George Floyd protests spread nationwide

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III, Daniella Diaz, Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Ivana Kottasová and Nick Thompson, CNN

Updated 8:56 p.m. ET, May 30, 2020
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1:01 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Officer involved in Floyd's death had previous excessive force settlement

From CNN's Chuck Johnston and Hollie Silverman 

One of the four officers fired for his involvement in the death of George Floyd was part of a 2017 excessive force lawsuit that was settled by the city of Minneapolis, according to a settlement obtained by CNN and confirmed by the attorney for the plaintiff in the case.  

Both the city and the officers denied liability in the settlement, according to a statement from the city.

Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao was named in a lawsuit stemming from the 2014 arrest of Lamar Ferguson. CNN has not yet determined who is legally representing Thao.

Ferguson was subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" by Thao and another officer during his arrest in an alley on October 7, 2014 on a warrant, according to the suit. 

The lawsuit claimed that the officers used "unreasonable force" during the arrest in the form of "punches, kicks and knees to the face and body while Ferguson was defenseless and handcuffed." Ferguson suffered broken teeth, bruising, and trauma as a result of the arrest, according to the lawsuit. 

Ferguson was walking home from his grandmother's house with his pregnant girlfriend when they were approached by a Minneapolis police car with Thao and the other officer inside. The officers allegedly put Ferguson in handcuffs behind his back and took his wallet with his identification out of his pocket, according to the lawsuit.

The second officer took the ID to run it through the the National Crime Information Center but no warrant showed up in the system, the lawsuit said. The second officer "falsely stated that there was a warrant out for Plaintiff's arrest," the lawsuit said, prior to the alleged physical attack occurring.

The lawsuit was settled by the city of Minneapolis on December 11, 2017 by payment of $25,000 to Lamar Ferguson and his attorneys, according to the settlement.

CNN's Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.

1:11 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Minneapolis mayor to bring in resources from around the state to "restore peace and security"

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP
Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mayor Jacob Frey said the city will now begin an "all-out effort to restore peace and security in our city."

This comes after demonstrators protested Monday's death of George Floyd, a black man who died after pleading for help after a police officer pinned him – unarmed and handcuffed – to the ground.

Frey said at a press conference on Thursday that he has authorized a "unified command structure" that would allow Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to use resources and personnel from other jurisdictions.

The city has also requested support from the state, Frey said.

On infrastructure and damage: The second night of protests transitioned to rioting and looting over a few blocks south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.

Frey said protecting this infrastructure and the community is important especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our communities need these assets especially during a pandemic. Our communities need grocery stores for food, they need banks for cash. We need pharmacies for needed medications," he said.

"Let's hold these communities dear by doing right by them and by safe guarding them and these community assets that we know they need especially during a pandemic. We need to offer radical love and compassion that we all have in us. I believe in the city and I know you do, too," Frey added.

1:26 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Floyd family: "Looting and violence distract from the strength of our collective voice"

People look on as a construction site burns near the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 27.
People look on as a construction site burns near the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 27. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd's family said the violence and looting occurring in the demonstrations "distract from the strength of our collective voice," according to a statement released in a series of tweets from Ben Crump, lawyer for the family.  

The family thanked "every person who is standing with them" and urged protesters to not “sink to the level of our oppressors.”

The statement also said the family “wants peace in Minneapolis.”

Read the full statement below:

12:44 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

New York governor on George Floyd: “How many times do we have to learn the same lesson?”

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano 

State of New York
State of New York

Responding to a question about the death of George Floyd, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he thinks there is a criminal case against the law enforcement officer. 

“If I was a prosecutor, I would be looking at that case from the first moment because I think there is a criminal case there,” Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus press briefing on Thursday. 

“I think the situation was so disturbing and ugly and frightening, just frightening, that a law enforcement officer in this country could act that way,” he said. 

“How many times do we have to learn the same lesson?" he added.
12:20 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

At least 30 fires were reported during Wednesday's protests in Minnesota

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

A man runs near a burning building after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd in downtown Minneapolis, early Thursday, May 28.
A man runs near a burning building after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd in downtown Minneapolis, early Thursday, May 28. David Joles/Star Tribune/AP

There were about 30 fires, including at least 16 structure fires, during protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota last night over the death of George Floyd, the city's fire department said in a statement.

"Multiple fire department apparatus suffered damage from rocks and other projectiles thrown at the responding vehicles," the statement said. 

The "fire events" were intentional and no injuries were reported as a result of the fires, the fire department said. 

"Crews continue to respond and extinguish fires along Lake St E at this time," the statement said.

12:07 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

George Floyd’s friend says his death “will not be in vain”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Stephen Jackson, a former NBA player and friend of George Floyd who called Floyd his “twin,” said he wants to see justice for his death as protests continue in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“This is not the way he was supposed to go,” Jackson said. “He didn't deserve that, but the way that people are supporting him, standing up for him — the way I'm going to stand up and support him — his death will not be in vain.” 

Jackson said that the officers involved should be held to account for Floyd’s death. 

“What is justice? I can't even answer that question. I've seen so many black men get killed, officers get laid off jobs with pay, no jail time. … Four cops killed my brother blatantly in the daytime for the world to see. You get fired, nobody is in jail? What is justice? I'm sorry, I can't answer that. I honestly don't know,” Jackson said. 

Jackson said Floyd would only want to see his two daughters be taken care of, and he went to Minneapolis to work. 

“You very seldom get people that support you genuinely with no motives. Floyd was that for me, and I'm going to miss him,” he said. 

Watch more:

11:41 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

How Minnesota’s pro sports teams are reacting to George Floyd’s death 

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

The NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and NFL's Minnesota Vikings issued statements on Twitter decrying George Floyd's death.

In a statement posted on Twitter Thursday, the Minnesota Timberwolves wrote:

"Our community is grieving the senseless tragedy and death of George Floyd. The entire Timberwolves and Lynx organization shares its deepest sympathy with the Floyd family. We will work tirelessly to use our voices to influence change, encourage healing, and promote thoughtful action as we move forward."

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings posted on Twitter the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life that occurred Monday evening just blocks from our stadium. Everyone in our community deserves the right to feel protected and safe. Our thoughts are with the George Floyd family and all individuals who have been affected by this tragedy."
11:23 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

US Attorney, FBI conducting "robust criminal investigation" into Floyd's death

From CNN's Delano Massey

Courtesy Ben Crump Law Firm
Courtesy Ben Crump Law Firm

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota and the FBI’s Minneapolis field office said in a statement today that they are conducting "a robust criminal investigation" into the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd.

The statement also said the Department of Justice "has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators to the matter."

The federal investigation will determine whether the actions by the involved former Minneapolis Police Department officers "violated federal law."

"It is a violation of federal law for an individual acting under color of law to willfully deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States," the statement noted.

Upon conclusion of the FBI’s investigation, the statement said, the U.S. attorney’s office will determine whether federal criminal charges are "supported by the evidence." If it is determined that there has been a violation of federal law, "criminal charges will be sought."

Read the full statement here.

10:48 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

University of Minnesota to reduce ties with Minneapolis police following Floyd's death

From CNN's Toropin Konstantin

Glenn Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP
Glenn Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP

The University of Minnesota, whose main campus is in Minneapolis, has announced it will scale back the relationship it has with Minneapolis police following the death of George Floyd.

The university will "no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for additional law enforcement support" and it will not use the police department for "specialized services are needed for university events," the institution president said in a message to students and faculty Wednesday night.

"This will not stand," President Joan Gabel wrote in the message.

"I do not have the words to fully express my pain and anger and I know that many in our community share those feelings, but also fear for their own safety," Gabel said.

"We will limit our collaboration with the MPD to joint patrols and investigations that directly enhance the safety of our community or that allow us to investigate and apprehend those who put our students, faculty, and staff at risk," Gabel added.

The statements followed the shock and anger that poured through communities across the country as video of Floyd's last moments alive began circulating on social media.

The 46-year-old unarmed man was handcuffed and on the ground as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe while a police officer held him down with a knee on his neck. Three others were also at the scene.