June 4 George Floyd protest news

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7:29 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Massive protests for social justice around the US

Massive protests are underway around the US today to demand justice for George Floyd and other black Americans who have recently died following police violence.

In Minneapolis, the Rev. Al Sharpton denounced racism and called for accountability in the criminal justice system as he delivered a eulogy at Floyd's memorial service.

"The reason we could never be who we wanted to be and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck," said Sharpton, the founder of the National Action Network.

Sharpton spoke near a casket carrying Floyd's body at the North Central University in Minneapolis. The event was the first in a series of memorial services honoring Floyd.

Since the 46-year-old died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Floyd's relatives have been part of massive protests in Texas. His children heard crowds far way from home chant their father's name. His brother led a prayer vigil at the site of Floyd's death.

"Everyone wants justice for George, we want justice for George," Philonise Floyd said. "He's going to get it."

Here's what the protests look like around the US:

Washington, DC

Demonstrators kneel down at The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial as they protest the death of George Floyd in Washington, DC, on June 4.
Demonstrators kneel down at The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial as they protest the death of George Floyd in Washington, DC, on June 4. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

New York

Demonstrators denouncing systemic racism in law enforcement and the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer gather at a press conference in the borough of Brooklyn calling for the passing of bills to increase police accountability throughout New York state on June 4 in New York City.
Demonstrators denouncing systemic racism in law enforcement and the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer gather at a press conference in the borough of Brooklyn calling for the passing of bills to increase police accountability throughout New York state on June 4 in New York City. Scott Heins/Getty Images

Los Angeles

KCAL; KCBS
KCAL; KCBS

Atlanta

WGCL
WGCL

This post has been updated with more details about the protests.

5:57 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Colorado governor says Floyd protests are "a reawakening of our national conscious"

From CNN’s Renee Bahareen 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a news conference in Denver on Thursday, May 28.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a news conference in Denver on Thursday, May 28. David Zalubowski/AP

Following George Floyd’s memorial service, Gov. Jared Polis delivered remarks about Floyd and the recent protests seen around the country during a news conference.

“George Floyd's life mattered. He was a human being, an American entitled to the rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,” Polis said. “In these protests, I see optimism. I see hope. I see a reawakening of our national conscious, one that was long overdue. I see people who have been crying out about injustice for years, for decades finally — finally having their voices heard. And I see allies who are ready to listen and ready to work for the better future that we know is possible, and I count myself among them.”

The governor also referenced the viral video of George Floyd’s daughter Gianna seen on the shoulders of one of Floyd’s closest friends saying, “Daddy changed the world.” 

“He certainly did,” Polis said. “One of the best things about being a parent is these moments when our children teach us and show us wisdom in unexpected ways. Let us allow Gianna Floyd's youthful wisdom to guide us on our quest for justice and equality to make her words true that her daddy changed the world. And let us deliver on her promise of a changed world.”

5:24 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Minneapolis parks votes to cut ties with police department

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Wednesday night to end its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, according to a recording of the meeting.

All nine board members voted in favor of the resolution to immediately stop using "Minneapolis Police to staff park-sanctioned events" and end the practice of "Park Police response to Minneapolis Police Department calls."

The board also unanimously voted to redesign Park Police uniforms so they less resemble those of the Minneapolis Police department.

The Park and Recreation Board now joins the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Public School District in cutting ties with the police department. 

5:32 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Lawyers for former officers in Floyd case fault Derek Chauvin

From CNN's Aaron Cooper and Josh Campbell

Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

At a bail hearing Thursday held in a heavily fortified court building protected by the National Guard across the street from police headquarters, lawyers for Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng attacked the strength of the government’s case and argued they should be released on bail.

The former officers appeared in orange jail uniforms and face masks with a small number of their families allowed into the socially-distanced courtroom for hearings that averaged about 10 minutes each. 

“This is a very serious matter involving a very tragic death and these are very serious charges,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank said.

In response to the government’s request for a high bail amount, lawyers for the defendants argued for a lesser amount due to their clients’ ties to the community and cooperation so far with investigators.  

“I am hard pressed to come up with any comparisons” to other cases, the judge said when ruling on the first case.

He granted the government’s request, setting bail in all three cases at $1 million or $750,000 with conditions that include not working in security or law enforcement, surrendering guns and any gun permits, and not having contact with Floyd’s family. 

Details from court: One defense strategy on display at this bail hearing was pointing to Chauvin’s longtime status on the force and noting that he out ranked the others. 

Kueng's defense attorney, Thomas Plunkett, said that it was his client’s third shift as a full-fledged police officer and Chauvin was his training officer.

“I’m asking the court to set bail on the individual” not the institution of the police department that has “lost its guidance,”  Plunkett argued.

Earl Gray, Lane's attorney, echoed the sentiment.

“It is not meant as punishment,” Gray said, adding, “bail is not mean to kowtow to the media.”

During the hearing and after, Gray contrasted Lane’s being "on the force for four days” with the seniority of Chauvin.

Gray argued that his client was only holding Floyd’s feet and administered CPR when he was in the back of an ambulance.  

"You've got a 20-year cop in the front and my guy is in the back there with four days," Gray said after court.

"I don't know what you're supposed to do as a cop," Gray added.

All three men are scheduled to next appear in court on June 29 at 9 a.m. 

Hear more:

4:59 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

The preliminary hearing in Ahmaud Arbery case is adjourned

From CNN's Martin Savidge and Angela Barajas

Travis McMichael, left, and Greg McMichael listen to a preliminary hearing via a court video feed on Thursday, June 4, inside Glynn County Jail in Brunswick, Georgia.
Travis McMichael, left, and Greg McMichael listen to a preliminary hearing via a court video feed on Thursday, June 4, inside Glynn County Jail in Brunswick, Georgia. Glynn County Jail/AP

The preliminary hearing in the Ahmaud Arbery case has adjourned. 

Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. have all been charged with felony murder in Ahmaud Arbery's death. Probable cause was found for all three defendants and case will proceed to trial.

Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested May 7 in the February 23 shooting death of Arbery outside of Brunswick. They face murder and aggravated assault charges, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Bryan, the man who recorded the fatal shooting of Arbery, was arrested last month on charges including felony murder.

4:54 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Protesters gather outside the mayor's home in New York City

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Protesters have gathered in front of the Gracie Mansion in New York City, the official residence of Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

The crowd can be heard shouting “black lives matter” as they sit on the ground in front of the mansion. 

5:24 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

ACLU calls on prosecutors who recused themselves from Arbery case to resign

From CNN's John Murgatroyd

Ahmaud Arbery.
Ahmaud Arbery. Courtesy S. Lee Merritt

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on two prosecutors who recused themselves from the Ahmaud Arbery case to resign. 

Jackie Johnson, district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, and Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill recused themselves because of connections to suspect Gregory McMichael. 

Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. made their first appearance today at a probable cause hearing on charges of felony murder in Arbery's death.

“Today’s hearing demonstrates clearly that District Attorneys Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill's gross mishandling of the Ahmaud Arbery case makes them unfit for their offices. We call on both to resign,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia.

Some context: Johnson recused herself, citing Gregory McMichael's position as a former investigator for the office. 

Barnhill recused himself because his son worked in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney's office and once worked with Gregory McMichael in an earlier prosecution of Arbery, according to a letter he wrote to the Georgia Attorney General. 

5:11 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Retired four-star general warns we may be "witnessing the beginning of the end" of American democracy

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Retired four-star US Marine Corps General John Allen.
Retired four-star US Marine Corps General John Allen. Source: CNN via Skype

General John Allen, a retired four-star US Marine Corps general who commanded NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, joined a chorus of former high-ranking military officials to level criticism at the Trump administration's response to protests which swept the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. 

Discussing a piece he'd penned for Foreign Policy that argued June 1, 2020 "may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment," Allen told Jake Tapper today he was "very concerned" at the government's reflex to deploy federal forces against protesters and to call "those who are conducting themselves in a riot environment as terrorists justifying the use of federal military force." 

"We should be very carefully embracing the Constitution of the United States so that we are holding up the rights of our citizens, not violating their civil rights at the moment when they are, in fact, exercising their First Amendment rights for peaceful assembly and freedom of speech," he continued. 

Allen went on to argue that rather labeling citizens as the enemy, the nation's leaders ought to doing what can "in the context of governance to improve the situation in this country."

Watch:

4:55 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Union representing Park Police officer says attacked journalists weren't "readily identifiable"

From CNN's Kateyln Polantz

Kenneth Spencer, chairman of the Labor Committee for the US Park Police and an officer who was on-duty in Lafayette park on Monday night, said in a statement the Australian TV journalists that were attacked were not “readily identifiable” as media.

The labor union is attributing the incident with Australian TV to an inability to identify the journalists amid the noise and scuffle, especially among what they say were violent protesters who were being forced out of the area

"We wish the Australian reporting team well and simply wish that the circumstances of their visit had been better," Spencer said.

The union is declining to name the officer involved in the incident for privacy reasons and because it's now being investigated. There was also a supervisor involved who is not represented by the union. CNN previously reported the two have been assigned to administrative duty during the investigation.

CNN reporters on the scene Monday night reported that from their vantage point the protesters were not behaving violently until law enforcement began to clear them out.

Australian TV’s 7NEWS US Correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were reporting live on the station’s morning show at the time of the incident. The video shows the officer hitting Myers and punching his camera.