June 16 Black Lives Matter protest news

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT) June 17, 2020
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1:31 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Police have detained individuals involved in Albuquerque protest shooting

From CNN’s Joe Sutton and Jennifer Henderson 

Albuquerque police detain members of the New Mexico Civil Guard, an armed civilian group, following the shooting of a man during a protest over a statue of Spanish conquerer Juan de Oñate on Monday, June 15, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Albuquerque police detain members of the New Mexico Civil Guard, an armed civilian group, following the shooting of a man during a protest over a statue of Spanish conquerer Juan de Oñate on Monday, June 15, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Adolphe Pierre-Louis/The Albuquerque Journal/AP

The Albuquerque police and its emergency response team have detained "individuals" after a person was shot during a protest in Albuquerque’s Old Town, the police said. 

“Police used chemical irritants and flash bangs to protect officers and detain individuals involved in the shooting. The individuals were disarmed and taken into custody for questioning. At this time, additional police teams have been deployed to ensure all officers can safely end the situation. APD investigators are also on standby. We will release additional information as it becomes available,” according to the Albuquerque Police Department in a news release.

Police say the shooting victim is in critical but stable condition.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the shooting "was a tragic, outrageous and unacceptable act of violence and it has no place in our city."

The protest took place near the Albuquerque National History Museum and the city's police chief said he believes vigilante groups could have helped to instigate the violence.  

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence. If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution,” Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier said in a news release.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham statement on Twitter, "The heavily-armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a 'civil guard' were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force."

1:02 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Pelosi says a police 'chokehold is a lynching' and she's confident Republicans will agree to ban them

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to police chokeholds as "a lynching" Monday evening and said she's confident Republican lawmakers will agree to ban them. 

Her comments come as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are working to advance two competing police reform bills, with the Democratic legislation going further in several respects by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

White House officials have been coordinating with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the sole black Republican senator, who is spearheading the GOP's legislative effort.

"I can't imagine they wouldn't have a ban on chokeholds. Let's get reasonable," Pelosi told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"A chokehold is a lynching. That's a strangulation. It's a lynching. I think that is almost like the lowest common denominator, but again I will leave it up to my negotiators, because as you know in a negotiation, it's not what's in or out, it's the sum total of the different impact that the legislation will have in justice and policing," she said.

The negotiations over police reform follow weeks of national unrest over police brutality and racism that began after the death of George Floyd.

Read more:

1:15 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

US embassy in Seoul removes Black Lives Matter banner and Pride flag

From CNN's Nicole Gaouette and Jennifer Hansler

A Black Lives Matter banner, a United States national flag and a rainbow flag are hung on the facade of the US embassy building in Seoul, Korea, on Sunday, June 14.
A Black Lives Matter banner, a United States national flag and a rainbow flag are hung on the facade of the US embassy building in Seoul, Korea, on Sunday, June 14. Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The US Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, has removed a large banner for the Black Lives Matter movement after a request from State Department leadership and taken down a rainbow flag that celebrates LGBTQ pride.

Senior State Department leadership asked the embassy in Seoul to take down the Black Lives Matter sign that Ambassador Harry Harris had hung from the building's façade Saturday, according to a source familiar with the issue. A spokesman for the embassy confirmed to CNN that the large Pride flag has also come down.

The request from the department's 7th floor -- where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's offices are located -- cited as its reason the fact that Black Lives Matter is a non-profit organization and that the US government does not encourage contributions to the group or promote any specific organization, the source said. It is not clear why the Pride flag -- which was hung in late May, according to the embassy's Facebook page -- was removed and no explanation has been offered yet.

Read the full story here.

12:46 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

US Secretary of Defense consulting senior military commanders on how to address racial inequality in armed services

From CNN's Barbara Starr and Caroline Kelly

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is consulting senior military commanders and department officials about what steps need to be taken to address racial inequality in the military and how to improve representation and opportunities for black service members, several administration officials tell CNN.

Although Esper and other top officials have served in various positions for years, they have been taken aback by some of the videos and messages posted by black service members in recent weeks, officials say. The problem, one official said, is simply, "How do we make the force better?"

It is not yet clear, officials said, how Esper plans to make any meaningful changes and whether changes in policy are needed to deal with potential institutional bias. All the officials confirmed that Esper wants to take a broader look beyond renaming military bases bearing the names of Confederate generals and banning displays of the Confederate flag.

Read the full story:

1:02 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

One person shot at Albuquerque protest

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

This bronze statue of Don Juan de Oñate leading a group of Spanish settlers stands outside the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday, June 12. 
This bronze statue of Don Juan de Oñate leading a group of Spanish settlers stands outside the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday, June 12.  Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

A man has been shot at a protest event near the Albuquerque National History Museum, according to Albuquerque Police Director of Communications, Gilbert Gallegos.

The man has been transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital and his condition is unknown at this time. 

 This is an active scene that officers are securing and detectives will be investigating. 

12:46 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Florida police chief says she knelt with protesters in solidarity with the community

Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones appeared on CNN after kneeling in solidarity with activists at a protest -- an act that prompted 10 South Florida police officers to resign from their city's SWAT unit.

Quinones said she knelt because she saw that it was, "an opportunity to stand with them, to kneel with them."

"This is our community that we protect and serve and personally I felt it was important for us to show them we're together," Quinones said. "This is not us against them. This is us working together, collaborating and it was in reverence to our police department, our community working together."
"I knelt with our community in remembrance of George Floyd, not against police, not against officers," she said.

The officers had sent a letter to Quinones, saying they were "minimally equipped, under trained and often times restrained by the politicization of our tactics to the extent of placing the safety of dogs over the safety of the team members."

Quinones said the claims of underfunding are "not accurate."

"We provided increase in training hours, we’ve provided over $100,000 over the past two years in Swat-specific equipment," she said.

Read the full story here.


12:51 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Seattle Police Chief says the city "is not under siege"


Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said the city is "not under siege" and that the police are "still responding to every single call in every area of the city."

Protesters have occupied a six-block zone around a downtown precinct, with some calling it CHAZ for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHOP for the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.

Best said the occupied area is a "delicate situation" but "not a situation where there is lawlessness."

"The last thing I want to do is have any issue of violence occurring in the area, so we are very judicious about how we do it and how we go in," she said.

Last week, the police department pulled officers out of the precinct as tensions between officers and protesters boiled over. The abandoned precinct has been spray painted with a sign that says: "Seattle People Department East Precinct."

Best said that they are working with the protesters to try and resolve the situation.

"What we have is a situation where people have occupied an area, and we are working with them. The city is working with them, and has negotiators to work with them to have a peaceful resolution," she said.

Best also said that the barricades are preventing them from "going in as quickly and efficiently as we would like to" and the fact that officers are not in the precinct has increased response times "across the entire East precinct area."


12:32 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Police release disciplinary history for two officers in Rayshard Brooks shooting 

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Garrett Rolfe, left, and Devin Brosnan
Garrett Rolfe, left, and Devin Brosnan Atlanta Police Department

Atlanta police have released the disciplinary records for the two officers involved in Rayshard Brooks’ shooting on Friday night. 

Officer Garrett Rolfe's record shows a use of force complaint from September 19, 2016, that resulted in a written reprimand the following year. 

Rolfe’s record also included several citizen complaints, all with notes that no action was taken. 

Officer Devin Brosnan has two firearm discharges on his record, both entered on the record this month. An Atlanta Police Department spokesman tells CNN that one of the cases is from a March 20 incident and the other is from Friday night’s shooting.

The Brooks’ incident notes maltreatment or unnecessary use of force, the record shows. 

Rolfe was fired on Saturday and Brosnan has been placed on administrative duty.  

CNN has reached out to the Atlanta police for more information on the officer’s records. 


12:32 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Fulton County DA weighing charges for both officers in Rayshard Brooks shooting

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

The Fulton County District Attorney is weighing charges for both officers involved in the Rayshard Brooks shooting, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr., told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Howard said that he understands Brooks’ widow and the community who are calling for one system of justice.

 “If this had been civilians, charges would have been lodged already,” he said. “People around this country want one system of justice so that both the police and citizens are treated equally. That is what we are hoping to do by making a decision Wednesday.”

Howard said that when he watched the video already knowing that Brooks died, he was expecting to see someone who was resisting and not cooperating with the police.

“That was the exact opposite of what happened with Mr. Brooks. He was very compliant,” Howard said. “There is no reason for Mr. Brooks to end up dead because he fell asleep in a drive-thru or that he was intoxicated.”

Howard said the video evidence in this case would be very important to determine what happened at the exact moment of the shooting

“Was it necessary to shoot Mr. Brooks to save his life or to save someone else’s life. Because if Mr. Brooks was shot for some other reason, then it’s not justified,” Howard said.