SEATTLE — Seattle City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best after police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters a day after Durkan and Best said they were trying to de-escalate tensions.

Authorities said rocks, bottles and explosives were thrown at officers in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Saturday night. Police said via Twitter that several officers were injured by “improvised explosives.”

The mayhem in the Capitol Hill neighborhood came on the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city. It followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier.

It also came a day after Durkan and Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.

Artists paint ‘End Racism Now’ on street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. — Add North Carolina’s capital city to those sporting a bold message denouncing racism painted in large yellow letters on a city street.

Artists on Sunday painted the words “End Racism Now” on a downtown street, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The message was added days after the mayor of Washington, D.C., had the words “Black Lives Matter” painted on a street leading to the White House amid days of demonstrations in the nation’s capital and all over the country in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Floyd died May 25 after a white officer pressed his knee into the unarmed black man’s neck, ignoring his “I can’t breathe” cries and holding it there even after Floyd stopped moving.

Charman Driver, former chair of the Contemporary Art Museum on Martin Street, where the painting is located, called it “a very painful totem.” The street leads to Confederate monuments on State Capitol grounds, which have been spotlighted as offensive during protests.

The painting was applied Sunday morning when a city engineer met the artists and brought barricades to block off the street.

“We did it. And it’s wonderful. And we feel really good about it. Our voices are being heard, but it’s not enough,” Driver said.

APTOPIX_America_Protests_Washington_74516

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, marches with a crowd singing “Little Light of Mine” in Washington on Sunday. Romney marched Sunday in the protest against police mistreatment of minorities in the nation’s capitol, making him the first Republican senator known to do so. Michelle Boorstein/The Washington Post

Romney becomes first known Republican senator to march in protest

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney marched in a protest against police mistreatment of minorities in the nation’s capital, making him the first known Republican senator to do so.

Romney, who represents Utah, posted a tweet showing him wearing a mask as he walked with Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington on Sunday. Äbove the photo he wrote: Black Lives Matter.

Romney, who was walking with a Christian group, told NBC News that he needed to be there.

“We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality,” he said.

On Saturday, Romney tweeted a photo of his father, George, who was the governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, marching with civil rights protesters in the 1960s in a Detroit suburb.

Above the photo, Mitt Romney wrote: “This is my father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the Detroit suburbs during the late 1960s — “Force alone will not eliminate riots,” he said. “We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.”

Read the full story here.

Majority of Minneapolis City Council pledges to ‘begin the process of ending’ police department

MINNEAPOLIS — Two-thirds of Minneapolis City Council members joined activists in Powderhorn Park on Sunday and promised to “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.”

“Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis police department cannot be reformed, and will never be accountable for its actions,” the council members said, in a statement that they read off piece by piece.

Joining in the statement were Council President Lisa Bender, Vice President Andrea Jenkins and council members Alondra Cano, Jeremiah Ellison, Cam Gordon, Jeremy Schroeder, Phillipe Cunningham and Andrew Johnson.

Their statement set up what is likely to be a long, complicated fight over how to change the police force following George Floyd’s death. The video of Floyd, pinned underneath an officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes, has renewed debates around the country about whether cities should reform — or completely eliminate — their local police departments.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said that he supports systemic changes to the police department but does not support abolishing it altogether.

National Guard set to leave California cities

LOS ANGELES — National Guard troops will be pulled out of California cities where they’ve been deployed for a week after rampant violence and thievery marred the first days of protests over the death of George Floyd, officials announced Sunday.

The announcement came as peaceful demonstrations again popped up across the state, including one on horseback and another on wheels, as protesters continue to call for police reforms.

“After nearly a week assisting civil authorities on the streets of California, soldiers with the California National Guard will begin transitioning back to their home armories,” the Cal Guard said in a statement. A timeline for the pullout was not provided.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said some troops would begin departing Sunday evening.

“A small number of units will be stationed nearby until June 10 to provide emergency support if needed,” Garcetti said in a statement.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that he’d encourage local leaders to end their use of the Guard “in an expeditious manner, but a very thoughtful manner.”

More than 7,000 National Guard troops were deployed to LA, San Francisco, Sacramento and other cities to assist local law enforcement, Cal Guard said.

While the vast majority of protesters have been peaceful, there were violent clashes with police and hundreds of businesses were vandalized.

Atlanta lifts curfew again after two nights without arrests

For a second straight day, the city of Atlanta lifted a curfew it had set for 8 p.m.

The decision to revoke the weekend curfews came after days of peaceful demonstrations and two nights without any arrests.

Atlanta had been under a nightly curfew since the previous Friday, when vandals smashed windows and looted stores after a peaceful demonstration attended by thousands of people.

Protesters again rallied in the city on Sunday. A group of African American pastors walked down Auburn Avenue — the street Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on — singing a protest song from the civil rights era with the lyrics, “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round.”

NBA’s Bucks lead thousands of fans in public protest march through downtown Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Bucks led thousands of fans on what the team described as a public protest march through downtown Milwaukee in support of social justice.

Bucks officials estimated that 7,500 people participated.

Before the march, Bucks guard Sterling Brown led the crowd in 9 seconds of silence to honor George Floyd.

Brown has a pending lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee, saying that police used excessive force and targeted him because he is black when they used a stun gun on him on Jan. 26, 2018.

“It’s great to see everybody out here standing as one, standing for equality, standing for George Floyd and his family and everybody who’s been a victim to police brutality,” Brown told the crowd before the march.

Brown was at the front row with many of his Bucks teammates and led the crowd in various chants that included “black lives matter,” “no justice, no peace” and “We will be seen, we will be heard.”

Several of the Bucks players also had participated in a local march against police brutality on Saturday night.

“We’re here as one,” Brown told the crowd beforehand. “We’re making something great happen. We’re making something positive happen, something that’s heard around the world.”

Peaceful protests continue in New York City

NEW YORK — Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd have continued in New York City with thousands of demonstrators, most of them wearing masks, walking through Manhattan without a looming curfew.

The city had been scheduled to leave its 8 p.m. curfew in place through at least Sunday night. But Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in the morning that it would be nixed, saying, “Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city.”

New York City police pulled back on enforcing the curfew Saturday night, as thousands took to the streets for another day of marches and rallies sparked by the May 25 death of Floyd.

The citywide curfew was the first in decades.

Chicago mayor lifts curfew and restores full train and bus service

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has lifted Chicago’s curfew and the city has reopened downtown train stations and allowed full bus service to resume following days of protests that largely remained peaceful.

Lightfoot imposed the 9 p.m. curfew on May 30 during a night of unrest that included widespread vandalism and break-ins that followed peaceful protests earlier that day over the death of George Floyd.

Access to the Loop was limited to essential workers for days, with bridges over the Chicago River raised and streets blocked. Several hundred Illinois National Guard were brought into Chicago to enforce the limited access. The mayor announced the lifting of the curfew Sunday on Twitter.

Meanwhile, demonstrations over Floyd’s death and police brutality continued on Sunday, with hundreds gathering at an intersection on the city’s South Side.

Community activist Jahmal Cole says that since many stores boarded their windows and shut down because of the protests, parts of the South Side have become food and pharmacy deserts, with residents having to travel 15 to 20 minutes for milk or their medications.

Michigan city removes statue of segregationist mayor that became ‘divisive symbol’

DEARBORN, Mich — Crews in Dearborn, Michigan, have removed a statue of the city’s longest-serving mayor, who favored segregationist policies and made racist comments over his 35-year tenure that ended in 1977.

The statue of Orville Hubbard had been on the grounds of the Dearborn Historical Museum for several years after it was removed from the former City Hall campus in 2015. It was taken down Friday.

A city spokeswoman says the statute had become a “divisive symbol rather than a unifying one.” Calls for the statue to be removed were renewed in light of the widespread protests over George Floyd’s death. Hubbard died in 1982.

Dearborn is next to Detroit and has the largest Muslim population in the U.S.

Guard troops leave U.S. capital after Trump order

WASHINGTON — Dozens of National Guard troops from South Carolina were seen checking out of their Washington, D.C., hotel shortly before President Donald Trump tweeted he was giving the order to withdraw guard forces from the nation’s capital.

The troops sipped coffee from an adjacent Starbucks and smoked cigarettes Sunday morning as they awaited buses to take them to the airport for a flight home.

Meanwhile, the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House is full of peaceful protesters and has the communal feeling of a street fair.

Federal law enforcement officers and National Guard members who had been out in force for a week have largely withdrawn and have been replaced by city police in Washington, D.C., who have blocked off adjacent roads to give demonstrators space.

The jingles of ice cream trucks are mixing with protest chants. Protesters are posing with the new sign the city painted in big yellow block letters on 16th Street that reads “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Trump ordered guard troops into D.C. to “dominate” the streets after some protests over the killing of George Floyd turned violent. The city’s mayor called on Trump last week to withdraw outside forces amid days of largely peaceful protests.

Thousands protest in Brussels

BRUSSELS — Several thousand people filled a large square in front of Brussels’ main courthouse to protest racism and the death of George Floyd.

The multiracial crowd that turned out for Sunday’s demonstration included many families with children. Many people wore masks, but it was too crowded for protesters to stick to social distancing guidance.

Protesters held up white roses and placards decrying racism, including one held up by a young black woman that read, “You think you are tired of hearing about racism? We are tired of experiencing it.”

Belgium media outlet RTBF reports that as well as the estimated 10,000 people who rallied in Brussels, smaller crowds also gathered in the cities of Anvers and Gand, where demonstrators observed a silence of 8 minutes and 46 seconds. That corresponds to the length of time that prosecutors say George Floyd was pinned by the neck under a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee before he died.

British demonstrators toss statue of slave trader into harbor

LONDON — Anti-racism protesters in the southwestern England port city of Bristol have toppled the statue of a prominent slave trader and dumped it into the harbor.

Footage from local broadcaster ITV News West Country shows demonstrators attach ropes to the statue of Edward Colston before pulling it down on Sunday and eventually dumping it into the harbor. Images on social media show protesters appearing to kneel on the statue’s neck, recalling how a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down George Floyd’s neck before the handcuffed black man died May 25.

Colston, who was born in 1636, has been a controversial figure in Bristol. Among efforts to “decolonize” the city have been calls to remove his name from its biggest music venue, Colston Hall.

In his 40s, Colston was prominently involved in Britain’s sole official slaving company at the time, the Royal African Company, which transported tens of thousands of Africans across the Atlantic Ocean, mainly to the Caribbean.

Bristol, an an international port, was a center of the slave trade and benefited hugely financially.

Britain formally abolished the slave trade in 1807.

Read the story here.

K-pop group donates $1 million to Black Lives Matter

SEOUL, South Korea — BTS’s label says the K-pop super group has donated $1 million to a Black Lives Matter campaign.

Big Hit Entertainment confirmed the band’s donation in an email Sunday. It comes after a Thursday tweet from the band in which it expressed its support for the Black Lives Matter movement and said the band opposes racial discrimination and violence.

BTS’s fans reacted with the hashtag #MatchAMillion on Twitter, vowing to match the group’s donation.

K-pop fans have been actively participating in the Black Lives Matter movement both online and offline, including by overwhelming police apps with their favorite K-pop memes and fancies.

Police arrest 50 during protest in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — Police in Portland, Oregon, say they arrested least 50 people after things like balloons of paint and full cans of beverages were thrown at officers following George Floyd protests.

Authorities say most of the demonstrations Saturday were peaceful. However, police say in a news release that several hundred people gathered downtown Saturday night, pushed on fencing and threw fireworks at officers. Police say two deputies were injured.

Following orders to disperse, police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.

Thousands demonstrate in Milan

MILAN — A few thousand people gathered outside the central train station in Italy’s financial capital, Milan, to protest racism and the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Many in the crowd Sunday were migrants or the children of migrants from Africa. Organizers told participants that in Italy, the Black Lives Matter slogan means avoiding “seeing black bodies as if they’re foreigners” and not as citizens. One said it means not delaying legislative reform to make it easier to receive citizenship.

Foreigners born in Italy aren’t automatically eligible for citizenship until they reach 18 after continuously living in the country. Efforts in recent years have failed to enact legislation to allow foreigners’ children born in Italy to become citizens while still minors if they’ve attended Italian schools. Such parents complain that their children are viewed as second-class citizens even though they identify as Italian and speak the language fluently.

Many protesters wore masks or disposable gloves, and one of the organizers used a loudspeaker to remind people not to share objects and to stay a safe distance apart. Italy has greatly eased its coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks as the rate of contagion steadily slowed.

George Floyd’s body arrives in Texas

HOUSTON — Houston’s police chief says the body of George Floyd has arrived in Texas for a final memorial service and funeral.

Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted early Sunday that Floyd’s family also arrived safely. A six-hour viewing for Floyd is planned for Monday in Houston, followed by funeral services and burial Tuesday in the suburb of Pearland.

Floyd, who was handcuffed and black, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving. His death has inspired protests around the world and served as a rallying cry against institutional racism.

Previous memorials were held for Floyd in Minneapolis and Raeford, North Carolina, which is near where he was born.

Protests continue in London

LONDON — Protesters outside the U.S. embassy in London want to make it clear that their message is not just meant for American ears.

Thousands gathered Sunday for a second straight day of protests outside the gleaming glass building to protest against racial injustice following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

London-based student Darcy Bourne says she thinks everyone knows the protest is about more than just Floyd, but about racism around the world.

Another student, Steffi Cox, says racism is a global issue and that people need to “come together and make sure everyone is educated.”

Meanwhile in Bristol, about 110 miles west of London, protesters on Sunday toppled a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.

Seattle councilors criticize mayor, police chief

SEATTLE — Seattle City Council members have sharply criticized the mayor and police chief over the police use of flash-bang grenades and pepper spray to disperse protesters after the two said they were trying to deescalate tensions.

Authorities say rocks, bottles and explosives were thrown at officers in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Saturday night, and police tweeted that several officers were injured by “improvised explosives.

The unrest came on the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city and followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in which medical workers demonstrated against racism and police brutality.

It also came a day after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.

City Council President Lorena Gonzalez tweeted Saturday night that she was “outraged” by the police response. And City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda urged Durkan and Best to “stop traumatizing protesters and neighbors.”

Hundreds gather outside U.S. embassy in Budapest

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hundreds of people have attended a peaceful rally outside the U.S. embassy in Budapest to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Speeches and songs like Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” were heard on Liberty Square before the crowd knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. That was the amount of time that a white Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on the the neck of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air before eventually going motionless during his May 25 arrest for suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a shop.

The demonstration was one of many held throughout the world this weekend over Floyd’s death and institutional racism.

Elizabeth Sadusky, a U.S. student in Hungary, said: “I think having these kinds of events around the world is really important to show solidarity and to show the rest of the world that the U.S. isn’t perfect.”

Demonstrators gather across Spain

MADRID — Several thousand people have gathered in Spain’s main cities to show their support for the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and to denounce racial discrimination in Europe.

A few thousand protesters gathered around the U.S. embassy in Madrid on Sunday. Many carried homemade signs reading “Black Lives Matter,” “Human rights for all” and “Silence is pro-racist.”

Protesters chanted “Police murderers!” and “No justice, no peace!” Police were present but the atmosphere remained peaceful. Social distancing was difficult, however everyone wore a mask.

Thimbo Samb, a spokesman for the group that organized the protest, says the demonstration was to protest the death of George Floyd but also to call attention to racism in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

Thousands also filled a central square in Barcelona and there were other protests called for in smaller cities.

New York lifts curfew after mostly peaceful protests

New York City’s mayor is lifting the city’s curfew ahead of schedule, spurred on by protests against police brutality.

The 8 p.m. citywide curfew, New York’s first in decades, had been set to remain in effect through at least Sunday, with the city planning to lift it at the same time it enters the first phase of reopening after more than two months of a coronavirus shutdown.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday morning in a tweet that the curfew will end “effective immediately.”

“Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” de Blasio tweeted “Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart.”

The move followed New York City police pulling back on enforcing the curfew Saturday as thousands took to the streets and parks to protest police brutality, sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

More than two hours after the curfew had passed Saturday night, groups of several hundred demonstrators continued to march in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while police monitored them but took a hands-off approach.

Protestors topple statue of Confederate general in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — In the former capital of the Confederacy, demonstrators toppled a statue of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham from its pedestal after a day of mostly peaceful demonstrations across the commonwealth.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that most of the demonstrators had already dispersed when a rope was tied around the Confederate statue, which has stood since 1891 in Richmond’s Monroe Park, which is surrounded by the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. In 2017, some of Wickham’s descendants urged the city to remove the statue.

A Richmond police spokeswoman didn’t know if there were any arrests and the extent of any damage.

Confederate monuments are a major flashpoint in Virginia. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that a state-owned statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would be removed from its perch on the famed Monument Avenue “as soon as possible.”


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