Protests sparked by the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers earlier this week continued into a fifth straight night and spread to more than 75 U.S. cities. Videos of the police response in many U.S. cities revealed aggressive tactics by law enforcement, including the use of tear gas, attacking journalists, ramming vehicles into crowds, and shooting paint canisters at residents on their own front porches.
National Guard troops have been activated in Minnesota, Ohio, Georgia, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Missouri, and Washington DC.
Minneapolis, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Nashville have imposed curfews.
There were also reports that the violence was being stoked by outside agitators.
The Minnesota Post reports: “Harrington, the public safety commissioner, said at the mid-morning press briefing that he now has evidence of calls by right-wing extremists and white supremacists to come to Minnesota to foster unrest. ‘We have watched these groups grow both in brazenness and also grow in challenging approaches that we’ve had to adapt to,’ he said.”
The AP reports: “…state and federal officials have offered differing assessments of who the outsiders are. They’ve blamed left-wing extremists, far-right white nationalists and even suggested the involvement of drug cartels. These leaders have offered little evidence to back up those claims, and the chaos of the protests makes verifying identities and motives exceedingly difficult.”
In New York City, more than 240 people were arrested Saturday into early Sunday. A disturbing video showed a police cruiser slamming into a crowd of protesters.
Police cruisers were later set on fire.
Officers were also filmed using pepper spray on protesters with their hands up.
CNBC adds: “Police in Philadelphia told NBC News that they had arrested 14 people and expected further arrests. Thirteen police officers were injured in Philadelphia, authorities said, including a bicycle officer who was run over by a vehicle. In Pittsburgh, the Department of Public Safety said that “several dozens” of people were arrested and four police officers were hospitalized. Additionally, police told NBC News, ‘three local journalists were injured when protesters attacked them, but none were seriously injured.’ Miami police reported 38 arrests. Dallas police reported 74 individuals taken into custody.
In Denver, police began using tear gas shortly after curfews began.
ABC News reports: “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he has asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to send the National Guard into the county as protests turn to looting. Several local businesses were looted, as well as a Target and CVS in West Hollywood. Shops along glitzy Beverly Hills, where a curfew is in place, were covered in spray paint. Flight Club, a famous West Hollywood shop that sells collector’s edition sneakers for sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, was smashed in and people were seen carrying out boxes of the expensive footwear.”
More than 200 people were arrested in Houston, and in Dallas, police fired tear gas on protesters.
In Nashville, videos showed fire inside City Hall and a courthouse was set on fire by protesters.
Salt Lake City:
In Atlanta, police were filmed using a taser to get a driver out of a car.
Police in Louisville were seen destroying and confiscating water that had been brought in for protesters.
In Minneapolis, WCCO photographer Tom Aviles was struck by a rubber bullet.
Videos also emerged of people protesting outside the U.S. embassy in Berlin, Germany.