle. David Ryder/Getty Images

What appeared to be a peaceful protest took a turn overnight as law enforcement forces used flash bombs and what appeared to be a chemical agent to disperse a crowd of protesters gathered in Seattle. 

On a live video stream on Facebook, police could be heard warning protesters to disperse and leave the area. Shortly after, the crowd began to scatter and police officers and other law enforcement agents could be seen advancing into an intersection.

Loud bangs could be heard in the background as white smoke begins to waft through the air. At one point, the video stream pans to show a burning trash can.

The moderator of the live feed describes two armored vehicles moving in as members of the police force continue to span out into the intersection that was full of protesters just minutes before. 

Before police began to move protesters back, the Seattle Police Department said: "Incident Commander has made multiple PA announcements requesting that demonstrators stop moving the bicycle fencing and for the crowd to move back," in a post on Twitter that was followed approximately two hours later by another post warning protesters. 

In a third post, the Seattle Police Department announced their intentions to clear the area saying: "Incident Commander has issued two dispersal orders, demonstrators should leave the area now."

Hours earlier, the Seattle Police Department arrested a man who drove a vehicle in the crowd of protesters, while the Seattle Fire Department transported a man in his late 20s from the same area to hospital with a gunshot wound. 

7:01 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

K-pop group BTS and its fan "army" donate more than $2m to Black Lives Matter

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Seoul and journalist Sol Han in Sewol, South Korea

Members of the K-Pop band BTS visit the "Today" Show at Rockefeller Plaza on February 21, in New York City.
Members of the K-Pop band BTS visit the "Today" Show at Rockefeller Plaza on February 21, in New York City. Cindy Ord/WireImage/Getty Images

K-pop behemoths BTS and their fans have donated $2 million to the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the band's label and their fan fundraising group.

Last Thursday, the South Korean boy band posted a tweet saying:

"We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence, You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter"

In response, BTS fan-based charity fundraising group "One In An ARMY" launched a campaign to raise funds in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which raised $50,000 in four and a half days. 

The campaign then turned into a drive to #MatchAMillion, after reports the band had donated $1 million emerged on Saturday.

The band's label, Big Hit Entertainment, confirmed to CNN that BTS had donated $1 million to a campaign group.

In the first 24 hours of the #MatchAMillion campaign, the fan group raised more than $817,000, according to a press release that One In An ARMY posted on its Twitter account.

Shortly after, on Sunday evening ET, the fundraiser updated via Twitter that they had reached their $1 million goal. 

The additional $1 million was donated to bailouts for those arrested for protesting police brutality, black-led advocacy organizations fighting systemic injustice and support for the physical and mental health of the black community, the statement said.

6:46 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Top health officials monitor nationwide protests, fearing coronavirus may spread

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

A crowd of protesters walk from the Capitol building to the White House during a protest against police brutality and racism, on June 6, in Washington, DC.
A crowd of protesters walk from the Capitol building to the White House during a protest against police brutality and racism, on June 6, in Washington, DC. Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Health officials have raised concern about the spread of coronavirus, as thousands of people braving the pandemic to participate in national protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Sunday it was closely monitoring the demonstrations taking place across the US and warned that such gatherings could spur coronavirus transmission. Some states are already seeing upward trends of new cases.

For three months, the country passed one grim milestone after the other, hitting 100,000 coronavirus deaths in late May. Public health officials have said that without the lockdowns most states put in place, the death toll could have been significantly higher. 

As those lockdowns were lifted and other measures were loosened, the CDC and other top health officials urged Americans to use face coverings when they go out and always maintain a distance from other people. 

But large protests make it hard to keep to the recommended social distancing guidelines and "may put others at risk," CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.

"It is too early to know what, if any, effect these events will have on the federal Covid-19 response. Every local situation is different. State and local officials will make decisions to protect public health and safety based on circumstances on the ground," she said.

Earlier this month, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said protesters should be evaluated and tested for the virus.

"I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event," he said -- especially in metropolitan areas where there has been significant transmission.

Read the full story here:

6:20 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

China says Pompeo's accusation that it is using Floyd's death as propaganda is a lie

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the press at the State Department in Washington, DC, on May 20.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the press at the State Department in Washington, DC, on May 20. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called recent comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "lies," after he accused China of using George Floyd's death as "laughable propaganda."

Pompeo is still telling lies and keeps slandering other people," said Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

She added that "US society still suffers from systematic discrimination, this is not outside propaganda, but is a normal state in the US which has been called out by many people."

Hua said "equal rights for minorities remain elusive [in the US]" and "US politicians trying to shift the blame is immoral and unhelpful."

Hua's comments come after Pompeo released a statement on Saturday accusing China of exploiting the "tragic death of George Floyd to justify its authoritarian denial of basic human dignity." Pompeo said China's propaganda efforts "should be seen for the fraud they are."

6:14 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Macron asks French interior minister to look into police violence

From CNN's Pierre Barrin in Paris

People raise their fists as they kneel in front of riot policemen during a 'Black Lives Matter' protest in Paris, on June 6.
People raise their fists as they kneel in front of riot policemen during a 'Black Lives Matter' protest in Paris, on June 6. Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked the country's interior minister to look into police violence with a view to improving "the ethics of the police," according to a government statement.

After last week's protests, Macron met the prime minister, the interior minister and other officials over the weekend, the Elysée Palace said in a statement early Monday morning. 

"The president has asked the minister of interior to quickly complete the work, begun last January, which consisted in making proposals to improve the ethics of the police," the release added.

There was a 41% increase in internal investigations into police violence between 2018 and 2019, according to a report released on Sunday by the police force's internal watchdog.

On Tuesday last week, more than 20,000 protesters gathered in front of the main Paris court demanding an end to police violence, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US following the death in custody of George Floyd.

The organizers of the protests also demanded justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black French man who died in police custody in Paris four years ago.

Several protests against racism and police violence have taken place all over France in recent days, including three in Paris on Saturday.

All of the demonstrations went ahead in defiance of French authorities, since measures banning gatherings of more than 10 people are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

8:37 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Picture of George Floyd appears on famous Bethlehem site for political graffiti

From CNN's Abeer Salman in Bethlehem

A Palestinian man walks past graffiti of George Floyd in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on June 7.
A Palestinian man walks past graffiti of George Floyd in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on June 7. Musa Al Shaer/AFP/Getty Images

A picture of George Floyd has appeared in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem on the concrete wall built by Israel that separates it from the West Bank. 

Since it went up almost 20 years ago, a response to the violence of the second intifada, or armed uprising, the wall has become one of the world’s most famous canvases for political graffiti.

The wall's latest addition shows George Floyd wearing a hooded top, colored blue, staring out to meet the viewer’s gaze -- a version of one of the most widely circulated images of him, a photo taken against a brick wall.

What else is on the wall? Other depictions to appear in recent years in Bethlehem include Donald Trump with his hand against the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with the speech bubble, "I'm going to build you a brother," a reference to his campaign promise to erect a wall on the US’s southern border with Mexico.

There is also a large mural of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who has become a face of resistance to occupation. Tamimi was given an eight-month prison sentence after she was filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier at the entrance to her family’s house.

The wall is also a popular site for sloganeering. "Make hummus not walls," reads one message.

5:05 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Derek Chauvin will appear in court for the first time on two-week anniversary of George Floyd's death

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

The third and final memorial service for George Floyd will be held Monday in Houston, the city he grew up in before moving to Minneapolis, where he died at the hands of a police officer.

Ex-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, the officer who is seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, is charged with second-degree murder, which comes with a maximum sentence of 40 years.

Chauvin is also charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, which come with maximum sentences of 25 years and 10 years respectively. It is unclear whether, if convicted of those additional charges, Chauvin’s sentences would be served concurrently or consecutively. That would be at the discretion of the judge.

The other three officers involved in Floyd's death -- Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao -- were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

In Houston, thousands are expected to attend Monday's visitation for Floyd. The six-hour viewing Monday will be followed by a funeral service and burial Tuesday in Pearland, a Houston suburb, CNN affiliate KTVT reported. Floyd will be laid to rest next to his mother, the news station reported.

8:39 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Catch up on the biggest headlines overnight

Protesters in the US and across the world took to the streets for the 13th consecutive day after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Sunday marked a string of symbolic and significant victories for the protesters, as the peaceful demonstrations prompted authorities to lift curfews and withdraw National Guard troops. Here are the biggest headlines if you're just joining us:

  • Dismantling Minneapolis police: In Minneapolis, a veto-proof supermajority of the city council pledged their commitment to defunding and dismantling the city's police force -- a protest demand that has gained momentum this week. "Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety," tweeted one council member.
  • Curfews lifted: With protests around the country staying peaceful in recent days, authorities are easing up restrictions. Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and Buffalo in upstate New York all lifted curfews today.
  • Police reform in New York: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would move funding away from the police force and instead put it toward youth and social services. This comes as two NYPD officers were suspended without pay for excessive force toward protesters last week.
  • Trump withdraws National Guard: President Donald Trump tweeted today that he has ordered for the National Guard to start withdrawing from Washington, DC. It's not clear if all troops are being withdrawn, or just those who came from out of state.
  • British crowds topple statue: In Bristol, England, a massive crowd of protesters toppled the statue of a 17th century slave trader and threw it into a river, to applause from onlookers. Thousands of people also gathered in London and Edinburgh to protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
  • Protests go worldwide: The solidarity protests have gained international momentum this weekend, drawing huge numbers in major cities like Rome and Madrid. In many places, protesters are calling attention to the often overlooked legacy of colonialism and the perpetuation of racial injustices in their own countries; for instance, Australian protesters demanded equality for indigenous communities who face mass incarceration and high rates of death in police custody.