‘WILD, OUT OF CONTROL’: US thrown into absolute chaos as protesters rage
Sunday - 31/05/2020 14:28
Americans woke overnight to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fuelled by rage with looting, vandalism and violence.
Americans woke up to cities burned, shops looted and the name of George Floyd, the man killed in an altercation with a police officer, graffitied and memorialised on buildings and cars across the nation.
However, something else happened as dawn broke. A twist to the unrest, as an army of people emerged to help clear up the charred and glass strewn streets with images on social media of even children helping in the effort.
But all eyes were still on the protests from the day before with at least 13 cities or counties declaring curfews on residents. Twelve states have activated their state national guards as vandalism as looting and fires spread across multiple cities.
One LA local said the violence he witnessed in the well-to-do area of Fairfax, close to Hollywood and Beverly Hills, was “the craziest think I’ve ever seen”. Fancy clothes shops like Gucci and Alexander McQueen were smashed and looted during the unrest.
Across the country, tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of Mr Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.
But many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Cars and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were spray-painted all over buildings. A fire in a trash bin burned near the gates of the White House.
Police have arrested at least 1,669 people in 22 U.S. cities in the past 3 days. At least one person has been killed in Indianapolis in shooting amid protests and 28 arrested in Nashville, with horses used to back crowds away from a police precinct.
The fury sparked by Floyd’s death was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left millions out of work and killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S., including disproportionate numbers of black people.
“We’re sick of it. The cops are out of control,” protester Olga Hall said in Washington, D.C. “They’re wild. There’s just been too many dead boys.”
People set fire to squad cars, threw bottles at officers and busted windows of storefronts, carrying away TVs and other items even as some protesters urged them to stop.
In Indianapolis, multiple shootings were reported, including one that left a person dead amid the protests, adding to deaths in Detroit and Minneapolis in recent days.
In Minneapolis, the city where the protests began, police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in soon after an 8pm curfew took effect to break up the demonstrations.
At least 13 police officers were injured in Philadelphia, and at least four police vehicles were set on fire.
In New York City, dangerous confrontations flared repeatedly as officers made arrests and cleared streets. A video showed two NYPD cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators who were pushing a barricade against one of them and pelting it with objects. Several people were knocked to the ground. It was unclear if anyone was hurt.
“The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offences, and people need to stop killing black people,” Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski said.