After six straight days of unrest, America headed into a new work week Monday with neighborhoods in shambles, urban streets on lockdown and political leaders struggling to control the coast-to-coast outpouring of rage over police killings of black people.
Many demonstrations that had started out peacefully sank into violence: Cars and stores were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were spray-painted on buildings. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials are seeking to determine whether extremist groups have infiltrated protests across the country and deliberately tipped largely peaceful demonstrations toward violence.
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The massive protests started after last week's death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes during an arrest, including for some time after Floyd had stopped moving and saying he couldn't breathe.
Floyd’s death in Minneapolis came after tensions had already flared after two white men were arrested in May for the February shooting death of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March.
Here are the latest developments in the unrest sparked by the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd:
More Than 200 Arrested as NYC Extends Curfew
New York City will have a curfew imposed to crack down on protest violence, and more cops will be on the streets Monday and Tuesday night to assist that effort, Mayor Bill de Blasio's announced.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo first announced Monday's 11 p.m curfew in an afternoon interview on WAMC radio. One hour before it was set to begin, the mayor said the violence and destruction already underway prompted his decision to impose a curfew Tuesday night as well, starting at 8 p.m.; both curfews end the following morning at 5 a.m. Essential workers, people experiencing homelessness and those seeking medical attention will be exempt from the curfew.
In the two hours leading up to Monday's curfew, dozens of looters spread out between Midtown and Union Square, in some instances ripping off plywood to break into stores. Crowds were spotted running out, hands full of merchandise from Macy's, Best Buy, Foot Looker, Duane Reade as well as the Microsoft and AT&T stores.
A police spokesperson said, "there are packs of youths running as fast as they can, smashing windows as fast as they can, and police are trying to catch them as soon as possible." As a result the NYPD has made more than 200 arrests, NBC New York reported.
Trump Sending Military to Protect DC
President Donald Trump said Monday he was immediately deploying "thousands and thousands of heavily armed" military and law enforcement to protect Washington, D.C.
D.C. will be under a citywide curfew for another two nights after unrest over the death of George Floyd flared into clashes with law enforcement, looting and the setting of multiple fires, NBC Washington reported.
County Officials, Family Release George Floyd Autopsy Reports
George Floyd's cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” according to an autopsy report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
The medical examiner says the injury occurred when Floyd, “experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).”
The medical examiner said other significant conditions include, “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
The manner of death was deemed to be homicide.
An autopsy commissioned for George Floyd’s family, released earlier in the day, found that he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the family’s attorneys said Monday.
The autopsy by a doctor who also examined Eric Garner’s body found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and weight on his back made it hard to breathe, attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference.
Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the white officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd's cries that he couldn't breathe. His death, captured on citizen video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that have spread to cities around America.
The family's autopsy was conducted by Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson. Baden is the former chief medical examiner of New York City, who was hired to conduct an autopsy of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after New York police placed him in a chokehold and he pleaded that he could not breathe.
Crump also announced funeral arrangements for Floyd.
Memorial services will be held in Minneapolis on Thursday and in North Carolina, where he was born, on Saturday, June 6. Both services will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. A public viewing will take place on the evening of Monday, June 8, in Houston. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in Houston.
Protesters Shut Down Center City Roadway in Philly
Thousands of protesters shut down Interstate 676 in Center City for a short time Monday before state and city police used tear gas to push the crowd back to nearby streets on the third day of mass civil unrest in Philadelphia.
Dozens of arrests occurred as the human roadblock took place, and police used tear gas on the crowd, NBC10 reported.
George Floyd's Brother to Looters: 'You're Doing Nothing' to Help the Cause
The brother of George Floyd appealed for peace Monday in the aftermath of riots and arson fires following the death of his brother in Minneapolis.
Terrence Floyd appeared at the intersection in south Minneapolis where his brother, a black man, died after a white police officer pinned his neck with his knee for several minutes a week ago.
Wearing a face mask with the image of his brother’s face on it, Terrence Floyd spent several minutes of silence at the flowers and other memorials that have sprung up to his brother.
"I understand y'all are upset. But I doubt you are half of as upset as I am," Terrence Floyd said to the crowd through a bullhorn.
He continued, "If I'm not whiling out, if I'm not here blowing up stuff, if I'm not here messing up my community, then what are y'all doing? What are y'all doing? You're doing nothing."
Terrence Floyd said his family is “a peaceful family. My family is God-fearing.” And he said, “in every case of police brutality the same thing has been happening. You have protests, you destroy stuff ... so they want us to destroy ourselves. Let’s do this another way.”
He told the crowd to vote and to educate themselves. “Let’s switch it up, y’all.” He said his brother moved to Minneapolis from Houston and “loved it here. ... So I know he would not want you all to be doing this.”
"Do this peacefully, please," Floyd said.
Barr Says Law Enforcement Must 'Dominate' Streets Amid Protests
U.S. officials vowed to “maximize federal law enforcement presence” in the nation’s capital on Monday night after days of violent demonstrations led to fires across Washington and left scores of businesses with broken windows and dozens of police officers injured.
In a call with governors, President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr also encouraged more aggressive action against those who cause violence during protests across the country following the killing of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white Minneapolis policeman pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air. The demonstrations have turned violent in several cities, with fires ignited in Lafayette Park across from the White House.
The comments from Trump, Barr and other federal officials appeared aimed at avoiding similar scenes on Monday night, when protesters are expected to gather again. But there are also questions about whether using more aggressive law enforcement measures against demonstrators protesting police brutality would only increase tensions.
Barr told the state leaders that law enforcement officials must “have adequate force” and “go after troublemakers.”
“Law enforcement response is not going to work unless we dominate the streets,” Barr said.
Unrest Continues Across Southern California
Demonstrations were being held across Southern California for sixth day, as looting took place in Van Nuys, NBC Los Angeles reported.
The protests occurring in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, were taking place in Long Beach, Hollywood, downtown LA and Riverside Monday evening.
A large group of protesters temporarily blocked a stretch of the 405 Freeway before police swept them off.
Louisville Police Chief Fired After Officer Bodycams Found to Be Off During Fatal Shooting
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has been relieved of duty after it was revealed that the officers involved in a shooting that killed a local business owner early Monday did not activate their body cameras, NBC News reported.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the decision to relieve Conrad during a Monday afternoon press conference, where the deceased was identified as David McAtee. Conrad was set to retire later this month.
Omaha Prosecutor Says White Bar Owner Killed Black Protester in Self-Defense
The white Omaha bar owner who shot and killed a 22-year-old black protester on Saturday night will not be charged, the Douglas County Attorney announced on Monday, NBC News reported.
James Scurlock, 22, was shot by local bar owner Jacob Gardner, while protesting the police custody death of George Floyd on Saturday, according to the prosecutor Don Kleine and NBC Ohama affiliate WOWT.
Fla. Police Officer Captured on Video Shoving Protester Is Suspended
Fort Lauderdale police suspended an officer after video showed he pushed a kneeling black woman to the ground during protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, escalating a clash where bottles were thrown and tear gas was fired, NBC Miami reports.
The officer’s colleagues quickly pushed him away from the woman and down the street Sunday. Police and city officials said it happened as a peaceful demonstration attended by about 1,000 people was dispersing, and smaller groups broke some store windows and sprayed graffiti.
Police Chief Rick Maglione said Monday that Officer Steven Pohorence pushed the woman as he and other officers moved in to rescue one colleague who had become surrounded and another from a patrol car that people began jumping on.
Maglione said Poherence's actions will be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before an internal investigation is conducted.
"If it’s turned out that he acted inappropriately, then we will have swift discipline in response to what he did," Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said.
Minn. Gov. Walz: Some National Guard Troops to Return Home Monday
Gov. Tim Walz said while it's been a tough week for Minnesotans, he feels “a sense of optimism coming back,” noting protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul were calmer on Sunday, but cautioning that “this is not over.”
The governor struck an optimistic tone at Monday's news conference as he announced an extended, modified curfew for the next two nights and the start of a pullback in National Guard operations.
"I don't want to paint a picture that this is over. But I do want to paint a picture that we as Minnesotans have re-grounded ourselves in the values we care about,” Walz said.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen said the Minnesota National Guard had begun demobilization of some of the 7,000 members currently deployed around the state, but cautioned “this is not an order to return the entire organization back home” and that it could be reversed if situations warrant.
Walz and Jensen, who were also joined Monday by the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, praised the efforts of citizens to keep the curfew, keep the peace and help to clean up the debris from the destruction in the past week.
“There’s a clear delineation between the folks who are rightly pained and angry, expressing it in lawful ways” over George Floyd’s fatal arrest “and those who are bent on wanton destruction,” Walz said.
Trump Declares He's President of Law, Order Amid Protests
Amid racial unrest across the nation, President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself “the president of law and order” and threatened to deploy the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests.
As Trump spoke, an incredible TV split-screen developed around the White House. While he addressed the nation in the White House's idyllic Rose Garden, a series of military vehicles rolled out front on Pennsylvania Avenue and military police and law enforcement clashed with protesters at Lafayette Park.
Those peaceful demonstrators were cleared so Trump could walk across the park to St. John’s Episcopal Church, known as “The Church of the Presidents,” which suffered fire damage in a protest this week. Holding a Bible, he then stood with several of his Cabinet members as the cameras clicked.
Washington Governor Slams Trump as 'Incapable'
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday evening slammed President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests.
In an emailed statement in response to the president’s comments, the Democrat said Trump “has repeatedly proven he is incapable of governing and shown nothing but false bravado throughout the chaos that has accompanied his time in office.”
“He cowers at the feet of authoritarians around the world,” Inslee said. “Now he uses the most supreme power of the presidency in a desperate attempt to hide his timidity and vapidity. I pray no soldier and no civilian is injured or killed by this reckless fit.”
The Seattle area has seen several days of violence, including vandalism in the city’s downtown core.
Barack Obama Calls for Organizing at State, Local Level
Former President Barack Obama called for “sustained” action to bring about “real change” on criminal justice issues by focusing on electing officials who can make reforms on the state and local level.
In a post on Medium on Monday, Obama said protests across the county “represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States.” He said that protesters “deserve our respect and support” and decried as detracting from the larger cause “the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism.”
“When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government. And yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it,” he wrote. “But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”
Some of those officials have power over collective bargaining agreements with police unions and whether to investigate and charge those involved in police misconduct, he wrote. The choice isn’t between protest and politics, he wrote, saying “we have to do both.”
Obama said his Obama Foundation has created a site with resources for those who want to take action.
Minneapolis Police Rendered 44 People Unconscious With Neck Restraints in 5 Years
Since the beginning of 2015, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department have rendered people unconscious with neck restraints 44 times, according to an NBC News analysis of police records. Several police experts said that number appears to be unusually high.
Minneapolis police used neck restraints at least 237 times during that span, and in 16 percent of the incidents the suspects and other individuals lost consciousness, the department's use-of-force records show. A lack of publicly available use-of-force data from other departments makes it difficult to compare Minneapolis to other cities of the same or any size.
Police define neck restraints as when an officer uses an arm or leg to compress someone's neck without directly pressuring the airway. On May 25, Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of a prone and handcuffed George Floyd for eight minutes — including nearly three minutes after he had stopped breathing.
Chauvin was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter for Floyd's death.
Rep. Val Demmings, D-Fla., called for a total "ban on neck restraints," in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Demmings said while many departments have disbanded the practice, the federal government has "a direct obligation to look at policies, practices, procedures, training, powering standards, use of force policies, and come up with some of the best practices to keep people alive."
"We can do that today, and if officers decide they don't want to follow the policies or the rules, then fire them," Demmings added..