American Cities On Edge Over Police Excesses And Trump’s Race War Rhetoric
Nationwide demonstrations resumed for the fifth day across USA, as officials in several states reinforced their National Guard presence and anger mounted at increasingly aggressive tactics by the police.
( Anger aming non-white minorities peaked after President Donald Trump resorted to 1960s white supremacist rhetoric threatening to ‘start shooting when the looting begins’, says Times of India Washington Correspondent Chidananda Rajghatta. He reports that Trump was asking his large mass of white supporters to mobilise the non-white protests over police excesses , which upset many liberals who promised his defeat in the year-end presidential polls)
Fires were burning in the streets near the White House in Washington, where a curfew went into effect at 11 p.m. Eastern time on Sarurday.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of the police set off days of protests in Minneapolis. Demonstrators challenged a curfew on Saturday and took to the streets for the fifth day in a row. .
“We are having peaceful speeches, we have a reverend —” Protesters gathered outside in Minneapolis on Saturday, for the fifth day in a row, shouted.
This group was demonstrating outside the city’s Fifth Police Precinct. “I can’t stand the fact that some people in our society can’t walk around without feeling scared that a cop is not going to come to them with a death sentence.”
Just after 8 p.m., police came out to enforce the city’s curfew. “You are in violation of Minneapolis city curfew ordinance.” They began firing pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the group. [screams] “I swear to God! I swear to [expletive] God —” Protesters here told us why they were out on the streets.
“Honestly, the world is watching the United States, and more specifically Minneapolis itself, to see how we’re going to react and get justice for Mr. Floyd. And for me, being out here is a huge thing.”
“The Minneapolis Police Department is notorious for their racism here. Black men are about 13 times more likely to be killed by cops than white men in the city. And I think that people just finally had enough.”
“They tortured him, right? What else is there to do but get their attention?” Since George Floyd’s death, peaceful protests have mixed with looting and rioting at night.
Most protesters we spoke with oppose the violence, but many said they understood the frustration and anger people are feeling. “No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!” “We are here for justice for George. We’re sick and tired of being abused and oppressed by the police. They’ve been doing that [expletive] for years and years.”
“Man, we’ve got to come together as a people, as a one. This racism’s been going on for too long.” “All four hundred years or more.” “Too long.” “All this [expletive] can be replaced. The body cannot be replaced.” “The body can never be replaced.” “I don’t want to see businesses burned down. But, I mean, we’re in kind of a war zone out here. And so, that’s kind of, I think, the least of our worries in a lot of ways.”
“Bring him, bring him, bring him one block. Bring him one block to a medic.” “What happened? Someone hit him with a bat?” “You’ve got to calm down. We’re on the same team.” “You’ve got to calm down.”
“Calm down — what happened, what happened? We’ve got about 12 medics here. We’re going to do the best we can. We’ve got a combat medic here, OK? But we’ve got to dial it down —” “We’ve got to keep it down.” “— because they’re looking for any reason to kill us.”
One protester described the violence that broke out after she confronted a group of rioters in the neighborhood.
“There was a group of guys who started screaming at the police, throwing things. I asked them, ‘Who are you? Who are you to come in here and do this?’ They ran up on me with big steel pipes. They got in my face. And one guy came at me, holding the pipe, and he stepped in, and he took it.”
“You’re going to be all right —” “What message are we sending by destroying what is ours? How does that, how does that get the message out about how we need change in our city if all we’re doing is destroying it And burning it down?”
The death of George Floyd at the hands of the police set off days of protests in Minneapolis.
Demonstrators challenged a curfew on Saturday and took to the streets for the fifth day in a row.
In Washington, the police fired tear gas at protesters who set fires near the White House. In Minneapolis, a tanker truck sped into a crowd on a highway overpass as hundreds of demonstrators scattered for safety. And in New York and other cities, a tense mood followed a night of street battles, burned cars and hundreds of arrests.
The United States remained a tinderbox of emotion, anger and spasms of violence on Sunday, the sixth day of nationwide unrest since the death of yet another black man at the hands of the police. The death of the man, George Floyd, last week in Minneapolis set off days of protracted protests.
In Santa Monica, Calif., looters shoved aside barricades to vandalize and ransack stores Sunday, while in nearby Huntington Beach protesters against police brutality clashed with right-wing groups. And in Louisville, a tense confrontation in the middle of a crowded street was partially defused when a black woman stepped forward and offered a policeman in riot gear a hug. They embraced for nearly a minute.
Crowds ran through the streets breaking windows blocks from the White House, where a demonstration on Friday night had so unnerved the Secret Service that agents abruptly rushed President Trump to an underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.
Philadelphia announced a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew after a day of protests and looting there, while Washington’s mayor set one for 11 p.m. and Arizona’s governor declared a state of emergency and ordered a nightly 8 p.m. curfew that he said would be in place for a week.
At least 75 cities have seen protests in recent days, and the number of mayors and governors imposing curfews — already more than two dozen — continued to grow. It is the first time so many local leaders have simultaneously issued such orders in the face of civic unrest since 1968, after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Saturday, hundreds of people were arrested across the country as clashes erupted between protesters and the police in dozens of states. In some cities, the authorities appeared to fire rubber bullets and other projectiles with little or no provocation. In New York City, two police vehicles surged forward into a crowd of demonstrators, some of whom were blocking the street and pelting the cars with debris.
National Guard soldiers were posted in Atlanta and Minneapolis and California moved troops into Los Angeles.
Sunday’s protests marked the sixth day of outrage since Mr. Floyd died as a white police officer — since fired and charged with third-degree murder — pinned his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Protests have erupted in at least 75 cities across the United States in the days after George Floyd, a black man, died in police custody. Some of the demonstrations have turned violent, prompting the activation of the National Guard in at least 11 states.