Police shot, hit by vehicles in escalating George Floyd protests

Police officers were among those injured across the U.S. overnight amid continuing protests and violence sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.

Four officers in St. Louis, Missouri, were shot after a peaceful protest turned violent in the early hours Tuesday. Two officers were hit in the leg, one in the foot and one in the arm, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Commissioner Col. John W. Hayden said during a news conference.

“Some coward fired shots at officers,” he said. “Thankfully, they’re alive. They’re alive.”

People had pelted officers with rocks and fireworks throughout the night before shots were fired at the police line, Hayden added. None of their injuries were believed to be life-threatening. It wasn’t immediately clear whether a single or multiple shooters were involved, he said.

In New York, a state police officer and a Buffalo police officer suffered serious injuries after being hit by a truck during protests in the city. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the two officers were in stable condition.

A New York City police officer was also struck by a vehicle in the Bronx early Tuesday, police said. Officers were investigating reports of break-ins when a sergeant got out of an unmarked vehicle and was hit by a black sedan that subsequently fled the scene, police told NBC News’s local affiliate WNBC.

The sergeant suffered serious injuries and was last reported to be in stable condition at a local hospital, police said. No arrests have been made and the suspect remained at large.

Full coverage of George Floyd’s death and protests around the country

The president of Lieutenants Benevolent Association representing command officers in New York City wrote a letter to its members on Monday blaming politicians — including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio — for wrongfully blaming the police for the rise in violence and ignoring the danger and injuries officers are facing.

Fireworks go off in front of police who were responding to protesters in front of police headquarters in St. Louis on Monday.Colter Peterson / AP

“These out-of-touch and inept politicians are obviously using the members of law enforcement as pawns,” Lou Turco wrote in a letter obtained by NBC News. “The politicians see our members as being expendable, they show no concern about our safety, they show no concern about our members returning home safely to our families.”

Floyd’s death incited rage over the treatment of minorities, particularly African Americans, as he is viewed as the latest victim in a series of deaths at the hands of police.

Civilians have also sustained serious injuries — and even been killed — in the protests that have seen thousands arrested.

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In Louisville, Kentucky, local business owner David McAtee was shot dead during an exchange of gunfire between police, the National Guard and protesters on Monday. It remains unclear whether the fatal shot was fired by law enforcement or someone else, however Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad was subsequently relieved of duty after it was revealed that the officers involved did not activate their body cameras.

New York City’s police department is among those facing criticism, most recently after footage emerged on Saturday of two NYPD vehicles driving into a crowd of protesters. New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told the “TODAY” show on Monday that “anyone that looks at that has to be troubled by what they saw” and vowing there would be an investigation into the incident.

Jonathan Dienst, Tom Winter and Kurt Chirbas contributed.



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