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June 3 George Floyd protest news

Charges announced against all ex-officers in Floyd case

What you need to know

  • All four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s killing have been charged, the Minnesota attorney general announced.
  • Charges were elevated for one former officer from third to second-degree murder. The other former officers will be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
  • Protesters continue to rally across the US, and memorial services to honor Floyd will take place in Minnesota, Texas and North Carolina over the course of six days. The Minneapolis service will occur tomorrow.
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Our live coverage of the nationwide George Floyd protests has moved here.

US diplomats worry that crackdowns at home will undermine their mission abroad

Less than 24 hours after law enforcement officials violently dispersed peaceful protesters outside the White House with pepper balls and rubber bullets, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with survivors of China’s brutal 1989 crackdown on the pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.

Although the protests raging in Washington and across the US did not come up in the meeting, one of those survivors, Henry Li, told CNN that they are worried.

“The US is the leader of the world. It is very tough for Americans right now,” he said on Tuesday, a day after President Donald Trump called on state governors to pursue “total domination” amid violent crackdowns on protesters and journalists in cities across America.

Current and former diplomats tell CNN the events at home are “scary” and “heartbreaking” to watch – and also undermine their mission.

Former US Ambassador to Bulgaria Nancy McEldowney noted that “under any other circumstances, it would of course be wonderful for the American Secretary of State to meet with the survivors of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, because that’s what the United States stands for.”

A current State Department official said that America’s “moral standing is challenged.” Another State Department official described working with over 130 countries on police training, noting that recipients “are rigorously vetted for human rights compliance.”

Read the full story here:

Demonstrators kneel in front of a line of police officers during a protest for the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US diplomats worry that crackdowns at home will undermine their mission abroad

NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, a victim of police brutality himself, speaks out about George Floyd

Thabo Sefolosha knows far too well about police brutality against black people – in 2015, it happened to him, when he suffered injuries by New York City police and was wrongly arrested.

Sefolosha, 36, is a 14-year NBA veteran from Switzerland. Earlier today, he told CNN that he could see himself in George Floyd, who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“I think every black man in America, in my opinion, from the 14 years I’ve lived here, can feel that way,” Sefolosha said. “It’s that ultimate bullying. … I think it’s just an abuse of power that you’ve seen in preschool, middle school bullying, and it’s at such a high level that the people have to be fed up and something has to be done about it.”

He said when he saw the video of George Floyd’s death, he felt “a sense of just being totally disconnected.

“How can a human being do that to somebody else and just sit on his neck for nine minutes? Intentionally in broad daylight killing someone like this. And the anger is extended to the other officers that are just around just watching. Like, what is your purpose in life? Why did you decide to become a police officer? Everything is to be put in question at this point. So I can’t really blame people that are in the street just angry,” he said.

Read more about his story here:

HONOLULU, HI - OCTOBER 03: Jerome Robinson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers takes a running shot as he is defended by Thabo Sefolosha #18 of the Houston Rockets during the third quarter of the game at the Stan Sheriff Center on October 3, 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaii. TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, a victim of police brutality himself, opens up about George Floyd's death

New Orleans police fire tear gas to disperse protesters

Police in New Orleans fired tear gas Wednesday night to disperse protesters who police say refused to comply with orders to not walk across the Crescent City Connection, a bridge that stretches across the Mississippi River. 

“Escalation and confrontation hurts us all. NOPD is committed to respectful protection of our residents’ First Amendment rights. However, tonight we were compelled to deploy gas on the CCC in response to escalating, physical confrontation with our officers,” tweeted the New Orleans Police Department.

Los Angeles mayor says he won't increase the police budget

Protestors are arrested downtown by police after curfew went into effect during demonstrations over George Floyd’s death on June 2, in Los Angeles.

While addressing plans to reform the Los Angeles police department earlier today, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he will not be increasing the police budget.

He explained that “this is bigger than just a budget,” and “it is time to move our rhetoric towards action to end racism in our society.”

He announced that the city had identified $250 million in cuts to be invested in jobs, health, education, and healing, focusing on the city’s black community as well as “communities of color, women, and people who have been left behind for too long.”

Los Angeles Police Commission President Eileen Decker also announced that $100-150 million dollars of cuts from the LAPD’s budget will be identified to further enhance community neighborhood policing.

Decker said the Commission would also:

  • Support establishing an independent prosecutor outside the county’s district attorney’s office for the prosecution of police officers.
  • Develop more ways to enhance oversight of officers who have exhibited a pattern of high-risk behavior.
  • Complete de-escalation training and crowd control training for the entire police department by the end of this year.
  • Publish a new department policy that requires officers to intervene when other officers use excessive force, and that requires officers to report misconduct.

Mayor Garcetti also addressed the importance of having a civilian oversight team for the police department.

A team of five unpaid volunteers appointed by the mayor will look at policies that guide the police department, oversee its operations, and review all officer-involved shootings, said Garcetti.

The commission and the police chief will have a public meeting every week where residents are given the opportunity to speak directly to the entire leadership of the department, said the mayor.

Three men charged for planning to exploit protests and incite violence in Las Vegas

A police officer looks outside the car window as people march, on June 1, in downtown Las Vegas.

Three men who allegedly sought to exploit protests and incite violence in Las Vegas have been charged, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.

In a federal complaint filed on Tuesday, each man was charged with one count of conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire and explosive, and one count of possession of unregistered firearms. They are currently in state custody.

All three were Las Vegas residents and alleged members of the “Boogaloo” movement, “a term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society,” according to a press release by the Attorney’s Office today.

According to the complaint, authorities seized numerous accelerants, including gasoline, fuel injector cleaner, hair spray, strips of clothes, and four glass jars filled with a liquid that tested positive as gasoline, from one of the men’s vehicles.

They also found multiple rags, cans of hairspray, a plastic bag full of fireworks, a 12-gauge shotgun with numerous shotgun shells and a 45 ACP pistol in his vehicle. 

“Violent instigators have hijacked peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country, including Nevada, exploiting the real and legitimate outrage over Mr. Floyd’s death for their own radical agendas,” said US Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich in the press release.

Ongoing investigations nationwide: Federal law enforcement officials have told CNN that investigators believe extremists from both left and right have been involved. Investigations are still ongoing and prosecutors often add information to the charging documents. 

So far federal prosecutors have charged at least a dozen people with crimes related to the disturbances in the cities of Nashville, Chicago, Newark, Dallas, Minneapolis, Buffalo, and Brooklyn.

Seattle Mayor ends curfew, walking back the week-long extension

The Seattle mayor has announced an immediate end to the city’s curfew, walking back her decision just yesterday to extend the curfew through the end of the week.

Mayor Jenny Durkan said on Twitter that the major change in policy was in response to a request from community leaders at a meeting she attended today with Police Chief Carmen Best.

“Chief Best believes we can balance public safety and ensure peaceful protests can continue without a curfew,” Mayor Durkan tweeted.

“For those peacefully demonstrating tonight, please know you can continue to demonstrate. We want you to continue making your voice heard.”

Reversing the extension: She had announced just yesterday that the curfew would be in effect every night all this week – but the Seattle Police Department reported that it arrested only two people during protests on Tuesday.

The 3 Minnesota officers charged Wednesday in George Floyd's death will appear in court Thursday

All three former Minneapolis police officers who were arrested Wednesday on charges of aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd will have their first court appearances on Thursday afternoon.

The three officers – J. Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – are set to appear before the judicial officer at 1:45 p.m. ET.

The hearings were pushed up by 45 minutes from their original schedule, according to court records. 

No official reason was given, but the original start times would have had the former officers appearing in court at the same time as a televised memorial for George Floyd in Minneapolis, to be attended by his family.

Protesters in Minneapolis have respected George Floyd's memorial as "a sacred place," reporter says

A woman burns sage and offers prayers as she pays her respects at a makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd, on June 3, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd died, protests have become largely peaceful and calm after the initial violence over the weekend.

Mourners and protesters have set up a memorial for Floyd at the site of his death, with a wall mural and bouquets of flowers and tributes on the ground below.

“Today and the past two days, (protests) have been nothing more than peaceful, quite beautiful,” said CNN Correspondent Sara Sidner, reporting from the scene.

“There has been an incredible caring sentiment here. There was a piano that was rolled in. Different people, including children, were playing songs on the piano. There was free food for anyone who needed it or wanted it. There were grab bags with diapers and Similac and canned food and vegetables. This was a place of healing for the last couple of days.”

Though some shops in the neighborhood have boarded up their windows, they have largely been left alone by the crowds, Sidner said.

“There’s a reason for that – this is considered a sacred place, and time and again people have come out here and treated it as a sacred place because it is the place where George Floyd was killed and people want to recognize that,” Sidner said.

It's nighttime in the US and curfews are in place. Here are the biggest developments today

This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on June 3,  shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Nine days after the death of George Floyd, protesters are still out on the streets of major cities across America, even as curfews begin kicking in for the night.

Here are some of the latest developments today:

  • Calmer protests: Demonstrations today have stayed largely calm, with fewer arrests and violent confrontations than the previous week. Peaceful protesters are still out in cities like Atlanta, Washington, DC, and Seattle. There were clashes in New York between protesters and police, but authorities say the city was still quieter than before, with no reported instances of looting.
  • Minneapolis officers charged: All four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s killing have been charged. The officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck was charged with a more serious count of second-degree murder, and the three other officers on scene during his killing were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
  • Atlanta officers charged: Six Atlanta police officers are being charged with using excessive force during an arrest of two college students at a protest on Saturday night. The officers were filmed breaking windows of a vehicle, yanking a woman out of the car and tasing a man. The two were later identified as college students.
  • Obama speaks out: Former President Barack Obama held a livestream event today, in which he urged young people to “stay hopeful” and take action. “Just remember, this country was founded on protest,” he said.
  • Defense Secretary on deploying troops: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called the killing of George Floyd a “horrible crime” and said the officers involved should be “held accountable for his murder.” He also said he didn’t support using active troops to quell protests, in direct contradiction to President Trump’s message earlier this week.
  • Mattis tears into Trump: Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis slammed Trump as “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people,” in a forceful rebuke of his former boss. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he said.

Los Angeles protesters are still on the streets, just minutes before curfew kicks in

In Los Angeles, curfew is scheduled to kick in at 9 p.m., just minutes away now – but there are still crowds of protesters marching through the city’s downtown.

“This group has been here for hours and just recently started walking back and forth – the police are preventing them from walking through certain streets here in downtown LA,” said CNN Correspondent Kyung Lah from the scene. “For hours we saw them staging outside of city hall, and now they are walking.”

When curfew kicks in, police are expected to move in and enforce it even if the protesters are being peaceful, Lah said. The same thing happened last night – protesters stayed outside the mayor’s residence for hours after curfew, and were eventually removed and detained by police, though the arrests were largely peaceful and calm.

“I actually spoke with a young man who got detained yesterday and he told me the ticket, the fine, is $1,000,” Lah said.
“After each one of them is picked up and they’re cuffed, they are put on a bus, they’re taken to some part of Los Angeles, and then they’re given this ticket for $1,000. This is a hard economic time – the young man I spoke with is a law student at UCLA. He said, I don’t have that money. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how the city proceeds on that level.”

Tonight’s curfew will last from 9 p.m. local time to 5 a.m. the next morning.

Los Angeles mayor plans to lift curfew on Thursday

Demonstrators march as they protest the death of George Floyd, in West Hollywood, California on June 3.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a press conference earlier today that he plans to lift the city’s curfew on Thursday.

Barring a bad night from tonight, the curfew will be lifted for the city of Los Angeles starting tomorrow, Garcetti said.

All ten million Los Angeles County residents have been under a curfew order for four consecutive nights.

The curfew tonight will begin at 9 p.m. local time – under an hour away – instead of 6 p.m., as had been the case for previous curfew orders. 

The later curfew is a reflection of the peaceful protests, as well as good policing, Garcetti said.

The curfew tonight will be in place until 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.

First elected black mayor of Ferguson says “people will have a voice”

Mayor Ella Jones poses for a photo on June 3, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ella Jones, who was elected as the first black and first female mayor of Ferguson, Missouri, on Tuesday, said police officers need to work with communities to make people “feel that they are being served, instead of being hunted.”

“The only way to do that is to have courageous conversations … (and have) the police officers at the table with us,” she told CNN earlier tonight.

Jones’ historic win comes as protests over the killing of George Floyd grip the nation, and nearly six years after protests sparked in Ferguson following the 2014 death of Mike Brown, a black teenager who was shot by a white police officer. 

“The people want change, and they believe that I am a change agent,” Jones said. “I symbolize hope, and that the people will have a voice, and the people will feel like they’re included.” 

Jones said that the George Floyd protests in Ferguson last Saturday had been largely peaceful, but turned violent in the evening. “We can’t allow people to come in and destroy our businesses,” she said. 

She also stressed the importance of recording instances of police brutality, saying videos of these instances help convince people “that we need to get rid of bad police officers.”


State autopsy shows George Floyd tested positive for coronavirus

George Floyd tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a test taken after his death, according to Hennepin County’s new autopsy report released earlier today. 

The post-mortem nasal swab was found to be “positive for 2019-nCoV RNA,” said the report, using another term for the type of coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker said the type of test performed for the autopsy, called PCR, can show a positive result “for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease.” 

As a result, Baker said, “the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection” – meaning the virus played no known role in Floyd’s death and he was unlikely to have been contagious.