Four police officers in St. Louis were recovering from gunshot wounds Tuesday while in Las Vegas one man was dead and an officer was surviving on life support following another night of sometimes violent protests across the nation.
The clashes took place hours after President Donald Trump announced he would send the U.S. military to cities if the violence continued and in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. There were peaceful demonstrations in Phoenix and Fort Worth, Texas, among other places, but contentious moments in Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere.
Trump was drawing scorn from some governors after accusing them of being “weak” for failing to quell the protests – and from a D.C. bishop who accused the president of “sanctioning” the use of tear gas to clear peaceful protesters from a church yard.
A closer look at some recent developments:
- George Floyd’s funeral will be held June 9 in his hometown Houston. The family accepted an offer from former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather to pay for the funeral services. There will be two memorial services held in Minneapolis and North Carolina prior to the funeral.
- An independent autopsy requested by Floyd’s family members showed that Floyd was suffocated to death. The family is demanding first-degree murder charges against Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
- A D.C. bishop condemned President Donald Trump for visiting St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House after law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters from the area.
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Man fatally shot, officer critically injured at Las Vegas protests
One man was dead and a Las Vegas police officer was on life support Tuesday following a night of angry protests that included two separate shooting incidents. Sheriff Joe Lombardo said officers were attempting to clear protesters throwing rocks and bottles from Las Vegas Boulevard when the officer was shot sometime before midnight. The officer was in “grave” condition, Lombardo said.
Lombardo said the second incident involved the fatal shooting of an armed man wearing body armor by police and federal agents guarding a federal building in downtown Las Vegas. Lombardo said the man had reached for a firearm. Investigations of both shootings were continuing, Lombardo said.
“What has occurred is utterly unacceptable,” Lombardo said. “I hope the community sees it that way, too.”
4 officers shot in St. Louis, police say
Four St. Louis police officers were shot early Tuesday as peaceful protest devolved in “mayhem,” Police Chief John Hayden said. The police department tweeted that the officers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening after the shootings overnight. It was unclear who had fired the shots.
Several hundred people rallied peacefully Monday afternoon outside the justice center in downtown St. Louis, including Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. Protestors later walked to the Gateway Arch National Park and then onto nearby Interstate 64. But later Monday, protesters gathered in front of police headquarters, where officers fired tear gas. Some protesters smashed windows at a downtown 7-11 store and stole items from inside before the building was set on fire.
Floyd’s funeral to be held June 9 in Houston
Family attorney Benjamin Crump on Monday said funeral services for Floyd will be held June 9 in Houston. There will be a public viewing next Monday in Texas, Crump said.
Crump added there will be two separate memorial services for Floyd. One will take place Thursday in Minneapolis at North Central University. The other will be in Clinton, North Carolina on Saturday. Both memorial services will run from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather will pay for Floyd’s funeral and memorial services after the family accepted his offer of support. The former world champion has not met Floyd’s family, according to Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
DC bishop denounces Trump’s church visit after police clear protesters with tear gas
The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington condemned President Donald Trump on Monday for his visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House after law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters from the area.
“Let me be clear: The president just used a Bible, the most 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 and everything that our churches stand for,” Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde told CNN.
“And to do so… he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard. I am outraged,” Budde said. Budde is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese Washington, overseeing more than 80 Episcopal congregations, including St. John’s. She is the first woman to serve in her position.
– Jeanine Santucci
Governors blast Trump after he tells them they are ‘weak’ on phone call
Governors including one Republican pushed back at President Donald Trump on Monday after he told them on a phone call they are “weak” and need to use force to “dominate” riots that have erupted during protests over the death of George Floyd.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a frequent target of Trump, called the phone call “deeply disturbing,” adding that instead of offering support or leadership to bring down the temperature at protests, Trump told governors to ” ‘put it down’ or we would be ‘overridden.’ “
“The president repeatedly and viciously attacked governors, who are doing everything they can to keep the peace while fighting a once-in-a-generation global pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican from left-leaning Massachusetts who is typically reluctant to take aim at Trump, raised the remarks himself during a news conference. “That’s not what we need in Boston. It’s not what we need right now in Massachusetts,” Baker said, appearing to choke up. “And it’s definitely not what we need right now across this great country of ours either.”
– Joey Garrison
Confederate monuments toppled, burned as protests over Floyd’s death continue
Protests in response to the death of George Floyd once again spotlighted frustration over the presence of Confederate monuments in some cities as anger over police brutality and racism intensified.
A statue outside the Tennessee State Capitol of Edward Carmack, a controversial former lawmaker and newspaper publisher who espoused racist views, was torn down Saturday.
The Robert E. Lee memorial on Richmond, Virginia’s Monument Avenue was covered in graffiti Saturday night, as was the Stonewall Jackson statute. The headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was similarly tagged and set on fire, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The Confederate Defenders statute along the Battery in Charleston, South Carolina, was also spray-painted. A peaceful protest held there the next morning was dispersed, the Post and Courier reported.
– Cara Kelly
More celebrities react to Floyd’s death
Celebrities are speaking out and taking action against inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
On Monday, Ellen DeGeneres posted an emotional video to Instagram, saying she knows what it’s like to feel voiceless. George Clooney penned an essay about racism that was published in The Daily Beast on Monday, where he described police brutality as “our own pandemic.”
Also, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds took to Instagram on Sunday to announce they’ve donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
– Bryan Alexander
More news about the George Floyd protests
Protesters tear-gassed as Trump vows to end riots
Calling himself “your president of law and order,” President Donald Trump vowed to put an end to the disturbances that have broken out in many parts of the country following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week ago.
“As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property,” Trump said in a brief late-afternoon statement at the Rose Garden.
Before Trump and his aides walked across Lafayette Park, police pushed away a crowd of protesters — many of them holding up their hands and saying, “Don’t shoot” — using shields, horses and tear gas to disperse them.
Trump’s address came as hundreds of demonstrators surrounded the White House grounds for the fourth day of protests in Washington, D.C.
Family autopsy shows Floyd suffocated; death ruled homicide
An autopsy conducted Sunday at the request of George Floyd’s relatives showed he suffocated to death because of neck and back pressure that cut off blood flow to his brain and kept him from breathing, a statement by the family lawyers said.
The family is demanding first-degree murder charges against Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is shown on a video pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, and the arrest of the other three officers at the scene.
“What we found is consistent with what people saw. There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death,” Dr. Michael Baden, one of the forensic pathologists hired by the family, said in the statement. “Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That’s not true.”
Floyd is heard on the video repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe.
“The independent examiners found that weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function,” the statement says. “From all the evidence, the doctors said it now appears Mr. Floyd died at the scene.”
The Hennepin County medical examiner classified the death as a homicide and said Floyd had a “cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).” The report also noted “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent methamphetamine use” detected on Floyd.
Floyd’s brother calls for peaceful protests
Wearing a mask that read “We can’t breathe” on one half and “Justice for George Floyd” on the other, his brother Terrence Floyd on Monday exhorted demonstrators in Minneapolis to keep his memory alive but to protest in a peaceful manner.
Terrence Floyd chastised those responsible for the violence and looting that have marred many of the protests over his brother’s Memorial Day death while in the custody of Minneapolis police, saying those acts didn’t accomplish anything positive.
“My family is a peaceful family. My family is God-fearing,” Terrence Floyd told a crowd, pointing out rioters may be destroying their own communities. “Let’s do this another way.”
Floyd urged those in attendance at a makeshift memorial to learn about the candidates for public office and to get out and vote.
“Educate yourselves. Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you who’s who,” Floyd said. “Educate yourself and know who you’re voting for. That’s how we’re going to help. It’s a lot of us! … Let’s switch it up and do this peacefully.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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