June 8 George Floyd protest news

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 9:43 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020
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5:40 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Thousands pay tribute to George Floyd at public viewing in Houston

From CNN’s Nakia McNabb

People wait in line to attend the public viewing for George Floyd outside the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, Texas, on June 8.
People wait in line to attend the public viewing for George Floyd outside the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, Texas, on June 8. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Thousands of mourners gathered today at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, Texas, to view the body of George Floyd.

Following social distancing guidelines, visitors filed into the church six feet apart and wearing masks. Each person is allowed only a few seconds to pay their respects to Floyd, who lays in a golden casket, shrouded by several bouquets of white flowers.

Many of the visitors wore shirts supporting Black Lives Matter and with Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe." 

With gospel songs playing in the background from artist including CeCe Winans and Kurt Carr, several mourners wiped away tears as they stopped in front of the casket. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking outside the viewing of Floyd, called his death “the most horrific tragedy” he has ever observed and vowed that his life and death would “change the arc of the future of the United States.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rev. Jesse Jackson, actor Kevin Hart and rappers Master P and Ludacris were also in attendance. Lawmakers from Ghana paid tribute to Floyd in a taped presentation where Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, unveiled a plaque and mural.

Hear more:

5:10 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

US mayors team up on police reform and racial justice

The United States Conference of Mayors launched a new working group to address “police violence and patterns of racial discrimination,” the group – known as USCM – said in a statement Monday.

The working group – led by the mayors of Chicago, Tampa and Cincinnati – aims to outline specific recommendations on policing practices.

“Mayors are going to lead this fight,” Bryan K. Barnett, USCM president and mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan, said in the statement. “The nation’s mayors are committed to dismantling the systemic racism that exists in our country. Black Americans have been denied the promise of equality and justice in this country for too long, and that must end now,” he said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said: “This is about generational discrimination in our communities, and police accountability is a crucial part of the work that needs to be done to address this issue in a holistic manner.”

5:24 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

US Army open to renaming military bases that bear Confederate names

From CNN's Barbara Starr

Tents used to house troops returning from Middle East deployments are set up at a remote training area at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on March 17. The fort was named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg.
Tents used to house troops returning from Middle East deployments are set up at a remote training area at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on March 17. The fort was named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg. Sgt. 1st Class Zach VanDyke/US Army Photo via AP

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is now open to a "bipartisan conversation” about renaming nearly a dozen major installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders, according to an Army official.

This is a significant change for the Army which has long said these bases were named after the Civil War as part of an effort towards reconciliation between northern and southern states.

The official said McCarthy is acutely aware that while he could likely unilaterally rename them, there needs to be consultation with the White House, Congress and state and local governments.

The Army installations involved currently include thousands of troops and families that are an integral part of the communities where they are locate such as Fort Bragg, North Carolina, named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg.

The official Army website cited his service in the Mexican American war as the reason the original installation Camp Bragg was named after him. Other bases named after Confederate officers include Fort Hood in Texas and Fort AP Hill in Virginia.

4:53 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Los Angeles mayor says he "fully supports" decision not to prosecute peaceful protesters

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stands with protesters in downtown Los Angeles outside of City Hall on Tuesday, June 2.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stands with protesters in downtown Los Angeles outside of City Hall on Tuesday, June 2. Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he “fully supports” the city attorney’s decision not to prosecute peaceful protesters who were arrested for breaking curfew of failing to disperse.

The decision does not apply to those accused of violence, looting or vandalism. 

“This moment has the potential to bend the arc of our future toward a more fair and just city and country for everyone, if we're willing to seize it,” Garcetti said in a statement.

He continued: “I hope Angelenos will stay engaged in the cause to bring transformational progress. That is how we will continue the hard, necessary work of rooting out racism from our institutions, policies, laws and communities.”

4:45 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Arkansas governor to announce policing task force tomorrow

From CNN's Pamela Wessmann

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson made two announcements today in regards to steps they have taken in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Hutchinson announced the National Guard is going back on normal status. 

“In essence they have been deactivated. They were called up as a support and caution,” he said.  

The governor said he plans to make an announcement tomorrow at 11 a.m. about a task force that deals with police training, certifications and standards. He explained he had been having some very good meetings with protest leaders who he called “wonderful leaders in our community,” and some young leaders across the state. Hutchinson said though he told them he would have an executive order ready today, instead it would be ready tomorrow. 

5:37 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Trump: "There won't be defunding, there won't be dismantling of our police"

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

The words “Defund The Police” are seen painted on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington.
The words “Defund The Police” are seen painted on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington. Tasos Katapodis/Getty Images

President Trump said that there will be no defunding or disbanding of police departments and claimed that 99% of police officers are "great, great people," during a roundtable with members of law enforcement at the White House on Monday.

Trump praised the law enforcement leaders in the room and touted the low crime rates in the United States this year. The President said it has been a “very strong year for less crime.”

“There won’t be defunding, there won’t be dismantling of our police. And there’s not going to be any disbanding of our police, our police have been letting us live in peace,” Trump said.

The President said he wants to make sure that there are no “bad actors,” but he feels 99% of police are “great great people.”

“Sometimes you’ll see some horrible things like we witnessed recently but 99, I say 99.9, but let’s go with 99% of them are great great people and they’ve done jobs that are record setting,” Trump said.

He refused again to take questions from reporters about his administration's response to the protest movement Monday. 

Hear more:

4:16 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Catch up: Here are latest developments 

People wait to attend the public memorial for George Floyd outside of the Fountain of Praise church on Monday in Houston, Texas.
People wait to attend the public memorial for George Floyd outside of the Fountain of Praise church on Monday in Houston, Texas. Mario Tama/Getty Images

If you are just joining us, here are the latest headlines related to George Floyd’s case, police reform and Black Lives Matter protests.

Mourners honor Floyd during public visitation: A continuous flow of mourners arrived at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston today to pay their respects to Floyd. People were lined up in two separate lines at a social distance inside the church and permitted to view the body of Floyd for about five seconds before being directed to move on.

Floyd, 46, grew up in the city's Third Ward and will be buried in Houston next to his mother, according to the Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mayor Sylvester Turner were among those who visited Floyd's casket at the church. A private funeral will be held at the same church tomorrow in Houston. 

Ex-Minneapolis police officer’s bail set at $1.25 million: Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as the man begged for his life, had his bail set at $1.25 million during a hearing today. Like his fellow officers who were arrested, Chauvin 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.

Democrats announce police and justice reform legislation: Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrats put forward sweeping legislation Monday aimed at cracking down on police brutality and recording patterns of misuse of force across the country, the first concrete step toward action from Washington as a national movement emerges.

Trump doesn't support mayors reallocating police funding: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the President does not agree with mayors attempting to reallocate funding for policing to other programs which could lead to less of a need for police. Her comments follow New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s announcement Sunday that the city will move some of its funding from the New York Police Department to youth and social services.

3:14 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

George Floyd's high school will hold a vigil tonight with alumni 

From CNN's Eric Fiegel

A vigil for George Floyd will be held tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET at Jack Yates High School in Houston. Floyd was part of the high school's class of 1993, according to the statement posted on the alumni association's Facebook.

The vigil will be held at the football field for national and local alumni of the high school. Attendees are being asked to wear crimson and gold and bring a candle for the ceremony.

Read the statement:

“The Alumni of Jack Yates is deeply saddened and enraged over the senseless murder of our beloved Lion. We wish to express our support for the family and friends of Mr. Floyd. We along with millions of others across the world demand Justice for this Injustice. We are asking all current and former Jack Yates Alumni to wear Crimson and Gold."
3:05 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Joe Biden met with George Floyd's family today

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden met with the family of George Floyd for more than an hour in Houston today, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump said on Twitter today.

“He listened, heard their pain, and shared in their woe,” Crump added.