National

Unrest mounts across multiple US cities over the death of George Floyd

Minneapolis, MN May 27: AutoZone burned as protesters continued to gather outside of the Third Precinct. Protester and police clashed violently in South Minneapolis as looters attacked business on Lake Street on Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer Monday. (Photo by Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

(CNN) — Pain and anger over the death of George Floyd spilled over into multiple cities across the country hours after the former Minneapolis officer seen in video with his knee on Floyd’s neck was arrested and charged with murder.

Demonstrators funneled their anguish in cities like Atlanta, New York and Washington into chants, signs and outbreaks of violence, smashing windows and setting vehicles ablaze.

In Minneapolis shop owners and citizens cleaned up damaged lots and protesters took a knee for Floyd while others marched on an interstate or gathered en masse at the stadium for the city’s NFL team, the Vikings.

In Atlanta, demonstrators smashed windows of police cars outside CNN Center, which houses Precinct 5. At least one squad car was set on fire. Police in riot gear helped their colleagues force protesters back to Centennial Olympic Park.

Minneapolis is now under a curfew instituted after days of protests marked by looting and arson. It comes on the day the county prosecutor charged the fired Minneapolis police officer seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck with third-degree murder.

Derek Chauvin also faces a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd’s family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, are upset Chauvin wasn’t charged with a more serious offense.

“We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested,” Crump and the family said in a statement. “We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer.”

Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds in total, and 2 minutes, 53 seconds after Floyd was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

The death of Floyd has led to protests in cities across the nation and questions about the justice system when Americans of color are killed by police. There have been multiple protests with looting, fires and property damage in the Twin Cities, and the Minnesota governor, while acknowledging “visceral pain,” has called for order. Protests in major cities continued into Friday evening.

The Minneapolis curfew began at 8 p.m. CT on Friday and last until Saturday at 6 a.m. The curfew will be in effect for Saturday evening as well, according to an emergency resolution signed by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

The neighboring city of St. Paul imposed a similar curfew for Friday beginning at 8 p.m. CT, according to St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

Chauvin and three other officers detained Floyd in handcuffs Monday after he allegedly used a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, police have said. Outrage grew in the form of protests after a video surfaced showing a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck. The 46-year-old, who was unarmed, cried out that he couldn’t breathe.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said charges against the other three officers are likely.

“We entrust our police officers to use certain amounts of force to do their job to protect us. They commit a criminal act if they use this force unreasonably,” he said.

The criminal complaint says, “Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind without regard for human life.”

If convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin would face up to 25 years in prison on the first charge and up to 10 years on the second.

The evidence in the case includes a cell phone video of the incident, body worn cameras, witness statements, a preliminary report from medical examiner, and discussions with an expert, Freeman said.

The preliminary autopsy report found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” according to the criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

The report added: “The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”

Read the criminal complaint

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta cautioned that the absence of physical evidence doesn’t necessarily mean Floyd didn’t die from asphyxiation.

Gupta also said that an officer should have started CPR after one of them told the others he couldn’t find a pulse.

Chauvin was arrested and taken into custody Friday by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.

CNN has reached out to Chauvin’s attorney and the Minneapolis police union for comment.

Protests are for more than George Floyd

Demonstrators across the country appealed for justice for Floyd and others.

In Houston, demonstrators carried signs that said “End police brutality” and “Black lives matter.”

People blocked US Highway 101 near San Jose, and one of them smashed what looked like a skateboard through a blue Mustang.

In New York, protesters and police clashed in various incidents Friday night outside the Barclays Center with protestors throwing water bottles, what appeared to be a bottle of paint and more at New York police officers.

In Washington, DC, a protest outside the White House briefly caused the building to be placed on lockdown. It has since been lifted and the Secret Service has reopened entrances and exits to the White House campus for both staff and media.

CNN’s Jim Acosta reported the protests have moved away from the White House and are now arriving on Capitol Hill.

In Minneapolis, on the fourth day of protests, people swarmed an interstate highway.

Overnight, the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct was set ablaze. Some protesters chanted Floyd’s name and “I can’t breathe,” and some tossed fireworks toward the precinct, which is the one closest to where the incident was captured on video.

State police, donning protective gear and carrying batons, lined up Friday morning near the site littered with debris andsprayed mace at protesters who got too close. Some responded by throwing projectiles at the officers as others fled.

Meantime, a CNN crew was released from police custody in Minneapolis after they were arrested Friday during a live broadcast at the site after clearly identifying themselves to officers. CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was placed in handcuffs while the cameras rolled, shortly followed by producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez.

The state patrol said the crew was “released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.” CNN disputed that characterization, saying, “Our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists.”

“We’re doing OK, now,” Jimenez said, reporting again from downtown. “There were a few uneasy moments there.”

Outrage grows to other cities

The Minneapolis Police Department said it evacuated staff from the Third Precinct for safety reasons. Authorities had set up a fence around it, but protesters pushed it over, officials said.

City officials warned protesters Thursday night to leave the precinct area, saying it may be in danger of exploding due to “unconfirmed reports” of severed gas lines.

More than 500 Minnesota National Guard personnel mobilized to several locations in the Minneapolis area, including banks, grocery stories and pharmacies.

Another community organizer, Shanene Herbert, told CNN Thursday before the night’s events that young people had “every right to be angry.”

“They have experienced trauma,” she said. “Seeing your friends, your families and even yourself harassed by the police and killed by the police, it’s traumatic. And they don’t know what to do with that.”

The Minneapolis mayor criticized the violent incidents.

“What we’ve seen over the past several hours and the past couple of nights in terms of looting is unacceptable,” Frey told reporters. “Our communities cannot and will not tolerate it.”

MORE STORIES

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK