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Philadelphia Protesters Take To Iconic "Rocky" Steps; Huge Protests Across America Against Brutality, For Equality; Black Lives Matter Supporters Gathering Around The Globe; International Crisis Group Statement On U.S. Protests; Louisiana Issues Storm Evacuation Orders For Several Parishes; India Sees Largest Single-Day Spike With 10K-Plus Cases Of COVID-19; National Guard Could Leave D.C. Monday. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired June 7, 2020 - 04:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. And this is CNN NEWSROOM.


ALLEN: Thank you for joining us. And yet again, we begin with huge protests across the U.S. on Saturday. But they were overwhelmingly peaceful nearly two weeks after the death of George Floyd. And there were far fewer police.

One notable exception was right here in Seattle, Washington. Officers used so-called flashbang devices to disperse this crowd. The city has temporarily banned the use of tear gas. Police say several officers were hurt by demonstrators throwing rocks, bottles, even explosives.

And in the nation's capital, the area near the White House designated Black Lives Matter Plaza clearly visible in a satellite photo from space right here. The mayor joined a huge crowd Saturday. The protest in Washington was one of the largest seen yet in the nation's capital. CNN's Athena Jones was there.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're here at Black Lives Matter Plaza, a newly renamed plaza, renamed by Mayor Muriel Bowser. It is painted in bright huge yellow letters with the words Black Lives Matter.

I can tell you this protest has been going on for hours and hours. Thousands of people marching to this area from all parts of Washington, D.C. It has been a festive atmosphere. It has been a positive atmosphere. You have a lot of different races out here, old, young, people carrying signs. There was a priest from the National Cathedral, a white priest, out in

front of St. John's Episcopal Church, which the president used as a photo-op earlier this week, saying we want to reclaim this space for the people.

I talked to multiple participants and black participants, who say we believe this diverse showing is a sign that people are finally getting it. Nonblack people finally get what black people have been trying to say for decades, that there is discrimination against black people.

And so very, very positive environment here and no conflicts with police. Very much different from what we saw earlier in the week, when just in the same area outside of the White House, there were pepper spray and flashbangs used to clear the crowd of peaceful protesters so the president could have his photo-op.

We have seen nothing like that today in Washington. Peaceful, with thousands and thousands of people out here, showing their support for change and urging people to not only get out and vote in the fall but also pushing for other changes in police departments across the country -- Athena Jones, CNN, Washington, D.C.


ALLEN: A similar scene in New York City, where protesters marched into the night, keeping things peaceful. CNN's Bill Weir was out with them.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: It is the 12th night of protesting in the United States, the "Twelfth Night," of course, a Shakespeare comedy, but this is a real life drama that is playing out in cities big and small.

We're now over two hours past a mandatory curfew. And yet NYPD, the New York Police Department, is letting this group of several hundred protesters march at will. They're determined, disciplined, energized by news this week that four NYPD commanders were reassigned as punishment for roughing up peaceful protesters.

Two officers up in Buffalo, who shoved a 75-year-old man and stepped over his bleeding, unconscious body, were charged with second degree assault. They see that as a victory. The governor of New York, they are calling for police reform that would open up the disciplinary records of officers, eliminate chokeholds, make calling 9-1-1 and making false accusations against a person of color, would make that a hate crime.

All these organizers say this is the fruit of their labor this week and you've seen, basically, the police response evolve over the week. It went from very aggressive violence, containment, now to letting these folks wear themselves out.

Today was a full day of massive, peaceful protests in many cities now. And it will be interesting to see if this momentum carries through the weekend and into next week as people, who have never protested before, are feeling this movement.




WEIR: And so -- and such is the peril of marching backwards.

You good, Emilio?

He's good, all right. I'm Bill Weir, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: That's New York City. Now to Buffalo, New York. These two police officers, seen on video pushing a 75-year-old man protesting there, have now been arraigned after being arrested. Both officers pleaded not guilty to one count of assault in the second degree.

And a crowd celebrated when they walked out with cheers and applause. The district attorney says the elderly man was treated for a head injury, loss of consciousness and bleeding from one ear. Officials say he's in serious but stable condition.

In Los Angeles, thousands of protesters marched through different parts of the city. Our reporters tell us the crowds were diverse, with people of all ethnicities and backgrounds, and the atmosphere was peaceful and energetic. Police mostly stayed away. CNN's Paul Vercammen was at one of the protests.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Spirited protests throughout Los Angeles. Many of them spread out. And as you see and hear this scene, the honking of horns, the celebrating of the protesters and the chanting that they're doing, it's clear that the LAPD took some sort of hands-off approach as we hear the chants of "George Floyd."

At this protest, we have not seen officers anywhere. And earlier in the day, we were at the University of Southern California; same thing. There were no officers in sight.

We talked to one young man. He just received his graduate degree in physical therapy and he wanted to make a point and that is, education is going to be critical to ending brutality by police against citizens. But he says it's a struggle for black men.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes it feels like when you're getting these high-level degrees, you're trying to outrun racism and it's a race that you can't win. So we want people to help us carry this baton, stand by our sides.

And we want to take our allies and march toward the gates of racism and injustice and I don't think it stands a chance anymore.


VERCAMMEN: And now over here near Pan-Pacific Park in Los Angeles you can hear the chants. "No justice, no peace, no racist police." Among the chants, "George Floyd," we've heard all day long. Again, we have not seen a police presence here.

Many of these protesters walking miles throughout Los Angeles and getting appreciative honks from passersby -- reporting in Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen, now back to you.


ALLEN: The brother of George Floyd will testify before Congress Wednesday. Philonise Floyd will appear before the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats invited him to testify at their hearing on policing practices and accountability. They are still deciding whether he will appear virtually or in person.

A family memorial for George Floyd was held Saturday in North Carolina, not far from where he was born in Fayetteville. Hundreds lined up ahead of that service to pay their respects. CNN's Dianne Gallagher was there.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The second of the three memorials set for George Floyd was a much smaller affair. Organizers called it intimate, a way to make sure that his family was able to say goodbye.

George Floyd was born about 20 minutes from here in Fayetteville, North Carolina. They held a service in Raeford, where his sister, Bridgett, still lives. The family coming together, all dressed in white, during the service alternating between cheers and dancing and tears and hugging during this memorial service.

As speakers talked about George when he was young, personality traits and also how he died and for some, what they believed that his death could become the catalyst for, change in the United States.

Now before this private memorial service, there was a public viewing that allowed people here in North Carolina to pay their respects to George Floyd with the proper conditions.

The sheriff had people wearing masks and social distancing inside, not spending too much time there. This has been something that people in the area say they are affected by, they wanted to be here in person and see George Floyd.

People in the state of Texas will get their opportunity to do so on Monday and Tuesday, when a public viewing and private service and then burial for George Floyd's family will take place -- Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Raeford, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Now to Philadelphia.


ALLEN: A police inspector faces charges now after a video appears to show him hitting a protester on the head with a baton. We warn you, what you're about to see is disturbing.



ALLEN (voice-over): That inspector there faces charges of assault. But the local Fraternal Order of Police vows to defend him. It says the district attorney has an anti-police agenda.


ALLEN: Demonstrations over George Floyd's death grow in London and it is not the only global city to see protests. We'll have some of the highlights from around the world next here.

Also, a prominent European think tank is weighing in on U.S. protesters calling out U.S. politicians, telling them to stop stirring the pot. I'll have an interview coming up here.




ALLEN: The wave of outrage over the death of George Floyd has swept around the world.


ALLEN: Demonstrations now in many nations, not just the U.S. But while global protesters support calls for equality in America, they're also demanding justice closer to home. Our Nic Robertson has more from London.


PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace. No justice, no peace.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): The calls are getting louder, the voices more numerous. London is leaning into America's pain and demanding an end to its own.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel that what happened in the U.S. was just -- it was the spark that sparked everywhere. And it happens here. I've experienced it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you see that happening across the world, you feel a part of yourself die and everyone out here right now has felt that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally know more about the U.S. and issues there but it's definitely an issue here. And I think we all need to be here together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a worldwide issue, no matter where you are. It's an issue everywhere. We all need to rise up.

ROBERTSON: What is clear, by the day, these protests are gathering global momentum, spreading so far around the world the sun never sets on someone demanding justice for George Floyd, asking us to understand Black Lives Matter and calling for change.

PROTESTERS: Black Lives Matter.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, right across Australia Saturday, the ripples of anger at George Floyd's killing have turned to waves of protests, demanding better rights for aboriginals.

In Northern France, crowds joined the global outrage; indeed, point to a place on the planet and they'll have had protests.

Japan, South Korea, Kenya, South Africa, Lebanon, Canada, where PM Justin Trudeau took a knee, all of these just in the past 48 hours.

Everywhere there is hope the swell of support will amount to change finally.

PATRICK BAYELE, LONDON PROTEST ORGANIZER: I've awoken a part of me which has been begging to be released for years and years. And this year, 2020, there's something in the air about 2020. I think it's a culmination of many different variables, Trumpian anxiety, coronavirus, George Floyd, Belly Mujinga.

And so to be here, it feels like I should have been here -- I should have been here from day one.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Every indication here, still plenty more protests to come -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ALLEN: Let's take you now live to Spain where a protest is expected to get underway in Madrid in the next hour. Al Goodman is there for us.

Al, you and I have been talking about coronavirus epidemic there, people were just allowed to come back out on the streets and now they want to get out on the streets.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And they are getting out on the streets, Natalie. We're outside the American embassy in Madrid, which normally has a police presence but not like this.

Behind these walls is the tall embassy building. And over here we have the -- you can see down in the shaded area the start of the protests. Now it looks like the police will keep the protests back. This is in solidarity with American protesters who have been out in cities across the United States, protesting against the death of George Floyd, the African American man, who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

But the organizers here say that these are basically African immigrants and descendants of African immigrants here in Spain. They say there is racism here in Spain as well, so it is not just solidarity with what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis and so many other people across the United States.

But they say what is happening right here in Spain, they feel the racism and they want this to stop -- Natalie.

ALLEN: We know you'll be covering that protest there. And thank you, Al Goodman, for us in Madrid.

Well, the International Crisis Group, the ICG, that's what it is called, it is calling on the U.S. president and other officials to stop using incendiary tactics with demonstrators.

Donald Trump's appearance at a church near the White House Monday was cited as an example. In a statement, the think tank released this week, it says the U.S. should seek for justice for Floyd standing in support of local officials and community leaders who are calling for calm and reform, abandon its martial rhetoric and stop making the situation worse.

I'm joined now by the Africa program director for the International Crisis Group, Comfort Ero from London.

Thank you for coming on, Comfort.



ALLEN: Certainly. Well, this crisis group, I want to tell our viewers, has recently issued statements, on the growth of ISIS in Niger in Africa, of Syria and Idlib province, regarding the long war there.

And now it sends a statement to the United States about what is going on here.

How unprecedented is it that typically the world leader of peace and justice receives such a statement?

ERO: It is very unusual, it is very unprecedented in the 25 years of Crisis Group, we have never considered or looked at the internal affairs of the United States. In fact, we looked at the United States as a leader in our work. And this is the first time that we have found ourselves having to

confront an internal issue that has raised significant concerns globally because of the nature of the violence but also the nature of brute force by the people in that country as well.

ALLEN: The report implores the president, Donald Trump, as well as prominent elected and security officials, to stop courting conflict.

How are they doing so?

ERO: I think one of the key things, as you picked up in our own statement, we're concerned about the inflammatory language, we're concerned about the idea of calling -- deploying the Army to deal with enemies of the states and the citizens.

We're concerned that the language is polarizing and you'll notice in our statement we called for the president, for leaders of the United States, to tamp down tensions rather than exacerbate them, to dispense with the incendiary rhetoric that suggests the U.S. is in an armed conflict and suggested instead to call the police to account.

The very descriptions that you would give to other countries globally, where there is deadly violent conflict, where we see the leaders of the States using hardline forces, so these are the very prescriptions that the United States uses globally, whether it is in Africa or Asia, whether it is in other crisis areas.

And you'll see it reflected in the U.S. in the last two weeks in relation to the George Floyd murder.

ALLEN: President Trump is seen as polarizing, I don't know if he has expressed much empathy in his presidency or has worked to heal the country right now. We had that one photo-op, considered a stunt, outside the church of the president.

What would you like to hear from him specifically to help promote domestic tranquility?

ERO: I mean, it is not for me to tell the president of the United States how to behave. What we're very clear about, in the way you see rising tensions in any country, where you see such divisions, where you see the display of raw, brutal force, where you see the display of very shocking abuse of power, there are very clear indications if you don't deal with it quickly, you don't try to reconcile, to be inclusive, you don't try to deal with accountability, don't try to ensure responsibility, that the situation will continue to spiral out of control.

So you know, in our -- as I said in our statement and in the 25 years of work that we have done, we have learned those lessons of what you need to do, what you shouldn't do, to help prevent further escalation and to ensure crisis resolution.

So number one, you know, be inclusive, as you said, be empathetic, seek out, reach out, reconciliation, acknowledge the pain, acknowledge what has been done and hold to account those who are deemed to have perpetrated a crime and ensure that those security forces should ever be used, you know, in these kind of ways against the people.

And the language that is used, the way in which people are characterized, is also -- feeds into a deadly volatile situation already.

ALLEN: Well, we appreciate you coming on and talking about this; again, the statement came from the International Crisis Group. Thank you so much, Comfort Ero, we appreciate your time.

ERO: Thank you.

ALLEN: The artist, Banksy, has made a statement about the Black Lives Matter movement, saying the system is failing people of color.


ALLEN: The influential anonymous artist put this striking picture on Instagram: a framed black figure with a candle and flowers surrounding it. An American flag above has caught fire from the candle flame. The social critic says racism is, quote, "a white problem" and therefore, white people are responsible for fixing it.

Several Latin American countries are dealing with the coronavirus. They are in crisis mode. But not every leader is taking it seriously. We're talking about Jair Bolsonaro mainly of Brazil. We'll tell you how bad it is in that country, coming up.

Also, people who live along the U.S. Gulf Coast prepare for tropical storm Cristobal. We'll tell you more about that and where it is targeting next.




ALLEN: 4:30 am on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. Our top stories for you.

Among the nations of the world, the U.S. continues to have the largest number of COVID infections. On Saturday, more than 22,000 new cases and 659 deaths were reported. That brings the American tally to more than 1.9 million cases and almost 100,000 deaths.

India is reporting nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period. Government health officials say it is the biggest single day jump so far.


ALLEN: Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. says India has the fifth highest number of cases, more than 247,000; nearly 7,000 people have died. The country began to ease its nationwide lockdown last week. Brazil's health ministry is changing the way it shares vital

coronavirus data. On Saturday, the website began on Saturday, the website began showing just new cases and deaths from the past 24 hours and not cumulative totals.

President Jair Bolsonaro says the change will help the country focus on, quote, "the moment." The last time Brazil released total numbers publicly was Thursday, when it surpassed Italy in reported deaths. CNN's Matt Rivers explains how all of Latin America is suffering right now.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been a bad week for many countries in Latin America. In its hardest hit countries, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru, the combined case total now tops 1 million.

In Brazil, the crisis is horrific, roughly 650,000 cases and counting the death toll now third highest in the world, officially surpassing Italy and likely to overtake the United Kingdom soon.

But Brazil's leader remains unfazed; as people are dying, the president struck a now familiar note, criticizing lockdown measures.

"The poor are becoming miserable and the middle class are becoming poor," he says. "Everyone in Brazil is becoming the same."

His focus, the economy. The IMF estimates Brazil's economy will shrink by 5.3 percent by the end of the year and unemployment in the country could reach an all-time high.

In Mexico, meanwhile, the outbreak is only getting worse. Daily records in new deaths and cases were reported this week, the curve not flattening but spiking. And yet its president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was out traveling this week. As for fighting the virus he had nearly useless advice.

"Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't betray," he says. "That will help a lot in not getting the virus."

Mexico now has more than 110,000 cases and roughly 13,000 deaths. In one children's hospital in Jalisco State, there are 21 confirmed coronavirus cases, three of them newborns.

And finally, in Peru, grim sights, people collapsing in the streets, some dragged to hospitals by their family members, the less fortunate left to die. Experts are worried the situation will worsen, as the case total there tops 190,000.

Oxygen needed to keep people alive is in short supply. Desperate Peruvians have turned online or to an emerging black market to purchase oxygen tanks.

Countries across Latin America have begun to reopen their economies in various ways. But the WHO Is warning countries not to do so too fast. The agency says the transmission rate in Central and South America has not yet reached its peak -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


ALLEN: I'm joined now by Dr. Muhammad Munir, a virologist at Lancaster University. He joins me from Lancaster, England.

Thank you for coming on. Good to see you.


ALLEN: Good morning. Well, what we're seeing in Latin America is just horrible. However, deaths are coming down now in the world. We're seeing more testing, more contact tracing.

And also is part of this hospitals now have the experience to treat this virus and are better equipped in dealing with it?

MUNIR: Yes, that is true. I think for the last five months, most of the infrastructure had been improved, especially with feeling a little more experienced how to track patients with critical needs. And normally in the United States but I think throughout the world, the overall situation of tackling patients who need critical care is improving.

And therefore the number of deaths and mortalities are going down. But the number of new cases are increasing in many parts of the world and that is worrying because the virus is staying in the population for a longer time. And the number of cases are so high that even tracing and tracking and isolation is probably not possible.

ALLEN: Right. We were just talking about what India is dealing with right now.

Well, let's talk about, now that we have this story with George Floyd's killing and what that is doing as far as bringing people out all around the world, restrictions on people's movements.

Lockdowns were just easing as this story unfolded in Minneapolis. So now we have thousands, millions of people in the street rallying around the world, many wearing masks.


ALLEN: But how can people best protect themselves in these crowds as they move along streets in these cities?

MUNIR: Yes, certainly this protest is for a reason. However, no doubt they are at higher risk. And primarily because, once you are in such crowding, it is very difficult to do 6 feet distance and, if any tension arises, people are going to run faster and breathe faster; therefore, they're going to spread the infection and share the infection.

If someone contracts the infection, they're going to take it back to the family until they're tested and cleared. But on the positive note, outside, the virus is spread less frequently

than inside and the majority of people participating in the protests are probably healthy. However, the risk is still there, because the virus is still not fully under control and many states still are having a high proportion of the virus in the population.

ALLEN: And did you say it is important that people get tested after they have taken part in a protest?

MUNIR: Yes, absolutely. Once you are in a gathering of mixed people, especially coming from the black minority because they are at more risk for contracting the infection, the chances for you to get the infection are high if you participate.

If you're going to leave the protest or some point go back to the family, if you have contracted the infection, you'll spread that infection and that can spark community spread if they're not tested before they get back to the family.

ALLEN: Well, as we said, these rallies are taking place all over the world. They have been going on for almost two weeks in the United States.

How long will it take to see whether these protests have caused an uptick or a spike in cases?

MUNIR: Well, this is a really important point, especially when it comes to the United States because the United States is in a very critical state because many states still have no receding in the number of cases and the peak is still hovering in an L shape, which is concerning.

If the protests, after 7 to 12 days, we will start seeing the infection coming up and see the clinical sign and if they are reported and properly captured after 1.5-2 weeks, this number of cases from the protests will be coming part of the total calculation, when is pretty concerning, that would increase the total number in a given country.

ALLEN: You have to hand it to many of these protesters, they're so angry and they're so hurt but they have got their masks on. You know, many people are working to stay safe during this time. As you say, we'll wait and see if there is a problem with cases after a few more days.

Muhammad Munir, we always appreciate your expertise. Thank you for your time.

MUNIR: Thank you for having me.

ALLEN: Certainly.

Saturday was the 76th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War II. It was marked not with its usual pomp and ceremony but with a socially distanced ceremony in Normandy, France.

The scaled-back affair was, of course, because of the coronavirus pandemic, with only around 20 people attending. It is in stark contrast to last year's 75th anniversary, where 4,000 people were there. But so many people, of course, are there in spirit.

In Orlando, Florida, we're getting incredible images of a large funnel cloud that appeared on Saturday. A spokesperson for the city telling CNN that a tornado touched down near downtown and damaged several homes and power lines.

There were reports of several tornadoes in Central Florida as storms moved through. They came from the outer bands of tropical storm Cristobal. And that storm is being felt over the southern U.S. Coast.

Several parishes in Louisiana are under evacuation orders as the storm gets closer. That's an area south of New Orleans that is expected to get hit first. The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and is expected to strengthen as it moves north in the Gulf of Mexico.



ALLEN: With thousands of National Guard troops descended on Washington, D.C., amid the racial equality protests, next here, in a CNN exclusive, a top general tells us when they'll likely be leaving.





ALLEN: We're learning about reports that the Pentagon pushed back on a White House call to send thousands of extra troops to Washington and other cities in the U.S. A senior defense official tells CNN the White House wanted 10,000 active duty troops to quell protests.

But Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair General Mark Milley pushed back. Only 1,600 were sent in.

Thousands of National Guard troops sent to Washington to help deal with the protests could be leaving now as early as Monday. Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne has more about it in this CNN exclusive.


RYAN BROWNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some of the nearly 4,000 additional National Guard troops that were brought to the nation's capital in the response to the recent protests could start going home as soon as Monday. The top general in the D.C. National Guard told CNN in an exclusive interview at the D.C. National Guard headquarters.

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM J. WALKER, D.C. NATIONAL GUARD: They'll be redeploying this week, probably as early as Monday. BROWNE: Do you have a sense of how many, is that all of them?

Or just a portion of them?

WALKER: They will leave as the situation dictates.

BROWNE: Now the presence of those troops from some 11 states was a major point of contention between the White House and the D.C. local government, D.C.'s mayor asking the White House to remove those troops and telling the governors to send their troops home, saying that local law enforcement could handle the protests.

But Defense officials say because of the peaceful nature of the recent protests, they could potentially begin drawing down the number of troops. The general also addressed another controversy involving the National Guard here in Washington, that is those low-level helicopter flights that took place Monday.

Some accuse those helicopter flights of being intended to disperse some of the peaceful protests. The top general said the flights were not directed by the Pentagon but that the flights themselves were under investigation.

WALKER: I have a joint task force commander, a general that serves under me. And so he had the aircraft in the air. I am not a pilot. So I don't know if that was the -- if they were too low. I don't know if they were too low.

Here's what I can tell you, a full investigation is underway right now and it's going to be thorough. It's going to be comprehensive.

BROWNE: The general echoed other senior military leaders saying, at this time, active duty troops were not needed to respond to the recent social unrest but saying he did not have a crystal ball and would remain watchful as the days moved forward -- Ryan Browne, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: The top U.S. attorney William Barr is pushing back on reports he gave the final order to clear peaceful protesters outside the White House in Lafayette Square Monday. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used about 30 minutes before curfew went into effect.

President Trump then posed for a photo with a Bible outside what is called the Presidents' Church. White House says the decision to move on protesters came from Barr and that the president didn't know the plan.

But Barr tells the Associated Press he's not involved in giving tactical commands. He says his attitude was, get it done but he did not say go do it.

German football teams are putting rivalries aside and standing against racism and police brutality. We'll have a report about their support of Black Lives Matter after this. (MUSIC PLAYING)




ALLEN: Players from several teams in the German Bundesliga demonstrated their solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement on Saturday. Teams knelt before kickoff and held a moment of silence at one match while other players wore Black Lives Matter armbands. From "CNN SPORT'S" Patrick Snell has more about it.



PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The most powerful of images, two rival Bundesliga teams, Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin, amid a moment of silence, 22 players on one knee together, in the center circle ahead of kickoff.

Even in the pre-match warmup, support for the Black Lives Matter movement was on full display. The Dortmund team's T-shirts bearing slogans against police brutality and the ugly stain of racism.

This in tribute to the memory of George Floyd, the 46 year-old unarmed American, whose death last month in Minnesota police custody led to widespread protests across numerous U.S. cities.

Elsewhere, in Germany's top football league, another poignant show of unity and solidarity on Saturday, as Mainz's Cameroonian player Pierre Kunde Malong took a knee after scoring in his team's victory over Frankfurt.

Meantime, ahead of them, match Leverkusen, champions-elect Bayern Munich with another hugely symbolic gesture, as borne out by their Reds against Racism message. Each and every player on the Bavarian team also wearing arm bands displaying their own powerful message of support.

And this on a weekend where players knew in advance there would be no sanctions against them for anti-racism protests.

SNELL: With just four games left and a 7-point lead, an eighth consecutive title looked a mere formality now for Munich. An important 4-2 victory for sure but as FC Bayern star Leon Goretzka himself put it in a post-match tweet, it comes with an even more important message -- Patrick Snell, CNN, Atlanta.


ALLEN: So German soccer players there and now we have the story of a German piano player, hoping his musical message will soothe emotions stirred up by all of the protests we're seeing. He drove 12 hours from Oklahoma City to Minneapolis with his large piano on wheels to attend the memorial for George Floyd. What happened next, well, here it is.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am from Germany and everybody is telling me how awful the pictures are. I just want to do something. Music is the perfect medium to restore peace, I think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't matter who it was, white, black, brown. A little girl came up and played "Happy Birthday."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was exciting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It brings a whole different vibe to us. Yes, we're in the middle of a protest, in the middle of a riot, but music can change people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not rioters, not thugs, not looters. You see this beautiful, classic music.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just glad I had the chance to share my experience with the world, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody would have imagined any of this would happen. Nobody would have imagined there would be a guy with a piano in the middle of the street.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see someone and you don't know what they have in them. You don't know what talent they possess. You don't know what type of leader they can be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone out here celebrating, everyone out here dancing, loving, whatever and we're having fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what Minnesota is about. This is our community, our home. Rather than the damages we've seen, which regardless of how you feel about it, this is what we're about. Coming together. The music.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need to hear us. Change starts with us and them. It starts with both sides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to meet in the middle. Got to come together as one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't matter what you look like. It is how you are here and how you show that to the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all saw it today, so thank you.



ALLEN: More of that for sure.

Thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. I'll see you about this time in 24 hours.