June 11 Black Lives Matter protests

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 0441 GMT (1241 HKT) June 12, 2020
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7:56 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Seattle mayor calls Trump tweets a "threat to invade" the city

From CNN’s Andy Rose


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the city will not be accepting federal troops to move out protesters who are occupying the area in front of a downtown police station.

“The threat to invade Seattle – to divide and incite violence in our city – is not only unwelcome, it would be illegal,” Durkan said at a news conference Thursday.

President Trump tweeted earlier Thursday to Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will.”

Durkan said the overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.

“One of the things this President will never understand is that listening to the community is not a weakness,” Durkan said. “It's a strength.”

The Seattle Police Department East Precinct building was emptied after crowd control barriers in front of the building were removed. Police Chief Carmen Best said their efforts to ease tensions have not been reciprocated.

“Instead of marching, the protesters, after complaining about police barricades, established their own barricades,” Best said.

Durkan said he believed the Capitol Hill protests are not more dangerous than demonstrations that regularly occur in the community.

“I've got news for people: It's been ‘autonomous’ my whole lifetime,” said Durkan. “It is not an armed Antifa militia no-go zone.”

7:36 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Los Angeles mayor says he wants to "reimagine public safety" while still supporting it

Los Angeles, California, Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed rethinking the way governments spend money on law enforcement saying, "you can support public safety and reimagine it at the same time."

He said that while police officers need to be there to help people who are victims of violent crimes, or caught in sex trafficking or domestic violence situations, they should not be asked to deal with other problems like homelessness or mental health.

Garcetti said he supports budgeting more money for other resources.

He told CNN on Thursday that police should not have to "solve what needs investments in education, health care, and social workers rather than just always putting that on the backs of our police officers."

"Maybe there's a smarter way that's better for our police officers and the public to look at our future," he added.

Some background: After facing backlash over how Los Angeles Police Department officials treated protesters during the first week of demonstrations following George Floyd's death, city officials on Monday said they will not prosecute those arrested for curfew violations and failure to disperse.

The L.A. City Attorney's Office said it will develop new programs focused on the relationship between the community and law enforcement and plans to implement them later this summer.

Watch: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks to CNN's Erin Burnett

7:42 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Protesters in New York City shut down Holland Tunnel

From CNN's Shimon Prokupecz and Matt Friedman

Protesters in New York City shut down the Manhattan side of the Holland Tunnel today.

A protester with a megaphone addressed the crowd while police remained behind barricades nearby.

Dozens of protesters gathered at Washington Square Park earlier today.


6:25 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Lt. governor says Minnesota needs to "evaluate and re-evaluate" what is displayed at Capitol

From CNN's Raja Razek

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said removing the Christopher Columbus statue at the state Capitol is "not an eraser of history, but a reckoning with it."

"I wish we had a better process that had been followed. I wish the removal had been different, but I am not sad that it is gone," she said at a news conference. "I am not going to perform for folks. I'm not going to feign sadness. I will not shed a tear over the loss of a statue that honored someone who, by of his own admission, sold nine and ten-year-old girls into sex slavery." 

"There is no honor in the legacy of Christopher Columbus. To remove a statue or choose not to place one there in the first place is not an eraser of history, but a reckoning with it," Flanagan added.

She said the state needs to "evaluate and re-evaluate" what is displayed at the Minnesota State Capitol. All Minnesotans should feel safe and welcomed when they step into the Minnesota State Capitol, she said.

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

Protesters in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood remain peaceful

From CNN’s Dan Simon and Anna-Maja Rappard

The protest and occupation of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone by the activists, was peaceful and calm Thursday.

Seattle police officers were present in the area engaging with protesters. Some officers are inspecting the currently-shuttered precinct that is at the heart of the occupied area.

Although President Trump called the protesters “ugly anarchists” in tweets, the people on the ground dispute that characterization.

Mark Henry Jr., a protester who has been there for the last week, said he “expected Trump to say exactly that.”

“This is a peaceful protest and it has been for over a week,” Henry told CNN.

Other protesters who spoke to CNN also said the protests have been peaceful.

Although Seattle has seen many days of protests, some turned violent following the death of George Floyd, it was unclear if the protesters currently occupying the area were responsible for any violence.

5:59 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

NFL pledges $250 million over 10 years to fight systemic racism

From CNN's Jill Martin

The NFL has announced the league is pledging $250 million over 10 years to fight systemic racism.

"The NFL is growing our social justice efforts through a 10-year total $250 million fund to combat systemic racism and support the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African-Americans," the league said.

Read the rest of the statement from the league:  

"The NFL and our clubs will continue to work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement. In addition to the financial commitment, we will continue to leverage the NFL Network and all of our media properties to place an increased emphasis on raising awareness and promoting education of social justice issues to our fans and help foster unity."

5:47 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Clemson University football players plan peaceful protest this Saturday

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente and Jacob Lev

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Clemson University football players, including star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, announced on Thursday that they will be leading a peaceful protest for social justice this Saturday.

Lawrence, joined on a video call with three teammates, wide receiver Cornell Powell, running back Darien Rencher, and linebacker Mike Jones Jr., discussed why the protest – called “A March for Change” – was so important to him.

“We’ve really been working together and trying to come up with something that would be impactful. We want to do it the right way, and I think it’s important. We’re not the first ones that have used our voice to try to make a difference. That’s something that’s important to us to recognize everyone that’s come before us, that’s also made a difference," Lawrence said. “We don't want it to be something that's looked at to divide further, we want to bring everyone together. We think that's what's going to happen on Saturday.”

Rencher described how these past weeks have personally weighed on him, saying that "as a young black man, it’s been draining."

"I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so emotionally drained. Just because I feel like all your emotions are just flooded with everything going on. You look at your phone. I feel like it’s constant videos showing the evil in this world," Rencher said. "I would just say at the same time, I feel like our generation really is trying to push the ball forward and take the step of our generation. I feel like every generation has led us to this point. We’re just joining in on the fight and feel like it’s going to look different for us to take a step, and I feel like we’re doing that.”

Saturday’s event in Clemson, South Carolina, is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET and will include an eight-minute moment of silence followed by a two-mile march. The university is not sponsoring the event. 

5:29 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Trump warns against labeling Americans racist

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion about "Transition to Greatness: Restoring, Rebuilding, and Renewing," at Gateway Church Dallas, on June 11 in Dallas.
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion about "Transition to Greatness: Restoring, Rebuilding, and Renewing," at Gateway Church Dallas, on June 11 in Dallas. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump warned against blanket descriptions of Americans as racist or bigoted.

Speaking amid a national outpouring of anger over systemic racism in policing, Trump insisted that "Americans are good and virtuous people."

"We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear, but will make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots," Trump said at a roundtable in Dallas.

"We have to get everybody together, we have to be on the same path," Trump said.

In his remarks, Trump repeatedly lauded police forces and described those who used excessive force as "bad apples."

Instead of speaking about police violence against black people, Trump decried officers who are targeted in the line of duty.

"They get shot for no reason whatsoever and they are wearing blue," he said. "They get knifed."

Trump suggested his attempts at racial reconciliation would go "quickly and easily."

"We have so many different elements of strength in this country, we have such potential in this country, we have the greatest potential," he said. "But we get off-subject and we start thinking about things that don't matter, or don't matter much. The important things, we don't even discuss but we are here to discuss very important things today."

Watch more:

5:14 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Trump opens roundtable by calling for "law and order"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

US President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable with faith leaders and small business owners at Gateway Church Dallas Campus in Dallas on June 11.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable with faith leaders and small business owners at Gateway Church Dallas Campus in Dallas on June 11. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump called for “law and order" at a roundtable on justice disparities in Dallas, Texas. 

“We’ve done a lot of good things, but we have to have law and order,” Trump said to the crowd gathered inside a Dallas church. “Gotta have some strength. You have to have strength, you have to do what you have to do.”

“You look at Seattle, we just came in, you could see over the screen, Bill and I were talking about it,” Trump said, seeming to refer to Attorney General Bill Barr, who flew from DC on Air Force One with the President. “The law and order. Look at what happened in Seattle. They took over a city. A city. A big city, Seattle. A chunk of it, a big chunk. Can’t happen.”

“That can’t happen here in the state of Texas, can it? I don’t think so,” Trump said, as the crowd applauded.

He said the issue in Seattle would be “so easy to solve.” 

Some background: Protesters in Seattle have camped out and occupied the area outside Seattle police's East Precinct building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which protesters are now calling the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.