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Protests, unrest, and disorder in response to the death of George Floyd

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Over 17,000 national guardsmen have been deployed in response to protests

The National Guard said Monday that more than 17,000 of its members have been deployed in response to the nationwide protests. Governors from 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have activated the Guard in the last week, the bureau said in a statement. 

Including the approximately 45,000 national guardsmen who have been activated to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, there are now 66,7000 national guardsmen activated for domestic operations in support of U.S. governors, which the bureau described as a “historic” amount. During Hurricane Katrina response efforts in 2005, only about 51,000 guardsmen were activated, the bureau said. 

Members of California National Guard patrol, Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Los Angeles. 

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP


Good cops “can’t sit in complicit silence” about racial injustice, St. Louis prosecutor says

Police officers cannot remain silent about racial inequalities in the criminal justice system and deaths like George Floyd’s in Minneapolis, said Kimberly Gardner, the circuit attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. As the top prosecutor in St. Louis, Gardner said the country has to “attack the systemic racism” in police forces and the court system.

“We have to support good police that we know exists, but they can’t sit in complicit silence and watch some of their police officers abuse the community, disrespect the community in which they police, which are largely, predominantly people of color that we know are overrepresented in the criminal justice system,” Gardner said on CBSN Monday. “That blue code of silence needs to go.”

Gardner said the country has to “get rid of this us versus them” mentality. “The police are also made of the community,” she said. 

Gardner, who is up for reelection this year, said a hindrance in holding “bad actors” of police departments accountable is the power of police unions. She filed a federal lawsuit in January against city officials and the city’s main police union accusing them of blocking her efforts for criminal justice reform. The union has called the lawsuit “the last act of a desperate woman.”

“We have to call for reforms of the police union’s collective bargaining contracts,” she said. “They basically negotiate behind closed doors … how to keep on the bad actors in the police departments and make it difficult for police chiefs and the community to hold those bad actors accountable, even the prosecutor.”

Read more here.


Obama says protests could be “a real turning point” in fight for police reform

Former President Barack Obama said Monday that nationwide unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis could prove to be a “real turning point” in efforts to reform policing and the criminal justice system if demonstrations lead to increased participation in state and local elections.

In an essay on Medium, Mr. Obama wrote that the protests “represent a genuine and legitimate frustration” and hailed demonstrators who are marching peacefully, saying they “deserve our respect and support.”

He also condemned the “small minority” of demonstrators who have resorted to violence, saying they’re “putting innocent people at risk” and hurting the very communities they are hoping to improve.

“I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back,” the former president wrote. “So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.”

Read more here.


Cuomo weights curfew for New York City

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plan to discuss the possibility of imposing a curfew in New York City following Sunday’s destruction in the SoHo.

After a day of largely peaceful protests, luxury stores were looted and fires were set in the streets. The NYPD said more than 400 people were arrested overnight, several police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and roughly a dozen police vehicles were damaged.

“I’ve told mayors all across the state that I can call out the National Guard,” Cuomo said. “New York City should have enough personnel with the NYPD. It’s one of the largest police forces in the country, and taxpayers pay a lot of money for the NYPD. I don’t know that it’s a manpower, person-power issue. But if it is, we have National Guard, who are also trained to do this.”

Read more CBS New York.

george floyd protest
People go shopping at a Whole Foods Market store, which is boarded up after a night of protest over the death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis on June 1, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.



Justice Department steps up law enforcement presence

The Justice Department is ramping up its law enforcement presence amid nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked violent clashes between police and demonstrators in major American cities.

A senior Justice Department official said Attorney General William Barr had directed the Bureau of Prisons to send riot teams to Miami, where the team was over the weekend, and Washington, D.C., where hundreds of protesters gathered at the White House for demonstrations that escalated as day turned to night.

In addition to deploying riot teams, known as special operation response teams, all FBI field offices have set up command posts.


ICE deploying agents to help local authorities

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Monday it is deploying agents to protect the agency’s offices and assist local authorities across the country as incidents of civil unrest continue in U.S. cities.

The agency, which is in charge of deporting people from the country and dismantling international criminal networks, will not be making immigration arrests at protests, an ICE official told CBS News. A binding internal memorandum from 2011 says ICE agents should generally avoid making immigration arrests at sensitive locations, which includes sites of “public demonstration.”

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fully respects the rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions,” the agency said in a statement. “In light of civil unrest taking place across the country, ICE personnel and Special Response Teams have been deployed to protect agency facilities and assets in support of the Federal Protective Service and assist local, state and federal law enforcement partners, as needed.”

The operation will involve ICE’s main offices, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, according to the agency official.

The announcement comes a day after U.S. Customs and Border Protection, another branch of the Department of Homeland Security, said it would be dispatching personnel and aviation assets to support local and state law enforcement respond to the unrest. The agency, the country’s largest federal law enforcement force, also said its assistance to local authorities would not be part of its immigration enforcement mission.  


The world reacts to George Floyd’s death

As anger erupts in American cities over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, the international reaction has ranged from moral grandstanding by U.S. adversaries, to rallies in solidarity with black communities on the streets of London and Berlin.

Reactions in other nations have ranged from street level to the highest offices of government. Read more here.

Auckland Black Lives Matter Rally Held In Solidarity With U.S. Marches
Protesters march down Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand, June 1, 2020, in a rally organized in solidarity with protests across the United States following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Hannah Peters/Getty


President Trump tells “weak” governors they “have to dominate”

President Trump unloaded on the nation’s governors Monday morning, calling them “weak” for failing to more aggressively enforce law and order over the weekend. On the video teleconference, the president warned that the law enforcement presence across Washington is set to intensify today.

“Washington was under very good control, but we’re going to have it under much more control,” he said, according to audio of the meeting obtained by CBS News. “We’re going to pull in thousands of people.” He added later: “We’re going to clamp down very, very strong.”

His comments came as Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the nation’s capital will be under a 7 p.m. ET curfew for the next two nights.

“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate,” the president told governors.


Fort Lauderdale cop suspended after shoving kneeling protester to the ground

A Fort Lauderdale police officer has been relieved of duty and is under investigation for his actions toward protesters on Sunday. In a video posted to Twitter, the officer is seen becoming aggressive with protesters before shoving a woman, who was on her knees, to the ground.

Others on the force can be seen quickly pushing the officer away from the woman and then down the street as bottles were thrown.

“That officer has been taken off duty, he’s suspended at the moment,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, according  to CBS Miami. “There’s going to be a complete investigation. If it’s turned out that he acted inappropriately, then we will have swift discipline in response to what he did. “

The officer in the video has not yet been identified.


George Floyd and Derek Chauvin worked at same club and likely crossed paths, owner says

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing him, worked security at the same local club for much of the year before their fatal encounter on a Minneapolis street last week. The owner of El Nuevo Rodeo said the two were in close proximity once a week for their Tuesday night shifts, though she did not know if they ever actually met while working at the club.

Maya Santamaria said she had been paying Chauvin, when he was off-duty, to sit in his squad car outside El Nuevo Rodeo for 17 years. She said Floyd worked as a security guard inside the club frequently in the last year. In particular, they both worked on Tuesday nights, when the club had a popular weekly dance competition.  

Santamaria reflected Friday evening on how her business suddenly became central to a death that sparked anguished waves of protest, first in Minneapolis and then in cities across America. Chauvin was fired from the police department last week and charged with third-degree murder for pinning Floyd by the neck. 

She said Floyd was well known and liked by her patrons. He was “beloved in the Latin community because he worked at another Latin club too.”


Brother says George Floyd would urge peace “if he was here”

There have been anti-police protests in all 50 states during the past several days, and 22 states have activated National Guard troops. George’s other brother, Rodney, called on protesters to stop the violence.

“I’m asking for peace the same way my brother would ask us to if he could see the situation, if he was here. Peace. Peaceful protests. It is the best option we have to bring justice,” Rodney told CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues

In San Diego, where police declared a gathering an unlawful assembly and used flash-bang grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

In Philadelphia, cop cars were set ablaze and looters broke windows and ransacked shops.

In Atlanta, police used tasers to drag a pair of college students out of their car for allegedly breaking the city’s curfew. 


Police nationwide show solidarity with Floyd protesters

Police officers throughout the U.S. have shown solidarity with people protesting the death of George Floyd. 

Marchers in Flint Township, Michigan, arrived at a police station where Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson – responding to chants of “Walk with us! Walk with us!” – said, “Come on!” and joined the protest.

Sheriff Chris Swanson joins a group of protesters in Flint, Michigan as they march against police brutality and for justice in George Floyd’s death.


In New Jersey,  Camden County Police Chief Joe Wysocki, who has been working in the city for decades, joined the front line of a march in Camden on Saturday afternoon, sporting his uniform, a protective face mask and a peace sign.

APTOPIX America Protests Police Praise
In this Saturday, May 30, 2020, photo, Camden County Metro Police Chief Joe Wysocki raises a fist while marching with Camden residents and activists in Camden, N.J., to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

April Saul / AP

In New York, officers clapped on protesters, hundreds of whom stopped and took a knee with fists raised just north of the Empire State Building.

Police in Fargo, North Dakota, held hands with protesters while officers took a knee in Santa Cruz, California.  


George Floyd’s family to release results of independent autopsy

The attorney for George Floyd’s family was set to announce findings Monday of an independent autopsy into his death a week ago after a Minneapolis officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The family’s autopsy was conducted by Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson. Baden is the former chief medical examiner of New York City, who was hired to do an autopsy for Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after New York police placed him in a chokehold and he pleaded that he could not breathe.

An official autopsy last week said the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death. There were no other details about intoxicants, and toxicology results can take weeks. In the 911 call that drew police, the caller described the man suspected of paying with counterfeit money as “awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself.”

The criminal complaint noted that the medical examiner’s report was preliminary, but said the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

Independent autopsy in George Floyd’s death to be released Monday, family attorney says


NYPD commissioner responds to video showing police cruiser driving into protesters

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea joined “CBS This Morning” on Monday to discuss his view on how officers responded to protests across the city over the weekend. He weighed in on policing of communities of color and de-escalation tactics used by police departments across the nation.

Shea also responded to a video showing an NYPD cruiser driving into protesters in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Watch the full interview below.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea discusses his officers’ response to protests


NYC mayor’s daughter arrested while protesting

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 25-year-old daughter was arrested for unlawful assembly Saturday night, according to the city’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information. Chiara de Blasio was at a protest in downtown Manhattan.

The New York Post obtained an arrest report saying she refused to leave a Manhattan street that officers ordered cleared because people were throwing things. 

Chiara de Blasio, who is black, was later given a court summons and released.


Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged

President Trump was briefly moved to the White House bunker on Friday evening as protests were being held near the White House, CBS News confirmed. A senior administration official said the action was taken out of an abundance of caution.

On Sunday, the Justice Department deployed U.S. Marshals and Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Lafayette Park outside the White House to assist thes National Guard, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed to CBS News.

The nation’s capital was rocked by protests throughout the weekend that continued Sunday night. Fires were started and buildings vandalized in the vicinity of the White House.


Large crowds of protesters raise fears of potential new coronavirus outbreaks

The sight of protesters without masks over the past few days is raising fears of potential new coronavirus outbreaks. The concerns are especially high in New York, which has seen more virus-related deaths than any other city in the nation.

With hundreds of people protesting the death of George Floyd, it makes following social distancing guidelines very difficult. CBS New York’s Dr. Max Gomez believes this could increase the risk for another outbreak.

“All it will take is one or two infected people, they don’t even have to know they are infected, under those circumstances, not wearing a mask, spraying these droplets into those crowds, and you could very easily have an outbreak that’s traced right back to those demonstrations,” he said.


Cop arrested in George Floyd’s death moved to two detention facilities in same day

Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer who is now charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, has been moved to a second detention facility in the same day. CBS Minnesota reports Chauvin had been held at the Ramsey County Jail after being taken into custody in Minnesota.

Derek Chauvin
This photo provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office shows former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin.

Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office

On Sunday afternoon, he was transferred to the Hennepin County Jail. Just hours later, he was moved to a corrections  department facility in Oak Park Heights, CBS Minnesota says.

During a news conference Sunday night, Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said Chauvin was moved partially due to COVID-19 concerns, especially considering the number of protesters who’d already been arrested on Sunday.


Minnesota attorney general to lead prosecutions related to Floyd’s death

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will join the investigation into George Floyd’s death, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Sunday night.

“It is with a great degree of humility and great seriousness that I accept the responsibility for leadership on this critical case in the death of George Floyd,” Ellison said.

Ellison said they will share resources. Freeman said they will meet Monday.

Walz said at Sunday night’s news conference that one of the things he has heard from protesters is that many people “don’t trust the process — they don’t believe justice can be served. They believe time and time again, the system works perfectly well as it was designed, to deny those rights and to deny justice to communities of color.”

Walz said bringing Ellison onto the case is a step toward restoring trust.


Video shows semi-truck trying to drive through protesters on Minneapolis interstate

A semi-truck is seen on video apparently trying to drive through crowds on Interstate 35W Bridge across the Mississippi River, before the driver was pulled from the cab. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the driver has been arrested and no protesters appeared to be injured.

Semi-truck appears to try to drive through protesters on Minneapolis interstate

There were thousands of people on the bridge when it came through at what appeared to be top speed. Video from CBS Minnesota’s chopper showed what appeared to be a few on top of the semi cab trying to get the driver to slow down.

The Department of Public Safety told CBS Minnesota that so far they are not notified of any injuries and that medics haven’t been called.


D.C. mayor activates National Guard amid heated protests

The entire Washington, D.C., National Guard – roughly 1,700 soldiers – is being called in to help with the response to protests outside the White House and elsewhere in the nation’s capital, according to two Defense Department officials speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press. .

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said she had requested 500 Guardsman to assist local law enforcement. Later on Sunday, as the protests escalated, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered the rest of the Guardsman – about 1,200 soldiers – to report, the AP said.

Numerous fires were seen around the city as the demonstrations continued Sunday night.

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