George Floyd: protests spread as US cities announce curfews amid unrest

George Floyd: protests spread as US cities announce curfews amid unrest... 31/05/2020 News

Keywords:#African, #Antifa, #Black_Lives_Matter, #CNN, #Chicago, #Columbia, #Department_of_Defense, #Detroit, #Donald_Trump, #Florida, #George_Floyd, #Georgia, #Kennedy, #Kentucky, #Los_Angeles, #MSNBC, #Miami, #Michigan,, #New_York, #New_York_City, #Pacific, #Philadelphia, #Portland, #Protests, #Sam, #Sam_Levin, #San_Jose, #Saturday, #Space, #Times, #Trump, #US, #United_States, #Washington, #Washington_DC, #White_House

By Richard Luscombe in Miami, Chris McGreal in Minneapolis and Sam Levin in Los Angeles
Protests over the death of George Floyd continued to spread throughout the United States on Saturday, as mayors across the country announced curfews and governors in several states called in the national guard.
Saturday’s demonstrations started early in the day and came on the heels of a volatile night in which anger around police brutality and the death of Floyd erupted into violence in cities from coast to coast.
Bracing for another night of demonstrations, governors of six states, including Minnesota, where Floyd died on Monday, called out national guard troops. Many local authorities, including the governments of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Louisville, Columbia, Denver, Portland, Milwaukee and Columbus, imposed curfews in anticipation of a restless night ahead.
The Department of Defense took the rare step of putting military police units on alert to go to Minneapolis. The Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, had not requested such assistance, and on Saturday morning, Walz said he had ordered the largest deployment of state national guard troops since the second world war.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump ignites tensions, lashing out at “anarchists” he blames for stoking the deadly unrest and urging the Minneapolis mayor to act more forcefully against demonstrators there.
In Los Angeles, protest started out peacefully in Pan Pacific Park before small groups of protesters set police cars on fire, and police fired rubber bullets in return.
In New York, bottles were hurled at police officers attempting to push back marchers in Times Square, while hundreds more protesters gathered in East Village. “We will not tolerate actions like these against New York City police officers,” the city’s police department said in a tweet announcing the arrest of “multiple people” it said were arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles.
In Atlanta, Georgia, where three officers were injured and 71 people arrested in violence early Saturday, up to 1,500 national guard troops were deployed throughout the city at the order of the governor, Brian Kemp.
Social media posts showed flames and thick black smoke billowing from a fire in downtown Philadelphia, where an earlier peaceful protest ended with cars being set ablaze, and law enforcement vehicles came under attack in Washington DC and Chicago.
And protesters gathered for a second day in a row in Washington DC, chanting and holding signs in front of the White House.
Trump announced on Saturday that the justice department was conducting a civil rights investigation in the death of George Floyd.
But the president also stirred controversy by labelling the protesters as “anarchists”, and claiming, without evidence, that political opponents were orchestrating the scenes of violence.
“The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters and anarchists,” Trump said, speaking at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center after watching the launch of Saturday’s historic SpaceX mission.
“The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical leftwing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings. We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities. I will not allow angry mobs to dominate.”
The comments matched his incendiary rhetoric of earlier in the day, when he threatened protesters who gathered at the White House with “vicious dogs and ominous weapons”.
His words drew an immediate rebuke from Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington DC, for their perceived racial undertones.
“To make a reference to vicious dogs is no subtle reminder to African Americans of segregationists who let dogs out on women, children and innocent people in the south,” Bowser said.
George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, said Saturday he had briefly spoken to Trump about the death of his brother. “It was so fast. He didn’t give me the opportunity to even speak. It was hard. I was trying to talk to him but he just kept like pushing me off like ‘I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about,’” Philonise told MSNBC.
In Minneapolis on Friday, thousands of people had ignored a curfew, with crowds overwhelming law enforcement, taking over a police station and smashing and burning shops.
In Atlanta, people set a police car ablaze and broke windows at CNN’s headquarters. In Oakland, San Jose and Los Angeles, protesters blocked highways and police fired teargas. In Louisville, Kentucky, police fired projectiles at a reporter and her cameraman during a live shot.
In Detroit, Michigan, a 21-year-man was shot and killed during protests on Friday night when an unknown person fired into a crowd from a vehicle.
In countless other cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta there were numerous reports on Saturday of violence, including arson, attacks on law enforcement and vandalism.
---  Black Lives Matter ---

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