ADVERTISEMENT

The Latest: White House pondered taking control of DC police

The Latest on the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— District of Columbia mayor's office says Trump administration pondered taking over Metropolitan Police Department.

— Rhode Island governor activates National Guard, considers curfew after violent night in Providence.

— Family attorney calls drugs in George Floyd's system irrelevant to his death.

— Kennedy Center to dim lights for 9 nights to mark final minutes of George Floyd’s life.

___

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration floated the idea of taking over the police force in the nation’s capital after days of violent demonstrations that led to fires and vandalism.

Officials with the District of Columbia mayor’s office said Tuesday that the White House raised the possibility of taking control of the Metropolitan Police Department. The officials said they told the White House they strongly objected and would challenge any attempt to do so in court.

The revelation comes a day after President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr told governors they needed to get tougher with violent protesters and to deploy the National Guard.

___

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo activated the National Guard Tuesday and is considering a curfew in response to a violent night in Providence that officials say was not a protest over the death of George Floyd but an organized effort to cause destruction.

Police received intelligence several hours prior to the violence late Monday and into Tuesday that people were coming from out of state armed with crowbars, flares and gasoline, State Police Col. James Manni said. A crowd of hundreds of people he described as a “mob” smashed storefront windows, stole merchandise, broke into a closed mall and torched a police cruiser.

More than 60 people were arrested and as many as 10 police officers were injured when they were hit by rocks or bricks, authorities said. organized attack on our community.”

___

PARIS — Thousands of people defied a police ban on Tuesday and converged on the main Paris courthouse for a demonstration to show solidarity with U.S. protesters and denounce the death of a black man in French police custody.

Police stood on nearby corners monitoring the largely young, multi-racial crowd, as hundreds of protesters streamed to the site on the northwest edge of Paris. The demonstration was organized to honor Frenchman Adama Traore, who died shortly after his arrest in 2016, and in solidarity with Americans demonstrating against George Floyd’s death.

Paris police banned the gathering a few hours before it was supposed to start, citing restrictions forbidding any gatherings of more than 10 people because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Traore case has become emblematic of the fight against police brutality in France. The circumstances of his death are still under investigation after four years of conflicting medical reports. Traore’s family says he died from asphyxiation because of police tactics and that his last words were, “I can’t breathe.”

___

ST. LOUIS — A 77-year-old retired St. Louis police captain who served 38 years on the force was shot and killed by looters at a pawn shop early Tuesday, police said.

David Dorn was found dead on the sidewalk in front of the shop, which had been ransacked. Police have not released details of what led to the shooting and no one has been arrested.

The shooting and ransacking apparently was posted on Facebook Live before being taken down. It came on a violent night in the city, which saw four officers shot and businesses burned and ransacked, with people pelting officers with rocks hours after a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis had ended.

Dorn was a friend of the pawn shop’s owner and frequently checked on the business when alarms went off, his wife told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Dorn retired in October 2007 from the St. Louis police force and became police chief in a small town north of the city.

___

MINNEAPOLIS — A family attorney says a medical examiner’s findings that George Floyd had drugs in his system is a “red herring” meant to distract attention away from a Minneapolis police officer’s responsibility for his death.

During a news conference Tuesday, attorney Ben Crump also disputed the findings released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner that the cause of death was cardiac arrest, which happened as police restrained Floyd and compressed his neck in a widely seen video that has sparked worldwide protests. The medical examiner also listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use, but not as the cause of death.

An autopsy commissioned by the family, which Crump released Monday, concluded that Floyd died of a lack of oxygen caused by the officers’ knees on his neck and back.

Crump called drug allegations “an attempt to assassinate his character” and said any drugs in his system were irrelevant to his cause of death.

___

DALLAS -- The family of George Floyd is expected to join a march in Houston on Tuesday as protests continue nationwide in response to his death and other police killings of black people.

The march will begin shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to lay out in Dallas how the state plans to curb unrest and destruction that has followed largely peaceful daytime demonstrations.

Dallas has imposed a curfew, and Monday night police conducted mass arrests on a downtown bridge where protesters marched.

Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said most were released after being charged with obstructing a roadway, which came after demonstrators got down on one knee. She emphasized Tuesday that most protests were peaceful but warned “if you break the law, we will arrest you.”

___

WASHINGTON — One of the nation’s premier performing arts centers says it will dim its lights starting Tuesday for nine nights to mark the final nine minutes of George Floyd’s life.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts says on Twitter that it will lower the lights to honor Floyd and others who lost their lives “as a result of racial violence and bigotry.” The center also says it’s working on “strategies” for greater collaboration with black artists, audiences and communities, and will share those initiatives in the weeks ahead.

Floyd died last week after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, continuing after Floyd had stopped moving and was pleading for air.

All four officers were fired and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

___

WASHINGTON — The nearly 1,300 D.C. National Guard members who have been activated to deal with the civil unrest were joined Monday evening by Guardsmen from Utah and New Jersey, and almost 1,500 guardsmen are coming today from Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, according to Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

The general said more are due to arrive Wednesday.

A senior defense official said later that some states have turned down requests to send their Guard members to the District of Columbia, in some cases because governors are concerned about dealing with problems in their own state. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon. The official said New York and Delaware have declined to send Guard members to Washington, and Pennsylvania is considering the request but not yet given an answer.

___

ATLANTA — Six Atlanta police officers have been charged after a dramatic video showed authorities pulling two young people from a car during protests over the death of George Floyd, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges during a news conference.

“I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else,” said Messiah Young, who was dragged from the vehicle along with his girlfriend, Taniyah Pilgrim, while they were caught in traffic.

The Saturday night incident first gained attention from video online and on local news. Throughout, the couple can be heard screaming and asking officers what is happening.

Two of the officers, Investigator Ivory Streeter and Investigator Mark Gardner, were fired Sunday.

Streeter and Gardner are both charged with aggravated assault. Two others are also charged with aggravated assault, while one is charged with aggravated battery. Some of the officers are also charged with criminal damage to property as well as pointing or aiming a gun.

___

PORTLAND, Ore. — The mayor of Portland, Oregon said the city will not enact a curfew on Tuesday night for the first time in four days after several thousand demonstrators remained largely peaceful during a march the night before.

Mayor Ted Wheeler thanked protesters and organizers who kept an hours-long march and gathering peaceful and said he saw “a community ready for healing and reconciliation.”

“I saw progress and I am 100 confident that Portland is primed to do the difficult and important work ahead,” Wheeler said.

The protest marked a turning point for Oregon’s largest city after demonstrations the previous three nights spun into violence, with protesters setting fires, breaking windows and breaking into a police headquarters and corrections center.

The evening was not without some violence, however. After the protest disbanded late Monday, about 100 people confronted police officers guarding the Justice Center in downtown Portland and threw projectiles at them, Police Chief Jami Resch said. Twelve people were arrested and two guns were seized from protesters, she said.

___

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians are watching what’s unfolding in the United States with “horror and consternation” and he paused for more than 20 seconds when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump and the use of tear gas against protesters for a photo opportunity.

Trudeau has long been careful not to poke Trump as Canada relies on the U.S. for 75 percent of exports. But Trudeau dramatically paused and struggled to come up with the right words when asked about the military action’s against protesters in the U.S. Police violently broke up a peaceful and legal protest by several thousand people in Lafayette Park across from the White House ahead of a speech in the Rose Garden by Trump on Monday evening. The protesters had gathered following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week earlier.

Afterward, Trump strolled off the White House grounds and walked to the cleared Lafayette Park to make a surprise visit to St. John’s Church. Standing alone in front of cameras, he raised a Bible but didn’t mention Floyd, the church or the peaceful protesters police had just cleared away.

___

MINNEAPOLIS — More than $3 million has been raised to help rebuild south Minneapolis businesses damaged or destroyed in the sometimes violent protests that followed George Floyd’s death.

More than 38,000 donors have given to a fund set up by the Lake Street Council, a nonprofit that advocates for the area’s business community, at welovelakestreet.com.

Many protests since Floyd’s death have been peaceful. But dozens of businesses, many owned by immigrants and people of color, were hit by looting and arson. Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. The officer is charged with 3rd-degree murder.

___

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hundreds of people marched peacefully Monday night in downtown Albuquerque a day after a similar protest against the death of George Floyd preceded the setting of dozens of small fires and other damage in New Mexico’s most populous city.

There was a heavy police presence as the crowd that gathered Monday evening near the University of New Mexico marched in rain while chanting “I can’t breathe.”

The crowd began to disperse around 10 p.m. and most had left by midnight. Mayor Tim Keller said agitators for violence were to blame for damage that occurred hours after Sunday’ evening’s largely peaceful march.

___

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam rejected a request from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to send between 3,000 to 5,000 of the state’s national guard to Washington D.C. as part of a massive show of force organized by the Trump administration in response to violent protests, according to Northam’s chief of staff, Clark Mercer.

Mercer said Trump’s comments to governors in a phone call Monday, in which the president said most governors were “weak” and needed to “dominate” the streets, played a role in the decision.

“The president’s remarks to the governors heightened our concerns about how the guard would be used,” he said.

Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?