National updates: George Floyd’s body arrives in Houston ahead of funeral

The latest: There were 14 police officers injured in London during clashes after a mostly peaceful protest. New York City is lifting its curfew spurred by protests against police brutality ahead of schedule, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday morning.A third memorial service for George Floyd will be held later in Houston Monday.Two police officers in Buffalo, New York have been charged following a disturbing video showing them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. Fifty-seven police officers resigned from the force’s emergency response team following the suspension of the two officers. A Philadelphia police inspector is facing charges after prosecutors said a video shows him striking a student protester on the head with a metal baton.HOUSTON — Houston’s police chief says the body of George Floyd has arrived in Texas for a final memorial service and funeral.Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted early Sunday that Floyd’s family also arrived safely. A six-hour viewing for Floyd is planned for Monday in Houston, followed by funeral services and burial Tuesday in the suburb of Pearland.Floyd, who was handcuffed and black, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving. His death has inspired protests around the world and served as a rallying cry against institutional racism.Previous memorials were held for Floyd in Minneapolis and Raeford, North Carolina, which is near where he was born.___ SEATTLE — Seattle City Council members have sharply criticized the mayor and police chief over the police use of flash-bang grenades and pepper spray to disperse protesters after the two said they were trying to deescalate tensions.Authorities say rocks, bottles and explosives were thrown at officers in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Saturday night, and police tweeted that several officers were injured by “improvised explosives.The unrest came on the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city and followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in which medical workers demonstrated against racism and police brutality.It also came a day after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.City Council President Lorena Gonzalez tweeted Saturday night that she was “outraged” by the police response. And City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda urged Durkan and Best to “stop traumatizing protesters and neighbors.”___WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he’s given the order for National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital, saying everything now is “under perfect control.”The District of Columbia government requested some Guard forces last week to assist law enforcement with managing protests after the death of George Floyd. But Trump ordered thousands more troops and federal law enforcement to the city to “dominate” the streets after some instances of looting and violence.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week called on Trump to withdraw National Guard troops that some states sent to the city.Trump tweeted Sunday that “They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed.” He also ordered more than 1,000 active duty troops to be flown to the D.C.-area in reserve, but they have begun returning to their home bases after days of peaceful protests.___ Massive protests against police brutality nationwide capped a week that began in chaos but ended with largely peaceful expressions that organizers hope will sustain their movement.Saturday’s marches featured few reports of problems in scenes that were more often festive than tense. Authorities were not quick to release crowd size estimates, but it was clear tens of thousands of people — and perhaps hundreds of thousands — turned out nationally.Wearing masks and urging fundamental change, protesters gathered in dozens of places from coast to coast while mourners in North Carolina waited for hours to glimpse the golden coffin carrying the body of native son George Floyd, the black man whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police has galvanized the expanding movement.Collectively, it was perhaps the largest one-day mobilization since Floyd died May 25 and came as many cities lifted curfews imposed following initial spasms of arson, assaults and smash-and-grab raids on businesses. Authorities have softened restrictions as the number of arrests plummeted.Demonstrations also reached four other continents, ending in clashes in London and Marseille, France.Britain’s most senior police chief said 14 officers were injured during clashes with protesters in London on Saturday following a largely peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the assaults on officers were “shocking and completely unacceptable.” She said a number of arrests have been made and “justice will follow.”The clashes broke out in the early evening near the Downing Street offices of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.In the U.S., Seattle police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters hurling rocks, bottles and what authorities said were “improvised explosives” that had injured officers, just a day after city leaders temporarily banned one kind of tear gas. Around midnight in Portland, a firework was thrown over the fence at the Justice Center, injuring a Multnomah County deputy, Portland police Lt. Tina Jones said. Smith said police had declare an unlawful assembly and were making arrests.The largest U.S. demonstration appeared to be in Washington, where protesters flooded streets closed to traffic. On a hot, humid day, they gathered at the Capitol, on the National Mall and in neighborhoods. Some turned intersections into dance floors. Tents offered snacks and water. Pamela Reynolds said she came seeking greater police accountability.”The laws are protecting them,” said the 37-year-old African American teacher. The changes she wants include a federal ban on police chokeholds and a requirement that officers wear body cameras.At the White House, which was fortified with new fencing and extra security measures, chants and cheers were heard in waves. President Donald Trump, who has urged authorities to crack down on unrest, downplayed the demonstration, tweeting: “Much smaller crowd in D.C. than anticipated.”Elsewhere, the backdrops included some of the nation’s most famous landmarks. Peaceful marchers mingled with motorists as they crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Cars had been cleared from the Brooklyn Bridge as protesters streamed into Manhattan on a day that New York police relaxed enforcement of a curfew that has led to confrontations. They walked the boulevards of Hollywood and a Nashville, Tennessee, street famous for country music-themed bars and restaurants.Many protesters wore masks — a reminder of the danger that the protests could exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus.Roderick Sweeney, who is black, said the large turnout of white protesters waving signs that said “Black Lives Matter” in San Francisco sent a powerful message.”We’ve had discussions in our family and among friends that nothing is going to change until our white brothers and sisters voice their opinion,” said Sweeney, 49. A large crowd of Seattle medical workers, many in lab coats and scrubs, marched to City Hall, holding signs reading, “Police violence and racism are a public health emergency” and “Nurses kneel with you, not on you” — a reference to how a white officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Atop a parking garage in downtown Atlanta, a group of black college band alumni serenaded protesters with a tuba-heavy mix of tunes. Standing within earshot, business owner Leah Aforkor Quaye said it was her first time hitting the streets.”This makes people so uncomfortable, but the only way things are happening is if we make people uncomfortable,” said Quaye, who is black.In Raeford, North Carolina, a town near Floyd’s birthplace, people lined up outside a Free Will Baptist church, waiting to enter in small groups. At a private memorial service, mourners sang along with a choir. A large photo of Floyd and a portrait of him adorned with an angel’s wings and halo were displayed at the front of the chapel.”It could have been me. It could have been my brother, my father, any of my friends who are black,” said Erik Carlos of nearby Fayetteville. “It made me feel very vulnerable at first.”Floyd’s body will go to Houston, where he lived before Minneapolis, for another memorial in the coming days.Protesters and their supporters in public office say they’re determined to turn the outpouring into change, notably overhauling policing policies. Many marchers urged officials to “defund the police.”Theresa Bland, 68, a retired teacher and real estate agent protesting at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, envisioned a broader agenda.”I’m looking at affordable housing, political justice, prison reform,” she said. Congressional Democrats are preparing a sweeping package of police reforms, which is expected to include changes to immunity provisions and creating a database of use-of-force incidents. Revamped training requirements are planned, too — among them, a ban on chokeholds.The prospects of reforms clearing a divided Congress are unclear. Back in North Carolina, the Rev. Christopher Stackhouse recounted the circumstances of Floyd’s death for the congregation.”It took 8 minutes and 46 seconds for him to die,” Stackhouse said at the memorial service. “But it took 401 years to put the system in place so nothing would happen.”

The latest:

  • There were 14 police officers injured in London during clashes after a mostly peaceful protest.
  • New York City is lifting its curfew spurred by protests against police brutality ahead of schedule, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday morning.
  • A third memorial service for George Floyd will be held later in Houston Monday.
  • Two police officers in Buffalo, New York have been charged following a disturbing video showing them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. Fifty-seven police officers resigned from the force’s emergency response team following the suspension of the two officers.
  • A Philadelphia police inspector is facing charges after prosecutors said a video shows him striking a student protester on the head with a metal baton.

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HOUSTON — Houston’s police chief says the body of George Floyd has arrived in Texas for a final memorial service and funeral.

Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted early Sunday that Floyd’s family also arrived safely. A six-hour viewing for Floyd is planned for Monday in Houston, followed by funeral services and burial Tuesday in the suburb of Pearland.

Floyd, who was handcuffed and black, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd begged for air and eventually stopped moving. His death has inspired protests around the world and served as a rallying cry against institutional racism.

Previous memorials were held for Floyd in Minneapolis and Raeford, North Carolina, which is near where he was born.

___

SEATTLE — Seattle City Council members have sharply criticized the mayor and police chief over the police use of flash-bang grenades and pepper spray to disperse protesters after the two said they were trying to deescalate tensions.

Authorities say rocks, bottles and explosives were thrown at officers in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Saturday night, and police tweeted that several officers were injured by “improvised explosives.

The unrest came on the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city and followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in which medical workers demonstrated against racism and police brutality.

It also came a day after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.

City Council President Lorena Gonzalez tweeted Saturday night that she was “outraged” by the police response. And City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda urged Durkan and Best to “stop traumatizing protesters and neighbors.”

___

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he’s given the order for National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital, saying everything now is “under perfect control.”

The District of Columbia government requested some Guard forces last week to assist law enforcement with managing protests after the death of George Floyd. But Trump ordered thousands more troops and federal law enforcement to the city to “dominate” the streets after some instances of looting and violence.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week called on Trump to withdraw National Guard troops that some states sent to the city.

Trump tweeted Sunday that “They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed.” He also ordered more than 1,000 active duty troops to be flown to the D.C.-area in reserve, but they have begun returning to their home bases after days of peaceful protests.

___

Massive protests against police brutality nationwide capped a week that began in chaos but ended with largely peaceful expressions that organizers hope will sustain their movement.

Saturday’s marches featured few reports of problems in scenes that were more often festive than tense. Authorities were not quick to release crowd size estimates, but it was clear tens of thousands of people — and perhaps hundreds of thousands — turned out nationally.

Wearing masks and urging fundamental change, protesters gathered in dozens of places from coast to coast while mourners in North Carolina waited for hours to glimpse the golden coffin carrying the body of native son George Floyd, the black man whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police has galvanized the expanding movement.

Collectively, it was perhaps the largest one-day mobilization since Floyd died May 25 and came as many cities lifted curfews imposed following initial spasms of arson, assaults and smash-and-grab raids on businesses. Authorities have softened restrictions as the number of arrests plummeted.

Demonstrations also reached four other continents, ending in clashes in London and Marseille, France.

Britain’s most senior police chief said 14 officers were injured during clashes with protesters in London on Saturday following a largely peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the assaults on officers were “shocking and completely unacceptable.” She said a number of arrests have been made and “justice will follow.”

The clashes broke out in the early evening near the Downing Street offices of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In the U.S., Seattle police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters hurling rocks, bottles and what authorities said were “improvised explosives” that had injured officers, just a day after city leaders temporarily banned one kind of tear gas. Around midnight in Portland, a firework was thrown over the fence at the Justice Center, injuring a Multnomah County deputy, Portland police Lt. Tina Jones said. Smith said police had declare an unlawful assembly and were making arrests.

The largest U.S. demonstration appeared to be in Washington, where protesters flooded streets closed to traffic. On a hot, humid day, they gathered at the Capitol, on the National Mall and in neighborhoods. Some turned intersections into dance floors. Tents offered snacks and water.

Pamela Reynolds said she came seeking greater police accountability.

“The laws are protecting them,” said the 37-year-old African American teacher. The changes she wants include a federal ban on police chokeholds and a requirement that officers wear body cameras.

At the White House, which was fortified with new fencing and extra security measures, chants and cheers were heard in waves. President Donald Trump, who has urged authorities to crack down on unrest, downplayed the demonstration, tweeting: “Much smaller crowd in D.C. than anticipated.”

Elsewhere, the backdrops included some of the nation’s most famous landmarks. Peaceful marchers mingled with motorists as they crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Cars had been cleared from the Brooklyn Bridge as protesters streamed into Manhattan on a day that New York police relaxed enforcement of a curfew that has led to confrontations. They walked the boulevards of Hollywood and a Nashville, Tennessee, street famous for country music-themed bars and restaurants.

Many protesters wore masks — a reminder of the danger that the protests could exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus.

Roderick Sweeney, who is black, said the large turnout of white protesters waving signs that said “Black Lives Matter” in San Francisco sent a powerful message.

“We’ve had discussions in our family and among friends that nothing is going to change until our white brothers and sisters voice their opinion,” said Sweeney, 49.

A large crowd of Seattle medical workers, many in lab coats and scrubs, marched to City Hall, holding signs reading, “Police violence and racism are a public health emergency” and “Nurses kneel with you, not on you” — a reference to how a white officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

Atop a parking garage in downtown Atlanta, a group of black college band alumni serenaded protesters with a tuba-heavy mix of tunes. Standing within earshot, business owner Leah Aforkor Quaye said it was her first time hitting the streets.

“This makes people so uncomfortable, but the only way things are happening is if we make people uncomfortable,” said Quaye, who is black.

In Raeford, North Carolina, a town near Floyd’s birthplace, people lined up outside a Free Will Baptist church, waiting to enter in small groups. At a private memorial service, mourners sang along with a choir. A large photo of Floyd and a portrait of him adorned with an angel’s wings and halo were displayed at the front of the chapel.

“It could have been me. It could have been my brother, my father, any of my friends who are black,” said Erik Carlos of nearby Fayetteville. “It made me feel very vulnerable at first.”

Floyd’s body will go to Houston, where he lived before Minneapolis, for another memorial in the coming days.

Protesters and their supporters in public office say they’re determined to turn the outpouring into change, notably overhauling policing policies. Many marchers urged officials to “defund the police.”

Theresa Bland, 68, a retired teacher and real estate agent protesting at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, envisioned a broader agenda.

“I’m looking at affordable housing, political justice, prison reform,” she said.

Congressional Democrats are preparing a sweeping package of police reforms, which is expected to include changes to immunity provisions and creating a database of use-of-force incidents. Revamped training requirements are planned, too — among them, a ban on chokeholds.

The prospects of reforms clearing a divided Congress are unclear.

Back in North Carolina, the Rev. Christopher Stackhouse recounted the circumstances of Floyd’s death for the congregation.

“It took 8 minutes and 46 seconds for him to die,” Stackhouse said at the memorial service. “But it took 401 years to put the system in place so nothing would happen.”