Minneapolis, California Move To End Police Neck Restraints Over George Floyd's Death

Clay Curtis
June 6, 2020

Some activists have called on social media for a million people to attend Saturday's rally in the US capital.

Nearly a dozen different demonstrations have been advertised by organisations and activists, according to local media.

Six buses unloaded several hundred uniformed military personnel, most carrying shields or body armor, at the White House grounds early Saturday, a Reuters photographer said.

"The fact that they have tried to push us all back and stop the protest, it makes people want to do it even more", said Jumikah Donovan, one of thousands who turned up thinking the Sydney ban was still in place.

"The Metropolitan Police Department welcomes first amendment demonstrations in our city & will do everything we can to facilitate peaceful protestors and ensure their safety", the agency said.

U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson said in the ruling the court reviewed video of numerous incidents "in which officers used pepper-spray on individual demonstrators who appeared to be standing peacefully, some of whom were speaking to or yelling at officers, none of whom appeared to be engaging in violence or destructive behavior".

In Minneapolis, Democratic city leaders voted to end the use of knee restraints and choke-holds, where pressure is applied to the neck, while California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would end state police training of carotid restraints similar to the technique used on Floyd.

In addition to the chokehold measures, the agreement seeks greater restrictions for police to use crowd-control weapons, and would bolster transparency in how police discipline is handled, according to the Star Tribune local newspaper, which posted a copy of the 10-page document. "People are saying enough is enough, we must change".

There have been protests across the United States since, but Washington's police chief believes Saturday's "may be one of the largest we've ever had in the city".

Protesters gather near the site where George Floyd was restrained by Minneapolis police officers
Camera Icon Protesters gather near the site where George Floyd was restrained by Minneapolis police officers. Credit Evan Frost AP

Many held signs that read "Black Lives Matter", while others kneeled.

In separate development, the National Football League reversed its policy on protests against racial injustice by players during the national anthem.

The Minneapolis police fired all four officers, and they have been charged with murder.

The two officers were suspended on Friday, but 57 of their colleagues - the entire emergency response unit - resigned in protest at the suspension.

The demonstrations have erupted as the public and businesses struggle to recover from sweeping lockdowns imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the protests were "unlawful".

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has sparred with U.S. President Donald Trump over his sometimes heavy-handed response to the rallies and marches in the nation's capital, had the slogan "Black Lives Matter" painted in massive yellow letters on a street leading to the White House.

Bowser also officially named a section of 16th Street in front of the White House "Black Lives Matter Plaza" and overnight activated light projections onto buildings facing the White House with the same message.

Horner expects "very different" F1 to be just as "fierce"
Best man, and best machine wins. "We want to make sure they're not gimmicks", he said via Formula1.com. "But I think we'll continue [talks] but it won't be unique to this".

Other reports by