Violence Ebbs, Yet Buffalo Incident Sparks Ire: Protest Update

A 10th night of large-scale protests across the U.S. unfolded mostly without violence, although incidents in Buffalo and the Bronx raised even more questions about police officers’ use of force.

Video of a confrontation between Buffalo police and a protester has gone viral, as millions rewatched footage of an elderly man lying on the ground with blood pooling near his head after an officer shoved him backward. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the incident “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”

Police arrested dozens of protesters in the Bronx — and the New York Times reported at least one person was taken away on a stretcher — as thousands continued to demonstrate in New York City, despite an 8 p.m. curfew.

President Donald Trump doesn’t plan to attend any of the upcoming events memorializing George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked the protests. Trump’s scheduled Friday to travel to Maine to tour a Covid-19 nasal swab manufacturing plant. Presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, told black supporters that most in America want to make things better but suggested 10-15% of the population just aren’t “very good people.

Key Developments:

  • Twitter Inc. removed a Trump campaign video tribute to Floyd citing a copyright claim
  • Trump says he’ll campaign in two years against Senator Lisa Murkowski after the Alaska Republican said she’s not sure if she’ll back him in the November election.
  • Protests Across America Through the Eyes of Black Photographers
  • Read ex-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s full Trump statement here
  • Bloomberg Equality: When Police Make Protests Battlefields
  • Urban Parks Prove Their Worth Amid Protests, Pandemic

Here’s the latest. All times are New York-based:

Two-Thirds of Americans Disapprove of Trump Response, Poll Finds (5:43 a.m.)

Only 32% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the aftermath of Floyd’s death, while 66% disapprove, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll found.

In a potentially problematic sign for the president, 69% of Republicans approve of his actions, compared to 84% who approve of his handling of the coronavirus.

Among blacks, 90% disapprove of Trump’s response to Floyd’s killing, compared to 59% of whites and 74% of Hispanics.

Marches Planned in Australia Despite Morrison Warning (1:59 a.m.)

Thousands are expected take to the streets across Australian cities Saturday in support of George Floyd, even as Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged people not to attend such rallies amid pandemic restrictions.

The BBC said New South Wales police have applied for a court order to declare the Sydney protest illegal, while police in Melbourne are negotiating with organizers to call off the plan, according to The Age. South Australia police have exempted coronavirus restrictions during the protest in Adelaide, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Protesters To March in Seoul in Solidarity With U.S. Protests Saturday (1:10 a.m.)

In South Korea, about 300 people are slated to gather in central Seoul to march in solidarity with the U.S. protests. The city police confirmed the three-hour march will take place Saturday afternoon from the tourist district of Myeongdong.

Shim Ji-hoon, the organizer of the event, said police denied his initial request for the group to march toward the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. The protesters will walk toward the opposite direction of the embassy to the financial district of Euljiro instead, Shim said. He added that they plan to “strictly follow the two-meters apart social-distance guidelines” amid the coronavirus outbreak.

New York Police Commissioner Expects Suspensions (12:11 a.m.)

New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea said he expects there will be suspensions of some officers who have been recorded interacting with protesters.

“I can tell you without a doubt there will probably be some suspensions,” Shea said at an impromptu press conference, according to NBC New York. He said there are seven videos under review by internal affairs and three more that may come under review.

Biden Says 10-15% of Americans Aren’t Very Good People (11:57 p.m.)

In an online discussion with black supporters moderated by actor Don Cheadle, presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden said that “the vast majority” of Americans are decent people who want to make the country a better place. But, he added, “there are probably anywhere from 10 to 15% of the people out there that are just not very good people.”

The comments echo those of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who said about half of Trump’s supporters could be put in a “basket of deplorables,” a line that would go on to haunt her campaign.

Read more: Trump’s Re-Election Hopes Grow Shakier With Biden Gains

Goldman Exec’s Advice to White Colleagues (11:32 p.m)

An email by Goldman Sachs managing director Frederick Baba discussing his experiences of racial inequality has gone viral within the bank, even grabbing the attention of CEO David Solomon.

The letter can be found here: A Goldman Executive’s Advice to White Colleagues: Frederick Baba

The email was sent on June 2 to a group of bankers Baba works with but has been forwarded so widely that almost all 38,000 employees globally have seen it, including Solomon, Reuters reports, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Solomon emailed Baba a personal note in response and the letter has been posted on Goldman’s internal website.

“I’ve learned how to prove I’m intelligent, to prove I’m not threatening, to prove I’m innocent after being assumed guilty. To prove human as this country litigates my personhood in case after case,” Baba, who is black, writes in the letter.

Buffalo Incident Goes Viral, Sparking Fresh Outrage (11:04 p.m.)

Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood has ordered two police officers to be suspended after a video of them pushing a protester, causing him to fall over with a loud thump went viral.

The incident shows the elderly protester lying motionless with blood pooling around his head. A voice can be heard yelling “get a medic!” The video has gone viral with more than 12 million views in two hours.

The man is in stable condition at a local hospital, WBFO reported.

College Athletes March In Solidarity With Protesters (10:27 p.m.)

University of Texas football players marched from their stadium about a mile to the state capitol alongside Austin police officers, the Dallas Morning News reported. Once there, they took a knee for 9 minutes in honor of George Floyd.

At Michigan State University in East Lansing, Spartan basketball star Kenny Goins told a crowd at a vigil there to speak up on injustice, the Lansing State Journal reported. “When someone says something that’s not OK, tell them it’s not OK. Change doesn’t happen overnight.”

Police Arrest Dozens of Protesters in the Bronx, NYT Says (10:16 p.m.)

The New York Times reports that police have arrested dozens of protesters in the Bronx, and that thousands continue their protests in New York City despite the 8 p.m. curfew.

Police surrounded a group of protesters in the borough of the Bronx and then charged at them, according to the report.

Trump Tweets About 1994 Crime Bill in a Dig at Biden (10:10 p.m.)

President Trump said on Twitter that the 1994 crime bill “was a total disaster,” reiterating criticism of rival Joe Biden for the tough-on-crime measure that was seen as a liability for him in the Democratic primaries.

Morgan Stanley Outlines Changes to Increase Diversity (10:05 p.m.)

Morgan Stanley, like a growing number of U.S. companies, posted a message on racial injustice and its “way forward” as a firm, from Chairman and CEO James Gorman.

The company said it will create an Institute of Inclusion, contribute $5 million to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, and said it would match U.S. employee contributions to the Fund, among other actions.

Federal Plan Details Force Built to Control D.C. Protests (8:59 p.m.)

The federal plan to respond to protests in Washington, D.C. currently employs about 7,600 civilian law enforcement, National Guard and active-duty Army personnel, according to an internal document compiled for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The document, which isn’t classified, shows 2,950 law enforcement personnel from U.S. agencies working alongside 2,935 National Guard troops, bolstered by 1,704 active-duty troops who are currently stationed outside the capital at Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Belvoir and Fort Myer.

The total deployments include 500 personnel each from the U.S. Capitol Police, Washington Police Department and U.S. Secret Service; 445 Bureau of Prisons staff, 168 members of the U.S. Marshals Service, 160 Drug Enforcement Agency employees, 80 U.S. Park Police and 32 FBI agents.

States Split on Sending National Guard Units to D.C. (8:40 p.m.)

State-level National Guard leaders were asked Monday which of them would be willing to send troops to Washington D.C., the Billings Gazette reported in a piece that detailed the troop requesting process. Not everyone said yes.

The request wasn’t specifically made to Montana. And, it wasn’t D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser doing the asking. There’s normally not a federal role in requests for National Guard assistance from states. But Monday it was the federal government.

“The mayor would probably need to make that request,” Adjutant Gen. Matthew Quinn said. “I don’t know that she was making any requests. I think the federal government decided that for her.”

As a federal district, D.C. gives President Donald Trump’s administration a unique ability to control the show of force in response to protests. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has opposed the buildup, but because of that federal structure the capital city most closely mirrors Trump’s vision of how to respond.

NYT Says Senator’s Op-Ed Didn’t Meet Its Standards (7:19 p.m.)

The New York Times said that the publication of Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s op-ed didn’t meet its standards due to a rushed editorial process. The piece, in which the senator argued that President Trump should use active duty military troops in an “overwhelming show of force” to stop lawbreakers during protests, infuriated some newspaper staffers, some of whom took to social media to express their disapproval.

The Times will consider reducing the number of op-eds it publishes and expand fact-checking after the incident.

Cuomo Asks N.Y. AG to Probe Baton Incident (4:43 p.m.)

Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the New York State attorney general to investigate Wednesday night’s incidents where officers allegedly used batons on peaceful protesters.

“Peaceful protest is a sacred American right,” Cuomo wrote in a tweet. “No peaceful protester deserves to be hit with a baton and no self-respecting police officer would defend that.”

— With assistance by Kathleen Hunter, Derek Wallbank, Jodi Schneider, and Stacie Sherman

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