Protests wound down on the East Coast early Sunday after a nationwide outpouring of anger Saturday sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody. But clashes continued in Portland, Ore., and in Seattle, where police used stun grenades in an attempt to disperse a crowd outside a precinct and reported several injuries to officers in a melee with rock- and bottle-throwing protesters.

Amid heightened attention to complaints of police brutality as a result of the protests, which researchers call the broadest in U.S. history, two police officers in Buffalo were charged after a widely circulated video appeared to show them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who fell and bled from the head as officers walked past him.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Demonstrators streamed into downtown Washington on Saturday for day-long protests that officials described as the largest yet in the city following Floyd’s death.
  • A car rammed through a group of protesters on bicycles during peaceful demonstrations in Brooklyn on Saturday night, setting off a chase that ended in the driver’s arrest.
  • A public viewing and private memorial service for Floyd was held in Raeford, N.C., near his birthplace. His body was later flown to Texas for another service and burial near Houston.
  • Clashes between protesters and police broke out again in Portland, Ore., early Sunday, as late-night demonstrations continued to devolve in the city’s downtown. Police later said they made at least 50 arrests and dispersed the crowd.
  • George Floyd’s younger brother is scheduled to testify before Congress next week in the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since Floyd’s death on Memorial Day.
  • Congressional Democrats plan to release expansive legislation to rein in police violence.
June 7, 2020 at 5:29 AM EDT

George Floyd’s body arrives in Houston

George Floyd, the “gentle giant” whose death in police custody in Minneapolis sparked protests around the world, has returned to Houston, where he lived for most of his life. On Tuesday, his body will be laid to rest in the same local cemetery where his mother is interred.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo made the announcement on Twitter just before 1 a.m. local time. The Fountain of Praise Church is set to have a six-hour public viewing on Monday before a mostly private and final memorial service the following day attended by a mix of family and dignitaries.

Former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is expected to attend Tuesday’s service, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump said last week. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) are also expected to attend, local TV station ABC-13 reported.

The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered an emotional eulogy during Floyd’s first memorial service on Thursday, comparing his death to the arc of the black experience in America and imploring the nation to “get your knee off our neck.” A second service was held Saturday in Raeford, N.C., near Floyd’s birthplace. From there, his body was flown to Texas.

After Tuesday’s service, Floyd will be buried in Pearland, Tex. According to Houston Chronicle, it will be the same cemetery where his mother, who died two years ago, was laid to rest.

By Brent Griffiths
June 7, 2020 at 5:20 AM EDT

British, Australian officials say solidarity protests raise covid-19 risks

Officials in Britain and Australia expressed alarm Sunday that large demonstrations in solidarity with U.S. protests could increase the risk of renewed outbreaks of covid-19 in their countries.

“It is undoubtedly a risk,” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News when asked whether massive turnouts in London and other cities raised the prospect of a surge in coronavirus cases. While he supports the protesters’ arguments, he said, “the virus itself doesn’t discriminate, and gathering in large groups is temporarily against the rules precisely because it increases the risk of the spread of this virus.”

He spoke after British protesters briefly clashed with mounted police near the residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaving 14 officers injured and marring an otherwise largely peaceful display of support for American demonstrators.

In Australia, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann on Sunday sharply denounced countrymen who rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in defiance of coronavirus restrictions.

“I think it is incredibly selfish,” Cormann said in an interview with Sky News, Reuters reported. “It’s incredibly self-indulgent.”

More than 20,000 people turned out in Sydney and other cities Saturday in the solidarity demonstrations. Similar large demonstrations were organized in Germany and other U.S.-allied countries.

By William Branigin
June 7, 2020 at 3:47 AM EDT

Portland police arrest protesters in melee at city justice center

Clashes between protesters and police broke out again in Portland, Ore., early Sunday, as late-night demonstrations continued to devolve in the city’s downtown.

Officers eventually dispersed a crowd of protesters and made at least 50 arrests, the Portland Police Department reported on Twitter.

Earlier, Lt. Tina Jones, a spokeswoman for the department, said in a video statement posted on Twitter: “Lasers are being used by some members of the crowd. Balloons with paint, water bottles and full beer cans are among some of the items that have been thrown at officers.”

The Multnomah County Sheriff said an officer was injured “after a commercial grade firework” was shot over a fence that police have erected to try to protect a county justice center and its employees inside. The justice center has become a flash point for protests and was briefly set on fire last week.

Jones stressed in her statement that peaceful protests were taking place elsewhere in the city as demonstrations continued for a 10th day.

Mayor Ted Wheeler instructed officers earlier Saturday to use tear gas only as a last resort, declining to go as far as Seattle in virtually banning the deployment of gas but reining a practice that has become increasingly controversial. It did not immediately appear that officers had used tear gas Saturday night after having done so the night before.

Local TV station KATU reported that police apparently started making arrests shortly after 11:30 p.m. and that one officer was seen striking a protester, who seemed to have been recording video of him, with a baton and then pepper-spraying him.

By Brent Griffiths
June 7, 2020 at 3:26 AM EDT

U.S. service branches try to confront racism in their ranks

U.S. service branches are trying to confront racism within their ranks in the wake of George Floyd’s death as they try to move beyond a culture that, for some outfits, included resistance to integrating units for years.

Scott Bethmann, a member of Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees, resigned after he and his wife accidentally broadcast a video on Facebook that featured multiple racial slurs. Bethmann, according a Florida Times-Union report, used the n-word during the video, which was recorded for more than 30 minutes while he and his wife watched the news before realizing what was happening.

“These attributed statements do not represent the mission and values of the Alumni Association, the Naval Academy or the U.S. Navy,” retired Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, the association’s chairman, wrote in a post on the group’s Facebook page.

Added Vice Adm. Sean Buck, superintendent of the Naval Academy: “We cannot tolerate racism or bigotry of any kind within our U.S. Naval Academy family.” He wrote on Twitter that such behavior “completely violates our Navy’s core values, and does not support the Naval Academy mission.”

The news came just days after the U.S. Marine Corps banned all displays of the Confederate battle flag in public and work spaces, including items ranging from banners to bumper stickers. The flag, once ingrained in American culture, has increasingly been pushed out of the public sphere in recent years after a shooting rampage that killed nine black worshipers at a church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 and a deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville two years later.

Each of the service branch chiefs has posted public statements condemning racism. On Monday, Kaleth O. Wright, chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the top enlisted airman in the branch, posted a series of tweets in which he described his experience of being a black man trying to rise through the ranks.

By Brent Griffiths
June 7, 2020 at 2:38 AM EDT

Black police chiefs express anger and dismay as they try to change their departments from within

The day that George Floyd’s cries for his mother reverberated across the country, Chief William T. Riley III walked up to a group of his officers discussing the horror they had seen.

“You know, chief, we already know if anything like that happened with us, we wouldn’t have a job,” one officer said.

Riley, a black police chief who was hired to transform the force in Inkster, Mich., after the suburban Detroit city settled a police brutality lawsuit in 2015, had trouble hiding his delight. But he remained firm.

“You are right,” Riley said. “Not only would you not have a job, you’d be locked up.”

In the past six years, as Black Lives Matter has emerged as a national movement to confront police brutality against people of color, the job of leading a department while black has become far more complex, politically sensitive and personally painful.

Read more here.

By Arelis Hernández and Scott Wilson
June 7, 2020 at 2:17 AM EDT

Protests wind down largely peacefully on East Coast; clashes continue in West

Protests in Washington, D.C., and New York began to peter out early Sunday, but demonstrations were still going strong as the clock moved closer to midnight on the West Coast.

The Post’s Michael E. Miller reported that “as the clock struck midnight, a few hundred people were still standing around Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, where the traffic lights endlessly blinked red.” President Trump, having canceled a weekend trip to New Jersey, observed on Twitter just after 10 p.m., “Much smaller crowd in D.C. than anticipated.”

While only 50 or so people remained by St. John’s Church in the early hours of Sunday, more than 10,000 demonstrators streamed into the nation’s capital earlier in the day in the largest protest in the city so far since George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minnesota on Memorial Day. One of the major focal points of the day was the newly christened “Black Lives Matter Plaza,” which covers a patch of 16th Street just north of the White House.

In New York, where nightly curfews remain in effect, protesters were allowed to continue demonstrating hours after the 8 p.m. curfew. The New York Times said there were “no reports of major confrontations or arrests as of 1 a.m.”

On the other side of the country, mostly peaceful protests in Seattle morphed into more confrontations with police as officers fired stun grenades to get people to leave the area around a police precinct. A Seattle Times live stream showed a crowd of hundreds continuing to chant slogans, some of the protesters just feet away from police in riot gear.

The Seattle Police Department reported on Twitter that protesters threw rocks, bottles and “explosives” at officers, adding that several officers were “injured due to improvised explosives.” It did not immediately provide details.

In Portland, where fierce nightly clashes have erupted around a county justice center, officers added animal feed to the list of things that should not be thrown over the fence at them.

By Brent Griffiths
June 7, 2020 at 1:38 AM EDT

‘This is for unity’: Athletes continue to join George Floyd protests

Professional athletes added their voices Saturday to calls for racial justice, joining local protests across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.

In Milwaukee, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was joined by teammates Sterling Brown, Donte DiVincenzo, Brook Lopez, Frank Mason II and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis’s brother, as they marched down 27th Street. The group all wore T-shirts that read “I can’t breathe” printed on the front. The players also wore masks and gloves.

Antetokounmpo and his teammates were also seen passing out water to protesters. In a video taken at the protest, Antetokounmpo can be seen talking to the crowd.

“We want peace,” he said. “We want justice. And that’s why we’re out here. That’s what we’re going to do today. That’s why I’m going to march with you guys.

“I want my kid to grow up here in Milwaukee and not be scared to walk in the street.”

The Denver Broncos organization also came out in big numbers on Saturday, with more than 70 players, coaches and other personnel leading a group of thousands through downtown Denver during a protest. Videos and photos shared from the team’s social media account show most wearing black T-shirts that read: “If You Ain’t With Us, You Against Us.”

In addition, many were wearing masks that had “I can’t breathe” printed on them. Safety Kareem Jackson was the driving force behind the team’s participation in the event, according to ESPN.

Other athletes who have participated in peaceful protests over the last week include the Dallas Stars’ Tyler Seguin, the Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, Washington Mystics guards Natasha Cloud and Kristi Toliver, and Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle.

By Samantha Pell
June 7, 2020 at 12:48 AM EDT

Seattle police deploy stun grenades in attempt to disperse some protesters

Seattle police officers used stun grenades on Saturday night as they tried to disperse protesters outside a police precinct, with demonstrations continuing throughout the city.

The department’s Twitter account said individuals were throwing “rocks/bottles/and explosives” at police outside the East Precinct when officers escalated their response. Multiple people pointed out that the photo the department tweeted of what it claimed was an improvised explosive may, in fact, show a candle. A label in one of the images clearly says “candle.”

The Seattle Times reported that other groups of mostly peaceful protesters marched elsewhere in the city, including by the landmark Space Needle as protests continued for the ninth day.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best reached a deal on Friday that virtually bans all use of tear gas by officers in Seattle for the next 30 days. Only SWAT officers can still deploy tear gas, and even then it requires high-level approval from Best or someone she designates.

By Brent Griffiths
June 7, 2020 at 12:22 AM EDT

Video shows car plowing through protesters on bikes in Brooklyn

A car rammed through a group of protesters on bicycles during peaceful demonstrations in Brooklyn on Saturday night, setting off a chase that ended in the driver’s arrest, according to footage from the scene.

Video shows a group of about a dozen cyclists, who were part of a larger march, gathered at an intersection in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood when a dark Volkswagen hatchback lurches onto the sidewalk and accelerates toward them.

The car can be seen crashing into one protester head-on, the crunch of metal audible in the clip. Other cyclists can be seen banging on the vehicle and screaming at the driver to stop. Seconds later, the driver speeds off down the street.

Brooklyn resident Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, who shot the video, said he was among a group of protesters at the front of the demonstration.

The driver wanted to get through to go to work but could not be persuaded to turn around by multiple people, Spitzer-Rubenstein told The Washington Post.

“He refused to turn around, backed up and then rammed into the people,” he said. “The video of is of him driving onto the sidewalk and then hitting people.”

Other observers said protesters stopped the driver down the road. Video posted by Chris Welch, editor of the Verge, a technology news website, shows dozens of people surrounding the car. Several police officers in helmets and masks handcuff the driver.

The New York Police Department could not immediately confirm that the driver had been taken into custody.

In cities across the country, drivers have been captured on video careening through crowds of people in demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody.

This week, a car grazed several people and hit a cyclist during a protest in Newport Beach, Calif. The driver was arrested a few blocks away on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Another video showed a car swerving toward a protester in Denver. Last weekend, a truck barreled toward masses of demonstrators on a Minneapolis highway.

The New York Police Department also came under fire last weekend after officers in squad cars were filmed driving through protesters.

By Derek Hawkins, Brent Griffiths and Hannah Knowles
June 6, 2020 at 11:14 PM EDT

St. Louis-area officer suspended after video shows him running over a man

Florissant, Mo., Police Chief Timothy Fagan said Saturday night that he has suspended one of his detectives after a viral video showed the officer running over a man in an unmarked car and then struggling with him on the ground.

“To see a citizen struck by a police vehicle is concerning and the way he was taken into custody — my gut reaction is I’ve spoken to three different agencies to ask for some help to look at it, because I do have some concerns about it,” Fagan told reporters.

Fagan said he has asked the FBI and St. Louis County Police Department to also investigate what happened. The chief said just learned Saturday of Ring home security video of the incident that happened on June 2. The footage was obtained and posted online by Real STLNews.

Local TV station KMOV reported that the man in the video was stopped because his vehicle matched a description for a car that was connected to shots being fired outside the Ferguson Police Department. Officers found no weapons on him, but he will face charges of carrying drugs and resisting arrest, the station reported. The man suffered an ankle injury.

County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell has recused himself from the investigation because a “close relative” of someone in his office was at the scene, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Florissant is a St. Louis suburb just miles from Ferguson, Mo., where Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in 2014. Brown’s death later led to protests in the city and intense confrontations between demonstrators and heavily armed officers that received national attention.

By Brent Griffiths
June 6, 2020 at 10:42 PM EDT

George Floyd’s brother will testify before Congress on police reform

The younger brother of George Floyd will testify before Congress next week in the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since Floyd died in police custody late last month.

Philonise Floyd is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning before the House Judiciary Committee in an oversight hearing on police practices and law enforcement accountability, a committee spokeswoman told The Washington Post.

It was not clear whether Floyd would testify in person or via video stream.

As protests against systemic racism and police violence have unfolded across the country, George Floyd’s siblings have led vigils and marches honoring their brother, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the 46-year-old black man’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer and three others with him were subsequently fired and charged.

This week, Philonise Floyd said he had spoken with former vice president Joe Biden and President Trump.

“I asked Vice President Biden — I never had to beg a man before — but I asked him, could he please, please get justice for my brother,” Floyd told MSNBC.

“I need it. I do not want to see him on a shirt just like the other guys,” he said. “Nobody deserved that. Black folk don’t deserve that.”

The conversation with Trump lasted about two minutes, he said.

“It was very brief. The conversation was okay with him,” Floyd told CNN. “I was just respecting him, you know, listening to what he had to say. And I understood what he was saying, but it was just a brief conversation.”

On Friday, George Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd addressed thousands of people gathered at a memorial rally in Brooklyn. He told the crowd his brother’s death has given him purpose.

“At the end of the day, my brother’s gone, but the Floyd name lives on,” he said. “I’m just thankful when I hear about the memorials going on.… I hear they’re going on all over the world.”

“I thank God for y’all,” he said.

By Derek Hawkins
June 6, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT

John Lewis’s ‘good trouble’ of the 1960s resonates in today’s protests for racial justice

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, racial justice protests have gripped American cities, with demonstrations outside the White House becoming a focal point.

The voice of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is so relevant today, and “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a powerful 96-minute documentary of the legendary civil rights activist’s march from 1960s protests to a 34-year career in Congress will help fill a void as Lewis still battles the Stage 4 pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed in December.

He has not been on the House floor in months. He resumed voting only after the House changed its rules to allow members to cast proxy votes for those absent because of the coronavirus. Any 80-year-old man battling cancer is in the high-risk category of those who should not be traveling during the pandemic. Each appearance now takes on greater significance.

Read more here.

By Paul Kane
June 6, 2020 at 9:48 PM EDT

Breonna Taylor birthday celebration continues as more than 1,000 gather in Louisville

LOUISVILLE — More than 1,000 people packed in front of Louisville Metro Hall on Saturday afternoon in a vigil for Breonna Taylor, whose death at the hands of local police has sparked massive demonstrations across the city for the past 10 days.

The event honoring Taylor, who was killed on March 13 during a drug raid at her home, featured tributes from family members and a number of local and national figures, including civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, NFL player Jamon Brown and Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth (D).

Saturday marked a continuation of Friday’s birthday celebration for Taylor, who would have turned 27, and hundreds of protesters chanted her name throughout the ceremony in 93 degree heat. “Breonna comes from a strong background, a strong family, but most importantly, she comes from love. We love her and miss her so much,” said Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin.

After explaining that Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer asked her to speak, Louisville Urban League CEO Sadiqa Reynolds said: “She said tell them they took the wrong child. Tell them we will not stop until we have justice. She says tell them we want peace. But peace requires justice. She said tell them we want these officers fired. She said we want these officers indicted. She said we want these officers prosecuted.... Everyone knows what parents say, ‘Baby, call me when you make it home. Call me when you make it home.’ Well imagine that your baby makes it home and then they lay in the bed and the police, with a bad warrant, knock through the door and shoot that child. What do you do? What do you say? You say: no justice!”

The crowd responded by chanting: “No peace!” Jackson, who had attended George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis earlier this week, made a few closing remarks before the crowd released blue and white balloons in the air.

By Roman Stubbs and Ava Wallace
June 6, 2020 at 9:35 PM EDT

Mayor opens investigation after Providence firefighter says he was racially profiled by police

Terrell Paci, a Providence, R.I., firefighter, spoke emotionally Friday about being racially profiled by two police officers earlier in the week. He shared his encounter as he choked back tears on a local television station during a protest in Rhode Island.

Paci said he was in uniform as he sat inside a friend’s car outside the Messer Street fire station when two officers approached the vehicle. He had been talking to a friend who had brought him food when officers, guns drawn, started to yell at both and searched the inside of the car.

“I was like, ‘I’m a firefighter, I’m PFD, I’m one of you, I’m a firefighter,’ and they still kept approaching the vehicle with guns drawn.... The white cop then asked again, after identifying me as a Providence firefighter, ‘Is there a gun in the vehicle?' I said, ‘I am not allowed to carry a firearm while I’m on duty. I am an essential worker, and I’m not breaking curfew.’”

Firefighters’ union president Derek Silva later tweeted that the union stood by Paci and that “this situation makes clear that even in uniform — a young black man is not immune from the impact of systemic, institutional racism.”

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza released a statement Saturday apologizing “on behalf of the city” for the incident and confirmed that an investigation would be opened.

“Providence Firefighter Paci’s recounting of what he experienced this week is deeply, deeply disturbing,” Elorza wrote. “We have opened an investigation into this incident and it will receive our full and immediate attention. No one should have to experience something like this and we apologize on behalf of our city for the trauma it has caused. We stand with Firefighter Paci and thank him for his unwavering dedication to a city that he protects everyday through his service.”

By Samantha Pell
June 6, 2020 at 9:09 PM EDT

‘You stayed home for me, now I’ll kneel for you’: Doctors rally in show of support for protesters

NEW YORK — Hundreds of doctors gathered in Central Park’s East Meadow on Saturday afternoon, many wearing white coats and scrubs while holding signs that read, “Please don’t kill our patients” and “You stayed home for me, now I’ll kneel for you.”

It was part of a rally organized as a show of support by members of the medical community for the protests against police brutality.

“We know that black lives matter, we know that our patients matter, we know that our colleagues of color matter,” said one of the organizers, as she spoke through a megaphone to kick off the demonstration. “It’s time to shed light on the racial injustices and disparities in health care and to take action and do something about it.”

The organizers were two physicians who created a Facebook group several days ago, after seeing the number of health-care workers who attended the protests. Suraj Shah, a physician in Manhattan, told The Washington Post that the event was a stand against the systemic racism that they feel has contributed to health disparities in underserved minority communities.

“There are obviously two pandemics, one of which has been going on for centuries, and it’s time to take a stand against that,” Shah said.

The doctors then marched down New York’s Fifth Avenue along Central Park en route to Washington Square Park. At 7 p.m., the time at which the city’s residents typically open their windows and clap in support of health-care workers during the covid-19 pandemic, the sounds of clapping rippled over the march as protesters took a knee.

Erica Ford, a New Yorker who runs the violence prevention organization Life Camp, has been marching through the week and decided to join the rally as she saw all of the white coats and scrubs filing into Central Park. “I’ve never seen doctors come out, ever,” Ford said. “That means that there’s a ground shift, and it’s shifting for the better and that people are hearing the cries of innocent children saying that they can’t breathe.”

By Kayla B. Ruble
June 6, 2020 at 8:45 PM EDT

Philadelphia Inquirer executive editor resigns after staff members protest controversial headline

On Saturday, the Philadelphia Inquirer announced the resignation of executive editor Stan Wischnowski following a quick yet tumultuous revolt from staffers that stemmed from an insensitive headline.

Earlier in the week, a majority of journalists of color at the paper protested a headline that riffed on the slogan Black Lives Matter. The journalists called in sick — but more specifically, “sick and tired,” as they wrote in a letter. Above an opinion piece written by columnist Inga Saffron, published Tuesday, about the destruction of historical buildings in Philadelphia, the headline read: “Buildings Matter, Too.”

By Thursday, 44 of 57 journalists of color at the Inquirer did not show up for work. In an open letter to leadership, the group described how that particular headline damaged an already eroding public trust.

“We’re tired of working for months and years to gain the trust of our communities — communities that have long had good reason to not trust our profession — only to see that trust eroded in an instant by careless, unempathetic decisions,” the letter said.

In an attempt to calm the maelstrom, Wischnowski and other top editors issued a public apology to staff and readers. Ultimately, by Saturday, Wischnowski decided to resign.

Wischnowski’s departure will go into effect June 12.

“We will use this moment to evaluate the organizational structure and processes of the newsroom, assess what we need, and look both internally and externally for a seasoned leader who embodies our values, embraces our shared strategy, and understands the diversity of the communities we serve,” Inquirer publisher Lisa Hughes wrote in a statement.

By Candace Buckner
June 6, 2020 at 8:18 PM EDT

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey kicked out of protest, booed for not committing to defunding the police

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) was booed and kicked out of a protest Saturday after he would not commit to defunding the city’s police department.

At a rally led by the Black Visions Collective near the mayor’s residence, protesters were calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to be defunded. When Frey decided to join the rally, he was asked point-blank whether he would commit to defunding the department.

He did not commit to the protesters’ requests and was promptly booed, as the speaker told him to “get the [expletive] out of here.” The crowd then starting chanting “Go home, Jacob, go home,” and “Shame, shame, shame,” as Frey walked away from the protest, through the parted crowd.

In a statement to FOX 9, the mayor said he supports significant change within the department following George Floyd’s killing but didn’t support shutting down the department entirely. The Black Visions Collective is also calling for the Minneapolis City Council to pledge to never again increase police funding or to increase the police department budget.

Frey, 38, is up for reelection next year.

By Samantha Pell
June 6, 2020 at 7:59 PM EDT

Pittsburgh paper accused of barring black reporters from covering protests, censoring stories

Photojournalist Michael Santiago was part of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette team that in 2019 won the paper a Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest accolade, for its breaking news coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre. The Pulitzer judges praised the staff’s reporting as “immersive, compassionate coverage … that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.”

Only now, Santiago says the paper has barred him and at least one other reporter from covering anti-racism protests in Pittsburgh because they are seen as biased for being black. Journalists are also accusing the newspaper of removing and censoring at least two articles published online Friday that reported on protests over George Floyd’s death and police abuses, as well as of penalizing reporters who came out in support of their black colleagues.

By Miriam Berger
June 6, 2020 at 7:57 PM EDT

Tens of thousands fill the streets of Philadelphia to protest Floyd’s killing

PHILADELPHIA — The protest in this city stretched across familiar landmarks, from Center City to the steps of the famed Art Museum. Tens of thousands of people filled Benjamin Franklin Parkway to protest George Floyd’s killing.

Like other cities, Philadelphia witnessed a massive turnout Saturday, with the crowd easily outnumbering protests this past week. The demonstration came three days after the city removed its statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo, the late 1960s and 1970s police commissioner who once told the city to “vote white.”

Law enforcement was in full force, including the National Guard, but the day ended without significant confrontations between police and protesters. Earlier in the day, four members of the City Council released a statement calling for Philadelphia police to end the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters.

Public officials including Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw took a knee with protesters to honor the memory of Floyd. “We are beginning to take action against officers we’ve seen acting inappropriately, and we will continue to do so. Excessive force will not be tolerated,” the mayor tweeted.

By Maura Ewing
June 6, 2020 at 7:45 PM EDT

Small march for George Floyd takes place in notorious ‘sundown town’ with racist history

Vidor, Tex., has an ugly history as a “sundown town” where African Americans were told to stay away after dark.

The Ku Klux Klan marched there in 1993 when a few black families moved into the overwhelmingly white area’s public housing. A few years later in a town 50 miles north, three men with ties to hate groups brutally murdered a disabled black man, dragging him behind their truck.

On Saturday, though, people were marching in outrage over the death of George Floyd. The gathering was small compared with the thousands who have turned out in major cities — 150 to 200 people, a journalist tweeted — but organizers said they hoped it was a step in the right direction.

Madison Malone told KHOU 11 that she’s hoping the gathering can help dispel the legacy of racism that’s haunted her hometown.

“When I tell people where I am from, I get backlash,” Malone told the news station.

“We want to spread love to our community and tell the world that we do support to end racism and we do support the change,” she said.

Journalist Christopher Hooks tweeted that the crowd knelt for nearly nine minutes in silence — about the length of time Floyd was under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee — in a scene that’s been playing out around the country.

Some counterprotesters gathered as pickup trucks circled with Confederate flags, he noted, but were “vastly outnumbered.”

“This is pretty remarkable,” he wrote.

For some black residents nearby, Vidor’s reputation isn’t fading, though. Many feared the march was a ploy to lure them in.

“All POC — stay out of Vidor,” Houston resident Alexis Walker tweeted as Saturday’s protest approached. She told the student newspaper at Lamar University in Beaumont that she was skeptical of outreach from people in Vidor who said things were different now.

“I wrote some of them back stating that they should prove it,” Walker told the paper, the University Press. “They should have their protest with current residents.”

Correction: A previous version of this post suggested that a disabled black man was murdered in Vidor, when in fact, he was murdered to the north in Jasper.

By Hannah Knowles
June 6, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT

At N.C. memorial service for George Floyd, sheriff says law enforcement is ‘part of the problem’

The North Carolina memorial for George Floyd mixed the lively spirit long acquainted with traditional black funerals with shouts for change seen across the nation through protests against police brutality.

On Saturday, public officials and hundreds of mourners joined the Floyd family, wearing white, by filling the pews of a church in Raeford, N.C. Several family members participated in the service by leading solos and delivering sermonettes. Christopher Simmons, speaking on behalf of the family, compared the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death to the ongoing pandemic.

“I see everybody with masks on, but this is something that we all need to address right now,” Simmons said. “This is just an allergic reaction to an ongoing issue in the United States. Just like the coronavirus, police brutality [we have] yet to find the cure.

”When Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin addressed mourners, he directed a salvo of criticism at his peers in law enforcement.

Though Peterkin started by speaking softly – “I’m hurting so bad,” he said to the Floyd family – his words soon cascaded into a boisterous rebuke against corrupt police officers.“We walk around with all this power and there needs to be some house cleaning,” Peterkin said. “I didn’t say ‘spring cleaning.’ Spring cleaning means you dusting and spraying. You need to take out the trash!"

Applause erupted inside the private memorial service, which was live-streamed by several television outlets. “Enough is enough!” Peterkin bellowed.

Peterkin, who is black, has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement but said he will always identify with his race.

“I dreamed of being a law enforcement officer ever since I was 10 years old but that dream is now turning into a nightmare,” Peterkin said. “I realized if I deny all the wrong that law enforcement is doing today, I am denying the color of my skin. And I won’t do that. I am a black man – first!”

Jeremy Collins, a representative of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) presented the family a state flag that had flown over the Capitol Building.

By Candace Buckner
June 6, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT

Senior Trump campaign adviser apologizes after amplifying tweet promoting chain-saw-wielding man

Mercedes Schlapp, a senior adviser to President Trump’s campaign, boosted a tweet Saturday that promoted a Texas man whirring a chain saw to chase away protesters as he yelled racial slurs. She later deleted the tweet and apologized.

The man, who waved a chain saw and blurted out the n-word, was seen in a viral video shouting at police brutality protesters in McAllen, Tex., to “move” and “go home” in a profanity-laden tirade as he revved the chain saw. McAllen police arrested the man, according to Mayor Jim Darling. In the video, a protester can also be heard pleading for someone to “call 911.”

“Go home,” the man shouted six times. “Don’t let those [expletive] [expletive] out there fool you.”

According to Politico, Schlapp had originally retweeted an unedited video of the man yelling the n-word, but after Politico reached out to her and her campaign, Schlapp proceeded to retweet another account that posted a version of the video that muted the racial slur.

Saturday night, responding to a request for comment by The Washington Post, Schlapp said she deleted her second retweet and apologized for boosting the tweets in the first place.

“I retweeted without watching the full video and I deeply apologize,” Schlapp told The Post. “I deleted the tweet. I would never knowingly promote the use of that word. The intent was that these protesters wanted to call the cops for their own safety despite them wanting to defund the cops.”

Schlapp is also a former White House aide and her husband, Matt Schlapp, is the chairman of the American Conservative Union.

By Samantha Pell
June 6, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT

Congressional Democrats to unveil police reform package

Congressional Democrats are expected to roll out sweeping police reform legislation Monday following nearly two weeks of sustained protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in police custody.

The legislation, called the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, includes an array of measures aimed at boosting law enforcement accountability, improving training and curbing racial profiling by police, according to an outline circulated on Capitol Hill on Saturday and obtained by The Washington Post.

“Persistent, unchecked bias in policing and a history of lack of accountability is wreaking havoc on the Black community,” reads the outline, which lists Floyd’s name along with those of other African Americans who have died in encounters with police officers.

“Cities are literally on fire with the pain and anguish wrought by the violence visited upon black and brown bodies,” it reads. “There are countless others whose stories we will never know.”

The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.).

The bill includes provisions to make it easier to prosecute officers for misconduct, changing federal law so that victims of excessive force or other violations need only show that officers “recklessly” deprived them of their rights. The current statute requires victims to show that officers’ actions were “willful.”

Under the legislation, plaintiffs would also have a lower bar for suing officers in civil court for alleged civil rights violations.

The bill would also expand the Justice Department’s powers to investigate and prosecute police misconduct, and would create a “national police misconduct registry” to compile complaints and discipline records, according to the outline.

“While there is no single policy prescription that will erase the decades of systemic racism and excessive policing,” the outline reads, “it’s time we create structural change with meaningful reforms.”

Paul Kane contributed to this report.

By Derek Hawkins
June 6, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT

Cities experience some of their biggest protests nearly two weeks after Floyd’s death

Cities around the country saw some of their largest protests nearly two weeks after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis sparked a new and insistent wave of activism against police violence.

In San Francisco, people brought traffic to a halt on the Golden Gate Bridge. Protesters from Iowa City to Miami have shut down highways this week.

In Philadelphia, the mayor and the police commissioner knelt in a show of solidarity as thousands massed in the streets and visited City Hall. Demonstrations there had turned violent and destructive in the past week, leaving businesses burned and both officers and protesters injured. But Saturday’s outpouring has been peaceful, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“We must focus on reconciliation, understanding, listening — and yes, action,” Mayor Jim Kenney (D) tweeted.

Reporter Josh Albert captured a wedding.

Dozens of protests were planned throughout the day in New York City, with tens of thousands out in the streets — many of them marching from Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and eventually crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in Manhattan. There have not been clashes, though police have continued to arrest protesters who stay out after curfew.

A massive protest in Chicago swelled to 30,000 — the biggest organized march there since the past Saturday when outrage over Floyd’s death gave way to a riot and subsequent looting that lasted for days. Police said Saturday afternoon there have been no arrests.

In Washington, D.C., people filled downtown in what could be the largest collection of protests since Floyd’s death. Many headed for the White house, which has come to resemble a fortress as the security perimeter grows.

Mark Guarino and Kayla B. Ruble contributed to this report.

By Hannah Knowles
June 6, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT

Protesters fill the streets of the boroughs of New York

NEW YORK — Several thousand demonstrators marched from Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza at noon Saturday, walking through the borough and eventually crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge to New York city hall in Manhattan. The event was just one of dozens of protests planned throughout the day in the city, with tens of thousands of people out in the streets.

The first protests kicked off around 11 a.m., with demonstrators meeting at dozens of locations across the city’s five boroughs and continuing to do so sporadically later in the day. Multiple waves of rallies and marches are expected at such places as Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and Washington Square Park in Manhattan.

In a city hit hard by the coronavirus, parents could be seen carrying children on their shoulders, and even blocks away from the marches, the sidewalks were filled with people walking to and from protests, carrying signs at their sides. Police officers have been escorting participants of the marches, which have so far been free of clashes.

By Kayla B. Ruble
June 6, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT

Thousands defy police orders in Paris to protest police violence for the second time in a week

PARIS — Thousands of protesters again defied police orders in Paris on Saturday, marching against police brutality in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing. Other marches took place in smaller cities across France.

The marches followed an earlier one in Paris on Tuesday, when approximately 20,000 gathered in memory of Floyd and Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who died in the custody of French police in 2016.

Police had banned these demonstrations on the grounds that they violated the French government’s public health guidelines limiting large public gatherings designed to curb the further spread of the coronavirus.

This week, France officially entered its second stage of deconfinement, but the Paris area, which has a higher number of confirmed cases than elsewhere in the country, is subject to more restrictions than elsewhere in France.

The march Saturday was held in the center of the French capital near the Eiffel Tower, whereas Tuesday’s march had been on the northern edge of the city, by the Justice Tribunal.

Saturday’s marches were largely peaceful, while Tuesday’s featured police using tear gas in isolated instances as well as clashing with protesters, according to French media reports.

By James McAuley
June 6, 2020 at 4:17 PM EDT

‘We pushed the army away from our city’: D.C. mayor tells protesters at Black Lives Matter Plaza

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser doubled down Saturday on her condemnations of federal police actions and out-of-state National Guard presence in the District, declaring victory in a battle for control amid mass protests: “Today, we pushed the army away from our city,” she told thousands gathered on the street she has renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.

The pointed re-christening of the road right in front of the White House came as Bowser continues to clash with President Trump over the local response to demonstrations against police brutality. Days after federal police sent peaceful protesters here running from tear gas, the Pentagon told National Guardsmen deployed to the District not to use firearms or ammunition and has issued orders to send home active-duty troops amassed nearby.

“You know if you’re like me, on Monday you saw something you hoped to never see in the United States of America: federal police moving on American people protesting peacefully in front of the people’s house,” Bowser said Saturday.

She said of the out-of-state National Guard members she’s asked to leave: “If they can take over Washington, D.C., they can come for any state, and none of us will be safe. … Our soldiers should not be treated that way. They should not be asked to move on American citizens.”

Protesters had asked Bowser to speak as she showed up in a T-shirt and leggings to greet them.

“I guess you told Trump about the yellow brick road!” a man called to her as she made her way down the street.

Flanked by five security guards sweating in suits, Bowser posed for selfies until the organizer leading the crowd in chants announced her presence: “She’s a lady boss!”

“We would like to hear from you,” he said, handing the mayor the microphone.

To cheers, she spoke at one point of her 2-year-old daughter.

“I want to grow up in a country where she is not scared to go to the grocery store, not scared to go to work,” she said. “Where she can grow up in an America where she can be a senator in the 51st state, Washington, D.C.”

She ended her two minutes on the microphone with a slogan, ready-made to antagonize Trump: “Today we say no. In November, we say next.”

By Jessica Contrera and Hannah Knowles
June 6, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT

Thousands gather in central London to voice support for Black Lives Matter movement

LONDON — Protesters descended on central London on Saturday to pay tribute to George Floyd and to stand in solidarity with those around the world supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

On a drizzly Saturday afternoon, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Parliament Square, despite government ministers urging people not to meet in groups of more than six given the current coronavirus restrictions.

Several people wore masks. Thousands chanted “black lives matter” as they took a knee.

Some carried placards reading “UK is not innocent” and “the racism that killed George Floyd was built in Britain.”

The protests were largely peaceful, but around 6 p.m., a handful of protesters clashed with police outside of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister. Some videos posted on social media showed mounted police charging through the crowd, while protesters threw objects. One of the mounted police officers fell off her horse after she hit a traffic light. The horse then bolted through the crowd.

Protests are planned around the world this weekend — in Britain alone, this includes London, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield. On Sunday, demonstrators were planning to gather outside of the new U.S. Embassy near the River Thames.

British campaigners were keen to point out that the anti-racism protests were not merely about the situation in the United States.

“Anti-blackness is taught around the world,” said Salamat, 22, a graphic design student from London. “We do need to get rid of that narrative.”

By Karla Adam
June 6, 2020 at 3:07 PM EDT

Ivanka Trump tweets about ‘cancel culture’ after virtual commencement speech is canceled

First daughter Ivanka Trump criticized “cancel culture” and “viewpoint discrimination” after Wichita State University abruptly dropped her as a speaker at a virtual commencement being held Saturday. The university’s tech president cited “insensitive” timing given the weekend’s events: nationwide protests over racism and George Floyd’s death.

In a Friday night tweet, Trump shared the speech she recorded last month to give at the commencement and lamented that “our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia.”

The day before, hours after sharing news that Trump would be virtually headlining the event, Wichita State President Jay Golden and the university’s technical college president, Sheree Utash, published an update taking it back.

“Earlier today, WSU Tech announced that Ivanka Trump, adviser to President Donald Trump, is a planned speaker at the college’s virtual commencement this weekend,” they wrote in a statement. “The WSU Tech commencement plans have been refocused more centrally on students — student voices in particular.” A nursing graduate would now be the only speaker.

Utash then followed up with a personal statement taking responsibility for the announcement and Ivanka’s removal from the program.

“In light of the social justice issues brought forth by George Floyd’s death, I understand and take responsibility that the timing of the announcement was insensitive,” she wrote, adding, “The college stands with those who fight injustice and advocate for social equity, and we’re profoundly proud of the diversity and social change being brought forth by our students, alumni, faculty, and staff.”

By Miriam Berger
June 6, 2020 at 2:33 PM EDT

Crowd estimated at more than 30,000 marches in Chicago with no arrests

CHICAGO — Tens of thousands filled the streets as a march that started in the Fulton Market area lasted nearly two hours and stretched for at least a mile. Police estimated the crowd at more than 30,000 and said Saturday afternoon there had been no arrests.

It was the biggest organized march here since the past Saturday when a march against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned into a riot and subsequent looting that lasted for days.

The path of the march, titled “the Chicago March For Justice,” was kept secret. Hundreds of police officers accompanied the marchers; the greatest presence was around the 18th District police station. There, barricades and police on horses and in large groups created a protective perimeter.

An organizer, who did not give his name, told the crowd that they requested the police not wear riot gear, have a limited presence in Union Park and not obstruct marchers.

“I just want to say they complied with all of those demands,” he said. “So what we know it is possible for them to honor their word. It is possible for them to be peaceful. Keep that in mind. Because if they meet our demands today, they will meet our demands a year from now and forever in the future.”

A police lieutenant who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record, said the protesters “already lied” to them by saying they would head in one direction when they did not. “Like herding cattle,” he said. No permits were given for the march.

For Jessica Cruz, 29, it was the first march she has attended. “I want to be part of change,” she said. “I was raised to believe everyone is equal, and I want the government to see that too.”

A resident of the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side, she brought her 4-year-old daughter, who is of mixed race, she said. “I needed her to see that her life matters, too,” she said.

In Union Park, speakers said the names of the many unarmed black people killed by police in past years, including Laquan McDonald, the Chicago teenager killed in 2014. “Sixteen shots!” the crowd repeated, evoking the number of bullets fired into his body by a lone police officer who today is in federal prison.

At one point, the entire crowd fell to its knees in unison, protesters’ right arms raised in silence for at least 30 seconds.

By Mark Guarino
June 6, 2020 at 2:14 PM EDT

Romney cites father’s participation in civil rights march, days after Trump pushed for aggressive response

As protests continued Saturday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) invoked his late father’s participation in a ’60s-era civil rights march in Detroit.

Days after Trump pushed for an aggressive response to unrest across the country, the senator took to Twitter and Facebook to share a photo of then-Michigan Gov. George Romney (R) walking alongside protesters.

“Force alone will not eliminate riots,” the senator wrote, quoting his father. “We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.”

The elder Romney, who was governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969 and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973, had a record of championing civil rights, at times putting him at odds with members of his own party.

Despite that, he told the Grosse Pointe News while joining a 1963 march, “I am here because the issues involved in this march today are so fundamental that they are above the partisan level.”

Mitt Romney previously spoke out regarding Floyd’s death, writing in a May 28 tweet that “No Americans should fear enmity and harm from those sworn to protect us.”

“The death of George Floyd must not be in vain: Our shock and outrage must grow into collective determination to extinguish forever such racist abuse,” he added.

In a May 30 tweet, he offered support for peaceful protests that underscore “the urgency of addressing injustices” but condemned violence that “drowns the message of the protestors and mocks the principles of justice.”

By Brittany Shammas
June 6, 2020 at 1:40 PM EDT

‘Black Lives Matter’ painted across Sacramento’s Capitol Mall

Sacramento artist Demetris “BAMR” Washington put out a message on his Instagram account Friday: “Come out and help me paint “Black Lives Matter” on the Caption [Capitol] Mall Strip! Permitted by Councilman Steve Hansen! PS. Black paint is most needed.”

And volunteers heeded the call. Friday night they swept the lawn to prepare it for painting. By Saturday morning, Sacramento had joined the District of Columbia in putting front-and-center by a seat of government the message echoing in protests across the country: Black Lives Matter.

“SACRAMENTO, I tip my hat to you and will be forever grateful that y’all gave me this experience!” Washington posted on Instagram Saturday morning. “With at least 300 helpers, we were able to finsh this in 5 hours! I’m still sore/ exhausted but hoping to make it to the rally at 10 am this morning.”

By Miriam Berger
June 6, 2020 at 12:44 PM EDT

A dozen Texas GOP county chairs shared George Floyd conspiracy theories and racists memes

One social media post shares an advertisement falsely claiming that George Soros, the liberal billionaire, is offering to pay anarchists who riot in the name of George Floyd.

Another asks a series of 21 “puzzling questions” about Floyd’s death, including “Can someone really not breathe when someone kneels on his neck and is the victim really able to speak for considerable periods of time if he can’t breathe?”

A third features a photo from the 1992 Los Angeles riots of a crashed truck and a person lying on the ground, bleeding from the head, with the caption: “This is why you don’t brake for ‘protesters.’”

These posts, shared in recent days by seven Republican county leaders in Texas, were discovered after top state officials condemned five other GOP chairs Thursday for similar racist and conspiratorial posts, the Texas Tribune reported.

Four Republican county leaders, who shared a conspiracy theory that Floyd’s death was staged to erode black support for President Trump, are being called on to resign by their own party. At least two of those four have said they wouldn’t resign.

In a statement Saturday, the Republican Party of Texas tried to shift the focus to the media and Democrats.

“The Republican Party of Texas has made its position and values clear. Reporters dug through Republican county chairs’ social media with a fervor we have not seen from the press in decades," the statement said. “Given what we all know about Joe ‘you ain’t black’ Biden’s and the Democrat Party’s horrible track record on race, we can only imagine what they will find when they do the same with the Texas Democrat Party.”

When contacted by the Tribune, several of the chairs defended their posts.

Cindy Weatherby, Reagan County’s GOP chair, who shared the 21 questions post, told the Tribune that if “humans don’t question, there’s something wrong with us.” She said the comments reflect her personal beliefs, not her role as the GOP chairwoman.

Top Texas Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have called the posts that suggested Floyd’s murder was staged “disgusting.”

“I have said it before and I will say it again now: the GOP must not tolerate racism. Of any kind. At any time,” George P. Bush, the state’s land commissioner, wrote on Twitter late Thursday. “I urge them to do the honorable thing and step aside now.”

By Meryl Kornfield and Teo Armus
June 6, 2020 at 12:39 PM EDT

As many as 15,000 protesters rally against racism in Berlin

BERLIN — Thousands gathered in Berlin on Saturday to protest the killing of George Floyd and call on Germany to do more to address its own racism problem.

“This isn’t an American thing,” read the sign of one demonstrator who had climbed on top of a central fountain in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. “Black lives matter everywhere.”

German press reports citing police figures put the number of attendees at 15,000.

Largely dressed in black and wearing face masks in accordance with a request from organizers, protesters crammed the central Berlin square for what had originally been planned as a silent “no to racism” demonstration.

As numbers swelled, police requested demonstrators gather in surrounding areas, tweeting that Alexanderplaz was “full.”

Germany is grappling with a resurgent far right and its own historic issues of racism, and Floyd’s killing has sparked renewed debate over discrimination, representation and attacks targeting people of color.

“Nazis out,” the crowd chanted, in addition to refrains cursing President Trump and calling for justice.

“I’m angry,” said 22-year-old Nadia Garelnabi, who had joined the demonstration with a group of friends. “About America but Germany also, the color of your skin can get you killed here, too.”

Maike Leifeld, a 28-year-old white German, came with her black partner Abdoloulie Jarju, 39. “We feel racism every day,” she said, their baby strapped to her chest. “I feel it in the politics, in the society, and the family. People judge us.”

Jarju was hopeful.

“When you see something happening in America, and thousands of people are on the streets in Berlin fighting for justice,” he said. “It feels like something might change.”

Other protests took place in cities across Germany including Düsseldorf and Munich, where soccer players for Bayern Munich took to the field Saturday wearing Black Lives Matters shirts.

By Loveday Morris
June 6, 2020 at 12:12 PM EDT

Two Buffalo officers charged after 75-year-old protester is shown shoved, injured in video

Two Buffalo police officers have been charged with assault after video surfaced that showed police pushing an elderly protester to the ground.

Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, turned themselves in Saturday, a day after a video of officers shoving 75-year-old Martin Gugino circulated widely. In the video, Gugino falls to the ground and appears to bleed from his ear.

The video led to the officers’ suspension, which triggered reaction among police: 57 members of the department resigned en masse from the special response squad in protest.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 6, 2020 at 11:58 AM EDT

Fuji distributor suspends bike sales to U.S. police agencies, citing ‘violent tactics’

BikeCo, the North American distributor of Fuji Bikes, said it is suspending the sale of police bicycles after seeing officers use them “in violent tactics” during the last week of protests.

Videos shared on social media have shown bikes being wielded by police “as a mix between a riot shield and a baton,” Forbes reported, used to push back crowds and batter protesters.

That is not what Fuji had in mind when it designed bikes for law enforcement use, BikeCo said in a statement shared on Instagram.

“We had always viewed the use of our bicycles by police, fire, security and EMS as one of the better forms of community outreach,” it said, adding that officers on bikes can “better connect with and understand the neighborhood.”

View this post on Instagram

Fuji’s core values have always been rooted in supporting communities and organizations that are making real change at home and abroad. To hear that there are instances where bicycles have been used as a weapon against those who are vulnerable, those speaking out against the unjust treatment of people of color, and those standing alongside them advocating change, has deeply upset our community, our company and the heart of the Fuji brand. We support many diverse organizations and athletes--not for marketing stories, but because we truly want to make a difference in our community. To have these efforts overshadowed by cases of violence with bicycles is unacceptable. We have seen instances in the last week where police have used bicycles in violent tactics, which we did not intend or design our bicycles for. We had always viewed the use of our bicycles by police, fire, security and EMS as one of the better forms of community outreach. Community police on bikes can better connect with and understand the neighborhood, facilitating positive relationships between law enforcement and the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect. In an effort to make real change, we are beginning a dialogue with police departments nationwide to address how bikes are used in police activity and to ensure that police’s on-bike training reinforces that bicycles are not a weapon against our community. At this time, we are suspending the sale of Fuji police bikes until a conversation with these departments has occurred and we are confident that real change is being made. We also must stand together against the mistreatment and abuse of the Black and Brown community. We will continue to look within our company and our core values to do better because our Fuji family deserves better. We stand with you and look forward to doing our part to do better. - BikeCo,LLC: North American distributor of Fuji Bicycles.

A post shared by Fuji Bikes (@fujibikes) on

The company said that learning they had been used “as a weapon against those who are vulnerable, those speaking out against the unjust treatment of people of color, and those standing alongside them advocating change, has deeply upset our community, our company and the heart of the Fuji brand.”

BikeCo said it is now beginning a dialogue with police agencies across the country to address how officers use bikes and to reinforce that they are not a weapon.

The suspension of police bike sales will continue “until a conversation with these departments has occurred and we are confident that real change is being made,” the company’s statement said.

By Brittany Shammas
June 6, 2020 at 11:22 AM EDT

Some white people are pouring out their hearts — and sending money — to their black acquaintances

Parker Gillian laughed the first time a white co-worker sent her money unprompted. It was all she could do.

Since protests erupted last week over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Gillian had been hearing from white acquaintances who wanted to check in on her well-being. There was a straightforward logic to it: She is a young black woman in Chicago, and there is a civil rights movement playing out nationwide, on streets and on screens, with black people at its center.

But some of the people who reached out were not especially close to her. And even those who were actually friends seemed to subtly ask for her guidance about how they, Good White Allies, should handle the moment. The wave of good intentions started to feel like a riptide. Then on Monday night the direct message popped up on her Instagram account.

By Jose Del Real
June 6, 2020 at 10:21 AM EDT

Two NYPD officers suspended after videos captured force against protesters

Two New York Police Department officers have been suspended without pay due to their use of force against protesters.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a Friday statement that the department’s internal affairs bureau had completed investigations and were weighing disciplinary action in two incidents from last week’s protests, both of which were captured on camera.

“The actions by these officers stand apart from the restrained work of the thousands of police officers who have worked tirelessly to protect those who are peacefully protesting and keep all New Yorkers safe,” Shea said in the statement.

In the first incident, a police officer pushed a woman to the ground on May 29 near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In addition to the officer’s suspension, a supervisor who was on scene is being transferred. In the second incident, an officer pulled down a man’s face mask and pepper sprayed him on May 30.

Both cases have been referred for potential disciplinary action.

In a Saturday tweet about the disciplinary action, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) wrote: “New Yorkers deserve accountability. We can’t have trust between police and community without it.”

By Brittany Shammas
June 6, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT

From Australia to Berlin to Tokyo, solidarity protests echo chants in the United States

They’re the shouts now heard around the world: George Floyd. Black lives matter. No justice, no peace.

On Saturday, protests were held in multiple countries in solidarity with Black Lives Matter demonstrators in the United States and against incidents of racism and police brutality at home.

In South Korea and Japan, groups marched through the streets and gathered near the U.S. embassies in Seoul and Tokyo.

In Paris, police blocked demonstrators from holding a protest planned for Saturday, saying the gathering could lead to the coronavirus spreading and to public unrest. Some still went out anyway. And elsewhere in Europe, despite official warnings about the threat of covid-19 and potential violence, protests were held in London and Berlin.

In Australia, tens of thousands of people gathered in Sydney, Melbourne and other cities to decry the killing of George Floyd while in police custody, as well as the country’s own cases of police brutality and discrimination targeting aboriginals, or first inhabitants. Officials in Sydney originally refused to authorize the protest, citing the coronavirus, but demonstrators had already gathered in front of the town hall on Saturday morning before a last-minute court ruling overturned the ban.

Sydney’s march went ahead and remained largely peaceful. But by evening, police had reportedly fired pepper spray at a small crowd of demonstrators and arrested several after clashes broke out in Sydney’s Central Station.

In Melbourne, organizers of the group Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance faced a different cost for the day’s action: They were each fined about $1,500 for holding the event after the chief medical officer banned it, citing coronavirus restrictions.

By Miriam Berger
June 6, 2020 at 8:07 AM EDT

Videos reveal violence that was contradicted by police accounts

The morning after George Floyd’s last gasps underneath a policeman’s knee, the Minneapolis Police Department wrote that Floyd had “physically resisted” officers, who noted he “appeared to be suffering medical distress.”

That news release went online hours before video revealed two things the public may have never learned otherwise: the source of his distress was nearly nine minutes of Derek Chauvin’s leg pressed into Floyd’s neck, and there is little evidence, if any, that Floyd resisted officers.

The pattern — video of violent police encounters that contrast sharply with accounts by the departments or their unions — has repeated with grim symmetry in the days since Floyd’s death. Numerous incidents, from Philadelphia to Buffalo, have captured the rage of the public who point to inaccurate or outright misleading descriptions of what has occurred before their eyes.

Taken together, the incidents show how instant verification of police accounts have altered the landscape of accountability. “We certainly, as a profession, have been diminished by events that have been witnessed on video over the course of the last couple of weeks,” Jim Pasco, executive director of the national Fraternal Order of Police, a labor union, told The Washington Post.

Read more here.

By Alex Horton
June 6, 2020 at 7:20 AM EDT

Protesters and police clash again in Portland

Protesters and police clashed early Saturday in Portland, Ore., where tensions have continued to escalate almost nightly around a county justice center that was set aflame last week.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday local time, the Portland Police Department declared that a demonstration there had become an unlawful assembly amid reports that bottles and fireworks were being thrown at officers. The department wrote on Twitter that lasers were being pointed at officers, while others were being hit with slingshot rounds.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said it deployed gas and later tear gas as deputies tried to disperse the crowd.

By 4 a.m. local time, the crowd had left the area, police said, adding: “20 adults arrested, 1 Juvenile detained.”

On Twitter, the authorities displayed items they said were thrown at officers, including “full beverage cans, bricks, bottles, rocks, food.”

Before the confrontations spilled into early Saturday, a ninth day of protests in Portland following George Floyd’s death featured largely peaceful demonstrations throughout the city, local news reports said.

The Oregonian newspaper reported that local officials have closely scrutinized officers’ responses to earlier protests. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D), the paper reported, hinted to some demonstrators that he may make an announcement later Saturday banning the use of tear gas, which would follow Seattle’s lead after the city enacted a ban on police use of the chemical agent for the next 30 days.

The use of tear gas against demonstrators has become an increasingly controversial tactic, especially after some medical experts said the respiratory responses it is designed to elicit could worsen the spread of the novel coronavirus.

By Brent Griffiths
June 6, 2020 at 6:44 AM EDT

Federal judge orders Denver police to stop firing tear gas, rubber bullets at protesters

A federal judge ruled late Friday night that the Denver Police Department must stop using “chemical weapons or projectiles against peaceful protesters” after four protesters filed suit against the city of Denver.

“If a store’s windows must be broken to prevent a protestor’s facial bones from being broken or eye being permanently damaged, that is more than a fair trade,” U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson wrote. “If a building must be graffiti-ed to prevent the suppression of free speech, that is a fair trade. The threat to physical safety and free speech outweighs the threat to property.”

Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, added that “the Denver Police Department has failed in its duty to police its own.” The protesters who brought the suit presented video evidence that showed officers using pepper spray on protesters, “none of whom appeared to be engaging in violence or destructive behavior,” the judge wrote. Jackson reviewed video evidence of projectiles knocking out a peaceful protester and hitting a protester’s eyes, causing serious injuries.

Police officers’ use of tear gas and other nonlethal crowd-control measures has come under intense national scrutiny, notably after largely peaceful protesters were forcibly cleared from Lafayette Square outside the White House on Monday so that President Trump could stage a photo op with a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Jackson said he recognizes the difficulty in enforcing his order, so he is allowing force to be authorized by only high-ranking supervisors who are on the scene themselves and who personally witnesses violence or destruction.

The 11-page decision details other restrictions on Denver police officers or others who assist them at demonstrations. They stipulate that rubber bullets can never be aimed at the head, pelvis or back or shot indiscriminately into a crowd. Officers must also wear body cameras that are recording at all times, his decision said.

The Denver Police Department said on Twitter that “we will comply with the judge’s directions, many of which are already in line with our community-consulted Use of Force Policy.” The department added that it is “asking for modifications to the Order that would account for limitations on staffing and body-worn cameras so the directions can be operationalized.”

By Brent Griffiths
June 6, 2020 at 4:29 AM EDT

Police face damage to their image from videos capturing brutality

Police in riot gear were marching across a mostly empty plaza in Buffalo when two officers shoved a lone 75-year-old man who stood in their way. He fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete. Officers marched past him as he lay motionless and bleeding from the ear.

In New York, officers clubbed nonviolent protesters several nights running. In Philadelphia, a high-ranking police official hit an unarmed protester in the head with a metal baton. In Erie, Pa., a woman sitting in front of police was hit with gas, then kicked over by an advancing officer.

These were scenes not seen so widely in the United States in decades, scenes that police training, recruitment and reform were intended to prevent: officers striking unarmed protesters, in the heart of American cities, carrying out orders.

Even among police leaders, there is a sense that these incidents — and, in some cases, misleading official accounts given before the videos emerged — could do lasting damage to the image of American police, most of whom have never been involved in violent encounters with anyone.

Read more here.

By Kimberly Kindy, Shayna Jacobs and David Fahrenthold
June 6, 2020 at 2:43 AM EDT

New York mostly peaceful after dark, but some clashes reported

Protesters in New York mostly returned home Friday night, but police made some arrests as political pressure mounted over the city’s continuing curfew.

In Brooklyn, a protester said he urged those around him engaged in a standoff with police to leave the site of their demonstration in Prospect Heights and go home. His hope was to avoid the violent clashes that were more common earlier this week.

“I’ve been out here every day since these protests started, and I’ve seen the worst of it,” Randy Williams told local TV station NY1. “And I don’t want anyone else to get hurt.”

In Clinton Hill, another neighborhood in the borough, one protester announced to the crowd, “You are nothing less to the cause if you’re not here after curfew,” the New York Times reported.

Nevertheless, some clashes with NYPD officers took place. A video posted on social media showed officers shoving a reporter after making arrests in Brooklyn.

The Times reported that on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, police blocked a march that started near Mayor Bill de Blasio’s official residence. About 20 people were arrested, and some were forced to the ground.

Many of the arrests reportedly came after the city’s curfew passed. De Blasio has defended his decision to leave a curfew in place each night until Monday morning as cities such as Washington begin to lift theirs.

New York civil rights groups threatened Friday night to sue de Blasio if he extends his order. A number of local politicians, including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, have also called on the mayor to lift the curfew.

By Brent Griffiths
June 6, 2020 at 12:28 AM EDT

Drew Brees says Trump is wrong about anthem protests

NFL star Drew Brees rejected President Trump’s assertion that he had nothing to apologize for after Brees changed his views on national anthem protests amid a public outcry over comments the 2010 Super Bowl MVP made earlier this week.

“I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities,” Brees said in an Instagram post addressed to Trump’s account.

Trump said the New Orleans Saints quarterback should not have apologized when he reiterated his view earlier this week that players kneeling during the national anthem were disrespecting the American flag.

“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Saints teammate Michael Thomas among others slammed Brees for making such a statement in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Leading black players, including New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and reining Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, later released a video saying “I am George Floyd” and calling on the league to apologize for its handling of the protests that began in 2016 with Colin Kaepernick.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a video statement that the league erred in how it handled the protests. Trump put immense pressure on the league to punish such actions in 2017 and called on officials to get rid of players who knelt during the anthem.

By Brent Griffiths