National Updates: Protests Over Police Killings Rage In Dozens Of US Cities

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The latest:

– The Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd has been arrested and charged with murder.

– Demonstrators marched, stopped traffic and in some cases lashed out destructively Saturday amid continuing protests across the country in numerous cities.

– More than 1,300 people have been arrested in 16 cities since Thursday, including over 500 Friday in Los Angeles.

– At least 25 cities across 16 states have imposed curfews. The National Guard has also been activated in around a dozen states and the District of Columbia.

– Target has temporarily closed 175 stores because of protests, CNN reported. In Minnesota, 71 stores are closed, 49 are closed in California, 12 are closed in New York, and the rest are closed in various other states.

Tense protests over the death of George Floyd and other police killings of black people grew Saturday from New York to Tulsa to Los Angeles, with police cars set ablaze and reports of injuries mounting on all sides as the country convulsed through another night of unrest after months of Coronavirus lockdowns.

The protests, which began in Minneapolis following Floyd’s death Monday after a police officer pressed a knee on his neck until he stopped breathing, have left parts of the city a grid of broken windows, burned-out buildings and ransacked stores. The unrest has since become a national phenomenon as protesters decry years of deaths at police hands.

Tens of thousands of people were in the streets across the country, many of them not wearing masks or observing social distancing, raising concerns among health experts about the potential for spreading the Coronavirus pandemic at a time when much of the country is in the process of reopening society and the economy.

After a tumultuous Friday, racially diverse crowds held mostly peaceful demonstrations in dozens of cities, though many later descended into violence as had happened the previous night.

Few corners of America were untouched, from protesters setting fires inside Reno’s city hall, to police launching tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, North Dakota, to shattered windows at police headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

In Indianapolis: police were investigating “multiple shootings” downtown, including one that left a person dead, amid the protests. Police gave few details but said no officers were involved.

In Jacksonville: Florida, an officer was “stabbed or slashed in the neck and is currently in the hospital,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told a press conference Saturday evening, CNN reported. Sheriff Williams said other officers were attacked by rioters and hit with rocks and bricks during protests in the city. Many arrests were made, he said, though he did not have a precise number.

In Washington, the National Guard was deployed outside the White House, where chanting crowds taunted law enforcement officers. Dressed in camouflage and holding shields, the troops stood in a tight line a few yards from the crowd, preventing them from pushing forward. President Donald Trump, who spent much of Saturday in Florida for the SpaceX rocket launch, landed on the lawn in the presidential helicopter at dusk and went inside without speaking to journalists.

In Philadelphia, at least 13 officers were injured when peaceful protests turned violent and at least four police vehicles were set on fire. Other fires were set throughout downtown.

In Salt Lake City, protesters defied a curfew and National Guard troops were deployed by Utah’s governor. Demonstrators flipped a police car and lit it on fire, and another vehicle was later set ablaze. Police said six people were arrested and a police officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat.

In Los Angeles, protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter,” some within inches of the face shields of officers. Police used batons to move the crowd back and fired rubber bullets. A graffiti-covered police car burned in the street.

And in New York City, dangerous confrontations flared repeatedly as officers made arrests and cleared streets. A video showed two NYPD cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators who were pushing a barricade against one of them and pelting it with objects. Several people were knocked to the ground, and it was unclear if anyone was hurt.

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