Top US general - 'I should not have been there': Live updates

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The police killing of George Floyd has triggered anti-racism protests around the world. A number of monuments with links to colonialism and slavery have been defaced or pulled down in Europe and the United States as demands for racial justice continue.

One of the four former Minneapolis police officers who was charged over the death of Floyd was released on a $750,000 bail.

Floyd died on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked nationwide calls for policing reforms. 


General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking with President Donald Trump towards St John's Church in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020 [File: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

16:11 GMT - Names of two Confederate leaders to be removed from US Naval Academy

The names of two members of the Confederacy should be removed from buildings at the US Naval Academy, the chairman of the academy's Board of Visitors announced.

Representative CA Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat, said the Pentagon should consider removing Confederate names from all military bases as people across the country protest against racial inequality and police brutality.

"There has been discussion of renaming these buildings since at least 2017," Ruppersberger said in a statement. "As the new Chairman, the time for discussion is over. It's time for action." 

Ruppersberger continued by saying those who qualified to study at the academy should not be forced to "see buildings named for men who fought to uphold slavery and promote white supremacy".

The academy superintendent's residence is named after Franklin Buchanan, the academy's first superintendent who left to join the Confederate Navy at the start of the Civil War.

The academy's Weapons and Systems Engineering division is housed in Maury Hall, named after Matthew Fontaine Maury. He headed the coast, harbour and river defences for the Confederate Navy.

The Republican-led US Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment that would require the Department of Defense to rename military bases named after Confederate generals, setting up a clash with President Donald Trump, who opposes that change.

14:15 GMT - Pentagon chief says he was wrong to accompany Trump on church walk

Army General Mark Milley, the US's top military officer, said he was wrong to have accompanied President Donald Trump on a walk to a church through Lafayette Square, where he was photographed in his combat uniform with the presidential entourage.

"My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics," Milley said. "As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it."

Covering the George Floyd protests as a Black journalist | Between Us

The statement by the Joint Chiefs chairman risked the wrath of a president sensitive to anything hinting of criticism of events he has staged. Trump's June 1 walk through the park to pose with a Bible at a church came after authorities used pepper spray and flashbangs to clear the park and streets of largely peaceful protesters.

Milley said his presence and the photographs compromised his commitment to a military divorced from politics.

"I should not have been there," Milley said in prerecorded remarks to a National Defense University commencement ceremony.

14:00 GMT - Fitness company apologises for 'I can't breathe' workout

A health club company has apologised on behalf of a franchisee who posted an "I can't breathe" workout at its gym in Wisconsin.

Photos of the workout instructions drawn on a dry erase board at Anytime Fitness in the city of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin were shared widely on social media and drawn criticism.

The "I can't breathe" workout included burpees, or squat thrusts, with the instructions "don't you dare lay down". It also showed a person in a kneeling position, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Anytime Fitness apologizes for franchisee's 'I can't breathe' workout, says they will share with other locations as an example of "what not to do."

— KARE 11 (@kare11) June 11, 2020

The company said it was "profoundly sorry" that the workout was posted.

"No matter what the intent, we absolutely do not condone the words, illustrations or actions this represents. One of our publicly-stated commitments to antiracism work is to bolster training efforts for our franchise owners to lead with empathy, love and respect. This incident makes it clear we have more work to do in this space," a statement from the company read.

The workout instructions at the gym have since been removed.

13:00 GMT - One of four Minneapolis police charged over Floyd's death freed on bail

One of the four former Minneapolis police officers who was charged over the death of George Floyd was released on bail on Wednesday.

The former police officer released, Thomas Lane, 37, had been held on $750,000 bail and was freed from Hennepin County jail, sheriff's office records showed.

All four officers have been fired from the Minneapolis police department.

Catch up on Wednesday's updates here.

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