June 2 George Floyd protest news

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

Updated 0515 GMT (1315 HKT) June 3, 2020
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8:56 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Episcopal bishop calls Trump's church visit a "charade"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, is interviewed on CNN's "New Day" on June 2.
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, is interviewed on CNN's "New Day" on June 2. CNN

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC, slammed President Trump’s photo op at a church near the White House as a “charade.” 

“This was a charade that in some ways was meant to bolster a message that does nothing to calm — to calm the soul and to reassure the nation that we can recover from this moment, which is what we need from a President,” Budde said in an interview with CNN's John Berman.

About the visit: Peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed yesterday with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets, before Trump walked from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church after giving an address in the Rose Garden. Trump held up a Bible outside of the church and said “we have the greatest country in the world.”

Budde said Trump doesn’t frequent the church or any other in the diocese. 

“Let me be clear, he did not come to pray. He did not come to express remorse or consolation, he did not come to share the grief or to provide hope to the thousands of young people who were gathered in the park that day,” Budde said.

“He did nothing to say to them that your future is before you and I will protect you and do all that we can to make this country worthy of you — all the things that we need and deserve from anyone who is in leadership, spiritual or political, at this time," she added.

St. John’s sustained damage from a fire in one part of the building, but Budde said the church is structurally fine. 

“We will rebuild; buildings can be rebuilt, lives cannot be brought back from the dead,” she said. 

Watch more:

9:33 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Secret Service closes streets around the White House

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

The White House is visible behind a large security fence as a Secret Service agent stands in front of Lafayette Park in Washington on June 2.
The White House is visible behind a large security fence as a Secret Service agent stands in front of Lafayette Park in Washington on June 2. Andrew Harnik/AP

The US Secret Service has closed several streets surrounding the White House to any vehicular traffic — another sign of the increased security in the area.

Late last night CNN reported seeing 8-foot tall metal fencing being erected around Lafayette Park. They look like the almost impenetrable fencing put up during high-level security events like political conventions and inaugurations. 

Here's the traffic alert that was sent out today: 

This is an important message from the District of Columbia AlertDC system.

The United States Secret Service (USSS) reports the following roadways will be closed to vehicular traffic until further notice.

  • Constitution Avenue NW, between 15th and 17th Street
  • 17th Street NW, between Constitution Avenue and H Street 
  • 15th Street NW, between Constitution Avenue and H Street
  • H Street NW, between 15th Street and 17th Street


9:22 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Florida police officer relieved of duty after shoving a kneeling protester

From CNN's Sara Weisfeldt 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has launched an investigation and relieved a Fort Lauderdale police officer of duty after a video surfaced showing the officer shoving a kneeling protester during last weekend's protest, Police Chief Rick Maglione announced during a news conference on Monday. 

What happened: The incident occurred on Sunday as tensions rose in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The video, which was taken by a protester, shows the officer pushing a black woman who was on her knees demonstrating towards the pavement as he walks passed her. 

Other officers then push that officer away as protesters throw items in his direction.

Maglione said multiple officers had requested help in that area before the incident involving the officer took place. One officer, he said, had her car jumped on and its windows broken while she was in it.

The officer, who has been identified as officer Steven Pohorence, has been with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department since October 2016. 

8:49 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Australian prime minister calls for investigation into assault of journalists at DC protest

From CNN's Angus Watson in Sydney 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference in Canberra, Australia, on May 15.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference in Canberra, Australia, on May 15. Rohan Thomson/Getty Images

Australian journalists from CNN affiliate Channel 7 news were attacked by riot police in Washington, DC, on Monday, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ask for an investigation into the "troubling incident."

During a live morning newscast on the program Sunrise on Tuesday in Australia, riot police used their shields to clear 7NEWS US correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers from the scene. 

The video shows riot police hitting Myers and punching his camera, another officer then directs the pair, who was trapped against a wall, to move on, before appearing to smack Brace in the back with a baton. 

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said that Morrison had "contacted the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC on Tuesday instructing them to investigate the 'troubling' incident and provide further advice on registering the Australian government's concern."

Payne added in an interview with Radio National on Tuesday that "I want to get further advice on how we would go about registering Australia's strong concerns with the responsible local authorities in Washington."

Australia's Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade "reached out to Amelia and to Tim, the Channel Seven team, to check on their wellbeing through the embassy and Channel Seven here in Australia," Payne said. 

On Tuesday morning in an interview with Sunrise after the incident, Brace told the anchors that "we have regrouped, we are not too bad."

"It is actually the tear gas that gets you the most, it is very hard to continue speaking in that situation. But yeah we are a bit sore, I also managed to get a rubber bullet to the backside and Tim got one in the back of the neck. So we will have a few bruises tomorrow, but we are feeling perfectly safe," she said.

"There was no escape at that moment, we had the nat guard behind us the police coming through so quickly there was nowhere for us to go," Brace added. 

9:21 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

German foreign minister says peaceful US protests are more than legitimate

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gives a statement to the press in Berlin on May 19.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gives a statement to the press in Berlin on May 19. Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his thoughts were with those close to George Floyd whose life was lost in a “horrible and shocking way, or rather, one has to say, that it was taken from him.” 

Maas, speaking during a news conference with his Ukrainian counterpart in Berlin, said peaceful protests must always be possible, but it has to be peaceful.

He called peaceful protests in the US understandable and more than legitimate. 

Maas said he was aware of an incident regarding a crew of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and said he was getting in touch with US authorities to find out more. Maas said that journalists had to be able to work to independently report without danger to their safety.

And democratic states with rule of law have to apply the highest standards," he added.

Deutsche Welle said that a team of reporter and cameraman were shot with projectiles by Minneapolis police and were threatened with arrest.

DW reporter Stefan Simons "confirmed with 'absolute' certainty that the shot was fired by officers behind him as he was preparing to go live on air," according to a statement on the DW website.

9:27 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Just joining us? Here's what you've missed

People protest in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on June 1.
People protest in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on June 1. Sem Van Der Wal/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

Violence continues: Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as protests continued overnight. The former officer who was seen with his knee on Floyd's neck was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter as protesters demand charges for the other officers involved.

Trump threatens force: Declaring himself "your president of law and order," President Donald Trump vowed Monday to return order to American streets using the military if widespread violence isn't quelled -- even as peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets as he visited a nearby church.

Use of neck restraints: About two-thirds of the people placed in neck restraints by Minneapolis officers in the years leading to Floyd’s death were black -- despite black residents making up 19% of the population, police data shows. At least 58 people lost consciousness after the city's officers put them in neck restraints -- a procedure banned by many police departments.

Police kneel with protesters: Some officers have been pictured kneeling, praying and mourning to honor Floyd. In Atlanta, Georgia, police officers holding shields kneeled in front of demonstrators. The Denver Chief of Police linked arms with protesters, the New York City Police Chief embraced a demonstrator and a California Highway Patrol officer shook hands with a protester in LA.

Strictest curfews in decades: Curfews have been issued in 40 cities, although many have been ignored by protesters. The curfew in LA is the harshest since the riots in 1992 following the acquittal of the officer who beat Rodney King. New York City has enacted its strictest curfew since the race riots of 1943.

World joins in protests: People from London to Amsterdam to Rio have staged demonstrations in solidarity with protesters in the US. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was "horrified" by George Floyd's death. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said racism was "real in the United States but it's also in Canada." Iran’s judiciary chief, Hojjatoleslam Raeesi, blasted the US and said leaders should stand trial for "deliberate homicide and racial discrimination." A top EU diplomat said Floyd's death was an abuse of power and must be renounced.

Floyd’s family call for calm: Floyd's family support the protests but have condemned the looting and violence that has led to hundreds of arrests nationwide. His brother, Terrence Floyd, delivered a simple message for those committing violence: "He would not want y'all to be doing this."

7:49 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Iran criticizes "oppressive" US reaction to protests

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem 

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holds a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on May 28, 2019.
Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, holds a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on May 28, 2019. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

The Iranian government has criticized the reactions of the US administration and US police to the protests which have broken out following the death of George Floyd, according to governmental statements published on Iran’s state news agency IRNA. 

On Tuesday, Iran’s judiciary chief, Hojjatoleslam Raeesi, said "US leaders should stand trial before the international courts on charge of deliberate homicide and racial discrimination."

Iranian government spokesman, Abbas Mousavi held a news conference in English on Monday to "urge" the US to "stop oppression and aggressive conducts against its people and let them breathe."

To the American people: The world has heard your outcry over the state of oppression … the world is standing with you," Mousavi said, according to IRNA. 

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, posted a photo of people paying respect at a Floyd mural and an Iranian stamp showing Malcom X on Twitter, writing: "The 'knee-on-neck' technique is nothing new: Same cabal—who've admitted to habitually 'lie, cheat, steal' — have been employing it on 80M Iranians for 2 yrs (sic), calling it 'maximum pressure.'"

US officials have previously criticized Iran’s violent handling of civilian protests against the Iranian government, with US President Donald Trump repeatedly tweeting in support of Iranian demonstrators protesting against the government in 2019 and 2020. 

9:21 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Texas police chief kneels with protesters and says he hopes it was "meaningful"

From CNN affiliate KTVT

Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus takes a knee with protesters in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 2.
Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus takes a knee with protesters in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 2. KTVT

The police chief in Fort Worth, Texas, talked to protesters and took a knee with them on Monday night.

About 125 people gathered to protest George Floyd's death despite the city's curfew, according to CNN affiliate KTVT.

Officers climbed off their bikes and took a knee before Police Chief Ed Kraus and the assistant chief walked into the crowd and talked to the protesters, then got down on a knee and prayed with them.

Kraus then told his officers to leave.

"I think it’s a good step," Chief Kraus told CBS 11 afterwards. "I hope it was meaningful. I hope that they, the people here, saw our hearts.
"We saw their hearts and that they were hurting, and hopefully this will help us build a better community for all of us. We all live here together. We need to get along together."

More protests are planned this week.

7:20 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

UK government denies report into impact of Covid-19 on black and minority communities has been delayed because of US protests  

From CNN’s Sarah Dean and Max Ramsay in London

The UK government has denied British media reports that its review into how the coronavirus has affected BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities has been delayed because of the ongoing protests in the United States.

The report, analyzing how factors including ethnicity, gender and obesity can impact on people’s health outcomes from Covid-19, had been due to be published by the end of May, according to Public Health England.

It was commissioned by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty in April, amid fears that the coronavirus pandemic is "disproportionately" affecting black and ethnic minority communities.

In response to CNN questions about why the report has been delayed, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said in a statement: "Ministers received initial findings yesterday [Monday]. They are being rapidly considered and a report will be published this week."

It is not true to say this has been delayed due to global events," the spokesperson added. 

The UK's opposition leader, Keir Starmer, on Tuesday called on the government to "stop the excuses" and "publish the review," in a post on Twitter.

"BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. We need the findings of this review published and action taken now," he said.

Covid-19 has also magnified systemic inequalities in the US.

As of May 11, 17,155 black Americans were known to have died due to Covid-19, according to an analysis from the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab of 65,000 deaths for which race and ethnicity data was available.

African Americans make up about 13% of the population in those places, but 27% of Covid-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity is known, APM research shows.

Health experts and leaders have expressed concern about the impact the mass protests could have on a community that is already being hit harder by the virus.