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Protests erupt nationwide over George Floyd’s death

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NEW YORK, NY – MAY 28: A protester is detained by police during a rally against the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 28, 2020 in Union Square in New York City. Floyd’s death was captured in video that went viral of the incident. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard today as looting broke out in St. Paul. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Protests are raging across the country Friday night over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody earlier this week in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin, 44, the ex-police officer who was shown on video pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with murder. The other three officers involved in the arrest have not been charged.

Anger has boiled over in major cities tonight, including Atlanta, where protesters are clashing with police, vandalizing buildings and setting police cruisers on fire. Some climbed the sign outside the CNN Center and smashed the glass at the building’s entrance. 

In Minneapolis, protesters defied a Friday night curfew. The city has been rocked by violent demonstrations in the nights following Floyd’s death, with protesters on Thursday setting fire to the precinct where the former officers worked.

george floyd protest atlanta cnn center
A police car burns near the CNN Center in Atlanta on May 29, 2020.DUSTIN CHAMBERS / REUTERS

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32M AGO

“We have a long night ahead of us in Brooklyn,” NYC mayor warns

After protesters in Manhattan and Brooklyn clashed with police for hours Friday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that “we have a long night ahead of us.” 

“Our sole focus is de-escalating this situation and getting people home safe,” de Blasio tweeted. “There will be a full review of what happened tonight. We don’t ever want to see another night like this.” 

Thousands of people protested in New York on Friday, according to CBS New York, and by late Friday night, many had gathered in Fort Greene near the 88th precinct station. Dozens of people were arrested during Friday’s protests, police said. 

By 11 p.m., the NYPD said the situation was not under control, CBS New York reported. 

US-POLITICS-POLICE-JUSTICE-RACISM
Protesters gather during a “Black Lives Matter” protest near Barclays Center on May 29, 2020, in Brooklyn.ANGELA WEISS/AFP VIA GETTY

BY VICTORIA ALBERT

Police and protesters face-off in Dallas

Hundreds gathered outside the Dallas Police Department’s headquarters on Friday evening. At one point, protesters got on their knees and chanted, “We can’t breathe.”

Things were calm for the first few hours, but around 9:30 p.m. local time, demonstrators got rowdy and wouldn’t disperse from the street. Police then tossed tear gas canister into the crowd.

Police Chief Renee Hall said protesters threw rocks at police cars. Officers in riot gear faced off protesters in the street, threatening to throw more tear gas if the crowd did not disperse.

Read more at CBS Dallas/Dallas Fort Worth.BY JUSTIN CARISSIMO

10:54 PM

Atlanta mayor on violence: “If you care about this city, then go home”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered an impassioned plea to calm the violence in her city on Friday night, after a police car was set ablaze and protesters smashed windows at the CNN building.

“If you care about this city, then go home,” Bottoms urged at a late-night press conference.

Atlanta’s protest was one of many raging across the nation Friday night, as people took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in policy custody.

“If you want change in America, go and register to vote. Show up at the polls on June 9th. Do it in November. That is the change we need in this country,” Bottoms added.

Read more here.BY VICTORIA ALBERT

10:44 PM

Police in Charlotte arrest protesters for damaging property

Several protesters in North Carolina were arrested Friday night for damaging property, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said. Some protesters threw rocks and other objects at police officers and damaged police cruisers, the department added.

The department said “no chemical agents have been deployed” and they were working to “de-escalate” the situation. 

BY JUSTIN CARISSIMO

10:06 PM

Peaceful protesters defy curfew in Minneapolis

A group of peaceful protestors, organized by athletes, marched through downtown Minneapolis to the Hennepin Bridge, where they took a knee in remembrance of George Floyd.

And as of 8:30 p.m. local time, the marches continued in downtown Minneapolis even after the mandatory curfew went into effect, with large groups marching down streets like Washington and Chicago Avenues.

The march was organized by former NBA player Royce White and former football player Darrell Thompson. More than 1,000 protesters started at U.S. Bank Stadium, but the crowd soon moved on, walking through downtown Minneapolis. When they reached Hennepin Bridge, they shut down traffic and took a knee. 

Read more at CBS Minnesota.

Protests Continue Over Death Of George Floyd, Killed In Police Custody In Minneapolis
Protesters march by U.S. Bank Stadium in response to the police killing of George Floyd on May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis.STEPHEN MATUREN / GETTY

BY JUSTIN CARISSIMO

8:29 PM

Protesters set police vehicle on fire in Atlanta and vandalize sign at CNN Center

Demonstrators clashed with police in downtown Atlanta on Friday evening. Some protesters vandalized police cruisers and set one squad car on fire, CBS affiliate WGCL reports.

An Atlanta Police car burns as people protest near CNN Center in Atlanta
An Atlanta police car burns near CNN Center in Atlanta on May 29, 2020.DUSTIN CHAMBERS / REUTERS

Some protesters mounted the sign outside the CNN Center, which is now covered in graffiti. Social media videos showed others breaking glass at the building’s entrance. 

WGCL reports that several other buildings in the area have been vandalized. 

Atlanta protest George Floyd CNN Center
People gather at CNN Center during a protest in Atlanta on May 29, 2020.DUSTIN CHAMBERS / REUTERS

BY JUSTIN CARISSIMO

8:28 PM

Protesters clash with police at Barclays Center in Brooklyn

In Brooklyn, crowds of demonstrators chanted at police officers lined up outside the Barclays Center. There were several moments of struggle, as some in the crowd pushed against metal barricades and police pushed back.

Scores of water bottles flew from the crowd toward the officers, and in return police sprayed an eye-irritating chemical at the group twice.

The names of black people killed by police, including Floyd and Eric Garner, who died on Staten Island in 2014, were on signs carried by those in the crowd, and in their chants. 

“It’s my duty to be out here,” Brianna Petrisko told The Associated Press from lower Manhattan, where some of the protests began. The protest took place despite coronavirus prohibitions on large gatherings. The demonstrators were gathered in Foley Square, while police stood across the street.

“Our country has a sickness,” Petrisko said. “We have to be out here. This is the only way we’re going to be heard.”

Protests Against Police Brutality Over Death Of George Floyd Continue In NYC
Activists hold a rally in response to the police killing George Floyd in front of Barclays Center on May 29, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. / GETTY IMAGES

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

8:18 PM

Colin Kaepernick will pay legal fees for Minnesota protesters

The Know Your Rights Campaign announced Friday that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick helped establish a legal defense initiative for the Minneapolis area protestors seeking justice for George Floyd’s death.

The fund has “identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area to provide legal resources for those in need,” according to its website.  “When there is an injustice within our community, it is our legal right to address it, by any means necessary.”

On Friday, protesters marched onto Hennepin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis. They kneeled down outside of U.S. Bank Stadium and held a moment of silence for Floyd, according to CBS Minnesota. Kaepernick famously made a similar gesture throughout the 2016 NFL season, when he repeatedly knelt during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S. BY LI COHEN

7:38 PM / MAY 29, 2020

Protesters shut down highway in San Jose for over an hour

Activists in San Jose marching to protest the death of George Floyd shut down US Highway 101 in both directions for more than an hour on Friday.

Around 100 protesters blocked all southbound lanes of the highway near the Santa Clara Street freeway entrance at around 3 p.m. Some vehicles managed to skirt their way around the crowd.

Traffic had also been stopped in the northbound direction as officers diverted cars off the freeway.  Exiting traffic was also leading to gridlock on city streets in the area.

Earlier Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom in a news conference discussed Floyd’s death and the unrest it has triggered across the country. “I pray that all of us that want to express ourselves do so thoughtfully and gently, but forcefully, in terms of expressing themselves as they should and as they must,” said the governor.

Read more at CBS SF Bay Area.

7:22 PM / MAY 29, 2020

Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police use of force

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham announced Friday that his committee will hold a hearing on police use of force in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“I have just spoken with Senator Feinstein, the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, about the horrific death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis,” Graham said in a statement announcing the hearing. “Both of us are appalled at what we saw and believe it is important to have a hearing as soon as possible as to how to combat this outrage.”

“The Committee intends to call a wide variety of witnesses on the topics of better policing, addressing racial discrimination regarding the use of force, as well as building stronger bonds between communities and police,” he added. “We intend to shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation.”BY VICTORIA ALBERT

7:21 PM / MAY 29, 2020

FBI seeking additional photos and videos to aid investigation

The Minneapolis Division of the FBI is seeking additional information, photos and video relevant to the federal civil rights investigation into George Floyd’s death. The agency on Friday urged residents who were in the area to post media to its website at fbi.gov/MinneapolisTips or to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324).

The FBI is investigating whether civil rights charges are appropriate in the case. In a statement, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the parallel federal investigation is “proceeding quickly” towards a charging decision.BY JUSTIN CARISSIMO

6:01 PM / MAY 29, 2020

James Clyburn calls for more arrests

Representative James Clyburn called for more officers to be arrested on Friday, tweeting that Derek Chauvin, the officer who has already been arrested and charged, “did not act alone.”

“When George Floyd laid on the ground, crying out for his life, it was not one, not two, but three cops who kept their knees on him, snuffing out his life as a fourth stood by and watched,” Clyburn wrote. “Everyone involved must be brought to justice immediately.” BY VICTORIA ALBERT

6:00 PM / MAY 29, 2020

Large crowds hit the streets to protest in New York City

Large crowds have taken to the streets in New York City on Friday to protest the death of George Floyd. Several protesters have been arrested in Foley Square and at the Brooklyn Bridge for blocking traffic and disorderly conduct.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had a message to protesters, pleading for them to protest peacefully, and be mindful of COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene. He also urged them to respect police and direct anger toward elected leaders, not police officers trying to do their job.

Friday’s protest was organized by faith leaders and started at Foley Square. Organizers are encouraging the protest to be peaceful.

Read more at CBS New York.

US-POLITICS-POLICE-JUSTICE-RACISM
Protestors gather behind a banner spelling the name of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes, on May 29, 2020, in New York during a “Black Lives Matter” protest. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/GETTY

BY JUSTIN CARISSIMO

5:28 PM / MAY 29, 2020

Minnesota governor imposes curfew on Minneapolis and St. Paul

Soon after Mayor Jacob Frey announced a curfew for the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a similar curfew that covers Minneapolis and St. Paul. The curfew has the same hours as Frey’s: 8 p.m. Friday night to 6 a.m. Saturday morning, and 8 p.m. Saturday night to 6 a.m. Sunday morning. 

“It’s time to rebuild our community and that starts with safety in our streets,” Walz said in a statement announcing the executive order. “Thousands of Minnesotans have expressed their grief and frustration in a peaceful manner. But the unlawful and dangerous actions of others, under the cover of darkness, has caused irreversible pain and damage to our community. 

Walz’s curfew prohibits anyone other than “first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness” from traveling on Minneapolis’ or St. Paul’s streets or appearing in public places, the statement said. 

BY VICTORIA ALBERT

UPDATED 7:32 PM / MAY 29, 2020

Trump says he talked to George Floyd’s family

President Trump on Friday said he has spoken to George Floyd’s family, calling them “terrific people.” 

“It’s very important to the family that the memory of George Floyd be a perfect memory,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump, who has tweeted forcefully about “looters,” insisted that “looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters.”

“I understand the hurt, I understand the pain,” Mr. Trump said. “People have really been through a lot. The family of George is entitled to justice and the people of Minnesota are entitled to live in safety.” 

BY CAROLINE LINTON

George Floyd’s family hires former NYC chief medical examiner for independent autopsy

The family of George Floyd has hired former NYC chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden to conduct an independent autopsy. Baden told CBS News that he expects to perform the autopsy next week.

Baden, a prominent forensic pathologist, has testified at several high-profile trials including the murder trial of OJ Simpson. He has conducted private autopsies on both Jeffrey Epstein and Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.BY PAT MILTON

4:48 PM / MAY 29, 2020

Bon Iver donates $30,000 to organizations aiding protesters

Indie folk band Bon Iver has announced a $30,000 donation to organizations aiding protesters. The band tweeted that it is “deeply concerned” for protesters in Minneapolis, writing that “their bravery is astounding and inspiring.”

The donation will go to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, the George Floyd Memorial Fund, Reclaim the Block and Black Visions Collective.

“Fellow fans, artists, labels, please join us by making contributions of your own, whatever you can afford, to help make a difference in the communities most affected by the ongoing crisis in the Twin Cities, one that is also beginning to brew in other cities across America,” the band wrote.

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