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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11:41 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Rep. John Lewis visits Black Lives Matter Plaza with Washington, DC, mayor

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

from Twitter/MayorBowser
from Twitter/MayorBowser

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser appeared on Black Lives Matter Plaza today with civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.

"We’ve walked this path before, and will continue marching on, hand in hand, elevating our voices, until justice and peace prevail," Bowser tweeted.

In an interview on Fox News this morning, Bowser said the Black Lives Matter mural she had commissioned on what has been known as 16th St NW, just blocks from the White House, has become “a centering point, a place for healing strategizing and talking.”

“It is also a place of redress," she said on Fox. “[I]t is a right in America where citizens from all over the country come to their nation’s capital to deliver grievances at the footstep of the people’s house.”

See Bowser's tweet:

11:33 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

New York City lifts curfew, effective immediately

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday morning that the city’s curfew is being lifted, effective immediately.

“New York City: We are lifting the curfew, effective immediately. Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city. Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart. Keep staying safe. Keep looking out for each other,” de Blasio said.

New York City’s curfew was previously set for 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night until June 7. 

11:56 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Reverend of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Church slams Trump’s Bible photo-op

From CNN’s Sharif Paget

Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, delivered a sermon on Sunday where he criticized President Trump’s use of force to clear out peaceful protesters on Monday in order to take a photo with a Bible in front of St John's Episcopal Church.

“The Bible is not a prop, and the church is not a stage for reality TV,” Warnock said. “Don’t play with God, I don’t care who you are, don’t play with God.”

Warnock also said he stands with the people protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and said too often the United States fails to uphold justice for everyone in the country.  

“The knee of our system is sitting on too many people’s necks,” Warnock said. “We are protesting because too often Lady Justice seems to peak from behind her blindfolds.”

“That’s why we’re crying out,” he said.

11:30 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

NYC mayor says 2 NYPD officers are suspended without pay, further disciplinary action to come

From CNN’s Laura Ly and Anna Sturla

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during an ongoing news conference Sunday that two NYPD officers have been suspended without pay for their bad actions in policing protesters.

De Blasio said one of the officers is accused of shoving a woman to the ground in Brooklyn last Friday, and another is accused of pulling down a protester’s face covering and spraying them with paper spray, also last Friday. 

Both officers also face further disciplinary action, de Blasio said.

An NYPD supervisor who was in charge of the officer who shoved the female protester to the ground has been reassigned and more reviews are being done, de Blasio said.

11:26 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Protesters flock to London streets in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement

From CNN’s Max Foster, Duarte Mendonca and Anil Abeykoon in London

A protester stands in front of the US embassy in London on June 7.
A protester stands in front of the US embassy in London on June 7. Frank Augstein/AP

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of London on Sunday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, gathering outside the US embassy in a show of solidarity with George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis in May.

Protesters marching in the capital joined together on Sunday chanting “black lives matter,” with many carrying placards and posters conveying the same message; one protester standing outside the US embassy held a sign which read: “black lives trump your ego, Mr. President.”

In a symbolic tribute to Floyd, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, demonstrators stood in silence for eight minutes while kneeling.

Others were also seen staging a "die-in" demonstration beside police officers who stood lined outside the embassy building.

“Together, we will let our voices be heard. Enough is Enough. Black people cannot keep suffering,” one protester addressed the crowd.

Meanwhile: Similar demonstrations are taking place across other parts of the UK; in Bristol, video broadcast on UK media shows protesters pulling down a statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader.

While the UK government has urged citizens not to demonstrate over fears that the protest could lead to the further spread of coronavirus, the protest has seen a significant turnout.

Little social distancing has been observed – owing to the high turnout – but many protesters are wearing masks or face coverings, while organizers say volunteers in high-visibility jackets will be handing out masks and water to demonstrators.

11:14 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Acting Homeland Security secretary defends federal law enforcement action against protesters

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on May 19
Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on May 19 Alex Wong/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf Sunday defended federal law enforcement actions last week used to clear demonstrators who had gathered near the White House in peaceful protests. 

“I think we took the right action,” Wolf told Fox News, adding the number of violent protests and rioting diminished during the week. He said federal officials deserve credit because of the early action taken by the administration. “It’s not by happenstance. It’s not by chance. It’s because we took early action.”

Wolf went on to say that had the Trump administration not increased the presence of the federal authorities in the DC area, the rioting and looting would have continued and there would be a “vast majority of more violent protesting today, churches being burned.”

When asked if having active duty military members on standby in DC was “overkill,” Wolf responded, “We were taking measurable progress,” when that “violent protesting and the looting and rioting were out of control.”

He added although he does not see active military being used at this point, “taking options off the table, I don’t think is the right play.”

Wolf vowed that action will be taken against “violent protesters infiltrating and hijacking the peaceful protesters.”

He specifically mentioned Antifa, the anti-fascist movement which Trump said last week the government would be declaring a terrorist organization, as well as anarchists and violent opportunists. He said although there may not have been a large number of arrests by federal agencies yet the Department of Justice and the FBI and others are investigating. Wolf said the arrests “may not be here today, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not working on it, that doesn’t mean that you wont see action on it.”

Some other background: In a separate interview on ABC, Wolf said of George Floyd’s death, “the outrage that Americans are feeling today about the death of George Floyd is very real. It’s very legitimate and we need to address that.”


10:20 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Fairfax County police officer faces assault and battery charges over tasing and arrest of black man

From CNN’s Alta Spells


Fairfax County police officer Tyler Timberlake faces three different charges of assault and battery over an incident involving the tasing and arrest of a black man.  

Body camera footage released by the department shows the officer violating use of force policies, authorities said Saturday.

Timberlake, an eight-year-veteran of the force, faces up to 36 months in prison, Steve T. Descano, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney, said.

The unidentified victim in the video was treated at a local hospital and released, Fairfax County Chief of Police Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said, adding that he personally reached out to the victim and his mother to “express [his] disgust with [his] officer’s unacceptable criminal actions and assured her justice will be served.”

Roessler said Timberlake was relieved of his duty and law enforcement authority in accordance with Fairfax County personnel regulations. The other officers on the scene have also all been relieved of duty pending the outcomes of both the criminal and administrative investigations, according to Roessler.

CNN’s attempts to reach Timberlake were not immediately successful.

Descano called the body camera video “unsettling. “I want our community to know that we are pursuing charges that are aligned with current law, and supported by the evidence which with, with which we have been presented,” he said.

The body camera video was released by Chief Roessler, who said the video shows Officer Timberlake committing “criminal acts, which violate our oath of office, and they ignore the sanctity of human life. The video also erodes the public's trust of police officers, not only in Fairfax County, but throughout this world.”

Roessler also said that in addition to the criminal investigation, he has launched an administrative investigation and the officer’s use of force will be subjected to independent review by the Fairfax County police auditor.


9:47 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Colin Powell says Trump has not been "an effective president" and should not be reelected


Colin Powell, former US secretary of state, said he does not believe President Donald Trump should be reelected because "he lies all the time."

Powell's comments were made after protesters lined the streets near the White House Saturday to protest against Trump's response to the death of George Floyd and other black Americans.

"I think he has been not an effective president. He lies all the time. He began lying the day of the inauguration when we got into an argument about the size of the crowd that was there. People are writing books about his favorite thing of lying. And I don't think that's in our interest," Powell said.


9:21 a.m. ET, June 7, 2020

Colin Powell discusses how he responded to the Rodney King riots


Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed the role he played in addressing the 1992 Rodney King riots in California.

The riots were triggered after an acquittal of four L.A. police officers in the brutal beating of suspect Rodney King a year earlier. The turbulence that led to more than 50 deaths and $1 billion in property damage all began with a traffic violation.

Powell revisited the conversation he had with President George H.W. Bush and the actions taken to help calm the country at the time. 

"[W]e had to bring law and order back into the streets, and we work with the state of California where it happened in Los Angeles, the riots, and President called me and said, 'we may have to do something,' I said, Mr. President, 'go to the governor, governor has a National Guard, and the National Guard can't do it, then you come back to me with a decision and we will send in federal troops.' And we did," Powell told CNN Sunday morning. "And we brought things under control rather quickly. The President always followed the law, followed the Constitution, worked with the community, and we brought stability finally. It was a bad scene, but we got over it rather quickly."