U.S. cities gird for more violence as Trump decries `lowlifes’

Hanz Jouissance holds up a fist at the conclusion of a prayer vigil at the First AME church Monday, June 1, 2020, in Seattle, following protests over the weekend over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Hanz Jouissance holds up a fist at the conclusion of a prayer vigil at the First AME church Monday, June 1, 2020, in Seattle, following protests over the weekend over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A Statue of Liberty painting is seen through a smashed Dolce and Gabbana store window, Monday, June 1, 2020, in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York. Protesters broke into the store Sunday night in reaction to George Floyd’s death while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)A Statue of Liberty painting is seen through a smashed Dolce and Gabbana store window, Monday, June 1, 2020, in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York. Protesters broke into the store Sunday night in reaction to George Floyd’s death while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Volunteers pick up glass from a damaged The Gap store Monday, June 1, 2020, in Santa Monica, Calif., a day after unrest and protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Volunteers pick up glass from a damaged The Gap store Monday, June 1, 2020, in Santa Monica, Calif., a day after unrest and protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
People gather to protest in Hampton Beach, N.H., Monday, June 1, 2020, following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)People gather to protest in Hampton Beach, N.H., Monday, June 1, 2020, following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday turned up the pressure on governors to quell the violence set off by the death of George Floyd, demanding New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”

As more demonstrations began taking shape around the country, and cities girded for another round of scattered violence after dark, the president amplified his hard-line calls of a day earlier, in which he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.

“NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” he tweeted. “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!!!”

A day after a crackdown on peaceful protesters near the White House, some demonstrators began protesting in other parts of the nation’s capital. Hundreds of people gathered along 14th Street, one of the city’s main arteries, and many in the crowd began walking toward the White House, which had tightened security in place.

Protests were also held in such places as Houston, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Orlando, Florida, where more than 1,000 people gathered in the afternoon to decry the killings of black people.

“This has to change,” said 39-year-old Aisxia Batiste, an out-of-work massage therapist. “Something has to give. We’re done. This is the beginning of the end of something. It has to be.”

In New York, midtown Manhattan was pocked with battered storefronts. Macy’s flagship store was among those hit after crowds of people smashed windows and looted stores Monday as they swept through the area. A police sergeant was hospitalized after being hit by a car in the Bronx, where people walked Tuesday between ransacked buildings and a burned-out car on the Grand Concourse, a commercial thoroughfare.

Police made nearly 700 arrests, Mayor Bill de Blasio extended an 8 p.m. curfew all week.

“We’re going to have a tough few days,” he warned, but added: “We’re going to beat it back.” He pleaded with community leaders to step forward and “create peace.”

More than 20,000 National Guard members have been called up in 29 states to deal with the violence. New York is not among them, and De Blasio has said he does not want the Guard. On Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo called what happened in the city “a disgrace.”

“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night,” Cuomo said said at a briefing in Albany.

He said the mayor underestimated the problem, and the nation’s largest police force was not deployed in sufficient numbers, though the city had said it doubled the usual police presence.

READ MORE: Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Monday marked the seventh straight night of unrest around the country.

In Atlanta, police fired tear gas at demonstrators. In Nashville, more than 60 National Guard members put down their riot shields at the request of peaceful protesters. At a demonstration in Buffalo, New York, an SUV plowed into a group of officers, injuring three.

An officer was shot and gravely wounded as police tried to disperse a crowd outside a Las Vegas hotel and casino. Four officers were shot in St. Louis; they were expected to recover.

Philadelphia officials described a chaotic night in which one person was killed trying to use explosives to open an ATM, a gun shop owner fatally shot a would-be thief, and a 19-year-old died of injuries during looting.

About a dozen other deaths have been reported around the country over the past week. And nearly 8,000 people nationwide have been arrested for offences such as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew, according to a count by The Associated Press.

“We have been sitting on a powder keg for some time and it has burst,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Some protesters framed the burgeoning movement as a necessity after a string of killings by police.

“I fear for my safety every time I get in the car to go for a drive. I fear of getting pulled over. I fear for all 10 of my brothers’ and sisters’ lives, for my parents’ lives!” 19-year-old Amari Burroughs of Parkland, Florida, said Tuesday as she prepared for another protest.

“My goal is to use my voice and my leadership to make this world safer so that one day I can bring children here and won’t have to fear for their safety.”

Outside the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul, where a youth protest was held Tuesday, 18-year-old Joseph Tawah agreed.

“It’s really hard not to feel afraid,” he said.

Meanwhile, governors and mayors, Republicans and Democrats alike, rejected Trump’s threat to send in the military, with some saying troops would be unnecessary and others questioning whether the government has such authority and warning that such a step would be dangerous.

“Denver is not Little Rock in 1957, and Donald Trump is not President Eisenhower. This is a time for healing, for bringing people together, and the best way to protect civil rights is to move away from escalating violence,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, both Democrats, said in a statement, referring to Eisenhower’s use of troops to enforce school desegregation in the South.

A senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the president is not rushing to send in the military and that his goal was to pressure governors to deploy more National Guard members.

Such use of the military would mark a stunning federal intervention rarely seen in modern American history.

Minnesota, meanwhile, opened an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a pattern of discrimination against minorities. Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes.

Chauvin has been charged with murder. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said prosecutors are working as fast as they can to determine if the three other officers at the scene should be charged too. All four have been fired.

Amid the protests, cities struggled to keep police in line and avoid instances of excessive force.

The police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, was fired after a restaurant owner was killed by police and National Guard members enforcing a curfew. In Richmond, the police chief said officers who used tear gas on a group of peaceful protesters would be disciplined. In Atlanta, six officers were charged after a video showed authorities dragging two young people from a car during protests.

___

Sullivan reported from Minneapolis. Associated Press journalists across the U.S. contributed to this report.

Zeke Miller And Tim Sullivan, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

protestracismUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

...
Trevor Eros bows out of Abbotsford municipal byelection

Business owner, pro wrestler cites more time for family and delay in byelection date as reasons

W. A. Fraser middle school teacher Carrie Roger and mom Pam are heading a project in which students are creating Earth Day artwork to be placed in fabric bags made and donated by volunteer group Fabric Bag Solution. The bags will be donated to front-line workers. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford school and sewing group team up for Earth Day project

Students create artwork for homemade, donated fabric bags for front-line workers

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time up-keeping the yard? You may be unintentionally contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

So far, 15 gang-related killings have occurred across Metro Vancouver in 2021. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Police report 15 gang-linked killings in Metro Vancouver in 2021 as tensions escalate

The situation has flared up again, as tensions dating back to 2008 between the UN gang and rivals including the Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and the Wolf Pack escalate

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read