George Floyd protests: Biden met with Floyd’s relatives in Houston

Protests over racism and police violence continue nationwide, fueled by outrage over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed last month while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Authorities have arrested four Minneapolis police officers -- Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao -- in connection with his death. The officers have since been fired.

Floyd, 46, died on Memorial Day after police were called to investigate a report of a man trying to use what looked like a counterfeit $20. Video of his death caught by bystanders and shared on social media showed Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air.

Live updates for Monday, June 8, continue below:

Thousands of LA protesters won’t face curfew, other charges

Update 10:20 p.m. EDT June 8: Thousands of Los Angeles protesters arrested for violating curfew and other police orders will not be charged with a crime, prosecutors said Monday as hundreds took to the city streets carrying caskets to signify the death of George Floyd and others killed by police.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office will develop a court alternative that carries no punishment for those cited for violating curfew or failing to obey orders to leave demonstrations over the death of Floyd, a black man who died two weeks ago after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey said she won’t file charges in protest misdemeanor cases from other parts of Los Angeles County.

The city had the largest number of the 10,000 protest arrests in the U.S. tracked by The Associated Press. Demonstrations over police brutality and racial injustice have gripped the nation for nearly two weeks

Tennessee lawmaker apologizes after racially offensive joke

Update 8:55 p.m. EDT June 8: A white Tennessee lawmaker asked for forgiveness on the House floor Monday after he made a racially offensive joke hours before to a black representative.

“I am extremely sorry that an offhand attempt at humor hurt your feelings,” said Rep. Mike Carter, a Republican from Ooltewah. “I deeply regret those remarks and now I ask for your forgiveness.”

Earlier that day while chairing a House panel, Carter had made the offhand remark while trying to get the attention of Rep. Joe Towns, a Democrat from Memphis.

The remark quickly drew criticism online.

Fellow Democratic black lawmakers declared the comment was particularly inappropriate given nationwide protests against police brutality after the Minneapolis death in police custody of an African-American man, George Floyd.

Towns later said he did not hear Carter’s remark and that is why he did not immediately respond to Carter’s comment.

Carter offered his apology Monday in front of the GOP-dominated House floor.

Biden met with Floyd’s relatives in Houston

Update 7:20 p.m. EDT June 8: The lead attorney for George Floyd’s family said the grieving relatives met with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for an hour Monday in Houston.

Ben Crump said Biden’s “compassion meant the world to this grieving family,” and he described the visit as an example of “what will begin to heal America” as citizens around the country demand changes to police practices after Floyd’s death.

“Listening to one another is what will begin to heal America,” Crump said. “That’s just what Vice President Biden did with the family of George Floyd for more than an hour. He listened, he heard their pain and shared in their woe.”

Biden traveled to Houston for the visit ahead of Floyd’s funeral. Biden has called for substantial changes to police practices in the U.S., but he opposes some activists’ call to defund police and shift that taxpayers spending to other services.

Biden wants to expand spending on social services such as education and mental health care that can support police efforts, but also spend more on training existing police officers.

Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, died after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. The officer has since been fired, arrested and charged with second-degree murder, among other charges.

National Park Service says new fence around White House is temporary

Update 6:20 p.m. EDT June 8: The National Park Service is calling a newly erected fence in front of a White House protest area temporary.

Park Service spokeswoman Katie Liming said Monday that her agency and the Secret Service expect to reopen part of Lafayette Park in front of the White House on Wednesday.

Liming says some areas of the park will remain closed to allow workers to deal with damage and address safety hazards. Liming gave no details and no time for when the rest of the square would reopen.

Lafayette Park in front of the White House is one of the country’s most prominent sites for political protests and other free-speech events.

It’s been closed off since early last week, when law officers used chemical agents and other force to drive out protesters in the nationwide rallies against police brutality.

Authorities left a newly erected high black fence blocking the square, even though recent protests have been overwhelmingly calm.

Liming says the Washington Ellipse, Sherman Park and some other landmark areas also will reopen Wednesday.

Thousands mourn George Floyd in Texas amid calls for reform

Update 4:50 p.m. EDT June 8: The last chance for the public to say goodbye to George Floyd drew thousands of mourners Monday to a church in his native Houston.

Under the searing Texas heat at The Fountain of Praise church, mourners wearing T-shirts with Floyd’s picture or the words “I Can’t Breathe” — the phrase he said repeatedly while pinned down by a Minneapolis police officer — waited for hours to see Floyd’s body, dressed in a brown suit in an open gold-colored casket. One man in line fainted, while others waiting sang “Lean on Me.”

Some knew Floyd in the nearby housing projects where he grew up. Others traveled for hours or drove in from other states. Those who couldn’t make it whipped up their own tributes: In Los Angeles, a funeral-style procession of cars inched through downtown as the viewing began in Houston. In Tennessee, residents of Memphis held a moment of silence.

Bracy Burnett approached Floyd’s casket wearing a homemade denim face mask scrawled with “8:46” — the length of time prosecutors say Floyd, who was black, was pinned to the ground under a white officer’s knee before he died.

“All black people are not criminals. All white people are not racists. All cops are not bad. And ignorance comes in all colors. That’s what I thought about when I viewed the body,” Burnett, 66, said.

Floyd’s death on May 25 has inspired international protests and drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans in the U.S. by police and the criminal justice system.

More than 42,700 National Guard members deployed in 34 states, D.C.

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT June 8: As of Monday, officials said more than 42,700 members of the National Guard have been deployed to assist state and local officials responding to protests against police brutality and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Officials said National Guard members had been deployed to help with the response to demonstrations in 34 states and Washington D.C.

Tens of thousands of National Guard members have also been deployed to assist states in their responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

White House has ‘no regrets’ about using tear gas on protesters in Washington, press secretary says

Update 3 p.m. EDT June 8: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Monday that the White House has “no regrets” over the decision to use tear gas on peaceful protesters who were gathered last week in Lafayette Square, near the White House.

Under the direction of federal officials, authorities used tear gas to clear the area of demonstrators on June 1 so that President Donald Trump could walk across the street to pose with a bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The church had sustained minor damage during the protests.

The decision drew widespread condemnation.

“There’s no regrets on the part of this White House because -- look, I’d note that many of those decisions were not made here within the White House. It was Attorney General (William) Barr who made the decision,” McEnany said Monday during a news conference.

Barr said Sunday during a tense interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that authorities “faced resistance” when they tried to move a previously set perimeter out by one block.

“(Authorities) announced three times,” Barr said. '(Protesters) didn’t move."

Barr disputed the fact that authorities used tear gas to clear demonstrators, saying that officials used pepper balls. However, a U.S. Park Police spokesman told Vox last week that it was a “mistake” to say that authorities hadn’t used tear gas, since pepper balls are used to irritate the eyes and cause tears.

Texas’ Abbott pays respects at service for Floyd

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT June 8: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has paid his respects with hundreds of people mourning the death of George Floyd at a church in Houston, where Floyd grew up.

The Republican governor looked at Floyd’s body in a gold-colored casket at The Fountain of Praise church Monday for about 15 seconds, then lowered his head with his hands folded for several seconds more.

Abbott told reporters outside the church that he will include Floyd’s family in discussions about police reform and any related legislation.

“George Floyd is going to change the arc of the future of the United States. George Floyd has not died in vain," Abbott said. "His life will be a living legacy about the way that America and Texas responds to this tragedy.”

Abbott said he planned to meet privately with Floyd’s family and present them with a Texas flag that was flown over the state Capitol in Floyd’s honor. The governor wore a striped crimson and gold tie, which he said was in honor of Floyd as those are the colors of Floyd’s high school.

Floyd, who was black and handcuffed, died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped responding. His death has inspired international protests.

Bail set at $1.25 million for former officer charged with killing George Floyd

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT June 8: Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin appeared via video-conference for his first hearing in connection to the death last month of George Floyd.

Court records show a judge set Chauvin’s bail at $1.25 million without conditions or $1 million with conditions, including having no contact with Floyd’s family and agreeing not to leave the state.

Authorities charged Chauvin with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after video surfaced of him holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes May 25 during a call about a possible forgery in progress. A medical examiner’s reported showed Chauvin’s decision to keep pressing his knee to Floyd, despite pleas from both him and bystanders, helped cause his death.

Chauvin and three other police officers who responded to the call, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, were fired amid nationwide uproar over the situation. Lane, Kueng and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Texas governor vows to work with family of George Floyd on police reform

Update 1:45 p.m. EDT June 8: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters gathered Monday in Houston that he will work with the family of slain Texas native George Floyd on police reform efforts.

“It will not be led by politicians but it will be led by the family,” Abbott said. “George Floyd is going to change the arc of the future of the United States. George Floyd has not died in vain.”

He said Monday that he’s “committed to working with the family of George Floyd to make sure that we never have anything like this occur in the state of Texas.”

Floyd died May 25 after police were called to a report of a possible forgery in progress. Video of the situation showed then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he begged for air and bystanders begged for authorities to let him get up.

Chauvin and three other police officers have been charged in Floyd’s death, which sparked protests against racism across the globe.

Democrats roll out details of police reform bill in Congress

Update 1:35 p.m. EDT June 8: With fresh momentum for change in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd -- which touched off days of violence and protests around the nation -- House and Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a sweeping new police reform proposal designed to promote more accountability for officers using unnecessary violence.

“We now have over 200 co-sponsors,” said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., the driving force behind the legislation.

“Never again should the world be subjected to witnessing what what we saw on the streets in Minneapolis,” Bass told a Capitol Hill news conference. “The slow murder of an individual by a uniformed police officer.”

The 134 page bill states that the goal of the legislation is to “hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies.”

Prosecutor: Self-proclaimed leader of Virginia KKK accused of driving truck into protesters

Update 1:25 p.m. EDT June 8: A prosecutor said Monday that a man arrested on suspicion of driving a truck into protesters gathered over the weekend in Henrico County, Virginia, told arresting officers that he is the president of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia, according to multiple reports.

Harry Rogers, 36, was arrested Sunday after authorities said he drove through a crowd of protesters gathered on a street in Henrico County, according to police and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He faces charges of attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism and assault and battery, according to investigators.

"The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology,” Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement obtained by WTVR. “We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”

In a news release, police said witnesses reported that Rogers revved his engine before driving through protesters gathered on Lakeside Avenue, near Vale Street. One person was evaluated for injuries at the scene but refused any other treatment, according to authorities.

A judge on Monday ordered that Rogers be held without bond, according to WTVR. He is scheduled to appear in court again in August.

Joe Biden says he doesn’t support defunding police departments

Update 12:35 p.m. EDT June 8: A spokesman for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday that the former vice president does not support calls for defunding police departments amid nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

In a statement obtained by Bloomberg News, Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said the presidential hopeful “supports the urgent need for reform -- including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing -- so that officers can focus on the job of policing.”

Memorials for Floyd reach Houston hometown

Update 12 p.m. EDT June 8: The casket carrying the body of George Floyd has arrived at a church in his native Houston as the series of memorials in his honor reach their final stop.

A six-hour public viewing will be held Monday at a Houston church. Visitors must wear a mask and gloves to comply with coronavirus-related guidelines. Floyd’s funeral and burial will be Tuesday.

Floyd, who was black and handcuffed, died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped responding. His death has inspired international protests and drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans by police.

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

Floyd was raised in Houston’s Third Ward and was a well-known former high school football player who rapped with local legend DJ Screw. He moved to Minneapolis several years ago to seek work and a fresh start.

Police to begin wearing body cameras in Nashville, Tennessee

Update 11 a.m. EDT June 6: Mayor John Cooper of Nashville, Tennessee, announced Monday that the city will begin implementing a plan to outfit its police officers with body cameras amid ongoing protests against racism and police brutality.

“Body-worn cameras will promote trust between law enforcement officers and community they are sworn to serve,” Cooper said Monday in a statement. “They will be an important tool in addressing racial injustice throughout Davidson County.”

In a news release, officials said the implementation was made possible after the city’s vendor, Motorola, agreed to delay payments for the cameras. Cooper said all 734 of the Police Department’s patrol vehicles will also be equipped with cameras.

“An encounter with law enforcement is not something that any Nashvillian should worry about having to survive,” Nashville Metropolitan council member at-large Sharon Hurt said Monday.

“It’s no secret that Metro’s financial constraints are great, but Mayor Cooper has demonstrated through this effort, with IT infrastructure upgrades starting immediately and deployment rolling out in July, as a first step, that his commitment to create tangible change for our Black community is genuine.”

House Democrats announce police reform legislation

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT June 8: House Democrats gathered in Washington on Monday to announce new legislation aimed at reforming police departments as protests against racism and police brutality continued nationwide.

36 arrested during protests in London

Update 10 a.m. EDT June 8: Police in London said they arrested 36 people on charges including violent disorder, criminal damage and assaulting police during mostly peaceful demonstrations Sunday in the British capital.

Officials with the London Metropolitan Police Department said issues started after a majority of the protesters left the central London area late Sunday and early Monday. Police said “a number remained in the area around Whitehall and behaved antisocially before becoming violent towards officers.”

Around 2 a.m. Monday, police began to clear the final protesters using “a variety of tactics including containment to tackle several violent and antisocial groups.”

Police said 35 officers were injured, including two whose injuries were serious enough to require treatment at a hospital. Officials said one of the injured officers had a head wound while the other had a shoulder injury after a bottle was thrown.

“The violent criminality we saw is disgraceful and will have been very frightening for others," police Commissioner Cressida Dick said in a statement. "We will be carrying out a thorough investigation so that those responsible for criminal acts are brought speedily to justice.”

Attorney says officer ‘was doing what he thought was right’

Update 9:15 a.m. EDT June 8: An attorney representing former Minneapolis police Officer Thomas Lane told NBC’s “Today” show that his client “was going what he thought was right” when he held down George Floyd’s legs last month as then-Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck.

Lane had been with the Minneapolis Police Department for only four days before he responded to the call that ended with Floyd’s death. He previously told CNN that he did “everything he thought he was supposed to do as a four-day police officer.”

“He did not stand by and watch,” attorney Earl Gray said on the “Today” show. “He was holding (Floyd’s) legs because the guy was resisting at first. Now, when he’s holding his legs he says to (Derek) Chauvin, ‘Well, should we roll him over because he says he can’t breathe?' Chauvin says, ‘No.’"

Floyd died after Chauvin, Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao responded May 25 to a call about a man suspected of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill. The four were later fired from the Police Department and charged in Floyd’s death.

Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin is expected to make his first court appearance later Monday.

Floyd’s family, attorney ask UN to intervene in case

Update 7:38 a.m. EDT June 8: Attorney Ben Crump and the family of George Floyd are asking the United Nations “to intervene in the case of Floyd’s death and make recommendations for systemic police reform in the United States,” they said in a news release early Monday.

Crump and Floyd’s family issued the appeal last week in a letter to the UN Working Group on the Rights of People of African Descent, the release said.

“The United States government has consistently failed to hold police accountable and did not bring federal criminal charges even in cases with irrefutable video evidence,” Crump said in a statement. “When a group of people of any nation have been systemically deprived of their universal human right to life by its government for decades, it must appeal to the international community for its support and to the United Nations for its intervention.”

Massive ‘End Racism Now’ mural painted on North Carolina street

Update 7 a.m. EDT June 8: Just days after workers and artists in Washington, D.C., painted the words “Black Lives Matter” on a street near the White House, a similar display emerged in Raleigh, North Carolina.

According to the News & Observer, the new, massive street art reads, “End Racism Now” and appears on a downtown street by the Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum.

The artists painted the message in protest of Confederate monuments in the city, the newspaper reported.

Museum board member Charman Driver, who led the project, said she and the others involved “feel really good” about the street mural; however, more needs to be done.

“Our voices are being heard, but it’s not enough,” Driver told the newspaper. “We want to paint that block, but what we want ultimately is for those statues to be removed.”

Read more here.

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Chauvin set to make 1st court appearance

Update 5:21 a.m. EDT June 8: The former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.

According to KSTP, Derek Chauvin, who faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges, will appear via video before a judge at 12:45 p.m. CDT Monday.

Viewing of Floyd’s casket to be held today in Houston

Update 3:39 a.m. EDT June 8: Members of the public will be able to view George Floyd’s casket Monday at a church in Houston, his hometown, The Associated Press is reporting.

The viewing, which will last from noon to 6 p.m., will be at the Fountain of Praise church, KHOU reported. Mourners must comply with coronavirus-related restrictions, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing. No more than 500 people can be inside the building at once, according to the news outlet.

Floyd’s funeral and burial are scheduled for Tuesday, the AP reported. The service will feature a video message from former Vice President Joe Biden, who doesn’t plan to attend the ceremony in person but will meet with members of Floyd’s family, according to the news agency.

Man accused of driving into Seattle crowd, shooting protester

Update 1:39 a.m. EDT June 8: A man was arrested Sunday night in connection with a shooting at a protest outside the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct in Capitol Hill, KIRO-TV is reporting.

According to police, the man drove into a group of protesters at 11th Avenue and Pine Street and shot someone about 8:30 p.m.

Seattle fire officials said the victim, a man in his mid- to late 20s, was transported to Harborview Medical Center. Officials said he is in satisfactory condition.

Police said they recovered the gun and don’t believe there were any other victims.

Protesters have continued to gather outside of the East Precinct to call for systemic change following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody May 25.

In a news conference that ended about 30 minutes before the shooting, police Chief Carmen Best and Mayor Jenny Durkan spoke about the challenges the ongoing demonstrations outside of the East Precinct have brought.

Read more here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.