June 3 George Floyd protest news

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5:42 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Obama tells young men and women of color: "I want you to know that you matter"

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

Former President Barack Obama delivered a message for young men and women of color across America.

"I want to speak directly to the young men and women of color in this country who, as was so eloquently described, have witnessed too much violence and too much debt, and too often some of that violence has come from folks who were supposed to be serving and protecting you." 

Speaking at a live-streamed town hall with local and national leaders of the police reform movement, Obama said:

"I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter. And when I go home and look at my daughters, Sasha and Malia, and look at my nephews and nieces, I see the limitless potential that continues to thrive."

"You should be able to learn and make mistakes and live a life of joy without worrying about what's going to happen if you go to the store or go for a jog or are driving down the street or looking at some birds in a park," he added. 

Obama praised all the young people peacefully taking to the streets to protest injustice and said he hopes that, despite the events of the past few weeks, they feel hopeful, “even as you may feel anger, because you have the power to make things better and you have helped to make the entire country feel as if this is something that's got to change.”


5:46 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Obama: Difficult and tragic days offer "incredible opportunity" to become "awakened"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

My Brother's Keeper Alliance/Obama Foundation
My Brother's Keeper Alliance/Obama Foundation

Former President Barack Obama today said he sees the turmoil that's roiled the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd as an opportunity for Americans to become aware of and address the "challenges, structural problem... [that] have been thrown into high relief" in our society. 

"As tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they've been, they've also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends," he said, speaking in a virtual town hall hosted by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a program of the Obama Foundation.

"They offer an opportunity for us to all work together to tackle them, to take them on, to change America and make it live up to its highest ideals," continued Obama. 

Obama’s comments today were his first addressing Floyd’s death on camera (via Zoom). In recent days, he has addressed the topic on social media as well as a lengthy Medium post, where he condemned police brutality and called for political solutions to address protesters' grievances about criminal justice.


5:40 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Obama urges communities to review use of force and implement reform

My Brother's Keeper Alliance/Obama Foundation
My Brother's Keeper Alliance/Obama Foundation

In a virtual forum in the wake of protests following George Floyd's death, former President Barack Obama urged communities to try to change their use of force policies from within.

"What can we do? Number one, we know there are specific evidence-based reforms that if we put in place today, would build trust, save lives, would not show an increase in crime. Those are included in the 21st century policing task force report," he said. "Number two, a lot of mayors and local elected officials read and supported the task force report. But then there wasn't enough follow-through." 

"Today I'm urging every mayor in this country to review your use of force policies with members of your community and commit to report on planned reforms," he said.


5:27 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Eric Garner's daughter: Today's charges are "step in the right direction" — but there's still more work to do

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

On a day which saw Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announce new charges facing the four former police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, Eric Garner’s daughter shared her distress with an overall lack of progress.

"My father died six years ago next month, and [now] we have another Eric Garner," said his daughter Emerald Snipes Garner.

Eric Garner died in 2014 after an altercation in which a former NYPD officer used a chokehold while making an arrest. Emerald, one of Garner's six children, has been working to pass a law which would outlaw such a police tactic.

“I don’t doubt that if this law was passed the first time, George Floyd would be here today… this is something that needs to happen,” she told Jake Tapper.

No one was charged in the case of her father's death. Garner views Ellison's announcement as a positive development.

"I see now, that the officer here is being charged and all officers involved, I see that as a step in the right direction, but we have way more work to do."

5:31 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Georgia police chiefs organization backs hate crime legislation in state that has no hate crime laws

From CNN’s Devon Sayers and Angela Barajas

The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police released a resolution to support legislation intended to combat hate crimes in Georgia.

Georgia is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t have any hate crime law.

The resolution said the organization is “committed to preserving the rights of all crime victims and is expressly opposed to bigotry and prejudice in any form."

It added advocate legislation that mandates the criminal sentence of any convicted perpetrator who “intentionally selected any victim, or damaged any property of any victim, based upon bias because of that person’s real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, or physical disability.”

Several Georgia lawmakers have pushed to pass a hate crime bill in the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and, more recently, George Floyd.

5:33 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

New complaint says former officers chose not to switch to a different restraint for George Floyd

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Former police officer Tou Thao was ready to employ a different restraint on George Floyd after he was subdued and on the ground but the other officers involved chose not employ it, according to his criminal complaint that was released today.

At one point, while Floyd was on the ground, Thao "obtained a hobble restraint from the squad car to restrain Mr. Floyd," the complaint said.

The restraint is a piece of webbing or belt designed to go around a person's legs to limit movement.

"But the officers decided not to use it and maintained their positions," the complaint said.

Instead, Thao "became concerned about a number of citizens who had gathered and were watching the officers subdue Mr. Floyd," the complaint said.


5:28 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Minnesota attorney general on timing of prosecution: "We're talking in terms of months"

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said the process of prosecuting the four police officers will probably take "months."

"We're talking in terms of months. I don't think we're talking years. But we're certainly, we're probably a number of months before this case will be in front of a jury."

Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on whether the officers will be charged together, Ellison said he didn't know yet.

"Well, that's yet to be determined. That will be determined by motion practice. And we will see. That's something that is in fact yet unknown. But it's actually a strategic question that we need to discuss internally," Ellison said.



5:12 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Former police officer Derek Chauvin has bail increased to $1 million

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Former police officer Derek Chauvin's bail has been increased to $1 million, according to the updated complaint filed today.

Chauvin is being held at the Minnesota Department of Corrections facility in Oak Park.

The increased bail amount coincides with the new charges of second-degree murder filed against him today.

The other three former officers all have bail set at $1 million, according to their court documents. However, of those three, only J. Alexander Kueng is in custody now.


5:14 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Minnesota attorney general says charges are "rooted in facts that we can prove"

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that the charges made against four former policer officer were based on evidence that was "significant, it was important, and it bolstered our theory of what happened here."

"We work with our team, and we believe that the factual basis was there for this charge. It is an ethical charge, it's a charge rooted in facts that we can prove," he said.

"As you know, it's not allowable for me to comment on the evidence and talk about the investigation. But as information rolled in, it made it — it made it necessary for us to adjust these charges," Ellison told CNN this afternoon.

Some context: Three former Minneapolis police officers on the scene when George Floyd was killed have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, Ellison announced earlier today.

Additionally, Ellison announced he's upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin, the officer who had his knee pressed into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, to second-degree murder.