George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests: news summary

George Floyd protests: latest news, Tuesday 16 June

Trump Jr tweets, then deletes, Shake Shack 'poisoning' claim

Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr, has posted then quickly deleted a tweet about New York Police Department officers supposedly being poisoned at Shake Shack, after three officers were hospitalised after drinking milkshakes from the restaurant chain.

In the wake of the incident, the NYC Police Benevolent Associated had claimed that they may have been poisoned with bleach - but an NYPD investigation found this not to be the case.

Where are the Democrats who are denouncing NYPD officers getting poisoned on the job?” Trump Jr wrote in his subsequently erased tweet late on Monday night. “Their silence is deafening!


Video still of Albuquerque clashes that led to shooting

Obtained from a social-media video, this image shows clashes between protesters trying to pull down a statue of the conquistador Juan de Oñate and armed members of civilian militia group New Mexico Civil Guard, moments before a man was shot and wounded, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

(Courtesy of Fight For Our Lives/Social Media via REUTERS)


A Palestinian artist paints a mural depicting George Floyd in Gaza City on Tuesday.

(Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

FIFA urges tolerance after Trump comments about kneeling during anthem

United States President Donald Trump tweeted that he was going to boycott all sports in the country if players started kneeling during the national anthem, leading FIFA to say it "strongly advocates for tolerance, mutual respect and common sense when such important matters are debated".

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Man shot during protest over conquistador sculpture in New Mexico

A man was shot and wounded on Monday during a protest near a museum in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, police said, where demonstrators were reported to be trying to tear down a sculpture of a 16th-century Spanish conquistador.

"The victim is reported to be in critical but stable condition," the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) said in a tweet, adding that the incident had ended.

The Albuquerque Journal newspaper reported that the shooting erupted during a clash between protesters trying to pull down a statue of Juan de Onate and several heavily armed members of a civilian militia group called the New Mexico Civil Guard. (Reuters)

Criticism of UK race inequality commission appointment

There has been fierce criticism of the appointment of Downing Street adviser Munira Mirza to set up the UK government’s new race inequality commission. Per the Guardian, Mirza has previously “cast doubt on the existence of institutional racism” and “condemned previous inquiries for fostering a ‘culture of grievance’”.

African nations seek UN inquiry into US racism, police brutality

African countries are lobbying to set up a UN inquiry into "systemic racism" and "police brutality" in the United States and elsewhere, aiming to defend the rights of people of African descent, a draft resolution seen by Reuters shows.

The text, circulating among diplomats in Geneva, voices alarm at "recent incidents of police brutality against peaceful demonstrators defending the rights of Africans and of people of African descent". It is due to be considered at an urgent debate of the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

The 47-member Council agreed on Tuesday to convene at the request of Burkina Faso on behalf of African countries after the death last month of George Floyd, an African American, in police custody in Minneapolis. (Reuters)


A woman shout protests outside a burned Wendy's restaurant on Monday, the third day following Rayshard Brooks' shooting to death by police in the restaurant parking lot, in Atlanta, Georgia. The mayor of Atlanta ordered immediate police reforms on Monday after the fatal shooting of the black man by a white police officer sparked further outrage over the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.


Seattle council bans chokeholds

Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday to ban police in the city from using chokeholds or tear gas, while officers will also now be unable to cover their badge numbers with mourning bands. Per the Seattle Times, council member Kshama Sawant said the ‘historic’ move was a step in the direction of demilitarising and defunding the Seattle Police Department.

Off-duty firefighter on George Floyd killing

An off-duty fireman called 911 in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. From the transcript of the call: “I’m on the block of 38th and Chicago and I literally watched police officers not take a pulse and not do anything to save a man, and I am a first responder myself, and I literally have it on video camera… I just happened to be on a walk so, this dude, this, they (expletive) killed him so..."

In another release transcript an unidentified caller says a police officer: "pretty much just killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest.”

Protesters block Insterstate 395

Demonstrators blocked both sides of Interstate 395 south of the Capitol earlier. 

Over 3 Million sign petition urging Trump to declare KKK a terrorist group

At least two online petitions on have gained traction in calling for the Ku Klux Klan to be declared a terrorist organization, or altogether outlawing the oldest American hate group.

The petitions have drawn more than three million signatures over the last week. The first, petitioning Congress to 'Make the KKK illegal' was created on 5 June while the second, 'Change KKK status into Terrorist Organization' was set up on 7 June. The second petition is directed toward the Department of Counterterrorism.


Raymond James fires employee for confronting Black Lives Matter protester

Investment bank Raymond James Financial Inc confirmed today that it has dismissed an employee after a video posted on Twitter showed him and his wife question a man who painted 'Black Lives Matter' outside what he says is his home in San Francisco.

"After an investigation into the circumstances of a video alleging racism by one of our associates, we have concluded that the actions of he and his partner were inconsistent with our values, and the associate is no longer employed with Raymond James," a spokesperson for the company said.

The company did not reveal the identity of the employee. The corporate response to protests over the treatment of African Americans has included pledges to enact or propose changes in policies or practices long sought by critics, increased diversity and donations to civil rights groups.

Last month, global investment firm Franklin Templeton fired a white woman after a viral video showed her calling the police to say she felt threatened by an African-American man who asked her politely to leash her dog in New York's Central Park.

NYPD disbands anti-crime unit

The New York Police Department is disbanding its undercover anti-crime unit — nearly six years after one of its plainclothes cops killed Eric Garner with a chokehold, sparking the rallying cry of “I can’t breathe” for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the change Monday afternoon at police headquarters, describing ending the unit as “seismic” shift culturally in the NYPD.

Chuck D and Brady Watt in the house

An updated version of the PE / Isleys classic for 2020.

‘Gone with the Wind’ will return to HBO Max in the US - but with changes

The 1939 award-winning film, set in Georgia, was pulled from the streaming platform’s library content in response to claims it stereotypes and devalues black people.

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Trump says he will sign police reform executive order on Tuesday

Donald Trump says he will sign an executive order on police reform and hold a news conference on Tuesday, after several weeks of nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

In comments to reporters, Trump also said the shooting by police of a black man in Atlanta was a terrible situation and very disturbing. An Atlanta police officer was fired and the police chief resigned after the killing of Rayshard Brooks on Friday night. No details on Trump's executive order on police reform have been released. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are working on separate proposals on the issue.

Atlanta Mayor to issue de-escalate orders

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she would issue orders requiring police officers to de-escalate situations and imposing a duty to intervene when officers see another officer using force excessively.

Bottoms told a media briefing that she felt after the death of Rayshard Brooks she could not wait for an advisory council to come up with recommendations to reform the police. 'It was clear that we do not have another day, another minute, another hour, to waste,' she said.

Real Madrid's Marcelo joins the cause

After scoring Real Madrid's third goal in Sunday's 3-1 win over Eibar, left-back Marcelo went down on one knee and raised his fist in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Read more here:

Rayshard Brooks should have been allowed to walk home instead of being shot by police, say family lawyers

(Reuters) Police officers involved in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a black man whose death reignited protests in Atlanta over the weekend, should have let him walk home or found other ways to de-escalate the situation, his family's lawyers said on Monday.

An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Brooks, 27, died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds to his back, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said in a statement, ruling his death a homicide.

Justin Miller, attorney for Brooks' family, told CNN on Monday said the police officers did not tell Brooks clearly that he was being placed under arrest or consider his state of mind given that he was tired and inebriated.

"We don't think it was right, and we don't think it was reasonable" for the officer to have used lethal force in response, Miller said.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects cases over 'qualified immunity'

(Reuters) The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a number of cases involving a legal defense called qualified immunity that can be used to shield government officials from lawsuits including police officers accused of excessive force.

The justices rejected the closely watched appeals in cases that had been pending before the court for months including a dispute over whether officers in Tennessee can be sued for using a dog on a man who says he had surrendered. Justice Clarence Thomas, in a dissent, said the court should have heard the case.

Though the justices rejected these cases, they could at some point act on other appeals involving qualified immunity that also are awaiting attention by the court.

The decision to reject the cases comes as a national spotlight is once again trained on police use of force after the death of George Floyd, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in custody. 

The government has been forced into a very generous public spending spree and the police force in the United States is also at a crossroads. One might have caused the other but either way, it is a fascinating time in the history of the country and a potential turning point.

Martin Luther King said: "Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention."

American has a lot of listening to do on some major topics.

President Trump to boycott NFL and US soccer games if players kneel

Donald Trump says he will not watch the NFL or United States soccer games if players do not stand for the national anthem. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) this week voted to repeal a policy requiring players to stand while The Star-Spangled Banner is played before games.

USSF put that policy in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who first took a knee in 2016 in protest against police brutality and the systematic oppression of black people and people of colour in America.

Black Lives Matter protests, live coverage: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the ongoing fall-out from the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.