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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8:40 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

California National Guard will be leaving Los Angeles Sunday evening, mayor says

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

National Guardsmen watch over a protest in Los Angeles on June 3.
National Guardsmen watch over a protest in Los Angeles on June 3. Aaron Guy Leroux/Sipa/AP

The California National Guard is set to leave Los Angeles Sunday evening, with “a smaller number of units stationed nearby until June 10th to provide emergency support if needed,” according to a statement from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office.

“We thank the members of the Guard for their willingness to serve — to ensure the safety of demonstrators, businesses, residents, and everyone in our city,” Garcetti said.

9:15 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Sen. Mitt Romney joins demonstrators marching in DC protest

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney marched in a DC protest Sunday afternoon along Pennsylvania Avenue to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Romney posted images of himself wearing a mask and participating in the protest on Instagram, with the caption “Black Lives Matter.”

The first term GOP Senator and former Republican presidential nominee is one of a very few Republicans who publicly have said the words “Black Lives Matter.”

Finding a way to end violence and brutality and to make sure the people understand that Black Lives Matter,” he told Washington Post reporter Hannah Natanson, who was covering the protest.

“Finding a way to end violence and brutality and to make sure the people understand that Black Lives Matter,” he told Natanson.

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7:10 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

New York plans to move some police funding to youth and social services

From CNN's Theresa Waldrop and Laura Ly

New York City will move some of its funding from the New York Police Department to youth and social services, Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Sunday.

His announcement comes as discussions grow around the country about defunding police forces, with some activists calling on city officials to invest more of the city's budget in communities, especially marginalized ones where much of the policing occurs.

"These will be the first of many steps my Administration will take over the next 18 months to rebuild a fairer City that profoundly addresses injustice and disparity," de Blasio said in a statement.

De Blasio said New York City would find "find significant savings in the NYPD budget" that will go toward "youth development and social services for communities of color."

Going forward, the city will move street vendor enforcement out of the NYPD's responsibilities, so they can focus on "the real drivers of crime," the mayor said.

7:07 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

12 protesters arrested at London demonstrations

From CNN’s Samantha Beech

Police confront protesters during the Black Lives Matter rally in London on Sunday, June 7.
Police confront protesters during the Black Lives Matter rally in London on Sunday, June 7. Frank Augstein/AP

At least 12 people have been arrested at ongoing demonstrations in London in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, police said late Sunday.

In a statement, London’s Metropolitan Police said the majority of the arrests made Sunday were made for public order offenses. One was for criminal damage following an incident at the Cenotaph. Police said the vast majority passed through central London without issue, however, a small minority “provoked scenes of violence”.

Police said a number of demonstrators launched attacks at officers and threw objects including glass bottles and fireworks. A total of eight officers have received injuries.

“Regrettably officers were faced with further scenes of violence and disorder following a day of predominantly peaceful protest throughout the capital," said Superintendent Jo Edwards, a spokesperson for the protests. "This is a hugely impassioned movement and we understand the public’s desire to have their voices heard -- however it is not right that this passion has turned into violent attacks on officers.”

7:26 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Minneapolis city council president says she is looking to move funding from police

From CNN’s Josh Campbell and Aaron Cooper

The Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct after being destroyed by protesters  n May 29.
The Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct after being destroyed by protesters n May 29. Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto/AP

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender told CNN on Sunday that she is looking to move funding from the Minneapolis Police Department and instead invest some money in community-based strategies.

Bender said that she and her co-city council members did an analysis of the nature of 911 calls made by constituents in Minneapolis, and found that most people are calling for mental health services, as well as health, EMT and fire services. 

Bender said that the solutions lie in the needs of the community and she said that today’s commitment from her co-city council members shows an acknowledgement that the system is not working.

“(We need) to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of color, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community,” Bender said.

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7:03 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Protesters paint the words 'End Racism Now' in bold yellow on a street in Raleigh

From CNN's Bernadette Brown

Protesters painted the words “End Racism Now” in bold yellow on the street in front of the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC.
Protesters painted the words “End Racism Now” in bold yellow on the street in front of the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter mural in Washington, DC, volunteers with CAM Raleigh spent six hours Sunday morning turning a block of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, into the largest mural yet, according to CNN affiliate WTVD-TV.

An artist named Kyle had plans to go to the beach, but immediately canceled them to come mark the letters with tape. The mural was finished by 7 a.m., WTVD reported.

6:25 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette removes black journalist from protest coverage after tweet about looting 

From CNN’s Taylor Romine  

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette leadership is being accused of removing a black journalist from protest coverage after she posted a tweet about looting last Sunday, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh said in a statement. The paper has also banned others in the newsroom who spoke out against the paper's decision, they said. 

The move stifled one of the few black reporters at the paper," the statement reads.

Alexis Johnson, a journalist at the Post-Gazette, posted a tweet with pictures on May 31 saying, "Horrifying scenes and aftermath from selfish LOOTERS who don’t care about this city!!!!! .... oh wait sorry. No, these are pictures from a Kenny Chesney concert tailgate. Whoops." The pictures accompanying the tweet were of a parking lot at night, covered in trash and debris. The tweet went viral, accruing more than 178,000 likes.

The next morning, Johnson pitched four stories related to the protests to her editor and she was told to hold off, she told CNN. Later, she got a call from editors saying that her tweet violated social media policy and that she was being pulled off protest coverage.

CNN has reached out to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette leadership for comment but has not heard back. 

Johnson said that while there are social media guidelines that were sent out several years ago, there was no policy that their union agreed to, and she had no warning by managers before her removal from coverage. Union officials from the Guild met with three top managers on the following Wednesday to get Johnson reinstated on protest coverage, but the editors declined.

Johnson said a white male reporter who also tweeted about the protests was spoken to by editors, but was only given a warning. The reporter was removed from protest coverage after Guild representatives brought up the issue during their meeting, she said. Johnson declined to identify the reporter. 

 "They need to take a hard look at why they made that decision," Johnson told CNN. "They may very well thought I violated the guidelines, but I guess they need to think about why they felt so strong about that, and not a white male reporter. I guess they need to try to figure out why they are standing so strong on this."

A photographer for the Post-Gazette, which Guild president Michael Fuoco confirmed to be Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist Michael Santiago, was also removed from protest coverage after tweeting support for Johnson, the Guild said. When asked for comment, Santiago referred CNN to Fuoco, who directed CNN to the Guild statement. He also said that as of today, all Post-Gazette photographers are banned from protest coverage. 

In addition, two reporter's stories about the protests were taken down last week, according to the Guild statement, and were later reposted with no bylines and "severely shortened." 

One of the reporters, Lauren Lee, told CNN that this was the "right fight," and is "standing with Alexis, Michael and the few other reporters of color at the Post-Gazette and will continue to do so."

Johnson said she hasn't heard from management since last Monday. She is requesting an apology to her and the Post-Gazette readers for her protest coverage ban, and she and the Guild are also requesting for her to be allowed to cover the protests again. 

6:13 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

American Medical Association's Board of Trustees denounces police brutality in new statement

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

The American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees on Sunday released a statement denouncing “police brutality and all forms of racially-motivated violence” and calling racism a threat to public health. 

“The AMA recognizes that racism in its systemic, structural, institutional, and interpersonal forms is an urgent threat to public health, the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to excellence in the delivery of medical care,” the board said.

It added that the AMA “opposes all forms of racism” and said the group will “actively work to dismantle racist and discriminatory policies and practices across all of health care.”

A chorus of medical groups, included the AMA, have already released statements emphasizing that racism is a public health issue and calling for police brutality to stop. An earlier statement from the AMA came from its board chair, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, and president, Dr. Patrice Harris.

"AMA policy recognizes that physical or verbal violence between law enforcement officers and the public, particularly among Black and Brown communities where these incidents are more prevalent and pervasive, is a critical determinant of health and supports research into the public health consequences of these violent interactions," Ehrenfeld and Harris said in the statement.

In a press release announcing the new statement from the full board, the AMA said it “recognizes that worsening inequities, unequal access to care, and the disproportionately small number of Black physicians all have roots in past actions of the AMA.”

In 2008, the group apologized for “more than a century of policies that excluded black physicians,” according to the press release. 

8:04 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Minneapolis City Council members announce intent to defund and 'dismantle' the Minneapolis Police Department

From CNN's Josh Campbell

Minneapolis police officers watch demonstrators protest outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct on May 27.
Minneapolis police officers watch demonstrators protest outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct on May 27. Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune/Getty Images

Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council made a commitment to start the process of defunding and “dismantling” the police department, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender told CNN on Sunday.

"We're committed to dismantling police as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community, a new model of public safety that actually keeps our communities safe," Bender said.

Bender said that with nine votes the group of city council members would have a veto proof majority among the 13 city council members.

Right now, Bender said she and other council members are hearing from their constituents that "right now, our police department is not making our community feel safe."

"And so our commitment is that every single member of our community have that safety and security that they need," she said, adding that council will work with the community over the next year to build that system.

When pressed for details on what the dismantling might look like, Bender told CNN’s Josh Campbell they would shift police funding for other needs and start a discussion of how to replace the current police department.

“The idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term,” Bender said.

Bender's comments come after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed by protesters Saturday after he refused to defund and abolish the police.

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