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June 7 George Floyd protest news

Black Lives Matter supporters gather across globe

What you need to know

  • A 13th day of protest took place across the United States and around the world after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police custody.
  • A supermajority of the Minneapolis City Council announced they intend to defund and dismantle the city’s police department – a day after the mayor refused to support the measure.
  • In Bristol, England, protesters in solidarity with Black Lives Matter pulled down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader. Thousands also marched in London and other major world cities, as the protest movement gains international momentum.
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Our live coverage of the global George Floyd protests has moved here.

Derek Chauvin will appear in court for the first time on two-week anniversary of George Floyd's death

Derek Chauvin.

The third and final memorial service for George Floyd will be held Monday in Houston, the city he grew up in before moving to Minneapolis, where he died at the hands of a police officer.

Ex-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, the officer who is seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, is charged with second-degree murder, which comes with a maximum sentence of 40 years.

Chauvin is also charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, which come with maximum sentences of 25 years and 10 years respectively. It is unclear whether, if convicted of those additional charges, Chauvin’s sentences would be served concurrently or consecutively. That would be at the discretion of the judge.

The other three officers involved in Floyd’s death – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

In Houston, thousands are expected to attend Monday’s visitation for Floyd. The six-hour viewing Monday will be followed by a funeral service and burial Tuesday in Pearland, a Houston suburb, CNN affiliate KTVT reported. Floyd will be laid to rest next to his mother, the news station reported.

French president asks government to look into "the ethics of the police"

Riot policemen hold their shields with the Eiffel Tower in background during a protest at the Champ de Mars, in Paris on June 6.

French President Emmanuel Macron met the Prime Minister and other top officials to discuss police brutality and the police force, the Elysée Palace said in a statement on Monday. 

“The president has asked the minister of interior to quickly complete the work, begun last January, which consisted in making proposals to improve the ethics of the police,” said the press release.

There was a 41% increase in internal investigations for police violence between 2018 and 2019, according to a report released on Sunday by the police force’s internal watchdog.

This comes after massive protests last week. On Tuesday, more than 20,000 protesters gathered in front of the main Paris court.

People protested both to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, and to demand justice for Adama Traoré, a young black French man who died in police custody in Paris four years ago.

These protests have grown across France all week – but they are banned by authorities, since restrictions are still in place to prevent against the spread of coronavirus.

British Prime Minister condemns attacks on police by protesters

A protester is placed in a spit hood as he is restrained by officers during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, in London.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has criticized the actions of some anti-racism protesters on Sunday after clashes with police.

On Twitter, Johnson said the mostly peaceful protests had been “subverted by thuggery.” 

“People have a right to protest peacefully & while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police. These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery - and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve. Those responsible will be held to account,” Johnson tweeted. 

The UK’s Home Secretary said on Monday that 14 police officers had been injured.

Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, Priti Patel called the “lawless” scenes in London “completely unacceptable,” and urged protesters to follow social distancing rules. 

It's been an eventful day. Catch up with the biggest headlines today

A demonstrator shouts slogans after climbing on a traffic light on June 7, in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles.

Protesters in the US and across the world took to the streets for the 13th consecutive day after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Sunday marked a string of symbolic and significant victories for the protesters, as the peaceful demonstrations prompted authorities to lift curfews and withdraw National Guard troops. Here are the biggest headlines if you’re just joining us:

  • Dismantling Minneapolis police: In Minneapolis, a veto-proof supermajority of the city council pledged their commitment to defunding and dismantling the city’s police force – a protest demand that has gained momentum this week. “Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety,” tweeted one council member.
  • Curfews lifted: With protests around the country staying peaceful in recent days, authorities are easing up restrictions. Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and Buffalo in upstate New York all lifted curfews today.
  • Police reform in New York: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would move funding away from the police force and instead put it toward youth and social services. This comes as two NYPD officers were suspended without pay for excessive force toward protesters last week.
  • Trump withdraws National Guard: President Donald Trump tweeted today that he has ordered for the National Guard to start withdrawing from Washington, DC. It’s not clear if all troops are being withdrawn, or just those who came from out of state.
  • British crowds topple statue: In Bristol, England, a massive crowd of protesters toppled the statue of a 17th century slave trader and threw it into a river, to applause from onlookers. Thousands of people also gathered in London and Edinburgh to protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
  • Protests go worldwide: The solidarity protests have gained international momentum this weekend, drawing huge numbers in major cities like Rome and Madrid. In many places, protesters are calling attention to the often overlooked legacy of colonialism and the perpetuation of racial injustices in their own countries; for instance, Australian protesters demanded equality for indigenous communities who face mass incarceration and high rates of death in police custody.

British protesters toppled the statue of a slave trader and threw it in the river

Protesters throw a statue of slave trader Edward Colston into Bristol harbor, during a Black Lives Matter protest rally, in Bristol, England, on June 7.

In the UK city of Bristol, protesters on Sunday pulled down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader while demonstrating in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The protesters tied the 5.5-meter (18ft) bronze statue of Edward Colston, with rope before toppling it, to cheers from the surrounding crowd.

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

Colston, who was born in Bristol in 1636, was an active member of the governing body of the Royal African Company (RAC) for 11 years, assuming the top role of deputy-governor from 1689–90.

The company, which had a monopoly on the west African slave trade in the late 17th century, was involved in the selling of tens of thousands of west African people in the Caribbean and the Americas.

Colston, who is described by the Museums of Bristol website as a “revered philanthropist / reviled slave trader,” later donated some of his wealth to charitable causes, such as schools and hospitals, a process through which his name became synonymous with certain Bristol landmarks.

The statue of Colston had stood in Bristol’s city center since 1895 but had become increasingly controversial, with petitions created to demand its removal.

Elsewhere in the UK: Massive protests, with people numbering in the thousands, also took place in other major UK cities like London and Edinburgh.

At least 12 people were arrested at the protests in London, police said late Sunday.

Retired Navy captain apologizes after accidentally live-streaming himself using racial slurs

Retired Navy Captain Scott Bethmann and his wife Nancy.

A retired US Navy captain who used derogatory language and racial slurs during a conversation with his wife that was accidentally live streamed on Facebook says he is “mortified.”

Scott Bethmann resigned from the US Naval Academy Alumni Association board after he accidentally streamed the conversation with his wife Nancy, according to a statement from the alumni association and a family spokesperson.

Bethmann and his wife were live on Facebook for more than 30 minutes, discussing the ongoing protests around the country, according to audio obtained by CNN affiliate WJXT.

Bethmann is heard using the N-word and complaining about not being able to speak his mind, saying, “The white m*****f*****s can’t say anything. That’s the point we’re making here, Nancy.”

His wife is also heard in the recording talking about “F****** Asians from China who love to steal all of our intellectual property.”

In a statement issued through a family spokesperson, Bethmann said it was never appropriate “to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man.”

“There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media,” he said.

Read the full story here.

NASCAR legends voice support for George Floyd protests

NASCAR drivers have joined the growing list of athletes and sports leagues throwing their support behind the nationwide protests against police brutality.

Bubba Wallace wore a black T-shirt that said “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe” during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500.

Wallace also tweeted a NASCAR-sponsored video of him and fellow drivers discussing how they will advocate for change to fight racism and inspire change.

“We will listen and learn! #BlackLivesMatters,” Wallace tweeted.

Other NASCAR drivers also spoke up Sunday. The legendary Jeff Gordon made a powerful statement during Sunday’s broadcast saying he and Wallace’s professional and personal journeys are different.

“I’ll never know what it’s like to walk in Bubba’s shoes or the shoes of anyone that’s experienced racism. I do know I can be better; we can do better to create positive change,” Gordon said. “We need to step up now more than we ever have in the past. We are listening. We are learning. We are ready for change.”

Read more here:

Thousands gathered in Rome's Piazza del Popolo to protest in support of Black Lives Matter

Protesters around the world have been demonstrating all week, inspired by the protests taking place in the United States.

In Rome, thousands of people marched yesterday in the Piazza del Popolo, one of the main squares in the Italian capital.

“This is the largest demonstration I’ve seen in the Piazza del Popolo for quite some time,” said CNN Correspondent Ben Wedeman, reporting from the scene.

“Earlier one of the people making a speech listed all those victims of police brutality in the United States, and this is just one of several such demonstrations being held in Italy and of course across Europe as well. There’s been a massive outpouring of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.”

While the large gathering has made it difficult for protesters to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines, those demonstrating in the piazza were seen to be attempting to maintain a 1-meter distance between themselves, with many wearing masks and face coverings to limit the spread of coronavirus.

US Soccer will consider repealing the ban on kneeling during the anthem

Megan Rapinoe, left, and Marta Corredera vie for the ball at Red Bull Arena on March 8, in Harrison, New Jersey.

The United States Soccer Federation is considering a repeal of its policy which requires national team players to stand during the national anthem, according to a report in ESPN.

Policy 604-1, which was passed in response to Megan Rapinoe’s kneeling for the national anthem before a 2016 match against Thailand, states:

“All persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented.”

ESPN reported that the USSF Board will discuss the new policy on Tuesday; a formal vote is expected Friday. The policy would take immediate effect if approved, but will also need to be approved at the next annual general meeting next year. 

CNN has reached out to US Soccer, who has yet to respond.

Some context: Kneeling during the anthem, a move popularized by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, is now a ubiquitous symbol of protest against racial injustice and police brutality across the US.

After kneeling at the 2016 match, Rapinoe said she had done it in solidarity with Kaepernick. “We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country,” she said.

American police shoot, kill and imprison more people than other developed countries

Chicago Police Department officers gather as curfew nears during a demonstration on June 6, in Chicago.

The Black Lives Matter protests have rippled across the United States and throughout the world.

George Floyd was just one of the many Americans killed by police officers each year. But in other developed countries, such incidents are rare.

Statistical comparisons show that police in the US typically shoot, arrest and imprison more people than similarly developed nations.

media review by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found a total of 1,348 potential arrest-related deaths in the ten months from June 2015 through March 2016 – an average of 135 deaths per month, or just over 4 per day.

(The review excludes deaths under the jurisdiction of federal and tribal law enforcement, and the BJS acknowledged it does not provide a complete picture.)

By comparison, only 13 people in the UK died in or following police custody in the closest time period, according to the country’s police watchdog. In Australia, 21 deaths occurred in police custody or custody-related operations in 2015/16. Those measures are the most accurate comparison to the US’s figure of arrest-related deaths, according to the UK Home Office. The UK’s figure does not include every death that occurred following police contact.

Read the full story here.

The partisan chasm over systemic racism is on full display

Protesters take a knee and raise their fists in a moment of silence for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality in Boston, Massachusetts on June 7.

The throngs of protesters demanding systemic changes in policing are marching directly into one of the deepest chasms between the two political parties.

The belief that widespread racism is no longer a problem in American society has become one of the core convictions uniting the modern Republican coalition, especially in the Donald Trump era, polls have found. 

Several academic studies found the belief that discrimination against minorities (and women) is no longer a problem was a far better predictor of support for Trump in 2016 than economic anxiety.

Democrats of all races, by contrast, are much more likely to say that discrimination against African Americans, including in their interactions with police, remains a structural feature of American society.

In surveys by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, Americans who support Trump were far more likely than those who don’t to say that police shootings of black men are only isolated incidents and to claim that discrimination against whites is now as great a problem as bias against minorities.

This contrast looms heavily over the partisan reaction to the current eruption of protest. Since George Floyd’s death, a chorus of prominent conservative voices have insisted it is a “lie” to describe racial discrimination as a pervasive problem.

And, while some polls conducted amid the upsurge of protest hint that more Republicans may see discrimination as a problem, generally the surveys have documented the persistence of a huge gap between the parties on the issue.

Read the full analysis here:

Pressure mounts on Trump to project unity

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 5, in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump, appearing badly out of touch with a national outpouring of support for racial justice and shedding political support just five months before the election, is edging toward a belated call for national unity.

But after spending two weeks ripping at racial wounds and painting a picture of a nation under siege from looters, domestic terrorists and radicals, he’s probably already missed his chance.

By any standards, Trump is coming off a disastrous political week, but aides told CNN on Sunday that the White House is considering the possibility of a national address to turn things around. His attempt to contain the political damage comes as Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden heads to Houston, Texas, on Monday to privately pay his respects to the family of George Floyd, while clearly positioning his 2020 campaign in the slipstream of the anti-racism protests.

Trump has been painting a dire picture of a country teetering on the edge of lawlessness, accusing leftist anti-fascist group Antifa of orchestrating looting and trying to create the appearance of a scenario that only a strongman leader could solve.

In reality, increasingly violence-free nationwide protests with peaceful crowds braving the implications of a pandemic are providing exactly the opposite impression Trump is trying to portray with his dystopian rhetoric.

But Trump’s team is beginning to signal a shift that might see the President tone down the rhetoric in a bid to win back independents and moderate suburban Republicans that he needs to win in November.

“I believe you’re going to be hearing from the President this week on this topic in some detail. And I would ask you maybe to reserve judgment until after that time,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Read more here:

Trump presser 0601

Pressure mounts on Trump to project unity

What the protests look like tonight in New York and Los Angeles

Protesters raise fists in solidarity at the Glendale Community March and Vigil for Black Lives Matter on June 7, in Glendale, California.

In New York City, the mood was light today after Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted in the morning that the city’s curfew was lifted, effective immediately.

Protesters still took to the streets; in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, about 4,000 to 5,000 gathered to demonstrate. Things remained peaceful all day, said CNN Correspondent Bill Weir, adding that he had been “listening to police scanners all throughout the day where the word “orderly” was repeated again and again.”

People also celebrated news that two NYPD officers have been suspended without pay after using excessive force during the protests, and that the city will move some funding away from the NYPD toward youth and social services.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, protesters organized a car caravan rally. Hundreds of people who couldn’t participate in the long marches – the elderly, those with disabilities or pre-existing conditions – drove their cars together from Compton to the Los Angeles police department headquarters.

Many of them had signs hanging out their window or slogans painted on the side of their cars, like “No justice, no peace” and “Black Lives Matter.”

The Little Rock Nine: "Isn't it supposed to be better than this?"

Surviving members of the Little Rock Nine stand with former President Bill Clinton at Little Rock Central High School for the 60th anniversary of the school’s desegregation in 2017. Left to right: Melba Pattillo Beals, Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Clinton, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford and Thelma Mothershed-Wair.

Confronted by an angry mob hurling rocks and death threats, 15-year-old Minnijean Brown-Trickey pushed her way through the crowd, only to be stopped by National Guardsmen.

The year was 1957. And behind the guardsmen stood Little Rock Central High School, which had resisted desegregation since the Supreme Court ruled public school segregation unconstitutional three years earlier.

Brown-Trickey and eight other students, known together as the Little Rock Nine, entered the school weeks later, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division to escort them. The event proved a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

More than 60 years later, as racial tensions grip the nation, Brown-Trickey and other members of the Little Rock Nine question whether their struggles have borne fruit.

“I’ve just been so sad about whether my life was worth anything because it doesn’t seem like things have changed, and I’m sure a lot of people feel that way,” Brown-Trickey said from her home in Vancouver, British Columbia. “I got pushed back to Emmett Till, and growing up in Jim Crow, and Central (High School) and being arrested as an environmentalist. Every aspect of my life has just come forward and it’s just sorrow.”

Other members of the tight-knit Little Rock Nine echoed her sentiments.

Read more of their stories and statements here:

Minnijean Brown-Trickey

'Isn't it supposed to be better than this?' Civil rights pioneers question how far we've come

The National Guard will start leaving California cities

California National Guard soldiers stand near a portrait of George Floyd during a demonstration in downtown Los Angeles, on June 6.

After nearly a week assisting law enforcement authorities on the streets of California, soldiers with the California National Guard will begin transitioning back to their home armories, the California National Guard said in a statement.

“I am extremely proud of the professionalism and dedication to duty the soldiers and airmen of the Cal Guard exemplified on the streets of California protecting the first amendment rights of all citizens during these extremely trying times,” California National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin said.

Cal Guard also said they will maintain a “quick reaction force in various locations across the state to rapidly assist law enforcement if requested.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom mobilized more than 7,000 National Guard members to help local authorities across the state after George Floyd’s death.

Austin police fired at a crowd transporting a protester injured by an officer

Justin Howell, 20, suffered a fractured skull and brain damage, his brother says.

Police in Austin, Texas, have launched an investigation into why officers fired “less-lethal” beanbag munition at a crowd transporting an injured man.

Justin Howell, a 20-year-old student at Texas State University, was protesting outside police headquarters on the night of May 31, Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley said in a news conference.

A protester who was standing next to Howell hurled a water bottle and a bag at the police officers, the chief said. In response, one officer fired beanbag rounds at the demonstrator but struck Howell in the head instead, according to Manley.

Howell suffered a fractured skull and brain damage, his brother told CNN. He remains in critical condition.

Once Howell fell to the ground, some in the crowd picked him up and officers directed them to take him to police headquarters – but the crowd was fired upon as they neared the building, Manley said.

“It’s reported that they were fired upon with less-lethal munitions as they brought this victim towards the officers to get him medical help,” he added.

Manley said a police investigation into the incident is underway and police are also trying to identify the officer who first fired at Howell.

Watch the moment here:

Brazilians protest in support of Black Lives Matter and against President Jair Bolsonaro

A demonstrator holds a sign reading, "Racism is a virus", during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Thousands of people in Brazil took the streets again this weekend in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to protest President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, including its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the protests, scattered across the country’s major cities, people chanted and carried signs bearing slogans like “Black Lives Matter” and “Bolsonaro needs to go.”

About 3,000 people attended a rally in Sao Paulo to criticize the federal government and to protest violence against black Brazilians by police forces, said Brazil’s Military Police. Protesters lay on the ground, shouting “I can’t breathe” – George Floyd’s last words before he died in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

Demonstrations also took place in the country’s capital, Brasilia, and other cities like Porto Alegre, Recife and Fortaleza. Protesters on the streets were joined by local residents who banged pans and pots from their balconies, while passing drivers blasted their horns in solidarity.

Raull Santiago, one of the protest organizers in Rio de Janeiro, said on Twitter that leaving home in the middle of a pandemic was a difficult but necessary decision.

“We, the people that live in the favelas, do not accept having as our only option to choose between being shot or [getting] infected by the virus. Today is an important day in the fight against the genocide of black people,” he said.

Bolsonaro’s response: Last Friday, Bolsonaro condemned participants in anti-government and anti-racism demonstrations as “thugs” and “terrorists,” words also used by his American counterpart, Donald Trump, to describe the protesters in the United States.  

He said the demonstrations could draw a violent response from law enforcement and warned Brazilians to stay at home Sunday, “so that the security forces – not just state but also federal – can do their duty in case these thugs go beyond the limits of the law. ”  

Newspaper accused of removing black journalist from protest coverage after tweet about looting

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette building in Pittsburgh.

Leadership at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper are 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.

Alexis Johnson, a journalist at the Post-Gazette, posted a tweet with pictures on May 31st 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.

Read more here.