- AL Reading Service
Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET on Thursday
What appeared to be overwhelmingly peaceful protests compared to earlier days persisted Wednesday across the U.S.
In Minneapolis, prosecutors said the police officer who compressed George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes prior to his death will face an increased charge of second-degree murder, and that the three other former officers who were present will face charges of aiding and abetting murder.
Demonstrators gathered again across the country, protesting against the killing of Floyd and other black Americans.
Here’s what’s happening:
The demonstrators broke up into two groups, with one at the White House and another marching on the Capitol. There were some tense moments, but no violence, as hundreds of protesters stared down security forces who formed a cordon around Lafayette Park, directly across from the White House.
As the sun set, hundreds lay down on the street, chanting, “I can’t breathe,” some of the last words Floyd uttered.
Peaceful protesters took a knee and observed a moment of silence near the White House.
“The military and law enforcement presence is overwhelming,” NPR journalist Alana Wise said in a tweet, who was on the ground near the White House.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser pushed the city’s curfew back to 11 p.m. on Wednesday from 7 p.m. earlier in the week.
In New York City as darkness fell and an 8 p.m. curfew loomed, protesters also dropped to their knees for a moment of silence that lasted over 20 minutes, according to local reports.
While the city saw ransacking and vandalism on previous days, on Wednesday there were few early reports of damage.
Thousands of protesters carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs thronged Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Wednesday night as a 9 p.m. curfew was rescinded. Protesters chanted for the police to remove their riot gear and also called for cutting the police department’s budget and to use the funds instead for social programs.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday evening that the curfew, which was to have lasted until Saturday, would be lifted.
Durkan said she and Police Chief Carmen Best had discussed the matter and that Best believes “we can balance public safety and ensure peaceful protests can continue without a curfew.”
Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib praised the move by Seattle officials, tweeting: “Preemptive curfews were only making things worse. Other cities should do likewise.”
This is a developing story. Some things reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.