Protests are raging in at least 20 US cities including Minneapolis, Houston and Phoenix following the death of African American man George Floyd at the hands of white law enforcement officers in Minneapolis.
At least 50 people were arrested in Minneapolis after protesters defied a curfew, with around 2500 police officers dispatched to keep the peace.
Major General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard predicted more than 1700 National Guard soldiers could be called in by Sunday — the largest national deployment in the state’s history.
In Houston, more than 200 people were arrested following Friday night’s protests, with Houston Police tweeting that most will be charged with obstructing a roadway. Meanwhile, police said four officers suffered minor injuries and eight police vehicles were damaged.
Phoenix also saw protests spark extensive vandalism. According to a tweet by Phoenix Police, some demonstrators broke windows and doors to municipal and private businesses, and also “destroyed” parked cars.
In Portland, Oregon, police declared a riot following several shootings and fires – including one at Portland’s Justice Center – and asked those downtown to leave the area. According to a tweet by police, two arrests have since been made.
Elsewhere, in Detroit, a 19-year-old man was killed after shots were fired into a crowd of protesters late on Friday. Police haven’t yet confirmed whether the victim, who died of his injuries in hospital, was part of the protests.
According to CNN, protests took place Friday night in numerous cities across California (Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco), Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, New Orleans and Las Vegas, among others.
As previously reported, an Atlanta protest earlier on Friday began peacefully but took a destructive turn, as demonstrators smashed the doors of CNN headquarters, sprayed graffiti on the television news building and set a police cruiser on fire, according to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta.
The news outlet’s live feed also showed protesters picking up a barricade in what appeared to be an attempt to hit a police car.
Earlier on Friday, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and a CNN camera crew was arrested live on air as they were covering the unrest in Minneapolis.
The demonstrations marked the fourth night of protests.
Unrest across the US has swelled after video surfaced of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin using his knee to pin down Floyd, a black man, on his neck. Floyd later died.
Chauvin was on Friday arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. His wife has also filed for divorce in the wake of his charges.