State autopsy shows George Floyd tested positive for coronavirus
From CNN’s Andy Rose
George Floyd tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a test taken after his death, according to Hennepin County’s new autopsy report released earlier today.
The post-mortem nasal swab was found to be “positive for 2019-nCoV RNA,” said the report, using another term for the type of coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker said the type of test performed for the autopsy, called PCR, can show a positive result “for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease.”
As a result, Baker said, “the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection” -- meaning the virus played no known role in Floyd’s death and he was unlikely to have been contagious.
11:19 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
New York police have arrested at least 90 people tonight
From CNN's Mark Morales
At least 90 people were arrested in New York during tonight's protests, according to the New York police.
NYPD Chief of Department Terrance Monahan said the night had been relatively peaceful with no looting. He also highlighted the difference between peaceful protests and the ones causing violence.
“We are one with the protestors,” Monahan said. “We are out there for a justified cause but not with the people who want to cause mayhem to our city.”
It's a far lower number than Tuesday night, when at least 280 people were arrested, according to the police.
11:06 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
NYPD Commissioner: "This is about a systematic issue, it's about racism"
Speaking to CNN on Wednesday night, New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea praised peaceful protesters and said he was "sickened" by the video of George Floyd's death.
"We've had incredible crowds the last few days, and by far, overwhelmingly, it's people coming out, voicing their concern," he said. "It's very small groups (doing) vandalism, violence, things of that sort."
He added that police officers were "trying to have a softer touch as possible, hear people, see people. We continue to reinforce that we respect the rights of people to peacefully assemble."
The situation in New York: There are still thousands of people on the streets, he said -- primarily in Manhattan and Brooklyn, despite it being past the curfew time of 8 p.m. There is also some activity on the outer boroughs, and many groups are on the move and marching.
There have been some arrests, but far less than the past few days, he said. There were no incidents of looting reported tonight yet, but he cautioned that "the night is still young, it's a fluid situation."
On police excessive force: When asked about several incidents in the past week of NYPD officers seen using excessive force during the protests, Shea said every case was being investigated by the police internal affairs office.
"This is about a systematic issue. It's about racism, it's about opportunities. And I think that on the law enforcement side, we are well aware of this on the executive side and in leadership positions," he said.
He also referenced the video that captured George Floyd's last moments, saying it "sickened me, it turned my stomach ... It was just a disregard for human life."
"Anyone that looks at that video, and isn't knocked off your feet, I don't know that you have a conscience," he said.
He added that he had already been working to create changes in policy and procedures, and that a wider societal change was needed.
"We really have to do a little more and change the culture ... If this doesn't show us that we have to do better as a society, this is the time to come together."
10:40 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
Atlanta is relatively calm tonight after a week of unrest
In Atlanta, Georgia, tensions seemed to ease tonight as the 9 p.m. curfew came and went, according to CNN reporters on the ground downtown.
“Our message is getting out to protesters,” Lieutenant Kevin Knapp of the Atlanta Police Department told reporters. "We made strides today."
Knapp said that “99.9%” have been peacefully protesting, which police support, and that “it’s the 1% that show up later in the day (that) ruin the message.”
“We understand that there needs to be a change in the system,” he added. “But the other side has to understand us as well.”
Atlanta police face charges: Earlier today, six Atlanta police officers were booked after charges were filed against them related to a tasing incident on Saturday night.
The officers were filmed in downtown Atlanta breaking windows of a vehicle, yanking a woman out of the car and tasing a man. Both were later identified as students from Spelman College and Morehouse College.
10:42 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
Protestors in Brooklyn clash with police, several taken into custody
In New York City, protestors and police clashed on Wednesday night, with several were taken into custody and at least one police officer injured.
The scuffles broke out in downtown Brooklyn, where several hundred protesters were marching to Cadman Plaza, where the Brooklyn Courthouse is located.
They reached a stand-off with police, who stopped them from advancing any further. Some protesters began to turn around -- but "unfortunately what happened is, you saw a small group of them break off, surround a police car, and that's when officers were called in for backup and the situation turned ugly," said CNN Correspondent Jason Carroll, reporting from the scene. He added that "dozens of people" were seen being arrested.
Police tactics: Police in New York have taken more of a back seat in the past two days, marking a shift in tactics since the weekend protests, said Carroll. For instance, they allowed most demonstrators to continue marching past curfew, which went into effect at 8 p.m. local time.
"It was once (protesters) got to that one point at Cadman plaza, this is where police said, 'We're drawing the line.'"
10:22 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
Peaceful protesters are still out in Washington, DC, as curfew approaches
In Washington, DC, large numbers of protesters are still on the streets even as the evening curfew approaches.
Crowds are lingering near Lafayette Park, though they have been pushed farther back from the White House than previous days, said CNN Correspondent Alex Marquadt on the scene.
Protests have been peaceful all day, he said -- earlier today, crowds were singing and cheering together, and the mood was light. But as night falls, "the mood is changing," Marquadt said.
Though things are still peaceful, there is a sense of tension with protesters facing a line of troops in camouflage.
"We're trying to determine whether they are active duty or National Guard," Marquadt said. "We know that around 2,000 to 3,000 National Guard (members) have been called up. Not just from D.C., but around the country. There are 250 soldiers who have been sent up here from Fort Drum and Fort Brag in North Carolina."
9:04 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
Final autopsy report on George Floyd finds death due to cardiopulmonary arrest
From CNN’s Andy Rose
George Floyd��s death was due cardiopulmonary arrest – or the stopping of his heart – according to the final autopsy results released by the Hennepin County medical examiner.
The report from Dr. Andrew Baker says Floyd’s neck was compressed when former officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was on it for more than eight minutes, but does not conclude that it was the direct cause of his death.
The new report does indicate that Floyd had a number of bruises and cuts on his head, face, mouth, shoulders, arms and legs. But it found no evidence that any of those injuries directly would have killed him.
An independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family disagreed with the conclusion of the county, saying that Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”
The autopsy says Floyd had heart disease and a history of high blood pressure. A preliminary toxicology report found moderate levels of fentanyl and methamphetamine. The family’s independent autopsy did not include a toxicology report.
The county autopsy also indicates that Floyd had recently tested positive for coronavirus, although there is no indication that it was a factor in his death.
7:15 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Scenes from peaceful protests around the US
Peaceful protesters took to the streets around the US today to demand justice for George Floyd and other black Americans who have recently died following police violence.
Protesters cheered Wednesday by news that four Minneapolis officers are now charged in Floyd's death.
Earlier in the day, three former Minneapolis police officers on the scene when Floyd was killed were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today.
Ellison said he's upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin, the officer who had his knee pressed into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, from third- to second-degree murder.
Here's what the protests look like around the US:
St. Charles, Missouri
This post has been updated with more details about the protests.
8:10 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020
Virginia governor to announce plans to remove Lee monument in Richmond
From CNN's Ryan Nobles
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam will announce plans to remove the controversial Robert E. Lee Monument from Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue during a press event in Richmond tomorrow, a source told CNN.
Lee was a confederate soldier in the American Civil War.
CNN reported on Monday that police had deployed tear gas against peaceful protesters near the monument.
Police warned protesters that they were placing themselves and others “in grave jeopardy” by attempting to pull down statues on Monument Avenue.
“They are extremely heavy and would crush anyone standing too close. Please be aware of the danger. Stand down!” the Richmond Police Department (RPD) tweeted.