Protesters defy curfews but demonstrations across the US turn more peaceful
The eighth night of protests saw less violence, fewer police clashes and more acts of civil disobedience.
Unprecedented curfews are in place in Washington, DC, Atlanta, New York City, Cleveland, and several California cities to dissuade gatherings after a weekend of sometimes violent confrontations and looting.
But that didn’t stop thousands of people from showing up to call for justice following the death of George Floyd, who died last week after he was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds.
In Philadelphia on Tuesday, protests culminated in a nine-minute “moment” of silence.
In Los Angeles, a group of protesters knelt with their hands up in peace signs outside the home of Mayor Eric Garcetti as they waited to be arrested.
In Atlanta, where days ago a police car was lit on fire, a large crowd marched peacefully through the same streets.
And after what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called “coordinated criminal activity” and looting in parts of the city the night before, protests over Tuesday night looked completely different, de Blasio said.
People marched through Manhattan, with some store owners, residents and supporters lining the sides of the streets and cheering on demonstrators.
Though there were some instances of looting, it was nowhere as widespread or chaotic on Monday night.
At one point, protesters trying to cross the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan were blocked off by police, who closed the Manhattan side of the bridge. There were fears of a confrontation, but police allowed the protesters to turn around and walk off the bridge back into Brooklyn without arrests.
“We want peace,” Joseph Haynes, a demonstrator in Los Angeles, told CNN’s Kyung Lah. “Look at all these wonderful people out here. Look at us. And this is not just black people.”
“He will never see her grow up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle. If there is a problem she’s having and she needs her daddy, she does not have that anymore,” Washington said of Floyd’s daughter, Gianna. “I am here for my baby, and I’m here for George because I want justice for him.”
Where Floyd’s case stands
Floyd’s death sparked what has been more than a week of protests, calling for justice in his case and an end to police brutality.
Chauvin has been arrested in his death and Floyd’s family attorney Ben Crump said he expects the other three officers at the scene will be charged before Floyd’s funeral next week.
“We think all of them should be charged with some type of felony murder for participating in the horrific killing of George Floyd,” Crump said.
An independent autopsy showed that the knee on Floyd’s neck as well as two other officers’ knees holding him down contributed to his death.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is launching a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, which will look into practices from the last 10 years.
A news release says the inquiry will try to determine whether police engaged in “systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped.”
Chauvin is expected to make his first appearance in court on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on June 8. Floyd’s funeral is planned for June 9 in Houston.
Conflict and confrontations
A night marked by more peaceful displays of civil disobedience was not without confrontation between law enforcement and protesters.
As Atlanta reached its 9 p.m. curfew, law enforcement deployed tear gas at protesters gathered near the CNN Center who through the day had been marching peacefully.
Hundreds of protesters were arrested in Los Angeles, LAPD spokesman Tony Im told CNN. By 10 p.m. Tuesday the NYPD had arrested 40 protestors and expected that number to grow.
After rocks and glass were thrown at officers Tuesday, according to the Milwaukee Police Department, officers used tear gas on the crowds.
Police in Boise, Idaho, formed a line between the hundreds who showed up for a vigil on the steps of the capitol and counterprotesters holding American flags and Blue Lives Matter flags, according to CNN affiliate KBOI.
And after President Donald Trump called for tougher efforts against protests earlier this week, 1,600 active duty troops moved to the Washington, DC, area to assist civil authorities ifneeded, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday.
Spokeswoman Anne Bettesworth said Tuesday that the Seattle Office of Police Accountability received about 14,000 complaints concerning the conduct of Seattle police officers during demonstrations over the weekend.
Maintaining the peace and making change
Measures are starting to be enacted to ensure the safety of the demonstrations as well as to address the concerns at the heart of the protests.
Facebook said Tuesday that it had shut down pages and accounts whose members were discussing bringing weapons to the protests.
The activity was tied to a group called American Guard, according to Facebook. The Anti-Defamation League says American Guard “has a background with connections to anti-immigrant extremism, hatred, and violence.”
To provide relief for businesses thathave been harmed during protests, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a $10 million fund on Tuesday.