Protests raged overnight in at least 20 U.S. cities including Minneapolis, Houston and Phoenix following the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officers in Minneapolis.
At least 50 people were arrested in Minneapolis after protestors defied a curfew, with around 2,500 police officers dispatched to keep the peace. Major General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard predicted more than 1,700 National Guard soldiers could be called in by Sunday — the largest national deployment in the state’s history.
In Louisville, news footage captured a police officer shooting what appeared to be pepper balls at a reporter and news crew. Reporter Kaitlin Rust with CNN affiliate WAVE-TV was covering the protests — held for the second night following the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed by police in her home in March — when she appears off-camera yelling, “I’m getting shot!” and then clarifying, “It’s okay, it’s those pepper bullets.” A police officer, meanwhile, was captured aiming his weapon directly at the crew.
The incident has prompted Louisville Metro Police to apologize to Rust, with LMPD special adviser Jessie Halladay telling the Courier Journal that it is “not our intention to target or subject the media as they try to cover this.”
In Houston, more than 200 people were arrested following Friday night’s protests, with Houston Police tweeting that most will be charged with obstructing a roadway. Meanwhile, police said four officers suffered minor injuries and eight police vehicles were damaged.
Our officers made nearly 200 arrests of those who participated in unlawful assemblies throughout the day & night. Most will be charged with obstructing a roadway.
4 of our officers suffered minor injuries & 8 police vehicles were damaged.
Updates will be posted here. #hounews
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) May 30, 2020
Phoenix also saw protests spark extensive vandalism. According to a tweet by Phoenix Police, some demonstrators broke windows and doors to municipal and private businesses, and also “destroyed” parked cars.
Property throughout the downtown Phoenix area has been vandalized as some demonstrators engage in criminal behavior, breaking windows and doors to municipal and private business and destroy cars parked along the street.
— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) May 30, 2020
In Portland, police declared a riot following several shootings and fires — including one at Portland’s Justice Center — and asked those downtown to leave the area. According to a tweet by police, two arrests have since been made.
Two arrests have been made related to this evenings riot. Another arrest was made around 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon related to the demonstration near the Justice Center. Details will be provided in a press release when more information becomes available.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 30, 2020
Elsewhere, in Detroit, a 19-year-old man was killed after shots were fired into a crowd of protesters late Friday. Police haven’t yet confirmed whether the victim, who died of his injuries in hospital, was part of the protests.
According to CNN, protests took place Friday night in numerous cities across California (Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco), Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, New Orleans and Las Vegas, among others.
As previously reported, an Atlanta protest earlier on Friday began peacefully but took a destructive turn, as demonstrators smashed the doors of CNN headquarters, sprayed graffiti on the television news building and set a police cruiser on fire, according to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta. The news outlet’s live feed also showed protesters picking up a barricade in what appeared to be an attempt to hit a police car.
Earlier Friday, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and a CNN camera crew was arrested live on air as they were covering the unrest in Minneapolis.
The demonstrations marked the fourth night of protests. Unrest across the U.S. has swelled after video surfaced of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin using his knee to pin down Floyd, a black man, on his neck. Floyd later died. Chauvin was on Friday arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.