MINNEAPOLIS — As a memorial service for George Floyd brought Americans together in mourning, a Minnesota judge set bail at $750,000 each for three former Minneapolis police officers accused of aiding and abetting in the death of Floyd.
J. Alexander Kueng, 27, Thomas Lane, 36, and Tou Thao, 34, are charged with one count each of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Their next court date is June 29.
Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged last week by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, charges that were upgraded to second-degree murder Wednesday. His next hearing is Monday.
Mourners flocked to a memorial for Floyd in Minneapolis, an invitation-only service on the campus of North Central University. Meanwhile, a Floyd memorial at the site where Floyd cried "I can't breathe" serves as a hub of remembrance.
Ten days after Floyd's death, the nation is still reeling from the blatant injustice the viral video of the confrontation appears to show. Floyd died on Memorial Day after Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe. Protests across the U.S. remained large but were more subdued Wednesday night.
A closer look at some recent developments:
- Protests are expected to continue through the weekend, with multiple demonstrations planned in Washington, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said an event planned for Saturday "may be one of the largest that we've had in the city."
- Drew Brees, asked about players kneeling during the national anthem, says he will "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag." He later apologized but USA TODAY's Mike Jones writes that the New Orleans Saints quarterback blew it.
- In Virginia, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee and other Confederate monuments on Richmond's prominent Monument Avenue will be removed.
- Two Florida workers were fired Tuesday for making "hateful, racist" comments about Floyd demonstrators demanding better policing as part of nationwide protests.
Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for the Daily Briefing. Here's the latest news:
DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco among cities to lift curfews for protesters
Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose are among U.S. cities lifting curfews after days of unrest. While multiple protests over the weekend ended in violent clashes with police, demonstrations in recent days have been increasingly peaceful.
On Wednesday, thousands of peaceful protesters took to the streets in Washington D.C., though police reported no arrests and no damage to police property.
In announcing the end to the Los Angeles curfew, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that “Angelenos are rallying around powerful and peaceful demonstrations against racial injustice.”
A 6 p.m. curfew in the northern Los Angeles County city of Santa Clarita was lifted on Thursday after the ACLU challenged its legality, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported. Hundreds have been peacefully protesting for change since noon, holding up signs at one major intersection in the city that is home to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Florida protester arrested for spray-painting security cameras at governor's mansion
A man who was involved in several large gatherings in Tallahassee last weekend was arrested after police say he spray-painted the lenses of security cameras at the Florida Governor’s Mansion.
Nicholas Denney, 24, faces one count of damage to property criminal mischief. He was taken into custody Thursday on a warrant and will appear before a judge Friday.
Police watched Denney pull a can of paint from his backpack as protesters gathered in front of the executive mansion on Saturday and spray over two security cameras and a push to talk box.
– Karl Etters, Tallahassee Democrat
Utah man charged after video showed him pointing bow and arrow at protesters
A Utah man captured on video aiming a bow and arrow at protesters in Salt Lake City over the weekend was charged Thursday with assault and weapon possession.
Brandon McCormick, 57, was reportedly pushed to the ground on Saturday after shouting "All lives matter!" and pointing the weapon at people protesting the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police, according to charging documents.
People then flipped over his car and set it on fire. Video of the incident garnered widespread online attention. He is charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, aggravated assault and threatening or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel.
Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond to come down 'as soon as possible'
The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has towered over this Virginia city for more than 100 years will be removed "as soon as possible," Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday.
The news came after days of protest surrounding the Lee statue and other Confederate monuments on the city's Monument Avenue, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and protests against racial inequality around the country.
Is this the end for other Confederate memorials? Richmond is taking down Confederate statues
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said he would propose to the city council that the four other Confederate memorials be removed, too.
"Ladies and gentleman, it's time. It's time. It's time to put an end to the lost cause and fully embraced the righteous cause. It's time to replace the racist symbols of oppression and inequality," Stoney said at a news conference.
– Ryan W. Miller, Ledyard King and Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton: 'Send in the troops' to halt unrest across US
Sen Tom Cotton's editorial titled "Send In the Troops" went viral and drew scrutiny on him for writing it and The New York Times for publishing it.
Cotton, a veteran Republican from Arkansas, calls on President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and send the military into cities. "One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers." Defense Secretary Mark Esper, among others, opposes the plan.
Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, wrote that Cotton's piece "reads like the kind of handwritten manifesto investigators might find glued to a wall in the dingy apartment of a lone gunman they stopped minutes before his planned attack."
– Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees apologizes for protest comments
Drew Brees apologized Thursday after other athletes spoke out against the New Orleans Saints quarterback's comment that he would not support protests during the National Anthem. Brees, who had said '"taking a knee" disrespects the flag, said on Instagram that “in an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag,” he had made “comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark.” He said his words lacked “awareness and any type of compassion or empathy.”
New Orleans Saints teammates had been among those calling Brees out. Running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Michael Thomas both seemed to express their disapproval. San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman called Brees "beyond lost."
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers posted on Instagram: "It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action."
– Nate Scott and Steve Gardner, USA TODAY
Duchess Meghan tells graduates history is repeating itself
Duchess Meghan, in an emotional graduation video for her alma mater, called on high school graduates to help America rebuild its foundation amid protests over the killing of George Floyd. The 38-year-old duchess – who is living in Los Angeles with her husband, Prince Harry – spoke to graduates of Immaculate Heart High School in a video during their Wednesday night ceremony.
Meghan, who is biracial, has been vocal in the past about enduring racist incidents in Hollywood as an actress and in tabloids as a member of the British royal family. She lamented the fact that the past felt like it was repeating itself and students again had to face strife as a reality, rather than a "history lesson."
"The first thing I want to say to you is that I'm sorry," she said. "I'm so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present."
– Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
More news about the George Floyd protests
- Ben & Jerry's weigh in: The ice cream company calls out white supremacy.
- 'Law and order': Trump returns to 2016 theme as violence spreads after George Floyd death.
- Resources, ways to donate: How you can take action from home after the death of George Floyd.
- Covering Floyd protests: Journalists blinded, injured, arrested.
'Unprovoked attack on a defenseless police officer' in New York City
A day that began with hope that New York City was beginning to find a way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus and a week of angry demonstrations over police brutality ended Wednesday with more violence.
Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd drew thousands of people in New York City, but police broke them up shortly after an 8 p.m. curfew. Police said not long after that, a man ambushed officers on an anti-looting patrol in Brooklyn, stabbing one in the neck. The attacker was shot by responding officers and was in critical condition.
Two officers suffered gunshot wounds to their hands in the chaos, but all three wounded officers were expected to recover.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called it “a completely, cowardly, despicable, unprovoked attack on a defenseless police officer.” While he declined to say what motivated the attack, he drew a line to the heated rhetoric of the past week and angry crowds decrying police violence that have sometimes turned violent.
2 Florida workers fired for 'hateful, racist' comments about protesters
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper and a Tallahassee employee of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles have been fired for making "abhorrent" comments about George Floyd protesters, the department said.
The two workers had directed “hateful, racist and threatening remarks” toward Florida demonstrators calling for better policing as part of nationwide protests in the wake of Floyd's death in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.
In an official tweet, DHSMV said it found remarks by Trooper Daniel Maldonado and William Henderson, who worked at the agency's Tallahassee headquarters, "abhorrent and reprehensible." Their comments were made via text message and social media.
"Their conduct is not in any way reflective of the troopers and employees of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles," the agency said in announcing their termination Tuesday night.
– James Call, USA TODAY Network-Florida Capital Bureau
3 held on terror charges after protests in Las Vegas
Three Nevada men with ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities say was a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas.
Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus. Prosecutors say the men later sought to capitalize on protests over George Floyd's death.
They were arrested Saturday on the way to a protest downtown after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles, according to a copy of the criminal complaint.
– Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette Journal
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Floyd protest: Minneapolis memorial; officers' bail; Drew Brees