Barack Obama Inspired by Young People Mobilizing ... to Protest Floyd's Death

YOUR LIVES MATTER
Obama Foundation

2:48 PM PT -- Obama invoked the names of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and Malcolm X when discussing young people and the inspiration they've become during this movement. He said what's happening right now "reminds people of the 1960s and the chaos, the discord and distrust throughout the country." But he added, "I have to tell you, I know enough about that history to say there is something different here. You look at these protesters, and that is far more representative across America, peacefully protesting; who felt moved to do something because of the injustices they have seen."

Obama said the mobilization in peaceful protesting across America -- and frankly, across the world -- didn't exist back in the day. He said, despite the riots, the majority of Americans agree these protests are justified. And, that's the change he's seen so far in these protests.

The Prez said he wanted to talk directly to people of color and say "I want you to know that you matter; that your lives matter. Your dreams matter." He also challenged local officials on how to bring about real change, while urging young people to vote in local elections.

THE OBAMA RULES
Obama Foundation

It should be noted ... Obama acknowledged law enforcement and the "vast majority who protect and serve. I've been heartened to see those in law enforcement who recognize, 'Let me march along with these protesters.' Those who recognize they want to be part of the solution. Those who listen. Change will require everyone’s participation."

Former President Barack Obama is making his first on-camera remarks about the death of George Floyd ... and TMZ is streaming live.

Obama is set to speak Wednesday during a virtual town hall sponsored by My Brother's Keeper Alliance -- an org that partners with his Obama Foundation. Barack is expected to address Floyd's killing, police practices ... and the racial bias still ingrained in the justice system.

Organizers have dubbed the event, "Reimagining policing in the wake of continued police violence" ... and it's supposed to kick off at 2 PM PT. This will be Obama's first time publicly discussing George Floyd's case on camera -- he's already addressed his death on social media and in a Medium essay.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

44 tackled issues surrounding police brutality while in office -- he rolled out a number of policies intending to curb those incidents, such as creating a task force with guidelines on 21st century policing, as well as limiting the transfer of military equipment to police departments.

Donald Trump's administration has rolled back some of those reforms, so ya gotta wonder if BO will directly call out the President during the town hall.

IT'S IN YOUR HANDS

Obama also addressed the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery a few weeks ago during a speech to the graduating class of 2020 -- HBCU students, specifically.

Originally Published -- 1:43 PM PT

Bernice King You Don't Have to Protest to Aid the Movement

Exclusive
LET'S MOVE TOGETHER
TMZ.com

Bernice King has a message for the people who aren't protesting in the streets right now -- that's perfectly fine ... there are other ways to help.

The youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King tells TMZ ... being a protester requires a certain character and discipline -- and not everyone fits the bill -- but EVERYONE can be a part of the movement.

For the George Floyd protests, King says there are many roles to fill ... like donating to help bail out peaceful protesters who were arrested, or helping with research, or simply being vocal about wanting to end racism in this country.

Bernice points out she's not on the front lines with protesters in this case either, because she's focused on achieving the desired results of positive change ... so the protests aren't in vain.

King suggests there's a lot of work to be done, but lucky for us ... her father set a pretty stellar example, and she's striving to follow his lead and get others in line, as well.

Bernice is CEO of The King Center, which helps teach tactics and strategies for advocacy and peaceful protesting ... which the U.S. can use a lot more of.

George Floyd Hometown of Houston Protests ... Bun B Leads the Way

George Floyd's hometown is honoring him, and joining the national cries for justice by staging a large, peaceful march rally and March on the streets of Houston.

H-town rappers Bun B and Trae tha Truth joined throngs of people flooding Downtown Houston Tuesday for a march that ended at City Hall. George spent most of his life in Houston and still has family there. He hailed from the Third Ward and was an active member of the rap scene there.

Ben Crump, attorney for Floyd's family, announced earlier Tuesday the first memorial service will be Thursday from 1 to 3 PM in Minneapolis with another one scheduled in North Carolina Saturday at 3 PM.

Later, there will be a public viewing in Houston from 12 to 6 PM before he's buried there. Presidential candidate Joe Biden's expected to attend the funeral.

Bun B told a local reporter he was marching because George "was a human being and wasn't treated like one." Former classmates of Floyd from nearby Jack Yates HS also held a vigil over the weekend. People attending the vigil wore school colors and shirts that read, "I can't breathe."

Tuesday's protests also included an urban trail riding club dubbed Nonstop Riders. A reporter there got video of them showing up to the protest and they were met with boisterous applause. One of the riders said, “We’re here representing for all our black brothers and sisters.”

The protests in Houston come in the wake of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announcing the launch of a civil rights investigation ... which will not only look at the 4 officers involved in Floyd's fatal arrest, but also examine the department's behavior, in general, over the last decade.

Trump Hotel Vegas Ex-Employee Sues ... And the Lord Said, No Sunday Shifts!!!

Exclusive

A housekeeping employee who used to work for the Trump Hotel in Vegas claims she was kept out of church (and on the clock) for years, despite being a devout Christian ... now, she's suing.

The woman's name is Sonia Torres, and according to a lawsuit she just filed against her former bosses in Sin City ... she'd been working in the hotel's housekeeping division without issue for years. That's until a new housekeeping regime came in, and allegedly screwed up her Sunday appointments with God by switching up her schedule.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Torres claims she was hired in 2010 with an explicit understanding she would not work Sundays, so she could observe her faith. Torres says management, at the time, said no problemo ... and hired her.

Fast-forward to 2015, and Ms. Torres alleges a new boss started giving her Sundays off to a dude who had less seniority than her. Torres says she complained to her superiors and HR, but nothing changed.

Eventually, she says the issue came to a head, and after talking it out with union reps ... they suggested she go on call for Sundays, but she refused. Torres says she just stopped showing up on Sundays, which got her fired in 2018.

Now, she's suing for religious discrimination and hostile work environment, demanding damages and back pay.

Minneapolis PD Now Investigated for Floyd Death ... And Other Cases

Breaking News

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has filed a complaint against the Minneapolis PD in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Governor Tim Walz announced the launch of the civil rights investigation, which will look into last week's incident involving the 4 officers who arrested Floyd ... in which one of them, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on George's neck for nearly 9 minutes, and long after he became unresponsive.

All 4 officers have been fired and Chauvin's been arrested and charged with third-degree murder ... but the other ex-cops have not been charged yet.

The investigation will not only focus on the Floyd incident, though. Gov. Walz says it will examine the practices, policies and patterns of the department over the past 10 years to determine if police have engaged in systemic violations of human and civil rights.

The Minneapolis PD has faced allegations of brutality, discrimination and unfair treatment of minorities for years, but clearly ... Floyd's death could be the catalyst to finally do something about it.

Killer Mike Grassroots Leaders Speak Up ... Here's How We're Battling Racism

SHARING MY PLATFORM

12:13 PM PT -- Killer Mike's call with the community leaders and grassroots organizers has wrapped up, and his mission was accomplished ... they had a large platform to inform the public of vital work being done to end racism, and how people can help.

Among the main talking points were the importance of voting out politicians who don't support the cause, supporting black businesses, and striving to end police brutality ... but there was so much more. The speakers also included Gary Davis and Latonya Gates, along with the others below.

Killer Mike's hosting a virtual meeting with grassroots leaders to highlight all the ways they're working to address systemic racism ... and TMZ's live streaming it.

The rapper and activist's media call comes as the U.S. just experienced the 7th straight night of protests and unrest over the brutal killing of George Floyd and the mistreatment of black people in America.

The discussion will include the following grassroots organizers -- Judith Browne Dianis of the Advancement Project National Office, Pastor Michael McBride of Black Church PAC and LIVE FREE gun violence prevention campaign, Nse Ufot of the New Georgia Project, Zakiya Sankara-Jabar of Racial Justice NOW, and Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

Mike mesmerized the country a few days back -- as violent riots broke out in Atlanta and across the country -- with an impassioned speech at a news conference with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

"I'M MAD AS HELL"
WSB-TV 2 Atlanta

He made it clear he empathized with the rage being demonstrated but urged people to work toward a solution without violence ... advising them to "plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize."

Mike's call with the grassroots leaders is intended to elevate that message even more. The Zoom call's scheduled to begin at 2 PM ET.

Originally published -- 10:30 AM PT

George Floyd Protests Army Helicopters Used to Disperse Crowds at White House

BRINGIN' IN THE ARMY
@anabananaaaah/Twitter

President Donald Trump has declared war on peaceful protests, doubling down Monday night with military helicopters buzzing a crowd of protesters after soldiers pepper sprayed them and shot them with rubber bullets.

NOT IN MY HOUSE
AP

It was a shocking scene ... first, as Trump was delivering his law-and-order speech -- preparing for his bizarre walk across the street from The White House -- the military outside the gates began attacking the crowd. It was violent and swift, and mind it, this was BEFORE the D.C. curfew went into effect.

Trump then walked across the street to St. John's Episcopal Church, which was partially set on fire the night before. He stood there with a bible ... and there's not much doubt why he did it. Trump was reportedly ticked off when reports surfaced he was taken to a bunker for his safety over the weekend.

The bishop of the church is appalled at Trump's stunt, saying it's antithetical to the bible.

As for the military helicopters ... they were flying so low the rotors were kicking up dirt, which made the crowd disperse. This is a tactic usually used by military jets in war zones.

BTW ... as for Trump's claim he can call in the military to cities and states where there's violence. No, he can't. He needs the permission of the governors, and some have already said no thank you.

George Floyd Protest Cop Takes Knee to Crowd's Roaring Approval

Someone needs to tell Donald Trump this is how it's done. It's not about firing rubber bullets and teargassing protesters -- like he ordered Monday at the White House -- it's about cops and citizens finding some common ground, which is what happened in WeHo.

An LAPD cop was smack in the middle of a demonstration on the Sunset Strip, with hundreds of demonstrators surrounding him. He used a bullhorn -- not bullets or gas -- to interact with the crowd, and just after someone took a knee, the cop followed suit.

The crowd roared with approval, and the officer then seized the opportunity to say he and the crowd were one, and then he asked them to peacefully disperse before curfew began so everyone would stay safe. He also assured them the police would not interfere with their exit.

The scene was repeated a few miles inland, when the Riverside County Sheriff also took a knee.

This is just one officer, but it's clear one person can make a difference, and isn't that the point? In Trump's case, one person can be destructive -- the notion he could order peaceful protesters to be gassed and shot at so he could play to his base in a bizarre display with a bible, a boarded-up church and the Second Amendment ... well, it's not surprising.

President Trump I'm Sending Military to Shut Down Riots ... But I'm Starting by Teargassing Peaceful Protesters

ZERO TOLERANCE
Fox News

President Trump says he is the President of law and order, and that's why he's deploying thousands of military troops to shut down rioters and looters ... across the country, if necessary -- but his first action was to have military and police pepper spray and shoot rubber bullets at peaceful protesters.

The President said justice will be served for George Floyd and his family, but in the meantime ... he will not allow the "angry mob" to drown out the peaceful protesters. He said the looting was mostly victimizing peace-loving citizens "in our poorest communities."

Speaking from the White House grounds, he vowed to fight to keep those citizens safe, and then said he is "Your President of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters." Trump then called out local law enforcement for not protecting citizens and small businesses.

NOT IN MY HOUSE
AP

As a result, POTUS said he was making a move to shut down "domestic terror," and if Mayors and Governors don't "dominate" the streets, he would step in for them. He said he is mobilizing "thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers" to stop the "wanton destruction of property."  Here's the problem -- Trump's wrong on the law.  He does NOT have authority to send in troops UNLESS THE GOVERNORS ASK HIM.  Governor Cuomo, for one, has already said, "Thanks but no thanks."

Just over 4 minutes into the President's speech ... rubber bullets and pepper spray were being fired on a group of protesters across the street at Lafayette Park -- it almost seemed like a scripted made-for-TV moment.  It was also an outrageous overreach, because these were not rioters or vandals ... they were peaceful demonstrators who were showing their disdain for the brutal killing of black men at the foot of the symbol of government.  And for that they were shot at and gassed.

It appears law enforcement was trying to clear the area as Trump was making his way to visit D.C.'s historic St. John's Episcopal Church, which was damaged during Sunday night rioting. He bizarrely stood outside the church holding a bible.

Gregg Popovich Rips Trump's Response To Protests ... 'Deranged Idiot'

Breaking News

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he's absolutely fed up with President Donald Trump ... firing off a flaming-hot statement on POTUS' handling of the recent protests in America.

“He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer," Pop told The Nation. "To be in his presence, makes you die. He will eat you alive for his own purposes."

He continued ... "I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say 'black lives matter.' That’s why he hides in the White House basement. He is a coward. He creates a situation and runs away like a grade schooler."

"Actually, I think it’s best to ignore him. There is nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a deranged idiot."

Of course, POTUS faced backlash after he tweeted of the looting in Minneapolis, "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen." He also tweeted, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Pop -- who has been passionately outspoken about his issues with Trump -- makes it clear he has a problem with how the president reacted to the protests turning violent.

"It’s unbelievable," the NBA coach said. "If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unify people. But, he doesn’t care about bringing people together. Even now."

"That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what benefits him personally. It’s never about the greater good. And, that’s all he’s ever been."

But, it's not just Trump who Pop's pissed about ... he says the whole system needs to change.

"In the end, what we have is a fool in place of a president, while the person who really runs the country, Senator Mitch McConnell, destroys the United States for generations to come."

"He’s the master and Trump’s the stooge, and what’s funny is that Trump doesn’t even know it. Trump’s always wanted to be part of the in-group, but McConnell is an in-group of one and Trump plays the fool."

Donald Trump Blasts Governors for Not Cracking Down on Rioters

Breaking News
TRUMP LAMBASTS GOVERNORS
CNN

Donald Trump excoriated governors on a conference call Monday morning for not being way more aggressive with rioters.

Trump was on a video conference call with various governors, and audio of the conversation leaked. Trump says the goal is "domination" over the rioters.

Trump says Minnesota has become "the laughing stock" of the world because of the violence on the streets. Ditto for New York City and Los Angeles ... Trump says the police response has been anemic and rioters were walking all over them.

Trump then went on to take credit for sending the National Guard into Minneapolis, saying when the Guard stepped in, the looting stopped.

He's suggesting that the National Guard is the solution, yet in Los Angeles and Long Beach the rioters were undeterred. BTW ... there are way more police officers in most big cities than National Guard -- the ratio in L.A. was 10 to 1, so the Guard isn't the panacea.

Donald Trump 'MAGA Loves the Black People'

TRUMP'S MAGA MESSAGE
FOX NEWS

Donald Trump said something Saturday that is gonna be hard to swallow for millions of Americans ... he said MAGA loves black people.

Trump's statement came just hours after he tweeted with glee how the Secret Service was about to open a can of whup-ass on demonstrators who were confronting authorities near the White House. Trump says the young agents were itchin' for some action, with the help of some vicious attack dogs.

And, the day before he harkened back to a proclamation from another leader back in the 60's ... when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

Trump's comment comes as authorities in Minnesota and other cities suggest some of the protesters may be from the far left, who are trying to discredit the folks who took to the street to express their horror and anger over the killing of George Floyd.

Killer Mike I'm Mad As Hell ... But Please, Don't Burn Your Own House Down

"I'M MAD AS HELL"
WSB-TV 2 Atlanta

Killer Mike was true to form Friday night, using his powerful voice and eloquence to empathize with everyone who feels rage and anger over George Floyd's brutal killing, but at the same time ... imploring Atlanta residents not to burn down their homes and their city.

Mike spoke at a news conference where Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms excoriated rioters for destroying parts of the City. Mike started by saying how much he did NOT want to be there but felt it was his duty.

His message was complex. He said the other day he woke up and wanted to burn the world down because he was tired of seeing black men die, but realized it's not the solution. As for what that solution is ... "plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize."

ATTACKING CNN HQ
CNN

He and the Mayor were clear ... vote out the people who are not serving the community, including prosecutors.

ATLANTA
BRUTAL TAKEDOWN
TMZ.com

He condemned the violence, but at the same time, he made it clear he understood it ... but it all comes down to this -- "Don't burn your own house down."

Watch the video ... it's one of the most thoughtful, moving calls to action we've heard.

Martin Luther King III Rioters Have Legit Beef with Police ... But Won't Condone Violence

Exclusive
I DON'T CONDONE IT, BUT I GET IT...
TMZ.com

Martin Luther King III says the rioters burning buildings over George Floyd's death have real reason to be upset with cops -- but he's still stopping short of condoning the violence.

MLK3 tells TMZ ... folks across the country, and particularly in Minneapolis, have a right to be frustrated and tired of police killing black people, and he's ripping President Trump for fanning the flames with that tweet seemingly calling for protesters to be shot.

King III says he understands why rioters resorted to setting fire to a Minneapolis police station and several other buildings the night before ex-cop Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd's murder. Still, you can hear his father when he says the years of pent up frustration don't justify violence.

5/28/20
SET ABLAZE
CNN

At the same time, King notes torched buildings can be rebuilt ... but George can't be given new life.

While King III says he simply can't condone violent acts of rebellion, he says it's hard for people to think about peace in today's environment ... and tells us why it's difficult to get people on board with non-violent protests these days.

MLK3 also drops some timeless knowledge from Martin Luther King Jr. ... and explains how Americans can prevail in the fight against evil.

George Floyd Killing Cop Who Killed Floyd Arrested for Murder ... 8 Minutes, 46 Seconds on George's Neck

Breaking News

6:31 PM PT -- Chauvin's mugshot has just been released.

Former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with 3rd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter, and according to the complaint he created "an unreasonable risk and taking a chance of causing death or great bodily harm to George Floyd."

The D.A. announced the charges Friday and said Chauvin is in custody, but the other 3 officers are still under investigation and no charges have been filed ... at least not yet.

ARRESTED AND CHARGED
Fox 9

According to the complaint, an officer approached George Floyd's car and ordered him out at gunpoint, claiming he passed counterfeit currency. Once Floyd put his hands on the steering wheel, the cop holstered his gun.

The complaint says George "actively resisted being handcuffed." Once in cuffs, however, he became compliant, according to the complaint.

The complaint is based, in part, on the various body cam videos the D.A. reviewed. Cops told George he was being arrested for passing bogus money, and then walked him across the street to a squad car, where George "stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic."

At that point, according to the complaint, Chauvin arrives on scene in his squad car. According to the complaint, cops made several attempts to get George in the back of the squad car, but he would not voluntarily go and struggled.

While standing outside the car, George repeatedly said he could not breathe. This is before Chauvin put his knee on George's neck.

MOMENTS BEFORE HIS DEATH
Dragon Wok

At 8:19 PM, Chauvin pulled George out of the squad car and Floyd went to the ground, handcuffed. There are 2 other officers on George's back and legs -- you can't see them in the video, but this is the moment when Chauvin placed his left knee on George's neck.

EXCESSIVE FORCE
Facebook/ Darnella Frazier

George keeps saying, "I can't breathe" and "Mama" and "please." The officers said to George, "You are talking fine." One of the other officers said, "Should we roll him on his side?" and Chauvin replied, "No, staying put where we got him."

Another officer said, "I am worried about excited delirium or whatever." Chauvin said, "That's why we have him on his stomach."

At 8:24 PM, George stopped moving, and at 8:25 PM video appears to show him cease breathing or speaking.

At this point, another officer checks George's wrist for a pulse and says, "I couldn't find one." None of the officers moved from their position. At 8:27 Chauvin finally removed his knee. In all, Chauvin had his knee on George's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds ... 2 minutes, 53 seconds of that was AFTER GEORGE BECAME UNRESPONSIVE.

According to the complaint, "Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous."

The autopsy says George had underlying medical conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The M.E. said, "The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death." These are preliminary findings pending toxicology tests.

The M.E. does say there were no "physical findings to support diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."

The 3rd-degree murder charge carries a max sentence of 25 years.

Originally published -- 9:48 AM PT

Barack Obama Talks George Floyd Death 'This Shouldn’t Be 'Normal' in 2020'

Amid the chaos, confusion and division being stoked by the current occupant in the White House, Barack Obama's voice of calm and reason is chiming in ... calling George Floyd's death tragic and painful.

The 44th President of the United States says what happened to Floyd "shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America" ... while also invoking the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and what recently went down at Central Park. Obama also shared parts of conversations he says he's had with friends over the last couple of days following Floyd's death.

Check it out ... he shared a friend's email from a middle-aged African-American businessman who wrote to him, "I cried when I saw the video." Obama also said a friend used the powerful song that went viral after 12-year-old Keedron Bryant posted his video on Instagram earlier this week.

Keedron, BTW, captioned it simply saying, "Just singing what's on my heart...hope this blesses someone." Some of the lyrics include, "I'm a young black man, doing all that I can to stand. Oh, but when I look around and I see what's being done to my kind every day, I'm being hunted as prey."

Obama said it's normal for everyone wishing for everything to "just get back to normal" as a pandemic and economic crisis ravages this country. He added, "But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park."

The former Prez went on to say what went down in Minneapolis is something officials there will have to handle to ensure justice is done, "but it falls on all of us regardless of our race or nation ... to work together to create a 'new normal' in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts."

Obama's statement is a stark difference to what President Trump tweeted earlier Friday ... calling for looters to be shot.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!