While clashes between police and the public continued well past the curfews in cities nationwide on Tuesday night, tensions subsided in some places as a second week of protests over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody got underway.

Some cities, however, experienced another night of chaos. In New York, hundreds of protesters walking over the Manhattan Bridge were met by a blockade of police officers who had refused to let the group exit the bridge. At Lafayette Square in the District, protesters who threw water bottles and shook the fence separating them from a line of law enforcement officers near the White House were met with pepper bullets and pepper spray. And what was an hours-long peaceful protest in Portland, Ore., turned ugly after police shot off tear gas and flash bangs.

Here are some significant developments:

  • President Trump accused the protesters forcibly removed by federal law enforcement near the White House of setting the fire that damaged the basement at St. John’s Episcopal Church as part of the week-long unrest. Trump again used the word “thugs” to describe Black Lives Matter protesters and people who have damaged property and looted stores.
  • In his first public remarks on the U.S. protests, Pope Francis urged people not to “tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form,” and called for “national reconciliation and peace.”
  • Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper urged military personnel to “stay apolitical” as troops are increasingly called in to assist local police responding to protests, looting and riots in cities across the United States.
  • Hundreds of protesters massed outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence Tuesday evening, demanding that the Democratic leader defund the police and fire the city’s police chief, Michel R. Moore.
  • Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations. “This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst.
June 3, 2020 at 6:14 AM EDT
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An oral history of 48 surreal minutes in Washington and Trump’s walk to church

By Dan Zak, Monica Hesse, Ben Terris, Maura Judkis and Travis Andrews

On Monday evening, over the course of 48 minutes, Donald Trump put on a show that may have changed America, yet again. It involved an overture to the nation, a physical attack on Americans and a Bible. It began suddenly, in the Rose Garden, with a statement about “law and order” and “dangerous thugs.” The president promised justice for the family of George Floyd, whose death in the custody of Minneapolis police last week triggered nationwide protests, looting and violence, and a roiling debate about who we are and what we hope to become.

As the president declared he was an “ally” of peaceful protesters, those peaceful protesters were violently dispersed to make way for his walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square. “Our greatest days lie ahead,” Trump said. What happened during those 48 minutes convinced some people that he is right, and others that he is very wrong.

Eventually there will be a detailed accounting of what actually happened, and how, and why. For now, in the midst of the confusion, here is a first draft of history in miniature, in minutes — an oral history of 6:30 to 7:18 p.m. on June 1, 2020.

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 5:58 AM EDT
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As protesters railed against police violence in Louisville, another black resident was killed

By Ava Wallace and Roman Stubbs

LOUISVILLE — The tiny barbecue shop on the corner of 26th Street and Broadway had always been a source of nourishment — for both body and soul — for the black residents on the west side of this city. But on Tuesday, the morning after another night of protests in Louisville, it was a place of mourning. Yellow caution tape hung from a chain-link fence. Flowers littered the ground. People attached blue and red streamers close to a plywood sign spray-painted in black: “0 days since an innocent black man was murdered.”

One by one, people pulled up to pay their respects to David McAtee. The owner of YaYa’s BBQ was fatally shot outside his business just after midnight Monday in what city officials said was an exchange of gunfire that involved Louisville Metro police and members of the Kentucky National Guard.

Louisville already had been roiled with protests over police violence. Two months ago, officers fatally shot another black resident, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, in her home. Then George Floyd was killed in an encounter with police in Minneapolis, spurring protests nationwide. Now McAtee’s death pushed protests to intensify here, and it pushed local elected officials to act, hoping to quell the unrest.

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 5:45 AM EDT
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Trump is rebuked by some faith leaders for his use of religion as a political tool

By Toluse Olorunnipa and Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Standing in front of the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church as the scent of a chemical irritant hung in the air, President Trump had no words to share Monday from the book in his right hand.

Instead, he posed silently for photos, holding a closed Bible slightly above his head as reporters shouted questions at him. The spectacle, which took place after authorities forcibly removed seemingly peaceful protesters from an area near the White House, highlighted Trump’s complex and at times openly transactional relationship with religion.

Trump, who rarely goes to church and has attended services at St. John’s only a handful of times since he became president in 2017, used the church as a backdrop for a photo op that critics say defies the faith he claims. The White House quickly released a video of the visit in the style of a campaign ad, and Trump’s allies praised him for standing up for faith a day after part of the 200-year-old church was set ablaze during protests.

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 5:28 AM EDT
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‘Carnage,’ ‘radicals,’ ‘overthrow the government’: How Fox and other conservative media cover the protests

By Paul Farhi and Elahe Izadi

Conservative news outlets and pundits covering the protests erupting across the country this week have mostly emphasized images of destruction and chaos, blaming “organized” elements for the mayhem and framing President Trump’s calls for a military response as necessary to gain order.

Echoing Trump, some were quick to attribute the violence, without much evidence, to “antifa,” the loosely knit faction of far-left activists known for physically confronting far-right radicals, that Trump attempted to designate a domestic terrorist organization on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, far-left radicals unleashed this carnage, this destruction across American cities,” said Sean Hannity, Fox News’s most popular prime-time opinion host, on Monday night. His colleague, Laura Ingraham, went as far as to call it an attempt to “overthrow” the government.

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 5:10 AM EDT
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‘We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism’: Pope Francis calls for ‘reconciliation’ in U.S. protests

By Allyson Chiu

In his first public remarks on the U.S. protests, Pope Francis urged people not to “tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form,” and called for “national reconciliation and peace.”

“Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd,” he said in Italian during a live-streamed general audience Wednesday morning. “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.”

But he stressed the need to recognize that violence “'is self-destructive and self-defeating,'” quoting Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The pope went on to say he is “praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.”

“Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn,” he said.

Chico Harlan contributed to this report.

June 3, 2020 at 5:00 AM EDT
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Biden denounces Trump’s show of force against protesters and vows to heal racial wounds

By Annie Linskey, Matt Viser and Sean Sullivan

Former vice president Joe Biden promised Tuesday to secure the nation’s unmet promises to minority Americans, drawing a sustained contrast with President Trump as he vowed not to “traffic in fear and division” and “fan the flames of hate.”

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, sought with the somber pageantry of a flag-draped background and echoes of past American leaders to distinguish himself from the divisive presence of Trump, whose administration Monday night roughed up and pushed back peaceful protesters on a street one block from the White House. Trump then crossed the newly cleared path to pose with a Bible in front of a historic church.

“We can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden said. Trump is “more interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.”

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 4:47 AM EDT
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An hours-long peaceful protest turned into chaos after Portland Police fired tear gas, stun grenades

By Katie Shepherd

Thousands of people laid facedown on in the street, arms drawn together behind their backs as if restrained with handcuffs, blocking traffic on Tuesday night on a major bridge that connects the east and west sides of Portland, Ore.

The images recalled the deadly arrest of George Floyd, who died after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. The protesters later crossed the bridge into downtown Portland, gathering in a public square.

For hours, the protest remained largely peaceful as it stretched into the late hours of Tuesday night.

Eventually, the large crowd marched to the city’s Justice Center, a structure that in recent days has been set ablaze, defaced with graffiti and broken into by protesters.

But on Tuesday, police, backed by 50 troops from the Oregon National Guard, erected a chain-link fence to keep the crowd at bay.

The strategy worked for a time, as protesters stood in front of the fence, arms held aloft. They asked the officers to kneel, and offered to go home if they all complied.

A few officers did kneel, and then they promptly put on gas masks before firing tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd. Video captured by journalists showed a few protesters throwing projectiles at police. Many people in the crowd still had their hands up in the air.

The Portland Police Bureau said on Twitter that authorities declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly after projectiles were thrown, and then began firing riot control agents. Officers also spray-painted vehicles trying to leave the scene.

At 12:15 a.m. local time, aerial video showed a police SUV plow through metal barricades and nearly ran over people in the street. Several other police cars followed, at a much slower pace.

The chaos continued as police deployed force and made arrests through the night and early morning Wednesday.

June 3, 2020 at 4:29 AM EDT
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After days of unrest, Minneapolis begins to rebuild

By Holly Bailey, Sheila Regan and Tarkor Zehn

MINNEAPOLIS — Ash and broken glass still litter parts of Lake Street, where some burned-out husks of buildings continued to smolder after violent protests last week over the killing of George Floyd led to fires, looting and destruction.

But as unrest has spread to other parts of the country, including Washington and New York, something else has emerged on the streets here in the past two days: relative calm.

The fires and looting, which damaged or destroyed at least 300 businesses across South Minneapolis and parts of neighboring St. Paul, have largely stopped. While protests continue, they have been peaceful. State officials said 120 arrests had been made Monday and early Tuesday, mostly of protesters in violation of the region’s 10 p.m. curfew, and all had been taken into custody without incident.

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 4:10 AM EDT
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Video shows NYPD officers shoving, yelling expletives at AP journalists covering protests

By Allyson Chiu

Two Associated Press journalists say New York Police Department officers prevented them from covering protests in the city Tuesday night, shoving and yelling expletives at them in a tense confrontation that was captured on video.

Video journalist Robert Bumsted and photographer Maye-E Wong were in Lower Manhattan documenting scenes of police dispersing protesters not long after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew took effect when suddenly the officers turned their attention to the two reporters, according to the AP.

Bumsted, who was still recording, told the officers that members of the media are considered “essential workers.” Both Bumsted and Wong were wearing IDs identifying them as AP reporters, the news agency reported.

“I don’t give a s---," one officer said in response, according to the AP. Another told Bumsted, “Get the f--- out of here you piece of s---.”

But Bumsted didn’t back down.

“We’re out here documenting this. You can’t tell us to go away,” he said, prompting an officer to repeatedly yell, “Who are you essential to?”

The heated back-and-forth continued even after the reporters reached Bumsted’s car, the AP reported. In the video, it appeared that Bumsted was briefly stopped by an officer from getting inside the vehicle. As he grew frustrated, an officer responded, “I’m helping you out, sir. I’m helping you out.”

“This is all on tape,” Bumsted said as he opened his car door and climbed in. “Don’t be like that, respect the press.”

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post early Wednesday, but officials told the AP they would review the incident “as soon as possible.”

Lauren Easton, a spokesperson for the AP, condemned the actions of the officers.

“The role of journalists is to report the news on behalf of the public,” Easton told the AP. “It is unacceptable and deeply troubling when journalists are harassed simply for doing their job.”

June 3, 2020 at 3:56 AM EDT
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Photos from the protests in Minneapolis, Sacramento and Atlanta

By Haley Hamblin

See more photos from Tuesday’s protests around the country here.

June 3, 2020 at 3:36 AM EDT
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Charlotte police trap protesters, shooting tear gas and pepper balls into crowd

By Teo Armus

Police in Charlotte cornered dozens of peaceful demonstrators next to a parking garage Tuesday evening while pelting them with tear gas, pepper balls and stun grenades from multiple sides and above, according to video of the incident.

The crowd of thousands that had gathered earlier on Tuesday afternoon to peacefully protest in North Carolina’s largest city thinned out by nightfall. Although city officials had not imposed a curfew, police used a loudspeaker to urge those remaining to disperse or face arrest, the Charlotte Observer reported, firing some pepper spray into the crowd.

Officers, who had previously kept protesters from going onto a nearby highway, said they had been assaulted with bottles and rocks and gave the crowd “multiple avenues” to leave, police said on Twitter.

Then, a line of riot police formed behind the crowd and marched forward as they corralled the dozens of people remaining down Fourth Street in Uptown Charlotte, according to a live stream by the alt-weekly newspaper Queen City Nerve.

“They’re going to push us up the street, fast,” journalist Justin LaFrancois said while filming the live stream. “They’re going to shoot pepper balls if we stop. People will run.”

And then added: “It’s already happening.”

A small group sprinted down the street, away from the officers behind them. As the bulk of the demonstrators moved forward, they ran into another riot line that kept them from advancing.

Police officers then hit the crowd, trapped on the narrow street, with stun grenades, pepper balls and what LaFrancois estimated were about seven or eight canisters of tear gas. In total, 150 officers appeared to surround the remaining protesters, including some perched above on the parking structure.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post. But on Twitter, the agency said it was “internally reviewing the circumstances that developed this evening on 4th Street to ensure policy and protocol were followed.”

June 3, 2020 at 3:24 AM EDT
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Philadelphia neighborhood hoping to show its better side after ‘disgusting’ attacks on protesters

By Maura Ewing

PHILADELPHIA — A crowd of several hundred protesters marched through the streets of Kensington on Tuesday, in response to incidents the previous night in which a group of baseball bat-wielding white men violently clashed with peaceful protesters, residents and a journalist.

The group said they were protecting the Philadelphia police precinct and local businesses from rioters on Monday night, though there had been no such disruption in the area. The police have faced criticism for responding much slower and less severely to this group than they had to peaceful protesters who shut a stretch of highway on Monday.

Fishtown residents came out on Tuesday night to show those men did not represent the neighborhood.

Fishtown, a historically white, working-class neighborhood, has recently seen significant gentrification, which has created tension. Mike Ski has called Kensington home for more than a decade and showed up to say the vigilantes did not represent longtime residents.

“I was disgusted by the people who came out here last night,” said Ski, who is white. A tattoo artist sporting a tattoo of a large skull on his neck, Ski said he was “super proud” to show Fishtown is “a good-hearted neighborhood.”

On Tuesday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny (D) told the Philadelphia Inquirer the city doesn’t condone “armed vigilantism,” and he criticized the police’s response. “We tolerated it last night for too long, and that was a mistake.”

Earlier in the day, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told The Washington Post he “didn’t feel like he had enough information to comment” on the police response. But Krasner was more forceful later on Tuesday.

“The sight of armed vigilantes in Philadelphia streets shames the entire city,” Krasner wrote in a statement. “And, if confirmed, reports that some police officers witnessed and tolerated this conduct without arresting them only add to the hurt arising from George Floyd’s killing by police.”

June 3, 2020 at 3:06 AM EDT
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Violence against police raises fears of harsher crackdown as protests grip cities

By Mark Berman and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux

Las Vegas police said they were responding to a demonstration outside the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino late Monday when the shot ran out. An officer was struggling with a protester when someone walked up and shot the officer in the back of the head, a spokesman said.

That same night, police confronted an armed man near a federal building that they were guarding amid the unrest, and an officer opened fire when he reached for a gun, according to Joseph Lombardo, the Las Vegas sheriff. The man was killed, while the officer wounded outside the hotel was on life support Tuesday.

“With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another,” Lombardo said, linking both shootings to the demonstrations against how police use force that have gripped the country.

Read more here.

June 3, 2020 at 2:46 AM EDT
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Trump again calls protesters as ‘thugs’ in tweet targeting Democrats and journalists

By Katie Shepherd

Early on Wednesday morning, President Trump again drew criticism for using the word “thugs” to describe Black Lives Matter protesters and people who have damaged property and looted stores in cities around the United States.

The term has been widely denounced by Democrats and Trump opponents as racist, and the president was recently criticized after using it in a Sunday tweet that also claimed “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — a phrase that led Twitter to flag the tweet for “glorifying violence.”

Trump again maligned the “Radical Left, looters and thugs” early Wednesday while criticizing Democratic leaders in cities affected by protests and riots after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

The president also took aim at the news media, accusing reporters of “playing down the gravity and depravity” of property damage and theft occurring amid large protests across the country.

The tweet follows posts where the president and his campaign team have used the divisive language to characterize protesters opposing racial injustice and police brutality against black people.

Trump’s campaign on Monday called protesters who lit a fire in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Sunday night “thugs” in a tweet that showed the president speaking in front of the church, holding up a Bible, after peaceful protesters were driven out of the area using tear gas and rubber bullets. Trump retweeted that message.

The president called protesters “thugs” in two more tweets on Tuesday, while criticizing New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden for their responses to protests and riots.

Trump also sought to justify tear-gassing peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square on Monday by blaming them for the fire set inside St. John’s Church the night before.