June 3 George Floyd protest news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Peter Wilkinson, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 7:15 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
26 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:41 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Atlanta college students recount being tased by police: "I don't want that for anyone else. This is disgusting."

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young during an interview on CNN's "New Day" on June 3.
Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young during an interview on CNN's "New Day" on June 3. CNN

Two college students said they were traumatized after police used tasers and dragged them from a vehicle at a protest on Saturday night.

The six Atlanta police officers are being charged with using excessive force, according to officials.

The officers were filmed in downtown Atlanta breaking windows of a vehicle, yanking a woman out of the car and tasing a man. The two victims were later identified as college students at Spelman and Morehouse, both historically black schools, and were returning from protests calling for an end to police violence against black citizens.

Taniyah Pilgrim, the Spelman College student, said she thought she might be killed in that moment. “I was thinking, OK, this is the end,” she said. 

Morehouse College student Messiah Young told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that he has not yet watched the video of the incident. “I’m not trying to relive that moment at this point. It's a little too much right now, and I’d rather, you know, just recover, honestly,” he said.

“It’s probably one of the hardest moments that I've had to face in my life. I just can't even fathom what happened. At this point, I'm just so far gone, it's like I'm trying to remove myself from that situation, but it’s really hard to cope with,” Young said, growing emotional. 

Young’s wrist was broken, he got 20 stitches in his forearm and he said he felt lingering effects of being tasered. 

Pilgrim said the effects on her are “traumatizing.” 

“I haven't even processed the situation and everything that happened. … I don't want this to continue to happen and have more victims who are traumatized that can't sleep, can't eat. I don't want that for anyone else. This is disgusting. This isn't right,” Pilgrim said. 

“Once they approached the car, they literally swarmed the car. I just was shellshocked. I've seen the situation so many times, you know. We have George Floyd, we have so many people dying and it's just senseless. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, all these people are dying every day, and people are out protesting for this reason. It's still happening at these protests. We see this literally daily. And it's just not OK,” Young added.  

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

“As we've seen in the past, [there was an] attempt to assassinate the character of these young people to say there was a gun. There was never a gun,” said Young’s attorney Mawuli Davis. “… The culture in policing in America and in Atlanta must change and it must change immediately, or innocent people risk literally losing their lives.” 

Young said the incident really underscores the need for policing reform. 

“Change is really all that needs to come from this. There needs to be a total reset in policing,” he said. “…There needs to be a sense of trust and safeness and security dealing with law enforcement. We just need to see a total shift in the way things are done because at this point we're going to continue having these protests. We're going to continue losing black lives, brown lives.” 

Watch more:

9:19 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

What the protests were like last night

People demonstrate at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 2.
People demonstrate at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 2. Jim Mone/AP

Protests continued last night across the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a now-jailed former Minneapolis police officer.

Here's what it was like at the protests last night:

  • Mostly peaceful: Demonstrators peacefully gathered in cities across the US, but some tensions flared as the night pressed on. In Atlanta, a protest was calm, but after 9 p.m. ET police and National Guard began to sweep the streets to clear them. A CNN crew saw tear gas being used. And police in Charlotte, North Carolina, said they used chemical agents to disperse a crowd after "being assaulted with bottles, rocks, and chemical agents."
  • Thousands defied curfews: Unprecedented curfews were still in place in major US cities last night — but thousands of people peacefully defied them, demonstrating late into the night. Minneapolis, where Floyd died, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC, are among the cities with curfews.
  • In the nation's capital: On Monday night, people were forcibly moved from a street within view of the White House. And last night, even more protesters gathered and stayed even as the 7 p.m. ET curfew in DC passed.
8:46 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

"We need him to start being bold:" Young voters are craving inspiration from Joe Biden

From CNN's Kate Sullivan and Rachel Janfaza

Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president, speaks in Philadelphia on June 2.
Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president, speaks in Philadelphia on June 2. Matt Rourke/AP

Joe Biden struggled to win over young voters in the Democratic primary.

Now, as the 77-year-old turns his sights to the general election, many young people -- a number of whom rallied behind some of his more progressive rivals in the primary -- want to see if the presumptive Democratic nominee can give them the inspiration and bold change that they crave.

Ja'mal Green, a 24-year-old activist from Chicago, said young people want "a candidate who is going to change their lives." Green was in Minneapolis over the weekend protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody after a white officer kneeled on his neck.

"What it all boils down to is: Can Joe Biden be bold for America? We need him to start being bold," Green told CNN. "What is he going to do to about police shooting people because of the color of their skin?"

Green supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 and 2020 primaries, and pointed to criminal justice reform, "Medicare for All," the climate crisis and the elimination of student debt as key issues for young voters.

If Biden does not move to the left on these issues, Green said he and young people on the left of the political spectrum "won't support either candidate."

Biden has in recent weeks ramped up efforts to engage young voters.

Read more here:

6:24 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

China hopes the US will take "concrete" measures against racial discrimination

From Isaac Yee in Hong Kong 

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, speaks at a media briefing in Beijing on April 8.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, speaks at a media briefing in Beijing on April 8. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has again voiced its hope that the United States will take "concrete" measures against racial discrimination. 

"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 protect the legal rights of minorities," Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said Wednesday

China "always opposes racial discrimination," Zhao told a regular Ministry of Foreign Affairs press briefing.

Traditionally, Beijing has portrayed racism as a Western problem. But China itself 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 discrimination took place -- or apologizing for it.

China has also faced criticism over its treatment of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang. The United States was among 23 nations to issue a joint statement at the United Nations General Assembly last year raising concerns over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Read more:

9:19 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Here are the latest developments from tonight's protests

People raise their hands and kneel as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd, on Tuesday, June 2, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
People raise their hands and kneel as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd, on Tuesday, June 2, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Tuesday was the eighth consecutive day of protests across the United States over the death of George Floyd.

On a national level, it was comparatively calmer than the violent clashes seen over the weekend and Monday. But despite the broadly peaceful nature of the protests, a number of violent confrontations between police and protesters occurred in several major cities.

Here are some of the biggest developments overnight:

  • Military troops: The Pentagon confirmed that about 1,600 active duty troops had been moved from Fort Bragg and Fort Drum to the Washington, DC area to assist civil authorities if needed. A spokesperson said it was just a "prudent planning measure" and no active duty forces have been deployed in DC yet.
  • National Guard helicopter: The National Guard in Washington, DC, said it was investigating the actions of at least one military helicopter Monday night, which was seen doing low-level passes over crowds of protesters.
  • Washington, DC: Protests had been largely peaceful all day, but the night ended with a violent confrontation. Protesters threw fireworks and projectiles at police from the other side of a fence, and police responded with pepper spray.
  • New York protests: There were still some instances of looting on Tuesday, but nowhere near the widespread level seen on Monday night. There was a scuffle in Chelsea, where some protesters were arrested and detained. A large group of protesters tried to cross the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan, but were stopped by police; after a tense standoff, protesters were allowed to leave the bridge and go back to Brooklyn.
  • Los Angeles: A crowd of protesters stayed outside the mayor's residence, even hours after curfew kicked in. Police eventually arrived to arrest protesters and bus them away for further processing, but the entire event was peaceful and calm, without much conflict between the two groups. The LAPD said it arrested "hundreds" of protesters.
  • Seattle unrest: Hundreds of protesters in Seattle stood in front of a police cordon Tuesday night, with dozens near the front holding umbrellas to shield themselves from crowd control chemicals such as pepper spray. Earlier that night, the mayor extended the evening curfew through June 6.
9:20 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Pope calls death of George Floyd "tragic" and says racism is a sin

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Pentecost in Vatican City, Italy, on May 31.
Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Pentecost in Vatican City, Italy, on May 31. Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

Pope Francis spoke out on Wednesday morning in the Vatican about the "tragic" death of George Floyd.

Speaking at his weekly Angelus prayer, the Pope said, “Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd."
“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost."

Francis added that he is praying for the “repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.”

4:15 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

The US could see a second wave of Covid-19 infections because of the protests

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during an event at the White House in Washington DC, on May 26.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during an event at the White House in Washington DC, on May 26. Win McNamee/Getty Images

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned the nation to expect new outbreaks of coronavirus resulting from the George Floyd protests that have seen thousands of people gather in close proximity.

"I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism (and) people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities," Adams told Politico in an interview published Monday.
"Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward," he added.

The US hasn't even contained its current outbreak, let alone prepare for a second wave. The nation is still seeing about 20,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day.

Some states are doing better than others -- but the entire West Coast is still seeing its infection rate tick upward, as well as South Carolina, which was one of the first states to start reopening.

9:20 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Demonstrators defied curfews but there were fewer clashes and less chaos on Tuesday night

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Peaceful demonstrators defied curfews Tuesday night and remained on the streets of major US cities for the eighth night of protests over George Floyd's death -- but there was less violence and fewer police clashes.

Unprecedented curfews are in place in Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City, Cleveland, and several California cities to dissuade gatherings after a weekend of sometimes violent confrontations and looting.

But that didn't stop thousands of people from showing up to call for justice following the death of George Floyd, who died last week after he was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds.

In Philadelphia on Tuesday, protests culminated in a nine-minute "moment" of silence.

In Los Angeles, a group of protesters knelt with their hands up in peace signs outside the home of Mayor Eric Garcetti as they waited to be arrested.

In Atlanta, where days ago a police car was lit on fire, a large crowd marched peacefully through the same streets.

And in New York City, after widespread looting and property damage on Monday night, protests on Tuesday looked completely different, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. People marched through Manhattan, with some store owners, residents and supporters lining the sides of the streets and cheering on demonstrators.

There were some confrontations: Police and protesters did clash in some cities, including Washington, DC and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Read more here:

3:04 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Outraged Facebook staff were unconvinced by Mark Zuckerberg's explanation for inaction

Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15.
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing rare public outrage from within his own company over inaction on incendiary remarks recently posted by President Donald Trump.

During a company-wide town hall, Zuckerberg struggled to explain his decision-making process as many of his employees, using a real-time feedback tool, reminded him of promises to remove content that calls for violence or that could lead to imminent physical harm.

"It's crystal clear today that leadership refuses to stand with us," Brandon Dail, an engineer at Facebook, tweeted as the town hall was taking place.

Another Facebook employee told CNN Business they found Zuckerberg's answers to staff questions at the town hall lacking, and said the CEO risked alienating more of his staff rather than addressing their concerns.

Virtual walkout: Tuesday's event follows days of employee activism. On Monday, some staffers staged a virtual walkout in protest.

At least one worker, software engineer Timothy Aveni, has quit his job, saying it is no longer feasible to "keep excusing Facebook's behavior."

Contrast with Twitter: Facebook's silence on Trump's tweets -- which claimed Thursday that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" -- stands in stark contrast to Twitter, which marked Trump's tweet as violating the platform's rules on "glorifying violence."

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg said that though Trump's tweet provoked in him a "visceral negative reaction," he felt Facebook was dedicated to "free expression."

Read more here: