George Floyd protests: Pelosi calls for removing Confederate statues from Capitol

Protests over racism and police violence continue nationwide, fueled by outrage over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed last month while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Authorities have arrested four Minneapolis police officers – Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao – in connection with his death. The officers have since been fired.

Floyd, 46, died on Memorial Day after police were called to investigate a report of a man trying to use what looked like a counterfeit $20. Video of his death caught by bystanders and shared on social media showed Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air.

Live updates for Wednesday, June 10, continue below:

Pelosi calls for removing Confederate statues from Capitol

Update 9:55 p.m. EDT June 10: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding that statues of Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis be removed from the U.S. Capitol.

In a letter, Pelosi told a House-Senate committee with jurisdiction over the controversial topic that Confederate statues “pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”

The California Democrat made the announcement on the very day President Donald Trump vowed on Twitter that he would not rename military bases honoring Confederate generals. Only a short time before Pelosi’s statement, NASCAR announced it would ban displays of the Confederate flag at its races.

‘Stop the pain,’ George Floyd’s brother pleads with Congress

Update 8:55 p.m. EDT June 10: George Floyd’s brother challenged Congress on Wednesday to “stop the pain” as lawmakers consider a sweeping law enforcement overhaul, so the man he looked up to won’t become just “another name” on a growing list of black Americans killed during interactions with police.

Philonise Floyd’s appearance before a House hearing came a day after funeral services for his older brother, the 46-year-old African American whose death has become a worldwide symbol in demonstrations calling for changes to police practices and an end to racial prejudice.

“I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain,” Philonise Floyd told the silenced hearing room.

Choking back tears, he said he wants to make sure that his brother, whom he called “Perry,” is “more than another face on a T-shirt, more than another name on a list that won’t stop growing.”

>> Read more here.

Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition for year

Update 6:55 p.m. EDT June 10: Amazon said Wednesday that it will pause police use of its facial recognition technology for a year.

The Seattle-based company did not say why it was doing so, but protests after the death of George Floyd have focused attention on racial injustice in the U.S. and how police use technology to track people. Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.

Amazon’s announcement comes a day after IBM said it would get out of the facial recognition business, concerned about how the technology can be used for mass surveillance and racial profiling.

Civil rights groups and Amazon’s own employees have pushed the company to stop selling its technology to government agencies, saying that it could be used to invade people’s privacy and target minorities.

Amazon said it will still allow organizations, like the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to use the technology.

NASCAR bans display of Confederate flag

Update 4:45 p.m. EDT June 10: NASCAR says it will prohibit the display of the Confederate flag at its events and properties.

NASCAR says Wednesday the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”

“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”


Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver, called this week for the banishment of the Confederate flag and said there was “no place” for them in the sport. Wallace asked the stock car series with deep ties to the South to formally distance itself from what for millions is a symbol of slavery and racism.

At long last, NASCAR obliged.

Washington governor announces new investigation into death of Manuel Ellis

Update 3:55 p.m. EDT June 10: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced a new investigation into the death of Manuel Ellis, a black man who died earlier this year while in the custody of Tacoma police, according to KIRO-TV.

“I have become convinced that the Pierce County Sheriff should not complete the investigation of the death of Manuel Ellis and the county prosecutor should not review the investigation and make charging decisions,” Inslee said in a news release obtained by KIRO-TV.

“Instead, there must be a new investigation and charging decision made independent of Pierce County law enforcement.”

The decision came down shortly after KIRO-TV reported that Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett had asked the state attorney general to take over the investigation.

Ellis died March 3. His death has been ruled a homicide.

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Trump: Officials ‘will not even consider’ renaming military bases that have Confederate names

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT June 10: President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his administration “will not even consider” renaming bases that were named after Confederate leaders.

Earlier this week, Politico reported that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper were open to renaming 10 Army bases and facilities as protesters in cities nationwide pulled or attempted to take down Confederate monuments and memorials during protests against racism and police violence.

“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump wrote in a series of social media posts.

“My Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” Trump said.

Larry Kudlow: ‘I don’t believe there is systemic racism’

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT June 10: White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t believe there is systemic racism in America, blaming the recent high-profile killings of unarmed Black Americans on some “bad apples,” according to multiple reports.

“I don’t believe there is systemic racism,” Kudlow said, according to White House pool reports.

The Guardian reported that Kudlow also said that he doesn’t consider the heightened levels of unemployment among Black Americans as compared to white Americans to be a sign of institutionalized discrimination.

Protesters have gathered in cities across the nation for nearly two weeks to protest systemic racism and police brutality after George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police. Demonstrators have called for a number of reforms to policing and police culture.

Police clarify policy on duty to intervene, report improper conduct in Memphis, Tennessee

Update 2 p.m. EDT June 10: The Memphis Police Department has clarified its policy requiring officers to report improper police conduct witnessed by other officers to emphasize the duty for officers to intervene.

The policy previously in place required officers to"immediate report ... any violation of policies and regulations or any other improper conduct which is contrary to the policy, order or directives of the Department," WHBQ-TV reported. It has since been updated to emphasize officers’ duty to intervene if they see officers “engaged in dangerous or criminal conduct or abuse of a subject."

The policy was also expanded to mandate that officers report allegations of excessive use of force.

In a statement, Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams said the initiative had the support of the union.

“It has always been our understanding that officers have been responsible to report or intervene in dangerous or criminal conduct,” Williams said, according to WHBQ-TV.

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Louisville, Kentucky police changing tear gas policy after complaints

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT June 10: Police in Louisville, Kentucky announced plans Wednesday to change a policy on using tear gas after complaints about its use to disperse crowds during recent protests.

The department’s interim police chief, Robert Schroeder, said the use of tear gas must now be approved by the police chief or his designee.

“I know several peaceful protesters got caught up in situations where tear gas had to be used, and I regret people had to experience that,” Schroeder said at a news conference with Mayor Greg Fischer.

Schroeder said Louisville officers “do not use tear gas casually.”

Former DOJ officials call for watchdog probe into Barr’s role in removing protesters in Washington

Update 1:30 p.m. EDT June 10: More than 1,250 former members of the Justice Department have signed a letter asking the department’s inspector general to launch an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s role in the removal of protesters from Lafayette Square last week.

Former DOJ officials who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations said they were “deeply concerned” about the response to peaceful protests in Washington last week. On June 1, authorities used tear gas to forcefully push back peaceful demonstrators gathered near the White House so that President Donald Trump could pose for a photo in front of nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“We are deeply concerned about the Department’s actions, and those of Attorney General William Barr himself,” former officials said in the letter, which was addressed to Inspector General Michael Horowitz and published Wednesday on Medium.

Barr’s role in the situation remained unclear Wednesday. The Washington Post reported last week that Barr personally ordered that the crowd be pushed back June 1 but the attorney general later told The Associated Press that he is “not involved in giving tactical demands like that.”

In the letter sent Wednesday, former DOJ officials also said they were disturbed by Barr’s “deployment of federal law enforcement officers throughout the country, and especially within the District of Columbia, to participate in quelling lawful First Amendment activity.”

>> Read the full letter

Protesters demand Atlanta city jail be shut down

Update 12:40 p.m. EDT June 10: A group of women is marching Wednesday to demand that officials close the Atlanta City Detention Center, according to WSB-TV.

The women are part of a group called Women on the Rise comprised of formerly jailed women who have turned their lives around, WSB-TV reported.

“The detention center, first of all, was built to hide the homeless from people coming to visit the Olympics," protester Marylin Winn told WSB-TV. “Since that time, they have been living off the oppression, off the backs of low-end communities where they set up roadblocks and put people in jail who can’t afford to pay to get out.”

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Trump expected to talk race relations during Dallas visit Thursday

Update 12:35 p.m. EDT June 10: President Donald Trump is planning to speak Thursday about race relations during a visit to Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a tweet that Trump will participate in a roundtable discussion with faith leaders, law enforcement members and small business owners about historic economic, health and justice disparities in America.

Trump is also expected to announce a plan for “holistic revitalization and recovery,” according the the Morning News. Later Thursday, he’s scheduled to attend a private fundraising event in the city, KTVT reported.

Pennsylvania woman charged with driving through group of peaceful protesters

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 10: Authorities have charged a woman accused of driving through a crowd of people at a peaceful protest Friday in Farrell, Pennsylvania, WPXI reported.

At least five people were injured when Amanda Hogenmiller drove through a group of demonstrators, authorities said, according to WPXI. She has been charged with reckless endangering of another person, simple assault and careless driving.

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More surveillance video surfaces in the death of Manuel Ellis

Update 11:50 a.m. EDT June 10: The attorney representing the family of Manuel Ellis, a black man who died earlier this year in the custody of police in Tacoma, Washington, released newly obtained surveillance video Tuesday that includes audio from the last moments of Ellis’ life, according to KIRO-TV.

The video, taken from a doorbell surveillance camera on March 3, doesn’t show what happened to Ellis, though a microphone on the camera captured him telling police officers that he was in distress, KIRO-TV reported.

“I can’t breathe, sir! Can’t breathe!” Ellis can be heard shouting.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner has ruled Ellis’ death a homicide. Officials said he suffocated while being restrained by police officers Christopher Burbank, Matthew Collins, Masyih Ford and Timothy Rankine, according to KIRO-TV.

Sheriff’s investigators have said Ellis assaulted the officers and was resisting as they arrested him.

An investigation is ongoing.

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Minneapolis withdrawing from police union negotiations

Update 11:25 a.m. EDT June 10: Minneapolis police Chief Medaria Arrandondo announced Wednesday that his department is withdrawing from police union contract negotiations, the first step in what he said would be transformational reforms to the agency in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

“Beginning today as chief I am immediately withdrawing from the contract negotiations with the Minneapolis police federation,” Arradondo said at a news conference. "I plan to bring in subject matter experience and advisors to conduct a thorough review of how the contract can be restructured to provide greater community transparency and more flexibility for true reform.

Arrandondo said the contract needs to be restructured to provide more transparency and flexibility for reform. The review would look at matters such as critical incident protocols, use of force, and disciplinary protocols including grievances and arbitration.

Philonise Floyd: ‘It is on you to make sure his death is not in vain’

Update 10:55 a.m. EDT June 10: The little brother of George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed during an encounter last month with Minneapolis police, urged lawmakers Wednesday to make reforms to policing practices in America.

“I’m here to ask you to make it stop,” Philonise Floyd said during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. “Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired. George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family and the calls ringing across the streets around the world.”

Philonise Floyd noted that video footage taken by passersby showed that his older brother called then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin “sir” even as Chauvin ignored his pleas for air on May 25. Chauvin and three other officers detained Floyd after a grocery store employee reported that he might have used a counterfeit $20 at the store.

“He didn’t deserve to die over $20,” Philonise Floyd said. “I’m asking you -- is that what a black man’s worth? $20? This is 2020.”

He urged Congress to “make law enforcement the solution and not the problem.”

“Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what necessary force is,” Philonise Floyd said. “Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk.

“It is on you to make sure his death is not in vain.”

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on policing practices, law enforcement accountability

Update 10 a.m. EDT June 10: The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning on policing practices and law enforcement accountability.

A dozen people are expected to testify during the hearing, including George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd.

George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, to testify on Capitol Hill

Update 9:40 a.m. EDT June 10: One of George Floyd’s brothers, Philonise Floyd, is scheduled to testify Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police practices and law enforcement accountability.

Eleven other people, including Floyd family attorney Ben Crump and Houston police Chief Art Acevedo.

The hearing comes about two weeks after George Floyd died in a confrontation with Minneapolis police, sparking protests nationwide.

Christopher Columbus statue torn down by protesters, thrown into lake in Virginia

Update 9:05 a.m. EDT June 10: Demonstrators protesting against police brutality and racial violence in Richmond, Virginia, toppled a statue Tuesday night of Christopher Columbus and threw it into a lake, according to multiple reports.

Protesters had gathered earlier in the day in the city’s Byrd Park in support of indigenous peoples, according to WWBT.

“We have to start where it all began -- we have to start with the people who stood first on this land,” activist Chelsea Higgs-Wise told demonstrators Tuesday, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Around 8:30 p.m., demonstrators pulled down the park’s Christopher Columbus Statue and threw it into Fountain Lake, WRIC-TV reported. A protester told the news network that the move had not been planned ahead of time.

The statue was pulled from the lake Wednesday morning, WWBT reported.

‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural unveiled in Albany, New York

Update 8:02 a.m. EDT June 10: Just days after workers and artists in Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina; and other cities painted murals on streets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, a similar display emerged in Albany, New York.

According to the Daily Gazette, In Our Own Voices, an advocacy organization for LGBT people of color, worked with city officials to have a massive “Black Lives Matter” mural painted Tuesday on Lark Street.

“We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement,” In Our Own Voices CEO Tandra LaGrone told the Gazette.

Read more here.

Christopher Columbus statue beheaded in Boston park; police investigating

Update 5:43 a.m. EDT June 10: Boston police are investigating after the city’s Christopher Columbus statue was vandalized overnight.

The head of the statue was knocked off and left at its base in the North End’s Christopher Columbus Park.

WFXT has contacted the commissioner of Boston Parks and Recreation, and Boston police for more information.

This is not the first time the statue has been targeted. In 2015, it was doused in red paint, with “Black Lives Matter” spray painted on its base.

At the time, Boston’s Parks and Recreation commissioner said that while officials encourage discourse, destroying public property is not the way to do it.

In 2006, someone took the statue’s head. It was found six days later and repaired.

Read more here.

‘Cops’ TV series canceled after 32 seasons

Update 4:26 a.m. EDT June 10: "Cops," the reality TV series that follows police in the field, has been canceled, multiple news outlets are reporting.

According to the New York Times, the Paramount Network revealed the news Tuesday as protests continued across the country over George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.

“'Cops' is not on the Paramount Network,” a company spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the network does not have “any current or future plans” for the show to return.

"Cops" first hit airwaves in 1989. Its first 25 seasons aired on Fox, which canceled the show in 2013. Spike TV, which later became Paramount Network, then picked up the series, according to the Times.

Color of Change, a civil rights group that has criticized "Cops," said in a statement that the show "has miseducated the public and normalized injustice" for decades, Entertainment Weekly reported.

"Crime television encourages the public to accept the norms of over-policing and excessive force and reject reform, while supporting the exact behavior that destroys the lives of black people," Arista Hatch, the organization's vice president, said in a statement to the news outlet.

The group also is calling on A&E to cancel a similar series, "Live PD," according to EW. Although A&E temporarily decided not to air the show last week, host Dan Abrams tweeted Tuesday that the series eventually will return.

“To all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back ... The answer is yes,” he wrote. “All of us associated with the show are as committed to it as ever. We are still discussing some specifics but I want to assure the #LivePDNation that we are not abandoning you.”

Read more here or here.

North Carolina governor creates task force to address racial inequity in state’s criminal justice system

Update 2:29 a.m. EDT June 10: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new task force Tuesday afternoon to “address racial inequity in the state criminal justice system," WSOC-TV is reporting.

He also will create a new Center for the Prevention of Law Enforcement Use of Deadly Force at the State Bureau of Investigation, which will track statistics and “improve training related to the use of force,” the Governor’s Office said.

“We must acknowledge racial inequities in our systems of law enforcement and criminal justice, and then work to eliminate them. This task force will address policies and procedures that disproportionately burden communities of color,” Cooper said.

Attorney General Josh Stein and state Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls will lead the task force, which will include “community policing advocates, state and local law enforcement agencies, justice-involved individuals, representatives of the judicial branch, individuals from marginalized populations and more,” the Governor’s Office said.

The task force will develop and help implement policy solutions to address systemic racial bias in criminal justice and submit legislative and municipal recommendations on or before Dec. 1, 2020.

Additionally, the order creates a Center for the Prevention of Law Enforcement Use of Deadly Force within the State Bureau of Investigation to track statistics and improve training related to the use of force.

This week, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety Erik Hooks directed law enforcement agencies under the purview of DPS to ensure each division has a duty to intervene policy in place. He also directed that divisions conduct policy reviews on use of force, de-escalation techniques, arrest procedures, cultural sensitivity training and internal investigation processes. Executive Order No. 145 directs cabinet agencies and encourages non-cabinet state agencies with sworn law enforcement officers to do the same.

Read more here.

Hundreds of protesters fill Seattle City Hall

Published 1:09 a.m. EDT June 10: Hundreds of protesters in Seattle made their way from Capitol Hill to City Hall on Tuesday evening, KIRO-TV is reporting.

Before 9 p.m. PDT, demonstrators marched to City Hall and went inside the building.

“Whose City Hall? Our City Hall! Whose City Hall? Our City Hall!” demonstrators shouted.

Among the protesters was Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant.

Earlier in the evening, a rally led by Sawant started at the East Precinct at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.

Sawant called for accountability from the city.

“If Mayor Jenny Durkan refuses to step down, I will introduce articles of impeachment,” she said.

Read more here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.