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

An oral history of 48 surreal minutes in Washington and Trump’s walk to church

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.

By Dan Zak, Monica Hesse, Ben Terris, Maura Judkis and Travis Andrews
June 3, 2020 at 5:58 AM EDT

As protesters railed against police violence in Louisville, another black resident was killed

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.

By Ava Wallace and Roman Stubbs
June 3, 2020 at 5:45 AM EDT

Trump is rebuked by some faith leaders for his use of religion as a political tool

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.

By Toluse Olorunnipa and Sarah Pulliam Bailey
June 3, 2020 at 5:28 AM EDT

‘Carnage,’ ‘radicals,’ ‘overthrow the government’: How Fox and other conservative media cover the protests

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.

By Paul Farhi and Elahe Izadi
June 3, 2020 at 5:10 AM EDT

‘We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism’: Pope Francis calls for ‘reconciliation’ in U.S. protests

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.

By Allyson Chiu
June 3, 2020 at 5:00 AM EDT

Biden denounces Trump’s show of force against protesters and vows to heal racial wounds

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.

By Annie Linskey, Matt Viser and Sean Sullivan
June 3, 2020 at 4:47 AM EDT

An hours-long peaceful protest turned into chaos after Portland Police fired tear gas, stun grenades

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.

By Katie Shepherd
June 3, 2020 at 4:29 AM EDT

After days of unrest, Minneapolis begins to rebuild

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.

By Holly Bailey, Sheila Regan and Tarkor Zehn
June 3, 2020 at 4:10 AM EDT

Video shows NYPD officers shoving, yelling expletives at AP journalists covering protests

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.”

By Allyson Chiu
June 3, 2020 at 3:56 AM EDT

Photos from the protests in Minneapolis, Sacramento and Atlanta

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

By Haley Hamblin
June 3, 2020 at 3:36 AM EDT

Charlotte police trap protesters, shooting tear gas and pepper balls into crowd

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.”

By Teo Armus
June 3, 2020 at 3:24 AM EDT

Philadelphia neighborhood hoping to show its better side after ‘disgusting’ attacks on protesters

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.”

By Maura Ewing
June 3, 2020 at 3:06 AM EDT

Violence against police raises fears of harsher crackdown as protests grip cities

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.

By Mark Berman and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
June 3, 2020 at 2:46 AM EDT

Trump again calls protesters as ‘thugs’ in tweet targeting Democrats and journalists

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.

By Katie Shepherd
June 3, 2020 at 2:40 AM EDT

George W. Bush calls out racial injustices and celebrates protesters who ‘march for a better future’

Former president George W. Bush addressed the nationwide protests in a solemn yet hopeful statement Tuesday, commending the Americans demonstrating against racial injustice and criticizing those who try to silence them.

Bush closed his statement, which came a day after peaceful protesters were cleared by force to make way for President Trump to come outside, by pointing to a “better way.”

“There is a better way — the way of empathy, and shared commitment, and bold action, and a peace rooted in justice,” Bush said in the statement. “I am confident that together, Americans will choose the better way.”

Read more here.

By Colby Itkowitz
June 3, 2020 at 2:20 AM EDT

‘Violence is not who we are’: Black and brown people come together on Chicago’s South Side

CHICAGO — On the South Side, the violence has paused in one neighborhood and the party has begun.

Little Village, Chicago’s biggest Hispanic neighborhood, was a block party along the commercial stretch of 26th Street on Tuesday night. Residents say it came after a truce between the Latin Kings, who had been guarding storefronts from looters since late Saturday, and their neighbors from surrounding black areas that have been ravaged by unrest for days.

“People have been asking me, ‘Does Little Village not want black people there?’ Hell no. The last thing we want is a race war,” said Aaron Rivas, a volunteer with New Life Centers of Chicagoland, a community group that has been patrolling the streets to help ensure the gunshots and skirmishes don’t continue.

People sat on vehicles, bus stop benches and folding chairs, while children hung out of second-floor windows. Tiny dogs walked with owners, and there was even a grill.

Victor Rodriguez, 21, said there was no distinction between the clashes in his neighborhood and the ones in Washington. “No different than anything going on over the country — fake news to rile people up,” he said. “Because the last few days, a lot of people were angry. Now they’re hanging out here.”

The mellow vibe also gave Chicago police an opportunity to reinforce officers elsewhere, although cruisers slowly rolled up and down the street.

Evidence of the truce was the meeting of Ysrayl, who is black, and RJ, who is Mexican. (Both declined to give their last names.) They met on the street that day. The purpose, said RJ, 21, is to stop looters from coming in. “This isn’t a Hispanic versus African thing,” he said.

Ysrayl, 38, agreed. “Violence is not who we are,” she said. “We have to stick together.”

By Mark Guarino
June 3, 2020 at 1:55 AM EDT

‘Don’t kill them, hit them hard,’ Washington state trooper tells officers in viral protest video

Even muffled by a gas mask, the Washington state trooper’s words of advice to his fellow officers about how to deal with protesters in Seattle were audible: “Don’t kill them, hit them hard.”

The trooper’s comments were caught in a viral video shared to Twitter on Tuesday night, drawing swift condemnation online and exacerbating concerns about the force being used against protesters in Seattle and nationwide by law enforcement officials policing the demonstrations.

“We’re aware of the video and we apologize for the poor choice of words by one of our team leaders,” said Chris Loftis, director of communications for the Washington State Patrol. Loftis said the trooper was not encouraging his team to harm protesters but had been “preparing his troops for a confrontative situation.”

In the video, the trooper walks between officers in riot gear. “Don’t kill them, get them out of the way,” the trooper said, making a pushing motion with his fists.

The trooper then continued giving what one critic called “a Vince Lombardi speech,” repeatedly directing the other officers to “hit them hard,” referring to the protesters.

Loftis told The Washington Post that the team leader had been demonstrating a “push tactic,” which is meant to “move a group of noncompliant or aggressive protesters.”

“This is not, ‘Go out and strike people,’” Loftis said. “This is move them away from the situation and from danger.”

As the video circulated widely Tuesday night, many slammed the trooper’s words as “repulsive” and “completely unacceptable.” The short clip added fuel to bubbling discontent over numerous instances of law enforcement officials using tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang devices against groups of largely peaceful protesters in cities nationwide.

In Seattle alone, the city’s Office of Police Accountability said Monday that it had received roughly 12,000 complaints against the Seattle Police Department stemming from demonstrations held over the weekend.

By Allyson Chiu
June 3, 2020 at 1:45 AM EDT

Even with Ferguson electing its first black mayor, some protesters don’t see much to celebrate

FERGUSON, Mo. — About 10 minutes after Ella Jones was elected as Ferguson’s first black mayor, a driver pulled a Cadillac STS into the middle of South Florissant Road to block traffic and protesters walked across the street to a police station bearing boarded-up windows.

As police officers emerged in riot gear, protesters raised their arms in the air.

“We ready, we ready, we ready for y’all,” they said.

Stephen Hampton had a gas mask resting atop his head and waited at the metal railing blocking protesters from entering the police parking lot.

Hampton, who is black, said he has been harassed by Ferguson police officers.

“I’m here because I have kids now; my family, my brothers. I’m here to represent us as a people,” he said.

Hampton didn’t see the election of Jones, also the first female mayor of the city, as a reason to celebrate.

“Those political moves, they don’t move me anymore,” said Hampton, a 28-year-old maintenance worker who also protested after the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown. “Putting a black political figure in your neighborhood or Senate or even the White House gets nothing. Not to say a black candidate can’t make change happen, but it’s not a move to be like, ‘Okay, let’s jump for joy.’”

After police officers left the entrance, protesters started to walk north on Florissant Road as a helicopter circled overhead. As Hampton walked, he shook his head at the violence and destruction that occurred Monday night in St. Louis and said he only protests in a nonviolent manner.

“At this point, we need our leader, the leader of the free world, Donald Trump, to really be able to sit down and at least talk to us millennials who are out here running these protests, getting arrested and tear-gassed,” he said.

By Eric Berger
June 3, 2020 at 1:27 AM EDT

Pepper bullets and fireworks set off near White House

Hours of peaceful protests Tuesday gave way to pepper bullets and fireworks at Lafayette Square around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Protesters threw water bottles and shook the fence separating them from a line of law enforcement officers near the White House nearly six hours after the citywide curfew took effect. The officers quickly approached and started firing pepper bullets and pepper spray.

A firework that appeared to be launched by the protesters hit near the base of a fence toward the west side of 16th Street NW.

“I was trying to shake the fence. They just kept shooting me,” said Adam Campbell, 31, a software engineer from Frederick, Md., who was struck by pellets filled with an irritant powder. He sat cross-legged on a curb afterward, having trouble catching his breath as others offered water to flush his eyes. He was then helped to a “medic station” near St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Zoe Wilocutts, 18, from Takoma Park, Md., said she wasn’t provoking anyone before she was struck.

She said she was kneeling and holding her hands in the air 10 feet away from the fence when an officer fired a pepper ball that struck her in the face. Her nose and eyes began burning intensely, she said in an interview minutes later, as a golf ball-size welt rose up from her jaw.

A friend poured water into her bloodshot eyes.

The crowd at Lafayette Square dispersed minutes later.

By Fredrick Kunkle, Samantha Schmidt, Jessica Contrera, Steve Thompson and Peter Jamison
June 3, 2020 at 12:58 AM EDT

Minneapolis neighbors watch over Lake Street, previous site of looting and fires

MINNEAPOLIS — Lake Street is more than a major commercial thoroughfare that runs the width of the city. It’s a connecting force, teeming with Latin restaurants and grocery stores, quirky storefronts, community arts organizations, and a vibrant street scene of different cultures and identities.

It’s also a Minneapolis street that’s seen immense damage to buildings and businesses in the unrest that followed George Floyd’s death after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for minutes.

On Tuesday night, above Mercado Central, men stood on roofs, keeping watch on the activity below, as businesses owners and neighbors stood on the street protecting the stores.

A few blocks away, Erica Hart bustled at a quick pace in shiny sandals just past the 10 p.m. curfew. Hart, who is Anishinaabe, walked with her teenage children, who normally live with her parents in North Minneapolis. Right now, Hart is staying at the Sheraton Hotel, which has been transformed into a sanctuary for those who need a place to stay during curfew. Her kids are visiting, and she wanted to show them what Lake Street looks like now.

“I keep everything real with them,” she said. “I tell my kids it’s okay to dream, but dream realistically.”

The three of them walked toward Family Dollar, one of many sites on Lake Street in ruins. “It makes them sad to see their community like this,” Hart said.

Hart said she was happy to be at the sanctuary hotel, located on Chicago and Lake.

“It’s helpful. I didn’t know where I was going to go when they had the curfew thing,” she said. “It’s been a relief. They provide food and clean sheets, and it’s cool people. It makes me feel we are not forgotten.”

By Sheila Regan
June 3, 2020 at 12:34 AM EDT

Trump blames protesters who were gassed by police for fire at historic church

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.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump wrote that the church wouldn’t have burned if the demonstrators were peaceful, without indicating he has proof that the crowds were the same people. The protesters, as well as church clergy, were removed by police using chemical gas, rubber bullets and mounted units so Trump could walk to the church for a photo with a Bible. Trump wrote in the tweet that his walk was “liked” and then named three Republican lawmakers who spoke out against his stunt.

“You got it wrong!” he wrote in a tweet directed at media that reported about police escalation against the protesters. “If the protesters were so peaceful, why did they light the Church on fire the night before? People liked my walk to this historic place of worship!”

While Republicans largely sidestepped Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square for photos, several GOP lawmakers indicated they disagreed with how Trump handled protesters.

“There is no right to riot,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a statement shared with The Washington Post. “But there is a fundamental — a Constitutional — right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters that Trump “came across as unsympathetic and as insensitive to the rights of people to peacefully protest.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) took issue with the timing of the trip, saying it “distracted from the message he had just given” in the Rose Garden during a briefing about increasing enforcement against protesters.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 3, 2020 at 12:10 AM EDT

Hundreds gather outside Los Angeles mayor’s home chanting ‘defund the police’

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.

The peaceful protest came at the end of yet another day of unrest in Los Angeles over police-community relations — tensions that were further inflamed by Moore, who on Monday said looters deserved equal responsibility for the death of George Floyd as the Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal incident.

Facing intense backlash, Moore apologized and walked back his comments, but that did little to soothe protesters. Many also voiced their frustrations during a virtual L.A. Police Commission meeting and called for Moore to resign, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Outside Garcetti’s residence, the crowd shouted “Defund the police” and “Peaceful protest.” Though the demonstration continued past the countywide 6 p.m. curfew, police did not break it up, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. A number of the protesters quietly dispersed at around 7:30 p.m. local time, KTLA reported. Garcetti was not home.

Earlier in the day, the mayor joined protesters downtown and took a knee. By Tuesday evening, police arrested at least 250 of those protesters who stayed past curfew.

During his Tuesday briefing, Garcetti again condemned Moore’s comment, but defended the chief.

“I’ve known this man’s heart for decades. When I heard him say what he said, I knew that he did not mean that and I know that he corrected it right away,” Garcetti said. “If I believed for a moment that the chief believed that in his heart, he would no longer be our chief of police.”

When asked about the protesters who had shown up to his residence, Garcetti stressed that he was aware of their demands.

“I want people to know that I hear them,” he said. “I hear them loud and clear.”

By Allyson Chiu
June 2, 2020 at 11:56 PM EDT

Esper urges troops to ‘stay apolitical’ and protect free speech after National Guard tear-gassed protesters

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.

“I ask that you remember at all times our commitment as a Department and as public servants to stay apolitical in these turbulent days,” Esper wrote in a letter, obtained by The Washington Post, sent Tuesday evening to service members and Defense Department employees.

The letter followed a flurry of criticism aimed at the Defense Department and Esper, after National Guard troops forced peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Square in front of the White House on Monday so that President Trump could take a photo in front of nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church. Esper stood near Trump during the photo op, but told NBC News on Tuesday that he was not aware of the president’s plans beforehand and thought they were going to visit a vandalized public restroom and “talk to the troops” in the square.

James N. Miller, a former undersecretary of defense, resigned from his position on the Defense Science Board on Tuesday, saying he believed that Esper violated his oath to uphold the Constitution by using National Guard troops to disperse the peaceful protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas to facilitate the staged photo.

In his letter sent Tuesday night, Esper insisted that he is committed to that oath and “protecting the American people’s right to freedom of speech and to peaceful assembly.”

“I, like you, am steadfast in my belief that Americans who are frustrated, angry, and seeking to be heard must be ensured that opportunity,” he wrote. “And like you, I am committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting life and liberty, so that the violent actions of a few do not undermine the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens.”

By Katie Shepherd
June 2, 2020 at 11:39 PM EDT

As Ferguson elects first black mayor, protesters gear up for another night of demonstrations

FERGUSON, Mo. — On the night of a mayoral election in Ferguson, Mo., the loudest sounds outside the police station around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday came from Dave Halbower, a 64-year-old who was playing original songs and “Amazing Grace” on the street.

Residents in this St. Louis suburb soon learned that they had elected Ella Jones, the city’s first black and first female mayor, according to St. Louis Public Radio. Even as they celebrated, though, residents waited to see what Tuesday night would bring after days of nonviolent protests and shootings, tear gas and looting.

“This whole thing with George Floyd, he was actually a Christian who came from kind of a flawed background — I should have been in jail a number of times myself — and I think I identify an awful lot with that man,” said Halbower, a white carpenter and Marine veteran.

There were about 50 protesters gathered in Ferguson, a number of them who, like Halbower, said they were drawn by their Christian faith to the protests in the wake of Floyd’s death. In front of the police station, with its windows covered in plywood, people had decorated the fence with pieces of plywood that read, “Repent,” “Our Lives Matter” and “Unity is worth the work.”

Book Robinson, a 39-year-old black man who is studying at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and who lives in Ferguson, came out to join “young people who are articulate and passionate about what is going on.”

“One of the brothers said, ‘This isn’t about black or white, this is about lack of accountability for government structures and the oppression,’” he said.

By Eric Berger
June 2, 2020 at 11:24 PM EDT

Bronx businesses brace for more unrest after a night of looting and fires

NEW YORK — Workers at 1st Aid Pharmacy in the Bronx used a welding torch around 8 p.m. on Tuesday to fix a lock as they also boarded up the storefront’s glass windows.

“We’re trying to secure it before something happens,” a manager said.

His business went untouched during Monday night’s unrest, but neighboring stores on Fordham Road were not as lucky as looters broke glass windows, made off with merchandise and set fires in the streets on a chaotic night in the borough. By morning, one of the major commercial stretches of the Bronx was devastated.

The community turned out to clean up during the day, sweeping up shards of glass and taking inventory of what was lost. Many storefronts were covered with plywood before nightfall. Owners spray painted “Black Lives Matter” on the boards to remind potential burglars that they sympathized with protesters. Others marked their stores as “Black and Brown Owned” and “Keep Our Community Alive.”

The New York Police Department deployed dozens of officers to nearly every block on Fordham Road on Tuesday night. Lights flashed atop vans, SUVs and cruisers in the twilight. Some officers were in uniform without riot gear, but held helmets in their hands as they leaned against storefronts or assembled on street corners as they received instructions from their commanders.

As the sun set, a recording blared over a police vehicle’s loudspeakers that a curfew was in effect. All people were asked to return to their residences as the Bronx braced for another night of unrest.

By Kevin Armstrong
June 2, 2020 at 11:15 PM EDT

Trump’s threats of using force against protesters follow a long-standing trend

Over the past five years, President Trump has suggested that it is okay for police officers to rough up uncooperative suspects and warned that bikers who support him might get “tough” if his political rivals, including antifa, provoke them.

He obliquely implied that gun rights advocates could exact vigilante revenge if Hillary Clinton were elected, and he declared that an American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, should have been executed for desertion in Afghanistan.

He has joked about wanting to “get rid of” journalists with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whose government has jailed them, and has marveled at the willingness of China and the Philippines to execute drug dealers — even without trials.

Read more here.

By David Nakamura
June 2, 2020 at 11:02 PM EDT

Protesters in NYC pile onto Manhattan Bridge as police block the entrance

NEW YORK — Just after the city’s curfew had set in, hundreds of protesters made their way over the Manhattan Bridge en route to link up with other groups of demonstrators. As they approached the end of the span, before they could get safely into Manhattan, they were met by a blockade of police officers refusing to let the group exit the bridge.

Despite the blockade, the protesters refused to turn back and had spent the past several hours huddled with signs and continuing to chant, as dozens of police converged on the bridge to help hold the line. As news of what was transpiring spread on social media, residents from nearby neighborhoods such as Chinatown ventured to the scene to support the halted protesters.

“You can turn us around the bridges, you can run us off but we will always come back,” chanted a white female protester dressed all in black as she stood face to face with a line of police officers.

The protester, Holly Gunder, a 23-year-old writer, said she saw the tweet and showed up around 9 p.m. as the group was amassing on the end of the bridge. She came out of concern that the situation might become unsafe for the demonstrators.

“I’m a white woman so I’m safer in my skin than a lot of other people,” Gunder said. “I’m here to defend the people coming across because if they don’t have support from this side, then they’re just fighting a one-way battle.”

Just after 10 p.m., officers drove vehicles up to the front line to further fortify the NYPD blockade keeping the protesters on the bridge. Some protesters appeared to have retreated, but many remained on the Manhattan side.

At about 10:30 p.m., as police vans moved toward the crowd, the protesters finally retreated to walk back to Brooklyn, where police were reportedly waiting on the Brooklyn side as well.

By Kayla Ruble
June 2, 2020 at 10:44 PM EDT

‘It was a beautiful representation that they hear us,’ organizer says after N.J. police take a knee

JERSEY CITY — “Take a knee! Take a knee!” chanted a thousand protesters outside City Hall on Tuesday evening. It was the city’s second rally in as many days, and each demonstrator knelt as police stood sentinel on the building’s steps.

Ninety seconds into a subsequent nine-minute moment of silence — approximately the same amount of time that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck — a female officer, who was armed and in uniform, turned to her superior. She was at the left end of the front row and proceeded to kneel with Pamela Johnson, one of the organizers, in the center. The crowd erupted in applause.

“She told me, ‘I’m taking a knee for the whole department,’ ” Johnson said.

A few minutes later, Johnson heard a din growing again. Eight more police officers — black, white and Hispanic — took a knee, as well. Earlier in the night, Johnson noted, three other officers knelt at the start of the march in a pedestrian plaza on Newark Avenue.

“It was a beautiful representation that they hear us,” Johnson said. “First, you have to be heard, then they listen and help you make change.”

James Shea, the city’s public safety director, credited the organizers with executing their march and tribute in an “incredibly responsible and peaceful manner.”

Afterward, as the crowd began to disperse, a protester chided the other officers for not taking a knee as well. The female officer who took the knee countered the complaint by noting that not everyone was available to do so.

“They had to watch the crowd,” she said, noting that they were on the lookout for saboteurs mixed in with the peaceful protesters.

By Kevin Armstrong
June 2, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he didn’t know he was going to St. John’s Church for Trump’s photo op

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had no warning that President Trump was going to lead him and other senior administration officials to St. John’s Church, past where peaceful protesters were gassed, to take a photo, according to NBC News.

After Trump announced at the end of a news briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Monday evening that he was going “to a very, very special place,” Esper believed they were going to observe the vandalized bathroom in Lafayette Square and speak with National Guardsmen, he told the outlet Tuesday night.

“I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops,” he said. Esper added: “I didn’t know where I was going. I wanted to see how much damage actually happened."

Before Trump’s news conference, Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were en route to the FBI field office in Washington when they were diverted to the White House to give the president an update, a defense official told NBC. Esper and Milley were instead caught by surprise, as Trump guided a crowd of White House staffers and Secret Service to St. John’s, which had some damage in the basement from a fire set during unrest on Sunday, to pose with a Bible.

Esper and several officials posed with Trump for a group picture before walking back to the White House.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to NBC’s or The Washington Post’s requests for comment about Esper’s remarks.

Peaceful protesters outside the White House were dispersed with force Monday by mounted U.S. Park Police, National Guardsmen, the FBI and officers from several other federal agencies shortly before Trump walked through Lafayette Square. Police used chemical spray and rubber bullets on the protesters as well as journalists who were covering the demonstration.

The defense official told NBC that Esper and Milley were unaware of what happened in the square before they walked through it.

“They were not aware that Park Police and law enforcement made the decision to clear the square,” the official said.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 2, 2020 at 10:26 PM EDT

‘The neighborhood came to protect the store,’ Minneapolis grocery owner says after looting

MINNEAPOLIS — Cedar Food & Grill is the last grocery store for miles around, which is perhaps why it’s currently surrounded by National Guard soldiers.

Located near the 3rd Precinct police building that was set ablaze, as well as restaurants and a radio station that were burned to the ground, the market bustles with customers, who pass by the National Guard military truck, officers, and the store’s boarded-up windows next to the Champs Chicken sign, which reads “minority owned” and “Black Lives Matter.”

“This is the only store for a couple of miles,” said Michael Johnson, who lives nearby. He’s 22 years old and is the father of three.

An African American, Johnson has participated in the protests over the killing of George Floyd and police brutality generally. “George Floyd was the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “Basically, I could go do something, like a murder, and a cop could do the same thing I’m doing, and they’d get a pat on the wrist.”

Johnson said he understands the looting people have done, but the more extreme things that have happened are harder to grapple with.

“I don’t understand why they would burn stores,” he said.

Inside the store, employee Bilal Elmrabet sweeps up the floor. The doors to get inside are missing glass. Elmrabet said he is glad the National Guard is protecting the store.

“To be honest, we feel safe because they are here,” he said. “Most people in the neighborhood are satisfied — they feel safe.”

Elmrabet, who is from Morocco, said he learned by text on Friday that the store was being looted. Another employee lives upstairs and was able to alert people. Eventually, employees and people who live nearby came to chase off the looters.

“The neighborhood came to protect the store,” Elmrabet said.

By Sheila Regan
June 2, 2020 at 10:17 PM EDT

‘What about James?’ Killing of black protester fuels more anger in Omaha

OMAHA — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) on Tuesday apologized for calling black leaders “you people” as fallout from the killing of a black protester by a white bar owner in Omaha earlier this week continued to fuel protesters’ anger over racial injustices.

On Monday, armed vehicles flanked the Douglas County courthouse in Omaha as County Attorney Don Kleine announced he would not be filing charges against a white bar owner, Jacob “Jake” Gardner, who allegedly shot and killed 22-year-old protester James Scurlock on Saturday night during a confrontation in the city’s popular Old Market area. The pair had scuffled, Kleine said, and Gardner had acted in self-defense in what he called a “senseless, but justified” killing.

The county attorney’s decision not to charge Gardner added new fuel to ongoing protests in this Midwestern city — and sparked discussion on its own legacy of racism. An estimated 300 protesters surged through Omaha’s streets for the another day Monday, through searing pepper spray and broken glass, with a new chant: “What about James?” More than 80 were arrested.

Read more here.

By Annie Gowen
June 2, 2020 at 10:15 PM EDT

Anonymous masked troops guard the Lincoln Memorial

Masked troops — some wearing vests that read “military police” but most simply in camouflage battle dress — stood in even rows on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday. They appeared to be National Guard, but many lacked flags, name tags or other identifying badges.

Protests have coalesced at the monument like dust into newborn stars. Its steps have been a stage for orators and artists. In 1939, Eleanor Roosevelt arranged a concert there for Marian Anderson, after the Daughters of the American Revolution barred the black opera singer from its concert hall. Anderson sang to 75,000 people.

In 1963, a crowd of quarter-million gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington, where they heard the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech.

After the Kent State massacre in 1970, President Richard M. Nixon met protesting students there in early-morning hours. The president told them, “I know probably most of you think I’m an SOB. But I want you to know that I understand just how you feel.”

Vandals — in 1962, the hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and as recently as Saturday — have marred it with paint.

In 2019, the monument provided the backdrop for a viral faceoff between Hebrew Israelites, Catholic high school students and Native American activists.

On Tuesday evening, the Lincoln Memorial was a place only for the police and troopers who, standing behind metal barriers, kept the public away.

By Ben Guarino
June 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT

Trump wants the media to correct the record on the use of tear gas. According to the CDC, it was tear gas.

President Trump’s reelection campaign sent a message to news organizations Tuesday night, demanding a correction to articles that described security forces’ use of tear gas to disperse demonstrators outside the White House on Monday, to allow Trump to cross the street to pose for photos at a church.

The U.S. Park Police had earlier released a statement defending that effort, saying the use of chemical agents against the crowd came in response to violence from protesters and involved “pepper balls” and “smoke canisters,” not tear gas.

“We now know through the U.S. Park Police that neither they, nor any of their law enforcement partners, used tear gas to quell rising violence,” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, said in a statement Tuesday night. “Every news organization which reported the tear gas lie should immediately correct or retract its erroneous reporting.”

The truth boils down to an exercise in semantics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as ‘tear gas’) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.”

And, according to the CDC, “several different compounds” fall under this definition and are employed by security forces, including military and police, in riot control situations.

Among others, they include chloroacetophenone (CN), more commonly referred to as “mace,” or pepper sprays; and chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS), “one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world,” according to an article in the British Medical Journal.

These compounds are all typically referred to as “tear gas” because their most prominent effect is to bring on tears.

Riot control agents are designed to cause irritation within seconds of exposure, making the targets want to flee the scene. And indeed, toxicologists advise that getting away from the gas is the best and first thing to do to mediate the impact.

The most common symptoms of exposure, according to the CDC, can include excessive tearing and burning of the eyes, a runny nose, a burning mouth, chest tightness, coughing, skin burns, nausea and vomiting.

By Abigail Hauslohner
June 2, 2020 at 9:29 PM EDT

‘It isn’t cool’: Televangelist Pat Robertson blasts Trump for his protest response

Televangelist Pat Robertson criticized President Trump on Tuesday for his “law and order” response to the nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

The television personality and onetime GOP presidential candidate has been generally supportive of the president during his administration, but he blasted the president’s approach to the protests in his opening remarks of his television show, “The 700 Club,” on Tuesday.

“It seems like now is the time to say, ‘I understand your pain, I want to comfort you, I think it’s time we love each other,’ ” Robertson said. “But the president took a different course. He said, ‘I am the president of law and order,’ and he issued a heads-up.”

Robertson took issue with Trump’s remarks earlier this week to U.S. governors, telling them on a conference call that they were “weak.”

“[The president] said, 'I'm ready to send in military troops if the nation's governors don't act to quell the violence that has rocked American cities.' In a matter of fact, he spoke of [the governors] as being jerks,” Robertson said. “You just don't do that, Mr. President. It isn't cool!"

This week, Trump has faced backlash from major Catholic and Episcopal leaders for his photo ops in front of a church and a shrine, but he has generally been supported by many of his usual evangelical backers, aside from Robertson.

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
June 2, 2020 at 9:17 PM EDT

Dozens of police officers show up to a peaceful Alabama sit-in, arrest 14 high schoolers

Dozens of police officers responded to a small sit-in of a group of high school students in Hoover, Ala., and arrested them for breaking curfew, a local newspaper reported.

An hour after the city’s 7 p.m. curfew began, uniformed officers and several wearing riot gear stood at the ready as the students with signs protesting the killing of George Floyd sat, according to Birmingham News photographer Ian Hoppe. They watched the protesters for about an hour and then detained them for violating the curfew.

Protesters wearing masks and in handcuffs were pictured being escorted by officers not wearing masks.

The Hoover Police Department didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment about why it deployed dozens of officers to the peaceful protest.

Hoover began a 7 p.m. curfew Monday after the police department made more than 40 arrests over the weekend at protests, according to the city.

Local media reported previous arrests for breaking curfew Tuesday night.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 2, 2020 at 9:11 PM EDT

Trump administration told military’s service chiefs to remain quiet about unrest

A week after the killing of George Floyd, the Air Force’s top enlisted member took to Twitter to say that he too is a black man, “who happens to be Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force,” and could die the same way.

“I am George Floyd . . . I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice,” wrote Kaleth O. Wright, naming other black Americans killed by police. “Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks . . . I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes.”

The response on Monday evening went viral, with veterans and service members alike commenting on its rawness and candor. But it also was cast into stark relief as most senior military officials remained silent on Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis after being handcuffed and nationwide protests that have followed.

At least twice in the last week, senior Trump administration officials in the Defense Department directed service chiefs to kept quiet on the issue, even though some expressed an interest in responding to a painful moment in the nation, said three defense officials with familiarity with the discussion.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper wanted to address the issue first. More than a week later, he has not done so publicly.

Read more here.

By Dan Lamothe
June 2, 2020 at 9:07 PM EDT

Chicago mayor promises reforms: ‘This has deep roots in our history’

In a televised speech late Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) promised reforms she said would help the city heal from racial injustice and police misconduct.

“We must recognize that this has deep roots in our history,” she said. “These are the products of a system of violence buried deep in our institutions that must be rooted out.”

She laid out a plan for the city to enact a series of reforms, including more training for police officers taught from the perspective of community members, and giving officers tours of certain neighborhoods so they “understand the history of the people they are required to serve and protect.”

Lightfoot announced programs for officer wellness, mandated crisis intervention and procedural justice training, and an early intervention system pilot program to support officers in crisis. A new recruit program will be redesigned to focus on community policing, she said.

As Lightfoot spoke, hundreds of people were marching through Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. Earlier in the afternoon, a group of marchers took to the streets at Wrigley Field and continued downtown.

Chicago remains under a 9 p.m. curfew. All covid-19 testing sites remain closed because of the unrest, and most chain stores like Target and CVS have shuttered indefinitely. The National Guard remains in place downtown protecting the city’s central business district.

In response to the looting that has ravaged the city since late Saturday, Lightfoot said $10 million will be directed to help businesses rebuild. She pledged to “push insurance companies to do the right thing.”

At times during the 27-minute address, Lightfoot spoke from personal experience, saying she fears how “the world will see” her own daughter, who is black. And she evoked Chicago’s history of institutional racism.

“Our history is paved with the racism and violence of the original sin of slavery, the open wounds from the slave masters’ whips, the rope marks from the lynching tree, blood spilled by the billy club, the dogs and the fire hoses,” she said. “To all of that, we now must add a knee to the neck to the list of violence intended to break us.”

By Mark Guarino
June 2, 2020 at 9:05 PM EDT

CIA veterans who monitored crackdowns abroad see troubling parallels in Trump’s handling of protests

The scenes have been disturbingly familiar to CIA analysts accustomed to monitoring scenes of societal unraveling abroad — the massing of protesters, the ensuing crackdowns and the awkwardly staged displays of strength by a leader determined to project authority.

In interviews and posts on social media in recent days, 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.

“I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China and Southeast Asia. “This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”

Helt, now a professor at King University in Tennessee, said the images of unrest in U.S. cities, combined with President Trump’s incendiary statements, echo clashes she covered over a dozen years at the CIA tracking developments in China, Malaysia and elsewhere.

Other former CIA analysts and national security officials rendered similarly troubled verdicts.

Marc Polymeropoulos, who formerly ran CIA operations in Europe and Asia, was among several former agency officials who recoiled at images of Trump hoisting a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington after authorities fired rubber bullets and gas to clear the president’s path of protesters.

“It reminded me of what I reported on for years in the third world,” Polymeropoulos said on Twitter. Referring to the despotic leaders of Iraq, Syria and Libya, he said: “Saddam. Bashar. Qaddafi. They all did this.”

Read more here.

By Greg Miller
June 2, 2020 at 8:18 PM EDT

Border Patrol, ICE teams and other Homeland Security personnel join federal show of force

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents and other Department of Homeland Security personnel deployed in downtown Washington for the second night in a row Tuesday. It’s first time in years that border agents and officers have been sent to quell unrest in the interior of the United States.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement SWAT teams have also been brought in, DHS officials said Tuesday. The department deployed more than 600 federal agents and officers on Monday night, most of whom were dispatched to guard government buildings and monuments.

Chad Wolf, the acting DHS secretary, said in a statement that the department “will not allow anarchists, disruptors, and opportunists to exploit the ongoing civil unrest to loot and destroy our communities.”

“While the Department respects every American’s right to protest peacefully, violence and civil unrest will not be tolerated,” the statement said. “We will control the situation and protect the American people and the homeland at any cost.”

More than 100 DHS intelligence analysis nationwide are feeding information to state and local authorities, according to department officials, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency protective security advisers “are collaborating with state fusion centers and local law enforcement across the country.”

By Nick Miroff
June 2, 2020 at 8:17 PM EDT

Only black GOP House member joins protest in Houston with Floyd family

Texas Rep. Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, posted a video of himself on social media at a protest in Houston where George Floyd’s family was also marching.

Hurd, who is retiring from Congress this year, is the first known Republican member to attend one of the many demonstrations across the country.

Speaking into the camera, he described the conflicting emotions of recent events.

“We are showing you can be outraged by a black man getting murdered in police custody, we can be united for change in our society, and we can be thankful that law enforcement is enabling our First Amendment rights, and we can be pissed that some stupid people are looting and rioting, which goes against our American values,” Hurd said. “Not everything is a binary choice; we can feel all these emotions at the same time.”

Several Democratic lawmakers have joined protests. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) was spotted at a march in Washington on Tuesday, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) has also attended the D.C. protests.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) got caught in a scuffle at a protest in Columbus, where she was pepper-sprayed by police.

By Colby Itkowitz
June 2, 2020 at 8:12 PM EDT

Minneapolis School Board severs ties with city police

The Minneapolis School Board has terminated the public school system’s contract with the city’s police department. The school board was unanimous in its Tuesday vote, the Star Tribune reported.

Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education Chair Kim Ellison’s voice wavered with emotion over the online special session stream Tuesday night, after the board passed the resolution to cancel its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department.

“The board today decided to vote our values,” Ellison said. She thanked the other board members and staff, and also thanked the students for their advocacy. “And I, too, want to thank the students who have pushed for us to remove school resource officers from their schools, and have provided amazing ideas. And I hope the students also are able to become part of the solution as we look at what constitutes safety in our schools.”

The resolution terminates the contract for school resource officers with the police department. It also directs the superintendent to cease any further negotiations with the police department and to come up with a list of recommendations by mid-August on how to keep schools safe.

“I also want to just note that the complexity of this decision for everyone involved is significant,” Superintendent Ed Graff said. “My leadership team and I are committed to preparing for you by August 18, 2020, a plan for how the student body will be safely served in the coming school year.”

The school’s break from the police follows similar action by the University of Minnesota, whose president late Wednesday announced that the school would no longer contract with the department to provide law enforcement support for football games, concerts and other live events.

By Sheila Regan, Ben Guarino and Michael Brice-Saddler
June 2, 2020 at 7:47 PM EDT

Clergy join protest in D.C. after Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Church

The clergy members huddled in a group outside the fence set up around the White House.

While protesters chanted loudly and banged on the black chain-link, the deacons from Maryland and pastors from Washington and Arlington quietly discussed one of the main reasons they were motivated to come out to protest for the first time: dismay over President Trump’s controversial appearance in front of St. John’s Church on Monday.

Their starched black clothing stood out in a crowd that featured tattoos and handmade T-shirts with protest slogans. Others in full garb also circulated in the crowd.

“To see the American people protesting civilly, quietly and peacefully in the capital of the United States, to see them forcibly removed so our president could have a photo op in front of a church holding up a Bible, is a complete contradiction of what it stands for to be a Christian,” said the Rev. Timothy Freeman of the AME Zion Church on 16th Street NW.

Freeman discussed the events that transpired with a pair of Episcopal deacons he had just met from Montgomery County. They said they, too, were motivated by similar sentiments.

The Rev. Lesley Krauland of St. Luke’s in Bethesda said she was anxious to show up after the strong condemnation of Trump by Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde.

“After what happened with President Trump basically abusing power and holding his Bible — not even his Bible — not even praying for the people who were witnessing abuse, I felt compelled,” Krauland said.

Her friend, the Rev. Kathryn McMahon of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, added one final point that irked her: It appeared that Trump had held the Bible upside down as he clutched it at St. John’s on Monday.

By Justin Jouvenal
June 2, 2020 at 7:33 PM EDT

Biden will attend George Floyd’s funeral, family attorney says

An attorney for Floyd’s family told “PBS News Hour” on Tuesday that former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is expected to attend Floyd’s funeral in Houston next week.

The family will also hold memorial services this week in Minnesota and North Carolina. A public viewing and formal funeral will follow in Houston.

“And we understand vice president Biden will be in attendance,” Ben Crump, the family’s attorney, said.

By Abigail Hauslohner
June 2, 2020 at 7:28 PM EDT

Las Vegas officer in ‘grave condition,’ suspect dead in two separate shooting incidents

Authorities in Las Vegas say a police officer is in critical condition after being shot while attempting to quell unruly protesters, and that an armed man was killed by police in a separate incident after a night of unrest throughout the city.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters that the authorities were trying to disperse a rock- and bottle-throwing crowd in front of Circus Circus Hotel and Casino when a shot rang out, wounding an officer, who was later identified as Officer Shay Mikalonis. Mikalonis remains in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

Police arrested and charged 20-year-old Edgar Samaniego with one count of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and two counts of discharging a gun where a person might be endangered, according to court records.

In a separate incident at the Foley Federal Building and Courthouse, police shot and killed a man who had multiple firearms after he reached for one of the weapons, Lombardo told reporters.

The man, who was wearing body armor, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The identities of the officers involved in the incident will be released in 48 hours, according to a police statement.

Investigations into both incidents are ongoing, Lombardo said.

“This is a sad night for LVMP family and a tragic night for our community,” he said. “With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another.”

By Lateshia Beachum, Meagan Flynn and Meryl Kornfield
June 2, 2020 at 7:26 PM EDT

Minneapolis councilman rebukes city police in scathing Twitter thread: ‘Irredeemably beyond reform’

In a lengthy thread posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, Minneapolis councilman Steve Fletcher excoriated his city’s police department — an organization he called “irredeemably beyond reform.”

Fletcher, who has represented Minneapolis’s Ward 3 for three years, told The Washington Post he held a virtual meeting Monday with a neighborhood association for Beltrami, an area that is largely white. Those Minneapolians normally ask him to hire additional officers, the councilman said. Last night they asked him to defund the department.

The councilman’s two dozen tweets, inspired by those constituents, did not spare the department or its leadership. Fletcher said that Lt. Bob Kroll, the president of the Minneapolis police union, was a “malignant presence in our city and should resign.”

Kroll recently wrote a memo to the police federation, obtained by the Star Tribune, that claims George Floyd had a “violent criminal history” ignored by the media. Fletcher told The Post this was a smear “out of the playbook. It’s really devastating what they do to people’s memory.”

In 2018, Fletcher co-authored an amendment to the city budget that redirected $1 million from the police department to public safety programs. That sparked a “huge, huge backlash,” he said.

He said the police department was “good at being ineffective when we pass a reform they don’t like” and alleged that officers would deliberately delay responses to calls from his ward.

Now there is “remarkable unanimity” for “big structural change,” he said. He tweeted that the city council was investigating what would be required to disband the department and build a different type of public safety department.

“We are going to keep everything on the table right now,” he told The Post. Council members are “open to the idea” that dismantling the police department “is the best approach.”

By Ben Guarino
June 2, 2020 at 7:11 PM EDT

Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins D.C. protest near White House

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke with protesters outside Lafayette Square 30 minutes before the 7 p.m. curfew in the District. She was joined by her husband, Bruce Mann, and their golden retriever, Bailey.

After taking selfies with some of her supporters, Warren told The Post she decided 30 minutes earlier to come see the protests herself because she “feels a responsibility to witness this.”

“I’m here today because nothing changes if we don’t speak out. It is not enough to stay comfortable in our homes and offices and say we stand in solidarity,” the former Democratic presidential candidate said. “It’s important that we get out on the front lines and call out racism everywhere.”

Warren said “it’s beyond obscene” that the authorities cleared Lafayette Square Monday, also 30 minutes before curfew, in order for President Trump to take “a photo op” outside St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“Donald Trump has failed in his job to lead this nation since the day he was sworn in but he took it to new lows yesterday,” Warren said.

By Teddy Amenabar
June 2, 2020 at 6:39 PM EDT

Protesters scream grievances at federal law enforcement near Lafayette Square

Shaking the 7-foot metal fence that was erected overnight, protesters angry at federal law enforcement officers guarding Lafayette Square yelled insults, questions and requests at the men and women of the National Guard, the U.S. Park Police and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Shame on you! Shame on you!” the crowd hollered.

“Do y’all have souls?” a young woman shouted.

“Why did you shoot at us yesterday?” asked Jake, a 26-year-old D.C. resident who asked to be identified only by his first name. “We were armed with cardboard signs and water bottles! Why?”

After three days of protesting, Jake’s voice was hoarse. He was near the front line on Monday when officers started using force to clear protesters before President Trump’s walk across the street to St. John’s. Like many others present, Jake said he was taken aback by the sudden escalation.

“Is this what you signed up for?” Jake yelled at the officers, whose expressions were inscrutable behind riot shields.

The scene along the tall black chain-link fence was tense, with protesters repeatedly shaking the fence, which sometimes swayed precariously but did not come down.

The vast majority of protesters would then shout at the fence-shakers to stop: “Don’t do it don’t do it.”

“Don’t give them a reason!”

At one point, two black protesters — ages 19 and 20 — who were standing at the fence asked a white police officer who approached them whether he understands that their lives mattered.

“All lives matter,” the officer replied.

“He doesn’t get,” one of the protesters said to the other, shaking his head in apparent disgust.

By Rebecca Tan and Rachel Chason
June 2, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT

‘We’re going to establish peace on our streets when we address the systemic issues,’ Minnesota Gov. Walz says

Minnesota officials, walking a line between showing that they sympathize with protesters and protecting the peace, offered a carrot and a stick to the public at a briefing Tuesday: penalizing the police department for its racial history while also ensuring continued criminal enforcement.

Aiming to appease unrest, Gov. Tim Walz (D) thanked both peaceful protesters and National Guardsmen in the introduction to the briefing and announced a new civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department. Launching a probe into the department’s practices, Walz said that tensions will not de-escalate unless change is made.

“We’re going to establish peace on our streets when we address the systemic issues that caused it in the first place,” he said. “That is what every voice in the Capitol was saying, that was what the voices in front of my house were saying, that’s what Terence Floyd is saying. And that’s what we need to start saying.”

However, officials also cautioned against continued demonstrations after another 10 p.m. curfew was put in effect for the Twin Cities on Tuesday.

After Walz, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced that St. Paul and Minneapolis police added arson investigators and started Tuesday to tie together which fires were deliberately caused. They are also going to start collecting incendiary devices to use for evidence in criminal cases.

“If it’s your business that was burned up, that was your little mom and pop grocery store that was burned up,” he said. “If it was where you worked, that means you’re unemployed today. It was your life. You saw it go up in smoke.”

By Meryl Kornfield
June 2, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT

Use of medical helicopters to target protesters a ‘foolish’ violation of norms, experts say

On the battlefield, the roar of helicopter blades paired with a Red Cross is salvation for wounded troops and civilians.

But the thwomping blades of military helicopters, including one with Red Cross markings, were part of a low-flying show of force over Washington’s streets Monday night.

Numerous videos on social media showed an unarmed Lakota medevac helicopter hovering over demonstrators. Its Red Cross markings, visible on the aircraft’s belly and side, belonged to the Washington D.C. Army National Guard, according to the New York Times. Other helicopters snapped tree limbs and sent people scurrying from the deafening roar, the Times reported.

The use of a helicopter with Red Cross markings was an abuse of global norms that could help erode its neutral symbolism, military justice experts said.

“This was a foolish move,” said Geoffrey Corn, a former Army lawyer and professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “The symbolic significance of the Red Cross is pervasive: It denotes a ‘noncombatant’ function of the armed forces.”

Read more here.

By Alex Horton
June 2, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT

McConnell, Schumer block each other’s resolutions on protests over killing of George Floyd

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution Tuesday offered by Senate Democrats that would have condemned President Trump for “ordering Federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting” near the White House on Monday night.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), in turn, blocked a resolution offered by McConnell that would have condemned police brutality but stopped short of chastising the president over his actions Monday.

The dueling resolutions came amid a heated debate about what the congressional response to Floyd’s killing should be.

The Democratic resolution would have expressed the sense of Congress “that the constitutional rights of Americans to peaceably assemble, exercise freedom of speech and petition the government for redress of grievances must be respected” and that “violence and looting are unlawful, unacceptable and contrary to the purpose of peaceful protests.”

Schumer made a unanimous-consent request for the resolution’s passage, but McConnell objected.

In floor remarks, Schumer said the “aggressive” use of force by law enforcement officers against peaceful protesters was “appalling.”

“It was an abuse of presidential power,” he said. “It may have been illegal. And it was certainly a violation of the constitutional rights of American citizens. … This has no place in American society or any democracy worthy of the name.”

McConnell, meanwhile, described his own resolution as a “more full-throated” measure. It would have condemned police violence and championed the First Amendment and Americans’ right to peacefully protest. It also would “clearly condemn the violent rioting” that has taken place in several cities, McConnell said.

“America is united and outraged at the death of Mr. Floyd, and I hope we can unite to condemn these senseless riots and move forward together as one nation,” he said on the Senate floor, shortly before Schumer blocked the resolution.

By Felicia Sonmez
June 2, 2020 at 5:35 PM EDT

NYC curfew bans non-essential vehicular traffic south of 96th St. in Manhattan

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) extended a citywide curfew through the rest of the week but rejected President Trump’s suggestion of calling in the National Guard to quell looting and other disorder.

Speaking during a news conference Tuesday, the mayor said that the curfew will be in effect daily from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. following another night of unrest in the city. Monday’s mayhem was largely concentrated in midtown Manhattan and the Bronx, authorities said, with at least 700 arrests amid looting and attacks on police officers.

“If you choose to protest today, do it in the daytime hours, and then please go home because we have work to do this evening to keep a peaceful city,” de Blasio said.

The New York City Police Department put out an advisory late Tuesday afternoon, adding that vehicular traffic would also be barred south of 96th Street in Manhattan after 8 p.m. Permitted exceptions are: “essential workers, buses, and delivery trucks,” according to the advisory posted on Twitter.

The restrictions would block off vehicle access to all of downtown and midtown Manhattan.

Trump has urged leaders across the country to call in the National Guard to control unruly protests. He singled out New York City as needing military force in tweets Tuesday, writing in one, “NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD. The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart.”

But de Blasio said the city does not need “nor do we think it’s wise” for the National Guard to assist. He said that “someone needs a history lesson” because past examples including the civil rights movement show that no good comes of bringing in “outside armed forces.”

“They’re not trained for the circumstance here,” the mayor said. “They have not been spending decades working on the relationship between police and community, particularly in the intense way it’s been worked on in recent years.”

By Brittany Shammas and Abigail Hauslohner
June 2, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT

Four police officers shot in St. Louis

Four police officers were shot early Tuesday in St. Louis, police said in a tweet. Officials also said a retired police captain was killed while responding to an alarm at a pawn shop.

The four officers remained conscious and breathing before being taken away from the scene. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said they were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. They were released later Tuesday.

“They were standing near a line, and all of a sudden they felt pain,” St. Louis Police Chief John W. Hayden said at a news conference early Tuesday. He said two officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot, and one was shot in the arm. Police had not identified a suspected shooter or made any arrests Tuesday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that heavy gunfire could be heard in downtown after midnight. David Dorn, a 77-year-old retired police captain, was shot and killed on the sidewalk outside a pawn shop that belonged to a friend.

By early Tuesday, officers were still taking gunfire in downtown St. Louis, police said.

Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment or additional information. Officials said Tuesday they were reviewing surveillance images. “I will use every tool available to me to count every freckle on your face until you have been identified and arrested,” public safety director Jimmie Edwards said.

In a large, peaceful protest, demonstrators marched through the city earlier in the day, but it was winding down by 7:30 p.m. Most remaining protesters dispersed after police shot tear gas into the crowd just before 9 p.m., the Post-Dispatch reported. Looting began less than an hour later, and people set a 7-Eleven on fire after raiding it, according to the newspaper.

About 200 people were involved in break-ins and looting, Hayden said, and some people threw rocks and explosives at police officers. People tried to pour gasoline on officers, he said. At one point, officers used force to push people away from police headquarters.

Hayden estimated at least 55 St. Louis businesses had been burglarized or damaged. Police made 25 arrests.

“We’re trying to figure out what is going on,” Hayden said. “Mr. Floyd was injured down and was killed somewhere else, and they’re tearing up cities all over the country.”

He said his officers showed “extraordinary restraint” as people threw rocks and explosives and shot at police lines.

By Katie Shepherd and Ben Guarino
June 2, 2020 at 5:07 PM EDT

Black journalists are carrying unique burdens during period of civil unrest

For black journalists, the civil unrest in cities across America isn’t just a big story. It’s personal.

This was underscored for Branden Hunter in Detroit Saturday night. A rifle-toting police officer walked up to a group of reporters covering a chaotic night of demonstrations. As they all yelled “press” and held up their credentials, he made a beeline to one in particular. It was Hunter — one of the few black news reporters at the Detroit Free Press and the only one on that sidewalk — who drew the officer’s attention, though he also showed his press badge. “He’s with us!” a white colleague shouted, panic in her voice. And only then did the officer walk away.

“I’ve always had a hard time fitting in,” Hunter, 30, said in an interview Monday. “We know this field is dominated by white men. . . . For people to actually believe you’re a journalist — even cops last night were saying, ‘You’re not media.’ ”

Read more here.

By Elahe Izadi and Paul Farhi
June 2, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerberg defends decisions on Trump as Facebook employee unrest grows

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg held a last-minute town hall Tuesday to address mounting outrage among employees who say the company should take action on a post by President Trump.

Trump last week tweeted that “when the looting begins, the shooting begins,” which many people interpreted as a call for violence in nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd. Twitter put a warning label over the tweet, flagging it as violent content that broke the company’s policies but was being left up because it was newsworthy. Facebook declined to take any action on a similar post on its site.

In response, dozens of Facebook employees participated in a virtual walkout on Monday, and many more expressed outrage in internal forums and on Twitter. At least two employees have resigned, according to public posts and tweets and conversations with workers.

“Open and honest discussion has always been a part of Facebook’s culture,” spokesperson Liz Bourgeois said in a statement. “Mark had an open discussion with employees today, as he has regularly over the years. He’s grateful for their feedback.”

During the town hall, Zuckerberg did not back down from his decision to keep the post up, according to several employees who were listening but declined to provide their names for fear of retribution.

By Elizabeth Dwoskin
June 2, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT

Six Atlanta officers charged after firing tasers at college students

Six Atlanta police officers face criminal charges after video captured them pulling two college students out of their car and firing Tasers at them while enforcing a curfew Saturday night.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges, including aggravated assault and simple battery, during a news conference Tuesday. He called the footage, which sparked outrage after circulating on social media and being aired on the local news, “very difficult to watch.”

“The conduct involved in this incident, it is not indicative of the way that we treat people in the city of Atlanta,” Howard said. “And it certainly isn’t indicative of the way that we treat our children."

The officers being charged are Lonnie Hood, Willie Sauls, Ivory Streeter, Mark Gardner, Armond Jones and Roland Claud. Two of them, Streeter and Gardner, have been fired from the department, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced Sunday.

The incident that led to their arrests happened about an hour after Saturday’s 9 p.m. curfew. Morehouse College student Messiah Young and his girlfriend, Spelman College student Taniyah Pilgrim, were driving along a downtown street when officers approached their car.

Video footage showed officers firing a Taser at Pilgrim as she asked what was going on and tried to follow their command to get out of the car. Additional video showed another officer smashed the driver’s side of the car and stunned Young with a Taser, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Pilgrim was released without charges, while Young’s charge of attempting to elude police was quickly dropped. Howard described them as “innocent almost to the point of being naive.”

The two said during Tuesday’s news conference they were relieved the officers were being charged.

"We just need to make sure that all officers are held accountable,” Young said, “and there really is change moving forward within the culture of policing.”

By Brittany Shammas
June 2, 2020 at 4:19 PM EDT

Minnesota Human Rights Department announces investigation into 10 years of Minneapolis policing

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights will investigate the Minneapolis Police Department’s policies and practices over the past decade after filing a civil rights charge in response to Floyd’s death, the state announced Tuesday.

Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero will lead the probe, which Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s office said in a statement “will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped.” Walz said at a news conference that this was the state’s first civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis police.

Filing the charge against the police department will enable state officials to act quickly if they find civil rights abuses, Walz’s office said. The Department of Human Rights will ask city and police officials to immediately make short-term changes before long-term responses to systemic racism can be formulated and put in place.

“Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” Walz said in the statement. “As we move forward, we ask the community to watch what we do, not what we say.”

By Marisa Iati and Meryl Kornfield
June 2, 2020 at 4:10 PM EDT

Trucker who drove into crowd of protesters released from jail

A man who drove a tanker truck into a throng of protesters on Minnesota’s I-35 highway was released from jail Tuesday.

On Sunday, the driver blared his horn as he sped the empty tanker truck into a crowd on a section of freeway in Minneapolis. Protesters assembled to protest the death of George Floyd darted out of the way. No one was killed. After the tanker came to a halt, members of the crowd yanked the driver from his cab. He was treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.

Police identified the driver as 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko, who was arrested Sunday and booked on suspicion for assault. He was released after the case’s 36-hour window expired.

The case has been deferred “pending further investigation,” per a statement from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “Investigators are in the process of gathering additional information and answers to aid in the charging decision.”

On Monday, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told reporters the truck driver probably panicked. He was already driving on I-35 when officials began to shut down the freeway.

“From what we understand, he was speeding,” Harrington said. “He saw the crowd, and what it looks like initially, he panicked. He just kept barreling forward, and then he saw a young woman on a bike fall down in front of him, and he slammed on the brakes.”

By Ben Guarino
June 2, 2020 at 3:53 PM EDT

Rep. Engel, facing primary challenge, prompts firestorm with hot-mic comment at event on George Floyd protests

Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) sparked a torrent of criticism Tuesday after he repeatedly asked to speak at a Bronx news conference on protests over the killing of George Floyd, then said into a hot microphone, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is serving his 16th term in the House. He is facing a competitive June 23 primary, and his leading challenger, middle school principal Jamaal Bowman, cited the gaffe as a sign that it’s time for Engel to leave Congress.

“This is so incredibly painful to watch from @RepEliotEngel,” Bowman tweeted. “It hurts. We need to be taking care of our communities right now — whether it’s election season or not. It’s clear that we need new leadership in #NY16.”

Engel clarified his remarks Monday afternoon, saying in a statement he had wanted to convey that he cares “deeply about what’s happening in this country.”

“In the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak,” Engel said. He added: “I love the Bronx, grew up in the Bronx and lived here all my life. I would not have tried to impose on the Borough President if I didn’t think it was important.”

By Felicia Sonmez
June 2, 2020 at 3:25 PM EDT

Why some Black Lives Matter supporters are upset about those black squares on Instagram

Row after row of black squares populated many people’s Instagram feeds Tuesday morning, and a quick search for the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter showed a grid made up almost entirely of solid black backgrounds.

The black squares were meant to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement and for the protests that have swept the country for the past week after the death of George Floyd in police custody.

But some activists say the black grid may be causing more harm than good by drowning out vital information and amplification of the movement.

By Rachel Lerman
June 2, 2020 at 2:55 PM EDT

Doctor says he was beaten while trying to stop looters, needed surgery to repair his ear

Caesar Junker said he was heading out for a nighttime bite of pizza Sunday when he saw them: more than 100 people looting stores along M Street, around the corner from the Georgetown house where he has lived for 30 years.

Junker, a sports medicine doctor and colonel in the Air Force, spotted police standing nearby, watching but doing nothing. He took out his phone and began filming, not necessarily intending to intervene, but he lost his temper when vandals began targeting Sebago, a footwear store whose owners he has known for years. It was around 11 p.m. on a balmy night in the nation’s capital.

“Stop,” he said. “What are you doing? What is the purpose of this?”

By Hannah Natanson
June 2, 2020 at 2:47 PM EDT

Richmond mayor apologizes for police firing gas at peaceful demonstrators and says he will march with protesters  

The mayor of Richmond apologized Tuesday for police gassing peaceful demonstrators the night before and vowed to march with protesters.

Mayor Levar Stoney spoke directly to protesters who gathered after Stoney tweeted a request to hear the community’s concerns after an incident Monday night in which police released gas on a crowd marching in memory of George Floyd near the statue honoring Confederate leader Robert E. Lee.

“I know I can’t stand here today and give you every single answer and all the answers,” he told the disgruntled crowd, which chanted for his resignation and criticized his absence from Monday’s march. “What I can do is commit to you that it will never happen again. I will march with you. I will stand with you. I will be with you.”

Stoney promised to expedite disciplinary action for the officers responsible for releasing the gas. He also pledged to speak to Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin about protesters who have been arrested, after the crowd called for detained demonstrators to be released and their bond to be waived.

The crowd showed its displeasure with some responses from Stoney and Richmond Chief of Police William Smith, repeatedly asking for better answers and booing. One pointedly asked, “Why did a cop shoot me straight in the face with tear gas?”

Smith also apologized for Monday’s incident, saying he was ultimately responsible for what happened.

“I am telling you right now that we have made mistakes,” he said. “I know many of you don’t believe us. We are trying very hard.” Smith knelt at the request of protesters to show his commitment.

Tuesday’s march will start at 6 p.m. at the city’s Capitol and journey to the Robert E. Lee statue.

By Lateshia Beachum
June 2, 2020 at 2:13 PM EDT

Barr personally asked for protesters to be pushed back from D.C. park just before Trump spoke

Attorney General William P. Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials on the ground to clear the streets around Lafayette Square just before President Trump spoke Monday, a Justice Department official said, a directive that prompted a show of aggression against a crowd of largely peaceful protesters, drawing widespread condemnation.

Officers from the U.S. Park Police and other agencies used smoke canisters, riot shields, batons and officers on horseback to shove and chase people gathered to protest the death of George Floyd. At one point, a line of police rushed a group of protesters standing on H Street, many of whom were standing still with their hands up, forcing them to race away, coughing from smoke. Some were struck by rubber bullets.

By Matt Zapotosky
June 2, 2020 at 2:02 PM EDT

After NYC officer is attacked in the Bronx, Cuomo calls police and mayor’s response to chaos a ‘disgrace’

A New York police officer was attacked outside a Claire’s store in the Bronx late Monday, according to a video shared by a sergeants union.

The video, which was also posted on a civilian’s Instagram account, shows a person on top of the officer while a second person throws what appears to be a heavy object at him and runs away. A third person hurls the object at the officer again before the three flee and the officer draws his gun.

The incident was one of at least two attacks on New York police overnight. Early Tuesday, a sedan sped through an intersection in the Bronx and hit an officer standing in the road. The officer was in serious condition at a nearby hospital, officials said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) on Tuesday criticized New York police and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) as ineffective at curtailing the crimes taking place alongside peaceful protest. Speaking at a news briefing, Cuomo said he was “outraged” at the chaos and called police and the mayor’s response a “disgrace.”

Cuomo urged de Blasio to use all 38,000 city police officers and said the mayor has declined his offer to deploy the state’s National Guard. To bring in the guard anyway, Cuomo said he would have to displace the mayor. He then backed away from that musing.

A) I don’t think we’re at that point,” Cuomo said. “B) that would be such a chaotic situation, even in the midst of an already chaotic situation. I don’t think that makes any sense.”

In his own news conference Tuesday, de Blasio said authorities would not accept the chaos.

“I have confidence in the people of New York City,” he said. “I have confidence in the leaders in communities. I have confidence in NYPD.”

By Marisa Iati
June 2, 2020 at 1:57 PM EDT

Federal officials floated idea of taking over D.C. police, mayor’s office says

Federal officials floated the idea of taking control of D.C. police, John Falcicchio, the mayor’s chief of staff, confirmed Tuesday.

The District of Columbia is a federal enclave governed by a mayor and a city council, but the federal law granting self-governance allows the president to take control of local police officers in emergency situations.

Falcicchio said federal officials, including at the White House, inquired about their powers to take control of D.C. police. Mayor Muriel E. Boswer (D) and other city officials objected and said they would mount a legal challenge if federal officials attempt to do so, according to Falcicchio.

“We believe we are firm in our understanding that what was presented yesterday would not be a prudent move,” he told reporters. “Although there were discussions yesterday, they [D.C. police] still report to Mayor Bowser.”

The mayor demurred when asked earlier in the day if federal officials proposed taking over the city’s department but said she would oppose such a move. “I would regard that as an affront to even our limited home rule and the safety of the District of Columbia,” Bowser said.

By Fenit Nirappil
June 2, 2020 at 1:52 PM EDT

A Minneapolis mom is capturing the protests through photos of her young son

MINNEAPOLIS — Miesha Busker has taken a creative approach to experiencing the protests in the Twin Cities: taking photographs of her son.

The mother and photographer had been using her Canon to capture her first-grader, Cooper, in front of memorials for George Floyd, at marches and demonstrations, and in front of destroyed buildings.

She and her partner took her son out to peaceful sites Monday.

“We are teaching him what is going on in today’s world,” she said.

At night, she and her boyfriend participate in the protests without her son. On Monday night, for instance, she stood outside the governor’s mansion.

“This is my first protest,” she said.

We ARE making a difference We ARE changing their future We ARE standing up #justiceforGeorge

Posted by Miesha Busker on Sunday, May 31, 2020
By Sheila Regan
June 2, 2020 at 1:37 PM EDT

A few Republicans express discomfort with Trump’s church visit after protesters were cleared

A few fellow Republicans expressed discomfort Tuesday with President Trump’s photo op at a historic church near the White House after peaceful protesters were cleared from his path, an episode that drew widespread condemnation from Democrats.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) decried the violence that had been seen on previous nights in Washington but voiced strong support for the constitutional right to protest.

“I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop,” Sasse said in a statement that made no explicit mention of Trump but said all public servants “should be lowering the temperature.”

Read more here.

By John Wagner and Paul Kane
June 2, 2020 at 1:26 PM EDT

Asked about Trump’s handling of protests, Trudeau takes long pause, avoids direct criticism

TORONTO — Asked to comment on President Trump’s threat to use military force against protesters and the attacks on demonstrators in Washington to clear a path for a presidential photo op, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday paused for more than 20 seconds, then offered a response that did not directly criticize the U.S. leader’s handling of the unrest.

“We all watch in horror and consternation [at] what’s going on in the United States,” Trudeau told reporters after the long pause. “It is a time to pull people together. … It is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we, too, have our challenges, that black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day.”

Asked again why he appeared reluctant to comment directly on the “words and actions” of the U.S. president, Trudeau said his job as prime minister is to stand up for Canadians.

The video of the lengthy pause quickly went viral. But the comments do not mark a significant departure for Trudeau, who has twice weighed in on the unrest happening south of the border. In the past week, he said that Canadians were watching in “shock and horror.” On Monday, he avoided commenting when asked whether Trump’s rhetoric risked inflaming tensions.

Polls show Trump is deeply unpopular in Canada, a long-standing U.S. ally on which he has imposed tariffs. Trudeau, who has at times cast himself as a liberal foil to Trump, has often shied away from commenting directly on political and social issues in the United States or has been careful in how he does so, rarely mentioning the president by name.

By Amanda Coletta
June 2, 2020 at 1:12 PM EDT

Majority of Americans believe police more likely to use excessive force against black people than white people, poll finds

A new poll shows a sharp rise in the percentage of Americans who think that in dangerous and difficult situations, police officers are more likely to use excessive force against black people than white people.

The Monmouth University survey finds that 57 percent of Americans today believe police are more likely to use excessive force against blacks. That represents an increase from the 34 percent of registered voters who said the same in 2016 following the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and the 33 percent who said so in 2014 after a grand jury did not indict a New York City police officer in the death of Eric Garner.

Roughly half of white respondents say police are more likely to use excessive force against black people, up from 25 percent who said this in 2016. Majorities of both Democrats and independents now say so, also showing increases of more than 20 points from 2016. The view increased among Republicans from 11 percent to 24 percent, though they are least likely to view police as using excessive force more often against blacks.

In addition, the poll asked Americans about reactions to protests across the country, including the burning of a police precinct in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd. Seventeen percent said the actions of protesters were fully justified, while 37 percent said they are partially justified and 38 percent said they are not at all justified. A far larger 57 percent said that regardless of the actual actions taken, the anger that led to these protests was “fully justified.” Twenty-one percent said the anger is partially justified, and 18 percent said it is “not at all justified.”

The poll was conducted by phone from Thursday to Monday among 807 adults in the United States and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

By Scott Clement and Felicia Sonmez
June 2, 2020 at 12:53 PM EDT

European Union’s foreign policy chief condemns U.S. response to peaceful protests

BRUSSELS — The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday condemned the U.S. government’s response to protests of the killing of George Floyd, calling for a “de-escalation of tensions” in rhetoric more typically directed toward authoritarian countries.

The caution from Josep Borrell was an escalation on behalf of the 27 member nations of the European Union, where many policymakers have been surprised by the images of police violence coming from the United States.

“Like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd, and I think that all societies must remain vigilant against the excessive use of force,” Borrell told reporters. “This is an abuse of power, and this has to be denounced.”

A day after police used chemicals and flash-bang shells to disperse peaceful protesters outside the White House before President Trump staged a photo outside a nearby church, Borrell said lawful demonstrations were right.

“We support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind. And for sure we call for a de-escalation of tensions,” he said, deploying a phrase he has previously used with regard to conflicts in Libya and Syria and with Iran. “All lives matter. Black lives also matter.”

By Michael Birnbaum
June 2, 2020 at 12:45 PM EDT

What is antifa?

President Trump is blaming the far-left network known as “antifa” for the looting and destruction that has arisen during protests in cities across the nation over the past several nights. Trump has said he will label the movement a terrorist organization, though he legally cannot do that.

Experts who have studied antifa say there is no evidence that the fringe, amorphous group is driving nationwide protests, and Trump has not cited any as he accuses them of doing so. Some experts worry that Trump is conflating antifa with peaceful protesters in a dangerous way.

For a better understanding of who they are and why Trump can’t label them as terrorists, read more here.

By Amber Phillips
June 2, 2020 at 11:58 AM EDT

Richmond officers who fired gas at peaceful protesters will be disciplined

Richmond police officers who used gas on peaceful protesters Monday evening near the Robert E. Lee statue will be disciplined, the department announced.

“Chief [William] Smith just reviewed video of gas being deployed by RPD officers near the Lee Monument and apologizes for this unwarranted action,” the department said on Twitter. “These officers have been pulled from the field. They will be disciplined because their actions were outside dept protocols and directions given.”

The apology came nearly an hour and a half after the department had tweeted that the use of gas was necessary because officers trying to reach safety were cut off by “violent protesters.”

The incident also prompted an apology from Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D), who tweeted “words cannot restore the trust broken this evening.”

Stoney invited his constituents to a noon town hall Tuesday to discuss how the community can repair itself.

By Lateshia Beachum
June 2, 2020 at 11:39 AM EDT

German foreign minister says he hopes U.S. protests will make a difference

BERLIN — Germany’s foreign minister said Tuesday that the ongoing protests in the United States were legitimate and that he hoped that they would bring about change.

“I hope that the protests in the U.S. are peaceful and will no longer result in violence, but much more that these protests will make a difference,” Heiko Maas tweeted Tuesday, reiterating comments made at a news conference in which he described nonviolent demonstrations in the United States against police brutality as “understandable” and “more than legitimate.”

He also said he would be in touch with U.S. authorities to find out more about an incident involving journalists from Deutsche Welle. The German news outlet reported that one of its crews was shot at by police “with projectiles” for a second night in a row Sunday while reporting from Minneapolis.

“Democratic states under the rule of law have to meet the highest standards when it comes to protecting freedom of the press,” he said. “Any violence that occurs in this context not only has to be criticized, above all it has to be properly followed up and investigated.”

By Loveday Morris
June 2, 2020 at 11:36 AM EDT

Connolly requests Secret Service documents on clearing protesters before Trump church visit

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nation’s capital, on Tuesday questioned the director of the U.S. Secret Service about Monday night’s attack on protesters outside the White House.

Calling the use of tear gas and rubber bullets an “unwarranted attack on peaceful demonstrators,” the congressman from Fairfax County requested documents related to the clearing of protesters that immediately preceded President Trump’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“While the Secret Service is tasked with protecting the President of the United States, it is not a tool of fascism, and the conduct and operations of the Secret Service cannot be allowed to infringe upon the constitutional rights of the American people for the purposes of serving the President’s personal vanity,” he wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James M. Murray.

In addition to documents related to the church visit, Connolly requested communications about employees who objected to “the targeting of peaceful protesters,” as well as Secret Service policies about the treatment of peaceful protesters.

By Jenna Portnoy
June 2, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT

St. Louis County police shoot looting suspect after shots are fired at officers, officials say

A St. Louis County police officer shot a looting suspect early Tuesday after occupants in the car with the suspect fired at officers, Sgt. Benjamin Granda told reporters.

The man, 21, was alive as of Tuesday morning.

“Hopefully this suspect lives,” Granda said. “Hopefully.”

The tumult in the St. Louis area overnight included “incredible levels of violence” that Granda said were different from anything he has experienced in his career, including the months after a police officer shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. Four St. Louis city police officers were shot early Tuesday in an unrelated incident.

“Last night was a challenge,” Granda said. “The fact that we’ve lost no lives is remarkable, and I don’t know if we can withstand another night like that without any loss of life.”

St. Louis city police responded to reports of looting around 2:30 a.m. to find a maroon Chevy Impala whose occupants shot repeatedly at marked police cars, Granda said. City and county police chased the car onto a dead-end block in the neighboring city of Jennings, Mo.

Three people, at least two of whom were armed, got out of the car and ran away, Granda said. One of the people fired shots at the county officers, police said. That is when a 39-year-old county officer, who has five years of experience in law enforcement, fired his weapon and hit the suspect, according to Granda.

Police arrested another of the car’s occupants, a man about 25 years old, and a third person escaped.

Granda said officers found two handguns at the scene and are still searching a wooded area where the car’s occupants fled. No officers were injured, and an investigation is ongoing.

The four officers who were shot in the separate incident were conscious and breathing when they were brought to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, St. Louis Police Chief John W. Hayden said at a news conference early Tuesday.

Hayden said two officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot, and one was shot in the arm. Police had not identified a suspected shooter or made any arrests at the time of the news conference, and they did not immediately respond to a later request for additional information.

By Marisa Iati and Katie Shepherd
June 2, 2020 at 11:22 AM EDT

Pelosi reads from the Bible and calls for ‘a time to heal’

Reading from a Bible, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday called for “a time to heal” and pleaded for President Trump to become a “healer in chief and not a fanner of the flame,” in a direct contrast to the president’s actions Monday evening.

Pelosi, who had just signed legislation designed to help a Muslim minority in China, held up a Bible just as Trump did at a photo opportunity at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday, a day after the church basement had been set on fire by protesters.

She read from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “A Time for Everything,” and from a speech that President George H.W. Bush delivered in 1992 after video emerged of Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King.

“Let’s focus on the time to heal,” Pelosi said.

When Trump went to the church Monday evening, he waved the Bible for the cameras, offered no prayer and then asked top Cabinet officials and advisers to pose for a photo in front of the historic church. Police forced out peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square and the surrounding area just before Trump’s walk to the church.

The House speaker said she has asked the Congressional Black Caucus to pull together recommendations for legislation to deal with police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. “We’re looking to them,” she said of the CBC.

Meanwhile, during remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) referred to Monday night’s episode outside the White House while arguing that Trump was behaving like a dictator.

“After the president’s reality show ended last night, while the nation nervously watched the chaos that engulfs us, President Trump probably laid in bed pleased with himself for descending another rung on the dictatorial ladder,” Schumer said.

He chided his Republican colleagues for remaining silent about the actions of “a vindictive president who demands they never criticize.”

By Paul Kane and John Wagner
June 2, 2020 at 10:35 AM EDT

D.C. police surrounded protesters and started firing pepper spray. Then a resident opened his door.

On Monday, as the 7 p.m. curfew went into effect, Rahul Dubey saw a large group of protesters coming down his one-way street — Swann Street, about two blocks south of U Street in Washington — fleeing law enforcement officers firing pepper spray at them. He opened his door and allowed them to stay.

Dubey, 44, choked up Monday as he said he saw protesters injured in clashes with police.

“It was a human tsunami,” he said. “I was hanging on my railing yelling, ‘Get in the house! Get in the house!’ ”

By Derek Hawkins and Dana Hedgpeth
June 2, 2020 at 9:58 AM EDT

New York troopers, Buffalo officer injured after being hit by SUV, police say

A state trooper had a shattered pelvis and broken leg and two others had minor injuries after being struck by an SUV while clearing protesters from a street in Buffalo, New York State Police said.

Multiple videos shared online captured the incident, which happened around 10 p.m. at the intersection of Bailey Avenue and Decker Street. State and city police officers appeared to be firing chemicals and pepper balls at demonstrators when the Ford Explorer drove through the blockade and rammed the officers.

The SUV hit a state trooper and a Buffalo police officer and ran over another trooper who was on the ground, state police said.

“Somebody ran over — oh my God!” shouted Cariol Holloman-Horne, a community activist and former Buffalo police officer who filmed the aftermath, just after the SUV plowed through the officers.

Troopers fired shots at the vehicle, and those inside were taken into custody. The driver and one passenger each suffered a gunshot wound, according to police. Another passenger was uninjured.

Police said they are still investigating.

By Brittany Shammas
June 2, 2020 at 9:47 AM EDT

Trump claims D.C. had ‘no problems,’ thanks himself for ‘great’ night in Minneapolis

President Trump asserted that Washington had “no problems” on Monday night and thanked himself for what he characterized as a “great” night in Minneapolis.

His assessment, in a Tuesday morning tweet, came after early aggression by federal authorities cleared peaceful protesters in front of the White House on Monday and a larger law enforcement presence into an evening that included a 7 p.m. curfew.

While vandalism and looting continued in the city, it was far quieter by midnight than on the three previous nights.

Meanwhile, tensions in Minneapolis, the site of George Floyd’s death, were lowered overnight, according to local reports. The state was in “a much more stable position,” National Guard Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen told the Star Tribune.

“D.C. had no problems last night,” Trump said in his tweet. “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!).”

In a teleconference Monday, Trump urged governors to “dominate” the streets and get tougher with violent protesters.

In a subsequent tweet Tuesday, Trump took aim at New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), blaming him for overnight looting in New York City.

“New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum,” Trump wrote. “The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces.”

By John Wagner
June 2, 2020 at 9:41 AM EDT

More than 60 million residents of U.S. cities have been placed under curfews

More than 60 million residents of U.S. cities have been placed under curfews in recent days, as cities burned in protest of the death of another black man in police custody. It is a measure pandemic-weary government officials hoped would deter violence and stanch the damage to their battered cities.

The curfews affected people in more than 200 U.S. cities and at least 27 states, including all of Arizona, and followed intense protests over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died a week ago after a Minneapolis police officer handcuffed him, put him facedown on a city street and pressed his knee against the back of his neck for eight minutes.

While officials expressed horror at Floyd’s death, they said the curfews were necessary to discourage the arson and smashed storefronts engulfing cities still struggling to contain the coronavirus that has killed more than 100,000 people this year. Protests surged just as many localities were cautiously reopening businesses to counter soaring unemployment.

Read more here.

By Maria Sacchetti
June 2, 2020 at 9:26 AM EDT

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich criticizes Trump as a ‘deranged idiot,’ who lacks leadership amid protests

Gregg Popovich has sharply criticized President Trump in the past, calling him a “soulless coward” and someone who “brings out the dark side of human beings for his own purpose.”

Even after all that, the San Antonio Spurs coach may have just used his most unsparing language yet to castigate Trump. While lamenting what he saw as a lack of leadership in the tumultuous aftermath of the killing of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police, Popovich called the president a “deranged idiot,” a “fool” and a “destroyer.”

What Popovich appeared to find particularly galling, as he made clear in comments published Monday by the Nation, was Trump’s refusal to even go through the motions of trying to soothe the country after another death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police officers.

Read more here.

By Des Bieler
June 2, 2020 at 8:52 AM EDT

White House releases campaign-style video of Trump’s walk to historic church

The White House released a campaign-style video early Tuesday showing President Trump strolling from the White House through Lafayette Square to historic St. John’s Church, where he held a Bible.

Set to triumphant music, the 30-second video includes no images of the protesters who were cleared out shortly beforehand by federal authorities using rubber bullets, flash bangs and smoke canisters. Nor does it include any images of the anti-Trump graffiti he passed on the way.

The only clear sign of unrest is Trump pumping his fist on the way back to the White House as he passes a line of police in riot gear.

The release of the video generated criticism on social media Tuesday by those who said it confirmed that peaceful protesters had been forcefully displaced for a government-financed photo op.

By John Wagner
June 2, 2020 at 8:51 AM EDT

Pennsylvania election officials brace for chaotic day

Election officials across Pennsylvania are bracing for a chaotic day of voting in Tuesday’s primary, as the convergence of protests and the coronavirus pandemic threaten to close in-person polling locations, even as thousands of voters who requested mail-in ballots still have not received them.

In Philadelphia, city officials said they were working with police and other emergency personnel to prevent violence from disrupting voting. The city planned to open 190 polling places instead of the usual 831, but with a late surge of poll workers canceling their commitments out of fear of unrest, there was no guarantee that even the reduced number of polling places would open Tuesday morning.

“This is an unprecedented time for Pennsylvania and our nation as we face a major public health crisis and civil unrest during an election,” Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said in a statement. “Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and I want to ensure that voters can cast their ballot and that it is received in time.”

Read more here.

By Amy Gardner
June 2, 2020 at 8:42 AM EDT

Peaceful protests in Baltimore contrast sharply with 2015 riots and 2020 unrest

BALTIMORE — A racially mixed and youthful crowd took to the streets of downtown Baltimore on Monday afternoon to protest the death of an African American man detained by Minneapolis police — a scene that is sadly familiar to many residents of this struggling port city.

Just five years ago, Baltimore was rocked by unrest when one of its own black residents, 25-year-old Freddie Gray, died of a spinal-cord injury after police arrested and transported him in a van. The two weeks of protests and rioting that followed cast a national spotlight on police brutality and the long-troubled relationship between minority residents and law enforcement.

Now, the May 25 death of George Floyd has trained that spotlight again. But in contrast to the 2015 riots and the current violence sweeping some American cities — including Washington — Baltimore’s four days of protests have so far been peaceful, even as it still struggles with many of the same problems.

Read more here.

By Justin George, Lauren Lumpkin and Sydney Trent
June 2, 2020 at 7:50 AM EDT

Poll: Perceptions of police treatment of whites and blacks vary greatly by race, party

A 57 percent majority of Americans think police generally treat white people better than black people, but perceptions vary greatly based on race and party affiliation, according to a new CBS News-YouGov poll conducted in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Among white Americans, 52 percent think police treat whites better than blacks. Among black Americans, that figure is 78 percent, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, the poll finds a majority of Republicans — 61 percent — think police generally treat whites and blacks the same. That compares to 80 percent of Democrats, who think police treat whites better than blacks.

The poll, which was conducted Friday through Monday, also finds that nearly half of Americans disapprove of how President Trump has handled events and protests in Minneapolis, where Floyd died after an officer restrained him with a knee on his neck.

According to the poll, 32 percent approve of how Trump has handled events, while 49 percent disapprove and another 19 percent say they haven’t heard enough to make a judgment.

By John Wagner
June 2, 2020 at 7:03 AM EDT

Trump plans visit to Catholic shrine a day after photo-op at Episcopal church near White House

President Trump plans to venture outside the White House again for a short visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine on Tuesday, a day after peaceful protesters were cleared from around the White House ahead of his photo op at historic St. John’s Church.

According to White House guidance, the president and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to depart late in the morning for the four-mile trip to the Catholic shrine in Northeast Washington that is adjacent to the Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The visit is part of an effort by Trump to focus on international religious freedom. Upon returning to the White House early in the afternoon, he is scheduled to sign an executive order on that subject in the Oval Office.

On Monday, federal authorities used rubber bullets, stun grenades and smoke canisters to clear peaceful protesters from around the White House ahead of Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square to St. John’s, a historic Episcopal church where he posed for photos while holding up a Bible.

Security and the prospect for encounters with protesters are certain to be at issue again on Tuesday.

By John Wagner
June 2, 2020 at 6:00 AM EDT

Tucker Carlson slams Trump’s response to protests

Fox News host Tucker Carlson laid into President Trump’s response to the protests sweeping the nation on Monday evening, claiming that the president was abandoning the country and only thinking of himself by not acting to more decisively crack down on the unrest.

After opening by attacking a number of prominent conservative leaders, including Nikki Haley and Vice President Pence, for their responses to violent clashes over the weekend, the prime-time commentator turned his attention to Trump.

“When the mobs came, they abandoned us,” Carlson, often a fervent defender of Trump, said to open his show. “The nation went up in flames this weekend. No one in charge stood up to save America … This is how nations collapse.”

One Fox News reporter, Leland Vittert, had been attacked by protesters at Lafayette Square in Washington, just steps from the White House, and Carlson played footage of the incident.

But the following day, the host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” said, Trump failed to acknowledge the attack while mentioning that he and his family were safe.

“How can you protect my family? How are you going to protect the country? How hard are you trying?” Carlson asked.

To close his tirade, Carlson invoked a different ruler best known for failing to do anything as his nation burned. The infamous Roman emperor Nero, he said, is best remembered for abandoning his “nation in a time of crisis.”

By Teo Armus
June 2, 2020 at 5:46 AM EDT

Pelosi, Schumer condemn Trump for tear-gassing of protesters outside White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a joint statement Monday night condemned the actions taken by federal authorities to disperse protesters who had gathered for a peaceful demonstration outside the White House earlier that evening.

The Democratic leaders accused President Trump of being responsible for the clash, citing his decision to leave the White House and walk to a nearby church where he was photographed holding up a Bible.

“Tear-gassing peaceful protesters without provocation just so that the President could pose for photos outside a church dishonors every value that faith teaches us,” Pelosi and Schumer said. “We call upon the President, law enforcement and all entrusted with responsibility to respect the dignity and rights of all Americans."

In videos of the melee, federal law enforcement officers could be seen rushing at protesters with shields and batons while rubber bullets, flash-bang devices and tear gas were fired into the large crowd.

“At this challenging time, our nation needs real leadership,” Pelosi and Schumer said. “The President’s continued fanning of the flames of discord, bigotry and violence is cowardly, weak and dangerous.”

By Allyson Chiu
June 2, 2020 at 5:10 AM EDT

NYPD officer run over in the Bronx, police say

A black sedan sped through an intersection in the Bronx early Tuesday morning and slammed into a New York City police officer standing in the road, leaving him with serious injuries, authorities said.

An NYPD spokesman said officers were responding to reports of break-ins on Walton Avenue, located about two miles away from the chaos on Fordham Road, where people raided shops and set fires in the street, and a cop was assaulted until he pulled out his gun.

The officer struck by a car was taken to nearby Lincoln Medical Center for treatment. He is in serious but stable condition, the spokesman said.

A video posted to social media by a bystander watching from several stories above shows a black sedan speeding toward the intersection where two officers had just parked and stepped out of their vehicle. One of the officers jumped out of the way, but the car slammed into a police sergeant and continued driving down the street. An NYPD spokesman confirmed multiple details shown in the video.

Police said the collision happened around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Walton Avenue and East 170th Street. At almost that same time, the person who shared the video tweeted: “I just witnessed a murder n I recorded it.” About 10 minutes later, the Twitter user posted the cellphone footage, adding that people had broken into a nearby pawnshop just before the crash.

An NYPD spokesman said police have not yet made any arrests in the case.

By Katie Shepherd
June 2, 2020 at 4:26 AM EDT

Black family protecting Los Angeles businesses from looters mistakenly cuffed by police on live TV

A black family helping to protect businesses from looters in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Van Nuys Monday evening were cuffed by police officers they flagged down for help — an incident that played out on a live video broadcast by KTTV.

The tense scenes captured by the local news station in a now-viral video came as the Los Angeles Police Department cracked down on looting across the city Monday.

“We are aware of the incident,” a spokesman with the LAPD told The Washington Post when asked about the Van Nuys footage. The spokesman noted that several people were arrested for looting, but declined to provide additional details.

Around 6:30 p.m. local time, an African American woman and several members of her family, all of whom are black, had joined forces with the owner of a liquor store in Van Nuys to ward off a group of alleged looters who were targeting the establishment and a nearby Cash for Gold business, KTTV’s Christina Gonzalez reported.

Amid arguing with the looters, a group of young black men, the woman and others outside the liquor store waved their arms at passing police cars. Soon, Gonzalez, who had also been trying to get the police’s attention, told viewers that officers were inbound.

But as more than 10 cops descended on the scene, the situation swiftly went awry. Within seconds, at least three officers, one of whom appeared to be holding a rifle, had the woman and two of her family members lined up against a wall — and they were putting cuffs on them.

“I was handcuffed, thrown up against the wall with my husband, my brother-in-law and I was just like, the hell?” the woman later told Gonzalez in an interview.

Gonzalez could be heard frantically telling the police that they had the wrong people while an officer tried to get information about what happened from her.

Late Monday, KTTV caught up with the woman, who said she and her family were fine after the encounter and doubled down on her decision to face off against the looters.

“We don’t want other people from different cities to come and tear up where we live at 'cause we have to rebuild this,” she said.

By Allyson Chiu
June 2, 2020 at 4:15 AM EDT

The push to tear-gas protesters before Trump’s photo op at historic church

President Trump began mulling a visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday morning, after spending the night devouring cable news coverage of protests across the country, including in front of the White House.

The historic church had been damaged by fire, and Trump was eager to show that the nation’s capital — and especially his own downtown swath of it — was under control.

There was just one problem: the throngs of protesters, who on Monday had again assembled peacefully in Lafayette Square across from the White House to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Read more here.

By Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Rebecca Tan
June 2, 2020 at 4:02 AM EDT

Los Angeles police chief walks back comments saying looters bear equal responsibility for Floyd’s death

Hours after saying that looters were just as responsible for George Floyd’s death as the officers who had the man in custody, the Los Angeles police chief walked back his comments on Monday.

At a news conference alongside Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) on Monday afternoon, Police Chief Michel R. Moore said the violence and looting he witnessed Sunday night in Los Angeles had amounted to far more than protests.

“We had criminal acts,” Moore said. “We didn’t have people mourning the death of this man, George Floyd. We had people capitalizing. His death is on their hands, as much as it is those officers."

“That is a strong statement,” he added, “but I must say that this civil unrest that we’re in the midst of, we must turn a corner from people who are involved in violence, people who are involved in preying on others.”

Police had arrested nearly 700 people the night before, he said, including 70 who were directly involved in looting or burglary. At least one permitted protest had veered onto a freeway and became unlawful, warning demonstrators from repeating that example later on Monday.

But approximately three hours later, the police chief took to Twitter to issue an apology for his comments. He also clarified that only police were responsible for Floyd’s death.

“I recognize that my initial words were terribly offensive,” Moore wrote. “Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two.”

Garcetti also condemned the chief’s comments on social media.

“The responsibility for George Floyd’s death rests solely with the police officers involved,” Garcetti wrote on Twitter. “Chief Moore regrets the words he chose this evening and has clarified them.”

By Abigail Hauslohner and Teo Armus
June 2, 2020 at 3:24 AM EDT

Birmingham, Ala. officials take down 115-year-old Confederate monument

Demolition crews began taking down a Confederate statue late Monday in Birmingham, Ala., an extraordinary move ordered by the city’s mayor that will likely prompt legal challenges from the state.

At 52-feet tall, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument has loomed over a park in the city’s center since 1905. But as protests for racial justice overtook the city this week, Mayor Randall Woodfin said it was time for the obelisk to come down — even if doing so could violate a state law.

“In order to prevent more civil unrest, it is very imperative that we remove this statue,” Woodfin, who is black, told the Birmingham News.

In 2017, city officials affixed plywood to the base of the obelisk and covered the rest with a tarp, saying the monument was offensive and fearing it would lead to violence.

Alabama officials sued, citing a state law that barred cities from removing Confederate statues and prompting a years-long legal battle. Last year, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that Birmingham had to pay a $25,000 fine for obstruction.

The plywood remained on the statue on Sunday, when demonstrators attempted to take down the monument. They managed to chisel the base of the obelisk and completely toppled a nearby statue of Charles Linn, a Confederate Navy captain and the namesake for the surrounding park.

Then Woodfin arrived at the scene.

“Allow me to finish the job for you,” he said, according to WIAT.

Given the ongoing legal battle over the statue, he acknowledged on Monday that Alabama could bring another lawsuit against the city. But he was willing to accept that outcome, he said, “because that is a lower cost than civil unrest in our city.”

At 10 p.m. on Jefferson Davis Day — an Alabama state holiday on Monday honoring the Confederate president — a demolition crew removed the top of the obelisk and loaded it onto a flatbed truck. More than an hour later, they moved down to take apart a middle section, WBRC reported.

By Teo Armus
June 2, 2020 at 3:20 AM EDT

Australian prime minister asks embassy to investigate after TV journalists struck by police near White House

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked the embassy in Washington to investigate after two reporters for an Australian news outlet were struck by police in riot gear live on-air Monday evening near the White House.

Around 6:30 p.m., police began forcefully removing protesters from Lafayette Square with tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to clear the way for President Trump’s nearby photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church. As a line of police pushed forward, an officer struck 7News Australia cameraman Tim Myers with a shield and appeared to hit him in the face. Reporter Amelia Brace was struck with a baton while fleeing, 7News reported.

“You heard us yelling there that we were media, but they don’t care. They’re being indiscriminate at the moment,” said Brace on-air moments later. After running to safety, she added: “And you saw how they dealt with my cameraman there, quite violent, and they do not care who they’re targeting.”

Government officials in Australia were shocked at the violence of the police, and Morrison asked the embassy to complain to the authorities. (It wasn’t immediately clear which agency struck the reporters.) Anthony Albanese, a member of Parliament and leader of the Australian Labor Party, said that the reporters “effectively have been assaulted — that’s what it is — for doing their job,” ABC reported.

“The violence that has occurred towards members of the media, Australian media and domestic media as well, with tear gas being fired, with media being assaulted, is completely unacceptable,” he said.

The two journalists join numerous others across the United States who have been injured or arrested by police while reporting on the historic protests. Craig McPherson, Seven Network director of news and public affairs, called the police’s actions “wanton thuggery.”

By Meagan Flynn
June 2, 2020 at 3:02 AM EDT

Looting intensifies in Manhattan as police clash with protesters in tense scene

NEW YORK — A march of protesters that lasted about 40 minutes past the 11 p.m. curfew was busted up late Monday, as hundreds of people in the group scrambled away from uniformed New York police officers who raced in to arrest several participants.

“Get off the street!” yelled one of several white-shirted officers, telling a group backed up against a CVS Pharmacy that they should have been gone by 11 p.m.

The command was given a short time after a trash fire was set in the middle of Eighth Avenue.

In the chaos, news reporters and photographers scrambled to identify themselves in hopes of avoiding arrest or other repercussions on what was the first test of curfew enforcement. Working press are considered essential and are allowed to be out, but interactions have been dicey as utter lawlessness unfolds around the city.

Throughout the night, stores all over Lower Manhattan and Midtown were infiltrated by vandals and thieves, sometimes in the name of activism. “Black Lives Matter discount n----!” one man bragged as he carried a heaping pile of shoe boxes and clothes. In Midtown, there was disappointment when looters realized the store they’d tapped into sold only cheap costume jewelry.

The entirety of a Verizon store’s display floor merchandise was looted. The Macy’s in Herald Square, a New York landmark and a holiday tourist destination, was busted into Monday night, according to news reports and social media accounts. And a FedEx Office store was even hit, as a man could be seen in the window struggling mightily to obtain the contents of a well-secured, undelivered package.

By Shayna Jacobs
June 2, 2020 at 1:56 AM EDT

Indianapolis protest de-escalated after demonstrators and police hug, march together

A tense standoff between police and protesters in Indianapolis after curfew Monday was defused when demonstrators and several officers agreed to march together toward downtown.

Hundreds of protesters and police faced off near the governor’s mansion after officers told protesters they had overstayed the 8 p.m. curfew and needed to disperse, according to videos shared on social media of the scene. The demonstrators remained, at times kneeling and sitting. Amid the escalating tension between the groups, officers at one point shot a pepper-spray projectile at the crowd, which shouted back asking for peace.

After a while, the protesters appeared to be negotiating with the officers. Several protesters went up to officers to shake their hands. Then, the crowd and officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department proceeded to walk toward downtown. Some officers hugged and linked arms with the demonstrators. “We were so proud to see officers and protesters march together in solidarity,” Indianapolis Police tweeted after the protest. “Our officers will continue to ensure the safety of demonstrators as they walk back to their cars to travel home. Our thanks to the protesters for peacefully advocating for change.”

However, others in the Black Lives Matters movement regarded the de-escalation as an affront to the message of the protest about police brutality. “IMPD staged a media moment near the Governor’s mansion, hugging and high-fiving protesters to create a distraction while they let off rubber bullets and tear gas blocks away w no media present,” Black Lives Matter Indianapolis later tweeted.

“Making this real clear. We don’t shake hands with the enemy,” the group added.

By Meryl Kornfield