JUNE 2, 2020
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.”
Clashes between police and the public on Tuesday were largely peaceful, as a second week of protests over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody began. Major cities continued with widespread curfews, and the National Guard attempted to prevent another night of violence and chaos after dark.
Here are some significant developments:
- Attorney General William P. Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials on the ground to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square in Washington to push back protesters just before President Trump spoke Monday, a Justice Department official said.
- Authorities in Las Vegas say a police officer is in critical condition after being shot while attempting to quell unruly protesters. In St. Louis, four officers were shot overnight but were not critically wounded.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked a resolution offered by Senate Democrats that would have condemned President Trump for the actions near the White House on Monday night.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke with protesters outside Lafayette Square 30 minutes before curfew in the District. “It’s important that we get out on the front lines and call out racism everywhere,” the former Democratic presidential candidate said.
- 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.
- Former president George W. Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush are “anguished” by the death of Floyd. Bush, a Republican, also said “it remains a shocking failure” that black men are “harassed and threatened in their own country.”
- 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.
9:11 PM: 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
9:07 PM: 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
9:05 PM: 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
8:18 PM: 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
8:17 PM: 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
8:12 PM: 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
7:47 PM: 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
7:33 PM: 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
7:28 PM: 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
7:26 PM: 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
7:11 PM: 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
6:39 PM: 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
6:09 PM: ‘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
5:48 PM: 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
5:45 PM: McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over clearing of peaceful protesters
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked a resolution 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.
The resolution also 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 “that violence and looting are unlawful, unacceptable and contrary to the purpose of peaceful protests.”
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) 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.”
By: Felicia Sonmez
5:35 PM: 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
5:09 PM: 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
5:07 PM: 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
4:46 PM: 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
4:31 PM: 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
4:19 PM: 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
4:10 PM: 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 breaks.”
By: Ben Guarino
3:53 PM: 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
3:25 PM: 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
2:55 PM: 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
2:47 PM: 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
2:13 PM: 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
2:02 PM: 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
1:57 PM: 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
1:52 PM: 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.
By: Sheila Regan
1:37 PM: 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
1:26 PM: 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
1:12 PM: 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
12:53 PM: 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
12:45 PM: 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
11:58 AM: 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
11:39 AM: 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
11:36 AM: 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
11:23 AM: 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
11:22 AM: 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
10:35 AM: 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
9:58 AM: 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
9:47 AM: 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
9:41 AM: 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
9:26 AM: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich criticizes Trump as a ‘deranged idiot,’ who lacks leadership amid protests
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
8:52 AM: 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
8:51 AM: 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
8:42 AM: 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
7:50 AM: 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
7:03 AM: 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
6:00 AM: 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
5:46 AM: 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
5:10 AM: 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
4:26 AM: 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.
“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
4:15 AM: 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
4:02 AM: 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
3:24 AM: 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
3:20 AM: 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
3:02 AM: 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
1:56 AM: 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.
Courtesy/Source: Washington Post