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.

10:44 a.m.
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Night of chaos in New York as protesters clash with police

By Jada Yuan
An NYPD vehicle on May 30 plowed through a group of protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd. (Storyful)

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.”

10:11 a.m.
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Ocasio-Cortez slams de Blasio after New York police cruisers drive into crowd

By Brent D. Griffiths

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.”

9:12 a.m.
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‘They need to be penalized monetarily’, says formerly incarcerated Brooklyn protester

By Jada Yuan

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.”

9:11 a.m.
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Man brutally beaten in Dallas during protests

By Rachel Siegel

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.

9:02 a.m.
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Target temporarily closes 175 stores

By Brent D. Griffiths

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.

8:37 a.m.
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Protesters clash with police in Minneapolis

By Salwan Georges

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

8:30 a.m.
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Protesters burn trash cans and police vehicles in New York

By Jabin Botsford

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

8:25 a.m.
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A tale of two protests in the Pacific Northwest

By Arelis R. Hernández

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.

7:21 a.m.
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Newsom declares emergency in Los Angeles, deploys National Guard

By Chelsea Janes

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.

6:52 a.m.
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Ferguson police department evacuated

By Brent D. Griffiths

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.

6:47 a.m.
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In Houston, protesters say threat of police brutality outweighs fear of the coronavirus

By Peter Holley

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.”

6:42 a.m.
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In Houston, protesters say threat of police brutality outweighs fear of the coronavirus

By Peter Holley

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.

6:32 a.m.
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Journalists become victims of the violence

By Chelsea Janes

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.

6:31 a.m.
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In New York City’s Union Square, violent crowds clash with police

By Shayna Jacobs

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.