George Floyd protests have started spiraling out of control for the fifth night Saturday as cop cars were torched in LA and Chicago, demonstrators clashed with the NYPD in Times Square and curfews were put in place in at least 10 cities.
Outrage over the death of black man Floyd – who was killed when a white cop knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during his arrest Monday – is ramping up across the nation, with protests springing up in multiple states.
Los Angeles erupted in violence Saturday as cops in riot gear clashed with protesters and the City of Angels went up in flames.
Protesters sprayed graffiti and torched police cruisers and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a curfew in the city startling 8p.m. Saturday, in desperate efforts to restore some order.
Los Angeles erupted in violence Saturday as cops in riot gear clashed with protesters and the City of Angels went up in flame
Protesters are arrested in Times Square, New York, during rally against the police killing of George Floyd
Mostly peaceful daytime protests over the death of George Floyd continued across the country on Saturday and turned violent in Chicago as the nation braced for another night of violence.
Crowds of thousands gathered in the Harlem section of Manhattan, Philadelphia, Chicago and at least 35 other cities on Saturday afternoon, chanting slogans and listening to speeches.
Outside of the Daley Center in downtown Chicago, tensions erupted before 4pm local time, as demonstrators clashed with police and fired off bottle rockets.
There were reports of vandals with hammers trying to smash the windows of the Daley Center, the home to the Cook County Circuit Courts. The crowd marched toward nearby Trump Tower, where protesters tried to smash the windows of police cars and threw barricades, according to police scanner traffic.
On Friday night, Minneapolis saw its worst night of arson, looting and vandalism yet, as protests in more than 30 cities spilled over into violence and clashes with police.
In a tweet on Saturday, President Donald Trump warned: ‘Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.’
He added the claim that ‘80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE.’
‘They are harming businesses (especially African American small businesses), homes, and the community of good, hardworking Minneapolis residents who want peace, equality, and to provide for their families,’ Trump said.
New York: Protesters on the West Side Highway confronted police officers as they marched Downtown toward City Hall during protests for George Floyd on Saturday in Manhattan
Washington DC: Protesters holding banners march from Capitol Hill toward the White House during a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd on Saturday
Philadelphia: G. Lamar Stewart Sr. carries his son G. Lamar Stewart Jr. as protesters over the death of George Floyd gather at City Hall on Saturday
Minneapolis: People clean up broken glass, repair windows following a night of arson, looting and violence
As the nation braced for another day of protests, residents of Minneapolis turned out with brooms and trash bags to try and clean up their city after four nights of chaos.
Widespread looting and arson cut a swath of devastation across the city, leaving a trail of rubble and broken glass.
In Minneapolis, the city where Floyd died Monday after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck and kept it there for more than eight minutes, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz fully mobilized the state’s National Guard and promised a massive show of force to help quell unrest that has grown increasingly destructive.
‘The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,’ Walz said. ‘It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.’
Minneapolis: People work to clean up outside a burned building on Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis: Even after police Officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, violence escalated in the Twin Cities
Minneapolis: People clean up broken glass, repair windows following days of mayhem and violence
Minneapolis: Residents and shopkeepers tried to pick up the pieces on Saturday as they brace for another night of protests
Minneapolis: Buildings and businesses around the Twin Cities have been looted and destroyed in the violence this week
Minneapolis: Weary residents came together on Saturday to clean up the city after rioting on Friday night
Minneapolis: A resident works to remove damaged glass from a bus shelter that was vandalized in the violence
Minneapolis: A man walks his bike while carrying a broom to go help clean up the street following a night of looting
In Harlem on Saturday, hundreds marched through the streets chanting ‘no justice, no peace’ and ‘NYPD suck my d**k.’
Protesters gathered near the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on 125th Street, near the iconic Apollo Theater, where speeches were delivered.
With the crowd blocking a major intersection, hundreds took a knee in the street, a nod to the national anthem protests started by former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Separate protests took place on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.
Traffic on the Henry Hudson Parkway was brought to a standstill as the crowd, numbering in the thousands, marched Downtown toward city hall.
Harlem: Protesters gather in Harlem to protest the recent death of George Floyd Saturday in New York City
Harlem: Protesters gathered near the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on 125th Street, near the iconic Apollo Theater, where speeches were delivered
Harlem: Demonstrators participate in a solidarity rally for George Floyd on Saturday in New York
Harlem: A crowd of hundreds grew to thousands in upper Manhattan as the protesters began to march Downtown
Harlem: Protesters take over the F.D.R. Drive on Saturday as several massive protest groups moved to converge downtown
Harlem: Meanwhile, protestors on the West Side Highway confronted police officers as they shut down traffic
Harlem: Police detain a demonstrator as tensions rose in massive protests in New York on Saturday
In Miami, hundreds marched through the streets, blocking traffic and chanting ‘No KKK, no racist USA, no cops.’
In Philadelphia, a crowd of thousands gathered outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In Columbus, Ohio, Congresswomen Joyce Beatty was hit with pepper spray as she tried to intervene in clashes between protesters and police.
In Austin, Texas, protesters were seen blocking Interstate Highway 35 in Austin, Texas, on Saturday afternoon, according to a tweet from the city’s transportation department.
IH-35 ‘is completely blocked in both directions between 6th & 8th’ as protests continue, the tweet said.
‘We need the community to avoid the area because the IH-35 is blocked,’ Austin Police said in a tweet.
Chicago: Protesters gather in Daley Plaza outside of City Hall on Saturday, after clashes with police on Friday
Los Angeles: Demonstrators listen during a protest over the death of George Floyd Saturday in Los Angeles
In response to Friday night’s protests and preparing for Saturday, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced a curfew beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the downtown area.
Cranley said that while most protesters last night were peaceful, a small group of protesters caused ‘real damages’ at local businesses and property after 11 p.m.
At least two deaths were connected to the demonstrations on Friday; hundreds of people were arrested and police used batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray to push back crowds in some cities.
Many departments reported officers were injured, while social media was awash in images of police using forceful tactics, throwing protesters to the ground, using bicycles as shields, and trampling a protester while on horseback.
On Friday, the officer who held his knee to Floyd´s neck was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – but that appeared to provide little balm. Many protesters are demanding the arrests of the three other officers involved.
Comments from President Donald Trump stoked the anger, when he fired off a series of tweets criticizing Minnesota’s response, ridiculing people who protested outside the White House and warning that if protesters breached the fence, ‘they would … have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.’
Washington DC: Protesters holding banners march from Capitol Hill toward the White House during a rally Saturday
New York: Protesters gather in Harlem to protest the recent death of George Floyd on Saturday
New York: Police load protesters onto transports after taking over the F.D.R. Drive in Harlem on Saturday
Leaders in many affected cities have voiced outrage over Floyd’s killing and offered sympathy for those who were protesting – but as unrest intensified, many spoke of the desperate need to protect their cities and said they would call in reinforcements, despite concerns that could lead to more heavy handed tactics.
Minnesota has steadily increased the number of National Guardsmen it says it needs to contain the unrest, and has now called up 1,700. He is also considering a potential offer of military police, which the Pentagon put on alert.
Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency early Saturday to activate the state National Guard as violence flared in Atlanta. Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler also declared an emergency and ordered a nighttime curfew for the city. The mayor of Cincinnati announced a curfew Saturday and Sunday following damage to about 50 businesses during protests there.
The Guard was also on standby in the District of Columbia, where a crowd grew outside the White House and chanted curses at Trump. 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.
‘I just feel like he´s just one of many names that we´ve had to create hashtags and T-shirts and campaigns for and I feel like nothing has changed,’ district resident Abe Neri said of Floyd. ‘And so that´s why I´m out here. Yeah, when you say nothing you´re taking the side of the oppressor.’
A person was killed in downtown Detroit just before midnight after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd of protesters near the Greektown entertainment district, police said. And police in St. Louis were investigating the death of a protester who had climbed between two trailers of a Fed Ex truck and was killed when it drove away.
Atlanta saw some of the most extreme unrest. While crews in that city worked to clean up glass and debris from rioting the night before, a large electronic billboard on Saturday morning still carried the message, ‘If you love Atlanta PLEASE GO HOME,’ echoing the mayor´s pleas.
National Guard members blocked anyone from approaching heavily damaged buildings, including the College Football Hall of Fame and nearby restaurants.
People protest over George Floyd’s death in front of The White House on Saturday in Washington, DC
In Washington, DC people protest over George Floyd’s death in front of The White House on Saturday
Demonstrators express anger over George Floyd’s death in front of The White House on Saturday
‘This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.,’ Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. ‘You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country.’
Bottoms was flanked by King´s daughter, Bernice King, and rappers T.I. and Killer Mike.
‘We have to be better than burning down our own homes. Because if we lose Atlanta what have we got?’ said Killer Mike, crying as he spoke.
Video posted to social media showed New York City officers using batons and shoving protesters down as they took people into custody and cleared streets. One video showed on officer slam a woman to the ground as he walked past her in the street.
Demonstrators rocked a police van, set it ablaze, scrawled graffiti across its charred body and set it aflame again as officers retreated.
‘There will be a full review of what happened tonight,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, referring to the Brooklyn protest. ‘We don´t ever want to see another night like this.’
Underscoring that Floyd’s killing is part of a pattern, the names of black people killed by police, including Eric Garner, who died on Staten Island in 2014, were on signs and in chants.
‘Our country has a sickness. We have to be out here,’ said Brianna Petrisko, among those at lower Manhattan´s Foley Square, where most were wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. ‘This is the only way we´re going to be heard.’
In Houston and Dallas, Los Angeles and Oakland, California., protesters blocked interstates, but much of the ire in many cities was focused at police. In Portland, Oregon, protesters lit a fire inside police headquarters.
Protesters in Houston, where Floyd grew up, included 19-year-old Jimmy Ohaz from the nearby city of Richmond, Texas: ‘My question is how many more, how many more? I just want to live in a future where we all live in harmony and we´re not oppressed.’