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Protest Turn Violent In New York, Stores Looted; Facebook Employees Stage Virtual Walkout Over Trump Posts; Police Officers Join Protesters In Show Of Solidarity; Religious Leaders Condemn POTUS' Photo-Op; Widespread Looting in NYC before and after Curfew; Atlanta Police Take a Knee with Protesters; Trudeau: Racism is Real in North America; Protesters in Denver Break Curfew, Pay Tribute to George Floyd. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 2, 2020 - 02:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN's breaking news coverage of the ongoing racial protests across the U.S.

ALLEN: We are witnessing the seventh-straight night of heated protests on a night in which President Donald Trump has threatened to send soldiers into the streets. These protests, of course, sparked by the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while in police custody, one week ago now, in Minneapolis.

VAUSE: Across the U.S., another night of looting has been met, once again, with teargas and dozens of arrests. Retail giant Macy's says its flagship department store in New York was breached. Curfews are now in effect in major cities, like New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.

And with Army helicopters hovering over the Capitol, President Trump issued an ultimatum to state governors: if they fail to bring the violence under control, he will send in federal troops to restore law and order.

ALLEN: In another surreal scene, police used teargas, flash grenades and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters, you see here, outside the White House, shortly before the president staged a photo op with some of his top aides at a vandalized church across the street.

And let's not forget, all of this is playing out against the backdrop of the coronavirus and fears that these mass demonstrations could turn into so-called superspreader events. VAUSE: Now before federal law enforcement officers began clearing

those protesters in Washington, many had been dancing and singing, though, much smaller in number compared to the night earlier, and the mood was markedly different, until this.


VAUSE (voice-over): And once they were forced to move, the way was clear for Donald Trump to walk from the front gates of the White House through Lafayette Park for a very rare presidential visit to the historic St. John's Episcopal church, which had been set on fire on Sunday. We get more details now from CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: After days of violent protests across the U.S., President Trump held a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House, where he declared himself the law-and- order president and threatened to use U.S. military force against demonstrators in cities across the country if governors in those states don't use the National Guard.

Here is more of what the president had to say.


TRUMP: I am your president of law and order. And an ally of all peaceful protesters. But in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others. Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor, to deploy the National Guard, in sufficient numbers, that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence, until the violence has been quelled. If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.


ACOSTA: After his remarks, the president, along with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and daughter, Ivanka Trump, as well as other White House officials, strolled across Lafayette Park for a photo opportunity at St. John's Episcopal church.

The president and the administration used members of the military, as well as park police and Secret Service officials, to clear out the park of protesters, including the use of teargas, so the president could have that photo opportunity moment.

The president walked back to the White House after the event was over. But he did not take questions from reporters. One of those questions was how he could justify using force to clear out a park for a photo opportunity -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Religious leaders wasted no time condemning Mr. Trump for holding that photo op in front of St. John's Episcopal. The bishop of Washington said she is outraged. CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with her by phone earlier. Here is more of what she had to say.


BISHOP MARIANN EDGAR BUDDE, EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: Let me be clear. The president just use a Bible, and our sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, at one of the churches of my diocese without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our churches stand for.

And to do so, as you just said, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the churchyard. I am outraged. The president did not pray when he came to St. John's nor, as you just articulated, did he acknowledge the agony of our country right now.


BUDDE: And in particular, that of the people of color in our nation, who wonder if anyone, ever anyone in public power will ever acknowledge those sacred words and who are rightfully demanding an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country.

And I just want the world to know that we, in the Diocese of Washington, following Jesus and his way of love, do not -- we distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this president.

We follow someone who lived a life of nonviolence and sacrificial love. We align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others through the sacred, active peaceful protest. And I --


BUDDE: -- I just can't believe what my eyes have seen tonight.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You had no idea he was going to do that?

BUDDE: I had no idea. What I am here to talk about is the -- is the abuse of sacred symbols for the people of faith in this country, to justify language, rhetoric, an approach to this crisis that is antithetical to everything we stand for, everything that this state stands for.

We grieve the violence, this senseless violence and the destruction of livelihoods and the fabric of cities. I'm from Minneapolis and I'm watching what's happening there and I'm serving a city now that still bears the scars of what happened in the '60s. I understand the fear.

But I think if we don't look at the reasons, at the root causes of the cancerous things in our nation, we will never get past the symptomatic eruptions and, frankly, the opportunistic distractions that keep us from our true selves.

And that's what we have to keep our eyes on and work toward.


ALLEN: The head of the National Episcopal Church also spoke out in a statement. Bishop Michael Curry wrote this.

"This evening, the president of the United States stood in front of St. John's Episcopal Church, lifted up a Bible and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.

"This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us."

Politicians are responding as well. The mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser, tweeted, "I imposed a curfew at 7:00 pm.

"A full 25 minutes before the curfew and without provocation, federal police used munitions on peaceful protesters in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of the D.C. police officers more difficult. Shameful."

And here is what presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted.

"He," referring to Trump, "is using the American military against the American people. He teargassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets for a photo. For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him."

VAUSE: The city that never sleeps has been under curfew for just over three hours now. With that 11:00 pm order to clear New York streets did not deter looting and vandalism, which has been widespread across Manhattan.

ALLEN: And we're hearing there are dozens of arrests. Shimon Prokupecz shows us the situation.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: For the last several hours, all you could hear in the city are police cars, racing to the different scenes where this looting is taking place.

And it's not that the police are outnumbered but it's really, in some ways, just sheer chaos. I've never experienced anything like this. I was talking to someone earlier here, who said that he hasn't seen anything like this since the '77 blackout. That's how widespread some of this looting is.

Everywhere, from the Upper East Side to Lower Manhattan, we, ourselves, caught images of people looting a store. And what I'm seeing and from what I can tell, it's a very organized effort.

I've seen people walking with duffel bags, like, duffel bags that they brought with them to -- to Manhattan, where they've stuffed items that they have looted from different stores.

I'm behind Macy's here. This is the famous Macy's here in Herald Square, 34th Street. It was boarded up to protect it from looters. But they got inside. Police actually chased the looters in there. And they arrested five of them.

And you still see there is a curfew here at 1 o'clock. There are people still on the street walking. No one has been arrested for violating the curfew. And that could be because the police are dealing with all the looters.


PROKUPECZ: And that is what is taking up a lot of their time. The source also told me there are what he described as tons of arrests. And they're dealing with a pretty chaotic situation. It has been quiet now. I'm not hearing the same sirens that I was hearing earlier.


ALLEN: An independent autopsy and a local medical examiner agree: George Floyd's death was a homicide. But they disagree on the cause. Experts hired by the Floyd family said he suffocated from sustained pressure on his neck and his back.

VAUSE: The medical examiner said Floyd's heart failed because of neck compression, police restraint, methamphetamine use and fentanyl intoxication. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more on the far-reaching effect this case is having.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time, the brother of George Floyd coming to his big brother's memorial, urging protesters everywhere to stop the violence.

TERRENCE FLOYD, GEORGE'S BROTHER: My family is a peaceful family. My family is God fearing. Let's switch it up.


T. FLOYD: Do this peacefully, please.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): We have the Minnesota attorney general, Keith Ellison, now taking over as prosecutor of the case, telling Sirius XM radio that, despite the clear video evidence, it doesn't make for an easy murder conviction.

KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't deny that your -- your eyes are working well and you saw what you saw. But that doesn't mean that, when we get to a courtroom, that it's going to be some sort of easy slam dunk. History proves that it isn't.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): But in a moment of candor, the Minneapolis police chief addressed the Floyd family on CNN. He suggested the three uncharged officers involved are guilty as well. CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO, MINNEAPOLIS: Being silent or not

intervening, to me, you're complicit. So I don't see a level of distinction any different.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Officer Chauvin's first court appearance delayed by a week to next Monday. He remains in custody, charged with third degree murder and manslaughter for holding his knee to the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds, says the complaint.

As the 46-year-old father of two begged him to stop, at times, calling out for his mother.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get up. You're going to --


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Across the U.S., protests, mostly peaceful, in at least 130 cities and towns. Now nearly half the states calling up the National Guard to help keep the peace.

In New York City, peace turned to violence, as thousands of protesters challenged police, some lighting enormous fires in the streets of Manhattan.

In Washington, D.C., Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, fires burned there and in historic St. John's Church. The mayor extending a curfew for two days, starting at 7:00 pm.

MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER (D-DC): We do not and we will not allow the continued destruction of our hometown.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In Minneapolis, terrifying moments after thousands of protesters moved onto a freeway, a semi-truck nearly barreling into them. No one was injured except for the 35-year-old driver, who was beaten by protesters, then arrested and charged with assault.

The video of Floyd's death, prompting a deep shock to the nation's soul. In New York City, some police officers knelt before protesters in a sign of how Floyd's cruel death has affected them.

And in Flint, Michigan, the sheriff joined protesters.

SHERIFF CHRIS SWANSON, GENESEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN: We want to be with y'all, for real. So I took my helmet off. They laid their batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): For America's children, race and equality now front-page news.


VAUSE: Thanks to CNN's Miguel Marquez for that report.

ALLEN: You're watching CNN. Still to come here, from Amsterdam to Berlin to Rio de Janeiro, thousands protest George Floyd's death. We'll show you the world's outrage coming next.

VAUSE: Also ahead, protesting during a pandemic. With so many people so close together, there are now fears another wave of the coronavirus could be coming. More on that, later this hour.






VAUSE (voice-over): Police officers kneeling in solidarity with protesters on Monday in Atlanta, a symbolic gesture and a significant change of tactic after three days of unrest, which has seen police arrest at least 350 people in total. Atlanta's mayor has imposed a 9:00 pm curfew for a third night.


ALLEN: In a display of global solidarity, thousands of people around the world are protesting George Floyd's death. CNN's Nic Robertson is live for us from London.

And good morning to you, Nic. Protesters are even defying coronavirus lockdown rules there to make their message heard.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And I think that's sort of one of the growing concerns in capitals around the world.

While there's a willingness to see, you know, protests -- because that's people's right to protest -- there is this concern that people are, you know, breaking this sort of -- in the U.K., the two-meter rule; in other countries, it may be 1.5 meters. We've seen protests in Amsterdam yesterday. And these protests really are spanning the globe.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): From Auckland, New Zealand, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Berlin, crowds have gathered so George Floyd's last words don't die with his killing.

A huge mural elected along the iconic path of the old Berlin Wall.

In Montreal, the message, the same: prime minister Justin Trudeau adding his own cautionary words, no country immune to this scourge.

[02:20:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Anti-black racism is real. It's in the United States but it's also in Canada.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): In Ireland, North and South, George Floyd, larger than in life, remembered on Dublin's walls. In Dublin, trans- Atlantic ties making this killing feel closer to home.

And, in London, protesters came in their thousands, gathering amidst the grandeur of Trafalgar Square, marching off toward the U.S. embassy, pausing outside the prime minister's office to tell him what they think.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- everywhere in the world. People -- people choose to think that it's not going on anymore. That's the biggest racism of all right now, the fact that they're sitting there, thinking that it doesn't exist. This is proof that it exists.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): In Paris, silence for remembrance for a life taken so callously. America's friends are watching and they are worried.

DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We want to see deescalation of all of those tensions in America come together.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): More protests are planned for London, where 23 people were arrested Sunday, some for breaking lockdown rules, which bans groups larger than six.

America's own challenge is rippling out. So far, more peaceful than the nightly storms filling U.S. streets. All the same, a measure of how racism scars our common cause.


ROBERTSON: Jacinda Ardern, as you were mentioning at the beginning there, the prime minister of New Zealand, one of those leaders who said, yes, she feels like everyone else about this horrific death. But she also reminded people that they have obligations to each other for social distancing. So, yes, that remains a concern.

ALLEN: I'll be doing an interview about that with a doctor coming up here in just a few minutes.

But I want to ask you, how did these protesters see President Trump and his handling of this situation, especially his actions on Monday? ROBERTSON: You know, I think this is going to add to that general picture that pervades in Europe and in democracies around the world, that President Trump is becoming an outlier, as far as democratic leaders are concerned.

I think there would be outrage in Britain or many other countries in Europe if those kinds of practices that were seen last night in Washington, D.C., were repeated in Europe; whereby, peaceful protesters were then stormed by police to make a passageway for the leader of that country to walk to a nearby chapel, to hold a Bible in front of that chapel.

You will see that splashed angrily across the newspapers of most European countries. So I think the protesters are going to see it in that kind of context. But they're also going to see about the sort of divisions that this creates, the sort of -- the unsettled nature of global geopolitics as they are today.

And that this will be taken advantage of by -- by -- by leaders, for example, the foreign ministry spokesman yesterday in China, criticizing President Trump, saying the unrest in the United States clear indication of underlying racism and underlying poor treatment of minorities.

You know, that's China saying that, so you take that with a pinch of salt.

But that's what they're saying, that the United States must do its international obligation. So President Trump's actions and what's happening in the United States is being used against him, you know, by significant, global players.

ALLEN: Looking at this, the people there in the street. it looks like they are working to social distance. It's been hard, considering the tone of the protests here, in the United States.

Are more expected, Nic?

ROBERTSON: There are more protests expected in the U.K. The protests in London, for example, yesterday, the police arrested six people.

So I think, you know, if there's -- if you see protests deescalate in the United States, then you can expect to see, you know, gradual reduction of protests around Europe. I mean, this is what normally happens.

But it would be -- there are protests; Black Lives Matter protests called for in the U.K. and other places in the coming days, so expect more through the week, at least until next weekend.

ALLEN: Well, hopefully, it will resonate with people on the streets here, in the United States. They're getting support from around the world and to the family, as well, of George Floyd. Nic Robertson in London. Thanks so much, Nic.

VAUSE: When we come back, the stores damaged in protests over the last week or so temporarily shutting their doors. When we come back, we'll look at how companies are taking a stand. You're watching CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't breathe.

PROTESTERS: I can't breathe.


PROTESTERS: George Floyd.


PROTESTERS: George Floyd.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want it?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want it?





ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. We're taking you, now, live to Portland, Oregon, where people are protesting. They are outside the capital building there. It seems to be mostly peaceful. But we're keeping an eye on what's going on here.

VAUSE: Now major American cities are under curfew right now after the seventh night of demonstrations against police brutality


VAUSE (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) seeing widespread looting which began before an 11:00 pm curfew and continued into the early hours.

Moving to in Los Angeles. And here, it appears an organized group targeted a Rite-Aid drugstore on Sunset Boulevard.



ALLEN (voice-over): Some of the day's most dramatic moments happened in Washington. All of these people broke curfew, after President Trump threatened military force in states that refused to take action against lawlessness.

Yet, as you can see here, force was shockingly used on peaceful protesters just outside the White House. They were hit with teargas and rubber bullets all so President Trump could walk across the street for a photo op.

He stood in front of the historic St. John's Church, the Church of the Presidents, it's called, which was damaged by fire Sunday, and he held up a Bible.


The Episcopal Bishop of Washington who oversees that church says she is outraged by the visit.

New York City has been a flashpoint for protests that have turned violence, stores have been looted. There was an 11:00 p.m. curfew that has clearly been broken. Let's go to our Brian Stelter. He's been on the scene of the looting in New York. Such a sad, tragic side note to what otherwise our people trying to make a difference with protests.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Every night after dark, it's been a little bit different here in Manhattan. One night, it was lower Manhattan near Wall Street, the next night it was SoHo. We all saw the photos from that neighborhood, that fashion neighborhood in New York.

In the last few hours, the looting and vandalism has been concentrated in Midtown Manhattan, Park Avenue, Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Herald Square, Times Square. These are internationally recognizable names and symbols. I was out earlier in the evening, I'm now back home, of course, during the pandemic, many of us working from home, and one of the strange sites about this situation is that during a pandemic, many of these businesses are already closed.

So we're talking about retailers and banks that are already closed, and now they are also boarded up due to this violence. Everywhere from 59th Street near Trump Tower on the east side of Manhattan to 34th Street near Macy's, we have seen widespread looting in the past few hours. This was before the curfew took effect at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Some of these accidents continued after the curfew took effect as well.

Macy's for example, the flagship Macy's store was broken into even though there were plywood boards up on the walls. Look, I don't want to overstate what has happened. Many parts of New York City and Manhattan and the rest of the boroughs are calm right now and have remained calm for days, but there's a lot of property damage. And as many -- there are so many peaceful protesters who are marching

on the streets, even the late hours trying to speak out about the I Can't Breathe movement, but I fear that their message is being overshadowed by these opportunists who are breaking into businesses, stealing whatever they can, and then running away as fast as they can.

ALLEN: And Brian, how are they staying ahead of the police? Ha1ve there been arrests?

STELTER: From what I've witnessed earlier in the evening, it's a cat and mouse game. Police officers trying to show up as soon as they see outbreaks of violence, as soon as they see outbreaks of vandalism. But then you see these groups of young people running away or jumping into cars or jumping onto bikes and go into the next place.

The police sometimes do seem outnumbered and that's going to be question for the mayor and the governor and other local officials. And not just in New York, by the way. We have seen new reports of looting in other cities in the United States tonight, including in California, we have seen outbreaks of fires and shootings in St. Louis.

I think by some metrics, this does seem slightly less widespread than it was on Saturday and Sunday night weekends in the United States. But look, there are so many people out of work, so many people out of their usual routines in the summertime amid a pandemic. I think there's a real fear that we're going to continue to see these outbursts in various cities, both large cities like New York City and smaller communities as well.

You know, we see mostly relatively small, you know, disturbances, lootings of malls and things to that degree, but this is still the most widespread experience of civil unrest in the U.S. since the 1960s. And whatever rhetoric we heard from Washington earlier today clearly has not trickled down to the streets.

ALLEN: All right, Brian Stelter for us. We appreciate your reporting, Brian. Thanks so much. Now over to you, John.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Natalie, thank you. Well, Cheryl Dorsey is a retired Los Angeles police sergeant, author of Black and Blue. And she's with us this late hour in Los Angeles. Thank you so much for joining us, Cheryl.

Clearly, it seems that 11:00 p.m. curfew in New York didn't work. It didn't stop the looting, it didn't stop the vandalism. The plan for Tuesday is an 8:00 p.m. curfew. Will that really make a difference when you consider the vandalism the looting began I think what, 7:30 p.m. on Monday?

CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED LOS ANGELES POLICE SERGEANT: I don't think the hour is going to have much of an impact. And I'm not even sure I'm hearing on my social media platforms if folks want the other three officers arrested. I don't think even that is going to calm folks down.

This has been a long time coming. Nothing much changed after the 1992 riots, 2014 riots in Ferguson. And so unless and until police departments start holding police officers accountable, we're going to continue to see, I'm afraid, these kinds of outbursts.


VAUSE: You mentioned the fact that the other three arresting officers have not been arrested at this point. I want you to listen to Minnesota's Attorney General who's now overseeing their case. He spoke to CNN a few hours ago.


KEITH ELLISON, ATTORNEY GENERAL, MINNESOTA: I want to assure everybody that we are looking very carefully at holding everybody accountable, who failed to do their duty below -- and fell below the legal requirements of their position or did something affirmatively that would be in violation of the law.


VAUSE: OK, so action seems pending. He won't say exactly what. But if the roles were reversed here, a black man had his knee on the neck of a white police officer who was killed while three of the black man's colleagues did nothing to stop it, would they be in jail by now?

DORSEY: You already know. Absolutely. And listen, I understand this is precarious and they're only going to get one bite at the apple in terms of prosecution, so they want to have their ducks in a row. I get that. Procedurally, if they don't have everything in order, they could have to release the three officers and then start all over. And that in and of itself would be problematic.

But listen, when we hear accountability, what does that mean? Because true accountability is way down the road. We first have to get charges, then there's going to have to be a trial, and ultimately, a conviction would be hoped for. And then what does this sentence like?

So accountability, if it's a real thing, is not going to happen for many, many months. I pray that these protests don't continue until we get a sentence in the case of the death, the murder of George Floyd.

VAUSE: The other extreme that we're seeing here apart from you know, with the vandalism, and the looting has been the actions of law enforcement in Washington. You had peaceful protesters who were set upon with tear gas, flashbangs, that kind of stuff, essentially though, cleared out of the way for photo opportunity for the President. Is that actually legal? Are there guidelines or policy for the use non-lethal crowd control measures? And what's the onus on the individual law officers not to follow that kind of directive?

DORSEY: Well, listen, when you have a president who's soulless, who has no moral compass, and is incapable of empathy and compassion for others, who's all about himself, while it may be lawless, haven't we seen him for pretty much four years, break laws and do things that are contrary to our democracy and what's right, just on a human level. And so, how do you tell a president no, when you have a 12-year-old who sits in the White House?

VAUSE: Well, lastly, I want you to listen to the brother of George Floyd, Terrence, who actually called for peaceful protests and no more violence. Here he is.


TERRENCE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: In every case of police brutality, the same thing has been happening. You all protests, you all destroy stuff, and if they don't move, let's switch it up.


FLOYD: Do this peacefully. Please. I know he would not want you all to be doing this.


VAUSE: It does seem to be a stark contrast. You have the family of the victim who's calling for peaceful protests, while the president seems to trying to escalate the confrontations.

DORSEY: And so while you know, protests have their role in all of this, at the end of the day, these young people need to have an endgame. And the endgame is going to be going to the ballot box. Every police chief serves at the pleasure of a mayor. Politicians understand votes.

And so, if you want to change, then you're going to have to not only once you bring attention to a matter, you're going to have to actively get involved and engaged to bring about that change.

VAUSE: Cheryl Dorsey, it's been a pleasure to have you with us. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being with us.

DORSEY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, Facebook employees stage a virtual walkout on Monday angered by CEO Mark Zuckerberg who has refused to take down controversial posts from the U.S. president. Zuckerberg says he has a visceral negative reaction to Trump's statements but argues Facebook is committed to free expression.

Not all of his employees support him. Many working from home, they took the day off at protest. Some posted their unhappiness on Twitter. One employee say, I'm not proud of how we're showing up. Other the major corporations are taking a stand with some donating millions of dollars to civil rights groups like Black Lives Matter. Others are making public statements of support. CNN's John Defterios is live in Abu Dhabi with the latest on this.

And you know, what's interesting, John, there was a time when major corporations would run a mile from doing anything like this. They'll worry about bad press, some kind of you know, blowback, consumer anger. The fact that so many of the biggest corporations are choosing a side says a lot. JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: It does say a lot, John. And I think the response has been as widespread as the cities that we see in the United States from literally Main Street to Wall Street. You mentioned Facebook, and I think there's a reason for these companies to be on the front foot to be responsive as leaders in social media and even the traditional media companies like Disney or a parent company, Warner Media.


But internally, there's a lot of pressures we see at Facebook. And we saw the same thing with Uber during the early stages of the pandemic to protect their drivers. So the pressure from the workforce is getting many of these leaders to come forward. Dow Chemical for example, a major player in petrochemical says it wants to be the most diversified workforce in its sector.

We see banks, Goldman Sachs, Black Rock, Citygroup all questioning the racial bias that we see in America. The CFO of Citygroup is black and said, we shouldn't have a case where people are scared on the street. Twitter again, another Silicon Valley company said by 2025, a quarter of its workforce will be represented by minorities going forward.

And most tried to steer out of the politics, John. This is what I thought was interesting here, but not from the cloud group Box where its CEO said, Aaron Levie, and I'm quoting him here, that "Donald Trump has no ability to help this nation heal. And he says, he's been stoking the flames with his lack of response and the hardline on the police front as well.

And I was thinking back, can this provide the actual change going forward? I covered the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, and I'm from that city, and there was a lot of change, a lot of investment going into the inner cities. Was it sustainable? And the answer is no.

Bob Iger and his team from Disney, the big media giant was suggesting, because of the COVID-19, and now having this widespread action by people on the street, it's opening up all the sore wounds in America, and he thinks that actually this is a moment for change. And people are even talking about reconciliation commissions going forward, something that we saw in South Africa and Rwanda. Could you see that in America? I don't, John, but this is the call from corporate America right now.

VAUSE: Interesting point there, John. I don't see it either, but I guess, you know, stranger things have happened. John Defterios live in Abu Dhabi. Thanks, John. Good to see you.

ALLEN: Well, they did it in South Africa and it worked. We'll see, guys. Well as the protests rage across the U.S., health experts fear the coronavirus is being forgotten. Next here, the concerns they're raising about these mass gatherings at this time.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: As infection rates fall, parts of Europe this week will continue to ease coronavirus restrictions. In Spain, officials say no one died from COVID-19 on Monday. Most of the country is now moving to phase two of its reopening plan, allowing more stores as well as museums and movie theaters to resume business, but there will be some limitations.

In Rome, the Colosseum has partially reopened for the first time in months with Italy now reporting its lowest number of new cases since late February.

ALLEN: In the U.S., the mass protests against racism and police brutality have sparked fears of another wave of coronavirus infections. Demonstrators have been flooding the streets as you know for days. Many have worn masks, but experts say physical distancing is still the safest way to slow the spread.

The former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans not to let their guard down. He predicts another 20,000 people could die by the end of this month. The U.S. has already confirmed at least 105,000 deaths, more than a quarter of the global death toll.

I want to talk more about the risk now with Shoshana Ungerleider. She's an internal medicine physician at California Pacific Medical Center and the founder of Dr. Thanks so much for coming on.


ALLEN: Well, the crisis, this crisis, the death of George Floyd and now global protests seem to override the pandemic crisis, although many people are wearing masks to these protests outside, but what are the risks of infection?

UNGERLEIDER: Thank you, Natalie. So right now, standing up to enact social change is so important and protesters are understandably taking risks because they want to be a part of this movement. But I am very concerned about the risks in the midst of this pandemic that's killing people of color at much higher rates.

Despite protests being outdoors, people are packed tightly together. They're chanting or yelling, which also expels more particles with a lot more force from the mouth which can lead to the droplets traveling farther. Tear gas is meant to attack the respiratory system which can lead to more coughing and sneezing which can then cause these viral droplets to travel and infect more people.

So you know, the risk are definitely there. And I just want people to know that even if you're young and healthy and you're participating in marches or in these protests, there are other people who are impacted by the decisions that you're making, your parents, your grandparents, the people that you live with, the people you care for. So everyone needs to consider these risks very carefully. ALLEN: Right. What should people consider before they choose to join a march or a rally and then what would you advise when they get back home?

UNGERLEIDER: Yes. So if people are planning to join the protests, protests peacefully, first and foremost. Wear masks, goggles, or some other eye protection. Try to physically distance away from other people, and then wash your hands with soap and water or with hand sanitizer often as you're out, and try not to yell. Use signs and other noisemakers instead of -- instead of your voice and stick to a small group. And then of course, if pepper spray gets in your eyes, don't rub them.

And of course, remember that asymptomatic people can spread this virus. So once you get home carefully remove masks, any physical coverings or goggles. Try not to bring them back into your home, if at all possible. And then be sure to immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

ALLEN: I mean, as we see the video of this protest, it seems everyone is wearing a mask. They're trying it seems to stay safe in all of this. Do you expect after all of these mass rallies we're seeing in cities, that there seems to be another city added every night that this could cause a surge in cases?

UNGERLEIDER: Yes, Natalie. Based on how this virus spreads, it takes as little as just one infected person to launch a whole new outbreak. And it can take two weeks for people to develop symptoms and therefore new cases to present. So, I fully expect to see a large spike in cases across the country sadly. And I think if protesters do test positive for COVID-19, it will be nearly impossible to trace their contacts and alert them to possible exposure.

However, wearing masks, goggles, this physical distancing, away from others, and washing hands can go a long way here in reducing the spread.


ALLEN: Yes. And we hope that it can reduce the spread because as you say, everyone is feeling really passionate right now and they want to be out there. Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us.

UNGERLEIDER: Thank you for having me.

VAUSE: Up next, what was once considered an outrage by some is now a sign of solidarity with protesters. Even police officers across the U.S. or at least some are taking a knee.


ALLEN: As the protests rage across the U.S. over George Floyd's death, it's not just violent confrontations we're seeing between police and demonstrators, but also powerful moments of solidarity coming together. Here's Jeannie Moos with that. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're not just on opposite sides of the barricades, barricades have been thrown. The interaction between police and protesters aren't just causing the kind of tears that sting, there are moving moments as well.

Particularly when officers kneel with protesters from Coral Gables, to Oklahoma City, to Portland, Oregon. Even chiefs of police and sheriffs are kneeling to honor the laws of George Floyd.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And us joining them in a symbolic way, that's the least we can do.

MOOS: Some are even marching with protesters.

CHRIS SWANSON, SHERIFF, FLINT, MICHIGAN: I took my helmet off, lay the batons down.

MOOS: Like Sheriff Chris Swanson in Flint, Michigan.

SWANSON: Where do you want to walk? We'll walk all night.

MOOS: Green Bay's police chief walked.

AMERICAN CROWD: Black lives matter.

MOOS: United in dismay over how George Floyd died.


MOOS: Even a gesture like removing a hat helps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the Floyd family.

MOOS: Instead of grappling, there were even hugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are hugging a police officer. I'm like, what?

MOOS: When Orlando's police chief and the sheriff knelt, there were naysayers. Ignore this propaganda. The exact time Orlando PD posted this tweet, I was rinsing out the eyes of peaceful protesters. And yet protesters formed a ring to protect this police officer in Louisville from the crowd.

And in New York City, an officer shared his hand sanitizer. One hand literally washes the other. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.



ALLEN: That's a good one to end on this hour, isn't it, John?

VAUSE: Yes, absolutely.

ALLEN: Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Stay with us. We're back with a lot more news after a very short break. You're watching CNN.