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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8:04 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.

Watch here:

5:20 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

President Trump responds to NYT opinion editor's resignation

From CNN's Mary Kay Mallonee and Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to share his reaction to the resignation of New York Times Editorial Page Editor James Bennet.

Bennet's resignation came after backlash from publishing an op-ed written by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton that called for sending the military to cities in the US to quell violent protests across the country. 

5:18 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

New York Times publisher sends letter to staff after editorial page editor resigns

From CNN’s Oliver Darcy

The exterior of The New York Times building in 2017.
The exterior of The New York Times building in 2017. Avalon/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

After the immediate resignation of New York Times Editorial Page Editor James Bennet, Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger sent a letter to staff.

Here's the full letter:


I’m writing to share with you that James Bennet has resigned as Editorial Page Editor. Jim Dao, an Opinion deputy who oversees Op-Eds, will step off the masthead to move into a new role in the newsroom. 

Last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we’ve experienced in recent years. James and I agreed that it would take a new team to lead the department through a period of considerable change

Katie Kingsbury will step in as the acting Editorial Page Editor through the election in November. These changes are effective immediately.

James and Jim are both excellent journalists with enormous integrity who poured themselves into the mission of The Times. They fostered a culture of innovation, broadened the range of voices we publish and pushed us into new formats like video, graphics and audio. I’m grateful for their many contributions. 

Katie has been instrumental in reimagining Opinion since she joined The Times in 2017 from The Boston Globe, where she served as managing editor for digital and won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. She will lead a process in the coming weeks and months to implement changes in how the Opinion department works and in how decisions get made. I will work with Katie to bring more editing support to the Opinion department, as well as to take other steps to ensure all our work meets our high standards. There are also fundamental questions to address about the changing role of opinion journalism in a digital world, and we will begin work to reinvent the Op-Ed format so that readers understand why we choose to elevate each argument and where it fits in the national debate.

None of these changes mark a retreat from The Times’s responsibility to help people understand a range of voices across the breadth of public debate. That role is as important as it’s ever been. We are a polarized nation whose shared understanding of the world has fractured. The Times, and journalism more broadly, plays an essential role in making sense of this moment, wrestling with the history that has brought us here and helping the public chart a path forward. That requires fearless engagement with ideas from across the political spectrum, particularly those we disagree with. Those ideas, like everything that appears in our pages, must adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and be communicated in a way that respects our readers.

Because we have faced questions in recent days about our core values, I want to say this plainly: As an institution we are opposed to racism in every corner of society. We are opposed to injustice. We believe deeply in principles of fairness, equality and human rights. Those values animate both our news report and our opinion report.

While this has been a painful week across the company, it has sparked urgent and important conversations. In the tough town hall questions, in the Slack channels, in the countless searching conversations I have had with many of you, I have heard an extraordinary passion for the mission of The Times.

As a company we have made real progress in recent years in becoming more diverse and inclusive, but must increase our efforts to ensure that this is a place that welcomes, supports and reflects the contributions of all of our employees. Leadership will share a concrete set of steps the company will take within a month.

Thank you for your dedication to helping us to live up to our highest ideals.


5:25 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Michael Jordan: 'We have been beaten down for so many years. It sucks your soul'

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

Michael Jordan speaks at a press conference before an NBA game on January 24.
Michael Jordan speaks at a press conference before an NBA game on January 24. Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame NBA player and owner of the Charlotte Hornets, spoke plainly about the damage racial injustice has done to the African American community in an exclusive interview with the Charlotte Observer

"We have been beaten down (as African Americans) for so many years. It sucks your soul. You can’t accept it anymore. This is a tipping point. We need to make a stand. We’ve got to be better as a society regarding race," Jordan told the newspaper.

"Face up to your demons. Extend a hand. Understand the inequalities," Jordan answered when asked what needs to happen to change racist behavior. "Sure, it’s about bargaining for better policing, but it’s more. We have encountered racism to be somewhat acceptable in certain circles."

On Friday, Michael Jordan and Nike's Jordan Brand pledged to donate $100 million over the next ten years to organizations dedicated to promoting racial equality, social justice, and education. Speaking on why he chose those initiatives, Jordan said, "If I’m giving $100 million, along with Jordan Brand, then we’re going to make this go in a way that makes a difference. And this -- attacking ingrained racism, supporting educational opportunity -- is a very necessary step in society.”

5:24 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

New York Times editorial page editor resigns after controversial op-ed calling for troops to help police

From CNN's Sheena Jones

The New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet has resigned effective immediately, a tweet from the Times says.

Bennet has been the Editorial Page Editor since May 2016, according to a statement from the Times.

“James is a journalist of enormous talent and integrity who believes deeply in the mission of The Times," Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said. "He oversaw a significant transformation of the Opinion department, which broadened the range of voices we publish and pushed us into new formats like video, graphics and audio. I’m grateful for his many contributions.”

This resignation comes after a controversial op-ed written by Sen. Tom Cotton was published where he argued the Insurrection Act could be invoked to deploy the military across the country to assist local law enforcement with unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Watch here:

5:01 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

University of Houston cancels classes Monday for those who want to attend the public viewing of George Floyd

From CNN's Leah Asmelash 

The University of Houston canceled classes scheduled on Monday, according to a statement posted by the university on Twitter.

The university said it is doing so "in order to provide the UH community ample opportunity to attend the public viewing of George Floyd and reflect on the events taking place in our nation."

4:57 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Here's the status of curfews nationwide on Sunday

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman, Mel Alonso, Laura Ly, Chuck Johnston

Here is a list of the status of curfews in US cities as of Sunday afternoon:


Atlanta: A mandatory curfew was lifted Saturday by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after more than a week of a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has announced the City of Buffalo will lift their curfew immediately. “I have consulted with Buffalo Police management and members of the Common Council and we all agree to lift the curfew while we continue to hear the voice of the community. The Coalition and other community groups have committed to ensuring demonstrations they lead remain peaceful,” Brown said in a statement.

Chicago: A curfew remains in place between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued the curfew on May 30. On Sunday, city officials announced that access to downtown has been fully restored. Lake Shore Drive is open and downtown expressway ramps are now open. CTA rail and bus service downtown has also been fully restored.

Dallas: The curfew for downtown Dallas was lifted effective Saturday, according to the city hall website. A curfew had been in place since the state and city declared a State of Disaster on May 31.

Denver: The city wide curfew expired at 5 a.m. Friday and was not extended, a tweet from Mayor Michael Hancock said. 

Los Angeles: A curfew for the city was lifted by Mayor Eric Garcetti effective Thursday.

Miami: A curfew was put in place for Miami-Dade County by Mayor Carlos Gimenez earlier in the week and was pushed earlier to 8 p.m. from 10 p.m. due to unrest in Miami Beach Friday.

Minneapolis: Curfew was lifted by Gov. Tim Walz effective Friday after more than a week of protests.

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.

Philadelphia: The city of Philadelphia announced on Sunday that they have lifted the curfew in place in the city.

St. Paul, Minnesota: Curfew was lifted effective Friday after more than a week of protests and curfews.

Washington, DC: Curfew was lifted Thursday by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

5:02 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

DC church holds 'prayer for justice' service

From CNN's Rebecca Grandahl and Nicky Robertson

St John's Church, Lafayette Square
St John's Church, Lafayette Square

St John’s Church in Lafayette Square held a short prayer service outside today, that began with a “prayer for justice,” asking people to seek peace and move to action.

President Donald Trump visited the church for a photo-op on Monday amid protests outside the White House, drawing criticism from many in the religious community, including Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

On Sunday, prayer service attendees held up a sign calling on people to “Pray in solidarity with those who pray for justice.” The service was short, but threaded with calls for justice. All in attendance wore masks apart from when they were speaking. The crowd was made up of people of all ages and was racially diverse.

Rob Fisher, the rector of St John’s, said that the church is “so proud to stand and witness in solidarity to this moment.”

Another prayer called on people to “take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our heart, break down the walls that separate us,” and asked that “in good time all races and nations may serve in harmony.”

Krista Bradley, member of St. John’s Church, read from the book of Amos, “let justice roll down the waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Shortly after her reading, a member of the crowd was heard yelling out, “Trump man’s gotta go.”

In yet another call for justice, one member prayed, “help us in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth to confront one another without hatred or bitterness and to work with one another through mutual forbearance and respect.”

The service ended with a prayer to “open eyes and change hearts.”

4:59 p.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Fareed Zakaria discusses why black people in America struggle to get ahead

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Thousands of protesters across the US have flooded cities calling for a stop to police brutality against black people in America following the death of George Floyd.

These demonstrations have sparked worldwide dialogue about the unequal treatment of black people in America and why they seem to have more difficulty getting ahead compared to other ethnic groups, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said during his show Sunday.

“For the last look, I wanted to address a question that many people have ask me one way or another, especially people who live outside the United States. The question is simple. Why is it that blacks seem to have such difficulty moving ahead in America? Don’t other ethnic groups also face discrimination?” Zakaria said.

Zakaria took a closer look of that treatment and highlighted how he believes that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. answered the question best in an interview the civil rights icon gave in 1967:

“And white Americans tell the negro to ‘lift himself by his own bootstraps,' they don’t look over the legacy of slavery and segregation. I believe that we ought to do all we can and seek to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps, but it’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps,” King said.

Watch the full segment here: