George Floyd protests spread far and wide; at least 25 US cities impose curfew

WION Web Team New York, New York, United States of America May 31, 2020, 07.27 PM(IST) Edited By: Sonal Gera

'I can't breathe' protests Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Protests have erupted in at least 30 US cities over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The police officer knelt on his neck until he stopped breathing.

Another night of unrest in every corner of the United States left the country charred and shattered. The death of George Floyd after his arrest on Monday has triggered a tide of protests in the country, unleashing long simmering rage over racial bias in the US criminal justice system.

Some rallies have turned violent as demonstrators blocked traffic, set fires and clashed with riot police, some of whom fired tear gas and plastic bullets in an effort to restore order.

Protests erupted in at least 30 US cities over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The police officer had knelt on his neck until he stopped breathing.

As unrest continued into the early hours of Sunday, at least 25 cities across 16 states -- including Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle -- have imposed curfews.

Thousands marched peacefully through city streets to protest the death of George Floyd.

Two members of a Reuters TV crew were hit by rubber bullets and injured in Minneapolis on Saturday night when police moved into an area occupied by about 500 protestors in the southwest of the city shortly after the 8 pm curfew.

Footage taken by cameraman Julio-Cesar Chavez showed a police officer aiming directly at him as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
           
Minutes later, Chavez and Reuters security advisor Rodney Seward were struck by rubber bullets as they took cover at a nearby gas station.

The incident was the latest attack on a journalist covering the protests that have erupted around the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A black CNN journalist was arrested on camera while covering the protests in Minneapolis on Friday.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, according to the New York Times, had received about 10 reports involving journalists during the recent protesting, ranging from assaults to menacing.

Police have arrested at least 1,669 people in 22 cities since Thursday. Nearly a third of those arrests came in Los Angeles, where the governor declared a state of emergency.

The National Guard was also ordered to back up the city's 10,000 police officers as dozens of fires burned across the city.

President Donald Trump commended the National Guard deployment in Minneapolis, declaring "No games!" and saying police in New York City "must be allowed to do their job!"

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence.

"The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest," Biden said in a statement Saturday night.

The National Guard said in a statement on Sunday said 5,000 of its soldiers and airmen had been activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C., but that "state and local law enforcement agencies remain responsible for security."

Another 2,000 National Guard troops were ready to activate if needed, the statement said.

The Trump administration, to this end, said it would not invoke federal authority over the National Guard for now.

MINNEAPOLIS
Police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in soon after an 8 pm curfew took effect to break up protests, firing tear gas and rubber bullets to clear streets outside a police precinct and elsewhere.

INDIANAPOLIS
Police investigated multiple shootings, including one that left a person dead amid the protests -- adding to deaths in Detroit and Minneapolis in recent days.

PHILADELPHIA
At least 13 police officers were injured, and at least four police vehicles were set on fire.

PROTESTS SPREAD TO LONDON AND BERLIN

Hundreds of people protested in London and Berlin on Sunday in solidarity with demonstrations in the United States.

The protesters knelt in central London's Trafalgar Square, chanting "No justice, no peace", and then marched past the Houses of Parliament and finished up outside the US Embassy.

Several hundred protesters also staged a rally outside the US Embassy in Berlin, holding up posters saying "Justice for George Floyd", "Stop killing us" and "Who's neckst".

(with inputs from agencies)