Editor’s note: This is a live account of updates from demonstrations and other events on Thursday, June 4, as the day unfolded.
Protests in the Seattle area over the death of George Floyd have continued for a seventh day Thursday. A white Minneapolis police officer killed Floyd, a Black man, by pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes last week.
On Wednesday, Seattle rescinded its curfew when Mayor Jenny Durkan acknowledged the city’s peaceful protest. As Wednesday night stretched into Thursday morning, the protest scene in Capitol Hill remained peaceful for hours. A noticeable space separated the crowd and the line of law enforcement officials — seen by some protesters as a de-escalating technique.
Durkan, Police Chief Carmen Best, and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins will hold a news conference Thursday to address the ongoing protests over police killings of Black people.
Some activists at a meeting Wednesday with city leaders, including David Lewis — who has emerged as a leader at Seattle’s protests over the past week — said they felt the meeting was successful.
But others felt Durkan hadn’t directly addressed some of their concerns. They wanted clearer responses to their ideas, one of which being that Seattle reduce its police budget and redistribute money to community programs. Another was that police release jailed protesters.
Throughout Thursday, on this page, we’ll post updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the protests in the Seattle area. Updates from Wednesday can be found here.
If you’ve taken part in these protests, we’d like to hear from you: What was your experience? What did being out there mean to you? Fill out this form and let us know.
Capitol Hill protest stays upbeat and peaceful, despite a tense moment between police and the crowd
Seattle's Capitol Hill protest remained upbeat and peaceful past midnight near the police department's East Precinct, with demonstrators talking, playing music and dancing with each other.
Around 12:45 a.m., the group saw a brief, tense moment when an explosion suddenly went off in the crowd, prompting people to duck and start running. Moments later, a couple of people began throwing water bottles over the barricade at police, multiple livestreams showed.
Officers pulled up their shields and held their line. Umbrellas went up on protesters' side of the barricade.
“This is a warning order,” one officer announced to the crowd. “We are prepared to respond to any force you use against us. Please respect the police line. Do not throw objects at the police.”
Many protesters seemed to try to calm the crowd down.
“We want peace,” they chanted.
Details about what prompted the incident weren’t immediately clear.
Shortly after 1 a.m., the scene calmed, and the group returned to their dance circle. Around 1:20 a.m., a man slipped past the barricade to lay flowers in front of the police line.
Speakers celebrated on Capitol Hill
Crowds on Capitol Hill were still continuing to protest peacefully around 11:45 p.m., though demonstrators had split into a couple of groups in the area, according to multiple livestreams.
One group — which had marched through the Central District earlier in the day, according to a livestream from The Stranger — had gathered around a car parked on Pine Street next to Cal Anderson Park. One by one, facilitated by Seattle rapper Raz Simone, people hopped up onto the hood of the car to share stories and address the group.
"Keep coming back if you can," one woman said. "In just a day, I've seen the growth of this. Every single day is getting better ... I know a lot of people are out here looking for guidance and leadership."
At one point, a man, who is white, got on the car to tell the group he grew up in an area that lacked racial diversity. He said he didn't meet a Black person "until he was a man." But, he said, he stands with the group and supports their message.
"That right there is so important," said another speaker, who is Black. "Do you guys understand what percent of America is 'white'? Almost 80%. We need white people to stand and to speak."
Less than a block away, another group stood further up Pine Street, closer to the police barricade at 11th Avenue — a spot that's become a routine meeting place for Seattle protesters.
Tense moment in Olympia as group with firearms shows up
As Olympia protesters made their way back to City Hall from the Capitol building, some people seemed to join the group seeking to aggravate others.
Once back at City Hall, demonstrators chanted "Silence is violence" before marching down Fourth Avenue. At one point, a group of men with firearms showed up near the back of the demonstration. Meanwhile, police stood nearby.
Around 11 p.m., protesters had returned to City Hall.
Everyone milling around. Not sure how long it will go, but I’m going to pack it in. This will concludes my coverage tonight.
— Joseph O'Sullivan ⛰ (@OlympiaJoe) June 5, 2020
Washington Supreme Court issues open letter calling for legal community to work together on racial justice
Members of the Washington State Supreme Court issued an open letter Thursday calling for the legal community across the nation to work together to address racial injustice.
"The devaluation and degradation of black lives is not a recent event," the letter said. "But recent events have brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness a painful fact that is, for too many of our citizens, common knowledge: the injustices faced by black Americans are not relics of the past."
"The legal community must recognize that we all bear responsibility for this on-going injustice, and that we are capable of taking steps to address it, if only we have the courage and the will," the letter continued.
The Supreme Court justices also wrote that judges must recognize the role they have played in "devaluing black lives."
"This very court once held that a cemetery could lawfully deny grieving black parents the right to bury their infant," the letter said. "We cannot undo this wrong — but we can recognize our ability to do better in the future."
Courts must take action, the letter said. Too often lawyers feel "bound by tradition and the way things have 'always' been," the justices wrote, but "even the most venerable precedent must be struck down when it is incorrect and harmful."
"We go by the title of 'Justice' and we reaffirm our deepest level of commitment to achieving justice by ending racism," they wrote. "We urge you to join us in these efforts. This is our moral imperative."
‘How do we move forward?’ Collection of star Seattle athletes gathers in Renton for rally for social justice
RENTON — On the day hundreds of mourners gathered in Minneapolis at a memorial service to honor George Floyd, Will Conroy led a conversation between several Seattle sports celebrities and local kids to talk about race, social justice and the need for change.
“My message isn’t a sad story and it’s not a sob story,” said Conroy, a University of Washington men’s basketball assistant who starred at Garfield High. “We all know what happened to George Floyd. We’re also disappointed and hurt, but how do we move forward? How do we educate ourselves?"
Thursday’s event drew hundreds – many wearing face masks and observing social-distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic – to Liberty Park in Renton to hear from a panel of speakers that included NBA standouts Jamal Crawford, Zach LaVine and Isaiah Thomas, Storm stars Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd and UW men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins.
Conroy felt the urge to organize the event after watching video of a white police officer kneeling for almost nine minutes on Mr. Floyd’s neck as he lay face down and handcuffed on the pavement, saying “I can’t breathe.”
On Capitol Hill: One part street party, one part protest
Protest groups have met back up on Capitol Hill, where people are grilling hot dogs, handing out snacks, listening to a band playing and, once again, standing at the police barricade.
Ben Koenigsberg, who owns a gym on 11th Avenue, set up a hot dog stand on the street. After three trips to Safeway for extra supplies, some 300 hot dogs had been handed out for free.
“We’re not allowed to be open. This is my job now,” Koenigsberg said.
A bar down the street is allowing people into its bathrooms — while observing social-distancing rules. The gym is boarded up now.
“I boarded up. Now we can focus on helping out,” Koenigsberg said.
People have been following Koenigsberg’s stories on Instagram and sending Venmo donations to support the effort.
— David Gutman (@davidlgutman) June 5, 2020
Olympia demonstration heats up outside Capitol building
Meanwhile, Olympia protests took on a much more aggressive tone than in previous nights.
The demonstrators marched from City Hall to the Washington State Capitol Building, where riot police met them in a brief face-off before pulling back. The group also seemed to be angrily pushing at least two other people around.
“We are burning down the American plantation!” one demonstrator shouted in heated debate with another.
The group is now on its way back to City Hall.
Riot cops are out at the Capitol in Olympia.
Looks like a faceoff between black-clad protests & law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/VTsQbX5w8d
— Joseph O'Sullivan ⛰ (@OlympiaJoe) June 5, 2020
Central District protesters marching back toward Capitol Hill
After stopping at Garfield High School for a moment of silence and some speeches, protesters continued walking south. When they passed Swedish Medical Center's Cherry Hill campus, one demonstrator, Jason Beverly, asked the crowd to make some noise.
“We are in the middle of the pandemic, and the people in there have been supporting us and taking care of us and putting their lives on the line for us," Beverly told the group.
The crowd is now on their way back to Capitol Hill to join protesters outside Seattle police's East Precinct.
— David Gutman (@davidlgutman) June 5, 2020
Demonstrators dancing between 15th-16th and Jefferson. Young, jubilant crowd. pic.twitter.com/3HPhjVKQWs
— Evan Bush (@evanbush) June 5, 2020
Seattle rapper Raz Simone speaks to Capitol Hill demonstrators
Back on Capitol Hill, where another group continued protesting peacefully, Seattle rapper Raz Simone shouted a message at the crowd: "Do not feel wrong for smiling. This is beautiful." Simone has made several appearances at demonstrations this week.
A new sign emerges at the front of the protest. “Racism is the deadliest virus” pic.twitter.com/nfwyTJW2mx
— amandamsnyder (@amandamsnyder) June 5, 2020
One group of protesters heads toward Seattle's Central District
Seattle protests remained peaceful and relatively organized as one crowd marched through the Central District at about 7:30 p.m.
"This community has been gentrified to no end," one protest leader said to the crowd as they walked. "It's been stolen from the African American community. It's been looted to no end."
As the group headed south on 23rd Avenue, lots of residents stepped out on their stoops and watching the marchers. One woman banged enthusiastically on a pan in support.
No police were in sight.
Passing Garfield High School. pic.twitter.com/3vvF8PzGrv
— Evan Bush (@evanbush) June 5, 2020
Everything has been entirely peaceful, from what I've seen, so far tonight. And I haven't seen a single police officer since protesters started marching an hour ago.
Currently chanting "CD, CD," for the Central District, at the corner of 20th and Unionhttps://t.co/svyr7uzka4 pic.twitter.com/RbFfy1Bw0K
— David Gutman (@davidlgutman) June 5, 2020
Olympia protests begin at City Hall Thursday
George Floyd protests continue for a sixth night in Olympia.
By about 7 p.m., a crowd had gathered at City Hall, holding signs as passing motorists honked to show their support.
While there was little damage in downtown Olympia after nearly a week of protests, concerned local business owners have continued to board up their buildings.
— Joseph O'Sullivan ⛰ (@OlympiaJoe) June 5, 2020
Seattle’s largest labor group demands police union address racism, or be removed
The area’s largest labor group is threatening to kick out the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) later this month unless the union admits that racism is a problem in law enforcement and agrees to address that problem in negotiating its next contract with the city.
The Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council also is putting pressure on Mayor Jenny Durkan to alter her approach to ongoing protests in Seattle against police killings of Black people.
The moves could change the landscape for police reform in Seattle, as the labor council wields strong political influence.
An umbrella group for more than 150 unions and 100,000 workers, the group for years has supported SPOG’s right to bargain against certain police accountability measures while also serving as a key ally for Durkan, having endorsed the mayor in her 2017 campaign.
Now the labor council may be taking a new tack as demonstrations roil the city and nation and as Black, Indigenous, people of color union workers petition for SPOG’s removal.
A resolution passed by the group’s executive board Thursday attributes policing problems to systemic racism rather than “bad apples” and calls on SPOG to acknowledge that — or else.
The union also must participate in a community effort “dedicated to promoting safety within our community and within law enforcement by addressing racism within SPOG … and ensuring that contracts do not evade legitimate accountability when professional standards are not followed," the resolution says.
Should SPOG fail to meet those demands, the resolution says the executive board will recommend that the labor board’s delegates remove the union from the group.
The resolution also says Seattle has “taken the wrong approach in handling what began as peaceful protests,” apparently referring to pepper spray, tear gas, flash-bang devices and curfews.
SPOG president Mike Solan declined to comment Thursday.
Demanding the mayor commit to “becoming anti-racist and understanding the legacy of oppression tied to law enforcement," the resolution says Durkan should bargain a new SPOG contract that includes accountability provisions previously approved by the City Council.
The resolution says Durkan also should “reexamine all budget choices to prioritize non-law enforcement investments in the community” and should ask City Attorney Pete Holmes to decline to press charges against people arrested “for activities related to peaceful protest.”
In a statement Thursday, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW executive vice president Jane Hopkins, a registered nurse, noted COVID-19 is killing Black people, Indigenous people and other people of color at higher rates than white people.
“As a black woman leader in the labor movement and in the health care field, I have fought to apply a racial justice lens to every aspect of the work I lead,” Hopkins said.
“We must do the tough but necessary work of calling in our siblings in law enforcement to partner with us to address systemic racism and how it shows up through policing," she said.
Thursday’s resolution was proposed by 1199NW and by UFCW 21, which represents supermarket workers and which joined the labor council in February.
UCFW 21, which has leaned further left than some other unions, endorsing Durkan opponent Cary Moon in 2017, hadn’t been associated with the group “in the last decade,” said Secretary Treasurer Joe Mizrahi. UFCW 21 joined the county labor council to add the voices of “our membership, which is made up largely of people who are at these protests,” he said.
Mizrahi said the labor council's move was driven by the petition signed by hundreds of BIPOC rank-and-file workers.
Protesters once again gather on Capitol Hill
People protesting police violence and racial injustice have again gathered on Capitol Hill near Cal Anderson Park.
The group had split into two as of 6:15 p.m. Thursday, with one marching south on 11th Avenue and the other staying put on the corner of 11th Avenue and Pine Street, a block away from the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct. The spot has become a regular meeting place for Seattle protesters over the last several days. Both groups remained peaceful.
Lots of free food and drink floating around for marchers. Leland Batey said foot injuries prevent marching. “Anyone who can should be handing out Gatorade or marching.” pic.twitter.com/S3yjwYz95U
— Evan Bush (@evanbush) June 5, 2020
— David Gutman (@davidlgutman) June 5, 2020
Port of Seattle will review officers' use of force policy
As the seventh day of major Seattle protests against police brutality continue, the Port of Seattle has said it will review the Port Police’s policy on use of force.
King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay earlier today advocated elected officials pledge to demilitarize police and restrict the use of force by officers, among other reforms.
In a tweet, Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins responded he was committed to doing so. “Just today I requested our use of force policy and we initiated a review,” he wrote.
In 2017, protests at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban turned chaotic. Officers from 10 different agencies used tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The Port said it reviewed its officers' use of force in that incident.
The agency employs about 110 police officers, according to its website.
I'm committed. Just today I requested our use of force policy and we initiated a review. https://t.co/Lx0OBcPHNj
— Ryan Calkins (@ryancalkinsSEA) June 4, 2020
CDC director says protesters should consider getting tested for COVID-19
WASHINGTON — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a House panel Thursday that demonstrators protesting racial injustice need to get tested for the coronavirus.
Crowds, he said, at a Missouri tourist hot spot and the SpaceX launch showed public health messages about masks and social distancing are not resonating with the public.
Referring to mass protests against police violence that have taken place throughout the country, CDC Director Robert Redfield said demonstrators in regions that have not yet controlled the outbreak should “highly consider” getting tested. He noted Minneapolis and the District of Columbia are two metropolitan areas where significant transmission of the virus is still taking place. The protests were sparked by the death last week of George Floyd, a Black man whose neck was pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer.
“I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” Redfield said. “And the way to minimize it is to have each individual to recognize it’s to the advantage of them to protect their loved ones to (say), ‘Hey, I was out. I need to go get tested.’ You know, in three, five, seven days, go get tested. Make sure you’re not infected.”
In Idaho, armed white vigilantes mobilized for antifa protests that never occurred
Protesters had only begun preparing to assemble peacefully in Idaho when a Facebook page for retired police officers advised its followers to stay on high alert.
“We will protect our neighborhoods,” it vowed.
So when early reports about potential violence surfaced just a day later — claiming “ANTIFA agitators” were storming the state this week — scores of residents took to the streets. Armed with military-style assault rifles, they stood guard in places like Coeur d’Alene, aiming to protect the resort town of 50,000 nestled along a lake in northwest Idaho.
“Enough of us swung into action, and put the word out on social media and elsewhere, that we were able to deploy and meet any violent elements that might come here from out of state,” said Trevor Treller, a sommelier and one of the armed locals. Treller, 48, said he mobilized after hearing from trusted voices that “antifa types” were on the move.
It would not prove to be true.
As vigils and protest actions unfolded in Idaho this week, local officials across the state confirmed that not a single participant had defiled a home or storefront in the name of “antifa,” a loose label attributed to far-left activists. Many of the rumors about violent protests originated from a series of dubious Facebook posts, often shared widely and rarely debunked, residents there said.
Best orders Seattle officers to show badge numbers, Durkan rejects 50% police budget cut
In response to alarms raised in recent days by protesters about Seattle officers covering their badge numbers with black mourning bands, Police Chief Carmen Best issued a directive Thursday telling all officers to display their badge numbers.
At the same time, Mayor Jenny Durkan rejected a demand by some demonstrators that half of the Seattle Police Department's budget be redirected to community programs and social services.
"We will not defund by 50%, but we will make sure that we have a level of commitment to community that we can make an investment that is proportionate to the needs and that those communities that have been left behind and locked out of the system can see that we as a city have heard the voices," said Durkan, referring to an aim brought Wednesday to City Hall by organizers of a large protest.
People demonstrating against police killings of Black people began to express concern about the black bands Saturday, saying the symbols worn over badge numbers to honor slain cops could make it difficult to identity officers engaged in misconduct.
Best and Durkan initially defended the practice, noting officers also wear name tags. But they bent on the issue as criticism continued to mount this week, vowing to work toward a new policy Wednesday and then taking action Thursday.
"This afternoon, I will be issuing a special order to address this," Best announced in a news conference with the mayor.
"All officers will have their badge numbers prominently displayed," she said, adding officers should retain the ability to pay homage in other ways.
"We want to make sure we are being transparent and people don't have the belief we are in any away trying to hide who we are."
Disseminating the directive might take "a day or so," Best said.
She and Durkan hailed a large Capitol Hill crowd that demonstrated past midnight and dispersed peacefully Wednesday night.
"We will always meet peace with peace," said Best, who visited barricades near the Police Department's East Precinct in person to speak with protesters amid a surge in public complaints about officers escalating encounters with pepper spray, tear gas and flash-bangs devices.
Though Best and Durkan repeatedly have blamed violent troublemakers for sowing chaos, Durkan canceled Seattle's curfew Wednesday night and spoke Thursday about altered police tactics.
The Police Department moved officers away from the barricades and asked protesters to stop each other from throwing bottles, the mayor said. They listened when citizen journalist Omari Salisbury suggested they set up a sound system to communicate with the demonstrators, the mayor said, not addressing why that step wasn't taken days ago.
Durkan mentioned "a powerful moment" when officers lowered their shields and protesters lowered the umbrellas they had brought to guard against pepper spray. "We need more dialogue," she said.
"I'm grateful there were no injuries and arrests," she said. "That must remain the goal ... I have every confidence that can be achieved."
Asked about the demand delivered by community leader Nikkita Oliver and other organizers Wednesday, Durkan said every Seattle agency, including the Police Department, "will see cuts" this year as she and the City Council seek to close a projected budget gap.
The department’s budget is more than $400 million this year, accounting for about a quarter of Seattle’s general-fund budget. City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Tammy Morales joined Oliver and other activists Wednesday in calling for that spending to be reduced.
The money would be better spent on job training, restorative-justice programs, youth programs, homeless services and public housing that can prevent problems than on a militarized police force, they contend.
"Thing that actually improve the lives of our neighbors," Morales said. "That's how we should be investing our money."
Under similar pressure, Los Angeles leaders announced Wednesday proposals redistribute $250 million, including up to $150 million in police spending, to disenfranchised communities.
Durkan said she would seek to balance police and community needs.
"True public safety is not just when a police officer shows up to the door," she said. "True public safety comes from good prenatal care, access to childcare and preschool, access to real education and economic opportunities, to health care and to affordable housing."
Yet Durkan indicated she wants to mostly maintain police spending. "When people dial 991, they want the police department and the fire department to show up," she said. "We have to make sure we have enough people and resources to make that true."
I-5 express lanes will close at 11 a.m. on weekdays, 1 p.m. on weekends
The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the Interstate 5 express lanes daily through at least Sunday "in order to keep all people safe during the demonstrations in the city," at the request of the Washington State Patrol.
The I-5 express lanes normally open at 5 a.m. during the weekdays in the southbound direction toward the central business district. They normally close around 11 a.m. so crews can switch the signage and then reopen in the northbound direction to accommodate traffic flow.
The lanes close overnight at 11 p.m. and then re-open the following morning.
Under the new changes, drivers may use the express lanes in the southbound direction between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the weekdays and 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the weekends. The lanes will then close instead of switching directions.
Travelers should also plan for the possibility of a complete I-5 closure between Highway 520 and Interstate 90 by preparing to use alternate routes.
Trooper Rick Johnson said the closures were to protect public public safety.
"If the march gets close to freeway, we shut it down preemptively to keep everyone safe," he said.
Students ask UW to cancel exams
A coalition of University of Washington student groups that represent students of color has asked the UW to cancel finals and assignments for the rest of spring quarter.
A related petition, on the website change.org, asks the university to “encourage and demand professors to accommodate their black students during this time.” As of Thursday afternoon, more than 43,000 people had signed.
Four organizations signed off on the five-page letter: Black Student Union, African Student Association, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights and Solidarity for Black Student Needs Coalition. It also asks that the administration ensure that no student of any race will receive a failing grade.
In a message responding to the request, UW President Ana Mari Cauce and other campus leaders urged faculty “to be especially responsive to the needs of your students, especially those who are members of the Black community.”
But a coalition of UW faculty added their voice with a letter Thursday, saying that the UW administration’s statement does not go far enough to support students, and asks what leaders plan to do “to support our colleagues of color, especially our Black colleagues, in the midst of a double crisis.” Finals week starts Monday.
Seattle Police Chief orders officers to keep badge numbers visible while using mourning bands
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has ordered officers to keep their badge numbers visible when they are wearing black mourning bands, according to the Seattle Office of Police Accountability.
The mourning bands are part of a "long standing tradition to honor officers killed in the line of duty," but Best acknowledged during a news conference Thursday that they caused confusion and obstructed transparency during protests.
Chief Best just ordered officers to use mourning bands that do not cover their badge numbers. OPA will continue to look into this issue, including investigating allegations that officers purposefully withheld identifying information from demonstrators.
— Seattle Office of Police Accountability (@SeattleOPA) June 4, 2020
Tukwila announces new curfew orders
The city of Tukwila has issued a curfew order within its central business district.
The curfew will be in place between 9 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday and during the same time period Friday into Saturday morning.
During the curfew, people will not be allowed in any public places. The restrictions do not apply to law enforcement as well as military, emergency and city government personnel. Media must be authorized in advance by the City Administrator’s Office, the chief of Tukwila Police or his designee.
Essential workers or those seeking medical care are also exempt from the curfew.
Seattle Mayor, Police Chief, Fire Chief to hold news conference
Testimony: Shooter used racist slur as Arbery lay dying
A Georgia state investigator alleged Thursday that a white man was heard saying a racist slur as he stood over Ahmaud Arbery’s body, moments after killing him with three shots from a pump-action shotgun.
The lead Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent in the case testified that Travis and Greg McMichael and a third man in another pickup, William “Roddie” Bryan, used their trucks to chase down and box in Arbery, who repeatedly reversed directions and ran into a ditch while trying to escape.
Travis McMichael then got out of his truck and confronted Arbery, later telling police he shot him in self-defense after Arbery refused his order to get on the ground, Special Agent Richard Dial said. A close examination of the video of the shooting shows the first shot was to Arbery’s chest, the second was to his hand, and the third was to his chest again before he collapsed in the road, Dial said.
Bryan, who recorded that video, said he heard the Travis McMichael say a racist epithet as he stood over Arbery’s body before police arrived, Dial said. Dial said Bryan gave investigators the information a week after the McMichaels’ arrest, and there’s no indication he said it to Glynn County investigators before that.
Read the story here.
8:46: A number becomes a potent symbol of police brutality
All protest movements have slogans. George Floyd’s has a number: 8:46.
Eight minutes, 46 seconds is the length of time prosecutors say Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was pinned to the ground under a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee before he died last week.
In the days since, outraged protesters, allies and companies have seized on the detail as a quiet way to honor Floyd at a time of angry and sometimes violent clashes with police. Even as prosecutors have said little about how they arrived at the precise number — which conflicts with timestamps in the criminal complaint's detailed description of what happened — it has fast grown into a potent symbol of the suffering Floyd and many other Black men have experienced at the hands of police.
In Boston and Tacoma, demonstrators this week lay on streets staging “die-ins” for precisely 8 minutes, 46 seconds. In Washington, D.C., Democratic senators on Thursday gathered in the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, some standing, some kneeling on the marbled floor for the nearly nine minutes of silence.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., closed with: “May we honor those dead by protecting all who are alive.”
Read the story here.
Funeral for George Floyd, whose death sparked worldwide protests, being held Thursday
Organizers of a Minneapolis memorial for George Floyd placed floral arrangements around a golden casket Thursday as families, friends and public figures prepared to pay their respects to the man whose death sparked protests nationwide and calls for an end to racial injustice.
A black hearse was parked outside the Frank J. Lindquist sanctuary at North Central University hours before the memorial was to begin in Minneapolis — the first service to be held in the next six days across three communities where Floyd was born, grew up and died.
Floyd, who was Black, died May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air. Since then, Floyd’s name has been chanted by hundreds of thousands of people and empowered a movement. Violent encounters between police, protesters and observers have inflamed a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
Read the story here and watch the George Floyd memorial live:
Protesters remain overnight outside police station on Capitol Hill
A small group of protesters has remained overnight outside of the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct building on Capitol Hill where they stood at the barricade or hunkered down on mats.
The scene at the intersection of Pine Street and 11th Avenue is being broadcast in a Facebook Live video aimed at the group of about a dozen. People at the intersection Thursday morning said at least four people stayed overnight, with as many as 150 at one point early in the morning. Several social media posts have also said the protesters have been at the scene through the night.
About five police cars are parked roughly 30 yards in front of the crowd, near the East Precinct. (they cannot be seen from the camera angle on the Facebook Live video).
LIVE Seattle Protest at East Precinct has gone overnight.
Posted by Brandon Frost on Thursday, June 4, 2020
— audlaw 🐬 (@audrey_leigh) June 4, 2020
Catch up on the past 24 hours
The Rev. Al Sharpton will lead a memorial service for Floyd today in Minneapolis. Prosecutors yesterday upgraded the murder charge against the officer who pinned him down, also revealing that Derek Chauvin had drawn medals for bravery — and 17 complaints. Today will also bring a key moment in court for three men who are charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
An extraordinary clash has broken open between the U.S military and its commander in chief. Hours after Defense Secretary Mark Esper shot down President Donald Trump's idea of using active-duty troops to quell the protests, his predecessor, Jim Mattis, accused the president of trying to divide Americans. Meanwhile, former President Obama stepped forward to talk about turning the moment into lasting change.
In Tacoma, another man who said "can’t breathe" died while police restrained him on the ground in March. The medical examiner has ruled that the restraint caused the death of Manuel Ellis.
“Don’t kill them, but hit them hard.” The Washington State Patrol has apologized after video surfaced of an officer delivering that message to his team while preparing to clear protesters from the streets of Seattle's Capitol Hill.
Russell Wilson spoke out with a heavy heart in a video message yesterday about Floyd's death and his own unsettling experiences with racism: "Enough is enough with the situation."
Durkan and Best meet with protest leaders
On the sixth day of major protests over the death of George Floyd, Seattle officials announced they're withdrawing a request that could have cleared the way to lift eight years of federal oversight of the Police Department. "We are about to witness the most vigorous testing of our city’s accountability systems," the city attorney said after 14,000 complaints flooded in about police officers’ actions during the protests. Seattle also canceled its nightly curfews. Above, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best meet with protest leaders.
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