George Floyd protest updates: All 4 officers now facing charges – National News
Written by admin on June 4, 2020
By JON HAWORTH and ELLA TORRES, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white Minnesota police officer, has sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the United States.
Second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, the officer who prosecutors say held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Three other officers have also been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter.
Chauvin and the other three officers at the scene, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng, have been fired. The Department of Justice is investigating.
This story is being updated throughout the day Wednesday. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern:
6:30 p.m.: Park Police officers put on admin duty following attack on Australian reporters
The U.S. Park Police department tweeted out a statement concerning an incident where officers were seen hitting and harassing members of the Australian press.
The incident took place Monday night when Attorney General William Barr ordered Lafayette Park cleared out of peaceful protesters prior to President Donald Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Church. Channel 7 News reporter Amelia Brace was pushed out of the way, while her cameraman was punched by an officer and hit with his shield and nightstick.
“As is consistent with our established practices and procedures, two U.S. Park Police officers have been assigned to administrative duties, while an investigation takes place,” U.S. Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan said in a statement.
6:13 p.m.: DC mayor heckled by protesters after she doesn’t take knee
Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser made an appearance at the protests outside of the White House.
The mayor did not take a knee or chant with the crowd and they responded with cursing and shouts. Bowser stressed that she wants people to continue to peacefully protest.
“We want people to peacefully protest. Nobody wants anybody who is bent on destruction,” she told ABC News. “People have grievances that must be heard.”
Asked to evaluate the president’s response so far, Bowser said, “I think to insinuate, or actually bring the United States military into an American city, is unconscionable and may be illegal.”
It was a hot, muggy day in Washington with temperatures hitting a high in the 90s. The crowd was large, but smaller than it had been yesterday.
5:20 p.m.: St. John’s bishop says Trump should be replaced
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, continued to express her frustration with President Donald Trump’s photo op outside the damaged St. John’s Episcopal Church Monday evening.
Speaking outside the church, Budde told ABC News she is done trying to talk to the president.
“We need to replace President Trump. We need leadership that will lead us in ways that this country deserves,” she told ABC News.
Budde said the press should be focusing on the message of the protesters around the country.
“It is a message of a call for justice — for swift justice — for George Floyd,” she said, “for systemic justice for all brown and black people who have been under the knee of this country in ways that we have witnessed time and again.”
3:26 p.m.: 3 other officers charged
Three other former Minnesota police officers have been charged in the death of George Floyd, court records show.
Thomas Lane, 37, Tou Thao, 34, and J Alexander Kueng, 26, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter, according to the court records.
The maximum punishment for each is no more than 10 years of prison.
Lane and Kueng were the first two officers at the scene at 8:08 p.m., according to a criminal complaint. A 911 call had come in about a man allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy merchandise at Cup Foods, the complaint read.
Floyd was in the driver’s seat of a car by the time Lane and Kueng arrived, and when the officers approached the vehicle, Lane at one point pulled his gun, the complaint read. Lane put his gun back in its holster after Floyd put his hands on the steering wheel.
Floyd was then pulled out of the car, handcuffed, and sat on a sidewalk, according to the complaint.
Officers then tried to put Floyd in a squad car after informing him he was under arrest, but he stiffened up and fell to the ground, according to the complaint. Floyd told the officers he was not resisting, but did not want to get in the back seat and was claustrophobic.
Chauvin and Thao then arrived at the scene in a separate car.
They all tried to force Floyd into the backseat, during which time Floyd said he could not breathe, according to the complaint.
Chauvin eventually pulled Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19 p.m. and Floyd fell to the ground face down, still handcuffed, according to the complaint.
“Officer Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Officer Lane held his legs. Officer Chauvin placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, ‘I can’t breathe’ multiple times and repeatedly said, ‘Mama’ and ‘please,’ as well. At one point, Mr. Floyd said ‘I’m about to die.’ Officer Chauvin and the other two officers stayed in their positions,” the complaint reads.
Floyd’s movements and sounds stopped at 8:24 p.m.
At 8:25 p.m., body camera video appears to show Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane asks, “want to roll him on his side” and Kueng checks Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse, but says he cannot find one.
“None of the officers moved from their positions,” the complaint reads.
Two minutes after that, Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck and an ambulance arrives. Floyd was pronounced death at the Hennepin County Medical Center.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Floyd’s family, called the charges a “bittersweet” moment for the family.
“This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest,” Crump said in a statement. “That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time.”
3:04 p.m.: Charges increased for Chauvin to 2nd-degree murder
The charges against former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin have been increased to second-degree murder, court records show.
Chauvin, who was the officer seen on video with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged last week with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
All three charges are felonies.
2:50 p.m.: Curfews extended in Minnesota, LA county
The state of Minnesota will be under a 10 p.m. curfew again on Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced.
Walz said residents “need more than ever to lean on their neighbors, show up for their communities, and add their voice to this urgent conversation on addressing our systemic problems. Thank you for doing those things peacefully – we again ask you to plan to stay inside beginning at 10.”
Los Angeles County will also remain under a curfew. It begins on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. The start time is later than previous nights.
Residents are asked to stay in their homes during the curfew.
“The countywide curfew does not apply to the following: peace officers; firefighters; National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area; emergency medical services personnel; individuals traveling to and from work; individuals working on a public work of improvement construction project; credentialed media representatives involved in news gathering; people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter; and individuals seeking medical treatment,” according to a statement from the county.
1:13 p.m.: Floyd family attorney expects all officers to be arrested
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing George Floyd’s family, said he is confident that the Minnesota attorney general is “working feverishly to do the right thing.”
“We expect all the police officers to be arrested before we have the memorial here in Minneapolis tomorrow,” Crump said at a press conference at the scene of Floyd’s death.
He said the other officers are “just as guilty for the death of George Floyd as Officer [Derek] Chauvin.” Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three officers involved in the incident have not been arrested or charged.
Crump urged the public to “take a breath.”
“For peace, let’s take a breath. For justice, let’s take a breath. to heal our country and most importantly for George Floyd,” Crump said.
11:53 a.m.: About 30,000 National Guard members activated for protests
There are 74,000 National Guard men and women activated for domestic operations across the country, according to a statement from the National Guard.
About 30,000 are supporting law enforcement amid protests and nearly 40,000 are supporting COVID-19 response efforts, the National Guard said.
The number of National Guard members activated now surpassed the 51,000 Guard personnel that was activated to support Hurricane Katrina response efforts.
Your Lincoln Memorial this evening. pic.twitter.com/QByGgWeDDm
— Martha Raddatz (@MarthaRaddatz) June 3, 2020
“Governors in 31 states and the District of Columbia have activated 30,000 National Guard members to assist state and local law enforcement in support of civil unrest operations,” according to a statement from the National Guard. “The situation remains fluid and the numbers may change rapidly as governors assess their needs.”
Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said the National Guard “is here to help, and we will stay as long as we are needed.”
11:38 p.m.: NYC curfew to remain
New York City will remain under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through June 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. The mayor said he hopes to lift the curfew in time for the city’s phase one of reopening.
Restrictions on transportation will remain in place throughout the week.
De Blasio said that the protests throughout the city last night were calmer than before.
The mayor said that the public needed to turn their attention back to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“As important as the issues are being addressed [in the protests], the single most important thing is the battle against the coronavirus,” de Blasio said.
He encouraged people to stay home to the maximum extent possible, practice social distancing consistently and wear face coverings at all times.
9:36 a.m.: UK police stand with those ‘appalled’ by Floyd’s death
Chief constables from forces across the United Kingdom, the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the chief executive of the College of Policing and the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association have issued a joint statement saying they stand with those “appalled and horrified” at George Floyd’s death.
“We are also appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then,” according to the statement.
The police said justice and accountability should follow.
“In the UK we have a long established tradition of policing by consent, working in communities to prevent crime and solve problems. Officers are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary. We strive to continuously learn and improve. We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it,” the statement said.
The law enforcement officials acknowledged that there is more to do to make relationships between police and the public better.
“Every day, up and down the country, officers and staff are working to strengthen those relationships and address concerns. Only by working closely with our communities do we build trust and help keep people safe,” the statement read.
Around when that statement was released, police officials also publicized statistics that showed black people in London were more likely than their white counterparts to be fined or arrested for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.
8:56 a.m.: Peaceful protests in Massachusetts town end with clashes
Brockton, Massachusetts, Mayor Robert Sullivan addressed protests that began peaceful but ended with confrontations between officers and civilians.
Sullivan said one state trooper was injured by a projectile during the protests.
Peaceful protests dominated the day, but around 8:30 p.m. a person from the crowd set off fireworks and others threw water bottles and rocks at police, according to ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV. Police responded with tear gas canisters to disperse the group.
Some arrests were made, according to Sullivan. He said there was damage reported elsewhere in the town, including a Dunkin’ Donuts that was set on fire and vandalized.
Even as tensions rose in the evening, there was still peace. At one point, four people kneeled with hands up in front of a line of officers.
One man who kneeled told WCVB he “had to stand up for what he believes in,” but didn’t want violence.
“We come in peace,” the man who only identified himself as a Brockton resident told the station. “We don’t want war. We go home; they go home, and everyone is all peaceful. That is all we want.”
5:50 a.m.: NYPD arrest 280 people, looting and vandalism on the decline
The New York Police Department made about 280 arrests during Tuesday night/Wednesday morning protests, a lower tally than previous nights, as the city came under an 8 p.m. curfew and stopped for-hire vehicles, CitiBikes and rental scooters that vandals had used to cause trouble.
There were fewer officers injured as well with only two suffering minor injuries.
There was less vandalism than there has been during previous nights as police sealed off parts of Manhattan even before the curfew took effect.
A standoff on the Manhattan Bridge ended without incident when 5,000 demonstrators returned to Brooklyn after they had been prevented from entering Manhattan.
3:04 a.m.: More than 9,000 people arrested across the country
More than 9,000 people have been arrested in protests across the country since George Floyd’s death, according to reports.
The events leading up to Floyd’s death were filmed, went viral and has been the catalyst for protests nationwide.
Police were called at around 8 p.m. on May 25 by an employee of the Cup Foods convenience store alleging that a customer used a counterfeit bill to pay for cigarettes and that the person appeared drunk, according to the 911 log released by the Minneapolis Police Department.
The employee went to the car outside the store where the customer was sitting and asked him to return the cigarettes, but was denied, according to the 911 call transcript.
The employee described the customer as a 6-foot-6 black man, which was Floyd’s height, and repeated to the 911 operator that he appeared drunk.
Around eight minutes later, Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng arrived at the shop and approached Floyd and two others in the car, according to the criminal complaint. A few minutes after that, officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thoa arrived to help arrest Floyd, which led to Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, the criminal complaint said.
All four officers were fired, but as of Tuesday afternoon, Chauvin is the only one to have been arrested. He was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights filed civil rights charges against the Minneapolis Police Department Tuesday.
1:50 a.m.: 200 arrested in Houston; Police stress that majority of protesters were peaceful
The Houston Police Department announced that they made more than 200 arrests in downtown Houston yesterday and last night involving people engaged in criminal conduct, including throwing rocks and bottles at officers, and people who refused to clear the streets when they were ordered to do so.
“This is an extremely low number of arrests considering the thousands of people in our community who marched and demonstrated peacefully today,” the HPD said in a tweet. “We’re not aware of any significant property damage or injuries. We will have updated arrest numbers/info later this morning.”
1:09 a.m.: Prince George’s County police suspends three officers for use of force
After seeing cellphone footage of two officers using excessive force while detaining a suspect at a Langley Park gas station in Maryland, Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department and the department’s executive command staff made the decision to immediately suspend the two involved officers and their supervisor while the incident is investigated.
In the video, while attempting to handcuff the suspect, one of the officers can be seen kicking the suspect twice.
“I am sorry and I am angry. I am sharing the video in the interest of transparency. During my tenure as Chief of Police, four officers have been criminally prosecuted for assault. This will be thoroughly investigated and in keeping with past practice, the findings will be referred to the Office of the State’s Attorney,” said Chief Hank Stawinski.
The preliminary investigation revealed the officer who used force observed an assault and attempted to detain the involved suspects. After a foot chase that ended at the gas station, he was able to handcuff one suspect. He is then seen on the video taking the second suspect to the ground.
When a backup officer arrived, that second officer assisted the first officer in the apprehension. During that attempt to handcuff the suspect, the first officer kicked the suspect. The two suspects were ultimately released when the assault victim could not be located.
12:31 a.m.: DC National Guard has directed an investigation into use of medical helicopter to target, disperse DC protesters
The Washington, D.C. National Guard has announced that they are directing an investigation into the actions of their rotary aviation assets on June 1 after it was reported that their medical helicopters were used to target protesters.
According to The Washington Post, numerous videos were posted on social media showing a Lakota medevac helicopter with Red Cross markings hovering very low over demonstrators, possibly in an effort to disperse the crowds.
The use of a medical helicopter in a law enforcement capacity may violate military law and regulations.
“Our priority is the safety of our Guardsmen who support civil authorities,” the DCNG said in a tweet. “We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of citizens and their right to protest.”
12:04 a.m.: Amid protests over racial injustice, Ferguson, the site of the shooting of Michael Brown, elects first African American mayor
The city of Ferguson, the site of 2014 unrest and protests over racial justice after Michael Brown, an 18-year old black man, was killed by a white police officer, elected its first African American mayor Tuesday, Ella Jones.
Jones, a councilwoman in the predominantly black city, is also the first woman to hold the position, according to the St. Louis Dispatch. She will succeed James Knowles III, a term-limited white, Republican mayor who defeated Jones in 2017.
This year, Jones defeated another councilwoman, Heather Robinett, by six points, according to unofficial results from county election officials.
10:39 p.m.: Trump objects to GOP criticism of church photo op
President Donald Trump lashed out at fellow Republicans who have criticized his decision to clear protesters out of Lafayette Park Monday evening prior to a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
He called out Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who were all critical of the violent removal of peaceful protesters with flashbangs and smoke canisters.
“You got it wrong! If the protesters were so peaceful, why did they light the Church on fire the night before?” he tweeted, though it was a different group of protesters and Monday’s group had not been violent. “People liked my walk to this historic place of worship! Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. James Lankford, Sen. Ben Sasse.”