Citizens Rise Up: A Timeline of the Global Protests in the Wake of George Floyd’s Death

Citizens Rise Up: A Timeline of the Global Protests in the Wake of George Floyd’s Death

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Billy Nilles

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Fri., Jun. 5, 2020 1:29 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextWill George Floyd’s Death Finally Ignite Change?

It was only May 25, 2020—Memorial Day here in the States—when George Floyd became the latest on a tragically long list of black men and women who have lost their lives while in police custody. And yet, with all that has happened in the wake of his death, it feels as though it’s been a lifetime. 

As video footage began circulating of Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes despite repeated cries of “I can’t breathe,” while three other officers looked on without intervening, and criminal charges had not yet been brought against the four officers, a nation began to rise up. Beginning in Minneapolis and eventually spreading to each of the 50 states, as well as several countries across the globe, citizens have taken to the streets—during a global pandemic, no less—to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

While justice for Floyd was certainly the catalyst, his death is not the only one that’s bringing people out into the streets.

Between the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman and EMT shot eight times on March 13 by police in Louisville, KY as she slept in her bed; the death of Tony McDade, a trans black man shot by police in Tallahassee, FL days after Floyd’s death; the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man out jogging who was killed in Georgia by two white civilians who were arrested months later (and after video of the incident was disseminated publicly), to name a few, outrage was widespread.

And with things moving and tensions escalating at such a rapid pace, it can be hard to keep track of it all. 

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Celebrities Attending Protests Over George Floyd’s Death

Here’s a timeline of events since Floyd’s death to help keep you as informed as possible on what’s going on.

May 25, 2020: George Floyd Dies in Police Custody

After allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a local Minneapolis Cup Foods, 46-year-old Floyd is arrested and dies while in police custody. Later, cellphone footage of the encounter is posted online, showing Chauvin pinning a handcuffed Floyd to the ground, face down, with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Amid cries of “I can’t breathe,” Floyd is kept in this position for over eight minutes. For the last two and a half, he is unresponsive.

May 26: Responding Officers Fired and Protests Begin

As the family of Floyd retains the services of civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo announced that he had fired all four officers involved in the arrest. No arrests are made. Protesters begin flooding the streets of the city, chanting, “I can’t breathe.”

Courtesy Ben Crump Law

May 27: Officers Names Are Revealed and Protests Spread

As Minneapolis reveals all the identities of all four fired officers, Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, protests begin to crop up across the country in places like Memphis and Los Angeles. 

May 28: More Cities Join in Protest

After Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station is set on fire, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is prompted to activate the state’s National Guard. Protests are now seen across New York, Denver, Phoenix, Columbus, Louisville and more cities. Chauvin’s disciplinary record, which details several police-conduct reports that resulted in zero disciplinary measures, is revealed by the MPD.

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George Floyd’s Friend and Witness to His Death Recalls Final Moments

May 29: An Arrest Is Made

After a CNN crew is arrested in Minneapolis while correspondent Omar Jimenz is reporting live on-air about street closures, Chauvin is taken into custody and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, charges that carry a combined maximum sentence of 35 years. “The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total,” a court document said. “Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was nonresponsive.” With charges yet to be filed against the other three officers, unrest  and clashes between police, protesters, and looters continues into the night and through the weekend across the country as curfews are imposed in nearly every city where demonstrators have gathered.

June 1: George Floyd’s Brother Visits as Autopsy Results Come In and the World Joins In

The first member of Floyd’s family to visit the site of his death, his brother Terrance Floyd addresses the gathered crowd. “If I’m not over here wilding out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are y’all doing? What are y’all doing?” he said. “Do this peacefully, please.” Meanwhile, two autopsies, one done by a government agency and the other done by doctors working for Floyd’s family, declare his death a homicide. Other significant conditions, as stated by medical examiner, included, “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.” The independent autopsy differs from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s findings in that it makes no mention of drug use or heart disease as contributing factors. However, both agree that Floyd’s manner of death was homicide.

This comes after Gov. Walz asks the state’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, to take over prosecutions in the case from the county prosecutor and protests begin to crop up overseas in the U.K. and Germany, as well as in Canada.

Julio Cortez/AP/Shutterstock; Offices of Ben Crump Law

June 2: Floyd’s Daughter Goes Viral as Social Media Goes Dark and More Countries Rise Up

Floyd’s six-year-old daughter Gianna appears at a protest in Minneapolis along with her mother, Roxie Washington, and former NBA player Stephen Jackson. In a clip that goes viral, she declares, “Daddy changed the world.” Meanwhile, following the cue of two music industry execs, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, who called for Tuesday, June 2 to be a day of reflection within an industry that has “profited predominantly from black art,” social media users take part in #BlackoutTuesday as a means of showing support and amplifying black voices. The movement faces some criticism, however, as some question whether going silent during a pivotal time could do more harm than good. “I just really think this is the time to push as hard as ever,” Lil Nas X tweets. “I don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful. We don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing. We need to spread info and be as loud as ever.”

Across the globe, demonstrators begin taking to the streets in more countries, including France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia, to voice their solidarity.

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John Legend Writes Personal Tribute to Breonna Taylor on Her 27th Birthday

June 3: All Four Officers Are Arrested

The three other officers involved in Floyd’s death are taken into custody, each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter, both felony charges. The first comes with a maximum sentence of no more than 40 years, and the second charge comes with a maximum sentence of no more than 10 years, or payment of a $20,000 fine. Additionally, Chauvin’s charge is upgraded to second-degree murder.

June 4: Floyd is Memorialized in Minneapolis as Officers Appear in Court

Hundreds gather at North Central University in Minnesota to attend the first of several memorials for Floyd that have been planned. During the ceremony, which is attended by a smattering of celebrities including T.I., Tyrese Gibson, Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart, the creation of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship is announced by the President of the school. Floyd will be further memorialized on Saturday, June 6 in North Carolina, where he was born, followed by a viewing of his body at Fountain of Grace Church in Houston on Monday, June 8, where he will be laid to rest the following day. 

Hennepin County Sheriff

On the same day, Thao, Lane and Kueng appear in court for arraignment. During their arraignment, Kueng’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, claimed that Kueng told officers, “You shouldn’t do this.” He also noted that the day Floyd died was his client’s third full shift as a police officer and requested bail be set at $200,000. Lane’s attorney Earl Gray requested “reasonable bail” as the 35-year-old attempted to give CPR and he had only been working in the police force for four days. According to the criminal report, both men held Floyd’s back and legs down, even when “Mr. Floyd said, ‘I’m about to die.'”

Thao’s attorney Robert Pauley asked for bail to be set at $200,000, citing the 34-year-old’s cooperation with the investigation. 

Judge Paul Scoggin set bail for all three former officers at $1,000,000 unconditional, $750,000 with conditions. In addition, the men are required to work in no law enforcement capacity, surrender firearms, void firearm permits and have no contact with victims family. Should they leave the state, they agree to waive extradition.

Chauvin has not yet made a public statement regarding his charges. He is due in court on June 8.

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June 5: Taylor Is Honored on Her Birthday

83 days after her death, which, as of press time, has resulted in zero arrests, attention turns to Taylor, who would’ve celebrated her 27th birthday on this day. Call for action in Louisville intensify.

For more ways to take action and get involved, click here

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Vanessa Bryant Honors Daughter Gianna on What Would’ve Been Her Graduation Day

Vanessa Bryant Honors Daughter Gianna on What Would’ve Been Her Graduation Day

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Cydney Contreras

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Fri., Jun. 5, 2020 1:42 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextHow Gianna Bryant Is Being Honored After Her Death

Vanessa Bryant is honoring daughter Gianna on what would’ve been her graduation from middle school.

On Friday afternoon, Vanessa revealed that her late daughter would’ve taken part in the graduation at the Harbor Day private school this weekend. She wrote on Instagram, “Congratulations on your 8th grade graduation Gigi. I love you forever and always. I’m so proud of you.”

Vanessa included a photo of the traditional graduation lei and Gianna’s diploma. She would’ve started her freshman year of high school in the fall. 

Gianna’s school also honored her achievement by including a picture of her team jersey, which was retired in February, in a collage of the Class of 2020. 

Many months have passed since Gianna, her father Kobe Bryant and seven others perished in a helicopter crash while en route to one of their basketball games at the Mamba Academy. In this time, Gianna’s life and accomplishments have been celebrated in numerous ways.

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Gianna Bryant’s Life in Photos

A particular moment that would’ve brought great joy to Gianna is when she was named as an honorary pick for the 2020 WNBA Draft. She, Payton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli were each remembered at the online draft pick on April 17.

Vanessa Bryant / Instagram

During the celebration, Vanessa told the viewers, “She wanted to be one of the greatest athletes of all time just like her daddy.”

“I’m so proud of you, Gigi. God I miss you baby. You deserved to live a long, healthy and happy life,” Vanessa added on her Instagram. “I wish I could hold you and tell you how proud I am of you. You’re the best, baby girl. Mommy loves and misses you more than I could ever express.”

 

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LA Galaxy Releases Player Aleksandar Katai Over Wife’s ”Racist and Violent” Posts

LA Galaxy Releases Player Aleksandar Katai Over Wife’s ”Racist and Violent” Posts

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McKenna Aiello

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Fri., Jun. 5, 2020 1:45 PM

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Los Angeles soccer team LA Galaxy has released Aleksandar Katai over controversial comments posted by his wife, Tea Katai, on social media. 

In a statement released Friday, the team said it had “mutually agreed to part ways” with Katai. The decision comes two days after the LA Galaxy spoke out regarding her since-deleted posts, which according to the Associated Press, called protesters “disgusting cattle” in Serbian, among other profane claims. 

Describing Tea’s social media comments “racist and violent,” the team said in a statement, “The LA Galaxy strongly condemned the social posts and requested their immediate removal/ The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality. The LA Galaxy stand with communities of color, and especially the Black community, in the protests and fight against systemic racism, social inequality, bigotry and violence. The LA Galaxy will hold a meeting with Katai on Thursday, June 4 and will determine next steps.”

Aleksandar, who joined the Galaxy in 2019, described Tea’s remarks as “unacceptable.” 

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Stars Donating to Black Lives Matter Organizations

“These views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family,” he wrote in his own statement on June 4. “I strongly condemn white supremacy, racism and violence towards people of color. Black lives matter. This is a mistake from my family and I take full responsibility. I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and support the black community.”

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His statement continued, “I understand that it will take time to earn back the support of the people of Los Angeles. I am committed to putting in the necessary work to learn from these mistakes and be a better ally and advocate for equality going forward. I am sorry for the pain these posts have caused the LA Galaxy family and all allies in the fight against racism.”

In response to the police killing of George Floyd and the global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the LA Galaxy announced a pledge to “reflect on our role in helping to fight racism in our community.”

For more ways to take action and get involved, click here.

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Kourtney Kardashian Says She Has a ”Responsibility” to Teach Her Kids About Their White Privilege

Kourtney Kardashian Says She Has a ”Responsibility” to Teach Her Kids About Their White Privilege

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McKenna Aiello

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Thu., Jun. 4, 2020 4:29 PM

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Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Kourtney Kardashian is sharing how she’s stepping up to ensure a better tomorrow for her children. 

In a candid Instagram post shared Thursday, the E! reality star explained why it’s so important to have honest conversations with her three kids about racial inequality—even if it feels “uncomfortable.” 

“As a mother,” Kourtney wrote, “there is a natural instinct to protect my children from anything that might make them feel sad or unsafe. The pain and suffering inflicted by racism is not a thing of the past and I bare the responsibility to speak with my kids honestly and often about it, even when the truth is uncomfortable.”

“I have to make sure they understand what it means to have white privilege and to take the time to learn and discuss Black History, beyond just one short month out of the year,” she continued.

The Poosh founder shares three children with Scott DisickMason Disick, 10, Penelope Disick, 7, and Reign Disick, 5. 

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Stars Donating to Black Lives Matter Organizations

In response to the police killing of George Floyd, Kourtney said she hopes to “encourage other mothers to join me in using this as a learning lesson for our children, to allow our children to feel comfortable enough to come talk to us about anything.” 

“Allow conversation without judgement,” she added, “and learn from our children too. We don’t know it all. My children sometimes ask questions that I may not know the answers to, so we explore them together.”

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Despite feeling she’s “always been on the right side of this,” Kourtney admitted in her post that she still has “a lot to learn” and wants to “educate myself even more, so that I can be a better mother, a better auntie to my nieces and nephews, a better friend, and a better person.”

On Wednesday, June 3, the 41-year-old pledged on behalf of Poosh that the lifestyle and wellness brand would “continue the conversation when racism and inequity cease to be a trending topic.” 

Additionally, Poosh donated to the NAACP and the The Bail Project. 

“E! stands in solidarity with the black community against systemic racism and oppression experienced every day in America,” the network said in a statement on May 31. “We owe it to our black staff, talent, production partners and viewers to demand change and accountability. To be silent is to be complicit. #BlackLivesMatter.”

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Three Childhood Friends Reunite to Protest for Black Lives Matter

Three Childhood Friends Reunite to Protest for Black Lives Matter

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Cydney Contreras

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Thu., Jun. 4, 2020 6:28 PM

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@kiitanamao/Instagram; Fra Lucchesi Photography

When Kiitan Amao, Moyo Badun and Sean Hill went to a protest in the small Irish town of Dundalk, they never expected to become the focus of a viral moment. 

However, the three men are now being celebrated after two photos from their childhood and current day circulated online. As of June 4, the tweet has garnered over one million likes and over 200,000 retweets, in addition to thousands of comments.

Kiitan, who is on the left in the above photo, tells E! News that the response to their pictures “has been crazy.” But he says he’s happy because he and his childhood friends are able to show the world that “the support from [their] town was overwhelming.”

“We as a small town called Dundalk managed to send such a strong message to everyone around the world. As such a small community we combined our talents to push a message out to the world,” he explains. “This town is a hidden treasure full of talent and strength.” 

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Celebrities Attending Protests Over George Floyd’s Death

As for what he hopes his friendship with Sean and Moyo represents, Kiitan wants people to know “that if you just unite and love one another you can achieve so much.”

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“Dundalk and this friendship did nothing but prove that the human race is stronger together than we are divided into subcategories,” he adds.

Kiitan, Moyo and Sean are three of many thousands of individuals who’ve participated in global Black Lives Matter protests.

These mass marches began over a week ago when George Floyd died on Monday, May 25, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly 9-minutes, with the assistance of three other officers. This incident was captured on video by a witness and has led to the indictment of all four men involved. 

Though charges were brought against all the former officers, people, including celebrities like HalseyJamie Foxx and Jonah Hill, continue to demand justice and call for racial equality. To learn how to take action and get involved, please click here. 

 – Additional reporting by Spencer Lubitz

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Jay-Z Lends His Private Plane to Ahmaud Arbery’s Attorneys to Attend Court Hearing

Jay-Z Lends His Private Plane to Ahmaud Arbery’s Attorneys to Attend Court Hearing

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McKenna Aiello

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Thu., Jun. 4, 2020 6:43 PM

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With a court hearing scheduled Thursday and flights unavailable, attorneys representing Ahmaud Arbery‘s family say they “started losing hope” they’d be able to attend—that is until Jay-Z offered to help. 

According to Instagram posts shared by Blerim Elmazi and S. Lee Merritt, the rapper lent his private plane to the legal team so they could make it to a preliminary hearing in Georgia.

“Court hearing in Brunswick, Georgia this morning,” Elmazi captioned a photo standing in front of the jet. “No flights to take us there last night. @leemerrittesq and I spent hours trying to find flights or cars. At 1 am we started losing hope till we got a call from Jay-Z’s people at Roc Nation who chartered a flight for us to attend this hearing with the family of Ahmaud Arbery. Thankful for their support.”

Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was fatally shot in February. Video of the incident circulated online, prompting widespread outrage

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Stars Donating to Black Lives Matter Organizations

During today’s probable cause hearing, NBC News reports that a judge ruled that all three defendants charged in connection to Arbery’s death would stand trial.

Ahmaud Arbery Family

On May 7, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. 

The man who allegedly recorded the fatal shooting of Arbery, 50-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan, was taken into custody two weeks later and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

While Arbery’s family maintains he was out for a jog when the shooting took place, the McMichael’s, who are white, have said they thought he was a burglary suspect. 

Earlier this week, Jay-Z and Roc Nation took out multiple, full-page ads in newspapers nationwide as a tribute to George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. 

View this post on Instagram

In dedication to George Floyd. #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd

A post shared by Team Roc (@teamroc) on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:34pm PDT

Quoting a 1965 speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the ad reads in part, “Only way we can really achieve freedom is to somehow hunker the fear of death. But if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction—that there are some things so dear, so things so precious, so things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for.”

Jay-Z’s rep had no comment when contacted by E! News regarding the private plane gesture.

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Watch Artem Chigvintsev Propose to Nikki Bella on Total Bellas

Watch Artem Chigvintsev Propose to Nikki Bella on Total Bellas

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Alyssa Ray

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Thu., Jun. 4, 2020 7:00 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextNikki Bella Gets Engaged to Artem: “Total Bellas” Recap (S5, Ep10)

A big step for both Bella twins.

On tonight’s all-new Total Bellas, viewers got a front-row seat as Artem Chigvintsev proposed to Nikki Bella. As E! readers surely know, back in January, Nikki and Artem confirmed that they had gotten engaged during their November 2019 trip to France.

While the twosome teased the romantic moment on social media, Total Bellas cameras captured the sweet declaration of love—and how it all came to be thanks to Brie.

With the help of Daniel Bryan‘s wife and Nikki’s mom Kathy Colace, Artem was able to turn a special birthday dinner at a chateau into a lavish proposal. Specifically, hours before the former Dancing With the Stars pro got down on one knee, he asked Brie and Kathy to help rehearse and stage the proposal.

“I don’t think I’ve ever kept a secret this big from Nicole,” Brie noted in a confessional. “This has to be the biggest secret ever, but my sister and I tell each other everything. So, this is really hard on me.”

As Artem’s family and Nikki’s family settled down for dinner at the chateau, Artem led Nikki to a distant room filled with candles, flowers and a string quartet. Thinking the surprise ambiance was just for her name day, Nikki declared, “This is the best birthday ever!”

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Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev’s Cutest Pics

After the two enjoyed the string quartet with a little dancing, the music stopped so that Artem could make his speech.

“Oh, do I get a special toast?” an unaware Nikki inquired. “What is it?”

As Artem took a moment to just look at Nikki, his fiancée-to-be called him out for turning red.

“I feel like when we met it was definitely fate,” Artem started off. “And the thing is, when I fell in love with you, it was completely out of my control.”

As he continued, Artem shared the following saying: “Love is a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

“You turned my world upside down, but in the most incredible way,” Artem confessed. “And I love you so, so much.”

“I love you too so much,” Nikki responded.

E!

In a confessional, the Russian-born star revealed that he thought about this speech “for a long time.” Meanwhile, Artem and Nikki’s families crept towards the room to eaves drop on the proposal.

“I want to spend every sunrise and every sunset with you,” Artem stated before pulling out the ring and getting down on one knee. “What I’m trying to say is, will you marry me?”

A shocked Nikki said, “Artem! No!” A remark brother J.J. Garcia heard outside the room.

Realizing that Artem was serious, Nikki gave her real answer, “Yes!”

“Oh my goodness! Are you serious right now?” a stunned Nikki asked while jumping into her fiancé’s arms.

Following Nikki’s praise of the “pretty” ring, the eagerly awaiting families joined in on the celebrating. Not only was Nikki’s family over-the-moon for the engaged duo, but Artem’s mom Anna, dad Vladimir and brother Anton were thrilled that the Broadway veteran now had American family watching out for him.

Also, Artem’s dad Vladimir made a baby joke by saying he’s looking forward to “expanding the family.”

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Brie & Nikki Bella Urge the Importance of Speaking Out Against Racism: “We All Have to Step Up Now”

Ironically, as Nikki took this big step in her relationship, Brie began to suspect that she was pregnant with her second baby. At first, Brie downplayed her symptoms as jet lag, but as they continued well past her return to Phoenix, she decided it was time to take a pregnancy test.

“I just feel really tired, nauseous,” Brie told her husband (born Bryan Danielson).

Later on, the Belle Radici co-founder revealed that she and Bryan “are in a better place” and are ready “for a baby to come into our lives.”

“Bryan!” a shocked Brie declared from the bathroom.

“What?” the WWE superstar responded. “You’re pregnant? Or you’re lying to me?”

With a giggle of glee, Brie showed Bryan the positive pregnancy test. “I’m pregnant and I just can’t believe it,” Brie told the Total Bellas camera. “What’s really special about this baby is, I feel like the baby came when Bryan and I let go of so much. It kind of just is a symbol of how far Bryan and I have come and just where we’re at now, which I love.”

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During a visit with Brie, Nikki told her twin that she “could not stop visualizing taking a pregnancy test.” According to Brie, their twin connection caused Nikki’s baby fever. “Usually, when one’s going through something the other one feels it,” the soon-to-be mother of two declared.

Still, Nikki’s pregnancy test vision left her rattled.

“It’s so crazy you’re on baby number two and I’m on zero,” Nikki remarked after learning Brie’s pregnancy news. “It was weird, I just kept getting this feeling, visualizing babies.”

Was it because she was sensing Brie’s pregnancy or her own? For this revelation, be sure to check out next week’s season 5 finale.

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