June 6 George Floyd protest news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan, Rob Picheta, Peter Wilkinson, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0437 GMT (1237 HKT) June 7, 2020
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9:19 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Tens of thousands of people protested in Washington, DC, today

Protestors gather along 16th Street NW near the White House on June 6.
Protestors gather along 16th Street NW near the White House on June 6. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have participated in protests across Washington, DC, on Saturday.

The protests were peaceful all day, with no clashes reported with police. No arrests were made today, said a Metropolitan DC Police spokeswoman.

The police department estimated there were at least 6,000 protesters at several locations at noon -- which was before any major events began. Several different protests scattered across the city later drew major crowds. 

Earlier in the day, a large group gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. Later, several blocks full of people marched from Capitol Hill past the National Museum of African American History, before heading towards the White House and then to other locations. 

At the same time, protests filled blocks going north from Lafayette Park, which has been the center of activity. As evening fell, crowds began to dwindle a little, but protesters still filled several blocks north of the park, which is close to the White House.

What it looks like in DC now:

People are painting the street with protest slogans such as "Defund the police," said CNN Correspondent Alex Marquadt, reporting from the scene.

"You can see this huge "Black Lives Matter" banner hanging from the fence that was installed earlier this week around the northern edge of Lafayette park. This fence now stretches all the way around, most of the way around the White House," said Marquadt.

He added that previously, often law enforcement would be on the other side of the fence during protests -- but that's not the case tonight, in a reflection of how peaceful recent protests have been.

8:59 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Sacramento police suspend the use of carotid control hold 

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The Sacramento Police Department has suspended the use of the carotid control hold, according to a tweet from the agency.

The hold is no longer authorized for use within the department and all trainings on the hold have been discontinued, the department said in a series of tweets Saturday.

The department is also revising it's use of force policy to reflect the changes, another tweet said.

8:46 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

White House wanted 10k active duty troops to quell protesters

From CNN's Barbara Starr, Lauren Fox and Sunlen Serfaty

Utah National Guard soldiers stand guard as demonstrators gather to protest near the White House on Thursday, June 4.
Utah National Guard soldiers stand guard as demonstrators gather to protest near the White House on Thursday, June 4. Alex Brandon/AP

The White House wanted to have 10,000 active duty troops on the streets of Washington and other cities earlier this week to quell protesters, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint of Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley pushed back at the idea, according to a senior defense official. 

Epser did move approximately 1,600 active duty troops to the Washington region to respond if needed, but the 5,000 National Guard troops never needed assistance. Those active troops began to leave Thursday night.

A second defense official said Milley strongly felt the threshold informally described as dire circumstances for calling in active duty troops could not be met, opening the door to whether such a potential presidential order would be legal.

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.

CBS first reported that the White House wanted 10,000 troops.

8:19 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Portland mayor directs police chief to discontinue use of gas to disperse crowds

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has directed the police chief to no longer use gas to disperse crowds "unless there is a serious and immediate threat to life safety, and there is no other viable alternative for dispersal," he said in a series of tweets Saturday.

7:21 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

DC demonstrator on why she's protesting in front of the White House: 'This where we can make noise'

From CNN's Alex Marquardt

Simone Lewis, a demonstrator in Washington, explained why protesters were in front of the White House Saturday.

This is the White House, this is where we can make noise and show that yes, we actually do want change … If it takes 10 years, I will be out here marching everyday for 10 years,” Lewis said.

Lewis added that change starts with voting.

“Please go outside, vote in your various states. Please vote, convince your friends to register to vote and all that. Please vote, it matters,” she said.

7:18 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Demonstrators say it's worth braving the coronavirus to protest George Floyd's death

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Demonstrators flood the streets of Washington on Saturday, June 6
Demonstrators flood the streets of Washington on Saturday, June 6 Alex Brandon/AP

Doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director on down have cautioned demonstrators that crowds provide a perfect opportunity for the coronavirus to spread.

But, after weeks of holing up at home under pandemic lockdown, Jazondre Gibbs was glad to finally have something she could do. She was up early Saturday morning, packing her car and driving with her mom into the center of Washington, DC, so they could set up a table loaded with bags of snacks, water, hand sanitizer and other supplies to hand out to crowds demonstrating after the death of George Floyd.

The pandemic has made us feel kind of helpless,” said Gibbs, a 23-year-old behavioral science consultant.

“We can’t really control how many tests there are and how many masks there are – those types of things,” Gibbs told CNN. “But I can control the time that I spend to put these bags together and I can control how much time I want to spend doing this. Those are things I can be in control of.”

Sarah Foster also felt the demonstrations were a chance to take action after weeks of passive inaction.

The 36-year-old engineer had walked from her home to join the demonstration.

“So this is finally something we can do, and something important that we can be part of, that we can help solve,” Foster told CNN. “Obviously, people are a little bit closer together than is the recommended six-foot distance, but I think what we are doing is so important. Everyone’s gotten used to finding a way to stay separated.”

Monica Schoch-Spana, a senior scholar of medical anthropology at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, sees the issue of George Floyd’s killing as a crisis pressing enough to bring people out despite their fears about the coronavirus.

“People have been sequestered for a long period of time. And, quite frankly, the majority of people have stuck in there with regard to physical distancing. They have now found a reason to break with that established pattern that has gone on for weeks and weeks and weeks,” Schoch-Spana told CNN.

7:12 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Scenes from Black Lives Matter protests in Berlin

From CNN's Trey Haney

Numerous people gathered on Berlin's Alexanderplatz for a "silent" demonstration against racism and police violence.

Here's what the scene looked like:





7:11 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

George Floyd's brother to testify before Congress on police accountability

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, will testify before Congress Wednesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on policing practices and law enforcement accountability, a source familiar with the situation tells CNN.

The source said it had not yet been determined whether Floyd would testify in person or virtually. House Judiciary Committee Democrats invited Floyd to speak, this person said. 

CNN has reached out to the Committee for details. 

ABC News first reported that Floyd would be appearing before Congress. 

Floyd said last week he spoke with both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, saying his talk with Trump was "brief" while Biden was talking to him "constantly."

"He didn't give me an opportunity to even speak," Floyd said of his conversation with President Trump. 

7:10 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Drew Brees' wife says 'We are the problem' in a long and emotional Instagram post

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

On Saturday, Brittany Brees, the wife of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, posted a statement on Instagram addressing the comments made by her husband about taking a knee during the national anthem.

She commented on the how the couple came to understand the true meaning behind the protests and their lack of knowledge on the issues in the black community.