June 6 George Floyd protest news

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10:19 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Thousands attend Black Lives Matter demonstration in London

 From CNN’s Nic Robertson, Mick Krever and Nada Bashir

Protesters rally in Parliament Square in London on June 6.
Protesters rally in Parliament Square in London on June 6. Frank Augstein/AP

Thousands of peaceful protesters gathered at London’s Parliament Square on Saturday as part of a Black Lives Matter demonstration in solidarity with protests taking place across the United States.

The protest, which has so far proven to be entirely peaceful, was organized following unrest in the US over the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.  

Today, United Kingdom protesters joined together to chant Floyd’s name and “black lives matter." At one point, everyone took a knee in unison.  

“I feel that what happened in the US was just a spark, that sparked everywhere…I do think George Floyd’s death sparked it across the world and I think it’s amazing,” one protester told CNN on Saturday. 

“It’s a world-wide issue, no matter where you are. It’s an issue everywhere, we all need to rise up,” another protester added. 

Coronavirus concerns: The gathering has garnered a significant turnout, despite the government urging citizens not to demonstrate over fears that the protest could lead to the further spread of coronavirus. 

“I completely understand people’s desire to express their views and to have that right to protest, but the fact of the matter is, we are in a health pandemic across the United Kingdom,” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said Saturday during an interview with Sky News. 

“I would say to those that want to protest, please don’t,” she added.  

While little social distancing has been observed at the demonstration, people have been seen handing out free masks and gloves to protect protesters from spreading the virus. 

According to the UK Metropolitan Police, roads into Parliament Square have been closed “to protect both protesters and vehicles” entering the area. While there is a substantial police presence, officers are not wearing protective riot equipment. 

9:02 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Buffalo Police Advisory Board calls for "urgent system-wide policing policy reforms"

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

Lindsay DeDario/Reuters
Lindsay DeDario/Reuters

The Buffalo Police Advisory Board in New York released a statement Friday calling for “urgent system-wide policing policy reforms" in response to ongoing police violence. 

The board is recommending the creation of an independent, investigatory body, and the codification of five use-of-force policy amendments.

The group also is calling for the adoption of a law enforcement assisted diversion program and the use of “stop tickets” to provide residents with basic information about stops and the officer. 

Here are some of the use-of-force policy amendments they suggested:

  • Requiring de-escalation prior to use of force
  • Requiring a warning before shooting
  • Requiring another present officer to intervene
  • Mandating a comprehensive report of other police officers’ actions or arrests  

Some background: The Police Advisory Board is an independent advisory committee created by the Buffalo Common Council to focus on policing and community-police relations in Buffalo. 

This comes after an elderly white man peacefully protesting was seen on video being pushed to the ground and seriously injured by Buffalo Police on Thursday. After having been pushed to the ground, police officers kept walking after the man was lying on the ground and bleeding.

8:03 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Police union defends a Philadelphia inspector charged with allegedly striking a student protester

From CNN's Laura Ly

A Philadelphia police inspector facing charges for allegedly striking a student protester on the head with a metal baton is no longer on patrol duty, according to public media station WHYY. 

In a phone call Friday, Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna told the station: "Right now, I’m handling operations from the office.”

On Friday District Attorney Larry Krasner announced charges against Bologna.

Prosecutors say Bologna was captured on cell phone video appearing to strike a Temple University student in the back of his head while he was participating in a mass demonstration against racism and injustice in the area of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

The unidentified student suffered a large head wound that required about 10 staples and 10 sutures, the release from Krasner's office states.

Following the announcement of charges, John McNesby, the President of Philadelphia Lodge #5 Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement supporting Bologna saying: "The FOP is disgusted to learn of the arrest of one of its most decorated and respected police leaders. Inspector Bologna's dedication to our city for over 30 years is unmatched. He was engaged in a volatile and chaotic situation with only milliseconds to make a decision.

"The issuance of an arrest warrant for Bologna comes on the same day police issued a new catch and release policy for those who assault police officers. Why are officers not afforded those same basic rights?" the statement read. 

9:01 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

More than 20 people arrested at protests in Portland, Oregon, last night

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

Roughly 20 adults were arrested and one juvenile was detained during demonstrations and protests that started out peaceful in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Friday, according to the Portland Police Department.  

Here's what happened: Police say that around 6 p.m. PT, several thousand “peaceful demonstrators” marched from Revolution Hall, over the Hawthorne Bridge, to Waterfront Park where they “peacefully rallied for several hours,” according to a statement released this morning.  

As night descended on what Portland police are calling the eighth day of protests, officers say demonstrators started hurling bricks, glass bottles, fireworks, some frozen water bottles, sharp blades, ball bearings, mortars, batteries and other projectiles at police.

Portland Police and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies started clearing the area to disperse the crowd at around 11 p.m. PT when a civil disturbance and an unlawful assembly were declared.

"Tonight's events revealed an escalation in focus, violence, and weaponry directed at public safety officials. Fortunately, demonstrators, media, and public safety officers have not experienced serious physical injuries in the past week, despite the dangerous life safety risks we have witnessed,” Chief Jami Resch said. 
6:52 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Feeling hopeless after a tough week? Here are 5 things that may help

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

It's been an extraordinary week in America and around the world, as anger, pain and heartbreak have erupted over the killing of yet another black man at the hands of police.

The protests, unrest, outrage and fear have been impossible to ignore, and they come amid a pandemic that had already turned life upside down for many.

If you're feeling hopeless, you're not alone. CNN asked some experts for ways to get through it.

1. Acknowledge your feelings and put a label on them: "I think the most important thing is to acknowledge and sit with the idea that something is making us uncomfortable," said Alfiee Breland-Noble, psychologist and founder of mental health nonprofit, the AAKOMA Project.

2. Connect with others: "It's really crucial that we don't use this time to alienate ourselves," said Andrea Bonior, licensed clinical psychologist and author of "Detox Your Thoughts," addressing the isolating effects that the coronavirus has had on many people.

"We're already coming from a baseline of loneliness where we're all feeling a little disconnected. The research is very clear that increased social support has all kinds of positive benefits for mental health and for our emotional well-being," she added.

3. Get involved: "People feel hopeless because they don't know what to do, and they feel like the little thing they're doing is not enough," Breland-Noble said.

She notes that "whatever that little thing is that you're doing, that's all you can do for now."

4. Be kind to yourself: It's important to practice self-care to help you get centered. For some people that may be a walk in nature, for others meditation or yoga.

"Try to work within your bandwidth, using things that are accessible," Breland-Noble said. "If you're going to meditate, and it's like eight people in a two-bedroom home, maybe you have to literally go into the bathroom and sit there for five minutes with your headphones on," she said.

5. Acknowledge the good: "Oftentimes in the darkest of times, we're only seeing the anger, we're only seeing the chaos," Bonior said. "We're tuning out the smaller aspects of kindness, the smaller aspects of people helping each other."

She pointed out some of the kinder acts of love we're seeing at the protests, like people standing up and protecting others or volunteers handing out water to protesters.

Read more here.

5:58 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Mexico City "won't tolerate" police brutality against protesters

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Helena DeMoura

Protesters in Mexico City on Thursday.
Protesters in Mexico City on Thursday.

The Mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum says she does not tolerate members of her police force committing acts of brutality on demonstrators.

"We don't and won't tolerate police abuse," she said in a video statement posted to her official Twitter account on Friday.

Sheinbaum was reacting to reports of police violence committed against a female teenage protester in front of the US embassy in Mexico City on Friday. 

Demonstrations have flared up in Mexico in recent days in solidarity with protests in the United States and further afield following the murder of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

Protesters, many with their faces covered, marched along with one of central Mexico City's main avenues, setting fire to cars and smashing up the fronts of a number of businesses. The demonstration culminated in a small group of young protesters with anarchist banners hurling Molotov cocktails at the US embassy, throwing stones and burning objects over the metal barricades surrounding the embassy.

Sheinbaum said, "although they committed lawless acts that should be punished by law, my orders were clear and precise that we must avoid any provocation. Nevertheless, they (the police) did not obey these orders fully."

"There was police brutality committed against at least one teenage girl, something that is unacceptable to my government," Sheinbaum added. 

The mayor said she had ordered an investigation by the attorney general’s office and Mexico’s Commission for Human Rights "to identify and punish those responsible regardless of their ranks," according to her statement.

“I have been in contact with the family of the attack victim to give them all the support they need,“ Sheinbaum added. 

5:05 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

In Australia, protesters demand justice over minority deaths in custody

From CNN's Helen Regan, Angus Watson and Carly Walsh

People march in solidarity with protests in the United States on June 6, in Melbourne, Australia.
People march in solidarity with protests in the United States on June 6, in Melbourne, Australia. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Protesters have gathered in major cities across Australia demanding justice over minority deaths in police custody in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

About 10,000 people gathered in central Sydney Saturday after a court overturned a previous injunction that ruled any protest there illegal because of social distancing restrictions. Similar demonstrations went ahead in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide, with protesters waving banners and chanting "black lives matter."

The rallies were organized by indigenous rights groups -- among others -- under the banner "Stop Black Deaths in Custody."

Jeremy, 27, who didn't reveal his surname, attended the march in Sydney. "To know that I stand on the shoulders of black, queer people before me who have enabled me to live the life I lead, I had to ask myself if I was going to be the ancestor that people after me needed me to be," he told CNN.

"Change needs to happen ... I want to see it at its grass-roots level, see it in the education system, with people in power. What I want to see is that we haven't come this far for everything that's come before us to mean nothing."

Read more here.

4:15 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Black Lives Matter protests aren't just happening in big cities. They're also in America's small towns

From CNN's Alisha Ebrahimji

A peaceful protest in Paducah, Kentucky on Monday in front of the city's Chief Paduke statue.
A peaceful protest in Paducah, Kentucky on Monday in front of the city's Chief Paduke statue. J.T. Crawford

As a person of color, Kaneesha Willie has dealt with racism her entire life.

Participating in her hometown's protest in Paducah, Kentucky, gave her an opportunity to show her young, mixed-race kids that their voices matter -- especially as black people are fighting to be heard in the wake of George Floyd's death.

The 23-year-old said she was proud to see her small town fight for justice in such a big way at the Chief Paduke statue, a historical marker for the town.

"We all bleed red," Willie said. "We are all one and the protest really showed that our community came together. It was beautiful."

Thousands have demonstrated in communities across the world to protest and demand racial justice in the aftermath of Floyd's death.

The national stage has shown us protests in big cities like Washington, DC, New York City and Los Angeles, but small towns that dot the map -- ones you may never hear about -- are also showing small acts of solidarity.

In State College, Pennsylvania; Farmington, Missouri; Holland, Arkansas; Solebury, Pennsylvania; and other towns, people are making their voices heard.

Read the full story:

3:54 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Virginia police issue 43 charges after protesters march onto interstate

From CNN's Alta Spells

The Virginia State Police issued 43 charges on Friday after a group of protesters entered the main interstate highway, the I-95, in Prince William County.

Corinne Geller, public relations director of the Virginia State Police, said in an emailed statement that the protesters were charged with unlawful assembly, obstructing free passage of others and obstruction of justice after they blocked all travel on the interstate, including in the express lanes.

According to police, the group of about 75 people entered the interstate at Exit 152, marched north on the I-95 and entered the express lanes before heading south, where they were approached by state troopers.  

Geller said that when state troopers approached, the group refused to comply with verbal commands to leave the interstate, and several of the protesters ran across the travel lanes into the woods.