Protests Erupt Around the Nation in Reaction to the Police Killing of George Floyd

Getty NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Protesters clash with police during a rally against the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 28, 2020 in Union Square in New York City. Floyd's death was captured in video that went viral of the incident. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard today as looting broke out in St. Paul.

Protests and riots continue to erupt around the nation in reaction to the killings of African Americans at the hands of police.

People in Minneapolis, Louisville, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Pheonix, Memphis and Columbus protested in reaction to the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis when a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while three others stood-by. The protests turned to looting and violence in Minneapolis in the third night in a row of social unrest in the city.

A police precinct was burned down, many were businesses broken into and looted, and a state of emergency was declared in Minnesota as things escalated Thursday night.

While all four officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired, it is yet to be determined if any will face criminal charges, though the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was taken into custody Friday afternoon.

The FBI and state attorney said they are investigating the death as a “top priority,” but the video of officer Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as onlookers plead for him to stop while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe has sparked outrage and a demand for #justiceforFloyd.

In the middle of the destructive protests in Minniapolis, A CNN reporter was arrested on-air along with his crew for allegedly being in a place they were not authorized to be in.

In other cities, people of all ethnicities stood in solidarity with the #blacklivesmatter movement, remembering other times police took the lives of unarmed black Americans — often with no impunity.

Here is what you need to know about the protests.


Louisville Protestors Want Justice for the Killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black Woman who was Killed by Police When They Raided the Wrong House

JusticeForBreonna.orgBreonna Taylor

In March, Louisville police raided a home in the middle of the night, ramming the door unannounced. It turned out to be the wrong home, no drugs were found, and a 26-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT) was killed when police shot Breonna Taylor eight times after her boyfriend fired on police, not knowing who had ambushed the couple in their home while they slept, according to Heavy’s earlier reporting.

That case is still under investigation as the issue of who should do the investigation has been mired, according to USA Today. They reported that the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit were investigating, only to turn the case over to Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Then FBI Louisville announced they would do their own investigation.

Separate from those investigations, “Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia, both Democrats, asked the Department of Justice for an immediate investigation into Taylor’s death and of any ‘pattern or practice of constitutional violations at the Louisville Police Department,'” according to USA Today.

The three officers involved in Taylor’s death are on administrative reassignment.

In Louisville Thursday night at least seven people were shot during protests, but police maintained they did not fire their weapons. However, they did use tear gas and smoke bombs on the crowds, according to local CBS affiliate WLKY.

Taylor’s family tweeted a video asking for the protestors to stop before people get hurt, but said they will not stop seeking justice for Taylor.

At least one of the people shot were reported to be in critical condition, according to CBS News.


Protests in New York City, Columbus and Denver Turned Violent and Destructive

According to the New York Post, protests in lower Manhattan led to at least 70 arrests Thursday night.

The Denver Channel reported peaceful protests turned destructive after a shot was fired near the capitol building and Denver police fired rubber bullets and pepper balls into the crowds. Police said they had not found whoever fired the shot.

In more chaos, a twitter video showed a protester on the hood of a moving car, then the man falling off and running while the car turned to hit the man, then drove off.

Denver police told the Denver Channel that it’s unclear how many people were hurt in the protest, saying some officers sustained minor injuries. State Democratic leaders said they expect the protests to continue through the weekend.

In Columbus, demonstrators smashed storefront windows along downtown streets and “tried to breach the Ohio Statehouse, smashing 28 windows,” according to local CBS affiliate WBNS.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that police started using pepper spray on protesters a little before 10pm on Thursday night to disperse crowds, who then headed toward the Statehouse.


Los Angeles, Memphis & Pheonix Protests Have Remained Relatively Peaceful

NBC Los Angeles reported that protestors met the last two nights but no major violence has broken out. They say the second night was a smaller group than the first as protestors peacefully chanted “we want justice” and “black lives matter.”

In Pheonix, police declared protestors were engaged in an unlawful assembly and used tear gas on the crowds, according to ABC’s Arizona15.

However, according to AZCentral the protests did not escalate into situations where people were hurt or properties damaged. Instead, Protestors in Pheonix chanted, “I can’t breathe,” something both Eric Garner, who died in 2014 when a NYPD officer held him in a chokehold and George Floyd both said to the police officers who ended up killing them.

They also shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” the words of Mike Brown, who was killed in Ferguson in 2014.

In Memphis, demonstrators gathered to protest “the injustice that comes from behind the badge,” protest organizer and One Church Memphis pastor Devante Hill told local news station WREG.

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