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Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to George Floyd at a public viewing in his childhood hometown of Houston.

USA TODAY

A private funeral for George Floyd will be held in Houston on Tuesday while his death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers continues to fuel urgent demands for racial justice and law enforcement accountability.

Floyd will be laid to rest alongside his mother at a cemetery in nearby Pearland. At least 6,000 people mourned Monday at Floyd’s memorial. 

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll shows overwhelming national support for the protests prompted by Floyd’s death last month. And that support is translating into change. New York’s Legislature has begun approving a series of measures aimed at police accountability. The U.S. Army officials is considering a plan to remove Confederate leaders’ names from forts and installations. Confederate monuments are coming down across the nation, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vowed to press on with his effort to remove an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond.

A closer look at some recent developments:

  • In 2019, Javier Ambler, saying he couldn’t breathe, died on a Texas street after deputies held him down and used Tasers on him four times while a crew from A&E’s reality show “Live PD” filmed.
  • Portland, Oregon, Police Chief Jami Resch resigned Monday after six months on the job amid Floyd protests, hand-picking a black captain to take her place.
  • The ‘Black Lives Matter’ painting in Washington, D.C. inspired artists and activists across the country to do the same. Is it enough to bring effective change?

Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for the Daily Briefing. Here’s the latest news:

Americans overwhelmingly support protesters, reject Trump’s response

Police departments have failed to ensure blacks are treated equally to whites and President Donald Trump’s response to nationwide protests has been insufficient, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll. More than two-thirds of respondents  say the killing of Floyd represents a broad problem within law enforcement, and 61% of respondents said they disapproved of Trump’s handling of the protests. Overall, 74% of Americans say they support the protests since the May 25 killing of Floyd, who died after an officer pressed his knee to the Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he repeatedly cried out “I can’t breathe.”

New York state poised to open officers’ records, increase police accountability

New York’s Legislature on Tuesday is expected to pass legislation eliminating a decades-old statute that keeps law enforcement disciplinary records secret. Lawmakers responding to the nationwide call for increased accountability have already begun passing measures that include a ban on chokeholds, a prohibition on race-based profiling, and a requirement that police departments and courts track arrests by race and ethnicity to help identify patterns of bias. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he will sign the measures into law. Elsewhere:

  • Minneapolis banned chokeholds – and city council members have vowed to disband the city’s police department.
  • California, New Jersey and the city of Denver are among cities also banning chokeholds in recent days.
  • Seattle has banned police from using  tear gas for a month; permanent bans are pending in New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

Virginia judge blocks order to take down Robert E. Lee statue – for now

A Virginia judge has issued an 10-day injunction that prevents Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration from removing an iconic but controversial statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond. The governor, however, won’t be deterred, a spokesman told The Progress-Index, a member of the USA TODAY Network.

“Governor Northam remains committed to removing this divisive symbol from Virginia’s capital city, and we’re confident in his authority to do so,” press secretary Alena Yarmosky said in an email late Monday night. On Monday, Richmond Circuit Court judge Bradley B. Cavedo granted a request by attorneys for William C. Gregory that would halt any of the preparation work involved in removing the statue from its 130-year-old residence on Monument Avenue.

– Bill Atkinson, The Progress-Index

Army to consider scrapping Confederate names on forts

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signaled their willingness to discuss scrapping Confederate names on forts across the country, Army Col. Sunset Belinsky said Monday evening. They are open to having a bi-partisan dialogue on the renaming bases, according to Belinsky. The Army has 10 posts named after Confederate generals across the south, including major installations at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.

McCarthy, a former Army Ranger, indicated his willingness to discuss the change after weeks of protests that have spread across the country following the death of George Floyd.

– Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY

Portland police chief resigns after six months amid rising racial tensions

Portland Police Bureau Chief Jami Resch on Monday announced she was stepping down from her position amid protests against police brutality, marking the end of her tenure as the bureau’s chief after six months.  Chuck Lovell, acting captain of the bureau’s Community Services Division, was named chief. Lovell, 46, is the bureau’s fourth black police chief, the Oregonian reported. His appointment comes as protests against police brutality and racial discrimination have swept across the country after the death of George Floyd. 

Resch, who is white, said she asked Lovell to take her place as chief and called him “the exact right person at the exact right moment.” The Oregonian reported Lovell was hired by the Portland Police Bureau in 2002. 

– Jordan Culver, USA TODAY

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DC street art inspires more ‘Black Lives Matter’ paintings in cities across US

A massive ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ mural painted on the street leading to the White House captured the world’s attention last week — an eye-opening visual that, remarkably, is large enough to show up on satellite images.

It also captured the imagination of artists, community activists and local officials across the nation seeking ways to express themselves in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Similar works have been completed in the California cities of Sacramento and Oakland and in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Jesse Jackson: White Americans are finally ‘awakening’ to racial crisis

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. has been at the heart of the fight for civil rights for most of his 78 years, a journey that has taken him from aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to running for president in 1988. But while social justice gains have often been elusive, Jackson now finds himself optimistic. The multi-racial and multi-city protests sparked by the death of George Floyd suggest that many Americans have become painfully aware of the nation’s festering racial wound, Jackson told USA TODAY Monday.

“I’m hopeful because we have finally pulled the scab back,” Jackson said. “Many white people never had the chance to really express how they feel. These marches are marches of hope. White people are saying racism is a problem, that’s an awakening.”

– Marco della Cava, USA TODAY

Joe Biden comes out against movement to ‘defund the police’

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden issued a statement saying he does not support the growing push to defund police departments. Biden, through spokesman Andrew Bates, said he supports funding initiatives such as mental health programs and substance abuse treatment so officers can concentrate on policing. “He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain,” Bates said in a statement.

Derek Chauvin bail: Up to $1.25 million

Derek Chauvin, the veteran Minneapolis police officer accused of second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, appeared in court for a hearing Monday and had his conditional bail kept at $1 million. It was initially set at $500,000 but doubled Wednesday when a second-degree murder charge was added. Prosecutors were granted their request for $1.25 million unconditional bail.

Chauvin, 44, said almost nothing during an 11-minute hearing in which he appeared before Hennepin County Judge Jeannice M. Reding on closed-circuit television from the state’s maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights.  Chauvin was seen on video pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as the unarmed, handcuffed black man gasped that he couldn’t breathe. Court papers show Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd for two minutes after another officer couldn’t detect a pulse on him.

The other three officers involved in the case – J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – are charged with aiding and abetting a murder. They remain in the Hennepin County jail on $750,000 bail.

Democrats honor George Floyd with silence, unveil police reform bill

House Democrats knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on Monday to honor George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he lay handcuffed in the street.

“It’s a long time, 8 minutes and 46 seconds. It’s a long time to be on one knee,” South Carolina Representative James Clyburn said. “But for 244 years, there were plenty of knees on the necks of blacks who came to this country.”

Democrats also unveiled a sweeping package addressing police changes, the first major legislative response to Floyd’s killing and protests against police brutality across the nation. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 calls for mandatory dashboard and body cameras, an end to police chokeholds and the creation of a national registry to track officers with a record of misconduct.

The legislation is not expected to get a warm reception from most Republicans, who control the Senate.

– William Cummings, Ledyard King and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY

More on protests, George Floyd:

Contributing: The Associated Press

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