U.S. cities gird for more violence as Trump decries `lowlifes’

Hanz Jouissance holds up a fist at the conclusion of a prayer vigil at the First AME church Monday, June 1, 2020, in Seattle, following protests over the weekend over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A Statue of Liberty painting is seen through a smashed Dolce and Gabbana store window, Monday, June 1, 2020, in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York. Protesters broke into the store Sunday night in reaction to George Floyd’s death while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Volunteers pick up glass from a damaged The Gap store Monday, June 1, 2020, in Santa Monica, Calif., a day after unrest and protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
People gather to protest in Hampton Beach, N.H., Monday, June 1, 2020, following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday turned up the pressure on governors to quell the violence set off by the death of George Floyd, demanding New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”

As more demonstrations began taking shape around the country, and cities girded for another round of scattered violence after dark, the president amplified his hard-line calls of a day earlier, in which he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.

“NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” he tweeted. “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!!!”

A day after a crackdown on peaceful protesters near the White House, some demonstrators began protesting in other parts of the nation’s capital. Hundreds of people gathered along 14th Street, one of the city’s main arteries, and many in the crowd began walking toward the White House, which had tightened security in place.

Protests were also held in such places as Houston, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Orlando, Florida, where more than 1,000 people gathered in the afternoon to decry the killings of black people.

“This has to change,” said 39-year-old Aisxia Batiste, an out-of-work massage therapist. “Something has to give. We’re done. This is the beginning of the end of something. It has to be.”

In New York, midtown Manhattan was pocked with battered storefronts. Macy’s flagship store was among those hit after crowds of people smashed windows and looted stores Monday as they swept through the area. A police sergeant was hospitalized after being hit by a car in the Bronx, where people walked Tuesday between ransacked buildings and a burned-out car on the Grand Concourse, a commercial thoroughfare.

Police made nearly 700 arrests, Mayor Bill de Blasio extended an 8 p.m. curfew all week.

“We’re going to have a tough few days,” he warned, but added: “We’re going to beat it back.” He pleaded with community leaders to step forward and “create peace.”

More than 20,000 National Guard members have been called up in 29 states to deal with the violence. New York is not among them, and De Blasio has said he does not want the Guard. On Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo called what happened in the city “a disgrace.”

“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night,” Cuomo said said at a briefing in Albany.

He said the mayor underestimated the problem, and the nation’s largest police force was not deployed in sufficient numbers, though the city had said it doubled the usual police presence.

READ MORE: Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Monday marked the seventh straight night of unrest around the country.

In Atlanta, police fired tear gas at demonstrators. In Nashville, more than 60 National Guard members put down their riot shields at the request of peaceful protesters. At a demonstration in Buffalo, New York, an SUV plowed into a group of officers, injuring three.

An officer was shot and gravely wounded as police tried to disperse a crowd outside a Las Vegas hotel and casino. Four officers were shot in St. Louis; they were expected to recover.

Philadelphia officials described a chaotic night in which one person was killed trying to use explosives to open an ATM, a gun shop owner fatally shot a would-be thief, and a 19-year-old died of injuries during looting.

About a dozen other deaths have been reported around the country over the past week. And nearly 8,000 people nationwide have been arrested for offences such as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew, according to a count by The Associated Press.

“We have been sitting on a powder keg for some time and it has burst,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Some protesters framed the burgeoning movement as a necessity after a string of killings by police.

“I fear for my safety every time I get in the car to go for a drive. I fear of getting pulled over. I fear for all 10 of my brothers’ and sisters’ lives, for my parents’ lives!” 19-year-old Amari Burroughs of Parkland, Florida, said Tuesday as she prepared for another protest.

“My goal is to use my voice and my leadership to make this world safer so that one day I can bring children here and won’t have to fear for their safety.”

Outside the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul, where a youth protest was held Tuesday, 18-year-old Joseph Tawah agreed.

“It’s really hard not to feel afraid,” he said.

Meanwhile, governors and mayors, Republicans and Democrats alike, rejected Trump’s threat to send in the military, with some saying troops would be unnecessary and others questioning whether the government has such authority and warning that such a step would be dangerous.

“Denver is not Little Rock in 1957, and Donald Trump is not President Eisenhower. This is a time for healing, for bringing people together, and the best way to protect civil rights is to move away from escalating violence,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, both Democrats, said in a statement, referring to Eisenhower’s use of troops to enforce school desegregation in the South.

A senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the president is not rushing to send in the military and that his goal was to pressure governors to deploy more National Guard members.

Such use of the military would mark a stunning federal intervention rarely seen in modern American history.

Minnesota, meanwhile, opened an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a pattern of discrimination against minorities. Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes.

Chauvin has been charged with murder. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said prosecutors are working as fast as they can to determine if the three other officers at the scene should be charged too. All four have been fired.

Amid the protests, cities struggled to keep police in line and avoid instances of excessive force.

The police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, was fired after a restaurant owner was killed by police and National Guard members enforcing a curfew. In Richmond, the police chief said officers who used tear gas on a group of peaceful protesters would be disciplined. In Atlanta, six officers were charged after a video showed authorities dragging two young people from a car during protests.

___

Sullivan reported from Minneapolis. Associated Press journalists across the U.S. contributed to this report.

Zeke Miller And Tim Sullivan, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

protestracismUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Const. Graham Walker of the Saanich Traffic Safety Unit recreates an incident involving a driver who police say attempted to film the scene of a crash while driving up Highway 17. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police track down driver caught filming accident scene on Pat Bay Highway

Driver issued $368 ticket, points on their licence

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is looking for this man, who they say stole a charity box. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers looking for man who stole charity box from Saanich grocery store

Anyone with information asked to call Crime Stoppers

The 21st annual Japanese Cultural Fair streams online Oct. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. (Facebook/Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society)
Esquimalt’s Japanese Cultural Fair takes tastes, experiences and cultures online

21st annual free event streams Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at noon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Most Read