Multiple police officers injured in protests hours after George Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide
Jun 2, 2020, 7:30 AM
(Sipa via AP Images)
(CNN) — Hours after two autopsies revealed George Floyd was killed by police, officers came under fire overnight.
In St. Louis, four officers were struck by gunfire during protests. Their injuries are non-life-threatening, Chief John Hayden Jr. said.
Las Vegas police are investigating two officer-involved shootings overnight, one in which an officer was shot, police told CNN affiliate KVVU-TV.
And in New York City, a sergeant was hit by a car with such force that the officer flipped sideways in the air. The officer is in serious but stable condition with leg and head injuries, NYPD Lt. Thomas Antonetti said. The driver fled the scene.
The violence unfolded despite the Floyd family’s plea for protesters to abstain from violence.
Floyd, 46, died last week after after a now-fired Minneapolis officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes, according to a prosecutor’s statement of probable cause. His final words included “Mama” and “I can’t breathe.”
A video of the incident shows two other officers helping to hold down Floyd, who was on his stomach and was handcuffed.
“Our cities are boiling over because people are in pain,” Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds said.
“It’s about years and years and years of a lack of access to justice. It’s a lack of accountability on the part of the police departments. It’s about the good officers not calling out the bad ones.”
Protesters have also been met with tear gas and rubber bullets by some police departments, though there have been examples of police joining demonstrators.
Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, spoke to those gathered in support of his brother Monday, delivering a simple message for those committing violence.
“He would not want y’all to be doing this,” he said.
On the day Terrence Floyd appealed to protesters for peace, President Donald Trump took an aggressive tact with demonstrators. Crowds were pushed back with tear gas to the clear the way for the President to be photographed in front of a historic church. He also threatened military deployment against the protest across the country.
• More than 40 people were detained in Oakland for violating the curfew the city put in place in response to protests.
• While looting took place in New York City’s Herald Square, elsewhere in the city protests remained peaceful. Mayor Bill de Blasio said a Brooklyn protest at the Barclay’s Center was calm but urged people to go home, saying there were people in the city who intended “not to protest but to destroy property and hurt others.”
• Early Tuesday morning, military helicopters patrolled the skies over Washington DC to disperse crowds of protesters out past the city’s curfew.
Governors reject call for stronger response against protests
Despite Trump’s calls for the government to take tougher measures against protesters, many state leaders instead heeded calls from family members for peace.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee denounced the President “threatening Americans with their own military.”
“His admiration of authoritarians around the world should not allow him to violate 200 years of American tradition of local law enforcement,” Inslee said.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak refuted Trump’s suggestion that the National Guard has not done enough in some states, saying two units are at the ready to protect Nevadans.
“The President has once again taken the path of inciting combativeness, stoking racial tensions, and creating division when we need unity more than ever,” Sisolak said.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican and frequent critic of the president said that while he should have been surprised at the hardline message from the White House, he wasn’t.
“At so many times during these past several weeks when the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found,” he said.
2 autopsies find Floyd died by homicide, but differ on key details
While government leaders debate how to approach protests sparked by Floyd’s death, two different autopsies are at odds over the details of his death.
Both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s report and an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family concluded his death was a homicide. But they differ in their account of how it happened.
Video from last week shows Floyd being arrested by four officers. Three held him to the ground, with one officer, Derek Chauvin, seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck as he said that he couldn’t breathe.
The independent autopsy said that Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” which cut off blood flow to his brain. But the medical examiner did not mention asphyxiation.
The county release said it found “no physical findings” of asphyxiation, but that the death was a result of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” The county said heart disease and drugs were among “significant conditions” to the death but did not describe the level of drugs in Floyd’s system.
Dr. Michael Baden, one of the independent medical examiners, said “there is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death.”
‘We plan to hold everyone accountable’
Chauvin has already been arrested in Floyd’s death, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Monday that more action may soon follow.
All four Minneapolis officers on the scene of Floyd’s death have been fired, but only Chauvin has had charges brought against him. But amid calls for all the officers who saw the incident but did not intervene to face justice, Ellison said he is looking into actions against them.
Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and was initially expected in court Monday, but his appearance has been rescheduled for June 8, the day before Floyd’s funeral.
Though he cannot ethically comment further on possible prosecution, Ellison said Monday he spent the 24 hours prior reviewing evidence.
“We are looking very carefully at holding everybody accountable who failed to do their duty and fell below the legal requirements of their position or did something affirmatively that would be in violation of the law,” Ellison said.
“When we are ready, and that won’t be long from now, we plan on taking the proper and deliberate action,” he said.
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