Relative calm descended on Minneapolis and other U.S. cities Monday after protesters and police across the nation clashed for a sixth straight night in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

More than 4,400 arrests have been made at demonstrations nationwide since video emerged showing former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd can be heard saying “I can’t breathe.” 

Peaceful protests continued to be marred by violence, and vandalism and looting continued across the country, as did the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by police in confrontations with protesters. 

A closer look at some recent developments: 

What we’re reading today: How did we get here? A timeline of events leading up to the nationwide outcry against Floyd’s death. 

Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for the Daily Briefing. Here’s the latest news:

Trump derides governors as ‘weak’: ‘You have to arrest people’

President Donald Trump slammed the nation’s governors Monday as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters following another night of violence. Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.

Story continues

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

More than 4,400 hundred arrests have been made across the nation in sometimes-violent protests since George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day. 

Police chiefs must hold officers accountable, law enforcement group says

George Floyd’s death was “unnecessary, avoidable and criminal,” the Major Cities Chiefs Association said in a statement Monday. The group, whose members include police executives from the largest cities in the United States and Canada, says it can be honest about its law enforcement history dating back over two centuries “that has included institutional racism” including violence against African Americans seeking equal rights. The statement says every major city chief must take every action “within their legal authority” to hold officers accountable.

“We need to hear what America is telling us right now,” the statement said. “We need to take bold and courageous action to change the narrative of our history as it relates to the disparate impact and outcomes that policing has had – and continues to have – on African Americans, people of color and the disenfranchised.”

Federal riot teams sent to Washington after damage near White House 

Riot teams are being sent to Washington, D.C, and Miami from the federal Bureau of Prisons. The FBI also has directed its elite Hostage Rescue Unit to help in D.C., a senior Justice Department official said Monday.The federal prison riot team arrived in Miami on Sunday. 

A weekend of rioting in the nation’s capital left deep scars in the shadow of the White House and across the city where 88 people have been arrested, while dozens of law enforcement officers, including Secret Service agents were injured.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a 7 p.m. curfew Monday. She said significant damage was done around the White House on Sunday. There was also a fire at the historic St. John’s Church across from the White House. 

– Kevin Johnson

In New York: Police cars burn, no curfew planned, mayor’s daughter arrested

Setting a curfew in New York City to help curb violent protests would be a pointless exercise doomed to failure, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Monday.

Police cars burned and several officers were injured in clashes Sunday night, the fourth consecutive night of violence in the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose daughter Chiara is among almost 1,000 people arrested since Thursday, said NYPD officers “showed restraint” amid the mayhem.

De Blasio also downplayed the value of a curfew. Shea, speaking on the “Today” show, said a curfew would be ignored and extremely difficult to enforce. 

“The problem is, people need to listen to a curfew and that’s not going to happen,” Shea said. “And if people think it will, they don’t understand what’s going on.”

Journalists attacked by officers, protesters

As protests across the nation turn violent, members of the news media have been caught in the crossfire – or targeted. The Committee to Protect Journalists said it is investigating reports of attacks and arrests in Louisville, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

In Iowa on Sunday, police arrested reporter Andrea Sahouri, of the Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network, on charges of failure to disperse while she was covering a demonstration that turned violent. Sahouri said police sprayed her in the face with pepper spray after she identified herself as a member of the media. “I’m press. I’m press. I’m press,” she said she told police. 

Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said targeted attacks on journalists covering the demonstrations “show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them.”

– Lorenzo Reyes

More news about the George Floyd protestsIn Minneapolis ‘chaos is the soundtrack of the city’

Monday dawned cloudy and cool in Minneapolis as thousands of people headed to work following a weekend of protests. A light rain fell on the water bottles and milk jugs littered the area around Cedar Avenue as it crosses over I-35, the site Sunday night of the latest confrontations between protesters and police. Arrests were made after the 8 p.m. curfew, but they were a tiny proportion of the thousands who peacefully marched around the city and across the Mississippi River bridges Sunday afternoon.

Outside the Cup Foods store where Floyd died in police custody, banners and flowers fluttered in the morning wind as a stream of mourners came to pay their respects. 

Miranda Strong, 28, said arresting the three officers who stood by while another officer – charged in the case – would be a positive sign, but she added that reform is needed.

“Yes, those men need to be labeled as murderers. But what about every single life they took before this?” asked Strong, who lives in an apartment overlooking where Floyd died. “The system doesn’t work.”

She said she didn’t immediately realize Floyd died in police custody outside her window because she’s so accustomed to the sirens and yelling and heavy police presence across Minneapolis.

“All of that chaos is the soundtrack to the city,” Strong said. “And we don’t want that to be our norm anymore.”

Trevor Hughes

3 dead in confrontations with authorities in Kentucky, Iowa

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear authorized state police to conduct an independent investigation after Louisville Metro Police and National Guard personnel fatally shot a man early Monday. Police Chief Steve Conrad said someone in the group gathered after the 9 p.m. curfew fired at the law enforcement personnel, who returned fire. 

In Davenport, Iowa, two people were killed in multiple shootings after rioting broke out, the police chief said at a news conference Monday. Chief Paul Sikorski said police responded Sunday night to disturbances near a mall involving 100 vehicles and “rioters.” Over the next several hours, police responded to dozens of confirmed shots-fired incidents, including one where officers were ambushed and one was shot, Sikorski said. One officer was shot, one officer returned fire and several rounds hit the officers’ vehicle.

“They were not like they protests and demonstrations Saturday,” Sikorski said. “What we experienced tonight, last night was completely unacceptable and it does not honor the memory of Mr. Floyd.”

– Philip Joens, Des Moines Register; Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal

Reports: President Trump hustled to bunker amid White House protests

President Donald Trump was briefly moved to the White House’s underground bunker Friday night to shelter in place as the protest grew outside the Executive Mansion, according to multiple outlets. The protests over George Floyd’s death hit the nation’s capital Friday night as angry protesters arrived at Pennsylvania Avenue, leading to a lockdown at the White House. Dozens of Secret Service agents were injured in clashes with protesters over the weekend, and videos showed a large group of protesters – some burning flags and knocking over barricades.

CNN reported that the president remained in the bunker for about an hour before returning to the residence, and it is currently unknown whether the First Lady and their son, Barron, were with him.

Savannah Behrmann

2 Atlanta officers fired, accused of excessive force against protesters

Atlanta officials fired two police officers and placed three on desk duty pending review over the alleged use of excessive force against protesters in a clash Saturday night. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she saw a video, which she called “disturbing,” of five officers pulling two college students out of a car downtown. Bottoms and police Chief Erika Shields made the announcement at a press conference after reviewing body-camera footage.

“We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress,” Bottoms said. “But we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable.”

– Jessica Flores

At least 4,400 arrests since George Floyd’s death: AP data

At least 4,400 people nationwide have been arrested over days of protests since George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press. About 150 people were arrested in Minnesota after violating curfew amid protests Sunday night, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted. DPS continued to tweet about arrests late into the night and added, “Even peaceful protesters who are breaking curfew are subject to arrest. Please go home and stay there.” 

DPS announced the arrests of more than 155 people Saturday night across multiple agencies. A dozen firearms were confiscated between the State Patrol and the Minneapolis Police Department. 

Truck driver drives into protesters in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Department of Public Safety confirmed a semi-truck drove into a group of peaceful protesters on Interstate 35. The driver of the truck was taken into custody, but not before protesters pulled him from the truck’s cab. The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.  More than 150 people were arrested at protests in the city Sunday night.

 “Even peaceful protesters who are breaking curfew are subject to arrest. Please go home and stay there,” said a tweet from the state Department of Public Safety. ” Curfew is in effect in Minneapolis and St. Paul until 6 a.m.”

Illinois governor calls on National Guard to assist Chicago police

Vandalism and fires were reported in several Chicago neighborhoods and some suburbs Sunday night after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot severely restricted access to downtown following nights of violent protests. The communities of Tinley Park, Crestwood and Oak Lawn alerted residents to stay home due to civil unrest. Many businesses boarded up. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he activated 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers to assist local law enforcement with street closures. 

“This has been a scary and unsettling time, but I know we will get through this and begin the process of healing together,” Lightfoot said in a midnight Twitter post. “Please stay safe, and stay home.”

Minneapolis police chief: George Floyd’s death ‘a violation of humanity’ 

Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo told CNN that George Floyd’s death was “a violation of humanity.” Speaking at the site where Floyd died after fired police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, Arradondo apologized to Floyd’s family and said he had a “visceral” and “emotional” reaction to the video that has sparked outrage across the nation.

“There are absolute truths in life,” Arradondo told CNN. “We need air to breathe. … I did not need days or weeks or months or processes or bureaucracies to tell me what occurred out here last Monday, it was wrong.” 

When asked why he fired the four officers involved in the incident that led to Floyd’s death, Arradondo said: “In my mind, this was a violation of humanity. This was a violation of the oath the majority of the men and women that put this uniform on — this goes absolutely against it. This goes contrary to what we believe in.”

Protesters vandalize, set fire to police SUVs in New Jersey

A group of people was captured on video destroying police SUVs in Trenton, New Jersey. In the video, the people vandalize three police vehicles, smashing windows and hitting and kicking the vehicles. One of the people opens a door to the SUV and those at the scene start lighting things inside of it on fire. 

Police eventually got to the scene and began pushing back protesters as the vehicles burned behind them. 

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison to lead prosecution of Derek Chauvin

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Sunday that state Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead the prosecution in the Floyd case. Ellison called the case “unusual because of the way that Mr. Floyd was killed and who did it — at the hands of the defendant who was a Minneapolis police officer.” He said he expects to work together with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman on the case. Ellison didn’t announce additional charges for Chauvin or charges for the three other officers involved in the incident. He added “prosecuting police officers for misconduct, including homicide and murder, is very difficult.” 

“Every single link in the prosecutorial chain will come under attack as we present this case to a jury or a fact finder and we need to make sure that we be absolutely prepared. We intend to be absolutely prepared.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Floyd protest: Washington DC prison riot teams, Chicago looting



Source link