Four police officers in St. Louis were recovering from gunshot wounds Tuesday while in Las Vegas one man was dead and an officer was clinging to life following another night of sometimes violent protests across the nation.
The clashes took place hours after President Donald Trump announced he would send the U.S. military to cities if the violence continued and in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. There were peaceful demonstrations in Phoenix and Fort Worth, Texas, among other places, but contentious moments in Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere.
Trump was drawing scorn from some governors after accusing them of being “weak” for failing to quell the protests – and from a D.C. bishop who accused the president of “sanctioning” the use of tear gas to clear peaceful protesters from a church yard.
A closer look at some recent developments:
- George Floyd’s funeral will be held June 9 in his hometown Houston. The family accepted an offer from former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather to pay for the funeral services. There will be two memorial services held in Minneapolis and North Carolina prior to the funeral.
- An independent autopsy requested by Floyd’s family members showed that Floyd was suffocated to death. The family is demanding first-degree murder charges against Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
- A D.C. bishop condemned President Donald Trump for visiting St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House after law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters from the area.
What we’re reading today:Health experts warn that large protests heighten risk of spreading the coronavirus
How to talk to your kids:Floyd. Arbery. Taylor. What do we tell our children?
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Biden blasts Trump, urges national unity
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday invoked George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe” to address the nation’s escalating protests and racial tensions. Biden, speaking at Philadelphia City Hall, criticized President Trump’s handling of the protests, accusing him of trafficking in “fear and division.” But he added that problems of racism an social injustice in America go beyond Trump.
“I wish I could say that hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him. But it didn’t and it won’t,” Biden said. “American history is not a fairytale with a guaranteed happy ending.”
Federal prisons locked down
The federal Bureau of Prisons has imposed a national lockdown in a move resembling the agency’s response to mass rioting at several facilities 25 years ago. Federal authorities, already struggling to contain deadly outbreaks of the coronavirus that has left 68 inmates dead, had ordered nationwide restrictions on inmate movements in March in an attempt to limit the virus’ spread. But officials took the more restrictive action late Monday, citing the sometimes violent protests on the nation’s streets.
“In light of extensive protest activity occurring around the country, the BOP – in an abundance of caution – is implementing an additional, temporary security measure to ensure the good order and security of our institutions,” the bureau said in a statement.
– Kevin Johnson
TikTok apologizes for #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter, glitches
TikTok promised to promote diversity on its platform and denied claims the social media service blocked posts featuring hashtags related to the death of George Floyd. TikTok said a technical glitch made it temporarily appear as if posts with the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd received no views. The platform said it was dealing with a display issue, and videos featuring those tags amassed more than 2 billion views.
The problem was not “an intentional act to suppress the experiences and invalidate the emotions felt by the Black community,” read an apology blog post from Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s general manager, and director of creator community Kudzi Chikumbu.
– Brett Molina
Music industry, social media go silent for Black Out Tuesday
The music industry took a break from business-as-usual to mark Black Out Tuesday to call attention to the deaths of George Floyd and other black Americans. Big names in entertainment like Jimi Hendrix, Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner, Kevin Hart and Timothee Chalamet showed their support Tuesday on social media, using the hashtags #blackouttuesday and #theshowmustbepaused to help draw attention to the effort.
“While this is only one day, we are working on ways to actively fight for meaningful, systematic change against the injustices black people continue to face,” the post from the official @hamiltonmusical Instagram account read.
– Gary Dinges
Protesters in DC take shelter inside resident’s home after curfew
Dozens of protesters took refuge inside a stranger’s home in Washington overnight Monday as police funneled a crowd of demonstrators onto one street after a 7 p.m. citywide curfew. Rahul Dubey told NBC Washington that he acted instinctively when he opened his door to roughly 60 demonstrators, near his house around 10 p.m., and allowed them to stay until the curfew was lifted at 6 a.m. Reports on social media showed police corralling a group of demonstrators onto one D.C. street as they used pepper spray on the crowd. Dubey told the TV station he was also pepper sprayed.
“The crowd came racing through like a tornado,” he said. “We had to keep the door open and keep pulling them in. … It’s the same you would do if there’s a storm.”
– Ryan W. Miller
University of Texas football team meets to discuss protests
The University of Texas football team had a three-hour virtual meeting on Monday – and virtually no football discussed. Coach Tom Herman opened the floor to a group of mostly black athletes who were frustrated and angry over police brutality, senseless killing and what it’s like being black in politically divided America.
“If you’re white, we can’t (understand),” Herman said. “I will never know, you will never know, none of us will ever know what it’s like to have that genuine fear. When I make an illegal U-turn and get pulled over, I fear about what the cost of the ticket is going to be. I don’t fear that I’m going to get dragged out of my car and maybe killed because of something I said or did.”
– Brian Davis, Austin American-Statesman
More protest coverage from USA TODAY
Man fatally shot, officer critically injured at Las Vegas protests
One man was dead and a Las Vegas police officer was on life support Tuesday following a night of angry protests that included two separate shooting incidents. Sheriff Joe Lombardo said officers were attempting to clear protesters throwing rocks and bottles from Las Vegas Boulevard when the officer was shot sometime before midnight. The officer was in “grave” condition, Lombardo said.
Lombardo said the second incident involved the fatal shooting of an armed man wearing body armor by police and federal agents guarding a federal building in downtown Las Vegas. Lombardo said the man had reached for a firearm. Investigations of both shootings were continuing, Lombardo said.
“What has occurred is utterly unacceptable,” Lombardo said. “I hope the community sees it that way, too.”
4 officers shot in St. Louis, police say
Four St. Louis police officers were shot early Tuesday as peaceful protest devolved in “mayhem,” Police Chief John Hayden said. The police department tweeted that the officers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening after the shootings overnight. It was unclear who had fired the shots.
Several hundred people rallied peacefully Monday afternoon outside the justice center in downtown St. Louis, including Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. Protestors later walked to the Gateway Arch National Park and then onto nearby Interstate 64. But later Monday, protesters gathered in front of police headquarters, where officers fired tear gas. Some protesters smashed windows at a downtown 7-11 store and stole items from inside before the building was set on fire.
Floyd’s funeral to be held June 9 in Houston
Family attorney Benjamin Crump on Monday said funeral services for Floyd will be held June 9 in Houston. There will be a public viewing next Monday in Texas, Crump said.
Crump added there will be two separate memorial services for Floyd. One will take place Thursday in Minneapolis at North Central University. The other will be in Clinton, North Carolina on Saturday. Both memorial services will run from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather will pay for Floyd’s funeral and memorial services after the family accepted his offer of support. The former world champion has not met Floyd’s family, according to Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
DC bishop denounces Trump’s church visit after police clear protesters with tear gas
The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington condemned President Donald Trump on Monday for his visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House after law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters from the area.
“Let me be clear: The president just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our churches stand for,” Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde told CNN.
“And to do so… he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard. I am outraged,” Budde said. Budde is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese Washington, overseeing more than 80 Episcopal congregations, including St. John’s. She is the first woman to serve in her position.
– Jeanine Santucci
Governors blast Trump after he tells them they are ‘weak’ on phone call
Governors including one Republican pushed back at President Donald Trump on Monday after he told them on a phone call they are “weak” and need to use force to “dominate” riots that have erupted during protests over the death of George Floyd.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a frequent target of Trump, called the phone call “deeply disturbing,” adding that instead of offering support or leadership to bring down the temperature at protests, Trump told governors to ” ‘put it down’ or we would be ‘overridden.’ “
“The president repeatedly and viciously attacked governors, who are doing everything they can to keep the peace while fighting a once-in-a-generation global pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican from left-leaning Massachusetts who is typically reluctant to take aim at Trump, raised the remarks himself during a news conference. “That’s not what we need in Boston. It’s not what we need right now in Massachusetts,” Baker said, appearing to choke up. “And it’s definitely not what we need right now across this great country of ours either.”
– Joey Garrison
More news about the George Floyd protests
Contributing: The Associated Press