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Images of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of African-American George Floyd, who then died, have sparked protests from Amsterdam to Nairobi, but they also expose deeper grievances among demonstrators over strained race relations in their own countries.
 
With violent clashes between protesters and authorities raging in the United States, anti-police-brutality activists gathered by the thousands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in various European and African cities.
 Peaceful protesters highlighted allegations of abuse of black prisoners by their jailers, social and economic inequality, and institutional racism lingering from the colonial pasts of the Netherlands, Britain and France.
 
“If you want to believe that we in the Netherlands do not have a problem with race, you should go ahead and go home,” Jennifer Tosch, founder of Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours, told a crowd in Amsterdam, from where the Dutch West India Company operated ships estimated to have traded 500,000 slaves in the 1600s and 1700s.
 
Tosch and others drew a comparison between Floyd’s death and the treatment of slaves centuries ago. “We have seen this image before as white persecutors and enslavers held down the enslaved and branded them with an iron.”
 People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, June 1, 2020, to protest against the recent killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, U.S.A., after being restrained by police…In London, a protester held a placard reading “The UK isn’t innocent,” while in Berlin around 2,000 people protested outside the U.S. embassy and two Bundesliga soccer players wore “Justice for George Floyd” shirts on Monday.
 
A similar message came from Dominique Sopo, president of French NGO SOS Racisme, which organized a small protest outside the U.S. embassy in Paris on Monday.
 
“This issue of police racism is also, albeit with a lower level of violence, an issue that concerns France,” he said.
 
Police in northern Paris fired tear gas on Tuesday to disperse demonstrators protesting over the 2016 death of a young black Frenchman in police custody – an incident that has drawn parallels with Floyd’s killing.
 
Adama Traore’s family have blamed excessive force used during his arrest, when the 24-year-old was pinned down by three gendarmes. Successive pathology reports have reached conflicting conclusions over whether his death two hours later resulted from asphyxiation or other factors including pre-existing conditions.
 
Amid a coronavirus lockdown, French activists also say there have been a number of police brutality cases in low-income neighborhoods where many originate from Africa.
 Turkish police officers, in riot gear, and wearing face masks for protections against the spread of the coronavirus, scuffle with protesters during a demonstration in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, against the recent killing of George Floyd in…Clashes in Turkey
 
In Istanbul, more than 50 people clashed with police officers minutes after beginning a protest over Floyd and what they called police brutality in Turkey.
 
At least five people were detained after scuffles with officers holding shields, after which other protesters gave speeches denouncing lethal police force and bans on demonstrations in Turkey during the pandemic.
 
In Nairobi, protesters at the American embassy held signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Extrajudicial Killings”.
 
“The system that allows police brutality to happen in Kenya is based on class. In America, it’s race and class.”
 What Is Black Lives Matter?Origins of the movement opposing police violence against black AmericansProtests are planned in coming days in Gambia, Britain, Spain and Portugal.
 
In Spain, protesters will mark the death of Floyd and “all sisters and brothers who have died at the hands of institutional racism on our streets,” the African and Afro-descendant Community CNAAE said.
 
Portugal’s gathering will address “the myth that Portugal is not a racist country.”
 
But not all in Europe side with the protesters.
 
Spain’s far-right Vox party and the Netherlands’ anti-Islam Freedom Party called those protesting Floyd’s death “terrorists” and backed U.S. President Donald Trump.
 
“Our support for Trump and the Americans who are seeing their Nation attacked by street terrorists backed by progressive millionaires,” Vox wrote in a Tweet.
 
In the Netherlands, the Freedom Party’s Geert Wilders tweeted: “White House under attack. This is no protest but anarchy by #AntifaTerrorists.”
 
Even amid such racial division, Linda Nooitmeer, who heads the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy, drew hope from Monday’s protest in Amsterdam. 

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A day that began with hope that New York City was beginning to find a way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus and a week of angry demonstrations over police brutality ended Wednesday with more violence.Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd drew thousands of people, but were broken up by police as rain poured down about an hour after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew went into effect.  Then, with the streets quiet for the first time in days, police said a man ambushed officers on an anti-looting patrol in Brooklyn, stabbing him in the neck. The attacker was shot by responding officers and was in critical condition.Two officers suffered gunshot wounds to their hands in the chaos, but all three wounded officers were expected to recover.Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called it “a completely, cowardly, despicable, unprovoked attack on a defenseless police officer.” While he declined to say what motivated the attack, he drew a line to the heated rhetoric of the past week, in which angry crowds decrying police violence have also hurled insults, and sometimes bottles, bricks and firebombs, at officers and their vehicles.”Words matter,” Shea said.The attack came at the end of the day in which the police had drawn praise for bringing a stop to days of looting in some parts of the city, but also harsh criticism for rough tactics used to enforce the city’s curfew.About an hour after the 8 p.m. deadline to get off the street, officers began moving in on crowds of demonstrators in Manhattan and Brooklyn, at times blasting people with pepper spray or using batons to shove people who didn’t move fast enough.NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said about 60 people were arrested near Central Park for defying an order to go home.  “When we have these big crowds, especially in this area, especially where we’ve had the looting, no more tolerance,” Monahan said. “They have to be off the street.”City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who attended a rally in downtown Brooklyn, expressed outrage that police had broken up the peaceful demonstration by shoving protesters and hitting them with batons.”I can’t believe what I just witnessed & experienced,” Williams wrote on twitter. He called the use of force on nonviolent protesters “disgusting.”  As the evening deepened, there were few reports of the mayhem that had occurred on several days of demonstrations, when protesters burned police vehicles and showered officers with debris. Gone also were the roving bands of people who smashed their way into scores of stores and stole merchandise Sunday and Monday nights.During the day, some protesters had been heartened by news that three more Minneapolis police officers had been charged in connection to the May 25 death of Floyd, a black man who died after an officer pressed a knee on his neck.  But most said they wanted bigger societal changes to fight institutional racism in policing.”There’s been progress, but are we at a point where we can all celebrate? No,” said demonstrator Lisa Horton, calling for “radical change” in the criminal justice system.Tuesday night’s protests had also been mostly peaceful, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare that an early curfew was working.It is set to remain in effect through at least Sunday, with the city planning to lift it at the same time it enters the first phase of reopening after more than two months of shutdowns because of the coronavirus. 

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The US Senate on Wednesday approved reforms to the popular Paycheck Protection Program that will give small businesses greater flexibility in using the coronavirus crisis funds. The measure, which cleared the House of Representatives by a 471-1 vote, unanimously passed the Senate and now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. The new changes to the PPP, established as a lifeline for small businesses struggling to stay afloat during coronavirus lockdowns, allow for more flexibility in how the relief loans are used, and in the time given to businesses to repay the funds. “These changes will let business owners spend their PPP funds over a longer period of time, use a larger percentage of the loan on non-payroll expenses (like rent), and more,” said Senator Angus King, an independent who aligns with Democrats. The two phases of the PPP have provided a total of $669 billion in lending. “The PPP is a pro-worker, bipartisan program that has been hugely successful in protecting 50 million employees and helping small business owners endure this crisis,” said Senate Republican Marco Rubio, chairman of the small business committee. The bill would extend from eight weeks to 24 weeks the period when funds must be spent for the loans to be forgiven, and would also give businesses as long as five years to repay any money owed on a loan, up from two years.  Businesses would be able to use a larger percentage of the funds on rent and other approved non-payroll expenses. The bill would require that 60 percent of a loan be used on payroll, instead of 75 percent — a current stipulation that frustrates businesses like restaurants, which are grappling with high overhead costs. Congress is meanwhile working on a massive new measure to provide fresh economic relief for Americans and fund local pandemic response efforts.   But the $3 trillion bill, which passed the Democratic-led House, faces opposition from Senate Republicans who branded it an exorbitant liberal wish list. 

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The White House medical team kept a close eye on President Donald Trump’s heart rhythms, including at least one electrocardiogram, to watch for potential side effects when he took a two-week course of a malaria drug to try to prevent the coronavirus, his doctor reported Wednesday.”The President completed the regimen safely and without side effects,” Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a report on Trump’s latest physical and his treatment with hydroxychloroquine.A pharmacy tech pours out pills of hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, May 20, 2020.Overall, Conley said, Trump showed little change in basic health measurements from 16 months ago. On the negative side, he gained a pound. But on the plus side, his cholesterol level continued to fall.”The data indicates the President remains healthy,” Conley concluded. Trump recently took a two-week course of hydroxychloroquine after two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19.Conley said it was done in consultation with “appropriate care team members and close monitoring of the electrocardiogram (EKG),” indicating that doctors were looking for changes in his heartbeat because abnormal heart rhythms are one of the dangerous side effects that have been found in studies of the drug.The drug proved ineffective for preventing COVID-19 in the first large, high-quality study to test it in people in close contact with someone with the disease. Results published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine show that hydroxychloroquine was no better than placebo pills at preventing illness from the coronavirus. The drug did not seem to cause serious harm, though — about 40% on it had side effects, mostly mild stomach problems. Trump has frequently cited anecdotal reports and seemed determined to prove the naysayers wrong. Trump’s weight came in a 244 pounds. That gives him a Body Mass Index of 30.5, based on his 6-foot, 3-inch frame. An index rating of 30 is the level at which doctors consider someone to be obese. About 40% of Americans are obese.  Trump was evaluated twice for the physical, first in November 2019 and then in April. He has a resting heart rate of 63 beats per minute. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute, and generally, a lower rate implies better cardiovascular fitness.  His blood pressure came in at 121 over 79. The American Heart Association says an elevated blood pressure range is when a reading for the upper number consistently ranges from 120-129 and less than 80 for the lower number. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition. Trump has shown marked improvement in his cholesterol levels during his presidency, helped by medication. At his physical in January 2018, his total cholesterol was 223. In early 2019, the reading came in at 196. It now stands at 167. The president takes rosuvastatin to help lower his bad cholesterol, known as LDL, and to raise his good cholesterol, or HDL. Ideally, total cholesterol should be less than 200.  Trump also takes aspirin daily and finasteride, a drug to treat enlargement of the prostate and male pattern hair loss. Aspirin reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in people at high risk for them. 

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 n an abrupt reversal, Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday overturned an earlier Pentagon decision to send a couple hundred active-duty soldiers home from the Washington, D.C., region, amid growing tensions with the White House over the military response to the protests.Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that the reversal came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions. It is unclear if Esper met with President Donald Trump. McCarthy said he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed.McCarthy said he received notice of the Pentagon order to send about 200 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne’s immediate response force home just after 10 a.m. Wednesday. Hours later, the Pentagon notified him that Esper had reversed the decision. The move to keep the troops in the region, however, comes as Pentagon leaders continue to insist they do not want to use active-duty forces to help quell the protests.Earlier in the day, Esper had tamped down threats from Trump about sending troops to “dominate” the streets, telling reporters at a Pentagon news conference that he opposes using military forces for law enforcement in containing the current street protests.  Active-duty troops should be used in the U.S. “only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” He said, adding, “We are not in one of those situations now.””It is our intent at this point not to bring in active forces, we don’t think we need them at this point,” McCarthy said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But it’s prudent to have the reserve capability in the queue, on a short string.”Demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, June 3, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.The AP reported earlier Wednesday that the 82nd Airborne soldiers would be the first to leave and would be returning home to Fort Bragg, N.C. The remainder of the active-duty troops, who have all been kept at military bases outside the city in northern Virginia and Maryland, would get pulled home in the coming days if conditions allowed.But then the Pentagon changed its plans.”It’s a dynamic situation,” said McCarthy, adding that the 82nd Airborne troops “will stay over an additional 24 hours and it is our intent — we’re trying to withdraw them and get them back home.”The active-duty troops have been available, but not used in response to the protests.About 1,300 active-duty troops were brought in to the capital region early this week as protests turned violent. The protests came in the aftermath of the death in Minnesota of a black man, George Floyd, who died after a white police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The active-duty unit that will be last to remain on alert is the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, which is normally most visible as the soldiers who stand at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The troops, known as the Old Guard, are based close to D.C. at Fort Myer, Virginia, and have been on 30-minute alert status. They would continue to be prepared to respond to any emergency in the region within a half-hour for as long as needed.Pentagon leaders have consistently said there continues to be no intent to use the active-duty forces in any law enforcement capacity. They would be used to assist the National Guard or other forces.So far, Indiana has sent about 300 National Guard troops to D.C., Tennessee has sent about 1,000 and South Carolina has sent more than 400.

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U.S. President Donald Trump “has sole authority to invoke the Insurrection Act” and “if needed, he will use it,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.”Esper added, “We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”The 1807 federal law allows the president, in dire circumstances, to deploy military and federalized National Guard troops inside the country to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.Amid reports that the defense secretary’s remarks have angered the president and top White House officials, the press secretary was asked if Trump retains confidence in the key member of his Cabinet who runs the Pentagon. “As of right now, Secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper,” McEnany replied. That tepid response will further add to speculation that the defense secretary could soon be asked by the president to resign.In recent days, Trump has strongly advocated using National Guard units, which are generally under state – not federal – control except in the District of Columbia, to put a stop to acts of vandalism and looting in cities across the country.Emphasizing “law and order,” the president has demanded that more governors use the guard units at their command. He has called governors “weak” for hesitating to order a National Guard response.FILE – President Donald Trump walks from the gates of the White House to visit St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park, June 1, 2020.Defends Lafayette Park stroll
Trump is defending his stroll through Lafayette Park to a historic church where he held aloft a Bible just minutes after law enforcement violently cleared the path.Trump’s actions Monday evening have been being harshly criticized by leaders of the Episcopal Church, including its presiding bishop, as well as prominent clergy of other Christian denominations.”Most religious leaders loved it,” Trump claimed Wednesday. “Why wouldn’t they love it? I’m standing in front of a church that went through trauma.”Trump, in a Wednesday morning call-in chat to Fox News Radio, stated that the church, which dates to the early 19th century and has a long relationship with U.S. presidents, “received a very bad burning” during Sunday night vandalism in Washington.A small fire in the basement of the church was quickly extinguished, according to the D.C. Fire Department.”It was extremely important” for the president to walk to the church to “send a very powerful message we will not be overcome by looting,” McEnany said. Trump said no one had told him about the crowd of protesters along H Street Northwest, a block north of the White House, before he walked to the church.“When I went, I didn’t say, ‘Oh, move them out.’ I didn’t know who was there,” Trump said on the radio program.Attorney General William Barr “decided that morning to expand the perimeter,” McEnany told reporters.  When he witnessed later in the day that it had not been carried out, he ordered immediate action, McEnany said. It is normal procedure for the Secret Service and local law enforcement to establish a cordon in areas prior to movements by any U.S. president.Protesters are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2020 for President Donald Trump to be able to walk through for a photo opportunity in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington.Unprecedented action
Monday’s action, however, was unprecedented. Demonstrators and journalists were attacked. Chemical agents and rubber bullets were by police in riot gear, according to reporters and protesters.  McEnany denied the use of tear gas or such projectiles. “The appropriate action was taken,” McEnany said, contending that protesters had begun throwing bricks and frozen water bottles at officers. Clearing the park “was not a military decision, not a military action,” Esper told reporters Wednesday shortly after Trump’s remarks on radio.National Guard troops were not involved in the firing of tear gas or rubber bullets at the protesters, Esper said during a Pentagon news conference.Esper, who has been criticized for participating in what has been widely described as a political stunt, said he had not been informed before he accompanied Trump out of the White House gates that there would be such an event outside the church.“I was not aware a photo-op was happening,” Esper said. “I do everything I can to stay apolitical.”Esper also told reporters he does not support invoking powers that would allow the president to order the military into states to confront civil unrest.Focused on New York City
Trump this week has been particularly focused on violence and looting in New York City.“If they don’t get their act straightened out, I will solve it,” Trump said in Wednesday’s radio interview. “I’ll solve it fast.”The president is expressing satisfaction with the enhanced deployment of federal law enforcement and the National Guard in Washington, D.C., during the past couple of nights.For eight days and nights, tens of thousands of people have protested and marched, for the most part peacefully, nationwide. In recent nights, the looting has largely abated.The demonstrations, many of them now in defiance of local curfews, began after the death of an African American man in Minneapolis. A white police officer held George Floyd face down on the street and pressed a knee against his neck for more than 8 minutes.Officers charged
Four officers have been charged, and the medical examiner has ruled Floyd’s death a homicide.Groups of protesters began converging Friday night in front of the White House, and media reports said that as demonstrators confronted police, Trump was taken to a bunker as a security precaution.“I wasn’t down” in the bunker on Friday night, Trump said in the radio interview. “I went down during the day and I was there for a tiny short period of time, essentially to conduct an inspection,” which he said he has done several times in the past.Asked by Fox News Radio program host Brian Kilmeade how racial injustice in America can be solved, the president replied it is a “sad problem” but he offered no specifics on a federal response.“Police departments have to do better,” Trump said regarding distrust of law enforcement in the black community. “Everybody has to do better.”Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.Download File Embed” />Copy Download Audio

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Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended his decision to open a special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, telling a Senate panel Wednesday that while there was “reasonable suspicion” for the probe, he should not have signed an application for a surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign adviser.The Senate Judiciary Committee called Rosenstein in to testify about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the first step in a broader effort by the Republican-majority U.S. Senate to investigate alleged abuses on the part of Obama administration officials, as well as presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.Chair of the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham of South Carolina prepares to hear testimony from former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, June 3, 2020.Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is set to issue 53 subpoenas Thursday, in an attempt to compel testimony from former Obama administration officials, including former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Last month, the Senate Homeland Security Committee approved a subpoena for Blue Star Strategies, the consulting firm that employed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.The investigation by Senate Republicans — coming five months before the 2020 presidential election — revives President Donald Trump’s long-standing claims there was a conspiracy within the Obama administration to hinder his bid for the presidency and later, his incoming administration.”There are millions of Americans pretty upset about this,” Graham said in his opening statement. “There are people on our side of the aisle who believe that this investigation, Crossfire Hurricane, was one of the most corrupt, biased criminal investigations in the history of the FBI. And we would like to see something done about it.”A Justice Department investigation found last year that the FBI had committed errors in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, including mistakes in an application to put former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page under surveillance. However, the investigation did not find any evidence of political bias by federal investigators, as Trump alleges.Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, questions former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein via teleconference during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 3, 2020.Rosenstein told lawmakers Thursday he would not have signed the warrant authorizing surveillance of Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) if he had been aware of the errors in the application.”Every application that I approved appeared to be justified based on the facts it alleged, and the FBI was supposed to be following protocols to ensure that every fact was verified,” Rosenstein said in his opening testimony.Rosenstein defended the recusal of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that put him in charge, calling Sessions one of the most “principled people in Washington.” He also described the decision-making process leading to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, telling lawmakers “appointing a special counsel was the best way to complete the investigation appropriately and to promote public confidence in its conclusions.”Rosenstein left the Justice Department in May 2019 after two stormy years as the deputy attorney and shortly after Mueller had completed his investigation.Democratic Senator from California Dianne Feinstein prepares to hear testimony from former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, June 3, 2020.Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democratic member on the Judiciary Committee, noted the Mueller investigation “uncovered more than a 120 contacts between the Trump campaign and individuals linked to Russia.”Feinstein went on to directly quote from the Mueller report, citing its findings that the Trump campaign “expected it would benefit electorally from Russia’s interference” and that members of the campaign lied to Mueller and the U.S. Congress about their contacts with Russia.Democrats have criticized efforts to investigate the Obama administration, saying that Republicans are using congressional resources to help the president’s personal political fortunes while there are more pressing issues.”Those who tuned in might have expected that we’d have a hearing concerning the public health crisis facing America, the pandemic, which we’re fighting every day, which has claimed over 100,000 American lives,” Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Wednesday.”They might even wonder if we would take up the issue of racism in the administration of justice in America,” he added. “Certainly a timely topic, but we’re not. They might wonder if we would ask a question about President Trump’s suggestion 48 hours ago that he would have a federal militarization of law enforcement across the United States. Certainly a significant constitutional issue. But no, not taking that up today. Instead, taking up the Mueller report, an investigation that was completed more than a year ago.”Chairman Graham has announced the committee does plan to hold a hearing on police use of force.  
 

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The National Guard of the District of Columbia is investigating the use of one of its helicopters to make a “show of force” against protesters near the White House, while President Donald Trump is encouraging authorities to get tougher to quell the unrest over George Floyd’s death.
The helicopter, normally designated for use in medical evacuations, hovered low enough to create a deafening noise and spray protesters with rotor wash on Monday. The commanding general of the D.C. Guard, Maj. Gen. William Walker, said in a statement Wednesday that he directed the investigation, and officials.
The investigation comes as the federal government has promised to maximize its law enforcement presence in the nation’s capital. Scores of heavily-armed federal officers in tactical gear have been on the district’s streets for days, after demonstrators set fires, broke store windows and stole items from the shelves and left police officers injured.  
The Trump administration has made an effort to show a use of force in Washington. Hours before a 7 p.m. curfew on Tuesday, cars were being stopped at military checkpoints downtown, and a cavalry of armored military vehicles could be seen driving through the district.  
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the administration had floated the idea of taking over the Metropolitan Police Department, a proposal she strongly rejected. She threatened to take legal action if the federal government attempted to do so.  
Two Defense Department officials said the administration had ordered military aircraft to fly above Washington on Monday night as a “show of force” against demonstrators. They were protesting the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis policeman pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air. Police made over 300 arrests, mainly for violating the district’s curfew.  
Earlier Monday evening, law enforcement officers on foot and horseback moved aggressively to clear protesters away from Lafayette Park near the White House before President Donald Trump walked to a nearby church for a photo opportunity.  
After participating in the show of force, Arlington County in Virginia pulled out its officers, saying they were used “for a purpose not worthy of our mutual aid obligations.” County officials said in a statement their officers never wielded their batons and did not fire rubber bullets or tear gas.
 
After watching the scene unfold on live television, the police chief ordered all the officers to return to Virginia. Officials said they were reevaluating the mutual aid agreements to ensure officers “are never again put in a situation where they are asked to take action that is inconsistent with our values.”  
The U.S. Park Police said it gave three warnings over a loudspeaker before clearing the area of protesters, some of whom authorities said were becoming violent, throwing projectiles and trying to grab weapons. The agency said it used smoke canisters and pepper balls to disperse the crowd.
Attorney General William Barr ordered law enforcement to clear the park and push back the perimeter around the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, before the president’s remarks, and that led to police using force to disperse protesters, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Officials had decided the perimeter had to be moved by at least one full block, after fires were set in the park the night before, the person said. When Barr arrived, he was surprised it hadn’t been done and directed action to be taken, according to the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In a Monday call with governors, Trump and Barr encouraged more aggressive action against those who cause violence during protests. Trump said he was “taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America.”  
The president urged governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited with helping calm the situation Sunday night in Minneapolis, and demanded that similarly tough measures be taken in cities that also experienced spasms of violence, including New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Between the protests and the response to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Guard has been deployed at its highest level in recent history, surpassing the number of troops sent to the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than 66,700 soldiers and airmen have been activated — 45,000 to assist with the pandemic and more than 17,000 to help with the protests.  
The Justice Department had deployed agents from every one of its agencies, including the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, an elite tactical unit, and riot teams from the Bureau of Prisons.  
The Park Police and Secret Service have had dozens of officers out in riot gear in Washington for the last few nights, in addition to the Metropolitan Police Department. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other Homeland Security agencies were also dispatched.  
Most of the protesters have been peaceful and tried to discourage violence. Trump, Barr and others have tried to blame some of the civil unrest on left-wing extremist groups, including antifa, and other “anarchists.” Short for anti-fascists, antifa is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations.

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