George Floyd protests continue across the nation, but stay mostly peaceful

 

Police in Philadelphia gear up for more possible unrest

Philadelphia police are gearing up for another day of possible unrest as protests continue in the city following George Floyd’s death, CBS Philly reports. 

Tuesday’s demonstrations were mostly peaceful.

Officials implemented a curfew mandate for the fourth straight night to help curb violent protests and looting. Police say they have made 703 arrests since the unrest began Saturday for looting and curfew violations.

 

Esper says he opposes deploying active-duty troops to states to quell protests

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes invoking the centuries-old Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty troops to states to quell protests, directly contradicting President Trump, who threatened on Monday to send the military to states that are unable to “dominate the streets” in response to large demonstrations.

“The option to use active-duty military should only be as a last resort. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Esper said in a press conference at the Pentagon. 

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper delivers a statement on December 29, 2019, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Evan Vucci/AP


The law, originally signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1807, allows the president to send military troops to a state if requested by the state legislature or governor. A provision of the law enacted in 1956 also allows the president to unilaterally deploy troops and federalize state national guard units in certain cases, including to suppress a rebellion.

During his speech Monday evening in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said, “If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Read more here. 

 

U.K. prime minister and British police condemn “appalling” killing of George Floyd

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was “inexcusable,” and he understands why people are protesting.

In his first public comments on the turmoil roiling the U.S., Johnson told lawmakers “what happened in the United States was appalling, it was inexcusable, we all saw it on our screens and I perfectly understand people’s right to protest what took place.”

He added that protests “should take place in a lawful and reasonable way.” 

Johnson, who has sought to nurture close ties with President Donald Trump as he leads the U.K. out of the European union, deflected calls from the opposition to suspend exports of tear gas and rubber bullets to the United States. Johnson said all British arms exports comply with the country’s human rights obligations, “and the U.K. is possibly the most scrupulous country in that respect in the world.”

-CBS/AFP

 

Arrests made in Sacramento for curfew violations

Several people were arrested for violating a curfew in Sacramento, California, on Tuesday night, CBS Sacramento reports.

Authorities started taking over the streets of downtown Sacramento just before 10 p.m. after a protest that was mostly peaceful. While most protesters cleared out, some of those who remained were taken into custody.

The city declared a local public emergency and imposed a citywide curfew that starts every night at 8 p.m. and goes until 5 a.m. “until further notice.” It first went into effect on Monday after “violence, chaos, and destruction that took place on Saturday night and Sunday morning,” the city said.

“A nighttime curfew is necessary for public safety in order to prevent personal injury, property damage, and maintain order,” it says.

 

D.C. National Guard opens investigation into low-flying helicopter over protesters

The District of Columbia National Guard has launched an investigation into a low-flying maneuver by one of its helicopters over protesters in the nation’s capital on Monday, its commanding general announced.

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A military helicopter flies low during a protest on June 1 in Washington, D.C.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images


“I hold all members of the District of Columbia National Guard to the highest of standards,” Major General William Walker said in a statement Wednesday. “We live and work in the district, and we are dedicated to the service of our nation.”

The D.C. National Guard was mobilized earlier this week to assist with the response to protests taking place in the nation’s capital. While the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, some earlier this week led to vandalism and destruction near the White House once the sun set. On Monday, as protesters marched through the district after its 7 p.m. curfew, video emerged of a military helicopter hovering low over the crowd, kicking up debris around them.

Walker said the D.C. National Guard is examining the use of the medical evacuation helicopter as part of its probe.

Read more here.

 

Pope Francis condemns the death of George Floyd

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the death of George Floyd. He directly addressed “brothers and sisters in the United States,” saying he has “witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days,” following the officer-involved death of Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” he said. “At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating.”

The Pope said nothing is gained by violence and much is lost. 

He also lead a prayer for Floyd “and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.”

Read more here. 

 

Why George Floyd’s death is resonating around the world

From Australia and New Zealand to the capital of Europe, thousands have echoed the refrains of “I can’t breathe!” and “no justice, no peace!” heard in many American cities. But protests taking place worldwide are not being held simply in solidarity with the U.S. demonstrators. 

George Floyd’s death has reignited rage against racial injustices in communities across the globe. 

Christian Kabasele, who joined a protest in Dublin, Ireland, said he, “felt like that could have been me. That could have been my brother.”

“Black lives matter!” shouted the crowds in London, with a protest leader urging everyone to “say his name: George Floyd!”

In Paris it was a different name, but a similar case. Floyd’s death has reawakened fury over the 2016 death of 24-year-old Adama Traore in police custody.

Read more here. 

FRANCE-US-DEMO-POLICE-POLITICS-RACE
Protesters demonstrate in front of a Paris courthouse against police violence on June 2, 2020. Some 20,000 people defied a ban in Paris on Tuesday to protest the 2016 death of a young black man named Adama Traore in French police custody.

MICHEL RUBINEL/AFP via Getty Images


 

Protesters defy curfew in Oakland but evening ends quietly

A day after unruly crowds led Oakland, California, police to use tear gas and rubber bullets while arresting over 100 people at the end of a massive George Floyd march, protesters on Tuesday were far more peaceful, CBS SF Bay Area reports

Protesters gathered after an ‪8 p.m. curfew. They chanted and one man spent an hour recounting his personal story of what he says was racial profiling by police. There were no calls to disperse, no threats of chemical agents or arrests. 

At 10 p.m., two hours after the curfew started, Oakland police announced over a loud speaker they were going to open the roadway for traffic. They thanked the protesters for their peaceful demonstration asked people to move to the sidewalks for their safety.

A few minutes later, the line of officers disbanded and walked away, leaving only a handful of demonstrators still gathered at a corner in Oakland.

 

From Miami to Coral Springs, peaceful protests call for change

From Miami to Coral Springs, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets on Tuesday calling for change. They want more police accountability and an end to racism.

CBS Miami reports that during the marches, the protesters pretty much policed themselves. People on bicycles blocked traffic and if there was a rowdy protester, that person was told to calm down.

In Miami, protesters marched from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to Wynwood and back. Organizers said they want prosecutors to not fear charging officers for breaking laws. 

Another protest was held near Coral Springs Charter High School. It was planned by two teenage Pakistani Americans who said they are familiar with oppression.

Organizers of protests said they don’t plan on slowing down. 

Miami-Dade and Broward County officials are considering keeping night-time curfews in place through the weekend.

 

At least 9,300 people arrested since George Floyd’s death, according to AP tally

At least 9,300 people have been arrested in protests across the country since the killing of George Floyd, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

Los Angeles has recorded 2,700 arrests since the protests, followed by New York with about 1,500. Police in Dallas, Houston and Philadelphia have also arrested several hundred people.

The count reflects how much police activity has surrounded the protests that have engulfed cities from coast to coast.

 

Fewer arrests on second night of New York City’s curfew

New York City’s second night of curfew still had people on the streets, but judging by the number of arrests things were much quieter than the night before. The NYPD said approximately 200 people were arrested – compared to about 700 the night before, CBS New York reports

Some looting was reported, and protesters defied the curfew.

As the sun went down Tuesday evening, police blocked traffic below 96th Street in Manhattan for the 8 p.m. curfew – an effort to curb looting and violence that has broken out at nightfall. 

The curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night for the rest of the week. Patrols are doubled and officers are working 12-hour shifts.

“If people are going about their business or people are on their way home, we understand that,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The curfew is there to allow the police to be able to address any situation where someone is trying to do violence to a person or property.”  

Police tried and failed to stop a large group from crossing the Manhattan Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. 

Protests Against Police Brutality Over Death Of George Floyd Continue In NYC
Protesters denouncing police brutality and systemic racism are kept in place on the Manhattan Bridge by police for hours during a citywide curfew in New York City. 

Scott Heins/Getty Images


 

Statue of ex-Philadelphia mayor many saw as racist removed

The Frank Rizzo statue in Philadelphia’s Center City was removed overnight, CBS Philly reported on Wednesday morning. It was vandalized during protests over George Floyd’s death. There were also attempts to tear it down. 

The statue of the former mayor, which has stood on the steps of Philadelphia’s Municipal Services Building for over a decade, was removed around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Crews used a crane to lift the 2,000-pound, 10-foot tall bronze statue and take it away. It happened under the watchful eyes of the National Guard and very few other onlookers.

The former police commissioner and two-term mayor was a controversial figure in Philadelphia. The South Philly native is remembered by supporters as a devoted, outspoken public servant. But Rizzo’s critics, many of them people of color, say his approach to policing and governing was corrupt and racist.

 

Denver police officer fired for “Let’s start a riot” post during George Floyd protest

A Denver police officer was fired Tuesday for posting a photo this weekend of himself and two other officers in tactical gear with the caption “Let’s start a riot” in the middle of demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd. Officer Thomas McClay was fired for violating the department’s social media policy.

McClay was terminated just a day after an internal affairs investigation was launched. The department’s social media policy which bars officers from making posts that could impair the department’s “working relationships” or the performance of their duties.

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An image purportedly posted by a Denver police officer shows three officers dressed in riot gear with a caption that states “Let’s start a riot.” 

CBS Denver


McClay, who joined the department in October after graduating from the department’s academy, could not be immediately reached for comment. 

CBS/AP

 

Retired St. Louis police captain killed during unrest sparked by George Floyd death

A retired St. Louis police captain who became a small-town police chief was killed by people who broke into a pawn shop after protests turned violent, authorities said. David Dorn, 77, was found dead on the sidewalk in front of Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry about 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

No arrests have been made.

The shooting and theft apparently was posted on Facebook Live, but the video has since been taken down. It came on a violent night in St. Louis, where four officers were shot, officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks, and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that burned. 

Police also shot and gravely injured a burglary suspect who they say shot at officers.

CBS/AP

 

Protests in top virus hot spots spur fears of new COVID spikes

As people flood streets across America to protest the killing of George Floyd, public health experts fear the crowds, tear gas and arrests will lead to new transmissions of coronavirus.

An Associated Press review found that in the last week, there have been demonstrations in every one of the 25 American communities with the highest concentrations of new virus cases. Some have seen major protests over multiple days.

The protests come as communities across the nation loosen restrictions on businesses and public life that have helped slow the virus’ spread, deepening concern that the two taken together could create a resurgence in cases nationally.

 

Oklahoma State linebacker has coronavirus after attending Floyd rally

Oklahoma State linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga says he tested positive for COVID-19 after he attended a protest in Tulsa. Ogbongbemiga made the announcement in a Twitter post.

The 21-year-old Ogbongbemiga says he protected himself during the protest. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe,” he wrote.

One commenter to the post observed: “I dont think you got it at the protest.. if you weren’t wearing a mask you may have spread it but covid has a long intubation period and symptoms don’t just appear that fast… praying you recover quickly.. we honestly won’t know the impact of covid from this for 2 weeks.”  

CBS/AP

 

Buffalo woman charged for driving car into police officers

A Buffalo woman is facing felony charges after she drove a car through a group of police officers, injuring three of them.

Deyanna Davis, 31, was arrested Tuesday by New York State Police after she was released from the hospital, NYSP said in a statement

Davis faces five felony charges, including aggravated assault upon a police officer and 2nd degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Of the three officers injured, two are NYSP officers and one is with the Buffalo Police Department.

Buffalo Mayor Bryan Brown announced Tuesday that the Buffalo police officer who was struck by the car is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery, according to CBS News affiliate WIVB’s Marlee Tuskes.

 

Jim Clyburn says Trump has contributed to more “American carnage” than any president in his lifetime

South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn on Tuesday criticized President Trump over a Monday photo op. Police cleared protesters before Washington D.C.’s curfew went into effect so that Mr. Trump could walk unimpeded to a nearby church to pose for photos with a bible.

Rep. Jim Clyburn: Trump has contributed to American carnage

“It seems as if the president considers the exercise of one’s First Amendment rights to be carnage,” Clyburn said Tuesday on CBSN’s “Red & Blue” program. “How we define it, generally, he has contributed to it more than any president in my lifetime. I don’t think any president since maybe Woodrow Wilson.”

Speaking about the death of Geroge Floyd and Minnesota’s decision to open a civil rights investigation into the Minnesota Police Department, Clyburn said, “We have to begin to take action here. We can’t allow these things to continue to happen.”

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