June 6 George Floyd protest news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan, Rob Picheta, Peter Wilkinson, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:37 AM ET, Sun June 7, 2020
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2:18 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Stakes are high for protesters in Washington, DC. Here's what one of them has to say.

From CNN's Boris Sanchez and Alec Miran

Freedom Fighters DC board member Philomena Wankenge said she was willing to die for this movement on behalf of her family's future.
Freedom Fighters DC board member Philomena Wankenge said she was willing to die for this movement on behalf of her family's future. CNN

The crowd of protesters outside of the Dirksen Senate office building in Washington, DC, is growing quickly.

Organizers from Freedom Fighters DC told CNN that their plan is to march down the National Mall to the front of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where they expect a couple of speeches

One demonstrator, Philomena Wankenge, who is a Freedom Fighters DC board member, said she was willing to die for this movement on behalf of her family's future.

"I don't care if I lose my life if that means my nieces and my nephews won't have to deal with someone invalidating them because of the color of their skin," Wankenge said.

"It sounds extreme and it might sound dramatic to people but as a black person every day that I wake up I could die. Especially as a black woman dealing with sexism and dealing with racism I'm combating double the trouble," she added.

After the stop at the African American Museum, the group will proceed to the Lincoln Memorial.

The group will end the day at Freedom Plaza, which is across the street from the DC mayor’s office. 


2:51 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Thousands gather in Paris for anti-racism and anti-police violence rally

From Ya Chun Wang and Arnaud Siad

People gather on Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on June 6.
People gather on Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on June 6. Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of people gathered to pay homage to George Floyd and protest against racism and police brutality in Paris on Saturday. 

Protesters rallied with slogans "No justice no peace,“ “I can’t breathe" and “Black Lives Matter” and chanted “being born black is not a crime” as they marched through Place de la Concorde and towards the US embassy. 

The rallies had been banned by the police due to health measures in the context of Covid-19, and the area was barricaded Saturday morning to prevent public access to the US embassy.

As hundreds gathered in Concorde, several thousand peaceful demonstrators joined at Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Despite the protest ban, people gathered in other French cities such as Lille, Marseille and Nice on Saturday for the same cause. French TV stations showed police firing tear gas and clashing with protesters in Lille.

Some context: On Tuesday, a demonstration banned by the police prefect brought together at least 20,000 people in Paris at the call of a committee supporting the family of Adama Traoré, a young black man who died in 2016 under Paris police custody.

2:05 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

District attorney in Queens, New York, says she will not prosecute certain protest arrests

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz tweeted Saturday that she would decline to prosecute protest arrests based on curfew and social distancing violations. 

“We are proud to be a united front on this issue. Queens DA Katz is committed to reforms in the name of #SocialJustice and has declined to prosecute based on curfew and social distancing violations,” Katz said, while quoting a tweet from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announcing his decision not to prosecute yesterday.

A spokesperson for Katz told CNN Saturday that she has declined to prosecute curfew-breakers "from the start” and that her decision to not prosecute is not a recent one. 

Ryan Lavis, director of communications for the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office told CNN Saturday that their office "has not received any protest or curfew related arrests to date."

CNN has also reached out to the Brooklyn and Bronx district attorneys for comment.

Read Katz's tweet:

1:52 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Philadelphia curfew extended through Sunday morning 

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

The curfew in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been extended through Sunday morning, according to an executive order from the mayor.

The new curfew hours took effect Friday from 8 p.m. ET until 6 a.m. ET, the executive order said.

In addition to people not being out on the street, the order also tells retail businesses to close at 8 p.m. and not reopen until 6 a.m.

According to the order, "only people with essential duties will be permitted outdoors."

2:15 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

There are thousands of protesters in Washington, DC, right now, police say

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Demonstrators protest on 16th Street near the White House in Washington on Saturday, June 6.
Demonstrators protest on 16th Street near the White House in Washington on Saturday, June 6. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Police are estimating that there are about 6,000 protesters in Washington, DC, according to the DC Police Traffic, a division of the Metropolitan Police Department.

At 12 p.m. ET, there were approximately 3,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial and another 3,000 at 16th and I St, NW, near the White House, DC Police Traffic said.

CNN staff on the ground in DC note there are protesters gathering at other locations as well, including Capitol Hill.

Read the tweet from DC Police Traffic:

1:23 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

District attorney: Buffalo police didn't have to crack protester's head

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso


When asked how officers should have responded to the 75-year-old protester in Buffalo, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said "you don't crack a skull on the concrete."  

Flynn was asked what police officers should have done if the man was not listening to officers, to which he responded, "what you do is that you grab him" and "turn him around" and arrest him if he's doing something illegal. 

"You don't take a baton and shove, along with the officer next to him," and knock him down and "crack his head," Flynn said. 

Flynn said he highly doubts "shoving a 75-year-old man" is part of any training. But "if what you've been trained to do is unlawful, that's not an excuse" and police should "reevaluate their training."  

1:07 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

There will be no curfew in Atlanta on Saturday, mayor's office says

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

Atlanta is not enforcing a curfew on Saturday, the first time in a week, according to the office of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. 

Officials said they will monitor the situation into Sunday morning.

The curfew in the city yesterday was 8 p.m. ET.

The city is also offering free Covid-19 testing for protesters and community on Saturday, according to a tweet. Tests will be administered at Chosewood Arts Complex from 10 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET.

Read the announcement:

1:13 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Buffalo police officers allegedly involved in pushing incident identified

From CNN's Laura Ly

Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski
Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski Erie County District Attorney’s Office

The Erie County District Attorney has announced that 39-year-old Aaron Torgalski and 32-year-old Robert McCabe were the Buffalo police officers who were arraigned Saturday morning, each on one count of assault in the second degree.

Prosecutors claim that at approximately 8 p.m. on June 4, Torgalski and McCabe allegedly pushed 75-year-old protester Martin Gugino outside City Hall, causing him to fall and hit his head on the sidewalk.

“The 75-year-old male victim was taken to ECMC to be treated for a head injury, loss of consciousness, and bleeding from the right ear. He remains hospitalized in critical condition,” the Erie County District Attorney said in a news release.

If convicted on the charge, the maximum possible sentence is seven years in prison, the district attorney said.

1:11 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

District attorney waited to charge Buffalo officers after emergency response team resigned 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso


Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says he was prepared to charge both Buffalo New York Police officers yesterday, but he was concerned after 57 officers resigned from the emergency unit. 

"I could have done this yesterday," Flynn said at a news conference following the arraignment on Saturday.  "I found out that the entire emergency response team of the Buffalo Police Department had quit and they weren't going to come out last night to protect the city of Buffalo."

Flynn said he "didn't want to pour gasoline on the fire."

He said he was "concerned about the safety of the city" and "about the safety of the officers last night."

Both officer pleaded not guilty to one count of assault in the second degree and have been released without bail.