Unrest continues... police join protesters


Protests over George Floyd's death and against police brutality continued Tuesday (June 2nd) in cities across the country, and went on into the night in many of them despite curfews having been put in place. But there didn't appear to be the kind of looting in New York City as there had been in Manhattan and parts of the Bronx the night before, or the same tensions in Washington, D.C., as there were Monday night, after police aggressively cleared protesters from Lafayette Park across from the White House before President Trump walked to St. John's Episcopal Church and posed for photos with a Bible. Trump, who had the day before threatened to send in the U.S. military against protesters, tweeted at New York City to call up the National Guard, saying, "The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart." But Mayor Bill de Blasio said that wasn't necessary, while instituting an earlier curfew of 8 p.m. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also criticized what had happened in New York City Monday night, saying police hadn't been deployed in sufficient numbers and stating, "The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night." 

A 29-year-old Las Vegas police officer was on life support yesterday after being shot the day before as police tried to disperse a large crowd of protesters on the Las Vegas Strip.Officer Shay Kellin Mikalonis was shot from across the street and 20-year-old Edgar Samaniego was later arrested on suspicion of the shooting.

Six Atlanta police officers were charged Tuesday after they were seen on video dragging a young African-American couple from a car and shooting them with stun guns Saturday night while they were stuck in traffic caused by protests. Two of the officers were fired on Sunday for using excessive force against 22-year-old Messiah Young and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim, and the other four were placed on administrative leave. The officers are heard on the video shouting that Young had a gun, but no gun was found. Four of the officers are facing aggravated assault and other charges, a fifth is charged with aggravated battery, and a sixth with criminal damage.

Criticism of Trump Over Park Clearing, Military Threat:Trump and other administration officials were facing criticism from some Tuesday over Lafayette Park being cleared by officers using pepper spray, flash-bang grenades and mounted units against peaceful protesters before his walk to the church the night before. It was reported yesterday that Attorney General Bill Barr gave the order for the park to be cleared, which officials said was decided because of violence there the night before. Republican Senator Ben Sasse was among the critics, saying, "[T]here is a fundamental -- a constitutional -- right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop." After facing criticism, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, distanced themselves from what had happened, despite having walked with Trump to the church. Media reports cited senior defense officials as saying Esper and Milley didn't know about the decision to clear the park, or that Trump planned to go to the church. Retired Admiral Mike Mullen, who was Joint Chiefs chairman under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, yesterday criticized Trump's threat to use the U.S. military against protesters. He wrote in an op-ed for The Atlantic, "our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so." Mullen also wrote that he was "sickened" by law enforcement, quote, "forcibly and violently" clearing the park for Trump to walk to the church. 

Civil Rights Probe Into Minneapolis PD:Minnesota opened a civil rights investigation yesterday (June 2nd) of the Minneapolis Police Department after the death of George Floyd at the hands of one its since-fired and charged officers.Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the move, saying they hope to come to an agreement with the city on identifying ways to address the police department’s history of racial discrimination, and find solutions for systemic change. The goal is to agree on a consent decree that can be enforced legally and with financial penalties. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who had his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, is facing third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. The three other officers involved were fired, but as of yet have not been charged with anything. State Attorney General Keith Ellison said prosecutors are working as fast as they can to determine if the three other officers should face any charges.

Mother of Floyd's Child Speaks:The mother of George Floyd's six-year-old daughter yesterday called for justice, saying in a Minneapolis press conference, "I want justice for him because he was good, no matter what anybody thinks." She added, "He was good and this is the proof that he was a good man," pointing to their daughter Gianna.Roxie Washington said that even though Floyd had moved from Texas to Minneapolis, he was supportive of Gianna and would always talk about taking care of her. Washington spoke about what Floyd won't be there for in Gianna's life, saying, "He will never see her grow up, graduate . . . he will never walk her down the aisle. If there's a problem that she's having and she needs he dad, she does not have that anymore."