Peaceful Protesters Defy Curfews as Violence Ebbs – The New York Times

Peaceful Protesters Defy Curfews as Violence Ebbs – The New York Times

President Trump faced a barrage of criticism from rivals, allies and clergy after calling for military intervention against protesters.

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Peaceful protesters defied curfews but clashes with the police appeared to slow.

Protesters returned to the streets on Tuesday from California to Pennsylvania, while the nation’s capital sizzled with tension a day after a highly criticized episode outside the White House in which law enforcement officers used tear gas on peaceful protesters in order to clear a path for President Trump.

The public spectacle on Monday and the arrival of dozens of military vehicles on Washington’s streets on Tuesday seemed to underscore the president’s latest threat — to use the military to crack down on violence and looting — as it emerged that it was Attorney General William P. Barr who ordered officers to clear Lafayette Park on Monday in time for Mr. Trump to walk to a historic church and have his picture taken there.

On Tuesday night, more than 1,000 protesters remained near the park after a 7 p.m. curfew, facing police officers across a tall chain-link fence erected overnight.

“You’re in the cage now!” one protester yelled. Another said, “Our tax dollars at work.”

But the crowd remained peaceful in a mood that appeared to be taking hold in other cities, too. When a few demonstrators began to rock the fence, they were quickly stopped. “Use your words,” two women yelled. “Don’t do that.”

The tensions earlier in the day in Washington reflected a nation on edge, ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, skyrocketing unemployment and now a public reckoning with systematic racism and police brutality.

Daily protests have spread to at least 140 cities, in a sprawling expression of anger and frustration after the killing in Minneapolis last week of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black security guard, who died after his neck was pinned under a white police officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes. The officer has been charged with murder.

Though planned protests have largely been peaceful, the national unrest has also come with escalating tensions, including attacks on law enforcement, injuries and deaths of protesters and others on the streets, and widespread looting and destruction. Police officers in several cities have been fired or disciplined for using excessive force.

Officials across the country remained on guard Tuesday for another night of chaos. Here is the latest from around the country.

Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
  • Philadelphia: Hundreds of protesters gathered outside City Hall by Tuesday afternoon, after a night of explosive tension. Mayor Jim Kenney defended a decision to use tear gas on protesters Monday but condemned a group of largely white men who had been seen patrolling the largely white neighborhood of Fishtown holding baseball bats. “Armed vigilantism will not be tolerated moving forward,” he said. However, no arrest has been made after the owner of a South Philadelphia gun shop opened fire early Tuesday morning on four men who smashed through the front door of his business, killing one of the men.

  • Atlanta: Police and military personnel used tear gas to disperse a large crowd gathered near Centennial Olympic Park shortly after the city’s 9 p.m. curfew, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The crowd broke up soon after the confrontation.

  • New York: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that an 8 p.m. curfew would be imposed all week after a night of looting in Manhattan. He acknowledged that the previous 11 p.m. curfew had failed to quell the violence that marred the peaceful protests of previous days. After an hourlong standoff between the police and demonstrators at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge, the protesters were eventually allowed to cross back to Brooklyn.

Demonstrators gathered on Monday at the site in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

  • Demonstrators gathered on Monday at the site in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

    Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

The Times has reporters on the ground. Here’s what they are seeing.

Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

Tim Arango

Los Angeles

They tried to keep the gathering as secret as possible. No announcements, no social media. Don’t talk to strangers, don’t talk to the press; police spies could be anywhere.

“I guarantee you there are agents in your midst,” said Melina Abdullah, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and a Black Lives Matter leader.

About 200 protesters were called to a small park in Koreatown on Tuesday afternoon by the leaders of Black Lives Matter L.A. The plan: Walk the 15 minutes to Getty House, the official residence of Mayor Eric Garcetti, and then fire up social media.

“When you get there, livestream away,” Ms. Abdullah said.

The demonstration outside the gates of the mayor’s mansion quickly swelled to hundreds as word spread around the city, and protesters waving placards streamed down some of the city’s fanciest residential streets, past mansions and manicured lawns.

The location was chosen to highlight the group’s demand that the mayor reduce the police budget. The mayor himself was at City Hall, preparing to give his daily news conference.

As the 6 p.m. curfew approached, some protesters started leaving, but many stayed behind, vowing to hold the streets — “Our streets!” they chanted.

Karen Weise


A crowd of more than a thousand people marched to the city’s emergency operations center, demanding to speak with Mayor Jenny Durkan. After some of the group’s leaders were invited inside, Ms. Durkan stood on the building’s steps and addressed protesters for the first time since demonstrations erupted in the city last week.

The mayor agreed to work with protesters to reform the Police Department, which is under a federal consent decree. When pressed for a specific timeline, Ms. Durkan responded, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

They agreed to meet at 3 p.m.

The protest leaders asked people to submit their ideas for change to a new Gmail account they had established, yelling out the address letter by letter through a loudspeaker.

Ms. Durkan, gripping a blue medical mask in her hand, stopped short of agreeing that police officers would not use tear gas again Tuesday evening, as the department had the previous night. “I am not going to stand up and make a promise I am not going to keep,” she said.

After Ms. Durkan left, the protesters began marching through downtown, stopping at one point to take a knee. The group split at an intersection, with marchers shouting above the noise of chanting and helicopters, debating whether to join another group of demonstrators near where the police used tear gas on Monday evening.

Alejandra Rosa

San Juan, P.R.

Police officers used pepper spray on Tuesday in Puerto Rico as more than 200 protesters wearing gas masks broke a 7 p.m. curfew. The protest, organized by Colectiva Feminista, demanded a stop to racism and police brutality in the island.

“Where are the anti-racist people? We are here,” hundreds chanted on the cobblestone streets. “And we are not afraid.”

Protesters blamed local officials for black lives lost.

“Don’t tell us you don’t see racism here,” Gloriann Sacha Antonetty, 39, said. “Because we don’t only see it. We feel it in our skin.”

Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday afternoon, less than two hours before Washington’s 7 p.m. curfew went into effect, U.S. troops positioned military vehicles across the city.

The crowd of protesters in Lafayette Square was at least twice the size from the day prior and swelling.

Following the arrival of the troops and the use of helicopters to suppress protesters on Monday night — a tactic fitting for battles with insurgents but now applied to American citizens — some in the crowd whispered that more soldiers were on the way.

Alec, a 32-year-old protester who spent two deployments in Afghanistan, said he had seen things over the past two days that he never expected to see in his own country.

“There are real problems here,” Alec said, declining to give his last name because he works for the government, “and no amount of uniforms or soldiers are going to fix them.”

“They’re only going to get worse,” he said.

Trump faces a barrage of criticism over militarization calls and religious site visits.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump this week responded to the unrest roiling the nation by visiting two religious sites and calling for more military intervention. On Tuesday, both moves were greeted with criticism from many of his rivals, as well as some of his sometime allies.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the likely Democratic nominee for president, said during a speech in Philadelphia that the nation was “crying out for leadership.” And Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, wielding her own Bible and quoting from the Book of Ecclesiastes, criticized Mr. Trump for being a “fanner of the flame” of division.

Two Republican senators, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Tim Scott of South Carolina, and some moderate Democrats in conservative-leaning districts joined in the criticism. Representative Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, a former C.I.A. officer, called his response the type of action “undertaken by authoritarian regimes throughout the world.”

Mr. Trump was also criticized by Christian leaders after visiting two religious sites in Washington — on Monday he posed holding a Bible outside St. John’s Church, and on Tuesday he and his wife spent about 10 minutes inside the St. John Paul II National Shrine.

“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we might disagree,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington wrote in a statement.

And the Rev. Gini Gerbasi, an Episcopal priest who had been on the patio of St. John’s when nearby protesters were sprayed with tear gas, said in an interview, “They took what literally had been holy ground that day and turned it into a literal battleground.”

In the nation’s capital, federal agents under the attorney general now have Army troops and equipment in reserve.

The police fired tear gas canisters and flash grenades on Monday to clear out protesters so President Trump could visit St. John’s Church, which was damaged by a fire the night before.Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Following President Trump’s vow on Monday to “dominate” demonstrators, the federal government has mobilized its law enforcement agencies across the country, from border agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration to F.B.I. hostage rescue teams, working alongside local law enforcement, the military police and the National Guard.

Nowhere is the show of force as strong as in Washington, where Mr. Trump is seeking to flood the city’s downtown with agents from the F.B.I., the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals, Customs and Border Protection and several other agencies, along with the military, turning the nation’s capital into a heavily armed federal fortress.

Even Transportation Security Administration officers have been called out of the airports to help protect federal property in the “national capital region,” the agency said.

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The Justice Department on Tuesday confirmed that Attorney General William P. Barr is managing the federal law enforcement response. It was Mr. Barr who ordered federal officers to clear peaceful protesters out of Washington’s Lafayette Park on Monday so that President Trump could walk to a historic church and have his picture taken there, according to a Justice Department official who was not authorized to discuss the matter.

In warnings that echoed the threats issued by Mr. Trump, Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Tuesday that the federal government would control the protests “at any cost.”

“D.H.S. and its partners will not allow anarchists, disrupters and opportunists to exploit the ongoing civil unrest to loot and destroy our communities,” Mr. Wolf said.

The Pentagon announced late Tuesday that a battalion of combat troops from an Army quick-reaction force based at Fort Bragg, N.C., had moved into the Washington area, as well as a military police headquarters unit from Fort Bragg and a military police battalion from Fort Drum, N.Y.

In all, about 1,600 troops were being deployed to the Washington area, the statement said, noting that they would be stationed initially at nearby bases outside of the District of Columbia. In a statement, the Pentagon called the troop movements “a prudent planning measure.”

For the police, days of attacks, injuries and charges related to their actions.

Kyle Grillot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Law enforcement officers have been targeted in attacks in cities across the country in recent days, with officers wounded in gun battles in St. Louis and Las Vegas and others injured when they were run over by cars in New York City and Buffalo.

But officers also have been charged, or fired, in several states by police and government leaders trying to preserve and defend demonstrators’ right to protest while also restoring order after days of violence and lawlessness. The swirl of emotions and instructions and events, Manny Fernandez of The Times reports, have made it a volatile time to be a police officer in America.

The Las Vegas police on Tuesday identified both a man who was killed by officers and an officer who was gravely wounded in two separate shootings the night before. The officer, Shay K. Mikalonis, 29, was in grave condition after being shot in the head, and a 20-year-old suspect was arrested. In another shooting, the Las Vegas police killed Jorge Gomez, 25, who they said raised a pistol at officers after they had hit him with “low lethal” shotgun rounds.

In St. Louis, four officers were struck by gunfire in a shootout between gunmen at a protest and the police. The officers’ injuries were believed to be “non-life threatening,” Chief John Hayden of the St. Louis Police Department said at a news conference.

In New York, an officer was in stable condition after being run over by a black sedan early Tuesday in the Bronx, and in Buffalo the driver of an S.U.V. was arrested after speeding through a line of law enforcement officers in riot gear and injuring two of them in an episode that was caught on video. The driver now faces several felony charges.

But the police also have been the subject of complaints about their actions.

Officials in Atlanta said arrest warrants had been issued for six police officers after video footage showed them Tasing and assaulting two college students in a car while enforcing a curfew. In Richmond, Va., the Police Department apologized and said it would discipline officers who used tear gas on protesters on Monday. And in Denver, an officer was fired after sharing a photo of himself and two other officers in riot gear on Instagram on Monday with the caption “Let’s start a riot.”

In Louisville, police officials said a restaurant owner killed on Saturday had fired a gun before he was fatally shot, by either a police officer or a National Guard soldier. On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer and police commanders held a news conference to release images from two security cameras. Neither camera gives an unobstructed view of what happened, and neither has sound.

The restaurant owner, David McAtee, 53, was killed shortly after midnight on Monday, and has been cited as an innocent victim of the violent turmoil rocking the country. Before the day was over, Mr. Fischer dismissed the city’s police chief because the officers at the scene had not activated their body cameras.

Listen to ‘The Daily: The Systems That Protect the Police

Why complaints of misconduct are rarely enough to discipline officers using excessive force.


Listen to ‘The Daily: The Systems That Protect the Police

Hosted by Michael Barbaro; produced by Annie Brown, Lynsea Garrison and Rachel Quester; with help from Asthaa Chaturvedi; and edited by M.J. Davis Lin and Lisa Chow

Why complaints of misconduct are rarely enough to discipline officers using excessive force.

michael barbaro

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.”

Today: The Minneapolis police officer whose tactics led to George Floyd’s death had a long record of complaints of misconduct. My colleague, Shaila Dewan, on why he was still patrolling the streets.

It’s Tuesday, June 2.

Shaila, you have been covering the criminal justice system and the cops for a really long time. So what were you thinking as you watched the video of George Floyd’s death?

shaila dewan

Well, at first, I didn’t actually watch the video. I read about it, and I have seen too many of those videos. And it just is too painful. I knew what I needed to know right then to do my job, which was immediately to find out more about the officers who were involved in the incident and what we knew about them, what we could tell about them.

So we wanted to look immediately to see their work histories and whether they had had problems in the past. I mean, sometimes it can be really, really difficult to find out the history of an officer, especially if you need to do it quickly. There is a lot of secrecy around police records. Sometimes they just only keep complaints for a certain amount of time, sometimes you can’t see complaints at all.

So we use a variety of sources of information from civil lawsuits — that’s often a really good way to see details about what happened. We look at news accounts. So we just try to pull it from wherever we can find. Often, it’s a patchwork.

But Minneapolis is actually unusual in the sense that they have a searchable database online. And pretty quickly they put out a list of the complaints for each officer involved in the case. So in the case of Officer Chauvin, who was the guy who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes — he had at least 17 complaints against him in his 19-year history. But we can’t see what the complaints were about.

And we found that the vast majority of those resulted in no discipline. There were two letters of reprimand placed in his file. We could also see that he was the subject of a brutality complaint.

And we know that he was involved in three shootings over the course of his career. In one of those, the man said that Officer Chauvin came into his house, and the man did not have a gun. There was a domestic violence call. And he says that Chauvin burst through the bathroom door, started hitting him and then fired two shots in his abdomen.

michael barbaro


shaila dewan

He says that Chauvin basically shot him unprovoked. And Chauvin said that the guy was going for his gun.

michael barbaro

So you’re saying that despite all these complaints, Chauvin was never suspended, he wasn’t docked pay, he wasn’t really punished at all. I guess, to the degree he was punished, it was some kind of wrist slapping.

shaila dewan

That’s right. Like I said, there were two letters of reprimand placed in this file. And there’s an account of one verbal reprimand for using derogatory language in a demeaning tone.

michael barbaro

And what about the other officers on the scene when George Floyd dies? What did you find out about them?

shaila dewan

So the officer who Chauvin and arrived at the scene with, Tou Thoa, had six complaints against him on his list. And he also was the subject of a civil lawsuit that said he basically handcuffed a guy and then beat him up. And that resulted in a $25,000 settlement.

michael barbaro

But what about repercussions for that officer as a member of the Minneapolis police department?

shaila dewan

Again, it doesn’t seem like that officer was ever disciplined by the police department.

michael barbaro

I mean, how is that possible that neither of these officers face any real punishment, stayed on the force despite these complaints, and stayed in the kind of line of work where they would respond to a street incident like the one involving George Floyd?

shaila dewan

Well, it’s not just possible. It’s notoriously common in this country. Our systems are basically set up to protect police officers from repercussions for their actions. That’s been noted over and over again. And it’s even been bitterly complained about by police chiefs who come in wanting to make changes and wanting to reform their departments and clean them up, and even they are sometimes prevented from doing that by the systems that are in place.

michael barbaro

What do you mean?

shaila dewan

Well, Minneapolis is actually a perfect example of this. They’ve had two police chiefs who were heralded as reformers. The current chief in fact, sued the department for what he said were racist hiring practices before he became chief. And when I read that he had fired these four officers almost immediately, my first thought was, I don’t know if that’s going to stick. He may be forced to rehire those guys because of all the protections that officers have.

michael barbaro

I mean, so what exactly is happening here? I mean, what is getting in the way of these police chiefs running their departments the way that they want to, reforming them if they want to, and disciplining cops who cross the line?

shaila dewan

So many things. There are so many things that work together to put these obstacles in place. They’re just kind of enshrined parts of the job. And it can be sort of helpful to break them out into buckets.

So there are five main reasons why it’s so hard to hold the police accountable for their actions. The first one is that the police are often policing themselves. Departments have internal affairs divisions that are part of the department usually. And those officers take complaints and investigate them, and come back and say what they think happened and what they think the consequences should be. And they tend to be charitable towards their own.

michael barbaro

And what’s an example of this?

shaila dewan

Well, for example, in Minneapolis in 2010, it was almost like a precursor of the Floyd case, where a man named David Cornelius Smith was held down by two officers. One of them had a knee on his neck for four minutes. He ended up dying. And the officers, after an internal affairs investigation, were never disciplined. In fact, the police chief at that time praised them for handling a tough situation.

michael barbaro

OK, so what’s the second system that tends to block the disciplining of cops?

shaila dewan

The second system this is really interesting civil service protection. Basically, public employees are allowed to appeal firings or other discipline to an independent body. And a lot of times with cops, they are given a lesser punishment when they appeal. Or if they’ve been fired, they’re reinstated. And in the Minneapolis area, The Pioneer Press did an analysis of this. And they found that the Minnesota board that deals with these cases reinstated law enforcement officers 46 percent of the time after they were fired.

michael barbaro

So half the time that a cop was somehow fired for misconduct, this system puts them back in their jobs, basically overrules the punishment?

shaila dewan

That’s right. And one interesting thing is that — sometimes the board would say there wasn’t enough evidence. But sometimes they would say, you know, you can’t punish this officer this way because there are prior examples of someone doing the same thing, and they didn’t get this severe of a punishment. So what that means is if you have a reformer coming in who wants to clean up, who wants to stop being lenient and wants to get tough on officer discipline, they’re going to be hamstrung by what was done in the past. So if somebody does something completely unacceptable in their eyes and they fire them, someone can come along and say oh, other officers that have kicked people were only given a suspension. So you can’t fire this guy.

michael barbaro

So arbitration relies on a kind of precedent system, and the precedent has been not to punish these cops too severely. So it’s like a self-reinforcing cycle in which no person involved in arbitration is likely to break out of that system too far.

shaila dewan

That’s right.

michael barbaro

OK, what is the third bucket here?

shaila dewan

That’s the concept of civilian review. And I hate the use of the word civilian, because it implies that the police are not civilians, which they are. But it’s this idea that non-police officers should be able to review the actions of police and complaints against the police and determine whether the police are meeting community standards for behavior.

They might be able to watch the body camera footage. They might be able to call in witnesses. And then typically they would make a recommendation. And sometimes the police department can just ignore the recommendation of the civilian review board. They’re a lot of times non-binding.

So they’ve kind of, over time, been seen as toothless. And Minneapolis is actually a perfect example of the kind of push and pull over how are we supposed to police the cops. They’ve had a civilian review board and then dismantled it, and had it again and dismantled it. And then finally a few years ago, they just did away with it altogether and replaced it with a police conduct review panel.

And the city maintains that this panel works much better. It is made up of appointed civilians and police together. Critics say that complaints from the public are still largely disregarded.

It’s important to keep in mind, of course, that any member of the public can lodge a complaint for any reason, and often, they are very unhappy when they have an interaction with the police. So it’s not uncommon to find many civilian complaints unfounded. But the percentage that this one organization cited to me that keeps track of such things is that out of 2,600 complaints that originated with the public, only 12 resulted in discipline. And the city has since come back to dispute that figure, but it is certainly a very low percentage of complaints that result in discipline.

michael barbaro

Suggesting that this panel frequently does not punish cops based on public complaints?

shaila dewan

That’s right.

michael barbaro

We’ll be right back.

shaila dewan

So the fourth reason why it’s hard to hold police accountable is the police unions. And these are the organizations that represent the rank-and-file members. It’s their job, basically, to protect police jobs. So they’re often led by kind of old-school, law-and-order individuals who are often the biggest opponent of reform-minded chiefs who come in. That is often a real source of clashing and tension.

michael barbaro

And is that the case in Minneapolis?

shaila dewan

Minneapolis is actually a textbook example of this. The union president, Bob Kroll, is a very controversial figure. He himself has had 29 complaints against him as a police officer. He is a Trump aficionado who stood on stage with him and thanked him for letting cops do their jobs. He has been blamed by the previous police chief for blocking reforms, for being one of the biggest opponents to cleaning up the department. And he’s already saying that he’s going to fight to get the jobs back of the four officers that were involved in the Floyd killing. So that’s the guy who represents the rank-and-file Minneapolis police officers. So if you have somebody who’s just saying you’ve got to defend officers at all costs sort of no matter what they do, that’s a banner that some cops could choose to walk under.

michael barbaro

So Shaila, I mean, with all that in mind, how much power does any police chief in the country — I mean, even the most reform-minded variety of police chief — really have to try to discipline cops given the obstacles?

shaila dewan

I think it is really hard, even as we’ve seen public attitudes shift dramatically, and the unions just have so much power in this equation.

michael barbaro

OK. By my count, we are on system number five that keeps police from being disciplined.

shaila dewan

That’s right, system number five is a big one. And that’s the difficulty of holding police criminally accountable for their actions. And that’s a lot due to a legal concept called reasonable fear. So even if you overcome prosecutor’s reluctance to charge police officers, and even if you overcome jury’s reluctance to convict officers, officers still have a lot of protection. And that’s built up on the idea that they have very difficult, dangerous jobs where they have to make split-second decisions. And you can’t really second guess them. So if an officer can make an argument that a reasonable officer would have been afraid for their life, or for the life of a fellow officer in that moment, then the jury is not supposed to convict them. And that’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome if what you think is that police need to be sent to prison. And that’s the system that we’ve set up for the courts.

michael barbaro

And of course, Minneapolis has charged Officer Chauvin with murder. It sounds like you’re saying that if that charge is brought to a trial, that this concept of reasonable fear could be a major argument in his favor and could make it very hard to prosecute him.

shaila dewan

I mean, there’s already a lot of talk about what a jury might do in this situation and how hard it will be to prove this case. Certainly, nobody thinks it’s going to be an easy case to prove.

michael barbaro

Shaila, all these systems that we are discussing as potential impediments to disciplining cops, I have to think that all of them were put in place for a reason, and maybe even at first a good reason.

shaila dewan

I mean, sure. There’s two sides to all of these stories. So of course, as an employee, you don’t want to be at the whim of an unreasonable boss. So you want the protection of being able to appeal. I think we can all understand how a union protects workers. And no one thinks that police officers have an easy job. But I think there’s something even deeper going on here, which is that these systems come out of a failure of trust — that police officers simply don’t trust, and maybe for good reason, that the public could possibly understand them or their choices or their jobs, or what they’re really facing. And so they can’t contemplate subjecting themselves to that kind of public scrutiny.

michael barbaro

And so that belief kind of permeates all of this.

shaila dewan

It permeates all of this.

michael barbaro

You know, it’s interesting, almost by definition, whether you think that these systems are problems or you think that they offer necessary protections to cops, they feel quite entrenched. And they feel kind of immovable.

shaila dewan

This is a system that, even an institution that wants to change itself, can’t overcome its architecture. And this is why you see the rage on the streets. Those are people who, I think, viscerally feel that architecture. And the only thing they can see to do is dismantle it. They don’t think that it’s about tweaking it or adjusting it. It’s about tearing it down.

michael barbaro

Thank you, Shaila.

shaila dewan

Thank you, Michael.

michael barbaro

On Monday afternoon, the medical examiner’s office in Hennepin County, Minnesota released the results of a preliminary autopsy on George Floyd. The office classified his death as a homicide, saying that his heart stopped as police, including officer Chauvin, restrained him and compressed his neck.


We’ll be right back.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

archived recording ( president donald trump)

You have been dominated. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.

michael barbaro

In a conference call with governors on Monday, President Trump lashed out at them for what he described as their inadequate response to the protests, demanding, quote, “retribution against the demonstrators for the unrest.”

archived recording (president donald trump)

You have to arrest people, and you have to try people. And they have to go to jail for long periods of time. I saw what happened in Philadelphia.

michael barbaro

A few hours later, in his first remarks from the White House since the protests began, Trump called the violent scenes unfolding across the country, quote, “acts of domestic terror,” and said he was prepared to step in if local officials failed to contain the demonstrations.

archived recording (president donald trump)

If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.

michael barbaro

Outside the White House on Monday night —

archived recording


michael barbaro

— police used tear gas and flash grenades to push back protesters who were peacefully demonstrating in Lafayette Park, so that the president could pose for photos at a church on the park’s edge that had been damaged during protests the night before. As of Monday night, at least 40 cities, including Washington and New York, have imposed curfews to try to discourage the protests.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

George W. Bush says he is disturbed by ‘injustice and fear.’

Cristobal Herrera/EPA, via Shutterstock

Former President George W. Bush on Tuesday praised peaceful protesters and called for empathy for people seeking justice after George Floyd’s death, saying “achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”

Mr. Bush rarely comments on developing events, and has generally avoided anything that could be construed as criticism of President Trump.

“Laura and I are anguished by the brutal suffocation of George Floyd and disturbed by the injustice and fear that suffocate our country,” Mr. Bush said in a statement, referring to his wife.

“It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African-American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country,” Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Bush, who condemned the looting that has taken place in several cities, is a flawed messenger on the subject of race. His administration’s failures during and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 primarily affected black residents in New Orleans and Louisiana.

But by recognizing that the “doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which once nearly split our country, still threaten our Union,” Mr. Bush offered a stark contrast to Mr. Trump, who has emphasized law and order but said nothing about systemic abuses against black people by law enforcement.

“We can only see the reality of America’s need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed and disenfranchised,” Mr. Bush said.

“Many doubt the justice of our country, and with good reason,” he said. “Black people see the repeated violation of their rights without an urgent and adequate response from American institutions.”

Minnesota is investigating the Minneapolis police over racial discrimination.

Caroline Yang for The New York Times

The state of Minnesota has started a human rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, citing evidence of systematic discrimination against people of color, particularly black people, state officials announced on Tuesday.

The state Department of Human Rights made a formal charge of discrimination against the police force based in part on the May 25 death of George Floyd, which has sparked demonstrations across the country.

The charge referred to a pattern of incidents in Minneapolis dating back at least 10 years that demanded investigations into the Police Department’s training and policies, and its “use-of-force protocols.”

“There is sufficient information to investigate whether the respondent utilizes systemic discriminatory patterns or practices towards people of color, specifically black community members, on the basis of race,” the charge stated.


‘I Want Justice for Him,’ the Mother of George Floyd’s Daughter Says

Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s daughter, spoke of the magnitude of their 6-year-old Gianna’s loss when he died.

I don’t have a lot to say, because I can’t get my words together right now. But I want everybody to know that this is what those officers took. At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families. Gianna does not have a father. He will never see her grow up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle. If there’s a problem she’s having and she needs her dad, she does not have that anymore. I’m here for my baby, and I’m here for George, because I want justice for him.

Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s daughter, spoke of the magnitude of their 6-year-old Gianna’s loss when he died.Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Investigations by the Department of Human Rights do not lead to criminal charges, but if investigators find wrongdoing, state officials can attempt to force changes in the Police Department’s practices, which could include the state’s suing the police force.

Also Tuesday, the Minneapolis school board voted unanimously to end its contract with the Police Department, a pointed response to the death of Mr. Floyd.

The school district is believed to be the first in the nation to sever its relationship with a police department, one advocacy group said, marking a significant victory for activists who have long argued that allowing officers in schools contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline that channels black and Hispanic students into the penal system at disproportionately high rates.

“This is the systemic change that this moment calls for,” said Judith Browne Dianis, the executive director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that has worked to get the police out of schools. “There can be convictions of the police officers, but at the end of the day we know that we need structural change. And the school board’s decision gives us that type of victory.”

In a unanimous vote during a special meeting held virtually on Tuesday, the board adopted a resolution saying that the actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death “run directly counter to the values the district seeks in partners.” The decision means that the school resource officers the department provides will no longer be present in schools.

In Paris, demonstrators linked George Floyd’s death with a local killing by police.

Daniel Cole/Associated Press

Anger at George Floyd’s killing has rippled far beyond the United States to many world capitals, where crowds have gathered to denounce police violence and racism.

An estimated 15,000 people in Paris defied police orders to gather at the city’s main law court on Tuesday. Demonstrators, most of them young, waved signs reading “No justice, no peace” or “I can’t breathe,” in direct reference to Mr. Floyd’s death.

The protests were led by the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who died near Paris in 2016 after having been tackled by the police. Shouts of “Justice for Adama” regularly punctuated the clapping and chanting of the crowd.

“We protest for George Floyd, for Adama, for all the others and for the next ones,” said Anne-Sophie Kiminou, a 28-year-old office manager.

The Paris police said in the afternoon that the demonstration was forbidden during the country’s public health emergency, which bans any public gathering of more than 10 people. Paris is one of the last areas of France where the coronavirus is still considered active, and many protesters wore masks.


Crowds in Paris Protest 2016 Death of Black Frenchman

Hundreds of people gathered in Paris to protest the 2016 death of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who died in custody after having been tackled by the police.

[protesters chanting]

Hundreds of people gathered in Paris to protest the 2016 death of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who died in custody after having been tackled by the police.Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Lolly Nzamba, 18, said France had a two-tier justice system that ignored the daily suffering of black people. “Personally, I’m afraid when I go out in the street and come across the police,” she said. But she added that Mr. Floyd’s death had changed people’s understanding and would help raise awareness.

“There will be a before and an after,” Ms. Nzamba said.

Also Tuesday, thousands gathered for a march in Sydney, Australia, and chanted “Enough is enough” while kneeling outside the American consulate. In London and Rio de Janeiro, demonstrations of solidarity have also prompted soul searching over local racial divisions.

Reporting was contributed by Tim Arango, Emily Badger, Mike Baker, Kim Barker, Katie Benner, Julie Bosman, John Branch, Helene Cooper, Joe Coscarelli, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Caitlin Dickerson, Catie Edmonson, John Eligon, Tess Felder, Manny Fernandez, Thomas Fuller, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Russell Goldman, Maggie Haberman, Miriam Jordan, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Constant Meheut, Sarah Mervosh, David Montgomery, Jack Nicas, Elian Peltier, Richard Perez-Pena, Adam Popescu, Austin Ramzy, Frances Robles, Katie Rogers, Rick Rojas, Alejandra Rosa, Marc Santora, Anna Schaverien, Eric Schmitt, Dionne Searcey, Megan Specia, Jennifer Steinhauer, Daniel Victor, Neil Vigdor, Karen Weise and Mihir Zaveri.

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