MINNEAPOLIS — Law enforcement used tear gas and fired flashbangs to get demonstrators in Minneapolis to disperse before a curfew went into effect Saturday to quell a fifth night of unrest as outrage over the killing of George Floyd saw demonstrations in cities across the U.S.
The demonstrations continued Saturday in cities from coast to coast and in between, with police in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere battling protesters on city streets, especially in front of police stations, which have become a target of violence in several places.
In Los Angeles, a local 8 p.m. curfew was set, and the mayors of Atlanta and Denver, and several state governors, declared emergencies and set night curfews through the weekend. A curfew also went into effect in Seattle, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago.
Tear gas was fired at protesters in numerous cities as police struggled to keep some measure of control.
Saturday was to mark the fifth straight night of protests in Minneapolis. Earlier on Saturday, a peaceful group of protesters gathered outside the fifth police precinct and as the curfew approached, law enforcement sought to clear the crowds from the streets. According to local news reports, police fired flashbangs and used chemical irritants to get protesters to disperse.
The levels of violence vary by city but the message is the same: a demand for justice for Floyd, a black man who died after being forcibly arrested on Memorial Day by Minneapolis police.
Derek Chauvin, the officer fired after being seen in a viral video with his knee of Floyd’s neck, was charged Friday with third-degree murder but that has done little to quell demonstrators in Minneapolis, who continued to set fires and ransack retail businesses.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz suggested that many of the protesters have come from outside Minnesota’s borders and include white supremacists, anarchists and members of drug cartels. The overwhelming number of protesters have made it impossible to make “coherent arrests,” he said.
“The absolute chaos — this is not grieving and this is not making a statement (about injustice) that we fully acknowledge needs to be fixed,” Walz said during a Saturday news conference. “This is dangerous. You need to go home.”
While Walz made the claim that many of the protesters have come from outside, a review of jail records by local news station KSTP found that the majority of those arrested during the demonstrations are from Minnesota.
READ: Governor Walz Tells Protesters To ‘Go Home’ As Rioting Continues
On Saturday, demonstrators in Seattle took over Interstate 5, cars were lit on fire and store windows were smashed in. Mayor Jenny Durkan abruptly announced a 5 p.m. curfew lasting until 5 a.m. Sunday, citing “an extremely dangerous situation” as the fire department was unable to access multiple fires burning downtown.
In Austin, some 200 people showed up outside police headquarters in peaceful protest by around noon on Saturday before the crowds swelled exponentially as marchers headed alongside Interstate 35. Multiple media outlets reported police had resorted to deploying tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds at police headquarters on 8th Street just before 2:30 p.m. According to reports, about 100 police officers were seen in full riot gear at the intersection of Guadalupe and West 3rd streets in attempts to control the throngs.
Thousands of people returned to the streets Saturday in Chicago’s Loop, gathering at Federal Plaza before marching to Trump Tower. Video from the scene showed some demonstrators atop police vehicles.
Officers struck protesters with batons near Trump Tower and squad cars were damaged, with at least one set on fire, according to an AP report.
And on a third night of protests in New York City, demonstrations broke out in Harlem, Times Square, on the West Side Highway and on the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, along with other sites.
Hundreds have been arrested over the days of protest, including several expected to be charged Saturday night or Sunday with throwing Molotov cocktails in Brooklyn Friday night. In a video shared on social media from a protest scene in Brooklyn, two NYPD cruisers can be seen ramming into demonstrators. It’s unclear if anyone was injured.
Follow the latest updates on protests across the nation: The Associated Press
FRIDAY’S PROTESTS: NYPD, Protesters Clash At NYC Rally
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says protesters and police officers will be held accountable for acts of violence at a demonstration in Brooklyn that left people bloodied and vehicles burned.
Protesters chanted for a relatively-peaceful hour before NYPD officers clashed with the crowd.
A cloud of pepper spray descended over the rally, police armed with batons violently took down protesters and some rally goers set fires — all scenes that played out in real time on social media.
The chaotic scene moved beyond Barclays Center and into the streets of Fort Greene and nearby neighborhoods. At least one police van was set on fire, a NYPD officer was filmed violently shoving a woman to the ground and walking away, among many other violent scenes throughout the day and night.
Dozens Arrested At NYC Thursday Rally
Crowds Swarm Cops, CNN Center In Atlanta
Rappers and the daughter of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. joined Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms to urge Atlantans who are angry about the most recent deaths of blacks at the hands of whites to “go home” and make the change at the polls.
“If we lose Atlanta, what else do we have?” asked Killer Mike, a rapper, actor, and activist.
A protest march Friday from the Georgia capitol to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park drew thousands, but unruly crowds broke windows at CNN’s headquarters, objects were thrown at police, cars were set on fire, and stores were looted.
Violence spread and fire damaged a Ruth’s Chris Steak House and a local Starbucks. The Chick-fil-A next to the College Football Hall of Fame has also been broken into. From there crowds moved to Lenox Square, where there were reports of looting.
The protests prompted Gov. Brian Kemp to declare a state of emergency for Fulton County.
ATL Businesses Looted After Friday’s Protest Turns To Riot
Click Here: COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 2019
Cops, Reporter Hurt As Protesters Loot LA Businesses
A third day of protests in Downtown Los Angeles led to looting and violence as crowds demonstrating against police brutality shut down the Harbor (110) Freeway.
As police tried to disperse the crowds, protestors shattered windows and looted the 6th Street Market and a Starbucks, according to KCAL9.
Two officers were hospitalized. One officer was put in a chokehold and kicked by some protesters in the Pershing Square area, according to broadcast reports from the scene.
The Los Angeles Police Department declared the crowd unlawful, and a line of officers in riot gear moved south to break it up as some demonstrators lobbed objects at the officers.
1 Dead After Shots Fired At Protesters In Detroit
One person is dead following protests in downtown Detroit after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd of people protesting George Floyd’s death.
The victim was a 19-year-old man, who was pronounced dead at the hospital. The suspect pulled up in a Dodge Durango and fired shots into the crowd.
Earlier in the evening a Detroit police commander was struck with a rock and hospitalized.
Officers, many in riot gear, confronted the protesters and formed lines across streets.
Dozens of arrests were made and that police say many were not Detroit residents, WJBK-TV reported.
White House Briefly Locked Down
President Donald Trump warned protesters who forced the White House into lockdown would face “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” if they ever breached the building’s perimeter.
Trump’s comments came after the White House was put under a brief lockdown Friday night due to protests over George Floyd’s death in nearby Lafayette Park.
Some protesters tried to push through barriers set up by the U.S. Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue, and threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with pepper spray.
Trump also praised the actions of the Secret Service and appeared to call his supporters to defy authorities by staging a counter protest, Politico reported.
More Arrests; News Crew Targeted In Louisville
From The Associated Press: Kentucky’s governor has called in the National Guard to “help keep the peace” in Louisville after a second night of protests sparked by the police shooting of a black woman led to widespread damage.
His action came after the unrest Friday night spread through parts of downtown Louisville, resulting in windows being shattered and small fires being set. Police said six people were arrested during Friday’s protest, which began peacefully but grew more destructive as the night went on.
During the protests, a police officer was seen on camera firing what appeared to be pepper balls at a news crew during a live television broadcast.