Charges have been filed against all four Minneapolis police officers involved in the situation that led last week to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis.
Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who was previously charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, has been charged with second-degree murder. The other officers involved in the situation, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd, 46, died May 25 after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage.
Live updates for Thursday, June 4 continue below:
New fencing dramatically expands White House security zone
Update 11:20 p.m. EDT June 4: Even as the number of people demonstrating over the police killing of George Floyd dwindled to a small group on Thursday afternoon in the nation's capital, workers were busy installing new high fencing around the park area known as the Ellipse just to the south of the White House, significantly expanding the security zone for President Donald Trump.
"It's a sad commentary that the (White) House and its inhabitants have to be walled off," said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
"We should want the White House to be opened up," the Mayor told reporters.
Critics immediately compared the new fencing to the President's push to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
"And American taxpayers, not Mexico, will again be sent the bill," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
By Thursday afternoon, workers had run the new fencing all the way down to, and along Constitution Avenue, which crosses in between the White House and the Washington Monument.
Portland, other cities rethink school police amid protests
Update 8 p.m. EDT June 4: Oregon’s largest school district will no longer have police officers in its schools and joins a handful of urban districts from Minneapolis to Denver that are rethinking their school resource officer programs amid national outrage over the death of George Floyd.
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said Thursday that Portland Public Schools needed to “re-examine our relationship” with the police in light of protests over the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The district of more than 49,000 students joins Minneapolis, which severed ties with its school resource officers on Tuesday. Districts in St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver are considering doing the same. Protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, have made the end of the school resource officer program in their district one of their demands.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Thursday that he would also discontinue using school resource officers in two smaller metropolitan districts under a program that costs the city $1.6 million a year.
The move is in response to the demands of thousands of protesters, many of them young, who have filled the streets of Oregon’s largest city for six consecutive nights. Having the officers in high schools has been a touchy topic for several years in this liberal city. Students have protested in recent years for an end to the program, at one point even overwhelming a school board meeting.
“Leaders must listen and respond to community. We must disrupt the patterns of racism and injustice,” Wheeler said Thursday of the most recent demonstrations. “I am pulling police officers from schools.”
The presence of armed police officers in schools is a contentious one. While many Portland residents applauded the decision, others raised immediate concerns about student safety in the event of a school shooting or other emergency. Wheeler said the city would make sure officers could respond rapidly in an emergency.
The move is “a knee-jerk reaction,” and the decision by a few districts to stop their programs could snowball — to the detriment of students nationwide, said Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, whose association represents about 10,000 dues-paying officers.
There are an estimated 25,000 school resource officers nationwide, he said.
Headlines, op-ed prompt staff protests at NY Times, Inquirer
Update 6:45 p.m. EDT June 4: Some staffers at The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer called in sick Thursday to protest decisions at each newspaper they believe were insensitive in the midst of nationwide protests about police mistreatment of black Americans.
At the Times, an opinion column by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton supporting use of the military to quell demonstrations prompted a rare public rebuke from dozens of staffers and the paper’s guild. Times management didn’t back down from the decision to publish it.
The Inquirer apologized for a “horribly wrong” decision to use the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” on an article.
The twin uprisings illustrated raw feelings unleashed by the video of George Floyd dying last week after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee against his neck, along with long-time concerns about whether newspaper staffs reflect the makeup of their communities.
In his column, headlined “Send in the Troops,” Cotton condemned “nihilist criminals” out for loot and the thrill of destruction and “left-wing radicals” who want to exploit Floyd’s death to create anarchy. The Arkansas Republican, supporting President Donald Trump, said it was time to supplement local law enforcement with federal troops.
Pentagon-Trump clash breaks open over military and protests
Update 5:40 p.m. EDT June 4: President Donald Trump is not only drawing criticism from his usual political foes but also facing backtalk from his defense secretary, his former Pentagon chief and a growing number of fellow Republicans.
A day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper shot down Trump’s idea of using active-duty troops to quell protests across the United States, retired four-star Gen. John Allen joined the chorus of former military leaders going after the president. And Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Esper’s remarks were “overdue” and she didn’t know if she would support Trump in November.
Although Esper’s declaration was followed by the Pentagon reversing course on pulling part of the 82nd Airborne Division off standby outside Washington, the rising criticism underscored an extraordinary clash between the U.S. military and its commander in chief. On Thursday, an official said the troops in question from the 82nd were going home to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after all.
Both Trump and Esper also drew stinging, rare public criticism from Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis, in the most public pushback of Trump’s presidency from the men he put at the helm of the world’s most powerful military.
3 ex-officers charged in George Floyd’s death ordered held on $750,000 bail
Update 3:25 p.m. EDT June 4: Court records from Hennepin County, Minnesota, show three former police officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd have each been ordered held on bails of $750,000.
Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao made their first court appearances Thursday, according to court records. They were fired last week from Minneapolis Police Department after Floyd died on May 25. In video captured by passersby, the trio could be seen standing by or holding Floyd down as then-Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
The three are scheduled to next appear in court on June 29.
Chauvin is scheduled to make his first court appearance on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on June 8.
First of three memorial services for George Floyd set to begin in Minneapolis
Update 3 p.m. EDT June 4: A memorial for George Floyd, who died last week in an encounter with Minneapolis police, is set to begin at 1 p.m. local time Thursday.
President of North Central University announces George Floyd memorial scholarship
Update 2:55 p.m. EDT June 4: The president of North Central University in Minneapolis announced that university officials have launched a memorial scholarship in honor of George Floyd, who was killed last week in an encounter with Minneapolis police.
University President Scott Hagan announced the establishment of the fund during a memorial held Thursday for Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Even before announcing this scholarship, yesterday, unsolicited, over $53,000 was handed to me to contribute toward the educational promise of aspiring young Black American leaders,” Hagan said. “I am now challenging every university president in the United States in America to establish your own George Floyd memorial scholarship fund.”
Pelosi asks Trump for full list of agencies involved in response to DC protests
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT June 4: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday asked President Donald Trump to name the agencies involved in the response to protests against police brutality in Washington D.C. and clarify their roles and responsibilities.
The California Democrat wrote to the president days after peaceful protesters were tear-gassed to clear them from a park near the White House to allow for Trump to walk across the street for a photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“We are concerned about the increased militarization and lack of clarity that may increase chaos,” Pelosi said in the letter. “Congress and the American people need to know who is in charge, what is the chain of command, what is the mission, and by what authority is the National Guard from other state operating in the capital."
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has been critical of the decision to allow out-of-state National Guard officials and military troops into the city, shared Pelosi’s letter on Twitter.
“If it can happen in DC, what jurisdiction is next?” Bowser wrote.
Los Angeles mayor lifts city’s curfew
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT June 4: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday lifted a curfew enacted over the city as protests against police brutality and the death of Black Americans including George Floyd erupted nationwide.
“I have lifted the curfew in the City of Los Angeles,” Garcetti said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We remain strongly committed to protecting the right of Angelenos to make their voices heard and ensuring the safety of our community.”
University of Central Florida reviewing comments by professor who tweeted about ‘black privilege’
Update 1:50 p.m. EDT June 4: The University of Central Florida is reviewing a professor’s tweets after a hashtag calling for his removal began to trend Thursday morning on social media, WFTV reported.
A Change.org petition was launched asking for an investigation into psychology professor Charles Negy, who in recent days compared African-Americans to Asian-Americans and claimed “black privilege” exists, according to WFTV and the Miami Herald.
Ohio governor calls for moment of silence to remember George Floyd
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT June 4: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday requested that state residents observe a moment of silence at 2 p.m. to remember George Floyd, who authorities said was killed last week in police custody.
WHIO-TV reported DeWine cancelled a planned news conference scheduled Thursday afternoon because it was set to begin at the same time as a memorial service for Floyd in Minneapolis.
Los Angeles County sheriff says deputies will no longer enforce county’s curfew
Update 12:25 p.m. EDT June 4: Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday that deputies will no longer enforce a curfew amid protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd.
“Based upon current situational awareness and the recent pattern of peaceful actions by protesters, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will no longer enforce a curfew,” Villanueva said in a statement. “Other jurisdictions are free to make their own decisions.”
Virginia governor announces plans to take down statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT June 4: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday announced plans to take down a large statute of Gen. Robert E. Lee along Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue.
“Yes, that statue has been there for a long time. But it was wrong then, and it is wrong now,” Northam wrote in a series of Twitter posts announcing the decision. “So we’re taking it down.”
The move comes amid protests nationwide over police brutality, racism and the deaths of Black Americans like George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of police and vigilantes. Officials in Richmond, one of the former capitals of the Confederacy, have resisted calls to remove the statue for years.
Massachusetts man accused of bringing Molotov cocktails to protest
Update 11:15 a.m. EDT June 4: Authorities have charged a Worcester, Massachusetts, man with civil disorder and possession of several Molotov cocktails during a demonstration in the city over the death of George Floyd, WFXT reported.
In a news release obtained by WFXT, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said 18-year-old Vincent Eovacious “attempted to obstruct or interfere with law enforcement officers” by bringing the Molotov cocktails to a peaceful protest on June 1.
Eovacious was arrested Wednesday after being released on bond following state charges, including possession of an incendiary device, WFXT reported.
Washington State Patrol apologizes after trooper says, ‘Don’t kill them but hit them hard’ during protests
Update 10:55 a.m. EDT June 4: Officials with Washington State Patrol apologized after video surfaced on social media showing a trooper saying, “Don’t kill them, but hit them hard” during protests in Seattle on Tuesday night, KIRO-TV reported.
“Using that language ... which gives the impression of over-aggression and physicality and hurting people and harming people by law enforcement by intent was totally out of line, totally inappropriate, hurtful, confusing,” WSP Communications Director Chris Loftis said, according to KIRO-TV.
He implored the public to understand the context of the situation.
“(The trooper) was preparing his troops for what would be a physically confrontational situation," Loftis said, according to KIRO-TV. “He was letting them know there were limits to what we could do.”
The woman who caught the trooper’s comments on video, Krystal Marx, told KIRO-TV that WSP’s apology and explanation are not enough.
“I would encourage WSP -- any other law enforcement agency -- if you are there to protect the peace, keep the peace and to listen and learn from communities that are hurting," Marx said. “Make sure you use your language appropriately.”
Some Minneapolis police take knee as hearse for George Floyd passes by
Update 10:40 a.m. EDT June 4: Some Minneapolis police officers were seen kneeling Thursday morning as the hearse carrying the body of George Floyd passed them, Twin Cities PBS reported.
Ben Crump, an attorney representing Floyd’s family, said a memorial for the 46-year-old will be held at 1 p.m. local time Thursday at North Central University in Minneapolis.
Senate Democrats hold moment of silence to remember George Floyd, victims of police brutality
Update 10:30 a.m. EDT June 4: Senate Democrats on Thursday stayed silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in remembrance of George Floyd, the man who died last week as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Drew Brees apologizes after saying protests during national anthem disrespect the flag
Update 8:55 a.m. EDT June 4: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized Thursday after saying in an interview with Yahoo! that he thought protests during the national anthem were disrespectful to the flag.
“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday,” Brees said in a statement posted Thursday morning on Instagram.
He acknowledged that while speaking Wednesday with Yahoo! he “made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.”
“They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy,” Brees wrote. “Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”
Asked a question Wednesday about players protesting police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem, Brees told Yahoo! that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”
Brees was heavily criticized on social media for his comments.
“WOW MAN!!” LeBron James said in a tweet Thursday. “Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of (the flag) and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free.”
Beyoncé urges fans to stay ‘focused’ in fight for justice
Update 8:10 a.m. June 4: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is urging her fans to stay “focused” in fighting for justice for George Floyd.
The Grammy-winning artist shared a message on Instagram, which featured an aerial photo of of Black Lives Matter demonstrators filling the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The caption framing the photo read: “The world came together for George Floyd. We know there is a long road ahead. Let’s remain aligned and focused in our call for real justice.”
Friend in car says George Floyd did not resist arrest
Update 6:17 a.m. June 4: A friend who was in the passenger seat of George Floyd’s car when he had a fatal encounter with a police officer said the Minneapolis man tried to defuse the situation and did not try to resist arrest.
Maurice Lester Hall, 42, was arrested on outstanding warrants Wednesday in Houston and was interviewed by investigators in Minnesota, The New York Times reported.
“He was, from the beginning, trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting in no form or way,” Hall told the newspaper. “I could hear him pleading, ‘Please, officer, what’s all this for?’”
Hall called Floyd a mentor and said the two Houston natives spent time together May 25 before the incident with Minneapolis. Hall said he will not forget what he saw as Derek Chauvin placed a knee against Floyd’s neck and held it there for nearly nine minutes.
“He was just crying out at that time for anyone to help because he was dying,” Hall told the Times. “I’m going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face because he’s such a king. That’s what sticks with me, seeing a grown man cry, before seeing a grown man die.”
LA police arrest protesters who broke curfew
Update 5:18 a.m. June 4: Police in Los Angeles arrested nearly 100 protesters who broke the city’s curfew, with some staying outside more than 90 minutes past the 9 p.m. deadline, The Washington Post reported.
The rally occurred outside City Hall on Wednesday night and many of the 1,000 attendees obeyed the curfew and went home, the newspaper reported. Those who did not were handcuffed by police in riot gear.
“When I first got here it was really scary, because when I came here I saw the National Guard and I was not myself,” Ashley, a 22-year-old protester from Pasadena, California, who declined to give her last name, told the Post. “So seeing that made me fear what was going to happen.”
Most observers said that despite the arrests, the rally was peaceful, the newspaper reported.
Georgia police: 3 protesters torched squad cars
Update 5:08 a.m. June 4: Three protesters in Georgia are accused of setting police cars on fire, WSB-TV reported.
According to police, the protesters tracked the officers down at their homes and torched the cars.
Ebuka Chike-Morah, Alvin Joseph and Lakaila Mack all face charges for lighting two Gwinnett police cars on fire, according to WSB-TV.
Duchess of Sussex speaks out about George Floyd’s death
Update 3:37 a.m. June 4: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, spoke out about the death of George Floyd, calling it “absolutely devastating.”
The former Meghan Markle made her comments in a video to the graduating class of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles
“George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered, and Tamir Rice’s life mattered, and so did so many other people’s names we know and names we don’t know," the Duchess said. “You’re going to use your voice in a stronger way than you have ever been able to because most of you are 18, or you’re turning 18, so you’re going to vote. You’re going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says arrests ‘a step toward justice’
Update 3:20 a.m. June 4: Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar told CNN the decision to charge all four former Minneapolis police officers was “a step toward justice.” The NBA legend, who wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday and observed that “racism in America is like dust in the air,” praised Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis MayorJacob Frey for their fast actions.
“It’s like, you know, the United States is this wonderful bus with great seats in the front of the bus," Abdul-Jabbar told CNN. “But as you go further to the back of the bus, the seats get worse and the fumes from the exhaust leak in and really wreck with people’s health and their lives. But the people at the front of the bus, they have no complaints. It’s kind of like that.
“That dust accumulates in the lives of black Americans, and it eliminates all the mechanics of democracy. Democracy doesn’t work for us.”
The former Los Angeles Lakers center said nothing had changed in terms of systematic racism since the Rodney King incident and riots in Los Angeles in 1992.
“Something has to be done,” Abdul-Jabbar told CNN. “It’s not enough to say, ‘That was terrible and my thoughts and prayers are with you.’ That’s not getting anything done.”
National Guard to assist authorities in San Diego County
Update 2:59 a.m. June 4: Two hundred members of the National Guard have been deployed in San Diego County to prevent looting, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet. The Guardsmen will work with local law enforcement agencies to provide security to “critical infrastructures” during protests to prevent looting and arson, the department tweeted.
Police use tear gas when protesters try to block Iowa interstate
Update 2:33 a.m. June 4: Hundreds of protesters attempting to block an Iowa interstate were met by state troopers and Iowa City police, who fired tear gas, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.
The crowd attempted to skirt the line of officials who were blocking their path, the newspaper reported.
“Disperse immediately,” said a speaker, who was identified as an Iowa State Patrol officer. The voice added that failure to do so would result in the deployment of chemical deterrents.
“Quit your job,” the crowd chanted back, the Press-Citizen reported.
Huntsville police arrest more than 20 protesters, use tear gas
Update 2:13 a.m. June 4: Police in Huntsville, Alabama, arrested more than 20 protesters and used tear gas at the Madison County Courthouse square, WHNT reported. Protests began peacefully earlier Wednesday in a march sponsored by the NAACP and ended around 6:30 p.m.
The majority of the crowd stayed and marched from Big Spring Park East to the courthouse, the television station reported.
Around 8 p.m., authorities used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd, WHNT reported. The area was cleared within an hour, according to WHNT.
Police said more arrests could be pending.
New Orleans police fire tear gas at protesters
Update 1:33 a.m. June 4: Police in New Orleans fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters near the Crescent City Connection late Wednesday, NOLA.com reported. Police said the action was taken after protesters refused to comply with three orders not to walk across the CCC.
“The NOPD deployed tear gas tonight to disperse protesters after the crowd refused to comply with three orders not to attempt to walk across the CCC,” the department said in a statement. “Escalation and confrontation hurts us all. NOPD is committed to respectful protection of our residents’ First Amendment rights. However, tonight we were compelled to deploy gas on the CCC in response to escalating, physical confrontation with our officers.”
3 Minneapolis officers charged Wednesday to appear in court Thursday
Update 1:15 a.m. June 4: The three former Minneapolis police officers who were arrested Wednesday on charges of aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd will have their first court appearances Thursday afternoon.
The former officers -- J. Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao -- are set to appear before the judicial officer at 1:45 p.m. EDT, CNN reported.
The hearings were pushed up by 45 minutes from their original schedule, according to court records.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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