Across the country protesters took to the streets for a fourth day to express their anger over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee pressed into his neck for more than eight minutes.
In scenes both peaceful and violent across the nation, thousands of protesters chanted “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name. George Floyd.” They hoisted signs reading: “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.”
Derek Michael Chauvin was arrested Friday in Minneapolis on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death.
Saturday morning, after 72 hours of unrest in Minneapolis, Gov. Tim Walz described the protest scenes as a “military operation.”
“This is not about George’s death. This is not about inequities that were real. This is about chaos being caused,” Walz said.
Fires, looting and destruction were not isolated to Minneapolis. In Detroit, one person attending a protest was shot to death. Atlanta saw the CNN Center attacked and its mayor pleaded for calm.
Stay up-to-date on the George Floyd story by signing up for USA TODAY’s Daily Briefing. Here are the latest developments:
- By Sunday 1,700 National Guard troops will be in the Twin Cities and officials said they welcomed the help from the Pentagon, which they said independently asked military police to be ready to head to Minnesota.
- Sekula Law Offices issued a statement late Friday saying Chauvin’s wife, Kellie, has filed for divorce.
- As anger spilled across the US over George Floyd’s death, a second night of Breonna Taylor protests was marked by vandalism in downtown Louisville.
Read this: Experts say knee-to-neck restraint is dangerous, but Minneapolis allows it.
‘A riot is the language of the unheard’:MLK’s powerful quote resonates amid George Floyd protests
Coast-to-coast protests rage on
Protesters in Minneapolis largely ignored the city’s newly-instituted 8 p.m. curfew and continued marching through the streets, in some cases damaging buildings.
In Detroit, a 19-year-old man was killed late Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of protesters by an unknown suspect in a gray Dodge Durango.
Atlanta’s mayor called for calm after protesters set a police car on fire, struck officers with bottles, vandalized the headquarters of CNN, and broke into a restaurant.
“You are disgracing our city; you are disgracing the life of George Floyd … We are better than this,” Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ said of violent protesters in a televised press conference.
– Joel Shannon
AP: Military police could dispatch to Minnesota
The Pentagon on Saturday ordered the Army to put military police units on alert to head to Minneapolis on short notice at President Donald Trump’s request, the Associated Press reports, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders who did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations.
According to the AP report, soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.
Mayor Bill de Blasio vows review of violence in NYC
Video posted to social media showed New York City officers using batons and shoving protesters down as they took people into custody and cleared streets. One video showed on officer slam a woman to the ground as he walked past her in the street.
Demonstrators rocked a police van, set it ablaze, scrawled graffiti across its charred body and set it aflame again as officers retreated. Blocks away, protesters used a club to batter another police vehicle.
“There will be a full review of what happened tonight,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, referring to the Brooklyn protest. “We don’t ever want to see another night like this.”
Civil rights leaders urge police to avoid military force, slam Trump for ‘pouring fuel on the fire’
Conjuring up memories of police confrontations with protesters during the Civil Rights Movement, national civil rights leaders are asking Minneapolis officials not to use military force against demonstrators. They also called out President Donald Trump for potentially inciting more violence.
“We need officers to not take action that escalates tension. The militarized police presence is not helping the situation,’’ Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law told USA TODAY. “President Trump, meanwhile, is pouring fuel on the fire by literally advocating for deadly violence to be used.”
The committee and other civil rights groups, including the NAACP, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Urban League, National Action Network and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., sent a letter late Thursday to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo calling for them to not use military force against protesters.
– Deborah Barfield Berry
Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested, booked
Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection to Floyd’s death. He was booked into the Ramsey County Jail.
A criminal complaint that references body cameras worn by the four now-former officers involved in the incident sheds some additional light on what happened on Memorial Day in the moments before and after Floyd’s death.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s complaint said Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, including two minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd was non-responsive. Read more.
Change.org petition grows at record pace
A petition on Change.org titled “Justice for George Floyd” has generated more than 6.3 million signatures as of Friday night, making it the fastest-growing petition in the website’s history.
The petition, which was started by 15-year-old Kellen S., was growing at a rate of of one signature every two seconds as of Friday morning, Change.org said in a statement.
“This has gone farther than I ever imagined,” Kellen told Change.org in a statement. “I hope that this helps bring the justice for George Floyd and his family that they deserve.”
Nike takes a social stand on race relations
Nike’s famous slogan “Just Do It” was subverted by its own Instagram post.
The footwear company posted on Friday evening a socially conscious message to its more than 112 million followers.
Incidents that resulted in the deaths of black men and women in the United States have taken the forefront this week, and with a simple text-on-screen video, Nike made its stance clear.
“For once, Don’t Do It. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. Don’t sit back and be silent. Don’t think you can’t be part of the change. Let’s all be part of the change.”
– Josh Rivera
Contributing: Associated Press