June 1 George Floyd protest news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Nick Thompson, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Daniella Diaz, CNN

Updated 2:10 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020
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7:50 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Two dead and a police officer injured after shootings in Iowa

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Two people are dead and a police officer is injured after a series of shootings overnight in Davenport, Iowa.

Police officers in Davenport, Iowa were ambushed by rioters overnight, authorities said in an early morning news conference. 

Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said three officers were patrolling the city when they were ambushed and several rounds were shot at them. Sikorski said the officer’s vehicles were hit, and one officer was injured. Sikorski did not know the officer’s condition but said he was in “good spirits” this morning. Police have arrested several people in a car that fled that scene, he said.

Sikorski said police responded to dozens of incidents in the city involving rioters where shots were fired. He said that a total of four people were shot and two people had died.

Davenport Mayor Mike Mateson said he will be enacting a curfew in the city tonight and will be asking Governor Kim Reynolds to activate the National Guard.

9:11 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Trump holes up at White House as protests tear through US

From CNN's Stephen Collinson, Kaitlan Collins and Noah Gray

Protesters rally at the White House on Sunday.
Protesters rally at the White House on Sunday. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

America is still waiting for an address from President Donald Trump about the protests tearing through its streets following the death of George Floyd.

After being briefly moved to an underground bunker during Friday night's protests outside the White House, Trump spent Sunday night again sheltered as violence raged nearby amid protests from Minneapolis to Miami and Portland to Philadelphia. 

In normal circumstances, a president could be expected to call for calm and perhaps deliver an Oval Office address

But Trump's instinct has been to exacerbate the sense of crisis and division -- blasting the demonstrators as "THUGS" and calling for crackdowns, CNN's Stephen Collinson writes.

Trump on Thursday fueled the incendiary tone around Floyd's death when he invoked racist language from the 1960s by tweeting "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

He spent Friday attempting to strike a more measured tone and denying he was evoking a phrase with ties to brutal civil rights-era police tactics. At a roundtable with retail and restaurant executives, Trump disclosed that he'd spoken with the family of Floyd and said he wanted "to express our nation's deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies."

But on Saturday, hours after the protests outside the White House had ended, Trump commended the US Secret Service for protecting him inside his fortified mansion, saying he couldn't have felt "more safe" as protesters gathered outside over Floyd's death. The President tweeted that if protesters breached the White House's fence, they would "have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen."

On Sunday, he lashed out at Democrats and their party's presumptive nominee Joe Biden as he sought to revive his 2016 claim to be the "law and order" candidate -- a characterization that could help him distract from his mishandling of the pandemic.

"Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors. These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is that what America wants? NO!!!"

Now, a serious divide has emerged among the President's top allies and advisers over how he should address several nights of protests and riots.

Trump is being urged by some advisers to formally address the nation and call for calm, while others have said he should condemn the rioting and looting more forcefully or risk losing middle-of-the-road voters in November, according to several sources familiar with the deliberations.

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9:11 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Two Atlanta officers fired after video shows them tasing man and using "excessive force" on woman

By CNN's Amir Vera in Atlanta

Two Atlanta Police Department officers were fired Sunday after video showed them using "excessive force" against two college students during Saturday night's protests, Atlanta's mayor announced.

Officers were filmed in downtown Atlanta breaking the windows of the vehicle the two people were in, yanking a woman out of the car and tasing the man. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said she recognized the two as Spelman College and Morehouse College students. Both schools are historically black colleges in Atlanta.

"It was the worst experience of my life," said the woman, identified as Taniyah Pilgrim, 20. She said she and her friend Messiah Young, the man in the video, were riding home from protests when the incident took place.

Watch video of the incident here:

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she was disturbed when she saw the video and ordered charges to be dropped against the man. The woman was not charged.

"As we watch the video today, it became abundantly clear immediately with the young woman that this force was excessive," Bottoms said. "It also became abundantly clear that the officer who tased the young man needed to be terminated as well."

One of the officers wrote in a police report that he used his taser because he was unsure whether Pilgrim or Young were armed.

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7:12 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Hundreds of arrests overnight as police clash with protesters

From CNN’s Brynn Gingras, Carma Hassan and Tina Burnside

Police arrest a man during protests in New York early on Monday, June 1.
Police arrest a man during protests in New York early on Monday, June 1. Wong Maye-E/AP

Hundreds of people have been arrested overnight after taking part in protests across America.

The New York Police department arrested more than 200 during protests overnight, the department’s press office told CNN early Monday morning, adding most of the arrests were made in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

At least seven officers were injured and about a dozen vehicles were damaged during the protests, the NYPD said.

Hundreds of people were also arrested in the Los Angeles area on Sunday, according to officials there.

There were at least nine fires in the city of Santa Monica, and the police and fire department responded to over 1,000 9-1-1 calls since 12 p.m (local), according to a news release from the City of Santa Monica.

The city said in a tweet, “On the average day, the City responds to 200 emergency calls.”

The San Diego Police Department tweeted that “over 100 people were arrested & booked in to jail for charges ranging from failure to disperse, burglary, assaulting officers & vandalism” from May 31 to June 1. 

San Diego Police Sgt. Clinton Leisz said protests had “calmed down quite a bit," but told CNN Leisz that several businesses had been vandalized or looted.

Peaceful demonstrations will be facilitated. Violent & destructive acts will be addressed,” police said in their tweet.

Protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, overnight led to the arrests of 15 people, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police tweeted. 

One of the protesters was arrested for hitting an officer in the face with a rock, the police department said. Three others were arrested on illegal weapon charges. 


6:49 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

China gifted propaganda win as Trump's protest response undermines US efforts on Hong Kong

Analysis from CNN's James Griffiths in Hong Kong

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. The widespread unrest, and the prospect of more this year, has been used to justify a new national security bill that will be imposed upon the city by Beijing in coming months.

Washington has fiercely criticized that bill, moving to strip Hong Kong of its special trading status with the United States and threatening sanctions against officials involved in implementing the legislation. Throughout the protests in Hong Kong last year, the US was consistent in its support of people's right to take to the streets and have their voice heard, and that sporadic violence or illegality did not undermine the core demands or legitimacy of the movement. 

Back in the US: Facing widespread unrest and public anger at home in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, the reaction from US President Donald Trump appeared markedly different.

In a barrage of tweets over the weekend, Trump called protesters "thugs," accused "organized groups" of being behind the violence, blamed the media for fomenting unrest, called for the military to be deployed, and retweeted claims that those behind the unrest were "domestic terrorists."

It was a response that might not have appeared out of place on the pages of China's own government-controlled newspapers, and did not go unnoticed by state media pundits and officials in Beijingsome of whom have publicly delighted in watching the unrest unfold in the US, sarcastically calling for solidarity with protesters and pointing out the alleged hypocrisy of their American counterparts. 

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6:38 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Man dead in Kentucky after authorities fired at crowd as they cleared parking lot

From CNN's Tina Burnside and Jennifer Henderson

Protests in Louisville, Kentucky turned fatal early this morning after at least one person was killed, police said.

At around 12:15 a.m ET, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and National Guard units were dispatched to Dino’s Food Market to clear a large crowd in the parking lot, the police chief said during an early morning presser.  

“Officers and soldiers begin to clear the lot and at some point were shot at. Both LMPD and National Guards members returned fire, we have one man dead at the scene,” Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said during a new conference.  

The chief said they have several persons of interest who they are interviewing.  

Authorities are also collecting video from the incident. More information is expected to be released tomorrow, the chief said. 

Protests turning deadly: It is not the first fatality during the protests. At approximately 11:30 p.m. CT Friday night, a 19-year-old male was struck and killed after shots were fired into a crowd protesting, according to the Detroit police department. The victim succumbed to his injuries after being transported to a local hospital.

6:15 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Target outlines plans to help Minneapolis/St. Paul community

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Protesters occupy the parking lot of a Target store near the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct on May 28.
Protesters occupy the parking lot of a Target store near the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct on May 28. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

Target says it will provide the Minneapolis-St. Paul area with first aid equipment and essentials to help the community.

Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer would be donating "truckloads of first aid equipment and medicine, bottled water, baby formula, diapers and other essentials to help ensure that no one within the areas of heaviest damage and demonstration is cut off from needed supplies,” in a letter to team members, guests and the community. 

Target is working towards reopening affected stores and staff who have been impacted by store closures will be able to work at other locations and will be paid for their scheduled hours up to 14 days.

Target has also vowed to have conversations with community members and officials to learn how to support a community while it heals. 

“We are a community in pain. That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities — it extends across America. The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” said Cornell.

“We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts. As a Target team, we’ve huddled, we’ve consoled, we’ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to what’s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing. And as a team we’ve vowed to face pain with purpose."

6:03 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Leaders concerned coronavirus could spread during protests

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

US officials have expressed their concern that coronavirus could rapidly spread during protests over the death of George Floyd.

People across America have taken to the streets to vent their frustrations over the seeming lack of value for the lives of black people in the same week the nation crossed the 100,000 death count from coronavirus.

Sunday alone saw an increase of almost 20,000 cases, according to the CNN count compiled with data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Monday morning at least 1,790,191 Americans have contracted the virus and 104,383 have died. But some expect a jump in cases following days of demonstrations.

With large groups of people protesting, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he expects a sharp increase in cases of Covid-19 in his state.

I am deeply concerned about a super-spreader type of incident," Walz said. "We're going to see a spike in Covid-19. It's inevitable." 

Officials in New York shared the governor's worry about a potential for rise in coronavirus among protesters.

"I would still wish that everyone would realize that when people gather it's inherently dangerous in the context of this pandemic, and I'm going to keep urging people not to use that approach and if they do they focus on social distancing and wearing face coverings," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that while people have the right to protest, even during a pandemic, they also have a duty to protect the health of themselves and others.

"You have a right to demonstrate, you have a right to protest, god bless America," Cuomo said at a Saturday news conference. "You don't have a right to infect other people, you don't have a right to act in a way that's going to jeopardize public health."

He told people to "demonstrate with a mask on," and noted how the coronavirus has highlighted longstanding health disparities for the black community.

"The coronavirus crisis has created a depth of pain that still has not been accounted for. So many New Yorkers have lost someone but that is particularly true in communities of color and particularly true in the African American community," Cuomo said. "That loss is being felt so deeply because every knows it's not based on equality ... communities of color lost so much more."

Read more:

5:58 a.m. ET, June 1, 2020

China calls racial discrimination in the US a "social ill"

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian is pictured at a media briefing in Beijing in April.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian is pictured at a media briefing in Beijing in April. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China’s foreign affairs ministry has called on the US to prevent racial discrimination against minorities.

“We are following the latest developments around the death of Mr. Floyd, Black Lives Matter and their human rights should be protected,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

He added that “the racial discrimination against minorities is a social ill in the United States, what happened again reflects there are serious problems that should be urgently addressed, that is the racial discrimination and violent law enforcement by police.”

Zhao said: “We hope the US government will take concrete measures to fulfil its obligations under the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination to uphold the legal rights of ethnic minorities.” 

In response to a question about claims made by US officials stating there was interference from foreign countries including China in current protests Zhao said: “The remarks by [US National Security Adviser Robert] O’Brien and other US officials are just baseless, China does not interfere in other countries domestic affairs.”

Zhao added that he hoped “US politicians can mind their own business.”

Traditionally, Beijing has portrayed racism as a Western problem. But China has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks for its treatment of Africans in the country. 

Last month, many Africans were subject to forced coronavirus testing and arbitrary 14-day self-quarantine in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, regardless of their recent travel history, and scores were left homeless after being evicted by landlords and rejected by hotels under the guise of various virus containment measures.

The incident caused a rupture in China-Africa relations, with the foreign ministries of several African nations -- and even the African Union -- demanding answers from China.

Yet China's official response stopped short of admitting that the discrimination took place -- or apologizing for it.