NEW ORLEANS — Protesters tore down a bust of a slave owner who left part of his fortune to New Orleans’ schools, and then they took the remains to the Mississippi River and rolled it down the banks into the water.

The destruction Saturday is part of a nationwide effort to remove monuments to the Confederacy or with links to slavery as the country grapples with widespread protests against police brutality toward African Americans.

Police said in a statement Saturday that demonstrators at Duncan Plaza, which is directly across the street from City Hall, dragged the bust into the streets, loaded it onto trucks and took it to the Mississippi River where they threw it in. Two people who were driving the trucks transporting the bust were apprehended by police and taken to police headquarters, authorities said. Their names were not given in the statement.

The police did not identify the bust, but local media identified it as one depicting John McDonogh. When he died, McDonogh left a large portion of his money to New Orleans and Baltimore for schools, and many schools in New Orleans are named after him.

Video on social media showed dozens surrounding the bust, which sat on a pedestal while some people pulled on a rope tied to the bust and another hit it. As the bust tilts and then crashes to the ground the crowd cheers. Another video posted on social media shows a crowd watching as the bust is rolled down the rocky banks of the Mississippi River and into the water.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a tweet that the city “rejects vandalism and destruction of City property. It is unlawful.”

Members of Clemson football team lead demonstration on campus

CLEMSON, S.C. — Members of the Clemson University football team led hundreds of demonstrators on the school’s campus Saturday as they marched for equality and against police brutality.

The demonstration included a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time prosecutors say George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was pinned to the ground with his neck under a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee before he died last month.

“This is a historic time, and a challenging time,” head football coach Dabo Swinney told the crowd. “But as I tell my team all the time, challenge is what creates change. … Black lives more than matter — black lives significantly matter and equally matter. For far too long that has not been the case for the black community.”

The protest was organized by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, linebacker Mike Jones Jr., wide receiver Cornell Powell and running back Darien Rencher, according to news outlets.

The march came a day after Clemson trustees voted to rename its honors college, stripping from the program the name of former vice president and slavery proponent John C. Calhoun.

Calhoun, who was born in South Carolina, declared slavery a “positive good” on the U.S. Senate floor in 1837.

Before the administrators’ vote, an online petition by students calling for the name to be changed drew more than 20,000 signatures. Clemson football alumni and one-time Houston Texans teammates DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson voiced support for the petition on social media.

Protesters gather at Lee monument in Virginia’s capital

RICHMOND, Va. — Thousands gathered in Virginia’s capital on Saturday for a demonstration against racism known as the “5,000 Man March.”

The protest in Richmond included a speech by a cousin of George Floyd, the black man whose death at the hands of police has prompted weeks of protests around the world.

The demonstrators gathered at the city’s famed monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee before making a loop around the downtown. They returned to the monument about two hours later to hear speakers, including a relative of Floyd, the man who died last month after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes as he pleaded for air.

Tavares Floyd, George Floyd’s cousin, stepped onto the Lee monument and was welcomed by applause from the surrounding crowd of demonstrators in the former capital of the Confederacy.

WRIC-TV reports that Floyd spoke about many different racial inequalities that the black community faces in Virginia and throughout the nation.

The Lee statue, erected in 1890, has become a focal point of protests in Richmond since Floyd’s death. After years of calls by activists to remove Confederate statues in Virginia, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has pledged to take down the Lee statue, while Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, also a Democrat, has vowed to remove other Confederate statues on the same street.

Authorities investigating death of black man found hanging from tree in California

PALMDALE, Calif. — Authorities in the Southern California city of Palmdale are investigating the death of a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree near City Hall, which they originally described as an apparent suicide, prompting outrage in the community.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the high desert city of 150,000 on Saturday, marching from the park where Robert Fuller’s body was found to the Los Angeles County sheriff’s station demanding a full investigation into his death. Community members confronted city officials at a contentious news briefing Friday, asking why they were quick to label his death a suicide and demanding an independent autopsy.

Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives were investigating the circumstances leading to Fuller’s death to determine if foul play was involved. Investigators have been in contact with Fuller’s family, Palmdale officials said.

Read the story here.

French court says protests can’t be banned over virus concerns

PARIS — France’s highest administrative court ruled Saturday night that virus concerns no longer justify banning public protests.

In a country that sees thousands of protests annually, the decision by the Council of State allows for the resumption of demonstrations and marches as long as health protections are respected, and events are declared in advance to local authorities and not deemed a risk to public order.

The Council ruled that “the ban on protesting is not justified by the current health situation.” It said the right to protest is a “fundamental freedom.”

The ruling came just as an unauthorized protest against police violence and racial injustice wound down in Paris. Police had stopped the at least 15,000 protesters from a planned march through the city Saturday, citing the virus-related restrictions on any gathering of more than 10 people. France has seen several unauthorized protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the U.S.

Paris police fire tear gas, block marchers

PARIS — Police fired tear gas and blocked demonstrators from marching through Paris to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

The tear gas began just as a group of extreme-right counter demonstrators were dislodged from the roof of a building overlooking the protest.

Protesters set off firecrackers and shouted at police but were otherwise peaceful. Families and others trying to leave the protest struggled to get out because police had blocked off most exit routes. The remaining crowd took a knee.

Police decided to bar the crowd from marching from the Place de la Republique in eastern Paris toward the city’s main opera house. A police official told The Associated Press the decision was made because of a nationwide ban on gatherings of more than 10 people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The counter demonstrators had earlier unfurled a banner about “anti-white racism” and lit flares in the blue-white-red colors of the French flag.

Residents reached out their windows to tear down the banner. Activists later confronted the far-right activists on the roof, throwing their bags and ropes to the pavement below.

Far-right activists scuffle with police in London

LONDON  — Far-right activists scuffled with police in central London Saturday, as hundreds gathered to demonstrate despite strict police restrictions and warnings to stay home to contain the coronavirus.

Different groups of right-wing activists and soccer fans descended on the U.K. capital, saying they wanted to guard historical monuments that have been targeted in the last week by anti-racism protesters.

Many gathered around the statue of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph war memorial, which were both boarded up Friday to protect them from vandalism. Officials put protective panels around the monuments amid fears that far-right activists would seek confrontations with anti-racism protesters under the guise of protecting statues.

Some activists threw bottles and cans at officers, while others tried to push through police barriers. Riot police on horses pushed the crowd back. The protesters, who appeared to be mostly white men, chanted “England” and sang the national anthem.

“I am extremely fed up with the way that the authorities have allowed two consecutive weekends of vandalism against our national monuments,” Paul Golding, leader of the far-right group Britain First, told the Press Association.

A Black Lives Matter group in London called off a demonstration planned for Saturday, saying the presence of the counter-protesters would make it unsafe. Some anti-racism demonstrators gathered in smaller numbers at Hyde Park.

Monuments around the world have become flash points in demonstrations against racism and police violence after the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee to his neck.

In Britain, the protests have triggered a national debate about the legacy of empire and its role in the slave trade. A statue of slave trader Edward Colston was hauled from its plinth by protesters in the city of Bristol on Sunday and dumped in the harbor. In London, Churchill’s statue was daubed with the words “was a racist.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted Friday that while Churchill “sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today,” he was a hero and “we cannot now try to edit or censor our past.” Churchill, whose first term spanned 1940-45, has long been revered for his leadership during World War II.

Police have imposed strict restrictions on Saturday’s protests in a bid to avoid violent clashes. Authorities also fenced off other statues in Parliament Square, including memorials to Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln.

Police Cmdr. Bas Javid urged people not to gather in large groups at all because of the coronavirus. But if they must, he said activists have to stick to the planned route and be off the streets by 5 p.m. or risk arrest.

He said that while protesters last weekend were largely peaceful, a minority was “intent on disorder” and that resulted in assaults on police and violent behavior.

Dozens were arrested last weekend, and a police horse was pictured bolting past the crowds amid the chaos.

Ten members of SWAT team resign

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Ten members of a South Florida police department’s SWAT team have resigned from the team, citing safety concerns and local officials’ “disdain” for the unit.

The eight officers and two sergeants resigned from the team, but did not resign from the Hallandale Beach Police Department.

Police Chief Sonia Quinones received a memo from the SWAT team Friday morning, City Manager Greg Chavarria said in a statement, according to news outlets.

The officers said they were “minimally equipped” and had been “disrespected” by city officials who refused to address equipment and training concerns.

“The risk of carrying out our duties in this capacity is no longer acceptable to us and our families,” the officers wrote in the memo, dated June 9. “The anguish and stress of knowing that what we may be lawfully called upon to do in today’s political climate combined with the team’s current situation and several recent local events, leave us in a position that is untenable.”

The officers also said they were outraged that command staff had recently joined protesters and other officials in taking a knee as demonstrators called for the case of Howard Bowe to be reopened.

“This lack of support by members of the Command Staff is crippling to the agency and its rank and file,” the memo said.

Bowe, a 34-year-old black man, was killed in 2014 by Hallandale Beach’s SWAT team as it carried out a search warrant and raided his home. The officers wrote that investigators never found that any misconduct had been committed by the officers involved in Bowe’s death. The case later resulted in a $425,000 settlement between Bowe’s family and the city.

Dallas bans use of tear gas for 90 days

DALLAS — Dallas officials have agreed to a 90-day ban on the use of tear gas and other less-lethal police crowd-control weapons against demonstrators.

U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay approved late Thursday a consent decree in which Dallas police agree not to use against peaceful demonstrators smoke bombs, flashbangs, pepperballs, Mace or other chemical agents. They also agree to not fire such impact projectiles as rubber bullets, bean bags or sponges.

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect until Sept. 9 unless extended, amended or dissolved by the judge.

Tasia Williams and Vincent Doyle sued the city and police after rubber bullets injured them during two separate Black Lives Matter marches in Dallas.

The demonstrations are a reaction to the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer.

Judge orders Seattle to stop using tear gas for 14 days

SEATTLE — A federal judge has ordered Seattle to temporarily stop using tear gas, pepper spray and flash bang devices to break up peaceful protests.

The 14-day edict is a victory for groups who say authorities overreacted to demonstrations in the city after the death of George Floyd. A Black Lives Matter group sued the Seattle Police Department this week to halt the violent tactics police have used to break up largely peaceful protests in recent days.

Officers used tear gas, pepper spray and other less-lethal weapons against crowds that have demonstrated against racism and police brutality following the killing of Floyd in Minneapolis.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best apologized to peaceful protesters who were subjected to chemical weapons. However, Best has said some demonstrators had violently targeted police, throwing projectiles and ignoring orders to disperse.

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