George Floyd protest updates: Arrests across America approaching 10,000 – National News

Written by on June 3, 2020


Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesBy JON HAWORTH, 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.

Manslaughter and third-degree murder charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, the officer who prosecutors say held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Chauvin and the other three officers at the scene 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:

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.”

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