Al Sharpton: “This is the time” to change the criminal justice system
Reverend Al Sharpton said at George Floyd’s memorial service on Thursday that Floyd’s murder has ushered in “a different time,” and urged people to “turn their clocks” into a new and better time.
“America this is the time to deal with accountability in the criminal justice system,” he said.
“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks because the reason we could never be what we wanted is because you kept your knee on our neck,” Sharpton said of America’s racist past and present.
He highlighted the international protests in reaction to Floyd’s death and acknowledged that some in the United States have turned destructive. Sharpton said the family does not condone violence or looting, but urged people to remember that “there’s a difference between those calling for peace and those calling for quiet.”
He thanked the Floyd family for showing “great grace” through tragedy and leading the movement brought on by their lost family member.
“We’re going to make America great for everybody for the first time,” Sharpton said.
Judge sets $750,000 bail for 3 ex-cops accused in Floyd’s death
A judge set bail at $750,000 apiece Thursday for three fired Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting in the killing of George Floyd, as a memorial service took place just blocks away.
Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng made their first appearances in Hennepin County District Court as friends, relatives and celebrities gathered to memorialize Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Police Department fired them last week, along with Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25. Widely seen bystander video shows the white police officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck, ignoring the African American man’s pleas that he can’t breathe, until he stopped moving.
Defense attorneys argued for lower bail. Attorney Earl Gray, representing Lane, told the court that Chauvin was his client’s training officer and that when Floyd died it was only Lane’s fourth day on the job.
Defendants don’t normally enter pleas during their first appearances in Minnesota courts, which tend to be brief proceedings. Judge Paul Scoggin set their next court dates for June 29.
George Floyd’s family remembers their “loving” brother, uncle
Members of George Floyd’s family memorialized their lost brother on Thursday. His siblings, who knew him as Perry, said they lost a strong, loving brother who always made everyone feel welcome in his presence.
Floyd’s brothers shared anecdotes from their childhood, saying: “We didn’t have much but we had a house full of love.” His family member said the thing she will miss most about him are his hugs: “He was this great big giant, when he would wrap his arms around you… everything would go away.”
His family shared their gratitude for the outpouring of love from the public and marveled at the movement triggered by Floyd’s murder.
“I wish he was in the presence, in the flesh, to see it, this great unity,” his brother said. “He would stand up for any injustice anywhere.”
Activists, celebrities and politicians attend service in Minneapolis
Celebrities, civil rights activists, politicians and family members of Floyd gathered in Minneapolis to pay their respects to the man whose death at the hands of police has sparked protests nationwide and calls for an end to racial injustice.
Mourners wore masks and bumped elbows, rather than hug or shake hands, at the memorial taking place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson entered and prayed for several moments over Floyd’s golden casket. Others followed his lead, including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Jackson and Klobuchar greeted each other and spoke for a few minutes, before heading to their seats.
Others in attendance included U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Ayana Pressley and Joyce Beatty; rappers T.I., with his wife Tiny, Ludacris, and Tyrese Gibson; comedians Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish; and actress Marsai Martin.
The Reverend Al Sharpton was among those who planned to speak.
Highest-ranking American at Vatican to lead prayer for Floyd
The highest-ranking American at the Vatican will lead a prayer service on Friday in Rome to pray for “peaceful coexistence” following the death of George Floyd and protests that erupted across the U.S.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, an Irish-born naturalized U.S. citizen, is the prefect of the Vatican’s family and laity office.
The Sant’Egidio Community, a Catholic charity close to Pope Francis, is organizing the evening prayer at its Santa Maria in Trastevere church. Francis this week decried Floyd’s death and the “sin of racism” while denouncing violence as “self-destructive and self-defeating.” He’s appealed for national reconciliation and peace.
Farrell was bishop in Dallas, Texas, and an auxiliary bishop of Washington D.C. before taking his current job in 2016.
How to watch the memorial service for George Floyd
CBS Minnesota reports Rev. Al Sharpton will give the eulogy and that Floyd’s relatives from across the country, as well as Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who is representing Floyd’s family, will be speaking.is being held Thursday afternoon at North Central University in downtown Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he planned on attending.
- Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020
- Time: 2 p.m. ET/ 1p.m. CT
- Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Online stream: Live on CBSN — in the player below and on your mobile or streaming device
Democrats sound alarm over unidentified law enforcement patrolling D.C. protests
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has drawn thousands of protesters to the streets of the nation’s capital, leading President Trump to direct his administration to boost the number of federal law enforcement officers on the ground.
But photos of unidentified, armed officers donning face shields and protective gear standing guard near the White House have raised concerns among Democrats, who are warning that the dearth of insignia and identifying information could deny victims the ability to hold officers accountable if they engage in misconduct.
“This is unacceptable that you have armed uniformed security, with no identification,” Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It allows for really dangerous potential mischief. When things go wrong you need to be able to identify who it was that punched a reporter or took a club to a protester, and without identification, there’s really no way to do real accountability.”
A look at “less than lethal” devices that can sometimes be fatal
Images and video of bloodied faces and bruised bodies have flowed steadily on social media and in the news over the past week as police across the country have at times used violent tactics in response to protests about police violence.
The use of what are known as “less than lethal” devices on such a large scale is unusual, according to experts on policing and criminal justice. Despite the terminology, use of these weapons can sometimes be fatal.
“What we’re seeing is escalated force among law enforcement, which entails the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, flash grenades, all of this is highly confrontational and aggressive in nature,” said Jennifer Cobbina, a Michigan State University criminal justice professor who specializes in police-community relations. “What it will do is it will increase levels of violence and injury, which also further exacerbates the problems between protestors and the police.”
Cuomo says protesters should assume they’ve been exposed to COVID-19
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that people in New York City protesting George Floyd’s death should assume they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. “If you were at a protest I would assume you’re exposed,” Cuomo said.
The governor announced the state is opening COVID-19 testing facilities to all people who were at a protest. He urged protesters to act as if they have been exposed by telling those that they live with, and getting tested.
“The protesters themselves could wind up creating a spike,” he said.
Cuomo spoke after New York City woke up from its third night under curfew, which saw dozens of arrests and clashes between police and protesters. The 8 p.m. curfew is aimed at containing violence and looting in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.
Minneapolis-St. Paul’s small businesses face struggle to rebuild after looting
Looters shattered windows and destroyed the entrance to a Minneapolis co-working space last week, but one of its owners believes the incident could have been much worse. Christopher Webley of New Rules said he and some of the artist-tenants who use the building were working at night when they heard the sound of glass shattering at around 3:30 a.m.
“We were able to defend it and run off, basically stave off, any further action,” Webley said.
Amid unconfirmed reports that some protests drew looters from out-of-state and extremist groups, he suspects the people who damaged his business and others were targeting black-owned stores.
“They want us to leave and close up shop,” said Webley, New Rules’ managing director, “but you’ll find that many of us black businesses here in Minnesota, there’s resiliency built into our culture here.”
An estimated 360 small businesses across the Twin Cities suffered different levels of property damage during the civil unrest last week. Now, many of them have vowed to rebuild. In some cases, the damage comes as the owners were preparing to reopen their businesses following a months-long shutdown sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Memorials set to take place in three cities over six days
Mourners converged in Minneapolis Thursday for the first in a series of a memorials to George Floyd that is being held North Central University.
Memorials are set to take place in three cities over six days: After the Minneapolis event, Floyd’s body will go to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born, for a public viewing and private family service on Saturday.
Next, a public viewing will be held Monday in Houston, where he was raised and lived most of his life. Then a 500-person service will take place Tuesday at the Fountain of Praise church.
Images on Thursday showed Floyd’s remains arriving at North Central University for the first memorial service.
Prosecutors describe racist slur as Ahmaud Arbery lay dying
A state investigator alleged Thursday that a white man was heard saying a racial slur as he stood over Ahmaud Arbery’s body moments after killing him.
The lead Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent in the case testified that Travis and Greg McMichael and a third man in another pickup, William “Roddie” Bryan, repeatedly used their trucks to chase down and box in Arbery, who repeatedly reversed directions and even jumped into a ditch in a desperate struggle to escape.
Travis McMichael then got out of his truck and confronted Arbery. He told police he shot him in self-defense after Arbery refused his order to get on the ground, Special Agent Richard Dial said. A close examination of the video of the shooting shows the first shot was to Arbery’s chest, the second was to his hand, and the third was to his chest before he collapsed in the road, Dial said.
The driver of the second pickup truck, William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded that video, said he heard the gunman say a racist epithet as he stood over Arbery’s body before police arrived.
The evidence presented to support murder charges against the McMichaels and Bryan challenges the self-defense claim. Dial also described evidence that questions the idea that the three men were legitimately carrying out a citizens’ arrest of a suspected burglar. Thursday’s testimony also could factor into a federal investigation into whether hate crime charges are warranted.
Anti-apartheid leader speaks out about protests
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, a South Africa leader who was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country and is now an Under Secretary General of the United Nations, spoke with CBS News’ Pamela Falk from Johannesburg, and shared her thoughts about the George Floyd protests and where they might lead.
“People are feeling exhausted about us talking about racism. Try living it to know how exhausting it is to live it,” she said. “Those who cannot take talking about it, they haven’t lived it to know how much that it eats you from within. So, we need to make sure that we create conditions that will make people feel and touch the changes that are coming into their lives.”
Oakland council members want tear gas use suspended at protests
A group of Oakland City Council members sent a letter Wednesday to Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Administrator Ed Reiskin and interim police Chief Susan Manheimer calling for an indefinite suspension of the use of tear gas to control and disperse crowds during the ongoing protests and amid the coronavirus pandemic.
CBS SF Bay Area reports City Council members Nikki Fortunato Bas, Rebecca Kaplan and Sheng Thao argued that the use of tear gas could needlessly put people at risk for respiratory issues amid a pandemic that can cause significant respiratory damage. They also noted that the department’s own training bulletin states that breathing tear gas can cause coughing and sneezing, both of which can spread the coronavirus via droplets.
“The use of tear gas for crowd control adversely affects individuals in crowds of protestors as well as residents who are not involved in protesting, and it can have serious effects on medically vulnerable people and increase the spread of COVID-19,” they wrote.
Rep. John Lewis says video of George Floyd’s death moved him to tears
Protests over the death of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd have continued for over a week, as cities across the U.S. see tensions boil between demonstrators and police. Congressman John Lewis, a prominent civil rights leader who was the youngest person to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, decried Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer and said the horrific video moved him to tears.
Lewis himself had been repeatedly beaten and arrested at nonviolent protests in the 1960s, and offered words of inspiration to people demonstrating against police brutality today. He spoke to “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King Thursday, in his first network TV interview since the protests over Floyd’s death began.
Denver mayor marches with protesters
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined protesters in downtown Denver on Wednesday evening as hundreds gathered first at the state Capitol and then moved on to the streets.
The city has seen protests several days in a row, and several violent nights where Denver police deployed tear gas to break up unruly crowds that were throwing projectiles at police, CBS Denver reported.
Officers dressed in riot gear, and the mayor declared a curfew in Denver over the weekend that lasted several nights to keep crowds from getting out of control. On Wednesday, the marchers were peaceful as they made their way along the 16th Street Mall.
“This is an amazing, peaceful, successful demonstration of raising the voices around freedom and justice and togetherness. I’m proud of the demonstrations going on here tonight,” said Hancock.
Nurses take a knee outside hospital to show support for protesters
A group of nurses gathered and took a knee outside of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston early Thursday morning. The nurses knelt in solidarity with protesters, who are fighting against racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Several nurses wore black and others held signs made out of cardboard, CBS Boston reports. They took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the same amount of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
The nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital plan to honor Floyd and show solidarity with protesters again at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The event was organized by the nurses and not the hospital, according to CBS Boston.
Minnesota governor sending National Guard to state’s western border
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is sending Minnesota National Guard troops to state’s western border because of what he says are credible threats of violence during demonstrations planned in neighboring North Dakota.
The city of Moorhead, Minnesota, lies just across the border from Fargo, North Dakota.
Walz’s order didn’t say how many guard members are being deployed in Clay County. The governor didn’t provide details on what he perceives is a credible threat.
“The Minnesota National Guard stands ready to provide protection for all Minnesotans,” said Walz in a statement. “While Minnesotans turn their attention to rebuilding our communities and re-examining racial inequities in the wake of George Floyd’s death, our administration is committed to providing protection for our neighborhoods, businesses, and families in order for those meaningful conversations to happen.”
The National Guard adjutant general will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment and facilities as needed, Walz said.
Meghan to graduates of her former high school: “George Floyd’s life mattered”
The Duchess of Sussex has about racial divisions in the United States, telling students at her former high school that she felt moved to speak out because the life of George Floyd mattered. Meghan told graduates at the Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles that she wrestled with what to tell them given the days of protests after Floyd’s death.
“I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing, because George Floyd’s life mattered,” she said in a virtual address.
The former Meghan Markle, who has an African American mother and a white father, said the unrest reminded her of riots that took place in her hometown of Los Angeles after police officers were acquitted in the video-taped beating of another African-American, Rodney King.
“I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home, and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky, and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings,” she said. “I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles.
“I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.”
Community comes together to support Chicago grocery store hit by looters
A grocery store in Chicago that is the main source of food for people in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood closed for several days after it was hit by looters, CBS Chicago reports. The neighborhood is considered a food desert because there are very few grocery stores, and when the store closed down because of looters, many there had nowhere else to go.
Owner Eva Jakubowsk closed the grocery store for several days. She said her employees and even security were concerned about coming back to work, so she closed up shop. The community no longer had a nearby source for fresh food.
Now, people in the neighborhood, along with community organizers, plan to show their support Thursday as the store reopens.
“What we’re doing is bringing community members to say we are not going to allow our stores to be closed or taken over by vandals, sending a clear signal that the support of the community is behind local market,” South Shore Chamber executive director Tony Trice said.
The grocery store was also behind the Feeding South Shore initiative, providing thousands of meals to families in the neighborhood.
Minneapolis property damage from unrest is $55 million and rising
The city of Minneapolis says looting and property damage following Floyd’s death has caused least $55 million in destruction so far. Vandals damaged or set fire to at least 220 buildings, but that number is expected to go up, city officials said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will ask for state and federal aid to help rebuild after the civil unrest. Until that happens, community members are pitching in to support Minneapolis neighborhoods.
More than $1 million has been raised to help businesses in north Minneapolis, CBS Minnesota reported. The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition says it will announce how they plan to use the money in the coming weeks.
George Floyd’s brother calls for Derek Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder
The arrests of the three other Minneapolis police officers connected to George Floyd’s death and the upgraded charge against former officer Derek Chauvin is just the beginning for Floyd’s family. Justice, for them, includes convictions.
“We have to have justice. They murdered him in broad daylight in front of everybody,” Floyd’s brother Philonise told CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.
The charge against Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and pleading for air, was upgraded to second-degree murder, while the other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
But Philonise said he believes the killing was purposeful and wants Chauvin to face the most serious charge of first-degree murder.
“When you look at that guy, when he was on his neck, and they was pleading for his life like ‘please, please, just let him breathe, get off of him, get off of him,’ he was just looking at them like they was in a cage or something, like you can’t get to me,” Philonise said.
Woman claims Chicago cop put knee on her neck after she was yanked from car
A swarm of police officers are seen on cellphone video drawing their batons and beating out the windows of a car outside a Chicago mall Sunday, reports CBS Chicago. The officers dragged two women from the car. One of them and back.
George Floyd died in Minneapolis last week after an officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. That encounter was also seen on video and set off protests nationwide.
The Chicago video was captured by someone in another vehicle at the scene.
Union head blames anti-police rhetoric after NYC cop stabbed in neck
A New York City police officer on an anti-looting patrol was ambushed Wednesday in Brooklyn by a man who walked up behind him and, police said, setting off a struggle in which the assailant was shot and two other officers suffered gunshot injuries to their hands.
The bloodshed happened just before midnight in the hours after an 8 p.m. curfew that was intended to quell days of unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and looting that’s accompanied it.
All three injured officers were expected to recover. The man who attacked them was shot multiple times and was hospitalized in critical condition, said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch blamed anti-police rhetoric during the protests.
“Are we surprised? Are we surprised we’re here in the hospital again. Did we doubt because of the rhetoric we’re hearing, the anti-police rhetoric that’s storming our streets, are we surprised that we got this call? I’m not. We said it’s going to happen,” he said.
Autopsy report shows Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19
A full autopsy of George Floyd provides several clinical details – including that Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19.
The 20-page report released Wednesday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office came with the family’s permission and after the coroner’s office released summary findings Monday that Floyd had a heart attack while being restrained by officers, and classified his May 25 death as a homicide.
The report by Chief Medical Examiner Andrew Baker spelled out clinical details, including that Floyd tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3 but appeared asymptomatic. The report also noted Floyd’s lungs appeared healthy but he had some narrowing of arteries in the heart.
Thieves using protests as cover for “smash-and-grab” thefts, police say
Police say many smash-and-grab thefts that coincided with protests have been carried out by caravans of well-coordinated criminals capitalizing on chaos. They use social media to communicate with each other and do things to distract and throw police off their trail.
The wave of crime has followed largely peaceful demonstrations, and law enforcement experts note that it has happened in big and small cities and in rural areas.
Thieves often target high-end shops as officers are assigned to prevent protests from becoming unruly and enforce curfews.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, a band of thieves stole nearly 75 vehicles from a dealership.
Car attempts to drive through Cincinnati protesters
The driver of a black BMW attempted to drive through protesters blocking an intersection in Cincinnati on Tuesday. The Cincinnati Police Department released video of the incident.
The driver approaches the protesters slowly, apparently attempting to scatter them enough so the car could get through the intersection. A few move out of the way, but at least one demonstrator gets back in front of the car. The driver continues moving forward, making contact with the protester and pushing them backwards. The car eventually comes to a stop and the other protesters return and swarm the vehicle, blocking its path once again.
The driver then puts the car in reverse and speeds off in another direction.
Protesters arrested after 8 p.m. curfew in New York City
There were “mass arrests” in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday night about an hour and a half after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew took effect, CBS New York’s reported. A video tweeted by a CBS New York reporter shows members of the NYPD loading detained protesters onto a bus. Police also took bicycles from protesters and put them in a truck, the outlet reported.