Updated Jun 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, DC

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Demonstrations over the death of George Floyd continued across the nation on Sunday as activists and lawmakers hit the cable news circuit to react to the past week's events.

The latest: Both acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Attorney General Bill Barr said on Sunday they don't believe there is "systemic racism" among law enforcement in the U.S. Meanwhile, calls by activists to "defund the police" are growing louder as largely peaceful protests continue for yet another week.

  • Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza told NBC on Sunday that defunding the police is not about eliminating police departments, but about reinvesting funds toward "the resources that our communities need."

What's happening: President Trump on Sunday ordered the National Guard out of Washington, D.C., after tens of thousands of protesters marched over the weekend in what was likely the largest set of demonstrations yet. The presence of federal law enforcement appeared to have been greatly reduced in recent days, and the protests were largely peaceful.

  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed by protesters after said he wouldn't to commit to defunding the police, adding "I do not support the full abolition of the Minneapolis Police Department," per New York Times video from the scene.
  • Seattle police set off flash bangs at a protest in the city on Saturday night, a day after the police chief announced a ban on tear gas.
  • In New York City, protesters continued to march in Brooklyn late Saturday, hours after the curfew came into effect, the Times reports.
  • Denver Broncos players and staff led a protest in the city, wearing t-shirts that read, "If you ain't with us, you against us." A federal judge restricted law enforcement's ability to use tear gas and fire rubber bullets on protesters.
  • Sacramento Police Department tweeted that it has suspended the use of the carotid control hold following direction from California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he has directed police not to use tear gas unless there is "a serious and immediate threat to life safety," per KGW. "I stand in solidarity with our non-violent demonstrators, who are sending a strong message that we are long overdue for meaningful reform and restorative justice," he added.
  • In San Francisco, thousands of protesters marched across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday afternoon, blocking traffic as part of their demonstration.
  • In Buffalo, two police officers were charged with assault on Saturday after a video emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old protester while clearing a demonstration in the wake of George Floyd's killing.
  • Curfews are continuing to expire across the U.S., including in Denver, Minneapolis, NYC and Atlanta.
  • A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 80% of Americans believe that the current situation in the United States is "out of control."

The impact: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he's "very concerned" about the protests that have followed George Floyd's death resulting in a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S.

The bottom line: Almost two weeks of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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