Thousands of protesters gathered this Friday afternoon in different cities of the United States to protest the death of the African-American George Floyd when he was arrested by the Police on Monday, protests that have led days ago to vandalism and looting in Minneapolis, where today the curfew was imposed.
In downtown Atlanta, near the headquarters of the CNN television network, groups of protesters began breaking store windows, to which the riot police responded with the launch of tear gas grenades, according to the televisions.
Some of the protesters threw stones at the CNN building and, amid the confusion, several police vehicles that remained parked were also targeted by the stones and other blunt objects, and at least two of them were burned.
In the Minneapolis metropolitan area and its “twin” city, Saint Paul, only separated by the Mississippi River and where violent incidents have occurred over the past three nights, hundreds of protesters cut a downtown bridge linking the two cities. to gather peacefully and resume their protests despite the curfew that has been in force since dusk and for the entire weekend.
These protests have led in the last three days in the early hours of the morning in looting of businesses, fires of police vehicles and confrontations with agents.
Groups of protesters, some of them kneeling and with their fists raised, gathered in front of the Third District police headquarters building, in southeast Minneapolis, which was set on fire in the riots on Thursday night, under the yell of “It can’t stop us all.”
“I CAN’T BREATHE”, THE CRY OF PROTESTS
The source of the protests is the death of African-American George Floyd, 46, who died at the hands of police on Monday after being detained on suspicion of trying to use a fake $ 20 bill at a supermarket.
In videos recorded by passers-by, one of the four officers who participated in the arrest is seen, and who were later expelled from the body, subjecting the detainee to the ground, climbing on him and pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for minutes, ignoring her pleas that she can’t breathe.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please,” Floyd is heard to say as he is dying.
Today’s protests in Minneapolis come amid calls for calm from civilian leaders in the African-American community, confident that the mood will subside after the prosecution formally accused Officer Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was pressing the neck, on Friday. Floyd’s knee, third-degree murder and reckless manslaughter.
Hennepin County (Minnesota) District Attorney Mike Freeman filed the charges shortly after the announcement of Chauvin’s arrest and explained that he did not do so earlier because he lacked sufficient evidence.
FEAR OF ANOTHER NIGHT OF CHAOS
The city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, has also called on protesters to return to their homes if they want the protest to be peaceful, a message similar to that released by the Minnesota governor, Democrat Tim Walz, who activated this Thursday, the National Guard – a military reservist corps -, fearing another night of chaos.
The Police and the National Guard have been joined by state patrol forces to guarantee the safety of businesses and buildings in the metropolitan area.
Also in Washington, the capital, a demonstration that began as peaceful led to skirmishes with the police and Secret Service agents after the arrest of at least two of the participants, which was responded with the launch of plastic bottles by some of the present.
According to images taken from the incidents, a young man climbed up the bars of the Freedman Bank building, located in front of the presidential residence and where the Office of Foreign Assets Control and other official offices work, to paint graffiti against the US president, Donald Trump, amid applause.
The protesters on more than one occasion tore down some of the barricades installed in front of the White House, which generated some moments of tension.
The protest began with a rally in which the participants, many of them wearing face masks as protection against the coronavirus, chanted “I can’t breathe” and even made mention on different posters of Floyd’s death.
Local media have also reported less serious incidents in Brooklyn, New York, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas, among other cities.