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June 5 George Floyd protest news

He was in the car when Floyd was arrested. Now, he's sharing his story

What you need to know

  • Protests are unfolding across the US for the 11th consecutive night after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police custody.
  • Joe Biden sharply criticized Donald Trump for invoking Floyd’s name as the President took a victory lap over lower unemployment numbers.
  • 57 police officers in Buffalo, New York, have resigned from the force’s emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who allegedly pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, a source close to the situation said.
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Our live coverage of the nationwide George Floyd protests has moved here.

A pilot used his plane to draw a tribute to George Floyd

A pilot drew a unique tribute to George Floyd over Canada by following a flight path in the shape of a raised fist. 

Dimitri Neonakis took to the Nova Scotia sky on Thursday with his personal message to Floyd. He said he chose the fist because it’s a symbol of the movement against racism. 

“We all have to speak out and we have to end it,” Neonakis said. “There are no borders when it comes to racism.” 

Neonakis mapped out the image on an app and then followed the line for the fist in his plane. He said it took him about two and a half hours at 150 miles per hour to finish the image. 

Read the full story.

Black Lives Matter protesters gather across Australia

Protesters gather to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests in the United States on June 6 in Adelaide, Australia.

Protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have started gathering for rallies in the Australian cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide today.

A rally is also expected to go ahead in Sydney despite a Supreme Court injunction ruling it illegal because of social distancing rules.

Organizers have lodged an appeal, which is still pending.

The rallies have been been organized by indigenous rights groups – among others – under the banner “Stop Black Deaths in Custody.”

The indigenous community left behind:

Australia’s indigenous population – composed of mainland Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders – makes up 2.4% of the country’s 25 million people, yet accounts for more than a quarter of its total prisoner population. ​

Analysis from Change the Record, an Aboriginal-led justice coalition, found that there have been 449 indigenous deaths in custody between 1980 and 2011, which represents 24% of all deaths in custody over that period.

Read more on that here.

Zuckerberg posts "Black lives matter" and pledges to review Facebook's policies

Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will review its policies concerning the state use of force, voter suppression and content moderation, as the company faces a backlash from many of its own workers over its inaction on controversial posts by US President Donald Trump. 

In a note to employees that he later shared on his Facebook page Friday, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the decision about Trump’s posts “left many of you angry, disappointed and hurt.” 

The Facebook co-founder and CEO also addressed the protests that have erupted across the United States following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

“To members of our Black community: I stand with you. Your lives matter. Black lives matter,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg’s remarks come days after he hosted a contentious town hall with Facebook employees, a number of whom expressed outrage at the social media giant’s decision not to take action against posts by Trump that rival platform Twitter flagged as having violated its own rules.

Read the full story:

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about the new Facebook News feature at the Paley Center For Media on October 25, 2019 in New York City. Facebook News, which will appear in a new dedicated section on the Facebook app, will offer stories from a mix of publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as other digital-only outlets.(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Zuckerberg posts 'Black lives matter' and pledges to review Facebook's policies

No police presence as protesters sing birthday tribute to Breonna Taylor near White House

Protesters march in Washington on Friday night.

A large crowd of peaceful protesters in Washington, DC, is heading for Lafayette Park near the White House.

CNN correspondent Alex Marquardt said the protesters are “finishing this week how they started it, by protesting peacefully.”

Sitting on some 250 yoga mats donated by a social worker’s advocacy group, they sang “Happy Birthday” to Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in March and who would have turned 27 today. 

A new street sign has also been erected at the intersection of 16th and 8th streets reading “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

“This is where that fierce crackdown happened against those protesters on Monday night who were protesting peacefully right before the President gave that speech in the Rose Garden, when he declared himself the ‘law and order’ President,” Marquardt said.

Noticeably absent is the presence of law enforcement. However city officials are expecting a bigger demonstration on Saturday.

“These protesters have been out here all week by the hundreds, by the thousands, gathering right here at Lafayette Park by the White House, and behind that fence, which has been reinforced throughout the course of the week, is almost no law enforcement that we can see,” Marquardt said.

“It is the least amount of law enforcement that I have seen all week and that speaks to how peaceful these protests have been. There is no curfew in this city of Washington tonight. But now city officials are saying that they are expecting a huge demonstration tomorrow. The biggest they think that they anticipate since they began in the city of Washington.”


Cyclist arrested after being filmed accosting people who posted signs supporting Black Lives Matter

Detectives from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police have arrested and charged the cyclist caught on video Monday accosting three people as they posted flyers in support of Black Lives Matter.

The cyclist, identified as 60-year-old Anthony Brennan III, of Kensington, Maryland, was charged with three counts of second-degree assault, a release from Park Police said.

A man and two women were walking the trail, posting flyers in support of Black Lives Matter, when the suspect started to argue with them and grabbed the flyers, police said.

According to police, the suspect then pushed his bicycle and started to charge one of the victims, causing them to fall to the ground. 

Police said community members sent in hundreds of tips, and detectives utilized various sources to further corroborate the information provided before developing Brennan as a primary suspect.  

An arrest warrant was subsequently obtained and served on Brennan on Friday evening, after he had voluntarily turned himself into detectives, the release said.     

CNN has reached out to Brennan’s legal counsel for comment.


Police department needs more resources -- not less, Atlanta mayor says

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday night.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said police reform is critical, but she doesn’t agree with the “Defund the Police” movement calling for some police financing to be redirected to other community programs.

Bottoms said she has already started the process of reconsidering the Atlanta Police Department’s policies over use of force. Two Atlanta officers were fired for using excessive force during a protest Saturday night.

Still, she believes the police department needs more resources – not less. 

“When my 18-year-old nephew was murdered, we called the Atlanta Police Department,” Bottoms said. “They solved the murder.”

Two NYPD officers suspended, supervisor transferred after multiple protest incidents

Two officers were suspended without pay and one supervisor transferred after three incidents during recent New York City protests, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced.

The officer seen pushing a woman to the ground in a May 29 incident in Brooklyn is suspended without pay after an Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) investigation, and a supervisor who was on the scene will also be transferred, Shea said. Each of those cases has been referred to the Department Advocate for disciplinary action.

The officer seen pulling down an individual’s face mask and pepper spraying him is suspended without pay after an IAB investigation. That case has also been referred to the Department Advocate for disciplinary action.

“Like all New Yorkers, we are acutely aware of the unique times we are in,” Shea said Friday. “While the investigations have to play out, based on the severity of what we saw, it is appropriate and necessary to assure the public that there will be transparency during the disciplinary process.”

Officers who cover badges or turn off body cams will be stripped of powers, Chicago mayor says

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a news conference Friday that the city would not tolerate officers who tape over their badge or turn off their body-worn cameras.  

“We will not tolerate people who cross the line. We will not tolerate excessive force. We will not tolerate profanity and homophobic comments,” she said. “Officers who choose to do those things or to tape over their badges, or to turn off their body-worn cameras – all things that violate very clear directives of the Chicago Police Department.”

She continued, “If you are one of those officers, we will find you. We will identify you, and we will strip you of your police powers.”

The city would take decisive action on offenders, Lightfoot added.

“It is not only stripping you as appropriate. You will be fired from the Chicago Police Department,” she said.

“You are demeaning all of your colleagues who are working their tails off on 12-hour shifts to keep our city safe. Shame on you, shame on you.”

Chicago Police officers relieved of "police powers" pending investigation into May 31 incident

The Chicago Police Department said in a statement on Friday that two officers have been relieved of their “police powers,” pending an external investigation into officer misconduct following an incident on May 31.

Some context: A video of the May 31 incident shows police swarming a car, smashing the rear windows, opening both front doors and pulling the occupants out.

Officers can be seen pulling Mia Wright, 25, who was in the passenger seat, out of the car by her hair, throwing her to the ground and then restraining her by placing a knee on her neck.

“Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown has reviewed the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s recommendation regarding the reported May 31, 2020 incident of officer misconduct at 2600 N. Narragansett Ave., and has relieved two of the involved officers of their police powers, pending the external investigation. The Department is also aware of the independent investigation being conducted by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office,” the statement said.

Atlanta Police officer seen on video body slamming woman placed on administrative assignment

An Atlanta police officer who was seen on video body slamming a woman at a protest near Lenox Square mall in the Buckhead area of Atlanta on May 29 has been placed on administrative assignment, according to a statement emailed to CNN by Atlanta Police Department public information officer Carlos Campos.

An investigation into the actions of the officer has been opened by the Department’s Office of Professional Standards to determine if he violated any department policies or procedures, Campos said in the statement.

Some context: Amber Jackson had her clavicle broken during the arrest for which she received a disorderly conduct citation, her attorney Mawuli Davis said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Jackson was arrested after the car she was a passenger in was stopped because she tried remove a barricade blocking the road, according to the police statement.

Jackson’s fiancee, Andre Williams, is the grandson of civil rights leader Hosea Williams, he said at a news conference Friday afternoon. Williams was driving the car at the time of the incident.

“The woman refused the officer’s orders to exit the vehicle. He attempted to get her out of the car and the two struggled. During her effort to resist the arrest, the officer had to force her to the ground to get her in handcuffs,” the statement said.

An incident report has not yet been completed for this case, according to the statement.

Here are the latest developments on the George Floyd protests

It’s almost 7:45 p.m. in New York. In case you’re just tuning into our live coverage, here are the important headlines today on protests and unrest following George Floyd’s death.

  • Defense secretary refuses to testify: Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley have refused to testify next week before the House Armed Services Committee regarding the military’s role responding to protests triggered by the death of George Floyd, a Democratic congressional aide confirmed to CNN Friday. An informal briefing for lawmakers by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy was also canceled for Friday, the aide said.
  • Biden says Trump putting words in George Floyd’s mouth is “despicable”: “George Floyd’s last words — ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ — have echoed all across this nation, quite frankly, all around the world. For the President to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd, I frankly think it’s despicable,” Biden said, speaking from Delaware State University, a public historically black university in Dover.
  • NFL commissioner says league was wrong for not listening to players earlier about racism: Roger Goodell said it has been a difficult time for the country, in particular black Americans, and offered his condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and “all the families who have endured police brutality.”
  • DC paints a giant “Black Lives Matter” message on the road to the White House: The painters were contacted by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and began work early Friday morning, the mayor’s office told CNN. Bowser has officially deemed the section of 16th Street bearing the mural “Black Lives Matter Plaza,” complete with a new street sign.

Victim in Buffalo "alert and oriented," remains in serious but stable condition, lawyer says

A lawyer representing the victim in Buffalo, Martin Gugino, released a statement Friday night saying that he is in “serious but stable condition” and is “alert and oriented.”

Some context: An investigation is underway after police officers were seen pushing Gugino, an incident Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”

Video of a demonstration Thursday shows a row of officers walking toward the man and two pushing him. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him.

Two officers were suspended without pay.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "Without the support of all Americans, nothing's going to happen"

Longtime social justice activist and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said that in order to see change in America, all members of society must participate.

“People are starting to understand what the situation is and what it has been for 400 years, for black Americans especially,” he told CNN today, adding that “without the support of all Americans, nothing’s going to happen.”

Abdul-Jabbar, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and a six-time NBA champion, also reflected upon the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent state of unrest in America.

“The police probably feel like they are under fire. Maybe they are responding emotionally to what other people have had to deal with for a long time,” said Abdul-Jabbar, referencing a slew of recent ugly incidents — from Atlanta to Buffalo — involving law enforcement. “The fact that some police don’t respect everybody’s rights is what the problem is.”

Some background: More than 30 years removed from his final NBA season, Abdul-Jabbar remains the league’s all-time leader in points scored.

Since his retirement, he’s remained active socially and in 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Abdul-Jabbar says people of color have long had to deal with racial bias and injustice at the hands of police, often times with deadly consequences.

“Anytime a cop has a bad day, they might take it out on us. And that is hard to deal with. And you have to live your life trying not to cross any lines with people who can be very, very touchy,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during his visit to “The Situation Room.”

“All of a sudden your race is an issue. It’s a bewildering thing to deal with, it’s hard to negotiate,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

On Friday, President Trump condemned the kneeling of sports figures during the playing of the national anthem. Abdul-Jabbar suspects Trump missed the meaning of the message.

“The president has his agenda and it has nothing to do with reality. He is referring to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee because he was dealing with the very issue that ended up taking George Floyd’s life,” he said, adding “that’s what Colin Kaepernick was about, that’s why he took a knee.”


Manuel Ellis can be heard screaming "I can't breathe" on dispatcher audio

Manuel Ellis can be heard yelling “I can’t breathe” on Tacoma Police dispatcher audio from the night of his encounter with police and death on March 3 in Washington state, his family’s attorney said.

The recording, captured by the website Broadcastify, provides additional details on the deadly incident.  

Officers can be heard asking for hobbles — a kind of leg restraint — at around 11:26 p.m. local. About 50 seconds later, as an officer relayed a message to the dispatcher, a male voice can be heard in the background exclaiming “I can’t breathe.”

A few minutes later, an officer can be heard requesting an ambulance.

“They’re absolutely positive that that is their brother and their son,” James Bible, the family’s attorney, told CNN. “This family has listened to it repeatedly over and over again in heartbreaking fashion.”

CNN has reached out to the spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s office, the agency investigating this matter, but did not immediately get a reply.

However, sheriff’s investigators confirmed to CNN affiliate KIRO the recording and said there is also a video of the incident logged into evidence.

“When he said he couldn’t breathe they rolled him on the side and he was breathing and he was talking,” Ed Troyer, spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, told KIRO.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined Ellis died of respiratory arrest due to hypoxia due to physical restraint. Hypoxia is a condition in which the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. 

The death certificate also lists contributing factors of methamphetamine intoxication and dilated cardiomyopathy, commonly known as an enlarged heart, the office told CNN.

The four officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave. 

Buffalo mayor says investigation against the officers involved in pushing incident is proceeding

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the investigation into the police officers who pushed a protestor is proceeding, but said he was not calling for the officers to be fired at this time.

“When (Buffalo Police) Commissioner Lockwood saw the video of officers pushing a man to the ground, he immediately suspended those officers without pay and opened up an internal investigation- that investigation is proceeding,” Brown said. “I have asked the police commissioner and his management team to move swiftly in that investigation and that is certainly Commissioner Lockwood’s intention.”

When asked by reporters if he was calling for the officers to be fired, Brown said no.

“I am not calling for them to be fired, I want the investigation to be conducted,” Brown said. “I don’t want to jump ahead of the investigation. It is very important that officers know that they are getting due process.”

In response to questions about 57 members of the police’s emergency response team resigning from the unit, Brown said that the city has a “contingency plan.”

“Buffalo will be safe this weekend,” he said. “We have a contingency plan, we always have a contingency plan.”

Queens man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill protesters

A man was arrested in Queens Thursday after allegedly chasing after protesters while wearing a four-bladed glove and driving on the sidewalk to run down protesters, according to a news release from the Queens County District Attorney.

Frank Cavalluzzi, 54, was charged with attempted murder, attempted assault, reckless endangerment, menacing, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon, the release announced. He surrendered to police Thursday, two days after the alleged incident took place.

Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz provided more information on the allegations in the release.

“This defendant is alleged to have yelled out ‘I will kill you’ to the peaceful crowd,” she said. “He is accused of brandishing a multi-bladed glove and then chasing after individuals on foot and then continuing the pursuit in a 2-ton vehicle. It is amazing that no one was injured in the melee. The defendant is in custody and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Cavalluzzi’s attorney, Stephen J. Murphy, told CNN Thursday that he found the prosecution of his client to be “patently absurd.” He added that the police originally did not charge Cavalluzzi with attempted murder.

CNN reviewed the charges with the NYPD which confirmed that attempted murder was not included in the arrest report, according to Det. Arlene Muniz.

It is not uncommon for charges to be revised or upgraded over time.

Murphy said he spoke with Cavalluzzi before he surrendered but has not spoken to him since his arrest. He also didn’t know where Cavalluzzi was being held.

Cavalluzzi was held on $100,000 bond, which he did not post, according to Renea Henry, a public information officer with the Queens County District Attorney. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on July 2, online court records show.

Cavalluzzi faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, the district attorney’s release said.

Denver's curfew expired on Friday 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock allowed the city’s curfew to expire Friday at 5 a.m., he said in a tweet. 

The curfew was put in place last week when protests began across the country following the killing of George Floyd.

“Please stay safe out there,” Hancock said in the tweet.

Read Hancock’s message:

Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand to donate $100 million to racial equality

In a joint statement, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand revealed a plan to donate $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations “dedicated” to racial equality, social justice and education. 

“The Jordan Brand is us, the black community. Jordan Brand is more than one man. It has always been a family. We represent a proud family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the stain of racism and the damage of injustice. The will, the work, the excellence the world has come to know is the result of one generation after another, pouring their dreams into the next,” the joint statement said.

Some context: This announcement comes a day after Jordan Brand’s parent company, Nike, committed to $40 million over the next four years to support the black community in the United States, as protests condemning institutional racism sweep across the nation.

Read the tweet with the full statement:

57 Buffalo Police Emergency Response Team members resign after 2 officers suspended

At least 57 members of the Police Emergency Response Team in Buffalo have resigned from their posts in response to the suspension of the two officers involved in the shoving of a 75-year-old man, a source close to the situation confirmed to CNN.

“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans told WGRZ.

The two officers were suspended without pay.

The man’s identity, Martin Gugino, was confirmed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office Friday. Gugino is hospitalized in serious but stable condition, authorities said Friday.

CNN has reached out to the Buffalo PBA and the Buffalo PD for further comment.

Watch the incident:

"Black Lives Matter" is now painted on a DC road that leads to the White House

Washington, DC, painted a message in giant, yellow letters down a busy DC street ahead of a planned protest this weekend: BLACK LIVES MATTER.

The massive banner-like project spans two blocks of 16th Street, a central axis that leads southward straight to the White House.

Each of the 16 bold, yellow letters spans the width of the two-lane street, creating an unmistakable visual easily spotted by aerial cameras and virtually anyone within a few blocks.

The painters were contacted by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and began work early Friday morning, the mayor’s office told CNN. 

Bowser has officially deemed the section of 16th Street bearing the mural “Black Lives Matter Plaza,” complete with a new street sign.

The mayor tweeted a video showing the painted message from above:

Share your experiences with unconscious bias

CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield will host an hour-long special, “Unconscious Bias: Facing the Realities of Racism,” at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, and we want to hear from you.

Have you ever felt that you were treated differently or treated someone differently because of unconscious bias in your community, school or workplace? What happened and how did you feel? Please share your experiences in the form below with your name and contact information, and we may use some of the responses on Sunday. 

Minneapolis council member stands against rebuilding police station burned in protest 

Minneapolis council member Alondra Cano does not want to rebuild Minneapolis Police’s third precinct after it was burned down last week, said Cano, who represents the city’s 9th Ward.

“As the council member for that area I will say that I cannot support rebuilding headquarters or operations,” Cano said during Friday’s emergency meeting. “I think that it is extremely important for us to symbolically and physically to respect the legacy of the moment by ensuring that that area is reclaimed by community by healing and justice.”

Cano did not specify what the space could be used for, but said she wants the commissioners to “use that process as an opportunity to engage our community members in the same way we’ve been doing for the past week.” 

Cano said her office is also looking into renaming Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. There is a petition to rename the street in honor of George Floyd. 

Erie County executive wishes 75-year-old man pushed during protest a "speedy recovery"

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz wished a “speedy recovery” to 75-year-old Martin Gugino, who was allegedly pushed to the ground by Buffalo police Thursday evening.

Poloncarz made the comments during a press conference Friday afternoon.

“There was no threat. It was a line of officers and there was one individual,” Poloncarz said when describing the incident.

Poloncarz went on to say he believes the district attorney is going to do the right thing and move forward to prosecute.

Some context: An investigation is underway after police officers were seen pushing Gugino, an incident Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”

Video of a demonstration Thursday shows a row of officers walking toward the man and two pushing him. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him.

Two officers were suspended without pay.

Gugino is hospitalized in serious but stable condition, authorities said Friday.

Watch the incident:

Minnesota attorney general: "We're going to put everything we have into" George Floyd case

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said the case against the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd will “be a difficult job in court.”

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, he’s confident a possible jury would find the officers guilty.

He added that Floyd— whose death set off 10 days of protests across the country — is not on trial.

“I think it is not good when the image of the victim gets tarnished in situations like this. You know, Mr. Floyd’s not on trial. Those four people who were charged in the complaint are,” he said.

On Wednesday, Ellison announced that the Minneapolis Police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck was charged with a new, 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.

Watch a portion of the interview: