Night seven: More unrest, arrests, death and a president who says: 'Dominate the streets'
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
American cities erupted in violence and destruction in a seventh straight night of unrest, with several police officers shot or run over, amid boasts and threats from President Donald Trump to send in troops to "dominate the streets."
In New York, nonviolent protests Monday night were punctuated by people smashing shop windows near Rockefeller Center and breaching the doors of Macy's flagship store on 34th Street, littering the pavement with broken glass. A vehicle plowed through a group of law enforcement officers at a demonstration in Buffalo, injuring at least two.
Demonstrations also broke out in such places as Philadelphia, where hundreds of protesters spilled onto a highway in the heart of the city; Atlanta, where police fired tear gas at demonstrators; and Nashville, where more than 60 National Guard members put down their riot shields at the request of peaceful protesters who had gathered in front of Tennessee's Capitol to honor George Floyd.
Bystander Sean Jones, who watched as people ransacked luxury stores in New York over the weekend, said: "People are doing this so next time, before they think about trying to kill another black person, they're going to be like, 'Damn, we don't want them out here doing this ... again.'"
The unrest in Minneapolis appeared to stabilize on the same day Floyd's brother made an impassioned plea for peace at the spot where a white police officer put his knee on the handcuffed black man's neck until he stopped breathing last week.
The death toll from the unrest rose to at least nine, including two people killed in a Chicago suburb. The police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, was fired after a beloved restaurant owner was killed by police and National Guard members enforcing a curfew.
More than 5,600 people nationwide have been arrested over the past week for such offenses as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew, according to a count by The Associated Press.
An officer was shot shortly before midnight near the Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas. Police had no immediate word on the officer's condition. Four officers were shot in St. Louis; they were expected to recover.
Trump, meanwhile, portrayed himself as a hard-nosed, law-and-order president, with police under federal command using tear gas to clear peaceful demonstrators from a park near the White House so that he could walk to a church and pose with a Bible.
Emerging after two days out of public view, he threatened from the White House Rose Garden to deploy "thousands and thousands" of U.S. troops.
The photo op at the house of worship known as the Church of the Presidents was condemned by Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde.
"The president just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for," she said.
For nearly a week since Floyd's death, largely peaceful protests by day have turned to chaos at night.
"We have been sitting on a powder keg for some time and it has burst," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
Trump warned that if governors don't deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers to "dominate the streets," the U.S. military will step in to "quickly solve the problem for them."
"We have the greatest country in the world," the president declared. "We're going to keep it safe."
As Trump spoke, tear gas canisters could be heard exploding. They curfew had not yet started.
A military deployment by Trump to U.S. states would mark a stunning federal intervention rarely seen in modern American history. It drew comparisons to 1968, when Richard Nixon ran as the law-and-order candidate in the aftermath of riots following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Trump made little effort to address the grievances of black Americans and others outraged by Floyd's death and the scourge of police brutality, undermining what his reelection campaign had hoped would be increased appeal to African American voters.
Federal law allows presidents to dispatch the military into states to suppress an insurrection or if a state is defying federal law, legal experts said. But officials in New York and other states asserted that the president does not have a unilateral right to send in troops against the will of local governments.
Death toll grows in national protests
One man was the beloved owner of a Louisville barbecue restaurant who made sure to provide free meals to officers. Another was a man known as "Mr. Indianapolis," a former star football player. Yet another was a federal officer working security during a protest.
They are among the people who have been killed as protests roiled American cities in the week since 46-year-old George Floyd died when a white officer jammed his knee into the back of the black man's neck.
The deaths have at times been overshadowed by the shocking images of chaos engulfing cities across America, from heavy-handed riot police tactics to violence, vandalism and arson. Tens of thousands have marched peacefully in demonstrations against police brutality and racism.
Many of the people killed were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black families to lose more members of their community amid the unrest.
Dozens more have been hurt in various altercations — vehicles plowing into crowds, police officers suffering head injuries and broken bones and protesters ending up in emergency rooms with a variety of injuries from the melees.
The death toll and circumstances surrounding the killings are still being sorted out in many cities, but here is what we know about the cases so far:
People in Arizona faced a second overnight curfew Monday after looting at high-end businesses and clashes between police and civilians over the weekend led Gov. Doug Ducey to crack down.
Phoenix police arrested more than 200 people during demonstrations on Sunday, hours after the curfew went into effect. Those arrested are accused of rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct or curfew violations. At least 10 minors also were detained.
The arrests followed a peaceful protest that concluded as the curfew was set to take effect around 8 p.m. Some attendees left, while officers ordered those who stayed behind the disperse.
Officers wearing riot gear fired tear gas and fireworks at protesters about 9 p.m. as they walked toward Interstate 10, KPNX TV reported. It appeared several people were taken into custody by police, KPNX said.
Officials in the northeastern Arizona towns of Holbrook and Winslow wrote on Facebook that they didn't face civil unrest and would not enforce Ducey's curfew.
"We are neither Minneapolis nor Phoenix," Winslow Mayor Thomas L. McCauley wrote. "We are Winslow, and we will not have our rights and our way of life in Winslow compromised by a 'one size fits all' regulation such as this latest order."
Phoenix's first protest unfolded after a Friday vigil for Dion Johnson, a 28-year-old black man who was fatally shot during an encounter with a state trooper along a city freeway.
Downtown Phoenix has seen three consecutive nights of protests with damage to 18 buildings that Police Chief Jeri Williams said will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.
In Tucson, protesters damaged some downtown buildings and vandalized the city's police station over two nights leading to a handful of arrests.
Scottsdale police reported millions of dollars in theft and property damage following Saturday night looting at the upscale Scottsdale Fashion Square mall and surrounding businesses. Police did not intervene for several hours, avoiding violent confrontations between authorities and looters. Scottsdale officials said police were outnumbered and prioritized protecting people.
As local police and the National Guard sought to disperse a crowd early Monday, they heard gunshots and returned fire, killing the owner of a barbecue restaurant, David McAtee. The mayor has since terminated the city's police chief after finding out that officers on the scene did not activate their body cameras. The state police and the U.S. attorney also are investigating.
The 53-year-old McAtee was an African American man known for offering free meals to officers who stopped by.
"We lost a wonderful citizen named David McAtee," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. "David was a friend to many, a well-known Barbecue man."
The protests in Louisville have centered not just on Floyd's killing but also the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed in her home in Louisville in March. The 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door as they attempted to enforce a search warrant. No drugs were found in the home.
A federal law enforcement officer was providing security at the federal courthouse in Oakland during a protest when someone fired shots from a vehicle.
Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, died and another officer was critically injured in the shooting.
It was not immediately clear if the drive-by shooting was related to the protests, though the federal building's glass doors were smashed and the front entrance was sprayed with anti-police graffiti.
Underwood, who was black, and the other officer were contracted security officers and employed by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service; they were monitoring a nearby protest.
No one has been arrested and a motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.
Underwood was the brother of Angela Underwood Jacobs, recently a Republican candidate to fill a vacant U.S. congressional district north of Los Angeles.
Two people were killed over the weekend amid unrest in Indianapolis, including 38-year-old Chris Beaty, a former offensive lineman for Indiana University.
Beaty was known as "Mr. Indianapolis" and remained involved with the Hoosiers long after his graduation. He also was a prominent businessman in the city and ran multiple nightclubs.
"I am at a loss for words. The news of the passing of Chris Beaty is just devastating," coach Tom Allen said in a statement. "Since I returned home to coach at Indiana, Chris embraced me, encouraged me and supported me! His passion for life and Indiana Football energized me every time we were together."
The circumstances of his shooting weren't immediately clear but some media reports said it happened near an apartment where he lived. It also occurred the same night that an 18-year-old man also was fatally shot as protests broke out in the city.
In what is believed to be the first killing since the protests broke out, a 43-year-old black man was fatally shot outside a pawn shop as rioting broke out last week in Minneapolis and then spread nationally.
The owner of the pawn shop, who is white, was arrested in the death of Calvin L. Horton Jr. Police say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the killing, including whether it was related to protests in the neighborhood.
The shop was described as having been significantly damaged during unrest.
A 22-year-old black man was killed after authorities said he tussled with the owner of two bars in downtown Omaha. Surveillance video of the strip of bars shows a group of people, including James Scurlock, approach bar owner Jake Gardner.
Two people are seen on the video tackling Gardner, who ended up on his back and fired shots in the air. Seconds later, Scurlock is seen tackling Gardner, who then fires the gun over his shoulder, striking Scurlock.
Authorities have declined to press charges, calling the shooting self-defense.
A 21-year-old man was killed in downtown Detroit after someone fired shots into a vehicle during a protest. According to a police report, the man was sitting in the driver's seat of a car in a parking lot with two others when someone fired shots into the vehicle and then fled on foot.
Two people were killed during unrest Monday in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, according to a town official. Spokesman Ray Hanania did not provide details about those who were killed but said it happened amid protests there.