Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in jail under $500,000 bail on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter after a video of him kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes and Floyd’s death catapulted the country’s major cities into a state of protest.
The big picture: Floyd’s fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.
Why it matters: Floyd can be heard on video saying “I can’t breathe,” while bystanders urge the police to let him up. It is rare for police to be held accountable in civilian deaths. Only 98 nonfederal law enforcement officers have been arrested following a fatal on-duty shooting since 2005; and 35 of the officers were convicted of a crime, NBC reports.
The latest in Minneapolis: The city has struggled to calm protesters for a fourth night on Friday. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced he will fully mobilize the state’s National Guard for the first time since World War II as they prepare for more protests.
- Police had difficulty enforcing the 8 p.m. curfew, per The Washington Post.
- The Pentagon also took a rare step of putting several active-duty military police units on alert, ready to deploy to Minneapolis within four hours of orders, per AP.
- Firefighters struggled to put out fires in the city because streets were filled with protesters.
- Walz tweeted, “Minnesotans are asking for and deserve confidence that we can respond to this crisis, and we will. We are continuing to coordinate efforts at the state and local level while accessing resources from across the country to keep our communities safe. I urge for peace at this time.”
The latest across the U.S.: Local and national leaders are asking the thousands who are protesting to stop the violence, as police in some cases respond to the crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets.
- New York City: Police and thousands of protesters clashed in Brooklyn and Manhattan in a series of skirmishes throughout Friday night, The New York Times writes. Multiple police cars were vandalized and dozens of protesters were arrested.
- City Councilman Donovan Richards, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Council’s public safety committee told the Times, “It is difficult to be a black American at the moment. We are getting hit hard. We are seeing that our lives are not valued.”
- He also said black Americans feel “under siege” by the excessive policing.
- Los Angeles: At least four Los Angeles police officers were hurt following clashes with protesters as buildings continue to be vandalized and looting broke out, The Los Angeles Times writes. Police had declared an unlawful assembly at 9:30 p.m. on Friday night in an attempt to dispel the crowds.
- Washington: The White House was placed under lockdown as protesters clashed with Secret Service agents and law enforcement, lasting well into the night, The Washington Post reports.
- Trump responded on Twitter that the Secret Service agents “let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard — didn’t know what hit them.”
- Atlanta: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency order and activated 500 National Guard troops as protesters damaged and vandalized Atlanta. The city’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, told protesters, “You are disgracing our city; you are disgracing the life of George Floyd … We are better than this,” USA Today notes.
- Detroit: A 19-year-old man was killed and several others were injured in a drive-by shooting into one of the protests. The city’s peaceful demonstrations turned violent as police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowds, The Detroit Times writes. More than 40 were arrested.
- Police are investigating the shooting.
Protests also took place in, per CNN:
- Bakersfield, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Louisville, Kentucky. The protests are also related to the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who died in March when the police raided her apartment.
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Charlotte, North Carolina,
- Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio
- Dallas and Houston, Texas
- Richmond, Virginia
- In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd
- Deaths without consequences
- America’s unfinished business
Editor’s note: Adds photos.