Hundreds of people held a private memorial in honor of George Floyd in his North Carolina birth town.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled the city’s curfew Sunday following a dayÂ when cities across the nation saw massive, peaceful demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality.Â
“We are lifting the curfew, effective immediately,” de Blasio tweeted Sunday. “Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city.”
In Washington, thousands of protesters marched downtown Saturday for the ninth â€“ and by far the largest â€“Â day of demonstrations demanding justice for black victims of police misconduct. Half a dozen Secret Services agents engaged protesters outside the U.S. Treasury building. “Do you want an all-white police force?” asked one black officer. “When I take this uniform off, Iâ€™m still black.â€Â In Minneapolis, aÂ crowd of demonstrators booed Mayor Jacob Frey after he refused to say he was in favor of abolishing the city’s police department.Â
The protests began after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, the African AmericanÂ man succumbed after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The latest in a series of memorial services for FloydÂ is Monday in Houston. His body will be buried there Tuesday.
Some recent developments:
NYC drops curfew, prepares to being reopening after COVID lockdown
New York City’s first curfew since in more than a half century was lifted a day early Sunday, hours after thousands of protesters across the city peacefully marched and chanted for an end to racial injustice. Mayor Bill de Blasio wasÂ under intense pressure to end the nightly curfew, imposed after looting broke out early last week. The 8 p.m. curfew had been scheduled to continue at until 5 a.m. MondayÂ Â â€“ also the day the city begins Phase One of its reopening plan following a months-long coronavirus lockdown.
“Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart,” de Blasio tweeted. “Keep staying safe. Keep looking out for each other.”
Marines ban display of Confederate flag
The Marines have banned display of the Confederate Battle Flag, saying it is divisive and has “too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups.” The directive orders commanders to the flagÂ or its depiction within work places, common-access areas and public areas on their installations. Posters, bumper stickers, clothing and coffee mugs are specifically called out. The directive and a statement released by the Corps makes reference to “current events”Â and specifically mentions a 2017 demonstrationÂ in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of a protester.
“Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society,” the directive says.
Police, protesters square off in Portland
A clash between Portland police and protesters at the Justice Center overnight resulted in more than 50 arrests.Â Chief Jami Resch said early Sunday that several thousand people marched peacefully, but that a smaller group of protesters attempted to cut through a security fence and threwÂ balloons full of paint andÂ full beverage cans. Two officers were injured by litÂ fireworks, she said.Â
Protests have taken place daily in the city for more than a week, and police have come under scrutiny for their use of force against demonstrators. The advocacy group Don’t Shoot Portland has filed suit against the city, accusing police of â€œindiscriminate useâ€ of tear gas. The city’s police oversight panel, the Citizen Review Committee, has issued a statement citing “a troubling pattern of police violence against protesters that interferes with public safety and freedom of speech.”
Survey: Americans’ perceptions of police drop significantly in one week
The perception of police among white Americans has dropped by double digitsÂ in just one week, as police have targeted peaceful protesters, bystanders and journalists amid nationwide demonstrations focusing on systemic racism facing black Americans.Â PerceptionsÂ also have declined across all racial groupsÂ following the death of George Floyd in police custody, according to a new survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project.
Among white Americans â€“ a group where President Donald Trump saw broad support in the 2016 election â€“ those who have a very favorable or somewhat favorable impression of police officersÂ totaled 61%Â in the survey conducted May 28 to June 3. That’s down from 72% the previous week, according to an analysis fromÂ Nationscape Insights,Â Democracy Fund, UCLAÂ and USA TODAY.Â Among black Americans, only 38% view the police very or somewhat favorably. That number dropped 9 percentage points from the previous week.
“These changes were striking,” said Robert Griffin, research director for the Democracy FundÂ Voter Study Group. At a time when so much in American politics feels deadlocked, this is the kind of major event that can reshape how Americans think.”Â
â€“Â Rebecca Morin
More on protests, George Floyd:
Police announce arrests, investigations of officers
Multiple police departments have announced investigations and arrests tied to allegations of officer misconduct.Â In a high-profile case, two suspended Buffalo, New York, police officers were charged withÂ second-degree assault Saturday amidÂ outcry over video showing police shovingÂ a 75-year-old man to the ground as they cleared an area of demonstrators.Â Graphic video from the incident showed the man motionless and bleeding from his head.Â Officials later said he was in stable condition.
Amid the demonstrations Saturday, multiple other police departments announced actions against officers tied to misconduct allegations.Â In San Diego, police say they are investigating after a Thursday incidentÂ captured onÂ video, whichÂ appears to show police forcing a protesterÂ into an unmarked vehicle. In the videoÂ an officer can be heardÂ telling other protesters, “You follow us, you will get shot.”
Meanwhile, local media reports say a Missouri officerÂ has been suspendedÂ afterÂ allegedly hitting a person with his vehicle, and a white Virginia officer isÂ facing assault chargesÂ for his use of a stun gun on a black man inÂ a recent domestic call.
Second Floyd memorial held in North Carolina
George Floyd’s death while in police custody sparked “a movement” nationwide, his eulogist said, asÂ hundreds of mourners gatheredÂ SaturdayÂ in Raeford, North Carolina,Â to mourn his death while in police custody.Â The memorial was heldÂ inside a churchÂ just outside Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Floyd was born. Before the service,Â the 46-year-old’s body was placed in the center of the lobby, where mourners from the public were allowed in groups of 10.
Rev. Christopher D. Stackhouse delivered a stirring eulogy about Floyd, noting “there was something different about that day” he died under police custody in Minneapolis.
“A movement is happening today, and George Floyd sparked that fuel,” Stackhouse said. “He sparked the fuel that is going to change this nation.”
â€“Â Ken Alltucker, Melody Brown-Peyton, Michael Futch, Rachael Riley
Contributing: The Associated Press
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