Live updates: Minneapolis police made 44 people unconscious with neck restraints in five years

A protester throws a US flag into a burning barricade during a demonstration near the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Roberto Schmidt | AFP | Getty Images

Cities across America are reeling from a weekend of unrest during protests that erupted after George Floyd died during an arrest in Minneapolis.

The unarmed black man died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite cries from Floyd that he could not breathe.

Many local governments instituted curfews over the weekend in an effort to dissolve mass gatherings. Still, the protests continued into the early hours of Monday in some places. 

CEOs and business leaders are largely voicing support for the demonstrators and calling for aggressive and intentional efforts to reduce socioeconomic inequalities. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the demonstrations gripping the U.S. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

Kansas City mayor calls for governments to work more with black-owned businesses

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas addresses demonstrators with a bullhorn during a protest at the Country Club Plaza on May 31, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jamie Squire | Getty Images

12 p.m. ET — Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas called for governments to work with black-owned businesses more as a way to support equality long-term.

“I think when we talk about American business, one thing that is important is an ongoing and sustained approach to procuring services and supplies from black-owned vendors and black-owned businesses,” Lucas said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest at the Country Club Plaza on May 31, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Lucas said that in Kansas City the inner-city small businesses were hardest hit by stay-at-home orders because they did not have strong relationships with banks.

The mayor also said that cities need to rethink how they recruit and train police officers to solve “the root” of the problem. —Amelia Lucas

Oakland police arrest 60 during Sunday protests

11:30 a.m. ET — Oakland police arrested around 60 people during Sunday night’s demonstrations for crimes including shooting at officers, vandalism, looting and illegal possession of firearms, according to NBC Bay Area.

Police also detained three people following a report of shots fired at the department’s administrative building. No injuries were reported, according to police. Videos posted on social media showed significant looting, with severe damage to storefronts as protesters faced off with police in riot gear, even as they city’s mayor imposed a curfew. —Riya Bhattacharjee

Barack Obama applauds activists, condemns violence

11:19 a.m. ET — Former President Barack Obama penned a blog post advising activists on how to turn the outrage over George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer into meaningful reform.

Obama said the nationwide demonstrations over Floyd’s death made him “hopeful” while condemning the violence and destruction that has grown out of the protests.

The former president urged activists to reject feeling cynical about the importance of voting: “The bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both.” Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago before running for elected office. He has endorsed Joe Biden, his former vice president, in the 2020 election. —Kevin Breuninger

People take part in a protest on May 31, 2020 in New York City.

Stephen Ferry | VIEW press | Getty Images

Minneapolis police rendered 44 people unconscious with neck restraints in five years

Police aim a tear gas gun during a protest on May 28, 2020 in St. Paul,

Scott Olson | Getty Images

10:09 a.m. ET — The neck restrained used by a Minneapolis police officer to subdue a prone and handcuffed George Floyd is not uncommon for the city’s law enforcement. Since early 2015, Minneapolis Police Department officers have rendered people unconscious with neck restraints 44 times, an NBC News analysis found.

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Experts told NBC that number appears to be unusually high.

“It’s common sense,” said Plumas County, California, Deputy Sheriff Ed Obayashi — an attorney and an expert on use of force.  “Any time you cut off someone’s airway or block blood flow to the brain, it can lead to serious injury or death as we have seen in so many of these tragedies. By using this tactic, it’s a self-fulfilling tragedy.” —Terri Cullen

Officials warn protests could help virus spread

Protesters gather at Lafayette Square Park outside the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

10:07 a.m. ET — As protests erupt across the U.S., officials are sounding the alarm that such mass gatherings could allow the coronavirus spread throughout the population.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of challenges coming out of the events of the past week,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday. “One of them’s going to be that probably chains of transmission will have gotten lit by large gatherings. I don’t think there’s really a question about that.”

States have eased restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus in recent weeks, particularly as some studies indicate the virus doesn’t spread as easily outdoors. However, the protests present a significantly larger risk to increasing spread of the virus, Gottlieb said.

“This isn’t a day at the beach or going out to a picnic where you’re outside and you might be in larger groups but there’s some social distancing and you’re able to take some precautions,” he said. “In these kinds of gatherings, in these kinds of crowds, many of which lost control of the crowds, you’re not going to be able to take those kinds of precautions.” —Will Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier calls on business leaders to create jobs amid pandemic

9:54 a.m. ET — In discussing the connection between the coronavirus and the protests stemming from the death of George Floyd, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said leaders in the business community can be a “unifying force” and have the ability to create new jobs, CNBC’s Amelia Lucas reports.

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“Joblessness leads to hopelessness,” Frazier told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“Hopelessness leads to what we see in the streets.” More than 41 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March amid the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. —Hannah Miller

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BET founder calls for $14 trillion in reparations for slavery

9:12 a.m. ET — “Now is the time to go big” to keep America from dividing into two separate, unequal societies. That’s from Robert Johnson, founder of BET, in an interview with CNBC following a weekend of widespread protests over George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.

Decrying inherent racial inequality in America, Johnson called for massive wealth transfer in the form of $14 trillion in reparations for slavery.

“Think about this. Since 200-plus-years or so of slavery, labor taken with no compensation is a wealth transfer. Denial of access to education, which is a primary driver of accumulation of income and wealth, is a wealth transfer,” Johnson said. 

Read Matthew Belvedere’s full article about Johnson’s call for reparations here. —Elisabeth Butler Cordova

Read CNBC’s previous coverage of the nationwide demonstrations: U.S. crisis deepens as protests erupt over police brutality amid deadly pandemic and record unemployment



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