MINNEAPOLIS - Protests flared late into
the night in many cities in the United States over the killing
of George Floyd, a black man who died this week after being
pinned down by the neck by a white police officer in
The sometimes violent demonstrations hit cities from New
York to Atlanta in a tide of anger over the treatment of
minorities by law enforcement.
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer shown
in video footage pinning Floyd down on the street with his knee,
was charged with murder in the case on Friday.
Chauvin, who was dismissed from the police with three fellow
officers the day after Monday's fatal encounter, was arrested on
third-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his role in the
death of Floyd, 46.
In Detroit, a 19-year-old man protesting in the city was
shot dead on Friday night by a suspect who pulled up to
demonstrators in a sport utility vehicle and fired gunshots into
the crowd, then fled, the Detroit Free Press and other local
media reported. Police could not immediately be reached for
Hundreds in the city had joined a "March Against Police
Brutality" late in the afternoon outside the Detroit Public
Many chanted, "No justice, no peace." Some carried signs
that read, "End police brutality" and "I won't stop yelling
until everyone can breathe."
Thousands of chanting protesters filled the streets of New
York City's Brooklyn borough near the Barclays Center indoor
arena. Police armed with batons and pepper spray made scores of
arrests in sometimes violent clashes.
In lower Manhattan, demonstrators at a "We can't breathe"
vigil and rally were pressing for legislation outlawing the
police "chokehold" used by a city police officer in the 2014
death of Eric Garner, who was also black.
In Washington, police and Secret Service agents were out in
force around the White House before dozens of demonstrators
gathered across the street in Lafayette Square chanting,"I can't
The protests erupted and spread around the country this week
after video footage taken by an onlooker's cell phone was widely
circulated on the internet. It shows Floyd gasping for air and
repeatedly groaning, "Please, I can't breathe," while a crowd of
bystanders shouted at police to let him up.
The video reignited rage that civil rights activists said
has long simmered in Minneapolis and cities across the country
over persistent racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.
CHAOTIC SCENES IN ATLANTA
In Atlanta, Bernice King, the youngest daughter of civil
rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., implored people to go home
on Friday night after more than 1,000 protesters marched to the
state capitol from the Centennial Olympic Park, blocking traffic
and an interstate highway along the way.
The demonstration turned chaotic and at times violent. Fires
burned in downtown Atlanta near the CNN Center, the network's
At least one police car was among several vehicles burnt.
Windows were smashed at the CNN building, along with store
fronts. Police pushed back the crowd, but they hurled bottles at
Protesters also took to the streets in other cities
including Denver and Houston.
In Minneapolis, hundreds of protesters defied an 8 p.m.
curfew to gather in the streets around a police station burnt
the previous night.
"We are out here because we, as a generation, realize things
have to change," said one marcher, Paul Selman, a 25-year-old
The charges brought by Hennepin County prosecutors against
the police officer came after a third night of arson, looting
and vandalism in which protesters set fire to a police station,
and the National Guard was deployed to help restore order in
Minnesota's largest city.
Authorities had hoped Chauvin's arrest would allay public
anger. But defying an 8 p.m. curfew imposed by Mayor Jacob Frey,
about 500 demonstrators clashed anew with riot police outside
the battered Third Precinct building.
Police, creating a two-block buffer area around the precinct
house, opened fire with tear gas, plastic bullets and concussion
grenades, scattering the crowd.
Another group of protesters later converged near the city's
Fifth Precinct station until police arrived and fired tear gas
and plastic bullets to break up that gathering. A nearby bank
and post office were set on fire.
Still, Friday night's crowds were far smaller and more
widely dispersed than the night before.
Law enforcement kept a mostly low profile, a strategy
seemingly calculated to reduce the risk of violent
confrontations, as was the case in several urban centers across
the country where sympathy protests arose.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, announcing Chauvin's
arrest, said the investigation into Chauvin, who faces up to 25
years in prison if convicted, was ongoing and he anticipated
also charging the three other police officers, identified by the
city as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.
Floyd, a Houston native who had worked security for a
nightclub, was arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money at
a store to buy cigarettes on Monday evening.