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US Monthly Headline News June 2020 Page 1

The identity of the guardsman has not been released.

An Ohio National Guardsman was removed from policing protests in Washington D.C. after the FBI found he expressed white supremacist ideology online, Gov. Mike DeWine announced in a briefing Friday. The state had sent 100 National Guard soldiers to the nation’s capital Tuesday at the request of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to assist in quelling violence over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. “While I fully support everyone’s right to free speech, Guardsmen and women are sworn to protect all of us, regardless of race, ethnic background, or religion,” DeWine said.

Police unions have become increasingly rightwing as a backlash to the Obama administration and Black Lives Matter — and that’s bad news for the cities they police.
By Melissa Segura BuzzFeed News Reporter

More than a year before a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned George Floyd to the ground in a knee chokehold, Mayor Jacob Frey banned “warrior” training for the city’s police force. Private trainers across the country host seminars, frequently at taxpayer expense, teaching “killology” and pushing the notion that if officers aren’t willing to “snuff out a life” then they should “consider another line of work.” Frey explained that this type of training — which has accompanied the increasing militarization of the police over the last few decades — undermined the community-based policing he wanted the city to adopt after a string of high-profile killings in the region. But then the police union stepped in. The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis worked out a deal with a company to offer warrior training. For free. For as long as Frey was mayor. Like in Minneapolis, police unions across the country have bucked reforms meant to promote transparency and racial equity in law enforcement. Many of these unions have pushed collective bargaining agreements that make it all but impossible for departments to punish, much less fire, officers. These agreements defang civilian review boards and police internal affairs departments, and they even prevent police chiefs from providing meaningful oversight, according to community activists and civil rights lawyers. Meanwhile, the unions have set up legal slush funds to defend officers sued for misconduct.

The roughly 200 troops have been supporting law enforcement in D.C.
By Elizabeth McLaughlin

Utah National Guard troops operating in the nation's capital have a new hotel Friday, after a billing dispute led to their eviction. The approximately 200 members of the Utah National Guard have been supporting law enforcement in Washington, D.C., as protests over police brutality and racial inequality erupted after the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.  On Thursday, D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser formally requested President Donald Trump to withdraw "all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from the city, to include out-of-state National Guard troops. Shortly after, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tweeted that Bowser was removing Guard troops -- including Utah's -- from D.C. hotels, calling the move "unacceptable" and saying they were "being kicked to the curb by an ungrateful mayor."  In a statement on Friday, Lee said the Utah troops had finished their shift in D.C. at 3 a.m. EDT on Friday and were "forced out of their hotel" by 11 a.m. EDT with another shift scheduled for that evening. The Utah National Guard confirmed that they were informed on Thursday night "that our service members would be relocated from their hotels" and that "their housing situation has not been resolved." But hours later on Friday, an updated statement said the Utah Guard was informed by the D.C. National Guard that a different hotel had been identified, and the issue "resolved."  "The soldiers will relocated to the new hotel today," the statement said, without providing details about what had occurred. The issue seems to have stemmed from who was footing the hotel bill. Responding to Lee on Friday, Bowser said during a press conference that "D.C. residents cannot pay" for the Guard's rooms.

Gov. Greg Abbott called on two Republican county chairs in Bexar and Nueces counties to resign after they shared a racist conspiracy theory about George Floyd's death. The post was also was shared by the GOP chairs in Comal and Harrison counties.
by Patrick Svitek

Meanwhile, the GOP chairman-elect in Harris County, Keith Nielsen, posted an image on Facebook earlier this week that showed a Martin Luther King Jr. quote — "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" — on a background with a banana. The juxtaposition of the quote and the banana can be read as an allusion to equating black people with monkeys, a well-worn racist trope. Nielsen appears to have deleted the post and apparently addressed it on his Facebook page Thursday evening. On Friday he updated his comments to say he would not resign. "It is unfortunate that the sentiment of the quote and my admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been overshadowed by people's misinterpretation of an image," Nielsen wrote, calling for "racial reconciliation" in America. "My hope is I will continue to be part of the solution and never part of the problem." The Texas Tribune became aware of Nielsen's post after Abbott called for the resignation of the Bexar County and Nueces County chairs. Wittman could not immediately be reached for comment about the third post. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Friday morning denounced Nielsen's post and said he "should withdraw immediately from any further consideration as county chair."

"There is an overt effort here to erase white history," Sen. Amanda Chase said this week, prompting the Senate GOP caucus to call her words "idiotic, inappropriate and inflammatory."
By Erik Ortiz

A Republican state senator in Virginia known for courting controversy and who is running for governor in 2021 is facing backlash from members of her own party after she said that the removal of Confederate statues is an "overt effort to erase all white history." Sen. Amanda Chase, whose majority-white district is just west of the capital, Richmond, made related comments in a fundraising email and a video shared Wednesday on Facebook live — a day before Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced that statues of Gen. Robert E. Lee and four other Confederate leaders along Richmond's Monument Avenue will be dismantled. His decision came amid a longstanding debate about whether Confederate symbols should be taken down because they represent a racist legacy and a divided nation or if they have historical and cultural significance worth preserving. Following national unrest related to the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, cities like Birmingham and Mobile in Alabama moved swiftly to remove such statues.

Barr now has "federal troops" on the street in D.C. with no badges or insignia. There's a word for that
By Heather Digby Parton

Since becoming Donald Trump's attorney general, Bill Barr has given several speeches to police organizations. This is not unusual for someone in his position, but Barr's comments have often been controversial. Last December he made the outrageous comment that "communities" have to "start showing more than they do the respect and support that law enforcement deserves and if communities don't give that respect, they might find themselves without the protection they need." It was bad enough that it hit the evening news: Barr's overtly partisan behavior as attorney general has been well documented. He is the president's No. 1 henchman, and the most openly political AG in American history. His far-right views on religion and morality are also well-known. But despite his speeches like the one above, until this week I don't think it was well understood just how fully authoritarian Barr's worldview really is. He appears to believe that the title "attorney general" is an actual military designation that gives him the authority to command troops on the streets of the United States. It isn't. (It's actually a very old term in common law, reflecting the idea that someone may hold a "general power of attorney" to represent the state.) In a call with state governors on Monday, when Trump demanded they "dominate" their citizens and put protesters in jail for 10 years, one of his many threats was that he would unleash Barr and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Later that day Milley was seen wandering around outside the White House in battle fatigues as if he were about to launch an attack on Fallujah, but he and the rest of the military brass have since balked at Trump's stated desire to send in active-duty troops to "dominate" American cities.


Attorney General Bill Barr says that forcibly dispersing a crowd of protesters near the White House had nothing to do with President Donald Trump photo-op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church. CNN's Anderson Cooper says the timeline of events shows otherwise.

The motley assortment of police currently occupying Washington, D.C., is a window into the vast, complicated, obscure world of federal law enforcement.

Few sights from the nation’s protests in recent days have seemed more dystopian than the appearance of rows of heavily-armed riot police around Washington in drab military-style uniforms with no insignia, identifying emblems or name badges. Many of the apparently federal agents have refused to identify which agency they work for. “Tell us who you are, identify yourselves!” protesters demanded, as they stared down the helmeted, sunglass-wearing mostly white men outside the White House. Eagle-eyed protesters have identified some of them as belonging to Bureau of Prisons’ riot police units from Texas, but others remain a mystery. The images of such military-style men in America’s capital are disconcerting, in part, because absent identifying signs of actual authority the rows of federal officers appear all-but indistinguishable from the open-carrying, white militia members cosplaying as survivalists who have gathered in other recent protests against pandemic stay-at-home orders. Some protesters have compared the anonymous armed officers to Russia’s “Little Green Men,” the soldiers-dressed-up-as-civilians who invaded and occupied eastern Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Donald Trump Thursday demanding that federal officers identify themselves and their agency. To understand the police forces ringing Trump and the White House it helps to understand the dense and not-entirely-sensical thicket of agencies that make up the nation’s civilian federal law enforcement. With little public attention, notice and amid historically lax oversight, those ranks have surged since 9/11—growing by roughly 2,500 officers annually every year since 2000. To put it another way: Every year since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the federal government has added to its policing ranks a force larger than the entire Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Nearly all of these agencies are headquartered in and around the capital, making it easy for Attorney General William Barr to enlist them as part of his vast effort to “flood the zone” in D.C. this week with what amounts to a federal army of occupation, overseen from the FBI Washington area command post in Chinatown. Battalions of agents were mustered in the lobby of Customs and Border Protection’s D.C. headquarters—what in normal times is the path to a food court for federal workers. The Drug Enforcement Administration has been given special powers to enable it to surveil protesters. It is the heaviest show of force in the nation’s capital since the protests and riots of the Vietnam War.

The Trump administration has deployed phalanxes of officers in riot gear and no identifiable markings to police demonstrations in the capital. Democrats want to know who they are.
By Zolan Kanno-Youngs

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s aggressive deployment of officers donning riot gear with no identifiable markings has increased tensions with protesters, raised the specter of a “secret police” force and prompted Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand that President Trump identify the federal forces he has put on the streets of the capital. Demonstrators in downtown Washington say federal officers in generic riot gear have refused to identify themselves or display identifying features, and the deployment of federal law enforcement is supposed to get even larger this weekend. Congressional Democrats say the administration’s use of ambiguous tactical teams is infringing on the rights of the protesters. Senators Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, introduced legislation mandating that law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces identify themselves and their agency. In a letter to Mr. Trump on Thursday, Ms. Pelosi asked for details identifying the law enforcement and military agencies that had been deployed across the capital to police the protests. “The practice of officers operating with full anonymity undermines accountability, ignites government distrust and suspicion, and is counter to the principle of procedural justice and legitimacy during this precarious moment in our nation’s history,” Ms. Pelosi wrote. The question over the federal law enforcement practices comes as Attorney General William P. Barr has flooded Washington with agents from the F.B.I., the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Prisons — an agency that House Democrats said in a letter to Mr. Barr was responsible for sending the unidentifiable officers. Mr. Barr on Wednesday night further empowered those teams from the Bureau of Prisons with the authority to make arrests at the demonstrations. Even as federal troops on Thursday retreated from the area in front of Lafayette Square, which is controlled by the federal government, and Mr. Barr said he could reduce the number of security checkpoints after “a sharp reduction in violent episodes,” officials familiar with the deployment said an even larger federal presence and aggressive crackdown was expected this weekend when thousands of additional protesters were anticipated to march on the nation’s capital. “The United States would normally condemn this tactic if used by dictators of other countries, and its use here directly threatens our democracy,” Mr. Murphy said. “Americans have a right to know who is patrolling their streets, and to have recourse if their massive power is misused.”

Manuel Ellis, 33, died on March 3 after being handcuffed and restrained by Tacoma police officers.
By Linda Givetash and Kurt Chirbas

The mayor of Tacoma, Washington, called for the city manager to fire four police officers after the death of a black man in custody was ruled a homicide. Manuel Ellis, 33, died on March 3 after being handcuffed and restrained by officers. He could be heard on police scanner traffic saying “I can’t breathe,” after he was handcuffed, and he died at the scene, according to NBC News affiliate KING in Seattle. A Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office ruling released this week said Ellis died of respiratory arrest due to hypoxia as a result of physical restraint, KING reported. Contributing factors included methamphetamine intoxication and dilated cardiomyopathy, commonly known as an enlarged heart. Mayor Victoria Woodards called for the officers' firing at a news conference streamed on Facebook on Thursday. "Today, it stops in Tacoma," Woodards said. "We live in a nation where too many black lives have been lost, and I don’t want to see another one," Referring to a video that surfaced of the arrest, the mayor said, "As an African American woman, I didn’t need a video to believe," she said, adding, "It does take a video for so many people to believe the truth about systemic racism and its violent impact on black lives." Tacoma is among the many cities across the country that have seen waves of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody more than a week ago. The video that appears to show Ellis' detainment was taken by an anonymous passerby from a vehicle and seems to show two officers punching and then slamming a man to the ground.

By Lori Robertson

Democratic politicians have criticized President Donald Trump for the use of “tear gas” to disperse protesters near the White House on June 1 before Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church to pose for photos with a Bible. The president countered, “They didn’t use tear gas.” U.S. Park Police says officers used “pepper balls,” not “tear gas.” It’s true pepper balls, which contain a pepper spray-like irritant, have a different makeup than another chemical typical referred to as “tear gas” (and which USPP specifically says it didn’t use). But some sources consider pepper spray a type of tear gas, while others say both chemicals have the same effect on people. According to the Scientific American and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pepper spray is a type of “tear gas” or “riot control agent.” Dr. Ranit Mishori, senior medical adviser for Physicians for Human Rights and a Georgetown University professor of family medicine, told us in an email: “Tear gas and pepper spray both belong to a class of crowd-control weapons known as chemical irritants.” The chemical makeup is different, but the impact on people is similar. “During a protest, it is impossible to tell what chemical is being used as the clinical manifestations are the same.” Trump’s reelection campaign has claimed the media was “falsely reporting” that U.S. Park Police used “tear gas,” and in a Fox News Radio interview on June 3, Trump said the stories about clearing out the protesters with “tear gas” were “fake. They didn’t use tear gas. They didn’t use. They moved them out.” Trump didn’t mention the “pepper balls.” Both chemical irritants cause, according to Mishori, “sometimes severe irritation to mucous membranes (e.g eyes, mouth, nasal passages, lungs), causing people to experience burning sensations on the skin and in the eyes, tearing, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, disorientation.”

A Black transgender person was shot and killed by Tallahassee police on Wednesday.
By Laura Thompson

On Wednesday evening, while Minneapolis burned, several dozen mourners held a candlelight vigil in Tallahassee, Florida, for Tony McDade. McDade, a Black trans-masculine person, was shot and killed by police on Wednesday morning. The circumstances surrounding McDade’s death are still murky. Tallahassee police say McDade was a suspect in a fatal stabbing that occurred shortly before his death. Police say he was armed with a handgun and he “made a move consistent with using the firearm against the officer.” An eyewitness told local media that police never tried to deescalate the situation:

CBS News

Governor Jay Inslee and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards promised a “full and complete investigation into the death” of Manuel Ellis, who died on March 3 in handcuffs while being restrained on the ground by Tacoma police. The medical examiner ruled Ellis’ death a homicide, CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reports.

By Miles Parks

Almost exactly four years after Russian operatives hacked into the email accounts of prominent Democrats ahead of the 2016 election, Google confirmed on Thursday that foreign adversaries are still at it. Chinese-backed hackers were observed targeting former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign staff, and Iranian-backed hackers were seen targeting President Trump's campaign staff. Both were targeted with phishing attacks, according to Shane Huntley, the head of Google's Threat Analysis Group. He said there was no sign the attempts were successful. Huntley made the announcement on Twitter, and also said Google passed the information onto federal law enforcement. "Phishing" is when an attacker sends an email to a target often disguised as one meant to appear from a trusted source. The message can include a link designed to trick the target to click and download malicious software, or point the target to a website controlled by the attacker that might try to capture information. Google's announcement provided a reminder that Russia's interference game plan from the 2016 election is out in the open, and that other countries could attempt to replicate some or all of it this presidential election cycle. In a statement, the Biden campaign said Google had notified it of the attempted intrusions. "We have known from the beginning of our campaign that we would be subject to such attacks and we are prepared for them," the campaign said in a statement. "Biden for President takes cybersecurity seriously. We will remain vigilant against these threats and will ensure that the campaign's assets are secured."

Because it’s not a state, the District of Columbia is at a disadvantage in any clash with federal authorities.
By Emily Badger and Katie Benner

WASHINGTON — Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, has had few options this week to hold back the overwhelming show of federal force in her city: the national guardsmen from outside D.C. whom she did not request, the Bureau of Prisons and Border Patrol officers the city rarely works with, the troops in unmarked uniforms who have upset residents. Attorney General William P. Barr has directed all of this, making the nation’s capital the primary stage for President Trump’s vow to “dominate the streets” to quell protests. He has given Mr. Trump frequent updates since Monday on the efforts to restore order, a senior official said. Federal officials have not asked for consent, or even previewed many of their plans with local officials, who have at times also been unsure who is wielding riot gear on the city’s streets. The District claimed a victory on Thursday as federal troops retreated from streets around the White House. But for many D.C. residents, this moment has made their longtime predicament all the more painful: They have no governor to turn to, no senators of their own who can go toe-to-toe with an attorney general. They have no power in the Capitol building, after decades of failed campaigns for statehood. “People have to understand the root cause and be willing to do something about the root cause,” Ms. Bowser said at a news conference on Thursday. The city will continue to have limited control over what happens on its streets without statehood, she said. “Until we fix that, we are subject to the whims of the federal government,” she said. “Sometimes they’re benevolent, and sometimes they’re not.” With the largest demonstration against police brutality expected to descend on Washington on Saturday, Ms. Bowser and Mr. Barr are locked in a delicate and fraught fight. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday made clear that she was looking on, sending a letter to the president questioning the “increased militarization” on the capital’s streets.

By Melissa Quinn

Washington — The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has drawn thousands of protesters to the streets of the nation's capital, leading President Trump to direct his administration to boost the number of federal law enforcement officers on the ground. But photos of unidentified, armed officers donning face shields and protective gear standing guard near the White House have raised concerns among Democrats, who are warning that the dearth of insignia and identifying information could deny victims the ability to hold officers accountable if they engage in misconduct. "This is unacceptable that you have armed uniformed security, with no identification," Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, told reporters on Capitol Hill. "It allows for really dangerous potential mischief. When things go wrong you need to be able to identify who it was that punched a reporter or took a club to a protester, and without identification, there's really no way to do real accountability." Congressman Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia, also characterized the presence of the unidentified officers as "unacceptable," and said he is drafting legislation to address the issue. "Unacceptable for uniformed federal officers policing constitutionally-protected assemblies to refuse to identify themselves to people who pay their salaries," Beyer tweeted Wednesday. "Denying accountability to the public they serve ensures abuses."

By Paige Leskin

A Twitter user recently launched an experiment to see what action the platform would take if he started posting Donald Trump's controversial tweets word for word. It took only three days for Twitter to notice and suspend the user. The account, @SuspendThePres, launched May 29 and started to post tweets identical to those sent on Trump's Twitter. The premise was simple, according to Bizarre Lazar, the Twitter user behind the account: see how long it would take Twitter to take action against him for violating platform policies. It took just three days for Twitter to flag one of the tweets from @SuspendThePres for violating its terms of service. Twitter temporarily suspended the account and forced the user to delete the offending tweet. The tweet in question mimicked Trump's tweet in which he refers to protesters as "thugs" and says "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Bias training, body cameras, community dialogues – Minneapolis has tried them all. We need a better response
By Alex S Vitale

Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, “reform” is meekly offered as the solution. But what if drastically defunding the police – not reform – is the best way to stop unnecessary violence and death committed by law enforcement against communities of color? Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, has tried reform already. Five years ago, the Minneapolis police department was under intense pressure in the wake of both the national crisis of police killings of unarmed black men and its own local history of unnecessary police violence. In response, the department’s leaders undertook a series of reforms proposed by the Obama administration’s justice department and procedural reform advocates in academia. The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers.

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Rev. Al Sharpton announced Thursday that he's organizing a March on Washington in late August to mark the 57th anniversary of the historic demonstration for civil rights as protests over the death of George Floyd sweep the nation. Sharpton said the event will be led by the families of black people who have died at the hands of police officers, including Floyd's family. Sharpton made the announcement while speaking at Floyd's memorial service on Thursday. "On August 28, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, we're going back to Washington," Sharpton said as he delivered a eulogy for Floyd, a black man who was killed last week by a white police officer in Minneapolis, during the memorial service. "We're going back this August 28 to restore and recommit that dream (of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) ... We need to go back to Washington and stand up, black, white, Latino, Arab, in the shadows of Lincoln and tell them this is the time to stop this," Sharpton said. Sharpton said the march is going to be led by the families that "know the pain" and know what it's like to be "neglected," including the families of Floyd and Eric Garner, a black man who was choked to death in 2014 by a police officer in New York. The reverend also said the march is "going to be getting us ready to vote, not just for who's going to be in the White House, but the statehouse and the city councils that allow these policing measures to go unquestioned." "We are going to change the time," he declared to mourners present at Floyd's memorial service.

By Robert Kuznia, Drew Griffin and Curt Devine, CNN

(CNN) Benjamin Ryan Teeter was at his home in Hampstead, N.C., when the call to action came. It was an alert from the heart of the raging protests in Minneapolis, posted on an online forum by a fellow member of the Boogaloo movement, a loosely knit group of heavily armed, anti-government extremists. The "alert" was from a man who had a run-in with the Minneapolis police while on the frontline of the police-brutality protests set off by the death of George Floyd. "He caught mace to the face," said Teeter, and "put out a national notice to our network." After Teeter -- who goes by Ryan -- said he saw the online posting, he and a handful of other Boogaloo friends in the area mobilized. They grabbed their guns -- mostly assault rifles -- hopped into their vehicles, and made the 18-hour trek to Minneapolis. The Boogaloos are an emerging incarnation of extremism that seems to defy easy categorization. They are yet another confounding factor in the ongoing effort among local, state and federal officials to puzzle out the political sympathies of the agitators showing up to the mostly peaceful George Floyd rallies who have destroyed property, looted businesses, or -- in the case of the Boogaloos who descended on Minneapolis -- walked around the streets with assault rifles. Boogaloo members appear to hold conflicting ideological views with some identifying as anarchists and others rejecting formal titles. Some pockets of the group have espoused white supremacy while others reject it. But they have at least two things in common: an affinity for toting around guns in public and a "boogaloo" rallying cry, which is commonly viewed as code for another US civil war. Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University in North Carolina who monitors online extremism, said the movement started in obscure online platforms. It "is now growing on mainstream platforms, and in this moment of protest it is starting to move offline," she said. "It resembles the militia movement that came before it, which has been well documented as a force for promoting violence."

By John Kruzel

The Washington, D.C., chapter of Black Lives Matter and several protestors sued the Trump administration Thursday over its use of chemical agents and rubber bullets earlier this week to scatter crowds gathered near the White House. The plaintiffs accused the administration and more than 100 law enforcement personnel of carrying out a conspiracy to violate their free speech and other constitutional rights while they peacefully protested the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis police custody when a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. “The President’s shameless, unconstitutional, unprovoked, and frankly criminal attack on protesters because he disagreed with their views shakes the foundation of our nation’s constitutional order,” said Scott Michelman, the legal director of the ACLU of the District of Columbia, one of the groups backing the legal challenge. The administration sparked a bipartisan backlash Monday when law enforcement used aggressive measures, including chemical agents, flash bombs and rubber bullets, to scatter a largely peaceful protest around Lafayette Square. Moments later, President Trump walked across the vacated street flanked by Cabinet members, a heavy security detail and senior staff to stand in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he hoisted a Bible and posed for photographs, in what critics viewed as a surreal political stunt.

The New York Police Department said it is aware of the video and that the matter is under internal review.
By Janelle Griffith and Matteo Moschella

A video of a uniformed New York City police officer appearing to make a white power symbol at a George Floyd protest Saturday in New York City has prompted an internal review. The video showing the officer making the apparent "OK" hand gesture — touching the thumb and index finger to make a circle, with the remaining three fingers held outstretched — was posted to social media over the weekend. NBC News is not publishing or linking to the video to avoid providing a platform to apparent expressions of hate or white supremacy. The "OK" gesture has been used by people around the world for centuries, typically to signal consent, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Recently, the hand signal has also been appropriated to represent the letters w and p to signify "white power," stemming from a hoax in 2017 by members of the website 4chan, an anonymous and unrestricted online message board, the ADL says. At the Saturday demonstration at New York City's Union Square, the officer made what appeared to be the gesture into the camera sight of a rapper, China Mac, who was recording himself at the protest. Another man nearby recorded the incident and provided a copy of his footage to NBC News. He requested anonymity out of fear of retribution. China Mac, a Brooklyn-born rapper whose real name is Raymond Yu, posted the viral clip on Instagram where it has been viewed more than 60,000 times. "So there's a viral clip going around of white officers throwing up the 'White Power' sign," he captioned the Instagram post. "I was taking a picture for my YouTube live thumbnail, and the two officers photobombed it throwing up their signs. What do y’all think about that?" Yu did not immediately return a request for comment on Thursday. The man who recorded the incident said he had attended the demonstration to document it.

Driving vehicles into protesters demanding justice for George Floyd earned the backing of the mayor, but of few others
by Ed Pilkington in New York

It doesn’t take long to blow up a reputation. In the case of the New York police department, an institution with an already troubled history, the clip lasted all of 27 seconds. It showed an NYPD vehicle in Brooklyn lined up against a metal barricade behind which protesters were chanting during Saturday’s demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd. Projectiles were thrown on to the roof of the car, then suddenly a second police SUV drew up alongside and instead of stopping continued to plough straight into the crowd. Seconds later the first vehicle lurched forward, knocking the barrier over and with it propelling several protesters to the ground amid a harrowing chorus of shrieking. A 27-second video, now viewed more than 30m times, had quickly shredded years of effort to repair the deeply tarnished image of the NYPD. New York’s “finest” were firmly cast in a role normally reserved for the security corps of petty dictators. The shocking video was compounded hours later when the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, spoke about the incident. A politician who won election in 2013 largely on a promise to reform the NYPD and scrap its racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policy, astounded even his closest supporters when he defended the police.

Manuel Ellis of Tacoma, Wash., died in part as a result of how he was restrained, according to the medical examiner, who concluded that his death was a homicide.
By Mike Baker

SEATTLE — A black man who called out “I can’t breathe” before dying in police custody in Tacoma, Wash., was killed as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him, according to details of a medical examiner’s report released on Wednesday. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that the death of the man, Manuel Ellis, 33, was a homicide. Investigators with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department were in the process of preparing a report about the March death, which occurred shortly after an arrest by officers from the Tacoma Police Department, said the sheriff’s spokesman, Ed Troyer. “The information is all being put together,” Detective Troyer said. “We expect to present it to the prosecutor at the end of this week or early next week.” Mr. Ellis’s sister, Monet Carter-Mixon, called for action to bring accountability in the death and further scrutiny of both the Police Department’s practices and how the investigation into his death has been handled. “There’s a lot of questions that still need to be answered,” Ms. Carter-Mixon said. Mr. Ellis died from respiratory arrest, hypoxia and physical restraint, according to the medical examiner’s office. The report listed methamphetamine intoxication and heart disease as contributing factors. Police officers encountered Mr. Ellis, a musician and father of two from Tacoma, on the night of March 3 as they were stopped at an intersection. They saw him banging on the window of another vehicle, Detective Troyer said.

Ardent supporters saw the photo op as a blow against evil while others saw the gesture as cynical and a ploy
By Matthew Teague in Fairhope, Alabama

On Monday when Donald Trump raised overhead a Bible – the Sword of the Spirit, to believers – he unwittingly cleaved his loyal Christian supporters into two camps. His most ardent evangelical supporters saw it as a blow against evil and described his walk from the White House to St John’s Episcopal church, over ground violently cleared of protesters, as a “Jericho walk”. The Rev Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, described Trump in shepherd-like terms on Twitter: “I will never forget seeing @POTUS @realDonaldTrump slowly & in-total-command walk from the @WhiteHouse across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church defying those who aim to derail our national healing by spreading fear, hate & anarchy. After just saying, ‘I will keep you safe.’” But evangelicals are not monolithic: some saw the gesture as cynical, a ploy by a president whose decisions, both private and public, do not align with biblical principles. “I guess it’s a sort of Rorschach test, then,” said Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, who is one of Trump’s most important defenders among the faithful. “You see what you expect to see.” But that’s not true, Trump’s emerging evangelical critics say: an objective measure is contained in the very book Trump wielded. “Blessed are the peacemakers! Blessed are the merciful! It’s right there in the Sermon on the Mount,” said John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah College. “Just read Jesus.” Trump’s photo opportunity required police to attack and push away protesters against police brutality. He walked surrounded by key civilian and military advisers, some of whom later said they were caught unaware by the stunt and the violence that preceded it. Some evangelical leaders said they felt similarly aghast, watching the event unfold. “Pelting people with rubber bullets and spraying them with teargas for peacefully protesting is morally wrong,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “What we need right now is moral leadership – from all of us, in the churches, in the police departments, in the courts, and in the White House. The Bible tells us so. So do our own consciences.” The day’s events left Moore “alarmed”, he said. The staunchest of evangelicals, 90-year-old televangelist Pat Robertson, split from Trump on Tuesday.

Driving vehicles into protesters demanding justice for George Floyd earned the backing of the mayor, but of few others
by Ed Pilkington in New York

It doesn’t take long to blow up a reputation. In the case of the New York police department, an institution with an already troubled history, the clip lasted all of 27 seconds. It showed an NYPD vehicle in Brooklyn lined up against a metal barricade behind which protesters were chanting during Saturday’s demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd. Projectiles were thrown on to the roof of the car, then suddenly a second police SUV drew up alongside and instead of stopping continued to plough straight into the crowd. Seconds later the first vehicle lurched forward, knocking the barrier over and with it propelling several protesters to the ground amid a harrowing chorus of shrieking. A 27-second video, now viewed more than 30m times, had quickly shredded years of effort to repair the deeply tarnished image of the NYPD. New York’s “finest” were firmly cast in a role normally reserved for the security corps of petty dictators. The shocking video was compounded hours later when the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, spoke about the incident. A politician who won election in 2013 largely on a promise to reform the NYPD and scrap its racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policy, astounded even his closest supporters when he defended the police. De Blasio said: “I do believe the NYPD has acted appropriately.” Social media lit up. Was it appropriate to drive those two SUVs into the crowd? Was it appropriate for an NYPD officer forcibly to remove the coronavirus mask of a black protester whose arms were raised in the air, then pepper-spray his face?

By Elahe Izadi

Staffers at the New York Times are publicly rebuking their newspaper for publishing an opinion piece by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for military intervention into American cities where protests over George Floyd’s death have led to further unrest. The swift backlash, which spilled out on Twitter, came from dozens across the organization and included opinion writers, reporters, editors and magazine staffers. Several tweeted the same message — “Running this puts Black @nytimes staffers in danger" — with a screen shot of the editorial’s headline, “Tom Cotton: Send In The Troops." In his op-ed, Cotton defended the invocation of the Insurrection Act, claiming that “rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy," with looting that has nothing to do with Floyd’s death, and that an “overwhelming show of force” is needed to “restore order to our streets.” But the Trump administration’s talk of deploying troops has set off alarm bells for many in the civilian and military communities alike — especially after U.S. Park Police used tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters in Washington to clear a path for a presidential photo op on Monday. “Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict — a false conflict — between the military and civilian society,” retired Marine general and former defense secretary Jim Mattis wrote in the Atlantic on Wednesday. Against that backdrop, several Times staffers saw Cotton’s essay as an ominous “call for military force against Americans,” as Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie put it. “I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral,” tweeted Nikole Hannah-Jones, who recently won the Times a Pulitzer for her “1619″ project. ”As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this."

NBC News reported last weekend that members of the "Boogaloo" movement were seen at protests in states including Minnesota and Texas, as well as in Philadelphia.
By Andrew Blankstein, Tom Winter and Brandy Zadrozny

Federal prosecutors in Las Vegas have charged three men alleged to be members of the far-right extremist "Boogaloo" movement with multiple state and federal violations of conspiracy to cause destruction during protests in Las Vegas, as well as possession of Molotov cocktails. Charging documents say Stephen T. Parshall, aka "Kiwi," 35; Andrew Lynam, 23; and William L. Loomis, 40, all of Las Vegas, were arrested Saturday on a state criminal complaint alleging conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, material support for committing an act of terrorism and multiple explosives violations. The plot was foiled with help from an informant, authorities said. The "Boogaloo" movement, which federal prosecutors describe as a "term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society," has been linked to some online posts about protests over the death of George Floyd. NBC News reported last weekend that members of the "Boogaloo" movement were seen at protests in states including Minnesota and Texas, as well as in Philadelphia. The movement, which says it wants a second civil war organized around the word "boogaloo," includes groups on mainstream internet platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, as well as fringe websites including 4chan, according to a report released Tuesday night by the Network Contagion Research Institute, an independent nonprofit organization of scientists and engineers that tracks and reports on misinformation and hate speech across social media.

In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another.
By Jeffrey Goldberg

James Mattis, the esteemed Marine general who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump’s Syria policy, has, ever since, kept studiously silent about Trump’s performance as president. But he has now broken his silence, writing an extraordinary broadside in which he denounces the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.S. military to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens. “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.” In his j’accuse, Mattis excoriates the president for setting Americans against one another. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.” He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.” “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago,” he writes, “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

By Zachary Cohen, Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Vivian Salama and Jim Acosta, CNN

Washington (CNN)Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is on shaky ground with the White House after saying Wednesday that he does not support using active duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States triggered by the death of George Floyd and those forces should only be used in a law enforcement role as a last resort. Speaking from the Pentagon briefing room podium, Esper noted that "we are not in one of those situations now," distancing himself from President Donald Trump's recent threat to deploy the military to enforce order. "The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act," he told reporters. Esper also distanced himself from a maligned photo-op outside St. John's Church. Wednesday's press briefing by Esper went over poorly at the White House, where he was already viewed to be on shaky ground, multiple people familiar with the matter said.

By Lorenzo Reyes - USA TODAY

All four police officers in the killing of George Floyd will face charges, Minnesota's attorney general announced Wednesday, and court papers described more troubling details about how officers did nothing to stop Floyd from dying on the ground. Attorney General Keith Ellison said at a news conference that evidence "supports a stronger charge" for Chauvin. He had been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter May 29 and taken into custody the same day. Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung and Tou Thao were the other officers on the scene. Thao was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the commission of a felony; the other officers face similar charges of aiding and abetting. The bail for all four officers was set at $1 million. "Trying this case will not be an easy thing," Ellison said. "Winning a conviction will be hard."

The hearing is the first of what is likely to be several, as the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee investigates the origins of the Russia probe.

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday defended his role overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, blaming senior FBI officials for withholding vital information related to the probe. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing came as the panel’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), faces mounting pressure from President Donald Trump and his allies to investigate the Obama administration officials who spearheaded the Russia probe. Democrats, meanwhile, argue the inquiry — which appears to be broadening — is an effort to run political interference for the president in the run-up to Election Day. In congressional testimony Wednesday, Rosenstein in particular defended and explained his decision to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel in 2017, and blamed high-level FBI leadership for the “significant errors” that appeared in applications to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser — even though he signed off on one of them. President Donald Trump has railed against Mueller’s appointment and probe throughout his presidency, claiming it was a politicized “hoax” that was part of an effort by senior-level Obama administration officials to undermine him. Rosenstein pushed back against that characterization but said he couldn’t “vouch for the allegations.” “I do not consider the investigation to be corrupt, but I certainly understand the president's frustration given the outcome,” Rosenstein told senators, referencing Mueller’s conclusions as part of his nearly two-year investigation. Wednesday’s hearing was largely a relitigation of the events surrounding the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation that ensnared Trump and his allies for years — a rerun that Republicans said was necessary for accountability, and one that Democrats asserted was a waste of the committee’s time amid a global pandemic, economic depression, and nation protests against police brutality.

By Tucker Higgins, Dan Mangan

Three former Minneapolis police officers were criminally charged Wednesday in connection with the death of George Floyd in their custody, according to court records. In addition, Derek Chauvin, a fourth former officer who had already been charged with third-degree murder in the case, will now be charged with second-degree murder, the records show. The ex-cops, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, had assisted Chauvin in arresting Floyd on Memorial Day on the suspicion that Floyd passed a counterfeit bill. Chauvin, who is white, was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after video footage emerged showing him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd, a black man, lay handcuffed, crying out that he could not breathe.

By William Cummings - USA TODAY

Former President George W. Bush called Tuesday for peace and empathy after the "brutal suffocation" of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody last week, and declared it was "time for America to examine our tragic failures." In arare public statement, Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were "anguished" by Floyd's death and "disturbed by the injustice and fear that suffocate our country." Bush said they had "resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen." "It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country," Bush said. Protests have been held around the country in response to Floyd's death and have turned violent in many cities. In some instances, police responded with tear gas and pepper spray even as some governors and mayors faced criticism for not responding more forcefully. President Donald Trump called governors "weak" and pushed for those facing unrest to use the National Guard and "dominate the streets." Monday, law enforcement drove peaceful protesters out of the area around the White House before the city's curfew began, so the president could cross the street to St. John's Episcopal Church to pose for photos.

By Amanda Macias

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act, a law from 1807 that would allow President Donald Trump to deploy active-duty U.S. troops to respond to civil unrest in cities across the country. “I say this not only as Secretary of Defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” Esper said. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” he added. Meanwhile, NBC News, citing two White House officials, reported that Trump is backing off the idea of invoking the act, at least for now. “It has always been an option and remains an option,” an official told NBC. This person said things have improved “because of the influx of National Guard and the president’s pressure on governors.”

NowThis News

Police have attacked journalists reporting on Black Lives Matter protests more than 100 times in the past week.

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington (CNN) The District of Columbia National Guard is investigating the actions of its helicopters Monday night that were observed doing slow, low-level passes and hovering over crowds in an apparent attempt to disperse those who were out past the city's curfew, protesting over the death of George Floyd. The DC National Guard first announced the investigation on Tuesday, saying in a statement provided to CNN that its commanding general, Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, "directed an investigation into a June 1 low-flying maneuver conducted by one of our rotary aviation assets." In a longer statement Wednesday, the Guard said that it is investigating the use of a "medical evacuation helicopter as part of the Joint Task Force DC operation." The investigation is to ensure all the helicopters involved Monday "complied with applicable procedures and safety regulations," the Guard said. "I hold all members of the District of Columbia National Guard to the highest of standards. We live and work in the District, and we are dedicated to the service of our nation," Walker said in a statement. On Monday, crowds protested outside the White House over the death of Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis. As the city curfew was about to go into effect at 7 p.m. ET., law enforcement began pushing back the crowd using tear gas, smoke canisters and rubber bullets. A spokesman for the Pentagon claimed to CNN Tuesday the National Guard did not fire tear gas or rubber bullets. Well after the curfew, protesters were still out on the streets, and video captured by CNN showed a military helicopter hovering over a group of them, using its propellers to kick up strong wind and debris. The tactic is a show of force and commonly used by the military in overseas combat zones to drive away targets from a specific area.

Analysis: African Americans face harmful mental health effects every time high-profile incidents of racism and police brutality go viral, especially when little changes in the aftermath.
By Alia E. Dastagir - USA TODAY

Headline after headline, the same story: a black American dead. George Floyd, after a police officer knelt on his neck. Ahmaud Arbery, while on a jog in Georgia. Breonna Taylor, while police raided her Louisville, Kentucky, home. And the ones before: Eric Garner, who couldn't breathe. Philando Castile, in the car with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter. Trayvon Martin, only a boy. Scores of killings answered with acquittals. Now, as a pandemic rages, African Americans in communities across the country disproportionally devastated by COVID-19 are forced to bear witness to more deaths of black Americans. The costs of these deaths ripple. When people of color experience racism, when they repeatedly witness racism, there is a profound emotional toll. "The persistent pandemic is racism. That's the pandemic. Recent deaths of individuals of color and the deleterious impact of COVID-19 on communities of color stems all the way from 1776," said Alisha Moreland-Capuia, executive director of Oregon Health & Science University's Avel Gordly Center for Healing, which focuses on culturally sensitive care for the African American community. "The emotional and psychological impact of racism means acutely, every day, being reminded that you are not enough, being reminded that you are not seen, being reminded that you are not valued, being reminded that you are not a citizen, being reminded that humanity is not something that applies to you."

By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Lazaro GamioJune 3, 2020

Video of George Floyd’s last conscious moments horrified the nation, spurring protests that have led to curfews and National Guard interventions in many large cities. But for the black community in Minneapolis — where Mr. Floyd died after an officer pressed a knee into his neck for 8 minutes 46 seconds — seeing the police use some measure of force is disturbingly common. About 20 percent of Minneapolis’s population of 430,000 is black. But when the police get physical — with kicks, neck holds, punches, shoves, takedowns, Mace, Tasers or other forms of muscle — nearly 60 percent of the time the person subject to that force is black. And that is according to the city’s own figures. Community leaders say the frequency with which the police use force against black residents helps explain a fury in the city that goes beyond Mr. Floyd’s death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide. Since 2015, the Minneapolis police have documented using force about 11,500 times. For at least 6,650 acts of force, the subject of that force was black. By comparison, the police have used force about 2,750 times against white people, who make up about 60 percent of the population. All of that means that the police in Minneapolis used force against black people at a rate at least seven times that of white people during the past five years. Those figures reflect the total number of acts of force used by the Minneapolis police since 2015. So if an officer slapped, punched and body-pinned one person during the same scuffle, that may be counted as three separate acts of force. There have been about 5,000 total episodes since 2015 in which the police used at least one act of force on someone.

Elsewhere vandals destroyed property with impunity and provoked clashes with police and other security forces
By Tom McCarthy

After a night of vandalism and police aggression against protesters across the United States, the response of law enforcement officers to widespread public demonstrations came under heavy criticism as demands grew to ensure the right of protesters to peaceably assemble. As peaceful protests unfolded in dozens of cities across the country, from Newark, New Jersey, to Portland, Oregon, one week after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, elsewhere vandals destroyed property with impunity and provoked clashes with police and other security forces. In a series of unusually violent clashes, police officers came under fire as well. Four officers were shot in St Louis, Missouri, and one officer in Las Vegas was on life support after being shot in the head. A police officer in New York City was in serious condition after being hit by a car. Police were largely absent for crucial minutes in New York City as looters moved along Fifth Avenue, the central axis of Manhattan island, and through the Midtown shopping district. Crowds broke into Macy’s flagship department store and dozens of other businesses. A curfew was in place from 11pm on Monday to 5am Tuesday, and more than 700 people were arrested. Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected criticism that the police force had failed to ensure public safety. “There were peaceful protesters who rejected the violent elements and forced them out of protests,” De Blasio said. “That ultimately is the big story here.” The lack of a police presence echoed scenes from a night earlier in Chicago, where dozens of officers were deployed to surveil peaceful protests as vandalism played out in another part of the city.

By Joe Heim

It was 3 a.m. Tuesday before the Rev. Virginia Gerbasi was finally able to fall asleep. Every time she started to drift off, she began thinking again of the church and the protesters and the volley of flash bombs and pellets and gas that sent them all running for cover. But what really kept her awake was the anger she felt and the disbelief about what happened. Gerbasi went on Monday to St. John’s Episcopal Church, near Lafayette Square across from the White House, to deliver water and snacks to demonstrators who had gathered to protest the killing of George Floyd. She was there, she wrote later on her Facebook page, to help make the patio of the church “a place of respite and peace.” A little after 6 p.m., it became anything but. In her post, Gerbasi, who is the rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church Georgetown, described a peaceful day that erupted in mayhem and terror as federal law enforcement officers sprayed chemical irritants and shot pellets at nonviolent demonstrators before President Trump walked over to the church and held up a Bible in front of cameras.

On a tense call with employees, the Facebook CEO defended his decision not to moderate Trump’s posts.
By Shirin Ghaffary

In an internal video call with Facebook employees on Tuesday viewed by Recode, CEO Mark Zuckerberg doubled down on his controversial decision to take no action on a post last week from President Donald Trump. In the post, Trump referred to the ongoing protests in the US against racism and police brutality and said, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Facebook’s handling of Trump’s post — which included language similar to what segregationists used when referring to black protesters in the civil rights era — has divided employees at Facebook and prompted them to openly criticize Zuckerberg in a way they never have before. Around 400 employees staged a virtual walkout of work on Monday, at least two employees have resigned in protest, others have threatened to resign, and several senior-level managers have publicly disagreed with Zuckerberg’s stance — calling for him to take down or otherwise moderate Trump’s post, as Facebook’s competitor Twitter already has. This tension spilled over into the Tuesday Q&A meeting that around 25,000 employees tuned into — with several employees’ posing questions that were highly critical of the company’s actions and policies, and scrutinized whether the company is listening to racially diverse voices in its upper ranks.

By Salvador Rodriguez

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday told employees that he was standing firm in the company’s decision not to moderate a post in which President Donald Trump said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Zuckerberg announced this to employees during a virtual all-hands meeting on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. The decision comes despite public criticism from dozens of employees, many of whom argue that the post from Trump violates Facebook’s community standards, which prohibit language that incites serious violence. Brandon Dail, a Facebook user interface engineer, tweeted on Tuesday in criticism of Facebook’s leaders. Zuckerberg’s decision not to moderate the post is in contrast to that of rival Twitter, which placed a label warning users about the president’s violent rhetoric, which they have to dismiss before they can view the tweet. Twitter is also preventing users from liking or retweeting the tweet. Aside from criticism of the decision, at least two Facebook employees posted on social media that they were leaving the company as a result of the refusal to moderate Trump. “I cannot stand by Facebook’s continued refusal to act on the president’s bigoted messages aimed at radicalizing the American public,” software engineer Timothy Aveni posted on LinkedIn. Others in the tech industry also criticized the company for its inaction. Data scientist Ayodele Odubela on Tuesday tweeted a screenshot of her response to a Facebook recruiter, saying she refused to work for a company with policies that she fundamentally disagrees with. “Your CEO refuses to do anything about the hate speech and violence glorified by our ‘president’ on Facebook,” she wrote. Facebook has also been criticized by at least two of its partners.


A Twitter account that tweeted a call to violence and claimed to be representing the position of "Antifa" was in fact created by a known white supremacist group, Twitter said Monday. The company removed the account.

Other misinformation and misleading claims spread across Twitter on Sunday night and into Monday related to the protests.
By Ben Collins, Brandy Zadrozny and Emmanuelle Saliba

A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national “antifa” organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The spokesperson said the account violated the company's platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts. Twitter suspended the account after a tweet that incited violence. As protests were taking place in multiple states across the U.S. Sunday night, the newly created account, @ANTIFA_US, tweeted, “Tonight’s the night, Comrades,” with a brown raised fist emoji and “Tonight we say 'F--- The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours …” This isn’t the first time Twitter has taken action against fake accounts engaged in hateful conduct linked to Identity Evropa, according to the spokesperson. The antifa movement — a network of loosely organized radical groups who use direct action to fight the far-right and fascism — has been targeted by President Donald Trump as the force behind some of the violence and property destruction seen at some protests, though little evidence has been provided for such claims.

By Evan Perez and David Shortell, CNN

Washington (CNN) Attorney General William Barr on Monday evening ordered authorities to clear a crowd of protesters that had gathered near the White House, according to a Justice Department official, minutes ahead of President Donald Trump's televised address from the Rose Garden. Barr and other top officials from agencies responsible for securing the White House had previously planned to secure a wider perimeter around Lafayette Square, a federally owned green space just north of the building, in response to fires and destruction caused by protestors on Sunday night. That plan, developed earlier Monday, would have cleared the area later used for the President's walk to the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo-op by 4 p.m. ET, the official said. But it never happened. When Barr arrived at Lafayette Square just after 6 p.m. in a scene that was captured on news cameras and elicited heckles from the large, peaceful crowd, the attorney general saw that the area had not been emptied, and told police to clear the area, the official said. If federal law enforcement was met with resistance by the protesters, crowd control measures should be implemented, Barr had said, according to the official. - Attorney General Barr violated the 1st amendment’s rights of peaceful protestor with tear gas, flash bang grenades and tear gas so Bunker Boy AKA Don the Con could have a phot op.

By Christal Hayes - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Republican senators were split on President Donald Trump's decision Monday to push back protesters from an area surrounding the White House so he could visit a historic church across the street to take a photo with a Bible. "I'm against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop," said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., in a statement. While there is no right to riot or destroy property, he said, there is a "fundamental — a Constitutional — right to protest." The split reaction from Republicans came after another day of protests in the nation's capital and across the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police May 25. Former police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. During a Monday speech, the president threatened to send the military if cities and states did not put an end to violent protests. As he spoke from the White House, police outside forcibly removed protesters gathered in Lafayette Square with riot shields, flash bangs and chemical agents. A few minutes later, Trump walked through the park and posed for photos with a Bible outside St. John's Episcopal Church, which suffered slight damage after it was set on fire by protesters late Sunday night. Many Democrats criticized the event as a stunt while some GOP lawmakers joined them in condemning Trump's actions.

By Manu Raju, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent

(CNN) Top Republican senators are defending the use of police force to clear out peaceful protesters near the White House that allowed President Donald Trump to pose with a Bible in front of a church amid the continued unrest in the United States. The stunning move prompted a visceral reaction among Democrats, who likened Trump's actions to a dictator as they prepared legislation to condemn the use of force -- including tear gas and rubber bullets -- against Americans exercising their constitutional rights to protest. But Republicans -- for the most part -- aligned squarely with the President, saying it was his right to take such action given at times the violent protests that have occurred in the United States and the need for him to demonstrate that the country would not stand for the actions of looters and "anarchists." It was the latest indication of the deeply polarized environment on Capitol Hill amid one of the most tumultuous years in American history, with the two parties at sharp odds over the President's stewardship of the multiple crises facing the country and violent protests in cities following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. - Once again Republicans show they are hypocrites and liars, if Obama did what Trump (Bunker boy) did Republicans would be crying about an abuse of power.

By Katie Rogers

“He did not pray,” said Mariann E. Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington. “He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years.” WASHINGTON — People who gathered outside the White House to protest police brutality spent Monday waving signs and screaming for justice. They watched as police officers and National Guard units flooded Lafayette Square, delivering on a threat made by President Trump. And just before the city’s 7 p.m. curfew went into effect, they were hit with flash-bang explosions and doused with tear gas. It was because the president, who spent part of the weekend in a secure bunker as protests roiled, wanted to have his picture taken holding a Bible at a battered church just beyond the gates. That church, St. John’s — the so-called Church of the Presidents because every one since James Madison has attended — had been briefly set ablaze as the protests devolved on Sunday evening. After Mr. Trump’s aides spent much of Monday expressing outrage over the burning of a place of worship, Hope Hicks, a presidential adviser, eventually hatched a plan with others at the White House to have the president walk over to the building, according to an official familiar with the events. - Don the con AKA Bunker boy wants to protect your 2nd amendment rights while he tramples on your 1st amendment rights using the army tear gas and rubber bullets.

By Jason Owens - Yahoo Sports

Sacramento Kings announcer Grant Napear has been suspended from his radio show after a Twitter confrontation with DeMarcus Cousins over the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The trouble started for Napear when he responded to a prompt from Cousins, the former Kings All-Star, in a conversation amid the nationwide George Floyd protests. ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ Cousins asked Napear his thoughts on “Black Lives Matter.” Napear responded with an all-caps response declaring that “ALL LIVES MATTER.” Cousins responded “Lol as expected” to the “all lives matter” quip that’s commonly used to shut down black Americans as they urge awareness around police violence against their community.

Al Jazeera English

Social media has captured thousands of encounters between protesters, looters and police. Some feature white demonstrators committing violence and vandalism, while ignoring pleas from Black protesters to stop. That has opened a tense conversation about the role of non-Blacks in the protests, who is responsible for acts of violence and destruction, and why.

By Liz Roscher - Yahoo Sports

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t pull his punches. You may not like what he has to say, but he’ll always tell you exactly what’s on his mind. And after nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality over the weekend, he had quite a lot on his mind. Popovich spoke to The Nation’s Dave Zirin on Sunday, and he touched on several topics that are currently in the news. He began by talking about racism and police violence in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody, and how things continue to stay the same.

   “The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism and we’ve seen it all before but nothing changes. That’s why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”

Then he moved on to leadership, lamenting the current resident of the White House, President Donald Trump.

   “It’s unbelievable. If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unify people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people together. Even now. That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what benefits him personally. It’s never about the greater good. And that’s all he’s ever been.”

By Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey

The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, was seething. President Trump had just visited St. John’s Episcopal Church, which sits across from the White House. It was a day after a fire was set in the basement of the historic building amid protests over the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. Before heading to the church, where presidents have worshiped since the days of James Madison, Trump gave a speech at the White House emphasizing the importance of law and order. Federal officers then used force to clear a large crowd of peaceful demonstrators from the street between the White House and the church, apparently so Trump could make the visit. “I am outraged,” Budde said in a telephone interview a short time later, pausing between words to emphasize her anger as her voice slightly trembled.

By Jeff Green

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg hosted a nearly hour-long video call with U.S. civil rights leaders to discuss ongoing issues around his company’s policies as they relate to race, elections and other topics. But participants were left disappointed, according to Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, who concluded that Zuckerberg can’t fully grasp the change they seek. In an interview with Bloomberg News immediately after the call, Robinson said that “the problem with my ongoing conversations with Mark, is that I feel like I spent a lot of time, and my colleagues spent a lot of time, explaining to him why these things are a problem, and I think he just very much lacks the ability to understand it.” These comments come at a time when the U.S. is roiled by daily protests for racial justice triggered by the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, while in police custody in Minneapolis. Facebook has come in for criticism from within its own ranks, with an upswell of dismay among employees after the CEO adopted a hands-off approach to messages posted by President Donald Trump that seemed to threaten violence with the words “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The Rev Mariann Budde says the institution aligns itself with those seeking justice for Floyd’s death
By Mario Koran and Helen Sullivan

The Episcopal bishop of Washington DC has said she is “outraged” after officers used teargas to clear a crowd of peaceful protesters from near the White House to make way for Donald Trump. Minutes after speaking in the Rose Garden about the importance of “law and order” to quell the unrest over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Trump walked across the street to St John’s Episcopal church, where every American president since James Madison has worshipped. But not before police used teargas and force to clear the streets for Trump’s photo opportunity. Once he arrived at St John’s, Trump held up a Bible that read “God is love”, while posing in front of the church’s sign. The Right Rev Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, told the Washington Post: “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop.” Trump’s message is at odds with the values of love and tolerance espoused by the church, Budde said, before describing the president’s visit as an opportunity to use the church, and a Bible, as a “backdrop”.

By Richard Wolffe

He incites violence from the safety of a bunker, then orders peaceful people tear-gassed for the sake of a surreal photo op. Writing from a Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King Jr famously told his anxious fellow clergymen that his non-violent protests would force those in power to negotiate for racial justice. “The time is always ripe to do right,” he wrote. On an early summer evening, two generations later, Donald Trump walked out of the White House, where he’d been hiding in a bunker. Military police had just fired teargas and flash grenades at peaceful protesters to clear his path, so that he could wave a bible in front of a boarded church. For Trump, the time is always ripe to throw kerosene on his own dumpster fire. In the week since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers, Trump has watched and tweeted helplessly as the nation he pretends to lead has reached its breaking point. After decades of supposedly legal police beatings and murders, the protests have swept America’s cities more quickly than even coronavirus. This is no coincidence of timing. In other crises, in other eras, there have been presidents who understood their most basic duty: to calm the violence and protect the people. In this crisis, however, we have a president who built his entire political career as a gold-painted tower to incite violence. We were told, by Trump’s supporters four years ago, that we should have taken him seriously but not literally. As it happened, it was entirely appropriate to take him literally, as a serious threat to the rule of law.

Activists say Facebook boss’s decision to leave ‘shooting threat’ up sets dangerous precedent
By Alex Hern

Civil rights leaders have criticised Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to take no action against a Facebook post from Donald Trump appearing to threaten to start shooting “looters”, after a Monday night meeting with the company’s executives ended in acrimony. “We are disappointed and stunned by Mark’s incomprehensible explanations for allowing the Trump posts to remain up,” Vanita Gupta, Sherrilyn Ifill and Rashad Robison said in a statement. “He did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump’s call for violence against protesters. “Mark is setting a very dangerous precedent for other voices who would say similar harmful things on Facebook.” The three activist leaders – the heads of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Color of Change – met Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, on Monday night. They discussed Trump’s Thursday night post, which urged the military to intervene in Minneapolis with the words “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. The message, originally sent by Trump as a tweet before being cross-posted to Facebook, was restricted on Twitter after the platform decided it broke rules about glorifying violence. On Facebook, Zuckerberg personally intervened to leave the message up, arguing that the company has a policy to allow warnings of the use of force by state actors. Zuckerberg’s decision led to a “virtual walkout“ of Facebook staff on Monday, with hundreds of employees downing tools in protest. A number of Facebook employees publicly expressed their dissent on rival social networks such as Twitter, and were quickly supported by senior managers at the company.

By Sonam Sheth

A white supremacist channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram encouraged its followers to spark violence to start a race war during nationwide protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, Politico reported, citing an internal Department of Homeland Security intelligence note. Floyd was a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after repeatedly saying he could not breathe when a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The DHS note warning of white supremacist linked violence was circulated among law enforcement officials, Politico reported. Citing the FBI, it said that two days after Floyd's death, the channel "incited followers to engage in violence and start the 'boogaloo' — a term used by some violent extremists to refer to the start of a second Civil War — by shooting in a crowd." One of the messages in the channel called for potential shooters to "frame the crowd around you" for the violence, the note said, according to Politico. On May 29, the note said, "suspected anarchist extremists and militia extremists allegedly planned to storm and burn the Minnesota State Capitol." The memo pointed to "previous incidents of domestic terrorists exploiting First Amendment-protected events" as one of the reasons the DHS is keeping an eye out for additional violence by "domestic terrorist actors." NBC News also reported on Monday that Twitter had identified a group posing as an "antifa" organization calling for violence in the protests as actually being linked to the white supremacist group Identity Evropa.

By Donie O'Sullivan, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)A Twitter account that tweeted a call to violence and claimed to be representing the position of "Antifa" was in fact created by a known white supremacist group, Twitter said Monday. The company removed the account. Before it emerged the account was run by white supremacists, Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump's son, pointed his 2.8 million Instagram followers to the account as an example how dangerous Antifa is. "This account violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. "We took action after the account sent a Tweet inciting violence and broke the Twitter Rules." Although the account only had a few hundred followers, it is an example of white supremacists seeking to inflame tensions in the United States by posing as left-wing activists online. The revelation of the account comes as President Donald Trump increasingly blames left-wing activists for violence occurring at protests across America. On Sunday, Trump tweeted he would designate Antifa a terrorist organization, despite the US government having no existing legal authority to do so. Antifa, short for anti-fascists, describes a broad, loosely-organized group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left — often the far-left — but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform. Antifa positions can be hard to define, but many people espousing those beliefs support oppressed populations and protest the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites. Some employ radical or militant tactics to get out their messages. The fake account, @ANTIFA_US, tweeted Sunday, "ALERT Tonight's the night, Comrades Tonight we say "F**k The City" and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours #BlacklivesMaters #F**kAmerica." "Absolutely insane," Trump Jr. wrote on Instagram, sharing a screenshot of the tweet, "Just remember what ANTIFA really is. A Terrorist Organization! They're not even pretending anymore." CNN has reached out to a spokesperson for Trump Jr. for comment. There is no indication whatsoever that Trump Jr. knew who was behind the account or that it was fake. Twitter said that the account was in fact linked to Identity Evropa, a white power fraternity.

By Domenico Montanaro

President Trump threatened Monday to take military action in American cities if the violent demonstrations that have been taking place in recent days aren't stamped out. "If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said in a short statement in the Rose Garden at the White House. To do that, the president would need to invoke what's known as the Insurrection Act of 1807. The original text of the act, which has been amended several times since it was first passed, reads as follows:

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's made-for-TV embrace of authoritarianism's imagery and tools at a brittle national moment risks unleashing toxic political forces that threaten America's democratic traditions. Trump on Monday turned security forces on peaceful protesters in front of the White House, as tear gas and rubber bullets flew, before declaring himself the "law and order" President. Then, in one of the most bizarre moments in modern presidential history, he strode across the park to stand in front of an iconic church holding a Bible aloft in a striking photo op. It was a moment of vanity and bravado -- orchestrated for the cameras and transparently political -- as Trump struggles to cope with protests sweeping the country after the killing of George Floyd and tries to cover up his botched leadership during the coronavirus pandemic. Overnight, the White House's official Twitter account released a triumphant video of the moment set to music but omitting any signs of the mayhem unleashed on the protesters. Trump appeared to be trying to project strength at a moment when his presidency seems feckless and as the nation spins out of control. If it occurred abroad and not in the White House, Americans might perceive a ridiculous self-deluding act of a wanna-be strongman. "I thought I was watching a scene from something in Turkey, and not in the United States," retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who commanded National Guard troops in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, told CNN's Anderson Cooper. And after using St. John's Church, the "church of the presidents," which had experienced a basement fire during Sunday's demonstrations, Trump drew immediate criticism from faith leaders, including Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. "The President just used the Bible, our sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus," Budde said on "AC360." Trump's showmanship was motivated in part by anger at media coverage saying he had sheltered in a bunker below the White House on Friday night amid protests in Washington, CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak reported. It shows how far Trump will go to protect his own thin skin and how his power plays are often motivated by assaults on his dignity. But his behavior is also alarming, considering the vast power at his command, uses of demagogic tropes and capacity to buckle the traditions and structures of civilian, democratic government. So while Trump's turn to the rhetoric of the despotic leaders he so admires had elements of farce, it opened a sinister new chapter in his presidency and a challenge to American norms.

By Ryan Browne, Alicia Lee and Renee Rigdon, CNN

As thousands across the US take to the streets for another day of protests demanding justice for George Floyd, more than 17,000 members of the National Guard are standing ready to support local law enforcement. That represents approximately the same number of active duty troops deployed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. As of Monday, nearly half of the US has activated guard members to respond to civil unrest. On top of the District of Columbia, the 23 states that have activated the National Guard are: Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Additionally, about 45,000 National Guard members are supporting the Covid-19 response across all 50 states, three territories and D.C., bringing the total number of activated National Guard soldiers and airmen to 66,700. President Donald Trump said Monday in the Rose Garden that the United States is taking new measures to quell riots across the United States. "First we are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country," Trump said, adding that he's strongly recommended to governors to deploy the National Guard to "dominate the streets."

By Dana Hedgpeth

Federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and chemicals at peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday evening as President Trump appeared in the Rose Garden to threaten the mobilization of “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers” to quell “lawlessness” across the country. Protesters were pushed away from Lafayette Square, where they were protesting the police-involved killing of George Floyd. Here are some significant developments:

• The ambush on protesters Monday evening at Lafayette Square began half an hour before the city’s newly imposed curfew of 7 p.m. went into effect. When the crowds were cleared, the president walked through the park to visit the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been set on fire Sunday. White House spokesman Judd Deere defended the federal actions.

• The impact of the officers’ early aggression kept protesters away from the White House as they scattered across the city. When protesters found themselves outnumbered, D.C. police asked them to sit so they could be arrested one by one, a more orderly process than the chaos in Lafayette Square. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) took to Twitter condemned the federal agencies’ actions.

By Casey Tolan, CNN

(CNN) In the years leading up to George Floyd's death with his neck beneath the knee of a Minneapolis policeman, at least 58 people lost consciousness after the city's officers put them in neck restraints, according to a CNN analysis of use of force data from the police department. Officers used neck restraints on 428 people since 2012, and 14% lost consciousness, the data showed. That means the procedure, which is restricted or banned in many large police departments around the country, was used an average of about once a week in the city over that time period. About two-thirds of the people placed in neck restraints by Minneapolis officers were black -- in a city where black residents make up 19% of the population, according to Census data. Use of force experts told CNN that the procedure that officer Derek Chauvin used -- pressing his knee into the back of Floyd's neck for several minutes, as Floyd groaned that he couldn't breathe -- wouldn't qualify as a proper neck restraint under the city's policy and procedure manual. But the Minneapolis department does allow officers to compress "one or both sides of a person's neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway," according to a section of the manual that is marked as last being updated in 2012. It calls the method a "non-deadly force option." Authorities charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He's due to appear in court later this month. His attorney has not responded to CNN's requests for comment.

What happened to George Floyd was 'crazy inappropriate,' expert says
Seth Stoughton, an associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina who's written a book about police use of force, said many large police departments banned neck restraints after protests in the 1960s, following criticism that similar chokeholds resulted in fatalities. He said he thinks Minneapolis should also prohibit it except when officers are facing a serious, imminent threat to their safety. What Chauvin did to Floyd was "not a neck restraint," Stoughton said, calling it "crazy inappropriate."

To do so, the president would need to invoke the Insurrection Act that allows U.S. troops to be deployed domestically.
By Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee and Dareh Gregorian

WASHINGTON — As the sound of sirens wailed and flash bangs popped across the street, President Donald Trump announced from the Rose Garden that he would use the U.S. military to stop the riots across the county that have been sparked by the death of George Floyd. “I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans,” Trump said in the extraordinary address, which was delivered as police fired tear gas outside to push protesters back from the White House. "If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said, referring to himself as "your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.” To activate the military to operate in the U.S., Trump would have to invoke the 213-year-old Insurrection Act, which four people familiar with the decision had told NBC News he planned to do. The military police forces would come from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and possibly Fort Belvoir in Virginia and could arrive in Washington within hours, these people said.

By Alana Wise

President Trump on Monday declared himself "a law-and-order president" and "ally of all peaceful protesters" as he delivered brief, forceful remarks in opposition to the ongoing demonstrations against police killings of black people, describing the unrest as "acts of domestic terrorism." The president's Rose Garden remarks came as just across the street, law enforcement officers deployed tear gas and shot rubber bullets at peaceful protesters. Loud bangs could be heard from the garden, as mounted police forcefully dispersed protesters.

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh denied the existence of white privilege to the hosts of "The Breakfast Club," a nationally syndicated radio program that features discussions on progressive politics and black culture, during an extraordinary conversation on race relations that aired Monday. During the nearly 30-minute conversation, which also aired on Limbaugh's nationally syndicated program, "The Rush Limbaugh Show," he expressed outrage over the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last week sparked global protests. But it was Limbaugh's denial of systemic racism that prompted an astonishing exchange. "I don't buy into white privilege," Limbaugh said toward the beginning of the interview. "You're being delusional," replied Charlamagne tha God, co-host of "The Breakfast Club." They moved on from the topic, but it came up a second time toward the end of the interview when Limbaugh suggested speaking with "The Breakfast Club" again in the future. Charlamagne said he wouldn't be interested if Limbaugh is going to keep denying the existence of concepts like white privilege. Limbaugh, however, doubled down on his position. "White supremacy or white privilege is a construct of today's Democratic Party, and I'm not going to agree with any aspect of it as they put it forth," Limbaugh said. "I'm not denying that there are certain individuals out there that think they are better than other people. But structurally, institutionally, white supremacy — that's a construct." "You can't see how white people are just treated better in this country?" Charlamagne asked. Limbaugh replied that he had been "mistreated" his whole life, by companies, groups, and individuals. "I have been fired nine times in my career," Limbaugh said.  "But have you ever been thrown out your car because you were driving a nice car?" pressed Charlamagne. "Have you ever got just patted down for being black?" "I've had my car keyed," Limbaugh replied. "I've had my tires blown. Of course." "I'm talking about thrown out your car by a police officer because you're black driving a nice car!" Charlamagne said. "Or walking down the street in Queens, the area where you're from, and the police pulling you over and patting you down. Has these things happened to you?"


The Daily Beast
By Erin Banco - National Security Reporter

President Trump on Monday told the nation’s governors that they needed to get “much tougher” in responding to the protests breaking out across the country. He said the lack of response has so far made state officials look weak. Trump encouraged them to mass arrest those inciting violence at protests and said if they didn’t they would “look like a bunch of jerks.” “You have to arrest people and you have to try people. And they need to go to jail for what they’ve done,” Trump said.

By Ellen Mitchell

President Trump plans to use “additional federal assets” across the country in response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the White House said Monday. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the unspecified assets will be used in addition to a “central command center” to include Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr. “What the president has said is he wants to dominate the streets with National Guard, with a police presence,” McEnany told reporters.McEnany’s comments come after Trump, in a leaked phone call with state governors, said he put Milley “in charge” of the protest response. Asked about what Trump meant, McEnany said the four-star general has “been on point in talking about the National Guard, the effectiveness and in ensuring that they’re utilized to great effect across the country,” appearing to indicate that he would be the face of any ordered military response.

By Shannon Bond

Facebook is facing an unusually public backlash from its employees over the company's handling of President Trump's inflammatory posts about protests in the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. At least a dozen employees, some in senior positions, have openly condemned Facebook's lack of action on the president's posts and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's defense of that decision. Some employees staged a virtual walkout Monday. "Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind," tweeted Ryan Freitas, director of product design for Facebook's news feed.

By Aris Folley

A number of black graduates of Liberty University have reportedly signed on to a letter condemning the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., days after he sought to mock Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) with a mask depicting the racist imagery from Northam's page in his medical school yearbook. “I was adamantly opposed to the mandate from @GovernorVA requiring citizens to wear face masks until I decided to design my own. If I am ordered to wear a mask, I will reluctantly comply, but only if this picture of Governor Blackface himself is on it!” Falwell tweeted Wednesday. The design was met with swift backlash on social media, and now, according to The Associated Press, several dozen black graduates from the Lynchburg, Va., university have signed a letter condemning the school president for his “infantile behavior” and accusing him of being concerned with “politics more than Christian academia or ministry.” “While your tweet may have been in jest about Virginia’s Governor, it made light of our nation’s painful history of slavery and racism,” the alumni reportedly wrote. They also referred to the tweet by Falwell, a staunch conservative who has a history of making controversial remarks, as a “microcosm of the past several years of divisive rhetoric.” “You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviors of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths,” the letter states.

Mia Bloom, a Georgia State professor and an expert on political violence and terrorism, writes that the demonstrations in honor of George Floyd have been infiltrated by white nationalists who adhere to the accelerationist ideology, and that at least part of the violence and destruction – as clearly seen on TV screens – have been perpetrated by these extremists. “The accelerationists, if you have never heard the term, are an extreme subset of white nationalism whose goal is to bring about chaos and destruction,” she writes. Since Western governments are inherently corrupt, “the best (and only) thing supremacists can do is to accelerate the end of society by sowing chaos and aggravating political tensions.” Mia Bloom, a Georgia State professor and an expert on political violence and terrorism, writes in Just Security that “When anyone studies the Middle East for as long as I have, you become practically immune to conspiracy theories.” And yet, when one watches the demonstrations, taking place in several American cities since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with a trained eye, “The images challenge our beliefs about who is really protesting and for what reason.” She notes, for example that the demonstration in Atlanta on Friday, 30 May, started as a peaceful demonstration in honor of Floyd – but that around 7:00pm, “the demographics of the demonstration changed in real time in front of the cameras.” “The demographics of a largely white, young, and destructive group fit more with a movement known as accelerationists than Black Lives Matter,” she writes, adding:

Dozens of white supremacist groups are operating freely on Facebook, allowing them to spread their message and recruit new members. The findings, more than two years after Facebook hosted an event page for the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, cast doubt on the company’s claims that it’s effectively monitoring and dealing with hate groups. What’s more, Facebook’s algorithms create an echo chamber that reinforces the views of white supremacists and helps them connect with each other. Dozens of white supremacist groups are operating freely on Facebook, allowing them to spread their message and recruit new members, according to a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) investigation, which found the activity is continuing despite years of promises by the social network that it bans hate organizations. TTP says it has recently documented how online extremists, including many with white supremacist views, are using Facebook to plan for a militant uprising dubbed the “boogaloo,” as they stoke fears that coronavirus lockdowns are a sign of rising government repression. But TTP’s latest investigation reveals Facebook’s broader problems with white supremacist groups, which are using the social network’s unmatched reach to build their movement. The findings, more than two years after Facebook hosted an event page for the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, cast doubt on the company’s claims that it’s effectively monitoring and dealing with hate groups. What’s more, Facebook’s algorithms create an echo chamber that reinforces the views of white supremacists and helps them connect with each other. With millions of people now quarantining at home and vulnerable to ideologies that seek to exploit people’s fears and resentments about COVID-19, Facebook’s failure to remove white supremacist groups could give these organizations fertile new ground to attract followers. Facebook’s Community Standards prohibit hate speech based on race, ethnicity, and other factors because it “creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence.” The company also bans hate organizations. Since the Charlottesville violence, Facebook has announced the removal of specific hate groups and tightened restrictions on white extremist content on the platform.

A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media and an individual’s sense of identity can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people. “Fundamentally, we wanted to examine how online platforms can normalize hatred and contribute to dehumanization,” says one researcher. “And we found that an established model of the role identity plays in intractable conflicts seems to explain a great deal of this behavior.” A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media and an individual’s sense of identity can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people. “Fundamentally, we wanted to examine how online platforms can normalize hatred and contribute to dehumanization,” says Jessica Jameson, co-author of a paper on the work and a professor of communication at North Carolina State University. “And we found that an established model of the role identity plays in intractable conflicts seems to explain a great deal of this behavior.” NCSU says that for this study, Jameson worked with colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to assess discourse on a Facebook page that was noteworthy in Israel for propagating right-wing hate speech. Specifically, the researchers examined comments on the page that were related to other Israeli Jews who commenters felt were not politically right wing. “We found that the language used in these Facebook interactions hewed very closely to three stages we see in Terrell Northrup’s theory of intractable conflict,” says Jameson. “One stage is the threat – meaning that the people in one group perceive another group as a threat to their identity. For example, one representative comment we found was that ‘The leftists are our devil, because of their existence the country is being destroyed and the army weakened.’ “A second stage is distortion. This basically means that the first group will not engage with new information regarding the other group – instead distorting it or dismissing it as irrelevant for some reason. For example, ‘I don’t know if I really want to know the answer to the question of whether the thinking of the left is due to infinite stupidity or infinite naivete.’

Suggestion that outside ‘agitators’ were behind disturbances comes as Minneapolis curfew extended
By Gino Spocchia

Officials in Minnesota believe that white supremacist “agitators” were inciting chaos at protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. The Minnesota state corrections department said on Sunday that white supremacists were thought to be attending demonstrations in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and making chaos. “They’re agitators,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell on those who have caused destruction during demonstrations. Mr Schnell added that authorities were moving to break up demonstrations so that outside “agitators” could not create chaos. Minnesota governor Tim Walz announced on Sunday that the state’s curfew would be extended into Monday morning to allow law enforcement to continue targeting “those who meant to do harm”. Mr Walz added on Twitter that authorities had made several arrests whilst seizing weapons, narcotics, long guns, handguns, magazines and knives. “We have reason to believe that bad actors continue to infiltrate the rightful protests of George Floyd’s murder, which is why we are extending the curfew by one day,” announced the governor overnight. Minnesota corrections department commissioner John Harrington also announced later on Sunday that authorities had located several caches of flammable materials. Mr Harringon added: “The fact that we’ve seen so many of them in so many places now makes us believe that this is part of that pattern that shows that this in fact an organised activity and not some random act of rage”. It comes amid accusations that outside groups are behind the destruction witnessed in cities across the US, and in Minneapolis where Mr Floyd was killed in police custody last week.  

by Mia Bloom

When anyone studies the Middle East for as long as I have, you become practically immune to conspiracy theories. The word in Arabic “muamarrat” is pervasive and after hearing my whole adult life about the hidden forces behind various catastrophes one automatically winces when someone tries to push the real story they heard somewhere or saw on social media. The protests that have torn through the United States, following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officers, shift the emphasis in real time videos broadcast nationally. The images challenge our beliefs about who is really protesting and for what reason.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz echoed this sentiment in a press conference on Saturday alleging that the demonstrations that caused so much damage included provocateurs, likely from outside the area. State officials said around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday were from outside Minnesota. Former FBI agent and CNN commentator, Josh Campbell wrote, that Minnesota “authorities have been monitoring alleged criminals online, including postings by suspected white supremacists trying to incite violence.” Before the rioting started in Washington DC, Brooklyn, Denver, Atlanta, and other cities, allegations emerged that undercover police officers might be to blame for some of the worst commercial destruction in Minneapolis. Experts on political violence (and not just Qanon conspiracy theorists) shared stories on social media that the May 27 looting and arson at AutoZone by an unidentified man in a gas mask carrying an open umbrella (dubbed #umbrellaman) was not necessarily a protester but could be an agent provocateur or member of the police. In video posted to YouTube, while this man smashed windows with a hammer, protesters at the scene accused him of being an outsider and began to film him.

It’s more than “a few bad apples”
by Danielle Schulkin

On Sunday morning, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, whether he thinks “systemic racism” is a problem in law enforcement agencies in the United States. O’Brien responded: “I don’t think there is systemic racism. I think 99.9 percent of our law enforcement officers are great Americans,” said O’Brien. “But … there’s a few bad apples.” There are two flaws in O’Brien’s response. First, O’Brien ignores the well-documented support by law enforcement officers of alt-right extremist ideology throughout the country. Second, O’Brien misunderstands the nature of systemic racism—a term that means that institutions we have in place produce racially disparate effects on minority populations—in his discussion of individual officers. An FBI intelligence assessment—titled “White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement” and published in 2006 during the administration of President George W. Bush—raised alarm over white supremacist groups’ interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” The report, based on FBI investigations and open sources, warned, for example, that skinhead groups were actively encouraging their members to become “ghost skins” within law enforcement agencies, a term the report said white supremacists use to describe members who “avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” In 2015, a classified FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide, obtained by The Intercept, stated that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers.”

By Barbara Sprunt

In his first in-person campaign event in more than two months, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met Monday with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in his hometown to address the outrage and protests surrounding George Floyd's death. Protests have erupted in dozens of cities over the past week since Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer was seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck for minutes on end. "I think the public is getting to a place that it's never been before in understanding a lot of this," Biden said at the event. "But it's going to take a whole hell of a lot of hard work. A lot of hard work. But I'm confident it can be done." Fourteen faith leaders and local lawmakers attended the event at Bethel AME church in Wilmington, Del., as they donned masks and sat seated two to a pew to help maintain social distancing due to the coronavirus.

By Ross Ibbetson and Georgia Simcox For Mailonline

Protests over the death of George Floyd have swept across the globe with demonstrations from Poland to New Zealand in solidarity with US demonstrators caught up in violent riots. Thousands rallied outside the US embassies in London, Copenhagen and Berlin, chanting 'I can't breathe,' the words Floyd gasped as a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday. They defied coronavirus lockdown and social distancing rules in Dublin, Ireland; Toronto, Canada; Cardiff, Wales; and in Milan, Italy; to protest the latest African-American death in police custody in the States. Candles were lit in Krakow, Poland, and also in Mashhad, Iran, where leaders have cynically criticised Donald Trump's 'racism' and tweeted their support for #BlackLivesMatter.

By John Bowden

Minnesota officials have identified white nationalist groups operating on the ground amid the protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul over the police killing of George Floyd, the state's Department of Corrections said late Sunday. State Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell told reporters at a press conference that recruiting materials in the form of posters had been located by officials in the Twin Cities, adding that his office is investigating as-yet unsubstantiated claims that antifa-aligned groups were active in the cities as well, according to local news affiliate KTTC. "They're agitators," Schnell said of the groups, according to CNN. A request for further comment from the Minnesota Department of Corrections was not immediately returned. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) pointed to the alleged presence of the groups as a reason for his decision to extend an 8 p.m. curfew in the two cities, writing in a tweet Sunday evening: "We have reason to believe that bad actors continue to infiltrate the rightful protests of George Floyd’s murder, which is why we are extending the curfew by one day."

By Laura Kelly

Canada is opposed to Russia rejoining the Group of Seven (G7) meeting, an idea proposed by President Trump over the weekend, because Moscow continues to disregard international rules, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Monday, according to Reuters. “Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out,” Trudeau said during his daily news conference. Trump on Saturday said he will postpone the G7 gathering of leaders until September and said he would like to see Australia, Russia, South Korea and India participate. He reiterated his idea of inviting Russia to the G7 summit in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the Kremlin said. The Canadian prime minister did not answer if he would boycott the event if Putin were to attend, instead saying there were still “many discussions” needed before the meeting, Reuters reported. Trudeau said the G7 is a meeting for “frank conversation with allies and friends” and pointed to the G20 group, which includes Russia, as a forum with members “we don’t necessarily have great relations with,” Reuters reported. “The G7 has always been a place for frank conversations with allies and friends who share so much. That’s certainly what I’m hoping to continue to see.”

By George Floyd, Rebecca Solnit

Using damage to property as cover, US police have meted out shocking, indiscriminate brutality in the wake of the uprising. The word “violence” is going to be used a lot to describe the events in US cities over the weekend and all this week. So it’s going to be important to be clear about who is violent and what violence is. Property destruction and harming human beings are profoundly different actions, and with a few exceptions (seemingly interlopers in the protests) virtually all the violence visited on human beings during this round of civil unrest across the US has been inflicted by police. This began with the death of George Floyd in public in direct violation of what the Minneapolis police department manual says about chokeholds. He told officers he couldn’t breathe and begged for his life. What is particularly stunning about the brutality of the police across the country is that they seem to expect impunity. They do not serve the public or keep the peace; they serve themselves. Nevertheless, much of the finger-wagging has been about property destruction, and it is dismaying to see that some are more upset about broken glass than public killing – or rather that they seem to believe society ought to rest on a foundation of stable property relations, not human rights and justice. The distinction between damaging or destroying human beings and inanimate objects matters. But it’s not simple. People trapped inside a burning building break down the doors to escape; an estranged husband with a restraining order breaks down a door to further terrorise his ex-wife. The same actions mean different things in different situations. Martin Luther King famously called riots “the voice of the unheard” – and as the outcry of people who have tried absolutely everything else for centuries, property damage means something very different from merely malicious or recreational destruction. When they riot, the black people most impacted by police brutality and by four centuries of poverty, dehumanisation and deprivation of basic rights and equality, are more like people trapped inside that burning house trying to break out. There is no easy way to distinguish between ardent white supporters of a black uprising and black bloc-style white people who revel in property destruction, taunting the police and escalating situations (before often slipping away before the police crack down). They are anti-authoritarians opposed to police brutality and the overreach of the state, and should not be confused with the rightwing authoritarians who many fear will use the pandemonium as cover for their own agenda, which could include creating more chaos. What these authoritarians and anti-authoritarians often have in common is an enthusiasm for violence for its own sake and a belief that it is revolutionary. Most successful recent revolutions have, in fact, been largely nonviolent, and those that were violent have tended more toward highly disciplined guerrillas in the mountains than window-smashers on the high street. It’s important to note, of course, that property destruction can hurt the very constituencies that riots and uprisings are supposed to speak for. The loss of small minority-owned businesses, social centres and local amenities further impoverishes communities. Here, it’s worth noting that I’ve read accounts of residents of Minneapolis trying to put out fires and otherwise protect property in their own neighbourhoods, only to be attacked by police as they did so.

By Lorenzo Reyes, Trevor Hughes - USA TODAY

MINNEAPOLIS – The attorney for George Floyd's family, Benjamin Crump, said Monday that an independent autopsy "determined that asphyxiation from sustained pressure  was the cause" of Floyd's death in an incident that has sparked tense protests and violence across the nation. Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson performed the autopsy and said there was "neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to Crump's statement. They added that "weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function." Baden and Wilson said it appeared that Floyd died at the scene of the incident. "What we found is consistent with what people saw," Baden said. "There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death. Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That’s not true." The announcement came one week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck for several minutes while Floyd, 46, was handcuffed, crying that he couldn't breathe and pleading for help.

By Mark Moore

The son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison declared his support for the radical left-wing group ANTIFA after President Trump said he would designate it as a terrorist group. “I hereby declare, officially, my support for ANTIFA,” Jeremiah Ellison, a member of the Minneapolis City Council, wrote on his Twitter account Sunday. “Unless someone can prove to me ANTIFA is behind the burning of black and immigrant owned businesses in my ward, I’ll keep focusing on stopping the white power terrorist THE ARE ACTUALLY ATTACKING US!” Members of the Trump administration, including Attorney General William Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, said ANTIFA members are hijacking the nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers to instigate violence against police and loot businesses. “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” the president said on Twitter Sunday. In a statement, Barr said the federal government will work with state and local officials to target the “violent radical agitators.” Keith Ellison defended his son’s statement during an interview Monday on CNN.

By Josh K. Elliott Global News

U.S. President Donald Trump bragged over the weekend that he watched “every move” the Secret Service made to protect him on Friday night while hundreds of Americans rallied outside the White House to protest his response to the death of George Floyd. Trump described the Secret Service as “very cool” on Twitter and pushed the conspiracy theory that the protests were not legitimate. He failed to mention that he spent nearly an hour of his Friday night in the White House’s fortified bunker in a rare security response that typically only occurs in the face of a terrorist threat. The Secret Service made the decision to whisk Trump, his wife Melania and his son, Barron, off to the bunker, the New York Times reports. Trump’s critics responded to news of his bunker visit with outrage and mockery, particularly after Trump boasted about his defenders and ridiculed the protesters in several tweets on Saturday. Many Twitter users accused Trump of “hiding” from the American citizens whom he’s supposed to lead through a time of crisis. They also accused him of refusing to acknowledge the anger that has spurred sweeping protests across the United States in recent days after the death of Floyd, the latest unarmed Black man to be killed in an encounter with police. Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minn., last week after a police officer pinned him down with a knee on his neck for several minutes.

The US President Donald Trump on Friday took shelter in a bunker as anti-racism protesters gathered outside the White House in Washington, DC.

"Biden went to a protest site. Trump went to his bunker. That says everything." Following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, the United States has been experiencing a series of violent clashes amid protesting demonstrators and police across cities. Several cities in the United States looked like a war zone after rioters torched several police clubs. The US President Donald Trump on Friday took shelter in a bunker as anti-racism protesters gathered outside the White House in Washington, DC. The President was there for a little under an hour before being brought upstairs. On Saturday, only hours after the protests outside the White House had ended, Trump declared himself safe as he lashed out at the city's Democratic mayor and raised the prospect of his supporters gathering in a place that night in what would amount to a counter-protest. The news of Trump "hiding" in the presidential bunker was broken by The New York Times and once Twitter got the whiff of it, they came down hard on the US President. "Donald Trump is hiding in a WH bunker. Most cowardly "tough guy" in history," tweeted one user.

By Dan Mangan

Two Democratic governors fired back at President Donald Trump on Monday, accusing the president of “inflammatory” and “dangerous” rhetoric about protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Illinois Gov. Jay “J.B.” Pritzker directly challenged Trump during a conference call Monday morning with the nation’s governors, in which the president castigated many of them for what he called their “weak” response to the protests that have occurred since Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police. “I’ve been extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used by you,” Pritzker told Trump, according to a transcript of their exchange tweeted by New York Times reporter Katie Rogers. “It’s been inflammatory, and it’s not okay for that officer to choke George Floyd to death,” Pritzker said. Trump during the call had said: “You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks,” “You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” the president said. Pritzker noted that he had called out the Illinois National Guard and state police to deal with civil disturbances during protests over Floyd’s death. “But the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse,” Pritzker said.

By Justin Wise

As tensions escalated between police and protesters throughout the nation, some members of law enforcement showed solidarity with demonstrators by kneeling alongside them and participating in marches over the weekend. The acts came as tensions boiled over in dozens of U.S. cities following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody. Several demonstrations have devolved into chaos, with police firing tear gas on protesters and some individuals smashing storefronts and setting buildings ablaze. Amid this backdrop, officers in states such as New York, Oregon, Iowa and Kentucky took knees while policing ongoing demonstrations, in acts that replicated the protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Law enforcement leaders in Michigan and Virginia also participated in marches alongside protesters. On Sunday, officers in Queens, N.Y., took a knee with a band of protesters who marched near their precinct. Video of the scene showed dozens of demonstrators cheering as a line of officers knelt alongside many of them. Aleeia Abraham, the leader of The BlaQue Resource Network and the individual who shot the video, told CNN that she'd never seen such a tribute from police. The move to take a knee was replicated in Portland, Ore., and Lexington, Ky. In Portland, video shared by The Oregonian showed a protester urging a Portland police officer to show support for their cause by taking a knee. A subsequent clip showed a dozens of officers clad in riot gear kneeling as a crowd of protestors in front of them chanted, “George Floyd.”

The Sergeants Benevolent Association posted a police report on the arrest of Chiara de Blasio during a protest on Saturday night.
By Dana Rubinstein and Jeffery C. Mays

Among the hundreds of protesters arrested over the four days of demonstrations in New York City over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, only one was highlighted by name by a police union known for its hostility toward Mayor Bill de Blasio. The name of that protester? Chiara de Blasio, the mayor’s daughter. The union, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, used Twitter to post a police report documenting the arrest on Saturday night of Ms. de Blasio, 25. The Police Department does not normally release internal police reports, and Ms. de Blasio’s contained personal details, including her height, weight, address, date of birth and driver’s license information. The post was removed for violation of Twitter rules, and the union’s account was suspended Monday morning.


WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Monday derided the nation's governors as "weak" and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of another night of violent protests in dozens of American cities. Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they "have to get much tougher" amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses. "Most of you are weak," Trump said. "You have to arrest people." The days of protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer. They turned violent in several cities, with looting and mayhem, and fires ignited in the historic park across from the White House. The president urged the governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited for helping calm the situation Sunday night in Minneapolis. He demanded that similarly tough measures be taken in cities that also experienced a spasm of violence, like New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. "You've got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you'll never see this stuff again," said Trump. "We're doing it in Washington, D.C. We're going to do something that people haven't seen before." The president told the governors they were making themselves "look like fools" for not calling up more of the National Guard as a show for force on city streets. - The mayors are not the weak ones, Donald J. Trump is the weak one. Only the weak hid when times get tough and Donald J. Trump is the only one who hid in a bunker.

By Amelia Lucas

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier told CNBC on Monday that George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police, could have been him. “What the African American community sees in that videotape is that this African American man, who could be me or any other African American man, is being treated as less than human,” Frazier said in a “Squawk Box” interview. Protests have erupted across the United States over the death of Floyd. Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before Floyd died as other officers stood by. He was fired by the department and later arrested on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter charges. “What the community saw was, until they went out into the streets, this officer — much less even the other officers — was not even going to be arrested for what was clearly inhumane treatment of a citizen,” Frazier said.

Published Mon, Jun 1 20208:08 AM EDTUpdated 2 hours ago
By Matthew J. Belvedere

Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, told CNBC on Monday the U.S. government should provide $14 trillion of reparations for slavery to help reduce racial inequality. The wealth divide and police brutality against blacks are at the heart of protests that have erupted across the nation following last week’s killing of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis. “Now is the time to go big” to keep America from dividing into two separate and unequal societies, Johnson said on “Squawk Box.”

While Twitter started labeling some of the president’s inflammatory posts, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has said his company should leave them alone.
By Sheera Frenkel and Mike Isaac

OAKLAND, Calif. — Dozens of Facebook employees, in rare public criticism on Monday of their own company, protested executives’ decision not to do anything about inflammatory posts that President Trump had placed on the giant social media platform over the last week. The employees, who took the day off by logging into Facebook’s systems and requesting time off to support protesters across the country, also added an automated message to their emails saying that they were out of the office in a show of protest. The group is one of many clusters of employees attempting to push back on executives. As of Monday morning, many employees continued to discuss a list of demands for management. The movement — a virtual “walkout” of sorts since most Facebook employees are working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic — comes as staff members have circulated petitions and threatened to resign. More than a dozen current and former employees have described the unrest as the most serious challenge to Mr. Zuckerberg’s leadership since the company was founded 15 years ago. Mr. Zuckerberg has argued on a number of occasions that Facebook should take a hands-off approach to what people post, including lies from elected officials and others in power. He has repeatedly said the public should be allowed to decide what to believe.

By Bernard Condon | Associated Press

A white Minneapolis police officer and the black man he’s charged with killing both worked as security guards at the same Latin nightclub as recently as last year, but its former owner says she’s not sure if they knew each other. What she is certain of is how aggressive Officer Derek Chauvin became when the club hosted events that drew a mainly black clientele, responding to fights by taking out his mace and spraying the crowd, a tactic she told him was unjustified “overkill.” “He would mace everyone instead of apprehending the people who were fighting,” said Maya Santamaria, former owner of El Nuevo Rodeo club in Minneapolis. “He would call backup. The next thing you would know, there would be five or six squad cars.” Chauvin became the focus of outrage and four days of street protests across the nation this week after he was seen on cellphone video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for more than eight minutes during his arrest on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill. Floyd died in custody and Chauvin was fired Tuesday and arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. The three other officers who took part in the arrest were also fired, and they remain under investigation.

By Justin Wise

As tensions escalated between police and protesters throughout the nation, some members of law enforcement showed solidarity with demonstrators by kneeling alongside them and participating in marches over the weekend. The acts came as tensions boiled over in dozens of U.S. cities following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody. Several demonstrations have devolved into chaos, with police firing tear gas on protesters and some individuals smashing storefronts and setting buildings ablaze. Amid this backdrop, officers in states such as New York, Oregon, Iowa and Kentucky took knees while policing ongoing demonstrations, in acts that replicated the protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Law enforcement leaders in Michigan and Virginia also participated in marches alongside protesters.  On Sunday, officers in Queens, N.Y., took a knee with a band of protesters who marched near their precinct. Video of the scene showed dozens of demonstrators cheering as a line of officers knelt alongside many of them. Aleeia Abraham, the leader of The BlaQue Resource Network and the individual who shot the video, told CNN that she'd never seen such a tribute from police. The move to take a knee was replicated in Portland, Ore., and Lexington, Ky. In Portland, video shared by The Oregonian showed a protester urging a Portland police officer to show support for their cause by taking a knee. A subsequent clip showed a dozens of officers clad in riot gear kneeling as a crowd of protestors in front of them chanted, “George Floyd.”

By Chris Mills Rodrigo

Facebook employees have publicly criticized the company for not taking action against President Trump's comments on protests against police brutality in Minnesota. Tensions between the staff and top executives were exacerbated after Trump used his social media accounts to weigh in on the demonstrations in Minneapolis against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died last week while in police custody. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen," the president wrote Friday on Facebook and Twitter. “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts," he added. "Thank you!" While Twitter placed a warning on the tweet, Facebook left it untouched. The Facebook post has received over 254,000 reactions and 71,000 shares. CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained his decision to keep leave the post up as is, saying the platform’s policy around incitement of violence “allows discussion around state use of force.” “I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open,” Zuckerberg wrote on Friday. At least seven Facebook employees have slammed Zuckerberg's decision. Jason Stirman, a design manager at the company, said that while he doesn’t know what to do, “doing nothing is not acceptable.”

Boente was asked to resign on Friday and two sources familiar with the decision to dismiss him said it came from high levels of the Justice Department rather than directly from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
By Julia Ainsley and Pete Williams

After a 38-year career with the Justice Department, the FBI's top lawyer Dana Boente was asked to resign on Friday. Two sources familiar with the decision to dismiss Boente said it came from high levels of the Justice Department rather than directly from FBI Director Christopher Wray. His departure comes on the heels of recent criticism by Fox News for his role in the investigation of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. A spokesman for the FBI confirmed to NBC News that Boente did in fact resign on Friday. Fox News has recently criticized Boente's role in the investigation of Flynn, whose criminal charge for lying to the FBI was recently dropped by the Justice Department based in part on the argument that his lies were not material to an underlying investigation. Boente also said in a recently leaked memo that material put into the public record about Flynn was not exculpatory for the former national security advisor. The memo undermines the Justice Department's latest position that material about Flynn was mishandled by prosecutors. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said on April 27 that, "Shocking new reports suggest F.B.I. General Counsel Dana Boente was acting in coordination with F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray to block the release of that evidence that would have cleared General Flynn." Wray formally asked for Boente's resignation, but the decision to end his tenure at the FBI came from Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, according to two sources.

Bloomberg Politics

Jun.01 -- Leslie Vinjamuri, head of U.S. and Americas Programme at Chatham House, comments on President Donald Trump's handling of the unrest in dozens of U.S. cities following the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. She speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

“This is more of a systemic issue we are facing that will take time to address," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told NBC's "Meet the Press."
By Ben Kamisar

WASHINGTON — Amid nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, the mayors of two major cities on Sunday urged those participating to remain peaceful, calling the destruction of property not a productive solution to the frustrations. “We’re sending a very clear message to people that they have a right to exercise their First Amendment rights, but not to destroy our city," Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said in an exclusive interview on "Meet the Press." "We saw a level of just destruction and mayhem among some that was maddening.” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms connected with the frustration of those protesting police misconduct, adding that there are “no easy answers” as to the “systemic issue.” “We know the frustration is still there," she told "Meet the Press," adding, "and all the issues and all the concerns and anger that were there on Friday haven’t gone away.” “This is more of a systemic issue we are facing that will take time to address. Certainly, acknowledging the deaths of so many innocent people in America — there are no easy answers but as Mayor Bowser says: The solution is not to destroy our cities.” Floyd died last Monday after a police officer in Minnesota kept his knee to Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest, despite Floyd's pleas that he couldn’t breathe. In widely shared video of the incident, onlookers can be heard telling the officer to stop. The officer was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter. He and three other officers involved in the arrest were fired the day after Floyd's death.

By David Molloy & Joe Tidy

As the United States deals with widespread civil unrest across dozens of cities, "hacktivist" group Anonymous has returned from the shadows. The hacker collective was once a regular fixture in the news, targeting those it accused of injustice with cyber-attacks. After years of relative quiet, it appears to have re-emerged in the wake of violent protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, promising to expose the "many crimes" of the city's police to the world. However, it's not easy to pin down what, if anything, is genuinely the mysterious group's work. Who are Anonymous? The "hacktivist" collective has no face, and no leadership. Its tagline is simply "we are legion", referring to its allegedly large numbers of individuals. Without any central command structure, anyone can claim to be a part of the group. This also means that members can have wildly different priorities, and there is no single agenda. But generally, they are activists, taking aim at those they accuse of misusing power. They do so in very public ways, such as hijacking websites or forcing them offline. Their symbol is a Guy Fawkes mask, made famous by Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta, in which an anarchist revolutionary dons the mask to topple a corrupt fascist government.

Louisville authorities did not specify who fired the fatal shot, and authorities have not released information about the victim
By Ben Kesslen

A man was shot dead in Louisville after police officers and the Kentucky National Guard “returned fire” while clearing a large crowd early Monday. Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a statement that at around 12:15 a.m. his officers and the National Guard were sent to a parking lot to break up a crowd. “Officers and soldiers began to clear the lot and at some point were shot at,” Conrad said in a statement. “Both LMPD and National Guard members returned fire, we have one man dead at scene” Conrad did not specify who fired the fatal shot, and authorities have not released information about the victim. In a statement Monday morning, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said "LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in death" and said he has asked the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the shooting. The governor's office did not immediately return NBC News' request for further clarification on who fired the fatal shot.

By Kyle Balluck

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is condemning the violence associated with protests over the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, saying that while the nation is in pain, “we must not allow this pain to destroy us.” Biden said in a statement early Sunday that the past few days have “laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice.” “Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd,” the former vice president said. He added that protesting such brutality is “right and necessary” as well as an “utterly American response.” “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not,” he said. “The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest,” he added. “It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance.” Biden’s comments came after a fifth night of demonstrations over the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on Monday. A video of the incident showing Floyd pleading for breath as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck sparked massive outrage. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He and three other officers were fired.

By Joe Concha

The Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA) said it has tallied more than 60 incidents in which journalists covering demonstrations over the police-involved death of George Floyd were attacked, arrested or harassed by protesters or police in the past 48 hours alone. RTDNA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dan Shelley called the situation "calamitous" and "harming the public at large." “Journalists shouldn’t be the story,” Shelley said. “It is calamitous to see all of these journalists who are merely serving the public by covering these incidents of civil unrest being wantonly attacked…Journalists are representatives of the public and are there to serve the public and to tell the stories of the protesters and of the elected and other public officials trying to deal with the situation.” "It is really harming the public at large, not just the journalist. It’s interfering with their ability to be eyewitnesses and chroniclers of what’s occurring in this country right now," he added. Several of the incidents have played out on live television or on social media, including the arrest of a CNN reporter and crew in Minneapolis and a Fox News reporter and crew being chased out of Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington, D.C. on Friday night. The CNN reporter, Omar Jimenez, who is black and Hispanic, and his crew were quickly released after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) apologized to CNN president Jeff Zucker and promised to allow the press to do their jobs without interference or arrest by police. A large protest at CNN headquarters in Atlanta earlier Friday resulted in clashes with police and vandalism to the building.


In several cities, African-American organizers pleaded with white protesters and, in some cases, physically intervened to deescalate tense situations.
By Justin Glawe, Rachel Olding, Hunter Woodall

MINNEAPOLIS—Mahado Ali stood outside a convenience store just across the street from the Minneapolis Police Department’s first precinct headquarters, confronting looters who had pried open the business and were ransacking it. Out of the store ran two young white women, among others of all races, carrying a case of Bud Light and marijuana paraphernalia, laughing. Behind them came a young white man with a handful of cigarette lighters. He walked past Ali and she began filming. “Why would you give them a lighter?” she asked the man, who had passed out several to a group of other young protesters. “You gave a lighter to a bunch of people and told them to burn this place down. You literally are part of the problem. You are here to fuck shit up. You’re not here for the right reasons.” As protests spread to more than 30 cities on Friday, a disturbing trend emerged: masked protesters, many of them white, were hijacking protests and stoking violence. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz claimed more than 80 percent of core protesters appeared to be from out-of-state, and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said online intelligence suggested involvement by white supremacists and “organized cells of terror.” Soon after, President Trump and Attorney General William Barr fingered Antifa and “far left extremists” as the main instigators. “Don’t lay the blame on others!” Trump tweeted, setting up a blame-game that threatens to devolve into another election-year culture war. But in several cities, African-American organizers pleaded with white protesters and, in some cases, physically intervened to deescalate tense situations that led to police cracking down with their own violence. In Oakland, protesters filmed a group of white men smashing their way into businesses. In Detroit, black activists described attempts to “purposely infiltrate” peaceful protests. Videos circulated on Saturday, appearing to show white protesters being asked to stop defacing statues in Denver, and African-American organizers in Minneapolis putting out fires started by white protesters and asking white allies to calm down. “I’m upset, enraged, because once again, white people are co-opting a movement that’s built by black folks,” Mike Griffin, a senior organizer for Community Change Action in Minneapolis, told The Daily Beast.

By Associated Press

Secret Service agents rushed President Trump to a White House bunker Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades. Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks, according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and spoke on condition of anonymity. The account was confirmed by an administration official who also spoke on condition of anonymity. The abrupt decision by the agents underscored the rattled mood inside the White House, where the chants from protesters in Lafayette Park could be heard all weekend and Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers struggled to contain the crowds. Friday’s protests were triggered by the death last week of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer for several minutes. The demonstrations in Washington turned violent and appeared to catch officers by surprise. They sparked one of the highest alerts on the White House complex since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

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