HomeMiddle EastGeorge Floyd: US protests over police brutality intensify - Live

George Floyd: US protests over police brutality intensify – Live

  • Another round of protests is gripping major cities across the United States against police brutality and violence, especially against unarmed Black people. 
  • Several states have called in National Guard troops to help quell the protests, with some turning violent with fires and looting. Cities nationwide have also implemented curfews, but protesters appear undeterred. 
  • Protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have pledged to stay in the streets until all four officers involved in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, are charged. Floyd died on Monday after a white officer pinned his neck to the ground. The officer – Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other officers have not been charged. 
  • Trump orders Pentagon to put military police on alert, saying they may be deployed to Minnesota. 

Latest updates: 

Sunday, May 31

03:50 GMT – National Guard called in in DC

The National Guard has been called out in Washington, DC, as pockets of violence erupted during a second straight night of protests.

Hundreds of protesters converged on the White House during the day Saturday and marched on the National Mall, chanting “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace.” Those protests remained relatively peaceful.

Police used pepper spray to try to disperse the crowd but the standoff continued. Protesters dragged away barricades and some broke up concrete to use as projectiles. At one point, a trash bin was set on fire.

National Guard troops took up position around the White House on Saturday night.

03:45 GMT – Nearly 1,400 people arrested in 17 US cities

Police have arrested nearly 1,400 people in 17 US cities as protests continue over the death of George Floyd, according to the Associated Press news agency.

An Associated Press tally of arrests found at least 1,383 people have been arrested since Thursday. The actual number is likely higher as protests continue Saturday night.

03:00 GMT – NYC police drive into protesters

New York City Police Department cruisers drove into protesters who were pelting, pushing barricade against police car, knocking several to ground, video shared on Twitter showed.

The Associated Press news agency also reported on the incident

Warning: Graphic video

02:50 GMT – Nashville mayor declares emergency as courthouse burns

The mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, has declared a state of civil emergency after protesters set a fire inside the Metro Courthouse in the state’s capital city.

Thousands had rallied near the Capitol building Saturday afternoon to peacefully protest police brutality and racism. But things turned violent after darkness fell, with protesters breaking windows in government buildings and causing other property damage.

The Tennessean newspaper says demonstrators also pulled down a statue outside the Capitol of Edward Carmack, a controversial former lawmaker and newspaper publisher who espoused racist views.

Police deployed tear gas and began warning demonstrators that the protest was unlawful.

Governor Bill Lee issued an order Saturday night for the National Guard to mobilize “in response to protests that have now taken a violent, unlawful turn in Nashville.”

02:15 GMT – Trump continues to attack Minneapolis leaders

Trump continued his attacks on Minneapolis city leaders as protests there continued for a fifth night.

“The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do,” he said as protests raged on in the city.

“Great job by the National Guard,” he tweeted. “No games!” he added, appearing to cheer on the tougher tactics being used by law enforcement around the country.

02:00 GMT – What Al Jazeera correspondents and reporters are seeing in major US cities

Gabriel Elizondo in New York City: “It’s pretty chaotic out here right now … Groups of protesters are really playing a cat and mouse game [with police]  … Right now the bottom line is: New York City is really a city in the middle of fog right now because it’s really hard to make out exactly what’s happening

Natasha Ghoneim in Chicago, Illinois: “This moment is eerily reminiscent of another moment that the city of Chicago had and it won’t fade from it’s memory. That was in 2014 when the police shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.” (Read more about that police killing here.)

Lucien Formichella in Minneapolis, Minnesota: “There was a tense moment here in Minneapolis earlier when what was believed to be a drunk man attempted to drive his car through the protest area. The situation was de-escalated by protesters, and the man was sent back. Protesters then erected a makeshift barricades to stop cars from driving down the street.”

A banner with an image of George Floyd is seen as protesters continue to rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Leah Millis/Reuters] 

Rob Reynolds in Los Angeles: “As night falls the stand off between protesters and police continue.”

Mike Hanna in Washington, DC: “The demonstrations here have been largely peaceful through the course of the day and indeed in the course of the evening. There had been some scuffles. At one stage demonstrators were being pushed back across the park in front of the White House, but generally the demonstrations have been relatively peaceful.”

01:45 GMT – More cities impose curfews

Eugene, Oregon, was the latest US city to impose a nightly curfew as protests over the death of George Floyd intensifies.

Eugene city officials enacted a 9pm Saturday curfew

Seattle and Portland, Oregon, also issued Saturday night curfews due to unrest.

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon.

01:30 GMT – Protests erupt in US West Coast

Protests on the West Coast of the US are rocking several cities

Washington Governor Jay Inslee activated up to 200 members of the National Guard to respond to protests, some violent, in downtown Seattle that forced the closure of Interstate 5 and the imposition of a citywide curfew.

Inslee said the guard personnel will be unarmed and be directed by Seattle officials, who requested the help to protect property and manage crowds who had gathered in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

LA protests

A woman gestures in front of police officers during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Los Angeles, California [Patrick T Fallon/Reuters] 

The mayor of Seattle, Washington, meanwhile announced a 5pm curfew for Saturday following protests that spilled onto Interstate 5, forcing the freeway’s closure through the central part of the Northwest’s largest city.

The mayor of Portland, Oregon declared an 8pm curfew for Saturday after that city saw fiery protests Friday night.

00:40 GMT – Protesters in Minneapolis run after man believed to have a knife

Calls of “he’s got a knife” rang out as a large group of protesters, roughly 100, followed a man out of the protest.

Many in the group were yelling “let him go”. Before getting out of the parking lot where he was walking, another man ran up and sprayed him with what appeared to be mace.

“I saw somebody run that way after him, [onto Lake Street] but I don’t know if he got caught,” said one witness.

00:15 GMT – Protesters defy curfew in Minneapolis, other cities 

Hundreds of protesters continued to rally in Minneapolis, even as a city-wide curfew took effect. Similar reports were coming from other cities across the US. 

Protesters have told Al Jazeera that will stay in the streets and continue to rally at least until all four officers involved in the death of Floyd are arrested. They are also calling for police reforms. 

Us Protests - Minneapolis

Hundreds of people continued to rally in Minneapolis on Saturday after a curfew began [ Lucien Formichella/Al Jazeera] 

00:05 GMT – Protests intensify in Texas

As anger over the death of Floyd intensified in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said he was sending more than 1,500 state troopers to cities where demonstrations were taking place.

Abbott said in a news release Saturday that troopers are being sent to Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says on Twitter that nearly 200 people were arrested Friday and most will be charged with obstructing a roadway as several protesters blocked an interstate and a highway.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Austin on Saturday outside police headquarters and then marched along Interstate 35.

00:00 GMT – Protesters confront police in Chicago

Protesters were confronting police in Chicago, Illinois, for a second night as anger about police violence and the death of Floyd grew.

More than 100 arrests were made on Friday night in relation to the protests, police said.

Saturday, May 30

23:50 GMT – Protests grip New York City for third night

Protesters rallied in New York City for a third night on Saturday, marching and blocking traffic on the highway.

Several thousand peacefully protested in Union Square and outside Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Later in the day, as protesters confronted police, video posted online showed officers pushing some protesters to the ground.

The mayor said he was upset by videos in which “protesters were handled very violently” by police and by reports that a state senator and member of the state Assembly were among the people sprayed with irritating chemicals by officers.

Dozens have been arrested over the three days of protest, according to authorities.

23:20 GMT – Protesters rally in Atlanta

Hundreds of people rallied outside the mansion of the governor of Georgia.

Video and photos shared on social media showed protesters blocking the road in front of the Atlanta building, chanted “hands up, don’t shoot!”

According to The Associated Post news agency, the governor, Brian Kemp, was not home on Saturday evening.

Atlanta’s mayor has announced a 9pm (01:00 GMT) curfew in the city that will last until sunrise Sunday morning.

Protests turned violent as outrage over Floyd’s death intensified outside the headquarters of CNN on Friday night.

22:30 GMT – Minneapolis city leaders call for state’s attorney general to be named special prosecutor

Community leaders and organisers have told Al Jazeera they want Keith Ellison to handle the case as they do not trust Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to do so.

Local media also reported that six of the city council’s 13 members have supported that call.

Ellison, who is Black and was also the first Muslim US congressman before being elected Minnesota attorney general, has good ties with the community, organisers have told Al Jazeera.

22:15 GMT – Protests erupt outside White House for second night

Protester have gathered outside the White House for a second night, demanding an end to police violence and to protest against US President Donald Trump, who has been accused of inciting and glorifying violence.

Trump said on Saturday that he is a “friend and ally to every American”.

“I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace. Healing, not hatred, justice, not chaos are the missions at hand,” Trump said in Florida, where he was watching the launching of the SpaceX rocket.

Without evidence, the president has blamed “radical left” protesters for the violence.

The White House was placed on lockdown on Friday evening as protesters tore down barricades outside the White House. Those barricades were several feet in front the fence that surrounds the president’s residence.

22:25 GMT – Ohio calls in National Guard

The governor of Ohio has called in the National Guard to support local authorities as protests continue to rage in Columbus and Cleveland.

The mayors of both cities announced 10pm (02:00 GMT) curfews.

Governor Mike DeWine said Saturday that the vast majority of protesters want “simply to be heard” and focus attention on the death of Floyd.

But the governor adds that sadly the calls for justice and change are “being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals.” He says that “acts of violence cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says he believes racism “is a public health and safety crisis” and he wants to see a more equitable city, but “we are now at a point that we can no longer tell who is protesting for change and an end to racism and who has only chaos and destruction in mind.”

22: 20 GMT – Denver imposes curfew

The mayor of Denver, Colorado, has ordered a nighttime a curfew as demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis entered a third day.

Mayor Michael Hancock said Saturday that the Colorado National Guard would help enforce the 8pm to 5am (02:00 – 11:00 GMT) curfew.

Downtown Denver has seen protests for two nights, with tense moments between demonstrators and police. Authorities have fired tear gas, flash grenades and pepper pellets. Some protesters have broken windows of businesses.

22:00 GMT - George Floyd protests: Minnesota fully mobilises National Guard

The governor of Minnesota, where protests have erupted over police brutality and the death of George Floyd during the last week, has fully mobilised the National Guard to Minneapolis for the first time in state history.

Governor Tim Walz said the deployment comes as part of an effort to help quell the protests, which have often started off peaceful before descending into chaos, with fires and looting – violence he largely blamed on outsiders.

Read more here.


A man reacts as he confronts National Guard members guarding an area of Minneapolis, Minnesota [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the protests in the United States over the deadly arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath in Louisville, Kentucky, and Lucien Formichella in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Here are a few things to get caught up: 

  • George Floyd, unarmed 46-year-old Black man, died on Monday after a white officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground for several minutes. Floyd can be heard on a bystander video repeatedly pleading with officers, saying “I can’t breathe.” He eventually goes motionless with the officer’s knee still on his neck. (You can read about the deadly incident here.)
  • The four officers involved in the incident were fired. Derek Chauvin, the white officer, who pinned Floyd down has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Protesters demand the three other protesters be charged as well. 
  • Protests – some violent – have since erupted nationwide as demonstrators rally for justice for Floyd and all unarmed Black people killed by police. 

See the updates from Friday night’s protests here. 

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