George Floyd: Cop charged with murder, Minneapolis sets curfew

Derek Chauvin charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

  • The fired officer who knelt on George Floyd’s knelt for several minutes as Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, has been charged with murder and manslaughter.
  • Protests erupted in cities across the US over the deadly arrest of Floyd, an unarmed black man, who was pinned to the ground by the knee of a white officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Protesters rallied in Minneapolis for a third night on Thursday into Friday, with some demonstrators overtaking a police building and setting it on fire.
  • The Minnesota National Guard has arrived in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and surrounding areas.
  • Twitter hid Trump’s tweet criticising the protesters and Minneapolis’s handling of the protests as a violation of its policy on glorifying violence.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, May 29

21:15 GMT – Trump says he spoke with family of George Floyd

US President Donald Trump said he had spoken with the family of George Floyd.

Trump, speaking during an event at the White House, also said “we can’t allow” the demonstrations in Minneapolis “to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos”.

20:40 GMT – Minneapolis imposes weekend curfew

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has imposed a curfew on the city beginning at Friday night.

Under the curfew, only specified public safety personnel and other essential workers will be allowed in public places from 8pm to 6am (01:00-10:00 GMT) Friday and Saturday nights.

20:05 GMT – FBI asks for info, photos, video on George Floyd’s death

The FBI Minneapolis asked for public assistance with its civil rights investigation of the death of Floyd. It encourages the public to provide any info, photos or videos from before, during or after the incident.

19:50 GMT – Floyd was unresponsive for nearly 3 minutes before officer removed knee: Complaint

George Floyd was unresponsive for nearly three minutes before the officer removed his knee from his neck, according to a complaint filed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in the arrest of Derek Chuavin.

Citing a preliminary autopsy, the complaint said being constrained, underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system “likely contributed to his death”.

Minneapolis
A protester reacts while gathering with others outside the city hall after a white police officer was caught on a bystander’s video pressing his knee into the neck of African American man George Floyd [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

18:32 GMT – Trump defends tweet, says he wasn’t glorifying violence

Responding to Twitter’s decision to hide President Donald Trump tweet that it deemed to be glorifying violence, Trump said he was only stating a fact.

“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night,” Trump tweeted, repeating the phrase he initially tweeted late on Thursday.

“It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!” Trump said.

But the phrase “looting leads to shooting,” was first used however by former Miami Police Chief Water Headley in declaring a war on criminals, according to the Washington Post.

“I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Headley reportedly said.

18:10 GMT –  Fired police officer charged with murder, manslaughter

A fired Minneapolis police officer has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd,   Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

Former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes before the black man went motionless, a video of the incident showed. 

‘I can’t breathe’: US black man dies in police custody (02:48)

Minneapolis residents called the arrest a good “first step” but demanded the three other officers involved to be arrested and charged as well.  Freeman said those officers are still under investigation.

17:20 GMT – Fired officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck taken into custody, local media report

According to local media, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has taken into custody former officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes before the black man went motionless.  No criminal charges have been filed as of yet.

16:50 GMT – Obama: This shouldn’t be the normal in America

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement on Floyd’s killing via Twitter. Obama cited conversations with friends in recent days, including one with an African American business owner who said Floyd’s killing “hurt” to watch.

While it’s “natural” for people to want things to return to normal, Obama said, “we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’.” “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” Obama said.

16:05 GMT – National Guard arrives in Minneapolis

Members of the Minnesota National Guard arrived in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul areas. The National Guards said about 500 members would be activated to the area.

Minneapolis
Armoured vehicles are pictured as National Guard members guard an area in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Carlos Barria/Reuters] [Daylife]
George Floyd
A man reacts as he confronts National Guard members guarding an area in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

16:00 GMT – NABJ calls arrest of CNN journalist ‘unfathomable’

The on-air arrest of CNN journalist Omar Jimenez, who is Black, was condemned by Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

“It is unfathomable and upsetting to witness this structural racism in real time. We are closely monitoring this situation,” Tucker said in a tweet.

Local NABJ chapter head Nicole Norfleet reached out to Jimenez to offer support.

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15:30 GMT – Minnesota governor apologises for CNN arrests, says there will be swift justice for Floyd

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he expects “swift” justice for George Floyd.

“It is my expectation that justice for the officers involved in this will be swift, that it will come in a timely manner, that it will be fair,” Swift said. “That is what we’ve asked for. I have been in contact with Hennepin County attorney, and I am confident that those very things I just said will happen.”

Prosecutors have been criticised for taking more than three days to announce a decision on charges against the officers.

Walz also publicly apologised for the arrest of a CNN crew.

14:20 GMT – Biden ‘furious’ about Trump tweet

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said on Twitter that he was “furious” about Trump’s tweet glorifying violence against protesters in Minneapolis.

“I will not lift the President’s tweet,” the former vice president said. “I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I’m furious, and you should be too.” Biden said he would speak later on Friday about the protests.

14:15 GMT – US first lady calls for peace

Striking a noticeably different tone from her husband, US First Lady Melania Trump tweeted her condolences to the family of George Floyd and called for peace.

“Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence,” she said. “I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let’s focus on peace, prayers & healing.”

13:10 GMT – Minnesota attorney general says charges are likely

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says he expects “there will be charges” against the police officers involved in Floyd’s deadly arrest.

“We are standing by and helping any way we can,” Ellison told CNN. “I anticipate there will be charges. I hope they’re soon. But that is the prerogative of another prosecuting authority. They are trying to be careful. They are trying to make sure their case is strong and airtight.”

12:00 GMT – Brother of George Floyd: ‘I just want justice’

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, says he just wants justice. Philonise said the protesters “have the same pain that I feel”.

“I want everybody to be peaceful right now but people are torn and hurt because they’re tired of seeing black men die constantly, over and over again,” Philonise told CNN.

“I understand and I see why a lot of people are doing a lot of different things around the world. I don’t want them to lash out like that, but I can’t stop people right now. Because they have pain. They have the same pain that I feel. I want everything to be peaceful, but I can’t make everybody be peaceful. I can’t. It’s hard.”

11:00 GMT – Twitter flags and hides Trump’s tweet that ‘glorified violence’

Twitter has, for the first time, flagged and hidden a tweet by  Trump, saying he violated Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday, saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, in reference to nationwide protests that followed the deadly arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis.

Twitter flagged the second tweet with a disclaimer, saying: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” allowing the public to still view the tweet by clicking on “View”.

09:00 GMT – Protests over deadly arrest rock US’s Minneapolis

Protests erupted across the United States on Thursday night as anger over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, intensified, with some demonstrators gaining access to a police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and setting sections of the building on fire.

Protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
Protesters set a shop on fire during the third day of demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis [EPA]
A protester reacts while gathering with others outside the city hall in Minneapolis
A protester reacts while gathering with others outside the city hall [Carlos Barria/Reuters]
Minneapolis

 

Here are a few things to get caught up:

  • George Floyd, unarmed 46-year-old Black man, died on Monday after a white officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck down to the ground for several minutes. Floyd can be heard on a bystander video repeatedly pleading with officers, saying “I can’t breathe.” He eventually goes motionless with the officer’s knee still on his neck. (You can read about the deadly incident here.)
  • The four officers involved in the incident were fired, but prosecutors have not made a decision on charges, angering Floyd’s family, community leaders and residents.
  • Protests erupted across Minneapolis on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. While they have started peacefully, they have descended into chaos and fires. There have been reports of looting and vandalism.
  • Protesters on Thursday gained access to the Minneapolis third precinct police building, setting it on fire. A state of emergency has been declared and the National Guard activated.
  • Protests have also gripped other parts of the US, including New York City, Louisville, Kentucky, Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California. More protests are scheduled for the weekend. (Aljazeera)

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