Thousands gathered in US cities on Friday, calling for justice in the death of George Floyd, 46 in protests that, in some places, turned into violence and chaos.
In Atlanta, a tense scene became fiery how hundreds of people broke into the CNN building hours after reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested while on TV in Minneapolis. In Washington, DC, a rally nearby caused the White House to be blocked. Large crowds also gathered in New York City, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles and beyond.
Chaos and unrest continued on Friday night in Minneapolis, while protesters ignored a citywide curfew that had been imposed by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and the mayors of Twin City in hopes of repressing part the violence that took over the area.
Earlier in the day, the Minnesota governor called for peace after "48 hours of anarchy".
"It is time to rebuild our community and it starts with security on our streets," Walz said in a statement. “Thousands of Minnesotans expressed their sadness and frustration in a peaceful manner. But the illegal and dangerous actions of others, under cover of darkness, have caused irreversible pain and damage to our community. "
President Donald Trump responded to the unrest calling protesters "bandits" and threatening that "when the looting begins, the shooting begins". Almost immediately, Twitter posted a notice in the post, saying it glorified violence.
Trump softened his tone on Friday, saying the White House is talking to Floyd's family and working closely with authorities. "I understand the pain. I understand the pain. People have really been through a lot," he said. "George's family has a right to justice, and the people of Minnesota have a right to live in safety. Law and order will prevail. Americans will honor the memory of George and the Floyd family."
Meanwhile, Walz, a Democrat, promised to end "48 hours of anarchy" that led to broken windows, destroyed properties and looted several stores in Minneapolis. Walz also questioned why city officials were not involved with protesters and arsonists who set fire to 3rd Minneapolis Police Department Police Station, the former base of four police officers linked to Floyd's death.
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Former police officer Derek Chauvin was fired Tuesday along with the other three officers involved in the incident. Chauvin was arrested on Friday and faces third-degree murder and murder charges, according to Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman.
A request to Chauvin's lawyer for comment was not immediately returned Friday night.
Minneapolis police identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng
The other officers were not charged, but the investigation is still ongoing, Freeman said.
Video footage released earlier this week shows Chauvin, who is white, putting his knee in Floyd's neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes while he shouted "I can't breathe" and shouted for his mother. Stunned onlookers watched helplessly Floyd, who was black and a former high school athlete, gasping for air.
The fatal encounter occurred on Monday after a supermarket clerk called the police and said Floyd had tried to pay with a counterfeit $ 20 bill.
Image: Protests continue after George Floyd's death, killed in police custody in Minneapolis (Stephen Maturen / Getty Images)
Floyd loved ones described him as a "gentle giant" who trained children in their spare time. But his legacy, at least immediately, will be that of the man whose death forever changed the Twin Cities.
"It's a young rage, just as young people took to the streets in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s," Saje Mathieu, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota who lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis, told NBC News. "They're saying, 'We're already cut. We're already hurt. We're already hurt. There's no other way to communicate my pain and anger than to go out on the streets. & # 39;"
Protests erupted across the country after Floyd's death. From New York, where protesters blocked the Brooklyn Bridge on Friday, to Los Angeles, where a protester smashed a police car with his skateboard on Wednesday, the days and nights after Floyd's death were filled with rage , frustration and demand for justice.
Many police departments in the country condemned the tactics used restrain Floyd, who was seen in a video stuck face down while Chauvin seemed to maintain pressure on Floyd's neck with his knee, despite Floyd's repeated requests that he couldn't breathe.
When Floyd stopped moving, Officer J. Alexander Kueng "checked Mr. Floyd's right pulse and said, 'I couldn't find one.' None of the officers came out of their positions," according to criminal complaint.
The coroner found no evidence that Floyd died of traumatic suffocation or strangulation. Instead, Floyd had coronary artery and hypertensive heart disease and "the combined effects of Floyd being contained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any possible intoxicants in his system probably contributed to his death," the complaint said.
"The policeman and those who were there that day failed George Floyd," said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Executive Police Research Forum.
On Friday, former President Barack Obama said Floyd's death "It shouldn't be normal in 2020".
"If we want our children to grow up in a nation that meets their highest ideals, we can and must be better," he said.