A day after hundreds of mourners packed a Houston church for the funeral of George Floyd, the black man whose death has inspired a worldwide reckoning over racial injustice, the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday heard testimony on racial profiling and police brutality.
The hearing came two days after Democrats introduced legislation to overhaul legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force episodes and ban police chokeholds. Republicans are working with the White House on their own policing reform legislation.
Here are the latest developments in the death of George Floyd:
One of 4 Ex-Officers Charged in Floyd Death Released on Bail
One of four police officers charged in the death of George Floyd has posted bail and is out of jail.
According to online records, Thomas Lane, 37, posted bail of $750,000 and was released from the Hennepin County Jail, with conditions, shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Records show the other officers remained in custody.
Lane is charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter for his role in the arrest of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died Memorial Day after another officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck as Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe and became motionless.
Lane’s attorney Earl Gray did not immediately return a message seeking comment. But last week Gray said that Lane was a rookie, and that the only thing he did was hold Floyd’s feet so he couldn’t kick. The criminal complaint also says that Lane expressed concern about Floyd and asked Chauvin twice if they should roll Floyd to his side, but Chauvin said no. Gray said Lane also performed CPR in the ambulance.
Gray told the Star Tribune he plans to bring a motion to dismiss the charges.
'Live PD' TV Show Canceled: Reports
A&E has canceled the TV show "Live PD," according to multiple published reports.
Protests in the wake of George Floyd's death have forced entertainment companies to grapple with the appropriateness of both current and past productions. On Tuesday, the Paramount Network dropped the long-running reality series “Cops” after 33 seasons. The BBC also removed episodes of “Little Britain," a comedy series that featured a character in blackface, from its streaming service.
The decision to cancel "Live PD" was made jointly by A&E and MGM’s Big Fish Entertainment, which produces the show, Deadline reported.
"This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD. Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments," A&E said in a statement, according to Variety and Deadline.
Columbus Statue Pulled Down in St. Paul
Protesters have pulled down a statute of Christopher Columbus outside the Minnesota State Capitol.
A rope was thrown around the 10-foot bronze statue Wednesday afternoon and they pulled it off its stone pedestal.
The protesters, including Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, said they consider Columbus as a symbol of genocide against Native Americans. They said they had tried many times to remove it through the political process, but without success.
State Patrol troopers in helmets, who provide security in the Capitol complex, stood by at a distance but did not try to stop the protesters, who celebrated afterward with Native American singing and drumming.
The troopers eventually formed a line to protect the toppled statue so it could be taken away.
The protest followed a similar incident Tuesday night in Richmond, Virginia, and another in Boston.
NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag From Its Races and Properties
NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from its races and properties.
NASCAR says Wednesday the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”
Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's lone black driver, called this week for the banishment of the Confederate flag and said there was “no place” for them in the sport. Wallace asked the stock car series with deep ties to the South to formally distance itself from what for millions is a symbol of slavery and racism.
At long last, NASCAR obliged.
Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at race tracks, a proposal too broad to enforce and one that angered NASCAR’s core Southern-based fan base.
The move was announced before Wednesday night's race at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace was set to drive a Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme.
Pelosi Calls for Removing Confederate Statues From Capitol
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding that statues of Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis be removed from the U.S. Capitol.
In a letter, Pelosi told a House-Senate committee with jurisdiction over the controversial topic that Confederate statues “pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”
The California Democrat made the announcement on the very day President Donald Trump vowed on Twitter that he would not rename military bases honoring Confederate generals. Only a short time before Pelosi's statement, NASCAR announced it would ban displays of the Confederate flag at its races.
Confederate monuments have reemerged as a national flash point since the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Protesters decrying racism have targeted Confederate monuments in multiple cities, and some state officials are considering taking them down.
Pelosi lacks the authority to order the removal of the 11 Capitol statues honoring Confederates but is urging the little-noticed Joint Committee on the Library to vote to remove them. Senate Republicans share jurisdiction.
“The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation," Pelosi wrote. “Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals.”
George Floyd Protests
2 More Atlanta Officers Fired
Two more Atlanta police officers were fired Wednesday over an incident in which two college students were pulled from a car in traffic during a large protest against police brutality, authorities said.
Sgt. Lonnie Hood and Officer Armon Jones were fired as a result of their involvement in the May 30 incident, police spokesman Sgt. John Chafee said in an email.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and police Chief Erika Shields previously announced the firing, less than 24 hours after the encounter, of two other officers who were involved. The four fired officers and two others face criminal charges stemming from the incident.
Body camera footage shows a group of Atlanta police officers confronting 22-year-old Messiah Young and 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim in a car in downtown traffic caused by protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Video shows the officers shouting at the students, firing Tasers at them and dragging them from the car. Throughout the confrontation, the couple can be heard screaming and asking what they did wrong.
Minneapolis Police Chief Takes on Union, Promises Reforms
The Minneapolis Police Department is withdrawing from police union contract negotiations.
It’s the first step in what Chief Medaria Arradondo said would be transformational reforms to the agency in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Arradondo said Wednesday that a thorough review of the contract is planned. He said the contract needs to be restructured to provide more transparency and flexibility for true reform. The review would look at matters such as critical incident protocols, use of force, and disciplinary protocols, including grievances and arbitration.
He said it’s debilitating for a chief when an officer does something that is grounds for termination, but the union works to keep that person on the job, and on the street.
“This work must be transformational, but I must do it right,” Arradondo said of changes to the department.
He also promised to use new research and strategies to identify problem officers early and intervene. Messages left with the head of the police union were not returned.
Protesters in Boston Call for Reduced Police Funding
Protesters marched to Boston City Hall on Wednesday calling for city leadership to reduce its spending on police amid a nationwide push for sweeping structural reforms to the law enforcement system.
The Coalition of Black Youth planned the march to urge the City Council to redirect police funding to youth jobs programs, violence prevention and to hire additional mental health councilors in Boston Public Schools.
'Enough Is Enough': Floyd's Brother Calls on Congress to 'Stop the Pain'
George Floyd's brother told lawmakers Wednesday he got on a plane to D.C. after his brother's funeral to testify before Congress because he wants his brother's death to be "more than another name” on a growing list of those killed during interactions with police.
“If his death ends up changing the world for the better. And I think it will. I think it has. Then he died as he lived,” Philonise Floyd said in his opening statement.
Floyd testified his brother was "mild mannered," referring to George Floyd as "our gentle giant" who called the officers who suffocated him "sir" even as he begged for his life.
"I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired," Floyd said. "George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the call I'm making to you now."
At the time of his death, Floyd was out of work as a bouncer at a Minneapolis club that had closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. He was seized by police after being accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store.
"He didn't deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a Black man's life is worth? Twenty dollars? This is 2020. Enough is enough," Floyd said. "The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough."
LAPD Officer Charged With Assault After Video Shows Him Beating Man
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office has filed a single felony charge against a Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of repeatedly punching a man, NBC Los Angeles reported.
LAPD Officer Frank A. Hernandez was recorded on cellphone and body camera video repeatedly punching the 28-year-old man in an April incident.
While detaining the unarmed man, Hernandez was accused of repeatedly punching him in the head, neck and body, according to a statement from the LA County District Attorney's office.
Hernandez is accused of one count of "assault by a public officer."
Richmond Protesters Topple Columbus Statue, Throw It in Lake
A statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond, Virginia, was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then thrown into a lake.
The figure was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered in the city’s Byrd Park were chanting for the statue to be taken down, news outlets reported.
After the figure was removed from its pedestal around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday by protesters using several ropes, a sign that reads, “Columbus represents genocide” was placed on the spray-painted foundation that once held the statue. It was then set on fire and rolled into a lake in the park, NBC 12 reported.
There was no police presence in the park, but a police helicopter was seen circling the area after the city-owned figure was torn down, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
HBO Max Removes 'Gone With the Wind'
HBO Max has removed the 1939 film "Gone With the Wind" from its streaming platform, the company announced late Tuesday.
"’Gone With The Wind’ is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society," a statement said. "These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible."
When the movie returns to HBO Max, it will include "a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions," the company said.
CrossFit CEO Steps Down After Inflammatory George Floyd Comments
The founder and CEO of CrossFit, who has come under fire for tweets about the death of George Floyd and public health orders surrounding the coronavirus, announced his retirement Tuesday.
"On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members," Greg Glassman, who started the fitness company, said in a statement announcing his retirement.
Glassman responded to a tweet Saturday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, that called racism and discrimination "critical public health issues that demand an urgent response."
Glassman responded: "It's FLOYD-19."
Read the full story on NBCNews.com
Video Shows Man Hurling Racial Slurs at African-American Officers in DC
A man can be seen launching into a tirade about "cop culture" and repeatedly spouting a racial slur at two African-American police officers in D.C. in a video circulating on social media, NBC Washington reported.
The officers were at 16th and L streets in Northwest Sunday night keeping traffic out of the area when the man, who is white, walked by them and started yelling that they "killed a guy."
In the video, one of the officers responds and asks "Who?" to which the man says, "Floyd, George Floyd."
He then starts shouting expletives and racial slurs at the officers, telling them "shoot me all you want" and "I hope you die."
UCLA Lecturer on Leave After Complaints of 'Woefully Racist Response' to Request to Postpone Exam
A UCLA lecturer was placed on leave after students criticized his response to a request to postpone a final exam because of protests over the death of George Floyd, the university said Tuesday.
Students have posted criticism on Twitter and elsewhere about the way accounting lecturer Gordon Klein rejected the student's request. On Change.org, more than 20,000 endorsements have been gathered in an effort to get him fired. The Change.org petition page includes what is said to be the email that Klein sent as a response to the postponement request. He did not challenge its veracity.
"Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota," the posted email says. "Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the 'color of their skin.' Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK's admonition?"
Klein said he has "always provided compassionate treatment for students who face unique stresses and situations during final exams."
Read the full story on NBCNews.com
'Cops' TV Series Canceled
After 33 seasons on the air, “Cops” has been dropped by the Paramount Network as protests against police proliferate around the world.
“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a spokesperson for the cable channel said in a statement Tuesday.
The show had been pulled temporarily from the air in late May, when protests aimed at police over the death of George Floyd began to gain momentum. That move was made permanent Tuesday.