The capital was awash with anger and pain as tear gas blew along the streets and rubber bullets flew Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning. Protesters clashed with law enforcement for the third straight evening outside the White House, and numerous businesses were vandalized by rioters defying a citywide curfew. Protesters gathered throughout Sunday in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House and has been a focal point of the demonstrations that began here Friday evening.
Joe Biden said Monday that police under attack in the line of duty should shoot their assailants “in the leg instead of the heart” as a way to avert the killing of civilians. Biden's remarks were made as cities across the nation continue to be engulfed in violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American, in police custody in Minneapolis. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The federal judge overseeing the fraught prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn Monday defended his decision to review the Justice Department's effort to abandon the case, calling such a move "unprecedented." "It is unusual for a criminal defendant to claim innocence and move to withdraw his guilty plea after repeatedly swearing under oath that he committed the crime," attorneys for U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said in documents filed in a D.C. appellate court. "It is unprecedented for an acting U.S. Attorney to contradict the solemn representations that career prosecutors made time and again, and undermine the district court's legal and factual findings, in moving on his own to dismiss the charge years after two different federal judges accepted the defendant's plea."
GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images Facebook has come under fire for its decision to leave up a post in which President Donald Trump used the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" while discussing the unrest following George Floyd's death. Leaked audio obtained by The Verge from a company meeting on Friday shows Zuckerberg saying the company might review its policies around the "discussion of state use of force." Zuckerberg justified leaving Trump's post untouched partially on the grounds that he referred to deploying the National Guard.
George Floyd, the Minnesota man who died after an officer arresting him pressed his knee onto his neck, died by homicide, according to the results of two autopsies released on Monday — one by the county medical examiner and the other by independent pathologists commissioned by Floyd's family. Dr. Allecia Wilson, one of the pathologists who conducted the independent autopsy, said Monday afternoon that Floyd died as a result of mechanical asphyxiation. The manner of death was ruled homicide, but the office noted that "is not a legal determination of culpability or intent."
"How do we feel when interlopers come to destroy our city and exploit our pain? We are outraged. We are insulted.
A survey of U.S. businesses on Wednesday revealed deep fears for the future of their operations in Hong Kong if China imposes national security legislation that critics say could curb the financial centre's freedoms and fuel ongoing protests. Contributing to simmering anti-government tensions, Hong Kong lawmakers are set to resume a debate over a controversial bill that would criminalise disrespect of China's national anthem, following scuffles in the legislature in recent weeks. Following that, demonstrations are planned to mark the anniversary of the million-people march on June 9 last year against a since-withdrawn mainland China extradition bill, and the protests three days later that were met by police with tear gas and rubber bullets in scenes which radicalised moderates.
A soldier in Minneapolis opened fire on a speeding vehicle that posed a threat Sunday night -- the second known instance of a National Guard member discharging a weapon during the nationwide mass protests, the Minnesota National Guard commander said Monday. "Our soldier fired three rounds from his rifle in response to a direct threat" from a vehicle that drove at a position held by local law enforcement supported by the Guard, said Army Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. Read Next: Army Vet Lawmaker: Invoke Insurrection Act, Deploy Active-Duty Troops to Riots The driver ignored warnings to stop or turn away before the soldier opened fire, Jensen added.
Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat facing a tough primary challenge and questions about his absence from his district, was caught on a hot mic at a district event responding to unrest saying twice that he only wanted press coverage because of an electoral threat. “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn't care,” Engel said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, at a Tuesday press conference responding to unrest and vandalism in his district related to the recent death of George Floyd. Diaz worried about having too many elected officials speak, but Engel pleaded with him for coverage.
Former President Barack Obama on Monday addressed the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, praising the “overwhelming majority” of peaceful demonstrators, condemning the violence brought on by a “small minority” and calling on a “new generation of activists” to “bring about real change.” “The waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States,” Obama wrote in an essay published on Medium.com. The former president then lauded police in Camden, N.J., and Flint, Mich., for publicly supporting peaceful protests before he criticized demonstrators who have been acting violently.
Seth Wenig/AP Photo A New York City police officer pointed his gun at peaceful protesters in Manhattan Sunday night. After a video of the incident trended on Twitter, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the officer's actions were "unacceptable" and he should "have his gun and badge taken away." On Saturday, de Blasio was widely criticized for defending police officers who drove into a protesting crowd, before backtracking on his comments Sunday.
The San Diego Police Department, spurred by the fallout from George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, has immediately banned a controversial restraint technique. At least three major police departments have banned similar neck holds or chokeholds amid increasing attention on policing maneuvers that cut off oxygen to persons under arrest or restraint. Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin used a similarly controversial knee-to-neck restraint, pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, resulting his death.
The survey, conducted on May 29 and 30, found that 52 percent of Americans answered yes when asked whether they “think that President Trump is a racist.” Only 37 percent said no. Just 33 percent said the president should continue “posting messages on Twitter.”
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A truck driver named Bogdan Vechirko on Sunday was jailed on assault charges after he nearly drove an 18-wheeler into a large group of protesters in Minneapolis, but he was released without charges on Tuesday. A Facebook post originally from a trucking-education page said truck drivers who are facing protesters have the right to drive into them. However, the burden is ultimately on trucking companies to ensure drivers do not end up in dangerous situations.
The families of British dual nationals imprisoned by Iran today criticised the Foreign Office for “complete inaction” in trying to secure their release, as an Iranian scientist previously jailed by the US was allowed to fly home. A plane carrying Sirous Asgari took off early this morning and was on its way back to Tehran to bring him home, Iran's foreign minister announced, raising hopes of a potential prisoner swap for Western dual nationals in Iran. Mr Asgari was accused by a US court in 2016 of stealing trade secrets while on an academic visit to Ohio, where he visited a university working on projects for the US Navy.
The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen shot down two drones launched in the direction of Saudi Arabia by the Houthi group, Saudi state news agency SPA reported, citing a coalition spokesman. The two drones were launched toward the border town of Khamis Mushait, SPA said, accusing Houthi forces of targeting civilian facilities and residential areas. The Houthis did not confirm the attacks.
China's Ministry of National Defense is reporting that its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the CNS Shandong, is now carrying out sea trials in preparations for deployment and possible war, marking a substantial step forward in China's longstanding Naval modernization efforts. While of course there are many unknowns with China's first home-built carrier, it does appear to massively increase the country's power-projection possibilities, bringing new Pacific-area and international threat possibilities to the U.S. Navy. The sea trials are being conducted according to an annual plan, spokesperson Ren Guoqiang told reporters, according to the Chinese publication People's Online Daily.
Ashley Phelps and Ahmad Eltawely developed a fast bond on Saturday, the night they fled tear gas and ran from advancing police who were pepper-spraying protesters. They had met for the first time earlier in the day at a peaceful protest and sit-in with thousands of demonstrators who were not involved in the burning of businesses and a police station on previous nights, said Eltawely, who had a microphone and passed it around for people to speak. That's not a demonstration, he said of the violence.
Up to 150 peaceful protesters – many of whom had narrowly escaped being hit by a speeding fuel truck – were arrested and handcuffed after police in Minneapolis fired tear gas and flash rounds to surround them. A number of those being arrested said they were not read their rights, and were not informed of what they were being charged with. The Independent watched as one young woman was overcome after being hit by tear gas and had to lie on the ground as others urged the police to call for a medic.
Israel's defense minister urged the military on Monday to hasten preparations for the country's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, in apparent anticipation of what could be fierce Palestinian protests against the move. The statement by Benny Gantz came as Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed annexation on Monday in a call with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser who stands behind a White House Mideast plan that largely favors Israel. In a statement sent by his office, Gantz appeared to command the military to prepare for the fallout from annexation, asking the military chief of staff to “speed up the (military's) preparedness ahead of political steps on the agenda in the Palestinian sphere.”
PHOENIX Like many police chiefs across the country, Phoenix Chief Jeri Williams has denounced the death of George Floyd, the black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, while at the same time she struggles to support her officers and maintain peace in the midst of the resulting protests. "The level of voice that we're seeing now is unlike anything that the world has ever seen, especially in the United States of America," Williams said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a resolution proposed by Senate Democrats that would have condemned President Trump's response to protesters in Washington, D.C., on Monday, when federal law enforcement officers forcefully removed demonstrators from a park across from the White House. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced the resolution on Tuesday, saying on the Senate floor that the removal of the protesters was "appalling" and "an abuse of presidential power." He attempted to pass the measure by unanimous consent, which does not require a vote by the whole Senate but can be blocked by any member.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York progressive, slammed a New York City Police Department union for tweeting confidential information about Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter's arrest on Saturday during a protest against racism. The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted a screenshot of Chiara de Blasio's arrest record and attacked the mayor over his daughter's participation in the protests. Ocasio-Cortez urged the NYPD to de-escalate with protesters rather than respond with violent force, and she told the union to "apologize and own this egregious behavior."
Dave Grossman's "Bulletproof Mind" is teaching law enforcement agencies across the United States militarized tactics in which officers are told to see themselves as "at war" on the streets. Agencies have started turning away from the courses in recent years, after it was discovered the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile had taken one of Grossman's courses. If you're prepared to kill, Dave Grossman, says, it's "just not that big of a deal."
Mexico's military is cooperating with a fresh probe into the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. The apparent massacre of the youths, whose remains are still being searched for, is widely believed to have been committed by corrupt police working with a violent drug gang, and has drawn international outrage. Lopez Obrador, who came into power in 2018, has vowed to uncover what really happened and examine the prior handling of the case, which led to one of the worst crises of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto's administration.