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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2:15 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

There are thousands of protesters in Washington, DC, right now, police say

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Demonstrators protest on 16th Street near the White House in Washington on Saturday, June 6.
Demonstrators protest on 16th Street near the White House in Washington on Saturday, June 6. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Police are estimating that there are about 6,000 protesters in Washington, DC, according to the DC Police Traffic, a division of the Metropolitan Police Department.

At 12 p.m. ET, there were approximately 3,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial and another 3,000 at 16th and I St, NW, near the White House, DC Police Traffic said.

CNN staff on the ground in DC note there are protesters gathering at other locations as well, including Capitol Hill.

Read the tweet from DC Police Traffic:

1:23 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

District attorney: Buffalo police didn't have to crack protester's head

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso

WIVB
WIVB

When asked how officers should have responded to the 75-year-old protester in Buffalo, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said "you don't crack a skull on the concrete."  

Flynn was asked what police officers should have done if the man was not listening to officers, to which he responded, "what you do is that you grab him" and "turn him around" and arrest him if he's doing something illegal. 

"You don't take a baton and shove, along with the officer next to him," and knock him down and "crack his head," Flynn said. 

Flynn said he highly doubts "shoving a 75-year-old man" is part of any training. But "if what you've been trained to do is unlawful, that's not an excuse" and police should "reevaluate their training."  

1:07 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

There will be no curfew in Atlanta on Saturday, mayor's office says

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

Atlanta is not enforcing a curfew on Saturday, the first time in a week, according to the office of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. 

Officials said they will monitor the situation into Sunday morning.

The curfew in the city yesterday was 8 p.m. ET.

The city is also offering free Covid-19 testing for protesters and community on Saturday, according to a tweet. Tests will be administered at Chosewood Arts Complex from 10 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET.

Read the announcement:

1:13 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Buffalo police officers allegedly involved in pushing incident identified

From CNN's Laura Ly

Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski
Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski Erie County District Attorney’s Office

The Erie County District Attorney has announced that 39-year-old Aaron Torgalski and 32-year-old Robert McCabe were the Buffalo police officers who were arraigned Saturday morning, each on one count of assault in the second degree.

Prosecutors claim that at approximately 8 p.m. on June 4, Torgalski and McCabe allegedly pushed 75-year-old protester Martin Gugino outside City Hall, causing him to fall and hit his head on the sidewalk.

“The 75-year-old male victim was taken to ECMC to be treated for a head injury, loss of consciousness, and bleeding from the right ear. He remains hospitalized in critical condition,” the Erie County District Attorney said in a news release.

If convicted on the charge, the maximum possible sentence is seven years in prison, the district attorney said.

1:11 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

District attorney waited to charge Buffalo officers after emergency response team resigned 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

WIVB
WIVB

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says he was prepared to charge both Buffalo New York Police officers yesterday, but he was concerned after 57 officers resigned from the emergency unit. 

"I could have done this yesterday," Flynn said at a news conference following the arraignment on Saturday.  "I found out that the entire emergency response team of the Buffalo Police Department had quit and they weren't going to come out last night to protect the city of Buffalo."

Flynn said he "didn't want to pour gasoline on the fire."

He said he was "concerned about the safety of the city" and "about the safety of the officers last night."

Both officer pleaded not guilty to one count of assault in the second degree and have been released without bail. 

WATCH:

1:18 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

New York governor outlines criminal reform legislative agenda

Gov. Cuomo's Office
Gov. Cuomo's Office

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a legislative agenda centered around criminal justice reform.

Cuomo said at his daily news briefing on Saturday that "New York is going to lead the way" in change and hopes to set an example for the rest of the country.

He said he will work with the state legislature to pass items on the "Say Their Name" reform agenda when it convenes next week.

Here are the four main points:

  • Allow for transparency of prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers
  • Ban chokeholds by law enforcement officers
  • Prohibiting false race-based 911 reports and making them a crime
  • Designating the attorney general as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement

"New York, we're about doing. We're about action. We're about results," Cuomo said.

WATCH GOV. CUOMO:

11:41 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

More than 43,300 National Guard members are responding to protests across the country

From CNN's Ryan Browne

There are now more than 43,300 National Guard members responding to protests around the US following George Floyd's death.

The National Guard tweeted updated figures on Saturday, saying 1,800 additional members are now engaged.

“Today, more than 43,300 National Guard members in 34 states and D.C. are assisting law enforcement authorities with ongoing civil unrest, while more than 37,000 Guard Soldiers and Airmen continue to support the Covid-19 response,” the tweet said.

Read the tweet:

1:20 p.m. ET, June 6, 2020

2 Buffalo officers plead not guilty to assault charge and are released without bail

From CNN's Laura Ly and Kelly Christ

@MikeDesmondWBFO/Twitter
@MikeDesmondWBFO/Twitter

Two Buffalo, New York, police officers were arraigned via video conference Saturday morning before Judge Craig Hannah.

Both pleaded not guilty to one count of assault in the second degree and have been released without bail. 

Both officers appeared on the videoconference with the same attorney. They will appear for another court appearance on July 20 at 9:30 a.m.

Some background: Video of a peaceful protest on Thursday in Buffalo shows a row of officers walking toward an elderly man. Two officers appear to push him. The officers were suspended.

WATCH:

11:07 a.m. ET, June 6, 2020

Roughly 20,000 people attended racial injustice protests in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday

From CNN's Angus Watson

Protesters gather in Sydney on June 6.
Protesters gather in Sydney on June 6. Rick Rycroft/AP

Approximately 20,000 people attended racial justice protests in Sydney, Australia, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on Saturday, New South Wales (NSW) police said in a statement. 

Three people were arrested but overall, the protests “remained peaceful,” police said.

NSW police and officials had sought to ban today's demonstrations, citing the social distancing rules in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some context: On Friday night, a Supreme Court injunction blocked the protests that were planned, but by Saturday morning, however, the New South Wales Court of Appeals had overturned that ruling.

“There were some concerns raised by officers on the ground around physical distancing, and while some people were spoken to, no formal police action was required,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said.