June 17 Black Lives Matter protests news

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2:28 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Possible charges in the killing of Rayshard Brooks to be announced soon. Catch up on the latest news.

Rayshard Brooks
Rayshard Brooks Courtesy Stewart Trial Attorneys

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. is expected to announce his charging decision in the fatal police shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, according to a statement from his office.

Howard will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. ET to reveal if he intends to charge the Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta officer who shot Brooks, and fellow officer Devin Brosnan who was also present during the fatal shooting.

Here are the other major headlines you need know:

  • Brooks' family to speak: Rayshard Brooks' widow Tomika Miller and other family members will address reporters today at 4:30 p.m. along with family attorneys, L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller. Brooks' family and attorneys will react to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard's announcement on a charging decision in the police shooting.
  • Actions under scrutiny: The actions of former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes, Derek Chauvin, are being reviewed by state police conduct investigators, according to a new records request filed Tuesday.  
  • Police reform bill called "inadequate": House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Republican police reform plan is inadequate. "We don't need a study about chokeholds. We don't need a study about no-knock warrants... We know what we need to do," Pelosi told CNN today.
3:29 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Nooses found hanging in California neighborhood to be investigated as hate crime

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A hate crime investigation is underway after several nooses were found hanging from trees in the Lake Merritt neighborhood of Oakland, California.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the nooses have been removed.

"Symbols of racial violence have no place in Oakland and will not be tolerated," she said in a statement on Twitter. "Several nooses were found on trees around Lake Merritt were removed and will be investigated as hate crimes. Reports that these were part of exercise equipment do not remove nor excuse their torturous and terrorizing effects."

Schaaf went on to say: “We are all responsible for knowing the history and present day reality of lynchings, hate crimes and racial violence. Objects that invoke such terror will not be tolerated in Oakland’s public spaces.”

Read her statement:

Investigations underway in Southern California: Earlier this week, the FBI and California Attorney General's Office will now be monitoring the investigation of a man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news conference Monday.

Robert L. Fuller, 24, was hanging from a tree early Wednesday. Fire department personnel who responded to the scene determined he was dead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Fuller's death was described as "an alleged death by suicide."

The Department of Justice and the FBI announced Monday they will be reviewing the hanging death of Fuller as well as the hanging death of 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch — both black males — 10 days earlier in San Bernardino County.

2:11 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

English soccer resumes as players and referee take a knee

From CNN's Glen Levy

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With the eyes of the world on the English Premier League's long-awaited resumption, players and staff of the two clubs — Aston Villa and Sheffield United — as well as the refereeing officials, all took a knee before the first game of the interrupted season kicked off.

The symbolic and powerful gesture was accompanied by players wearing shirts with their names replaced by the words "Black Lives Matter," a tribute to the movement which has grown in prominence since George Floyd's death.

Exactly 100 days after the last Premier League game took place, Villa's game with Sheffield United was the first of 92 matches to be played behind closed door in the coming weeks, with Manchester City and Arsenal following later on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling contributed to a short video with other major football stars explaining how they are "tired" about the manner in which black people are treated and represented.

But the moment which may well carry the greatest impact for the Premier League's "Project Restart" is the show of unity from all involved at a near-empty Villa Park.

2:04 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Democratic senators open to beginning debate on GOP policing bill

From CNN's Manu Raju

Senator Joe Manchin speaks during a hearing on June 16.
Senator Joe Manchin speaks during a hearing on June 16. Toni L. Sandys/Pool/Getty Images

Several key Democratic senators signaled they would agree to let the Senate GOP police bill come to the floor for debate if Republican leaders agree to allow votes on their amendments.

But virtually all Democrats are critical of the bill and say there needs to be major changes.

Here's what some Democrats are saying:

  • West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin: Asked if he'd vote for the debate to proceed with commitments for votes on amendments, he said "sure." Manchin went on to say: "I would think we could get 100 votes [to begin debate]. How would you not vote to get on the most important piece of legislation if we all have an open debate, process and amendments?"
  • Delaware Sen. Chris Coons: He said Sen. Tim Scott's bill "falls far short of what this moment requires." But he said that Democrats should put a list of a "series of substantive amendments" and if the GOP allows to have votes on them, they should vote to proceed to begin debate. "If there were an agreement to have a vigorous debate that could include adoption of a whole series of amendments that would bring it up to the level of the bill that I'm on, sure I'd be open to that," Coons said.
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris: She is one of the lead sponsor her party's bill. She wouldn't say one way or the other if she'd vote to block the Scott bill from advancing. "Frankly it gives lip service to the problem and there's just no teeth in it," Harris said of the Scott bill. "It literally — what he is proposing — would not save a life."
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker: He is also one of the lead sponsor his party's bill. He also wouldn't say if he'd vote to block the bill. But Booker, who is close friends with Scott and has been talking with him about the plan, was critical of the GOP proposal. "We put the bill forward that will stop the national nightmare that we’ve seen where so many African-Americans have been killed by police," Booker said. "We have a bill that has real consequences, community standards when laws are broken, their bill does not. We have a bill that sets standards for our country of things we will tolerate and their bill does not, does not do that enough and we should be fully debating our bill."

Three Democrats who are up for reelection — Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Doug Jones of Alabama and Gary Peters of Michigan — wouldn't commit to voting to proceed to the bill because they said they had yet to fully review the Scott measure. But they didn't rule out allowing the debate to advance, either. 

What's next: Republicans need 60 votes to open up debate on the measure, meaning at least seven Democrats need to join the GOP, and that vote on whether to bring the bill to the floor is expected to occur next week.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune said Republicans would allow an "open amendment process" so Democrats could offer amendments, though he said those details still need to be worked out. "I think the best, most certain way to have that bill open up to amendment, is to get on it. Once we are on it, the negotiation begins." 

2:48 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Pelosi says Senate GOP police reform bill is "inadequate"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury, Clare Foran and Manu Raju

CNN
CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Republican police reform plan is inadequate.

"We don't need a study about chokeholds. We don't need a study about no-knock warrants... We know what we need to do," Pelosi told CNN's Brianna Keilar.

"We don't need a window dressing toothless bill, we need to take action that is real," she said.

There are key differences between the legislative proposals from Republicans and Democrats.

The GOP plan has a major emphasis on incentivizing states to take action and does not include an outright ban on chokeholds.

Sen. Tim Scott, the main architect behind the Republican proposal, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he doesn't believe "the federal government can't really get into the position where we're telling each local law enforcement department what they can and cannot do."

The Democratic plan, in contrast, has a heavy emphasis on setting national standards, such as mandates for federal uniformed officers to wear body cameras and banning chokeholds.

"As mentioned in our legislation, we have strong provisions that ban chokeholds, that ban racial profiling, ban no-knock warrants, that have real data collection that is accessible and is transparent from one department to the next," Pelosi said.

2:00 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Derek Chauvin's actions to be reviewed by state police standards board

From CNN's Josh Campbell and Julia Jones

From Darnella Frazier
From Darnella Frazier

The actions of former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes, Derek Chauvin, are being reviewed by state police conduct investigators, according to a new records request filed Tuesday.  

In a letter to the Hennepin County District Court, an official from the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training requested records associated with the state’s prosecution, indicating the standards board is “obligated to review the facts and circumstances of this matter.”

The state's regulatory board "is responsible for licensing over 10,500 active peace officers and 109 active part-time peace officers" in Minnesota, according to the agency.

CNN has reached out to the board for additional information on their review of Chauvin’s case.

Chauvin's actions sparked national outcry and led to him being fired from the department where he had worked since 2001. Following national protests, he was eventually charged with second-degree murder

Chauvin had 18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs, according to the police department.

1:34 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Family of Rayshard Brooks to speak after district attorney's announcement

Rayshard Brooks' widow Tomika Miller and other family members will address reporters today at 4:30 p.m. along with family attorneys, L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller.

Brooks' family and attorneys will react to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard's announcement on a charging decision in the police shooting.

About Brooks' killing: Brooks, 27, was killed by an Atlanta police officer Friday night outside a Wendy's restaurant after failing a sobriety test, fighting with two officers, taking a Taser from one and running away.

Officer Garrett Rolfe was fired after footage showed him shooting at Brooks multiple times from the back as Brooks fled. The second officer, Devin Brosnan, is on administrative duty.

Atlanta's police chief promptly resigned. The mayor on Monday called the killing of the black man a "murder."

1:09 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Statues are coming down across the US. Here's what we know.

From CNN's Alisha Ebrahimji, Artemis Moshtaghian, Leah Asmelash and Jamie Ehrlich

People raise their fists as the statue of Juan de Oñate is hauled away from the grounds of the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 16.
People raise their fists as the statue of Juan de Oñate is hauled away from the grounds of the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 16. Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

People have been tearing down controversial statues and monuments across the US in response to nationwide protests and conversations surrounding racial inequality.

Many Confederate statues, which some consider racist symbols of America's dark legacy of slavery, have been removed. And statues of Christopher Columbus, another controversial figure in US history, are also being taken down.

Here's where statues are coming down:

  • Alabama: Demonstrators at Linn Park attempted to remove a 115-year-old monument during a protest on May 31. Mayor Randall Woodfin told demonstrators he would "finish the job" for them, though he did not specify when exactly the monument would come down. At the University of Alabama, the Board of Trustees and the university's president authorized the removal of three plaques on the campus that commemorate University of Alabama students who served in the Confederate army and members of the student cadet corps involved in defending the campus. The city of Mobile removed the statue of Confederate Adm. Raphael Semmes from downtown and took it to a secure location. In Montgomery, demonstrators tore down a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee that stood in front of Lee High School in Montgomery on June 1, according to CNN affiliate WSFA.
  • California: A statue of Christopher Columbus will be removed from California's state capitol in Sacramento, lawmakers said. In Chula Vista, a different Columbus statue was moved by the city to storage, citing public safety concerns hours before a planned protest to push for its removal, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. And in Sacramento, a statue honoring John Sutter, the explorer and colonizer who spurred the California Gold Rush was removed from outside an eponymous local hospital.
  • Florida: Crews in Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville took down a 122-year-old statue and plaque that honored fallen Confederate soldiers.
  • Kentucky: The John Breckenridge Castleman monument, a statue of a Confederate soldier in the heart of downtown, was removed in Louisville. In Frankfort, the Jefferson Davis statue that stood in the Kentucky Capitol rotunda was removed.
  • Massachusetts: Officials removed the Columbus statue located in the city's North End last week after it was beheaded.
  • Minnesota: At the State Capitol, a group of people at a rally tossed a rope around a statue of Columbus and tugged it to the ground, CNN affiliate KMSP reported.
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller condemned the violence that led to a shooting at yesterday’s demonstration and announced at a news conference that the city will be removing the statue of Juan de Oñate that sparked the protest.
  • Tennessee: A controversial statue of Edward Carmack, a former US senator and newspaper owner known for attacking civil rights advocates like Ida B. Wells, was carried off the city's Capitol grounds, according to CNN affiliate WKRN.
  • Virginia: In Richmond, protesters vandalized the Columbus statue, tore it down, and threw it into a lake in the park. Protesters in Richmond also brought down the statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. A statue of a soldier known as Johnny Reb was lifted off its pedestal and taken away in Norfolk. Protesters in Portsmouth partially dismantled the town's Confederate monument. Crews in historic Old Town Alexandria removed a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier named "Appomattox."
12:39 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

FAA also investigating National Guard helicopter that flew low over DC demonstration

From CNN's Greg Wallace

Protesters look up as a military helicopter flies low overhead pushing a strong vertical down wash of air onto the crowd during a protest in Washington on June 1.
Protesters look up as a military helicopter flies low overhead pushing a strong vertical down wash of air onto the crowd during a protest in Washington on June 1. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the flight of a National Guard helicopter that hovered over a demonstration in the nation’s capital earlier this month.  

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told senators that the agency is reviewing “compliance with air traffic regulations in addition to the operation of the aircraft.”  

The DC National Guard said earlier this month it is also investigating the flight and has grounded the pilots.  

"We are looking into that, senator. I’m aware of the circumstances and we’re looking at this from compliance with air traffic regulations in addition to the operation of the aircraft. And it's an ongoing investigation. I believe what you’re referring to took place within the prohibited area which is not under active control but the pilot in command still is responsible for following the safety regulations," Dickson said.