Floyd's Brother Calls for Peace : George Floyd's brother, Terrence Floyd, went yesterday to the site on a Minneapolis street where his brother died, and made an emotional plea for peace, saying violence and destruction is, quote, "not going to bring my brother back." Floyd said, "Let’s switch it up, y’all. Let’s switch it up. Do this peacefully, please." He urged people to use their power at the ballot box and vote.
Two Autopsies Call Floyd's Death Homicide : The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday classified George Floyd's death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck. The report said Floyd had heart disease and hypertension, and listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use, but they were not included under cause of death. A separate private autopsy commissioned for Floyd’s family also called his death a homicide, saying he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression. The family's autopsy found no evidence of heart disease. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who was fired the day after Floyd's death, has been charged with third-degree murder, after he was seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes as he repeatedly cried out that he couldn't breathe and eventually became unresponsive.
President Trump on Monday (June 1st) threatened to deploy the U.S. military against protests across the country over George Floyd's death and police brutality that, while mostly peaceful, have repeatedly become violent. Speaking in the evening from the White House Rose Garden, Trump declared himself the "president of law and order," and said he'd act if the nation's governors don't use the National Guard in large enough numbers to, quote, "dominate the streets." That came after Trump had made similar remarks earlier in the day in a video conference with the governors, telling them they, quote, "look like fools" for not using more National Guard troops and saying, "Most of you are weak." Presidents can deploy the military in states to suppress an insurrection, but some states said he can't send them in against the will of local governments.
Just minutes before Trump spoke, police and National Guard soldiers began pushing back hundreds of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, including using tear gas, more than a half-hour before a city curfew was to start. It was done to clear the way so that Trump could walk to St. John's Episcopal Church, where a fire was set in the basement the night before, but was quickly extinguished. Once Trump arrived, he stood in front of the church and held up a Bible, posing with it in his hand. The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese that St. John's belongs to,Reverend Mariann Budde, said afterward that she was, quote, "outraged" that Trump used the church that way, saying church officials hadn't been told it was going to happen. The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, also issued a statement saying Trump had, quote, "used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes."
There were protests again on Monday across the country, and again there were violent incidents at some of them. A vehicle drove through a group of police in Buffalo, New York, injuring two of them, and looters smashed windows and grabbed merchandise in midtown Manhattan in New York City. Tear gas was fired at a crowd in Louisville, Kentucky, hours after the city's police chief was fired over a fatal shooting by law enforcement of a barbecue restaurant owner early in the morning. Police said they and National Guard soldiers were responding to gunfire from a crowd as they were enforcing a curfew when David McAtee was fatally hit by their gunfire.Mayor Greg Fischer announced the firing of the police chief, and said none of the officers involved in the shooting had activated their body cameras.
Claimed Antifa Twitter Account was White Nationalists : Twitter said Monday that an account claiming to be part of a national antifa organization that was tweeting violent rhetoric related to the protests was in reality linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. The account was suspended after a tweet incited violence. The newly-created account, which called itself @ANTIFA_US, tweeted Sunday night, "Tonight's the night, Comrades," with a brown raised fist emoji, and "Tonight we say 'F**k The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours …" Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have claimed antifa and far-left extremists have been behind the violence and vandalism at some protests. However, federal and state officials are looking into evidence that both far-left and far-right groups may be infiltrating the protests with the aim of turning them violent.