Washington / Minneapolis:
At least five American police officers were hit by gunfire during violent protests against the death of a black man in police custody, police and media said hours after President Donald Trump swore an oath. use the military to end the unrest.
Trump escalated his outrage on Monday by posing in front of a bible-holding church after law enforcement officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear his way on foot after making remarks at the White House Rose Garden.
Protesters set fire to a mall in Los Angeles, looted stores in New York and clashed with police in St Louis, Missouri, where four police officers were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries .
“The officers are still shooting downtown and we will share more information as it becomes available,” St Louis police said on Twitter.
A police officer was also shot dead during protests in the Las Vegas Strip neighborhood, the AP news agency said, citing police. Another officer was “involved in a shooting” in the same area, the agency said without giving details.
He did not give details of the shooting or the condition of the officers. The police declined to comment to Reuters.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said in a tweet that his office had been informed of two separate incidents in Las Vegas. “The state is in contact with local law enforcement and continues to monitor the situation,” he said.
Trump has condemned the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died on May 25 in Minneapolis, a white policeman got his neck under his knee and promised justice.
But, with marches and rallies against police violence turned violent each evening over the past week, he said that the legitimate protests could not be suppressed by an “angry crowd”.
“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming presence of law enforcement until the violence is quelled,” said Trump. “If a city or state refuses to take the necessary steps to defend the lives and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly resolve the matter for them.”
Floyd’s death has rekindled latent racial tensions in a politically divided country that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with African Americans accounting for a disproportionately high number of cases.
Review of the visit to the church
After his speech, Trump crossed an area that had been cleared by police to the nearby Episcopal Church of St. John, where he posed for photos with his daughter, Ivanka, and the U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
The Bishop President of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., Michael Curry, was among those who criticized Trump’s use of the historic church for a photo op.
“In doing so, he used a religious building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes,” he said on Twitter. The church suffered minor fire damage during the Monday evening protests.
The White House said it was cleaning the area before a curfew.
A few hours later, thousands of people marched through Brooklyn shouting “Justice now!” while some passing conductors honked for support.
Television footage showed crowds breaking windows and looting luxury stores along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan before 11 p.m. curfew. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the curfew would be postponed until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Two police officers were struck by a car during a demonstration in Buffalo, New York, Monday evening. Authorities said the driver and passengers were in detention. It was unclear whether the incident was intentional.
In Hollywood, dozens of people were shown on television images looting a pharmacy. Windows were broken in a nearby Starbucks and two restaurants.
A second autopsy ordered by Floyd’s family and published on Monday revealed that his death was a homicide by “mechanical asphyxiation” or physical force which adversely affected his oxygen supply. The report indicates that three officers contributed to his death.
The Hennepin County medical examiner later released autopsy results which also called for Floyd’s fatal homicide by asphyxiation. The county report says that Floyd suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest while detained by police and suffered from arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl poisoning and recent use of methamphetamine.
Derek Chauvin, the 44-year-old Minneapolis police officer who kneeled against Floyd, was arrested for third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Three other officers involved in the arrest have not been charged.
The death of Floyd was the last case of police brutality against black men which was filmed and caused an outcry against racism in the application of American laws.
Dozens of cities are subject to curfews that have not been observed since the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The National Guard has been deployed to 23 states and to Washington, D.C.
Most Americans were just coming out of weeks of stringent “stay at home” orders imposed during the pandemic.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)