George Floyd protest updates: Mom speaks out after son shot dead by officers during protests – National News

Written by on June 8, 2020


(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, across the United States and around the world.

Second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, the ex-officer who prosecutors say held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter. All four officers have been fired.

Governors in 32 states have activated more than 32,400 members of the National Guard.

This story is being updated throughout the day Monday. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern:

1:30 p.m.: Public viewing begins in Houston for George Floyd

A six-hour public viewing is underway for George Floyd at a church in Houston, his hometown.

Mourners in masks have lined up in the blazing heat to show their respects.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among those in attendance.

Floyd’s funeral will be in Houston on Tuesday.

12:57 p.m.: Confederate monument taken down in Louisville

A monument of Confederate Officer John Breckenridge Castleman was taken down in Louisville, Kentucky, Monday morning after a judge ruled on Friday that the city had the right to do so.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted, “We have much more to do to dismantle the structures that got us here. This is just one step, & I promise to do everything needed so that African Americans in our city are afforded the justice, opportunity & equity they deserve.”

The statue will go to a storage facility where it’ll be cleaned. It’ll later be taken to the cemetery where Castleman is buried, city officials said.

This comes just days after officials announced the removal of Confederate-era monuments in Virginia and Indiana.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday said Richmond’s statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee would be taken down.

Northam said the statue’s size and prominence in the city “sends a message” to young children who visit Richmond and ask about the towering monument.

“We can no longer honor a system that was based on the buying and selling of enslaved people,” he said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on Thursday said a monument dedicated to Confederate soldiers who died at a prison camp in the city will be removed from a local park.

The monument, initially in a cemetery, was put in the park in 1928 after “efforts by public officials, active in the KKK, who sought to ‘make the monument more visible to the public,'” Hogsett tweeted.

“Whatever original purpose this grave marker might once have had, for far too long it has served as nothing more than a painful reminder of our state’s horrific embrace of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago,” Hogsett said. “Time is up, and this grave marker will come down.”

12:07 p.m.: Cuomo says he’ll sign police reform bills ‘as soon as they are passed’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said he’ll sign new policing and criminal justice reform bills “as soon as they are passed.”

He said proposals in new state legislation include: disciplinary record transparency; banning chokeholds; and appointing the state attorney general as a special prosecutor in police shooting cases to promote objectivity.

“How many times do you have to see the same situation before you act? And we are going to act in the state of New York,” Cuomo said.

“We worked with the legislature over the weekend — I think we have an agreement on the bills that are going to be introduced,” Cuomo said. “If they pass the bills that we have discussed, I will sign the bills and I will sign them as soon as they are passed.”

11:26 a.m.: Mom speaks out after son shot dead by officers during protests

The mother of David McAtee, a black man shot dead by officers during protests, said Monday, “the only thing I want for my son is peace and justice.”

At about 12:15 a.m. on June 1, members of the Louisville, Kentucky, police and Kentucky National Guard were trying to disperse a crowd when they “were fired upon,” Gov. Andy Beshear said last week.

The local police and National Guard returned fire, resulting in McAtee’s death, officials said.

McAtee owned a local BBQ restaurant which was frequented by police. Video footage from McAtee’s restaurant and a neighboring business appeared to show officers approaching McAtee’s business, police said last week.

McAtee then appeared to fire a gun outside his restaurant, toward the officers, police said.

Officers took cover and returned fire, police said.

McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, said at a news conference Monday that McAtee “had nothing in his hand” in the video and did not fire the first shot.

Steve Romines, an attorney for McAtee’s family, said police claim McAtee fired first in an effort “to steer public opinion against the victim.”

If the officers’ body cameras were on, a lot of questions could be answered right now, the attorneys for the family said.

Romines said he does not believe McAtee fired a weapon at all — especially if the restaurant owner knew it was law enforcement there.

“David loved law enforcement,” he said.

After McAtee was shot, Riley said that “no ambulance showed up — my son laid in there for 12 long hours.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer last week said “it was outrageous his body was left at the scene.”

Fischer said this case did not have as many investigators as usual because of the protests. Homicide investigators had to interview hundreds of National Guard members before the body could be removed, he said.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad was fired after it was announced that no body camera footage was available of McAtee’s shooting.

Conrad previously said he would retire at the end of June after facing immense pressure following the March death of Breonna Taylor, a young black woman who was shot dead by police while in her home.

No charges have been filed in connection with Taylor’s death.

10:53 a.m.: Congressional Democrats observe moment of silence, introduce Justice In Policing Act

Congressional Democrats took a knee inside the Capitol Monday morning to observe a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd.

The moment of silence lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the length of time Chauvin allegedly pinned Floyd to the ground.

Those participating included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Schumer called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate before July.

“A divided nation cannot wait for healing, for solutions,” Schumer said.

7:14 a.m.: Minneapolis mayor: ‘Am I for completely abolishing the police department? No I am not’

Jacob Frey, the mayor of Minneapolis, spoke with ABC News’ Good Morning America Monday about addressing the Minneapolis City Council’s intent to move toward dismantling the city’s police department and police reform.

In the interview, Frey doubled down on his opposition to abolishing the police department.

“Let me be clear, I am for massive structural and transformational reform to an entire system that has not for generations worked for black and brown people.” Frey said. ” We have failed them and we need to entirely reshape the system. We need a full on cultural shift in how our police department and departments throughout the country function. Am I for entirely abolishing the police department? No, I’m not.”

Frey said he is looking forward to working with the Minneapolis City Council on coming up with a solution and that he would be working with them directly on coming up with a compromise and clarified the kinds of reforms he will be pushing for in the coming days.

“There are so many areas where both mayors and chiefs, elected officials and otherwise, have been hamstrung for generations because we can’t get that necessary culture shift because we have difficulty both terminating and disciplining officers and then getting that termination or discipline to stick,” Frey continued. “And so let me be very clear, we’re going after the police union, the police union contract, the arbitration provisions that mandate that we have arbitration at the end of the process and oftentimes that reverts the officer right back to where they were to begin with. We need to be able to have the culture shift and if we’re going to do that it also means we need to have the ability to discipline officers to begin with.”

Frey also reiterated the importance of using the momentum that has been building toward fundamental and structural reforms of the existing system.

But his opinion has not been a popular one within his own community.

On Saturday, the mayor was booed out of a protest after he said he did not support abolishing the police department.

A protester asked Frey if he supported defunding the police department, however, he did not answer that question and instead said he “did not support the full abolition of the police.”

Boos quickly permeated through the crowd and protesters chanted, “Go home Jacob! Go home!”

Activists have called for defunding police departments in the U.S., often meaning taking money out of the police budget and putting it toward the community. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced such a measure earlier this week.

Said Frey: “I support people expressing their first amendment rights even when it means that they’re calling me out. So is it difficult? Yes, of course, it’s difficult. But let’s remember this is not about me. This is about the tragic murder of George Floyd by a police officer. We need to be grounded in that as we move forward.”

6:41 a.m.: Ben Crump and family of George Floyd appeal to UN to intervene in Floyd case

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, the legal team, and the family of George Floyd have submitted an Urgent Appeal to the United Nations to intervene in the case of Floyd’s death and make recommendations for systemic police reform in the United States, according to a statement released by Crump.

In a June 3 letter, Crump and George Floyd’s family urged the UN to investigate the circumstances around the death of Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers and sent recommendations for systemic police reform.

“Among the reforms requested were deescalating techniques, independent prosecutions and autopsies for every extrajudicial police killing in an effort to stop further human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings of African Americans to protect their inherent and fundamental human right to life,” the statement read.

Said Crump: “The United States of America has a long pattern and practice of depriving Black citizens of the fundamental human right to life …The United States government has consistently failed to hold police accountable and did not bring Federal criminal charges even in cases with irrefutable video evidence. When a group of people of any nation have been systemically deprived of their universal human right to life by its government for decades, it must appeal to the international community for its support and to the United Nations for its intervention.”

1:35 a.m.: Donald Trump reignites NFL feud with tweet aimed at football commissioner

President Donald Trump reopened the national anthem debate with the NFL after tweeting a response late Sunday night responding to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s video released on June 5 saying that the NFL erred in how it dealt with player protests of police brutality and systemic racism.

The tweet read: “Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell’s rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation, he was intimating that it would now be O.K. for the players to KNEEL, or not to stand, for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our Country & our Flag?”

Trump seems to have taken issue with Goodell’s statement on Friday.

“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said in a video posted on the NFL’s Twitter page. “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.”

An NFL spokesman told ABC News on Sunday that Goodell’s statement was a direct response to a plea from a group of NFL players who directly addressed the league in a message posted on Friday and called on the NFL to “listen to your players.”

Goodell’s message did not address the national anthem, the American flag or kneeling.

The anthem has been an issue between Trump and the NFL previously.

In September 2017, Trump, while speaking in Alabama, encouraged team owners to release players who knelt during the anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said at the time.

In a video titled “I am George Floyd” and posted on the NFL’s Twitter page, a group of NFL players including Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Tyrann Mathieu, delivered this message: “How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players? What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?”

“We will not be silent. We reserve our rights to peacefully protest,” the players said, naming more than a dozen unarmed black men and women who died at the hands of police officers.

Meanwhile, Goodell vowed to continue reaching out to players to discuss “how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”

12:58 a.m.: Man drives vehicle into crowd at Seattle protest

Seattle Police confirmed that a man has been taken into custody after driving his car into a crowd at E. Pine Street and 11th Avenue on Capitol Hill, where protesters have gathering and demonstrating for the past 10 days.

The Seattle Fire Department say they transported a 27-year-old male with a gunshot wound from the scene and that he is in stable condition.

Officers at the scene also confirmed that a gun was recovered from the incident and that they do not believe there are any other victims.

12:41 a.m.: Seattle police chief and mayor announce new policies

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announced that in an attempt to de-escalate tensions between police and protesters, there will be a reduction of officers outside the East precinct where clashes have happened, and the officers will remove some of their protective gear.

It’s of “paramount importance that we meet peace with peace,” she said.

Best also said that her family is out protesting.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she’ll examine the budget of the police department to reprioritize spending and will look for $100 million in the city’s budget to redirect to a new community commission of Seattle’s black community.

She also announced an emergency order requiring police to turn on their body cameras during demonstrations.


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