- Thousands of protesters are marching in cities across the country.
- Protests erupted in Minneapolis on Tuesday after a black man, George Floyd, was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
- The death was caught on video, and prompted protests in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Detroit, Dallas, Washington, DC, and other US cities on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- Many of them also turned violent. A 19-year-old man was killed in Detroit after someone pulled up in an SUV and fired at protesters, and video showed a car plowing into protesters in California.
- Minnesota activated its entire National Guard on Saturday to quell tensions in Minneapolis in the biggest protest response in the state’s history.
- Follow our live updates below.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A criminal complaint against the ex-police officer Derek Chauvin said George Floyd’s preliminary autopsy showed no signs of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Floyd’s family criticized the finding and said they’re seeking an independent autopsy.
A criminal complaint against former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, said George Floyd was “non-responsive” for nearly three minutes before Chauvin took his knee off his neck.
The complaint also cited a preliminary autopsy report and said there were “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation” — a finding that immediately prompted skepticism and condemnation from Floyd’s family.
The complaint said Floyd died from a “combined effect of being restrained, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system,” though no toxicology results have been reported and could still take weeks.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Floyd’s family, criticized the medical examiner for failing to “address in detail the effect of the purposeful use of force on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the extent of Mr. Floyd’s suffering at the hands of the police.”
Floyd’s family will commission an independent medical examiner to conduct a separate autopsy, Crump said.
“We are not surprised yet we are tragically disappointed in the preliminary autopsy finding released today by the medical examiner,” Crump said. “We hope that this does not reflect efforts to create a false narrative for the reason George Floyd died.”
They also begged people to go home.
“The absolute chaos — this is not grieving, and this is not making a statement that we fully acknowledge needs to be fixed — this is dangerous,” Walz said, according to the Star Tribune. “You need to go home.”
Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis added, according to the Star Tribune: “Minneapolis, I know you are reeling … We as a city are so much more than this. We as a city can be so much better.”
Watch the full press conference here:
The lawmakers said Saturday that the vast majority of people taking part in the violent protests were from out of the state and were latching on to initial protests to spread chaos.
“Let’s be very clear, the situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” Walz said in a press conference where he estimated that 80% of people in the protests are from “outside” the state.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said Saturday that the city’s curfew kept the number of arrests down amid the fiery clashes between demonstrators and police, but said that Minnesota residents did not account for any of the people arrested.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey echoed Walz and Carter, saying outsiders had come “to prey on everything we have built over the last several decades.”
Elsewhere, a 19-year-old man was killed in Detroit after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd protesting Floyd’s death late Friday night.
The shooting took place 11: 30 p.m. Friday night, Detroit police spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said Saturday, according to the AP.
The suspect pulled up in a Dodge Durango SUV and fired shots into the crowd, Kirkwood said, per the AP. No police were involved in the shooting, she added.
The victim, an unnamed 19-year-old man, was pronounced dead in the hospital.
The identity and motive of the suspect are not immediately known.
Demonstrators in Washington, DC, clashed with police outside the White House, with multiple injuries reported. The Secret Service briefly put the White House on lockdown.
Protesters at the North Lawn of the White House attempted to break down the barricade as they confronted Secret Service agents and DC police on Friday.
According to CNN, a crowd of hundreds of protesters was “set off” by a man who police were trying to escort from the protests.
Protesters clashed with Secret Service Police in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House, NBC Washington reporter Tom Lynch tweeted.
Hunter Walker, the White House correspondent for Yahoo News, tweeted from the scene: “I saw multiple police being carried away. They seemed injured or at the very least hit with spray. Multiple injuries among the protesters as well.”
—Fin Gomez (@finnygo) May 29, 2020
—Tom Lynch (@TomLynch_) May 29, 2020
Police also unleashed tear gas on some protesters, The Washingtonian’s Jane Recker reported.
—Jane Recker (@janerecker) May 30, 2020
During the lockdown, people were forbidden to leave White House grounds, and the doors of the briefing room — where a dozen of reporters — were locked, according to NBC News reporter Peter Alexander.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency for Fulton County and activated as many as 500 troops from the Georgia National Guard.
In a tweet, Kemp said he would activate state National Guard troops “to protect people & property in Atlanta.”
—Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020
Atlanta’s Chief of Police, Erika Shields, went out into the crowds Friday and talked to individual protesters to hear out their concerns.
—Lilly – BLACK LIVES MATTER (@joonhopekook) May 29, 2020
The CNN Center in Atlanta was circled by protesters.
CNN correspondent Nick Valencia reported from the building’s lobby with a line of police with riot shields in the background.
Debris littered the entrance as people outside threw rocks, bottles, smoke grenades, and in one instance, a lit firework which detonated inside the lobby.
—Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 30, 2020
—Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 30, 2020
CNN’s Fernando Alfonso III reported that SWAT cars approached the CNN Center as protesters climbed the CNN sign and held up “Black Lives Matter” flags.
—Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020
The CNN logo was defaced and graffitied, and flags were burned. Bottles were thrown and the glass on the building was shattered, and protesters chanted “no more police.”
Protesters also began destroying police cars after dispersing away from the center.
—Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020
Elsewhere, protesters ran in fear of possible tear gas being deployed, according to CNN.
Demonstrators also clashed with police, WAGA-TV reported. The protesters were headed towards Atlanta Police Headquarters but rerouted due to blocked streets.
Protesters chanted “Justice now,” “Police the police,” and “black lives matter.”
Pepper spray was reportedly used to break up some of the protesters.
—WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 29, 2020
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta urged residents to avoid violence.
“When lives and the conscience of this nation are at peril, we as people are expected to exercise our constitutional rights to peacefully assemble and have our voices heard,” she tweeted. “Atlanta embodies these values, and I encourage all who exercise these rights to remember Atlanta’s legacy of peaceful protest leading to progress.”
In Louisville, Kentucky, police were seen spraying pepper bullets at protesters. Police also shot them at a reporter and a cameraman covering the scene.
The Louisville protesters were also demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot eight times and killed by police carrying out a narcotics bust in March.
Taylor’s family said in an April lawsuit the police had entered the wrong address, and Taylor’s boyfriend said the police didn’t announce themselves while entering.
Police sprayed demonstrators with pepper bullets to disperse the crowd.
Wave 3 News reporter Kaitlin Rust was also shot at while she was broadcasting live, and the cameraman captured a police officer aiming pepper bullets.
—Christopher Bishop (@ChrisBishopL1C4) May 30, 2020
Rust also reported that protesters had breached the Louisville Hall of Justice and lit a fire inside the building. The extent of damage to the building is not immediately known.
Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott tweeted that she was among those tear-gassed during the riot.
“This was after one of your officers kept pushing me without ever asking me to move,” Scott wrote. “This was after we were never asked to disperse. This was during a peaceful protest. LMPD met peace with violence. I’m disgusted.”
Seven people were also shot at during protests on Thursday, Louisville Metro Police Department told Business Insider.
Demonstrators in Dallas retaliated against police and damaged police vehicles. One video shows a can of tear gas going off inside a woman’s car.
—LIVE UPDATES FROM DALLAS (@ElijahSchaffer) May 30, 2020
—LIVE UPDATES FROM DALLAS (@ElijahSchaffer) May 30, 2020
—LIVE UPDATES FROM DALLAS (@ElijahSchaffer) May 30, 2020
Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall confronted a rioter in the city and told him to stop attacking police officers supervising the protests in the city.
—Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 30, 2020
Protests also got violent in parts of California, and a car plowed through a crowd of protesters in Bakersfield.
Hundreds of protesters in San Jose shut down Highway 101 in both directions on Friday, and smashed the windows of police cars and other vehicles, KPIX reported.
There were reports of confrontations between protesters and drivers on the freeway.
California Highway Patrol spokesperson Alicia Moreno confirmed to CNN that officers were hit by projectiles.
Police declared the protests an “unlawful assembly” and fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, KPIX reported.
A car also plowed through a crowd of protesters in front of the Bakersfield Police Headquarters in Bakersfield, near Los Angeles, on Friday night.
Footage posted online show a gray SUV speeding through protesters, then turning around and driving back through the crowded street.
—23ABC News (@23ABCNews) May 30, 2020
Earlier on Friday, a new video appeared to show three Minneapolis police officers pinning George Floyd to the ground.
Previous videos of the incident showed just one officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck, but a new video shows three officers pinning him to the ground with their knees as he begged to be released.
While the four officers involved in the incident have been fired, only Chauvin has been arrested and charged.
The video may be upsetting to some viewers. It appears to show Floyd crying out in distress and repeatedly telling the officers he couldn’t breathe.
“Please, please let me stand,” Floyd could be heard saying. “Please, I can’t breathe.”
It’s not known who took the video, and its authenticity has not been confirmed. But NBC News, who first reported on the video, verified it using Google Street View imagery and statements from police.
Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, was taken into custody and charged with third-degree murder on Friday.
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the case, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a press conference on Friday afternoon.
“This is by far the fastest we’ve ever charged a police officer,” Freeman said, adding that it usually takes around nine months.
No other police officers are in custody. Freeman said he would not comment on the three other officers’ situations, but said they could face charges.
Chauvin had been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 19 years until he was fired earlier this week.
The charging document against Chauvin also included preliminary results from Floyd’s autopsy, which “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”
“The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” the charging document said .”Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.”
“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”
On Thursday, Floyd’s family said they want to do an independent autopsy because “they do not trust … the city of Minneapolis.”
Chauvin’s wife filed for divorce, and is “devastated” by Floyd’s death, according to her attorney.
“This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family,” her attorneys said in a statement.
“She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin.”
See the full statement here:
—esme murphy (@esmemurphy) May 30, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Chauvin’s arrest was “justified.”
Biden told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday: “I think it’s justified based on – look, our children are watching, they’re not only watching, they’re listening. They saw what happened, his pain and his knee on a man’s neck up against the curb for nine minutes.”
“I don’t know what else, what other conclusion could be reached,” he said.
Biden also slammed President Donald Trump’s response to the protests. Trump on Thursday referred to the demonstrators as “thugs,” adding: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Biden said: “I think he’s thoroughly irresponsible. Thoroughly irresponsible. I mean, it is just absolutely — he talks like — I’m afraid I’ll say something I’ll regret. I just find him thoroughly, totally irresponsible.”
Earlier on Friday, Biden said he spoke with Floyd’s family, US News & World Report reported.
“Every day, African Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma, wondering – who will be next?” he said. “Imagine if every time your husband or son, wife or daughter, left the house, you feared for their safety from bad actors and bad police.”
“We need real police reform, to hold cops to a higher standard that so many of them actually meet, that holds bad cops accountable and repairs relationships between law enforcement and the community they’re sworn to protect,” Biden also said, according to CNN.
Floyd’s family called Chauvin being charged “a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice,” and called for a first-degree murder charge.
“The arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the brutal killing of George Floyd is a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice. We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge,” the family said through their attorney, Benjamin Crump.
For a first- or second-degree murder charge, prosecutors would need to prove that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd, The New York Times reported.
The family continued: “And we want to see the other officers arrested. We call on authorities to revise these charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer. The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and is spilling out on to the streets across America.”
They also called on Minneapolis and cities across the US to change their policies and trainings to make sure deaths like Floyd’s never happen again.
“For four officers to inflict this kind of unnecessary, lethal force — or watch it happen — despite outcry from witnesses who were recording the violence — demonstrates a breakdown in training and policy by way of the city,” the family said.
“We fully expect to see other officers who did nothing to protect the life of George Floyd to be arrested and charged soon.”
Attorney General William Barr announced Friday that the Department of Justice would launch an independent investigation into Floyd’s death.
Barr said in a Friday statement that the Department of Justice is conducting an independent investigation to determine whether or not any civil rights laws were violated in Floyd’s death.
“The video images of the incident that ended with death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing,” Barr said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the officers involved in Floyd’s death “look pretty darn guilty.”
McConnell told CNN on Friday: “If you see what happened, [they] look pretty darn guilty.”
“These events, which the facts around them are pretty obvious are absolutely horrendous, and you can understand the outrage and reaction to witnessing events like this,” he said.
“They need to be thoroughly investigated. And if prosecution is appropriate … looking at both these cases like that would be the case. Justice needs to be done.”
McConnell also called for protesters in Minneapolis to stop violence and looting.
“I’ve always been a supporter of demonstrations, but they need to be peaceful,” he said. “And this senseless violence in reaction to this is not helpful to anyone and I hope it will stop.”
Former President Barack Obama said the country “can and must be better.”
Obama issued a statement on Twitter on Friday, in which he said he felt “anguish” over the incident.
He said while many wish for life to “just get back to normal” during the pandemic, “normal” isn’t the same for everyone.
“But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park,” Obama wrote.
He said deaths like Floyd’s “shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 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,” he said.
On Friday morning, Minnesota’s Attorney General Kieth Ellison called Floyd’s death “intolerable, absolutely unacceptable”, and said he expects charges against the officers involved.
Ellison told a press conference on Friday that he anticipates charges will be brought against the police officers involved in Floyd’s death.
He said Floyd’s death was “intolerable, absolutely unacceptable,” and that culture “must change.”
He also said Minnesota officials plan form a group “on preventing and reducing deadly force encounters with police.”
“We are not just going to fix the windows and sweep up the glass,” he said. “We’re going to fix a broken, shattered society that leaves so many people behind based on their historical legacy of being in bondage and servitude, then second-class citizenship, and now fraught with disparities from everything from incarceration to housing to wages to everything else.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the protests were the result of “generations of pain, of anguish” over police brutality and racial issues.
“The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain and anguish, and now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world,” Walz told a press conference on Friday. “And the world is watching.”
Walz also said justice against the officers who arrested Floyd will be “swift.”
“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,” Walz said.
Walz also apologized for the Friday morning arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez while he was reporting on the protests live on air.
Jimenez was released from police custody about an hour later. However, it remains unclear why Jimenez, who is black, taken into custody despite identifying himself as a journalist.
CNN reporter Josh Campbell, who was also reporting on the scene and is white, said he had no trouble with the police.
—New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020
Walz said later: “There is absolutely no reason something like this should happen. Calls were made immediately. This is a very public apology to that team. It should not happen and I want to be clear for those of you listening.”
He said he took “full responsibility” for the incident, which he called “unacceptable.”
The night before, on Thursday, protesters broke into the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct around 10 p.m. and set the building on fire.
The precinct was evacuated at 10 p.m. local time, WCCO reported.
“Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires,” a police statement said.
Footage shows the building on fire:
—philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 29, 2020
According to CNN, police set up a fence around the precinct earlier in the day, but thousands of protesters crowded around the building after the fence was pushed down.
—Ryan Faircloth (@RyanFaircloth) May 29, 2020
“The precinct is on fire. We don’t know where the police are,” said CNN National Correspondent Sara Sidner on Thursday night. “The fire alarm is going on inside … People are cheering and more fireworks are going off as the police precinct is burning.”
A Target store in the area was also set on fire, and a shooting was reported in a nearby Walgreen’s as well.
Multiple other buildings were set on fire, and businesses looted.
Protests continued in Minneapolis on Thursday, and reporters on the scene said tension remained high.
—Ashlee Mullany (@AshleeMullany) May 29, 2020
Stores were also set on fire in St. Paul on Thursday. City police said that more than 170 businesses were looted or damaged.
Local news station KTSP reported that a large fire started across the street from a Target in St. Paul as well as in front of several other businesses.
—Beth McDonough (@bmcdonoughkstp) May 29, 2020
Police officers in the city were also attacked.
Protesters began to throw rocks, bottles, and even shopping carts at officers who were blocking the entrance to Midway Target, according to KMSP. Police said multiple fires were also set as large crowds gathered in the city.
—Reuters (@Reuters) May 29, 2020
Mayor Carter said “the anger, the anguish, the sadness, the rage that we’re seeing in the community, it’s understandable,” according to the Pioneer Press.
“I think it’s shared by a whole lot of people throughout humanity right now who have looked at that video [of Floyd] and just said: ‘That doesn’t feel like the kind of community, the kind of state, the kind of city, the kind of country, the kind of world that I want to live in,'” he said.
A driver was accused of deliberately hitting a protester with a car in Denver on Thursday.
A graphic video of a protester getting hit by a vehicle that was pushing through a crowd of demonstrators was posted on Twitter.
—Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 29, 2020
The condition of the protester is not immediately known.
There were also reports of shots fired outside the Colorado State Capitol during protests.
It’s not clear if anyone was injured, but protesters and lawmakers took shelter in the Capitol building after shots were fired.
—Spencer Wilson (@Spencer_WNews) May 28, 2020
One witness, who said he was at the capitol protesting over Floyd’s death when shots were fired, said he and his friend “ran for our f—ing lives after the incident.”
He warned others not to attend the protest in Denver, adding that “no one else needs to die.”
Dozens of arrests were also made in New York City.
At least 70 people were arrested after protests turned violent in New York City on Thursday, according to the New York Post.
Dozens of protesters clashed with police while demonstrating and chanting: “No justice! No peace!” and “F— the police.”
All bus and light-rail services in the Twin Cities have been suspended for the weekend.
The announcement was made by Metro Transit Thursday night, according to the Star Tribune.
Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla did not attribute the closure to the violence directly, but said: “Obviously, we take into consideration whatever situations call for, and if we have to err on the side of public safety for riders and employees, we’re going to do that.”
Union Minneapolis Bus Drivers agreed on Thursday to refuse to transport police officers and arrested protesters demonstrating after Floyd’s death.
Union bus drivers made the announcement on Thursday, according to a PayDay Report.
“We are willing to do what we can to ensure our labor is not used to help the Minneapolis Police Department shut down calls for justice,” the petition reads. “For example, I am a bus driver with ATU 1005, and I urged people to call MetroTransit and the Governor the second I heard our buses and members were being organized to make mass arrests hours before the protests escalated.”
Protests had begun in Minneapolis on Tuesday, and escalated and spread across the country from Wednesday.
While protesters clashed with police on Tuesday, events turned more violent on Wednesday. Looting began and stores were set on fire.
On Wednesday KSTP reported that protesters threw bottles and rocks at police officers, who responded with rubber bullets, flash-bangs, and tear gas.
A man was fatally shot outside a Minneapolis pawn shop amid widespread looting on Wednesday.
George Floyd had died on Monday after a police officer kneeled on his neck.
A video showed a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes on Monday.
In the video, Floyd can be heard pleading for his life and saying he couldn’t breathe.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd can be heard saying. “Don’t kill me.”
“Relax,” said the officer, who has since been identified as Derek Chauvin. Floyd can be seen ceasing to move in the video.
Police said an ambulance took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Minneapolis police released a transcript of the 911 call that led to the encounter with Floyd. Read it here.
The four police officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired the next day. Only Chauvin has been arrested and charged.