February 26, 2021

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George Floyd protests latest updates: Europe heeds call for fresh protests

07.06.2020 UTC/GMT Time

From Berlin to Barcelona, thousands of people are rallying against racial inequality and police brutality. Protesters have been denounced as “reckless” for ignoring social distancing rules. 

  • Fresh protests have been held in Germany, Spain, Belgium, the UK and Denmark
  • New York City’s mayor lifts a curfew in a bid to defuse tensions between protesters and police
  • Australia’s finance minister denounces protesters as “reckless” for ignoring social distancing rules
  • Joe Biden has vowed to advocate for police reforms and policies to “reverse systemic racism” if elected president

All times in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

17:17 Anti-racism protests across Europe are beginning to draw to an end for the day, with tens of thousands having shown up for peaceful protests from Brussels to Budapest.

The Italian city of Milan, recently the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, saw several thousand people attend a protest. Many of the crowds were migrants or the children of migrants, and some signs referred to the controversial law that makes it impossible for foreigners born in Italy to receive citizenship until they are 18 years old. Many protesters wore masks and gloves.

In Germany, protests in cities like Cologne and Berlin were more subdued on Sunday after tens of thousands turned out a day earlier.

Peaceful anti-racism protesters demonstrated at the US embassy in Budapest, Hungary, where hundreds of people gathered for speeches and music. The crowd knelt and maintained silence for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the amount of time a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on unarmed black man George Floyd’s neck before he was killed.

In the city of the European Union headquarters, Brussels, several thousand people showed up with signs outside the city’s main courthouse. Although many wore masks, social distancing was impossible because of the number of people present.

Further protests were reported in Glasgow, Marseilles, Krakow and many more cities. Several European lawmakers have condemned protests because of a lack of social distancing.

16:41 US Attorney General William Barr has said that he “doesn’t think the law enforcement system in the US is systematically racist.” Speaking on US TV, he said he believes policies to address racism with the police are working. “I think the reform is a difficult task but I think it is working and progress has been made.”

Barr also addressed the decision to have military troops on standby in Washington D.C. this week. President Donald Trump ordered 10,000 military personnel to be deployed, Reuters news agency reported, but Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Epsen persuaded him to keep them on standby.

Barr denied this claim and said that “Our position was common, which was that they should only be deployed as a last resort and that we didn’t think we would need them. I think everyone was one the same page,” he added.

16:19 The body of George Floyd has arrived in Houston, Texas for a final memorial service and funeral. Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25 when a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite him saying “I can’t breathe.”

A six-hour viewing of Floyd’s body is planned on Monday while funeral services and burial will go ahead on Tuesday.

US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is to visit Floyd’s family in Houston on Monday, according to two senior aides. 

“I promised George Floyd’s family that he wouldn’t become just another hashtag — and I intend to keep that promise,” he wrote on Twitter.

Previous memorials for Floyd, whose death sparked worldwide protests, were held in Minneapolis and his birthplace in Raeford, North Carolina.

16:08 London police chief Cressida Dick says 27 officers were injured in “shocking and unacceptable” assaults during anti-racism protests in central London this week, including 14 this week. One underwent surgery when she fell from her horse.

The Metropolitan police, which has had a horse-mounted branch since 1760, has been criticized for bringing the animals to packed streets, with social media footage showing several protesters injured when a spooked horse ran through the streets.

Tens of thousands in London ignored advice from Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for people not to gather in groups of more than six to avoid spreading coronavirus. Demonstrators packed the road leading to the US embassy on the south bank of the River Thames.

Police said 29 people were arrested on Saturday, but protests remained largely peaceful. No arrests have been reported so far on Sunday, with people clapping, taking to one knee and chanting “George Floyd” and “the UK is not innocent.”

15:05 US President Donald Trump has announced that National Guard troops will start withdrawing from Washington D.C. Trump deployed federal forces to the city one week ago.

The US capital has seen sustained peaceful protests in recent days, including the painting of an enormous mural along the street leading to the White House readingBlack Lives Matter.”

Trump wrote on Twitter that “everything is under perfect control” in the city. The president received criticism this week after apparently ordering the National Guard to remove mostly peaceful protesters from the White House gates so he could walk outside to deliver an address.

14:35 A statue of English 17th-century slave-owner and merchant Edward Colston has been toppled to the ground by Black Lives Matter protesters in the UK city of Bristol, local media reported.

Rights groups and protesters called earlier in the week for his statue to be removed. Colston left a big legacy on the city of Bristol with many streets named after him.

Protesters across the UK have been calling for Britain to face up to its colonial legacy and the fact that slavery funded many of the UK’s most well-known sites and buildings. The statue has long been a controversial landmark in Bristol.

Black Lives Matter protests were planned across the UK for Sunday. Event organizers in Bristol say around 7,000 people turned out.

14:16 At least 5,000 people have joined a demonstration against racism and police violence in Copenhagen. Protesters gathered in front of the US embassy in the Danish capital’s Osterbro district. Danish radio station DR reported that the call to action was made by the Danish branch of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Protesters marched through the city to the Christiansborg Palace, the Danish parliament. The protest is one of the largest anti-racism demonstrations ever seen in Denmark.

13:47 Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg have become the latest German Bundesliga football teams to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests. Both sides took a knee before the game began, echoing a similar gesture made on Saturday by fellow teams Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin.

Many German footballers have used their platform to speak out against racism in the public sphere since the protests in the US began. The Bundesliga became one of the first European football premier leagues to start playing again, offering a greater chance for exposure from across the continent.

13:33 Rome has seen its first major rally against racism as thousands of protesters gathered in People’s Square. Most wore masks in the country that has seen one of the highest death rates from COVID-19

Participants listened to speeches and waved placards reading “Black Lives Matter.” The peaceful rally was attended by people of all ethnic backgrounds and ages. At one point, demonstrators kneeled and raised a fist in solidarity with those fighting racism.

Organizers of the group included the grassroots protest group Sardines as well as US expats’ organizations and Neri Italiani, a group for black Italians.

12:29 Thousands of people in Spain have turned out for anti-racism protests. Several thousand gathered in front of the US embassy in Madrid, many holding signs saying “I can’t breathe,” among George Floyd’s last words.

The Spanish organization of black, African and African-origin groups in Spain (CNAAE) announced that protests were ongoing in 12 Spanish cities, from the Basque country to the Canary Islands. ​

11:47 New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the curfew in the city was lifted “effective immediately” after peaceful rallies in America’s biggest city helped defuse tension between protesters and the police.

“Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart. Keep staying safe.”

The authorities imposed a curfew on Monday after rioters looted shops and smashed storefront windows in various parts of the city. The measure aimed to keep residents indoors after 11 p.m. which was then changed to 8 p.m. De Blasio had insisted the curfew would stay in place over the weekend. On Saturday, police did not enforce the curfew and instead let protesters march through Manhattan and Brooklyn over two hours later.

08:14 In Hong Kong, a small group of demonstrators rallied in front of the US Consulate in protest of police brutality and racism in the US. Out of several dozens of protesters, most were international students or activists from the local League of Social Democrats.

“It’s important to get our message across to others around the world to remind them that even though we are far away, we are with them 100% in spirit — black lives matter,” 28-year-old British student Quinland Anderson told the Reuters news agency.

The small protest comes after months of political instability in Hong Kong, which saw brutal clashes between protesters and police over autonomy over mainland China. Earlier this week, China commented on the US upheaval by calling racism “a chronic disease of American society” and slamming the police crackdown as a “textbook example of its world famous double standards.”

“Why does the US lionize the so-called Hong Kong independence… while calling people who protest against racism ‘rioters’?” asked foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Beijing’s “laughable propaganda.” He said the China’s Communist Party was “seeking to conflate” the events in the US with its own “denial of basic human rights and freedom” and that its efforts “should be seen for the fraud that they are.”

07:59 Protesters toppled a statue of a Confederate general after a rally in Richmond, the capital of the US state of Virginia. Photos published by the local RIchmond Times-Dispatch show what appears to be red paint on the monument, and a rope was apparently tied around the throat of the statue of General Williams Carter Wickham, which stood since 1891. A police spokeswoman said she did not know if any arrests have been made.

Many in the US have called for removing monuments dedicated to political and military leaders of the Confederacy, the pro-slavery union in the American Civil War. Last week, Richmod Mayor Levar Stoney said he would seek removal of several Confederate monuments in the city center, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that a state-owned statue of the best-known Confederate general, Robert E. Lee, would be removed “as soon as possible.”

07:14 Australia’s Finance Minister Mahias Cormann slammed the “Black Lives Matter” protesters as “reckless and irresponsible” for violating social distancing rules designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think it is incredibly selfish.” Cormann told Sky news after thousands of people marched in Sydney, Melbourne, and other big Australian cities, some of them defying bans issued by the authorities.

Cormann later told reporters that many people had to stay away from funerals of their loved ones amid the pandemic.

“But we are going to have a mass gathering of tens of thousands of people in complete breach of the rules that apply to everyone else — it is absolutely reckless and irresponsible,” the conservative politician said.

Australia, with its 25 million people, has seen 7,255 coronavirus cases and 102 deaths. The government has managed to largely contain the outbreak due to strict border controls and social distancing measures.

Senior Labour representative Richard Marles also commented that the crowds made him “uncomfortable” but said he was not casting judgement on the protests, which also focused on the discrimination against Australia’s indigenous population.

“I don’t feel like I’m in a position to say to indigenous Australians who are protesting against that, that this is a selfish and indulgent act,” Marles told the state broadcaster ABC.

06:37 In Berlin, 28 police officers were injured in the aftermath of a largely peaceful protest against racism and the killing of George Floyd. Some 15,000 people attended the rally in Berlin, which was only planned to include 1,500 people due to the coronavirus restrictions. The participants also observed a silence lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds, honoring African-American George Floyd who died after a white police officer held a knee on his neck for this amount of time.

After the protest, however, a large group of people started throwing stones and bottles at the police and passers by, leading to scuffles. Berlin police said 93 people were arrested.

03:50 In one of the few skirmishes protesters had with police, authorities in Seattle used flash-bang devices and pepper spray to disperse a crowd of protesters in the city.

The mayhem in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in the day with medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality.

03:40 The top editor of US newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer has resigned, after a headline on one article about the protests caused an uproar within the newsroom and in the city.

In a column published last week about looting and vandalism on the margins of protests of George Floyd’s death, the Inquirer used the headline ”Buildings Matter, Too,” in reference to the ”Black Lives Matter” movement that has led the demonstrations.

The article was written by architecture critic Inga Saffron, who expressed concern that buildings damaged in violence over the past week could “leave a gaping hole in the heart of Philadelphia.”

The paper’s black staff members condemned the headline and some 30 members of the Inquirer’s 210-member editorial staff called in sick to express their outrage.

In response, the title was changed to ”Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?” which drew renewed scorn. Eventually, the newspaper settled on the title ”Damaging buildings disproportionately hurt the people protesters are trying to uplift.”

Ultimately, The Inquirer apologized for a “horribly wrong” decision to use the original headline.

Publisher and CEO Lisa Hughes said in a memo to staff that the headline was “offensive and inappropriate” and said the newspaper needed a more diverse workforce.

02:00 US former-Vice President Joe Biden vowed to advocate for police reforms and “long-overdue, concrete policies to reverse systemic racism,” if elected president this November.  

Biden made the remarks in an op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, a day after he clinched the Democratic nomination for president, having reached the required number of delegates. 

“If elected, I am committed to establishing a national police oversight commission within 100 days of taking office,” the former vice president promised. 

“We need to implement real community policing and ensure that every police department in the country undertakes a comprehensive review of their hiring, their training, and their de-escalation practices, with the federal government providing the tools and resources needed to implement reforms,” Biden said. 

He called on Congress to “take action immediately” to outlaw chokeholds, stop the transfer of weapons of war to local police forces, improve oversight and accountability, and create a model standard on the use of force by police officers. 

01:30 An Associated Press investigation found scant evidence to back President Donald Trump’s claim that left-leaning radicals and antifa have been behind the protests against police brutality, in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Trump has said that antifa, whom he has referred to as radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism, was orchestrating the violence, an assertion repeated by Attorney General William Barr.

”The violence instigated and carried out by antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Barr said in a statement issued Sunday.

AP conducted an analysis of court records, employment histories, social media posts and other sources of information for 217 people arrested last weekend in Minneapolis and the District of Columbia. The two cities have been at the epicenter of the protests. 

But the investigation found that more than 85% of those arrested were local residents and only a handful of those charged with offenses such as curfew violations, rioting and failure to obey law enforcement, appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups.

Individuals arrested for looting and property destruction, including arson, burglary and theft, tended to already have criminal records. They were overwhelmingly local residents, who sought to take advantage of the chaos.

Only a few of those arrested were left-leaning activists, including one self-described anarchist, while others appeared to be right-leaning, including some Trump supporters.

Federal law enforcement officials have likewise not offered much evidence that antifa-aligned protesters are behind the protest movement.

00:00 Two police officers from the city of Buffalo in the US state of New York were charged with assault after they were seen on video shoving a 75-year-old protester during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd.

In the clip, the elderly man falls to the ground and the back of his head hits the pavement, loses consciousness and begins to bleed. 

Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski surrendered to authorities Saturday morning and pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault. The two were released without bail.

The officers were suspended without pay and if convicted of the felony assault charge, they face up to seven years in prison.

McCabe’s lawyer, Tom Burton, said his client was a decorated military veteran with a clean record as a police officer, noting that it was not McCabe’s intention to hurt the 75-year-old man. 

Burton added that if the victim had followed police commands to back off, ”none of this would have happened.”

Dozens of Buffalo police officers were outraged by their fellow officers’ suspension and in a symbolic gesture, stepped down from the department’s crowd control unit on Friday.

The video of the encounter sparked outrage online, but also among local leaders. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he believed there was “criminal liability.”

“What we saw was horrendous and disgusting, and I believe, illegal,” he added.

Several hundred protesters have defied a police ban on public gatherings in the French capital due to social distancing concerns. Washington and New York are gearing up for huge demonstrations.

06.06.2020 UTC/GMT Time

  • Trump says ‘hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying: ‘This is a great thing’
  • Washington’s mayor calls for federal forces to leave the US capital
  • Demonstrators protest outside US consulates in Frankfurt and Hamburg
  • French police have banned a protest in front of the US embassy Saturday

All times in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

22:00 US broadcaster Fox News apologized for displaying a chart that correlating the stock market’s performance with the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Michael Brown. 

The conservative news outlet aired the graph on Friday on its show ”Special Report with Bret Baier” to illustrate gains made by the S&P 500 index one week after Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968, the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014, and Geroge Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody.  

Fox News said in a statement that the chart “should have never aired on television without full context.”  

”We apologize for the insensitivity of the image and take this issue seriously,” the broadcaster said. 

Host Bret Baier retweeted Fox’s apology without further comment. 

21:50 The northwestern US city of Seattle saw its ninth consecutive day of protests over the death of George Floyd. A large crowd of medical workers, many of them wearing lab coats or scrubs, took part in the demonstration.

One sign said, “Nurses kneel with you, not on you.”  Another read, “Police violence and racism are a public health emergency.”

The demonstrations in Seattle have been among the largest in the city in years.

After police were severely criticized for using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse largely peaceful crowds, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas and a review of crowd control policies.

21:00 Protesters gathered in New York City, amid lingering tension between demonstrators and police over the city’s evening curfew.

Marches have been planned throughout the day and into the evening in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, despite the curfew that begins at 8:00 p.m. local time (midnight UTC). Local politicians and civil liberties advocates have come out against the curfew, saying it causes needless confrontation, as officers try to enforce it.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted the curfew will remain in place throughout the weekend.

Friday’s protests in New York City saw some clashes between protesters and police when law enforcement tried to enforce the curfew.

Images on social media showed officers in Brooklyn surrounding a group of demonstrators and chasing others down with batons. In Manhattan’s East Side, police also used force to break up remnants of a march that started near the mayor’s official residence.

19:30 Thousands of protesters are gathering on the streets of US capital, Washington DC, for what is expected to be the largest demonstration in the city against police brutality since the death in the police custody of unarmed African-American George Floyd on May 25.

Washington, like many cities in the US, has seen daily protests over the past week. They have been largely peaceful, with people in the capital marching back and forth from the White House to the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

According to a tweet from the capital’s traffic police, there were around 6,000 protesters split between the Lincoln Memorial and in front of the White House, by midday. Officials said they expected crowds of between 100,000 to 200,000, despite soaring temperatures.

Protesters close to the White House held banners and signs that read “no peace without justice,” “stop racism now” and “I can’t breathe” — the last words of Floyd who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for close to nine minutes.

Ahead of the planned demonstration, military vehicles and officers in fatigues closed off much of downtown Washington to traffic. The White House has been fortified with new fencing and extra security precautions.

Hundreds of demonstrators who marched past the George Washington University Hospital chanted “Hands up, Don’t shoot!” “We March for hope, not for hate,” and “I can’t breathe!”

“Our anger is not just about police brutality,” tweeted DW correspondent Alexander von Nahmen, citing Roger Campbell II — one of the speakers addressing protesters at the Lincoln memorial.

18:09 Hundreds of mourners are lining up to pay respects to George Floyd at a memorial service and public viewing at church in Raeford, North Carolina, close to his hometown of Fayetteville.

The line of people waiting to view the 46-year-old’s coffin included families with young children and teenagers.

One young woman wore a green and gold graduation cap and gown as she walked beside her parents. Many in the line wore face masks.

When the hearse bearing Floyd’s coffin arrived, some mourners chanted “Black Power,” “George Floyd” and “No justice, no peace,” from beneath the covered entrance.

The unarmed African-American was killed by a US police officer last week, who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Four officers have been arrested, with one facing murder charges, and the others for aiding and abetting.

Sometimes-violent protests have been taking place across the US, and globally, since his death on May 25.

17:26 Two police officers in Buffalo, New York, have been arraigned on felony assault charges after a viral video showed them pushing an elderly protestor who fell at an anti-racism demonstration.

The video, which collectively has millions of views, shows officers Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe shoving 75-year-old Martin Gugino. Gugino, a longtime community activist, then fell and struck his head on the sidewalk.

The officers have been suspended without pay and are being investigated after a local radio station released the video. 

Both officers pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault during the virtual hearing with the Buffalo City Court, the Buffalo News reported. 

Gugino is reportedly still in recovery in the intensive care unit (ICU). 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he has not asked for the officers to be fired. “It is very important that the officers know they are getting due process,” Brown said. “Our information was that the individual was an agitator.”

14:47 French police have banned a third protest in Paris planned for Saturday to condemn alleged police abuses in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Police cited a risk of spreading COVID-19 and fears of public unrest.

The police decree noted that social distancing regulations ban gatherings of more than 10 people.

Online posts called for people to gather Saturday afternoon in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Paris police had previously also banned two other planned gatherings outside the US Embassy.

Several hundred protesters, some holding “Black Lives Matters” signs, nonetheless gathered on Place de la Concorde, close to the Embassy.

Police had installed a long barrier across the square to prevent access to the embassy, which is also close to the Elysee presidential palace.

14:20 Fresh anti-racism protests have kicked off across Germany, with demonstrators filling up city centers from Berlin to Dusseldorf. 

Thousands gathered in Alexanderplatz in Berlin’s city center, holding signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace.”

“The #Alex is packed. No more people are being allowed in. Distancing is not possible,” one user tweeted.

Protests in Cologne, Münster and Nuremberg also drew large crowds, along with smaller cities such as Flensburg in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.

13:28 Thousands of people have rallied central London against police violence and racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd.

Gathering in Parliament Square, a traditional venue for protests, the demonstrators “took the knee” in silence and then chanted Floyd’s name before applauding his memory.

The demonstrators have ignored advice from the government and police to avoid attending because of the coronavirus. In England, gatherings are limited to groups of six, provided people stick to social distancing guidelines of 2 meters (6.5 feet) apart. Though social distancing was not possible given the numbers attending, many protesters wore face coverings.

Demonstrations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement also are taking place in Manchester, Cardiff in Wales and other UK cities.

07:37 A US judge ordered Denver police to halt their use of tear gas, stun grenades, plastic bullets and other “less-than-lethal” against protesters following a lawsuit filed by campaigners against police brutality. The police “failed in its duty to police its own,” said Judge R. Brooke Jackson.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week, crowds gathered around the Colorado Capitol building to protest racism and police brutality. While the protests were mostly peaceful, some of the participants broke windows of the state Supreme Court building and a nearby museum, and several stores were looted.

In their lawsuit, four activists involved in the protests admitted that some participants “engaged in destructive behavior” but noted that the local police “engaged in injurious riot control tactics without issuing clear warning and orders to disperse.”

In the ruling, the judge said it was a “more than a fair trade” to have a store’s window broken instead of breaking a protester’s facial bones.

“These are peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and medics who have been targeted with extreme tactics meant to suppress riots, not to suppress demonstrations,”  he said in the ruling.

Denver police spokesman Tyrone Campbell said the police would comply with the order.

06:58 The death of a five-year-old black boy triggered a protest in Brazil after the child fell to his death while entrusted to the care of a white woman.

Hundreds of protesters rallied against racism in the coastal city of Recife, echoing the outrage triggered by the killing of George Floyd in the US. Brazilian protesters displaying signs reading “Vidas negras importam”, the Portuguese version of the “Black Lives Matter” slogan.

According to local media, the five-year-old lost his life after his mother took him to the apartment of her white employer on Tuesday. While the mother left to take the family dog for a walk, she left the child in the care of the other woman. Security camera footage shows the employer interacting with the boy as he stands inside an elevator, then pushing the button for the top floor and leaving him alone. After reaching the ninth floor of the high-rise building, the boy reportedly climbed out of the window and fell.

On Saturday, protesters marched from the local court to the building where the child lost his life.

“It’s important to be at this protest, because [the boy’s] life represents the reality of lots of other black kids, the children of domestic workers,” said protester Nathalia Ferreira. “He could have been any one of us.”

06:56 Thousands of Australians have taken to the streets in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other cities to protest the killing of George Floyd and police treatment of Aboriginal people in the country. While the country still enforces social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus, protesters in Sydney won a last minute court decision allowing the march to proceed. The rally in Melbourne was banned, but the rally has still gone ahead. The participants chanted “No justice, no peace!” with some of them attempting to maintain distance while marching through Australia’s second most populous city, according to The Age daily.

Police in Brisbane handed out face masks with other officials providing hand sanitizer.

05:56 Here is a summary of the most recent key events linked with the killing of George Floyd:

Washington DC ended the state of emergency as violence subsided at protests against police brutality. Mayor Muriel Bowser called on Trump to remove federal security forces from the national capital. In a show of support to the protesters, Bowser announced the city’s 16th street near the White House would be renamed to “Black Lives Matter Plaza.” The slogan “Black Lives Matter” has also been painted on the street in giant block letters.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeu took a knee to show solidarity with the protests at an ant-racism rally, while onlookers chanted: “Stand up to Trump! Stand up to Trump!” In France, police banned demonstrations that had been scheduled outside the US Embassy in Paris and on the lawns near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday. Other rallies in countries around the world are expected to proceed later on Saturday.

A group of UN human rights experts slammed “modern-day racial terror lynchings” they said African-Americans still face in the US, urging the government to  tackle “systemic racism and racial bias” in the US criminal justice system and ensure accountability when police uses excessive force.

The authorities in Minneapolis, where Floyd was choked to death while in police custody last week, officially ended its curfew and said they would start sending back state troopers and the members of the national guard. The city has pledged to forbid police chokeholds and require officers to intervene on any occasion they witness unauthorized force by another officer.

US President Donald Trump said that every American must receive “equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender, or creed.”

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying: ‘This is a great thing happening for our country.’ A great day for him, a great day for everybody,” Trump told reporters. “This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

03:35 Facebook said it had removed about 200 accounts linked to white supremacist groups from Instagram and Facebook. The US social media giant took the action as the groups had encouraged people to attend protests with weapons. The accounts were connected to the Proud Boys and the American Guard, two far-right organizations.

Facebook said it was already monitoring activity on the accounts and removed them after it saw posts to exploit the protests against racism and police brutality following the killing of George Floyd. The latest action follows the removal of some other accounts earlier this week which were trying to manipulate public opinion during elections in Africa and the Middle East. Some of accounts were fake and had hundreds of followers.

03:10 The first of a number of Black Lives Matter rallies in Australia have begun amid possible clashes between protesters and law enforcers in Sydney after a court sided with police that the rally posed too much risk for spreading the novel coronavirus.

A rally in Adelaide was being held to honor George Floyd but also to protest against the deaths of indigenous Australians in custody. Likewise, in Sydney, where thousands of citizens were expected to demonstrate. However, New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Des Fagan stated on Friday that the gathering was not an authorized public assembly and therefore should not go ahead.

“I don’t diminish the importance of the issues and no one would deny them in normal circumstances. No one denies them that but we’re talking about a situation of a health crisis.”

02:45 Minneapolis and St. Paul have officially lifted their curfews and the state of Minnesota, where both cities are located, is planning to start sending back state troopers and members of the National Guard.

The two cities experienced unrest that included store break-ins late last week following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. However, the anger has subsided somewhat and the protests have evolved into a more peaceful movement, such as the ones that involved 1,000 protesters in St. Paul and hundreds more near the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz credited peaceful protests for provoking a rapid response from the Minneapolis Police Department. On Friday, the city agreed to forbid chokeholds and neck restraints as a civil rights investigation of the department gets underway.

02:05 The words “Black Lives Matter” have been painted in enormous bright yellow letters on the street leading to the White House in Washington, DC.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has clashed with President Donald Trump over his handling of the protests in the United States, said the painting by city workers and local artists that runs for two blocks is a sign of support and solidarity with Americans outraged over the killing of George Floyd.

“We know what’s going on in our country. There is a lot of anger. There is a lot of distrust of police and the government,” the mayor said at a press conference. “There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen and to have their humanity recognized. We had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city.”

A street near the White House was designated Black Lives Matter Plaza

01:45 Basketball legend Michael Jordan and his Nike-backed Jordan Brand have pledged to donate $100 million (€88.5 million) over the next 10 years in support of racial equality and social justice.

“Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement,” read the joint statement from Jordan and his firm. “Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people.”

Part of the initiative involves creating greater access to education for minorities.

Earlier in the week, Michael Jordan said: “I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.

“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength, and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality.”

00:35  In the United States, the National Football League (NFL) has admitted it was wrong in not recognizing black players’ rights to protest against racial injustice.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league made a mistake over its reaction to a kneeling protest in 2016 led by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The killing of George Floyd last week has renewed scrutiny of the way the NFL treats its black players, particularly over its lack of support for Kaepernick over the past four years.

Now the NFL has backtracked on its previous stance. Goodell said in a video: “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. We the National Football League believe black lives matter.”

“Without black players there would be no National Football League,” he said without mentioning Kaepernick by name.

The 32-year-old, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, did not renew his contract with the club when it expired in at the beginning of 2017. He has not played in the NFL since.

00:02 Protesters who have taken to the streets since George Floyd’s death last week have promised to turn momentary grief into a sustained movement to address racial injustice.

In Minneapolis, where Floyd died while in police custody, the city has agreed to forbid police chokeholds and require officers to intervene on any occasion they witness unauthorized force by another officer.

The City Council was expected to ratify the agreement, which will be enforceable in court.

Meanwhile, the nationwide protests have continued into an 11th day, with equal determination for justice, as the calls for an equal society grow ever louder.

At Floyd’s memorial in Minneapolis on Thursday, the Reverend Al Sharpton set out plans for a commemorative march on Washington in August, vowing that the movement will not relent in its goal to “change the whole system of justice.”

Floyd’s body has now moved to North Carolina, his state of birth, for a public viewing and private service for family members on Saturday.

Americans support the protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd by a margin of almost 2-to-1, according to a HuffPost/YouGov survey, with most viewing the 46-year-old’s death as part of a worrying trend in police treatment of black people.

05.06.2020 UTC/GMT Time

  • Trump says ‘hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying: ‘This is a great thing’
  • Washington’s mayor calls for federal forces to leave the US capital
  • Demonstrators protest outside US consulates in Frankfurt and Hamburg
  • French police have banned a protest in front of the US embassy Saturday

All times in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

23:37 A group of 66 United Nations human rights experts issued a stinging rebuke of the “modern-day racial terror lynchings” they said African-Americans still have to endure in the United States.

The group released two joint statements in response to the death of George Floyd and a number of other killings of black people in the United States.

Many of those incidents have been seen on online and “shock the conscience and evoke the very terror that the lynching regime in the United States was intended to inspire,” the group said. “Given the track record of impunity for racial violence of this nature in the United States, Black people have good reason to fear for their lives.”

The UN experts added that policing in the US remains tainted by a “legacy of racial terror” whose origins began with “slave patrols and social control.”

The group demanded the US government addresses the “systemic racism and racial bias in the country’s criminal justice system by launching independent investigations and ensuring accountability in all cases of excessive use of force by police.”

The monitors also lambasted US President Donald Trump’s response to the protests, which has included “threatening more state violence using language directly associated with racial segregationists from the nation’s past, who worked hard to deny black people fundamental human rights.”

22:50 Police in France banned demonstrations scheduled outside the US Embassy in Paris and on the lawns near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday. The protests are among the many taking place around the world following the death of George Floyd in the United States last week. 

The Paris police department said it decided to ban the demonstrations because of the risks of social disorder and health dangers from large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Unrest followed another anti-police demonstration in the French capital on Wednesday. Thousands had turned up despite a police ban on the event in memory of Adama Traore, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to Floyd’s death.

22:35 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a knee to show solidarity with protesters during an anti-racism rally in the country’s capital, Ottawa, while onlookers chanted: “Stand up to Trump! Stand up to Trump!”

The rally was one of several taking place across Canada prompted by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Wearing a black face mask to protect against the novel coronavirus, Trudeau applauded and nodded in agreement as a speaker demanded people must choose to be either “a racist or an anti-racist.”

22:00 Manhattan’s district attorney said his office will not prosecute those arrested for breaking the city’s curfew while participating in protests against racism and police brutality following the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

Cy Vance said the decision not to prosecute charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct “in the interest of justice.”

“The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve,” he said in a statement.

New York, like other cities across the United States, has been beset by protests and unrest following the death of Floyd, a black man, who died last week after a white officer restrained him by holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while three other officers stood nearby.

21:45 US President Donald Trump has courted further controversy with his social media posts. This time Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all disabled Trump posts of a tribute video to George Floyd due to copyright issues.

His campaign team posted a clip showing images and video footage of protest marches and examples of violence in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, with Trump speaking in the background.

As a result, a number of complaints were submitted and a Twitter representative said: “We respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives.”

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it took down the video after receiving the creator’s copyright complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Organizations that use original art shared on Instagram are expected to have the right to do so,” Facebook said via an official statement.

20:53 All 57 members of a police tactical unit in Buffalo, New York, have resigned from their team to object to the suspension of two colleagues who were filmed pushing a 75-year-old man to the pavement. Several officers had walked past the elderly man without attending him as he bled from his head and ear.

Local media quoted Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans as saying the officers were simply doing their job, and that their colleagues on the team had resigned from the special unit in protest at their suspension without pay. Evans could not be reached for comment, the Associated Press reported.

20:17 Donald Trump was greeted by demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd during a campaign visit to Maine in the northeast United States.

“It’s not the right time for him to be coming to our state,” said Marie Follayttar, director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership which helped organize the protest.

Maine Governor Janet Mills told Trump earlier this week that she had “security concerns” over his visit, to which Trump replied that made him more determined to come.

20:00 Dr. Jay Varkey, a specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia fears that police are spreading the new coronavirus by spraying tear gas on demonstrators.

“When I see the wide use of things like tear gas or pepper bombs that by its nature cause people to immediately rub their eyes, that causes me tremendous consternation in terms of the risk of what that could cause in terms of infection transmission during a pandemic,” Varkey said.

Varkey also said that confining people in small spaces dramatically increases the risk of infection.

19:40 California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the state police training program to stop teaching carotid holds, saying the restraining technique has no place in the 21st century.

The technique, which involves wrapping ones arms around a person’s neck and can block blood flow to the brain, was used on George Floyd during his arrest before he died in police custody.

19:24 Two-thirds of Americans think that Donald Trump has increased tensions with his handling of the George Floyd demonstrations, according to a poll conducted by public broadcasters NPR and PBS and the New York-based Marist College.

Trump’s approval rating has remained relatively unchanged, however, sitting at 41% — down just two percentage points from the last NPR/PBS/Marist poll. 

19:06 Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has given up his seat on the social news aggregator’s board and has urged other members to replace him with a black candidate.

Ohanian, husband of tennis star Serena Williams, also said he would “use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community,” beginning with a $1 million (€885,413) donation to Know Your Rights Camp, a charity founded by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.

18:51 American police officers in two US cities have found themselves in hot water over incidents in and around protests relating to Floyd’s killing.

Two officers were suspended in Buffalo, New York after a video depicted the pair shoving a 75-year-old man, who fell to the ground and injured his head. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the incident “offensive and frightening.”

In Indianapolis, Indiana, four police officers were captured on video using batons and pepper balls to subdue two women during a George Floyd protest in the state capital. The quartet have been reassigned to support duties pending an investigation.

17:45 Three black German footballers, including former German international Jerome Boateng, spoke to DW about how they feel about racism. 

Nicole Anyomi, a striker for SGS Essen in Germany’s top women’s division, said she was “lost for words” when hearing of Floyd’s death. “We are in 2020 and racism and injustice still prevails,” she told DW.

Leroy Kwadwo of third-tier side Würzburger Kickers, a victim of racist chants earlier this year, told DW that “it’s common that players of a different skin color or another religion are insulted and it’s not publicized afterwards.”

Boateng told DW that everything starts with “the education of children,” saying that “no child is born a racist.”

17:35 Former Vice President Joe Biden has heavily criticized US President Trump for incorporating Floyd into his address on job figures.

Trump said he hoped Floyd was “looking down right now and saying: ‘This is a great thing happening for our country.'”

“George Floyd’s last words — ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ — echoed all across this nation and, quite frankly, around the world. For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I frankly think is despicable,” said Biden, who is set to square off against Trump in this year’s presidential election as the Democratic nominee.

17:24 Minneapolis, the city where Floyd was choked to death by a police officer, has agreed with the state of Minnesota to ban police chokeholds and require police to report and intervene anytime they see an unauthorized use of force by another officer.

The agreement also requires the police chief or a designated deputy chief to authorize the use of crowd control weapons, including chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bangs, batons and marking rounds. Decisions to discipline officers also must be made in a timely fashion.

Minneapolis’ City Council is expected to ratify the measures later Friday.

16:56 Facebook said it has not detected any foreign interference targeting US protests related to Floyd’s killing.

US Attorney General William Barr had claimed that foreign groups were using online disinformation campaigns similar to those mounted by Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

“We have been actively looking and we haven’t yet seen foreign interference or domestic coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting these protests,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters in a conference call.

“We want to caution people against jumping to conclusions without clear evidence of foreign interference.”

16:38 City workers in Washington have painted “Black Lives Matter” in yellow letters on the street leading to the White House.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser posted an aerial video of the text, which she dedicated to Breonna Taylor, an African American woman who was shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky.

16:35 Authorities in the city of Mobile, Alabama removed a statue of a Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes without notice. Its removal followed days of protests, and more demonstrations calling for it to be taken down were scheduled for Sunday.

The Confederacy was a bloc of slave-holding state that battled US troops in the American Civil War of the 19th century. Statues of Confederate figures erected after the war have sparked controversy in the US, many criticizing they symbolize the systemic racism in America.

16:24 South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) is launching a “Black Friday” campaign in response to Floyd’s “heinous murder” and “institutionalized racism” in the US, at home, in China and “wherever it rears its ugly head.

The campaign, which calls on South Africans to wear black on Fridays in solidarity, is also meant to highlight “deaths by citizens at the hands of security forces” in the country.

“The demon of racism remains a blight on the soul of our nation,” the ANC said in a statement.

South Africa remains one of the most racially divided countries in the world a quarter of a century after the racist system of apartheid. 

16:01 People around the world took to the streets again in protests related to Floyd’s killing. In Germany, tens of thousands of demonstrators in Frankfurt and Hamburg protested against racism, holding signs with slogans such as: “Your Pain Is My Pain, Your Fight Is My Fight.”

In London, several dozen people gathered in Trafalgar Square, with many in the British capital wearing masks and some kneeling in solidarity.

Protesters kneel and hold signs outside the US consulate in Hamburg

Demonstrators also gathered outside the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria, holding banners with slogans such as “There are no races just one species” and “Racism is the Real Virus.”

Several more protests are expected in Berlin, London, Brussels and Barcelona and Madrid in Spain on Saturday and Sunday. In Paris, French police have banned a planned demonstration in front of the US embassy on Saturday.

15:53 Washington Mayor Bowser announced the renaming 16th street near the White House to “Black Lives Matter Plaza.” She posted a video on her Twitter account depicting a city worker changing the sign.

15:49 Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has ended a state of emergency in the American capital and called for Trump to remove federal forces from the district. 

“The protests have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest,” Bowser wrote in a letter she posted on her Twitter account.

“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing black Americans.”

15:36 Earlier Friday, Twitter blocked a Trump campaign tribute video over a copyright claim, adding to a growing feud between the social media platform and the US president. The video, still visible on YouTube, contained pictures of Floyd and Trump soundbites calling his death a “grave tragedy” and stating “it should never have happened.”

15:05 Trump said he was “suggesting to some governors that are too proud … Don’t be proud. Get the job done. You’ll end up doing much better in the end, calling the National Guard. Call me.

“You have to dominate the streets. You can’t let what’s happening, happen,” he said in remarks at the White House Rose Garden.

15:01 US President Donald Trump has told a press conference that all citizens have to receive equal treatment from law enforcement. He appeared to suggest that the protests following Floyd’s death were now over.

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying: ‘This is a great thing happening for our country.’ A great day for him, a great day for everybody. This is great day for everybody.”

15:00 Welcome to DW’s rolling coverage of the protests sweeping the US and the rest of the world in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The 46-year-old African American died in Minneapolis last week after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, despite crying out “I can’t breathe.” Since then, the US has experienced its worst civil unrest since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

dv/rt (AP, Reuters) (DW)

(UTC/GMT) (04.06.2020)

Hollywood celebrities, musicians and politicians gathered in front of George Floyd’S golden casket at a fiery memorial. An attorney for Floyd said he was killed by the “pandemic of racism.”

  • Family holds memorial service in Minneapolis
  • Merkel condemns racist ‘murder’ of George Floyd
  • Republican Senator questions whether to support Trump in the November election

All times in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT) (04.06.2020)

23:10 The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, alleging that White House officials violated protesters’ civil rights when they were violently dispersed by US security forces using tear gas and stun grenades.

It accuses US Attorney General William Barr and other senior officials of wrongful action, saying they “unlawfully conspired to violate” the protesters’ rights. The ACLU described the action as a “coordinated and unprovoked charge into the crowd of demonstrators.”

The Trump administration has come under fierce criticism, including from current and former officials, for repressing the protest in order to make way for Trump to walk to a historic church for a photo-op.  

Shortly before the protesters were dispersed, Trump threatened to deploy the US military on American soil to quell protests, a remark that was criticized by former generals, including Mike Mullen, the 17th Joint Chiefs of Staff.

22:30 US Attorney General William Barr has said he will ensure that the Justice Department investigates whether a federal civil rights crime was committed in Floyd’s case.

“While the vast majority of police officers do their job bravely and righteously, it is undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence in our American criminal justice system,” Barr said. “This must change. Our constitution mandates equal protection.”

His comments appeared to be in stark contrast to earlier remarks concerning Floyd’s case and unrest triggered by his death at the hands of the police. At the onset of nationwide protests, Barr condemned the unrest, describing a “disturbing pattern of cynicism and disrespect shown toward law enforcement.”

21:35 New Yorkers have also been gathering to remember the life of George Floyd.

“You are not alone,” the large crowd chanted in the direction of George’s brother Terrence, who thanked them for their support.

“I thank God for you all showing love to my brother,” he said.

Regarding some of the protests that have occurred since the death of his brother, Terrence Floyd said: “I’m proud of the protests but I’m not proud of the destruction. My brother wasn’t about that. The Floyds are a God-fearing family.”

“Power to the people, all of us,” he added.

20:50 Mourners at the memorial service in Minnesota have made a stand — for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a timespan that has become a potent symbol of the police brutality inflicted up Floyd that fateful day.

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in police custody in New York City in 2014, stood on stage with the Reverend Al Sharpton and the actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish.

20:00 The three former police officers accused of aiding and abetting a murder in the death of George Floyd have had their bail placed at $1 million (€882,000) each, according to court records.

That figure could be reduced to $750,000 should they be willing to accept certain terms, such as not getting in touch with the Floyd family as well as another regarding firearms.

The police officer Derek Chauvin, who stands accused of second-degree murder, is set to appear in court next week.

19:22 An attorney for George Floyd vowed at a memorial service in downtown Minneapolis to get justice for the African-American.

Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Floyd family, said it was “not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd. It was that other pandemic,” Crump said. “The pandemic of racism and discrimination that killed George Floyd.” Crump promised “to get justice for George Floyd.”

Members of the deceased’s family were alongside the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey along with several hundred others in attendance.

19:15 Authorities in Washington, Los Angeles County and elsewhere have lifted curfew orders as protests over the killing of George Floyd began to dissipate.

A wave of curfews were implement across the US last weekend as tensions mounted and protests gathered pace.

The unrest, including incidents of looting, arson and violent police crackdowns, largely reverted to those of a more peaceful nature recently.

In Washington, which has seen a stand-off between protesters and authorities outside the White House, Attorney General Bill Barr will seek a “low-profile footprint” and take down some barriers around the presidential building.

New York City also saw a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere, although it will maintain its curfew throughout Thursday.

Curfews have also lifted in the cities of San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

18:50 Mourners filed into a sanctuary in Minneapolis for the first in a series of a memorial services to take place across the United States to remember the life of George Floyd.

The afternoon service was set for North Central University and the civil rights leader, the Reverand Al Sharpton, was among those due to eulogize about the 46-year-old.

“He was a human being. He had family, he had dreams, he had hopes. The real duty of one with this type of assignment is to underscore the value of the human life that was taken, which gives the reason the movement was occurring,” Sharpton said prior to the service.

The memorial included an image which was projected above the pulpit of a mural of Floyd painted at the street corner where he was pinned to the pavement by a police officer. The message enshrined on the mural simply says: “I can breathe now.”

18:25 Protesters rallying against police brutality in the US have a “civic duty” to get tested for coronavirus, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his daily press briefing.

“I’m not a nervous Nellie, I’m just looking at the numbers,” he said, warning that some 30,000 came out to protest across the state.

“Many wear masks. But there is no social distancing,” he added. “Police are in their face.”

At the same time, Cuomo said his concerns would not affect the gradual reopening of the state’s economy, with construction and manufacturing to restart on Monday.

Earlier this week, Chicago health officials urged protesters in the US’ second most populous city to go into self-quarantine for 14 days, if possible.

On Thursday, Cuomo said he shared the outrage over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and that New York will observe a moment of silence over the tragedy.

18:15 A large statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee will be removed at the earliest available opportunity from Richmond’s Monument Avenue, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has confirmed, promising the state will no longer “preach a false version of history.”

The bronze equestrian statue will be moved to storage while Northam and his colleagues work “with the community to determine its future,” the governor said at a press conference where the news received a huge round of applause.

“You see, in Virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history. One that pretends the Civil War was about `state rights’ and not the evils of slavery. No one believes that any longer,” Northam added.

18:00 The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the US authorities to respect citizens’ right to protest peacefully.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Kremlin has taken note of the use of tear gas to disperse George Floyd protesters, as well as mass arrests. She also pointed to the suffering numerous journalists had encountered when trying to cover the rallies, including Russian reporters.

Zakharova said: “It’s time for the US to drop the mentor’s tone and look in the mirror,” in a reference to Washington’s assertion that Moscow doesn’t respect the rights of its citizens. She also challenged the US authorities to “start respecting peoples’ rights and observing democratic standards at home.”

Thousands of demonstrators defied curfews to protest the death of George Floyd, marking the eighth night of demonstrations and clashes with police. In Seattle, protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas and pepper spray fired by police, while hundreds were arrested for breaking curfew and marching across the Manhattan Bridge in New York City.

In Washington, DC, people chanted slogans against US President Donald Trump outside the White House for more than an hour, even after the city imposed curfew at 6 p.m. local time (22:00 UTC). In Atlanta, the National Guard sought to disperse crowds as soon as the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect, and local media reported troops using tear gas to clear the streets.

Meanwhile, news and debate over the protests has continued to make waves across social media platforms. Several employees of Facebook resigned this week after CEO Mark Zuckerberg reaffirmed his support not to flag posts made by US President Donald Trump, following the flagging of a post made by Trump on Twitter.

17:50 US Senator Lisa Murkowski admitted she is unsure whether to back President Donald Trump’s reelection bid, questioning his response to nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death.

Asked if she supported Trump ahead of the polls in November, Murkowski said, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”

“He is our duly elected president. I will continue to work with him … but I think right now… we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately,” Murkowski told reporters on Capitol Hill.

17:30 German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the “murder” of George Floyd.

Merkel said: “Racism is something terrible. This murder of George Floyd is extremely terrible. Racism is something terrible. Society in the United States is very polarised,” she told public broadcaster ZDF.

17:20 Mourners have converged in Minneapolis for the first memorial to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police has sparked turbulent protests, both in the United States and elsewhere, against racial injustice.

He was killed when a police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd pleaded for mercy as he was struggling for breath, but to no avail.

An autopsy has since revealed Floyd suffered a cardiac arrest in what was officially deemed a homicide.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar (2nd R) speaks with Reverend Jesse Jackson (C) and Jonathan Jackson

jsi/rt (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP)  (DW)

Below is a roundup of how the protests unfolded. All times in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT) (03.06.2020)

08:48 Pope Francis condemned violence and racism in the US on Wednesday morning, saying that no one can “turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion.”

Francis also referred to violence as “self-destructive and self-defeating.”

Francis, who dedicated the entire English-language section of his weekly audience to the protests in the US, called the death of George Floyd “tragic,” and asked God for national reconciliation and peace. Francis said he was praying for Floyd and all those who had been killed as a result of the “sin of racism.”

07:45 Seattle protesters have been using umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas and pepper spray since Tuesday, evoking reminders of last year’s protests in Hong Kong.

Hundreds gathered in Seattle’s capitol hill neighborhood on Tuesday night, with dozens standing and chanting in front of a police barrier, with umbrellas in their hands. The scene was reminiscent of the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, which saw millions take to the streets, many with umbrellas.

Seattle is under a nightly curfew which begins at 10 p.m. local time (05:00 UTC).

06:38 New York police have arrested about 200 protesters between 8 p.m. (midnight UTC) and 1 a.m. local time, a law enforcement official told CNN, adding that that figure is expected to increase.

In New York City, thousands of chanting protesters ignored an 8 p.m. curfew to march from the Barclays Center toward the Brooklyn Bridge. The crowd then stopped at an entrance to the Manhattan Bridge roadway, chanting at riot police: “Walk with us! Walk with us.”

New York City has been one of the focal points of the anti-police brutality protests that have spread across the US, and has seen violent demonstrations resulting in looting and clashes with police.

05:00 Police were forcefully trying to clear protesters still out on the streets past curfew in Washington DC, around 1 a.m. local time. After protesters clashed with police in Lafayette Park near the White House earlier this week, a new fence was put up around the park. 

Police were standing on the opposite side of the fence from the crowd of around 200 protesters, with officers using teargas and flash bangs to respond to fireworks and other projectiles being thrown by the demonstrators, CNN reported. The curfew there went into effect at 7 p.m.

03:42 Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly reaffirmed his support to not flag US President Donald Trump’s social media content.

Twitter last week flagged and demoted Trump’s tweet that referred to unrest in Minneapolis and threatened: “When the looting starts the shooting starts.” However, on Facebook, the same message was allowed to remain on the platform without recourse.

Zuckerberg’s defense has triggered a wave of resignations at Facebook. Last week, Zuckerberg cited freedom of expression as a motivator for not flagging the content.

“I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” said Zuckerberg.

03:00 The death of George Floyd last week whilst being restrained by police officers sparked a wave of protests that have spread across the US and throughout the world.

02:16 Protesters in major US cities have defied curfews aimed at preventing looting and rioting.

In Washington D.C., protesters chanted slogans against US President Donald Trump outside the White House for more than an hour after a curfew went into effect at 06:00 pm local time (2200 UTC). 

In New York, protesters called on police to “take a knee” in support of the demonstrations against police brutality after a citywide curfew went into effect at 08:00 pm local time.

Journalist James Reinl in New York told DW that although many peaceful protesters had gone home, large groups of people were trying to get into Manhattan around an hour after the curfew began.

In Atlanta, the National Guard started to disperse crowds of protesters as soon as a 09:00 pm curfew went into effect. Local media reported troops using tear gas to clear the streets.

Other cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles, were preparing for curfews to go into effect.

01:35 Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral who led the military from 2007 to 2011, said he was “sickened” at the use of National Guard troops to clear protesters demonstrating peacefully in front of the White House.

The protesters were dispersed using smoke canisters and pepper balls to make way for US President Donald Trump’s walk to a historic church for a photo-op.

In the op-ed published in The Atlantic news magazine, Mullen also criticized Trump’s threat to deploy the US military on American soil.

“Even in the midst of the carnage we are witnessing, we must endeavor to see American cities and towns as our homes and our neighborhoods,” said Mullen. “They are not ‘battle spaces’ to be dominated, and must never become so.”

01:22 Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, said she wanted the world to know that he was a good father who would never see his daughter grow up now.

“I want everybody to know that this is what those officers took. At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families,” Washington said at a news conference flanked by Floyd’s daughter Gianna.

“I’m here for my baby and I’m here for George because I want justice for him,” she said. “I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good.”

00:54 US Park Police denied using tear gas against protesters who gathered in front of the White House on Monday, saying they instead used smoke canisters and pepper balls. Park Police said they dispersed the crowd in response to protesters throwing items at them, a claim that contrasts with AP reporters account of the incident.

Shortly after the protesters were dispersed, US President Donald Trump walked through the area en route to a historic church for a photo-op.

The Park Police’s claimed motive also clashes with that given by Justice Department officials, who said the police were carrying out orders to further expand the security perimeter around the White House. That order was reportedly given by US Attorney General Andrew Barr.

“Here is the crowd at Barclay’s Center that the Mayor is planning to impose a curfew on in 30 minutes,” said Lander. “Take a listen and see if you think they should all be arrested. #BlackLivesMatter.”

Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio imposed a citywide curfew after consecutive nights of looting in Manhattan.

00:10 Moments before a curfew took effect, hundreds of protesters in New York called on police to “take a knee” in solidarity with the movement.

However, the call was rejected as police stayed in their positions.

New York City council member Brad Lander posted a video on Twitter of hundreds of other protesters singing “We shall overcome.”

23:09 Thousands of protesters gathered near the White House a day after a demonstration was dispersed with tear gas and stun grenades to make way for US President Donald Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Church.

Protesters were heard chanting: “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former presidential candidate, attended the protest, according Democratic Party lawyer Andrew Weinstein.

DW’s Alexandra von Nahmen spoke to some of the hundreds of protesters who remained outside the White House in defiance of a 07:00 pm (2300 UTC) curfew. They told her they were upset by President Trump’s threat to deploy the troops. One protester said “he’s trying to scare and provoke us.” 

22:51 US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on US President Donald Trump to be a “healer in chief,” playing on the president’s role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

“We would hope that the president of the United States would follow the lead of so many presidents before him to be a healer in chief and not a fanner of the flame,” she said, referring to respective efforts by [former Presidents] Barack Obama and George Bush Sr. in the wake of the Rodney King riots and the death of Eric Garner in police custody.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Trump’s Republican Party said he could “understand the outrage” over Floyd’s death in the hands of police.

“There is no question that there is residual racism in America,” McConnell said. “It’s been a longtime dilemma and we all wish we could get to a better place.”

22:34 A public prosecutor in Georgia charged six Atlanta police officers over their involvement in the dramatic arrest of two young black people.

Video of the arrest showed police officers using stun guns against Messiah Young, 22, and his girlfriend Taniyah Pilgrim, 20, who are both university students. They had been caught in traffic caused by protests triggered by Floyd’s death in police custody.

At least two of the officers were fired on Sunday after Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and police chief Erika Shields found they had used excessive force during the arrest.

“I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off of the street and no longer able terrorize anyone else,” said Young, who sustained serious injuries during the arrest.

“I’m so happy that they’re being held accountable for their actions,” added Pilgrim.

21:48 Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said more than 2,700 people have been arrested since unrest over Floyd’s death in police custody erupted last week.

Moore urged residents in the Los Angeles metropolitan area to adhere to a 12-hour curfew going into effect at 06:00 pm local time (0100 UTC).

“As the night goes on we continue to work, arresting looters that are trying to take advantage of a tragedy,” said the LAPD in a tweet. “We know we are living through unprecedented times, but we will continue to be here for you — ‘to protect and to serve.'”

Earlier, police chief Moore apologized for remarks about looting in relation to Floyd’s death.

“Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two,” he said. “I deeply regret and humbly apologize for my characterization.”

21:17 Police in the French capital Paris fired tear gas at protesters who were demonstrating against the deaths of black men in police custody. Protesters had gathered to honor the lives of George Floyd and French black man Adama Traore, who died in 2016.

Many of the thousands of protesters had taken a knee and raised their fist as police officers and firefighters struggled to disperse crowds and tackle small blazes.

Police said on Twitter that they had intervened because the protests were technically outlawed under coronavirus-related measures.

21:05 US Attorney General William Barr said the federal government would further bolster efforts to stop unrest in the nation’s capital, Washington DC.

“There will be even greater law enforcement resources and support in the region tonight,” said Barr, who is coordinating the federal law enforcement response in the capital. “The most basic function of government is to provide security for people to live their lives and exercise their rights.”

Barr has come under fire for reportedly orchestrating the violent dispersal of peaceful protesters in front of the White House on Monday. Police shot tear gas and sound grenades in order to make way for US President Donald Trump’s photo-op visit to St. John’s Church.

DC city authorities have said they have rejected White House efforts coordinate and use force to quell protests. Barr’s comments come a day after Trump threatened to deploy the US military on American soil.

20:25 The state of Minnesota filed a civil rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

Governor Tim Walz said the state’s Department of Human Rights will probe the police department’s practices, reviewing the last 10 years of policies and procedures. 

The investigation will determine whether officers engaged in systemic discrimination towards people of color and also propose solutions on how to stop it from happening in the future. 

“Silence is complicity. Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” Walz said. 

“Being black should not be a death sentence,” he emphasized.

20:00 In an op-ed, DW’s Miodrag Soric notes that writes that black Americans face an uphill battle in the fight for equal treatment in US society.

“Black people are not protesting in dozens of cities across the US because they feel they are being treated as second-class citizens, as one commentator claimed. They’re protesting because they really are second-class citizens.”

“On paper, every American citizen is equal before the law. But in reality, US police stop people on the street simply because of their appearance, even when they’re not seen as suspects.”

19:40 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a full 20-second pause before answering a reporter’s question on President Donald Trump’s handling of the protests in the US.

The silence came when a journalist asked the Canadian leader during a press conference to comment on Trump’s threat to use the military on protesters.

After taking a long pause, Trudeau eventually answered: “We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States.”

“It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen, it is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades,” he said, noting that Canada must also work to address racial inequality and discrimination.

19:30 New York City’s new curfew that is due to come into force on Tuesday has already been extended until the end of the week.

The 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (0000 to 0900 UTC) curfew will now run until June 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.

A curfew on Monday that began at the later time of 11:00 p.m. failed to deter people from looting several stores in Manhattan, he said.

The mayor added that officials would not be deploying National Guard soldiers as in other states, saying the New York Police Department’s 36,000 officers could handle any unrest. The police

Nighttime curfews are also in effect for dozens of cities across the US, including Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. Depending on the area, protesters could face fines or jail time for staying out past the curfew.

19:20 US presidential hopeful Joe Biden has launched a withering attack on Donald Trump in the wake of the protests across the United States.

“He thinks division helps him,” Biden said in a speech at Philadelphia’s City Hall. “This narcissism has become more important than the nation’s wellbeing.”

Biden spoke of the moment law enforcers drove back peaceful protesters near the White House on Monday so Trump could pose with a Bible. “If he opened it instead of brandishing it, he could have learned something,” Biden said as he criticized authorities for using “tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage a photo op.”

“We can be forgiven for believing the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden added. “More interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.”

He said the killing of African-American George Floyd at the hands of the police that sparked the protests, was a “wake-up call” for the country and it must now address the issue of systemic racism.

“We can’t leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away and do nothing,” Biden said. “We can’t.”

19:00 German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the anti-police brutality protests in the US were “more than legitimate” and that he hopes they will spark change.

“I can only express the hope that the peaceful protests don’t turn violent, and even more the hope that they will have an impact,” he added.

He also called for press freedom for reporters covering the protests, saying that the German government will contact US authorities to support a DW journalist who was fired at and hampered from doing his job.

“Any violence that occurs in this context not only has to be criticized — above all it has to be properly followed up and investigated so that journalists are protected when they are doing their work,” Maas said.

DW’s Stefan Simons was shot at by police on two separate occasions while covering the Minneapolis protests. He was wearing a press jacket during both incidents and had identified himself as a journalist.

18:45 Thousands of protesters gathered at Paris’ main courthouse to show solidarity with US protesters denouncing the killing of George Floyd and to condemn the death of a black man — Adama Traore — in French police custody.

Paris police banned the gathering a few hours before it was supposed to begin, citing coronavirus restrictions prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

Traore — a French citizen — died shortly after his arrest in 2016. His family says he died from asphyxiation in the hands of police and, echoing Floyd, that his last words were: “I can’t breathe.” 

Investigations into Traore’s death are still ongoing four years after his death due to conflicting medical reports. 

The lawyer for two of the three police officers involved claims that Traore didn’t die as a result of the conditions of his arrest but due to a pre-existing medical condition. 

Similar protests honoring Traore and Floyd are also taking place in other cities throughout France.

18:25 The European Union’s top foreign policy official has said the bloc is “shocked and appalled” by the killing of George Floyd, describing his death as an “abuse of power.”

“All societies must remain vigilant against the excessive use of force,” Borrell told reporters in Brussels. 

He emphasized that Europeans “support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions.”

Welcome to DW’s rolling coverage of the protests sweeping the US in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The 46-year-old African American died in Minneapolis last week after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, despite crying out “I can’t breathe.” Since then, the US has experienced its worst civil unrest since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

10:30 city police chief has been sacked after a black business owner and beloved community figure in Louisville, Kentucky, was fatally shot early Monday. Riot police had been dispersing crowds when they were shot at and returned gunfire, killing David McAtee. 

McAtee, 53, owned a barbecue restaurant and was known for offering meals to police officers who stopped by. Demonstrators were protesting not just the killing of George Floyd, but also another recent police shooting of a resident of the city. 

By Monday afternoon, a group stretching several city blocks peacefully marched to the place where McAtee was shot. That same day, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also announced the firing of the city’s police chief, Steve Conrad. He said officers involved in the shooting had failed to activate body cameras at the scene. Authorities had sought footage for their investigation after the Kentucky governor demanded the release of the police video.

”This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated,” Fischer said. ”Accordingly, I have relieved Steve Conrad of his duties as chief of Louisville Metro Police Department.”

07:12 Though some protests descended into violence, demonstrations against the death of George Floyd and police brutality in the US remained mostly peaceful. 

In New York City, large crowds rallied peacefully in Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Times Square. But violence returned by nightfall, with vandals looting a Macy’s and other stores on the 5th Avenue shopping district ahead of the city’s curfew.

People in Washington once again gathered in Lafayette Park opposite the White House. They then marched peacefully through the streets of the city after being forced from the park after the 7:00 p.m. curfew. Police then dispersed peaceful protesters, who were blocks from the Capitol building, with tear gas, pellets, and low-flying helicopters.

07:46 Multiple police officers in St. Louis, Missouri, and in Buffalo, New York, were injured during clashes with protesters.

The St. Louis Police Department confirmed that four officers were struck by gunfire during a lengthy shootout that took place amid protests in the city. The injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

In Buffalo, in upstate New York, two law enforcement officers were injured when an SUV sped through a line of police in riot gear. Two people in the SUV had gunshot wounds, with the Buffalo News newspaper reporting that law enforcement believes it was possible the people were shot in an unrelated incident. The officers were in stable condition and a suspect has been detained, a police spokesman said.

03:52 Two men were arrested inside Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan. Its door had been breached amid a citywide curfew. Other stores across Manhattan were hit by looting, including the Nike, AT&T and North Face stores.

City authorities have called on people to respect the curfew and stay inside. Since unrest erupted last week in the wake Floyd’s death, at least 700 people have been arrested in New York.

03:07 A curfew has gone into effect in New York City as of 11:00 pm local time (0300 UTC). Despite efforts by authorities to restrict public gatherings overnight, protesters and rioters remained on the streets.

In the run-up to the curfew, storefront windows were smashed at several businesses, including Nike and AT&T stores in Manhattan.

Earlier, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on people to respect the curfew. However, due to expected violations, he extended it.

“These protests have power and meaning,” said de Blasio. “But as the night wears on we are seeing groups use them to incite violence and destroy property. Our first priority is keeping people safe, so I’m extending the curfew to Tuesday. It will begin at 8pm.”

Over in Washington D.C., DW’s Alexandra von Nahmen said the situation had calmed down after police cleared protesters from the streets using tear gas. However, officers were now in the process of arresting demonstrators for defying the curfew there.

03:00 Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam accused the US of upholding “double standards” concerning both governments’ handling of protests.

“You know there are riots in the United States and we see how local governments reacted,” said Lam. “Then in Hong Kong, when we had similar riots, we saw what position they adopted then.”

02:24 Reverend Mariann Budde said she was “outraged” by Trump’s visit to the historic St. John’s Church, which forms part of her Episcopal diocese as bishop.

She said he did not “acknowledge the agony and sacred worth of people of color in our nation who rightfully demand an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who heads the diocese, said the visit was overtly political and had nothing to do with spiritual matters.

“This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken,” said Curry. “In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.”

Police used tear gas and sound grenades to clear protesters in front of the White House to make way for Trump to visit the church.

01:53 At least 5,600 people have been arrested amid nationwide unrest over the death of George Floyd in police custody, according to a tally by the Associated Press.

In Minneapolis alone, at least 150 people have been arrested. Floyd was killed in the Minnesota city. In Los Angeles, nearly 1,000 arrests have been made, while in New York City, at least 700 people have been taken into custody.

01:24 Twitter founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey tweeted “police policy reform now.”

His social media platform has come under fire from US President Donald Trump over the past week after it hid one of his tweets for “glorifying violence.” Trump responded by issuing an executive order targeting social media for allegedly censoring content.

Trump often uses Twitter, long considered his preferred platform, as an informal way to push his domestic and foreign policy agenda.

01:16 Several US state governors have come out against Trump’s threat to deploy the armed forces to quell nationwide protests.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Trump has “repeatedly proven he is incapable of governing and shown nothing but false bravado throughout the chaos that has accompanied his time in office.”

“Now he uses the most supreme power of the presidency in a desperate attempt to hide his timidity and vapidity,” said Inslee, a former presidential candidate. “I pray no soldier and no civilian is injured or killed by this reckless fit.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she would not use the National Guard to suppress protests, saying: “You don’t diffuse violence by putting soldiers on the streets.”

01:10 DW reporters on the ground in the US have been gauging public opinion at ongoing protests. Alexandra von Nahmen in Washington D.C. said people within the administration are concerned that Trump’s inability to strike the right tone to unite the nation may hurt his reelection chances. “But he himself believes stressing he is a ‘law and order president’ will help,” she said. “But if he continues his present course, he may lose important voter groups, such as women and independents.”

Stefan Simons is in Minneapolis at a memorial at the exact spot Floyd was killed last week. People from all walks of life have been attending a family event. When news of the autopsy results that Floyd died by suffocation filtered through, the reaction was simply “well, we knew that all along,” Simons said.

00:39 George Floyd’s family has accepted an offer by former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather to pay for his funeral.

“He’ll probably get mad at me for saying that, but yes, he is definitely paying for the funeral,” Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, told American sports broadcaster ESPN.

The funeral is expected to take place on June 9 in Houston, Floyd’s hometown.

00:29 US President Donald Trump walked from the White House to a historic church that had been damaged during riots over the weekend.

Trump described the place church as a “very, very special place.” St. John’s Church in Washington DC has been described as the “church of the presidents.”

“We have a great country,” Trump said holding a Bible outside the church.

DW’s Alexandra von Nahmen witnessed police firing tear gas and bang grenades to disperse protesters in front of the White House in order to make way for Trump to reach the church.