A look back at a week of protests across the U.S. demanding justice and change for the killing of George Floyd
Following widespread protests last weekend, demonstrators continued to take to the streets in response to the police killing of George Floyd. Demanding an end to police brutality against black Americans, protesters gathered in cities across the country to stand against systemic racism.
Here's a breakdown of what happened this week:
MONDAY JUNE 1
Exactly one week after Floyd's death, protests took place in major cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas. However, one of the most notable demonstrations took place in Washington, D.C. amid remarks from President Donald Trump.
After Trump threatened to deploy U.S. troops to end protests across the country under the Insurrection Act, he left the White House and crossed a public square to stand in front of St. John's Church while holding a bible for several minutes. In order to clear a path for Trump, law enforcement officials forcibly removed demonstrators using pepper spray and rubber bullets.
Other cities experienced violence on Monday as four St. Louis police officers were struck by gunfire and the New York City Police Department arrested almost 700 people.
TUESDAY JUNE 2
Protests continued on Tuesday even after citywide curfews began in places like Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. New York City even extended its 8 p.m. curfew for the rest of the week and the NYPD blocked more than 1,000 protesters attempting to cross a bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan.
The Pentagon also deployed 1,600 U.S. troops to the D.C. area, while Trump placed a wreath at a shrine in honor of Saint Pope John Paul II alongside first lady Melania Trump. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, gave a fiery speech criticizing Trump's response to the protests.
"When peaceful protesters are dispersed by the order of the president from the doorstep of the people's house, the White House — using tear gas and flash grenades — in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle," Biden said.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 3
Demonstrations were notably quieter on Wednesday and included Quincy Mason Floyd visiting the site in Minneapolis where his father was killed.
The three former Minneapolis police officers present when Floyd was restrained will be criminally charged in connection with his death, court records showed Wednesday. Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest, had his charges increased from third-degree murder to second-degree murder.
THURSDAY JUNE 4
A memorial service for Floyd took place Thursday in Minneapolis and featured fond remembrances from friends and family. Floyd's funeral will take place in his hometown of Houston on Tuesday.
"He was teaching us how to be a man because he was in this world before us," Rodney Floyd, George Floyd's youngest brother, said at the service. "I want you guys to know that he would stand up against any injustice anywhere."
Streamed live to the public, the service included a eulogy delivered by civil rights leader Al Sharpton, who announced that a march against police violence will take place in Washington, D.C. in August, on the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
Protests also continued across the country and CDC Director Robert Redfield warned lawmakers that these demonstrations could be "a seeding event" for more Covid-19 outbreaks. There have also been more than 10,000 arrests at these protests, according to a report from the Associated Press.
FRIDAY JUNE 5
The words "Black Lives Matter" were painted on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. with permission from the city on Friday. Mayor Muriel Bowser also asked Trump to remove "all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from the city.
State leaders also took action on Friday. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz and Sen. Amy Klobuchar toured buildings damaged during protests in Minneapolis. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that he would end state police training in the use of carotid restraints, a tactic similar to what was used on Floyd. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the suspension of two police officers who pushed a 75-year-old man to the ground during a protest in Buffalo.
It was also reported that voter registrations have surged following the protests in response to Floyd's death.