The Latest: Tear gas. Looting. And lots of prayers
The Associated Press
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:
San Diego police say officers have fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of demonstrators that was pelting them with rocks and bottles.
Hundreds of people, many with facial masks to protect against the coronavirus, marched through downtown chanting "George Floyd" with signs, including some saying "I Can't Breathe," a reference to Floyd's dying words when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on the back of his neck. Some demonstrators dropped to one knee at times.
The demonstration took an ominous turn several hours after beginning peacefully at 10 a.m. San Diego police said on Twitter that a crowd of 100 to 200 people was throwing rocks but stopped. Authorities said multiple vehicles were vandalized.
After the tear gas stopped, two groups formed on Broadway, a main thoroughfare, separated by police in riot gear.
No injuries from semitrailer driving into crowds
MINNEAPOLIS — Officials in Minnesota say no protesters appear to have been hit after a semitrailer drove into a crowd demonstrating on a freeway near downtown Minneapolis.
The Minnesota State Patrol says in a tweet that the action appeared deliberate. The patrol says the driver was injured and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Gov. Tim Walz says the driver is out of the hospital and in police custody.
It wasn't clear how the driver was hurt. TV footage showed protesters swarming the truck, and then law enforcement quickly moving in.
Other TV footage showed the tanker truck moving rapidly onto the bridge and protesters appearing to part ahead of it.
Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said traffic cameras appear to show the truck was already on the freeway before barricades were put in place to shut it down at 5 p.m.
The protesters were demonstrating against the death of George Floyd.
State AG to lead investigation
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says Attorney General Keith Ellison will take the lead in any prosecutions in the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, who was black, was in handcuffs when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes earlier this week. Bystander video showed Floyd pleading that he was unable to breathe and eventually no longer moving.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman earlier Sunday said he had asked Ellison to help in the prosecution. Freeman has been criticized by civil rights activists and some city officials, who say there is a history of mistrust between Freeman's office and members of the community.
Walz told reporters Sunday that Ellison "needs to lead this case." He said he made the decision after speaking with Floyd's family who "wanted to believe that there was a trust, and they wanted to believe that the facts would be heard."
Officers fired in Atlanta
ATLANTA — Atlanta's mayor says two police officers have been fired and three placed on desk duty pending review over excessive use of force during a protest incident Saturday night.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference Sunday that she and police Chief Erika Shields made the decision after reviewing body-camera footage. Shields called it "really shocking to watch."
Officials say the incident came to light via video that circulated online.
It shows a group of police officers in riot gear and gas masks surround a car being driven by a man with a woman in the passenger seat. The officers pull the woman out and appear to use a stun gun on the man. They use zip-tie handcuffs on the woman on the ground. The couple did not appear to be fighting police on the video.
Bottoms said charges have been dropped against the woman, and the man has been released.
Local reporters, who captured footage of the incident, said the police had earlier broken the glass on the car. A reporter said police also flattened the tires.
The city is under curfew again Sunday night. As curfew approached, protesters were using construction materials, portable toilets and other items to create a makeshift barrier from police in downtown Atlanta. Some people threw fireworks in the general area or in officers' direction.
March in San Franciso
SAN FRANCISCO — In San Francisco, more than 1,000 people marched through the streets, carrying signs and chanting "George Floyd," "Black Lives Matter."
Aliasiah Allah, 22, wore a shirt that said "I feel like the last black man," a reference to last year's movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco.
"We're here because George Floyd was murdered in cold blood. ... We are sick of the countless injustices on black and brown lives, mostly black lives," she said. "The cup is overflowing at this point. We want the cops arrested, but we want it to end, we want it to stop."
Curfew in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County declared a 6 p.m. curfew to prevent a repeat of violence that broke out after protests over the killing of a black man by a white Minneapolis police officer.
The county and city of Los Angeles declared states of emergency Sunday after a night of looting, vandalism and arson that followed mostly peaceful protests.
Beverly Hills, which was hit with violence on Saturday, and Santa Monica, which experienced looting Sunday, were under curfew orders at 4 p.m. The city of San Francisco declared an 8 p.m. curfew.
Biden joins protest in Delaware
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, said he made a visit Sunday to the site of protests in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, the previous night.
A photo posted to Biden's Facebook page showed the former vice president, wearing a mask, kneeling to speak with a man and his small child.
"The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose," Biden wrote. "And as president, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen."
Curfew in Washington
WASHINGTON — Officials are implementing a curfew in the nation's capital after a night of violent demonstrations with rioters setting fires, smashing windows and breaking into businesses and left dozens of police officers injured.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said the curfew would begin at 11 p.m. Sunday night and extend until 6 a.m. on Monday. She said members of the National Guard would also be on hand to assist the Metropolitan Police Department.
More than 1,000 protesters had already gathered Sunday evening at Lafayette Park across from the White House to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Officials said they would have an increased police presence and additional federal agents were called in on Sunday.
The protest Saturday night turned violent as darkness set in. Protesters set fires, smashed windows and sprayed graffiti.
Peaceful protests in Florida
TAMPA, Florida — Protests were largely peaceful across Florida on Sunday, with some organizers doubling safety efforts to counteract the violence of Saturday night.
In Tampa, Black Lives Matter organizers had nearly 100 safety marshals in fluorescent vests patrolling their march, trained in de-escalation tactics and ordered to be on the lookout for antagonists.
The group also had medics, used walkie-talkies to quickly squelch outbursts and enlisted lawyers and those with legal training to watch out for protesters' rights from the sidelines.
"We wanted to be able to provide a safe space for their voice and rage to be heard within a controlled environment. It's part of their amendment rights for them to be able to express themselves," said Chaikirah Parker, who helped organize the event.
The veteran activist said they purposely held the event early Sunday, despite sweltering heat, because it brought a more peaceful demographic.
After the event was over, a young crowd held another protest and she said the veteran activists felt obliged to help.
"We really feel it's our duty to pass the torch and teach the kids how to organize," she said. "They're cocky and then they realize the rapid response organization is a whole other level."
Boston: 'No justice, no peace'
Several hundred people marched through downtown Boston on Sunday carrying signs and chanting in a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd.
Street protests have been held for days around the country in response to the death of Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.
In Boston they chanted, "No justice no peace," "black lives matter" and silence is violence" as they walked by City Hall, the State House, and the Public Garden, with the crowd closing off a two-lane city street. There was a light police presence and no signs of the violence that has erupted in other cities in recent days.
"They keep killing our people. I'm so sick and tired of it," said Mahira Louis, 15, who was at the protest with her mother. "On the news, every time we say black lives matter they keep silencing us," she said adding that things are going to change. "They're not going to kill black people for no reason," she said.
Most protesters wore face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"It isn't comfortable to be at home but it's really uncomfortable to be here, too, and know you're doing this in the face of the COVID-19 crisis," said Vivian Lee, 22, who participated with her sister and parents. "But it requires some discomfort for change," she said.
'Tears my heart'
Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown who was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, joined the protest on Sunday, telling demonstrators to continue the movement.
He said he drove to Minneapolis from Ferguson even though being a part of another demonstration against the killing of a black man, "tears my heart" as it reminded him of his son.
"I understand what this family is feeling. I understand what this community is feeling," he said.
As police fired tear gas at protesters in one predominantly black neighborhood in Philadelphia, a few dozen city and state police officers lined up in front of a statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo that has long been a flashpoint for protesters and was sprayed with graffiti Saturday.
Rizzo, mayor from 1972 to 1980, was praised by supporters as tough on crime but accused by critics of discriminating against people of color. Mayor Jim Kenney said Sunday that the 10-foot-tall statue that sits across the street from City Hall will be removed in a few weeks.
Soccer protest in Berlin
BERLIN — England winger Jadon Sancho joined protests across German soccer at the weekend by lifting his jersey after scoring to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message "Justice for George Floyd" on the front.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck.
Sancho was shown a yellow card for his gesture which came after he scored the second goal for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn on Sunday.
Earlier, Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring in Borussia Mönchengladbach's win over Union Berlin.
The Gladbach forward scored in the first half and then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent 5 seconds in this position before getting up again to continue.
"No explanation needed," Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling.
A third night of protests in Louisville sparked by the police shooting of a black woman resulted in 37 arrests, a city official said Sunday.
Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess said at a news conference that officials did not yet know the hometowns of those arrested. Hess said a total of 10 people were arrested during protests Thursday and Friday.
Mayor Greg Fischer added that five Louisville police officers were shot at late Saturday night. None were hit, but three officers were in a car that was struck by at least one bullet, he said.
Fischer said a dusk-to-dawn curfew would continue Sunday night for a second straight night in Kentucky's largest city.
Louisville's protests followed the release of a 911 call by shooting victim Breonna Taylor's boyfriend made March 13, moments after the 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door.
No drugs were found in her home. Taylor's death has captured national headlines alongside the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in February and George Floyd, the black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes as he pleaded for air.
Texas calls statewide disaster
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state-wide disaster Sunday following weekend protests that have turned violent and destructive.
In Texas, much of the demonstrating was peaceful, but the protests became violent Saturday with fires being lit, stores broken into and robbed and people hurt.
Police used tear gas to disperse some of the crowds and said they arrested more than 200 people between Dallas, Houston and Austin.
"Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights," Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement.
"However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive. 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.
The order allows Abbott to designate federal agents to do the work of local police. It comes as some Texas organizers are calling off demonstrations and others are planning to proceed.
Police cars attacked in South Carolina
COLUMBIA S.C. — Some protesters threw rocks at police and set fire to at least two police cars, ignoring pleas from fellow demonstrators to refrain from violence.
On Sunday morning, crews at businesses throughout the downtown commercial district swept up broken glass and affixed sheets of plywood to busted-out windows and doors.
During a news conference in Columbia later Sunday, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott — who, as the only black Republican in the Senate, has previously given a series of speeches on race, including his numerous experiences getting pulled over by police — referenced the 2015 death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black South Carolina motorist shot to death by a white police officer during a traffic stop in North Charleston.
Sen. Scott said that, as in the Floyd case, that incident was captured on video, but resulted in only nonviolent protests.
"We cannot have distractions especially fueled by violence," Scott said. "Protesters, be heard, be seen, but be orderly."
At that same news conference, Gov. Henry McMaster said the National Guard was on alert to activate if needed, urging protesters to take action but stay peaceful.
"We welcome conversation. We welcome protest, people speaking their mind, we welcome it, and we welcome it every time," McMaster said "We're better because of it, but we do not tolerate violence."
Several cities in South Carolina remained under curfew, including Columbia's downtown area. On Sunday, the mayor of Myrtle Beach instituted a "state of civil emergency" in that city due to the threat of possible unrest.