June 18 Black Lives Matter protest news

By Mike Hayes, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Helen Regan, Adam Renton and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 1:13 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020
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12:14 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Crowd watches as Confederate monument in Georgia removed

From CNN's From Devon Sayers

A crane removes a confederate monument from Decatur square in Georgia on Friday, June 19.
A crane removes a confederate monument from Decatur square in Georgia on Friday, June 19. Brook Joyner/CNN

A crowd of several hundred people gathered Thursday night in Decatur, Georgia to watch the removal of a Confederate monument.

A large crane was moved into place and by 11:15 p.m. ET authorities were securing lines to the statue at the old DeKalb County Courthouse.

As workers readied the monument for removal the crowd could be heard applauding.  

A light police presence was on the scene during the event.  

The statue came down just before 11:30 p.m. as the crowd chanted "Take it down! Take it down!"

A crowd gathers near Deactur square in Georgia to watch a confederate monument be removed.
A crowd gathers near Deactur square in Georgia to watch a confederate monument be removed. Brook Joyner/CNN
12:08 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Oregon's governor says she'll introduce bill to make Juneteenth a state holiday

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she plans to introduce a bill next year to make Juneteenth a state holiday.

She took to Twitter to proclaim June 19 as Juneteenth in Oregon.


“Celebrating Black freedom this year is fiercely important as people around the world protest systemic racism and undeniably show that Black Lives Matter,” Brown said as she replied to a tweet from Pharrell Williams asking her to “please join Virginia and New York and make Juneteenth a paid holiday in Oregon for state employees.” 

The June 19 holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Read more about it here:


11:55 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

Fulton County DA says charges were "based upon the facts" in Brooks case

Paul Howard, Fulton County District Attorney, told CNN's Don Lemon that the charges brought against the former officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks were "based upon the evidence."

Garrett Rolfe is facing 11 charges including felony murder in the death of Brooks, Howard said during a news conference Wednesday. Brosnan, who is currently on administrative duty, faces three charges including aggravated assault.

Howard denied that the charges go too far, or that they were a response to the protests.

"I charged based upon the facts. I'm aware that people were very much on edge. This was a horrendous incident, particularly after what had happened to George Floyd and then to have it happen here in Atlanta, and I realize that," Howard said.

"But you can't charge someone based upon those conditions. You've got to stick to the facts. That's what we did and that's the reason that I charged it."


10:28 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

Six Virginia residents sue to keep Robert E. Lee statue aloft

From CNN's Taylor Romine and Evan Simko-Bednarski

After dropping a lawsuit to block the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a group of Richmond, Virginia, residents filed a second suit with adjusted arguments, according to court documents. 

The new lawsuit, filed by six residents who own property on Richmond's Monument Avenue, claims that the statue's removal would adversely affect the plaintiffs by nullifying the neighborhood's status as a National Historic Landmark district, resulting in "the loss of favorable tax treatment and reduction in property values."

"Plaintiffs will also suffer injury as a result of the loss of a priceless work of art from their neighborhood and the degradation of the internationally recognized avenue on which they reside," the suit reads.

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10:20 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

A sheriff's deputy saved a baby from choking during a Black Lives Matter protest

From CNN's Lauren M. Johnson

A video surveillance camera recorded a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy saving an unresponsive baby from choking during a Black Lives Matter protest last month.

The 11-month-old boy's mother and another woman were attending the protest on May 31 in Palmdale, California, when the baby became ill, lost consciousness and stopped breathing, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

The women ran across a supermarket parking lot to a group of sheriff's deputies who were monitoring the protest from across the street.

In the video, Deputy Cameron Kinsey runs toward the women when he realized they were in distress. The mother handed the limp child to Kinsey and after assessing the baby, the sheriff's department said he "administered a mouth sweep with his finger and dislodged vomit."

The baby began to breathe again to the relief of everyone there.

Read the full story.

9:50 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

Facebook takes down Trump ads "for violating our policy against organized hate"

From CNN's Donie O'Sullivan

Facebook said it had taken action against ads run by President Donald Trump's re-election campaign for breaching its policies on hate. The ads, which attacked what the Trump campaign described as "Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups," featured an upside-down triangle.

The Anti-Defamation League said Thursday the triangle "is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps."

"We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol," Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN Business.

The hate group to which Facebook was referring in its statement is Nazis, the company confirmed.

Responding to criticism of the ad, the Trump campaign claimed the red triangle was "a symbol widely used by Antifa."

The ADL said Thursday that some antifa activists have used the symbol, but it is not particularly common.

Read the full story:

9:22 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

Grand jury indicts officer Eric DeValkenaere in fatal shooting of Cameron Lamb in 2019

From CNN's Raja Razek

Jackson County grand jury indicted Kansas City police officer Eric DeValkenaere in the fatal shooting of Cameron Lamb in December 2019, according to Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office news release on Thursday.

The grand jury’s indictment, signed today by the foreperson, charges officer Eric DeValkenaere with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action for recklessly causing the death of Lamb, who was shot while sitting in his pickup truck as he was backing into his garage.

CNN has reached out to Eric DeValkenaere for comment.

Relatives of Lamb were among several families of black Americans who have been killed by police to meet with President Donald Trump earlier this week.

9:17 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

Former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe moved for security reasons 

From CNN's Ryan Young and Devon Sayers 

Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe.
Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe. Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Former Atlanta Police officer Garrett Rolfe has been moved from the Fulton County Jail to another metro-Atlanta facility for security reasons, according to three law enforcement sources.

Rolfe, who faces 11 charges related to the death of Rayshard Brooks, turned himself in to the Fulton County Jail earlier on Thursday.

9:09 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020

Senior State Department official resigns over Trump's response to nationwide unrest: Washington Post

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

A top State Department official is resigning from her post over President Donald Trump's response to the surge of protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the nation, The Washington Post reported Thursday. 

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, wrote in a resignation letter obtained by the Post that "The President's comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions."

"I must follow the dictates of my conscience and resign as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs," she said. 

Reached for comment, a State Department spokesperson told CNN, "We do not comment on personnel matters."

Taylor's resignation comes as Trump continues to lean into his forceful approach to the ongoing demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. The gruesome video of Floyd's killing while in Minneapolis police custody has prompted the kind of soul searching about the role of police in society and systemic racism that many advocates have urged for decades.

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