ORLANDO, Fla. – Here’s the latest on protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, a black man who died as a white police officer knelt on his neck.
On Friday, June 5th, demonstrations began at City Hall with a group which increased to up to 200+ attendees, officials said. The majority of the group marched around downtown towards Orlando Police Headquarters. The group of demonstrators then returned to City Hall where the crowd grew to around 350 or more.
“At approximately 7:30 p.m., an estimated 175 demonstrators remained together once again marching throughout Downtown Orlando streets,” officials said.
At 7:30 p.m. multiple warnings were given to demonstrators of the curfew and consequences from violations. At that point, authorities said the crowd reduced to about 40 people.
“Shortly after 8 p.m., the small group marched to Summerlin Ave., where it reduced to approximately 10 demonstrators,” officials said.
The ten demonstrators stayed in the Thornton Park area until 9 p.m. without any police interactions. Zero arrests were made during the demonstrations, officials said.
In South Korea’s capital, Seoul, protesters gathered for a second straight day to denounce Floyd’s death. Wearing masks and black shirts, dozens of demonstrators marched through a commercial district amid a police escort, carrying signs such as “George Floyd Rest in Peace” and “Koreans for Black Lives Matter.”
In Brisbane, the Queensland state capital, organizers said about 30,000 people gathered, forcing police to shut down some major downtown streets. The protesters demanded to have Australia’s Indigenous flag raised at the police station.
Demonstrators in Paris tried to gather in front of the U.S. Embassy, defying restrictions imposed by authorities because of the coronavirus pandemic. They were met by riot police who turned people away from the embassy, which French security forces sealed off behind an imposing ring of metal barriers and road blocks.
More than 200 surfers of all ages and races paddled through a set of crashing waves under cloudy skies to form a massive circle near the Santa Monica Pier, where they chanted Floyd’s name nine times to mark the nearly nine minutes prosecutors say his neck was pinned to the ground under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. Paddle outs were held in Dakar, Senegal, and Galveston, Texas, as well as Australia. On a beach in Biarritz, France, surfers spelled the word unity with their surfboards. At Huntington Beach, known as Surf City USA, south of LA, they grabbed daisies and sunflowers from buckets labeled unity, solidarity and peace to drop in the water. A small group of kayakers in New Jersey held a moment of silence on the Hackensack River.
On Friday night, demonstrators again remained on city streets hours after the curfew. With police generally allowing some leeway, crowds mostly dwindled on their own at various locations. But there were some minor flare-ups: About an hour after a Brooklyn protest ended, images on social media showed officers surrounding a group of protesters and chasing down some with batons.
Officers on Manhattan’s East Side also used force to break up remnants of a march that started near the mayor's official residence. There were about 40 arrests citywide — far fewer than previous nights — and no obvious signs of the smash-and-grab stealing that marred protests earlier in the week.
With demonstrations and marches planned throughout the day and into the evening on Saturday in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, local politicians and civil liberties advocates have been calling for an end to the 8 p.m. curfew. They’ve complained that it causes needless friction when officers try to enforce it.
But Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted the curfew will remain in place throughout the weekend.
Minneapolis has agreed to ban chokeholds by police and to require officers to try to stop any other officers they see using improper force. The agreements reached Friday are the first concrete steps that have been taken to remake the city's police department since George Floyd's death. The moves are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week. The City Council approved the agreement unanimously. Floyd, who was handcuffed and black, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down Floyd's neck and kept it here even after Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving.
Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault Saturday, prosecutors said, after a video showed them shoving a protester in recent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Two officers push the elderly man backward, and he hits his head on the pavement. Blood spills as officers walk past. One officer leans down to check on the injured man before another officer urges the colleague to keep walking. Both pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault. They were released without bail. The officers had been suspended without pay Friday after a TV crew captured the confrontation the night before near the end of protests. Dozens of police officers stepped down from the department’s crowd control unit Friday, in response to their fellow officers’ suspensions.
WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump invoked George Floyd’s name as he delivered remarks trumpeting the latest unemployment numbers, which showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly adding 2.5 million jobs last month.
Trump mentioned equal justice under the law means everyone needs to receive fair treatment. He referenced Floyd, whose death in police custody has sparked protests across the world.
Trump says, “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country,” adding: “This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody.”
Trump is also calling an improving economy “the greatest thing that can happen for race relations” and the African American community.
ORLANDO -- A group of pastors marched through Orlando on Friday morning to protest the death of George Floyd.
The pastors were joined by local leaders, including Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.
Protests across Central Florida have remained largely peaceful, with small outbreaks of vandalism.
Orlando police have made several arrests over the past week related to the protests.