Friday , July 10 2020

Teenage demonstrator killed as tens of thousands of Americans protest George Floyd killing

A 19-year-old man has died in Detroit after shots were fired into a crowd of people protesting against the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The death of the teenager in Michigan came amid a night of protests which saw tens of thousands on streets across the US, including in Atlanta, New York and Washington DC, as police are braced for further violence later.

The army has been asked to put military police units on standby as authorities look to quell disorder in a number of cities.

Protesters set fire to businesses in Minneapolis on Friday night, as thousands ignored the city’s 8pm curfew and encircled a police station.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz said the state had deployed 700 National Guard personnel, and a further 1,000 would be out on Saturday.

He called it the largest-ever mobilisation in the state’s history and added that 80% of the arrests were of people from outside the area.

The state’s department of public safety is now looking into the possibility of organised crime being involved in the looting during the protests.

On Friday night, hundreds of protesters in Atlanta, Georgia, confronted police officers outside CNN’s headquarters, chanting: “Quit your jobs.”

One protester climbed on top of the CNN sign and waved a “Black Lives Matter” flag. Others threw bottles at officers, striking some of them. No officers appeared to get hurt.

A man jumps on the roof of a police car during a protest over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd while in police custody outside CNN Center on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Image:A man jumps on the roof of a police car in Atlanta
Protesters outside CNN's headquarters
Image:Protesters on the top of CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta

In Washington DC, the US Secret Service ordered the White House to be locked down for about an hour on Friday evening due to people outside the gates protesting, according to NBC News.

Donald Trump said he had watched protests from his window, and, if the demonstrators had breached the fence, “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen”.

“That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action.”

A protester confronts San Jose police as they advance on Friday, May 29, 2020, in San Jose, Calif
Image:A protester confronts police in San Jose, California

Hundreds of people gathered in Lafayette Park, with protesters shouting “No justice, no peace”.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of New York City for a second day of protests.

In Brooklyn, crowds of demonstrators chanted at police officers lined up outside the Barclays Centre. There were several moments of struggle, as some in the crowd pushed against metal barricades and police kept them back.

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag during a protest over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd while in police custody outside CNN Center on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Image:A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag in Atlanta

Scores of water bottles flew from the crowd toward the officers, and in return police sprayed an eye-irritating chemical at the group.

However, many of the protests have remained peaceful.

Mr Floyd, 46, died in hospital after police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes during his arrest for allegedly using a fake $20 note in a shop.Celebs pay tribute to George Floyd and condemn Trump’s response

Chauvin, who was sacked following Mr Floyd’s death, has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, prosecutors said.

George Floyd. Pic: Shutterstock
Image:George Floyd’s family welcomed the arrest. Pic: Shutterstock

A statement issued by Mr Floyd’s family said Chauvin’s arrest was a “welcome but overdue step” and called for the other three officers involved in the incident to be detained. All four have already been sacked.

In a complaint, authorities said Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, including nearly three minutes after Mr Floyd stopped moving and talking.

A post-mortem found the combined impact of being restrained by police, underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.Police killed emergency medical worker Breonna Taylor after storming home

The charges brought against Chauvin come after three days of protests that have spread throughout the US.

Protests have so far taken place in:

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Houston, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • New York City
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Windermere, Florida
  • Fontana, California
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Washington DC
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • San Jose, California

Mr Trump has tried to row back his Twitter comment that “looting leads to shooting” after it drew widespread condemnation.

On Friday, he said he understood why Mr Floyd’s death had sparked protests but added they should not be allowed to turn to “lawless anarchy”.

Saying he had expressed his sorrow to Mr Floyd’s family, Mr Trump added: “I understand the hurt, I understand the pain.”

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