USA

'All the world is watching': After nationwide protests, 4 officers face new charges in George Floyd's death

On Wednesday, new charges were filed against four fired officers involved in the death of George Floyd. The 46-year-old father died in Minneapolis last week after then-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Chauvin was previously charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The murder charge was upgraded to second-degree murder, court records show. If convicted of murder, he could spend up to 40 years in prison.

The other former officers -- J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao -- now face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

"This moment is a tipping point to change America," Floyd family attorney Ben Crump said. "All the world is watching."

'I don't think we get another chance to fix this'

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz visited the site of the fatal encounter for the first time Wednesday.

Walz said he's been wanting to visit the scene. But "I very much worry about white politicians appropriating black pain. And that's certainly not it. I have to personally and viscerally feel this," he said.

"It's unfortunate I've become friends with mothers only because their sons were killed," the governor said.

And like the protesters demanding an end to police brutality, Walz said America must change now.

"I don't think we get another chance to fix this in the country," he said. "I think being at the heart of this and seeing the community's pain so viscerally, this is going to have to be that change that we look for."

Protesters practice civil disobedience across the US

The eighth night of protests Tuesday night had less violence, fewer police clashes and more acts of civil disobedience than the night before.
Some mayors said the unprecedented curfews helped prevent violence, which officials say has been fueled in recent days by outside instigators and extremists who aren't really protesting Floyd's death.

In Philadelphia, protests culminated Tuesday with nine minutes of silence.

In Los Angeles, a group of protesters knelt with their hands up in peace signs outside the home of Mayor Eric Garcetti as they waited to be arrested.

In Atlanta, where days ago a police car was set on fire, a large crowd marched peacefully through the same area.

"We want peace," said Joseph Haynes, a demonstrator in Los Angeles. "Look at all these wonderful people out here. Look at us. And this is not just black people."

Floyd's family has pleaded for all protesters to be peaceful. His brother publicly called for an end to violence. Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, spoke about how Floyd's death will forever change their daughter's life.

"He will never see her grow up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle. If there is a problem she's having and she needs her daddy, she does not have that anymore," Washington said of Floyd's daughter, Gianna.

"I am here for my baby, and I'm here for George because I want justice for him."

Conflict, confrontations and counterprotesters

Since May 26, the day after Floyd's death, at least 9,839 people fhave been arrested nationwide during protests, according to CNN's tally from agencies across the country.

While Tuesday night's protests were much more peaceful than the previous night, there were some skirmishes.

Milwaukee police fired tear gas after agitators threw rocks and glass at officers.

In Los Angeles, hundreds of protesters were arrested, LAPD spokesman Tony Im said.

In New York City, at least 40 protesters were arrested.

Some residents have filed formal complaints against officers' conduct during protests. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability received about 14,000 complaints about the conduct of Seattle police during demonstrations over the weekend, spokeswoman Anne Bettesworth said Tuesday.

Pockets of counterprotesters have also emerged.

In Boise, Idaho, police formed a line between the hundreds people who showed up for a vigil and some counterprotesters holding American flags and Blue Lives Matter flags, CNN affiliate KBOI reported.

Maintaining the peace and making change

New measures have been taken to help improve safety of the demonstrations and concerns at the heart of the protests.

Facebook said Tuesday that it had shut down pages and accounts whose members were discussing bringing weapons to the protests.

The activity was tied to a group called American Guard, according to Facebook. The Anti-Defamation League says American Guard "has a background with connections to anti-immigrant extremism, hatred, and violence."

In Minnesota, Gov. Walz said the Department of Human Rights is launching a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, which will look into practices from the last 10 years.

The inquiry will try to determine whether police engaged in "systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped."

And to provide relief for businesses that have been harmed during protests, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a $10 million fund.

Lightfoot also put forward a police accountability reform measure for "some immediate necessary next steps on our journey toward reform."

Measures "critical to resolving our crisis" will be implemented within the next 90 days, the mayor said.

"I stand with those who are sick and tired of the lack of fundamental change," Lightfoot said. "Change that results in the respect, dignity, and freedom that black people deserve in this country."

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