June 1 George Floyd protest news

01 george floyd family memorial minneapolis 0601 SCREENGRAB
Crowds at George Floyd memorial take knee with his brother
04:08 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

  • Protests erupted for a seventh day across the US over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • At least 40 cities imposed curfews and National Guard members have been activated in at least 23 states and Washington, DC.
  • An independent autopsy found Floyd died from “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” while the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”
  • One former officer who was seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — but protesters say the charge doesn’t go far enough, and are demanding charges for the other officers involved.
  • President Trump declared himself “your president of law and order” during remarks from the Rose Garden Monday night.
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Our live coverage of the nationwide George Floyd protests has moved here.

Trump's call for a protest crackdown has been a boon for Chinese propaganda

Protesters running amok. Innocent citizens under siege. Outside actors engaging in terrorist acts. Police struggling to maintain control and in desperate need of reinforcements.

That was how Chinese state media portrayed anti-government protests in Hong Kong last year, dismissing calls for greater democracy and an investigation into police brutality by focusing on individual acts of violence and property damage. 

Throughout the protests, the US was consistent in its support of people’s right to take to the streets and have their voice heard. Facing widespread unrest and public anger at home in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the reaction from US President Donald Trump appeared markedly different.

On Monday, Trump called for the military to be deployed to “dominate” protesters, and demanded states do more to stem “acts of domestic terror.”

The irony has not been lost on Beijing, which on Thursday marks (or rather doesn’t, the date is highly censored) its own military crackdown on anti-government protesters on June 4, 1989

“Washington’s promise of equality and justice for all in the country has remained hollow at best,” state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary titled “The coming suffocation of the American dream.”

“Amid the ongoing anti-racism protests in the country, decision-makers in Washington, instead of trying to sooth the pain and anger of the public, have been fanning the flames, calling protesters ‘THUGS,’ and threatening them with ‘the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons,” the commentary said.

China Daily, a state-backed newspaper, noted that “The US, after the killing of Floyd, seems to be on fire, and troops have been mobilized to subdue angry demonstrators.” 

“This is certainly not what the world expects to see in a country that is the world’s sole superpower,” it added. “But that sadly is the reality of the US.”

This rhetoric isn’t just embarrassing for Washington, it’s also a sign of how the US may find its influence damaged by a perceived hypocrisy over human rights at home and abroad. 

Earlier today, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam pointed to the unrest in the US as evidence of Washington’s