The Latest: Marches from London to Phoenix

The Associated Press

The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck

The Associated Press

LONDON — Thousands gathered in London's Trafalgar Square to express their outrage over the death of a black American while in police custody in Minnesota.

Demonstrators clapped and waved placards as they offered support to U.S. demonstrators.

The crowd gathered despite government rules barring crowds because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protesters in Phoenix attack police station, upscale mall

Phoenix — Protesters in Phoenix attacked a police station and broke into an upscale mall, turning a day of peaceful protest into a face-off with police. 

People knelt with their hands up in the streets outside Phoenix police and municipal buildings, chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot" and "Black lives matter." Officers used flash-bang grenades and dispersed the crowd shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, telling people it was an unlawful assembly. 

In the upscale Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, people smashed windows at stores including Neiman Marcus and Urban Outfitters, grabbing goods and damaging buildings. 

Earlier protests in Phoenix and Tucson had been peaceful, and cleanup crews spent the day sweeping up broken glass and power-washing spray-painted buildings after Friday night protests.

Friday's Phoenix protest unfolded after a vigil for Dion Johnson, who was fatally shot Monday during an encounter with state trooper along a freeway. Around 15 downtown Phoenix buildings, including the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse, sustained broken windows, according to authorities. Protesters also slashed the tires of seven police SUVs and attempted to set one vehicle on fire. Two people were arrested.

Protests have erupted in U.S. cities in the days the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to Floyd's neck.

Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that he and the state Department of Public Safety director respected protesters' rights to assemble.

"We will not, however, tolerate rioting, looting, violence, destruction of property or any behavior that endangers the safety or rights of other individuals," said Ducey, who made no mention of Floyd's or Johnson's deaths.

Johnson was shot during a struggle after a trooper found him passed out in his vehicle. Phoenix police are investigating.

Johnson's mother, Erma, told the Arizona Republic that her son never would have engaged in a struggle with police, and she questioned the police account.

"It's a lot of things that I want to know that happened to my son in the last minutes of his life," she said. 

Georgia's National Guard enforces curfew

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is expanding a state of emergency to authorize the deployment of up to 3,000 National Guard troops to protests in cities across the state.

Kemp said he was prepared to send Guard soldiers to Athens, Savannah and any other Georgia cities where demonstrations were planned Sunday.

"Hopefully we don't have to," the Republican governor told WSB-TV late Saturday.

Kemp had already approved up to 1,500 Guardsmen to help enforce a 9 p.m. Saturday curfew in Atlanta.

Atlanta police said in a statement late Saturday they had made more than 50 arrests as protesters threw rocks at officers and broke windows in the downtown area. The curfew was imposed after demonstrations Friday night turned violent with people setting fires and smashing windows at businesses and restaurants.

"The protesters need to know we're going to support their efforts in a peaceful, nonviolent protest," Kemp said. "The agitators need to know that we'll be there ... to take them to jail if they're destroying lives and property."

Banks burned in California

LA MESA, Calif. — The quaint downtown of suburban La Mesa near San Diego has suffered major damage with Chase and Union banks next door to each other burned to the ground.

Windows were smashed at many businesses, including a Goodwill store, a Sotheby's real estate office and a popular bar.

San Diego police officers, aided by other law enforcement agencies, walked shoulder to shoulder through the streets after 2 a.m. Sunday, telling hundreds of protesters and observers that they would be arrested for unlawful assembly if they didn't disperse.

The east San Diego suburb of 60,000 people borders El Cajon, where the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a police officer triggered days of major unrest in 2016.

The La Mesa protest that began peacefully Saturday afternoon and turned increasingly violent as night fell.

Ferguson the 'wake up call'

FERGUSON, Mo. — Mostly peaceful protests took a turn late Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, where police said at least six officers were injured after they were hit with rocks and fireworks.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that police used tear gas to disperse a large group of protesters who had set off fireworks inside Ferguson police headquarters.

Gov. Mike Parson activated the Missouri National Guard late Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Ferguson Police Chief Jason Armstrong spoke to a group of about 500 peaceful protesters about how Michael Brown Jr.'s death was a "wake-up call to law enforcement." The 18-year-old Brown, who was black, was shot and killed by a white Ferguson police officer in 2014, sparking a wave of protests throughout the country.

Virginia protests at police station

RICHMOND, Va. — Photos on social media show several fires throughout downtown Richmond overnight as protests in the Virginia capital continued. 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the headquarters of the nearby United Daughters of the Confederacy burned early Sunday and was marked with graffiti. Several Confederate statues along the city's Monument Avenue were defaced with graffiti. 

The newspaper reports that an apartment building on a downtown street also caught fire, but protesters initially wouldn't let fire crews through until police cleared the area with tear gas.

Protesters targeted police headquarters for the second night in a row as officers formed a barricade around the building. 

A dumpster was set afire near the police headquarters, which had its front windows broken out Friday night. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the police fired tear gas to move crowds away from the building.

Several blocks away near Virginia Commonwealth University hundreds of protesters blocked streets chanting "George Floyd," referring to the black man who died Monday after an arresting officer in Minneapolis pushed his knee into Floyd's neck while he was on the ground handcuffed.

Media reports showed video of protesters hurling what appeared to be water bottles at a police car, which moved through the crowd and sped away. A police cruiser was burned in the violence on Friday night, along with a city bus.

San Francisco, Los Angeles curfews

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has declared a citywide curfew for Sunday night as violent protests rage throughout the city in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Breed says the curfew will last from 8 p.m. on Sunday to 5 a.m. on Monday.

The mayor says she has asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to put the California National Guard on standby.

Authorities say there have been increased levels of violence, crime, vandalism and assaults on police officers Saturday night as the protests took a dark turn.

Los Angeles is already under a citywide curfew overnight and the National Guard is en route to help police quell the violence.

Protesters converge on White House for second straight day

WASHINGTON — Police fired pepper spray at demonstrators near the White House and the D.C. National Guard was called in as pockets of violence and vandalism erupted during a second straight night of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and President Donald Trump's response to it.

Hundreds of people converged on the White House and marched along the National Mall, chanting "Black Lives Matter," "I can't breathe" and "No justice, no peace." 

Protesters threw water bottles, traffic cones, scooters, even tear gas cans at police lines. They set fire to a car and a trash bin and smashed windows, including at Bay Atlantic University. "What are you doing? That's a school," one man yelled.

An American flag hanging at the Export-Import Bank was taken down, burned and replaced with a Black Lives Matter banner.

The D.C. demonstration was one of several around the country responding to the death of Floyd, a black man who died in police custody.

Trump appeared to cheer on the tougher tactics being used by law enforcement to disperse protesters Saturday night. He commended National Guard troops deployed in Minneapolis, declaring "No games!" and he also said police in New York City "must be allowed to do their job!"

"Let New York's Finest be New York's Finest," Trump said on Twitter after returning to the White House from Florida, where he watched the launch of a SpaceX rocket. He did not talk to reporters upon his return and it was not clear if he could hear the protest over the sound of his helicopter. But for at least part of the flight, televisions on Air Force One were turned to Fox News and its coverage of the protests.

Earlier in the day, he had belittled the protesters and pledged to "stop mob violence."

"I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace, and I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace," the president said after watching the launch of a SpaceX rocket. "Healing, not hatred, justice, not chaos, are the missions at hand."

Police were in tactical gear. The D.C. National Guard was activated at the direction of the secretary of the Army and at the request of the Park Police to help maintain order near the White House, Commanding Gen. William J. Walker said in a post on the Guard's Facebook page.

"We're sick of it. The cops are out of control," protester Olga Hall said. "They're wild. There's just been too many dead boys," she said.

Some vocal protesters directed their comments at a black police officer. "Do you support this violence?" they asked him. "How are you going to protect your kids?" The officer got emotional to the point he had to be relieved.

An activist wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt put himself between police and the protesters and yelled, "Stop. This is what they want."

Speaking over a megaphone earlier in the evening, Cameron McCall said, "We don't need violence. All we need are our voices."

While some protesters stayed near the White House, others marched through the streets chanting, "No justice and no peace." and "Say his name: George Floyd." The mood was angry and several speakers implored marchers to remain peaceful.

The march paused between the the Washington Monument and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Demonstrators sat down in the street for a moment of silence lasting for the eight minutes or more that the Minneapolis police officer reportedly knelt on Floyd's neck.

At the Lincoln Memorial, one organizer spoke over a megaphone. "Look to the left and to the right and thank that person. We can't hug anybody because of COVID, but I love you anyway." Many of the protesters wore masks, but did not socially distance themselves.

Another group circled through the Capitol Hill neighborhood for at least an hour in cars, honking. A helicopter hovered overhead.

In a series of tweets earlier Saturday, Trump doubted protesters' allegiance to Floyd's memory, saying they were "professionally managed." He offered no evidence to back his assertion, and the president even seemed to invite supporters to make their presence felt: "Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???"

Trump later rejected the suggestion that he was stoking a potential conflict between protesters and his supporters. "I was just asking. But I have no idea if they are going to be here," he said. "MAGA is Make America Great Again. By the way, they love African American people. They love black people."

At Saturday's demonstration, there was no evidence of a counter-move by Trump supporters.

The Secret Service said in a statement Saturday that six protesters were arrested in Washington and "multiple" officers were injured. There were no details on the charges or nature of the injuries. A spokesman for U.S. Park Police said their officers made no arrests, but several suffered minor injuries and one was taken to a hospital after being struck in the helmet by a projectile.

Late Saturday and early Sunday, protesters vented their rage by breaking into tony shops of Georgetown, on the western edge of the District, and in downtown Washington, breaking windows and glass doors of many stores and looting some of them.

In a news conference Saturday afternoon, Muriel Bowser, mayor of the nation's capital, praised compassion and unity. "I call upon our city and our nation to exercise restraint, great restraint, even as the president tries to divide us," she said. "I feel like these comments are an attack on humanity, an attack on black America, and they make my city less safe." 

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