June 4 George Floyd protest news

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

Updated 0428 GMT (1228 HKT) June 5, 2020
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9:40 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

A look inside negotiations between police and protesters as Atlanta curfew begins

From CNN's Leinz Vales

As the curfew in Atlanta went into effect at 9 p.m. ET, protesters engaged with police officers over their desire to remain on the streets.

 "We can go to jail peacefully, but we will go to jail," one man told a crowd of demonstrators. "It's on you to decide each and every one of you as individuals. So you can go or you can stay."

The police officer at the scene responded, saying "that is not what we want."

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed protesters earlier Thursday, but her message to organize and honor those who died at the hands of police was drowned out by hecklers. 

CNN's Nick Valencia reported that law enforcement began advancing and dispersing the crowd of demonstrators shortly after speaking with the protesters.

Watch scenes from the protest:

9:48 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Video shows woman being body slammed by officer during protest arrest last week in Atlanta

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

A video posted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on YouTube shows Amber Jackson being body slammed by an officer who then handcuffs her during a protest near Lenox Square Mall in the Buckhead area of Atlanta on May 29.

Jackson suffered a broken clavicle as a result of the incident and is no longer able to work as a dental hygienist due to her injury, according to a press release from her attorney Mawuli Davis. 

May 29 was the first night of protests in the Atlanta area in response to the death of George Floyd. Several businesses were damaged and looted in the area.

The video taken by the AJC shows a woman, identified by her attorney as Jackson, pulls away from an officer who then grabs her from behind and body slams her down to the ground. 

CNN does not know what preceded the incident seen in the video. 

The video moves before she hits the ground and a woman can be heard screaming in the background.

The video then cuts to Jackson being lifted by her arm by an officer while handcuffed.

Davis is holding a press conference Friday with Jackson, Georgia NAACP President James Woodall, as well as other activists and human rights leaders, the press release said.

9:36 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Atlanta mayor meets with protesters who heckle and jeer

From CNN’s Sharif Paget

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms 
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms  CNN

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed protesters demonstrating for the seventh straight night in the city but her message to organize and honor those who died at the hands of police was drowned out by hecklers. 

“I want to thank all of you all who have gathered here today and who have gathered across the country to honor these men and women who have died,” Bottoms said Thursday through a megaphone near Centennial Olympic park. “Their lives matter.”

Bottoms said that the protesters "all matter to me" and that “there’s something better on the other side of this for us, and there’s something better on the other side of this for our children’s children.”

The mayor told demonstrators that the country is in the midst of a movement and people need to get together and articulate more than just their anger.

“I look forward to continuing to stand with you all,” she said. 

Bottoms asked people to vote in next week’s local elections and stressed those who have been protesting get tested for Covid-19.

Faint boos and jeers could be heard from the crowd as she walked away. 

Watch:

8:36 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Rep. John Lewis says he thought we were further "down the road to redeem the soul of America"

From CNN's Manu Raju and Sunlen Serfaty 

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., speaks during a news conference in the Capitol on the Voting Rights Advancement Act in Washington DC, on December 6, 2019.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., speaks during a news conference in the Capitol on the Voting Rights Advancement Act in Washington DC, on December 6, 2019. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

During an emotional caucus call on race today, Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, said that while we may have “thought we were further… down the road to redeem the soul of America… we will get there."

"The winds are blowing; the great change is going to come," Lewis said.

The lawmaker from Georgia's 5th congressional district also shared that in all his years of leadership in the civil rights movement, he has yet to witness a movement like what he’s seen in the last few days.

House Democrats also heard from two prominent authors, Bryan Stevenson, author of “Just Mercy” and Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility.”

Lewis reminded members to “be bold, be brave and keep your eyes on the prize.”

8:09 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Minnesota governor asks all protesters to be tested for Covid-19

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is asking everyone who has protested the death of George Floyd to be checked for coronavirus.

“Anyone who demonstrated should receive a test for Covid-19,” Walz tweeted Thursday evening.

Walz included information in his tweet from the Minnesota Department of Health on how people in that state can arrange for a test.

“If you think you’ve been exposed, get a test five days after the event,” Walz wrote. “If that test turns up negative, get tested again 14 days after the event.”

Read Walz's tweet: 

7:57 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Here are the latest developments on the George Floyd protests and memorial

It's almost 8 p.m. in New York. In case you're just joining us, here are the important headlines from today:

  • Emotional debate erupts over anti-lynching legislation: In an emotional exchange on the Senate floor, Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California spoke out Thursday against an amendment that GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was trying to add to anti-lynching legislation.
  • Bail set at $1 million for three ex-officers charged in George Floyd's death: A judge on Thursday set bail for three former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death at $1 million each, or $750,000 under certain conditions, including that they do not work in law enforcement or have any contact with Floyd's family. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao appeared in court one day after they were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
  • At his memorial, Sharpton said George Floyd changed the world: The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke near a casket carrying Floyd's body at the North Central University in Minneapolis. The event was the first in a series of memorial services honoring Floyd. It was a time for Floyd's family to mourn a man who in his 46 years of life "touched many hearts" and whose death sparked momentum toward change within days.
  • Ahmaud Arbery was hit with a truck before he died, and his killer allegedly used a racial slur, investigator testifies: The hearing lasted about seven hours, with the judge ruling all three defendants — Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and William "Roddie" Bryan — would stand trial on all charges.
  • The Floyd protests are sparking a surprising debate in black America: Protesters have captured the attention of the world over the past week. But there's a difference between getting attention and getting change. How can people translate the energy unleashed by the protests into transformative action?
8:00 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Bishop Michael Curry: Trump could have been an "example of moral" leadership with church visit

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Rev. Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, said President Trump could have been an "example of moral and spiritual leadership" if he read from the bible he held up when he visited a church that had been damaged during demonstrations.

"I really do believe that the President could have gone over to the church and open the bible and read from it where it says, blessed are the peacemakers," Curry said. "Opened it and read from it where it says, 'do unto others where you would have them do unto you.' Read from it where it says, 'you should love your neighbor as yourself.'" 

Trump received backlash Monday after he walked from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church, as peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were forcefully dispersed.

Curry added that if Trump read the bible, he could have "invited the nation to a moment of silent prayer, asking everyone to pray for God to help with us, to find our way, to come together and to heal our land."

Watch:

7:52 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Arbery family attorney says he is meeting with FBI, DOJ over possible prosecution of state officials

From CNN's Martin Savidge, Angela Barajas and Hollie Silverman

Lee Merritt, the attorney representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, said he and the family are going to meet with the FBI and Justice Department tonight after new evidence was revealed in the case during Thursday's preliminary hearing.

"Our next meeting is with the FBI and it is with the Department of Justice to speak to them about some of the additional facts that came out during this case and talk about the prosecution of Mr. George Barnhill and any other state actors who may have been involved in this cover up and the denial of this family justice for so long," Merritt said.

Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill was the second district attorney to recuse himself in this case.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Richard Dial revealed in his testimony during the preliminary hearing Thursday that Greg McMichael was in contact with his former employer, the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney's office, while still at the scene of Arbery's fatal shooting. 

7:45 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020

Trump says he has no problem with low-flying helicopters over Washington, DC

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Barbara Starr,

CNN
CNN

President Trump has said that he did not view low-flying military helicopters over Washington, DC, Monday night as a problem, despite an investigation into those actions by the District of Columbia National Guard and an inquiry requested by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

“The problem is not the very talented, low-flying helicopter pilots wanting to save our city, the problem is the arsonists, looters, criminals, and anarchists, wanting to destroy it (and our Country)!” Trump tweeted Thursday evening.

Some context: The National Guard helicopter that was seen flying low over protesters in Washington, DC, on Monday night had a “stated mission” in part to “deter” criminal activity including rioting and looting by keeping a presence overhead, a defense official who has direct knowledge of the orders the crew had. 

The official declined to be identified because the Washington, DC, National Guard is now investigating whether flights were conducted appropriately.

The Lakota UH-72 was also supposed to also deter "unlawful assembly,” provide medical evacuation from the crowd if needed and provide surveillance to command and control for force protection, the official said. 

The investigation, the official said, is focusing on how those orders resulted in the low level flights that sent debris flying and was intimidating to civilians, the official said.