Live George Floyd Protest Updates and Video

The Four Percent


The police fired tear gas near the White House on Sunday night to dissuade protesters who had smashed the windows of prominent buildings, overturned cars and set fires, with smoke seen rising from near the Washington Monument.

The White House went dark, turning off almost all of its external lights, as protesters seethed in dozens of cities, again defying curfews to demonstrate against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

It was the sixth day of nationwide unrest since the death of Mr. Floyd last week in Minneapolis. Mayors imposed curfews and several governors mobilized the National Guard, but that did not quell widespread protests in cities across the country, some of them marked by violence and looting.

Peter Baker in Washington

Tonight the city police widened the perimeter, blocking streets streets as far as a mile away from the White House while police in riot gear confronted protesters in the north section of Lafayette Square.

Hundreds of protesters remained from earlier demonstrations in the day, surging and chanting and pushing against the line of police, then falling back. Some threw water bottles, set off fireworks and torched at least one vehicle.

Soon after St. John’s Church, the so-called “church of presidents” where every chief executive going back to James Madison has worshiped, erupted in flames in the basement.

Businesses nearby boarded up after damage from the night before, including the iconic Hay Adams Hotel and the Oval Room restaurant. Businesses far away from the White House boarded up to protect themselves as well. Helicopters hovered overhead.

Jack Nicas in Oakland, Calif.

Close to downtown, a few hundred protesters peacefully marched through the streets, chanting and carrying signs.

Behind the diverse crowd, Donavon Butler, 33, drove a white minivan with his wife and four children inside. His 5-year-old son, Chase, hung out the back window with his right fist raised and his left hand holding a cardboard sign that said “Mama! I can’t breath. Don’t shoot.”

“The world we live in is not equal. People look at us different,” Mr. Butler said he told his son.

Matt Furber in Minneapolis

Steps from the Third Precinct police station that protesters stormed on Thursday night is Stanford Middle School. The pandemic had closed the school since March, but students were still able to receive school lunches. Now, the unrest has made the building inaccessible and shops and supermarkets shuttered, leaving hundreds of the school’s students potentially without food.

Volunteers and school staff jumped into action to start a food drive. Donations included loaves of bread, apples, carrots, rice and beans.

“It is like viral beyond all comprehension,” said Amy Nelson, the school principal. Donations started at 10 a.m. and withing a few hours, she said, there was enough food to fill several trailer trucks.

Richard Fausset in Atlanta

The demonstrators stopped, hundreds of them, black and white, and they sat. A self-appointed leader among them, an entrepreneur named John Wade, praised them for their nonviolence. But he warned them not to keep marching up the hill. The cops were up there fighting it out, he said, with “the non-compliant people.”

The organizers told everyone to turn off Centennial Olympic Park Drive, and veer away from the trouble. A police officer told them not to walk forward.

Then the tear gas started.

People chanted the way they do at Atlanta ball games, riffing on the old song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”

“We ready, we ready, we ready for y’all,” they sang.

Jack Healy in Denver

Two Atlanta police officers were fired on Sunday, one day after videos emerged showing them using stun guns on two black college students and then dragging them out of their car.

Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced the dismissal of the two officers, whom she did not name, during a news conference on Sunday. She said their actions had constituted “excessive force.”

Ms. Bottoms said three other officers who were involved in the arrests had been reassigned to desk duty while the department reviews their actions.

“It was disturbing on many levels, the least of not which was that there clearly was an excessive use of force,” Ms. Bottoms said. “We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress, but we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable.”

The most jolting scenes of violence late Sunday appeared to take place in Manhattan, where chaos erupted in Union Square at around 10 p.m. Flames nearly two stories high leapt from trash cans and piles of street debris in the neighborhood, sending acrid smoke into the air.

Protesters threw bottles and other objects at police officers armed with batons who pushed into crowds on Broadway and nearby side streets. As flames spread across one downtown street, officers ordered protesters to disperse. In SoHo, looters smashed windows and stole merchandise from upscale stores.

Around 11 p.m., hundreds of protesters faced off against the police near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Overhead, a police helicopter monitored the scene.

Police vehicles raced to the area as water bottles and other objects rained down on officers. Peaceful protesters fled the area as tension rose, but others moved closer to the police, who quickly swept demonstrators out of the area.

As the tanker truck came to a stop, demonstrators who had just sprinted from its path swarmed back toward it and pulled the driver out of the cab, according to videos from the scene. As people ran toward the driver, several protesters shouted for them to not hurt him and tried to create a buffer zone.

The confrontation took place on Interstate 35, which had been partly closed to traffic because of the protest, and the police said they were working with transportation officials to determine how the truck had gotten onto the highway.

“I don’t know the motives of the driver at this time, but at this point in time, to not have tragedy and many deaths is simply an amazing thing,” Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said at a news conference. He called video of the episode “horrifying.”

The protest had been peaceful and well organized; the Department of Public Safety had tweeted updates about the group’s location and said its officers were working to keep the demonstrators safe.

A combative President Trump on Sunday berated Democrats for not being tough enough on violent protesters and attributed the turmoil roiling the nation to radical leftists.

Spurning advice from some campaign advisers to deliver a nationally televised address, Mr. Trump instead spent Sunday out of sight.

But he kept on tweeting.

“Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,” he wrote. Addressing his presumptive Democratic presidential opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., he added: “These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!”

The president also said his administration “will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” employing a shorthand for “anti-fascist.” But antifa is a movement of activists who dress in black and call themselves anarchists, not an organization with a clear structure that can be penalized under law. Moreover, American law applies terrorist designations to foreign entities, not domestic groups.

While Mr. Trump has been a focus of anger, particularly in the crowds in Washington, aides repeatedly have tried to explain to him that the protests were not only about him, but about broader, systemic issues related to race. Privately, Mr. Trump’s advisers complained about his tweets, acknowledging that they were pouring fuel on an already incendiary situation.

“Those are not constructive tweets, without any question,” Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mass protests that have brought thousands of people out of their homes and onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases.

More than 100,000 Americans have already died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. People of color have been particularly hard hit, with rates of hospitalizations and deaths among black Americans far exceeding those of whites.

While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus.

The protests are occurring as many states have warily begun reopening after weeks of stay-at-home orders.

In Los Angeles, where demonstrations led to the closing of virus testing sites on Saturday, Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the protests could become so-called “super-spreader events” that can lead to an explosion of secondary infections. And Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, expressed concern that his state would see a spike in cases in about two weeks, which is about how long it takes for symptoms to emerge after someone is infected.

Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open-air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission. In addition, many of the demonstrators were wearing masks.

As President Trump painted the National Guard as key to restoring order and taunted Democratic governors and mayors for not calling out the troops, the generals in charge of troops in three states said on Sunday afternoon that they had been only in support roles and had not used any force to put down the civil unrest.

The leaders of the Minnesota, Georgia and Colorado National Guards made clear that while troops had probably had a deterrent effect, the bulk of the credit for containing the violence went to local police officers. National Guard forces have been used mostly to secure buildings, allowing more police officers to move to the front lines, they said.

“Our purpose is to allow our local law enforcement professionals to do their jobs,” said Gen. Jon Jensen, the leader of Minnesota’s National Guard. “We do that by relieving them of items like infrastructure security.”

The forces in Minnesota and Georgia are armed, but the Colorado troops have only nonlethal weaponry. The generals did not describe under what conditions they would use force, only that they would be proportional and used in self-defense.

General Jensen said he had requested additional military police battalions from the National Guard forces of neighboring states, but said he would not recommend that the Minnesota governor request regular Army forces for that job, as Mr. Trump has offered.

Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden Jr., the adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, expressed dismay that his forces had to be called out for a domestic civil unrest mission.

“We in America should not get used to or accept uniformed service members of any variety having to be put in a position where they are having to secure people inside the United States of America,” General Carden said. “While we are honored to do it, this is a sign of the times that we have to do better as a country.”

As cities and states brace for more demonstrations in the coming days, the authorities have responded by calling in more resources and readjusting previously held plans.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on Sunday, an action that enables him to designate federal agents to serve as Texas peace officers. The Republican governor, who activated the Texas National Guard a day earlier, issued the disaster order after protests in the state’s major cities touched off confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement.

“As protests have turned violent in various areas across the state, it is crucial that we maintain order, uphold public safety, and protect against property damage or loss,” Mr. Abbott said in announcing the disaster declaration. “Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights,” he said. “However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive.”

And in South Florida, Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County postponed the planned reopening of beaches following the lockdown because of the pandemic. Miami-Dade beaches had been scheduled to open on Monday.

“The beaches will remain closed until the curfew order is lifted,” Mr. Gimenez said in a statement on Sunday. He cited an emergency order he signed on Saturday imposing a countywide curfew after a small group of protesters set police cars on fire outside the Miami Police Department’s downtown headquarters.

The beach reopenings would have involved a significant police presence. Condominium pools and hotels in the county will be allowed to reopen on Monday as planned.

Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker, Peter Baker, Julian Barnes, Johanna Barr, Ellen Barry, Katie Benner, Alan Blinder, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Chris Cameron, Shaila Dewan, Johnny Diaz, Caitlin Dickerson, Nicholas Fandos, Tess Felder, Ben Fenwick, Manny Fernandez, Russell Goldman, Maggie Haberman, Rebecca Halleck, Zach Johnk, Steve Lohr, Patricia Mazzei, Shawn McCreesh, Christopher Mele, David Montgomery, Derek M. Norman, Elian Peltier, Roni Caryn Rabin, Rick Rojas, Simon Romero, Marc Santora, Charlie Savage, Neil Vigdor, Ali Watkins, Mihir Zaveri and Karen Zraick.


Source link Most Shared

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.