Cities endure another night of rioting as Trump declares Guard deployments mean 'no games'
Protests over the death of George Floyd spread nationwide while police and mayors up the response.
May 30, 2020 - 11:56pm
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Cities across America on Saturday endured another night of violent riots sparked by George Floyd's death, as police in multiple cities clashed with protesters and injuries, arrests and destructive fires mounted.
In New York City, more than 200 arrests were reported and multiple officers were injured during unrest. One police van was reportedly hit with a molotov cocktail incendiary.
The National Guard was summoned in Washington DC, as protesters repeatedly converged near the fences of the White House and Treasury Department.
And in Philadelphia, multiple fires were set and 13 officers were reported injured in chaotic clashes.
Many mayors set curfews and governors activated the National Guard, including at the epicenter of Minneapolis, where the protest began last Tuesday after Floyd died after being in police custody.
Other cities imposing curfews included Atlanta, Milwaukee, Denver and Portland, Oregon.
President Trump, who escaped the nation's capital for much of Saturday to watch the Space X rocket launch in Florida, embraced the tougher tactics employed Saturday by political leaders and police.
“No games!,” Trump tweeted at one point. He also cheered on New York City police.
"Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest. There is nobody better, but they must be allowed to do their job!" Trump tweeted at another point.
Protests have occurred in at least 37 states, according a list compiled by Fox News.
There were no reports of significant violence or damage during protests Saturday afternoon.
In anticipation of more protests Saturday night, the Pentagon has reportedly put hundreds on Army troops on standby. The first wave of standby troops are in Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, and Fort Drum, in New York, and reportedly could be ready to deploy within four hours to Minneapolis. Units in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley, in Kansas, reportedly can will ready within 24 hours of notice.
The arrest and murder charges filed earlier Friday against the police officer who allegedly knelt on Floyd’s neck did little to quell a swelling rage that drove protests in cities as diverse as New York and San Jose. Floyd lost consciousness during the arrest and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
In Atlanta, protesters spray-painted sayings and broke windows at CNN’s headquarters while tense officers in Brooklyn borough lined up to keep angry, chanting protesters from straying from street protests toward business.
The Secret Service on Friday evening put the White House on brief lockdown, sheltering reporters inside the press room, as several videos on social media showed unruly protesters outside of the Treasury Department, adjacent to the heavily fortified White House, and large groups of protesters walking from the city’s historically black U Street neighborhood chanting, “No peace, no justice.”
President Trump on Saturday, at the space launch in Florida, praised the Secret Service's efforts.
"Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. Secret Service," Trump tweeted. "They were not only totally professional, but very cool."
The protests started Tuesday in Minneapolis, where weary residents and officers faced a fourth night of violence, rioting and fire setting. The Minnesota governor activated the national guard and a strict curfew for 8 p.m. was imposed in the Twin Cities, but it failed to keep large numbers of protesters from taking to the streets anew.
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