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9 Minneapolis City Council members announce plans to disband police department

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 6/8/2020 Derek Hawkins, Meryl Kornfield, Adam Taylor, Kareem Copeland, Meagan Flynn, Katie Shepherd, Allyson Chiu, Tim Elfrink, Timothy Bella
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Nine Minneapolis City Council members announced plans Sunday to disband the city’s police department. They did not offer a timeline or propose specific actions but said they are “taking intermediate steps toward ending” the force. The group represents a majority on the 12-person council.

Two weeks after George Floyd died in police custody in the city, protesters nationwide say their work is far from over. They continue to denounce entrenched bias in law enforcement and call for sweeping changes.

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In stark contrast, two top Trump administration officials said Sunday they do not believe there is “systemic racism” in the country’s police forces. Attorney General William P. Barr suggested he is reluctant to investigate potential deeper policing problems in Minneapolis, where the national firestorm began.

Here are some significant developments:

  • President Trump said Sunday he is ordering National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and others had criticized the use of heavily armed federal officers as security during largely peaceful demonstrations.
  • The New York Times on Sunday announced the resignation of its editorial page editor, James Bennet, four days after publishing a controversial op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that called for military intervention in U.S. cities racked by protests over police violence.
  • The concept of defunding the police has become a growing topic of interest as protests continue nationwide. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have called for the action as one step toward combating what they view as institutionalized racism within police departments.
  • Philonise Floyd is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday, the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since his brother’s killing in police custody on Memorial Day.
  • Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama addressed the unrest sparked by Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic in their commencement speeches to the Class of 2020 on Sunday, telling graduates that they, too, are anxious about the events that have unfolded in recent months. “It’s fair to say that your generation is graduating into a world that faces more profound challenges than any generation in decades,” Barack Obama said.
  • The Denver Police Department changed its rules Sunday to ban all uses of chokeholds as part of a wider effort to address the use of force by its officers amid ongoing protests over Floyd’s death.

Have you participated in protests after George Floyd’s death? Share your experience with The Washington Post.

6:06 AM: D.C.’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ street art inspires similar giant slogans in cities nationwide

a large building in the background: A street mural painted in downtown Raleigh on Sunday reads “End Racism Now.” The art was inspired by D.C.'s “Black Lives Matter” mural on 16th Street NW. © WTVD/Screengrab via WTVD A street mural painted in downtown Raleigh on Sunday reads “End Racism Now.” The art was inspired by D.C.'s “Black Lives Matter” mural on 16th Street NW.

The sun had been up for only about an hour Sunday morning when Charman Driver and about a dozen other people convened on a street in downtown Raleigh, N.C., for another day of protesting racism. But instead of signs and banners, the group showed up with a different means of spreading their message: paint.

Within hours, three giant words written out in marigold yellow block lettering stretched the length of a city block near the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh. “End Racism Now.”

“This is what I’m doing for my child,” Driver, a community activist and local business owner, told WRAL. “Her and her friends need to know the real truth about this country that we live in.”

Read more here.

By: Allyson Chiu

5:32 AM: The nexus between coronavirus and protests: ‘The virus was the kindling. Police brutality lit the fire.’

In the middle of the night, as some of the first protests raged in Louisville, Shae Smith and her husband, Walt, decided to break out of their pandemic quarantine and take to the streets.

“We were actually in bed and I finally woke Walt up and said, ‘Babe, I think you need to go down there,’ ” Shae recalled. “‘You need to see what’s going on, we need to be a part of this.’”

At 2:15 a.m., Walt went downtown to see, to make a statement. The Smiths had talked and talked about the virus: They knew joining the protests against police brutality meant a higher risk of being infected. They took the risk to give their 10-year-old son a chance at a future in which he is not “walking around with the spirit of fear,” Shae said. They took the risk because after dealing with the pandemic “we still have to do whatever it takes.”

Read more here.

By: Marc Fisher, Peter Jamison and Ava Wallace

5:15 AM: Seattle police fire tear gas at protesters, days after city announces temporary ban

Gallery by photo services

Seattle police cracked down on a large protest early Monday by firing stun grenades and tear gas, days after the city announced a temporary ban on the chemical irritant.

The protesters resisted orders to disperse that had been issued at midnight, regrouping at the site of a vigil for George Floyd where, several hours earlier, a man drove through a barrier and into the crowd, shot a protester in the arm and then approached the police line to be taken into custody.

Police on Twitter said officers asked the crowd to move back after a glass bottle struck a Washington National Guardsman in the head. Minutes later, police said protesters were throwing fireworks, rocks and bottles at officers. They responded with pepper spray and “blast balls,” or bullets filled with a pepper-spray-like substance.

Shortly afterward, police said officers spotted a person with a gun and authorized the use of CS gas, more commonly known as tear gas. Seattle’s mayor and police chief had agreed Friday to temporarily ban the use of tear gas for 30 days.

Although officials suspended the use of tear gas for crowd-control purposes, the city’s SWAT team retained the ability to use the riot-control agent during “lifesaving circumstances,” the police chief told the Seattle Times.

Video of the tense interactions between protesters and police show officers fired explosive rounds and gas into the crowd, which refused to move. Some protesters lobbed canisters releasing smoke back at the police line. One protester was hit directly with a munition that appeared to explode as it struck. The injured person collapsed before being carried away by other protesters.

The Seattle Police Department did not immediately respond to questions about whether Monday morning’s use of tear gas was in compliance with the temporary ban.

By: Katie Shepherd

4:45 AM: John Oliver slams the ‘absolutely unforgivable’ systemic racism of policing black people

As the number of times police have used tear gas, batons and pepper spray during the nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death flashed across the screen, John Oliver reflected on how such incidents have long been present in American culture.

“It didn’t start this week or with this president,” he said on his Sunday-night show. “It always disproportionately falls on black communities.”

To mark the two weeks that have passed since Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Oliver spent the entirety of “Last Week Tonight” unpacking the history of the systemic racism in policing that has some critics pushing to defund police departments.

“This clearly isn’t about individual officers,” he said. “It’s about a structure built on systemic racism that this country created intentionally and now needs to dismantle intentionally and replace with one that takes into account the needs of the people that it actually serves.”

Oliver, who also slammed President Trump for invoking Floyd’s name when announcing the job numbers on Friday, noted that while images of police officers kneeling in solidarity with the protesters was a start, much more change was needed.

“We need so much more than that because ours is a firmly entrenched system in which the roots of white supremacy run deep, and it is critical that we all grab a f------ shovel,” he said. “To do anything less would be absolutely unforgivable.”

He ended the show playing a clip of author Kimberly Jones talking about the protests.

“There’s a social contract that we all have that if you steal or if I steal, then the person who is the authority, they come in and fix the situation. But the person who fixes the situation is killing us,” she said. “So the social contract is broken.”

She added, “You broke the contract when you killed us in the streets and didn’t give a f---.”

(Note: The video below contains explicit language.)

By: Timothy Bella

4:15 AM: ‘Defund the police’ gains traction as cities seek to respond to demands for a major law enforcement shift

a group of people walking down the street: Members of Black Lives Matter paint “Defund The Police” on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. © Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post Members of Black Lives Matter paint “Defund The Police” on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

A movement to slash funding for police departments or to disband them entirely has surged in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis police custody last month, with activists, local leaders and elected officials calling to drastically reshape public safety amid nationwide protests of police brutality.

Demonstrators have chanted “defund the police” at rallies outside the homes of mayors, and they have printed the slogan on face masks and spray-painted it on walls in numerous cities. In Washington, D.C., the phrase now appears in huge yellow letters on the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza on 16th Street near the White House.

Though long a concept floated among left-leaning activists and academics, officials from Washington to Los Angeles are now seriously considering ways to scale back their police departments and redirect funding to social programs. The moves would be a strong show of solidarity with protesters, who are clamoring for social justice and to strike back at what they see as an oppressive force across the country.

Read more here.

By: Derek Hawkins, Katie Mettler and Perry Stein

3:45 AM: Jeff Bezos says he’s ‘happy to lose’ customers upset by Black Lives Matter support

Jeff Bezos wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin speaks during the JFK Space Summit, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Katherine Taylor/File Photo © Katherine Taylor/Reuters FILE PHOTO: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin speaks during the JFK Space Summit, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Katherine Taylor/File Photo

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement last week, pledging $10 million to support racial justice and adding a banner to the top of the online retailer’s homepage declaring that “Amazon stands in solidarity with the Black community.”

The move swiftly drew criticism from some shoppers who personally emailed Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Bezos responded on Sunday by posting two of those letters on Instagram, sharing messages peppered with racial slurs and cries that “all lives matter.”

He called the angry and racist responses “sickening, but not surprising” and responded to one writer who threatened to boycott Amazon: “Dave, you’re the kind of customer I’m happy to lose.”

“This sort of hate shouldn’t be allowed to hide in the shadows,” Bezos wrote in response to one email he made public. “It’s important to make it visible. This is just one example of the problem.”

Amazon joined a large cohort of American companies declaring support for the Black Lives Matter protests that have been unfolding across the U.S. Facebook, Intel, Apple, and Alphabet have also pledged donations to support organizations dedicated to racial justice and supporting black communities.

Some critics have suggested such corporate declarations do no go far enough, are motivated by profit and are undermined by labor practices.

By: Katie Shepherd

3:15 AM: Photos from protests today around the nation, and the world, following the death of George Floyd

a man riding a skateboard up the side of a building: Ayannah Buford, 34, born and raised in D.C., poses in front of the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza sign Sunday.

Ayannah Buford, 34, born and raised in D.C., poses in front of the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza sign Sunday.
© Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

See more photos from Sunday’s protests around the country and world here.

By: Dee Swann

2:45 AM: George Floyd’s last public memorial and private funeral service set for Monday and Tuesday in Houston

The final public memorial for George Floyd will take place Monday, between noon and 6 p.m. at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston.

Because of social distancing recommendations, only 15 people will be allowed inside the church at a time for about 10 minutes to remember Floyd, whose death in police custody in Minneapolis has sparked nationwide protests. The church is asking guests to wear masks and take measures, like washing or sanitizing hands, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus during the services.

On Monday evening, Houston’s Jack Yates Senior High School, where Floyd graduated in 1993, will hold a candlelight vigil starting at 7:30 p.m. on the football field. The alumni association also asked participants to honor social distancing recommendations and wear masks.

A final private service will take place on Tuesday, followed by Floyd’s burial at Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery. The Fountain of Praise church will stream the memorial services online.

By: Katie Shepherd

2:15 AM: Trump bashes Colin Powell, questions NFL in late-night tweets over George Floyd protests

Colin Powell wearing a suit and tie: Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and a board member of Bloom Energy Corp., pauses during a group interview with Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Corp., in Tokyo, on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg © Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and a board member of Bloom Energy Corp., pauses during a group interview with Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Corp., in Tokyo, on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

As large demonstrations against police brutality again gripped the nation on Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter late in the day to lash out at former secretary of state Colin Powell — his latest GOP critic — and to question whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will condone players kneeling during the national anthem.

Powell drew Trump’s ire after an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, where the retired general joined the chorus of former military officials who have bashed the president’s threats to use the armed forces to quell protests.

“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the president has drifted away from it,” Powell said.

In his tweet, Trump called Powell “weak” and “pathetic,” citing his discredited testimony in the lead-up to the Iraq War claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Goodell, meanwhile, apologized Friday for the league’s past handling of protests for racial equality and encouraged players to speak out. The league responded to those protests by sending quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest racism, into a virtual exile over his stance.

Trump, on Twitter, questioned whether Goodell’s statement meant “it would now be O.K. for players to KNEEL” during the anthem. Trump again claimed the protests were “disrespecting to our Country & Flag,” though Kaepernick and others have been clear their intention is to demand changes to policing.

By: Tim Elfrink

1:45 AM: ‘That’s the snapshot. That’s America.’: Sherrilyn Ifill says Floyd’s death reflects the soul of the country

For Sherrilyn Ifill, the image of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for several minutes until he died in police custody was a snapshot of the soul of the country.

Speaking to “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the visuals surrounding Floyd’s death last month served as a reminder of where the United States is in its history.

“There are moments in this country when there are photographs that are snapshots of the soul of this country. They almost hold up a mirror to this country,” she said. “And when we see this picture of the nonchalance with which America will put its knee on the neck of black people and make itself deaf to our suffering, deaf to our cries, deaf to our desperation — that’s the snapshot. That’s America.”

Ifill’s comments come as cities nationwide continue to protest two weeks after Floyd’s death.

She also criticized President Trump for allowing Attorney General William P. Barr to authorize federal officers and armed troops to use chemical agents and less lethal rounds on protesters in Washington to clear the streets.

“It is not strong to [tear] gas people and to stand in front of a building with a Bible,” said Ifill. “That’s not strength; that is a performance.”

By: Timothy Bella

1:15 AM: Man charged with leaving molotov cocktails in downtown Pittsburgh amid protests

A Pennsylvania man was arrested after he allegedly left a backpack of molotov cocktails in downtown Pittsburgh amid the ongoing protests prompted by George Floyd’s death, authorities announced this weekend.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania said that Matthew Michanowicz, 52, faces federal charges for illegal possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The charges stem from a June 1 incident, when Pittsburgh police responded to a suspicious bag left at a bike rack downtown, according to a criminal complaint. When police found the “military, green backpack,” they noticed a foul odor and three devices, which were later confirmed by a bomb squad to be suspected “homemade molotov cocktails.”

Surveillance footage allegedly captured Michanowicz placing the backpack under some trees. According to the complaint, he told investigators that he had ridden his bike to the area to observe the “aftermath” of the protests last week.

He denied possessing any destructive devices, police say. But when authorities searched Michanowicz’s home, they say, they found 10 additional camouflage backpacks in his garage, along with equipment such as fuses, latex gloves, spray foam insulation and ignitable liquid.

Scott Brady, the U.S. attorney overseeing the case, said Michanowicz was only present at the protests to “incite and destroy.”

“Once again, we see that certain participants in the protests in Pittsburgh were only present to serve as agitators and to incite violence,” Brady said. “Let’s call them what they are: criminals.”

He added, “I hope that any organizers or protesters who are participating consistent with the First Amendment will help identify and stop agitators who seek to manipulate their protest for violent ends.”

By: Timothy Bella

12:41 AM: One shot in Seattle after armed man drives into crowd of protesters

A man is in custody in Seattle after driving into a crowd of protesters with a gun and shooting one person, according to police.

In a scene captured on video Sunday night, Seattle protesters appeared to try to block a vehicle heading erratically toward the crowd. One man appears to be reaching into the driver’s side window when a shot rings out.

The man jolts backward from the vehicle, video footage from the Seattle Times shows. Bystanders rush to help, another Times reporter’s video shows.

As the driver gets out of the vehicle, the people surrounding the car start to run.

“He has a gun,” a person behind the camera says.

The driver walks around the back of the vehicle, brandishing the gun and heading straight for a larger crowd of peaceful protesters.

Stuck, some put their hands up as the man approaches, video footage by a reporter at the Stranger shows. The man starts running through the crowd toward the police line.

Seattle police took the man into custody and recovered a gun, the department said on Twitter.

The Seattle Fire Department said the shooting victim was transported to a hospital, where he is in stable condition.

Video by photojournalist and reporter Alex Garland shows the victim walking with medics, one of whom is holding his bleeding arm as he explains what happened.

“I see a car run down Pine [Street]. … I catch him. I punch him in the face. I hear the gunshot go off — my arm — and I move right in time,” he says. “My whole thing was to protect those people.”

By: Meagan Flynn

12:26 AM: Seattle mayor will require police to turn on body cameras during protests

a group of people in uniform standing in front of a crowd: SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 06: Demonstrators face off with law enforcement personnel near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct on June 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. This is the 12th day of protests since George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images) © David Ryder/Getty Images SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 06: Demonstrators face off with law enforcement personnel near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct on June 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. This is the 12th day of protests since George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan (D) announced Sunday night that she will issue an executive order requiring Seattle Police Department officers to turn on their body cameras during demonstrations as tense clashes between law enforcement and protesters continue in the city.

Durkan’s announcement comes as she and Police Chief Carmen Best have faced pressure to de-escalate police tactics and hold officers accountable for using force against demonstrators.

Earlier Sunday, more than two dozen local leaders, including Seattle City Council members, King County Council members and state lawmakers, sent a letter to Durkan and Best expressing concern that “the response of the Seattle Police Department is escalating the conflict in the streets of Seattle … with their inappropriate use of force.” Over the weekend, at least one Seattle City Council member called for Durkan to resign, the Seattle Times reported.

“SPD must be a department that leads with de-escalation and does not use force unless it is absolutely necessary,” Durkan said during a news conference Sunday night. “At the city, both Chief Best and I are listening and acting to the tens of thousands of our community members who have taken to the streets to call for a better city and a better country.”

Beyond Durkan’s executive order, which will be issued Monday, Best said the police department would make other changes to promote de-escalation. The number of officers will be “significantly reduced” in areas where many protesters have gathered, such as the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, she said. Best added that officers at the scenes also would not be wearing as much riot gear.

“The Seattle Police Department is committed to protecting people’s First Amendment right to free speech,” Best said. “Our goal is to have absolutely no conflicts and unfortunately we were not able to meet this goal, we haven’t been able to meet it on several occasions this week.”

By: Allyson Chiu

12:02 AM: Mural removed of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo, widely seen as a symbol of police brutality

Workers on Sunday painted over a large mural in South Philadelphia depicting former mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo, who has been seen as a symbol of police brutality and racial discrimination by many in the city for decades.

With the permission of the building’s owner, Mural Arts Philadelphia said, it painted over the mural of Rizzo and is considering new artwork that better reflects the community.

“We know that the removal of this mural does not erase painful memories and are deeply apologetic for the amount of grief it has caused,” Mural Arts Philadelphia tweeted Sunday. “We believe this is a step in the right direction and hope to aid in healing our city through the power of thoughtful and inclusive public art.”

The mural’s erasure comes days after a statue of Rizzo was removed from the city’s downtown civic center.

Rizzo served as police commissioner from 1968 to 1971 and then as mayor from 1972 to 1980, building a reputation as the “the toughest cop in America” after using aggressive policing tactics, especially against the LGBT community and communities of color, in the 1960s and 1970s. He infamously urged Philadelphia residents to reelect him for a third term by asking them to “Vote White.” He died in 1991.

In recent years, the statue and mural have been repeated targets for vandalism. Campaigns to remove them gained increasing support, and recent protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sped the city’s decision to get rid of them.

By: Katie Shepherd

11:33 PM: California National Guard troops leaving Los Angeles

a group of people standing in front of a building: Members of the California National Guard monitor protests June 6 in downtown Los Angeles. (Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images) Members of the California National Guard monitor protests June 6 in downtown Los Angeles. (Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images)

The California National Guard will leave Los Angeles on Sunday night after another weekend of large but peaceful protests in the city.

Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) praised residents for “leading a powerful movement” in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

“I’m proud that our city has been peaceful this week — and that our residents are leading a powerful movement to make Los Angeles more just, equitable, and fair for Black Angelenos, communities of color, and all of our workers, youth, and families,” Garcetti said in a statement on Sunday.

The announcement comes as the National Guard stands down in other large cities, including Washington. Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy confirmed Sunday that all out-of-state Guardsmen would leave the nation’s capital within 48 to 72 hours.

Garcetti, who earlier announced plans to cut at least $150 million from the police budget to reinvest in underserved communities, commended the Guard for mobilizing to the city.

“We thank the members of the Guard for their willingness to serve — to ensure the safety of demonstrators, businesses, residents, and everyone in our city,” Garcetti said.

By: Tim Elfrink

11:05 PM: As protesters hope this is a moment of reckoning for American policing, experts say not so fast

a group of people walking down the street: Demonstrators paint the words 'defund the police' as they protest Saturday near the White House over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) © Jacquelyn Martin/AP Demonstrators paint the words 'defund the police' as they protest Saturday near the White House over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Glimmers of hope have emerged for Americans demanding action on police violence and systemic racism in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, the black man who gasped for air beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer last month.

All four officers involved have been fired and charged in his death, a far more rapid show of accountability than has followed similar killings of unarmed black people. Massive, diverse crowds have filled streets nationwide, sometimes with politicians and law enforcement officials marching and kneeling alongside. Legislation banning chokeholds and other forms of force have been passed by local governments. And on Monday, congressional Democrats plan to roll out a sweeping package of police reforms on Capitol Hill.

But there are signs that Floyd’s killing might not be the watershed moment that civil rights advocates are hoping for, some experts say.

Read more here.

By: Kimberly Kindy and Michael Brice-Saddler

10:35 PM: Denver bans police from using chokeholds

The Denver Police Department on Sunday changed its rules to ban all uses of chokeholds as part of a wider effort to address the use of force by its officers amid ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The department will also require officers to turn on body cameras whenever they’re involved in “tactical operations” and to tell a supervisor when they point a gun at someone.

The changes are part of “an effort to maintain the highest level of public accountability,” the department said.

“We will continue to evaluate our policies with community input,” Police Chief Paul Pazen said in a statement, “and make improvements as needed in the interest of public and officer safety.”

The new policy says Denver officers cannot use chokeholds or carotid compression techniques, which put pressure on the carotid arteries to restrict blood flow and render a person unconscious, “without exception.”

The department will also start collecting data on how often officers point their guns at people.

The policies of police departments across the country are being evaluated as protests against systemic racism within law enforcement continue from coast to coast. Minneapolis on Friday banned chokeholds in the wake of Floyd’s death after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The Sacramento Police Department has also announced that it will no longer use carotid control holds.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced last week that the carotid hold will no longer be included in the state police training program and state training materials.

By: Kareem Copeland

9:40 PM: Barack and Michelle Obama address George Floyd’s killing, coronavirus pandemic in graduation speeches

Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama addressed the unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd and the coronavirus pandemic in their commencement speeches to the Class of 2020 on Sunday, telling graduates that they, too, are anxious about the events that have unfolded in recent months.

“It’s fair to say that your generation is graduating into a world that faces more profound challenges than any generation in decades,” Barack Obama said. “It can feel like everything’s up for grabs right now.”

Both the pandemic and the killing of Floyd and other African Americans have turned a spotlight on economic inequality, lack of access to health care, bigotry and political dysfunction, the former president said.

Demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality are not “simply a reaction to those particular tragedies, as heartbreaking as they are,” he said. “They speak to decades’ worth of anguish and frustration over unequal treatment and a failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system.”

In separate remarks, Michelle Obama also took a serious tone, reassuring graduates that they are not alone if they feel confused, scared, angry or “just plain overwhelmed.”

“I am feeling all of that, too,” she said.

“Over these past couple of months, our foundation has been shaken,” she said. “Not just by a pandemic that stole too many of our loved ones, upended our daily lives and sent tens of millions into unemployment, but also by the rumbling of the age-old fault lines that our country was built on: the lines of race and power that are now, once again, so nakedly exposed for all of us to grapple with.”

In a joint video, the Obamas said that despite all of the uncertainty, it is still a time for celebration.

“Hold your heads high,” Barack Obama said.

The former first lady followed up: “And go ahead and do a little dance.”

By: Derek Hawkins

9:36 PM: Missouri man charged with murder of former St. Louis police captain

A 24-year-old Missouri man was charged Sunday with first-degree murder in the death of retired police captain David Dorn, who had attempted to protect a pawnshop from looters during civil unrest in St. Louis last week.

Stephan Cannon of Glasgow Village was also charged with first-degree burglary, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of armed criminal action. He is being held without bond.

Dorn, 77, served 38 years in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department before retiring in 2007. He later served as police chief in Moline Acres, a St. Louis suburb.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Dorn was friends with the owner of Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry and would check on the business when alarms sounded during off hours.

Late last Monday and early Tuesday, after peaceful demonstrations gave way to violence, Dorn responded as rioters broke into downtown stores. St. Louis police said Cannon was identified on surveillance video entering the pawnshop, stealing televisions and shooting Dorn on a street corner.

Dorn’s killing occurred the same night four St. Louis police officers were shot. None suffered life-threatening wounds.

By: Steven Goff

8:50 PM: Black Lives Matter co-founder says ‘defund the police’ means investing in ‘resources that our community needs’

The concept of defunding the police has become a growing topic of interest as protests continue nationwide. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have called for the action as one step toward combating what they view as institutionalized racism within police departments.

Some think the measure is an attempt to stop providing financial resources to police departments, but BLM co-founder Alicia Garza appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday to explain the concept.

“It is time to … use our money and resources in a fully different way,” Garza said. “At the end of the day, everyone can agree that we don’t have the things we need to live well. … What I’m looking for right now, and I think millions of Americans are looking for right now, is real change. Not tinkering around the edges, but going straight and directly to the root.

“When we talk about defunding the police, what we’re saying is invest in the resources that our community needs.”

Garza said the intention is to redistribute resources from police departments, which have been funded to the point of militarization, into other community-building initiatives, such as housing and education. Supporters also strive to limit the size, scope and scale of policing around the country.

The notion has been met with much criticism.

President Trump used the idea to attack political rival Joe Biden on Sunday.

“Sleepy Joe Biden and the Radical Left Democrats want to ‘DEFUND THE POLICE,’ ” Trump tweeted. “I want great and well paid LAW ENFORCEMENT. I want LAW & ORDER!”

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has been called out by activists for commissioning a Black Lives Matter mural on a street near the White House, but having a 2021 proposed budget that increases spending on police.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has said he understands the sentiment but won’t use the phrase.

By: Kareem Copeland

8:00 PM: Army secretary confirms withdrawal plan for out-of-state National Guard in nation’s capital

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy confirmed Sunday that all out-of-state National Guardsmen sent to the nation’s capital to help quell protest unrest would be withdrawn within 48 to 72 hours.

McCarthy said that officials were working on a plan to deactivate D.C. National Guardsmen as well, but that he expected they would still help local police and federal law enforcement officials in the coming days. All active-duty U.S. troops that had been put on alert outside the city earlier in the week had gone home, he added.

“Over the course of these last 48 hours, the National Guard, as well as our interagency partners working with [D.C.] Chief of Police Peter Newsham, looked at the trends, saw that it had become very peaceful in nature, and started to develop a plan for withdrawal of first out-of-state National Guardsmen supporting the D.C. Guard — and then how do we get on a glide path to turning off the D.C. Guard,” McCarthy said in a call with reporters.

President Trump announced the withdrawal earlier in the day but warned that the guardsmen could return. “They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!” he said.

By: Paul Sonne

7:11 PM: Veto-proof majority of Minneapolis city council say they plan to disband police department

Nine Minneapolis city council members on Sunday announced plans to disband the Minneapolis Police Department. They did not offer a timeline or specific actions they plan to take but said they are “taking intermediate steps toward ending” the force. The group, which represents a majority on the 12-person council, made the formal announcement during a Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block rally near where Floyd was killed.

“It’s our commitment to end policing as we know it, and recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe,” council President Lisa Bender said during the rally. "It is clear that our existing system of policing and public safety isn’t working for so many of our neighbors. ... Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) has said he favors structural reforms to the force, but opposes the proposal to defund the police. Frey faced boos and chants of “Shame!” from protesters on Saturday when he came out of his home to address them.

“I am absolutely for a massive shift, a structural shift in how the police department functions, I’ll say it again. And as for abolishing the entire police department — no, I’m not, and I’ll be honest about that, too,” Minnesota Public Radio quoted Frey as saying in response to a question from a protester.

By: Katie Mettler

7:10 PM: Mitt Romney marches in anti-racism protests ‘ to make sure that people understand that black lives matter'

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) marched Sunday alongside hundreds of evangelicals protesting racism and the death of George Floyd, as the crowd around them eventually swelled to more than 1,000 in the nation’s capital.

The former presidential nominee said in an interview that he wanted to find “a way to end violence and brutality, and to make sure that people understand that black lives matter.”

Under a blazing afternoon sun, protesters around Romney waved signs with biblical phrases and chanted “Do justice! Do justice!”

They marched from the U.S. Capitol’s reflecting pool along Pennsylvania Avenue in a demonstration planned by a handful of prominent evangelical churches in the D.C. region.

On Saturday, as what would become 10,000 people crammed into D.C. streets for anti-racism protests, Romney tweeted about his father, former Michigan governor George W. Romney, who marched in civil rights demonstrations outside Detroit in the late 1960s.

By: Michelle Boorstein and Hannah Natanson

6:14 PM: Chicago police face investigation of allegations of abuse during protests

The Chicago Police Department faces an investigation of allegations of abuse during protests in the city that started last weekend, according to an independent monitor.

Maggie Hickey, a lawyer named last year to oversee reform measures the city agreed to after the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer, told District Judge Robert Michael Dow Jr. on Friday that she planned to deliver a report by July 24. It came during a hearing where various civil rights groups asked Hickey to intervene on their behalf.

“Chicago is experiencing a rise in First Amendment activity, civil unrest and related law enforcement activities," Hickey told Dow. “To promote transparency under the consent decree, I will prepare a special report on the response of the city of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department to these recent events.”

The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in Minneapolis police custody led to a peaceful protest downtown on March 30 that turned to rioting and looting and spread throughout the city last week. During that period, Chicago police officers were filmed using aggressive tactics against some protesters, including an officer pulling a woman at a mall on the Northwest Side from a car, shoving her to the ground and then appearing to place his knee on her neck. Her family is calling for a criminal investigation of the incident.

On Friday, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said he “relieved two of the involved officers of their police powers pending an external investigation.”

The cases caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Karen Sheley of the Illinois chapter of the ACLU said in a statement that the police department “is responsible morally and constitutionally for these officers’ response to these protests.”

Also Sunday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Twitter that she was lifting the citywide curfew she put in place March 30. All transit and street access to the downtown business district was also opened.

By: Mark Guarino

5:40 PM: Kansas protester who did not wear mask tests positive for coronavirus

A protester who attended a large racial justice rally in Lawrence, Kan., last Sunday tested positive for the novel coronavirus Friday, according to the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Department.

The protester told contact tracers that he had not worn a mask at the event — for which several hundred protesters gathered in the downtown area to protest George Floyd’s killing.

Officials have asked other protesters to self-monitor for symptoms. There have been 10,393 cases of the coronavirus and 232 deaths in Kansas. Overall, cases in the state have been declining, but they have spiked in recent days in certain metropolitan areas as the state continues reopening.

Public health officials across the nation are eyeing caseloads and hospitalizations to see whether there is a spike in infections resulting from mass protests against racism and police violence.

The protests have been outdoors, and the virus is most easily transmitted in closed spaces with poor ventilation. Even so, the massing of protesters for hours on end in chaotic circumstances, along with police use of chemical agents, could lead to a spike in cases in coming days and weeks.

“One person can infect hundreds. If you were at a protest, go get a test, please,” New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said in a briefing Thursday. “The protesters have a civic duty here also.”

By: Annie Gowen, Joel Achenbach and Chelsea Janes

5:11 PM: New York Times editorial page editor resigns after uproar over Cotton op-ed; Trump responds

a yellow car parked on the side of a building: FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2011 file photo, traffic passes the New York Times building in New York. The publisher of The New York Times posted a 20% gain in fourth-quarter profits as the paper continued to add digital subscribers, although ad revenue declined both online and in print. In 2019, the Times set a goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025, and hit the halfway mark in the latest quarter with 5.3 million print and digital subscribers. It sells access to its newspaper as well as separate subscriptions for its crosswords and recipes.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File © Mark Lennihan/AP FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2011 file photo, traffic passes the New York Times building in New York. The publisher of The New York Times posted a 20% gain in fourth-quarter profits as the paper continued to add digital subscribers, although ad revenue declined both online and in print. In 2019, the Times set a goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025, and hit the halfway mark in the latest quarter with 5.3 million print and digital subscribers. It sells access to its newspaper as well as separate subscriptions for its crosswords and recipes. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

The New York Times on Sunday announced the resignation of its editorial page editor James Bennet, who held the position since May 2016, and the reassignment of deputy editorial page editor Jim Dao to the newsroom.

The announcement comes four days after the newspaper published a controversial op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton (R.-Ark.) titled “Send in the Troops,” which called for military intervention in U.S. cities wracked by protests over police violence.

President Trump jumped on the news, tweeting that Bennet “quit over the excellent Op-Ed penned by our great Senator @TomCottonAR.

“TRANSPARENCY!” he added, again calling the Times “Fake News!!!”

Read more here.

By: Travis M. Andrews

4:54 PM: New York City to shift funding from police to youth services, mayor says

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Sunday defended the strategy his city’s police force used over what he described as a “long, complex week” of unrest, while outlining steps he said would be taken to address demands for change.

Speaking during a morning news conference, he said his administration is committed to shifting funding from the New York Police Department to youth initiatives and social services. Details will be worked out in the city’s upcoming budget process, he added.

“While doing that, we will only do it in a way that we are certain continues to ensure that the city will be safe,” de Blasio said.

The police department will also stop handling enforcement of street vendors, an issue he said was important to the immigrant community because it is “people creating their own business, trying to experience some version of that American Dream that often feels elusive lately.”

Additionally, the city will hire community ambassadors who can bring residents’ concerns to “the highest levels of the New York Police Department.” De Blasio also said he will support changing a state law that shields police disciplinary records.

The mayor announced those measures while facing questions about his response to the protests and discord. Some have criticized the city’s recent curfew as unnecessary and police actions as overly aggressive.

De Blasio said the city was contending not with exclusively peaceful protests and civil disobedience, but also with a “different element” — unseen in decades — in which “a small, committed group of, let’s call them anarchists,” was bent on violent acts. Working-class communities were among those hurt by that element, which he said was present in cities across the United States.

“It is absolutely inappropriate and immoral for anyone to go to a protest to harm another human being,” de Blasio said. “It doesn’t represent any progressive values that I know about.”

He said he had made decisions, including imposing the curfew and authorizing the police department’s strategy, based on protecting lives and property. There were times in the past week, he added, when a loss of life seemed “damn close to happening.”

As for videos appearing to show police using aggressive tactics against peaceful protesters, de Blasio said individual incidents will be investigated. But he cautioned that footage doesn’t always show the whole picture.

“ ‘Apparently’ is a really key word here,” he said. “Sometimes, we saw a video that was part of what happened.”

The situation grew more manageable each day, the mayor said, and there have now been five days of predominantly peaceful protests. He said Saturday was “the best by far — the biggest number of protesters, fewest arrests, fewest problems,” which convinced him to lift the curfew.

He said he hopes it is “the last time we’ll ever need a curfew in New York City.”

By: Brittany Shammas

3:50 PM: Floyd’s death has struck a particular chord in Europe

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ROME — George Floyd was killed thousands of miles away, but demonstrators packed public spaces around the world over the weekend in the hope of triggering a new reckoning over race in their own countries.

In London, protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy on Sunday for a second day of demonstrations. In Germany, “silent demonstrations” on Saturday drew 150,000 people; participants in Berlin chanted “Nazis out.” And in Rome, protesters pointed to far-right campaigns against migrants and industries that they say exploit them in off-the-books jobs.

“Italy is not innocent,” read the sign held by Sara Mattei, a 22-year-old university student.

Floyd’s death has inspired demonstrations from Australia to Brazil to Mexico to Canada. But it has struck a particular chord in Europe, where leaders have struggled to integrate a wave of migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East over the past seven years. A third of people of African descent in Europe report facing racial harassment.

Read more here.

By: Chico Harlan, Loveday Morris and Michael Birnbaum

2:50 PM: NBA coach Gregg Popovich calls for action after ‘lynching’ of Floyd as athletes take to the streets

Whether by making a video or by taking to the streets, coaches and athletes made their voices known as protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police continued this weekend in large cities and small towns across the United States.

Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, shared his thoughts in a raw video in which he said he was embarrassed “as a white person” that Floyd could die in such a “nonchalant” way as former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Popovich called for white people to speak out “no matter the consequences” and called the killing a “lynching.” Chauvin and the three officers who looked on as Floyd lay dying were fired and are facing charges.

Read more here.

By: Cindy Boren

2:00 PM: Curfews end in New York City, Philadelphia, and other U.S. cities

Officials in New York City, Philadelphia and other cities across the United States lifted their curfews Sunday after a weekend of largely peaceful demonstrations.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said he is immediately ending the city’s curfew, which was set to expire Monday morning.

“Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” the mayor wrote on Twitter early Sunday. “Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart. Keep staying safe. Keep looking out for each other.”

The curfew was the city’s first in 77 years, and de Blasio had previously defended his decision to leave it in place, even as numerous other cities began to lift theirs.

A number of local politicians, including New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, had called on the mayor to lift the curfew. On Friday, civil rights groups threatened to sue de Blasio if he extended his order.

On Saturday, officials in Chicago, Dallas, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Orlando and Buffalo announced that they would lift their curfews, citing few instances of violence and arrests.

By: Brent D. Griffiths and Meryl Kornfield

12:49 PM: Barr says he doesn’t think ‘law enforcement system is systemically racist'

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Attorney General William P. Barr signaled Sunday that he was reluctant to open a broad “pattern or practice” investigation into possible systemic problems at the Minneapolis Police Department, arguing that the actions of one officer do not necessarily indicate widespread problems.

The comments came during an appearance on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” Pressing Barr on his views on whether there are systemic problems with policing in the United States, host Margaret Brennan asked “doesn’t opening the pattern-or-practice investigation into a place like Minneapolis, where there are questions about the broader issues with policing — it wasn’t just the one officer — wouldn’t that answer that question?”

A pattern or practice investigation, run by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, takes a broad look at the practices of a police department, and typically results in a court-enforceable agreement to force reforms. Such investigations were used frequently in the Obama administration but have been all but abandoned under President Trump.

“That’s exactly the reaction that I think has been a problem in the past, which is … just reacting to this incident by immediately putting the department under investigation doesn’t necessarily result in improving the situation,” Barr said, noting that state authorities were already examining the department.

“We stand ready to act if we think it’s necessary,” Barr said. “But I don’t think necessarily starting a pattern-or-practice investigation at this stage is warranted.”

Asked whether he thinks there is “systemic racism in law enforcement,” Barr said, “I think there’s racism in the United States still, but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist.”

“I understand the distrust, however, of the African American community given the history in this country,” Barr said. “I think we have to recognize that for most of our history, our institutions were explicitly racist.”

By: Matt Zapotosky

12:35 PM: British protesters topple statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston

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Protesters in the English city of Bristol toppled a statue of the 17th-century merchant, politician and slave trader Edward Colston on Sunday.

Footage from the scene shows a large crowd of anti-racism protesters cheering as the statue is knocked off its plinth in College Green and thrown into the water in Bristol’s harbor.

Colston, who was born in Bristol in 1636, rose to become one of Britain’s most successful business executives of the era and later emerged as a politician and philanthropist.

But his legacy has been reappraised in recent decades because of his leadership roles in the Royal African Co., a London-based trading company that transported hundreds of thousands of slaves across the Atlantic, many of whom died along the way, in the late 17th and early 18th century.

Between 1672 and 1689, during which Colston was an official with the company, ships from the company are thought to have transported 84,000 enslaved people from Africa to the Americas.

Bristol itself became a hub for British involvement in the slave trade, with the city amassing considerable wealth because of the trade.

Speaking at the site of the statue on Sunday, protester John McAllister pulled off the black garbage bags placed on the statue as protection.

“It says ‘erected by the citizens of Bristol, as a memorial to one of the most virtuous and wise sons of this city,’ ” McAllister said, reading the words on the plinth.

“The man was a slave trader. He was generous to Bristol, but it was off the back of slavery, and it’s absolutely despicable,” McAllister continued.

The statue was erected in 1895 to commemorate Colston’s contributions to the city. But his involvement in the slave trade has made him a divisive figure. Last year, plans to add a new plaque that acknowledged the source of his wealth were scrapped, after Mayor Marvin Rees said the wording was “unacceptable” and local merchant groups should not have been involved.

By: Adam Taylor

12:27 PM: Joe Biden will meet with George Floyd’s family in Houston Monday

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Joe Biden is planning to meet privately with George Floyd’s family in Houston Monday, offering condolences in the aftermath of a killing that launched nationwide protests over police brutality and systemic racism.

Biden is also recording a video message that will play at the funeral service, according to his campaign. He is not planning to attend the service himself, citing his Secret Service detail and not wanting to disrupt the service.

The trip to Houston came after several days of internal discussions over what role the former vice president should play in the funeral services. Over the course of his career, he has delivered eulogies for a wide variety of people.

Read more here.

By: Matt Viser

12:27 PM: In testy interview, Barr defends move to clear demonstrators outside Lafayette Square, lashes out at media

Donald Trump et al. standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie: President Trump walks with Attorney General William P. Barr, left, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, center, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley, right, and others on June 1 to visit St. John's Church after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images) © Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images President Trump walks with Attorney General William P. Barr, left, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, center, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley, right, and others on June 1 to visit St. John's Church after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday again defended the aggressive clearing by police of a crowd of largely peaceful demonstrators from outside Lafayette Square last week and lashed out at the media for its reports on the event.

In a testy interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Barr said the methods police used to push back the protesters — which included charging at them with mounted police and firing gas into the crowd — were appropriate when police “met resistance.” He gave an account of the incident that belied what reporters and demonstrators experienced — claiming, for example, that no tear gas was used, even though people on scene were hit with a gas that stung their eyes and induced coughing. And he made the claim that pepper spray is “not a chemical irritant.”

“It’s not chemical,” Barr said.

Read more here.

By: Matt Zapotosky

12:11 PM: D.C. mayor decries ‘invasion of our city,’ says no arrests were made during massive Saturday protest

a group of people walking down the street: D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser walks on the street leading to the White House after the words “Black Lives Matter” were painted in enormous bright yellow letters on the street by city workers and activists June 5 in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) © Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser walks on the street leading to the White House after the words “Black Lives Matter” were painted in enormous bright yellow letters on the street by city workers and activists June 5 in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

After week-long tension between protesters in the nation’s capital and federal forces sent by President Trump into the city, no arrests were made in D.C. during Saturday evening’s protests, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday’s” Chris Wallace.

Bowser said Saturday’s demonstrations were peaceful, attracting the largest crowds seen yet during the city’s week of protests. Previous unrest between protesters and armed federal forces inflamed the feud between Bowser and the White House, as the mayor insisted Trump effectively “invaded” the city last week with thousands of federal law enforcement officers.

“What we saw last week was basically an invasion of our city. Active-duty Army troops moved from all points around the country to threaten our autonomy,” Bowser said. “What you saw — and I won’t have it reduced to a spat — was how I have to defend our taxpayers.”

Bowser rebuffed criticism that she had evicted the Utah National Guard, saying it was up to the U.S. Army to pay the housing bills of its troops.

“We did insist that D.C. residents don’t pay the bills for troops we didn’t request,” she told Wallace. “I understand the Army has worked out all payment arrangements.”

Wallace questioned how Bowser would appease protesters’ concerns about policing in Washington as her proposed budget increases funding for traditional policing while cutting spending on community-based intervention initiatives. Bowser called the funding appropriate.

“We have invested not a penny more and certainly not a penny less than we need for safe neighborhoods,” she said.

By: Meryl Kornfield

11:04 AM: DHS Secretary Wolf calls defunding police ‘an absurd assertion’

Acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf in an interview Sunday called defunding police — which has become a rallying cry for protesters who argue that funds would be better invested in other city services — “an absurd assertion,” as President Trump also attacked the proposition.

Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, citing data collected by the New York Times that found police used force against black people at least seven times more frequently than against white people in Minneapolis, asked whether defunding cities’ and states’ law enforcement agencies could be a solution to mounting concerns of systemic racism. Wolf said he “doesn’t understand” that suggestion.

“If you’re concerned about needing to reform different police departments or law enforcement agencies, you want to make sure that you are giving them the right training, the right oversight and the right leadership to do that,” he said. “You don’t do that by slashing budgets.”

Earlier on ABC’s “This Week,” Wolf argued that while some officers abuse their jobs, it’s unfair to consider the misconduct as a sweeping concern.

“I do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country,” he said.

Wolf’s comments come as several Democratic-led cities, including Los Angeles and New York City, consider slashing their police budgets, appeasing protesters who argue that an increased police presence doesn’t drive down crime.

Wolf argued the opposite, saying that arrests and violence have declined in recent days during the protests because of more officers on the streets. He also defended Trump’s statements about sending troops into U.S. cities during the protests.

By: Meryl Kornfield

10:38 AM: Trump orders National Guard to begin leaving D.C.

President Trump said Sunday morning that he is ordering National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital, a sign that the tensions that have consumed the city for nine days are starting to ease.

“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control,” Trump tweeted the morning after more than 10,000 people marched through the District in what was mostly a festive day of demonstrations.

As he tweeted those words, more demonstrators were headed toward the White House for a 10th day of protests.

Read more here.

By: Antonio Olivo

9:48 AM: London police say 14 officers were injured in protests

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Demonstrators wearing protective masks and face coverings hold placards as they march to the Home Office on June 6 in London during a Black Lives Matter protest after the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters) © Henry Nicholls/Reuters Demonstrators wearing protective masks and face coverings hold placards as they march to the Home Office on June 6 in London during a Black Lives Matter protest after the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Fourteen police officers were injured during anti-racism protests in the British capital Saturday, London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said.

“The number of assaults [on police officers] is shocking and completely unacceptable,” Dick said in a statement published Sunday, adding that 13 additional officers had been injured since protests against violence began last week.

After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis during an arrest and the subsequent protests in U.S. cities, there have been a variety of protests across Britain in solidarity.

Most protests have been peaceful. However, at the end of one protest Saturday near the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street, mounted police officers clashed with protesters who threw projectiles, including bikes and bottles.

During the melee, a police officer was thrown from her horse after running into a set of traffic lights. Sky News reports that the officer was taken to a hospital and her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. The horse bolted, but made its way back to the station and is unharmed.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose job includes responsibility for law enforcement in England and Wales, tweeted Saturday that violence toward a police officer was “completely unacceptable at any time.”

Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, sent tweets Sunday in which he empathized with protesters. “George Floyd’s brutal killing must lead to immediate and lasting change everywhere,” Khan tweeted, using a hashtag for Black Lives Matter.

It was not immediately clear how many protesters may have been injured in Saturday’s protests. More protests are planned Sunday in London, including one outside the U.S. Embassy.

By: Adam Taylor

9:26 AM: Naval Academy alumni board member resigns after broadcasting racist slurs

Scott Bethmann, a member of the Naval Academy’s Alumni Association Board of Trustees, resigned after he and his wife accidentally broadcast a video on Facebook Live of a conversation between them that featured multiple racial slurs.

Bethmann, according to a Florida Times-Union report, used the n-word during the video, which was recorded for more than 30 minutes while he and his wife watched the news before realizing what was happening. In it, he complained about corporations sending out emails in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and about white people having to “say something nice” to black co-workers.

“These attributed statements do not represent the mission and values of the Alumni Association, the Naval Academy or the U.S. Navy,” retired Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, the association’s chairman, wrote in a post on the group’s Facebook page.

Vice Adm. Sean Buck, superintendent of the Naval Academy, wrote in a statement shared on Twitter that “we cannot tolerate racism or bigotry of any kind within our U.S. Naval Academy family.” Such behavior, he wrote, “completely violates our Navy’s core values, and does not support the Naval Academy mission.”

In a statement released to local media by family spokeswoman Ryan Wiggins, Bethmann apologized for his words and their impact on the Naval Academy and the community.

“There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media,” he said. “There is never a time when it is appropriate to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man. I know that an apology from us rings hollow on many ears in our community, especially in the current environment.”

He added that he and his wife were “committed to educating ourselves more on the racial inequalities in this country and being better people.”

The news came just days after the U.S. Marine Corps banned all displays of the Confederate battle flag in “public and work spaces aboard an installation,” including banners and bumper stickers. The flag has increasingly been pushed out of the public sphere in recent years after a shooting rampage that killed nine black worshipers at a church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 and a deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville two years later.

Each of the service branch chiefs has posted public statements condemning racism. On Monday, Kaleth O. Wright, chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the top enlisted airman in the branch, posted tweets in which he described his experience of being a black man trying to rise through the ranks.

By: Brent D. Griffiths

9:05 AM: Court documents detail bicyclist’s alleged assault of three teens hanging protest fliers along trail

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By early afternoon, three friends had hung 50 fliers in and around a popular bike trail that cuts through Bethesda.

“A man was lynched by the police. What are you doing about it?” one of the fliers read.

“Killer cops will not go free,” read another.

What happened next, according to a newly filed police affidavit, led to a harsh, video-recorded encounter that would be viewed on cellphones around the world. It sent local investigators looking for an enraged bicyclist last seen wearing an orange helmet and silver sunglasses — a search aided by tips from his neighbors and facial recognition software.

Read more here.

By: Dan Morse

8:42 AM: White House almost completely surrounded by more than a mile of fencing

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Protesters arriving in the nation’s capital for demonstrations found the White House encircled by more than a mile of tall metal fencing.

The previous day, work crews had erected enough fencing — reinforced by white concrete barriers — to bar entry to Lafayette Square and to outline half of the Ellipse, the sloping green lawn that abuts the executive residence. But between Friday night and Saturday afternoon — on a day expected to draw tens of thousands to protest in the District — they added enough fencing to block the rest of the Ellipse.

In total, Google Maps analysis suggests, roughly 1.7 miles of fencing now surrounds the White House, forming a gigantic metal cocoon. There are only two portions of the White House perimeter, on the northeast and northwest corners, that do not have additional fencing and concrete barriers.

Read more here.

By: Hannah Natanson and Teddy Amenabar

8:11 AM: Citizen patrols organize across Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS — Across Minneapolis, community-organized citizen patrols have sprung up in recent weeks as confidence in the Minneapolis Police Department has plummeted. Distrust in the agency had been building for years, and now, with emergency responders focused on riots and looting in the hardest-hit part of the city and with the police department’s own 3rd Precinct set ablaze, some residents worry that their neighborhoods have been left vulnerable.

Even as riots and violence in the city have subsided, the string of high-profile killings at the hands of Minneapolis police in recent years has prompted calls to defund or disband the department. A majority of the Minneapolis City Council now supports the idea of replacing it with a new model for public safety.

But in the meantime, residents have taken it upon themselves to create alternatives, including forming armed defense forces.

City Council member Jeremiah Ellison — whose father is prosecuting the four fired officers connected to Floyd’s death as Minnesota’s attorney general — has been a constant presence on the streets and at protests, and he started a community patrol the Friday after the incident. While on patrol, he joined a last-ditch — and ultimately unsuccessful — effort to squelch a fire at the Fade Factory barbershop, carrying buckets of water to douse the flames before firefighters arrived.

Read more here.

By: Jared Goyette

6:47 AM: Portland police arrest protesters in melee at city justice center

Clashes between protesters and police broke out again in Portland, Ore., early Sunday, as late-night demonstrations continued to devolve in the city’s downtown.

Officers eventually dispersed a crowd of protesters and made at least 50 arrests, the Portland Police Department said.

Earlier, Lt. Tina Jones, a spokeswoman for the department, said in a video statement posted on Twitter: “Lasers are being used by some members of the crowd. Balloons with paint, water bottles and full beer cans are among some of the items that have been thrown at officers.”

The Multnomah County Sheriff said an officer was injured “after a commercial grade firework” was shot over a fence that police have erected to try to protect a county justice center and its employees inside. The justice center has become a flash point for protests and was briefly set on fire last week.

Police Chief Jami Resch said in a statement that peaceful protests were taking place elsewhere in the city as demonstrations continued for a 10th day.

“Thank you to the many thousands of Portlanders who demonstrated tonight without violence,” the chief said. “Your voice is powerful, and I am with you. While your actions did not get the attention and coverage of the other events downtown, I want you to know we see you and we hear your message.”

Mayor Ted Wheeler instructed officers earlier Saturday to use tear gas only as a last resort, declining to go as far as Seattle in virtually banning the deployment of gas but reining a practice that has become increasingly controversial. It did not immediately appear that officers had used tear gas Saturday night after having done so the night before.

Local TV station KATU reported that police apparently started making arrests shortly after 11:30 p.m. and that one officer was seen striking a protester, who seemed to have been recording video of him, with a baton and then pepper-spraying him.

By: Brent D. Griffiths

5:32 AM: Floyd’s body arrives in Houston

a group of people standing in front of a graffiti covered wall: Two visitors look at a mural honoring George Floyd in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP) © Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP Two visitors look at a mural honoring George Floyd in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

George Floyd, the “gentle giant” whose death in police custody in Minneapolis sparked protests around the world, has returned to Houston, where he lived for most of his life. On Tuesday, his body will be laid to rest in the same local cemetery where his mother is interred.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo made the announcement on Twitter just before 1 a.m. local time. The Fountain of Praise Church is set to have a six-hour public viewing on Monday before a mostly private and final memorial service the following day attended by a mix of family and dignitaries.

Former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is expected to attend Tuesday’s service, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump said last week. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) are also expected to attend, local TV station ABC-13 reported.

The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered an emotional eulogy during Floyd’s first memorial service on Thursday, comparing his death to the arc of the black experience in America and imploring the nation to “get your knee off our neck.” A second service was held Saturday in Raeford, N.C., near Floyd’s birthplace. From there, his body was flown to Texas.

After Tuesday’s service, Floyd will be buried in Pearland, Tex. According to Houston Chronicle, it will be the same cemetery where his mother, who died two years ago, was laid to rest.

By: Brent D. Griffiths

5:19 AM: British, Australian officials say solidarity protests raise covid-19 risks

a group of people holding a sign: Demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter protest in London's Parliament Square. (Christian Radnedge/Reuters) © Christian Radnedge/Reuters Demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter protest in London's Parliament Square. (Christian Radnedge/Reuters)

Officials in Britain and Australia expressed alarm Sunday that large demonstrations in solidarity with U.S. protests could increase the risk of renewed outbreaks of covid-19 in their countries.

“It is undoubtedly a risk,” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News when asked whether massive turnouts in London and other cities raised the prospect of a surge in coronavirus cases.

While he supports the protesters’ arguments, he said, “the virus itself doesn’t discriminate, and gathering in large groups is temporarily against the rules precisely because it increases the risk of the spread of this virus.”

His comments echoed concerns raised by officials across the United States as protests spread.

Hancock spoke after British protesters briefly clashed with mounted police near the residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaving 14 officers injured and marring an otherwise largely peaceful display of support for American demonstrators.

In Australia, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann on Sunday sharply denounced countrymen who rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in defiance of coronavirus restrictions.

“I think it is incredibly selfish,” Cormann said in an interview with Sky News, Reuters reported. “It’s incredibly self-indulgent.”

More than 20,000 people turned out in Sydney and other cities Saturday in the solidarity demonstrations. Similar large demonstrations were organized in Germany and other U.S.-allied countries.

By: William Branigin

3:28 AM: Black police chiefs express anger and dismay as they try to change their departments from within

The day that George Floyd’s cries for his mother reverberated across the country, Chief William T. Riley III walked up to a group of his officers discussing the horror they had seen.

“You know, chief, we already know if anything like that happened with us, we wouldn’t have a job,” one officer said.

Riley, a black police chief who was hired to transform the force in Inkster, Mich., after the suburban Detroit city settled a police brutality lawsuit in 2015, had trouble hiding his delight. But he remained firm.

“You are right,” Riley said. “Not only would you not have a job, you’d be locked up.”

In the past six years, as Black Lives Matter has emerged as a national movement to confront police brutality against people of color, the job of leading a department while black has become far more complex, politically sensitive and personally painful.

Read more here.

By: Arelis R. Hernández and Scott Wilson

1:38 AM: Athletes continue to join George Floyd protests

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, fourth from left, marches with some of his teammates Saturday in Milwaukee. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP) © Mark Hoffman/AP NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, fourth from left, marches with some of his teammates Saturday in Milwaukee. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP)

Professional athletes added their voices Saturday to calls for racial justice, joining local protests across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.

In Milwaukee, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was joined by teammates Sterling Brown, Donte DiVincenzo, Brook Lopez, Frank Mason II and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis’s brother, as they marched down 27th Street. The group all wore T-shirts that read “I can’t breathe” printed on the front. The players also wore masks and gloves.

Antetokounmpo and his teammates were also seen passing out water to protesters. In a video taken at the protest, Antetokounmpo can be seen talking to the crowd.

“We want peace,” he said. “We want justice. And that’s why we’re out here. That’s what we’re going to do today. That’s why I’m going to march with you guys.

“I want my kid to grow up here in Milwaukee and not be scared to walk in the street.”

The Denver Broncos organization also came out in big numbers on Saturday, with more than 70 players, coaches and other personnel leading a group of thousands through downtown Denver during a protest. Videos and photos shared from the team’s social media account show most wearing black T-shirts that read: “If You Ain’t With Us, You Against Us.”

In addition, many were wearing masks that had “I can’t breathe” printed on them. Safety Kareem Jackson was the driving force behind the team’s participation in the event, according to ESPN.

Other athletes who have participated in peaceful protests over the last week include the Dallas Stars’ Tyler Seguin, the Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, Washington Mystics guards Natasha Cloud and Kristi Toliver, and Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle.

a group of people posing for the camera: Damian Lillard, second from right, joins other demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. (Craig Mitchelldyer/AP) © Craig Mitchelldyer/AP Damian Lillard, second from right, joins other demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. (Craig Mitchelldyer/AP)

By: Samantha Pell

12:48 AM: Seattle police deploy stun grenades in attempt to disperse some protesters

Police officers form a line in front of protesters in Seattle. (Rich Smith/Social media via Reuters) © Rich Smith/Rich Smith Via Reuters Police officers form a line in front of protesters in Seattle. (Rich Smith/Social media via Reuters)

Seattle police officers used stun grenades on Saturday night as they tried to disperse protesters outside a police precinct, with demonstrations continuing throughout the city.

The department’s Twitter account said individuals were throwing “rocks/bottles/and explosives” at police outside the East Precinct when officers escalated their response. Multiple people pointed out that the photo the department tweeted of what it claimed was an improvised explosive may, in fact, show a candle. A label in one of the images clearly says “candle.”

The Seattle Times reported that other groups of mostly peaceful protesters marched elsewhere in the city, including by the landmark Space Needle as protests continued for the ninth day.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best reached a deal on Friday that virtually bans all use of tear gas by officers in Seattle for the next 30 days. Only SWAT officers can still deploy tear gas, and even then it requires high-level approval from Best or someone she designates.

By: Brent D. Griffiths

12:22 AM: Video shows car plowing through protesters on bikes in Brooklyn

A car rammed through a group of protesters on bicycles during peaceful demonstrations in Brooklyn on Saturday night, setting off a chase that ended in the driver’s arrest, according to footage from the scene.

Video shows a group of about a dozen cyclists, who were part of a larger march, gathered at an intersection in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood when a dark Volkswagen hatchback lurches onto the sidewalk and accelerates toward them.

The car can be seen crashing into one protester head-on, the crunch of metal audible in the clip. Other cyclists can be seen banging on the vehicle and screaming at the driver to stop. Seconds later, the driver speeds off down the street.

Brooklyn resident Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, who shot the video, said he was among a group of protesters at the front of the demonstration.

The driver wanted to get through to go to work but could not be persuaded to turn around by multiple people, Spitzer-Rubenstein told The Washington Post.

“He refused to turn around, backed up and then rammed into the people,” he said. “The video of is of him driving onto the sidewalk and then hitting people.”

Other observers said protesters stopped the driver down the road. Video posted by Chris Welch, editor of the Verge, a technology news website, shows dozens of people surrounding the car. Several police officers in helmets and masks handcuff the driver.

The New York Police Department could not immediately confirm that the driver had been taken into custody.

In cities across the country, drivers have been captured on video careening through crowds of people in demonstrations.

In recent days, a car grazed several people and hit a cyclist during a protest in Newport Beach, Calif. The driver was arrested a few blocks away on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Another video showed a car swerving toward a protester in Denver. Last weekend, a truck barreled toward masses of demonstrators on a Minneapolis highway.

The New York Police Department also came under fire last weekend after officers in squad cars were filmed driving through protesters.

By: Derek Hawkins, Hannah Knowles and Brent D. Griffiths

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