June 7 George Floyd protest news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Peter Wilkinson, Fernando Alfonso III, Amir Vera and Steve George, CNN

Updated 12:19 PM ET, Mon June 8, 2020
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1:25 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Black Lives Matter protesters pull down statue of 17th century slave trader in England

From CNN’s Max Foster and Nada Bashir in Londion

Protesters throw a statue of Edward Colston into Bristol Harbour in Bristol, England, on June 7.
Protesters throw a statue of Edward Colston into Bristol Harbour in Bristol, England, on June 7. Ben Birchall/PA Wire/AP

Anti-racism protesters in the city of Bristol, in southwest England, have pulled down a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston.

During a demonstration on Sunday in solidarity with the US Black Lives Matter movement, protesters tied the bronze statue – which was first erected in 1895 – with rope, before pulling it down as the surrounding crowd cheered.

Demonstrators were later seen rolling the statue to the nearby harbor, throwing it into the River Avon.

While the incident garnered much celebration amongst protesters, local police say an investigation has been launched into the incident.

“There was a small group of people who clearly committed an act of criminal damage in pulling down a statue near Bristol Harbourside,” Avon and Somerset police said Sunday in a statement. “An investigation will be carried out to identify those involved and we are already collating footage of the incident."

According to local police, Sunday’s Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol was attended by an estimated 10,000 people.

“The vast majority of those who came to voice their concerns about racial inequality and injustice did so peacefully and respectfully,” Avon and Somerset police said.

“Keeping the public safe was out greatest priority and thankfully there were no instances of disorder and no arrests were made,” they added.

1:23 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Bishop addresses racism in Sunday service at Washington National Cathedral

From CNN's Austen Bundy

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde speaks at a vigil near St. Johns Episcopal Church in Washington on June 3.
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde speaks at a vigil near St. Johns Episcopal Church in Washington on June 3. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde spoke out against racism at Sunday's service at Washington National Cathedral and referenced the events from the past week.

After President Trump visited St. John's Church on Monday, Budde said she was "outraged" after the President visited to her church without advance notice to share "a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus."

During the service, which was live streamed from the cathedral, Budde commented on the dynamic between Trump and Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser.

"The President of the United States threatened to use military force against American citizens. And then proceeded to use federal officers to disperse peaceful protesters outside of the White House. The African-American mayor of this city stood her ground. She stood the ground for all of us. The debt to black America in this democracy continues," Budde said.

She continued the sermon against racism with references to Ahmaud Arbery's death. Budde said another member of her church community used the term "Covid-1619" to describe systemic racism in America.

12:18 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Philadelphia curfew has been lifted

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

The city of Philadelphia announced on Sunday that it has lifted its curfew.

In two tweets this morning, the city announced that the curfew was lifted and reminded protesters to wear a mask and maintain social distancing if participating in protests.

Read the city's tweets:

11:41 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Rep. John Lewis visits Black Lives Matter Plaza with Washington, DC, mayor

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

from Twitter/MayorBowser
from Twitter/MayorBowser

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser appeared on Black Lives Matter Plaza today with civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.

"We’ve walked this path before, and will continue marching on, hand in hand, elevating our voices, until justice and peace prevail," Bowser tweeted.

In an interview on Fox News this morning, Bowser said the Black Lives Matter mural she had commissioned on what has been known as 16th St NW, just blocks from the White House, has become “a centering point, a place for healing strategizing and talking.”

“It is also a place of redress," she said on Fox. “[I]t is a right in America where citizens from all over the country come to their nation’s capital to deliver grievances at the footstep of the people’s house.”

See Bowser's tweet:

11:33 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

New York City lifts curfew, effective immediately

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday morning that the city’s curfew is being lifted, effective immediately.

“New York City: We are lifting the curfew, effective immediately. Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city. Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart. Keep staying safe. Keep looking out for each other,” de Blasio said.

New York City’s curfew was previously set for 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night until June 7. 

11:56 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Reverend of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Church slams Trump’s Bible photo-op

From CNN’s Sharif Paget

Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, delivered a sermon on Sunday where he criticized President Trump’s use of force to clear out peaceful protesters on Monday in order to take a photo with a Bible in front of St John's Episcopal Church.

“The Bible is not a prop, and the church is not a stage for reality TV,” Warnock said. “Don’t play with God, I don’t care who you are, don’t play with God.”

Warnock also said he stands with the people protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and said too often the United States fails to uphold justice for everyone in the country.  

“The knee of our system is sitting on too many people’s necks,” Warnock said. “We are protesting because too often Lady Justice seems to peak from behind her blindfolds.”

“That’s why we’re crying out,” he said.

11:30 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

NYC mayor says 2 NYPD officers are suspended without pay, further disciplinary action to come

From CNN’s Laura Ly and Anna Sturla

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during an ongoing news conference Sunday that two NYPD officers have been suspended without pay for their bad actions in policing protesters.

De Blasio said one of the officers is accused of shoving a woman to the ground in Brooklyn last Friday, and another is accused of pulling down a protester’s face covering and spraying them with paper spray, also last Friday. 

Both officers also face further disciplinary action, de Blasio said.

An NYPD supervisor who was in charge of the officer who shoved the female protester to the ground has been reassigned and more reviews are being done, de Blasio said.

11:26 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Protesters flock to London streets in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement

From CNN’s Max Foster, Duarte Mendonca and Anil Abeykoon in London

A protester stands in front of the US embassy in London on June 7.
A protester stands in front of the US embassy in London on June 7. Frank Augstein/AP

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of London on Sunday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, gathering outside the US embassy in a show of solidarity with George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis in May.

Protesters marching in the capital joined together on Sunday chanting “black lives matter,” with many carrying placards and posters conveying the same message; one protester standing outside the US embassy held a sign which read: “black lives trump your ego, Mr. President.”

In a symbolic tribute to Floyd, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, demonstrators stood in silence for eight minutes while kneeling.

Others were also seen staging a "die-in" demonstration beside police officers who stood lined outside the embassy building.

“Together, we will let our voices be heard. Enough is Enough. Black people cannot keep suffering,” one protester addressed the crowd.

Meanwhile: Similar demonstrations are taking place across other parts of the UK; in Bristol, video broadcast on UK media shows protesters pulling down a statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader.

While the UK government has urged citizens not to demonstrate over fears that the protest could lead to the further spread of coronavirus, the protest has seen a significant turnout.

Little social distancing has been observed – owing to the high turnout – but many protesters are wearing masks or face coverings, while organizers say volunteers in high-visibility jackets will be handing out masks and water to demonstrators.

11:14 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Acting Homeland Security secretary defends federal law enforcement action against protesters

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on May 19
Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on May 19 Alex Wong/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf Sunday defended federal law enforcement actions last week used to clear demonstrators who had gathered near the White House in peaceful protests. 

“I think we took the right action,” Wolf told Fox News, adding the number of violent protests and rioting diminished during the week. He said federal officials deserve credit because of the early action taken by the administration. “It’s not by happenstance. It’s not by chance. It’s because we took early action.”

Wolf went on to say that had the Trump administration not increased the presence of the federal authorities in the DC area, the rioting and looting would have continued and there would be a “vast majority of more violent protesting today, churches being burned.”

When asked if having active duty military members on standby in DC was “overkill,” Wolf responded, “We were taking measurable progress,” when that “violent protesting and the looting and rioting were out of control.”

He added although he does not see active military being used at this point, “taking options off the table, I don’t think is the right play.”

Wolf vowed that action will be taken against “violent protesters infiltrating and hijacking the peaceful protesters.”

He specifically mentioned Antifa, the anti-fascist movement which Trump said last week the government would be declaring a terrorist organization, as well as anarchists and violent opportunists. He said although there may not have been a large number of arrests by federal agencies yet the Department of Justice and the FBI and others are investigating. Wolf said the arrests “may not be here today, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not working on it, that doesn’t mean that you wont see action on it.”

Some other background: In a separate interview on ABC, Wolf said of George Floyd’s death, “the outrage that Americans are feeling today about the death of George Floyd is very real. It’s very legitimate and we need to address that.”