<!– Confronting the police during the U.S. protest –>
Protests over the murder of black man George Floyd by a former Minneapolis policeman continued in many American cities on Saturday.
However, some of the protests snowballed into looting of stores.
In Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a curfew starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as protests gripped downtown.
Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago mayor also announced a curfew from 9pm to 6am, a little too late perhaps, with reports of vandalism and clashes between protesters and police.
Macy’s store in Downtown Chicago was one of the stores looted on Saturday night.
Curfews were announced in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta as the anti-police protests continued.
In Los Angeles, officers fired rubber bullets and swung batons during a testy standoff with demonstrators who set fire to a police car.
In New York, like Chicago, police and protesters also clashed and many arrests were made.
In Minneapolis where the protests began on Tuesday, Governor Tim Walz called in the national guard as he also sued for peace.
Walz had said most of the protesters in Minneapolis were outsiders.
But much later, he walked back the comment and apologised.
Seattle Times reported high tension in the city, despite a rainy afternoon, as protesters chanted “I can’t breathe!” and “What’s his name? George Floyd.”
Police struggled to disperse the crowd and enforce social distancing, the Times said.
Gov. Jay Inslee later activated National Guard troops to respond shortly after 5 o’clock.
The National Guard was also called out in several U.S. states.
In Portland, police declared a riot late Friday night after protesters broke into the city’s police headquarters and set fires inside.
In Seattle, at least two more rallies against police brutality are planned Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday afternoon in Downtown Miami, Florida, hundreds gathered to protest police brutality and the death of George Floyd , despite the vicious, sweltering sun.
They chanted Floyd’s name and demanded justice against abusive cops. They hoisted hand-made signs that read: “I Can’t Breathe” and “No More Hashtags. We matter.”
Miami Herald reported that policemen failed to react even when protesters shut down Interstate 95 for more than an hour and spray painted police cars.
The afternoon’s large protest unfolded largely in peace — until the sun began to set, protesters began hurling rocks and bottles at cops lined up outside Miami police headquarters, and officers began firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
By Saturday night, events had turned chaotic, made even more so because of a thundering fireworks show nearby meant to honour medical personnel working to stem the coronavirus pandemic.
President Trump who was in Florida to witness the launch of the first space flight from American soil in a decade blamed far-left groups, including radicals from Antifa for the protests.
He said they were inciting unrest across the United States and dishonouring the memory of George Floyd.
Trump said he had spoken to the family of Floyd, and expressed the “sorrow of our entire nation.”
“The memory of George Floyd is being dishonoured by rioters, looters and anarchists”, Trump said.
The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorising the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting business and burning down buildings.
“The main victims of this horrible, horrible situation are the citizens who live in these once lovely communities,” the president said.
“Right now, America needs creation, not destruction. Cooperation, not contempt. Security, not anarchy, and there will be no anarchy,” he added.
“Radical-left criminals, thugs and others all throughout our country and throughout the world will not be allowed to set communities ablaze.
“We won’t let it happen. It harms those who have the least. And we will be protecting those who have the least,” the president said.
He added that the Justice Department had been in coordination with local law enforcement across the country.
Trump’s comments did not deter the marchers who filed out in many cities, including Toronto in Canada.
They marched through streets in Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and other cities, chanting slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” which Floyd was heard saying repeatedly before he died.
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