Live Updates: U. of Alabama to Remove Confederate Plaques; WH Fence Covered in Protest Art

George Floyd’s death on May 25 has inspired international protests

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The last chance for the public to say goodbye to George Floyd drew thousands of mourners Monday to a church in Houston where he grew up, as his death two weeks ago continues to stoke protests in America and beyond over racial injustice, and spurred France to abruptly halt the use of police choke holds.

Floyd’s death on May 25 has inspired international protests and drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans in the U.S. by police and the criminal justice system.

Here are the latest developments in the death of George Floyd:

Democrats from the House and the Senate took a moment of silence on Monday to remember George Floyd and others killed during interactions with police officers.

University of Alabama to Remove Confederate Plaques

The University of Alabama announced Tuesday that it plans to remove three Confederate Army plaques from their current locations on the Tuscaloosa campus. 

The plaques commemorated three University of Alabama students who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, as well as members of the student cadet corps involved in protecting the campus, the university said in a news release

For the full story, go to NBC News.

Portland, Oregon, Police Chief Resigns Amid Protests

Not yet six months into her job as chief, Jami Resch is stepping down from leading the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau as George Floyd protests roil the city.

Resch on Monday announced that she asked Charlie Lovell, an African American lieutenant, to serve as the next chief of police of Oregon’s largest city.

“He’s the exact right person at the exact right moment.,” she said at a news conference.

Demonstrators held two peaceful George Floyd protests in Portland but a third one that lasted until the early hours of Monday resulted in at least 20 arrests, with some demonstrators throwing objects at police, who fired tear gas and sponge-tipped projectiles.

Full beverage containers, glass bottles, hard-boiled eggs and rocks were thrown or fired at officers using sling-shots, police said in a statement Monday. A medic who was working with the officers was hit in the stomach with a rock.

The protest that turned violent happened at the Justice Center in downtown Portland.

Biden Meets With Floyd's Relatives in Houston

The lead attorney for George Floyd’s family said the grieving relatives met with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for an hour Monday in Houston.

Ben Crump said Biden’s “compassion meant the world to this grieving family,” and he described the visit as an example of “what will begin to heal America” as citizens around the country demand changes to police practices after Floyd’s death.

“Listening to one another is what will begin to heal America,” Crump said. “That’s just what Vice President Biden did with the family of George Floyd for more than an hour. He listened, he heard their pain and shared in their woe.”

Biden traveled to Houston for the visit ahead of Floyd’s funeral. Biden has called for substantial changes to police practices in the U.S., but he opposes some activists’ call to defund police and shift that taxpayers spending to other services.

Biden wants to expand spending on social services such as education and mental health care that can support police efforts, but also spend more on training existing police officers.

DeRay Mckesson, the co-founder of Campaign Zero, explains why the police reforms laid out on the “8 Can’t Wait” website can help reduce police misconduct.

LA Protesters Won't Be Charged Over Curfew

 Prosecutors say criminal charges will not be brought against thousands of Los Angeles protesters arrested for violating curfew and other police orders.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said Monday that his office will develop an alternative outside court without punishment for those cited for violating curfew or failing to obey orders to leave demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey said she won’t file charges in protest misdemeanor cases from other parts of Los Angeles County.

The city had the largest number of the 10,000 protest arrests in the U.S. tracked by The Associated Press.

Philly Officer Accused of Striking Protester Cheered on Before Surrendering on Charges

A Philadelphia police commander charged with aggravated assault for allegedly beating a Temple University student with a baton during a protest last week in Center City was greeted with salutes and cheers from supporters as he went to surrender on the charges Monday, NBC Philadelphia reports.

In a show of solidarity, a crowd of a few hundred supporters packed the lawn in front of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 in Northeast Philadelphia Monday morning as Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna Jr. left to surrender at the 15th Police District.

Bologna, who is also charged with reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime, has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss him from the department. Bologna's attorney said the officer's actions were justified because the protests had turned violent, and he has drawn the support of many of his colleagues.

The attorney representing the engineering student, who according to the district attorney’s office needed about 10 staples and 10 stitches, declined to comment on the charges or arrest.

Read the full story here.

New White House Fence Covered With Posters, Art About Racial Injustice

The additional fencing erected around the White House last week has quickly become a wall of protest signs and artwork memorializing George Floyd, TODAY reports.

Workers built an 8-foot fence around the entrance to Lafayette Square early last week and then added new fencing barriers around the White House complex days later, which protesters saw as a blank canvas for an impromptu art gallery of protest signs and memorials to victims of police brutality and injustice.

Video of an area of fencing filled with signs like "Fund the black community" and "Join the movement" was shared on Twitter by Washington Post reporter Hannah Natanson on Sunday.

Late Monday, officials said the fence would be taken down Wednesday.

Read the full story here.

Officer Charged in Floyd's Death Held on $1 Million Bail

A judge on Monday kept bail at $1 million for a former Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder in George Floyd's death.

Derek Chauvin, 44, said little during an 11-minute hearing in which he appeared before Hennepin County Judge Jeannice M. Reding on closed-circuit television from the state's maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights. He wore a mask and handcuffs as he sat at a table, where he answered yes or no to routine housekeeping questions and confirmed the the spelling of his name and address. He did not enter a plea; a step that usually comes later in Minnesota courts.

A judge raised Chauvin’s bail from $500,000 to $1 million when a second-degree murder charge was added on Wednesday. 

Read full story here.

Denver Police Dept. Bans Chokeholds Amid Floyd Protests

Denver’s police department is changing policies regarding its use of force and body cameras in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody.

As more people demonstrated in Denver on Sunday evening, the department released a statement saying that it has fully banned the use of chokeholds with no exceptions effective immediately.

It also said officers who intentionally point their gun at someone will be required to notify a supervisor and file a report to help collect data on such incidents.

The department said that it will also require members of its SWAT team to activate their body cameras when they are performing tactical operations.

Democrats Unveil Sweeping Police Reform Bill Amid Floyd Protests

Democrats in Congress proposed a far-reaching overhaul of police procedures and accountability Monday, a sweeping legislative response to the mass protests denouncing the deaths of black Americans in the hands of law enforcement.

The political outlook is deeply uncertain for the legislation in a polarized election year. President Donald Trump is staking out a tough "law and order” approach in the face of the outpouring of demonstrations and demands to re-imagine policing in America.

“We cannot settle for anything less than transformative structural change,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drawing on the nation’s history of slavery.

Before unveiling the package, House and Senate Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol's Emancipation Hall, reading the names of George Floyd and many others killed during police interactions. They knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — now a symbol of police brutality and violence — the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned under a white police officer’s knee before he died.

Trump, who met with law enforcement officials at the White House, characterized Democrats as having “gone CRAZY!”

As activists call for restructuring police departments and even to “ defund the police,” the president tweeted, “LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE.” He declared later, “We won't be dismantling our police.”

House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., explained on Monday why the Democrats' police reform bill is just the beginning of what needs to be done to help all people find a more perfect union.

Reebok, Gym Cut Ties With Crossfit Over CEO's 'Floyd-19' Comment

Reebok has announced that it is ending its longtime partnership with CrossFit in the wake of insensitive comments about George Floyd made over the weekend by company CEO Greg Glassman.

In response to a tweet by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that called racism "a public health issue," Glassman wrote, “It’s FLOYD-19.”

In a follow-up tweet, Glassman said the institute's "failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is ‘accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust and riots.’ Thanks!”

Glassman's comments were met with swift condemnation on social media and he later apologized in a tweet for his choice of words, calling it a "mistake."

“I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism,” the apology read. "I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake. Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim. I should have been sensitive to that and wasn’t. I apologize for that. I was trying to stick it to the @IHME_UW for their invalidated models resulting in needless, economy-wrecking, life-wrecking lockdown, and when I saw they were announcing modeling a solution to our racial crisis, I was incredulous, angry, and overly emotional. Involving George Floyd’s name in that effort was wrong."

Still, Reebok and several Crossfit-affiliated gyms, which pay Crossfit HQ for licensing rights, have sought to distance themselves from Glassman and the company by announcing would sever ties with Crossfit.

In a statement Sunday to Footwear News, Rebook said it will end its partnership with CrossFit after it fulfills its current contract obligation, adding that they remain passionate about the CrossFit community.

How the Militarization of Local Police Can Escalate

An NBCLX analysis revealed more than $200 million in surplus military equipment was awarded to boost local law enforcement arsenals in 2019. But why do local police departments in small cities and towns need machine guns?

An NBCLX analysis revealed more than $200 million in surplus military equipment was awarded to boost local law enforcement arsenals in 2019. But why do local police departments in small cities and towns need machine guns?

Studies have shown that the militarization of local police force have increased violence by police and against police, and caused an overall reduction of community safety.

Retired Baltimore Police SWAT member Maj. Neil Franklin told NBCLX that if you outfit local police departments with military garb and equipment, you're more likely to see escalation.

"If you have it, you're going to use it and you're going to deploy it," Franklin said.

Virginia Officer Arrested, Accused of Assaulting Man

A white officer in Fairfax County, Virginia, is facing assault charges after using a stun gun on a black man during a domestic call Friday, authorities say.

Fairfax County Police Officer Tyler Timberlake was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and battery, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement Saturday night.

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler said in a news conference late Saturday night that Timberlake deployed force in violation of the department's use of force policies and ignored "the sanctity of human life."

Roessler said it's unclear why Timberlake tased the man and the incident is under investigation, NBC Washington reported.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., addressed the Senate on Tuesday about the protests that have sprung up across the U.S. after the killing of George Floyd. "It's on us in this body to do something, to change the law. We can do that in the coming days."

Report: NYC Police Misconduct Often Involves Black, Latino Youths

The vast majority of complaints about New York City police officers' mistreatment of youths stemmed from encounters with black and Hispanic children, according to a new study by the city’s police watchdog agency.

Nearly two-thirds of youth complaints to the Civilian Complaint Review Board involved children of color, the report says, including some “stopped for seemingly innocuous activities such as playing, high-fiving, running, carrying backpacks, and jaywalking."

The report, based on a review of more than 100 complaints, highlights several instances of racial profiling and comes amid mounting calls for police reforms in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Thousands of New Yorkers have taken to the streets to protest Floyd's death and call for greater accountability, NBC New York reported.

Car Drives Into Seattle Protest, 1 Person Shot

A driver drove into a crowd at a Seattle protest and shot one person before he was taken into custody, police said in a Tweet Sunday night.

The victim, a 27-year-old man, is in stable condition in a hospital, the fire department confirmed.

Police confirmed a gun was recovered and no other people were injured.

Police said the protest in Seattle was growing unruly with people throwing bottles, rocks, fireworks and other projectiles at officers.

Protesters, Enraged by Black Americans Killed, Gather Nationwide

Contact Us