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News Coverage of the May-June 2020 Protests

This page contains selected news stories about the May and June 2020 protests organized chronologically under topic heading. Times are adjusted for Central Time. Additional topics and stories will be added here as the protests continue. Please let us know of any additional topic headings or stories that should be added. Thanks.

Global Protests (6 Jun 2020)

George Floyd killing sparks worldwide protests against racism. As outrage spreads over the killing of George Floyd in the US, protesters have taken to the streets around the world. The protests were called in solidarity with America’s Black Lives Matter movement, but the protesters are also highlighting racism and police brutality in their own countries — with Australians hitting the streets in especially large numbers. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in London, despite calls from politicians not to defy the lockdown there because of the COVID pandemic. Authorities have had to close roads around Parliament Square and are urging demonstrators to maintain physical distancing measures. And a major European protest is also underway in Berlin. (Deutsche Welle, 6 Jun 2020)

VICE News (4 Jun 2020)

New York City is under curfew this week after the weekend’s protests against police brutality erupted into violent clashes between protesters and police. More than 2000 people have been arrested since they started. It’s the first time a curfew has been implemented across the five boroughs since the second world war.

VICE News (3 Jun 2020)

Behind the Scenes at the Minneapolis Protests. VICE News goes behind the scenes and talks to organizers on the ground in Minneapolis during one of the most tumultuous times in the city’s history.

Excellent Summary from Chris Cuomo

The following summary from Chris Cuomo provides excellent analysis of the overall problem and it’s causes. (CNN, 28 May 2020 at 9:39 PM)

Important Message from Atlanta Mayor

From press conference on 30 May 2020.

Appeal from Rapper Killer Mike

From press conference on 30 May 2020.

When Democracy Fails, People Respond With Riots

“Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge… The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2020 at 7:29 PM [More…]

Iowa City Area Protests

More than a dozen police, sheriff, and state trooper squad cars as well as a fire engine blocked off the 25th Ave. entrance to the Coralridge Mall in Coralville Sunday night into the early hours of Monday morning as group of about 50 people protesting police brutality against black people gathered in the drive leading up to the mall parking lot. At about midnight, police used a close-up chemical irritant and flashbangs to disperse the group of protesters.

Daily Iowan, Sarah Watson, 1 Jun 2020 [More…]

Des Moines Area Protests

A Twitter account that tweeted a call to violence and claimed to be representing the position of “Antifa” was in fact created by a known white supremacist group, Twitter said Monday. The company removed the account.

CNN Business, Donie O’Sullivan, 2 Jun 2020 [More…]

‘A tense protest outside Des Moines police headquarters Sunday night ended in an unexpected show of peaceful solidarity as dozens of officers agreed to protesters’ calls to take a knee in honor of an African-American man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Des Moines Register, Stephen Gruber-Miller and Robin Opsahl, 31 May 2020 at 10:47 PM [More…]

Extremist Instigators

White instigators to blame for mayhem in some protests, local officials say – “What did I tell you?” a voice cried out as the camera recording mayhem in downtown Pittsburgh settled on a white man, clad in all black, smashing the windows of a police vehicle. “It is not black people,” the onlooker called to the crowd before addressing the vandal directly: “What are you doing?”

…in some cities, local officials have noted that black protesters have struggled to maintain peaceful protests in the face of young white men joining the fray, seemingly determined to commit mayhem.

Washington Post, Isaac Stanley-Becker, 1 Jun 2020 at 7:50 PM [More…]

Far-right extremists are showing up, with guns, to the protests against police brutality that have exploded across the country. Others are egging on the violence from behind their computers, urging followers to carry out acts of violence against black protesters with the goal of sparking a “race war.” Their presence makes an uneasy addition to the escalating unrest, which was triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was choked to death by a white Minneapolis police officer earlier this week.

VICE News, 29 May 2020 at 4:41 PM [More…]

Anderson said there were “several people” who were behaving like that at the protest, some of whom he believed are “right-wing conservative individuals who just don’t give a damn about black and brown people, or want to make this movement look bad.”

“It wasn’t black and brown folks that were antagonizing police. It was white people throwing stuff at them,” he said. “And then when they kept throwing bags of urine, cans, and water bottles, that’s when the police snapped and they started tear-gassing innocent bystanders.”

Buzz Feed, Clarissa-Jan Lim, 30 May 2020 at 4:17 PM [More…]

Minneapolis Police Chief Talks to the Floyd Family

CNN’s Sara Sidner speaks with Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo at the scene where George Floyd was killed while in police custody. (31 May 2020)

Police Join Protestors

As protests sparked by George Floyd’s death entered their chaotic fifth day, social media filled with images and video of police officers using batons, tear gas and rubber bullets to quell crowds⁠—but some squads joined in with Saturday protesters to express their stance against police brutality, and to show solidarity with the anti-racism movement.

Forbes, Lisette Voytko, 31 May 2020 at 9:42 AM [More…]

Positive Law Enforcement Response

A police chief in Tennessee said on Wednesday that officers who “don’t have an issue” with the arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died earlier this week after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck, should turn over their badges.

The Hill, Aris Folley, 28 May 2020 at 4:28 PM [More…]

Police Being Disciplined for Excessive Force

Harmful Police Responses

Over the past 72 hours, people across the US have captured what may be the most comprehensive live picture of police brutality ever. Any one of the videos we’ve seen could have sparked a national discussion, with people picking apart their elements, searching for context to argue about, and digging through the pasts of everyone involved. But it’s not just one act of violence. It’s everywhere.

The Verge, T.C. Sottek, 31 May 2020 at 10:46 AM [More…]

The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd were caught up in violence again on Saturday, as police all over the country tear-gassed protesters, drove vehicles through crowds, opened fire with nonlethal rounds on journalists or people on their own property, and in at least one instance, pushed over an elderly man who was walking away with a cane. Here are some of the ways law enforcement officers escalated the national unrest.

Slate, Matthew Dessem, 31 May 2020 at 1:37 AM [More…]

Police Destroy Medic Station and Supplies

Fact check: Police did destroy a medic area during protests in Asheville, North Carolina.

Video by the Citizen Times shows Asheville police officers in riot gear and holding shields forming a protective circle around officers stomping and stabbing water bottles. Other officers destroyed medical supplies such as bandages and saline solution.

Sean Miller, a UNC-Asheville student who is head of communication for the medical team, said the 10-12 medics present were all clearly marked as such and did not provoke police in any way.

USA Today, John Boyle and Katie Wadington, 3 Jun 2020 4:15 PM [More…]

Police Drive Into Crowd

New York police are investigating after a video appears to show a New York City Police Department truck plowing through a crowd during a George Floyd protest in Brooklyn. The 27-second video, which was posted to Twitter, shows an NYPD truck in front of a crowd throwing objects at the vehicle. There is a barricade in front of the truck. The truck then appears to drive into the barricade, knocking over protestors. Screaming and yelling are then heard while a person is seen jumping on top of the truck. It’s unclear if there were any injuries. (31 May 2020)

Police Attack Members of the Press

“Reports of attacks on journalists or other violations of press freedom have been coming at a much faster rate than usual at the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. The uptick in claims comes as reporters cover the protests against police brutality that have sprung up across the country in response to the murder of George Floyd on May 25.

TIME, Jasmine Aguilera, 3 Jun 2020 [More…]

Police in Louisville fired pepper bullets at Kaitlin Rust and her camera crew, who were reporting on the protests over the death of George Floyd for NBC affiliate WAVE 3 News. (30 May 2020)

‘The norms have broken down’: Shock as journalists are arrested, injured by police while trying to cover the story. Velshi, who suffered minor bruises, was one of at least a dozen journalists injured in cities across America this weekend — including a photographer who was blinded in one eye — as police fired rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas to quell unrest. Not since the 1960s, when the nation was racked by civil rights demonstrations, antiwar protests and urban riots, has the press been embroiled in so much violence on American shores.

Washington Post, Paul Farhi and Elahe Izadi, 31 May 2020 at 4:35 PM [More…]

On Friday night, photojournalist Linda Tirado was shot in the eye by a rubber bullet while covering an anti-police brutality protest in Minneapolis — one of more than two dozen incidents of journalists experiencing violence while covering the recent demonstrations.

Tirado says she’s permanently blind in her left eye. (She is thankful she uses her right eye to take photos, so the injury is not career-ending.)

VOX, Katelyn Burns, 31 May 2020 at 12:10 PM [More…]

Police Arrest New York State Senator

“It doesn’t matter what your station in life is,” says New York State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, describing being pepper sprayed and handcuffed at a protest over the death of George Floyd. “In the DNA of this country, unfortunately, is brutality against people that look like me. … We are expressing the hope that this country can be what it professes to be.” (Cuomo Prime Time, 2 Jun 2020 at 1:54 AM)

Police Arrest Members of the Press

CNN’s Omar Jimenez is released from police custody after being arrested while covering protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Minnesota State Patrol arrested the team live on CNN air. (29 May 2020)

Tanker Truck Drives Into Crowd

On a day when thousands of protesters marched peacefully, a near disaster struck. Just before 6 p.m., a tanker truck scattered a crowd of thousands gathered on the 35W bridge in Minneapolis.

One person pulled over in Bloomington while driving a plate-less car attempted to “douse the car itself and set it on fire,” which is “not something you see on most traffic stops,” Harrington said.

Star Tribune, 31 May 2020 [More…]

Deutsche Welle German News Coverage

Another night of unrest in the US with protests in some 75 cities, after the death of George Floyd, a black man in police custody. The national guard has been deployed in a number of states. Curfews were extended in major cities as police struggle to contain the situtation. And there’s been a memorial for George Floyd in Minneapolis, where he died a week ago after an officer knelt on his neck. (1 Jun 2020)

A wave of outrage has swept across the United States following the death of an unarmed black man in police custody. In Minneapolis, where 46-year-old George Floyd was killed while being detained by police, violence flared for a fourth straight night. Authorities say local police and National Guard soldiers have been overwhelmed by demonstrators. And protestors have taken to the streets of other cities, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Protesters have gathered in New York, further south in Atlanta, and even at the White House to make their voices heard. Police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder in the killing. (30 May 2020)

World News Coverage and Events

This story from 2016 is an example of how protests in the United States can quickly turn into global movements.

From Europe to Africa, people around the world are marching in solidarity for America’s grassroots campaign for racial justice and against excessive use of force by police, following the officer-involved shootings of two black men last week whose final moments were captured in shocking video footage that went viral online. … In Ireland, hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday for protest rallies in Cork, Dublin and Galway. … In Amsterdam, hundreds gathered at Dam Square on Sunday wearing signs on their backs that read, “Don’t shoot — I’m Trayvon Martin,” in reference to the 2012 fatal shooting of a black teen by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter three years ago today. … In Berlin, protesters staged a “die-in” at Potsdamer Platz on Sunday and read aloud a list of the names of the black men and women killed by police in the United States. … In Cape Town, South Africa, dozens of members from the Black Solidarity Action group marched on the U.S. consulate this morning to denounce the officer-involved killings of black Americans. They held signs that read “Black Lives Matter globally,” “stop killing blacks” and “black pride,” among other messages.

ABC News, Morgan Winsor, 13 Jul 2016 [More…]

Looters Operating Independently from Protestors

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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