Minggu, 31 Mei 2020

George Floyd protests continue into sixth night across United States - ABC News

Dozens of US cities are cleaning up from a fifth night of violence and bracing for a sixth as protests sparked by the death in custody of black man George Floyd continue across the country.

Curfews on Saturday night local time failed to quell confrontations between protesters and police on the streets of major cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as dozens of smaller communities such as Fargo, North Dakota, and Lincoln, Nebraska.

The turbulence sparked by the death of Mr Floyd — who died after being pinned under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer — made for the most significant night of protests in the US in a half-century and the damage extended to buildings near the White House.

More than 10,000 National Guard members expected in Minneapolis

Curfews were imposed around the country, including in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

About 5,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in 15 states and Washington, DC.

In Minneapolis, the city where the protests began, police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in soon after an 8:00pm curfew took effect on Saturday to break up demonstrations.

People walk past graffiti saying The Revolution is Here
A window in Colorado shows the effects of the biggest night of protest in the US for half a century.(AP: David Zalubowski)

The show of force came after three days in which police largely avoided engaging protesters, and after the state poured more than 4,000 National Guard troops into Minneapolis.

Authorities said that number would soon rise to nearly 11,000.

President Donald Trump appeared to cheer on the tougher tactics, commending the National Guard deployment in Minneapolis and declaring "No games!"

He said police in New York City "must be allowed to do their job!"

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence as he continued to express common cause with those demonstrating after Mr Floyd's death.

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

Dozens of additional protests were underway or expected on Sunday local time, from Miami to Kansas City to San Francisco.

Trump says Antifa will be designated a terrorist group

Mr Trump blamed left-wing groups for causing the riots.

He said anarchists and militant anti-fascists under the umbrella term Antifa were to blame for riots that formed off the back of largely peaceful protests.

Though the group, whose followers organise resistance to white supremacists, is not an official organisation, Mr Trump said Antifa would be designated as a terrorist group.

National security adviser Robert O'Brien said there was no systemic racism in police forces in the US, blaming the killing of black citizens on "some bad apples".

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NYPD vehicles run over protesters in New York City

"I think 99.9 per cent of our law enforcement officers are great Americans," he said on CNN.

"Many of them are African American, Hispanic, Asian, they're working the toughest neighbourhood, they've got the hardest jobs to do in this country and I think they're amazing, great Americans.

"There is no doubt that there are some racist police, I think they're the minority, I think they're the few bad apples and we need to root them out."

Flowers at 'sacred space' where Mr Floyd died

A woman and child add to a floral tribute in front of a mural of George Floyd
A memorial to George Floyd grows in Minneapolis.(AP: John Minchillo)

At the Minneapolis intersection where Mr Floyd was killed, people gathered with brooms and flowers, saying it was important to protect what they called a "sacred space".

The intersection was blocked with the traffic cones while a ring of flowers was laid out.

County Commissioner Angela Conley showed up shortly after the curfew lifted, saying that police had trampled flowers and photos of Mr Floyd.

"The community needs healing, and what happened last night only exacerbated the pain that's been felt," she said of police action.

Ms Conley said the demonstrations and confrontations with police would continue until the other three officers who were at the scene when Mr Floyd was pinned down are arrested and prosecuted.

The officer who put his knee on Mr Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, was charged last week with murder. All four officers have been fired.

"We'll continue to have this militarised presence in our community until justice is done," Ms Conley said.

Dozens of cross-legged people meditate in front of a tree-covered hill, with protest signs in front of them.
Protesters meditate before marching through Aspen, in Colorado.(AP: Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Trump blames anarchists and media

In tweets on Sunday, Mr Trump blamed anarchists and the media for fuelling the violence.

Attorney-General William Barr pointed a finger at "far-left extremist" groups.

Police chiefs and politicians around the country accused outsiders of coming in and causing the problems.

Few parts of America were untouched. Protesters set fires inside Reno's city hall, and police launched tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, North Dakota.

The remains of a rifle are seen melted into a street
A rifle is melted into the street where a police car was in Salt Lake City.(AP: Jeremy Harmon/The Salt Lake Tribune)

In Salt Lake City, demonstrators flipped a police car and lit it on fire. Police said six people were arrested and an officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat.

By Sunday, the fury had spread to Europe, where thousands gathered in London's Trafalgar Square, clapping and waving placards despite government rules barring crowds because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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George Floyd's death in US police custody sparks protests worldwide

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

Philadelphia police say one officer was run over while trying to apprehend looters.

The bicycle officer was taken to hospital with a broken arm, police tweeted.


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2020-05-31 23:57:36Z

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