Nationwide tensions appeared to ease Wednesday as thousands of demonstrators launched peaceful protests across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd while he was being subdued by Minneapolis police.
Major cities plan to continue enacting earlier curfews and beef up law enforcement resources after days of violence.
Three former Minneapolis police officers will be criminally charged in connection with the death of George Floyd, court record show. In addition, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin, a former officer who had already been charged with third-degree murder in the case. Chauvin will now be charged with second-degree murder, the records show.
President Donald Trump has not spoken publicly since Monday, when he threatened military action in U.S. cities.
This is CNBC's live blog covering all the latest news on the demonstrations gripping the U.S. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
6:30 a.m. ET — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has spoken publicly about the death of George Floyd in a video commencement address to the graduating class of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles.
"I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn't or that it would get picked apart and I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing," the duchess said.
"George Floyd's life mattered, and Breonna Taylor's life mattered, and Philando Castile's life mattered, and Tamir Rice's life mattered. And, so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know," she added.
The duchess went onto say she had decided to speak about the issue after remembering the advice of a former teacher: "Always remember to put other's needs above your own fears."
5:50 a.m. ET — Nationwide protests against racism and police brutality have seen more than 10,000 people arrested, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing a tally of known arrest in the U.S.
The number of people being arrested in the U.S. has grown by hundreds each day, the report said, as protesters took to the streets and encountered a heavy police presence and curfews that gave law enforcement officers increased power to arrest.
Los Angeles accounted for more than a quarter of arrests nationwide, Associated Press reported, the highest of any city in the country. The largest city in California was followed by New York, Dallas and Philadelphia, respectively.
1:10 a.m. ET — George Floyd tested positive for coronavirus weeks before his death, according to an autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. NBC News reported that the document showed an April 3 test was positive for the virus' RNA, which can remain in the body weeks after a disease clears.
The autopsy said a second positive test after his death likely indicated that Floyd was asymptomatic from an earlier infection when he died May 25, NBC reported. The CDC has previously said that a positive RNA test does not necessarily indicate that the virus is infectious.
NBC reported that it wasn't immediately clear if Floyd developed symptoms earlier or was asymptomatic. — Christine Wang
12 a.m. ET — Secretary of Defense Mark Esper reversed his decision of sending more than a thousand active-duty troops home after a meeting at the White House on Wednesday.
Hours after 1,600 active-duty Army units arrived in the Washington, D.C. area to help local law enforcement with protest response efforts, Esper said he was going to send them home, only to then change his mind later in the day.
On Tuesday evening, the Pentagon confirmed that approximately 1,600 active-duty troops from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York were flown into the Washington D.C. area.
A day later, Esper told reporters at the Pentagon that while he ordered the deployment of 1,600 troops to the region, he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act, a law that would allow President Donald Trump to send the active-duty military to respond to civil unrest in cities across the country.
Following a meeting at the White House, a U.S. Army spokesperson told NBC News that Esper decided to reverse his decision and would not be sending troops home. — Amanda Macias
9:30 p.m. ET — SpaceX launched humans into orbit on May 30 for the first time, sending NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, a milestone that coincided with nationwide protests against racism and police brutality in the U.S.
On Twitter, where SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has around 35 million followers, he briefly commented on the Floyd homicide Monday, calling for the police officers working alongside Chauvin to be arrested.
By contrast, SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell has no Twitter account. She reserved her thoughts about racism in the U.S. for an internal e-mail to employees on Wednesday.
In the note she acknowledged the homicide of George Floyd, the deadly racism in the US and supported Black employees at the company. She wrote: "I want to ensure that SpaceX is a place where these difficulties are recognized and certainly a place where bias and discrimination are not tolerated." Read the full email obtained by CNBC. — Lora Kolodny
Correction: This entry has been updated to reflect that Gwynne Shotwell does not have a Twitter account.
The facilities, located in Chicago, Illinois and Gary, Indiana, were closed on Tuesday and are set to reopen on Wednesday, in time for the night shift to begin at 8 p.m. CT. Amazon closed the Gary, Indiana facility, known as DIN2, after it received reports that trailers were damaged outside of the building late Monday night. There was no damage to the Chicago facility, known as DCH1.
Both facilities were closed to protect employees and partners, the company said.
"We are monitoring the situation closely and have adjusted routes or scaled back typical delivery operations in the affected areas to ensure the safety of our teams," the spokesperson said. —Annie Palmer
8:30 p.m. ET — Former President Barack Obama said he doesn't believe the protests erupting across the country are like those that occurred in 1968. The 1968 riots, which came amid the Vietnam War, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and inequality have come under renewed focus recently, with some noting they may have helped elect former President Richard Nixon. President Trump has called for "Law and Order" as Nixon did in his 1968 campaign.
"You look at those protests and that was a far more representative cross-section of America out on the streets peacefully protesting, and who felt moved to do something because of the injustice they had seen," Obama said. "That didn't exist in the 1960s that kind of broad coalition." —Lauren Hirsch
8 p.m. ET — In an extraordinary statement, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis tore into Trump for his handling of the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
"Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us," Mattis wrote in a Wednesday night statement.
"We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership," he wrote, adding that he "watched this week's unfolding events, angry and appalled."
Before Mattis became Trump's Defense secretary, the four-star Marine Corps general led the U.S. Central Command, the combat command responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He resigned in December 2018 citing differences in "core beliefs." —Amanda Macias
7:30 p.m. ET — Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey said he's giving $3 million to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick's organization Know Your Rights Camp.
Dorsey is the the latest tech executive to give to anti-racist organizations in the wake of widespread protests over the death of George Floyd. Kaepernick is best known for his time playing for the San Francisco 49ers, where he kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police killings against black people. The grant will help "advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization to elevate the next generation of change leaders," Dorsey stated. —Jennifer Elias
Uber board member Ursula Burns: 'I'm part of the 1%, and I still worry when I'm approached by a police person'
6:30 p.m. ET — Ursula Burns, the first black CEO of a Fortune 500 company, called on companies to diversify their boards.
5:30 p.m. ET — Rumors stating that antifa is busing thousands of protesters into white neighborhoods in order to loot them have gone viral on platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor.
Some of the social media posts include a screenshot of a tweet from a fake antifa Twitter account that was created by a white nationalist group, NBC News reports.
Donald Trump Jr. even posted the screenshot of the tweet on his Instagram account, while not knowing it was fake, further circulating it. The false claims have even prompted local law enforcement in cities in California, South Dakota and Idaho to refute the rumors and calm worried citizens. — Hannah Miller
5 p.m. ET — Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he regretted using the term "battle space" when referring to civil unrest in U.S. cities spurred by the death of George Floyd.
During a call with President Donald Trump and governors on Monday, a recording of which was obtained by NBC News, Esper urged states "to dominate the battle space" when dealing with nationwide protests."
"It is part of our military lexicon that I grew up with and it's what we use to describe that area of operations," Esper said. "In retrospect, I would use different wording so as not to distract from the more important matters at hand or allow some to suggest that we are militarizing the issue," he added.Two retired four-star generals took to Twitter to condemn Esper's comments on Monday, by saying the language was inappropriate. —Amanda Macias
4:30 p.m. ET — Jimmy Carter became the latest former president to sound off on the aftermath of the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, expressing sympathy for the Floyd family and condemning racial discrimination, and also adding that "violence, whether spontaneous or consciously incited, is not a solution."
"Our hearts are with the victims' families and all who feel hopeless in the face of pervasive racial discrimination and outright cruelty," Carter said in a statement on behalf of himself and his wife Rosalynn. "We all must shine a spotlight on the immorality of racial discrimination."
"We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this," the Carters said. Carter is the latest former president to address Floyd's death. George W. Bush and Barack Obama have also released statements of their own. —Yelena Dzhanova
4 p.m. ET — As companies try to reopen after lockdown - the civil unrest has presented new challenges: devastating damage from rioting and vandalism.
The good news for business owners is damage from rioting is typically covered under the property policy. Losses from looting may require specific coverage, and the industry suggests a careful examination of individual policies.
When it comes to lost business income and business disruption insurance- insurers may need to take an innovative approach to assess what was lost. After all, many businesses have been closed due to coronavirus, so last week's receipts or last month's receipts might be meaningless.
Experts recommend contacting your insurance company as soon as possible, gathering documentation and trying to get a police report if and when you can. —Contessa Brewer, Jessica Golden
3:30 p.m. ET — Demonstrators across Europe continued to protest over the death of George Floyd, at times clashing with police on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
In London, tens of thousands of people took part in a peaceful march against the death of George Floyd, chanting "no justice, no peace" and "black lives matter." At Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square and other locations, thousands of demonstrators took a knee. A few officers lining the route who were urged by demonstrators to take a knee also did so.
Reuters also reported that brief scuffles broke out between protesters and police close to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Downing Street office. In Paris, thousands assembled in memory of Adama Traore, a young black Frenchmen whose death in a 2016 police operation has been likened to the death of George Floyd. At an anti-racism rally in Rotterdam, the Netherlands' second largest city, Dutch riot police responded to disturbances by small groups of protesters who smashed windows and threw furniture. —Michelle Gao
3:05 p.m. ET — All four former officers who were involved in the Memorial Day arrest of George Floyd that ended with his death in police custody will face charges, according to court records.
Three officers who helped in the arrest, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, will face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, the records show.
In addition, Derek Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck as he cried out for help, will face an upgraded charge of second-degree murder, the records show. He was charged on Friday with third-degree murder.
Klobuchar, the first public official to announce the charges, wrote in a post on Twitter: "Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd's murder and also charging other 3 officers. This is another important step for justice." Ellison's office has not confirmed the charges. Gov. Tim Walz assigned Ellison to lead any prosecutions that resulted from Floyd's death on Sunday. —Tucker Higgins
2:50 p.m. ET – As protests continue in cities across the U.S., Walmart has removed firearms and ammunition from some of its sales floors.
The retailer said the items are still available, but now kept in a secure room. They're not carried by stores in some major cities.
"As a responsible seller of hunting and sporting firearms, we have temporarily removed firearms and ammunition from the sales floor in some stores out of an abundance of caution," the company said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said some locations have been damaged or looted, but said, "it's not very many stores as a percent of total." He spoke at the company's annual shareholders meeting, which was held virtually.
McMillon began his remarks at the meeting by saying "the killing of George Floyd is tragic, painful and unacceptable" and emphasizing the company's commitment to inclusion. —Melissa Repko
1:50 p.m. ET — Disney revealed on Wednesday that it had pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice. Included in that was a $2 million donation to the NAACP.
"The killing of George Floyd has forced our nation to once again confront the long history of injustice that black people in America have suffered, and it is critical that we stand together, speak out and do everything in our power to ensure that acts of racism and violence are never tolerated," Bob Chapek, Disney's CEO, said in a statement.
Additionally, through the Disney Employee Matching Gifts program, employees of the Walt Disney Company will have their donations to eligible organizations matched by the company. —Sarah Whitten
"I realize that nothing about this week feels like business as usual — and it shouldn't," Pichai said. "Our Black community is hurting, and many of us are searching for ways to stand up for what we believe, and reach out to people we love to show solidarity."
Pichai also said the company will provide $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities.
As a result of an internal giving campaign launched last week, he said employees have already contributed an additional $2.5 million that the company said it will match.
The public commitments also come the same day the company shot down shareholder proposals, which asked the company to expand diversity and inclusion efforts, including by linking metrics to company executive compensation. —Jennifer Elias
1:20 p.m. ET — Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said he's "very sad" and "angry" about the current events plaguing the nation due to discrimination against black people.
Ballmer, who is the former CEO of Microsoft, appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to discuss a wide range of topics, including a CEOs' role in creating economic opportunities for black people.
Ballmer said both public and private companies have "distinct responsibilities" to take it to the "next notch" – turning words into action.
"We need to have the conversation," Ballmer said. "We need to do implicit bias training. We need to make sure that we're hiring a diverse slate of candidates." —Jabari Young
11:45 a.m. ET — Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he is not in favor of invoking the Insurrection Act, a law from 1807 that would allow President Donald Trump to deploy active-duty U.S. troops to respond to civil unrest.
"I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations now," Esper said. "I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act," he added.
Meanwhile, NBC News, citing two White House officials, reported that Trump is backing off the idea of invoking the act, at least for now.
The latest revelation comes as Esper approved an order to bring 1,600 active-duty Army units to the Washington area for possible use controlling protesters. —Amanda Macias
11:24 a.m. ET — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that an 8 p.m. curfew imposed during the heated protests over George Floyd's death is set to be lifted Monday morning, when the city kicks off the first phase of its coronavirus reopening plan.
"We're going to end it, as per now … 5 a.m. Monday morning, curfew comes off," de Blasio said at a press briefing.
"I'd like for us never to have to use it again if we can do things right, and then we go right into the reopening," the mayor said.
The first phase of the plan to lift social distancing restrictions will include construction, manufacturing and wholesale businesses, as well as retail businesses that can provide curbside pickup services.
"New Yorkers are resourceful. I have great confidence people will be ready," the mayor said.
He apologized to any businesses dealing with the "additional challenge" of having to repair their stores following the violence and property destruction that occurred during protests over the past week. —Kevin Breuninger
10:55 a.m. ET — President Trump denied multiple news reports that he took refuge for his personal safety in an underground White House bunker during intense protests last Friday night.
Rather, Trump claimed he only visited the bunker during the day for "a short inspection."
"It was a false report. I wasn't down [in the bunker]" on Friday evening, Trump said on Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade's show.
"I went down during the day and I was there for a tiny, little short period of time and it was much more for an inspection, there was no problem during the day," the president said.
The New York Times first reported that Secret Service agents rushed Trump to the bunker, also known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, on Friday night as protests over George Floyd's death outside the White House grew hotter. —Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger
9:53 a.m. ET — SoftBank is creating a $100 million Opportunity Fund, which will only invest in companies led by people of color. The fund is one of the first big pieces of capital created in response to nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
"I see a lot of people have good intentions, but I think each one of us needs to contribute to make change in America," SoftBank executive Marcelo Claure told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
The fund will start with $100 million of its own capital and could grow with more investments. Still, the fund pales in comparison to SoftBank's Vision Fund of $100 billion, which is designed to invest heavily in high-growth start-ups. —Jessica Bursztynsky
9:43 a.m. ET — Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC the U.S. has serious issues and "it's time to fix them."
"Things aren't going to quiet down. They shouldn't quiet down in terms of making the economic progress and core social progress we need to make here," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview.
He called upon the business community to "redouble efforts" in promoting progress. Bank of America has pledged $1 billion in local economic opportunities. —Hannah Miller
Gorsky announced earlier this week that J&J is committing $10 million over the next three years "to fighting racism and injustice in America." —Berkeley Lovelace
9:21 a.m. ET — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio returned verbal fire at Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the governor said de Blasio and the NYPD "did not do their job" responding to rioters.
"He can attack me all he wants. I'm used to it from him. I think he's wrong," de Blasio said in a Tuesday night radio interview.
"But that's not the important point. The important point here is he dishonored the men and women of the NYPD in an absolutely inappropriate way while they were out there fighting in the streets to restore order and protect people. I mean, that's disgraceful," de Blasio said.
Police Chief Terence Monahan said on NBC's "TODAY" that Cuomo's office called the night before to apologize for his comments. Cuomo himself also called New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea to apologize, Monahan said.
A spokeswoman for Cuomo did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. —Kevin Breuninger
8:35 a.m. ET — A former top White House advisor told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that if he still had President Donald Trump's ear, he would urge him to show more concern and sympathy for the people protesting the death of George Floyd.
Mick Mulvaney, who was Trump's acting chief of staff until March, said the rhetoric surrounding protests is often couched in a false "binary choice" between empathy and authority.
"If I were advising the president, I would tell him, 'Look, law and order, safety and security, is empathy,'" Mulvaney said.
Trump's response to the unrest over Floyd's death has focused on getting "tough" against the violence and looting. He has repeatedly pressured local leaders to bring National Guard members into their states and cities to keep a tighter lid on the protests and has threatened to call out the U.S. millitary.
"If you're afraid of the police in your community, that's not safety, that's not security," said Mulvaney, who now serves as the U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland. —Kevin Breuninger
8:11 a.m. ET — President Donald Trump has privately eased off the idea of sending troops into states to enact control over protests, The Associated Press reported, citing unnamed White House officials.
The AP reports that Trump has shifted his thinking, in part after seeing peaceful protests unfold in many cities Tuesday. —Sara Salinas
7:57 a.m. ET — The New York Police Department made more than 200 arrests Tuesday related to protests, NBC New York reports.
That's about on par with the number of arrests made Monday night, despite thousands of demonstrators, an earlier curfew and a stronger police presence. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday pushed for a stronger response from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police department.
NBC New York reports that more than 2,000 people have been arrested across the city during the six days of protests. —Sara Salinas
Read CNBC's previous coverage of the nationwide demonstrations: Pentagon moves troops to DC, UCLA 'troubled' by police using stadium as 'field jail'