Officer who knelt on George Floyd taken into custody
From CNN's Dakin Andone, Sara Sidner and Faith Karimi
The former Minneapolis police officer seen in a video with his knee on George Floyd's neck before the unarmed black man died this week was taken into custody Friday by state authorities, according to John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as fires continued to burn from violent protests overnight as demonstrators demanded justice for Floyd.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz pleaded for order Friday morning following a night of fiery unrest as protesters demanded justice for George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died this week after Minneapolis officers arrested him.
1:52 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
Kaepernick announces legal defense initiative for protesters arrested in Minneapolis
From CNN's David Close
NFL free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has announced a legal defense initiative that offers assistance to people arrested while protesting George Floyd’s death in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area.
The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative says it has arranged for top defense lawyers in the city to provide legal protection for those fighting injustice.
The Kaepernick-funded Know Your Rights Camp tweeted the news saying:
1:28 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
Civil rights attorney demands justice for Floyd and accountability for law enforcement
Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney in Minneapolis, called for justice for George Floyd whose death, she said, is reflective "of decades of police abuse and neglect of the African-American community."
"It is unfortunate that we have to be here today because another life has been taken by Minneapolis police department. It is not as if these incidents simply happen over night. What you see happening in this city, the social unrest, the civil unrest, is the result of decades of police abuse and neglect of the African-American community. As a civil rights attorney, I have joined activists in the streets for the last several years shutting things down and fighting for justice and demanding they treat us with dignity and respect our humanity. That has not been the case," Armstrong said today at a news briefing.
Armstrong called Floyd just the "latest victim, in a series of black men who have been slain by Minneapolis Police Department officers and not one has been held accountable for killing an African-American person."
1:16 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
Minnesota governor says Trump's tweets were "not helpful"
From CNN's Elise Hammond
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said President Trump's tweets – that suggested shooting looters – were "just not helpful."
"I did speak to the President. At that point in time, it was in the process where I said we were going to assume control of this and it was unnecessary," Walz said.
"I didn't know he's going to tweet, he certainly can... It's just not helpful," he added.
He said that state officials are "doing everything we can."
"In the moment where we're at, in a moment that is so volatile, anything we do to add fuel to that fire is really, really challenging," Walz said.
Some context: Twitter flagged Trump's tweets saying it violated the platform's rules.
The tweet is now hidden by a notice from Twitter –– but is still viewable.
"This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible," Twitter said in the notice.
12:44 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
McConnell says officers in Minneapolis and Louisville "look pretty darn guilty"
From CNN's Ted Barrett and Ali Zaslav
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had strong words for prosecuting the police in the incidents in Minneapolis and Louisville, saying “if you see what happened, [they] look pretty darn guilty.”
The GOP leader said violent protests in Minneapolis and Louisville – both in response to deaths of black people at the hands of police officers – “really needs to stop” and “this senseless violence in reaction to this is not helpful.”
McConnell declined to comment Friday on a tweet from President Trump in which the President called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and warned "when the looting starts, the shooting starts. The message was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence.”
“I generally don't comment on the President's tweets,” McConnell told reporters at a press event in Kentucky.
“I can speak for myself," the senior senator from Kentucky said.
“I think what's happening in Louisville and Minneapolis really needs to stop. This senseless violence in reaction to this is not helpful. But you can certainly understand the outrage. I mean, you can certainly understand the outrage. But it's not made better by engaging in random acts of violence," McConnell said.
McConnell went on to call for justice for George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis, and Breonna Taylor, who, on March 13, was killed after officers forced their way inside her Louisville home and exchanged shots with her boyfriend, according to a lawsuit filed by her mother.
"These events, which the facts around them are pretty obvious are absolutely horrendous, and you can understand the outrage and reaction to witnessing events like this. They need to be thoroughly investigated. And if prosecution is appropriate and I'm sure sounds looking at both these cases like that would be the case. Justice needs to be done. I've always been a supporter of demonstrations, but they need to be peaceful. And this senseless violence in reaction to this is not helpful to anyone and I hope it will stop," he said.
12:31 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
National Guard will remain in Minneapolis
From CNN's Melissa Alonso
Minnesota's National Guard will continue to operate in the city for as long as necessary, General Jon Jensen, the Adjutant General of Minnesota's Army National Guard, said Friday.
The National Guard will provide support to state police and local law enforcement for as long as the governor deems necessary, Jensen said.
The Guard conducted several missions throughout the night including escorting the Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD).
The night before, rocks and other projectiles were thrown at responding vehicles, MFD said in a statement Thursday.
The National Guard was still securing Minnesota police's third precinct on Friday morning to allow crews to "come in and begin the cleanup of that area," which was on fire overnight, Jensen said.
12:45 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
Minnesota to put together a "multi-agency command center," safety commissioner says
From CNN's Elise Hammond
John Harrington, commissioner of Minnesota's Department of Public Safety, said he is putting together a "unified command" of several different law enforcement and public safety entities to prepare for more protests today and this weekend.
"Our task today is we're bringing together a unified command of metro area police departments, sheriff departments and other law enforcement jurisdictions and other public safety entities into a multi-agency command center where we will create a plan that will keep the peace, maintain the peace and prevent further lawless behavior in the city of Minneapolis, the city of St. Paul and in the surrounding suburbs," he said.
Harrington said he is going to do this "the right way" by keeping in mind the oath to protect communities.
"We are fully confident that we can do that mission and that we can do it while still ensuring that the constitutional rights of those who need to have their voices heard and who need to freely assemble can be protected," he said.
12:21 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
Former President Barack Obama says the US "must be better" following Floyd's death
Former President Barack Obama discussed the "anguish" black Americans are feeling around the country following the death of George Floyd, according to a statement he released on Twitter.
Obama discussed the common getting "back to normal" refrain uttered following deaths like these and how it's not enough.
"But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park," Obama wrote.
Read Obama's full statement below:
12:13 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
Minnesota's commissioner of public safety calls Floyd's death a "murder"
John Harrington, commissioner of Minnesota's Department of Public Safety, called the death of George Floyd a murder today during a news briefing.
"I will tell you that the vast majority of the great people of Minnesota and the great people of Minneapolis who are still having their guts ripped out about the murder, we'll call it a murder because that's what it looked like to me. I don't want to prejudice this from a criminal perspective, I'm just calling what I see at that point," Harrington said.