The Latest: US agency calls back drone it sent to Minnesota

National News

A member of the Minnesota National Guard stands guard by the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Friday, May 29, 2020. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced that he asked the Minnesota National Guard to be responsible for the safety of the State Capitol. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says it dispatched a drone to Minneapolis following three nights of violent protests there but ended up sending it back to its base because the unmanned aerial vehicle wasn’t needed.

The agency, which typically patrols the nation’s border and ports of entry, said the drone was going to provide live video to assist law enforcement in Minneapolis as they responded to protests that have left dozens of stores burned and looted.

A CBP statement issued Friday says the drone would have provided “situational awareness” to local law enforcement. It said it routinely conducts such operations if needed to help other agencies or during natural disasters.

The drone returned to its base in Grand Forks, North Dakota, after “the requesting agency determined that the aircraft was no longer needed for operational awareness.” CBP did not identify the agency that requested the assistance.

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5:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he talked to members of George Floyd’s family on Friday and “expressed my sorrow.”

Trump spoke about his conversation with members of the Floyd family during a White House meeting with businesses executives. He says of the encounter with police captured on video that “it was just a horrible thing to witness and to watch. It certainly looked like there was no excuse for it.”

Trump says the family grieved during the call and that “I could see very much that they loved their brother.”

Trump was also asked about his tweet saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” He says he had heard that phrase for a long time, but didn’t know where it originated.

He says the phrase is “very accurate in the sense that, when you do have looting like you had last night, people often get shot and they die. And that’s not good and we don’t want that to happen.”

Trump also spoke about the looters, saying they did a great disservice to their state, city and the country. He said “we can never let that happen again.”

The president also says of the city and its mayor “I don’t think they were very well prepared. But we brought in the National Guard. They will be very prepared tonight.”

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4:45 p.m.

Police in Memphis, Tennessee, are investigating whether an officer broke any rules after a video surfaced of a woman being knocked to the ground during a protest related to the death of George Floyd.

The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. That officer was arrested and charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said on social media Friday that he’s asked Police Director Michael Rallings to investigate “an event that occurred Wednesday night with one of our officers and a female protester.”

A video has been shared on television and social media that appears to show an officer shoving a woman to the ground. It’s not clear whether she was injured.

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4:15 p.m.

NBA veteran Stephen Jackson says he’ll use his platform and “everything I have to get a conviction” for the four Minneapolis police officers who were fired after George Floyd’s death.

Jackson, like Floyd, is from Houston and they were friends. The handcuffed black man died after pleading for air as a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

That officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The charges were announced shortly after Jackson spoke at a news conference organized by activists at Minneapolis City Hall. Actor Jamie Foxx and Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns were among those in attendance.

Jackson is 42. He played for eight NBA teams from 2000-2013 and won a championship in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs.

He and Floyd called each other “twin” because of their resemblance.

Both were star high school athletes in the Houston area in the 1990s. Floyd had moved to Minneapolis two years ago for a fresh start.

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4 p.m.

A white Minneapolis police officer who is charged with murder for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for air is accused of ignoring another officer who was worried that the handcuffed black man should be rolled onto his side.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The criminal complaint also says that an autopsy revealed nothing to support strangulation. It says the medical examiner concluded that the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system, and his underlying health issues likely contributed to his death.

The complaint says Floyd was struggling with officers who tried to put him in a squad car and at one point he went to the ground face down. The complaint says one officer held Floyd’s back and another held his legs, while Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s head and neck area. When one officer said he was getting worried and asked if Floyd should be rolled onto his side, Chauvin said no.

In all, Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The complaint says that includes nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped moving and talking.

Chauvin’s attorney had no comment when reached by The Associated Press.

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3:45 p.m.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has declared a nighttime curfew running from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday and again from 8 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday.

His order comes after sometimes violent protests over the death of George Floyd. The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.

Frey’s order said nobody may venture out in public during those times, except for emergency responders, or people seeking medical care, fleeing dangerous circumstances or experiencing homelessness. Violators can be fined up to $1,000 and jailed up to 90 days.

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2:20 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr says he’s “confident justice will be served” after the restraint death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody.

Barr said in a statement Friday that the videos of George Floyd’s death were “harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing.”

The Justice Department and FBI are conducting an investigation to determine whether federal civil rights laws were broken.

Barr’s comments come as the white police officer who was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck was arrested. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Barr says a decision whether to pursue federal charges “must be, and will be, based on the law and facts” and that the process is “proceeding quickly.”

He said federal officials were working with local law enforcement to ensure relevant evidence is collected as quickly as possible.

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1:45 p.m.

An uncle of a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis said he will be attending peaceful demonstrations, but that violent protests are “absolutely outlandish.”

Selwyn Jones’ nephew George Floyd died Monday after a white officer knelt on his neck as Floyd pleaded for air. Floyd’s death has set off days of protests in the Minneapolis area and communities across the U.S.

“I think that is absolutely outlandish for them to destroy their own city, their own home, to make a point,” Jones told the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. “I don’t think the point that they’re trying to make is the point that we’re trying to make.”

Jones is planning to attend a walk in memory of Floyd on Saturday in Rapid City. He said people who have reacted with violent protest and looting are “taking advantage of a bad situation to express anger.”

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1:30 p.m.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he has spoken with the family of George Floyd and is calling for justice.

Biden’s comments came as a Minnesota prosecutor announced charges against a police officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Derek Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the restraint death of Floyd.

In a brief online appearance Friday, the former vice president blamed systemic racism, which he called “an open wound” on American society, for Floyd’s death. He says it’s time for deep and lasting police reform.

Biden also took an indirect swipe at President Donald Trump without naming him, saying it was, “No time for incendiary tweets. No time to incite violence.”

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1:15 p.m.

A Minnesota prosecutor has charged a police officer with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the restraint death of George Floyd.

Floyd is the handcuffed black man whose cries of “I can’t breathe” in a widely seen cellphone video set off days of violent protest in Minneapolis and around the country.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday that he may yet bring more charges against the officer, Derek Chauvin.

The white officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes in the video. Floyd can be seen gradually becoming motionless as Chauvin and three other officers ignored bystanders’ shouts to get off him.

Floyd was pronounced dead at a Minneapolis hospital in an incident that began when police responded to a report of a man passing a counterfeit bill in a grocery store on Memorial Day.

The charges came after Minneapolis has been rocked by three days of protests, including looting, scores of fires and the burning of a police precinct station on Thursday even after the governor called out the National Guard.

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12:45 p.m.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is responding to the death of George Floyd.

The ministry says in a lengthy statement that the death underlines frequent violence by police in the United States.

Floyd pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on the handcuffed black man’s neck. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested Friday.

The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry says, “This incident is far from the first in a series of manifestations of lawlessness and unjustified violence by the ‘law enforcement officers’ in the United States.”

The ministry called on the U.S. to “to take real and effective measures to rectify the situation, return to the conscientious fulfillment of international obligations, and bring national legislation in line with the basic UN principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement agencies.”

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12:25 p.m.

Minnesota authorities say the police officer who knelt on George Floyd has been arrested.

Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Friday that state investigators arrested Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin is the white officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a handcuffed black man.

The arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct that had been abandoned by officers.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s violent protests. Walz said the state would take over the response and that it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.

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12:05 p.m.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is acknowledging the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s protests over the death of George Floyd.

During a news conference on Friday, Walz said the state would take over the response. He says it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering. He also called for swift justice for officers involved in Floyd’s death. The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as a white officer knelt on his neck.

Walz’s comments came after protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned during a third night of violence.

Livestream video showed protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers.

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11:30 a.m.

Attorneys for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are calling for an independent investigation of the actions leading to Floyd’s death.

They also want national reforms in response to the three deaths.

Attorney Benjamin Crump said during a news conference Friday that he’s asked to take custody of Floyd’s body for an independent autopsy. He and attorney Lee Merritt said they want murder charges brought against the four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest. And they want the Minnesota attorney general to take over the investigation.

Crump says the families from Georgia, Kentucky and now Minnesota have all had to dispel narratives from law enforcement that their loved ones “brought this upon themselves.” They cited an initial report in Floyd’s case that said he threatened police and died of a medical condition.

Videos show an officer kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed black man pleads for air.

The attorneys said they’ll seek national legislation seeking better training and to lower the burden to charge officers for excessive force.

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11 a.m.

A now-fired police officer and a black man who died in his custody both worked as security guards at a popular Latin nightclub as recently as the end of last year. But the club’s former owner says it’s not clear whether they knew each other.

Officer Derek Chauvin worked at the El Nuevo Rodeo club as off-duty security for nearly two decades. Maya Santamaria told The Associated Press that George Floyd had worked there only more recently for about a dozen events that featured African American music.

Santamaria says she doesn’t believe the two knew each other before their encounter Monday night when the officer was seen on cellphone video kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Santamaria says that if the officer had recognized Floyd, “He might have given him a little more mercy.”

Santamaria sold the venue within the past two months. She says Chauvin got along well with the regular Latino customers, but didn’t like to work the African American nights. When he did, and there was a fight, he would spray people with mace and call for police backup. She says a half dozen squad cars would soon show up, something she felt was unjustified “overkill.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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