June 2 George Floyd protest news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Daniella Diaz, CNN

Updated 1:15 AM ET, Wed June 3, 2020
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11:44 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Police in New York are letting peaceful protesters leave the Manhattan Bridge

Police stand at the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night in New York.
Police stand at the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night in New York. Seth Wenig/AP

In New York, tensions were high earlier tonight with protesters on the Manhattan Bridge and police on both sides -- but it appears police are now allowing protesters to walk away and leave the area.

Protesters holding signs and holding their arms up slowly walk off, back to the Brooklyn side, as police stand to the side.

"We haven't seen them make arrests or taking folks into custody, allowing those on the bridge to make their way off the bridge," said CNN Correspondent Jason Carroll at the scene.

"So far this falls in line with a lot of the tactics we have seen, not just tonight but last night as well, with the police taking a step back -- allowing some of the demonstrators to have their voice," said Carroll.

What happened: Earlier today, some protesters splintered from a larger group demonstrating in Brooklyn.

They tried to cross the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan, but were stopped by police. They stayed stuck on the bridge, with some fearful of arrests, before turning around and peacefully walking off.

"Police are standing by -- the tactic is take a backseat approach at this point and allow them to continue marching," said Carroll.

11:25 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Trump on New York protests: "When will Governor Cuomo call the federal government for help?"

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on Monday in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on Monday in Washington. Patrick Semansky/AP

President Donald Trump tweeted about the ongoing protests in New York, citing Fox News in describing the "chaos, lawlessness, and destruction."

"When will Governor Cuomo call the federal government for help?" he tweeted.

What's happening in New York: In Manhattan, scuffles broke out between police and protesters in the western neighborhood of Chelsea, with several protesters arrested or detained.

There were also instances of looting along the downtown area, with CNN Correspondent Shimon Prokupecz observing people break into a wine store and taking bottles.

Further south, protesters have gathered on the Manhattan Bridge. Police were on both ends, but it appears they are allowing protesters to walk off peacefully.

11:14 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Scuffles break out between police and protesters in New York's Chelsea

In New York, protesters and police faced off tonight in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

The demonstrations had been largely peaceful throughout the day, but tensions rose toward the evening, as the 8 p.m. curfew came and went, and looters began targeting stores in Manhattan.

"Looters and came and busted through the store glass," said CNN Correspondent Shimon Prokupecz at the scene. "I saw them running out with bottles of wine ... They have been using rocks in some cases to break the glass."

He added that the group of looters had joined in with another group of peaceful protesters, which then led to a confrontation with police in Chelsea.

"There were at least two or three arrests there. They were holding four individuals with their hands on the car," Prokupecz said.

"It looks like (police) also used pepper spray. We can kind of sense it in our eyes, and you can kind of smell it. Then one of the males they arrested, he was asking for milk for his eyes, which supposedly helps. He was feeling pain."

11:08 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

The National Guard in DC is investigating the use of military helicopters yesterday


The National Guard in Washington, DC, is now investigating the actions of their helicopters on Monday night, it said.

Late Monday night, helicopters were seen doing slow, low-level passes over crowds, and hovering in what appeared to be attempts to disperse the protesters.

Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell told CNN on Tuesday that the UH-72 aircraft had been flying to "provide observation of DC National Guard positions as they conducted civil unrest operations," and had not been dispatched as part of law enforcement operations.

The DC National Guard tweeted Tuesday night, “DCNG Commanding General has directed an investigation into the actions of our rotary aviation assets June 1. Our priority is the safety of our Guardsmen who support civil authorities. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of citizens and their right to protest.”
11:47 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New York protesters are trapped on the Manhattan Bridge with police waiting on both ends


In New York City, the Manhattan Bridge is full of protesters -- and they're boxed in, with police waiting on both ends of the bridge.

The protesters on the bridge had splintered off from a larger group that had been demonstrating in Brooklyn earlier in the day, said CNN National Correspondent Jason Carroll. The splinter group tried to make their way to Manhattan -- when they were stopped on the Manhattan Bridge.

Some are now trying to turn back and head back into Brooklyn, but they may not be able to -- there are a number of police officers around the bridge, waiting on both ends, some seen with the white zip ties used to detain protesters.

"Either way, they're going to be met with officers," said Carroll. "Whatever they decide to do, they're going to be met with a vast number of officers who are out here on the streets tonight."

He pointed to a large bus seen near the bridge. "If they've (police) got to make arrests, they are prepared. They've got the bus here. They've got a number of officers with zip ties, so if they are going to be making arrests, they are prepared to do just that."


10:45 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Los Angeles Mayor says he's "proud" of peaceful protesters

Demonstrators march through the streets on June 2 in Los Angeles.
Demonstrators march through the streets on June 2 in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

In reaction to the thousands of protestors gathered in front of his residence, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he wants them to know he can hear them loud and clear.

“I’m proud of the protestors across the city who are peacefully expressing themselves,” Garcetti said in a press conference on Tuesday. “I embrace our right to do that and I’m glad that it has been peaceful."

While thanking police officers for their hard work, he said that looting is decreasing in the city and that it has been dealt with pretty swiftly.

1,000 members of the National Guard are on the streets of Los Angeles, he said.

"We will go after folks who break into businesses. We will go after people who are looting or causing violence against demonstrators or police officers," he said. "I look forward to the day when we get rid of a curfew, when we don’t have the National Guard, when our police officers don’t have helmets on."

A curfew is in effect for the city and county of Los Angeles for a third night, effective from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time. Mayor Garcetti said he will make a day-to-day decision on extending the curfew.

10:56 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Peaceful protesters in Washington, DC, are moving away from the White House

Many protesters in Washington, DC, are peacefully walking away from Lafayette Square, heading north to the DuPont neighborhood.

A rolling police department bike squad is slowly following them as they move up the streets, away from the White House.

It has been a more peaceful, quiet night than the previous few, after scenes of tear gas and police clashes with protesters in the Lafayette Square area this week.

The curfew in DC went into effect at 7 p.m. local time. It's now past 10:30 p.m.

10:47 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Facebook shuts down far-right group planning to bring weapons to protests 

From CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan

Facebook said on Tuesday that it had shut down pages and accounts associated with what it said was a hate group, whose members were discussing bringing weapons to the George Floyd protests.

The platform said it had observed people associated with the group American Guard discussing such action. 

The group says it is about American constitutional nationalism, but the Anti-Defamation League says American Guard "has a background with connections to anti-immigrant extremism, hatred, and violence."

According to the Anti-Defamation League, American Guard had once been "the Indiana chapter of a group called the Soldiers of Odin USA, a branch of an extreme anti-immigrant and anti-refugee group that originated in Finland in 2015 and has spread to many other countries." 

Facebook removal: Facebook said it had also taken down accounts linked to the far-right group the Proud Boys, though it said it had not seen posts from that group discussing weaponry.  

The company said it had been planning on taking action against both groups, but had expedited the process when they saw how the groups were discussing the protests. 

Facebook staff told CNN on Tuesday that the company would take action on people using the platform to organize violence regardless of their political affiliation. 

10:57 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Milwaukee police fired tear gas at protesters after rocks and glass were thrown at officers

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police fired tear gas at protesters on Tuesday night after rocks and glass were thrown at officers, according to a tweet from the police department.

“Protestors have been ordered to disperse due to unlawful assembly after throwing rocks and glass at our officers,” the police tweeted. "A suspect with a gun who was in the crowd has been taken into custody by MPD. For our safety and the safety of our residents we had used gas to disperse the crowd. We are asking that all individuals disperse.”