MINNEAPOLIS — Protests over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody, spread beyond Minneapolis on Thursday, with demonstrations in New York City, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado and other states.
Minneapolis saw its third consecutive night of violent protests following Floyd’s death on Monday. In footage recorded by a bystander, Floyd can be seen pleading that he can’t breathe as Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneels on his neck. As minutes pass, Floyd slowly stops talking and moving.
Four officers involved in Floyd's arrest were quickly fired, but none have been charged yet.
Hundreds rallied in downtown Phoenix to demonstrate against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody a protest that turned into a clash with police.
Protesters who marched from Phoenix City Hall to the state Capitol on Thursday night into Friday morning carried signs reading, “Silence is violence” and “Being black should not be a death sentence,” The Arizona Republic reported.
Around 11 p.m., Phoenix police declared an unlawful assembly around the Capitol building. Protesters refused to leave the area, news outlets reported.
The newspaper reported that rocks and water bottles were thrown at police. Video from local broadcast stations shows protesters hammering on the window of a police car, and the newspaper reported at least one police car window was broken. The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Phoenix police responded by firing pepper spray and rubber bullets at the crowd.
Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, with windows smashed at the Ohio Statehouse and storefronts along surrounding downtown streets.
The crowd of around 400 people entered into a standoff with Columbus police Thursday night, blocking the intersection of key streets in the Ohio capital for hours.
The demonstration began as a peaceful protest, but news outlets reported protesters began throwing objects like water bottles at officers, who responded by using tear gas on the crowd.
Videos obtained by The Associated Press show people smashing the building’s windows. One person briefly entered an office through a broken window but retreated before troopers within the building could catch him, said Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Cvetan.
Windows were boarded up early Friday and workers were placing plywood over undamaged windows out of precaution.
Protesters swarmed Denver on Thursday, blocking traffic and smashing vehicles while running from gunfire and police tear gas after a demonstration against the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody turned violent.
Hundreds of demonstrators stood in the downtown streets and chanted as darkness fell outside the Colorado State Capitol, where protesters spray-painted graffiti and broke car windows. In other areas of downtown Denver, police in riot gear fired gas canisters, used rubber bullets and walked in a phalanx through the streets to drive protesters away. The protest briefly spilled over onto Interstate 25, blocking all lanes of traffic until police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The protests continued into the night, despite Denver Mayor Michael Hancock pleading for calm.
“I certainly understand everyone’s frustration and sense of pain and disgust following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “But I want to plead to everyone. Let’s demonstrate, but let’s demonstrate peacefully. Leave the weapons home.”
Seven people were shot Thursday during protests calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.
Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers on March 13 when they executed a no-knock search warrant at her apartment. Her death, like George Floyd's, has since gained national attention and many have called for charges against the officers involved in her death.
Louisville's Greg Mayor Fischer said two of the seven people had surgery for their injuries and the other five people injured were in "good condition."
Fischer also announced that no-knock search warrens will be suspended until further notice.
New York City
Protesters angry about the death of a black Minnesota man in police custody defied New York’s prohibition on public gatherings Thursday and staged a chaotic rally in Manhattan, where they faced off with officers enforcing social distancing rules.
Scores of demonstrators, some wearing masks and some not, massed in Union Square and marched through the streets chanting “I can’t breathe” and waving signs with slogans including “Police brutality and murder must stop.”
Police officers, also wearing masks to protect against the virus, lined up opposite the demonstration. Video posted on social media showed occasional skirmishes as officers pushed the crowd back.
The New York Police Department said more than 30 people had been taken into custody. Video showed at least one demonstrator being clubbed and others being wrestled to the ground as some protesters shoved officers and screamed insults. The police department said one officer was struck with a garbage can and another punched.