Officials across America were responding to another night of escalating unrest after clashes erupted between protesters and police in dozens of cities Saturday. Tensions flared in cities from New York to Philadelphia to Columbia, S.C., as thousands of people amassed to protest the death of a black man in police custody.

Police cars were set aflame, freeways were blocked, windows were shattered and authorities deployed tear gas and even rubber bullets. Multiple governors activated the National Guard and curfews were enacted in several major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Denver, Miami and Milwaukee.

Here are some significant developments:

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to help enforce a citywide curfew as violent demonstrations continue on the streets of Los Angeles. Mayor Eric Garcetti initially resisted using troops because he did not want to evoke memories of the 1992 Rodney King riots. But conditions have continued to deteriorate in sections of the city where businesses were ransacked.
  • President Trump’s allies are urging him to address the nation while Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released his own statement condemning the violence.
  • One person was fatally shot in downtown Indianapolis and police there are warning residents the city is not safe. Officers are investigating if the shooting is connected to the ongoing protests. A 21-year-old man sitting in their car was also shot dead in downtown Detroit a day earlier after someone opened fire toward a protesting crowd.
  • In New York City, two dozen police vehicles were torched, resulting in dozens of arrests. People defied curfews in cities across the country and experienced looting, break-ins and arson. In Philadelphia, demonstrators broke into a store near city hall and attempted to tear down the statue of a former mayor.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he was “fully” mobilizing the National Guard in the Twin Cities. The Guard has also been activated in Georgia, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah. Seattle called in 200 National Guard members, who were to be unarmed.

In photos: The death of George Floyd ignites protests across the nation | Do you have photos or videos of George Floyd’s arrest or the protests? Share them here.

May 31, 2020 at 6:44 AM EDT

Night of chaos in New York as protesters clash with police

BROOKLYN — The downtown area of this New York borough looked as if it were under martial law as Saturday night turned into Sunday morning.

Dozens of police vehicles screamed to a halt in front of a McDonald’s near the DeKalb subway stop, as what appeared to be at least a hundred officers with plastic shields pushed back on crowds shouting “George Floyd,” and “Eric Garner,” two African Americans killed by police. “Go home!” officers shouted back, waving batons.

A pile of trash burned on the asphalt. Cars honked their horns. Sirens blazed. Firetrucks rushed to the scene. Multiple times, police pushback caused a stampede — sometimes prompted by glass bottles thrown at officers from the crowd, sometimes seemingly prompted by nothing at all.

One woman who said she was a medic rushed forward to help a man bleeding from his forehead. Seconds later, she ran the opposite direction, clutching her eyes, saying she’d been pepper sprayed and asking for someone, anyone to grab saline solution from her bag.

“At nighttime they get real dirty. They want you to go home and they become very, very aggressive,” said protester Derek Rutledge, 53, an unemployed accountant born and raised in downtown Brooklyn.

He had arrived by bicycle for a way to escape if things got hairy and said this was his second night protesting. “There are good cops and there’s a whole bunch of dirty cops. If I was a cop and I saw somebody killing somebody for $20, I’d say, ‘Dude, get off of him!’ There’s no need.” (Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody, was suspected of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a local deli.)

All along Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue thoroughfare were shattered windows and piles of glass, at a TD bank, a Men’s Wearhouse, and the downtown Brooklyn Apple Store, where a single panel of the store’s tempered glass facade had cracked but was not broken.

Photographer Flo Ngala, 25, came from Harlem and was wearing a Martin Luther King Jr. T-shirt. She carried a sign reading, “Can’t breathe with a mask on. Can’t breathe without one.” Most of the day, she said, had been inspiring, with crowds cheering protesters on from cars and balconies. Two little black boys had marched with them, one with a sign that read “Stop killing us.” Ngala stopped talking mid-sentence, as batons and plastic shields came into view, and ran.

Among the bystanders caught up in the melee were a few people exiting the subway and a homeless woman pushing a shopping cart filled with her belongings. She leaned over and let out a hacking cough. A protester with his mask around his chin stood on the sidewalk, directing the traffic of fleeing protesters around her. “Yo brother, run that way,” he said. “Coronavirus is real.”

Around a corner, a 26-year-old black woman slumped on the sidewalk surrounded by five other protesters, all of them people of color who said they came from the city. They’d been strangers to her until moments earlier, when, they said, she’d gotten pepper sprayed. The woman’s face was caked with salt and milk from a solution the other protesters poured into her eyes to stop the burning.

Even when the stinging stopped, she cried. “They’re just good people who saw me in pain,” she said of her new protest friends. “I’m moved to tears by the kindness.”

A special-education teacher from Brooklyn, the woman said she had previously been arrested when an ex-boyfriend beat her and she physically defended herself. “I want to believe in them so badly. I want to believe that they’re good,” she said of police, but that was hard when she’d spent five hours in the same station as her ex-boyfriend.

She burst into tears explaining that she’d come out to protest, despite her fears of the police and the pandemic, because she felt like she’d be letting her students down if she didn’t.

The woman works in a poor school district with mostly children of color. “And they tell me, ‘I want to be an astronaut. I want to become a pilot,’” she said.

This protest was for them, she said, and getting pepper sprayed wasn’t going to stop her from staying out all night if she had to. “I want them to live long enough to achieve their dreams.”

By Jada Yuan
May 31, 2020 at 6:11 AM EDT

Ocasio-Cortez slams de Blasio after New York police cruisers drive into crowd

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) for saying he would not “blame” New York City policy officers who appeared to have driven their vehicle into a throng of protesters.

“@NYCMayor your comments tonight were unacceptable,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter. “This moment demands leadership & accountability from each of us. Defending and making excuses for NYPD running SUVs into crowds was wrong.”

Though it was unclear to what exactly he was referring, President Trump tweeted late Saturday night, “Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest. There is nobody better, but they must be allowed to do their job!”

De Blasio was responding to social media footage that shows two clearly marked NYPD SUVs partially surrounded by protesters on Saturday, some of whom appear to be throwing water bottles at one of the vehicles. The first SUV idles behind a barrier as the other begins to move through the crowd. The other then accelerates through the barrier into more people, followed by more protesters pounding on the vehicle’s windows and an individual jumping on top of the SUV as its siren continued to blare.

The mayor said the incident is under investigation. But he added that he would not criticize police officers facing such an “impossible situation.”

“If those protesters had just gotten out of the way and not created an attempt to surround that vehicle, we would not be talking about this,” de Blasio said on local television station NY1.

He added: “In a situation like that, it’s a very, very tense situation. And imagine what it would be like, you’re just trying to do your job and then you see hundreds of people converging upon you. I’m not gonna blame officers who are trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation,” de Blasio said. “The folks who were converging on that police car did the wrong thing to begin with and they created an untenable situation. I wish the officers had found a different approach. But let’s begin at the beginning. The protesters in that video did the wrong thing to surround them, surround that police car, period.”

Other New York City politicians have also criticized the police actions in the video.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called it “outrageous” and added “if NYPD’s intent is to keep folks safe, this isn’t it.”

By Brent Griffiths
May 31, 2020 at 5:12 AM EDT

‘They need to be penalized monetarily’, says formerly incarcerated Brooklyn protester

BROOKLYN — Sultan Malik, 40, who seems to have become an impromptu leaders of New York City protesters, was exhausted after two days of demonstrations. He sat down Saturday on the speaker he’d been carrying for seven hours. His voice was gone.

“When y’all ready to fight, I’ll fight,” Malik told fellow protesters as they scattered.

Police had closed in like a vise on both the north and south ends of one of Brooklyn’s main streets in the upper middle-class, largely white neighborhood of Cobble Hill. Some onlookers cheered on the demonstrators as they drank to-go cocktails.

A native of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Malik said the protests had gone on peacefully and unimpeded for hours in the poor, predominantly black neighborhood of Flatbush where he had started his day. Flatbush is also one of the areas hardest-hit by covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in a city that was one of the national hotspots for the virus.

“As soon as we came into where the wealthy white folks are, that’s when the police showed up in riot gear,” he said. “But not when we was in the ghetto."

Malik didn’t want to be called a leader of the protesters, but everyone on the street was leaning in to listen to him. He is used to taking command, as a fitness trainer and part owner of ConBody, a prison-style fitness boot camp where all the instructors were formerly incarcerated. Malik spent 14 years at a maximum-security prison for armed robbery. Seven of those, he’s said, were in solitary confinement for acting out against abuse from the guards.

Beyond his frustration over the police brutality that sparked these protests, Malik is dismayed by the direction of the protests.

“No one seems to have an outright game plan as to how to approach power. It’s just, ‘End racism,’” he said.

But he has thought of a three-point plan.

First, there should be economic consequences for police officers who abuse their positions.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for any civil litigation made against them,” said Malik. “We’re paying for police brutality! So to stop it we need to have a law and a mandate that not only are they fired and not reinstated — it comes out of their pensions. If the civil litigation is successful following their removal from their position, they need to be penalized monetarily.”

Second, police should not have a “license to kill,” he said. “It’s indescribable when we see these terrible shootings. They’re trained professionals. Are they not trained to disable arms, legs? No, it’s shoot to kill. It’s head shots. Same with batons. Head shots.”

Third, Malik believes there should be legislation to hold other law enforcement officers who witness crimes accountable.

“Officers who are present during these assaults and murders, they, too, are held responsible,” Malik said. He pointed to a young white man on a bike nearby. “If this young man unfortunately finds himself in a situation where a crime is committed and his friends are nearby, wouldn’t he be culpable? Why does that not apply to the officers?”

In Brooklyn, Malik looked out at the peacefully dispersing crowd. “They got the nerve to talk about looting,” he said, shaking his head. “This very country was created by looting, burning, bleeding, pillaging, stealing — any of the synonyms.”

He picked up the speaker he’d been sitting on. “Stay safe,” he said. “Stay dangerous, too.”

By Jada Yuan
May 31, 2020 at 5:11 AM EDT

Man brutally beaten in Dallas during protests

Dallas’s second day of protests reached a flash point late Saturday as a widely circulated, graphic video showed a man charging at protesters with a machete before being brutally beaten.

In various videos on social media, the man is seen carrying a machete and chases a group of protesters. A Dallas Police Department spokesman said the man was allegedly trying to protect his neighborhood from protesters.

The man was then assaulted by a group of people, who kicked and punched the man in the body and head. Once the attackers clear, the unidentified man was left behind with a bloody head, twisted limbs, and he was not moving.

Shortly before midnight local time, the police spokesman said the victim is in stable condition at a hospital. The man was transported from the scene before officers arrived, the spokesman said.

The initial call came in as a stabbing at the House of Blues, a popular downtown music venue. Police are investigating.

By Rachel Siegel
May 31, 2020 at 5:02 AM EDT

Target temporarily closes 175 stores

Target has temporarily closed 175 stores in 13 states — about 9 percent of its U.S. stores — as protests continue across the country, including in Minneapolis, the site of George Floyd’s death and where the retail giant is headquartered.

“Our focus will remain on our team members’ safety and helping our community heal,” the retailer said in a statement.

About 42 percent of the closures are for Minnesota locations. Seven stores, including four in Minneapolis, are closed until further notice. Forty-nine store locations are closed across California, which is the largest collection outside of Minnesota.

Stores were also shuttered in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. You can view the full list here.

Target is pledging that affected employees will be paid for 14 days of scheduled hours, including coronavirus-related bonuses. They will also be allowed to work at nearby locations that remain open.

By Brent Griffiths
May 31, 2020 at 4:37 AM EDT

Protesters clash with police in Minneapolis

Protesters at the intersection of East 31st Street and South Third Avenue as police in riot gear advance toward them on Saturday in Minneapolis.

By Salwan Georges
May 31, 2020 at 4:30 AM EDT

Protesters burn trash cans and police vehicles in New York

Protesters burn trash cans and police vehicles as they march in Lower Manhattan on Saturday night.

By Jabin Botsford
May 31, 2020 at 4:25 AM EDT

A tale of two protests in the Pacific Northwest

Family-friendly marches for justice unfolded blocks from pandemonium in parallel protests playing out on Saturday in the Pacific Northwest.

Demonstrators chanted in unison beneath umbrellas while circling downtown Seattle, where groups of people overturned trash bins, shattered the windows of businesses and torched a police vehicle, according to local reports.

Police in riot gear and gas masks used pepper spray and tear gas to move protesters who had been looting stores. They chased and arrested several of the demonstrators, some of whom walked onto a nearby freeway and blocked traffic.

One incident, captured on video by a journalist, involved a police officer placing their knee on the neck of the individual being handcuffed. The scene elicited impassioned rebukes from bystanders who immediately recognized the maneuver as the same one former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, used while restraining George Floyd. The 46-year-old complained he could not breathe and stopped moving during the filmed arrest. Floyd later died at the hospital.

In the Seattle incident, a second police officer knocked the man’s knee off the neck of the person being arrested.

Further south in Portland, police tweeted throughout the early-morning hours about demonstrators erecting barriers to block downtown streets and “flashpoints of vandalism.” The county courthouse, which had been a target for arsonists the night before, was again peppered with projectiles.

Both cities are under a curfew and dozens of protesters were taken to jail.

By Arelis Hernández
May 31, 2020 at 3:21 AM EDT

Newsom declares emergency in Los Angeles, deploys National Guard

After days of protests and bursts of violence around the city, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County late Saturday night.

The state also granted Mayor Eric Garcetti’s request to deploy the National Guard to Los Angeles to help “maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city,” wrote Garcetti in a late-night tweet.

Garcetti had already extended curfew in the city from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Sunday to maintain order after fires raged and violence broke out around the city Saturday. The mayor initially resisted calling on troops to avoid evoking memories of the 1992 Rodney King riots.

The Los Angeles Times reported that people lit a dumpster fire in the Melrose district and continued looting until long after the curfew. In his state of emergency declaration in the county, Newsom acknowledged that “local authority is inadequate to address the threat posed by civil unrest within Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles.”

Elsewhere in the state, protesters did not disperse until early Sunday morning. In La Mesa, local reporters caught footage of banks burning and reported destruction of a block of bars and businesses.

Crowds also lingered into the morning hours in Sacramento; shortly before 2 a.m. local time police tweeted out an advisory warning they would be using “chemical agents” to “disperse a crowd throwing rocks at officers and lighting fires.”

About 40 minutes later, the department tweeted that most people had dispersed.

By Chelsea Janes
May 31, 2020 at 2:52 AM EDT

Ferguson police department evacuated

The police department in Ferguson, Mo., was evacuated early Sunday morning as multiple officers were injured and the building sustained significant damage, according to the St. Louis County Police Department.

“At this time, 2 officers were injured and transported. 2 others were treated at the scene for minor injuries,” the county police department wrote on Twitter, adding that some protesters are throwing rocks and fireworks at officers.

The St. Louis County Police Department said it is continuing to assist officers in the suburb that became a national focal point after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in 2014. Ferguson, like many cities across America, is also under a curfew, which went into effect at midnight Sunday.

By Brent Griffiths
May 31, 2020 at 2:47 AM EDT

In Houston, protesters say threat of police brutality outweighs fear of the coronavirus

Before she left her home, Chavon Allen, 33, agonized over whether it was a good idea to bring her eight-year-old daughter to an unpredictable protest in the streets of downtown Houston Saturday evening.

It was frightening enough that some protests had turned chaotic the day before, with some people destroying police property and officers responding with force. Video footage captured a mounted patrol officer trampling a protesting woman, who narrowly avoided severe injury.

But what was scarier than the potential chaos, Allen said, was the risk of being exposed to the deadly coronavirus amid the dense crowd of protesters. Ultimately, she decided the viral menace paled in comparison to another threat to her health and safety.

“I understand we’re in a global pandemic right now, but I also feel like our lives are in a state of emergency as well because of the police,” she said, noting her brother had been shot by a Houston police officer three years earlier and survived. “That’s why we’re out here.”

Allen and her daughter were joined by several hundred other demonstrators of all ages who gathered at City Hall before peeling off to walk through the streets of downtown Houston chanting “black lives matter!”

Like Allen, many in the crowd wore masks and said the urgency of addressing George Floyd’s death was worth the risk of exposure to severe illness.

“There’s some things more important than your own life — like the life of your children,” said Rickey Davis, a 56-year-old father who was motivated to march to keep his 20-year-old son safe from police brutality. “We want an end to this senseless violence.”

Despite a few minor skirmishes between protesters and police, Saturday night’s demonstration, in which Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo participated, was far calmer than the day before.

The crowds dispersed around 9 p.m., with only a handful of arrests. For her part, Allen said bringing her daughter to the demonstration was the right choice.

“She just did a report for Black History Month on Dr. Martin Luther King,” she said. “This is why she’s out here. If you’re going to read about it and going to speak about it, I want you to live through it, too.”

By Peter Holley
May 31, 2020 at 2:42 AM EDT

In Houston, protesters say threat of police brutality outweighs fear of the coronavirus

Houston — Before she left home, Chavon Allen, 33, agonized over whether it was a good idea to bring her 8-year-old daughter to an unpredictable protest in the streets of downtown Houston on Saturday evening.

It was frightening enough that some protests had turned chaotic a day before, with demonstrators destroying police property and police responding with force. In one instance, video footage captured a mounted patrol officer trampling a protesting woman who narrowly avoided severe injury.

But even scarier than the potential chaos, Allen said, was the risk of being exposed to the deadly coronavirus amid the dense crowd of protesters. Ultimately, Allen decided the contagion was outweighed by another threat to her health and safety.

“I understand we’re in a global pandemic right now, but I also feel like our lives are in a state of emergency as well because of the police,” she said, noting that her own brother was shot by a Houston police officer three years earlier and managed to survive. “That’s why we’re out here.”

Allen and her daughter were joined by several hundred other demonstrators of all ages who gathered at City Hall before peeling off to walk through the streets of downtown Houston chanting “black lives matter.”

Like Allen, many in the crowd wore masks and said that the urgency of addressing George Floyd’s death was worth the risk of exposure to severe illness.

“There’s some things more important than your own life — like the life of your children,” said Rickey Davis, a 56-year-old father who said he was motivated to march to keep his 20-year-old son safe from police brutality. “We want an end to this senseless violence.”

Despite a few minor skirmishes between protesters and police, Saturday night’s demonstration — which Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo participated in — was far calmer than the day before.

The crowds dispersed around 9 p.m., with only a handful of arrests. For her part, Allen said bringing her daughter to the demonstration was the right choice.

By Peter Holley
May 31, 2020 at 2:32 AM EDT

Journalists become victims of the violence

As police relied on tear gas and rubber bullets to stymie protests around the country Saturday, many journalists covering their efforts became victims of the violence themselves. One jarring story came from freelance writer and photographer Linda Tirado, who was shot with a rubber bullet by Minneapolis police. Tirado tweeted that doctors told her she won’t regain vision in her left eye.

MSNBC Reporter Ali Velshi reported being shot with a rubber bullet by police in Minneapolis. “State Police supported by National guard fired unprovoked into an entirely peaceful rally,” he tweeted later, echoing observations shared by many journalists covering the protests there. Ryan Faircloth, an assignment editor for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, was left bleeding from his face and his arm after he said law enforcement personnel shot rubber bullets through his car window as he was trying to leave the area where protests were happening. “It isn’t horrible but I am shook up. The window completely shattered and smoke filled the car,” he tweeted.

Los Angeles Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske reported that she was among a group of journalists stationed outside Minneapolis’s 5th Police Precinct when officers came out and threw tear-gas canisters at them “at point blank range.” Hennessy-Fiske, who posted a picture of blood running down her leg where she believed she was hit with a rubber bullet, reported that reporters identified themselves as press and asked officers where they should go. She said the officers did not provide answers.

In Louisville, television reporter Kaitlin Rust and photographer James Dobson were filming a live hit when a law enforcement officer shot at them with what Rust believed to be pepper balls. “I’m getting shot! I’m getting shot!” Rust called. An anchor in the studio then asked if she could tell where the officer was aiming.“ Like, directly at us,” she replied.

By Chelsea Janes
May 31, 2020 at 2:31 AM EDT

In New York City’s Union Square, violent crowds clash with police

Parts of New York City resembled a war zone on Saturday as violent confrontations played out in and around Union Square.

There were more than 120 arrests and at least 20 NYPD vehicles were vandalized on Saturday night. “F--- Pigs” was spray-painted on a police van that had its windows and windshields smashed to pieces. On the back, it said “Murder,” among other messages.

In Lower Manhattan, trash cans and heavy potted plants were knocked over and glass caked the pavement in spots.

Along Broadway in SoHo, retail stores including the North Face and Journeys were looted, with storefront windows broken by skateboards or other heavy objects. Several banks suffered shattered windows.

At points, passersby clashed with protesters. “You should all be arrested, every last one of you,” one older man, with a cane in one hand and a paper shopping bag from Trader Joe’s, yelled at protesters.

“Put your mask on,” a woman screamed in reply. “Coronavirus is killing old people!”

Earlier in the night, a white cyclist on 14th Street, west of Union Square had a heated verbal exchange with several young black people, who surrounded him. It nearly erupted into violence but was broken up by police.

By Shayna Jacobs
May 31, 2020 at 2:08 AM EDT

‘This is just the karma coming back on America’

Around 11 p.m. in Ferguson, Mo., protesters continued to shoot off fireworks and throw water bottles, while police shot rounds of tear gas. A helicopter circled above, shining a spotlight on the crowd of about 150 people.

Kenny Watts, who was one grade behind Michael Brown at Normandy High School, had earlier in the night addressed the crowd gathered in front of the fire station, saying: “This ain’t no riot; this is a war. If you are out here, you made a choice.”

Watts said of the escalating confrontations between police and protesters: “I let people express their anger. At this moment in time, this movement is still fresh; it started with George Floyd, Ahmaud [Arbery]. This is what happens in the beginning, and we have to accept it; there is nothing else we can do.”

“This is centuries of frustration,” he added. “This is just the karma coming back on America.”

By Eric Berger
May 31, 2020 at 1:52 AM EDT

At the Newark precinct where 1967 riots started, an eerily familiar echo

A police helicopter circled overhead as Jacquelyn Oliver, 48, a community organizer from Newark, stood across 17th Avenue from the Newark Police Department’s 1st Precinct on Saturday night. Officers wore full riot gear, held up shields and wielded batons as a group of more than 100 protesters finally dispersed to conclude a tense day at the precinct where the 1967 riots began. It was 10:30 p.m.

“It’s over,” she said. “ Now we can breathe.”

Oliver returned to her hometown to check on her mother, Dorothy, who lives around the corner. Back in 1967, Dorothy, now 73, was a blood technician in the pathology laboratory at University Hospital. On the night the riots started, she heard sirens before reporting to work in the morning. When she walked home amid the chaos, she witnessed devastation, from burned-out buildings to looting.

“Soldiers didn’t bother me, but they didn’t assist either,” Dorothy said. “I had to walk through it all.”

Her daughter helped prevent a recurrence of that unrest. Following a peaceful protest that was organized by the People’s Organization for Progress in the afternoon, many young participants in their teens and 20s continued to the precinct because of its historical significance. Water bottles were thrown at officers, and at least one shirtless protester hopped on a police vehicle’s hood. A plaque by the front door marked the 40th anniversary of the unrest: “On this site on July 12, 1967, there began a civil disturbance that took the life of twenty-six people and forever changed our city.” It was dedicated in 2007 by Sen. Cory Booker, who was the city’s mayor at the time.

“The kids who came today wanted to be a part of history,” Jacquelyn Oliver said. “I saw one take an ice pick to an officer’s car, vehicle 106. We didn’t want the vandalism. There’s enough violence in the city. Get registered, go vote, write letters, make phone calls.”

By Kevin Armstrong
May 31, 2020 at 1:40 AM EDT

Trump’s conservative media allies urge him to address nation

Some of the president’s most prominent proponents in right-wing media took to Twitter late Saturday to urge him to address a nation seething with racial and economic unrest.

“It’s time for @realDonaldTrump to address the nation,” wrote Jack Posobiec, a right-wing provocateur and correspondent for the One America News Network.

The same message was then posted by numerous other conservative Internet personalities, including writers affiliated with Breitbart and the website Infowars.

It was unclear what they wanted him to say, or how additional words from a president prone to conflict would shape events through the critical early-morning period.

Trump’s most recent post, at about 10 p.m., assailed the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, where Monday’s death of a black man in police custody touched off nationwide protests punctuated by looting and rioting in some cities.

The president’s silence in the wee hours, as peaceful protests descended into violent chaos, was striking, especially as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden, issued a nine-paragraph statement that ended with a plea to “stay safe” and “take care of each other.”

By Isaac Stanley-Becker
May 31, 2020 at 1:27 AM EDT

Biden: Protesting is ‘right and necessary,’ but violence is not

Shortly after midnight, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden released a statement acknowledging the pain that has inspired widespread protests across the country and urging those feeling it to avoid violence as a means of expression.

“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response,” Biden wrote. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.”

The statement from Biden amounted to the most detailed and forceful warning yet from the presumptive Democratic nominee against violent and destructive activities by protesters. Although he has said in recent days that protesters should demonstrate peacefully, he has put much more focus on the need to speak out.

In a five-minute video address on the killing of George Floyd on Friday, for example, Biden made no effort to warn protesters to be mindful of their tactics. In his remarks, Biden urged people not to be complacent or silent, lest the risk perpetuating the violence that Floyd and others have been subjected to over the years.

He offered a similar message Saturday.

“If we are complacent, if we are silent, we are complicit in perpetuating these cycles of violence,” he tweeted. “None of us can turn away. We all have an obligation to speak out.”

Many high-profile Democrats, including potential vice presidential pick Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), have been urging the public to listen to protesters’ grievances in tweets and other public statements. Harris attended a protest outside the White House on Saturday.

But Biden’s remarks combine continued support for the rights of protesters and the reality of a “nation in pain” with a warning against allowing “pain to destroy us.”

“We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us,” he wrote. “We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.”

Biden also vowed to keep a promise he said he made to George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, that George will “not just be a hashtag.”

“I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear. I know. And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose,” Biden said. “So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over — but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.”

By Chelsea Janes and Sean Sullivan
May 31, 2020 at 1:17 AM EDT

Protesters demonstrate near the Minneapolis 5th precinct police station

Protesters demonstrate against the death of George Floyd near the Minneapolis 5th precinct station on Saturday. Four police officers have been fired after a video taken by a witness was posted on social media showing Floyd’s neck pinned to the ground by an officer during an arrest. Floyd was pronounced dead after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center and former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with his murder.

May 31, 2020 at 1:06 AM EDT

One person fatally shot in Indianapolis as police warn, ‘Downtown is not safe’

One person was confirmed dead after being shot in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday night, as the city was one of dozens convulsed by escalating protests.

The fatal shooting occurred in the area of Talbot and Vermont Streets, police spokesman Michael Hewitt said. The connection to ongoing demonstrations in the city was still being investigated, Hewitt said, but the police issued grave warnings to the public to stay away.

“Downtown is not safe at this time,” read a tweet from the police department.

It is at least the second shooting death to occur amid nationwide protests over Monday’s killing of a black Minneapolis man by a white police officer. A 21-year-old man was killed Friday in Detroit after someone fired shots into a vehicle during demonstrations in that city. Across the country, cities have reported numerous injuries of protesters and police officers alike as clashes have grown increasingly violent.

By Isaac Stanley-Becker
May 31, 2020 at 12:59 AM EDT

Fires erupt in downtown Washington as protesters attack Reagan Building

Federal buildings in the nation’s capital are being vandalized and fires are ignited as protests persist into the early hours of Sunday.

A dumpster stolen from the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and International Trade Center, erupted into flames near 16th and I streets in Northwest Washington. Protesters then began attacking the building.

A black sport-utility vehicle at the corner of I Street and Connecticut Avenue also burned brightly. More fires ignited downtown and protesters roamed near the White House, smashing store and office windows.

At the Oval Room restaurant on Connecticut Avenue, someone spray painted in red, “THE RICH AREN’T SAFE ANYMORE!”

Shortly after midnight, the crowd of protesters seemed to thin out, and a large police contingent was lined up to meet them at 16th Street and Vermont Avenue.

Protesters continued to lob water bottles and other debris at the police.

By Marissa Lang and Hannah Natanson
May 31, 2020 at 12:54 AM EDT

New York AG looking into reported arrest of HuffPost reporter

New York Attorney General Letitia James said late Saturday her office was looking into the apparent arrest of a HuffPost reporter in New York City, as members of the media were swept up in increasingly violent clashes nationwide between protesters and members of law enforcement.

She issued the statement in response to a tweet from the news and opinion site.

“We are extremely alarmed that our reporter Chris Mathias has apparently been taken into NYPD custody while doing his job as a journalist,” read the tweet from the HuffPost. “We demand that he be released immediately.”

On Friday, a CNN reporter was detained on live TV as he covered escalating tensions in Minneapolis. Later the same day, crowds gathered at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, where they broke through the entrance and vandalized the building.

Other journalists, from Washington, D.C., to Louisville, have reported being injured by police and protesters alike, despite their clear identification as members of the media.

By Isaac Stanley-Becker
May 31, 2020 at 12:53 AM EDT

Minn. protesters urge calm: ‘We told him to stop breaking windows’

A line of Minneapolis police in riot gear backed up by armored vehicle advanced on a small group of protesters near the 5th precinct, firing nonlethal projectiles as they walked.

The protesters were mainly white and young — and quickly dispersed. At least one was arrested.

Bradley Olson, 25, of Minneapolis, was in the crowd of protesters. He said he had confronted a young man who was damaging property. “We all confronted him, we told him to stop breaking windows,” he said.

Down the street, residents and a security guard stood guard at a mall that predominantly serves the Somali community. “We have immigrant people here and they have been working for every penny they have. We are not apart of this problem,” said Abdi Mohamed.

Police pointed mace and nonlethal guns at reporters as they passed. When the reporters yelled “press,” they responded, “shut up.”

Another pair of protesters walked nearby carrying makeshift shields and paintball guns. They appeared to be in their early 20s and said they were from Maplewood, Minn., a nearby suburb, but declined to give their names.

By Jared Goyette
May 31, 2020 at 12:36 AM EDT

Guard snatches stolen police rifle from rioter in Seattle

A security guard for a local news station took back two rifles from rioters in Seattle, including in one tense moment when he ripped a rifle away from a masked man with one hand while holding a pistol in the other.

Two rifles were stolen from police vehicles but were later recovered by the security guard, the Seattle Police Department said on Twitter. Brandi Kruse, a reporter for the local Fox affiliate, said her security guard feared for the public’s safety and recovered the rifles as vehicles burned nearby.

The guard had one rifle slung over his shoulder as he plucked another rifle from the rioter, who then raised his suddenly empty hands.

The department said the rifles were not fired, but Kruse posted a video on Twitter that showed gunshots at close range. The department later said it was unsure if the weapons were fired.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) activated 200 National Guardsmen to help “protect against property damage and manage crowds and traffic in downtown Seattle.” They will be unarmed, he said.

By Alex Horton
May 31, 2020 at 12:25 AM EDT

In Dayton, protesters say they must show solidarity with other cities

DAYTON, Ohio — A day of largely peaceful protests devolved into clouds of tear gas, rubber bullets and arrests as demonstrators took to the streets to express their fury over the death of George Floyd.

“We are coming out today in solidarity with other cities, if just one city protests it isn’t going to help, we all have to do it to make our point,” said Dawson Vandervort, 20, from the Dayton suburb of Vandalia. He came to the protests armed with masks and milk to ward off the gas.

Dayton implemented a 9 p.m. curfew to quell the protests. A crowd gathered in front of the Montgomery County courthouse, shutting down streets, holding signs and shouting. The demonstration was peaceful, but police eventually pushed the group eastward into the downtown business district. Several protesters began throwing trash cans and trying to tear down a fence. Others set off firecrackers and threw projectiles. Protesters broke businesses’ windows. That is when police in an armored personnel carrier and on bicycles began dispersing the crowd by launching tear gas canisters. Protesters carting jugs of milk doused their eyes, and many ran from the acrid smell and stinging sensation.

Dayton resident Charlie Doolin, 26, called the force “excessive.”

“We were protesting peacefully, there was no reason for them to use that kind of force,” Doolin said of the tear gas. Some local media outlets also reported that rubber bullets were used.

Dayton police public information specialist Cara Zinski-Neace referred The Post to the department’s Twitter account, which was providing updates about road closings and police actions throughout the day.

Protesters had briefly shut down two major highways, U.S. Route 35 and Interstate 75, in separate incursions. In each case, authorities forced the groups off with what the Dayton Police called “chemical munitions.”

The protests drew a range of people, from black activist groups to local college students.

“I am disappointed with some of the people who are causing trouble; we came here in peace and we want to leave here in peace,” said Queen Mother Chui, a representative of the Republic of New Afrika’s “Black Legionnaires.”

Dayton police arrested several people for curfew violations.

The turbulent demonstration came almost a year after the city provided a united front against a downtown Ku Klux Klan march. That incident was praised for its peaceful nature and lack of arrests.

By Kevin Williams
May 31, 2020 at 12:12 AM EDT

Protesters gather near the White House

A large group of protesters marched to the perimeter of Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

The gathered crowds said they had come to protest racism and President Trump. After leaving the area near the White House, they marched up Vermont Avenue. They eventually were confronted by police officers and the National Guard, as well as uniformed Secret Service officers after they tipped over part of the fence line.

May 31, 2020 at 12:08 AM EDT

Outside the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee: ‘We are here for answers’

As a diverse crowd of hundreds of protesters marched past the Florida governor’s mansion in Tallahassee, a white man emerged from the group and climbed over the mansion’s gate this afternoon.

Many in the crowd of peaceful demonstrators — wearing masks and holding signs reading “Silence is Compliance” and “Black Lives Matter” — shouted disapproval as he began walking across the mansion lawn toward the front door. Among them was 21-year-old Javier Sykes from Jacksonville.

“We are not here to incite violence. We are here for answers,” one demonstrator shouted across the gate.

“I tried to stop him,” Sykes said. He was worried the man’s actions would provoke the police. “I knew he was trying to make a point. I just didn’t want anyone to get hurt.”

The man was quickly detained inside the governor’s compound non-violently, but Sykes and other protesters said they think the outcome would have been different had the man been black.

Sykes believes white protesters won’t be harmed, but he promised his mother he would remain peaceful while protesting.

Earlier in the day, a pickup truck plowed through the crowd of protesters. The driver was detained and no serious injuries were reported, but the incident demonstrated some of the risks protesters are facing, risks Sykes said he is willing to take.

He protested for more than eight hours on Saturday and said he would be back Sunday, citing the injustices black people face on a daily basis.

“I’m tired of living my life and worrying if I’m going to be somebody’s target practice,” he said.

By Teresa Tomassoni
May 30, 2020 at 11:53 PM EDT

NYPD cruisers ram through throngs of people

New York police officers used their patrol vehicles as battering rams in Brooklyn on Saturday, pushing through a throng of protesters surrounding their vehicles in a city brimming with unrest.

The incident occurred in Flatbush, the local NBC affiliate reported, after protesters apparently placed metal barricades to block the police vehicles.

Demonstrators hurled trash, traffic cones and debris at one vehicle before another arrived with flashing lights. One vehicle then plowed through the crowd while the other used the barricade to push through bodies around it.

The video has been viewed millions of times on social media. The department did not return a request for comment about the incident and an inquiry about whether there were any injuries.

Another video apparently from the same scene showed people destroying a police vehicle.

The department has been under fire following a separate incident Friday also recorded on video in which an officer shoved a woman to the ground during a protest. The incident is under investigation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the footage of the police vehicles plowing through protesters “troubling” on NY1 but said, “If those protesters had just gotten out of the way, we wouldn’t be talking about this situation.”

“They didn’t start the situation,” he said of the police officers.

At a subsequent news conference, he addressed peaceful protesters, saying they had been heard and beseeching them to go home. He said there was “systematic effort” by a much smaller segment of crowds “to create a negative atmosphere.”

By Alex Horton and Isaac Stanley-Becker
May 30, 2020 at 11:49 PM EDT

In Minneapolis, ‘I have a duty to stand with everyone’

On Blaisdell and W. 31st Street in Minneapolis, protesters fled from officers in a scene of chaos.

“They just bombed us,” one man said through a megaphone, referring to tear gas that was dispensed.

Three protesters who had been at the location on Lake Street and Nicollet said before that, it was peaceful. All three declined to give last names.

“People were sitting, taking part of a sit-in after the curfew expired at 8 p.m.,” said Nate, a student from Macalester College. Then, instantly, everything changed.

“Bus reinforcements came by, and a lot of officers just came at us firing tear gas,” he said. “No reason for it, completely unprovoked attack on a completely peaceful sit-in protest.”

The three of them had heard about the reasoning for the curfew. Lawmakers and officials have stated they wanted to “weed out the bad,” to narrow in on the protesters causing trouble. Chris, from nearby Hopkins, Minn., said they still found it necessary to stand in solidarity.

“I just feel like as a white person, I have a duty to stand with everyone who’s clearly not leaving,” Chris said through tears. “It’s on us to be in the front, we have to walk hand in hand.”

Hannah, from Golden Valley, was visibly shaken. This was her first protest.

“It’s time,” she said. “I have to stand up for my whole community, everyone does. I don’t know why it’s my first.”

By Tarkor Zehn
May 30, 2020 at 11:43 PM EDT

Bloody scene in Northwest Washington as protester wounded

On H Street in Northwest Washington, the sea of protesters suddenly parted.

“Move out of our way! Make room!” people shouted as four or five people carried a young woman with blood pouring down her face out of the protest area, setting her down in front of a Department of Veterans Affairs building.

The young woman, with long braids and a yellow shirt tie-dyed with blood, wailed as protest medics tended to her wound: a split in her forehead where the pepper pellet had struck her at close range.

“They shot her with a rubber bullet,” said Joshua Greenwood, 29, an accounting manager from Baltimore. He didn’t know the woman, but he was standing near her when he saw her topple backward, screaming in pain.

“We’re tired,” he said. “Tired of seeing our brothers and sisters being killed, and we’re not getting convictions. Everything is swept under the rug, year after year after year.”

Charles Greer, 19, from Lorton, Va., said he was also next to the young woman when she was shot by Park Police. He, too, had been hit — in the arm — by the pellets filled with irritant. A medic was now flushing tear gas out of his eyes.

“We carried her here,” he said, blinking through the tears. He also didn’t know the woman, but he had scooped up the stranger’s glasses and was holding them gently in his hand.

“They’ve got blood on them,” he said.

By Michael E. Miller
May 30, 2020 at 11:27 PM EDT

Tear gas deployed in Detroit as tensions grow

Police in Detroit fired tear gas Saturday night and moved in with riot gear as tensions with protesters escalated.

Earlier, at dusk, some of the young demonstrators marched down a highway, while others blocked a street near the Greektown Casino with orange traffic barriers.

Ian Seaman, 24, had lugged a leaf blower to the march downtown from his home in Ferndale, an outlying suburb. He said he got the idea to bring one along from the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.

“I don’t want tear gas to get in my face,” he said. “This way, I can blow it away. And also clean the street.”

The protests had begun in an organized way Friday: People had come with posters bearing pictures and names of victims of police violence, and chanted slogans as they marched, accompanied by a cheerful drum line.

But Friday’s protests had ended in violence and arrests after midnight, and some who showed up Saturday night were warier. They now declined to give their names, citing safety. Some wore goggles and gas masks or clown masks.

Other young people showed up to watch with friends and snacks, laughing and chatting after weeks of boredom at home.

By 9:30 p.m., the protesters had stopped along the waterfront to take turns speaking with a megaphone, after scrambling atop “The Fist,” a memorial to boxer Joe Louis shaped like a giant fist and arm. They chanted against President Trump.

Helicopters circled overhead throughout the day.

By Eva Dou
May 30, 2020 at 11:18 PM EDT

‘No justice, no peace’: Scenes from demonstrations in D.C. on Saturday

By Michael Williamson and Evelyn Hockstein
May 30, 2020 at 11:10 PM EDT

Mass destruction of businesses in Philadelphia as protesters ignore curfew

Nighttime brought mass destruction of businesses along several commercial blocks in Center City Philadelphia, as protesters ignored an 8 p.m. curfew.

One building caught on fire. An injured Philadelphia firefighter was carried off on a stretcher. Cameron Niles, a 38-year-old black man from North Philadelphia, looked at the chaos in dismay: He had been protesting peacefully earlier in the day, and the violence upset him.

“The young people are out here getting things for free, they don’t know what it’s all about.” He choked up. “What is the disconnect?”

Around 9 p.m., a brigade of police cars, including a van from nearby Montgomery County, drove down the street toward looters and unloaded dozens of officers in riot gear. The officers walked the streets, sometimes waving batons, instructing people — including journalists — to obey curfew.

Earlier, some protesters set trash cans on fire, smashed windows and grabbed boxes of shoes a few blocks from City Hall.

Rock Banga, 27, rallied the crowd while wearing an Elmo mask.

“I feel as though I need a mask,” said Banga, who is black. “I feel as though if a cop saw me as Elmo there wouldn’t be a problem. Whereas if he saw me as a black man. there would.”

Kolby Nelson, a 32-year-old white man, wore a white surgical coat. He graduated from medical school two weeks ago. He said that he had made lots of mistakes in life, including a DUI charge, but was still able to succeed, “whereas a black man cannot make any mistakes.”

By Maura Ewing
May 30, 2020 at 11:01 PM EDT

11 states and D.C. now activating National Guard members

Ten states — Georgia, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, Utah, Washington, Texas, Tennessee and Missouri — as well as the District of Columbia are joining Minnesota in calling their National Guard forces to respond to the sometimes-violent unrest breaking out amid demonstrations against black Americans’ deaths in police custody.

  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is calling in the National Guard to help “keep peace” in Louisville, where protests have focused on the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by officers who entered her apartment to serve a no-knock warrant. Seven people were shot in Louisville earlier this week as gatherings turned dangerous.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said he would authorize Guard deployment to “protect people & property in Atlanta” as the mayor there said those defacing a CNN headquarters and torching a police car were “disgracing” the city.
  • In Wisconsin. Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he had authorized at least 125 Guard members to go to Milwaukee to help police and protect infrastructure, according to local news outlets.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tweeted Saturday afternoon he had granted the mayor of Denver’s request for National Guard support.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he granted the Columbus police and mayor’s requests for reinforcements, saying that while most protesters were focused on injustice, a “relatively small, but violent group of people” posed a threat.
  • Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) tweeted that Guard members would help control an “escalating situation in downtown Salt Lake City.”
  • Gov. Jay Inslee (D) of Washington state said he had activated 200 Guard members to help “protect against property damage and manage crowds and traffic in downtown Seattle.” He said the forces will be unarmed.
  • “Violence and looting will not be tolerated,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said as he activated the National Guard in Texas.
  • The National Guard in the District of Columbia was activated to help maintain order in the area of the White House, officials said.
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he was authorizing the National Guard to assist in Nashville.
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) activated Guard members as he declared a state of emergency due to “civil unrest.”

The Pentagon has also offered active-duty soldiers to assist in Minnesota, where state officials said the entire National Guard — thousands of troops — was being activated.

By Hannah Knowles
May 30, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT

‘We’re turning into Minneapolis now’: More police cars burn in New York City

A police vehicle was in flames below Union Square in New York City Saturday night as swarms of New York Police Department officers in riot gear struggled to maintain order. Black smoke filled the air after a loud explosive pop was heard and sirens blared in response. An onlooker across the street remarked: “We’re turning into Minneapolis now.”

Other police vehicles in the area were smashed or burned.

It was a continuation of chaos that lasted for hours in the popular Manhattan plaza, where in better times Best Buy and Nordstrom Rack attract locals and tourists alike.

Loud pops from the burning vehicle continued as the fire engulfed it.

Earlier, protesters screamed in the faces of officers, with insults and slurs including “pig.” The demonstrators took particular aim at black officers, who have been called traitors in a common refrain during rallies in New York since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Trash was also set on fire, and ash floated above the streets. As police cleared the streets, rioters pushed back and railed against them. Several participants were arrested after violent clashes. One man told police they had no right to tell him to move from the street to the sidewalk.

Smoke and ash from burning paper filled the air on Fourth Avenue below 14th Street as crowds were cleared to a wider perimeter around 10 p.m.

By Shayna Jacobs
May 30, 2020 at 10:48 PM EDT

Protests and vandalism continue in Chicago: ‘Police deserve this, all of them’

CHICAGO — Protesters from around the metropolitan area had arranged to congregate in one place early Saturday afternoon: Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago. But instead of a cohesive march throughout the Loop, there was a series of rotating and disparate gatherings that had police scrambling to control, in a radius of several miles, what became a chaotic and occasionally violent protest.

What made this protest different from so many here in the past was the relentless graffiti on downtown buildings — some iconic like the Chicago Cultural Center, Water Tower, and the Wrigley Building — and the destruction of a handful of city vehicles.

“It makes no difference to us,” said Shantia Teneell, 17, from Chicago’s South Side just moments as she spray painted an expletive to police on the window of a Michigan Avenue jeweler. “Finally, we’re going to make a change.”

In the early evening, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) announced an 9 p.m. curfew, saying, “We will not allow this situation to get out of hand.”

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the police will start making arrests soon. He said dozens of officers have been injured, one with broken bones.

Late in the day, WGN news van also became a target of graffiti. As the van tried to pull away, protesters hopped on the back and rode with it for at least a block.

The city eventually raised bridges to control the flow of marchers, but by then, they were everywhere.

In front of the entrance to Trump Tower, protesters hit a police SUV with blunt objects and smashed all its windows.

“Police deserve this, all of them,” said Emmanuel, a 26-year-old from Chicago who asked not to use his last name. “Let them come after me and see what we do. I don’t care.”

By Mark Guarino
May 30, 2020 at 10:40 PM EDT

National Guard will deploy overnight to Los Angeles, mayor says

Hundreds of demonstrators, many of whom identified themselves as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, confronted Los Angeles police officers Saturday in several of the city’s central neighborhoods.

The hectic afternoon prompted Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) to declare an overnight curfew on the city’s streets, beginning at 8 p.m. Pacific time. He also announced that the National Guard would be deployed to help control the unrest.

Los Angeles law enforcement officials arrested more than 500 people overnight Friday on vandalism, unlawful assembly and other charges. Fewer than 20 people were being held as of Saturday evening.

Garcetti framed the curfew as a way to protect the rights of peaceful demonstrators and property owners.

“We will always protect free speech,” he said in Facebook-streamed announcement. “And Angelenos’ right to live without fear of violence or vandalism.”

Thousands of people marched early Saturday through the west side of the city, near Beverly Hills. There was an hours-long standoff between demonstrators and police around the Grove, an upscale mall just east of Beverly Hills.

Some of the marchers’ signs compared Floyd’s killing to one of the seminal moments in the nation’s — and in this city’s — history: the 1991 traffic stop of Rodney King, an unarmed black motorist pulled from his car and beaten by four LAPD officers. Although the incident was filmed, none of the officers was convicted, setting off days of rioting.

LAPD spokespeople have said at least two police cars have been burned and six officers injured. Police officers have used gas and rubber bullets to scatter crowds,

Demonstrations, which have also turned violent at times, have emerged in Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and other cities across the country’s most-populous state.

By Scott Wilson
May 30, 2020 at 10:29 PM EDT

In St. Louis, demonstrators recall Michael Brown: ‘I’m fed up’

ST. LOUIS — Arielle Cole, 31, was living in Ferguson, Mo., when Michael Brown was shot in 2014, but was reluctant to participate in the protest because she was afraid how it would reflect on her nondenominational Christian church.

“There wasn’t much back then that I felt I could do; I just wanted to pray,” said Cole, who is black and grew up in St. Louis. “I just wasn’t sure how it would make my church look, standing up for what everyone else considered thugs.”

Her church ended up participating in neighborhood cleanups following the protests and riots, and six years later, Cole, a community specialist with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, returned to Ferguson to protest outside its police station on Saturday night in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

“Now I just feel like I’m fed up,” she said. “I’m fed up with people’s responses to the death of black people at the hands of police officers. I’m fed up with people not understanding that you don’t need to know the whole story of what happened to have compassion for someone losing their life. And that’s kind of what we’re hearing now.”

Conversely, when Cole and her roommate recently heard about the death of a police officer, she said, “we didn’t need to know the backstory to have compassion.”

In the background, people chanted, “We ready; we ready; we ready, for ya’ll,” and began to walk from the street toward a line of police officers in the parking lot outside the station.

By Eric Berger
May 30, 2020 at 10:15 PM EDT

Rep. Ilhan Omar addresses the anxiety over ‘outsiders’ stoking riots and destruction

MINNEAPOLIS — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) addressed the growing fear of outside agitators during a news conference Saturday in front of the boarded-up Midtown Global Market, a hub for many immigrant-owned restaurants and small businesses.

“When we say these are people that are outside, we mean these are not the people who have time and time again asked for reforms, time and time again came out to protest, for time and time again asked for justice, for time and time again held us accountable. This is not our people,” she told a gaggle of reporters who stood in a sun-baked parking lot, along with a few passersby who had been helping with cleanup efforts down the street.

Omar pointed out the vandalism and destruction on Lake Street, one of the main commercial corridors in south Minneapolis that is home to many minority-owned businesses, dozens of which have been hit by fires and looting in the past several days.

“And when we see the kind of destruction that is taking place in our streets, we know those are not our organizers, we know those are not our protesters, we know those are not the people that are grieving the lives that have been taken from our community,” she said, “because we all know that we have collectively fought for business development to take place on Lake Street.”

Omar said that when she referred to “outsiders,” she wasn’t just talking about people who live in Minneapolis.

“What we mean is that those are not our people, those are not the people that are grieving in the ways that we are grieving,” she said. “Those are not the people that are interested in helping to get justice for George Floyd.”

By Jared Goyette
May 30, 2020 at 10:06 PM EDT

Chicago’s new top cop, who led Dallas police during protest shootings, denounces ‘lawlessness’

Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown on Saturday evening denounced “lawlessness” he said had emerged in demonstrations raging in his city and across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“I grieve for George Floyd’s family,” said Brown, who assumed the job last month. But he also pledged that officers still had to police the growing, chaotic protests that had spread across the country since Floyd’s death, saying: “Lawlessness has no place in our cities. And our officers will uphold the law of this country.”

Brown arrived at this moment with a painful personal history.

Four years ago, he was the Dallas police chief as a similar wave of protests against deadly force by officers was spreading across the country. During a peaceful rally in Dallas, a gunman opened fire and killed five police officers, four of them members of Brown’s force. Police later said the attacker had targeted the officers because he was angered by recent shootings by police in other cities.

The moment elevated Brown — who retired later that year — to national prominence at a time when the country was also grappling with anger and widespread demonstrations fueled by deaths involving the police.

Brown assumed command of the Chicago police just weeks ago. He said the demonstrators were starting out peacefully before “another element comes in,” singling out the people destroying property as those he says are not representing Floyd’s family properly.

Brown said police in Chicago will enforce the curfew announced for the city beginning Saturday night and plan to take people into custody who they see attempting to destroy things.

“Our police officers are determined … to protect our city,” Brown said.

By Mark Berman
May 30, 2020 at 9:53 PM EDT

Kentucky officers take water from protesters, destroy milk

Plainclothes officers in Louisville took cases of water and destroyed gallons of milk used to dampen the effects of tear gas on Saturday, stoking the anger of protesters demonstrating over the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

A video posted by a USA Today reporter shows the plainclothes officers guarded by uniformed members of the Kentucky State Police. The officers toss cases of water into a pickup truck and flip milk jugs over, causing them to leak. The placement at the base of a statue appears to be for protesters to stop by and collect supplies.

Natalie Neysa Alund, the reporter, said in follow-up tweet that the truck “sped over the curve, up onto the grass and almost hit multiple people including me.”

Taylor was shot by officers who entered her apartment to serve a no-knock warrant in March. Protesters have focused their anger over her death in Louisville, mirroring the nationwide demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is calling in the National Guard amid the unrest.

The Kentucky State Police did not immediately return a request for comment on whether their officers had taken the supplies, or if it was lawful to do so.

By Alex Horton
May 30, 2020 at 9:47 PM EDT

Cities announce curfews after protests turn dangerous

As unrest spreads across American cities, more mayors are enacting temporary curfews to try to keep demonstrators off the streets.

  • An 8 p.m. curfew continues in Minneapolis and St. Paul, though authorities struggled to enforce it as protesters inflicted what Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz described as “wanton destruction” on the Twin Cities.
  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he is implementing a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. following two chaotic nights in the city, where protests over the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor turned violent.
  • In Cincinnati, where business were ransacked, dumpsters were set ablaze and two police officers were injured in skirmishes with protesters, Mayor John Cranley announced a two-night curfew, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Ore., announced a curfew early Saturday morning, shortly after police said peaceful protests had devolved into a riot. The curfew will continue through the weekend, Wheeler said.
  • Eugene, Ore., implemented its own curfew for the city’s downtown from 9 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday.
  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced an overnight curfew beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday nights.
  • Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said a 9 p.m. curfew begins Saturday night after protests turned violent Friday night. Around 50 people were arrested, and one police officer was shot.
  • Columbus, Ohio, Mayor Andrew Ginther implemented a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Saturday. “We respect, value and welcome the right to protest,” Ginther tweeted. “This curfew is not intended to stifle peaceful protest but to protect our people.”
  • Toledo’s mayor announced a curfew from 9 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday for a part of the city.
  • Atlanta is under a curfew from 9 p.m. Saturday night to sunrise Sunday morning.
  • Miami-Dade County is under a curfew beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday, according to Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who did not announce when it would lift.
  • Parts of Columbia, S.C., including its downtown, are under a curfew starting at 6 p.m., the mayor announced. The curfew is slated to end Monday, and violations can result in a $500 fine and 30 days in jail, local news reported.
  • In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh announced curfews from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., respectively.
  • Los Angeles enacted a nighttime curfew after police reported hundreds were arrested during Friday evening demonstrations where officials eventually declared an “unlawful assembly.”
  • Declaring a state of emergency, the mayor of Rochester, N.Y. announced a curfew from 9 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday.
  • Seattle officials announced a 5 p.m. curfew effective Saturday and Sunday.
  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in Chicago “until further notice.”
By J. Freedom du Lac and Angela Fritz
May 30, 2020 at 9:47 PM EDT

Photos from demonstrations at George Floyd’s memorial in Minneapolis

By Salwan Georges
May 30, 2020 at 9:36 PM EDT

Police break up peaceful protests in Dallas

DALLAS — Protests outside Dallas City Hall escalated Saturday afternoon, as the peaceful gatherings were broken up by police and the outer walls of the municipal building were vandalized.

Businesses along many of the downtown’s busiest streets were boarded up with plywood as protests stretched into their second day. Many of Dallas’s most popular malls closed earlier Saturday because of fears of looting.

One well-known downtown sculpture, depicting a giant eye ball, was spray-painted with the words “I can’t breathe,” echoing some of the final words of George Floyd, the black man who’s death in Minneapolis police custody sparked nationwide protests.

Intersections surrounding the municipal building were blocked off by local police and state troopers. Some remaining protesters said they were trying to reach friends who had been separated on the other side of the barricades when police broke up the crowd.

By evening, at the edge of one barricaded street, a few dozen people trying to pass through called out, “Who are you protecting?” when a large armored truck blaring its siren gradually drove forward, pushing the protesters back.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) activated the National Guard in Texas on Saturday evening. “Violence and looting will not be tolerated,” Abbott said.

By Rachel Siegel
May 30, 2020 at 9:05 PM EDT

Protests turn destructive in Baltimore as demonstrators vandalize patrol car

Hours of peaceful protests in Baltimore ended around 8 p.m., when a man repeatedly slammed a wooden stick against a police car, crashing two of its windows and flattening a tire.

The man hopped into another car and sped away before about a dozen officers ran to surround the police vehicle, feet away from City Hall. A tow truck dragged the police car away.

A few protesters marched on the broken glass and chanted, “I can’t breathe.”

One woman shook her head saying, “You’re giving them exactly what they want.”

By Lauren Lumpkin
May 30, 2020 at 9:02 PM EDT

Scenes from protests in New York City on Saturday

By Jabin Botsford
May 30, 2020 at 8:48 PM EDT

Minneapolis braces for another night of unrest, as police and residents barricade buildings

As Minneapolis braced for a night of unrest that state and local officials have warned could be more violent and destructive than anything the city has seen so far, one local police station was being transformed into a literal fortress.

Along Central Avenue, just north of downtown Minneapolis, police officers were seen directing the placement of concrete barriers around the city’s 2nd Precinct headquarters. The barriers were stacked in three layers, standing at least 12 feet high around the building.

In the surrounding blocks, people, many of them residents of the neighborhood, stood staring as several dozen flatbed trucks were lined up along Central Avenue. A crane lifted the barriers, one by one, stacking them around the building as several police officers observed.

“Can you believe this?” resident Mary Sullivan said as she aimed her iPhone at the scene. “Do they really think this will keep (protesters) out if they come here?”

The area hasn’t been subject to the same kind unrest that has hit other parts of the city, but many businesses and buildings seemed to be bracing for trouble.

As in other parts of the city, many businesses were boarded up, with messages spray-painted on the plywood. “Please don’t burn,” one read. “Babies inside.”

Directly across the street from the 2nd Precinct station was a senior citizens housing complex, and fliers posted on the boarded-up windows identified it as such. “Please don’t harm them or their home,” a sign read.

By Holly Bailey
May 30, 2020 at 8:45 PM EDT

Protesters march in Baltimore, consumed 5 years ago by death of Freddie Gray

About 200 protesters marched through downtown Baltimore Saturday evening, then stopped in front of the city’s police headquarters. One of the organizers mounted a metal trash can.

“You gotta keep it peaceful,” he shouted. “We’re not burning it down in Baltimore.”

The crowd’s attempts to enter the headquarters were stopped by officers who blocked the entrance with metal gates.

“Black lives matter! I can’t breathe,” protesters screamed.

The crowd marched a few blocks away toward City Hall, where Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, City Council President Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison addressed the news media inside the building. About a dozen police officers blocked the entrance as protesters called on city leaders to come outside. A group of men pleaded with an officer to speak with Harrison, who did not come out.

Five years ago, riots consumed the streets of this city following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody and Baltimore is still struggling to recover.

Gray, 25, was arrested in the Gilmor Homes public housing complex in West Baltimore the morning of April 12, 2015, and placed in the back of a police van with his hands cuffed behind his back and his legs shackled. As he was being transported, he suffered a severe neck injury. He died in a hospital about a week later.

On Saturday, the death of George Floyd brought the demonstrators out.

“It’s really traumatizing, just like watching your friends or brothers or father getting killed,” said Lyria Gansop, a 20-year-old student who recently moved to Baltimore from Minneapolis. “We need a whole police reform.”

By Lauren Lumpkin
May 30, 2020 at 8:43 PM EDT

NYPD commissioner decries violence aimed at officers, citing molotov cocktails and tossed bleach

NEW YORK — Violence-minded protesters aimed their fury at members of the NYPD during a long day of demonstrations and clashes yesterday, the city’s police commissioner said Saturday as cops across the city braced for continued confrontations.

Bricks had already been hurled at police in roving rallies on Saturday as police commissioner Dermot Shea and the mayor urged demonstrators seeking justice for the Minneapolis death of George Floyd to air their grievances peacefully — pressing the point that dehumanizing officers did not achieve their goal.

“Molotov cocktails, a loaded gun, brass knuckles, bricks, fireworks and I’m probably forgetting some,” Shea said in a call with reporters late Saturday afternoon. “We had cops who had bleach thrown on them.”

Over 200 arrests were made as protests played out Friday in Lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, although groups branched out into other neighborhoods, police said. Three individuals are facing federal charges, including a woman from upstate who allegedly threw a molotov cocktail as a police van.

“We had, among other things, a sergeant knocked unconscious during one of those events,” Shea said.

He noted some organized groups had stations for restocking weapons as well as treating their injured. He did not say if the groups were known political organizations.

About 20 percent of the people who were taken into custody gave police home addresses from outside the city — echoing other officials’ suggestions that some violent actors are not local residents.

Shea said that the “glass half full” view of Friday’s events was that “we did not lose a life last night in New York City, thank God.”

He acknowledged videos that surfaced on social media showing “cops in a less than positive light,” including one where an officer throws a woman to the ground.

The incident is under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, and the woman “chose not to speak with [IAB] officers],” he said. The officer was pulled from the protest patrol detail while the incident is reviewed.

By Shayna Jacobs
May 30, 2020 at 8:26 PM EDT

DHS secretary calls fatal shooting of federal officer in Oakland ‘domestic terrorism’ by an ‘assassin’

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf called the Friday night shootings of two federal officers in Oakland, Calif., “domestic terrorism,” saying the officers were standing watch at a protest when an “assassin” attacked — leaving one dead and another in critical condition.

“We have witnessed an outright assault on our law enforcement community,” Wolf said Saturday at a news conference. He said the two people shot were contract security officers for DHS’s Federal Protective Service.

Federal authorities have not described a motive, while a spokeswoman for the Oakland police said any connection to the protests is unknown to them.

Federal investigators are working to learn more, Wolf said, noting rocks thrown toward Secret Service members elsewhere amid clashes with demonstrators left some officers with broken bones. Earlier in the week, someone also tried to burn an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility with a molotov cocktail, he said.

Wolf accused the attackers of “hiding behind their First Amendment” rights. He said the Federal Protective Service is taking “en enhanced posture” in places around the country as a result, without detailing what that meant.

In a video posted to social media, the Oakland police chief joined local authorities around the country appealing for an end to “violent and disruptive” behavior amid gatherings that began peacefully.

By Hannah Knowles
May 30, 2020 at 8:00 PM EDT

Los Angeles imposes curfew as protesters confront police

In an effort to diffuse dangerous situations that had emerged from days of intensifying unrest, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) called an 8 p.m. curfew in downtown Los Angeles early Saturday evening that ends at 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

The curfew prohibits people from being on public streets in an area surrounded by the city’s four major freeways. They are subject to arrest for violating the temporary order.

After roughly 500 arrests on Friday night, Saturday’s unrest included torched police cars and other vehicles, with police in riot gear swinging batons at demonstrators and firing rubber bullets.

Garcetti echoed remarks that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) made Friday night, saying, “If you love the city, go home.”

The mayor pleaded for police and protesters to find a way toward understanding and peace. He cited the deep scars that riots following the 1992 acquittal of the Los Angeles officers who beat Rodney King left on the city. Garcetti said he would not call on the National Guard despite the protests.

“This is not 1992,” he said.

By Kim Bellware
May 30, 2020 at 7:48 PM EDT

Officers clear park across from White House using batons and pepper balls

As the sun began to set in the nation’s capital, police took a decisive move on a group of protesters that had settled in a park across the street from the White House.

Officers in riot gear began clearing Lafayette Square, firing rubber bullets and paintballs filled with pepper spray into the crowd. Officers were swinging batons at protesters and a freelance journalist, Matthew Rodier, said he was struck in the hand by a pepper ball as he shouted, “I’m a journalist!”

About 300 people were pushed out of Lafayette Square, and Park Police were attempting to seal barricades together with zip ties. Protesters continued to launch projectiles at the police, including water bottles clanking off officers’ shields.

By Michael Miller
May 30, 2020 at 7:47 PM EDT

Chicago protest descends on Trump Tower

CHICAGO — A thick crowd of people on Saturday surrounded a black SUV outside Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago and destroyed it by hitting it with blunt objects, smashing the glass, opening the doors and pulling out everything inside. Police in riot gear to the north of the vehicle pressed the crowd back with batons.

For Horatio Gonzalez, 22, and Xitlalic Rosa, 23, Saturday’s demonstration was the first protest they had attended. They traveled across the Illinois border from East Chicago, Ind., because, as Gonzalez said, “I’m fed up. It’s time.”

Both said the difference this time was President Trump, who they said is encouraging discord.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Federal Plaza in Chicago in the early afternoon and then dispersed. The majority of marchers headed north to the Chicago River and then occupied the State Street and Wabash Street bridges. Police sirens wailed; combined with the drumming and protesters’ chants, that created earsplitting noise inside the cavern of skyscrapers lining the river on what was otherwise a sunny and mild day.

Many downtown businesses were boarded up or were in the process of being boarded up by workers, including the landmark Marshall Field’s building on State Street.

Alex Baxter, 26, of Chicago, came downtown with her two roommates. She said the government has not taken police brutality seriously. “That’s why we’re doing it,” she said. “They haven’t made any progress with black people.”

She said she doesn’t fear violence because she and other protesters are “not wrong.” “It’s the police that’s a gang,” she said.

She and others here say that the police and government at all levels are coordinating to keep black people marginalized in their own country. “Even the black politicians are paid off,” she said. “Ignorance is bliss.”

By Mark Guarino
May 30, 2020 at 7:33 PM EDT

Peaceful D.C. protesters sit in silence for nine minutes

At around 7 p.m., hundreds of protesters paused in their march across downtown Washington, D.C., and sank to sit cross-legged on the street, directly in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

As police moved into place to block off both ends of 15th Street, demonstrators put away their phones or pulled down masks for sips of water or bites of snacks tucked into fanny packs.

“We’re all going to take a moment of silence,” said a woman wearing ripped leggings and holding a megaphone, strolling among the seated. “Actually nine minutes” — approximately the same amount of time that video shows former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

Protesters complied, and for a while after that the silence was broken only by her repetition of those last two words — “nine minutes, nine minutes” — and the faint strains of ice cream truck music.

Two cross-legged women conferred, smiling and silent, in sign language.

By Hannah Natanson
May 30, 2020 at 7:31 PM EDT

Records show vast majority of those arrested are local, casting doubt on Minn. governor’s remarks

Arrest records since Friday in the county where Minneapolis is located show a vast majority of those who were taken into custody are from Minnesota, although the governor insists most of the violent and destructive people are out-of-state agitators.

Of the 57 people arrested in protest-related incidents through Saturday morning, 47 (82 percent) provided a Minnesota address to authorities, said Jeremy Zoss, a spokesman for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Most of them provided addresses from Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to data provided to The Washington Post. The 10 other arrests were of people from other states or the state wasn’t provided, Zoss said.

Arrest data itself does not provide conclusive evidence of the demographics of thousands of demonstrators, and it is unclear if any people provided false addresses. But early arrest statistics cast some doubt on state and city officials who have said rioters are not local.

“I think our best estimate of what we heard are about 20 percent are Minnesotans and 80 percent are outside,” Gov. Tim Walz (D) said in a Saturday news conference.

It is not clear how Walz arrived at his estimate. A spokesperson from the governor’s office did not return a request for comment.

Arrest records show people from Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and other states, according to public arrest data, but it is not clear if those were in connection with the demonstrations.

Authorities are trying to determine if people arrested have ties to white supremacists, Walz said.

By Alex Horton
May 30, 2020 at 7:27 PM EDT

Philadelphia joins wave of curfews as Starbucks by City Hall catches fire

The mayor of Philadelphia has imposed a curfew effective from 8 p.m. through 6 a.m. as unrest deepened and a Starbucks outside City Hall caught fire Saturday evening.

Protests sparked by outrage over George Floyd’s death had begun peacefully in the city Saturday, with hundreds paying silent homage to Floyd outside City Hall at midday.

But the situation grew destructive as the day wore on. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that demonstrators broke into some stores, smashed windows and stole items Saturday afternoon.

Cars in the area caught fire, along with the Starbucks store.

The curfew was announced as local leaders across the country pleaded for peace.

“Only persons with essential duties will be permitted outdoors,” the Philadelphia police tweeted in an announcement of the curfew.

By Hannah Knowles
May 30, 2020 at 7:23 PM EDT

New York City protests appear more racially diverse than previous demonstrations

A roving group of demonstrators made its way across Harlem and down the FDR Drive, the highway along Manhattan’s East Side, then back into the neighborhoods Saturday afternoon. The group, mostly young adults, was racially diverse.

Charles Davis, 39, came upon the large group by happenstance while he was running an errand, and he joined it in its demonstrations in light of George Floyd’s death. He said the movement’s diversity stood out to him. Davis, who is black, said he’s been active in past demonstrations over racial inequality and injustice, but he hasn’t seen anything like what’s playing out across the city.

The movement sparked by Floyd, he said, is “much more diverse” even though “New York always has a diverse crowd.”

“That’s something that I’ve always seen since being in New York, but this time I actually see more white. ... I also see gays. There’s a lot more of the gay community out here.”

Juliet Shatkin, 26, a pre-med student at Columbia University, attended by herself because friends she usually goes to demonstrations with feared coronavirus exposure. Shatkin, who is white, said she is there because she is “sad for the people who are dying. … It’s not just about what the color of your skin is. We’re all Americans. We’re all people. I’m sad and I’m angry and I want to fight for what’s right.”

Jaden Powell, 24, whose father is black and was a police officer in Kansas City, said she’s participating because of a broken system. She hopes to use her law degree to help further the cause but believes the people rising up in the movement will help initiate change.

Her boyfriend, who is white, came from Boston to participate in the events. Max Litvack-Winkler, 24, who grew up in Manhattan, believes he has an obligation to stand up against racial injustice.

“We’re just out here just to support the movement because white people have the most power in this country," Litvak-Winkler said, “and if white people don’t speak up then nothing is unfortunately going to change.”

By Shayna Jacobs
May 30, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT

Protesters in Minneapolis descend on home of county attorney Mike Freeman

As demonstrations continued across the Twin Cities, a large crowd of protesters gathered Saturday afternoon at the home of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who charged former officer Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder and manslaughter in George Floyd’s death.

Red streamers hung from trees in the neighborhood as protesters held signs that said “911 is a joke” and “black lives matter.”

They called for the three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest to be charged, according to Star Tribune reporter Chris Serres.

Freeman said Friday that more charges could come, and that the investigation into the other three officers continues, but authorities “felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator.”

By Angela Fritz
May 30, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT

George Floyd’s brother says talk with President Trump was ‘so fast’ he didn’t get to speak

George Floyd’s brother told the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC on Saturday evening that he spoke to both President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden, as the family continues to call for justice in Floyd’s death.

Philonise Floyd said he asked Biden to “please get justice for my brother.” Asked what his conversation with the president was like, Floyd it was “so fast” that he didn’t get the opportunity to speak.

“I kept trying to talk to him, but he kept pushing me off, like, ’I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about,’ ” he said.

Calling his brother’s death a “modern-day lynching in broad daylight,” Floyd said he wanted first-degree rather than third-degree murder charges against fired officer Derek Chauvin. He also said he wants to see the remaining three officers involved arrested, charged with first-degree murder and given the death penalty, though Minnesota is among the 25 states that have abolished the death penalty or declared a moratorium on it.

Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, spoke after his father broke down in tears.

“To know him was to love him,” William said of his uncle George. “He had a social way of lighting up a room. If you were to encounter him, you would instantly gravitate to him.”

By Kim Bellware
May 30, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT

D.C. mayor spars with Trump over city police response to White House demonstrations

Hours before clashes erupted for a second day between uniformed Secret Service agents and demonstrators outside the White House, President Trump and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) sparred, with the president criticizing the city’s response to protesters and the mayor calling Trump’s statements “an attack on humanity” and “an attack on black Americans.”

The first scuffles began Friday night and continued into the morning. Later Saturday, demonstrators again gathered outside the U.S. Capitol and near the White House. And the president and the mayor started a feud on Twitter that then continued at a news briefing, where Bowser (D) accused Trump of using racial rhetoric once used in the segregationist South to divide the public in a time of crisis.

Read more here.

By Peter Hermann, Julie Zauzmer and Samantha Schmidt
May 30, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT

Protesters break through police fencing outside White House

On the second day of clashes between police and protesters outside the White House, demonstrators at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue managed to break through police fencing, pushing closer toward the White House, where they confronted a line of Secret Service officers in riot gear.

Some climbed atop Secret Service vehicles, including one man who kicked a hole through the windshield of a police car. Others threw water bottles at the officers.

“Look me in the eye, bro. You don’t respect me. You don’t care. How many black people you killed, bro?” one protester, who refused to give his name, yelled as he got up close to a Secret Service officer, occasionally covering his face with a T-shirt.

“I probably went to school with your son,” he said to the officer, who stared straight ahead, not making eye contact. Next to him, a protester had stuck a “Hello my name is” sticker onto another officer’s riot shield. On the sticker were the words “White Supremacy.”

One of the women yelling at the officers, 24-year-old Kaejah Moody, was the daughter of a Secret Service officer.

“My parents taught me I have every right to speak up for what I believe in,” she said.

The officers used chemical spray — cries of “Does anyone have any milk?” rang out as protesters tried to calm their burning eyes — and then pushed the crowd back to 17th Street, causing many people to fall to the ground.

To the north, several hundred marchers arrived at Lafayette Square.

In other cities, mayors asked protesters to remain lawful as they demonstrate.

“You’re angry and fed up,” Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young said. “I get it. … I want you to hold us accountable. But I want you to do it lawfully.”

Julie Zauzmer, Hannah Natanson, Michael E. Miller, Peter Hermann and Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.

By Samantha Schmidt
May 30, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT

Rep. Joyce Beatty, two other politicians sprayed during protest in Columbus

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Franklin County, Ohio, Commissioner Kevin Boyce and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said on Twitter that they were sprayed with either pepper spray or mace, as images emerged showing them caught up in a protest in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

“I’m ok. Was just trying my best to deescalate the situation,” Beatty tweeted.

Kyle Robertson, a photojournalist with the Columbus Dispatch, tweeted 38 photos of protesters and police that showed Beatty and the others in one skirmish. Hardin and Boyce are seen helping her away from the group.

In a separate tweet, Hardin said it was a peaceful protest that got a little out of hand, but they were fine.

“We are encouraging folks to keep calm,” Hardin said. “Only [way] we will get change is by peaceful demonstrations.”

Beatty said “too much force is not the answer to this. …. We came out to support them and be with them. … something in my heart, thinking about George Floyd, thinking about all the injustices, I needed to be out there.”

She added the protest “must be peaceful.”

By Donna Cassata
May 30, 2020 at 5:15 PM EDT

Atlanta protester recounts how Friday demonstration went from peaceful to violent

As people circled around him, Adam Leon Jenkins III was in the middle of the street, his bright orange jumpsuit standing out against the gray asphalt.

It was still light out as Jenkins laid face down on the edge of Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. People chanted “I can’t breathe!” The words “Stop Targeting Black Men” were written on the back of his jumpsuit, made to look like a prison uniform. He wore a prison jumpsuit to confront the stereotypes of black men.

The Atlanta resident said the first few hours were peaceful — even beautiful.

“There were people who came up to me, and they put their knee on my neck,” Jenkins said. “And in my mind, I was thinking all the anger and the frustration that I’m seeing, I’ll lay on the ground and I’ll take this. I’ll take this because I was just seeing so many emotions going everywhere.”

Jenkins had come out to the protest when it started Friday at 3 p.m., walking from Centennial Olympic Park to the Georgia state Capitol and then back to the CNN Center, next to the park. He said the first few hours of the march, which he attended with his girlfriend and friend, were peaceful.

Jenkins recalled laying on the ground in his orange jumpsuit.

“People came up and they put their hands on me. Some people came and prayed with me. Some people came and asked me if I needed water,” he said. “It was just a very beautiful moment. But in front of us was the violence, was the mace.”

Jenkins left the protest at 8 p.m., well before it moved eight miles north from Centennial Olympic Park to the neighborhood of Buckhead.

“Buckhead is the place where the most affluent and well-off and rich people stay,” Jenkins said. “Anytime a riot or a looting starts, they go to the head of the snake who has the most money.”

By Adina Solomon
May 30, 2020 at 4:59 PM EDT

Protesters lie down in simulated arrest, chant ‘I can’t breathe’ for 9 minutes

Lying face down, their hands bound by imaginary handcuffs, hundreds of protesters at the Capitol building in Denver chanted “I can’t breathe” for nine minutes — roughly the duration of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck.

The demonstration unfurled Saturday following two nights of protests and a mobilization of the National Guard in the Colorado capital to restore order after two days of protests. Mayor Michael Hancock (D) requested that support from Gov. Jared Polis (D).

Photos and videos posted to social media showed protesters gathered at the Capitol downtown to hear from demonstration leaders. The crowd simultaneously went down on their stomachs to mimic Floyd’s arrest.

By Alex Horton
May 30, 2020 at 4:33 PM EDT

Minneapolis police said they’ve received hundreds of 911 calls

Minneapolis police said they are “overwhelmed” after responding to hundreds of 911 calls about gunfire, property damage and burglaries this week following days of unrest after the death of George Floyd.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo pleaded with residents to follow curfew orders during a news briefing on Saturday, warning if they didn’t comply, they would be considered “complicit” in any violence and destruction that occurs.

“We’re not going to let a group of people hijack this city,” he said. “I just want to let the citizens of Minneapolis know that hope is here.”

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m., Saturday, 27 people were booked into the Hennepin County jail after Friday night’s demonstrations. Two of those were arrested on charges of burglary while the rest were charged with rioting.

Police haven’t yet released information about who was arrested, which is under scrutiny as President Trump blamed “ANTIFA and the Radical Left” in a tweet Saturday. In stark contrast, Minnesota officials said in a press briefing earlier they are investigating if more violent protesters were associated with white supremacy groups.

Elder said he couldn’t explain the delay in identifying those arrested but that it is common for outside protesters to give false names and addresses to police.

Elder also offered statistics further highlighting the unrest in the city following Floyd’s death. About 380 people called to report burglaries, damage to property and alarms from Friday to Saturday morning. In the same period, police received calls for more than 133 reports of gunfire. In one day, the city received 23 reports of fires. Elder said there also were reports Friday that up to 3,000 people had gathered outside the city’s fifth precinct station.

“I guarantee you we don’t have 3,000 officers,” he said.

By Meryl Kornfield
May 30, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT

Walz says Friday night’s unrest was ‘reminiscent of Mogadishu and Baghdad’ during faith leaders gathering

After a stern news briefing early Saturday in which Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he was “fully” mobilizing National Guard forces, he and other state officials gathered for a somber, live-streamed summit with local faith and community leaders.

About a dozen people took turns speaking about the destruction to Twin City businesses and landmarks and the pain local residents — especially people of color — were feeling as Minneapolis and St. Paul reeled from the death of George Floyd and burned in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Walz said the “righteous anger” of the activists and advocates who were peacefully protesting Floyd “has morphed into something very, very different.”

The “change agents,” Walz said, “peacefully exercised their First Amendment rights and expressed their rage in a way that said, ‘this must not stand, we must have justice.’"

“Many ... witnessed things last night, with improvised explosive devices and tactics, that were reminiscent of Mogadishu and Baghdad,” Walz said.

The governor said landmarks to indigenous communities, “public libraries and public infrastructures” and local businesses were destroyed, and that the chaos prevented officials from delivering school meals to thousands of children whom they’ve been feeding during the pandemic.

“So I ask all of you tonight, use this as a moment to redefine who we are,” Walz said.

The governor was joined by a slate of public officials, including Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, state Attorney General Keith Ellison and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), all of whom called on peaceful demonstrators to abide by the 8 p.m. curfew so they would not get swept up in mass arrests or violent confrontations Saturday evening.

By Katie Mettler
May 30, 2020 at 3:36 PM EDT

Protests in major U.S. cities marked by arrests, destruction

Protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody continued across the country Saturday after at least 20 U.S. cities woke up to destruction and arrests from demonstrations Friday evening — some of which were peaceful, others violent.

Since Floyd was killed Monday during an arrest in Minneapolis, protesters have repeatedly clashed with police there and in other cities including New York and Atlanta, where officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets and other riot tactics to quell crowds. Demonstrators responded by chanting “I can’t breathe,” spray painting “Black Lives Matter” on buildings and closing off roads to demonstrate against police brutality after. Hundreds were arrested Friday night alone, spurring officials to warn residents to protest peacefully or stay home this weekend.

  • Washington, D.C.: Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters during a news conference that the city is prepared for a planned protest outside the Justice Department on Saturday. On Friday night, in front of the White House, demonstrators clashed with the Secret Service, knocked down barricades and harangued journalists, including a Fox News crew.
  • Columbus, Ohio: U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) was among a group pepper-sprayed by police while attending a protest near the statehouse Saturday, City Council President Shannon Hardin tweeted. “Too much force is not the answer to this,” Beatty said in a video. Columbus police declared an emergency, Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted Saturday afternoon, after protests erupted.
  • Orlando: Protesters continued Saturday to gather outside the second home of Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Floyd, despite being told by officials that Chauvin wasn’t in the area. In Tallahassee and Gainesville, videos captured two cars drive through crowds. No injuries were reported.
  • Atlanta: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said he will sign an order authorizing the deployment of Georgia National Guard Saturday after protesters defaced CNN’s headquarters, which is the same building as a police precinct, and cars on Friday. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms hold a news conference Friday night with Atlanta rappers Killer Mike and T.I. to encourage protesters to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Los Angeles: Police announced Saturday they arrested more than 500 people Friday night. A demonstration on 110 Freeway was considered an unlawful assembly after footage from local station KTLA showed an altercation between protesters and an officer who had tried to detain a fleeing demonstrator.
  • Detroit: About 60 people were arrested and tear gas was deployed four times, Detroit police said Saturday of the Friday night protest. A 19-year-old was killed during a drive-by shooting during a protest downtown, police said. Officers are searching for the shooter.
  • Louisville: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said the state’s intelligence indicates outside groups will come to incite violence in Louisville Saturday night under the guise of protesting the death of Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician who was shot eight times by officers who entered her apartment to serve a no-knock drug warrant on March 13. On Friday night, demonstrators clashed with police, who used tear gas and rubber bullets on the group and at least one reporter.
  • Portland, Ore.: The city will have a curfew effective at 6 p.m. on Saturday after Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency following reports of looting Friday night. Some protesters smashed windows of businesses, including a Starbucks and Apple store, and stole merchandise from a closed mall, The Oregonian reported. Portland police said at least four people were arrested following the riot, where protesters caused a fire in Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office while corrections records staff were inside. No employees were injured.
By Meryl Kornfield
May 30, 2020 at 2:47 PM EDT

Like Trump, JFK faced riots. Here’s what he did to stop the violence in Birmingham in 1963.

The violence erupted in Birmingham, Ala., on May 11, 1963. The city’s business leaders had just reached a landmark agreement with black residents, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., on desegregation and the hiring of African Americans for jobs long denied them — progress that enraged the Ku Klux Klan and Birmingham’s racist public safety commissioner, Eugene “Bull” Connor.

Then a bomb exploded at the Gaston Motel, where King had been staying, sparking the same kind of riots now engulfing Minneapolis and other cities over the killing of George Lloyd by a white police officer.

President Trump has reacted to the violence with inflammatory tweets and threats of military force. But in 1963, President John F. Kennedy took an entirely different approach.

May 30, 2020 at 2:22 PM EDT

Attorney General Barr says violence at protests being fueled by ‘far left extremist groups’

Attorney General William P. Barr alleged Saturday that the violence at protests across the country was being fueled by “far left extremist groups” pursuing a separate agenda.

In a brief, televised statement, Barr asserted, “The voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent, radical elements.”

“Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” Barr said. “In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and left extremist groups, far left extremist groups, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence.”

Antifa, short for antifascists, is a far left group. Barr did not cite any specific evidence for his assertion, and he took no questions. A Justice Department spokeswoman later said his assertion was based on “information given to us by state and local law enforcement.”

Barr’s comments seem to echo a Saturday morning tweet from President Trump, who wrote: “It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” Minnesota’s governor has warned of outside influence on protests, though he has suggested it might be that of white supremacists or cartels.

Barr said that while it is state and local officials’ prerogative to halt the violence, those crossing state lines to riot could face federal charges.

By Matt Zapotosky
May 30, 2020 at 1:51 PM EDT

Trump says his supporters ‘love the black people,’ calls on police to honor Floyd ‘by being tougher’

President Trump denied that his earlier tweet suggesting a “MAGA night” at the White House was meant to incite racial tensions, saying it was meant as a question because he had heard his supporters wanted to be at the protests.

“These are people who love this country, I have no idea if they are going to be here, I was just asking,” he told reporters in brief remarks outside the White House. “By the way, they love African American people, they love black people, MAGA loves the black people, I heard MAGA wanted to be there, I have no idea whether that’s true or not. But remember MAGA loves our country.”

The president attacked Minneapolis’s handling of the protests — adding a tangential that he’d had great political success in Minnesota by almost winning it in 2016 — and slammed Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey as a “probably a very good person but a radical left mayor.”

Earlier, Trump tweeted a harsher critique of Frey, writing that the mayor “will never be mistaken for the late, great General Douglas McArthur or great fighter General George Patton.”

“How come all of these places that defend so poorly are run by Liberal Democrats? Get tough and fight (and arrest the bad ones). STRENGTH!” Trump tweeted.

Trump spoke to reporters for a few minutes before leaving for Florida for the SpaceX launch. He said Minneapolis needed to “get tougher” on the protesters, and suggested that “by being tougher they will be honoring (George Floyd’s) memory."

Trump also offered the help of the U.S. military, saying the Pentagon was “ready, willing and able” to send troops to Minnesota if the state wants them.

By Colby Itkowitz
May 30, 2020 at 1:49 PM EDT

Officials to investigate reports NYPD officers used force on protesters

Officials will investigate reports that New York police officers used force against protesters demonstrating in Manhattan and Brooklyn over the death of George Floyd.

Videos appeared to show officers in Brooklyn pepper spraying indiscriminately into the crowd, sparking concern on social media. In a news conference on Saturday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said he will launch an independent review of the police reaction to Friday night’s demonstrations.

“There needs to be some accountability,” he said.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea did not address the allegations but said officers were targeted by some violent protesters. Authorities arrested more than 200 people, including one person who was arrested on a charge of attempted murder after hurling a molotov cocktail into a police van with four officers inside, he said.

“It is by the grace of God … that we don’t have dead officers today,” Shea said.

Shea said that a gun, a set of brass knuckles and several bricks were collected by police from protesters.

De Blasio condemned protesters who “aimed to do violence” and instigate police reaction. However, the mayor also heard of instances where police may have used unnecessary force. He said lawmakers who attended the protests peacefully were pepper sprayed. He also referenced a video that shows a protester being thrown by an officer.

At a coronavirus briefing later Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said he spoke with de Blasio and would direct Attorney General Letitia James to investigate what happened and release a public report.

By Meryl Kornfield
May 30, 2020 at 1:47 PM EDT

Minnesota officials say white supremacists could be instigating some of the unrest in Twin Cities

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis and law enforcement officials said during their news briefing Saturday morning that they are investigating what groups are responsible for instigating the uprisings in the Twin Cities, which have resulted in property destruction and building fires. The officials used strong language to universally condemn the vandalism and asserted that those who led the destruction were not locals but people who traveled from other places.

They said they are trying to determine if some of those arrested during protests were tied to white supremacy groups, John Harrington, Minnesota public safety commissioner, said, adding that he would release more information about protesters to the public later Saturday. Harrington said that about 20 people were arrested in St. Paul, half on burglary charges, while in Minneapolis, there were about 15 to 20 arrested and charged with violating curfew or destroying property.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said that while the protests earlier in the week were marking the community’s grief for Floyd, Friday’s uprising was done by people taking advantage of the unruly situation.

“Gradually that shift was made, and we saw more and more people coming from outside of the city. We saw more and more people looking to cause violence in our communities, and I have to say, it is not acceptable,” Frey said. “This is no longer about verbal expression. This is about violence, and we need to make sure that it stops.”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter (D) added that everyone arrested in his city Friday night was from outside the state.

The mayors and Walz urged residents to stay home Saturday night and not violate the 8 p.m. curfew, warning that those who ventured out would be swept up in mass arrests. Frey said that “by being out tonight you are most definitely helping those who seek to wrong our city.”

Walz said that those out after 8 p.m. “are aiding and abetting these folks."

He warned that the destruction of past nights will be “dwarfed” Saturday night.

By Katie Mettler and Meryl Kornfield
May 30, 2020 at 1:10 PM EDT

Trump pulls military into political fray of Minneapolis unrest

The Pentagon has offered the use of active-duty soldiers and intelligence to assist in quelling unrest in Minnesota, including some forces who were put on alert to deploy, the state’s governor said Saturday.

Gov. Tim Walz (D.) acknowledged the offer as he announced that he was mobilizing the entire Minnesota National Guard. He did so after several nights of rioting in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody this week in Minneapolis while handcuffed and on video.

President Trump on Saturday blamed liberal officials for the unrest, though demonstrations have turned violent in red and blue states alike.

“Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME!” Trump tweeted. “Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.”

By Dan Lamothe and Angela Fritz
May 30, 2020 at 12:53 PM EDT

After being hammered by Trump, China responds with: What about Minneapolis?

Chinese officials appeared to shrug off President Trump’s latest slaps against Beijing and struck back with their own rhetorical punch Saturday as propagandists highlighted the growing street clashes triggered by George Floyd’s death in police custody.

“Hong Kong’s rioters and police should carefully watch how the ‘democratic U.S.’ deals with the chaos in Minnesota,” wrote Hu Xijin, the nationalist editor of the Global Times, a state-affiliated newspaper that often reflects the foreign policy views of the Chinese Communist Party. He called out the United States for its “double standards.”

CCTV, the state broadcaster, ran a commentary saying that the use of force by police in the United States “shows the deep social contradictions” in the United States.

And across the Internet in China, commentators and ordinary people alike co-opted a phrase House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used to describe the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong last year, that the protests were “a beautiful sight to behold.” Posting photos of burning buildings and looters smashing up a Target store, the Central Committee of the Communist Young League asked: “A beautiful sight to behold?”

By Anna Fifield
May 30, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT

Walz ‘fully’ activates National Guard, says unrest is ‘no longer, in any way, about the murder of George Floyd’

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced Saturday that he was “fully” mobilizing the National Guard, a first in the state’s history, to help control the violent unrest that followed peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

“Let’s be very clear, the situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” Walz said.

The governor said he had “sensitivity to the legitimate rage and anger” that Minnesotans felt after Floyd’s death, which manifested earlier in the week with “healthy gathering of community.”

By Thursday, Walz said that peaceful protest was gone and that the destruction Friday night made a “mockery” of Floyd’s death.

“At this point of time, it is nothing short of a blessing that we have not had someone killed as an innocent bystander in this,” Walz said.

The governor said the tactics of first responders will be to reduce loss of life and property in the state, where small businesses and community nonprofits were damaged in the unrest.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter (D), who also spoke during the news briefing, said the violent demonstrators weren’t from their cities. Carter said there were “relatively few arrests” during Friday night’s protests, but the people arrested were all from other states.

“Those folks are agitating and inciting and taking advantage of the pain, hurt, frustration, anger and real and legitimate sadness that so many of our community members feel to advocate for the destruction of our communities,” Carter said.

Walz warned of more protesters gathering Saturday night spurred by increased police presence.

“This is only going to make it more difficult tonight,” Walz said.

Minnesota National Guard Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen told reporters that there were already 700 guardsmen mobilized as of early Saturday but by noon, there will be 2,500 guard members activated and they were requesting federal assistance.

“What does that mean? It means we’re all in,” Jensen said.

By Katie Mettler and Meryl Kornfield
May 30, 2020 at 11:02 AM EDT

Minneapolis struggled with police violence and adopted reforms. ‘And yet, George Floyd is still dead.’

Minneapolis has raged and mourned since video emerged this week of George Floyd, pinned for several minutes as he gasped for breath. This city has endured the painful sequence before: Someone encounters the police and dies. Outrage, protests and promises to do better follow. And then it happens all over again.

“There’s a cycle,” said Michelle Phelps, an associate sociology professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied community views on policing and reform in Minneapolis. “There’s an episode of violence, there’s an uprising, people demand change, and change starts to happen. But in a big, cumbersome bureaucracy with 800 line officers, those shifts move really slowly.”

By Holly Bailey and Mark Berman
May 30, 2020 at 10:08 AM EDT

Kentucky governor calls in National Guard after protests over death of Breonna Taylor

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday morning he is calling in the National Guard to help “keep peace” in Louisville, where protests have erupted over the death of 26-year-old emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot eight times by narcotics detectives in her own home in March.

Beshear (D) said the demonstrations in his state began peacefully but escalated Friday night, and that state officials have “intelligence” that protests on Saturday could become more violent. He acknowledged the “frustration and fatigue” of Kentucky residents who feel “that justice isn’t available to all of us in our state and in our society."

Beshear pledged to “listen and do everything I can to help moving forward.”

“We cannot let Breonna’s legacy be marred by violence, and we can’t let our streets turn violent,” Beshear said in his announcement. “So today I'm taking a step to ensure the safety of everybody."

Beshear said calling in the National Guard is a “big step and a tough step” that is not intended to “silence any voice.”

“But I want to make sure that at the end of the day that we are all safe,” Beshear said.

Seven people were shot in downtown Louisville during a protest on May 28, though police have said the shots did not come from them.

The Louisville Metro Police Department apologized after an officer was seen on camera firing what appeared to be pepper balls at a news crew during a live TV broadcast.

By Katie Mettler
May 30, 2020 at 9:33 AM EDT

Trump tweets on D.C. protests, warns of ‘vicious dogs’ and ‘ominous weapons’ if they had breached White House fence

President Trump praised Secret Service agents who worked to break up protests near the White House on Friday night and warned that if any demonstrators had gotten close to breaching the presidential residence, they would have met the “most vicious dogs” and the “most ominous weapons I have ever seen.”

The tweets Saturday were the first in which Trump weighed in directly on the protests in Washington, which mirrored demonstrations that broke out in major cities across the nation Friday night. The White House went on lockdown Friday evening.

In a descriptive string of tweets Saturday morning, Trump said he watched “every move” of the protests near the White House and that he “couldn’t have felt more safe.”

Had protesters gotten close to the White House fence, Trump warned that dogs and weapons would have been unleashed and “that’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”

Without evidence, the president accused D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) of not allowing the city’s law enforcement to get involved, although D.C. police — as well as U.S. Park Police and uniformed Secret Service officers — all appeared to be on the scene pushing protesters through Lafayette Square Park outside of the White House well into early Saturday morning.

The Secret Service on Saturday afternoon said that D.C police “were on the scene.”

In a later tweet, Trump said the “professionally managed so-called ‘protesters’” were there to cause unrest, rather than to memorialize George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.

“Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” Trump tweeted, with no explanation.

By Seung Min Kim
May 30, 2020 at 8:56 AM EDT

The death of George Floyd: What video and other records show about his final minutes

Using security footage, emergency services recordings and cellphone video, The Washington Post created a timeline of events immediately preceding George Floyd’s death on Monday evening. The timeline shows how his encounter with police began on one side of an intersection, where Floyd was removed from a car and handcuffed. It follows police as they bring him to his feet and walk him across the street.

It is there, on a night still bright after 8 p.m., that Floyd’s final minutes unfold.

By Dalton Bennett, Joyce Lee and Sarah Cahlan
May 30, 2020 at 7:39 AM EDT

American cities localize their grief as protests escalate

George Floyd’s graphic last moments, captured by a bystander’s camera, might have stirred the nation to the streets but demonstrators in several American cities also have their own reasons to demand justice.

In Louisville, protesters mourned Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old former emergency medical technician who was shot to death in March by three police officers inside her apartment. Organizers in Austin are planning to march this weekend for an unarmed Mike Ramos after an April 24 incident in which police shot and killed him inside his vehicle. Protesters in Phoenix want the country to know 28-year-old Dion Johnson’s name after he was fatally shot Monday by a state trooper.

In all these cases, black men and women died in fatal encounters with police where there have been few answers, few details and overwhelming grief. Protesters are seizing the moment to draw attention to these lives lost and renew calls for accountability for the officers who patrol their communities.

Police use-of-force is the sixth leading cause of death for young men of color. They are 2.5 more times likely to die at the hands of police than white men, according to a study by three state universities. The Washington Post’s police shooting database has shown that year after year, about 1,000 people are shot and killed by police.

For Taylor, death came March 12 when police executed a search warrant at her home looking for a man who did not live there. When they tried to enter the apartment without announcing themselves, Taylor’s boyfriend, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit, opened fire and police unleashed a volley of ammunition. No officer has been charged in the case.

Ramos, 42, was in his car when police arrived at a Southeast Austin apartment complex last month following an anonymous call about drug activity. Police said the man did not obey orders and shot him with a bean bag. Ramos retreated into his car and tried to drive away but was shot and killed by one of the officers. The confrontation was recorded by a bystander and the case will be presented to a grand jury.

Johnson was asleep in his car on a local road and blocking a lane, according to local reports, when a trooper approached. There was struggle and the young man was killed. The officer, a 15-year veteran, was not wearing a body camera and was placed on leave. The case is under investigation.

By Arelis Hernández
May 30, 2020 at 5:43 AM EDT

Portland police declare ‘unlawful assembly’ as protest turns violent

Fires were lit inside a police building, businesses were broken into and shooting erupted in Portland, Ore., where police declared a riot hours after a peaceful protest disintegrated into bedlam.

Police said they are investigating at least one downtown shooting that appeared connected to the protests, and reports of significant vandalism kept officers busy into the early-morning hours Saturday.

Mayor Ted Wheeler (D), who had left the city to be with his dying mother, said he was appalled by the destruction and was returning to Portland.

“How does this honor the legacy of George Floyd?” he wrote on Twitter. “Protest, speak truth, but don’t tear your city apart in the process.”

Soon after, Wheeler declared a state of emergency and imposed an overnight curfew in the city.

According to the Oregonian, hundreds of demonstrators in downtown Portland began breaking windows at the Multnomah County Justice Center, home to the jail and police station, and lit a fire inside while workers were present. No one was injured and the fire was extinguished by building sprinklers.

The protest turned violent after 11 p.m., as groups of people looted stores and broke into a local mall, tagged buildings with graffiti and set items ablaze in the street. Police responded by firing tear gas into the crowd and ordered people to go home. Just before midnight, the police declared the protest an “unlawful assembly.”

By Arelis Hernández
May 30, 2020 at 3:54 AM EDT

Minnesota Gov. Walz: ‘You need to go home!’

Businesses were torched, shots were fired on police and demonstrations turned violent across the Twin Cities early Saturday in what Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) called an “incredibly dangerous, fluid and dynamic” situation that has triggered the largest deployment of civilian law enforcement in state history.

More than 2,500 state and local police and National Guard troops — a force larger than the response to riots of the late 1960s — fanned out to protect firefighters trying to extinguish blazes and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew defied by some groups that infiltrated the protests and inflicted “wanton destruction” on Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“I can fully understand the rage,” Walz said in a news conference. “But this is not grieving. ... This is not about George’s death. … This is about creating chaos.”

The governor said he takes responsibility for underestimating the level of violence that erupted after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s arrest, explaining his force was outnumbered by the thousands of people who spilled onto the city’s streets. Law enforcement — bolstered by 1,000 National Guard troops — began to enforce the curfew about 11:30 p.m. and found themselves shifting tactics throughout the night, retreating to protect different assets, including the 5th Police Precinct.

Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, confirmed that the state had not been consulted but felt it was prudent of the Pentagon to activate military police in the event they need help restoring order. About 1,000 more National Guard troops reporting for duty this weekend will join the police force in the Twin Cities.

State and local officials are expecting another large protest later Saturday and expressed concerns that anarchists, criminal opportunists and other groups will blend in with legitimate grievers and stoke more destruction.

“These people want nothing more than to entice conflict,” Walz said.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the city’s resources have been overwhelmed.

“We as a city are so much more than this. We as a city can be so much better than this,” he said. “There is no honor in burning down your city. … If you care about your community, you’ve got to put this to an end. It needs to stop.”

By Arelis Hernández
May 30, 2020 at 1:18 AM EDT

Georgia Gov. Kemp issues state of emergency

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued a state of emergency via Twitter early Saturday, activating the National Guard to “protect people & property in Atlanta.”

The announcement came hours after peaceful demonstrations turned violent, as a police car was set ablaze and protesters threw objects, broke glass and spray-painted the front entrance to CNN’s world headquarters.

The governor wrote on Twitter that the Guard will help support local law enforcement and corrections officers responding to the unrest “to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace.”

Earlier, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) had rebuked protesters, saying they were “disgracing” the city as she pleaded for peace.

By Arelis Hernández