George Floyd protest updates: Police arrest almost 1,700 people across 22 cities in 3 days – National News
Written by admin on May 31, 2020
By: JON HAWORTH, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The death of George Floyd, a black man seen in a video pinned down by a white police officer and who later died, has caused outrage in Minneapolis and across the United States. What started as mostly peaceful protests earlier in the week have turned into chaos.
City leaders have pleaded with communities to voice their outrage in a lawful manner, but the widespread escalation of protests continued Friday night into Saturday.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, one of four officers at the scene, all of whom have been fired. The Department of Justice said a full investigation of the incident is a “top priority.”
Prosecutors said Chauvin, seen in the video pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck, had his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, including for two minutes and 53 seconds when Floyd was unresponsive.
This story will be updated throughout the day. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.
7:38 a.m.: Richmond police investigating shooting incident during protests
The Richmond Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened during the violent protests overnight.
At approximately 1:04 a.m. this morning, officers were notified that an adult male victim had arrived at a local hospital. He was taken there in a private vehicle.
The victim suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound when the vehicle he was riding in came in contact with a group of protesters at approximately 12:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of W. Grace Street.
Detectives have determined the gunshots came from behind the vehicle. There is no suspect description at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
6:35 a.m.: 345 people arrested in New York City on Saturday amid protests, 33 officers injured
345 people were arrested in New York City on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning after a second round of protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent.
There were also 33 police officers injured and 47 police vehicles were damaged or destroyed.
Daytime marches that blocked traffic but were mainly peaceful devolved at night into projectile throwing and the torching of police vehicles.
Multiple police vehicles were set on fire or defaced with graffiti.
The 33 officers were injured in demonstrations throughout parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. None of the injuries are life threatening but some are serious.
Police faced criticism after video circulated on social media that appeared to show a police SUV pushing a metal barrier into a crowd of demonstrators. Mayor de Blasio, who briefs at 10a, said in a late night news conference the police were put in an impossible situation
“I wish the officers found a different approach,” the mayor said. “The protesters on that video did the wrong thing to surround that police car.”
6:05 a.m. Police have arrested at least 1,669 people in 22 U.S. cities in the past 3 days
George Floyd was accused by a convenience store clerk on May 25 of attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill when Minneapolis Police Department officers arrived on scene. About 20 minutes later, Floyd was pronounced dead, and four days later, former officer Derek Chauvin, who is now in police custody, was charged with third-degree murder.
5:57 a.m.: At least one killed in Indianapolis in shooting amid protests
Police Chief Randal Taylor of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department held a press conference late last night confirming that at least one person has been shot and killed and at three more people had been shot throughout the day as protests engulfed the city.
Said Taylor: “Earlier this evening our officers worked to protect our residents’ right to peaceful protests. Most of those protesters cooperated and did a fine job. For that, we’re thankful. However, there was a small group of people that escalated to violent acts, including throwing projectiles at officers and breaking windows of government buildings. Since then, we have seen continued and escalating incidents of violence. This includes shots fired and loss of life. This is not acceptable in this community. This behavior will not be tolerated by IMPD. We’re asking that residents who do not live in the downtown area go home. Enough is enough. Indianapolis, we are better than this. Downtown is not safe at this time. Residents who do not live in the downtown area, we’re asking to please vacate the area.”
The IMPD did not give any further details on the circumstances around the death of the individual involved in the shooting and said that they had “lost count” of the number of reported shots being fired across the city.
4:32 a.m.: 28 arrested in Nashville; horses used to back crowd away from precinct
A total of 28 people have been arrested by the Metro Nashville Police Department after the 10 p.m. curfew took effect.
Earlier in the day, protesters marched down Broadway and 1st Avenue North arriving at 1 Public Square to continue protesting outside of the Metropolitan Nashville Courthouse.
Protesters could be seen shouting “no peace” and “don’t shoot’ as they gathered on the steps of Public Square Park.
Protesters reportedly broke out windows of Metro courthouse and spray-painted obscenities against law enforcement on the walls and sidewalk.
A group of people also managed to break into the Metro courthouse and set fire to the outside and inside of the building before authorities were able to disperse the crowd using fireworks and a smoke bomb. Protesters could also be seen outside the front of the courthouse burning an American flag.
3:39 a.m.: Target temporarily closes 175 stores in 13 states due to protests
Target released a new statement late Saturday night announcing that they will be temporarily closing 175 stores due to ongoing protests.
They have closed 71 stores in Minnesota; 49 stores in California; four stores in Colorado; two stores in Georgia; seven stores in Illinois; one store in Michigan; five stores in Missouri; 12 stores in New York; one store in Nebraska; eight stores in Oregon; four stores in Pennsylvania; nine stores in Texas; and two stores in Wisconsin.
Team members impacted by store closures will be paid for up to 14 days of scheduled hours during store closures, including COVID-19 premium pay.
2:43 a.m.: No civilian or officer injuries as ‘dozens’ arrested in Minneapolis
Minnesota’s commissioner of corrections says they’re still working to finalize the total arrest numbers from overnight but that, to his knowledge, dozens had been arrested by 10 p.m. local time.
Commissioner Paul Schnell said “rapid response teams” were working to break-up small groups still roaming the streets of Minneapolis overnight.
They reported no injuries among people in the streets as well as to responding officers.
Authorities shutdown major freeways in the city and closed off key routes between Minneapolis and St. Paul to prevent groups from moving between the two cities. A police line blocked the Ford Parkway Bridge.
It was a very different night compared to what happened on Friday in Minneapolis. Local authorities said Saturday’s law enforcement response would be noticeably different and it seems that the new tactics along with more manpower was working.
Authorities launched an aggressive operation to disperse the crowd of hundreds that gathered around the Precinct 5 police department. Thursday, protesters burned the Precinct 3 department to the ground. About 40 minutes after Saturday’s 8 p.m. curfew began, riot police seemed to appear from every direction, dozens coming off of city buses and deploying flashbangs and tear gas.
“I believe tonight went far better than expected,” Schnell said. He called Saturday night’s effort to clear the crowd of demonstrators a “decisive and strong action.”
The response certainly appeared more aggressive than nights before and seems to have been successful in helping authorities reclaiming the streets of the Twin Cities.
There were no major fires like the ones that burned in the days prior. The question now is what will Sunday bring to this city. Police believe they’ve “drawn a line” and made progress.
Said the commissioner: “We’re in this until this is addressed. We don’t feel that we’re out of this yet. We’re seeing this types of issues occurring across the nation.”
2:02 a.m.: Atlanta police arrest 70 people, majority of protesters have now dispersed
Atlanta Police have issued a statement saying that they are no longer working any major incidents and the vast majority of protesters have dispersed.
A total of 70 people have been arrested Saturday night into Sunday morning.
“As of 1:30 a.m., APD officers were not working any major incidents and it appeared that the vast majority of protesters had dispersed. Officers arrested 70 individuals Saturday night, into Sunday morning,” the APD said in the statement.
1:42 a.m.: Denver authorities arrest 18 as protests ease from previous two nights
Denver officials say a curfew helped keep Saturday night’s protests around the state capitol much more peaceful than the previous two nights when businesses, city and state buildings took significant damage.
“We’re serious about this. This was not a game to be played. Lives were at stake. Very serious property damage was at stake. We weren’t going to stand for it again in this city,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock told ABC News’ Denver affiliate KMGH-TV. “We meant this curfew. We will continue to enforce it accordingly.”
The Denver Police Chief told KMGH-TV that the department arrested 18 people Saturday night, including one man allegedly carrying this handgun illegally.
Throughout the day and evening, several skirmishes broke out between police and protesters, who built makeshift roadblocks and set them on fire as police in riot gear advanced, firing teargas to clear the streets. One woman was reportedly shot at point blank range in the back by an officer firing a pepper ball round and several cars were also burned.
Things are mostly quiet now, with a few remaining protesters and police on the streets. Denver’s curfew is in effect until 5 a.m. local time and again on Sunday night.
1:34 a.m.: Houston mayor says George Floyd’s body will return to Houston
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has said the body of Houston native George Floyd will return to the city.
Turner spoke to the community late Saturday afternoon and encourage residents to protest peacefully, after looting was reported on the first night.
“This is our house. This is the same city that George Floyd grew up,” Turner said. “And his body will be returning to this city. To his city.”
Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center in Rosharon, Texas, posted a flyer on Facebook with a picture of Floyd, stating funeral arrangements are forthcoming.
Floyd’s family and attorneys have yet to confirm funeral arrangements for the 46-year-old.
“The focus needs to be on supporting and uplifting his family. And that’s what I want to keep bringing this conversation to. George Floyd. It’s not about these other individuals, who won’t be a moment. It’s about George Floyd, and justice for George Floyd,” said Turner.
1:12 a.m.: Protests mount in Ferguson, Missouri
Ferguson, Missouri, tonight has taken a violent turn as protesters have vandalized the police department.
Notably, Ferguson was the center of civil of unrest in 2014 after the fatal police shooting of Mike Brown by police officer Darrel Wilson.
Per the St. Louis County Police Department, all non-essential personnel have been evacuated at the Ferguson Police Department.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency late Saturday and activated the Missouri National Guard to stand ready to assist.
A total of two officers were injured and transported to the hospital while two others were treated on the scene for minor injuries.
Crowds have now dispersed and officers will continue patrol for the night.
12:53 a.m.: Miami-Dade Police arrest 38 people, suspends all transit services on Sunday
The Miami-Dade Police Department have announced that 38 people have been arrested so far after Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed a local state of emergency declaration, ordering a curfew that took place at 10 p.m. last night until 6 a.m. on Sunday after some protesters began to burn police cars at the Miami Police Station.
The Department of Transportation and Public Works also has suspended all Miami-Dade Transit services on Sunday, May 31, including Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus. This decision was made in an abundance of caution, and to ensure the safety of all passengers and employees, according to a statement released by Miami-Dade County.
12:46 a.m.: Biden releases statement on protests, urges understanding but cautions against ‘needless destruction’
Former vice president Joe Biden released a paper statement just after midnight eastern on the ongoing unrest and protests currently gripping several major American cities, urging an understanding of the trauma many people of color in America are facing in the wake of George Floyd’s death, but also speaking out against the “needless destruction,” that is playing out as a result of the protests.
“These last few days have laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice. Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd,” Biden wrote.
“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not,” he added.
The presumptive Democratic nominee also added that the protests going on tonight should not overshadow the cause they are trying to advance.
“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance,” Biden wrote.
Biden also acknowledged the widespread pain across the country, not only from the pain of Floyd’s death, but from coronavirus as well, relating to the feeling of grief, but implored the country to use the current anger to “compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.”
“I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight. Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation. Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system. And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear,” Biden said.
“And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose. So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over– but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.”
“We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,” the statement said.
Biden also pledged, if elected, to help lead a conversation on the issues that have caused the current unrest, and referenced again his recent conversation with George Floyd’s family and a promise he made to ensure his death will not just be a “hashtag.”
“As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen. I will keep the commitment I made to George’s brother, Philonise, that George will not just be a hashtag. We must and will get to a place where everyone, regardless of race, believes that ‘to protect and serve’ means to protect and serve them,” Biden wrote.
“Please stay safe. Please take care of each other,” he added, ending his statement.
12:39 a.m.: Los Angeles issues mandatory curfew for the entire city
The Los Angeles Police Department has issued a mandatory curfew from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. for the entire city. No one is allowed on the streets and people found in violation of this order are subject to arrest.
The LAPD initially issued the curfew for the downtown area of the city but have now expanded it to include the entire city.
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky, Ahmad Hemingway, Alexandra Faul, Marcus Moore, Clayton Sandell, Bonnie McLean, Sarah Shales and John Verhovek contributed to this report.