A sixth night of mass demonstrations has put government officials, law enforcement officers and protesters at odds in cities across the United States after George Floyd, a black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

Peaceful protests exploded into unrest and outrage in Washington on Sunday night, with some demonstrators setting and feeding fires. In Louisville, one man was shot and killed when police and the National Guard opened fire following a violent confrontation between a group gathered in a supermarket parking lot and law enforcement trying to disperse the crowd, authorities said early Monday.

Police arrested about 4,100 people in U.S. cities over the weekend, according to the Associated Press, and several people have died nationwide in the protests. Nearly a week after Floyd’s death, it remains unclear whether tensions across the country are calming or escalating.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The brother of George Floyd received the family’s first personal response from the Minneapolis police chief during a news conference Sunday. “To the Floyd family, I want you to know, that my decision to fire all four officers was not based on some sort of hierarchy,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “Mr. Floyd died in our hands, and so I see that as being complicit.”
  • President Trump was taken by Secret Service agents to an underground bunker at the White House on Friday night, according to two officials familiar with the incident, as protests over Floyd’s death erupted near the presidential residence.
  • Whether they were wearing press credentials around their necks mattered little, as journalists around the country continued to be targeted by police with arrest, rubber bullets and tear gas while covering the protests.
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, was among the hundreds of protesters arrested in the city Saturday after failing to disperse when ordered by police, law enforcement sources told The Washington Post.
  • Protesters in Birmingham, Ala., tore down a monument to a Confederate naval captain on Sunday night, tying a rope around the statue’s neck and pulling it to the ground, video showed.
  • A truck driver who barreled toward protesters filling Minneapolis’s Interstate 35 Sunday has been arrested, according to police. The truck did not appear to hit any of the thousands who had gathered peacefully, they said.

U.S. at ‘crossroads’ as protests grip cities and police crack down

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Video from several U.S. cities showed police using force against protesters and bystanders on May 30 during a night of protests over George Floyd's death. (The Washington Post)

Protesters took to the streets for a sixth night Sunday, as anger over the Memorial Day death of a black man in police custody burned across a country already reeling from the deadly coronavirus and the resulting economic crisis.

As the violent and chaotic weekend drew to a close, officials in more than two dozen cities had imposed sweeping curfews, including in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the epicenter of the crisis. Governors in 26 states called in the National Guard. And Secret Service agents clashed for a second day with demonstrators outside the White House, where President Trump used social media to assail Democrats and threaten protesters.

At least six people were killed in violence that flared as demonstrations in parts of the country devolved into mayhem. Gunfire rang out from Detroit to Indianapolis to Chicago to Omaha — places where authorities said people were slain in shootings connected to the protests. But there were also scenes of peaceful assembly, as well as of police officers kneeling in solidarity and protesters placing themselves before storefronts to prevent looting and brawling at odds with the message of nonviolence.

Read more here.

As cities burned, Trump stayed silent — aside from tweeting fuel to the fire

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In cities across America on Sunday, people awoke to see shattered glass, charred vehicles, bruised bodies and graffiti-tagged buildings. Demonstrators gathered again in peaceful daytime protest of racial injustice. By evening, thousands had converged again in front of the White House, where people had rioted and set fires the night before.

President Trump stayed safely ensconced inside and had nothing to say, besides tweeting fuel on the fire.

Never in the 1,227 days of Trump’s presidency has the nation seemed to cry out for leadership as it did Sunday, yet Trump made no attempt to provide it.

Read more here.

The scene as businesses were broken into in downtown Washington

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Man fatally shot in Louisville when police, National Guard open fire after violent confrontation with crowd

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One man was shot and killed when police and the National Guard opened fire in Louisville following a violent confrontation between a group gathered in a parking lot and law enforcement trying to disperse the crowd, authorities said early Monday.

Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said that after another night of destructive protests over the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, the Kentucky National Guard and Louisville police were dispatched to the parking lot at Dino’s Food Mart around 12:15 a.m., where a large crowd had gathered.

But as the agencies began trying to disperse them, someone in the crowd fired at the officers and soldiers, Conrad said.

Both the National Guard and Louisville police returned fire, he said. One man died at the scene. Conrad did not identify him.

“Our officers are working very hard to keep people safe and protect property,” Conrad said in an early morning news briefing. “While doing that, we’ve had officers shot at and assaulted. I think it’s very, very clear that many people do not trust the police. That is an issue we’re going to have to work on and work through for a long time."

Conrad said that police are currently interviewing several people and are collecting video footage of the shooting, which he pledged to release to the public soon. The chief did not address whether the crowd was in any way related to the protests, which were centered about two miles away in downtown Louisville.

The fatal shooting is likely to further inflame tensions in Louisville, where protesters have been demanding justice in the March 13 death of the unarmed 26-year-old Taylor, an African American emergency medical technician. Taylor was asleep in her apartment when officers broke down her door in the middle of the night to serve a warrant, alarming her boyfriend who fired at police, believing they were armed intruders. Taylor died when police returned fire.

The shooting follows another violent incident during protests on Thursday night, when someone opened fire from within a large crowd, injuring seven people, police say. No one has been arrested yet in that shooting.

Minneapolis has become a war zone

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MINNEAPOLIS — The gas stations are closed. The grocery stores are dark. And along Hiawatha Avenue in South Minneapolis, one of the only restaurants serving is a McDonald's, where every inch of the building's windows are boarded up except for two small holes at the drive-through just big enough to pass along food.

After nearly a week of unrest in response to the death of George Floyd, city and state officials were optimistic Sunday after a night passed without the dangerous fires, looting and violence that have cut a wide swath of devastation through the heart of this Midwestern city.

But it came with a new reality: Thousands of National Guard troops and state and city police officers moving to aggressively — and sometimes violently — regain control of the streets, and a lockdown that has residents under curfew and has closed the major highways at night.

Read more here.

Some officers march and kneel with protesters as fraught weekend of uprisings concludes

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Images of tense encounters between protesters and police officers piled up over the weekend as authorities intensified their efforts to quell nationwide uprisings, using rubber bullets, pepper pellets and tear gas in violent standoffs that seared cities nationwide.

But some officers took different actions, creating contrasting images that told another story about the turbulent national moment following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in police custody in Minneapolis.

From New York to Des Moines to Spokane, Wash., members of law enforcement — sometimes clad in riot gear — knelt alongside protesters and marched in solidarity with them. The act has become synonymous with peaceful protests in recent years after football player Colin Kaepernick knelt as part of his protests against police brutality on unarmed black citizens.

Read more here.

Birmingham protesters tear down Confederate monument, set Thomas Jefferson statue ablaze

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Protesters in Birmingham, Ala., tore down a monument to a Confederate naval captain on Sunday night, tying a rope around the statue’s neck and heaving it to the ground, video showed.

The statue depicts Charles Linn, who helped establish Birmingham and who also ran Confederate ships full of cotton to Europe to raise funds during the Civil War. Photos of the aftermath showed Linn’s statue lying face down in the dirt, with “BLM” painted in large red letters along the back of his leg.

It was one of several monuments protesters in Birmingham sought to destroy. Near Linn Park, where the namesake’s statue crumbled, protesters also set a statue of Thomas Jefferson on fire, cheering around it as sounds of windows shattering could be heard in the background of the video footage.

Also in Linn Park on Sunday, protesters tried to destroy another Confederate monument that has been part of a prolonged legal fight, before the mayor personally intervened.

Dozens gathered around the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument during a speech by comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson, who urged them to tear it down. The protesters began by chipping away at the base of the monument with tools, AL.com reported. Then, they tied a rope around the top of the monument and connected the rope to a pickup truck. When the driver hit the gas, though, the rope broke.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin (D), who has supported the monument’s removal, then appeared in the park with a bullhorn, asking the protesters to stop and promising to remove it himself by Tuesday.

“I understand the frustration and the anger that you have,” he said, according to AL.com. “Allow me to finish the job for you.”

Protesters across the South have been vandalizing numerous Confederate monuments as part of the demonstrations in George Floyd’s name. Read more here in a report by Lynda Robinson.

Facebook says it will donate $10 million to ‘efforts committed to ending racial injustice’

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Facebook will donate $10 million to “efforts committed to ending racial injustice,” the social media giant said early Monday.

“We hear you, we see you and we are with you,” the company said. “We stand against racism. We stand with our Black community — and all those working toward justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten.⁣”

Although many other large companies have made similar statements since protests began over Floyd’s death, Facebook is among the first to put forth a monetary contribution alongside its words of support.

The platform has been heavily criticized, including by some of its own employees, for taking no action on incendiary posts from President Trump last week. Twitter placed a warning label on those messages, in which Trump threatened that looting in Minneapolis would lead to “shooting."

Facebook released no other details about where exactly the $10 million would go or how it would be distributed. The company, which also owns Instagram, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

“Time and time again, we have seen that the Instagram community has the power to bring about meaningful change,” the announcement read. “The more we #ShareBlackStories, the more we raise voices that make a lasting impact.”

On Sunday, Intel CEO Bob Swan also said his company would be committing $1 million to various nonprofits and community groups that “address social injustice and anti-racism.”

He also encouraged employees to donate to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, although it was unclear if Intel would be donating directly to those groups.

Former basketball star towers above Minneapolis protests, as thousands look up to him

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MINNEAPOLIS — Royce White strode with calm determination in a black suit and white dress shirt, his lean frame, bald head and black beard impossible to miss at 6-foot-8. The chanting group of 200 behind him quickly swelled to thousands.

This isn’t exactly the crowd that the former National Basketball Association first-round pick thought he would be commanding at 29 years old, what might have been the prime of his career. It also might not be where one would expect a man with crippling anxiety to be standing as the world around him is engaged in a seismic shift, a violent tumult that has spread from his city to almost every other American metropolis.

But he speaks with resolve, with a knowledge that he had to act after seeing that video. That video that has changed so much in just a few days. That video that has spurred so many to the streets. That video of a handcuffed George Floyd, pinned to the pavement, begging for air, begging for his mother. That video that pushed White out of obscurity and to the front lines, leading groups of thousands in protest.

Read more here.

In African American communities, private grief amid public rage

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MINNEAPOLIS — The whole city still smelled like fire, but Yvonne Passmore wanted to survey the damage wrought by days of violent protests. So she stood beside three neighbors in South Minneapolis, all of them black, all of them trying to process what had happened during the past few days, and months, and years.

“First, we had the coronavirus, which is wiping us out,” said Passmore, 65, pushing down her mask so she could breathe a little better. “And now it’s this.”

The neighbors debated the intensity of the protests, which left a trail of wreckage in this neighborhood off Lake Street. Had it gone too far? Small markets and convenience stores had been looted and destroyed, taking away a crucial source of fresh produce. The Walgreens was destroyed; the post office, too.

Read more here.

Atlanta police tear-gas protesters defying city curfew

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ATLANTA — A mix of local and state police and the National Guard aggressively enforced Atlanta’s 9 p.m. curfew on Sunday, clearing the streets downtown and arresting anyone in the area.

Ahead of the curfew, crews boarded up retail storefronts on Marietta Street beneath the roar of helicopters, while protesters chanted in front of police gathered near the CNN Center, which had been the site of violence 48 hours earlier. A few protesters periodically set off fireworks that exploded and sparked in the streets.

A block away, a statue of Henry W. Grady, a Reconstruction-era Atlanta booster who preached white supremacy, was spray painted with the profanity.

After some in the downtown crowd began throwing water bottles at police, officers donned gas masks, and several minutes later hurled tear gas canisters into the streets.

Wearing a baseball cap that read “black educator,” high school teacher Carmilla Williams emphasized the vast majority of protesters were peaceful.

“This has been going on for a long time,” she said. “I'm not sure protesting will bring forth the solution that we are wanting, because we've been protesting for years. I don't doubt that this is in vain, but I understand people's anger and frustration and the rioting across the nation. This hasn't happened since the 1960s, not to this extent."

She added, “We can’t allow fear to stop us from making a difference and from holding people accountable.”

Journalists continue to be arrested, struck by police while covering protests

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Whether they were wearing press credentials around their necks mattered little, as journalists around the country continued to be targeted by police with arrest, rubber bullets and tear gas while covering the protests.

LAist and KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez showed photos of a large welt on his neck after being struck by a rubber bullet just after interviewing a man while covering protests in Long Beach. In Washington, MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake was struck with a rubber bullet or bean bag — he said he wasn’t certain — while reporting live on the air near the White House, standing across from a line of police in riot gear.

“I have some souvenir welts on my side to show for it,” he wrote later on Twitter. “And sorry for cursing on tv.”

From the back of a police car, Des Moines register reporter Andrea May Sahouri said in a Twitter broadcast that she had been arrested while covering a protest that turned violent at Merle Hay Mall.

“I was was saying, ‘I’m press! I’m press! I’m press!’ Police deliberately took me, sprayed pepper spray in my face, and then put me in zip ties,” she said in the video.

Similar cases played out from Las Vegas to New York to Orlando.

But protesters also went after reporters in one incident. In Birmingham, Ala., video showed multiple reporters from local outlets being punched in the face, hit in the back of the head and kicked on the ground by a group of protesters.

“My nose is swollen and bleeding,” Madison Underwood, who does social media for the Birmingham News, AL.com and Reckon, said on Twitter. “My phone is gone. I’m thankful to the folks who dragged me out of there, who checked on me, who said nice things. Not sure why that went bad so quickly.

Read more by Paul Farhi and Elahe Izadi here.

Crowded protests spark concerns about new outbreaks of coronavirus

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NEW YORK — Outside Brooklyn's Barclays Center, thousands of protesters churned this weekend in tightly packed crowds, casting aside social distancing to express their rage and grief.

In Minneapolis, ungloved demonstrators held hands as they marched. In Las Vegas, demonstrators roared their anger into the faces of police lined up just a few feet away.

And in nearly two dozen U.S. cities, police grappled physically with more than 2,500 people arrested during often-violent protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in the custody of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.

Read more here.

NYPD officer appears to point gun at protesters

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A New York police officer appeared to point a gun at protesters in Lower Manhattan on Sunday evening, according to a video posted to social media.

The scene, captured in a 12-second video posted to Twitter by Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz, occurred at approximately 10 p.m., just steps away from the city’s famed Strand bookstore and a few blocks south of Union Square.

While crossing the street, the officer reaches for the weapon with his left hand and, pointing it at a small crowd as they run down the block. He does not appear to fire the weapon and is later corralled by a supervisory officer in white.

“Point your gun at the f------ ground,” someone can be heard yelling the video.

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) responded on Twitter, requesting a copy of the video to investigate further. Her office sent several similar messages over the course of the evening, asking for evidence of instances of alleged police misconduct on social media.

In a separate video late Sunday, James urged New Yorkers to forward her office any videos and written testimony and vowed to investigate the incidents swiftly.

“We find ourselves once again demanding equal justice under the law. I stand with protesters and I will defend your right to protest and I will guard,” she said. “But we must march and protest in a righteous fashion.”

James, a former New York City councilwoman who said she has participated in previous protests against police killings, said she wanted to use the moment as an opportunity to push for reform of the criminal justice system.

An NYPD representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the video.