Civil unrest flares in US cities over George Floyd’s murder

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Civil unrest flares in US cities over George Floyd’s murder

MINNEAPOLIS: The full Minnesota National Guard was activated for the first time since World War Two after four nights of sometimes violent protests that have spread to other U.S. cities following the killing of a black man by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said the deployment was needed because outsiders were using the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd to spread chaos, and that he expected Saturday night’s protests to be the fiercest so far.
From Minneapolis to New York City, Atlanta and Washington, protesters clashed with police late on Friday in a rising tide of anger over the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.
“We are under assault,” Walz told a briefing. “Order needs to be restored. … We will use our full strength of goodness and righteousness to make sure this ends.”
He said he believed a “tightly controlled” group of outside agitators, some white supremacist groups and drug cartels were to blame for some of the violence in Minneapolis, but he did not give specifics when asked by reporters. He said as many as 80% of those arrested were from out-of-state.
The demonstrations broke out for a fourth night despite prosecutors announcing on Friday that the policeman filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, had been arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
Three other officers have been fired and are being investigated in connection with Monday’s incident, which reignited rage that civil rights activists said has long simmered in Minneapolis and cities across the country over persistent racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.
The video of Floyd’s death, filmed by a bystander, showed the 46-year-old repeatedly pleading with the officers and telling them he could not breathe.
In the Minneapolis neighborhood of Lyndale, the mood was somber on Saturday morning as dozens of people surveyed the damage and swept up glass and debris from the night before.
Luke Kallstrom, 27, a financial analyst, stood in the threshold of a post office that had been burned to the ground.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It pains me so much. This does not honor the man who was wrongfully taken away from us.”
As he spoke, several military vehicles rolled by, loaded with soldiers.
Some of Friday’s most chaotic scenes were in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where thousands of demonstrators gathered near the Barclays Center arena. Police armed with batons and pepper spray made more than 200 arrests in sometimes violent clashes. Several officers were injured, police said.
In Washington, police and Secret Service agents deployed in force around the White House before dozens of demonstrators gathered across the street in Lafayette Square.
President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he had watched the whole thing, and, if the demonstrators had breached the fence, “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”
“That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
He also appeared to call his supporters to rally outside the executive mansion on Saturday evening. …Agencies

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