Across the United States, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered Wednesday for a ninth night to call for police accountability and justice for George Floyd. Earlier in the day, Minnesota prosecutors added a second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and charged three more former officers in Floyd’s death.
Meanwhile, the White House tweeted, and then later deleted, a 58-second video that purported to show “Antifa and professional anarchists … staging bricks” for nefarious use during protests against the killing of Floyd. This came as large peaceful protests unfolded in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and some cities lifted curfews or decided not to enforce the orders as unrest subsides. The ACLU also filed a lawsuit targeting curfews in Southern California, calling them “draconian” measures that violate the free speech of protesters.
Here are some significant developments:
- The Army was making plans to send home active-duty soldiers who were dispatched to the Washington, D.C., area to bolster security, but the plan was reversed on Wednesday after a meeting at the White House involving Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, defense officials said.
- Former president Barack Obama, in his first public remarks since protests erupted, offered an optimistic perspective on the civil unrest, urged mayors to enact policing reforms and reminded young people of color: “your lives matter.”
- Former defense secretary Jim Mattis excoriated President Trump on Wednesday, accusing the nation’s chief executive of deliberately trying to divide Americans.
- A San Francisco man kneeling outside a pharmacy that was being looted was fatally shot Monday night by an officer who thought the man was carrying a firearm in his waistband, police said Wednesday.
- Outrage spiked as the New York Police Department cracked down on demonstrators out after curfew on Wednesday, particularly over a video showing officers using batons to beat a cyclist.
- The Los Angeles Police Department’s budget will be cut by up to $150 million to provide funding for programs in communities of color, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.