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More Protesters Across The Country Demand Justice For George Floyd

Protests prompted by the police killing of George Floyd popped up in even more cities across the U.S. on Saturday as thousands of people continued to demand justice for Black victims of police brutality.

Large swaths of people gathered on the streets of Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Newark, New Jersey; Salt Lake City; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles and more on the warm weekend day.

The protesters at many of the demonstrations chanted and held signs, repeating the words that Floyd, 46, uttered as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes this past Monday: “I can’t breathe.”

Morgan Davis, a 29-year-old Los Angeles resident, told HuffPost she came out to protest on Saturday because she is tired of Black people, including herself, being “terrorized.”

“I came out today because for too long, people who look like me have been terrorized for no reason except [for] our skin color, and enough is enough,” she said. “I shouldn’t be afraid to die just because I exist.”

Hundreds of people turned out in Salt Lake City. In Washington, D.C., protesters gathered near the White House as police attempted to hold them back. Hundreds of people in Fayetteville came out for two separate protests.

On Friday, protesters gathered in Minneapolis, New York City, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago and Detroit, as well as Louisville, Kentucky, and Portland, Oregon. Many of those cities also saw demonstrations on Saturday.

The energy of the various protests ebbed and flowed throughout the day. At times they were peaceful, with protesters passionately calling for justice while rallying around one another. At other times, the tension between police and the anti-racism protesters led to officers deploying tear gas.

In Salt Lake City, a police car was overturned and spray-painted, and in Cleveland, a local reporter took a video of two police cars on fire.

In Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon, protesters moved aside to let an ambulance pass and cheered as the driver sounded the siren. Some protesters paused their march to dance in the streets.

“It feels like there are more things that connect us than separate us. A lot of times people try and divide us by what we look instead of seeing the human in us,” Davis told HuffPost in a text message during the protests in Los Angeles.

She added later: “It’s time for people to collectively do the right thing by each other and end racism for good.”

In Brooklyn, New York, a police SUV drove through a crowd standing around a blockade, knocking several people backward, as seen in a video filmed from a building.

Another video, apparently filmed from a different angle, shows protesters throwing plastic bottles and traffic cones at a police vehicle before a second vehicle arrives and drives through the group of people.

As night fell in Brooklyn, protesters set fire to a dumpster and at least two police vehicles.

Police tried to keep groups of protesters separated from each other and were seen arresting people, according to HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias, who was reporting from the scene.

The protests marked another day of unrest, as people demanded that all four cops involved in Floyd’s arrest be charged with his death.

Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck as Floyd struggled for breath, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday, but the other three officers have not been charged.

President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed that anti-fascist activists and “left-wing groups” were responsible for the violence at the protests. 

“The violence is being led by Antifa and other left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings,” he said at a press conference.

“Radical left criminals, thugs and others, all throughout our country and throughout the world, will not be able to set communities ablaze,” Trump also said. “The leadership of the National Guard and the Department of Justice are now in close communication with state and city officials in Minnesota and we’re coordinating with local law enforcement.”

At a later speech on Saturday, Trump offered a more reserved statement.

“We support the right of peaceful protesters, and we hear their pleas,” he said. “But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or peace.”

This post has been updated throughout.

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