June 20 Black Lives Matter protest news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brett McKeehan and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020
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1:20 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Second former police officer charged over George Floyd's death released on $750,000 bond

From CNN's Faith Karimi

J. Alexander Kueng
J. Alexander Kueng Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

A second former Minneapolis police officer awaiting trial over the death of George Floyd has been released from jail. 

J. Alexander Kueng's bail was $750,000 and he left the Hennepin County Jail on Friday night on "bond and conditional release." 

Kueng was one of the four officers involved in arresting Floyd on Memorial Day on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. The arrest led to Floyd's death, which has sparked global protests against racial injustice and police misconduct.

Another officer, Thomas Lane, 37, was released earlier this month on $750,000 bond.

The background: Floyd's death was captured by bystanders on video. The footage showed then-officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd's neck while he was on the ground outside a police vehicle. Floyd repeatedly said he couldn't breathe and was pronounced dead at a hospital. 

The charges: Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder. The other three officers at the scene -- Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao -- were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Chauvin's bail was set at $1.25 million. Like his three colleagues, he was offered a reduced bail of $1 million if he agrees to certain conditions, including that he not work in security or law enforcement, not have contact with Floyd's family, not leave Minnesota and surrender all firearms and permits. If he posts bail, his release would be supervised.

The other three officers were each held on $1 million bail but it could be lowered to $750,000 with conditions.

Chauvin and Thao remain in custody.

Read the full story here.

2:00 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

"Police in America are looting black bodies," says Trevor Noah

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

edian Trevor Noah spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper this week about racism, police abuse and protests in America, saying White people who were horrified by looting should realize many Black Americans feel their bodies are looted by police every single day. 

"Maybe it would help you if... you think about that... unease that you felt watching that Target being looted, try to imagine how it must feel for Black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day," said Noah, who is the host of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah."
"That's fundamentally what's happening in America. Police in America are looting black bodies."

While Donald Trump has sought to position himself as a law-and-order president in the wake of the unrest, Noah said it is actually law and order that protesters and organizers who took the streets are demanding.

"When they're fighting, when they're out there in the streets, what they're protesting for is law and order," Noah said. "They're fighting for an equal application of law and order. And I think that's what a lot of people don't realize."

Read the full story here.

1:01 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Asked to say "Black lives matter," Pence says "all lives matter"

From CNN's Nikki Carjaval

Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable meeting at the White House on June 15 in Washington.
Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable meeting at the White House on June 15 in Washington. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence declined to say the words “Black lives matter” during an interview with an ABC affiliate in Pennsylvania, instead saying that “all lives matter.”

“Let me just say that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy,” Pence told ABC6 in Philadelphia, when asked directly if he would say that Black lives matter. “And in this nation, especially on Juneteenth, we celebrate the fact that from the founding of this nation we’ve cherished the ideal that all, all of us are created equal, and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And so all lives matter in a very real sense.”

“Forgive me for pressing you on this, sir,” ABC6 reporter Brian Taff said to Pence. “But I will note you did not say those words, ‘Black lives matter,’ and there is an important distinction. People are saying, of course all lives matter, but to say the words is an acknowledgement that Black lives also matter at a time in this country when it appears that there’s a segment of our society that doesn’t agree. So why will you not say those words?”

Pence responded: “Well, I don’t accept the fact that there’s a segment of American society that disagrees, in the preciousness and importance of every human life. And it’s one of the reasons why as we advance important reforms in law enforcement, as we look for ways to strengthen and improve our inner cities, that we’re not going to stop there.” 

Pence touted the Black unemployment rate pre-pandemic and the development of economic “opportunity zones,” adding that the administration is “absolutely determined to improve” the lives of African Americans.

“And yet, one final time, you won’t say the words and we understand your explanation,” Taff responded.

Pence was also asked about a video that President Donald Trump posted to Twitter on Thursday that was labeled “manipulated media” by the social network.

“When you watch much of the national news media,” Pence responded, “it seems like they focus more every day on what divides us in this country. And I think the President saw an opportunity with a good sense of humor to once again challenge the media narrative.”  

Earlier, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a White House briefing that Trump was making a “satirical point that was quite funny” when he tweeted the video.

Read the full story here.

12:17 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Prosecutors are investigating possible evidence tampering in Javier Ambler's death

From CNN's Nicole Chavez and Jennifer Henderson

In this image from a March 28, 2019, body-worn camera video provided by the Austin Police Department in Texas, Williamson County deputies hold down Javier Ambler as one of them uses a Taser on Ambler's back during his arrest. 
In this image from a March 28, 2019, body-worn camera video provided by the Austin Police Department in Texas, Williamson County deputies hold down Javier Ambler as one of them uses a Taser on Ambler's back during his arrest.  Austin Police Department via AP

Prosecutors in central Texas are investigating whether there was evidence tampering in the death of Javier Ambler, a Black man who died last year while being arrested. 

The Williamson County District Attorney's office announced Friday it was investigating "the possible tampering with evidence 'by personnel from Williamson County Agencies who have had contact or communications with the television show, Live PD.'"

What's the background? Ambler died last year after he told Williamson County sheriff's deputies that he could not breathe during an arrest.

Earlier this month, authorities released body camera footage of the March 2019 incident, following months of records requests by Austin TV station KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman.

A production crew from the A&E show "Live PD" was at the arrest scene, having ridden with some of the officers. The footage never aired and neither the network "nor the producers of 'Live PD' were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the district attorney's office," A&E has said.

A search for truth: On Friday, the district attorneys of Williamson and Travis counties released a statement saying they have been conducting a joint investigation into Ambler's death. 

"This is a search for the truth and is necessary because even now we have not obtained the information we seek from Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, despite his public statements pledging cooperation," the prosecutors said in a statement.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore has previously said that she had requested body cam videos from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office and the television show, but was unable to obtain them.

Read the full story here.

1:11 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Australian cafe chain apologizes after worker fired for being Black

From CNN's Angus Watson in Sydney

A cafe chain in Sydney, Australia, has apologized to a former employee who was fired from his job for being Black.

British man Ayokunle Oluwalana had been working as a barista at the XS Espresso store in Bondi Beach until his manager told him he’d lost his job because “the locals are a bit racist” and “they like their coffee a certain way," he said in a social media video Thursday.

In a statement Friday, XS Espresso wrote:

“We were deeply saddened to learn of an incident that took place at our Bondi location yesterday. When (we) were made aware of the incident, our foremost concern was towards the gentleman who had been mistreated by a manager at our Bondi location.
“This was an isolated incident of gross misconduct which should not have happened, and we are terribly remorseful for the treatment he received."

Mr Oluwalana, 25, accepted the apology in another social media message on Friday.

“After speaking to the owner of the whole company, I do believe that he is shocked and saddened by what happened and the manager of the Bondi franchise has been reprimanded for his actions," he said.

12:16 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Colorado governor signs bill mandating police body cameras and banning chokeholds

From CNN's Caroline Kelly

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks before signing a police accountability bill on Friday, June 19 in Denver.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks before signing a police accountability bill on Friday, June 19 in Denver. David Zalubowski/AP

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed new police accountability legislation into law on Friday that would create new officer requirements including body cameras and limits on deadly force.

The move -- coinciding with the June 19 holiday Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States -- makes Colorado the first state to codify broad policing reform since the start of nationwide protests decrying police brutality, the Democratic governor said.

What the bill says: The bill requires that all police officers use activated body cameras or dashboard cameras during service calls or officer-initiated public interactions. It also bars officers from using deadly force against those suspected of minor or non-violent offenses, requires officers to intervene should they witness another officer using excessive physical force and establishes new data reporting on the use of force.

The measure specifically bans officers from using chokeholds, a long-controversial technique, particularly following the death of Eric Garner in 2014 when a police officer was accused of choking him. The death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer restrained him by pressing a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has prompted nationwide protests.

The bill also designates qualified immunity -- a legal doctrine that critics say shields law enforcement from accountability and has garnered recent attention -- as an unacceptable defense against liability for violating a person's rights.

"This legislation specifically contains landmark, evidence-based reforms that not only protect civil rights but will help restore trust between law enforcement and the communities that they serve," Polis said during the bill signing Friday.

Colorado joins several other states and localities that have moved to reassess their police rules and regulations following widespread protests across the US.

Read the full story here.

1:07 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Protesters pull down two statues from Confederate monument at North Carolina State Capitol

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Protesters pull a statue down from a Confederate monument on Friday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Protesters pull a statue down from a Confederate monument on Friday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. WRAL

Protesters have pulled down two statues at a Confederate monument at the North Carolina State Capitol.

After one protester tried unsuccessfully to push a statue off the monument, another climbed up and wrapped a strap around the statue’s neck and successfully pulled it down, according to footage taken by CNN affiliate WRAL.

A second statue on the other side of the monument was then pulled down.

According to WRAL, earlier in the day protesters tied ropes around the statues -- but those ropes were cut by police. 

Protesters then marched down the street and hung both statues from a light post. 

As the second statue was being hung, protesters put up umbrellas and physically tried to block WRAL’s reporter and crew. The strap holding the statue broke, and protesters dragged the statue down the street to the Wake County Courthouse.

Protesters hang a Confederate statue from a light post on Friday, June 19 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Protesters hang a Confederate statue from a light post on Friday, June 19 in Raleigh, North Carolina. WRAL

12:16 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Descendants of Tulsa's 1921 race massacre seek justice as the nation confronts a racist past

From CNN's Abby Phillip and Kate Sullivan

The beating heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma's Greenwood District is Vernon A.M.E. Church.

Vernon sits atop the only structure still standing after the 1921 race massacre left the once-prosperous Black district burned to the ground, and hundreds — if not thousands — of its residents homeless or dead.

That legacy weighs heavily on Vernon A.M.E. always — but especially in recent weeks, as the city marked 99 years since the massacre, an anniversary that came at a time of protests and upheaval nationwide over the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

As the city prepared to mark the anniversary of the massacre at the end of May, protesters in Tulsa took to the streets against racism and police brutality. Some businesses were damaged and fires were set. And now the community is bracing itself again, as President Donald Trump is expected to bring thousands of his supporters to the city for his first campaign rally since March.

Tulsa's black residents say it is impossible to disentangle what happened to their ancestors in Greenwood from the broader national conversation about the impact of racism on Black Americans today. They have spent decades seeking justice that they still have not received, and they say that there is still a reluctance — especially among White residents of the city and the state — to fully acknowledge the events of 1921.