Dozens of cities in the United States, from north to south and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, were the scene of violent riots tonight in protest of the death of George Floyd, the most recent case of police violence against African Americans in the country.
In one Indianapolis (north), one person died and at least two others were shot during the protests taking place in downtown Indianapolis, the police chief of the city, Randal Taylor, explained at a press conference. on CNN.
Authorities have not yet provided further details of what the shooting was like and have asked citizens to avoid the area of the incidents.
Floyd died after being immobilized by a white policeman, already handcuffed, with his knee around his neck for several minutes, despite his pleas that he could not breathe, in a scene recorded by a passerby. The outrage at that event has been spreading from Minneapolis, where the incident occurred, to other cities.
Thirty cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, Dallas and even Washington DC, where the incidents arrived in front of the White House, were the scene of riots and confrontations between protesters and police this Saturday.
“I understand the pain that people feel. We support the right of peaceful protesters and listen to their pleas, but what we are seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or peace,” said the president of United States, Donald Trump, in Florida, where he attended the launch of a manned rocket towards the International Space Station (ISS).
“George Floyd’s memory is dishonored by rioters, looters and anarchists. Violence and vandalism are led by the Antifa (anti-fascist movement) and other radical left-wing groups that terrorize innocent people, destroying jobs, damaging businesses and burning buildings” he added.
Trump was more conciliatory, however, than in the early hours of Friday when, after describing the protesters as “thugs”, he assured that “when the looting begins, the shootings begin”, which was interpreted as a threat to shoot them.
However, at the same time he threatened to activate the Army “very quickly” if asked to quell the revolts, which would not be the first time, since in 1992, in other racial disturbances in Los Angeles (California), the milligards supported to the police.
Police appear to have been hardening their response to the protests, including attacks on journalists covering them, such as those reported in recent days in Louisville, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Washington and Minneapolis, where they beat up and attempted to detain a group tonight. of informants, including Efe.
Also in New York, a patrol car ran over protesters who were blocking his path behind a fence, further fueling spirits and reigniting outrage against police violence.
Those detained in the protests, which in many places are accompanied by vehicle fires, the breaking of shop windows, acts of vandalism and looting, number in the hundreds.
The curfew imposed in many cities has not served to deter protesters, nor has it calmed the expulsion of the police officers involved, the arrest and prosecution of Officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed Floyd’s neck with his knee, or the Today’s announcement by Trump of the opening of an investigation to determine if his civil rights were violated.
Nor has deterring the activation of the National Guard, a reserve corps, to support local police in Minnesota, Georgia, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio and Utah.
In fact, as happened again today in Minneapolis, protesters often congregate at the time the night curfew begins, this time in the Fifth District area, where on Friday a bank branch and a police station were burned down.
In the different cities, scenes of burned police cars, blocked roads, broken windows and the launch of Molotov cocktails are repeated, as well as the police response with tear gas and rubber bullets against the protesters.
In Philadelphia, downtown rally participants vandalized a police vehicle and attempted to tear off the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo, a former police chief who has died and is reputed to have a heavy hand.
In Washington, clashes between protesters and Secret Service agents outside the White House were repeated, before the protests spread to other parts of the capital, where fires and looting were reported.
In Pittsburgh, several police officers were injured in the riots in that Pennsylvania town, while three journalists suffered injuries after being attacked this time by protesters.
There were also in Seattle, on the west coast, several law enforcement officers and protesters were injured in the protests, which had been peaceful for several hours, but “the crowd became violent and aggressive, and began throwing bottles at officers”, Police said.
In Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the country, where a curfew was also declared and the National Guard was activated, the riots spread throughout the city and even reached the wealthy neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, where looting scenes occurred.
Violent clashes with riot police and vandalism were also reported, including burning police cars and broken windows.
The incidents recalled and feared that the serious riots of 1992 would be repeated due to the acquittal of white police officers who beat up African-American Rodney King, who left more than 50 dead and 2,000 wounded.
Outrage at Floyd’s death has reached the celebrity world with messages of protest and grief from figures like Beyoncé, Madonna, Billie Eilish, Mia Farrow, Cardi B, Ariana Grande, John Boyega, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Jamie Foxx , Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay or Janelle Moná.
“We are broken and outraged. We cannot normalize this pain. I am not speaking only on behalf of people of color. Be it white, black, brown or whatever color in between, I am sure you feel hopeless about the racism that is happening in the US .UU. Right now, “Beyoncé wrote on her Instagram account.