Protests spread across US as cop charged over George Floyd death

by | May 30, 2020 | International | 0 comments

Updates from Aljazeera

Derek Chauvin charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

  • Protests erupt in cities across the United States over the deadly arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who was pinned to the ground by the knee of a white officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • The fired officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, as Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe”, has been charged with murder and manslaughter.
  • The Minnesota National Guard has arrived in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and surrounding areas.
  • Minneapolis has imposed a weekend curfew.
  • Community leaders and residents demand the arrest of the three other officers involved.

Saturday, May 30

07:00 GMT – One dead after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

A 19-year-old man was killed in Detroit, Michigan, after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd of people protesting Floyd’s death in Minneapolis custody, police said.

Sergeant Nicole Kirkwood said the shooting occurred about 11:30 pm local time on Friday near Detroit’s Greektown entertainment district as officers were confronted with dozens of protesters.

An officer was not involved in the shooting, she said, adding that the suspect pulled up in a Dodge Durango and fired shots into the crowd.

06:50 GMT – Scuffles reported in front of the White House

US media reported scuffles between Secret Service officers and protesters in front of the White House as demonstrators returned to the area.Ben Riley-Smith@benrileysmith

Some violence here. Police just did a small charge after protesters got one of their shields and brandished as a trophy. Clashes as the line broke. White House viewable behind. 2.10am-ish. #GeorgeFloydProtets

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“Some violence here,” said Ben Riley Smith, US editor at The Daily Telegraph. “Police just did a small charge after protesters got one of their shields and brandished as a trophy.”

Fin Gomez, CBS News’s White House correspondent, said Secret Service officers were pushing back the crowds as some protesters tried to breach barricades in the area.Fin Gomez@finnygo

Protest in front of the White House. @SecretService using their plastic shields to push back vs some in crowd who are pulling on metal barricades #georgefloyd @CBSNews

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06:24 GMT – Military police put on alert to go to Minneapolis, says AP

The Associated Press news agency said that the Pentagon has ordered the army to put several active-duty US military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis.

Citing three people with direct knowledge of the orders, AP said soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called.

Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.

05:27 GMT – National Guard deploys to enforce Minneapolis curfew

Some 350 officers of the Minnesota National Guard and local police have deployed to enforce a curfew in Minneapolis, warning protesters they will be arrested if they refused to leave the city’s Fifth Precint area.MnDPS_DPS@MnDPS_DPS

Troopers are giving dispersal orders near the Fifth Precinct. Leave the area now or you will be arrested. #MACCMN345Twitter Ads info and privacy263 people are talking about this

The warning came as KARE 11, a local TV station, reported protesters had lit fires at a gas station, a bank and a US post office building.

“I urge residents to comply with 8pm curfew and go home immediately,” said Tim Walz, governor of Minnesota.John Hendren@johnhendren

A Minneapolis standoff ends in teargas

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04:57 GMT – Georgia declares state of emergency

Brian P Kempt, governor of the state of Georgia, declared a state of emergency in Fulton county and ordered the deployment of 500 National Guard troops as protests turned violent in Atlanta.

Police in Atlanta said protesters lit fires and looted businesses in downtown Atlanta.Governor Brian P. Kemp@GovKemp · 

At the request of Mayor @KeishaBottoms & in consultation with public safety & emergency preparedness officials, I have issued a State of Emergency for Fulton County to activate as many as 500 @GeorgiaGuard troops to protect people & property in Atlanta. (1/2)Governor Brian P. Kemp@GovKemp

They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)1,482Twitter Ads info and privacy691 people are talking about this

04:32 GMT – Protesters set fire to court building in Louisville

Hundreds of people protested for a second day in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, with some demonstrators breaking into the city’s Hall of Justice and starting a fire inside.

WHASS 11 TV said protesters broke into the court building through a basement window and lit a fire there. Police told the TV station “things are escalating, not de-escalating”.

Crowds rallied in different parts of the city, with some chanting “Prosecute the police” and “I can’t breathe”.


Protestors destroy government flags outside the hall of justice on May 29, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Protests have erupted after recent police-related incidents resulting in the deaths of African-Americans Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [Brett Carlsen/Getty Images/AFP]

03:46 GMT – Houston mayor calls for peaceful protests 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged protesters to remain peaceful after a group of people demonstrating against Floyd’s death blocked highway entrances and threw objects at police officers.

Some protesters clashed with police in downtown Houston, Texas, with officers deploying tear gas or pepper spray to disperse crowds.

Organisers believe more than 3,000 gathered with Black Lives Matter Houston to protest Floyd’s death with chants of “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace”.

Turner said some were arrested for attempting to block roads, but no injuries were reported. He added that some police vehicles were damaged.

Houston protest

A protester wearing facemask and goggles gestures as people gather to protest and mourn George Floyd in Houston, Texas, on May 29, 2020 [Mark Felix / AFP]

02:50 GMT – Protesters defy Minneapolis curfew

Hundreds of people defied a curfew in Minneapolis by rallying in the city’s downtown for a fourth day over Floyd’s custodial death.

“It’s an eerie scene right now,” Allison Herrera, a Minneapolis resident, told Al Jazeera. “The curfew went into effect a little over an hour ago. And people are still out on the streets.”

Earlier in the day, CBSN Minnesota reported 1,000 people led by athletes marched to the Hennepin Bridge in downtown Minneapolis and took a knee in Floyd’s memory.


People hold their hands up during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP]

02:30 GMT – Police and protesters clash in New York City

Demonstrators took to New York City streets for a second day in protest over the death of Floyd, and invoked the names of other black people who died at police hands.

In Brooklyn, crowds of demonstrators chanted at police officers lined up outside the Barclays Center.Jon Campbell@j0ncampbell

A lot just popped off at the protest for George Floyd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Pepper spray, batons, and several arrests.

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There were several moments of struggle, as some in the crowd pushed against metal barricades and police pushed back.

Scores of water bottles flew from the crowd toward the officers, and in return police sprayed an eye-irritating chemical at the group twice.

01:54 GMT – Police in Atlanta use tear gas as mayor decries ‘chaos’

Police deployed tear gas to disperse crowds in downtown Atlanta, local media reported, as the city’s mayor pleaded with protesters to go home.

“What I see happening is not Atlanta. This is not a protest … this is chaos,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news briefing after protesters vandalised police cars, setting one vehicle on fire.

Atlanta protest

An Atlanta Police Department vehicle burns as people pose for a photo during a demonstration against police violence on May 29, 2020, in Atlanta. [Mike Stewart/ AP]

“When you burn down this city you’re burning down our community … you are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd and the life of every other person who has been killd in this country. We’re better than this.”

“Go home,” she pleaded. “Go home.

Police Atlanta

Police officers and protesters clash near CNN Center, on May 29, 2020, in Atlanta, USA. The protest started peacefully earlier in the day before demonstrators clashed with police [Mike Stewart/ AP]

01:29 GMT – White House goes on brief lockdown

The White House went into a brief lockdown, according to US media, after hundreds of people rallied gathered at a park across the street from the president’s mansion.

Peter Alexander, NBC News’ White House correspondent, said in a tweet: “The White House is under lockdown orders from the US Secret Service due to protests outside the gates over George Floyd.”

The lockdown was lifted about an hour later.Peter Alexander@PeterAlexander

White House lockdown lifted. Heading out.

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Demonstrators gathered at the Lafayette Park had wielded signs saying “Stop Killing Us” and called for justice for Floyd.

01:14 GMT – Denver mayor calls for calm 

Michael Hancock, the mayor of Denver, Colorado, called for calm and unity after the first of several planned city protests over George Floyd’s death turned violent.

“Let not the story be about the riots and protests. Let’s keep the focus on the life that was lost,” he said.

“I can tell you not to go out and demonstrate but the reality is it’s going to happen,” Hancock said at a news briefing, stressing he shared outrage over what he’s called the “senseless and tragic murder” of Floyd in Minneapolis.

Hancock blamed what he called a minority of agitators among peaceful protesters for inciting violence throughout downtown on Thursday. That violence included throwing rocks at police officers, setting small fires, and breaking windows and damaging cars at the state Capitol and at businesses.

00:38 GMT – Police car set on fire in Atlanta 

A police car was set on fire in Atlanta, where protesters used barricades to break the windows of cruisers while others jumped on the vehicles and shattered windshields as they demonstrated against the death of George Floyd.

Hundreds of protesters confronted police outside CNN’s downtown headquarters. Activists spray-painted a large CNN logo outside the building, breaking a window and tagging doors. One protester climbed on top of the CNN sign and waved a “Black Lives Matter” flag to cheers from the crowd.AJC@ajc

HAPPENING NOW: Atlanta #protests in response to the #GeorgeFloyd killing have turned chaotic as police in riot gear are called in: 

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Protesters pelted officers who came over with bottles, striking some of them. Other bottles thrown at authorities exploded behind the police line, but no officers appeared to get hit.

Protesters chanted, “Quit your jobs.”

The officers backed their line away from the group of protesters who were throwing objects at them.

Police ordered demonstrators to leave the street and threatened to arrest them if they did not leave quickly.

Friday, May 29

22:00 GMT – Protests kicking off in major US cities 

Protests against police brutality were kicking off in major cities across the United States late on Friday.

Video shared on social media showed demonstrators marching in Houston, Texas, chanting: “I can’t breathe” and “hands up, don’t shoot”. 


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