All four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd last week now face charges, but large protests continued in major U.S. cities for the ninth-straight day on Wednesday.
Below is everything we know about the unfolding story of George Floyd’s death and its aftermath.
At least 10,000 protesters have been arrested nationwide since the start of the unrest
The Associated Press went through the records of arrests at protests around the country and determined that more than 10,000 people have already been arrested on charges ranging from curfew violations and failures to disperse to looting. Most of the arrests occurred in Los Angeles (where there have been more than 3,000), New York, Dallas, and Philadelphia.
The NYPD cracked down on peaceful protesters defying the overnight curfew
After the curfew started in New York City on Wednesday night, there were numerous reported incidents involving police aggression toward peaceful protesters. At Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, police surrounded a large group of protesters and began attacking them with batons:
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was there to witness it and joined in the outcry over the aggression and called out Mayor de Blasio:
Officers also confronted a group of protesters who had marched away from a silent vigil outside Gracie Mansion.
Three NYPD officers were injured in Brooklyn after someone attacked them with a knife — it was apparently unrelated to the protests
NBC New York reports:
Around 11:45 p.m, two officers were on foot near the intersection of Church Avenue and Flatbush Avenue in the Flatbush neighborhood, according to police. The two encountered a man on the street, who approached them and slashed one of the officers in the neck. A struggle ensued between one of the cops and the man, with a gun firing during the fight, an NYPD spokesperson said.
A nearby sergeant and an officer quickly responded after hearing the gunfire, and shot the suspect. The man was put in police custody and rushed to Kings County Hospital in serious condition, police said. … While the incident occurred after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew, it was not believed to be connected to any ongoing protests.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is cutting funding to the LAPD
Garcetti has cancelled plans to boost the budget of the LAPD, NPR reports:
The Los Angeles Police Department was set to receive a staggering increase in its annual budget from $1.189 billion last year to $1.86 billion for 2020-2021.
That plan — which allocated a 7% spending increase for the department and nearly $41 million in bonuses — drew widespread fury among residents, especially those who have witnessed violent attacks by law enforcement responding to protesters over the past nine days.
But on Wednesday, Garcetti said he has heard protesters and plans to divert some of the funds that were supposed to go to the police, and use them to address problems in the black community.
At least one major city’s curfew has been cancelled
Virginia’s governor will take down a prominent Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond
More Confederate monuments have been coming down thanks to the unrest over the killing of George Floyd, and on Wednesday, news broke that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam will order the removal of a prominent statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue in Richmond. It is the only Confederate monument that the state owns in the city.
The Mayor of Richmond, Levar Stoney, has already announced that he will be targeting the other Confederate monuments along the avenue, which the city owns, via a city ordinance.
George Floyd had the coronavirus
An autopsy of George Floyd by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that Floyd had tested positive for the coronavirus, but was asymptomatic. NBC News reports:
The 20-page document released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office says a test of Floyd on April 3 was positive for the virus’ genetic code, or RNA.
Because that RNA can remain in someone’s body for weeks after the disease is gone, the autopsy says, a second positive test after his death likely meant that Floyd, 46, was asymptomatic from an earlier infection when he died May 25.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said a positive RNA test doesn’t necessarily mean the person is infectious. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Floyd developed symptoms earlier in the year or was an asymptomatic carrier.
Remarkable scenes of peaceful protest in DC on Wednesday
Some federal law enforcement officers in DC apparently removed the identifying features of their uniforms
This type of conduct is already leading to a political response:
Update on the story of that Australian journalist who was assaulted for Trump’s D.C. photo op on Monday
Three men in Nevada were arrested after allegedly plotting domestic terrorism amid the George Floyd protests
A trio of right-wing extremists in the Boogaloo movement are alleged to have hatched a plot to commit acts of violence during both the anti-coronavirus lockdown demonstrations as well as the protests over the killing of George Floyd. The Associated Press reports:
Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus.
More recently, they sought to capitalize on protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air, prosecutors said.
The three men were arrested Saturday on the way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles, according to a copy of the criminal complaint[.]
Tuesday, June 2
A tense standoff on the Manhattan Bridge
About an hour after the curfew started, a large group of protesters tried to march from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn over the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan. They got past the blockade on the Brooklyn side, but were stopped by a blockade on the Manhattan side. The protesters remained there, peacefully, for a while as some of the marchers tried to negotiate their way through past the police. They couldn’t. After about an hour, the protesters turned back to Brooklyn, but for a time seemed trapped on the bridge with police blockades on both sides.
Eventually, the police let them back over into Brooklyn after the protesters agreed to march on the sidewalk after departing the bridge. The lengthy episode remained peaceful throughout.
Stuck on the Manhattan end of the bridge, at one point marchers chanted ‘de Blasio resign!” At another point:
It’s not clear what the protesters who live in Manhattan will be able to do about getting home.
The NYPD is confronting peaceful post-curfew protesters
Within a few hours of the curfew, the NYPD began cracking down on protesters in several parts of Manhattan. So far, reporters among the crowds have said that the protests were peaceful before the police charged at them.
It appears the Manhattan transit ban is being enforced
As opposed to last night…
Massive crowds out in New York City both before and past curfew
An earlier 8 p.m. curfew didn’t prevent protesters from returning to the streets in New York on Tuesday night.
And in Brooklyn:
A number of elected officials also protested past curfew:
At 7 p.m. in Times Square, a large contingent of health care workers turned the tables during the nightly celebration of essential workers amid the coronavirus pandemic:
A little earlier on the Upper East Side, a large group of protesters was on the march:
Protests don’t get more peaceful than this:
Watch this video of marching protesters applauding a health care worker on break in Atlanta
Even larger crowd outside the White House as DC curfew begins
It seems clear that last night’s crackdown and President Trump’s threats did not have their intended effect.
And Senator Elizabeth Warren was out, too:
Earlier, there was a demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial — which was guarded by what looked like an army:
And someone Rick-rolled around the city:
When election day and “law and order” collide
Voters are still standing in socially-distanced lines to vote in Washington, D.C. with polls due to close an hour after the curfew went into effect, and it isn’t the only city caught between democracy, a pandemic, and efforts to prevent mass demonstrations, as the New York Times points out:
In Philadelphia, 70 percent of polling places were closed while the authorities banned vehicle traffic and shut down public transportation in Center City, the downtown area, because of the unrest, meaning the only ways to get to polling sites were by foot or by bicycle. And in Indianapolis, where 90 percent of polling locations were closed, voters faced long lines outdoors in 90-degree heat to vote in the remaining spots.
Police reform advances in New Jersey
In a sign that the protests over the killing of George Floyd are already having an impact on policy, the state of New Jersey is now moving forward with two significant efforts at police reform, as NJ.com reports:
New Jersey will soon launch a statewide database of police use of force and create a licensing system for police officers amid national protests over police violence, the state’s top law enforcement official said Tuesday.
The state will also update its police use of force policy for the first time in nearly 20 years, create a pilot program for “crisis intervention” training for New Jersey officers and establish a new team within the state Division on Civil Rights to respond to police shootings and other problems, according to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
A bizarre sight in Manhattan
Surprising national poll numbers on the protests
Afternoon march through LA confronted by police
More militarization in DC ahead of tonight’s curfew
Suburban message boards are rife with false rumors of bussed-in looters
NBC News reports:
False rumors about antifa organizing bus rides to take protesters into white neighborhoods and loot residences have gone viral in recent days on digital neighborhood platforms and in group texts throughout the U.S.
Some of the posts feature a screenshot of a tweet by a fake antifa Twitter account that Twitter said was created by the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, attempting to drum up fear of looting in residential and suburban areas. The false antifa tweet was boosted in part by Donald Trump Jr., who posted a screenshot of the tweet to his Instagram account. Other rumors falsely warn of antifa members being “bused in” to towns in Idaho.
The social media rumors about outsiders coming to damage property or commit acts of violence at protests have ripped through local communities over the last week, aided by neighborhood-focused social media networks and groups.
This isn’t going to help:
NYC curfew now includes Manhattan traffic ban south of 96th Street
Essential workers, buses, residents, and truck deliveries will exempt from the traffic ban, which will start at 8 p.m., but it’s not clear how it will be enforced — nor how Monday’s curfew was enforced, when stories like this are emerging:
State of Minnesota files civil rights charge against Minneapolis police
On Tuesday afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced that it will filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department over the death of George Floyd. The move will initiate an investigation into MPD’s policies and practices over the past decade to “determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped,” according to KARE 11.
“Silence is complicity. Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” Governor Tim Walz said in a statement. “As we move forward, we ask the community to watch what we do, not what we say. It is going to take action at all levels from the neighborhood on up, to get the change we need to see. This effort is only one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with those in the community who have been unseen and unheard for far too long.”
Bill Barr personally involved in clearing of Lafayette Square
It’s still not clear what Trump meant when he said during his Monday phone call with governors, “We will activate Bill Barr and activate him very strongly,” but it seems the attorney general was closely involved in the widely criticized clearing of peaceful protesters around the White House to clear a path for Trump’s Bible photo op.
The Washington Post reports that Barr ordered the clearing of Lafayette Square just before Trump began speaking in the Rose Garden:
According to two federal law enforcement officials, the decision had been made late Sunday or early Monday to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square by one block. The plan was to be executed, according to the Justice Department official, the following afternoon. Barr was a part of the decision-making process, the official said.
The Justice Department official said that in the afternoon, Barr went to survey the scene and found the perimeter had not been extended. The attorney general conferred with law enforcement officials on the ground, which the official said is captured in a video of the incident.
“He conferred with them to check on the status and basically said: ‘This needs to be done. Get it done,’” the Justice Department official said.
Australia is probing violence against journalists in D.C.
Two Australian journalists were assaulted on camera during the clearing of Lafayette Square on Monday evening. The incident was covered extensively in Australia, and on Tuesday Australian officials said they were opening a probe.
“We have asked the Australian embassy in Washington, D.C. to investigate this incident,” said foreign minister Marise Payne.
“I want to get further advice on how we would go about registering Australia’s strong concerns with the responsible local authorities in Washington,” she said, suggesting Australia plans to file a formal complaint.
The two Australian TV journalists were among the many members of the press targeted by police during last night’s protests.
Trump declares that everything went great last night
Despite a new wave of statements criticizing Trump for having police officers and National Guard units attack peaceful protesters to clear the way for his Bible photo op on Tuesday evening, the president proclaimed that his call for law enforcement “domination” was a success.
Monday, June 1
A peaceful march in Brooklyn continued well past curfew without any confrontations
It seems as though police kept their distance and did not try to enforce the citywide curfew. While Manhattan was a mess on Monday night, the Brooklyn demonstration, left alone, remained an unprovoked peaceful protest.
Peaceful Las Vegas protest ends without any confrontations
There do not appear to have been any confrontations nor overly aggressive tactics by police.
White House releases a video celebrating Trump’s heroic march to photo op
Clashes continued well past curfew in the city, however:
Two people were killed amid unrest in Cicero, Illinois on Monday
Two people were somehow killed amid unrest in the Chicago suburb of Cicero on Monday night. It’s still not clear what happened, but 60 people were apparently arrested amid clashes and looting in the city, and there were reports of gang confrontations and racial tension.
Helicopter downdraft weaponized in DC
Helicopters (but not Black Hawks, as they’ve been misidentified on social media) are being used against protesters in Washington, D.C.
Downdrafts are a tactic used against insurgents in combat zones:
“Fuck your curfew” — Chaos, looting spree in Midtown Manhattan
Just before 10 p.m. in midtown, a journalist wonders where the police are:
At 11 p.m. — the beginning of the citywide curfew — protesters marched and chanted “fuck your curfew.”
Jacobs also pointed out that some of the marching protesters were a distinct group from the looters — who have been busy, for hours:
It’s not at all clear what the NYPD’s strategy is.
Someone drove an SUV into a group of police officers in Buffalo, injuring two
Spectrum News Buffalo reports that a New York State trooper and a Buffalo police officer were seriously injured when they were struck by an SUV that drove into a line of law enforcement officers near a protest in Buffalo. The driver and passengers of the car have reportedly been taken into custody, and the state trooper and officer are apparently in stable condition at Erie County Medical Center.
Nothing else is yet known about the incident.
The incident was captured on this disturbing video:
Following pre-curfew looting, de Blasio says curfew will be expanded to Tuesday night and start earlier
America’s present chaos is perfectly captured in this maddening live news report from Southern California
Just watch it and try not to scream:
Arlington County Police have been withdrawn from DC in protest of Trump’s photo-op circus
The neighboring city doesn’t want to be any part of what’s going there, according to Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey:
Per the county’s press release:
At the direction of the County Board, County Manager and Police Chief, all ACPD officers left the District of Columbia at 8:30 tonight. The County is re-evaluating the agreements that allowed our officers to be put in a compromising position that endangered their health and safety, and that of the people around them, for a purpose not worthy of our mutual aid obligations.
With the curfew two hours away, looters are hitting midtown Manhattan again
Journalist David Caplan tweets that there has been new looting “at a Duane Reade, Nike, Michael Kors, Yankees Clubhouse store, vandalism at Barnes & Noble, and more, all of those in midtown.”
LA police chief blames looters for Floyd’s death, then quickly walks it back
More criticism of Trump’s photo-op suppression
Has DC become a military state?
An alleged antifa call-to-arms was sent by white nationalists
NBC News reports:
A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national “antifa” organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson.
The spokesperson said the account violated the company’s platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts. Twitter suspended the account after a tweet that incited violence.
As protests were taking place in multiple states across the U.S. Sunday night, the newly created account, @ANTIFA_US, tweeted, “Tonight’s the night, Comrades,” with a brown raised fist emoji and “Tonight we say ‘F— The City’ and we move into the residential areas… the white hoods…. and we take what’s ours …”
A largely peaceful protest was tear-gassed to clear space for a bizarre photo op starring the president and a Bible
And the president’s photo op was definitely not made for video:
(And yes, he just said, when asked if the Bible was his, “it’s a Bible.”)
Why did all this happen?
Trump declares himself “the president of law and order” while flash bangs sound in the background
There was absolutely no reason to presume that President Trump would give a speech tonight that could unify the nation — and he didn’t.
Speaking from the Rose Garden as flash bangs could be heard being used against nearby protesters, the president claimed he was an “ally of all peaceful protesters” — and vowed to deploy the military to subdue the nationwide protests if governors didn’t crack down on them sufficiently.
“We are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now,” Trump said, claiming he was “the president of law and order.”
He also repeated what he told governors earlier Monday: “If a city or 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.”
“I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson. And to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights,” he said, but did not declare that he would use the Insurrection Act, which is the only legal way he could do that.
Watch the full speech:
Meanwhile at the White House
Private autopsy of George Floyd determines he was asphyxiated by police
Last week, a county medical examiner said that an autopsy of George Floyd “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” and suggested that officer Derek Chauvin pinning Floyd’s neck to the ground for nearly nine minutes was only a contributing factor in Floyd’s death. A second, private autopsy ordered by Floyd’s family concluded differently, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Monday:
Both reports find the manner of death is homicide, a potentially significant development as the criminal case against since-fired Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin moves forward.
Attorneys for the Floyd family said Monday afternoon that a private autopsy conducted by two doctors found he died of asphyxia, which happens which pressure is placed on certain parts of the body, limiting the flow of oxygen to the brain and shutting down organs.
Hours later, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner issued a new report saying that he died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
Louisville police chief fired following shooting of protester David McAtee, a popular BBQ restaurant owner
The chief of the Louisville Metro Police, Steve Conrad, was fired on Monday after a protester, David McAtee, was shot and killed by law enforcement early Monday morning. McAttee, the popular owner of YaYa’s BBQ in West Louisville, was killed when police “returned fire” after allegedly being fired upon while trying to break up a large crowd amid the city’s overnight curfew, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday — but there remains much confusion around exactly what happened. Local and state police investigations have been launched into the shooting.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he fired Conrad after learning that the police officers involved in the shooting had turned off their body cameras.
Local authorities have also not released any additional information about the alleged shooter in the crowd.
NYC curfew ordered for Monday night
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered an 11 p.m. curfew for New York City after intensifying clashes over the past three nights in the city between police and protesters demonstrating against the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, as well as looting in areas of lower Manhattan. Governor Cuomo made the announcement during a Monday afternoon radio interview, adding that the number of police on the streets of lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn would be doubled — to “about 8,000” officers.
It is the first citywide curfew in recent memory, and will be in place until 5 a.m. Tuesday.
“Then we will see where we are tomorrow,” Cuomo said in regards to whether or not the overnight curfew would remain in effect on Tuesday night.
Cuomo also said that the National Guard was on standby and would be deployed if needed.
In his executive order instituting the curfew, Mayor de Blasio cited the coronavirus pandemic as part of the rationale:
On Sunday night, following peaceful protests throughout the city during the day, clashes began between police and groups of protesters, and looters targeted businesses in downtown Manhattan. There were also numerous instances of police aggression toward protesters captured on video and shared on social media, some of which appeared to be unprovoked.
With the order, New York joins dozens of other cities throughout the country that have issued overnight curfews in recent days, as protests over Floyd’s death spread to more than a hundred cities, leading to violence in many.
For our previous coverage of the first six nights of protests, go here.
This post will be continuously updated with new reports and information.