(TMU) – On Saturday, urban unrest exploded across the U.S. as massive rallies continued in the wake of the horrific killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.
The killing of Floyd on the night of Monday, May 25, and subsequent viral spread of video footage of his grisly death – which has been viewed tens of millions of times – has highlighted long-held resentments over brutality and racism in cities of various sizes in the United States.
In a shockingly large number of cities, protesters have refused to comply with police orders to disperse and have instead engaged in pitched battles and violent confrontations with cops, even going so far as torching police squad cars. Widespread looting of business districts also took place.
By Saturday, many of the largest cities in the country imposed evening curfews in hopes to clear the streets and prevent further unrest. However, the movement against police brutality that has been rekindled in the name of George Floyd is unlikely to disappear due to curfews alone.
In Minneapolis, the flashpoint of national unrest, the city entered the second evening of curfew Saturday that began at 8 p.m.
Mayor Jacob Frey, who has been criticized for not using an iron-fisted approach in the first days of protest, sought to cast blame for the unrest on subversive elements. In a Twitter post, he wrote:
“By being out tonight & breaking the 8pm curfew, you are helping the people using crowds as cover to prey on Minneapolis & destroy community.”
Some 1,700 members of the Minnesota National Guard have been “fully mobilized” to control the protests.
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 31, 2020
Mayor Eric Garcetti has decreed a curfew for all of the city of Los Angeles, which began at 8 p.m. and will last until 5:30 a.m.
Throughout Saturday, an estimated 25,000 protesters took to LA streets to voice their demands for justice. Upwards of a dozen LAPD squad cars were heavily vandalized if not completely torched during the protests, which took place in Central Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.
The National Guard has been deployed to the region and will arrive early Sunday morning.
On Friday and Saturday, Los Angeles witnessed the most violent acts of mass unrest since the L.A. Uprising of 1992.
A line of police cars are on fire in the Fairfax District of #LosAngeles. Some reports claim that crowds are surrounding the Grove, which is one of LA’s most upscale shopping centers. Crowds had earlier claimed that they would march on Beverly Hills. https://t.co/eOBqWuk74M
— Shahab (@SSMoghadam) May 31, 2020
Atlanta, too, joined the growing ranks of cities that went under curfew on Saturday evening following an executive order by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The citywide decree began at 9 p.m. and will last until sunrise.
On Friday, demonstrators set a police car on fire, engaged in pitched battles with officers, and breached the headquarters of CNN.
After a day of massive protests that included property destruction and skirmishes with police in the Loop, the Windy City’s financial district, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that Chicago would be placed under a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. for an indefinite period of time.
Saturday’s huge rallies took place one day after some 100 protesters were arrested Friday night.
They’ve set fire again to the courthouse. Black smoke billowing out a window. They’re starting to smash it again pic.twitter.com/K9gHH2NgUb
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) May 31, 2020
Salt Lake City
After protests rocked SLC, Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced a curfew from Saturday night until 6 a.m. Monday morning. People will be disallowed on the street except for certain exceptions.
The state’s National Guard has also been deployed to the city to prevent further mass protests from occurring.
Here is the video of the crossbow guy in downtown Salt Lake City who attempted to attack protesters. He was quickly overwhelmed & his car overturned. pic.twitter.com/E6sTpA9QBx
— 𝕬𝖓 801 𝕺𝖗𝖎𝖌𝖎𝖓𝖆𝖑 🥁 (@TheJazzyUte) May 31, 2020
Seattle joined the growing list of cities under curfew Saturday, with its curfew beginning at 5 p.m.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said “crowds need to disburse from downtown immediately.”
“While many individuals gathered peaceful, some individuals have started fires and are destroying buildings,” the mayor wrote on Twitter. “There are multiple fires downtown and it is an extremely dangerous situation.”
After protesters set fire to the Metro Courthouse in the Tennessee state capital, Mayor John Cooper declared a state of civil emergency.
A statue of Edward Carmack, a former lawmaker and newspaper editor infamous for his racist views, was also pulled down.
By Saturday evening, the police declared the protest unlawful and deployed less-lethal weapons such as teargas against assembled residents.
Cleveland and Columbus
The two Ohio cities announced curfews while Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the state National Guard to help suppress the spiraling unrest.
Cleveland’s curfew began at 8 p.m. and lasts until 8 a.m. Sunday morning, and will be in place from Sunday evening until Monday morning. The Columbus curfew began at 10 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. Sunday.
Mayor Jim Kenney announced he was placing Philadelphia under a curfew on Saturday.
The city’s curfew began at 8 p.m. and will last until 6 a.m. on Sunday.
On Saturday, multitudes of residents marched in Philadelphia during a protest that led to a number of fires. Several police cars were consumed in the flames.
Pittsburgh’s curfew started at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Following “rioting and looting” downtown that was reported by police , the city declared protests to be an “unlawful assembly.”
Following two days of raucous protests, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock enacted a curfew on Saturday “to help protect people and property.”
The curfew began at 8 p.m. on Saturday and lasts until 5 a.m. Sunday. The curfew will also be in place on Sunday.
Portland will go back under curfew on Saturday night after Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency early Saturday morning. The curfew began at 8:00 p.m. and will end Sunday at 6:00 a.m.
Eugene, Oregon also enacted a curfew for Saturday that begins at 9 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. Sunday.
Rochester, New York enacted a curfew on Saturday in the city between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday in anticipation of any “potential for widespread breach of peace,” according to Mayor Lovely Warren.
New York’s third-most populous city erupted in chaos Saturday after police attacked protesters with less-lethal rounds.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez announced a countywide curfew Saturday. The announcement comes after the city saw widespread demonstration, and dozens of protestors and police faced off outside a Miami police department.
The Cream City faces a curfew that will last form Saturday at 9 p.m. until Sunday at 7 a.m. after demonstrations took a violent turn earlier.
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