George Floyd protest updates: Officer stabbed in neck while on anti-looting patrol – National News
Written by admin on June 4, 2020
By JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, 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. 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 and Washington, D.C., have activated more than 32,400 members of the National Guard.
This story is being updated throughout the day Thursday. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern:
1:10 p.m.: Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue to be removed
The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia — which was the capital of the Confederacy — will be removed, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday.
Almost 130 years to the day in #RVA
(May 29, 1890 – June 3, 2020) pic.twitter.com/L5B5Qk2TWx
— Shawn Cox (@ShawnCoxRTD) June 4, 2020
“The legacy of racism continues not just in isolated incidents” like Floyd’s death, Northam said. “The legacy of racism also continues as part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives.”
Civil rights activists have called for the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument for years. Those protesting Floyd’s death and police brutality gathered at the statue this week, chanting, “Tear it 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.
Northam acknowledged that some residents will protest the removal of the statue, adding, “I believe in a Virginia that studies its past in an honest way.”
“When we learn more, when we take that honest look at our past, we must do more than just talk about the future — we must take action,” he said.
The Rev. Robert Wright Lee, a descendent of Robert E. Lee, also spoke at Thursday’s news conference and said he fully supports the monument’s removal.
“To those of you who might be doubting” its removal, Lee asked, “when will be the right time?”
“We have a chance here today … to say this will indeed not be our final moment and our final stand,” Lee said. “There are more important things to address than just a statue but this statue is a symbol of oppression.”
Unlike most other statues, Lee’s monument is owned by the state, Northam noted. He said its removal will be done soon as possible.
The monument will go into storage and the community will be involved in determining its future, Northam said.
Meanwhile, 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 “Garfield Park in 1928 following 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,” he went on. “For some time, we have urged that this grave monument belongs in a museum, not in a park, but no organization has stepped forward to assume that responsibility. Time is up, and this grave marker will come down.”
12:30 p.m.: Cuomo urges protesters to get a COVID-19 test
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday urged protesters to get a COVID-19 test, warning that the protests could cause a spike in cases because one person could infect hundreds.
Someone infected today could be hospitalized in 8 to 12 days if seriously ill, Cuomo said.
New York City — which has the highest number of protesters — is entering “phase one” of its reopening on Monday, he said.
New York will hold a statewide moment of silence for George Floyd at 2 p.m., coinciding with the start of the memorial service in Minnesota.
A memorial will also be held Thursday afternoon in Brooklyn, where Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, will be among the speakers.
10 a.m.: Senate holds moment of silence for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor
Members of the U.S. Senate gathered in the Capitol Thursday morning for moment of silence in honor of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Taylor, a young black woman, was shot dead by police when they served a no-knock warrant in her Louisville, Kentucky, home in March. Arbery, a young black man from Georgia, was jogging in February when he was shot dead by two white men.
The men have been arrested in Arbery’s case. Officers have not been charged in Taylor’s death.
The moment of silence lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the length of time officer Derek Chauvin allegedly had Floyd pinned to the ground with his knee.
9:40 a.m.: New Orleans police use tear gas to disperse protesters after nights of peaceful marches
Police in New Orleans used tear gas to disperse protesters overnight.
Video from the scene showed chaos and pushing among demonstrators once the tear gas was deployed.
The police said the tear gas was used because “the crowd refused to comply with three orders” to avoid walking across the Crescent City Connection bridge.
“Escalation and confrontation hurts us all,” the police department tweeted. “NOPD [The New Orleans Police Department] is committed to respectful protection of our residents’ First Amendment rights. However, tonight we were compelled to deploy gas on the CCC [Crescent City Connection] in response to escalating, physical confrontation with our officers.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted overnight, “We must hold on to what has gotten us this far— peaceful protest, restraint and respect.”
“None of us wants this to escalate,” she said. “Please, go home, be safe.”
8:30 a.m.: NYPD officer stabbed in neck while working anti-looting patrol
In New York City, police made about 180 arrests Wednesday night as they dispersed protesters in Brooklyn and Manhattan who were demonstrating after the 8 p.m. curfew.
The night saw little looting or violence in the city, and the decision to disperse the otherwise orderly crowd drew criticism from the city’s public advocate, Jumaane Williams.
“The force used on nonviolent protestors was disgusting,” Williams tweeted. “No looting/no fires. Chants of ‘peaceful protest’ @NYPDnews was simply enforcing an ill advised curfew.”
“What happened was completely avoidable,” Williams said.
After the stabbing, shots rang out and more officers arrived at the scene.
Twenty-two shots were fired and two officers were struck in the hand, officials said.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the shots were friendly fire or fired by the stabbing suspect.
The suspect, who was armed with a hunting knife, was shot by responding officers and is in critical condition, officials said.
7:49 a.m.: Russia reports just under 9,000 new cases as US delivers more aid
Russia’s coronavirus headquarters said Thursday it had registered 8,831 new cases of COVID-19 and 169 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country’s tally now stands at 441,108 diagnosed cases with 5,384 deaths.
Moscow is the hardest-hit city in the country, accounting for about half of all infections. The capital reported 1,998 new cases and 64 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to Russia’s coronavirus headquarters.
The latest daily caseload is down from a peak of 11,656 new infections reported on May 11, during which Russia registered over 10,000 new cases per day over a 12-day period. Since then, the daily number of new infections has hovered around 9,000.
Russia has the third-highest number of cases in the world, behind Brazil and the United States, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
An American military plane touched down at Vnukovo International Airport outside Moscow on Thursday, delivering another portion of humanitarian aid for the Russian people from the United States.
The delivery is part of a $5.6 million donation that includes 200 American-made ventilators and other much-needed medical aid to help Russia combat its coronavirus outbreak, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
7:31 a.m.: Keith Ellison says that his team will charge four officers in George Floyd’s death with ‘anything that the law allows’
Keith Ellison, attorney general of Minnesota, spoke to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America earlier this morning and confirmed that his team will charge the four officers involved in the death of George Floyd with anything the law allows.
“We will charge anything that the facts in the law allow,” he said. “We are not showing fear or favor to any person. If the facts show premeditation an deliberation and we can present that in front of a jury in good faith, we absolutely will charge that particular count.”
The Floyd family attorney has been urging Ellison and his team to continue the investigation and do whatever he can to bring first-degree murder charges against Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s autopsy report concluded that he had some pre-existing conditions such as heart disease and hypertension. He also had fentanyl and other intoxicants in his system.
Ellison said he does not believe this poses a challenge to the case.
“You take your victim as you find them,” said Ellison. “You can’t say that, ‘well, the person who I victimized was not in the very perfect picture of health so it’s their fault that they died at my hands.’ You take your victim as you find them, and I believe that that is a factor that should not weigh.”
As far as the charges against the other three officers in the case are concerned, Ellison said that he has to prove that they helped in causing Floyd’s death.
“You can look at the tape and see who is sitting where and see the assistance that was given, important assistance to what Chauvin was doing, so we believe — we can also see what was not done,” Ellison explained. “That even despite the pleas and the cries, there was no assistance rendered. So we believe that they were culpable, they assisted in the commission of this offense and that is why we charged them.”
Ultimately, Ellison said he was confident about the case and getting the convictions that he wants.
Said Ellison: “Yes, absolutely we are confident we can do this. But we understand the challenge in front of us which is why we’re working extra hard … This is a social change moment and this prosecution is essential to achieving that justice.”
5:08 a.m.: Millions of dollars raised to help businesses and organizations affected by looting in Minneapolis
More than $4.5 million has been raised to help businesses and organizations along Lake Street rebound after being impacted by looting and vandalism.
So far, tens of thousands of people have chipped in to raise the money.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Transitions Charter School held a donations drive for families, students and others in need.
“Look at all the people coming together and meeting those needs, today feels great it’s uplifting to the soul,” said Brian Erlandson, superintendent of Minnesota Transitions Charter School.
Less than a week ago, their school suffered property and water damage from the riots.
“We didn’t know whether or not to cry, express our rage or what. We looked inside and it was so painful,” Erlandson said.
But somehow, they’re able to move forward and give back even at a time when they’re down.
“Even when tragedy strikes us we’re here for our kids and we always have been and we always will be,” said Shawn Fondow, principal at MTS Secondary.
That is just one example of how the community is stepping up for each other. The Lake Street Council organized a fund called “We Love Lake Street.” So far, over 50,000 people have donated more than $4 million.
“The $4 million is just a start, we will need a lot more to rebuild,” said ZoeAna Martinez, Lake Street Council community engagement manager.
Martinez said a committee is working on how the funds will be distributed and they want to assure everyone the process will be transparent.
“Those businesses know that we’re here for them, I’m here for them,” Martinez said.
During times like these, generosity is contagious.
“It’s just beautiful, I mean, I’m shedding a tear right now as we talk,” said Frederick Joyce, who lives in Robbinsdale.
While it will take time to heal, those who work near Lake Street and call this place home aren’t about to give up.
“We’re going to make a comeback, we’re going to do it here and it’s going to be better than ever,” Erlandson said.
2:53 a.m.: Three NYPD officers injured in Brooklyn with non-life threatening injuries
At 11:45 p.m. at Church and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn, New York, two officers at an anti-looting command were approached by a man who slashed one of them on the back of the neck. Shots were subsequently fired and the officers were struck.
Hearing the gunfire, a nearby sergeant responded to the scene and shot the suspect, who is now in critical condition.
The slashed officer is currently in serious but stable condition at Kings County Hospital.
The other two officers were shot in the hand and are at the same hospital in stable condition. All three are expected to survive.
The sergeant who fired the shots was also taken to the hospital for treatment of tinnitus.
“Thank God all of our officers will recover,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a late night press conference. “It is another example of what it means everyday for the men and women of the NYPD to protect all of us, protect our communities no matter what is happening, the bravery that they show constantly … Thank God our officers came through safely.”
12:49 a.m.: Virginia governor to announce removal of Lee statue
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce plans later today to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee along Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue, according to reports.
The move would be an extraordinary victory for civil rights activists who have been calling for the removal of the statue of Lee, one of the country’s most iconic monuments to the Confederacy, for years.
“That is a symbol for so many people, black and otherwise, of a time gone by of hate and oppression and being made to feel less than,” said Del. Jay Jones, a black lawmaker from Norfolk.
Northam’s decision comes amid protests across the nation and around the world over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving.
12:41 a.m.: Feds charge three for “Boogaloo” movement plot to incite violence at protests
Andrew Lynam is an Army Reservist and his associates, Stephen Parshall and William Loomis, served in the Navy and the Air Force, respectively.
According to the FBI, all three were preparing for a coming civil war, and self-identified as part of the so-called “Boogaloo” movement.
The men met by chance while attending ReOpen Nevada rallies in April and May, protesting against measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But as the country was gripped over the past week by protests in dozens of U.S. cities, including Las Vegas, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the three radicals saw an opportunity to foment chaos.
Prosecutors say the men were part of an effort to “hijack” the outrage over the death of Floyd, for their own extremist agenda.
Adherents of the Boogaloo movement believe in a coming armed conflict that could lead to the fall of civilization.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Lynam and Parshall were initially planning to create a disruption at a May 19 ReOpen Nevada rally using fireworks and smoke bombs that would cause “some type of confrontation between the police and the protesters.” The FBI says the men were using tactics from the Irish Republican Army Green Book.
A heavy law enforcement presence at the rally caused the two to reconsider, but that is where they met Loomis, who shared their beliefs and wanted to join them to “take action against the U.S. government.”
What the men didn’t know was that a confidential human source working for the FBI was also in their midst.
Having passed on opportunities to disrupt ReOpen Nevada rallies, Parshall and Loomis discussed “causing an incident to incite chaos and possibly a riot,” in relation to the death of George Floyd by firebombing a power substation, according to court papers.
On May 29, the three men joined the protests in Las Vegas. Parshall was angered that the protest had not turned violent, according to the federal complaint.
The men agreed to meet the next day for a Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Before the meeting, the FBI observed Parshall buying gasoline in a gas can.
The men arrived at their appointed place and so did the confidential source who brought with him an FBI undercover agent. Just as the men were preparing their Molotov cocktails for a possible attack, the FBI SWAT Team moved in and arrested them.
The FBI seized guns, including an AR-15, ammunition, fireworks, accelerants, rags, glass bottles and four glass jars filled gasoline.
9:39 p.m.: LA announces police reforms
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city’s police commission board announced new reforms for the Los Angeles Police Department.
The department’s budget won’t be raised and they will begin to find $150 million in cuts, he announced.
The decision comes amid calls from protesters to defund the police — a popular chant outside City Hall in recent days.
The $150 million in policing cuts will come from a total shift of $250 million from the proposed budget to instead be reallocated to minority communities, he said.
“Today President [Barack] Obama challenged mayors to sign a pledge to recognize that there are things that are still not right. I was proud to be one of the first mayors in America to sign that pledge,” Garcetti said at a press conference. “Tonight I want to announce that we aren’t just putting the work of moving forward on the shoulders of activists or of African Americans or police officers. It’s on those of us who you’ve elected.”
“Our city identified $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing and those dollars need to be focused on our black community here in Los Angeles,” he added.
The department will also be instructed to invest in more implicit bias training, youth programs and oversight programs, according to the mayor.