Democratic U.S. politicians urge police reform as protesters march for 11th day

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prominent Democratic politicians on Friday embraced the reason for U.S. protesters angered by the loss of life of a black man in Minneapolis police custody, adopting their slogans and asserting reforms as tensions remained excessive in main cities.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has sparred with U.S. President Donald Trump over his typically heavy-handed response to the rallies and marches within the nation’s capital, had the slogan “Black Lives Matter” painted in huge yellow letters on a road resulting in the White House.

In Minneapolis, the place 46-year-old George Floyd died on May 25 after a police officer pinned him to the bottom with a knee to the neck for practically 9 minutes, Democratic metropolis leaders voted to finish using knee restraints and choke holds, though the ordinance have to be authorized by a choose.

Separate autopsies carried out by the Hennepin County Medical examiner and a workforce employed by Floyd’s household every discovered that he died from asphyxiation.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, mentioned he would bar a state police coaching company from educating a restraint approach, typically known as a “sleeper hold,” that includes limiting the carotid artery within the neck.

And in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo mentioned his state ought to prepared the ground in passing “Say Their Name” reforms, together with making police disciplinary data publicly accessible and banning chokeholds.

“Mr Floyd’s murder was the breaking point,” Cuomo, additionally a Democrat, mentioned in a press release. “People are saying enough is enough, we must change.”

Amid accusations throughout the nation of police use of extreme power in the course of the 11 days of protests, a federal choose in Denver ordered metropolis police to cease deploying tear gasoline, plastic bullets and different “less-than-lethal” gadgets such as flash grenades. The momentary injunction was in response to a lawsuit filed by protesters.

A spokesman for the Denver Police Department mentioned the power would adjust to the order.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a videotaped message, mentioned the NFL had made errors in not listening to gamers and it will now “encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

The NFL, ranked as America’s hottest skilled league in polls and tv rankings, has been locked in a debate with gamers over kneeling protests in the course of the nationwide anthem earlier than video games, a follow made well-liked by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who’s black, in 2016 to protest towards racial injustice and police brutality.

Trump, who derided the kneeling gamers as “sons of bitches” in 2017, criticized their actions once more on Twitter earlier on Friday.


Black Lives Matter activists have additionally known as for cities to defund police departments. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat who in April proposed rising regulation enforcement funding, this week reversed course and mentioned he would search some $150 million in cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department.

After video footage from upstate New York raised additional questions in regards to the dealing with of demonstrators by regulation enforcement, two Buffalo police officers seen on Thursday shoving a 75-year-old protester to the bottom have been suspended and positioned beneath investigation.

All 57 members of a police tactical unit give up the unit to protest their therapy, media mentioned. [L1N2DI1TC]

Protests over the loss of life of Floyd have rocked cities together with Atlanta, Denver, Detroit as effectively as many smaller communities.

The demonstrations have erupted as the general public and companies wrestle to recuperate from sweeping lockdowns imposed to cease the unfold of the novel coronavirus. Disease consultants have mentioned the protests may spark new outbreaks.

Several males stand on the locked gates of Jackson Square, the place a statue of Andrew Jackson resides, and had temporary heated phrases with demonstrators who had gathered across the sq. throughout a protest towards the loss of life in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., June 5, 2020. Picture taken June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Kathleen Flynn

On Friday, marches and gatherings occurred in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Miami, New York and Denver, amongst different locations. Protesters additionally massed once more within the rain in entrance of the White House. The nighttime protests have been largely peaceable.

In Washington, town put in a road signal for “Black Lives Matter Plaza” at an intersection near the White House.

After dusk, Bowser had gentle projections spelling out “Black Lives Matter” beamed onto close by buildings, which she mentioned on Twitter was a “night light” in order that Trump would dream in regards to the newly named plaza.

The mayor and Trump, a Republican, have bickered publicly over the president’s use of federal law-enforcement companies and army police to close down protests.

U.S. Park Police fired smoke grenades and chemical irritant “pepper balls” to interrupt up a peaceable rally on Monday night time in order that Trump may stroll from the White House to a close-by church for a photograph alternative.

“The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts’, is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment,” Trump mentioned on Twitter.

On Friday, a U.S. official mentioned the Pentagon would ship again the remaining 900 active-duty troops who had been deployed to the Washington space.

Trump, who’s looking for re-election in November, was cheered on Friday by an sudden bounce in U.S. employment in May, defying predictions of additional job losses inflicted by the pandemic.

The president mentioned Floyd could be happy by the roles report. “Hopefully, George is looking down right now, and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country’,” he mentioned.

That drew a rebuke from former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who famous that Floyd’s final phrases have been “I can’t breathe” as a police officer knelt on his neck.

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“For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd, I frankly, think is despicable,” Biden mentioned at an occasion in Delaware.

In an additional reflection of the stress, police within the Washington space mentioned they arrested a 60-year-old bike owner whose videotaped confrontation with three children posting anti-racism flyers on a nature path drew widespread outrage.

The man was charged with second-degree assault, police mentioned.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Alexandra Alper, Andy Sullivan, Idrees Ali, Phil Stewart, Nathan Layne, Sharon Bernstein, Dan Whitcomb, Matt Spetalnick, Raphael Satter, Keith Coffman,Rich McKay; Writing by Grant McCool, Dan Whitcomb and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Howard Goller, Daniel Wallis and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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