Protests flare around the United States over Minneapolis killing

Protests flare up across US cities as cop charged over George Floyd’s death

Protests flare around the United States over Minneapolis killing
George Floyd death: A man shouting during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, in St Louis, Missouri, U.S. May 29, 2020.


Following the killing of George Floyd, thousands of protesters stopped traffic, set ablaze cars and lashed out violently at police in some places as protests spread across the US, reported the Associated Press.

Derek Chauvin, the white Minneapolis police officer, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter Friday, and authorities imposed an overnight curfew to stem three nights of often-violent protests that left dozens of stores burned and looted.

The incident once again brought to the fore concerns over the law enforcement’s bias against the African American minority, with Floyd’s death being cited as the most recent incident of racially-driven police brutality.×1.png

Chauvin was also accused of ignoring another officer at the scene who had expressed concerns about Floyd as he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading that he could not breathe. George Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a grocery store.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared a curfew from 8 pm on Friday to 6 am on Saturday. However, protesters defied the curfew in Minneapolis by rallying in the city’s downtown for the fourth day.

Watch: Minneapolis burns as protests against George Floyd’s death grows across US

A restaurant named Gandhi Mahal in Minneapolis was damaged after it caught fire. The hotel owner was heard saying, “Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail,” over phone.

“Don’t worry about us, we will rebuild and recover. Gandhi Mahal may have felt the flames last night but our fiery drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die.

Peace be with everyone,” read a post by the restaurant.

George Floyd Death: Protesters run away from police officers during a protest following the death of African-American George Floyd in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., May 29, 2020. (Reuters)

National Guard summoned to aid cities amid police clashes

Georgia governor Brian P Kempt declared a state of emergency in Fulton county and ordered the deployment of 500 National Guard troops in Minneapolis and surrounding cities as protests turned violent in Atlanta.

In downtown Atlanta, hours of peaceful protests turned violent when some demonstrators smashed police cars, setting one on fire, spray-painted the logo at CNN headquarters and broke into a restaurant.

At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests.

Even though Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appealed for calm, violence continued and more cars were set on fire, a Starbucks was smashed up and the Omni Hotel was vandalised.

US media reported that the White House went into a brief lockdown after hundreds of people rallied at a park across the street from the president’s mansion.

People watch a fire Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock called for calm and unity after the first of several planned protests in the city turned violent. He blamed what he called a minority of agitators among peaceful protesters for inciting violence throughout downtown on Thursday, in which rocks were thrown at police officers, windows were broken and cars were damaged at the state Capitol and at businesses.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged protesters to remain peaceful after a group of people blocked highway entrances and threw objects at police officers. Over 3,000 protesters gathered with Black Lives Matter Houston to protest Floyd’s death while officers deployed tear gas to disperse crowds.

In Louisville, Kentucky, demonstrators broke into the city’s Hall of Justice and started a fire inside.

Protesters carry placards reading ‘I can’t breathe’, ‘Justice for George’

Protesters in Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles carried signs reading, I can’t breathe. Justice for George” and chanted “No justice, no peace”, and “Say his name. George Floyd.”

Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Crowds of demonstrators chanted at police officer outside the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York. The crowd threw water bottles towards the officers, who sprayed an eye-irritating chemical twice, in return.

Several people rallied in front of City Hall in Houston, where Floyd grew up. A woman who used a rifle to incite the crowd was taken into police custody.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, threatened action and tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” which prompted a warning from for “glorifying violence”.

Within hours, flagged the post for “glorifying violence” but let it remain visible in the public’s interest “to remain accessible.”

Joe Biden speaks of racial ‘open wound’

FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to speak about the coronavirus in Wilmington, Del. Biden says he would to be a “transition” from President Donald Trump to younger, rising Democratic stars.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Joe Biden lamented the “open wound” of the nation’s systemic racism on Friday as he responded to the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.

He drew an implicit contrast with President Donald Trump, who has suggested authorities could respond with violence to the protests that followed George Floyd’s death.

“The original sin of this country still stains our nation today”, Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said in remarks broadcast from his home in Wilmington, Delaware. “It’s time for us to take a hard look at uncomfortable truths.”

Biden announced his bid for the presidency last year arguing he’s uniquely positioned to unite a deeply divided country. He pointed to Trump’s response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as unworthy of America’s people and values.

CNN crew arrested while reporting on Minneapolis protests

The Minnesota State Patrol on Friday arrested a CNN television crew as they reported on violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Atlanta-based CNN said that the crew, which included CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, was released later Friday morning.

While live on air, Jimenez was handcuffed and led away. A producer and a photojournalist for CNN were also led away in handcuffs.

Minnesota police arrest CNN reporter and camera crew as they report from protests in Minneapolis— New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020

CNN’s communications team earlier said on that the crew was arrested for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.

The Minnesota State Patrol did not immediately respond to an email and a phone call Friday morning from The Associated Press seeking more information on the arrests.

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Protests flare up across the US over Minneapolis killing of George Floyd

Protests flare around the United States over Minneapolis killing

Widespread violent protests continue in the United States, as people react to the death of an unarmed African American while in police custody.

See the latest news photos from the protests in the United States here:

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In Chicago, crowds threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas and police vehicles have been set on fire in several cities, including Miami and New York

The full Minnesota National Guard was activated for the first time since World War Two after four nights of sometimes violent protests that have spread to other US cities following the killing of a black man by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said the deployment was needed because outsiders were using the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd to spread chaos, and that he expected Saturday night's protests to be the fiercest so far.

From Minneapolis to New York City, Atlanta and Washington, protesters clashed with police late on Friday in a rising tide of anger over the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.

“We are under assault,” Walz told a briefing. “Order needs to be restored. … We will use our full strength of goodness and righteousness to make sure this ends.”

He said he believed a “tightly controlled” group of outside agitators, some white supremacist groups and drug cartels were to blame for some of the violence in Minneapolis, but he did not give specifics when asked by reporters. He said as many as 80% of those arrested were from out-of-state.

Minnesota National Guard General Jon Jensen said all the state's guardsmen had been activated, and that 2500 of them would be mobilized by noon.

“It means we're all in,” Jensen said.

The demonstrations broke out for a fourth night despite prosecutors announcing on Friday that the policeman filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, had been arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

Three other officers have been fired and are being investigated in connection with Monday's incident, which reignited rage that civil rights activists said has long simmered in Minneapolis and cities across the country over persistent racial bias in the US criminal justice system.

Photo: AFP

'Pains me so much'

The video of Floyd's death, filmed by a bystander, showed the 46-year-old repeatedly pleading with the officers and telling them he could not breathe.

In the Minneapolis neighbourhood of Lyndale, the mood was sombre on Saturday morning as dozens of people surveyed the damage and swept up glass and debris from the night before.

Luke Kallstrom, 27, a financial analyst, stood in the threshold of a post office that had been burned to the ground.

“It's unbelievable,” he said. “It pains me so much. This does not honour the man who was wrongfully taken away from us.”

As he spoke, several military vehicles rolled by, loaded with soldiers.

Some of Friday's most chaotic scenes were in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where thousands of demonstrators gathered near the Barclays Centre arena. Police armed with batons and pepper spray made more than 200 arrests in sometimes violent clashes. Several officers were injured.

In Washington, police and Secret Service agents deployed in force around the White House before dozens of demonstrators gathered across the street in Lafayette Square.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he had watched the whole thing, and, if the demonstrators had breached the fence, “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

“That's when people would have been really badly hurt, at least,” Trump wrote on .

He also appeared to call his supporters to rally outside the executive mansion on Saturday evening.

Chaos in Atlanta

In Atlanta, Bernice King, the youngest daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., urged people to go home on Friday night after more than 1000 protesters marched to the state capitol and blocked traffic on an interstate highway.

The demonstration turned violent at points. Fires burned near the CNN Centre, the network's headquarters, and windows were smashed at its lobby. At least one police car was among several vehicles burnt.

Rapper Killer Mike, in an impassioned speech flanked by the city's mayor and police chief, also implored angry residents to stay inside and to mobilize to win at the ballot box.

“Make sure you exercise your political bully power,” he said. “But it is not time to burn down your own home.”

Protesters also took to the streets in other cities including Detroit, Denver, Houston, Oakland and Louisville, Kentucky.

Authorities in Minneapolis had hoped Chauvin's arrest would allay public anger. Late on Friday, officers opened fire with tear gas, plastic bullets and concussion grenades to disperse protesters. Still, Friday night's demonstrations were far smaller and more widely dispersed than the night before.

Floyd, a Houston native who had worked security for a nightclub, was arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money at a store to buy cigarettes on Monday evening.

Bail has been set at $500,000 for Chauvin, but it was unclear on Saturday whether he remained in custody. Hennepin County jail records showed no inmate of that name. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.



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