The police killing of George Floyd has triggered anti-racism protests around the world. A number of monuments with links to colonialism and slavery have either been defaced or pulled down in Europe and the United States as protests continue for racial justice.
Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, testified before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, along with family lawyer Ben Crump and 10 others at the first congressional hearing to examine the social and political undercurrents that have fuelled weeks of protests nationwide and overseas.
The death of Floyd, who died after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has sparked nationwide calls for policing reforms.
Wednesday, June 10:
14:40 GMT – ‘I’m tired, I’m tired of the pain,’ George Floyd’s brother says
George Floyd’s brother testified Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on issues of racial profiling, police brutality and lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another black person is killed for no reason,” Philonise Floyd said during his testimony.
“I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired,” Floyd said. “George’s calls for help were ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family, and to the calls ringing out in the streets across the world.”
“If his death ends up changing the world for the better. And I think it will. I think it has. Then he died as he lived. It is on you to make sure his death isn’t in vain,” he said.
14:35 GMT – White House defends Trump’s conspiracy theory tweet on Buffalo protester
The White House on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s promotion of an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about a 75-year-old protester injured by police in Buffalo, saying it was Trump’s “prerogative” to raise questions about the incident.
The protester, Martin Gugino, was shoved by police and critically injured when he approached them during a march against racism and police brutality in an incident that was captured on video and led to criminal charges against the officers involved.
Trump, offering no evidence, tweeted on Tuesday that Gugino’s fall could be a “set up” with ties to the anti-fascist movement antifa.
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
“The president was just raising some questions, some legitimate ones, about that particular interaction. And it’s his prerogative to do so,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News on Wednesday.
A lawyer for Gugino called Trump’s statement “dark, dangerous, and untrue,” according to media reports. Gugino told USA TODAY he had “no comment other than Black Lives Matter” and that he has been released from intensive care and “should recover eventually.”
Buffalo Police Officers Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32, face felony assault charges over the incident.
14:30 GMT – Twitter, Square to make June 19 a holiday to support racial diversity
Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Square Inc and Twitter Inc, said June 19, popularly known as ‘Juneteenth’, would be a permanent company-wide holiday in the United States to show support for racial diversity.
— jack (@jack) June 9, 2020
June 19 commemorates the US abolition of slavery by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was belatedly announced in the state of Texas on June 19, 1865, after the end of the Civil War.
14:25 GMT – US top doctor expresses concerns about protests spreading coronavirus
The US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci expressed concern that recent mass protests against police brutality and racism would spread the novel coronavirus because of a lack of social distancing.
Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he isn’t surprised that members of the Washington, DC, National Guard who mobilized in response to the protests had tested positive, but he called the development “disturbing.”
“The issue of physical separation is important. Masks can help, but it’s masks plus physical separation, and when you get congregations like we saw with the demonstrations, like we have said – myself and other health officials – that’s taking a risk,” Fauci said. “Unfortunately, what we’re seeing now is just an example of the kinds of things we were concerned about.”
14:15 GMT – Netflix launches Black Lives Matter collection for viewers
Streaming service Netflix announced that it is promoting a new “Black Lives Matter” collection to US subscribers, featuring over 45 movies, television shows and documentaries about racial injustice and the experience of Black Americans.
The collection includes Da 5 Bloods, 13th, When They See Us, Mudbound, Orange Is the New Black, Dear White People, as well as Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning Moonlight.
When we say “Black Lives Matter,” we also mean “Black storytelling matters.”
With an understanding that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time – we’re starting by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 10, 2020
“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we also mean ‘Black storytelling matters,'” Netflix said in a tweet. “With an understanding that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time – we’re starting by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience.”
12:50 GMT – George Floyd’s brother to address US House panel on police reforms
One of the brothers of George Floyd is due to speak to a Democratic-led congressional panel as lawmakers take on the twin issues of police violence and racial injustice.
Philonise Floyd, 42, will testify before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, along with family lawyer Ben Crump and 10 others at the first congressional hearing to examine the social and political undercurrents that have fuelled weeks of protests nationwide and overseas.
The Judiciary panel is preparing to shepherd a sweeping package of legislation, aimed at combating police violence and racial injustice, to the House floor by July 4, and is expected to hold further hearings next week to prepare the bill for a full House vote.
12:45 GMT – Confederate monument in Virginia covered with rubbish bags
Protesters in Portsmouth, Virginia, covered a Confederate monument in the city with rubbish bags and sheets, several hours after the city’s council members had a meeting to figure out ways to relocate it.
A white sheet that read “BLM” – the acronym for Black Lives Matter – covered the fence in front of the monument hours after the Portsmouth city council met to discuss who owns the figure, a local TV channel reported. The question about who owns the monument has been the main roadblock in the city’s years-long quest to remove it.
In Richmond, Virginia, a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then thrown into a lake on Tuesday. The statue was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered in the city’s Byrd Park chanted for the statue to be taken down, news outlets reported.
12:40 GMT – Corrections officer among group that mocked Floyd’s killing as protesters marched by
A white man seen in a video circulating on social media mocking George Floyd’s death included a corrections officer in South Jersey, local media reported.
The man – whose identity has not been verified – was filmed kneeling on another man, recreating how Floyd died on May 25, while Black Lives Matter protesters marched by.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections confirmed in a statement that the man in the video was a corrections officer at Bayside State Prison and that he has been suspended while the agency conducts an investigation.
“We have been made aware that one of our officers from Bayside State Prison participated in the filming of a hateful and disappointing video that mocked the killing of George Floyd,” an NJ Department of Corrections statement said.
Catch up on Tuesday’s updates here.