- The Minneapolis city council has said it wants to disband the city’s police department, after days of protests over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a city police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25.
- US President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of National Guard troops from the streets of Washington, DC.
- Protesters have also taken to the streets across the world – from the UK to Spain, Italy and Australia – as demonstrations against police brutality and racism entered their 13th day. While some clashes were reported, they remained mostly peaceful.
- Hundreds of mourners gathered in North Carolina on Saturday for a memorial service for Floyd, the second of three events currently planned.
Monday, June 8:
08:03 GMT – French minister denounces violence against protesters, journalists
Violence against peaceful protesters and journalists is unacceptable, whether in the United States or elsewhere, France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a newspaper interview published.
Asked about protests and rioting that have swept across US cities since the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Le Drian told Le Telegramme that it was necessary to let people demonstrate freely.
“Any act of violence committed against peaceful protesters or journalists is unacceptable, in the United States or elsewhere,” he told the Brittany regional newspaper.
07:56 GMT – National Guard troops begin pull-out from California cities
National Guard troops will be pulled out of California cities where they’ve been deployed for a week of protests over the death of George Floyd, officials announced.
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.
07:33 GMT – Romney becomes first known Republican senator to march in protest
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. Above 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.”
07:16 GMT – Artists paint ‘End Racism Now’ on street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina
Artists painted the words “End Racism Now” on a downtown street, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
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 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.
06:59 GMT – Seattle mayor, police chief criticised for police use of flash bangs, pepper spray
Seattle City Council members sharply criticised 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.
06:40 GMT – Man drives at protesters in Seattle, shoots one
Authorities say a man drove a car at George Floyd protesters in Seattle Sunday night, hit a barricade then exited the vehicle brandishing a pistol.
At least one person was injured. The Seattle Fire Department said the victim was a 27-year-old male who was shot and taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Video taken by a reporter for The Seattle Times showed part of the scene in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, where demonstrators have gathered for days near a police precinct.
03:45 GMT (Monday): BTS fans match group’s $1m donation to Black Lives Matter
Fans of BTS have matched the hugely popular South Korean boy band’s $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter after a social media campaign around the hashtag MatchAMillion.
Fans, known by the acronym ARMY (Adorable Representation MC for Youth) had given $1,007,518 as of 9:47am (00:47 GMT) on Monday, according One In An Army (OIAA) which runs fan donation campaigns.
“We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channelled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-black racism,” OIAA said in a statement.
“We stand in solidarity with black ARMY. They’re an important part of our family. And we stand with black people everywhere. Your voices deserve to be heard.”
02:01 GMT (Monday): Curfews lift, police show less force amid peaceful protests
With New York City poised to reopen after a more than two-month coronavirus shutdown, officials lifted a curfew that was in place amid protests of police brutality and racial injustice. But they also urged that demonstrators be tested for COVID-19.
“Get a test. Get a test,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told people who have been participating in rallies and marches in memory of George Floyd. “I would act as if you were exposed, and I would tell people you are interacting with, assume I am positive for the virus.”
Cuomo said the state would open 15 testing sites dedicated to protesters so they can get results quickly. His call for demonstrators to proceed carefully is similar to those made in Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta following massive demonstrations, with free testing for protesters.
00:15 GMT (Monday): Minneapolis city councillors back plan to disband police
A majority of councillors in Minneapolis have told a rally in the city that they want to break up the city’s police department.
“It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe,” said Lisa Bender, the council president who was among nine of the council’s 12 members who took part in the rally. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.”
Bender said she and the other council members at the rally were committed to “end policing as we know it and recreate systems that actually keep us safe.” Council member Jeremiah Ellison promied the council would “dismantle” the police department.
Sunday, June 7
20:50 GMT – UK anti-racism protests ‘subverted by thuggery’: PM Johnson
Anti-racism protests in Britain have been “subverted by thuggery”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, warning those responsible would be held to account.
Tens of thousands took to the streets of London on Sunday, rallying for a second day running to condemn police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As numbers dwindled, some protesters tussled with police.
20:40 GMT – Washington protesters ask black Secret Service agent to ‘take a knee’
Peaceful protesters have gathered again near the White House in the 13consecutive day of protests in the country.
In one instance, protesters implored a black US Secret Service officer to take a knee in solidarity with their demonstration against racism and brutality by law enforcement.
“I appreciate all of this. … I’m still black. You see what I’m saying? You guys are still fighting for my rights,” the unidentified officer told the protesters through a fence outside the Treasury building in Washington, in an exchange captured by Reuters TV.
“What I’m saying is, technically we just can’t do that,” he said.