The Latest: State files complaint against Minneapolis 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:

— Minnesota files civil rights complaint against Minneapolis police.

— President Trump ordered a show of force on Monday night.

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

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

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MINNEAPOLIS — The state of Minnesota has filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The state says it will investigate the department’s policies and practices over the last 10 years to determine whether it has engaged in “systemic” discrimination against people of color. The complaint comes from the state Department of Human Rights, which enforces the state’s human rights act. It targets a police department that has faced decades of allegations of brutality and other discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities including within the department itself.

Critics say the department has a culture that resists change and the department has come under fresh criticism after Floyd died after a white officer knelt on his neck and ignored his cries of “I can’t breathe” until Floyd eventually stopped moving.

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WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr ordered law enforcement officials to clear Lafayette Park and push back the perimeter around the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, leading to police using tear gas to disperse protesters.

A person familiar with the matter tells The Associated Press that Barr expected the perimeter to have been extended much earlier Monday. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

The person said officials had met that morning and decided the perimeter had to be moved by at least one full block after multiple fires were set in the park the night before. They said that was expected to happen by Monday afternoon.

The person said Barr was surprised it hadn’t been done when he arrived in the early evening and directed action to be taken. They said he assumed police would use “typical crowd control measures” against protesters who resisted commands to clear the area.

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MINNEAPOLIS — Prosecutors are delaying the case against a man who drove his semitrailer into a crowd of protesters on a closed Minneapolis freeway.

The 35-year-old man drove his tanker truck into the midst of thousands of people who had gathered on Interstate 35W near downtown Minneapolis on Sunday. Authorities said it appeared no one was hurt and the man was arrested.

Gov. Tim Walz said the man became confused and somehow got on the freeway before traffic officials closed it.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday that the case against the man has been deferred pending further investigation and he’ll be released from jail. Freeman said investigators are working to gather additional information to help in making a charging decision.

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump ordered military aircraft to fly above the nation’s capital on Monday night as a “show of force” against demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd, according to two Defense Department officials.

Show-of-force missions are designed to intimidate and, in combat zones, warn opposing forces of potential military actions if provoked. The officials, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing operations publicly, did not say how many or what type of aircraft had been mobilized.

Videos and photographs posted on social media showed helicopters flying low over buildings and hovering just above groups of people on the street who were outside despite a district-wide curfew.

On Tuesday, roughly 700 members of the 82nd had arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and Fort Belvoir in Virginia. In addition, 1,400 more soldiers are ready to be mobilized within an hour, according to the two Defense Department officials. The soldiers are armed and have riot gear. They also have bayonets.

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RICHMOND, Va. — An angry crowd shouted down Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on Tuesday after police lobbed tear gas at a group of peaceful demonstrators during a protest over the death of George Floyd.

Several hundred people gathered outside City Hall chanted “Fire Them!” and repeatedly drowned out Stoney as he apologized and promised that the officers involved will face disciplinary action.

Video posted to social media of the Monday night incident shows a line of police launching tear gas toward a group of protesters who appeared to be yards away from the officers and peacefully gathered on the grass near a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Police Chief William Smith also apologized and took a knee briefly after being invited to do so by a woman in the crowd.

The tear gas was used on a group of protesters during a fourth night of protests over the killing of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes as he pleaded for air.

The Richmond Police Department initially defended its use of tear gas but later retreated from that position after Smith reviewed video of the incident.

Stoney also apologized on Twitter and invited protesters to the meeting outside City Hall on Tuesday.

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PHOENIX — The Arizona National Guard is assessing a request from President Donald Trump to provide troops to other states, Guard spokesman Maj. Aaron Thacker said Tuesday.

The Guard already has about 900 military police and other troops on duty after Gov. Doug Ducey ordered them to help back up state and local law enforcement dealing with weekend protests that at times turned violent.

Thacker said the Guard isn’t yet ready to send troops to other states.

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CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio hopes the NFL and its owners will use their platform to promote “love” and racial equality in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd.

“People listen, kids listen,” Bitonio said Tuesday. “You start the younger generation and you teach them to love each other and to have that compassion and empathy for other people. That’s where it grows in this country, and so I hope players and ownership and the NFL as a whole uses the platform to really promote that love.”

Bitonio, who is white, said he has always appreciated the struggles some of his black teammates have endured in “really tough situations with law enforcement, or just in general.

A six-year veteran, Bitonio said it’s more vital than ever to show empathy because “people are hurting.” He said new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski spoke with his team on Monday about the situation.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

Categories: AP National News