George Floyd protests rage for seventh night: New York looters smash windows on Fifth Avenue; National Guard in Chicago, Philadelphia

Black Lives Matter

Protests nationwide continued for the seventh day in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Floyd’s death, ruled a homicide on Monday by a county medical examiner and by an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family, has sparked outrage nationwide. A bystander’s video that showed now-fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes has circulated widely since Floyd’s Memorial Day death. 

Chavin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, though Floyd’s family wants the former officer charged with first-degree murder. Family attorney Ben Crump on Monday again called for peace. 

“Let’s remember to take a breath, America,” Crump said. “Let’s take a breath for George. Let’s take breath for peace. Let’s take a breath for justice. Let’s take a breath to heal our country.”

George Floyd protests:How did we get here?

Here’s a look at protests from around the nation:

New York City: Looters break away from peaceful march, smash windows

As a march with several thousand protesters worked its way toward midtown, a group of several hundred, mostly younger people, broke away and started running downtown.

Upon reaching 15th Street, the group smashed the windows of a Verizon Store and looted it. Then the group ran to 14th street and looted a Foot Locker — a store that had been boarded up, but to no avail. Soon after, three police cruisers arrived and chased the group east on 14th Street toward Union Square Park.

In midtown along 5th Avenue, looters were attacking the Microsoft store at 53rd street. They had already ransacked the Coach store on 54th and 5th which was in the process of being boarded up.

Tony Jaggernath, manager of construction crew, said he arrived at the Coach store at 8 p.m. to put up plywood to protect the first-story windows. But they never got a chance to finish. Soon, looters were upon them, ripping down the plywood and throwing stones through the windows and at Jaggernath.

“They came by and ripped off the boards right as we were putting them up,” Jaggernath said.

“We’re not against you, we’re just working here,” Jaggernath said he told the group.

Just up the street, Madeline Cisneros of The Bronx stood behind a black police van, surrounded by eight police officers. Her hands were ziptied behind her back, and she looked scared. Her friend Morgan Maselli, 29, also of The Bronx, filmed the police officers as she yelled at them.

“She didn’t do anything! Her backpack is filled with water and bandages! She’s here to help!” Maselli said. “Which of you is the arresting officer? Who’s in charge here? What is she being charged with?”

The police ignored her.

— Seth Harrison and Chris Maag, NorthJersey.com and LoHud.com

– Chris Maag, The Record

Chicago: National Guard deployed ahead of 9 p.m. citywide curfew

Chicago felt like a city under siege several hours before a 9 p.m. curfew. Most of the bridges crossing the Chicago River into the downtown from the west have been raised, and others were partially or completely blocked by government trucks. Large trucks similarly blocked many major roads, including Wabash Avenue. 

Multiple protest groups were marching through the city, particularly in the northern neighborhoods, and there was a heavy police presence downtown, with vans of officers rushing from call to call.

Access to Chicago’s downtown was largely shut down Sunday by authorities after looting and fires in the Loop area, pushing the unrest west and south. 

Speaking to reporters Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot denied that the restrictions and police presence downtown were coming at the expense of other neighborhoods, and promised all areas would be protected equally. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has deployed more than 600 members of the Illinois National Guard to Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

– Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY

Derek Chauvin:Minneapolis police at center of George Floyd’s death had a history of complaints

Los Angeles: Protesters hit Hollywood streets; businesses prep for loot

About 300 Black Lives Matters protesters jammed the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood under the gaze of Los Angeles police officers and National Guard troops. Splinter groups headed off down Hollywood Boulevard and other major streets as motorists honked in support.

Surrounding merchants were busy boarding up their businesses in hopes of repelling looters.

Later, more than thousand protesters marched through Hollywood in a demonstration that remained peaceful.

The crowd included a few men in muscle cars airing their stereos and doing burnouts. One man dressed as Jesus Christ, holding a skateboard aloft along with a sign pointing to a passage in Corinthians.

The crowd took over Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards. One woman was helping to direct cars that inadvertently got stuck among all the marchers. No police were seeing except the circling helicopter and about two dozen motorcycle cops bringing up the rear.

– Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

George Floyd protest live updates:Death ruled homicide; crowd tear-gassed near White House; Floyd’s brother pleads for peace

Washington D.C.: Police use tear gas; Donald Trump talks from Rose Garden

Law enforcement officers used shields and tear gas to clear the park near the White House of protesters as President Trump prepared to make his comments in the Rose Garden, across the street from the clash. 

His address in the Rose Garden came as hundreds of protesters surrounded the White House grounds for the fourth day of protests in Washington, D.C.

Law enforcement officers cleared Lafayette Park with tear gas, rubber bullets, shields and horses. Trump had yet to appear for his comments as the protesters, who at the time were peaceful, were being pushed back. 

Trump began his comments by pledging to be a “law and order” president as officers continued to push protesters blocks away from where he was standing, using some form of projectiles. Trump announced his plan to “mobilize” federal resources to “stop the fighting and looting”. He said the goal was to “dominate the streets” 

– Kevin Johnson, Bart Jansen and Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY

Philadelphia: National Guard arrives; USA TODAY Network reporters detained

Jeff Neiburg (reporter) and Jenna Miller (video strategist) were detained as they were covering events in Philadelphia for USA TODAY. They were released shortly after 9 p.m.

They were picked up near city hall along with a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter for a curfew violation. They showed their credentials several times and said they were media. They were detained anyway for about 2 hours on a bus with others picked up for alleged curfew violations. About 9 p.m., police came to the bus and called their names. They will not be charged.

Protests in Philadelphia resulted in several arrests after hundreds of protesters stormed I-676 and held up traffic before they were met by law enforcement agencies.

The police appeared to use rubber bullets and sprayed protesters with what appeared to be tear gas to disperse the crowd from the highway.

The Pennsylvania National Guard was deployed to Philadelphia on Monday after a weekend that saw more than 400 arrests and more than a dozen injured police officers.

City officials installed a 6 p.m. curfew for the second night in a row.

– Jeffrey Neiburg, The News Journal

Asbury Park, New Jersey: Demonstrators pour into the streets 

More than 1,000 protesters gathered outside a post office in Asbury Park, N.J., near the city’s police station, to denounce Floyd’s death. Activists spoke through a bullhorn on the steps of the post office, demanding change nationally and locally in response to police killings of black people. Demonstrators chanted “No Justice No Peace” and sang renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “Lean on Me.”

Following the rally, demonstrators poured onto the streets of this seaside city about 50 miles south of New York City.

– Andrew Goudsward, Asbury Park Press

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