June 7 George Floyd protest news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Peter Wilkinson, Fernando Alfonso III, Amir Vera and Steve George, CNN

Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) June 8, 2020
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1:41 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

A New York police officer marched with protesters tonight past curfew

In New York, crowds of protesters marched through Manhattan for hours past the 8 p.m. curfew.

The march was peaceful, and the mood was re-energized after the news earlier today that four New York Police Department officers in Brooklyn had been reassigned due to their handling of the protests.

Police took a hands-off approach tonight, allowing the marchers to continue past curfew. In one case, a police officer -- identified only as Inspector Nikas by CNN Correspondent Bill Weir on the scene -- even joined the marchers around 11 p.m.

As Nikas marched, he turned around and thanked the crowd behind him for their cooperation. In return, they shouted thanks back -- and one black protester ran to the front to shake his hand.

"Do you see all these cops around us? They are not getting us because of Sgt. Inspector Nikas," the protester shouted through a microphone to the crowd, which cheered in response.

The protester threw an arm around Nikas' shoulder, and they continued marching together as the crowd chanted: "Peaceful protest."

Watch here:

1:13 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Police and protesters in Portland are facing off

It's past 10 p.m. in Portland, Oregon, but crowds are still out on the streets protesting in several peaceful demonstrations.

But as night draws on, tensions are rising. At one demonstration, police and protesters stand on opposite sides of a fence. The police appear to be geared up, with batons and helmets; the protesters, holding signs, chant "Stand down" and "No justice, no peace, no racist police" through the fence.

One protester shouted to the police through a loudspeaker: "This is not what we came here for. We're just here to protest ... Get out."

"I don't think they hear us. I don't think they hear any of us," he said to the crowd.

Earlier today, the Portland mayor directed the police chief to stop using tear gas to disperse crowds "unless there is a serious and immediate threat to life safety, and there is no other viable alternative for dispersal."

1:41 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Protester in New York: "We do not have to let systemic racism win anymore"

From CNN’s Ganesh Setty and Sheena Jones 

A group of protesters take a knee while marching in lower Manhattan, on Saturday, June 6, in New York.
A group of protesters take a knee while marching in lower Manhattan, on Saturday, June 6, in New York. Craig Ruttle/AP

In New York, protesters were still out in big crowds even after the citywide curfew kicked in.

“Listen, we are a peaceful protest. There’s no reason that we should be arrested for being outside peacefully," one protester named Paris told CNN Correspondent Bill Weir in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

"You see no looting, you see no rioting ... The fact that they would give us a curfew at 8 p.m., they’re trying to control us. They don’t have that right to control us. If we want to speak, if we want to march, we don’t have to be silent."

Paris led some of the protesters in call-and-response chants, urging them to stay peaceful and stay close.

"United, the people will never be defeated," the crowd shouted.

"If you’re watching right now, I want you to realize wherever you are right now, you have a voice," Paris said. "You can speak up. Black lives matter. You do not have to let white supremacy rule anymore. We do not have to let systemic racism win anymore."

He also addressed the cases of police officers being suspended or charged with excessive force during the protests around the country this past week.

“That’s only happening because of us," Paris said. "If there was not this type of disturbance, that would not happen at all ... They’re listening to us because stuff like this happens in the middle of Manhattan, where thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people don’t have to stand for injustice anymore."


12:53 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

At least 11 protesters were arrested in New York's Nassau County

At least eleven protesters were arrested in Nassau County, New York, during a Black Lives Matter protest today. 

Ten adults and one juvenile were arrested for disorderly conduct, authorities said. 

This comes after the city saw five days of peaceful protest with no arrests. 

“For the demonstrators' safety, police repeatedly made attempts to keep protesters off the Meadowbrook Parkway. This safety precaution was met with strong opposition and resistance which resulted in the arrests of these subjects,” police said in a statement. 

Two police officers were also injured. Their conditions are unknown at this time. 

12:44 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Minneapolis mayor booed by protesters after refusing to defund and abolish police

From CNN's Amir Vera

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey leaves a demonstration calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to be defunded on June 6, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey leaves a demonstration calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to be defunded on June 6, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

While protests on Saturday were mostly peaceful, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was met with a chorus of boos after telling a group of demonstrators he did not support abolishing the city police department.

Multiple videos on social media show the confrontation, which took place when protesters marched to Frey's home and called for him to come out, according to CNN affiliate WCCO-TV.

Protesters asked Frey directly if he supported defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

After Frey replied that he did not, the crowd booed him as he walked away. They also chanted "Go home, Jacob, go home" and "shame," according to video posted to Twitter.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Frey said the mayor is "unwavering in his commitment to working with Chief (Medaria) Arradondo toward deep structural reforms and uprooting systemic racism. He does not support abolishing the police department."

Frey told WCCO that he supports "massive structural reform" to revise a racist system and addressing "inherent inequities."

Watch the moment here:

12:31 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Seattle police "escalated a peaceful protest" by firing flash bangs, protester said

In Seattle, police used flash bangs to clear protesters earlier tonight.

A protester captured the moment it happened. There are loud bangs at the end of the street, and smoke billows as the crowd begins to scatter. Shouts can be heard.

“The Seattle (police department) had no business igniting flash bangs because people were pushing up again their bicycle fence. They escalated a peaceful protest,” Leah Kennebeck said, posting video of the incident on Twitter. 

Police also tweeted about the confrontation.

"At about 7:30 p.m. demonstrators outside the East Precinct began moving barricades at 11th and Pine despite multiple requests from police to stop. Individuals began throwing rocks/bottles/and explosives at officers. Several officers injured due to improvised explosives," police said.

Watch it here:

12:29 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Protesters are calling to defund the police. What does this mean?

From CNN's Scottie Andrew

Demonstrators calling to defund the Minneapolis Police Department march on University Avenue on June 6, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Demonstrators calling to defund the Minneapolis Police Department march on University Avenue on June 6, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

There's a growing group of dissenters who believe Americans can survive without law enforcement as we know it. America, those dissenters believe, may even be better off without it.

The solution to police brutality and racial inequalities in policing is simple, supporters say: Just defund police.

What does this actually mean? This proposal means instead of funding a police department, a sizable chunk of a city's budget is invested in communities, especially marginalized ones where much of the policing occurs.

The movement is a spectrum: Some supporters want to reallocate some, but not all, funds away from police departments to social services. Some want to strip all police funding and dissolve departments.

Both interpretations center on reimagining what public safety looks like.

It also means dismantling the idea that police are "public stewards" meant to protect communities, since many black communities and people of color feel unprotected by police, said Philip McHarris, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Yale University and lead research and policy associate at the Community Resource Hub for Safety and Accountability.

What about implementing reforms? Police trainings and body cameras haven't brought about the change supporters want -- and often, communities don't feel safe calling the police when they face real threats of danger and violence. Growing up, McHarris instead relied on neighbors who helped him navigate these threats.

What if, he said, those people could provide the same support they showed him on a full-time basis?

So where would the funds go? Instead of the police force, city funding could go toward social services for mental health, domestic violence and homelessness, among others.

Those dollars can be used to fund schools, hospitals, housing and food in those communities, too -- "all of the things we know increase safety," McHarris said.

Read more here:

12:29 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Protesters stayed out past curfew in Buffalo, New York, where police shoved a 75-year-old man

Robert McCabe, left, and Aaron Torgalski
Robert McCabe, left, and Aaron Torgalski Erie County District Attorney's Office

It's long past curfew in the city of Buffalo, in upstate New York, and the last remaining protesters have headed home after a long day of demonstrations.

They're gathered in Niagara Square, in the city's downtown -- where police officers pushed over and injured a 75-year-old man, Martin Gugino, during protests on Thursday night.

Video of the demonstration shows a row of officers walking toward Gugino and two pushing him. His head bleeds onto the sidewalk as officers walk past him, some looking down at him.

Gugino was hospitalized with a head injury.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the incident "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful," and said on Twitter that "police officers must enforce — NOT ABUSE — the law."

Officers plea not guilty: The two officers were suspended without pay, and pleaded not guilty earlier today to charges of assault in the second degree.

Following their suspension, 57 Buffalo police officers resigned from the force's emergency response team. They did not resign from the force.

12:29 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Police in Seattle are clearing protesters with flash bangs


In Seattle, Washington, police and protesters are clashing near Capitol Hill.

Police, standing on the other side of a fence, appear to be trying to clear protesters by using flash bangs on the street. There is smoke hanging in the air.

This comes after the Seattle police chief ordered the suspension of tear gas in crowd management on Friday.