People Begin Protesting Across the Country After George Floyd's Murder
Here's what happened during protests in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and more.
Image via Getty/Anadolu Agency
George Floyd was a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was murdered by the Minneapolis police on Memorial Day. Ex-officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video pinning Floyd to the ground, pressing his knee into his neck and ultimately killing him. Three other officers were also present during Floyd's murder.
As it currently stands, Chauvin has been arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter of Floyd.
Since Floyd's death, thousands of people have jumped into action and have begun protesting his murder, as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery who was recorded being followed and shot to death by Gregory and Travis McMichael in Georgia in February, Breonna Taylor who was shot to death in Louisville, Kentucky by officers in March, and countless other black and brown folk who have lost their lives due to police brutality. If none of this feels real, you need to check your privilege and give yourself a reality check.
The protesting started in Minneapolis on Tuesday night and eventually spread across the country to Georgia, Texas, Kentucky, New York, and California amongst others. As protests continue, here's are some of the major demonstrations happening across America as people are actively standing up for the murders of black people due to police brutality, right now.
Protests in Georgia have been ongoing following the re-examination of Ahmaud Arbery's case, but tensions in the state have risen even higher as citizens have begun taking to the streets in protest for the murder of George Floyd.
On May 30, protesters began marching towards the CNN center in Atlanta, facing off with police officers as they formed a barricade in front of the doors of the building.
Things began to grow increasingly more violent as an Atlanta police cruiser caught on fire during the protest.
Eventually, protesters began engaging with the officers, and at one point one of the protesters threw a lit firecracker at them and it exploded inside the building. Several police scopes had also been in place on the protesters.
Prior to this, Atlanta police chief Erika Shield went amongst the protesters to talk to them about the frustrations that they had.
Following the protesters' march on the CNN building, the mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed the protesters, empathizing that while she understands the anger and frustration, she wouldn't condone the destruction the city is facing.
"T.I and Killer Mike own half the Westside, so when you burn this city you're burning down our community," she said. "If you want change in America, go out and register to vote."
Killer Mike would later join Mayor Bottoms and emotionally attempt to empathize with the protesters as well.
"We don’t want to see targets burning," he said. "We want to see the system that sets up for systemic racism burned to the ground.”
A curfew was previously put in place to disperse crowds in the evenings, with Bottoms placing an 8 p.m. curfew on June 5. However, WSB-TV 2 Atlanta has confirmed with the mayor's office that the citywide curfew has been lifted as of June 6. Officials have indicated that the situation will be monitored closely before a decision is made regarding a curfew on Sunday.
In addition to the lack of curfew on Saturday, the city of Atlanta will offer free coronavirus testing for the community from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chosewood Arts Complex. Bottoms urged anyone who participated in protests to get tested and added that she also took one on Friday. "I encourage all law enforcement along with those who are participating in the demonstrations to get tested immediately," said Gov. Brian Kemp.
New York City protesters began mobilizing on Thursday afternoon and now arrive on their second full day of protesting on Friday. There have been numerous arrests already as law enforcement have grown increasingly more violent with the protesters.
There were two protests being held simultaneously: one in Foley Square and the other in front of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The show out for the protest on the Barclays Center was enormous, with hundreds of New Yorkers mobilizing to demonstrate. Protesters even managed to commandeer a city bus that was meant to transport the protesters who were arrested, as the bus driver stood in solidarity with the protesters and refused to drive. The NYPD has already made over 70 arrests on Thursday, and at least 10 on Friday.
Things would grow violently rapidly, however, as NYPD officers began beating protesters with batons and using Pepper spray to gain control over the crowd during an altercation.
Despite this, the protesters were not deterred and continued on, some even pleading with NYPD police officers to understand their point of view. Others would chant "Let us live" during the protest as well.
As the protests progressed through the day, it was reported that the 88 and 84 precincts in Brooklyn were being overrun as well.
Protests continued into Saturday as well, with protestors showing up in massive numbers to Flatbush and other parts if Brooklyn and New York City to continue marching.
During the protest, police cruisers began trying to clear through the road while demonstrators were still in front of them, leading to what could have been fatal accidents.
That, along with violent maneuvers by the NYPD officers on foot, has made it very difficult for tensions in the protest to de-escalate.
Protesters in Louisville, Kentucky are not only protesting the killing of George Floyd, but also Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove on March 13 after they entered her apartment in search of suspected narcotics.
Protests in Louisville became increasingly dangerous as shots were fired during their protest on Thursday night, injuring seven protesters. Following the event, Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher made a statement confirming that no officers were behind the shooting, and that the shooter is still unknown.
He also emphasized in his video statement that prior to the shooting, the protest was completely peaceful and that the citizens of Louisville were exercising their rights.
"While the situation is unfolding we know there were several hours of peaceful protest before some in the crowd turned violent, leaving some people being shot from within the crowd," Mayor Fischer said.
Mayor Fischer also announced Friday morning that the no-knock warrants would be suspended in the city, the policy that lead to Breonna Taylor's murder.
Sadly, however, news reporters continue to be harassed by law enforcement as they try to do their job and cover the protests happening around the country. One Louisville reporter was shot by pepper balls from an officer on Friday night as she was covering the protests in the city.
Tensions in Louisville continued to escalate on Saturday, as officers in SWAT gear road in during the protest and loaded their vans with the water and supplies that were donated to the protestors.
Minnesota—and especially the city of Minneapolis—has seen the brunt of protesting following Floyd's murder at the hands of the police. Protests in Minneapolis began earlier this week, eventually growing into riots across the city and lead to the destruction of different stores and businesses like Target.
At one point during the riots on Thursday night, the Minneapolis police precinct was set ablaze. The New York Times reported that some demonstrators managed to breach the Police Department's 3rd Precinct, the base of the four officers who were involved in Floyd's recent death, and started the fire.
This would also trigger President Trump's egregious posts to Twitter. The now censored tweets show the president calling protesters "thugs" and going on to use the same language as a 1967 order by segregationist Miami Police Chief Walter Headley: "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
Despite all of this, protests in Minneapolis continue on. At one point on Friday afternoon, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested live during his report of the events. Jimenez—who is black and Latino—is seen showing his CNN badge to the cops before being told live on the air that he was being arrested.
He and his crew would eventually be released, but the spectacle of them being arrested in the first place was outrageous. Jimenez continues to report the protesting happening in Minneapolis and across the country as well. The protests in Minneapolis have continued into Friday night, despite an 8pm curfew being enforced.
Protesting in Los Angeles started around the same time that protesting in Minneapolis did, with the city of L.A. being one of the first places to mobilize following the killing of George Floyd.
On Friday night protesters began blocking off 110 Freeway, which eventually led to a clash with police.
A spokesman for the LAPD later confirmed that one officer was injured during the altercation and was receiving medical treatment. Protests in L.A. would continue elsewhere as well, with some protesters throwing firecrackers at the lines of police officers trying to push them back.
This also was not the first time that the L.A. protesters had shut down a major highway. On Wednesday, protesters marched on Freeway 101, also leading to a clash with law enforcement following the destruction of a police cruiser.
Los Angeles police chief Michel Moore also released a statement on Friday afternoon to the L.A. protesters as well.
“In response to recent demonstrations, we stand with our community and rebuke any instance of police brutality," he said in the statement. "No one despises a bad cop more than a good cop.”
He continued, “However, as we continue to facilitate spontaneous and planned protests, violence or property damage has no place here in L.A.”
Protests began peacefully on Saturday afternoon, being organized by the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter, but eventually protesters began clashing with police during their demonstration.
One of the protesters who was seen getting beaten by police during their march was actor Kendrick Sampson who plays Nathan from Insecure. He had been on the front lines during the L.A. protests for several days now.
Police cruisers also began to catch fire as well during the protest.
The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, also issued a curfew for the L.A. country from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time until further notice.
L.A. protesters were also marching through Beverly Hills.
Protests continued Sunday in Los Angeles, as demonstrators took a knee for 2 minutes and 53 seconds in the middle of the street.
Meanwhile, a demonstration in Huntington beach was declared an "unlawful assembly," with police asking people to disperse.
Video captured a police car ramming into a protester before driving away and fleeing the scene.
On Saturday night, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti called for the help of the National Guard, saying, "This is no longer a protest. This is destruction. This is vandalism." In an effort to control the recent spike in vandalism and looting, a curfew has been put in place for Canyon Country, the district within the city of Santa Clarita.
National protests have spilled into the Lone Star State.
On Friday evening, demonstrators gathered in downtown Dallas to protest the death of George Floyd. Per the local ABC-affiliate, Dallas deployed police officers and state troopers to control the activity.
According to reports on the ground, protesters were subjected to tear gas and other deterrents after they set fire to a squad car. Several businesses in the downtown area were destroyed and police decided to send in an arrest team at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Protests also took over the downtown of nearby Fort Worth. These demonstrations appeared to stay non-violent as protestors marched through the street demanding justice for George Floyd.
Unlike Fort Worth, the Houston protests mirrored the chaos that took place in Dallas. There was a massive police presence in downtown Houston as tensions started to rise. Eventually, protesters started to overpower police vehicles and damage nearby businesses.
Protests have also moved in Columbia, South Carolina, and other parts of the state.
The South Carolina protesters gathered in front of a municipal building on Saturday afternoon and at one point began singing "Amazing Grace" in harmony with one another.
The Carolina protesters remained peaceful throughout their demonstration until police officers arrived onto the scene in riot gear and began teargassing the protesters. It appeared as though they also began shooting rounds of bullets into the air in order to scare the protesters off on more than one occasion on Saturday afternoon as well.
Protests in Columbia remained peaceful despite this, but there was one incident on Friday where a white man showed up wearing a MAGA hat trying to provoke the protesters, and was eventually run off by the crowd.
Police squad cars were eventually damaged and set ablaze on Saturday as well.
Protests in North Carolina have been ongoing, and more have been planned to happen in the state for next week.
Protests in Charlotte, North Carolina specifically have grown over the past few days as well.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and Mecklenburg County commissioners chair George Dunlap declared a state of emergency on Saturday as well following protesters damaging parked police cruisers and breaking into a grocery store to throw water bottles at officers.
Elsewhere, rapper and hometown hero J. Cole was spotted joining protesters in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, joined by NBA player and fellow Carolina native Dennis Smith Jr.
This wasn't the first time Cole has joined the people in protest either. Fans of his will remember when he joined the New York protesters when Eric Garner was murdered as well.
What appeared to be nearly 2,000 people gathered in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum on Saturday afternoon to protest the murder of George Floyd.
The protests began peacefully, as the demonstrators kneeled in front of city hall and raised their arms in collective solidarity in front of the Museum of Art.
Things would eventually grow more violent and chaotic, however, as some protesters began destroying the Rizzo statue and police cruisers began catching on fire.
Due to some of the violence, the Philadelphia police department has just put a mandatory city-wide curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time. No non-essential workers will be allowed to leave their homes during that time.